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.
Intertrust backed by Sony, Philips
Apple has agreed to an out-of-court settlement for a lawsuit brought by Intertrust Technologies last year, court documents show. The two parties filed for a dismissal yesterday with District Court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. She has since agreed to the request, dismissing claims with prejudice, and ordering each side to pay its own legal fees. The terms of the settlement haven't been made public, however.
High-resolution audio looks set to make an impact in 2014
If you think that high-resolution audio includes music ripped from typical CDs in lossless formats including FLAC and ALAC, you'd be wrong. The term refers to music that has a higher sampling frequency and bit depth than standard CD recordings, which are mastered at a bit depth of 16-bits and with a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz. FLAC and ALAC, however, do support music recorded at resolutions equivalent to those used in studio recordings, which is better than CD-quality. In recent times, a growing number of sites have started offering music in studio quality giving listeners the opportunity to listen to music literally as the artist intended.
Sony Digital Paper can open, annotate PDF documents using touch, stylus
Sony has unveiled a new tablet that uses an e-ink display for note taking and reading, one it trialled last year. Digital Paper is a 12.6-ounce device with a 1,200x1,600-resolution 13.3-inch display, capable of displaying 16 levels of grayscale, though it differs from e-book readers by offering both touch controls and using an accompanying stylus for handwriting, drawing, or for a finer level of control.
Executive reveals existing investment in smart watch software prevents use of Android Wear
Sony will not be using Google's Android Wear platform for its smart watches in the future, an executive has revealed. Ravi Nookala, head of Sony Mobile in the US, said in an interview that the manufacturer will continue to use its own SmartWatch platform for the immediate future, instead of switching to Google's recently-announced wearable device platform.
LG adding Knock Code security to G2, G Flex from April
LG will be bringing its Knock Code unlocking system to the G2 and G Flex smartphones. First appearing on the G Pro 2 and G2 mini, Knock Code extends the existing KnockOn feature by waking and unlocking the device in one maneuver, via the user tapping four segmented areas of the display in one of 80,000 combinations. Knock Code will land on the G2 and G Flex from April onwards, depending on carrier and market.
Sony a3500 retains specifications, appearance of a3000
Sony Australia has leaked the company's upcoming a3500, by putting the Alpha-range camera up for pre-order through its website. Photographs and specifications of the 20.1-megapixel interchangeable-lens camera are available to view, despite the lack of an official launch by the company, with the snapper having few in the way of improvements over its predecessor, the a3000.
More Xperia devices added to Android KitKat update list by Sony
Sony is starting to roll out Android 4.4 to some of its smartphone range. As confirmed in November last year, the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, and Xperia Z Ultra are all receiving the Android KitKat update, though final timing depends on the market and carrier, with a company blog post also giving some hints as to when other Xperia devices will see the new mobile operating system.
YotaPhone with secondary e-paper display goes on sale in UK
The YotaPhone, an Android smartphone from Yota Devices with an energy-saving rear 360x640 e-paper display accompanying the conventional 4.3-inch 720x1280 screen, has gone on sale in the United Kingdom. Sold through the company's own online store for £419 ($696), notes ZDNet, the dual-screen device has a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 1,800mAh battery.
Vimeo acquires video recording, editing and sharing app Cameo
Vimeo has announced today that it has acquired video shooting, editing and sharing video iPhone app Cameo. Offering a two-minute maximum sequence length, Cameo differs from short-form video apps such as Vine and Instagram. Users can change the order of the clips, add music and invite friends to contribute with their own footage. Themes build on a traditional filter with caption font, color tweaks and effects. The terms of Vimeo's deal with Cameo has not been disclosed, however it has been stated that the app will not be shut down at present.
Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8
Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.
First Sony VR headset claimed to beat first iteration of Oculus Rift
Sony could be preparing to reveal its own virtual reality headset at the Game Developer's Conference next week, according to a rumor. According to "developers familiar" with the device, the initial version of the headset will be shown to developers alongside a demo from a first-party studio, with the reception of the device potentially dictating if Sony will proceed to a public release.
