PS3 Attitude

PlayStation 3 news, views and gossip from PS3 Attitude - a daily news site with bite!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Sony Ericsson to get XMB on phones?

This video has appeared on YouTube showing what is apparently a forthcoming Sony Ericsson handset, not unlike the Sony Xperia X1 that was recently reported on various gadget sites.

The interesting part? Sony's XMB seems to be coming to yet another device.

You may remember how Phil Harrison demonstrated access to PlayStation Home via his mobile phone back at E3 2007. Now, it looks like those compatible phones will also share a common interface with the PSP and PS3.

Check out the video for yourself.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

PlayStation Day 2008; PlayTV launches in September

David Reeves has confirmed an official launch window and price for PlayTV (finally).

Once again, this is a product we expected would be released soon with SCEE stating 'Spring' launch windows last year. In fact, we did hear PlayTV was priced and dated for a March release not so long ago, but that turned out to be false.

However, it is nice to finally get the definite word from SCEE, and that word is 'September'.

PlayTV will retail for €99, which is about £75.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

GTA: IV European bundle finally confirmed

Remember we told you a GTA: IV bundle was definitely coming to play in Europe... well now it is definitely, definitely happening thanks to confirmation by SCEE today.

The so-accurate-you-could-use-it-as-a-targeting-device PS3 Attitude Calendar was spot on once again. Wow!

The price of the bundle will be €439 (£349) which, for a 40Gb PS3 with a standard SixAxis (still no DualShock 3 over here) and a copy of GTA: IV is, in our opinion, a little pricey.

GAME - for example - are taking pre-orders for the bundle at only £319 and that earns you £8 in reward points to spend on future items.

The bundle launches on the 29th April as you'd expect.

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Thursday, 10 April 2008

GTA: IV European bundle definitely happening; probably PS3 exclusive

You know us - we hate 'rumour'. But aside from SCEE not confirming this to us directly, we have so many other sources that say this is happening it's almost embarassing.

The news is great. A GTA: IV bundle will appear on shelves in Europe the same day as the game arrives - 29th April.

And most of our sources are confirming the answer to the obvious question - is there a PS3 bundle only, or will there be an X360 bundle too?

It seems that to give the PS3 some level of exclusivity after we lost 'episodic content' to Microsoft, the PS3 will indeed be the only console to gain a hardware bundle. Nice.

The PS3 Attitude Calendar has been updated as ever.

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

PS3 April Fools - roundup of the ruses

It's April Fools Day, and you know what that means.

So rather than come up with an elaborate 1st April story ourselves, we thought we'd round up what other sites have been touting as the truth so that you, the loyal reader, can divine the real from the rip-off.

Let's get started with the number one ruse of the day:

1. World of Warcraft coming to consoles - FAKE

The award for this year's 'greatest production values in an April Fool' goes to Blizzard, who not only put up a convincing WoW page for a game called The Molten Core, but also produced a full blown (and pretty funny) trailer for the fake game.

Of course, you'll immediately be tipped off by the features: 'glorious 2D animation' - 'full 192i resolution' - 'move in any of 8 unique directions' - 'has SOUND'...

The game is due to be released for the Atari 2600 platform, according to the site.

I particularly like the 'concept art' versus 'screenshot' section at the bottom of the page. Well worth a visit.

1. CBR 600 motorbike in GT5: Prologue - FAKE

The guys over at PS3 Addict put up a photoshopped picture of a Honda CBR 600 stating that "when you win every event in every class (C,B,A and S), this amazing bike will be delivered to your garage, free of charge."

The fact that they used screenshots that had the wrong icons included on the menu should have been enough to alert everyone to the fakeness of the news, let alone the obvious Photoshop cues and slightly wrong shadow. Still, it's a fun idea.

2. Microsoft own a patent on custom soundtracks - TRUE

Our friends at Ripten found a great piece of news yesterday and immediately it became one of the hottest topics on N4G. Why? Well, because most people called it an April Fool in the comments section!

The fact is, this patent exists and the news is real. However please don't be fooled into thinking that this stops Sony going ahead with custom soundtracks (which, of course, they have already announced will arrive in the Summer).

You can't patent an idea, just a method. Sony can do all the same things as Microsoft but just use a different method. And they can then patent that method also (which they probably already have).

It was still a good story and a great find by Patrick Steen of Ripten, who had this to say about the piece...

"It's not an April Fools. I'm doing more research to confirm the validity of the patent. Some seem to think that it is tied to actual Xbox programming, but since it was filed using Xbox 1 diagrams and then approved in 2006 (when the Xbox 360 had taken over), it is certainly not tied to a particular system and/or software program. As seen in this section of the patent; 'Although the invention has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described. Rather, the specific features and acts are disclosed as exemplary forms of implementing the claimed invention'."

3. GTA IV delayed by Byron Review and Grand Theft Childhood - FAKE

Industry veteren Bruce Everiss has a great blog over at Bruce on Games, and he came up with this 'exclusive' this morning.

However, you should have spotted that the names of the spokespeople in the story are all characters from GTA: San Andreas. Carl Johnson. Frank Tenpenny. Melvin Harris. They're all there.

Nice work Bruce, but the wool and my eyes never did meet.

And whilst we're talking about Bruce, we think he tried to make the GTA story more credible ny posting the much more obvious 'Microsoft and Nintendo to merge' story first. Double bluff attempt - denied!

