Giving his CES 2009 keynote speech, Sony CEO Howard Stringer today spoke about the battles Sony faces in 2009.
He stressed that through innovation and going green, the company would fare well in the year ahead and offer the ultimate entertainment experience. Mentioning Blu-ray, PlayStation and name-checking the new Walkman, Stringer followed a stand-up sketch about Sony performed by Tom Hanks.
Both Sanyo and Casio were the butt of Hank's jokes, as well as Sony and Stringer himself. Hanks joked that Sony doesn't make computers, made a big thing about Betamax and wore prototype glasses that allow viewing of a television picture through the lenses while still observing the real world around you.
Picture frames - the future?
Moving on to speak about wireless, Stringer showcased a touch-screen alarm clock which is another prototype but a sign of how Sony believes picture frame technology will be the music and movie control hub of the home. We see a picture frame alarm clock, which gives iPhone style weather and stat updates as well as controlling music playlists and family photos.
Next up is Flex, the green, flexible iteration of OLED. He makes a joke about he video on the screen, saying not many people get the chance to 'squeeze' Beyonce Knowles...
Strengths of Blu-ray Disc
Stringer states 28 million BD discs were sold in the US during 2008, four times as many as 2007. He then says Sony has at least half of the player market and hands over to Pixar's John Lasseter, who talks about the strengths of Blu-ray, the key message being 'once you have it, you can never go back to DVD'.
BD Live is showcased via a Disney DVD menu screen which changes depending on your time zone – the weather of the fantasy world changes according to the local time. Blu-ray is given more time and Pixar says that Blu-ray is the key to 3D TV and mention that Pixar 3D films are already in development.
As is Toy Story 3, with Tom Hanks back on board – a 3D Toy Story 2 is likely to be the first 3D Blu-ray film.
Kaz Hirai, the man behind all things PlayStation, takes the stage and hypes recent PS3 game Little Big Planet, saying that 300,000 users have created new levels for the game, showcasing the social network potential of PS3.
Similar social network programs are mentioned, both Home and Life with PlayStation. In the absence of a killer Sony game, Hirai pushes the fact that PlayStation can share digital media and help connect you with the world.
Bravia goes green
Stringer back again, talking about the new eco Bravias which use 40 percent less technology and sugar based bio batteries as well as a Greenheart prototype eco phone.
We are now urged to wear supplied 3D glasses, clear plastic 50's style glasses at that, and watch Cars and an American football match in 3D. There are no old fashioned red and green lenses and the specs themselves carry the word 'REAL'.
The results are impressive... and even more so when watching a Dreamworks animation which shows the collapse of the Golden Gate Bridge and a speedy pursuit on San Francisco's Nob Hill.
And now - Usher!
Stringer moves on to music to close his speech, talking about the joy of sound and then introduces er, Usher who sings a pretty R&B ditty before sharing a few forced jokes.
Expect more info on all of these topics as we explore the exhibition floor here in Vegas...