Sony has encountered one of the longest, and most trying weeks that any tech company has had in recent memory with the celebration of the 20th anniversary for PlayStation, as well as the Sony Pictures still reeling from the hack.
Sony has had a long, long week. Though the week started, ended, and was largely dominated by the many unknowns surrounding the hack of Sony Pictures the company was left reeling throughout the week struggling for answers. While it’s becoming more, and more possible that North Korea was in fact behind the hack, and the United States Intelligence Department is looking into the matter – and the FBI has launched an investigation into the hack – the group responsible has once again made it clear that the target are Sony employees. While United States officials won’t acknowledge officially that their primary target right now is North Korea in the investigation – they have acknowledged that the investigation is only in its earliest stages.
One official who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly had some poignant remarks on the issue noting that “North Korea can really do this kind of thing. We’re talking about a country that doesn’t even have the lights on for most of their people but [has] the sophistication to do something like this.” While the FBI is investigating the attack as a crime, no specific allegations have been made at this point against the country. That being said, North Korea has long been viewed as one of the few countries in the world that are seen as a “hot spot” for hackers and those cyber attackers whose aim is to destroy or make challenging technical life outside North Korea. The country has long been considered as one of the top forces to be responsible for the attack since the country publicly noted that they would retaliate over the Sony Pictures’ movie “The Interview.” The plot of the movie, even though it is classified as a “comedy” is set around two gentlemen who are drafted to assassinate the leader of North Korea – who called the movie “an act of war,” publicly.
The week ended on a sour note as the company’s employees received emails noting reading, “Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. … Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you, but your family will be in danger.” The email even goes as far as to suggesting that the end-goal of the group – which claims is a global organization – is to remove Sony Pictures from Earth. The email also claimed that this would be “tiny work for our group,” suggesting big threats from a group that is entirely unknown.
Saturday though marked the start of Sony’s PlayStation Experience Keynote and is being streamed live online – as its taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The keynote is expected to highlight the best of the company, thus far, in the gaming world, and also delve into what the company will be working on in the coming weeks. It will start at 10am Pacific Time. Most notably though the event start date falls on the 20th anniversary of Sony’s PlayStation. For the momentous occasion, the designers at Sony designed a special PlayStation 4 to commemorate the first PlayStation that was ever built – and was released in Japan in 1994 – making it to the United States in 1995. The celebration console is really something that the company can celebrate as a complete success. While the console itself is expected to retail for somewhere around $500 – it will feature a 500GB hard drive, camera system, and controller – all specifically designed and colored with the exclusive grey PlayStation color that made Sony famous.
The console will read “PS4” on the front of the system – it will also feature something recognizable to anyone who had the original system. On top, the PlayStation 4 will feature the original four-color image that was on the first PlayStation system. The logo that would eventually become iconic in the gaming world started on the very first piece and was brought back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sony PlayStation.
However, some of the good news that was heard by fans of the tech company came in the form of smartphone rumors. Always evolving smartphone rumors are something that keep the mobile community on its toes throughout the year – and this week was no different – seeing more Sony Xperia Z4 Ultra specification rumors come flying into the smartphone arena – as Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors did as well.
The next Xperia device – which will be called the Z4 Ultra – and will be the flagship device for Sony in their mobile division will feature a 5.95-inch QuadHD display, ultra-thin design that will be the thinnest of any Sony smartphone. The device is rumored to be bringing a 20MP rear-facing camera, S Force speaker system for the media-centric smartphone, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor that will boast 4GB of RAM and 64-bit Android 5.0 Lollipop experience. The device will likely be available in 32GB and 64GB form, as far as internal storage is concerned, and will feature external storage options to boost that figure up to 128GB for the media-heavy users.
The release of this device is likely to be the beginning part of spring, but customers could see the Xperia as early as January – in terms of when the company actually launches the device. Though it would be more likely to see the device launch around the same time as other major Android smartphones. While the company will still have the iPhone 6 Plus to contend with, in terms of sales numbers and competition – which Sony has historically had issues with competing with companies like Samsung and Apple who dominate the smartphone market – many users are optimistic about what the company could potentially do in 2015 with a smartphone that brings that much to the table.