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Thanks to an amazing community of fans that are fueled by a talented group that helps bring the daily Sony and PlayStation news you count on, SRN has continued to grow. In the past year alone, we’ve had a chance to head to industry events like CES, E3, and will soon be heading to PAX. In addition to that, we’ve been busy at expanding our scope and presence so that we can better interact with you. You can now find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Flickr and more.

Due to this growth, it’s once again time for us to look into our talented fan base and expand our team so that we can push further and bring you some really exciting things.

PlayStation Plus Content Announced for September 2014

PlayStation_Plus_CloudAre you ready for more information about free games? If so, you are in luck because the PlayStation Blog has announced all of the free games that North American PlayStation Plus users will be able to download during September.

Each platform will receive at least two games and some platforms will receive even more if a game is cross-buy between multiple systems. One game PlayStation 4 users can look forward to receiving this month is the brand new addicting Velocity 2xPlayStation 3 users will receive the very fun PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale along with several other titles thanks to cross-buy. PlayStation Vita gets a great this month with both TxK and Joe Danger.

As you may know Sony has recently changed their release schedule for PlayStation Plus games and members will now have access to all games on the first Tuesday of each month. However, the free games are only available for one month so do not delay in claiming your free games! Make sure you’ve picked up the free games from August if you haven’t already!

Keep reading to see a full list of free games available for September!

Sony Xperia Z to Gain Android 4.4.4

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You hear that? That’s the sound of thousands of Sony Xperia Z owners rejoicing over the semi-official confirmation that the Xperia Z will be gaining Android 4.4.4. Just yesterday, we revealed that Sony would be ending software support for the Xperia T, TX, and V in order to focus on newer products. Despite those phones being on Android 4.1, Sony plans to send them off into the sunset with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean later this year. It remains unclear how much further Sony will support the Xperia Z which was released 2 years ago but we at least now know it will gain Android 4.4.4. The best part of this reveal is that other Xperia devices may also be gaining the latest Android build as well. Let’s talk after the jump.

Optional PS3 Firmware 4.65 Now Available

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You haven’t forgotten about the PlayStation 3, have you? Sony certainly hasn’t, as you can now download an optional system update. Specifically, the PS3 firmware 4.65 brings minor tweaks with it and addresses system bugs that help the overall PS3 stability.

Sony Lowers Price On Their Already Well-Priced AX100 4K Camcorder

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Handycam

One of the big reveals at CES 2014 was the Sony FDR-AX100 Handycam that empowered consumers to record in 4K. Sony famously dubbed it ’4K for 2K,’ referring to its surprisingly low price tag of $2,000. As a recap, some specs for the AX100 include:

  • 4K : 3840×2160/30P, 24P; XAVC-S HD : 1920×1080/60P, 30P, 24P
  • 1″ Exmor R CMOS senso
  • 14-Megapixel resolution video and 20-Megapixel still image capture
  • Versatile shooting w/ XAVC S2, AVCHD and MP4 codecs
  • Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar * lens w/ 12x optical zoom
  • Multi-interface Accessory Shoe for system accessories
  • BIONZ X Processor enables high Speed rec 120fps
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization w/ Active Mode
  • Large 3.5″ XtraFine LCD (921K) and High contrast OLED EVF
  • Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi/NFC
  • 2ch LPCM for XAVC-S2 & 5.1ch AC3 for AVCHD

In short, for 4K enthusiasts, the camera offers a lot of bang for the buck. Now Sony is dropping the price of the camera and making it even more affordable.

PlayStation Store Update (08-26-14)

Psn-UpdateWelcome to the PlayStation Store update for August 26, 2014. We have a great update this week packed full of new content and sales. PlayStation 4 users can now take on the role of Fetch in the standalone title inFamous First Light. Madden NFL 15 comes to both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 today as well.

PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 users can now enjoy the very entertaining OlliOlli. There is also a sale going on this week to celebrate PAX that includes titles for all 3 systems. Some of the highlights include: Child of LightTransistor, and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut (see our review here).

Finally, as you are probably aware PlayStation Plus users now receive all of their free games at the beginning of the month and each week users will enjoy extra discounts on specific games. This week users can also enjoy deeper discounts on the PAX sale.

Sony Mobile to End Support for Xperia T, TX, and V After Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

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The Sony Xperia T, TX, and V currently enjoy the outdated Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that was released in early 2013. Since that time, Sony has had minor updates for the mid-range smartphones with no major releases. All of that is set to change later this year when Sony will bring Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to the Xperia T, TX, and V. This also means that these will be the final software and firmware updates these three smartphones will receive as Sony shifts its focus to its newer lineups like the upcoming Xperia Z3. As Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, put it: “Something good, something bad? Bit of both?

