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Sony to launch PlayMemories Online: 5GB cloud photo-sharing service coming next week (video)

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Sony to launch PlayMemories Online: 5GB cloud photo-sharing service coming next week

Sony’s PlayMemories photo-editing suite has floated around the PlayStation Store for about a month but it will apparently soon be joined by a new photo-sharing service. PCWorld reports that Sony will launch the cloud-based PlayMemories Online with 5GB of free storage in Japan, US, UK, Canada, Germany and France on May 25. Apparently, you’ll be able to access those digitized memories through Sony’s proprietary software on both PC and Macs, while your photos can also be streamed to Bravia TVs and digital photo frames. The company’s WiFi-capable cameras will also get to hook up with the online storage system, while its Android tablets and phones will get their very own app to upload on their own. In an effort to differentiate the service from existing ones like Dropbox, PlayMemories Online will even sync those precious photos with your PSP and PS Vita. Sony will thus ensure you’ll never be without at least four screens to show off those shots of your precocious daughter, pug or beachside view. In case you forgot, we’ve embedded a video from a few months back that should give a better idea of how the system should work — in a house filled entirely with Sony merchandise.

Continue reading Sony to launch PlayMemories Online: 5GB cloud photo-sharing service coming next week (video)

Sony to launch PlayMemories Online: 5GB cloud photo-sharing service coming next week (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Foursquare PS Vita app hits US PlayStation Store, gives you one more reason to opt for 3G

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Good news for all you socially connected (and hip) regulars of local retail establishments — who have PS Vitas, of course. Sony’s just announced that the free Foursquare app has officially landed at the PlayStation Store (US), and it can be yours for a paltry 4.5MBs of space on your precious proprietary memory card. The app works over WiFi, however, the fine print advises that users may want to use 3G for the best results to help alongside the Vita’s GPS. Notably, the rear touchpad and cameras are listed as being compatible with the app, as well. We’ve poked around the app for a few minutes, and it does feel peppy compared to what we experienced with Facebook (while it was available, anyway) — the only oddity that’s arisen lies with the map functionality, which opens a Google Maps page within the Vita’s browser rather than its Maps app. Now that we can watch Netflix over WiFi, and view our Flickr albums along with Tweeting and “Checking In” between our ModNation racing tours, how’s about finally letting us get our Skype on? (P.S. We’d really like Facebook back in the store, too!)

Foursquare PS Vita app hits US PlayStation Store, gives you one more reason to opt for 3G originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 21:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘Select’ PS Vita apps hit the US PlayStation Store: Netflix, LiveTweet and Flickr (Update: video hands-on)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Did you just brave the lines of a midnight launch party and snag yourself a PS Vita in the US? Good news ye early adopters, Sony’s PlayStation.Blog.US has just announced that select free apps will be available as part of today’s PlayStation Store update. Currently, you’ll find Netflix, LiveTweet and Flickr, but there’s still nary of trace of Facebook or Foursquare among the bunch (nor any official word on release dates for that matter). We gave each app a download and quick spin prior to them being officially listed without much in the way of hiccups — however, Netflix does take its sweet time to start-up. Disappointingly, Vita’s 20MB cap on 3G data is totally in effect on Netflix, as switching to our cellular connection denied us any access to the service. We’re giving the apps some extended use to bring you our initial impressions shortly, but for now, you’ll find more info at the source link below.

Update: We’ve added a brief video hands-on just past the break to let you grab a taste of each app before downloading them for yourself.

Continue reading ‘Select’ PS Vita apps hit the US PlayStation Store: Netflix, LiveTweet and Flickr (Update: video hands-on)

‘Select’ PS Vita apps hit the US PlayStation Store: Netflix, LiveTweet and Flickr (Update: video hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 01:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony brings the Holodeck to life, throws in giant sea monsters for free (video)

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

The Holodeck is real and there’s no Lt. Barclay to make things awkward. Using a combination of a Steadicam, multiple EyeToy cameras, PlayStation Move controllers, projection mapping, motion tracking, spandex-clad actors and giant rubber sea monster tentacles, Sony Europe, Studio Output and Marshmallow Laser Feast shot three web videos to highlight the immersiveness of movies rented or purchased from the PlayStation Store. Impressively, the shots rely exclusively on visual tricks, with zero editing or postproduction work. Is this the future? See for yourself after the break and relive the joy of the Holodeck without having to interrupt Worf from one of his weird workout routines.

