The period between Christmas and New Year’s may have been slow but 2014 is now in full swing. The first full week of the New Year kicked off with CES on January 6 and the show was not disappointing. Valve and a variety of PC manufacturers got the event started with the announcement of 13 different Steam Machines
. The prices for the Steam branded gaming PCs range from $500 all the way up to a whopping $6000. Fortunately, the higher-end PCs do include the ability to run more than one OS.
Not to be outdone by Valve, Sony had major PlayStation news to share at CES. The electronics giant will be bringing PlayStation Now to a variety of devices including the PS4, PS3, PS Vita, smartphones, tablets and 2014 Sony Bravia TVs. PlayStation Now is the streaming game technology powered by Gaikai and will allow PS3, PS2 and even PS1 games to stream to the devices listed above. Streaming comes in two flavors, rentals of individual games for a small fee and a Netflix-style streaming service with a monthly fee. The service was originally thought to only allow for the streaming of PS3 games on the PS4 but Sony clearly has larger plans, especially with the inclusion of non-Sony devices. PlayStation Now will be available this summer for the PS4 and PS3 with other devices coming later.
Upon hearing the news of PlayStation Now investors immediately began to sell off shares of GameStop stock, causing it to fall by 9-percent or to $43.98 a share. Industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t believe the cloud gaming service will ultimately hurt GameStop in the short term. After all, strong sales of the PS4 are completely positive for the gaming retailer. Unsurprisingly, sales of the PS4 have been very strong. By the end of 2013 sales of the console reached 4.2 million worldwide.
The Xbox One isn’t doing as well as the PS4 but Microsoft boasted some impressive sales figures. By the end of 2013 the third generation of the Xbox sold 3 million units worldwide.
We certainly can’t forget about Nintendo. The gaming giant revealed 3DS lifetime sales reached 11.5 million by the end of 2013 and were up by 45-percent for the year. Other 3DS news for the week included an exploitation of older firmware in order to crack the system’s region lock. Sadly, the crack does not work if a system’s firmware is up to date. Here’s to hoping another hacker opens the way to getting around region locking for 3DS systems with current firmware.
In non-gaming tech news, Target has revised the number of customers affected by the November to December data breach to 70 million, up from the original 40 million. Credit cards and bank accounts aren’t the only targets of data thieves. During a four day span on Yahoo malware was served through the ads on the homepages of European users. The malware was designed to use the power of multiple computers to mine for Bitcoins. Other than one’s computer running a little slower the user would not be aware their machine is infected.
Are you currently enjoying Kill la Kill, Studio Trigger’s newest anime? Hiroyuki Ooshima, a manga artist currently living in France is suggesting Studio Trigger may have plagiarized his work. The manga, Gakuen Noise was created ten years ago and fans pointed out there are many similarities between it and Kill la Kill. Dig deeper and the similarities start to feel more superficial in my humble opinion. But hey, more publicity for Gakuen Noise can’t be a bad thing, right?
I’m going to round out this week’s roundup with a look at a prototype for Persona 3’s original combat system.