Tag Archives: Sony

PlayStation 4 gets a mid-cycle boost with PS4 Pro: all the details inside

Sony announced not one but two new video game consoles this week at its PlayStation Meeting at the newly dubbed PlayStation Theatre in Times Square, New York. The first console unveiled, which was widely expected to launch here,  was the PS4 Slim. Of course, Sony doesn’t call it that officially, but it’s something gamers have become accustomed to during a console’s lifecycle. The updated PS4 is slimmer, lighter, and more energy efficient than the original model–it’s about 30 percent smaller and cuts power consumption by 28 percent to be more precise. Other minor differences: it boasts faster Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), a third USB 3.1 port around the back, and the optical port’s been removed. Other than that, it’s got the same guts and glory that the OG PS4 always had. The heftier PS4 will phase out of market when PS4 Slim drops September 15. For $299, you get the console fitted with a 500GB HDD, a copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and an slightly updated version of the DualShock 4 wireless controller. The new DS4 features a secondary light bar above the touch pad, as well as USB communication. Preorder today.

Now let’s move onto the most exciting news of the event. “We realized that for the very highly discriminatory gamer, there’s always a desire for advancement and they want it in this generation…We are adjusting and accelerating our innovation cadence,” said Sony’s Andrew House to a crowd full of anticipation. In essence, what House is saying that Sony doesn’t want to make gamers wait any longer for a new, more powerful console. Instead of announcing the PlayStation 5, Sony’s taking a page out of Microsoft’s playbook and making a new console to “complement” the standard PS4 and sit right alongside it. Enter PlayStation 4 Pro. Jump after the break for more. READ MORE PlayStation 4 gets a mid-cycle boost with PS4 Pro: all the details inside

E3 roundup: The latest and greatest from Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo inside

Summer’s just around the corner, and gamers know exactly what that means. E3 is in town, and The Big Three console makers are ready to show off the best they have to offer. For 2016, Microsoft took a big swing by introducing loads of new hardware, including a new Xbox console debuting in August, as well as its next-gen beast due out in 2017. Sony and Nintendo, on the other hand, laser-focused on their respective games library. The PS4 is on the verge of transforming into a virtual reality conduit, and Sony packed quite the punch with its PS VR launch lineup. Nintendo, meanwhile, lifted the veil off the next game in the coveted Legend of Zelda franchise and it looks spectacular. If there’s a theme to be had here, it’s that all three companies are churning out visually splendid and heart-pounding experiences coming to systems this year and beyond. It’s a great time to be a gamer.

For the full scoop from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo at E3, jump after the break. READ MORE E3 roundup: The latest and greatest from Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo inside

Sony solidifies PlayStation VR launch details with bundles starting at $399

Virtual reality is on the cusp of going mainstream. While VR innovators Oculus and HTC are readying their headsets, Sony is prepared to attack the market with PlayStation VR. You see, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful computers to run effectively, and not everybody invests in such pricey machinery. PS VR, formally known as Project Morpheus, simply requires a PlayStation 4 video game console to run, and Sony has the most potential to succeed here first because it can rely on its 36 million PS4 units sold since the console’s release in 2013. No doubt about it–advantage: Sony.

As we inch closer to fall, Sony’s finally made some key launch details known. PS VR releases this October starting at $399. At that price you’ll get the VR headset and all of the required cables plus stereo headphones. On launch day (still TBA), the PlayStation Store will offer a free copy of The Playroom VR so new owners of the headset will have an immersive game to demo when friends come over.

What doesn’t come in the $399 package is the PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move motion controllers, the former a required PS4 accessory to make PS VR work. The Camera tracks your movement and the controllers bring your arms and hands into the action. The Camera ($49.78 at Amazon) and Move motion controllers ($28.85) have always been sold separately from the PS4. When PS VR comes out, however, Sony has also prepared a “launch bundle” that will include the Camera and two Move motion controllers, in addition to an exclusive title PlayStation VR Worlds. This $499 package will be available to preorder starting Tuesday, March 22 at 10AM ET at participating retailers, including Amazon. The aforementioned “core bundle,” which assumes that you at least already own the Camera, will not be available for preorder at this time. Update: Sony’s performed an about-face here and has decided to make the core bundle available for preorder on Tuesday, March 29 at 10AM ET.

