Thursday, November 29, 2007
TimeShift Multiplayer demo (free)
Destruction Derby (£3.49)
Kula World (£3.49)
MotorStorm Crazy Samurai & Quick Foot Liveries (£1.49)
Resistance: Fall of Man Map Pack 2 (£2.99)
Sonic - Very Hard Sonic Mission (£1.49)
Sonic - Very Hard Shadow Mission (£1.49)
Sonic - Very Hard Silver Mission (£1.49)
Sonic - Boss Attack Shadow (£1.49)
Sonic - Boss Attack Silver (£1.49)
Sonic -Team Attack Amigo (£1.49)
Assassins's Creed "Altair Was Here" trailer (free)
Blazing Angels 2 "Racing Trailer" (free)
PAIN Video (free)
Smackdown vs RAW 2008 Video (free)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune "Making the Game" video (free)
This Is Living: Blu-ray (free)
This Is Living: Gaming (free)
This Is Living: Evolving Entertainment (free)
This Is Living: Faster Processing (free)
This Is Living: TheMaking Of (free)
US PlayStation Store Update:
TimeShift Multiplayer Demo (free)
Resistance: Fall of Man Map Pack #2 ($4.99)
Motorstorm Vehicle & Skin Pack ($1.99)
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Boss Battles Track Pack ($)
Rock Band David Bowie Pack 1 ($)
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction BTS - Weapons (free)
TimeShift FPS Video 2 (free)
Stop Loss trailer (free)
Blu-Ray Disc Trailers:
Memoirs of a Geisha trailer (free)
Resident Evil: Extinction trailer (free)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The Blu-ray format is outselling rival HD DVD in Europe, accounting for 73 per cent of all HD movies sold.
According to the Blu-ray Disc Association European Promotions Committee, sales recently broke the 1 million barrier. That's not counting PlayStation 3 game, which adds another 20 million units to Blu-ray disc production for sale in Europe.
HD DVD was developed by Toshiba, while Sony backs the Blu-ray standard. Microsoft's Xbox 360 offers an add-on HD DVD movie player; Blu-ray disc playback is standard in every model of Sony's PS3.
Of the high definition movie discs bought by consumers so far this year in Europe, 73 per cent were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 27 per cent were HD DVD, according to sales data provided by Media Control Gfk International.
The Blu-ray Disc Association said the best-selling titles in the Blu-ray format were 300, Casino Royale, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
In the US, Blu-ray disc movies had outsold HD DVD movies by almost two-to-one during the first nine months of 2007 according to Home Media Research.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sony's stock prices shot up 4.54 percent (250 yen) to close at 5,750 yen - said to be thanks to the recent boost in PS3 sales and a deal that saw the Dubai state fund invest up to $500 million in the company.
Koya Tabata, an analyst at Credit Suisse, spotted the obvious: "The news of brisk PS3 sales in North America apparently had an effect on Sony shares".
Conversely, Nintendo shares dropped by 800 Yen (1.28 percent) to 61,700, while Wii remains widely sold out in the major territories worldwide.
For those that don't understand, Sony's doing 'aight'.
Greenpeace has publicly shamed Nintendo and Microsoft for lacking any environmental credentials when it comes to electronic waste.
The latest Greener Electronics Guide sees Nintendo become the first company to score 0/10 for its policies and practices on toxic chemicals and takeback.
"The Greener Electronics Guide is our way of getting the electronics industry to face up to the problem of e-waste," detailed Greenpeace.
"Nintendo completely fails to show any environmental credentials and Microsoft and Philips do little better," said the organisation, which for the first time is including home consoles and TVs in the report, alongside PCs and mobile phones.
"Companies shouldn't be under any illusions that we won't check up on their claims of green greatness," commented Iza Kruszewska, campaigner for Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace ranks companies on two criteria – the clean up of products by eliminating hazardous substances and the takeback and recycling of products once they become obsolete.
With no voluntary takeback of products, no information on banned products, no information on how the company communicates with its supply chain and no policy on use of vinyl plastics, Greenpeace notes that Nintendo scores so badly there is "infinite room for improvement".
Microsoft scored 2.7/10, with points for chemical management and for setting a timeline to phase out PVCs by 2011.
Sony scores much better than its rivals, with 7.3/10, although this covers the whole of the electronics company's products. With no mention of the PS3, it's noted that Sony produces many products that are free from PVC including the VAIO notebook, Walkman, camcorders and digital cameras.
Other companies featured in the Greener Electronics Guide include Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Dell, Panasonic and Apple.
A smaller die size for the chip can mean cheaper production costs and less heat, contributing to lower prices for the consumer, and a quieter, more reliable PS3 system.
The latest versions of the system's Cell CPU are being manufactured using a 65nm process. It is widely believed that the switch to 65nm for the Cell is one of the main reasons Sony was able to drop the PS3's price down to $399 in time for the holidays.
Nikkei also reports that Toshiba is planning on beginning manufacturing at 45nm in the latter half of the next fiscal year, and speculates that the RSX and other PlayStation 3 chips are prime candidates for the new line.
Friday, November 23, 2007
With Operation: Omega Dawn, the war between the Eucadians and the Chernovans forces continues as the two countries fight to control the high-tech facilities of a critical new battlefield – the Omega Factory. The battle takes place in an entirely new world - an industrial night-time setting where players will fight through five new layouts of advanced building complexes and huge industrial towers. The new map supports all existing game modes – including Team Deathmatch, Zone Mode and Capture the Flag – and is the largest combat zone to date for Warhawk!
All this in one single download from PlayStation Network this December.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Fresh from UK TV screens here is the GamerTV special on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, showing new footage and gameplay info.
The features for the controller are as followed:
- 2.4 GHz Wireless Controller
- 7 Progressive Axes, which is exclusive on all platforms
- Optical Wheel with self-centring feature.
- Dual Triggers which are progressive and programmable
- Playable on the PS3, PS2, and PC platforms
- 'Home' Button for the PS3
- Fully Programmable as the mini-sticks, directional buttons, optical wheel and triggers can be fully swapped.
- Internal Memory that stores all programmed button layouts, even when the controller is disconnected
- Vibration feature on the PS2 with two vibration motors.
The controller seems like a nice addition to the DualShock 3, but it is doubted that this will be anything worthy of a purchase. There is no official price set for the controller or release date. However, it is unique and should be considered as a purchase later on down the road.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Tori Emaki - £1.99
Feel Ski - £4.99
Mesmerize - £1.99
Juiced 2: HIN
Motorstorm Revenge Weekend Trailer
PS Eye Trailer Lair Trailer
Uncharted Behind The Scenes
Eye Of Judgement Trailers
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
Alien vs Predator requiem
Hitman Movie Trailer
US PlayStation Store Update:
Twisted Metal 2
Uncharted "Massive" trailer
GT5 Prologue TGS video
NFS ProStreet TV spot
Burnout "Annihilator" trailer
Burnout "Hawker" trailer
Burnout "Roadster" trailer
Beowulf the game trailer
Playstation Eye video
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
The Bucket List trailer
Close Encounters BD trailer
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hit the link to see the breakdown by region.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Full Games & Apps:
Aqua Vita £1.99
Operation Creature Feature £3.49
PixelJunk Racers £4.99
The Trials of Topoq £3.49
Ratchet & Clank
Game Add On's:
Folklore kidnapped pack £1.49
MotorStorm Halloween livery (free)
Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection Online
Midnight Club LA
Metal Gear Online
The Eye of Judgment (introduction)
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
Courage Under Fire
US PlayStation Store Update:
Spyro the Dragon $5.99
Full Games & Apps:
Piyotama Halloween Skin Add-On (Free)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma DLC $2.99
Time Crisis 4
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
The Water Horse
P.S. I Love You
AC/DC Live at Donington
Reign Over Me
Eye of Judgment
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Hit the link to see the breakdown by region.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Sony is backing upcoming PS3 title Ratchet and Clank: Tools Of Destruction with a million pound TV campaign throughout the gifting season.
