Tag Archives: Playstation

Sony Suspends PlayStation Sales in Russia



Sony has joined a growing number of gaming companies that have made the decision to stop selling their games and consoles in Russia. Those companies include Epic Games and Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and CD PROJEKT Red. I suspect that more gaming companies will join them and suspend their sales in Russia.

On March 9, 2021, @PlayStation tweeted: an image full of text and the PlayStation logo. It said:

“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine. We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia.

“To support humanitarian aid, Sony Group Corporation announced a US$2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international NGO, Save the Children, to support the victims of this tragedy.”

Previously, Eurogamer reported that Sony had quietly pulled PlayStation’s new blockbuster racing game Gran Turismo 7 from sale in Russia. Today, Sony officially announced they have suspended not only Gran Turismo 7, but also all software and hardware shipments in Russia. The tweet from @PlayStation makes it official.

The Washington Post reported that the announcement by Sony proceeded its scheduled State of Play broadcast, which contained few new reveals.

According to The Washington Post, Sony hedged in its initial show announcement not to expect any updates about its next-gen virtual reality headset, PlayStation VR2, or games for that hardware; instead, the 20-minute broadcast stuck to PlayStation titles slotted for the 2022 and 2023 release calendars, most of which had been previously shown.

CNBC reported: Sony’s decision is one of the industry’s most significant moves yet. The company has the biggest presence in Russia of any console maker, according to industry insiders.

According to CNBC, “PlayStation has the largest installed base, so if a company on the console side has a particularly hard choice from a financial angle, it’s Sony,” Lewis Ward, head of gaming at research firm IDC, recently told CNBC.


PlayStation Reveals a First Look at the PlayStation VR2



PlayStation revealed a look at the inspiration behind their latest VR hardware design. The post was written on the PlayStation Blog by Senior Vice President, Platform Experience, Hideaki Nishino. Here is some information from the blog:

The PS VR2 headset has a similar shape as the PS VR2 Sense controller, taking on a matching “orb” look. The circular orb shape represents the 360-degree view that players feel when they enter the virtual reality world.

The design of the PS VR2 headset was inspired by the look of the PS5 family of products. According to Hideaki Nishino, when the design team created the PS5 console, they also had the next generation VR headset in mind, so there are similarities in the look and feel. The PS5 console has flat edges as it is meant to be displayed on a flat surface, while there was more emphasis on adding roundness to the design of PS VR2 headset since it is meant to have constant human contact.

PlayStation’s goal is to create a headset that will not only become an attractive part of your living room decor, but will also keep you immersed in your game world, to the point where you almost forgot you are using a headset controller. This is why the team paid very close attention to the ergonomics of the headset and conducted extensive testing to ensure a comfortable feel for a variety of head sizes.

Senior Art Director at SIE, Yujin Morisawa, led the headset design for PS VR2. One area he focused on was the idea of creating a vent in the headset to let air our, similar to vents on the PS5 console that allows airflow. Their engineers came up with this idea as a good way to allow ventilation and avoid having the lens fog up while players are immersed in their VR games.

The PlayStation blog does not mention when the PS VR2 will launch. However, it points out that the PS VR2 development kits are already in the hands of game creators. There is absolutely no mention of what the PS VR2 will cost.

The Verge reported that those who want to use the PS VR2 with the PS5 can do that, but it requires a special adapter and “the experience is decidedly last-gen”. According to The Verge, Sony now has to compete with headsets like the computer-free Oculus Quest 2, the finger-tracking Valve Index, and the high-resolution HP Reverb G2.

Personally, VR headsets are not for me because I tend to feel sick after watching movies or games that include what I call “shakey-cam”. My concern is that VR headsets will also make me feel ill.

That said, the PlayStation Blog got several comments from people who desperately want to purchase the PS VR2, and also comments from people who want it to be backwards compatible. If Sony can make the price of the PS VR2 seem reasonable to consumers, it might have a fighting chance against other VR devices.


Xbox and PlayStation are Evaluating Relationship with Activision Blizzard



Bloomberg reported that Microsoft’s head of Xbox said he’s “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” in light of the recent revelations at the video game publishing company.

This is in reference to an article posted by the Wall Street Journal alleging that CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual-misconduct allegations at the company he leads. The same article stated that Bobby Kotick also did not inform the board of directors about everything he knew.

IGN reported that Microsoft has confirmed the statement from Phil Spencer. That statement said “I personally have strong values for a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox. This is not a destination but a journey that we will always be on. The leadership at Xbox and Microsoft stand by our teams and support them in building a safer environment for all.”

The Verge reported that PlayStation leadership has asked Activision Blizzard how it will address the allegations that were in the Wall Street Journal article. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly informed employees of the action in an email.

According to The Verge, this is the statement that PlayStation boss Jim Ryan gave to Bloomberg: “We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article. We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”

If both PlayStation and Xbox decide to remove Activision Blizzard’s games from their platforms, this could potentially be a big problem for the company. For example, Blizzard released Diablo II: Resurrected not only on its Battle:Net platform, but also on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, PS5 and PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

If Xbox and PlayStation decide to remove games from Activision Blizzard – it means that players who access the game through those platforms will no longer be able to play it on those platforms. If they don’t have a PC, then they won’t be able to play at all.