Launch lineup and spec talk after the break. READ MORE Sony solidifies PlayStation VR launch details with bundles starting at $399

PS4’s latest update is massive, with improved social capabilities all around

Sony’s PlayStation 4 is receiving its most significant system software update since launch and version 3.00 packs quite the punch. The ability to share gameplay with a wider audience is included thanks to expanded support for YouTube and Twitter. Joining Twitch and Ustream on the Broadcast Gameplay screen is YouTube; click the Share button on your DualShock 4 controller to access this screen and stream gameplay from PS4 directly to YouTube. Over on the Upload Video Clip screen, Twitter is now an option alongside Facebook, YouTube, and Daily Motion. Double tap the Share button to start recording your gameplay, and once it’s captured you can send up to 10 seconds of it to the Twittersphere. Live broadcast streams, video clips, and screenshots can be shared and viewed in the improved Live from PlayStation app; here you can browse popular trending content in real time.

You’ll surely notice two new icons featured on the PS4’s home screen. A new hub called Events provides an overview of activities taking place in the games you play most, as well as official broadcasts. Additionally, a dedicated section for PlayStation Plus gives you quick access to membership management, lists of the monthly free games to download, PS Plus deals, and a catalog of games you’ve redeemed through the subscription service on PS4. Oh, and here’s a biggie: online storage capacity has increased from 1GB to 10GB for all PS Plus members.

Sony is taking Party Chat to the next level with Communities. The former feature remains, but the latter one helps gamers foster groups based around shared interests, like games, genres, etc. When a Community is created, members can take advantage of a general discussion message board; text-based conversations and shared screenshots are supported here. Looking to jump into a friend’s game session? Hit him up on the Community board, or better yet, send him a “Request to Watch” notification–that’s new, too.

The Messages and Friends apps has been updated as well. You can now mark PSN friends as favorites, making it easier to group together and later find the people you chat and play games with the most. Stickers are supported in Messages; the first batch include ones themed around Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Knack, LittleBigPlanet 3, and Resogun.

Free system software update 3.00 hits PS4 on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Jump after the break to watch a brief glimpse of what’s in store, and click here to view more screenshots of the enhanced UI.

[Via PS Blog 1, 2] READ MORE PS4’s latest update is massive, with improved social capabilities all around

E3 2015: Sony relies on classic franchises to invigorate the PS4

Sony is second to show off its latest wares at E3 2015. Following Microsoft’s impressive lineup of first and third party games coming to Xbox One this year and beyond, was Sony about to keep up and keep the hits coming? Jump after the break for the full rundown. READ MORE E3 2015: Sony relies on classic franchises to invigorate the PS4

Sony teases Batman-themed limited-edition PS4 ahead of ‘Arkham Knight’ release

Sony’s got a new PS4 SKU in the works. No, it’s not quite as fancy (or incredibly rare) as the previously released 20th Anniversary console, but it’s something! Especially if you’re a fan of the Caped Crusader. To celebrate the upcoming summer release of the third and final entry in the Batman: Arkham video game trilogy, Sony is producing limited edition hardware featuring custom artwork. For $449.99, you can get the steel grey PS4 with a custom Batman: Arkham Knight faceplate, a matching steel grey DualShock 4 wireless controller, and of course a copy of Arkham Knight. Sony will also be selling an Arkham Knight bundle that includes the title and a standard jet black console and matching controller for $399.99. Both bundles will launch alongside the game on June 23. Preorder today.

[Via PS Blog]

Sony’s cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue launches in three major U.S. cities

Four months after detailing its very own cloud-based TV service, Sony let loose PlayStation Vue in three major U.S. cities on March 18. If you own a PS3 and/or PS4 and live in Chicago, NYC, or Philadelphia, boot up your console to take it for a test run. As long as you have the latest firmware update running, you’ll find a new PS Vue app icon in your dash; click it to sign up for the service or start a seven-day trial.

Essentially, PS Vue streams live and on-demand TV (including TV shows, movies and sports) to your console and the service is boosted by a cloud-based DVR, all without a cable or satellite subscription. If you’ve been on the fence about cutting the cord, PS Vue may be your answer. Of course, you won’t find all of your favorite channels here; that being said, Sony is doing a fine job at boosting content provider support as new channels have been populating the service since launch. Click here to view the current channel lineup. Thanks to the cloud-based DVR, you won’t ever have to worry about recording conflicts or storage space; that’s the power of the cloud! PS Vue also makes it easy to record and get to your preferred content; by tagging a show you’ll have access to previously aired episodes of that show for 28 days.