The platform holder has heralded the game as a ‘benchmark’ release for PS3 owners, and set its sights on a target demographic that covers the whole family.
"The ad will target 16-34 year olds, with a focus on Saturday night family programming, which draws upon a broad demographic of viewers, matching Ratchet And Clank’s target audience," Sony product manager Lucy Garnett told MCV.
"One of the strongest aspects of Ratch & Clank, has to be the quality of the visuals, and we wanted to showcase this in the TV ad, meaning it'll be made up of actual gameplay footage".
The megabucks TV campaign will kick off on November 16th and last for a full month.
This will be agumented with a wide-ranging online push, which will include heavyweight coverage on gaming sites including Gamespot, Games Radar, Eurogamer and TVG.
Sony promises that the title will also enjoy a strong presence on broader reach site such as Yahoo, Channel 4 and Sky Sports, to target a more mainstream audience.
"the title marries Shrek-style humour with a detailed and fun storyline to produce what we believe to be a benchmank PS3 title," added Garnett.
"It's this variety and depth that we hope will make it equally to young and old, novice or hardcore gamers, and people who want a title that can really showcase what the PS3 is capable of".
Thursday, October 18, 2007
While the ownership of the asset would go to Toshiba, Sony and its gaming unit, Sony Computer Entertainment, would jointly participate in the production process as a minority shareholder of 40% in a new joint venture to be set up in April with Toshiba, which would take the remaining 60%.
Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people) shares swooned after initial press rumors of the sale a month ago, but on Thursday afternoon, they were up 30 yen, or 0.55%, at 5,430 yen ($46.57).
The sale allows Sony to pass on the heavy cost of microprocessor development to Toshiba, Japan’s largest microchip maker. It could possibly lower Sony’s procurement costs for Cell chips if Toshiba can reap production efficiencies from commercializing the chips in a broader range of applications. Sony will also be able to invest the proceeds of the sale to bolster its world-leading position in image-processing chips for its digital cameras and cell phones.
For Toshiba (other-otc: TOSBF - news - people), buying the Cell line would give it a huge upgrade in the system chip business, where it is lagging far behind Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people) and Samsung (other-otc: SSNLF - news - people), with the anchor of having Sony as a reliable buyer.
Both companies said they would jointly advance the Cell chips to the next stage of technology: Toshiba was reported by Nikkei Business Daily as intending to roll out a 45-nanometer version of the Cell in two years and employing the cutting-edge chips in personal computers and flat-panel televisions.
CTR: Crash Team Racing
Everybody's Golf 2
Syphon Filter 3
Uncharted - The Inspiration
Alien Vs Predator BD Trailer
Lair Good Dragon
Lair Bad Dragon
US PlayStation Store Update:
Folklore “PlayStation Underground”
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
Uncharted Tech Dive
Burnout™ Paradise Steel Wheels Trailer
Turok Dino Luring Trailer
Devil May Cry 4 TGS Short Trailer
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
Rails & Ties Trailer
Incubus — Alive at Red Rocks BD Trailer
Underworld BD Trailer
Eye of Judgement Wallpapers
Calling All Cars has been reduced to $4.99 until 10/25/07.
Following rumours last month that Sony would sell its processor chip manufacturing facilities to Toshiba, the company has announced that it will enter into a joint venture instead.
The agreement, which should be completed by the end of March according to a report by Bloomberg, will see the transfer of manufacturing facilities to Toshiba, while manufacturing will come under the control of the Sony-Toshiba joint venture.
Sale of the facilities to Toshiba is expected to raise JPY 100 billion (USD 858 million), and the Sony share price had climbed 0.6 per cent by the close of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The move also follows Sony's announcement earlier in the month about its partnership with Infineon Technologies on the production of DRAM chips.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Hit the link to see the breakdown by region.
On October 10, the 40GB PlayStation 3 went on sale in the UK, along with a new Value Pack for the 60GB machine, which includes two first-party games, and costs £349 (approx $710)--a £76 ($155) drop.
Sony's holiday push seems to be working. For the week ending October 13, there was a 178 percent increase in sales of the console over the previous week, according to Chart Track, the official UK game industry sales tracking body.
The week was the third biggest week for PlayStation 3 hardware since it was launched in the UK on March 23--the first and second being the two weeks after it was launched. However, the figures weren't enough to get the PS3 the top slot--the DS Lite sold the most number of units, followed by the Wii, then the PS3, and then the Xbox 360.
Chart Track director Dorian Bloch commented, "The PS3 60GB is proving very popular, even with the introduction last week of the 40GB model. Eighty-nine percent of purchasers opted for some form of 60GB model, since this is sold with at least two games for only £50 ($102) more than the 40GB model, and sometimes other extras...check some retailer Web sites and you'll find Blu-ray discs also included for £350".
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Speed master £2.99
Fallout 3 Teaser Trailer
Lair - Mastering the Beast
Lair - Call of the Beast
Lair - World in Chaos
Lair - When Dragons Attack
Pixel Junk Racers
Men of Honour
Planet of the Apes
Pixel Junk Racers Box
Pixel Junk Racers Neon
Lair Bad Dragon
US PlayStation Store Update:
Everyday Shooter = $9.99
Ratchet & Clank
Uncharted Behind The Scenes II
Folklore Launch Trailer
Fallout 3 Teaser Trailer
Movie & Blu-ray Trailers:
The Assassination of Jesse James
Ratchet & Clank
On the whole, HD players have increased their market share, now at 5%, since August when it was only 1.3% of total DVD player sales. Additionally, HD players accounted for 27% of the revenue in the DVD player market. This trend is expected to continue through the upcoming holiday season.
Speaking to Spanish website MeriStation.com, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe vice president James Armstrong said: “We are working on a PlayStation 3 bundle that includes Metal Gear 4 Solid and the new DualShock. We want it to hit the high street before Easter. That’s what we’re pushing for at the moment".
If true, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise. With MGS4 easily being one of the most high profile games set to appear in 2008 and exclusive to the PS3, it’s only logical that Sony will be looking to cash in on this in the biggest way possible – and a bundle deal would almost certainly help to shift consoles.
No price was mentioned, but with the 60GB value pack now retailing for £349 and the new 40GB console (which is almost certainly going to be the only one left on offer by the time MGS4 is ready to roll here) costing £299, we suspect the price point to fall somewhere in between the two.
Sony's acquisition of MotorStorm developer Evolution Studios and its PSP satellite Bigbig Studios cost the company £16 million (EUR 22.9m / USD 32.6m).
According to a report by the Liverpool Daily Post, chief executive and co-founder Martin Kenwright held a 75 per cent stake in the company, netting him GBP 12 million from the sale. Ian Hetherington, chairman and co-founder, held most of the rest of the shares.
The MotorStorm developer was snapped up by Sony last month, after the racing studio delivered one of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling titles for the PlayStation 3.
At the time, Michael Denny, vice president of SCE Worldwide Studios told GamesIndustry.biz, "We've enjoyed a highly productive and commercially successful relationship with Evolution and now there's a great opportunity in bringing them into part of the family to share further in terms of technology, production methodology and creative goals to make the experiences that these teams are creating even better".
Evolution was established in 1999, but co-founders Kenwright and Hetherington decided to leave the business following the acquisition.
Evolution is currently working a disc-based sequel to MotorStorm as well as further downloadable content, while Bigbig Studios is putting the finishing touches to Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice for the PSP.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
40GB Model and new 60Gb bundles arrive on the high street
After the numerous price reductions and new SKUs that Sony has introduced in its PS3 hardware range across all its global territories, today marks the arrival of the new-look PS3 offer at UK retail.
