A Picture Of Andrew Garfield As Spider-Man

Spider-Man is an upcoming superhero film currently in production. A fourth entry in the Spider-Man film franchise was planned for release in 2011; however, in 2010 the film was cancelled due to Sam Raimi’s withdrawal from the project. Sony announced that the franchise will in turn be rebooted with new director Marc Webb and a new cast which includes Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifans as the Lizard. The reboot’s intention is to have Peter Parker back to developing his abilities in high school. It is scheduled to be released in 3-D on July 3, 2012.

Sony Pictures sent out an e-mail last week to the press with the first exclusive photo of Andrew Garfield in the Spider-Man costume, as seen above.

The film began shooting on December 6, 2010 in Los Angeles. The film is the first Hollywood production to be filmed with the RED Epic camera, and is being shot in 3D at 5K resolution. The 90-day film shoot will include two weeks in New York City, while the bulk of filming will occur in and around Los Angeles, including such locations as the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Mid-Wilshire, and various locations around South Pasadena, San Pedro, and Woodland Hills.

Jan 2011

Corporate, Media


CES 2011 Day One Round Up

With much excitement and totally being overwhelmed here at CES 2011, we wanted to thank you all who checked out our today’s posts during Sony’s Press Conference. Being here at the Sony booth (I am not even sure why they call it a booth, because it is a humongous Sony infused area) is simply mesmerizing and at the same time amazing to be among the first to experience and have hands on experience with products that will be hitting the store shelves later in the year. We will do our best to bring some unique information about the new products, provide you with video footage as well as supplement with interesting interviews and dialogues we will be involved in while being here on the floor.

If you have missed our first array of posts, feel free to check out  the links below and explore all the juicy information within each post. We will be updating our posts with photo libraries, so check them out soon for high resolution images.

Jan 2011

CES, Corporate, Media


Raphael Saadiq, American Idol Alumni, Viva Elvis Cirque Du Solei Highlight Sony’s #CES 2011 Booth

For the last several years Sony has brought huge names in music, such as Usher and Taylor Swift, to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s always been a really cool thing for press and those in the industry to see these artists, close up, like very few actually get to do. Talk about a truly unique product launch experience.

This year at CES 2011, Sony is bringing yet another interesting assortment of musicians and performers together. If you are attending CES 2011, stop by booth #14200 in the Las Vegas Convention Center on the following dates to see experience some great tunes. Musicians such as Raphael Saadiq (Jan 7th), Crystal Bowersox (Jan 6th), and Danny Gokey (Jan 8th) will all perform for 50 minute mini-concerts during CES 2011. There will also be a couple of 15 minute sessions with DJ Genki Rocket (11:25-11:40AM Jan 6-8th).

According to the official press release,

Grammy Award Winning singer, songwriter, and record producer Raphael Saadiq (Jan 7th 4:05-4:55 PM) will perform songs from his forthcoming album Stone Rollin’. (Columbia Records)

American Idol season 9 finalist singer-songwriter Crystal Bowersox (Jan. 6th 4:05-4:55 PM) to perform from her new album Farmer’s Daughter (19 Recordings/Jive)

Danny Gokey (Jan 8th 4:05-4:55 PM) season 8 finalist will perform hits from his debut album My Latest Days (19 Recordings/RCA Nashville)

There will also be an exclusive performance by Viva Elvis Cirque Du Soleil during Sony’s CES press conference, which will be streamed live on the Internet .

Personally, I am really excited to see Raphael Saadiq. “The Way I See It” is such a great sounding album that is really special to listen to with my girl. Raphael makes very some sweet sounding music.

Jan 2011

CES, Corporate, Media


Top Ten Sony Insider Stories Of 2010

2010 was an incredible year in many ways for Sony as a brand, its social media team and Sony Insider’s role in that circle.

Every year we like to share the top ten stories that received the most hits on the site. This year’s list is rather interesting because it signals to me Sony Insider, while it has great coverage of news, has also become an informative tool for consumers when they want to learn more (and purchase) Sony products. We also noticed that many stories from 2009 are still receiving healthy traffic.

