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Sony's Touchscreen OLED Walkman Revealed, Debut at CES 2009

100°
310w ago - Sony Insider (linked above) is reporting that trusted inside sources have told them that Sony is to "debut a new 16 and 32GB drag and drop Walkman during CES 2009."

They say it will feature a WQVGA OLED touchsreen display, Wi-Fi (WPA and WEP support included), YouTube access features and a fully functional Web browser.

To quote: Additionally, this new Walkman will be able to subscribe to audio podcast and Crackle video feeds; this means automatic download of new updates, the ability to delete old feed content, all over Wi-Fi. Audio codec support includes MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM, while video codec support is AVC (h.264), MPEG-4 and WMV.

There will be built-in search capabilities that can be used to learn more about your favorite artist, and users will be able to purchase full CD's of their favorite artists through the Walkman at Amazon. A powerful S-Master digital amplifier is built into this device as well as digital noise canceling to ensure optimal sound.

On top of all of these impressive features, Sony has also included a FM radio to truly differentiate this product amongst the competition.

Also, while the product shots above do not show hardware buttons for music control (previous track, play/pause, next track and volume), we believe this device will have dedicated...
 

Sony's PlayStation 3 is a Sinking Ship as Sales Plummet

300°
310w ago - Alone among the three major videogame consoles, sales of the PS3 are down about 19% from November 2007, according to the latest stats from the NPD Group. Sony was only able to sell 378,000 PS3s this November, compared to 466,000 last year.

And the problem for Sony isn't the recession, it's the PS3. Microsoft (MSFT) put up respectable numbers with its Xbox 360, selling 836,000 units vs 777,000 in November 2007. And Nintendo's (NTDOY) Wii continues to dominate the market, more than doubling sales from 981,000 to 2.04 million.

So why is the PS3 flopping so badly?

1. It's the most expensive console on the market, $150 - $200 more than its rivals. Even if you believe the video game industry is "recession-proof" (it isn't), a tanking economy makes consumers more price-conscious.

2. The PS3's big bonus is its ability to double as a Blu-Ray player. Too bad no one seems to care about hi-def DVDs. The differences between Blu-Ray and DVD are hard to see on a TV less than 50".

3. The PS3 just doesn't have any must-have titles exclusive to the console. "LittleBigPlanet" has generated decent buzz but isn't a game-changer, and neither is Sony's new virtual world "Home."

There's really only one option left for Sony to remain in the game: deep price cuts, and not just for...
 

Greenberg: We Recognize Sony as a Very Formidable Competitor

50°
310w ago - Microsoft's Director of Product Management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Aaron Greenberg has stood by his view that Home feels like Second Life for hardcore gamers.

"What always happens with the Internet is people isolate specific comments and things that you say, but you don't always hear the full story. I do believe what I said is actually the case, and I do stand by that. But at the same time, we recognize Sony as a very formidable competitor," he said.

He went onto say that the Home experience feels like "a 2005 experience in 2008" and that he's not sure it's something that will help Sony sell consoles or bring in a broader audience.

To quote: You got some gamers riled up when you told Kotaku, "What Home to me feels like is Second Life for hardcore gamers. It doesn't feel like it broadens the experience and invites people in. When they unveiled it, it seemed innovative. I think what's happened is now here we are a couple of years later and we're beyond that. It feels like 2005 tech in 2008. I'm not sure that's what people want."

Is that being too harsh? This is a major feature upgrade to the console. It's still in beta, it will add more features. Isn't it too early to just discount this as "old tech"?

Yeah, yeah. I think it's fair to address that. What...
 

Sony Takes Micro-transactions to New World in PlayStation Home

50°
310w ago - Sony launched its Home virtual world for the PlayStation 3 today, opening up its beta test to all 16 million PS3 owners. We've tested Home in a closed beta so far, but now we will find out if it is ready for millions of people.

Jack Buser is the director of Home for the U.S. market. We talked with him by phone yesterday about Sony's plans for expanding the world and what's there now. [FYI: At the moment, I'm having trouble logging into Home; apparently, it's crowded]

VentureBeat: You took more than 18 months. That's a long time. What was the hard part?
Jack Buser: Something like Home has never been done before. It's a massive undertaking. When you deal as a platform like this, you're blazing new paths with technology and business. There was a lot of heavy lifting. Now we're rolling it out and it's something that can't be experienced anywhere else.

It's not a game. With a game, you create it, launch it and you're done. Home is a platform. A lot of the things will be created by third-party partners. You'll see a lot of people beyond Sony. We had to do all of those application programming interfaces so they could do that.

VB: Can you bring us up to date on who is ready with or preparing content for Home?
JB: Some things we...
 

Sony PlayStation Home for PlayStation 3 is Live, but Tech Issues

100°
310w ago - From TedTheDog, PlayStation Home Community Manager today:

* Technical updates are progressing and as you have probably seen the 1.03 patch is available for existing users already but the service remains unavailable whilst work is carried out

* Service should be back up everywhere early PM UK time although theres no specific time as theres a long list of actions being worked through in Europe, America, Asia and Japan

* New comers to the service will find the Home icon on their XMB once we activate it. You wont have to look for it, it will be easy to spot and will appear under PlayStationŽNetwork. However, if you are online on your PS3 when we activate it you will need to restart your PS3 for it to appear. Watch these forums for news on when that is. It will work like Folding@Home in that the icon will be there and you'll download the service when you first select it.

Edit 3pm: Still progressing nicely, now on the testing stage. No eta still as I wouldnt want to guess how long it will take for each region to verify its elements are working but we're getting there.

Edit 3:15pm: Not there yet, the testing is still going on, but I wanted to mention a couple of other things that need clarification.

The Far Cry2 and Uncharted spaces will not be...
 
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