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Sony ceasing shipments of PlayStation Portable to Japan this month

06/03, 1:07pm

Shipping ending in Japan following US in January, European PSP sales continue

Sony is retiring the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan after nine and a half years of sale in the country, effectively signaling the oncoming end of the console's life. Shipments of the handheld game console will cease in Japan later this month, with the company instead continuing to push for sales of its successor, the PlayStation Vita.

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Revamped PlayStation Store in North America on October 23

10/11, 12:15pm

Sony PlayStation Store to get largest redesign to date in October

Sony showed off images of what a newly redesigned PlayStation store will look like at a London press event on Thursday. The details were shared by VG 24/7 and include new features as well as an all-new look for the digital storefront that's a showcase for the latest content for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PSP. Europe will get the update first, on October 17, while North American users will get to experience it on October 23.

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Nintendo 3DS outselling all Sony systems combined in Japan

04/05, 3:05pm

Nintendo 3DS outsells Sony gear for second week

Nintendo's handheld 3DS gaming console has topped the sales charts in Japan for week of March 26 to April 1. While this is the second week its was atop the charts, the week saw nearly a 30 percent boost from that earlier week, now at 121,921 units, according to numbers reported by Media Create (viaAdrianSang). The numbers were large enough that the total of 3DS sales outnumber the combined numbers of all of Sony's consoles, including the PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS2.

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Sony blocks more PSP games used for Vita hacks

03/28, 5:55am

Sony pulls another PSP game to stop PS Vita hacks

Sony has pulled Everybody’s Tennis from the PlayStation Store in response to a potential new PS Vita hack, making it the second title to be removed in the past two weeks. As with Motorstorm: Arctic Ice, which was removed in early March, installation of the game on the PS Vita allows hackers to exploit a vulnerability in the PSP emulator allowing homebrew software to be installed on the handheld console.

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Cloud-linked Photo Suite coming to Sony PS3 this week

03/26, 1:35pm

Sony to sell Photo Suite program for PS3

Sony will offer a new photo editing program for the PS3 later this week, the company revealed on Monday. The software, which will let users create stop-motion videos, add sound and video effects such as subtitles, color schemes, and more, will also sync with Sony's PlayMemories Online cloud service. Users will also have the ability to upload photos or videos straight to the console from their cameras and camcorders, and then upload files to Facebook.

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Nielsen: 66% of homes with Nintendo, Sony handhelds have iOS

03/09, 3:55pm

Nielsen shows Apple infiltrating gaming

New Nielsen data has shown that cross-platform gaming is seeing heavy inroads, including from Apple. About 24 percent of US homes used at least two gaming platforms, but diversity was especially high among those who had a traditional handheld. In homes where a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP was was used by a child under 12, 66 percent also had some kind of iOS device.

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Review: PlayStation Vita

03/04, 10:40pm

We review Sony's flagship handheld console

Many had written off Sony from the mobile gaming arena not long into the PSP's history: high prices and a lack of major games kept it on the sidelines as the Nintendo DS took over. Apple and Google have seemingly been poised to deliver a killing blow with much better general abilities and cheaper games. The PlayStation Vita, then, is a chance at redemption. We'll gauge in our PS Vita review whether it has accomplished that goal or at least made a valiant effort.

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Sony PS Vita homebrew loader arrives, requires pulled game

03/02, 2:00pm

Sony PS Vita homebrew hack available in Japan

A homebrew software loader for the PS Vita that allows older games and those from other systems to be loaded onto the portable console has been shared by hacker site Wololo. Sony has already taken steps to reverse the exploit, though, which first requires users to load the existing PSP title Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (Raging Ice in Japan) first. Sony has simply taken the downloadable title off its PS Vita store, however.

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Sony starts $50m PS Vita ad blitz to recapture iPhone gamers

02/14, 11:30am

Sony targets adult gamers, mobile users with Vita

Sony on the eve of the PlayStation Vita's first US wave has kicked off a record $50 million ad campaign to recapture its place not just from Nintendo but from Apple. The most Sony has ever spent on any PlayStation launch in the US, the campaign includes both online spots as well as traditional billboards and TV spots. Where PSP ads focused on younger gamers, though, Sony's new Vita ads (below) will focus on adults, where the allure is to "never stop playing" PS3-level games while on the road and with others.

