Sony Reveals 'Welcome Back Appreciation Program' Details

May 17, 2011 -

Sony announced via its PlayStation Blog details on the games it will offer for free as part of its "Welcome Back appreciation program."

North American PlayStation Network users will get to choose two games from a list of five games, which Sony claims are BD compatible. They are:

-Dead Nation
-inFAMOUS
-LittleBigPlanet
-Super Stardust HD
-Wipeout HD + Fury

These games will be available for 30 days (to download) after the return of the PlayStation Store, which Sony plans to relaunch soon.

PSP owners with a PSN account can download two games from a choice of four, which will also be available for 30 days after the relaunch of the PlayStation Store: They are:

-LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
-ModNation Racers
-Pursuit Force
-Killzone Liberation

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Report: May 31 Date for PSN Relaunch Is False

May 10, 2011 -

Yesterday a Bloomberg report indicated that Sony expected the PlayStation Network to be "fully operational" by May 31. Sony's U.S. division quickly tried to clarify that statement, saying that it currently had no specific timeframe for when its services would be fixed. It's either a matter of miscommunication, backpedaling on Sony's part, or Bloomberg misunderstanding what Sony Japan spokesman Shigenori Yoshida said Sunday. Speaking to VentureBeat, U.S. Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson Patrick Seybold said the May 31 date is incorrect and that there is no new information about when the service will be back up.

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Sony Responds to Congress, Hires Security Firm, and More

May 4, 2011 -

Sony is having a busy news day today. First, a story has been circulating that the company has hired yet another security firm to help it with its investigation of the PlayStation Network security breach. According to GameIndustry.biz, Sony has retained Data Forte, a company led by a former U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service officer. Security firms Guidance Software and Protiviti consultants are also involved in the investigation.

PSP Go Officially Killed

April 20, 2011 -

Yesterday multiple outlets reported that the PSP Go was being discontinued. Today that rumor has been confirmed by Sony as the truth. Sony told Japanese website AV Watch that new PSP Go units would no longer be manufactured or shipped "in order to concentrate on the NGP." The remaining PSP Go stock will be sold until it's gone.

And what of the PSP-3000's fate? Sony told the web site that "it will continue to be sold," and that the company will keep focusing its attention on it from here on out.

The PSP Go went on sale in the fall of 2009, but was not well received by some. Last October, the system's price was slashed. Sony took a real gamble on eliminating UMD support in the new system. It has proven to be a gamble that they have lost.

Source: Kotaku

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Rumor: Sony Sacking PSP Go

April 19, 2011 -

According to several published news reports, Sony plans to halt production of the PSP Go. The story's origins can be traced back to a blog post by a Sony Shop employee at a store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. According to that employee, a Sony representative told his sales manager that the handheld was no longer in production (as translated by Andriasang). The blog post goes on to say that the Japanese Sony online store will no longer allows users to purchase the PSP Go, marking it as "out of stock."

For its part, Sony is not confirming or denying the story. The company issued the following statement:

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SCEA Chief: DS is a 'Baby Sitting Tool'

April 8, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton said that the Nintendo DS, is nothing more than a kids-only "babysitting tool." He made the comments during a recent interview with CNN.

"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool," Tretton said in a bruising chat with CNN, "something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."

Not content to bag exclusively on the DS, Tretton also took shots at the Wii and Xbox 360.

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PSP Outsells 3DS in Japan

April 7, 2011 -

Maybe it's just an anomaly, but Nintendo can't be happy that Sony’s hand-held is beating its new 3DS system in Japan for the week. According to data from Media Create and posted on Kotaku, combined sales of the PSP hand-helds reached 58,075 - an increase of 7,000 on the previous week. This compares to 42,979 for the 3DS, which experienced a drop of almost 8,000 over the last seven days.

Combined PSP sales from last week beat the 3DS by a small margin, but this week sales of the PSP-3000 managed to outpace the new portable.

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The Dangers of Playing Your PSP in Public

February 4, 2011 -

What happens when you are playing a game in the subway and you don't pay attention? A ten-year-old boy from Milan, Italy found out when he fell off a subway platform and onto the tracks below because he was engrossed in playing a PSP game. Luckily a police officer nearby sprung into action and lifted the boy back up onto the platform.