5. Sony launches a $150 PS3 with no Blu-ray drive - FAKE

Over at PSX Extreme they continued their story from yesterday about a new SKU at the FCC with the statement that Sony have announced a $150 PS3.

The reason for the massive price drop? No Blu-ray drive! You can only play downloadable games on this puppy.

You should have been tipped off by the absurdety, but in case you needed a real April Fool clue, the name of the SCEI spokeperson is Aperelli Doorichka. Not only does this person not exist, we're pretty sure that this is the phrase 'April Fool' in a different language.

6. Firmware 4.1 now supports HD-DVD playback - FAKE

Over at they have proved they have a sense of humour too by claiming Sony will support HD-DVD playback in their new firmware.

Apart from the version number of the firmware being enough to tip us off, the piece contains some nice touches:

When asked why they waited this long to announce these breakthroughs, Microsoft pointed the finger of blame in Sony’s direction saying that Sony only downloaded the 360’s HD DVD emulator when it finally become free. Sony spokespeople responded that they’d have downloaded it months earlier had their Xbox Live account not been banned due to Halo 3 cheating, and mentioned problems using Visual Studio 2008 on their “Vista Capable” workstations.
Good work guys.

Did we miss your favourite? Is there a piece of news you think is fake and you need it checking over? Let us know in the comments...

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Thursday, 28 February 2008

European PS3 bundles on the way

Two new PS3 bundles are headed to Europe, which is nice but somehow doesn't remove the disappointment of hearing that the MGS4 bundle is not coming to Europe.

The GT5 Prologue pack will be launched in the UK and elsewhere on 29th March, which backs up the GT5 Prologue launch date we have on the PS3 Attitude Calendar. Saturday is an odd date to launch a hardware bundle, but we're inclined to go with it until we hear otherwise, given this is from an official Sony announcement.

The Movie pack will be launched in France and may come to Italy and Spain. It arrives on 19th March (a Wednesday) and there's no word of whether it will be made available in any other European countries as of yet. The pack includes 300, Spiderman 3 and Casino Royale on Blu-ray.

Both packs feature the 40Gb PS3.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

PS3 announcements-a-plenty, but it's not all good news

Wow. Yesterday was a day for announcements and release dates, wasn't it?!

We announced a rumour that MGS4 finally got a worldwide release date, which has since been confirmed. Hideo Kojima's latest (and last in the series) is being launched on 12th June.

From the same retail conference, we also got word of a US release date for an MGS4 PS3 bundle, the DualShock 3 (April) and the sweet-looking God of War PSP Entertainment Pack (March 4th).

We got word from Ubisoft that Haze is being released in May.

We heard from Sega that the game formerly known as 'Valkyria of the Battlefield: Gallian Chronicles' in Japan will be coming to Europe - exclusively on the PS3 - and will be called 'Valkyria Chronicles'. It will arrive this Autumn.

So what's the bad news?

Looks like the MGS4 bundle and the beautiful GoW PSP are staying US-bound only. SCEE have said there are no plans to bring either to Europe. This - in my opinion - is a mistake on many levels.

By continually launching hardware and software in different forms and guises in different territories, Sony continue the public perception that SCEE, SCEA and SCEJ just don't talk to each other or work as a single unit.

The DualShock 3 has been available in Japan for some time - why wasn't it available everywhere all at once?

Not to mention it was months before us Brits and the rest of Europe got to see the PS3 in the flesh.

And don't get me started on the huge amount of region-free games that have been released elsewhere on the PlayStation Store, but not in Europe.

If Sony want to ride the wave of momentum they have gained from the actual success of the PS3 since launch (reaching 1m units in the UK faster than the PS2, reaching 10m units worldwide faster than the X360 did, the death of HD-DVD) then they need to get rid of the negative things that counteract that success.

So come on Sony - bring the MGS4 packs and the GoW PSP to Europe and show us all that you are a global coordinated organisation, not a group of silo operations.

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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 coming on June 12th?

At Destination PlayStation - a retail-only conference - the news is that MGS4 will arrive on June 12th this year.

June 12th is a Thursday but MGS4 wouldn't be the only title launched on that day of the week this year. Rainbox Six Vegas 2 arrives on a Thursday, and GTA IV has the audacity to join retail shelves on a Tuesday!

Word is that there will beware bundles launched on the same day too, but we're not sure if that is worldwide or just in certain territories.

We're waiting on proper confirmation from Konami, but this sounds like the real deal to us.

The PS3 Attitude Calendar has been updated accordingly...

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PlayTV gets better; no DRM and take-anywhere recordings

As if we're not already chomping at the bit for PlayTV in the UK, we then find out that the recordings it makes can be moved to the video section of the XMB.

These videos are in standard MPEG-2 format with no DRM or copy restrictions whatsoever, which means that you can plug in your favourite flavour of USB or memory card device and copy your recorded programmes for use on any device you like. You can re-encode them on a PC to support pretty much anything.

This is a progressive and welcome move by Sony. The company has been severely burnt in the past with DRM and copy-protection scandals, and in a world where everyone wants to get rid of DRM it's definitely the right move.

Sure, a minority of people will now use the PS3 as the go-between allowing them to put UK TV programmes up for download, but the majority of us will do exactly what this technology is intended for - record and watch the TV we like on any device at a time convenient to us.

Bravo, Sony.

