Sony Corp.

PlayStation App 2.50.8 Goes Live for iOS (iPhone/iPad), Brings With It Major Tweaks

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Ahead of the PlayStation 4 system update 2.50 release which promises to be a big one, Sony has updated the PlayStation app on iOS devices. With PlayStation App 2.50.8 on iPhone and iPad, you can expect a redesigned homepage and enhanced abilities, like the ability to delete trophies with 0% achievement progress. The PlayStation App 2.50.8 Changelog awaits you after the jump.

Sony Plans “Aggressive Capital Investment” In PlayStation

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It’s no secret that Sony Electronics has been struggling for well over a decade now. With TV sales and mobile not being the growth driver the company had once thought, PlayStation is quickly becoming the darling of Sony. Having the PS4 continue to put out blockbuster numbers alongside a rich history with gamers doesn’t hurt either. While always an important part of the company, Sony now sees PlayStation as one of its key divisions and a growth driver for the company as a whole. In fact, Sony sees entertainment as one of its key assets and equally plans to double down on Sony Pictures and Sony Music as well.

When it comes to PlayStation, they plan on an “aggressive capital investment” that will hopefully bring with it “sales growth and profit expansion.” After the jump, for details.

Sony, HBO & Showtime Want Fast Lanes for Web TV

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In a rather strange turn of events, Sony along side HBO and Showtime are asking internet providers, most notably the devil Comcast about being treated as “managed” service. If granted, this would allow them to differ from other internet traffic on their networks and have their own direct lane to consumers. With PlayStation Vue, the internet TV streaming service that’s beginning to roll out, it isn’t strange to see Sony on a list of names requesting such a treatment. What makes the whole thing odd is that fast lanes are explicitly blocked by the FCC’s new net neutrality rules which just passed. However the new rules services like VOIP and VOD can have their own lanes which leads to a grey area.

Sony SmartWatch 3 Review – Great Hardware Meets Lackluster Android Wear

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Sony has always been, at its heart, a hardware company. During the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s when the Japanese giant ruled the consumer industry, it was because of their amazing hardware which defined the analog world. After all, we all had access to the same TV feed or cassette tape but it was the hardware that gave your unit a design that begged to be shown off or the extra clarity during the World Cup. In the early 2000′s, much of this began to change as the world shifted away from hardware at the forefront to software being the key differentiator. After all, Apple was not the first to the MP3 market, but thanks to the integration of iTunes, they were able to create a device far more compelling than their competitors.

Fast forward to today and many of the well-known and multi-billion dollar tech companies that we know of, like Facebook and Netflix, don’t even make a single piece of hardware yet they’re with us at all times. With Sony unable to adapt to a software-driven world, the company began to fall behind well over a decade ago, which is coincidentally the last time they were properly profitable. In that time, we’ve seen Sony’s dominance in tech (excluding PlayStation) fade all but away. So what does this have to do with the SmartWatch 3? Quite simply everything. Imagine a modern product in a hot and growing market that Sony could develop and solely focus on the hardware while a company known for their software could develop the UI that makes the essence of that product.

The Sony SmartWatch 3 is that device. Hardware that is pure Sony and software that is totally Google in the ever-growing wearable category.

Yes, Sony is Ditching the ‘Walkman’ Name on Mobile

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Eagle-eyed readers will have likely spotted that, on all promotional materials for the just-announced Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia M4 Aqua, a certain branding is missing. Specifically, the music app is  no longer called Walkman and is instead referred to simply as ‘Music.’ Alongside Music, you’ll find other media related apps like Albums, Video, PlayStation, and Lifelog. This has caused quite a bit of debate among Sony fans and what it could mean. Some have wondered if it had to do with the end of Music Unlimited or if it’s more related to Sony closing down or spinning off parts of the company that are no longer working.

The answer is, however, much less exciting, though it’s reflective of where Sony is today and a change that will be coming to other Xperia devices.

Sony Reveals New Management Structure

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In order for Sony to adapt to the new market and consumer realities, some major changes are needed. Ever since taking the reins of Sony, Kaz Hirai has been on a mission to shake up the company as much as possible. While things have gone slower than some would like, Sony is changing. Under Kaz, Sony has spun off parts of the business previously thought holy, like TV, and sold other divisions, like their VAIO PC business. Now, Kaz is once again shaking things up and this time, at the executive level.

Sony’s new management structure with more clearly defined roles and responsibilities can be found after the jump.

Sony Launches New Mid-Term Strategy (2015-2017)

Image: Kazuo Hirai

On Wednesday Sony Corp. unveiled its mid-term strategy update for the period FY2015-FY2017.

Sony is setting “profit generation and investment for growth” as the theme of its mid-range corporate plan from for the next three years. That means that any divisions running losses better run and hide. Sony won’t keep them. The emphasis of language on profit retention and boosting throughout the news release suggests that any endeavors not proving to contribute directly to profit or growth won’t be tolerated. The key focus now above everything else is to boost profit throughout all businesses and the overall message seemed to be aimed particularly at Sony shareholders. This new plan comes into effect from April.

A few main points that Sony announced:

  • That they will be spinning out the Sound and Video units, which will become wholly owned by Sony
  • A plan “to deliver to investors a consolidated Return On Equity (ROE) of more than 10% and a target for consolidated operating profit of more than 500 billion yen for the Sony Group in FY2017″
  • There was not talk of selling the Mobile division, though it is now considered a threat to financial stability and ‘partners are being considered’

Read on for the full details.

PS4 PlayMemories App Gains 4K Support

PS4_PlayMemories_AppIf in your arsenal of entertainment devices you have a PS4 and a 4K television then the following news is specifically for you. Sony has updated the PlayMemories App on PS4 with 4K support. For those unfamiliar, PlayMemories syncs your photos between your different devices (think iCloud & Photo Stream) for easy access and consumption. While 4K video is something new for consumers, digital cameras have been able to capture at that resolution for many years. Now those with a 4K TV will have an easy way to consume their photos. Details after the jump.

Leaked Sony 4K TV Ad; Is Sony Ready For a Full Marketing Campaign?

Thanks to an anonymous tipster who sent us the above video, we may have our very first look at a proper marketing campaign from Sony for their 4K lineup. As you can see from the 30 second ad, Sony is highlighting their ludicrously thin X900C and X910C 4K TV. What strikes me beyond that we’re finally getting a Sony ad is how beautiful the commercial is. Unlike past Sony commercials which at times are too artsy and lose the message or too wordy and try to over sell what the device is, this ad is brilliantly simple. No voiceover, no talk about specs, and certainly not all over the place. Instead the ad focuses on one of the biggest selling points of the X900C line, their thinness.

A few more thoughts after the jump.

Sony Posts An In-depth Look At the New X900C & X910C 4K TVs (video)

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One of the biggest unveils from CES 2015 came from Sony’s new lineup of 4K TVs. Specifically, the X900C and X910X (which you can read about here) offer full native 4K video in an insanely thin design. Measuring at 4.9mm (1/5 inch) thin, the ultra-slim design allows for you wall-mount the units in almost an art-like fashion. Best of all, there is nothing proprietary about the TV, allowing for a normal VESA mount to be used. Having seen them at CES, I can simply state that pictures and words simply don’t do the X900C and X910C justice and luckily Sony agrees. After the jump, an in-depth video look at the latest 4K TVs with ‘floating style’ design which shows off how insanely beautiful this television is.