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  1. Sony PlayStation 5 finally launches in India in February 2021, pre-order date announced Just yesterday, we talked about how Sony managed to neglect the entire market of India when it came to officially launching its newest gaming console, the Sony PlayStation 5 (or PS5, in short). The situation came after months of tight-lipped silence from Sony, with no information being provided for launch or for pre-orders. With the new year coming in, Sony is giving Indian fans a reason to cheer: the PlayStation 5 is finally launching in India. pic.twitter.com/3U2p5o21Em — PlayStation India (@PlayStationIN) January 1, 2021 The Sony PlayStation 5 will officially be launched in India on February 2, 2021. Pre-orders for the gaming console will begin from Noon, January 12, 2021. You will be able to pre-order the console (until stock lasts, as Sony mentions explicitly in its announcement) from Amazon, Flipkart, Croma, Reliance Digital, Games The Shop, Shop at Sony Center, Vijay Sales, and select other authorized retail partners. To recap, here are all the official prices: PlayStation 5: ₹49,990 PlayStation 5 Digital Edition: ₹39,990 DualSense Wireless Controller: ₹5,990 DualSense Charging Station: ₹2,590 HD Camera: ₹5,190 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset: ₹8,590 Media Remote: ₹2,590 Some notable games: Demon’s Soul: ₹4,999 Destruction Allstars: ₹4,999 Marvel Spiderman Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition: ₹4,999 Sackboy, a Big Adventure: ₹3,999 Marvel Spiderman: Miles Morales: ₹3,999 While this news is definitely the right way to start off the New Year for Indian fans, we can’t help but think of the practical stock situation. The next-gen consoles and gaming cards, including the PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3080, RTX 3090, and the AMD Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800XT, RX 6900 — have all faced stocking issues throughout the world, with immediate demand far exceeding short term supply. While the situation should definitely improve a few weeks down the line, especially since we are now past the holiday and gifting season, but you should still keep your expectations grounded. We hope Sony brings in enough stock of the PlayStation 5 to India, and customers have a smooth experience when the console becomes available. Source: Sony PlayStation 5 finally launches in India in February 2021, pre-order date announced
  2. Sony brings forward the Monster Hunter movie release date, again Originally scheduled to release on Christmas Day, you'll now to be able to get your monster fix on December 18 (Image credit: Sony Pictures) Sony is once again bringing forward the debut of its upcoming Monster Hunter movie. The latest update confirms that the action film - which had originally been expected to release on Christmas Day - will now have its global premiere on December 18, presumably to avoid clashing with other big movies like Wonder Woman 1984, and the new Pixar film, Soul (thanks, GamesRadar+). The movie is expected to release in the UK on January 29, 2021. What's the Monster Hunter movie about? ICYMI, the movie based upon Capcom's record-breaking Monster Hunter franchise was first considered way back in 2012, and was formally announced in 2018. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Tip "T. I." Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, and Ron Perlman – having been written, produced, and directed by long-time Capcom collaborator, Paul W. S. Anderson. Jovovich plays US Army Ranger Captain Artemis, the leader of an elite military force which falls through a portal into a world populated by giant monsters. There, they meet a hunter (Jaa) who helps them survive in the world and fight against the monsters as they fight to get home. The film had already been released in China, but a racist joke deemed offensive to Chinese viewers saw the film promptly pulled again. Capcom and Sony apologised, but fans made their unhappiness known by review-bombing the latest game, Monster Hunter World, on Steam. Sony brings forward the Monster Hunter movie release date, again
  3. I have a Sony vaio VPCEB24EN notebook which is about 3 years old. I recently had a thermal issue with it and was unable to boot. Turned out that's the bug of the thermal paste which was expired. I ordered a new one and applied it removing the previous one clean. I have cleaned the vents and fan. After the application of new paste, now I'm able to boot my laptop but the thermal condition wasn't improving. After 15 mins from booting temperature reaches 55-600C doing usual tasks like opening and closing of windows, viewing images listening to music etc. During this, the CPU uses is just 0-5%. Now if you play some video, the CPU goes about 5-10% and the heat rises to 60-650C. Now you connect to the internet, the CPU uses remains about 0-10% (with browser running) heat goes upto 70-750C. So there is nothing that could be done physically anymore. The doubt goes to the logical part now. I mean, the drivers and utilities from sony. My model isn't supported at sony for windows 8 upgrade so there is no official support for it. I saw there that the windows 8 supported upgrades are provided with new drivers and utilities that are specially designed for windows 8 including the BIOS upgrade. I can not use them as they are not for my model, specially the BIOS update which is more crucial for windows 8. So what do you guys suggest now? Is there any way left?
