Comcast subscribers can soon purchase access to Netflix produced House of Cards
Comcast subscribers will soon be able to purchase access to the episodic series House of Cards without requiring Netflix, according to a report by Variety. The cable company has struck a pact with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, providing rights to sell first season of House of Cards through its Xfinity Store service. The Xfinity store offer on-demand video streaming on a variety of devices for Comcast subscribers--the company's own answer to Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. In a similar deal made with Lionsgate, Orange is the New Black will be available on the Xfinity Store in May.
High-capacity Archival Disc could offer 1TB of storage per disc
Sony and Panasonic have revealed the name of the high-capacity storage medium the two companies started working on last year. The Archival Disc is a storage format meant for "professional use" in "long-term digital data storage," using optical discs that will offer a recording capacity of 300GB per disc at launch, expanding to 500GB and up to 1TB in the future, if not higher.
Shawn Layden of Sony Entertainment Network slated to lead division
Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that Jack Tretton will step down from his role as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) as of March 31. Reportedly, the split is a result of a mutual agreement between Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship. Executive Vice President Shawn Layden will become president and CEO of SCEA, effective April 1.
Sony announces PlayStation 4 sales exceed 6 million units globally this week
As of March 2, Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console system has cumulatively sold through more than six million units globally. Software sales currently total over 1.37 million copies sold in retail stores, as well as through digital downloads. Over 370,000 console units have been sold in Japan since its launch in the region on February 22. The PS4 system is currently available in 57 countries worldwide.
Software bundle supplied with Samsung Galaxy S5 estimated to be worth $575
Samsung has detailed the free and discounted software and services offered with its new flagship Galaxy S5. The collection, estimated to be worth more than $575 according to Android Central, will include subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek +, LinkedIn Premium, Map My Fitness, Run Keeper, Skimble, Lark, Box, Evernote, and Bitcasa, as well as coupons for Blurb and Cut the Rope 2, among other additions.
Offload of buildings similar to larger US, Japan headquarters sale last year
Sony is looking to sell its old headquarters, as it attempts to raise more funds, claims a report. The company is apparently in discussions to offload the former headquarters in Gotenyama, central Tokyo, as well as a number of surrounding buildings, with the sale expected to raise somewhere in the region of 15 billion yen ($146.5 million) to add to the company's coffers.
Sony enters fitness tracker market with discrete wearable device
Sony initially unveiled its SmartBand wearable tracker at CES in January as the company's first foray into the fitness tracker market. Consisting of a rubberized band and a central and small Core sensor acting as the brain of the device, the tracker in theory performs all of the usual tracking functions of a fitness band, as well as handling other aspects of the wearer's life, such as music, when used with the accompanying Lifelog app. Electronista spent time at Sony's Mobile World Congress booth to try out the SmartBand.
Move intended to maintain competitiveness in consumer electronics market
Sony Electronics today announced plans to restructure its organization, including a heavy cut in US retail presence in order to maintain what the company calls "competitiveness in an evolving consumer electronics market." In the next few months, Sony will lay off 1,000 employees across all of its sites, including the personnel attached to 20 US Sony Stores.
Mid-range Xperia M2 takes style from Xperia Z2, lowers specification
The Xperia M2 and the Xperia Z2 Tablet both launched at the same time as the Xperia Z2 earlier today. One attempts to be a value-priced alternative to the Xperia Z2 in appearance and functionality, while the other takes after the name and offers a far larger surface to use. Electronista stayed at the Sony exhibit to look over the two other devices, and work out if they are worth a second glance when compared to the new flagship smartphone.
5.2-inch Xperia Z2 smartphone tested shortly after unveiling
Earlier today at Mobile World Congress, Sony unveiled the upgraded version of its previous flagship Android smartphone, the Xperia Z1, alongside two other devices. The Xperia Z2 appears to be similar to the original, but with a number of improvements. Electronista travelled to Sony's stand at the trade show to try out the device, in order to find out if it is as impressive as Sony makes it appear.
Z2 devices powered by SnapDragon 801 processor
At the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, Sony has taken the wraps off a trio of devices at its pre-expo keynote. Shown today by CEO Kazuo Hirai are the Xperia M2 midrange phone, and the premium Xperia Z2 smartphones coupled with the Xperia Z2 tablet.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
Sony shifts 5.3M PlayStation 4 consoles, beats recent Xbox sales figures
Sony has sold over 5.3 million PlayStation 4 game consoles globally as of February 8th, the company has revealed. The news comes just days before the company launches the console in its native Japan on February 22nd. In comparison, Microsoft's January financial results toward the end of January showed it sold 3.9 million competing Xbox One consoles and 3.5 million of the Xbox 360.