Comcast subscribers can soon purchase access to Netflix produced House of Cards
Comcast subscribers will soon be able to purchase access to the episodic series House of Cards without requiring Netflix, according to a report by Variety. The cable company has struck a pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, providing rights to sell the first season of House of Cards through its Xfinity Store service. The Xfinity store offers on-demand video streaming on a variety of devices for Comcast subscribers -- the company's own answer to Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. In a similar deal made with Lionsgate, Orange is the New Black will be available on the Xfinity Store in May.
High-capacity Archival Disc could offer 1TB of storage per disc
Sony and Panasonic have revealed the name of the high-capacity storage medium the two companies started working on last year. The Archival Disc is a storage format meant for "professional use" in "long-term digital data storage," using optical discs that will offer a recording capacity of 300GB per disc at launch, expanding to 500GB and up to 1TB in the future, if not higher.
Shawn Layden of Sony Entertainment Network slated to lead division
Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that Jack Tretton will step down from his role as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) as of March 31. Reportedly, the split is a result of a mutual agreement between Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship. Executive Vice President Shawn Layden will become president and CEO of SCEA, effective April 1.
Sony announces PlayStation 4 sales exceed 6 million units globally this week
As of March 2, Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console system has cumulatively sold through more than six million units globally. Software sales currently total over 1.37 million copies sold in retail stores, as well as through digital downloads. Over 370,000 console units have been sold in Japan since its launch in the region on February 22. The PS4 system is currently available in 57 countries worldwide.
Software bundle supplied with Samsung Galaxy S5 estimated to be worth $575
Samsung has detailed the free and discounted software and services offered with its new flagship Galaxy S5. The collection, estimated to be worth more than $575 according to Android Central, will include subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek +, LinkedIn Premium, Map My Fitness, Run Keeper, Skimble, Lark, Box, Evernote, and Bitcasa, as well as coupons for Blurb and Cut the Rope 2, among other additions.
Offload of buildings similar to larger US, Japan headquarters sale last year
Sony is looking to sell its old headquarters, as it attempts to raise more funds, claims a report. The company is apparently in discussions to offload the former headquarters in Gotenyama, central Tokyo, as well as a number of surrounding buildings, with the sale expected to raise somewhere in the region of 15 billion yen ($146.5 million) to add to the company's coffers.
Sony enters fitness tracker market with discrete wearable device
Sony initially unveiled its SmartBand wearable tracker at CES in January as the company's first foray into the fitness tracker market. Consisting of a rubberized band and a central and small Core sensor acting as the brain of the device, the tracker in theory performs all of the usual tracking functions of a fitness band, as well as handling other aspects of the wearer's life, such as music, when used with the accompanying Lifelog app. Electronista spent time at Sony's Mobile World Congress booth to try out the SmartBand.
Move intended to maintain competitiveness in consumer electronics market
Sony Electronics today announced plans to restructure its organization, including a heavy cut in US retail presence in order to maintain what the company calls "competitiveness in an evolving consumer electronics market." In the next few months, Sony will lay off 1,000 employees across all of its sites, including the personnel attached to 20 US Sony Stores.
Mid-range Xperia M2 takes style from Xperia Z2, lowers specification
The Xperia M2 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet both launched at the same time as the Xperia Z2 earlier today. One attempts to be a value-priced alternative to the Xperia Z2 in appearance and functionality, while the other takes after the name and offers a far larger surface to use. Electronista stayed at the Sony exhibit to look over the two other devices, and work out if they are worth a second glance when compared to the new flagship smartphone.
5.2-inch Xperia Z2 smartphone tested shortly after unveiling
Earlier today at Mobile World Congress, Sony unveiled the upgraded version of its previous flagship Android smartphone, the Xperia Z1, alongside two other devices. The Xperia Z2 appears to be similar to the original, but with a number of improvements. Electronista travelled to Sony's stand at the trade show to try out the device, in order to find out if it is as impressive as Sony makes it appear.
