Shipping ending in Japan following US in January, European PSP sales continue
Sony is retiring the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan after nine and a half years of sale in the country, effectively signaling the oncoming end of the console's life. Shipments of the handheld game console will cease in Japan later this month, with the company instead continuing to push for sales of its successor, the PlayStation Vita.
Sony PlayStation Store to get largest redesign to date in October
Sony showed off images of what a newly redesigned PlayStation store will look like at a London press event on Thursday. The details were shared by VG 24/7 and include new features as well as an all-new look for the digital storefront that's a showcase for the latest content for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PSP. Europe will get the update first, on October 17, while North American users will get to experience it on October 23.
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 pulls another PSP game to stop PS Vita hacks
Sony has pulled Everybody’s 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.
Nielsen shows Apple infiltrating gaming
New Nielsen data has shown that cross-platform gaming is seeing heavy inroads, including from Apple. About 24 percent of US homes used at least two gaming platforms, but diversity was especially high among those who had a traditional handheld. In homes where a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP was was used by a child under 12, 66 percent also had some kind of iOS device.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Sony PlayStation Certified program gets new games
The PlayStation Certified program will soon get a number of new titles, according to a number of new ESRB ratings. Thus far, the program, which was designed to bring legacy PlayStation games to PlayStation Certified devices such as tablets and smartphones, only offered a few PS1 titles. The Entertainment Software Rating Board names a number of other PSP titles that will be made available on Certified Devices.
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.
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 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.
NPD tracks smartphone and digital gaming at last
The NPD Group in a rare step began tracking some of the contributions of non-traditional gaming to the industry for the first time. It estimated that about $1.64 billion came from "other content," which includes mobile games as well as direct downloads and social network games, generated $1.64 billion in revenue. The growth made it larger than the traditional software side of the business, which dropped to $1.3 billion
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.
PS Vita to have limitations, at least initially
The upcoming PS Vita handheld console from Sony will be limited from web browsing while a game is running in the background. Users will have the ability to check friends' lists, music and Twitter, but can't browse the web while in a game. At the same time, only one PlayStation Network account can be set up on the device at the same time.
Offers 10X rewards points for games and rentals
Sony has teamed up with Capital One to offer a rewards card for PlayStation enthusiasts. The PlayStation Card will offer ten times the reward points for every purchase made on the PlayStation Network. This includes game-related PSN purchases as well as PSN movie or TV show purchases and rentals.
Flurry shows Apple and Google in control of games
Smartphone OS platforms from Apple and Google now make up the majority of mobile game revenue in the US, Flurry said in a new study. Both year-to-date figures and estimates give Android and iOS a combined 58 percent of money spent on games in 2011. Nintendo would now be a minority by a significant margin, at 36 percent, while Sony's PSP would be just six percent.
Sony limits PS3 and PSP game reach to curb sharing
Sony on Friday outlined a plan to curb the number of devices that can use a game. Any PlayStation Store game for the PS3 or PSP bought after November 18 will be limited to two activations at a time for each device type, down from the current five. Gamers will have to turn activations on or off either on the devices themselves or on the web.
PSP goes out in US with FIFA bundle on November 15
Sony gave the PSP one last bundle in the US on Monday to keep sales going until the PlayStation Vita arrives in February. The new pack includes the regular PSP-3000, a UMD-based copy of EA's FIFA 12 for soccer fans, and a code coupon to download a digital version of the Disney/Pixar Cars 2 game. A 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo is in the box as well and provides just enough space to save games for most titles.
Microsoft claims Xbox 360 leads August 2011
Microsoft claimed one of the longer unbroken video game console sales streaks in recent memory as the Xbox 360 was once more the top-selling console in the US, according to NPD data. August sales bounced back from July's low point and hit 306,000 of the systems. Nintendo added that the 3DS price cut made a meaningful impact and saw sales jump to 235,000, about 185,000 of which were after the August 12 drop to $170.
ATT dates and prices Xperia Play 4G
AT&T on Thursday set out launch details for its promised version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Now called the Xperia Play 4G, it expands on the original both with 14.4Mbps HSPA (technically 3G) and the inclusion of Sony Ericsson's own DK300 media dock and a music cable for RCA-equipped speakers. Gamers also get a better game loadout on the PlayStation phone, which brings in Dungeon Defenders, The Sims 3 and Tower Bloxx to existing titles like Crash Bandicoot, Madden NFL 11 and Gameloft titles.
