Next Generation of Consoles Could See “Imminent” Launch

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.

This news shouldn’t be overly large, with companies like Nintendo constantly hinting at the NX while rumours were spread about the Playstation 4 getting an upgrade to run 4K content. With no word from companies regarding when or what the next consoles would officially feature, all we have is rumours and suggestions from fans and “sources”, including ones that point to upgradable versions of the Xbox consoles hardware.

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.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Has Its Release Delayed Again

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.

Has Sony Already Given the PS4 a PS2 Emulator?

Each generation of consoles comes with some dilemma, should we let you play the last generation? While new hardware and software can let you play the games at a faster speed with upscaled graphics, the same features mean that bringing them up to date requires more work than they are deemed worth. So why would Sony release their PS2 emulator without any real declaration and celebration?

If you were eagle-eyed you may notice that the PS4 has a new Star Wars bundle featuring four games; Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars: Racer Revenge and Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. Bundled inside a single pack via download only, three of these games are however from an older generation, the generation of the PS2.

The reason you can tell they are being run through an emulator? Firstly the system uses an emulated storage system to replace the old 8MB memory cards you desperately searched for hours before your friends came over to play. Secondly, the game alerts you that it has mapped the start and select buttons to the right and left-side of the Dual Shock 4 trackpad, a feature and ability that is locked out to anyone but Sony themselves.

Check out the video from Digital Foundry below and see the difference yourself.

PC Games Industry Growing Faster Than Consoles

The age-old argument will probably spring up in the comments, but we all love games so let’s leave it there. Gamers have long argued over what is the best platform to play your games on, with companies constantly arguing that theirs is the best in the latest generation. With companies creating new consoles in each generation, many argue that PC’s are best adapted to handle the constant growth and change in technology that often comes both in hardware and software forms. A recent study by Jon Peddie seems to back that PC games industry is still going strong.

In the above graph, you can see that in 2014, PC game revenue overtook consoles for the first time since 2008. Likewise, you can see that consoles have been pretty stable at between 20-25billion dollars each year.

Alongside these figures and this study, it’s shown that the largest group of PC gamers are what are titled ‘enthusiast’ gamers, with a total of 44% of the overall income from PC gamers coming from them. Followed by performance users at 30% and Mainstream gamers at 26%.

Set at 21.5 billion the market is expected to grow, with the report setting the marks at 22.5 and 23.1 in 2016 and 2017 respectively. It will be interesting to see if this comes true.

Thank you Jon Peddie and Gear Siege for the information.

Images courtesy of Gear Siege and VR World.

Sony Confirms Playstation Plus Price Increase in Europe

Sony has confirmed the PlayStation Plus service will receive a price hike in Europe from September 1st. The price of a 3-month subscription is set to increase from £11.99 to £14.99 in the UK while the yearly price bracket remains the same. An official statement from SCEUK said:

“From 1st September we will be increasing the price of monthly and three month PlayStation Plus subscriptions in line with market conditions.

“We will continue to invest in PlayStation Plus to ensure an unparalleled experience, featuring the best quality games and features.”

The 3-month’s higher price also applies to other European regions such as France which increases from €14.99 to €19.99. Currently, it seems there are no plans to alter pricing in Asia or North America. According to a representative from the SCEUK, the overall cost will be:

“Different in some markets.”

Sony are pushing the yearly subscription model and discouraging users from buying the cheaper, 3-month alternative. Financially, it makes sense to purchase the 12-month option, but this reduces the flexibility for those wanting to try the network out for a few months. Additionally, Xbox Live can be purchased from 3rd parties for around £20 and is significantly cheaper than PlayStation Plus.

Traditionally, the quality of free games on PlayStation Plus made the investment worthwhile but the line-up has been rather poor in recent months. Furthermore, the money is designed to improve the network stability and PlayStation Plus is still plagued by down-times. Sony desperately needs to improve the network infrastructure and provide a service which corresponds with the asking price.

Thank you Push Square for providing us with this information.

Sony Sold 94 Anniversary PS4s for £19.94

Remember those special limited edition 20th anniversary PS4s? Well Sony has started selling some in Europe, after they all sold out online in the US and Canada.

They set gamers back about $500 in the US, but in the UK last Wednesday, 94 fans got their hands on one of these incredibly sought after machines for a jaw dropping £19.94. Yes, 20 quid!

It was all very cryptic you see, and SCEE uploaded the video below giving hints about a secret pop-up shop in East London that was to be selling the consoles. Adorned with nostalgia, the shop invited fans to get down there with a piece of their own PlayStation memorabilia and with a special password given in the video, that would allow them to purchase one of the ridiculously cheap PS4s.

The shop remained open to sell 50 more consoles at RRP – £399, on Thursday and Friday. All proceeds from the console sales went to charity GamesAid.

Kotaku reports that the console will be on sale again in the UK tomorrow online for full price, but we don’t yet know where or how.

