Sony takes on Apple with new PS Vita TV, launches updated PS Vita
Sony has launched a surprise new product called the PS Vita TV that delivers on the as yet untapped potential of the Apple TV. The new pint-sized set top box not only streams video and music content, it can also play PS Vita and PSP titles on the big screen with controls supplied by a DualShock 3 controller. Unsurprisingly, Sony has also leveraged its upcoming PlayStation 4 console with the new device, allowing users to use it as an extender for playing PS4 titles in a different room.
$300 PS Vita includes Unit 13, one-year PS Plus membership
Sony this week announced plans to celebrate bringing the PlayStation Plus subscription service to the PS Vita earlier this month by launching a new bundle. Called the PS Plus Instant Game Collection PS Vita Bundle, it includes a PS Vita 3G Wi-Fi system, a 4GB memory card, a game voucher for Unit 13, and a one-year membership to PS Plus. The bundle represents a savings of more than $99, Sony claims.
Sony to stream live E3 webcast, promises future of gameplay at E3
Sony has invited the press to a conference before the E3 gaming show on its dedicated website. At the show, it plans to reveal 20 new game titles and what it calls the "future of gameplay and innovation." Exactly what that involves remains to be seen, but it could have something to do with its next-generation home console, the Orbis. That console will not be unveiled at the show, however, the company said earlier.
Nyko combined Vita dock and speaker released
Nyko has shipped the Speaker Stand for the Sony PlayStation Vita. The combined charging dock and speaker system turns the Vita into a home music system.
PS Vita gets Skype with background support
PlayStation Vita owners got a major feature update Tuesday with the imminent release of Skype for PS Vita. The app lets the Sony console participate in both voice and video calls using either the front or back cameras. The app not only works both on 3G and Wi-Fi but truly runs in the background, making sure that gamers will catch an incoming call.
Sony pulls PSP game to stop more PS Vita hacks
Sony has removed Super Collapse 3 from the Playstation Store after the title was found to be vulnerable to a PS Vita exploit. The company removed the game from the store 24 hours after the exploit was noted on the Wololo.net blog, weeks after the same vulnerability was discovered in Motorstorm and Everybody's Tennis.
Pulled exploitable PSN games downloadable again
Sony has returned MotorStorm Arctic Edge and Everybody's Tennis to the PlayStation Store, following the firmware update for the PS Vita. The games allowed hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the PSP emulator, enabling them to run their own software on Sony's handheld game console.
PlayStation Suite SDK beta now available
Sony has made good on its promise made last month and launched the PlayStation Suite SDK beta for developers. Any interested party can download the software, letting them create software for all PlayStation-certified hardware. This includes the PS Vita console and the Xperia line of phones and tablets.
Sony launches unifying Nasne hybrid NAS, PVR
Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has announced the Nasne, a sophisticated network attached PVR that ties together a number of its frontline consumer electronics products. The device combines a multi-channel tuner that can receive digital and satellite TV signals with 500GB of storage. Recordings can then be viewed using an owner's PS3, Vaio PC, PS Vita, Tablet S/P, or Xperia handsets.
PSN down for half a day on Monday
Sony triggered an upset among gamers on Sunday with notice that it would be taking down the PlayStation Network for maintenance during 13 hours on Monday. From 9AM Eastern until 10PM, gamers won't have the option of playing any games online, checking their accounts, or using services like PlayStation Home and the PlayStation Store. Websites that need PSN, even including the official PlayStation blog, would also be switched off.
PS Vita now friendlier to photo uploads
Sony has quietly updated the PlayStation Vita's Facebook app to support photo uploads. At least on Wi-Fi, gamers can now post photos from the console's cameras directly to the news feed or to the Wall. Accordingly, the social app now recognizes photo tags.
NPD data shows Xbox 360 out front again
New NPD data published late Thursday gave the Xbox 360 not just a sustained lead in March but a rare milestone in hardware overall. At 371,000 units, Microsoft's console stayed in the lead for overall sales for the 15th consecutive month. The $430 million spent on the hardware and its games, however, was also larger than the combination of money spent supporting the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3.
Nintendo 3DS outsells Sony gear for second week
Nintendo's handheld 3DS gaming console has topped the sales charts in Japan for week of March 26 to April 1. While this is the second week its was atop the charts, the week saw nearly a 30 percent boost from that earlier week, now at 121,921 units, according to numbers reported by Media Create (viaAdrianSang). The numbers were large enough that the total of 3DS sales outnumber the combined numbers of all of Sony's consoles, including the PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS2.
