Sony reveals PlayStation Vita Canada and U.S. launch game lineup

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Dec 262011

PlayStation VitaSony last week announced what titles will be released when the PlayStation Vita launches in Canada and the U.S. on February 22nd. It promised it to be “the biggest and best lineup we’ve ever launched across the history of PlayStation platforms.” 25 games will be available on launch day with more than 100 to follow later.

The following will be available from SCE Worldwide Studios:

  • Escape Plan (PSN Only)
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • Hustle Kings (PSN Only)
  • Little Deviants
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip
  • Super StarDust Delta (PSN only)
  • UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss
  • wipEout 2048

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Sony Tablet S to be upgraded to Android 4.0 “in due course”

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Dec 242011

Sony Tablet SSony UK this week confirmed that the Sony Tablet S will be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). According to its post: “Today we’re happy to confirm that an update to Android 4.0 will be available for Sony Tablet. Details including timing will be announced in due course, so please stay tuned.”

The Android 4.0 update on tablets is not quite as dramatic as it is for smartphones but still adds new features such as Face Unlock, an updated interface, improved notifications and more. One feature that the Sony Tablet S will not have is Android Beam as it does not support NFC.

The Sony Tablet P which is not yet available in Canada and the U.S. will also be updated to Android 4.0.

Sony Ericsson, which will soon only be known as Sony, has already outlined its Android 4.0 upgrade plans.

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Sony to focus on smartphones under own brand by mid-2012

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Dec 052011

SonyFresh from its acquisition of Ericsson’s share in their joint venture, Sony has confirmed plans to phase out the Sony Ericsson brand in favour of its own brand. Kristian Tear, an executive VP with Sony Ericsson, told The Times of India that the rebranding should be complete by by mid-2012. According to Tear,

“A lot of planning goes into getting the branding right but we will be done by middle of next year. It will also mean that the marketing and advertising investments will go up. We haven’t been as fierce as we were a few years back but we will step it up, refocus and invest more in brand-building in select markets.”

Tear also indicated that Sony will focus on smartphones going forward. Its goal is to become the top Android smartphone manufacturer. With Sony Ericsson currently owning about 2% of the global mobile handset market, Sony has its work cut out for it. One advantage it will have will be access to Sony’s “assets on the content, technology and brand side,” added Tear.

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Sony launches RDP-X500iP iPad-compatible speaker dock

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Nov 072011

Sony RDP-X500iP speaker dockSony Canada last week launched the RDP-X500iP speaker dock which is fully compatible with Apple’s iPad tablet. It comes with a built-in subwoofer, magnetic fluid speakers, dual passive radiators for a “powerful bass response in a remarkably compact form factor” and Clear Phase digital sound processing. It is also compatible with most iPods and the iPhone.

“The RDP-X500iP adds style to any home with its luxurious design and stainless steel accents,” said Adele D’Abarno, Marketing Manager of Personal Audio at Sony Canada. “Its unique speaker layout saves space and features a sophisticated design while improving sound efficiency.”

The Sony RDP-X500iP speaker dock is available for CA$349.99 from the online Sony Store, Sony Store retail locations, and participating retailers across Canada.

Sony Canada announces PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

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Oct 312011

Sony Canada today announced the PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle. It will consists of the PS Vita (Wi-Fi) System as well as a 4GB memory card, a limited edition case, and the Little Deviants game. It will sell for CA$299.99 and will be available a week before its official launch (which will miss the 2011 holiday season).

Sony PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

The PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle will sell for CA$299.99. Retailers where it will be available include, Best Buy, Future Shop, Toys’R’Us, and others.

The Sony PlayStation Vita will be released in Canada and the US on February 22nd. The Wi-Fi only model will sell for CA/US$249 and a 3G/Wi-Fi model (availability in Canada still undetermined) for US$299.

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Sony buys out Ericsson in Sony Ericsson joint venture for US$1.47 billion

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Oct 272011

Sony EricssonSony Ericsson will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony after Ericsson agreed to sell its stake in the joint venture for US$1.47 billion (€1.05 billion).

“This acquisition makes sense for Sony and Ericsson, and it will make the difference for consumers, who want to connect with content wherever they are, whenever they want. With a vibrant smartphone business and by gaining access to important strategic IP, notably a broad cross-license agreement, our four-screen strategy is in place. We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment. This includes Sony’s own acclaimed network services, like the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Stringer also noted that the acquisition will afford Sony operational efficiencies in engineering, network development and marketing, among other areas. “We can help people enjoy all our content – from movies to music and games – through our many devices, in a way no one else can.”

The deal between the two companies also gives Sony an intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement and ownership of “five essential patent families” relating to wireless handset technology.

The transaction has already been approved by both companies and is expected to close in January 2012, pending that all necessary closing conditions and regulatory approvals are met.

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A closer look at the Sony Tablet S

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Aug 312011

I was fortunate enough today to have an early look at the Sony Tablet S announced today. This is Sony’s first Android tablet and Gadgetorama’s first YouTube product sneak peek (we start slow but it gets better):

One feature I did not capture but saw is for users to “throw” pictures and video to a DLNA compatible television. Rather than a gesture (which might lead to a few broken tablets and TVs), the throw is a button press that allows the user to push an image from the tablet to a nearby TV. The same feature can be used to share music wirelessly.

Among the accessories that will be offered with the Sony Tablet S are the Sony Tablet S Cradle (CA$39.99) and the Sony Tablet S Bluetooth ‘Android keyboard’ which as dedicated Android keys (CA$79.99).

The Sony Tablet S is now available for pre-order (Sony Store Canada / Sony Store US) and will go on sale in September. The 16GB version will sell for $500 and the 32GB one for $600 in both Canada and the US. Aside from Sony, it will be available from Best Buy, Future Shop, and London Drugs.

