When it comes to superhero video games, few did it as well as the Batman Arkham series, gripping fans as they explored the prison and then the city in the hopes of fighting crime in Gotham. If you enjoyed the games but miss being able to play them on your Xbox One or PS4 you may be in luck with leaked images showing the Batman Arkham HD Collection.
Leaked via an image sent by a reported GameStop employee, the images appear to show a release date of the 10th June, with preorders going live today (19th April). The collection will include both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City with “updated visuals optimised for Playstation 4 and Xbox One” while also letting you enjoy all the DLC that was previously released for both of the games.
With the last game in the Arkham series, Arkham Knight, giving you control over the Batmobile and a larger city, it didn’t take long before the technical problems scared people off of the game with many companies even offering refunds to anyone who had purchased it on PC. With the Arkham Knight being the last game made by Rocksteady for the dark hero, could this collection tide over fans while we await news about the next superhero series to grip our hearts?
In a move that may replicate their moves around the PS4 launch, Sony appears to be making a major and bold move with the next-gen PS4. Dubbed PS4.5 or PS4K by various sources, the latest codename to come out is Neo. In addition to a new name, the new PlayStation will also feature completely upgraded internals with improved performance. What’s more, the console may even support 4K upscaling.
According to GiantBomb, the Neo will take the current internal hardware and simply make it better. The GDDR5 stays at 8GB but faster modules bring the bandwidth up to 218 GB/s. The 8 Jaguar cores get a clock speed boost to 2.1Ghz, up from 1.6Ghz. The most drastic change is reserved for the GPU, going from 800Mhz to 911Mhz and moving to 14nm Polaris. Furthermore, the CU count gets bumped from 18 to 36.
If Polaris keeps the number of stream processors in each CU, this means the GPU will have 2304 cores. This is smack where Polaris 10 is expected to be and will be a 290X/390X replacement, crazy for a console. What’s more likely is that AMD has shrunk the number of cores per CU with Polaris which would help with the promised efficiency and IPC gains. This would give a more believable core count of 1152 to 1728, much more reasonable numbers.
Finally, the Neo will feature 4K upscaling of 1080p content. This fits with rumours of 4K support and would make the Neo better suited for 4K TV sets. Upscaling isn’t as good as native resolution but it can come performance free with dedicated hardware. This also meshes with the requirements for PlayStation VR, with the better GPUbeing able to offer console levels of detail for the headset. The biggest surprise in my mind is the low $399 cost, the same as the original PS4.
Consoles come in stages, from the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox to the Ps4, Wii and Xbox One, consoles are always launched around the same time leading to a large hype in people’s purchases as new games and technologies are revealed to the gaming community. According to the COO of GameStop, the new consoles could see “imminent” launch.
The statement was made during GameStop’s 2016 Investors Day, the companies Chief Operating Officer said that the company was happy to see new technologies being introduced, stating that things like virtual reality may play a big part in the next generation of consoles. Even going so far as to say that the rumoured new console could see an “imminent” launch.
With the last generation of consoles being released back in 2013 featuring the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4, gaming and technology has come a long way since then with virtual reality and 4K content becoming more than just an occasional venture, leading people to hope that the latest steps in technology will soon be released to the console gaming market.
As the cheapest virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR has a good chance to shape how many users will see and experience VR for the first time. For this reason, the direction Sony takes with their headset that will launch later this year is something we are watching closely. Unfortunately, it seems that Sony has closed the door on room-scale VR and is choosing to focus on seated virtual experience with their games for now.
In statement Sony gave, they noted that “We have some tech demos that allowed users to play while standing up, however all the PS VR titles we plan to release in the future will recommend that users remain seated. We will announce further details of guidelines or regulations when ready”. Givent he nature of the control Sony has over the PS4, we can expect most developers will have to follow the regulations Sony will set. The few that won’t will be likely targeting the users that got PS VR for their PC.
