Welcome to the PlayStation Store update for November 25, 2014. We have a great update this week packed full of new content and sales. PlayStation 4 users can now journey back to Prohibition in the unique Speakeasy and finally enjoy the immensely popular Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (also available for PS3).
PlayStation 3 users now have access to the latest release from TellTales Games Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1- Zero Sum (also available for PS4). PlayStation Vita users get Pocket RPG and everyone on the network can take advantage of a sale on Co-op games.
Finally, as you are probably aware PlayStation Plus users now receive all of their free games at the beginning of the month and then are given discounts on extra content the rest of the month. This week PlayStation Plus users receive an extra discounts on cooperative games.
It’s no secret that Sony has been struggling for nearly a decade. Thanks to mismanagement and miscalculations, Sony was unable to capitalize on the transition to LCD televisions and was equally late to mobile. In their most recent earnings guidance, Sony predicts that come March, the company’s mobile division will mount a $1.7 billion loss for the year. With television sales having reached a saturation point and 4K television sales though healthy, not enough to make up for an otherwise sluggish division, Sony knows that it can’t rely on mobile which was to be one of the three pillars that would help turn around the company. When even Samsung has seen their mobile division fall apart with sales declining by nearly 60% laster quarter, what can Sony do to compete and even thrive?
One word it seems. PlayStation.
When Sony Pictures employees arrived at their Culver City campus early yesterday morning, they were greeted to a less-than-ideal situation. A group going under the name of #GOP had successfully hacked the entire studio, bringing work to a screeching halt. As a result of the hack, all computers at Sony Pictures displayed an image of a blood red skeleton with links to where Sony could find proof of the hack’s extent. That’s because, besides all computers being down and unable to even reach out to the web, the group claims that they were all able to find damning information that Sony Pictures does not want people to see.
Despite claiming that unless Sony met their demands by 6:00PM EST that they would release the given information, there appears to be no leaked documents yet. However, computers at Sony Pictures remain to be down in what appears to be a partial inside job with a goal towards ‘equality’ for employees.
Plot twist, right? Details after the jump.
Hot on the heels of – and likely unrelated to – the fake hacking of Sony Mobile earlier today, Sony Pictures has been hit by a massive hacking attack. According to reports, when Sony Pictures employees came to their computers this morning, they were greeted with the picture above when they attempted to log in. Since that time, all computers on the Culver City campus appear to be down. As the image above shows, the creepy skeleton image reads “Hacked by #GOP”and demands that “requests be met” along with links to leaked data to show how legitimate their hack is.
Sony isn’t waiting to Black Friday to kick off their massive sale. If you’re looking to get your hands on a 4K set for a remarkable price, starting today, you can get the 48.5-inch Sony XBR-49X850B for $1,299.99. To further sweeten the pot, Sony is also throwing in a pair of Extra Bass Smartphone Headset (MDRXB450AP/B) for free. Those looking for something a little bigger can nab the 54.6-inch Sony XBR-55X850B for $200 more which also include the free headphones. Best yet, there is free shipping on all orders from Sony this holiday season, making the deal even sweeter because lets be honest, who wants to go wait in line at this time of the year?
Earlier today, news began to circulate that Sony’s Backup and Restore app on Google Play for the company’s line of Xperia devices was hacked. Appearing on Google Play and available to download for free, the app in question mimicked everything about Sony’s official app from wording to design with one obvious difference, the top part of the app was replaced with HeArT HaCkEr Group. Many took this as a sign that Sony’s internal servers had been compromised and an update had been pushed from within the company with the above changes. As Backup and Restore is an official system app from Sony, there is no way to delete the program and those who’ve given it permission will have potentially already had their information compromised.
That is, if Sony’s servers were hacked – but that’s not what happened at all.
As we often like to, we follow up previous posts with a bit more technical specs. The Sony MDR-XB950BT is the latest wireless headphones from Sony to incorporate Bluetooth and NFC for easy pairing while still managing to offer 20 hours of music playback. In addition to Bluetooth, the XB950BT also offers a built-in mic for handsfree calling, making it an all around versatile unit. After the jump, you can find the Sony MDR-XB950BT specs.
Paging all PS3 owners. Sony has a new firmware update out which requires an install before you jump back online to game. The PS3 System Software Update 4.66 is an all-new and mandatory firmware update that comes in at just around 200MB. As it is with minor updates, Sony claims the ever-elusive:
System software stability during use of some features has been improved.
To check the version of your system software, go to (Settings) > (System Settings) > [System Information].
