285w ago - According to the knowledge base article linked above on Sony's official PlayStation Web site, the PSN will be taken offline for scheduled maintenance tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., until 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. And yes, during this time, access to the online PS Store will be disabled as well.
Does this mean the elusive firmware 2.4 is due for release tomorrow? Despite what hopefuls may think, it's highly unlikely.
Though we wouldn't be surprised if Sony will be using the time to test out the key components of 2.4 before they go live, such as trophies, which are said to directly integrate with the PSN service as well as Sony's upcoming Home online community.
285w ago - The process for developing on the PS3 can be quite arduous... Sony have at last faced the awful truth that we have all known from the outset, that has given us a library of uninspired ports, frame rate issues and uninspired unique IP's: The difficulty in developing for the PS3 has driven away developers.
Sony themselves develop 30% of the consoles titles, leaving the rest to third party developers who had begun developing a year earlier for the Xbox 360. With the ease of working with the 360 and the exorbitant costs associated with the PS3, this left most AAA titles merely being ports rather than taking advantage of the superior hardware buried deep inside.
In a manner very unlike Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide has come out and admitted to the problem and attempted to address it with the community.
Mr Yoshida said: "Sometimes we struggle to convince them (third-party publishers) to put more resources into the PS3."
He added: "We know there's a lot more that we can do, and with the massive growth of the industry we understand that third party publishers have so many choices, many more than they have resources."
Mr Yoshida told GamesIndustry.biz: "Because the 360 hardware was out earlier, the games were built based on 360 architecture. But...
285w ago - As we all know by now, third-party exclusives appear to be going the way of the dodo. It won't be long before the only platform exclusives left will be from the makers of the platform themselves; i.e., first-party titles.
But as evidenced by the likes of Bioshock, it is still possible to buy - at the very least - timed exclusivity. Microsoft clearly has no qualms with this practice, but Sony, as stated by the former big boss of SCEE, Phil Harrison, doesn't believe in it. Now that Mr. Shuhei is in charge, perhaps that viewpoint will change, but then again, it might change simply to suit a more competitive marketplace.
There were rumors (recently shot down by Capcom) that Microsoft has already made a pitch to make Resident Evil 5 a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. And what's to stop them from pursuing Square-Enix and the likes of Final Fantasy XIII? S-E has already made it abundantly clear that they wish to adopt a new business focus, with the Western gaming audience at its core.
Hence, such a move might make perfect sense... So on the one hand, it might be in Sony's best interest to step up and play that game; go toe-to-toe; play tit-for-tat. Now, it may not be as reasonable with FFXIII simply because Square-Enix has been developing the game from the ground up for the PS3, but that's a practice...
285w ago - Sony CEO Howard Stringer has expressed the company's desire to turn around the losses of its games and television divisions this year.
Stringer said at a recent shareholder meeting that restoring profitability in its TV and game businesses is now the top priority, after the company posted losses of $3.4 billion in two years in the PlayStation division, and it revealed in May that the Bravia division had losses of $678 million last fiscal year (ending March 31).
Sony, however, forecasts PS3 to sell 10 million units this year, along with nine million PS2s, and expects the games unit to post its first annual profit in three years.
Stringer says the company is striving for innovation. "Three years ago, we were criticized for the lack of innovation. Three days ago, in a UK brand poll, Sony was ranked No.1 this year," he said, referring to a poll we reported on previously.
"But, we are not No.1 in my mind yet," he noted, according to Bloomberg.
285w ago - Those crazy Sony people. First they tell us that Blu-ray is the wave of the future, and now they say that digital downloads are. Make up your mind! :P
At a developer conference in London, SCEE president David Reeves said that the future is the PlayStation Network. He points out that internal figures that show over 40 per cent of PS3 owners download games direct to their machines.
Reeves told MCV UK: The key to the future is the PlayStation Network, Games put straight onto PSN are the big opportunity.
We do believe that the disc-based delivery system will fall as the power of the network base rises. At the same time, the overall industry growth will continue to go upwards as we push out into emerging markets.
What we don't see is an overall decline in the market. This is a golden era of video games.
So which is it, Sony? Hexus gaming points out that current games may never work as downloads. Think about Metal Gear Solid 4. Could you imagine trying to download that game?
I think there's room for both. Even though they are "proofing itself against the disaster the music industry has found itself in," games are still selling on discs.
I'd say keep the downloads for smaller games, and push the disc for big titles. Do you agree with Sony's...