Sony

Chris Nuttall

Sony was the only console maker to unveil new hardware of any significance at the video game industry’s E3 trade show in Los Angeles this week.

However, the Wonderbook is the most natural looking peripheral you can imagine – it looks just like a real book but works with an Eye camera and Move controller to conjure augmented-reality 3D images from its pages. . It will go on sale later this year for $40 bundled with its first title, Book of Spells, an original work from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

In an interview at E3, Andy House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, told me how the Wonderbook came about. Highlights after the jump. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sony’s Vaio PC brand is 15 years old and its new line announced today features an anniversary edition of its Z series premium laptop.

The company is unveiling an alphabet soup of new laptops in the E, T, S and Z series as well as L all-in-one PCs. Apart from the Z special, the most distinguishing features are its first US Ultrabook (pictured above) and a lineup that offers premium features across price ranges. Read more

 

HTC One

Smartphones have become the favoured web and social media tool for the “post-PC generation”. As well as being great communications devices, the latest crop boasts features designed to please the most discerning consumers – including better battery life, advanced digital photo apps and high-quality audio.

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Sony smart watch

It will take a lot to knock the iPhone off its perch as the best-selling smartphone. So, competitors are circling around its success and uniform design with different features, screen sizes and the odd gimmick. This week, a look at new pairings and partnerships that offer consumers more flexibility.

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Chris Nuttall

If Apple is not ready to re-imagine the tablet yet, all credit to Sony for trying to do so with its wedge-shaped Tablet S, favourably reviewed last year, and now the clam-styled Tablet P, which was launched in the UK (£500) in December but has only been available in the US, with AT&T ($550, plan not required), since this month.

The P is petite enough to slip into a jacket pocket when folded and seems a more natural accessory than the smaller slates that can do so – it’s like taking a wallet or diary out when opening it. Read more

As he celebrated Sony’s sweep of Grammy awards at a star-draped after-party in West Hollywood on February 12, Sir Howard Stringer looked like a man relieved.

Adele, the Sony-signed British singer, had won six trophies, capping a year of music successes for the Japanese group and its Welsh-American chief executive, who had lured industry veteran Doug Morris to run his record labels, and pulled off a bid for EMI Music Publishing without committing much capital. Read more

Chris Nuttall

If you think the 5.3in-screen Samsung Galaxy Note is a little too large to fit in a pocket, then you will have a real problem with the 10.1in version just unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung has yet to make an official announcement about the phone, but a gargantuan poster to match the giant-sized device has appeared, and at this size, there seems no argument about whether it is a smartphone or a tablet this time. Read more

contour camera

As smartphones offer ‘good enough’ cameras for many people, makers of dedicated stills and video cameras are offering more features and appealing to niche audiences. This week we look at the equipment for those wanting to make films as they fall out of aeroplanes or shred the ski slopes.

Contour+ 3/5

I fear for my friend who uses the Color app on his iPhone to beam me live video as he follows and films his kids on the ski slopes in the equivalent of texting while driving.

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playstation

The Nintendo 3DS put 3D gaming in consumers’ hands last year without the need for special glasses. Now Sony is launching its own take on next-generation portable gaming in the form of the PlayStation Vita, with its superior motion and touch controls, social networking features and cameras.

The notion of a dedicated handheld games console seems almost quaint in the age of the iPad and smartphone gaming. An extra nail in the coffin of such devices appeared to be hammered in a year ago, when Sony unveiled the Xperia Play, an Android phone with slide-out controllers that are very similar to those on a PlayStation 3 or PSP (PlayStation Portable).

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Chris Nuttall

For anyone seeking holes in Activision’s seemingly bulletproof Call of Duty franchise, there was a chink in the armour exposed in NPD US January sales figures released late on Thursday.

Sales fell nearly 50 per cent year-on-year for the world’s best-selling video game in 2011 – that’s comparing the performance of the latest in the franchise – Modern Warfare 3 – with its predecessor, Black Ops.

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