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Posts with tag playstation

Ken Kutaragi officially throws in the towel, retires from SCE

The father of the PlayStation, Ken Kutaragi, has officially retired from Sony Computer Entertainment. Previously, following a corporate re-shuffle, Mr. Kutaragi stepped down as CEO of SCE, replaced by Kaz Hirai. Now, Ken Kutaragi is relinquishing his Sony duties further, stepping down as SCE's Chairman and Group Chief Executive while remaining on board with SCE in an advisory role. Perhaps Sir Howard Stringer can assist with Ken Kutaragi's early retirement by quickly issuing restraining orders against him on all things Sony PlayStation-related. After all, earlier reports show "Krazy Ken" Kutaragi clearly doesn't know "when to say when" as he proceeded to inflate the PS3's budget until it exploded in everyone's collective faces, causing fallout from a few layoffs to a huge quarterly loss. Except now without Kutaragi in the limelight, how are we going to get such beautiful mock-ups of the PlayStation grill?

The challenges of being Sony's PR man

Dave Karraker has quite possibly the roughest job of any PR director in SCEA history. Having come to the company only two months before the tumultuous PS3 launch, Karraker had quite an insurmountable task to face: combat the growing negativity surrounding the PlayStation brand and convince a questioning populace the value of an expensive $600 console. In an interview with GamePro, Karraker admits the job isn't easy. However, he thinks that the console's future success is nearly guaranteed: "I am pretty sure if you asked just about any real gamer out there if they would like to have a PS3, their answer would be a resounding 'Yes!'"

Negative perceptions of PS3 can be seen within our own comments section, where Xbox advocates preach about the so-called downfall of Sony. This kind of attitude seems self-perpetuating on the internet, especially when internet media incorporates the negative spin into their reporting: "I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not. A lot of this, naturally, is driven by the media who seem focused on taking swipes at us lately, without taking in the full picture."

So what can Sony and Karraker do to help gamers start understanding Sony's approach to the next generation of gaming? The games and hardware should speak for themselves. "A lot of the perceptions are not justified and seem fueled by people who don't have all the facts or have some kind of axe to grind. I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't say PS3 is an amazing piece of technology."

Massive PS Store update includes PS1 games, Super Rub a Dub, and more

Most gamers won't miss the lack of Calling All Cars in today's update to the PLAYSTATION Store. Why? Because there's just so much to see and play:
  • PS1 titles, now playable on PS3. 2Xtreme, Crash Bandicoot®, Destruction Derby, Jet Moto®, Jumping Flash™, MediEvil™, Rally Cross™, Syphon Filter®, Tekken®2 and WipeOut® are all available for only $5.99. Players that previously purchased these games for PSP will be able to download these updated files at no additional charge. For reviews of all these games, visit PSP Fanboy and read their Retro Reviews.
  • Super Rub a Dub starter pack & full game. Get a free taste of Sony's quirky motion-sensing duck game. Addicts can get the full game for only $7.
  • Gauntlet II full game. The retro classic is back for only $5.
  • Game Trailers: Super Stardust HD, Rampart, BlackSite: Area 51
  • Movie Trailers: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Get your PS3s ready to download. It's going to be a long night.

Wii-PS3 gap narrowing, still a battle though

Famitsu publisher Enterbrain decided to toss out some numbers regarding the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. Seems the Wii is outselling the PS3 by two to one in Japan. Now, now, put those jeers and stabbing comments away, ladies and gents. Two to one... in Japan. Japan, where the Wii is incredibly huge. Just two to one. Monetarily, the two are on equal grounds. Numerically, it's double. The gap used to be much, much larger -- slightly beyond the four to one ratio by the end of January.

Does this mean the fad for the Wii is dying down? Or that the PS3 is picking up sales? We can't say that "everyone already has a Wii now" because look at the sales of the Nintendo DS -- always on top of the sales charts. Maybe Nintendo is severely limiting supply. Whatever the case, it's good to know that the gap is narrowing and as more games come out for both systems, we'll see a much tighter struggle for market power in Japan.

