Sony Network getting a name change?

Yep, looks like the rumors are true.  According to many sources around the Internet Sony will be changing the name of the PSN (PlayStation Network) to SEN, the Sony Entertainment network Wednesday (02/8/12) 

According to one Sony rep: "The goal is for there to be one networked log-in for all Sony services, changing the name ‘PlayStation Network account’ to ‘Sony Entertainment Network account’ helps clarify the unity between PSN and other Sony Entertainment Network services." However, the change does not apply to the PSP.

This tells me a few things:  1) The PSP is being phased out.  2) the PS4 might be shifting more to the whole entertainment package the PS3 was boasted to have be.  and 3) So now when Anonymous hacks Sony again, now they can get ALL the peoples information and not just a piece of it.

Is Sony Quietly Removing a PS3 Feature?

Is Sony Quietly Removing a PS3 Feature? Brian Crecente — A tipster sends us rumored word and image of an incoming replacement model for the 160GB Playstation 3 which brings with it a change in the way some people will hook the console up to their HD television.   [more]

via Is Sony Quietly Removing a PS3 Feature?.

PSN coming back Online today.

Tokyo, June 2, 2011 –Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced today that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will fully restore all PlayStation®Network services today June 2, 2011, in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The company will also resume Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™ for PlayStation®3 (PS3®), PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), VAIO and other PCs.

Details of “Welcome Back” package program offered to all registered PlayStation Network* and Qriocity account services will be announced from each region. Announcement for restoration in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea as well as for the remaining services on Qriocity will be made as they become available.

Via Sony

Update:  09:09 AM 06/02/11 [PogoWolf]
And it’s up according to other sources.

PSN Outage Begins To Hit Retail | Edge Magazine


PSN Outage Begins To Hit Retail

By Nathan Brown  on  May 12, 2011

PSN Outage Begins To Hit Retail | Edge Magazine

Gamer patience begins to wear thin as retailers report increased trade-ins of PS3 consoles for Xbox 360s.

The ongoing PlayStation Network outage is beginning to have an effect on the high street, Edge can reveal.

Our sources indicate a growing trend of PS3 consoles being traded in for cash or Xbox 360s, slumping sales of PSN points cards and a shift in the ratio of multiplatform game sales and pre-orders away from PS3.

“In the first week of downtime we did not really see any major change in sales or trades,” says one source, a store manager at a major UK retailer speaking on condition of anonymity. “However from the second week onwards we have seen an increase of over 200 per cent on PS3 consoles being traded in, split almost 50/50 between those trading for cash and those taking a 360 instead.”

Another source, working for an independent retailer in the South West, said he had seen a “massive increase” in the volume of PS3s traded in in recent weeks, with most exchanging for an Xbox 360. He describes those trading in their PS3s as “the hardcore online shooter crowd” – players who spend most of their gaming time playing the same game online, and who are therefore greatly impacted by the outage.

Tom Mestdagh, of Belgian indie Gameswap – the only retailer we spoke to happy to go on the record – agrees. “At the end of each month people come to sell their consoles,” he tells us. “People that need money [to pay bills]. What’s different this time around is that that they are bringing in PS3s together with all their games and they don’t want money, they want an Xbox 360. In every case it is because of Black Ops and or Modern Warfare 2.

“We’re just ten days into the month and already we have an increase of 200 per cent in PS3s coming into the store compared to all of March. Normally we sell them really fast, but not this time. We’ve only sold 30 to 40 per cent of our inventory right now.”

The outage is also affecting game-buying habits, with all of our sources reporting increased levels of trade-ins of Call Of Duty: Black Ops for PS3, with the Xbox 360 release relatively thin on the ground.

It is a fact borne out by the recent UK all-formats software charts. In the week ending March 16, 49 per cent of sales of Black Ops were for Xbox 360, with 37 per cent buying the PS3 version. The following week PS3 sales actually increased, split 52/40 in PS3’s favour.

