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Tech Radar

PS5 release date, design, specs and news for Sony’s PlayStation 5

The PS5 (or PlayStation 5) is Sony’s long-awaited next-generation console, it costs $499.99 / £449.99 / AU$749.95 and will be available from November 12, 2020 (in select markets).  We’ve got full PS5 details for you below, including detailed break downs of pricing and availability, so read on to find out everything you need to know about the PlayStation 5. UPDATE: The PS5 Showcase event has finished, and we now know the PS5 price and release date, plus five new games were revealed, and we got to learn about the new ‘PlayStation Plus Collection’ which brings a number of PS4 titles to the PS5 at launch.  There’s really not much left to know about the PS5, which is good because you can now start planning which version you’re going to get, what games you’ll pick up first, the accessories you’ll need, how much you need to save and when exactly it’ll land on your doorstep. We’ve glimpsed the PS5 design, seen the PS5 games line-up, including Horizon Forbidden West and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and know a lot about the console’s specs and features. These include an SSD for fast loading, ray-tracing, a built-in 4K Blu-ray player, and backwards compatibility with thousands of titles in the PS4’s game library. However, and possibly more importantly, we now also know the the PS5 price and release date. The PS5 is a very different-looking console to the PS4, with its space-age black-and-white color scheme looking a little different to PlayStations of the past. There’s more than one…Continue readingPS5 release date, design, specs and news for Sony’s PlayStation 5

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The Next Web

Sony’s new AI agent achieves superhuman Gran Turismo Sport scores

One of the best things about computers is that they can learn just as much from a simulation as they can from so-called ‘real world’ experiences. That means, given the proper simulator, we can teach AI to drive cars without ever putting a single human in danger. Just about every AI company trains their driverless vehicle algorithms using simulations. Until now, the simulators themselves weren’t all that interesting. They’re mostly just physics engines designed to be interpreted by a neural network. But Sony just unveiled the most popular autonomous driving simulator ever: Gran Turismo Sport. In case you’re not a gamer: this isn’t advanced software designed to train AIs, it’s a game. And not just any game but the latest in one of the most beloved racing simulation series in history Researchers from the University of Zurich and Sony AI Zurich recently published a pre-print paper showcasing the development of an autonomous agent designed to beat the best human players at the game. Per the team: Among racing games, Gran Turismo Sport (GTS) is known as a highly realistic driving simulation, modelling phenomena, such as the influence of tires’ temperature and a car’s current fuel level on traction. Therefore, similarly to real-world racing, the optimal trajectory (i.e., the trajectory leading to the fastest lap time) for a car in GTS depends not only on the geometry and properties of the track, but also on various (a priori unknown) physical characteristics and states of the car. Due to its similarity to real…Continue readingSony’s new AI agent achieves superhuman Gran Turismo Sport scores

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Tech Radar

Sony’s brand-new WH-1000XM4 headphones are down to just AU$469

Get excited because Amazon is shaving the price off some amazing electronic gadgets this week as part of its ‘Footy Finals’ sale event. One of the hot ticket items that’s made its way onto the discounted list is Sony’s newly released cans – the WH-1000XM4 – which have been reduced by a decent 15%. We’ve rated the Sony WH-1000XM4 the best headphones of 2020 for its excellent delivery in noise cancellation and high-caliber sound quality which is conveniently wrapped in a lightweight and snug design. Whilst the design of the WH-1000XM4 doesn’t differ much from its predecessor, there are a number of new features including multipoint pairing, DSEE Extreme upscaling, conversational awareness and auto-play/pause using a built-in sensor. Sony has truly outshined its competitors with the WH-1000XM4, showing ingenuity and a knack for innovation that has produced a solid pair of headphones that are in a league of their own. If this deal is music to your ears, head to Amazon’s store by clicking the link below to save yourself AU$81 on the best headphones of 2020.  Looking for more deals? Check out our Amazon deals page for the best discounts currently available Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones | AU$468.50 (RRP AU$549.95; save AU$81.45) Sony’s newest and best headphones, which are currently ranked the number one wireless cans of 2020, have been discounted by a reasonable 15%. With a number of new features, including multipoint pairing and DSEE Extreme upscaling, there’s no wonder why these cans are some of…Continue readingSony’s brand-new WH-1000XM4 headphones are down to just AU$469

