There has been a changing of the guard in the U.S. video game console market and for Microsoft, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. With the next console generation right around the corner and several analysts predicting Sony’s PlayStation 4 will have the upper hand this time around, Microsoft’s run at the top in the U.S. market has come to an end prematurely. The company’s current-generation Xbox 360 console had been the top-selling home video game console in America for 32 consecutive months according to market research firm NPD Group, but that unbelievable streak came screeching to a halt in September as the PS3 pulled ahead. More →
Fear not PlayStation 3 owners, Sony has confirmed that it has no plans to abandon its current console when the PlayStation 4 launches this holiday season for $399. Sony Japan president Hiroshi Kawano and Sony Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida revealed in an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu, translated by Kotaku, that support for the PlayStation 3 will continue indefinitely and the company has “no intention of immediately shifting from the PS3 to the PS4.” Kawano noted that after seven years the console continues to “sell at a constant pace,” adding that there are also many upcoming titles are for the system. More →
Sony on Wednesday evening announced that a firmware update is rolling out to fix broken PlayStation 3 consoles. The update is meant to reverse the damage caused by an earlier patch that left a “small number” of users with bricked consoles. The company also posted detailed instructions for users to install the update even if their consoles won’t turn on. Required equipment includes a USB Mass Storage device such as a USB flash drive with at least 168MB of free space, or older models can use an SD card, Memory Stick or CompactFlash card. Users must then boot up the PlayStation 3 in safe mode and load the update onto it manually. Sony’s full instructions on how to install firmware update 4.46 can be found below. More →
Earlier this week, Sony issued a system update for its PlayStation 3 gaming console. The patch was meant to fix preexisting problems, however it was found to be doing the exact opposite for some owners who found their consoles unusable after the update was installed. Sony was forced to pull the 4.45 system update, but not before leaving a “small number” of users with broken systems. The company on Friday revealed that it has identified the problem and plans to issue a new update that will fix the issue on June 27th. The statement came from Sony’s European PlayStation Twitter account and it remains unclear if the patch will be available to owners worldwide or only in select regions.
Sony’s newfound goodwill with gamers won’t last long if it starts bricking users’ consoles. BBC News reports that Sony has pulled its 4.45 system update for the PlayStation 3 that was leaving some consoles unusable. Sony says that it is investigating the reason its latest update, which it first released on Tuesday, bricked consoles and tells BBC News that it only affected a “small number” of PlayStations worldwide. Sony also apologized to users and encouraged them to wait for an official fix for the problem instead of trying to fix it themselves.
The video game industry continued its downward spiral in May. According to research firm NPD Group, retail sales of hardware, software and gaming accessories in the U.S. fell 25% to $386.3 million last month, their lowest level thus far in 2013. Hardware and software sales fell 31% year-over-year to $96 million and $175.1 million, respectively, while sales of gaming accessories declined 6% year-over-year to $115.3 million. Including sales of used games, rental and digitally delivered content, micro-transactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and social network games, consumers spent a total of $787 million on video games in May. More →
Activision on Wednesday announced that the latest installment of its best-selling Call of Duty franchise, called Call of Duty: Ghost, will launch later this year on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and “next generation platforms.” The latest Call of Duty game is being developed by Infinity Ward, the studio behind the original Call of Duty and the critically acclaimed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series. Activision’s first-person shooter has consistently shattered game sale records year after year and its latest installment is expected to continue this trend. Call of Duty: Ghost is scheduled to be released on November 5th. Starting today, fans can pre-order the game at retail stores. Activision’s press release follows below. More →
Microsoft’s gaming console has remained the best-selling system in the United States for the 27th consecutive month, according to new data from NPD Group. The Xbox 360 sold 261,000 units in the U.S. in March, beating out Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii U. As a whole, physical sales were down 10% year-over-year from $1.1 billion in March 2012 to $992.5 million in March 2013. Software sales remained almost flat at $554.8 million, only inching down just 1% from a year ago. The steepest decline came from hardware sales, which dropped a whopping 32% to $221.6 million. Portable consoles are said to have experienced a “stronger decline” than traditional ones, however sales of the Nintendo 3DS grew an estimated 9% year-over-year. Microsoft is expected to introduce an update to the Xbox, possibly called the Xbox 720 this spring.
The next generation of mobile graphics will be able to deliver better performance than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, according to NVIDIA’s (NVDA) SVP of content and technology Tony Tamasi. Speaking to Bit-tech, the executive noted that current gaming systems are “barely more powerful” than mobile devices and he believes that upcoming smartphones and tablets powered by NVIDIA chipsets will finally begin to outperform traditional gaming consoles. More →
There are dozens of devices that can stream Netflix (NFLX), but only one can machine be crowned the king of the living room. According to Netflix, that device is Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 console. Without revealing any specific figures, Netflix announced on its blog “in the U.S. and globally, PS3 is the largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing” and that “at times, PS3 even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall.” More →
Both Microsoft (MSFT) and Nintendo (NTDOY) had a big week of console sales during Black Friday’s week of shopping madness in the U.S. So how did Sony (SNE) do in comparison? Sony Computer Entertainment of America president and CEO Jack Tretton announced on Thursday that the company sold 525,000 PlayStation 3 consoles and 160,000 PS Vita handhelds during the Black Friday week. Overall PlayStation sales of hardware, software and accessories are up 9% over the same period last year. Tretton was also happy to reveal that subscriptions to its PlayStation Plus grew 259% since last year with customer satisfaction flying high at 95% after Sony added the Instant Game Collection to the service earlier this year. More →
Sony’s (SNE) six-year-old PlayStation 3 hasn’t run out of steam. The company announced on Friday that its PS3, first launched in 2006, finally hit 70 million units sold as of November 4th and is now neck and neck with Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360, which had the advantage of launching one year earlier. Packed with a Blu-ray drive and a strong library of games, movies and music, the PS3 has finally caught up to the Xbox 360 as it attempts to win the 10-year console cycle marathon. Nintendo’s (NTDOY) massively popular Wii still eclipses both consoles with 97 million cumulative units sold, according to VGChartz. Sony also revealed that PlayStation Move motion controller has managed to shift over 15 million units since it launched in 2010. Sony’s press release follows below.
The Xbox 360 isn’t the only console getting a UI revamp. While Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 isn’t getting an OS update to its XMB interface, the completely redesigned PlayStation Store is now officially live in North America. The good news for PlayStation users is that finding and navigating between new PlayStation Store content on the new UI is a much easier affair now. New releases are prominently displayed with prices and are no longer hidden under layers and layers of icons. The new Store is also much cleaner looking, faster to load and its search is more intelligent. Sony’s video walkthrough of for the redesigned PlayStation Store follows below.