PSP®go Phase Out

Most of you have probably heard by now that Sony’s UMD-less PSP is facing a doomed future and it has been reported by Engadget that its production will slowly come to its end pretty soon. The signs of its demise have been out there with recent price reductions, however Sony Electronics in the US is claiming that it is not being discontinued which they also never acknowledged when we reported that Sony Rolly has had a similar fate, but at the end disappeared like other almost successful gadgets.

The place of PSP®go on market has become questionable after introduction of Sony Ericsson Xperia Play – PlayStation branded phone that got its familiar looks from its older PSP®go sibling. And of course the forthcoming NGP is definitely something to consider and is a huge player in this portable gaming world.

Grab one or wait for phenomenal breaks in price, it’s a neat system, especially when it is paired with Dual Shock Controller via bluetooth, makes gaming definitely fun.

21
Apr 2011
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Playstation, PSP

DISCUSSION 7 Comments

PlayStation Network Outage (Updated)

Update: Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media followed up today and informed the vast population of PlayStation universe that the attack on the network was pretty serious that involved about 70 million accounts and its information being at risk.
“Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID,” wrote Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications for Sony Computer Entertainment America. “It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address … and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. … While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility”. Users who stored their credit card information are advised to contact the credit bureaus and flag your profile under fraud alert for credit approvals. It looks like the platform is being built from the ground up and Sony is working 24/7 to restore its services, however it will take a few weeks before everything is completed. Read more about this update here.
Yes, it happened again. If you found yourself not being able to play online or access any network related services, it’s been reported that you may be out of luck for a day or two. According to PlayStation Blog: “While we are investigating the cause of the Network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running. Thank you very much for your patience while we work to resolve this matter. Please stay tuned to this space for more details, and we’ll update you again as soon as we can.”

So gear up for your offline mode, or maybe just do some home work for a change? Oh and it’s beautiful outside too.

21
Apr 2011
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

Network, Playstation

DISCUSSION 9 Comments

Music Unlimited Service Coming to Your PSP

Sony’s portable gaming devices PSP and PSPGo will start enjoying Music Unlimited service powered by Qriocity on April 14th. As you may know the streaming music service has been widely available on Sony’s PS3, Bravia televisions and its line of network connected Bluray players. This service will really come handy when the new Next Generation Portable (NGP) will be out with its 3G service, as it will definitely be useful for those on the go since you can fire up your music playlist whenever. I wonder if we will see any new Walkman payers as well as future Sony Ericsson phones integrated with this service some day.

Qriocity’s basic service offers commercial-free, uninterrupted music across a variety of channels and genres and provide instant feedback on each song to ensure that the service learns your music preferences and provides recommendations based on your personal tastes. The Premium service takes it one step further with access to premium music channels, and the ability to search the entire music database, play songs on demand and create custom playlists.

09
Apr 2011
POSTED BY Stan M
POSTED IN

NGP, Playstation, PSP

DISCUSSION 22 Comments

More Battlefield 3 Gameplay Footage

Last week EA/DICE released more in-game footage from the highly anticipated Battlefield 3, which is shaping up to be the best version of the game ever released. Check out our previous musings on Battlefield 3, which will be for PC, PS3, and XBOX360. I still play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 multiplayer (on PC) quite a bit..

07
Mar 2011
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PS3, Vaio

DISCUSSION 3 Comments
Video

Sony Drops PSP Price To $129

Sony dropped the price of the PSP yesterday in the USA to a very competitive $129, matching the current retail price of the Nintendo DS Lite. The two companies are nearing the end of a generation for both of their portable consoles, and are on the verge of launching new systems within the year. The $129 figure is a far cry from the initial USA retail price of the PSP in 2005, which was a whopping $250. I guess after selling 67 million PSP’s the price comes down substantially. I feel the PSP was underrated in its life, and changed the portable gaming landscape forever with its high quality gaming experience.

There have also been several additions to the Greatest Hits ($19) and Favorites ($9) selection, which offer the PSP’s most popular games at a very reduced price.

New Greatest Hits include: Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY, LittleBigPlanet , METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, Resistance: Retribution, and Toy Story 3: The Video Game.
New Favorites include: CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-, Daxter, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Killzone: Liberation, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fire Team Bravo, and Tomb Raider Anniversary.

