Sony just announced that the long time Sony executive will be making way for his replacement Shawn Layden, current EVP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International. According to the company, Tretton’s parting is the result of a “mutual agreement,” but naturally, neither side’s saying how that agreement was reached. The move certainly comes as a surprise, as Tretton had been with Sony for almost 20 years, and was a part of the PlayStation team from the very beginning — most recently overseeing the successful launch of Sony’s newest console, the PS4.
The PlayStation 4 is now available in Sony’s home country of Japan, over three months after it first became available in the US. The release comes after Sony has racked up impressive figures elsewhere; the company announced earlier this week that it has sold over 5.3 million consoles worldwide as of February 8th, and managed to nearly double Microsoft’s Xbox One sales in the US for the month of January. It remains difficult to find on store shelves.
In Japan, the console is being offered in two packages: a regular edition for ¥41,900, and a bundle with the PlayStation Camera peripheral for ¥46,100.
PlayStation 4 owners can expect the launch of more than 100 games this year, Sony announced during a recent press event.
“Virtually all” of these titles will run natively in 1080p, said Sony Computer Entertainment vice president of marketing John Koller, including games such as Thief, Minecraft, Destiny and The Order.
Sony has announced plans to sell off its iconic VAIO brand of PCs to a Japanese investment fund. While Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will continue selling VAIO-branded computers in Japan, Sony plans to now focus on its mobile lineup of smartphones and tablets. VAIO, which stands for Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer, was first introduced 18 years ago in 1996.
Amazon is looking to make a major push into the video game scene with its latest acquisition. According to TechCrunch, Amazon has picked up Double Helix Games, the studio behind the Xbox One reboot of Killer Instinct. Although several of their recent releases had been movie adaptations, Killer Instinct looked to be the beginning of a major turn for the studio. Strider, the next project from Double Helix (also an anticipated remake of a classic arcade game) is still a few weeks from launch, but preview coverage has been almost unanimously positive.
A PlayStation 4 update called version 1.6 is pushing to the console that will bring full support for both the regular Pulse and its Elite Edition, giving players 7.1-channel virtual surround sound and voice chat through Sony’s official hardware.
Elite Edition owners will also get to use a Headset Companion App (due later this month) that sets custom audio profiles. To mark the occasion, Sony is launching some new audio gear: the Gold Wireless Headset offers 7.1-channel audio, voice and game profiles in a travel-ready, foldable design. It should sell for $100 when it hits store shelves early this month.
Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service is scheduled to go into private beta at the end of this month, and the company has begun sending out invites to its lucky participants. For the first wave, Sony seems to be focusing on testing Now on the PlayStation 3 console. A thread at NeoGAF seems to confirm that only PS3 owners are seeing invites at this time. As for how Sony’s choosing its beta testers, that’s not entirely clear.
The announcement of ’Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’ has ignited a next-gen gaming consoles debate over framerate differences. While the PlayStation 4 version of the game has been confirmed to run at 60 frames per second, the Xbox One version’s framerate is, as of writing, unconfirmed.
Sony has announced it will perform PlayStation Network maintenance on Monday, January 27, beginning at 9:30 AM Pacific (12:30 PM Eastern). The downtime is expected to run for six hours, until 3:30 PM Pacific (6:30 PM Eastern).
“If you’ve signed in to PlayStation Network any time since January 20th you will be able to play games online and access partner apps such as Netflix during this maintenance period,” a forum post from PlayStation Senior Community Manager Paul Sullivan announced yesterday. The scheduled maintenance will disable access to the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Home and account management sections of PlayStation devices.
As of December 28th the PlayStation 4 has sold 4.2 million units. The news was announced by Sony’s Andrew House at today’s CES 2014 press conference in Las Vegas, and it’s double the number we last heard, when Sony revealed that it had sold 2.1 million units as of December 3rd.