Before yesterday's firmware update, the PlayStation 3 couldn't upscale standard-definition DVDs to high-def resolutions--a once high-end feature that's now built-in to nearly all DVD players with HDMI outputs. But what's the real benefit of upscaling (or upconverting, as it's also known)? Despite some of the marketing hype claiming that upscaling will make your DVDs appear in true high-def quality, the increase in picture quality will never come close to matching that of native HD material (HDTV broadcasts, HD DVD, and Blu-ray). Moreover, the video quality improvement is completely dependent on how good the upscaling and … Read more
Slowly but surely, Sony's beginning to unlock more and more of that multimedia horsepower under the hood of the PlayStation 3. The 1.80 firmware upgrade--available as an automatic download to PS3s everywhere--adds a variety of features to the console, most of which bolster the system's AV prowess. The main upgrades are as follows:upscaling of games and DVDs: DVD movies, PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games can now be upscaled to HD resolutions up to 1080p (games can upscale via component or HDMI, while DVDs are only upconverted via HDMI). streaming of digital media to PS3 via … Read more
Like many other TV makers, Sony has been working on screens made with organic light-emitting diodes for some time to produce paper-thin displays as well as save energy. But ratcheting up the competition even further, it just unveiled what it calls the world's first flexible version.
The company claims to have developed a new technology that uses plastic instead of glass to make OLED screens that can actually bend (hopefully without breaking), according to Pink Tentacle. Its 2.5-inch prototype weighs only 1.5 grams--that's 0.053 ounces for the metric-challenged among us.
There's no specific product … Read more
For every person who loves the idea of 6-foot tower speakers at each corner of the room, there are 20 others who prefer their home theater to be heard but not seen. It's for that latter group that the Sony DAV-IS10 Micro Home Theater System was designed. The system crams an entire 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) down to Mini-Me proportions: the 2-way 100-watt subwoofer barely outsizes a couple of phone books, the DVD/CD player head unit is a bit larger than a Mac Mini, and the five satellite speakers are--as Sony's press kit helpfully points out--"about the size of a golf ball." Despite the minuscule size, the DAV-IS10 will include the much of the same impressive features found on Sony's trio of Bravia HTIBs: DVD upscaling to 720p and 1080i via the HDMI output, automated speaker setup (which Sony calls "Digital Cinema Auto Calibration," or DCAC), and HDMI-CEC capability (the ability to control compatible TVs via the IS10's remote when connected via HDMI--"Bravia Theater Sync," in Sony speak). The system also features a Digital Media Port, so it can interface with Sony's quartet of proprietary digital audio accessories--though that's less of an enticement, now that we've been underwhelmed by the first two we've reviewed, the TDM-IP1 iPod dock and the TDM-BT1 Bluetooth interface. … Read more
BBC News is reporting that British Telecom (BT) is teaming up with Sony to develop a voice and video communication service (via VoIP) for the Playstation Portable. Riding on BT's 21 Century Network, users of the software will be able to communicate with other PSPs, as well as some BT phones, using their own Internet service or one of the 2,000 BT hot-spot locations scattered across the U.K.
BT says that more information about the software and service will be announced at the Leipzig Games Convention in August. The camera and microphone kit, dubbed the "Go … Read more
Sony said Wednesday that it is considering putting out a new version of its struggling PlayStation 3 game console in the United States with an 80GB hard drive. That's the storage capacity that will come on the South Korean version of the PS3.
To date, the PS3 has come with a 60GB hard drive. A 20GB version was discontinued in the United States but still sells in Japan.
According to the Associated Press, Sony Computer Entertainment representative Satoshi Fukuoka said that the company is thinking about adapting the storage capacities of the PS3 for different regions.
"Increasing capacity … Read more
The TZ90 commemorates the launch of Sony's first ultraslim notebook, the Vaio 505, almost 10 years ago. That laptop sired a long line of tiny ultraportables , including the X505, T series, and TX series.
Back in the day, $2,000 would get you a 200MHz Pentium processor, 32MB of RAM, a 2.1GB hard drive, integrated modem, and external floppy. With the Vaio TZ90, you get considerably more, though … Read more
While cruising around SonyStyle looking for some clue as to whether the NW-A800 might be prepping for a stateside launch, I came across the ICD-U50. What struck me about this device is that it was listed under MP3 players with a 256MB capacity, and I thought "what the...Sony is still selling 256MB MP3 players...and for $99.95!" But then I realized that the ICD-U50 is actually a multifunctional digital voice recorder, and a stylish one at that. I mean, we don't get a lot of standalone voice recorders around here, but I can say with … Read more
Several blogs, including PaidContent, reported today that Sony is in "advanced talks" to buy ClubPenguin a social networking and online game site geared toward kids that was launched in October 2005. The price is reported as in the ballpark of $450 million.
The subscription-based (six dollars per month) ClubPenguin takes the form of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), where children play games, amass virtual goods, and interact with each other, all while participating as penguin avatars. According to PaidContent, the site rakes in about $60 million in revenues and is already profitable despite being fewer than … Read more