PlayStation

Poll: Will You Purchase the ‘Uncharted 4′ PS4 Bundle?

Uncharted_4_PS4_Bundle_Side

Announced yesterday, the limited edition Uncharted 4 PS4 Bundle will be released at the end of April in North America and Europe. Will you be among those clamoring for one?  Let us know in our poll after the jump!

Sony “Pleased With the Strong Performance” of Game and Network Services, Thanks to PlayStation

PlayStation Game and Network Services
We all know by now that PlayStation is one of the key pillars of Sony going forward. Luckily for them, it’s a division that shows no signs of slowing down. Here is Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida talking about PlayStation which was once again a highlight of Sony during their Q3 FY15 earnings report.

This business has great momentum and it’s different from our branded products and devices business, because it is increasing its service-related revenue. The installed base of PS4 hardware is expanding faster than any of our previous consoles. Sales of the product during the holiday season were extremely strong, and network revenues for the third quarter increased approximately 50% year-on-year.

The PlayStation is steadily growing into a global network entertainment platform due to the power of the PlayStation 4 hardware console, and the ability of our team to bring content creators to the platform.

asymco_Apple_Revenue_Feb_2016

In addition to a strong install base, Sony must also learn to offer compelling services in order to further monetize each console sold. As a comparison, Apple’s services, which consist of things like Apple Pay, Apple Music, iCloud, and iTunes now bring in more revenue than the company’s legendary iPod ever did. This is crucial as there is an eventual and theoretical sales limit for each device from a hardware standpoint. However, once we dive into software and services, a company can break through that barrier and make further returns on each unit sold.

After talking further about why they’re bringing PlayStation to the US, Sony touched upon on their ever growing Network & Services business and its

 strong performance 

Those details after the jump.

Sony Talks Further on Why PlayStation is Coming to the US

Kenichiro_Yoshida

If you haven’t already, I’d recommending reading ‘Why the Future of PlayStation is in the US and not Japan as that article will put comments made by Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida into context. In short, as I’d argued, the future of PlayStation is software and services – not hardware which is what PlayStation was primarily built on during the PS1-PS3 era. The age of the PS4 marked the first time when the US part of Sony and their first party developers had any say on the console’s future. Going forward with additional services like PS Now and eventually PS5, the majority of the decision-making will come from the US with software setting the tone and Japan creating hardware that can accommodate. As Yoshida stated

 major shifts in the digital content landscape are happening fast in the U.S. 

His full statement after the jump on why PlayStation is coming to the US.

Destiny Update 2.1.1 Will Change Special Ammo Economy in Crucible

Destiny_Crucible

Bungie is bringing some changes on how it reports Destiny and general company updates.

 Whoa, wait! you say. Is this the Bungie Weekly Update? 

It was, for many years. Today, we’re giving it a new name so it would no longer be confused with Patch Notes. Bungie has long enjoyed taking a moment out of each week to share something from our studio with the players of our games. We may have outgrown the name in the complex era of Destiny, but we have not outgrown the weekly ritual of friendship.

But beyond a title change, Bungie is talking Destiny Update 2.1.1 which could change how you play Crucible for the better, I think. Details after the jump.

14 Sony & PlayStation Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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When you’re a techie, you tend to find an excuse to give tech gifts whenever you can. This includes Valentine’s Day where you might normally be tempted to give your significant other a box of chocolate and red roses. While I can’t argue with the chocolate part, especially if its dark German chocolate, you can do a lot better than just roses. Tech gifts can not only last longer than those roses that were jacked up in price for the week, but can also be far more personable.

Lucky for you, with the big day just 10 days away, we have 14 Sony & PlayStation Valentine’s Day gift ideas for you that are sure to win you some extra xoxo. Meet us after the jump.

Limited Edition ‘Uncharted 4′ PS4 Bundle Announced

Uncharted PS4 BundleA limited edition Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End PS4 bundle was announced today for North America and Europe, with release dates pegged as April 26th in North America, April 27th in Europe, and April 29th in the UK.

Join us after the jump to talk price, see some more photos, and watch the teaser.

‘Final Fantasy XV Uncovered’ Event Announced for March 30th

Final Fantasy XV Uncovered Event

Big news for Final Fantasy fans! Square Enix announced that a ‘Final Fantasy XV Uncovered‘ event will be held at 7 pm on March 30th at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood.

More details after the jump.

Sony Ships 8.4 Million PS4 Units in Q3 FY15

PS4_Q3_FY15_Sales
Just last week, Sony reported their Q3 FY15 earnings report to some good results. While Mobile continues to struggle (which you can read a more in depth take here), the over all health of the company continues to improve (you can again get a more in depth view of the entire company here). The one division of Sony that continues to post gangbuster numbers is PlayStation, thanks to the ever continuing momentum of the PS4.

In Q3 alone, which spans between October 1st and December 31st, Sony shipped a staggering 8.4 million PS4 units. This brings PS4 lifetime sales to nearly 36 million. At this pace, Sony should have no problem clearing 50 million units sold by year’s end. For context, Xbox One has not hit 20 million units sold yet.

