Free games, subscriptions offered as compensation for PSN intrusion
Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information from over 77 million users.
Same processor, RAM, camera claimed to be used in Xperia Z3 as in Xperia Z2
The Sony Xperia Z3 has resurfaced again in rumors, this time with a list of alleged specifications. The rumored follow-up to the Xperia Z2 is said to have a 5.15-inch 1920x1080 display, marginally smaller than the predecessor's 5.2-inch version, and though it will apparently be a better smartphone, it appears the new device will only be a minor improvement overall.
Apple could be key client
Sony has announced plans to invest 35 billion yen, or about $345 million, on scaling up production of image sensors for phones and tablets. Manufacturing of stacked CMOS sensors will increase at two factories in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu; meanwhile, the company is planning to complete work on a factory in northwestern Japan that it bought from Renesas. The hope is to boost wafer output 13 percent to 68,000 per month by August 2015, moving towards a longer-term target of 75,000, itself just a mid-term goal.
Leaked images show rounded edges on Sony Xperia Z3
The Sony Xperia Z3 has allegedly resurfaced in another round of reportedly-leaked images. The shots of the follow-up to the Xperia Z2 give an all-round view of the rumored smartphone, with one image comparing its physical size against the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 suggesting it to be just as tall a device, but will have a similar narrow display to its predecessor.
Xperia C3 focuses on self-portrait photography with selfie apps
Just as rumored yesterday, Sony has launched an Xperia smartphone with selfie-friendly features. The Xperia C3 will notably ship with a front-facing soft LED flash beside a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera, with extra functionality aimed at self portraits including the Smile Shutter, double tapping the back cover to take shots, and automatic scene recognition with HDR and automatic flash in its Superior Auto mode.
Incoming Sony Xperia smartphone claimed to have selfie-friendly front-facing flash
Sony could be preparing to launch a new selfie-friendly smartphone as soon as tomorrow, according to promotional materials and an image leak. An unnamed smartphone has surfaced in photographs, with the device apparently including a front-facing flash for better self portraits, while Sony's Xperia Twitter account is promoting a launch for tomorrow with a suspiciously-dark selfie post.
Leaked specifications suggest Xperia Z3 Compact to have similar specification to Z2
Specifications for the rumored Sony Xperia Z3 Compact have allegedly leaked. Following after a photograph surfaced purportedly showing the smaller smartphone next to the full-size Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact is claimed to have relatively similar specifications to the current Xperia Z2 flagship, albeit with a marginally smaller 4.5-inch 720x1280-resolution display.
Users directed to contact Sony for assessment; consequent repair or refund
After a handful of malfunctions of the Sony Vaio Flip 11A, the company has issued a recall for the device, with dramatic wording. Users are directed to immediately cease using the convertible tablet/laptop, and contact Sony for information on how to arrange for an inspection and a repair to the device, or a full refund of the purchase price.
Mad Catz adds 4K support, Ouya app to Mojo game console
Game peripheral producer Mad Catz has rolled out an update to its Mojo Android game console, adding support for 4K-resolution output of games and apps to compatible high-resolution televisions. The update also introduces Ouya Everywhere, giving the device access to hundreds of games hosted on the competing gaming platform, as well as allowing more games and apps on Google Play to be downloaded to the console.
Leaked images suggest Xperia Z3 will use same design as Xperia Z2
The follow-up to the Xperia Z2 has allegedly been spotted in leaked photographs, next to a smaller version. The rumored Xperia Z3 is shown beside what is believed to be the Xperia Z3 Compact, with neither device appearing to stray from the hardware specifications nor the physical design language used by the company's current flagship smartphone.
VAIO Pro, VAIO Fit first notebooks from new VAIO corporation
The first VAIO-branded computers following the sale of Sony's PC business have launched in Japan. The first two devices being sold, the VAIO Pro and the VAIO Fit, appear to be a continuation of earlier devices of the same name, with the design and specifications apparently similar to the original versions launched last year under the control of Sony.
Game streaming service sees first expansion into television market, still in beta
Television owners feeling left out of the PlayStation Now beta program no longer need to be, as long as they own one of a select number of Sony televisions. The electronics manufacturer announced that on June 30, the PlayStation 3 game streaming service will come to the company's 4K Ultra HD televisions, as well as a small number of 1080p Bravia units.
Developer program brings Unity to PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV creators
Last week, Sony announced that it was bringing an official version of Unity optimized for its mobile platforms to developers. The "Unity for PlayStation Mobile" kit gives developers of games on smartphone and tablet platforms an easier way to bring their projects to the PlayStation Vita and upcoming PlayStation TV.
Company advances just one spot
Apple has placed 21st on Fortune's latest annual Best Global Green Brands list. The chart takes the 100 companies from Interbrand's annual Best Global Brands Report and narrows them down to 50, sorting them according to perceived environmental friendliness versus their actual efforts. The sway in one direction or the other is described as a positive or negative gap.
