I don’t know what is with Sony/Sony-Ericsson. Almost all of their new products get leaked weeks before their official update, and for the most part, there is no fun in their official updates (which are tediously written and rather slow).
However, the folks over at Sony Ericsson have been up to promising things with their PlayStation Phone (the Xperia Play) up and coming with some rather nice features. The smaller cousin of the X10, the X10 Mini (and Mini Pro) packs quite a tight punch with its tiny screen and processor and is quite a popular phone. Thus, SE decided that it just needs to notch up the processor, run it off Gingerbread (Android OS 2.3), add some wicked fast graphics chips and let it run amok with Neocore and Quadrant to see just how fast a tiny computer can be.
It is extremely fast (if the leaked photographs are to be believed) with a Neocore framerate of 42.5fps and a Quadrant score of 1,533. The original leaker on the SE.it168.com forums says that it sports a 3-inch (320×480) multi-touch display, a 1GHz CPU and an Adeno 205 GPU. The pictures seem legit as the unofficial X10 blog rightly points out that the overall hardware layout seems similar to the previously previewed ANZU with regard to the button layout.
Is that excessively exciting? You bet! I personally use an X10 Mini Pro since I’m averse to large-screened phones (I have to take extra care of them) and really like a QWERTY solution. If this phone has a QWERTY slide-out keyboard, I know what my next phone will be the mini version of the PlayStation Phone!
While the consumers aren’t buying PlayStation 3s in bulk, researchers working for the US government have plugged 1,760 PS3s to build the 35th fastest supercomputer. Called the Condor Cluster’ Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio has spent $2 Million for the setup.
This supercomputer (or awesome-st gaming configuration ever!) is said to achieve 1.5 GigaFLOPS per Watt. FLOPS is the unit to measure supercomputer power and is also known as Floating Point Operations per Second.
What is the air force planning to do with so many PS3s, you ask? According to Research Director, processing of high resolution satellite images for surveillance activities will see benefit due to the Condor Cluster. As Jill Laster puts it, one room, 1,760 PlayStation 3s and Call of Duty: Black Ops would make the most awesome gaming experience.
If a trademark filing showing Xperia Playis to be taken seriously and talk from Pocket-Lint about a big launch in February, it would seem that Sony Ericsson’s Playstation phonemight get official and be announced at CES 2011 or the equally as important, Mobile World Congress.
The device features a dedicated gamepad sporting the famous Playstation shapesthat slides out from under the screen. It’s said to be powered by a 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of on-device storage. Provided it’s well received, unlike the PSP Go, Sony Ericsson might be on their way back into the mobile game.
The much awaited Sony Playstation phone has finally been spotted for real. The sighting happened somewhere in Greece, with someone shooting a spy video of the Sony Ericsson Z1 (yes, that’s what it will be officially called).
We don’t see those awesome sliding controls in this video, but the phone appears to be the real deal. It will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and will come with a 4 inch capacitive touchscreen display, with presumably a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It will also sport an 8 MP camera with LED flash.
The details of the rumored Sony Ericsson PSP Phone were first leaked about a month back. It is the first phone which sports a landscape slider design with gaming controls.
Today, a French blog received an invite to a press event by Sony Ericsson France which indicates that the PSP phone will be officially unveiled on December 9. The Playstation phone could launch just in time to make your Christmas shopping list.
The PSP phone will sport a 3.7 – 4.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display and will come with a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS.
Back in August, we reported that Sony Ericsson was working with Google to develop an Android powered PlayStation phone. The gaming smartphone was rumoured to have a “3.7 4.1 inch touchscreen display with a WVGA resolution, and a landscape slider with gaming controls”. Now, first images of the phone have emerged (courtesy of Engadget) that confirms most of the rumors.
The leaked images are mostly in line with the mockup that was released earlier. The PlayStation phone will have a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM865 processor, 512 MBs of RAM, 1 GB of ROM, and will probably run on Android Gingerbread (Android 3.0). It will also have a front facing camera (visible in the first picture), and support microSD cards.
Engadget was told that the software is still very buggy, making a 2010 release unlikely. It’s also worth considering that Sony Ericsson has a horrible track record when it comes to delivering updates and launching products on time.