Those of you who follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram already know that we purchased a Sony Action Mini late last week for reviewing purposes. For those unfamiliar, the Sony Action Cam line is Sony’s take on the MP4 camera which is heavily dominated by GoPro. The Action Cam Mini, as the name suggests, is a smaller version of MP4 which still manages to offer 1080p 60fps recording in a form factor that’s 30% smaller. Having had a chance to attend NerfWar, TurfWar here in LA, I figured the opportunity was too good to pass up to turn my Nerf gun into a FPS POV experience with the Action Cam Mini. The above footage is just a small sample I’d posted online which has been compressed. I’ll have more thoughts to share on the Action Cam Mini in the coming days. For the curious, a few more photos await you after the jump.
In a somewhat surprising manner, Sony has rolled out a second ad this week in the US. Dubbed Roof, the clever and extremely simply ad shows off the Remote Play feature between the PS4 and Xperia Z3. Sony ran a similar ad in Europe earlier in the month which highlighted the same features between Xperia devices and PS4. Besides highlighting the PS4, Sony is hoping to garner attention for its flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone which for the first time in the US has carrier support from T-Mobile and Verizon.
In the past, Sony’s smartphone strategy had lacked carrier support in the US, leading to marginal sales and a nearly zero percent marketshare. After the jump, the Sony Roof ad awaits you.
Last week, we introduced you to the Sony MDR-1a Premium Hi-Res Stereo Headphones which, as the name suggests, offer support for Hi-Res audio. This week, we’d like to turn your attention towards the Sony MDR-XB950BT. While the name/model might be a mouthful, these latest headphones offer quite a bit of features that will likely resonate with more casual listeners at a more affordable price. As you’ve likely guessed, the Sony MDX-XB950BT are wireless headphones, thanks to the built in Bluetooth which allows for wireless music streaming and a handsfree phone experience thanks to the built-in mic.
After the jump, we reveal more details about the Sony MDR-XB950BT.
Welcome to the PlayStation Store update for November 18, 2014. We have a great update this week packed full of new content and sales. PlayStation 4 users can now jump into the widely popular Grand Theft Auto V, the unique Never Alone, and join Sackboy and friends for his latest adventure in LittleBigPlanet 3 (also available on PS3) .
PlayStation 3 users now have access to the two new highly anticipated titles (both of which are also available for PS4): Dragon Age: Inquisition and Far Cry 4. PlayStation Vita owners also get into the Sackboy fun with LittleBigPlanet Vita Marvel Edition.
Finally, as you are probably aware PlayStation Plus users now receive all of their free games at the beginning of the month and then are given discounts on extra content the rest of the month. This week PlayStation Plus users receive an extra discount on Never Alone and Draw Slasher.
With PS4 Remote Play now available on Sony’s Xperia Z3 line which includes their flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the company is looking to promote the feature via a new clever ad. For those not familiar, PS4 Remote Play on Xperia Z3 devices allows you to stream PS4 titles directly to your mobile device with no loss in functionality. This means you can get the full PS4 experience from earning trophies to online multiplayer right on your mobile screen. To show off the new functionality, Sony has a clever new ad which can be seen after the jump.
Designed for smartphones (and likely tablets), Sony has announced a new advanced image sensor which offers improved image quality and faster speeds thanks to a new ”stacked” design which cuts down on size. Dubbed the Exmor RS IMX230, it’s the industry’s first CMOS image sensor for smartphones to be equipped with an onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function. In short, this new image sensor is capable of 192 autofocus points, resulting in much faster tracking of moving subjects that happens almost instantaneously.
One of the exciting features of the Sony Xperia Z3 line which includes the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is its ability to connect to PlayStation 4. Via the PS4 Remote Play app, users with the Sony’s Xperia Z3 line can stream games from the leading console directly to their mobile device and use a Dualshock 4 controller to play the game as if they were on the PS4. Once linked, gamers will have full control of the game with no dumbed-down experience. That means you can enjoy everything from multiplayer to earning trophies directly on your Xperia Z3 device.
More after the jump.
Earlier in the week we introduced you to the Sony MDR-1a Premium Hi-Res Stereo Headsets which offer a sophisticated design and booming base. Beyond the more premium design and generally better sound which is found in premium headphones, as the name suggests, the Sony MDR-1a support Hi-Res audio, a new digital format that’s designed to better capture music and offer a more lossless sound experience. For those in need of a little bit more details on the headphones, we’ve included the Sony MDR-1a specs for you, after the jump.
Over the last two years it’s becoming abundantly clear that Sony believes that music is meant to be a transformative experience. Not content with tinny sounds from ear buds and MP3 files, Sony has been investing heavily in Hi-Res audio, a new format (and not propitiatory!) that’s meant to capture the equality many audio aficionados believe was lost when we transitioned to MP3. Besides needing proper hardware to support His-Res audio, something which Sony is incorporating more and more into their products like the Sony Xperia Z3, you also need Hi-Res headphones in order to truly drive home that experience when you’re on the go.
After all, it only does so much good if your device can output Hi-Res but your headphones can’t bring through the extra quality. To that end, the Sony MDR-1a Premium Hi-Res Stereo headphones exist. More after the jump.