While Sony has been revealing more details about their Playstation 3 online network, a few items have been unclear. Chris Kohler at Wired was able to speak with Jack Tretton at SCEA to try and clear things up, and one of the things they spoke about was if the service would support the “achievements” model as seen on Xbox Live. Tretton’s response was that there would be no “pan-platform” achievements or ranking system in place. Instead, it will be up to each game publisher to implement their own ranking system, and none of the launch titles will support an “achievement” type model. While Xbox Live Achievements have certainly added a new dimension of play to the Xbox 360 (to the point where high gamerscores are being auctioned and farmed) this doesn’t seem like a deal breaker on Sony’s part. Still, it does speak to the relative lack of experience that Sony has in maintaining and planning for a global gaming network.
Read More | Game|Life
During Sony’s Gamer’s Day event, IGN was able to take some time and drill down into the features implemented in the Playstation 3’s version of the XMB menu system. IGN examined the User, Photo, Music, Video, Games, Network, and Friends. Some of the interesting things that Sony has implemented on the Playstation 3 include media streaming; according to IGN, the Playstation 3 will support streaming of various media types. Sony demonstrated live streaming of a movie playing on the Playstation 3 to an online connected PSP. Apparently all media types will support streaming, and eventually users will be able to view media stored on their Playstation 3 from anywhere on the Internet. The Playstation 3 will also support MP4 format videos up to 1080p.
IGN was able to touch on backward-compatibility; no Playstation 1 or 2 games were shown running, but Sony did mention that no upscaling or enhancement would take place. In addition, downloadable Playstation 1 games would not initially be supported on the PS3, but will be playable on the PSP. Overall, it seems like Sony has taken the feature set of the PSP and refined and expanded it for the capabilities of the Playstation 3.
Read More | IGN
Sony has issued a press release in conjunction with today’s Gamer’s Day event. Sony’s announcements today included the availability of 20 first and third party games to become available during the holiday season; it was not mentioned which of these would be available day and date with the Playstation 3. Sony also apparently confirmed that first party title NBA 07 would support 1080P. While people have seen early shots of the Playstation 3 network interface, the company today officially confirmed that the Playstation 3 GUI would be based around the XMB (Xross Media Bar) found on the PSP.
Sony also discussed their Playstation store; first-party game titles will be priced at less than $15, and they officially introduced their first downloadable game, Blast Factor.
Accessory pricing has also been finalized for the US market, with the SIXAXIS controller retailing for $49.99, the memory card adapter selling for $14.99, and when the BD Remote Control becomes available, it will sell for $24.99.
Sony also announced that they will be offering a special premium in the first 500,000 PS3 systems shipped; much like the first wave of PSP systems included Spider-man, the first 500,000 Playstation 3 systems will come with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” on the Blu-Ray format.
The full list of launch window titles continues below.
Update: Resistance has been confirmed to be running at 720p.
Read More | Playstation.com
A post from the CheapAssGamer forums lists what are supposedly the first details for the Toys ‘R’ Us Big Toy Book for the upcoming holiday season. According to the poster, the new flyer lists Playstation 3 pre-orders as starting on October 29th, and will require a $50 deposit. Of course, “limited quantities will be available.” Interestingly, Nintendo’s Wii is shown in the catalog, but while the copy apparently tells customers that they can reserve the console, no details are listed. Gamers that missed previous pre-order opportunities may have another camp-out scheduled in their future.
Read More | Cheap Ass Gamer
Sony today cut their profit outlook by 62 percent, blaming battery recall costs, the Japanese Playstation 3 price cut, and weaker than expected sales of their PSP console. According to a Reuters report, Sony reduced its profit target for the year to 50 billion yen from previous estimates of 130 billion yen. In addition, Sony reduced its PSP shipment target to 9 million units, down 25 percent from previous estimates. While Sony has seen the PSP console fail to meet sales projections, Nintendo has raised their sales target over the same period, making Sony’s assertions that they are holding their own in the market suspect.
Read More | Reuters
Sony Computer Entertainment released a version of Linux for the original Playstation 2 through a hardware and software kit, and now it looks like that Playstation 3 will be getting its own version of the open source operating system. Terra Soft will be providing a version of Yellow Dog Linux for the Playstation 3. While the original Linux kit for the Playstation 2 was clearly targeted at Linux enthusiasts with its command line based installation, the new version from Terra Soft promises to be more user-friendly, with a graphical, single-click installation. While specific hardware and peripheral support has not been announced, Terra Soft has indicated that a number of software packages will be included with the distribution, including FireFox and OpenOffice, making the Playstation 3 potentially a fully functioning computer. This could open up the platform to homebrew developers as well, depending on how much hardware access is allowed by Sony.
Terra Soft’s complete press release continues below.
Read More | Terra Soft
According to Eurogamer, Rockstar North is working on exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV content for the Playstation 3 on top of the already announced downloadable episodes for the Xbox 360. Speaking with a source “close to Rockstar North,” Eurogamer reports that the new content should be “much the same deal” as the Xbox 360, “except unique to the platform.” While far from being confirmed, exclusive content would certainly help Rockstar maintain a good relationship with Sony. And, of course, this would force true Grand Theft Auto fans to lay out more money to have all the content available to them.
Read More | Eurogamer
This Sunday in Japan brought the availability of Playstation 3 pre-orders for both the 20 GB and 60 GB versions of the console. CheapyD, proprietor of Cheap Ass Games was online and ready to place his pre-order. Apparently, the massive amounts of traffic hitting the site was able to bring down the Japanese shopping cart system. Ultimately, the pre-order was placed, but the full recap is available at CheapAssGamer.com.
Read More | CheapAssGamer
It looks like Sony’s television advertising campaign has started to hit the airwaves, and of course the ad has been uploaded online. It would be too straightforward for Sony to show any gameplay video at this point, so gamers get treated to an abstract commercial promising that “the wait is over” and the launch date of November 17th. Now, for most people, the wait really won’t be over on launch day given the small quantities of the console that Sony is shipping, but the ad at least offers hope for thirteen-year old kids on rooftops across America.
Read More | NeoGAF
Not a whole lot is known about Sony’s online functionality for the PS3. The service has been announced as free, and Sony promised to support functionality similar to that of Microsoft’s Xbox Live. Eurogamer was able to get a more detailed preview directly from Sony, as to what gamers can expect when they get their console online. Previously published reports have shown off the cross-bar, the PSP-like UI for the console. Sony’s Phil Harrison also described the included web browser, which should be a fully standards enabled browser to allow access to rich content on the Internet.
Eurogamer delves a little more into how users will be managed on the console. Sony has a concept of a master account and associated accounts. Master accounts have full access to their content, while an associated account can be restricted to allow kids access to the machine. Sony says that this will be a single sign-in for all of the network enabled games. How this will integrate with third-party back-ends like GameSpy and Xfire was not discussed.
Finally, Eurogamer also got a preview of Sony’s online store system; there are some interesting concepts for the store that are discussed, including Sony’s online walleting system. Interestingly, Sony has indicated that all store items will be priced in local currency rather than an ambiguous points system. While there isn’t a ton of new information in the preview, it is interesting to see more of what Sony has planned for their online ambitions.
Read More | Eurogamer