PS4 Update Sneaks in Key New Features

While most people know that the new firmware update for PlayStation 4 allows gamers to remote play via Windows PC (but not Windows 7, sadly), Sony managed to sneak through a number of appealing new features that didn’t make the headlines, including support for 4TB external drives.

Thankfully, A reddit thread has emerged, detailing all the “tweaks” introduced by the update, from those advertised by Sony to ones discovered by PS4 owners during their own investigations:

Detailed Tweaks:

  1. User Scheduled/Created Events;
  2. Play Together button – easily invite people in your party to the same game;
  3. Friend online notifications can be turned on or off on a person to person basis;
  4. Appear offline;
  5. Remote play on PC/Mac;
  6. Dailymotion Live Support for streaming, etc;
  7. Teens (13-17) can now create their own accounts with limited access to play offline games, rather than having to use a sub-account;
  8. Easier to search for communities by text, language, time zone;
  9. You can now share OTHER people’s activities so your friend’s can see it too;
  10. Tweaks to messaging – you can see short replies to messages without jumping to a different screen;
  11. You can TAG other players when sharing video and screenshots (if you have your FB/Twitter permissions enabled, the tags will carry over to the sharing on those sites);
  12. You can check the status of PSN (this is a feature? just use the website…);
  13. USB music player is back;
  14. Improvements to PS+ (improvements to managing online storage and ability to see friends who play the same games as you).

Unannounced Tweaks:

  1. You can disable the screenshot on-screen notification (in Settings under Notifications) allowing you to take multiple screenshots in a row without the screenshot taken pop-up. The sound indicating the screenshot was taken still functions as normal;
  2. Life From PlayStation Improvements:
  • There’s a search field on the game list now. Previously you had to use the “global” search, that’d return matches for everything (pre-recorded, videos, screenshots) and not just live streams;
  • You can pin up to three games that will stay on the top of the list. I watch Bloodborne and DS2 streams all the time, now I don’t have to scroll down every time to find them;
  1. You can set a party member limit now. From 2-8 people;
  2. Issue with early PS4s and >2TB HDDs has (probably) been fixed.

Dear Esther to Arrive on PS4 And Xbox One This Year

Dear Esther is possibly the first commercially successful release opting for almost zero gameplay which spawned a brand new genre focussing on a game’s plot instead of its core mechanics. Commonly referred to as ‘walking simulators’, the genre contains numerous examples of highly revered titles including Gone Home, The Stanley Parable and lots more! On the other hand, some users feel many of these experiences cannot be classified as games and offer a poor value proposition. Even though Gone Home received widespread critical acclaim, there’s many consumers who believe it’s wildly overrated.

Whatever the case, my introduction into this genre stems from Dear Esther. At the time, I found a little peculiar and couldn’t really comprehend the game’s premise. Once again, it seems to divide opinion according to the user reviews on Steam. Dan Pinchbeck the creative director of Dear Esther’s announced today that the game will be releasing on the current generation consoles sometime this year:

We’ve always known that Dear Esther would continue its story,” 

“.. and we’re delighted to be writing that story with Curve Digital. Dear Esther is a hugely important game to us, so it’s great to know it’s in very capable hands – we’re excited to see the reaction from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players.”

The console editions will feature “subtle tweaks” to modify the experience to better suit the console audience. Furthermore, a brand new director’s commentary mode offers an insight into the development process. There’s no current word regarding the price point and if the game will receive a physical release. I expect this to be disclosed in the coming months. I’m interested to see the reaction from console players and sales because Dear Esther has already been in a Humble Bundle basic tier package. Perhaps, this will impact on the sales figures, but then again, consumers might simply want to add it to their console collection.

PlayStation 4 3.50 System Update Arrives Tomorrow

Sony has just announced on their official blog that the latest software update, version 3.50 will be unleashed tomorrow. This includes a host of new social features and the ability to stream PlayStation 4 games to a compatible PC or Mac. Here is a detailed run-down of the changes according to Sony:

New Social Features

Appear Offline

On your Profile tab, we’ve added a new option called ‘Online Status.’ From here, you can choose to ‘Appear Offline.’ This could be useful if you want to play games or watch movies without your friends knowing you’re online. You can designate if you would like to appear offline when you log-in or at any time from your Profile, or by holding down the PS Button on DualShock 4 to bring up the Quick Menu.

Friend Online Notification

Now you can choose to get notified when your friends come online. To receive notifications, select a player on your friends list, press Options, and select ‘Notify When Online.’

On the Events tab, we’re adding the ability to schedule gameplay sessions with your friends. Just select ‘Create Event,’ and you’ll be able to make an invitation for an upcoming gameplay session. Choose the day, time, game, and send it off to your friends. When your event starts, users who registered will automatically be added to a party so you can start playing right away.

You can also share an event to a group, or a community that you’re a member of. Once shared, the event will be sent as a message, or posted to a community wall, and members can register from there

Play Together

This feature allows all members of a Party to see what each person is playing so that you can easily join a friend’s game, or start a new game together.

Remote Play (PC/Mac)

With this update, we’re expanding PS4’s Remote Play capabilities to work with Windows PC and Mac.
Remote Play on PC / Mac is compatible with the following system software:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 or later
  • OS X 10.10
  • OS X 10.11

You’ll be able to select from the following resolution and frame rate options, depending on your Internet bandwidth.

  • Resolution options: 360p, 540p, 720p (Default: 540p)
  • Frame rate : Standard (30fps), High (60fps) (Default: Standard)

You can use one DualShock 4 as the controller for Remote Play, which needs to be connected to your PC / Mac via a USB cable.

After the system software update launches, you’ll be able to download the Remote Play Installer here.