Sony PlayStation Store will Discontinue Movie and TV Purchases



The ability to purchase movies and TV shows on PlayStation is coming to an end, according to a post made on the PlayStation Blog. This change will not happen immediately, but you may want to prioritize the TV show or movie you had been considering buying and watching on your PlayStation.

The post on the PlayStation Blog was written by Head of Video Business, SIE, Vanessa Lee:

At SIE, we strive to provide the best entertainment experience for PlayStation fans, and that means evolving our offerings as customer needs change. We’ve seen tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment streaming services on our consoles. With this shift in customer behavior, we have decided to no longer offer movie and TV purchases and rentals through PlayStation Store as of August 31, 2021.

When this change goes into effect, users can still access movies and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5 and mobile devices. We thank our fans for their continued support, and we look forward to further enhancing the entertainment experience on PlayStation.

Variety reported that Sony first launched video rentals and sales in the PlayStation Store in July of 2008, having inked distribution pacts with major studios. According to Variety, Sony is shutting down its digital video store after double-digit growth in the sector in 2020 amid the pandemic. Variety stated that Sony said it is exiting the transactional VOD (video-on-demand) business because it sees more PlayStation users adopting free and subscription streaming-services.

To me, that makes sense. It will be hard for Sony to compete with Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, The Criterion Channel, IMDB TV and more. In my opinion, Sony will do well to stick to video games – especially ones that are exclusive to PS4 or PS5. Diablo II Resurrected will be playable on both of those consoles, and has plenty of fans of the series anxiously awaiting its release.


PlayStation Announced PS5 will Launch in November



Sony announced that PlayStation 5 will launch in November. The price starts at $399 for the PS5 Digital Edition and $499 for PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray Disc Drive. This puts PlayStation 5 at a slightly higher price than Microsoft’s Xbox Series S, which is priced at $299.

Starting on November 12, PS5 will be available in seven key markets: the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. The global rollout will continue on November 19 with launches throughout the rest of the world, including Europe, Middle East, South America, Asia and South Africa.

Preorders will be available starting today at select retailers. Sony recommends you check with your local retailer.

Sony is offering two types of consoles so players can choose if they want a digital-only experience, or a disc-based version. Both offer the same breathtaking next-gen gaming experiences.

Both models come with the same custom processor, with integrated CPU and GPU for high-fidelity visuals, including 4K graphics and ray-tracing support, as well as the same ultra-high-speed SSD with integrated I/O for lighting fast loading. PS5’s 3D audio and the DualSense Wireless Controller will also provide the same heightened sense of immersion on all PS5s.

Kotaku reported that Sony clarified that the trailer claiming that Demon Souls would be coming to PC and “other consoles” was a mistake. It will only be available on PS5. Other PS5 exclusive games include Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Moralas, and Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.

As always, there will be a group of players who only play video games on PC who will be angry that they need to buy a PS5 for some games – or miss out on them. Those who enjoy playing video games on PC, consoles, and phones/tablets, are likely to be more receptive to Sony’s decision to make some games exclusive to PS5.


Sony Ends Ustream Support on PS4



Playstation logoSony has decided to terminate support for Ustream features on the PlayStation 4 (PS4). It announced this news in a support notice, and tweeted a link to that notice.

As of August 1, 2016, users of the PS4 will no longer be able to broadcast their gameplay to Ustream. They will also no longer be able to view Ustream broadcasts from “Live from PlayStation” on the PS4 system, PlayStation App (PS App) or PlayStation Vita (PS Vita).

This isn’t entirely the end for those who enjoyed streaming their gameplay, or watching other people’s gameplay, via the PS4. Players will still be able to broadcast gameplay via YouTube, Twitch, and dailymotion, and can continue to enjoy viewing these gameplay broadcasts via “Live from PlayStation”.

Sony has not given any specific reason why they chose to terminate support for Ustream features on the PS4, PS App, and PS Vita. Engadget reported that the announcement could be Sony’s way of letting users know that the partnership between Sony and Ustream had ended.


PlayStation and Xbox Live Experiencing Outages



Sony PlayStation LogoThere’s a reason why you had difficulties accessing Sony’s online PlayStation store and Microsoft’s Xbox Live network during Christmas. Each has been experiencing disruptions from a DDoS attack that began on Christmas Eve, continued through Christmas Day, and is still ongoing.

The group that has claimed responsibility for the disruptions is the same one that has a history of destroying other people’s fun by making it impossible for them to access online games. This is especially problematic during Christmas as people who received new games try to get online to play them. Some have noted that Sony’s decision to let people download the controversial movie The Interview through Xbox Video could be adding to the problem.

The PlayStation Knowledge Center has mentioned the issue. At the time I am writing this, the PSN Status is “Offline”. Further information says: “We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN. We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

Similarly, Microsoft has posted some information about the outage on their Xbox Live Support page. At the time I am writing this, the Xbox Live Core Services is “Limited”. Further information says: “Xbox members, are you experiencing issues when attempting to sign in? We’re aware of this issue, and we’re working to find a fix ASAP! We appreciate your patience in the meantime, and we encourage you to retry signing in when you get a chance. We’ll update you as soon as we know more”.