Sony Corp.

PlayStation App 2.0.7 Now Available, Brings New UI and Tablet Support

PlayStation_App_2_4Alongside the PlayStation 4 System Software Update 2.0 that brought on an extensive amount of changes and new features to PS4, Sony has also released PlayStation App 2.0.7. The latest update brings improved robustness to the app, with more fluid UI, features, and native support for iPad. After the jump, the full changelog of PlayStation App 2.0.7 and gallery awaits you.

Sony Releases Video Tutorial to Help You Move from Windows Phone to Their Xperia Line

Xperia_Transfer_Mobile_4In addition to launching the free ‘Xperia Transfer Mobile’ app on the Windows Phone Store, Sony has also republished a video tutorial to help you navigate the transfer. Designed to lure Windows Phone users to Android and specifically Sony Xperia smartphones, the Xperia Transfer Mobile app can help transfer contacts, message, calendar, and media with just a few clicks.

Though the video specifically mentions iOS and Android users only, the same steps are in place for those looking to transfer from Windows Phone to Android as this video itself was created some time ago. After the jump, the video tutorial from Sony awaits you.

#TBT: Kaz Hirai Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Kaz_Hirai_Ice_Bucket_ChallengeDo you know what day it is? Hump day? Nope. It’s Thursday which means…it’s throw back Thursday where we get to post things that are old. In truth, I’ve been itching to post the video of Sony CEO, Kaz Hirai taking the ice bucket challenge. The problem was that he took it much later where the hype around the wonderful cause (which I partook in) had begun to die down. Now that some time has passed, I find it appropriate to use the video in a #TBT post. After the jump, Kaz Hirai takes a bucket of ice to the head from a Sony employee.

Sony Wants to Make Transferring from Windows Phone Easier via Their ‘Xperia Transfer Mobile’ App

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Sure Sony’s mobile division is raking up massive losses for the company but that’s not stopping them from trying new ways to lure customers. After already targeting iOS users with a similar tool, Sony is now turning its attention to Windows Mobile users. Dubbed the Xperia Transfer Mobile app, this latest free download helps those who are looking to depart from the world of Windows to Android land by making the transition smoother.

Samsung Profits Dip Nearly 60% and What Sony Can Learn From It

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In its upcoming earnings report, many analysts expect Samsung to report a significant dip in its quarterly profits. For Q3 2014, the electronic giant will likely report a profit of 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion) from the $10.6 trillion won operating profit that the company booked in Q3 2013. That means in just one quarter, Samsung profits will have dipped nearly 60%! With continued pressure from Apple in the high-end market and increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and Lenovo, Samsung is beginning to find itself unable to compete. It’s also worth noting that during Q3 2014, Apple held a 0% market share for smartphones with a screen size larger than 4-inches. Since that time, Apple has introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ which command 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, taking the only advantage Samsung may have had in the high-end market.

Translation? Next quarter will likely be even worse for Samsung. If this all sounds too familiar, we need not look further than Sony to see a company who is plagued by the same issues. Sony just recently revised their FY 2014 estimate and announced a larger than expected $2.1 billion loss. Samsung’s pain, however, might be Sony’s gain if Sony can learn some key lessons from this massive blow to Samsung.

Dear Sony, Please Exit the Smartwatch Market

Sony_Mobile_Wearable_Products_1Soon to be available in select territories like Europe and Asia, the Sony SmartWatch 3 is actually the company’s 5th iteration to take on the growing wearable market. Announced at IFA 2014 in Berlin, the SmartWatch 3 is the first device from Sony to incorporate Android Wear, the OS from Google that’s specifically designed for wearables. As a recap, the SmartWatch 3 offers a sporty, rugged design which incorporates a steel-backed case with interchangeable silicone straps that can last for for two days (four days on standby) and charges via micro-USB. On the functionality end, you can get messages from your friends, appointment notifications, and weather updates among other things like flight information, tips based on your interests, or messages from other apps that support Android Wear. There is also a built-in mic with which you can use your voice for search, though, curiously, cannot be used for answering calls.

