Sony Unveils Xperia Z2: 5.2-Inch Screen, 4K Video Recording

Sony has unveiled the Xperia Z2, the company’s new flagship smartphone, a mere four months after introducing Xperia Z1 and one year after launching the first phone in the series, the Xperia Z.

Sony-xperia-z2

We mention the Xperia Z2’s predecessors because all three devices share a nearly identical design: monolithic black rectangles with a silver wake up key and volume buttons on the right side. If it weren’t for the difference in size (the Z2 is a 5.2-incher while the Z and Z1 have a 5-inch screen), one could easily confuse them to be the same phone.

However, while the design remained similar to the Z1, the Z2 has been thoroughly improved on the inside. Besides being Sony’s biggest Android flagship yet (the enormous Xperia Z Ultra falls into the phablet category), the Xperia Z2 brings some crazy-powerful specifications to the table as well.

It’s powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 20.7-megapixel camera with a 1/2.3-inch image sensor that can take 4K videos, 3GB of RAM and a 3,200 mAh battery.

Z2’s camera has gotten several new modes, including Timeshift video, which lets you shoot in 120 frames per second and then slow certain scenes to get a slow motion effect.

Sony has also improved the device’s sound capabilities — one of Z1’s weak points — with a STM10 stereo mic that enables stereo audio recording, as well as stereo speakers and digital noise cancelling tech.

And just like all Sony’s high-end devices, the Xperia Z2 is dust-resistant and waterproof to IP55 and IP58 specifications.

In short, Sony seems to have taken the Xperia Z1 and improved it in nearly improved it in every way it could, while leaving design nearly the same. It’s definitely a sound strategy, but having a lot of devices that look very similar is a double-edged sword. We’ll be posting a detailed review of the Xperia Z2, which hits the global market March 2014, in the coming weeks.

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/02/24/sony-xperia-z2/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link

Advertisements

Sony to stop making PCs, cut 5,000 jobs

Sony, under pressure to shore up profitability in its electronics business, unveiled a restructuring plan on Thursday that will cut 5,000 jobs and trim 100 billion yen ($988 million) a year from fixed costs, while splitting off its loss-making PC and TV units.


The PC division, as widely expected, will be sold to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, which will set up a separate company to take over the operations. Sony will initially hold a 5% stake in that company.

Sony also said it will split its TV division off into a separate company by July 2014. The flagship TV division has lost $7.5 billion over the last 10 years.

The job cuts, which will include its TV and PC divisions, are to be implemented by March 2015, while the cost savings are to kick in by the following 2015-16 financial year.

The pullout comes as Japan’s electronics firms look for daylight beyond the shadow of industry giants like Apple and Samsung Electronics. Exiting the Vaio PC business Sony, founded 17 years ago, will mark the first time CEO Kazuo Hirai pulls a major consumer product line.

Still unclear is when Sony can catch up with local peers Panasonic and Sharp on the restructuring track. The pair have swallowed charges, sold off or cured many loss-making businesses, and bounced back to strong profits.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/hardware/Sony-to-stop-making-PCs-cut-5000-jobs/articleshow/29941752.cms

PS1 And PS2 Games Will Be Playable On PlayStation 4 Very Soon

Backward compatibility is a big deal in the gaming world, and when Sony announced its PS4 console, much of the talk was about the lack of any ability to play those back catalogues of games that everyone had spent the last few years accumulating. Sony has since sought to rectify that by announcing PlayStation Now, the game streaming service that will see PS3 games streamed over the Internet, but there is no local support being added to consoles.

9011340017_5fe59b7fda_z

While this is all well and good for PS3 titles, what about those classic PS2 and PlayStation games that enthusiasts love so much? If the original Tomb Raider is your bag, then being able to play Lara’s first outing on your PS4 is something you’d enjoy, and it seems Sony is getting ready to accommodate just that.

A source inside Sony’s streaming service team has said that while PS3 games will only be streamable via PlayStation Now, older PlayStation and PS2 games will actually be able to run locally using hardware emulation, something Sony hasn’t done since the early PS3 days. Software emulation via PSN has since been the order of the day for Sony’s PlayStation brand, but the idea of hardware support returning to the brand will please hardcore gamers.

Part of that hardware emulation is Sony’s aim to try and get enhanced HD visuals into the mix. Many of the past generations’ biggest hits have had HD remixes over the years, and improved HD support across the board for PlayStation and PS2 titles would most definitely be a welcome addition.

While hardware support is great news though, we can’t help but be much more interested in PlayStation Now. From a purely technical standpoint, streaming HD games over the Internet without having the video and input lag that plagued startups like Onlive is no mean feat, though with Sony’s clout and tactical business purchases of late, we wouldn’t put it past them. Early indications have been roundly positive, so we may not need hardware support after all!

But it would’ve been great that such things were cleared up at the announcement of the PS4 itself. After all, adding bits and pieces after the launch somewhat lays most of the excitement to rest.

