Sony halts PS2 production
Sony Corp said it has stopped producing its PlayStation 2 (PS2) consoles in Japan, fueling online rumors a PlayStation 4 is in the pipeline. Since launching in 2000 the PS2, which has a Blu-ray player, has sold more than 150 million units worldwide, making it the best selling console of all time and was so popular it outsold its replacement for the first three years. Shipments have been “completed” for the hardware of the PS2, the Japanese Web site of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc said, with no further comment.
Zynga packs up 11 titles
Social games publisher Zynga Inc confirmed on Monday that it has carried out 11 of the planned shutdowns of 13 game titles, with Petville being the latest game on which it pulled the plug. Zynga in October said it would shut down 13 underperforming titles after warning that its revenues were slowing as gamers fled from its once-popular titles published on the Facebook platform in large numbers and sharply revised its full-year outlook.
Amazon regrets Web error
Amazon on Monday said it was sorry for a Web Services mishap that put online film streaming service Netflix out of commission on Christmas Eve. “We want to apologize,” Amazon said in a message posted at its Web site. “We know how critical our services are to our customers’ businesses, and we know this disruption came at an inopportune time for some of our customers.” Amazon.com attributed the outage to a mistake by one of its developers that caused a problem with load balancers at data centers the company uses to provide “web services” to clients such as Netflix.
Kingfisher loses permit
India’s troubled Kingfisher Airlines has lost its permit to fly after a deadline to renew its suspended license expired, India’s aviation regulator said yesterday. The news is a fresh blow for the debt-laden carrier whose operations have been grounded since October after employees went on strike over unpaid wages. However, the airline said there is no “cause for concern” as the rules allow for the renewal of a permit within two years of expiry.
Bulgari accused of tax fraud
Italian jeweler Bulgari, which was bought last year by French luxury giant LVMH, is being investigated for alleged tax evasion via Ireland and Luxembourg, Italian media reported on Monday. The company is accused of routing its revenues through countries with lower taxes to avoid paying higher taxes in Italy and thereby dodging about 70 million euros (US$93 million) in taxes, the Corriere della Sera and Messaggero dailies reported. Contacted by reporters, representatives of LVMH and Italian tax police could not be reached.
Growth in Singapore slows
Singapore likely slipped into recession in the three months to last month, analysts said on Monday, as data showed growth last year came in lower than expected. In his New Year’s message, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) said “growth was slower this year, at 1.2 percent,” which is well off the official growth forecast of 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Lee said growth had been hit by weakness in the city-state’s key export markets of Europe, which is battling a debt crisis, and the US and Japan, where economic recovery is sputtering.