Blogging on the PS3

Joystiq's Kyle Orland has completed a feat comparable to such American precedent setters as Neil Armstrong and George Washington. He is the first blogger on the internet to post from the PS3. That's right, his entire post was written on a PS3 with a USB keyboard and mouse. Still, as Kyle stated, it isn't a perfect way to get some blogging done.

Kyle notes that the PS3's web browser is a lot like the PSP's and after having used it myself, I cannot agree more. The browser does support tab browsing, so having multiple pages up at once is a snap. The browser also supports Flash, which is nice, although we would've liked to have some Java support as well. Still, it's a great feature for the system and works surprisingly well.

Who needs a Wii when you can play Nintendo games on your PS3?

Who needs Wii and its Virtual Console library when we can take our PS3 online via its kickass browser and check out any number of free flash games totally free?! Only problem: no Java support.

PS3 manual shows us how to replace HDD and battery

[click image to enlarge]

The above picture comes from Sony's "Safety and Support" manual and details replacement of the system's HDD and SIXAXIS controller's battery. Sony has said that when the battery is dead, they'll hook us up with a new one, but the manual shows one how to remove the battery before disposing of the dead controller. Reverse those directions and you have yourself a SIXAXIS that's ready to get back into the trenches.

Even better though, is the directions on how to replace your HDD without voiding warranty! So, if the 60GB HDD isn't cutting the mustard for you, follow the steps in the pictures below and slap a 200GB behemoth into that sucker!

Continue reading PS3 manual shows us how to replace HDD and battery

Nippon Ichi has something original on its way to... somewhere

Like niche titles? Preferably strategy/tactics oriented? Like Japanese humor? Oddball storylines and over-the-top characters? Chances are you've played a Nippon Ichi game: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, La Pucille Tactics, Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom, or just released, Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. Nippon Ichi announced recently that the first Disgaea game will make its way onto the PSP, disappointing avid fans of this publisher, wishing for an original title. Well, you've gotten your wish.

Very little is known about what these two characters represent, although one thing is obvious: a new, original Nippon Ichi title. IGN reports that on September 8th, Dengeki Playstation, a bi-weekly gaming magazine, will reveal some more details about this game. When that happens, we'll report the findings. Should we hope for a PS3 title? It isn't likely since Nippon Ichi loves their 2-D sprites and upgrading to a new system wouldn't be practical at this time, but who knows? They've surprised us before.

PlayStation 3 rises above while Wii goes MIA

On the heels of a "positive news recap," it makes it even sweeter to report that the PS3 has moved up on CNET's Weekly Hit List to take the #6 spot. This top 20 catalog is based on visitor interest, so it's great to see Sony's brainchild advance three spots from 9th place (it's "Still Warm" according to placement).

Interestingly enough, the Nintendo Wii has dropped off the chart entirely. Last seen at #18, the console had been on it for almost 60 weeks. At least we know what's on CNET visitor's minds.

[Via Punch Jump]

Entitle this! Sony names their own achievements

A wise man once said, "The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity." Having said that, a recent EGM Live podcast revealed what Sony could be calling their own version of game Achievements. Enter... the Entitlements!

At a point during the first third of the podcast, Dan Hsu spoke about how these Entitlements could be a key player in the next-gen cross-platform scene. Due to the infamously rising development costs, bringing the same game from one console to another is shaping up to be a very cost-effective alternative to exclusive titles (sad as it may be). So if you earn some Achievements on a certain ported game, chances are you will be able nab the same Entitlements on Sony's service just as easily.

The editors also made a very sharp point: wouldn't it be great to see something tangible awarded to those gamers with high Entitlements? Perhaps a free retro game to download, or an honorary icon/avatar for your profile?

Check it: WarHawk footage for the flyboys

Some of you might have seen this before, but for everyone else, here is a nice and quick video of what you may be able to expect from WarHawk. Sorry, no controller action for you to see, but just use your imagination!

Overall, the video is too short to critique, but the graphics don't seem that bad (given the quality of the footage and all). It'll be interesting to see how it changes between what we see here and the release date. I wonder if they will try and incorporate their new Eye Toy and the potential motion-sensing apparatus into it.

