It wasn’t long ago that Sony, almost inexplicably for a company of its size and heritage, was losing money everywhere it went. After a few years of pain, however, things have begun to look up, with the company posting a first quarter net profit of around $265 million. The bulk of the good news comes from the PlayStation 4 and Sony Pictures, the company’s film and TV arm that benefited from the successes of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street. The only sore point on the company’s financials is that its mobile division continued to see sales of Xperia handsets drop — a loss that even managed to offset a favorable bump in the exchange rate. The corporation is still predicting that it’ll eat around $487 million in losses across the year, so don’t be surprised if someone greenlights 23 Jump Street in the next couple of weeks.
Source: Sony (.PDF)
Back when Oculus VR first showed off its second virtual reality development kit, the Facebook subsidiary wasn’t saying anything specific about the origins of its new, higher-resolution screen. But now that that second dev kit is shipping to pre-order customers, the teardowns have begun and we have a better idea of what it’s using: the screen from Samsung’s Note 3. Not a similar screen, but the screen directly taken from a Note 3 smartphone — an AMOLED pushing 1080 x 960 into each eye. Oculus VR even kept the touch module attached, though we’d strongly suggest against trying to use it while wearing the Rift headset.
As iFixit notes, the screen is being overclocked to run a higher refresh rate (75 Hz), which is important in creating what Oculus calls “low-persistence”. Hilariously, when the headset’s taken apart, you can see the directness of the screen’s use, camera-holes and all. Check out the video below for a full walkthrough of the new Rift dev kit.
Of course, Samsung and Oculus working together is interesting unto itself. We reported in May that Oculus VR and Samsung are collaborating on another VR headset — “Gear VR” — which Oculus is creating the software for while Samsung creates the hardware. That Samsung is providing the screen for Oculus’ new dev kit looks to be another component of the partnership.
Interested in learning more about the second Oculus Rift dev kit? Check out the video below!
Sony’s had limited tests of its cloud-based gaming service running for the last few months, but it’s taking PlayStation Now to the next level tomorrow by letting anyone with a PS4 (that’s in the continental US or southern Canada) join in. There’s a new blog post and video up now telling gamers what to expect: PS3 games, cloud saves, trophies, and “a variety of rental periods” depending on the game. As far as an all-you-can-eat option following the lead of Netflix or EA’s just-announced EA Access — that Sony doesn’t think you need — Sony reaffirmed that it’s working on a subscription option for PS Now, but didn’t provide any more details. As for how much it costs now, there will be four-hour rentals for $2, as well as 7-, 30- and 90-day options for between $3 and $20, across a library of more than 100 titles. You can check out our hands-on impressions from CES after the break, or check out Sony’s website for more information like which games are available (Metal Gear Solid V, Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus, Ultra Street Fighter IV and more.)
- PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 30, 2014
If this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival doesn’t have enough electronic music for you, tonight you can catch a live DJ set from Steve Aoki (above) as he spins from Ibiza, Spain. The Twitch broadcast starts at 10 p.m. Eastern, so you might have to pull the neon hula-hoops and rainbow leggings out of the closet a bit earlier than you’re used to. It’s a free show of course, and you can watch it on basically every platform at hand — gaming console, mobile device or even via this Chromecasted browser tab on your flat-screen. If competitive gaming is more your style, however, the streaming behemoth has something more traditional in store for you. Following its PAX Prime booth broadcast, Twitch is doing a digital premiere of Die Noobs, a documentary following two decade-long online gaming pals as they finally meet in person and then train to compete in their first-ever eSports event.
Should the initial August 29th broadcast date not work with your personal schedule, there’ll be a rerun 24 hours later at 9 p.m. Eastern — maybe Google will have finally fessed up to its purchase by then.
[Image credit: Getty]
EA revealed its new Access subscription service for the Xbox One yesterday, which lets you play a bunch of EA titles, take advantage of discounts and get upcoming games early in exchange for a small monthly (or yearly) fee. While it might’ve looked like a platform-exclusive partnership with Microsoft, Game Informer has learned that Sony actively rejected EA Access for the PlayStation 4. “We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect,” Sony said, adding that the success of PS Plus “shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price.” And, just in case we hadn’t got the message, Sony’s statement concluded: “We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”
It appears, then, that Sony would rather not support a service of questionable value than leave that decision up to PS4 owners. As we said yesterday, Access doesn’t seem particularly overpriced, especially if you’re a fan of EA’s sports game franchises — you can always drop $5/£4 for a month, grab a discount code, try out the new FIFA early, and revisit an old title to while away a weekend without any long-term commitment. But perhaps Sony would rather those gamers get acquainted with the PS Now rental model instead.