Along with PS4’s 3.50 system software update, PlayStation App version 3.50 is out tomorrow as well. The main new features of this update are as follows:

  • User Scheduled Event
  • Users can schedule gameplay sessions with friends
  • Dailymotion has been added to Live from PlayStation
  • Other players’ shared activities appear in your activities

That’s a look at some of the big additions in this update. Of course, there are lots of other refinements and improvements to the system software overall.

As you can see, this is a major system update and I’m most interested by the PS4’s Remote Play functionality. Sadly, the maximum bandwidth is only 720P but this could change in the future.

What do you think about the 3.50 system software update’s new features?

Has The Latest Ghostbusters Release Date Been Leaked by Newegg?

Ghostbusters is one of the most recognizable franchises ever devised and spawned a number of interesting games. For example, the ZX Spectrum version of Ghostbusters featured a wacky take on the iconic theme tune and surprisingly advanced mechanics for the time. Moving to the modern era, Activision released Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009. The gameplay revolves around shooting in the third person perspective and is very impressive when compared to other officially licensed video games. I still feel it’s a little bit underrated despite good reviews and is well worth checking out.

Not so long ago, a trailer was released showing the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot which caused some controversy. This is because of the predominately female cast including s Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones in the lead roles.  Whatever your views, it’s clear the initial unveil received a mixed reception and there’s some skepticism surrounding the film prior to its availability in cinemas. To coincide with the film’s release, Activision is reportedly releasing a game but there’s not much information regarding the genre or release date. However, US retail giant, Newegg has listed the PlayStation 4 version with a release date of 7/12/2016. Of course this could simply be a placeholder and delays are quite common when producing video games on the latest consoles.

Saying that, I’m sure Activision is keen to unveil the game as quickly as possible when the film is still in everyone’s minds to create a sense of excitement. It’s important to be wary of licensed games because they have a pretty terrible history. The most pertinent of example of this is Rambo which has some of the worst design decisions and graphics I’ve seen for a long time. Personally, I’m looking forward to the new Ghostbusters video game and hope it lives up to its predecessor.

Xbox Chief Talks “Xbox One-and-a-Half”

Following strong speculation that Sony is to launch an advanced version of PlayStation 4, dubbed the PS4.5, to offer stronger support for the PlayStation VR headset and 4K output, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer has spoken about the potential of Microsoft jumping on the bandwagon and releasing an “Xbox One-and-a-Half”.

Speaking to press following his keynote at the Microsoft Build 2016 conference, Spencer said, “I’m not a big fan of Xbox One-and-a-half. If we’re going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers.”

“For us, our box is doing well,” he added. “It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people–an upgrade.”

While Microsoft may not be revising the Xbox One as the “Xbox One-and-a-Half”, Spencer has spoken in past weeks about offering hardware upgrades for its console as part of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative.

“When you look at the console space, I believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen,” Spencer said last month. “You’ll actually see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation allowing the same games to run backward and forward compatible because we have a Universal Windows Application running on top of the Universal Windows Platform that allows us to focus more and more on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform.”

More PlayStation 4.5 Details Emerge

Following rumours that Sony is working on a 4K version of the PS4 – nicknamed the PlayStation 4.5 – designed to fully exploit the PlayStation VR headset, the Wall Street Journal has effectively confirmed its existence, revealing that the PS4.5 would be released as early as October this year – alongside the PS4, rather than replacing it – and that it would not have any exclusive games or software.

“Existing PlayStation 4 owners would need to buy the new model to take full advantage of the enhanced graphics and power, though it is likely that the current model and the coming one would share the same software catalog,” according to “people familiar with the matter.”

According to the report, Sony would continue production of the standard PlayStation 4, but its presence next to its more powerful cousin would render it more like a budget model of PS4.

The anonymous sources also claim that the PlayStation 4.5 will be announced before the October release of PlayStation VR, meaning that it could be competing for attention with the Nintendo NX at this Summer’s E3 trade fair. If Microsoft gets a move on with its UWP upgrade initiative for Xbox One, 2016 could be pivotal year for the future of consoles, and usher in the death of five-year-plus console cycles.

 

Uncharted 4 to Include Stealth Features Borrowed from The Last of Us

Those of you who played and maybe finished The Last of Us should be very glad to hear that Naughty Dog’s upcoming Uncharted 4 title will actually borrow certain stealth features from The Last of Us. Obviously, nobody wants to play an action game in which the enemies are ridiculously easy to take down, which is why the developers have implemented smarter AI-controlled enemies in Uncharted 4, all in the effort of giving gamers a proper challenge. This “smart” factor relies on a series of stealth elements originally seen in The Last of Us, elements that definitely add a touch of realism. Actually, it looks like Uncharted 4 will feature the most reactive and precise AI seen in a video game so far, which sounds very promising.

Apparently, the developers don’t want players to just sit around and wait for the action to come to them, which is why some of the game’s mechanics and AI behaviours will force them to innovate their playing style as they progress. Uncharted 4 Lead Animator Jeremy Yates has stated the following:

“We didn’t want a game where you sit behind one piece of cove and sit there with the ‘stop and pop,’ you’re shooting. We really want you to move through the environment, to outsmart them, to flank them, for them to be able to chase you around and just have that constant motion.”

Overall, Uncharted 4 is shaping up as a very promising title, and I definitely can’t wait to see what it has to offer on May 10 when it is scheduled for an official launch on PlayStation 4 consoles.

PlayStation VR Bundle Sells Out in Four Minutes on Amazon

Yesterday, the 23rd of March, Amazon started taking pre-orders of Sony’s new virtual reality headset, PlayStation VR at 7:01 AM PST. Within just four minutes of the pre-order going live, Amazon had already sold out of its entire allotment of launch bundles. It is unknown how many of the bundles Amazon had available for pre-order, but the bundled unit was certainly more popular than the headset alone.

