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Posts with tag SCEA

SCEA creates in-game advertising group, keeps Home free

How does Sony manage to keep stuff like Home free? Seems they decided to create a new in-game advertising business unit to assist in the cost and upkeep of the new "virtual space". Darlene Kindler was appointed to be in charge of the in-game advertising strategies, along with the partnership with Nielsen Media Research from July. As revealed in a recent job posting, in-game advertising is something Sony's serious about. The two companies will share network data from our PS3's and the PSN and work advertising into our virtual lives.

What can we expect? Just about any sort of "dynamic, relevant advertisements" you can think of. SCEA will make sure they're just like ads in real life -- billboards, posters, images on shopping bags or soda cans, things on your TV, and more. While this is a neat concept, we don't know how well it'll actually work. Sure, we could customize our avatar to drink Coca-Cola, but will that really make us want to go buy some? Who knows. Still, promotions like those will undoubtedly let free PSN services thrive.

Dave Karraker leaves Sony Computer Entertainment of America

Dave Karraker, current Senior Director of Corporate Communications, is leaving SCEA. In an e-mail sent to members of the press, Karraker stated "I am saddened to leave such a great group of people, but I have been presented a global opportunity near my home in an industry where I have previous experience that I feel I must pursue." His position with the company ends this Friday. He will be moving on to Skyy Spirits.

We at PSP and PS3 Fanboy are saddened to see you go, Dave. You've been so incredibly helpful in providing the answers that our readers have been looking for, and we wish the best of luck in your future endeavors.

SCEA teams up with ESPN for X Games 13

For the upcoming X Games 13 event in Los Angeles in August, SCEA announced its "renewed sponsorship" for the global action sport competition. Lets hope the competitors aren't superstitious, eh? Like the last 8 years of Sony's sponsorship, this year's event will be highlighted with the presence of Sony, but this time in a new truck-like package. The gargantuan PlayStation Experience truck will allow players to get an up-close and personal hands-on with the latest software for the PS3, PS2 and PSP. A 52-inch LCD HDTV will be displaying your hands-on skills in games like Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, Folklore, MotorStorm, Singstar Pop and even Parappa the Rapper. Leather chairs will ensure style and comfort while players game away.

The absence of heavier and more violent content is a purposeful move to merge the event (oddly enough) with Sony's softer, more kid-friendly side. "As the X Games and PlayStation appeal to the younger audiences, we couldn't be happier with this partnership and look forward to future events with them," says Rick Alessandri, Managing Director of the X Games franchise. The X Games 13 event will take place August 2-5 at both The Home Depot Center and the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Tretton: Sony doesn't "bribe" for exclusives

An interview in this month's PlayStation Magazine held a couple revelations. First, Sony doesn't shell out money to keep a game exclusive, or buy exclusive content to make a game seem better on their console. Second, Jack Tretton feels Sony is the "middle ground" for gaming -- we'll explain in a bit. We're not sparking this flame -- this is Tretton himself and we honestly couldn't agree more with him.

In the interview, Tretton said "We have a very different approach to exclusives than some of our competitors. We don't buy exclusivity. We don't fund development. We don't, for the lack of a better term, bribe somebody to only do a game on our platform. We earn it by saying "you can build a better game on our platform. If you focus your development on our platform, you will ultimately be more successful." We believe him. Even if, over the next few years, only half of the PS2 owners of the world adopt a PS3, it will be the most successful machine this generation and spending, say, $50 million dollars to some company for exclusive downloadable content would be completely meaningless.

Tretton also touched upon what exclusive games meant to Sony. "You know, if we were working on three games, it doesn't make for a very big exclusive list, but if we got 15, we've got a larger exclusive list before the third party comes to you with an exclusive. You almost get to the point where Nintendo's at, where they can do it without the third parties, but I don't know if that makes for a healthy environment. I think we sit perfectly in the middle. Microsoft is too dependent on the third-party community, and Nintendo is too dependent on first-party. We like to feel that we got a pretty good mix." Nobody can deny this. Tretton hit the nail on the head. Even though the price is high, even though the big library of games is still a month or two away, that is the reason Sony will continue to pull through. They don't, as the old saying goes, put all their eggs in one basket.

[via Joystiq]

Warhawk gets an official retail price, package

This is another one of those times where we were right, but feel sort of bad about it. We surmised the retail version of Warhawk would cost the same as any other PS3 title because of the inclusion of extra features and a wireless "headset" and turns out that's exactly the case, according to EBGames/Gamestop's website. The retail version is going to sell for $59.99 in the US. After telling us your impressions from the beta, would you drop sixty big ones for a decent headset and some extra features?

