If you need a video refresher of just exactly what the PlayStation TV is capable of ahead of its US and Canadian release, Sony has something to take care of that. The video we’ve embedded below reinforces that Sony’s micro console is a device for families with kids and touts its ability to do more than just Remote Play PlayStation 4 games or stream some of Sony’s back catalog via PS Now — it’s a low-cost media-streaming gizmo as well. Perhaps best of all, it gets the point across in under 90 seconds. What the clip doesn’t tell you, however, is that while the PlayStation TV can play PS Vita games natively, some of the handheld’s best releases (think Tearaway and Wipeout 2048) aren’t yet compatible because of that system’s use of touch controls. Will that caveat make you reconsider plopping down $100 come October 14th? Let us know in the comments.
Welcome, ladygeeks and gentlenerds, to the new era of gaming. The one where you get to watch, and comment, as other people livestream gameplay from next-gen consoles. Because games! They’re fun!
Emerging like a Nazgûl in the night this fall is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. You could easily dismiss the game as a licensed cash-in on the likes of the Assassin’s Creed or Batman: Arkham franchises, but the truth of the matter is that Shadow of Mordor is better than the most recent entries in either of those series. Sure, there’s clambering up walls in very assassin-like fashion and rhythmic combat that’d make The World’s Greatest Detective blush, but the team at Monolith (perhaps best known for the F.E.A.R. and Condemned series of first-person horror games) outclasses the competition in nearly every aspect with this incredibly violent take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic source material. Until recently, it was fairly underhyped and that seems to have been its best asset; allowing the game’s quality, not its PR machine, to do the heavy lifting. Still on the fence about picking it up today, though? Well, we’re going to be streaming it on PlayStation 4, right here starting at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific.
Want to check out Destiny‘s strike missions and raids but haven’t shelled out for a PlayStation Plus membership yet? Well, perhaps you can rally a few similarly-leveled buddies this weekend and give The Devil’s Lair or Vault of Glass a shot on PlayStation 4 — even if they’re in Europe. Starting this Friday at 3:01 a.m. Eastern / 12:01 a.m. Pacific, you’ll have a chance at taking out Sepiks Prime with a little help from your friends in developer Bungie’s latest shooter, gratis. Sony’s PlayStation Network has grown by leaps and bounds since the PS3 days, and the outfit wants to show it off. If Destiny isn’t your game, as Joystiq writes, you can take any multiplayer title online until the free promotion ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. We hear that Battlefield 4 is finally working, too, but if you aren’t into the whole pew-pew thing, there’s always FIFA 15. Regardless of what you play, there’s almost never a bad reason to spend a weekend on the couch enjoying the great indoors.
Source: PlayStation Blog
Wherever you look, the PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One by a considerable margin. In fact, Sony sold twice as many consoles in the UK as Microsoft in Destiny’s launch week, leaving its rival with another considerable hill to climb. One way Microsoft could claw back some of its lost market share is to drop the price of the Xbox One, again, which is something it’s decided to do today. To little fanfare, Microsoft slashed £20 off the price of the Kinectless Xbox One on its official store, meaning you’ll now pay only £329.99. Amazon has reacted to the price cut too, but has gone one better by offering Sunset Overdrive White Xbox One bundle pre-orders for the exactly the same price. It means that in the space of 10 months, the console has undergone three price reductions, saving late-adopters at least £100 in the process. For the time being, the Xbox One is officially cheaper than the £349.99 PlayStation 4 (which is also the subject of some seriously good deals), but as both consoles have already dipped below the £300 mark, we’re pretty sure Sony won’t be too worried by today’s discount.
With the PlayStation Now beta just opening to a larger chunk of the gaming population, you might be wondering how the streaming service came to Sony in the first place. Why did Gaikai drop its entire PC audience to join a console maker? Thankfully for you, Gaikai chief David Perry has just shed light on that transition in an interview with GameInformer. Simply put, streaming on computers was becoming a nightmare for Perry’s team before the 2012 acquisition. The sheer number of compatibility problems was “massively reducing” the number of titles Gaikai could support, and the software required increasingly elaborate tricks (such as image recognition) just to run at all. The company wanted to escape these headaches by going to a platform with standardized elements like controllers and copy protection. When Sony came knocking, it quickly became clear that the PlayStation was a good match — it solved many challenges in one fell swoop.
