Sony CES show touts PS Vita sales, Netflix

Japanese electronics giant's latest handheld has surpassed half a million sold; TV and film streaming service set for portable's US launch.

LAS VEGAS--Sony Corp.'s 2011 Consumer Electronics Show offered little to get excited about for those of the video game-playing persuasion. Unless, of course, those gamers were also interested in new ways to experience the still-lukewarm 3D movement and the various devices that Sony has crafted to support it.

Let's make believe that Sony will unveil the PS4 at CES 2012.

With Microsoft backing out of CES as of next year, it's possible that Sony will take the opportunity to play a more dominant role in the massive gadget-centric Las Vegas show. While there might be no better way to do that than to stun crowds with a first look at the PlayStation 4, current rumors are leaning more toward the game-centric Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

CES has already played host to one bit of Sony-centric gaming news. Earlier today, AT&T confirmed pricing for the Vita's 3G SKU, with subscription-free data plans starting at $15 a month. However, it remains to be seen as to what surprises at all Sony may have left for the game-playing sect.

[4:59] Gamers may or may not have much to look forward to at Sony's CES-opening media briefing, but audiences have still arrived en masse to see what the electronics company has in store for 2012.

[4:59] Business execs in suits mingle with bloggers in jeans.

[5:00] It appears as if Sony will once again be coming heavy with 3D, as a voice tells the audience members that now is the time to remove their supplied glasses from their protective plastic sheath.

[5:00] A giant 3D screen in the front of the room lights up. Still images coming at you…in 3D!

[5:01] Uncharted is shown intercut with Avril Lavigne, PS Vita, Gran Turismo 5, tablets, cameras, and camcorders.

[5:01] Sports, Smurfs, Spider-Man…sizzle.

[5:02] Sir Howard Stringer, current CEO of Sony Corp., takes the stage.

[5:02] He's the chairman and president, too. But who's counting?

[5:02] Stringer is talking about touching people, emotionally.

[5:03] 900 million Sony devices are in the wild, apparently.

[5:04] This will be aided by the Sony Entertainment Network.

[5:04] Stringer says that Sony has a stake in every part of the digital revolution.

[5:05] From movies to games, all delivered in HD, 3D, to name just a few Ds.

[5:05] Without a software-hardware marriage, Sony would be childless?

[5:06] Sounds like Sony will have things to talk about from each of its divisions tonight.

[5:06] And there will apparently be a special guest to close out the show.

[5:07] Stringer wraps up, and Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president of Sony Corp., comes out.

[5:08] Hirai says Sony is unique in many ways, but the way in which the company uses resources from across its divisions is what sets it apart.

[5:08] He's talking about TVs, PCs, phones, and tablets.

[5:08] Not a peep about gaming.

[5:09] Kaz Hirai, I thought I knew you.

[5:09] New User Experience seems to be the new buzz words.

[5:09] It's about Playing, Watching, Listening, and Sharing.

[5:09] Hirai offers a tour of the "new integrated world," beginning with the Sony Entertainment Network.

[5:10] It has one common ID and a digital wallet.

[5:11] Any Sony device can connect to the SEN, and Video Unlimited has many movies available a month before other services, he boasts.

[5:11] From Video Unlimited, he shifts to Music Unlimited.

[5:11] All of these services can be accessed through all of Sony's connected devices.

[5:11] Music Unlimited is now available in Scandinavia, he announces.

[5:12] Sony wheels out an intense setup of devices, all running Music Unlimited.

[5:13] There's no need to manually add new music to individual devices; it's all synced.

Sony touting its number of connected devices.

[5:14] How's it done? The Cloud.

[5:14] New benefits recently introduced include the artist channel option.

[5:14] This lets users create their own playlists. Very innovative, Sony.

[5:15] Kelly Clarkson's channel is chosen, and after the pop icon's song runs, it skips to a similar artist.

[5:15] Mandisa, for those wondering.