On a personal note, I have a 10-year-old son and I could see the same thing happening to him. But it wouldn't matter if he was reading a comic book or playing a video game - sometimes he pays little attention to what is going on around him. It happens.

Anyway, watch the dramatic video to your left. Yes, I’m overselling it.

Thanks to nightwng2000 for the tip.

Source: MSNBC

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PSP Phone Rumor: NA, EU Release First

December 28, 2010 -

According to a report in the Japanese Newspaper Asahi Shimbun, the PlayStation Phone is set to be released in Europe and North America as soon as Spring 2011. The phone will combine Google's Android phone OS with Sony's PSP go design, according to the report.

The report seems to imply that a release in Japan is an afterthought, with the phone coming out in North America and Europe first. Sony has not officially announced the phone for any markets, but more and more news reports confirm that it does exist.

Could a PSP that doubles as a phone save Sony's struggling hand-held brand? I guess we'll have to wait and see, but at this point it is pretty doubtful.

Source: 1Up, Image credit.

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Report: Smartphones Beating Out PSP, DS

December 9, 2010 -

iOS and Android-based devices are chipping away at sales of DS and PSP systems, according to a new report by research firm Interpret. The report found that mobile phones (44 percent) are the handheld device of choice for gaming (up 53 percent from last year), while DS and PSP usage declined by 13 percent during the same time period. The data comes from a report called "The Phone Gaming Revolution: Do the DS and PSP Stand a Chance?."

Approximately 27 percent of consumers who indicated that they play games on their phones only also own a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the devices.

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Toronto Police Recover $500,000 in Stolen Sony Goods

December 3, 2010 -

A 39 year-old Toronto man has been arrested for stealing $500,000 (we assume CDN as the value) in PlayStation 3's, PSP's, and games, according to multiple Canadian press reports. Jason Meadus has been arrested and charged with three counts of "Possession of Property by Crime."

The charges stem from the theft of two tractor-trailers stolen on November 15 and 16, 2010 in Brampton. Each tractor-trailer load contained approximately $500,000 in PS3's, PSP's and video games. On November 17 both trailers were reported stolen.

A police investigation inevitably lead to Meadus. Only about half of the stolen property has been recovered, and it is unclear if Meadus was simply in possession of the stolen property or had a hand in stealing it. Investigators claim to have recovered approximately 1,600 pieces of Sony consoles and 2,000 games.

Meadus returns to court on January 10, 2011.

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SCEA's Peter Dille on PSP Piracy Problems

November 5, 2010 -

In an interview with Siliconera, Peter Dille, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, talks about how piracy has impacted the PSP:

Q: The PSP has a strong line-up of Japanese series including Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, and Persona. While the handheld is thriving over there, in America the PSP seems to be struggling even though those games are coming over here. What do you think is the missing element, aside from trains.

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Piracy Makes Ready at Dawn Sad

October 29, 2010 -

While God of War: Ghost of Sparta is nearly complete, developer Ready at Dawn is not very delighted about it. Why? Because the company says that piracy on the PSP is way out of control and really hurts sales of even big PSP titles. Speaking to VG247 (thanks PlayStation Lifestyle), Ready At Dawn creative director Ru Weerasuriya lamented about dealing with piracy as a marquee PSP developer.

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Trapped South American Miners Get PSPs to Pass the Time

August 30, 2010 -

To give them hope, or to at least keep them occupied as they wait to be dug out, trapped miners in Chile have been given PlayStation Portables, according to MSN International. Copiapó, Chile - a provincial capital situated on the west coast of South America's Andes Mountain range - has been the focus of the international media as the story of miners wait for a rescue which some say could be two to three months away.

The trapped miners include 1 Bolivian and 32 Chileans, who are getting along well despite their current situation, are doing their best to keep hope alive as rescue crews lower food and supplies via bore holes that are described as "roughly the width of a grapefruit."

The PSPs were given to "help preserve their mental health" during the long wait for a rescue tunnel to be drilled and to give them a means to escape their current plight. The PSPs were delivered via the small cups that are used to shuttle supplies to the men down the mine shaft. A power supply was also lowered down to the men because the average battery life of a PSP is a mere 6 hours.

