CES 2019: Sony Empowers Creativity with Stellar Press Conference

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Amazingly polished videos and products were on display at Sony's press conference, here at CES 2019. Sony truly does have a hand in everything, making it possible to go from capture to delivery, all on Sony equipment. And it is all spectacular.

As a self-labeled "Creative Entertainment Company," Sony wants to give creatives the power to develop awesome experiences. The showcase this year backs this up by presenting a wide range of tools to help creators produce work at the highest possible level.

Sony Pictures

Ardent supporters of theatrical experiences, Sony wants to make sure that after a movie finishes its run, in theaters, you are still experiencing its films in the best possible way. In-home viewing deserves having faithfully reproduced colors and dynamic range so that you can enjoy the movie as its creators intended. Sony's BRAVIA MASTER Series OLED TVs, including 8K and 4K models, are some of the best around. These are almost the same quality as production grading monitors, making them the closest possible consumer solution for watching video.

Joining the television line are the Z9G, in 98" and 85", which is Sony's first 8K LCD TV, and uses the X1 Ultimate processor with 8K X-Reality PRO to support up-conversions of media to 8K. These TVs also have Acoustic Multi-Audio, with four speakers on the top and bottom of the screen, for a more enjoyable and natural viewing/listening experience.

While size can matter, those looking for the best in picture quality will turn to Sony's latest OLED series. Marked the A9G, these 4K models are half as thick as their predecessors and run the X1 Ultimate with Pixel Contrast Booster to ensure maximum image quality. Acoustic Surface Audio+ is here, as well as a Center Speaker Mode for incorporating the display into your existing audio setup. And for streamers, a Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced certification will give you an image that better matches what the creators intended.

One other note is that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit integration will become available on select Sony televisions in the future—a nice surprise.

Sony Music

360 Reality Audio is Sony's "Future of Music." Announced today, this experience is something that impresses even Pharrell Williams. Literally, they showed a video of him talking it up after listening in, and then he walked on stage and did it in person. We were able to go through a demo with both speakers and MDR-Z7M2 Headphones, and we were blown away. The audio feels like it is truly 360 and, while not exactly ready for consumer deployment any time soon, should lead to some fun new experiences in the future. The highest possible quality and connecting creators with users is the goal, and Sony is making a strong argument that it is among the best in the biz.

Getting to the fun stuff, a few new party speakers were announced, though the biggest standout is the GTK-PG10 and its built-in cup holders. With plenty of inputs (protected by rubber covers), solid controls, and outstanding volume, this is something that will upgrade your next barbecue.

Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams

The Rest

PS4 has sold more than 5.6 million units this holiday season, with a total of 91.6 million since launch. Both AAA titles and indie games are featured on the PlayStation Store, with more than 90 million monthly active users. Backed by stellar exclusives—think God of War and Spider-Man as examples—the PlayStation platform has become one of the most popular and reliable places to game. PS VR is also a ton of fun, with the newly released Beat Saber and Astro Bot Rescue Mission available as demos on the show floor.

Beat Saber
Beat Saber

Aibo turns one soon! Though only recently having begun shipping, we got a preview of the artificial pet at last year's CES and instantly fell in love. Hopefully, Sony will start getting more out in the hands of consumers sometime this year.

As for photo on Sony's Alpha range, the presenters emphasized the wide range of imaging products the company offers, with an extra focus on the E mount. Getting much-deserved mentions are the a7, a9, RX0, and G Master lenses. Though it's not entirely unsurprising that they didn't announce anything new, it would be surprising if they stayed quiet throughout all of 2019.

Sony seems to have announced a few more products at CES, including a couple of sounders, upcoming updates for headphones, and a few more accessories but, surprisingly, used the press conference to focus on what it was doing, not what it is making. This was a nice departure from the other press events so far, though stay tuned if you want to learn more about products Sony has in its future.

Any of Sony's latest releases making into your home? Let us all know in the Comments section, below! And be sure to check out our additional coverage of CES 2019.

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