Archive for the ‘Sony’ Category

PS5 will use downloadable updates to control game-by-game fan speed

October 19th, 2020

Earlier this month, Sony gave us the first peek inside the PlayStation 5 in the form of a teardown video that examined the upcoming console piece by piece. Now, Japanese specialty site 4Gamer has posted an interview with the Sony hardware design engineer featured in that video, Yasuhiro Otori.

That interview (Google Translate, ResetEra user translation) goes into a lot of nitty-gritty detail on the design decisions behind Sony's uniquely shaped console and focuses heavily on the unit's heat dissipation technology. One of the most interesting tidbits on that score is an apparent plan to "optimize" the speed of the cooling fan on a per-game basis via downloadable system updates.

"Various games will appear in the future, and APU [accelerated processing unit] behavior data for each game will be collected," Otori said. "Based on this, there is a plan to proceed with the optimization of fan control."

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Posted in cooling, design, Gaming & Culture, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

The first PlayStation 5 teardown reveals some hardware secrets

October 7th, 2020

We're still a bit over a month away from the official launch of the PlayStation 5, but we've already got the first public teardown of the console hardware courtesy of Sony itself.

The Japanese video (with English subtitles) Sony posted Wednesday morning answers quite a few nagging questions left from previous announcements and recent hands-on time from some Japanese press.

Chief among them is a demonstration of how the system's circular black stand works. When the PS5 is placed vertically, the stand is held in place with a single large screw. When that screw is removed, it can be stored in a compartment in the base, and a small cap fills in the screw hole in the system itself.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, playstation 5, ps5, Sony, teardown | Comments (0)

Apparent prototype photos show Sony’s canned “PlayStation phone” followup

September 23rd, 2020

There is an alternate universe where Sony Ericsson's 2011 release of the Xperia Play was a huge success. In that universe, a substantial portion of today's mobile games are played on similar successor devices, complete with physical buttons and d-pads that slide out from underneath the screen.

Today, we get a brief glimpse into that universe via late leaked photos of what seems to be a prototype of a planned Xperia Play 2.

The above photos (as discovered on the Sony Xperia subreddit) originate from a reseller on China's Taobao platform, which specializes in person-to-person sales of new and used goods. Ars can't independently verify the authenticity of the images, but they do line up somewhat with concept art for the Xperia Play 2 that leaked in 2012.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, prototype, Sony, Xperia | Comments (0)

F5 for PS5: All your PlayStation 5 preorder links in one place

September 17th, 2020
To call Sony's PlayStation 5 in-demand would be an understatement.

Enlarge / To call Sony's PlayStation 5 in-demand would be an understatement.

PlayStation 5 pre-orders are open, but the situation is a bit of a disaster. When Sony announced pricing details for its next-generation game console on Wednesday—confirming that the standard PS5 would cost $499, while a Digital Edition without a disc drive would cost $399—it officially stated that preorders would begin on Thursday, September 17. The company did not specify when or where these orders would be available, however, merely saying that eager customers could pick the device up at "select retailers."

The period since has been chaos. Major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy instead made the console available a few hours after Sony's game showcase on Wednesday. This naturally led to a rush of gamers flooding these storefronts in order to secure their own machine in time for its November 12 release date, which in turn resulted in broken links, site crashes, and extremely quick stock shortages. GameStop saw enough traffic for its site to trigger some sort of DDoS protection, while Best Buy's online store was intermittently inaccessible Thursday morning.

Anecdotally, a couple of Ars writers were able to secure orders from Walmart shortly after the retailer set preorders live, but only after several cart refreshes, and only because they acted within the 30 minutes or so that the device was actually available. Amazon, meanwhile, set their preorders live late Wednesday around midnight ET, only for consoles to sell out within a similarly brief timeframe.

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Posted in playstation 5, pre-orders, ps5, Sony, Tech | Comments (0)

Sony pushes back on reports that it’s reducing PS5’s launch availability

September 16th, 2020

Sony has issued a rare denial in response to a recent report from Bloomberg suggesting the company has cut back production of the upcoming PlayStation 5 due to component shortages.

“While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false," the company said in a statement provided to "We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production."

Bloomberg's report cited "people familiar with the matter" to suggest that the company was lowering its expected worldwide console production from 15 million down to 11 million for the fiscal year ending in March 2021. That's due to "production yields as low as 50% for its SOC," according to the report.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, microsoft, Playtation 5, ps4, ps5, Sony, Xbox One | Comments (0)

Console options without disc drives could be GameStop’s final death knell

September 10th, 2020
Seems like an extreme reaction to buying a console without a disc drive, but OK...

Enlarge / Seems like an extreme reaction to buying a console without a disc drive, but OK...

