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Tech Support: Sony News Recap, Week 1/2/12

January 6, 2012 Written by Sebastian Moss

It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for a new weekly feature – Tech Support, which takes a look at the big stories of the week regarding Sony.

With the world’s largest tech convention, the Consumer Electronics Show running from Jan 10th-13th, speculation is rife as to what companies will show off to the hundreds of thousands of spectators that are eager to see the next big thing.

Google TV will return to CES to try to convince consumers that their alternative to cable TV is worth the investment, despite lackluster sales since launch. The second round of Google TV will include new hardware from Sony, as well as Vizio. The TVs will presumably sport ARM chips after the platform moved from the Intel chips it launched on. Sony have also begun teasing a new internet TV, which could possibly be the Google TV enabled one (note “googly-eyed” in the quote below”.

In the teaser, Sony have created a fake wedding listing on wedsite.com, between Television (the bride) and Sony Entertainment Network (the groom). With SEN being a big part of the teaser, it’s clear that Sony’s online network will be a key part of the new TV:

SEN, the Internet’s friends have always said that he was destined for greatness, but he lacked a grounding influence. He wins hearts and minds of everyone with his strength and ability to entertain, but every visit is a new discovery. And though he has had a wild youth, his infinite potential and sense of adventure hooked Bravia. His ability to complement her beauty with his knowledge of the arts, science, music and movies has certainly made them a winning pair. To this day, the groom still gets googly-eyed at the sight of his soon-to-be wife.

3D will once again likely be a big thing, as the feature becomes cheaper to implement in TVs. Additionally, with the yield rate of OLED TVs having risen, the colorful organic TVs could be set to make headlines once again.

With their TV sector consistently losing billions, Sony has their work cut out for them if they wish to prove to investors and analysts that they shouldn’t have just sold the division years ago. Unfortunately for them, Samsung is still trouncing them in sales and profits, and 2012 is thought to be home to the reveal of Apple’s rumored “iTV”, reportedly one of Steve Jobs’ final projects. Sony does seem to be moving in the right direction, however, with the company selling their 9 year stake in a joint TV venture with Samsung to the South Korean tech giant at the end of last year for $940 million.

Sony Ericsson also promised big things at CES, saying on Google+:

Something big is coming! Stay tuned for some exciting news next week – Come on G+, what do you think it could be?

ITProPortal claim to have photos of Ericsson’s reveal, the Xperia HD, codenamed ‘Nozomi’. The phone will run on Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3.7 OS with the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 chipset, and has a 12 megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

Expect a slew of new Sony laptops and cameras too, but no teasers have been made. ‘Ultrabooks’, extremely thin laptops with solid state drives, are set to be a big thing, with tech companies eager to emulate the success of the Macbook Air.

Sony will also be launching a new generation in memory cards for cameras, the XQD, which will initially come in 16 and 32 GB sizes, and feature data transfer rates of 1Gbps/125MBps.

In other news, Sony Pictures is rumored to be negotiating distribution rights for Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse, starring Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchael. The movie would be renamed The Apocalypse, and could cost between $30-$40 million. Sony Pictures also signed a streaming deal with UK show streaming service LoveFilm for titles like Salt and The Social Network.

Sony Pictures suffered a small attack from Anonymous as part of their larger attack on the SOPA supporting company. Anonymous member s3rver_exe managed to hack Sony Picture’s Facebook and post a few comments, before being locked out. In an odd turn of events, s3rver_exe’s twitter account was later hacked. Other Anonymous members also claim to have gained access to the Sony Pictures website, but have yet to take action.

Along with the looming threat of an Anonymous hack, Sony Music didn’t have the best of weeks, as music video dancers staged rallies outside of Sony Music Entertainment offices while negotiating to secure a union. In addition, the 1997 release of the song Veja os Cabelos Dela (Look at Her Hair) was deemed racist by Brazilian authorities, causing Sony Music to be forced to pay $656,000 in retroactive compensation – thought to be the largest compensation ever paid for a racist act in Brazil.

Sony management also saw a change, with Kazuo Hirai getting promoted once again.

Tune in next week for a CES special.