Friday, July 28, 2006

IBM Claims Cell Production Is Now Going Well.

The CELL PROCESSOR is steadily being shoved out the door of IBM plants, despite reports of poor yields.

Sources have informed the Inq that IBM executives have told employees within the firm, that yields are "on or above" targets.
Yields for a large, complex part like the Cell are expected to be low at the start of production and improve steadily thereafter - if IBM had allowed for a very low yield to start with, its plausible that the rumours of bad yields were entirely accurate and this is what IBM was expecting all along.

The exec also said IBM had shipped the first full allotment to Sony under a 'take or pay' arrangement (whereby Sony has the obligation of either taking delivery of the goods or paying a specified amount), and that Sony must have "quite a stockpile of the processors in a warehouse somewhere".

Presumably the warehouse has close links to Asustek, where recently other sources released details of Asustek plans to deliver 4 million units of the PS3 console to Sony this month.

PS3 And Wii Main Priority For UK Retailers.

As we all are aware this holiday season see's the introduction of the Sony'sPS3 and Nintendo's wii, into the gaming market.Nintendo has already held a conference for the retail industry outlining launch preperations etc.

(MCV magazine broke the news a few weeks back).

As we speak Sony are currently in meetings with retail bigwigs outlining stage 2 for official pre order preperations.During the event GAME, GAMESTATION and VIRGIN megastore have informed Nintendo and Microsoft that the section 1 floor space instores are for Sony's PS3.

(MCV to publish story this week or next).

What this means is when you walk into a store the first format you will see is the PLAYSTATION brand.

In a further blow to Microsoft, GAME (the biggest games outlet in europe) have stated that Nintendo will have first option to purchase section 2, which means 360 sections will be moving to the back of there retail stores.

If that wasnt bad enough, Game will announce that Xbox 1 software will be slowly phased out by summer next year, due to abysmal sales since the launch of 360 and the increase of handheld sales.

In one final blow to Microsoft, The retailer have cut there ordering shipments of 360 down by a third due to increase of traded in 360 units. What this means is instead of ordering 1 million units, they will order 660,000 roughly.

(All details will published by MCV magazine in the next few weeks).

PS3 Exhibit In China July 28-30.

Sony will be exhibiting the PlayStation 3 console and its PS3 lineup at the 4th annual Chinajoy Expo in Shanghai, China between July 28 - 30.

Besides Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will also showing Wii and Xbox 360 at the Expo.

Here is the list of PS3 titles at the show:

  • Genji 2
  • Formula 1 2006
  • The Getaway
  • Minna no Golf 5 [HotShot Golf 5]
  • Heavenly Sword
  • The Eye of Judgment
  • Afrika
  • LAIR
  • Monster Kingdom
  • Warhawk
  • Singstar
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Codearms Assault
  • Ridge Racer 7
  • Brothers in Arms
  • Tekken 6
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Virtua Tennis 3
  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • Stranglehold
  • Fatal Inertia
  • Blade Storm: The Hundred Yeas War
  • Armored Core 4
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Sony Back In The black As Electronics Division Turns A Profit.

Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony has announced a 32.3 billion Yen (219 million Euro) profit for the quarter ended June 30th, thanks to a resurgence in profitability at its consumer electronics division.

The firm, in the same period last year recorded a 7.3 billion Yen (50 million Euro) loss, also saw revenues in the quarter leap by 11 per cent year on year to 1.74 trillion Yen (11.8 billion Euro) as sales surged in both the electronics and the Sony Pictures movie divisions.

However, the videogames division of the firm recorded an operating loss for the quarter as revenues plummeted by some 30 per cent and the costs of developing the PlayStation 3 continued to mount. Sales of the PS2 hardware and software were down for the quarter - as, disappointingly, were sales of the PSP.

The results have spurred speculation that Sony may be about to turn its fortunes around after several years of weak financial results and painful restructuring efforts. The firm's British chief executive Howard Stringer - who became the firm's first non-Japanese CEO when he was appointed a year ago - has continued the firm's restructuring efforts, and now appears to be reaping the rewards.

As well as announcing its first quarter results, Sony also took the opportunity to update its forecasts for the full year - maintaining its profit target of 130 billion Yen (881 million Euro), but raising its revenue target marginally from 8.20 trillion Yen (55.6 billion Euro) to 8.23 trillion Yen (55.8 billion Euro).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Metal Gear Solid 4 Playable At E3 2007.

Great news for all you MGS fans out there.According to 'The Master Hideo Kojima' himself,MGS4 for the PS3 should be in a playable form by E3 2007.

MGS4 will be on Blu-Ray because of its size, it is impossible for it to be fitted on a standard DVD.

Sony are also wanting the game to run in 1080p.

Also Hideo Kojima has'nt decided whether to include fuctions that make use of the new PS3 controller.One possible use for it could be to 'break the neck of an enemy'.

SCEA Exec Takes On New Role At Ubisoft.

With just months to go until the launch of the PlayStation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment America's developer relations manager, Mark DeLoura, has left the company to take on a new role at Ubisoft.

DeLoura was previously editor of Game Developer magazine and worked as a technical director for Nintendo of America before joining SCEA five years ago. He will now take on the role of technical director at Ubisoft's San Francisco office.

In a post on his blog, DeLoura stated that he had "a lot of mixed feelings" about his departure from Sony, adding: "So many things done, but so many things yet to do... I'll take my victories at Sony, the largest of which is our greatly expanded GDC presence.

"It will take a few weeks or months or years to get Sony out of my bones," DeLoura continued.

"In the meantime I will continue to wince each time I see a stupid quote, or bad press, or an analyst bad-mouthing my former employer".