Gamers looking to snap up Sony’s console can from today can choose between the 40GB model at £299.99 and the reduced price 60GB model at £349.99 – down from its previous price of £424.99.
For those who need reminding, the new 40GB model is slightly different to the previous machine Sony had on the market – as well as the reduced storage space, it also lacks the integrated memory card reader, two USB ports and its PS2 backwards compatibility.
The 60GB model remains fully-featured, and depending on which retailer gamers visit will come bundled with two games from a large selection of titles including Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword, Formula One: Championship Edition and Resistance: Fall of Man.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
With all its fancy graphics and mountains of features, you'd expect Home to cost you a pretty penny. On the contrary, when Phil Harrison first announced it back in March at the 2007 Game Developers Conference, he informed the masses it would be absolutely free of charge.
How can Sony afford such a thing? Small micro-transactions were always cited as a way to counter development and upkeep costs of the online universe, but we were skeptical as to whether they could fully support Home. However, it appears in-game advertising will have a far greater impact (and therefore greater presence). In fact, in-game advertising is what is keeping Home free.
Darlene Kindler was recently appointed SCEA's head of in-game advertising strategies. She'll work in conjunction with Nielsen Media Research on the type of ads we'll be seeing in Home (and possibly future online PSN fare).
Don't worry, the ads won't be ludicrous and out of place - no coca-cola ads engraved in trees in the Fairy Realm of one of Home's online game rooms. We'll be seeing ads that are both "dynamic, [and] relevant".
What's your take on all of this? Would you rather pay for Home, or have to walk past a GAP billboard on the way to and from your Home Space?
Let us know in the comments section. As always, we'll keep you updated on all things PlayStation Home.
Take the test here. Its not as straightforward as you might think.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"Yes, there is a chance it will come out in December.
In addition there is some good news as well. A little extra time in development means that now the PS3 version will have all of the same maps as the PC version which wasn’t previously expected to be the case".
Monday, October 01, 2007
Shares for Sony Corporation's subsidiary, Sony Financial Holdings Inc, went on sale in Japan today, with a total of 800,000 shares traded at a price of JPY 400,000 (GBP 1692, USD 3462) each.
That's the top line in a possible range, the lowest price of which was JPY 380,000 (GBP 1608, USD 3289) each, demonstrating demand for what was on its announcement initially received with limited interest.
Following a pre-offering cut from JPY 415,000 (GBP 1756, USD 3592) the shares raised JPY 320 billion (GBP 1.35 billion, USD 2.77 billion) with the proceeds thought to be heading towards the corporation's electronics division.
Specifically that means a boost for the manufacture of Bravia televisions, and help for the Playstation department as well - a move which was previously thought to have been indicative of an impending price cut for the Playstation 3.
However, no such news was forthcoming at Sony's price-related announcement event, the Tokyo Games Show.
Friday, September 28, 2007
A demo should also be made available on PSN from October 11th.
Friday, September 21, 2007
"We will still be opening in late November/early December for general beta testing. So, the commercial start of Home will be pushed out later, but you will still get the experience this year," explain Harrison.
We'll keep you updated.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
During its press conference at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Sony Computer Entertainment finally announced the worst-kept secret in gaming - the Dual Shock 3. The new controller looks exactly like the Sixaxis from the outside, with the only difference being that it now says Dual Shock 3 instead of Sixaxis on the top.
Sony announced that a number of games that are appearing at TGS already support the rumble functionality, including Metal Gear Solid 4 (and MGS Online), Devil May Cry 4, echochrome, Ratchet & Clank Future, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Dynasty Warriors 6. And as we reported yesterday, Burnout Paradise looks to also support the new controller.
Along with its new rumble functionality, the Dual Shock 3 will still support the motion sensing function of the Sixaxis.
The Dual Shock 3 will launch this November in Japan, while the US and Europe will receive the new controller in the spring of 2008.
We just got word from the Sony press conference that Home, which was originally scheduled to be released at the end of this year, has been rescheduled to release sometime this spring. According to the news at the press conference, this shift comes as a result of Sony's desire to react to feedback from users, and Sony will provide additional details in the future.
Home, Sony's eagerly anticipated social networking service for the PS3, has been in development for quite a while. Hopefully, this delay only means further tweaking for the software, which will then herald in Sony's future plans for online support. Check back with us soon for further updates.
Update: Sony was just asked to elaborate on the Home delay during their press conference Q & A session. Hirai comments that the primary issue responsible for the delay is because Home is a worldwide service, and Sony would like to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible, by offering a wide variety of services. This will be accomplished by responding to the feedback and testing that has been happening recently with the software.
We'll have more information on this as it becomes available, including the unannounced URL.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
A new trailer highlighted the game's sharp graphics, which nearly match the visual fidelity of its single-player counterpart. In addition, fun gameplay bits, such as the ability to roll down enemies in a barrel were shown. The trailer ended with a soldier launching himself helplessly into the air by using a massive cannon device.
Both Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Online will be playable at TGS. Stay tuned for more.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The game are Lair, Heavenly Sword, Warhawk, Eye of Judgement, Folklore and have all been dated for Europe.
Official release dates:
12/09/07 - Warhawk (Incl. Headset Bundle)
19/09/07 - Heavenly Sword
10/10/07 - Folklore
24/10/07 - Lair
24/10/07 - The Eye of Judgement
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We quizzed Epic’s Mark Rein about and he did little to dispel our assumptions saying quickly "Oops, you shouldn’t have seen that". We would have liked to grabbed a pic, and were little deterred by the venue’s strict no camera phone policy and dodgy lighting, however Mark Rein’s rapid covering of the projector with his hand put pay to that cunning idea.
Needless to say, we have little to go on. It is accessed with the Triangle button if that makes any difference to you. It is also anyone’s guess whether this is a future Sony project that will cover the whole of the PlayStation Network or whether it is simply a feature of UT3. But I’m betting that the secrecy surrounding it indicates a new PS3 feature. More news as we get it.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Jaffe clarified statements that in addition to the Twisted Metal: Head-On port for PS2, his new independent studio of 20 employees will concurrently be working on the first of three original games exclusively for PlayStation 3.
I can't disclose themes," Jaffe said, "but the new game is medium to hardcore in terms of game play and will focus heavily on multiplayer".
"I am more excited about this game than anything I have ever worked on. I cannot wait to unveil it," Jaffed added from Eat Sleep Play headquarters in Salt Lake City.
The three new games will either be on Blu-ray disc or as downloadable titles depending on how Sony decides to distribute the games. The first unnamed title is expected sometime in 2008.
Eat Sleep Play was founded in July by David Jaffe and Scott Campbell both formerly of Sony Studios. Combined, they are responsible for such titles as God of War and Twisted Metal.
Monday, August 06, 2007
High Street retailer HMV has admitted a pre-order listing for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots on the Xbox 360 was a mistake by its online admin team.
The listing caused a stir over the weekend, with websites and forums assuming it was evidence that the anticipated Playstation 3 title was no longer a Sony exclusive.
"In his enthusiasm, one of our online games team indicated that hmv.co.uk would start taking pre-orders for MGS4 on Xbox 360, when, in fact, he simply meant to ask customers if they wished to receive an alert in the event of this title one day coming out on this platform," admitted the retailer to GamesIndustry.biz
"We're sorry to have caused such a stir - the oversight has now been corrected".
Although Konami maintains that the latest title in the Metal Gear franchise is a Playstation 3 exclusive, numerous reports and rumours - some from Konami employees themselves - have hinted that it may not remain on a single format in the future.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
The new 80GB model includes a copy of Motorstorm for a total pack price of $599.99.
