5:48PM VAIO X-series preview. Weighs less 700grams, 11.1-inch screen, 14-mm thick, WWAN, and carbon-fibre casing, aluminum keyboard panel. The battery lasts "all day and well into the night and will set the new standard for battery stamina." Well then. Hands on time!
5:45PM Sony now covering new Sony Readers already announced, but pretending that Europeans don't know anything about them. An odd approach that's being met with a lot of uneasy seat-shifting by the journalists in the room. Coming to European shops very soon.
5:42PM "Like a fully functional laptop in your pocket," with TV-out and full office document readability. 8.1 megapixel camera, finger friendly browsing, Walkman music player. On sale in Q4.
5:41PM Fujio Nishida speaking in broad terms about Sony's commitment to eco-issues. The GreenHeart phone made with recycled plastics, low power phone charger, etc. Sony plans to push these developments throughout its portfolio in time.
Xperia X2 now official running Windows Mobile 6.5!
5:38PM Sony hosting "twilight football" event -- 7 locations around the world playing football in at, you guessed it, twilight. The amateur teams will be given new Alpha cameras to capture presumably amateur shots under perfect lighting.
5:32PM Covering latest imaging techniques found in Sony's camcorders and digital cams. These might be new to Europe but not new to us. Come on Sony, why not make.believe you're a global company, please?
5:30PM Bravia branded TVs will include DVB-T, DVB-C, DVB-S -- HD Triple Tuner -- technology eliminating the need for settop boxes.
5:29PM Bravia Internet Video will also consolidate content from sources such as YouTube, Daily Motion, and other online video sites.
5:28PM Short form video content, YouTube being the biggest expample, is a trend Sony's been watching. "70% watch less TV as a result." Broadcasters are now starting offer their content over the Internet and this on-line "catch-up TV" watched on the PC is becoming more popular. "But watching TV on a PC can be unsatisfying, wouldn't it be more enjoyable if these programs could be delivered straight to the TV?" Sony will launch TVs, Blu-ray players with new Bravia Internet Video next year with XMB inteface. Broadcasters from Italy, Germany, Spain, and UK will join the trail early next year.
5:25PM Fujio Nishida back on stage to talk about products. Hear that, products. New products.
5:24PM make.believe branding strategy just launched. It's global, a first for Sony says Howard. Howard's going into the deep philosophical roots behind the new strategy as our eyes glaze over with visions of tall, wheat-based beers and breads twisted into pretzels. The strategy begins a phased roll-out over the next 6 months. "It's a symbol of the new Sony, a truly united Sony."
5:19PM Digital distribution of content on all devices is another major direction for Sony. The PlayStation Network now has more than 27 million accounts -- 27 mil touch-points for devies and content, "just think about," says Howard with dollar signs in his eyes. PSN video deliver service in Europe will cover all the major studios as well as some smaller locals, specifically naming Germany.
5:16PM Sony actively engaged in 3D programming for Bravia and Blu-ray disc players with content next year. Demo time, again. Sports, wildlife, gaming, and more gaming... see where this is going. Sony's betting big on 3D for 2010.
5:13PM OMG, a giant pad of butter is sliding towards us! And a meatball, naturally. I'll write that down, "decent applause" jibes Howard. "Not really our target audience."
5:11PM 3D demo coming up using Sony 3D projector of "Cloudy with a chance of Meat Balls" trailer. Everyone, put on your nerd glasses. "You look great," jokes Howard.
5:08PM "We are aggressively running our business in a new and changed reality." Howard now running through his new executive team since the reorg in the previous months. Two new areas that Sony can blaze a path of leadership. First up, 3D. "The 3D train is on the track and Sony is ready to drive it home." Rapid expansion is being driven by appetite for 3D cinema and the higher ticket prices they demand.
5:05PM And that was quick, here comes Sir Howard who is "very happy to be with us again this year." Laments on how broad and deep the global economic crisis was, much deeper than expected. "We couldn't have anticipated the turmoil. Maybe the worst is over, though I'm afraid to say that."
5:03PM And we're off. Video, heavy on Sony Entertainment ending with John Connor terminating the bit. Appropriate. Fujio Nishida, pres Sony Europe on stage.
5:00PM Uh Sony, it's customary to have some music playing. The room is silent other than the snide remarks of jet-lagged journalists and otherwise, perpetually jaded bloggers. Not exactly the idea warm-up act wanted.It's Berlin and it's Sony: that should be enough to whet the ol' curiosity. We're here live at the Sony IFA 2009 press event hoping to get a glimpse at Sony's European, nay, global strategy from this day forward. Good thing for us, Sony has given us permission to blog on its WiFi network. Yay!