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Sony ‘digital jukebox’ streams into U.S. homes

Sony Corp. is betting on being able to bring music to consumers’ living rooms by offering millions of songs through a digital jukebox connected to popular devices such as TV sets and games consoles.

The new service called Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity was launched in the United States Thursday, offering 6 million songs on demand through the cloud-based network that 60 million Sony PlayStation gamers use to play video games online. Get the full story »

Sony to launch new Playstation portable this year

Sony Corp. unveiled a new handheld gaming device, the first to feature 3G wireless connectivity, as it battles with Nintendo’s best-selling DS and tries to fend off competition from smartphones including Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Get the full story »

Sony to shut U.S. plant as CD sales fall

Sony Corp. says it will shut down a CD manufacturing plant in the United States by the end of March and its 310 workers will be laid off. Sony spokeswoman Mami Imada said Tuesday the plant closure in New Jersey was due to declining CD sales as more people opt to buy music digitally. Get the full story »

LG Display reports flat-screen deal with Sony

South Korea’s LG Display, the world’s No. 2 LCD flat-screen maker, said Wednesday that it has an LCD supply deal with Japan’s Sony Corp.

“We’ve just started panel supply to Sony,” LG Display Chief Executive Kwon Young-soo told reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Get the full story »

CES: Netflix button coming to remote controls

Netflix told CES attendees Tuesday that it would soon be available on remote controllers that operate Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray disc players and other devices, enabling subcribers to access movies with one click.

Netflix Inc. said consumer electronics companies would begin selling remotes this spring with “Netflix” buttons — including some featuring the red Netflix logo. The companies include Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.

Nintendo: No 3-D games for kids under 6

Nintendo Co. has issued a warning that children under the age of six shouldn’t play 3-D games on its soon-to-be-released handheld game machine, as looking at 3-D images for a long period of time can have a harmful effect on the growth of young children’s eyes.

The company posted the disclaimer at the bottom of its Japanese-language Web site promoting a three-day event in Japan where people can try its new Nintendo 3DS, due to launch Feb. 26 in Japan. It asks that 6-year-olds and those younger play games on the 3DS in 2-D mode. Get the full story »

China’s rare earths export cut raises trade concerns

China has raised fresh international trade concerns after slashing export quotas on rare earths minerals, used in the manufacture of high-tech devices, risking action from the United States at the World Trade Organization.

China, which produces about 97 percent of the global supply of rare earth minerals, cut its export quotas by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 versus a year ago, saying it wanted to preserve ample reserves, but warned against basing its total 2011 export quota on the first half figures. Get the full story »

Sony to spend $1.21B to ramp up Sensor production

Sony Corp. said Monday that it plans to invest about $1.21 billion to double its production of image sensors used in digital cameras and smart phones, as the popularity of those devices continues to rise worldwide.

The investment includes the electronics giant’s planned repurchase of a factory that it sold to Toshiba Corp. in 2007 for 90 billion yen. Until now, the factory has primarily been used to make processors for Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console. But Tokyo-based Sony said it will refurbish the facility so that it can meet growing demand for imaging sensors. The company hopes to double capacity to 50,000 wafers per month by the end of March 2012. Get the full story »

Google TV faces delays amid poor reviews

From the New York Times News Service | The Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas was meant to be the great coming-out party for Google’s new software for televisions, which adds Web video and other computer smarts to TV sets. Although Google already has a deal with Sony for its Internet TVs, other television makers — Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp — were prepared to flaunt their versions of the systems.

But Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard. And it illustrates the struggles Google faces as it tries to expand into the tricky, unfamiliar realm of consumer electronics, and drum up broad interest in a Web-based TV product that consumers want. Get the full story »

Sales of 3-D, Web-enabled TVs fall flat

New features such as 3-D screens and Internet connectivity have not inspired  U.S. television shoppers, dashing a hoped-for recovery in the global consumer electronics industry.

TV manufacturers such as Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Sharp Corp. are learning that features such as razor-thin LED TVs are not enough to stage a comeback in the United States. Get the full story »

Early bird to catch $500 Blu-Ray Sony laptop

A Sony laptop with a Blu-ray drive or a 50-inch Sanyo plasma television set could be yours for $500 on Black Friday if you’re willing to get up early, according to a Consumer Reports round-up of this weekend’s best gadget deals. Get the full story »

Sony shares rise on Apple speculation

Shares of Sony Corp. rose nearly 3 percent at one stage on Tuesday as traders cited media reports speculating that the Japanese electronics maker could be a potential acquisition target of Apple Inc.

Helping to spark the speculation was a Saturday report in Barron’s that said cash-rich Apple could be contemplating a big acquisition and noted speculation about Adobe, Sony and Disney as potential targets. Get the full story »

Sony cuts PSPgo handheld prices in U.S., Japan

Sony Corp. said on Monday it would cut the price of its PSPgo portable game player in the United States and Japan this month as game makers enter the crucial year-end shopping period. Get the full story »

Sony to stop making Walkman cassette player

The Sony Walkman. (Sony)

Sony is sending its cassette tape Walkman into retirement in Japan as demand for a music player that was ground-breaking in its day dwindles to a tiny niche in the era of digital technology.

Sony stopped Japanese production of the portable music player in April and sales will end once the last batch disappears from stores, company spokeswoman Hiroko Nakamura said Monday. Get the full story »

3-D TV to be land of jellyfish, ghost towns, animation

Killer jellyfish, ghost towns and a cartoon weathergirl will be among the stars of a new 3-D television network under development by Discovery Communications Inc., Sony Corp. and Imax Corp., the companies said Monday. Get the full story »