PlayStation Vita Abandons Support For Social App foursquare

Sony have announced that support for the popular social discovery app foursquare will be removed from the PlayStation Vita in a months time.

The official announcement reads as follows:

We’ve got some important news to share about foursquare on PlayStation®Vita.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. will no longer support the foursquare app for PS Vita from 1 April 2014, and it has been removed from PlayStation®Store from 12 February 2014.

You’ll still be able to use your foursquare account on other mobile devices or the foursquare website, where your account information will be stored.

We hope you’ll continue to enjoy the other social networking apps available for PS Vita.

Exact reasoning for the removal is unknown, but given the application has a reliance on “checking in” – and this in turn requiring a constant data connection – I’d suspect it’s not something a wide range of people used out-and-about anyway. Support for other social apps, such as Facebook and Twitter is unaffected. I’m so glad I paid the ridiculous premium for my 3G Vita at launch.

PlayStation Vita Abandons Support For Social App foursquare

Gran Turismo 5’s DLC Going Offline Soon

Following the recent revelation that Polyphony Digital would be shutting down the online servers for 2010’s Gran Turismo 5, the developer has now posted an update on their official website – which also announces that all DLC for the title will disappear from the PlayStation Network Store as of April 30th 2014.

So, if you want to pick up any of those extra cars – or indeed pimp your 1993 Nissan Sunny with a powder-pink candy-coat – go ahead and grab the DLC now, before this questionable opportunity passes you by forever.

As to be expected, Polyphony round off their news with assurances that players who have already purchased any of the additional content will not see it removed from their games, and the items will remain available via your download lists should you need to delete or reinstall Gran Turismo 5 at a later date.

I guess they really want you to pick up Gran Turismo 6.

Gran Turismo 5’s DLC Going Offline Soon

MWC 2014: Sony Announces The Xperia Z2, Z2 Tablet & M2

During today’s Mobile World Congress Conference Sony confirmed our earlier thoughts with the announcement of the Z1 successor, the aptly named Xperia Z2. We’ve also heard about its big-brother device, the Z2 tablet, and the M2, which whilst no Z1 – or 2 – is still shaping up to be a lovely little handheld, aimed squarely at the mid-range smartphone market.

Xperia Z2 Smartphone:

Sony’s Xperia Z2 features all the good stuff from the Z1 – so we wont go on that, instead we’ll look at what’s new…

The 1080p Triluminous display’s had a slight increase, bumping from 5″ to 5.2″, which in my opinion is just about the right size – offering plenty of screen real-estate, whilst remaining comfortable in the hand. The 3000mAh Z1’s battery is out too, being replaced with a 3200 option, which is, presumably, to cope with the extra pixels the Z2’s pushing.

Elsewhere, there’s an extra 1GB of RAM, with 3GB total, and the phone’s chipset has changed from a 2.15GHz Snapdragon 800, to the 2.26GHz Snapdragon 801.

The Z2 also introduces 4K (2160p) video recording, and has front-facing “S-Force Front Surround” stereo speakers, which should improve over the Z1’s singular, downward facing audio outlet.

The Xperia Z2 will launch globally from March 2014.

Xperia Z2 Tablet:

The Z2 tablet’s chipset and RAM remain consistent wth the smartphone variant, as do the newly-introduced stereo speakers – but there’s obviously a screen size jump, to 10.1″ – and the rear camera drops from 20.7MP to 8.1MP.

Both new Z2 devices retain the Z1’s dust and water resistance (IPX5, IPX8, IP5X) ratings.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet will launch globally from March 2014.

Xperia M2 Smartphone:

According to the PR Sony’s M2 “showcases high quality technology at an affordable price”.

“Xperia M2 is an ultra fast smartphone that offers brilliant specs and performance, reaching new audiences with a mid-range price. This is a great device for the customer looking for a smartphone that has it all.” says Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. “It combines the best of Sony, bringing you our latest technologies complimented with a one of its kind, unique entertainment offer never before seen on a mid-range smartphone.”

On the inside, there’s a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Quad Core chipset, and a 2300 mAh battery offering talktime of 14hrs and a standby of nearly 700. The handset also boasts a respectable 8MP camera capable of HD 1080 video recording, and a 960×540 4.8″ display which is likely more than adequate for most.

Xperia M2 will launch globally from April 2014.

Complete spec-sheets for each of todays announcements can be found below:

MWC 2014: Sony Announces The Xperia Z2, Z2 Tablet & M2

Comedian Imran Yusuf Announced As GamesAid’s First Celebrity Patron

Comedian Imran Yusuf has today been announced as the first patron of gaming charity GamesAid, a UK based charity which itself supports a number of smaller charities helping disadvantaged and disabled youngsters with issues such as education, health, housing and social welfare.

Yusuf is no stranger to the industry either; Having worked for Midway, Eidos and SEGA Europe amongst others, he left game development for a career in comedy a few years ago, and has since seen success including a 2010 nomination for best newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and numerous TV appearances.

“Working in video game development is not for the fainthearted” Yusuf said, “but it was a formative experience which informs my comedy to this day.”

