Last year wasn’t the best year for Sony. After the whole PSN debacle, Sony has been struggling to sort out their PR. With spirits up, the Presidents of Sony took the stage earlier tonight for their first press conference of this year’s CES 2012. Some of the highlights of the show tonight were the new Walkman Android smartphone, Netflix for the Vita on day one, Xperia Ion, Bloggie, 4K resolution, 3D, Will Smith and Kelly Clarkson.
Sony’s latest foray into the smartphone world happens to be a lot like a Walkman impregnated by Android. The phone itself sounds really cool, but being just a bit wider than an iPhone, it’s kind of awkward in size to hold against your head. Were most screens smudge up the screen a little bit, the Walkman’s screen instantly attracted every bit of moisture it found on my finger right onto its screen. The sound quality is great though, and Sony is going to provide every owner with an awesome set of Sony Headphones, but even with that incentive, I wasn’t too crazy about it. On top of that, for a phone that is being released later this year, this phone will only have Android 2.3, even though Android 2.4 is announced for April release. Come on Sony, you can do better than that.
They also announced that Netflix will be available for Vita, hopefully, on day one. They plan to have Netflix at launch, but of course hope at this point doesn’t mean it will happen so take it with a grain of salt. The Vita will be available in the US on February 22. While this is big news for everyone, I personally think having a Netflix compatible device is the norm. Without it, Sony can’t really compete with the 3DS, Sony’s fiercest competitor in the handheld gaming market.
They also announced the Xperia Ion and Xperia S. Not too much were actually said about these smartphones except that they will feature a 12 MP camera (the highest quality possible on a phone in the US) and almost no lag between taking pictures. This is great news, especially because for someone who doesn’t like carrying an extra camera around everywhere, taking pictures can become a pain when you have to wait between shots. However, they didn’t discuss how long it would take to launch the camera application, something that matters a lot for people who take pictures on their phones.
Speaking of picture taking, Bloggie was their next exciting, innovative camera. Quite honestly thought, it’s a Flip Camera with a better resolution and the ability to stream directly from the camera. That sounds cool in theory, but you need WiFi to do it and it seems kind of strange for someone to forgo their higher resolution cameras on their computers for another camera just go blog. It doesn’t really work and is probably the reason why Flip cameras are now discontinued.
4K resolution was the thing I was most excited about though. 4K resolution is basically HD quality times four(4000 pixel horizontally). Being in the market for a new projector, they have the 4K projector available which sounds amazing.
They also played a couple of things in 3D for us to show us how advanced they have become with 3D. I actually hate 3D, because it makes me dizzy and I personally think it’s just a gimmick for studios to drain even more money away from us. That’s why I have to admit that I was amazed at the 3D quality they played for us tonight. Probably (but not confirmed) played with 4K technology, the 3D looked crisp and amazing.
Sony ended the night with celebrity appearances. Since Sony is behind the new Men in Black 3 movie, Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld showed up and waved at us. I sort of expected this particular guest appearance since one of the booths in the Sony area had all the monster heads from Men in Black 3 on display.
The musical guest appearance was a little disappointing for me though. Kelly Clarkson came up and sang “Mr. Know-It-All”. I personally have no beef with Kelly Clarkson, but all the booths had been playing Adele so I thought it would be her. Oh well.
All in all, the Sony Press conference was mediocre. They released a lot of stuff that was cool, but they kept focusing on little details on their products that seemed a bit redundant to me. Saying that their new smartphones will be WiFi enabled? Aren’t all smartphones that come out nowadays WiFi enabled? Here is to hoping Sony has a good year this year (hack-free).