Note: If you have a PSP, PlayTV supports your device with dual encoding and Remote Play features, so this MPEG-2 stuff is more for those of you who want to watch TV on your iPod, mobile phone or Video Walkman.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

GDC 08; Logitech launch GT5 Prologue wheel

At the Game Developers Conference today, Logitech announced and unveiled 'the official wheel of Gran Turismo' for the PS3.

Looking much like any other Logitech wheel (and that's a good thing) this new controller is due to arrive in May this year. It will be available in Europe and the US for $149 (£75).

“The Gran Turismo series has always been designed for racing enthusiasts. The Driving Force GT racing wheel was designed to perfection by our team, specifically for the next generation of Gran Turismo.” - Kazunori Yamauchi,
President of Polyphony Digital.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

PS3 sells 10.5 million units worldwide

According to an article by the Associated Press, the PlayStation 3 has hit the 10.5 million sold mark.

By 'sold' we believe they mean that consumers have actually bought 10.5m PS3s since launch, not that Sony have shipped 10.5m to retailers.

Not only is this great news, it gives Sony a fighting chance of hitting their original target of 11 million units by the end of their financial year (March 31st).

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Friday, 15 February 2008

PlayStation sales in January ftw!

The latest NPD sales figures for the US are in and make interesting reading.

On the software side, Call of Duty 4 is the big PS3 title, selling 140,000 units in January. The Xbox 360 version still tops the charts as it did in December.

But it is the hardware sales figures that tell the story.

Whilst the PS3 on its own sold more than the X360 and nearly as many as the Wii, the PlayStation brand completely ran away with January with all three units selling well.

As you can see from the detail below, in January Sony sold 763,000 units versus Nintendo's 525,000 and Microsoft's 230,000 units.

In December 2007 during the Christmas rush, Sony managed 2.95 million across the PS3, PS2 and PSP whilst Nintendo pushed the Wii and DS to 3.82 million consumers. Microsoft's lone console managed 1.26 million.

The fact that Sony still has strong PS2 sales and does good business with the PSP means the long-term upgrade opportunities keep multiplying. The X360 is a fine console, of course, but since no-one buys a last-gen Xbox any more the possibilities of future 'churn' are limited. The fact is that the Xbox sold 20m units versus the PS2's 117m+ units worldwide.

And PSP sales create opportunities for upgrades too, as users find out all the ways they can use the two devices with each other.

Here's the detailed sales figures:
  • PlayStation 2 -- 264,000
  • PlayStation 3 -- 269,000
  • PlayStation Portable -- 230,000
  • Xbox 360 -- 230,000
  • Wii -- 274,000
  • Nintendo DS -- 251,000

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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

PS3 hits a million in the UK faster than the PS2 did

ChartTrack have confirmed that not only did the PS3 outsell the Xbox 360 across January in the UK, but that our favourite console has broken the 1 million unit mark since it's launch here in March 2007.

The important point here is that the figures expell yet another 'PS3 failure' myth.

The PS3 has reached the UK sales 1 million mark faster than the PS2 did.

Given that the PS2 went on to sell over 117m units worldwide, the future is certainly looking bright for the black monolith (or white, or silver).

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Monday, 11 February 2008

Poll Results: Do we care about different colours?

We asked if you cared about the PS3 colour choices available in Japan, and the results aren't surprising to me at all.

First of all, our readers probably already have a PS3 so it is likely that they'll be happy with black in any case!

Nevertheless, 65.4% of you feel black is just fine. Of the 34.6% of you who would like to see different colour choices, the majority want every colour possible! 1.9% wanted to see white only, and 3.8% wanted to see silver as the other colour option.

I guessed silver would be more popular than white but maybe us Europeans and Americans who voted are holding out for something really special. Red, anyone?

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

10 Questions with Qube on 'Q'

Qube Software recently announced a new middleware offering for all current platforms including the PS3.

The product, simply named 'Q', is being officially launched at GDC this month. Founded by Servan Keondjian and Doug Rabson, the software pioneers who between them created Reality Lab and Direct3D, and based in West Hampstead (London), Qube has designed and built Q to provide a consistent software framework for development studios.

"We've designed and built Q so it rocks on the current generation of platforms; the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and hi-spec gaming PCs. It positions us well for next generation mobile devices and it’s both fast and compact enough so that last generation devices can handle it. It’s a solution that works for every genre; RPG, MMO, FPS, racing, sports, action and even the latest stars like rhythm action games.” - Servan Keondjian, Managing Director

We caught a few moments with Qube Software's Program Manager, Jamie Fowlston, and asked him 10 questions on 'Q':

[PS3A] What does 'Q' bring to the PS3 development community?

[JF] Q brings a number of high-end technical features to the PS3, including background data streaming for huge seamless worlds, a texture manager that allows scenes to have gigabytes of visible texture and a novel n-dimensional animation blending system.

But Q's real innovation is its extensibility, the extent and ease with which it can be customised and specialised by developers.

Extensibility may be much less glamorous than a shiny graphics feature, but it is vastly more important to the process of creating a game. Q has been designed and built to let developers in at every level so they can make the PS3 hardware sing.

[PS3A] Why is it different to other middleware offerings?

[JF] The real problem for middleware has always been the difficulty of customising it.

Existing middleware typically comes in two flavours: game engines and low-level renderers. Game engines give you a naked game and the tools to clothe it; if the game you're building is similar to the original, it'll work great.

