Sony Xperia Z3 to Take Advantage of T-Mobile’s New 700 MHz Spectrum

Sony_Xperia_Z3_T_MobileGood news for Xperia Z3 owners on T-Mobile’s network here in the US. Earlier in the week, T-Mobile announced an expansion on their coverage by supporting the low-band 700MHz (Band 12) LTE spectrum. This doesn’t mean the new coverage will be available in all the areas that T-Mobile operates in. For areas that the new spectrum is available, T-Mobile has confirmed that the Sony Xperia Z3 will be able to take advantage of the new band. More details after the jump.

Sony SmartBand SWR10 Now Available in Brown Leather

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Remember the Titans Sony SmartBand SWR10? Yea, the one that can track steps, calories, sleep and more? Well besides the traditional black model and the different colored bracelets you could previously purchase, Sony is now offering it with a Brown Leather wrist strap. As it stands, it seems like this option is only for Europe as it’s not appearing on the North American store, though that could always change. The Sony SmartBand SWR10 in Brown Leather carries the same 99,00€ price point as the less fancy black one.

Sony Dips the Xperia Z3 in Purple for UK

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Purple_2Carphone Warehouse, the UK retailer, is getting the Sony Xperia Z3 in purple and as an exclusive. Besides the new bold color, nothing has changed about the Xperia Z3, meaning you’ll find the same gorgeous 5.2-inch 1080p FHD IPS display alongside the 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera, which is capable of recording in 4K. Besides the new bold purple color, you can still find the Xperia Z3 in white, black, and copper. It remains unclear if Sony plans to bring the Xperia Z3 in purple to any other country or retailer.

PlayStation Vita: Difference Between YouTube on Browser vs. Now Defunct App

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It was revealed yesterday that the PlayStation Vita would soon have a few less apps for you to choose from and use. Specifically, Maps, Near, and YouTube will be phased out in the next few months. Alongside those apps, Sony also announced the end of Music Unlimited, their music streaming app, on all platforms. While Maps and Near won’t have a replacement on the PlayStation Vita (click here to see why their disappearance from the Vita isn’t really a big deal), YouTube will surely be missed. Luckily, Vita owners will still be able to visit YouTube via the Vita browser, but there are some differences in functionality.

After the jump, we give you the break down of YouTube on Vita’s web browser vs. the app.

Sony Xperia Z4 (E6533) and Two Other Models Leaked (E2353, E5333)

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It still remains unclear if Sony plans to unveil any new smartphones at MWC 2015, let alone their rumored and expected Xperia Z4 flagship. Whether Sony ends up showing off their phones at MWC or at a later date during a private press event (a la Apple style), today’s leaks from the Indonesian Postel Regulatory site, which in the past has been dead on accurate with their revealed model numbers, should bring a smile to Sony fans. While Sony fans have had their doubts about Sony Mobile’s future and their product line in 2015, the revealed three models indicate that there are still new units in the pipe line from Sony in what appears to be a three tiered strategy.

Details after the jump.

Secret PS4 Title to be Announced by Square Enix

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Please be excited for the Square Enix Tokaigi stage event on January 31. No really, you might want to be. Earlier this week, Square Enix teased a top secret title which by the looks of it is a PS4 exclusive. ‘Tokaigi: Game Party Japan’ nearest I can tell is a two day conference similar PAX. The conference will host several live tournaments, stage events, cosplayers, and a show floor. This year it will be held at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall. Simply titled Project Code Z, the teaser site features a simple black background and shifting logo along with a reveal date and a Twitter account. Set to be revealed during their stage event, one wonders what type of game it will be.

Irony: Sony Updates ‘Music Unlimited’ App On the Same Day It Announces Its Death

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In what may be its final update before the service is put to pasture, Sony has given the Music Unlimited app on iOS an update….on the day it announced that it would ending the service. So what can we expect from Music Unlimited Version 2.3.0, which weighs in at 7.7 MB? From the official changelog:

  • New: Skip & skip back by swiping the album cover art
  • Fixes minor bugs on player features

The update will likely go by unnoticed as the reason Sony is shutting down the service is due to lack of consumer interest, i.e. enough subscribers to warrant the cost of the service. While I’m sure that it’s purely coincidental that an update was pushed the same date that Sony would announce the service’s death, (and I’m 100% certain that those working on the app have had no idea that Sony would be killing Music Unlimited) the situation is comedically and sadly very representative of the internal disarray that Sony faces. No division is safe and no plan/initiative/service has a long term vision where software and hardware are working together to achieve it.

How to Fix the ‘Grim Fandango’ Pre-order Issue on PS4

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If you’re at all having problems with your Grim Fandango pre-order on PS4, know that you’re not alone. Luckily Sony is aware of the problem has a fix in place that will let you download Grim Fandango with just a few simple clicks on your PlayStation 4. If you’re part of those experiencing any issues with your download, we have the step-by-step instructions for you after the jump.

Sony’s ‘Music Unlimited’ Reaches End of Line

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Likely in an effort to streamline their internal operations and cut where the feature usage does not warrant the costs, Sony has announced that it’s killing its Music Unlimited program. Previously dubbed as Qriocity when it launched in 2010, the streaming service looked to tackle iTunes and other similar services like Pandora and Spotify by allowing users to stream music for a monthly fee. Come March 29th, 2015, Music Unlimited will reach end of line in the 19 countries it operates in. More details after the jump.

