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Sony Talks PS3 Home, Coming By Year-End But Still In BETA

350°
299w ago - It feels as though I've been writing about PlayStation Home for years. I haven't, it's only been months in reality, but with its release being delayed constantly, known and unknown development issues, and questions still remaining, it feels like the service has been a long time coming. Which makes any official word from Sony very interesting indeed.

Jack Buser, the director of PlayStation Home, recently sat down with IGN to discuss Home. He talks about why we should care about it, what experience it will give us, and what is it with all these delays.

He explains that Home is going to be a place to meet friends online, to find gamers of the same skill level and into the same games as you. It's going to replace the arcade as the place to make new friends and share your hobby with them. All in all, Sony is excited about Home, and so, apparently should you be.

Great, so where is it and when can we, the great unwashed who haven't been invited to try the closed beta be able to experience the joys of Home? Buser claims the service is now entering the final stages of closed beta, with the open beta very close to launch. And he goes one further by stating:

"Like we've said, we're excited about moving PlayStation Home into its Open Beta stage this year. Once we make the...
 

Sony's PSP2 Graphics Processor Revealed?

300°
299w ago - A British company may have won the contract to design and build the next-generation graphics processor for the PSP2. Imagination Technologies Group announced in a press release this week that the company has signed a license agreement with a new partner, "a major consumer electronics company."

Industry sources say that the partner is almost certainly Sony, and that the SGX55x graphics chip will be used in the upcoming PSP2.

The secrecy on the part of Imagination Technologies makes sense, because Sony is understandably unwilling to announce its plans for a PSP successor just yet. Imagination's PowerVR MBX chip is already being used in the Apple iPhone, so Sony finds itself in good company with this manufacturer.

The SGX55x chip promises to be much more powerful than what is currently found in the PSP. At the moment, the PSP uses a proprietary GPU designed by Sony that is very similar to the older graphics processor in the PS2.

PSP GPU Specifications:
166 mhz core speed
2 MB VRAM
Up to 33 million polygons per second
664 million pixels per second (fill rate)

PowerVR SGX530 Specifications:
200 MHz Core Speed
 

PSP2: Imagination Added Sony to Apple Consumer Design Win?

50°
299w ago - Word on the street is that Imagination Technologies Group plc, licensor of graphics processor cores, has added Sony to its tally of international electronics systems company licensees.

Imagination (Kings Langley, England) announced Monday (Nov. 24) that it has signed a license agreement with a new partner, a major international consumer electronics company, for a forthcoming member of Imagination's POWERVR SGX graphics processor family.

There were no names and no values ascribed to the licensing but the hint that it is materially insignificant. As a publicly held company Imagination is under pressure to disclose events of material significance via one or more of the many regulatory news services.

According to sources today's announcement by Imagination is for an upgrade to the Sony PSP2 and the SGX core is expected to be the SGX55x.

In its press release Imagination said that it expects that this agreement will extend the reach of its PowerVR architecture into "another high-volume consumer device segment."

Imagination said in September that it had concluded a multi-year, multi-use license agreement with an international electronics systems company. Imagination did not name the company or indicate how much money the deal might be worth. We speculated that deal might be...
 

Sony PlayStation 3 Firmware Update 2.53 Arrives Tomorrow

400°
300w ago - Update: This has now been confirmed by US.PlayStation.com as follows:

The PLAYSTATION®3 system software update may include security patches, new or revised settings and features and other items, which will change your current operating system.

We encourage you to check this page from time to time for software updates and to always maintain your system to use the latest version of the system software.

An update to the PS3â„¢ system software was released on November 26, 2008. You can use this update to upgrade your system software to version 2.53.

We just got a tip that PS3 FW 2.53 is coming on or before November 26, 2008. Our tipster told us it's a very minor update, below is the changelog:

Network:

* New for 2.53: The Internet browser now supports full-screen mode for Adobe® Flash® Player content.*
* Support for Adobe® Flash® Player 9 has been added to [Internet Browser].*
* "Adobe" and "Flash" are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.
 

Sony: No Plans for Rumored March PlayStation 3 Price Cut

200°
300w ago - Responding to new rumors of a PS3 price cut in March 2009, a Sony Computer Entertainment America rep told Edge, "There are no plans for a price reduction on PS3 in March 09, and anything reported on or discussed otherwise is purely rumor or speculation."

Over the weekend, online magazine D+Pad cited an anonymous source who purportedly attended a Sony staff briefing in London where execs said the PS3 will have a more competitive price from March 2009 and beyond.

March 31, 2009 marks the end of Sony's fiscal year, during which the company expects to sell 10 million PS3 units, or about flat compared to the previous year.

Sony has repeatedly denied a PS3 price cut will take place before the holidays.

Currently, Xbox 360s retail from $199 to $399 and Wiis sell for $249 in the U.S. Standard 80GB PS3s sell for $399.

SCEA sales VP Ian Jackson recently told analysts at the BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Conference, "There is no product in the industry today on the videogame console market that delivers what a PlayStation 3 delivers for under $400, in the case of the 80GB."
 
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