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Sony seeing significant demand for its next-gen console
by Paul Hill
Sony has seen significant demand for its PlayStation 5 according to Jim Ryan, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Retailers have opened pre-orders for the next-gen console and people have rushed to place an order for the device which is set to launch on November 12.
Speaking to Reuters, Jim Ryan said that demand for the new console during the pre-order period had “been very, very considerable.” In the United States, PS5 consoles sold as well in the first 12 hours as the PlayStation 4 did in the first 12 weeks. One of the reasons for the huge increase in demand could be the fact that people are being forced to stay home more as countries grapple with the coronavirus and are looking for something to fill their time.
The CEO admitted that not everybody who wants a PS5 will be able to get one on launch day but that the firm is working hard to ensure that people can acquire one around the end of the year.
While the pandemic might be boosting interest in the PS5, job losses around the world may make it difficult for people to justify the PlayStation 5’s $500 price tag or the $400 for the digital edition. As the economic dust settles during 2021 people’s cash flows could have an impact on console sales in the medium-term.
Apple TV, Disney+, and more to be available on the PlayStation 5 at launch
by João Carrasqueira
Sony is slowly revealing more information about the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. After introducing us to the console's internals in a teardown video and revealing the console's software experience, the company today announced the media apps that will be available on the PlayStation 5 when it launches next month.
As shown in the UI video last week, media apps will reside in a dedicated Media tab on the PlayStation 5's home screen, and you won't need to download them from the PlayStation Store, which will focus on games. At launch, the PlayStation 5 will already support quite a few major streaming services - Apple TV (including Apple TV+), Disney+, and Netflix, Spotify, Twitch, and YouTube. Post-launch, more apps will also make their way to the console, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock, and more.
In addition to the media apps, Sony also announced that a Media Remote will be launched alongside the PlayStation 5, aiming to make it easier to control playback on these services. You can also use the Control Center interface revealed last week to control music playback while you're doing something else.
Since the Xbox Series X and S are based on the same software experience already on the Xbox One family, all the services available there should also be available on those consoles at launch. While Apple TV isn't officially available yet, Microsoft and Apple are already testing the service with select users, so it could be set to launch soon.
By Jay Bonggolto
Sony brings its digital camera webcam software to macOS
by Jay Bonggolto
Sony released today a new version of its digital camera webcam software that allows customers to use its cameras as webcams on macOS. The software tool was previously made available to Windows PCs in August.
The Imaging Edge Webcam solution is now available to download on macOS versions 10.13 to 10.15. It brings support for a wide range of Sony's recent digital camera models. It lets users connect a Sony camera to their MacBooks for use in videoconferencing, for example, with high-quality video calls.
Supported camera models include Sony's E-mount cameras such as the ILCE-7M2, 7RM2, 7S, 7SM2, 6100, 6500, and more. It also works with the A-mount series like the ILCA-77M2, ILCA-99M2, and ILCA-68. As for vlog cameras, the software tool supports the ZV-1, DSC-HX95, DSC-RX0M2, DSC-RX100M5A, DSC-RX10M2, DSC-RX1RM2, and more camera models. Overall, 36 models are compatible with the tool.
You can download the software solution here and follow Sony's guide on how to connect your camera to your MacBook. The download page also contains the list of supported models. Sony is not among the first camera manufacturers to offer a software tool designed to turn its cameras into webcams. Canon, Fujifilm, and other companies have already offered a similar tool for their respective cameras.
Sony shows off the PlayStation 5's user interface
by João Carrasqueira
As we approach the launch day of Sony and Microsoft's next-generation consoles, information is starting to come out at a more rapid pace to build up excitement. Microsoft revealed the list of games that will be optimized for Xbox Series X and S at launch, and Sony has shared a video and blog post going over the PlayStation 5's user interface for the first time.
The video shows a lot of what you'd expect, starting with the Control Center, which is quickly accessible by pressing the PlayStation button at any time. This interface will give users access to a handful of options such as online friends, notifications, and sound settings, but the most notable part of the interface here are the cards lined up above the menu.
These cards can contain a variety of things, such as news related to games the user is following (if they're waking up the console on from sleep mode), and recent screenshots or videos they've captured. But the most interesting ones are the activity cards, which represent activities that can be performed within games, such as specific levels. These cards not only make specific activities more quickly accessible, they can also tell users how much progress they've made in a specific activity, and the amount of time left to complete it. Once expanded, these cards can also show additional objectives for the level, and if the player finds themselves stuck, developers can even provide hints for these objectives directly in the PlayStation 5's UI.
Other elements of the UI that were shown off include a new party system, with notifications and messages showing up in an overlay over the game. Parties have new features now, and members can begin sharing their screen, while other members can watch their gameplay in picture-in-picture mode while playing their own game. Parties can also be used for sharing game captures like screenshots and videos, though you can also share them to Twitter if you prefer that.
We also got a look at the home screen (pictured at the top of this article), which is what you'll see when you power up the console after turning it off completely. Here you can see your library of games, along with corresponding news or activities you can jump into. While media apps are also set to be available, they'll be placed in a separate tab, so you'll only see games when that's what you want to focus on. The PlayStation Store has also been baked into the home screen as its own tab, rather than working like a separate app.
If you'd like to see all of this in action, you can watch the full video here.
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple TV app is now available on Sony's smart TVs
by Jay Bonggolto
Sony announced today that the Apple TV app is rolling out to some of its smart TVs. The app is available to download now in the U.S. via a software update, starting with Sony's X900H series.
That means you can now access original content from Apple TV+ and Apple TV channels as well as new movies and documentaries including The Morning Show, See, Defending Jacob, Ted Lasso, Greyhound, The Banker, Boys State, and Beastie Boys Story. You can also watch a selection of curated recommendations.
In addition, you can subscribe to channels available on Apple TV like SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, and Starz directly on the app. And you can share your subscriptions with up to six family members using your personal Apple ID and password through the Family Sharing feature.
Today's announcement gives a boost to Apple's efforts to bring Apple TV+ to as many platforms as possible. Last month, LG's 2018 OLED and Super UHD TV models added support for Apple TV. It also looks like Apple TV is coming to Xbox consoles soon. By the end of this year, the Apple TV app will also be available on Sony's select 2018 sets and most 2019 and 2020 models.