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ps vita tv

Ms. Zhorida Lipayon

P1020173Playstation 4 has finally launched in the Philippines as of January 14 but the more intriguing side of the story is what else is in store for the Philippines? We are certainly excited about the next product launching (PS VITA TV for South-East Asia) and while we wait for that, we at 30lives were able to spend some time with the Group Head of Home Entertainment Product Marketing from Sony, Zhorida Lipayon to give us a bigger picture on what Sony Philippines has in store for us.

30lives: One of our primary questions is: What has changed in the strategy of Sony? They are now targeting South-East Asian countries where online games are more prevalent than console games?

Zhorida Lipayon: The good thing about our situation right now is everybody can see our (Philippines) potential but not just in the Philippines but all the other countries mentioned (Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sinagpore). The Philippines has a very young working population so there is a lot of room to cultivate the market in terms of brand appreciation and loyalty.

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30lives: So this is more of a Global strategy?

Zhorida Lipayon: This has always been the strategy of Sony to identify potential markets and then invest in them.

P102020030lives: Granted that before there were any official console launches, there has been a long-standing “grey-market” for retail/console games. Is this an issue with Sony?

Zhorida Lipayon: At the end of the day, it’s a Sony sale (when our products are bought from these channels) but what we are focusing on a channels where we know we can sell. Sony Philippines is primarily an A/V (audio/visual) hardware distributor. So at the moment we are focusing on that as we have our special channels: Sony Centers and Gadget Shops. For us it’s quite different.

30lives: So basically it’s not an issue?

Zhorida Lipayon: No it is not.

30lives: Even if they import their consoles from say, Hong Kong or Singapore?

Zhorida Lipayon: That’s okay but there are certain disadvantages. For one, Hong Kong is not covered in our regional warranty service. But for us in Sony Philippines, it’s all about the whole package. When someone wants to try the Playstation 4, we don’t just have them try the console as is. We want them to try it with our brand new 4k TVs because it’s a totally different experience.

30lives: So you’re all really more focused on the game hardware sales than software?

Zhorida Lipayon: Well we do have certain goals to make sales of specific volumes but we really are focused on what we can sell well because we have to do business smart.

P102015930lives: There have been ventures to distribute game software such as X-Play. You’re not really going down that road?

Zhorida Lipayon: There are some ways for us to secure game distribution as we can get from distributors signed by our Singapore office.

30lives: I guess that would be more for first party (Sony) games, right?

Zhorida Lipayon: Well that would be the preference but we would like to expand it more but we would like to give our loyal Sony Playstation fans what they want.

30lives: On to the packaging the Playstation 4s and the 4k TVs there isn’t really a (video) format for it yet and the only thing that can cater to 4K resolutions are PC games. What is the advantage of adopting a 4K TV now?

Zhorida Lipayon: Our 4K TVs are able to upscale non-4K sources to 4K resolutions. So PS4 games and Blu-ray shows will be upscaled to 4K level resolutions.

P102018730lives: Will the Vita TV be a localized or regional service?

Zhorida Lipayon: It will be a regional service.

30lives: I think one of the concerns regarding PS Vita TVs being sold in the Philippines now is the fact that they are Japanese units. Will these units be usable for the upcoming regional service for countries under South-East Asia?

Zhorida Lipayon: Our demo sets are Japanese PS Vita TVs. We will have a different version from the Japanese Vita TVs.

30lives: So I guess it’s safe to say that Japanese Vita TVs won’t work for the Asian regional service?

Zhorida Lipayon: Yes.

Our takeaway: it looks like Sony’s Philippine arm has big plans for the well-entrenched local PlayStation fanbase. The days of pirated PlayStation discs brazenly being sold in local department stores are long behind us, and it appears that Sony has finally seen potential in the Philippine market as one of potential growth. 

Watch this space for more coverage on Sony Philippines’ upcoming launches; the Vita TV’s launch is just around the corner! In the meantime, please enjoy this non-musical montage of moments from Sony Philippines’ PlayStation 4 launch!

P102027730lives.net was at the Glorietta Activity Center yesterday to cover the launch of the PlayStation 4 in the Philippines. The event called ‘Play the Future First’ unveiled the much awaited next-generation console to Filipino gamers at the SRP of PHP 24,999. The event is hosted by seasoned radio jocks Gino Quillamor and Riki Flores who also demo’d some of the games on the PS4. The launch was held in partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong Limited (SCEH) Singapore Branch.