28
Feb 2011
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PSP

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

Battlefield 3 Gameplay Footage

EA/DICE have revealed an explosive new trailer showing off Battlefield 3, a highly anticipated shooter coming to PC/PS3/XBOX360 in late 2011. It will reintroduce several elements absent from the Bad Company games, including fighter jets, the prone position and 64-player battles on PC, while the consoles will support 24 players. No word regarding PlayStation Move or 3D support at this time.

The next generation of Frostbite graphics engine will debut with Battlefield 3. It will take full advantage of the DirectX 11 API and 64-bit processors, with no support for DirectX 9 (nor, therefore, Windows XP). It will also feature enhanced in-game destruction with Destruction 3.0, creating more refined physics than its predecessor.

At SIGGRAPH 2010, DICE gave several presentations on advances in their rendering technology:

- “Tile-based deferred shading acceleration” via DirectCompute. This is being ported to the PlayStation 3′s SPUs.
- Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA), again implemented with DirectCompute, for bandwidth conservation. MLAA is currently available only to a few PlayStation 3 games such as God of War III and LittleBigPlanet 2. DICE intends to bring this feature to DirectX 11 GPUs.
- Quasi-realtime radiosity.
- Improved environment destruction.

Pre-order Battlefield 3 to receive the digital expansion pack Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand at no extra charge. This multiplayer expansion pack includes four legendary maps from Battlefield 2, remastered with Frostbite 2 physics, destruction and visuals. Completing the package are classic Battlefield 2 weapons and vehicles, unique rewards, new achievements/trophies, and more.

Players anxious to fight can pre-order the Battlefield 3 Limited Edition now. Pre-order while supplies last.

25
Feb 2011
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PS3

DISCUSSION 6 Comments

Kevin Butler Loves Killzone 3

Kevin Butler is promoting the latest blockbuster FPS game for the PS3 – Killzone 3, which came out several days ago. And Kevin has a fish in barrel just for you.

Reviews basically state the obvious: incredible gameplay, groundbreaking 3D, exciting PlayStation Move support, and an 84 rating on Metacritic.

IGN gave the game an 8.5, praising the atmosphere, graphics and multiplayer. They also stated “the weak story never develops into anything great.” Destructoid gave the game a perfect 10/10, with reviewer Jim Sterling stating: “I don’t think the PlayStation 3 has ever had quite such a rounded, satisfactory package as this, with this level of polish, refinement and pure, simple, unpretentious action.”

24
Feb 2011
POSTED IN

3D, Hardware, Playstation, PS3

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

PSP Reborn: The Quad-Core Next Generation Portable (NGP)

Sony has stunned many with the news of a holiday 2011 release for the long-awaited successor of the PSP, codenamed “Next Generation Portable” (read that link, its very informative). We’ll be referring to it as the NGP for brevity, plus it sounds cooler. Although I wonder if Sony should play brand recognition and keep it associated with the name we all thought it would be, which is PSP2. Not to mention there’s nearly five million results for PSP2 on Google.

(more…)

27
Jan 2011
POSTED IN

Hardware, NGP, Playstation

DISCUSSION 9 Comments

DC Universe Online Now Available For PC/PS3

Sony Online Entertainment announced the availability of its eagerly awaited online action game DC Universe Online (DCUO) at retailers worldwide for both the PC and the PS3. DC Universe Online is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game on PlayStation 3 for North America and the first MMO game based in the DC Universe, allowing fans to create their own superhero or villain while joining forces with their favorite DC Comics characters such as Superman, Batman and The Joker to aid in saving – or destroying – the planet.

To capture the true essence of the DC Universe and its iconic characters, Sony Online Entertainment tapped the top talent at DC Comics, including legendary artist and co-publisher of DC Comics, Jim Lee, who served as executive creative director for DC Universe Online and provided the art style for the game Famed DC comic book writers Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman were tasked with establishing the back-story of the Universe and creating thousands of compelling story arcs, epic quests and action-packed in-game events. For example, players might be tasked with rescuing Batwoman from the fear gas that Scarecrow has unleashed in Gotham City’s sewers, or battle Power Girl as they work with Lex Luthor to create an army of mutants out of Metropolis citizens.