Detractors of the PS3 reach out, grab nothing

It shouldn't come as a surprise to know that with the lull in the biz during this time of the year (the hot, greasy summer), many people are floundering for something tangible to talk about. And nothing says "Urgent!" like an apocalyptic headline about Sony biting the big one.

Whether it's opinionated articles stabbing at the high cost or mole hill-stories becoming mountains over nothing, detractors of the PlayStation 3 would like nothing more than to stir up the pot and chip away at the foundation of Sony. For instance, on the heels of the SmackDown "cancellation" news, certain outlets would love to make people believe that all of the developers are just throwing in the towel and pulling support. In reality though, nothing was cancelled at all!

Like this write-up suggests, the summer is slow and Sony's next-gen console is an easy target for quick publicity (or just malicious take-downs). We're not advocating that anything critical which is said about the PS3 is unfounded, but use your head next time you read something about the console and if you feel like it's blown out of proportion, dismiss it as such.

Stranglehold: can you taste the cinema?

Anything that has John Woo's name on it should automatically come with a warning label. You're almost guaranteed to walk away with a bruised noggin... if you walk away at all. Enter Stranglehold: his brand new PS3-powered videogame sequel to none other than the oh-so-action-packed Hard Boiled.

IGN got the chance to chat it up with Jason Kaehler, who is the Art Director on the game. They talked about how much effort is going into just creating the detailed characters you will see in the title. For example, instead of relying on sketches and concept art alone, Midway actually had a casting call where hundreds of extras came in to have their likeness captured via photographs.

So next time you see a call for "Gritty, rugged, mean-looking bad asses," keep your options open because you could find yourself immortalized in the next interactive cinematic videogame. Check out the article for more (and some new screens too).

Let's play the patent game: more Wii controllers?

We thought we were past this whole "Sony copied Nintendo copied blah" stuff, but CVG via Tech-On points out that the new patent we blogged about earlier could possibly be perceived as another pass at Nintendo's Wii controller. You know, besides the other one.

If you take a close look at the odd picture that comes along with the patent, you will notice a pen-like apparatus used in conjunction with the camera. This is for image-mapping and converting movements into the 3D environment. But what exactly are we seeing here anyway? I don't think Super Scribbler 3D is in the cards, so could it be a controller not unlike the Nintendo Wii's?

Even more motion-sensing from the Sony camp could backfire. But not if they decide to bring us back our old controller in favor of this new motion-sensing one. Of course, Nintendo fans would have something to say about it if this pen-like device stepped up to replace the DualShake as we currently know it. And then again, maybe we're shooting in the dark here and it's nothing to give any attention to at all. Your thoughts?

The Intelligence Factor: analysts speak out... again

We know, we know. You've been seeing this regurgitated analyst stuff for months now, and you'd be hard pressed to find something that cites Sony in a good position at this point. Well, unfortunately, DFC Intelligence isn't ready to change that trend.

"Why should anyone even bother reading something from a bunch of researchers outside of the industry anyway," you ask? Actually, DFC has been covering the games biz ever since 1993. They've been around the block a few times, so even if you don't like what you're reading here (and if you're a Sony fan, you won't) it's still just food for thought.

Lots of research and 600 pages later, they've come out with a comprehensive forecast of the industry. What they say is that "two things are clear: 1) the high price of the PlayStation 3 is going to slow overall industry growth, especially for software and 2) if Sony does not change its current strategy for the PS3 the system will probably end up in third place in installed base. Microsoft and Nintendo have been handed that golden opportunity and both companies have a chance to make their systems the market leader."

What's this about software growth and Sony inhibiting it? On the contrary, with their free online platform, Sony could be poised to offer all kinds of commercial and independent (heck, even homebrew) games to a wider audience right out of the box. This could be just as much of a golden opportunity if they play their cards right. As for Blu-ray and the other software medium, we've already heard from one developer that he believes it could make all the difference. So take this analyst report as you will, the rest of us are waiting for November.

[Via Joystiq]

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