Z2 devices powered by SnapDragon 801 processor
At the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, Sony has taken the wraps off a trio of devices at its pre-expo keynote. Shown today by CEO Kazuo Hirai are the Xperia M2 midrange phone, and the premium Xperia Z2 smartphones coupled with the Xperia Z2 tablet.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
Sony shifts 5.3M PlayStation 4 consoles, beats recent Xbox sales figures
Sony has sold over 5.3 million PlayStation 4 game consoles globally as of February 8th, the company has revealed. The news comes just days before the company launches the console in its native Japan on February 22nd. In comparison, Microsoft's January financial results toward the end of January showed it sold 3.9 million competing Xbox One consoles and 3.5 million of the Xbox 360.
Details of upcoming Sony Xperia smartphone, tablet leak
The rumored Sony Xperia D6503 "Sirius" smartphone has allegedly leaked in a new video walkthrough, showing a number of features of the device. Specifications for another Sony device has also surfaced ahead of Mobile World Congress, with the Xperia Z2 tablet, codenamed "Castor," claimed to have a 10.1-inch Triluminos display with a resolution of 1920x1200.
Three bridge cameras, two compact cameras heading to United States
At the same time as launching the α6000, Sony has revealed a new collection of five cameras to add to its existing Cyber-shot range. The Cyber-shot HX400V, H400, and H300 are bridge cameras with high-magnification optical zooms, while the Cyber-shot WX350 and W800 are thin and compact point-and-shoot cameras, including one set to be sold for under $100.
Phase-detection, contrast-detection AF help provide 11fps AF tracked shooting
One month after updating the α5000, Sony has launched another Alpha camera with what it claims uses the world's fastest autofocus in an interchangeable lens camera. The α6000 is able to focus on a subject in 0.06 seconds using Sony's Fast Hybrid AF system, consisting of a 179-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor working with a contrast-detection AF.
Deal would double number of camera sensors supplied by Sony
Sony is preparing to supply Apple with front image sensors for a future iPhone release, according to a report. While Sony already provides the vast majority of CMOS sensors for the rear cameras of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the manufacturer has apparently entered negotiations to offer both the front and back camera modules to Apple for its devices.
Kobo to serve as e-book option for customers
In addition to getting out of the personal computing business and spinning off their television division, Sony will start dropping out the e-book business as well. In a press release from the company, Sony will be teaming up with Kobo in the United States and Canada in late March 2014, closing its Reader Store in the process.
Sony estimated to cull 5,000 jobs by end of financial year
Sony has confirmed it will be selling off its PC business, affecting approximately 5,000 employees in the process, in order to concentrate on its mobile business. At the same time, it has revealed it will attempt to spin off its television arm into a separate unit, as part of an aggressive reform strategy the company initially announced in April 2012.
Poorly performing division will allow Sony to focus on smartphones, tablets
Reportedly, Sony is in discussions to offload its personal computer business to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners. The deal, said to be worth up to 50 billion yen ($490 million) will likely cause Sony to declare a net loss for the first time in two years after disposal losses.
Lens camera firmware improves ISO, video resolution
Sony's QX Smart Lens range of "Lens Cameras" have received a firmware update, improving a number of functions. At the same time, images have surfaced suggesting that Sony is preparing to offer a mount for the cameras, expanding the range of devices the QX10 and QX100 can be attached to from smartphones to include tablets and phablets.
Microsoft offers $100 store credit towards an Xbox One for those who trade-in their PS3
Augmenting the launching of its Xbox One late last year, Microsoft is now promoting an offer of a $100 credit towards an Xbox One purchase upon trading in of a Sony Playstation 3. The promotion bring the Xbox One pricing down to $400, which is the same as newly-released Playstation 4. The trade-in offer is available through Microsoft's retail stores in the US, and applies to Playstation 3, as well as Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E.
15-percent lighter, 20-percent thinner than earlier PS Vita release
Sony has launched the PS Vita Slim in the United Kingdom, something the company teased late last week. Marking the first western release of the handheld PlayStation console after its Japanese launch, the PS Vita Slim has a few changes when compared to the original model, including a 15-percent reduction in weight and shrinking in thickness by 20 percent, and 1GB of built-in storage.