The PlayStation VR launch bundle is retailing for $499, making it considerably cheaper than the PC’s VR offerings and includes not just the headset, but a number of additional items to enjoy the VR experience at launch. Some of the items in the bundle are two PlayStation Move controllers, a PlayStation 4 camera, a copy of PlayStation VR Worlds as well as all the cables required to make full use of the headset. PlayStation VR Worlds itself is a compilation of a number of top VR games that have been demoed by Sony, such as The London Heist, VR Luge, Scavengers Odyssey, & Into The Deep all on-disk.

Both the headset and the bundle are on-track for a release in November, putting it behind the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but these strong pre-sales of the headset could mean good things for the future of VR on the PlayStation. We may have to wait until the end of the year to truly tell who offers the best VR experience, but if PlayStation VR sales go the same way as the pre-orders, it may be a long while before many can get their hands on one.

Shuhei Yoshida Defends PlayStation VR’s Basic Package

PlayStation VR’s launch price is designed to provide a more affordable entry into virtual reality technology and encourage mainstream audiences to become early adopters. However, many users have criticized Sony for their marketing policy and failure to include the PlayStation Camera with the basic VR bundle. As a result, you cannot use the headset without the camera which increases the price from $400 to $460. Arguably, this hidden cost is similar to Sony’s use of proprietary memory cards on the Vita. Despite these concerns, the President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida explained why the company decided to take this step and told Colin Moriarty and Tim Gettys on Kinda Funny’s PlayStation podcast:

“Yeah, ‘PSVR is not $400 it’s $460!’ Yeah. I saw these comments. [Laughter] Pretty early in the process, we decided to not bundle the camera because we know that many people already own the camera. Especially people who purchased the PS4 in the first year. So those people, if we bundle, as a standard, a camera — another one — you know they would be mad. You know because they can’t do anything with it because the PS4 can only accept one camera. Maybe sell it on eBay or whatever. And the same thing with Move. The camera is required, but we know many people already own it. So we don’t put it in the basic product. This week’s announcement [GDC announcement] for us is to announce the base unit. That’s consistent globally and for people we know…who already own cameras. We don’t want them to spend more money than necessary.”

Honestly, I’m not convinced by this argument because the PlayStation Camera was always an additional extra which didn’t bring anything exciting to existing games. Therefore, I’d be interested in seeing how many people actually own the camera across various regions. Whatever the case, Sony will be releasing other bundles with everything you need to get started.

Sony Shuts Down Driveclub Developer

Driveclub was originally designed to offer an expansive world brimming with detail which showcased the PlayStation 4’s graphical capabilities. Even though the game’s visuals are absolutely incredible with some of the best weather effects I’ve seen, it wasn’t enough to keep the creator, Evolution Studios in business. Today, Sony announced that the studio will close and released a statement which reads:

“Regular reviews take place throughout SCE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive landscape can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects.
As part of this process we have reviewed and assessed all current projects and plans for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to the European studios structure.
As a result, it has been decided that Evolution Studio will close.
It is regrettable that this decision will lead to compulsory redundancies. We accept that this decision will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff but by focusing on other Studios that already have exciting new projects in development we believe we will be in a stronger position going forward and able to offer the best possible content of the highest quality for our consumers.
Where possible we will try to reallocate people onto other projects. If appropriate opportunities are not possible within the company, we will assist staff in any way we can, including speaking with local employers and with other development companies.
Evolution has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios for over 10 years – working on ground-breaking racing titles like WRC, Motorstorm and DRIVECLUB.
This decision should not take anything away from the great work that Evolution has produced.”

Driveclub’s game director Paul Rustchynsky weighed in on the developer’s closure and said:

Evolution Studio’s community manager thanked fans for their continued support and released a touching message:

This is a major blow for the gaming industry and I hope those affected can find similar roles in another studio very soon. Clearly, the game’s turbulent development process which consisted of the PlayStation Plus version being canned had a major impact on profitability.

Is Sony Developing a 4K-Capable PlayStation 4?

With Microsoft already admitting that they want to make the Xbox One upgradable and Nintendo developing the NX, it should come as no surprise that Sony seems to have future plans for their Playstation 4 in the works. According to developer sources, Sony has begun briefing them on a new version of their popular Playstation 4 console, currently nicknamed the PS4.5 or PS4K, which will include improved graphical output as well as support for 4K resolutions.

Currently, the only things the PS4 is capable of displaying natively in 4K are photos and videos, with all of the current console’s games running at a still-respectable 1080p. Comparatively, 4K resolution includes approximately four times the pixels of 1080p, which requires far more power in order to run. Even many respectable gaming PCs are unable to run many games smoothly at 4K. A more powerful PS4 may also be able to deliver higher quality graphics to the upcoming PlayStation VR headset which may be able to bring its VR resolution and quality closer to that offered by the PC’s VR peripherals. Whether this upgrade to the PS4 will require the existing user-base to purchase all-new consoles or that current consoles will be upgradeable to the newer specification is unknown as details are thin on the ground.

It is important to remember that while a number of sources all support one another in that this new evolution of the PS4 is in the works, it may also just be a rumour. One source went so far as to say that the idea of such a mid-life upgrade for the PS4 is more of an exploratory and vague idea and may never be realized. How well such an upgrade would go down with the community may make this a risky move for Sony, as there would be many tough questions to answer, such as whether games that are “PS4.5 only” start to be released. It may only be rumours at this point, but it is interesting to think that Sony may be planning a revamped PS4 before moving onto a potential PlayStation 5.

PlayStation VR Already Sold Out on European Amazon Stores

Pre-orders of the PlayStation VR, Sony’s PlayStation 4-compatible virtual reality headset, were made available this morning, and within minutes Amazon stores in the UK, France, and Germany had sold out.