DCUO combines the immersive environments and fascinating story arcs of MMOs with fast-paced, physics-based combat to deliver more super-powered action than ever before. In the game, players can pick up buses, fly into the air and throw them at enemies, run up the sides of buildings to engage in melee brawls while shooting flames of fire from their hands, or cling to the side of buildings while using a grappling hook to pull flying opponents out of the sky – all while interacting with the iconic characters of DC Comics.

“DC Universe Online transforms more than 75 years of action and adventure into a fully realized immersive experience that brings players into the world of DC like never before,” said Jim Lee, executive creative director for DC Universe Online. “It has been a fascinating experience for me and the team to come up with entertaining and engaging ways to blend the MMO and comic book worlds.”

Rated T for Teen by the ESRB with the content descriptors Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violence, DC Universe Online is available for PC and PlayStation 3 for the suggested retail prices of $49.99 and $59.99, respectively.

One 30-day game subscription is included with purchase of the game for new subscribers, with monthly subscriptions available thereafter starting at $14.99, with discounts for longer durations. For players of the PC version of the game, DCUO will be included in SOE’s all-in-one Station Access subscription (game software is sold separately).

DCUO will be available in North America on January 11, 2011 at Best Buy, Gamestop, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and at other participating video game retailers. SOE put up some informative DC Universe game guides on their official website.

11
Jan 2011
DISCUSSION 6 Comments

Screenshots From Music Unlimited Powered By Qriocity

Music Unlimited, powered by Qriocity, is a cloud-based music service by Sony that allows consumers to access millions of songs for a small subscription fee. Major labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as leading independent labels and major publishers worldwide are on board for a combined initial offering of over six million songs (with promise to expand over time).

Content can be played on a variety of devices, including “Sony’s 2010 (and surely 2011) models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system as well as VAIO and other personal computers. It will also become available on a wide range of Sony’s portable devices, as well as on Android-based mobile devices and other portable devices.”

Music Unlimited sure seems like an interesting alternative to Pandora and other streaming solutions, but then again it isn’t free. Hard to tell if it can beat my trusty Wunderradio, though.

Prices are reasonable, coming in with Basic (£3.99 in the U.K. and 3.99 Euros in Ireland) and Premium (£9.99 in the U.K. and 9.99 Euros in Ireland) options. There’s a load of features in the premium service, such as Top 100 channels for many genres, personal playlists, ability to listen to songs on-demand, and more. It also adapts to your listening habits and offers better music through analyzing your collection, ratings, and so forth.

The service is currently only available in the UK and Ireland, but will come to the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand “during 2011.” I would image it will be all over CES 2011.

We have some high resolution screenshots of Qriocity Music Unlimited courtesy of Sony global press. I think the images are worth looking at (in addition to our initial coverage of the Music Unlimited launch) and show how the service looks on the PS3, BRAVIA devices, and even the player built on their website, music.qriocity.com.

The Music Unlimited interface for web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc) look pretty polished for its first version. You can see here in the channel view a rather coherant interface. Controls are at the top, including repeat or random options, and the ability to like/dislike. I would like to see larger, easier to use like/dislike buttons. Other controls include volume, search, previous track, next track and pause. Below that is the album art, and recommendations as well as Music Sync, which allows you to add your music collection and listen across all supported devices. Nice.

Then we have the channel listing itself, where you see a varity of genres, including tabs for premium, genre, SensMe, and Era. I love the option of Era, that means you will see channels such as 1940, 1950, 1960, etc..

Then there is the interface for BRAVIA products such as TV’s, Blu-ray players, home theater systems, etc which is not as glamorous as the PS3 version, but is functional across the board. The interface is consistent with the Qriocity Video service. I like the “How It Works” touch..

The channel listing in Music Unlimited for BRAVIA Devices.

Here is a stunning (and resized) 1080P grab of Music Unlimited’s album view for PS3, which is also displaying high resolution album covers and an excellent looking, easy to use interface. This would be nice to have on for a party.

The following image is a taste of the menus in Music Unlimited full of gloss and reflection in the PS3 version.

The Music Unlimited channel selection screen on the PS3, showing many genres. We can see already thatt they will have Jazz, Rock, Dance & House, Pop, Latin, Blues, Punk, Electronic, Alternative, Rap, R&B, Reggae, Classical, and New Age just like the website.

30
Dec 2010
DISCUSSION 5 Comments