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  1. Sony demoed a range of SSDs at Tokyo Game Show. This includes PCIe 5.0 based SSD of 1TB and 2TB. It also showed PCIe 4.0 SSD in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. SSD is the best upgrade one can make on their computer. Computer getting outdated? Install an SSD, make it the main drive and get instant speed boosts. For a long time, SATA based SSDs remained a standard. Now PCIe based NVMe drives are becoming one. These NVMe SSDs are add-in cards which one needs to install in their motherboard directly, provided their motherboard supports it. While a SATA SSD maxes out at 600 MB/s due to the limit of the SATA interface, the PCIe based NVMe SSDs reach the speeds in thousands of MB/s. So far, the SSD market has been dominated by the likes of WD, Seagate, Crucial, Kingston, Silicon Power and many others. However, the biggest name in the SSD market is Samsung. Looks like it’s known rival is going to join it in the SSD race too. As Sony is going to enter the consumer SSD market. Sony Demos SSD Sony Nextorage SSD TGS Showcase. Credit Hermitage Akihabara. A year ago, Sony announced PCIe based SSDs for it’s PlayStation 5 gaming consoles. These SSDs were named Nextorage. It seems Sony is going to use the same brand of SSD for consumer PCs too. Hermitage Akihabara reports that Sony has demoed a range of SSDs in the Nextorage brand in the Tokyo Game Show 2022. Notably, the models include PCIe 5.0 based SSD of 1TB and 2TB. It also includes PCIe 4.0 based SSDs in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. Flagship PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD Sony Nextorage PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD Specs. Credit: Hermitage Akihabara. Sony Nextorage PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD. Credit Hermitage Akihabara. Sony Nextorage PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD Showcase. Credit: Hermitage Akihabara. The first in the lineup is Sony Nextorage’s flagship PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD. It will come in two sizes, 1TB and 2TB. The form factor will be M.2 2280. While the 2TB model will have a massive read speeds of 10,000 MB/s and write speeds of 9,500 MB/s. The 1TB model will be slightly slower, with write speeds reaching 9,500 MB/s and read speeds reaching 8,500 MB/s, The above specs make these SSDs the fastest in the market. Far faster than Samsung’s latest PCIe 4.0 based offering, the Samsung PRO 990 NVMe SSD. Reports suggest that these drives could come with SLC based cache, just like the PS5 drives from Nextorage. Nextorage G Series PCIe 4.0 SSD Sony Nextorage G Series PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Specs. Credit: Hermitage Akihabara. Sony Nextorage G Series PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Closeup. Credit Hermitage Akihabara. The next series in the lineup is the PCIe 4.0 x4 based Nextorage G Series. It will come in three sizes, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. The 2TB and 4TB SSDs will have the read speeds of 7300 MB/s and write speeds of 6900 MB/s. The 1TB model will have same the read speeds of 7300 MB/s, but it will come with a slightly reduced write speeds of 6000 MB/s. Which is still massively fast. They will be made with 3D TLC NAND chips, which have become a standard now. The specs of the Nextorage G series seem to be very similar to the NEM-PA Series, which Sony offers for its PlayStation 5 console. Nextorage G SE Series PCIe 4.0 SSD Sony Nextorage G SE Series PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Specs. Credit: Hermitage Akihabara. Sony Nextorage G SE Series PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Closeup. Credit Hermitage Akihabara. The third series in the lineup is the PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4 based Nextorage G SE Series. They will come in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models. The 2TB model will have a read speed of 4,800 MB/s and the write speed of 4,100 MB/s. Whereas the 1TB model will have a read speed of 4,700 MB/s and the write speed of 2,800 MB/s. Which makes it similar to a top of the line PCIe 3.0 SSD. There’s no speed information currently available for the 500GB model. The G SE series seem to be cheaper than the above offerings and hence comes with lesser specs. They might well become mainstream SSDs. Thought we feel there could be some confusion in the consumers between the G series and the G SE series. Also, we aren’t quite sure why Sony has labeled the G SE series drive as 4TB, as the specs don’t mention a 4TB model. Outcome of Sony Entering Consumer SSD Market From decades, Sony has been known for its high quality products. In many fields of tech, Sony remains a leader without a competition in quality. With Sony entering the consumer SSD market, the competition will only get bigger. Samsung, its biggest challenger, as mentioned above, can be given a tough fight by Sony. We don’t know when will Sony release these SSDs. Whether they will come with new models of PlayStation 5 first and then come to PCs later. Or whether they will come to PCs first. Nor do we know anything about their pricing. Whatever it maybe, the consumers will enjoy more quality choices. Sony Enters Consumer SSD Market, Demos PCIe 5.0 SSD
