Sony has proven itself once again in design terms, with no less than 26 of its products earning the seal of approval from the iF Design group, with three products earning a gold award. In individual company achievements, Sony ranked the third highest awarded company, ahead of rivals Apple and LG.
iF is an international group that recognises excellence in product design. It is their aim to “strengthen public awareness of design” and their logo has been an illustrious global standard of design for over sixty years. This year’s event took place on February 28th in Munich, Germany.
It probably surprises few that Sony would do well with awards for design. The company has always raised the bar with iconic and effortless designs with current class-leaders in the Xperia Z2, the PlayStation 4 and the luxury X9000A Bravia TV line to name but a few.
Read on to find out which Sony products earned gold and which two awards come at a bittersweet time.
And the heads keep on rolling at Sony. After the company decided to close down its VAIO division, resulting in a massive loss for the year for the troubled electronic division, news spread in the last 24 hours of Sony employees who were suddenly left without a job. In the near future, Sony plans to cut 5,000 global jobs with 1,000 of those coming from the US. The worst hit part of Sony will be their San Diego division, which will lose 500 employees. This all came at the awkward time where Santa Monica Studios, one of the premier and most prestigious PlayStation game studios is also firing 50 employees and cancelling a high profile, internal project. With all of this news manifesting itself in a day’s time, Sony has also come to announce that will be closing the majority of their retail stores in the US.
Despite the recent surge in interest in PlayStation, thanks to the very successful launch of the PS4, Sony as a company is still facing many challenges due to heavy competition from Apple and Samsung. During the past few years, under new CEO Kaz Hirai, Sony has begun to shut down plants, sell off assets and reduce headcount in order to save some much needed money. A little over a year ago, Sony reduced its workforce by 10,000 employees, and since then, the company has continued to cut staff where it sees fit. While for gamers many of these troubles seemed distant, the most recent layoffs have hit closer to home. Even worse is that more cuts are expected as Sony continues to fix its financial woes.
Hot on the heels of announcing their next flagship Android smartphone and tablet, the Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet, Sony has unveiled a new accessory that can accommodate both devices. Dubbed the Magnetic Charging Pad BSC10, this Bluetooth dock is designed as a dual-purpose audio and charging accessory for your Xperia device. As you’d expect from the name, the dock has built in speakers, a feature that allows you to stream audio from you Xperia device, be it music, movies, games, or YouTube videos. Sony has also included NFC for easy pairing, a feature that’s built into most of their new fleet and most definitely in their flagship products. But the Sony Magnetic Charging Pad is capable of more than that.
As expected, the Sony Xperia Z2 has been unveiled at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With the Xperia Z1 now one month old, Sony has followed a pattern set nearly two years ago of releasing a new flagship device every six months. This means that while the Xperia Z2 is built on the groundwork that the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1 have setup, there is still plenty of new things to love.
So what does the Sony Xperia Z2 have to offer? Lets talk specs and details, after the jump.
This pocket-friendly mid-tier device was released last August but has had few firmware updates since then. Even KitKat is being rolled out to premium smartphones so the Xperia M was due a fresh update, at least to the latest Jellybean.
That wish has come true, because an update for the Xperia M has been certified, though it is not yet available for download from Sony Mobile. Both the single and dual SIM versions show updates.
Sony mentioned in the past on it’s blog that some of it’s phones would be upgraded from 4.1 to 4.3 which is still Jellybean. To see this and find out what Sony has in store for the update, read on.
The first time I heard about the concept for the Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, I was immediately intrigued. The game has elements of many other games including Persona 4, Ace Attorney, and Virtue’s Last Reward. As a fan of all of these games, I was excited at the prospect of playing Danganronpa, especially on a portable console like the PS Vita.
