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According to sources close to Sony, the entertainment giant decided to not bundle the PlayStation 4 camera with every console so they could beat Microsoft's $499 price point. But not only did Sony do this to beat Microsoft on price, they didn't let retail partners know that the price changed. The only information they provided to retail partners was that the PS4 camera would no longer be included with the console.
This might have been a great move. Not only was Sony able to beat Microsoft on price, but it turns out that people don't like an always-connected camera in their living room. Sony has been able to avoid accusations that the device might be spying on its users.
On the other hand, it will likely cause the PlayStation camera accessory to see less uptake in the market. By not requiring every user to have it, game developers will have to deal with a fragmented landscape where only some gamers have the camera. This means developers are unlikely to make as much use of the camera, which in turn provides less incentive for users to buy a camera. It's the classic chicken and egg scenario.
Sony has continued its support of independent game developers by launching a new indie game channel for its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console. This new channel is the direct result of Sony launching a similar channel on the PlayStation network last month.
With 53 titles already, Sony has begun highlighting new releases such as Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, and Limbo. Sony says it has plans in the coming months to showcase highly anticipated Vita-only releases such as Spelunky, Luftrausers, and Hohokm.
In a blog post Sony said:
At PlayStation, we're proud to support indie development, and our unrestrictive policies make it easier than ever for developers to launch games on PS Vita. We recognize that the unique perspective that indie developers deliver contributes to the success and future of the gaming industry. And we've learned as much from working with talented indie developers over the last several years as (we hope) they have learned from us.
When Microsoft launches their next-generation Xbox One console later this year, it won't be including the 'must-have' wired headset in the box. Microsoft have gone as far as describing this headset as "a must have for fans of online gaming."
Considering the Xbox One is built around online gaming, going as far as previously having to 'check-in' every 24 hours to stay valid, not including a 'must have for fans of online gaming' accessory is weird. Also consider this, most versions of the current-generation Xbox 360 include a wired headset, yet the next-generation $499 console will not.
A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement: "Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences."
The $100 cheaper PlayStation 4 will include a headset in the box, if that helps your decision making process.
OUYA founder is 'pissed' that some original backers don't have their consoles - but what is she going to do about it?
I voiced my opinion a few days ago about backing the OUYA console on Kickstarter and not receiving my console yet, but now we're at the stage of it hitting retail shelves - and getting to the point of selling out at a few of them.
OUYA founder, Julia Uhrman, is "pissed" because some of the Kickstarter backers haven't received their consoles yet, as she promised they would all receive their consoles before OUYA went to retail. Uhrman writes in a Kickstarter update that only the backers received: "I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your OUYA -- and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. I've been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this."
Less than 24 hours after hitting retail shelves in the US, Canada, and the UK, the OUYA Android Gaming Console has sold out at two of its major retailers. This morning, Amazon.com and GameStop are both reporting that OUYA consoles are temporarily out of stock. Other retail partners, such as Best Buy and Target, are still showing consoles as being in stock.
With the little Android console retailing for $99, it is no surprise that they sold out in two of the biggest gaming retailers in the country. What is disheartening is that OUYA has still yet to complete shipping to all of their Kickstarter backers. These are the people who quite literally launched the company into the position they are in right now. Our own Anthony Garreffa is still awaiting the arrival of his Limited Edition OUYA, and here we are a complete day into that retail launch and Ouya has still not fulfilled obligations to their initial investors.
I still haven't heard from OUYA about my console, and I'm an original backer - but the retail OUYA consoles go on sale today for just $99. You can pick them up at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and GAME.
The Android-powered $99 console will be available at "hundreds of stores" across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. For $99, you'll receive the console itself and one controller, but it gets expensive from here. For an extra controller, you're looking at $49 each. OUYA aren't talking about how much stock will be available at retail, but first in, best dressed is my method.
Because Computex is so close to E3, it made it hard to attend both events so I chose the former and missed out on checking the Xbox One out in person. But, we'll be covering PAX Australia next month, where we hope to get some hands-on time with the Xbox One.
It was announced by the organizers of the event that Microsoft's next-generation console will make it's first Australian appearance. Right now, there's no confirmation on whether the Xbox One will be on the show floor - something I'm disappointed to hear. Microsoft will be holding three separate presentations going into detail regarding Microsoft's "vision for the Xbox One and the future of gaming".
These three sessions will be on a first come, first serve basis, and will be at the following times:
- Friday 19th July 2013. 6:00pm - 7:00pm
- Saturday 20th July 2013: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
- Sunday 21st July 2013: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Sony appears to be readying two new PS3 models, though the degree to which they have been changed isn't clear. Sony has filed for certification for two new PS3 models in South Korea. New models have also been seen on a webpage for Japan's Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, indicating that they could be releasing region-specific models for Japan and South Korea.
The models, "CECH-4200" and "CECH-4205", are likely just small hardware changes rather than a major overhaul. Based upon the model number, it's suspected that they are of the Super Slim PS3 variety with updated CPUs using a smaller lithography or some other small update.
We've seen no new model numbers for the US, though it's possible they are coming. We'll keep our eyes out for any additional references to these, or new, model numbers.
I remember last year when Ouya first reached Kickstarer, it was all the rage and I backed it to buy a Limited Edition console to have my username etched into the controllers - and because it looked like a neat little Android-based gaming console.
But, it's June 24 here in Australia and my Ouya console is stuck in Hong Kong. I've recently moved house (again, second time in 5 months) and I e-mailed them to change my address, which hasn't been acknowledged or replied to. If my unit is still in HK, then I won't be getting it for at least a few more days at the minimum.
The units are being shipped through DHL, and the last update for my Ouya console is 6/15 where it was "received & dispatched". There are still four more steps on DHL's website until it gets to me, unfortunately.
I'm not the only one that seems to be waiting, from what I've read there are plenty of other early backers who are still waiting for their Ouya console. So, I ask you Ouya - where is my console? I'm ready to play it, review it for TweakTown and invite some friends over to have some fun!
Sony tripped over last week, releasing a firmware for their PlayStation 3 console which led to a number of them being bricked (inoperable). But, never fear, there will be a new update to arrive shortly, that will fix the issues that update 4.45 caused.
People updating their PS3's to update 4.45 caused some problems with being able to access their cross-media bars, with those who tried to fix the issue formatting their consoles, but this just bricked their console. Sony ripped the update from the Internet, and launched an investigation to find out what exactly caused the issue. PlayStation Plus users that have the auto-update feature enabled may have inadvertently downloaded it automatically. If this is what you've done - you might want to disable automatic updates until Sony fixes the issue.
Morgan Haro, Sony's community manager, pinned a post on the PlayStation forum stating that they've found the issue. There's a new PS3 software update arriving on June 27 which will hopefully solve the issue from version 4.45.