Sony Corp.

6 Sony Products Win ‘Best’ at EISA 2014 Awards

Xperia Z2 Tablet Water

The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) is the largest editorial multimedia organization in Europe, and this year they 6 Sony products were top of the class in their categories to win outright.

Last year Sony won 5 ‘best’ awards, including for the best tablet of the year award. This year the Xperia Z2 Tablet collected the same award, proving in a young category of product innovation, tablets, that Sony has got all the ideas right.

 So slim, so classy, so slick – the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is undoubtedly an EISA winner. 

Sony has given a secret to why their products succeed, read on to know what it is (and the other winners!)

Leaked Sony IFA Invite Hints At Products to Be Announced

IFA_2014_Sony

We’ve already learned that on September 3rd, Sony will be kicking off their IFA keynote from 16:15 to 17:00 CEST (7:15 PDT). For those not familiar, the IFA which takes place in Berlin is much like CES with a heavy focus on mobile. As the leaked press invite pictured above suggests, Sony is looking to introduce some new products. We’ve already reported about one of the pictured products from above, the Sony QX30 smartphone lens which was accidentally revealed by the Korean RRA (National Radio Research Agency). Though the picture above is likely from the current QX10, it’s not a stretch to assume that Sony will in fact be announcing a new model. So what else can we expect?

PlayStation App to Get a Complete Redesign

PS4_PlayStation_App_iOSThe fact that the PS4 launched with a PlayStation on iOS and Android was a brilliant move by Sony that added a much needed functionality to the PS4. Simply put, typing on PS4 got a whole lot easier and the consoles experience extended beyond the need to be using it in person. You could now chat with friends, shop for games on PSN, and have all be ready by the time you got on your PS4 again. Still, there is no denying that the app itself is extremely basic in design and functionality. Seeing how fluid apps can be today, the PlayStation App mostly reminds me of how PSN was on PS3 when it first launched. Functional, but dated in its design language.

To drive that point home, the app launched on iOS device without support for Retina displays or the iPad which are fairly standard affairs. Sony would eventually update the app for iPad though Retina support is still lacking. Luckily for us, it seems that a redesign is on the way.

Should You Buy ‘Kung Fu Rabbit’ for the PlayStation 3?

Kung_Fu_Rabbit_PS3

Kung Fu Rabbit is a platformer that first premiered on iOS and Android devices in 2012. Since then it has released on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and most recently on the PlayStation Vita.  Next week it will come to the PlayStation 3 as a digital title.  This title from Neko Entertainment was highly acclaimed and received several awards as a mobile title. Does Kung Fu Rabbit maintain this quality as it jumps to the PlayStation 3? Keep reading to find out!

2014 Sony 4K TV Awarded Best 4K Ultra HD TV

Sony_4K_X900B

The 2014 Sony 65X9005B has just been awarded the ‘Best 4K Ultra HD TV’ by EISA, the European Image and Sound Association. According to them, the X900B is an “all in one amazing package” that offers “high-end home entertainment thrills” with “natural and realistic colours.” The award goes as far as claiming that “no other TV sounds as good,”  thanks to the Magnetic Fluid speakers. After the jump, their full thoughts.

Look – VAIO is Back

VAIO 3

Look – VAIO is back – without Sony, that is. Remember back in February Sony announced plans to sell it’s VAIO brand of PC computers? Well that new owner has just relaunched itself and VAIOs are back on sale – in Japan only for now. No more Sony logos of course, Japan Industrial Partners will have to make its own mark on consumers hearts to succeed.

The past few years has been a rough one for the PC industry, as it has been particularly challenged by the popularity of smartphones and tablets which have reduced reliance on the traditional home computer. In the PC industry, the changing times has seen few winners, if any, and Sony certainly wasn’t one of them. As VAIO sales were not performing well, Sony released the brand to Japan Industrial Partners.

So what’s happening with the new VAIOs? Read on to find out.

Sony IFA 2014 Keynote Date & Time Revealed

Sony_IFA

Come September 3rd, Sony will be kicking off their IFA keynote from 16:15 to 17:00 CEST (7:15 PDT). Like CES, IFA is about the latest technology with a heavy emphases on mobile. In the past, Sony has used IFA that’s held in Berlin, Germany to launch their QX10 and QX100 smartphone lenses, Xperia smartphones, and speakers. This year is no different as we’re expected the company to update their QX line and reveal the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. With less than a month to go, IFA couldn’t come fast enough for Sony who despite a surprise Q1 2014 profit, is in need of some good news and products that capture consumer attention.

PlayStation App 1.70.50 Update Goes Live for iOS Devices

iOS_PlayStation_App_1_70_50

Get your favorite iOS device, folks (unless you have auto-updates turned on), because Sony has updated the PlayStation App. The PlayStation App 1.70.50 is set to improve

 Stability during use of some features 

Coming in at 9.2 MB, the update itself is quite fast with no other apparent changes. Previously, Sony made big changes via PlayStation App 1.70.13 which brought with it native iPad compatibility.