In Danganronpa, the player controls Makoto Naegi who, along with 14 other students, was recently accepted into the highly elite high school Hope’s Peak Academy. Hope’s Peak only accepts students who are considered the best or “ultimate” in their respective field. Examples of some of the others students include: the Ultimate Baseball Star, the Ultimate Fan Fiction Creator, the Ultimate Fashionista, and the Ultimate Moral Compass. Makoto, on the other hand, does not have a specific talent or skill. Instead, he won a raffle and was accepted into the school as the winner making him the Ultimate Lucky Student. Everything quickly takes a turn for the worst as the students realize they have been trapped in the school by an evil remote-controlled teddy bear named Monokuma.
Is Danganronpa truly a mix of Persona 4, Ace Attorney, and Virtue’s Last Reward and does it work? Keep reading and find out in our official review.
Sony’s financial performance has recently been under scrutiny with its latest quarterly earnings call revealing several surprises. The PC business is being sold, the TV business is being separated from the core group with five thousand job cuts between those two announcements alone.
A filing released by the corporation on Feb 13th revealed that the influential Sony investor Third Point was not among the top ten shareholders. You may remember Third Point with outspoken frontman Daniel Loeb calling for drastic changes at the company during the past year.
Was does this mean for Sony Corp?
Sony just announced major plans regarding its PC and TV businesses. With the VAIO PC brand, we know that it is being sold to Japan Industrial Partners, a company that specialises in recovering companies in peril.
On the other hand, the TV business move has many of us wondering. During the past few months, many terms have been thrown around like subsidiary, restructuring, streamlining. The official announcement was no more clear with full of management-speak, so what is actually happening?
In short, the TV business will be made into a separate company that will be still be fully owned by Sony, but there is a lot more to it than that. Read on for a closer look at what Sony wishes to achieve by doing this.
Like all things Sony, as we get closer to the product’s release date, more and more begins to leak about the product. In the case of the Sony Xperia Sirius D6503, we’ve already learned an extensive amount of details about the next flagship smartphone, including its screen size, processor and internal memory capabilities. Earlier today, we also learned about the smartphone’s capability to record 4K video and capture 16:9 photos at 15.5-megapixels. Now, a newly leaked screenshot points to the phone’s Walkman app, which can be seen above. So what’s changed? Quite a few things that help bring a much refined look to the app when compared to the current app, running on the flagship Xperia Z1. Let’s talk details.
It’s widely believed that in the coming months, Sony will announce the Xperia Sirius (D6503) Android smartphone. While there is still a lot that we don’t know about this phone, including what it’s final name will be (though it’s likely that this will be the Xperia Z2), one thing is clear: Sony is looking to further push the capability of photo and video in mobile. Thanks to leaked screenshots, it seems that the Xperia Sirius D6503 will give photo fans a few things to be happy about, including the ability to manually adjust photo and video settings alongside Sony’s ‘Superior Auto’ mode which will take the best picture possible. But that’s not all.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is set to kick off tonight, exclusively on NBC where the network giant will utilize Sony’s range of HD production technology for its coverage. This is the 8th consecutive Olympics that Sony has provided support for NBC but the inclusion of 4K will make it a first. To help capture every moment, NBC will utilize over 70 Sony HD and 4K professional camcorders. Specifically, NBC will use the XDCAM, HDC, HSC and HXC-100 models for their 1080p HD coverage while the Sony F55 will provide native 4K footage. Just last week, the NFL tapped Sony for their HD expertise where Sony professional cameras were used to capture HD and 4K coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII. But that’s not the only Sony equipment that’s making its way to Russia.
Usually, rumors that spread about companies tend to manifest into reality or some form of it over a multi-month time span. However, the most recent rumor, regarding Sony selling off its VAIO PC business, is an entirely new beast. Only days after news about the sell off of the premium PC brand began circulate, has Sony come out during their Q3 2013 earnings report to confirm it all. Come Spring, Sony will cease their design, manufacturing, and selling of VAIO. After that, VAIO will be transferred/sold to Japan Industrial Partners. As we’d reported previously, it’s now widely believed that under Japan Industrial Partners, the VAIO brand will be pulled from nearly all territories, including Europe. JIP will begin to focus on Sony’s home turf of Japan though depending on market conditions and success of the brand, they could expand operations once again. Unfortunately as it is with deals like this, a series of layoffs will follow.