The Sony Building in Ginza is a Museum of All Things Sony, Except the PS3

sonybuildingginza.jpgThe Sony Building in Ginza stands tall just off the main department-store strip in the neighborhood, featuring a multi-story showroom of all things Sony. They're showing off their latest and greatest tech, such as their super-thin, 8-inch XEL-1 OLED TVs and the Rolly speaker, as well as pretty much everything else they sell. It's kind of like a big booth at a show like CES, where there are a few really cool things that you're excited to see surrounded by loads of stuff we're pretty familiar with already.

The first floor held the flashiest stuff: the OLEDs and Rolly. Lots of people crowded around, snapping pictures of the super-slim displays, and there was an ongoing demo of Rolly that invited people to come play with it for themselves. Personally, I don't really "get" Rolly, as it just seems like a really expensive Bluetooth speaker that won't fit in your pocket. But hey, it's a crowd-pleaser apparently, so what do I know?

The other big feature at the building involves the new Sony Canvas line, which are laptops, cellphones, and digital audio players with skins designed by hip Japanese artists. There's currently an exhibit on the top floor about the products and the designers, with videos (only in Japanese, unfortunately) on each of the artists involved (Hajime Yoshio, ZAnPon, and Ryuji Otani). The designs are undeniably cool, but don't expect to see them at your local Best Buy anytime soon; they seem to be limited editions that are only available here.

On the floors in between, there was everything from professional-grade telephoto lenses to HDTVs to cellphones to laptops to, uh, minidisk players on display. Strangely enough, even though there was a bunch of Blu-ray stuff set up, there was a noticeable lack of anything Playstation 3 to be found, unless it was hidden somewhere that I didn't see. Take that how you will.

Overall, the Sony Building in Ginza is relatively cool, but I wouldn't go expecting to see any new gadgets or technology that hasn't been widely covered already on the internet. But if you like getting your hands on a wide variety of toys, you'll certainly get your fill. It's worth the trip if you're already in the neighborhood, to be sure.

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