“We offer what is uniquely Sony,” Suzuki said after demonstrating how the S1 was designed with a tapered width for carrying around “like a magazine.”
The devices will connect to Sony’s cloud-computing based library of content, such as movies and music, as well as to Sony PlayStation video games adapted for running on Android and digital books from Sony’s Reader store, the company said.
Sony, which makes the Vaio personal computer and PlayStation 3 video game console, has lost some of its past glory—once symbolized in its Walkman portable music player that pioneered personal music on-the-go in the 1980s, catapulting the Japanese company into a household name around the world.
It has been struggling against flashier and more efficient rivals, including Apple Inc. of the U.S. with its iPhone, iPod, and iPad machines, as well as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., from which Sony purchases liquid-crystal displays, a key component in flat-panel TVs.
Sony already has promised a successor to its PlayStation Portable machine for late this year, code-named NGP for “next generation portable,” promising the quality of a home console in an on-the-go machine boasting a screen double the size of smart phones.
The popularity of smart phones, including the iPhone, has been another threat to Sony.