But if a developer wants to do something differently, it takes a huge investment in understanding and re-engineering the original game. For low-level renderers, there's lots of work to be done on top of the renderer to complete the game.

Q is a totally different beast.

Q provides high-level features and tools like a game engine, but it is built from small, modular components. Developers can pick and choose the standard components they like, add their own when necessary and even bring in pieces from other developers. We don't know of any other middleware that gives developers such freedom to mix and match the pieces they need.

[PS3A] What challenges did you face in bringing your platform to the PS3, and how was it different to other platforms?

[JF] We actually found the PS3 pretty easy to work with. I don't recall any major challenges. It took us about a month to get everything up and running.

We brought Q up on a PS2 first to make sure it was small and fast so when we ported to PS3 everything went like a rocket. We had some minor performance issues running expensive shaders on early dev kits, but that's ancient history now.

The Cell is obviously quite different to anything on other platforms, but that's just given us the opportunity to offload various tasks onto the SPUs, which is nice.

[PS3A] Which titles are already in development using 'Q' and are any of the PS3-based?

[JF] I'm afraid we can't say anything about the games in development using Q at the moment as they belong to our customers, not us. But I can say that Q's PS3 capability has played an important part in the decision making process for a number of developers.

[PS3A] After seeing the videos of 'EarthSim 2' my immediate reaction was two words - David Braben! What would it take to bring a next-generation 'Elite' sequel to life using 'Q'?

[JF] Earthsim 2 adds a number of custom plug-ins to Q to bring its planets to life, using dynamic tessellation and procedural detail techniques. To build something like Elite on top of that base wouldn't be hard - the technology's been done, the rest is gameplay!

[PS3A] How well will 'Q' work alongside other exciting middleware offerings, such as the Havok 'ragdoll' physics engine or the forthcoming HydroEngine that allows developers to 'flood' levels with realistic water?

[JF] We haven't worked with those specific middleware offerings, but from our point of view integrating another middleware component is just like a developer adding their own components: it's what Q was designed for.

[PS3A] How many people are there in your team now?

[JF] There are 7 of us working on bringing Q to market right now. There are another 3 engineers on the Earthsim 2 team who make sure what we do is useful.

[PS3A] What's the most amazing part of your life?

[JF] Finding out that BAFTA awards bend when knocked off a table.

[PS3A] Where is the best place to eat in West Hampstead?

[JF] The Banana Tree Canteen: the chicken laksa noodle soup is a marvel.

[PS3A] What does the future hold for Qube and what's at stake if you don't reach your goals?

[JF] We're currently working on Q and Earthsim, we think both projects are now ready to take on the world, so we're working hard to make them successful. If we don't reach those goals, we'll have to see what happens; we're not planning for it!

We'll wait to see what Q has to offer when it is fully launched at GDC. In the meantime, take a look below at the three-part Earthsim 2 run-through.

Many thanks to Jamie and Qube Software for sparing us their time - PS3 Attitude will watch what happens next closely.

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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

[UPDATE] Japan gets a third PS3 colour choice

Launching on March 6th and selling at ¥39,980 (£189), Japanese PS3 buyers will be able to pick up a new Satin Silver colour choice.

This is going to be the standard 40Gb model but comes bundled with a silver Dual Shock 3 controller instead of the standard, rumble-free SixAxis.

This means that Japan will soon have a choice of Clear Black, Ceramic White and Satin Silver. Over in the UK, we still have the 'Ford' choice of 'any colour, as long as it's black'. For the record (and before you correct me) I already know Ford didn't actually utter those words, ever, but it's a famous non-quote of his so I'm using it!

We know that a white PS3 is on it's way to the US. The question is do we actually want more colours in the UK and Europe? Is black the new black? Or is white/silver the way to go? Take our poll now to tell us how you feel...
[UPDATE] The Satin Silver PS3 will in fact ship with a standard SixAxis. A silver Dual Shock 3 is being released on the same day and will be available for ¥5,500 (£26).

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

120Gb PS3 not coming to the UK

As you may know we try not to do 'rumour and speculation' at PS3 Attitude.

That's why we've held off on talking about the possibility of a 120Gb PS3 whilst the rest of the Internet seems to be all abuzz with suggestions of a new SKU.

But now we do have something concrete to add. SCEE have confirmed that even if a 120Gb device will exist in the near future, it won't be coming to the UK. Bad news?

Well here's the thing. It is so remarkably simple and cheap to upgrade your PS3 internal hard drive (or attach an external USB drive) that existing PS3 owners shouldn't really care all that much anyhow. And new PS3 purchasers will initially be happy with whatever is included safe in the knowledge that they too can upgrade without invalidating their warranty.

I know there are already some choice videos available on how to upgrade your drive so go sniff out your favourite on YouTube. All you need is a 2.5" SATA drive and you're away.

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Monday, 14 January 2008

UK gets a PS3 Pick 'n' Mix

This Friday sees the launch of a new PS3 bundle in the UK.

SCEE are allowing you lucky people to pick up a PS3 with two premium games for only £350, which is a great deal.

Dubbed the 'Pick 'n' Mix' bundle, you can choose from top games such as Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, Motorstorm and even Singstar (with microphones).

So if you were thinking of buying a PS3 in the next four days, we recommend you hang on an extra day and save yourself a bundle.