Sony drops new PS Vita firmware update, v.1.66
Sony has issued its second PS Vita update in the past three days. The new update takes the PS Vita to firmware version 1.66 after just issuing version 1.65 just Monday. The 1.65 update was live for just a short while before Sony pulled it because it caused an error in adhoc wireless multiplayer on PSP games.
Details remain scarce
Sony has released a software update for the PlayStation Vita, while teasing an upcoming video feature for the PlayStation 3. As part of the weekly PlayStation Blogcast, Sony's social media manager, Jeff Rubenstein, noted that the company is working on a "cool new video service" that will be available for PSN users.
Sony pulls another PSP game to stop PS Vita hacks
Sony has pulled Everybodyĺs Tennis from the PlayStation Store in response to a potential new PS Vita hack, making it the second title to be removed in the past two weeks. As with Motorstorm: Arctic Ice, which was removed in early March, installation of the game on the PS Vita allows hackers to exploit a vulnerability in the PSP emulator allowing homebrew software to be installed on the handheld console.
Sony to sell Photo Suite program for PS3
Sony will offer a new photo editing program for the PS3 later this week, the company revealed on Monday. The software, which will let users create stop-motion videos, add sound and video effects such as subtitles, color schemes, and more, will also sync with Sony's PlayMemories Online cloud service. Users will also have the ability to upload photos or videos straight to the console from their cameras and camcorders, and then upload files to Facebook.
NPD sees big rebound in February
Results posted late Thursday by the NPD Group chalked up a significantly improved February for gaming following a bleak January. Console hardware sales were up 87 percent over what they were in January, to $381.4 million, helped not just by 426,000 Xbox 360 sales but also by the PlayStation Vita. Sony had just four days of hardware sales that weren't directly quantified, but they were enough that the increase would have been a more modest if still healthy 62 percent.
PS Vita broadcast due March 9 with info, prizes
Sony will reveal new game titles for its new PS Vita portable games console as soon as March 9, according to Andriasang. It promises to do so during a web broadcast on March 9, for which invitations were sent out. The invitations invited gamers to "PlayStation Vita Game Heaven," the implications of which were only partly clear
We review Sony's flagship handheld console
Many had written off Sony from the mobile gaming arena not long into the PSP's history: high prices and a lack of major games kept it on the sidelines as the Nintendo DS took over. Apple and Google have seemingly been poised to deliver a killing blow with much better general abilities and cheaper games. The PlayStation Vita, then, is a chance at redemption. We'll gauge in our PS Vita review whether it has accomplished that goal or at least made a valiant effort.
Sony PS Vita homebrew hack available in Japan
A homebrew software loader for the PS Vita that allows older games and those from other systems to be loaded onto the portable console has been shared by hacker site Wololo. Sony has already taken steps to reverse the exploit, though, which first requires users to load the existing PSP title Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (Raging Ice in Japan) first. Sony has simply taken the downloadable title off its PS Vita store, however.
PS Vita sales numbers updated after wider launch
Sony's latest portable games console, the PS Vita, has reached 1.2 million units sold, the company revealed on Tuesday. The console was launched in North America last week, along with Latin America, Europe, Singapore, and PAL territories, which boosted these numbers. Still, when it debuted just in Japan in December, the console moved 321,400 consoles in just two days.
Imagination hints at big deals in near, far future
Imagination Technologies outlined some plans for its far and near futures after Electronista stopped by its Mobile World Congress booth on Monday. The PowerVR developer showed a demo of a real-time raytracing graphics engine, where an app calculates the paths of individual light beams in a scene, that it expects to reach mobile devices. As shown in a demo running on a Mac, it could use surface properties rather than unchanging textures to generate the chrome effect on a car, even reflecting another car which in turn had a reflection of the sky.
PS Vita gets Netflix, Flickr, Live Tweet apps
With the full launch of the PS Vita in the US on Wednesday, Sony has released a number of new games and apps in the online PlayStation Store. Users can now download the free Flickr, Live Tweet, and Netflix apps. Flickr is a photo-sharing site that lets users join groups and make personalized photo streams.
PS VIta shown easy to look at by iFixit
iFixit on Thursday posted a teardown of the just-launched PlayStation Vita that provided a handful of surprises about its construction. The gaming handheld is unusually easy to open, with standard (if small) Philips screws throughout, few adhesives, and a battery that's relatively easy to replace. Much of the design is modular, and even the screws are color-coded in a way that helps identify which screws belong to the mainboard itself versus the parts that attach to the mainboard.
