That’s entertainment: PlayStation 4 ‘launch,’ TV ratings evolving

Games and TV, that’s entertainment:

• The unveiling that wasn’t: If nothing else, the reactions of those who were covering Sony’s supposed launch of the PlayStation 4 was entertaining. In case you missed it, Sony had a press event Wednesday during which it announced the PS4 but didn’t show it. Nor did the company reveal pricing or a launch date, just that the console is supposed to ship around the holidays. Instead, the electronics giant took a couple of hours to mostly show off a bunch of video games. (Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg on Twitter: “Starting to get a sense of how the hostages in Argo felt.”)

Why torture journalists and other interested observers? The conventional wisdom is that Sony wanted to pre-empt Microsoft’s announcement of its new Xbox console, which is expected to come in June at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles. Also, “we have to keep something new for later. Otherwise you’d get bored,” Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, told Kotaku.

What Sony did show or talk about: the new DualShock 4 controller, and a peek at the specs of the supposedly more powerful, PC-based machine that gives “technologists something to discuss,” as VentureBeat writes. Plus the PS4 will be more social — there’s a “share” button — allow for more personalization and use cloud technology, Gaikai, that will allow streaming of games.

As the big console makers continue to compete against one another, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are all dealing with rapid changes in the game industry, including a decline in overall traditional gaming sales and the rise of social and often free gaming.

• Speaking of changes, people are watching television shows on all kinds of screens, from mobile phones to tablets to those smart, Internet-connected TVs. So ratings company Nielsen is expanding its definition of viewing to try to include all video viewing, the Hollywood Reporter says. The key word there is try, because as the report explains, Nielsen is not yet able to provide ratings for all Netflix streaming — only Netflix content viewed on TV-connected devices such as the Xbox and PlayStation. Measuring all video viewing on iPads will also come later. The new measurement system is expected to be in place by the beginning of the fall season.


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