  4. Sony creates colossal 16K screen in Japan Image copyrightSONY Image captionSony describes the giant 16K display as acting like a "window to the world" The biggest 16K screen of its kind will shortly go on show in Japan. Sony's display contains 16 times as many pixels as a 4K television and 64 times as many as a regular 1080p high definition TV, meaning it can show images in far more detail than normal. This will let viewers stand close to the unit - which is longer than a bus - without its image looking blurred. One expert said it would likely take decades for 16K tech to filter down to consumer products. The 63ft by 17ft (19.2m by 5.4m) screen is currently being installed at a new research centre that has been built for the Japanese cosmetics group Shiseido in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo. It is so large it will stretch between the first and second floors. The development was announced by Sony at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, which is currently being held in Las Vegas. "We're moving slowly towards 8K TVs at the end of the decade and who knows how long it will take to get beyond that, so 16K is likely to be limited to the corporate world for the time being," commented David Mercer from the consultancy Strategy Analytics. "But there's no doubt about it. These displays are incredibly impressive in person - even 8K on a big display is almost mesmerising. "When you get to this resolution it delivers almost a quasi-virtual reality experience as your eyes perceive there to be depth to the content." Sony had previously designed a separate 16K display that went on show at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in 2014, but that looked like it was made up of dozens of smaller screens rather than presenting a single seamless picture. Image copyrightSONY Image captionSony built an ultra-wide 16K display for Haneda Airport five years ago The new "super-size" installation has in fact been created out of several modular panels, but because they do not have bezels they can be fitted together without any visible gaps to create the impression of being a single screen. Sony calls the technology "Crystal LED", which is its brand name for micro-LED display tech. Samsung is also experimenting with the format. The innovation does not require a backlight, but goes much brighter than OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens while still delivering similar deep blacks. At present, however, the high manufacturing costs involved make it too expensive for widespread use. For now, Sony is pitching a range of smaller, lower-resolution Crystal LED displays for use in office lobbies, car showrooms, cinemas and theme parks. Since little 16K footage exists elsewhere, the firm has produced its own film for Shiseido showing life-size animal wildlife. It has not disclosed the method involved, but has previously achieved what is known as "quad ultra-high definition" footage by using a method called demosaicing. This involves applying an algorithm to 8K footage to deduce what the additional pixels should look like, similar to the way 4K TVs sometimes up-sample 1080p footage. Source
  5. TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Sony Corp (6758.T) surprised the market by reporting on Tuesday a record first-quarter operating profit despite the slowing gaming business, as strong demand for multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones boosted sales of image sensors. Sony is benefitting from sales of more powerful smartphones at customers including Huawei Technologies, offsetting gaming weakness as its almost six-year old PlayStation 4 console nears the end of its life and the cost to develop a next-generation console rises. “Our image sensor sales have been growing independently of the smartphone market growth” thanks to smartphone makers’ adoption of multiple-lens cameras and large-size image sensors, Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki told an earnings briefing. “Our production facilities have been operating at full capacity.” The electronics firm posted an operating profit of 230.93 billion yen ($2.1 billion) for the April-June quarter, up 18.4% from a year earlier and overshooting a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from eight analysts compiled by Refinitiv. The company, which has had two straight years of record profits, maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 810 billion yen. The imaging and sensing business, which includes image sensors, posted a profit of 49.5 billion yen, up from 29.1 billion yen a year earlier, comfortably offsetting a 9.6 billion drop in profit at the gaming business, its biggest profit earner. But some analysts say Sony is likely to be susceptible to the situation at Huawei, a major image senor client which Washington placed on a blacklist in mid-May, even though the Chinese company said smartphone shipments rose 24% in the first half of the year. Jefferies estimates Huawei accounted for 15%-20% of Sony’s image sensor revenue for the previous year. “Concerns about trade-related issues remain for the second half (of the financial year),” Totoki said at the briefing, adding that Sony will closely monitor the situation during the July-September quarter to judge the impact on annual earnings. Daniel Loeb’s activist hedge fund Third Point LLC has called on Sony to spin off the imaging and sensing business and position itself as an entertainment company. Totoki said the company is always open to proposals from shareholders, but also reiterated that the image sensor business was one of the pillars in the company’s growth strategy. He added that the annual profit forecasts have not factored in a potential fourth tranche of tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods that Washington has held off launching, a measure that would see almost all Chinese imports to the United States impacted by tariffs. The fourth tranche, if implemented, would affect its gaming consoles, cameras, audio devices and projects, he said. Sony shares closed almost flat on Tuesday before the results were released, while the broader market .N225 climbed 0.4%. The stock hit 11-year highs in September but has been battered this year by worries that profit at the gaming business has peaked. Source
  6. Fierce 5G competition and poor sales see company retreat from once booming sector TOKYO -- Sony is cutting up to half its smartphone workforce as sales shrink in the face of stiff global competition. The job cuts come as the global smartphone industry suffers one of the severest downturns of recent years. Worldwide shipments are expected to decline for the third straight year in 2019 to about 1.3 billion units, according to U.S. research company IDC. Sony's share of the smartphone market has fallen sharply in recent years -- from more than 3% in 2010, according to the research portal Statistica -- to less than 1% currently. It has struggled to compete against leaders Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, all of which are racing to develop new 5G devices. The decision to scale back its smartphone workforce, which could see up to 2,000 of the total 4,000 jobs cut by March 2020, is part of a move to reduce fixed costs in the business, and also includes procurement reform. Some of the Japanese employees affected by the decision will be transferred to other divisions, but the company will offer voluntary retirement in its Europe and China operations. Sony will limit smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other areas to focus on Europe and East Asia. The company's smartphone sales for fiscal 2018 are projected to come in at a dismal 6.5 million units, half the previous year's figure and just one-sixth that of five years ago. In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations, but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts. Sony's smartphone business generates annual revenue of about 500 billion yen, but is expected to post an operating loss for the third straight year through fiscal 2019. By halving operating expenses from fiscal 2017, the company hopes the business will turn a profit by fiscal 2020. Sony has restructured before, selling off its personal computer unit and paring costs at its TV business. Now, its smartphone business remains the only loss-making unit. Source