Following its “out of stock” notice, Amazon UK made a second batch available a few hours later, but limited to one per address. A note on the sales page read (courtesy of DualShockers):

“Due to limited stock we are only able to offer one unit per customer per address. We do not currently have a release date for this product. Based on our initial allocation we cannot guarantee release day delivery if you ordered after 11:45 GMT, Wednesday 16 March, 2016. You will be notified via email of the expected delivery date closer to the time. This product comes with a UK plug and therefore may not be suitable for use outside of the UK.”

The sales page has since changed in the intervening hours. While Amazon is still taking pre-orders, it does so with the following disclaimer, which is a revision of the above note (at time of writing):

“Due to limited stock we are only able to offer one unit per customer per address. We do not currently have a release date for this product. Based on our initial allocation we cannot guarantee release day delivery. You will be notified via email of the expected delivery date closer to the time. We will be fulfilling customer orders in the order in which they were placed. This product comes with a UK plug and therefore may not be suitable for use outside of the UK.”

GAME in the UK is still offering pre-orders, but only in-store and with a £100 deposit:

Sony PlayStation VR to Launch October for $399

Yesterday, the focus of VR news was from AMD with their Capsaicin event and many announcements. Today, Sony is taking their turn and has announced their own VR solution for the PS4, the PlayStation VR. Priced at a relatively moderate $399, the VR headset will also require the PlayStation Move camera in order to work and may require PlayStation Move controllers as well, making the final cost higher to just under $500.

Originally announced as Project Morpheus, the VR headset was previously expected to launch in the first half of 2016 so this October launch constitutes a few months delay. The headset has a  5.7″, 120 Hz OLED display with a 100-degree field of view, running at 1920 x 1080 resolution (960 x 1080 per eye). This is somewhat lower than the 2160 x 1200 resolution the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift sport but it does have a higher refresh rate.

Even at $500, the PlayStation VR has a lower cost of entry compared to the $599 for the Oculus Rift and $799 for HTC Vive. The requirements to run the PC based solutions also cost more, with the graphics card required like the R9 390/GTX 970 costing nearly as much as the PS4 alone. The PC solutions will probably have better graphics fidelity, though.

Finally, Sony revealed that 230 developers are already lined up and working on content for the PlayStation VR. For what it’s worth, Sony also revealed that they have sold 36 million PS4s to date.

 

Trailer Released for Fallout 4 – Automatron

Many of you have no doubt played Fallout 4, or like me, you’ve likely completed it too. Personally, I was more than a little disappointed with how the game ended, and felt little desire to venture out into the wasteland after the credits rolled, but with new content on the way, I may be convinced to pick up a Fat Man once again.

The new DLC is set to hit Fallout 4 just next week, and to celebrate, Bethesda has release their latest trailer, showing us a nice slice of what we can expect in a few days time.

The Automatron DLC will feature a new character called the Mechanist, who has released violent robots into the Commonwealth. Guess what the good news is? You get to go destroy them all! Not only can you unleash hell in the old gun-crazy fashion, but you’ll also be able to build your own robots, customise them, paint them, give them voices and hopefully more. If that doesn’t sound cool, then nothing does! We can’t wait to see what future DLC ideas Bethesda has come up with.

“The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions” – Bethesda

Automatron is launching on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC on March 22nd, with a price of $9.99.

PDP Official Universal Media Remote for PlayStation 4 Review

Introduction


PDP are one of the biggest aftermarket peripheral brands around, having had great success with products such as the AfterGlow controllers for Xbox and PlayStation, now they’re back again with another great addition, this time exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Sony’s latest console is a great hub for home entertainment, offering a fantastic Blu-Ray player, as well as a host of multimedia applications such as Amazon Prime, iPlayer, PlayStation Video and Plex, but there’s been one glaring omission from the setup; a remote control.

The PlayStation 3 had a Bluetooth remote for ages, so it was expected that one would be made available at the console launch, or at least very close to it, but nothing came to light. Now, all this time after release, PDP has stepped in to make the officially licenced controller and while it almost feels like too little too late, I’m sure many of you are happy to see that a remote has finally been made available! The question is, is the control any good?

“Enjoy the convenience of having one remote to instantly control the endless entertainment options of your PlayStation®4. Want quick and easy access to all your favorite TV shows, movies, music, and videos? Coordinate everything with the officially licensed Universal Media Remote for PS4 and manage up to 4 devices—PS4, Set Top Box, TV, and Audio Receiver. Whether you’re listening to music, watching a video, or settling down with Netflix for the night, the Universal Media Remote for PS4 puts you in control right from the comfort of your couch.”

All the features you could hope for are here too, as you can not only control the PlayStation 4, but also up to three additional devices such as your cable box, surround sound and more, meaning the PDP controller has the potential to be the only remote you’ll need to pick up for movie night. It also promises additional support for many of the multimedia applications that are available on the PS4, which is certainly a big benefit overall.

  • Intuitive Control: Enjoy a convenient way to navigate and control your PlayStation® 4 system with ease.
  • Command up to Four Devices: Control your PS4system and up to three additional devices, including a TV, cable box and audio receiver.
  • Connects via Bluetooth: Uses Bluetooth to control your PS4 system.
  • Dedicated PS4 Buttons:   Includes the most important buttons for navigating system menus and apps including the Action buttons (triangle, circle, cross, and square), Share, Options, and PS buttons.
  • App Control:  At launch, the Universal Media Remote will be fully compatible with the following apps on PS4, with more to come later:
    • Blu-ray Disc Player
    • Crunchyroll
    • DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket
    • FUNimation
    • HBO GO
    • Media Player
    • NBA GAME TIME
    • Netflix
    • PlayStation Video
    • PlayStation Vue
    • Youtube

The packaging is nicely designed and shows off that official product badge proudly. PDP have a small logo on there, but overall this looks pretty much like a Sony branded package.

