Xperia arc S, neo V now shipping in the US
Sony Ericsson on Tuesday began offering its Xperia arc S and Xperia neo V smartphones in the US as unlocked devices. The former costs $450 while the latter is priced at $350. The arc S gets a 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and runs on Android 2.3.
Sony Tablet S gets our pre-release review
Sony has often been one to pick its battles carefully: sometimes it enters first, like with the Walkman, while in others it waits until it thinks it can achieve something distinct. With the Tablet S, that's more true than ever: Sony is taking on the iPad in the hopes that an infrared remote, custom apps, and a genuinely unique design will give it an edge. Whether or not Apple or Sony's fellow Android tablet rivals have reason to worry is the core of our Sony Tablet S review.
Sony Walkman gets Android platform
Sony, in an aside to its IFA unveilings, has demonstrated its first dedicated Walkman running Android. Known so far as the Mobile Entertainment Player, it goes beyond regular Walkman players or their phones by getting special music controls and an emphasis on high-quality sound output through S-Master MX processing. A W.Music app provides an optimized interface for songs, and using Android gives it ready access to Music Unlimited, Sony told CNET.
Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S speeds up key model
Sony Ericsson used the start of IFA to bring out a rare mid-cycle revamp of a key smartphone. The Xperia arc S upgrades to a faster 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. Although still single-core, the chip is estimated to give the slim Android 2.3 phone a 25 percent overall speed boost, including the camera start up and web rendering.
Sony S2 clamshell becomes Tablet P with new info
Sony's second tablet, the S2, was given some last-minute details Friday in a leak. The Android 3.1 clamshell is now known as the Tablet P, a direct tie back to the VAIO P it effectively replaces, and will support 4G along with Wi-FI. Whether that's LTE or pseudo-4G like AT&T's HSPA+ wasn't gleaned by Engadget tipsters.
Sony S1 and S2 tablet details leak
Sony plans to follow an at once higher- and lower-end approach to launching its S1 and S2 tablets. A leak Monday had the core S1 slate coming in 16GB and 32GB versions, each in Wi-Fi only as well as editions with 3G added. The S2 clamshell would have the same capacity, but it would only come in the 3G-plus-Wi-Fi models, CNET gleaned from an insider.
Qriocity coming to Xperia minis on Monday
Sony on Monday, August 1 will begin the phased roll-out of its Qriocity service for Xperia smartphones. At first, the Xperia mini and Xperia mini pro will get access. Available content to rent or buy will include movies and TV shows from NBC and its partner Universal, Paramount, Sony, Fox, and Warner Bros., in addition to local and more independent studios.
Claims no responsibility in 55+ class action suits
Zurich American Insurance, one of several companies insuring Sony, has filed a lawsuit in New York's Superior Court arguing that it isn't responsible to protect the entertainment giant from class-actions and other lawsuits as well as legal investigations that could arise from the recent hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity service. Zurich has also sued other insurance companies who also be responsible for coverage. To date, the breaches have cut Sony's operating profit by an estimated $178 million.
Sony S1, S2 tablets shown off in Italy
A second hands-on look at Sony's upcoming Android-powered tablets has been published by NotebookItalia. It comes about a week after the first look and sheds some more light on the devices. Both run on ARM processors and Android 3.0 and get 3G/4G radios for connecting to cellular networks.
Second Sony S1, S2 tablet teaser video now out
Sony has released the second in its Two will series of five teaser videos for its upcoming Android-powered tablets. The new video comes nearly two weeks after the first, dubbed First Impression. The new video is called Going smoothly and shows off the two tablets communicating autonomously through a native e-mail app.
Sony CEO ignores shareholder request to step down
At a recent shareholders' meeting, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer claimed the company was targeted by hackers in the popularized PS3 jailbreak and ensuing PSN outage. The hacks against Sony's servers exposed personal and credit card information of 77 million PSN and Qriocity accounts. The CEO declined to see Sony as anything but a victim and portrayed the hackers as nothing but frustrated pirates.
Sony shows off S1, S2 Android tablets in videos
Sony has released the first in a series of five teaser videos meant to promote its upcoming S1 and S2 Android tablets. Dubbed Two will, the story is centered around two doll figures as well as a toy train and ball traveling around a room, powered by nothing other than gravity. The teaser is just that, as nothing concrete is actually revealed about the tablets, other than seeing new, dark images of the twosome.