Sony took PS3 offline on April 20, and informed consumers of the breach on April 26. The difference in sales figures since is telling: in the week ending April 30, Black Ops sales were split 59/30 per cent in Xbox 360’s favour; last week the distance grew even further, with 66 per cent of sales on Xbox 360, and a mere 24 per cent of buyers taking the PS3 version.

The same pattern can be seen in sales of FIFA 11, another hugely popular online title. In the week ending April 16, the split was 49/37 per cent in Xbox 360’s favour, 46/34 the week after, 52/26 in the week ending April 30 and 49/21 last week.

Our high street source reports that “pre-orders have been cancelled and flipped over to 360 versions of games,” with Mestdagh telling us: “People are cancelling their order of Brink for PS3. People that have an Xbox 360 have switched their pre-orders – others are just cancelling entirely.” Sales of PSN points cards, too, have plummeted over the past couple of weeks.

Perhaps the biggest shift, though, has been in customer satisfaction. Our high street source explains: “A lot of people have been phoning asking us about personal details on PSN as they are struggling to get a response from Sony themselves. Overall, people that have traded with us seem annoyed at how Sony has handled all of this, and say they would not trust them with details again in the future.”

Another source, who works for an independent retailer in northern England, says he has not noticed any significant increase in PS3 consoles being traded in, but said: “All we’ve seen is an incredible amount of disgruntled people annoyed that they can’t play online.” Mestdagh says that those who normally drop in for a spot of friendly console warfare “have stopped complaining about the fact that Microsoft charges for Xbox Live. It used to be a big problem for most of our PS3 customers.”

Of course, it must be noted that this is a small sample, and it seems that only those desperate for their online fix have taken the drastic step of ditching their PS3s entirely, but it is telling nonetheless.

UK hardware sales are rarely reported or broken down by platform, and Game, the UK’s biggest specialist retailer, failed to respond to a request for comment. As such we may never form a true picture of just how severely the PSN outage is affecting retailers, or those who are the most affected by the downtime, who have rarely been considered by media coverage to date: gamers.

Home 1.3 update freezing systems, workaround offered

via Joystiq – ULTRAFEED by Andrew Yoon on 10/2/09

The biggest update to PlayStation Home since its public beta debut went live not too long ago. However, the transition hasn’t been as smooth as many hoped. There are sporadic reports of system hangs during the initialization screen, post 1.3 update. While EndSights says "many systems" are affected, it seems likely the problem is isolated to a minority of PlayStation Home users.

According to Home Manager Locust_Star, a few items in the virtual world may be causing the hiccups. Items like the Namco Bandai Love Seat, Fat Princess Throne and Ghostbusters Bagel are amongst the few suspected to be causing crashes. Until a proper patch is implemented, the PlayStation team recommends deleting and reinstalling PlayStation Home. Erasing Home data from the Save Data Utility may also help PlayStation gamers that are desperate to log into the virtual world.
Let us know if you’ve been affected by the latest Home update, and if these workarounds, um, work.

Joystiq PlaystationHome 1.3 update freezing systems, workaround offered originally appeared on Joystiq Playstation on Fri, 02 Oct 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Sony to drop the Blu-ray from a PS3?

I was talking with one of my gaming friends over the weekend and somebody set up us the bomb on this one. According to this rumor, Sony is working on a new marketing strategy and system.

In order to get the PS3 more market saturation and order to compete in the casual gaming [PogoWolf: Nintendo, Natal, and that whole motion controller thing] market Sony is working on a new SKU for the slim PS3 that removes the Blu-Ray player itself.