Sony targets adult gamers, mobile users with Vita
Sony on the eve of the PlayStation Vita's first US wave has kicked off a record $50 million ad campaign to recapture its place not just from Nintendo but from Apple. The most Sony has ever spent on any PlayStation launch in the US, the campaign includes both online spots as well as traditional billboards and TV spots. Where PSP ads focused on younger gamers, though, Sony's new Vita ads (below) will focus on adults, where the allure is to "never stop playing" PS3-level games while on the road and with others.
Service available through annual subscription
Trend Micro has announced several Internet security services for Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld. The services will include two products, "Trend Micro Kids Safety" and "Trend Micro Web Security." The latter option is based on the company's "web reputation" system that blocks users from accessing websites that may contain malicious content.
PS Vita First Edition bundle contents shown off
The early run of the aptly-named First Edition bundle of the PlayStation Vita has just received an official unboxing from Sony's US team. The system is due to arrive on February 15 to those who preordered it, or one week before its widespread launch in stores. Included in the bundle is a 4GB PS Vita memory card, a unique PS Vita carrying case, and a physical copy of the Little Deviants game.
iPad 3 may parallel Galaxy Tab in faster dual core
An incidental rumor floated next to talk of a purported iPad 3 case back has raised the possibility that Apple's expected A6 chip isn't quad-core. Citing unnamed sources, The Verge claimed that it would stay dual-core but have a "significantly more powerful" graphics core. Although not mentioned, it's presumed the clock speed, architecture, or both would be upgraded with the new chip.
North American PS Vita users must buy games again
Sony in a quick brief has warned that North American gamers won't have access to the UMD Passport program for the PlayStation Vita like their Japanese counterparts. A spokesperson told Kotaku that gamers with legacy, physical PSP titles will have to buy them again if they're available on the PlayStation Store. Japanese gamers can currently register their UMD-based games through the PSP and then pay a much smaller fee to download the digital version.
Sony preps PS Vita update for February 8
Sony has teased an update for the PlayStation Vita that should significantly expand its features just a week before the North American launch. The 1.6 firmware patch will add a mapping tool with both driving and walking directions. Likely based on Google Maps, it has the options of satellite and traffic views as well as sending locations out on the Vita's own group messaging for a meetup.
PS Vita on smooth track according to Sony
Sony in its results call Friday was confident that the PlayStation Vita was selling well so far. Having moved slightly more than 535,000 units in its first three weeks, according to Media Create data, company CFO Masaru Kato didn't see "any problems" with results so far. The comment came even after shipments had dipped to just over 18,000 in January and had been mostly steady since.
GameStop now has PS Vita testers
GameStop stores as promised have started carrying PlayStation Vita demo units. Depending on which of the 3,300 stores showing the Vita gamers visit, they should have access to a handful of the 25 launch titles to try. Among the mix will include FIFA, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Wipeout 2048.
Sony gives PSN new SEN badge in days
Sony has given notice that the unification of its online entertainment services mentioned during its CES keynote would affect the PlayStation Network on February 7. A terms of service change will see the service renamed as part of the Sony Entertainment Network. Actual functionality should stay the same.
PS Vita games get discount over PSN
A quick investigation has confirmed that PlayStation Vita owners in the US will get a discount on games if they buy through the PlayStation Network. Shacknews heard that, as in Japan, games will not just be available the same day as a download but will be price-cut over their retail versions. The discounts are about 10 percent over boxed copies, or about $4-5 for games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Sony tempts gamers with special PS Vita deal
Sony has hoped to lure gamers to the PlayStation Vita with another bundle for the official February 22 US arrival. The Launch Day bundle mates the 3G version of the console with a free month's pass for 250MB of AT&T data. While most of the accessories aren't present from the First Edition bundle, gamers get a twice-as-large 8GB memory card to encourage more game and add-on downloads.
PS Vita can control full PS3 games with tricks
A new hack demoed on video (below) has shown that the PS Vita can play full PS3 games through Remote Play. A jailbroken and modified version of the PS3's 3.55 firmware, lower than the most recent official build, can pipe through full games such as Battlefield 3 and the Mortal Kombat remake without having to get official support. Sony only allows its current list of PSP-aware Remote Play games to work.
