It has been seven years since Sony released the PlayStation 3, and this week you can finally get your hands on its successor. Sony has set up demo kiosks all around the U.S. so that gamers can get their hands on the PlayStation 4 weeks before its November 15th launch. According to the PlayStation Blog, the first wave of kiosks can be found at Sony Stores, but other retail locations, such as GameStop, Walmart, Target and Best Buy will also feature units in the coming weeks. The games that will be available for sampling include Knack, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, FIFA 14, Contrast, Super Motherload, and Pinball Arcade. Check and see if a kiosk is in your area at the Experience PlayStation site.
When Kevin Butler first showed up on TV screens around the world promoting the PlayStation brand, it was clear that Sony might be on to something. There’s no telling whether or not the company’s commercials sell systems, but they often start conversations and the latest ad in the Greatness Awaits campaign for the PlayStation 4 is no exception. The ‘Perfect Day’ spot, featuring the Lou Reed song of the same name, has now been released alongside GreatnessAwaits.com, a new social media hub where soon-to-be PS4 owners can share tweets, Vines and Instagrams of anything PlayStation-related. The site is also keeping track of social mentions, and as of this writing has already collected more than 7,000. The commercial can be seen below.
Technology giants such as Samsung, Microsoft, Google and maybe even Apple are just now realizing there may be a future in wearables, but other tech companies have already been dabbling in smartwatches for some time now. Sony is one example, having recently released its second-generation “SmartWatch 2″ in Europe and Asia, and Sony on Tuesday announced that its new wrist-worn computer is now available in the U.S. The SmartWatch 2 is the first smartwatch on the planet to include water resistance, dust resistance and NFC, and it also features a solid build thanks to its aluminum case and silicon strap. The device works with most moderns smartphones — unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, which only works with one for the time being — and it costs $199.95 from Sony’s online store. More →
In an effort to become a dominant force in the competitive smartphone space, Sony is refocusing its business to markets that already constitute 60% of its smartphone sales. Reuters reports that Sony does not have any major plans for “the world’s two largest smartphone markets, China and the United States,” as the company looks to gain a stronger foothold in Europe and Japan. “Those two are the most important areas for us and we’ll put substantial resources there. But not yet for the U.S. and China,” said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai. More →
Sony has finally revealed its long rumored “Honami mini” smartphone, the Xperia Z1 f. Before Sony announced the Xperia Z1 at IFA 2013, there were rumors swirling around the Internet that Sony would introduce a smaller counterpart, a mini Xperia smartphone, as well. Those rumors proved to be false, but a splash page on Sony’s website quietly unveiled the Xperia Z1 f this week, a smaller smartphone featuring a 4.3-inch display and four color variations — black, white, lime and pink. Other than the compact size, the specs seem to be identical to the Xperia Z1: Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 20.7-megapixel rear camera, 2.2-megapixel front camera, and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The Xperia Z1 f will be available in late December in Japan, and Sony has not shared any international release plans at this point. Sony’s bizarre promotional video follows below. More →
There’s only so much money that Sony’s willing to set on fire. Per the Australian Business Spectator, it seems that Sony actually considered selling its PlayStation 4 console with its Kinect-like Eye camera sensor for the same $400 price that it’s now charging for the console alone. The issue is that Sony didn’t want to lose too much money selling the hardware since it’s already selling the PS4 at a loss. Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andy House tells Business Spectator that “the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there’s not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction,” so the company doesn’t think its customers are missing out much by not having the Eye included.
Between the iPhone 5s and 5c launch earlier this month and the impending release of the new Samsung Galaxy lineup, it’s not unreasonable to think that Sony Mobile Communications has gotten lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, Sony debuted the powerful, improved Xperia Z1 at IFA 2013, and DigiTimes reports that Sony plans on increasing smartphone shipments from a projected 42 million units this fiscal year to 65 million units next year, a 55% jump. Looking to capitalize on the opportunity in emerging markets, Sony plans to “release more orders to Taiwan-based handset [manufacturers]” as well. Those orders are likely to grow over 50%, according to the report. Sony will also be launching a Firefox-based smartphone next year with entry-level customers in mind.
If a recent poll commissioned by Reuters and conducted by Ipsos is any indication, sales of Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will handily top Xbox One sales this holiday season. The poll asked 1,297 people between September 23rd and September 27th which next-generation console, if any, they intended to buy ahead of the holidays this year. According to the report, 26% said they will likely purchase a PlayStation 4 and just 15% said they are likely to purchase Microsoft’s Xbox One. Narrowing the poll down to respondents under 40, Reuters says 41% picked Sony’s PS4 while 27% chose the Xbox One. Microsoft’s upcoming new video game console overcame a number of early public relations hurdles following its unveiling earlier this year, but it looks like it hasn’t been enough to sway the majority of gamers if this poll is any indication. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One launches on November 22nd for $499.99 and Sony’s PlayStation 4 will debut a week earlier on November 15th for $399.99.
Apple’s announcement of selling 9 million iPhones during the debut weekend of 5c and 5s is a bit of a nightmare for Asian vendors who are rolling out brand new, high-end Android models right now. The expanded distribution and new color choices gave Apple an 80% bigger iPhone launch weekend than in 2012. More →
Sony announced its upcoming companion app for the PlayStation 4 back in February, but on Thursday at the Tokyo Game Show the company unveiled plans for the app’s release. Polygon reports that the new PlayStation App will appear on the iOS and Android app stores alongside the PS4 launch in November. The app will allow gamers to use their tablets and smartphones as controllers for select titles. For others games, the device will serve as a second screen, providing extra information while playing. The PlayStation App will give users the ability to download games remotely, which will wake the system until the download completes. Sony’s app also has a host of social networking features such as PSN chat as well as Twitter and Facebook integration.
The video game industry finally showed signs of a turnaround in August and things should continue looking up in September following the highly anticipated launch of Grand Theft Auto V, which grossed $800 million during its first 24 hours of availability. And then, next-generation consoles arrive. During a keynote speech at the annual Tokyo Game Show Thursday morning, Sony said that sales of its upcoming PlayStation 4 video game console are expected to reach 5 million units by the end of the fiscal year, which concludes in March 2014, Engadget reported. To put that figure in perspective, lifetime sales of Nintendo’s new Wii U console totaled just 3.61 million units through its first eight months of availability. Sony’s PS4 debuts on November 15th for $399.99, giving it four and a half months to hit the 5 million mark.
Sony has making good use of its time in Japan to fill in some important details about the PlayStation 4. For starters, Sony announced its own PlayStation 4 smartphone and tablet app earlier in the year, but confirmed a November launch date for the app on Thursday. It turned out that this would be the first of several pieces of information that Sony would reveal about its next-generation console this week. More →
Sony announced at a press conference ahead of the Tokyo Game Show that the PlayStation 4 will be coming to select Asian markets in December. Those markets include Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. CNET states that Sony did not announced the console’s pricing throughout Asia. This news comes shortly after the report that Sony will not bring the PS4 to Japan until February 22nd of next year. For those keeping track of the PS4′s international release dates, the console is scheduled to launch in Europe on November 29th. The U.S. release is still scheduled to come first on November 15th, where the PlayStation 4 will retail for $399.99.