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Tech Radar

Sony’s A7C heralds arrival of new compact full-frame mirrorless line: report

Sony’s imaging department is seemingly keeping very busy, if the latest reports are to be believed. According to Sony Alpha Rumors – a reliable source for Sony camera news – the company has a brand-new range of full-frame mirrorless cameras in the pipeline, with the first in the new series potentially being announced in September. The rumors site claims it has reliable information from two sources who have “confirmed” the imminent arrival of a “C” series of “super compact” E mount full-framers, starting with a model dubbed “A7C”. As per the report, the A7C will have a body similar to Sony’s compact APS-C mirrorless line – specifically the A6600 – but with the 24.2MP full-frame sensor of the A7 III under the hood, similar performance to the third-generation A7 camera, and will inherit the fully articulating rear LCD of the A7S III. It’s also rumored to come with a pop-up electronic viewfinder found on some of Sony’s compact Cyber-shot RX100 cameras. Expensive mish-mash Other leaked specifications for the rumored Sony A7C include a single SD card slot, USB-C in-camera battery charging, onboard Wi-Fi, and in-built mic and headphone jacks. Sony is reportedly cashing in on the vlogging market with the new line-up, potentially providing its fans with alternatives to its recently launched ZV-1. Unlike the ZV-1, which is an affordable camera at $749 (£699 / AU$1,299), Sony Alpha Rumors claims the A7C – supposedly an entry level model – will debut with a price tag of over $2,000 (possibly more…Continue readingSony’s A7C heralds arrival of new compact full-frame mirrorless line: report

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Engadget

The Xperia 5 II might be Sony’s first phone with a 120Hz screen

You’d otherwise get much of the same performance as the more expensive device, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’d have three 12MP cameras for main, ultra-wide and 3X telephoto shots, with Zeiss lenses and 4K 120FPS video recording. You’d also get a Snapdragon 865 chip, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage and 5G support. Despite the timing of the leak, the Xperia 5 II wouldn’t arrive at IFA. Instead, Sony is reportedly aiming for a September 17th debut. The main question is the price. It’s likely to cost less than its $1,200 counterpart, but it’s not certain by how much. That difference could be vital when 120Hz support is relatively commonplace in phones like the Galaxy S20. Sony is arriving half a year later, and might face stiff opposition when the technology is no longer a novelty. Source linkContinue readingThe Xperia 5 II might be Sony’s first phone with a 120Hz screen

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Tech Radar

The Silence of the Jams: Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 over-ears stop me from singing

Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti… NO. That’s what the best new feature on the otherwise-excellent Sony WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling headphones seem to be implying every time I burst into song wearing them.  Quite unexpectedly, and surely accidentally, Sony’s headphones don’t seem to enjoy my singing all that much. They’re the best noise cancelling headphones in the world – that much is now certain, having just posted our Sony WH-1000XM4 review. Packed full of smart feature additions, with excellent audio performance and improved noise-cancelling techniques over their predecessors (the Sony WH-1000XM3) they’ve been awarded a very rare 5-star rating from TechRadar. But the most useful feature that’s been added to the Sony WH-1000XM4s brings with it an unintentional side effect. ‘Speak-to-Chat’ is a new, optional, intelligent mode that can be activated on the headphones that uses the microphone to recognise and react when you’re having a conversation. Start having a chat and the headphones will pause your music, activating ambient audio pass through so that you can have a chinwag with someone nearby without having to take the headphones off your head, or manually adjusting the audio or pausing the track. (Image credit: Sony) It works phenomenally well. Get a few words in and the Sony headphones know what’s going on and enter into their conversation mode. I’ve even tried to trick them by sitting close to my flatmate and getting them to talk in an attempt to trigger Speak-to-Chat, but Sony is up to that game. The problem is,…Continue readingThe Silence of the Jams: Sony’s new WH-1000XM4 over-ears stop me from singing

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The Next Web

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 makes an almost flawless headphone even better

Despite an awful name, Sony‘s WH-1000XM3 has practically achieved legendary status in the world of headphones. It did almost everything right: great sound, great comfort, great noise canceling, good design, and useful features. Still, there’s always room for improvement, so today Sony announced the WH-1000XM4, retailing for the same $350 price tag as its predecessor. Though it looks much the same, it offers a few key improvements, mainly in the forms of better noise canceling and welcome usability improvements — including the ability to automatically pause music when it senses you’re speaking with someone in the real world. Although the headphones use the same QN1 noise-canceling chip as their predecessors, a new algorithm and Bluetooth hardware help the headphones offer improved noise-canceling performance. Sony isn’t quantifying how much noise-canceling performance has improved, so it’s probably a subtle difference. But considering the 1000XM3 was already one of the best in this regard, we’ll take what we can get. On the sound quality front, Sony says its DSEE Extreme algorithm can improve the sound of compressed music better than the previous generation, and the headphones now offer Sony‘s 360 Audio technology with select streaming services (although Sony added this functionality to the 1000XM3 too). On the other end of calls, Sony says its new microphone setup provides clearer audio performance than before. While sound quality improvements are nice to see, the most important updates here are arguably in the usability front. The most notable of these is arguably ‘speak-to-chat.’ If you want to…Continue readingSony’s WH-1000XM4 makes an almost flawless headphone even better

