PlayStation Store redesign goes live in Australia, Europe and New Zealand with a rocky start

PlayStation Store redesign goes live in Australia, Europe and New Zealand with a rocky start

Sony vowed a long (long, long) overdue PlayStation Store remake starting this week, and it delivered just that today with launches in Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand. As promised, the PS3 shop's cleaner design scales more elegantly from standard to high definition, brings more intelligent searching and makes it easier to find everything related to a given game. We still wouldn't be too eager to dive in just yet, as there's been hiccups early on -- the sheer amount of traffic has reportedly brought the new store to a crawl, on top of teething issues with adding funds and recognizing PlayStation Plus memberships. Sony has promised fixes, but we're suddenly not feeling so bad about having to wait for that October 23rd North American launch.

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PlayStation Store redesign goes live in Australia, Europe and New Zealand with a rocky start originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 13:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PlayStation Store update hitting PAL regions on October 17th, North America on October 23rd

PlayStation Store update hitting PAL regions on October 17th, North America on October 23rd

If you feel the current design of the PlayStation Store leaves a lot to be desired, then you'll probably be glad to hear it's being totally revamped. A new UI should do a better job of pushing fresh content at you, and its appearance will be consistent regardless of whether you're outputting in standard or high def. Searching has been improved to handle abbreviations and misspellings, and a dynamic list of suggestions will try to work out what you're looking for as you type. Also, Vita and PSP content will be separated, new filters will be available and content hubs will offer everything linked to a certain title, à la the Xbox 360 Marketplace. Sound good? Well, there's not long to wait - it'll be launching in PAL regions (Europe, Asia, Australia and others) on October 17th, while North Americans will receive it almost a week later, on October 23rd.

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PlayStation Store update hitting PAL regions on October 17th, North America on October 23rd originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PlayStation 3 Slim review (late 2012): is the third time a charm?

PlayStation 3 Slim 3rdgen review

What else can be said about the PlayStation 3 at this point that hasn't already been said? Since launching in 2006, there have been approximately 400 different permutations of the console: variations on hard drive sizes, functionality, physical shape and, of course, price. The latest model, the PlayStation 3 Superslim, is no different. It comes in just two permutations: 250GB ($270) and 500GB ($300). With the latter launching at the end of October, we've spent the last week with the already available 250GB model. Is it time to finally jump in to the PlayStation 3 party, or upgrade that aging 2006 model? Head below to find out.

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PlayStation 3 Slim review (late 2012): is the third time a charm? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nielsen says game consoles get men to use TV more: hurray, we think

Nielsen says game console use gets men to use TV more hurray, we think

We're not sure if we should always cheer figures that reflect sedentary behavior. Still, chalk one up for greater (if superficial) gender equality. Nielsen finds that, as of this past March, men who owned a modern game console like the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii were using their TVs almost as much as women: while males in the broader population typically spend 37 fewer minutes in front of the big screen every day than females, that gap shrank to a negligible 11 minutes when console use came into play. Unfortunately, the agency doesn't say just what's getting men to tune in for that much longer. Gaming is the most likely culprit, but a raft of streaming video options could have some of those refined couch potatoes watching Hulu or Netflix instead of playing one more round of Gears of War. If consoles have people of all genders spending more time together, we're in favor of it; given that men still spend over twice as much time on consoles as women, though, it's clear there's still a bridge to cross if we want more of a balance in the kinds of TV activity we enjoy.

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Nielsen says game consoles get men to use TV more: hurray, we think originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 05 Oct 2012 13:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony’s 2012 PlayStation torn down, shows its evolved roots (update: another teardown)

Sony 2012 PlayStation torn down to its tiny essentials, shows evolved roots video

We've looked intensely at the outside of the redesigned PlayStation 3 ever since it was unveiled in Tokyo last month. Getting a look inside has proven unusually tougher, but French YouTube member K0st3yr has volunteered to do what few gamers dare and tear down Sony's updated console. As we've quickly learned, Sony hasn't chosen to radically rework the insides like Microsoft did with the slim Xbox 360. The Cell processor and its RSX graphics companion are still separate parts, and a similar power supply capacity suggests that neither of the main chips has been built on a more efficient manufacturing process. Instead, it's everything else that has been given the shuffle: a smaller Blu-ray drive and more clever overall construction appear to be the tickets to the 20 percent volume reduction compared to the last model. While the revealed internals might be disappointments to those who were hoping the PS3's possible sendoff would involve more of a bang than a whimper, they do hint that Sony might have breathing room if it wants to advance the design any further. Just have some popcorn and a grasp of French on hand if you'd like to have a peek at the three-part video dissection found after the break.

Update: Not to be outdone, iFixit has conducted its own teardown. There aren't any shockers in the mix beyond improved repairability, but you'll find many of the components given their exact names as well as more explanations of what's been changed to shrink the PS3 a second time.

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Sony's 2012 PlayStation torn down, shows its evolved roots (update: another teardown) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 18:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony’s PlayStation 3 getting ‘PSN Day 1 Digital’ to launch games digitally alongside retail

Sony's PlayStation 3 getting 'PSN Day 1 Digital' to launch games digitally alongside retail

Taking a cue from Nintendo's Wii U, Sony's PlayStation 3 is getting digital versions of some games delivered at the same time as their physical counterparts starting next week with Resident Evil 6 and NBA 2K13. via "PSN Day 1 Digital." Unlike Nintendo's initiative, however, Sony's is third-party focused -- not one game on its initial list of eight titles is published by any of Sony's international publishing studios.

