PS Vita Getting Netflix, Music Unlimited

Sony executive deputy president Kaz Hirai announced at CES that the PlayStation Vita has sold 500,000 units in Japan. The mark was set in three weeks of sales, which is a week longer than it took the 3DS to selling a half million.

In additional PS Vita news, Hirai noted that they want a Netflix app to come to the Vita when the system launches, or soon after. One thing he did confirm is that the Music Unlimited from Sony will be available on at launch for the portable console.

Cloud Game Companies Announce Key Developments During CES 2012

OnLive has announced the OnLive Desktop that will let iPad users have full access to Windows 7 applications on their iPad. Also Gaikai has announced a plan with LG to bring cloud gaming services to their digital TV starting later in 2012.

“OnLive Desktop is the first app to deliver a no-compromise, media-rich Windows desktop experience to iPad, opening up powerful new possibilities for consumers and businesses,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. “iPad users will now be able to simply and securely view and edit cloud-hosted documents with full-featured Windows desktop applications like Microsoft Office, just as if they were using a local high-performance PC. Multi-touch gestures respond instantly and smoothly, while HD videos, animations and PC video games-never before usable on a remote desktop-play seamlessly.”

“Thanks to the Internet, you can watch the latest movies and listen to the latest music practically anywhere,” said David Perry the CEO of Gaikai, “but until today, to play the biggest blockbuster video games, every household has had to buy and set up expensive video game console hardware. That’s all about to change and pioneers in the space can build direct digital relationships with their end consumers.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch Pleases EA

Star Wars: The Old Republic is off to a fast start, collecting well over a million players within its first week or so of launching. While there have been some connection issues and the review scores have been in the mid 80s rather than the 90s, EA COO Peter Moore is pleased with the response given to the game so far.

“I was watching every hour of every day because a lot of the work we needed to do in Customer Experience reports directly to me – even though BioWare handles its own customer service as you probably know,” Moore remarked. “But look, there’s a reason it’s an MMO; it’s a massive game and when I think of all the MMOs I have seen launched I can’t think of one that has been launched flawlessly. There’s so much you don’t know and when you’ve got a million people coming in and playing, I’d like to be able to guarantee a completely flawless experience from a technology perspective, from an interaction perspective, but again I look at it every hour and when we look at the queue times to get on the servers, the amount of downtime that is scheduled, it’s green lights all the way. I couldn’t be more happy,”

“We’re only three weeks in since the launch and we’re stable, we’re robust and adding people. It was a ramped phase-up, and we made sure for the people as they came in that they had a great experience,” he continued, “Was it perfect No. Did anybody really expect something of this magnitude and complexity to be perfect No, but the key is how you resolve those problems and move on quickly and I think our teams have done that well.”

Kinect For Windows Plans Outlined

The Kinect for Xbox 360 sold over 18 million units in the past year, setting a Guinness World Record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever. The sort of work required to get to a “hands-free” motion controller wasn’t easy.

“Without many years of intense R&D efforts, including research investments of hundreds of millions of dollars, and the deep partnership between our research teams, software teams, hardware teams, manufacturing teams, and games studios, Kinect simply wouldn’t exist,” writes Craig Eisler General Manager of Kinect for Windows . “And as amazing a piece of hardware as Kinect is, it is much more than that. At the heart of the Kinect experience lies sophisticated software that meaningfully deciphers the images and gestures captured by the 3D sensor as well as the voice commands captured by the microphone array from someone much further away than someone using a headset or a phone. More importantly, Kinect software can understand what each user means by a particular gesture or command across a wide range of possible shapes, sizes, and actions of real people.”

Microsoft is hoping to expand the possibilities for the Kinect with the launch of Kinect for Windows. The hardware and accompanying software will be available on February 1, 2012 in 12 countries, at a suggested retail price of $249 which includes a one-year warranty, access to ongoing software updates for both speech and human tracking, and the continued investment in Kinect for Windows-based software advancements.

“With Kinect for Windows, we are investing in creating a platform that is optimized for scenarios beyond the living room, and delivering new software features on an ongoing basis, starting with “near mode” (see my earlier blog post for more about this),” added Eisler. “In addition to support for Windows 7 and the Windows 8 developer preview (desktop apps only), Kinect for Windows will also support gesture and voice on Windows Embedded-based devices and will enhance how data is captured and accessed within intelligent systems across manufacturing, retail and many more industries. We are building the Kinect for Windows platform in a way that will allow other companies to integrate Kinect into their offerings and we have invested in an approach that allows them to develop in ways that are dependable and scalable.”