Security chief ups confidence for online plans
Sony has tapped a veteran of the US Department of Homeland security for the newly created position of chief information security officer. Former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center Philip Reitnger will become a senior vice president with the company and report to general counsel Nicole Seligman. The move comes in response to the attack on Sony's Playstation Network in April that caused a monthlong shutdown of the network and compromised the personal information of millions of PSN subscribers.
PSVita gets free social and VoIP from the start
Sony's Gamescom keynote on Tuesday saw it give future PSVita buyers a slew of social apps for when the console is ready. The handheld will have apps available on or near launch for Facebook, Foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. All will be free in the PlayStation Store.
Sony PSP minus Wi-Fi headed to at least Europe
(Update: E-1000 name and official shots) Sony at its Gamescom keynote unveiled an unusual new PSP model as a going-away version. The new E-1000 will ship without Wi-Fi, but with UMD, and is intended to catch budget users. In Europe, it should cost about 99 euros ($143), or a third less than the 127 euros ($183) of the current edition. Timing wasn't narrowed down.
New Sony PSP bundle due at end of August for $160
Sony just revealed it will release a new PSP bundle on August 30 that includes the portable games console and EA's Madden NFL 12 and Need for Speed Shift. Also included is a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo. The bundle will cost $160 when it launches in the US.
Sony may use Samsung CPU for PS Vita processor
Sony may have turned outwards to get a processor for the PlayStation Vita. A claim made by Semiconductor Industry News, caught by Hachimaki, claims that the quad-core, ARM Cortex-A9 chip in the Vita will be made by Samsung. The exact model wasn't given, but it would be on a present-day 45 nanometer chip design rather than something smaller, like 28 nanometers.
NPD June data give Xbox 507K units in huge lead
Microsoft kept up a year-long string of leads with new NPD data giving it the lead in June. About 507,000 Xbox 360s shipped last month, making it not only the top selling game console but giving it a wide lead. The NPD's decision against providing open data made comparisons difficult, but Microsoft in a comment said it sold "nearly twice as many" systems as rivals, with Nintendo's DS or Wii the most likely runner up.
Sony chief says PSN outage was great for learning
The four-week long PSN outage was a "great experience," according to president of Sony Network Entertainment Tim Schaaff. The claim, made during an interview with VentureBeat on Wednesday at the MobileBeat conference, argued that the pressure of the breach made the PlayStation service stronger. Customers were also at least as interested as they were before.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play gets ATT release
AT&T at a media event Tuesday confirmed that it would carry Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play. Its version will support 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G and will come in an optional dark, AT&T-hued blue along with the regular black. The carrier hasn't said if it will customize the game loadout.
Includes choice of PSP in 3 colors + accessories
Sony will be offering special PSP bundles in Japan this summer. The PSP-3000 "value pack" includes a PSP bundled with several helpful and frequently color-matched accessories. These include a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, an AC adapter, a 1,200mAh battery, a pouch, and wiping cloth.
Sony sued again over PSN, staff cuts pinned
A second lawsuit over PSN hacks this week has accused Sony of cutting jobs whose absence may have worsened or contributed to the hack. A "substantial percentage" of Sony Online Entertainment, including some in the network operations center, were let go just two weeks before the April 19 incident that hit both SOE and PSN. Sony lowered its safeguards through job cuts just as the attacks came in, the lawsuit alleged.
Sony's Tretton says PS Vita could fill in for iPod
Sony's SCEA president Jack Tretton in a conversation Friday hoped that the PlayStation Vita would be as essential for many people as an Android or iOS device. When asked about competing with Apple and Google, he saw it as a matter of making the Vita an essential device. The system had to be so closely linked to entertainment that it became as important as taking a cellphone or a wallet, and he told Forbes that he saw it often filling the role.
Sony PSVita gets detailed FAQ
Sony has quietly rolled out an FAQ for the PSVita that has answered some of the deeper questions surrounding its new handheld. The system will play PSP games but, without a UMD drive or an add-on reader, will have to rely on downloadable games. The console maker was considering "every possibility" to accommodate gamers with an existing library but wouldn't say more.
Sony sells 70 million PSPs ahead of Vita launch
Sony has used E3 2011 and the launch of the PlayStation Vita to highlight the worldwide sales of what will be its predecessor, the original Sony PlayStation Portable. First launched in December 2004, the handheld console has now gone on to sell 70 million units up until the end of April this year. Its library of 3,200 UMD titles has also shipped over 298 million software units.
