For regular SRN readers, just a reminder that the new site is
which is where all future content will be posted. Over the next week, things will be slowly migrating and forwarding there which means all the past content from the last decade will be found on the new site as well.
If you didn’t hear the news (which is unlikely if you’re on any form of social media), the US under the thoughtful leadership of Trump and all of his brilliance has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Here is Gruber on the subject:
Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Twitter, GE, Goldman Sachs — the leaders of all these companies spoke out against Trump’s moronic decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Even Shell and Exxon wanted the U.S. to remain in the agreement. The only CEO the Times quoted who supports this nonsensical decision is from a fucking coal company.
197 countries agreed to the Paris Accord. Prior to today’s U.S. withdrawal, only Syria and Nicaragua weren’t in — Syria isn’t in because they were in the midst of a brutal civil war at the time, and Nicaragua refused to sign only because they felt the accord didn’t go far enough. Every major captain of industry in the U.S. outside the coal industry publicly asked Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Accord. It’s good for business and good for the environment.
The United States stands utterly alone on this. Trump has put the United States on the fringes of civilization.
The specifics of the politics aside, as Gruber noted, every major tech company CEO was quite vocal about their dismay with the decision except PlayStation. Now I’m honing in on PlayStation and not Sony as a whole only because, A. Kaz Hirai doesn’t tweet and B. if he did, his base is in Japan, a country that’s a major player in the Paris Agreement. PlayStation on the other hand is led by Shawn Layden from California – home of Silicon Valley, the leading green state with the largest economy of the 50 States, and is the worlds 6th largest economy. With that as the backdrop, the only comments thus far from Layden have been:
The tweet in reference was from the one and only, George Takei:
So let’s take a look at what other CEOs around the US had to say.
A good move by Sony regarding their highly profitable image sensor division. Mike Wuerthele from appleinsider writes this:
As a result of Apple’s demand for the iPhone 7, and future iPhone models, supply from Sony to second-tier vendors is heavily constrained, according to a report from DigiTimes. Sources claim that Sony is focusing its output on Apple, Huawei, and Oppo for the vast majority of its supply.
Apple is Sony’s largest customer for CMOS image sensors. Sony focuses on mid-range and high-end smartphones, and is one of the only suppliers for the quality of sensors that Apple needs.
Come E3, don’t be surprised if an official price drop hits the PS4. From time to time, we’ve seen the 1TB Black Slim for $299 and the 500GB model for $259 hit lower price points but that’s never been an indication of an official price shift. Now it’s likely that PS4 in 1TB will be priced at $249 which means Sony might dare to bring their successful console to the magical $199 price point with the 500GB model (though I’m betting it will hold to $229 or perhaps $219). Another possibility is that they’ll phase out the 500GB variant, though I highly doubt that to be the case.
There is a famous movie line out there that goes a little something like this.
This is blasphemy! This is madness!
David Lump from Engadget:
Samsung just announced that it’s adding UFC fights and other events to its new immersive programming lineup. It’s the latest company to start broadcasting sports events in VR, but it’s far from the first. Fox Sports has been uploading virtual reality coverage of big-name events for years, most recently livestreaming this year’s Super Bowl. But the network is airing in VR a match that folks outside the US might consider just as massive: This Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventas.
The network is pairing with its usual partner LiveLike to livestream the match through the free Fox Sports VR app. Fans who download it and sign in with their TV subscription credentials can tune in before the game starts at 2PM ET this Saturday, June 3rd for pre-match material. The app doesn’t require any fancy equipment — just your smartphone, though it’ll be easier to watch with a simple headset like Samsung’s Gear VR or Google Cardboard.
Good news for Xperia fans in the US: the XZ Premium is set to make its pre-order debut come June 12th via Amazon and Best Buy with a $799 price tag. Like previous models, the XZ Premium will work on AT&T and T-Mobile though the former of the two is rumored to carry the phone when it arrives, but no official word has yet been given from the telecom giant. Those looking for an unlocked version will have to wait a bit longer but come June 19th, you’ll be able to buy one outright from the same retailers.
Previously known as the Xperia Projector, the now-named Xperia Touch is set to make its debut on June 16th. In a nutshell, the Xperia Touch can turn any surface into a Android tablet which is pretty neat in theory. Here’s how Sony imagines you’ll be putting it to use.
