Reminder: You can watch the biggest E3 press conferences on Twitch, starting at 9:30 am PST (that's 12:30 pm EST) with Microsoft's big E3 event.
Later today Electronic Arts will host its press conference, followed by Ubisoft, and then way later in the evening Sony will host its event for the show.
If you loathe credit cards and think PayPal is the best digital payment solution since the penny was minted then you'll be happy to hear that you can now use it to buy things on Sony's newest PlayStation console. Sony announced today that PayPal is available on PS4 for people who live in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. Console owners still have the option to add funds using a credit card or PSN card as well.
Two free games a month from Xbox Live? Sony is upping the ante by announcing that, starting in July, PS Plus subscribers (divided up amongst PS3, PS4, and PS Vita) will get two titles per platform on the first Tuesday of each month in North America and the first Wednesday every month in Europe. The previous month's titles will expire on that same day, Sony announced Thursday.
Prior to Sony reporting its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, CEO Kazuo Hirai and other executives will not be taking bonuses this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
They may also take a 50 percent pay cut this year, according to the report. Sony's exit from the PC business as well as consumer disinterest in physical media such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs are the main reason for these reductions in pay and bonuses.
According to multiple sources within the company, Microsoft plans to lift the Xbox Live Gold requirement for consumers who want to watch Netflix, Hulu and other streaming media apps on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Basically it means that consumers who buy a brand new Xbox One will be able to watch these services right out of the box without having to worry about having an Xbox Live Gold account. Of course you'll still have to set up a free Silver account in order to do anything.
Sony and developer Sucker Punch are happy to announce that their first-party PlayStation 4 title InFamous: Second Son has sold through over 1 million digital and physical copies worldwide in its first nine days after launch. The super-hero/villain themed open-world action game is one of the first significant releases this year for the PlayStation 4, topping the digital charts on PlayStation Network in both North America and Europe, according to Sony.
Sony says that it is considering allowing software to be "pre-loaded" on to its PlayStation 4 console. Speaking to Polygon, a Sony rep. told the publication that the company is aware that consumers want this feature.
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.