Sony Nixes Plan to Scratch Discs for PS4

Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) next-generation gaming console will arrive next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Users of the upcoming system will be able to play games by inserting discs, just like they do with the present-day PlayStation 3. However, Sony executives reportedly came very close to limiting the console to downloadable games only.

Currently, PS3 users can either buy a physical copy of a game or download games and other digital entertainment content from Sony’s online store without using a disk or cartridge. Because of concerns about the varying quality of Internet service worldwide, however, Sony decided to keep the disk format option in its upcoming console.

A switch away from disks would also presumably have an effect on retail store sales of disc games. However, some retailers such as GameStop have already started to offer online-only products such as codes users can buy and then plug into their computers or consoles to download a game. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have also had some online success selling games and gaming apps via their online stores.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) conducted similar discussions about a download-only limitation for its future Xbox console. That company also reportedly decided to stick with a disk-based console because of connectivity concerns.

More video game announcements are expected at the E3 video game exposition in Los Angeles next week; however, Sony and Microsoft aren’t expected to officially launch a new Playstation or Xbox console at this year’s annual conference.

Sony didn’t respond to our requests for comment.

Not Quite Ready to Dump Disks

Piracy has been a serious concern for the video game industry for years, and many companies have instituted a variety of countermeasures to combat the trend. Limiting games to downloadable content could make it more difficult for pirates to swap games illegally. However, Jia Wu, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, told TechNewsWorld said that while piracy is a problem, the main drive to move online is for customer convenience and the ease with which games can be purchased online, leading to more profit for Sony.

Even though Sony and Microsoft made decisions to stick to disks, at least for their next offerings, Wu said that gaming companies are well aware that any new console must be able to keep up with the demand for online capabilities.

“The trend is online,” he said. “It’s more convenient for consumers to buy content. They save time and they can easily make purchases, so it really increases the sales opportunity of gaming content, as well as other content such as music and the add-on packages after you download the game.”

Console makers face growing competition from other systems, Ted Pollak, senior gaming analyst at Jon Peddie Research, told TechNewsWorld. With a wide array of connected home device offerings, consumers might not be willing to splurge on a separate gaming console when they have a PC that connects to a smart TV, for instance.

“Console technology is really old,” he said. “There are so many choices with media experiences and usability such as smart televisions, Blu-ray players and other connected living room experiences, that outside of gaming, use gets really limited with a console.”

For all the perks to online connectivity, though, users abroad might not demand a switch away from the traditional disk, he said.

“The market is there for a new form, but obviously not in the whole world,” he said.

Adapting Retailers

The gaming world may one day be ready for download-only limitation in gaming consoles, acknowledged Wu, but until then, Sony most likely feels it’s better safe than sorry when keeping the disk format.

“The disk is still important,” he said. “It guarantees that there is a stable game experience. Eventually Internet speeds and stability will improve, but we’re not sure to what extent and how quickly, so this is a way to stay safe.”

In the meantime, he said, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to adapt to the changing marketplace before a completely online format could force them out of business. Sony, Microsoft and other companies with game offerings will also need to figure out how to launch products without that retail connection, said Wu.

“Microsoft and Sony really value that connection with the retail store,” he said. “They serve as a channel to display games, for instance. When there’s a big game launch, people tend to wait outside, and its a phenomenon. Stores like GameStop are adapting because you can now buy games online, so they’re still a distribution channel, but they’re going to have to figure out a way to be valuable going forward, such as perhaps launching an online game platform.”

Perfect World shares fall on outlook – AP

Shares of Perfect World Co. fell Wednesday on worries about the Chinese online game developer’s revenue forecast for the current quarter.

THE SPARK: Perfect World late Tuesday said that it expects revenue for the three months ending in June, its second quarter, to come to about $102 million to $108 million, based on an exchange rate of 6.35 yuan to the dollar. That’s a decline from the first three months of the year, when revenue came to $114 million. Analysts polled by FactSet also had predicted higher revenue of about $124 million.

THE BIG PICTURE: The company, which is based in Beijing, gets most of its online gaming revenue from China. But it also operates in North America, Europe and Japan.

Perfect World said that it cut back on promotional activities during the January-March quarter, but some of its existing games did well, such as “Perfect World II” and “Forsaken World.”

The company said it continues to work on new games and expects to launch two martial arts games in the second half of this year.

THE ANALYSIS: Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson said the Chinese online games sector, as a whole, was “still struggling.” Growth has slowed and expenses climbed for many companies. But he kept his “Outperform” rating on Perfect World, noting that several game updates and new games are expected in the second half of 2012.

