A statement on the official Playstation Blog says:
“I’m happy to confirm that PlayStation Store is open and you can now download content and redeem voucher codes. We will update you with the full lists of new content available to PlayStation Network members and PlayStation Plus subscribers here on the PlayStation.Blog in the next few hours.”
The Welcome Back package – which allows PS3 owners to download two of five PS3 games and two of four PSP titles free of charge and gives non-Playstation Plus users 30 days free membership – has yet to be implimented, with Sony promising it will appear “soon”.
Existing Playstation Plus users will recieve an extra 60 days free on top of their existing membership.
For those who may have missed the news first time round (where have you been, guys?!) the five PS3 games you can choose from will be:
Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
And the four PSP titles for download are:
The Playstation Store has been closed for business since April 20 after Sony discovered its servers had been hacked and the personal data of more than 90 million customers stolen.
Once the event begins on Tuesday, June 7, Playstation Home users will be able to access a special screening room where they can watch a live stream of the entire five-hour show from 12pm to 5pm PT.
Sony also announced that their hugely successful virtual E3 booths would make a return to Home this year, allowing gamers to watch game trailers, previews and more.
By visiting the booths and watching the conference, you’ll be able to earn exclusive digital items for your Home space and avatar, play demos that aren’t available anywhere else outside of E3 and have a look at a 3D-rendered NGP.
Once the show is finished and all virtual items unlocked, gamers will be granted access to a special VIP area that will showcase specific PlayStation Home content, including the first level of never-before-seen game Scribble Shooter and a package of virtual items comprised of furniture, companions and ornaments.
The PlayStation.Blog team will also stream live demos and developer interviews direct from the show floor throughout the day.
For those with enough spare time to read it, here’s the full press release:
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) today announced it will host a live stream of its E3 Expo 2011 press conference in a special screening room within PlayStation Home on June 6 at 5 p.m. PT. The press conference, which will be the first ever live streaming press event in PlayStation Home, will show Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA, on stage as he unveils exclusive, never-before-seen footage of new titles across Sony Computer Entertainment’s suite of platforms and reveals all of the major announcements the company will make at the E3 expo, taking place June 6 through 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Additionally, PlayStation Network will once again offer gamers an inside look into E3 directly from their PlayStation 3 systems via its virtual E3 booth featured in PlayStation Home. In 2010, five times more people visited PlayStation Home’s E3 virtual booth than the entirety of the show at the LA Convention Center. At the start of the show on Tuesday, June 7 at 12 p.m. PT, when users login to PlayStation Home, they will be invited to visit the virtual booth. Once inside, users will be able to tour a detailed replica of PlayStation’s E3 booth earning exclusive virtual items at each area as they check out the content showcased on the show floor, including a 3D render of PlayStation’s Next Generation Portable (NGP).
Once their tour is complete and all virtual items have been unlocked, users will be awarded access to the upstairs VIP area that will showcase specific PlayStation Home content, including the first level of the never-before-seen upcoming Scribble Shooter game as well as a virtual item package that features companions, furniture and ornaments. Additionally, the PlayStation.Blog team will be live streaming game demos and developer interviews direct from show floor throughout the expo, giving gamers an opportunity to check out all the great content at the E3 Expo this year.
Say what you will about Sony’s security foibles, but you can’t deny the entertainment giant’s dedication to looking after its wide-eyed, games hungry fanbase.
Will you be watching E3 via Playstation Home? Let us know your thoughts!
According to the Twitter account of Epic lead designer Lee Perry, the game will focus on freeform construction, much like Minecraft.
“I see lots of questions asking if Fortnite is freeform construction. It is. It’s not scripted or just boarding up existing structures,” Perry wrote, “and it stands to reason if you can build a world, anything can be destroyed. That’s about all I’m tossing out there for now.” He added that “Minecraft was an inspiration for sure.”
Despite that inspiration, Perry adds that the game will still be different. “Minecraft lets you build anything,” he wrote. “We are focusing on constructing ‘buildings’ specifically.”
For now, Perry added that he still has “no information to give with regards to platform or time frame.”
The data, reported by Andriasang, covers December 17 and 18 and puts the Vita behind the Nintendo 3DS, which sold 371,326 in its first two days.
The number of Vita units sold is almost half the rumoured initial shipment of 700,000.
The Vita’s predecessor, the PSP, sold 166,074 units in its first day – second day sales are not available.
The PlayStation Vita launches in Europe and the US in February. The European launch line-up includes Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Motorstorm RC, ModNation Racers: Road Trip and WipEout 2048.
With less than a fortnight to go before the games industry shuts down for Christmas and the New Year, the biggest questions of 2011 are yet to be resolved. We know that our business is in transition – it would take a truly remarkable act of head-burying in an astonishingly deep sandpit to avoid that conclusion – but as yet, nobody quite knows whether 2011 is going to be seen as a turning point in that process. It has the hallmarks of a watershed, the hype of a pivotal year – but the facts simply aren’t in place yet.
I say this primarily because two of the most important test cases for the future direction of the market and the speed of the transition are only now rolling out, after a year of nervous anticipation. Sony’s PlayStation Vita won’t raise its head outside Japan until next year; Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: The Old Republic won’t start to produce useful data for a few months yet. How each one fares is absolutely crucial to our understanding of the business.