Sony Profits in 1st Quarter 2014 Results

Sony Make Believe

Sony has posted a net profit of ¥26.8 bn /$261m/ €194m for the first quarter of 2014 (Apr – Jun) with operating revenue up 93% on Q1 FY13. The PS4 led the way with a 95% increase in sales increase for the Game segment with software sales surging y-o-y. The movie-making Pictures segment performed well, owing to success with The Amazing Spider-man 2 and 22 Jump Street.

Financial Services made a loss, a reversal of a normally steady-performer within the broader corporation while Mobile disappointed, with a downward revision of a 2014 target of 50m unit sales to 43m.

Read on to see the full details.

Sony and Panasonic Form Joint Venture to Create Medium Sized OLED Displays

Sony_Panasonic_JOLED

OLED displays continue to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. While every company including Sony has been able to create small displays and incorporate them on camera viewfinders and more prominently on devices like the PlayStation Vita, mass production on large displays remains a challenge. While Sony and others have been able to create large OLED televisions, due to production woes and astronomical costs, none of these sets have come to the market in a meaningful way due to the large price tag they carry. Still, the industry seems to want to make large OLED displays happen while it’s unclear if consumers truly care or if a proper 4K set is enough.

Sony, for its part, has had a turbulent history with OLED productions. In 2012, the company announced a joint venture with Panasonic to combine R&D which never led anywhere. Sony followed up by showcasing a 56-inch OLED TV at CES 2013, but that was the last we heard of the set. Eventually the company did release 30-inch (4,096 x 2,160) and 56-inch (3,840 x 2160) 4K OLED monitors for professionals but rumors followed in early 2014 that they were poised to exit the OLED business.

If that makes your head spin, you’re not alone but Sony is now coming full circle by announcing a new joint venture with Panasonic to once again create OLED displays.

Japanese Govt: Sony ‘Doesn’t Belong’ in Nikkei Index 400

Sony Bosses Shame PSN

Sony is about to lose prestige ahead of being ousted from government-backed stocks and the markets are expected to downgrade Sony. The ‘shame’ of this in the domestic culture is expected to play against Sony, furthering the problem.

Culture meets business in an unavoidable way from time to time and the home front can either dramatically support or deflate the fortunes of a popular corporation so strongly tied to the pride of a nation, like Sony Corp. is in Japan. In 2013, much was made of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s famous efforts to lift the nation’s exporting companies by tweaking fiscal policy, often called Abenomics. While some analysts are skeptical of this approach as a short-term magic trick, others note that at least the key economic indicators are clearly responding well.

Now, unfortunately, Sony is apparently about to suffer a fall from grace as it loses a coveted government-supported position which highlights companies with the best operating income, return on equity, and market value. From January 2015, the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 (JPNK400) is expected to dump Sony Corp. from its list of 400 companies with the solid financial grit and stable outlook worthy of investment.

How much will this affect Sony and what will the CEO do about it?

Read on to take a look.

PS4 and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Help Sony Swing a Profit

Sony_Logo_Cash

To say Sony has been having financial troubles this past decade would be putting it lightly. Thanks to stiff competition from Apple and Samsung and shift in consumer taste, Sony has been forced to layoff over 1,000 employees just this year after having laid off 10,000 employees the year prior. The company has also sold off VAIO, their PC division and even spun off Bravia in case their television business completely collapses. Things however aren’t all doom and gloom for the once electronic giant. PlayStation continues to be a loved brand and their latest installment, the PS4, continues to outpace the Xbox One.

Sony Pictures has always been a bright spot for Sony with franchises like Spider-Man, Men in Black, and now the Jump Street series which tend to bring with them big numbers. Thanks to SP and PlayStation, Sony was able to report a surprise Q1 2014 profit in what would have otherwise been another loss for the company.

Sony Settles 2011 PSN Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit for $15 Million

PSN Welcome Back - PSN Data Breach

Remember way back in 2011 when the PlayStation Network was compromised and in order to address the security threat, Sony took PSN down for over a month? Once Sony was able to get things back on track again, the company kicked off a ‘Welcome Back’ campaign that offered gamers free games, extended PS+ memberships, and free access to then-called Qriocity. With the PSN data breach, the real threat of identity theft loomed as thousands of gamer information was stolen from Sony servers. To help counter that, Sony partnered with Debix to provide one-year identity-theft protection, free of charge for PSN and Qriocity users.

Despite all this and a personal apology letter from then CEO, Sir Howard Stringer, Sony would eventually face a class action lawsuit by some that believed they were the victim of identity theft. The same people of course decided not to participate with identity-theft protection but the suit would move ahead. Now Sony has finally decided to settle the PSN data breach lawsuit and bring the whole thing to a close for $15 million, but there is more to the story.