Earlier this week, Sony quietly launched the PlayStation Move controller in India. The Move is Sony’s attempt at catching up with the casual gaming revolution initiated by the Nintendo Wii. It is a motion sensing game controller that was demoed at the E3 2010.
The Move consists of two controllers – the main motion controller has a light bulb at its end, while the navigation controller has a joystick and a d-pad. A camera unit, known as PlayStation Eye, is used for accurately tracking the position of the Move controller. To learn more about the Move, check out our earlier extensive preview of the controller.
According to PCWorld, the Move motion controller is priced at Rs. 2,499, while the navigation controller is available for Rs. 1,899. The starter pack which bundles PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStation Eye camera and a Starter disc including demos of the titles Sports Champions, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, Start the Party!, costs Rs. 3,650.
An Australian hardware modding unit called OzModChips is claiming that the PS3 has finally been jailbroken. If true, this is indeed quite an achievement, since Sony’s PlayStation 3 is a heavily locked down platform that is renowned for excellent security. The jailbreak will enable owners to back-up their games and even run pirated games.
The solution being tested by OzModChips basically requires you to purchase an USB dongle called PS Jailbreak. When plugged into the PS3 and booted, the utility present in the dongle is executed and the PS3’s security measures are deactivated. The developers are claiming that this won’t brick the system and since the PS3’s seal isn’t tampered with, warranty will also remain valid.
The final retail units of PS Jailbreak are ready and more information is available at psjailbreak.com. PSXScene is vouching that PS Jailbreak is the real deal. It will be interesting to see how Sony reacts. According to unconfirmedreports, PS Jailbreak is generated with Sony’s official SDK (Software Development Kit) that makes it illegal to share. A lawsuit or two are definitely in the realm of possibilities. However, it might be difficult for Sony to shackle modders around the world, once the cat is out of the bag.
It’s the season of motion-sensing gameplay enhancements and after Microsoft Kinect, it’s PlayStation Move‘s turn to captivate us. To be honest, when I first saw PlayStation Move, I was barely impressed. It seemed to lack the ‘WOW’ factor of Microsoft Kinect. Yet, that may turn out to be Move’s biggest advantage; it’s revolutionary in its own way, without trying to be too radical.
The Move consists of two controllers – the main controller has a glowing orb at its end, while the sub-controller (navigation controller) has a joystick and a D-pad. Both of them have PlayStation’s traditional buttons, as well as ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons.
Move relies on PlayStation Eye (PlayStation’s webcam accessory) to detect and track the movement of your hands. Unlike Microsoft, Sony isn’t trying to reinvent the cycle. Move is intended to enhance your gameplay experience by making it more immersive. You may still require to use the traditional buttons, but now you can aim at your enemies directly using the Move. The result is that Move won’t be restricted to only casual games. It works just well for shooting games like SOCOM 4.
Move will also be appreciated by gamers, who don’t relish the prospect of using their full body for gaming. It allows you to enjoy games while sitting on your couch, since only the motion of your hands matter. Here is a German hands-on video showing some of the mini games available for Move.
PlayStation Move Hands-On
In the end, a lot will depend on how different games implement the motion sensing aspects of Move. If done correctly, Move might just manage to win over a section of the hardcore gamers, in addition to luring casual gamers. Check out IGN’s hands-on impression for more.
We are all familiar with the genius hacker George Hotz (GeoHot) for successfully hacking the Sony PS3 three years after its release and the Apple iPhone jailbreaking. To counter his efforts, Sony has recently announced the latest firmware upgrade for its PlayStation 3. This firmware upgrade has removed the Other OS support which allowed us to install another OS on the gaming console.
Now, this upgrade from Sony has upset many people, especially George Hotz. GeoHot has written in a blog post saying,
I never intended to touch [custom firmware], but if that’s how you want to play…
GeoHot has threatened to release a custom firmware which will enable the support for the Other OS feature. This is a direct threat to Sony and should get it seriously worried. As we all know, GeoHot has it in himself to make this happen and he will if he says so. He has done it in an earlier instance already.
Another important question that GeoHot has raised is that Sony is changing the advertised features on offer with PS3. This may not be legally wrong but it is ethically. The Other OS feature was what made many people buy this powerful piece of hardware. Running PS3s in clusters gave them near-supercomputer powers for various purposes.