  2. The update is in beta now, but its features will go wide later this year. Folders of a sort are finally hitting the PS5 system software later this year. Sony Native 1440p support is available in system settings, too. Sony You'll get a notification when a party member starts a game you can join. Sony A new option to request to share your screen has been added. Sony Sony has added a way to directly compare stereo and 3D Audio mode when using headphones. Sony There's an improved way to jump right into your current activity in a game. Sony And finally, you can send voice messages and more to groups from this view. Sony Sony has begun testing a software update that adds some key features users have been requesting for almost two years. While there's a lot going on in this update—it's one of the most significant since the PS5 first shipped—two features stand out. The first is that the PS5 now supports 1440p output over HDMI. Previously, it supported 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 4K, since those are the most common TV resolutions. But many players wanted to play the PS5 on their 1440p desktop computer monitors—something that both the Xbox and (obviously) gaming PCs have supported for a long time. Unfortunately, it seems that a PS5 outputting at 1440p does not support VRR like one at 1080p and 4K does, which might defeat the purpose for a certain subset of users. There are quite a few games on the console that are a great fit for 1440p, especially since 1440p was the actual resolution for many PS4 Pro games, and it's a common resolution for the 60 fps or 120 fps performance modes of some PS5 games. Games that support native 1440p will output at just that. But as for games that normally manage to hit 4K, Sony says that "you may benefit from improved anti-aliasing through supersampling down to 1440p output." The other flagship feature is game folders, essentially. This is something that the PS4 system software offered, but this is the first time the PS5 has done the same. Sony calls them "gamelists," and you can create them from the "Your Collection" menu. You can have up to 15 lists, each with up to 100 games. And it doesn't matter if the game you want to include is a disc, download, or streaming title: All of them will work. It's hard to know for sure from just Sony's blog post, but it looks like these folders only appear in the Your Collection section—not the installed view or the home screen. If you primarily manage and launch your games from those views, you might be out of luck. We'll have to wait to see for sure. Other new features in the system software update include: a dialogue for comparing stereo and 3D audio with headphones; a simple way to jump into your current activity in games that support the PS5's activities interface; the option to request to share your screen with someone in your party; a new notification that lets you directly join games your party members start; an option to view new friends' profiles immediately; and a way to send stickers or voice messages to people in a group from the game base card. The new features are available now to beta testers—but just beta testers, unfortunately. Sony says it plans to roll them out to all users later this year. New PS5 system software beta adds two of users’ most-requested features
  3. Takedown notices can be a useful tool for rightsholders to protect their content but it's less productive when companies start to report their own websites as piracy havens,. This is precisely what an Indian branch of Sony Pictures did recently, and they're not alone either. Copyright holders send out millions of takedown notices a day, hoping to remove pirated content or making it harder to find. The efficacy of the DMCA takedown process is open for debate but it certainly doesn’t help when companies flag their own websites as copyright infringing. Sony Targets Sony This is exactly what happened a few days ago. In a notice sent on behalf of Sony Pictures Network India, the company asks Google to remove 34 URLs from the Sony Liv platform, which is owned by Sony. The notice in question was sent by the anti-piracy outfit Markscan and links to various copyrighted movies and TV shows on the streaming portal, which are presumably not pirated. In addition to the SonyLiv.com URLs, the notice also adds an IMDb link for the film “Cold Courage”. It’s unclear why the Sony-owned company is targeting a Sony-owned OTT streaming service but these types of takedown notices certainly do not help to make legal content easier to find. And its not the first time either, a few months ago, the same mistake was made. More Unfortunate Takedowns Adding to injury is the fact that other rightsholders have also reported the Sony Liv service as a “pirate” platform. This includes takedown notices from “Shoopte Film sales,” “Multi Screen Media” and “Cricket Australia.” Luckily, Google spotted most of these errors. The search engine rejected most of the takedown requests but two Sonyliv.com URLs were actually removed. Sony is not the only company reporting its own website to Google. Plenty of other big companies appear to have done the same, including Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Pictures. It’s worth noting that imposters have sent notices to Google in the past, claiming to represent a rightsholder but without obtaining permission. However, with the Sony Pictures’ notice, we see no sign that this is the case, suggesting that Sony may want to take a closer look at its takedown efforts. Sony Flags Its Own Website for Repeat Copyright Infringements
  4. For the first time in almost 2 decades, Sony announced non-professional monitors. Sony's InZone monitors use a "low-depth tripod stand" to provide more room for other peripherals, Sony said in its video announcement. Sony/YouTube Known for everything from TVs to cameras and smartphones, Sony is getting into gaming peripherals, it announced Tuesday. Sony's new InZone brand will include a pair of monitors, plus wireless and wired headsets aimed at PC and, naturally, PlayStation gamers. Sony's first consumer monitors in ages Sony isn't likely a name you think of when going PC monitor shopping. It hasn't made consumer monitors since the early 2000s, though it has continued to sell expensive, chunky professional monitors for broadcast and production. That changes with the flagship Sony inZone M9 and its sibling, the InZone M3. The M9, never to be confused with the Samsung M8 4K smart monitor announced in March, is a 27-inch 4K HDR monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate. Its most interesting feature, however, is its LED