In traditional patent-ese the application describes the device as “a universal game console controller that has an LCD presenting, depending on what type of game console a user has input, a controller key layout for a first type of game console or a controller key layout for a second type of game console”.
And universal here means just what you think it does. Sony intends the device, if ever built, to emulate controllers produced by itself, Nintendo, Microsoft (Xbox), Amiga (CD-32), Atari (Jaguar), Gravis (Gamepad), Sega, and Turbographics. (It’s so universal it includes consoles no longer on the market! How cool is that?)
Sony's just-announced TX5 Cyber-shot digital camera might just be a dream come true for clumsy or masochistic photographers.
Unlike your wimpy point-n-shoot, the TX5 can be dunked in up to 10 feet of water, which means you can safely take it snorkeling and capture the underwater world in photos, panoramic shots, or 720p HD video.
Sony also claims its TX5 is freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, so once you're finished with your vacation in Hawaii, you can head over to Aspen and take it on the slopes. And should a sand storm blow through the Colorado mountains (or in areas you're much more likely to be caught up in such a scenario), the TX5 is dust proof. It's also shock-proof and able to withstand drops from about 5 feet.
"Only Sony can deliver a technology packed, ultra slim, fashionable T-series camera that is also durable. Until now, you couldn't have it all in one camera," said Kelly Davis, director of the Digital Imaging business on Sony Electronics.
Available in silver, black, pink, green, and red, look for the TX5 to ship this April for around $350.
Sony's pretty excited about its upcoming Torne DVR and TV tuner for the PlayStation 3 console, so much so that they've went ahead and confirmed plans to launch the unit next month. The initial launch will take place in Japan only, in large part because it supports the country's terrestrial digital broadcasts, and so far, there's no word on when the Torne will fly stateside.
Quite the flexible device, the Torne hooks up via USB and comes capable of recording TV onto the PS3's hard drive or up to four external hard drives, all at the same time.
Users will actually be able to connect up to eight USB drives and register each one with the recorder. Programs can also be watched on a PSP, as well as schedule recordings with the handheld console.
The Torne DVR and tuner will sell for about $110 when it launches on March 18th. There will also be a special edition 250GB PS3 bundled containing the Torne device that will sell for around $470.
There's no running from Netflix, which has partnered with almost every hardware manufacturer possible. Now the streaming video service is even available on Sony's Dash.
The addition of a dedicated app for Netflix helps the Dash live up to its description as a personal Internet viewer, giving owners instant access to a growing catalog of thousands of movies and TV episodes.
"We're continuing to develop innovative products that bring online music, news, video, and more into our customers' homes in real time," said Brennan Mullin, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' personal imaging and audio business. "By addressing content from Netflix and Demand Media to our Dash product, Sony is giving consumers a new, convenient way to enjoy some of the highest quality entertainment and most useful information on the Internet today."
Content streamed from Netfix will be thrown in a "queue-based user interface" that will be automatically displayed when Dash owners touch the Netflix icon.
The Dash will be available this April for about $200, Sony says.
If OLED's the future, where does the technology fit into the present? Not anywhere, according to Sony, at least when talking about high definition television sets. Sony announced plans to end sales of OLED sets in Japan until costs come down.
Probably a good idea too, considering the only model Sony released was an 11-inch set that commanded roughly $2,222. That's barely larger than most netbooks, but a whole heck of a lot more expensive, to state the obvious.
This doesn't mean that Sony is turning its back on OLED technology in general, the company just wants no part in selling obscenely overpriced displays. Instead, Sony said it will focus on research and development, and may even dabble in overseas production.
"We will continue to consider new products and applications including OLED TVs," Sony spokesman Shigenori Yoshida said.
If you've never heard of TransferJet, it's a close-proximity wireless transfer technology offering high-speed transfers of larger files from your handheld gadgets to other devices. The physical transmission layer comes rated at 560Mbps, while the maximum data throughput (think: real-world) is 375Mbps (you can read more about TransferJet here).
Toshiba didn't say exactly what products will be the first infused with TransferJet, nor what kind of pricing premium the technology would result in. The company did say, however, that TransferJet will probably be added to just a handful of models to begin with. And because it has already been demonstrated by Toshiba's UK laptop division, it's a safe bet that we'll likely see this appear on Toshiba's laptop line first.
Apple is busy touting the iPad as an avant-garde device, the first of its kind. But it is clearly something that even the most impassioned Apple devotee will have difficulty digesting. It may not be revolutionary, but there is little gainsaying the fact that it will soon be spearheading a procession of tablets. Should the iPad be a resounding success, the procession then will be made up of potential iPad-killers.
One of the potential participants has already announced their interest. Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony's CFO, is “confident we have the skills to create a product” to match or outstrip the iPad. "Time-wise we are a little behind the iPad but it's a space we would like to be an active player in,” Oneda said at a Tokyo news conference. The iPad is also being considered a potent threat to the e-book reader market, where Sony is present with its own offerings. But Oneda dismissed the existence of any such threat. He did not say whether such a tablet is already in the works or not.
Is it just us, or does Sony have some sort of masochistic fetish with pissing off its consumer-base? Sure, the whole rootkit fiasco happened an eternity ago (in Internet years, anyway), so why dredge up old feelings of anti-Sony sentiment by charging for the Playstation Network (PSN)? Probably because Microsoft contniues to get away with charging for its Xbox Live service.
Before you bust out the pitchforks and coat the tips with rust, keep in mind that nothing is official yet, and may never be, but it sure sounds like something's brewing.
"Will we charge for it or why don't we charge for it? It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at," Peter Dillie, head of the PSN, said in a recent interview with IGN. "That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about."
It seems that Dillie raises more questions than answers, such as how seriously is Sony really considering charging for PSN, and how would the fee structure break down?
Forget about getting coal for Christmas, any 8-year-old boy will tell you that the worst gift ever conceived is Sony's new Jill Stuart Sweet Limited PSP Bundle. That's okay, because Sony's targeting the other gender with this one.
Sony's going all out in trying to appeal to female gamers. In addition to the pink PSP, the bundle also includes a pink cleaning cloth and a pink and gold carrying case, both of which come imprinted with Jill Stuart's name.
On the hardware side, the bundle includes the PSP 3000 and not the newer (and redesigned) PSP Go. It also includes a 4GB memory stick.
Only girl gamers in Japan need apply, where the new bundle is being released on March 4th for about $232. No word on when, or if, Sony plans on bringing this one to the U.S.
No matter how many companies try, we're not sure USB flash drives preloaded with music or movies will ever generate the kind of sales marketing gurus envision, but Kingston and Sony, along with the help of the late king of pop, are nevertheless going to try.
Timed to the DVD and Blu-ray release of Michael Jackson's "This Is It," Kingston plans to release a limited edition 2GB drive with the flick preloaded on the memory stick. According to Kingston, the film can be backed up on up to three PCs and works with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
"Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is dedicated to exploring new distribution channels, and we are pleased to work together with Kingston on a program that introduces consumers to Flash memory as a vehicle for enjoying their favorite movies on devices like netbooks and PCs," said Sony Pictures Home Entertainment senior vice president digital distribution Joe Arancio.
The drive will be available on January 26 for $20.