Sony Aino, Satio, Yari : PlayNow, twist, tilt, turn, smash... buzz ?

May 28, 2009 : Sony Ericsson decides to wake up, launch a new campaign, and issue a series of emphatic press clips announcing 3 new devices and one proprietary movie download platform. The message : believe it or not, we've got some Sony in our DNA and we ain't gonna let competitors claim the entertainment arena for themselves.

PlayNow™ arena intends to do with movies what iTunes did for iPod and iPhone with music. The user experience does seem as un-seamless as with the Apple platform in its early stage... but with a very small and short-lived catalogue :

"- Download movies to your computer from www.playnow-arena.com/movies
- Transfer them to your Sony Ericsson phone by ‘side loading’ them from your computer to your phone using your USB device
- Watch them as often as you like for up to 90 days. The specially formatted movies are not playable on any other device
- Choose from a selection of around 15 movies at any one time, with approximately four additional titles being added to the catalogue each month to replace outgoing content
- A total of up to 60 movies can be downloaded during a twelve month period
- The available movie catalogue will be a country-specific mix of classics and newer titles"
("PlayNow™ arena with movies brings feature films to mobile phones" - SonyEricsson PR 20090528)

Kick off : this June across Europe (UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands) with the W995 Walkman™. Besides, two of the tree devices introduced the same day support the new platform : the Aino and the Satio.

The Sony Ericsson Satio replaces the Sony Ericsson Idou exposed in Barcelona (a doomed brand if I ever saw one). It focuses on image : a 12 M pixel camera and a big fat memory.("Visual communication like never before with the Sony Ericsson Satio" - SonyEricsson PR 20090528)

The Sony Ericsson Aino focuses on "sound and vision". Don't misinterpret the "Remote Play for PLAYSTATION®3" feature as a Nintendo Wii remote copycat : you can mostly pair it with your console. PSP next gen becomes PSP Go, and Media Go™ / Media Home "helps you transfer, play and organise all your music, photos, videos and podcasts from your PC simply and effortlessly to enjoy directly on Aino via Wi-Fi™. No more wires, no more searching – always the latest fun." ("Sound and vision set free with the Sony Ericsson Aino" - SonyEricsson PR 20090528)

The Sony Ericsson Yari goes beyond the Aino, more into Wii territory : "Yari debuts Gesture gaming – forget about pushing buttons, with Gesture gaming you make the moves in front of the screen to get right in the middle of the action!" ("Twist, tilt, turn, smash - gesture gaming is here with the Sony Ericsson Yari" - SonyEricsson PR 20090528)

I can't see much disruption there. Except maybe for my eardrums.

Tetris turning 25... now that's distressing.

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