Here’s a surprising move, Sony has just announced a finalized agreement to acquire cloud gaming service Gaikai for a whopping $380Million USD.
With this acquisition, SCE will establish a cloud service and expand its network business by taking full advantage of Gaikai’s revolutionary technology and infrastructure including data centers servicing dozens of countries and key partners around the world.
Personally I still prefer the service of OnLive, but this is a huge step toward acknowledging the power of Cloud Gaming services. I can’t help but expect an upcoming revision of Sony televisions and BluRay players with Gaikai support integrated.
Big news from Sony Pictures Imageworks today as they drop the bomb that they’re closing their New Mexico offices. VFXSoldier has the best writeup I’ve seen on the topic, relating it to the ever-growing battle over government subsidies.
The good news for VFX professionals is that there are other Vancouver shops to jump to but this might be bad news for the facilities. Many are moving there to supply US studios with access to huge subsidies while they swallow huge costs to lure the talent there. With Rhythm, Sony, DD, Pixar, ILM, and others trying to hire a relatively smaller talent pool you can expect costs to rise rapidly.
The events of today are undeniable. They play into the narrative that I’ve written about for almost the last 2 years.
VFX Is Moving To Expensive Locations, Not Cheaper Locations
A battle for the future of 3D cinema is brewing between Sony and Theaters over the cost of 3D Glasses. Previously provided by Sony, now they want individual theater guests to buy their own sets of glasses, which NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) says really translates to increases deployment costs fot theaters.
In its statement, NATO said press reports indicate that Sony wants audience members to buy their own glasses, but in reality, the studio wants to move the expense of providing glasses off their own balance sheets and doesnt particularly care if the cost is borne by theater owners or ticket buyers.
Sony has announced that they’ll be jumping into the 3D Professional Camcorder market this NAB with their upcoming “3D XCDAM” camera.
At 2011 NAB Show, Sony will unveil the production model of the camcorder, which Honeycutt called “the camera of the future.” The 3-D XCDAM shoulder-mount HD camcorder captures images with two 1/2in 3CMOS (six sensors acquiring at 1920 x 1080 resolution) Exmor imagers and records up to six hours on two separate SxS solid-state cards, for left and right eyes; it can also be used for 2-D HD recording. Up to six hours can be captured on four 64GB hot-swappable SxS cards.
Sony has won the gig to shoot and show this year’s Wimbleton Tennis matches in 3D, with the finals to be shown in Theaters in glorious HD.
“High Definition 3D is… as close to the atmosphere and excitement of Centre Court as actually being there,” the head of Sony Europe, Fujio Nishida, enthused.
If you’re a tennis fan it sounds like a nice deal, similar to last year’s World Cup games. Not sure how well Tennis will stand up to 3D, as the camera is typically a wide shot standard. What will be the focus plane? The net? The near player? the far player? Guess we’ll find out.
I have to admit, I know very little of soccer and almost nothing of the World Cup Bid Process. I heard a while back that Sony/Japan was thrown out of the 2022 Bid, but now I hear they’re back. Of interest is the sheer manpower required of their entry, which discusses creation of over 400 special 3D stadiums around the world that will receive live streams (in 3D of course) of the World Cup games, creating a fully immersive 3D experience for people all around the world.
“I have to admit that the idea of this blows my mind away,” said Japan 2022 bid committee chief executive Kohzo Tashima.
“Three hundred and sixty million people could have a full stadium experience of matches; that’s over 100 times the number of spectators at the 1994 World Cup in the United States,” Tashima told FIFA’s executive committee as he pitched for the tournament.
The Japanese World Cup proposal also includes real-time translation machines and constant connection to handheld 3D video devices.
Combine the visuals with real-time language translation technology and mobile devices, and it looks like something straight out of BladeRunner. Sony, who’s partnered with Japan on the bid, is careful to note that this is fully achievable. With the rapid pace of technology, could we really have all of this in only 12 years? Watch the amazing bid entry below.
Sony is “leaking” out some preliminary information about a new NXCAM HD professional camcorder that patches up a Super 35mm CMOS sensor with an E-mount interchangable lens.
Last week it was the “affordable” PMW-F3, and now the company is teasing the NXCAM HD, a decidedly professional-oriented camcorder with a Super 35mm equivalent large format CMOS sensor nestled behind an E-mount interchangeable lens system. It’ll record to AVCHD in 1080p at frame rates covering all the majors: 23.98, 29.97, and 59.94, along with 25 and 50. All progressive, natch.
No details on pricing, other than making it “affordable” for professionals.
At Ceatec 2010, Sony is proudly showing off its high definition, 3-D LED display that is 71 feet long by 16 feet high. Since it is at a conference, the display must be very portable. This version of the display takes about 4 hours to assemble. Larger versions would take longer, of course. It would be pretty cool to see this thing show at the Superbowl this year, although viewers from home could not take advantage of it. Erica Ogg from CNET has posted an article on Sony’s 3-D display.
The one shown here is made up of 345 tiles, and each tile is made up of 9 square display modules. Each is about half a foot thick. Because it’s just a matter of linking together the modules, there’s really no limit on how large the display can be.
Over the last two weeks we have told you about the new 3-D support that Sony was adding the to the PlayStation3. How well does it actually work? CNET UK has performed a comparison between a dedicated 3-D BluRay player, the Sony BDP-S570, and the Sony PlayStation3. CNET takes a look at the lack of a HDMI 1.4a output on the Sony PlayStation3, picture quality, loading times, lossy audio, as well as other issues.
In a 2D picture-performance shoot-out, the stand-alone player also outgunned the PS3, offering more detail in its image. This advantage didn’t manifest itself with 3D Blu-ray viewing, however. Any slight flaws the PS3′s 3D image may have are insignificant compared to the visual mayhem that the 3D process itself inflicts on the viewer. Active-shutter glasses, for example, reduce an image’s brightness, corrupt colours and unbalance whites. Trying to differentiate fine levels of video performance under such circumstances is utterly pointless.
Sony has a new ad hitting Europe television viewers right now, showcasing the joy of watching Soccer in 3D. It shows Brazilian star Kaká as he traverses the feed, building speed and strength, before kicking a goal so powerful the goal explodes. It’s cliche, and kinda fun to watch, but is the beginning of something possibly far more annoying.
The ad is airing on both 2D and 3D networks, but on the 2D networks you see the same 3D ad. You see both fields, as though it was projected via a dual-polarized display system, with overlays like “Do not adjust your set” and “This is 3D TV”. At the end, it concludes with “Maybe it’s time to buy a 3D TV”.
I personally think it’s a bad idea for Sony to adopt the goal of annoying users into submission, but I guess Sony’s never been one for making consumer-friendly decisions (MemoryStick anyone?). Guess we’ll have to wait a few months and see if sales show any difference.
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