backlight with full-array local dimming (FALD), which—along with VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification and 95 percent claimed DCI-P3 coverage—is particularly appealing for HDR users. Sony depicts the M9's FALD backlight. Sony/YouTube In its video announcement, Sony said it decided to use a FALD backlight to make the IPS panel's contrast more comparable to a VA monitor without sacrificing the lower response times IPS can achieve. The M9 claims a 1ms gray-to-gray (GtG) response time. Sony didn't specify how many dimming zones the monitor has, which is a significant factor in how effective the feature is. However, early reviews from CNET, Forbes, and Tom's Hardware, point to 96 dimming zones. Considering you can find monitors with more than 1,000 FALD zones, there are obviously more advanced local dimming monitors available than the InZone M9. Sony claimed the display has an 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It didn't share static contrast ratio numbers, so we'd love to see dynamic contrast in action to see if it's effective. For console gamers, Sony's M9 supports Auto HDR Tone Mapping which, in a press release, Sony said works with the PlayStation 5 "to automatically recognize the monitor during initial setup and [optimize] HDR settings." "Additionally, the monitor will automatically switch to Cinema Mode when watching movies on PlayStation 5 and Game Mode when playing games," Sony's announcement said. Samsung recently started selling a 4K, 240 Hz monitor, but the M9's speed specs should be sufficient for most gamers. There's also G-Sync Compatibility to fight screen tears when your GPU's frame rate doesn't match the monitor's refresh rate and variable refresh rate for the PS5 via HDMI 2.1. The M9 was announced alongside the M3. It's a 27-inch 1920×1080 display with a 240 Hz refresh rate for those who prioritize speed over sharp image quality but don't need the fastest refresh rate natively found in gaming monitors today, 360 Hz. The M3 has lesser VESA DisplayHDR certification that promises a minimum brightness of 400 nits with HDR and a smaller color claim of 99 percent sRGB. Although both screens are for gamers, they can also be home office hacks. Since they're KVM monitors, you can use them to control two PCs with the same keyboard, mouse, and headset, Sony said. Sony said the M9 would be available this summer for $900, and the M3 will be $530 "within 2022". A trio of headsets All the headphones have a flip-up boom mic, so you can easily tell if you're muted. Sony/YouTube Sony's newfound gaming efforts also include a trio of headsets that are already available in the US. They're the Sony InZone H9, H7, and H3 and, of course, shouldn't be confused with Asus' TUF Gaming series of gaming headsets, like the H1 Wireless or the H3. The wireless Sony InZone H9 gaming headset (40mm neodymium drivers, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) has a 32-hour battery life claim, while the InZone H7 (40mm neodymium drivers, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) claims 40 hours before needing a charge. The H9 adds noise-canceling tech incorporated from Sony's 1000X-series headphones. Sony/YouTube The more affordable Sony InZone H3 (40mm neodymium drivers, 10-20,000 Hz frequency range), meanwhile, is wired. All three headsets support 360-degree spatial sound, which you customize by using an app to take a photo of your ear. Note that you'll need a PC with a USB-A port and Windows 10 or later to use the feature. For PS5 gamers, the feeling of spatial audio will have to be attempted through the console's Tempest 3D AudioTech. Sony is selling the InZone H9 for $300, the H7 for $230, and the H3 for $100. Sony finally announces a 4K monitor you might actually want
  5. As per the rumors, after the sale of some of its studios, it looks like Square Enix might get sold completely. That too to its close collaborator Sony. Japanese game developer Square Enix is a household name in the gaming world. Rightfully so too. It owns gaming franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Few days ago we had reported how Square Enix sold its studios responsible for making games like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Thief series to the Embracer Group for $300 million. Now it looks like Square Enix might get sold out completely to Sony. Sony – Square Enix deal Rumors suggest that Square Enix might get sold to Sony. There are two basis to these rumors. The first information about this comes from comic writer and game designer Jeff Grubb. He explains on Twitter thread that while it is not a sure certainty, there are big rumors going around that Sony might acquire Square Enix. Jeff Grubb however has a warning that it cannot be said for sure that it’s actually going to happen. He gave an example of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series developer Bethesda’s sale to Microsoft. No one knew until it actually happened. He also opines that Square Enix might have sold some of its other studios to make itself in a better position for it to be acquired. The second rumor comes from an industry insider Greg Miller. In his YouTube video, he says that he has heard rumors from multiple sources within the gaming industry that Square Enix might be sold to Sony. He however admits that the rumor of Square Enix selling some of its studios or Square Enix getting sold to Sony could have been mixed up. He however does believe that anything is possible in the world of gaming, pointing out to the Microsoft’s acquisition of Call Of Duty, World of Warcraft and Starcraft developer Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion in January this year. Just like Jeff Grubb, Greg Miller too feels Square Enix might have sold some of its studios so that it can the sell the whole company to Sony. Microsoft and Sony’s competition Microsoft owns the Xbox series of gaming consoles. Sony owns the PlayStation series of gaming consoles. Since years, both