The reason that PS VR is going to focus on seated play is because the PlayStation Move camera simply can’t track a large enough area. Tracking will likely be limited to a short-range for the head, arms and upper body. This leaves the HTC Vive, with its superior tracking cameras, as the sole provider of large room scale VR. For me, room scale VR seems to be the most exciting part so it will be interesting to see if developers will focus on that or go the easier route with Sony and Oculus.
After dropping the PlayStation 4 System Update v3.50 today, we’re now finding out more details about the new feature. Using the new Remote Play functionality, PS4 owners can now stream to PC and Max OSX systems. This expands Remote Play from just certain Sony mobile gaming devices and Xperia phones. However, it looks like Remote Play has been limited certain Windows and OSX versions only.
According to the official blog post from Sony, only Windows 10 and 8.1 are officially supported on the PC side. For OSX, Yosemite or El Capitan will be required. This means for the nearly 50% of PC users still on Windows 7, they won’t be able to enjoy Remote Play at all without having to upgrade. Lack of developer resources to target Windows 7 doesn’t seem to be the issue nor is hardware compatibility. In fact, even the 32bit versions of Windows 10 and 8.1 are supported.
With hardware requirements stretching back to the days of the Windows 7 launch, it seems lacking that Sony is supporting OS’s from 2 and a half years ago. Going forward, we may see more and more software dropping Windows 7 support, making the upgrade to Windows 10 ever more necessary. The day that Windows 7 is untenable still remains beyond the horizon for now.
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
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
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 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.
Sony originally launched their PlayStation Plus service way back in 2010 to offer an enticing package of monthly games with a monetary value which far outweighed the monthly fee. This rightfully received a warm reception and helped Sony to forge a harmonious relationship with the PlayStation community. It’s also important to remember that during the PlayStation 3 days, online play remained free, and PlayStation Plus wasn’t a requirement. Sadly, this was changed once the PlayStation 4 launched and players have to pay the subscription fee to play online.
This isn’t a shocking revelation because Microsoft employed a similar tactic with the Xbox Live subscription service. Not only that, Microsoft even required this to use the Internet Explorer web browser! Thankfully, they have seen sense and granted free access to programs and media applications using a free account. It’s evidently clear that the monthly line-up of PlayStation Plus games has deteriorated in recent years and caused many users to show their displeasure. Even though indie games provide stunning experiences, consumers want to see more mainstream titles to enhance the service’s value proposition. It’s not that simple though because the PlayStation 4’s game library is pretty small compared to the PlayStation 3. Saying that, there’s more than enough third-party games and Sony IPs to keep consumers entertained.
According to a PlayStation Reddit poll, user satisfaction of the service has dropped to a miserable 21.3%. Furthermore, 65.2% felt dissatisfied by the service in one form or another. In comparison, an internal Sony poll in 2012 concluded that over 95% were satisfied. As you can see, this is a drop of more than 70% in just three and a half years. Of course you have to remember that the sample size is fairly small with 3923 responses and might not reflect widespread opinion. However, it’s large enough to provide an indication of user frustration and I wouldn’t be surprised if the results were similar using a larger sample.
Are you happy with the current PlayStation Plus service?
By now there can’t be much doubt in anyone’s mind that 2016 will be the year that will be remembered as the year VR went mainstream. We have got 3 major players each bringing out their own VR headsets, partly they already have to early adopters, and they surely won’t be the last ones. Overclockers UK is one of the biggest gaming system builders and hardware components shops in the UK and they are also on board for this new wave of virtual reality. We’ve already seen them create dedicated HTC Vive area in their shops where customers and fans can experience the full room VR experience, so there is no doubt that they believe in this too.
Overclockers UK will also be among the 600 buyers, sellers, and developers who will attend the VR World Congress next week on April the 12th in Bristol that is being headlined by AMD and their LiquidVR. At the VRWC, you’ll find a dedicated expo hall filled to the brim with exciting and innovative companies showing the latest developments in VR.
OC UK themselves will bring their high-performance PCs, starting from the recommended VR specifications and all the way up to the 8Pack designed and built monster PC called the Asteroid. There will also be the chance to test out OCUK’s Room Scale VR Experience at their booth.
