CES 2011: The game giant shows off its latest wares at the massive electronics expo in Las Vegas; online network reaches new milestone.
LAS VEGAS--Though the PlayStation 4 probably won't be announced for some time, speculation is growing about two other gaming platforms from Sony. Sony Ericsson's "PlayStation Phone," likely to be called the Xperia Play, has been reported on for months courtesy of photo and video leaks. Then there's the PSP2, the development kits for which reportedly have been in game makers' hands since last year.
Whether either platform will be revealed at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show remains to be seen. Though games are an important part of Sony's business, they remain just a part. At CES, the company typically focuses on its other myriad electronic products, often throwing in a performance from a Sony Music artist--last year it was Taylor Swift--to add some glamour to its presentation.
What will this year's CES stage show have in store? Look for 3D video and gaming to be a big focus, as they were last year. Also expect some lip service to be given to the PlayStation Move, the motion-sensing system that launched last September. Last but not least, Sony will likely update the world on its ambitious scheme to extend the PlayStation Store's video offerings to Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players and to PCs. As in years past, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer will host the event, with an appearance from Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai also likely.
[4:52] In what might be a CES first, Sony is starting its conference several minutes ahead of the scheduled start time of 5:00.
[4:53] First up, a 3D video selection. "Ladies and gentlemen, put on your 3D glasses."
[4:54] A tasteful montage of concentric circles floats onscreen, accompanied by ambient electronic music.
[4:54] The circles then collapse into a single dot, which explodes into a supernova of small globules, each with an image inside.
[4:56] Cue montage of 3D scenes from various nature documentaries and films, including the upcoming Green Hornet (staring Seth Rogen).
[4:56] Then it's time for 3D images of attractive multiethnic models holding Sony products, ranging from cameras to computers to the PlayStation 3.
[4:56] PlayStation Move is up next, with scenes of 3D gaming that include Gran Turismo 5 and Killzone 3.
[4:58] Now kids and their oh-so-cool parents sit down to watch a series of music videos in 3D, including selections from Shakira and Avril Lavigne.
[4:58] Clips of the upcoming movie the Green Hornet also figure heavily.
[4:58] The screen collapses back to the dot, which is the dot in Sony's slogan "make.believe."
[4:58] Now an extended 3D trailer for Green Hornet, which comes out next week.
[5:01] It stars Seth Rogen as the titular crime fighter, whose trusty assistant, Kato, does more of the butt-kicking.
[5:02] The lights come up and the Green Hornet car cruises onstage. Out steps Seth Rogen, Sir Howard Stringer, and Jay Chou, who plays Kato.
[5:03] Rogen runs down the car's features, which include machine guns and Sony GPS (naturally).
[5:04] Stringer is now singing the praises of Rogen, who has had two $100 million pictures back-to-back--Superbad and Pineapple Express.
[5:04] Stringer stands alone onstage now, still wearing his 3D glasses.
[5:05] "The past year has been a good one for Sony, and we are stronger, leaner, and more profitable."
[5:06] "By March, over 50 million TVs in the US will be Internet-enabled by Sony Internet-enabled TVs, PlayStation 3s, or Internet-enabled Blu-ray players."
[5:06] On to PlayStation Network, which has 60 million registered accounts in more than 40 countries.
[5:07] Now he is talking about Network Services, which rolled out in 2010.
[5:07] Now he is talking up 3D, saying Sony handles both the hardware and the software of the technology.
[5:07] 2011 will be the year that 3D becomes personal, he says.
[5:09] 3D handycams and Bloggies--Sony's answer to the Flip Video--are in the works.
[5:10] 3D Vaio PCs are also coming this year, with improvements to 3D Bravia TVs and Blu-ray disc players also en route.
[5:10] 3net, Sony's 3D cable network, is due out in the coming months.
[5:10] It's a joint venture with the Discovery Channel and Imax.
[5:11] Hiroshi Yoshioka is now taking the stage to talk about Sony's "total 3D solution."
[5:13] Sony controls 3D production of films, distribution via Blu-ray and the upcoming TV channels, display via projectors and televisions, and personal content creation via 3D-enabled still and video cameras.
