Press Release

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November 2, 2000

Toward the creation of a new visual world
The "multi-directional" video image

(Tokyo, Japan) - Visual entertainment, be it television or screen cinema, has traditionally been provided by the director to the consumer within a set "frame". Sony Corporation has taken the motion picture medium a step further by creating a new "frame-free" visual world where the individual viewer can pan 360 degrees within a full-motion image and enjoy the feeling of actually being present at the scene in motion.

Photo caption:A scene from the production of a "multi-directional video clip" for Sony Music Entertainment's Playstation 2 music visual software "Space Venus-starring Morning Musume" to hit the stores on January 11, 2001

Sony Corporation will provide a comprehensive production service for this cutting-edge technology, as it moves to develop special cameras which can capture a 360 degree-pan vision, stitching and reconstruction systems for the recorded video data, as well as software to play back these new visual images. Sony plans to launch this service in spring 2001, and is currently looking into the prospect of forming alliances with companies within as well as outside the Sony group.

Sony Corp will first launch the "cylindrical multi-directional" (a 360 degrees horizontal field of vision) video content, and move to develop "spherical multi-directional" (a 360 degrees vertical and horizontal field of vision) video content where the traditional "frame" will disappear altogether.

Software distribution will initially be by packaged media (DVD-ROM). Consumers will be able to view these unique contents by using Playstation 2, and will eventually be able to play them back on their personal computers by 2001. With the approach of the broadband era and the possibility of network distribution, Sony also plans to develop a system where the viewer software and contents can be distributed through the Internet.

Sony believes that "multi-directional" motion pictures will not only provide consumers with new visual entertainment, but also offer professional directors and producers with yet another medium to express their creativity.