The monthly subscription starts at $49.99 for the “Access” base package of channels; “Core” ($59.99) and “Elite” ($69.99) offer up additional content. See the breakdown here. Note that PS Vue does not lock consumers into contracts, and you’re free to switch between the packages at will. Sony says it’s hard at work on expanding the service’s outreach in the U.S., and you can expect support for iPad “in the near future.”

After fiddling with service for some time, I’m happy to report that the UI is slick and forward-thinking with its smart search tools and filters. Whether or not you’re ready to cut the cord today, services like PS Vue and Sling TV are the future of television and you best be ready.

[Via PlayStation Blog]

Spider-Man, welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Fanboys and fangirls, it’s happening: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios are making nice and, at long last, Spider-Man is entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe fray. Sony scooped up the rights to the web slinger years before Marvel got into the movie-making business, and ever since then Spidey was forced to play in his own sandbox separate from Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of The Avengers. Going forward, all that changes.

Late Monday, Marvel pushed out a press release announcing its new partnership. The Spidey rights still belong to Sony; that studio “will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films,” reads the release. But under this new deal, Peter Parker and his superhero alter ego “[takes] his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.” According to the release, Spider-Man has total freedom in terms of where he can appear; you will see him pop up in future Marvel movies and it works the other way around, too. Marvel and Sony are “exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.”

Now here’s what the release shares in terms of specifics. “The new Spider-Man” will make his debut in a Marvel-produced film. Many are already speculating that he’ll officially enter the MCU in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie which opens May 6, 2016. Cap and Iron Man go head-to-head, and in the comics Spider-Man plays a crucial role in this popular storyline, so this particular rumor makes sense. And then, on July 28, 2017, Spidey in star in a Sony-produced solo film in the already rebooted twice franchise. Marvel head Kevin Feige will co-produce with Sony’s Amy Pascal; the latter recently stepped down from her post as head of the studio following the hack attacks. This is her first power move after becoming a producer under Sony and man is it a big one.

We don’t know yet if current Peter Parker portrayer Andrew Garfield will suit up as the “new” Spider-Man. All we know is that the studios “will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger.” Does a fresh creative slate equal a new actor to fill the spandex suit? Perhaps. This quote from Sony exec Doug Belgrad at least hints that we’re finally through with Spidey origin stories. “This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future.”

This is a long time coming for Marvel fans around the world. Spider-Man has always been an integral member of The Avengers, and now that Marvel and Sony are holding hands in harmony, moving forward moviegoers can experience the comic books truly come to life. Now all we need is 20th Century Fox to make a deal like this to bring X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the fold and we’re golden! But I’ll take what I can get.

Click here to view the full press release from Marvel, including reactions from Feige, Pascal, Belgrad, and Disney’s Bob Iger.

Update: In order to make room for Spider-Man, Marvel is pushing the release dates of four upcoming superhero flicks. As mentioned above, July 28, 2017 is the day Spidey’s new solo mission hits theatres. Previously, Marvel had carved out that date for the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Now, the third Thor movie will drop November 3, 2017. Moving out of that space is Black Panther, and its new release date is July 6, 2018. That pushes Captain Marvel to November 2, 2018 and Inhumans to July 12, 2019. Release dates for Captain America: Civil WarDoctor StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy 2, and Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 & 2 remain unchanged. I’ll just say what you’re thinking: MCU Phase 3 is gonna rock.

PlayStation Now game streaming service now offers subscription program

Sony’s game streaming service PlayStation Now has been available in beta for months, allowing PS4 gamers to stream last-generation PS3 games on their shiny new consoles. As of today, PS Now is officially released in earnest and comes with more ways to play. In beta, gamers could only stream games a la carte, and pricing depended on the title and how long you rented the game for. Today, the service supports a subscription model; PS4 owners can cough up $19.99 for one month or $44.99 for three months of back-catalog gameplay. PS Now currently provdes “instant and unlimited access to a catalog of more than 100 PS3 games” with more on the way. This new model is launching exclusively on the PS4 first, and Sony promises it will reach other PS Now enabled devices in the future. Want a taste? The company’s offering a free seven-day trial to the subscription program; get it here or fire up your console. Click here to scan a list of all the currently available PS3 titles streaming today, and jump after the break for video.

[Via PlayStation Blog] READ MORE PlayStation Now game streaming service now offers subscription program

Sony celebrates 20 years of PlayStation with a retro-designed limited edition console

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. READ MORE Sony celebrates 20 years of PlayStation with a retro-designed limited edition console

Sony announces cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue

There certainly is no shortage of ways to consume entertainment these days, and Sony wants in. Sure, it’s got the PlayStation Store where gamers can stream movies, music, and TV shows to their big screen TVs. But the media giant is looking to capture even more eyeballs by providing a full-fledged cloud-based service whereby consumers can pay a monthly rate and watch their favorite TV programs to their heart’s content. Think of it as Hulu Plus or even Netflix, provided by Sony. Thankfully the company is securing deals with major content providers prior to PlayStation Vue’s launch and they include CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Viacom. Here are a couple of cool features to mull over:

-PlayStation Vue delivers catch-up and on-demand TV, freeing viewers to watch TV on their own schedules. The service makes the past three days of popular programming available without the need to schedule recordings.

-Viewers can save their favorite shows to the cloud without storage restrictions or scheduling conflicts. Once viewers tag a favorite show, they will automatically have access to episodes of that show for 28 days so that they can watch on their own time.

In essence, if you’re lacking a DVR and if you prefer to watch TV on your own time like the majority of the world, PS Vue sounds like a promising effort from team Sony. In the end it all comes down to content provider support; if Sony can continue to lure in the big guns like CBS, Fox, and NBC (ABC, where you at?), Vue has the potential to become a go-to destination for PS4 and PS3 console owners.

“PlayStation Vue reinvents the traditional viewing experience so your programming effortlessly finds you, enabling you to watch much more of what you want and search a lot less,” says Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “PlayStation Vue brings the best of live TV and a robust catalog of the latest content, always keeping you connected to what’s popular, new and trending. Today’s announcement builds on the historic success of PlayStation 4 and demonstrates what our company is capable of when we embrace disruption and stay true to gamers.”

A beta preview for PS Vue is rolling out this month for select people, “with phased rollout starting in New York followed later by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.” In time the service with become compatible with Apple’s iPad as well as more Sony and non-Sony devices. Sony plans to launch it commercially in early 2015. Stick it here for more details about pricing and availability as that becomes apparent.

[Via PRNewswire]

Sony pushes out Share Play for PS4, a new way to experience games without a disc

Believe it or not, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been on the market for one year now. To celebrate its one year anniversary, the console maker has released the first major software update for PS4, namely version 2.0. With it comes theming, a more organized games and app library, new voice commands, and the ability to share game session recordings directly to YouTube, just to name a few functionality and aesthetic updates. But there’s one new addition I’m here to spew about because it’s something that may very well change the game (pun!) forever.

It’s called Share Play, and it’s something Sony teased at Gamescom this year. Essentially it works like a “virtual couch;” two players in a party (with PS Plus subscriptions, of course) can play a game as if they were in the same room. A real-life example helps explain: Let’s say you have a copy of Destiny and you’re stuck at a certain level. With Share Play, you can invite a friend to join your party and actually share your gameplay session with them, across the Internet in real time. Your friend, then, can take over the controls of your character and take a crack at getting you past the hard part. Additionally, if the game supports local multiplayer (let’s say NBA 2K15), your friend can join your session and complete against you. The magic here: your friend does not have to own the game you are playing. That’s right–you are hosting an “online local co-op experience,” Sony calls it, where you can share your screen with a spectator, hand over your gameplay session to a friend, and invite a friend to join a multiplayer session. If you thought the inclusion of Twitch and UStream was an effective tool of the future for the console market, Share Play takes things to a whole ‘nother level.

Now, there are a couple stipulations. As mentioned earlier, you and your friend your sharing your session with must be Plus subscribers; additionally, Sony says Share Play sessions can last “for up to one hour at a time.” Not exactly sure what this means; will the session time out after the hour has passed? If you’ve got a PS4 you can test it out for yourself today; software update v2.0 is out now. See how Share Play works in the video above.