Continue reading Sony brings the Holodeck to life, throws in giant sea monsters for free (video)

Sony brings the Holodeck to life, throws in giant sea monsters for free (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 03 Dec 2011 04:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony announces UMD Passport program in Japan, offers Vita PSN discounts to UMD owners

Friday, November 11th, 2011

When Sony mentioned that the Vita wouldn’t support the PSP’s existing UMD library, we had to wonder what would become of the little discs. Sony hinted that something was on the way for physical media aficionados at TGS, but wasn’t ready to go into detail just yet. Today, however, SCEJ announced the UMD Passport program — a service that will let Japanese PSP owners register UMD games through a PSP app to secure discounts for repurchasing titles on the new console. The discounted games average between ¥500-1,000 a pop, but can go for as high as ¥2,400. The UMD registration app hits the Japanese PlayStation store on December 6th, and Sony hopes to make roughly 200 titles compatible with the system.

Sony announces UMD Passport program in Japan, offers Vita PSN discounts to UMD owners originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 03:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony Video Unlimited-preview brings Gracenote metadata to SEN

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Despite one of its execs pegging this Spring’s lengthy PSN outage as a “great experience” the folks at Sony have been pounding the pavement to drum up consumer morale. Back at IFA, the outfit unveiled its new all-in-one Sony Entertainment Network, and its already giving the VOD wing, Video Unlimited, a facelift. Starting today, PS3 owners holding a PlayStation Plus subscription can download the creatively titled “Video Unlimited-preview” app from the PlayStation Store. According to Sony, the new user interface is all about giving the people what they want, and in this case that means a streamlined UI, with big bright graphics and understated, glowing blue text. It also means Gracenote integration, opening up the possibility of endless rabbit-holes of related content searches. We had a few minutes with the new setup, and found ourselves searching content related to Danny McBride’s Your Highness under categories like “Bumbling Buffoons” and “Mythical Beasts,” although we could just as easily have called up titles featuring the film’s director or any of its stars.

If that’s not enough of a departure from the conventional video on demand arrangement, the new UI also features “tumbler search technology,” which abandons regular keyboard-style input for PS3 controls — click the right button to select a letter as you scroll vertically through the alphabet. This “patented technology” also autocompletes your query and similarly takes advantage of Gracenote’s database, allowing you to search by title, actor, director or tag. The new UI is specific to the company’s video service and is currently only available via the PS3, but we’re told it will roll out to the entire network and supported devices sometime in the future. All PlayStation Network users will be able to download the preview app starting October 11th, check out a video preview embedded after the break.

Continue reading Sony Video Unlimited-preview brings Gracenote metadata to SEN

Sony Video Unlimited-preview brings Gracenote metadata to SEN originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Sep 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AirPlay drives iTunes momentum in online movie market share

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

A new report from research firm IHS suggests that Apple’s iTunes share of “consumer spending for movie electronic sell-through (EST) and Internet video on demand (iVOD)” grew during the first half of 2011, the first time since 2009, despite an increase in competition from Walmart and Amazon. iTunes had a 65.8% market share during the first half of this year, up from 64.9% during the first half of 2010. It also had the largest increase in revenue growth among its competitors. “Much of iTunes’ success can be traced to the rising usage of Apple’s AirPlay system, which allows wireless video streaming to consumer electronic devices including televisions,” said IHS research director Arash Amel. “This has expanded the reach of iTunes to new platforms, boosting sales of movies from the system.” Microsoft’s Zune Video Marketplace maintained the second largest share of consumer spending in the market with a 16.2% share, down from 18.5% during the first half of 2010. Walmart’s Vudu service saw the largest share increase among market leaders: it jumped from a 1% share during the first half of last year to a 5.3% share during the first half of 2011. Sony’s PlayStation Store now has a 4.4% share, down from 8.2%, and Amazon’s share grew slightly from to 4% from 4.2%. Read on for the full report.