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Sony Admits PSPgo Shortcomings

June 16, 2010 -

In an interview with VG247, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president, CEO and CFO Andrew House admitted that the company underestimated PSP owners' attachment to physical media (UMDs).

He also said that the "day all games go digital, like on iPhone, is hard to determine." His admission relates to the PSPgo, which eliminated support for PSP UMDs at launch and relied more heavily on digital downloads via the PlayStation Network.

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Latest SOCOM PSP Release Features Piracy Fighting Tech

February 18, 2010 -

With the release of SOCOM: U.S. Nave SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PSP this week, Sony has implemented a new way to fight piracy on its handheld.

As detailed on IGN, those who purchase a physical copy of the SOCOM title will need to register the game on the PlayStation Network using a supplied voucher code in order to play SOCOM online. Those who download the game digitally will have their copy automatically registered in a background operation.

Anyone who purchases a used physical copy of the game will need to pay Sony $20 for a PSN entitlement voucher to play it online. A note on the back of the game box states: “Includes voucher for online play. The voucher can be redeemed by only one PSN account and cannot be transferred or sold.”

Sony’s Director of Hardware Marketing John Koller answered a few questions from IGN about the new scheme.

On whether this technology might also make its way to the PlayStation 3 in the future:

As with many programs, we're investigating future opportunities, but we have no announcements to make on it at this time.

How does Koller think PSP users will react to the new tech?

From our research, this will be received quite positively. Remember, piracy affects more than just the creators of the game. It also affects the consumers who purchase titles expecting a high-quality gaming experience.

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Lock Up Your Consoles

December 16, 2009 -

Videogame console thefts have risen dramatically over the years, according to data released by the FBI.

A USA Today story indicates that reported cases have risen 285% over three years, to a number of 42,615 such incidents in 2009. That number is even more astounding when factoring in that overall property crime numbers, which include theft of electronics, dropped from 10.0 million in 2006 to 9.8 million in 2008.

The FBI produced the numbers at the behest of Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who wanted to see the data after complaints from constituents about electronic thefts.

Weiner’s take on the growing problem, “It's the omnipresent, miniature electronics crime paradox: Even as crime goes down, when you have more electronics, you have more theft.”

Laptop computer thefts grew from 96,834 in 2007 to 128,280 in 2009, a gain of 32%. Cellphone snatches were down over the same period however, dropping 5% to over 106,000 stolen in 2009.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Criminologist Larry Siegel added, “Criminals are rational. They steal things that have high value, are easily transportable and easily sold.”

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Pachter Backs Off PSP Go "Rip Off" Comments... We Don't

June 12, 2009 -

Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has publicly apologized for saying that Sony was "ripping off the consumer" by setting a $249 price point on the PSP Go. The eminently quotable Pachter made the damning comment about the new handheld last week during an E3 segment of Bonus Round.

Apparently thinking better of his words in the interim, Pachter penned an apology yesterday as he debuted a new monthly column for IndustryGamers:

I sincerely regret the choice of words... where I said that Sony is "ripping off" the consumer by pricing the PSP Go at $249.99. I made a poor choice of words, and I do NOT think that Sony is doing anything nefarious in choosing their pricing strategy.

 

The company has the right to price its products at a point that they think is competitive, and has no obligation to sell products at lower than a competitive price. They have been subsidizing purchases of the PS3 since launch, to the tune of 22 million sold at a loss of $100 or more apiece (on average), so if they are able to make a profit on the PSP Go, more power to them. They are pricing at a point that positions the PSP Go competitively with the iPod Touch, and the PSP Go arguably has much more value than the Apple product. Notwithstanding my view that the price point is too high to generate more than a few million units sold, I really think my comment was unfair, and would appreciate your allowing me to clear the air...

GP: Pachter is a straight shooter and, apology notwithstanding, I believe he was speaking from the heart when he made his original comment. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that there were a few angry phone calls from Sony HQ to Pachter between the airing of the "rip off" remark and yesterday's mea culpa.