Again, we see that it has support for PS4 via Bluetooth, as well as other devices via IR.

In the box, you’ll find a simple multi-language user manual.

There’s not a lot here that isn’t obvious, but for setting up other devices to the control, you’ll likely need to read the booklet. Either way, it’s all fairly straightforward.

No Man’s Sky Explorer’s Edition Comes with Sleek Model Spaceship

The release date of space adventure game No Man’s Sky, considered one of the most anticipated games ever since it was announced three years ago, is creeping ever closer, and developer Hello Games has revealed that the special edition release of the game, branded the Explorer’s Edition, will include a beautiful cast metal replica of one of the game’s spaceships, worth $125.

On sale in partnership with iam8bit, the Explorer’s Edition is limited to 10,000 releases, priced $149.99, and includes:

  • PC game code (via Steam or GOG)* – $60 value
  • Hand-painted, Cast Metal Ship Replica (1:35 scale) w/ decals for customization – $125 value
  • Hard-enamel Traveller Pin – $10 value
  • Diorama Display Backdrop – $5 value
  • Mystery Item (revealed @ launch) – $10 value
  • A Rad Box – priceless!

Sean Murray, the producer of No Man’s Sky, recently revealed that the game almost didn’t happen. After trying, and failing, to get a publisher for Hello Games’ first project, Joe Danger, the team were spent. “We actually decided to quit,” Murray told Engadget.

Murray, plus fellow Hello Games team members Grant Duncan, Ryan Doyle and David Ream, decided to drown their sorrows following their reluctant exit from the world of games. Now fuelled by Dutch courage, the comrades found a new determination, deciding to stick with game development.

“We came up with this stupid idea,” Murray said. “I had a house, and so I sold my house to pay for the rest of development.”

“The way I looked at it was like, I had bought that house because I had worked at EA, so it was like blood money,” Murray added. “Like a blood diamond. You gotta sell that, that’s bad karma.”

The money from the house sale paid for the release of Joe Danger, followed by its subsequent sequel, which helped cement Hello Games’ position in the industry. Because of that inebriated, defiant bluster, Murray and co were able to develop their Elite-inspired epic, No Man’s Sky.

No Man’s Sky is set for release on PC and PlayStation 4 on 21st June.

PlayStation 4 3.50 Update Introduces PC and Mac Remote Play

Sony has revealed its latest firmware update for PlayStation 4 – version 3.50, codenamed MUSASHI – which is getting a beta release tomorrow. While the update introduces new social features, such as notifications when your friends come online and the option to appear invisible, but the most exciting addition is the ability to Remote Play your PS4 on PC or Mac.

Full list of updates and new features:

New Social Features

  • Friend Online Notification – Want to know the moment your friends come online? With this update, you can, as we’ve added an option to be notified when members of your friends list sign on the network.
  • Appear Offline – Sometimes you want to play a game or watch a movie without being bothered by friends. Now it’s easier to go incognito as we’ve added the option to appear offline. You can designate if you would like to appear offline when you log-in or at any time from your Profile or the Quick Menu.
  • User Scheduled Event – Time for a play date! We’ve added the ability to schedule a future gameplay session with your friends on the system. When your event starts, users who registered for the event will automatically be added to a party so you can start playing right away.
  • Play Together – This features allows all members of a Party to see what each person is playing so that you can easily join a friend’s game, or start a new game together.

Other New System Features

  • Remote Play (PC/Mac) – We’re bringing PS4 Remote Play to Windows PC and Mac. This feature won’t be available to test in the beta, but you can look forward to it soon.

  • Dailymotion – With this update, you’ll be able to live stream directly to Dailymotion on PS4. We’ll also support archiving live broadcasts, like we do for other streaming services.

 

 

DOOM Will Run at Same Resolution and Frame Rate on All Platforms

Id Software has announced that its new not-quite-a-sequel but not-quite-a-reboot DOOM announced that the forthcoming first-person shooter will run at 1080p and 60fps on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

“We want players to wonder how DOOM and idTech 6 [game engine] games can be so visually stunning at 60 frames-per-second at 1080p on all platforms, when other titles cannot even achieve a similar look at 30 frames-per-second,” Lead Project Programmer Billy Khan told the Bethesda blog. “Our goal is to be the best-looking game at 1080p at 60fps.”

Presumably, as far as the PC release is concerned, the 1080p/60fps standard will be its minimum default, with more powerful systems able to support higher resolutions and frame rates.

“idTech 6 allows the artists and designers to quickly decorate the world with fine details,” Khan explained. “idTech 6’s physically based renderer and dynamic lighting system allows our artists to make our characters and environments more realistic and stunning than ever before.”

“Many on our tech team worked at Crytek before, so we’ve known and worked with each other for some time,” Lead Renderer Programmer Tiago Sousa added. “It’s been an interesting and productive venture, learning about idTech foundations and researching where and how we will take it to new levels.”

DOOM is set for release on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on 13th May.

Capcom Announces Resident Evil Re-Releases to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

You just can’t keep a good T-virus down. Capcom has announced that, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise, it is releasing the fourth, fifth, and sixth games in the saga on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

While critical response to both Resident Evil 5 and 6 was variable, at best – players were unhappy at the games ditching the survival horror in favour of a more action shooter style – Resident Evil 4, only the second game of the series to be directed by visionary Shinji Mikami, is still considered one of the best games ever made.