“Although we encourage all developers to understand and take advantage of the additional features and updates available with the new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software, those developers using our SDK and the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware may continue to use these in their development activities if they wish,” he continued. “However, non-commercial deployments using Kinect for Xbox 360 that were allowed using the beta SDK are not permitted with the newly released software. Non-commercial deployments using the new runtime and SDK will require the fully tested and supported Kinect for Windows hardware and software platform, just as commercial deployments do. Existing non-commercial deployments using our beta SDK may continue using the beta and the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware; to accommodate this, we are extending the beta license for three more years, to June 16, 2016.”

“We expect that as Kinect for Windows hardware becomes readily available, developers will shift their development efforts to Kinect for Windows hardware in conjunction with the latest SDK and runtime. The combination of Kinect for Windows hardware and software creates a superior development platform for Windows and will yield a higher quality, better performing experience for end users. We are excited for the new possibilities that Kinect will enable on the Windows platform, and to see how businesses and developers re-imagine their processes and their products, and the many different ways each Kinect could enrich lives and make using technology more natural for everyone,” Eisler concluded.


Mortal Kombat Gets Komplete

Warner Bros. has officially announced the release of Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition. The compilation for the game that has sold over 3 million copies will feature all of the DLC for Mortal Kombat released so far when it comes out March 2 on PS3 and Xbox 360.

The Mortal Kombat DLC will feature the fighters Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain, and Freddy Krueger. There are also 15 Klassic Skins and three Klassic Fatalities for Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile.

Sony Not ‘Contemplating Talking About’ PS4

Almost continually, rumors have been cropping up that a new PS4 console is in the works and some even peg it for a release in 2012. If that’s the case Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House isn’t surrendering any information that suggests that is what’s happening.

“I don’t think we’re contemplating talking about anything to do with future console iterations at this point,” said House. “But one thing I always point to is that, somewhat in contrast to our major competitors, we have, particularly with PS2, managed the length of the lifecycle and ensured its profitability for our publishing partners for a much longer lifecycle than has been true of the competition.”

“I would say that’s in part because of the global reach of Sony from a distribution, infrastructure and marketing standpoint,” he added. “Because in many markets, we work alongside really long-standing, established operations in electronics, we’re able to migrate out into rather more emerging markets much more easily and sustainably than is possible for some of our competitors.”

When asked about the future of home console games, he responded, “There are clearly a lot of opportunities [in the future] with regard to business models around games, all of which we’re interested in and are exploring. Some of our group companies already have a stake in free-to-play models and so on. But in my view, for the very highest quality high-definition console gaming, I think there are still some significant barriers to streaming solutions.”

“Whether it’s in mobile or cloud-based services, there are opportunities there for more casual content and in our case potentially for legacy content, which we would definitely like to explore. But I think we are a way away from being able to deliver the full-on top-end experience like that,” he added. “The scale of data involved and issues around latency do mean that, at least for now, the easiest consumer experience is from physical media. Although, having said that, we’re starting to see some growth in the number or proportion of our consumers that want to access their content via download. But I think it’s still pretty small.”

Source: MCV

Reckoning Limited Edition Options

38 Studios and Electronic Arts are going all out for the limited edition versions of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The basic special edition ($80, limited to 2000) will have a Parchment map of Amalur’s Faelands, Amalur themed seven-piece dice set and dice bag, a full set of 40 Destiny Cards, a Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – The Soundtrack and the  Fate-Touched Weapons Pack DLC which increase XP gained from Fate Shift Kills.

There’s also a Collector’s Edition ($200, limited to 1,000 units) with everything from the special edition plus an individually numbered limited edition Prismere Troll figurine created by McFarlane toys along with a high-quality concept art lithograph from Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning signed by Ken Rolston. There will also be a Signature Edition ($275, limited to 300 units and apparently already sold out) that will come with an individually numbered custom sketch by Todd McFarlane with a Prismere Troll figures signed by either Todd McFarlane, R. A. Salvatore, or Curt Schilling numbered 1 to 300.


Cosplay 2011: Thanks For The Memories

Some people take cosplay to an extreme, but when they pull it off it’s comparable to things that companies do on their own officially. Check out some video highlights (set to Fall Out Boy’s Thnks Fr th Mmrs) and see some people who should really be paid for being living advertisements for various IP.