It's unclear whether this is a full-on initiative for Sony's PlayStation 3 or a promotion for October alone, but Sony's PlayStation blog calls PSN Day 1 Digital "a new program," which indicates it's something more than just a one month promo -- all the same, we've asked Sony for more info. Beyond just offering a smattering of games digitally at launch, PSN Day 1 Digital allows for pre-orders, and even offers a 10 percent discount on 007: Legends should you pre-order as a PlayStation Plus member. Head past the break for the full list of titles.

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Sony's PlayStation 3 getting 'PSN Day 1 Digital' to launch games digitally alongside retail originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Of PlayStation Vita owners, ‘almost all’ own PlayStation 3 as well

Sony isn't sharing exact numbers, but Sony Computer Entertainment America VP of marketing, handhelds and home consoles John Koller teased that "almost all" PlayStation Vita owners are also PlayStation 3 owners. We were discussing the potential crossover between Vita and PS3 -- the obvious comparison to Nintendo's latest offering, the Wii U, and its tablet controller. The Vita and the PS3 are capable of producing similar functionality, and, if anything, with higher fidelity, as the Vita is a standalone console.

Koller says Sony invites the comparison. "We tell our PlayStation fans all the time that what the Wii U is offering is something that Vita and PS3 can do quite easily," he says. It's not just about the functionality, however, it's about whether implementing that functionality makes any sense. "It's dependent on the content. So we need to make sure the content isn't force fed. And, to us, making sure that the gamer receives the right type of experience is what's most important. So we're gonna pick our spots, but that technology does certainly exist here."

It wouldn't be hard to imagine Sony bundling the Vita and its new PS3 model together for holiday sales, pushing up against this holiday's Wii U launch. Koller says not just yet, though. "As we look at the lineup, there are gonna be some opportunities to do that. Whether we want to bundle the hardware together remains to be seen," he explains. It sounds like we'll be hearing more on that front in the future, as "retails asks for it all the time," Koller says. For now, however, he's happy knowing that the vast majority of Vita owners are already prepared for cross-functionality between the two consoles. "In the meantime, you look at the Vita consumer and a very high percentage -- almost all of them -- own a PS3. So you see that crossover works."

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Of PlayStation Vita owners, 'almost all' own PlayStation 3 as well originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony explains missing PlayStation 3 price drop on old models, EU exclusivity of Flash memory version

Sony explains missing PlayStation 3 price drop, EU exclusivity of Flash memory model

Call it the "SuperSlim," the "Ultrasvelte," or the "LipoStation 3" -- just as long as "it stays positive," says Sony Computer Entertainment America VP of marketing, handhelds and home consoles John Koller. The new, even thinner version of the PlayStation 3 doesn't have a new name to distinguish itself from the myriad other PS3 models. Like Apple's third iPad iteration, the third iteration of the PlayStation 3 is simply, "The PlayStation 3." And like the second PS3 console, Koller says the new model is Sony's new standard, with previous models going the way of the Puerto Rican shrew (poor little guy is totally extinct).

The new PS3 comes in two models for North America, 250GB and 500GB, which Koller says is a result of North American consumers being more "digitally inclined" than other territories. "We have to provide the hard drive size and the opportunity for them to be able to, out of the box, utilize that content," he argues. But this philosophy may be flawed -- one of Sony's main competitor's, Nintendo, is applying the same logic to its Wii U, albeit with starkly different results. Nintendo argues that it doesn't want to pass the rapidly declining cost of memory on to the consumer, so you'll be able to attach any form of external memory to its console. That functionality also exists in the PS3 -- Flash memory via USB or a full-on internal HDD replacement -- but Koller says consumers are more inclined to purchase additional consoles rather than replacing internal storage. "When you look at some of the earlier chassis, and the really early adopters -- the 20GB, and the 60GB -- that consumer had a choice. They could either go out and buy another hard drive -- and it's an easy install, so we make it easy for the consumer if they want to take a hard drive off the shelf and plug it in, they can do that. They had a choice of doing that, or purchasing another PlayStation 3. And what's been happening is we're seeing a lot of adoption of second consoles in-house," Koller says.

That philosophy is why Europe's the only territory getting a 12GB Flash-based PlayStation 3. Sure, consumers can expand the system's memory with Flash -- the new model allows for internal memory expansion as well -- but that doesn't line up with SCEA's goals in its territory. "The smaller Flash drive isn't coming to North America, and a lot of that reason is the digital consumer," Koller says. "We really want to make sure, out of the box, that there is an option for them to be able to download that content. That is really critical for us, very very important."

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Sony explains missing PlayStation 3 price drop on old models, EU exclusivity of Flash memory version originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Sep 2012 13:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hulu’s PlayStation 3 app upgraded, is the first for the living room to deliver the ‘new experience’

Hulu's PlayStation 3 app upgraded, is the first for the living room to deliver its 'new experience'

The folks over at Hulu have been focused on cleaning up content discovery and playback for a while, and now they've turned their collective eye to the PlayStation 3 Hulu Plus app. An update rolling out this evening brings a number of tweaks we saw hit its redesigned website in August, including the "tray-style" layout of shows, larger artwork, improved search with results that appear in the dropdown and simplified player controls. Take a peek in the gallery for a few screenshots of the new UI or after the break for an intro trailer. Although other platforms weren't mentioned specifically Hulu said the PS3 is the first living room device to show off its new experience, which leads us to believe other devices should get a similar look eventually. Subscribers can take a look on the PlayStation Network to see if they find any improvements, non-subscribers can, as usual, jump in on a free seven day trial.

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Hulu's PlayStation 3 app upgraded, is the first for the living room to deliver the 'new experience' originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 10 Sep 2012 22:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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