He puts an argument that if a possible exploit is found in iPhone’s Safari browser, the solution does not lie in removing browser support for iPhone! At least, we can have something to learn from Internet Explorer. They can spend a lifetime releasing patches.
The latest firmware release for PS3 from Sony will remove the “Other OS” feature. The update is scheduled to arrive on the 1st of April. Do not go by that date because Sony has confirmed that this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.
The update which is scheduled to arrive on Thursday this week will not be mandatory though. It will be an optional upgrade but those using the older firmware will be devoid of many features of the latest 3.21 firmware. Sony says it has released this update for security concerns.
Though, after the PS3 hack by the famous iPhone hacker, this looks more like an insecurity concern.
For those going for this update,
You will not be able to use another OS on your PS3.
No more playbacks of unsupported formats like MKV.
No more interesting PS3 hack reports.
No more fun.
If you are planning on not using this update,
You will miss out on all the security Sony will probably talk about.
You will not be able to play the latest games requiring the latest firmware.
You will not be able to play Blu-ray discs.
You will not get access to PSN (PlayStation network) anymore.
Gaming consoles like PS3 are a power juice machine and are used in researches as well. The removal of Other OS feature will affect many more communities apart from gamers.
With an increasing number of its users becoming quite vile about its shortcomings, Sony’s PlayStation wing has opened up a dedicated site called PlayStation.Blog Share. Here, fans can submit their own ideas and the community votes on the idea.
In its own words, this new serviceis dedicated to bringing certain ideas to life:-
Do you have an idea for how to improve the PlayStation experience? If so, Share it! PlayStation.Blog Share is a place to formally submit your best ideas on how we can improve all PlayStation products. It’s also a place where you can discover and vote on other people’s ideas, as well as communicate with us and other PlayStation fans about how to bring great ideas to life. You can only submit one idea per day. Make it count!
I was pleasantly surprised to see a tweet that went to a completely new section of the PlayStation blog. With a little bit of snooping around it seemed that Sony was genuinely interested in hearing from its fans at long last.
Let’s hope Sony does act on the suggestions. I for one am hoping that the PSP dev kit is priced lower in the future!
It has been one heck of a week for gaming enthusiasts – let’s have a quick recap on what’s been going on.
Ubisoft’s servers DRM servers, which are used to authenticate games like Assassin’s Creed II went down, rendering all legit users copies useless as they were unable to play the game. Ubisoft was quick to point out that the servers were down because of hackers – like paying customers are going to give a damn about why they aren’t able to play a $60 single player game without an Internet connection.
OnLive, the online gaming service which allows you to play games similar to how you can stream movies using Netflix or Hulu, announced that their service would go live on June 15. If you have a good enough Internet connection and the $15 per month fee plus additional fees for actually owning/renting the game doesn’t deter you, then OnLive just might be a good option.
Sony finally realizes that motion controlled gaming is the “in” thing, and introduces us to a rather silly named contraption, the PlayStation Move.
To round off, Steam has been having an Eidos Square Enix Deals week, and on the final day we have Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause on sale at 50% off for individual games, and at 66% off for the full collection.
If you ask me, I don’t know which one is a crappier name: PlayStation Moveor the Wiimote. But, let’s face it, game hardware developers have never been very imaginative about the names of their hardware. With the PlayStation Move, Sony has decided to fight the household behemoth called the Nintendo Wii. The Dual Shock 3 Sixaxis will be replaced by these two controllers shown below.
Yes, the left-hand controller features the D-pad, an analog stick and the circle button (curiously) while the right-hand controller has the face buttons, the second analog stick and that inappropriate-looking blue bulb thing. The PlayStation Move will be used in tandem with the PlayStation Eye.
GamerCenterOnline reports that Peter Dille, Sony Vice President, said that it will be very precise, being able to recognize both fast and subtlemovements and will be available for a sub $100 price tag this fall.
We’re paving a path from the Wii household to the PS3 household; we’re planning to design games that target all genres and audiences, including core gamers, and we’re treating this like a virtual platform launch. This will be our biggest effort of the year.
I’ll be damned if I hear about a core gamercaught dead with those two in his hands. But let’s see what time brings with it.