Unveiled at CES 2014, PlayStation Now is a streaming services that can bring PlayStation 3 titles to the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. Think Netflix for gaming. At the time of its unveiling, we were able to get our hands on the PS Vita and stream God of War: Ascension to the powerful handheld without a hitch. It’s expected that Sony will officially release the cloud-based service at E3 2014. While at the time, Sony was only talking about PlayStation Now for the PS4 and PS Vita, the company made it clear that the service would expand beyond gaming consoles and onto televisions, smartphones, and tablets. Today, Sony takes the first big step to bring PS3 titles to a entirely new market and reach beyond the core gaming enthusiast.
We’d previously outlined Sony’s 2014 4K television fleet with specs and prices which includes the X850B (good), X900B (better), and the X950B (best). At that time, we were quite surprised about the prices of their 2014 4K fleet which had made huge strides in both the technology offered and the prices, but the news gets better. Sony has now officially unveiled pricing for their 4K televisions and while many are the same as we’d leaked, some are a few hundred dollars cheaper.
Sony has just updated their PlayMemories Mobile app for iOS devices. The PlayMemories Mobile 4.2.3 update brings with it improved compatibility for the company’s line of attachable lenses which require to be connected via the app to function. The update now allows for an improved photo-taking experience on the QX10 and QX100 by allowing you to touch the shutter icon to focus on the image at hand.
At CES 2014, Netflix promised to bring 4K to televisions and the company has now fulfilled that promise. As of today, those with a compatible 4K television can download the free app which will provide 4K content with no added premium to your subscription. Content currently includes House of Cards: Season 2 and nature documentaries with more titles to come in the future.
Every year at NAB, Sony dazzles us with new products in their camera and video lineup and this year is no different. CES 2014 made it clear that Sony is going all in with 4K and NAB continued that promise with the announcement of the full-frame Sony Alpha A7s. As the name suggests, this isn’t a rethinking of the Alpha line and instead, an improvement on the full-frame A7 that was announced last year. In short, Sony is bringing 4K video recording to the party with vastly improvement sensitivity which is what the “s” in the name refers to.
Interested? Lets talk details.
4K just got yet another big push, this time at the world’s largest football event; the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sony announced a deal with FIFA to produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Film in 4K Ultra HD, and three full matches including the final. This year the World Cup will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July.
ESPN in the US has just signed Sony to supply studio cameras for their new Digital Center 2 studio production operations in Bristol, Conn. The Center is a 193,000-square-foot facility due to air this May.
Sony recently announced which of it’s smartphones are getting KitKat first, along with fresh info on what users can expect with the very latest Android uplift. The first devices to get KitKat were the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact.
The next round involves many more devices including the Xperia Tablet Z and last year’s flagship, Xperia Z. Both of these devices show firmware versions of 14.x over at the certification body PTCRB.
KitKat brings smart caller ID which identifies an unsaved number when someone calls, an ultra low-power audio playback state to get extra juice out of your media player and the most elegant Android UI yet.
Read on for the full details.
For the past two months, there has been plenty of turmoil at Sony. While things seemed to be going well for Sony in 2013 with the company starting to experience growth in mobile and coming off of a fantastic PS4 launch, 2014 has quickly turned into a black mark for the struggling Japanese giant. In the last few months, we’ve seen no shortage of departures from PlayStation, including high level departures at Naughty Dog and a massive layoff at Santa Monica Studios. The reach of turmoil unfortunately has not been limited to PlayStation as Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America and one of the division’s earliest executives when it was founded in 1995, is stepping down at the end of March. Since the start of the new year, Sony has announced the closure of 60% of their retail stores in the US, the closing of VAIO, and is even spinning off their Bravia television business. To top that all of this, Masaru Kato, the company’s CFO is departing after 31 years.
While some sites have attempted to connect the dots between events, they’ve so far been unsuccessful at figuring out just what went wrong at Sony. Now, thanks to an insider, we’ve come to learn the real reason behind all the turmoil at Sony and it involves Jack Tretton and Kaz Hirai.
Sony has been involved in battery technology for a long time. The company’s reach extends from big devices like the now defunct Sony VAIO division to smaller portable devices like Xperia smartphones and Cyber-Shot cameras which all utilize Sony batteries. Throughout the years, the company’s progress, while slow, has been nothing short of amazing where we once could do 100 pictures on a Cyber-Shot camera before running out of juice, we can now take 400+ photos in a camera that’s more powerful and slimmer.
Now, the company feels like it can revolutionize the battery industry and the solution comes from one of the unlikeliest places: food. It’s blatantly obvious that food powers all mammals on the planet. In a nutshell, our body is capable of taking food, breaking it down internally and converting it to nutrients that help fuel our body. Now Sony’s R&D division hopes to do the same for our gadgets thanks to Power Food which can be seen in the above video.
In yet another major development as Sony winds down the current financial year (today), Masaru Kato departs after 31 years. Sony has appointed Kenichiro Yoshida to replace him starting April 1.
Kato was a Sony veteran having held several other high-profile positions within the company including Executive Vice President, Representative Corporate Executive Officer as well as Chief Executive Officer and Deputy President at Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
I have been a fan of the Deception franchise since Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness released for the original PlayStation in 1996. In that game you play as a servant of the devil and are tasked with defending ‘The Castle of the Damned’ from all manner of heroes and adventurers who are unfortunate enough to enter. The gameplay was in the 1st person perspective and to defeat the enemies the player had to set traps to either stun, kill, or capture the intruders. My preteen self enjoyed the dark story and unique (at-the-time) concept of playing as the ‘bad guy’. Fast forward to today and it has been 9 years since the last Deception game. This week Deception IV: Blood Ties released here in the United States and became the newest entry in the franchise. Does Deception IV: Blood Ties stack up to its predecessors? Keep reading our full review to find out!
Charity Lemonade Stand with Hugh Hefner
Now that we are just a few days away from the end of Sony’s financial year, the company has reported a 16% rise in sales of image sensors compared with 2012. This news should help the company maintain it’s pole position in the lucrative smartphone image sensor market. Sony has twice purchased more factories to boost CMOS sensor production as currently demand is expected to outstrip supply within two years. The Japanese electronics giant has benefited from the cultural rise of the ‘selfie’ along with a flourishing global smartphone market.
But this is more than just a case of being in the right business at the right time. Smartphone sales may be thriving, but not all manufacturers are benefiting. In just a few years, Sony has completely changed it’s strategy regarding access to their coveted image sensors. Under the leadership of the previous CEO Sir Howard Stringer, the plan was to limit competitors access to the technology. Now under CEO Kaz Hirai, any company looking to supply their phones with Sony’s image sensors are absolutely welcome, it seems. It’s an overhaul from being ‘alone in the sandpit’ to ‘selling lemonade on a hot day’.
Rival Samsung chose Sony to supply the Galaxy S4 with Japanese tech but has now started taking this production in-house. This presents a formidable new competitor in the CMOS market. How did Sony get to the top of this market and what is Sony’s plan to stay dominant?