According to SCEA, J. Patton will manage developer relations in DeLoura's absence. The company was keen to emphasise that relations will remain strong, observing that more than 10,000 dev kits have now been shipped to more than 200 studios around the globe.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Nvidia CEO Confident In PS3.

Jen-Hsun Huang said that his company, which is supplying the RSX GPU for the PlayStation 3, is in a good position to ride the success of what he imagines will be a highly-regarded platform.

Takahashi asked if Nvidia “chose the right horse in the videogame war” this time around (Nvidia supplied the GPU for the original Xbox, while rival ATI supplies the GPU for the Xbox 360 and the upcoming Nintendo Wii).

Huang responded, “…I don't think that working with Sony is wrong. There is no way that is going to be wrong. There are many wonderful things that Sony did. I'm excited that they made Blu-ray high-definition storage as a standard part of the PlayStation 3 platform. The first PlayStation had a CD-ROM drive. The PlayStation 2 had DVD. It makes no sense for the PlayStation 3 to use DVDs. ..."

He continued, “To postpone it by a few months so they could include Blu-Ray was a master stroke. When that comes out, it's going to look so much more advanced than last-generation game consoles. I think that was a wonderful call on their part".

In relation to the PlayStation 3’s competitors, Huang said that the PS3 will have greater lasting power than the Xbox 360 thanks to Blu-ray, making the high (and highly-criticized) cost worth it to consumers.“PlayStation 2 was launched seven years ago in Japan at about $399. If you use inflation, it's the same price, approximately,” he said. “The important thing is you cannot announce a game console for the next ten years and not have Blu-Ray. It's an impossible scenario. I think they got that perspective right. The moment we put those consoles together it's going to be very clear. If I'm going to buy a next-generation game console, I'm going to buy a console with next-generation media. It's going to last 10 years.

“…I'm not sure how Microsoft is going to do in this transition. They are clever and they will figure out a way. I'll make a prediction that Xbox 360 can't possibly be a DVD-only device by Christmas of next year".

Takahashi then asked if Huang could see Microsoft relasing an Xbox 360 modification to compensate for its more constrained DVD format.

"I don't know how they will do it," Huang responded. "But I just can't imagine going to a store and saying that this console has a Blu-ray and this one has DVD. Remember Dreamcast?"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

£150 PS3 Deposit Shock.

Consumers will have to pay a hefty £150 deposit to pre-order PS3 hardware, if a revolutionary new allocation scheme by Sony is introduced.

In an exclusive report published in tomorrow’s issue of MCV, it is revealed that the format holder is currently discussing the radical new plan with senior retail buyers as it looks to manage a limited initial hardware supply this Christmas.

The £150 deposit scheme is being considered to ensure that allocation can be more fairly managed. In particular, it is believed that Sony is looking to avoid the ‘eBay phenomenon’ that occurred with the launch of Xbox 360 whereby some consumers who managed to acquire more than one unit – on deposits as low as £5 – sold on their extra machines for well above the RRP.

Sony has confirmed that it is in talks with retail about the scheme.

How To Avoid Patent Lawsuit 101:Sony Signs Agreement With CPI.

Collaboration Properties, Inc. (CPI) - a subsidiary of Avistar - and Sony signed an agreement allowing Sony to use CPI's extensive patent portfolio for Sony products including audio, video, and communication and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets.

The agreement covers Sony's video conference apparatus as well as other products including video-enabled personal computer products and PlayStation products. CPI currently holds 60 issued patents covering the AvistarVOS video operating system as well as primary areas of video technology, including video signal transport, desktop video service integration, directory services, call control and handling, stored multimedia synchronization and presence-based calling.

Thanks to this contract, Sony won't wake up one day to find another lawsuit on its hands.

PS3 Manufacturer Warns Media.

PlayStation 3 manufacturer Asustek has fired a warning shot over the bows of the media, following yesterday's leaked reports that the company has already begun shipping PS3 units to Sony.

Via Taiwan's financial hub, the company yesterday issued a sternly worded warning to the media about the reports, stating that it would sue any outlets that had damaged relationships with its clients.

Asustek refused to comment directly on the issue of the manufactured units. The Taiwanese press also reports that Aasustek has toughened up its policy on employee leaks.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gears Of War & Too Human For X360 Could Slip To 2007.

Two of Microsoft's most important titles planned for 2006 are still without public release dates. Last Friday, temporarily posted an October 2 release date for Gears of War -- the same date used by several online retailers.

This date was later revoked, replaced with "TBD." Similarly, Too Human's release date had been listed as "TBD 2006," but has since been revised to just "TBD".

While 'Emergence Day' -- that's slang for 'Gears of War release date' -- will most certainly hit in 2006, chances are, Too Human will slip into 2007. Too Human's E3 build was incredibly rough, and there's no sense in rushing a final version before the year's out, especially since you run the risk of releasing in Gears' shadow.

As for Gears of War, October sounds about right. Judging from the E3 build, the game is certainly on track for that date. Plus, it would be wise to release Gears in advance of PlayStation 3 -- and Wii too. No game is going to stand up to the wave of hype that will flood our senses when those consoles drop. But, release Gears a month before the PS3 launch, get us hooked -- get us a bit distracted -- and you might capture some brand loyalty.

Taiwan's Asustek Computer To Deliver PS3 Consoles To Sony starting This Month.

Asustek Computer Inc. will produce and deliver PlayStation 3 game consoles to Sony Corp this month as the Japanese firm moves to step up output to meet demand for the November Launch and the Christmas shopping season.

The first consignment is for 4 million units, noting that monthly shipments will start at 200,000 units and rising to 2 million units starting in October.

Meanwhile Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd , will soon begin production on the PS3 consoles for Sony as well.