You can also be part of this yourself, if you have time and are in the area, and you can even get in for free with a little luck. Overclockers UK is giving away 2 tickets for this event and the entry is as simple as it could be. All you have to do is to visit the OCUK forums and post a reply to a thread there. You should also take the time to browse the forums a little bit while you’re there, they got some great and knowledgeable people hanging around that post a lot of interesting stuff.
The incredibly detailed worlds and superb character interactions in video games provides a wonderful distraction from the harsh reality of modern life. Furthermore, unfortunate individuals with long-term health conditions find video games cathartic and allows them to engage in an activity they thoroughly enjoy each day. This is absolute fantastic and it’s so inspiring to see disabled gamers play their favourite titles. Sadly, many physical conditions makes inputting commands a rather challenging exercise but there’s some great work being done by the charity Special Effect to help those affected.
Recently, Peter Byrne, a PlayStation 4 owner suffering from Cerebral Palsy contacted PlayStation Support to explain the problems he faced using the Dual Shock 4 controller. After sending the initial message, Mr Byrne was given the e-mail address of an employee named, Ajmal Alex Nawabi. After exchanging a number of e-mails, Nawabi told Byrne that he couldn’t help resolve his control issues but would send a PlayStation goodie bag as a gesture of their appreciation. To Byrne’s complete shock, the bag contained a custom-made controller:
“I figure I share this story with everyone because it is too good not to share! When I use the PlayStation 4 controller my game constantly pauses because my left hand hits the touchpad which is frustrating for me. Around two weeks ago, I decided to message PlayStation support and they gave this email address and said tell them my issue and wait for a response.
A man by the name of Alex Nawabi from PlayStation messaged me and told me he was taking my matter personally and not on behalf of PlayStation. I explained to him my problem with a controller as well as my condition of cerebral palsy. I even had to give him a visual of what my left hand looked like gripping the controller.
After a series of back and forth emails. Mr. Nawabi told me he was ordering some parts to come up with a solution for me. He emailed he last week saying that he tried to come up with a solution but it didn’t work. However, he would send me a PlayStation goodie box anyway. I received that box today and inside was the modified controller especially made for me and this letter. I honestly got choked up reading the letter as I did not expect anything like this to happen.
Mr. Nawabi really cared about my situation and did this on his own time to make my experience better. I honestly can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me. Thank you Mr. Nawabi it really means a lot too me!”
Here we can see the letter addressed to Mr Byrne describing the process when designing a new controller for his disability:
This is such a heart warming story and restores my faith in humanity somewhat. I have to give credit to Sony for going the extra mile and helping the most vulnerable individuals in society. Disabled people through no fault of their own often live a lonely existence. As a result, video games are so important to keep them entertained and enjoying life. Well done Sony, and I hope Mr Byrne enjoys upcoming games including Uncharted 4.
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.
Right now, it has more or less been confirmed that Sony is working on an update to the PlayStation 4. Referred to as the PlayStation 4K by multiple sources, the console won’t be running any games at 4K anytime soon. Contrary to the expectations from its name, the new console probably won’t be able to game at 4K, with the update more of a performance bump rather than a giant leap.
From the various leaks, it looks like the update will be based on the new 14nm process AMD is using for Polaris. With the new process, Sony has a chance to use cheaper and more power efficient dies to either cut cost or grow performance for more or less free. Right now the PS4 has hardware similar to the 7870 based on GCN 1.1. With an update, Sony has a chance to jump to Polaris with GCN 1.3/4.0 along with a significant power efficiency increase, allowing the console to stuff a 7970 class GPU in the console. While not enough for 4K, this should allow many more titles to run at 1080p and at a higher level of quality. From what Sony has hinted at, the PS4K will simply be the same PS4 but with improved graphics and higher FPS. This should allow for a similar gameplay experience for users and ensuring games still work fine with the stock PS4. The update to a new architecture will also bring HDMI 2.0 support, which will allow for 4K at 60fps, a first for a console. This pairs up nicely with the Ultra HD Blu-Ray support we are expecting which will allow for 4K content at 60fps.