Timing for North America launch remains unclear
Sony is allegedly planning to ship its S1 and S2 tablets in European markets by the end of September. The latest leak suggests the company will distribute the devices through Sony Direct, UK retail outlet John Lewis, and an unnamed third partner. Supplies are said to be ramping up after launch, sometime before the holiday season.
Sony Qriocity hits Android phones
Sony gave its fledgling Qriocity music service a big though partial boost Wednesday by launching an Android app (free, Android Market). Its service gives both Internet radio and on-demand song or album streaming much as on the electronics giant's Blu-ray players, TVs, and the PS3. Listeners get all the sub-features, such as artist bios, PC sync, and personalized channels.
Sony S1 in four variants show up in FCC tests
The upcoming S1 tablet from Sony has recently passed through the FCC, with the interesting part being that there are four model numbers. The SGPT111US/S and SGPT112US/S are meant for the US, while the SGPT111CA/S and SGPT112CA/S are earmarked for Canadian consumption. No other information is known, as a 180-day confidentiality block is in place for the images of the devices on the FCC site.
PSN Welcome Back greets PS3, PSP gamers before E3
Sony wrapped up its pre-E3 run with word that its Welcome Back program was now live. As promised, PSN members from before the service went down April 20 can choose two PS3 games and two PSP games if they own one or both systems. Both platforms get older but major titles, such as Infamous and Wipeout HD Fury on the PS3 and LittleBigPlanet or Killzone Liberation on the PSP.
PlayStation Store and PSN completely back
Sony at the turn of midnight Thursday said it had brought back the PlayStation Store as promised this week. The shop and its DLC were available immediately in North America and also included new content, including new demos, full games, add-ons, and sales. Both PS3 and PSP owners could get to the new content.
Sony vows all PSN services due for most by weekend
Sony told gamers early Tuesday that most countries would have nearly all their PlayStation Network service back by the end of the week. The additions would include the PlayStation Store as well as in-game DLC, Media Go sharing, and the Music Unlimited side of the Qriocity music service. Video on Demand and non-PlayStation Qriocity music were due to get details later.
Sony PSN hit again through password exploits
Sony took an embarrassing blow on Tuesday as it confirmed that it had taken down its PSN and Qriocity password reset tools just after bringing service back. An exploit has surfaced that needs only a gamer's e-mail address and the holder's date of birth to get a new password and hijack an account. Eurogamer had seen video evidence of the exploit proving that it worked.
Sony pushes PS3 3.61 to brace for PSN return
(Update 2: PSN now back) Sony on Saturday night said it was rolling out the promised mandatory new firmware for PS3s to get ready for the return of the PlayStation network. The 3.61 update pushes a password change and also requires that password changes for PS3 users can only take place on the PS3 itself. Those who've never used a PS3 to get content will still get an e-mail with a one-time link to change the password.
Sony stalls PSN restoration as names leak
Sony in an update said that its PlayStation Network restoration would take longer than expected. The company was still in final testing but said "additional comprehensive system checks" were needed before it went back up. The company explained that the estimate given at its media conference in Japan of a week-long process hadn't factored in the then-unknown SOE breach and needed extra time.
Sony mulls price on head of PSN hackers
Sony might offer a cash reward to whoever could turn in those who hacked into the PlayStation Network. A slip from sources said Sony was actively discussing the prospect of a bounty and, if it went ahead, would team with regional police to coordinate the payout. The electronics giant hadn't settled on a reward as a course of action and would need top-level approval from Sony headquarters to go ahead, AllThingsD said.
Splinter from Anonymous said at fault for PSN hack
A pair of unnamed Anonymous members alleged on Friday that the PlayStation Network hack was the fault of a splinter group from their team. While the larger group has publicly denied involvement, the two told the FT that one or a small number of those backing OpSony, the campaign to punish Sony for limiting and suing over PS3 jailbreaks, decided to go further than everyone else. One of the two claimed to have seen details of an exploit posted shortly before the hack went through.
Sony says PSN getting close to online
Sony on Thursday night said that it was in the "final stages" of testing its promised restorations of both the PlayStation Network and Qriocity. No timeline was given. It had originally promised service back up by mid-week and hasn't explained the delay, although the restoration is bringing both tougher locks on PSN itself as well as a mandatory password change that involves new firmware.
Sony confirmes PSN account info exposed
Sony in a follow-up post confirmed fears that the PSN and Qriocity hack had exposed users' accounts. Both personal information and account names, including sub-accounts, were obtained by an "unauthorized person." No credit card information was in the hacker or hackers' hands, but Sony "cannot rule out the possibility" that it happened, the company's corporate communications lead Patric Seybold said.
