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Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Panasonic chief vows to chase profits

Staff writer

Kazuhiro Tsuga, the newly appointed president of Panasonic Corp., said Wednesday the electronics giant will pursue growth on multiple business fronts in a rational way to survive harsh global competition.

News photo
Kazuhiro Tsuga

The day after Panasonic announced that the 55-year-old will replace current President Fumio Otsubo, 66, Tsuga told a news conference in Tokyo: "We need to focus on how we can realize growth and profitability in all domains.

"We can't post growth without achieving 'rational growth' by removing inefficiency."

Tsuga said the company's goal has been to take revolutionary steps in fields related to the environment business.

"But we cannot depend only on the environment business," he added.

The Osaka-based company said Tuesday that Otsubo will step down and become chairman. Tsuga is currently a senior managing director and president of the firm's audiovisual products unit.

The change is to be formally approved at a general shareholders' meeting scheduled for June 27.

The shakeup came weeks after Panasonic forecast a ¥780 billion net loss, its biggest ever, for this business year to March due to the strong yen and slowing demand for its TV and semiconductor businesses.

At the same news conference, Otsubo said Panasonic will place importance on fast-growing emerging markets.

1.2 million Vitas sold


NEW YORK — Sony says it has sold 1.2 million PlayStation Vitas worldwide, exceeding the company's expectations amid stiff competition from mobile devices and Nintendo.

The handheld game system debuted last week in North America, Latin America, Europe and elsewhere. It went on sale in December in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Sony Corp. did not break out figures by region, so it's not known how many of the sales came from last week's launch. The sales figures were through Sunday.

More than 2 million games have been sold for the device. The Vita costs $250 or $300 in the U.S. depending on what type of wireless connection you want. It has touch controllers both on the front screen and in the back and two traditional analog controllers to use for shooters and a bevy of other games.

The Vita launch comes at a difficult time for dedicated handheld video game machines. Many people now play "Angry Birds," "Words with Friends" and other games on their smartphones and tablet computers. Getting them to spend several hundred dollars on a system that does games and not much else is a challenge.

Nintendo Co.'s 3DS hasn't sold as well as expected, though a recent price cut has helped some. As of December, the latest available figure, Nintendo said it had sold more than 15 million units of the 3DS. The gadget went on sale last March in the U.S. and a month earlier in Japan.

Microsoft, the third major maker of video gaming systems, does not have a handheld gaming machine and has instead focused on the Xbox 360 console.

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The Japan Times

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