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Sony stays loyal to 3D at CES gadget fest

LAS VEGAS, Jan 6, 2011 – Japanese electronics titan Sony is raising its bet that the future of home entertainment is 3D, as it unveils home video and photo gear in the format.

Internet connectivity, 3D, and content streamed online were main themes as Sony showed off its latest TVs, cameras, and more during a press event on the eve of the opening of the Consumer Electronics (CES) show Thursday in Las Vegas.

"Sony has the knowledge, vision, assets and conviction to redefine television," said Sony chief executive Sir Howard Stringer.

"We are shaking up the television landscape and we will win."

Sony expanded its Bravia TV line-up with an array of new 3D models and internet-connected models.

Stringer said that Sony Entertainment film studio was pitching in major 3D films such as "The Green Hornet" slated to hit theaters this month and upcoming sequels to "Spider-Man" and "Men In Black."

Sony also has a Qriocity — pronounced "curiosity" — service that streams hit films on-demand to Internet-linked Bravia TVs.

A Qriocity-powered Music Unlimited service that hosts songs in the Internet "cloud" launched in Britain and Ireland in December and will expand to the United States, Canada and Europe by the end of March, according to Sony.

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The Japanese giant intends to capitalize on its diversity and size by delivering films and music across a host of Internet-linked devices including Blu-Ray disc players, PlayStation 3 video game consoles, Bravia televisions, and Vaio personal computers.

Sony devoted a section of its display area at CES to its Google TVs that use the California Internet star\’s technology to merge the Internet and traditional broadcasting.

Sony also unveiled new Xperia smartphones based on the latest Android mobile operating system backed by Google.

Nearly 180 million people watch Internet television each month and more than 65 million Internet-enabled sets will ship this year, according to industry forecasts and statistics cited by Sony.

"The next big transformation is on us; the marriage between television sets and the Internet," Stringer said. "It is clear that consumers are ready for it."

Sony will add more 3D movies, video, games, and a 3Net 3D television channel to "further cement" its position in the market, according to Stringer.

The company introduced digital and still cameras for people to "personalize" the 3D experience by making their own pictures or videos in the format.

Sony also provided glimpses at prototypes of future products including "Headman" 3D headsets that can be worn like wrap-around eyeglasses but provide a theater style viewing experience.

The company is also working on a Blu-ray player that lets viewers see 3D films without the need for special glasses.

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"We are showing these prototypes to provide you a glimpse into the future," said Sony executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka.

"We want you to know they are on the Sony radar," he continued. "Sony is fully committed to bringing a 3D experience from every angle."

3D television sets were a major theme at last year\’s CES, but they haven\’t proven to be hot sellers.

Analysts contend that people haven\’t been motivated to buy 3D TVs due to a dearth of content for such sets and the need to buy and keep track of special glasses for viewing.

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