We’re here at E3 2011 in Los Angeles and we just got our hands on Sony’s brand new PlayStation Vita — its next-generation portable gaming console — and we’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. Games were crystal clear in HD and the device was light, but large enough to feel like we were getting a great immersive gaming experience. It’s probably a bit too big for most pockets, but it will be perfect in a backpack. Also, you’ll probably note the fingerprints in some images — the device is definitely a grease magnet. The controls all felt snappy and they didn’t depart too much from the previous-generation PSP, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, the demo units we played with were locked in game-only mode, which meant we couldn’t back out to check out the other pre-installed applications, the default user interface, or the web browser, so we’ll definitely want to revisit that in the future. The Vita will land for $249.99 but there will also be a 3G version available from AT&T for $50 more. Sadly, we still don’t know when it will launch, but the good news is the gaming already feels top notch. Be sure to check out our hands-on photo gallery below!
Those of you who tuned in to our live coverage yesterday know all about the new details surrounding Sony’s next-generation handheld gaming console, but for those unfortunate souls who missed it, here are the highlights: Sony announced on Monday that its next PSP — known until now as the Sony Next-Generation Portable, or Sony NGP — has been dubbed “PlayStation Vita.” In terms of pricing, the PS Vita will start at $249 for a Wi-Fi model, and a 3G-enabled version will be available as well for $299. Unfortunate though it may be, we still don’t have a firm release date for the sleek new Vita, but it will definitely be out in time to soak up all those holiday bonuses. Hit the break for Sony’s full press release. More →
We’re here in Los Angeles at E3 and we’re ready to start bringing you the latest news from Sony. The company’s E3 keynote is about to get underway pretty soon, and we’re comfortably seated and ready. We’re expecting to hear news on Sony’s PlayStation 3 plans, perhaps some more info about the NGP, and more. Hit the break for all the live updates! More →
On Friday AmazonWireless announced a pretty stunning mobile phone sale. It’s now offering the HTC ThunderBolt and Motorola DROID X 2 for $99.99, the Samsung DROID Charge and LG Revolution for $149.99, the HTC Incredible 2 and HTC Trophy for $49.99, and the PlayStation Certified Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY for just a penny. The sale ends on June 8th, so if you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber looking to save some money for summer barbeques, here’s your shot. More →
A small group of hackers calling themselves LulzSec on Thursday claimed to have breached a Sony website and gained access to personal information belonging to over 1 million Sony customers. The group posted a statement claiming it did not have the resources to download the massive database tied to SonyPictures.com, but it provided samples of the data accessed in order to prove the breach was real. The Associated Press contacted several of the purported victims using phone numbers posted by LulzSec, and it was able to confirm with multiple victims that the data, which included account passwords, was authentic and accurate. Sony has not yet confirmed the breach, though a company spokesperson did say Sony is currently investigating the claims. This new breach is the latest in a string of hacks on various Sony networks that have compromised personal data belonging to over 100 million Sony customers. More →
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY is the company’s first smartphone focused on bringing serious gaming and a powerful handset to the masses. The slide-out PlayStation-style game controller is innovative and it enables you to interact with games on your smartphone in ways that just aren’t possible on a touchscreen-only device. With that said, there are some obstacles in the way — PlayStation Suite offers limited games, and there are some pretty big bugs even on the stock Android handset. Do the positives outweigh the negatives, though? Jump past the break to find out.
We’ve been kicking back and playing (literally) with the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY for the past few days, and while we put our full review together, we figured we’d share some quick impressions of the handset that will make its way to Verizon Wireless tomorrow. For starters, Verizon’s Xperia PLAY runs stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread as opposed to the customized user interface that the international version ships with. Trust us, that’s a good thing. In terms of feel, the Xperia PLAY feels good in the hand, though it’s BMI is probably creeping up into the overweight category as the the phone is a bit heavy and is much thicker than most other Android handsets on the market. At the same time, it also feels slightly hollow, however. There’s obviously a reason for the added weight, and it’s because of the great hardware game controller built into the slide-out portion of the phone. And we have to say, the controls feel and work great — we’ve had a blast playing emulator games with a real gaming pad. Our only real initial complaints are the fact that the Xperia PLAY software launches every time you slide the device open, which seems like a nifty shortcut but we found it to be a bit annoying, and the lack of a functioning ambient light sensor. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY seems like a great choice for any serious gamer who doesn’t want to carry around more then one device at a time, but is it the best smartphone for gaming in the world? You’ll have to wait until our review to find out. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on photos below, alright?
