Archive for the ‘Sony’ Category

Sony’s brighter A90J OLED TV makes its way to living rooms this month

March 1st, 2021

LG's OLED TV lineup often gets the most press among its peers, but Sony's high-end OLED TVs get positive reviews as well. Today, Sony announced pricing and release timing for its flagship 2021 OLED, the A90J.

Preorders have already started in Europe and the UK, and the US is expected to follow any time now. But regardless of the staggered preorders, the TVs will ship this month in both regions.

The A90J will be available in 55-, 65-, and 83-inch sizes. The 55-inch model will cost $3,000 in the US, while its 65-inch counterpart will cost a whopping $4,000. US and EU pricing haven't been announced for the 83-inch model, but it costs £7,000 in the UK, so let that be your guide.

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Posted in 4K, dolby vision, hdmi 2.1, HDR, oled, Sony, Sony A90J, Tech, TV, ultrahd | Comments (0)

Report: PS5 storage expansion will be available by summer

February 26th, 2021
This style of PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD should soon work with the PS5, though that massive heatsink won't fit inside the system's expansion bay.

Enlarge / This style of PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD should soon work with the PS5, though that massive heatsink won't fit inside the system's expansion bay.

Bloomberg cites unnamed "people briefed on the matter" in reporting that PS5 owners will finally be able to expand the system's built-in storage by this coming summer. The planned firmware update that will unlock this feature will also allow for higher cooling-fan speeds on the system to prevent overheating, Bloomberg reports.

For games designed for the PS5, owners are currently limited to 667GB of usable space on the system's 825GB high-speed NVMe drive. That's a pretty strict limit when individual PS5 games can be 50 to 100GB or more at the high end. PS5 owners can plug in a standard USB hard drive to store backward compatible PlayStation 4 games running on the system, though.

Almost a year ago, Sony announced that the PS5's storage space would be expandable with certain standard M.2 solid state drives, which are shaped a bit like a stick of gum. Sony said it would be benchmarking a number of those drives to ensure compatibility with the PS5's stated 5.5GBps data transfer spec. But Sony's Mark Cerny said at the time that the announcement of these officially confirmed PS5-compatible drives would "likely be a bit past" the PS5's launch.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, M.2, NVMe, PCIe4.0, playstation 5, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

Sony announces new PSVR hardware for PlayStation 5

February 23rd, 2021
You probably want to put the PlayStation VR headset on your head, not on top of a new PlayStation 5, for an ideal use case. But, hey, you do you.

Enlarge / You probably want to put the PlayStation VR headset on your head, not on top of a new PlayStation 5, for an ideal use case. But, hey, you do you. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

A new generation of PlayStation VR hardware, including a new controller designed specifically for VR, will be coming to the PlayStation 5 sometime after this year, Sony announced today.

The short announcement is light on details and doesn't include any photos or prototypes of the new headset or controller. But it does mention that the next PlayStation VR will include a higher resolution and field of view than the 2016 original, which is stuck at a somewhat dated 1920x1080 resolution.

For context, last year's $299 Oculus Quest 2 came in at a total resolution of 3664x1600, and that's for an untethered standalone headset with much less horsepower than the PS5. Valve's high-end Index headset, meanwhile, sports a 135 degree field of view, much wider than the ~100 degrees on PSVR (cheaper modern headsets generally have closer to 90 to 100 degree view fields, though).

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, playstation VR, ps5, psvr, Sony, virtual reality | Comments (0)

Chip shortage may threaten PlayStation 5 supplies at Christmas

February 23rd, 2021
To call Sony's PlayStation 5 "in demand" would be an understatement.

Enlarge / To call Sony's PlayStation 5 "in demand" would be an understatement.

The global semiconductor shortage is threatening to constrain PlayStation 5 supplies throughout the rest of this year, even as Sony’s gaming chief insisted the company would be able to produce “decent numbers” of its new console in the second half of 2021.

The PS5 is one of the most sought-after tech products of recent months, with shipments selling out as soon as they reached stores when the console was launched in November last year.

Coronavirus lockdowns have only added to gamers’ demand for the latest consoles and software, fueling what are expected to be record profits for Sony’s gaming division in the financial year to March. Sony upgraded its gaming unit’s annual revenue forecasts earlier this month primarily thanks to improving sales of game software, services, and accessories.

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Posted in ARM, chip shortage, Gaming & Culture, playstation 5, Sony, Tech | Comments (0)

Sony says semiconductor shortage makes increased PS5 production difficult

February 3rd, 2021
PlayStation 4 vs PlayStation 5 comparison pic, horizontal orientation

Enlarge (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Sony shipped 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles worldwide through the end of 2020, the company revealed in an earnings report Wednesday. The number is broadly comparable to the 4.5 million PS4 consoles shipped in that system's 2013 holiday launch quarter. But potential PS5 customers shouldn't expect the rate of production to increase, Sony said, despite widespread retail sellouts that have led to substantial secondhand markups.

"It is difficult for us to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components," Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said during a briefing accompanying the results. "We have not been able to fully meet the high level of demand from customers [but] we continue to do everything in our power to ship as many units as possible to customers who are waiting for a PS5."

Overall, Sony's Game and Network Services division saw its holiday quarter profits increase nearly 50 percent year over year. The company now forecasts the best fiscal year performance for the gaming division in company history, thanks in large part to an increase in PlayStation Plus subscriptions (which now sit at 47.4 million). A full 87 percent of PS5 owners so far subscribe to PlayStation Plus, Sony said, making those subscriptions key to the company's profits going forward.