Given this, we can hypothesis that the production of the PS3's will begin as quickly as next week, or no later than the end of the first week of August.

THQ To 'Incinerate' Next-Gen Gaming .

Video game publisher THQ Inc. today announced the formation of a new development team called Incinerator Games. The studio will be based in Carlsbad, California and joins THQ's growing internal development talent, which includes Volition, Relic Entertainment, Rainbow Studios, Kaos Studios, Paradigm (a recent purchase from Atari) and others.

Incinerator itself is comprised of veterans that worked on such popular titles as Twisted Metal, NFL GameDay and MLB 2006: The Show (from Sony's 989 studios), as well as games in the Midnight Club franchise (Rockstar). A team size for Incinerator was not specified, however. According to THQ, the studio was established primarily to work on next-generation consoles.

"The addition of Incinerator Games is another example of our dedication to enhance and expand our internal development capabilities," commented Jack Sorensen, executive vice president of worldwide studios, THQ. "We're really excited to see the Incinerator team begin to bring its own ideas for next generation development to THQ".

Currently the Incinerator team is working on Disney/Pixar's Cars for next-generation consoles. The game is expected to ship later this fall. Cars has already performed quite well on current-gen consoles, with the PS2, GBA and GCN versions placing fourth, sixth and tenth (respectively) on the June NPD top 20. Given the popularity of the movie and the success the title's already seen on current consoles, it certainly makes sense for THQ to leverage the license on next-gen systems as well.

In addition to Cars, THQ said that Incinerator is also working on other yet to be announced projects for next-gen systems.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Resistance: Fall Of Man To Feature 40 Players Online.

Never before in the history of gaming (or as long as we can remember, anyhow) has there been a FPS game that allowed 40 players to go crazy on a virtual battlefield. Until the PS3 came along, that is.

A report from PSM says that Resistance: Fall Of Man will feature 40-player online capability, which is even more than the previously announced number of 32.

Here's the juicy quote from PlayStation Magazine:

We put in some serious time playing various maps and modes in multiplayer, and despite our constant deaths at the hands of Insomniac's seasoned testers we had a blast. Resistance should offer PS3's Flagship online multiplayer experience at launch. Of course, you can also play with friends offline via split-screen deathmatch,or partner up and play, co-op through the entire single player game(this can only be done offline).

Online matches are where the real action is, though where as many as 40 players can pack the battlefield(a recent eight-player improvement over the 32-player support announced at E3) .We tried standard deathmatch in a small, hilly ice area, and massive 40-player "MELTDOWN" campaigns in a huge jungle-type enviroment with wooden bridges and platforms in the trees, "Ewok Village"- style.

Meltdown is an extension of another mode called "Node," in which two teams race to take over as many nodes as possible. Nodes are large chambers that contain several cylinders, you can re-configure the nodes for your team. Once you control a node, you can choose to re-spawn there after you die, adding strategy to the order in which your team goes after them. Meltdowns adds the twist that these nodes are actually coolants for each team's base, so by taking them over, you're overheating the enemy's headquaters. At certain heat levels a base's defenses will temporarily go down, allowing the opposing team to get inside and deal major damage.

This is the kind of feature that if done right, could be huge for PS3 sales.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sony Branded Number One...Again.

While Sony might fight with Nintendo and Microsoft for brand recognition and approval when it comes to the world of gaming, the electronics giant's brand name has a significant leg up on the competition when it comes to the general American public.

Market research firm Harris Interactive has released the results of its annual "Best Brands" survey, and Sony has topped the list for the seventh consecutive year and the ninth time in 12 years. Microsoft slipped from the top 10 in this year's poll, while Nintendo was shut out of the upper echelon.

Harris surveyed 2,351 US adults online and asked them "to think about brands or names of products and services" and to name the three they considered the best. Respondents were free to pick whichever brands they preferred and were not given a list of options or possible answers.

The top 10 companies in this year's poll are listed below.

  1. Sony
  2. Dell
  3. Coca-Cola
  4. Toyota
  5. Ford
  6. Honda
  7. Hewlett Packard
  8. General Electric
  9. Kraft
  10. Apple

UK Award Success For Sony.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe was the big winner in this year's Develop Industry Excellence Awards, which took place last night at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton on the UK's south coast. It took home three awards, whilst other notable winners included Bizarre Creations and Criterion.

The event was attended by around 400 members of the UK and European development community, and more than 60 companies were nominated in four main categories for a total of 18 awards.

SCEE won the Publishing Hero award for its achievements throughout the past year, as well as two awards for Buzz! The Music Quiz--the first for New Console IP (intellectual property), and the second for Innovation in the Buzz! controllers.

Liverpool-based Bizarre Creations won two awards for their work on the Xbox 360--the Best Use of Online, which related to Geometry Wars 2 on Xbox Live Arcade, and the night's biggest accolade, the Grand Prix award for Project Gotham Racing 3.

Another UK studio, Criterion, also scooped two gongs in the ceremony. Best Art/Sound was awarded jointly for arcade racer Burnout Revenge and sumptuous shooter Black, and it took the Best In-House Development Team accolade as well.

In the Studio Category, BigBig won Best New UK/European Studio, Rebellion was named Most Improved Studio, and Gameloft won the Mobile Studio award. Rockstar Leeds took the Best Handheld Studio title, thanks in large part to the success of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories on the PlayStation Portable.

Sony Slapped With Another Patent Suit.

Sony has been having some trouble with patent disputes of late. In March 2005, Immersion Corporation won it's lawsuit claiming that Sony's DualShock PlayStation and PlayStation 2 controllers infringed on its force-feedback patents. A judge ordered Sony to pay more than $90 million in damages, and earlier this year denied an attempt from the electronics giant to have the decision overturned.