  7. Sony Xperia 5 II is a $950 flagship smartphone with a headphone jack It ships in the US on December 4. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Sony's next flagship smartphone, a followup to the Xperia 1 II released earlier this year, is the Xperia 5 II. Like the previous phone, the 5 II is a top-tier flagship with a Snapdragon 865 SoC, but it comes with a smaller screen and finally bumps the display up to a faster refresh rate. The Xperia 5 II is named similarly to Sony's camera line, so it's pronounced "Xperia five mark two." The display is the main difference from the Xperia 1 II: a 6.1-inch, 2520×1080 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The 1 II had a bigger, higher-res display, (a 6.5-inch, 3840×1644 display) but it was only 60Hz. The rest of the 5 II specs include a Snapdragon 865 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4000mAh battery. There's a side fingerprint reader, a microSD slot, a headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, and stereo speakers. There are three 12MP cameras on the back for the main, telephoto, and wide angle lenses, along with a ToF sensor. The front camera is 8MP. Sony's press release actually has a release date for the US: "In the US, the Xperia 5 II will be available unlocked in black and comes equipped with Android 10. The Xperia 5 II will be available for pre-order for about $950 on September 29, 2020 and ships to customers on December 4, 2020." I've never seen a company ballpark the price for its own product in an official press release, but the Xperia 5 II will cost "about $950." In Europe the phone will launch in October for €899. The Sony-est thing about this phone is that it will officially ship in the US, and it supports sub-6GHz 5G, but it doesn't have any 5G band compatibility in the US. 5G is apparently a Europe-only thing (bands n1, n3, n8, n28, n77, and n78, if you're wondering). 5G networks in the US aren't nearly ready for primetime yet, so this is not a huge deal breaker, it's just...very Sony. The Xperia 1 II and 5 II are both genuinely handsome-looking smartphones, and now that the 5 II finally has a 120Hz display, it actually feels like it's in the same league as something like a Galaxy Note 20. There's nothing Sony's latest smartphone is critically missing, but other than the headphone jack, there's not much that stands out, either. For Sony Mobile, though, that's an improvement. Sony's mobile division regularly sells under a million units per quarter, a number some of the bigger smartphone companies can beat in a day or two. After lots of cost-cutting, though, Sony Mobile projects it will see its first yearly profit in four years. Things are looking up. Sony Xperia 5 II is a $950 flagship smartphone with a headphone jack (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  8. The latest PlayStation 5 news for PS4 gamers (Image: SONY) Sony PlayStation remains the market leader with their PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles. However, things could change rapidly in the coming years, and it will require a lot of work for the company’s dominance to remain. Both Sony and Microsoft will be looking to release their next-gen gaming machines by 2021. Many believe that the PS5 release date will be set for 2020, setting up for another large battle with Microsoft’s Xbox Two. Meanwhile, Nintendo will ramp up the pressure with their highly successful Switch games console. Both Microsoft and Sony will need to provide features that will help their new console stand out. And a new report suggests that the PlayStation 5 could offer a massive games upgrade over the PS4. This will be done through the company’s PlayStation VR feature, which was first released on the PS4. Industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that Sony PlayStation may look to offer a serious upgrade in a new PSVR 2 product. This could include 4K support, as well as a lift in FPS currently offered in the base PlayStation VR headset. “Whether Sony does it [follows a multiple console strategy], I think they will probably have that 4K and 240 FPS device that'll support PSVR," he told Gamingbolt. "Whether they have a PlayStation Now device that is streaming only, I don't know. “Maybe there will be two each for PlayStation and Xbox, but I would be surprised if there were more than two, and I'm not sure whether Sony is committed to doing that." A brand new PSVR 2 headset is also expected to offer a built-in camera and upgraded controllers. A new PlayStation VR headset that will be compatible with the PS5 is expected to be announced alongside the new gaming machine. But so far, Sony has not confirmed any plans for either product ahead of a crunch 2019. One online source claims that the PSVR 2 will be a serious upgrade on the current model. This same person revealed PlayStation’s plans to not attend E3 2019 before it was announced, so what they have said has been given a lot more weight. This includes news on the PS5 and the PSVR 2, with the source confirming on Reddit: “Only thing I can tell right now for specs is Ryzen 8 core, Price is 500$ “PSVR 2, on the other hand, will have no breaker box this time around it’ll be inside the console.” That would be a huge change for PlayStation fans and would certainly help boost ownership of VR headsets. There are also reports that the new headset will come with upgraded controllers, while Sony may also be testing new glove interfaces. Specs are currently unknown for the PS5, but some are claiming that the PS4 successor will offer stable 4K at 60fps. There have also been some other surprising hints dropped by Sony this month that might prove interesting for fans. One comes from a conversation on Twitter and is in connection with the lack of first-party PlayStation announcements during The Game Awards. Sony PlayStation’s Shawn Layden was added into a comment regarding the lack of PS4 news and the hope that something is being primed for an announcement soon. Layden replied to this by simply adding: “See you in the new year.” PS4 fans are hoping for new PS5 news in 2019, however, until we learn more from the company itself, much will remain as PlayStation rumour. source