Sony RX 100 Mk III improvements make the best compact camera even better
Electronista has had the opportunity to go hands-on with the third incarnation of Sony superb RX100 compact point-and-shoot camera. The hotly anticipated RX100 Mk III model has added some additional refinements to Sony's already-winning formula, including a new Zeiss lens and a built-in TruView OLED viewfinder. Sony continues to sell the original RX100, and its improved sequel, the RX 100 Mk II. The RX100 Mk III now sits atop the range, and while slightly more expensive, offers new features normally found on A-Mount or E-Mount cameras at a very reasonable price point for what you're getting. Most importantly, it produces very high quality photos with a special emphasis on low-light performance.
Samsung closing Hub Music service at start of July
Samsung is shutting down its Hub Music service on July 1st. In an e-mail to users, Samsung advises music downloads from the Samsung Music Library will no longer be available to download from that date, and warns to download any DRM-free music and use remaining Samsung Music vouchers before it closes. As a replacement, the e-mail suggests the use of its Milk Music service, and is also offering three free months of Google Play Music.
Curved image sensor still in development, mimics human eye
Sony has shown off a new style of camera sensor for the first time, one that has a curved surface. The unnamed curved CMOS sensor is said to offer a number of benefits when compared to normal, flat sensors used in modern cameras, with engineers claiming it to be 1.4 times more sensitive to light than flat equivalents at the center of the sensor, and twice as sensitive at the edges.
Big Three 2014 E3 presentations complete, who 'won' the showdown?
This week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) may have been devoid of any significant hardware announcements, but that doesn't mean there was nothing to talk about. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all had either live or "canned" press events in the two days leading up to the start of the expo proper, and as with all things, we've got opinions. Electronista writers Mike and Jordan discuss the big-ticket issues that have popped up from the brief look at the future of the "Big Three" console makers.
The PlayStation TV is a genuine STB contender with real gaming chops
One of the surprise announcements at E3 is the news that Sony will be bringing its diminutive PlayStation TV to the US, Europe and other markets. The device already is on the market in Japan, where it is sold as the PS Vita TV, launching in the middle of November late last year to help appease Japanese customers disappointed at missing out on the international launch of the PS4. In Japan, the PS Vita has proven to be a hit with handheld gamers. The PlayStation TV is effectively a STB version of the PS Vita, but with a few compelling tricks up its sleeve, especially when compared with a device like the Apple TV.
Exclusive games, indie titles, and franchise favorites all covered at press briefing
During Sony's two-hour press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the company introduced a long list of titles that are coming to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and the PS Vita. Ranging from AAA titles and franchise exclusives to the console, to Playstation-first indie games, the company came out swinging with its offerings.
Hardware coming to North America, Playstation Now contains big name titles
Looking to be the first of the big three console manufacturers to make a hardware announcement during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sony made a few modest announcements for the future. The company said that it would be bringing the PlayStation TV to North America this fall for $100. Sony also have some new details on the PlayStation Now service, which will be hitting open beta on a select devices in July.
Life tracker band launched globally in March, arrives late in the US at a price of $100
Sony announced a new life tracker band during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, but it is just now making available to all consumers in the United States. The Sony SmartBand SWR10 was originally announced as a March release. However, some buyers received it early, unable to use it when some retailers shipped it ahead of the Android app. Now, the device has been officially released by Sony with a $100 price tag.
Shipping ending in Japan following US in January, European PSP sales continue
Sony is retiring the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan after nine and a half years of sale in the country, effectively signaling the oncoming end of the console's life. Shipments of the handheld game console will cease in Japan later this month, with the company instead continuing to push for sales of its successor, the PlayStation Vita.
Xperia T3 measures 7mm thick, uses 5.3-inch 720p Triluminos display
Sony has unveiled another Xperia smartphone, this time a mid-ranged offering in a stainless steel frame measuring just 7mm (0.27 inches) thick and weighing 148g (5.2 ounces). Following a similar construction to earlier Xperia models, the slender Xperia T3 boasts a 5.3-inch 1280x720 Triluminos IPS display using Bravia Engine 2, giving the smartphone a pixel density of 277ppi.
Company expands conference experience viewing options to fans stuck at home
Sony is thinking a little outside of the box when it comes to giving people the access they need during their E3 2014 press conference. For those unable to make the trip to Los Angeles in June, the company has teamed up with movie theaters across North America to broadcast the event in high definition on over 40 screens.
Partnership will see console manufactured in free trade zone, companies formed
Following the lift of the ban on foreign console sales in China in January, Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 4 will be coming to the country. A deal with Shanghai-based Oriental Pearl Culture Department (OPCD) has been announced that will see manufacture of the console in the country, inside of Shanghai's free trade zone.
