If you currently own a PSP and have a collection of games that are on UMD discs, we’ve got some good news for you. You’ll be able to play most of those games on the PlayStation Vita when it goes on sale. While the Vita doesn’t have a drive for you to insert your UMD games, Sony will be launching the UMD Passport program that will let you download your UMD games at a discounted price from the PlayStation Network.
Sony will be releasing a PSP app that registers your UMD games (each UMD can only be registered to one PSN account, so you won’t be able to share games with your friends for multiple discounts). After registering the title via the app, you will be granted a discount when you repurchase the game from the PSN (the discounted games should cost between $6 to $13). Sony hopes to make the system compatible with roughly 200 titles by the program’s launch (December 6th in Japan). What do you think of this UMD Passport program?
Here are a few facts that we have established concernign the PS Vita – it will be region-free (although that means the burden of learning a new language now lies in your hands), it will come with an external battery pack, and it has been confirmed to roll out this coming December 17th in Japan. You can add another item to the bucket list – the PS Vita will be able to communicate with its older cousin, the PSP, via ad-hoc mode.
This means early adopters to Sony’s latest portable console need not worry about not being able to communicate with one another, thansk to the Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc mode. You can even download similar games on either machine, enjoy a session of gaming in ad-hoc mode after that followed by downing a pint of booze. Too bad there just aren’t too many ad-hoc games which are available to those living Stateside compared to Japan.
Will you be an early adopter of the PS Vita?
I’m not quite sure why Sony decided to fire away a post that arrived on my RSS reader that went “Enjoy new savings on PlayStation 3 systems“, but a quick check with Amazon showed that they’re already selling similar systems at the same price point. Perhaps Sony just wants folks to remember them when they spent their Labor Day lazing in front of the computer, wondering just what kind of impulse purchase they should make on the spot as the day passes by.
What we have on the table would be the PS3 160GB system staring right back at you with a $249.99 price tag, while those who prefer a game to come along with the console itself to get you started can always rely on the $299.99 PS3 inFAMOUS 2 bundle, which is a rather sizeable $50 discount off its original price, with the PS3 320GB system accompanied by the inFAMOUS 2 game and a DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller to get you gaming right out of the box.
Last but not least, the PS3 + PlayStation Move bundle will see it retail for $349.99 with a 320GB PS3 system, a DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller, a PlayStation Move motion controller, a PlayStation Eye camera, and a copy of the Sports Champions game amongst others. These seem to be rather attractive in their own right, and would the price points actually cause you to rush out and purchase a new PS3 system?
What’s the best way to sell an almost 5-year-old gaming console, that’s rumored to be replaced sometime soon, but still has some value today? You repackage it as a special limited-edition device of course! And that’s what the folks over at Sony are doing with the aging PlayStation 3. The company has just announced that it will be releasing the “PlayStation 3 NINOKUNI magical edition” for fans of the upcoming fantasy RPG, Ni No Kuni, later this year.
The limited edition console will receive a classy looking coat of pearl paint, and will have the PS3 logo and a character from Ni No Kuni on the top of console in gold. The bundled dual-shock controller will be treated similarly as well, making it one of the most elegant-looking PS3 consoles. It will go on sale in Japan only starting on November 17th for about $443 – so if you plan to get your hands on this limited edition PS3, you better start planning your trip there soon. The Ni No Kuni game will be sold separately for $115.
Mergers often end up with some corners being cut (cost savings in corporate parlance), resulting in a leaner and often meaner entity. Of course, there will be collateral damage along the way, but then again that is to be expected. The latest news that is going around would be three Japanese giants, Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi working together to merge their liquid-crystal display (LCD) operations by taking advantage of the $2.6 billion government-backed funds in order to hold their ground against fierce competition from rivals who hail from South Korea and Taiwan.
This merger would mean the final entity ends up as the world’s largest manufacturer of small panels that will see action in a plethora of devices, including smartphones and tablets, helping them surpass global leaders Sharp Corp. of Japan and Samsung Electronics of South Korea.
In addition, this move intends to help the firms place more focus and emphasis on their main operations. It seems that the 90% government-owned fund might just come under fire as public money is being used to prop up a volatile business. Not too sure what the Japanese taxpayers have to say about the situation though – what do you think?
Sony has just released a salvo of cameras, and within that rather elite group, the Alpha 77 (a77) sits at the top. The new a77 is the Sony a700 successor, and has a 24.3 Megapixel sensor, but although this number is impressive, it has other features that are even more interesting.
Video capture with auto-focus: First, this camera has a stationary translucent mirror that lets light go to the main sensor and the auto-focus sensor at the same time. This means that the mirror does not have to ever move the mirror. This is particularly interesting for capturing video with full auto-focus.
Although it is possible to work around it, the lack of auto-focus is a huge weakness of DSLR video shooting in my opinion.Electronic OLED viewfinder: Now, the “downside” is that the a77 uses an electronic viewfinder, which some people don’t like. This is not new in the Sony alpha line, but Sony has replaced the LCD viewfinder by an OLED viewfinder, which should be better (higher resolution, faster refresh rate). I haven’t tried the new viewfinder for myself, but this is something to check ASAP.