[5:15] Music Unlimited will be available for the PS Vita on day one, Hirai confirms.

[5:15] Play Memories Online is the next thing Hirai wants to talk about.

[5:16] It's a way to upload photos and videos to the cloud, on the fly. The service is launching in the spring.

[5:17] Play Memories Home lets people map their photos to a calendar and wirelessly connects smartphones and tablets to Bloggie Live.

[5:17] Play Memories Studio is a new PS3 application that makes viewing, sharing, and editing photos into almost a game.

[5:18] Sony's Reader is also going to be compatible with SEN. Tablet S and Tablet P are next up.

[5:18] Video, music, games, e-tools, they do it all, Hirai says.

[5:19] The Sony tablet is PlayStation Certified, which means it plays old PlayStation games and new games developed with the PlayStation Suite.

[5:19] 6.5 million units of all PlayStation formats were sold during the holidays worldwide.

[5:19] That's sold to users, not retailers.

[5:19] Hirai says the PS Vita has sold more than 500,000 units to consumers as of January 5.

[5:20] Oh, it looks like Netflix is coming to the PS Vita.

Netflix is coming to the Vita.

[5:21] Netflix is "working to have it ready" on day one. Sounds like it isn't quite a lock.

[5:21] Hirai is moving on to smartphones. The new company name of Sony Ericcson is Sony Mobile Communications.

[5:22] New smartphones are designed to show and capture everything in HD.

[5:22] "The HD experience is vital."

[5:23] The new Xperia ION is powered by the same tech that powers Bravia TVs.

[5:23] It sports a 12 megapixel camera, which is the highest resolution available on a phone in the US. It also allows for fast picture taking.

[5:24] AT&T is getting it exclusively, and it's coming this spring. Xperia S is coming in March. Like the Xperia Play, both phones will be PlayStation Certified.

[5:24] Hirai is moving on to Bravia TVs.

[5:24] He says TVs are becoming a gateway to the Internet.

Cell phones are a big deal these days.

[5:25] He's talking about Sony Internet TV, which will be integrated with Google TV.

[5:26] Hirai says Bravias provide X-reality Pro, which sharpens grainy videos online.

[5:26] Super-light Active 3D glasses are also coming.

[5:27] Made out of titanium, they are half the weight of Sony's previous model.

[5:27] It's time for Vaio. He's talking about a slate-design PC, and he's saying that they're all powered by Bravia technology.

Sony's fancy new 3D glasses.

[5:28] Hirai said that he's created a group within Sony to continue creating a better user experience.

[5:28] Hirai brings out Phil Molyneux, the president and COO of Sony Electronics.

[5:29] Phil is a dashing version of Peter. For those wondering.

[5:29] Molyneux shows a wireless keyboard that integrates with a Bravia TV.

[5:29] Sony Tablet S and Xperia Phones have a media remote function.

[5:31] Moving to camcorders, Molyneux touts Balanced Optical Steady Shot. He says the feature cancels handshake blur 13 times more effectively, and it'll be found in top-of-the-line cameras.

[5:31] He's talking about Sony's HD camcorder that had a built-in projector, and this year's model enhances its functionality.

[5:32] Up to 100 inches is the maximum screen size projected onto a wall.

[5:33] The Bloggie pocket camera is getting an update. The Bloggie Live is the first full HD camera capable of live video streaming with built-in Wi-Fi.

[5:34] The camera lets users upload their videos and photos instantly.

[5:34] Sony Tablet S has been well received, Molyneux says. And this has been augmented by Sony Tablet P.

[5:34] Its main draw is its folding design.

Listen, there's not a lot of gaming news here, but here's a photo of… something.

[5:35] To audio! He says that this year, they are introducing SS-AR2 speakers.

[5:35] They deliver "the purest playback," he says.

[5:35] Yeah, Sony's still making Walkmans. This includes the Walkman Z series, which is Android based and Wi-Fi enabled.

