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.
It may not have been popular, or even easy, but the simple fact that a PS3 could boot and run Linux was a pretty awesome bragging right, one that will be phased out on April 1st. According to the official Playstation blog April fools day will mark the release of Firmware version 3.21, and the death of the "install other OS" option on non slim PS3's.
Sony wasn't really specific as to why support for such a long-standing feature was being dropped, but like everything that's hard to explain "Security concerns" was picked as a blanket excuse. If you followed our How To guide last year to get this up and running, now might be a good time to say goodbye to your Linux install if you plan to keep using your console for online play.
April fools day is a terrible occasion to try and convince people you're making a serious announcement, but the fact that they are giving us almost a weeks notice makes me think they are serious about this one.
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.
Paris-based Darkworks is wandering the floor at GDC making some pretty big promises. They say their upcoming TriOvis for Games SDK will allow developers to build in 3D support to 2D games. The real benefit would be that it would not require the purchase of a 3D capable display.
Darkworks is saying that all the 3D-ification happens in the software and the special 3D glasses. Apparently, this means those not wearing glasses would see a regular 2D image without the blurring of a 3D image. The technology will be available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
If this proves to be a feasible option, we may see DLC for existing games that enable 3D with the TriOvis system. Darkworks has said that the process of adding TriOvis to an existing game is very simple, taking anywhere from a few days to a week. We are really floored by the possibilities here. Let’s hope this is for real.
What happens if you take Nintendo's Wii remote and nunchuck and paint them black, streamline the controllers, and cut the tail? You get Sony's PlayStation Move motion controller and sub-controller.
Instead of a sensor bar, the PlayStation Move platform relies on the PlayStation Eye camera to help "deliver an innovative and highly immersive experience." The camera purports to detect precise movement, angle, and even how far away the player is from the console.
As for the motion controller itself, it includes a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor, as well as a color-changing field sensor that the camera uses to track movement. According to Sony, this combination allows for both fast and subtle motion.
Kotaku has put together a handy list outlining the differences between the PlayStation Move and Nintendo's Wii remote (see here), including fewer buttons, "a smarter controller," and no wire between the motion- and sub-controller.
Sony says it will launch the new controllers worldwide this fall, but didn't offer up any pricing info.
Get ready to toss your gaming console out a window. Well, maybe not, but according to Imagination Technologies you might be carrying a phone as powerful as a PS3 in three years. Imagination makes the PowerVR mobile graphics chips found in phones like the iPhone and the Droid among others. The chips are licensed to hardware makers that must incorporate them into hardware. This takes about three years from start to finish. That bit about the PS3 level graphics? They know because they’re developing that chip right now.
Imagination claims that this level of performance will be possible with the usage of multiple processing units. In theory, three to four can be added to a phone without causing too much more power draw. Current PowerVR chips have the theoretical potential to do hardware accelerated Flash and GPGPU computing. Imagination say that internal tests have shown a 300% increase in Flash performance when hardware accelerated. Yeah, we’ll take that.
Let’s hope that Imagination Technologies was being straight here. Of course, much of this relies on hardware makers using the chips. But if the near future holds 720p gaming on our mobile phones, flying cars and jetpacks can’t be far behind… right?
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.
An OS memory hog is a thing to fear, especially in a system where memory is fixed, like the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Sony initially gobbled up 120MB of the available memory, spread across both the XDR and DDR ram, which was later reduced to 96MB. But that still looked pretty chunky in comparison to the Xbox’s OS svelte 32MB. Oink, oink.
Sony’s put the PS3 OS on an even stricter diet, and has reduced the memory footprint to 50MB, at the same time Sony has upgraded the OS’s capability. Now game developers have 70MB of memory more to play about with than when the PS3 was first introduced, and the PS3 is a more capable console--a win-win.
Mark Wilson at Gizmodo likes seeing the OS trimmed down, and handing over to developers what’s best left under their control. But, he doesn’t see this as remaking the PS3 into something it already isn’t. Wilson says about the best that will come from this are “slightly nicer lighting effect[s]”. Still, it's a start.
In retrospect, 2009 was really the year of the PS3. Sales of the oft maligned console finally began picking up after price drops and the introduction of the PS3 Slim. The continued ascendancy of Blu-Ray certainly didn’t hurt either. Even with all the focus on Sony’s console, they thought they could sneak some new versions through the FCC without anyone knowing. Not so much.
The two new versions are identified by their model numbers: CECH-2101A and CECH-2101B. The current PS3 Slims have model numbers CECH-2001A and B, denoting the 120GB and 250GB versions. So we can be fairly certain that these new models are differentiated by their hard drive size, but what’s changed from the current gen?
The wireless components tested by the FCC seem to be the same. It is possible, though depressing, that Sony may have just tweaked the manufacturing process to save money and slapped a new model number on them. But maybe… just maybe there’s some secret Sony magic under the hood of these new models. We can only hope. What do you think?
Sony's pretty excited about its upcoming Torne DVR and TV tuner for the PlayStation 3 console, so much so that they've went ahead and confirmed plans to launch the unit next month. The initial launch will take place in Japan only, in large part because it supports the country's terrestrial digital broadcasts, and so far, there's no word on when the Torne will fly stateside.
Quite the flexible device, the Torne hooks up via USB and comes capable of recording TV onto the PS3's hard drive or up to four external hard drives, all at the same time.
Users will actually be able to connect up to eight USB drives and register each one with the recorder. Programs can also be watched on a PSP, as well as schedule recordings with the handheld console.
The Torne DVR and tuner will sell for about $110 when it launches on March 18th. There will also be a special edition 250GB PS3 bundled containing the Torne device that will sell for around $470.