Sony CES 2018 live blog

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For Sony, CES is a show of sheer, brute force. It’s all about a big, flashy showing from a consumer electronics giant. And unlike big competitors like Samsung and LG, Sony hasn’t spent much of the past few weeks showing its hand, so there’s going to be plenty of unknown here.

That said, if past years are any indication (as they nearly always are), this is going to be a big show for TV and audio offerings. Given the way pretty much every other announcement has gone this year, it seems like a safe bet that we’ll see plenty of announcements tied to voice-based AI like Google Assistant.

And, of course, this is Sony we’re talking about, so expect lots of general weirdness around the edges.

The Sony CES 2018 live blog starts at 5:00pm PST.

To recap, a couple of new TVs and headphones. Pretty much everything else was already announced. That was a solid D-/C+ press conference. Maybe next time, Sony. 

And Kaz is racing to the end of the world’s shortest Sony press conference. Thanks for joining us?

Aibooo

Kaz says Aibo is just the beginning, but no word on when it’s officially coming to our shores, sadly. 

It’s impressive tech, but more importantly, it’s adorable. 

Over time, Aibo will recognize you and deepen its emotional bond with its owners. 

Kaz is holding the new, more adorable version of the dog, which already launched in Japan. It starts shipping soon to those who ordered in November. 

Oh, Aibo! It’s Aibo!

The company also showed off a concept car prototype back in November that’s pretty adorable. 

And straight into the Xperia Hello — a household robot recently launched in Japan. 

The company’s sensors are also being used in drones for climate tracking, agriculture and the like. 

No mention of the new Aibo beyond that, sadly. 

“Our vision is to continue to introduce new products that make the ordinary extraordinary.”

As he correctly notes, however, it was a bit ahead of its time in the first go-round. 

Sony recently brought the beloved robotic dog back to life earlier this year. 

Oh, it’s Aibo time!

KAz is talking AI and robotics now. 

Kaz throws it back to an earlier time when he talked about this stuff.

Bosch and Denso have already partnered with the company on the tech. Intel Moibleye, Nvidia, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota are also using the company’s sensors to develop self driving cars. 

That helps the vehicles see in blindspots where most drivers can’t.

The sensors are also be using to help develop autonomous driving and enhance vehicle safety. More than 10 sensors are used on some cars to capture 360-degree video.

As he noted, fairly, most cameras are rocking the company’s sensors, anyway, so the company still gets a cut of that. 

Sony is big time in sensors so I’m very interested to see what he has to say.

“I can see many of you are shooting the press conference with your non-Sony smartphones.”

Kaz is talking up the company’s Image sensors now. He’s really all over the place this time. 

Kaz is talking about the company’s recent struggles in consumer electronics again. “There’s still so much we can do to meaningfully innovate.”

They come with a charging case that gives them a total of nine hours of battery life. Those are starting to ship in the spring, for $179. 

The WF-SP700N are a pair of splashproof, wireless earbuds with built-in noise cancelling. 

All right, it’s time to talk personal audio.

The X1 Ultimate is a new prototype chip for TV sets for 4K, 8K and OLED panels, processing high res video at a much higher speed. 

All of the below will be available this spring. 

The Bravias work with Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. 

The HT-Z9F is a new sound bar, featuring Dolby Atmos three dimensional acoustic. 

The X900F features X-Motion Clarity, designed for high action video like sports. 

The A8F Series is the company’s new Bravia set, featuring an X1 Extra processor and acoustic surface technology for better sound.

K A N D O ~

Okay, now we’re talking announcements. It’s time to talk TVs. 

Kando — that’s the vibe the company is going for here. Art designed to move you emotionally. 

Kaz looks like he’s singing the news in this one.

And now it’s off to Sony Music. It was just fun to hear Kaz say “Sza,” honestly. 

Jumanji was the number one movie in the North America box office over the weekend. Kaz is also talking up the great new Blade Runner, which did decidedly less well (my words, not his, obviously). 

Again, we’re just blazing through last year’s products. 

He’s really speeding through now, talking up the company’s latest Xperia camera, which shoots some really spectacular slow motion video. 

The company sold 5.9 million units sold over the holidays, bring the told PS4s sold to 73 million. 

And straight into Sony’s gaming offerings. 

Sony is very strong in the camera world right now – the alpha and RX cameras are well thought of. So I’m happy to hear Kaz chat about them.

You line a bunch of them up in a circle and shoot in something akin to bullet time. 

Straight into the RXO — an ultra compact, waterproof camera. A GoPro competitor of sorts. 

Interesting, the silent shutter makes it much better for shooting on the golf course. 

Apparently it’s really nice for shooting photos of Tiger Woods. 

We’ve launched straight into cameras. He’s talking the company’s Alpha 9 mirrorless now. 

Kaz is certain that the company is back on track and ready to deliver positive financial results (and gadgets, one hopes). 

Three Kazes, actually. There are two shots of him in the backing screen as well. SO MUCH KAZ. 

Kaz Hirai is taking the stage and now we’re off for real!

Kicking things off with an ad that’s a weird combo of gadget shots and Sony movies like Jumanji. 

Right on schedule. 

Volume just tripled… and now it’s going down. Volume knob trouble. and we’re off!

I can say with some certainly that this is the first time I recall hearing a Spanish language ballad before a Sony event. 

No it’s some weird indie-folk song. This is a Spotify playlist designed to drive us mad. 

10 minutes! 

We’re bored and listening to bad electronic music. Any questions? @ me: @bheater on Twitter.

Oh snap, it’s getting all EDM up here. 

Unfortunately, he’ll be here all night, folks.

Also: power walkers. That’s more of a fast jog. 

You know what else doesn’t run? Sony’s 4K OLEDs. 

These colors don’t run, Devin. 

If my patriotism offends you…

(He’s talking about Lucas, who loves his country)

Some of us are wearing American flag button-downs.

Update: We’re not all wearing sweaters.

Update: it’s getting very warm in here, and we’re all tech bloggers in sweaters. 

“Sony” backwards is actually “YNot.” Very few people know that. 

I’ll look into the tech behind the competing TV tech once the show gets started and I can get at the folks who know such things.

LG went hard on OLED this morning (very early this morning). Then Samsung just trashed OLED in favor of Micro LED. What’s Sony’s play?

YNOZ

Xperia handsets are always a possibility at these things, as well. The company company’s certainly announced those at past CESes, though with MWC coming up in a little of a month, it may just opt to keep its powder dry until then. 

To further set the stage, “Waste a Moment” by Kings of Leon is playin

As mentioned above, Sony’s one of the few big names here that didn’t spill the beans ahead of the event. That said, it seems safe to assume we’ll getting the usual spread at the show: lots of TV, home hifi and personal audio news. 

shout out to the guy blinking in the front row

It’s the usual Sony CES aesthetic, which is to say bright, even blindingly white shag carpeting and walls. 

And we’re in. Like always, Sony’s converted its convention center booth into a press conference space.