Sony Playstation fans have never had the privilege to plug in HD despite high definition being a Sony stronghold. So it should not come as any surprise that the electronics maker has finally decided to offer a HDMI cable to its PS3 users in a new SKU that is expected to launch shortly.
According to rumors picked by PCWorld, the new accessory will be made available with a $350 version of PS3 that will come with 250GB. That is, the HDMI cable will still not be available with the $300 120GB version of the console. However, the $50 is not for HDMI cable alone. Users can also lay claim to a LittleBigPlanet Game of the Year edition with the new model. So that is – an HDMI cable, LittleBigPlanet GOTY edition and 130GB additional storage at $50 extra.
Earlier this month, we had written about a Premium PSN that could be launched by Sony next month at E3. The service, that was expected to cost $70 a year, was expected to bring a free new game to the user besides offering a Spotify-like music streaming service to the PlayStation Network.
Now, there are more confirmed rumors about the service. According to a report on Joystiq, the service shall be labeled PSN+ and it will include a lot more things than just a music streaming service. Here is what we hear are the offerings
Rotating list of PSP Mini and PSone Classic games
Exclusive In-Game downloadable content
PlayStation Store discount
Full access to retail titles for one hour, dubbed “first hour” demo
PlayStation Protection Plan
Cross-Game Voice Chat
Cloud-based saving system
Auto-Patching feature for automatic installation of updates
The pricing is expected to be around $9.99 a month which is pretty higher than earlier speculations.
The move is in an attempt to score a point against Microsoft that has become pretty successful in luring users to XBox 360 via video content downloadable via XBox Live. The new partnership will mean Sony PSN users may be able to download and view True Blood, Big Love, Entourage, Eastbound and Down, The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Rome, Da Ali G Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of the Conchords on their television.
Given the massive access to such shows via alternate channels as well, I do not see this as offering Sony a competitive edge. However considering that similar content is available via XBox, it makes sense for Sony to bring on a level playing field through striking such a content deal with HBO. Your thoughts?
Sony has not had a great few releases as far as its gaming console segment is concerned. PSPGo did not ‘go’ down really well with the customers. However, according to the Head of Sony Australia, Michael Ephraim, PSPGo has marked the path forward for the company that may now be contemplating an end to physical distribution of game. Ephraim said,
“[PSPGo] was the first device of its kind where you did not have packaged goods or pre-recorded media. I think PSPGo will blaze the trail for future iterations of the handheld.”
While Ephraim did not explicitly rule out the possibility for PSP2 to not support the original UMDs of PSP, he noted that PSP2 may be a digital download-only device. He further said that any handheld device in the market today will be in direct competition with smartphones – that are basically an all-in-one device and are pretty popular among gamers.
So will PSP2 also include voice-calling capabilities to take on competition from smartphones? Ephraim did not answer.
Rumors are doing the rounds that a Premium PSN service may be unveiled by Sony next month on the sidelines of E3. According to sources, the premium service will not be a forced upgrade to existing PSN users and shall be completely optional. However, the features are pretty good that there is likely to be a good number of takers.
For one, users may be offered to download a new Playstation game every month for free. Sony is likely to offer a choice of 3-4 games for the users to choose from. Secondly, the service is likely to bring a music streaming service on the lines of Spotify to PSN. Details are sketchy, but I believe you get the idea.
And the price? A good £50 ($70) per year. That’s less than $6 a month, technically. But how many would be willing to go for the upgrade? Will you?
There were a few rumors doing the rounds earlier this year that Sony Playstation 3 could be seeing a shortage in supply this season. According to reports on the Sony Insider, the apparent reason behind this is due to a lag in the supply of Blu-ray drives for the console. The report reads,
“Remember Sony mentioned that there would be a shortage of PlayStation 3 this time around? Apparently the reason for this is due to the limited availability of Blu-ray drives for the past few months. Hopefully the supply of those parts is being taken care of and PlayStation 3 units will be populating store shelves as usual.”
On a sidetrack, the report has also noted that the company could be winding up sales on Playstation 2. There has been a slight price adjustment in recent days of the gaming console as stores plan to sell away the stock for $99.97
Yesterday we heard Sony’s new mantra for its PlayStation console – make it a multi-purpose device and thus make it a more generic product as opposed to the niche gaming consoles like XBox 360 and Wii.
It appears that Microsoft is in no mood to take on Sony in this regard. Will XBox 360 ever have the options to let users go online and surf the web from their gaming console device? We hear that the answer to this is NO.
This was communicated in an interview by Xbox product manager Aaron Greenberg Edge Magazine. Aaron says that the company’s tests on making internet available on home TV showed a “poor experience”. Greenberg said,
“We really believe that the web browsing experience on TV is a poor one, and the real magic is to take those Web experiences and optimise them for the living room. That’s what we did with Netflix. So, sure, you can go on the PS3 and go to Facebook and and try to navigate, but it’s an absolute nightmare.”
Sony PS3 is not going to be yet another gaming console. In an effort to create a niche in the market which is now heavily fought among the three major console manufacturers – Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Sony is believed to position the new PS3 as a device that will get users much more than just gaming. The Playstation is marketed with the “It only does everything” tagline.
The older generation of PlayStation lost out to Nintendo and Microsoft simply because of its higher price and introduction of features like Blu-Ray that were not deemed necessary on a product positioned as a gaming device.
Taking the cue from the past failure, the new device shall launch at an attractive $299 and is positioned as a device that bring to users features more than just gaming. VentureBeat writes,
“Instead of marketing the PS3 as a hardcore game console, the company is touting the fact that it can play high-definition Blu-ray movies, host video chats, and play music. On top of that, consumers are finally ready to network all of their devices in the home together via the web, and the PlayStation Network and PS3 are a solid platform to do that.”
I think it is an opportune time for Sony to bring an integration of several platforms and the fact that there is an attractive price drop is only a bonus. Look forward to a stiffer competition between gaming console makers in the months ahead.
In an attempt to tackle competition from the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony is reportedly working on a game controller that can serve as a universal controller; capable of also being used with Xbox or Nintendo.
A patent regarding this was recently filed by the Sony at the USPTO. According to this, the game controller will be an LCD display based device that will display different key layouts depending on the console being used. The inventors write
“A game console controller includes a hand-holdable housing and a touch sensitive liquid crystal display (LCD) on the housing. The LCD is caused to present, depending on what type of game console a user has selected, a controller key layout for a first type of game console or a controller key layout for a second type of game console. A key layout includes plural keys selectable by a user to input commands to a game console.”
With increasing number of households going for multiple game consoles, it is evident that Sony wants Playstation to be at least one of them. By providing a universal controller, it can ensure that PS remains the default console in the house with the second device being one of Nintendo or Xbox.
This might sound extremely futuristic and some might call this cost prohibitive, but according to educated speculations, the next version of Sony Playstation could come equipped with flexible touch-screen tech.
This was communicated by Tai Chiem, a freelance designer known for his renderings of Sony products. According to Tai, while it may be too expensive to bring flexible touchscreen in the present day scenario, it should be pretty likely in 5-10 years.
Now this is neither from an official source nor is from an insider; so take this with as much skepticism as you would want. However, what do you think? Is flexible touchscreen a possibility in PS4 or even PS5? Let us know what you think.