But the fact is, Pachter got it right. Why does the PSP Go, which does away with the UMD drive assembly, cost $80 more than the current PSP-3000? There's no good reason, and gamers knew that even before Pachter spoke out. From the moment it was announced at E3, the PSP Go's $249 price point went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

Nor do I think much of the PS3 justification floated by Pachter in his retraction. Sony is losing money on the PS3, certainly, but that's no excuse to try to make a few million back by skinning consumers with the PSP Go. Personally, I love my PS3. But if Sony overdid the hardware, over-estimated their market and totally screwed up the worldwide launch, that's on them.

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Pachter: $249 PSP Go Rips Off Consumers... We Must Agree

June 10, 2009 -

For an industry that's supposed to be all about fun, the video game biz is tightly managed from a P.R. standpoint. Not too many people speak their mind publicly or wander too far off message.

That's why we enjoy Mike Pachter, who tracks the industry for Wedbush-Morgan. The guy may not always be right, but he always says what he thinks.

And when Pachter says the $249 PSP Go announced at E3 is "ripping off the consumer," we must agree. The analyst, who was otherwise complimentary toward Sony's E3 presentation, slammed PSP Go pricing to host Geoff Keighley on an E3 edition of Bonus Round:

$249 is too much. Period... The [current] $169 PSP-3000 is a profitable device - the disc assembly, for a UMD, costs more than 16 gigs of flash does. So this new device doesn't cost them as much to make as the PSP-3000 and they jack the price up $80...

 

I'm sorry to say it. I don't want to get bad fan mail from the Sony fanboys, but... They're ripping off the consumer until they sell a couple million and if consumers don't buy it then the price is going to come down... they're making a lot more money on the PSP Go than the PSP-3000. And the PSP Go helps them because there's no piracy...

Maybe I like Pachter because his take on the PSP Go echoes my own. Here's what I tweeted about the system during Sony's E3 press conference last week:

Kaz [Hirai] is holding up PSP Go, but sez PSP 3000 won't go away...

Kaz PSP Go $249... Too much. Sense Me feature will match ur PSP music to ur mood. Um, thank you, no...

 

[Jack] Tretton: Resident Evil Portable. Let's hope that's a working title. LBP for PSP looks sweet. Crowd not really into PSP news, tho.

Via: Joystiq

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EXCLUSIVE: Enteprising PSP Pirates Advertised on Craigslist, Says Sony

October 15, 2008 -

They say that you can sell just about anything on Craigslist. And if allegations by SCEA are correct, a pair of enterprising - if not especially bright - game pirates used the popular online service to advertise their illegal PSP modding operations.

In August SCEA filed suit in U.S. District Court in California, alleging that Gabriel Garcia and Timothy Joey Zoucha, Jr. modded PSPs and loaded them with over 500 pirated games. Both men live in San Jose, California.

In its complaint, Sony alleges that Garcia billed himself as: "THE ONLY TRUE FIRST PSP MODDER ON CRAIGSLIST," offering "cash only package deals" that included "500+ PSP games". Sony said that Garcia even went as far as to display a PlayStation logo in his Craigslist ad.

Sony apparently used private investigators to track the pair down. One P.I. met with Garcia at his residence, according to the complaint, and paid the alleged pirate $80 to mod a PSP and load it with 100 games. Garcia apparently advertised such a transaction as his "Super Spring Deal". The complaint further alleges that Garcia sold the investigator 11 DVD-Rs containing more games and then showed the investigator how to transfer the games to a PSP via PC. Ever-helpful, Garcia also gave the investigator a "How to Use Your PSP Mods" guide on DVD.

Among the pirated games allegedly sold by Garcia were Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Parappa the Rapper and Twisted Metal: Head On.

Zoucha was taken down in similar fashion, according to the complaint, which alleges that he agreed to mod the P.I.'s PSP for $28 and supply a DVD containing 100 pirated games for another twenty bucks. The complaint also says that, like Garcia, Zoucha sold the investigator five DVD-Rs containing additional pirated games and told the investigator that he would give her a deal if she brought him more PSPs to mod.

Among the titles allegedly supplied by Zoucha are: Burnout: Legends, Call of Duty: Roads to Victory and Madden NFL 08.

From the complaint:

Defendants Gabriel Garcia and Timothy Joey Zoucha, Jr... brazenly offer their services on Craigslist.org to "mod" or "unbrick" PSP consoles so as to allow illegal unauthorized copies of SCEA's video game software to operate on the unlawfully modified PSP console... Defendants were caught red-handed...