I hope we can do an even better job of being a source of news, reviews and everything else Sony in 2011. We will be following up this post with another list of our favorite memories of 2010, and our thoughts on what Sony needs to do in 2011. Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

#10 – Sony Shows Off Prototype Flexible Electronic Paper Display

September 14th – Every year in Japan, Sony holds a special Dealer Convention that shows off the latest products and a glimpse of what is coming. The event, held this year in Shinagawa, Tokyo, has always been interesting as sometimes reveals products and prototypes that Sony hasn’t even announced yet. While the big focus at this year’s Dealer Convention was 3D products, there was also a small exhibit showing a very exciting development that could one day be used in future Sony Reader devices.

#9 – Sony Wearable Walkman NWZ-W250

April 12th – Sony Europe announced a new and improved Sony Wearable and Water Resistant Walkman in their W series. The Sony NWZ-W250 is actually water resistant, something that its cousin W202 has had issues with. You also get a new look, a new stand and of course Sony acclaimed superb sound. NWZ-W252 is offered in a 2GB of storage in the USA and 4 Gb to store your techno or whatever music you like to work out to.

#8 – Our leak of the new Sony Reader eBook devices

August 12th – The fall season in the USA always brings an update to Sony Reader devices, and we were the first to deliver concrete information about the new models – PRS-350 and PRS-650. Sony has been under pressure in the E-Book Reader product category as they face increased competition from rivals Apple (iPad), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and a hodgepodge of other companies.

#7 – Inside Job Movie Exposes The Truth Behind American Financial Crisis

August 24th – Inside Job is a documentary from Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), and is the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, the Inside Job “cost over $20,000,000,000,000 to produce.” Be sure to also check out the Inside Job official website and Facebook page.

#6 – Sony Officially Starts Selling Playstation Products In Vietnam

January 19th – Sony Computer Entertainment Asia announced that the company has formally started PlayStation business in Socialist Republic of Vietnam, making the one of the world’s popular computer entertainment systems and services available to the PlayStation fans and consumers in the country.

#5 – New Sony VAIO F Series Encountering Buzzing Or High Pitched Whine Issue?

January 21st – According to dozens of forum users at Notebookreview.com, apparently owners of the powerful Sony VAIO F Series VPCF112FX/B, VPCF11JFX/B, VPCF11MFX/B and VPCF1190X CTO were experiencing an odd high pitched whine or buzzing sound (aka whining) while using the laptop. The issue caused several consumers to call Sony for support, but they were unable to provide a fix over the phone – this led to several of the laptops being returned, exchanged, and so forth. However, after observing the forum topic it seems that the problem resides within the microphone built into the laptop itself, and with a few simple clicks this issue can be temporarily resolved. Sony eventually provided a full fix for this issue.

#4 – Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Battery Life Revealed

January 22nd – The XPERIA X10, also known in Japan simply as Xperia, came to the massive wireless carrier DoCoMo yesterday amid great reception. However, what’s truly odd about this 1Ghz, 4 inch screen Android phone is that the battery life figures have been relatively unknown up to this point. Even Sony Ericsson’s global site has never listed the battery life figures in its specifications. This left many curious as to how long it could actually last.

#3 – Hands-on With BD Remote – The Sony iPhone/iPod Touch Remote App

January 10th – One of the most overlooked announcements by Sony at CES 2010 was the new iPhone/iPod Touch application called “BD Remote” that is compatible with all 2010 Sony Networked Blu-ray Players. Well I guess it wasn’t that overlooked after we published a nice hands-on with the interface.

#2 – How To Fix The Battery Life On The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

April 13th – The XPERIA X10 is truly outstanding as SE’s first Android device, and has some features that really shine in comparison to the competition. The design is also just so stunning, and reminds me of the Monolithic Design concept we’ve seen with Sony’s other products. However, after using the phone daily, it became obvious that there was a big problem – the battery life. The battery was draining way too quickly, even in standby mode. I tried some application management programs, and so forth, but it still seemed less than what I’d hoped for. This post originated before a firmware fix that corrected some problems, and visitors left comments with other tips.