Sony announces Sony Tablet S

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Aug 312011

Sony Tablet SSony today unveiled the Sony Tablet S, its first Android tablet. It introduces a number of rather unique features that should help it distinguish itself in an increasingly crowded Android tablet market.

One such feature is the asymmetric design meant to allow it to be held or carried in portrait or landscape mode for long periods of time. The screen also slopes when placed on a flat surface to enhance visibility and make typing more comfortable. Another is the support for Sony’s network entertainment services which include Video Unlimited (as a partial service initially with the full service following in October), PlayStation certification with support for classic PSone and PSP games, the Reader Store by Sony, Personal Space, a free service that lets users share pictures and videos captured on the Sony Tablet S (as well as access albums created on other devices), and cross-device functionality that lets users “throw” pictures and video to DLNA compatible televisions and music to compatible speakers and act as a remote control for other home entertainment devices.

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Official name for Sony S2 tablet revealed?

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Aug 272011

Sony S2 tabletWe learned only days ago that Sony’s S1 tablet will likely be officially released as the Sony S Tablet. The leak made no mention of a name for Sony’s second Android tablet, the S2. Engadget has now learned that it will be named the Sony Tablet P.

While the former has the letter before Tablet and the latter after according to these reports, I suspect that they one of those is simply inverted. They will likely be known as the Tablet P and the Tablet S or the P Tablet and S Tablet.

Engadget has also obtained some details about its specifications (and that of the S Tablet). The Tablet P will come with 512MB RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, and support for SD cards (with a 2GB card included). It will weigh 370 grams. The S Tablet will come with 1GB RAM with 16GB and 32GB versions available. Both will be powered by NVIDIA Tegra 2 processors (and Wi-Fi and WAN (3G/4G) connectivity as Sony announced).

Both tablets are expected to launch in September. There is no pricing information yet.

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Sony S1 tablet gets official name?

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Aug 232011

Sony has yet to reveal the official name of its upcoming 9.4-inch S1 tablet but leaked document suggests that it will be known as the Sony Tablet S.

Sony Tablet S named?

The leaked documents obtained by Engadget also indicate that the Sony Tablet S will come with a microSD card slot (supporting cards up to 32GB), DLNA, and rear-facing 5MP and front-facing 3MP cameras. Contrary to earlier rumours, it appears that it will run Android 3.1 out of the box. A number of accesories including a wireless keyboard and amicro-USB to USB dongle will also be offered.

Any thoughts on what Sony will name the clamshell S2?

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Sony S1 and S2 to be powered by Android 3.2?

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Aug 052011

Sony has not provided much information about its upcoming S1 and S2 tablets. While Sony confirmed that they would run Android Honeycomb, the specific version has remained a mystery. Documents found on the Sony support site now suggest that both will be powered by Android 3.2.

Sony S1 - About screen

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Sony PlayStation Vita to miss 2011 US holiday season

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Aug 042011

Sony PlayStation VitaMany gamers in Europe and the US (and presumably Canada) will be disappointed with the news that the Sony PlayStation Vita will not be available in the US or Europe in time for Christmas. It will go on sale in Japan before the end of the year with the US and Europe to follow “early next year.”

Sony Corp. Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai, who made the announcement earlier today, refused to call the news a delay, explaining that Sony wanted to ensure that a number of quality games were available at launch time.

Hirai also denied that there would be a price cut (leaving the price at US$249 for the Wi-Fi-only model and US$299 for the 3G/Wi-Fi model) in response to a recent cut made by Nintendo on the price of the Nintendo 3DS (from US$249.99 to US$169.99). “There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price,” said Hirai.

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AT&T to be exclusive US carrier for Sony S2 tablet

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Jul 132011

Sony S2AT&T today announced that it would be the exclusive US carrier for the upcoming Sony S2 tablet (still only a codename).

“With its unprecedented, completely portable form factor, the “Sony Tablet” S2 offers tablet enthusiasts a convenient and unique entertainment experience,” said David Haight, vice president of business development, AT&T emerging devices. “Users will be treated to exceptional graphics and the touch-screen capabilities will enable a fast and efficient website experience.”

First revealed by Sony in April, the S2 features a clamshell design with two 5.5-inch displays which can operate together or independently. It will be powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It will be billed as a 4G device support for AT&T’s HSPA+ network.

Specific availability and pricing details were not revealed.

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E3 2011: Sony renames upcoming NGP as PlayStation Vita

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Jun 072011

Sony vita

Sony last night announced that its upcoming Next Generation Portable entertainment system (codename NGP) will be known as the PlayStation Vita PCH-1000 series) when it is released later this year.

“Vita,” which means “Life” in Latin, was chosen as the most appropriate name for the next generation portable entertainment system as it enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCE is aiming to transform every aspect of user’s daily life into an entertainment experience.

As announced in January, the PS Vita will come with a 5-inch OLED touchscreen display (960 by 544-pixel), an ARM Cortex A9 processor with a SGX543MP4+ GPU, two analog controllers, a multi-touch pad on the rear,GPS, and front- and rear-facing cameras.

Among the games that should be released with the PS Vita will be “Uncharted Golden Abyss,” “Little Deviants,” “Hot Shots Golf,” “ModNation Racers,” “Wipeout 2048″ and “Super Stardust Delta” (all from SCE Worldwide Studios). Additional games will be available from third party developers and publishers.

There will be two PlayStation Vita models: A Wi-Fi-only model selling for US$249 and a 3G/Wi-Fi one selling for US$299 with AT&T onboard in the US (data plan pricing not revealed).