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Posted in earnings, Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, profit, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

Remember Sony’s electric car from CES? Now it’s being road-tested

January 12th, 2021

Perhaps the highlight of last year's CES was Sony's surprise battery electric concept car, the Vision-S. At the time, we thought that the Vision-S—which looked like a cross between a Porsche Taycan and a Lucid Air—was mostly meant to show off all the different enabling technologies it contained, from sensors to entertainment. Well, the Vision-S is back for this year's not-happening-in-Las-Vegas CES, and it seems the project might be a little more serious than we once thought.

As you'll see in the embedded video, Sony has been testing the Vision-S, both on a test track and public roads in Austria. Why Austria? That's where Magna Steyr is located, a contract car manufacturer that currently builds vehicles for other car companies, including the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar I-Pace, and Toyota Supra. And Magna Steyr is one of Sony's partners in the Vision-S, along with automotive tier 1 suppliers Bosch, Continental, and ZF, software company Elektrobit Automotive, mapping company HERE, as well as Nvidia, Blackberry (maker of QNX), and Qualcomm.

Over the past year, the Vision-S' sensor count has grown from 33 to 40, with Sony experimenting to see how it can improve the car's 360-degree safety system. The company has also been working on the interior to make it a more relaxing place to be, according to Izumi Kawanishi, senior VP for Sony's AI robotics business group.

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Posted in cars, CES 2021, Magna Steyr, Sony, Sony Vision-S | Comments (0)

AT&T sells Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.2B amid “streamlining” efforts

December 10th, 2020
The logo may or may not last after the deal is complete.

Enlarge / The logo may or may not last after the deal is complete. (credit: Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images)

Those of us who are old enough to have clear memories of video stores may remember the time when "Japanimation" comprised a single bottom shelf of battered VHS cases near the back of the shop. These days, however, anime distribution in the US is a billion-dollar business—or, more specifically, a $1.2 billion business, as that's what Sony is paying in cash to acquire Crunchyroll from AT&T.

Crunchyroll has more than 90 million users in 200 countries, including more than 3 million subscribers to its streaming service, the companies said in a joint press release. It also distributes mobile games, manga, and merchandise and manages events. Sony will eventually be folding Crunchyroll into its existing Funimation anime distribution business.

Crunchyroll currently falls under the WarnerMedia division of AT&T, and it's not a surprise that AT&T is selling it off. The company is hemorrhaging pay-TV subscribers and trying to sell off the DirecTV division, which it paid $49 billion to acquire only five years ago. (Recent reports say potential buyers are offering figures closer to $16 billion.)

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Posted in AT&T, crunchyroll, funimation, Gaming & Culture, media, megalomedia, Policy, Sony | Comments (0)

Sorry, you can’t move your discontinued copy of PT to the PS5

November 9th, 2020
<em>PT</em> scenes like this will not be viewable on the PS5, even though they were briefly during the prerelease period.

Enlarge / PT scenes like this will not be viewable on the PS5, even though they were briefly during the prerelease period.

Remember PT? The free "playable trailer" was released for the PS4 back in 2014 to promote a Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro-led Silent Hill sequel featuring Norman Reedus. But when that project was cancelled in 2015, the demo was removed from the PlayStation Store, even as a redownload.

That means the short horror demo is now only playable on some of the 1 million or so PS4 systems that downloaded it before the discontinuation. Those units have sold for heavily inflated prices on eBay as the hard-to-access demo has achieved cult classic status among horror game fans.

In the lead-up to the PS5's launch this week, there was some speculation that those trapped demos could be freed from their PS4 prisons via transfer to a backward-compatible PS5. Now, though, multiple outlets have confirmed that the game can't be moved from a PS4 to a PS5; When you try through the system's App Transfer menu, you simply get a message saying, "You can't use this PS4 game or app on the PS5."

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Posted in backward compatibility, Gaming & Culture, Konami, PlayStation, ps5, pt, Sony | Comments (0)

Sony reportedly puts a stop to third-party PS5 faceplate plans

November 2nd, 2020

Last month, Sony revealed in a teardown video that the wavy white faceplates that give the PlayStation 5 so much of its substantial bulk are easily removable by hand, without the use of tools. That caused some to hope for the return of an aftermarket for customizable, Xbox 360-style faceplates to change the look of the system in your personal entertainment center.

Sony, apparently, is not among the hopeful. The company has reportedly threatened legal action against one of the first companies to design and attempt to sell custom PS5 faceplates, first for trademark infringement and then for alleged infringement on intellectual property.

ThePlateStation.com (archived version) was "born out of the single desire to create a Matte Black custom faceplate, simply because we believed it was what the PS5 community deserved," the site read. The site went up last month promising "unofficial third-party accessories" for the PS5, including a number of colorful $39.99 faceplates that it planned to ship within two weeks of the system's November 12 launch.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, playstation 5, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

PS5 will use downloadable updates to control game-by-game fan speed

October 19th, 2020

Earlier this month, Sony gave us the first peek inside the PlayStation 5 in the form of a teardown video that examined the upcoming console piece by piece. Now, Japanese specialty site 4Gamer has posted an interview with the Sony hardware design engineer featured in that video, Yasuhiro Otori.

That interview (Google Translate, ResetEra user translation) goes into a lot of nitty-gritty detail on the design decisions behind Sony's uniquely shaped console and focuses heavily on the unit's heat dissipation technology. One of the most interesting tidbits on that score is an apparent plan to "optimize" the speed of the cooling fan on a per-game basis via downloadable system updates.

"Various games will appear in the future, and APU [accelerated processing unit] behavior data for each game will be collected," Otori said. "Based on this, there is a plan to proceed with the optimization of fan control."

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Posted in cooling, design, Gaming & Culture, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)