We like Sony’s full frame Alpha mirrorless A7-II and light-vacuuming A7s cameras, but the downside is a narrow range of full-frame lenses. It’s now resolved the problem significantly with four new models, including a walk-around zoom and fast prime from Zeiss. The latter, a Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA auto-focus model, creates “gorgeous” images according to Steve Huff, though it’s not for the faint of wallet at $1,698. The Sony 24-200 f/3.5-6.3 AF zoom, on the other hand, is aimed at tourists with optical stabilization, weather-sealing and a $1,000 price tag.
Rounding out the list is Sony’s FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G lens at $1,110 and the $450 FE 28mm F2 prime. Sony also revealed two new APS-C converters for wide-angle E-mount lenses, and another two (fish-eye and wide-angle) for the new FE 28mm F2 lens. With the new lenses and previous models from Sony and third-party vendors, Sony’s nearly filled up its full-frame E-mount dance card. The new zoom lens will hit shelves on March 17th, while the Zeiss lens will go on sale by mid-April. Expect to see the wide angle lens and adapters in May and the macro model by July.
Today, Sony announced a new project that will allow Xperia device owners to create their own themes. The project, which is currently available in beta form, is called Theme Creator and hands users control of over three-hundred graphical system assets. These items include icons, buttons, colors, and assets.
Those interested can download and install the Theme Creator BETA, take advantage of Sony’s directions (or go alone), and have it operating on a device.
Come comment on this article: Sony announces Theme Creator for Xperia devices
Sony’s PlayStation 4-powered virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, has new specs and a slightly different look (seen above). Okay, it doesn’t look that different. What’s new? For one, the screen resolution is improved: it’s now 1920 x RGB x 1080. The refresh rate is doubled from last year at 120 Hz, and the new 5.7-inch screen also has a higher field of view (nearly 100-degrees). Oh right! It’s got a new, bigger screen at 5.7-inches! But you already guessed that. Further upping the specs is lower latency, now under 18 milliseconds.
Most importantly, the unit will launch at retail in “the first half of 2016.” That’s…kinda soon? Almost?
Price? No, no price yet. A new name? Nope, this thing is still called Project Morpheus. Sony’s announcements today were all about a new model of Morpheus. Let’s dig in on the news then. How about a review of those specs for starters?
First things first, there’s a new screen and it’s 5.7-inches. It’s an OLED, and the specs specifically are 1920 x RGB x 1080. Wait, what? The long and short is that the screen has a higher resolution than last year’s model. It will help reduce the “screen door” effect that many VR headsets suffer from, in so many words.
The screen is afforded “super low latency” (sub-18 ms) by way of improvements Sony’s made to the software across the past year, and the field of view has been expanded to “nearly” 100-degrees. And the design has changed a bit as well: it’s now got nine LED sensors on the outside, making it way more glowey blue than before, but also offering more points of articulation to be measured by the corresponding PlayStation 4 camera.
Sony also showed off a handful of new demos, which we’re going to go and try right now. Stay tuned!
Don’t miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.
After the glitzy, high-profile announcements of Sunday, Monday’s march to the convention center is a more business-like affair. There’s still lots to see though, including announcements from a bunch of household names, and a dancing robot. Jump in the gallery for more.
Don’t miss out on all the latest news, photos and liveblogs from MWC 2015. Follow along at our events page.
Sony finally brings Theme Creator Beta to life allowing you to tailer 300+ assets to build your own themes
Sony has been working on a Theme Creator for quite some time. When word of it first came about I was pretty excited. Unfortunately the ability to build those Xperia themes was limited to specific theme partners. It wasn’t all bad, there we a number of first run themes that were pretty cool. However, none of […]
Just over a week ago, Sony revealed its plans to bring back profits to the company over the next few years. A big part of the report was regarding the company’s mobile division, the section of the company which has seen a major decline over the past years. Specifically, Sony mentioned in the report that cutting costs would be a must, and that they may even consider potential “partnerships or spinoffs”.
This isn’t the first time the company’s CEO has explained this, though. Back in January, CEO Kazuo Hirai was quoted saying, “Without drastic reforms such as joint ventures or alliances, [Sony’s mobile and TV businesses] will be in the red three years from now.” But just because the CEO voiced his opinion to the media, doesn’t mean there aren’t differences in opinion within the company. Now, it seems as though a sale of the mobile division may not be true, because Hiroki Totoki, head of Sony’s mobile division, has now denied rumors about a potential sale of the company’s mobile division.
Totoki told French newspaper Le Figaro:
At the beginning of February there was speculation about a sale of Sony Mobile. It’s completely untrue.
However, while the potential of a merger or partnership is now seemingly off the table, Totoki also admitted that the company’s mobile portfolio is too diverse and needs to be refocused. He also mentions that, since consumers are keeping their mobile devices for a longer period of time, Sony would begin slowing down their product launches.
Every year, in late winter, covering the game industry gives me a chance to leave New York City at its most miserable. It’s with great pleasure that I tell you, yes, we’re here in San Francisco — where its 60 degrees and not 34 — to bring all the news, hands-ons, interviews, videos, and combinations thereof, straight from the 2015 Game Developers Conference. From here on out, we’re gonna make that name a bit simpler: GDC 2015. We’ve even got a page right here where you can keep up to date on all the aforementioned coverage. Head below for a brief rundown of the week to come.