[5:14] Next up in Sony's 3D pipeline are personal 3D displays, including small 3D display screens and 3D eye goggles.
[5:14] He is now showing off the goggles, which have two high-definition 3D displays inside--one for each eye.
[5:15] He said he loved playing Gran Turismo 5 with the goggles, since nobody could ever interrupt him--not even his wife. "That way I can get the high score."
[5:16] The small display is actually a portable 3D Blu-ray player, which requires no glasses to view.
[5:16] Sony is working on a variety of prototype televisions that require no glasses to show 3D images--three prototypes are here on the show floor for display.
[5:17] There is no release time frame for the glasses-free 3D technology.
[5:18] Stringer is back and jokes that he forgot he was wearing the 3D glasses during the whole previous segment of the presentation. "I'm that stupid," he jokes.
[5:21] Now it's on to Sony Internet TV, powered by Google TV. Stringer says nearly 180 million Americans watch video online, and 65 million Internet-enabled TVs will be shipped worldwide in 2011.
[5:22] Cue sizzle reel--in 3D, natch--of all the features of Sony Internet TV, including Facebook and Google.
[5:22] Stringer promises that more information about Sony's cloud-based video service will come courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai.
[5:23] Now Phil Molyneux, the British-born head of Sony's US electronics division.
[5:24] He says that by 2013, Sony will be the number-one electronics company in the US.
[5:24] Center to that strategy is Sony Internet TV.
[5:26] All televisions will begin to have the thin monolithic form factor and will have corning gorilla glass screens.
[5:26] There will be 27 new Bravia models this year.
[5:27] Besides Sony Internet TV, he talks up Qriocity, Sony's music and movie distribution service.
[5:28] Time Warner Cable offerings will be accessible "over a wide range of Sony products." The PS3 is not mentioned.
[5:29] EX620 TV will have built-in Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Qriocity, and will use the X-reality picture engine.
[5:30] Molyneux also talks up Sony Pictures' 3D offerings, which include the animated cartoon Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which Sony plugged last year.
[5:33] He now unveils the HX920 series of dynamic edge LED backlit HDTVs, which will also support 3D and use the X-reality picture engine.
[5:34] Now it's the debut of the BDP-S780, a 3D Blu-ray player with built-in 802.11 Wi-Fi and embedded Skype.
[5:35] Now he's showing off the 3D Vaio, which can be connected to 3D-compatible TVs and can even convert 2D to 3D video at the touch of a button.
[5:38] Next up: The world's first 3D handycam has double-image processors for the two lenses. Its 3.5-inch screen does not require glasses. He shows some video shot with the camera on the strip.
[5:38] The 3D Bloggie will come out this spring for about $250.
[5:40] Now he is showing off the Alpha line of digital SLR cameras, as well as a new Cybershot line, one of which will shoot 3D stills.
[5:41] He shows off some 3D snaps, which are being shown via the PlayStation 3.
[5:42] Now Steve Walker, head of marketing of Sony Ericsson, takes the stage.
[5:42] He says they are working on the most "entertaining smartphones" in the world.
[5:43] He shows off the first, Xperia Arc, which, like all other Sony Ericsson smartphones, runs Android.
[5:43] The phone will have a 4.2-inch display and will use the mobile version of the Bravia engine. You can connect the phone to an HDTV via an HDMI cable.
[5:44] And…that's it for Sony Ericsson? Guess no PlayStation Phone/Xperia Play announcement.
[5:44] Molyneux is back onstage and is wrapping up.
[5:45] And he introduces Kaz Hirai!
[5:46] He is talking about leveraging the power of the network, and creating a unified Sony experience through a "slick interface."
[5:47] He is talking about native 3D gaming and uses Gran Turismo 5 as an example. The game has sold more than 5.5 million copies.
[5:47] Cue Uncharted 3 trailer…in 3D!
[5:48] It's the same trailer that debuted at the VGAs last month, but now in 3D.
[5:49] Due 11/1/11 for those not in the know.
