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Sony PlayStation Suspends Ads on Facebook & Instagram to Protest Hate Speech

The Sony PlayStation Logo. (Reuters)

The Sony PlayStation Logo. (Reuters)

The call to boycott ads on Facebook started after the social networking giant decided to allow controversial posts by US President Donald Trump to stay up.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 3, 2020, 12:40 PM IST

Sony Playstation has joined over 400 advertisers who have decided to pull out ads from Facebook and Instagram over its failure to curb hate speech and misinformation. The #StopHateForProfit boycott has more than 400 participants and the civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League on June 17, are now calling for a global expansion of Facebook ad boycott.

“In support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July,” PlayStation said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz on Thursday. As hundreds of companies halt advertising on Facebook and Instagram, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident the brands would soon return on the platform.

According to a report in The Information, Zuckerberg told employees he was reluctant to bow to the threats of a growing ad boycott, saying “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.” The social networking giant said it was getting better at removing harmful content and that the platform does not in any way profit from hate speech.

The call to boycott ads on Facebook started after the social networking giant decided to allow controversial posts by US President Donald Trump to stay up. American food company Chobani, drugmaker Pfizer and software major SAP were among the latest brands pulling who joined Coca Cola, Adidas, cleaning supply firm Clorox, Conagra (the maker of Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Pam), fast-food chain Denny’s, Ford and Starbucks to pull their ads from the platform. Facebook’s digital advertising accounted for over 98 per cent of the company’s nearly $70 billion in revenue last year.


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Tech

Sony Wants to Emulate the PlayStation Model for Its Sensor Business

Photo for representation. (Image: Reuters Pictures).

Photo for representation. (Image: Reuters Pictures).

The effort chimes with Sony’s pursuit of recurring revenue after years of loss in the volatile consumer electronics sector.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 29, 2020, 3:13 PM IST

Sony Corp’s image sensor business aims to replicate PlayStation’s success to address its reliance on a handful of manufacturers in the fickle smartphone market: It plans to sell software by subscription for data-analysing sensors in situ. Transforming the light-converting chips into a platform for software – essentially akin to the PlayStation Plus video games service – amounts to a sea change for the $10 billion business, which built its dominance through hardware breakthroughs.

The effort chimes with Sony’s pursuit of recurring revenue after years of loss in the volatile consumer electronics sector. Success, analysts said, could serve as a rejoinder to activist investor Daniel Loeb’s calls for the business to be spun off. “We have a solid position in the market for image sensors, which serve as a gateway for imaging data,” said Sony’s Hideki Somemiya, who heads a new team developing sensor applications.

Analysis of such data with artificial intelligence (AI) “would form a market larger than the growth potential of the sensor market itself in terms of value,” Somemiya said in an interview, pointing to the recurring nature of software-dependent data processing versus a hardware-only business.

Sony has developed what it calls the world’s first image sensor with integrated AI processor. The sensor can be installed in security cameras where it can single out factory workers not wearing helmets, for instance, or be mounted in vehicles to monitor driver drowsiness. Importantly, the software can be modified or replaced wirelessly without disturbing the camera.

The Japanese conglomerate hopes customers will subscribe to its sensor software service through monthly fees or licensing, much like how gamers buy a PlayStation console and then pay for software or subscribe to online services. Sony has not disclosed a start date for the service, but at a news conference last month, Somemiya said there was a demand from “retailers, factories – mainly business-to-business”.

MINDSET CHANGE

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Chinese-owned OmniVision Technologies are also expanding the software capability of image sensors, but analysts said a 52% market share gives Sony a competitive edge in the emerging area. Still, said Somemiya, a software-centred approach will require a change of mindset at a division accustomed to abiding by specifications of smartphone makers – just five of whom account for the bulk of its revenue.

The new direction comes as U.S. hedge fund Third Point LLC, a minority investor headed by Loeb, continues to push Sony to spin off the image sensor division, saying its value could be higher if it was not masked by the complexity of the company. Sony Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida counters that keeping the division in house gives it easier access to group resources and has said diversity is the company’s strength.

“CEO Yoshida’s message suggests Sony will focus on profit growth with diversified businesses,” said analyst Junya Ayada at JPMorgan Securities. Sony’s portfolio may be growing in complexity, but it still reported two consecutive years of record profit through March 2019, Ayada said.

Having technology with diversified applications can also be advantageous in times of uncertainty, said Atsushi Osanai, professor at Waseda University Business School. “The next big thing for sensors may be in self-driving technology, but it’s important to explore other applications,” Osanai said.

Still, others said it is hard to factor in the potential of the sensor software subscription service as it could take years for such a business to become a driver of Sony’s overall growth. “The number of sensors used at factories and retailers will probably be small compared to those for the over one-billion-unit smartphone market,” said analyst Hideki Yasuda at Ace Securities.


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Sony PlayStation 5 June 4 Event Has Been Postponed Due to Widespread Unrest in US

Sony PlayStation 5 logo

Sony PlayStation 5 logo

Sony had planned to showcase some new games for the PlayStation 5 which was scheduled to be launched during the holiday season this year.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 2, 2020, 4:54 PM IST

Sony has postponed its PlayStation 5 event that was supposed to happen on June 4 as several US cities were witnessing protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. “While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration. And for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” the company said in a tweet.

During the hour-long event, Sony had planned to showcase some new PS5 games for the PlayStation 5 which was scheduled to be launched during the holiday season this year. Sony also shared another tweet with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, wherein the company denounced systematic racism.

