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.
The powers that be at Sharp, LG Electronics and Toshiba cannot be pleased with the recent request by Google to delay the Consumer Electronic Show “unveiling” of each company’s Google TV products. Google indicates that it needs time to refine and perfect the software, which so far has met with mediocre reviews.
Google also has caused a delay for computer makers who waited for the roll-out of the new ChromeOS, leaving many with nothing new to offer for the holiday shopping season.
October 1 is slated to be a busy day for Sony Pictures Television, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times and sources familiar with the company’s expansion plans.
Sony Pictures Movies HD will launch on October 1 as the first wholly owned cable channel for Sony in the United States. The channel will be devoted entirely to movies. Observers note that Sony has had great success internationally with channels that they own. The channel will draw content from the large Sony-owned film library. Multi-video program distributers will have access to another high definition (HD) channel featuring films. Sources indicate the the channel will not compete in the same arena with networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz! and the new Epix channels, but with the HD channels Universal HD and MGM HD. The perception being that distributers want more HD content that can be offered outside the “premium channel” level.