Thursday, March 29, 2007

Retailers Praise "Biggest-Ever" PS3 Launch.

But warn that offloading stock quickly could harm long-term sales

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

"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

PS3 Breaks Sales Records:600K Sold In Europe.

The PlayStation 3 console has broken UK sales records with more than 165,000 machines sold in the first two days of release, say analysts Chart Track.

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

UK Charts: PS3 Storms The Top 10.

Resistance and Motorstorm take top two positions

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.


Record-Breaking 165,000 PS3's Sold At UK Launch.

New format becomes fastest-selling home console ever over its debut weekend.

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.


Namco Bandai To Launch New Arcade Game With Sony's PS3 Technology.

Fighting game "Tekken 6" will go on sale later this year as the first arcade game using Sony's PlayStation 3 technology, game developer Namco Bandai Games Inc. announced Monday.

"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

Sony Gives Out Free Bravia TVs To UK's First PS3 Buyers.

Virgin Megastore customers get a surprise

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 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, "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


PS3 Selling Faster Than Xbox 360 In US.

Although sales figures from the United States show the PlayStation 3 is currently being outsold by its rivals, a US based sales tracker has said the machine is ahead of Xbox 360 in real terms.

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".


PS3 Is The Biggest FLOP Of Them All, TFLOP That Is...

Stastics of the Folding@home progam taken at 8AM eastern time reveal that PS3 machines are delivering 251 trillion floating operations per second, over 100 trillion MORE than ten times the active number of PC CPU's. Impressive stuff, check out the standings in full at


Thursday, March 22, 2007

PS3 Launch Stronger Than Wii & 360, Says GAME.

Good stock supply means less disappointment for consumers

High Street retailer GAME has told 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.


Leave Your PS3 On For A Good Cause This Sunday Night!

While the PS3 won't bring about world peace or solve world hunger, there's a good chance that it can help cure cancer. But your PS3 can't to it without you. With firmware update 1.6 just around the corner, it's time to do your part for humanity. This week marks the first ever Sunday Night Foldathon in support of Stanford's cancer research efforts.

"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

Close-up Look At The PlayStation 3.

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
Power cord
Ethernet cable
Composite AV cable
USB mini-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.

Backwards Compatible

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.

PlayStation Interface

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.

Online Play

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.

PlayStation Portable

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.

Sixaxis Controller

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.

Two Models

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.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Over 70% Of PS2 Titles To Work On PS3.

1,782 of the 2,451 available PS2 titles compatible with PS3 at launch.

Sony has made available the complete list of PS2 and PSOne titles that are backwardly compatible with the upcoming PS3, revealing that 1,782 of the 2,451 European published titles will work out of the box. That figure represents 73 per cent of the total PS2 catalogue.

As is reported on unofficial Sony blog Threespeech, the figure is well in excess of the 1,200 number previously hinted at. It was also confirmed that as previously reported, users will have to download the latest firmware patch to make sure their machines are able to run the listed software.

However, included in this number are numerous titles that Sony claims will run with ‘minor’ or ‘noticeable’ issues. Big games amongst this category include Metal Gear Solid 3, Final Fantasy XII, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the recent versions of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer and EA’s FIFA series.

"Our engineers have been working overtime, and have succeeded in delivering a significant number of playable PS2 titles for the European launch," SCEE president David Reeves stated.

"We will be adding additional titles to this list in future firmware upgrades, but as we have made clear before, in the future our resources will be increasingly focused on developing new services and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, rather than on delivering PS2 backwards compatibility".

The complete list of backwardly compatible titles can be found here.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Euro PS3 Sales Will Hit 4m By Next Year - Analyst.

X360 demand has peaked, says Screen Digest.

Sony is set to sell 4 million PS3 units to European consumers by the end of 2007, according to Screen Digest.

Speaking to The Times Online, analyst Nick Parker dismissed suggestions that plentiful stocks of the console could be seen to indicate poor sales performance.

"The lack of shortage is supply driven; what Sony has shipped will sell," he said.

"We estimate that Sony will sell around 4 million units in Europe this year, with 1 to 1.5 million in the UK".

This would mean, according to Parker, that PS3 could overtake Wii in the sales stakes next year - if not by the end of 2007.

The analyst also said that with the European PS3 launch just days away, sales of X360 are just 1 per cent higher than this time last year - suggesting that demand for Microsoft's console has peaked.