The item is scheduled to be released on August 12th, it will be interesting to see how much better the PS3 has performed when Official sales data is released in due course.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
During a conference call Sony executive VP Nobuyuki Oneda said the firm may be able to break even on PS3 hardware this fiscal year, which ends in March 2008.
He said that the main cost-downs would have to occur in the Cell processor, RSX graphics chip and Blu-ray optical components.
"The removal of the negative margin will be when all of these factors have come out. Maybe, marginally, we could achieve this during this year," Oneda told a Citigroup Securities analyst during a Q&A session. Oneda still couldn’t specify exactly when this break-even point may happen.
"For the negative margin to go away, the big trigger would be the cost-down in the Cell and RSX semiconductors. They are the key, and also optical pick-up is another factor, significantly," he said.
Oneda confirmed that Sony is working on transitioning the PS3’s chips from 90nm to 65nm, which would reduce costs significantly. He said the Cell would be the first PS3 chip to make the migration, followed by the RSX chip.
Game console makers typically sell hardware at a loss, and make up for this through software sales. Nintendo, however, has made it a point to sell its hardware at a profit.
Sony has today announced its Fiscal year 2007 Q1 earnings, including details of sales to date and sales projections for its three video game platforms.
At the end of Q1, worldwide sales of the PlayStation 3 stand at approximately 4.48 million (prior to Q1 2007 Sony only quoted units shipped not sold). 3.57 million came in the final half of the previous year, with a disappointing 0.71 million recorded in the first quarter 2007. Despite the console's poor sales in Q1, Sony has announced that it expects to sell a further 10.29 million units in the following three quarters, ending March 2008.
If Sony can meet its forecast then as of March 31, 2008, worldwide PlayStation 3 sales will have reached approximately 14.5 million units.
Sales of its other consoles, the PS2 and PSP were much better than that of the PS3. The aging PS2 is still going strong with Q1 sales of 2.7 million units, a 400,000 increase over the same quarter in 2006. PSP sales are reported as 2.14 million units, showing a year on year increase of over 700,000 units.
Forecast sales for the PlayStation 2 in fiscal 2007 are 10 million units, with the PSP expected to sell 9 million units.
Mystic Game Development announced today that EMotion FX 3 is now available for PS3. The middleware is a real-time character animation SDK designed for multi-core processor systems. The Cell processor that powers the PS3 incorporates 8 SPEs.
"We are pleased to join Sony Computer Entertainment's Tools and Middleware program for PlayStation 3. The next generation EMotion FX, which was released last year, was specifically designed to take advantage of the latest advances in next-generation hardware focused on parallel processing. Now that EMotion FX 3.5 is available on PlayStation 3, we are looking forward to seeing what game developers will do with it," said John van der Burg, Development Director of MysticGD.
"The EMotion FX product has been meeting the character animation needs of game developers since 2001, and our clients are driving the changes that we make to the EMotion FX product. They wanted next-generation performance, memory efficiency and cross-platform support, as well as clear focus on reducing the artist effort required to deliver high-quality next-gen character content in their games".
Monday, July 23, 2007
• Ability to rearrange games on the XMB
• Option menu now includes “eject disk”
• Press triangle to eject games/CDs/movies in the XMB
• XMB backgrounds
• Change the folder classification
• Change CD output to 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz
• Force 24Hz output for Blu-ray over HDMI
• Change PS3 video settings in-game
• “Bit Mapping” in the “Music Setting”
• Save AVCHD type animations from a Memory Stick
• Change settings like upscaling while playing PS and PS2 games
• Add bookmarks
• Web browser security function in the browser’s tool section
• Avatar moves during audio visual chat
1.90 update for Europe & US hits tomorrow(24th July).
Sony has confirmed that a playable demo of Heavenly Sword, one of the PS3's most anticipated titles, will be released on Thursday, July 26.
PS3 owners will be able to grab the demo from the PlayStation Network and sample the action ahead of the game's scheduled September release.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Two Sixaxis Pads
from a choice of five first-party games: Genji, Resistance, MotorStorm, Formula One and Ridge Racer 7. Sony's pack is set to retail for £425.
One Sixaxis pad
and three games: MotorStorm, Genji and Resistance. Play's pack costs £399.99, and you can buy it now.
Sony's E3 announcement focused on the fact it was adding £115 worth of value to the £425 SKU. Play, meanwhile, suggests that the individual extras add £214.95.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
Wednesday 11th July
04:30 - Microsoft
17:00 - Nintendo
19:30 - Sony Computer Entertainment
22:00 - Electronic Arts
23:15 - Activision
Thursday 12th July
00:30 - Midway
01:45 - Konami
16:00 - Take-Two
17:15 - THQ
18:30 - Ubisoft
23:30 - Disney Interactive
Friday, July 06, 2007
SCEA has revealed its plans to offer PlayStation Network coverage of the E3 Media & Business Summit.
Consumers will be able to download E3 content onto their PS3 consoles directly from the PlayStation Store, including the entire SCEA press conference to be held on July 11th. A variety of game trailers, videos, and other editorial content from the show will also be made available.
In addition to the downloadable content available through the PlayStation Network, consumers can follow E3 2007 through daily content on Playstation.com and the official PlayStation Blog.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
High Street retailer GAME has reported that total group sales for the business were up 74.1 per cent for the first 22 weeks to June 30, with like-for-like group sales up 45.6 per cent.
Following the launch of PlayStation 3 last March, like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland have grown by 46.6 per cent. Without including PlayStation 3 hardware, software and associated peripherals, like-for-like sales for the region were only up 24.6 per cent.
International like-for-like sales were also boosted by Sony's next-generation console, climbing 42.6 per cent - or 20.1 per cent when not including PS3 stock.
The company noted that consumer demand remains high for all formats, particularly for Nintendo's Wii, but the lower margins on hardware sales are likely to impact margins until next year.
"The higher volumes of new generation platforms will increase hardware participation in the sales mix for the year to January 2008," commented Peter Lewis, chairman of GAME.
"The substantially lower margins achieved on hardware compared to software will reduce gross margins. The acquisition of Gamestation will also impact margins, as Gamestation has traditionally operated on lower margins than GAME," he added.
Despite this, the retailer still expects to report a net profit of between GBP 1 million and GBP 3 million for the first half of the year.
The company also confirmed its expansion plans, with another 50 stores to open before the end of the year - the majority of which will be in international regions.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
"Failure rates for all other consoles were not high enough for EB to consider revising their policies. Most other console systems have a failure rate of less than one percent, including the PlayStation 3".
Not to be left out of the conversation, when another EB Games manager was asked if the store warranty was "worth the price", he mentioned that the Nintendo Wii, with hundreds of units sold at their location has had ZERO come back as defective. We can hear Nintendo executives patting themselves on the back right now, no wait that’s just thunder.
A Best Buy associate who chose to remain anonymous claimed that the failure rate of the Microsoft Xbox 360 was in the ballpark of "between a quarter to a third" of the systems sold.
That said the Xbox 360 is the most successful console of the next gen bunch worldwide and has the largest market saturation to date with an impressive list of exclusive titles. Simple mathematics tells us that the more there are out there the more of a chance that some will fail, but 33% is still very high.
Microsoft stands behind their estimate that the Xbox 360 failure rate is within three to five percent, which they believe is well within the industry standard and in 2006 increased their warranty from 90 days up to 1 year. While they stand behind their estimate, it unfortunately does not seem to be accurate according to retailers of the product.
Based on a recent poll that was conducted by DailyTech with retailers nationwide, the Xbox 360 was unanimously named the least reliable gaming console in recent history. The high failure rate of the 360 has sent EB games officials back to the drawing board to revise their console warranty policy in 2007 and as a result the one year warranty price on a console is now nearly double!
