Sony blends AV with PC in VAIO Vision

Sony blends AV with PC in VAIO Vision

Sony has unveiled a raft of new products aimed at the growing convergence market.

At the recent VAIO Vision 2004 launch in Sydney, Sony attempted to pitch itself as a customer-centric company moving to blur the boundary between AV and PC, by merging hardware with content.

Sony Corporation’s global VAIO direct department president, Kunimasa Suzuki, said VAIO was moving to become the heart of the anywhere, anytime entertainment hub.

“In recent years, the traditional notebook has undergone a massive transformation from a standalone computing device,” Suzuki said. “Customers are looking to diminish the boundaries between their IT needs and AV desires.”

Sony was driving this demand with a new class of network-connected devices that offered IT and AV convergence.

VAIO product manager for Sony Australia, Marcus Cornish, said content had always been a driving factor in the AV and IT worlds and had become even more important as the world moved into the broadband Internet era.

“We see this new direction for VAIO as a continuation of this pioneering attitude ... where consumers want to enjoy a variety of content anywhere, anytime,” Cornish said.

Sony suggested it would leverage its Sony Pictures, Sony Music and Sony Entertainment divisions toward this end.

To back up this claim, several new portable network devices were unveiled at the launch event, including the VAIO Type U, a Windows XP PC which Sony claimed to be the world’s smallest, weighing in at a mere 150gm.

The VAIO Pocket — a portable hard drive enabled music player, the Do VAIO — a real-time interface, and the concept Type X, a 1TB hard disk recorder which Sony claims is capable of recording a week’s worth of television broadcasts, were also demonstrated.

The gadget that most impressed attendees was a palm-sized personal entertainment device capable of wirelessly downloading content to itself that could then be watched either from the device, or streamed to a compatible television set. Sony also launched three new VAIO models: the A series, VGNA15GP and VGNA17GP and the S series, VGNS18GP.

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