  9. Microsoft and Sony strike games streaming deal Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Microsoft and Sony have formed a partnership on video games streaming, despite being fierce competitors. It is expected Sony will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to host its upcoming PlayStation streaming service. Microsoft has been trialling a streaming offer of its own, under its Xbox brand. The firms said they would also work together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence applications. "For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas,” said Kenichio Yoshida, Sony’s chief executive. “I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.” Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said: "Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation.” The two companies have been bitter rivals in gaming since the launch of the first Xbox console in 2001. But in its pursuit to compete with Amazon Web Services, hosting PlayStation’s streaming service would be a major coup for Azure, the fastest growing part of Microsoft’s business. For Sony, if its PlayStation is to remain competitive, it too is likely to need to move heavily into streaming full, high-quality games over the internet. Industry analysts say Sony might have struggled to do it alone. "Everybody else has a head start on them,” said Rebekah Valentine, from GamesIndustry.biz. “There was a lot of discussion that Sony seemed to going the traditional route of making a normal console and continuing with what they had been doing in the past. This partnership with Microsoft shows they are fully exploring streaming technology.” 'Best choice' Sony already has a significant footing in games streaming - its PS Now service, which offers streaming access to the PlayStation back catalogue, accounts for 36% share of the $387m global games streaming market, said analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, from IHS Markit. However, with the streaming market expected to expand rapidly over the next five years, Sony’s comparative lack of expertise and infrastructure left it exposed. "It is clear that Microsoft is the best choice for Sony even with the competitive dynamic between Xbox and PlayStation,” Mr Harding-Rolls said. "Working together they have a better chance to head off competition from the likes of Google, which has gone on to dominate the last wave of technology disruption in the mobile space alongside Apple." While precise details of the partnership are still vague, the companies also said they would be working together on new semiconductors, image sensors and artificial intelligence. For Microsoft, that opens the door to getting its cloud technology integrated into more consumer products, such as cameras and televisions, rather than working mostly on business applications as it does today. Source
  10. Sony stuns CES with an electric show car, the Vision-S The concept shows off Sony's cameras, sensors, and entertainment. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. It seems like just yesterday I was complaining about CES turning into a car show. Someone must have heard me, because it appears the response from the tech sector was to say "hold my beer and watch this…" On Monday evening in Las Vegas, Sony used the last few minutes of its CES keynote to show off a concept electric vehicle called the Vision-S. Yes, Sony, maker of Walkmen and Playstations and TVs and so on. And yes, an EV concept car, in this case a sedan that, if you squint, looks a bit like a cross between a Porsche Taycan and a Lucid Air. We don't believe Sony has any plans to start challenging Tesla in the marketplace or to offer a driving experience beyond hooking a steering wheel up to a PS4. Instead, the Vision-S is a showcase for all the enabling technologies that Sony does have a hand in. There are sensors—33 of them in total, including high-resolution CMOS optical, solid state lidar, radar, and time-of-flight sensors, all of which are fused together to create an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) suite that Sony is calling a "Safety Cocoon" (pdf). The interior similarly showcases the entertainment technology side of Sony's business. There's nothing particularly ground-breaking, but it's all very on trend, including a massive dashboard-spanning display like the Byton M-Byte we looked at on Monday. And if the concept movie is to be believed, the Vision-S happily syncs with your Sony-built handheld and presumably the rest of your Sony-branded digital lifestyle ephemera. The concept also involved the input of more traditional automotive suppliers like Continental and Bosch, and we believe it uses a pair of 200kW (268hp) electric motors that can propel it to a top speed of 149mph (240km/h), hitting 62mph (100km/h) from a standstill in 4.8 seconds. Source: Sony stuns CES with an electric show car, the Vision-S (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  11. Sony secures short names for potential future PlayStations. Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed trademarks for “PS6,” PS7,” “PS8,” “PS9,” and “PS10” in Japan, likely as security for future PlayStation platforms. This sort of trademark security is a regular occurrence for Sony. Here is a history of “PS” trademarks in Japan: “PS” (trademarked in 2000, released in 1994) “PS2” (trademarked in 1999, released in 2000) “PS3” (trademarked in 2005, released in 2006) “PS4” (trademarked in 2006, released in 2013) “PS5” (trademarked in 2006, released in 2020) In related news, Bandai Namco trademarked “Supo-kyun!” in both logo and text forms, as well as “Men’s☆Party.” Sega Games trademarked “Meikodayo” and “Kaitodayo,” which are the full-body Nendoroid versions of Vocaloid characters Meiko and Kaito Thanks, @piercesword. Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment trademarks PS6, PS7, PS8, PS9, and PS10 in Japan (via Gematsu)
  12. Reports about Sony seeking a buyer for its Playstation Vue business circulated late last week, courtesy of The Information, indicating an uncertain future for Sony's TV streaming service. Today, the Japanese company announced that it will be shutting down PlayStation Vue on January 30 next year. John Kodera, Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, wrote in a blog post that Sony's decision is due to the slow pace of what he described as a "highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals". The Information reports that PlayStation continues to bleed cash and that Sony struggles to keep up with high programming costs. Kodera says movie and TV content will remain available to consumers through the PlayStation Store on PS4 and through its wide range of partner entertainment services. He adds: Moving forward, the company will shift its focus to its gaming business. PlayStation Vue was launched in 2015 as an over-the-top Internet television service with a bundle of different channels for $40 per month. In 2017, Sony dropped its cheaper Slim tier offering in favor of PlayStation Vue. Source: Sony will discontinue PlayStation Vue on January 30, 2020 (via Neowin)
  13. Virtual reality is either an important, transformative technology or a niche innovation that’s destined to be subsumed into “mixed reality” — no one’s quite sure yet. But two of the industry’s biggest players are now taking opposing positions on the subject, as executives from Microsoft and Sony have shared thoughts on whether users are actually interested in VR, and fans are weighing in with their own views. The flashpoint was a comment from Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer, who reportedly downplayed VR as an “isolating” experience, and said that “nobody’s asking for VR” — at least, from his customer base. “The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those,” he explained, though he also said “nobody’s selling millions and millions” of VR headsets. For these reasons, the company isn’t planning to support VR on its next Xbox console, codenamed Project Scarlett. Spencer’s take apparently didn’t sit well with Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida, who led the company’s worldwide studios through much of the growth of PlayStation VR — a headset that has, in fact, sold well over 4 million units. This morning, Yoshida tweeted that “we oftentimes work hard to make things that no customers are asking for,” a fairly gentle retort that recalls the supposed quote from car pioneer Henry Ford, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” On one hand, the companies’ respective positions are hardly a surprise at this point. Microsoft has placed its largest mixed reality bets on AR, releasing two Hololens headsets — solely for enterprise customers — while providing lukewarm support for Windows VR, and killing a nascent VR initiative for the Xbox One X. By contrast, Sony completely embraced VR for both its