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back to article PlayStation Vita OS in your phone and telly - Sony's saviour?

Incoming Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai doesn't have too long to prove himself before shareholders get restive again. Of course, his big challenge is in the TV business*, but he has also spotted the chance to do, belatedly, what rival Samsung has been putting together for years – creating a true multiscreen apps and content platform by …

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry but its Sony...

I'm not buying stuff from a company that installs rootkits, takes legal action (on multiple occasions) against its own customer base, is totally incompetent at securing user data and to top all that off is horribly overpriced. The days of people paying a premium for the Sony name are gone. The company doesn't understand that.

YMMV.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry but its Sony...

Second that.

Add to the mix they treat their Vaio owners like dog dirt.

1) No splashtop updates.

2) No video driver updates and can't update using the generic drivers as they've told amd to blacklist you

3) Crippled stereo record at the driver level by requesting that Realtek cripple their driver for Sony.

Sony no wonder you are losing money hand over fist when you treat your customers like crap.

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Re: Re: Sorry but its Sony...

Add to that already impressive list that the user agreement for the rebranded Sony Entertainment Network (SEN, was PSN) says, pretty explicitly, that they can and will give your user data to whatever third party they wish, and if you disagree then you can't have service...

Yeah, sorry, no thanks Sony.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry but its Sony...

The rootkit was not Sony per se, but BMG. BMG already had the rootkit plan well established when Sony bought them. When the rootkits appeared Sony went up the wall.

The 'hackers' were about to expose their hardware to piracy. Doesn't matter if they intended to or not they were still about to expose it to piracy.

PSN was hacked but nothing of interest was stolen. In fact I don't think there is proof that anything was really stolen. There probably was, I don't know. However, the situation is blown totally over the top by Microsoft fan boys. As a PS3 owner I am constantly reminded by the XBox fanboys about it (they deny the XBox Live hack though! Lol blind and stupid as bats).

If you don't want to buy stuff from Sony then remember to close the door on your way out. And don't moan when you are changing your 5th XBox because of failure!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Sorry but its Sony...

Nice try Mr Sony employee, but I 'aint buying any of it.

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Silver badge

(too?) High quality hardware...

Approx. 3.5 years ago I moved from the rural city of Amersfoort to the wonderful town of Wageningen. It was then and there that I decided that I wanted to get a games console. Funny enough my main motivation was to use it as a media / Bluray player with 'enhanced' capabilities (playing games). I got lucky and could get myself a "media kit deal" which consisted of a bundle with PS3 & PSEye and to pick up the PSP with a big discount in the same purchase.

Up until now I still consider this purchase to be the best electronic device I've got so far.

It. just. works. ! Eventually I got more games, so 80Gb wasn't enough anymore. Guess what? /Without/ revoking warranty you can easily replace the HD (I now have 500Gb). Sony eventually introduced 'Move'. Since I already had the PSEye all I needed were the controllers. New technology on an "old" machine (by then the PS3 Slim had also been released). And it kept on working without me requiring to purchase upgrades or whatever. That feat is IMO impressive.

Of course the downside to all of this should be obvious... Vita is out yet I see no reason to replace my older PSP. Instead I got myself some larger memory sticks so that I could easily store purchases from the store. Large downloads aren't a problem either; I simply buy on the PS3, then transfer onto the PSP.

SO quite frankly; perhaps they sold too high quality hardware?

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FAIL

Typical Sony

They just released the Z Series Walkman, with fancy sound treatment. Extra bass, etc. That only works with music bought from the Sony store. All your own music cannot use this feature. This is how Sony thinks, screw the customer at every turn. Remove features as time progresses. That just another reason why Sony is on my shit list. You would think they would move the heavens to win back customers, but no, this is Sony after all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Typical Sony

Where did you get that information - I get the impression from reviews that Sony's media player apps have access to the extra hardware, but not that they will only use it if you've bought the music from them.

I smell ill-informed anti-fanboi bullshit in your statement.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Re: Typical Sony

Well, I smell that off-the-top-of-my-head BS - how about checking facts first and accusing others second, dumbo?

