I used to work for xxxxx many years ago and we had a massive joint project with Sony to create an open reel digital multitrack standard. It failed ultimately but I did learn of the prejudices of the Japanese engineers. Even then (late 80s) the word was that Sony was making deliberately short-lived consumer products which reflected the extremely fast turnover of their domestic market. In the rich parts of Tokyo you could (apparently) retrieve fully working VCR's etc from trash - things discarded for the latest model. Sony I think built this planned obsolescence into their products as they thought consumers were not interesting in having a VCR work for say 5 years.
Probably the peak of Sony design was late70s to early80s and since then it's been laurel-resting and marketing. I too miss the old Sony but I guess Apple have taken that now.