[5:50] Hirai returns to the subject of connecting devices, especially mobile devices.
[5:51] "You can expect to see very significant products and services in the near future." These include new tablets and smartphones.
[5:52] Now it's back to Qriocity, the video-on-demand service.
[5:54] Qriocity's Music Unlimited feature will be available in the US during Q1 on Bravia TVs, the PlayStation 3, and other devices.
[5:56] Out comes a Sony executive to put Music Unlimited through its paces. The service includes more than 6 million songs from all major labels, but somehow they choose the Black Eyed Peas.
[5:56] This is all being done on a PlayStation 3, by the way.
[5:58] He searches for Elvis Presley, and all the Elvis Presley songs come up. The service will learn your preferences through your playlists.
[5:59] To close out today's show comes the cast of Viva Elvis to boogie away the presentation.
[5:59] And that's it!
@godzillavskong I say if you have the extra money to spend on a better brand like Samsung or Sony go for it. I have a Sharp myself bought it for barely a fraction of its $650 price tag when it was the new model because it had a busted case due to shipping damage, its a great brand too. I know quite a few people who have had Vizio for years and not a sinlge problem, it's possible your area got bad shipments.
@Cloud737 Yes you could be right but I doubt we'll ever truly know what the numbers are just estimates
@Marky360 Yes, I realize that (I even mentioned it, I think), only that to me it seems more like only one member of that household will have a PSN account. Guess it's because most people here, especially older ones, are not really into gaming (since for us, gaming truly started in 1989 when the communist regime fell). But if there are indeed multiple persons using the same IP, isn't there a way to check to see if they're different family members? I'm thinking about child accounts (that is, accounts for kids), different credit cards, etc. I'm not saying it has to be perfect, but just a good estimation (like give or take one million). And because many people don't seem to realize you can make an account just from their own websites, then I also don't think many outsiders (those that don't have the respective console) realize they can sign up to secure their nick before getting their console, thus this case is not a problem.
@Cloud737 I agree totally but a static IP adress still isn't the best way to tell weather or not its the same user because multiple people in a household could have a separate account. I know in my house everyone has there own separate PSN accounts where as on my 360 only me and my brother ever bother setting up an Xboxlive account because it would cost for each person who wants an account. M$ tries to alleviate this problem by offering an Xboxlive family plan which is four gold subscriptions for the price of two but it still isn't a better deal then PSN. also a lot of people don't seem to realize the fact with both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 u can make an account for both on there respective websites without having to even own the consoles.
As people said, they seem to be counting PSP users as well, or at the very least multiple accounts, since there can't be more PSN (real-life) users than consoles (not by much, anyway, as most of the time only one family member has a PSN account). Still, given vgchartz (which I can't really pronounce on it's reliability, but at least they're better than nexgenwars) estimates PS3 count at 46 million, and assuming that almost every PS3 user has a PSN account (given it's free), which can't be said the same for M$ (given some people don't even bother setting up internet connection if they know they'd have to pay to get anything significant out of it), which said it has 30 million users on XBL, I think it's reasonable to assume that the PS3 side of PSN is bigger than XBL. Oh, and checking for multiple accounts should be easy, since each household usually has a static IP address (means IP stays the same all the time, is not shared with other users on the same ISP), and both collect info on your IP. Two accounts with the same IP -> same users (most of the time). Still, "users" is a very broad word, and most likely Sony and M$ both interpret this as "accounts" rather than "possible real persons", for their own bragging rights/pseudo-advantage. @Marky360 See above paragraph. :P
They count PSP members as well because I have a PSN account and not a PS3. What should have tipped you off is that there are more members than PS3's on the market. I'll get a PS3 when they make me a good deal but that will take forever.
wow 60 million user that sure is a bigger number and way more then M$ can claim at last check they only had 30 million users. I'm sure some of the accounts have to be people with multiple PSN id's but the same can probably be said for M$ even more so because I know when people found out they could get a free month of gold every time they made a new account pretty much every one did it I know me and my friends did. in the end both networks seem to be growing exponentially with PSN slightly edging out Xboxlive but thats pretty much to be expected. I seriously doubt if will ever be able to get hard numbers for both services because there's no way to tell the difference between a brand new account and a user with double accounts.
