The company unveiled plans for an as-yet unnamed service that will allow users access to live television, video on demand and DVR in the cloud. Subscribers will be able to access cloud-based content on the more than 70 million Sony devices currently in circulation.
According to Sony, the service will not only offer users recommendations based on their viewing history, but also will allow for the creation of “personalized channels.” Sony also plans to incorporate social media into the service.
Also at CES, Sony announced plans to soon make available “PlayStation Now,” a streaming service that will allow users to access Sony’s PlayStation game library on PlayStation consoles, as well as on phones, tablets and televisions. PS Now will allow gamers the flexibility to decide how they want to access content—either renting by title, or subscribing to an “all-you-can-eat” plan.
“We are thrilled to deliver entertainment experiences only possible from PlayStation through our new streaming game service,” said Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. President and CEO Andrew House. “PS Now will allow users to engage in the world of PlayStation, whether they’re existing fans or have never owned a PlayStation platform.”
Sony will begin testing the service immediately and hopes for widespread availability sometime this summer.
Those of you who have been following my quest for the perfect TV know that I am in need of an upgrade. Football season is coming and the Lions are poised for a Super Bowl run. Ok, maybe luck would be on our side if we scored more than four wins; that would be like a Super Bowl win for the Lions. I’ve been looking into Ultra HD TV, also known as 4K TV.
There are a few on the market but dig deep if you want to buy one now because they are pricey. Reviews of the available models are excellent, with the general consensus being that, pricing and content availability questions aside, the picture quality is amazing. The real issues right now with 4K TV are content and whether the improvement in resolution is worth the price tag. Read more
Online blogs and trade news sources began reporting on April 10 that Sony would layoff roughly 6% of its global workforce as part of its reorganization. Sony reported a $6.4 billion loss for fiscal 2012 precipitating the cuts along with several product changes yet to come. Among those, Sony will focus its television manufacturing to high-end organic light emitting diode (OLED) sets and “Crystal LED” displays. Read more
LG Electronics joins Samsung, Sony and Vizio as a partner in the development of Google TV. This past October Google released the long awaited 2.0 version of the middleware to less than stellar reviews.
While the Google TV idea holds promise for combining content from the Web and from conventional television distribution, it remains to be seen if the addition of another electronics manufacturer and new chip sets can help propel Google to a wider and deeper market penetration. Logitech announced this past year that it was dropping out of Google TV development after developing the “Revue” box which reportedly created a $100 million loss for Logitech.
Google notes in blog postings that there are more than 150 individual apps built specifically for the Google TV platform with additional Android apps available to enhance the television experience.
It will be interesting to see what the Google TV partner companies demonstrate at CES 2012.
Digital media asset collecting can now take a giant step forward. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) launched UltaViolet licensing on Wednesday. The licensing of content, technology and service providers was seen as the final step in getting the digital entertainment asset platform moving. Read more
And last but not least, our video of the week (VOTW).
Several weeks ago Sony was hit with a massive network attack on it’s PlayStation Network, which boasts 77 million international users and connects gamers to play against one another as well as chat with each other. The Sony Qriocity service, Sony’s new cloud-based digital entertainment venture which is used to stream audio and video to Sony devices, was also compromised in the attack.
Sony responded to the security breach by turning off its network services until it can further investigate and strengthen the service.
In the meantime, questions remain about data the hackers were able to obtain. Security researchers have seen discussions on online forums indicating that the hackers may have accessed a database that includes customer names, addresses, usernames, passwords and as many as 2.2 million credit card numbers.
Congress sent a letter to Sony last Friday asking for detailed information on the gaming system’s security and privacy, and what it knows about credit card data that might have been stolen.
On the heels of Amazon’s EC2 cloud outage, this high-profile attack further supports the public perception that cloud services are insecure.
And last but not least, our video of the week (VOTW). At Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona last week, Sony Ericsson officially debuted the Xperia Play smartphone. It combines a traditional mobile phone with a portable gaming console.