[5:36] It can access Music Unlimited and connects to the Android market.

Now you can play games on your Walkman.

[5:38] Molyneux is talking about Sony's partnership with Ford, saying that it is providing audio setups in cars.

[5:38] Molyneux talks about Sony's green initiatives, saying that the company's products continue to use less and less power.

[5:39] It's now time to talk about future tech. Namely, 4K resolution.

[5:39] 4K resolution is more than four times the resolution of HD.

[5:39] It has nearly 9 million pixels, compared to HD's 2 million.

[5:40] This technology is being used in movie theaters.

[5:40] A 4K Home Theater Projector is also part of this strategy.

[5:41] Sony is continuing to work on 4K TVs and is showing 4K-upscaling Blu-ray players.

Is that new HDTV of yours already obsolete?

[5:41] He's now talking about 3D, which was the focus of last year's show.

[5:42] He's talking about numbers to silence the haters.

[5:42] 3D theatrical releases have earned $6 billion in revenue worldwide.

[5:43] And with that, he cues up a trailer for the new Men in Black film.

[5:44] The movie's coming out is Memorial Day.

Why so sad, Will Smith?

[5:45] Stringer then introduces Will Smith and Barry Sonnenfeld. Smith coughs as he stumbles out, saying that was a nice strong Sony strobe.

[5:47] Barry says something literally nonsensical.

[5:47] Smith is pimping the film now, saying "It was a lot of fun to make this movie."

[5:48] He says Sonnenfeld did a great job directing, and he also says to Stringer, "You did a great job paying for it."

[5:48] Good job not sounding too much like a shill, Stringer retorts.

Will Smith live on stage!

[5:48] And Smith and Sonnenfeld are out.

[5:49] Stringer is talking about the other films coming from Sony Pictures, including new Spider-Man, Underworld, and Ghost Rider.

[5:50] He then cues a sizzle reel for 3D pro sports.

[5:51] The Sony Open golf tournament will be shot in live 3D, for those interested.

[5:51] 3D head-mounted display, anyone?

[5:52] 3D Tech Centers are designed to train professionals on how to best implement 3D.

[5:52] These centers are in the US, UK, and India.

[5:53] Stringer says on Wednesday, they'll be live broadcasting SportsNation in 3D, in conjunction with ESPN.

[5:53] There are over 100 million connected Sony TVs, he says.

[5:54] Sony is developing a new display technology; it's a Crystal LED display.

[5:54] It delivers super contrast and super-wide color gamut.

[5:55] Stringer appears to be wrapping up, summarizing the past 55 minutes.

[5:55] Will we get a big finish?

[5:55] One more guest is coming out, and it is...Kelly Clarkson.

[5:56] Clarkson, of course, is a winner of American Idol.

[5:57] She's singing "Mr. Know It All."

Howard and Kelly: Together at last!

[5:58] Looks like Clarkson will be closing out the show.

[5:59] Stick around for GameSpot's live blog from Microsoft's CES keynote address, which is scheduled to kick off in half an hour.

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Discussion

104 comments
Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

@garland51 @Sigil-otaku Listen, I stated that Blu-Ray has the better performance than blu-ray. I don't care about sales alright? Blu-Ray>DVD Its not that hard to understand the simplest fact. Like I said, DVD still leads but Blu-Ray "OFFERS" the best performance.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ warhawk-geeby You have to agree, if BR was really that successful, DVDs would be phasing out a lot faster. Even with the increased visuals, it hasn't made the same dent in DVD sales as DVD did to VHS.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@gino_pachino I agree PS2 era was the best, I had to sold my N64 but if had access I would bought it again, the greatest classics of gaming were on those two systems, the time when Nintendo still acted like Nintendo, and consoles were actually used to play games. That's why I think Vita and 3DS are pathetic, people bought them to watch movies and web browse.

