Sony announced today that it expects to report a net loss of 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the 12 month period that ended on March 31, 2014. That compares with a loss of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) forecast in February, a reduction from its October 2013 projection of a 30 billion yen ($294 million) profit. Sony won't report its consolidated results for the fiscal year until May 14, but it published a preliminary earnings report on Thursday to get investors prepared for the news.
Sony says that around 48 percent of the games bought by PS Vita customers are sold online. Speaking at a behind-closed-doors meeting in California, a representative for the company told IGN that digital games sales currently account for 48 percent of the PS Vita’s total software sales.
Sony's games division (which covers PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, and PlayStation Network) recorded sales and operating revenue of 441.8 billion yen (or $4.35 billion USD) for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013. That's a 64.6 percent year-on-year increase thanks to the launch of the PlayStation 4 in major markets around the world last November.
The "Father of the PlayStation" will finally be honored by the Game Developers Choice Awards for his accomplishments while serving as the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment - bringing the masses Sony's very first home console and its subsequent iterations. Former Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi will receive a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards.
Sony announced today that the service based on its acquisition of game streaming service Gaikai will be called PlayStation Now and will eventually stream PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games "from the cloud." Sony executive Andrew House made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show taking place this week in Las Vegas.
Sony is kicking off the new year right for those who subscribe to its PlayStation Plus premium online service for its various devices. In January, PS Plus subscribers will be able to download BioShock Infinite, DmC: Devil May Cry, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons for the PlayStation 3. PlayStation 4 owners will be able to grab the indie title Don't Starve. Finally, PS Vita owners will be able to grab Worms: Battle Island and Smart As...
Sony gave away Borderlands 2 for PS3 in December (which we assume is still available to PS Plus subscribers who haven't grabbed it yet).
Sony is giving away 10 free games (two each week for five weeks) to all PS Mobile gamers. Detailed on the PlayStation Blog, the games will work on your PlayStation Certified smartphone, tablet, or PS Vita. Between November 27th and December 18th of 2013, and then from January 8th through January 22nd of 2014, you can download two PS Mobile games. The first two games, available later today, will be Passing Time and Rymdkapsel.
According to a circular uncovered by VideoGamer, a bundle offering the PlayStation 4 and the PS Vita will be available to consumers in early December. While Sony has confirmed that the "Ultimate Bundle" is real, it looks like it will only confirm it for the United Kingdom.
Sony reported a net loss of $197 million, or ¥19.3 billion in the second quarter of its current fiscal year. Despite a boost in revenue from positive currency exchange rates and decent smartphone sales, the company saw a 24.5 increase in net losses. As a result, the company has lowered net revenue expectations by about 40 percent to ¥30 billion, or $305 million, due to what it calls lowered expectations for sales of "certain electronic products."
The newest title in EA's long running action racing series will not be on Wii U or PS Vita, according to the game's Creative Director, Craig Sullivan. Speaking recently to Sixth Axis, Sullivan said that Need for Speed: Rivals will skip Vita and Wii U due to poor sales from the previous game, Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
Sony has confirmed that the European release of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls has been censored. Sony says that around 5-10 seconds of footage has been edited in the European release so that the game could get a PEGI 16 rating. Sony did not say just what exactly censors in Europe found so offensive as to have it altered to avoid a higher rating, but one would guess it relates to gratuitously violent scenes. As a general rule, having wanton violence in a game is a good way to get a PEGI 18 rating under the European ratings system...
Apparently Sony Computer Entertainment was a bit surprised that Westerners (Europe, North America and regions outside Asia) were fascinated and interested in its micro-console, the PS Vita TV. Speaking with Eurogamer today at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony Japan exec Masayasu Ito said that the response had been "strong... more than we expected."
As part of its Tokyo Game Show press conference today Sony Computer Entertainment revealed that it will be launching the Gaikai cloud-streaming service in North America next year. The service will launch with a specific selection of PlayStation 3 games, playable on the PS4, PlayStation Vita TV, and PS Vita. The announcement was made by Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, who compared the streaming games service to Netflix.
During a press conference this morning in Japan, Sony announced a new micro-console called the PlayStation Vita TV. The 6.5cm by 10.5cm micro-console utilizes the PS Vita chipset and its system software, and supports the Dualshock 3 controller. The device allows 1,300 PS Vita, PSP, and classic PlayStation One games to be played on a television screen. The PS Vita TV will also support movies services, eBooks, and the PlayStation Plus service. Some PS4 games will be playable via Remote Play as well.