Microsoft has made an effort in the realm of customer service to address the "ring of death" by adding an option to their customer support line (1-800-4MY-XBOX) called "three flashing red lights". Those of us that still have the Johnny Cash "Ring Of Fire" parody still stuck in our heads, please try and control yourselves.
So while the 360 is the market leader with the Wii gaining fast, maybe consumers should be giving the Playstation 3 a second or "third" look before picking up a next gen console. While we admit that things are not looking great for Sony right now, the company is not going to roll over and die, Blu-ray is the current market leader, and the Playstation 3’s list of titles will only improve as time goes by and more developers familiarize themselves with its specs.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The rumor began a few days ago, and initially met with much resistance. After all, Epic has produced Gears of War, a 360 exclusive and arguably the best game on the system. Furthermore, their past comments regarding Sony's next-gen system haven't been exactly glowing. But thanks to that recent Geoff Keighley interview on GameTrailers yesterday, this rumor was proven true; Unreal Tournament 3 will be a timed console exclusive.
The reason? Well, Keighley said it's because Sony is allowing user-created mods for the game, and Microsoft thinks it could be used to "undermine" their Xbox Live service. The 360 version will come out at a later date after "they resolve some issues." That implies there's more than one issue, so we'll have to keep an eye on this...and also, how long is this "timed" exclusive? At last check, the game was scheduled for a January 2008 release (Q3 2007 in Europe), so do we have an update on this?
Guess we'll have to wait on the details. But for now, this is pretty good news for PS3 owners. UT 3 will kick much ass, guaranteed.
The PS3 was introduced in the states last November, some four months before its European debut so it is useful to look across the Atlantic at market trends that could indicate future drivers here in Europe.
According to Sony’s research, some 83% of respondents watch Blu-ray movies occasionally or frequently on their PS3 and 72% have purchased at least one Blu-ray disc since getting a PS3.
Most importantly, 87% intend to purchase at least one BD movie in the next 12 months and 82% of them watch movies on Blu-ray Disc as their first choice whenever they are available.
"In Europe, PS3 has only been on the market for 12 weeks, but we are already seeing a significant increase in sales of Blu-ray movies to the over 1m PS3 owners across the PAL region," said Nick Sharples, director, Corporate Communications at SCEE. “Just as DVD was a central element of PS2 and helped to establish that format, Blu-ray is a key enabling technology with PS3. We believe the two technologies – PS3 and Blu-ray together – are a killer combination and will take home entertainment to new levels globally".
Perhaps Sony was right with its belief that sales in the US look set to soar. Now let’s see how things play out in Europe…
The PS3's biggest game yet over in Japan is just about a month away from release, and, sure enough, Sony isn't being quiet about it. Following a heavily promoted downloadable demo of Minna no Golf 5 (known as Hot Shots Golf 5 oustide of Japan), Sony has announced a special PS3 package to coincide with the game's release.
Officially known as the PlayStation 3 Beginners' Pack, this bundle combines a PS3 system with a copy of Minna no Golf 5, all in a slick new box. It will be available on 7/26 at a cost of 61,980 yen for a 60 Gig version and 51,980 yen for a 20 Gig version.
There are a couple of points of note in this announcement. First, different from other territories, Sony seems to be continuing with sales of the two PS3 models in Japan. Currently, both 20 Gig and 60 Gig versions of the hardware are available for purchase at.
More importantly, the price of the bundle represents a savings of nearly 4,000 yen off the price of purchasing the game had hardware separately. It's not quite a price drop, but perhaps it will draw in a few holdouts.
Molinets explained to Gamasutra: "Internally, we have shifted our focus from doing large-scope PS2 and PS3 titles to doing PSN titles exclusively. We've got three smaller groups now, and they're all doing very differentiated products with different requirements".
These comments specifically relate to Sony San Diego's self-contained development team of around 30 people, though the studio still includes motion capture, art-related and administrative staff, with a total of around 200 people in product development.
As the SCEA producer went on to detail: "Our maximum team size is ten people, so we really utilize the strengths of all the different people within the studio. Each individual product has a technical lead, a design lead, and an art lead".
Sony's model for PSN has been significantly more first-party oriented than Microsoft's similar plans for Xbox Live Arcade, which only uses its internal Carbonated Games studio (Uno). As a contrast, Sony's internal studios have already released Blast Factor and Calling All Cars, and there appear to be multiple new first party PSN games on the way.
Molinets explains the attraction of being able to interact with the PSN community and make changes and improvements to the title swiftly, even after launch: "Because the [development] team is smaller, the dev cycle is smaller, and because our expertise level is high, we may be able to address things like that very quickly, as opposed to having to wait for a full two-year product cycle".
Finally, while not confirming that Telltale's franchise would make it to the PlayStation Network in the future, Molinets referenced it when discussing episodic titles on consoles: "That's definitely an opportunity on PSN. Sam & Max is a great example of that. You've got great characters that can go through a bunch of crazy scenarios".
Further details from Gamasutra's San Diego Studio Tour, which visited Rockstar San Diego, SCEA San Diego, and High Moon Studios, will be published as features over the next few weeks.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The BBFC has rejected Rockstar's Manhunt 2, banning the controversial title from sale anywhere in the UK.
Both PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of the game have been banned, with the BBFC unable to recommend cuts or removal of content to make it suitable for public sale.
"Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board’s published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible," revealed David Cooke, director of the BBFC.
"Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing.
"There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game," he continued.
The BBFC has stated that the sequel to Manhunt is far more brutal and bleak than the original title, which was granted an 18 rating in 2003.
"Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game’s unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game," added Cooke.
"Against this background, the Board’s carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public".
The last game to be banned by the BBFC was Carmageddon in 1997. Publisher Rockstar has the right to appeal against the BBFC's decision.
Rockstar was not available at the time of writing.
Sony has declined to comment on rumours that a new PlayStation 3 controller complete with rumble feature is currently in development.
Rumours began to emerge last week in a variety of internet reports, including one on Innerbits.com. The site claimed that "two independent sources at Sony" said they have been "working on prototypes for several months".
When contacted by GamesIndustry.biz, both SCEE and SCEA declined to offer comments on the reports.
However, there are strong indications that PS3 controllers could feature rumble in the future.
Following a long legal battle with Immersion Corporation over patent infringements Sony recently signed a new agreement with the company.
SCE boss Kaz Hirai stated, "We are very excited about our new partnership with Immersion and the potential for new and innovative products incorporating their technologies".
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The project, which aims to further the understanding of how proteins fold in order to limit the development of a number of diseases, was given a boost by the dramatically improved processing power acquired following a system software update made available to PS3 owners last month.
Mass uptake of an application within the update has enabled researchers to utilize the processing power of hundreds of thousands of dormant PlayStation 3 consoles.
"The PS3 turnout has been amazing, greatly exceeding our expectations and allowing us to push our work dramatically forward," said Vijay Pande, associate professor of chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home program lead.
"Thanks to PS3, we have performed simulations in the first few weeks that would normally take us more than a year to calculate. We are now gearing up for new simulations that will continue our current studies of Alzheimer’s and other diseases," he added.
Masayuki Chatani, corporate executive and chief technology officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, praised the efforts made by PS3 users to supprt the project.
"We continue to be thrilled with the ongoing contributions of the PS3 user community in helping the Folding@home program study the causes of many different diseases that afflict our society," he said.
"As we move forward, we are issuing a call to action for all PS3 owners around the world to download the Folding@home application and help this cause. These PS3 fans can also be part of history as the Folding@home distributed computing program inches closer to achieving a petaflop – a measure of computing power that has never before been reached".