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PS Vita won't get UMD exchange deal in North America

02/07, 11:45pm

North American PS Vita users must buy games again

Sony in a quick brief has warned that North American gamers won't have access to the UMD Passport program for the PlayStation Vita like their Japanese counterparts. A spokesperson told Kotaku that gamers with legacy, physical PSP titles will have to buy them again if they're available on the PlayStation Store. Japanese gamers can currently register their UMD-based games through the PSP and then pay a much smaller fee to download the digital version.

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PSN relabelled Sony Entertainment Network on February 7

02/05, 11:20am

Sony gives PSN new SEN badge in days

Sony has given notice that the unification of its online entertainment services mentioned during its CES keynote would affect the PlayStation Network on February 7. A terms of service change will see the service renamed as part of the Sony Entertainment Network. Actual functionality should stay the same.

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Hacks let PS Vita stream full PS3 games with Remote Play

01/23, 10:45pm

PS Vita can control full PS3 games with tricks

A new hack demoed on video (below) has shown that the PS Vita can play full PS3 games through Remote Play. A jailbroken and modified version of the PS3's 3.55 firmware, lower than the most recent official build, can pipe through full games such as Battlefield 3 and the Mortal Kombat remake without having to get official support. Sony only allows its current list of PSP-aware Remote Play games to work.

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Upcoming Sony PlayStation Certified games rated by ESRB

01/23, 4:45pm

Sony PlayStation Certified program gets new games

The PlayStation Certified program will soon get a number of new titles, according to a number of new ESRB ratings. Thus far, the program, which was designed to bring legacy PlayStation games to PlayStation Certified devices such as tablets and smartphones, only offered a few PS1 titles. The Entertainment Software Rating Board names a number of other PSP titles that will be made available on Certified Devices.

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PS Vita sales dip to 18K in Japan, cloud rivalry with phones

01/18, 8:20pm

PS Vita sales continue to drop

New Media Create data has made clear that the PlayStation Vita isn't yet threatening most other consoles or smartphones. After a blockbuster launch in December, it has tapered off for a second time in a month to just 18,361 systems as of January 15. Every console's sales dropped off sharply in the same period, but it still sat behind Sony's seven-year-old PSP, the PS3, and Nintendo's 3DS.

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PS Vita gets very early homebrew code through PSP emulator

12/31, 4:55pm

PS Vita proof of concept app hack appears

The first steps to get homemade code running on the PS Vita have taken place after Japanese developer teck4, with elaboration by mamosuke, has shown a very early example. The "hello world" app runs in the PlayStation's PSP emulator and uses just hardware controls. While rough, it lets gamers change the color and movement of the "snowfall" in a test scene.

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PS Vita off to middling start, moves 72K post-launch

12/28, 3:40pm

PS Vita sells just 72K units in first full week

Sales of Sony's recently launched PS Vita handheld games console have cooled significantly, the latest numbers from Japanese site 4Gamer.net reveal. The first full week of the console's being on the market saw just 72,479 Vitas find homes, a marked decrease from the 321,400 units sold in its first two days on the market. This puts the system in fifth place after the 3DS, the Vita's predecessor the PSP, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's PS3, respectively.

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NPD: mobile, download games not enough to offset slump

12/22, 7:00pm

NPD tracks smartphone and digital gaming at last

The NPD Group in a rare step began tracking some of the contributions of non-traditional gaming to the industry for the first time. It estimated that about $1.64 billion came from "other content," which includes mobile games as well as direct downloads and social network games, generated $1.64 billion in revenue. The growth made it larger than the traditional software side of the business, which dropped to $1.3 billion

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Sony: we won't repeat PSP mistakes with PS Vita

12/20, 3:05pm

SCE VP Shuhei Yoshida talks about PS Vita

The PlayStation Blog has conducted an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment VP and President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, revealing some insight about the development of the PS Vita handheld console. During the interview, Yoshida admitted that the company shifted focus away from the PSP, the Vita's predecessor, and concentrated on developing games for the PS3. Instead, the company will plan ahead for "constant supply of excellent games" for the PS Vita.

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PS Vita to limit multitasking, synced PSN accounts

12/05, 5:00pm

PS Vita to have limitations, at least initially

The upcoming PS Vita handheld console from Sony will be limited from web browsing while a game is running in the background. Users will have the ability to check friends' lists, music and Twitter, but can't browse the web while in a game. At the same time, only one PlayStation Network account can be set up on the device at the same time.

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Sony PlayStation Card gives bonuses for PSN purchases

11/10, 4:40pm

Offers 10X rewards points for games and rentals

Sony has teamed up with Capital One to offer a rewards card for PlayStation enthusiasts. The PlayStation Card will offer ten times the reward points for every purchase made on the PlayStation Network. This includes game-related PSN purchases as well as PSN movie or TV show purchases and rentals.