More after the jump.

Putting the Sony Q3 FY15 Earnings Results in Context

To better get a sense of the Sony Q3 FY15 earnings results, I’ve put together a few charts alongside official information to give you a better sense of how the company is doing. In short, things are much better compared to a few years ago and even last year when the company posted their first profit in nearly a decade. Sony Mobile, despite pumping out the fantastic Xperia Z5 family, continues to struggle. You can read more in depth about Sony Mobile and their results here.

A quick heads up. All charts can be clicked on to viewed in much more detail.

So, let’s start from the beginning again. For its Q3 2015 financial results, Sony posted a net income of 120.1 billion JPY ($1 billion) on total revenue of 2,580.8 billion JPY ($21.5 billion). That’s up 33.5% and 0.5% year-on-year. Operating income came in at 202.1 billion JPY ($1.7 billion), an 11% rise on the previous year. In short, Sony achieved $1 billion of net profits for the three months to end in December.

As you can see from the chart above, Game & Network Services (read: PlayStation), Sony Pictures, Sony Music, and the company’s Financial Services have been on the rise. Mobile is obviously hurting and in doing so, dragging down their ever-so-profitable Devices division where image sensor sales are accounted for. Here’s how the different divisions within Sony add up.

More info and charts pertaining to the Sony Q3 FY15 earnings results after the jump.

Free Games for February 2016 on PlayStation Plus

PlayStation_PlusAre you a PlayStation Plus member? Boot up your system on February 1st to download these free games! This month, PS Plus membership includes free access to six games that you’ll want to get your hands on. Check out the lineup after the jump.

Why the Future of PlayStation is in the US and Not Japan

PlayStation HQ in San Mateo

As you might have heard by now, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment are being fused together under a new company called Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. This is important because until now, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has been in control of all PlayStation-related hardware and software (games) while Sony Network Entertainment (SNE) has lead services like PlayStation Vue and PlayStation Store. Now under SIE, Sony will be combining the two divisions and bringing them under one headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Under the new company, there will be some leadership changes as well with Andrew House leading things as CEO and President. According to House:

“By integrating the strengths of PlayStation’s hardware, software, content and network operations, SIE will become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation® business. Along with our business partners, SIE will develop pioneering services and products that will continue to inspire consumers’ imaginations and lead the market. We will work hard to maximize corporate value by coordinating global business operations across San Mateo, Tokyo, and London by leveraging local expertise.”

While there will be offices in Tokyo and London, the majority of R&D, as well as decision making, will be done out of California. The two remote offices will lead localization efforts which are ever so important, for instance, in Europe, a region that consists of several different countries, languages, and policies. But that aside, the real story here is that after two decades, PlayStation is leaving its country of birth and coming to North America. Nostalgia aside, this is actually a good thing for Sony, the future of PlayStation, and gamers. A lot more after the jump.

Insomniac Games Teases ‘What’s Next’ With a Video

Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games, one of my all-time favorite developers and once PlayStation-exclusive, are teasing something new with a ‘what’s next’ video. Not a lot is revealed other than the game seems to employ the same visual nature that their long-time-running Ratchet & Clank utilizes. It’s also a safe bet that it will have some sort of underwater element to it.

It seems like we’ll learn a lot more come January 28, 2016 @ 8:30 am CT. That video can be found after the jump.

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC Formed to “Power the Next 20 Years of PlayStation”

PlayStation_HQ

Well here is some late night news for you. Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment are being fused together under a new company called Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC that will

 power the next 20 years of PlayStation innovation 

according to Shawn Layden, President and CEO, SCEA. More after the jump.

PS4 Sales Dwarf Xbox One in Germany & France by 400%

E3_PlayStation_Xbox

Another day and another set of data that shows how dominant the PS4 is when compared to the Xbox One. This is something that’s truly breathtaking as Sony was able to barely inch out as the winner when the PS3 and Xbox 360 were duking it out. In fact, there were many months where the two consoles would trade spots as the NDP winner of the month. To see this level of disparity between rival consoles, we’d have to go back to the PS2 and Xbox era where once again Sony was able to dominate its rival to see such a huge difference in sales figures.

The latest set of data comes out of Europe with the PS4 sales coming out the clear winner in Germany and France. I often like to give you a bit of back story instead of listing just numbers but in this case, I’m going to let the numbers do all the talking.

PS3 Update 4.78 & PS Vita Update 3.57 Remove Facebook Functionality

PS3 update 4.78

PS3 update 4.78 and PS Vita update 3.57 are now live and ready for your downloading pleasure. Neither update is required to continue gaming though some select titles might be affected by it. Seeing how both updates are fairly small (PS3 – 206MB & PS Vita 137MB), I’d recommend just getting them out of the way to ensure you don’t have any problems going forward.

However unlike other updates that are either vague like ‘bug fixes and system improvements’ or specific where they bring on a host of new features, both updates here are designed to remove functionality from the PS3 and PS Vita. More after the jump.

