PlayStation is now Sony's top priority

Dec 09, 2014 - 12:03 PM - by garyopa
Sony's an enormous multinational conglomerate.

Sony's ranked 105 on the Fortune Global 500 (for 2014), has its hands in everything from chemical manufacturing to financial services to Hollywood films, and employs over 140,000 people.

Sounds great, Sony has over 140,000 people and is involved in tons of different markets, but really deep-down it is not as good as it sounds, because Sony is leaning heavly now on its PlayStation brand to pull the whole company thru the rough spots, and there is only 8,000 employees working in that section, and the PS4 sales and other PlsyStation brands are basically holding up the rest of Sony Corp.

In short, Sony's leaning on its PlayStation arm to buoy the whole company's financials for the next several years. No pressure!

What does that feel like from inside Sony HQ in Japan? I asked SCE Worldwide Studios head (and video game character) Shuhei "Shu" Yoshida this past weekend at the PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas.

"Of course there's pressure," Yoshida said. That's -- of course -- expected. What's not so expected is Yoshida's depiction of the last 20 years of PlayStation's life inside the behemoth that is Sony Corp. "It's great that these days when we talk to Sony HQ people, they treat us like one of their key businesses," he said. Considering the popularity of the PlayStation brand worldwide, you might think the relationship between Sony's main leadership and its subsidiary, Sony Computer Entertainment (PlayStation), would have always been so chummy. While PlayStation 4 is a recent hit for SCE, the three previous PlayStation consoles and two handhelds were no slouches. The PlayStation 2 remains one of the most popular consoles of all time, as well as one of the highest selling. It seems nuts that Sony wasn't paying attention before.

"It was not the case!" Yoshida said. "We were doing things on our own, and Sony HQ people didn't quite understand what we were doing. So it was quite interesting -- a huge change."

The "huge change" he referenced is the aforementioned shift in company focus: from televisions and smartphones to the array of PlayStation devices. One example he cited was PlayStation Vue, the upcoming live television service from Sony that pushes to many different devices. "We are calling it PlayStation Vue. Not Music Unlimited, or Sony something. It's PlayStation-branded, even though the service is going to multiple devices."

The tone of internal conversation is completely different now, Yoshida told me. He specifically called out the company's new chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida as leading the charge, along with former SCE president/current Sony CEO Kaz Hirai.

"It's quite a change of attitude, and the expectation is higher of course. But the understanding is better -- they ask lots of good questions. Especially the new CFO, [Kenichiro] Yoshida-san (the same family name). He's so great -- he asks straight forward questions and tries to understand what are the most important things of each business. He's making lots of changes along with Kaz [Hirai, Sony CEO]. Kaz and Yoshida-san are making lots of the changes that you're talking about. And that really helps us to be recognized as the key area to invest for the future."
I get that this sounds like fluff, but it's impossible to convey the genuine excitement Yoshida radiated while talking about his group at Sony finally getting real recognition after 20 years of work. Yoshida's been with SCE since 1998, and it's clear that he's proud of how far PlayStation's come. If nothing else, the change in tone internally is reflected in PlayStation's tone externally in the past year -- leading up to and following the launch of the PlayStation 4 -- and symbolized in the PlayStation Experience event.

It's why something crazy like Project Morpheus exists, the virtual reality headset headed for the PlayStation 4. Yoshida cited it as something the brass are "very, very, very supportive" about, despite it largely being a passion project with no guaranteed financial payoff. On top of that, such a project is being entrusted to a relatively small percent (5.6) of Sony Corp's worldwide staff. It's a risky move, but one that could pay off substantially in the long-term: a big bet on an emerging
... [Read More]
9 Replies | 749 Views

Sony cyber woes continue as hackers target PSN

Dec 08, 2014 - 8:19 PM - by garyopa
A hacker group calling itself Lizard Squad appeared to take responsibility for this PSN outage

Sony’s cybersecurity woes are continuing, with a suspected hacking attack leaving the company’s PlayStation store briefly inaccessible to users

Sony been having its fair share of problems recently, with a few weeks ago the big Sony Pictures attack that caused a ton of personal info to be released, along with nice handful of latest movies, but now it seems Lizard Squad has gotten bore taking down Xbox Live which they done a few times since Thanksgiving, and now have targeted PlayStation Network knocking it offline for a few hours.