THE SHARES: Down 64 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $10.86 in heavy afternoon trading. Shares had gained about 10 percent this year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tickets for Calder Cup Finals still on sale at Scope

NORFOLK

Tickets remain for the first two games of the AHL’s Calder Cup Finals, which will be this weekend at Scope.

The Norfolk Admirals face the Toronto Marlies for the AHL title. The series opener is at 7:30 on Friday night, with Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is at 7:15 on Saturday night.

Tickets for those games are on sale online through Ticketmaster or by telephone, the Admirals said today in a news release. The phone number to call is 1-800-745-3000, and the website is ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at the Scope box office, which is open from 10 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. through gametime on game days.

Tickets for the games range from $20.50 to $25.50, the release said. Tickets bought in advance range from $17 to $22. Also, 10-seat corporate boxes costing $350 per game can be ordered by calling 757-640-1212.
 

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Crest and Oral-B Launch Virtual Support Network for Canadian Olympic Athletes

TORONTO–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–The Olympic Games are considered to be the pinnacle of amateur sports
competition as dedicated athletes train their bodies and minds in
preparation for a shot at the podium and hometown glory. In recognition
of this, Crest and Oral-B have created “Winning Smiles”, a new Facebook
application allowing Canadians to show their support and national
solidarity for Canada’s Olympic athletes competing at the London 2012
Olympic Games. The app also features a contest offering the chance to
win a trip for two to London to attend The 2012 Games.*

“After all the hard work and training,
you want to perform when it counts the most, so it’s nice to receive
support from family and fans. Whether it’s a cheer or a big smile, it
made a big difference for me and I know it will for Canada’s athletes.”

Available on Facebook.com/crestcanada, the Winning Smiles App allows
Canadians to upload their best winning smile photos to create a virtual
smile gallery, which will then be shared with Canada’s athletes in
London at the Canada Olympic House, to inspire and ignite them to do
their best throughout the 2012 Games.

“Canada takes great pride in its athletes and the hard work they’ve done
to get to The Olympics,” says Lisa Reid, Oral Care Category Brand
Manager, PG Canada. “Like any proud parent or family member, we wanted
Canadians to have the opportunity to share their smiles with the
athletes in London 2012 and cheer them on – it’s our Canadian culture to
support and encourage one another.”

In addition to being at the peak of physical fitness, athletes also rely
on positive motivation to do their very best. Whether it’s a cheer or a
big grin, they know that a little hometown support can go a long way to
help give them the courage to compete. With athletes heading to London
to perform at their best, Crest and Oral-B are giving Canadians the
opportunity to share a smile and show their best wishes of encouragement.

Crest and Oral-B have partnered with former Olympian and gold medalist,
Mark Tewksbury, to inspire Canadians to cheer on Team Canada by
submitting their smile photos through the Winning Smiles App.

Tewksbury, a 3-time Olympic medalist including a gold medal in swimming
at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and recently honoured with the title
of Chef de Mission for Canada, understands first-hand the demands of
being an Olympic athlete.

“It’s a lot of pressure representing your country on the world stage and
competing in front of family, friends and a million strangers,” says
Mark Tewksbury, Olympic champion. “After all the hard work and training,
you want to perform when it counts the most, so it’s nice to receive
support from family and fans. Whether it’s a cheer or a big smile, it
made a big difference for me and I know it will for Canada’s athletes.”

Canadians who visit Facebook.com/crestcanada can enter to win weekly
Crest and Oral-B prizes and a grand prize of a trip for two to the
London 2012 Games*. Those who upload their smiles through the Facebook
application will have the opportunity to be virtually present in London
as smile photos are displayed inside Canada Olympic House to help
encourage and show support for visiting athletes and their families.

To ensure Canadians have a winning smile to share with our athletes,
Crest and Oral-B offer a wide range of oral care products – from fresh
breath and whitening to comprehensive protection – there’s something for
each person’s unique oral health needs. A portion of proceeds from the
sale of special Crest and Oral-B products will go toward supporting
Canada’s athletes competing at The 2012 Games.

*No purchase necessary. Contest closes August 12, 2012. For full rules
and entry details visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/CrestCanada.

ABOUT PROCTER GAMBLE

PG touches and improves the lives of about 4.4 billion people around
the world with its portfolio of trusted quality brands. The Company’s
leadership brands include Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®,
Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Fairy®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®,
Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head
Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun®, Fusion®, Ace®, Febreze®, and Ambi
Pur®. With operations in about 80 countries, PG brands are available in
more than 180 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com
for the latest news and in-depth information about PG and its brands.