We are glad the included headset is a small earpiece. We're glad it's bluetooth and we're glad it's wireless (USB cable included for charging). The headset is from Jabra, a fairly well-known manufacturer of fairly decent-quality headsets. Our verdict? If you don't have a wireless headset, buy the retail version. If you've already got one, just download the game. That way, everybody is getting a pretty good deal. Agreed?

David Jaffe is 100% Sony, despite new office

While rumors abounded about David Jaffe leaving his position at Sony to open a new studio with some buddies at Incognito Entertainment, we held back until we got more information. Good thing we did, because the rest of the internet buzzed with headlines along the lines of "Jaffe leaves SCEA, world doomed!" We remained optimistic and Jaffe answered our uncertainty on the NeoGAF forums.

Jaffe replied to the rumors of a Utah office and leaving Sony by saying "I can promise you guys I am still part of SCEA...I just got a paycheck from them! I am still 100% a Sony employee and unless I got fired today and they didn't tell me, I'm still working for them ... I sure as s**t ain't moving to Utah...nice as it is, I don't think I could live there long term and I don't think the good people of Utah would want me to." However, Jaffe is working with Incognito and has a Utah-based office in the works. So, he's still a Sony guy and isn't moving to Utah, but will have a new office to crank out those super-fun PSN titles. As the new studio progresses, we'll keep you up to date with our favorite developer.

[via GameDaily]

The full track list for SingStar PS3 has been revealed!

Our parent-site Joystiq has posted that Sony Europe has finally confirmed the complete track list for SingStar PS3, due out in Europe later this Summer. The list is the usual mix of pop music commonly found on the SingStar releases, though the quality seems skewed a little higher than normal. As usual there's a sad lack of rap songs, but that's not a huge surprise considering past versions. Luckily, Sony is aiming to have over 300 songs available for download on day one, so there's always the hope that people with more specific genre tastes can find something to caterwaul to.

Here are a couple of the highlights from the track list:
  • Blink 182 - All The Small Things
  • Britney Spears - Toxic
  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
  • OutKast - Hey Ya
  • Radiohead - No Surprises
  • REM - Losing My Religion
  • The Killers - Mr Brightside
  • Weezer - Buddy Holly
Check out the full list after the jump!

Continue reading The full track list for SingStar PS3 has been revealed!

SCEA aware of porting difficulties, requiring "re-engineering"

We have a love-hate relationship with these kind of articles, lest they deter into all-too-familiar fanboy territory (wink wink). Regardless, they still are fascinating reads on technology and where our beloved full-time job hobby is headed. Gamepro recently questioned a developer tasked with high-profile PS3 ports from Xbox 360 code and the response was unsurprisingly, "nobody wants to touch that issue right now." Can't say we blame them. It's becoming increasingly complex a situation, with console exclusives falling by the wayside as publishers strive to get the most out of their investment. Professing love for one platform over another just doesn't seem like it would make things easier for anyone.

An article by Dr. Dobbs Portal that ran in March, delivers an in-depth dissection about how much longer the learning curve is when it comes to developing for the Cell and how much more fruit the Cell can bear once established and competent developers get through the crux of utilizing its potential.

Continue reading SCEA aware of porting difficulties, requiring "re-engineering"

Sony vows legal action against hackers and pirates

SCEA has declared that they will "actively pursue" legal action against hackers that attempt to crack the PS3 anti-piracy software. This announcement arrives just after recent news that hackers were close to completely cracking the PS3 anti-piracy software found in firmware versions 1.10 and 1.11. Their progress on the crack would allow pirated PS3 games to boot, but they still were not playable. The homebrew community is also still waiting in the wings, as even this latest attempt still prevents any type of homebrew gaming on the PS3 console.

Obviously, SCEA hopes to stalwart further progress and deter hackers from completely subverting the anti-piracy measures completely, because saying "please" just doesn't carry the same weight as legal action. Dave Karraker, SCEA spokesperson says, "the best we can do as a company, is to make our security that much stronger and aggressively pursue legal action against anyone caught trying to use an exploit in an illegal manner."

The pirates who want to burn and run copied PS3 disks? Yeah, they're bad. Bad, bad. Spankings all around kind of bad. And if you're thinking of doing it, you shouldn't. Go find someone to deliver a spanking for even thinking such thoughts. On the homebrew front, we're kind of indifferent. Now, we're stepping out on a very thin limb here, but maybe, just maybe if Sony was a little bit more organized in lining up a steady stream of content for thirsting PS3 owners, we wouldn't have hackers so interested in cracking the PS3 for homebrew. What do you think?