Now Sony's in the middle of another patent fight, this one brought against the company by Pennsylvania-based Agere Systems. According to court documents, Agere (which has a pair of offices in Texas) has filed suit against Sony and a number of its divisions for willful infringement of eight patents in a number of its products, including the PSP, PlayStation 2, and based on announced specifications, the PlayStation 3. Sony Vaio computers, Handycams, Walkman players, Memory Stick Duos, and Location Free TV are also named as infringing offerings on some of the patents. The patents in question run from a "wireless local area network apparatus" to "barrier layer treatments for tungsten plug".

Agere is asking that each branch of Sony be made to provide an accounting of all gains made through their alleged infringements, and that the company be awarded damages to adequately compensate it based on those figures. Agere also claims that Sony knew about the patents and willfully infringed on them, so it is asking the courts to boost the damages awarded as much as three times what it would have been otherwise.

In its defense, Sony has denied all claims of infringement. It is arguing that it actually has the rights to use seven of the eight patents through a 1989 cross-licensing deal with AT&T and Lucent (whose microelectronics group eventually became Agere Systems). Sony also contends that some of the patents (including the one it doesn't claim a right to use) were not properly obtained because Agere omitted important information when it filed for them. Finally, Sony believes the patents in question are invalid anyway, and has asked the judge to declare them as such.

Agere denied Sony's counterclaims last month and has issued a demand for a jury trial.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wii Price Announced... Sort Of.

Nintendo has (sort of) announced the release date and price of the Wii. In typical Nintendo style, they were a bit vague about their plans, still refusing to nail down the details.

In part, the reason for this has to do with the way this news has gotten out: Nintendo has released a fiscal year 2006 (FY2006) projection for investors (corporate fiscal years tend to begin and end in July), and in that projection report they make statements about how they will handle the Wii launch.

According to Nintendo's figures, the Wii will indeed launch in the Fall of 2006. Gamers have been aware of this for quite some time, and Nintendo still has not nailed down a specific launch date. However, they have stated that the Wii price tag will not exceed $250 in America, or ¥25,000 in Japan.

Regarding the quantity of Wii units that will be available at launch, Nintendo stated they would ship six million units between the launch day and March 31, 2007-- a time period officially described as the "launch window".

The launch will be a worldwide event, so these initial six million units will be distributed around the globe. In total, Nintendo expects to ship 17 million Wii units worldwide in FY2006.

Nintendo added that announcements about the specific launch date and exact price of the console will be made "soon."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blu-ray Laser Diodes In Tight Supply.

According to the Chinese-language Commercial Times.The yields for Blu-ray laser diodes are still low due to a high technical barrier, with only Sony and Nichia being the only suppliers, stated the paper.

In addition, Sony is setting aside a major proportion of its laser diode capacity for its upcoming PS3, which may also affect the availability of its Blu-ray laser diodes, the paper said.

Sony is currently the major supplier of laser diodes for Royal Philips Electronics, BenQ and Lite-on IT, the paper indicated.

The tight supply will not ease before September since Sony will not start shipping its PS3 before then, the paper said.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Details On Coded Arms Assault for PS3.

The upcoming Coded Arms Assault FPS game for the Playstation 3 will feature four-player co-op campaigns (with exclusive content, unavailable in the single player game), up to 16 multiplayer games, vehicles and downloadable content.

The hacker FPS game bears only the same name and theme of the original Coded Arms on the Sony PSP.

The producer of the game, Yasuo Daikai, spoke to IGN about the upcoming FPS.
From Daikai: "It is best to think of Coded Arms Assault as a new game with a shared theme of virtual reality.

However the stories are not related at all." Daikai also said the trailer shown at E3 was not pre-rendered, so it represents the actual in-game graphics.

Watch the Coded Arms Assault video shown at E3 below:

Taiwan PCB Makers To Start PS3 PCB Shipments In 3Q.

Taiwan printed circuit board (PCB) makers Unimicron Technology and Nanya Printed Circuit Board (NPC) will start shipping PCBs for Sony's PS3 in the third quarter, with samples already approved by Sony, according to the Chinese-language Apple Daily.

Compeq Manufacturing is still waiting for sample approval from Sony for PCB's to be used in the new game console, the paper said.

Unitech Printed Circuit Board wil start shipping PCBs for Nintendo's handheld game console in the third or fourth quarter of this year, while Yu Fo Electronic will become the largest supplier of Xbox 360 PCBs, stated the paper, adding that Foxconn Advanced Technology (FAT) stands a good chance of landing orders for PCBs to be used in Nintendo's Wii.

PS3 Seriously Backwards.

The latest nugget of next-gen info tells us Sony’s new console will play every PlayStation game in existence.

Sony’s new console will play every PlayStation game ever made, at least according to IBM bigwigs, who have lifted the lid on its rigorous testing phase.

According to Tom Reeves, VP of semiconductor and technology services at the chip maker, which makes the PS3's processor, Sony rejected the console even when it could play all but 40 of its old titles.

That’s an impressive claim, given the thousands of games available for PSone and PS2.
It means that an unbelievable amount of testing has gone into the new console.

As Reeves told Reed's Electronic News: “Sony is very concerned about quality and backward compatibility. They want to get this right”.

The claim could put Sony ahead of Microsoft, which has updated the X360's software but can still only play around 20 original Xbox games.

Of course, Microsoft has plans to make every Xbox game playable on the console, but at the moment it’s some way off that target.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

PS3 Gets Exclusive Downloadable Games.

The iTunes music store brought the idea of digital distribution to the masses, but things are going to be quite different for games. Already the Xbox Live Arcade is bringing simple games into homes, and Sony is now talking up its plans in this area.