Maps, Near Feature, and YouTube Come to an End on PlayStation Vita

PS_Vita_NearAs we tweeted late last night, Sony is ending support for Maps, Near, and YouTube on the PlayStation Vita. According to Sony, the YouTube app on Vita will no longer be supported come April 20th though the app itself is being pulled from the store today (January 28th). For those who live on YouTube, fear not as you’ll still be able to turn to YouTube via the Vita browser by visiting (http://m.youtube.com). There you will be able to access your YouTube content, such as playlists and channels.

As for Maps and Near, those are also coming to an end sometime in March, when a mandatory software update will pull the features from the Vita. Unlike YouTube, there will be no replacement for those apps. While always disappointing to hear about a loss of features, it makes perfect sense for Sony to pull the latter two though YouTube is a bit more perplexing. Let’s talk why after the jump.

PlayStation Store Update (01-27-15)

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Welcome to the PlayStation Store update for January 27, 2015. We have a great update this week packed full of new content and sales. PlayStation 4 users now can get to killing zombies in the highly anticipated Dying Light.

PlayStation 3 users now now enjoy Madden NFL 15 Super Bowl Edition (also available for PS4) just in time for the big game on Sunday. PlayStation Vita users now have access to the updated version of the classic Grim Fandango Remastered (Cross buy with PS4). There is also a very large sale this week which includes games for all 3 platforms.

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. 

Sony Mobile to Cut An Additional 1,000 Jobs

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The following news only adds depth to the larger picture of Sony’s struggle in the mobile space where earlier today, we reported that Sony Mobile accounted for less than 1% of US phone activations in Q4 2014. Following that news piece, it appears that Sony is planning on cutting an additional 1,000 employees from their mobile branch in order to return the division back to profits. Details after the jump.

Sony Mobile Accounted For Less Than 1% of U.S. Phone Activations in Q4 2014

Sony_Mobile_Q4_2014_Activation_PercentSony’s struggle in mobile is not a secret. While the company had hoped to expand on their 50 million units sold in 2014, it’s now looking more and more like Sony will finish the year at either a small loss in sales or at best, flat. While final numbers won’t be in for another month or so, it’s likely that Sony Mobile will finish the year at 40 million. In comparison, Sony finished 2013 with 39 million units sold. At this point, the only hope Sony has is for North American sales, a market which they were not present in 2013 to be a blockbuster for them but that’s an unlikely scenario.

Despite partnering with T-Mobile and Verizon to offer their flagship Xperia Z3, Sony Mobile accounted for less than 1% of US phone activations in Q4 2014. Let’s talk details.

Sony Xperia Z3 Sales Suspended in Canada by Telus

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Telus, the Canadian equivalent of Sprint, has announced a halt in sales of the Sony Xperia Z3 due to a WiFi hotspot compliance issue. Apparently, Telus has found that the Z3 exceeds Industry Canada’s standards when used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Not content with just halting sales, Telus has also disabled the Wi-Fi hotspot capability from already sold models remotely.

More details after the jump, including a statement from Sony.

No New Sony Xperia Flagship at MWC 2015?

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Unless Sony Mobile has been able to transform their internal structure drastically in the last few months, a lack of leaks for what will eventually be the Xperia Z4 is likely confirmation that Sony will not be showing off a new flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2015. In the past, Sony has used CES and MWC to announce new smartphones and with CES behind us with a lack of new devices, many had hoped that MWC would be when Sony would reveal a new flagship smartphone. If Sony is indeed planning on passing on MWC which fits in with their traditional time frame of releasing a new phone, when could we see the Xperia Z4?

We discuss that and more after the jump.

‘Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’ Update 2.5 Trailer Will Make FF Fans Drool

FF14_Befoere_The_FallFinal Fantasy XIV may have had a rocky launch when it was released a few years ago but that’s nothing but a distant and faded memory now. Released for well over a year, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has shaped to be a stellar MMORPG that was able to correct the errors of FF14 and effectively reboot the tale on PC, PS3, and PS4. Now Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn update 2.5 looks to finish out the story arc introduced in update 2.0 in an epic fashion that screams Final Fantasy.

Square Enix will release this saga in increments, starting with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Update 2.5 Part I which went live on January 20th. Then sometime in late February, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Update 2.51 will become available, bringing with it the Golden Saucer (yes that one) that appropriately includes mini games like Triple Triad, Cactuars, and Chocobo racing. Finally Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Update 2.5 Part II, which includes the ‘Keeper of the Lake’ dungeon, will make its debut sometime in late March.

After the jump, an epic 10 minute trailer awaits you which I highly recommend watching. Also recommended is a credit card in hard as you’ll surely be buying this game after watching the trailer.

PS4 Slim Photos LEAKED?

PS4 slimBoth tech giants Sony and Microsoft have had rumors circulating regarding slimmer models but recently some photos have been leaked showing the PS4 slim. Continue reading to check out all the leaked images of this beautiful machine.