@mjc0961: Exactly so don't let Sony fool you guys into beleieving PSN is actually growing. PSN will never ever be that large. Xbox Live on the other hand probably will be
@TXGAMER7 I have been hearing that every year since 2006, it's old and lame. Honestly I see a bunch of rehash for this yr. Sequels galore nothing really new Gears 3, Forza 4(I still want F4) Infamous 2, Killzone 3, LBP 2(already out) that's all it is no new IP's on either system for the most part I say BLAH.
@IrshDrkWlf Where I work at we have a service center , which services all the major brands, and recently while I was helping our service guy load the truck, I noticed he had plenty of Vizio LCDs on his truck. I asked him what was the deal with all those Vizio's, and he said that it was like that every week. They were picking them up from Sams Club , which had some sort of extra warranty with those tvs, and sending them off for repair. I've noticed that Vizio does have a really nice picture, but I'm a bit skeptical, especially now after seeing that. I'll spend the little extra $$ and get either Samsung,Toshiba, or Sony.
I keep saying this to a lot of people who are with Mircosoft but here it goes again.....Sony is going to blow them out of the water this year and its a proven fact
Does anyone else find it funny that certain people come here on an article about Sony and it's products and insist on proclaiming on how "great" the Kinect is? Where in this enite article does it even mention the Kinect? Personally I think it's a kids toy that doesn't have much to offer. Bottom line is that the only exclusives that someone brought to my attention coming out this years is Gears of War 3 and Forza. That's it! Enjoy your kinect while the rest of the world enjoys all the PS3 exclusives..
@ steelmouth I'd say you were right on the money, Sony knows the hype surrounding Kinect so they'd rather focus on 3D - which is fair enough. Sony knows they can whup Microsoft's little puny ass when it comes to that :p Kinect is more advanced tech, there's no doubt about it, however I'd much rather play on Move because I'd rather have a controller, because as TevoxZi says - the kinect can't really handle hardcore games like FPS = it just wouldn't work. I'm loving how Sony is intertwining all of it's tech to work together, it's a great time to own a Playstation. However.. I'm not really a fan of this 3D direction that technology is going.. I personally don't really enjoy the whole 3D experience in all honesty. As a little survey to end this post let me ask you all this... Happy to play games in 2D = thumbs up Wanting to play in 3D = thumbs down I'm actually interested as to how many people actually want this technology :p
@steelmouth Considering Move and Kinect aim a little for the different area of gamers. I wouldn't say so. Sure, they both do casual and core, however I cannot see Kinect work with first person shooters, just yet. Also keeping in mind how Microsoft claimed they wouldn't introduce any controller for the Kinect, as it's supposedly "controllerfree gaming", but we'll see. Also keeping in mind that Move is going to be a lot easier to code for than Kinect, which has to be built on from the very beginning in order to get proper support. Kind of like PlayStation 3 having the better processor, however a more complex one. Developers aim a little more for the easier one, but I don't know how this case is going to be like. They both have impressive tech inside of them, but it's too early to really say which will be taken advantage of more.
Lol. Philip Molyneux being related to Peter Molyneux. That is just funny. Came to see the electronics, not the ps3
does anyone else think sony knows Move cant compete with Kinect so they competing with Kinect with thier next big tech (3D) or is it just me and am wrong
@megakick i think that makes sense objects have to be 3D around you not in a box so i suppose the old 3D is better than this new 3D without glasses but i will wait and see but definately 3D is the next big thing
@zzamaro No offense and sorry about that. It's just that there are so many fanboys on this site, it's quite hard sometimes to tell the good guys from the bad :P yeah 3DS will definitively help for glasses-free 3D. It's a handleld so a lot of people are gonna realize glasses-free 3D is quite accessible. I expect a decent market to open up as more people realize that. It's the Wii all over again with Nintendo opening up new markets. But like I said before... the only reason I'm getting a 3DS is for it's strong first and third-party support. 3D is cool and all but the only thing that truly matters are the games :)
I'll play games in 3D when doing so doesn't require glasses....which means I'll be playing games in 3D when the Nintendo 3DS hits later this year.
i don't like the new 3d for tvs and games its like your looking into a box and the objects are 3D inside the tv not outside. doesn't jump out of the screen like the old 3D. i have no interest in the new wave 3d tv, 3d gaming or the 3ds.