are trying to prove themselves as the top gaming companies. This fight has gotten even bigger recently when both the companies started acquiring different gaming studios. Forbes reports that Microsoft might be looking to buy some Japanese studios like Capcom or Sega – both of them huge names in the world of gaming. So is Sony trying to buy Square Enix to continue the competition. To add to these acquisitions and its rumors is some official sources. ScreenRant reports that a month ago, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan had said that they have plans to acquire more studios. Is Square Enix the one, we don’t know. Likelihood of the deal and outcomes Square Enix and Sony are quite close. From years, Square Enix has made games which are released exclusively for Sony’s PlayStation console. So Sony buying Square Enix is quite a possibility. But it’s also something we cannot say for sure, as we have no concrete evidence. What we do know is that if the deal does happen. We might see most of the games by Square Enix to be completely exclusive to PlayStation. Having said, Sony is releasing some of its PlayStation games years later on PC these days. So that might not be a bad thing as long as exclusivity is not followed completely. Title image credit: Just Cause 4. © Square Enix. Sony might be looking to buy Square Enix: Report
  6. Games for PlayStation consoles could contain subtly placed advertisements. Sony seems to be following in Microsoft’s footsteps in this endeavor. The Japanese tech giant is reportedly working with multiple AdTech companies but might prefer to control the ad placement as well as the distribution model. As we recently reported, Microsoft may be building an in-game system for Xbox games that would allow brands and companies to serve ads. Sony could be contemplating a very similar strategy, indicated a report from BusinessInsider. Microsoft might be placing digitally and dynamically rendered billboards within a game. However, these ads wouldn’t disturb gamers or impede their gameplay. Sony, on the other hand, seems to be working with AdTech companies to develop a dynamic platform that will help developers create (and perhaps distribute) in-game ads. In other words, Microsoft could be building a platform that will allow more ad space. But the company won’t allow businesses interested in advertising their products and services to simply pay money and ensure gamers are served ads. Sony seems to be going in a slightly different direction, albeit with an identical agenda. According to the report, Sony wants to “encourage developers to keep building free-to-play games”. This strongly suggests Sony wants to help developers make more money from their game titles by allowing them to serve ads to gamers. In other words, Sony could be developing newer avenues for enhanced monetization but would restrict the same to games that are free to download and play. It is not immediately clear if Sony would charge a commission for allowing game developers and publishers to serve more ads to gamers. However, the report suggests Sony might consider “charging developers and publishers for data on consumer activity on the PlayStation” while respecting user privacy. Some of the suggested techniques include vetting AdTech companies and anonymizing user data. Sony could increase monetization through promotional messages on its PlayStation 5 gaming console. The company could start pushing the new monetization techniques this year itself. Doing so could invite severe backlash, but if Sony does restrict ads to only free-to-play games, gamers and developers might not complain much. It is important to note that Sony has neither confirmed nor denied that it is actively exploring options to include more ads within the PlayStation gaming ecosystem. Currently, the company serves ads within the in-game menus. Ads are also served to viewers who stream from gamers playing on consoles. Source: BusinessInsider Sony scouting AdTech companies to insert ads within PlayStation games, just like Microsoft
  7. The new joint venture will design and sell the EVs, built at a Honda factory. The Vision-S 02 (left) and Vision-S 01 (right) are a pair of concept EVs developed by Sony. Now, the company is joining up with Honda to build a range of EVs. Sony On Friday, we learned that Honda and Sony are teaming up for a strategic alliance. The two companies are creating a new joint venture that will design and sell a range of high-end electric vehicles and mobility services. The first EV is due to go on sale in 2025. We got our first real glimpse of Sony's automotive ambitions when the consumer electronics giant used the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to show off a concept car called the Vision-S. This remarkably polished car was a four-wheel showcase for Sony's sensor tech and had an interior that made it easy to consume Sony's digital entertainment content. Sony worked with traditional automotive suppliers like Bosch, Continental, and Magna Steyr on the concept, and we saw it again the following year via videos of the Vision-S testing in Austria. Magna Steyr is well-known in the auto industry for its ability to contract-manufacture vehicles for automakers, including BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. Its factory is in Graz, Austria. The move caused a lot of speculation, and this January, Sony returned to CES with two EVs. Now the sedan was called the Vision-S 01, and it was joined by an SUV called the Vision-S 02. This time, Sony was a bit more explicit, saying that it was planning to create a company called Sony Mobility in 2022 and would explore entry into the EV market. Now those plans are much clearer, and they don't appear to involve contract-manufacturing in Austria, at least initially. Sony and Honda have signed a memorandum of understanding to create this joint venture later this year. Honda is bringing the skills of a car company to the table—vehicle body engineering