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Entries in Sony (34)

Monday
Feb252013

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Takes Title of Thinnest and Lightest Tablet

Sony(BARCELONA) -- Samsung hopes a pen and software will set its Galaxy Note 8.0 Android tablet apart, but for Sony the difference is in the portability.

Sony has unveiled its Xperia Tablet Z at Mobile World Congress, a large mobile tradeshow in Barcelona, and it’s the thinnest and lightest on the market, at least among the class of 10-inch tablets.

The Xperia Tablet Z is just a hair over a pound, 1.09 pounds to be exact, and a little over a quarter of an inch thick, at .27 inches.  By comparison, the 9.7-inch iPad measures measures .37 inches thick and weighs 1.44 pounds. 

The new Sony tablet feels super light and has a simple (if somewhat plain), minimalist design that echoes the same lines seen in the recently announced Xperia Z and ZL smartphones.

Gone is the foldover-magazine style of last year’s Xperia Tablet S.  Instead, the Xperia Tablet Z is a simple flat rectangle measuring 6.7 by 10.8 inches.

The Xperia Tablet Z replaces Sony’s Xperia Tablet S, which was recalled last year due to a gap between the screen and hardware.  It was determined that if it was exposed to water, the tablet’s innards could be damaged and thereby counter the company’s former claims that the tablet was “splash-proof.”

This year with the Tablet Z, company executives made it a point to showcase the device’s imperviousness to water by immersing it in a small fish tank during a demonstration.  Sony claims that the Tablet Z can remain immersed in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and can also respond to touch screen swipes and taps with wet fingers.  The idea being that it’ll withstand the inevitable spills and food stains if you bring it into the kitchen with you.

The tablet has a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels and uses an NTSC color palette of 16 million hues to deliver a viewing experience akin to watching TV.

The Xperia Tablet Z also has more of the same connected TV features that made last year’s tablet unique.  The TV SideView app features a tiled, display feed of TV shows that are currently playing and also lets you cross-search other TV apps like Netflix and YouTube for additional content.

Using the Watch Now feature, you can flick one of the show tiles from the tablet towards your TV and the show will start playing on the bigger screen, essentially rendering the Tablet Z a remote control.  Samsung is also highlighting the TV integration with its new Galaxy Note 8.0.

New this year is built-in NFC capability that lets you transfer content between compatible devices simply by touching them together.  Sony is dubbing it Sony One Touch, and it’s not clear whether it works solely between Sony devices, but it would allow you to do things like transfer music from the tablet to a speaker or video from your phone to the tablet or a TV.

The Xperia Tablet Z has two cameras, an 8-megapixel camera in the rear, which has 1080p HD video recording capability and Sony’s proprietary camera technology -- an Exmor R for Mobile image sensor with Burst mode and Sweep panorama capabilities.  The front-facing camera has 2.2-megapixels.

The Xperia Tablet Z runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with the ability to upgrade to 4.2 after launch and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 2 GB RAM.  A microSD card slot allows up to 64GB of expandable memory. 

The Xperia Tablet Z will be available in May.  The 16GB or 32 GB versions will go for $499 and $599, respectively.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb212013

Sony Reveals PlayStation 4, Omits Look at Console's Design

Sony(NEW YORK) -- Sony has unveiled the next version of its popular gaming console, the PlayStation 4, which it plans to release in time for the 2013 holiday season.

At a press conference Wednesday evening in New York City, the company showcased the system's new graphics and controllers, but stopped short of revealing the system's casing.  The system includes new social gaming features and mobile integration, all of which are a major update to Sony's PlayStation 3, which was introduced seven years ago.

"Today marks a moment of truth and a bold step forward for PlayStation as a company," Andrew House, president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said at the event.  "Today we will give you a glimpse into the future of play."

The living room is no longer the "center of PlayStation ecosystem," according to Sony -- it's now a mobile world.  Nintendo's Wii U and Microsoft's Xbox also embraced a similar theme last year.  The Wii U even ships with a new tablet-like controller called the GamePad, which lets you stream the game and play it away from the TV and right on the controller.

With the PlayStation 4, Sony will be taking its existing portable gaming device -- the PS Vita -- and applying a similar concept.  The Vita will work in conjunction with the new console and function as a controller.  Sony, which makes its own line of Xperia Android phones and tablets, also announced plans to integrate tablets and phones into the social gaming experience.

While Sony didn't show the actual gaming console or hardware off at the event, it did showcase the forthcoming system's graphics prowess.  Powered by an eight-core x86 processor and 8GB of RAM, Sony showcased Driveclub to display the level of detail that the PlayStation 4 is capable of.   With "microscopic metallic flakes of paint" and car seat interiors with fibers that reflected tiny points of light, the system promises next-generation and unmatched graphics.

At the event, game developers made claims that PlayStation 4 has had a "quantum leap in graphics and AI" leaving them now only limited by their imaginations.

