Like Logan Walker in Call of Duty: Ghosts, Sony’s eighth-generation console, the PlayStation 4, has come out of the gates swinging to accomplish a mission. That mission? Getting into as many gamers’ hands as possible — and as quickly as possible.
In the first 24 hours since the $400 PS4 was released on Friday, Sony sold 1 million consoles in the United States and Canada, the company announced Sunday.
“PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”
Thousands of gamers waited in line to purchase the PS4 at various midnight launch events across North America on Friday, including at the The Standard in New York City, where Sony unveiled game teaser trailers for Uncharted and Destiny.
Despite favorable sales figures and positive reviews, however, some PS4 buyers are reporting that their consoles are defective.
The gaming world is furious with Sony. First, The PlayStation Network has been down for weeks. Then gamers find out that the reason it’s down is because someone hacked the network and all of their personal data has been compromised. An appropriate spoof of Sony’s annoying PlayStation 3 commercials is only fair.
BERLIN — When it comes to tablets, Sony has so far kept things relatively simple — the company made fairly large but very thin, waterproof Android slates, such as the 10.1-inch Xperia Tablet Z and Z2.
Now, at IFA, Sony has launched its first 8-inch tablet: the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, calling it the “world’s slimmest and lightest” in its category.
At 0.25 inch thick and 9.5 ounces, the device is indeed compact, especially compared with its obvious competitor, the 7.9-inch iPad mini from Apple, which in its latest iteration measures 0.29 inch and weighs 11.6 ounces.
And, just like its predecessors in the Xperia Tablet range, it’s waterproof and dust-proof to IP65/68 specifications.
As far as internals go, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is essentially the same device as the Z3 smartphone — a quad-core, 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Adreno 330 graphics, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage memory (expandable up to 128GB via microSD cards).
The main difference is the camera — the Z3 Tablet Compact sports an 8.1-megapixel imager — and, of course, the 8-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel screen and 4,500 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery, courtesy of the tablet’s larger form factor.
Just like the Z3, the Tablet Compact supports PS4 Remote Play, meaning you can use the tablet to connect and control the games you play on a PlayStation 4.
Other software tidbits from the Z3, such as Sony’s DSEE HX tech that “upscales” the quality of your MP3 and AAC files, are present on the Tablet Compact as well.
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be available globally in autumn 2014. The device will be available in black or white, either as an LTE or a Wi-Fi-only device.
Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. Today, we’re looking at three particularly interesting stories.
Sony Announces Slimmer PlayStation 3 and More
Sony has announced a plethora of news at its Wednesday event at the Tokyo Game Show. Most importantly, the PlayStation 3 will get revamped, with a slimmer body and a new CD tray mechanism.
Furthermore, PlayStation Vita owners will be able to enjoy the benefits of the PlayStation Plus premium subscription, including free games, discounts and automatic software updates.
Finally, the company announced two new colors for the PS Vita in Japan — “cosmic red” and “sapphire blue” — as well as a manga reader app for the Vita, together with a manga store, initially carrying 3,000 titles.
iPhone 5 Reviewers Note the Downsides of Apple Maps
Though the initial batch of reviews of the new iPhone 5 is mostly positive, one thing many reviewers find sub-par is Apple’s new Maps app, which replaces Google Maps.
The T3 review notes the app is “hit and miss in terms of finding London locations;” ATD’s Walt Mossberg calls it the iPhone 5’s “biggest drawback,” and Engadget’s Tim Stevens claims the app “isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Google’s offerings on Android.”
Chinese smartphone giant ZTE is working with Mozilla to launch a Firefox-based smartphone in Q3 2012, Reuters reports. “We are trying to increase our efforts in coming up with our own operating system, while introducing products based on Android,” said ZTE spokesman David Dai Shu.
Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, on display during the 2014 Game Developers Conference.
Image: Mashable Chelsea Stark
When Sony announced that it is developing its own virtual reality system, the gaming world’s dreams came one step close to a retail reality.