and after-sales support. Sony's contributions will be the tech showcased in the Vision-S concepts—electronics, sensors, networking, and telecommunications. And the new company won't just make EVs; it will also "realize a new generation of mobility and services that are closely aligned with users and the environment." Sony was being more serious than we first thought when it showed off a number of Vision-S prototypes. Sony "Through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years and continues to make revolutionary advancements in this field, we intend to build on our vision to 'make the mobility space an emotional one' and contribute to the evolution of mobility centered around safety, entertainment, and adaptability," said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony Group. "The new company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers," said Honda President and CEO Toshihiro Mibe. "We will do so by leveraging Honda’s cutting-edge technology and know-how in relation to the environment and safety, while aligning the technological assets of both companies." "Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different," Mibe said. "Therefore, I believe this alliance, which brings together the strengths of our two companies, offers great possibilities for the future of mobility." The new company will plan, design, and sell the range of EVs, but it won't own its own factory. Instead, the first EV will be produced at one of Honda's existing plants and is set to go on sale in 2025. Sony and Honda are teaming up to make a range of electric vehicles
  8. Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles last year A similar figure to the PS4 launch Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Sony shipped 4.5 million PlayStation 5 units worldwide in 2020, as revealed by information published alongside the company’s latest earnings report. The number highlights Sony’s current ability to mass-produce the console, which has been extremely difficult to buy since its launch in November. Demand for the PlayStation 4 dropped dramatically year-on-year, with 1.4 million units shipped in the October-December quarter — a 77 percent decrease from the previous year. Sony actually managed to sell fewer PS4s in the holiday quarter than it did from July to September. Sony’s gaming business overall performed much better than a year ago, with analyst Daniel Ahmad noting that it was actually the best quarter in PlayStation history. Revenue increased 40 percent to 883.2 billion yen ($8.4 billion), partly driven by PS5 sales. Operating profit was up by 50 percent to 80.2 billion yen ($763.3 million) because of higher game sales, PlayStation Plus subscriptions, and better margins on PS4 hardware. Sony does note, however, that expenses related to the PS5 launch offset some of its profit gains, and also confirms that the PS5 hardware itself is being sold for less than it costs to make. A loss was incurred due to “strategic price points for PS5 hardware that were set lower than the manufacturing costs,” the company says. There’s not much to read into PS5 sales numbers until people who want to buy one are actually able to do so. But at the very least, the console’s launch seems to be broadly comparable in size to the PS4’s; the PS4 also shipped 4.5 million units in its launch quarter. Microsoft didn’t release specific sales figures for the Xbox Series X or Series S with its earnings report last week, but the company did say that Xbox hardware revenue was up 86 percent year-on-year. Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles last year
  9. 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
  10. Sony ponders potential PS to PC ports Yet another crack shows in the company's walled console garden. Enlarge / Horizon: Zero Dawn probably won't be the last game Sony ports from a PlayStation platform to PC. 83 with 63 posters participating, including story author Horizon: Zero Dawn probably won't be the last former PlayStation exclusive to make the jump to PC. In its 2020 corporate report published late last week, Sony says that it "will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability." The "explore" wording there is a little bit couched, suggesting that Sony still hasn't completely made up its mind on the specifics of further PC game publishing. And the report doesn't go into detail on which games, if any, Sony considers ripe for porting. And even if Sony does continue publishing on PC, we shouldn't necessarily expect major PlayStation titles to hit Steam on the same day as the coming PS5. In Horizon's case, Sony waited a full 1,256 days between the game's February, 2017 launch on PS4 and its PC launch earlier this month. Cracks in the walled garden All that said, explicitly mentioning the potential for PC ports in its annual report is the latest sign that Sony continues to slowly loosen its tight, walled-garden approach to game hardware and software. In 2017, for instance, Sony expanded its PlayStation Now streaming service to work on Windows PCs as well as PS4 hardware. That service now has 2.2 million regular subscribers, Sony says, up significantly from the 1 million subscribers claimed last November. In 2018, Sony finally opened PS4 titles to cross-platform online play with other consoles after years of public reluctance on that score. Then, earlier this year, Sony said MLB: The Show will come to non-PlayStation consoles as soon as 2021, after decades of PlayStation exclusivity. It all speaks to a company that's more aware that "competition from online PC games and players from other industries is expected to continue to intensify," as it says in its annual report. Even as Sony pushes hard for the exclusive "speed, haptics, and sound" improvements of the upcoming PlayStation 5 this year, it is hedging its bets somewhat with support for non-Sony hardware as well. Elsewhere in the annual report, Sony said it will "continue to invest in, or acquire, firms with abundant creativity and cutting-edge technologies to build up Worldwide Studios." That follows on last year's acquisition of Spider-Man developer Insomniac, the 14th distinct studio in Sony's portfolio. The PlayStation 4 has now sold 112.1 million units worldwide, Sony says, with 45 million users paying for a regular subscription to PlayStation Plus. Revenues and operating income for the Game & Network Services division were down for the 2019 fiscal year, though, due to a "decrease in game software sales [and the] negative impact of foreign exchange rates," Sony said. Sony ponders potential PS to PC ports
