By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: In just under two weeks from now – 23 February to be precise – Sony will pack out Doltone House in Sydney with retailers from all of the country to showcase its new 3D range, and other new products for the year ahead. spoke with Sony deputy general manager, consumer products marketing, Toby Barbour, to find out what’s in store.

Although Sony, and the market in general, has high hopes that 3D can reverse flagging sales from now commoditised product lines, Barbour was careful to place not too much emphasis on the technology. He was careful to make mention of a range of new innovations when asked how confident Sony was that retailers would respond well to 3D.

“3D is one of many things that will entice and excite Australians in 2010, particularly later in the year as content becomes available,” he said. “We will certainly see other factors driving the market throughout the year including design, new technologies, content and experiences such as IPTV, as well as promotions.”

Sony Australia has moved fast to get its dealer show ready – it’s been barely a month since CES. Barbour said this move was in part due to Sony’s massive partnership deal with the 2010 World Cup.

“2010 is a game changing year for television around the world, but especially here in Australia. There will be new technologies entering the market and increasing ways to access content, such as IPTV, which will revolutionise the way Australian consumers access and enjoy content through their televisions.

“Television customers have different needs and are in market at different times. The most important thing for the first half of the year is the 2010 World Cup. This represents a huge opportunity for retailers in Australia, and Sony will be working together with them to maximise the opportunity in the lead up to this global event.”

With the World Cup now less than four months away, we asked when we might start seeing products on shelves. Barbour obliged with an answer.

“We will be rolling out a number of new models throughout the year, starting from next month.

“We start our new product rollout from March and will continue to bring new design, technology, picture quality innovation and content access to the market as the year rolls out.

“Our focus is always on the customer, ensuring the availability of product in the market lines up with technology and content capabilities at that time so they can instantly realise the benefits.”