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Sony Unveils the PlayStation 4, slated for the 2013 Holidays

clock February 22, 2013 16:33 by author Dustin

With the last-generation consoles having coming out in 2005-2006, gamers around the world have been itching for a new system. Nintendo has already released the Wii U as of late 2012, but what players have really been craving is a system from the top two contenders: Microsoft and Sony.

The latter has decided to hit the news first with their PlayStation 4 announcement yesterday. The new console has a pending release date for the 2013 Holidays. Gamers can expect not only a slew of new games (with much backing from the developer community, which Sony all but bragged about), but also a new PlayStation Dual-Shock controller with an embedded “Light Bar” that will track your movements.

The PlayStation 4 seems to have an extra emphasis on cloud-based entertainment. Due to the internal power of the system, players can immediately begin playing a game they found through the PlayStation Store while it finishes downloading the rest of the game in the background. On top of that, Sony will be fully integrating today’s concepts of social networks into the PS4. “Friends Lists” will now consist of real names on top of the common username, with profile pictures accompanying achievements and trophies. Friends can even jump into your game, taking control (if you let them) for you whilst you watch.

Unfortunately, no actual PS4 was shown during yesterday’s announcement, despite the Holiday 2013 target; a price point hasn’t been set either. Besides those two tidbits of information, all that remains now is to see how Microsoft will respond to the challenge.

Sources: Wired, Forbes



CES 2013 Part 3: Up-And-Coming Smartphones

clock January 23, 2013 02:18 by author Jeremy

Although CES officially ended more than a week ago, many of us remain in the grips of its luster. In the next few months, crowds will finally be able to get their own versions of the new gadgets that were only just recently unveiled.

Cell phones took a bit more of a back seat this year around in comparison to last year, but the tradeshow didn't leave us completely empty-handed. Sony and Huawei are two champions of the smartphone category; their flagship phones, the Xperia  Z and Ascend W1, are currently two of the most highly anticipated phones.

The Xperia-series is no small name amongst phone enthusiasts. Sony has so far produced a long list of Xperia-branded phones, from entry-level to high-end. The latest model, the Z (along with their other flagship phone, the Xperia ZL) boasts a 5-inch screen, 1.5-Ghz processor, 16GB of space (more available due to a microSD slot), and a non-removable Li-Ion 2330mAh battery. What really makes this phone shine, though, is its ability to survive underwater by a little over 3 feet. Your phone can take the occasional tumble through a washing machine or accidentally drop into a sink, and you won't have to worry about it suffering major damages.

Huawei, while not new to the cell phone industry, hasn't been a popular name under high-end smartphones. It's certainly aiming to change that with the Ascend W1. Already available in China, the Ascend W1 is Huawei's first attempt at a Windows 8 phone. It boasts a 4-inch screen, 1.2 Ghz processor, and a Li-Polymer 1950mAh battery. With the rising popularity of Windows 8, this smartphone brings about a new appeal to those looking for a little change in the current meta.



KDDI Corp. replaces Sony batteries in Casio, Hitachi phones

clock October 10, 2011 22:34 by author Jeremy

Three phone models (two by Casio, one by Hitachi) will be replacing their Sony-made batteries with KDDI Corp. batteries, the second-largest mobile phone operator in Japan. This is due to concerns about the batteries overheating.

Sony, a giant in consumer electronics, has had several recalls over the years, including several years in a row (starting 2006) of Dell laptop batteries. They're also known for their recent issues this past year revolving around computer hacks made against the company.

The phones in question were sold between 2007 and 2009. There have been customer complaints in both 2010 and 2011 of the batteries overheating, which may result in the battery melting.

While a change of batteries in three handheld electronic phones may not have a large effect on the company's monetary standing, it could definitely affect their reputation.

Source: businessweek



E3 2011 - Microsoft's Kinect, Sony's PSVita, and Nintendo's Wii U

clock June 11, 2011 01:25 by author Jeremy

This past week hasn't been shy as far as introducing new gadgets and technology. With WWDC on Monday, you'd think we couldn't have gotten any more excited (after all, iTunes Match seems fairly spiffy). Oh, how wrong we were.

