CES 2012 Press Day: Sony

Sony’s sprawling CES press event was about. . . OK, it was about a lot of things. I took notes! According to the company’s overview release, it is “giving consumers more access to more content whenever and however they want it.”

 Sony plans to do just that by selling you mobile devices, including the new Tablet P, PlayStation Vita, Xperia LTE Smartphone, and Wi-Fi-enabled, Android-powered Z-series Walkman. And it will continue to expand offerings on its Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), which encompasses services like Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, along with the PlayStation Network. 

Digging through the mass of announcements with an eye towards A/V, two things that stand out are the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc Player and SZ-GS7 Network Media Player. Both of these devices powered by Google TV and come with a remote that incorporates a backlit (yes!) QWERTY keyboard. Sony also offers iOS and Android remote control apps that let you operate them with your choice of portable. Another notable new product is the BDP-S790, a player that’s capable of upscaling images to 4K resolution. You know, ‘cause you’re going to need that when you buy your expensive new 4K TV.

On the TV front, Sony is streamlining its offerings into 3 series: BX, EX, and HX. The flagship HX850 models, which arrive “first quarter” in 47- and 55-inch screen sizes, appear to have similar specs to last year’s HX-929 line, including a local-dimming LED backlight. Sony is also coming out with new Superlight active 3D glasses to make the 3D viewing experience more comfortable (and fashionable). Interestingly, whereas Samsung and LG are throwing their respective hats into the large-screen OLED ring, Sony has an entirely different prototype display tech at this show. Its 55-inch Crystal LED Display uses self-emitting tech, with tiny red, green, and blue LED triads mounted on the front of the display. No projected release date, but Sony promises to “work conscientiously” to bring Crystal LED Display to market.

Last, but not least, there are portable audio announcements. Sony has a bunch of new balanced armature in-ear headphones, along with a few speaker docks. Brent Butterworth managed to get an early hands-on with both, so keep an eye out on this site for his related post.