Gamestop have confirmed that a silver Sony PS3 Dual Shock 3 game pad will be available in the US from June. We can’t see the point of a silver controller when all US (and European) PS3′s have been black to date. Does this mean that the games giant is about to release a silver edition of their console, and if they do will this be another gimmick in lieu of a price cut? We’ll keep you posted.

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Website Pocket Gamer has claimed that a source inside the Sony development team informs them that the much-rumoured PSP2 is well advanced and should be released by Christmas. The new unit is reported to be more of an iPhone look-alike than the current unit integrating a large touchscreen that will slide open to reveal the traditional control buttons. Sony hasn’t really acknowledged the existence of a PSP2 yet but expect full specifications and details to be unveiled at the E3 Media and Business Summit in June.

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Sony is preparing to release an impressive 2009 PSP line-up which includes headline titles such as MotorStorm and LittleBigPlanet. Hopefully this will help boost the handheld’s 3 million strong user base in the UK. The recent arrival of the PSP 3000 model along with rumours of a PSP 2 should also help to boost numbers and make up some ground on the much more popular Nintendo DS Lite.

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Sony have announced that they have sold 21.3 million PlayStation 3 consoles worldwide up to 31 December 2008. They do not split the figure down into territories.

Let’s see what figure Microsoft come back with for Xbox 360 sales! It should be much more considering their one-year head start and the recent sales performance reports.

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Despite recent gloomy news on the job market, the avid gamers perfect position is advertised on Sony Computer Entertainment’s Japanese website. Sony are recruiting a ‘games tester’ to work on a new model, as well as the existing PS2, PS3 and PSP hardware. The prospective candidate should have experience in games console hardware development. The lucky recipient can expect around £7.50 per hour with a minimum one year contract.

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Further to the NPD hardware figures released last week (Sony sees PS3 sales slump), Sony has hit back, claiming that their future blockbuster software releases will continue to drive sales figures Sony’s Peter Dille has commented “The PlayStation brand experienced a record year in 2008 and we believe our blockbuster line-up combined with PS3′s position as the best Blu-ray player and sophisticated entertainment device will continue to fuel increased marketshare and momentum into 2009.”

I suppose only time will tell whether these comments will hold true.

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According to figures released by research group NPD, Sony’s PlayStation 3 console has seen a year-on-year sales slump of almost 25% percent this January (US sales figures). In the preceding year it sold 269,000 consoles, whilst this year the figure is 203,200. Sony must be worried as their rivals see a major growth in sales (see previous post – Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii see sales surge) as well as Sony themselves suffering their widely publicised financial woes. The reasons for this sales slump cannot be solely due to the world’s current economic climate considering the performance of the PS3’s chief rivals. In my opinion it is down to two factors. The first is the consoles high price. It is over two years since launch and we have only seen one relatively minor price drop. The RRP of a PS3 is almost double that of either an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii. Sony must have to drop prices to compete but this lead to another problem for them – they are still loosing money on each PS3 console sold. In light of this I would assume that they are better off selling less until they reach a production cost where they can make money on each unit. The second factor concerns the integrated Blu-ray player. Since the formats launch the PS3 has been widely recognised as the best and cheapest Blu-ray player. Within the last six months new stand alone players from the likes of Sony and Panasonic have tipped the advantage away from a PS3 towards owning a dedicated Blu-ray player. It appears to me Sony is stuck in a hole with the PS3 that it may well struggle to get out of. Have you still not purchased a PS3 due to the high retail price? Why not obtain a free PS3 80GB console?

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According to news agency Reuters, Sony Corporation is about to announce an annual operating loss of around $1.1 billion, down from a previously estimated $2.2 billion profit. This marks the corporations first loss in 14 years of trading. Factors are cited are weak sales and the impact of a stronger yen on the Japanese giant.