EA reveals the Xbox One sales total that Microsoft prefers not to

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Microsoft long ago stopped saying how many XBox Ones it had sold, but figures released by Electronic Arts expose numbers far short of rival Sony's Playstation 4.

On a financial call with reporters, CEO Blake Jorgensen said the combined install base of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was about 55 million units. With Sony boasting of 36 million PS4s shifted, that makes for 19 million Xbox Ones.

The numbers tally with rumors, but both machines are doing well given that we're still only 2 years into the current generation of hardware. The big loser this time around is Nintendo, thought to have sold only about 11m Wii Us. Read the rest

Sony filed a trademark application for "Let's Play"

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"Let's play" videos are a hugely popular online genre in which gamers narrate their playthroughs of games that excite and challenge them. Read the rest

Sony licensed stock footage, then branded its creator a pirate for using it himself

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Mitch Martinez licensed a stock footage clip to a Sony music label to use in a video; when the company proceeded to file a Youtube copyright complaint against him and refused to take his calls, he filed a copyright claim against them, told them he was cancelling their license to his footage, and threatened to make them re-edit the music video, removing his footage from it. Read the rest

It's been ten years since Sony Music infected the world with its rootkit

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Oct 31 2005: Security researcher Mark Russinovich blows the whistle on Sony-BMG, whose latest "audio CDs" were actually multi-session data-discs, deliberately designed to covertly infect Windows computers when inserted into their optical drives. Read the rest

Sony "took most of the bite out of" football concussion movie to please N.F.L.

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The screenwriter claims that cuts make the film “better and richer and fairer," but emails exposed by hackers show studio lawyers altered the film to avoid tangling with the National Football League.

The New York Times:

When Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to make a movie focusing on the death and dementia professional football players have endured from repeated hits to the head — and the N.F.L.’s efforts toward a cover-up — it signed Will Smith to star as one of the first scientists to disclose the problem. It named the film bluntly, “Concussion.”

In the end even Sony, which unlike most other major studios in Hollywood has no significant business ties to the N.F.L., found itself softening some points it might have made against the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise that controls the nation’s most-watched game.

In dozens of studio emails unearthed by hackers, Sony executives; the director, Peter Landesman; and representatives of Mr. Smith discussed how to avoid antagonizing the N.F.L. by altering the script and marketing the film more as a whistle-blower story, rather than a condemnation of football or the league … Another email on Aug. 1, 2014, said some “unflattering moments for the N.F.L.” were deleted or changed, while in another note on July 30, 2014, a top Sony lawyer is said to have taken “most of the bite” out of the film “for legal reasons with the N.F.L. and that it was not a balance issue.” Other emails in September 2014 discuss an aborted effort to reach out to the N.F.L.

Read the rest

Anti-piracy dolts gobble up content with "pixels" DMCA takedowns

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Several Vimeo members whose videos had "pixels" in the title are victims of the latest overly broad DMCA takedown request by Entura International, working on behalf of Sony's summer schlockbuster Pixels. Read the rest

Sony Pictures Animation plans animated “emoji movie,” starring emoji characters

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My emoji choice for this entertainment news would have to be “poop” or “frown.”

Read the rest

Photoset of the legendary "Nintendo" Play Station

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Sony's classic console was originally envisaged as part of a collaboration with then-market leader Nintendo. It went its own way, and the rest is history. Here's a look at a rarely-pictured prototype, though, thanks to imgur user DanDiebold. [via] Read the rest

The only things you really need to know about Sony's E3 press event

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Let's have a deep chat about the practical feasibility of getting our childhoods back.

Sony's contract with Spotify revealed

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The Verge obtained the 2011 agreement between the label and the music streaming service, which launched later that year. "Sony Music came out the winner," reports Micah Singleton Read the rest

Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists

A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online. Read the rest

Sony pirated ebooks on hacking

Pirated copies of two O'Reilly books on hacking, Hacking: The Next Generation and Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld were hosted on Sony's internal servers. Read the rest

'The Interview' is now available in more places than anyone actually needs

Thanks, North Korea. Or whoever.

Sony pirated K-pop anthem in The Interview

Yoon Mi Rae is set to sue Sony over the inclusion of her song "Touch Love" in The Interview, which, she says, Sony failed to license for the film. Read the rest

Mashup artist challenges Sony to stop gaming Youtube's censorship system

Hugh Atkin (of Romney Raps Eminem fame) writes, "This is a new video I've made in response to repeated, identical claims of copyright infringement by Sony Music Entertainment in respect of my 2008 video 'Barackroll.' Every time I've challenged a complaint, they've let it lapse and then subsequently filed identical complaints." Read the rest

Sony QX attachable lens-style camera

Sony's minsucule QX Lens Camera offers the specs of its high-end RX100 point-and-shoot--a 1" sensor and Zeiss F1.8 glass--but clips right onto a smartphone. It hooks up with an iOS or Android app, via WiFi or NFC, thereby letting you use the phone as the camera's viewscreen. (There's an even smaller version, too, though its sensor and lens aren't as good; you may as well just get a Nokia 1020.)

I rather like the idea of a tiny, high-end camera that can just clip-on to anything--cellphone, webcam, helmet, bike, etc. But the RX100 is already small enough, has more features, and is only a little more expensive. At $500 for the version worth buying, that QX is a pretty penny. Read the rest

Smurfs 2 already paid for with product placement

The one good review, from Variety's Scott Foundas, could not rescue Smurfs 2 from a weak domestic opening. But it's doing OK abroad, and its $150m production budget was reportedly covered in full by product placement. The advertising is incessant, say reviewers: from Gargamel's everpresent tablet PC to a duck that "urges a strolling couple to buy a Prius."

"This is basically stone-cold Sony product," writes Mike McCahill in The Guardian, a sentiment echoed by Steve Davis in the Austin Chronicle: "We’ve come a long way from Belgian comics artist Peyo’s original vision."

Which was, of course, crypto-Marxist utopianism. Read the rest

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