gino_pachino
gino_pachino

@Sohereiam agreed they dont use all the potential of both systhem but my point is that the ps3 is built in a very difenrent way it unlike a 360 or a pc..anyway i am one of those who still think the best console is ps2 and n64(console does not include pc 4 me)...and those choice are based on the vareity of the game not for the graphic...if I go for the graphic the best is pc

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@garland51 Blu-ray hasn't taken off?? Are you actually being serious :|

DEATH775
DEATH775

One of the reason why I don't buy blue ray movies. Just games

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@Soothsayer42: I'm not the one who's ignorant, you are. I'm sorry that you can't face facts. LOL! :lol: Until Blu-Ray movies come down to the prices of DVD's, it'll never take off & will never be the mainstream.

FusionRain
FusionRain

You guys need to realize that this is Sony's Press Conference at CES. Not E3. Surprise, Sony makes other things than just game stuff. Yeah it's true, and did ya'll know that PlayStation is just a part of Sony. Just like X-Box is a part of Microsoft. Everything there isn't going to be PlayStation so shut up whining. If Nintendo showed up then it's different because they are a gaming company. All they make is games. Sony and Microsoft has other products that they need to sell. Wait till E3 to see what Sony and Microsoft are going to say about PlayStation and X-Box.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@Soothsayer42 but people do buy DVD over BR still, it's a common fact but of course it will change over time if Blu-ray movies and series get cheaper. For example I bought 2 Blu-ray drives for my PC and still ended up buying the watchmen on DVD since I could get the watchmen and watchmen tales of the black freighter cheaper than I could get the blu-ray of just the watchmen, then again I also rebought some of my movies as Blu-ray since I thought they were good. Overall there is still that difference though so your comment was quite ignorant.

franzito
franzito

Showing off makes everything look so amazing, isn't it?

paulliddell
paulliddell

dispite all the bla bla . I will bet my 2 cents (euro that is) on the next playstation beind named D. Get playstation 4 = D (HD 3D iD etc) witch will make it the one the only.....wait for it.....the psD. Sorry, to me that was funny. It wil one 2 3 D-oes evrything.

Franzkill
Franzkill

Ok a couple things: 1) CES is NOT E3 so I'm not sure what people are expecting. 2) The conference was good but Stringer really just killed it for me AND I still can't get over his 'Big Mac' comment all those years ago, still funny to hear. 3) Lot of the stuff on show I didn't care for but Kaz still delivered it like a pro as usual 4) 4K resolution? Why not just continue development of OLED technology, you know the things thats in your Vita? Keep introuducing new technology in a heartbeat Sony and see how far people's wallets are prepared to go especially during this financial climate.

Gamerfan2011
Gamerfan2011

Listen everyone yes sony prices r over the top but u have to understand too that the hardware they put in to their stuff does cost money and it aint cheap. I mean wat does gamespot really know they only go by a third person view. With that said u can't really believe them n wat they say, I mean they say the xbox 360 is a great system, i'm not saying it is or isn't but I personally don't like it. However I do agree about the ps vita it does cost too much money and it is ridiculous, BUT everything else like the tv and stuff does sound affordable so no complaints there. All I am saying is don't believe everything they say, and don't bad mouth them about upgrading their hardware with 3D cause its the 21st century so they should be doing it. That said all I wish is they continue to update their hardware and do a fantastic job with their products, (oh n lower the price on the vita so I can get it).

Meliketurtles
Meliketurtles

No disrespect to Sony, but haven't they seen that 3D gaming isn't the next big thing for all of gaming (there are always exceptions). If they want to kick ahead of the competition then they need to make the Bravia less expensive (affordability>high-end material just look at Vizio) and market the 4K new resolution technology once they are able to (I would be all over that). Now they need to just keep the first party IPs and focus on the Walkman and gathering third party games instead of getting games like Mass Effect half a year later. Also, keep the ps4 under $399.