“In March 1996, the world was introduced to the first Resident Evil game, which helped shape survival horror as we know it and has since brought you some of the most loved games of all time,” the official Capcom announcement reads. “You’ve been able to play through the origins stories that started everything with the recent releases of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0, and we’ve confirmed that a remake of Resident Evil 2 is on the way.”

“Since then, the series and story have evolved to amp up the action and introduce new epic gaming moments with Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. If you haven’t had a chance to play these yet or if you’ve been wanting to play them on your current consoles, we’ve got good news for you. Starting with Resident Evil 6 on March 29, all three games will be available for PS4 and Xbox One for an MSRP of only $19.99 / €19.99 / £15.99 each.”

Batmobile Coming to Rocket League

Come March, you can be the hero that Rocket League deserves with the release of the new Batmobile DLC. The new vehicle is an official tie-in with the forthcoming DC sequel – and Justice League precursor – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which pits Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight against the Henry Cavill’s reprised Man of Steel, a battle that eventually unites them with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and The Flash against emergent antagonists Lex Luthor and Doomsday.

“Fans of Rocket League will soon take control of the iconic Batmobile from the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!” the Rocket League blog reads. “Available Tuesday, March 8, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Car Pack will put players behind the wheel of the world-famous crime-fighting vehicle, which has been faithfully re-created in Rocket League, to mirror Batman’s ride in the upcoming film.”

“In addition to the Batmobile itself, the Car Pack will also include three exclusive Antenna Flags enabling players to show their allegiance to World’s Finest Trinity: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman,” it adds. “Priced at $1.99 USD (or regional equivalent), the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Car Pack is officially licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and will release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC via Steam, on March 8!”

Fallout 4 Official Modding Tools Release Date Revealed

Fallout 4 players have had no trouble surviving the harsh wasteland, fighting off everything from ex-government forces to giant irradiated mutant creatures. In their spare time, the wasteland doesn’t have to be a hostile place and some people have even taken to building with the recreation of the TenPenny tower being amongst the most noticeable. All of this is made even greater and more remarkable given that it is done without any real support, that is soon to change though as Bethesda have announced when they hope the full mod support will be available for Fallout 4.

In an interview with Game Informer, Todd Howard mentioned that “our goal is between the first two DLC’s” following up with “it’ll go up at that time on PC in April. All of that stuff will go up on PC. People are beta testing it”.

The first two DLC packs for Fallout 4 will be titled the Automatron and Wasteland Workshop. Revealing more details on these Howard mentioned that Automatron has “a little quest line and this Pokémon-esque ‘kill robots, get their parts, build your own’ [gameplay]. The robot building is really deep”. Laser guns and mini nukes just weren’t enough, you need your own robot too apparently in the wasteland.

The Wasteland Workshop will be there so you can “build your own arenas, capture animals, and also build other things”, offering those of you who prefer creation over destruction a short reprieve before walking out into the sand with your robot followers.

Survival mode, a highly rumoured feature, has also had some secrets revealed, with the lack of saving (unless you are sleeping), the removal of fast travel, a bucket load of diseases and the combat getting a whole new feel, instead of being just a “bullet sponge” experience.

Ubisoft Displays Beautiful Hand Carved PlayStation 4

The open nature of PC gaming and huge array of component choices means it’s possible to create a custom design which follows a particular colour scheme. Talented modders also manage to honour their favourite game, or produce something which looks absolutely stunning. However, the locked hardware on consoles means it’s up to the manufacturer to offer any variation on the standard skin. Thankfully, there are quite a lot of these which helps to cater towards console players rather well.

For example, the limited edition Destiny PlayStation 4 opts for a white theme, and gorgeous logos. On another note, part of the appeal of using consoles to some users is the single specification. As a result, it’s easy to find the correct hardware to play games without any technical knowledge.

To mark the upcoming release of Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft commissioned a custom PlayStation 4 which adopts a very archaic design. The project was spearheaded by stonemason, Nick Roberson who has over 20 years of experience in Hollywood creating similar concoctions. When speaking about the design, he said:

“This project was a great challenge for me and I really enjoyed seeing the modern and techy items come together in this natural form. The buttons of the controllers were certainly tricky but I’m delighted with the final results and the fantastic way they’ve been collated for the shoot.”

Tom Goldberger, Senior PR Manager at Ubisoft also weighed in on this wonderful creation and said:

This project was undertaken to highlight the vast landscape and rich setting of the Stone Age era in Far Cry Primal,”

“Nick has managed to immortalize, in stone, the beautiful, elegant designs of these iconic items with unbelievable accuracy.”

As you can see from the photos below, the finish is absolutely breathtaking and exemplifies an unprecedented level of craftsmanship.

 

What is your favourite limited edition console design?

Knack II is Reportedly in Development

Knack is a platforming beat ’em up directed by Mark Cerny, who famously worked on iconic games including Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. As a result, the initial E3 showing was designed to showcase the PlayStation 4’s capabilities and unique experiences possible on Sony’s latest console. However, the game received a fairly mixed response on release and currently has a Metascore of 54. Typically, launch titles act as a technical demo and lack an engaging story. From a visual standpoint, Knack is very impressive but this wasn’t enough to hold people’s interests.

You have to give credit to Sony for creating a new IP, but there aren’t that many people who remember Knack in a fond way. Despite this, according to NeoGAF, a sequel is being developed! The information comes from Mindy Lang’s LinkedIn page which lists her employment and role for Knack II. On the other hand, since this went public, Mindy Lang has removed the job posting from her professional profile. Perhaps Sony wanted its development to remain a secret and announce it during this year’s E3 conference.

Honestly, I’m surprised to see the revival of Knack, providing the listing is correct, because it really didn’t manage to excite many people or help system sales. Hopefully, the studio has been given a greater time frame to work on the gameplay mechanics and story. It’s possible this could restore Knack’s reputation and provide consumers with an experience the original was designed to be. Nevertheless, it’s going to be an extremely difficult task because the gaming community is already hostile towards a sequel. I would like to see it do well, because a large part of my childhood revolved around quirky platformers from Sony.

