Sony’s CES presentation skirts around gaming, talks tech – report

Tuesday, 8 January 2013 08:49 GMT By Dave Cook

Sony’s CES presentation took place in the wee hours this morning, although PS3, PS4 and PS Vita were notably absent from proceedings and instead, tech took centre stage. Some critics have even gone so far as to raise concern over what has been called by one site as ‘disappointing’.

Variety reports that Kaz Hirai made clear his intentions for steering Sony into the next wave of consumer electronics from the outset, stating, “When I was named CEO, I made a commitment to revitalize Sony’s electronics business”, which he said includes, “Digital imaging, games and mobile.”

Hirai and Sony towed a heavy line regarding the recording of 4k resolution films and television, and that the company is pushing for the format as standard, citing the incoming Will Smith flick ‘After Earth’, along with films ‘Elysium’ and ‘Oblivion’ as the next titles to sport the flashy new visual sheen.

There will also be a new line of what the site called ‘Mastered in 4K’ Blu-Ray releases, including The Amazing Spider-Man and Total Recall. There was also talk of a 4k video camera and a – presumably rather expensive – 84-inch Bravia 4k television that I’m sure you nor I could ever afford. There was also the reveal of a new 1080p Xperia Z smartphone.

IGN called the presentation “disappointing”, and was full of claims that Sony had been working in the consumer electronic business longer, better and harder than the rest of the pack, as if trying to remind attendees that they still bore relevance in the industry. The site also said that the presentation’s actual announcements felt like “an after-thought” by comparison.

It comes as Sony posted grim financials at the end of 2012, revealing losses of $198 million. PS Vita has been cited as a key concern in financial terms, as has the company’s decision to convert $1.82 billion worth of convertible bonds for the purchase of cloud streaming company GaiKai.

During his presentation, Hirai stated Vita sales were on the “low end of what we expected,” noting it can take 5-10 years before Sony can acknowledge whether a product has been successful or not, adding that “long term is what is important.”

Chatter is rife among the industry that a PS4 reveal is incoming at Sony’s ‘Destination PlayStation’ event, kicking off February 25th-28th. It’s a retail-only event, which typically signifies that retailers such as GameStop and supermarket chains will be getting an exclusive glimpse at what game publishers will be releasing throughout the year ahead.

This means that they may well see PS4 ahead of the press, as has been known to happen in previous generations.

The question is: given what we know about Sony’s financial losses last year, and its ailing performance in other areas of consumer media, would the reveal of PS4 help turn around the company’s dip in any real, significant way? Yesterday, Michael Pachter says ‘yes’, but sitting on this side of the fence – among the press – there’s a mixed air of caution and excitement surrounding the company’s future. it could go either way.

One thing is for sure, PS4 is going to have to be mind-blowing to reclaim investor and gamer confidence – especially following reports that the console will block use of pre-owned titles. We’ll know more about it soon enough.

For now though, our own sources have told us everything there is to know – at the moment – regarding the PS4’s specs. Check out our report here.

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