God of War 3 has not begun production, other games take precedence

It seems the director of God of War II, Cory Barlog, wants to pay attention to other projects before the much-anticipated God of War III makes any sort of debut. On his blog, he talks about a lot of things, but he mentions how he's not paying attention to the trilogy and instead is working on his very own RPG opus -- A Family Ties game. Or something.

So for those of you who were expecting some kind of surprise at E3 or Tokyo Game Show, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but you'll be waiting a while to see Kratos and the Titans crushing the crap out of Olympus. Unless Sony pulls a Kojima and replaces Kratos with a different, less gruff and manly character. Possibly a Roman who likes to comb his hair and do cartwheels. That would be most unfortunate! We don't need another Raiden. Or ... do we?

[via CVG]

SCEA lays off 80-100 employees [Update]

Sony's game division was first reported to be undergoing restructuring back in April and now, we're catching word that layoffs have begun. Two months back, only Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) was going to have to bear the brunt of restructuring by eliminating up to 160 jobs. Now, word is coming in about 80-100 layoffs from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). Apparently, much like an "American Idol elimination episode," teams were split amongst between those being asked to leave and those likely asked to take on the other team's workload. Severance packages were provided but no one was asked to "finish out the rest of the day," instead being told to come back after hours or ask management to collect their belongings. SCEA's PR man Dave Karraker, told Kotaku earlier that "it was necessary to analyze our current business and to restructure the company as necessary," which more or less validates the layoffs as a necessity. No official word from SCEA on if more layoffs were planned or what potential gaming fallout may occur from this restructuring.

[Update: When asked if PS3 sales were the direct cause of the SCEA layoffs, Dave Karraker declined and said, "this move is not wholly related to any one product in our portfolio." So there you have it.]

Jack Tretton is unconcerned about PS3 sales

Any product compared to the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii is bound to feel some form of inadequacy. Yet, SCEA's Jack Tretton says he is "unconcerned" about the latest PS3 sales figures, despite the fact that every PS3 sold loses money and in comparison, the PS3 is still in third place. Mr. Tretton goes on to solidify his confidence in the PS3's abilities by saying, "we're into this for the next 10 years and beyond. A million units one way or another at this point isn't going to worry us."

Mr. Tretton isn't alone in his convictions. Just last week, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachtor believed the PS3 will be the victor of the current console race, due to it's integrated Blu-Ray player. Will Blu-Ray prove be the victor in the next-gen HD format? Early predictors on sales might indicate so, but we feel our trusty magic eight ball sums it up best. Ask again later.

SCEA expanding business to licensed merchandise

In order to expand its "business development organization", SCEA has announced that it's going to move into some uncharted territory in its seafaring history -- licensing intellectual properties. Grab your compass, mateys, because the sea ain't too kind to boxes o' hats emblazoned with Sony's name.

Shelly Gayner has been appointed judge, jury and executioner of this newly-formed team. Acting as director, her goal is to increase awareness of the PlayStation brand by creating some consumable goods or something of the sort with first-party characters and other PlayStation properties. Shelly is well-trusted by her colleagues at SCEA to get the job done, so we're going to trust her as well. Who all would run out the door and buy some chewable Ratchet & Clank vitamins, some God of War cereal, an Uncharted: Drake's Fortune secret decoder watch and so on and so forth? We'd be all over that.

PS3 launches in Singapore -- congratulations!

This is just a nod towards another place that finally gets its hands on the PlayStation 3. Singapore has been waiting for the console for a while now, almost as long as Europe. Singapore will put back about S$799 for the 60GB model of the system and that's apparently the cheapest price for the system outside of Hong Kong and Japan.

Tetsuhiko Yasuda of SCE-Asia said this after the launch at a hip club called The Clinic: "I was involved in the development of PlayStation, and we successfully launched PlayStation 1 with 100 million units sold worldwide, and for PlayStation 2 we sold 120 million units. With PlayStation 3 we are targeting approximately 150 to 200 million units sold worldwide." Lofty goals! Well, we're about 1/150th or 1/200th away from that goal. Let's step it up, Sony! Don't stop until you find your way to HOME!

Enjoy the PS3, Singapore!

Sony recreates Management Team -- here comes Krazy Kaz!

Our two favorite people, Ken Kutaragi and Kaz Hirai, Krazy Kaz and Ken if I may, have moved up in the world! Maybe not the world as a whole, but the world of Sony. The two men, who have a tough time not making fools of themselves (a few exceptions, but they elude me), have indeed garnered new seats in Sony. Kutaragi, formerly the President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., is now the Chairman and Group CEO. Kaz Hirai was formerly President and CEO of SCE America is now President and COO of SCE Inc. At least he's not in charge of Sony America anymore? Whatever. You can check out other managerial movements if you'd like, but really, it's interesting how people more or less mocked by the public continue to move up in the world.

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