Details of upcoming Sony Xperia smartphone, tablet leak
The rumored Sony Xperia D6503 "Sirius" smartphone has allegedly leaked in a new video walkthrough, showing a number of features of the device. Specifications for another Sony device has also surfaced ahead of Mobile World Congress, with the Xperia Z2 tablet, codenamed "Castor," claimed to have a 10.1-inch Triluminos display with a resolution of 1920x1200.
Three bridge cameras, two compact cameras heading to United States
At the same time as launching the α6000, Sony has revealed a new collection of five cameras to add to its existing Cyber-shot range. The Cyber-shot HX400V, H400, and H300 are bridge cameras with high-magnification optical zooms, while the Cyber-shot WX350 and W800 are thin and compact point-and-shoot cameras, including one set to be sold for under $100.
Phase-detection, contrast-detection AF help provide 11fps AF tracked shooting
One month after updating the α5000, Sony has launched another Alpha camera with what it claims uses the world's fastest autofocus in an interchangeable lens camera. The α6000 is able to focus on a subject in 0.06 seconds using Sony's Fast Hybrid AF system, consisting of a 179-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor working with a contrast-detection AF.
Deal would double number of camera sensors supplied by Sony
Sony is preparing to supply Apple with front image sensors for a future iPhone release, according to a report. While Sony already provides the vast majority of CMOS sensors for the rear cameras of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the manufacturer has apparently entered negotiations to offer both the front and back camera modules to Apple for its devices.
Kobo to serve as e-book option for customers
In addition to getting out of the personal computing business and spinning off their television division, Sony will start dropping out the e-book business as well. In a press release from the company, Sony will be teaming up with Kobo in the United States and Canada in late March 2014, closing its Reader Store in the process.
Sony estimated to cull 5,000 jobs by end of financial year
Sony has confirmed it will be selling off its PC business, affecting approximately 5,000 employees in the process, in order to concentrate on its mobile business. At the same time, it has revealed it will attempt to spin off its television arm into a separate unit, as part of an aggressive reform strategy the company initially announced in April 2012.
Poorly performing division will allow Sony to focus on smartphones, tablets
Reportedly, Sony is in discussions to offload its personal computer business to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners. The deal, said to be worth up to 50 billion yen ($490 million) will likely cause Sony to declare a net loss for the first time in two years after disposal losses.
Lens camera firmware improves ISO, video resolution
Sony's QX Smart Lens range of "Lens Cameras" have received a firmware update, improving a number of functions. At the same time, images have surfaced suggesting that Sony is preparing to offer a mount for the cameras, expanding the range of devices the QX10 and QX100 can be attached to from smartphones to include tablets and phablets.
Microsoft offers $100 store credit towards an Xbox One for those who trade-in their PS3
Augmenting the launching of its Xbox One late last year, Microsoft is now promoting an offer of a $100 credit towards an Xbox One purchase upon trading in of a Sony Playstation 3. The promotion bring the Xbox One pricing down to $400, which is the same as newly-released Playstation 4. The trade-in offer is available through Microsoft's retail stores in the US, and applies to Playstation 3, as well as Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E.
15-percent lighter, 20-percent thinner than earlier PS Vita release
Sony has launched the PS Vita Slim in the United Kingdom, something the company teased late last week. Marking the first western release of the handheld PlayStation console after its Japanese launch, the PS Vita Slim has a few changes when compared to the original model, including a 15-percent reduction in weight and shrinking in thickness by 20 percent, and 1GB of built-in storage.
Invitations to test game streaming service sent to PlayStation 3 owners
Sony has reportedly started sending out invitations to beta test its PlayStation Now streaming service. Taking place ahead of its expected launch in the United States this summer, the private beta will allow users to play PlayStation 3 titles without needing to download the game beforehand, with players able to stream games to a console over the Internet.
Thinner PS Vita launch could take advantage of PlayStation 4 popularity
Sony will be launching a gaming device in the United Kingdom at the end of this month, and has begun to send invitations to the media. The invitation for the morning of the 30th of January, advises that it will be an "introduction to the slimmest" launch since the biggest in PlayStation history, with initial speculation claiming it to be a thinner version of the PS Vita handheld console.
Amazon leads pack
For the first time, Apple has fallen behind Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony in an annual Forrester Research survey of customer satisfaction. The firm polled 7,500 Americans, asking them how enjoyable it was to do business with a company, how easy it was, and how effective the company was at meeting needs. Amazon led the consumer electronics category, picking up a score of 91 for its Kindle devices.