PlayStation 4 will feature "enhanced social capabilities" made possible through partnerships with Facebook and UStream.  In a bid to become the "fastest most powerful gaming network in the world," Sony will be putting social media at the core of PS4 experiences, giving gamers the ability to share live streams of their gameplay online with the press of a button.  In fact, the new DualShock controller will have a dedicated button just for sharing content to social media.

PlayStation's "iconic" controller won't be changing much in shape and size, but more bells and whistles have been added.  The aforementioned share button, a colored light bar to give each player a little flare, and a sensor that will allow the PS4's Kinect-like camera depth-and-motion sensor to read where the player is, have all been added to the enhanced controller.  Sony didn't detail how the camera will be used in games.

As mentioned, the company did leave out key details, including what the actual box that will be sitting beneath TV sets will look like, or pricing details.

"As far as the system itself we have to keep something new for later," Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony's Worldwide Studios, explained the move in an interview with Kotaku.  "Otherwise you'd get bored."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan072013

CES 2013: Sony Goes Big Into 4K TVs, Video Service and Consumer Camcorder

AFP/AFP/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — Sony took the stage Monday evening at its press conference at CES 2013 to unveil a whole array of electronics, including, yes, a 4K TV. But not just one or two 4K TVs — there’s a host of 4K products and services the company is working on.

Lets start with the TVs, though, since that really is what everyone is talking about at the consumer Electronics Show. Sony came out with an 85-inch 4K, Ultra HD TV last year that is on the market now for $25,000. There will now be smaller sizes — 55- and 65-inch models — which will bring down the price, Sony says. These sets, it promises, will offer the same sound and picture quality as the current model.

“The screen sizes are smaller, which will mean a more reasonable, consumer friendly price tag. However, we will not be talking about price right now,” Sony’s Rob Manfredo told ABC News.

But you know what won’t be cheaper? The OLED 4K set Sony is showing at CES. The 56-inch set is just a demo or a prototype for now, so don’t expect to see it in stores yet. It's basically a sight to be seen — it blends an OLED with four times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs.  (OLED, short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a technology that delivers an especially bright, crisp picture.)

Sony’s also addressing the 4K issue of content. As when HD first rolled out, the best picture made for it, in this case, is native 4K-resolution video. Many TVs can “upscale” lower-resolution video, but it isn’t the same experience. However, Sony will be rolling out a 4K service this summer.

“We will be launching a digital download service in the summer which will bring 4K content to the home,” Manfredo said. The 4K media player will have Sony Pictures Entertainment (no details on what specifically) available for download right through the set. Additionally, it will be showing the first lineup of 4K-mastered Blu-ray discs.

There’s another way to get 4K content: make it yourself. The company is showing off the first 4K consumer camcorder. It's just a prototype at the moment.

Lots of prototypes and promises from Sony, but you can bet on one thing: this 4K thing is, the next Ultra HD.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug302012

Sony Has No Plans for a 7-inch Tablet

Sony(NEW YORK) -- Despite plans to lay off 1,000 employees, streamline its business and kill off its optical disc drive unit, Sony has announced a slew of new products.

Among the new products introduced at simultaneous news conferences in Berlin and New York Wednesday was the Xperia Tablet S, a new 9.4-inch tablet thats priced at $399.

But absent from Sony's tablet introduction was a 7-inch tablet, a popular size and lower-cost offering among electronics companies looking to compete with the iPad.

The absence is related to Sony's new strategy, the COO and president of Sony U.S., Phil Molyneux, told ABC News in an interview.

"As we move forward you are going to see more of this great innovation at the higher end and the more premium segment.  We will put more emphasis there," Molyneux said.

When asked about the smaller form factor specifically, he said, "That's not our direction.  We are announcing these products and we think they will resonate with the consumers around the globe."

A Sony product manager shared the same thoughts with ABC News a few weeks ago, explaining that the lower end tablets require sacrifices.

Amazon began selling its 7-inch Kindle Fire about a year ago for $199.  It has been one of the most successful Android tablets. Google, in partnership with Asus, followed suit with its $199 Nexus 7 in June. Apple, meanwhile, has been rumored to be introducing a lower-cost and smaller iPad, or iPad Mini, in October.

Sony will also begin to offer Windows 8 tablets and laptops in October when Windows 8 is officially launched.

"We continue on the VAIO series of products; we didn't announce here in detail, but we will be sharing those details later," Molyneux said.

Molyneux also maintained that Sony is continuing to put extra effort into specific categories, including digital imaging, and that he feels confident that the company will be able to continue to maintain its product selection.  Sony introduced its new NEX-5R camera and action cam as well as an 84-inch 4K TV on Wednesday.

"We are confident we can produce them and drive forward," he said.  "We are very positive about the product set we have announced."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug292012

Sony Xperia Tablet S Touts Remote-Control Functionality, Trim Dimensions

Sony(NEW YORK) -- While Sony experimented with its dual-screen Tablet P last year, it seems to be playing things a bit more conservatively this year. At the IFA technology trade show in Berlin Wednesday, Sony announced its new Xperia Tablet S, a 9.4-inch Android 4.0 tablet.