What’s happening this year, besides developers talking to each other about the art and business of making games? We’ve already seen a taste, all the way from Barcelona, care of Mobile World Congress.
HTC and Valve are teaming on a virtual reality headset named HTC Vive. Or HTC ReVive. Or maybe just Vive? Or maybe just Revive? It’s a bit puzzling, honestly.
We’re getting a hands-on in the coming days, and we’ve already got some gorgeous detail shots right here featuring British raconteur James Trew.
Additionally, Samsung and Oculus are continuing their partnership on Gear VR with a new, smaller version intended for use with Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge phones. Don’t expect to be blown away: it’s largely the same as the first Gear VR which launched late last year, albeit with a smaller screen. We’ve got more info right here, and beauty shots below.
And today, just before GDC 2015 officially kicks off, Epic Games announced that its widely used game engine, Unreal Engine 4, is now free for all to use on a commercial (or non-commercial) basis. It’s a major move for an engine maker, and it means one more great tool is more widely available to the folks who make the games we love.
As for what the rest of the week holds, only two things are certain: both Sony and NVIDIA are hosting press events. The former is focusing on PlayStation 4’s virtual reality headset, “Project Morpheus”, while the latter is teased as “more than 5 years in the making” and will apparently “redefine the future of gaming”. I expect nothing less than a picante gouda in a holodeck.
Don’t miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.
I would say the majority of our readers are Android enthusiasts. What that means is most of you understand and care about specs in the devices you choose to buy. Luckily for us fanatics, Sony announced, an ultra powerhouse, the Xperia Z4 10″ tablet.
First things first, the tablet will arrive with a 2k display for your viewing pleasure, and that will be powered by the new Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor. In keeping with tradition, Sony improves upon its design by reducing the weight down to 389g, and reducing the thickness down to a meager 6.1mm, which is 40% thinner than the ball point pen on my desk. To keep things humming along, the Z4 will have 3GB of RAM, and it will have 32GB of on-board storage with the ability to expand memory up to 128GB using the microSD card slot.
The Xperia Z4 tablet will arrive with dual front facing stereo speakers, and on top of that, Sony pushes the development of high quality sound by offering High-Res Audio using DSEE HX which upscales the audio fidelity of digital music tracks. The tablet will also support digital noise cancelling for times when the background noise forces you to increase the volume to levels dangerous to your ears.
The rear facing camera is a standard 8MP, while the front facing camera is a 5.1MP wide-angle shooter, which is great for video calls. The Z4 will also be able to connect to the Playstation 4 using remote play, and to make sure you stay competitive, you’ll be able to use the DUALSHOCK4 controller on your tablet.
For a tablet with a 2K display paird with a Snapdragon 810, you would expect battery life to suffer. Instead, Sony claims an impressive 17 hours of video playback on a single charge.
To round things off, the Xperia Z4 will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and like its predecessors, the Z4 is waterproof and dust tight(IP65 and IP68).
On paper, this is quite possibly the best tablet any manufacturer has to offer.
The post Sony ups its game with the announcement of the super spec’d Xperia Z4 tablet appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Theming — that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. The HTC One M9 has theming, the Galaxy S6 has theming, and now Sony is raising up the theming bar as well. Sony’s most recent Xperia devices already offered themable skins, but now Sony has released a new tool called the Theme Creator Beta, a custom Java desktop program that will help 3rd party developers craft their own Sony themes.
Sony claims there are more than 300 adjustable components for users of the creator, this includes changing wallpapers, the navigation bar and so much more. Sony’s Theme Creator portal on its website mentions how designers can use themes to promote brands, services or games. “This way, your theme can show up on millions of Xeria devices in the theme picker”. Of course, just because Sony is trying to appeal to bigger companies and brands doesn’t mean it is restricting use of the tool.
Anyone with some basic image editing skills that’s reasonably tech savvy should people able to utilize this tool, though to varying levels of success depending on your experience levels. Once your masterpiece is finished, the Theme Creator will create an APK that can be applied to any compatible Xperia device or can be submitted to Sony for inclusion its repository. Interested in giving it a go? You can download the Theme Creator Beta from Sony’s website.
Fresh of Sony’s announcement of the Xperia Z4 tablet Sony also introduced the Xperia M4 Aqua. Sony claims to set the new mid-range standard with the M4 Aqua. Sony has been knows to create some of the best tablets and phones on the market for android. The Xperia M4 Aqua boast no compromise in features offering the most popular features from their Xperia Z line of tablets.
The phone will with some high end specs for a mid-range device. Sony states that the M4 will come with a 13MP camera with F2.0 aperture, octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 615, and be water proof. The device will be launching in 80 countries worldwide and more than 100 carriers in Spring of 2015. The M4 Aqua comes in white, black, coral, and silver. The device itself comes with a metallic and tempered glass with cues from the Sony OmniBalance design.
With a crowded smartphone market Sony appears to be opting for dominance in the more affordable mid range line of smartphones while still offering a premium look and feel. Another key about the M4 Aqua is in the name itself boasting being waterproof, a feature dropped from the Galaxy line this year. Will it be enough to go head to head with other phones in the mid-range such as the Moto G and E? Or is this Sony backing away from the high end Android game?