Sony has announced that its online gaming service for PS4, PS Vita, and PS3 will be down in Europe and North America on January 15. The maintenance period will run from 5pm - 9pm GMT tomorrow, and 9am - 1pm Pacific Time in North America.
During those times multiple services will not be available including PlayStation Store on all devices, PlayStation Network Account Management, PlayStation Network Account Registration, and various Sony Entertainment services.
In a PlayStation Blog post Sony explained why there is an absence of available PS1 and PS2 games in its PlayStation Now game streaming service. Earlier this week the company announced that it would offer 100 or so PS3 games when its service launches on January 13 at a price point of around $20 a month.
Today the company explained why PS1 and PS2 games won't be available when the service launches in North America.
The PlayStation 4 will launch in China a little later than expected, according to what Sony is telling Reuters today. The company cited "various factors" for delaying the console in the region this week - including what it called "prolonged negotiations" with Chinese authorities - likely over content.
During his keynote address this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony boss Kazuo Hirai condemned the hackers who breached the firm's internal network and stole data. The Guardians of Peace hacker group attacked Sony in a bid to stop the release of the movie, The Interview, which made fun of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. The FBI claims that the group is directly tied to the North Korean government, though some security experts believe it was an inside job perpetrated with the help of a disgruntled Sony employee.
Sony announced this week that the PlayStation 4 has sold more than 18.5 million units worldwide since its launch in November of 2013. The new figures tabulate units sold as of January 4, 2015. Sony also said that during the critical holiday shopping season (late November to early January) it managed to sell 4.1 million units worldwide.
Recently Sony said it was sorry for the Christmas outages of the PlayStation Network (which hacker group Lizard Squad claimed credit for) and offered a gift to PlayStation Network users: five free days of PlayStation Plus and 10 percent discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store. To say the response to this gift was tepid and even hostile in some circles is an understatement.
While the FBI continues to stick by its statement earlier this month that North Korea or hackers associated with the country hacked Sony Pictures, Politico reports that the top law enforcement agency in the country is - at the very least - entertaining other theories.
According to this Game Informer report, the PlayStation Network is having "intermittent connectivity" issues right now. GI readers have said that when they try to log into PlayStation Network, they received the error code "CE-34861-2."
A security researcher says that the FBI's December 19 proclamation that agents from or related to North Korea hacked Sony Pictures is probably not true. Marc Rogers, the director of security operations for DEF CON and a security researcher for a mobile security company says that the hack is more likely the work of a disgruntled former or currently employee.
Here's some of what he wrote in The Daily Beast:
Sony Pictures will release the controversial comedy "The Interview" on YouTube's movies service, and Xbox platforms, according to The Washington Post. The film is already available for on demand viewing ($5) or as an HD download ($15) through Google Play.
According to this CNET report, Samsung's line of Internet-ready high definition smart TVs will be able stream game content from Sony PlayStation Now streaming service sometime in the first half of 2015. CNET says that Samsung and Sony might make an announcement about it at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and that the compatibility with Samsung TVs will be supported in both the United States and Canada.
United States District Court Judge Edward Chen for the Northern District Court of California has ruled that a class action lawsuit related to Sony Computer Entertainment's Killzone: Shadow Fall will proceed. In August lead plaintiff Douglas Ladore filed a class action lawsuit against SCE claiming that the company lied about the graphics quality of Killzone: Shadow Fall for PS4 in its marketing materials, PR and public statements. He claims in his lawsuit that the game was advertised to have full 1080p high-definition resolution graphics, but it didn't measure up to those claims.
Fergal Gara, the chief executive officer of UK PlayStation tells IGN in a recent interview that all he and his company can do is apologize for the way DriveClub launched and its ongoing troubles post-launch. Gara joins Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, who wrote an apology on Facebook about the game's problems back in October.
"We apologize to any players affected and are doing our damnedest to make things right. So that's what we've been doing and the game is pretty near-complete now," Gara told IGN.
Sony is offering a special deal for those who haven't bought a PlayStation 4 yet: a free game to go along with it. Those who purchase the $399.99 PS4 will find a code inside to download one of four games. It is unclear if this is a direct response to Microsoft's Xbox One price cut to $350 (including Xbox One bundles that come with various games) as part of a holiday promotion running until early January.
According to this Nikkei report (by way of Eurogamer) Sony will not renew its sponsorship deal with FIFA over concerns of corruption in the international soccer governing body. Sony has sponsored a number of major events for FIFA through the years including the World Cup, but the company has decided to bow out when its contract expires on December 31 of this year.
According to analyst firm Infoscout, the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 on Black Friday at retail. The firm claims that Microsoft's lower price point of around $50 gave the Xbox One an edge: it had 53 percent of total spend at retail, compared to the PS4's 31 percent. The Xbox One was also the top-selling console at both Walmart and Target, according to the firm.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has settled a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over claims that it falsely advertised the capabilities of its PS Vita, according to Joystiq. From late 2011 to early 2012. As part of the settlement SCEA has agreed to provide refunds to Vita customers who purchased the device before June 1, 2012. They will dole out a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services.
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen says that while Sony has hit the ground running in the current generation of console wars with its PlayStation 4 console, he expects Microsoft is catching quickly.
"Clearly Sony has jumped out to a lead with a great console and I think a great pricing strategy," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, but "Microsoft is catching up quickly."
Sony Computer Entertainment America president Shawn Layden is defending UK-based DriveClub developer Evolution Studios, despite continual problems with the PS4-exclusive racing game since launch. The game has been out for six weeks and in that time has been continually plagued with technical issues and problems with connectivity. The game was also supposed to be launched as a freebie for PS Plus subscribers - but that version of the game has been put on hold until everything can be ironed out.
In a recent interview with GamesBeat, Sony Computer Entertainment America chief Shawn Layden was asked about online harassment in general and gender equality within the video games industry.
While Layden wouldn't specifically address the social media movement GamerGate, he did offer an unequivocal answer on harassment - with some pressing from GamesBeat.
Bloodborne Producer Masaaki Yamagiwa (Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Studio) announced via the PlayStation Blog this morning that From Software's next hardcore action RPG won't be released until March 25, 2015.
GANDER.tv will continue its agreement with Sony Entertainment and Turnstyle Music Group L.L.C. to stream the November 6th concert at DROM, a leading performance venue in the New York City’s East Village. Headlining the record release show is three-time Grammy-winner and current saxophonist in the Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Coffin, and his group The Mu’Tet. The concert will be available to Sony’s PlayStation family of devices and on GANDER.tv’s broadcast network. The broadcast will be accessible for a small subscription fee of $3.00 on both systems.
PlayStation Europe announced this morning that it will release a new PS4 firmware update today that - it hopes - will fix the problem with the system's "rest mode." The bug first appeared after the company deployed firmware update 2.00.
The company said via Twitter that the 2.01 update "addresses issues some users have encountered when powering on the system from Rest Mode." The firmware should be hitting North America today too.