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

@garland51 you just stated the most stupid comment ever :lol: "Plus people are still buying DVDs over Blu-Ray" hahahaha! kid, here this, Quality>Quantity. The Blu ray didn't use compressed audio and video file. Mehh why did I even bother? 360 still leads right? The world is full with ignorant people like you. have fun changing discs alright? :lol:

Smithers2286
Smithers2286

They tout Vita sales? Which are moving slower than when the 3DS launched and everyone claimed it to be a failure. Yeah, be proud!

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

@buying1999 Because John Carmack said so it doesn't make it a fact. Currently Xbox 360 has poor first party game support and has a good but tiny line of exclusives. Your xfanboy avatar says it all..

FusionRain
FusionRain

@jamyskis I see we missed each others point. I'm talking about what Sony was showing. Which was only the projector, recorder, and "Crystal" LED. Everything else outside that is irrelevant. I should have put it more clearly but I did say that it would be years for those things to become affordable; Meaning marketable to the general public. Size doesn't matter all that much when it takes too much money to even put those parts together.

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

Love my PS3 but will not be purchasing a 3D HDTV anytime soon, Sony or otherwise. I don't wear glasses and have zero desire to wear glasses while watching TV. Once the technology matures and 3D TVs don't require glasses, then perhaps I'll consider one. 3D blu ray movies will need to be under $15 for me to consider a purchase, just like regular blu rays and DVDs before them. This $40 for a 3D movie is just not worth it. I'll get far more entertainment mileage from a $40 video game every time.

gamenerd15
gamenerd15

People do know that CES is not about games right? CES is not supposed to be E3.

gamenerd15
gamenerd15

@Bhargav_pvs Doesn't 3DS cost more than the Wii? The wii is only $150 and comes with a game. The 3DS is $170 and does not.

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

@the_requiem, @cdragon_88, @Stonecutters908, @PixelAddict, & @svaubel: I completely agree with all of you. It's no wonder Sony is failing all around in everything & why the company as a whole is struggling throughout most of their divisions. They haven't gotten their heads on straight. Ugh. At this point, they deserve to go bankrupt & be closed down. @yixingtpot: If you honestly believe that, then just...LOL. Plus people are still buying DVDs over Blu-Ray, believe it or not.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Oh WOW ... CES 2012 has begun and not even a trace of it on Gamespot's home page. Sheesh - would have almost missed it !!!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@Moegitto I know. I was a big Sony supporter, and I'm sad the Bravia line has gone down hill. I owned 3 truly awesome Bravia tube TV's, but the non-conforming sizes (40"? what?), price and hit-and-miss quality issues have had me cautious of their LCD's. I just picked up a 32" Samsung for the bedroom for under $300. Beautiful screen. Has me thinking 47" Sammy for the front room. Samsung has my vote for best picture for the moment, but that can ALWAYS change. Hint hint, Sony!

Moegitto
Moegitto

@PixelAddict I just picked up a full 1080p, 120 refresh hertz, 42inch, LED LG TV for $519. It replaced my Sony Bravia that made every human look like a character off of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I'm getting the Vita and I have a PS3 and Sony Blu-ray 3D player, but I will never get a Bravia again. Add to the fact that some of them were just blowing up in November...

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Easy to tell Sony's TV division has been having issues. They keep pushing 3D, and people continue to wait. The sales pitch is getting redundant. Because even though I would like a 47" LCD to replace my now 5-year old 42" LCD, do I really want to spend an outrageous amount of dough when I can get a decent Samsung 47 non-3D for well under a thousand bucks? #rhetorical

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@gino_pachino even 360 has a lot of potential to be used, the problem is the developers wants the game to build and sell by himself so they complain to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, that their system don't work for what they want, and then they create failures like PS Vita and 3DS. Good was the time when developers worked hard to create a game now they tap few words call it work, and complain when they don't sell.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I still think Sony, perhaps by the time PS4 launches, should create a new integrated iMac like PS3 that is built into a Sony 3D HDTV. By that time it should be affordable to do so. Then if people also want to buy a PS4 they can use them altogether to be completely mind blowing.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Now that we have the time schedule, we know CES is not live on Gamespot.

