Sony: 'Unlike PS3, we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4'
Sony is finally laughing its way to the 'bank', after new management has turned around the company into a lean, profitable machine. -- Of course not developing the CELL like for the PS3 sure did help!
We all can easy see that by going stock off-the-shelf PC gaming cpu/gpu combo for their next PlayStation, it would be alot more profitable for Sony then before with their costly in-house development of the CELL processor design used in the very internally all in-house customized PS3 design.
Of course selling off their office buildings and cutting staff, and closing down many studios, did help finally put Sony into the black this fiscal year, but missing from this year report was any 'forecast' on how the Playstation 4 will do in the marketplace, I guess they don't want to go Nintendo's route and end up badly missing their 'sales target'.
"Unlike PS3, we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4," said Sony CFO Masaru Kato during an earnings call that ended moments ago.
"At the time we developed PS3, we made a lot of in-house investments to develop the chip, the Cell chip. Development of the chip saw the silicon processing and all the facilities invested by us ourselves. But this time, yes we have a team working on chip development, but we already have existing technology to incorporate and also product investment and all the facilities will now be invested by our partners, other foundries, so we don't have to make all the investment in-house."
Sony didn't offer a sales forecast for PS4 for the year ending 31st March 2014, nor did anyone ask - the fools!
Sony turned a profit a year after a record loss - not a bad result for Kaz Hirai's first year in charge. He didn't necessarily work miracles, but he did reorganise and streamline the company, cutting thousands of jobs and getting back to black by selling expensive office buildings in Japan and America, plus Sony's stakes in DeNA and M3 holdings. Doing so enabled Sony to splash out and acquire Gaikai last summer.
Sony's annual profit was 43 billion yen ($458 million) - roughly what was expected.
In the Game segment, sales were down 12.2 per cent and operating income down 94 per cent to $18 million, whoopsie daisy.
Combined PS3 and PS2 sales were down to 16.5 million from 18 million the year before, whereas combined PSP and Vita sales raised a whisker to 7 million from 6.8 million the year before. But a PS Vita price cut in Japan undermined the extra sales, bringing in less money for Sony.
In the year ahead, "Sales are expected to increase significantly," Kato said, "primarily due to the planned introduction of the PlayStation 4 in the fiscal year ending 31st March 2014.
"Operating income," however, "is expected to be essentially flat year-on-year primarily due to an increase in research and development expenses and marketing expenses related to the introduction of the PS4, offset by the impact of the above-mentioned increase in sales."
Sony expects PS3 to sell 10 million units this financial year - a figure I can confidently report because PS2 sales have been removed from the year-ahead forecast.
Sony believes a combined 5 million PSP and PS Vita units will be sold this financial year, which is considerably down on this year - not a good sign for Vita.
Nevertheless, smartphone sales were up for Sony, and continuing to turn those around, plus transforming TV sales, was described as "a must" for the company this year. The other segments are relatively stable by comparison.
The trick is will Sony's transformation into a lean, mean, profitable machine will be able to last thruout the next-gen console war this holiday season.
Next-Gen Consoles will ring in the new era of Free-To-Play and In-App-Purchases, says Epic VP Rein
Recently 'always-online' and 'blocking used games' has been ruled out by the big names in the next-gen console war, but now it looks like we have to worry instead about alot more Free-To-Play games!
First the rumors of 'blocking used games' was finally put to rest by both Microsoft and Sony, then later on the reports of always needing an Internet connection has been killed by Sony and basically by Microsoft.
But now it looks like next-gen console buyers will be facing a flood of new Free-To-Play games and In-App-Purchases, which currently are only found basically in the 'mobile' and 'pc gaming' worlds, but now both Sony and Microsoft are
pushing for developers to go that way model of marketing of video games in their new next-gen consoles.
Sony and Microsoft are telling developers they're "going heavily" on free-to-play and in-app purchasing models with their next-gen consoles, according to Epic Games VP Mark Rein. Speaking in a roundtable discussion at the UK's Game Horizon conference, Rein said both companies will take on the kinds of financial models seen on mobile devices.