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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

PS3 helps shift 1 million Blu-ray movies in Europe

Sony have announced that sales of Blu-ray movies in Europe have eclipsed the 1 million unit mark, and they largely have the PS3 to thank for it. Sony have said that the launch of the PS3 in March this year made all the difference to the format's success.

Blu-ray movies now make up around 73% of all HD movie sales in Europe, so BD is clearly leading HD-DVD in this particular region. It's fair to say that in Europe at least, Michael Bay is right on the money.

And it's not just Blu-ray movies that are doing well for the format. When you add in all the Blu-ray based games our favourite console enjoys, the total for all BD disk sales comes to over 21 million units.

That's a lot of blue in a short space of time, wouldn't you agree?!

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Tuesday, 16 October 2007

PS3 UK sales jump 178 percent

Whether it's people snapping up the cheaper 60Gb bundle, or the new 40Gb flying out the door, Sony seems to have jumpstarted UK sales of our favourite console by injecting a price drop and a new SKU into the market.

Figures from ChartTrack confirm the 178% spike in sales and it's impressive.

Software sales also spiked with Resistance, Motorstorm and Heavenly Sword all going up or back in to the UK charts.

I still maintain the loss of backwards compatibility is an error without a clear plan to launch a 'premium' model to replace the 60Gb. Sony may, of course, have that clear plan but they're not going to tell anyone since that would halt sales of the 60Gb unit.

With other stories of further SKUs going through the FCC right now, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 120Gb or 160Gb with backwards compatibility next year to help bring the millions of PS2 owners over to the PS3.

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Monday, 8 October 2007

60Gb PS3 will disappear when stocks are sold

In what I can only assume is a moment of madness at Sony, they have confirmed that when the 60Gb PS3 is sold out the 40Gb will be the only kid on the block.

Why do I think this is madness? First, let's have some good news...

So far the PS3 hasn't been the complete failure everyone would like you to believe it has been (and by everyone, I mean MS and Nintendo fanboys and any podcast or TV show by G4).

If you look at the sales of the PS3 and map out a graph, then overlay the original sales pattern of the Xbox 360 (i.e. line up the launch dates), you'll find that sales of the PS3 have tracked the sales of the MS box almost exactly.

One in the eye for Xbox fanboys then...

So what could accelerate PS3 sales so that Sony grab the number one or two slot once again? In a word, churn.

'Churning' the current base of 110+ million worldwide PS2 owners over to the PS3 would make a huge different to the so-called 'next-gen battle'. And other than a price drop, what softens the blow for PS2 owners who want to upgrade?

Backwards compatibility.

You see, the current 60Gb PS3 doesn't just play PS2 titles, it makes them look even better than ever by upscaling the graphics. Who wouldn't want to revisit their PS2 library and play those old classics again, especially since the PS3 is still getting up to speed on 'must-have' titles.

The defining line between the 40Gb and 60gb choice is clear for me.

If you are more of a movie buff than a gamer, or if this is your first PlayStation experience, go for the 40Gb. For £299 there's not a single BluRay or DVD upscaling player out there that comes close.

If you're a gamer or a PS2 owner who wants to upgrade (and who doesn't, frankly, want to have both consoles hanging around) then spend the extra £50 and get extra disk space, some memory card slots, extra USB and backwards compatibility.

I'm waiting to hear from SCEE on whether an 80Gb or 120Gb unit might come in with all the options that the 60Gb offers, but no word as of yet.

By removing the choice and turning their back on the massive PS2 owner base, I believe Sony have made a mistake on this occasion. I hope they rectify it with a bigger and better PS3 in the near future once the 60Gb has gone.

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Friday, 5 October 2007

PS3 price drop and new 40Gb PS3 announced in UK

First we had the October 12th 'big bang' announcement rumours. Then SCEE said they weren't happening.

In the midst of the Internet meltdown we had GTA IV early release rumours - which we reported but took with a pinch of salt - and they were debunked by Rockstar.

Then yesterday, I got wind of an announcement in the UK about the 40Gb PS3 and a price drop for the existing model. I didn't bother putting it up since I was all 'rumoured out' for the week.

So today - of course - SCEE actually announced a new 40Gb model and price drop for the 60Gb model!

The new 40Gb model has no memory card slots, no backwards compatibility and only two USB ports.

Of course, you can pop a four-way USB port on one of those and get yourself five ports easily enough, and you can use one of those for memory sticks and external FAT32 formatted drives, so external storage shouldn't be much of an issue.

The lack of PS2 backwards compatibility isn't an issue in SCEE's eyes as 'later purchasers of the PS3 are less likely to need this'. With literally millions of PS2 owners still to 'upgrade' I personally think this is a misjudgement, but then the 60Gb model has come down in price for those people that need to access their old game library.

So, the 60Gb model now weighs in with a SixAxis controller and two first-party games for only £349 (about £75 cheaper) and the new 40Gb PS3 'lite' comes in at £299 as expected - both being released on October 10th in time for the Christmas rush.

All this comes on the back of repeated announcements that there would be no price drop before the end of the year in the UK, which is expected since that would have slowed down sales of the existing units as people would have waited for the cheaper 60Gb or 40Gb models.

This is all welcome news for the UK market and I'm looking forward to seeing how this accelerates sales of our beloved monolith across the region. After all (and analysts who predict the PS3 will rule once more in the future know this) if even 25% of PS2 owners across the globe 'churned' over to the PS3, Sony would be back in the number one slot again.

