All posts in “Sony”

Amazon gears up for Prime Day 2017 with deals on 5 Sony products

While the official holiday isn’t until July 11th, Amazon is dishing out some great deals in preparation for Prime Day 2017. 

Today’s sales include reduced prices on five Sony sound products.

If you’re in the market for a small wireless speaker with impressive bass response, the Sony XB20 Wireless Speaker is $30 off and can be yours for $68. 

Sony XB20 wireless speaker is $68 dollars today

Sony XB20 wireless speaker is $68 dollars today

Image: sony

Check out all the eligible items here and keep checking Mashable for updates on pre-Prime Day deals. 

Sony updates its PlayStation franchises with new Uncharted, Gran Turismo, God of War and others

Sony has been in control of a solid games catalog, both exclusive and multi-platform for the better part of this console generation. This year’s E3 presentation was no different, with updates to famous franchises like God of War, Gran Turismo, Ace Combat and more.

Of course, there were also tons of indie and new studio titles announced for both the PS4 Pro console itself and the PS VR platform.

Click through (desktop) or scroll down (mobile) to see what new games you’ll likely be playing next year.

Sony revamps its Digital Paper tablet with new screen and interface


Sony’s mammoth 13-inch Digital Paper tablet, essentially a huge Kindle you can write on, is still a pretty rare sight, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. So I’m glad the company is doubling down on this unique device type and making some significant improvements with a new model.

The DPT-RP1 replaces the DPTS1 — catchy names, right? — and makes some changes that its users will certainly appreciate. The screen itself, built with E Ink’s Mobius display tech, has been upped from 1200×1600 to 1650×2200, which should make text considerably clearer (206 DPI — pretty good). The increased resolution doesn’t seem to have affected the battery life, though: like other e-paper displays, it’s super-long, at least a week or two.

The touchscreen layer has been improved, as well, and the texture of the surface; e-paper displays aren’t very responsive, so anything that can be done to improve that experience is welcome. This has presumably enabled the new note taking and annotation features the device has.

And, of course, the hardware itself has gotten a fresh coat of paint: it’s the same weight, but the design has been cleaned up and the bezels are slightly thinner.

New one on the left.

Gives it a nice minimal look, I think. You’ll just have to find another place to keep your stylus, though.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that these suckers are expensive. But at $700, the new Digital Paper tablet is still cheaper than its predecessor.

Convertible computers like the Surface series and upstart e-paper products like reMarkable are looking to eat Sony’s lunch, though. We’ll try to get our hands on one of these things and tell you whether you should have a couple around the office.

Amazon’s Echo Show stands on the shoulders of these failed internet appliances

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Here’s a steaming hot take for you: With the Echo Show, Amazon is playing Apple’s game by taking something that has existed in many forms before and owning it as though it’s an original idea. 

That’s right, the groundbreaking device that Amazon just dropped on everyone has been around for almost two decades, in various forms. It was just waiting for the emergence of high-speed wireless internet and the right software agent paired with a an online ecosystem to make it all a viable reality. 

No one would blame you if you didn’t know that these arcane devices ever existed. They were mostly aspirational, too-early attempts to pull of what Amazon is now uniquely equipped to do: provide a genuinely useful, easy-to-use internet appliance. 

And while some might think the Echo Show is not the most visually stunning piece of tech design work, a look back at some of the earlier attempts to popularize internet appliances may help you appreciate the conservative design approach of Amazon’s newest piece of hardware. 

Audrey 

Although not the very first such device, it’s definitely one of the most famous early attempts in the history of internet appliances. Released by the now defunct 3Com in 2000 (nearly two decades ago!), the Audrey was distinctive in that it looked as though it was truly designed from the start to serve as something you might put in your kitchen as a staple for everyday use. 

Back in the day, Oprah showed off its ability to send access the internet, receive email, provide news and weather, and sync to your Palm OS device (a kind of precursor to the smartphone that allowed you to use a range of mobile apps). It even had a cute little light that blinked when you got new email. And yes, Oprah even did the “And YOU get an Audrey, and YOU get an Audrey!” to her studio audience. Alas, the $499 device didn’t survive, despite its simplicity and sleek design. 

Nabaztag

Because some thought maybe a screen on your internet appliance might somehow be too techie, in 2005 a company called Violet debuted the Nabaztag. The rabbit-shaped device actually waved its ears and lit up when you received email and delivered weather and new information via its Wi-Fi connection through embedded speakers. It was incredibly cute. So, of course, everyone ignored it. (Though it still has a tiny, devoted fan base online.)

