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.
Two more months and Sony (SNE) would have made it through the entire year without any drama involving hackers trying to crack its console security or bring down its PlayStation Network. According to Eurogamer, the PlayStation 3’s security has been breached by a hacker group called “The Three Tuskateers.” The hackers reportedly discovered the console’s “LV0” firmware decryption keys and were forced to leak it out for free after another Chinese hacking crew called the “BlueDiskCFW” planned to profit off their work. In layman’s terms, the LV0 keys allow hackers to easily decrypt any PS3 firmware, meaning any patches Sony adds could easily be circumvented.
The latest number from NPD Group paint a troubling picture for the gaming industry. In the month of September overall sales within the industry — including accessories, discs and consoles — in the United States fell 24% from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $848.3 million, CNET reports. Sales of gaming hardware alone tumbled 39% year-over-year to $210.9 million, while software sales decreased 18% year-over-year from $609.7 million to $497.4 million and accessories fell by 11% to $139.9 million. More →
Sony’s (SNE) “super slim” PlayStation 3 is off to a good start despite the console’s price actually increasing. According the MCV, Sony saw a 138% increase in PlayStation 3 sales with the release of its smaller, lighter game console in the United Kingdom. What’s more, MCV says that the 500GB model also accounted for 37% of all PlayStation 3 sales last week, which is particularly impressive since the slimmer model was only released this past Friday. More →
Despite a solid launch, the PS Vita handheld has failed to become the hit that Sony (SNE) was expecting. Saddled with a $250 price tag and games that cost as much as $40 to $50, consumers have questioned what value a dedicated gaming portable has in a world where tablets offer quality games for $10 or less. In an interview with CVG, Sony’s VP and MD for PlayStation UK Fergal Gara said that “it’s not out of the question” that the company might sell the PS Vita and PlayStation 3 together in one bundle. In other words, two consoles in one box. Any takers? More →