One difference between the so-called PS3 E-Distribution Initiative and Microsoft's current strategy is that Sony will be making games internally as well as getting others from outside game makers.

"We fund development for first-party games and we are open to self-funded games," Sony's John Hight said in an interview with Gamasutra.

Hight said that Sony won't be aping Microsoft and is instead trying to make and get games built around the specific strengths of the Sony's new hardware.

"We're looking for fresh, new ideas that fully exploit the power of PS3," he told Gamasutra. "Our first-party projects are all unique to PS3. Some of our games, by virtue of their design and hardware demands, simply couldn't work on X360".

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sony PS3 Q+A (Leaked)

An internal SCEE Q+A re. PS3, from E3, has made its way onto the web. It's an interesting read - in many ways they would have been better off just releasing this, it would have better communicated some of their points.

Playstation 3 / E3 2006 QA

- PS3 is a computer system
- PS3 is one product with different configuration
- PS3 launch date : Nov 11 (Japan), Nov 17 (US/Europe)
- PS3 price : 20GB : JPY 59,800, USD499, EUR499 (incl. VAT) / 60GB : JPY Open, USD599, EUR599 (incl. VAT)

PS3 Business Strategy

Q1. Why will you launch two models with different specs for PS3 ?

A1. PS3 is a computer system and as such, various configurations can be considered. In future, larger HDD may be required for larger content to be saved on PS3. Considering the fact that, nowadays, network connectivity is spreading within the homes, we have decided to introduce a configuration with basic ports. However, these ports, excluding HDMI, are expandable with adaptors available on the market.

Q2. How can users connect PS3 to TV without HDMI output ?

A2. PS3 supports most displays via the AV multi output. Visual quality through AV multi output is comparable to that through HDMI.

Q3. Do you have two color variations of black and silver for two different models ?

A3. This model comes in one color (clear black) only. There may be color variations in the future.

Q4. What is the initial launch quantity for PS3 ?

A4. 2 million units will be shipped worldwide at the launch timing (for the first 3 weeks), cumulative 4 million units by the end of December and cumulative 6 million by the end of March 2007 (we do not disclose the breakdown by region).

Q5. Will you launch the PS3 in the Asian region at the same timing ?

A5. Yes.

Q6. What is the breakdown of the production shipment figures for each model ?

A6. We will decide the breakdown according to the market situation.

Q7. Are you planning to launch another model which has different HDD or interface in the future ?

A7. Like PCs, other configuration with the different HDD capacity and I/O can be considered in the future.

Q8. Where will you start manufacturing PS3 ?

A8. We will start manufacturing in Japan and China simultaneously (we don't disclose the names of manufacturing companies).

Q9. When will you start manufacturing PS3 ?

A9. We will start assembly from summer. Manufacturing of the main semiconductors has already started.

Q10. MS's Xbox360 was launched a year ago and has a head start. How do you feel about it ?

A10. We have set the best launch timing for PS3.

Q11. How is the PS3 network service going to be ? Will you also start the service from day one ? What are the differences between Xbox Live and PS3 network services ?

A11. Apart from providing basic features and functions, the most important element is content and services. Downloading music in SingStar, purchasing or exchanging game data as we demonstrated at E3 press conference and many other new ways of enjoyment will be provided.

Q12. Will the network service be charged ?

A12. Basic services available free for current PCs will be free of charge but content and specific services will be charged from the beginning.

Q13. Are the specifications and design final ?

A13. Very close to final.

PS3 Price

Q14. Why did you set such a price for 20GB HDD model ?

A14. We have set this price so that many users can enjoy PS3.

Q15. Why is only 60GB model open price for Japan ?

A15. Each RHQ decides the price of PS3.

Q16. You have announced in April that more than 100 billion yen of operating loss will be caused from Game segment in FY06. Will the PS3 price have any impact on the forecast ? Was the introduction of two models factored in at the earnings announcement in April ?

A16. There is no change in forecast.

Q17. Won't having two models increase cost ? Can you expect the economy of scale with two models ?

A17. We don't have two different models. It is one model with different configuration just like with PCs. Therefore, economy of scale can be pursued.

Q18. When do you expect to start making profit with PS3 business ? It has been reported by Nikkei (dated May 1st) that the "PS3 business will make profit of over 100 billion yen in FY07". it true ?

A18. At the early stage after the launch, PS3 expects losses due to start-up cost, etc. However, there is no change in our business model to make profit from both hardware and software. As we have accomplished with PS2, we aim to make PS3 business profitable as soon as possible, by expanding the platform and continuing our cost down measures by reducing the number of components used in the hardware and cutting the cost of key components including semiconductors. However, it's too early to comment on the timing of the turnaround. We have never told Nikkei that "PS3 business will make profit of over 100 billion yen in FY07".

Hardware Functions

Q19. Are there any additional or modified features from E3 last year ?

A19. Please refer to the specification sheet for details.

Q20. You had previously announced that there would be two HDMI ports, but why does the PS3 with the 20GB HDD not have a HDMI port ? Can Blu-ray content be enjoyed in high quality graphics without HDMI ?

A20. High quality HD images can be enjoyed equally with the 20GB HDD product via the AV multi port (1080p output is also possible with the TV equipped with the D5 input). Analog output from BD will be supported until 2011 and all software published until they can be enjoyed. Standardization of visual image output via home network (e.g. DLNA) is also currently under way.

Q21. There were 2 HDMI ports in your original announcement, but why does the 60GB PS3 have only 1 HDMI port ?

A21. Because standardization of image output over the network such as DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is currently under way, it will become possible to transfer images to multiple displays in ways other than using the HDMI port. It is also possible to connect PSP through the network as a secondary display and enjoy PS3 content remotely (although it depends on the software).

Q22. Can you enjoy progressive images with PS and PS2 titles ?