The latest quarterly earnings report from GameStop doesn't show much sign of a turnaround for the long-troubled game retailer. Sales were down 26.7 percent year over year for the April through June quarter. Even accounting for permanent store closures and COVID-related reduced operating hours, so-called comparable "same-store" sales were still down 12.7 percent year over year. GameStop's already depressed stock is down nearly 8 percent on the news, as of this writing.

GameStop still publicly sees an "opportunity to capitalize" on the upcoming release of new Sony and Microsoft consoles, which could help turn its business around in the short term. But there's some reason to believe the coming generation of consoles could actually make GameStop's long-term prospects worse, thanks to console options that get rid of disc drives entirely.

Putting on a brave face

In an earnings call, GameStop CEO George Sherman acknowledged that "there has been growth in digitally downloaded games" and said GameStop is "not debating the growth of digital gaming." But he also tried to put a positive spin on the fate of GameStop's physical game sales going into the next generation of consoles.

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Posted in digital, discs, Gamestop, Gaming & Culture, microsoft, ps5, Sony, xbox series s | Comments (0)

Sony could detect PlayStation users based on how they hold a controller

August 25th, 2020

A recently approved Sony patent identifies a problem many console gamers may be able to identify with when moving between consoles: "To log in to their account a user is often required to enter a password, which may be seen by other users. Moreover, once a user has entered their password, a situation arises where the user remains logged into their account unless the user subsequently performs a log out operation, which can result in other user's [sic] potentially obtaining access to the user's profile."

Luckily, Sony's patent for an "apparatus, system, and method of authentication" also offers a solution: a new method for "determining an identity of a user holding a handheld controller" by detecting and analyzing that user's unique "manipulations of the controller."

Controller fingerprinting?

The full patent, filed by Sony in February and approved by the US Patent Office late last week (and first unearthed by SegmentNext), details how this detection system would rely on measurements of the controller's position, orientation, and the "closed or open state of a pressure sensitive switch" (i.e. pushing the controller's buttons). Analyzing how these values change over time for different users during standard gameplay can provide a unique signature, the patent suggests, which can be recognized the next time they pick up a controller.

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Posted in controller, Gaming & Culture, patent, PlayStation, Sony | Comments (0)

How your PS4 and Xbox One games will work on PS5 and Series X

August 12th, 2020
Opposing sides of a long corridor are emblazoned with the logos of opposing video game companies.

Enlarge / A tense standoff across the demilitarized zone. (credit: Barone Firenze |

Console gamers looking to upgrade to a new system at the end of the year likely have a few major questions about how their existing game libraries will work across console generations, such as:

  • Will I be able to play my current games on the new system?
  • How will those games be improved when running on more powerful hardware?
  • Will I have to buy another copy of the game to get those enhancements?

The answer to those questions varies greatly depending on the platform and publisher involved, and answers for some specific games are still unknown. That said, here's a handy guide to where various cross-generational game compatibility and upgrade plans stand at this point.

Backward compatibility

At a basic level, both Microsoft and Sony are taking steps to ensure that most (if not all) of your current-generation console game library will be playable on their new consoles.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, microsoft, PlayStation, ps4, ps5, series x, Sony, Xbox One | Comments (0)

Sony takes on Bose with new WH-1000XM4 noise-cancelling headphones

August 6th, 2020

Sony on Thursday announced its latest flagship pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones: the WH-1000XM4. The new over-ear cans are the follow-up to Sony's WH-1000XM3, which have been widely regarded as being among the best premium pairs of noise-cancelling headphones on the market—and have been an Ars favorite—since launching in 2018.

The XM4 is available for pre-order starting today, with shipping to start sometime in "mid-August," according to Sony. The headphones cost $350, which is the same price as the XM3 at launch and Bose's competing QuietComfort 35 II, but $50 less than Bose's Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

I've had the XM4 on hand for the past couple of days; I plan to have a more detailed comparison in the near future, but for now I can share some initial impressions alongside today's news.

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Posted in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony, Sony WH-1000XM4, Tech, wireless headphones | Comments (0)

PS4 gamepads won’t work for PS5 games, Sony says

August 3rd, 2020

You won't be able to use Sony's DualShock 4 or other third-party PS4 gamepads to play PlayStation 5 games, Sony confirmed in a blog post today.

Those older gamepads will still work with "supported PS4 games" running on the PS5, Sony said, and PS5 software will work with "specialty peripherals" designed for the PS4—including "officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks." Those caveats highlight the fact that there's no technical limitation or communication protocol mismatch stopping the upcoming hardware from communicating with legacy controllers.

But Sony says it "believe[s] that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller." Those features include what Sony is calling "haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects" and a built-in microphone (last month, Geoff Keighley hosted what is, thus far, the only public hands-on impressions of these new controller features).

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Posted in dualsense, DualShock, dualshock 4, Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, Playstation 4, playstation 5, ps4, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)