This December 3 marked the 20th anniversary of PlayStation. It was on that day in 1994 when Sony released the original PlayStation in Japan forever changing the gaming landscape and evolving the industry into what it has become today: a place to play and discover and wow with incredible, life-like graphics and intuitive mechanics.
To celebrate 20 years of PlayStation, Sony is manufacturing a special, limited edition PS4 with a design that harkens back to the aforementioned OG PlayStation. The bundle is packed with a 20th Anniversary Edition PS4, DualShock 4 wireless controller, PlayStation Camera, and a vertical stand all coated in the same Original Grey finish as the PS1. You’ll also spot the original PS logo across the new hardware, as well as a cool 20/X/Square/Triangle pattern design scheme embossed all over the console and the controller’s touch pad. And when Sony says “limited,” they mean it: only 12,300 of these bad boys will be made (that number matches the PS1’s release date–neat, huh?). Consoles will be specially marked with their number (as in x/12,300). Want one? Today (12/6) the company put it up for preorder on its online store and to nobody’s surprise it sold out in minutes. This is not to say Sony won’t release another batch, but eBay will likely end up being your best bet in the future.
Already own a PS4 and still want to get in on the celebration? Sony’s got you covered: fire up your console, download the latest firmware update, and you’ll be privy to a free PS1 retro theme that takes over your home screen with a predominantly grey color scheme with floating colorful O’s, X’s, Squares, and Triangles. It also features a familiar boot-up sound! Preview the theme here.
Elsewhere in PS Land, Sony is holding its inaugural PlayStation Experience this weekend in Las Vegas. Some cool announcements worth mentioning follow, in brief. Remember when Microsoft offered those customizable console faceplates for its Xbox 360? Well, Sony is following in their footsteps with new faceplates to spruce up the PS4 for those so inclined. “Project Skylight Beta” is currently offering two faceplates at $24.99 apiece featuring designs inspired by the games The Order: 1886 and LittleBigPlanet 3 with more on the way. Removing the console’s current faceplate and snapping in a new one is, well, a snap; Sony demonstrates the painless process here.
Also at PSX, the company held a keynote for fans brimming with upcoming titles for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Engadget‘s done a nice job of collecting trailers for the announced games. Ones that popped out for me include this new look at Hello Games’ trippy exploration adventure No Man’s Sky, this first look at Capcom’s fifth major installment in the Street Fighter franchise, and this 15-minute preview of stunning in-game footage from Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Oh, and speaking of games, EA is handing out three free (I’ll reiterate: free) games at this very moment. PS4 owners can download the addictive animated shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, PS3 users can nab the uniquely first person Mirror’s Edge, and handheld Vita gamers are awarded Need for Speed: Most Wanted. You’ll want to hop on this fast–these awesome deals expire tonight at midnight PST/3am EST.
Jump after the break to continue the anniversary celebration with unboxing videos and a special clip featuring Sackboy and the rest of the LittleBigPlanet universe embodying the past 20 years of PlayStation. (Click here for more…)
Gamers, take a trip down memory lane with three videos from Sony that encapsulate three generations of PlayStation. All three clips come in at under three minutes but they manage to successfully and succinctly relive the hype surrounding the launches and extended lives of the the original PlayStation, the PS2, and the PS3. The videos end with the hashtag #PlayStation2013 reminding us that this nostalgic look back comes at a time that is mere days away from the highly anticipated launch of Sony’s next home console and entertainment hub, the PlayStation 4. The announcement is expected to go down this Wednesday, so make sure to check back here for all the exciting details.
Embedded above is the first of three clips in Sony’s “Evolution of PlayStation” series and features the OG PS that released in 1994. After the break you’ll find the two others highlighting the massively popular PS2 and the still-going-strong PS3. (Click here for more…)
Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Sony Ericsson made official the Xperia Play. For years the rumor mill has been stockpiled with dreams for the PlayStation Phone to come true and today Sony Ericsson finally addressed the leaks and came out with everything. At its heart the Xperia Play is an Android phone, so let’s start there. The Play runs Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread, with SE’s TimeScape skin plastered on top) and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and embedded Adreno GPU (which promises to deliver games at a “silky smooth” 60 frames per second). It packs a 4-inch (854×480) multitouch display, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, AGPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, stereo speakers, USB and headphone ports, and microSD slot (8GB card included, expandable up to 32GB). It’s a quad-band GSM/CDMA and EV-DO smartphone. The Play is set to launch in March, and it’s coming to the U.S. exclusively on Verizon in “early spring” at an undisclosed price.