Source: Kotaku

20th Anniversary PS4 “Accidentally” Sold for $1

Polygon reports that someone “accidentally” ended up selling one of those ultra-rare 20th Anniversary PS4s on eBay for an insane $1.

It’s not known how eBay seller medman6107 managed to end up pulling off the monumental mistake – monumental considering one recently sold for a verified $15,100. Polygon also outlines a number of other interesting points regarding sales of the console – someone rather stupidly ended up buying a picture of one of the consoles for $500, while the cheapest actual sale of the console was $830.

The console was released last week and sold out following unprecedented demand. They feature a unique grey design, meant to resemble the design of the original PlayStation. The console also features a small plaque detailing which number it is out of the 12300 made.

Source: Polygon

20th Anniversary PS4 Announced

Today is a very special day in the history of video games. 20 years ago on December 3rd 1994, Sony released the original PlayStation in Japan. The console quickly became the most popular of its generation, beating industry veterans Nintendo and Sega. To mark that occasion, Sony has announced a very special PS4.

This 20th Anniversary PS4 comes in the familiar grey colour scheme of the original PlayStation and carries the classic multicoloured logo. It features special PlayStation button etching upon the console’s exterior, as well as on the controller.

The consoles are limited, the most limited PlayStations ever according to Sony (what about the Net Yaroze?) and subsequently feature an aluminium plaque detailing the console’s number out of the 12,300 made – alluding to the 12/03 launch date.

This console must be a dream for collectors and I’m sure it’ll easily double its value in a very short period of time. Pre-orders start in the US and Canada on Saturday December 6th.

Source: The Verge

PS Vita Memory Card Content Dumped

For the first time the content of a PS Vita memory card have been dumped and made publicly known. While this in itself doesn’t help to hack the Vita, it does open up for many more possibilities.

Sony uses a proprietary format for their memory cards, so they can’t just be read with any normal reader. The two people known as mr.gas and tomtomdu80 still managed to dump the content and though they haven’t posted the actual content, they have given sufficient proof that they’ve pulled it off.

It was expected that most of the content of the card would be encrypted, but according to mr.gas a surprising amount is not. After the announcement the well known Vita hacker Yifan Lu was quick to point out that the unencrypted data wouldn’t help much on any actual Vita hack.

This discovery could be the first step towards a 3rd party card reader for Vita memory cards that at the very least will allow for a much easier management of your cards then through CMA. It could allow for much easier backup and copy of cards as well as moving new data to them. It could even lead to simple modifications to the CMA from icon changes towards homebrews and other exploits.

It will be interesting to see where this leads and what they’ll manage to do with the new data in their hands.

Thank you WOLOLO for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WOLOLO and Sony.

Sony PlayStation 4 Struggles to Keep Supply Matched With Demand in Europe

Demand for the Sony PlayStation 4 is so high in Europe that the Japanese electronics maker is struggling to keep up with demand.

There is a problem with the PS4’s supply chain, and it has become completely bogged down, with not enough consoles heading onto store shelves.  Although this does hurt sales, this beats struggling to sell them to consumers – but can add up to be costly, so Sony needs to resolve the problem quickly.

Since its launch in November 2013, the PS4 has sold more than 7 million units worldwide as of March 31, with the total sales numbers rolling in.

Here is what Fergal Gara, Sony Computer Entertainment UK Managing Director, said in a recent interview:

“We haven’t yet caught up with the initial demand across Europe.  We are still dealing with the day one market.  We are in a bit better shape in the UK, but there are countries that are still selling out every last unit that drops into the market on a weekly basis.  A good example at the moment would be Germany who had phenomenal sales figures last week, but they just haven’t had enough stock so far.”

Sony officials say the supply backlog problem is almost resolved, while customers in Germany, the Netherlands, and other European markers confirming it has been difficult to purchase the PS4.

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Digital Trends

Model 2000 PS Vita To Lose Proprietary Charging Cable

Since its release back in late 2011, Sony’s PS Vita has like many other Sony built devices stuck with having to use their own proprietary charging cables. This has left many user a bit disheartened however when they’re in the need to charge their devices and there are only ‘common’ charging cables to hand.

Thankfully though it seems like Sony have come to their senses with using common charging methods and when revealed at this years Tokyo Game Show, the new Vita, also known as the model 2000, was seen to use the more commonly found micro-USB port on its lower edge for both power and data handling.

With so many devices, from smartphones to cameras using this type of charger these days, it’s a logical move for Sony to make, enabling the new consoles users to use third-party chargers to keep their units running whilst on the go. Through a translated twitter message, Shuhei Yoshida – the President of Sony Worldwide Studios wrote “You’ll be happy to know PS Vita 2000 can charge with a smartphone charger with micro USB”. This message was accompanied by the image as seen above with the new slimmer and lighter hand-held device.

For now there is no word as to when the new Vita will make its way over to Europe but as sales are expected to have started late last week in Japan, we may be looking around the latter part of the year, just after the launch of the PS4 for the new system to hit our shelves locally.