Though E3 didn't officially start until Tuesday, we were already seeing keynotes on Monday. Microsoft pumped up their Kinect-system, showing off a slew of games such as Dance Central 2 and Kinect Star Wars. Other games were introduced that will still use the basic controller, but aren't left out from the Kinect system: voice-controls used through the Kinect's mic can be utilized during gameplay.

Even the main XBox360 menu is getting a makeover. The new UI will later include Bing voice search for Hulu, Netflix, live TV, and even YouTube. With this much integration of the Kinect, Microsoft likely won't even need a new console for quite some time.

On the other hand, Sony let out a bit of news on their NGP - now officially named the PlayStation Vita. This handheld has received quite the popularity since it was introduced in January, and there were several demos to be had. Several of these games are available for both PS3 and PSVita, and Sony announced that games can stop on one machine, only to pick up on a different one (for example, switching from your PS3 to your PSVita). Most importantly, though, was their announcement of the final price and date: $249 for the WiFi model or $299 for the 3G model, hitting stores this holiday season; AT&T will be the sole carrier. That's got to be one strong battery to display the crazy visuals of the Vita while maintaining internet connection...

Aside from their keynote, Sony also introduced the PlayStation-brand 24" 3D monitor and 3D glasses, available for $499 as a bundle. With these, you'll be sacrificing the comfort of your ears for the joy of being able to play with friends locally while viewing a full screen. According to Sony's press release, letting the Lithium Ion battery in these glasses charge for 3 minutes results in 3 hours of use, with 45 minutes bringing you roughly 30 hours of wear.

Meanwhile, Nintendo took a different approach to their keynote. After a large symphony orchestra playing through a montage of Zelda-scenes to honor the 25th anniversary, Nintendo dived into showing off new games for the Nintendo 3DS and the handheld's infamous AR (augmented reality). More importantly, though, was their announcement of a new system: the Wii U, which will make use of a 6" controller with a screen. You can use the controller to share pictures and videos from your tv to your handheld, or you can use it to play certain games (for example: holding it up to the screen while playing baseball makes it act as a virtual glove). Nothing was mentioned as far as how the remote will be powered or charged, however.

 

 

Oddly enough, the actual Wii U wasn't spoken as much as the Wii U remote was, but from photos during their keynote, it looks very similar to a Wii but with rounded edges. It will be backwards compatible, so all your odd Wii gadgets will work with it. The Wii U is scheduled to release in 2012.

 

Source: engadget, prnewswire



Sony's Next Generation Portable (NGP): The PSP's Successor

clock January 28, 2011 00:39 by author Jeremy

Sony has finally unveiled the long-awaited PSP2, codenamed the "NGP", this morning at Tokyo, Japan. Along with the specs (seen directly below), Sony also focused on a few software pieces that they'll be using in conjunction with the NGP.

PlayStation Suite: Cross-platform software that Sony hopes will hit big. Think "PlayStation Network"...but available for your PS3, PSP, and interestingly enough, your phone. That's right: Sony wants to be able to make it so that your game can be played on your tablet and phone (with buttons being produced through an overlay feature). So far, Sony has promised that PSOne games will be available, and that the Suite requires a minimum of Android 2.3 on tablets and phones.

LiveArea: A feature embedded in each game that lets you keep up with how others are doing with the same game. It sounds like Sony is hoping for "real-time communcation among users" through LiveArea. There's an activity-log as well that will show accomplishments others made, sort of like an achievements-system.

Near: Sony's location-based service that comes pre-installed in each NGP. I imagine this uses the wi-fi/GPS functinos; the player can access Near to see players in the vicinity, and also see what those people have played recently or are playing now.

Sony says that the games they release won't be using the UMD anymore, but rather will be delivered through the Suite and can be saved onto a flash memory card, which can be used for not just the games, but also save files as well.

As you can see from the specs above, the NGP looks like it's going to be pretty intense. Two cameras (front and back), two touch pads (the front screen and rear pad), 3G wi-fi, GPS, two joysticks (not the little nub-buttons from the PSP, mind you), plus the original action-and-shoulder buttons.

The NGP is slated to release by the 2011 Holidays, but we're unsure whether that's for all areas at once, or just starting with Japan.

Source: NGP Press Release, PlayStation Suite Press Release, List of 3rd Party Game Developers and Publishers; pictures brought by engadget

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