Sony has stated that it is aiming to support similar distributed computing projects across various academic fields but has also revealed that it is considering using the distributed model for commercial applications.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Strong sales of the Playstation 3 could push Sony's pre-tax income to 400bn yen ($3.4bn; £1.7bn), a sharp increase on the 60bn yen expected for 2006.
Launching the next-generation console is expected to put a 200bn yen hole in Sony's finances.
Sony closed the session up 2.7% at 6,510 yen.
The world's second-largest electronics maker will also benefit from increased demand in its liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions in the US and European markets, according to the Nikkei business daily.
Analysts cited in the newspaper expected group sales in the year 2007-2008 would be up 6% to 8.7 trillion yen, boosted by a two-thirds increase in sales of LCD TVs to 10 million in 2007-2008.
A 67% rise in PS3 shipments to 10 million units, better semi-conductor production yields and cost-cutting should also boost the business, according to the newspaper.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
PlayStation 3 shooter Resistance: Fall of Man continues to prove popular in the European charts, while Sony's other first-party launch titles are also performing strongly on the continent.
Insomniac's first-person shooter tops the charts for the week ending April 1 in Italy and Spain, while Evolution's MotorStorm and SCEE Liverpool's Formula One Championship Edition both continue to sit in the top ten.
Sega's Virtua Tennis 3 is another strong title on next-gen systems while Atari's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 proves there's plenty of life left in the more established last-gen consoles.
THQ's S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl is dominating the German charts for the week ended March 25, with the normal edition at number one and the Limited Edition sku at number three.
The top ten best-selling games for Italy, Spain and Germany follow:
Italy, week ended April 1
1. Resistance: Fall of Man
2. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
4. Formula One Championship Edition
5. Final Fantasy XII
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
7. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
8. Virtua Tennis 3
9. Ridge Racer 7
10. Pro Evolution Soccer 6
Spain, week ended April 1
1. Resistance: Fall of Man
2. Dr Kawashima's Brain Training
3. Formula One Championship Edition
4. Virtua Tennis 3
6. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
8. Animal Crossing: Wild World
9. Call of Duty 3
10. Final Fantasy XII
Germany, week ended March 25
1. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl
2. Resistance: Fall of Man
4. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl Limited Edition
5. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
6. Formula One Championship Edition
7. Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific
8. Final Fantasy XII
9. The Sims 2: Seasons
10. Virtua Tennis 3
All charts supplied by Media Control GfK International.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Sony Computer Entertainment is in discussions with a number of companies about possible commercial applications for the PlayStation 3. This comes in the wake of its non-profit partnership with Stanford University in March that harnesses the spare computing capacity of registered PS3s for the analysis of protein cells.
However, because this would be a commercial proposition that would benefit profit-making organisations, Sony is studying whether it would need to offer incentives, such as free products, to persuade PS3 owners to participate.
PS3s run on the revolutionary Cell processor – co-designed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba – and they can be linked with tens of thousands of other idle PS3s via the internet to run a single analytical programme. A network of just 10,000 PS3s would have as much power as a 200,000-strong network of personal computers.
Masa Chatani, chief technology officer at Sony Computer Entertainment, said in an interview with the FT on Tuesday that the company had received numerous inquiries regarding this "distributed computing" model.
Under Stanford University’s Folding@Home programme, which studies how protein cells assemble, PS3 users can join the network by clicking on an icon on the screen. Stanford automatically sends packets of data out to these machines – which have to remain switched on when they are idle – to analyse and collect, tabulate and visualise the results.
"This kind of computing model could be used in a commercial application," Mr Chatani said. "For example, a start-up or a pharmaceutical company that lacks a super-computer could utilise this kind of infrastructure. We are discussing various options with companies and exploring commercial applications".
He added: "If there is a big problem to be solved, each computer is responsible for processing a small chunk of information, then by analysing it all together a big conclusion can be made. At any single moment, there are 11,000-12,000 PS3 users participating in Folding@Home. The number of contributors is far greater than we had anticipated".
A commercial endeavour would be a more difficult strategically, Mr Chatani admitted, because users would be loathe to let companies use the power of their PS3 Cell processors for free.
One scenario, he said, would be for a company to offer each of its PS3 users incentives such as free products, or points, in exchange for their participation in distributed computing.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Having already achieved number one positions in the US and Japanese software sales charts, Playstation 3 exclusive Motorstorm has also secured the top spot in Europe.
Developed by Runcorn-based Evolution Studios, Motorstorm was launched alongside Sony's new console in all three territories. Although it was beaten to pole position in the UK by fellow first-party title Resistance: Fall of Man, the game has scored a number one across Europe overall - just as it went straight to the top when PS3 launched in Japan and North America.
"To see Motorstorm top the European, the Japanese and the US Playstation 3 charts is just fantastic," said Evolution boss Martin Kenwright.
"Developing Motorstorm to a standard we were all happy with was certainly a challenge - but the team here really delivered. Evolution has a reputation for delivering high quality racing titles, but the consensus was to come up with something really special for Sony’s new hardware.
"We’re delighted that the public has agreed with the press and made Motorstorm a worldwide number one Playstation 3".
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Now the dust has settled on the Playstation 3 launch, UK retailers are beginning to report on what they've seen as the "biggest-ever" launch for a home console.
Retailers are expecting to continue selling the luxury console over the busy Easter sales period, but some have warned that reducing prices to lower stock levels could harm long-term sales.
"Given the relatively plentiful supply, it's fair to say this was our biggest-ever console launch in unit and value terms," HMV's head of games Tim Ellis told GamesIndustry.biz.
"We still have some consoles in stock around the chain, as we were able to order plenty, but we expect these to sell these through over the coming days and weeks, especially as new games titles are released," he said.
"It's been a remarkable week for us here at GAME following the successful launch of the Playstation 3," revealed Anna Macario, marketing director at GAME.
"We have seen huge demand and seen fantastic sales throughout our 400 stores around the country".
With all pre-orders taken care of, retailers are in the unusual but desirable position of having enough stock in store to sell to customers walking in off the street.
"We've managed to fulfill every one of our pre-orders and continue to see strong interest in the console into this week as well," said Macario.
While sales are good, managing director of Chips Don McCabe called for the retail community not to panic if stores still have plenty of stock left from their launch allocation.
"In many respects it was an exceptional launch, Sony put an awful lot of product in the channel when we're used to previous launches where we have to manage customers expectations," he commented.
"Day one sales were very good, but since then it's not been so good. There seems to be a lot of discounts going around on the machine and on games".
"The market needs to stabilise because there's some retailers that have got a few too many units. They're trying to bring down their stock levels too quickly," he said.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
More than a million consoles were shipped across Europe on launch day last week with 600,000 sold.
Sony is hoping to retake its title as the console market leader, as Microsoft and Nintendo head the next-gen race.
Meanwhile, games firm Namco Bandai has said it is to use the PS3's Cell chip in arcade machines.
Microsoft sold 71,000 Xbox 360 consoles during its UK launch weekend, while Nintendo sold 105,000 Wii machines.
But both companies offered limited stock to retailers, which led to shortages.
Ray Maguire, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK said the figures were a vote of confidence in the machine.
"Having broken the record for launch sales, we are now replenishing retail stock across the country," he said.
The first arcade title to use the PS3 microprocessor will be fighting game Tekken 6, Namco said.
While PlayStation technology has been used in arcade machines in the past it is believed to be the first time that the Cell will be used for games not running on Sony's console.
Namco Bandai has sold its PlayStation 2 arcade technology to other firms, but it is still undecided about whether to sell its PS3 Cell-based technology, a spokeswoman for the firm said.
Monday, March 26, 2007
After hardware sales saw Sony's PS3 achieve record success in the UK, it's not surprising to see software for the new home console also bedding into the all-formats charts.