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Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The plot thickens

Just to keep everyone updated, here's the latest on the 'big bang' announcement:

SCEE say there is now no announcement by them on 12th October - of course, that doesn't mean SCEA, SCEJ or SCEI won't make an announcement anyhow

Rockstar have confirmed what we suspected - GTA IV is not coming out until next year

Various retailers and people who work within retailers around the globe are saying they've been asked for their pre-order numbers for a 40Gb PS3. It seems this model comes without card readers and has no backwards compatibility (which I think sounds daft)

That's the latest for now. I'll keep you all posted.

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Monday, 1 October 2007

"On the 12th day of October, Sony gave to me"...

Rumours are rife that Sony will be making a big announcement on the 12th October.

Now, fact is we all know the most likely things that they'll announce - the fabled 40Gb PS3. But what do we think they will really say, versus what the Internet suggests?

The 40Gb PS3 will have no backwards compatibility and no USB ports?

Probably fake. The lack of backwards compatibility would mean that Sony would need to maintain two sets of firmware for the PS3, and they're unlikely to want to double development and support costs. And no USB ports would mean no charging for the controllers and no peripheral support.

Sony will announce a £299 PS for the UK

Most likely true. The new 40Gb PS3 that everyone expects Sony will announce should come in at $400 which is £199. But we're used to paying over the odds in Britain, so we'll have £100 lumped on for good measure and for no reason.

The new DualShock 3 controller will ship with the new PS3 model

Probably true. The timing would work out quite well for Japanese models, since the DS3 is due to be release in November over there and the 40Gb PS3 is being slated for a November release too. But the DS3 doesn't arrive here until next Spring, which would make it difficult to release the DS3 with the new PS3 in European territories.

Bluetooth and WiFi will be better on the new PS3

Most likely true. There's a good chance the new PS3 will be better in some respects to the existing 60Gb model, and bluetooth, WiFi and the 65nm chipset are all good candidates in the improvement stakes.

All in all, I'm expecting that on October 12th we'll hear about a new PS3 model with a smaller hard drive, better bluetooth and WiFi and probably the DS3 controller to ship for $400 or £299 in the UK and be released in time for Christmas. We'll know for sure in less than a fortnight.

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Thursday, 27 September 2007

Sony brings the Play-Doh

There's nothing that quite shows off your PS3 like a nice shiny Bravia TV (well, apart from a nice shiny Samsung TV since they're made by the same people)...

Some of you may have marvelled at the brilliant 'Balls' advert and then wowed at the spectacular 'Paint' spot that followed (shot in the UK, I might add), but now Sony have got another trick up their sleeves; bunny rabbits. Lots of them.

Take a look at the teaser for the next major Bravia advertising push, called Play-Doh.

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Thursday, 9 August 2007

PS3 still leading Xbox 360 sales, and not just in the US

The trends and movements I've reported a couple of times before are now becoming the standard. Once again the PS3 surges forward against the Xbox 360.

But this time I'm able to report worldwide figures and not just the US.

Although in Japan the 'Hot Shots 5' factor has worn off and PS3 sales dropped 45% over last week, the Xbox 360 is now bottom of every sales league in every territory except for Australia. Well, almost last place - it did in fact feature above Nintendo's GBA (woo hoo!).

So despite a 12% drop in worldwide sales over last week, the PS3 still sold twice as many units as the X360 last week.

If you draw a line for all three main consoles and align the launch dates, the PS3 is basically tracking the Xbox 360's growth trend almost exactly. This begs the question "why all the stories of the PS3 'failure' and the Xbox 360's supposed superiority"?

Interestingly though, the recent turnaround shows the PS3 has a much stronger current trendline and will catch and pass the Xbos 360 before too long. Add to that the massive difference in 'churn' base - i.e. those people that bought the PS2 and will, at some point, upgrade - and the future looks bright.

There's close to 100 million more PS2s in the field than original Xboxes.

Time will tell what effect the 80Gb US model launch has and what other similar packs do for our beloved black monolith, but I feel the results will be more positive than ever.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

New PS3-compatible Aibo on the way?

In a recent interview with Kotaku, Masaya Matsuura explains that we could see a new Aibo-like device in the near future, and that this device could be PS3-compatible.

Speaking to Kotaku, he explains:

"The engineers behind the Aibo are doing the PS3. We are talking about making something like the new Aibo."

Brian Ashcraft (the interviewer) asks if it will connect to the PS3. Because that's what he really wants: A robotic dog for his PS3.

"I don't know. Connection is not hard. I'm sure some engineer could do that."
And that's what I really want.

I lament the death of the Aibo. It came around at a time when I really wanted one, but couldn't get one for various reasons. Just when I'd got into a position where I could get one, Sony canned the whole project, including the QRIO as well.

Just imagine a robot that you can program via the PS3. A robot that can send pictures it 'sees' during the day to your PS3 photos folder. Photos that you could then vie via Remote Play on your PSP, or pictures that automatically upload to your Home space just as in the mobile phone demo shown at E3.

Imagine a robot that reacts to games because Sony supply designers with the API to tell the robot what to do via Bluetooth when you are playing. Or a robot that controls a game, or can even play Eye of the Beholder with you!

All these things, and much more than I've imagined, could all be possible. Please Sony - make this wish come true.

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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Cheap UK PS3; deal or no deal?

