Category: Game Hardware

PlayStation 4 – everything you need to know

Techradar.com: If Microsoft is secretly readying a new Xbox to succeed the Xbox 360, then surely Sony must be working on a PlayStation 4?

Speculation is rife that the next console battle will be fought around 2011-2012. This is when Crytek’s CEO Cevat Yerli and industry analyst Colin Sebastian believe that a potential Xbox 720 and PS4 could appear.

To imagine what a PS4 might be capable of we should look at what the current PS3 doesn’t have or doesn’t do well. For starters, Sony will need to closely integrate the hardware and software development for its next console.

According to SCEA’s CEO Jack Tretton: “The hardware guys developed the [PlayStation 3] fairly independently, then dumped it onto the software guy’s lap, effectively saying ‘do something with it.’”

If the PS4 is a revamp of the PS3, we’re likely to see some obvious technology upgrades – 802.11n to replace the existing 802.11b/g chipset; an external power supply (to reduce the size of the box and to improve cooling); a massive hard disk; new graphics processor and an increase in the onboard memory.

What about a replacement for the PS3′s NVIDIA-built RSX graphics processor? We’ve already speculated that Microsoft could use Intel’s general purpose Larrabee chip in its next Xbox to handle real-time physics and AI. Rumours also suggest that Intel is pimping Larrabee to Sony for the PS4.

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Xbox 360 games headed to iPhone?

Techradar.com: Microsoft is reported to be “waiting for [the] right opportunity” to develop games for Apple’s iPhone, according to latest reports from Official Xbox 360 magazine in the UK.

Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer is looking for the right game to do it with, according to an E3 interview posted today over on OXM.co.uk.

Spencer noted that the iPhone version of Will Wright’s Spore from EA Mobile was “a good example” of how cross-platform gameplay would work.

“We’ve done things like the pub games in Fable,” he said “which aren’t cross platform but it’s playing an arcade game, building currency that works for you in the Fable game. You could imagine doing that from another device as well.”

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Nintendo to release Wi-Fi Network Adapter for Wii (which has built-in Wi-Fi)

CrunchGear: This is somewhat odd, but Nintendo is coming out with the Wi-Fi Network Adapter for the Wii.

It’s odd because the Wii works with Wi-Fi right out of the box, unless you consider going into settings and configuring your Wii to use your local network not right out of the box.

This adapter attempts to solve that problem.

It can work as a stand-alone router or as a network bridge, sitting between your router and Wii.

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MS readying cross-device Zune service?

Electronista: Microsoft is finally hoping to unify its Zune Marketplace and services with other devices, the company reveals in a recent job posting for a Software Development Engineer.

The firm hopes to develop a new, “unified entertainment service” that would work on not just the company’s music player and PCs but also on Windows Mobile devices and the Xbox console lineup as well.

At present, Microsoft’s storefronts are balkanized and don’t allow Xbox Video Marketplace content to be transferred outside of the game system, while protected Zune Marketplace content refuses to play on the Xbox even when the player is directly connected.

The listing makes it clear that the project is just starting and thus that Microsoft doesn’t expect to have a unified service for a significant amount of time.

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Sony’s new PSP-3000 suffers from reduced battery life

T3: We’re pretty excited about the new PSP-3000, which was just unveiled a couple of weeks ago. The brand-spanking-new LCD is the main highlight of the latest hardware update, which promises and (according to early sightings) provides significantly improved contrast and brightness that’ll nicely show off handheld games, UMD movies and downloaded video in the kind of clarity you can even take outside into the daylight.

The trouble is, there’s a bit of downside too. Sony marketing man John Koller revealed that “battery life will decrease by a small amount” as a result of the improved screen. Oh really – and how much are we talking then? “It’s about 20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes,” Koller said, adding “that’s because there’s a little bit of a larger power draw with the brighter screen.”

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Sony pairs PS3 with Bluetooth headset

Register Hardware: PlayStation 3 gaming looks set to become yet more immersive, because Sony has launched a Bluetooth headset for the console.

