Sony Touts 4K, PS4, 'Interview' at Pre-CES Press Event5 Jan, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Company says 18.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold since launch
Sony Electronics needs a hit. And it believes it has one in 4K Ultra-HD resolution, the next technological step from 1080p sweeping the consumer electronics industry.
In a Jan. 5 press conference the day before the start of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled wearable technology, fitness gear, camcorder, televisions and content — some of it incorporating 4K resolution.
Sony also disclosed it sold 18.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles through Jan. 4 since their launch in late 2013. The tally suggests Sony sold about 5 million PS4 units since October. By comparison, Microsoft announced in November it had sold 10 million Xbox One units.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai also prefaced Sony Pictures’ recent hacking debacle over the release of The Interview, the Seth Rogen, James Franco buddy comedy about an interview-turned-assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jung-un — with a joke.
"How many of you went to see a great Sony Pictures movie this holiday season?" Hirai asked. "That's right, Annie is a great movie."
The CEO lauded Sony Pictures employees and business partners who stood up against the hackers’ extortionist efforts, including threats toward moviegoers.
"I have to say that freedom of speech, freedom of expression, are very important lifelines of Sony and our entertainment business,” Hirai said.
Turning to 4K, Sony's new line of Bravia 4K Ultra-HD televisions feature a new 4K processor X1 for alleged enhancement of color, contrast and clarity, while improving the streaming quality of images with 4K content. The new XBR X900C Series features a new ultra-thin (0.2-inches thick) floating style, making them Sony's thinnest TVs ever.
The new models range in size from 43 to 75 inches and include four new series and 10 new models. Bravia TV models will also run on Google's recently-launched Android TV platform software.
The 4KTVs will also be equipped with “X-tended Dynamic Range” contrast enhancement to provide peak brightness of LED as well as deeper blacks previously only associated with Plasma TVs.
"With content being sourced from broadcast, Blu-ray, DVDs or even low-resolution Internet videos, we designed these televisions to upscale to 4K resolution so that consumers can get the highest level viewing experience possible," Toshi Okuda, Sony Electronics Deputy President, said in a statement.
With access to Google Play and Google Cast, consumers of the new Bravia 4KTVs will be able to “cast” content from devices in a similar way as is done with Google ChromeCast. The TVs also enable direct access to select PS3 video games.
4K Content Coming
Netflix chief streaming and partnership officer Greg Peters was on hand to support Sony's new 4K Ultra-HD TVs’ expanded access to 4K content through its partnership with the subscription streaming pioneer and its proprietary Sony Video Unlimited 4K service.
The companies plan to work together to provide an enhanced Internet TV viewing experience for consumers with new features, including TV Instant On, Fast APP Resume and Fast Video Playback.
These partnerships, along with content from providers, including Amazon Instant Video, Ultraflix and Toon Goggles, will expand Sony's 4K lineup to include more than 1,300 movies, TV shows and other 4K titles, to become available on the new 4K Ultra-HD TV lineup
Sony Pictures Television handles production of the Netflix’s original series “House of Cards” and films the series in 4K resolution.