Source:  http://www.redmondpie.com/ps1-and-ps2-games-will-be-playable-on-playstation-4-very-soon/

Samsung to introduce smartphone-like wristwatch in September

Samsung Electronics Co. will introduce a wristwatch-like device named the Galaxy Gear next month that can make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Galaxy Gear will be powered by Google Inc.’s Android operating system and go on sale this year to beat a potentially competing product from Apple Inc., the people said. The device will be unveiled 4 September, two days before the IFA consumer electronics show begins in Berlin, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private.
Asia’s biggest technology company is racing other electronics makers, including Sony Corp., to create a new industry of wearable devices as the market for top-end handsets nears saturation. The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales this year, and the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of smartphones, tablets and TVs.
The Galaxy Gear being released next month won’t have a flexible display, though the company is continuing to work on developing a bendable screen, one person said. It will be unveiled the same day as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, a combination smartphone and tablet computer.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/D4MqUJaWIOdBfXN1NMcunI/Samsung-to-introduce-smartphonelike-wristwatch-in-September.html

Leaked! Sony smartphone with 20MP camera

Sony has been launching smartphones at a fast clip recently, with eight handsets being launched in the past six months. The latest upcoming Sony smartphone on the radar is one that rivals cameraphones like Nokia Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom.

The upcoming phone, being developed under the code name Xpeia i1 Honami, will have a 20MP Exmor RS camera on the back, according to a report in ePrice.com. This camera will have a ½.3″ sensor, Sony G-lens and Bionz image processor. The screen of the upcoming smartphone will measure 5-inch and the operating system would be Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

The report claims that the upcoming Xperia i1 Honami will have 16GB internal storage and microSD card support. It is said to run on a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, backed by 2GB RAM. The phone will have a 3,000mAh battery, 8.3mm thickness and 2MP secondary camera. Sony’s upcoming handset is expected to be IP57 certified, making it resistant to water and dust.

Sony has sent out press invites for a launch on September 4, the first day of IFA 2013. The report claims that Honami will be unveiled at the event.

Nokia last week launched the Lumia 1020 with a 41MP camera, while Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 zoom with 16MP unit in June.

Sourcehttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/hardware/Leaked-Sony-smartphone-with-20MP-camera/articleshow/21105044.cms

New PlayStation 3 update available — this one shouldn’t brick systems

Last week, Sony caused itself and gamers a bit of a headache when it released PlayStation system update 4.45. That patch ended up causing a malfunction in a small number of consoles (Sony won’t say how many exactly) that rendered the console unusable.

The company released a new update this morning that fixes the issue and should help affected users get their PlayStation 3s back in working order.

Those with working PlayStation 3s can just power up their systems and grab update 4.46 right now. For gamers that found their systems busted after the last patch, Sony released a three-step process (with many substeps) that runs through how to revive the PlayStation 3.

The fix requires a USB flash drive or some other kind of compatible storage device and will have PS3 owners running the system through safe mode to manually load in the new firmware.

In addition to addressing the bug, update 4.46 will include improvements to the console’s trophy notifications. Gamers can now choose whether the device alerts them when they earn one of the achievement-like items on Sony’s device.

Sourcehttp://venturebeat.com/2013/06/27/playstation-3-update-available-this-one-shouldnt-brick-systems/#CPDQWsYHLwgiByv7.99

Xbox One Reversal “Impressive,” Says Will Wright

Sim City creator Will Wright found Microsoft’s DRM policy reversal “very impressive.” In an interview with CNN, Wright shared his thoughts on Xbox One‘s approach to customers.

“Gaming has had a long history of piracy, but you can’t use DRM at the expense of the customers,” he said. “To see a company like Microsoft actually sit back, listen, and understand the fans and respond to them is impressive. For a company that size to be that responsive is great. These companies are the ones that obviously keep us in business and allow us to make games.”

Wright also said that players vocalizing their concern to better things for the majority is “really valuable,” although he knows it isn’t always the case online. “That part I think is great because that’s something that I’ve always believed in,” said Wright, “getting the players very involved not just after the game ships, but even before and try to listen to them.”

Not only is this good for companies, but fan involvement to this degree makes the users more than just a customer. Wright continued, “I tend to think of the fan base, especially the hardcore fan base, as co-developers. These people with a passion for your project are going to go out and sell your game to other people and pull other people in. The more they feel like they have some ownership over the process and they’re not just kind of customers, the better.”

Generally, Wright is on the consumer’s side, relating to the ability to own something you’ve purchased, and wanting to play it whenever and wherever you please. He understands the fan backlash toward Xbox One, he said, and likes Microsoft’s willingness to change to accommodate its audience.

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/25/xbox-one-reversal-impressive-says-will-wright

Sony launches water-resistant smart watch and smartphone with 6.4-inch screen

Sony has launched the SmartWatch 2, an update of its Android-based watch, while the competition still seems largely to be in development mode. The company is also hoping to attract users that want a smartphone with a really big screen with the 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra.