The cases of these two products – so dissimilar on the surface – correspond to a remarkable degree. Each one is an expensive, high quality product that’s had major investment and carries a premium price tag as a consequence. Each one is competing in a market that’s still dominated by an aging rival (Nintendo DS, World of Warcraft) but whose future is commonly seen as being cheaper, more nimble products with new business models, rather than another monolithic, dominant product.
Both of them, significantly, have been called out in public, by senior commentators and industry figures, as being the last of their kind. Opinion is strongly polarised over how well PlayStation Vita will do in the market, but few people are willing to argue the case that Sony will ever release another dedicated handheld platform after it. Equally, there’s a cautious optimism around Star Wars: The Old Republic that’s tempered by the sense that it’s probably the last of the high-budget, expensive, pay-to-play MMORPGs.
The obvious question, then, is whether these products are swansongs or death knells for their respective categories. Will dedicated handhelds and pay-to-play MMOs go out with a whimper, or with a bang?
There’s another question, though, which the stats we eventually get from these two launches will help to answer – are we actually right about the direction of the industry? In discussing the rise of free-to-play, or the increasing importance of social network gaming, or the ubiquity of multi-function mobile devices, it’s easy to get comfortable with the prevailing wisdom. We shouldn’t forget that the conventional wisdom regarding where the market is moving is nothing more than a theory, and while it may seem perfectly logical, it’s subject to human error and bias.
That’s why we need to see the performance of landmark products clearly – in order to gather data to shape our views of where the industry is going, and how fast it’s going there. The success or failure of Vita and The Old Republic will tell us incredibly important things that could either confirm or overturn our assumptions about industry trends. Most likely, this data will do neither thing, but will refine our perspectives. Some things we presently believe are probably right. Others are probably wrong. We just don’t know which, yet.
In the case of handheld consoles, there’s also an unanswered question over the Nintendo 3DS. I’ve always maintained that the 3DS does not have the potential to match the eventual market success achieved by the DS, and I still think that’s the case. Earlier this year, however, it looked like the console might be an outright flop – with plenty of commentators ready to pile on and declare the console still-born. Now it’s selling bucketloads in Japan thanks to Monster Hunter, and doing remarkably well overseas too, suggesting that the strong Christmas Nintendo needed for the console has become a reality.
Does that mean we’re all wrong about iOS reshaping the face of this market? No – but it’s new data, and it’s important to assimilate and understand it rather than dismissing it as a blip or claiming that Nintendo’s “fanboys” are somehow distorting the market in an unrealistic way. In a market where conventional wisdom says that smartphones are the only game in town, millions of consumers have bought 3DS consoles. There’s a transition happening, but perhaps it’s not the transition we thought – perhaps it’s slower, or less complete, or simply more complex than the simple narrative of “everyone drops dedicated consoles and buys an iPhone”.
I suspect that similar complexity will emerge as we start to get an understanding of what happens around the forthcoming launches of Vita and The Old Republic. Vita is a powerful multifunction device that isn’t a phone – unlike the 3DS, it can be seen in some ways as a stab at the iPod Touch market, for example, and perhaps even nibbling around the fringes of what the iPad does for some of its consumers. Will it work? It won’t sink the iPad, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see what it can do in the market, and will give us a deeper picture of a market that’s not only in transition, but also in the throes of rapid growth.
The Old Republic, meanwhile, is a game that conventional wisdom consigns to the bin of history – an expensive MMORPG with a front-loaded cost structure and premium monthly subscription, adrift in a world of free-to-play business models. It’s easy to declare it the last of the would-be WoW-killers. Yet the sheer power of the brand recognition and of EA’s marketing machine, not to mention the credibility with the core market afforded by Bioware’s involvement, make it something special – and the excitement over freemium doesn’t change the fact that over 10 million people are still paying for WoW every month, so it’s obviously not a dead business model, even if it’s an old one.
Because the games business so often runs on the basis of making good guesses about what’s going to happen 18, 24 or 36 months down the line, it has become very full of people who may not actually be great educated guessers, but are extremely good at giving the impression of being utterly confident and informed in their predictions. This makes videogames an industry where conventional wisdom tends to become accepted fact long before it has any right to be anything other than challenged theory. That makes data – proper, quantifiable data coming from the only place that matters, the marketplace itself – incredibly valuable and important.
That data, however, takes a while to arrive. Hence the irony; 2011 will be remembered as a pivotal year for the games industry. Until we see the figures start to pile up in 2012, though, we’ll have real no idea in which direction we’re pivoting.
Bethesda Softworks has shipped 10 million units of its hit RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim across all formats.
The PC version has also sold strongly, outperforming other games by a factor of three-to-one in the month of its release.
“Skyrim is the fastest selling title in Steam’s history” said Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve, in a statement.
“Bethesda’s commitment to and understanding of the PC as a gaming platform shows in the great review scores, spectacular launch, and continued high player numbers that Skyrim has received.”
Skyrim sold 3.5 million copies 48 hours when it launched in November. Since then, it has continued to sell strongly, despite being plagued by a number of technical issues.