Portable Sony Bluetooth speakers use ClearAudio+ processing
Sony has launched a pair of compact wireless speakers shipping in Europe in the near future. The Srs-X2 Wireless Speaker is billed as an audio device that is portable enough for use outside, while the SRS-X3, meant for home use, is a squarer device that shares the "definitive outline" design of its larger stablemates, the SRS-X9, X7, and X5.
Third generation of RX100 updates image processor
The third iteration of Sony's RX100 digital camera has been unveiled by the company. The Cyber-shot RX100 III improves upon the design of the preceding RX100 II by pairing the same 20.1-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor with the Bionz X image processor, used in the Alpha A77, which is said to enhance picture quality and reduce area-specific noise for low-light shots.
Sony Xperia Z2 picks up where the Xperia Z1 left off
It was only late October last year that we reviewed what was Sony Xperia Z1, which was then Sony's flagship handset. Fast forward six months and Sony is already shipping its successor, the Xperia Z2. If you already have the Xperia, you needn't fret too much as the Z2 brings with it a few, but useful, enhancements. However, it does highlight just how competitive the Android smartphone market is and just how quickly the pace of development is taking place as companies seek to gain any advantage in trying to capture a bigger slice of the multibillion dollar smartphone market.
Sony CFO hopes 2014 will be the end of restructuring and associated costs
Sony is awash in red ink for the fiscal year. While the company's sales exceeded 7.6 trillion yen ($75 billion), the company took a loss of 128 billion yen ($1.2 billion), which represents a $1.21 per share loss. Positive factors for the company include continued growth in its motion picture business, and a dramatic climb in sales from the launch of the PlayStation 4.
Only three models of Sony e-book readers will migrate to Kobo
Earlier this year, Sony announced that its Reader e-book store would be supplanted by the Kobo eBookStore. The company has now declared that the process begins today. Users of Sony's tablets and smartphones have been instructed to acquire the Kobo app from Google Play. Readers with a small selection of dedicated e-reader devices, limited to the PRS-T1, T2, and T3, will receive an email in June with instructions on how to transfer library files to a Kobo account.
Smaller display, body in ZL2, keeps processor, RAM, rear camera
Sony has launched the follow-up to its Xperia ZL in Japan. Where the original effectively copied the Xperia Z and slimmed the device down, the Xperia ZL2 performs a similar trick with the Xperia Z2, switching out the 5.2-inch 1080p display for a 5-inch version in a smaller body, but still manages to keep similar specifications to its full-size counterpart.
Rogers, Fido among providers to see Sony phone by month end
Canadians holding out for one of Sony's latest phones need wait no longer than the end of May. The Sony Xperia M2, a mid-range phone with Xperia Z2 styling and less power, will be making it to Canada through carriers Rogers and Fido. An unlocked version of the phone is to follow, available through Sony's online store.
Handheld Sony game system is 15 percent lighter than original PS Vita
Sony has released an updated PlayStation Vita model in the United States, after introducing it in the United Kingdom in January, and its successful Japanese launch late last year. The PS Vita Slim is 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than the original version, with relatively few changes made to the handheld game console overall.
Leak on sony Google+ page claimed as mistake, reveals software bundle
Sony could be offering the Xperia Z2 smartphone through Verizon in the future, according to a leaked image, though this may not be the case. Sony denies the rumor, which is based on a photograph uploaded to the company's official Google+ page before being taken down, claiming the posting was a mistake, and reiterating its already-confirmed release plans for the United States this summer.
Trend of competing store-within-a-store areas continues inside retailer
Both Samsung and Sony are readying retail spaces inside of Best Buy stores to showcase new home theater items, featuring 4K ultra high definition televisions at the big box retailer. Labeled as "experience" areas within the stores, Sony will have dedicated areas in 350 Best Buy stores, while Samsung will have featured areas in 500 stores to be installed in the coming weeks.
Sensor inside updated Alpha A77 II 20 percent more sensitive than predecessor
Sony has launched another camera in its Alpha range, updating the Alpha A77 it released in 2011. The A77 II is a DSLR with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, similar to the previous model but claimed to be 20 percent more sensitive, though this time Sony has improved the 19-point autofocus of the A77 to have 79 points, including 15 cross points in the center.
Sony's biggest profits come from investments, insurance offerings
Electronics giant Sony has drastically cut its earnings guidance yet again. Sony's latest reduction marks its operating profit for the quarter down to 26 billion yen ($254.5 million) down from initial guidance, set last May, at 230 billion yen. This reduction brings the expected profit to just over 10 percent of its initial guidance, just two weeks before Sony announces the results for the full year.