PS3 will go on sale in Europe this Friday, with 1 million units promised for launch. The 60GB model will retail for GBP 425 / EUR 599, but according to The Times, retailers are predicting a pre-Christmas price cut.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Retailers Get Ready For "Huge" PlayStation 3 Launch.

Stores praise supply chain ahead of multiple midnight launches.

Retailers are expecting a "huge" launch for the PS3 next week, as Sony's latest home console finally reaches Europe.

Aside from the official launch at Virgin Megastores' flagship Oxford Street branch, entertainment, specialist and independent stores across the UK are opening at midnight to fulfil pre-orders and sell consoles to punters eager to get their hands on the next-gen Sony machine.

"The launch of the PS3 is going to be huge," commented Jorden Jones, product manager at specialist chain Gamestation - which will be opening over 200 stores at midnight on March 22.

"We are very excited and have been working alongside Sony to create specially modified PS3 concept bays in some of our stores. By opening at midnight our customers can collect and play on their pre-ordered consoles as soon as possible," he said.

"After nearly twenty years in the business I've never known such charged anticipation for a console launch - it's getting a little crazy and we're still over a week away," said Steve O'Brien, veteran independent retailer.

While detractors are citing the fact that consumers are still able to take pre-orders this close to the consoles' release as evidence of a lack of interest, retail sees it as one of the first times they'll be able to actually sell hardware to punters who haven't pre-ordered on launch day.

"The doom-mongers can say what they like about stock, the units I've seen Sony ship out shows that it's pulled an absolute coup in terms of supply," commented Don McCabe, MD of Chips.

"Where pre-orders are concerned we'll fulfil them all, and we'll have some units to sell to customers on day one, which is great," he added.

"Interest in PS3 is building the closer we get to launch. Much of our stock is accounted for via pre-orders, which may mean that some of our stores can actually look forward to selling some live stock for a change," agreed Tim Ellis of HMV, currently planning around 50 midnight openings.

In the eyes of the retail community, Sony has not only done a great job in supplying PlayStation 3 units for sale, but also in helping to market the product in store and wow customers unfamiliar with the new console.

"We've been lucky enough to have a store large enough to give home to Sony furniture and that in itself is quite a piece of kit," commented O'Brien.

"We've had it a little over 24 hours now and we quite literally have to kick customers out the door come closing. I don't think your average gamer was quite prepared for how big a leap in quality the PS3 offers," he said.

The PlayStation 3 launches in Europe March 23, priced GBP 425 / EUR 599.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blu-ray Beats HD DVD For Second Month.

PS3 format selling double the units of its rival in the US.

According to US trade magazine Video Business, Blu-ay has outsold HD DVD in North America for the second month running.

The magazine’s figures put Blu-ray at an approximate 250,000 sales for February, with HD DVD lagging behind on 125,000.

Oscar winner The Departed was released simultaneously for both formats on February 13th. DailyTech reports that the film had one of the highest first-week sales totals for either format, selling over 20,000 units on Blu-ray and 13,000 on HD DVD.

In the US, the Blu-ray version of the movie retails for about five dollars less than the HD DVD version. The reason for HD DVD’s higher price point is because of its combo format, which places a standard-definition DVD version on the flip side of the disc – a commonplace feature on HD DVD.

And according to, just under 2 million PS3's have been sold in the territory since launch last November, which means roughly the same number of HD DVD and Blu-ray players are installed in US homes.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

65nm Cell Chip Production Starts.

IBM announced today a significant step towards PlayStation 3 cost-cutting, as the chip maker announced the production of a 65nm version of the Cell processor.

The Cell launched as a 90nm processor. The 65nm version will be manufactured at IBM’s East Fishkill, New York plant.

IBM created the chip with Sony and Toshiba in a collaboration which began in March 2001. IBM recently began reaching out to game developers to help them harness the Cell's potential.

A Sony exec recently said that a move to a 45nm Cell would occur in late 2008 or early 2009.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Virgin Megastores To Host PS3 Launch.

Sony chooses entertainment outlet as official UK retail partner.

Virgin Megastores will host Sony's official launch of the PlayStation 3 on March 23rd.

The event will take place at Virgin’s flagship Oxford Street store and include official merchandise giveaways and incentives for the first customers to collect their consoles.

Online rumours surfaced in January that Sony had inked a deal with HMV, which hosted the official Wii launch last year.

But Virgin confirmed this afternoon that it had secured exclusive rights to the prestigious event.

"The PS3 is without a doubt one of the most anticipated console launches ever so it is very exciting to be able to offer our customers the complete Sony experience at launch," said Senior Promotions and PR Manager at Virgin Megastores, Stephen Lynn.