  11. 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
  12. Sony Xperia Pro finally launched: A phone with last year’s processor for $2,500 Sony has launched the Xperia Pro smartphone in the US. It offers HDMI-input support so you can use it as a camera monitor. The phone has a price tag of $2,500. Sony announced the Xperia 1 II back in February 2020, while also revealing plans to offer an Xperia Pro smartphone. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear much about the latter device since then. Now, Sony has finally launched the Xperia Pro in the US (no European release unfortunately), and it raises our eyebrows for several reasons. For starters, the phone comes with an absolutely eye-watering $2,500 price tag. In other words, you can buy two Xperia 1 II units if you really wanted to. Or three Galaxy S21 devices. So what do you get for the price then? Well, another odd decision is the move to offer last year’s Snapdragon 865 silicon instead of the latest Snapdragon 888 SoC. The older processor is still beefy, but you’d expect a brand-new high-end chipset for $2,500. And the new processor also delivers photo or video capture from three simultaneous cameras, faster burst capture, and better 4K HDR recording. We do see two major spec upgrades as the new phone jumps from 8GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage seen in last year’s flagship to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of expandable storage. But the rest of the spec sheet is basically identical, such as the 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED panel, triple 12MP rear camera combo, 8MP selfie camera, and 4,000mAh battery. This new device doesn’t appear to offer wireless charging though, unlike last year’s model. Integration with your DSLR camera Credit: Supplied by Sony The main Xperia Pro selling point is the HDMI input support via type-D connection. This allows you to use the phone as a monitor for your camera, giving you a bigger, more accurate viewfinder for images or videos. Sony says the phone can also live-stream video content coming from the connected camera or camcorder, enabling a more professional setup for web broadcasts. The camera connectivity also extends to image sharing, as a wired USB connection between your Alpha 7S III camera and the Xperia Pro allows for speed picture transfers. Fortunately, Sony is also touting 5G connectivity this time out, with both sub-6GHz and mmWave standards supported. The company says that it’s “fine-tuned” the latter for Verizon’s network. Other notable features here include a 3.5mm port (!), a dedicated shortcut button, IP68 water/dust resistance, stereo speakers, and Android 10. The latter is pretty disappointing given that Android 11 has been out for over five months already. Does the HDMI input support therefore warrant a $2,500 price tag? Well, there are workarounds such as a cheap dongle and USB OTG cable. Furthermore, there are camera monitors out there for well under $600, although 4K monitors seem very rare. It’s also worth noting that Sony isn’t actually including the required HDMI micro connector cable in the package either, which seems like a glaring oversight for the price. Either way, I think even Sony’s target market of content creators might agree that $2,500 is a lot of money to pay for any phone. And it’s doubly expensive in light of the device touting last year’s flagship processor and an older version of Android. What do you think though? Does the combo of HDMI input and the 4K screen make the Xperia Pro worth buying? Let us know via the poll above! Nevertheless, consumers in the US can grab the Sony Xperia Pro via the likes of Sony’s website or B&H Photo Video. You can hit the button below to check out a listing. Source: Sony Xperia Pro finally launched: A phone with last year’s processor for $2,500
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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)
  16. The company will share more details in spring 2021. Sony wants a bigger piece of the drone market. Today, the Japanese giant unveiled a project called Airpeak, which will “support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible,” according to a cryptic press release. That makes it sound like Sony wants to take on consumer-focused drone makers such as DJI, Parrot and Skydio. Which makes a lot of sense, given Sony’s expertise in the compact and full-frame mirrorless camera markets. If you’re a vlogger or independent filmmaker that already uses Sony gear, you might be tempted by a drone with similar technology. If nothing else, it would make it easier to color correct and combine footage. In the press release, though, Sony notes how drones have led to “workflow efficiency and energy savings in the industrial sector.” It adds: “Sony has assigned the ‘Airpeak’ brand to reflect its aspiration to contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of the unprecedented value through its imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time and Remote) in the drone area.” So it a consumer or enterprise play? We’re hoping its the former. The company already has Aerosense — a business-focused drone collaboration with ZMP — which specializes in surveying, capturing live events and creating maps from drone imagery. The consumer drone market is notoriously difficult to penetrate, though. GoPro thought it could take on DJI in 2016, but its Karma quadcopter was a commercial failure. The situation is a little different this time, however. DJI has been caught up in the US government’s growing hostility toward China-made technology. Sony, therefore, might be favored in the West as a Japanese company. Still, it will have to battle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has made it harder for people to travel and reach spots where they’d like to fly a drone. Hopefully the situation will be better in spring 2021, when Sony plans to formally launch its Airpeak initiative. Source