A few people are reporting on the low cost UK PS3 available at today.

Don't get me wrong, a penny under £330 is great news for UK consumers.

But it comes on it's own with no games and only the one controller. Assuming you want to actually play some next generation titles on your shiny new PS3, you might want to add a few of the great titles that are available and maybe add an extra controller to play with your family and friends.

Given that games are around £30-£50 each, and a controller comes in at £35, you're talking about adding at least £125 to get three games and a controller. Which would make the total £455.

Whilst that's still less than I personally paid at launch, Game UK are doing a bundle that includes three games and an extra controller with your PS3 for only £424.99. And if you join their reward scheme you'll get an extra £10 back in vouchers against your next purchase. That gives you an extra £41 to play with over the ShopTo price - enough for your fourth game...

It's a good deal at ShopTo if you just want the best Blu-ray player on the market, but I'll plump for Game UK if you want to see everything that your PS3 can do...

[via PS3 Fanboy, N4G forums, and others]

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Wednesday, 25 July 2007

PS3 outsells Xbox 360 in the US; Redux

Not only is the PS3 outselling the Xbox 360 again, according to last week's sales figures, but the gap is widening.

As we reported last week the PS3 had sold 41,005 units two weeks ago, with the Xbox 360 selling 35,084.

Last week the PS3 managed to increase it's weekly units to 45,101 and the X360 dropped to 32,345, making the gap wider this time around.

The good news for MS? They did manage to sell 26 of the original Xbox in the States which is a huge increase on the previous week's total of 11!

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Thursday, 19 July 2007

PS3 outsells Xbox 360 in the US

So, after all the hubbub (is that how you spell that?) over Peter Moore's disparaging comments about the PS3 in Japan, and our expose of the truth, it turns out the the PS3 is actually outselling the Xbox 360 in the US.

The figures from last week's sales show the PS3 selling 41,005 units and the X360 selling 35,084 units.

Nintendo still rule the roost of course with 76,394 Wiis sold. If you add together all Sony platforms (PSP, PS2 and PS3) then you get 135,301 units across the US. MS on the other hand total 35,095 units.

Yes - 11 people bought the original Xbox in the US last week. Nice.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2007

In Japan, Peter Moore is a kettle; calls the PS3 a black pot

Xbox boss Peter Moore came out with even more figures today. Remember, MS are good at figures. They spent a good ten minutes or more dazzling the press with numbers during their keynote and generally like to tow the MS line of quoting statistics everywhere they can.

Not that there's anything wrong with that approach except when you make statements like he did today.

I built a business plan for Japan but I don't think my expectations in Japan were anything close to what Sony's expectations are. They are failing. They're missing their plan by much more than I'm missing my plan.
Well, if your plan was to only sell 400,000 units in Japan across 20 months Mr. Moore, I'd suggest you're not exactly telling the truth. I remember clearly that your Japanese Xbox 360 business manager Yoshihiro Maruyama said in December 2005 that you'd sell 1 million units in Japan by the end of 2006. It's Summer 2007 and you're still not half-way there.

And whilst it is true that Sony may not have grabbed the Japanese market yet in the way they would have liked, they've sold 1,000,000 units over there in just 7 months.

According to 'Video Game Chartz' the Wii has managed close to 3,000,000 units in Japan across about 7 months, which is very different to the '6:1' figures Peter claims in his interview with GameDaily.

For a man who is only 40% of target with an extra six months of sales added on to the original deadline, it's quite bullish to be calling anyone else a failure.

A case of the pot calling the kettle black Mr. Moore?

[Update] And as was widely rumoured during the day, Moore has now officially resigned and taken up his new post at EA Sports.

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Friday, 13 July 2007

In the US? Want to pay LESS than $499 for your PS3?

PS3 Attitude's man in the US has found another way to get a PS3 for less than $499.

Though many developers have been complaining that Sony's recently reduced pricing for the PS3 isn't enough, sales would prove otherwise for the 60Gb model. Amazon posted a 2800% increase in sales of the PS3 within a day of the price cut. Other websites and retail stores across America are seeing the same trend. Many stores in the San Francisco Bay Area around me are sold out as of the moment the price dropped. I even found a few stores with employees that say they didn't even know the price dropped until the units they had in stock suddenly were sold right in front of them within seconds!

Well for those developer-disbelievers there is another price point they are overlooking. Its the refurbished market. Hop over to and you can pick up on a refurbished 60Gb PS3 for around $475.

That's right! A whopping $20 less than anyone else! But hey, now it's the same price as the M$ machine that will guarantee to break within 3 years.

I have to say this looks like a great deal. As we know, the PS3 is ridiculously reliable so getting a refurbished model that was probably just a return rather than a faulty box seems like a good idea. You can put the money you save aside for the forthcoming PS Eye...

[Thanks to KosmoCrisis]

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Wednesday, 11 July 2007

E3 Day 2 Extra: Liveblogging the Sony Keynote Speech

Because sleep is for wimps:

Jack Tretton is on stage. After a couple of PSP announcements Phil Harrison takes the stage.

He shows 'Echochrome' for the PlayStation Store which has the 'least graphics but the most gameplay'. It seems to be a puzzler based on the mind-bending drawings of M.C. Escher. Certainly has the least graphics - it's all black and white line art...