As we prepare to finally get our first taste of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY here in the U.S., we can’t help but think back and remember Sony Ericsson’s hilarious Web-only spots starring Kristen Schaal. We laughed, we cried, and we even readdressed them in a feature covering gaming as a differentiating factor for Sony Ericsson moving forward. It has been a couple of months since the spots first ran but they’re still racking up hits on YouTube, and we’re happy to report that BGR has managed to obtain a blooper reel containing outtakes from the filming of these promo spots. As funny as Schaal was in the videos, we’re sure there are hours of hilarious outtakes hidden away in a studio somewhere. While we do our best to hunt down all the footage, hit the break for a quick compilation of outtakes from the Schaal promos. More →
Sony’s ongoing battle with cyberattacks has already left the personal data of over 100 million customers exposed, and now the company has fallen victim to yet another attack. Details are slim for the time being, but Reuters cites a report from Jiji news service in stating that roughly 8,500 people across three countries have been affected by this latest breach. Their personal information has been leaked as a result of an attack on Sony’s Greek website on Tuesday, though it is unclear exactly what data the hackers gained access to. Sony has not yet confirmed the attacks, but its Greek website, sony.gr, was back online at the time of this writing. More →
Sony Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato announced to the press on Monday that the company expects to post an annual loss of $3.2 billion for its fiscal year ending in March 2011 — the second largest loss in company history. The news comes as yet another blow for the Japanese consumer electronics giant, whose online networks have been the target of a series of cyberattacks that impacted more than 100 million customers. Sony had previously expected to post a profit this year, however the company had to write off $4.4 billion for a tax credit from a previous quarter. A series of earthquakes that rocked Japan earlier this year had a negative impact on the company as well, slowing production and destroying factories. The affect of the quakes carried over to the company’s first quarter, Kato told the press, but Sony is still optimistic about 2011/2012. For the fiscal year ending in March 2012, Sony expects to post an operating profit of 200 billion yen, or $2.45 billion at today’s exchange rate. More →
According to a report by CVG, Android Market downloads of games specifically designed to run on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY handset have been extremely low. As evidence in its case, the report hones in on five Play titles that all have under 1,000 total Market downloads: Cool Boarders 2, 100–500; Destruction Derby, 500–1,000; Jumping Flash, 50–100; MediEvil, 100–500; and Syphon Filter, 100–500. Despite this, the handset’s creator is undeterred. “There’s no concerns, it’s a revolutionary device, it’s shaking up the market, we’re very pleased with it,” said Dominic Heil-Dwyer, head of market development at Sony Ericsson. “In terms of getting the PlayStation Certified program out, generally, we’re very happy. I think we’ll make a full assessment of if it has achieved our expectations fully, further down the line, so we’re very happy.” Launched in early April, the device pairs classic gaming controls with the now familiar large-touchscreen smartphone form factor. The Xperia PLAY is scheduled to make its Stateside debut on Verizon Wireless in the coming months. More →
Consumer electronics tracker NPD Group on Thursday released its tallies for the U.S. gaming industry, revealing continued console sales growth and rebounding software sales. Last month, sales of video game software dipped to $735.4 million from $875.3 million in March 2010. While sales shrank sequentially, as they do in April in many industries, gaming software jumped 26% from $398.5 million in April 2010 to $503.2 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in April, having climbed 60% year-over-year to 297,000 units. Sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 grew 13% to 204,000 units and Nintendo sold 174,000 Wii consoles, a 37% decline compared to April 2010. Mortal Kombat 2011 was the best-selling software title in April, having sold over 1 million units including standard games and special editions. Portal 2, Lego Star Wars III, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters rounded out the top five titles. More →
In its response to a congressional inquiry over recent cyberattacks aimed at several of Sony’s online networks, the company on Wednesday claimed it possessed evidence of hacker activist group Anonymous’ involvement. Sony did state, however, that it could not be certain if Anonymous knowingly carried out Denial of Service attacks in order to facilitate the theft of customer data, or if the group was merely an unwitting pawn in a scheme carried out by more malicious attackers. Anonymous on Wednesday issued a press release denying any involvement with the theft of customer data, which included over 12.3 million credit card numbers. Anonymous does acknowledge that the breach took place while it was carrying out an attack on Sony’s servers, but says it did not not participate in any data theft. The group also claims it did not leave any files on Sony’s servers — Sony stated earlier that it discovered a file called “Anonymous” on its servers following the breaches that contained a portion of Anonymous’ slogan. Hit the break for the full press release. More →