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CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

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Posted January 5, 2011 - By Kevin Kelly




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CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

Sony wailed rock music at the audience, most likely in an effort to whip them into a fever pitch with their CES Keynote kicking off the evening before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show got underway. Sony's booth, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Central Hall tends to dwarf other nearby exhibitors, and they had everything ranging from 3DTVs to cameras to the PlayStation 3 to the shot-up Black Beauty car from their upcoming reboot of The Green Hornet

But did they drop any video game news? Read on to find out.

Before anyone even came onstage to welcome us or tell us to behave, we were told to put on our 3D glasses. Yes, 3D is still attempting to dominate CES this year, and it's attacking with a vengeance though Sony's 3D Handicams and 3D still cameras. Yet, everything Sony shows requires the use of glasses. Anyhow, admittedly impressive graphics and ambient music provide a nice counterpoint to the rock music ... until a virtual big bang explodes us into Sony's showreel, and a glimpse at all of the tech yet to come, including looks at Killzone 3, MLB 2011: The Show, Gran Turismo 5, Motorstorm: Apocalypse and more. 

Green Lantern Stars, Car Appear At CES

A look at the Green Hornet. with Kato's Kato-Vision, provided a look at how Kato sees the world. Honestly, it looks like the movie should just be called "KATO," because he kicks a lot of ass in it while Seth Rogen stands around looking surprised. Seth Rogen, Kato himself Jay Chou and Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer appeared onstage in the Black Beauty car from the film, which opens next week, and joked about the car for a few minutes before heading back to LA. Or to fight crime.

Sony's Stringer told us that by March, more than 50 million televisions in the United Stated will be internet-enabled via Sony devices like the PlayStation 3. 50 Million. That's a huge number. Who counter all those televisions? That's what I want to know. There has to be at least 100,000 Sony TVs at this show alone.

Then came the 3D onslaught. In addition to the entire presentation being in 3D, Howard told us we can expect 3D Bloggie cameras, 3D Handicams, 3D Cybershots, a 3D Vaio laptop, significant updates to the Bravia televisions and Sony's Blu-ray players, and an entire 3D channel called 3net, a collaboration between IMAX, Sony, and the Discovery Channel. Sony is even working on a Sony 3D personal display that looks a lot like Geordi's visor from Star Trek: The Next Generation

CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

Hiroshi Yoshioka joined Stringer onstage to talk about Sony's 3D "Total Solutions," which looks forward to the future of 3D, where they want you to create the content with these new cameras. Significantly, Sony is also working on a prototype of a 10.1 inch player that can show 3D images without glasses. Maybe they're starting to get it? Only partially, as we were told to keep putting our glasses back on throughout.

I'm half-tempted to buy an eyepatch and start wearing it to these things, just so I can stand up and go "HEY. WHAT ABOUT ME AND MY KIND?!" I'm putting my brain into partial-coma mode until the cloud of 3D passes overhead. In non-3D news, Sony will be introducing 27 different Bravia models this year, and they're using the "unbreakable" Gorilla Glass exclusively in certain models, providing you a shield from flying Wiimote and Move Controllers. They also unveiled their KDL-55HX929, a massive LED HDTV that does indeed look gorgeous, and provides 2D and 3D imaging. Additionally, I'm sure I can't afford one.

CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

Some of the other products they introduced were the BDP-S780 Blu-ray player which has Skype built in, is internet enabled, comes with WiFi, and plays 3D content. They showed us the 3D Handicam in use, using footage they had shot outside in Vegas a day or two ago. While the Handicam itself has a glasses-free 3.5 inch screen, the 3D effect is moderate, at best. Plus it'll set you back $1500. Some of their new 2D Handicams come with built-in projectors, which is fairly awesome. You can shoot video, and then spray it up to five feet across on a nearby wall, making that footage you just shot of Stephen Johnson falling on his ass all the more immediate and relevant.

But, what about the gaming? That's what we were asking as it was nearly an hour into the presentation when Sony finally mentioned the PlayStation 3, and that was just a brief mention of their "Play Memories" app on the console that can display 3D images from the 3D-enabled Cybershots.

Finally, they bring out Kaz Hirai, and I find myself really wishing that he'd say "Riiiiiidge Racer!" at some point. But, those are pipe dreams, my friend. They briefly mentioned Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 3, and gave us a "first look" at Uncharted 3, which was actually the same trailer that we ran recently. Although it was entirely in 3D, and looked pretty impressive. But really, it just made me want to play it on a giant screen.

Sony Qriocity Music Unlimited First Look Video »


They showed a brief glimpse of the Qriocity-powered Music Unlimited, which brings your full music library to your PlayStation 3, much like the Zune experience. You can listen to unlimited songs and sync them across all of your Music Unlimited devices. While I'm not sure exactly what those are, constantly synced playlists would be a great thing. Sadly, that was all of the gaming content at the keynote, so now miracle announcements or surprises. We'll be checking out some of Sony's titles on Friday, and getting some 3D (whee!) time with some of the upcoming games, so stay tuned. 

And dear god, then there was the Smurfs movie. I thought maybe I'd dreamed all of it. To top it all off, dancers from the Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil show performed to The King's "Bossa Nova Baby" while a guy did a one-armed handstand on a champagne bottle perched on a stack of chairs. Amazing, but where's my gaming? If that was a game, I'd play it! Even in 3D!

CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

If you want to know what I wish Sony had shown at their CES presser, simply click here! For that matter, here's a photo gallery for you to enjoy!

CES 2011: The Sony Keynote
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