Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed
More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.
News from the video game industry for the week of October 5
Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN round up some of the important pieces of news in the video game industry from the previous week. This week, we take a look at some statistics regarding the number of players in Destiny, issues with the launch of Driveclub, free next-generation copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for customers buying it on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, as well as some other notable news bits and upcoming releases.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
Sony Digital Paper e-ink tablet lowered in price by $100 to under $1,000
Sony has lowered the price of its Digital Paper e-ink tablet aimed at legal professionals and educators, though not by much. The tablet, complete with a 13.3-inch 1,200x1,600 e-ink display equipped with stylus input, a three-week battery life, and Wi-Fi connectivity, is said by The eBook Reader to have dropped from $1,100 to $999.
PlayStation Now will be available on PlayStation TV from October 14th
The PlayStation TV set-top box will have PlayStation Now from its launch on October 14th in North America, the PlayStation Blog has confirmed. Opening as an open beta, the streaming service will also be made available to owners of the PlayStation Vita handheld console, with the service said to offer rentals of over 150 PlayStation 3 games, with cloud storage used for save games, and online multiplayer support also included.
Sony's prepares to shut down PlayStation Home in all regions in March 2015
It appears that Japan and Asia regions won't be the only areas losing PlayStation Home next year. Community managers have posted on the PlayStation Home community boards in the North American and European regions, claiming that the service is shutting down on March 31, 2015. The date is the same that was previously announced for the Asia and Japan regions, though at the time Sony specifically denied that any other regions would be shuttered.
Sony rolls out the open beta test of the game rental service to PlayStation 3 owners
PlayStation 3 owners wanting to get a taste of PlayStation Now finally have their chance, as Sony rolled out the open beta of the program out to the last-generation console last week. Residents of the United States and Canada with the nearly eight-year-old system can now rent more than 150 titles, rather than paying full price for games that may only be played for a few days. Pricing varies for each rental period and game, but Sony recently reduced the price for the four-hour rental period.
Change in focus to high-end smartphones follows Sony financial guidance warning
Sony is effectively giving up on the low and mid-range smartphone market, in order to focus on high-end mobile devices like the Xperia Z3 range, a report claims. The manufacturer is apparently making the change after releasing new financial guidance it would make a loss of $2.1 billion for the fiscal year, itself partly caused by dismal smartphone sales throughout the year.
PlayStation TV includes PS Now, in-home PlayStation 4 streaming
Sony will launch the PlayStation TV in North America from October 14th, it has revealed. The micro-console, capable of streaming games from the PlayStation 4 similar to the handheld PS Vita, will be able to play titles from a catalog of nearly 700 games from launch day, with one report hinting that more capabilities could be on the way.
Move brings OS X compatibility, wider Windows penetration
Sony has shifted delivery of its Video Unlimited service for computers away from a discrete application, and onto a web-based player. In allowing browsers to play back video for the first time, Sony has opened up the service for OS X as well as a wider array of Windows-based devices.
Sony cameras, 3D TVs, Harman Kardon earbuds and more
Right now at Amazon, save 44 percent on the Sony NEX-6L/B compact interchangeable lens digital camera in black. It was $898, but has been reduced to $500 and is eligible for free two-day shipping. That discount makes this the best price we have seen anywhere by about $230. This digital camera features 16MP resolution, with 10fps burst shooting, Full HD video, interchangeable e-mount lenses, fast hybrid auto focus, Wi-Fi sharing, multi-interface shoe, built-in HDR mode, dual format media card slot, and tons more.
SmartEyeglass adds hologram optics to Google Glass concept
The Project Morpheus virtual reality headset is not the only head-mounted device under development by Sony. The manufacturer has revealed a prototype of a headset similar to Google Glass called SmartEyeglass, though while Google's effort relies on a small screen off to the side, Sony is opting for something more ambitious, and less discrete in terms of design.
Move essentially guarantees Sony will take massive loss on the year
Sony has revised -- downwards -- its financial guidance for the quarter, and intends to take a 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) "impairment charge" as a result of overestimating smartphone sales. The revision will take a serious bite out of earnings, with the company now expecting to take a loss for the fiscal year of $2.1 billion dollars, versus the possibility of returning to profitability.
Sony's new cross-platform game Run Sackboy! Run! toe available on iOS
Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the release of its new platform-survival game, Run Sackboy! Run!. Featuring a personified vacuum cleaner as the storyline's central antagonist, players rush to evade the Negativitron using tap and swipe gestures, navigating through three LittleBigPlanet series worlds. By collecting bubbles throughout the course, players can buy special costumes and upgrades that lead to maximized scores.