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iOS, Android lead mobile game revenue as Nintendo, Sony drop

11/09, 1:50pm

Flurry shows Apple and Google in control of games

Smartphone OS platforms from Apple and Google now make up the majority of mobile game revenue in the US, Flurry said in a new study. Both year-to-date figures and estimates give Android and iOS a combined 58 percent of money spent on games in 2011. Nintendo would now be a minority by a significant margin, at 36 percent, while Sony's PSP would be just six percent.

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Sony clamps PS3, PSP game activations to two each

11/04, 10:20am

Sony limits PS3 and PSP game reach to curb sharing

Sony on Friday outlined a plan to curb the number of devices that can use a game. Any PlayStation Store game for the PS3 or PSP bought after November 18 will be limited to two activations at a time for each device type, down from the current five. Gamers will have to turn activations on or off either on the devices themselves or on the web.

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Sony PSP gets US send-off with $160 FIFA, Cars 2 bundle

10/24, 10:45am

PSP goes out in US with FIFA bundle on November 15

Sony gave the PSP one last bundle in the US on Monday to keep sales going until the PlayStation Vita arrives in February. The new pack includes the regular PSP-3000, a UMD-based copy of EA's FIFA 12 for soccer fans, and a code coupon to download a digital version of the Disney/Pixar Cars 2 game. A 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo is in the box as well and provides just enough space to save games for most titles.

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NPD: Xbox 360 tops US console sales again, 3DS soars on cuts

09/08, 7:50pm

Microsoft claims Xbox 360 leads August 2011

Microsoft claimed one of the longer unbroken video game console sales streaks in recent memory as the Xbox 360 was once more the top-selling console in the US, according to NPD data. August sales bounced back from July's low point and hit 306,000 of the systems. Nintendo added that the 3DS price cut made a meaningful impact and saw sales jump to 235,000, about 185,000 of which were after the August 12 drop to $170.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G hits AT&T September 18 for $50

09/08, 10:45am

ATT dates and prices Xperia Play 4G

AT&T on Thursday set out launch details for its promised version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Now called the Xperia Play 4G, it expands on the original both with 14.4Mbps HSPA (technically 3G) and the inclusion of Sony Ericsson's own DK300 media dock and a music cable for RCA-equipped speakers. Gamers also get a better game loadout on the PlayStation phone, which brings in Dungeon Defenders, The Sims 3 and Tower Bloxx to existing titles like Crash Bandicoot, Madden NFL 11 and Gameloft titles.

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Sony picks former Homeland Security veteran post-hack

09/06, 7:45am

Security chief ups confidence for online plans

Sony has tapped a veteran of the US Department of Homeland security for the newly created position of chief information security officer. Former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center Philip Reitnger will become a senior vice president with the company and report to general counsel Nicole Seligman. The move comes in response to the attack on Sony's Playstation Network in April that caused a monthlong shutdown of the network and compromised the personal information of millions of PSN subscribers.

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PSVita to get Facebook, Foursqare, Skype, and Twitter apps

08/16, 6:00pm

PSVita gets free social and VoIP from the start

Sony's Gamescom keynote on Tuesday saw it give future PSVita buyers a slew of social apps for when the console is ready. The handheld will have apps available on or near launch for Facebook, Foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. All will be free in the PlayStation Store.

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Sony shows budget PSP without Wi-Fi for 99 euros [U]

08/16, 2:20pm

Sony PSP minus Wi-Fi headed to at least Europe

(Update: E-1000 name and official shots) Sony at its Gamescom keynote unveiled an unusual new PSP model as a going-away version. The new E-1000 will ship without Wi-Fi, but with UMD, and is intended to catch budget users. In Europe, it should cost about 99 euros ($143), or a third less than the 127 euros ($183) of the current edition. Timing wasn't narrowed down.

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Sony preps hybrid PSP bundle with Madden 12, NFS Shift

08/10, 1:50pm

New Sony PSP bundle due at end of August for $160

Sony just revealed it will release a new PSP bundle on August 30 that includes the portable games console and EA's Madden NFL 12 and Need for Speed Shift. Also included is a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo. The bundle will cost $160 when it launches in the US.