With all the new releases that seem to come out on an almost weekly basis, it is hard to forget about some of the older games that paved the way for you to enjoy today’s releases. The PS4 has reminded us of two such games, with surprise releases of Bully And Manhunt now showing that some old games are worth rebuying.
Bully was released in 2006 and is kinda like a junior GTA. You play as Jimmy Hopkins, a rebellious teen who was dumped at Bullworth Academy by his parents. The Academy is no picknick, with players expected to survive against bullies, absent-minded teachers and a busy school day with everything from a slingshot to stinkbombs.
Manhunt, on the other hand, was released in 2003 and was quite controversial upon its release and still is even to this day. With a mix of violence and stealth, the game sees you play as James Earl Cash, a death row inmate who is promised his freedom in exchange for surviving in a city filled with people who want him dead.
Two games that shaped many lives are now available on the PlayStation store in Europe (they could also be released in North America when the store is next updated) and both retail for £11.99. With both games upscaled to 1080p with features such as Trophies, Remote Play and share play, it would seem that they are keen on bringing the PS2 games to the PS4 with all its modern perks. You can find Bully here and Manhunt here, with Bully already receiving 960 reviews since its release on the 22nd.
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.
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.
At GDC 2016 this week, during a Sony-sponsored talk on the development of its PlayStation VR headset, Chris Norden, the Senior Dev support Engineer at Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), revealed that any game for the new virtual reality headset that drops below 60 frames-per-second will be immediately rejected.
“Frame rate is really important; you cannot drop below 60 frames per second, ever,” Norden told the GDC audience (via Gamasutra). “If you submit a game to us and it drops to 55, or 51 […] we’re probably going to reject it.”
“I know I’m going to get flak for this, but there’s no excuse for not hitting frame rate,” he added. “It’s really hard, and I’m not going to lie to and say it’s extremely easy […] it’s really difficult.” Norden set down a final marker for developers: “60hz is the minimum acceptable framerate. Everybody drill that into your heads.”
Norden also revealed that PlayStation VR will aim to be inclusive of the new virtual reality ecosystem as a whole, and does not consider the hardware to be a proprietary ‘walled garden,’ saying, “We’re all friends; the VR industry is really small and really tight. The VR industry needs to succeed, and everybody inside of it needs to succeed.”
He also assured gamers that the PlayStation VR will not necessarily require large standing areas in order to play. “If you want to have a small area, if you want your players to be seated, to be standing, that’s okay,” said Norden. “Don’t feel like you’re constricted to just one thing,”
Which console do you play on? The choice is impacted by a lot of things, from being able to play those exclusive releases to the unique hardware options one console features. One of the biggest factors for consoles is often the ability to play with others, with groups of friends often getting the same console in order to play together. Microsoft wants to enable cross-platform play and recently invited others to join them in the plan, an invite Sony has now responded to.
Sony’s statement includes that they have been “supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC [since] back in 2002”. The statement goes on to say that they “would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play”.
Given that Sony and Microsoft are responsible for the leading consoles when it comes to online multiplayer it could be interesting to see the two gaming networks merge together to create a united gaming network, enabling people from every console to play games together with nothing but their skills separating them.
With friends who own one or both of the consoles, I think that creating a uniform platform for cross-console play could only put more focus on the hardware that people use and the skills they hone to play their games.
For a new piece of technology to pick up traction, it’s important to have a decent amount of launch content available. The same is true for VR, especially given the hefty cost of most of the headsets releasing this year. Oculus was the first to detail their launch lineup with a slew of VR ready titles for launch. Not getting left behind, Sony has made known a number of titles which will be launching with PlayStation VR, with 50 more to come between launch and the end of the year as well.
The first up is a series of 5 VR minigames made by Sony in-house as a part of PlayStation VR Worlds. These are The London Heist, Into the Deep, VR Luge, Danger Ball and Scavenger’s Odyssey. One may well expect that these titles may be bundled with the VR headset for sale.