He is CORRECT, the new Sony Z Walkman proprietary DSP enhancements ONLY WORK WITH SONY-SOURCED MUSIC:

"So, here's the big reason to use the included players: Sony's loaded the Z with a number of equalization options and proprietary DSPs to enhance your audio. Problem is, unless you want to use Sony's supplied goods, you won't have access to any of it -- if you're a big Google Music user like us, it hinders the reasoning for going with the Z in the first place. But alas, such is to be expected running Android, as your options for a music player are only limited by what you can manage to load into it. Specifically, the EQ is of the five-band variety (allowing for two custom presets), with Sony's "Clear Bass" as a sixth parameter. This is essentially a quick way to raise bass levels beyond what would normally cause distortion in cheaper cans, but it's not to say that bass heads won't love it in general."

Copied from the review of this tiny little tech site you obviously never heard of: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/14/sony-z-series-walkman-player-review/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Typical Sony

We'll see.

Actually, I did read that review at engadget (which I have heard of). I took it to mean that those features only work with the supplied player software (presumably they haven't released an API) , i.e. I read 'goods' in your quote to mean software / player apps.

For that reason, these features could be available to Music Unlimited, but not to other streaming services (with DRM for offline play?) like Google Music. (Unless/until they supply an API to Google.)

I will eat my hat if they've developed an extra meta tag to add to audio files sold directly by Sony, that flags to their players that certain hardware features can be enabled for that track.

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Boffin

Re: Re: Re: Typical Sony

"He is CORRECT, the new Sony Z Walkman proprietary DSP enhancements ONLY WORK WITH SONY-SOURCED MUSIC:"

Further BS, or at least just misunderstanding from the very text you quoted. The DSP enhancements are a function of the Sony music apps (the Sony supplied goods Engadget refers to), which you can play any WMA, MP3, PCM and AAC-LC files through. Any third party Android apps won't have access to the DSP though, which is more to do with Android than anything - to make it available everywhere it wouldn't be accessible from the music app itself and would have to be running as a background service the whole time. Given the DSP seems virtual, that's not a surprise.

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Gold badge
FAIL

So they want to follow Microsoft.

With "Vita everywhere" instead of "Windows everywhere," except from the games (and maybe phone) end toward the TV and (who knows) the PC?

Remind me again of how well that has worked out for Microsoft.

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Bronze badge
Pint

Portable game platforms - game prices compared...

Apple App Store - zillions of games that are mostly free to $3.

PSP *.* - thousands of games that are mostly around $30.

...and in third place...

Nintendo DS *.* - games cartridges cost $30 and are too easily lost

Not uncoincidentally, we have five iDevices, three PSPs, and two DS. The ratio of game purchases (incl free) is about 1000+ to ~30 to ~10. The DS game count doesn't include the 256-in-1 pirated cartridges we picked up in Asia.

We might buy a Vita, if we can find a use for it beside overpriced portable gaming. Can it link into the PS3?

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Van

Think about it

"Overpriced portable gaming" ?

The Vita is subsidised to the tune of £300 (uk), which gives you TEN full price games as an early adopter, or Twenty if you can wait until they are discounted by big supermarkets like Morrisons and Tesco.

I think I bought about 11 games for my PSP, which satisfied my portable gaming needs.

A £500 i device, playing hundreds of 0-£2.99 games, with aweful touch controls, doesn't always equate to great gaming value.

If you still don't like the vita, compared to the shovelware on the i devices, there is a lot of value still to be had from retro gaming on an ipad using the Wiimote as a classic control pad.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Oh joy, another walled garden

Thanks for making my choice easy for me Sony - it's off my list.

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Re: Oh joy, another walled garden

another walled garden??

when I had my Atari ST, i couldnt play amiga games, even though the media was the same shape.

My Master system carts wouldnt fit in my NES.

My megadrive CD games wouldnt work in my PCengineDuo

My jaguar carts wouldnt fit inside my saturns CD drive

My gameboy carts wouldnt fit in my lynx

Xbox 360 games wont play in my PS3

etc, etc, etc......

