|Sony announces smaller and lighter PlayStation 3||
Sony will also start the “PlayStation Mobile” service, through which users can download games on their smartphones and tablet computers, on October 3, Andrew House, head of the games business, said in Tokyo.
In the UK, the new PS3 will come in two models, a 500GB hard drive version (launching September 28), and a newly added 12GB flash memory model (launching October 12).
Sony said that "Completely redesigning the internal design architecture, the internal volume and weight of the new PS3 is reduced by more than half compared to the very first PS3 model with a 60GB HDD, and by 20 % and 25% respectively compared to the current PS3.
By adopting a sliding disk cover, the new PS3 continues with the characteristic sleek curved simple body design, which fits various places in the home and enables users to enjoy an array of entertainment content."
The games unit is among the focus areas listed this year by Kazuo Hirai who became Sony’s chief executive officer in April and started reforming the unprofitable television operation and cutting 10,000 jobs.
The Tokyo-based company is trying to return to profit following four straight annual losses after the yen gained, the global economy slowed and consumers switched to Apple and Samsung devices.
“Sony is probably trying to lure consumers with the new model after Nintendo released its Wii U,” said Takashi Oka, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc. “Still, game-console markets have matured in developed nations and it may be hard to stimulate demand just by making it smaller.”
The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest console, will go on sale in the U.S. on November 18, priced from $300.
Nintendo, the world’s biggest maker of video-game machines, said it will introduce new titles for the player, such as “Super Mario” and “Call of Duty.”
The game-console industry faces competition from titles played online and on smartphones from companies including Apple, whose latest iPhone 5 is scheduled to reach stores in the U.S. this week.
Sony is also offering titles for Android-powered devices to extend its reach beyond users of game consoles. Its “PlayStation Mobile” Android service, renamed in June from “PlayStation Suite,” will be available next month in nine nations including the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia and Japan, Sony said. The service allows users to download and play titles made by Sony and third-party developers, it said.
Makers of devices that allow the service include HTC, Asus, Sharp Corp. and Fujitsu, said Satoshi Nakajima, a spokesman for Sony’s games unit.
Sony also said it will cut the price for its PlayStation Portable players, by 18 percent to 13,800 yen ($175), from tomorrow in Japan.
Sony is preparing to offer new cloud-based gaming services, House said today. He didn’t elaborate.
The company agreed in July to acquire Gaikai, a U.S. gaming-platform company, for about $380 million.
Sony, which bought out a mobile-phone venture from Ericsson for $1.4 billion in February, plans to draw on its skills in games to develop new smartphones and tablet computers, Kunimasa Suzuki, an executive vice president overseeing mobile products, said earlier this month.
Last month, the Japanese electronics maker cut its full-year sales target for handheld game players, including the PS Vita, to 12 million units from 16 million predicted three months earlier. The company also lowered its target for TVs, compact cameras and PCs.
The operating loss at Sony’s game unit was 3.5 billion yen in the three months ended June 30, compared with an income of 4.1 billion yen a year earlier, the company said in August.
(Source: Daily Telegraph)
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