We're back, coming at you live from Sony's second big press event. Today's keynote is anchored by Sir Howard Stringer, a handsome man with enough stature as Chairman and CEO of Sony to lure the world's press out of bed for an 08.30am presentation. Sony already hinted that we'd be hearing more about 3D television prototypes, a new camera, perhaps, and the evolution of Sony's consumer OLED display lineup. This is going to be good.
And Howard takes a bow. Oh noes, Gary Shapiro is back on stage. We're gone!10:38AM
Howard wrapping it up. "If you can imagine it, we can help you make it real." Howard laments the loss of imagination as children grow. Is it too much pressure, are we beaten down. "At Sony we're trying to dream the impossible... to turn imagination into reality. No drop in the economy can change that." Feeling misty, give us a moment...
Howard, "Usher, do you miss the album in a singles dominated download market?" Usher, talks in circles which we won't even pretend to understand. What we do understand is that Usher just got paid. Usher, is ushered off stage. Groan.10:33AM
Usher jokes, "I do know a lot about technology, SONY, technology." Usher adds, "I was just at the Sony Hospital in Atlanta." [there is no Sony hospital in Atlanta]. Howard, "See, now everyone is doing it." Guffaw. This is a bit awkward.
We have to wonder, with Sony in serious financial hurt and Seinfeld's short but bittersweet ad campaign costing Microsoft $300 million, how much did it cost Sony to bring Tom Hanks, Reggie Jackson, and Usher to Vegas for the day? Any press seriously concerned about Sony and gadgets would be here without the celebs. 10:28AM
Usher! Check it all the ladies in the house. All one of you. "It's about time we finally had some entertainment right." Oh, snap!10:27AM
Stage getting setup for what looks like Usher....
Howard showing off Gracenote TrackID on unidentified 2.0 megapixel Sony Ericsson phone now. Pulled the device from the pocket of the XXL jacket draping that 6 foot 6 frame. Sony Vaio P getting a push now, also pulled from Howard's jacket pocket. Pre-order starting today, "available nationwide soon." We could look at Sony's P all day. Wait, what?10:22AM
The destruction of the Golden Gate bridge hasn't looked this good since the Tacoma Narrows failure.
Jeffrey Katzenberg on stage. Dreamworks will begin authoring all of its films in 3D moving forward. All! Awesome. Monsters vs. Aliens about to be demoed.
Watching 3D video demonstration of Pixar film and NFL. Impressive. An auditorium filled with 500 of the world's press wearing silly polarized glasses is even more so.
Greenheart bio phone on display in addition to a few other green prototypes here at CES.
Howards pulls out "a slightly soggy Reggie bar" to applause. Odd. Reggie exits stage right.10:06AM
Yankee stadium and Sony partnership now getting a marketing spin -- big TVs, PlayStations in every suite. Here comes Reggie Jackson onto the stage who's not too happy about the new stadium for obvious reasons. Still says he looks forward to seeing all the new Sony technology. Ordering food from your seat and the special technology only room featuring Sony. Howard and Reggie reminiscing about the old days when Howard was at CBS and Reggie had hair. Oh the good ol' days.10:02AM
He's gone. Until he comes back on TV in September. Gawd help us.
10:00AM Why is this guy lecturing us on belly fat? This is just bizarre. Now he's talking about pot and how it gives you the munchies. Please, go away Dr. Oz. We want to see more Sony products.
9:57AM And... Howard returns again. Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame is now being pushed into a new Dr. Phil-like spin-off. Oh Oprah, is there anything you can't do with help from Sony. Dr. Oz is on stage, in a suit. If our doctors acted like this this we'd prefer to remain sick, this guy is as dramatic as David Copperfield and just as annoying.
9:53AM Sony has added Electronic Arts to Home today. Based on the demo, it looks like it includes an EA casino and other places where you can give more of your money to Sony.
Updates on PlayStation Store now. MTV Networks is announcing today that they are adding 2,000 hours of programming to Sony's video delivery service.9:46AM
Kaz talking up the PlayStation Network and achievements over the last year. "The destination of digital content for all of our consumers."9:45AM
Kaz Hirai, president of SCE on stage. Kaz!
Looks like Pixar has another winner on the way. Howard returns to stage. Howard giving props to Disney for its unwavering support to Blu-ray. 3D version of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 coming in addition to Toy Story 3 staring, you guessed it, Tom Hanks.