Sony talks PSVita and more at E3 2011 event
Sony is holding its E3 press conference for E3 2011 on the USC campus tonight. The company is expected to formally rechristen the NGP as the PSVita, its main challenge to Apple and Nintendo in the gaming space. Visit our live coverage page from 8PM Eastern or 5PM Pacific for real-time updates as they happen.
PSN Welcome Back greets PS3, PSP gamers before E3
Sony wrapped up its pre-E3 run with word that its Welcome Back program was now live. As promised, PSN members from before the service went down April 20 can choose two PS3 games and two PSP games if they own one or both systems. Both platforms get older but major titles, such as Infamous and Wipeout HD Fury on the PS3 and LittleBigPlanet or Killzone Liberation on the PSP.
Titles from PSN will be supported
Amid Sony's NGP-related announcements, the company has confirmed that its upcoming handheld will be compatible with PSP titles. Backward compatibility will be limited to digital releases available in the PlayStation Network, though the hardware differences will require many games to be reconfigured for the NGP's input options.
PlayStation Store and PSN completely back
Sony at the turn of midnight Thursday said it had brought back the PlayStation Store as promised this week. The shop and its DLC were available immediately in North America and also included new content, including new demos, full games, add-ons, and sales. Both PS3 and PSP owners could get to the new content.
LulzSec plans new wave of Sony hacking
Hacking collective Lulz Security teased on Sunday that it was about to launch a fresh campaign against Sony "within the next day." Following attacks on Sony Music Japan and elsewhere, the first phase of "Sownage" (Sony ownage) was coming along with a "pre-game show." As expected, the group didn't name its targets other than some Sony websites.
Sony promises PSN back in Asia this weekend
Sony has announced that it would restore PSN gaming service in Japan and other regions in Asia on Saturday. The return would come over a month after the gaming network was voluntarily shut down following a hack and over a week later than other regions. Japan's government didn't let Sony reinstate user access to the network until Sony could ensure it made the necessary fixes to ensure this kind of hack doesn't happen again.
Sony may slash NGP features to hit Nintendo, Apple
Sony might be stripping down the performance of the NGP to better take on the Nintendo 3DS and Apple's iPod touch. A rumor late Thursday from France's 01net claimed that developers had been told the NGP would have half the main RAM, 256MB, and a similar cut to 128MB of video RAM. It may also drop the 16GB of built-in storage and shed the plain SD card slot in favor of a possibly more proprietary format with copy protection; whether that was Memory Stick or another format wasn't mentioned.
Sony hints PS4 in progress
Sony gave the first signs of the PlayStation 4 already in development through the earnings call for its latest results. The electronics giant's CFO Masaru Kato explained a rise in research and development costs by noting that "development work is already underway" for the PS3's future replacement. He couldn't say what it was or when it would ship in VentureBeat's recall of the event, although the timing made it unlikely it would be 2011.
Sony gears up Black Ops PS3 and Limited PSP pre-E3
Sony ramped itself up for the E3 show with two special deals to put sales over the top. A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Limited Edition PS3 bundle gives users both a 160GB version of the console but also the still-current first-person shooter and the new First Strike add-on pack. It ships on May 31, just a week before the start of E3, for $300.
Sony promises 6.39 update for PSP, PSN updated
Sony on Tuesday announced it will soon release a system software update for the PSP system, which is effectively the equivalent of the PS3 3.61 update. It will guide users through the process of changing their PSN password and also improve system stability in specific cases. The update is required to get back on the PSN after the hack that took the gaming network offline for more than three weeks.
Sony to intro PSP Remaster games for PS3
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) on Sunday revealed it will launch a new PSP Remaster series of games for the PS3. They will first hit the Japanese market on Blu-ray discs and will be redone versions of current games for the handheld. In the changeover, they will get HD graphics and new features, including support for Sixaxis and DualShock controllers.
Sony fiscal year sees 3.2b loss and 171m for PSN
Sony revealed a major blow to its finances in an early warning regarding results for its latest fiscal year (PDF). The company said it had lost $3.2 billion in the 12 months ended March 31 through several factors. Its nearly month-long PSN outage due to hacks is now known to have cost the company $171.17 million, both through repairing the damage as well as free PS3 and PSP games and a month of PlayStation Plus access.