With all the phone facts set aside, now let’s turn to what makes the Xperia Play a gaming device. The Play is being billed as the first PlayStation Certified device, meaning it will have access to PlayStation game content provided through the PlayStation Suite initiative which is set to roll out later this year. SE has partnered with video games publishers to bring not only PS games but also Android Marketplace gaming apps to the device. Franchises such as EA’s Need For Speed, Sims 3, and FIFA 10, Activision’s Guitar Hero, and Gameloft’s Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell will all make their way to the Play. SE promises over 50 titles will be available to download and play by launch. Many titles will come preloaded on the device, too; they include Asphalt Adrenaline 6, Bruce Lee, Star Battalion, The Sims 3, and Tetris. At the press event SE hinted that the Play would also come with a “legendary pre-installed title”, and according to Engadget that game is Crash Bandicoot. So how will you play all these on a smartphone? What makes the Play so brilliantly PlayStation Certified is its slide-out game pad that features dedicated gaming controls like a D-Pad, two analog touch pads, two shoulder buttons, and the four PlayStation buttons (circle, cross, square and triangle). In addition to using these controls to play PS-branded games, Android Marketplace game apps can also take advantage of the traditional control scheme. Other gaming related tidbits worthy of mention… Local area multiplayer can be achieved by hosting a WiFi hotspot on one device and inviting others to it. SE says the Play can handle up to five and a half hours of gameplay on a single charge. Lastly, the Play will receive exclusive bonus content such as game levels and other upgrades.
Though it’s conveniently being hailed as the “PlayStation Phone,” Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play is the first of what promises to be many PlayStation Certified Android-based devices to boast PS content. With a large screen and a slick slide-out game pad, the Xperia Play should deliver on the phone and gaming fronts. Whether or not it will be able to compete with the likes of the NGP or Nintendo 3DS, that’s another question altogether whose answer will largely depend on the Play’s software lineup and games developer support. Images below, video and PR after the break.
Today Sony hosted PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Japan, and there they announced the successor to the PSP (codenamed NGP) and provided details on how they plan to expand the PlayStation brand to Android devices.
Let’s start with what you’ve been waiting oh-so-long for. The oft-rumored PSP2 has finally been unveiled. But don’t call it that; Sony has branded the new device “Next Generation Portable” or NGP for short. Though at first glance the NGP aesthetically appears similar to its predecessor, additional control options and the spec sheet will blow your mind. The NGP packs a 5-inch 960×544 OLED capacitive multitouch display (OLED screen technology allows for great viewing angles, and the screen resolution is 4x greater than the PSP’s), a powerful quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, a quad-core Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU, dual analog sticks (as opposed to the PSP’s single analog nub), front and rear-facing cameras, built-in GPS, WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, microphone, stereo speakers, the same Six-axis motion sensing system that’s featured in the PlayStation Move controller (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), and there’s a three-axis electronic compass. Buttons-wise, you’ll find the usual suspects: the D-Pad, action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, square), left and right shoulder buttons, start, select, volume, power and PS buttons. And I’ve managed to save the coolest new input implementation for last. The NGP packs a rear-mounted multitouch pad; it’s the same size as the front-facing OLED display, so the location of your finger is mapped directly to the game screen. This new kind of input allows for “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” finger gestures and will open up a whole new world of gaming opportunities for developers. All of this is stuffed inside a “Super Oval Design” form factor that is, again, similar to the PSP (there is no slide-up mechanism as featured in the PSP Go). (Click here for more…)
In collaboration with ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Sony has developed a peculiar new advertising campaign for the Latin American market. In the two commercials Sony is hoping build awareness of the PlayStation, along with the recently released PlayStation Move motion accessory. All I see are freakishly giant MAN-BABIES. But here’s how Sony explains it:
“The first commercial…features a baby as a depiction of the emotions that are often associated with the purest form of entertainment. It reminds us of a time when even the smallest actions, sights and sounds can provoke unhinged and constant entertainment.”
Riiight. Look after the break to watch another commercial starring MAN-BABIES! Oh Sony, you never fail to awkwardly impress.
