Now Available : Hulu Plus For Sony PlayStation 3 In USA

Until now, you had to be a member of the Sony PlayStation Plus family in order to be able to watch videos from the TV streaming service over your gaming console. No longer; if you are in the United States. Sony has announced that this facility has now been opened up for all PlayStation 3 users in the country and that they do not need to be a PlayStation Plus user to avail the service.

This however does not mean you get to have all of this for free. Users must still sign up for the Hulu Plus subscription that is available at a price of $9.99 per month. So as I see this, the move is a win for Hulu in getting access to more paid members while Sony may now have to focus on other compelling aspects of PSN in order to get members paying up for the premium service.

New Bluetooth Headset For PlayStation 3 – Price & Feature Details Revealed

Sony is coming up with a new look Bluetooth headset for their PS3 console that will give users the ability to conspire gaming strategies with fellow gamers while on their console. The new official Bluetooth headset is an improved version of the earlier headset though it does not come with any drastically new features. Primarily, the headset will still include the same features like dual microphones, USB based automatic pairing with PS3, cradle charger and a mute button. Also, this headset will feature a 30% reduced size and a much sleeker look along with noise-cancelling functionality. You can also engage in three-way calling over mobile phones.

The new official bluetooth headset for Sony PlayStation 3 is compatible on PS 3 firmware of 3.50 and above and will be available on the stores in the coming weeks at a price of $49.99.

Google TV On Sony PS3 Launching Soon?

Let me start with the usual disclaimer that this is a rumor at this stage and so you will need your salt ready. Sony is apparently bringing the Google TV to its gaming console, the PlayStation 3. According to people “close to the project“, this offering could roll out early spring next year.

What this could mean is that Google TV, that Sony already offers over their Blu-ray players could now also be connected with the gaming console to let users stream television content over their PS3. The PlayStation is already compatible with Hulu and Netflix apps and an integration with Google TV could make the PlayStation a full fledged media and entertainment consumption device. Also, since Google TV is integrated with Android apps, an integration would mean PlayStation users can soon begin accessing their favorite apps like Last.Fm, Facebook and Twitter over their PS3 – something that XBox users have been enjoying for a while.

The integration is also seen as a way to counter Microsoft’s recent announcement to bring U-verse streaming to XBox. Anyway, with the partnership between Sony and Google having grown stronger in recent times with the launch of Google TV, this was quite evidently the next step and was always on the cards.

Sony is expected to make an announcement in this regard soon after the holidays in order to keep their sales afloat post the hot shopping season.

Sony PlayStation Rewards Program For Loyalty Recognition Launches

Sony has announced a new program for loyal PlayStation gamers – the PlayStation Rewards program that will offer exclusive status and extras to PSN members who have been around for long periods of time. In the initial invitation-only beta stage, the PlayStation Rewards program will be targeted at the US members of PlayStation Plus and Gamer Advisory Panel.

Once into the Rewards program, users need not do anything different and all of their activities including playing games, purchasing and downloading content, answering marketing surveys,etc. will be counted towards building the loyalty that shall be ultimately rewarded with additional benefits. Sony notes that the Rewards program will begin with things like

  • Exclusive PSN avatars that display member status in the program
  • Exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Home content
  • Opportunities throughout the program year to participate in members-only sweepstakes and giveaways for experiences and merchandise you won’t find elsewhere (The first of which is an all expenses paid trip to the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as PlayStation’s guest)

The invitations to select members to join the new rewards program is noted to be already on the way. Continue reading “Sony PlayStation Rewards Program For Loyalty Recognition Launches”

Price Of PSPgo In USA & Japan Slashed

Sony has announced a massive price cut for the PSPgo portable gaming console for consumers in the United States and Japan. The discounted price in Japan looks all the more sweeter with a drop of ¥10,000 off the original price. That is roughy $124 in USD terms. American buyers will now see the device selling at a $50 reduction in price.

So what does all of this mean? If you are in the USA, the new PSPgo will now cost you $199 instead of the original $249. And if you are in Japan, the PSPgo will sell for ¥16,800 ($208) instead of the older ¥26,800 ($332) price. The new discounted prices are expected to be available starting October 26.

