It’s no secret that girls in China are obsessed with taking selfies, but there’s also a local trend of slapping a Chanel perfume bottle case onto their phones. No, we don’t understand, either. Nevertheless, Sony is seizing this opportunity by releasing a new Cyber-shot camera that not only looks like a perfume bottle, but its big lens — encased in a clear brick with a gold accent — can also be flipped around to suit your needs. While it seems that Sony’s seeded this bizarre device to several Chinese female influencers and models, they’re remaining tight-lipped about the specs, but all will be revealed in China on August 22nd.
Via: G 4 Games
Both Netflix and Amazon stream in 4K. Cameras like the Sony a7S and the Panasonic Lumix GH4 can shoot in 4K. Even smartphones have been getting in on the act, with handsets like the LG G Pro 2 and Sony Xperia Z2 capable of recording 4K video. So with the amount of 4K content available increasing every day, you may have been thinking about buying a 4K set so you too can bask in the glow of 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. But 4K sets don’t come cheap, and you’re going to want to do a bit of research before dropping that much cash. While we don’t really review televisions here at Engadget, we’ve done the next best thing, compiling the opinions of trusted critics from across the web. Which set offers you the most bang for your buck? Do bells and whistles like a curved screen make a difference? Check out a few members of the 4K Class of 2014 below.
Price: $2,300 and up
Walk into a room and the first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung U9000 is its curved screen, which CNET says adds a “unique, futuristic look” to a set that is overall “drop-dead gorgeous.” It says the picture is equally stunning, offering “deep black levels, accurate color and great bright-room viewing qualities.” But what about that curve? Though it’s meant to create a feeling of depth and immersion, CNET found it “didn’t have any major effect on the picture aside from reducing reflections somewhat,” and Reviewed.com found it actually made some reflections worse, such that “lamps and lights are occasionally stretched across the entire arc of the screen.” It’s worth noting that the U9000 also includes an improved Smart Hub experience, but you can also find other Samsung sets that are a lot cheaper (and less curvy).
Price: $3,297 and up
The Samsung U8550 is a set that eschews the curved screen of its high-end sibling U9000 in favor of “trim bezels and a very narrow panel” that Reviewed.com says “lend this television a modern air.” The picture also does it credit, with LCD TV Buying Guide complimenting its “brilliant images in 4K,” while Sound+Vision was impressed with the “crisp detail and the clean, smooth clarity” of its upconversions. As on the U9000, the Smart Hub has been upgraded with “subtle improvements” that “hit the mark” according to LCD TV Buying Guide, and Reviewed.com says it provides “all of the streaming content and web-browsing functions you’d expect for the price.” And that’s a price that undercuts the competition by $1,000, leaving you some extra cash for an awesome sound or gaming system on the side.
Price: $1,597 and up
Price: $2,998 and up
Sony’s mobile division still lags behind Samsung, LG and HTC in all but one area: waterproofing. That’s why it’s no surprise to see the company’s mid-range Xperia M2 getting an element-resistant remake as the M2 Aqua. The device comes with IP65/68 waterproofing — making it better than the IP58 Xperia Z2 — and will sit in depths of 1.5 meters for up to half an hour without complaint. The rest of the spec list is unchanged from the original that debuted five months ago, with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, LTE, a 2,300mAh battery and 8-megapixel camera. There’s no word on pricing, but we’d expect it to come in above the €220 ($300) that the vanilla M2 was marked up at, and it’ll launch in the fall, destined for Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe. Yup, Sony still don’t got no love for North America.
Source: Sony Mobile
Every story needs a hero, and comic-book based yarns aren’t any different. Good thing Sharlto Copely has some experience in that department because the upcoming Powers adaptation for PlayStation would be awfully different without Detective Christian Walker. The District 9 alum has been cast in the lead role alongside Michelle Forbes (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica) as Retro Girl. Series co-creator Brian Michael Bendis writes on the PlayStation Blog that while the actors don’t resemble their 2D counterparts in appearance, neither he nor co-creator Michael Avon Oeming ever intended a faithful version of the book to hit the screen. He says that the pair were looking more for actors that captured the spirit of the characters instead and he wants the show and the book to exist, more or less, in parallel universes and play to the strengths of each respective medium. How much will those universes cleave? Well, we should know come December.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
Source: PlayStation Blog
Ten days ago Sony announced that an Android 4.4, KitKat, update was available fro the Sony Xperia E1 and E1 dual. Pending location and carrier pushes, of course. At the end of that announcement they said that KitKat was on the way for the Sony Xperia M2 and Xperia M2 dual next. While they were all slated for a July release, a month late ins’t all that terrible.