Sony Action Cam Mini lighter than earlier models, connects to Ustream
Sony's latest camera designed for sports and action videography has been launched, claimed to be the company's smallest version yet. The splash-proof Action Cam Mini weighs just 63 grams (2.2 ounces) and is two thirds the size of earlier models, with Sony also introducing the ability to stream video live via Ustream and other services at the same time as recording footage to a memory card.
Sony QX1 has 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, can take E-Mount lenses
Sony surprisingly launched two "lens-style" cameras at IFA, rather than the single device was originally rumored. The QX30 is similar to the original QX10 and QX100 launched one year ago, but adds a 30x zoom, while the QX1 allows users to attach any E-Mount lenses they already own, giving the photographer more customization options.
SmartWatch 3 uses Android Wear, SmartBand Talk adds voice control
As expected, Sony has launched two wearable devices at IFA during its main press conference. The SmartWatch 3 continues the SmartWatch line but switches over to Android Wear rather than Sony's own software, while the SmartBand Talk is a lifelogger which adds a display and voice control to the previous model's spartan design.
New line all Playstation 4 remote compatible, waterproofed
Sony Mobile Communications today introduced its new Xperia Z series flagship smartphones -- the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. The former is a 5.2-inch phone, and the latter a 4.6-incher, but both come with similar internals. The company claims that both are waterproofed, have "enhanced camera experiences and applications," and have an up to two-day battery life. Also debuted was the Xperia Z3 Tablet compact, the only tablet with PlayStation 4 Remote Play.
Smartphone-controlled Sony QX1 can use existing E-Mount lens range
Sony's QX Smart Lens line of combined sensors and lenses controlled by smartphone may be joined by a third device. Leaked images show what is rumored to be called the QX1, a replacement camera for smartphones which allows for the use of E-Mount lenses, rather than the 3.6x and 10x optical lenses used in the QX10 and QX100.
Xperia Z3 Compact shown in range of colors, usual Xperia styling
Details for two of Sony's IFA launches may have leaked before the company's event on Wednesday. Photographs of a smartphone believed to be the Xperia Z3 compact have surfaced, showing a range of color options for the device, while another image claims to show the complete specifications list for the larger Xperia Z3.
Pre-TGS Sony event reveals 44 games, Project Morpheus prototype game
Owners of Sony's PS Vita will soon be able to watch streams of PlayStation 4 games on the handheld console, the company has revealed. Part of a number of announcements at Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show event, the "Live from PlayStation" app will reach the PS Vita in a future update, and will let the user watch not only a live stream of a local PlayStation 4, but also gameplay from other streaming consoles.
Two wearable devices may be launched at IFA this week
Sony's alleged update to its SmartWatch range may have surfaced, with the possibility of two launches rather than one. A render has surfaced showing the SmartWatch 3, though it is accompanied by what is believed to be a new fitness tracker called the SmartBand Talk, with the two potentially launching at IFA this coming week.
Two smartphones, one smaller Xperia tablet expected for Sony IFA event
Sony is starting to tease devices it is planning to show at IFA next week, with a video trailer hinting that there will be three items revealed. The video, heavily referring to the number three throughout, could be pointing to the launch of the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and a tablet which could end up being the Z3 Tablet Compact.
Several companies confirm attacks as service returns, hacking group claims responsibility
Some of the most popular gaming services are reportedly under attack as a series of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) has been underway since last week. Shacknews reports that Blizzard, Grinding Gear Games, PlayStation Network, Riot and Sony Online Entertainment have all been undergoing a series of attacks leading to connection instabilities and service failures. While the attack was initially thought to be limited to a few companies, it's been discovered that several additional gaming services and websites have been targeted as far back as August 18 by a hacking group.
Virtual world to close its doors March 2015, service will continue in United States, Europe
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia announced that it is bringing a close to PlayStation Home in Japan and Asia regions at the end of March 2015. The service was launched as a competitor to Linden Research's Second Life, but was offered for free to any PlayStation 3 owner.
Twistable section of Cyber-shot DSC-KW11 designed for selfie photographs
Sony has extended its Cyber-shot compact camera range with a snapper designed for self portraits. The Cyber-shot DSC-KW11 is unusually designed to look like a perfume bottle, with the main camera sensor housed in a transparent top section able to rotate 180 degrees, allowing it to be used for normal photographs as well as selfies.