Since its launch, the Sony PSPgo has been constantly criticized for its high price. The company had in February this year announced that they may be relaunching the console in the future due to a lack in consumer interest and poor sales. Let us hope the discounted prices now will help resuscitate the sales of this wonderful console.

Sony Internet TV On Best Buy Goes On Sale

Sony Internet TV; the company’s version of Google TV was launched this week and like what we had earlier heard, Best Buy is not holding back for a week before launch. The popular electronics retailer has already put up their stocks of Google TV from Sony for sale. But given the new concept, the product is sure to invite several inquisitive visitors. Best Buy is reported to have been giving away a pretty neat product guide that will give customers a walkthrough of all that is on offer.

Logitech, another Google partner in the making of Google TV too is reported to be getting all set to bring their new Logitech Revue to the Best Buy stores. Just hold on for an official word.

Sony’s Google TV offering is made of four HD TV models along with one Blu-Ray player.

Buy Sony PlayStation 3 With Latest Firmware For $30 Premium At Best Buy

This is how you update your Sony PS3 to the latest firmware – Ensure you are connected to the internet, go to Systems Menu -> System Updates and download the latest firmware. It is not a big deal anyway. But if you are one of those users who is not tech-savvy enough and wishes for someone who will get it done for you, you may have to pay a $30 premium.

That’s exactly what Best Buy has recently been caught charging. According to some reports, the Geek Squad at a Best Buy store in New York has been selling a 120GB PS3 with the latest 3.50 firmware update at an additional cost of $30. Of course, there are units with the older firmware that do not come with this additional price premium and so the buyer is not entirely obliged to cough up this additional cost. But in any case, this is a pretty huge cost for something as simple as a firmware update which does not show the retail store in positive light.

Sony PSP2 Developer Kit Released To Major Developers

There have been a lot of gossip about the launch of the new Sony PSP2. Early on, it was believed that Sony could be making an announcement about this during this year’s E3. When that did not happen, speculators pushed the launch to 2011.

Now though Sony has remained tight-lipped about all this so far, there are indications for an imminent launch. This is following reports of new PSP2 developer kits being used by several major developers including Netherrealm Studios. The company is behind the hugely popular Mortal Kombat series and in a recent interview, executive producer Shaun Himmerick said,

“We’re not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP2 in the house and we’re looking at the engine, like what can it support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We’re running at 60 fps, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We’re definitely looking at them. PSP2 looks like it’s a pretty powerful machine. We don’t have a 3DS system in house yet, but we’re looking to get one, and we’ll certainly look at what its power is.”

This is most definitely an accidental slip-up and watch out for some refuting statements in the coming days. Nevertheless, now that we do know that companies are busy upgrading their game to be compatible with the new platform, the actual launch may not be far behind.

Now Watch 3D Blu-Ray Movies On PlayStation 3 – New Firmware Released

Sony has released a new firmware version for PlayStation 3. The new firmware 3.50 will offer support to 3D Blu-ray movies on the Sony PS 3 console. The announcement is in line with our revelation last week that the new firmware would release on September 21.

The new firmware will let users play three-dimensional movies on any television set capable of playing 3D content. Apart from 3D support, the new PlayStation firmware also brings enhanced social integration to the console. Developers may integrate their games with Facebook while users can use this integration to have a more social experience on their PS 3. In addition to this, the new firmware also brings a grief reporting function to the console that will let users to send claim reports directly from the XMB for inappropriate messages they receive from other users.

You can check out instructions to download the new firmware by clicking here.

PSP On Android – Sony Building PlayStation-Branded Games For Android?

Is Sony bringing its PlayStation games to the Android platform? There have been mild rumors about this in the past as well but these speculations have now received a boost thanks to a job posting on Sony’s website that calls out for applications from developers with “experience in mobile development, especially Android” and with “knowledge/experience in online gaming“.

The move makes sense considering that both Apple and Google have been sprucing up their mobile OS offering that makes them attractive platforms for gamers. Of course, a device like PSPGo is much more tuned to the requirements of gamers but by bringing up PlayStation branded games to the Android platform, Sony could be opening up their gaming applications to a whole new world of casual gamers. I wonder though whether Sony would let existing PSPGo customers port their games to their Android phones. Sounds unlikely at the moment, but let’s see how it pans out.