@Zerabp Actually Vizio has a good picture and is a good t.v. at a great price; it also has proven itself as a good company in a very short time. Yes I agree Sony and Samsung are better t.v.'s hands down, but they are higher in price and didn't come down until Vizio showed up. Vizio is still the #1 t.v. in America at the moment and they have held this spot for a few years now. As far as 3d t.v.'s go I am waiting on the glasses-free models to get one. I don't recommend Plasma due to its faults like burn-in and short lifespan (which still occur); but if you do go plasma some of the best brands are Sony, Samsung. LCD/LED are the way to go for overall better picture and much longer lifespan; some of the best brands - Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Philips, LG and Vizio. Some of the worst brands - Sanyo and RCA.
@COPMAN221 Actually I have done a lot of research on Vizio as I used to sell t.v.'s of all brands, it is a good t.v. and even better for the money. It is also an American company and the only American t.v. maker worth anything, it is also one of the top t.v.'s and has been #1 for a few years now. I know plenty of people you have Vizio including those who work in t.v. sales (those who know about t.v.'s from experience) and the picture is good quality. They will also say, like me, that Sony and Samsung are the best out there for a higher price.
@Rovelius Well, sorry but I didn't say anything about you being a fanboy, I just infered that by your avatar, you love Nintendo :D there's a difference ;) Anyway, you are not seeing the full picture, the success of the 3DS may have an effect on this, it may help to sell more on any free-glasses 3d products, probably not on big tvs but on those glasses-free 3D portable Blu-ray player, who know. We better wait and see :D
I have a 65 inch and a 40 inch flatscreen, now they want me to buy a 55 inch 3DTV for $2000. After seeing the four color Sharp TV. I'm looking for a 4 color TV that does 3-D with glasses (four pairs of glasses comes with it) and it also can do 3-D without the glasses.
3d has a ways to go--check out a demo in an electronics store and try tilting your head. Plus the 3d planes all look flat, I'll wait until no glasses with 170 degree viewing becomes possible.
@edwise18 Its like 10 years ago saying you think sony concentrating on making wide/flat screens too much lol... full, real 3D, with no glasses aint just a fad.
@COPMAN221 what im seeing only gears 3 & forza 4 thats it. i want some exclusive for my xbox this year all the multiplates im getting is for my ps3 sony & nintendo is gonna kill them this year in exclusive they cant depend on kinect alone this year .
Zerabp Posted Jan 6, 2011 10:20 am PT "@IrshDrkWlf Vizios have the worst picture out of all the major manufacturers." Hey IrshDrkWlf consumers that don't know any better buy Vizios. Peope that know better don't. You pay for what you get and in this case it's garbage..
i don't know about everyone else, but I'm pretty happy with the ps3 and the games and features it has to offer at this point of the generation. I'm taking it easy now that i had my ps3 for almost a whole year and bought 20 games for it in under a year lol. more features and games will come guys. just take it easy and enjoy the ps3 as it is right now.
I really wanna hear about some new features coming to the PS3. I'm a bit disappointed at some of the news I'm hearing...
@KrazzyDJ I said I use Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 (which supports 3D) and use a program called TriOviz for example. It allows 3D gaming. One source to this [quote="Source above"]So you want to play your existing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC games in 3D? Well Darkworks have announced its TriOviz software is available for Games SDK. This new software has a post-process effect that allows 2D games to be transformed into 3D and you don?t even need a 3D television. The news is that this all happens in the software and the glasses, which means that anyone watching you play will still see the images in 2D but without the usual blurred edges.[/quote] There are other softwares for this as well, I just can't for the live of mine remember the name of the one I _used_ to use.
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