History of Sony

Timeline created by jimbo2
  • Founding

    Sony was established on May 7th 1946 by Masaru Ibuka as a radio repair shop. The next year Akio Morita joined him, and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo telecommunications Engineering Corporation).
  • Period: to

    Ibuka, Masaru is Founder/President of Sony

    Ending Day/Month Unknown
  • First Tape Recorder

    In 1950, the company created Japan’s first tape recorder, called the Type-G. Just a year later in 1951 the company released the first consumer-use tape recorder, named Type-H. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Name changed to Sony

    In January 1958, the company changed its name to Sony. (Day unknown)
  • Sony Corp. of America Founded

    In 1960, Akio Morita founded Sony Corporation of America. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Period: to

    Akio Morita President of Sony

    Month/Day Unknown
  • Betamax Launched

    In 1975, the company launched the Betamax videocassete recording format. It became part of the videotape format war of the early ‘80s, between Sony’s Betamax system and the VHS format developed by JVC. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Walkman Brand is Launched

    In 1979, Sony began a life insurance company as one of its peripheral businesses. In the same year, Sony’s Walkman brand was introduced: the world’s first portable music player using the compact cassette format. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Period: to

    Ohga, Norio is CEO of Sony

    Month/Day Unknown
  • Compact Disc (CD) is Launched

    In 1983, Sony introduced the world to the Compact Disc (CD). At the same time, it launched the 3.5-inch floppy disks to replace the then on-going 5.25” floppy disks. Sony enjoyed a great success with this, and the format became dominant until floppy disks were replaced by current media formats.
  • Discman Series Launched

    In 1984, Sony launched the Discman series, which was an expansion of the Walkman brand to portable CD products. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Handycam and Video8

    In 1985, Sony launched its Handycam products and the Video8 format. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • 4mm DAT (Digital Audio Tape)

    In 1987, Sony launched the 4 mm DAT (Digital Audio Tape) as a new digital audio type standard. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • CBS Records is Purchased

    In 1988, Ohga purchased CBS Records. (Day is unknown)
  • Columbia Pictures is Purchased

    In 1989, Ohga purchased Columbia Pictures. In the same year Norio Ohga was made CEO of the company. He encouraged the development of the Compact Disc (CD) in the ‘70s and ‘80s, as well as the PlayStation in the early ‘90s. (Day is Unknown)
  • Sony Pictures and Sony Music is Established

    In 1991, after a series of acquisitions and friendly take-overs, Sony Pictures Entertainment was founded on August 7th. As of 2011, the company is ranked 3rd among movie studios, with a 12.5% box office market share. In the same year, Sony also established its music branch, called Sony Music Entertainment. (Month and Day are Unknown)
  • Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Established

    On November 16th, 1993, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) was established in Tokyo, Japan. It is responsible for the line of PlayStation consoles, which grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo.
  • First PlayStation Launched

    In 1994, Sony Computer Entertainment launched the first PlayStation.
  • ATV Music Publishing is Acquired

    In 1995, Sony purchased a 50% stake in ATV Music Publishing, which at the time was the second-largest publishing company in the world. Notably, the company owns much of the publishing rights to the catalogue of The Beatles.
  • Memory Stick Format is Launched

    In 1998, Sony launched their Memory Stick format, flash memory cards for use in Sony lines of digital cameras and portable music players. While seeing little success or support outside of Sony’s own products, it has seen updates with the Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Micro. (Day is unknown)
  • Period: to

    Nobuyuki Idei is President

    Starting Day/Month is Unknown.
  • PlayStation 2 is Launched

    In 2000, the PlayStation 2 was released, which has since become the most successful video game console of all time, selling over 150 million units as of 2011.
  • Sony BMG is Formed

    In 2004, Sony entered into a joint venture with Bertelsmann AG, merging Sony Music Entertainment with Bertelsmann AG to form Sony BMG. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Period: to

    Sir Howard Stringer is CEO of Sony

    In 2005, Howard Stringer replaced Nobuyuki Idei as CEO, marking the first time that a foreigner had run a major Japanese electronics firm. Day of starting as CEO is unknown.
  • PlayStation 3 is Launched

    In 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation 3. It was the first console to use the Blu-Ray disc format.
  • Sony Music Entertainment Re-Established

    In 2008, Sony bought out Bertelsmann’s share in the company and formed a new Sony Music Entertainment. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • "Make.Believe" Launched

    In 2009, in a bid to increase cooperation between business units, and provide a unified brand for its global operations, Sony introduced a slogan known as “make.believe”. (Month/Day Unknown)
  • Kazuo Hirai made CEO

    In 2012, Kazuo Hirai was promoted to president and CEO, replacing Sir Howard Stringer. Shortly after, Hirai outlined his company-wide initiative, named “One Sony” to revive Sony from its financial losses and bureaucratic management structure, which had been difficult for Stringer to accomplish.
  • PlayStation 4 is Launched

    On November 15th, 2013, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation 4 in North America.