A22. Not only does PS3 convert images from SD to HD, it also converts interlace to progressive images (upward conversion is done by the PS3 system).

Q23. Can you enjoy full HD PS3 software content with a standard TV ?

A23. Not only does PS3 convert images from SD to HD, it also converts 1080p to 720p (downward conversion is done by the PS3 system).

Q24. Is 60GB HDD large enough for PS3 ?

A24. 60GB is 3 times the capacity of Xbox360 and at the moment we consider it enough to save online game data as well as to transfer various data from other PCs and CE/AV products. If there is need in the future, it is also possible to upgrade storage capacity by exchanging HDD to Serial-ATA 2.5" HDD available on the market.

Q25. Why isn't 20GB PS3 equipped with Memory Stick/SD Memory card/Compact Flash slots ?

A25. PS3 is a computer system. Storage devices can be expanded by using adaptors available on the market.

. The 20GB PS3 does not come with Wi-Fi 802.11, but does this mean that it cannot be connected to PSP ?

A26. Home networking is spreading around the world. With the use of widely available wireless LAN adaptor with USB port, connection to PSP is possible.

. Why did you reduce the number of USB ports from 6 to 4 ?

A27. PS3 is a computer system. Number of ports can be expanded by using adaptors available on the market.

Q28. Why did you reduce the number of Ethernet ports from 3 to 1 ?

A28. We had one input (WAN) and two outputs (LAN) in mind, but given that nowadays network connection is spreading within the homes, we considered that one Ethernet connection to a router would be sufficient.

Q29. Will Linux OS be adopted as you have planned ?

A29. Yes. PS3 is a computer system and Linux OS is adopted as one of the standard OSes.

Q30. How much noise reduction level have you achieved ?

A30. Approximately 29dB (A) (equivalent to slim-line PS2).


Q31. You mention that PS3 adopts a breakthrough six-axis sensing system that lets you control intuitively as if the controller has become part of your body. How does this work ?

A31. "3-posture-axis" of roll, pitch and yaw, plus "3-dimension acceleration information (X, Y and Z)" can be detected in high-precision and in real-time (no more specific details to be given).

Q32. Why did you change the design of the controller to that of PS and PS2 ?

A32. We received many feedback after E3 last year and created the PS3 controller by refining and improving the world's most popular Playstation controller that shipped more than several hundred million units worldwide, while inheriting its basic concept and design.

Q33. Can the new features be enjoyed with all PS3 titles ?

A33. It depends on the title, but we expect that software developers would proactively make use of the new PS3 controller.

Q34. You say that PS3 provides backward compatibility of PS and PS2 titles, but would you insist that you offer complete backward compatibility even if vibration feature does not work ?

A34. There is no major difference in gameplay even without the vibration feature. We hope a lot of users will support the new PS3 controller with new ways of enjoyment.

Q35. The controllers shown at the booth are all wired, but will the actual product be wireless ?

A35. Yes. We are using wired controllers since there is too much interference with so many wireless devices on the show floor.

Q36. Will PSP be used as a remote controller ?

A36. We will consider the possibility.PS3 Software

Q37. We hear rumors from software developers that there are not enough development tools being shipped. Is this true ?

A37. As evident with many game titles demonstrated at E3, development of PS3 titles is duty in progress.

Q38. How much is the estimated price range of the software titles for PS3 ? Is it the same price as PS2 ?

A38. As a platform holder, we are not in a position to comment on this. As a first party title developer/publisher, we assume a wider price range since software can be delivered through various media including packaged discs and network.

Q39. Are all titles shown at E3 (press conference and booth) launch titles ?

A39. Many of the playable titles shown at E3 are likely to be released at or around launch. Some titles shown as (demo) video may also become launch titles.

Q40. Do all titles shown at E3 support 1080p ?

A40. "Gran Turismo HD E3 2006" is demonstrated at 1080p with frame rate of 60 frames per second. As for other titles, some are 1080p and some 720p.

Q41. How many launch titles do you expect to have ?

A41. We expect the best launch line-up in history.

Blu-ray Disc (BD)

The PS3 will be one of the first BD players on the market with full "BD Live" capability (the ability to access the internet from within the disc and download additional content to the player's internal memory - as well as the ability to enjoy unique, "web-enabled" interactive features, such as bringing up web sites, actor information and bios and related topics in windows (picture in picture) whilst continuing to play the main movie.

The marketing tagline for Blu-ray is Beyond High Definition. The key messaging to support this is :

More High-Def Content

90% of major Hollywood studios, the world's two largest music companies, PLAYSTATION 3 and leading gaming companies all support BD. That means more HD movies, more HD concerts, more HD games and more for you !

More Hi-Def Capabilities

Full 1080p resolution, up to 7.1 channels of surround sound, 50GB of storage capacity, real time internet and network connectivity and interactivity and backwards compatibility with existing DVD libraries.

More Hi-Def Products

Over 85% of the leading consumer electronics companies and the four largest PC brands all support BD.

Region Coding

BD region coding is a simplified version of the DVD region coding system. For BD, the regions are :

Region A - USA and Japan
Region B - Europe, Australia and New Zealand and most of the old PAL territories
Region C - Russia and Asia

BDA specifications stipulate that all BD players, including PLAYSTATION 3, must incorporate region coding and will be single region. It is up to content providers whether or not to apply region coding to their content - all PLAYSTATION 3 games will be region free and will therefore play on any PLAYSTATION 3 regardless of where it was bought.


