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Sony Bets the Bank on 4K Technology at CES

Posted by Sammy Barker

Through the looking glass

No, the PlayStation 4 was not announced during Sony’s widely publicised CES press conference in Las Vegas last night. But while the manufacturer failed to mention its range of PlayStation platforms in any meaningful capacity, it still offered a hint at what we can expect from its next console – and that’s 4K resolution output.

Just like 3D before it, the Japanese giant is betting big on the new technology to drive television sales. During its show in the early hours of this morning, CEO Kaz Hirai announced a range of 4K-enabled televisions, including an 84-inch Bravia unit, as well as a couple of more accessible 55-inch and 65-inch models. In addition, the upcoming Will Smith flick After Earth will be shot in the format, as the company pushes for the standardisation of the technology.

To reinforce the resolution's importance, the firm touched upon a new line of Blu-rays that will be re-mastered in 4K resolution. Flicks such as The Amazing Spider-Man and Total Recall will soon be available with the added visual gloss, assuming you’ve got pockets deep enough to afford a new television set, of course. Naturally, new video cameras are also on their way.

Moving away from 4K resolution, Sony took a moment to announce its new Xperia Z smartphone. The unit will boast a 5-inch touch screen, 13 megapixel camera, and near field communication for sharing content wirelessly with other compatible devices.

Despite the wealth of content, though, the company has come under fire from some technology bloggers for lacking the Hollywood excitement and innovation of previous years – but clearly it wanted to focus its messaging on the importance of 4K technology. When the PS4 is eventually announced later this year, expect to see it showcased alongside the new fangled resolution.

[via variety.com, uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (24)

fchinaski

#1

fchinaski said:

It took me years to invest on a Full HD television, so I'm in no rush to jump into the 4K wagon. 1080p looks incredible enough for me anyway. I believe the PS4 will support 4k, but my bet is that the games themselves will run natively on 1080p while Blu-ray films will take advantage of the 4k resolution. But we'll see.

Paranoimia

#2

Paranoimia said:

Seriously, what's the point unless you have a Jumbotron-sized TV and a room large enough to put it in?

Samholy

#4

Samholy said:

i had my first hd tv last year, its 32 inches from samsung...
and they already talk about 4k wait...84 inches tv ?!? thats a freaking wall!
more accessible 55-65 inches ?! cant even afford these sizes right now !
wow. hopefully i wont get the same feeling with the ps4 as it did to me with my ps3 on a cathodic screen. blurry, unreadable texts and crappy details.

actually, i might wait and not get he ps4 at launch just in case. i just cant afford a huge tv plus a ps4 at the same time.

NathanUC

#5

NathanUC said:

@paranoimia: It's difficult to explain, but these new 4k TVs do not need to be in huge rooms anymore. You can put it in a smaller room and have a better field of view without worrying about issues that make current gen large display HDTV look poorly in smaller rooms.

Also, to anyone worried about it... don't be...

Most games today still aren't even 1080p on PS3 and even less on Xbox 360. There is no way Sony would make any content "4k only" because it's effortless to support 1080p even on 4k media.

If you just bought a nice new HDTV, enjoy it. You have plenty of time to worry about upgrading. I don't think 4k TV's will be viable upgrades for about 5 years. If you are worried about anything making your HDTV seem crappy, it should be OLED TV you are worried about.

Paranoimia

#6

Paranoimia said:

@get2sammyb - Yeah, people said that about 720p and 1080p, but you can at least see a difference between those and standard definition. When you're talking 4x the resolution on screens of 60-odd inches, I doubt most human eyes could really distinguish the difference, especially in a moving image; perhaps in a still image.

It's like this Hobbit movie in 48fps - anything much over 24-30fps makes little difference to the average human eye.

For me, the best thing to come out of this will be if it pushes the price of normal HDTV down to around £200 for an absolutely top-spec set. Many people haven't even bothered with HD yet, even less with 3D, and now they try to push this. In another 5 years or so, just as people are beginning to consider 4K, they'll be telling you you "need" an 8K TV. Don't believe me? Sharp are already pushing one!

http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/07/cool-but-not-practical-sharp-to-launch-an-85-inch-8k-tv/

rjejr

#7

rjejr said:

Is this the tv that comes with the "blue screen of death"? Can't wait.

