updated 09:20 am EDT, Thu July 23, 2009
Sony Touch VAIOs in Fall
Sony plans to launch VAIO portables with touchscreens as early as the fall, company senior VP Mike Abary said in an interview today. The electronics giant fully anticipates shipping "some" computers with touch features in the fall to coincide with the launch of Windows 7, which is due October 22nd and has much better hooks for touch interfaces than Vista. Specifics weren't mentioned to Laptop, but Abary explained these were more likely to draw on Windows 7's existing touch features rather than to have a customized interface.
A move of the sort would make Sony one of the few companies to embrace touchscreen in a broader form for its computers. HP is the only major company to have touchscreens in many of its home PCs. Dell so far only sells the Latitude XT, and Apple despite introducing multi-touch in trackpads has yet to add touch to its Mac displays.
The executive also explains that the PlayStation Network is likely to have a deeper presence on PCs in the future but that it will primarily focus on movies and TV shows rather than on games. The latter are still possibilities but are more likely to involve casual games rather than titles on the level of PS3 or PSP games.
In ultramobile technology, Abary views NVIDIA's Ion graphics and system platform as "interesting" for netbooks but not a revolution as it's effectively retreading ground full-size notebooks have covered before. He also acknowledged that Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) platform will probably change how it approaches ultraportables. While the VAIO TT is likely to survive, the company expects prices to drop whether it's in the TT or in entirely new systems.
As a result of internal reorganization, the Sony official further sees tighter integration between VAIO PCs and the company's Reader e-book devices.