Remember way back on December 4, 2009 when we celebrated the 15th anniversary of PlayStation. Well apparently that was celebrating the birth of the brand in Japan. The original PlayStation console wasn’t introduced in North America until September 9, 1994. So now we must celebrate the birth of PS in the US. Do it by reading all these PlayStation fun facts (like did you know that seven percent of PS gamers won’t date non-gamers?) and browsing the PlayStation timeline that spans from the original console to the PlayStation Move in the gallery below.
On Tuesday Sony revealed two new PlayStation 3 SKUs. The first is a plain jane PS3 with a 160GB hard drive. It replaces the older SKU and keeps the same price of $299.99. Buy it today. The second model is a PS3 + PlayStation Move bundle. Price at $399.99, it packs a 320GB hard drive and comes packed with one PS Move controller, one PlayStation Eye camera, a copy of Sports Champions, and a game demo disc. The bundle will hit store shevles September 19, the same date PS Move launches.
Late last night Error: 8001050F hit PlayStation 3’s ’round the world. At first it simply did not allow PS3 users to log into their PlayStation Network accounts and play games online. Since then things have taken a turn for the worse. Apparently this error is turning back the console’s clock to January 1, 2000 causing major problems like data loss. Sony has figured out that the error is only affecting ‘fat’ PS3 models; all PS3 Slim models should be in the clear. In the meantime, if you own a ‘fat’ PS3, Sony is recommending its customers: DO NOT TURN IT ON until the error is fixed. Sony “hope[s] to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours.” Look after the break for official details on the matter straight from PlayStation Blog.
Check back for updates; I’ll be sure to let you know when Sony tells us it’s safe to start gaming and Blu-ray-ing again. What a disaster.
UPDATE: According to the official PlayStation Blog the PSN bug has been squashed. They say it’s safe to turn on “phat PS3s” now. Joystiq spoke to a Sony rep; check out the short Q&A if you are concerned with lost trophy data and the like. Cue sigh of relief.
Get your Sackboy (or Sackgirl) ready! It’s been teased that Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet will be undergoing a 3D makeover just in time for the Playstation 3 firmware update that will enable 3D gameplay on all PS3s later this year. LBP joins SuperStarDust HD and Gran Turismo 5 as one of many games that will likely make the conversion to 3D formats. 3D effects will only add to the great depth and vastness that LBP already has to offer. In the behind-closed-doors demo of LBP in 3D it’s been reported that when Sackboy puts on 3D glass in-game the game environment itself transforms from 2D to 3D. Rad!
Last we heard the tentitively titled PlayStation Motion Controller was due out this Spring. But that was too good to be true, am I right? Sony has gone ahead and delayed the mystical motion controller until “fall 2010″ globally. The delay affects the following countries: Japan, Asia, North America, and Europe. Why the delay? Kaz Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.: “We have decided to release the Motion Controller in fall 2010 when we will be able to offer an exciting and varied line-up of software titles that will deliver the new entertainment experience to PS3 users.” They gotta pump out the games before the accessory is let out into the wild. Makes sense. With Microsoft’s Project Natal slated to release “Holiday 2010″ the final quarter of this year looks like it’s going to be an exciting one for gamers. Full press release after the break.
Your favorite comics have finally come to the PSP with the launch of the Digital Comics service. This is what you can expect from the initial catalog: “Choose from the battling superheroes of Marvel, including Spider-man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, to Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. You’ll find TRANSFORMERS and Star Trek from IDW, alongside characters from Titan, iVerse and 2000AD, as well as the latest underground sensations and works from local publishers.” In the Playstation Store you will now find a Comic Store section where you can browse and purchase the available comics selection. With a feature called AutoFlow you can move your comic frame-to-frame and zoom in and out. You also have the option to listen to your music while you read. Head over to the Playstation Comics website to browse the catalog and chat with other users. It’s worth mentioning that there is a “free comics” category, so if you’ve got a PSP try it out! Jump after the break to watch an introduction video to the service.
It all started in 1994 with the original PlayStation. Then came the PSOne, Playstation 2, PS2 Slim, Playstation 3, and PS3 Slim. And don’t forget about the PSP and PSPgo. It’s been a long journey, PlayStation. You started off strong against the Sega Saturn but have only recently fallen behind against the Microsoft Xbox 360. I still have faith in you, and I wish you well on this special anniversary. Celebrate 15 years of PlayStation at this interactive website that takes on you a Flash-y adventure from the early days of ’94 to today.