#1 – Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 vs. Apple iPhone 4 Specs Comparison

Sony Ericsson’s major device for AT&T in 2010 was the XPERIA X10. With specifications straight out of Star Trek, is one of the most advanced devices ever released by Sony Ericsson. However, the new iPhone 4, despite its shortcomings, has set the bar in smartphone functionality that is nearly unmatched by other devices. We put the XPERIA X10 (specs courtesy Sony Ericsson) head to head with the iPhone 4 (specs courtesy of Apple) in a detailed specifications comparison.

Dec 2010

Sony Buys Out Cell Processor Factory From Toshiba

Sony has completed a deal with Toshiba to purchase majority ownership of a semiconductor factory that creates the Cell Broadband Engine and RSX graphic chip, which are key components in the PlayStation 3. The fabrication facilities are located in the Nagasaki Technology Center of Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation (seen above).

Toshiba originally paid 90 billion yen ($1.1 billion) for the plant in 2007, and worked closely with NSM, Sony, and SCEI (who had a combined 40% ownership) to create the powerful Cell processor, a 9-core chip which was originally conceived to power a wide array of next generation consumer electronic devices. Those big aspirations have fallen short as Cell has only been found in the PlayStation 3, and several Toshiba displays and other devices to date.

After Toshiba transfers the facility over to Sony in 2012, the joint venture that is currently managing operations will dissolve.

“This is part of our company’s shift to outsource production of high-end chips to other companies,” said Toshiba spokesman Hiroki Yamazaki.

Nikkei reported that Sony got quite a deal on the purchase price, which is rumored to be around 50 billion yen ($610 million), a little less than half the original price.

Dec 2010

Corporate, Playstation, PS3


Music Unlimited Powered by Qriocity

A new cloud based, digital music service called Music Unlimited has been announced and became available in the UK and Ireland, soon to debut in other select countries in “Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and [the] U.S…in due course during 2011.” Most of your might be familiar with Qriocity – Sony’s network platform for distributing video, now will be hosting music streaming. Once it becomes available PlayStation 3 users will also be treated to a new icon on their XMB interface. Also most TVs and Bluray players released in 2010 will be able to partake in this new music service. Expect also your 2011 VAIO models join the party as well.

Check out below Sony’s official press release as well as video walk through.

Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced the launch of “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity,” a new, cloud-based, digital music service which gives music lovers access at any time to millions of songs from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as leading independent labels and major publishers worldwide. The “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” catalogue will initially offer about six million songs and will continue to expand over time.

Through “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity,” users can play music any time on a wide variety of Internet-connected Sony devices including Sony’s 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system as well as VAIO and other personal computers. It will also become available on a wide range of Sony’s portable devices, as well as on Android-based mobile devices and other portable devices.

“Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is initially available in the U.K. and Ireland with service availability in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and U.S. to be announced in due course during 2011.

“Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is the next extension of services ‘powered by Qriocity. Sony debuted “Video On Demand powered by Qriocity,” a premium video streaming service, in the U.S. in April 2010 and expanded the service to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. in November 2010. Through “Video on Demand powered by Qriocity” customers can instantly rent from a growing library of thousands of Hollywood blockbuster movies across Sony’s 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player and Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system.

“As we continue to expand Qriocity globally, these services ‘powered by Qriocity’ offer a single ID log-in and wallet solution, and empower users to easily consume content including music and video across a growing number of integrated devices,” said Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products & Services Group, Sony Corporation. “Seamless accessibility to content through these fresh user experiences will enrich Sony,s network service offerings and continually add value to the unique aspects of Sony’s network-enabled products.”

Dec 2010

Corporate, Media


Sony Appoints Nobel Prize Winner Ei-ichi Negishi As R&D Advisor

In a rather unique acquisition, Sony has appointed Professor Ei-ichi Negishi, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, as Executive Research Advisor to Sony for R&D. Sony will tap his expertise and apply it to the field of materials and devices, specifically in the area of organic electronics. He is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University (USA) and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University Catalysis Research Center.

Professor Negishi will be present at internal and external research centers, and participate in research progress review meetings and other opportunities. He will also advise on Sony’s medium and long-term research plans, and on methods for nurturing talented researchers. Through the involvement of such a renowned expert in this field, Sony aims to stimulate its researchers in their organics electronics research and development, and accelerate their R&D processes as a result.

