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Sony wants to utilize original TV programming to help keep PlayStation 4 game console owners engaged and using the console for other activities beyond gaming. Sony already has plans for an online pay-TV service for the console, with the PS4 heavily relied upon by the struggling Japanese electronics manufacturer.
The "Powers" one-hour original TV drama series is spearheaded by Sony Pictures Television, offering Sony a chance to utilize its own in-house studio.
"It's about having a broad range of broadcast content to replicate the live TV experience," noted Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO.
In the previous console battle, Microsoft was able to rely on a lower price point and wide selection of non-gaming activities - and Sony has learned from its PlayStation 3 mistakes - trying to capture as much usage time from PlayStation 4 gamers as possible.
Sony will soon be pushing out a new update for the PlayStation 4 which will allow PS4 owners to save screenshots and videos to a USB drive, as well as supporting HDMI video capture by offering the option to disable HDCP.
Future updates to Sony's next-gen console will improve Twitch streaming, too. The company has promised an HDCP off option since the PS4 launched in November last year, as the PS4 only outputs to HDMI, the presence of HDCP means that PS4 users could only capture video using the share button on the PS4 controller, uploading it to social media, or streaming it through Twitch.
The PS4 update will also add a new video editor, which will allow gamers to personalize their clips. From there, you can save clips and screenshots to a USB device, as well as the Share button on the PS4 controller. There will be other features rolled out with the new update according to Sony, one of which will be the ability to archive Twitch broadcasts at a resolution of 720p.
Details have emerged this morning on what could be Nintendo's next-gen console. The new rumors come from a website Gaminrealm, and states that the an industry insider gave them exacting specs on Nintendo's successor to its mediocre Wii U console. Please remember that all rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when the rumor originated with unamed sources.
Nintendo is reportedly referencing the whole project under the name fusion, with the console being titled Fusion Terminal and the controller / handheld getting the Fusion DS moniker. The reports do state that Nintendo's R&D department would like to keep these names as they are exciting a fresh which could breath new life into a stale company. Oddly enough, the system will be based off of an IBM processor and an AMD GPU while the controller / handheld will be based on ARM Cortex-A8 architecture. The full list of specs have been copied below, but keep in mind that these could change at any moment, or could be completely different as we speak.
Microsoft is planning to launch its next-gen Xbox One console in 26 new markets in September, eight of which were meant to see the Xbox One launched in their country when the company launched the console back in November 2013.
Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland were on the original list of launch territories for the Xbox One, before the company scaled the launch down to 13 territories. On top of the above eight regions, we have 18 more regions that will see the Xbox One launch in September:
- Czech Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
Sony PlayStation 4 was priced at CAD $400 since 4 months, but now the suggested retail price as increased to CAD $450 more from today onwards. Following the price hike on PS4 console, its accessories and games will also have a price bump in Canada. As of now, the reason for this price hike is uncertain whether its due to exchange rate or supply/demand issue.
Currently, the PS4 camera and DualShock 4 controller is priced for CAD $65, while upcoming titles Infamous: Second Son and MLB 14: The show will be sold for CAD $70 as opposed to CAD $ 60 which was typical pricing for gaming up to this point.
Sony made a vague statement that price changes were made to respond to the changes in the marketing environment. On November 15th, the console was priced for $400 in the US while it was priced for CAD $417 in Canada. Now, while its the same price quote in the US, the console is now sold at CAD $444.
When the newest consoles on the market were the Xbox 360 and the PS3, Microsoft routinely outsold Sony in the console wars. There were a few times when Sony sold more PS3 consoles than Microsoft sold Xbox units, but not often. Things have been different with the latest generation consoles.
Since the PS4 launched it has handily outsold the Xbox One. That is thanks in part to the PS4 being about $100 cheaper at launch. The sales gap between the PS4 and Xbox One has narrowed. Microsoft is bragging that the PS4 only led sales by a "narrow margin" in February.
That margin must have been slim to get Microsoft to talk sales numbers. The software giant offered no sales stats for the Xbox One in January. NPD analyst Liam Callahan said that the Xbox One sold "over 90% of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales."
Today Tribute Games took to the PlayStation blog to announce that its highly-anticipated game Mercenary Kings is headed for the PlayStation 4 with the official release taking plan on April 1, 2014. The game will be available in the PlayStation Store for download, but no mention of pricing was made.
Mercenary Kings is a side-scrolling shooter that takes players on and action packed adventure on the island of Mandragora. "In this action-packed adventure, you must choose between Empress and King, two members of the elite squad known as the Mercenary Kings! Dropped on Mandragora Island, you're tasked with one mission: rescue the brilliant Dr. James Neil from the forces of C.L.A.W. (Cyber Loyalist Active Weapons) and prevent them from using the Mandrake Formula to conquer the globe," said Yannick Belzil of Tribute Games.
With this mornings launch of Titanfall, Microsoft has also enabled Twitch.TV live streaming on the Xbox One. Starting today, users will be able to begin streaming their gameplay sessions straight to Twitch, and allow users all over the world to watch them battle it out in real-time.
"Our second, and most significant, system update for Xbox One is starting to roll out today and includes improved matchmaking, party chat and friends features that will make gaming on Xbox One an experience like no other. To me that means playing games like 'Titanfall' on the best multiplayer service on the planet, using a new headset or the one you already own, while live broadcasting your games on Twitch," said Microsoft product manager, Mark Whitten.
As it stands right now in the next-gen console wars, Sony is beating Microsoft. One of the reasons, according to some, is that Microsoft's Xbox One is more expensive - priced at $100 more than the PS4 - because of its included, and mandatory Kinect 2 sensor.
Wedbush Morgan analyst, Michael Pacther, has said: "Sure they are going to unbundle [Kinect 2 from the Xbox One]. Not in 2014. They will not change the SKU that dramatically in the first full year. It is a 2015 event." Doing this would allow Microsoft to better compete with the cheaper, and better-selling PlayStation 4, too.
Pacther continues: "I think they'll actually pick the [Xbox One] core model and put a 2TB hard drive in it, and then the dumbed down one will have a 500GB hard drive and no Kinect for $400. That's the easiest way to do the price cut." He finished with: "The problem is that if they cut the price to $400 by spring 2015, Sony goes $349 for ours! Sony right now is in a position to stay ahead of them, and this is what happened with the PS2. PS2 kept taking share by cutting price."
Now that Stephen Elop, the former boss of Nokia, is running Microsoft's Xbox division, the company has reiterated that it is dedicated to Xbox. Microsoft Game Studios' Phil Spencer spilled the beans on how the company was still fully committed to its console in his SXSW Gaming panel.
Spencer said: "In a funny way, our job is to create great games on Xbox, on Windows, on Windows Phone, and the stuff that happens above the studios is kind of just 'stuff' to a lot of the studios, which I think is the right way." The Microsoft Games Studio boss added: "They're still driven by the creative juices inside the studios to make great things happen. In terms of Microsoft's commitment in the space, I know both Satya and Stephen Elop, I know them well. I've had explicit conversations with them about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox - they're extremely committed to Xbox."
"Xbox is a really critical brand for us as a company as Microsoft; when you think about consumers, what they love about our company, Xbox is one of the most beloved brands that the company has. We're in the middle of a good, competitive battle in the console space with PlayStation, which is great for the industry. And they remain extremely committed to us succeeding with Xbox, which is nice to hear, right? It's something that resonates well inside the walls when you're talking to the teams, or when I stand in front of Xbox fans, I want to make sure that they understand we are extremely committed to this product."