STOCKHOLM: Swedish music streamer Spotify will provide the soundtrack for Sony devices, the companies said on Wednesday (Jan 28), spelling the end to the streaming music service from the Japanese tech giant that invented the Walkman. The deal – which makes the Swedish startup the exclusive provider for Playstation Music and Sony’s smartphones and tablets – sees the companies link up in 41 markets.
LAS VEGAS: Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai has weathered a crisis over a cyberattack on its Hollywood studio and its controversial comedy “The Interview”, but his toughest moment may be just arriving as he prepares a new business revival plan. After failing to turn around the storied creator of the Walkman since taking the helm in April 2012, Hirai and his deputies are now open to options including sales and joint ventures for its money-losing TV and mobile phone operations, company officials familiar with the leadership’s thinking say.
Last week, news broke that unlike Microsoft’s Xbox One, the Playstation 4 and PS Vita would not be region-locked when they were released in China this week. I was away on paternity leave, but with one eye on the baby and one eye on the news, I was surprised to see that a lot of gaming media outlets ran the story. My gut response was that there was no way it could be true.
Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton has spoke on the cyberattack, seven weeks after it started, claiming there won’t be any financial loss. The statement comes as a surprise, considering Sony Pictures had to replace most of its computers, buy new security teams and software, and potentially fight court battles against ex-employees. However, Lynton claims insurance will help cover the major costs for the Sony Pictures attack, which could ramp up to over $100 million in costs.
Sony is already a little late to the Chinese video game console party, considering Microsoft has been selling the Xbox One in the region for more than two months, albeit to mixed success. It looks like the PS4 will be delayed even further, following an intervention by the Chinese government, asking for adjustments to the gaming console. “The government asked us for final adjustments, which will take some time, so we decided to delay the launch date,” Sony spokeswoman Kaede Bun said.
FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday that hackers behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures provided key clues to their identity by sometimes posting material from IP addresses used exclusively by the North Korean government. The hackers, who called themselves ‘Guardians of Peace’ sometimes “got sloppy” and failed to use proxy servers that would hide their identity, Comey said at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York.
Sony has announced another milestone for its PlayStation 4 console, following 4.1 million sales throughout the holiday season, or 18.5 million sales in total. The announcement came at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas, where CEO Kaz Hirai offered the first sales update since late September 2014. Holiday season for Sony starts on November 23-24 and ends on January 3-4, depending on the region. 4.1 million sales in that time is very impressive, considering Microsoft’s recent surge in Xbox One sales, following price reductions.
Chinese Internet company Tencent and Sony Music Entertainment jointly announced a strategic cooperation agreement under which Tencent will exclusively manage Sony Music’s online music service in mainland China. No financial details of the agreement were released. Basing on the agreement, Tencent will recommend Sony Music’s artists on its QQ music streaming media website and other platforms.
U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized new economic sanctions against North Korea, in part for the country’s alleged hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November, the White House said. Even though some security researchers have questioned whether North Korea was behind the Sony hack, the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday announced sanctions against 10 North Koreans and three organizations in the country.
If you got a PlayStation 4 for Christmas but network outages spoiled your fun, Sony wants to make it up to you. Sony Computer Entertainment America will offer 10 percent off PlayStation Store purchases including games, TV shows and movies as a gesture of thanks for users’ patience following an outage of several days caused by denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Sony worked to gradually bring its PlayStation Network back online on Sunday US time, after a fourth straight day of outages suspected to have been caused by hackers. The hacker activist group known as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for disrupting both the PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live on Christmas Day. Service was restored to Xbox Live on Friday. “We are currently experiencing widespread network issues that are being addressed,” Sony said in a statement on PlayStation’s maintenance website.
Hackers who apparently attacked Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) and Microsoft’s Xbox Live on Christmas Day have taken aim at anonymous network Tor. Lizard Squad, which claimed responsibility for the outage , on Friday tweeted, “To clarify, we are no longer attacking PSN or Xbox. We are testing our new Tor 0day.” While at least one site that maps the Tor network showed numerous routers with the name “LizardNSA,” the extent of any attack was unclear.
Sony is pushing to get PlayStation Now on as many devices as possible, partnering up with South Korean rival Samsung to push the game streaming service onto smart TVs. Users will be able to stream over 200 PS3 games on select Samsung smart TVs, similar to other supported devices. The only item Samsung smart TV owners need is a Dualshock 4 – the new PS4 controller – in order to play the titles. Sony has already made the service available on its own Bravia TVs, this is the first time a third party has been able to access to the game streaming service.
In addition to Samsung Electronics and Apple, Sony is also expected to launch a large-size tablet in the first half of 2015 and the device will enter mass production shortly, according to sources from the related supply chain. Sony’s above 12-inch tablet is expected to target mainly the high-end segment and its price may exceed US$1,000, the sources said. Although Sony has withdrawn from the PC market, it remains aggressive about the tablet product line, the sources noted.
Fresh Internet outages continued to plague North Korea on Tuesday, and speculation about the cause of the rogue country’s systemwide crash earlier in the day broadened to include a hacking group that hinted it was responsible. North Korea’s Internet connection went down about 2 a.m. Tuesday and wasn’t restored for more than 9 1/2 hours, prompting speculation that the U.S. government might have waged a cyberattack against Pyongyang in retaliation for the Nov. 24 hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
What hackers have done to Sony Pictures is astounding. How did they do it? There have been just enough details leaked to the press and analyzed by security experts to put it together. This was a targeted attack. That means the hackers set out to break into Sony. A targeted attack is the hardest to stop. “Against a sufficiently skilled, funded and motivated attacker, all networks are vulnerable,” wrote renowned security expert Bruce Schneier about the Sony attack.
A hacker group that leaked confidential e-mails and recent movies belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment last month reportedly used Singapore as one of its sites to launch its cyber attacks, according to a recent New York Times report. Responding to The Straits Times’ queries, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCert) said the attacks on the Hollywood movie studio may have been routed from command-and-control centres across the world, including a server owned by a private company in Singapore.
Sony has unveiled its own eyewear device in an attempt to take on Google Glass and other augmented reality alternatives. The big difference between the two eyewear devices is Sony has made it available for all types of glasses, while Google Glass only works with its own design or that of official third parties. Currently, the name for the eyewear device is SmartEyeglass Attach! Sony has not revealed price or launch dates.
Though its Xperia Z3 smartphone range was introduced just months ago (at IFA in September), Sony may be on the verge of announcing its successor. The next generation of premium smartphones from the brand could include the Z4 Ultra and the Z4 Compact, according to Android Origin. The Xperia Z4 Ultra is said to be an impressive 6.44in phablet with a QHD display (2560×1440 pixels), a Snapdragon 810 processor, a 16MP camera and 3GB of RAM. Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, this high-end smartphone is also said to come with a stylus.
[TOKYO] Leaked emails reveal a cultural gulf between Japan’s Sony Corp and Hollywood subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment, highlighting the challenge of CEO Kazuo Hirai to turn around the money-losing company under the slogan One Sony. The Japanese conglomerate is heading for its fifth net loss in six years, raising questions about its ability to hold on to businesses ranging from making television sets to movies.