The changelog for what the update will bring looks pretty good, and very similar to previous Sony device updates.
- Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
- We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
- If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens
- Better storage choice – you now have the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – we recognised the need to have more control over your content… as something particularly useful for devices with slightly less space
- We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, Smart Connect, TrackID, What’s New, and Battery STAMINA Mode, Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
- And proving pretty popular, now totalling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
- Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future
As with any update like this, specific market timing and availability will be released independently. Unlike the previous announcement, Sony didn’t toss out any device names that are next up. If you happen to own a Xperia M2 or M2 Dual, eel free to check for the update on your device and/or through the Sony Companion app. Let us know if you see it and where you are located.
Source: Sony Blog
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If you’ve been holding out on purchasing an Alpha 6000 because you don’t need an electronic viewfinder, Sony’s got a mirrorless camera just for you. Internally, the Alpha 5100, which replaces the NEX-5T, is nearly identical to its pricier counterpart, with a 24.3-megapixel sensor and a BIONZ X processor. You also get a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 power-zoom lens, bundled with the camera for $700 ($550 for the body only), and the same hybrid focusing system, letting you acquire a subject in as little as 0.07 seconds. It excludes an EVF, but the A5100 does have a 921k-dot display (with touch functionality this time) that flips forward 180 degrees for self-portraits. There’s also built-in WiFi, XAVC S video capture and a top sensitivity of ISO 25,600. It ships next month in black and white.
We’re expecting Sony to announce its annual smartwatch release, presumably called the Sony SmartWatch 3, however while other manufacturers have scrambled to get out hardware that is running the new Android Wear operating system, there is a rumour that the Sony SmartWatch 3 may not have Android Wear at all, instead opting for it’s homebrewed Android system which will now be in its third iteration. That of course isn’t to say that Sony is shunning Android Wear or would not consider it for future device, it’s likely that Sony had already developed a follow-up and doesn’t want to change it for this year. It’s expected that Sony will announce the SmartWatch 3 at IFA 2014 next month.
That certainly puts the SmartWatch 3 at somewhat of a disadvantage, even if it is a purely superficial disadvantage, however it will be packing some neat functionality. Digi-wo is reporting that the Smartwatch 3 will have a transflective display (for more optimal viewing in sunlight), can be wirelessly charged, and may even have its own Wi-Fi module. What this may do to the battery life isn’t known, but the outgoing SmartWatch 2 had a battery life of 3-4 days, so that’s already better than most of the Android Wear devices. Of course, like most of Sony’s other devices, the SmartWatch 3 is also expected to be waterproof.
What do you think about Sony not adopting Android Wear for the SmartWatch 3? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
The post The Sony SmartWatch 3 may not have Android Wear, likely announced at IFA 2014 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Okay, we know that the PlayStation 4′s Share Play feature is coming, but how does letting a friend on an entirely different console (possibly around the globe) play one of your games work? A lot like how PS4′s remote play with the PS Vita does, apparently. In an interview with Famitsu Weekly, Sony’s head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said that game developers don’t have to do anything special to enable the feature, and that barring a game requiring the PlayStation Camera, any title should be compatible. Once firmware 2.0 launches, all a friend has to do is send you a Share Play invite and voila you can start playing their copy of Destiny on your TV. If it sounds like we’re living in the future, that’s because we pretty much are.
Don’t, however, go thinking that this is a loophole you can exploit to sidestep ever buying another game: Sony clarified to Kotaku that the guest’s progress would not be saved to their account, but to the host’s. It’s going to be interesting seeing how the feature deals with lag and just what the image quality’s going to look like once it launches. Given our hands-on time with Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service, though, we’re cautiously optimistic.