Other titles include Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Tumble VR from Supermassive Games. Sony Japan Studios will be making The Playroom VR while Guerrilla Cambridge is releasing Rigs. Of these, Rigs is my favourite as who wouldn’t want to battle it out in mech suits in VR? Given the VR requirements though, don’t expect any of these titles to have superb graphics or physics. Even with PlayStation 3/3.5 like graphics, these titles should still be enough to entice earlier VR users to pick up a headset.
Do you remember the iconic Battlezone? It’s certainly been a long time since I played it and even then, I think it was on an Amiga, perhaps even a Commodore64 when I did! The world isn’t short of HD remakes, remasters and rereleased, but it seems we have room for one more, as Battlezone is getting a full VR makeover on PlayStation VR and on Oculus Rift on PC.
I couldn’t think of a better place for Battlezone that VR, with the image of sitting down in your brightly coloured tanks whizzing around a map like a heavy-duty match of Mario Kart. As if the prospect of multiplayer isn’t enough, the team at Rebellion has released a new campaign trailer for the game, showing you just how much has changed in the game over the years.
“I think VR has an unfair reputation for just offering cool bitesize experiences, but we want to come out firing and deliver the kind of substantial content early adopters are crying out for. Obviously we’re hoping that Battlezone will be one of the first PlayStation VR games players buy, but we’re also designing it to be the one they return to time and time again… once VR has taken over the world of course!” Rebellion CEO and Creative Director Jason Kingsley.
It’s certainly shaping up to be interesting, and with the developer touting procedurally generated as well as semi-randomized content so that each campaign is unique, so it should have some great replay value there too.
Are are you looking forward to Battlezone? Will you be playing it on PC or PlayStation?
A few years ago Sony had a rather bad hack, which affected around 70 million of their customers. In the wake of the hack, Sony offered to renew its efforts to increase security alongside some gifts to appease players who suffered during the 23-day outage. As of March 2nd, you may find that the promised free game codes have finally arrived.
Depending on the services you were signed up to when the hack happened (PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment), you can claim a variety of rewards. As part of Sony’s initial scheme people were offered to grab a game, but don’t worry if you didn’t manage to grab one all the time back then, you can grab two now.
The games available vary based on which of the available platforms you wish to collect your reward for, with the Playstation 3, Vita and PSP all being offered free rewards as a sorry. If you want to grab a game you can now get inFamous, LittleBigPlanet and even the God Of War HD Collection for free but they will be limited to the aforementioned consoles.
With the lawsuit spawning this reward scheme valued at $2.75 million, Sony must be happy that they can get away with a few free games or even a little account credit or PSN time almost five years since the hack began the security awareness that so many companies are still suffering from.
Uncharted has become one of Sony’s largest series with the fourth game in the series looking to be released this year. Following a treasure hunters search, the game features everything you could want to play, but you may have to wait a little longer for the experience with Sony announcing that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release will be delayed.
Originally set for a March 18th release, the game has already experienced a push back but with the latest delay the launch date is now looking as the 10th May. According to Sony, this is to allow for “extra manufacturing time” before release.
Even with the delay, they seem confident, with the post continuing to say that “the good news is the game is phenomenal”. This news comes just after it was revealed that inside their initial story trailer they used some artwork from Ubisoft’s Assasins Creed series, something that caused them to pull down the trailer and re-release it without the offending artwork.
Are you looking forward to the game? Does a delay matter to you or would you prefer that they released the game as soon as it was done and ready? We seem to get delays every other week, with some games being delayed so much they seem to almost never happen.
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.
We all have those games which you just feel like picking up every now and again to see how you can play it differently, or just to immerse yourself in their world again. One of those games series if the Bioshock series for many. A few months we reported on the fact that a “Bioshock Collection” could be coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4, it would now seem that more information is coming forward with a Brazillian rating board listing a similar title.
With the title of “BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION”, the games are listed for release on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the latest generation of consoles in the form of a Playstation 4 and Xbox One release. With re-releases being the rage these days, bundling together games, their DLC’s and more often than not a graphics update, we could soon see you playing the games in a whole new light.