On-device answerphone, slow-motion video effects touted in Sirius smartphone
In a similar manner to a recent Samsung leak, images of what are claimed to be the user interface of an upcoming Sony smartphone have surfaced. Claimed to be taken from the codenamed Sirius device, the screenshots apparently show that the device being used is capable of recording video at a 4K resolution, along with an answering machine function built into the device itself, instead of relying on a carrier.
Forum images show Sony smartphone minor external changes
Photographs of what is thought to be Sony's follow-up to the Xperia Z1 have surfaced. The pictured smartphone, said to have the model number D6503, could possibly be the codenamed "Sirius" device that is rumored to be launched at Mobile World Congress next month, though it could possibly be another variant on the Xperia Z1 alongside the Xperia Z1 Mini.
Boost Mobile to offer Moto G, its first Motorola product since 2011
Boost Mobile, the pre-paid Sprint imprint, has announced the release of Motorola's Moto G through its nationwide retail stores and online. The first Motorola product offered by Boost Mobile since 2011, the 3G budget smartphone has a 4.5-inch HD screen made with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and possesses a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.
Post-CES smartphone launches from Sony offer modest specifications
Sony has launched two more devices in its Xperia smartphone range, though unlike the Xperia Z1S shown at CES, the pair appear to be more modest offerings. The Xperia T2 Ultra boasts a 6-inch 720p display with Triluminos and Mobile Bravia Engine 2 for mobile, while the Xperia E1 opts for a smaller and lower-resolution 4-inch 800x480 screen.
Sony lends more weight to VAIO Windows Phone rumors
Sony has confirmed that it is looking into branching out from its current Android-exclusive smartphone offerings and launching a device running on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Speaking with TechRadar, Sony Mobile Europe's Pierre Perron said that the company is talking with the software giant and keeping its options open. Sony's consideration of the Windows Phone platform is due in part, Perron said, to concerns about the manufacturer's standing in a shifting mobile marketplace.
5.2-inch Xperia smartphone could be joined by new Sony tablet
Sony could be preparing to unveil a new flagship smartphone in the next month, according to a rumor. The codename "Sirius" device is tipped to be launched at Mobile World Congress in February, though it is possible that another device, a high-end tablet codenamed the Sony "Castor" could also make an appearance at the Barcelona-based trade show.
Foreign consoles to go on sale in China for first tie in 14 years
China is allowing the sale of foreign game consoles in the country for the first time in over a decade. The country's government temporarily lifted the ban on Monday, opening the door to sales of recent game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox One, the Sony PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Wii U to its citizens, though it is not clear how long sales will be permitted for.
2,000-lumen Sony Ultra HD projector sits inches away from wall
Sony will offer consumers an Ultra HD-capable projector that can be placed close to the wall it will project onto. The 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector can show a 4096x2160-resolution image ranging from 66 inches to 147 inches in size on a wall or screen while situated just inches away below the screen area, losing the need for the projector to be placed at a far longer distance.
New unit uses MHL, USB, or HDMI for video output
Sony Electronics today introduced the first ever Smartphone Cradle Receiver allowing multiple brands of smartphones to serve as in-dash touchscreens. Sony also launched its first in-dash entertainment unit with an HDMI and an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) port to mirror the display of the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c with the Lightning Digital A/V Adapter, and the iPhone 4 and 4s with the 30-pin Digital A/V Adapter and other equipped smartphones.
Tech demoed on Vita, Bravia
After a slew of announcements yesterday, Sony waited until this morning to formally introduce its PlayStation Now streaming game technology. The system promises to bring the company's game ecosystem to Bravia TVs and eventually non-Sony hardware such as tablets. We were curious to see the technology in action, so we stopped by Sony's CES booth to try out game streaming from a Vita and a TV.
Cloud-based DVR service teased alongside Gaikai service rebrand
Sony has revealed that it is naming its online game streaming service PlayStation Now at its CES keynote address, as well as teasing the launch of another cloud-based video service. The Gaikai-powered gaming service will be accompanied by one that will offer live TV, video on demand, and a cloud-based DVR, as Sony attempts to bolster the content available for the PlayStation 4 and its other devices.
Core sensor to track movement, social activities
After releasing its own SmartWatch, Sony has decided to move into the wearable tracker market. The SmartWear initiative will be made up of a range of devices for tracking a variety of items, with the diminutive Core acting as the central point for all collection activity, as well as a more conventional SmartBand fitness tracker housing to hold the sensor itself.
Upgrade takes another shot at Android market
After achieving less-than-stellar sales with the Xperia Z, ZL and Z1, Sony has introduced the revamped Z1S as its latest attempt to establish a stronghold in the high-end Android market. The handset features a faster processor and an upgraded camera, while retaining the waterproof construction of its predecessors. We spent some time using the new phone at CES to see how it compares with the competition.