12FPS burt mode, high ISO: The Sony a77 is capable of capturing 12 frames per second (with continuous auto-focus) in full 24.3 Megapixel resolution. If you are in a low-light situation, the camera can go up to 16000 ISO in terms of light sensitivity (some noise will be added to the photo, beware).
Tilt display: The a77 still has physical properties that most DLSR lack, like the tilt display that lets one shoot from an “above the head” position with ease. This is very useful in a crowded environment for example.
Kit: And finally, we have learned that the “kit lens” will be a 16-50mm f2.8 lens. Usually kit lenses are 18-55 f3.5-5.6 lenses, which are very basic. The lower the f-stop number, and the more light is coming into the lens, which is great for action photography, or low-light photography. The Sony alpha 77 will retail for $1399 (body) to $2000 (with a kit lens).
Instead of announcing more news about the upcoming PlayStation Vita, Sony decided to announce the launch of a new PlayStation Portable: the PSP E-1000 at Gamescon today. Designed for folks on a budget, the PSP E-1000 will only be available in Europe and will cost 99 Euros. It functions just like a regular PSP with one major caveat: it won’t have any WiFi connectivity. Games will be played on the E-1000 through UMDs or transferred from the PlayStation Store via Medi Go using a computer.a Go using a computer.
With a large catalog of PSP games available for purchase, it looks like Sony doesn’t want it to disappear by letting folks get their hands on a cheaper, inexpensive console to play them on. Following the budget theme, Sony will also be releasing a new rage of PSP Essential titles: basically games with a budget price tagged on (9.99 Euros).
While it does sound like a good idea, crippling the device by removing its WiFi is going to have a lot of folks complaining. No internet surfing, multiplayer gaming or even downloading games straight onto the device itself. I guess some people can live with that, but is the exclusion of a WiFi radio really worth the low price tag? What do you guys think?
Mirrorless cameras have started gaining traction and popularity with more companies hopping aboard the mirrorless bandwagon. Sony was a bit late to the mirrorless camera game, releasing their NEX-3 and NEX-5 just last year. Despite that they are moving along pretty quickly and according to recent rumors, Sony may be unveiling the NEX-5N, NEX-7 and part of their DSLR series, the Alpha A77.
The unveiling is expected to occur at an event that is scheduled on the 24th of August. According to the rumors, new lenses are expected to be unveiled along with the three brand new cameras, and they are the Carl Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 fixed-length lens, a 55-210mm f/4-6.3 super zoom lens and a 50mm f/1.8 OSS (Optical Steady Shot) lens.
As far as the camera specifications are concerned, the NEX-7 is expected to target the more professional users who may require a smaller sized camera. It is also expected to be a rival for the Fujifilm X100. The Sony NEX-5N is said to be a refresh of the NEX-5 with a new sensor and a build that is somewhat similar to the NEX-C3. Unfortunately not much is known about the Alpha A77.
We’ve been (impatiently) waiting for Sony to update its NEX line of digital cameras since the NEX-3 was discontinued earlier this year, and it looks like a worthy successor has finally been named. Announced today, the NEX-C3 appears identical to the model leaked in April, and uses the same format APS-C image sensor as its predecessor, bumping resolution to 16.2 megapixels in a camera body smaller than the NEX-5. Sony says the new entry-level cam is designed to fill the gap between point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras, and is the smallest body to pack an APS-C sensor, offering DSLR-level image quality — the same 16.2 MP chip is also included in its new full-size Alpha A35, which replaces the A33. Both cameras can shoot at up to 5.5 fps (the A35 adds a 7 fps mode at 8.4 megapixels), and include 3-inch LCDs, with the NEX keeping its hallmark tilt display, and the A35 adding Sony’s Translucent Mirror live-view mode, and an electronic viewfinder. We have plenty more to share, including a new lens and flash, along with pricing and availability for all, so jump past the break for the juicy details.
In line with Sony’s goal of improving the user experience for beginners, the NEX-C3′s Photo Creativity interface simplifies the process of adjusting advanced settings, to help grow the skills of those new to DSLR shooting. Both models include new Picture Effects (like the retro look you get with those novelty smartphone apps), which will also be available for previous generation cameras via a firmware update on June 20th. The NEX-C3 ships in late July or August, and will be offered with those familiar 18-55mm and 16mm kit lenses for $649 and $599, respectively. Bodies paired with the zoom will be available in black, pink, and silver, while the camera in the fixed-lens kit will only ship in black. The A35 will hit stores in August for $699 with an 18-55mm kit lens, or $599 for the body. There’s also a new 30mm f/3.5 macro lens ($249, October) and a larger external flash ($149, August) for the NEX series. You’ll have to wait a month or two to pick up a C3 of your own, but check back for our hands-on preview later this week.
Sony has launched a new range of MP3 players, the Sony Walkman B Series, which are a range of wearable MP3 players designed to be used when your out running or playing sport.
The Sony Walkman B Series MP3 players come in a range of different colors, and you get a choice of either a 2GB model which is enough for around 470 songs or a 4GB model which is enough for about 980 songs.
According to Sony, the B Series Walkman features a battery life of about 18 hours, and it supports a range of formats including MP3 and WMA. These new MP3 players from Sony will go on sale in June 2011, there are no details on pricing as yet.