Sony showed off its Project Morpheus headset to developers and press during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, and Mashable spent some quality time checking it out.
Oculus Rift, the only other virtual reality alternative, came out with a second-generation version on Wednesday. The two have stark differences and striking similarities.
Four years in the making
Sony’s research and development team has been working on Project Morpheus since 2010. While the developer kit we saw at the booths doesn’t necessarily represent the retail product, it’s clear Sony took its time.
The Morpheus headset is covered in blue lights that make it feel futuristic, even if they don’t serve a purpose. It matches the tone of the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move controllers precisely.
The headset fits around your head using a plastic strap that goes around the bottom of the skull, along with an elastic band on top. This plastic band solves one of the problems of Oculus Rift: easily adjusting the headset while you’re wearing it. It settled in comfortably over my eyes, and even though I only wore it for two four-minute sessions, it was light and not cumbersome. The weight was never balanced too far forward on my head and the eye cups fit easily over a pair of glasses, minimizing neck strain. When I saw photos of myself wearing the headset, I didn’t realize how far forward it had sat on my face, at least during my brief testing period.
During its first of two demos with the Morpheus, Sony showed an underwater simulation called The Deep, which puts players in shark-infested waters.
It was more of a hands-off experience, and players mostly had the option of shooting ineffective bullets at angry sharks swimming toward them — but it was a great display of the technology. The headset, which has a 1080p resolution, displayed images of the underwater world that were sharp and crisp. It was hard not to compare it to the next-generation Oculus Rift developer headset, which looked similar in graphical capability. (The OR’s previous generation only offered a resolution of 640 x 800 per eye.) There was very little motion blur, even when I moved my head quickly, and the latency seemed to clear up. This headset was easily comparable to the kits Oculus VR will send this summer to developers who preorder them.
The Morpheus’ motion tracking for the head position generally worked well, but in two demos, it required recalibration as the game lost track of my body’s position. For anyone who has used an Oculus Rift, this problem isn’t uncommon, but it’s a sign that Sony is experimenting with the same types of problems. During a simulated dive underwater, my hand — holding a DualShock 4 — stopped syncing up with where the game thought it was, so I had to hold the controller a bit strangely while finishing.
A second Morpheus demo, The Castle, had similar issues tracking my positioning. Players held two PlayStation Move motion controllers that represented their right and left hands. Moving them around and grasping objects sometimes worked perfectly, but was also prone to problems. I found some trouble grabbing and picking up weapons, as my hand seemed to pass right through them.
Still, it was good to see Sony facing some of the same problems that Oculus Rift demos have shown in the past. Virtual reality poses one of the biggest problems in gaming, and with two companies on the playing field, developers and consumers will be the ones to reap the rewards.
Gamers who download some big October titles from Sony’s PlayStation Network will get a price discount off the game’s regular MSRP in retail stores, Sony announced in a blog post Tuesday afternoon.
The program is called PSN Day 1 Digital, and it also marks the first time that AAA titles from third-party publishers are available for download on the PlayStation 3 at the same time as they are released in stores.
Some highly anticipated titles, including Dishonored, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and NBA 2K13, will cost only $53.99 when downloaded via the PlayStation Network on launch day, and 007 Legends will have a 10% discount for the first week, according to the Sony blog. Additionally, Doom 3: BFG Edition will be available for $35.99 on the first day, $4 less than the retail release.
These discounts are only available to PlayStation Plus members, Sony’s new $50 annual online service. The other catch is gamers must preorder the game through PSN before launch.
Other games are participating in the digital download program, but not offering a discount, including Resident Evil 6, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Assassin’s Creed III.
Players will still be able to purchase physical versions of these titles for PS3 at retail outlets.
This is just one of many recent experiments by consoles with digital delivery. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was available for download on the 3DS the same day it hit stores. Nintendo has also said its first-party titles would all be available for download on launch day for the Wii U, its new console.
Would you download a game instead of purchasing a physical copy if you have the option? Let us know in the comments.