Despite the fact we’re all stuck at home, CES 2021 is well underway, albeit as an online-only event. But those restrictions haven’t stopped companies from announcing a flood of new products. Sony, in particular, has had a field day, revealing new TVs, release dates for highly anticipated games, and a drone that can have an enormous camera attached to it.
Here’s everything Sony has announced at CES 2021 so far.
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Smarter TVs with improved sound
The biggest news coming from Sony TV out of CES this year is the introduction of the Cognitive Processor XR, which powers every TV in Sony’s new range — one of the most exciting TV trends. This new processor has a lot going on, and keep an eye out for a deep dive into its processes and strengths in the coming days, but suffice it to say that we believe it’s going to be a serious game-changer for Sony’s TVs. The new processor uses intel on how people watch TVs and see images to optimize the picture. While that may seem simple, it takes a lot of grunt work, and from what we’ve seen, it makes a big difference when it comes to image quality.
The biggest model announcement is probably the Master Series Z9J. It’s an 8K full-array LED monster that does pretty much everything, and includes Sony’s contrast-boosting technology, speakers with Acoustic Multi-Audio, X-wide angle to boost off-axis performance, and Google TV (an upgrade for Android TV). It comes in 75- and 85-inch options and features a three-way stand for versatility, HDMI 2.1, VRR, 4K 120, and more.
Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio technology has also seen a few improvements that could potentially make Sony’s new OLED models some of the best-sounding TVs out there. Of particular interest in this category is the Sony Bravia Master Series A90J. This TV offers everything you can expect from an OLED TV and goes a little further with the introduction of an 83-inch model alongside the more usual 55- and 65-inch models. The OLED panel is also new, and uses a new technology Sony calls XR OLED Contrast, which boosts highlights and offers better black levels.
But the best value prospect is looking likely to be the Bravia X90J, the replacement for the popular X900H. It comes with the same processor as the other new TVs, and is available in screen sizes ranging from 55 to a massive 100 inches. While it won’t have some of the brightness and audio upgrades found on the other models, this 4K TV still offers acoustic multi-audio, and is likely to be priced well below the rest of the models in this range.
A pair of 360 RA speakers
Sony launched the 360 Reality Audio (360 RA) format two years ago, but there’s been no sign of a Sony-branded, 360 RA-supported speaker — until now, that is. The SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will launch in the spring, but neither will be smart-enabled, though you’ll be able to control both speakers with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of 360 RA, well, it’s probably because it has never been particularly well-supported. Amazon’s $200 Echo Studio was the only speaker that could previously stream 360 RA tracks, even if Sony had released headphones and earbuds that filled the gap somewhat. Hopefully, the launch of these two speakers will mean we’ll see more of this format. If you need a brief explainer, 360 RA creates a full 3D soundscape, effectively making you feel as if you’re in the middle of the sound, rather than having it played at you. It needs to be experienced to be believed, but trust us when we say it’s very impressive.
Release dates for a number of PS5 games
Gaming fans got some welcome (and unwelcome) news with a confirmation of release dates for several key PlayStation 5 games. Ghostwire: Tokyo, a horror game from Bethesda, is due to be a PS5 exclusive, despite Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda. The big news, however, is that this horror game is now scheduled for release in October. Ratchet & Clank: Drift Apart also got a 2021 release window, but no specific month was mentioned. Square Enix’s Project Athia — a relatively unknown game from the same team that created Final Fantasy XV — has been slated for a 2022 launch, so don’t expect to see that any time soon.
But not all the gaming news was welcome. Pragmata, a sci-fi game from Capcom, has been delayed until 2023.
Sony also confirmed release dates for a few high-profile indie games. Stray, a game about a cat, is due to arrive in October. Kena: Bridge of Spirits arrives in March, Little Devil Inside launches in July, and Solar Ash, the latest game from the developers behind Hyper Light Drifter, is coming in June.
A drone to carry your expensive camera
If you’ve ever looked at your expensive camera and thought, “I wish I could suspend that from a great height,” well, Sony has your back with its first drone, the Sony Airpeak.
The Airpeak is notable forbeing the smallest drone that can support the weight of a full-frame DSLR like Sony’s Alpha cameras. The Airpeak is able to carry such a heavy burden thanks to its quadcopter format. We jest that you might not want to risk such an expensive piece of kit, but honestly, Sony has done an excellent job to make sure this drone is as safe as could be — and you’re sure to get some exceptional shots from the camera.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on price, specs, or a release date just yet, but keep an eye out.