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Sony PlayStation 5 SoC die pictured up close Fritzens Fritz delivers the first photos of the Sony PS5 System on a Chip. Unlike Microsoft who was quick to showcase its Xbox Series S and X die shots, Sony has never shown what is under the hood of the PS5 System on a Chip. It has been months since PS5 was introduced, but only now we get to see a chip codenamed AMD Flute up close. Play Station 5 SoC, Source: Fritzchens Fritz The Sony PS5 SoC codenamed known as Oberon or Ariel is based on AMD technology (Flute is AMD codename). It features both AMD Zen2 core architecture as well as RDNA2 GPU. The 8-cores Zen2 cores are clocked up to 3.5 GHz, while 36 RDNA2 Compute Units can reach a clock speed up to 2.23 GHz. Sony announced that its PS5 chip will feature liquid metal instead of traditional thermal paste. This would ensure a longer lifespan and increase heat exchange between the chip and the cooler. However, at the same time, it increases the production complexity and forces Sony to use custom packing solutions to ensure no liquid metal spill would occur. Play Station 5 SoC, Source: Fritzchens Fritz The die was pictured using a special microscope using short wave infrared light (SWIR). This technology allows the photographer to look under the hood and see the internals of the SoC without typical detaching and grinding techniques, which would also destroy the chip in the process. Sony PS5 chip has 8 cores located on the left side, while 36 Compute Units are packed together in a middle. The die picture confirms that the chip features eight 32-bit memory interfaces for GDDR6 memory. It also confirms that the chip has some changes to the layout compared to Zen2 based APUs. It would appear that the chip has some Fixed Function Units (FFU) missing as well as Fused Multiply-Add (FMA/FMADD) are not be seen on the chip. Those units were likely removed as they are not required for a gaming console. Play Station 5 SoC, Source: Fritzchens Fritz Play Station 5 SoC layout, Source: Locuza Official die shot of the Xbox Seriex X has been shown by Microsoft even before the console was released: Xbox Series X SoC, Source: Microsoft Source: @FritzchensFritz, @Locuza_ Source: Sony PlayStation 5 SoC die pictured up close
  21. Law firm files PS5 DualSense drift class action against Sony Stick 'em-up. A US law firm has filed a class action against Sony over alleged PlayStation 5 DualSense drift. This week Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D), the firm behind the ongoing class action against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift, asked affected customers to get in touch via an online form. Clearly, that call to action did the trick. The DualSense lawsuit has now been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a plaintiff called Lmarc Turner, of Virginia, and other affected customers in the US against Sony Corporation of America and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The complaint, filed on 12th February and seen by Eurogamer, claims the DualSense is "defective". "Specifically, the DualSense controllers that are used to operate the PS5 contain a defect that results in characters or gameplay moving on the screen without user command or manual operation of the joystick. "This defect significantly interferes with gameplay and thus compromises the DualSense controller's core functionality." The complaint cites multiple online reports of DualSense drift on reddit and social media, including the tweet below that includes a clip of apparent drift while playing Rogue Company: The complaint goes on to accuse Sony of being aware of this alleged DualSense drift via online consumer complaints, claims the company equipped the DualSense with "virtually the same analog components" as the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4, which reportedly also suffered from drift, and that options for repair are "slim". The DualSense controller. "Customers are experiencing long wait times and having to deal with a maze of pre-recorded phone prompts before finally speaking with an agent concerning repairs for DualSense controller drift," reads the complaint, which points out customers must pay for shipping the controller to a Sony repair center even for in-warranty repairs. Turner is said to have bought a PS5 on 5th February 2021 and experienced DualSense drift on the same day. He contacted Sony customer service and was advised to reset his console, which didn't work. Turner ended up buying another DualSense controller priced $69.99 a few days later. "Had Plaintiff been aware of the drift defect prior to purchasing his PS5, he otherwise would not have purchased the PS5, or would have paid substantially less for it," reads the complaint. The complaint claims Turner agreed to Sony's PlayStation terms of service and user agreement upon setup of his PS5, but wrote to Sony expressing his intent to opt out of resolving any disputes with the company through individual arbitration. This is an important point in the context of CSK&D's ongoing case against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift. CSK&D filed a class action against Nintendo of America in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington back in 2019 over Joy-Con drift after a similar call for affected customers to get in touch. The Court compelled the case to arbitration, although it declined to dismiss the case. CSK&D says it's currently working to pursue the case through the arbitration process. Clearly, it's hoping to avoid going down that route with the DualSense case. The complaint demands a jury trial, with the plaintiff seeking monetary relief "for damages suffered, declaratory relief, and public injunctive relief". Sony has yet to comment. Source: Law firm files PS5 DualSense drift class action against Sony