Some owners of the PlayStation Vita version of Ubisoft's Rayman Legends game claim that the game contains less content than the game on other platforms. According to this NeoGAF thread, the PS Vita version of Rayman Legends is missing 28 levels, despite Ubisoft claiming prior to the game's launch that it offered the same amount of content as the other games.
In a recent interview with IGN, Ubisoft Executive director Alain Corre said that the company is not giving up on Nintendo's Wii U or Sony's PS Vita, and that he believes both platforms still have the potential to succeed with the right execution.
I have been saying for almost a year that if Sony really wants the PS Vita to be successful it would need to cut the price by a considerable margin. The hand-held has been struggling to make any headway in sales due to it being priced the same as a new PlayStation 3, which doesn't set well with many consumers.
Back in June one of the things many consumers wanted to hear during Sony's E3 press conference was that the company had finally given in to the idea that the PS Vita hand-held was just too expensive. The PS Vita retails for right around the price of a brand new PlayStation 3 console. Unfortunately we didn't hear Sony say those words then and it hasn't indicated it has any plans in the future to slash the price of the hand-held.
The Sony board has rejected a proposal by Third Point LLC CEO Daniel Loeb - one of Sony's largest investors - that would have spun off 20 percent of its entertainment divisions into a separate entity. The board's rejection of the idea was unanimous. A letter to Third Point from Sony expressed that the company sees value in owning entertainment content in this connected, digital age. Sony also told Third Point in its letter that maintaining total ownership of its divisions encourages "internal collaboration and efficiency."
We are sorry if you were watching the live stream of id Software genius John Carmack from QuakeCon this week and hoping that he'd have nice things to say about Wii U and 3DS, because that didn't happen. Instead Carmack delivered some sad but predictable news on the possibility of id Software developing games for Nintendo's platforms.
Where do babies come from? Here's a PS Vita or a PS3.
Kotaku points out a new ad campaign running in Argentina that offers a unique marketing pitch: buy your kids Sony's systems so you can avoid talking about sex. The ad was sent in by Kotaku reader Damian Hernaez, who saw it in Buenos Aires and sent a picture in. Translated into English, the tagline for the ad (pictured to your left) reads:
A PSN account holder allegedly used ill-gotten PlayStation 3 and Vita trophies to bid on items in Sony's Bid for Greatness campaign. The campaign gives PSN users a chance to bid on one-of-a-kind props originally used by actors in the "Greatness Awaits" PlayStation 4 trailer that was shown during E3 2013 in a special auction.
Sony has quietly changed the digital rights management policy for its Video Unlimited feature on PlayStation devices. With the change in its DRM policy, consumers can now re-download purchased content from the company's Video Unlimited service. In a statement on the official website for the service, Sony detailed what this means to subscribers:
Sony has confirmed with VideoGamer.com that auto-updates, social features and some entertainment on the PlayStation 4 will not be behind a pay-wall. In confirming this news Sony says that it is "trying to be as balanced and as fair as we possibly can." TV and online movie services will also continue to be free to all PS4 users.
Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida believes that the PlayStation 4 will have a lifespan of over ten years, just like previous PlayStation family home consoles. Speaking with CVG, Yoshida said with PS4 there is room for growth should games start to exceed the 8GB of RAM, and that Sony plans to support the console for at least 10.
One of the issues some players have with transitioning to a fancy new console is leaving behind a massive library of games because newer systems tend not to support backwards compatibility. Sony's new console is no exception because it has abandoned its old architecture in favor of a new one that is completely different from what the PS3 uses.
But Sony has found a round-about way of allowing players to enjoy their old games on their new system - even though it will likely cost consumers a little extra money for the pleasure of playing those old games.
Sony put to bed a lot of questions this evening at its E3 Expo 2013 press conference that Microsoft stumbled with, fumbled and mangled last month. While Microsoft said it was up to publishers whether or not gamers could sell, trade, or loan their Xbox One games out, Sony threw out a phrase that resonated with gamers tonight: "True Consumer Ownership." Sony promised no restrictions on used games or rentals, loaning games out to friends, selling them, etc. This is what consumers had hoped to hear from Sony and the company did not disappoint them.