Insomniac's Resistance: Fall of Man and Evolution Studios's Motorstorm take the number one and two positions respectively, scoring hits for first-party development.
However, Codemaster's Brian Lara International Cricket 2007 took the number three position in the charts, proving that it wasn't necessary to be on a new console to achieve high sales during the busy launch weekend.
The multiformat Virtua Tennis 3 took the number four position in the charts, while Activision's Call of Duty 3 saw a boost from new format sales – jumping from number 20 to number five.
Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories still managed to perform well at a budget price, sitting at number six in the charts and beating the PS3-exclusive Formula 1: Championship Edition at number seven.
THQ's long-awaited PC shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl achieved good sales on its first weekend of release, taking the number eight position in the all-formats chart.
EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is at nine this week and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 is at number ten.
There are plenty of other new entries in the top twenty this week, with Bandai Namco's Ridge Racer 7 at number 11 just ahead of EA's Def Jam: Icon at number 12.
Sega's Virtua Fighter 5 enters the charts at number 14, EA's UEFA champions League 2006 – 2007 at number 15 and Sony's Genji: Days of the Blade at 16.
Ubisoft's TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also makes its debut this week at number 19, while EA's Fight Night Round 3 and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog both enjoy a sales spurt due to PS3 releases - they're at numbers 13 and 24 respectively.
A look at the specific PlayStation 3 chart reveals that Sony has four first-party developed titles in the top twenty, with Resistance, Motorstorm and Formula 1 holding the top three positions. Electronic Arts has five titles in the top twenty, Sega has four and Activision has three.
ChartTrack has confirmed that 165,000 PS3 units were sold during the console's launch weekend.
The figure is three quarters of the total 220,000 UK launch stock for day one, and makes PS3 second only to PSP in the overall launch weekend sales stakes. The Sony handheld shifted 185,000 in its opening weekend back in September 2005.
PS3’s record-breaking debut for a home console comfortably beats the previous top seller Nintendo Wii, which sold 105,000 after its frantic launch weekend in December last year. Fellow format rival Xbox 360 racked up an estimated 70,000 at launch in December 2005.
The figure also means that Sony has not sold all of its opening weekend stock, something the platform holder claims is part of its overall strategy at retail.
"Tekken 6" will be available for amusement parks and other game arcade facilities worldwide, but the company has not decided on the exact launch date for that game or others that will follow, using Sony's latest game technology, Namco Bandai spokeswoman Miki Baba said.
Tokyo-based Namco Bandai, Japan's second largest toy and game business group and maker of the "Ridge Racer" and "Pac Man" games, has previously used the predecessor PlayStation 2 technology to develop arcade versions of games, Baba said.
Namco Bandai has sold its PS2 arcade technology to other makers, but it is still undecided about whether to sell its PS3 cell-based technology, Baba said.
The PlayStation 3 went on sale in the U.S. and Japan late last year and in March in Europe.
Technology for PlayStation 3 includes a new computer chip called "Cell," which Sony Corp. developed with IBM Corp. and Toshiba Corp. and will be used in new gadgets for the home as well as video game products.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The Playstation 3 finally arrived in Europe last night, and there was a surprise in store for those buying a console at the official UK launch - a free 46" Sony Bravia television worth around GBP 2000.
The flagship Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street store opened its doors to the first customers keen to get their hands on PS3 at noon on Wednesday. Although Only a handful turned up to spend the night in the store, by 11pm on Thursday the queue had grown to over 100 people.
With just 20 minutes to go until the console officially went on sale, Sony UK boss Ray Maguire stepped up to address the crowd in front of a large flatscreen TV.
"This is a 46-inch Bravia W series. It's an award-winning flat panel," he said. "And do you know what the good news, is guys? I'm going to give you one free".
The cheers were muted at first, but then the news began to sink in. When Maguire clarified, "Every single one of you in this queue is going to get one," the crowd responded with whoops and applause.
At midnight, the first Playstion 3 was handed over to 17 year-old Ritatsu Thomas, who'd been waiting since 5am on Wednesday. He also received a Bravia TV to take home, but everyone else in the queue - 125 people in total - was told they'll receive their television next week.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz about the decision to give away the TVs, Maguire said, "PlayStation 3 is about the new generation of high definition. There are some people in that queue for whom the HD part is the more difficult part of the equation, and I think it's a way of just saying thank you.
"They've got the best console, and now they've got the best screen".
Maguire said he thought the launch had "gone great, considering that we weren't allowed to let people queue up outside and there were loads of restrictions".
"People waiting for 36 hours and sleeping overnight is absolutely unbelievable - it shows the affinity people have for the brand, and it's really humbling," he added.
Maguire's comments were echoed by Sony PR boss David Wilson, who told GamesIndustry.biz, "When retailers are going on record saying there's free stock, there's no point for any of these guys to come here and spend 36 on that floor down there - so I'm touched that so many have".
For full coverage of the PlayStation 3 launch, read our feature here
A spokesman from NPD, a respected sales tracking firm, said, "figures show that the PS3 is selling slightly faster in the US than the Xbox 360 did at the same stage in its release".
After a delay of more than four months, one million PlayStation 3 consoles went on sale from midnight across Europe, with over 200,000 available in the UK.
Although current UK figures show the Nintendo Wii is outselling all other consoles at the moment, one analyst believes Sony can become number one if it releases the right games.
Gartner principal analyst Paul O'Donovan said, "The real issue for Sony is whether they can get back the momentum they had with PS2. The only thing that is going to drive that is the number of titles available".
Thursday, March 22, 2007
High Street retailer GAME has told GamesIndustry.biz that it expects the PlayStation 3 launch will be far stronger than that of the Wii or Xbox 360 – due to a good supply of consoles leading to less disappointment amongst eager consumers.
While Nintendo admits it's still struggling to supply units to retail, and the Xbox 360 release was marred by a slow supply of consoles months after launch, GAME sees Sony's stock building as essential to pleasing every consumer who wants a PlayStation 3.
"It's very unusual that we're going to be in a situation where we've got enough stock to fulfil demand in the short term – that's never happened before," commented Anna Macario, marketing director at GAME.
"Sony withheld the release of the PS3 in order to build up stock levels for launch. The situation with the Xbox 360 was terrible and the Wii doesn't even hit the sides when it comes in".
"I think this is a very good move on Sony's part – it won't have that negativity of not being able to supply enough units," she said.
Macario wouldn't be drawn on how quickly GAME is likely to sell out of its PS3 allocation, but believes that customers turning up on launch day should be able to get their hands on the next-gen console whether they've pre-ordered or not.
"The noise and the hype around it will drive more people to stores than just those that have pre-ordered," she offered.
"We've certainly dressed stores up and made it available so that customers understand they can come in and buy the PS3".
"The good thing is that we're not going to have this whole raft of disappointed consumers on launch day who won't be able to buy the console for another month," she added.
As well as an early morning launch at the company's flagship store on Oxford street, over two thirds of its UK stores will be opening tonight to sell units at midnight.
Macario also revealed that Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm are the two most popular titles requested, with Sega's Virtua Fighter 5 and Activision's Call of Duty 3 also top of the list.
"All the stores are really revving up for it and prepared to put in the long hours to be able to get through the customers".
"The concern is that there's a lot to sell during the day and we'll need the extra hours to get through it all," she concluded.
"The S.N.F event is simple. On Sunday Night (March. 25th 2007) everyone who wants to participate in the S.N.F event simply turn there PS3 on and start the folding program, could be anytime you want or when you goto bed, you may let the program run as long as you want but would be great if it could atleast last till 7am Monday morning, its all up to you since anything helps. This is to see how much help we (the playstation community) can be for this program and to show them that the feature is being widely used and maybe saving lives in the process."