Late on Sunday, PlayStation tweeted that it was working to address the issues that some users were experiencing. Early on Monday, it tweeted that "If you had difficulties signing into PlayStation Network, give it a try now."

Sony Computer Entertainment said that the problem lasted two hours but has been fixed globally. It said the cause is under investigation, but there is no sign of any material being stolen.

A hacker group calling itself Lizard Squad appeared to take responsibility for the attack on its Twitter account, tweeting "PSN Login #offline."

The attack comes hot on the heels of the latest twist in the Sony Pictures hacking saga. Last week it emerged that hackers claiming to represent the shadowy Guardians of Peace (GOP) group had threatened studio employees. The threatening emails followed a destructive GOP attack against Sony Pictures on Nov. 24.

North Korea, which was outraged by the Sony Pictures' depiction of Kim Jong-Un in its forthcoming movie "The Interview," was suspected of being behind the GOP hack. Pyongyang, however, has denied its involvement in the attack.

The assault against Sony Pictures continued on Monday. In a post on the website GitHub, GOP issued a warning to the studio and published links to a series of files.

"Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!" it said.

While there is no indication of a link between the Sony Pictures and PlayStation incidents, Roger Kay, president of Wayland, Mass.-based research firm Endpoint Technologies says that the initial hack may have opened the door to other hackers.

"Someone else could take advantage of the trove of information that was released [following the Sony Pictures hack]," he told "That could be used to attack Sony again."
Lizard Squad is bragging they will knock Xbox Live offline FOREVER come Christmas morning, but so far no similar statement for Sony's PSN, but last time PSN got hit hard, Sony was forced to leave it offline for a month to rebuild their servers, if this happens to both gaming next-gen consoles this Christmas, it is really going to cause alot of very upset gamers to be super mad over the holidays.

NEWS SOURCE: Sony cyber woes continue as hackers target PSN (via) FoxNews
3 Replies | 641 Views

PSX: Uncharted, Final Fantasy, and indies

Dec 06, 2014 - 6:54 PM - by garyopa
Summary of The PlayStation Experience Keynote

On Saturday, Sony opened its first-ever PlayStation Experience fan expo with world premiere footage of fan favorite game series like Uncharted and Final Fantasy and entirely new IP from Sony's Studios

After a months of building up hype for the PlayStation experience, the first ever fan expo with nothing but Sony PlayStation at it, it is over, and here is brief summary of some of highlights from the opening:

The expo launched with a show-of-force keynote presentation that reveled in its Sony-first status, complete with a proclamation that the PlayStation 4 was the "fastest-selling game console of all time" and a whopping 25 minutes of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End gameplay.

That demo was the longest fans had yet seen, and it included astounding visual effects such as dense foliage and startling haze effects (the latter made all the more impressive by how tiny particles glistened in hero Nathan Drake's flashlight). The core gameplay was otherwise typical Uncharted stuff: climb rock walls, shoot angry guys, sneak through foliage, only far better looking and with tweaks like a grappling hook and melee-specific functions that echo the brutal combat of developer Naughty Dog's The Last of Us.

The crowd erupted when a Final Fantasy VII logo appeared. Square Enix exec Shinji Hashimoto played a lengthy reveal video of the game's original PlayStation form and a note indicating "coming to PlayStation 4 in Spring 2015," but based on the video and Hashimoto's comments in broken English, we can only it won't be remastered, but rather made from the original game's PC build. So, no, don't expect updates to the classic's dated CGI cut scenes.

"We've never shown how big No Man's Sky is before, and we'd like to show that today," the team from Hello Games declared before loading a spine-tingling, eight-minute gameplay demo of the procedurally generated space-flight sim. The game's pilot descended upon planet after planet, discovering rich worlds full of sweeping vistas and bizarre creatures at every turn. The footage only reaffirmed our hopes to get our hands on the game at some point next year.

