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.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today that it will honor Sony president Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai as this year's Champion Honoree at its annual charity gala event and dinner, Nite to Unite. Hirai has had a profound impact on Sony, playing a key role in shaping Sony’s vision for the PlayStation video game consoles and the company's handheld devices, as well as the PlayStation Network. Past Champion Honorees include Blizzard Entertainment's Mike Morhaime and Valve Software's Gabe Newell.
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...
In a recent interview with Dengeki Online, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said that the company's ultimate goal with its Gaikai streaming technology is to deliver PlayStation games to "all devices." He claims that the technology could be used to one day to stream PlayStation games to a variety of non-Sony devices like PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
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.
Sony's micro-console will not be available outside of Asia right away, according to a report on Techon (as unearthed by PS3Trophies). Speaking at a round-table press event on Sept. 10, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House said that the PS Vita will be released only in Asia, starting with Japan - at launch.
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.