On another note, if Knack II is apparently in development, this also might suggest that The Order: 1886 is turning into a franchise. I mention this because it received quite poor reviews, and became known for its absurdly short story, padded out with QTEs and mundane cover shooting.

Gamer Returns 30 “Faulty” PlayStation 4’s in One Year

JediRabbit is a name that crops up on the PlayStation Forum far too often, as it seems that every single console he buys doesn’t meet his very particular expectations. Every console he buys seems to be faulty in his mind, as do his games and even his controllers, in fact, everything is wrong as far as he is concerned. He’s made a staggering 1,829 posts on the PlayStation Forums and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. So the question is, what’s going on here?

It seems from his first purchase, he’s been on a downward spiral of hardware related paranoia. His first concern was the fan noise of the $400 console he purchased. After asking and near tormenting the forum users for advice, who told him that it’s normal, he went and returned the console. It seemed odd to him that the fans got a bit louder when certain games were played. You and I both know that the harder you tax hardware, the hotter it gets, but it seems JediRabbit just can’t grasp that concept. Within six months, he had been through an alarming six consoles by returning them and guess what, they all had the same “fault.”

It’s at this point most people would just admit that they don’t like the console or the hardware. Perhaps buy an Xbox One or a PC and just move on with their life. The consoles also get warm for him when in use, as do many electrical devices, but of course, this is a fault and started another wave of returns.

“Can’t help but notice my PS4 console gets hot on top of the console,” he wrote, adding: “wouldn’t it benfit the PS4 console to have vents ontop to help that hot air escape? [sic]” “Try drill some holes in the top and see,” another user replied, to which JediRabbit responded: “aint got a drill.”

So he took it back, and then the next one, or two, I’m honestly starting to lose count, also had some faults.

“just got a brand newe PS4 and started playing KZ but have noticed during play, a few times i have started shooting and the picture would freeze for around 1 second but i can still hear the gun firing.” He added: “am i just parniod or is this just the game itself and framrate. would anything be wrong with my new console?”

That’s OK, JediRabbit is keeping score, and claims to be on his 20th console now. His local gaming retailer must be the most patient people on Earth. With the console buying madness behind us, the controllers were next for the chopping block, causing six more returns over 60 days due to them disconnecting. PFC_Hudson replied with some advice (see below).

Have his issues been resolved? Nope, he’s still unhappy and now we’re up to 30 consoles and counting. Perhaps JediRabbit needs to understand that the PlayStation 4 isn’t a mythical device that runs completely silent, with flawless gaming performance, subzero hardware temperatures and infinite battery life on the controllers.

What do you think, is JediRabbit a master troll, the most unlucky customer in the world, or (to be blunt) a massive idiot? Let us know in the comments section below.

ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100!

Introduction


Picking the right gaming peripherals can be a tricky endeavour as there is a huge range of products from an equally large selection of gaming brands out there to choose from. Asus are one of the most established and recognisable gaming brands on the market today, and while they may be better known for their high-end graphics cards and motherboards, they’ve proven time and time again that they can make some great gaming peripherals too.

Today we’ll be taking a look at their Cerberus range, a budget friendly but feature packed range of peripherals that are sure to appeal to a wide range of PC gamers. We’ve got a mouse, a headset and a keyboard here today and what’s great about these devices is that all of them can be picked up for a total under £100, making them an attractive option for those on a tighter budget, with the added peace of mind of them being from a well-established brand name.

As you can see below, we’ve got a well-equipped membrane keyboard, with macro keys, LED lighting and more. As well as an optical mouse, which features an ambidextrous design, adjustable DPI and LED lighting. Finally, a powerful gaming headset equipped with 60mm drivers, support for PC, Man and PS4 and a detachable microphone. All of which can be snapped up for a total of just £96.89 (prices from Overclockers UK).

Cerberus Keyboard – LED backlit USB gaming keyboard with splash-proof design

  • Full SECC metal plate – Rugged durability
  • Splash-proof design with drain hole – Protects against spilled liquids
  • 12 macro keys – Tactical flexibility
  • Fully rubberized feet – Enhanced friction for strong movements
  • Price – £39.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Mouse – Ambidextrous optical gaming mouse with four-stage DPI switch and convenient LED indicator

  • Agile DPI control – Four customizable DPI levels with an LED color indicator
  • Stylish ambidextrous design – Designed for both right and left-handed gamers
  • Improved rubber side grips – Reduces sweating and slipping
  • Price – £21.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Headset – Gaming headset with large 60mm neodymium drivers, designed for both PC gaming and mobile use.

  • Large 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers deliver unrivaled punch and ultimate immersion
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation® 4 and smart devices for gaming and mobile fun
  • Dual-microphone design: detachable boom mic for clear in-game communication and an in-line mic for on-the-go chat
  • Comfortable 100mm full-size cushions offer great noise isolation for undisturbed gaming and music enjoyment
  • Price – £34.99

For more information, check out the official product page here.

The packaging on each product is really nice, with a large window on the headset and the mouse, allowing a good look at the design of each, while the box for the keyboard has a big image of the keyboard and its LED lighting. There’s a few technical details around each box, but nothing we haven’t already covered above.

Fallout 4 1.3 Update Released

Bethesda has announced the release of the 1.3 update for its action RPG Fallout 4. The update is already available for PC users via Steam, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will get it later this week.

The update introduces ambient occlusion (HBAO+), fixes a couple of broken quests, and new weapon debris effects for NVIDIA GPU users.

