Yesterday at Sony’s E3 conference the company unveiled lots of new information about their upcoming Next Generation Portable, including the official name; PlayStation Vita!
The companies plan is to launch the handheld worldwide this year. When it launches there will be two models available to choose from. The main difference between the two models is one has WiFi-only and the other has 3G and WiFi. Sony have announced that the WiFi-only model will retail at $249 in the US and the 3G+WiFi model will retail at $299 – placing the PSV in direct competition with Nintendo’s 3DS.
The UK price is yet to be confirmed. However, retailers in the UK have started listing the console at £229 for the WiFi-only model and £279 for the 3G+WiFi model. This price is expected to drop before launch when an official price is announced for the UK. We believe that the two models could be priced at £199 and £249.
Take a look at the PlayStation Vita and the games on offer in the following video:
Now that the PlayStation Store has been restored Sony have released the Welcome Back pack for all PSN account holders who held an account before it went down during April. The Welcome Back pack includes free PS3 games, PSP games, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Home, Qriocity Music Unlimited, and 3 free Movies. Sony will also be offering a years free identity theft protection insurance policy soon. We decided, as so many of you are finding the Welcome Back pack confusing, to create this post to help you all.
First, lets look in detail at whats available to you:
- If you have a PS3 you can choose two PS3 games from a list of five to have for free, forever. The games will be downloaded to your PS3.
- If you have a PSP you can choose two PSP games from a list of four to have for free, forever. Again, the games will be downloaded to your PSP. This means if you have a PS3 and a PSP you get four free games in total.
- Everyone will receive 30 days of PlayStation Plus for free. If you’re an existing PS+ member then you will receive 60 days of Plus for free.
- Everyone will receive 3 movie rentals from the PlayStation Store for free.
- Qriocity Music Unlimited customers will receive 30 days for free.
- Everyone will receive free PlayStation Home items. Details of which will be made available soon.
- Everyone will receive a free insurance policy (T&C’s apply, more details available soon).
Sony’s CFO, Masaru Kato, today confirmed the development of Sony’s next generation home console that will most likely be named the PlayStation 4.
The announcement came during a conference call to investors whereby Masaru Kato was asked to explain a recent increase in Research & Development (R&D) costs. He explained “For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life, but this is a platform business, so for the future platform – when we’ll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that – but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.”
We currently know nothing about the actual console but a 2012 reveal and a 2013 release is likely. Analysts are predicting that the console will use a new and improved version of the cell processor that is found in the PS3 as well as a Blu-Ray drive.
The PlayStation 3 has currently sold around 50 million consoles worldwide and has the second largest active install base with the Nintendo Wii being the first.
Nintendo have already announced their next generation console, codenamed Project Cafe, and will be detailing and showing the console for the first time at E3 in June. Project Cafe will be launching worldwide in 2012.
Microsoft are yet to mention anything about their next generation console but it is expected that they too are currently developing it and are likely to release it around the same time as the PlayStation 4.
Sony have detailed the “Welcome Back” programme that they will be offering to all gamers in the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe region following the recent PlayStation Network down time due to attacks by hackers.
The “Welcome Back” programme offerings will not become available until the PlayStation Store is returned which is part of phase two of the restoration of the PlayStation Network. Sony have not given an estimated date of when the Store returns but it is expected to be within a week. Also, the programme is only available for those who held PlayStation Network accounts before the 20th April 2011.
Each user will be able to choose 2 of the following PS3 games to have for free, forever. The games will be downloaded from the PlayStation Store to the users hard drive.
- Wipeout HD/Fury
- Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
- Dead Nation*
*For German gamers, InFamous and Dead Nation is not available and therefore Super Stardust HD and Hustle Kings will be offered instead.
Anyone who owns a PSP will be able to download two of the following games for free (so if you have a PS3 and a PSP you’ll be getting 4 free games!).
- LittleBigPlanet PSP
- ModNation PSP
- Pursuit Force*
- Killzone Liberation*
*For German gamers, Killzone Liberation and Pursuit Force is not available and therefore Everybody’s Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party will be offered instead.
All non-PlayStation Plus members will receive one month of PlayStation Plus for free. All existing PlayStation Plus members will receive two months of PlayStation Plus, added to their subscription, for free.
All existing Music Unlimited subscribers will receive one month for free.
All PlayStation Network users will also receive free PlayStation Home content. Details of which are not available just yet.
Microsoft have released a new update for the Xbox 360 that improves the consoles security so that hackers can’t play homebrew or pirated software.
The update also frees up an additional 1GB of space on a DVD due to the old security software stored on the Xbox 360 games disc being removed. This gives game developers 1GB more space to work with when developing games.
However, since releasing the update, Microsoft have discovered that it is completely breaking some Xbox 360 users disc drives by making games, DVD’s, and CD’s unplayable on the console. The problem is the firmware update is written straight to the consoles disc drive and because Microsoft have used so many different disc drives since the console launched in 2005 some of the older Xbox 360 models aren’t compatible with the update.
Microsoft have said that “Following a recent update to our system software, we have become aware of an issue that is preventing a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs”.
‘This issue manifests itself a as a unique ‘disc unreadable’ or ‘disc unsupported’ error on the screen. We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.’
The firmware update has been in BETA testing for some time now. However, users are now complaining that Microsoft obviously did not test the firmware on all of the Xbox 360 models that they have had since it launched in 2005.
The main reason for the update was to lock out hackers playing pirated games. However, it is already being reported that hackers have already broken the new security rendering this update pointless (apart from the additional 1GB of space now available on the discs for game developers!).
Anyone experiencing problems with their console since updating it should contact Microsoft’s customer support.