Sony releases first substantial update for PS 4
Sony released its first notable update for its PS4 game console today, offering new features that focus primarily on social elements. A new video-editing app, ShareFactory, will be available from the PS4 home screen, allowing users to capture gameplay and customize recorded footage with various special effects, to ultimately share the video via Facebook or save it to a USB.
New product will allow for up to 185TB in one cartridge
Sony is rolling out a new digital tape format intended for large-scale backups that can hold a massive 148 gigabits per square inch. Increasing the data density of the tape will ultimately lead to tape cartridges with a capacity of 185TB. The format will be detailed on May 4 in conjunction with IBM. Using a new manufacturing process, the tape uses a magnetic particle size of 7.7nm, which allows for the data density which is nearly 74 times that of the LTO-6 tape format introduced in 2012.
cameras, iMacs, SSDs and more
This week, Dell.com has the Dell UltraSharp 24-inch UltraHD monitor on sale for $850. That's a savings of $450 off the list price of $1,300, and when using coupon code 'VZ9FXQVT70N0TF' at checkout, the price falls further to $765. That is the best price we have seen on this monitor by about $270. This monitor features 3840x2160 resolution, wide 178 degree viewing angles, an 8ms response time, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and it is backed by a three-year advanced exchange service and premium panel guarantee from Dell.
Repairs, refunds offered over Vaio Fit battery overheating fault
Sony has issued an update to its Vaio Fit 11A overheating warning, advising the company is starting to accept reservations for repairs from customers. Starting from May, Sony will be working with its third-party supplier, previously identified as Panasonic, in order to replace the non-removable battery inside the notebook at no charge.
4K Media Player adds HEVC decoding to 2013, 2012 Sony 4K TVs
Sony has launched a third iteration of its 4K Media Player, this time aimed at the European market. The FMP-X5 media streamer is said by Sony to be intended for models of its Bravia 4K televisions sold in 2012 and 2013 that do not have a built-in HEVC decoder, allowing those televisions the ability to watch Ultra HD-resolution streaming content.
Xperia Z2 Tablet with 10.1-inch display initially shipping without LTE
Sony has opened up pre-orders for its Xperia Z2 Tablet in the United States, via its website and through some Sony Stores. Launched at Mobile World Congress in February, the waterproof follow-up to the Xperia Z1 Tablet will be shipping on May 4th, with the 16GB model being sold for $500 and the larger-capacity 32GB version selling for $600.
Xbox One continues to be outsold by PlayStation 4
Microsoft has sold more than five million Xbox One game consoles since its launch, the company has revealed. While Microsoft is celebrating the sales milestone, the game console is still far behind the leading PlayStation 4, with Sony reporting more than 7 million units sold worldwide in a blog post just one day before Microsoft's announcement.
Range includes 85-inch flagship, budget-priced 4K televisions
Sony has outlined the pricing and availability for its range of Bravia 4K Ultra HD televisions, sets it originally revealed at CES in January. The high-resolution televisions, including one high-priced model measuring 85 inches diagonally priced at $24,999, are detailed at the same time as an updated version of the company's 4K media player.
Sony rolls out the PHA-2 portable headphone amp for smartphones, PCs
Just as Apple seems to have switched its attention away from standalone music players in favor of its iPhone and iPad businesses, Sony has made a play for the burgeoning high-resolution audio market. One of its latest high-resolution audio devices is the PHA-2 portable headphone amplifier that has been designed to work particularly well with Macs and Apple's iPhone and iPads. Not only does the device sport an in-built battery for use on the go, it also includes a high-quality DAC that supports 24-bit/192kHz audio files that includes a digital input for iPhones and iPads. Helping improve sound quality further, it also includes separate operational and headphone amplifiers.
Panasonic-sourced battery at fault for three reported overheating incidents
Sony is warning owners of its Vaio Fit 11A notebook to stop using the computer, because of potentially hazardous battery issues. Non-removable batteries produced by Panasonic used in approximately 26,000 of the notebooks apparently have the potential to overheat, risking physical damage to the outside casting the possibility of catching fire.
Microsoft, Sony agree to providing more cash for patent buys
Two previous investment partners, Apple and Intel, have declined to put money into Intellectual Ventures' latest patent acquisition fund, says Reuters. IV is dedicated exclusively to buying intellectual property, and has so far acquired about 70,000 patents and other forms of IP. It has raised about $6 billion from investment partners in the past, but is looking to pick up another $3 billion. Microsoft and Sony have agreed to participate in the new round of funding.
New addition to Sony Alpha 7 range aimed at videographers
Sony has added another model to its Alpha 7 line of full-frame interchangeable lens cameras, one with an extremely high level of sensitivity. Where the A7 and A7r offer a maximum sensitivity of ISO 25,600, the A7s ranges between ISO 50 and an extended ISO 409,600, with the sensor said to optimize the dynamic range and minimize noise in dark scenes.