The technical description of the Controller from the press release is :

"The controller for PS3 employs a breakthrough technology of high-precision, highly sensitive six-axis sensing system that does not require any devices other than the controller itself for seamless interactive operation, thus eliminating additional setting to TVs. With this technology, ways to enjoy PS3 will be further enhanced by accessing PS3 through the network, while retaining the six-axis sensing capability. In addition to "3-posture-axis" of roll, pitch and yaw, "3-dimension acceleration information (X, Y and Z)" can be detected in high-precision and in real-time. In addition to standard key input available in existing controllers, more natural and more intuitive manipulation will become possible as if the controller has become part of your body".

This is an overly technical description, and there is a need to simplify the USP for consumers in terms of features and benefits. The new PS3 controller employs cutting edge technology and is a major and key element of the overall PS3 package.

What this means for users is :

- The new controller for PS3 enables the user to direct characters, vehicles, aircraft and other game elements in the Yaw, Pitch and Roll axes (3 of the six axes mentioned above) without the use of the traditional directional buttons.

- In addition, the controller's sensors can detect acceleration in each of the above axes (providing the remaining 3 axes), allowing the user to determine the speed of movement of the object being controlled.

- There us no requirement for any additional sensors in front of the display.

- The new controller will also allow users to freely navigate the PS3 controls as well as access, move around and operate the PS3's navigation system (Cross Media Bar) using the same sensor based control system.

- PS3 will come with a single controller.

- Up to 8 controllers can be used.

Not all "Day 1" games will employ the innovative features of the controller, but over time, every developer will use the features.

Have you been forced into this "six-axis" approach by losing the "DualShock Vibration" court case against Immersion ?Not at all. The technology used for the DualShock is now almost 10 years old. Whilst it was revolutionary when PS One launched, technology has moved on, and SCE is always at the forefront of the technology wave. For the PS3 controller, we are using breakthrough technology, right at the cutting edge of what is possible today.


What about the media reports we have seen suggesting that not all PS2 and PS One titles will be backwards compatible ?Kutaragi San made clear at the Playstation Business Meeting in March that all titles that complied with the TRC (Technical Requirements Checklist) - essentially a blueprint of how to develop a game on the Playstation platform, would be backwards compatible. Nothing has changed from that statement.

In a few instances, developers have applied short cuts or workrounds in the development process to extract the maximum performance from their games. In some cases, these may be not fully comply with the TRC and additional work may be required to make these titles compatible. Our target nevertheless remains 100% backwards compatibility.

The lack of a vibration function when playing PS One or PS2 games on the PS3 does not affect the gameplay (and we can therefore say that there is full backwards compatibiliy).


This document provides some potentially useful sound bites and perspectives on the announcements to be made at E3. It is not exhaustive, and should be read in conjunction with the PS3 Q&A.

The key points about PS3 are :

- PS3 is being positioned as a computer system, and not a computer entertainment system. Like other computer systems, it can be upgraded through the use of readily available industry standard adaptors.

- There will therefore be two initial configurations of PS3, not two versions.

- With the exception of the HDMI socket, every aspect of the 20GB model can be upgraded using readily available, industry standard adaptors.

- No SCEE decision has yet been taken on the splut of PS3 configurations for the SCEE market.


How would you position the difference between the two versions of the PS3 announced this week ?Firstly, the PS3 is a computer system. There may be two configurations but the key elements are standard - Blu-ray disc, Cell chip, Giga-bit Ethernet to provide an always-on connection to the network, and a pre-installed hard disk drive (HDD) as standard.

The difference between the two versions is more to do with the customer who will buy the PS3. The 60GB HDD version comes fully-equipped to exploit the very latest in HD display technology. It also has a full suite of interfaces (I/O connections), including an HDMI connection which will allow it to support full HD (1080i/1080p) flat panel displays. This version is positioned at the consumer who has either adopted HD, or who is planning tu upgrade to HD display technology in the next few years.

We also recognise that there are many potential PS3 owners out there who are either happy with the quality of their existing TV, or have perhaps recently upgraded to a digital TV and do not plan to upgrade further for the time being - for them an HDMI socket is not essential. For these customers, who will not initially need the PSP/PS3 wireless connectivity, the 20GB version may be more appropriate, and will be better value.


Like other computer systems, it is possible to upgrade the configuration of the PS3. For both models, it is possible to upgrade the hard disk to any industry standard Serial-ATA 2.5" HDD.

For those with the 20GB version, owners who wish to utilise Memory Stick/SD Memory Card/Compact Flash slots or Wi-Fi 802.11 connectivity to PSP can make use of widely available USB wireless LAN adaptors and other industry standard adaptors. Note : The only non upgradeable element of the 20GB version is the HDMI slot, which can not be added later.

PS3 games will look brilliant on a standard TV, but stunning when viewed on a HD display.

TV Connectivity

The issue of connectivity between the PS3 and the display is very complex and depends on the type of TV (Analog, Digital or HD Ready), the maker of TV (until recently, only Toshiba TVs have component AV connections as standard in Europe, most other Euro TV sets use SCART which can not carry an HD signal) and specification of TV (the very latest HD Ready TV sets have wider connectivity options than earlier HD "capable" TVs from the same manufacturer which may have lacked HDMI), and finally the configuration of the PS3 model purchased.

The issue of which cables to supply with the different configurations of PS3 has yet to be decided.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Assassin's Creed Still PS3 Exclusive.

With gaming circles drooling over the next-generation launch of Assassin's creed we are still unsure which consoles it will be available for.

X360 owners have been anxious since they caught wind of the game coming to their next-gen console and although it wasn't actually officially announced for the 360 in a press release, it has been widely rumoured in the gaming community that Assassin's Creed will come the X360 at some point.

However, a Community Manager from Ubisoft under the name of 'UbiRazz' has slated the matter of Assassins Creed for the X360.

"Ubisoft have confirmed no such thing. Assassin's Creed will come on PS3 and at this time, no other platform has been confirmed". said UbiRazz.