Would you buy (or even re-buy) the Bioshock games? If you did what platform would you choose? Personally, I love the games but unless it featured something that the previous games didn’t, I would just replay the originals for their amazing storylines.
Roccat is one of the most popular gaming brands on the market, so we’re very happy to see their latest headset, the Renga, in the eTeknix office today. Having already produced some of our favourite headsets, such as the Kave XTD True 5.1 and my own personal in-ear headphones/headset, the Syva, I have high expectations for their new multi-format lightweight stereo gaming headset. Roccat has always worked hard to push innovative features to their products, and you only have to take a quick look at their Ryos and ISKU FX keyboards, Tyon gaming mouse, or any other products they’ve produced, to see how they’ve innovated in terms of design, features, performance and their feature-packed desktop software.
“Renga is ROCCAT’s vision for a studio grade over-ear stereo gaming headset that creates the utmost audio experience for gamers. With multi-platform support, its over-ear design with optimally aligned 50mm driver units ensures comfort and deep, powerful bass for completely undivided in-game focus. Its reinforced structural housing provides the framework for a super comfortable build, with ergonomic headband and ear cushions. Perfect for gaming, music playback, movies and more, Renga is developed for gamers who demand more from their headset.” – Roccat
The Renga has been designed for serious gamers, both at home and within the eSports community. It’s open-backed design will help you stay focused on your environment and your game, with a high-quality fold up microphone that will give you the performance you need for team chat or even a few Skype calls at home. It promises a durable and highly flexible design that should ensure the headset takes more than a few knocks and bumps too, handy for those heading out to a lot of gaming events. To add further value to the Renga, you’ll also find it support PC, PlayStation 4 and mobile devices, giving you more bang for your buck by only needing one headset for multiple gaming devices. So let’s go take a closer look at what Roccat’s latest headset has to offer.
The packaging is typical Roccat, with the strong black and blue theme, a great photo of the headset and all the major specifications listed right on the front. As you can see, we’ve got multiformat support, powerful stereo drivers, and an open-back ventilated driver design.
In the box, you’ll find the headset, which comes hard-wired with a dual 3.5mm cable for desktop use, a Y-split to single 3.5mm cable for console/mobile use, as well as the usual documentation.
The cables are fantastic quality, with a thick rubber anti-tangle coating in stunning electric blue. There’s also a hard-wired in-line controller that gives you quick and easy access to the microphone mute switch, as well as a master volume dial.
Let’s Play videos are everywhere these days, with many of the top channels on Youtube being dedicated to such videos and a growing number of people making their living from creating them. Enter Sony, who are now attempting to file a trademark for this popular community term.
The filing was discovered this week by members of the NeoGaf forums, despite apparently having been originally filed back in October 2015. The filing describes “Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks”. Sound familiar? This seems to almost perfectly describe the existing idea of a ‘let’s play’ within the gaming community. It would appear then, that Sony is trying to claim ownership of a venerable community term, using the system of trademarks as a means.
Let’s play is hardly a new term either, with the term’s origin able to be traced back to the Something Awful forums in around 2007, with the term possibly even older. These early let’s play forum threads were far simpler than the now-common videos, taking the form of forum threads filled with screenshots from the game and captions, with the player sometimes offering community members choice on in-game decisions between updates. Over the years, they have slowly moved to the video and vocal commentary form that is well known, with a site dedicated to archiving Let’s Plays in either form and Youtube channels containing only Let’s Play videos. It is doubtful that the community will go silently should Sony try to appropriate the term.
It is unclear what Sony intend to do with this trademark, with some theories including usage in an advertising campaign or as part of a streaming application for their gaming systems. For now, the trademark process seems to be stalled in the status of “non-final action”, which means an examiner has found issues in the application and sent it back. It is certainly concerning that Sony is trying to take this term from the community, a move that may prove to be an unpopular mistake should the trademark be acquired.
We’ve recently seen the Oculus Rift become available for pre-orders and the first batch of them was gone very quickly, so there is a market for these virtual reality devices despite their somewhat high price for some people. While the Oculus Rift will set you back $600 as a pre-order, you also get a controller and a couple of games included in the bundle. With that in mind, a lot of people that have both a PC and a PlayStation 4 had hoped that Sony’s PlayStation VR might be a cheaper option. That might or might not be the case, but if Amazon’s recent price leak was real, then it will cost more than the Rift.
