In the latest edition of Bonus Round, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Sony and Microsoft will likely slash the price of their last generation consoles in February. Pachter went on to claim that publishers have threatened to stop supporting the last generation consoles if platform holders didn't start cutting the price of their systems.
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 has announced that it will be pulling the plug on online support for several PlayStation 3 games in early 2014. Online multiplayer for Gran Turismo 5 will end on May 20, 2014. Online multiplayer for the Resistance franchise (Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance 2, and Resistance 3) on PlayStation 3 will be shut down on March 28. On January 28, 2014, online play for MAG, SOCOM: Special Forces and SOCOM: Confrontation will also be discontinued, effectively making these games cease to exist (because they are online-only titles).
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).
MMO company Perfect World Entertainment is making a major push into the free-to-play market on video game consoles. The company announced that it has completed a company expansion by creating a console division targeting current and next-gen consoles. Planned console products expected include current and future games from Perfect World Entertainment’s suite of developers, the company said.
There's no denying that the PlayStation 4 is off to a decent start, with Sony announcing that it has already sold 2.1 million consoles worldwide since its Nov. 15 launch in North America, but Sony thinks it will do better than the PS3 did. The PS3 fell short of Sony's PlayStation 2's sales - 150 million consoles sold worldwide. By comparison, the PlayStation 3 managed to move 80 million units. With the PS4, Sony hopes to match or exceed the success of the PS2. Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House believes that the PS4 is primed to exceed the PS3.
Microsoft fared considerably better than Sony on Black Friday, according to data analysts InfoScout. The firm claims that Xbox One was the highest selling console during the period, comprising 31 percent of total hardware sales. The Xbox 360 also fared pretty well, grabbing a 30 percent share resulting in a joint Microsoft lead of 60 percent. Joint sales of the PS3 and PS4 amounted to 30 percent share in sales total, while sales of the Wii U and Wii combined was 7 percent.
Sony is reiterating what it said during E3 earlier this year: users can sell their used games without too much trouble. The clarification comes on the heels of an update to the company's Sony Entertainment Network terms of service. Besides saying that it reserves the right to monitor PlayStation Network users' actions and share it with authorities as it sees fit, the updated agreement also states that games are services and cannot be resold.
The update to clause 7 reads:
Sony announced today that its current-generation PlayStation 3 has sold through over 80 million units worldwide since it launched in Nov. of 2006. Sony also said that 4,332 games have been released for the system in the last seven years and that the number does not include downloadable titles. Despite the PlayStation 4 launching on Nov. 15, Sony says that it expects an additional 300 titles to be released for PS3 during the holiday season.
While Red Bull is the number one brand on YouTube (mostly because it sponsors so many interesting sporting and gaming events worldwide), "PlayStation" is also pretty popular, according to data collected by Statista and Mashable.
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."
Almost 50 percent more online console gamers prefer using the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live than playing online using the PS3 and PlayStation Network, according to new data released by retail research firm NPD Group. The data comes from NPD Group's 2013 Online Gaming report, which was highlighted by Microsoft today for obvious reasons. Of course it should be taken into account that the NPD report only tracked online game players in North America and not in other regions like South America, Asia, and Europe.
If you don't already own a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and don't mind buying a refurbished used console, then a sale announced by retailer GameStop might be of interest to you. GameStop is cutting the price of its refurbished PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles from October 11 - 24. No doubt it wants to unload some of its older inventory to make room for the next-generation Xbox One and PS4 launching in late November.
EVE Online and DUST 514 maker CCP Games has hired veteran game producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon. Gaudechon will serve as the executive producer of DUST 514, CCP’s free-to-play first-person shooter on PlayStation 3. Gaudechon will drive future development of the persistent-world first-person-shooter DUST 514 at CCP’s Shanghai studio, according to the company.
According to posts on the European and North American PlayStation blogs, Grand Theft Auto is dominating sales on the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Store. While exact sales figures were not disclosed, both blogs show Grand Theft Auto ruling the roost in the Top Ten European North American digital download purchase lists.
Sony has joined in on helping to promote the Extra Life charity by offering some much needed real estate to promote it on PlayStation Network. In a blog post this morning, the folks at Extra Life announced that Sony is helping to promote the charity to the 78 million PlayStation 3 owners around the world and to help them find a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital to support.
Sony has released a new firmware update for the PlayStation 3 that adds a number of new features that used to be exclusive only to (paying) PlayStation Plus customers. The new firmware update, 4.50, should be waiting for you the next time you turn on your PS3. New features include auto download features for system updates and game purchases; new privacy settings for your trophies (allows you to hide them if you want); and improved data transfers that make moving content to and from your PS3 and PSP and Vita systems a lot easier.
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...
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.
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.
Engadget is reporting that a 12 GB flash-based PlayStation 3 retail SKU is set to hit North American markets on August 18. The story first surfaced when Engadget spotted a flyer from Canada's Future Shop showing off the 12 GB PS3 for $199. The 12 GB PS3 was released in Europe last October, but never made its way to North America.
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:
A new research report from ABI Research claims that new technologies like cloud-based streaming will not be a game changer for new consoles coming out this fall. In fact the research firm predicts that new console numbers will not be on par with the previous generation's retail sales number in the first five years. ABI Research says that the push to "market online video access in the new consoles is undermined by the availability of cheaper streaming devices from Roku, Netgear, WD, Apple and Seagate, among others."
An interesting report from Ars Technica compares the pricing of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with consoles released in America all the way back to 1977 with the release of the Atari 2600. At E3 Sony announced that the PS4 would retail for $399, while Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would cost $499.