current- and next-generation PlayStation consoles. The company has promised that the existing PlayStation VR and its software will work on the new console, as well as teasing a next-generation VR headset for release after the PlayStation 5’s 2020 launch window. The easiest way to square Spencer’s comments with reality is a literal but properly in-context interpretation of his words. He wasn’t necessarily saying that no one wanted VR — just not Xbox customers. And although his claim about “millions and millions” of headsets is inaccurate for Sony, it’s true about Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform, which opened PCs to any company interested in creating a VR headset. So many headsets were released as a consequence that consumers didn’t gravitate to just one model, leading virtually every company to fall short of the multi-million mark. Judging by responses on social media, VR fans aren’t pleased with Spencer’s take. Many of the replies to Yoshida’s tweet are praising Sony for having taken risks with virtual reality, and saying that regardless of consumer interest, PSVR “sparked an interest” in VR that will pay off in the next generation. “I’m asking for it and millions of others are,” said @JRPyznar. “VR is going to storm the gates next gen and Sony already has a massive foundation.” Tweets directed at Spencer’s “nobody’s asking” claim express similar sentiments. “How can you look at the data and say that?” asks @Slashim. “Have you not seen Oculus rise over the last decade? It’s the next frontier.” And numerous others are undercutting the suggestion that Xbox fans don’t want VR. “While I’m still getting the Scarlett, this is really frustrating,” says @iN7trepid. “I’m definitely one of those ‘nobodies’ who wants VR on my Xbox.” But not everyone disagrees with the Xbox head’s views. Some Xbox fan tweets have written off VR as unappealing or impractically priced for the console market. Similarly, Redditors on r/Xboxone are generally lining up behind Spencer, though there are some dissenters — and one commenter who reminds us that “Reddit is not a good indication for the mass market.” Regardless, it appears that Sony will have the console VR market largely to itself in the upcoming generation — unless, of course, Nintendo opts to take its VR efforts beyond the experimental (and largely mediocre) Labo VR to a better level in the future. Thus far, the demand for VR hardware has depended considerably on compelling VR games, a point reinforced by the heightened interest in PC VR following the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx, so if Valve’s title gets people to buy VR headsets, perhaps that will be enough to change Microsoft’s mind. Source
  14. Shoo, Alexa! Sony says you can now use a web-based API to program its adorable Aibo robot dog to do new tricks — and you might even be able to make it your smart home’s best friend. With its new “aibo Developer Program,” Sony is inviting developers to make “services and applications” that can work with Aibo. I didn’t really understand what that meant until I saw this incredible concept video of what might be possible with the new APIs. Aibo helped monitor a microwave, turn on a robot vacuum, remind a child that she had left the fridge open, and... act as surveillance camera for the child’s mom? Who needs Alexa — a robot dog might be able to help you out around the house instead! To create simpler tasks, there’s “aibo Visual Programming,” which lets you use Scratch’s drag-and-drop block coding to teach Aibo what to do. Here’s an example of Aibo picking up a tissue, which I guess could come in handy when you have a cold and don’t want to clean up after yourself: Sony does note that you won’t be able to change Aibo’s “emotion, character or mood” through the API — all you can do is teach it new tricks. But Aibo seems pretty happy all the time anyway, so why would you want to change the mood of that very good doggo?? And if the first thing that came to your mind about coding new tricks for Aibo was, “I feel bad programming Aibo,” Sony addresses exactly that in an FAQ: The development tools are part of the new Version 2.50 software update to Aibo, which also lets you feed Aibo through the “My Aibo” app, train your Aibo to “be quiet,” or potty train your Aibo... somehow. Source: With new APIs, Sony’s robot dog could be the smart home assistant you’ve always wanted (via The Verge)
  15. Pick up classic PS4 games for $20. Sony has been making the best of its most popular games for the PlayStation 4 with its PlayStation Hits program which offers iconic titles for $20. When the program launched in June last year it included a range of older best-sellers like Uncharted 4, Bloodborne and Metal Gear Solid V. From October 4th, a raft of new games will be added to the lineup including Far Cry 4, Gran Turismo Sport, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and the award-winning God of War. You'll be able to pick up any of these titles, plus Rayman Legends, The Crew and Watch Dogs, for $19.99 each through the PlayStation Store. This will bring the total number of games in PlayStation Hits to nearly 50, and you can see the full lineup for the US on the PlayStation website. The program also runs in Canada, though there are a different selection of games available and the prices vary. In Europe, Sony is adding three titles including God of War to the Hits lineup which sells for €19.99 or £15.99. As these games are older titles they are often sold at a discount already. However, having their price reduced in the PS Store is likely to have a knock-on effect on retailers, so you can expect them to be cheaper in non-Sony stores as well. Source
  16. Competition is heating up. Sony's slashing prices for its game streaming service. Sony isn't playing games with its PlayStation Now streaming games service. Starting Tuesday, the monthly price for the service will be cut in half, to $9.99 per month. Sony says it's taking the dramatic step in order to keep in line with competition. The new price, which drops from the $19.99 per month it costs now, will be "comparable to other entertainment streaming services on the market," Sony said in a statement. While the move will likely be celebrated by subscribers, it offers yet another sign of how strongly companies are willing to compete to get our dollars. Streaming services have become all the rage, with all manner of companies offering TV, movies, music and, yes, even video games sent over the internet to your phone, laptop, tablet or console. The popularity and ease of streaming technology has pushed a new generation of consumers drops cable bills, leading to a land grab effort by the likes of Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Google and even CNET parent CBS. To attract ever more people, prices have dropped steadily. Disney Plus, for example, will cost $7.99 per month when it launches later this year, offering access to more than a dozen new original shows in addition to back catalog of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel films. Apple TV Plus, meanwhile, will charge $4.99 per month when it launches later this year, promising new shows from entertainment royalty like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Oprah Winfrey (not to mention, people who buy a new iPhone, iPad or Mac from the tech behemoth will get a year of Apple TV Plus for free). While there are many streaming video and music services to choose from, Sony's PlayStation Now, which launched in 2014, has been one of the few gaming services available for years. Part of that, industry executives say, is the higher cost of building and maintaining the ultra fast internet connections and powerful data centers capable of creating a game's intricate visuals, streaming them to a player, and then responding