Tag Archives | Sony PlayStation

A Second Front in Hackers’ War on Sony?

Sony Online Entertainment–the Sony group responsible for multiplayer games such as DC Universe Online–is down at the moment. The explanatory message at its site is vague: it refers to “the intrusion into our systems.” I’m not sure if that’s the PlayStation Network breach or another one. But Bloomberg’s Cliff Edwards, among others, is reporting that this involves a second Sony security breach. And Nikkei is apparently saying that credit card numbers have gone missing this time.

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How to Tell Me You Let Somebody Steal My Personal Information

I’ve been getting a lot of urgent messages from major companies I do business with lately. Urgent messages telling me that information I gave them has been stolen by unknown parties.

Yup, I’m not only a PlayStation Network member–and therefore a victim of the current Sony security breach–but also a customer of at least three companies (Marriott, TiVo, and 1-800-Flowers) who were involved in the recent data theft from marketing company Epsilon. I wrote about this for my new TIME.com Technologizer column, But after reading all this correspondence, I have some advice for the corporate entities who send these e-mails. (I care about this stuff in part because I have the uneasy feeling I’m going to be getting a lot more of these messages in the future.)

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So Help Me, I'm a Blu-ray Player Owner

Back in October of 2009, I wrote that I found Blu-ray boring and that I hoped to avoid it by segueing directly from DVD to a 100% digital approach to home video that didn’t involve shiny discs. The post sparked a lively debate, with some commenters seeing my point and others defending Blu-ray.

So I feel obligated to provide an update: As of yesterday evening, there’s a Blu-ray player in my living room.

To be precise, it’s a PlayStation 3. Rather than buying a box with the principal purpose of watching Blu-ray movies–although I’ll admit I’d recently flirted with that idea–I bought the PS3 because it’s a significant piece of general-purpose consumer electronics. I figured I needed ready access to it so I could write about it…just as I own a Windows PC, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPad, an Android phone, and various other major platforms.

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Sony's Sony-Centric Music Service Goes Live in the US

Music Unlimited Powered by Qriocity, Sony’s music service, reaches the United States today. It’s launching with six million tracks from all the major music companies, plus independent labels. A $3.99-a-month version lets you listen to music channels themed by genre, decade, and mood, and scan the playlists on your computer and reconstruct them within Sony’s service; a $9.99 version allows full on-demand listening to every song and album in the catalog. Judging from a demo that Sony gave me yesterday, the whole thing has an attractive interface, with nicely-done cover flow-like album art.

What you can’t do just yet is listen to the service when you’re not in front of a TV set or a computer. For now, Music Unlimited is available on the PlayStation 3 and recent Internet-enabled Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray players, and there’s a Web-based version for PCs and Macs. Sony has plans for an Android version later in 2011. And Shawn Layden, executive vice president and COO of Sony Network Entertainment, told me that “nothing is off the table” regarding versions for Apple’s iOS and other platforms. (Of course, with Apple’s new rules for iOS content providers, it’s not clear what’s going to happen to non-iTunes music services on the iPhone, period.)

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Sony Hedges Bets with Playstation Suite

While the NGP game console hogged the spotlight at Sony’s press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, the company made another announcement that could prove just as significant.

I’m talking about Playstation Suite, a software framework that will let Android phones run Playstation games. Sony skimped on details, but said Playstation Suite will start with PSOne games when it launches for Android 2.3 phones later this year — that’s “phones” plural, not just the rumored Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, a.k.a. Playstation Phone.

For as long as I’ve been playing video games, no console maker has handed over its ecosystem to other devices in this way. Sony is essentially admitting that it can no longer ignore smartphones, and that selling video games is at least as important as controlling the hardware or the operating system. This is a huge concession.

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7 Things to Know About Sony's NGP

In typical Sony fashion, the newly-announced “next-generation portable,” or NGP, brings the kitchen sink to the console wars. It’s got every type of gaming input possible, hardware that beats any smartphone or portable game console and a 5-inch OLED screen.

I’m not in Tokyo, where Sony held a press conference for the new portable game console, but I’ve been digesting the press releases and news reports. Here’s what I think are the big takeaways from Sony’s NGP reveal:

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PlayStation 3 On Sale at Amazon for $40? Probably Not!

[New information: Target has issued a statement, saying all orders will be cancelled. See it here]

I’m not sure whether it’s an error on Amazon’s part, or an unannounced sale: Sony’s PlayStation 3 is on sale at the site for $39.99. The retailer itself is not offering the console at this price, instead Target appears to be the source.

Obviously people have rushed to take advantage of this, and it is already appearing out of stock. I am viewing this skeptically: the deal seems too good to be true, and the PS3 is nowhere near to being discontinued.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out. That said, I have ordered myself one just in case.

Update 1: People are noting that Target’s website is also showing this, but the weight is off and appears to be a Move accessory. Still, the error means Somebody’s going to get a stern talking to Monday morning…

Update 2: The order when placed comes as a confirmation that you’ve purchased the Move “shooter grip” accessory, a reader reports. However, the cancellation notice shows you’ve canceled a 60GB PlayStation 3.

Update 3: Looks like as of 3am ET, the item has been removed from Amazon, and on Target’s website there’s no more $39.99 PS3. More reports coming in indicate that in some cases, the confirmation e-mails do say that it is the console, and not the accessory as others have seen. We have mails out to both target and Amazon for comment on the matter.