Electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has no plans to develop new crossover gadgets that straddle video-game machines and electronic appliances, a senior official said Thursday.
The Osaka-based company, which makes Panasonic-brand products, has adopted a different approach to that of longtime rival Sony Corp., which unveiled a PlayStation2 machine last week combining a DVD recorder and TV tuner with a game console.
“We think the demands are subtly different, so in our strategy we will develop them separately,” said Kazuo Toda, senior managing director at Matsushita.
Toda said the company’s analysis suggests that games and entertainment don’t really mix and that products trying to bridge the divide haven’t sold well.
Matsushita will continue to work with Nintendo Co. on game machines, Toda told reporters in Tokyo.
Matsushita launched a product in Japan in 2001 combining the Nintendo GameCube with a DVD player.
But sales of the product, dubbed Q, have been slack.
In contrast, Sony appears to view its beefed-up crossover console, known as the PSX, as a key part of its product strategy. The machine goes on sale in Japan this year and is scheduled to be released in the United States and Europe early next year.
The Sony PlayStation2, which includes a DVD player, is the No. 1 video game machine, with 52.5 million units sold worldwide.
Toda said a key part of Matsushita’s strategy is to invest between 20 billion yen and 30 billion yen in a global advertising campaign aimed at promoting the Panasonic brand. He showed reporters a new TV commercial for a DVD recorder starring Oliver Stone.
The recorder, which has sold well since February, is the first Matsushita product launched under a new simultaneous global marketing strategy aimed at maximizing profits and sales.
But Toda acknowledged that the move carries risks because any recalls or failures will strike on a larger scale.
“The preparations must be excellent,” he said.
Toda refused to say how much the company hopes to save by unifying global product sales.
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