"We can't go into too much detail in terms of what we have planned, as we are currently in a period of consultation with the authorities. Needless to say though, the experience and safety of our customers will come first and it will be an amazing launch".

"Virgin Megastores is the perfect partner for the launch of PS3," added managing director of SCE UK Ray Maguire. "We are well aware how patient and loyal our customers have been waiting for PS3 to arrive and fully intend to reward them with the launch they deserve. Plans are already well underway and we are working with local authorities to ensure we delivery the best console launch ever".


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gundam Musou Bumps Up PS3 Sales.

As we've been suggesting for quite some time, preliminary reports out of Japan have indicated that Gundam Musou -- the Namco-Bandai and Koei love child that mixes Gundam with Dynasty Warriors -- has had an impact on the PlayStation 3's sales. The game itself went on to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 180,000k copies, which is very impressive. Likewise, sales of the PlayStation 3 rose from a mediocre 20k units, to a respectable 40k. The software Media Create numbers should be released tomorrow afternoon, with the hardware numbers to follow on Thursday. Look for them, as always.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Harrison To Showcase New PS3 Services, Games In Keynote.

Sony confirms that previously unannounced products will take centre stage at GDC.

New games and services for the PlayStation 3 will be making their global debut in the keynote address by Sony's worldwide studios boss Phil Harrison at the Game Developers Conference, Sony has confirmed.

In a statement issued today, the firm revealed that Harrison's speech, titled "Game 3.0: Developing and Creating for the 3rd Age of Videogames", will include "live demonstrations of previously un-announced services and games for the PS3".

While the unveiling of new game software for the console will obviously be welcomed, the key phrase in that statement may well be "services" - since speculation has been rife in the past week that the company will unveil a major new expansion of its online services in the keynote.

Sony's definition of "Game 3.0" encompasses a wide variety of concepts including user-generated content, community, collaboration and commerce, all of which the firm claims will be demonstrated in the products which Harrison will introduce.

Harrison's keynote, which takes place tomorrow at 10.30am PST (6.30pm GMT), is the centrepiece of Sony's presence at the Game Developers Conference, which is taking place in San Francisco throughout this week.

The company is also using the event as an opportunity to showcase its new development tools, with the firm's booth showing off techology including the Tuner For PS3 profiling tool, Unreal Engine 3, the PSSG high-level graphics package, and other tools including analysis and physics packages for the console.

"This is a very exciting time to be part of the game development community," Harrison commented in today's statement. "Advancements in technology combined with new consumer trends mean the industry has a great opportunity to create engaging new entertainment experiences for the world".

"I believe we're at the threshold of a new era in creative game development that's destined to drive our industry growth through the next decade or more," he concluded.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sony Ships A Million PS3's Per Month On Increasing Supply Of Blu-ray Pick-Up Heads.

Sony is currently shipping its PS3 game consoles at a rate of about one million units per month due to an increasing supply of pick-up heads (PUH's) from Sharp for its Blu-ray drive, the Chinese-language Commercial Times quoted market sources as saying in a March 1 report.

With a planned March launch in Europe and later on in Australia, total PS3 shipments are expected to top 3-4 million units in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the two million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2006, the paper said, citing estimates by analysts at Taiwan-based securities houses. For 2007, total shipments of PS3 consoles are expected to top 12-14 million units, the paper indicated.


Sony Sharpens Edge For New PS3 Dev Tech.

The internal technology teams at Sony Computer Entertainment have teamed up to deliver PlayStation 3 Edge, a new set of tools for developers working on the format-holder's new console.

Due for imminent release to PS3 developers, PlayStation 3 Edge has been put together by three first-party technology teams within Sony, the WWS Europe Advanced Technology Group, WWS America ICE team (a technology group based at Naughty Dog that specialises in graphics systems and tools for the PlayStation 3), and WWS America Tools and Technology group.

Edge is described as "a set of cutting edge technologies. Rather than an overarching engine, these teams have chosen to create specialized systems that demonstrate best practices of SPU and RSX utilization" in the description of a recently announced GDC session which will formally take the wraps off the new technology.

The GDC session, hosted by Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Jon Olick (lead programmer, Naughty Dog) and Vince Diesi (principal programmer, SCE Worldwide Studios) looks at advanced graphics tools and technologies for PS3 development an will also show delegates "a unique tool for RSX performance analysis, extensively used in the tuning of first party titles".