Professor Negishi was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Akira Suzuki, Professor Emeritus at Hokkaido University and Richard F. Heck, Professor Emeritus at University of Delaware, for their research findings in ‘palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis’, which is being used widely throughout the world as a technology that drastically accelerates organic synthesis reactivity, and that has contributed to the technological advancement of various industries, including pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals, plastics and liquid crystal.

We found a great interview on YouTube with Professor Ei-ichi Negishi:

The opportunity to interact with Professor Negishi, a global authority on organic chemistry who brings vast experience and insights relating to research procedures, is certain to stimulate and inspire Sony’s researchers as they engages in their own research and development of organic electronics. Sony expects his appointment to be a catalyst for further breakthroughs leading to the practical implementation of these technologies in new and revolutionary Sony products.

Sony continues to achieve world-leading research results in the field of organic electronics based on organic chemistry and synthesis, which have contributed to the development of technologies such as organic transistors used in the rear substrates of organic light emitting diode(OLED) displays and flexible OLED displays, dye-sensitized solar cells (a type of organic photovoltaic cell), electrolytes for next-generation rechargeable batteries, vegetable-based plastics and recycled plastics. Sony is further accelerating its research and development in these technologies, to enable their adoption as core technologies in future generations of Sony products.

This post is an altered version of the original Sony global press release.

Dec 2010



Michael Jackson’s Upcoming Album Michael Already Available

Michael Jackson’s upcoming posthumous album, Michael, which are collected works from the past, is set for release on December 14th. Internet savages have already ripped the album and put it on file sharing networks. I was easily able to go to the popular torrent site thepiratebay.org and see many people sharing Michael. It’s unfortunate, but all popular music that comes out now faces this unavoidable reality.

Despite whatever piracy does to possible sales, it’s easily promised that troves of fans will purchase the album anyways. The release has been played in grand fashion with song premieres all over the place.

“Breaking News” was the first song from the album to be unveiled. On November 5, a video teaser for the song was released on Jackson’s official website. It opens with a montage of various television journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson, followed by the musical introduction of a song. The video refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death. On November 8, 2010, the full length version of the song was released, and made available on MichaelJackson.com for one week.

The album’s first single, “Hold My Hand”, was released on November 15, 2010. The filming for the official video of Hold My Hand began on Saturday, November 20 in Tustin, California. There was a casting call posted up on Jackson’s official website, saying that they were “looking for his fans of all ages who want to be a part of this iconic event.”

On November 30, the final version of “Much Too Soon” was unveiled (a mix without the accordion had leaked out in mid-November). It was announced that it would play on iTunes Ping for one week. On December 3, 2010, talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres premiered the song “Hollywood Tonight” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show while dancing throughout the audience. This is the first time this song has been featured on television. On December 6, talk show host Oprah Winfrey premiered songs “Keep Your Head Up”, and and “Monster” during her talk show. On December 7, the final version of “(I Can’t Make It) Another Day” was unveiled on iTunes Ping for one week.

The first few reviews that have popped up have been mixed.

Dan Martin of NME called the album “kind of enjoyable” but commented that “if this decent-enough album is the best of the bunch, things are going to get ugly from here on in.”

Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone thought the album was “not a Michael Jackson album“, and Jackson “would not have released anything like this compilation, a grab bag of outtakes and outlines,” but “it’s a testament to the man’s charisma that Michael can be compelling.” RS gave Michael 3 out of 5 stars.

Dec 2010

Corporate, Media


Ghostbusters III Coming In 2012

Over the years various rumors have floated around about the film Ghostbusters III. The official press release regarding the movie has yet to be issued, but is expected within the next month.

Let’s take a look at the story so far this year with the anticipated movie.

In early January, Ivan Reitman confirmed that he will be directing the film. In March 2010, Bill Murray appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and talked about his return to Ghostbusters III, stating “I’d do it only if my character was killed off in the first reel”. In an interview with Coming Soon, Murray said: “You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it’d be fun to do.”. Aykroyd said a release is set for Christmas 2012.

In October 2010, Dan Aykroyd gave Vanity Fair an update on the status of the Ghostbusters 3 script, written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg: “I’m working on the script now and those two—Stupnitsky and Eisenberg, [writer-producers of The Office]—wrote Bill the comic role of a lifetime, and the new Ghostbusters and the old are all well represented in it…we have a strong first draft that Harold [Ramis] and I will take back, and I’m very excited about working on it.”