The most impressive new IP came from longtime Sony developer and God of War co-creator David Jaffe, who thanked the crowd for "taking care of my family for 20 years" before pulling the wraps off of Drawn to Death, "a third-person multiplayer shooter that lives in a middle schooler's sketchbook." Weapons included a pet dragon with gasoline shoved into its mouth and a super-charged dodgeball, and the aesthetic was all notebook paper and dirty pen lines, so Jaffe appears to be following the middle-school conceit to great lengths. (Your teen overseer's hand will even drop into the action to help fighters in the game's default four-player death match battles.) No release date has yet been set, but the game will be playable in its pre-alpha state through the PSX weekend.

A rep from Sony's San Diego game studio introduced brand-new IP Kill Strain, coming to PlayStation systems in beta form "early next year," but it was one of the only games shown without any gameplay footage-assumedly because the early game is already live on the PlayStation Expo floor. This weekend, fans can test its "five vs. two vs. five" top-down combat on a show floor packed with over 800 playable kiosks.

Then the whole middle was a ton of indie announcements, and few tiny things for Vita, nothing really mind-blogging, and then coverage of some of stuff that got leaked earlier like the exclusive release of the Street Fighter V for the PS4, Sorry XB1 fans!

Read More]
2 Replies | 509 Views

Limited Edition PS4 (PS1) 20th sells out quickly

Dec 06, 2014 - 6:16 PM - by garyopa
If you didn't grab one of 12,300 units, tough-luck getting one now!

After the PlayStation Experience the PS4 20th anniversary went up for sale as pre-orders, all 12,300 sold out in 20 minutes, now they are on eBay for $15k and bids are still going up!

The PlayStation Experience was today, and afterwards the special Limited Edition Retro-Themed PS4 Console 20th Anniversary of the PS1 went up for sale online, and guess what happen?

Well since there is only 12,300 units available it sold-out quickly in about 20 minutes, well a bit longer but half the time the site was overloaded and crashing making it hard to complete your pre-order purchase.

And if you were lucky to get thru and grab one, then you got a steal of deal spending only $500, because now verified pre-orders are up on eBay getting bids in the 15,000 range and more.

So you got a choice keep your numbered limited edition Retro-Themed PS4 console and enjoy it, or turn around and list it on eBay and rake in enough christmas cash to many put a down-payment on a new car for the family, and go back to using your boring black PS4.

NEWS SOURCE: Sony Playstation 4 20th Anniversary Edition BRAND NEW/FACTORY SEALED! (via) eBay
2 Replies | 715 Views

Both PS4 and XB1 Had Record Black Friday Weeks

Dec 06, 2014 - 10:55 AM - by garyopa
Even the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U saw modest sales; all three console makers moved over 500,000 units

Early reports indicated that the heavily discounted Xbox One was the top winner of America's Black Friday week. But in a twist, VGChartz's U.S. console sales data paints a rather different picture!

Even tho just like the early reports, the Microsoft's Xbox One was the top-selling console in the USA for the Black Friday week, the full total breakdown of final sales figures from VgChartZ, shows that Sony's PlayStation 4 console was selling just as good and strong.

According to the research firm's data the week of Black Friday, which ended Nov. 29 saw...

  • 721,569 Xbox Ones
  • 554,350 PS4s

... sold in the U.S. Overall U.S. sales accounted for 94 and 95 percent of PS4 and Xbox One sales, respectively -- not surprising given all the Black Friday commotion.

VGChartz didn't break out U.S. sales numbers for other consoles, including Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s embattled Wii U. But it did offer up numbers on North America sales. Assuming that they following a similar trend to the Xbox One and PS4 sales, that allows us to extrapolate the overall consoles sales for each console maker:

Microsoft:: ~917,200 total consoles

  • 721,569 Xbox Ones
  • 195,700 Xbox 360s

Sony:::::: ~690,400 total consoles

  • 554,350 PS4s
  • 101,100 PS3s
  • 35,000 PS Vita handhelds

Nintendo:: ~581,800 total consoles

  • 231,000 Wii Us
  • 32,200 Wiis
  • 318,600 3DS handhelds

By the look of it all three of the consolemakers, even Nintendo had a pretty good week of sales.
And if you review our top news picture again, you will see clearly that the PlayStation 4 is still the best selling console world-wide, even with its bit weaker turn-out during the Black Friday week, it is just a bit under their earlier 2 to 1 in total sales when compared to the Xbox One.

