It’s hard to believe it, but CES 2015 is nearly two weeks away. CES has always been an important convention for Sony where in the past, the company had debuted their 4K TV fleet, new Xperia smartphones, and much more. For CES 2015, Sony wants us to ‘Welcome to the New World’ in a teaser video. The cryptic video features shots of beautiful color, lollipop, and human emotions among other things. Those three likely hint at new 4K televisions from Sony while lollipop is surely a reference to the latest Android build that’s expected to hit Sony’s entire Xperia Z line in early 2015. As the human emotion, you sometimes have to hear to believe, referencing Sony’s growing line of high-end speakers.
The video is available after the jump.
Late last week, we reported on the Qrio Smart Lock from Sony. Part of Kaz Hirai’s Seed Acceleration Program which seeks to raise Sony’s pioneering spirit of the past by funding smaller and more risky projects, the Qrio smart lock aims to make the installation of a smart lock not only simple, but one that lacks tools as well. In addition to a simple installation process, the Qrio is more affordable that other smart locks in the market like Lockitron ($179) and August ($249) and carries a nearly $130 price tag. Seeing how the project isn’t directly from Sony, Qrio launched on Makuake, Japan’s equivalent to Kickstarter in order to gain part of the funding it needs.
After the jump, the Qrio Smart Lock can be seen in action.
One of the lesser reveals from the hacking incident from Sony Pictures that frankly I feel is far more important than what Entertainment Chairman Amy Pascal said privately to somebody else in an email is the fate of Crackle. For those unfamiliar with Crackle, Sony’s free streaming service, I encourage you to read our previous in depth take on the service to really get a feel for it. According to information, Sony Pictures considered selling Crackle as late as November though since that time, the deal seems to be off. Who considered purchasing Crackle and for how much? All those details after the jump.
Amidst all the troubles at Sony Pictures and the financial woes at Sony Electronics, the once-dominant Japanese giant is looking to bring back the pioneering spirit that once defined the company. While Sony has publicly stated that PlayStation will now be a primary focus for them as they cut back their exposure in mobile and television, it doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to try things that are non-PlayStation. One such way is to fund smaller, more experimental projects with the help of crowd-funding.
Meet the Qrio smart lock from Sony.
There seems to be a very disturbing trend among mega sites like The Verge, Gawker (surprised?), and others where every information that’s revealed from the Sony Pictures hack is turned into a full blown, multi-thousand word article. As you likely know by now, Sony Pictures was hacked over two weeks ago by what’s likely a state sponsored attack by North Korea. While the reasoning behind it is unclear, many believe that it’s due to Sony Pictures upcoming comedy The Interview in which Seth Rogan and James Franco attempt to assassinate the country’s leader.
While there have been some interesting tidbits like Sony attempting to work with Marvel in order to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Captain America and the gang, there has also been no shortage of articles covering private email exchanges between Sony staff members and executives. Instead of treating Sony Pictures as the victim of this attack where hackers illegally stole all this information, sites are now doing the dirty work by revealing every piece of information they can get their hands on and furthering their agenda. It should be made clear that there is a clear difference between journalists uncovering information and simply releasing private emails between Sony employees and spinning a story around them. Furthermore, with each new article covering some private exchange, sites are basically putting a price on our privacy.
Lets me explain after the jump.
While an interesting marketing blitz, Sony’s underwater Xperia Aquatech store never quite made sense to us. You can read our full take on why Sony could have better spent their marketing budget. Still, seeing how we have no sway at Sony, the stores opening has come and gone as it was only open for three days. Thanks to those who attend and their eagerness to share photos on Twitter, we’ve been able to get a better feel of the store and the experience it brought with it. While not as futuristic looking as depicted in the concepts, the event seems to have had plenty of flair. Now lets hope those select customers, VIP’s, and members of the media who attended will be able to share their experience with others and convince a few to buy some Xperia devices which of course is the whole point of the event.
After the jump, plenty of pictures await you.
While still unofficial, it’s believed that Sony Pictures, along with security firm Mandiant, will later today announce North Korea as the hacking culprit. Nearly 10 days ago, Sony Pictures Culver City campus was the target of a brutal hacking incident which took down the studio’s computers and networks. Since that time, the Hollywood studio has made headway with getting their systems up and running though they’ve yet to fully get everything fixed. Beyond crippling their network structure, #GOP, the group which has taken responsibility for the hack, is believed to be the culprit of releasing 5 Sony Pictures films on file-sharing websites, including Fury which is still in theaters. The other four titles have yet to be released.
More details after the jump.
Starting today, select customers, VIPs, and members of the press can experience the Sony underwater Xperia Aquatech store. Located at The World Islands off the coast of Dubai, the store (sitting 4 meters underwater) is designed to drive home that Sony’s Xperia Z lineup of tablets and smartphones are waterproof. Sony hopes that, beyond wowing select customers, their underwater store also scores big with social media and has created the following hashtag (#XperiaAquatech) to help promote the event. Currently the price of the publicity stunt (which is what this really is) has yet to be and likely won’t be disclosed. Of course it’s not like Sony is creating this unique experience in what’s already a remote country with an small population and would severely limit the days its available versus just running a traditional marketing campaign on TV, like Apple, which has proven to be effective.
This just in; the Sony underwater Xperia Aquatech store will only be open for three days. Well ok…let’s
rant talk after the jump.
