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The Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One are engaged in a fierce battle in the console market, though it looks like the PS4 outsold the Xbox One by a hefty 2-to-1 margin in January. The NPD Group didn't release specific sales figures, only saying that the PS4 led the market in hardware sales, but Sony executives claimed that its console "nearly doubled" that of the Xbox One.
Game hardware sales in January 2014 were down 21 percent compared to the same time last year, though January 2013 had five weeks. Microsoft's reliance on restrictive DRM - or gamer perception of intrusive anti-piracy efforts has caused gamers frustration. In addition, cross-platform gamers are playing better on the PS4 than the Xbox One, along with the lower price tag of the PS4.
"Overall retail video game sales would be down only 1 percent instead of down 21 percent, if sales were normalized to account for the five-week January 2013 compared to the four-week January 2014," said Liam Callahan, NPD analyst, in a statement.
Next-generation consoles blend gaming and Web-based apps to keep consumers engaged in the living room.
Just when you though the console wars had died down and the battlefield had began to quieten down, a new report from Sony has came in that refuels the fight. Today Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 is now the best selling console in Australia despite Microsoft claiming it's Xbox One dominated the market down under in 2013.
Unfortunately, while the PS4 may be the best selling console in Australia at the moment, the country is still suffering from stock shortages of both consoles, and these new numbers could be greatly affected if Sony managed to get new shipments in before Microsoft did. The same can be said for Microsoft's claim of dominance in 2013, as it did manage to get more stock into the country than Sony did, and had a head start of a few weeks over Sony. Ultimately, we will have to wait until later in the year when stock levels even out and the demand no longer outpaces supply before we can get a definitive conclusion on which console Aussies like better.
This week was the week when Xbox One owners expected to get a major system update from Microsoft, but unfortunately that update will not be coming until March. This morning Microsoft announced that it was delaying the February Xbox One System update until March along side some new gaming accessories for the console.
The update will be centered around improving the multiplayer and party experience, and will make it easier for you to find your friends by bringing the Friends List front and center by clicking on the Social Tile. The update will also enable the Party Chat by default, and will allow friends to chat with other friends who are online and not just in the same game. Microsoft will also be adding an "Invite Friends to Game" option that will let users do just what it says; invite their friends into their game.
Along side the Xbox One system update, the company will release a few accessories including the official Xbox One Stereo Headset that will offer a "premium audio experience" for under $100. Additionally, Microsoft will launch the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, a device that allows users to connect existing stereo headsets to the Xbox One. So if you already have an expensive gaming headset that has a 3.5mm jack, you only need to purchase this $25 headset adapter to use it.
Its been about a month since Sony unveiled its PlayStation now service at CES 2014, and today we are getting a look at the game download service and what titles will be available on launch day thanks to a leaked image that has appeared on Reddit. Along with the screenshot comes a rumor that the service will cost customers $49.99.
AAA titles like God of War, Pay Day, The Last of Us, and Beyond Two Souls are said to be among the list of day-one titles with several others. Unfortunately, this image did first surface on Reddit from a user who had made an account just to post the image, so take this leak with a grain of salt. While it would be very exciting to see all these titles launched on the service on its opening day, until official word comes in from Sony, we won't be holding our breath. Take the $49 pricetag about as serious as the game titles as well, but $50 does seem like it is within the price range Sony will try to hit.
It was only yesterday that we reported that Microsoft is working on a cheaper Xbox One, but the software giant has denied the rumors of a new Xbox One console, whether it arrive as a cheaper model, or price cuts to the current console.
Microsoft's Chief of Staff for Devices and Studios, Aaron Greenberg, said in a Twitter post when asked if the rumors were true: "No, you cannot believe everything you read on the internet". Well folks, it looks like we shouldn't expect a Blu-ray less Xbox One, or a cheaper model anytime soon.
During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post on Reddit, President of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley, all but confirmed the existence of a Sony-made virtual reality headset. During the AMA, Smedley was asked about possible future support for the Oculus Rift pertaining to the upcoming Everquest Next game, and his reply more than hinted at the existence of a Sony-branded VR Headset competitor to the Rift.
"Hearing good things about 2 competitors... one of which actually comes from Sony. So I'm thinking this is real and we may have our Snowcrash (a book about a VR based internet by Neal Stephenson) after all." was Smedley's reply. While rumors of a Sony VR Headset have been circling for months now, this is the first word on the matter from someone high up in Sony's management. Since Smedley runs SOE, he would be the person to know if such a headset exist, and exactly how much he could divulge on the matter.
With Oculus making huge leaps forward with its Rift headset, Sony has some tough shoes to fill in making a VR headset that people will actually use. Lets hope they listen to the wealth of feedback available online about the Oculus Rift Developers Kit, and include at minimum; 1440P resolution, and wireless operation. If Sony is going to enter this market, then they need to step out of the dugout with their best foot forward and swing for the fences on the first pitch, otherwise, a VR Headset from Sony will not survive the game Oculus is already dominating.
This morning, Sony announced that the next system software update for the PlayStation 4 will be available late tonight. The update will bring the PS4's system software up to version 1.60 and will bring in support for the PULSE and PULSE-Elite Edition, Sonys official wireless headsets for the PS4.
Alongside the update announcement, Sony unveiled the latest member in its wireless headset lineup. The Gold Wireless Headset is a 7.1 virtual surround headset that features dynamic profiles that can be tuned by game developers to get the most out of their games audio. The Gold Wireless Headset will retail for $99 when it goes on sale early this month. Sony says the Gold Wireless Headset is compatible with its PS3 and PS4 consoles, and it will even work with your Mac or PC.
Multiple rumors and reports are suggesting that we should expect another Xbox One from Microsoft, but a more affordable version. We might see a slimmer, smaller Xbox One, or a console that arrives without the Kinect sensor to save on costs.
There's no exact word on what Microsoft will do to lower the price, as the APU inside of it is still powered by AMD, and prices haven't shifted on those yet as the console is still in its first few months on the market. Microsoft did state that the Kinect sensor is part of the Xbox One experience, so it's also hard to see the company yanking that out of the package, too.
OUYA have announced a new console, which expands on the already cheap Android-powered console with a few nips and tucks, and additions, too. The new OUYA console is priced at $129, $30 more than the previous model.
The new console has 16GB of on-board storage, the latest firmware, better Wi-Fi, and a "refined" controller. It should hopefully fix most of the issues that the first console presented. The original $99 OUYA console with 8GB of storage can still be found, if that's what you're after.
Microsoft stores are offering $100 of in-store credit if you trade in your old console, which includes the PS3, Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E. Only select Microsoft retail stores will be providing the trade-in credit, unfortunately.
The deal runs from January 23 to March 2, with all consoles traded in needing to power up, be fully functional, include all of the original accessories and chargers, and cannot be damaged. There is a catch of course, with the details stating in order to "receive maximum trade in value, you must purchase an Xbox One at the same time".