Sony Announces 4K Video Storefront, Array of New Products

During the Sony keynote at CES, CEO Kazuo Hirai announced that the PlayStation 4 console system — which he suggests, “sets the benchmark in collaboration, artistry, imagery and design” — sold more than 5.7 million units over the holidays for a total of 35.9 million units since the console’s launch. PlayStation VR goggles will ship the first half of 2016, reportedly in the $300 range. Sony Electronics president and COO Mike Fasulo took the stage to announce “Ultra,” the company’s new video app that enables users to purchase and stream 4K movies on Sony’s Android TVs. Sony also unveiled a range of new cameras, 4K TVs, audio products and more. Continue reading Sony Announces 4K Video Storefront, Array of New Products

Cyber Monday Sets Sales Records, Mobile Shopping on Rise

While retailers have extended their special online deals before and after Cyber Monday this year, yesterday’s sales are still poised to break records. Adobe reports that by 10:00 yesterday morning, shoppers had already spent a record $490 million. When the numbers are finalized, Adobe predicts the day will represent the biggest e-commerce day on record with $3 billion in sales. Mobile shopping is also on the rise; Adobe notes that 41 percent of shopping visits originated on smartphones and 12 percent from tablets. Continue reading Cyber Monday Sets Sales Records, Mobile Shopping on Rise

More People Shopped Online Than in Stores this Black Friday

Last week’s start to the holiday shopping season marked the most social on record with 1.4 million tweets during the week leading up to Black Friday. However, sales in retail stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell about $1.4 billion this year, with more consumers opting to pursue deals online. Black Friday saw a 14 percent increase in online sales over last year, for a total of $2.72 billion, while Thanksgiving online sales jumped 25 percent. Adobe estimates that shoppers spent $4.45 billion online Thursday and Friday combined. Continue reading More People Shopped Online Than in Stores this Black Friday

U.K. Plans to Ban Advanced Encryption to Combat Terrorists

In response to Edward Snowden’s revelations of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, many Internet and social media companies responded by creating encryption so advanced that even they couldn’t read users’ communications. Now, many critics say, terrorists and other criminals are using those same platforms because their messages will be safely encrypted from prying eyes of intelligence and government authorities. Among the strongest critic is the U.K. government, which is proposing that such encryption be illegal. Continue reading U.K. Plans to Ban Advanced Encryption to Combat Terrorists

Nintendo Abandons Its Console-Only Strategy, Enters Mobile

Nintendo will unveil its first-ever game for smartphones, a radical departure from its long-term exclusive focus on its console. In the years of avoiding the move to smartphones, the Kyoto, Japan-based company missed the spectacular rise of mobile gaming, which this year, says research firm Newzoo, is on track to outpace console games in global sales for the first time. But Nintendo is finally opening up, not just with mobile games but also theme parks and a new console game. The first mobile game could debut in a few days. Continue reading Nintendo Abandons Its Console-Only Strategy, Enters Mobile

Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

As part of a beta release of GeForce Experience, Nvidia is introducing GameStream co-op, which allows two gamers to play with a single copy by one streaming the game to another PC. The co-op feature, which resembles Sony’s Share Play feature on PlayStation 4, allows for three different modes of play. It is based on the same technology found in Nvidia’s GameStream service, which lets users stream a game from their PC, over a local network, to another device, such as a Shield tablet. Continue reading Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

PlayStation Now Improves Search, User Experience with Apollo

PlayStation Now, Sony’s all-you-can-play game subscription service, just launched its new dedicated subscription app, codenamed Apollo, which streamlines the former transactional experience of sifting through numerous menus to find desired games. The new interface and navigation system is designed with an emphasis on visuals, similar to the Netflix and Hulu interfaces. Since its January launch on the PlayStation 4 console, PlayStation Now features more than 125 games available for streaming. Continue reading PlayStation Now Improves Search, User Experience with Apollo

Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Sony unveiled PlayStation Vue yesterday, its cloud-based TV service that will soft launch this month with about 75 channels. The service will offer live TV and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite subscription, but viewers will initially need a PS3 or PS4 console. Users can also save favorite shows to the cloud. During the initial test rollout, consumers will have access to channels from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks and Viacom. Continue reading Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Google has signed a $1 billion deal to acquire popular streaming platform Twitch.tv, according to sources familiar with the matter. Google’s YouTube division is in charge of the deal, which reflects the popularity of live Internet streaming and, in particular, the rapidly evolving interest in competitive gaming as a spectator sport. San Francisco-based Twitch currently touts more than 50 million monthly users. In addition, more than 1.1 million of its members broadcast videos each month. Continue reading Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Shield: Nvidia Launches its First Tablet, Designed for Gamers

Nvidia’s new Shield is a tablet PC, but also a gaming console for Android game apps, streamed PC games, and games streamed from the Nvidia Grid cloud gaming service. The Wi-Fi tablet can be used as a handheld gaming device or a console that can be plugged into a TV via an HDMI cable. For $299, gamers will get 16 gigabytes of storage and perhaps some of the best image-rendering technology on the market. The Shield tablet will start shipping at the end of July. Continue reading Shield: Nvidia Launches its First Tablet, Designed for Gamers

LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

LeapFrog Enterprises plans to launch its $150 kid-friendly LeapTV game console this fall. The twist? LeapTV will debut with 100 games and videos approved by professional educators, those who ideally know what is best for children. The console will include personalization features and motion-sensing controls similar to those introduced with Nintendo’s Wii. Games will target children ages 3 to 8. At launch there will be nine cartridge titles offered, with additional titles available digitally. Continue reading LeapFrog to Launch Educator-Approved Game Console for Kids

E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

During its E3 press conference yesterday in Los Angeles, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV device is coming to North America this fall for $99 as a standalone, or for $139 bundled with a DualShock Controller, an 8GB memory card for storing downloaded games, and a copy of “The Lego Movie” video game. Users can pair the set-top box with their PlayStation 4 console for remote play on a second television. Video and music streaming services will be accessible, as will games via PlayStation Now. Continue reading E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Microsoft Sells One Million Xbox One Consoles on First Day

We recently reported that Sony’s PlayStation 4 sold more than one million units in its first 24 hours of availability. Now, Microsoft has made the same claim with the launch of its Xbox One console on November 22. While the sales figures set a new record for Microsoft, easily defeating first day sales of its Xbox 360, the Xbox One launched in 11 more countries than the PS4. Both companies are expected to sell 3 million units by the end of the year. Continue reading Microsoft Sells One Million Xbox One Consoles on First Day

Sony Sells One Million PlayStation 4 Consoles on First Day

Sony sold more than one million units of the new PlayStation 4 on the first day of the highly anticipated video game console’s availability. Fans lined up outside retailers such as GameStop Friday evening, while Best Buy and Amazon reported on their websites that initial inventory had sold out. Some stores had only enough supplies to fill pre-orders, which left a number of consumers empty-handed. Sony projects it will sell five million units by March. Continue reading Sony Sells One Million PlayStation 4 Consoles on First Day

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