There has been a lot of news lately about 3D technology. You may surprised to hear that all the news does not just surround the movie industry. 3D is coming to a TV near you, and the expected date for this technological evolution is 2010 (that’s next year!). TV manufacturers such as Toshiba and Sony plan on embedding 3D tech inside their TVs that will allow broadcasts, DVDs and Blu Rays, and video games to display in glorious three dimensions, making for a more immersive experience in entertainment. The latest news comes from Sony; a representative told Engadget that a future software update for the Playstation 3 will allow “all” existing games to display in 3D. Today, though, Sony has stepped back and told Joystiq that they are “conducting a technological investigation” into the matter and that “there is no plan for the market launch of this at this time.” So, although 3D TV tech is coming soon, a reality with 3D video games may be a bit farther in the future. At least we know they are “investigating” its potential. I’ll just wait over here with my 3D glasses until it all comes true.
Featuring Richard Marks, SCEA R&D group, works with user-interface technology and “other projects.” Interesting watch if you are excited for the impending PS3 motion controller. Who isn’t?
Sony is known for making such crazy and strange commericals for their Playstation products. Who can forget one of the original PS3 commercials that featured the scary crying baby doll? Now the marketing team has done it again for the new PS3 slim. Check it out above.
Let’s get right to the details of the PS3 Slim:
- 32% smaller, 36% lighter, 34% less power than its chunkier brother, the original PS3
- Boasts all the same features of the bulkier PS3, so still no backwards compatability with PS2 games
- Adds one feature: BRAVIA Sync – you can browse the PS3 XMB with your Sony TV remote, PS3 will power down when TV shuts off (if both devices are connected via HDMI)
- Removes one feature: The ability to install an operating system (like Linux) is gone.
- Matte finish
- 120GB HDD
- 2 USB ports (down from 4)
- Price- $299; release date – early September
- UPDATE: According to Engadget, the power and eject buttons on the front of the console are physical buttons that press down now; the HDD is swappable; the PS3 logo does not rotate; feels siginifcantly lighter in hands compared to the old PS3. Also, according to Gizmodo, Sony plans to change the PS3 logo and reformat the PS brand name from PLAYSTATION 3 to Playstation 3. That’s better!
Arriving concurrently with the PS3 Slim hardware is the 3.0 firmware update:
- XMB redesigned
- Information Board replaced with “What’s New” – populated with news and information from the world of Playstation (latest and greatest games, videos, etc); you can launch immediately from recently played games
- Playstation Store game and video sections placed under the Games and Video icons in the XMB, respectively
- Animated themes are available in the PS Store (themes can change with time of day, etc.)
- Upper right hand corner – space for avatar, friend icon w/ # of friends online, mail
- More avatar selections available through the PS Store (free and premium)
- Available via a free download on September 1
At the GamesCon in Germany, Sony had additional announcements concerning PS3, PSP, and the Playstation Network (PSN):
- Effective today, all PS3 systems will cost $299; that is a $100 price drop. Once the PS3 Slim releases in early September it will take the place of its thicker older brother.
- Sony introduced Minis; they are “bite-sized” games that will be made for the PSP & PSP go! and will sell as digital downloads only in the PS Store. The titles will have a 100MB size limit. The first bunch of Minis will be made available on October 1, the same day as the release of the PSP go! Sony has planned to release 15 Minis for launch, and about 50 games for the remainder of 2009. Some of these games include Tetris, Field Runners, Hero of Sparta and Minigore.
- PSN video store and PSN cards will be available to access and sell, respectively, in Europe this fall. The video store will initially sell movies only, and will expand its library from there. The PSN cards will sell in 20 and 50 euros demoninations.
- Sony announced the PSP Digital Reader; the plan is to digitize a bunch of comics, sell them in the PS Store, and make them available to read on the PSP. Sony’s first major partner is Marvel and they plan to have “hundreds available, including the Marvel Comics stable.”
- Three new PSP color variations will be sold in Europe this November: “Turquoise” blue, “Lilac” purple, and “Blossom” pink.
See the galleries below for: (1) official PS3 Slim shots; (2) Engadget’s PS3 Slim unboxing shots
Look after the break for: (1) a video tour of the PS3 3.0 software; (2) firmware 3.0 full details; (3) a video of PS President Jack Tretton talking about the new announcements; (4) PS3 Slim spec sheet