Sprint launches Sharp Aquos Crystal with slim bezel design
Sprint has confirmed it will carry the recently-announced Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone on its network. Boasting a 5-inch 720p display with minimal bezel and mid-ranged specifications, Sprint will be selling the Aquos Crystal for $240 off-contract and $10 per month under Easy Pay, while the prepaid brand Boost and Virgin will both offer it for $150. Sprint did not advise of when the Aquos Crystal will be available, but the Japanese launch earlier this week points to a release on August 29th.
Accessory manual reveals name of upcoming Sony Xperia tablet
Sony may have confirmed the existence of a new Xperia tablet in support documentation. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is refereed to by name in a user guide for the BSC10 Bluetooth Speaker with Magnetic Charging Pad, suggesting the company will be going for a smaller tablet as a follow-up to the Xperia Z2 Tablet, launched earlier this year.
Tiltable touch display, 179-point phase detection points in new Sony Alpha camera
Sony has unveiled another mirrorless camera in its Alpha range, one which it calls the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera. The α5100, effectively replacing the NEX-5T and arriving seven months after the α5000 received an update, has the same 24.3-megapixel Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor paired with a BIONZ X image processor as used by the α6000, though it exchanges the electronic viewfinder for other additions.
Buying a headphone amp is money well spent if you love music
Like many people, I love music and have an extensive iTunes collection. I also record my own music and even released a single with Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens on lead guitar. All of which means that, like many people, I take the quality of my listening experience seriously and am always looking for a great listening experience at home, in the car, and when on the go. I have managed to get a great sound at home, and in my car, but struggled to get an ideal listening experience on the go. Like some I've bought far too many headphones as part of this quest, when what I really should have done is buy a portable headphone amp as I recently discovered.
Sony SmartWatch 3 allegedly includes Wi-Fi connection for standalone usage
Sony's latest iteration in its SmartWatch range will have a higher resolution but a similar design language to the SmartWatch 2, according to a rumor. The SmartWatch 3 will continue to have a rectangular display, and will also use the same transflective LCD technology, one that relies more on ambient light than a backlight, in order to save battery life.
New games from Ninja Theory, Wild Sheep Studios, updates on Destiny DLC, Far Cry 4
As with Sony's press event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo early in the year, the company's Gamescom event was a mix of hardware and games. While some of the hardware announcements were welcome, the company also released a bunch of news regarding some big-name titles coming to the console in the next year, some smaller titles on the way, and updates on some of the most anticipated games out this year.
Gamescom PS4 media event revealed PlayStation TV shipping to Europe in November
Sony is bringing the PlayStation TV to Europe, a month after its US launch, the company revealed as part of its Gamescom media event earlier today. The company also laid out its plans for future updates to the PlayStation 4 game console at the event, as well as advising that it has passed the 10 million unit sales milestone for the console, up from the 7 million it reported back in April.
Sony Bravia S90 can display 4K content on its concave screen
Sony has unveiled new curved Ultra HD televisions in its Bravia collection , following after similar high-resolution launches by Samsung and LG. The Bravia S90 range is made up of two televisions, measuring 75 inches and 65 inches, with both having a concave display panel, the ability to play back 4K-resolution and 3D content, and a 4.2-channel speaker system.
Support no longer offered as Sony transitions to content for PlayStation Vita, Vita TV
Sony announced today that it would no longer be supporting PlayStation Mobile for Android going forward. In a statement on the PlayStation Japan website, Sony outlined that support for the program ends with Android version 4.4.2 (KitKat). Users that haven't updated to Android versions past 4.4.2 will still be able to access the PlayStation store, play games and re-download titles.
Users of Sony's products may be left out in the cold with closure of division
Sony has not only exited the e-book market, but it is departing the e-book reader manufacturing business as well. In a brief statement, the company said that it does not have plans "to develop a successor Reader model at this time." Sales for Sony's PRS-T3 will continue only as long as existing stock holds out. It is unknown what venues users will have for support when supplies run dry.
PlayStation 4 owners can use PS Now to rent, stream PlayStation 3 games
Sony has launched its PlayStation Now game streaming service in the United States and Canada. Previously only available as a private beta, all PlayStation 4 owners in the two countries are able to access the service in an open beta, with users able to rent PlayStation 3 titles and stream them to their console without downloading the entire game beforehand.
Company cites PlayStation Plus memberships, EA program lacks 'good value'
Earlier this week, Electronic Arts (EA) announced the EA Access program, which would give gamers access to EA games via a subscription platform. The program is currently exclusive to the Xbox One, but it appears that Sony thinks that the service wouldn't be a good fit for PlayStation 4 owners. According to Sony, a monthly program that only offers EA titles isn't "good value."