John Lassater of Pixar on stage to tout Blu-ray. He really seems like a believer. Showing clip of Wall-E. Hints at 3D film on the way which "we'll see later." Nice hint at new 3D display coming, eh? Now watching trailer from soon to be released Pixar film, Up.
On to OLED. Sorry to disappoint, no new TV introduced, instead it's a new Flex OLED (flexible OLED display) showing Beyonce juttering about while the OLED is being squeezed into an arc by an anonymous hand off stage. "How many people have the chance to squeeze Beyonce." Heh.
New bedside companion alarm clock / digital picture frame introduced with Chumby integration and touchscreen. Demo's Big Ben alarm function, "Wouldn't you like to wake up with Big Ben... the clock I mean." Oh Howard, you so dirty. Also playing music video from Bruce Springsteen via Pandora "which already knows my music preferences.... which is strange." Howard is a riot, seriously, wish this guy was our uncle.
Howard is now covering products from the previous year showing how each supports its vision. Howard just unveiled the WiFi Cybershot DSC-G3 camera with built-in browser that connects to any public hotspot allowing you to upload snaps to your favorite photo sharing site or Bravia TV. Photos have already been uploaded from Tom Hanks' shindig using the new camera. The new camera is now for sale at "an extraordinarily reasonable price." That got a good laugh.
Things take a serious tone, "these are certainly challenging times." Howard is talking about the 7 imperatives of the consumer electronics industry. This is like bad corporate Powerpoint suddenly with Sony trying to show itself as the spiritual and philosophical leader of the CE industry.
Howard is now alone, at last, with about 500 gaping journalists and bloggers looking on wondering how Sony's going to turn it around.
"Howard save me, I feel the evil forces of Samsung pulling me under. Howard save me, you're a knight for christsakes!" Tom exists the stage.
"I'm whatever you want me to be today, Howard" chides Hanks. Howard just tried on some prototype video projection glasses that actually don't make him look (too) goofy. Tom's trying them on too. Oh the shame. Tom is posing on stage... was that Blue Steel? Tom's now watching a film of himself on the glasses with that video projected onto a large screen for us all to see -- meta on meta. Tom, "I think these are the best glasses Sony has ever made." Hanks is shredding Sony.
9:13AM Hanks counts the 10 LG teleprompters on stage to the crowd's amusement. Howard, "I took a risk... and it failed!" Crowd loving it.
"Please welcome my friend, Sir Howard Stringer!" Finally.
40 minutes in, not a single new Sony product announced, no Howard Stringer. But people love celebs. By the way, Tom Hanks looks a bit thinner than the last time we saw him. We hope he's ok. Anyone know where he buys his yogurt? He really should come forward with his health issues.
Making fun of marketing execs who wrote his speech. Reading the words off a teleprompter with obvious effect. Crowd is loving it. He genuinely seems a bit ashamed about being a shill.9:05AM
He's walking like a goof, making fun of Gary's meandering, speech. Now expressing Betamax regret. Audience in tears. Hank's on a roll.
Lights dim, more video introduction. Heavenly lights, booming base, men without shirts, the vatican, Tom Hanks... oh, we're watching a trailer for Angels and Deamons. Tom Hanks is on the stage!9:01AM
Here comes Howard! Oh wait, Gary can't stop talking. Long introduction about Howard's historical rise to the top of Sony.
Zzzzz... congress... Obama... 4,500 media here at CES... Zzzz8:56AM
Man, Gary (the president of CEA) is really blow-harding about the CEA and the need for the government to get out of the way of consumer electronics. 25 minutes already. Howard, please? This is not why we woke up early and elbowed our way into the front row.8:51AM
Really pounding the drum of recovery in 2010 with some help from President Wonderboy and some lobbying by the CEA. Can we please get on with Sony products please?
Talking about flat growth for new year and consumers taking "staycations." As such, they need home entertainment products like big TVs, game consoles, etc. Fortunately, consumer electronics is Sony's specialty.8:47AM
Rousing speech continues. Smattering of applause at free market ideals (smattering = 5 people)8:44AM
Gary Shaprio takes the stage, talking about the history of consumer electronics, "we don't seek bailout money, we seek opportunity."
Gary Shapiro stars in video spoof poking fun at our economic woes. Is unemployment funny?8:41AM
Pretty packed in here, but our connection is about a sketch as it gets -- will do our best to keep you covered!