This is great news for PS3. If you hav'nt seen the PS3 trailer of the game yet, I just happen to have it to wet your appetite.

Coming to a PS3 early 2007.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Possible PS3 Launch Games.

This is quite an interesting mix of launch games covering most genre's:

  • Resistance:Fall Of Man(First person Shooter)
  • Warhawk(Shooter)
  • Stranglehold(First person Action Adventure)
  • Fatal Inertia( Futuristic Racing)
  • Tony Hawk's Project 8(Sport)
  • Formula One 06(Driving)
  • Fight Night Round 3(Sport)
  • Motorstorm(Driving)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas( Tactical Shooter)
  • NBA Live '07(Sport)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07(Sport)
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance(Action RolePlaying)
  • Ridge Racer 7(Driving)
  • Need For Speed Carbon(Driving)
  • NFL Madden '07(Sport)
  • Call of Duty 3(First Person Shooter)
  • Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom(Action Role Playing)
  • Bladestorm: The 100 Year War(Beat'em'Up)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog(3D Platformer)
  • NHL 2K7(Sport)
  • WWE SmackDown Vs Raw 2007(Sport)
  • Flow (PS3 Hub download)
  • Full Auto 2:Battlelines(Car Combat)
  • Lair(Action)
  • SingStar(Karaoke)
  • Eye Of Judgement(EyeToy2)

All in all PS3 has some amazing games to look forward to at launch.

Sony Takes Out ¥80 Billion Loan As PS3 Production Ramps Up.

Sony Corp has taken out an 80 billion Yen(545 million Euro) three-year floating-rate bank loan - marking the first time the company has borrowed funds in ten years.

According to, more than 20 Japanese lenders will contribute to the loan, which will be used to "diversify funding sources".

The report suggests that Sony has "tapped the country's expanding syndicated loan market as it offered a cheaper source of cash at a time when investors in corporate debt are demanding higher yields before an expected rise in Japanese interest rates this year".

Sony spokesperson Shinichi Tobe told Bloomberg that the loan offers more flexibility than bonds, and that the company had ended up borrowing more funds than initially planned.

Fellow spokesperson Koji Kurata added that the funds will be used "for general purposes", according to Bloomberg. Sony intends to invest 460 billion Yen (3.13 billion Euro) in semi-conductor manufacturing and 100 billion Yen (68 million Euro) in an initiative to develop liquid-crystal displays with Samsung.

Sony is also facing costs associated with the manufacture of the PS3 and the launch of the new Blu-Ray disc format - both of which are due to roll out this year.

Last year the company embarked on a three-year cost-cutting exercise that will see the loss of 10,000 jobs over the coming years.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sega Confirms Sonic, Full Auto 2 for PS3 launch.

Sega of America's vice president of marketing Scott Steinberg has revealed that its next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog title and sequel Full Auto 2: Battlelines are on track for PS3 launch.

Dropping this titbit while speaking to GameDailyBiz about Sega's next-gen console strategy, Steinberg also said the PS3-exclusive beat-'em-up Virtua Fighter 5 will be out in March 2007.
Discussing next-gen development in general, he spoke about Sega "bringing our frontline brands as well as some new IP" to the new consoles, and promised we'll "be seeing some new IP that kind of rounds out our efforts on the two new platforms [PS3 and Wii]." Steinberg went on to add that Sega's Wii-exclusive Sonic Wild Fire will "probably" arrive in March 2007, and reaffirmed that Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz will launch alongside Nintendo's new console.
"...we continue to support [Xbox 360]," Steinberg additionally stated, mentioning Chromehounds and the Sonic Next Gen game which is also being developed for PS3.
But he refused to confirm whether Full Auto 2: Battlelines would eventually release for 360 too."Top line, Sega is supporting all three platforms," Steinberg said. "...we have lots of plans to be players on all three [consoles].
We're not necessarily picking one or the other; we have the capacity and scale to support all three."

Six Part Video Interview With Warhawk Developers.

1.Meet the cast.

2.What is Warhawk.

3.The Warhawk universe.

4.Multi - Model.

5.The Cell Processor.

6.The RSX graphics chip.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Leaked Doc Hints At Wii PS3 Launch Dates.

Game retailer Game Stop already has Nintendo Wii and PS3 video game release dates on its websites but a leaked company document now seems to confirm those dates suggesting that Wii titles will be available in early October while PS3 games a month later.

Usually when video games retailers post availability dates on their websites there is little excitement as those dates have come to be known as guestimates rather than reliable information. When such information however, is confirmed by a leaked document from within the company, the rumor mills can start spinning again.

The aforementioned document, carrying a 5/24 date, is titled Product Release Information and mentions that the Wii titles Rayman 4, the conspicuously titled Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature are expected to release on 10/2/06. This would suggest that the Wii console should also launch around that time or even earlier if Nintendo is planning some odd surprise.

Additionally we are informed that November 2006 will see a large selection of Wii titles, some of which we did not hear much of during E3 2006. These include Call of Duty 3, Need for Speed: Carbon and Medal of Honor: Airborne, along with the much hyped Red Steel, Madden NFL 2007, Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam and Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

The same document also mentions that the first PS3 titles will appear in November, something which, more or less, was expected. Most PS3 launch titles mentioned seem to be EA games and include NBA Live 07, Fight Night 3, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007, NfS: Carbon and Madden NFL 07. The other games expected in November are: CoD 3, BiA 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Tony Hawk's Project 8.

Additional launch games for the PS3 include: Rainbow Six: Vegas, Resistance Fall of Man, Warhawk and Genji 2.

Games that will appear in 2007 include: the delayed Heavenly Sword, EA's Army of Two and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed in March.