NEWS SOURCE: Sony PS4, Microsoft Xbox One, BOTH Had Record Black Friday Weeks (via) DailyTech
3 Replies | 461 Views

PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition revealed

Dec 03, 2014 - 10:28 AM - by garyopa
Sporting the original PlayStation grey finish, and available in very limited quantities

Happy Birthday, PlayStation! It's been twenty years since the first Sony console, and to celebrate its two-decade run, SCE has decked its fourth-generation console in the same colors and design licks

If you a retro gamer and remember playing on games on original PlayStation, you just might want to try to grab one of these special PS1 versions of the PS4, but you better hurry pre-orders start on December 6th, and there is only 12300 of them being made, so it is really a super-limited edition.

Here is the official message posted by Yoshida (President of Sony WorldWide) making the 20th Anniversary announcement:

Today is a very special moment in our history. It's been 20 years since the launch of the original PlayStation, which released in Japan on 3rd December, 1994. It seems like only yesterday! I'm so glad that we can celebrate this moment together.

20 years is a long time! In 1994, many outsiders thought that Sony was slightly crazy to launch the original PlayStation into an incredibly competitive gaming market. Who could blame them? Sony was (and is!) famous for engineering great electronics, audio equipment and many other consumer devices. But game consoles?!

Sony Computer Entertainment, founded by my mentor Ken Kutaragi, was a project borne out of sincere passion and deep admiration for the craft of game development. The mid '90s were an exciting time for game developers, driven by the explosion of powerful but affordable 3D graphics rendering hardware and the birth of many young and adventurous development studios. The original PlayStation was meant to embody that sense of adventure and discovery, that sense that anything was possible.

We sincerely thank you for joining us on our exciting 20-year journey. You have made every bump and scrape we took along the way worthwhile. And there's so much more to come!

But I don't want to go on for too long, because we have a big piece of news to reveal: a very special 20th Anniversary Edition PS4!

Sporting the same ‘Original Grey' finish as the original PlayStation and packaged in a commemorative box, PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition will be priced at €499 and limited to 12,300 units worldwide, reflecting the launch date of the original PlayStation.

Given this very limited production run, the 20th Anniversary Edition will not be available via traditional retail channels in the SCEE region. Look out for more information soon on how you can get your hands on one of these highly collectable consoles.

Thanks for a great 20 years, and here's to 20 more.
But don't worry if you want to experience the 'retro-20th-feel' without trying to find one of these 12,300 units which I am sure will be sold for much more on eBay soon, you can download for free the PS1 Theme for your existing normal PS4 if you willing to update to the latest firmware, and it will even start-up sounding like the 20-year-old PlayStation One.

NEWS SOURCE #1: PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition revealed (via) Official Site
NEWS SOURCE #2: PlayStation celebrates its 20th birthday with a retro-themed PS4 (via) EnGadget
5 Replies | 510 Views

Sony Releases Mysterious Trailer for EMAGON

Dec 01, 2014 - 6:37 PM - by garyopa
More Details Coming December 5

A Spanish Playstation Blog has released a Teaser called EMAGON (Nogame spelled backwards), which claims something special is coming for the 20th Anniversary of PlayStation. What could it possibly be??

In a couple of days the PlayStation Brand will be 20 years old, and Sony is cooking up something special to release on Dec. 5th, and so far all we got to go on is this Spanish teaser called EMAGON, which just happens to be NOGAME spelled backwards, so what is it really?

In the video's description on YouTube, it reads: "Discover the best kept secret on PlayStation."

Over on the ES PS Blog, the accompanying text talks about how PlayStation turns 20 years old this year and it's a special occasion. They then call EMAGON's trailer "mysterious" and say we'll have to wait until December 5 before learning more.