He announces both a 1080p 60 fps version of Wipeout called Wipeout HD with full online multiplayer - Pain (the Jackass-inspired game that's already been covered elsewhere) - Warhawk - and Socom Confrontation, the first next-gen Socom title. All of these titles are for the PlayStation Store. Warhawk and Socom will be available on Blu-ray disk also.

Phil talks about the new additions to Home. He shows Home running on his Sony Ericcson mobile phone!! It doesn't allow 3D but it does allow you to connect to Home to get messages etc. and has a mini-XMB interface. He takes a picture with the phone and puts it in his pocket.

Phil goes on to show a vast array of Home spaces for purchase to show the variety of new properties that will be available. He shows a Singstar video playing on a virtual TV in his virtual house which leads to a video about Singstar on the PS3 and it's downloadable content and PS Eye compatibility. Look at that! The picture he took is in a picture frame on the wall! Home Mobile uploads automatically to your Home space.

He also shows the PC element of Home where it is a full social networking experience linked to the PlayStation Home network. This is almost too much!

Is there any more? Yes - you can also launch any game from BD disk or your HD directly inside Home! He launches Motorstorm which goes straight into a multiplayer game on a NEW track called Eagles Nest that will be available for download next month... It will go straight back to Home wherever you left off when you quit the game. Stunning.

Phil leaves the stage and we go back to the announcement on the 80Gb model of the PS3 at $599 in North America and the $100 price drop on the current version. Sony announce that the PS3 has helped Blu-ray reach a 2:1 sales ratio against HD-DVD.

NC Soft is announced as a new Sony developer! NC Soft is the famous MMO developer and they will be developing MMO titles exclusively for PS3 - excellent announcement.

As expected Haze is announced as a timed exclusive on PS3. Words were chosen very carefully - "if you want to play it this Summer you'll only be able to do that on PS3" - which means it will go to other platforms but not until Autumn/Winter at least. Ensuing Haze video shows features such as vehicle control, gun control on helicopters and the ability to 'play dead' to catch out enemies.

A multi-stage deal with Epic and Midway is announced that allows for a fully optimised version of the Unreal Engine for the PS3. 100 games are in the works for this engine and Unreal Tournament 3 is confirmed as a PS3 exclusive this year! User created mods from the PC version can be brought over to the PS3 version. UTIII is released this November in the US and the video Sony shows looks absolutely stunning.

Sony show other titles that are coming this year. They include Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Resident Evil 5, Burnout Paradise, Madden NFL '08, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Game, Guitar Hero III: Legend of Rock, Medal of Honour: Airborne and Rock Band (see, it IS coming for PS3).

One more exclusive is announced. It is available only on PS3. It's Metal Gear Solid 4. Hideo Kojima takes the stage. He says "I safely made it to E3 again! MGS is celebrating it's 20-year anniversary this year. I've been creating this franchise for 20 years but MGS4 will be the FINAL in the series. The story of Snake will end in this game and this will be my last game in the series. So all the story plots and mysteries will be revealed. The game itself will be a stealth game but with new elements in the battlefield. Stealth in the battlefield. I promise you I'm putting all my skills and experience of the last 20 years into MGS4. Today I brought with me the newest trailer. It's not a movie, it is real-time footage from the PS3 so welcome to the premiere".

The trailer is completely outstanding in every way. You'll be able to download it via the US PS Store today. Afterwards Kojima-san asks "How was it!" and gets a big round of applause. He assures everyone that what they saw was real-time footage and you will be able to play in that quality. He says that next week at a show in Tokyo he will show a real demo of the gameplay!

Phil Harrison re-takes the stage. He's back in the Home theatre to show some more exclusives. Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is the first up. It is said that the level of detail and sophistication is only achievable on the PS3. Next up is Folklore. Folklore looks incredible and seems to have a real mix of action, RPG, beautiful graphics and a 'dark' storyline. Heavenly Sword now features. There's been so much news about this game I need to add nothing extra!

NBA '08 is announced next and looks incredible in 1080p 60 fps with realtime roster updates direct from the real NBA. If a player gets an injury in real life, he gets an injury in your game! One of my personal favourites, LittleBigPlanet, is next. Sony show a video of the 'create' part of the game, with the concentration on the game evolving naturally as players create new levels and share them with the entire PSN. The final game Phil wants to show us from his virtual self in Home is Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Once again we're treated to an awesome video where the lead character has over 3,000 animations alone all seamlessly linking to provide realistic movement, emotion and characterisation.

Next up from the real Phil is Infamous, another exclusive from Sucker Punch. A teaser trailer is shown that gives you a sneak preview of an 'anti-hero' game where you have to decide whether your superpowers save or destroy the world.

GT5 Prologue is announced with full online multiplayer as a stopgap whilst we wait for the full GT5 experience. It looks outstanding and should appease the masses who are always complaining about the delays in the current stock of GT titles.

One more announcement from Phil. A video starts and it's Killzone 2. Everything we are about to see is realtime. They show a video similar to the one I featured earlier in the Day 2 round-up, so go experience it for yourself now. This video shows much more real gameplay and the game looks completely amazing. Imagine everything you wanted Resistance to be and more...

The press are invited to play many of the games in the room next door which of course I can't do because I'm stuck here in the UK watching this all on a live feed. That's it. It's all over. Frankly, it's a great keynote from Sony with lots of brilliant announcements and I can't wait to see what the real writers make of the advancements in Home and the batch of exclusives Sony announced. Goodnight all..

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