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.
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.
Yesterday Microsoft announced that the new, controller free, device for Xbox 360 will be launching in the UK on 10th November 2010, 5 days after the US, for £129.99. Kinect will also be available as part of a bundle that includes a 4GB Xbox 360, Kinect and Kinect Adventures for £249.99.
New figures released by Sony show that the PlayStation 3 outsold Microsoft’s Xbox 360 by 28% in the financial year ending on the 30th June. Figures show that the PlayStation 3 managed to sell 14.3 million consoles in the financial year. In the same period the Xbox 360 managed to sell 10.3 million consoles.
For comparison, in the financial year of 2006 Sony sold 3.5 million consoles. In the financial year of 2007 they sold 9.1 million consoles. For the financial year of 2008 they sold 10.1 million. Clearly the PlayStation 3 is selling faster and faster.
Sony have stated they plan to sell 15 million consoles in the 2010 financial year.
Global PS3 sales have now reached 38.1 million consoles. The Xbox 360 was released one year before the PlayStation 3 but evidentially the PS3 is now catching up at only 3.6 million consoles behind in terms of worldwide sales.
Today Microsoft have announced that the new motion controller for the Xbox 360, officially named as Kinect, will retail later this year at a price point of £130. You will also recieve a copy of Kinect Adventures with the controller.
Micrsosoft have also unveiled another new Xbox 360 today named as the ‘Xbox 360 4GB’ and as you may have guessed, it features 4GB internal memory. Just for comparison, the Xbox 360 S features a 120GB hard drive and the PS3 Slim comes in three models, a 120GB, 250GB and 320GB.
Microsoft will offer a bundle that comes with Kinect, the new Xbox 360 4GB and Kinect Adventures for £250.