to button presses on a controller. Those costs helped to sink the early game streaming company OnLive, which shut down in 2015. A new band of streaming services is starting up though, driven by falling costs of computer components and faster internet connections across around the world. They include Microsoft's Xbox team, which will begin testing its Project xCloud streaming service in October, and game maker Electronic Arts, which announced its game streaming service last year and began publicly testing it last month. Neither has said how much their respective services will cost. "The power of instant access is magical, and it's already transformed the music and movie industries," Google's Phil Harrison said when he announced the tech giant's Stadia game streaming service in March. It's planned to launch in November, and will be free to use if you buy the game through Google. Not everyone's convinced though. Some people believe that eventually people will sour on having so many subscriptions. "Most Americans want two, three or four subscriptions -- they certainly don't want 40 of them, and they aren't going to pay for them," Strauss Zelnick, interim chairman of CBS and CEO of game maker Take-Two Interactive, which makes hit titles like Grand Theft Auto V and the western epic Red Dead Redemption 2, said in an interview this summer. To help PlayStation Now stand out, Sony's relying on a back-catalog of more than 800 games available on the service, including its hit 2013 post-apocalyptic survival game The Last of Us, Bethesda Softworks' popular adventure game Fallout 4, and the fighting game Mortal Kombat X which was published by Warner Bros. Sony said it'll be making some of its more popular games available on the service during the holidays, including the Indiana Jones-esque action game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, last year's epic God of War and Take-Two Interactive's hit Grand Theft Auto V. That pressure to stand out and become one of the few eventual survivors is likely what's driving Sony's decision to drop its price so dramatically. "Word of mouth is still important when convincing your peers and people you game with that this is a good solution," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. "if price is the first hurdle, then you don't even get a chance to show your technology is superior." Source
  17. Report: Sony can’t build a PS5 for less than $450 Sony may be waiting for Microsoft to blink first before it names a price tag. Enlarge Aurich Lawson Video game enthusiasts worldwide are looking forward to Sony’s PlayStation 5 launch this fall, but a new report says challenges in sourcing affordable parts may mean that the console comes with a higher price tag than players want to pay. Sony so far is unable to get the manufacturing cost for a PlayStation 5 below $450, Bloomberg reports, which may result in difficulty for the company. The consoles are slated to hit shelves within the next ten months, but apparently a few parts for it are not yet finalized. "We must keep PlayStation 5’s bill of materials under our control, and we need to make the correct number of units in the initial production," Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said in a recent earnings call. Sources tell Bloomberg the problem is basically good old-fashioned supply and demand. Sony isn't just competing with console rival Microsoft for parts; other device-makers are also in the mix. Prices for DRAM and NAND flash memory are reportedly running high amid high demand from businesses, such as Samsung, launching new generations of high-end flagship mobile phones. Sony is also reportedly spending more than usual on the console's cooling system in order to prevent overheating. The promised hardware, including an eight-core AMD Ryzen CPU built on the 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture and an AMD Radeon-based GPU with ray-tracing support, can probably use it. That tracks with what we know about Xbox Series X, which is reportedly built with nearly identical AMD architecture. Late last year, Microsoft revealed how huge its console will be, possibly indicative of its own complicated cooling design. We don't yet know what the final PS5 hardware looks like, but its V-shaped development kit inspired almost as much discussion about its own cooling requirements as it did jokes about the console's use as a pizza holder. A difference of a dollar here and a dollar there does indeed add up. Sony could theoretically decide it's worthwhile to sell the consoles at a loss and make up the cash elsewhere. Far more likely, though, is that whatever Sony has to pay in order to get a console manufactured, consumers will pay more than that to buy one. The current-generation PlayStation 4 reportedly cost $381 per unit to manufacture originally. At launch in 2013, units sold for about $20 more than that—a thin margin, to be sure, but a margin nonetheless. If Sony took a similar tactic this time around, the expected launch price for a PS5 would be around $470. We asked Sony Interactive Entertainment about the report but have not yet received a reply. Playing pricing chicken Sony, of course, is not the only player in the console gaming market. Whatever the PS5 costs will no doubt be informed by the price point Microsoft sets for the next iteration of the Xbox line. The Series X, like the PS4, is planned to be in stores for holiday 2020, which means someone will have to blink first. Industry-watchers expect Microsoft to present additional details, including pricing, for the Series X console (or consoles) at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Sony, however, recently confirmed that it will not be attending or presenting at E3. Without a known press conference on the calendar for months in advance, Sony has more flexibility to determine when and how it will announce a price point, as well as other details. Going second decidedly has its advantages. Holding fire certainly worked out well for Sony at the start of the previous (current) console generation; its announcement at E3 2013 that the PlayStation 4 would retail for $399 came a scant few hours after Microsoft announced a $499 price point for the Xbox One. The reveal was a mic drop moment for the ages, as these things go, and set the tone for the fall launch. (Sony pulled a similar move in generations past when it blew the Sega Saturn out of the water.) Of course, launch price isn't everything. A console generation in the 21st century seems to last about seven years, and various price drops and refreshed SKUs are now standard mid-cyle developments. Shortly before the PS4 and Xbox One launched, Ars took a look at historical pricing data and found price drops two to three years after launch to be common. The PS4 and Xbox One were no exception: the PS4 dropped to $349 in 2015, and the original Xbox One dropped to $249 in 2016 ahead of the launch of the smaller, cheaper Xbox One S that summer. From what we know of the Series X so far, its specs seem similar enough to Sony's that both consoles could just end up launching at the same price point. Microsoft may have another wrench to throw in Sony's plans, however. Reports indicate that Microsoft is also working on a lower-cost, digital-only gaming box to be sold alongside the Series X this fall. There are conflicting reports on precisely what kind of digital experience Microsoft has in mind. Some reports say the mid-range console, codenamed Lockhart, was scrapped in favor of working on a streaming-only device that would work more like a gaming Roku (or Google's still-challenged Stadia) and be priced in a similar, under-$100 range. Other reports, however, indicate that Lockhart is still on as a lower-powered disc-less console and that developers will be expected fully to support it alongside the Series X—similar to what Microsoft did with the Xbox One S. Either option, if they pan out, could fall into the sweet spot where Microsoft has something to sell at half or less of whatever the PS5 price ends up being. Source: Report: Sony can’t build a PS5 for less than $450 (Ars Technica)