Sony toyed with Online-Only PlayStation 4 console

Sony PS4 to be released before Xbox 720?

  • Gamers ditching PS3s over PSN outage
  • Students buy a PC, get a free Xbox 360 from Microsoft
  • Sony, maker of the PlayStation 3 entertainment system, admitted that it toyed around with the idea of making an online-only (download-only) console, but ultimately decided against the idea.

    This mean if plans went through, the potential “PlayStation 4” wouldn’t have had any optical drives for utilization of tangible media.

    The flirtation with dropping the optical drive by Sony underscores the rising importance of online networks in the video game industry.

    This allows console users to download games, television shows and music without the need for disks or cartridges.

    Gaming in the clouds

    Sony decided against a download-only model largely because Internet connections are too inconsistent around the world.

    More E3 coverage

    E3

    Sony at E3: what to expect
    Microsoft at E3: what to expect

    Game files are relatively big and in parts of the world that has relatively slow Internet connections, this would be crippled by a requirement to download games.

    Leaving the option for utilization of both forms of media, tangible and downloadable, Sony would optimize the new consoles potential.

    Still no word on if the new console would debut in 2013. With E3 just around the corner, we’ll find out some of the rumors or all are true, or if they were unfounded.

    Via Wall Street Journal

    USA Vs Brazil Preview: Game Time, TV Info & More

    Managing Editor

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 26: Michael Bradley #4 is surrounded by members of Team USA after scoring the second goal against Team Scotland on May 26, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL.  (Photo by Gary Bogdon/Getty Images)

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    The United States Men’s National team take on perennial soccer powerhouse Brazil in an international friendly tonight at FedEx Field in Maryland.

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    May 30, 2012 – The United States Men’s National Soccer Team take on perennial soccer powerhouse Brazil in an international friendly tonight at FedEx Field in Maryland. The game kicks off just after 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2 in English, Telefutura in Spanish and online at ESPN3.com.

    Tonight’s matchup is the 2nd of 5 games the USMNT will play in 18 days as manager Jurgen Klinsmann attempts to create a tournament like atmosphere for the team. There is no notable tournament for the US to play in this summer, so scheduling the summer the way he has will give Klinsmann the best chance to prepare his side for the World Cup qualifying ahead.

    “We’re treating this period of time like it would be a small tournament because this camp is a lot about how the players build chemistry and deal with a longer period of time being together,” Klinsmann said . “It’s about how they are willing to go the extra mile in that time period to answer a lot of questions in that stretch. That’s why we’re calling it almost a mini-tournament.”

    The USMNT got their “tournament” off to a flying start with a 5-1 drubbing of Scotland, but will face a notably stiffer test tonight in the 5 time World Cup champions Brazil. However, Klinsmann says that it doesn’t matter who his side plays in what type of setting, he expects the same level of effort.

    “No matter who we play or what type of game we play, whether it’s Antigua or Brazil, we represent the United States of America,” Klinsmann said. “It’s a requirement that every player comes in with 100 percent commitment and with an attitude that he puts everything into the game.”

    While this may just be a friendly, the importance of playing Brazil is not diminished in the eyes of the US players.

    “It’s Brazil. We’ve all played Brazil,” said Michael Bradley. “We all know what playing games against them means. Their ability with the ball to take little plays and make the most of them is at the highest level. We know we are going to need a strong effort.”

    “There are three points on the line when we play a qualifier, but these games [against the likes of Brazil and Italy in February] are vitally important to us,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “Dignity also plays a part, and no one wants to lose. We’re a bunch of prideful guys.”

    The US has a long, but not very successful history against Brazil. The two nations have met 16 times over the last 82 years with Brazil winning 15. The lone US victory came in 1998 when the Nats knocked off A Seleção 1-0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The recent history has been a little better. Brazil needed extra time to defeat the US 2-1 in the Gold Cup in 2003 and there was the memorable Confederations Cup final in 2009 when Brazil came from 2-0 to beat the US 3-2.

    It should be a fantastic test tonight and a great barometer of where the US is at under Klinsmann. Playing in front of a record crowd against the most storied team in the world, you can be sure the US won’t be treating this game as simply a friendly. For Brazil, it’s never acceptable to lose and they’ve probably more talent on their 3rd string than the US will start… so expect no quarter tonight and a pretty cracking game.

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    Like SB Nation Philly on Facebook.







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