Walled gardens are nothing new....

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Internal politics

The "internal politics" were due to Sony's own obstruction, not due to Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson wanted to release a PlayStation phone 6 or so years ago but Sony refused to allow them.

IMO if Sony wants to survive, they should put the former Sony Ericsson guys in charge.

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Re: Internal politics

I'm hoping they're still keeping most of the staff from SE, as they made some great phones even before android.

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Thumb Up

Good new for OS choice

I think this is good news, as when Android came about, phone manufacturers gave up on making their own OS's. Hopefully we'll see more choice, and better "dumbphones" and other low-mid range phones which can't fully utilise Android or quickly become obsolete due not receiving/supporting later updates.

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Silver badge

Re: Good new for OS choice

Well, Android has proved to be nothing short of a disaster for SonyEricssson ( see http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2012/01/27/feature-phones-now-more-profitable-than-mid-tier-smartphones/ ), so this is good news.

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Re: Re: Good new for OS choice

Wow, didn't expect that. Didn't Sony once say they weren't even going to make any feature phones?

Hopefully they'll change their minds, I still use a Sony Ericsson featurephone, and it works great.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Good new for OS choice - Mr Wembley It's Happening Again...

That article is really interesting and I reckon it shows exactly how this is going to play out - just like it did on the desktop and and in music.

Case in point, "Let's not develop an OS of our own, we can Licence that new Windows" naturally led to commoditisation - who now makes any *real* money out of X86 hardware apart from Apple?*

Case in point "We're tired of squabbling between ourselves, so let's use iTunes" naturally led to Apple have stitched that market up.

Much as I dislike them, as I understand it Sony Music were more or less the only player to realise the implications of the iTunes deal but by the time they'd beaten their head against the hardware division for a few years the die was cast and it was game over.

As far as I can see a mix of old and new players are now thinking purely tactically and saying "Why bother developing our own OS when we can licence Android". In five years time, if no one breaks out from this model in a strategic way (like Sony seem to be thinking) who apart from Apple and Samsung, who seem to be the only two to have the brand muscle to charge a premium will be making any *real* money in Smartphones or Tablets?*

I have to say, I have a lot of respect for Samsung on this one, they're taking the generic OS and building a premium hardware business on the back of it, which I reckon takes some real skill and guts. And if Sony manage to execute on this, I think they'll do very well. But of course everyone knows how all Sony execute strategy...

Oh and why the f*ck are Apple always in the mix on the "winning" side in these strategies? :-/

* Of course Microsoft and Google do very well out of these lemmings - I can only deduce that hardware manufacturers just *love* to be flogged to death for little return or simply don't realise how important the software stack they choose to us is...

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Windows

agree with the another walled garden groan

great. so now interoperability is becoming a thing of the past, and you have to buy into the full company range of products.

the apple device tree is nearly complete

the sony device tree is nearly complete

the microsoft device tree is nearly complete.

ahh sheet. if that's the way things are going, i'm going to fire up the ol' A1200 and become a technology hermit, and my kids'll go outside and ride bikes and build tree houses.

grrrrr etc.

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Not sure about this one. One the one hand, a phone or tablet that can play the same or similar games to the Vita would be great, but to do this, as well as the OS, surely that phone or tablet would need all the physical controls too, resulting in a either a Vita that makes phonecalls or a Vita with a big screen (depending on whether we are looking at a phone or tablet) which would probably appeal to the same audience that bought the Vita in the first place.

If these devices don't have the physical controls (or, even if they do), then what else can a device running the OS bring that Android, iOS and the other existing OSes don't, and how long would it take to get all this (and 3rd party support for apps other than games) in place and up to speed with the others?

I just don't see it taking off outside the core PlayStation fans they already serve with the Vita. If they try it (and don't mess it up) I think they could come out with one or two very nice phones/tablets, but not much more than that.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Heh...

The irony of them using the PlayStation brand to strengthen their mobile stuff, but at the same time, screwing the brand with the PSN renaming. My stepson says it sounds stupid and that he prefers PSN to "SEN".

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