Image: Violet

Chumby 

In 2006, the Chumby emerged as the heir apparent to the Audrey. The mission of the Chumby was the same: to serve as the ultimate internet appliance. And it seemed like it might be time for something like the Chumby to succeed since the 2006 version of the internet was a much more hospitable environment for such devices following the rise of “Web 2.0” internet sharing culture and increased internet connectivity. 

Image: Chumby

However, for many, it turns out that the Chumby was perhaps a little “too” geeky. Using the open source Linux operating system, its makers encouraged users to modify the device, which came with a touch screen, a USB port, audio input and output, Wi-Fi connectivity, widgets for a number of functions (displaying photos, delivering news, etc.). It managed to get a bit of traction among Silicon Valley tech insiders, but never really took off, despite its cute name and gumdrop design. 

Sony Dash 

Finally, in 2010, Sony, a company more accustomed to successfully introducing new hardware to mainstream consumers, debuted the Dash. Featuring a seven-inch color touchscreen, the device is a dead ringer for the new Echo Show, housed in a simple black frame meant to sit upright on a flat surface. 

Image: sony

Like its predecessor, it offered internet apps for news, weather, photos, and had a USB port and stereo speakers. It was perhaps the most polished internet appliance released until the Amazon Echo. Soon after, similar devices like the Motorola Xoom came on the market, but despite their major brand pedigrees, neither has become a true mainstream hit. 

Ily on Kickstarter

And in case you’re thinking Amazon simply jacked Sony’s design for the Echo Show, there’s recent evidence hinting that the consensus (for now) is that the black picture frame design is the preferred way to go. 

Image: Ily

In 2016, the makers of Ily, an internet appliance targeted toward children, successfully raised well over a $100,000 from backers. Sure, Kickstarter interest isn’t an exact science, but this is at least one data point that indicates that the “uninspired” design of the Echo Show may actually be what people want. 

After all those attempts, is the Echo Show just another incremental swing at the long pursued internet appliance of the future that always “just around the corner”? 

Perhaps. But the combination of Amazon’s massive, robot-staffed warehouses, and the reassuring voice of Alexa give this “better mousetrap” the best shot we’ve ever had at an internet appliance that’ll stick around. 

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Sony’s powerful Alpha 9 camera is a super-fast, silent photo machine

Sony's new Alpha 9 is a photo powerhouse.
Sony’s new Alpha 9 is a photo powerhouse.

Image: Brett Williams/mashable

Sony has a brand-new flagship camera, and it’s looking to take the top position as the go-to shooter for professional photographers in every walk of life.

Right before Sony unveiled the latest in its Alpha series, the Alpha 9 (stylized α9), at an event in New York City, company president Mike Fasulo told the assembled crowd of journalists and photo fans that Sony is committed to two ideals: innovation and proving its willingness to listen to customers.   

Judging from the audience’s reaction and testimonials from a panel of professional photographers once the camera was revealed, the Alpha 9 could be well on the way to fulfilling those goals, along with its aim to allow photographers to “unleash the creative potential” of every shoot. 

The Alpha 9 is a full-frame mirrorless digital camera with imaging performance that Sony says is unmatched by anything else on the market (although we’re sure its competitors will be quick to offer up alternatives to refute that claim). 

The camera is capable of high-speed, blackout-free continuous shooting at 20fps with a maximum shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second, so it’s built for capturing those easy-to-miss moments within lightning-quick movement for sports and wildlife photographers.

That super-fast focus is thanks to the Alpha 9’s brand new 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2MP CMOS sensor, which Sony is calling the first of its kind. The sensor is capable of data processing at speeds up to 20 times faster then any other mirrorless cameras in the Sony line.

The Alpha 9, equipped with the new telephoto G Master lens.

The Alpha 9, equipped with the new telephoto G Master lens.

Image: sony

The Alpha 9 can be stealthy, too. The camera has a vibration-free silent shutter, so taking shots in the wild or other tenuous scenarios won’t be an issue. After the unveiling, Sony gave the crowd some hands on time with the new cameras, and the only audible shutter sounds came from the non-Alpha rigs in the room. 

Don’t worry though, photo purists: for portrait photographers and old-school diehards, there is an optional shutter sound for feedback purposes if you want to keep clicking away during your shoots.

The rear of the Alpha 9, complete with joystick for autofocus.

The rear of the Alpha 9, complete with joystick for autofocus.

Image: sony

The Alpha 9’s on-camera image review was a highpoint for Sony’s panel of professionals that dished on their hands-on experience with the camera. Digital photographers often get caught up reviewing their shots on the camera’s display, a process known as chimping, which can waste time and opportunities for even better pictures. Now, with the Alpha 9’s blackout-free shooting and seamless image review, the panel said there’s much less wasted time — and missed shots. 

Preorders for the Alpha 9 starts April 21 for $4,500. It will ship and be available in stores starting next month.

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