In the video itself, here's what the voice-over is saying:

20 years. It's a lot of time. Look around you and see everything you've obtained. You've ruled in infinite places, you've conquered and freed. You've built and destroyed. You've been the light against the darkness. However, this time is different; this time, it's real. For the first time, your actions have real consequences. They need your help. I know you can hear them. The power to change things is in your hands.
Some people think it would be about the VR headset for the PS4, but then it sure is 'not the best kept secret' so what is EMAGON really?

NEWS SOURCE: Sony Releases Mysterious Trailer for EMAGON (via) PlaystationLifeStyle
4 Replies | 770 Views

ModChipCentral Presents Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

Nov 28, 2014 - 1:46 AM - by garyopa
Nothing better then getting your game on with MCC

If you been holding off grabbing some cool gaming modding gadgets for the holidays, then wait no longer as ModChipCentral has lots of great deals for you over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend!

ModChipCentral has been supporting gamers for over a decade to supply the best modding gadgets for your video gaming consoles, along with super-duper customer service and support for the products they sell, and as thank-you for all of our loyal readers, they offering up a number of amazing Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals to get your gaming family and friends happy over the holidays.

For more great deals, and to order your products today, check out MCC's website right now and get your gaming on this weekend!

1 Reply | 416 Views

Sony sells the PS4 with 'The PlayStation Doctor'

Nov 22, 2014 - 11:18 AM - by garyopa
Marketing Says Sex Sells, And Sony Thinks So Also - So Here Comes The Sexy Doctor To Get You Gaming!

Sony is always weird with their adverts, and this one is getting alot of heat for the way The PlayStation Doctor heats up the gaming action you can do thanks to the PlayStation 4 Remote Play with Vita

Sony is famous for stirring up the pot with their weird ads, and their latest one 'The PlayStation Doctor' is fits the bill, as the sexy doctor heats up the screen talking about how you can perform gaming anyplace now thanks to the fact the PS4 has Remote Play with the Vita.

So what you think is this a sure-fire way to sell the PS4/Vita bundle this Holiday Season as sex sells, so this might work for Sony also?

8 Replies | 852 Views

PS4 Advanced Warfare Blocks Share Play

Nov 06, 2014 - 10:56 AM - by garyopa
Latest Call of Duty censors all Share Play footage, effectively blocking out second users.

The PlayStation 4 edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare blocks Share Play functionality, GameSpot has confirm this news, plus others have reported even the previous CoD: Ghosts game is blocked

When Sony first announced the SharePlay feature alot of people thought it would be great even tho it is limited to 60 minutes, but seems Activision does not like it at all, and found a way to block it, even tho Sony has said it would work on all PS4 games.

Internal tests at GameSpot show that Activision has marked all gameplay footage as censored, which does not affect the owner's console, but ensures that gameplay cannot be streamed to another user.

Activision's block on Share Play functionality comes little more than a week after Sony claimed the feature would work on all games. It marks the latest setback for Sony, following weeks of major network and update problems.

Share Play allows two PS4 owners to play the same single copy of a game over the Internet. The owner is designated as the host, and can stream gameplay footage to a guest console. The host can relinquish control of the game to the guest too, effectively giving another user the chance to play without paying.

While Share Play is limited to sixty minutes per session, users can return to the mode immediately after the time ends. There is no cap on Share Play sessions either, meaning that a game can effectively be shared indefinitely.

When the concept was presented during a media briefing in late October, Sony was questioned by GameSpot about whether all third-party publishers were on board with the system.

At the time, Sony representatives told GameSpot that Share Play works across all PS4 games. When asked whether publishers could opt-out, the representatives suggested that there was no existing option to do this.

When asked to clarify on the matter further, the representatives offered an unequivocal indication that Share Play will work on all released PS4 games, providing they do not need an additional peripheral.

However, built into the system is a "censor" option for publishers, which was intended to circumvent spoilers being revealed to a guest console. Though it was thought this censor would be limited to certain scenes only, Activision appears to have extended it across an entire game.
So far no official comments from Sony or Activision on why this was done, and on word yet if other publishers will soon do the same.

NEWS SOURCE: PS4 Advanced Warfare Blocks Share Play (via) GameSpot

Our thanks to 'Gregory from PlaystationHax' for this news item!
14 Replies | 1,682 Views

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