Invitations to test game streaming service sent to PlayStation 3 owners
Sony has reportedly started sending out invitations to beta test its PlayStation Now streaming service. Taking place ahead of its expected launch in the United States this summer, the private beta will allow users to play PlayStation 3 titles without needing to download the game beforehand, with players able to stream games to a console over the Internet.
Thinner PS Vita launch could take advantage of PlayStation 4 popularity
Sony will be launching a gaming device in the United Kingdom at the end of this month, and has begun to send invitations to the media. The invitation for the morning of the 30th of January, advises that it will be an "introduction to the slimmest" launch since the biggest in PlayStation history, with initial speculation claiming it to be a thinner version of the PS Vita handheld console.
Amazon leads pack
For the first time, Apple has fallen behind Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony in an annual Forrester Research survey of customer satisfaction. The firm polled 7,500 Americans, asking them how enjoyable it was to do business with a company, how easy it was, and how effective the company was at meeting needs. Amazon led the consumer electronics category, picking up a score of 91 for its Kindle devices.
On-device answerphone, slow-motion video effects touted in Sirius smartphone
In a similar manner to a recent Samsung leak, images of what are claimed to be the user interface of an upcoming Sony smartphone have surfaced. Claimed to be taken from the codenamed Sirius device, the screenshots apparently show that the device being used is capable of recording video at a 4K resolution, along with an answering machine function built into the device itself, instead of relying on a carrier.
Forum images show Sony smartphone minor external changes
Photographs of what is thought to be Sony's follow-up to the Xperia Z1 have surfaced. The pictured smartphone, said to have the model number D6503, could possibly be the codenamed "Sirius" device that is rumored to be launched at Mobile World Congress next month, though it could possibly be another variant on the Xperia Z1 alongside the Xperia Z1 Mini.
Boost Mobile to offer Moto G, its first Motorola product since 2011
Boost Mobile, the pre-paid Sprint imprint, has announced the release of Motorola's Moto G through its nationwide retail stores and online. The first Motorola product offered by Boost Mobile since 2011, the 3G budget smartphone has a 4.5-inch HD screen made with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and possesses a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.
Post-CES smartphone launches from Sony offer modest specifications
Sony has launched two more devices in its Xperia smartphone range, though unlike the Xperia Z1S shown at CES, the pair appear to be more modest offerings. The Xperia T2 Ultra boasts a 6-inch 720p display with Triluminos and Mobile Bravia Engine 2 for mobile, while the Xperia E1 opts for a smaller and lower-resolution 4-inch 800x480 screen.
Sony lends more weight to VAIO Windows Phone rumors
Sony has confirmed that it is looking into branching out from its current Android-exclusive smartphone offerings and launching a device running on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Speaking with TechRadar, Sony Mobile Europe's Pierre Perron said that the company is talking with the software giant and keeping its options open. Sony's consideration of the Windows Phone platform is due in part, Perron said, to concerns about the manufacturer's standing in a shifting mobile marketplace.
5.2-inch Xperia smartphone could be joined by new Sony tablet
Sony could be preparing to unveil a new flagship smartphone in the next month, according to a rumor. The codename "Sirius" device is tipped to be launched at Mobile World Congress in February, though it is possible that another device, a high-end tablet codenamed the Sony "Castor" could also make an appearance at the Barcelona-based trade show.
Foreign consoles to go on sale in China for first tie in 14 years
China is allowing the sale of foreign game consoles in the country for the first time in over a decade. The country's government temporarily lifted the ban on Monday, opening the door to sales of recent game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox One, the Sony PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Wii U to its citizens, though it is not clear how long sales will be permitted for.
2,000-lumen Sony Ultra HD projector sits inches away from wall
Sony will offer consumers an Ultra HD-capable projector that can be placed close to the wall it will project onto. The 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector can show a 4096x2160-resolution image ranging from 66 inches to 147 inches in size on a wall or screen while situated just inches away below the screen area, losing the need for the projector to be placed at a far longer distance.