PlayStation Preferred Over Xbox for Porn Viewing

2015 Year in Review - Pornhub - PlayStation As taboo as the subject line might appear, porn has always played a crucial role in technology. Betamax famously took a huge hit when Sony didn’t allow porn to arrive on their format which would eventually lose to VHS. Years later in the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD, both sides were quick to allow porn though Blu-ray with its larger discs had the upper hand and eventually won out.

This isn’t to say that porn has been the single catalyst for helping drive a format to victory, but that it does play a prominent role despite it not being talked about in public forums much. This next bit of news isn’t something you should expect Sony CEO Kaz Hirai to bring up as a slide during his next keynote – but nonetheless, it’s an important indicator that consumers are truly shifting away from Xbox and towards PlayStation.

More after the jump, including a fancy chart.

PSA: PS4 System Update 3.15 Now Available

PS4 System Update 3.15It’s that time again where I tell you about the newest PS4 firmware update with a few details.

 An update to the PlayStation®4 system software was released on January 13, 2016. Use this update to install system software version 3.15.

Always update your PS4™ system to the latest version of the system software. By updating, you can enjoy additional features, improved usability, and enhanced security. 

Sony says that PlayStation 4 system update 3.15

  improves the quality of the system performance. 

Basically, it’s all under the hood changes with no new features which isn’t a surprise, seeing how the update comes in at 260Mb.

Oculus Rift – PlayStation VR “Isn’t Quite As High-End As Ours” Not a Jab

PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift

Fox News isn’t the only place that likes to take a small soundbite and spin it. Over the past few days, a lot has been said and made from the comments of Oculus Rift co-founder Palmer Luckey. When talking about PlayStation VR and Oculus in general, Luckey had this to say

 It’s also worth noting that their headset isn’t quite as high-end as ours 

Out of context, that seems to be a direct jab at Sony and PlayStation VR. After all, Oculus just a week ago revealed their price ($599) which doesn’t include the gaming PC you need to run it, really placing you around $1,500 or higher. On the other hand, the cost of VR from Sony will be considerably less, seeing how you need a PS4 ($350) and PS VR – which, even if it costs the same as Rift, will mean you finish out under $1,000 – and many expect PS VR to cost $399.

Despite all websites’ best efforts at creating some form of controversy around Luckey’s comments, it’s worth putting what he said in context.

 I think that there’s not many people who already own a PS4 who don’t own a gaming PC who are going to go out and make that roughly $1,500 all-in investment in the Rift. It really is a separate market. They’re bringing virtual reality to a different group of people who I don’t think were ever really a part of our market anyway.

It’s also worth noting that their headset isn’t quite as high-end as ours — it’s still, I think, a good headset — and the PlayStation 4 is not nearly as powerful as our recommended spec for a PC. 

In its entirety, nothing Luckey says is false. Any new PC gaming rig will certainly be more powerful than the PS4, seeing how you can scale those models with the latest CPU/GPU combo and RAM. Yet just because a BMW 7 series exists, it doesn’t make the 5 series any less luxurious. They’re both designed to impress but are targeted at different demographics like this instance.

In fact, Luckey follows up his comments with how Oculus and Sony enjoy a working relationship. Those details after the jump.

Sony Refutes PlayStation VR $800 Price Tag

PlayStation VR

Over the weekend, thanks to a slip by Amazon, it was “revealed” that PlayStation VR would be priced at $799. This is important, mainly due to the fact that Oculus Rift a few days prior had announced its $599 price tag which doesn’t include the gaming rig required to power it all – meaning you’re actually looking at around $1,600 to get it all up and running, if not more. This price, of course, does not sit well with most VR enthusiasts who were hoping for a much lower price point. So does this mean that VR from Sony is also going to cost over $1,000, seeing how you also need a PS4?

Not so much. Sony’s statement after the jump.

Sony MP-CL1 Wireless Laser Projector Preview

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A few months back, the Sony MP-CL1, also known as the PlayStation 4 Mobile Projector, seemingly popped up out of nowhere. Its promise then was to allow you to take a projector anywhere by creating a form factor so small that it could fit in your pocket.

Now at CES 2016, I got to go hands on with the small projector which even offers around 2 hours of battery life for the ultimate wireless experience. I’m not sure how practical this device would be but for those who are cramped for space or travel, it might be a great solution.

‘Gran Turismo Sport’ Trailer Fails to Thrill

Gran_Turismo_Sport_DriverGran Turismo games have always been one of the staples of PlayStation in graphics and gameplay. Having been on the system since PSone, Gran Turismo, developed by Polyphony Digital, is one of those rare franchises that cannot be simply recreated despite the best effort of other studios. From the depth of tracks and cars to the smallest of details when tuning your car, Gran Turismo, especially with a proper seat and steering wheel, is likely the closest most of us will ever get to taking an exotic (or Mazda Miata) on the race tracks.

Apparently announced during Paris Game Week (which I completely missed since I was too busy getting married), Gran Turismo Sport is the latest iteration of the franchise that will arrive on PS4 sometime in 2016. Sadly, from what should have been an easy trailer to nail, we’re left with an awkward piece that fails to thrill and opts to show us a parked Mazda Miata and its interior.

More, including the trailer after the jump.