The new version of the tablet has been improved in a few key ways: It is now thinner than the previous version (0.35 inches at its thinnest point), faster with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia and has some new functionality, including an improved remote app.

And it’s the latter piece – the remote functionality – on which Sony’s really focusing. The tablet has an IR blaster so it can control your TV. But while you can use the tablet as a universal remote, you can also load up the Watch Now app that provides a visual program guide alongside social media feeds.

Additionally, Sony has made some adjustments to Android 4.0, including a new Guest Mode that lets you set up different accounts with parental controls, if you choose.

The 1.26-pound tablet has a 9.4-inch 1280 x 800-resolution display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting.

Sony is also releasing some unique accessories to enhance the tablet experience, including a cover with a keyboard similar to the one Microsoft has shown for its Surface tablet. The $99.99 keyboard uses touch sensors rather than physical keys. Sony says that this keyboard was in production before Microsoft’s Surface announcement in June. It also will release a $99.99 docking stand that lets you rotate the screen; one with a built in speaker will be out in November for $129.99.

The tablet itself starts at $399 for the 16GB version and will be available Sept. 7 online and at stores.

Sony Mobile Communications announced last week that it planned to lay off 15 percent of its workforce, about 1,000 employees, by 2014.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

Sony Bumps Up Projected Annual Net Loss to Record $6.4B

AFP/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Sony revised its forecast for its 2011 fiscal year on Tuesday, projecting a record annual net loss of 520 billion yen, or $6.4 billion.

That's more than double the 220 billion yen the Japanese electronics giant had estimated in February.

In a statement, the company said it "expects to record an aggregate additional charge of approximately 300 billion yen in tax expense in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, primarily due to the establishment of valuation allowances against certain deferred tax assets, predominantly in the U.S."

[CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL STATEMENT]

The announcement comes a day after Japanese news reports said Sony would be cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide, or about 6 percent of its workforce, in an effort to restructure the company.

Sony has not confirmed the layoffs, but its new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to discuss the company's new business plan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr092012

Report: Sony to Slash 10,000 Jobs Worldwide

AFP/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- After four straight years of losses, Sony Corp. is planning to eliminate 10,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to restructure the company, Nikkei reports.

With 168,200 employees as of March 2011, the cuts would amount to about six percent of the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant's workforce.

Nikkei says the layoffs could come as early as the end of this year and will likely affect Sony's chemicals and small- and medium-sized LCD operations.

Sony has not confirmed the report, but the company's new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb022012

Sony Reports Net Loss of Over $2 Billion in Third Quarter

AFP/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Sony's new CEO will have his work cut out for him when he takes over later this year.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant on Thursday said it suffered a net loss of over $2 billion in its third quarter, keeping Sony in the red for the fourth straight year.  The shortfall was a result of the floods in Thailand, which shut down two of Sony's factories, and a strong yen, which eroded the company's earnings abroad.

And the picture doesn't look much better for the rest of Sony's fiscal year. The company predicts a net loss of close to $3 billion -- up from its previous forecast of roughly $1.2 billion.

Sony hopes Kazuo Hirai will be able to turn the company around when he replaces CEO Howard Stringer in April.  Hirai, known for his work in Sony's gaming division, was announced as the new head of the company on Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan112012

CES: Sony Xperia Ion Smartphone

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Sony entered the LTE cellphone game at the Consumer Electronics Show with its latest offering, the Xperia Ion smartphone. Along with 4G LTE speed from AT&T, the phone features an HDMI output, 4.6-inch display (compared to a 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S), a 12 megapixel camera and a thin body.

Beyond the traditional smartphone specs there are a lot of features that make it uniquely Sony. It runs a mobile version of Sony’s Bravia engine, the same technology that goes into Sony Bravia HDTVs, making for especially vivid colors on the screen. And since it’s a Sony you can download PlayStation and PlayStation portable games to the phone. It also has a compatible dock to view on a larger display.

No price has been set, but expect to see it on store shelves in the second quarter of 2012.

Kevin Pereira from G4 gives us his take on the phone:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep292011

Movie Theater Owners Object to Sony's Plan to Stop Paying for 3D Glasses

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Movie theater owners are not happy with Sony's plan to subsidize 3D glasses for its films, beginning in May.

Patrick Corcoran of the National Association of Theater Owners says if studios such as Sony choose not to pay for the glasses, the theater owners will be forced to cover the costs.  That could potentially lead to a price hike for 3D movie tickets.

Corcoran says, "Sony needs to rethink their plan and they need to negotiate with theater owners directly.  They can't just unilaterally decide that they're no longer going to pay for that."

Charles Martin Smith, the director of the current 3D film Dolphin Tale, says it's possible that moviegoers won't want to fork over extra cash for a 3D movie, if ticket prices do in fact increase.

He says, "It probably would be a disincentive.  Depending on how much more, you know.  If it's an extra 25 cents maybe not, but if it's an extra $25, sure.  But yeah, you'd hate to see audiences being charged that much more."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio