A video game console’s exterior hardware is undoubtedly the least important part of the gaming experience, but fans were still angry when the PlayStation 4 event came and went with no physical console having been unveiled. As expected, however, Sony plans to debut its new console design during the annual E3 conference that kicks off next month on June 10th. In a newly released promotional video, Sony teased the PlayStation 4 console for the first time, showing blurry images of the box and zoomed-in pictures of various parts. It’s impossible to make out the PS4′s final design for the time being, but all will be revealed in under a month during Sony’s E3 press conference. In the meantime, the full teaser video follows below. More →
The Xbox 360 topped the charts again in April, marking the 28th consecutive month Microsoft’s gaming console has outsold Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii consoles. According to research from NPD Group, the Xbox 360 accounted for 42% of current-generation sales with 130,000 units sold last month. It wasn’t all good news, however, as sales plummeted 50% from 261,000 units in March. As a whole, the industry continued to struggle in April with total gaming sales down 25% year-over-year from $657.5 million to $495.2 million. Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles are expected to help sales pick up when they launch ahead of the holidays this year.
Nintendo is off to a rough start with its new Wii U video game console and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick thinks Microsoft’s “Xbox Infinity” and Sony’s PlayStation 4 could see similar tepid debuts when they launch ahead of the holidays this year. “We continue to face the uncertainties of the console transition” Kotick said during Activision’s earnings call this week. The executive noted that Nintendo’s Wii U has had a “very slow” start, and he warned that “uncertainties” in the coming year might impact Activision’s performance. More →
In the video game industry as in many popular video games themselves, a fierce rivalry has taken center stage. Sony took a commanding early lead and its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems are both among best-selling video game consoles of all time at No.4 and No.1, respectively. Then the tide turned and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 edged out the PlayStation 3 in the current generation console wars, having recently posted its 27th consecutive month as the top-selling console in the U.S. But we may soon see this rivalry fade as the missions of Microsoft’s next-generation “Xbox Infinity” and Sony’s PlayStation 4 begin to diverge. More →
Sony has had surprising early success with its Xperia Z smartphone so it shouldn’t be much of a shock that the company wants to keep the momentum going by releasing yet another high-end device by the end of the year. Engadget notes that both specifications and pictures of Sony’s upcoming Xperia A have been posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website and show that the new device will feature a 5-inch 1080p HD display, a 2,300mAh battery, a 13-megapixel camera and 16GB of storage. Given these specs, the Xperia A sounds more like an updated version of the Xperia Z rather than the full-blown monster 6.44-inch Xperia phablet that the company has been working on.
Sony on Thursday posted its full-year financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2013. The struggling Japan-based consumer electronics giant managed to eke out its first full-year profit in five years, posting net income of 43 billion yen, or approximately $458 million for fiscal 2012. Smartphone sales into channels came in at 33 million units while LCD TV sales fell 38% to 13.5 million units. Combined sales of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 fell to 16.5 million units in fiscal 2013, and Sony shipped a total of 7 million handheld Vita consoles. In fiscal 2013, Sony expects TV sales to rebound to 16 million units while smartphone shipments grow 27% to 42 million handsets.
Sony is believed to be working on two new smartphones that will debut later this year. Earlier rumors suggested the company is preparing to release a phablet with a 6.44-inch full HD display, codenamed Togari. The device was expected to debut at Mobile World Congress in February, however it has since fallen off the grid. The second smartphone, codenamed Honami, is said to be part of the company’s “One Sony” branding initiative, which looks to bring all of Sony’s top technology to one device. More →
Sony on Friday announced that it will be reporting its first annual profit since 2008 due to sales of various assets. The company sold its New York City headquarters earlier this year for $1.1 billion, which was estimated to generate net cash proceeds of about $770 million and help it pay off debt. Sony said that the weaker yen helped increase the value of its overseas earnings, and the company now expects to report a net profit of 40 billion yen for the fiscal year ended on March 31st, up from an earlier forecast of 20 billion yen. Sony is scheduled to report its March-quarter earnings on May 9th.
Sony is reportedly preparing to launch a new flagship Xperia smartphone in the near future. According to the Xperia Blog, the Xperia ZR will be equipped with a 4.6-inch display, either a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro or a Snapdragon 600 chipset and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The handset will also reportedly include 2GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot and a 2,300 mAh battery, and will be capable of sitting in more than 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without being damaged. Unlike similar high-end devices, however, Sony’s new smartphone won’t include a full HD display and will instead reportedly feature a 720p panel.
A hacker affiliated with LulzSec, a spin-off of hacking group Anonymous, has been sentenced for breaching computers belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment and distributing information to other members in 2011. A U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles on Thursday sentenced 24-year old Cody Kretsinger to a year in prison, followed by home detention and 1,000 hours of community service, Reuters reported. The hacker, who was known online as “Recursion,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer last April. Sony has said that Krestinger and other LulzSec members cost the company more than $600,000 in damages.
A Sony-backed ISP has announced that it now offers the world’s fastest home broadband service. So-net Entertainment on Monday began offering its “Nuro” fiber-based service to residents in Tokyo and six surrounding areas. The service is available for Y4,980 ($51) per month with a two-year service agreement and a Y52,500 ($535) installation fee. Customers who apply online, however, will have the one-time fee waived. Upload speeds top out at 1Gbps and download speeds come in at a blisteringly fast 2Gbps, double that of Google Fiber. Although most users are unlikely to experience these speeds due to limitations of most consumer network adaptors, this doesn’t change the fact that residents of Tokyo will still have access to speeds well above the rest of the world. Google Fiber currently offers the fastest speeds in the United States with its 1 Gbps service plan for $70 per month, however it is only available in limited markets.
This is a crucial period for the PlayStation Vita: several weeks after a price cut that revived the console in Japan, Vita is demonstrating fairly astonishing tenacity. According to Famitsu, Vita remained the No. 2 console in Japan during the week of March 31st with 33,000 units sold, down moderately from 38,000 units in the previous week. The reason this week was particularly important was the debut of a major new title for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) struggling home console Wii U. Alarm bells at Nintendo’s headquarters must be on full blast, because Dragon Quest X sold just 36,000 units and failed to lift weekly Wii U sales higher than 21,000 units from the previous week’s dismal 10,000 unit level. More →
Sony (SNE) on Wednesday shed some new light on the PlayStation 4′s all new controller at the Game Developers Conference, The Verge reported. One of the most predominant features of the new DualShock 4 is a two-point capacitive touchpad on the front of the controller that can support a variety of gestures such as flick, pinch and twist. The touchpad can be utilized by developers for on-screen slider buttons, navigating the user interface or can even act as a cursor controller. More →