Via: The Verge
Source: Game Informer
Mario Kart on the Wii U is really good. Unfortunately it’s just one game — and it looks like it won’t be enough to rescue the Wii U’s sales. Nintendo apparently agrees, stating that its 9.9 billion yen loss was due to a lack of hit titles outside of the flagship racer. Matter-of-factly, Nintendo said:
“The operating loss was 9.4 billion yen because total selling, general and administrative expenses including fixed expenses exceeded gross profit. “
Which is, well, exactly how you work out an operating loss. The company is now betting on the power of Super Smash Bros. as well as the best-selling Pokemon series to improve results later this year. Wii U console sales have improved in the Americas and Europe: 510,000 units were sold worldwide in the last three months, compared to 160,000 in the same period last year. In Japan, however, Wii U sales have decreased year-on-year. Revenue was 8.8 percent higher than the same period last year and Nintendo is hoping its plans for a series of console-connected toy figurines along the lines of the hit Skylanders series will help to improve that bottom line.
Mario Kart 8 managed to sell 2.82 million copies so far, meaning that relative to Wii U console sales, most players already had the games console to play it on — and that it wasn’t quite enough to convince other consumers to buy what could possibly be a second console.
Well that didn’t take long. Less than a week after it rolled out the app to the PlayStation 4, Sky’s now brought Now TV to the Xbox One. With today’s launch, Sky now has Microsoft and Sony’s new and old gaming consoles covered, as well as a number of smartphones and tablets, giving it a firm footing on which to challenge Netflix. Now that Microsoft doesn’t require a subscription to access Live apps, you only need to stump up the cash for one of Sky’s movie, sport or entertainment packages to get streaming on your next-gen Xbox.
So let’s say that you want to quit your day job and start making indie games. It’s a noble pursuit to to be sure, and with Microsoft’s Independent Developers @ Xbox program for Xbox One, it’s supposedly pretty easy. What Redmond doesn’t tell you, however, is just how much it’ll cost you. That’s where Jamie Fristrom, the developer behind Sixty Second Shooter Prime comes in. On his blog, Fristrom breaks how much everything from URL registration and maintenance ($19) to paying to have the game rated in foreign markets ($2,042) costs, with the total coming in at $5,143 — a stark contrast to something like Destiny‘s $140 million price-tag. He notes that even with Redmond giving away free development kits, Xbox isn’t the cheapest indie platform around but that the costs to publish there were “absolutely worth it.” What’s more, he says that if you choose to skip stuff like releasing in other territories, making a game for under $3,000 could be totally feasible. Good to know.
And even though he’s yet to see Prime‘s first sales report, Fristrom estimates that given the game’s leaderboard population he’s more than covered the cost of development and even made a living wage. How’s that two-week notice looking now?
Source: Happion Laboratories
Verizon’s FiOS app has been leading the way on the Xbox One live-TV front, and now it’s getting a handful more channels in its stable. If you’re a subscriber, you now have access to the likes of AMC HD, Showtime, Encore, Bloomberg TV and ten others. As Verizon tells it, this brings the total channel count to 88 across both the Xbox 360 and its younger brother, the Xbox One. Whether you’re going to use them to keep up with the exploits of the Ricktatorship or Homeland, however, is up to you.
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Welcome, ladygeeks and gentlenerds, to the new era of gaming. The one where you get to watch, and comment, as other people livestream gameplay from next-gen consoles. Because games! They’re fun!
Developer Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic opus The Last of Us released last June, delivering at least a few punches to the guts of almost everyone who played it on the PlayStation 3. Despite the some 80 million (and counting) PS3′s sold worldwide, though, Sony estimates that there’s still a bunch of people who haven’t experienced the game. So, with no small amount of effort porting it from the PS3, we now have The Last of Us: Remastered on the PlayStation 4. But, let’s say you’ve already played through the game and its downloadable episode on Sony’s last-gen console, is it worth double dipping? Join me today at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific as I stream it, and find out. I’ll be starting a few hours into the campaign, but bear in mind that there’s a very high chance for spoilers, especially if you missed playing the game last year.