For those of you who were betting on Sony announcing a PSP phone at CES: get ready to be disappointed and pay up. The company instead opted to push its “total 3D solution” by announcing a series of 3D products in the form of 27 new models of 3D Bravia TVs, 3D Blu-ray disc players and the Bloggie handycam. They also announced a 3D Vaio laptop that can be connected to 3D compatible TVs and can convert 2D to 3D in real time – with the push of a single button. The Vaio F-Series features a built-in 3D sync transmitter, 16” widescreen display, Sandy Bridge, USB 3.0 and comes bundled with 3D active glasses.
During their CES announcement, Sony stated that this is the year that 3D will become personal. They’re banking on further adaption of 3D with the Sony 3D cable network, 3net, due out in the coming months. 3net, part of a partnership with Imax and the Discovery Channel, is only part of the plan which includes 3D production of films – think Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – and should help to counter the argument by critics that 3D content hasn’t kept up with the hardware.
Speaking of the hardware side, there are several new releases there as well in addition to the Vaio – noteably the Bloggie handycam which has glasses-free 3D. The Bloggie uses double image processors for the two lenses and will feature autofocus. Three models will be offered, the MHS-FS3 Bloggie which will have true 3D and 2D video capture on a 2.4 inch frame and 8GB of flash storage, the MHS-FS2 Bloggie Duo which features two screens – a 2.7” on the back and a 2” on the front which can be interchangeably used, and the budget MHS-FS1 Bloggie Entry.
There’s also a portable 3D (glasses-free) Blu-ray player, the BDP-S780, which has built in Wi-Fi and embedded Skype and the HX920 – a series of LED backlit HDTVs which will, of course, support 3D.
Sony’s strategy centers on becoming the number-one electronics company in the U.S. – the cornerstone of this strategy is Sony Internet TV (powered by Google TV) which will have both Facebook and Google. Sony’s also reaching out to music fans with Qriocity, its new (and awkwardly named) music and movie distribution service. Qriocity’s Music Unlimited feature will be available on Bravia TVs and PS3’s as well as other devices, and includes over six million songs from major labels.
Lastly, in the smartphone category, Sony talked up the Experia Arc, an Android-powered phone with a 4.2 inch display that can be connected to HDTVs via an HDMI cable.