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.
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)
Quite a few movie streaming services have been heading to gaming consoles in recent times thanks to the growing popularity of web streaming via these consoles. The latest in this list is LOVEFiLM, the popular DVD rentals plus streaming service operating out of London. According to reports on SlashGear, the service may soon be launching on Sony PlayStation 3 to allow these users to stream movies directly from their console on to a television. This service will be integrated with all the other platforms that LOVEFiLM operates upon which means that subscribers will need to only pay the monthly subscription fee between £3.99 and £5.99 for access.
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 has issued a new update to their PlayStation 3 Remote Play functionality that will allow users to stream content and control their PS3 from the comfort of their VAIO laptops. The feature has apparently been available in Japan since May this year though it is only now that it is becoming available elsewhere. There is no word on when this feature will becoming internationally though.
The PlayStation Remote Play functionality originally helped PlayStation Portable users to access the Xross Media Bar on their PS 3 to play music, photos, videos and games. With the new service, VAIO users too shall be able to enjoy these services from their laptops.
The service was awaited in the US market for quite a while since the firmware update relating to this feature – version 3.30 was released as early as April of this year. It is not clear what models of VAIO are covered in the latest release though it appears that at least VAIO EA series is covered at the moment.
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.
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.
The Sony PlayStation Move was just recently launched and folks at iFixit – the DIY repair company have already published a teardown analysis of the new motion controller from Sony. While the teardown itself makes for an interesting study, one of the more standout revelations is in the way PlayStation Move differs from Wii Remote with respect to the controller location tracking technology.
According to iFixit, the method used on both these consoles is vastly different. The Wii Remote contains an IR sensor. This is used in conjunction with the IR emitters placed near the TV so that the console can detect the movement of the Wii Remote using triangulation methods. The tracking methodology is basically two dimensional.
On the other hand, PlayStation Move tracks three dimensional movement. The PlayStation Eye camera recognizes the X/Y position of the glowing orb on the Move controller to detect two dimensional movement. In addition to this, the relative size of the orb is also tracked in order to measure the third dimension of movement.
In case you are wondering, Microsoft’s motion controller – the upcoming Kinect makes use of a webcam to track movements. Check out a comprehensive study of its technology here.
Sony has announced that a new firmware update for their game console is coming soon – on September 21 to be precise. The new 3.5 firmware update will bring with it the ability to render 3D Blu-ray content.
Speculations surrounding the new 3D Blu-ray support on Sony PS 3 have been doing the rounds for quite a while now though it is only now that Sony has officially confirmed the impending launch. The technology will require users to wear polarizing glasses.
This upcoming firmware update was recently showcased by Sony at the Tokyo Games Show. Folks at Engadget have caught hold of a pretty convincing video demo to showcase the 3D capabilities on the new Sony PlayStation 3 firmware 3.5 update. Do you like what you see? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Today is the official launch day for the new PlayStation Move from Sony. The accessory is already up on sale on the Amazon website at a price of $99.99. Not just that, if you are looking to buy the whole package, you can also check out the 320GB PlayStation 3 console with Move bundle at a price of $399.99. You can go ahead and make your purchase by clicking on the Amazon link here.
The official launch comes four days after PlayStation Move went on sale at the Best Buy stores ahead of the actual release date. As we had reported back then, customers in the Benton Harbor area of Michigan claimed to have made their purchase from their local BB store.
It will be interesting to see how the PlayStation Move is received by gamers. With Kinect launching in a couple of months from now, Sony will be keen to sell as many PS3 consoles bundled with Move as possible in order to counter Microsoft in the gesture-based gaming environment.