By Paul Carsten, Sophie Knight and Malathi Nayak BEIJING/TOKYO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - For the past five years, Zhang Yang has sold Xboxes, Wiis and PlayStations at his Beijing shop, but the Chinese merchant is a thorn in the side of video game console makers now allowed into the world's third biggest market. The consoles that Zhang sells are smuggled into China because they are illegal, although that may change after the government lifted a 14-year-old ban on the devices this week. The proliferation of these bootlegged games, along with China's reputation for weak intellectual property rights, means console makers Microsoft Corp, Sony Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd will lose out on lucrative royalties from software sales. Combine that with the fact that most Chinese gamers prefer to play free games on their PCs and mobiles anyway, and the decision to lift the ban on console sales presents a challenge, rather than a big opportunity.
At CES 2014, Tobii Technology showcased its eye tracking technology that will be featured in an upcoming peripheral from SteelSeries. After calibrating our eyes, we simply looked left and right to move our character when playing World of Warcraft. The technology worked fairly smoothly during our demo.
Sony’s PlayStation Now game streaming service unveiled at CES 2014 will work on a variety of smart gadgets in addition to regular PlayStation consoles, such as TVs, tablets and smartphones. But the PS3 games that will be available to users won’t be usable on any devices without the company’s DualShock controller, The Verge has learned. While there already are ways to control those games using a touchscreen interface, Sony will not make the DualShock controller purchase optional, at least not for the time being. “You need to have the DualShock to be able to play,” PlayStation marketing vice president John Koller said, further explaining that the game controller requirement is related to how those old games were created. “It’s a
When Apple originally announced Siri, many people thought that a voice-controlled personal assistant would lead to some very unfortunate pranks at the expense of iPhone owners. The potential for mayhem was quickly debunked when everyone realized Siri wasn’t going to be listening all the time, but that’s not the case with Kinect on the Xbox One. Unless you make a conscious effort to disable or unplug the Kinect, it will listen to every word you say, and one Xbox Live user has taken advantage of this feature to hilarious effect. We won’t spoil the surprise, but without saying a word, one brilliant troll is able to frustrate some very gullible gamers. Check out the video below.
No console launch is perfect, exemplified most recently by both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but some of the issues with Microsoft’s latest entry are especially bewildering. If there was a trump card in the last console generation, it was Xbox Live. The social features of the Xbox 360 generally blew the PS3 and the Wii out of the water, but on the Xbox One, Microsoft managed to break something that didn’t need fixing. In an interview with Engadget, Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten was upfront about the less-than-positive feedback surrounding some of the changes Microsoft had implemented to a system that everyone was happy with for the past eight years: “The feedback we’ve gotten is pretty valid;
Bad news for Xbox One owners hoping to stream their games in the near future — according to the Twitch Twitter account, the Direct Broadcasting feature still lacks a release date from Microsoft, and the Twitch team tells future streamers to “expect a few more months.” Just days before the system launch in November, Microsoft took to the Xbox Wire to announce the delay of game streaming on Xbox One, a surprising announcement considering that the PlayStation 4 Twitch integration had already rolled out without a hitch. At the time, Microsoft stated that the streaming capabilities of the Twitch app would be delayed until “the first part of 2014,” but a few days into January, Twitch isn’t quite so optimistic.
Event if it’s not yet available to gamers yet, Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud-based game streaming service may get a whole lot better in the future, a new patent filed by Sony last March, and discovered by Re/code, indicates. Titled “Suspending state of cloud-based legacy applications,” the patent shows ways through which game developers could include additional content in older games that are played using a cloud streaming solution, without having to mess with the code of the legacy game. The system would allow Sony to stop the game at certain intervals, save its progress in the cloud, bring the new mini-game to the forefront, and then move back to the older game. In such a way, Sony would be able to freshen up
Shares in Nintendo Co Ltd jumped as much as 7.5 percent to a two and a half-year high on Wednesday after China temporarily lifted a 14-year-old ban on selling video game consoles. The move could pave the way for Nintendo, Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp to enter the world's third-largest video game market in terms of revenue. "Nintendo hasn't had a catalyst for a long time, so if it can revive (via) the Chinese consumer market then it would be positive," a Tokyo-based trader said. The most popular video games in China are often free to play with gamers only paying for add-ons such as weapons or extra lives.
By Liana B. Baker LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Sony Corp will begin testing a new television service that combines traditional viewing with on-demand content through its PlayStation gaming system, a cloud-based service could possibly change long-established cable and media industry relationships. Sony executives described the as-yet unnamed service on Tuesday as a blend of live cable, on-demand and DVR content. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, they promised an intuitive design for searching for content - addressing a common complaint of cable customers. Sony's embryonic effort builds on similar moves by Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp. Viewers could buy viewing packages through Sony, much as customers now do through cable operators like Comcast.
Many of the game controllers that have been announced for the iPhone and iPad have doubled as cases, but standalone controllers are the new trend emerging from CES this year. On Monday, SteelSeries showed off the Stratus Wireless Gaming Controller, a device with fairly compact design featuring a full array of buttons and two joysticks for a gaming experience comparable to playing on a console. SIGNAL has taken its design a step further with the RP One, a controller unveiled on Tuesday that is in many ways indistinguishable from a third-party Xbox controller. The RP One connects to mobile devices through Bluetooth, which opens the controller up for gaming on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and the controller will
Sony’s game streaming service has been a bit of a mystery ever since it was announced last year, but Sony executive Andrew House took the stage at CES on Tuesday to reveal that the Gaikai-based service will be titled PlayStation Now, and a closed beta will begin at the end of the month. PlayStation Now will allow gamers to access classic titles from the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 via a streaming service on both the current generation PlayStation 4 and Vita consoles along with televisions, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices. The popular PlayStation 3 titles The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls are playable on Bravia TVs and PlayStation Vitas on the CES show floor. The full
The PlayStation 4 may not be the most important part of Sony's gaming strategy anymore. At CES 2014, Sony has just announced PlayStation Now, a service that will bring streaming PlayStation games not only to PS4, but also PS3, PlayStation Vita, and even televisions, tablets, and smartphones. Sony says the technology is already working here at CES, with attendees able to try critically acclaimed action title The Last of Us here in Vegas. The full service will let users rent games or pay for a subscription that will let them "explore a range of titles." Sony will launch a closed beta in the United States at the end of the month, and plans to roll out the service more broadly by the end of this summer.
Microsoft probably had a good idea that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai and his team would talk up the PlayStation 4 during his opening keynote at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, so it preemptively announced a huge milestone for its own next-generation video game console: 3 million Xbox One units sold in just 40 days of availability in 2013. The figure is very impressive indeed, but Sony just announced an even bigger number for Xbox One rival: Sony has sold more than 4.2 million PS4 consoles as of December 28th, 2013. It’s worth noting that the PlayStation 4 was available for one more week in 2013 than the new Xbox, having launched on November 15th last year. Microsoft’s
For the past 14 years, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have been unable to legally sell their game consoles within China’s borders, but as of this week, that ban has been temporarily lifted. Reuters reports that although the suspension of the ban was announced late last year, it has taken several months for the government to officially lift the ban. Of course, this development is only the first step in the process — game companies are now tasked with solving the very difficult problem of infiltrating a market that has grown accustomed to rampant piracy and an overwhelming shift to PC and mobile gaming. “If Sony and Microsoft want to expand in China they need to think of changing their business