Opening the event is the President and Managing Director of Sony Philippines, Mr. Yasushi Asaoka. “Sony has always been in touch with what the gaming community needs and wants. We have always strived to give consumers the best experience in home entertainment, which includes  the thrilling roster of PlayStation. It is with great pride that we bring the newest PlayStation 4 in the market today,” Asaoka mentioned during his speech.

Mr. Tomoyuki Haba, who is the Singapore Branch Manager of SCEH also spearheaded the launch in other SEA countries. He mentioned during his speech that the PlayStation 4 has sold more than 4.2 million copies already, according to their Tokyo office. The PS Vita has also jumped in sales in anticipation for the PS4‘s release. SCEH also has a new plan on the warranty service for 6 South East Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Customers who buy the PS4 are entitled to have an extra ONE YEAR WARRANTY COVERAGE in countries where the product has been officially launched (including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia), and the warranty will be valid throughout these countries. Wherever the customers are, they can also have the repair service for their products.

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New PS Vita color with light blue back

On stage, Sony Philippines head of marketing Ms. Zhorida Lipayon presented the new game consoles that are launching locally. First up was the new PS Vita system which features a more streamlined form factor and an 1GB internal memory card, is 20-percent slimmer and 15-percent lighter than the original version, making the portable entertainment system even easier to carry. It also comes in different colors such as lime green, light blue, pink black, khaki, black and white. The PlayStation Vita 2000 Wifi is sold at PHP 11,999 locally. Accessories are also available and are sold separately.

Meanwhile, since its unveiling in September 2013, PS Vita TV has become one of the most anticipated Sony products. PS Vita TV is a new entertainment system within the PlayStation family that will allow users to easily access various content on their TV at home. The new system adopts chip sets and system software of the PlayStation Vita portable entertainment system and its size is 6.5cm × 10.5cm, smallest of all PlayStation platforms that connect to a TV. On stage, two girls demo’d the Japanese version of God Eater 2 with one playing on the PS Vita and the other on the PS Vita TV which played flawlessly. I’ve also tried the demo unit on the floor and played Dragon’s Crown which is installed in the system’s memory card and it played without a hitch. I am just not sure if the memory card is the same as the PS Vita‘s and if it can be plugged straightaway from Vita to Vita TV.

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Oh myyyy.

According to the press release, “To continue servicing the gaming community, a separate retail launch will be held for the Sony PS Vita TV“. This hopefully means we’ll be able to finally see The Philippines as an available option in the PS Store soon.

The PS4 is a next generation computer entertainment system that redefines rich and immersive game play with powerful graphics, speed, deeply integrated social capabilities and innovative second-screen features utilizing devices such as PS Vita. By utilizing PS Camera, users can expand gaming ways of PS4 and enjoy different gaming experience. The hosts demo’d some of the games on stage which utilized the PS Camera like Play with Asobi and Air Hockey which seemed fun.

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Seriously, it’s called Magma Red.

There is also a wide range of peripherals for PS4 that are introduced such as the color variation for PS4 Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK 4) in “Magma Red” and “Wave Blue”, PlayStation Camera, DUALSHOCK4 Charging Station and PS4 Vertical Stand. Once you touch these babies, there’s definitely no going back to the DS3, at least this is what I felt while I was playing Crank on the demo floor. There was also a demo of the Personal 3D Viewer where attendees can sample the experience of playing Assassin’s Creed Black Flag up close.

The PlayStation 4 was also made available during the press launch. The payment terms were cash or a straight credit card charge of PHP 24,999 or PHP 26,999 (with camera) on site.

For more details on PlayStation and other Sony products, visit the nearest Sony Centre.

You can also log on to www.sony.com.ph, like them on www.facebook.com/SonyPhilippines and follow them on www.twitter.com/SonyPHInc and www.instagram.com/SonyPHInc.

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We all know Sony’s recently announced mini companion console is getting much attention. It’s a cheap way to get into the current/next generation PlayStation world and an awesome addition to the PS family of devices.

It’s not a secret that it won’t work with all Vita games but it still has a decent library of compatible Vita titles that you can enjoy on your big screen TV. As the $100 gadget is controlled by a Dualshock controller, it is expected that touchscreen-centric games won’t make the cut — Sony has released an official list (hit the source link below).