Some of the new cameras include Wi-Fi, built-in projection, wireless remote
Sony Electronics is expanding its Handycam line of camcorders with seven new models that make it even easier to capture images in Full HD (1080p) video with detailed still images. The new models range from entry-level to high-end, with features including new processing, Balanced Optical SteadyShot for smoother video, brighter built-in projection, advanced audio, simple wireless sharing and remote control through Wi-Fi and NFC.
Lens promises impressive low-light performance
Sony has continued its 4K push this year at CES, introducing a new 4K Handycam that reduces both size and price compared to the company's existing offering. The AX100 is said to be 74 percent smaller than the higher-end FDR-AX1, though the company promises its Zeiss lens still provides excellent performance in low-light conditions.
New camera improves shot quality, better Wi-Fi connectivity
At Sony's CES press conference, the company announced a refresh of the α5000 camera. The new Sony α5000 camera (model ILCE-5000) is what Sony calls the "world's lightest interchangeable lens camera to feature the convenience of Wi-Fi connectivity." The new camera features a 20.1MP APS-C sensor, coupled with Sony's Bionz X processor.
Sony expands its premium range with the MDR-10RBT Bluetooth Headphones
With the rise of the premium headphone market over the past few years, Sony has been quietly ramping up its headphone range to meet the increased demand for a high quality audio experience. The latest addition to its high-end audio range is its new MDR-10 series that sits just below its superb MDR-1 range. We have previously reviewed the Sony MDR-1RBT headphones (which have recently been updated to the Mk II version) and found them to be the best Bluetooth headphone experience we have heard. At $150 less than the MDR-1RBT and more in line with competing products, how do the MDR-10RBT's stack up? Read on in our full review.
19 hardware partners lined up to support standard for YouTube
Google's YouTube will be showing of a 4K-capable video codec, VP9, at next week's CES in Las Vegas, according to GigaOm. The format is being presented as an alternative to H.265, and will be open and royalty-free. To avoid the lack of support that killed off Google's VP8, the company has signed up 19 hardware partners, including Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, ARM, Intel, Broadcom, and Marvell. At CES, 4K YouTube steaming will be demonstrated at booths belonging to LG, Sony, and Panasonic.
Sony considering 2014 Windows Phone launch
Sony may join HTC and Samsung among the major manufacturers of devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile platform. The Information reports that Sony "has considered launching a Windows Phone as soon as mid-2014," meaning that the Japanese electronics maker would have devices running both Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone. Reportedly, Sony has warmed to the idea of building for Windows Phone following Microsoft's lowering of licensing fees for the platform, a move Microsoft has made in order to help it more effectively compete with Android.
Failure to create durable, cheap OLED panels forces partnership closure
Sony and Panasonic are dissolving their partnership for producing OLED televisions. The partnership, formed in June last year, was formed with the aim of sharing the costs of manufacturing the panels, something more expensive than other displays such as TFTs, though apparently a number of technology issues blighted the efforts and in turn forced the companies to go their separate ways.
Microsoft Xbox One versus Sony PS4
The next-generation console wars look to be played out between the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4, with Nintendo cast as a mere observer as its Wii U struggles to generate the same interest as the original Wii. Both the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony come armed to the teeth with x86-64 AMD octa-core CPUs and Radeon HD graphics. While the two look to be well matched on paper, there is always more to the story than meets the eye. Specification variations here, and software tweaks there help to differentiate the two consoles more than you might expect. So which is best, the Xbox One or the PS4? Read past the break to find out.
Apple, Microsoft among Rockstar partners
The Rockstar Consortium -- a collection of companies including Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Sony, and Microsoft -- is planning to sell a portion of the $4.5 billion in patents it bought from Nortel Networks in 2011, sources tell Bloomberg. Rockstar is allegedly already in talks with potential buyers. Three of the sources indicate that this is because it hasn't had much success with large licensing deals.
Samsung updates notifications on Galaxy Gear for Twitter, Facebook, Gmail
Samsung has issued an update for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, improving the notifications on the device. Messages and tweets from Gmail, Twitter, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger can now be partially read on the wristwear, reports Pocket-Lint, with changes to Smart Relay making the switch between viewing information on the watch and a smartphone easier. The lift-and-pause gesture for activating the clock has also been improved.
International version of Xperia Z1f to have Android 4.3 onboard
The rumored Sony Xperia Z1 Mini has reportedly reached the FCC for testing, as the company prepares it for launch in the US and Europe. The filing for the smaller version of the Xperia Z1, previously called the Xperia Z1S, offers little in the way of new information for the device, except that it has the model number D5503 and given the codename "Amami."