Just a fun followup on my last week’s mini rant against analysts and with no sense of irony, I introduce to you, a mysterious “Contributor” at Forbes.
In trading on Thursday, shares of Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE) entered into oversold territory, hitting an RSI reading of 27.6, after changing hands as low as $28.22 per share. By comparison, the current RSI reading of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is 62.5. A bullish investor could look at SNE’s 27.6 RSI reading today as a sign that the recent heavy selling is in the process of exhausting itself, and begin to look for entry point opportunities on the buy side. The chart below shows the one year performance of SNE shares:
What a difference a week makes. Where a week ago was all about the ‘now’ and finding the best deals possible in that given moment, this week is all about reflecting on the year we’ve had and the year that’s to come. On Thursday night, Allegra attended (and I watched live at home, in 4k!) The Game Awards – a night where we can honor those who’ve made the games we love possible. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what games are or aren’t and even easier to forget the talented people and the countless hours they put into creating these worlds. Those of you who’ve subscribed to our weekly newsletter can read more about my thoughts later today and see why I find the show so important.
The Game Awards aside, this weekend is also part of a new tradition created by Sony three years ago – PlayStation Experience, a mini E3-like convention that’s all about the fans. Once a year in December, Sony puts on a show where they unveil new gameplay footages, host panels with developers, and sell plenty of merch. A genius move on Sony’s part to enter the final stretch of the year and the ever important holiday shopping season with a hyped up and loyal fanbase. At its core, PSX is a show that’s designed with fans, not journalists or industry insiders in mind and it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re on my side of the fence – that for many of those attending, they’re meeting their heroes and role models – and what a feeling it must be for them who aren’t surrounded by gaming/tech news 24/7 to go in and experience new titles and new tech like VR by the company that’s making them.
Some welcome news for 4K TV owners. YouTube is upping its game by offering 4K live-streams on YouTube, including for 360-degree videos at 60fps. This comes in addition to 4K HDR video playback that YouTube already provides. Just last night, The Game Awards were streamed across multiple platforms, including YouTube, and I watched in crystal clear 4K which made it a treat when they showcased Death Stranding running in 4K on PS4 Pro.
Let’s be honest, The Game Awards should have been called the Hideo Kojima Awards, where the legendary director was honored with standing ovation. Following his speech, Kojima unveiled another teaser for Death Stranding, the PS4-exclusive title that’s set to arrive sometime in the next year or two. If you’re not familiar with the game yet, this is the best way I can summarize it:
Android 7.0 Nougat has been the most aggressive release Sony has done to date. In just the past week we’ve seen the latest OS build arrive for Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ with more phones to come in the near future. According to Sony, Nougat will be made available to the
Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia X, Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Compact.
All of this then begs, what exactly does the new OS bring with it?
I tend to struggle a little bit with analysts, especially ones whose opinion counts towards something and can move stock prices up or down, yet manage to strike out more often than not. In fact, it doesn’t take much to be an analyst other than guessing. At best, analysts have inside sources and great knowledge of the industry, the company they’re reporting on, and consumer trends. When those three factors are meshed together, you’re at least given a glimpse as to what may be. At worst, it’s wishful thinking or purely misguided viewpoints of a company that they have actual little understanding of (i.e. most Apple pundits and analysts).
Final Fantasy XV launched on Tuesday to high praise and with it came a new trailer called Ride Together, something that I found atrocious. As the name suggests, the trailer is all about how bro-y FF15 is and that the game is anything but an RPG, missing the essence of what makes a Final Fantasy game. Learning a thing or two from Sony’s PS4 commercials, Square has also released Final Fantasy XV Stand Together live action trailer which not only tugs at your heart strings, but also captures your imagination and reminds you why you fell in love with the series in the first place – fantasy. Hard to imagine both pieces coming from the same company.
VR is all about the experience. Yes, visual fidelity matters, yes, the narrative is important, but those are things that have already been expressed and expressed well in gaming. Look no further than Uncharted, a traditional game, as it were, yet at the forefront of storytelling and gameplay. That means in order for VR to be truly captivating, it must offer the mentioned aesthetics and then some which is where ‘experience’ comes into play. Leading up to PlayStation VR’s launch, Sony was busy getting as many people as they could to try it because they knew that was the best way to sell it.