  18. Sony announces PS5 event for June 4th It’s time for some PS5 games Sony is officially confirming its next PlayStation 5 event will be held on Thursday, June 4th. The event will begin at 4PM ET / 1PM PT, and Sony is promising “a look at the future of gaming on PlayStation 5.” It will run for “a bit more than an hour,” and feature “a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday,” according to Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware,” says Ryan. “This digital showcase will run for a bit more than an hour and, for the first time, we will all be together virtually experiencing the excitement together.” Recent reports suggested Sony would hold a PS5 event a day earlier on June 3rd, focusing mainly on games. Sony is not expected to reveal every detail of the PS5 console at this event, and further events are rumored to be planned for the coming weeks and months. “This is part of our series of PS5 updates and, rest assured, after next week’s showcase, we will still have much to share with you,” explains Ryan. Sony has so far unveiled PS5 specs, a logo, and a new wireless controller for its next-gen console. Sony has not yet shown off the PS5 console itself, and it’s not clear if that will change at the June 4th event. The PS5 will feature a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5GHz (variable frequency) and a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture hardware that promises 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz (also variable frequency). Sony’s PS5 controller. Image: Sony A significant part of Sony’s new PlayStation 5 is the proprietary SSD, and it provides 825GB of storage with 5.5GB/s of performance. Epic Games recently provided a stunning Unreal 5 tech demonstration running on the PS5, showing off the loading of cinematic 8K assets and dynamic lighting effects. Sony announces PS5 event for June 4th
  19. Sony reportedly boosts PS5 production by 50 percent Oculus also increasing orders for new headset Sony is ordering at least 50 percent more PlayStation 5 consoles than it had originally planned to ship this year, according to reports in the Japanese press. While the company was expecting to produce around six million consoles in 2020, Nikkei says that the figure is now at about nine million, while Bloomberg says it could reach 10 million. Both publications put the raised expectations down to increased demand for at-home entertainment in the age of the coronavirus. If Sony could sell anywhere near that total number of PS5 consoles through the end of the year, it would mark a major increase on its predecessor; the PS4 launched in November 2013 and had sold through 4.2 million units by the end of the following month. Facebook is also ramping up production of Oculus VR headsets, according to Nikkei, with a similar goal of pushing growth up to 2 million units in the second half of 2020 — this would reportedly be up 50 percent on its output for the whole of 2019. The company is said to be starting mass production for a new headset this month, though Nikkei doesn’t say whether it’s a standalone system like the Quest or a tethered headset like the Rift S. Gaming hardware has often been difficult to buy during the pandemic. Oculus has experienced severe supply constraints, with its Quest headset frequently selling out as soon as it’s restocked. Nintendo, meanwhile, has experienced difficulty meeting demand for the Switch and its home fitness game Ring Fit Adventure. With several major launches happening in the second half of the year, it’s no surprise that platform owners want to make sure there’s enough stock to go around. Sony reportedly boosts PS5 production by 50 percent
  20. First PS5 photos show just how big Sony’s next-gen console truly is The PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history Sony’s upcoming PS5 hardware has appeared at Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC), providing us with the first close up photos of the next-gen console. The NCC has published a variety of images (PDF), showing the standard PS5 laying horizontally, the included cables, and the removable base that holds the console in both vertical and horizontal positions. The photos also show just how big the PS5 truly is. We learned earlier this week that the PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history, even topping the Xbox One VCR-like shape and Sony’s own PS3. Sony released official dimensions during its PS5 event this week, but they don’t include the “largest projection” or the optional base measurements. Taiwan’s NCC Taiwan’s NCC Taiwan’s NCC PS5 laying horizontally. It’s clear from these photos that it’s going to be a challenge to fit a PS5 into entertainment centers, just as it will be with the Xbox Series X. Both consoles appear to be designed to primarily stand vertically, looking rather unwieldy on their sides. Unfortunately, the photos don’t offer a close look at exactly how you access the NVMe slot on the PS5. Sony is allowing PS5 owners to expand storage space, but we still don’t have full details on exactly how this will work. Sony has also teased that the PS5 hardware is customizable in ways that previous generations of PlayStation consoles weren’t, so it’s possible that at least one side panel of the PS5 is removable. Sony is launching the PS5 in the US on November 12th, priced at $499.99. A second disc-less PS5 Digital Edition will also be available for $399.99. Sony also revealed earlier this week that PS5 games will cost up to $69.99. Update, September 19th 9:45AM: The photos were published at Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC), not the FCC as originally stated. We regret the error. First PS5 photos show just how big Sony’s next-gen console truly is
  21. The new assortment is an added benefit to the existing PlayStation Plus subscription On Wednesday, Sony announced the full list of games included in the PlayStation Plus Collection, a group of games that will be available to PlayStation Plus subscribers via backward compatibility on PlayStation 5. Games will be available for PS5 owners starting Nov. 12. The PlayStation Plus Collection was announced in September, and fully detailed in a PlayStation Blog post today. It’s an added benefit for the existing PS Plus subscription, but not available on PlayStation 4. It comes in addition to monthly free games and online multiplayer already included. The benefit will roll out in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea when the console launches. Later, on Nov. 19, it will spread to the rest of the world. Here’s what’s included: Batman: Arkham Knight Battlefield 1 Bloodborne Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 — Zombies Chronicles Edition Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Days Gone Detroit: Become Human Fallout 4 Final Fantasy 15 Royal Edition God of War Infamous Second Son Monster Hunter: World Mortal Kombat X Persona 5 Ratchet and Clank Resident Evil 7 The Last Guardian The Last of Us Remastered Until Dawn Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End According to Sony, users should see performance improvements across these titles. They will also include the new Game Help system, which includes on-screen tips and guidance in completing the games. Source
