There has been quite a bit of speculation about a batch of new PS3 models -- CECH-2501 series -- that popped up in the FCC's database, and it appears we now have our answer. According to a press release put out by Sony Japan, the two new models consist of the 160GB "Classic White" and 320GB "Charcoal Black" consoles.
Both are molded from Sony's PS3 Slim form factor, and both are planned for release in Japan on Thursday, July 29. The Classic White unit will sell for 29,980 yen (about $342 USD), while the 320GB Charcoal Black will sell for 34,980 yen (about $400 USD).
In addition to the Classic White console, Sony said it plans to release a matching Dualshock 3 Wireless Controller and stand.
No word on when Sony plans to release any of these in the U.S. market.
It might not be much, but after four years, Sony has finally begun flipping a profit on each PlayStation 3 console it sells. It took several hardware revisions to get to this point, and now that it has, the company can begin focusing on recouping some of its hardware losses, though it's unlikely Sony will break even.
That won't stop the console maker from trying, however, as rumor has it Sony would like to extend the PS3's retail lifespan for a few more years. That will depend, in part, on what the competition is cooking up for the next round of console wars, but it's worth mentioning that Sony recently released firmware that adds 3D-capability to the PS3. Combined with the integrated Blu-ray player, the PS3 is in solid shape to stay relevant beyond tomorrow.
And then there's the whole motion control bonanza. Between Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move technology, both console makers appear content to ride their current hardware for at least a little while longer.
Vegas odds has this one as most likely a pricing error, but what I stumbled upon yesterday -- and apparently I wasn't the only one -- was a PlayStation 3 console listed as "starting at $199.99" on Sony's 3D portal. Could it really be so?
Not likely, though not completely out of the question either. Clicking through revealed no such console priced for just two Benjamins, and when I woke up this morning, I found that Sony had gone back and changed the price to $299.99, seemingly closing the case on this one.
It's worth noting, however, that E3 kicks off next week, and if Sony were to introduce a 'budget' PS3 console, that would be the time to do it. Admittedly unlikely, it's at least conceivable that someone on Sony's Web team inadvertently jumped the gun, much like Microsoft recently did with the Zune HD 64GB.
As it stands, Sony's PS3 is available in only two main storage flavors, 120GB for $300 and 250GB for $350. Sony also just recently pushed out a 3D firmware update applicable to all PS3 consoles, so while it has a feature advantage over both the Wii and Xbox 360, both units can be had for as low as $200.
Nintendo’s line of dual-screened consoles is a lot of things – ultra, “it prints money!” successful being chief among those – but a graphical powerhouse isn’t one of them. Or at least, it wasn’t. According to a rumor from IGN, however, the 3DS will even render circles around Nintendo’s current, also stupidly popular home console, the Wii.
"Several developers that have experienced 3DS in its current form have reported, off the record, that it has processing capabilities that far exceed the Nintendo Wii and bring the device with abilities that are close to HD consoles such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360," reads IGN's report.
Little is known about what’s actually under the hood of Nintendo’s latest little engine that could, but apparently it won’t be Nvidia’s Tegra mobile chipset, which many speculated might be the source of its incredible, 3D-without-glasses powers.
Fortunately, next week’s E3 gaming convention might as well be known as E3DS, since Nintendo will likely spend the majority of its two hour press conference telling us everything we’ve ever wanted to know about its latest handheld.
You’re starved for knowledge right now, but you’ll be absolutely stuffed after next week. And if you’re not, well, you probably shouldn’t mumble “I’d like some more, sir” in a quaint British accent. See, for as much graphical muscle as the 3DS might have, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has more actual muscle, and if he hears you, well, you may actually end up eating a 3DS. With your mouth.
Tony Soprano, Bill Henrickson, Ali G, and other HBO personalities are now available in the U.S. on the PlayStation 3, as Sony has gone and inked a deal to offer HBO programming through the PlayStation Network (PSN), Sony announced this week.
"The HBO library of premium original content is a perfect example of how PS3 has become the most content rich entertainment platform in the living room," said Peter Dille, senior vice president, marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "When you combine the iconic programming from HBO with the existing TV, film, live sports and original programming available on PlayStation Network, our customers have access to the content they want, when they want it, at home or on the go with the PSP."
Several titles are available on the HBO section of PSN, including True Blood (season one and two), Big Love (seasons one through three), Entourage (seasons one and two), Eastbound and Down (season one), and multiple seasons from HBO signature shows such as The Sorpranos, Sex and the City, The Wire, Rome, Da Ali G Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Flight of the Conchords.
