CES 2013: 'We forgot the power of wow' says Sony

By Peter Gothard
08 Jan 2013 View Comments
Sony Xperia Z offers extreme water protection

Sony has faced up to its recent failures and admitted it's forgotten how to "wow" an audience at the first official day of CES 2013 in Las Vegas today.

"We used to make people say 'wow' all the time," announced a voiceover before the company's CES product presentation.

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"Our unique combination of artists and engineers set out to create a surprise everyday. We forgot the power of that for a while."

The voice continued: "Wow should be the only gauge by which we measure everything we do and it's happening with 4K cameras, by developing headphones for music producers which end up being the best, period, or a digital camera that beat the Mars Rover to invention of the year.
That's our comeback... not bad."

Whether or not the reality is "not bad" is up to the public at large, of course. The 4K high resolution image quality the firm mentioned is basically just a Blu Ray+ 1080p video mode for large televisions. The only Sony launch at CES 2013 of any significance for enterprise IT leaders was its Xperia Z smartphone.

The Xperia Z, which is the company's first smartphone release without the now-ditched Ericsson brand attached to it, is 7mm thick and sports a 1080p, 5in screen, and is powered by a quad core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

All this puts the Sony device at the top of the smartphone tree alongside the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 - a relative first for Sony. The Xperia Z can also survive being fully immersed in a metre of water for 30 minutes.

In other Qualcomm news, the company has shown off its response to Nvidia's unveiling of the Tegra 4 yesterday, introducing two new chips to keep pushing mobile processor boundaries.

The Snapdragon 800 is the real performer of the duo, and Qualcomm's pitch was based on the chip's ability, with a clock speed of 2.3GHz, to bring UHD video to phones and tablets later in 2013.

But it is perhaps battery life that may prove the real pull with the chip. Qualcomm has utilised the Krait 400 quad core CPU to deliver battery life which, it says, will eclipse its current best-in-class S4 Pro (as seen in the Google Nexus 4) by 75 per cent.

Slightly scaled-down, but not by much, the Snapdragon 600 includes a Krait 300 quad core and clocks at 1.9GHz. Qualcomm expects it to outperform the S4 Pro by a respectable 40 per cent.

Finally, Google made a small announcement about its Google TV platform, revealing it's brought in Asus and Chinese manufacturer TCL to join existing partners LG, Vizio and Sony.

New app content will also hit the platform courtesy of Amazon, which is another considerable win for the platform's fortunes.

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