CES 2009: Sony keynote

CES 2009


Below, you’ll find the Sony keynote liveblog, but I feel I should warn you, it went on for two hours. I’d recommend reading this if you’re completely up to date on every other CES related piece of news. There are, however, a few ‘sleb spots for you to enjoy.

So we were expecting Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, and we got Tom Hanks. He looks… old. He needs his eyes doing. On the plus side, he’s quite funny. Is he as funny as Howard Stringer? We shall see.

Oops. I’ve just fallen in love with Tom Hanks. He’s fucking brilliant.

Oh, and Angels & Demons is out in May, which is a shame.

Oh god – from Tom Hanks to talk of the recession. Seamless.

By 2011, 90% of Sony products will connect wirelessly to each other. Finally. We’re onto some product news.

There’s a new WiFi Cybershot camera, which has a built in browser which will allow you to upload directly to the internet, or to a Bravia TV. They’ve demoed it on Picasa, but it looks like it should work with any sharing site. It’s available now, for “an extraordinarily reasonable price”. So, like, £30? No. Perhaps not. And apparently it’s not European bound, so it’s nothing to get your knickers in a twist about if you’re in the UK. Duncan’s written about it in more detail here.

And now.. Clock radios! Didn’t see that coming. There’s a concept one with Wi-Fi, which will harvest all the important stuff ready for you when you wake up – stocks, weather, news etc. It’ll also work out what your music taste is, and if a new video or song gets released, it’ll wake you to it. It does this through Pandora. It’ll show you sports clips, photos that have been emailed, and anything else that third party developers can think of.

OLED. Sony are still the only company to have an OLED TV actually for sale. There’s a awesome concept OLED screen, which is so thin, it’s flexible. There it is, flexing about on the stage, playing Beyonce and that awful song about putting a ring on it.

They’ve brought on Disney’s Chief Dreamer, or some such nonsense, to talk up Bluay. And of course we have the obligatory WALL-E clip. It’s the Quantum of Solace of 2009’s CES.

There’s some chat about BDLive, and a demo of live chat, and a feature on Rapunzel, which will mimic the weather where ever you are around Rapunzel’s castle. I’m sure the seven year olds will love that.

We can look forward to 3D Bluray at home. No talk of when, but it will happen. Or at least it will if Sony have anything to do with it.

Toy Story 3, coming out in summer 2010. You heard it here first. Unless you’ve been on IMDB recently, in which case you probably saw it there first.

The PS3 has obviously been a big driver for Bluray. We get a clip of Sackboy, from LBP. There’s now 17,400 hours of game play for LittleBigPlanet, thanks to the user generated levels (Sony provided the first ten in the game).

Dr Oz looks fun. He’s a doctor who appears on Oprah a lot, and in case anyone is in any doubt, he seems to always appear in blue scrubs. Perhaps he rushes straight from the operating table to Oprah. Oh! And he’s on stage. Sadly he’s wearing a suit.

This is unexpected. He seems to be telling us how to lose weight. Your ideal body shape means your waist measurement should be less than half your height. Goodness, you learn all sorts of things here at the Sony keynote. Howard Stringer’s waist is 39-inches, and sadly he’s not 6ft 6, so HS has just been unmasked as a Fat Person. Build muscles, don’t eat white food and manage stress. Do that, and you too can be a supermodel, apparently. Quite how this is going to segment into the launch of any Sony products is at this point unclear.

Oh – you can learn more about this at the Sony booth. So now it all makes perfect sense…

Reggie Jackson is here! He’s a Hall of Famer! For baseball! No. Me neither. Sony are sponsoring the new Yankee stadium, so at least this appearance makes a bit of sense. There are some baseball anecdotes I can’t be bothered to transcribe, since they make absolutely no sense to me.

Ooh, we’ve just had a demo of the 3D stuff. And I admit, it is pretty fucking cool. However, wearing knock off RayBans on your sofa is not. The good news is, the same video is pretty watchable without it. There’s a very slight halo around the image, but it’s bearable. And we’ve just seen some American football footage, which is where the technology really comes into its own – it’ll make calling offside decisions from the comfort of your sofa a lot easier.

Time check, people. We’ve been here at this keynote for almost two hours. Are you still here?

Oh hell. Usher’s here.

Usher is slowly realising, live on stage, the Sony owns pretty much all of him. And pretty much all of the world, by all accounts. It’s a fascinating journey, let me tell you.

(You know how you can tell you’re bored? When you start checking out the Special Characters in your word processing programme)


Susi Weaser
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