Speaking at SXSW this weekend, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said that Xbox’s Games with Gold program (it's free monthly game giveaway for Xbox 360 - and eventually Xbox One) is "fundamentally different" than "other programs" (we assume he is referring the PlayStation Plus for PS3 and PS4) because it allows members to keep the games regardless of whether they continue to pay for a subscription or not.
While most PS3 owners are finally able to enjoy HBO Go on their favorite console, Comcast customers will have to wait a little longer, and there's no indication when the wait will be over. According to The Verge, Comcast Xfinity subscribers can't yet access HBO Go on the console. Ironically, Comcast is blocking access to a pay channel that is owned by Time Warner Cable, a company it wants to buy.
While the wait has likely been excruciating for PlayStation 3 owners, at least it is finally over. It has been nearly a year since the HBO Go app was released on Xbox 360, but (for some reason) PS3 owners had to wait...and wait.... and wait. We're not sure exactly why it took so long to get the popular pay network's app on Sony's platform, but now consumers can watch all of the network's past and present shows on demand.
In a recent interview with IDG News Service, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that customers who use lots of bandwidth should be charged more. People who download lots of files or stream content on a regular basis should naturally be charged, in his mind.
New documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden cited in a new Guardian report indicate that UK spy agency GCHQ evaluated the potential of using the Xbox 360 (and now Xbox One) Kinect peripheral as a means to spy on people. The report also indicates that the agency also considered the usefulness of the PlayStation Eye as well.
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.
Sony announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that PlayStation 4 owners purchased more than 9.7 million games in 2013, according to the company's own internal estimates. That figure includes both retail and digital sales as of December 31, 2013. The top selling games on PS4 in 2013 were Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14 and Killzone Shadow Fall.
Yesterday Sony announced that PS4 hardware sales topped 4.2 million in 2013 globally, placing it 1.2 million sales ahead of Xbox One.
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).
Sony's security team has uncovered what it is calling "irregular activity" and has reset a number of PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network passwords this week, according to Verge. The extent of this activity was not detailed and it is unclear how many users are being asked to change their passwords. Sony seems to be extra cautious, likely remembering the widespread 2011 PlayStation Network hack that brought the service down for months.
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."
On Friday Sony revealed that the PlayStation 4 would require a 300 MB day one update in order to use most of the system's most popular features. While Sony has not changed its tune on that front (you're still going to need to download the update the minute you turn it on and connect to the Internet), there is one silver lining to the story now: you'll be able to do other things while you wait.
A new section of the official PlayStation 4 FAQ offers more details on Sony's policies when it comes to game sharing on its upcoming next-generation console system.
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.
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.
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.
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.