“We denounce systemic racism and violence against the black community. we will continue to work towards a future marked by empathy and inclusion and stand with our black creators, players, employees, families and friends #BlackLivesMatter,” the company said. Electronic Arts has also delayed an event for its popular Madden NFL series and Google has delayed an Android announcement as well.




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Tech

Sony Postpones PlayStation 5 June 4 Event Due to Widespread Unrest in US

Sony PlayStation 5 logo

Sony PlayStation 5 logo

Sony had planned to showcase some new games for the PlayStation 5 which was scheduled to be launched during the holiday season this year.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 2, 2020, 3:19 PM IST

Sony has postponed its PlayStation 5 event that was supposed to happen on June 4 as several US cities were witnessing protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. “While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration. And for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” the company said in a tweet.

During the hour-long event, Sony had planned to showcase some new PS5 games for the PlayStation 5 which was scheduled to be launched during the holiday season this year. Sony also shared another tweet with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, wherein the company denounced systematic racism.

“We denounce systemic racism and violence against the black community. we will continue to work towards a future marked by empathy and inclusion and stand with our black creators, players, employees, families and friends #BlackLivesMatter,” the company said. Electronic Arts has also delayed an event for its popular Madden NFL series and Google has delayed an Android announcement as well.




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Sony Bravia X8000H And X7500H Launched in India: Everything You Need To Know

Sony Bravia X8000H And X7500H Launched in India: Everything You Need To Know

The X8000H and X7500H Smart TVs will be available across all Sony Centers along with electronic stores as well as e-commerce portals in the country.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 26, 2020, 7:29 PM IST

Sony has unveiled a new line up of 4K HDR smart TVs in India, the Bravia X8000H and Bravia X7500H, a month after launching the Bravia X95005 series. The Bravia X8000H and Bravia X7500H are available in three different sizes and with the top-end model (85-inch) of the Bravia X8000H priced at Rs 5,99,990 while the 55-inch model of the Bravia X7500H has a price tag of Rs 75,990. Sony said that these smart TVs will be available across all Sony Centers along with electronic stores as well as e-commerce portals in the country.

Sony Bravia X8000H, Bravia X7500H Specifications

The 65-inch and 85-inch Sony Bravia X8000H series Smart TVs are packed with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos and packs Sony’s X1 4K HDR image processor. There is also support for Apple’s AirPlay and HomeKit. The Sony X8000H series also comes with built-in Bluetooth 4.2, two USB ports on the side for media playback, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. While the 65 and 85-inch models feature ‘Direct LED’ backlighting, the 49-inch model supports edge-lit LEDs. All models of the X8000H are packed with a total of four HDMI inputs, legacy RF input, an Ethernet port, SPDIF, optical audio-out and a headphone jack. Furthermore, the X8000H series also supports Google’s Voice Assistant and runs on Android TV, a feature similar to the X7500H models. Besides, the X8000H series features two full-range speaker drivers, with 10W output each.

The Bravia X7500H, on the other hand, is available in three screen sizes i.e. the 43-inch, 49-inch, and 55-inch. Coming to the specifications, it comes with HDR support, bass-reflex speaker system, X1 image processor. It also features Wi-Fi 802.11ac, two USB ports on the side, and Bluetooth 4.2. There is also an RF input, a total of three HDMI ports, and one composite video input. However, unlike the X8000H series models, there is no support for HDMI-CEC feature in this series. However, the X7500H models also have two 10W speakers and are loaded with Dolby Audio and DTS HD Sound features. However, this series doesn’t feature Apple AirPlay and HomeKit support.




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Sony Center Online Store Launched, to Sell Sony TVs, Speakers, Consoles and More

Sony Online store.

Sony Online store.

Sony has announced its ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ initiative under which it has launched the ShopatSC.com website.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 18, 2020, 6:21 PM IST

Japanese electronics giant Sony has opened the Sony Centre, a third-party online retail store for Sony products, for its Indian customers. The move comes at a time when several tech companies are trying to revive sales as the Covid-19 lockdown periods look set to lift. Under its ‘Stay Home, Stay Home’ initiative, the company has launched ShopatSC.com.

Maintaining a Customer-Centric Approach

Sony said that it has always maintained a customer-centric approach and this new initiative will be another step towards cementing its long association with the customers across the country.

“Having a strong footprint offline, Sony India has always kept a customer-centric approach and with this new initiative, it will be another step towards strengthening our relationship with customers and Sony Center partners,” Sunil Nayyar, Managing Director, Sony India, said. “We are confident that the portal will help reach out to a new wave of online shoppers and provide a seamless experience that Sony is known for in its offline market as well,” he added.

Discounts and Special Offers

Under the new initiative, Sony is offering discounts up to 20 percent across select products, advanced-booking options and zero-interest long tenure EMI facility. For instance, on its flagship Bravia TV models, Sony is offering flat 32 percent discounts for its 75-inch and 85-inch models. For photography enthusiasts, Sony is also giving 12% discounts on the purchase of full-frame Alpha 9 II, Alpha 7R IV, Sony ILCE-9 full-frame mirrorless cameras. The payment on the purchase of products can be done through debit cards, credit cards, net-banking, UPI, and e-wallet. Furthermore, the first 1,000 customers will also get a discount of Rs 1,000 on the purchase of products that are worth Rs 15,000 and above.

The service is currently available at the Green and Orange zones as per the norms and regulations laid by the government. Sony said that it will start delivering products in the red/restricted zones once the lockdown is lifted.




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