It is also a good thing to note that although not all Vita games will be supported, all digital PlayStation (PSone) and PSP (PlayStation Portable) games are fully playable on it, practically giving the PS Vita TV a library of more than 1300 games, not to mention being able to stream PS4 games directly from the console.

 

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“Microconsoles,” by their nature, are budget consoles that are gimped—whether intentionally or not—in one way or another to accommodate the low asking price. We’re seeing a resurgence of sorts for these feature-filled little set-top boxes aimed at the casual: with devices such as the Ouya, Game Pop, Gamestick, Madcatz’ MOJO—and even rumored boxes coming from Apple and Amazon—there’s no shortage of options for this already-fragmented new market.

Unassumingly announced as an afterthought during Sony’s pre-TGS press conference, the PlayStation Vita TV is the Japanese conglomerate’s take on the microconsole concept, one that—with enough tweaking and the right kind of marketing—should be far and away the most successful out of this sordid lot of Android hand-me-downs.

ps-vita-tvIt caught everyone by surprise, and seemed like an awful idea at first. A consolized version of a failing handheld? Surely Sony’s R&D department didn’t waste millions researching this? Yet upon further inspection, the PS Vita TV appears more and more to be a very savvy and smart move responding to current market trends; and I’m sure the joke about Sony being the electronics industry equivalent of a senile, out-of-touch old man writes itself at this point.

Hardware manufacturers and even content creators have an immense hard-on for locking the consumer in to their own “ecosystems.” Google has its Play Store (of which derivatives exist such as the Ouya Store, Nvidia’s Tegra Zone or Amazon’s App Store), Microsoft owns a myriad of Xbox-related services, and even Sony is coming into the game fairly late with its “Sony Entertainment Network” sphere of multimedia services. In essence, the PlayStation Vita TV is Sony’s shot at getting the casual hooked into their ecosystem. Its a trojan horse in every sense of the word: the entire look (apart from the fact that it can be controlled by a Dual Shock 3) screams AV rather than VG and at 10,000 Yen (approx. $100) the price is unheard of. No console hardware manufacturer has released anything even remotely resembling that price point, one that immediately entices the mainstream consumer as a “no brainer” purchase. The fact that Amazon Japan already sold out of their first shipment after one day of taking preorders solidifies this fact.

ps_vita_tv_8However even marketing it as an all-rounder device rather than a consolized handheld, Sony is making no qualms about injecting the “PlayStation” and “Vita” brands simultaneously into the mix. Why would they? This isn’t 1985’s Nintendo of America quandary; the word “video games” mean way more to the general public now than it did before. Instead of the usual “oh it’s a toy with a robot… no wait it’s actually a computer!” runaround we’ve gotten in the past, the PS Vita TV is marketed as something it actually is: a pared-down, cheaper version of a $400 console experience that doubles as a good addition to your home video system.

Set beside its contemporaries in the field, the PS Vita TV offers so much more: while I’m more interested personally in its remote-play capabilities (the ability to offload and output my PS4 experience to a remote bedroom TV already sold me), the more discerning mainstream customer may see it as an alternative to the Apple TV: another way to play the myriad of streaming services that are out there such as Hulu, Netflix, or even NicoNico Douga. Parents will appreciate the fact that it also happens to pull double-duty as a cheap console with a variety of games for Junior to screw around with. Heck, lapsed gamers will probably elect to pick it up as a convenient way to play old PSX classics with minimal hassle.

In execution, the outlook will probably look a lot less rosy than the picture that I’m painting: I can see this thing disrupting the marketplace in all the wrong ways; with confused consumers wondering if it’s an add-on to the PlayStation 4, or if it actually is the PlayStation 4. The hardcore market will of course scoff at its limited capabilities and balk at the price of games compared to App Store or Play Store offerings.

Regardless of its relative measures of success though, I firmly believe that in Sony’s eyes the PlayStation Vita TV will never be a failure: after all, if they can even get several hundred thousand of these things in cramped Tokyo apartments, that’s a few hundred thousand new SEN subscribers. To all the consumer outlets whining about its relative uselessness in comparison to Sony’s other console systems: deal with it, this product is not for you.