Sony says it plans to add more seasons and shows on a weekly basis.
As many expected would happen, Sony has been handed a class action lawsuit for removing the 'Install Other OS' option from its PlayStation 3 console starting with the v3.21 firmware released in March.
In the lawsuit, plaintiff Anthony Ventura argues that "Sony's decision to force users to disable the Other OS function was based on its own interest and was made at the expense of its customers." Ventura also alleges deceptive business practices "perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers."
"On information and belief, contrary to Sony's statement, the 'security concerns' did not involve a threat to PS3 users, but rather reflected Sony's concerns that the Other feature might be used 'hackers' copy and/or steal gaming and other content," the lawsuit reads.
At the time of its release, Sony said the firmware update was optional, but any users who refused to install it would lose key features, like the ability to sign into the PlayStation network. Making matters worse, Sony soon followed up with yet another firmware update -- version 3.30 -- which was described as mandatory.
Anyone who purchased a PS3 between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010 and did not sell their console is eligible to participate in the suit.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Eric Lempel, Director of Sony's PlayStation Network Operations, announced a "mandatory update" (version 3.30) which he says will be available shortly. Most of the added features have to do with sorting options within Trophies, including:
Trophy Enhancements: It's now easier to sort trophies in the Trophy Collection and Comparing Trophy sections.
Trophy Folder (Title List): this can be sorted by game name or title according to teh date in which they were earned
Add-on List (Group List): can be sorted by original/the date in which yu earned your last trophy (ascending/descending)
Trophy List: can be sorted by original/trophy name/grade/date of obtaining the trophy (ascending/descending)
The update also readies the PS3 console for some upcoming features, most notably 3D stereoscopic gaming "which is coming soon to the PS3."
This is the Sony's second firmware upgrade in less than a month, and it's interesting that this latest one is being described as mandatory. On April 1st, Sony released firmware version 3.21, which was primarily to kill off the "Install Other OS" feature. While this was an optional update, users who opted not to install it would lose key features, such as the ability to sign in to the PlayStation Network.
While addressing a bunch of gaming geeks at this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, PlayStation researcher Anton Mikahilov made some pretty big claims about Sony's upcoming PlayStation Move motion controller.
Much of the demonstration revolved around the controller's level of precision. According to Mikahilov, the PlayStation Eye can track the Move's movements down to about one millimeter in the X and Y planes. To prove he wasn't blowing smoke up everyone's tailpipes, he zoomed down to the pixel level.
On the Z plane, the Move's level of precision is about one centimeter, and as Mikahilov twisted the controller, he noted that the PlayStation Eye could detect rotation to the degree level.
So what does it all mean? Translated in manner we can better identify with, Mikahilov says they've been able to use the motion controller to control the PC version of StarCraft.
Holy moly, talk about a kick ass giveaway. 2K Sports this week announced it would give away an unprecedented cash prize to the tune of $1 million to whoever is the first person to pitch a verified perfect game in Major League Baseball 2K10.
"To compete, gamers must play in MLB Today mode, select from any of the available matchups, and then choose the option to participate in the ‘Major League Baseball 2K10 contest’ that will automatically default to the proper gameplay settings according to the official gameplay rules," 2K Sports states. "Entries must be recorded via camera or digital video recorder in compliance with guidelines provided by 2K in the Official Rules, and all eligible entrants must submit a copy of their recording in its entirety for verification. Submissions will only be accepted on DVD."
There are a handful of other rules you must follow, such as not being allowed to make any pitching substitutions, pause the game, or wait 60 seconds or more in between pitches. But should you be the first to get through nine innings with no walks, no hits, and no runs, you could end up a millionaire, at least until the tax man takes his cut.
Note that this contest only applies to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.
And they say PC gaming is user-unfriendly. Earlier today, we brought you word of a global PlayStation 3 outage that sent PS3 owners flocking to their exploded chess pieces and Rubik’s Cubes in a sad attempt at entertainment. Fortunately, just as Sony prophesied, after only 24 hours, the problem’s nothing but an unpleasant memory.
“We are aware that the internal clock functionality in the PS3 units other than the slim model, recognized the year 2010 as a leap year. Having the internal clock date change from February 29 to March 1 (both GMT), we have verified that the symptoms are now resolved and that users are able to use their PS3 normally,” said Sony Sr. Director Patrick Seybold in a blog post.
Sounds like all systems are go, then. “Corrupted” data’s also syncing properly again, in case you were worried about that.
And so ends the darkest moment in Sony’s history since, well, the PS3’s hilariously over-priced launch. Here’s hoping this is finally the last of the PS3’s many troubles.