Alongside the SmartWatch 3, Sony also announced the SmartBand Talk which features a 1.4-inch e-paper display (like the Pebble). Much like the SmartWatch 3, the SmartBand Talk can track your activities, and displays notifications. As the name suggests, the SmartBand Talk is based around communicating. To that end, Sony incorporated a built-in microphone and speaker which allows for short call functions with HD Voice support. Priced nearly 100 euros under the SmartWatch 3 at 159.99, it makes for a curious choice that this unit offers call functionality while the SmartWatch 3 doesn’t.

Either way, whether Sony had incorporated talk functionality in the higher end model or not does not change the fact that it’s time for Sony to exit the wearable market and specifically smartwatches. Let me explain.

Sony STR-ZA3000ES Specs

Sony_ZA3000ES_3Earlier this week, we reported on the Sony STR-ZA3000ES, the newest flagship receiver with 4k input/output, 7.2 surround sound and a 8-gigabit ethernet hub for good measure. Available later this month for $1,699, the STR-ZA3000ES offers almost everything you’d ever want from a receiver, minus a built-in Starbucks and AirPlay. (Come on Sony! Your lower end receivers used to have that last one). Wondering what else you can expect from the ES receiver? After the jump, we have the full Sony STR-ZA3000ES specs.

Sony Plans to Cut 1,000 Jobs in Mobile Division

Kaz_Hira_CES_XperiaYesterday it was revealed that due to Sony Mobile’s inability to sell mid-range smartphones in significant quantities, the company will likely be posting a $2.1 billion net loss for FY 2014. Unfortunately for Sony fans, and more so Sony employees, the bad news does not end there. Previously, Sony was forecasting for a ¥50 billion loss but with the forecast now expanding to ¥230 billion for the fiscal year, Sony once again has to look internally to help save money and that means a reduction in its staff to the tune of 15% for the mobile division.

Sony Mobile Drags, FY 2014 Net Loss Forecast Widens to $2.1 Billion

Kaz_Hirai_Xperia_Z1Poor Sony. I mean this from a emotional standpoint for a company that continues to endure loss year after year, which surely takes a toll on employees and moral. With an expected $2.1 billion net loss for FY 2014, I of course mean this in a financial aspect as well. Despite Sony announcing a surprise $261 million Q1 2014 profit, the company is expecting to lose $2.1 billion for the year, up from $500 million. So how does a company lose an additional $1.7 billion in one year? In short, smartphones. Despite what appeared to be a transitional period for Sony and a gained momentum in mobile, the division Sony has been most bullish about will drag down the company considerably as they struggle to move units, especially in the mid-range market.

Disney, Fox, and Viacom Board Sony’s Internet TV?

Sony_Internet_TV_MockupLast we heard about Sony’s internet TV plans were in 2012 where Sony Network Entertainment VP Michael Aragon has confirmed that the company has flirted with the idea of offering TV over the internet. At the time, Aragon believed that lack of bandwidth and proper business model was hindering Sony’s ability to full invest in the vision. Now, reports are popping up once again that not only has Sony not forgotten about their internet TV ambitions, but that Disney, Fox, and Viacom might be onboard. If true, between the 4 mega studios (with Sony Pictures automatically being on board), the service could offer a compelling platform for those looking to cut ties with their cable provider.

In the case of content, Viacom from a TV standpoint would be a big gain for the yet to be announced platform with 22 of their channels coming on board. Those include stations like Comedy Central, TV, VH1, BET, CMT, and Nickelodeon. Now lets talk about the service itself.

Sony Announces a Monster 7.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver (STR-ZA3000ES)

Sony_ZA3000ES_1Announced at CEDIA, Sony is looking to take the world of 4K by storm with the STR-ZA3000ES. Leading the company’s high-end ES receivers, the ZA3000ES offers 4K input and output, 7.2 channel (110W), and an 8-port Giga Ethernet Hub to ensure all your home theater needs are met. Yes, there is still even good-ol component in for those looking to rock older devices. In addition to high-end specs, Sony also wanted to make the ZA3000E3 both highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. Beyond great specs, Sony has incorporated a clever front magnetic faceplate that covers the otherwise endless array of buttons which are needed to initially set up a device of this caliber.

After the jump you can find some more details on the Sony STR-ZA3000ES, including additional pictures from the front/rear showing off all the buttons and inputs.