"The next-gen consoles are going to be fully embracing the free-to-play and these IAP-type business models," Rein told the audience, "So in case you don't know that I'm putting that out there. Sony and Microsoft are both going heavily in that area."
Roundtable chair Matt Martin of GamesIndustry International said that's what both platform holders are saying, but that "we still need to see some kind of evidence."
Rein replied, "Well, I'm telling you. I'm telling you what they're telling developers."
Later on in the roundtable conference, more comments were made by Rein:
"I think what you're going to see the new consoles do is a better job of making it easier," Rein said. "I think the real big thing that the consoles can do is improve their interfaces. They can improve the Xbox Live-type experience. They can improve their media center capabilities. But that's only going to make them also better platforms for having your games. Your games will just come down from the cloud, you'll be able to go to any Xbox, sign in, and boom, you'll be able to play your game."
"I think they can make gaming a lot more convenient, and then I think you'll game more if it's more convenient," he added.
Only time will tell, as we get more actual details from M$ at the May 21st event, and hopefully more then just an controller from Sony at the upcoming E3 event next month.
PLUS: Neither PS4 nor the New Xbox will likely block used games.
According to Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, the PS4 won't require an always online connection.
'Did we consider it? No, we didn't consider it', he said...
Speaking to the GameInformer magazine, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, completely ruled out "always-online" for the upcoming PlayStation 4.
"Did we consider it? No, we didn't consider it", he said to GI...
"The main reason being that many countries don't have robust internet connections. It makes sense for people to have internet connections to play online games, but for offline games there are many countries that we saw do not really have robust internet."
Recently, a leaked internal Microsoft memo also confirmed that the next XBOX will also work offline for "single-player gaming" and other functions. So, overall good news for both!
Now, if you are also wondering if the next-gen consoles will block used games (something that has been rumored for a while), fear not, as according to analyst Michael Pachter this will be highly unlikely:
“I don’t think Microsoft has the balls to block used games, and I want you to quote me on that,” said Pachter.
“Microsoft would alienate 30 percent of their audience by doing that and Sony would step in and exploit that by saying, ‘We’re not blocking used games.’”
So, there you have it. That's a sigh of relief, don't you think?
Video released recently on Youtube, shows some weird hardware emulating the PS3 hard drive
Its called haxckODE, but from the video it seems to be hardware that replaces the PS3 internal hard drive, and is demoed on a newer 4K super-slim model, which shows it switching games via the 'themes'
Not much is known, the actual team is still unknown, but from video it looks like its from an Spanish-Speaking country.
The video goes thru alot of steps to make itself look like its not fake, from hooking up the wires to tv, to panning around showing you everything, to having the PS3 all stripped down so you can see there is no extra stuff hooked up that is missing from the camera view.
The video is long, 16 minutes, it first shows you it as a stock PS3 running v4.41 using its own internal HDD, then the 'hacker' replaces the internal HDD with a small blackboard that ends in USB port, and that inturn is connected to another port with usb, power, and another small PCBoard is then plugged into connector, of which then a old HDD is plugged into, which is start of the weird part, it is taped up, and only has power running to it, and a small red/black plug to the rest of the hardware, no direct IDE or SATA cable.
Then the PS3 is powered back up, and he demos how its still on v4.41, but for some reason the HDD is no longer an 40gb hdd, but only a 16gb drive, so its it running on a flash chip, not an external HDD? -- Then he demos how switching the 'theme' gives him a different game to play which he launchs and demos a bit. -- There is NO BLU-RAY DRIVE at all in this whole operation, its not even connected, so really calling it an ODE is wrong, its more of an 'theme' exploit to switch games that are stored on the HDD, are they repackaged PSN games? -- Why all this 'hardware' if its just an exploit? -- Why the small HDD size?
This video opens up alot of questions, of course the biggest one is it just a huge very well planned FAKE???