Rejoice, sports and console gaming fans: ESPN’s self-titled streaming app WatchESPN is now available on the PlayStation 4. According to the network, subscribers can now access ESPN’s live and on-demand content on every major streaming device, and non-subscribers can use the app to browse short-form clips and highlights. So now you can switch between a heated game of Call of Duty and the drone racing championships without putting down your DualShock 4.
“Gaming consoles have historically attracted significant engagement in minutes consumed for WatchESPN,” ESPN/Disney Senio VP Sean Breen said in a statement, “and with today’s launch, the app increases its distribution footprint to reach fans on the most widely adopted platforms.”
Unfortunately for cord-cutters, users will still need a cable subscription to access the majority of ESPN’s streaming content, but those with an authenticated subscription will have access to all of ESPN’s subsidiaries including ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, SEC Network, ESPN Goal Line and more.
While WatchESPN is also available for computers, smartphones and tablets, users on older PlayStaion consoles will have to wait a bit longer for a PS3 version of the app. That said, ESPN promises it will arrive “in time for the remainder of the college football season.”
Motorcycle gangs aren’t exactly new ground for Grand Theft Auto, sure, but GTA Online will play host to the one percenters in the future. The refreshingly conservatively named “Bikers” expansion will add eight-player gangs, “a massive slate of new competitive and co-op gameplay,” new properties to buy and a bunch of new bikes, according to a post on Rockstar Newswire.
And what’s a biker gang without tattoos and colors? Rockstar promises those in addition to “high-level, high-risk vehicle based business ventures” as well. The only bit missing? A release window. But that probably isn’t far off. Meanwhile, you could always fire up the GTA IV expansion “The Lost and the Damned” to kill some time and see a digital Congressman’s flaccid phallus.
Source: Rockstar Newswire
Sony isn’t showing the PS Vita handheld any love, but indie developers sure are. The latest example is the 2.5D platformer Shu. “Shu feels right at home on the handheld and is a great experience, especially since it’s running at 60 FPS,” a post by developer Coatsink on the European PlayStation Blog reads. More than that, the Vita version will have some exclusive bits and bobs when the game comes out sometime later this year. Coatsink says that supporting the handheld is something that the team feels “very strongly about” and it’s been hard at work ensuring that the portable version isn’t a lazy port.
Which probably explains the lack of a firm release date. The game will release October 4th on PlayStation 4, and buying it for the home console will net you a free copy of it for Vita. Maybe one of those handheld-exclusive goodies will be an avatar modeled after Sony’s head of worldwide studios, Shuhei “Shu” Yoshida. It’d be fitting, no?
Source: PlayStation Blog (Europe)
Cord cutters who own PlayStation consoles: Now is your time to shine. Sony has announced today that HBO Now, the channel’s standalone on-demand service, will soon be available on all PS3 and PS4 systems, (This includes the recently announced PlayStation 4 Pro). What’s more, both HBO and Cinemax are coming to PlayStation Vue, Sony’s streaming TV service, for $15 a month each. This is an especially big deal for cord cutters, as this marks the first time either network has offered live programming as a standalone service. That’s right: live programming, and not just the on-demand shows like you would get on HBO Now.
And here’s a nice bonus. If you do subscribe to HBO through PS Vue, you’ll be able to access the aforementioned HBO Now on Sony’s game consoles completely free of charge. Existing HBO subscribers could already access the channel’s content through HBO Go, which launched for the PS4 last year. The PS Vue service is available through not just the PS4, but also through Roku, iOS and Android apps.
These streaming offerings will launch prior to October 2nd, which coincides with the launch of a new HBO series called Westworld.
If the first demo for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard didn’t leave you with a headache or worse (yeah, even in 2D), it might’ve left you scratching your noggin. Well, the “Beginning Hour” demo is getting an update, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog. The Twilight update “expands on what you can do and explore” in the run-down shack. Over on Capcom Unity the publisher-developer teases that even if you’ve explored every corner of the house that “we’ve got something special in store for you.” So maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a use for that severed finger. Hopefully the update means the flashlight’s incessant bobbing and swaying been fixed, too.
The patch is scheduled for arrival today, so chances are it’ll be waiting when you turn your PlayStation 4 on next. More than that, this new demo isn’t locked behind a PlayStation Plus subscription like it was previously. In other revisions, the digital deluxe version is getting a price bump, but with it comes the promise of an additional add-on episode. If you previously purchased for $80, no worries as you’ll still get the extra episode. Everyone who’s tempted by the new demo will have to cough up $90 though.
Oh and there’s a new trailer embedded below, too, if you needed further convincing to make a return trip. Here’s to hoping Twilight is more along the lines of the “Lantern” demo from Gamescom last month.