A follow up and addition to yesterday’s story about Android 7.0 Nougat arriving on the Xperia X Performance – Sony is now rolling out the latest build for the flagship Xperia XZ as well. Specifically, the update is available for the Xperia XZ (F8331) and XZ Dual (F8332) with build number 39.2.A.0.327 attached to it. It should go without saying that all updates for Sony are a phased rollout so don’t be surprised if it’s not showing up quite yet for your phone.
Sony makes a ton of products that the average person is aware of: PlayStation, TVs, Xperia phones (people sort of know about this), and other home accessories, but the company also operates in a lot of markets most aren’t aware of. Medical, ISP, insurance business, and yes, even the video surveillance market. In this case, Bosch and Sony are teaming up in an unusual but quite appropriate way where Sony will do what it does best – make hardware – and Bosch will use its name recognition and take over marketing – something Sony is terrible at.
I love posting shocking news and here’s one that’s truly shocking – if your platform is far more expensive than the competitors and there isn’t a ton of content, it won’t sell all that well. Most of you likely already know this but PS VR costs just $399 and requires PS4 which comes in at $299. As for the competition, besides needing a PC rig that costs north of $1,000, you still need to buy the headsets which will set you back another $800. But costs and much more complicated setup aside, content is king and PS VR offers an easily delivered platform to consumers and one that they’ve been accustomed to since PS3.
If you couldn’t guess the theme of the past 24 hours, it’s apparently RPG – and it makes sense. After all, even when SquareSoft was firing on all cylinders, we only would get a Final Fantasy game every few years, let alone a version that’s been in development for a decade – so in keeping with the RPG theme, here is The Last Guardian Collector’s Edition video unboxing by Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida and head of PlayStation Blog Sid Shuman. Collector’s Editions can be hit or miss for me, but for anyone who is looking forward to The Last Guardian, this one sure seems worthy and designed with thought.
Just a quick heads up for Xperia X Performance owners – Sony is now rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat. As always, the gang at XperiaBlog have a nice little breakdown of it.
Firmware build number 39.2.A.0.327 is currently rolling to the Xperia X Performance (F8131) and X Performance Dual (F8132). The update is currently only rolling to select regions
Final Fantasy XV was a big and bold bet for Square-Enix. Could a game that was 10 years into development succeed? Would fans care to enter the rich worlds of Final Fantasy again in the age of online multi-player and short burst mobile gaming? If the short 12 hours or so that the game’s been on sale have been any indication, it appears that their bet is paying off – put out a game of quality, and no matter where the overall gaming trends have gone, they’ll return to a beloved franchise.
If anything, Final Fantasy 13 should have proven to Square that you can’t simply take an established series and gut it from everything that made it what it is, insert more ‘modern’ aesthetics, and ride the success wagon – because the three games under FF13 nearly ended the franchise. Sure, FF15 isn’t the Final Fantasy of the past, but it certainly has far more charm and elements of its predecessors that people have come to expect from the series. Still, that doesn’t mean Square has completely returned to its former self.
If the Final Fantasy XV Ride Together trailer is any indication, Square is still desperate to portray the game as something it’s not while trying to appear ‘hip and cool.’ If it helps sell more copies, then I can’t argue with the notion, but I also can’t help but think the trailer does a disservice to the game and its fans while at the same time selling a game that doesn’t actually exist.
After 10 years in development, which is insane by just about any account, Final Fantasy XV has finally arrived and thankfully, unlike the heartbreak that was Final Fantasy XIII, it appears to be garnering praise from reviewers and gamers. To help kick off their mega action-RPG (sorry guys, Final Fantasy is no longer an RPG), Square-Enix has spared no expense with various promotions, anime/movie tie-ins, and electronics, thanks to Sony.
Sony is releasing the Walkman A-Series Final Fantasy XV Edition in Japan tomorrow starting at 33,880 yen ($300-ish) for a 16GB model. It supports Hi-Res Audio and comes with little pixel-art Final Fantasy characters on the back.