Typically, keynote addresses at the Consumer Electronics Show are either celebratory or boastful. Chances are, the Sony keynote will be a bit of both. First, it's being delivered by Sir Howard Stringer, the first Western-born CEO of Sony and arguably its most affable. Secondly, it comes as Sony is heavily touting its PlayStation 3 console, which saw sales increase 40 percent in 2008, and 130 percent during the last 10 weeks of the year.
However, with reports of a "sweeping" restructuring imminent at Sony, it's hard to remember the last time a cloud hung so heavily over a CES keynote. (The closest thing was Toshiba's non-keynote HD-DVD presentation last year, which was canceled when the sudden withdrawal of movie-studio support doomed the format.) What has gamers particularly worried is a British report earlier this week which claimed "sacred cow-killing" changes could be afoot at the Tokyo-based company. To many, the most divine bovine in the electronics giant's barn is Sony Computer Entertainment. Despite growing revenues and a return to profitability, the division has yet to recoup the billions it spent researching and developing the PS3 and PSP, both of which lag far behind their rivals in terms of overall sales.
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