As the legendary Ron Burgundy himself would say, “well that escalated quickly.” Filling this under holy shit, #GOP, the group behind the Sony Pictures hack which devastated the studios computers and has resulted in 5 movies being leaked to file-sharing websites isn’t done with Sony yet. In fact, the group has now upped the ante against SP and released the following statement:
We won’t give up this attack unless Sony Pictures collapse to the end.
To make matters worse, there now appears to be a North Korean connection, further complicating the matters. Depending on how all of this goes down, Sony might as well turn it into a movie because this story is starting to have more twist and turns than a Hollywood production. After the jump, the full details, including a lengthier response from the group behind the attack.
We’d previously reported on Sony’s
ludicrous innovative ludicrous plan on creating an underwater store in Dubai. The ‘Xperia Aquatech’ store, according to Rüediger Odenbac, Vice President of Sony Mobile Middle East and Africa, will allow select customers and VIPs to
be able to stand on the seabed and breathe perfectly normally
while of course experiencing, playing, and hopefully purchasing Sony Mobile products. Sony has gone to great lengths to make their entire mobile flagship series (read Xperia Z) waterproof and they hope that the Xperia Aquatech store can show that. Now new details have emerged from the store that will be 4 meters below the surface. More details and another concept shot after the jump.
When losses continue to mount up like they have in Sony’s case which will see their mobile division lose $1.7 billion for FY 2014 ending in March, all options are on the table when it comes to saving money. One such method would be to cut product lines down to provide more focused divisions and Sony is doing just that. Just last week, Sony revealed that come 2015, the company would focus less on televisions and mobile by cutting down the number of devices they make and focus more on PlayStation which has been a source of extreme growth.
Another way Sony hopes to save money is by cutting unnecessary or less-than-fruitful partnerships which is why they will be cutting their sponsorship deal with FIFA.
Exactly a week ago, Sony Pictures network was completely compromised by a group of hackers known as #GOP. While not a lot is known about the group, ‘Guardians of Peace’ claims that they want ‘equality’ for employees. In addition to crippling Sony Pictures internal networks which meant internet among other things, the group claimed to have taken sensitive data from the studio. #GOP threatened that unless SP would met their demands, they would release “damning” information on the company.
While that did not or has not yet come to fruition, over the last few days, five movies from Sony Picture have leaked online, including 4 unreleased titles.
It’s no secret that Sony has been struggling for nearly a decade. Thanks to mismanagement and miscalculations, Sony was unable to capitalize on the transition to LCD televisions and was equally late to mobile. In their most recent earnings guidance, Sony predicts that come March, the company’s mobile division will mount a $1.7 billion loss for the year. With television sales having reached a saturation point and 4K television sales though healthy, not enough to make up for an otherwise sluggish division, Sony knows that it can’t rely on mobile which was to be one of the three pillars that would help turn around the company. When even Samsung has seen their mobile division fall apart with sales declining by nearly 60% laster quarter, what can Sony do to compete and even thrive?
One word it seems. PlayStation.
When Sony Pictures employees arrived at their Culver City campus early yesterday morning, they were greeted to a less-than-ideal situation. A group going under the name of #GOP had successfully hacked the entire studio, bringing work to a screeching halt. As a result of the hack, all computers at Sony Pictures displayed an image of a blood red skeleton with links to where Sony could find proof of the hack’s extent. That’s because, besides all computers being down and unable to even reach out to the web, the group claims that they were all able to find damning information that Sony Pictures does not want people to see.
Despite claiming that unless Sony met their demands by 6:00PM EST that they would release the given information, there appears to be no leaked documents yet. However, computers at Sony Pictures remain to be down in what appears to be a partial inside job with a goal towards ‘equality’ for employees.
Plot twist, right? Details after the jump.
Earlier today, news began to circulate that Sony’s Backup and Restore app on Google Play for the company’s line of Xperia devices was hacked. Appearing on Google Play and available to download for free, the app in question mimicked everything about Sony’s official app from wording to design with one obvious difference, the top part of the app was replaced with HeArT HaCkEr Group. Many took this as a sign that Sony’s internal servers had been compromised and an update had been pushed from within the company with the above changes. As Backup and Restore is an official system app from Sony, there is no way to delete the program and those who’ve given it permission will have potentially already had their information compromised.
That is, if Sony’s servers were hacked – but that’s not what happened at all.
In a somewhat surprising manner, Sony has rolled out a second ad this week in the US. Dubbed Roof, the clever and extremely simply ad shows off the Remote Play feature between the PS4 and Xperia Z3. Sony ran a similar ad in Europe earlier in the month which highlighted the same features between Xperia devices and PS4. Besides highlighting the PS4, Sony is hoping to garner attention for its flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone which for the first time in the US has carrier support from T-Mobile and Verizon.
In the past, Sony’s smartphone strategy had lacked carrier support in the US, leading to marginal sales and a nearly zero percent marketshare. After the jump, the Sony Roof ad awaits you.
With PS4 Remote Play now available on Sony’s Xperia Z3 line which includes their flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the company is looking to promote the feature via a new clever ad. For those not familiar, PS4 Remote Play on Xperia Z3 devices allows you to stream PS4 titles directly to your mobile device with no loss in functionality. This means you can get the full PS4 experience from earning trophies to online multiplayer right on your mobile screen. To show off the new functionality, Sony has a clever new ad which can be seen after the jump.