  22. (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
  23. 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
  24. Sony is officially discontinuing most PS4 models — what you need to know If you want a brand new PS4, now is the time to buy one (Image credit: Tom's Guide) Update: 11.30 a.m. ET: Japanese outlet GameWatch is reporting that Sony has confirmed it will be discontinuing all but one PS4 model in Japan. Only the 500GB PS4 Slim will remain in production as Sony Japan pivots its attention to the PS5. That means all other PS4 models, including the PS4 Pro, have been discontinued with no new stock on the way. There's no official word on what's happening to PS4 sales outside Japan, but it doesn't sound like the console has much life left. So if you want a brand new PS4, now is the time to buy. If not being able to find a PS5 wasn’t bad enough, the past few months have also seen a shortage of PS4 consoles as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get easier, since Sony is reportedly discontinuing multiple PS4 consoles. According to Twitter user Cheesemeister, one Japanese retailer has posted a notice claiming that five PS4 models aren’t being restocked “due to the manufacturer ending production." Sony’s PlayStation Direct has already suggested that it won’t be restocking the PS4 Pro, which makes this news another potential nail in the PS4’s coffin. If the base PS4 model is being discontinued worldwide, it means getting a PS4 is about to get even harder. This is during a time when it’s almost impossible to buy a PS5 for the usual MSRP. “Dear customers: due to the manufacturer ending production, the following products will not be restocked.”・PS4 500GB Glacier White・PS4 1TB Jet Black・PS4 1TB Glacier White・PS4 2TB Jet Black・PS4 Pro 1TB Glacier White pic.twitter.com/nub3lxcJGXJanuary 3, 2021 It’s worth noting that there’s no blanket “PS4 is not being restocked at all” in this message; just these five models. That said, almost every standard PS4 model is listed, and only the 500GB PS4 in black seems to be missing. The PS4 has suffered this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic affected supply chains and made it difficult to pick up a new console. While one could argue that the launch of the PS5 makes it obsolete, getting a hold of one has been almost impossible. The PS4, particularly the 4K-ready PS4 Pro, would have made a perfect stop gap until PS5 demand settles down to reasonable levels. After all, the PS3 wasn’t discontinued until mid-2017, almost four years after the launch of the PS4. Unfortunately, console-makers don’t really see things this way. Microsoft discontinued the 4K Xbox One X in July, ahead of the launch of the Xbox Series X — a console that’s also been nearly impossible to find. Sony hasn’t made an official announcement either way, but it certainly looks like it’s ready to scrap the PS4 and focus entirely on the next-gen console. Now if only it could sort out the supply, gamers wouldn’t have to work so hard to find where to buy a PS5. Spoiler: there's supposed to be a big PS5 stock shipment coming later this week, so keep your eyes peeled. Source: Sony is officially discontinuing most PS4 models — what you need to know
  25. These are Sony’s first 360-degree audio speakers Your first look at the upcoming SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 speakers Sony’s SRS-RA5000 speaker. Image: Sony Earlier today, Sony announced that it would be releasing two new speakers compatible with 360 Reality Audio, its spatial audio technology that replicates the feel of live music by placing different sounds and vocals in a virtual sphere around you. It said its plan is to release them this spring, but it didn’t share what the speakers would look like. We didn’t have to wait to learn more about them, though, as Sony’s UK website now has full product pages for the upcoming SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 speakers. The higher-end SRS-RA5000, pictured at the top of this post, will have three up-firing speakers, three side speakers, and a woofer. It’s also certified for High-Resolution Audio. The SRS-RA3000, pictured below, has two tweeters, two passive radiators, and a full-range driver. Sony’s SRS-RA3000 speaker. Image: Sony Both speakers can calibrate themselves to the room they’re in with an internal microphone and a “unique Sony algorithm,” too. With the SRS-RA5000, you have to press and hold a button on the speaker, while the SRS-RA3000 can calibrate itself automatically. The two speakers also have Sony’s Auto Volume feature, which adjusts the volume of each track automatically to play them at a consistent volume. And both speakers support Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The SRS-RA5000 will cost approximately £500 / €599, while the SRS-RA3000 is priced at about £280 / €359, according to the press release on Sony’s UK website. That also says both speakers will arrive in February 2021, which is a bit sooner than the previous “spring” date we had heard before, so perhaps there will be different release dates in different regions. Sony said it is expanding the 360 Reality Audio platform from audio to video earlier on Friday, and the company is working with major music labels and service providers to begin streaming video content with the codec later this year. Approximately 4,000 songs currently support the format, according to Sony. Source: These are Sony’s first 360-degree audio speakers
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