Shortly after that interview, at the Spike TV Scream Awards, Bill Murray appeared to accept an award for Zombieland. He appeared in full Ghostbusters gear, but gave no statements regarding the film.

In mid-October, a Sony Product Marketing Manager (Stefano Paganini) appeared at a Ghostbusters event in Rome and said “I spoke about this night with my boss from Los Angeles. She allowed me to let you know that the script of ‘Ghostbusters 3′ has been approved so the engine has been turned on!”

The original cast will return while casting is currently underway looking for young Ghostbusters. It has been reported Anna Farris has been cast as a young Ghostbuster and Will Forte and Bill Hader have be linked to unamed roles. Shooting will begin in May 2011.

Nov 2010

Corporate, Media


Sony’s Next President

If you’ve been watching Sony for the last few years, then you remember Sir Howard Stringer has basically had two roles at one point – Chairman and CEO (2005). He assumed the role of President after Ryoji Chubachi stepped down in 2009.

Bloomberg has the scoop that Sony is looking to divide the President responsibilities from Stringer, and either offer it to Kazuo Hirai or Hiroshi Yoshioka. It’s not necessarily a jab at Howard or anything, but it would be nice to lighten the load for the man. He is turning 69 years old next Feburary and has been bouncing around his main office in New York, Sony’s Tokyo headquarters, the movie division in Los Angeles and London where his family lives for the last few years. Bloomberg had an interesting quote about Howard’s future with the company as well, nothing “He said last year he wanted to remain on the job until Sony completes its business plan ending in March 2013.”

Kaz has has always been a very positive personality for Sony and is already doing many things for the company that are similar to the role of a President. Hirai is the current Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. He also serves as Executive Vice President, Officer in charge of Networked Products & Service Group of Sony Corporation. It makes sense to play a guy like this as the new President of Sony, especially since the USA is more familiar with him and he is a part of some very innovative areas of the company.

There is also word from Bloomberg that the other person to assume the role of President could be Hiroshi Yoshioka, the executive deputy president and a corporate executive officer who has been with the company since 1979. He has been instrumental in helping the company change over the last few years and obviously has a great deal of experience with Sony.

Both are referred to as members of the “Four Musketeers,” which is a group Fortune published a great article about back in 2009:

At the same time, he (Stringer) reconfigured the company into two new core groups and elevated four English-speaking Japanese executives in their late forties and fifties — relative greenhorns by Japanese standards — to run them. Corporate troubleshooter and former TV division head Hiroshi Yoshioka, the eldest of the group at 56, now oversees a $50 billion consumer products group that includes TVs, stereos, DVD and Blu-ray players, and camcorders.

Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai, 48, a marketing whiz who had been running Sony’s games business, now oversees a much broader networked-products and services group that is home to PlayStations, Vaio computers, and Sony’s Walkman audio line. It also is tasked with the critical job of creating a new set of digital services that will tie all of Sony’s gadgets and gizmos together. Kunai Suzuki, 48, is Hirai’s deputy and will run the Vaio business but will also have responsibility for incubating a next generation of devices for this networked world. Rounding out the four is Yoshihisa “Bob” Ishida, 49, a well-regarded strategist with an outspoken style whose assignment is to revitalize the TV-display business.

Stringer, in a typically impromptu moment at a press conference in February announcing the changes, dubbed the core of his new team the “four musketeers.” Beyond the four, Stringer created centralized corporate functions like manufacturing and procurement, and hired an IBM executive, George Bailey, as the company’s first “chief transformation officer.” And other big but less central businesses, like Sony’s film, music, and financial arms, still report to Stringer.

All this organizational jujitsu must now yield tangible results: sustained profitability, a more cohesive corporate culture, and the nimbleness to fend off all its new-style rivals. (A single iconic new hit gizmo won’t revive Sony, but it wouldn’t hurt either.) After the plan was announced, the Nikkei Weekly tartly wrote that the moves “smack of desperation.” But investors are, for the moment, onboard.

Nov 2010