Perry is more than willing to talk about game streaming’s present and future as well. He notes that the PlayStation Now test run has been going smoothly, and that it exists primarily to give his crew freedom to experiment with new techniques before Now is ready for primetime. It won’t just be a matter of refinement in the future, though. Besides introducing social features like Share Play, Perry is hoping to expand device and game support; he has already promised streaming for older PlayStation releases. He’d ideally support “every game ever,” so long as the technology allowed it. In the long run, he also sees the cloud enabling software that isn’t possible when you’re limited by the processing power of a box in your living room. “You could just completely let [developers] go wild and free,” he says. That’s not likely to happen soon, but it’s good to know that streaming could improve the quality of the games you play, not just how you play them.
There’s nothing like a set of fresh kicks to add the finishing touch to your get-up, but then there’s the problem of tracking down the perfect pair. We know that’s exactly why you haven’t been cracking out your PS4-themed outfits recently, but luckily there’s now a shoe for that[TM]. Custom kick designer Jonny Barry from FreakerSNEAKS has seen this gaping hole in the market, and intends to fill it with the “JRDN X PS4,” a remix of the Air Jordan 4 that takes inspiration from Sony’s latest console. They’re actually one of his less-extensive mods, with the PS4/PlayStation logos replacing the normal dunking graphics on the back of the sneakers, and an image of the mischievous robots from Playroom on the tongue. What’s more, there’s a (completely non-functional) HDMI port built into the sole, and a Jordan-branded cable for plugging them into, well, each other. As Barry tells DualShockers, he intends to produce a limited run of ten pairs, and sell them at around $950 each. Finally there’s something that just works with that PS4 jumpsuit you’ve been dying bust out, and what a bargain at more than double the price of the actual console!
Via: The Verge
Great news next-gen (well, guess that would be “current-gen” now, wouldn’t it) console owners — you’ll be able to snag Grand Theft Auto V for either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One on November 18th. Along with the usual slew of graphical improvements, the enhanced version of GTA will feature new weapons, vehicles, activities and mani interesting furry animals. Not to mention new songs, denser traffic and a completely new foliage system! PC players will get all the same perks, but they’ll sadly have to wait until January 27th of 2015 to get their hands on it. On the plus side, if you already own GTA V for Xbox 360 or PS3 you can easily transfer your character.
Filed under: Gaming
“Waffles. Waffles with Swedish fish in them!” Destiny developer Bungie’s community manager Eric Osborne is telling me about his crew’s Halo LAN-party ritual. Lugging bulky CRT TVs everywhere (“You didn’t have a 36-inch [Sony] Trinitron Wega?” he asks), snaking ethernet cable around a possible stranger’s house, sipping Mountain Dew in the kitchen between games of capture the flag, eating lots of cheap pizza. Or, in Osborne’s case, breakfast food sprinkled with candy. “That was my experience!” It’s easy for him to chuckle at how ridiculous his go-to game fuel sounds in retrospect.
Back then, host advantage wasn’t having non-lagging bullets – it was knowing where the bathroom was and not having parents home. Times were a lot simpler.
When Halo 2 released in 2004, though, that all stopped. Mostly because Bungie more or less made LAN parties obsolete by taking them online with a sort of “virtual couch” that let you keep playing with the same buddies all night long in a, err, party. Fast forward ten years and much of the groundwork that the team laid for Halo 2 is boilerplate for any successful online game regardless of genre. Hell, much of Bungie’s conventions for online play (party chat, ranking systems, game invites) are baked directly into the online infrastructure of modern consoles.
Our interview with Destiny publisher Activision’s CEO Eric Hirschberg
The leap in social interactions between Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequel was nothing short of a paradigm shift, but where does Osborne see the change between its last game, Halo: Reach and its latest, the just released Destiny?
“I don’t know if you call it community or social play; I’ve heard some people call it ‘mingleplayer.’ I’m in a world, it’s my story, it’s my character. All the gear is mine; I’ve earned it in a bunch of different story missions,” he says. “I encounter some random people and we do a lot of stuff together and it’s super fun. But, I’m not bound to them in any way. I don’t need to lug a TV or even send them a friend request.”
He’s speaking of course about Destiny‘s unique take on traditional single-player campaigns in shooters. Though Bungie hasn’t quite come out and said the game is a massively multiplayer online title (MMO) like World of Warcraft, at its core that’s what the game is. When you start a new character, you drop into a world, quickly find an assault rifle and start shooting at aliens. In pretty short order, it becomes apparent that you aren’t alone. There are hundreds (if not thousands or even millions if pre-order numbers are to be believed) doing the same thing as you, and some are even doing it right alongside you. Should you desire, you can jump into their pick-up group – or, as they’re called in Destiny – a fire-team, and fight through scads of aliens together without much effort.
