Sony responds to congressional inquiry over ‘highly sophisticated’ cyberattack

By on May 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM.

Sony responds to congressional inquiry over ‘highly sophisticated’ cyberattack

Sony on Wednesday responded to a congressional inquiry regarding major cyberattacks against its Qriocity, PlayStation Network, and Sony Online Entertainment businesses that leaked loads of personal information, including credit card numbers, to hackers. The hackers were able to breach Sony’s security while another group, dubbed “Anonymous” mobbed its servers with denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. “Whether those who participated in the denial of services attacks were conspirators or whether they were simply duped into providing cover for a very clever thief, we may never know,” Sony said in its letter to Congress, noting that it still has no idea who hacked its systems. A total of 101 million accounts across Sony’s multiple networks were compromised as Sony became the “victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyberattack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes,” the company said. According to The Wall Street Journal, 12.3 million credit card numbers were stolen, 5.6 million of which belonged to users in the United States. So far Sony has not confirmed that the credit card numbers have been used illegally. The firm hopes to get its gaming networks back online as soon as possible. More →

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Sony announces two tablets launching this fall

By on April 26, 2011 at 8:26 AM.

Sony announces two tablets launching this fall

Sony on Tuesday finally unveiled its first two tablet devices, which have been rumored for several months. For the time being, the tablets are known as the “S1″ and “S2,” though these are codenames and not launch names. Sony’s S1 is a 9.4-inch tablet that features an “off-center of gravity design,” and the S2 sports a folding form factor with dual 5.5-inch displays. Both tablets will feature Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) along with custom Sony software that focuses on media and entertainment. Gaming will be a core element of Sony’s tablet strategy, as it will be with Sony Ericsson’s smartphone strategy, and the S1 and S2 will both feature PlayStation integration and PlayStation Network compatibility… if PSN is back up by then. Sony’s Qriocity music services will be featured as well, and eBooks will be readily available through Sony’s Reader Store. Hit the break for the full press release. More →

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Sony kills PSP Go

By on April 20, 2011 at 2:44 PM.

Sony kills PSP Go

According to AV Watch, Sony has announced that it’s ending sales of its PSP Go portable gaming console. Sony let the wraps off of the PSP Go in June 2009, and while it is both smaller and lighter than the PSP, that comes at the cost of a UMD gaming cartridge slot. The requirement to side-load games or purchase them over the air no doubt played a role in Sony’s poor hardware and software sales in Japan. While the Japanese firm will no longer produce the PSP Go, it will continue to offer device support for repairs and updates. Sony said it will focus its efforts on the PSP-3000 and its successor, currently codenamed “NGP.” More →

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Nintendo may drop Wii to $150 on May 15th

By on April 13, 2011 at 4:52 PM.

Nintendo may drop Wii to $150 on May 15th

Nintendo may drop the price of its Nintendo Wii game console from $200 to $150 on May 15th, Engadget is reporting.  The new price will likely help Nintendo compete better against Microsoft and its Xbox 360 4GB console —which currently retails for $199.99. According to recent figures from NPD Group, Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii consoles during the month of February, far behind Microsoft’s 535,000 Xbox 360 sales figure. Similarly, Nintendo reported weaker hardware sales in its Q3 earnings report, so the move could help it reignite consumer interest. More →

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Gaming and a girl gone wild: Sony Ericsson looks to the past to define the future

By on April 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Gaming and a girl gone wild: Sony Ericsson looks to the past to define the future

According to data released by The Nielson Company in March, Sony Ericsson’s share of the U.S. smartphone market is barely a blip on the radar. Apple and RIM combine to own more than half the market, HTC is coming up behind them with 19%, Motorola holds 11%, Samsung has a 7% share and Sony Ericsson sits somewhere in the “Other” category, grouped among an undefined number of nameless manufacturers that combine to share roughly 3% of the smartphone market in the U.S. But Sony Ericsson smartphones are preparing to invade American soil, and the company’s assault just started with a boob-stab.

Read on for our full feature including an exclusive interview with the creative team behind Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY ads. More →

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PlayStation games now available in Android Market

By on March 31, 2011 at 3:02 PM.

PlayStation games now available in Android Market

Ahead of the release of Sony Ericsson’s highly anticipated Xperia PLAY smartphone, Sony PlayStation games have begun appearing in Google’s Android Market. Five title’s became available in the Market on Thursday, including Syphon Filter, MediEvil and Cool Boarders 2. Currently available titles are listed for $6.38 each, and more are expected in the coming days and weeks. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY will be the first PlayStation Certified Android smartphone when it launches soon, and it will be capable of playing original PlayStation games downloaded through the Android Market. The Xperia PLAY will launch on Verizon Wireless’ network in the U.S. some time this spring. More →

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Verizon’s spring portfolio leaked: DROID Charge, Incredible 2, Galaxy S 2 in tow

By on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM.

Verizon’s spring portfolio leaked: DROID Charge, Incredible 2, Galaxy S 2 in tow

If you were planning to buy a smartphone from Verizon Wireless soon, you may want to hold off for one more month. It looks like there are a number of high-end smartphones that are set to launch this spring; at least, according to a tipster who leaked an internal document to Phandroid. The leak suggests that Verizon Wireless will release the Casio Commando, an Android powered smartphone, and the Samsung DROID Charge — capable of running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network — on April 7th. The next week, Verizon Wireless will purportedly launch the Sony Xperia PLAY and the Windows 7-powered HTC Trophy. On April 28th, the HTC DROID Incredible 2 may also make its debut. Verizon Wireless’ other 4G phones, including the LG Revolution, Motorola BIONIC, Motorola DROID X2, and Samsung Galaxy 2 (presumably the Galaxy S 2), and are reportedly scheduled to launch in May. Again, this is all speculation, and given that the source’s Excel file looks a bit shoddy, we wouldn’t place too much stock in this… but the timing does make sense. More →

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Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia PLAY promos are… hilarious [video]

By on March 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM.

Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia PLAY promos are… hilarious [video]

Dear ad firm that put together Sony Ericsson’s latest round of Xperia PLAY promos: thank you. In its latest effort to garner some attention for its upcoming gaming Goliath, Sony Ericsson brought actress and comedian Kristen Schaal on board to go over some of the Xperia PLAY’s finer points. In the spots, Schaal uses the Xperia PLAY to shoot herself in the face, watch furry kittens, score a triple-kill, check herself out on YouTube and even… edit some spreadsheets. If you haven’t seen them all yet — and even if you have — hit the break to watch five different promo videos. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. More →

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Xperia Play launches on April 1st in Spain; still no word on U.S. launch

By on March 14, 2011 at 6:29 PM.

Xperia Play launches on April 1st in Spain; still no word on U.S. launch

While mobile gaming fans around the world wait with baited breath for an official announcement, anxious Xperia Play hopefuls in Spain finally got the news they have been waiting for on Monday. Sony Ericsson Spain has announced availability of the highly anticipated Sony Ericsson Xperia Play beginning April 1st in the Spanish market. The gaming monster will retail for a hefty €649 (just over $900) off contract, but pricing can vary greatly between markets so those in the U.S. awaiting the Xperia Play shouldn’t read too much into that astronomical figure. Hit the break for a translation of Sony Ericsson Spain’s press release. More →

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U.S. video game market jumps 3% in February

By on March 12, 2011 at 7:13 AM.

U.S. video game market jumps 3% in February

The U.S. retail video games market grew 3% in February, up from the same time period last year, to $1.36 billion, according to new figures from NPD Group. Video game hardware sales were up 10%, but software revenue fell 5% during the month. Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox 360, which Microsoft recently said passed 10 million unit sales, helped drive the 22% jump in sales of video game accessories. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console rocked the top sales spot in the console market, with 535,000 consoles sold in February. Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii units, and Sony has not yet disclosed sales figures for the PlayStation 3. More →

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PlayStation games coming to Tegra-based, Android devices

By on March 11, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

PlayStation games coming to Tegra-based, Android devices

According to information posted in NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone Android application, Sony PlayStation games will be making their way onto Tegra-based, Android devices in the not-to-distant future. “Sony Computer Entertainment is bringing its PlayStation games to NVIDIA Tegra-equipped phones and tablet devices later this year,” proclaims a post within the application. The electronic company will deliver “PlayStation 3-quality games” via its PlayStation Suite — a cross-platform framework first revealed back in January. The Japanese electronics company has started a certification program that will assure consumers and hardware manufacturers that their devices will be able to deliver the proper PlayStation experience. Sony will also begin populating the PlayStation Suite with game titles within “this calendar year.” More →

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Sony readying dual-display Android tablet, sliding Windows 7 VAIO tablet for Q4

By on February 21, 2011 at 9:03 PM.

Sony readying dual-display Android tablet, sliding Windows 7 VAIO tablet for Q4

An unconfirmed report on Monday suggests that Sony is working on two unannounced tablets slated for release later this year. Struggling electronics giant Sony has been noticeably absent from the tablet tsunami coming our way this year, but it looks like the company has plans to change that in time for the holidays. Sony is already rumored to be working on a PlayStation certified S1 tablet, and now two new slates are supposedly in the works as well. The first, codenamed S2, is set to be a clam shell Android device with dual 5.5-inch displays, a Tegra 2 processor, Wi-Fi, embedded 3G and a modified version of Google’s Honeycomb OS designed to take advantage of two screens. The other rumored tablet is said to be VAIO-branded. It will allegedly run Windows 7 and feature a 9.4-inch display, an Intel Atom processor and a sliding QWERTY keyboard. Sony is said to be targeting a $699 price point with the S2, and the Windows 7-powered VAIO tablet will cost $799 or more. Both devices are rumored to be scheduled for launch ahead of the 2011 holiday season. More →

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NPD: Video game sales slide 5% in January, hardware down 8%

By on February 18, 2011 at 9:24 PM.

NPD: Video game sales slide 5% in January, hardware down 8%

Industry watcher NPD Group says sales of video game software in the U.S. declined by 5% year-over-year in January 2011, totaling $576 million. Console sales were down 8% to $324 million. On the back of continued strong sales of the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move motion-based controllers, sales of video games accessories increased 6% year-over-year to $235 million. The only console to see growth in January was Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which sold 381,000 units — a 14.1% increase year-over-year. NPD ranked January’s software title sales as follows:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision Blizzard) – Xbox 360, PS3, Wi, DS, PC
  2. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft) – Wii
  3. Dead Space 2 (Electronic Arts) – Xbox 360, PS3, PC
  4. Little Big Planet 2 (Sony) – PS3
  5. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Majesco) – Wii, Xbox 360, PS3
  6. NBA 2K11 (Take-Two Interactive) – Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, PC
  7. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft) – Xbox 360, PS3
  8. Dance Central (MTV Games) – Xbox 360
  9. Michael Jackson The Experience (Ubisoft) – Wii, DS, PSP
  10. DC Universe Online: The Next Legend Is You (Sony) – PS3, PC

Overall, the U.S. gaming industry took in $1.14 billion excluding PC sales — a 4% slide versus the same month in 2010.

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