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

I wonder if the Xbox 3.60E13 (haha) and PS4 will be have 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolutions. I hope the next generation's game consoles' motion controllers deliver the accuracy and responsiveness of the best gaming mice for personal computers.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I love the new 3D glasses, i was just hoping for a more clip on type and these new Sony ones come close. I can't wait to watch Prometheus on my Sony 3DTV with those new glasses. I think Sony is setting pretty and people don't realize it, reality is PS3 WILL SELL into the future even after PS4 is launched, XBROKE and Wii will die because what good are they with 3DHDTVs? they will be worthless, they don't play Blu-ray, don't support 3D etc, they are junk. Sony will have the only true HD systems for this generation and the PS4 generation so even if the PS4 goes with no backwards compatibility people can just use their HD, 3D, Blu-ray ready PS3s. Sony needs to market to their strengths, In the near future they need to bundle the PS3 with the MOVE and Playstation Eye as standard packaging, and include a 3D movie, also include some stupid dance game that used the PSEYE so kids can jump around like idiots in front of the TV. Soon I feel that most will be buying HDTVs and most will also be 3D ready, so Sony needs to exploit the fact that they've been there and done that already.

buying1999
buying1999

I didn't see any mention of the 75 millions accounts that had their information leaked to the entire internet not to mention that Sony waited days to tell their customers that their information had been stolen. I wonder if I'll have to do ANOTHER firmware update after this conference is over? I'd watch it on my ps3 but i'm sure it requres a 5 gig M A N D A T O R Y install and I don't have time for that. "Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made." --John Carmack

jamyskis
jamyskis

@FusionRain I'm well aware of their preliminary nature at this stage, especially with regard to crystal LED. I would like to correct you in one respect though - 4K monitors and TVs are already available for the ultra-high-end market users, and 4K display devices have been in regular use in medicine for a while now. Yes, for cinemas and large-scale projectors, 4K technology is useful, but it's already available and in use. For your average 32"-50" LCD/LED TV/monitor on the other hand, the differences are negligable. They may be affordable in 5-7 years from now, but the average TV size won't change massively in that time.

pszone
pszone

Plz see the detials for ps4 soon Thumbs up agree

GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

4k resolution? That should be something nice if used in games ;D

mateyman
mateyman

It's kind of dumb that they didn't have something about the vita . . . considering that this winter has been all about it!

the_requiem
the_requiem

@Sepewrath: You're right, they can't announce it couple weeks earlier. But I still think releasing a PS4 anytime less than 2 years will be a big mistake. But then, they can't even afford to NOT release if Microsoft releases theirs. Most devs will flock to MS to work on next-gen platforms while PS3 will end up like Wii this gen [not in terms of sales, but AAA titles].

Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

sony made the same mistakes again, and some more- games went the same as xbox games - the name vita is the worst ever for a gaming system. I am really happy that nintendo brings more classics then ever. Even a good 3rd party support for their systems. Sony have powerfull technology, but thats not what matters for a gaming system.

Bhargav_pvs
Bhargav_pvs

Okay..... PS Vita is getting Netflix, I think PS vita costs too much for a hand held "More than a PS3, That's insane"and I guess Sony isn't that concentrated on the games they've announced (Under development) a long time ago like "The Last Gaurdian" with only trailers so far. I dont know why I'm still very much attached to sony consoles and games, may be because of their quality....... Sony U Rock...:D

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Wowww this article is SERIOUSLY full of hatred to Sony! Sarcasm, denial, and even accusation of lies! Hilariously biased opinion again from the 'neutral' Gamespot... yeah.. :?