This Week's Top Stories: January 30 - February 4, 2012

Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.

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Sony ‘will probably be last to announce’ next-gen plans, says exec

Sony has made its next-generation plans abundantly clear as of late (not that it hadn’t done so already, mind), and just in case any of you were holding out for an E3 surprise, it’s pretty obvious now it won’t be happening. In fact, this week, PlayStation France boss Philippe Cardon reckons the electronics giant will in fact be last in line to announce a new home console, something which myself and other like-minded gamers agree with. After all, PS3 has a shelf life of roughly ten years and was last to arrive on the market, so it makes sense Sony would want to hold off unveiling a successor to its black beast. Microsoft on the other hand you could argue would be better off getting something out the door soon rather than later, seeing as how the 360 is a little older, though to be fair is still in the business of pumping out quality content. Either way, with Nintendo playing catch-up to the HD generation with Wii U, there’s certainly no rush for Sony or Microsoft to release a new telly box just yet.

PlayStation Vita will get Monster Hunter this year, says Sony France boss

More words of wisdom from PlayStation France overlord Philippe Cardon this week, who appears fairly confident that Monster Hunter will be hitting PlayStation Vita this year. In fact, he said it’s due “in the next few months,” which will no doubt come as music to the ears of the series’ intensely loyal fan base in the west -- and no doubt Sony too, who know only too well how instrumental Monster Hunter has been in perpetuating PSP’s success in Japan. Interestingly, Cardon all but admitted the PS Vita’s launch line-up wasn’t too suited to Japanese tastes, something which he felt would have been another kettle of fish had Monster Hunter been available from day one. Can’t really argue with him either, as it’ll be a rainy day in May before Capcom’s pocket-sized phenomenon doesn’t sell like hot cakes.

Dragon’s Dogma pushed to May, includes access to RE6 demo

Capcom’s upcoming fantasy romp Dragon’s Dogma is looking pretty impressive, and it’s a shame that most people will probably overlook that fact when considering the fact the game comes with access to a Resi 6 demo. Unfortunately, the firm is adopting the same strategy it did with the demo for RE5, with Xbox 360 owners getting their hands on it before anyone else. This isn’t just a few weeks advance either, but 60 days, as PS3 owners won’t get their mitts on it until early September. But back to Dragon’s Dogma, which sadly won’t be out in March as originally planned, but rather late May. Still, with all the sequels and re-releases Capcom seems so intent on churning out these days, it’s refreshing to see the industry giant tackle something fresh – and an action-RPG in the Lord of the Rings mould sounds like just the ticket.

Kaz Hirai promoted to Sony CEO and president

If there’s any Sony executive that PlayStation owners are perhaps most acquainted with, it’s definitely Kazuo Hirai. Although ol’ Kaz has been with the console maker for over 15 years now, it probably wasn’t until 2006 that he cemented himself firmly on the public consciousness with Sony’s shambolic E3 performance, where Riiiidge Raaacers and Giant Enemy Crabs were the order of the day. Kaz was right in the thick of it, and became a hit ever since. But in all seriousness, Hirai is at the top of his game. He’s led Sony through some crucial periods, proving instrumental in the launch of both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, and has risen through the ranks at an alarming rate. His promotion to CEO and president of Sony Corporation, effective as of April 1, is the culmination of over a decade and a half’s hard graft and shrewd business strategy, and frankly I think it’s fair to say most of us saw it coming a mile off. Congratulations Kaz, let’s hope you’re still around to see in the PS4.

Sony posts substantial third quarter loss

Well, if anything Mr. Hirai will have quite a bit of work on his hands if Sony’s Q3 financial results are anything to go by, which aren’t looking too rosy. During the period October – December 2011, the console maker posted a whopping £1.3 billion loss, with many of the firm’s products decreasing in terms of year-over-year sales due to floods in Thailand and ‘unfavourable foreign exchange.’ Getting down to the nitty gritty of its Consumer Products and Services division, which houses PS3, PSP and PS2 among other goods – things weren’t looking too bright either, with the business posting a $1.09 billion loss. PS3’s price cut was to blame for the decline in sales, though life-to-date sales of the black beast now stand at an impressive 62 million units worldwide. PSP/PS2 continue to decline, though PS Vita is bound to shake things up following its western launch later this month. Nonetheless, Kaz himself has even admitted that Sony could be in ‘serious trouble’ if they don’t turn things around sharpish, and told the Wall Street Journal that he assumed turning the PlayStation Business around was to be his greatest challenge – after this latest financial report however, that is evidently not the case. To be fair though, Hirai hasn’t got where he has by sitting on his backside and cracking the whip; he’s a smart bloke and pushes to get the results his company desires, so if anyone’s got a chance at turning the business around, it’s him.

Modern Warfare 3 DLC hitting PS3, Premium Elite release date revealed

Now that everyone’s blasted through the main campaign and finished putting holes in each other online, attention turns to Modern Warfare 3’s first batch of downloadable content. Previously released on Xbox Live a few weeks back, the DLC – consisting of two new maps – will be released for Elite subscribers on February 28, though it remains unknown when regular users will be able to get their paws on the content. Of course, this is just the start of Activision’s DLC plans for the massively popular military shooter, so expect more post-launch pleasures to drop over the next few months or so.

The Best of the Rest…

PlayStation Vita gets its first 100k seller

North American Senior Director of PSN leaves Sony

Unannounced PSN game by Harmonix spotted on designer's resume

Battlefield 3, FIFA 12 have sold over 10 million

Sony says PS Vita has got off 'to a good start'

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