Earlier this week Sony announced that it’d sold over 10 million PlayStation 4s to date, but that isn’t the half of it: the company’s latest gaming console is once again dominating the sales charts overall. As Sony tells it, July marks the seventh consecutive month that the PS4 outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One. Hardware isn’t the only area Sony is trumping its rival either, as The Last of Us: Remastered led software sales last month by a “considerable” margin ahead of number-two-seller Minecraft on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The gaming sector as a whole is incredibly healthy, too. The NPD Group reports that even though software sales are down overall for July (something it attributes directly to the lack of an NCAA Football release this year), hardware is picking up the slack. Comparing life-to-date numbers of the PS4 and Xbox One to their predecessors, the new consoles are outselling the PS3 and Xbox 360 by almost a whopping 80 percent. That puts this July ahead of last by 13 percent in terms of total money spent in the area, according to NPD.
Nintendo seems to be doing pretty well, too, despite that massive $97 million loss. The outfit says that Mario Kart 8 has now sold over a million copies in the US alone, and the Wii U has increased year-to-date sales by 60 percent compared to 2013.
What about Microsoft? Well, Redmond’s lack of a formal announcement should speak for itself. When we reached out for a comment, a company spokesperson reminded us that the Xbox One sales numbers more-than doubled in June (still no word on what they doubled from) and that “this momentum” continued into July. And, well, that’s about it. When you look at how many Xbox One software-bundled systems that Microsoft is releasing this fall, just how far behind the company is to its main competition (Sony) should be pretty apparent — the firm’s desperate and essentially giving away some of its biggest games in the hopes that people will buy an Xbox One.
“It’s important to me to be able to express what I want to express.” These words come from Dylan Cuthbert, “Game Designer/Programmer/Anything” at Q Games, as he explains how his team came up with the back story for The Tomorrow Children. The forthcoming title is — by Cuthbert’s own admission — a little bit “out there;” a mix of Minecraft-esque collaborative building, social economics and a Soviet Union-themed post-apocalyptic dystopia. It’s definitely a little on the fringe. Multiplayer shooters and herculean protagonists have their place, but, as Cutbert alludes to in his gambit above, it’s probably not here. Indie doesn’t mean small though, and The Tomorrow Children, I learn, is an example of how companies like Q Games can keep to their own script (or lack of), and still benefit from the considerable support afforded by a partnership with Sony.
Earlier, during a preview session for The Tomorrow Children, the game is described as a “Marxism simulator.” The backstory? An experiment to unite all human consciousness went terribly wrong, destroying society. Over the following decades the few survivors try to rebuild humanity. Your role is to venture out into “the void” (the empty space left by the experiment,) and build a new world. Oh, there are also giant creatures to contend with that you kill and mine for materials. Y’know, all that usual stuff.
The off-beat storyline is accompanied by equally expressive artwork. Cuthbert tells me it’s inspired by sources as diverse as (among other things) old Czech puppetry, and the 1960s British drama The Prisoner. The result is cinematic, in a vintage French art house kind of way. Cuthbert is keen to point out that a lot of these decisions weren’t planned up front (as would be required by a AAA studio,) and that one of the main privileges of being independent is being able to, basically, do what you want.
But there’s a paradox. The Tomorrow Children is an indie title in spirit, but Sony is financially involved with the project. So, how does this reconcile with Q Games’ approach to game making? According to Cuthbert, it’s not only not a problem, it’s for the greater benefit of (his company’s) indie games.
“I think it doesn’t matter what size the game is [financially], as long as it’s an expression of the creator… and it hasn’t been meddled with… We just really enjoyed creating the technology [for the game], and obviously to create that technology we needed a bigger project to kinda buoy it up.”
“From the start, Sony was positive, said start experimenting and they were hands off. They just let us do anything we wanted basically.” And the result speaks for itself. How many other blockbuster titles have you opening Matryoshka dolls to collect DNA to rebuild your population? “In this game we’ve explored more ‘different’ ideas than we ever have before” says Cuthbert. Suggesting that despite dealing with suits doesn’t have to mean compromises. So, perhaps money and indie spirit aren’t so mutually exclusive after all?
The Tomorrow Children will be available in the coming months on PlayStation 4.