Category Archives: Sony

Happy Earth Day!

Jump-start your Earth Day efforts with properly recycling your electronics AKA e-cycling! It’s incredibly easy to think environmentally responsible when it comes to your electronics. We’re happy to encourage and inform others about how-to dispose of your electronics in an environmentally safe fashion: Here is your Earth Day How-To: Most Important rule of e-cycling: Do […]

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Facebook launches 30 made-for-VR games at E3

FacebookFacebook, Bethesda Softworks and Sony are among the names to have announced new made-for-VR games at E3, reports

Facebook has launched 30 made-for-VR games for the Oculus Touch as it continues efforts to diversify its portfolio. Aside from those being released in the coming months, the Oculus team have also stated it has ‘hundreds’ more titles in the pipeline, though it hasn’t established when the Touch motion controllers might ship. The announcement also included the launch of Oculus Ready PCs, made by Alienware, Lenovo, and HP.

Bethesda Softworks also claims its Fallout 4 will become first big open-world game to get an official, studio-released virtual reality mode, as well as Sony announcing its Resident Evil title will receive the ‘full VR experience’.

While the shift towards VR and AR offers healthy potential for brands and gaming companies alike, it could present the same challenges for network players as the rise of mobile. VR could provide similar stress on the network as smartphone mass-adoption and the subsequent reduction in the price of data did. Deloitte estimates 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies could be sold in 2016 alone.

From a VR perspective, the gaming industry represents a healthy opportunity for brands such as Oculus. Research from intelligence firm Newzoo estimates gamers worldwide could generate a total of $99.6 billion in revenues in 2016, up 8.5% compared to 2015. Mobile will account for $36.9 billion, exceeding PC revenues for the first time, and growth is expected to continue at a healthy 6.6% CAGR through to 2019, potentially reaching $118.6 billion in total.

One of the main challenges for the VR industry currently is the levels of adoption and normalization of the technology itself. Currently the hardware is generally perceived as a luxury item and VR revenues will remain marginal for the short- to mid-term future until uptake has moved into the mainstream market. Newzoo expect the majority of revenues to be generated by hardware sales, spectator content, and live viewing formats, though this is likely to be the platform where consumers communicate with each other and interact with content in the long run.

Elsewhere in the industry, Sony has confirmed its first steps into the world of high-end VR, by announcing the release of PlayStation VR. The headset will be available later this year; October 13th and will be priced at $499 when bundled with the camera and Move controllers it needs to be fully functional.

While Sony is slightly later to the market than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, should the team be able to capitalise on strong performance in recent months the move could prove to be a successful venture. During the final quarter of 2015, Sony’s gaming division reported a 10.5% year-on-year increase revenue brought on by strong PlayStation hardware and software sales totalling $4.89 billion. Operating income for the gaming unit was 45.5% higher owing partly to the fact the company sold more than sold over 35 million PlayStation 4 consoles.

Sony leans on AI to give technological advantage

Sony robotSony has announced its latest investment into Cogitai, taking the company’s interests into the world of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence has been claiming column inches in recent months, as numerous technology companies including Facebook and Google aim to gain traction in a potentially profitable marketplace. The company has subtle experience in the AI space, having incorporated a number of face and speech recognition capabilities into previous products, though the company has not specifically stated where Cogitai’s technology will fit into the mix. Financials of the agreement have not been released to date.

“We believe that AI will be incorporated into numerous products and will eventually become commonplace,” said Hiroaki Kitano, CEO of Sony Computer Science Laboratories. Kitano’s division is responsible for future innovation in the business, where the team is current investigating the role of AI in enhanced the music experience for customers, as well as how the company can improve its own internal manufacturing processes.

“As this evolution happens, the most important thing to focus on is the benefit the technology brings to consumers. Because of this, the choice of domains, value propositions, and how one can align technologies to enable them to work together will be crucial. From this perspective the collaboration between Cogitai and Sony is a major milestone for the next wave of AI.”

The company’s first venture into the AI market focused around the launch of robotic dog AIBO in 1999 and humanoid robot QRIO in 2003. While these launches received a healthy amount of attention at the time, the last products were produced in 2006 due to the company’s need to concentrate on fighting back competition in its core consumer electronics business. Having restructured the consumer electronics business, the team could be using the integration of AI to provide technological advantage in the market segment.

Sony’s current AI activities are centred within the System R&D Group which is based in Sony Headquarters, and is also responsible for the development of augmented reality and other emerging technology areas. The team have implemented various AI capabilities in a number of current products including Xperia Agent, a voice activated robot which provides information in a similar manner to Siri and Project N, a wearable device, though the capabilities don’t appear to be as advanced as others in the market.