Let's use the comments section as a virtual "pledge card." Let everyone know that your committed to leaving your PS3 on Sunday night in support of this great initiative and to help make the world a better place. Truly, this is a time for fanboys to unite!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
On March 23, Britain will see the launch of the latest and undoubtedly the greatest video game console ever as Sony bring the PlayStation 3 to its most technology-led customers yet.
Already on sale in Japan and America, the system has been doing most notably well in the States. And in the UK, despite the high asking price of £425, there’s huge anticipation building up to the launch with most electrical retailers promoting pre-order deals as gamers keen to buy the most technically advanced console on the market sign on the dotted line.
Digital Spy have managed to get our hands on a PlayStation 3 before it goes on sale so here we take a close-up look at the system and reveal whether we believe the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 will be the outright winner in the battle of the consoles.
In the Box
Before handing over your £425, here’s a rundown of what you will find inside the PS3 packaging:
One PS3 console
One Sixaxis controller
Composite AV cable
Casino Royale on Blu-ray Disc (to first 500,000 buyers)
The look and feel of the PlayStation 3 is very modern and stylish. Its sleek curves are just the ticket when standing it underneath a hi-tech plasma or LCD television.
Front ports are neatly hidden behind a cover and the disc player has no pop-out tray, but instead works like a car CD player where you simply push the disc into the empty slot.
The driving force behind the PlayStation 3 is its much publicised Cell processor. Co-developed by IBM, Toshiba and Sony, this 3.2Ghz superchip has 64-bit PowerPC processing along with eight separate elements that can be assigned to specific tasks in a game such as handling animation, while another processes the Artificial Intelligence involved.
This increases the speed games run at, but not significantly so as Xbox 360 also has a 3.2Ghz chip built-in.
PlayStation 3 also includes a powerful 550hz Nvidia graphics card, offering true 1080p HD resolution and graphics that are ahead of anything else out there. Play Virtua Tennis 3 or Ridge Racer 7 and you can’t fail to be impressed.
Xbox 360 features a 500Mhz graphics card that is undoubtedly stunning, but just falls short of the PS3’s visual crispness, speed and immense attention-to-detail.
There has been much debate on how compatible the PlayStation 3 will be with games from earlier models.
According to Sony, "PS3 embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation titles and a limited range of PlayStation 2 titles".
Sony has also said it will offer downloadable updates from its site to allow certain PS2 games to work on PS3.
The firm has launched a website listing all compatible games with PlayStation 3. To take a look, log on to the: official website.
The PlayStation 3 features an upgraded version of the Portable PlayStation’s Cross Media Bar interface and works very well.
It makes operating the PS3 simple allowing you to add a profile, archive your digital photos, upload and listen to MP3 tracks and much more.
With built-in wi-fi connectivity for those with a wireless router and an Ethernet cable for those with a wired Broadband connection, getting your PS3 online is a doddle.
The console has been built for online use and comes with a multitude of features for this. There’s a full web browser, allowing the user to visit any site on the Internet including those that are flash-enabled. There’s chat – both voice and video – and best of all is Sony’s very own online PS3 high-street.
The PlayStation Store will offer a range of items that can be downloaded – many for free. This includes games, content such as updates and demos and trailers of forthcoming PS3 titles.
A good proportion of commercially released PS3 games will take advantage of the online world. Ridge Racer 7, for example, offers an online ranking system that lets you compete with players from around the world.
Sony is also tinkering with the idea of offering downloable chart music and movies for PS3 owners.
If you’re lucky enough to own both a PlayStation 3 and a Portable PlayStation you will find the two can ‘talk’ to each other.
Using wi-fi, Sony’s PSP can access the PS3 hard drive and playback music, video and even utilise the PlayStation 3’s web browser.
With a built-in HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port, those with an HD-ready TV can buy an HDMI cable and hook up their PS3 to experience stunning visuals at 1080p resolution.
For Xbox 360 owners, an HDMI output is something they can only dream of and is the machine’s most notable shortcoming.
Blu-ray Disc Player
The reason the PlayStation 3 costs so much is largely down to the inclusion of a Blu-ray disc player. These normally retail at upwards of £600, so taking this into consideration it’s clear that Sony has done well in keeping the price of the PS3 as low as it is.
The choice of format is something up for debate. Many believe the HD format will win in the movie stakes, but Sony is backing Blu-ray. Both offer the same 1080p resolution, but there is one distinct difference between the two.
While HD-DVD’s can store up to 9Gb on a single-layer disc and up to 30Gb on a dual-layer, Blu-ray can manage a more impressive 25Gb on a single-layer and 50Gb on a dual-layer. Furthermore, Sony is rumoured to be developing 200Gb discs.
The result is that there’s the potential for a lot more game on PlayStation 3 in the future. Indeed, launch title Resistance: Fall of Man is believed to use 20Gb of space. But there’s also a chance there won’t be as many movies on Blu-ray as on HD should the latter eventually win the format war.
To offer the best of both worlds, Warner has announced Total HD hybrid discs which offer a movie in Blu-ray on one side and HD on the other. The first commercial releases on this double format DVD will be the second half of 2007.
Standard DVDs can also be played via the Blu-ray disc player.
The PlayStation 3 features an impressive array of connection ports, including one Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports for hooking up a keyboard, mouse, MP3 player or camera and there’s also full Bluetooth support.
There’s an SD/Mini SD card slot, Compact Flash and Memory Stick Duo slot built-in. And there’s even the chance to hook up seven gamepads via Bluetooth.
Sony must have examined the innovative gameplay functions of the Nintendo Wii when developing the Emmy award-winning Sixaxis gamepad for the PlayStation 3 as it works on much the same principles.
Although it looks the same as the PS2 pad, there are some key differences. The vibration function of the DualShock 2 controller has gone and – instead – Sony have introduced motion-sensing. Play a driving game and you can move the pad as if it were a steering wheel. If you’re in control of an on-screen character, you can tilt the pad around to make your on-screen character look around their environment.
It works superbly well and is also wireless so you’re free to move the pad around at will. Many PS3 games are already taking advantage of it. For example, in Call of Duty 3you can row a boat and in the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid 4you will be able to shake items out of an enemy guard’s pockets.
In the US and Japan, both a 20Gb and a 60Gb PlayStation 3 were available from day one. In the UK, Sony is only making the 60Gb hard drive version available - for the foreseeable future, at least.
With such a high asking price for the 60Gb model, it’s odd that Sony are not launching the cheaper 20Gb PS3 into the UK from launch. Instead, the firm claims it will offer it later in the year if there's enough demand. Cynics could argue this is down to the fact Sony wants to maximise profits by selling the more expensive model to early adopters.
The PS3 hard drive is also fully upgradeable and a larger drive can be added to increase capacity therefore a 20Gb drive could have been updated at a later date.
Xbox 360 or PS3?
Although an add-on HD drive is available for Xbox 360, when you add together the cost of this, the console itself and a year’s subscription to Xbox Live it actually costs more than the same package on PS3.
While Xbox 360 is still a mighty fine console, the huge storage capacity of the Blu-ray discs, the innovative controller, the PS3’s HDMI port, its higher-powered graphics card and the amount of titles already in development means PlayStation 3 is the winner in the latest console wars - at least from a technical viewpoint.
The PS3 price is - despite what many believe - low when taking into account it offers a next-generation games machine, mini Internet-ready PC with hard drive, a high-definition Blu-ray DVD player and is fully MP3, video and digital camera compatible.
A 20Gb machine would, of course, have been much better priced and made the PS3 more mass market but those willing to wait could see a price drop in the not too distant future thanks to retailer discounting.
Whatever you think of the PlayStation 3, there's little doubt its excellent use of technology gives it plenty of ammunition to fire out some amazing games in the future.