New Features

  • New ambient occlusion setting, HBAO+ (PC)
  • New weapon debris effects (PC NVIDIA cards)
  • Added status menu for settlers in your settlements
  • Added ability to rotate an object you are holding with left/right triggers and pressing down on left thumbstick lets you switch the rotating axis
  • Improved “ESDF” keys remapping support while in Workshop mode (PC)

Gameplay Fixes

  • General memory and stability improvements
  • Improved performance when looking through a scope
  • Fixed issue where player could warp to a different location when aiming
  • Companions can no longer get stuck with radiation poisoning
  • Fixed an issue where Vault 81 residents would not dismember correctly
  • Big Leagues perk now displays calculated damage correctly
  • Fixed issue with third person camera not displaying properly after exiting certain crafting stations
  • Fixed an issue where subtitles would occasionally not update properly
  • Effects will properly be removed on companions when items are unequipped
  • MacReady’s Killshot perk now calculates headshot percentages properly
  • Fixed an issue with NPCs getting stuck in Power Armor
  • Fixed a rare issue with companions getting stuck in down state
  • Second rank of Aquaboy now calculates properly
  • Fixed an issue with resistance not always lowering the damage correctly when added by mods
  • Enabled number of characters available when renaming an item (XB1)
  • Fixed issue with player becoming dismembered while still alive
  • Robotics expert is now usable in combat
  • Stimpaks can now be used on Curie after the transformation
  • Playing a holotape found in wilderness while switching point of view no longer causes the screen to blur or controls to be locked

Quest Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with “Taking Independence” where the minutemen remaining from the battle against the Mirelurk Queen would not gather in the Castle
  • Fixed an issue where invulnerable characters would get stuck in combat
  • Fixed an issue where Preston would send player to a settlement instead of a dungeon as part of a Minutemen quest
  • Fixed an issue where Synths could attack the Castle while the player was friends with the Institute
  • Fixed an issue where killing a caravan would leave a quest open
  • Fixed an issue where Dogmeat would stay at Fort Hagen after “Reunions” was completed
  • Fixed an issue where the player couldn’t talk to Desdemona to complete “Underground Undercover”
  • Fixed an issue where the player could get stuck exiting the cryopod
  • Fixed an issue where the player could no longer get Preston as a companion
  • In “The End of the Line,” fixed an issue that would prevent the player from killing the leaders of the Railroad
  • Fixed an issue with Minutemen quests repeating improperly
  • Fixed an issue where the player couldn’t get back into the Railroad headquarters after being kicked out of the Brotherhood of Steel
  • After finishing “The Big Dig,” fixed an issue where Hancock would no longer offer to be a companion or help with the “Silver Shroud” quest
  • Fixed an issue with obtaining the Dampening Coils from Saugus Ironworks before going to Yangtze
  • During “Unlikely Valentine,” fixed an issue where the player could be blocked from entering Vault 114
  • In “Confidence Man,” Bull and Gouger can now be killed
  • During “Taking Independence,” fixed an issue that would prevent the radio transmitter from powering up
  • In “Human Error,” fixed an issue where killing Dan would cause the quest to not complete properly
  • Fixed an issue with “Tactical Thinking” where leaving dialogue early with Captain Kells to reprogram P.A.M. could cause quest to not completely properly

Workshop Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that would cause settler counts to appear incorrectly
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent the player from setting up a supply line in settlements with a high population
  • Improvements to snapping pieces together while in Workshop mode
  • Fixed an issue that caused powered items to stop functioning permanently if its power source was ever removed
  • Player can now build workbenches in their Diamond City house
  • Building wires no longer uses up copper
  • Fixed issue with certain settlement attacks not generating properly
  • Fixed an issue with settlement happiness calculations
  • Settlers assigned to weapons stand will now stand next to it
  • Diamond City house now shows provided power
  • Repairing items will now correctly consume resources
  • Fixed an issue where companion would ignore commands at workshop locations
  • Fixed an issue with crops appearing destroyed after saving and reloading

Only 99 Xbox One Units Were Sold in Japan Last Week

Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate the Japanese gaming market for some time and made an ambitious push with the Xbox One to attract a new audience. However, since the start of this endeavour, console sales figures can only be described as abysmal and even resulted in Xbox Japan’s CEO, Takashi Sensui’s resignation. The figures released for last week by Media Create are embarrassing and illustrates why Microsoft has almost given up on appealing to Japanese gamers.

In the period between January 11th to 17th, Microsoft only sold a measly 99 units! This is the first instance of the company’s sales slipping into double digits. To put these numbers into some context, the PlayStation 4 sold 25,292 units in the same period, and the Wii U managed 15,398 sales. This is astonishing when you consider the Wii U’s worldwide performance is terrible and there’s a huge amount of speculation regarding Nintendo’s upcoming NX console.

Here we can see the top 8 system sales in full:

1. New Nintendo 3DS XL: 30,172 units

2. PlayStation 4: 25,592

3. PlayStation Vita: 18,202

4. Wii U: 15,398

5. New Nintendo 3DS: 6,241

6. Nintendo 3DS: 4,797

7. PlayStation 3: 1,939

8. Nintendo 3DS XL: 1,162

Notice how even the PlayStation 3 is outselling Microsoft’s latest console by a significant margin. Furthermore, the rise of mobile gaming in Japan cannot be underestimated as portable puzzle games prove to be a very popular pastime. It seems Microsoft is realizing the scale of their problem and major difficulties in trying to encourage Japanese citizens to move away from long-standing Japanese brands. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything Microsoft can do to change their reputation, and they’ve probably already given up on the Japan project. This is a shame, because it’s always beneficial for the consumer to have more choice and experience different games. Personally, I often feel Microsoft focuses too much on certain territories and needs to appeal more to smaller markets.

Image courtesy of JapanTimes.