Sony yet to determine PSN account data security
The most serious network outage in the history of the PlayStation Network has left the security of its accounts in the air, PCWorld reported on Monday. The PSN and Qriocity services went down on Wednesday night, but Sony representative Satoshi Fukuoka didn't have information on whether or not credit cards and other data had been exposed. The company has blamed the downtime only on an "external intrusion" that it wanted to test against before it went back online.
PSP Music Unlimited live on April 14 for Americans
Sony quickly acted on promises of bringing music to the PSP soon by dating the US launch for Music Unlimited on its gaming handheld. Owners should have access to the Wi-Fi music streaming as of April 14. Both the $4 radio-only service and the $10 on-demand Premium version should work, including likes and dislikes.
Sony Music Unlimited near PSP, Xperia Play, NGP
Sony in a chat late Thursday said that Music Unlimited would come to all of its main mobile devices this year. The PSP would get it within a "matter of weeks," while the Xperia Play and other Android devices should get it sometime this year. Sony also promised Eurogamer the NGP would get the streaming service, though whether it would be ready for the late 2011 initial launch or wait until 2012 wasn't mentioned.
Sony S1 tablet to use Android 3, use Qriocity
A major leak on Wednesday has unearthed Sony's plans to finally join the mobile tablet space. So far only called the S1, the 9.4-inch tablet would run a customized version of Android 3.0. The device spotted by Engadget would be focused heavily on Sony's Qriocity media service and would come with games from the PS1 era likely using PlayStation Suite, the Bravia remote app and some form of PlayStation integration.
Sony to sell 15m PS3 in 2010, adds Qriocity music
Sony rolled out its Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity streaming service in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday, adding it to the PS3 console. It is due to arrive in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and the US sometime next year. Previously, it was only available on the PSP and Bravia TVs, and in limited regions such as the UK. The expansion should help Sony reach its newly announced target of selling 15 million PS3 units in its fiscal year, which ends on March 31.
OnLive and Vizio talking movie subscriptions
Cloud game service OnLive and TV maker Vizio are discussing separate deals for subscription movie services of their own, sources both official and unofficial said Sunday night. OnLive is publicly committed to expanding to movies through both subscriptions and other business models, but Vizio is unofficially believed to be in early talks for content. The details weren't known to the Wall Street Journal contacts.
Sony intros Qriocity streaming service to devices
Sony will soon bring its Qriocity service to the PSP and connected Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and home theater systems in the UK. In the PSP, this means access to Sony's Music Unlimited library, while the other devices will have access to streaming access. The PSP requires a software update, v6.35 that's coming soon. This will bring with it a new icon under the XMB interface's Music category.
Movies, not TV reach iTunes Store in Japan
Apple tonight began offering movies through the iTunes Store in Japan. The expansion gives locals both translated versions of English-language movies like Toy Story 3 as well as Japan-specific titles, such as Ototo, Odoru Daisousasen The Movie 2. Viewers get the extended rights available in some countries, starting with the usual 30 days to start watching and 48 hours to finish watching once playback has started.
Sony Google TV official, due October 16
Sony as promised tonight confirmed its Internet TV GT1 line, its first Google TV devices. The Internet TV and Internet Blu-ray Player build an Atom-based system into their designs and support the full Google OS for searching both the web and TV programming (including Flash-based video) as well as loading Android-based apps. Sony's spin puts in an app for its Qriocity movie service as well as CNBC, Napster, NBA, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter and YouTube.
Sony may use PS3 to launch iTunes-rivaling service
Late tips this evening suggest Sony could temporarily upstage Apple's special event tomorrow with the long-awaited launch of its own media subscription service. Sony's pre-IFA keynote tomorrow morning is believed to be kicking off a music and video subscription service that would start first on the PS3 and PSP but spread to all Sony devices, including its home theater line, PCs, Sony Ericsson phones and Walkman players. The Financial Times sources claimed would be just an early preview and that the plan would go live only in 2011, once content deals had been lined up.
Sony NX810 upgrades edge LED TVs with 3D
Following a brief tease in Europe, Sony today updated its 3D-capable Bravia TVs with a new set of slightly lower-cost but still high-end models. The NX810 line replaces the NX800 from January with the addition of 3D support for those who want to upgrade later. They still require separate 3D glasses, but Sony promises two free 3D Blu-ray movies and a PlayStation network code to get a set of 3D-capable games.