Press Release


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January 10, 2003



New Memory Stick Platform Strategy for The Broadband Era
Memory Stick logo

LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2003 - Sony Corporation today announced the introduction of Memory StickTM media with Memory Select Function which will expand the connected world of current Memory Stick, providing more versatility to Memory Stick-compatible device users. Memory Stick PRO, a new generation Memory Stick format, responding to a variety of needs in the coming broadband era was also announced.

Since the fall 1998 market introduction of Memory Stick, Memory Stick has evolved from a storage media to a networking media adopted by a wide range of product categories, such as digital still cameras, PCs, PDAs, portable audio devices, car devices, televisions, printers, and multimedia terminals. Memory Stick sales are expanding steadily with cumulative shipments of Memory Stick media reaching 30 million as of October 2002 and compatible products exceeding 30 million units as of September 2002.

Memory Stick DuoTM at one-third the volume and half the weight of standard-size Memory Stick was also launched in July 2002. Applications for Memory Stick Duo have expanded, including cellular phones and portable audio players. Furthermore, audio products complying with the MagicGateTM copyright protection technology are continually being introduced onto the market, facilitating the expansion of music downloading services and the growth of Memory Stick audio applications.

As Memory Stick quickly gains popularity across the industry for its ability to share a variety of content stored on a single media among various products, the media is being enhanced to ensure user-friendly access to various stored content and compatibility between many devices. As part of this direction, Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function was developed to provide a higher capacity solution for users with current Memory Stick-compatible products.

The Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function incorporates multiple 128MB memory units, which can be selected by a user via a mechanical switch on the media. Each memory unit can be used to categorize various types of data, for example using one memory unit for business data and the other for personal content. Because Memory Stick with Memory Select Function is designed with a basic capacity of 128MB, it retains high compatibility with current and future Memory Stick compatible products*. By realizing high-capacity data storage and offering additional features such as categorization of data to current Memory Stick users, Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function will further enhance user-friendliness. A 256MB Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function comprised of two 128MB memory units will be available this spring. Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function with a total of 512MB capacity and above integrating more than two 128MB memory units are currently under development. Incorporation of the MagicGate copyright protection technology into Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function is also being considered.
* Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function is compatible with current Memory Stick-compatible products supporting 128MB capacity.

The fast approach of the broadband network era and rapid improvements in hardware and software worldwide are increasing demands for advanced new generation features such as high-resolution video recording on memory cards. To accommodate such demands, a new generation of high-performance IC recording media called Memory Stick PRO was developed jointly with SanDisk Corporation.

Derived from a combination of conceptual keywords "progressive," "professional" and "protection," Memory Stick PRO incorporates both advanced technology and improved expandability. It offers completely new levels of performance when combined with products optimized for Memory Stick PRO while ensuring high-level security to protect commercial and personal content.

The Memory Stick PRO format was designed to realize continuous real-time recording of high capacity high-resolution moving images, with recording capacities specified up to 32GB. In addition to its theoretical maximum transfer speed of 160Mbps, a main advantage of the Memory Stick PRO format is its minimum write speed* of 15Mbps as a format standard, which will enable continuous real-time recording of high-resolution moving images. Furthermore, the minimum write speed of 15Mbps will make it possible to design more reliable moving image recording devices capable of preventing data loss in the event of sudden power loss or accidental removal of the media during file recording.
* The minimum write speed of 15Mbps can be realized with optimized Memory Stick PRO format-compatible devices.

The new format includes the MagicGate copyright protection technology as a standard feature providing secure protection for commercial and copyrighted content.

By fully utilizing an embedded intelligent controller unit, the Memory Stick PRO format will also enable prevention of third-party access to personal data. Tentatively named "Access Control Function," the new protection technology will form the base of a high-level security system for Memory Stick networking features.

As an advanced new generation media format, the Memory Stick PRO offers future expandability allowing it to evolve to bring new, exciting applications and benefits to its users.

Memory Stick PRO-compatible products will be launched one after another to answer user demands and offer new ways of enjoying Memory Stick. In the spring, Memory Stick PRO media in 1GB, 512MB and 256MB capacities will be introduced worldwide.

The appearance of Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function and Memory Stick PRO will facilitate adoption of Memory Stick media and compatible products by a broader range of product categories. Cumulative shipments of Memory Stick media including the new generation of Memory Stick are expected to reach 130 million units in 2004 and 210 million in 2005. Cumulative shipments of Memory Stick compatible products are expected to dramatically exceed initial expectations made at the time of the media's market launch; reaching 125 million in 2004 and 200 million in 2005.

By adding "Memory Stick PRO" and "Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function" to the current Memory Stick lineup, Memory Stick is evolving and enriching its lineup as a platform to link users to a variety of content and services for the coming broadband era.


-Reference-



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