Sony Completely Revamps ‘Music Unlimited’ on iOS

Sony_iOS_Music_Unlimited_2.0Music Unlimited, the streaming music service from Sony, has received a major makeover that reimagines how the app should look and function. Via the changelog, with Music Unlimited 2.0 on iOS (iPhone & iPod Touch), you can now expect:

• Fresh visual design
• Super fast queue view and load
• View discography, top songs, related artists + more
• Sort your library by newly added songs and recently modified playlists
• Edit song order in playlists
• New grape flavor

More details after the jump.

Curved Sony 4K S90B-65 and S90B-75 TVs Announced for Europe

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Announced at IFA, Sony will be bringing a new curved 4K model, exclusively to Europe. The S90B series will come in 65-inch and 75-inch variants with Sony’s TRILUMINOS technology that offers the same technology found in Sony’s X900B series of 4K televisions. The S90B also utilizes Sony’s 4.2 channel Multi-angle Live Speaker system uses separate drive units that accurately direct Left and Right front and surround channels into the room, removing the need for a sound bar. Sony has also incorporate a camera and microphone with built in Skype to make connecting with friends easier.

More after the jump.

Sony Xperia Z3 Specs Leak Prior to IFA, Include 4K Video Recording

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Copper_3In less than 12 hours, Sony will kick off its IFA keynote where they are expected to announced the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact alongside other devices like the QX30, an attachable smartphone lens with 30x optical zoom. At this point, there isn’t a whole lot that hasn’t been leaked from the products we expect Sony to announce. Even the Xperia Z3, the company’s next flagship Android smartphone has been leaked numerous times, but the following may be the most telling yet.

While we’ve seen Xperia Z3 specs appear from time to time, the following photo (found after the jump) if true, will be the most revealing yet. Though we cannot independently confirm the validity of the photo, with the Xperia Z3 announcement right around the corner and many of the specs lining up with previous rumors, the picture is looking more and more like the real thing.

After the jump, the leaked Sony Xperia Z3 specs, including battery size, camera resolution/ISO, and audio formats, await you.

Should You Buy ‘Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair’ for the PlayStation Vita?

PS_Vita_ Danganronpa_2_Goodbye_DespairThe original Danganronpa was published by NIS America and originally released here in North America on February 11, 2014. It is easily one of my favorite games of the year (Check out my review here). Shortly after its release, it was announced that its sequel would be coming out a short seven months later.

Just like the original game, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a visual novel with a murder mystery twist. Unlike the first game where the characters are trapped in a high school, this time all of the characters (again a set of students from Hope’s Peak Academy) are trapped on the tropical Jabberwock Island.  Does Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair live up to the high quality of the original? Keep reading to find out!

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Handycam Camcorder Specs

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Earlier this week, we revealed a new price point for the Sony AX100 4K Handycam that makes the powerful consumer camcorder more affordable than ever. With that post, we received a lot of feedback from the community, specifically on what helps power the AX100 and technical specs questions like the specific resolutions it’s capable of recording. Best part of it all is that according to Sony, a machine running with Windows XP SP3 is capable of interacting with the AX100 though I have a hard time believing a Windows XP machine can handle 1080p 60fps footage, let alone 4K. With that, after the jump, you can find the full Sony AX100 specs.

Sony Lowers Price On Their Already Well-Priced AX100 4K Camcorder

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Handycam

One of the big reveals at CES 2014 was the Sony FDR-AX100 Handycam that empowered consumers to record in 4K. Sony famously dubbed it ’4K for 2K,’ referring to its surprisingly low price tag of $2,000. As a recap, some specs for the AX100 include:

  • 4K : 3840×2160/30P, 24P; XAVC-S HD : 1920×1080/60P, 30P, 24P
  • 1″ Exmor R CMOS senso
  • 14-Megapixel resolution video and 20-Megapixel still image capture
  • Versatile shooting w/ XAVC S2, AVCHD and MP4 codecs
  • Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar * lens w/ 12x optical zoom
  • Multi-interface Accessory Shoe for system accessories
  • BIONZ X Processor enables high Speed rec 120fps
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization w/ Active Mode
  • Large 3.5″ XtraFine LCD (921K) and High contrast OLED EVF
  • Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi/NFC
  • 2ch LPCM for XAVC-S2 & 5.1ch AC3 for AVCHD

In short, for 4K enthusiasts, the camera offers a lot of bang for the buck. Now Sony is dropping the price of the camera and making it even more affordable.