A quick heads up for PS4 and PS4 Pro owners. PS4 System Software Update 4.70 was released earlier today. The minor firmware update according to Sony
improves the quality of the system performance
However if you dig a bit deeper, the update brings with it
The Sony Digital Paper tablet is technically nothing new. It was introduced way back in 2014 with little fanfare but that didn’t mean a second iteration wasn’t in the works. In short, in the past three years, the then DPT-S1 has gone $999 to $699 (DPT-RP1) and gained a host of new features. For those wanting a more detailed breakdown, you can read my original preview from April here. As a more general overview, Devin Coldewey from TechCrunch wrote this:
The screen itself, built with E Ink’s Mobius display tech, has been upped from 1200×1600 to 1650×2200, which should make text considerably clearer (206 DPI — pretty good). The increased resolution doesn’t seem to have affected the battery life, though: like other e-paper displays, it’s super-long, at least a week or two.
The touchscreen layer has been improved, as well, and the texture of the surface; e-paper displays aren’t very responsive, so anything that can be done to improve that experience is welcome. This has presumably enabled the new note taking and annotation features the device has.
And, of course, the hardware itself has gotten a fresh coat of paint: it’s the same weight, but the design has been cleaned up and the bezels are slightly thinner.
A quick update on an earlier piece about the Xperia XZ Premium Dual. Previously, via a tweet from Sony Mobile France, it was believed that the Xperia XZ Premium Dual would offer a dedicated SD card slot and skip on the hybrid SIM tray which allows for only one SIM card and SD card (or two SIM cards).
That information has since turned out to be false. Here is the XperiaBlog gang:
Yuri Kageyama for AP:
Sony’s leader promised a comeback for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company having its best profitability in two decades.
But he said he cannot give away details of products in the works such as those using artificial intelligence or the “internet of things,” or IoT, technology.
Yuri’s piece is titled
Sony chief promises profitability, but is short on specifics
which seems a bit disingenuous. No matter if it’s Kaz Hirai or Tim Cook taking to stage or in this case, at company HQ with reporters, I don’t know of a single CEO that’s ever going to give specifics about what’s to come. Instead, we get comments like this from Tim Cook in 2014
PlayStation VR is fine – a relatively cheap gateway to the world of virtual reality with some unique games and content. Some are more quirky while others are more thorough like Battlezone and Farpoint, but what’s been missing is a true AAA, high profile game. God of War in VR could solve that. Kevin Joyce from VR focus:
There’s been a number of projects brought to [Sony] Santa Monica, but many of them have just been prototypes from game jams. [sic]
[Sony] Santa Monica are working on something big. It’s a full-blown 2nd wave title for [PlayStation VR]. It’ll be revealed soon and I know it’ll go well with the core PlayStation audience, but I can’t say any more than that!
The PlayStation Store, and PSN in general, has come a long way since its HTML debut on PS3. Once a place of scattered content, now the PS Store is home to thousands of games with rich AAA games and countless indie titles. Now, that success is also causing some headaches, namely being able to spot new and unique gaming experiences. Timothy J. Seppala from Engadget:
Sony is introducing curated lists of games from “the industry’s most creative minds,” dubbed The Creators. PlayStation’s head of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida has his picks listed, as does Rocket League studio Psyonix, Street Fighter’s Yoshinori Ono and the Final Fantasy XV team among many, many others.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Sony Mobile is once again shifting its strategy. Just a few years back, the company had an ambitious goal of becoming the world’s third largest smartphone maker, leaving only Apple and Samsung ahead of them. With that plan not working, Sony announced a major shift in July 2016 which would see them defocus on India, USA, China, and Brazil.
That of course didn’t quite work for them either, with sales declining dramatically, so Sony is once again going target more emerging markets with the likes of the Xperia L1, a budget smartphone. Ultimately, the plan is to leverage the brand in Japan, East Asia, APAC, the Middle East, and Europe with the hopes of differentiating their phones
with technologies that only Sony can deliver,
whatever that means. So the plan is to have more moderately priced phones to increase sales then, right? That’s why the Xperia L1 exists? Nope. Sony is also killing their mid-tier premium phones, which are not to be confused with mid-tier phones.