PS Vita top 3G plan costs more but gets more
Sony has quietly updated its PlayStation Vita 3G plan page to reflect the AT&T plan shakeup from this past week. While the $15, 250MB plan stays intact, the top-end plan has been bumped up $5 to cost $30 and provide a larger 3GB. As before, both are 30-day prepaid plans and can be managed entirely from the Vita.
PS Vita sales continue to drop
New Media Create data has made clear that the PlayStation Vita isn't yet threatening most other consoles or smartphones. After a blockbuster launch in December, it has tapered off for a second time in a month to just 18,361 systems as of January 15. Every console's sales dropped off sharply in the same period, but it still sat behind Sony's seven-year-old PSP, the PS3, and Nintendo's 3DS.
IDC sees 3DS and Vita surviving Apple and Google
Dedicated handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita will trigger a "rebound year" that fends off iOS and Android, IDC estimated on Tuesday. A wave of revenue stemming both from the new hardware and from game sales attached to it was expected to last through 2012 and 2013. While Nintendo and Sony might still sell fewer units and fewer games, the frequent $30 to $40 prices of their games would trump the dependence on cheap or free titles on smartphones and tablets.
Second Vita bug fix
Sony has reportedly released yet another firmware update for its PlayStation Vita handheld game console. The company did not provide full details surrounding the download, which brings the firmware up to version 1.52, however it is believed to address a problem involving compatibility with some 3G SIM cards.
ATT details PlayStation Vita plans
AT&T during its Developer Summit detailed its 3G data plans for the PlayStation Vita. The device will have plans similar to those for the iPad, starting at $15 for 250MB of data and $25 for 2GB. The plans are prepaid and let users add service without having to talk to AT&T.
PS Vita runs Genesis mutiple layers deep
Attempts to get unofficial PS Vita code running took their next step this weekend after video proof emerged of Sony's system running Sega Genesis games. Picodrive, the offshoot of a competition for a classic console emulator on the PSP, can run games like the Sonic series on the Vita using the official PSP emulator and the Half Byte Loader. It doesn't yet run perfectly and is plagued by stuttering sound, although video performance is very smooth.
PS Vita proof of concept app hack appears
The first steps to get homemade code running on the PS Vita have taken place after Japanese developer teck4, with elaboration by mamosuke, has shown a very early example. The "hello world" app runs in the PlayStation's PSP emulator and uses just hardware controls. While rough, it lets gamers change the color and movement of the "snowfall" in a test scene.
PS Vita content manager app may limit use
A discovery earlier in the week has found that Sony's Content Manager app for the PS Vita may be overzealous in trying to curb the perceived piracy threat. Wololo found that the Windows app for sideloading apps and media wouldn't load if a Vita attached to the PC wasn't using the latest firmware. It also wouldn't run if the PC was offline.
PS Vita sells just 72K units in first full week
Sales of Sony's recently launched PS Vita handheld games console have cooled significantly, the latest numbers from Japanese site 4Gamer.net reveal. The first full week of the console's being on the market saw just 72,479 Vitas find homes, a marked decrease from the 321,400 units sold in its first two days on the market. This puts the system in fifth place after the 3DS, the Vita's predecessor the PSP, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's PS3, respectively.
Sony has still not acknowledged widescale problems
Sony has released a new update for its just released PlayStation Vita. This is the second update that Sony has issued since the company began shipping the handheld gaming station on December 17. Sony has denied that the updates were necessary because of allegedly widespread problems.
PS Vita games, accessories, cards for US detailed
Sony picked Thursday to outline the launch details for the PlayStation Vita. The handheld gaming system will ship with 25 launch titles, most of which will be third-party games. Another ten games will show in the "launch window" on or near the February 22 launch day.
Widespread PS Vita problem reports untrue: Sony
The PS Vita, which recently launched in Japan, isn't saddled with the widespread number of problems the media is reporting, Sony said Wednesday. The company does admit a small number of users have filed complaints over consoles not powering up or down and touchscreens freezing. The company calls this normal, considering 325,000 units were sold.
SCE VP Shuhei Yoshida talks about PS Vita
The PlayStation Blog has conducted an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment VP and President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, revealing some insight about the development of the PS Vita handheld console. During the interview, Yoshida admitted that the company shifted focus away from the PSP, the Vita's predecessor, and concentrated on developing games for the PS3. Instead, the company will plan ahead for "constant supply of excellent games" for the PS Vita.