  22. TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp is seeing "very considerable" demand for its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console via pre-orders, its gaming chief said, as the tech firm targets pole position in the race to tap the growth of gaming globally with the device's Nov. 12 launch. Sony pre-sold as many PS5 consoles in the first 12 hours in the United States as in the first 12 weeks for its predecessor PlayStation 4 device, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an interview. “The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been very, very considerable,” Ryan told Reuters. Sony sold more than 100 million PS4 units and aims to persuade its user base to upgrade to the new device to play titles like “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” with enhanced graphics, sound and feedback via a new controller. The PS5 launch comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has boosted gaming companies but also disrupted retail networks, games development and manufacturing supply chains around the world. “It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one,” said Ryan, adding the company is “working as hard as we ever can” to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season. Sony on Wednesday reported a jump in quarterly profit and the PS5 expected to be the first next-generation device not to push the gaming division to an annual loss in its launch year. Sony has built a network of in-house studios producing exclusive titles, including "Ghost of Tsushima" from Sucker Punch Productions, to fend off rivals including Microsoft's Xbox and new entrants - many of which have struggled. “AAA game development is an incredibly complicated and difficult thing to do,” Ryan said using an industry term for big budget games. Sony had “learned many lessons over many years” that fed into securing the PS5 launch lineup, he added. Sony plans to grow its studio capability organically but “where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A that might be possible,” Ryan said. Analysts question how far the expansion in gaming driven by stuck-at-home consumers will continue longer term. Ryan said it would be up to Sony to drive that engagement. “We’re definitely looking upwards and thinking that we can do better than we thought we could,” Ryan said. Industry insiders warn of the impact of the pandemic on the development of games in their earlier stages. “The initial concerns about the impact on the 2021, 2022 roster were really legitimate but are probably slightly assuaged now,” Ryan said. Sony’s shares have gained 47% from March lows. Its shares climbed 1.8% on Wednesday. Source
  23. A few days ago, Sony revealed that 99 percent of PS4 games will be compatible with the PS5 and that there are very few titles you can’t play on the upcoming console. KT Racing Now, the list of 10 just got shorter. NACON and KT Racing told Push Square that they’re developing a patch that would make TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 2 PS5-compatible. A NACON rep told the publication that the developers are working to make the motorbike racing game 100 percent functional on the new console, though it’s unclear if they’ll be able to roll out the update by the time the PS5 comes out on November 12th. Ride on the Edge 2 isn’t the only game in the original list that will receive a compatibility update, though: As GamesRadar+ noted, you’ll also be able to play high-speed shooter DWVR on the PS5. A developer for the game recently announced on Reddit that Mad Triangles is working on a patch and that they’re hoping to release it before the PS5 arrives. The companies’ announcement opens up the possibility that the other titles will also be playable on Sony’s next-gen console. While the short list could dwindle even further, there’s one game that will never get an update: Shadwen. Its developer told Push Square that the stealth game’s loading screen freezes up on the PS5, and since it uses an older engine, the company can’t work on on a patch anymore. Source
  24. (Bloomberg) -- Sales of Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp.’s new gaming consoles fell short of their predecessors during their first week in Japan, suggesting persistent supply bottlenecks will hamper the debut of two of this holiday season’s most hotly anticipated gadgets. Sony sold 118,085 PlayStation 5 consoles from its debut on Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, roughly a third of the PS4’s performance over launch weekend, Famitsu estimated. Microsoft tallied 20,534 units of its Xbox Series X and S during the six days from its start on Nov. 10, also shy of the 23,562 that the Xbox One managed during its first few days, the research house said. The estimates provided a first glimpse at sales of the new Xbox and PlayStation, two devices that should dominate wishlists this Christmas. Japan was among the first markets globally to get the consoles and is considered a key battleground between two companies vying to establish a lead in next-generation gaming and drive longer-term growth. Factory and logistical disruptions during the pandemic have hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep up. The outcome is likely more reflective of the available supply than demand for the consoles, as both companies saw their machines sell out on day one, said Serkan Toto, an industry consultant in Tokyo. Microsoft has called its new console duo the most successful Xbox debut ever, but that feat appears to have come at the cost of thinly spread supply. The Redmond, Washington-based company released its two consoles to 37 countries simultaneously, a big jump from the 13 markets for the preceding Xbox One generation. Sony is also grappling with inadequate supply as it tries to introduce its new consoles to 65 nations, doubling the 32 that the company covered with the PlayStation 4. Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki told investors in October that supply chain bottlenecks have hampered the tech giant’s efforts to meet demand and that constraints may persist until March next year. In Japan, the company was forced to implement a lottery system to manage PS5 pre-orders. Microsoft and Sony both say they’re working hard to beef up supply of their new machines. But retailers in Japan say it remains unclear when they will be able to reliably stock the in-demand products. PS5 units on resale marketplace Mercari have hit prices upwards of $1,000, from their usual $400 to $500. Not all users are in a rush to obtain the new consoles right away, as most new games are still playable on the departing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Still, Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said the manufacturers should pump up supply as soon as possible because a loss of initial momentum could damage lifetime sales. “The first two-week sales momentum is crucial in forming a consumer sentiment on a product, and that’s why it’s important to prepare enough quantity at launch,” he said. Source
  25. The next-gen PlayStation was Sony's "biggest console launch ever," but many gamers have been unable to get one. The PlayStation 5 has been out of stock at most retailers since Sony launched its next-gen console earlier this month, but the company on Wednesday promised that more inventory will be available before 2020 ends. Sony didn't offer any hard numbers, so we don't know what its "biggest console launch ever" means yet -- the PS2 and PS4 will likely remain its most successful consoles for the next few years -- nor do have a sense of how much inventory retailers will receive. You could only order a PS5 online due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Walmart's site crashed as people rushed to order it on the Nov. 12 launch day. Similarly, Microsoft warned last week that its next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, may be hard to get until next April. Source
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