Source: PlayStation Blog, Capcom Unity
Kingdom Hearts 3 is a long way off. To tide keyblade fans over, Square Enix has been remastering the previous games — both the console and handheld instalments — and releasing them as three-part collections for the PlayStation 3. The latest instalment, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, was due to come out on the PS4 in December, but that’s now changed to January. The slight delay was announced at the Tokyo Game Show alongside a new trailer, which teases the ongoing adventures of Sora, Riku and Kairi, as well as older keyblade wielders Aqua, Terra and Ventus.
The compilation includes Dream Drop Distance, a game that was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS. Chronologically, it’s the closest title to Kingdom Hearts 3, charting Sora and Riku’s quest to become keyblade masters. It’s joined by Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage, a new playable sequence with Aqua, and Back Cover, a one-hour cinematic which serves as a prequel for the overarching series. (The same time period is covered in Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, a free-to-play game on iOS and Android.) Needless to say, the storyline is absurdly convoluted and only the most diehard Kingdom Hearts fan will know what’s going on.
If you’re one of those people, however, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 could serve as a mouth-watering appetiser for Kingdom Hearts 3. It should be coming out in Japan on January 12th, followed by North America on January 24th. Think of it this way — you now have a little more time to power through Final Fantasy XV, exploring the world of Eos and chilling with Noctis’ buddies.
Source: Kingdom Hearts (YouTube)
The rumors are true: To make up for a mainline Assassin’s Creed skipping this year, Ubisoft is putting the best entries in the series into one package. Again. Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection brings Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and the story’s finale, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this November 15th. A post on the Ubiblog says that these are the single player campaigns and add-on packs only — none of the multiplayer that started with Brotherhood will be present here. That’s because the developer-publisher believes the “most polished and fully featured version” of the mode already exists in the form of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’s online offering, originally released in 2013.
Back in 2012, Ubisoft did something similar to this and sold the Assassin’s Creed: Ezio Trilogy as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. The difference now is it looks like we’re getting the PC versions of charming Italian assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s adventures running at maxed out settings, to take advantage of current-gen console hardware. That’s contrary to as-is ports of the games in a new box like last time.
The Ezio Collection isn’t a bad move, but hopefully there are some clear benefits to re-buying these games when the series absolute highpoint, 2009’s Assassin’s Creed 2, is backward compatible on Xbox One. Aside from a discounted movie ticket and a few videos that bookend the narrative, that is. Check out the video below to see if the improvements are worth your cash.
What’s most curious is that Ubisoft is repeating history and releasing the game the same day as one of its extremely high-profile titles. This time out it’s Watch Dogs 2. In 2011, the fantastic Rayman Origins was sent to die against Assassin’s Creed Revelations on a very familiar date: November 15th. Nothing like competing against yourself, huh, Ubisoft?
Did you look on wistfully as Sony Japan unveiled a special edition slim PS4 to mark the launch of Final Fantasy XV? You don’t have to anymore. Sony has confirmed that the console will reach GameStop stores in North America on November 29th for $449 US, or $549 Canadian. Besides the conspicuous moon decal on the system, you’re getting a 1TB hard drive, a branded DualShock 4 controller, Square Enix’s role-playing game (plus downloadable extras) and the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV movie on Blu-ray. It’s a tempting deal if you can’t get enough Final Fantasy into your life, although we have to ask: do you get this, or would it be wiser to spring for the more powerful PS4 Pro plus a separate copy of the game?
Source: PlayStation Blog
In a never-ending tale of limited editions, spin-off movies, anime and more, the makers of Final Fantasy XV have also laid claim to the first limited-edition thinner, lighter PS4. The “Luna” edition (did the giant moon decal give it away?) will land alongside the game (finally) on 29th November in Japan, priced at 40,000 yen — the same as the higher-capacity version of the slimline console. Sony also announced two new VIta colors, launching (in Japan for now) on December 1st. Take a peek at those after the break.
Sony has been talking about the PlayStation 4’s big version 4 update for weeks on end, and now it’s (almost) here. The company has confirmed that the new software will reach existing consoles on September 13th, and it’ll have even more than first promised. You know about headliners like high dynamic range video support, home screen folders and a revamped Quick Menu. However, there are a few perks, some of which are hardware-dependent. If you snag a PS4 Pro, you’ll get 1080p Remote Play and Share Play streaming, 1080p Twitch live broadcasts and 1080p YouTube broadcasts at 60 frames per second. It’s also easier to transfer data to a new PS4 thanks to support for shuffling data over a local wired network — you won’t have to re-download content from the internet just to pick up where you left off.
Some of the previously unmentioned tweaks will run on any system. That new Quick Menu has an upgraded music section that helps you control Spotify music without launching Spotify’s app. You’ll likewise see improvements to the What’s New and content information screens, both of which should have simpler interfaces and better at-a-glance views of what’s going on. In short: between new PS4 hardware and the version 4 update, Sony is determined to keep the PS4 fresh amidst competition that isn’t standing still.
Source: PlayStation Blog