Free games, subscriptions offered as compensation for PSN intrusion
Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information from over 77 million users.
Same processor, RAM, camera claimed to be used in Xperia Z3 as in Xperia Z2
The Sony Xperia Z3 has resurfaced again in rumors, this time with a list of alleged specifications. The rumored follow-up to the Xperia Z2 is said to have a 5.15-inch 1920x1080 display, marginally smaller than the predecessor's 5.2-inch version, and though it will apparently be a better smartphone, it appears the new device will only be a minor improvement overall.
Apple could be key client
Sony has announced plans to invest 35 billion yen, or about $345 million, on scaling up production of image sensors for phones and tablets. Manufacturing of stacked CMOS sensors will increase at two factories in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu; meanwhile, the company is planning to complete work on a factory in northwestern Japan that it bought from Renesas. The hope is to boost wafer output 13 percent to 68,000 per month by August 2015, moving towards a longer-term target of 75,000, itself just a mid-term goal.
Leaked images show rounded edges on Sony Xperia Z3
The Sony Xperia Z3 has allegedly resurfaced in another round of reportedly-leaked images. The shots of the follow-up to the Xperia Z2 give an all-round view of the rumored smartphone, with one image comparing its physical size against the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 suggesting it to be just as tall a device, but will have a similar narrow display to its predecessor.
Xperia C3 focuses on self-portrait photography with selfie apps
Just as rumored yesterday, Sony has launched an Xperia smartphone with selfie-friendly features. The Xperia C3 will notably ship with a front-facing soft LED flash beside a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera, with extra functionality aimed at self portraits including the Smile Shutter, double tapping the back cover to take shots, and automatic scene recognition with HDR and automatic flash in its Superior Auto mode.
Incoming Sony Xperia smartphone claimed to have selfie-friendly front-facing flash
Sony could be preparing to launch a new selfie-friendly smartphone as soon as tomorrow, according to promotional materials and an image leak. An unnamed smartphone has surfaced in photographs, with the device apparently including a front-facing flash for better self portraits, while Sony's Xperia Twitter account is promoting a launch for tomorrow with a suspiciously-dark selfie post.
Leaked specifications suggest Xperia Z3 Compact to have similar specification to Z2
Specifications for the rumored Sony Xperia Z3 Compact have allegedly leaked. Following after a photograph surfaced purportedly showing the smaller smartphone next to the full-size Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact is claimed to have relatively similar specifications to the current Xperia Z2 flagship, albeit with a marginally smaller 4.5-inch 720x1280-resolution display.
Users directed to contact Sony for assessment; consequent repair or refund
After a handful of malfunctions of the Sony Vaio Flip 11A, the company has issued a recall for the device, with dramatic wording. Users are directed to immediately cease using the convertible tablet/laptop, and contact Sony for information on how to arrange for an inspection and a repair to the device, or a full refund of the purchase price.
Mad Catz adds 4K support, Ouya app to Mojo game console
Game peripheral producer Mad Catz has rolled out an update to its Mojo Android game console, adding support for 4K-resolution output of games and apps to compatible high-resolution televisions. The update also introduces Ouya Everywhere, giving the device access to hundreds of games hosted on the competing gaming platform, as well as allowing more games and apps on Google Play to be downloaded to the console.
Leaked images suggest Xperia Z3 will use same design as Xperia Z2
The follow-up to the Xperia Z2 has allegedly been spotted in leaked photographs, next to a smaller version. The rumored Xperia Z3 is shown beside what is believed to be the Xperia Z3 Compact, with neither device appearing to stray from the hardware specifications nor the physical design language used by the company's current flagship smartphone.
VAIO Pro, VAIO Fit first notebooks from new VAIO corporation
The first VAIO-branded computers following the sale of Sony's PC business have launched in Japan. The first two devices being sold, the VAIO Pro and the VAIO Fit, appear to be a continuation of earlier devices of the same name, with the design and specifications apparently similar to the original versions launched last year under the control of Sony.
Game streaming service sees first expansion into television market, still in beta
Television owners feeling left out of the PlayStation Now beta program no longer need to be, as long as they own one of a select number of Sony televisions. The electronics manufacturer announced that on June 30, the PlayStation 3 game streaming service will come to the company's 4K Ultra HD televisions, as well as a small number of 1080p Bravia units.