The CEJH-15002 looks like most mobile phone Bluetooth headsets, with a hook for fixing the wireless communicator around your ear.

However, the PS3-branded Bluetooth 2.1+EDR device enables online gamer-to-gamer chats within a range of upcoming titles, including SOCOM: Confrontation and Resistance 2.

The PS3 headset will sit in standby for about 300 hours and has a talk time of roughly eight hours. Its maximum PS3 communication range is 10m.

 

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Ultrasound technology used for gaming control

Techradar: A team of Japanese researchers has developed a new system using focused ultrasound to create virtual objects in mid-air that can be moved by human hands.

The ‘virtual haptics’ technology promises to revolutionise the way we interact with computers and videogames, leading a number of commentators to already speculate that this could spell the end of physical controllers such as the mouse or the Nintendo Wii Remote.

“The popularity of vibrating gaming handsets has proven that [haptics] is a rich but untapped way to increase interaction,” reads a BBC report this week.

Prof Takayuki Iwamoto and his team from University of Tokyo have married a ‘simple haptic device’ with a few ultrasonic transducers.

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80GB Sony PS3 more energy efficient: 65nm RSX chips

ProductReviews: So we know that the new 80GB version of the Sony PS3 was upgraded with a larger hard drive. We did not know however that it would be more energy efficient than the 40GB version.

It seems that the Core does use less energy than the smaller hard drive version. A user from Slickdeals forum connected his 80GB PlayStation 3 up to a Kill-a-watt and was shocked at his findings.

The 80GB PS3 used 130 watts of power while playing MGS4, whereas the 40GB version used 155.2 watts of power. That’s not all, on idle the 80GB version uses 111.9 watts, whereas the 40GB model used 125.8 watts when idle on the XMB.

There are many theories as to why this is; the most popular is that Sony is now using the 65nm RSX chips.

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Microsoft tweaks Xbox controller

Stuff.tv: Microsoft launched a newly tweaked controller over at the Leipzig games convention.

Due to only come to Europe, Asia and South America, the new peripheral will provide a ‘less spongy’ experience compared to the current model.

What that means, apparently, is better control over Ronaldinho, or making sure Niko turns corners easier without getting pelted with gunfire in GTA IV. It’s due to drop when PES 2009 hits stores later this year.

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Logitech making racing wheel for Wii

Eurogamer: Logitech has decided to make a force feedback racing wheel for Wii to work with Need for Speed Undercover.

The peripheral will launch this November and do futuristic things such as turn 200 degrees and feature built-in analogue gas and brake controls.

It’s also wireless, and reducing clutter further is the clever one-piece design.

Which all sounds rather pointless, although the Logitech Speed Force Wireless racing wheel will probably be rather good, judging by the quality of the PS3 version we tested recently.

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Sony takes wraps off PSP-3000

Stuff.tv: Sony yesterdat officially announced the much-rumoured PSP-3000.

While it sounds exciting and futuristic, the new model doesn’t bring a great deal to get the pulse racing – the screen has been boosted with more colours and apparently works better outside, and there’s a built-in mic to make Skyping a little easier (though you’ll still need to hunt down a Wi-Fi spot).

It also sports identical dimensions and design to the Slim & Lite, although there’s a new ‘PS’ button on the front instead of the ‘Home’ number.

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Sony launches 160GB PlayStation 3, keyboard

Electronista: Sony yesterday revealed a new 160GB version of the PlayStation 3.

The new version holds twice as much as the 80GB PS3 that now serves as the low-end model, and was built partly to hold extra content from the just-opened PlayStation video store.

The console still has the same expansion as the newer 80GB model, however, and is limited to two USB ports as well as backwards compatibility only for original PlayStation games. Wi-Fi and a DualShock 3 gamepad carry over from the other revised model.

Additionally, the company has also introduced a QWERTY keyboard add-on for the DualShock 3 and SIXAXIS that attaches to the front USB connector.

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