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IFA 2009: Sony Press Conference

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So IFA doesn't even officially open for two days, but already Sony has got its press conference out of the way and boy, did it have a lot to say...
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As I mentioned in our IFA Preview, the big news Sony wanted to promote was its intention to bring 3D television viewing to its high end consumer sets in 2010. Little was given away about the set (Sony suggested it may only be one model), other than it will have a 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels image per eye) and will be part of 3D makeover Sony intends to introduce including 3D on its Blu-ray disc formats and 3D compatibility built into Vaio laptops and the PlayStation 3. Sony will market 3D under a ‘make.believe' slogan - so expect to see it speared across billboards over the next 12 months. And yes, you cannot photograph 3D!
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Continuing its Bravia news Sony will introduce ‘Internet Video', an online portal for its TVs and Blu-ray players in early 2010. Support from mainstream channels is a little limited with just Five from the UK signing up, but that's understandable given potentially competing technologies from the likes of BBC iPlayer. That said, it should continue the trend in ‘catch-up TV' with content based around on-demand viewing as the move away from the traditional TV model continues and both YouTube and Wired will be partnering Internet Video from the online space.
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If you fancy a shiny new compact camera Sony has that covered too. A new line of compact Cybershot cameras was unveiled with brand spanking new ‘Exmor R' sensors promising 256 degree panoramic photo stitching and the ability to shoot up to 10 shots per second. The two cameras to take advantage of it will be the 10 megapixel DSC-WX1 and DSC-TX1 which will bring 5x optical zooms and also shoot 720p HD video at 30fps.
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Moving onto laptops and Sony has something rather special to show in the form of the X series, a stunning 11.1in ultra slim laptop measuring just 14mm thick and weighing 700g. Despite this Sony has packed in integrated mobile broadband, used a carbon fibre chassis and promises a comprehensive range of battery options providing "all day battery life and well into the night". The downside in all this could be the price. Crack under the hood and - at least at this stage - the X series is packing just an Atom CPU so we could be talking about yet another glorified netbook. With the rest of the spec here it could easily be a netbook to pass beyond the £700+ barrier. A case of so near and yet so far?
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Finally, we also got a look at previously announced Sony products like the Sony Pocket and Touch edition eBook readers and OLED X series Walkman. Both looking exceptional from a brief hands-on, but requiring more time for a proper analysis.

IFA is indeed off to an impressive start. Later today we'll learn if everyone else can keep up...

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