Smart watches have been in the spotlight recently, with reports that Apple, Google and Samsung are all working on products. But Sony is already offering a third-generation device in this category with the SmartWatch 2, the company said on Tuesday at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.

The SmartWatch 2’s water- and dust-resistant body is made of aluminium and has integrated support for NFC. The watch has a 1.6-inch screen with 220 x 176 pixel resolution, a slight improvement over the previous SmartWatch, which had a 1.3-inch screen with a 128 x 128 pixel resolution, and Sony also promises improved battery life. The SmartWatch was preceded by the Sony Ericsson LiveView, which the company described as a wearable wireless micro-display.

Sony pitches the SmartWatch 2 as a second screen for Android-based smartphones. Compatibility has been improved over the previous generation, and the device should be compatible with most smartphones based on Google’s OS, according to Sony. It serves as a multi-functional watch, Android app interface and phone remote control. On the screen users can read email, text messages and calendar reminders. It is also integrated with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. A new SDK will soon be available for app developers, with added support and new features for the SmartWatch 2.

The SmartWatch 2 will start shipping in September, Sony said, without elaborating on price.

Recently, Sony launched the Open SmartWatch Project, which will make it possible for developers to create and install alternative software on the already-released SmartWatch. Sony didn’t say whether the SmartWatch 2 will become part of the program.

While the SmartWatch 2 has one of the smallest screens available on a mobile device, the Xperia Z Ultra has the largest Full HD smartphone display at 6.4 inches, according to Sony.

The waterproof LTE smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor at 2.2 GHz. There is also an 8-megapixel camera with HDR for videos and photos. The device is 6.5 millimeters thick and weighs 212 grams.

It will compete with products from the likes of Huawei, Asus and last but not least Samsung Electronics. Just like with Samsung’s Note products, users can write and sketch on the Xperia Z Ultra’s screen.

The Xperia Z Ultra will be available globally during the third quarter, although the exact timing of availability will vary by market, Sony said without elaborating. Again, the company didn’t say what the device is expected to cost.

Source: http://www.techhive.com/article/2042927/sony-launches-waterresistant-smart-watch-and-smartphone-with-64inch-screen.html

Expect new PS4 game reveals at gamescom in August

The PS4 has clearly won the popularity vote over the past few weeks due to Microsoft’s insistence the Xbox One require an Internet connection. But with that decision now reversed, the consoles are more evenly matched (with the exception of price). Inevitably, which console gamers choose to buy will come down to the games on offer, and Sony apparently still has a lot to unveil.

Most of the PS4 game reveals so far came at the initial February unveiling of the new console. E3 was mainly about the hardware, a few new titles, and updated looks at the games we already knew about. According to SCE Europe CEO Jim Ryan, that wasn’t because there aren’t anymore games to show, Sony has just decided to hold back revealing them until later in the year.

In other words, we can expect to see new games announced at the remaining major game conferences in the run up to the PS4 launch. The two big ones being gamescom in August and the Tokyo Games Show in September.

Ryan has also pointed out that SCE Worldwide Studios has 30 titles for the PS4 in development. 20 of those will release in the first year the new console is on sale, and 12 of those 30 games are brand new IP. With that in mind, we can expect to see a selection of PS4 games making an appearance at gamescom for the first time and then yet more making their debut at TGS. On top of that, we should expect third-party publishers and developers to show more of their PS4 games and possibly reveal some new titles, too.

We also can’t forget Microsoft and Nintendo. Microsoft will surely have held something back to help push the Xbox One in the coming months, and even if Nintendo doesn’t have anything else new to reveal, they will be pushing the already-announced first-party Wii U releases they do have pretty hard.

Source: www.geek.com/games/expect-new-ps4-game-reveals-at-gamescom-in-august-1559887/

Microsoft will cut Xbox One price, but only if it falls behind the PS4 in sales

Microsoft is prepared to lower the price of the Xbox One, but only if it falls behind in the race with the PS4.

That’s the opinion of Wedbush analyst Michael Patcher.

However, he doubts that it will be necessary, especially since the u-turn on its DRM policies for the Xbox One.

Speaking to investors, he said that he believes Microsoft could still emerge out on top of the next generation, despite the false start.


“Microsoft intends to offer a more robust hardware bundle than Sony will offer, and Microsoft is convinced that consumers will ultimately appreciate the value proposition presented by Kinect,” Pachter told investors.

“Microsoft has not done a particularly good job of communicating the value proposition to consumers, but today’s announcement will remove an impediment to the company’s ability to get its message across.

“We are confident that with six months of focused messaging, Microsoft can fully level the playing field with Sony, and we expect the Xbox One to sell as many units as the PS4.

However, should he be wrong and Microsoft fails to sell as well, if not better than the PS4, he fully expects the company will lower the price of the Xbox One.

“If we are wrong, we think that Microsoft is prepared to lower price next year.”

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/microsoft-will-cut-xbox-one-price-but-only-if-it-falls-behind-the-ps4-in-sales