Sony Media Software and Corel Corporation announced a new strategic partnership to deliver even greater capabilities, ease-of-use and value to consumers interested in exploring digital media creation and production. The companies’ co-marketing and co-bundling programs will combine Sony’s video editing and multimedia expertise with Corel’s renowned graphics and digital imaging software to deliver easy-to-use, affordable solutions that offer video production, photo editing and management and DVD creation all in one box.

The Sony-Corel partnership has produced two new Windows-based bundles that will be available in time for the 2005 holiday season: Visual Creation Studio and Visual Creation Studio Pro. The bundles will leverage the newest versions of Sony’s award-winning Vegas Movie Studio + DVD and Vegas Movie Studio+ DVD Platinum Edition which provide powerful, cost-effective media tools that transform the PC into a complete media production studio. Both products will allow consumers to edit movies, create entire videos and author DVD’s using a simple Windows drag-and-drop interface. The bundles will also feature two new digital imaging software solutions from Corel — Corel Paint Shop Pro X digital image editing software and Corel Photo Album 6, which allows users of all levels to download, organize, edit, share and protect their favorite photos quickly and easily.

Targeted at consumers, the Visual Creation Studio software will combine Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio + DVD with Corel’s Photo Album 6 to create the easiest way to manage, edit and share digital photos and videos. Designed for advanced hobbyists and semi-professionals, the Visual Creation Studio Pro will combine Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio + DVD Platinum Edition, which supports everything from DV (digital video) to HDV (high-definition video) formats, with Corel’s Paint Shop Pro X to deliver powerful video production, photo editing and DVD in a single solution.

There is an enormous demand for easy-to-use tools that manage, edit and share video and digital images among consumers and advanced hobbyists worldwide, according to Blaine Mathieu, General Manager, Digital Imaging at Corel. “Through our extensive customer research, we know that consumers and hobbyists are looking for more approachable, easier to use software that offers better value by enabling them to easily accomplish specific tasks — in this case, editing and managing photos and videos — without any prior training or experience required. As the world’s premier consumer electronics brand, Sony is already fulfilling this demand with professional-quality video and audio editing programs that are both powerful and accessible for the mass market. Corel’s collaboration with Sony will extend these capabilities to an even larger customer base.”

“As Sony continues to introduce new and innovative cameras for video and still image photography, we feel that our new software bundles fulfill the demand consumers have for single-sourced, practical and affordable solutions for photo editing, video creation and DVD authoring. We are excited about our partnership with Corel and our shared vision to deliver applications that enable consumers to truly take control of their entertainment creation experience,” said Brad Reinke, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Sony Media Software “Our partnership with Corel will provide PC users with a complete suite of products that will transform their media into lasting memories that can be archived or shared with family and friends.”

Mass market adoption of video and digital imaging solutions has accelerated dramatically as more multimedia-aware consumers discover easy-to-use, accessible tools, according to Ed Lee, an industry analyst covering the digital media sector for InfoTrends, a Weymouth, MA-based market research firm. “25 million video capture devices and 20 million digital cameras were sold in the US alone in 2004 and these figures continue to grow. The Corel-Sony partnership will finally bring accessible, affordable professional-quality video and digital imaging solutions to consumers and hobbyists eager to take their entertainment creation experience to the next level.”

Pricing and Availability

Visual Creation Studio will carry a suggested retail price of $129.95 and Visual Creation Studio Pro will be available for a suggested retail price of $199.95. Both products will be widely available at major U.S. retailers and resellers beginning in November.