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PS Vita processor identified as 45nm Samsung chip

07/29, 5:05pm

Sony may use Samsung CPU for PS Vita processor

Sony may have turned outwards to get a processor for the PlayStation Vita. A claim made by Semiconductor Industry News, caught by Hachimaki, claims that the quad-core, ARM Cortex-A9 chip in the Vita will be made by Samsung. The exact model wasn't given, but it would be on a present-day 45 nanometer chip design rather than something smaller, like 28 nanometers.

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Microsoft sells 507,000 Xbox 360s, blows past Nintendo

07/14, 8:35pm

NPD June data give Xbox 507K units in huge lead

Microsoft kept up a year-long string of leads with new NPD data giving it the lead in June. About 507,000 Xbox 360s shipped last month, making it not only the top selling game console but giving it a wide lead. The NPD's decision against providing open data made comparisons difficult, but Microsoft in a comment said it sold "nearly twice as many" systems as rivals, with Nintendo's DS or Wii the most likely runner up.

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Sony Network chief calls PSN outage a "great experience"

07/14, 12:45pm

Sony chief says PSN outage was great for learning

The four-week long PSN outage was a "great experience," according to president of Sony Network Entertainment Tim Schaaff. The claim, made during an interview with VentureBeat on Wednesday at the MobileBeat conference, argued that the pressure of the breach made the PlayStation service stronger. Customers were also at least as interested as they were before.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play reaching AT&T later this year

07/12, 6:00pm

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play gets ATT release

AT&T at a media event Tuesday confirmed that it would carry Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play. Its version will support 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G and will come in an optional dark, AT&T-hued blue along with the regular black. The carrier hasn't said if it will customize the game loadout.

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Sony gives PSP a Japanese sendoff with new system bundles

06/28, 4:50pm

Includes choice of PSP in 3 colors + accessories

Sony will be offering special PSP bundles in Japan this summer. The PSP-3000 "value pack" includes a PSP bundled with several helpful and frequently color-matched accessories. These include a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, an AC adapter, a 1,200mAh battery, a pouch, and wiping cloth.

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New PSN lawsuit claims Sony layoffs to blame for hacks

06/24, 12:10pm

Sony sued again over PSN, staff cuts pinned

A second lawsuit over PSN hacks this week has accused Sony of cutting jobs whose absence may have worsened or contributed to the hack. A "substantial percentage" of Sony Online Entertainment, including some in the network operations center, were let go just two weeks before the April 19 incident that hit both SOE and PSN. Sony lowered its safeguards through job cuts just as the attacks came in, the lawsuit alleged.

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Sony head: we want PS Vita to be as needed as Android, iOS

06/17, 5:40pm

Sony's Tretton says PS Vita could fill in for iPod

Sony's SCEA president Jack Tretton in a conversation Friday hoped that the PlayStation Vita would be as essential for many people as an Android or iOS device. When asked about competing with Apple and Google, he saw it as a matter of making the Vita an essential device. The system had to be so closely linked to entertainment that it became as important as taking a cellphone or a wallet, and he told Forbes that he saw it often filling the role.

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Sony says PSVita won't get UMD add-on, might have had 3D

06/09, 5:30pm

Sony PSVita gets detailed FAQ

Sony has quietly rolled out an FAQ for the PSVita that has answered some of the deeper questions surrounding its new handheld. The system will play PSP games but, without a UMD drive or an add-on reader, will have to rely on downloadable games. The console maker was considering "every possibility" to accommodate gamers with an existing library but wouldn't say more.

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Sony announces sales of 70 million PSP consoles

06/07, 1:15am

Sony sells 70 million PSPs ahead of Vita launch

Sony has used E3 2011 and the launch of the PlayStation Vita to highlight the worldwide sales of what will be its predecessor, the original Sony PlayStation Portable. First launched in December 2004, the handheld console has now gone on to sell 70 million units up until the end of April this year. Its library of 3,200 UMD titles has also shipped over 298 million software units.

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Live: Sony's E3 2011 keynote

06/06, 8:00pm

Sony talks PSVita and more at E3 2011 event

Sony is holding its E3 press conference for E3 2011 on the USC campus tonight. The company is expected to formally rechristen the NGP as the PSVita, its main challenge to Apple and Nintendo in the gaming space. Visit our live coverage page from 8PM Eastern or 5PM Pacific for real-time updates as they happen.

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Sony PSN Welcome Back program goes live with free games

06/03, 3:30pm

PSN Welcome Back greets PS3, PSP gamers before E3

Sony wrapped up its pre-E3 run with word that its Welcome Back program was now live. As promised, PSN members from before the service went down April 20 can choose two PS3 games and two PSP games if they own one or both systems. Both platforms get older but major titles, such as Infamous and Wipeout HD Fury on the PS3 and LittleBigPlanet or Killzone Liberation on the PSP.

