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.
A game tester who worked for a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe studio in the United Kingdom has been paid £4,600 for helping to test Killzone: Mercenary for three months in 2012. The payout is the result of a settlement between SCEE and tester Chris Jarvis, who claimed that he had to work nine-hour-days at Guerrilla Cambridge as an intern.
Are you ready for another round of console wars? Boy howdy, I am! So let's do the fanboy/armchair analyst thing and predict which console will sell the most units this holiday.
Let's see, Sony's Playstation 4 launches on Friday, Nov. 15 and Microsoft's Xbox One launches the following Friday on Nov. 22. Will the extra week give Sony a leg up? Both consoles are out before the all-important Black Friday.
According to Quantic Dreams' David Cage, Sony ended up with the exclusive to Heavy Rain on PS3 because Microsoft made a decision to turn it down due to some content in the game that they were strongly concerned about. Heavy Rain, which won a BAFTA award for Best Story in 2011, featured a storyline about a man in a desperate search for his abducted child, which Microsoft apparently thought could cause the company some controversy.
Peter Hines, Bethesda's vice-president of public relations and marketing, is making news today for some comments he made about why the Elder Scrolls and Fallout makers are not supporting the Wii U. Speaking to GameTrailer's Bonus Round, Hines said that Nintendo needs to do a better job of communicating with third-party developers about platforms like Microsoft and Sony have.
It looks like PlayStation 4 owners won't have to worry about Sony ever considering support for Oculus Rift because the company is working on its own VR headset. According to CVG, Sony will reveal the last bit of its hardware strategy for the PS4 at the Tokyo Game Show by revealing its own custom-built virtual reality headset.
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.
A new product page for the $199 12 GB Flash version of the PlayStation 3 is now live on Sony's U.S. PlayStation page, confirming reports last week that the new SKU would hit retail on August 18 in the United States and Canada. According to that product page, the new system is available at a number of retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco.com, Frys.com, GameStop, Kmart, Sears, Sonystyle, Target, Toys'R'Us, and Wal-Mart.
Research firm IHS Electronics and Media estimates that subscriptions to the PlayStation Plus premium online service for PS3 and PS4 will generate $1.2 billion for Sony by 2017. IHS estimates that Sony brought in $140 million from PS Plus subscriptions in 2012. Obviously one of the biggest reasons that subscriptions will grow is because - starting with the PS4 - playing some online games will require having a PS Plus subscription.
Sony Australia is in a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over $53 million AUD, which comes from five years of tax adjustments (back taxes owed and penalties) that the company believes are in error. A Sony Computer Entertainment Australia spokesperson confirmed the news with GameSpot, but added that its PlayStation business in Australia has not been affected by it. Sony is appealing the assessment.
Yesterday Microsoft confirmed that only Xbox Live Gold subscribers would be able to use the new Game DVR feature on Xbox One. No one was shocked by that news, given the current structure of Xbox Live and how it limits features of those not willing to pay for the service.
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."
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.
All good things must come to an end, but some come to that end sooner than later. Sony Computer Entertainment announced today plans to take three of its PlayStation 3 games offline early next year. The three titles are MAG, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, and SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. The three titles will have their multiplayer support cut on Jan. 28, 2014, according to a tweet from the official PlayStation Twitter feed.
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:
Speaking at the Develop event this week in the UK (as detailed by OPM), Neil Brown, Sony’s R&D senior team leader confirmed that players can easily gain access to their library of games even when they are not at home. Using the example of playing games over at a friend's house, Brown said that the whole process is as simple as logging into your account and starting a download.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced today that educators and academics can apply for PlayStation 4 development kits beginning tomorrow as part of the PlayStationFirst Academic Programme. The PS4 joins other kits made available to educators and academics including those for PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PlayStation Portable - as well as kits for PlayStation Home and PlayStation Mobile. These Academic development kits include access to PlayStation software and hardware, lessons in programming, computer engineering, and developing software.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government is preparing to lift the 13 year long ban on game consoles in the region. Such a move would be good for the industry, but first console makers such as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft would have to kowtow to the demands of the government. Apparently efforts to eliminate the ban are strongly supported by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
GameStop has shut down pre-orders for the PS4, according to a Game Informer report. According to the story, the top video game retailer in North America has run through its launch allotment of systems. GameStop issued a one sentence statement confirming the news:
"Due to high demand for the system, GameStop is not currently taking additional store reservations for the PlayStation 4," a GameStop rep. told the publication.
In a recent interview with Up At Noon Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Jack Tretton says that Microsoft 'finally got the message' on DRM. Responding to a question about Microsoft's decision to reverse its DRM policies related to Xbox One, Tretton said, "I guess they got the message" adding that Sony spent a lot of time carefully "listening to the consumers and to developers."
Firmware version 4.46 for the PlayStation 3 replaces version 4.45, and fixes the previous issues while adding the ability to hide Trophy notifications. Users who weren't locked out of the PlayStation 3's XrossMediaBar after downloading the previous update will be able to download PS3 firmware 4.46 through the System Update menu.
For those who were locked out, Sony has released step-by-step instructions:
While Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo seem to be on the same page about messing with used games on their new systems, publishers are still being non-committal about how they will approach used games sales in this new generation. In the past some have tried everything from always-on DRM to online passes and even forcing customers to use software clients in order to play their games.
According to a report from VGLeaks, Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 console will use a heavily modified version of the Linux operating system FreeBSD 9. According to the site, the PS4 will use a custom version of Free BSD 9 created by Sony called Orbis OS.
According to fresh comments from former Epic Games creative director Cliff Bleszinski, Sony is responsible for Microsoft's decision to abandon restrictions on used games and region locking - not consumers who complained about it online. During E3 week Cliff Bleszinski threw his support behind Microsoft's Xbox One and its new DRM measures.
The former Epic Games developer then took to Twitter to state that Sony had played into some of the negativity around the Xbox One, which eventually saw Microsoft change tact.
Yesterday it was revealed that Microsoft planned to hold the line on pricing for retail game discs for Xbox One to current levels at right around $60. Today we learn that Sony will use the same price point for PlayStation 4 retail game discs.
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.