“I think GamesAid can bring video games and comedy, two of my favourite things, together for a good cause and raise money for those who really need it. Both sectors are brimming with bright, intelligent and creative people whose vocation in life can bring great enjoyment to the lives of others – and we’re lucky to be able to do what we do every day, and should think about giving something back. As GamesAid’s first patron, I hope to help harness those amazing talents in order to rally even more support for the GamesAid charities.”

Last year Yusuf devised, directed and compered Stand Up For GamesAid, a hugely successful fundraiser for the Charity which took place at London’s Comedy Store. His first project as an official patron will be to organise the second now-annual event, which is scheduled to take place on Monday April 14th.

Comedian Imran Yusuf Announced As GamesAid’s First Celebrity Patron

FIFA World Cup 2014 Announced For PS3 & 360

EA Sports have announced this years FIFA World Cup game – imaginatively titled 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – which will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 beginning April 15th in North America, or two days later, April 17th in Europe.

Unlike the last FIFA tournament game, UEFA Euro 2012, which was released as DLC for that years main game, World Cup 2014 will not require FIFA 14 to play, and will instead be a full boxed retail title.

Using the core FIFA 14 gameplay engine, World Cup 2014 is said to feature “the deepest set of game modes ever in an EA SPORTS tournament title, all new gameplay innovations and improvements, and a rich presentation that captures the color and vibrancy of Brazil”.

With 203 national teams, 7,469 players, 19 officially licensed managers, and 21 new stadiums including all 12 authentic stadiums from Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to life with more detail and authenticity than ever before. Feel the support of a nation with all-new crowd scenes including banners, flags, and seat cards in the stadium, and from Live City events in all corners of the globe. Score a goal with England and see fans react live from the center of London.

Presumably that doesn’t let you see how fans in London react when Italy thrash us first game? Unless EA have gone all-in on realistically modelling lager-louts and called in the voice actors for numerous racist chants.

Now everyone has a chance to write football history. In Road to the FIFA World Cup™, the most immersive tournament mode from any EA SPORTS title, players can choose from 203 national teams and play with one to 32 players locally through the qualifying rounds, and on to the group stages of the FIFA World Cup. Along the way, fans can get tournament updates from EA SPORTS Talk Radio*,featuring Ian Darke and Andy Goldstein, or Roger Bennett and Michael Davies (Men in Blazers), with over 50 hours of recorded content to stay up to date on all the action. For those who want to celebrate the tournament online, Road to Rio de Janeiro™ is an all-new mode that lets players win their way across a map of Brazil’s 12 host cities in licensed and authentic stadiums.

FIFA World Cup 2014 is available to pre-order now, with exclusive in-game content including celebrations, and Adidas balls (yay?) being promised to those who do so. There’s currently no word on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of the game.

FIFA World Cup 2014 Announced For PS3 & 360

Sony Sells Off VAIO PC Brand, Launches New TV Business

Sony Electronics have announced the immediate sale of their PC business, and with it the VAIO brand. The deal is set to be completed within the coming month and will see the VAIO business transfer to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

Sony will no longer design or develop PC products – instead focusing on their smartphones and tablet mobile division – which is generating year-on-year sales increases, whereas their PC market has been in steady decline. The higher than expected sales on the recently released Playstation 4 games console also seem to have come at the right time for the company, as their current end-of-year financial forecasts foresee a loss of around 110 billion yen, quite some step down from the previously projected 30 billion yen profit. This loss would mark Sony’s fifth net loss within six years – with only last years sale of properties in New York and Tokyo keeping the firm from a 6-for-6 streak.

The announced sale is due to Sony “aggressively implementing a reform strategy across its electronics business, as originally announced in April 2012,” – one which CEO Kaz Hirai called an “agonizing decision” yesterday.

In an odd one-out-one-in manoeuvre, Kaz also revealed the planned formation of a new TV business, expected to focus on Sony’s high-end (4K) models.

“If you are asking if we have any plan to sell off our TV business, I can say we have absolutely no plan to do so right now,” he said.
“I think we are heading in the right direction, and by making it a separate company we will speed decision-making up. As for the future, there are many possibilities, and not just for our TV business.”

The newly formed brand, which will operate as a wholly-owned and entirely separate entity, is an attempt to return the core business to profitability; 5,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the shakeup, saving billions each year in fixed costs.

Sony Sells Off VAIO PC Brand, Launches New TV Business

BioShock Infinite’s Second Burial At Sea DLC Episode Available March 25th, Significantly Longer Than The First

BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 will be available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC starting March 25th, publisher 2K Games has announced.

Episode Two is built almost entirely from scratch by Irrational Games, and concludes the storyline of BioShock Infinite and the Burial At Sea expansion, as seen through the eyes of a new player character, Elizabeth. Irrational say it features “all-new stealth-oriented gameplay”, alongside the expected new weapons and modes.

“In Burial at Sea – Episode Two, we are delivering a story that involves nearly every major character from the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite,” said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. “It is a story that will give gamers a new perspective on the BioShock universe and conclude the story of BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea.”

Fans of the series will be pleased to hear that the second episode is also considerably larger than the first, with Ken Levine tweeting to say it offers 5-6 hours of gameplay, which is perhaps three times more than the first – released to much acclaim in November last year.

BioShock Infinite’s Second Burial At Sea DLC Episode Available March 25th, Significantly Longer Than The First