Tagged "Sony"

Xbox One & PlayStation 4
Sep 04

With Microsoft’s announcement yesterday, we finally know when and where Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will launch this November. So let’s have a look at the world according to Microsoft and Sony.

The easy one first: Microsoft. Xbox One will be available in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and USA, all on 22nd November.

Sony is a little more complicated. PlayStation 4 launches in Canada and USA on 15th November, then on 29th November in: Europe – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom; Australia and New Zealand; South Africa; and Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Let’s have a look at that on a map. Xbox One is launching in the countries coloured green; PlayStation 4 is launching in all of those, plus the blue countries:

PlayStation 4 & Xbox One launch territories

Sony have yet to announce anything about Asia, but it would be surprising if Japan didn’t get a November launch. It’s been suggested that the Tokyo Game Show later this month might bring news.

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ps4hipster_top
Jun 11

There are high expectations for this year’s E3 conferences. Microsoft filled in the blanks surrounding the Xbox One, and now it’s Sony’s turn to elaborate on the PlayStation 4. Specifically, what will it actually look like, and how excited should we really be?

You can watch the video stream of Sony’s E3 conference below, which goes live at 2AM GMT. Below that may be some words if we stay interested and awake enough to liveblog it all.


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psvita_oneyearold_top
Feb 24

We almost didn’t notice, but it turns out the PS Vita is one year old this weekend. Being the modest little handheld that it is, we thought we’d bake it a cake and surprise it with the birthday bumps!

When the PS Vita was first announced in January 2011 we were reasonably impressed with it, silly name aside. Sony’s decision to use commodity smartphone components was a wise move, one that they’ve recently repeated with the x86-based PlayStation 4. The launch games – particularly Uncharted: Golden Abyss – were suitably impressive, and once we got the device in our hands we were really satisfied with the high build quality of the device. Viva la Vita, we thought.

“we wait for a genuinely system selling game”

At the same time, everyone has been a little skeptical about Sony’s handheld. The original PSP suffered from a slightly generic and malnourished games catalogue, with the Nintendo DS ultimately beating it up and stealing its lunch money. This time around, whilst the Nintendo 3DS poses a threat to the PS Vita, ultimately the biggest threat to both devices (and arguably console gaming in general) has come from iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. £35 PS Vita games will always struggle against 69p or even free mobile games.

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ps4_launchmeeting_top
Feb 20

Tonight at 11pm GMT Sony is holding a conference in New York, where everyone is expecting the unveiling of the PlayStation 4. The live video stream of the event followed by our live blog is below.

Update: They did in fact announce the PlayStation 4, due for release this Christmas, as well as a bunch of new games. Full details in the following live blog.

Read The Live Blog

Jul 06

What David Perry is doing running a cloud gaming company and not making an new Earthworm Jim game, I will never know. Actually, that’s a lie: no-one is interested in a new moderately humorous 2D platformer; and that cloud gaming malarkey paid off rather handsomely this week, when Sony bought his company, Gaikai, for $380 million.

So, what does Sony’s move mean for PlayStation 4, and for that matter the very idea of a games console as a standalone product? No idea. Let’s have a look at their offices. To Orange County!


View Larger Map

That’s TechSpace at 65 Enterprise, Aliso Viejo in California’s Orange County. Gaikai are nestled on the second floor, which we know thanks to the bloody show-offs at The Verge, who interviewed David Perry there recently, and went inside and took photos and everything. Where were the hard-hitting Earthworm Jim questions though, eh? Cowards.

Being a multiple occupancy building, who does David Perry vaguely recognise and have slightly awkward conversations with? Perhaps he briefly touches on whether northern and southern California are still high growth areas in the real estate investment world, in the lift with the chap from CT Realty Investors. Maybe he exchanges a few words on automotive diagnostics software, in the car park with the man from Ein-Sof. We can’t know for sure, because The Verge didn’t bloody ask him.

Jun 14

The web made a step towards being a whole lot bigger yesterday, when ICANN revealed the full list of potential new generic top-level domains – because .com is terribly 1985.

Sony have gone for .playstation, .xperia and .sony. Microsoft are after a handful, including .microsoft, .xbox and .live – giving them the option of both xbox.live and live.xbox. Another Microsoft application is for .bing, which opens up the delightful possibility of badda.bing.

It’s presumably all a bit too online for Nintendo, so there’s no .wii or .virtualboy on the cards. But they’re in good company – Twitter, Facebook and eBay were among the other companies conspicuous by their absense.