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Sony confirms NGP will run PSP games

06/02, 3:45pm

Titles from PSN will be supported

Amid Sony's NGP-related announcements, the company has confirmed that its upcoming handheld will be compatible with PSP titles. Backward compatibility will be limited to digital releases available in the PlayStation Network, though the hardware differences will require many games to be reconfigured for the NGP's input options.

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PlayStation Store comes back online, all PSN due back today

06/02, 1:20am

PlayStation Store and PSN completely back

Sony at the turn of midnight Thursday said it had brought back the PlayStation Store as promised this week. The shop and its DLC were available immediately in North America and also included new content, including new demos, full games, add-ons, and sales. Both PS3 and PSP owners could get to the new content.

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LulzSec says new anti-Sony hack campaign starts within a day

05/29, 5:25pm

LulzSec plans new wave of Sony hacking

Hacking collective Lulz Security teased on Sunday that it was about to launch a fresh campaign against Sony "within the next day." Following attacks on Sony Music Japan and elsewhere, the first phase of "Sownage" (Sony ownage) was coming along with a "pre-game show." As expected, the group didn't name its targets other than some Sony websites.

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Sony to bring back PSN in Japan, Asia on Saturday

05/27, 11:20am

Sony promises PSN back in Asia this weekend

Sony has announced that it would restore PSN gaming service in Japan and other regions in Asia on Saturday. The return would come over a month after the gaming network was voluntarily shut down following a hack and over a week later than other regions. Japan's government didn't let Sony reinstate user access to the network until Sony could ensure it made the necessary fixes to ensure this kind of hack doesn't happen again.

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Sony rumored cutting NGP specs to compete with 3DS, iPod

05/27, 9:50am

Sony may slash NGP features to hit Nintendo, Apple

Sony might be stripping down the performance of the NGP to better take on the Nintendo 3DS and Apple's iPod touch. A rumor late Thursday from France's 01net claimed that developers had been told the NGP would have half the main RAM, 256MB, and a similar cut to 128MB of video RAM. It may also drop the 16GB of built-in storage and shed the plain SD card slot in favor of a possibly more proprietary format with copy protection; whether that was Memory Stick or another format wasn't mentioned.

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Sony hints PlayStation 4 development already underway

05/26, 5:55pm

Sony hints PS4 in progress

Sony gave the first signs of the PlayStation 4 already in development through the earnings call for its latest results. The electronics giant's CFO Masaru Kato explained a rise in research and development costs by noting that "development work is already underway" for the PS3's future replacement. He couldn't say what it was or when it would ship in VentureBeat's recall of the event, although the timing made it unlikely it would be 2011.

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Sony preps Black Ops PS3, Limited Edition PSP bundles

05/25, 11:30am

Sony gears up Black Ops PS3 and Limited PSP pre-E3

Sony ramped itself up for the E3 show with two special deals to put sales over the top. A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Limited Edition PS3 bundle gives users both a 160GB version of the console but also the still-current first-person shooter and the new First Strike add-on pack. It ships on May 31, just a week before the start of E3, for $300.

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PSP gets 6.39 update, PlayStation Store not due Tuesday

05/24, 3:10pm

Sony promises 6.39 update for PSP, PSN updated

Sony on Tuesday announced it will soon release a system software update for the PSP system, which is effectively the equivalent of the PS3 3.61 update. It will guide users through the process of changing their PSN password and also improve system stability in specific cases. The update is required to get back on the PSN after the hack that took the gaming network offline for more than three weeks.

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Sony to offer PS3-native remasters of PSP games

05/23, 2:30pm

Sony to intro PSP Remaster games for PS3

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) on Sunday revealed it will launch a new PSP Remaster series of games for the PS3. They will first hit the Japanese market on Blu-ray discs and will be redone versions of current games for the handheld. In the changeover, they will get HD graphics and new features, including support for Sixaxis and DualShock controllers.

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Sony posts worst loss in 16 years, loses $171m from PSN hack

05/23, 10:15am

Sony fiscal year sees 3.2b loss and 171m for PSN

Sony revealed a major blow to its finances in an early warning regarding results for its latest fiscal year (PDF). The company said it had lost $3.2 billion in the 12 months ended March 31 through several factors. Its nearly month-long PSN outage due to hacks is now known to have cost the company $171.17 million, both through repairing the damage as well as free PS3 and PSP games and a month of PlayStation Plus access.

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