Amazon Canada has started to list Sony’s PlayStation VR on their website and for a short while it had a price attached to it. The listing is still active at the time of writing this article, but the price has since been removed again. Amazon Canada had the Sony PlayStation VR headset listed for $1125.35 CAD which is about $800 USD, making it $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift. Forbes was first to report on this, but Sony was quick to come out with a statement to the outlet. “This was an error by Amazon, we haven’t announced a price for PlayStation VR.”
While it is natural for Sony to come out and deny the leak right away with a phrasing that doesn’t really deny the leak itself, it is most likely just a price holder set by Amazon and one that shouldn’t have been shown. This is common practice and we’ve seen the PS4 being listed for $1000 before it officially became available – again just as a placeholder. We should also remember, as mentioned a few times already, that Oculus already revealed the price for their Rift headset. Sony will naturally try to compete with this price as much as it is possible for them. This will be the year where virtual reality really starts and it could make a lot of difference down the road who secures themselves the biggest userbase from the start.
While this $800 Sony PlayStation VR price leak might have been a letdown, I’m sure that we will know the real price very soon. After all, the PSVR headset is set for a Q1 2016 release.
The quality of games included in Sony’s PlayStation Plus service has deteriorated in recent months and made loyal PlayStation 4 owners question its value. During the previous generation, PlayStation Plus was optional and revolved around highly acclaimed mainstream games. Sadly, Sony decided to make PlayStation Plus mandatory to access online play on their latest console and promised to improve the network infrastructure. Since then the service has heavily relied on smaller indie games which can be picked up on other platforms for almost nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of niche indie games, but I usually pick these up on PC in bundles or during Steam sales.
Sony recently sent an e-mail to PlayStation Plus subscribers informing them of the PS4 games coming to this month’s line-up. As you can see, the selection isn’t great and bound to infuriate PlayStation customers who expected major releases like The Order: 1866. Hardware Rivals is a multiplayer racing game and can be pretty fun in short bursts while Grim Fandango remastered offers fiendishly difficult puzzles and a captivating story.
Please note, this isn’t the entire line-up for January, as Sony will add a number of PlayStation 3 and PS Vita games. Furthermore, Grim Fandango Remastered supports cross-play so I assume the version included also works on the Vita.
Are you happy with the current PlayStation Plus offerings or feel they now represent poor value-for-money?
Gran Turismo revolutionized the racing genre on consoles due to the enticing career mode, superb car selection and advanced physics model. Sadly, in recent years, the series has floundered and struggled to compete with Forza’s yearly release cycle. Additionally, Gran Turismo 5 was a major disappointment and I didn’t really find Gran Turismo 6 enjoyable either. Strangely enough, Gran Turismo 6 doesn’t pose any challenge in terms of the license events, or competition from the AI. In an ideal world, Polyphony Digital should have released Gran Turismo 7 as a PlayStation 4 launch title, but this didn’t happen and their projects usually take a long time to complete.
Thankfully, Gran Turismo Sport was announced some time ago during the Paris Games Week although we don’t know what this will actually entail. Apparently, it’s not a small demo of Gran Turismo 7 like earlier concept titles and should provide a fulfilling experience. According to Website GTPlanet, the Gran Turismo offices contained concept art on the wall during the Christmas period of the upcoming game! Super GT drivers Kohei Hirate and Satoshi Motoyama, and Toyota’s Masashi Honda publicly unveiled the images which are listed below:
There is still some speculation regarding the authenticity of some of the images, as they look photo-realistic. I’m pretty sceptical about the snapshot with trees in the background but perhaps the studio has found a way to implement satellite images into the render. However, this is very unlikely and wishful thinking. Whatever the case, I cannot wait to see Gran Turismo Sport and hope it provides the stopgap needed to please racing fans before the release of Gran Turismo 7.