Wii Show Off MotionPlus At E3

Gaming, Technology 2 Comments »

In our second post from this year’s E3 games conference in Los Angeles we look at what leading games manufacturer Nintendo is planning next for its market leading console the Wii.

Nintendo it seems have responded after Sony made claims earlier this week that the Wii console was an expensive novelty, and that Sony did not see it as future competition to its own console.

The response came in the form of a demonstration of the consoles latest add on called MotionPlus, an addition to the Wii controller that is intended to add more realism and depth to the games on offer.

“It renders every light shift of the wrist or arm into the gameplay.” - Nintendo America boss Reggie Fils-Aime

With the demonstration the firm also said that even the first Wii sports title took advantage of the new add-on.

The company also unveiled a Grand Theft Auto game in development for the DS console and a new Wii title, called Music, which sees gamers play more than 50 musical instruments by using the Wiimote motion-sensitive controller.

Selling more than 10 million consoles since its launch, the Nintendo Wii is currently the market leader. The company have also sol 70 million DS machines worldwide.

Nintendo stated that it was selling 200,000 units a week in Europe alone.

Earlier this week we wrote about how Sony have plans to release a larger version of the PS3 and push online gaming with the planned launch of Little Big Planet’, a social-networking game that can be played online through the two-year-old console.

Sony also intends to push the Blu-ray capability of its system with a series of movie download services due to launch.

PS3 Outsells Xbox360 : Wii A Niche Gaming Device

Gaming, Social Networking, Technology 1 Comment »

Today a new report has been released that cites there are now more reasons to justify buying a PlayStation 3 than there are to buy rival gaming console the Xbox360.

In 2007 the Sony console lost out to its rival in terms of sales, however 2008 sales statistics show that the PS3 is gaining significantly on Microsoft’s offering. In the first five months of the year Sony have put the increased sales down to new games released exclusive to its platform, such as that of the popular title ‘Metal Gear Solid 4’.

The Sony console has also seen a rise in sales thanks to the victory of Blu-ray as a dominant high definition DVD format after Toshiba’s HD-DVD was dropped by a series of Hollywood studios early this year to be replaced by its Sony rival. (The Blu-ray vs HD DVD Format War)

“For the first time since the console launched, I really think there’s more reason to buy a PS3 than the 360” – Todd Greenwald, Signal Hill Capital Group analyst.

The rivalry between the two console formats will be sure to heat up later this week as console makers and game publishers meet for the E3 Business and Media Summit in LA. At the conference Sony plans to demonstrate the DVD capability of the PS3, as well demonstrating ‘Little Big Planet’, a social-networking game that can be played online through the two-year-old console.

In an effort to increase the appeal of its console Microsoft plans to triple the storage capacity of the Xbox360, selling 60 GB consoles in August, whilst keeping the starting price the same at $349.

Being introduced a year prior to the PS3 and Wii in 2005 gave the Xbox a 12 month head start, however it is the case that over the last 15 months, 14 of them have seen more Wii consoles shifted than Xbox 360’s or PS3’s.

With each console sold also comes hundreds of extra dollars in revenue of boxed games, downloads, and royalties from third party game developers.

“This battle (between the PS3 and Xbox360) for second place is quite relevant, they lose revenue stream for years ahead based on what people buy.” - Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter

In the first five months of 2008 Nintendo sold 2.8 million units compared to 1.2 million PS3 unit and 1.12 million Xbox360 units.

That said Sony doesn’t see Nintendo as a competitor as the console doesn’t offer the broad range of services its console does, such as the ability to watch movies and access the internet.

“I don’t see it as a competitor. It’s more of an expensive niche game device. We’re selling a lot of PlayStation 3s now and it’s still the best way to buy a Blu-ray player.” - Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer

Hackers Compromise Sony Playstaion Website

Gaming, Technology, The Interwebs No Comments »

News was released today the Sony Playstaion site has fallen victim to hackers who targeted the site in an attempt to engineer credit card number and other personal data from gamers.

The Playstaion site that was hit was in the US, and targeted pages promoting PlayStation games such as SingStar Pop and God of War. The malware attack worked by running a fake antivirus scan on users computers, later prompting them to purchase phoney antivirus software in order to solve the inevitable problem it detected.

Insecurity firm Sophos said that the criminals behind the scam had used an SQL injection vulnerability to add unauthorised code to pages.

Talking of the scope of the attack Graham Cluley, from Sophos stated that “There are millions of video game lovers around the world, many of whom will visit Sony’s PlayStation website regularly to find out more about the latest console games.”

He went on to say that “Most would never expect that surfing a website like this could potentially infect them with Malware…It is essential that all websites, especially high profile ones like this, have been properly hardened to prevent hackers from injecting malicious code into legitimate web pages.”

Sony PSP Mobile Phone : 2009?

Gaming, Mobile, Technology No Comments »

News has resurfaced that Sony is planning to release a mobile phone that will incorporate elements of its popular Playstation Portable or PSP. With Sony already lending its name to the Cybershot and Walkman Sony Ericsson mobile it would seem a logical step.

In the mobile market Sony is part of a joint venture with telecommunications giant Ericsson to make mobile phones, and last week launched the motion sensing F305 gaming phone. Motion sensing technology used allows the user of the F305 to play games such as bowling and fishing, imitating the movements required if actually playing the sport.

Although a break through in gaming facilities seem in mobile handsets to date, it had been predicted that the F305 model would include some Playstation branding or a PSP style design. However, leaked information suggests that the Sony isn’t willing to give their converted Playstation branding to a joint venture.

With Sony Ericsson lying a lowly fifth place in the handset market it seems Sony are not wiling to risk their closely guarded PlayStation brand on a joint venture handset quiet yet.

It is rumoured that such decisions has lead to the break down of the Sony Eriksson relationship, and sources have said that relation between the two are frosty.

This further fuels rumours that Sony is in fact working on its own PSP style mobile phone handset which is being tipped for release around Christmas 2009, however contrary to this the joint Sony Ericsson venture has filed a joint patient for a portable mobile communication device that mimics the PSP.

As usual there are no confirmed comments regarding any of the rumours so I guess time will tell.

BBFC to Monitor UK Internet Downloads

Gaming, The Interwebs, TV & Film No Comments »

News released today has told of plans to monitor internet downloads of video content and games in the UK by introducing certifications to websites that offer such services.

Overseen by the British Board of Film Classification certificates will appear on sites via set-top boxes and portable players.

The news comes a the same time as new data was released from a survey on internet consumer trends that states people with broadband connections spend more time online than they do watching television.

They voluntary scheme is called BBFC.online and is due to launch by the end of the month with leading Hollywood studios Disney, Warner and Fox having already signed up to the scheme. Other leading players are also tipped to join soon.

The scheme will provide help put “age verification or gate-keeping systems in place for parents to monitor and control underage viewing”. The announcement was made after independent research showed 74% of parents were concerned about the lack of ratings on downloads.

The technical side of enforcement has not been made entirely clear with Peter Johnson of the BBFC stating

“It’s up to individual systems to work out how to introduce these technologies, but we will police it through test purchases”

More than 1,000 videos will have rating on them by the end of May. There is also the potential for the scheme to be rolled out on the Xbox live console, PS3 and Nintendo Wii, as well as video on demand service such as the iPlayer.

The BBFC have stressed that the scheme does not signal any attempt to censor the internet or regulate online video gaming.

Mr Cooke director of the BBFC did however go on to say

“I’m hoping there won’t be any need for legislation to underpin this scheme,”

At The Shelf we remain pessimistic as the big brother eye looms a little bit closer.

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