A court date is scheduled later this month. Read the complaint here.

59 comments

Marketing 101: PSP a Successful Beer Seller

August 26, 2008 -

We all know that Sony's handheld PSP is a great system that can do a lot of things, like surf the web and play games, music and video.

But marketing blog I Believe in Adv. reports that in Australia a specially-branded edition of the system was used to market Stella Artois beer.

Although it's not entirely clear from the I Believe in Adv. post, it does not appear that Sony was involved in the modification of 50 PSPs which were distributed to beer sales personnel. The PSP case was etched with a Stella Artois logo on the back side and the systems were packaged in black velvet drawstring bags which bore similar branding.

The idea was designed to motivate the sales force as well as provide it with data via the PSP's WiFi capabilities:

Foster’s was expecting a brochure, or a folder with loose-leaf pages. They gave them 50 customised Sony PlayStation PSPs instead... they also modified the operating systems and icon sets to reflect the brand. Then they installed the Stella Artois films and artwork, plus short presentations on the history of the brand.

 

And because PSPs are wi-fi capable, Foster’s can load up new material quicker than new pages can be printed for a loose-leaf folder. Foster’s analysis has shown that every sales representative who was given a PSP met all their sales targets for the relevant quarter. Anecdotal feedback also confirmed that without exception, the PSP was regarded as the best sales presenter ever received. As a result, Foster’s is now reviewing further rollout of the tool.

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Matthew Wilsonthe interview will be on youtube/xb1/ andriod today.12/24/2014 - 1:05pm
james_fudge1900's?12/24/2014 - 12:56pm
james_fudgeYeah we could go way way back :)12/24/2014 - 12:56pm
E. Zachary KnightCopyright law in general has been broken since at least 1976. Could be even earlier than that.12/24/2014 - 12:24pm
james_fudgeWhat he said :) They want to make it worse than it already is.12/24/2014 - 12:14pm
Papa MidnightDMCA has been broken since 1998. Good luck getitng Congress to do something about it.12/24/2014 - 11:39am
Craig R.At least they owned up to the mistake. But doesn't change the fact that DMCA is thoroughly broken.12/23/2014 - 5:23pm
MaskedPixelanteSpeaking of Dark Souls OMG I'M MAKING ACTUAL PROGRESS WTH IS THIS WHAAAAAAA12/23/2014 - 10:49am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=144500932&postcount=740 Yup, DSFix was part of an unrelated take down, and is being resolved.12/23/2014 - 8:04am
prh99Of course had they not done such a rush on the port we wouldn't dsfix to make the game not look and play like ass. 720 internal renders aren't so hot scaled to 1080.12/23/2014 - 7:38am
Papa MidnightIt was most likely an automated tool. Happens all the time. Just another case of the broken DMCA Claim and Takedown process that puts the entirety of the burden of proof on the accused instead of the claimant.12/22/2014 - 10:09pm
Conster*applauds IanC*12/22/2014 - 7:37pm
MaskedPixelanteSounds like BN was going after an unrelated mod, and took out DSFix in the process. Probably once a counterclaim goes out, this'll all be sorted out.12/22/2014 - 7:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=144440299&postcount=1 wtf is namco thinking.......12/22/2014 - 6:17pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/22/read-the-fine-print-ubisoft-free-game-offer-waives-lawsuits/12/22/2014 - 6:00pm
Papa MidnightI kind of liked the movement to have Terry Crews play him instead, but this will do.12/22/2014 - 3:40pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://marvel.com/news/tv/23866/mike_colter_to_star_as_luke_cage_in_marvels_aka_jessica_jones#ixzz3MeuUl63P Mike Colter is Luke Cage.12/22/2014 - 3:23pm
IanCBecause that isn't Max Payne 3. It might have the name, but it isn't an entry in the series.12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCOh theres a Max Payne 3? A proper one, or are we referring to that abomination that Rockstar crapped out a few years ago12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCUpgraded PS3 hard drive to 500gb. Restored 53GB back up. Done the maths, have somehow used up 106GB already?12/22/2014 - 12:44pm
 

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