iTunes Gains Share in Online Movies in First Half of 2011

Reversing its previous declines in market share, iTunes in the first half of 2010 managed to pad its leadership position in the U.S. online movie market, according to the new IHS Screen Digest Media Research from information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

iTunes’ share of U.S. consumer spending for movie electronic sell-through (EST) and Internet video on demand (iVOD) rose to 65.8 percent in the first half of 2011, up from 64.9 percent for  the same period in 2010. The expansion contrasts with the first half of 2010 when the share held by Apple Inc.’s iTunes declined by 11.9 points year-on-year. In fact, the first half of 2011 marked the first increase in share for iTunes since two years ago in 2009.

Notably, iTunes experienced the largest revenue increase growth among all online movie providers during the first half.

“iTunes’ expansion of its market lead represents a remarkable achievement in light of intensifying competition from a slew of aggressive rivals,” said Arash Amel, research director, digital media, for IHS. “Much of iTunes’ success can be traced to the rising usage of Apple’s AirPlay system, which allows wireless video streaming to consumer electronic devices including televisions. This has expanded the reach of iTunes to new platforms, boosting sales of movies from the system.”

Other factors that enhanced iTunes’ share included the growing installed base of the iPad and price promotions.

Vudu’s Market Share Voodoo
Along with Apple’s market share advance, the other big success story among the major online movie stores in the first half was Wal-Mart’s Vudu. Vudu’s share of EST and iVOD movie revenue rose to 5.3 percent in the first half of 2011, up from 1.0 percent during the same time in 2010. This allowed Vudu to rise to the No. 3 position earlier this year, up from fifth place.  “Just as IHS predicted in its February release, Vudu has emerged as a major market rival to established players like Apple and Sony,” Amel said. “Vudu’s gains were driven by several factors, including its shrewd device strategy, a good customer experience, a compelling user interface and its $1/$2 rental pricing system.”

Microsoft and Sony Face Challenges
The No. 2 online movie store, Microsoft’s Zune Video Marketplace, lost market share in the first half, declining to 16.2 percent, down from 18.5 percent during the same period in 2010. The company had enjoyed a market share surge during the 2010 holiday season courtesy of the strong sales of the Kinect, a motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360. Kinect helped improve sales at that time of the Xbox, which can access movies on the Zune Video Marketplace. However, the impact of the surge since has dwindled, causing Zune’s share to decline.

For Sony, its PlayStation Store accounted for 4.4 percent of iVOD and EST movie share in the first half, down from 8.2 percent in 2010. This caused the PlayStation Store to drop to the fourth position, down from third place, which it had long occupied.

“The PlayStation Store fell out of the Top 3 rankings chiefly because Vudu cannibalized its market share,” Amel said. “Furthermore, the global security breach that shut down Sony’s online gaming operations during a major portion of the first half had a deleterious impact on the PlayStation Store’s business.”

In the case of Amazon, a boost in revenue to reach 4.2 percent in the first half, up from 4.0 percent in 2010, was not enough to keep it in the No. 4 rank, as the surge from Vudu pushed the online retailer down to fifth place. The company in the first half was engaged in a shift in its business to streaming video on demand (SVOD) and Amazon Prime.

Online Movie Business Focuses on EST
Together, the U.S. iVOD and EST business in the first half of 2011 amounted to $229 million, with EST accounting for $118 million and $111 million for iVOD. For the full year of 2011, IHS predicts the market will rise to $487 million, with EST representing $247 million, and iVOD taking up $240 million.

“The new-release on-demand business is all about iVOD,” Amel said. “In the current economic climate, consumers are more interested in accessing movies than in owning them. Because of this, growth in EST has virtually stopped. Whatever small EST growth that is happening is coming from aggressive sales on iTunes, as well as discounting across major services.”