This new SKU removes the most expensive part of the PS3 allowing Sony to drop the price to around $150 and still leave most of the standard PS3 hardware.    I was informed that this new version will also be available in an array of colors and what are being called “tattoos” (skins) for the system and that the first release model will be in white to differentiate the system from the full PS3 SKUs.
It was also been stated that Sony will release a piggy-back Blu-ray player for this new SKU sometime after launch.  It will connect to the system via the USB port and will offer a full Blu-ray movies and gaming experience. [PogoWolf:  Think of the HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360]

This ‘arcade’ version of the PS3 will connect to the PSN, using the built in Wi-Fi in order to download games and demos.  Some of the smaller PS3 games might even show up on the PSN for these ‘Arcade’ users.  I was also informed that Sony is looking into allowing users, using a code, to ‘store’ their digital copy of a movie they have bought for streaming from the PSN.

However in order to cover the costs of the bandwidth needed to download Blu-Ray based games Sony is to create a new ‘Platinum’ pay for version of the PSN for Arcade customers    The standard PSN will still be free but the Platinum version will offer premium content and exclusives not available to the free PSN customers and will cost about $49.99 for a full year.

Most likely this is complete BS…

But it’s really not a bad idea. It would be the first console to go to a complete digital delivery way of distributing its games and content. Granted downloading full 25gig games would be a bit of a bitch. However, it’s known that a lot of space on the Blu-Rays are duplicate files to help load times and no compression on audio and textures because there’s all that extra room. Remove the redundant files and compress not only the audio and textures (lossless mind you) but then ‘ZIP’ the package.. and even the downloads shouldn’t be too bad. Hell Sony might even be able to stream the games to the system the same way sites like GameTap does.

Xbox 360 Blu-Ray Player?

We’ve heard over and over and over how a Blu-ray movie player add-on for the Xbox 360 was a distinct possibility if the HD DVD format ended up losing out. Well, now that the Microsoft-supported format seems just one step away from dead, we’re hearing rumblings of just how possible that Blu-ray player possibility is.

Citing “insiders at Microsoft in the USA,” Australia’s Smarthouse says Microsoft’s Blu-ray add-on is already fully designed, and could be on the market within three months, “subject to internal marketing and sales approvals.” Smarthouse also repeated the rumors of a built-in high-def drive for the system, although now that rumored drive plays Blu-ray discs instead of an HD DVDs. Regardless, the tech site seems to think Microsoft will focus on digital movie downloads for those who don’t want an add-on.

As for Sony, they couldn’t be happier that Microsoft is considering jumping over to the “winning” side of this HD disc battle. “We would welcome Microsoft to the Blu-ray stable,” SCE Managing Director Michael Ephraim told Smarthouse. “In fact it is quite logical for them as the PS3 has been very successful in driving consumers to Blu-ray. In fact we believe that it has done more to win the format war than traditional Blu-ray player.” Hey, they just won a format war … they can afford to be a little smug.

[Via Megatonik]


[Via JoyStick]

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith announced

In an announcement that may just usurp the throne from Electronic Arts as the king of milking franchises, Activision has announced plans for a new Guitar Hero title, casting aside the franchise’s reputation for offering a wide breadth of rocking tracks in favor of highlighting a single band – Aerosmith. The news echoes comments made by guitarist Joe Perry last year regarding the series’ next installment, at which time he said that the next Guitar Hero game would be dedicated to the band’s music.

The announcement comes following Activision’s promise earlier this month to return to well this year, with the newly announced Guitar Hero: Aerosmith currently expected to ship to retail in June with Neversoft handling the game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 and Vicarious Visions taking care of development on the Wii. Details remain nonexistent concerning what tracks we can expect to make the cut, with guitarist Joe Perry commenting only that the title is “based on the diversity of the Aerosmith catalog.” With a game dedicated to one — and only one — band, we have to assume that whatever songs do find their way onto the disc, they’ll be master tracks (they better be).

And if June seems to far off for those of you hugging your Steven Tyler doll while staring at the Pump tour poster on the wall, Activision has announced plans to release the band’s 1973 power ballad ‘Dream On’ as a download for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of GHIII (Sorry Wii owners, but you knew what you were getting into). The song will be free from February 16-18, so get it while it’s hot!

[Via Joystick]