I'm sure the PS4 will "support" 4k, but hardly anybody will use it. From what I've read you need an 84" tv at normal viewing distance to see the difference.

re: Paranoimia - I'm guessing you didn't see The Hobbit in 48. No way no how anybody could have seen that movie and not noticed the difference. My wife said it was like watching the deleted scenes on the DVD where all the post production work hasn't been done. We can't see the next two with it. Worst eagle feet ever. It was like watching "The Giant Claw" in color.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOj0nXpRqX8

ShogunRokAdmin

#8

ShogunRok said:

PlayStation 4K confirmed? See what I did there?

So has anyone actually seen anything displayed in 4K? Is there a noticeable difference to full HD?

Kayoss

#9

Kayoss said:

@nathanuc1988
Why would you want to put it in a large room? If you buy a 60" TV and your coach is 10 feet away from the TV then the TV would look like a 32". I got my 73" TV a few months ago and I thought it was freakin big. But once i placed in my living room It looks small. So I'm looking into purchasing a 100" HD projector. Or I can wait until the 84" 4K sony tv to go down price LOL.

Kayoss

#10

Kayoss said:

@ShogunRok
I was a skeptic... thinking that the current HD is perfectly fine for me but when i first saw the 4K it made the 1080p look like 480p tv. I tried my best to look for pixelated outlines but failed to do so. The color was so vibrant and it pops. I have to say that 4k might become the standards in television in 2-5 years once the price of these new tv goes down in price. The only problem I see that will might delay this is for people who want to stream Ultra HD movies. I dont think the current internet bandwidth will allow consumers to stream it. It already having a hard time streaming 1080p movies.

Gemuarto

#11

Gemuarto said:

I have 55 inch screen, but still watching 480p movies on it.... =)))).... I mean, if movie is cool, resolution can't make it much better,maybe slightly better, but i'm not sure about that. And if movie is a crap, then even 4k resolution can't save from that.

Games is diffirent story.... =)))

Paranoimia

#12

Paranoimia said:

@rjejr - Nope, haven't seen The Hobbit in 48 - no plans to see it at all. Absolutely zero interest in it. I watched - sorry, endured - the LotR trilogy and thought it was a load of crap. Never read any of the books, either.

ohhaime

#13

ohhaime said:

I don't care about 4K (although I haven't see it myself yet), I still don't have a 1080P TV and I don't really feel like it would be a worthwhile upgrade. My 720P TV still gets the job done fine, I can't imagine 4K would make much of a difference if you're just casually watching.
I agree with nathanuc1988, OLED is the next screen technology I'm looking forward to.I love my Vita's screen and the vivid colors and great response time are something I would like in my next TV or PC Monitor.

JayMiller1988

#15

JayMiller1988 said:

Will pass the 4K bandwagon, waiting for 8K to upgrade... I only got my first HD TV (1080p) last year.

moomoo

#18

moomoo said:

This is a bad, bad idea. It's mathmatically impossible for this to actually work in the home space.
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57366319-221/why-4k-tvs-are-stupid/<br />

We've gotten to the point where an increase in resolution simply isn't necessary to improve picture quality when one takes into account that most homes can't accomadate more than a 70-inch screen. You'd need a pretty huge screen to see the difference, and even then you wouldn't notice it unless you sit close to it.

This is going to hurt Sony bad.

NathanUC

#20

NathanUC said:

@moomoo
As I mentioned above... the whole point of 4k is to correct the problem of large displays in a small environment. Increasing the resolution IS going to be necessary with next gen games and Bluray enthusiasts in time. I had the privilege of viewing a Samsung 4k display (was 85") and it was absolutely stunning. Even if our games and Bluray aren't 4k, viewing pictures in their native resolution and seeing the up-scaling work on everything else was amazing.

@Kayoss
Good luck getting a good display at 100" running 1080p. That's going to look awful unless you're very far bar. Even my high end 60" Bravia looks pretty bad from anything closer than 7 feet.

Void

#21

Void said:

Tell me when it retails for less than "Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine 'You Ehs' Dollars."
@ShogunRok Genius!

moomoo

#23

moomoo said:

@nathanuc1988 The fact of the matter is that most people don't have giant living spaces, and unlike TVs, those aren't going to get bigger. If anything, they'll get smaller. Thus, 4K really lacks any point in the future for the vast majority of people.

NathanUC

#24

NathanUC said:

@moomoo Again, and for the last time... that is the one of the main points to 4K!!!! You don't NEED as much space to put a 4k TV as you do a 1080p TV....

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