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PlayStation magazine lets you look at Japanese actresses in ‘ultra-high’ resolution

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

What’s killing the magazine industry? Could it be the lack of PlayStation compatibility or maybe the absence of “ultra-high” resolution? These are the questions Lucent Pictures Entertainment plans to put to the test with its upcoming iQueen magazine, a publication distributed for the PS3 via the PlayStation Store, offering up images of Japanese actress Masami Nagasawa in a staggering 4,096 by 2,160 resolution — it’s sure to make real life look downright lo-res by comparison. The magazine will be available in August for around $25 or so — which is a bit of a steal on a per-pixel basis.

PlayStation magazine lets you look at Japanese actresses in ‘ultra-high’ resolution originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 03 Jul 2011 03:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PSN ‘Welcome Back’ package is here, our long global nightmare is over

Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Welcome Back, Please Don't Hate Us

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Seriously, even a few Engadget editors are chortling in joy. PSN and Qriocity service has been restored in the Americas, Europe, and Asia and to celebrate (and soothe the seething frustration of its customers) Sony has launched its “welcome back” program. To be eligible you’ll have to have been a member before April 20th but, otherwise, it’s relatively qualifier free. Fire up the PlayStation Store and head to the “Welcome Back” tab to claim your pair of free games (you’ve got five different options on the PS3 and four on the PSP). In addition everyone gets a month of PlayStation Plus gratis and there’s a selection of “On Us” movie rentals available over the weekend. There are a few other freebies to placate the masses too, like 100 free items in PlayStation Home, while Current Plus and Music Unlimited Premium subscribers get a 60 and 30 day handout respectively. If you’ve got any burning questions yet to be answered, check out the rather lengthy FAQ at source link and enjoy! It’s not everyday that a company just throws open the flood gates on free stuff.

PSN ‘Welcome Back’ package is here, our long global nightmare is over originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Jun 2011 21:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New PlayStation Phone videos show PlayStation app

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

New videos of the still unannounced Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone emerged Friday, giving us our best look yet at the upcoming gaming phone. Codenamed Zeus, the Gingerbread-powered Android phone now appears in two very clear videos that reaffirm several rumored features. Moreover, we can now clearly see a PlayStation app that appears to be the device’s gateway into a PlayStation-branded gaming experience. While no games are installed on the device depicted in the videos, the PlayStation app shows a series of tabs that organize games into various lists such as “Recently Played” and “Recently Added.” There is also a search feature and what appears to be a shortcut to the PlayStation game store. Rumors suggest Sony Ericsson may announce the device later this month. Hit the break for the videos.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in

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PS3 firmware 3.41 said to be causing hard drive upgrade problems

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

The recently released PS3 firmware 3.41 seemed to just be a minor update that added a new “You May Like” section to the PlayStation Store, but it looks like it’s been causing nothing but headaches for anyone trying to upgrade the hard drive in their console. As a 30-page strong thread on the official PlayStation forums reveals, folks upgrading their hard drive have been getting a “no applicable data” error after trying to install the update, which has left them with a non-working PS3 and, in some cases, a corrupted original drive. According to CVG, the issue may have something to do with a newly discovered feature of the 3.41 update that allows for more incremental patches, which might also explain why the problem only seems to be affecting PS3s where the firmware is stored in on the hard drive instead of the system’s memory. As for Sony, it hasn’t offered an official explanation just yet, but all indications are that it’s a bug and not an intentional blocking of hard drive upgrades — at least we hope it is. Head on past the break for a video of the problem.

Continue reading PS3 firmware 3.41 said to be causing hard drive upgrade problems

PS3 firmware 3.41 said to be causing hard drive upgrade problems originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PlayStation 3 Firmware 3.10 Adds Facebook Today [PS3]

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

How’s this for a quick turn around. Facebook integration for the Cross Media Bar interface was only confirmed on Monday, but it arrives today with firmware 3.10—a day after the 360 added Twitter and Last.fm. Watch the preview:

You’ll be able to share game trophy and progress info, plus PlayStation store purchases on your Facebook news feed, and deeper integration is expected down the road. [PR NewsWire and Sony via Kotaku]

Firmware 3.10 also includes:

• The Photo category on the XMB has been revamped to make it easier to see more of your photos stored on the PS3.
• The PSN Friends List has been modified based on feedback we received after update 3.00. Additionally, you can now choose a color for your PSN ID on the XMB.



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