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VentureBeat

Sony’s PS5 production on track for holiday launch

Sony said that the launch of the PlayStation 5 video game console is on track for the launch during the 2020 holiday season. The Japanese company made the announcement as part of its earnings release early Tuesday morning. The company said that while PlayStation 4 hardware production was slightly impacted due to issues in the component supply chain because of the pandemic, production is back to normal. On top of that, Sony said that the PS5 production faces “constraints” due to employees working from home and restrictions on international travel. But the company said all necessary measures are being taken to launch the console for the 2020 holiday season. Neither Sony nor its rival Microsoft have announced the launch dates for their consoles yet, except to say they will debut in the holidays. “At this time, no major problems have arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony’s own first-party studios or its partners’ studios,” the company said. During the first fiscal quarter ended June 30, Sony reported revenues of $5.65 billion, up 35% from a year earlier, and it said net income was $1.17 billion, up 50% from the same period a year earlier. Sony forecasts a significant increase in its forecast because of game software and PS 5 sales. Sony also said that The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, two major exclusives for the PlayStation 4, are trending well. Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscriptions have reached 45 million players. Sony said it sold 18.5…Continue readingSony’s PS5 production on track for holiday launch

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Tech Radar

Sony’s Xperia 1 II camera just got better, but you’ll need to tinker with it

The Sony Xperia 1 II is now available around the world, and a new update coming to the phone is designed by the company to give a major improvement in its rear camera capabilities for photography enthusiasts. According to numerous Xperia 1 II owners on Reddit and other social networks, an update is rolling out to the phone that brings raw capture support to all three rear cameras on the phone. If you own the device, it’s part of the upcoming July security update (that’s called 58.0.A.3.88 if you’re looking for it) and it’s set to bring the new photography feature alongside security improvements in a 75MB download. The raw capture will work on the wide, ultrawide and the telephoto cameras on the Xperia 1 II. All three of these are 12MP shooters, and this may allow you to get a lot more experimental with your photography. You’ll be able to shoot raw within the phone’s Photo Pro mode, and switching to this format gives you far more editing information to work than compressed formats like JPEG. This is really only useful if you’re into photography and are looking to take your photo editing to the next level, but if that’s you this will allow you to make the most of your phone’s camera.  Shooting in raw will be a bit more involved than just hitting the shutter button on the phone’s camera app – plus the pictures will take up more of your phone’s storage – but if you’re…Continue readingSony’s Xperia 1 II camera just got better, but you’ll need to tinker with it

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Engadget

Sony Xperia 1 ii review: Sony’s best phone in years

Lots of cameras, even more control The Xperia 1 ii has a handful of cameras on its back, and it’s worth working through them in order: At the top is a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture and phase detection autofocus. It captures a 124-degree field of view with the equivalent of a 16mm lens, and there’s very little barrel distortion. It’s reliable, though it’s the camera I use the least.  Next is the 12MP telephoto camera, with optical image stabilization and an f/2.4 aperture. It shoots at the equivalent of 70mm so it’s very helpful for situations where you can’t physically get closer to your subject, but results tend to be a little soft. Here’s the curveball: Sony wedged a 3D time-of-flight sensor in between its cameras. It’s there to help with focus, but it only has a 15-foot range. The star of the show is the 12MP wide camera. In addition to having an f/1.7 aperture, the sensor itself is physically larger than most, meaning it just gobbles up light. It’s fantastic, and fares surprisingly well in low light even without a dedicated night mode. There are a few interesting tidbits to note: For one, all these cameras are shielded by Zeiss’s T* lens coating, which is designed to keep reflections and ghosting from fouling up your photos. And, despite making some of the most pixel-dense smartphone camera sensors in the world, Sony kept things pretty modest here. Not one of these cameras tiptoes over the 12MP…Continue readingSony Xperia 1 ii review: Sony’s best phone in years