Finalized Pictures of Sony Xperia Z3 Leak Prior to Next Week’s Reveal

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Sony hasn’t been having much luck keeping their next flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3, a secret. Over the past month, we’ve seen plenty of leaks for the device. With IFA 2014 set to take next week where it’s  believed Sony will unveil the Xperia Z3, the leaks are only getting bolder. After the jump, we’ve got a series of photos from what looks to be the finalized model that will make it into consumer hands. After the jump, lots of juicy pictures await you.

Why I Took the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and Why You Should Too

I’ve been gathering my thoughts on this subject for the better part of the last two weeks while the ice bucket challenge has gained enormous attention on social media and sometime after by the mainstream news. For those not familiar, the #IceBucketChallenge was created in order to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Some quick facts about ALS:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.  When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them.  Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
  • Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.  With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis.  About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.  ALS can strike anyone. Every single American is threatened by this disease.

The challenge itself goes like this. Somebody you know challenges you to take the ice bucket challenge where as you’d guess, you will have to pour a bucket of ice on your head or donate $100 to ALS foundation to help fund research. The challenge itself has been conducted by many industry leaders like Tim Cook (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and celebrities like Patrick Stewart, Tom Cruise, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris Pratt (one of my favorite ones). Even those in the gaming community like Lisa Foiles have answered the call. While all have decided to take a bucket of ice on their heads (except Patrick Stewart… you’ll just have to watch it.), all have donated to the cause as well.

As you’d expect with all things on the internet, it wasn’t long before the naysayers and the cynics of the world turned their attention to the ice bucket challenge. Complaints varied from it being a thing for the rich, to too many people doing it, to simply just stop with these videos. But I say ‘frak’ them and think you should join me, among others and take the #IceBucketChallenge. Let me explain why.

PSN Attackers Threaten Plane Carrying Sony Online Entertainment President With a Bomb

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The “Well, that escalated quickly” meme does not begin to describe what’s transpired in the past 24 hours. For those unfamiliar with the events that began early Sunday morning, I highly advise you to read our article that described the attacks (not hacks) that were directed at Sony, Blizzard, and Riot Games to name a few. Shortly after the attacks on PSN, the group responsible for the DDoS attacks sent a bomb threat to American Airlines flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley.

 

More after the jump.

Understanding Today’s PSN Attack

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As you might be aware, the PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) were attacked early this morning after the responsible group had already attacked Blizzard (World of Warcraft), Grinding Gear Games (Path of Exile), and Riot Games (League of Legends). Some sites have reported that PSN among others has been hacked which is quite unfortunate because the reason for today’s outages among these different gaming platforms is due to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) and not a hack. This is an important distinguishing factor as a ‘hack’ would mean that those responsible were able to gain access to Sony’s networks and infiltrate them which could possibly lead to your information being compromised.

From Sony:

 Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.

Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed.

We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible.

We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. 

The good news from all of this is that no personal information has been taken. Unfortunately, gaining access to PSN is still a bit shaky though things have improved dramatically since this morning. After the jump, some more thoughts and details about the attack that took place.

Poll: Do You Prefer to Play First Party or Third Party Games?

First Party vs Third PartyWith so many options to choose from when you’re browsing the PlayStation Store, which do you reach for? Are you a first party gamer, or do you love third party games? Cast your vote in our poll below!

How To – Accept a Friend Request on the PlayStation 4

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With so many wonderful multiplayer games available now and coming soon to the PlayStation 4 (like Destiny), you may have received a friend request from someone you met while playing. Luckily it is very simple to accept a friend request and with the maximum amount of friends being set at 2000 you will have plenty of room for everyone you meet! Keep reading to see our step-by-step guide to accepting a friend request on the PlayStation 4.

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua Promo Video

The Sony Xperia M2 Aqua was officially revealed yesterday and earlier today, we provided you with a list of specs you can expect to find in the waterproof smartphone when it launches this fall. Despite its mid-range status, the Xperia M2 Aqua has a lot going for it with a beefy quad-core processor, respectable 8-megapixel camera (remember that the iPhone 5S also has a 8-megapixel camera and that pixels are not everything) on a large 4.8-inch display that can withstand a drop in the toilet or a dunk in the pool. To help drive its waterproof design home, Sony has created the above promo video.

After the jump, another video awaits you which is part spec sheet and part video walkthrough of the Xperia M2 Aqua.