“In previous games, sending a friend request took you out of the flow of gameplay,” Bungie’s server software engineering lead Roger Wolfson says. He describes meeting someone online, then backing out of the actual game and wading through layers of menus and a massive list of recent players, just to interact with someone that you just met. It’s a hassle.
“And then you find out they’re a racist later,” Osborne says. He’s joking, but unfortunately that situation is’t far from the truth.
It’s why I, and most people I know, choose to not play online with anyone but a carefully curated group of friends. For me it helps preserve a shred of that LAN experience.
“A lot of times, you want to have a multiplayer experience where you don’t want to have to send a friend request,” Osborne says. “It can take a lot even in person to say, ‘Oh, I’ll give that person my phone number.’ Or, ‘I’ll give that person my email address.’ We’re cognizant that these types of things need to be lightweight and positive – that’s where the term ‘mingleplayer’ comes from.”
This, more than anything, is what Bungie thinks sets Destiny apart from any of its previous games: it’s taking all of the knowledge of how people interact online and how people want to interact online, that its gleaned even since launching Minotaur on the Mac in 1992, and putting it into motion. It’s what the team refers to as “lightweight social connections” that make the difference in Destiny. Stuff like walking up to a warlock with bad-ass armor and emoting a salute at him or her. Or, just kicking a ball around in The Tower, the in-game social plaza, with another player while she waits for her fire-team member to grab a new rifle or armor piece.
“You can choose to have positive interactions and you can choose to have negative interactions,” Wolfson says. “The most pestering a person can be is just running up to you and emoting a lot.”
That’s a far cry from tea-bagging the corpse of the flag carrier you just pistol-whipped from behind. What the team is trying to do at its core is eliminate a lot of the barriers that make it hard for people to have fun together.
“It’s so important to remember that what we’re doing is making a game, and a game is just a rule-based system that allows people to have fun and challenge themselves, share victory and social connections,” he says. “I think we’re celebrating that with Destiny.”
We’ll fire up the waffles.
The $450 PS4 Destiny bundle, which goes on sale tomorrow in time for the game’s official launch, will net you a physical copy of Bungie’s first person shooter/MMO hybrid, 500GB of hard disk storage, a 30-day trial to PlayStation Plus and, of course, that stark white next-gen console and DualShock 4. But we know how it is: you want to preview the goods before you plunk down the cash. And since we had one in-house here at Engadget, we took the liberty of tearing open the box to show you what’s inside. So go ahead and click. You’ll be glad you did.
The wait is almost over: Destiny, former Halo-developer Bungie’s ambitious shooter, releases this coming Tuesday. If you’re holding out on it because you don’t have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, though, there’s no reason. Bungie has announced that should you purchase the game for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, until next January 15th you’re eligible for a free upgrade to a current-gen digital copy. That’s as long as you within the console family you bought the game for originally. Meaning, if you buy the game for PS3 you’ll get a download of it on PS4, gratis. Any extra content like season passes will carry over too — just like your character’s progress and gear.
This goes way beyond what we saw a handful of titles offer around this time last year in a few different ways. For starters, this costs 100 percent less than the upgrade program for, say, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag or Call of Duty: Ghosts did. The other thing is that you won’t have to start from scratch (regardless of how many hours you’ve invested) when you jump to new hardware; Bungie is making the transition as painless as possible.
Speaking of transitions, Bungie hopes to make Remote Playing its latest effort on the PS Vita simple too. Sony’s handheld may be a capable piece of kit but it’s lacking total parity with the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 when it comes to controls. To make up for the handheld’s shortage of buttons, Bungie designed a control scheme specifically for playing Destiny on the portable. While the DualShock 4 has a touchpad, the Vita has an entire touch-friendly screen. Bungie has assigned ancillary tasks like tossing grenades, summoning the floating and robotic Peter Dinklage and executing wicked melee attacks to the left, center and right portions of the Vita’s display. And, as Eurogamer noticed, since the portable’s analog sticks don’t click in like their PS4 counterparts, running in-game is handled by pressing down on the system’s D-pad.
Why the extra effort? Well, according to the PlayStation Blog, the short-lived Destiny beta was the number one game Remote Played of any PS4 games for all of this past July. Excited? Well, NeoGAF has noticed you can start pre-loading right now.