Sony’s PlayStation Vita On Track With No Price Cut

There have been a lot of doomsday stories recently predicting the end of Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation (PS) Vita since its weak launch before Christmas 2011 in Japan. Although the portable gaming device only sold 392,000 units in its first two weeks at retail in Japan, Wedbush Morgan Securities videogame analyst Michael Pachter believes the device is still on track.

Many gaming sites have predicted a price cut for the device in Japan, as well as a pre-launch price cut for PS Vita before its U.S. debut February 22, 2012. CNet even predicted Sony would cancel the U.S. launch completely. Of course, these types of stories are great for generating traffic, but far from the reality of a giant game publisher with shareholders to answer to and multi-million dollar marketing budgets committed to introduce new hardware to the gaming audience.

“There’s no chance for a price cut,” said Pachter. “The price points for software are what I expected, and highlight the disparity between casual smartphone games and premium console-quality handheld games.”

Read the rest of the story: Sony PlayStation Vita Still On Track With No Price Cut Imminent.

Cody Kretsinger of the U.S. charged in Sony hacking

A man was arrested and charged Thursday in connection with the breach of computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment early this summer in which more than 37,000 users had their information stolen.

Cody Kretsinger, 23, of Tempe, Arizona, was arrested and expected to make a court appearance later Thursday in a Phoenix courtroom.

An indictment unsealed in Los Angeles charged Kretsinger with one count each of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. If convicted of both counts, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Read the rest of the story: U.S. man charged in Sony hacking.

Japan won’t let Sony bring up the PlayStation Network

Japan, home to electronics giant Sony, will not let the company bring its PlayStation network back online there until it convinces Japan that the game-playing network is secure.

Over the weekend, Sony started restoring network service, including to users in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, after a massive security breach resulted in its shutdown for more than three weeks. The company said it is phasing in the network, and that it should be up and running worldwide by May 31. No date yet is set for countries in Asia, but Sony has indicated it will have a complete restoration by the end of May.

No matter: Kazushige Nobutani, of Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told Dow Jones Newswires that it will not allow the PSN back until it gets some assurances from Sony.

Read the rest of the story: Japan says Not so fast to Sony PlayStation Network.

“Ryu ga Gotoku” video game gets TV Drama starring Takumi Saito

The hit video game series "Ryu ga Gotoku" (released in English as "Yakuza") is getting a live-action drama adaptation of its newest installment, "Kurohyou: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou," which is being released for the PlayStation Portable on September 22. The show will star actor Takumi Saito (29).

The video game series, which started out on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, is a mix of action and adventure set in the yakuza world. "Kurohyou" will be the franchise’s first game for a handheld console, and it was decided that it would be accompanied by the franchise’s first drama series. However, the games have already had two live-action works – one was released directly to DVD, while the other was the feature film "Ryu ga Gotoku: Gekijoban" directed by Takashi Miike.

Saito plays the main character in the drama, who is also the protagonist of the new game. Takuya Ishida (23) and Hideo Ishiguro (21) play his junior and his close friend, respectively. The cast also features retired kickboxer Masato (31) in his first regular drama role and actor Koichi Iwaki (59), who also provided a voice for the game. Rock band RIZE will do the show’s theme song, titled "MUPPET."

The 11-episode series will begin airing on TBS and MBS on October 5, in both networks’ 1:25am time slot (1:55am for the first episode on TBS). In conjunction with the broadcast, exclusive images will be available for the PlayStation 3 and the PSP through the PlayStation Store. A manga version of the story has also been announced, starting on September 18 in Weekly Young Magazine.