At the other end of the scale, Google and Amazon have gone after 101 and 76 new gTLDs respectively. They’re both among the five companies interested in .game, but Google is one of only two parties interested in .dot – and I would have thought that dot.dot alone would hold more allure than that. But with just the application process costing $185,000, that’s a lot to pay for basically one novelty domain name.

The only other games company that jumps out of the list is Konami, but they’re only after .konami, which isn’t terribly interesting. Nothing from the likes of EA and Activision, for example.

There are some oddities in the list – which is worth a look if you’ve got half an hour to scan the 1,930 applications – but also some inspired choices. Who wouldn’t want a .ninja domain? Or what about .ooo – gamesasylum.ooo has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

No sign of .cotton though, sadly.

Jun 08

By now, it’s no secret what Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo wanted to say at E3. In some cases it was never a secret, even if it was supposed to be.

But what about how they said it? What can we glean from the the words they used?

Unfortunately – and surprisingly – no-one on the internet appears to have been sufficiently bored to transcribe the platform holders’ press conferences. So to engage in a nice spot of textual analysis, I’ve had to resort to the platform holders’ press releases.

So be it. Let’s have a look at which words cropped up most. That’s right: let’s word cloud.

Microsoft

Microsoft E3 2012 word cloud

Okay, Studios isn’t really fair, since so many of their games are by Microsoft Studios. And lots of those games are right up there: Halo and Gears and so on.

But with the announcement of SmartGlass – which Microsoft are definitely keen to stress is new – there’s an absolute shed load of entertainment. An awful lot of which is exclusive to the U.S.

Sony

Sony E3 2012 word cloud

Sony are evidently incapable of mentioning any one of their formats without suffixing it with system – so that’s why that’s huge.

Plenty of games there, but like Microsoft there’s almost as much entertainment and, in Sony’s case, content. But it’s obvious which property is key to Sony at the moment: LittleBigPlanet. It’s ruddy everywhere.

Nintendo

Nintendo E3 2012 word cloud

By contrast, Nintendo clearly consider themselves to be in the game making business – increasingly unlike Microsoft and Sony. Not much entertainment here, then, but a lot of Mario.

And with the new Wii U to promote, there’s quite a lot about the GamePad, and why they think it’s kind of a big deal.

It’s not only about games, it’s also about players. Which is probably how you’d expect Nintendo to differentiate themselves – from Microsoft, who make no noticeable mention of their public; and from Sony, who prefer consumers.

Notes

  • Word clouds created with Many Eyes.
  • The platform holder’s name and formats excluded from the word clouds, because obviously they’re mentioned a lot.
  • Microsoft: two press releases combined – one on games, one on entertainment and SmartGlass.
  • Sony: one neat, wide-ranging press release.
  • Nintendo: two press releases combined – one each for Wii U and 3DS.
Jun 05

Sony E3 conference

Sony’s E3 2012 press conference came and went, much as expected, and a little light on dramatic unveilings. Whilst the big hitters such as The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension oozed quality, the biggest surprise of the night was arguably Wonderbook, an augmented reality… book. In its favour, the first Wonderbook title, The Book of Spells, is a creation of Harry Potter’s J. K. Rowling.

Wonderbook

Sony’s show was also heavy of the Ellen Page. In addition to The Last of Us featuring Ellen’s doppleganger, Quantic Dream’s new title Beyond actually stars Ellen Page, with the actress providing the voice and motion capture for the game’s main character. It’s a game about telekinesis and the after life, so hopefully it should be as good as Quantic Dream’s last game, Heavy Rain.

Beyond

PS Vita titles were a little thin on the ground – the main news being an exclusive version of Assassin’s Creed III for the Vita and the ability to use the Vita as an additional super control pad in various games, such as Little Big Planet and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Speaking of the All-Stars… Super Smash Bros wants its game concept back.

The Last of UsFittingly, the show was played out with The Last of Us, which reinforces Naughty Dog’s position as possibly the best developers around right now and easily producing the most impressive titles on Sony’s system since the first Uncharted.

As always, an E3 without a new system unveiling can be a little quiet, and Sony didn’t really throw out any big surprises to set the world alight, but there was nothing particularly wrong and they’ve shown that there’s some life left in the old dog.

Should you want to sit through the whole conference yourself, Sony livestreamed the event online, and you can catch it on Youtube below.

You might want to skip to the 30 minute mark.

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