sony Archive


The Only PlayStation 4 Piece You Need To Read

John Teti for The Gameological Society:

Creativity thrives under limitations. People who love games understand this implicitly, since the best players find the most creative ways to succeed within the confines of the rules. The Great Train Robbery is a masterpiece not in spite of its limitations but because of them. So if David Cage doesn’t think he can produce an emotional work of art with a PlayStation 3 and an eight-figure budget, maybe he shouldn’t be in the art-making business.

Expanding the technological capabilities of our game machines is not inherently bad, but treating new tech as a magic bullet is a self-destructive delusion (if a familiar one). The reason that so many games suck is not because the technology is too modest. The reason that so many games suck is because so many games suck. Making art is hard. No microchip changes that.

This is the most spot-on, insightful piece I’ve read about the PlayStation 4. It may be a little cynical, but the pretentiousness of these kinds of presentations is just too palpable to ignore.

via More, More, More—How Do You Like It? | Gameological At Large | The Gameological Society.


Sony E3 2012 Press Conference Liveblog


Free MotorStorm RC Download For PlayStation Vita

In a surprise twist earlier this week, Sony announced that Evolution Studios’ latest entry in the MotorStorm franchise would be a free download for PlayStation Vita users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the PS3 version will follow suit with the freeness. Either way, you may as well “buy” the free game for your PSN account even if you don’t have a Vita yet as it appears to be a “limited time offer.”

I played through a couple of races and it’s definitely a fun little game to have on the go. It’s essentially a modern version of those single screen old school RC racing games. (Or RC Pro Am if that was your jam. It was definitely mine.) The controls are dead simple (Steer and go) and there’s a ton of events to play through and trophies to earn. Still, I gotta admit to being terrible at this game since I’m so used to behind-the-wheel racing games. Put me in a top-down isometric view and I just crash into walls all the time.

While there’s no multiplayer in the traditional sense, the game still invokes intense competitive instincts through its asynchronous leaderboard competition. Every time you finish a race, you see how you stack among your friends and the game prompts you to . It’s very similar to the Need For Speed Autolog or SSX’s RiderNet. I normally don’t give a crap about leaderboards, but when it’s tastefully shoved in my face after finishing a race, the competitive juices start flowing. There’s also a time trial mode, a freeplay playground mode, and a customizable single race event mode with bots. Basically, there’s enough content here to justify a $9.99  or maybe even a $14.99 price point. Since it’s free (for now), you don’t have to worry about rationalizing your purchase. Go get it, Tiger.

MotorStorm RC features 16 unique tracks spread across four extreme environments, including the dusty desert mesas of Monument Valley, the dangerous jungles of a Pacific Island, the icy tundra at the Arctic Edge, and the apocalyptic ruins of a destroyed urban city. Players can conquer these environments in powerful radio-controlled vehicles, with hundreds of uniquely customized models to collect in 8 distinct categories: Buggies, Superminis, Rally Cars, Muscle Cars, Racing Trucks, Supercars, Big Rigs and Monster Trucks.

MotorStorm RC Driving to PS Vita for FREE, Courtesy of Scion – PlayStation Blog.


Your Can’t Transfer Your Old PSP Game Discs To Your New PlayStation Vita

Jason Schreier:

Sony has told Kotaku that there will not be a North American version of the UMD Passport program, which would allow PlayStation Vita users to transfer their PSP discs to the upcoming handheld.

Disappointing, but predictable. I imagine the infrastructure it would take to implement this sort of program is just not worth the niche, one-time market that it would serve.

Frankly, you’re better off just playing the games on your old PSPs. I mean, would you really want to pay an additional $6-$15 per title to transfer games you already own to a new system?

via Kotaku.


Vita Games Discounted For Digital Distribution

Andrew Yoon for Shacknews:

A Sony representative has confirmed the discount. “I can confirm that there will be a discount on the downloadable PS Vita titles from PSN. Exact details have not yet been revealed, but be on the lookout for an announcement in the very near future.”

The discount will apparently be 10% off the retail price for the equivalent retail boxed version of the game. It’s an interesting first step in the transition to a completely digital consumer experience for the games industry.

I’m not sure if 10% is enough, given that many retailers routinely offer 20% or greater discounts/promotions for new game releases. (Anyone who’s pre-ordered new video games from Amazon in the last two years is fond of their $10-$20 promotional credit offers) But the fact that Sony is willing to discount the digital version is at least acknowledgement that charging full retail price for it is folly.

If you’re able to delete and re-download games for free at will, it might actually give consumers an interesting purchasing decision to make assuming they have a decent sized memory card. One of the most annoying things about carrying multiple games on trips is physically carrying those games. Being able to load several games onto your memory card would cut down on travel weight significantly.

Now if Sony would only get rid of their comically overpriced proprietary Vita memory cards…



PlayStation Vita’s AT&T Data Plan

Stephen Totilo:

The data plan for the 3G version of the PlayStation Vita will run you $15 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. There are no contracts, the company said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

It’s a slightly better deal than iPhone users who have to pay $15 for 200MB, but let’s be real here. Unless you’ve got a ton of disposable income, why would you pay another monthly data plan (assuming you’re a smartphone owner) for a purely gaming device?

Even without contracts involved, it’s still a hefty price to be paid to scratch that multiplayer game itch.

via Kotaku.


The PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

Last week, Sony announced a bundle for its upcoming Vita handheld console:

The U.S. bundle includes a PS Vita 3G + Wi-Fi model, a limited edition case, 4GB PS Vita Memory Card, and Little Deviants game for $349.99 (MSRP). The Canadian bundle includes a Wi-Fi model, a limited edition case, 4GB PS Vita Memory Card, and Little Deviants game for $299.99 (MSRP). Best of all, you can pick up the PS Vita First Edition Bundle on February 15, 2012, so this is your chance to play before everyone else.

Lets break this down to see if its worth it in the U.S.

  • PS Vita 3G system – $299.99
  • 4 GB Vita memory card – ~$32 (The memory card price has been announced in Japan only, but we’ll assume the US price is similar. )
  • Little Deviants Game – $39.99
  • Limited edition case – $15 (unknown, but assuming it’s worth between $10-$20 MSRP)
  • Total: $386.98
The interesting thing about this bundle is that the added goods are actually useful. Sony’s unfortunately going with a proprietary memory card format and there’s no internal storage, so it looks like a memory card is going to have to be a “required” purchase. Assuming that, you’re basically getting Little Deviants and a case for $20, which isn’t a bad deal.
However, the biggest pause for concern with the bundle is whether or not you need the 3G model of the Vita. Though plans haven’t been announced yet, it’s not looking likely that we’ll be getting free service ala the Amazon Kindle. To add insult to injury, download sizes are limited to 20 MB, basically ensuring that game downloads are off limits. Even if the 3g plan is as low as $10 a month, is the ability to play multiplayer games on 3G worth that? I’m going to go with “No.”
Unless Sony comes up with a similar WiFi version bundle, I’d recommend passing on this. A $50 premium and potential monthly charges kill the value proposed by the bundle.

via PlayStation Blog.


Sony Japan: PSP Go shipments have ended

Editor’s note: This was originally supposed to be posted in early June, but WordPress pooped out on, so here it is now.

Lost in the midst of the PlayStation Network security fiasco was the fact that Sony discontinued the PSP Go:

The Japanese site placed “shipment ended” notices on both the black and white PSP Go listings, along with several PSP-3000 color variants. According to the site, the only PSPs currently in production are PSP-3000s in black, white, silver, pink, blue, and red.

Anyone not see this coming?

via Sony Japan: PSP Go shipments have ended | Joystiq.


These Are The Games To Pick From Sony’s List Of Free PS3/PSP Titles For PSN Outage Reparations

Sony’s finally begun the process of rolling out reparations for its millions of consumers that were affected by the Great PlayStation Network Hack Of 2011. Whether or not you’re happy with Sony’s response to the whole fiasco, they’re still offering up free stuff, so you may as well take advantage of it. Before we get to the fun stuff, be sure to enroll in the AllClear ID PLUS identity theft protection that Sony is paying for all PSN users. If you’re a PS3 user, you get to pick two out of the following titles: (We’ve included a quick one line description of each game)

  • Dead Nation – 2D twin stick action shooter kind of like Robotron or Geometry Wars with zombies
  • inFAMOUS – Third-Person open world action game. Think Grand Theft Auto if you were the only super hero in town.
  • LittleBigPlanet – A 2D platforming game (Think Super Mario Bros.) with up to 4 player cooperative play. You can design your own levels and play ones designed by other players.
  • Super Stardust HD – Traditional 2D twin stick action shooter in space with lasers and powerups.
  • Wipeout HD + Fury – A fast paced futuristic racer with weapons. Think Mario Kart meets F-Zero with even more speed.

All things being equal, we would pick up the titles in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. inFAMOUS
  3. WipeoutHD + Fury
  4. Super Stardust HD
  5. Dead Nation

For what it’s worth, inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet were originally $60 retail titles, while the other titles were downloadable games ranging  from $9.99 to $19.99. Despite that, all of the games Sony offers are all quite good and hit a wide variety of genres. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with any of the titles – they’re all good games in their respective genres. If you’re in the mood for a racer, definitely pick up WipeoutHD because it’s quite possibly still the most thrilling racer on any video game system. If you’re looking for something to play with your kids or someone who doesn’t play video games all that often, be sure to pick up LittleBigPlanet because it’s essentially a cute 4-player Mario-like platforming game. PSP owners can choose from two of the following games:

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP) – A portable version of the PS3 game – it’s got completely different levels if you were worried about getting both LittleBigPlanet titles.
  • ModNation Racers – A GoKart racer (Think Mario Kart), but with the ability to create and share your own racetracks like LittleBigPlanet levels.
  • Pursuit Force – An arcade combat-racer where you’re a rookie cop chasing criminals.
  • Killzone Liberation – A top-down isometric view action title with cover-based gameplay similar to Gears of War.

In full disclosure, of the available PSP titles, we’ve only played Killzone Liberation. However we can wholeheartedly recommend that title if you’re an action fan — it’s surprisingly provides similar gratification to playing a third-person shooter on a console. We’ve also read up on reviews for the other titles and if it were up to us we’d rank them in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. Killzone Liberation
  3. ModNation Racers
  4. Pursuit Force

Again, feel free to pick by your desired genre, though we think there may be a marked quality difference between the first two titles and the last two ones. Other than the games, Sony is also offering a package that includes the following:

  • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
  • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
  • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

Since Sony hasn’t announced which movies will be available through the “On Us” program, we can’t really give any recommendations on that front. We can, however, still say that PlayStation Home is still a complete waste of time.


Anyone Surprised With How Sony Still Refuses To Take Responsibility For PSN Fiasco?

It’s been about a month since Colin Campbell’s take on how Sony should have responded to the PlayStation Network fiasco was published, and its pretty eerie how some of his predictions are playing out:

Here’s a little test for you. Which of the following statements are you most likely to agree with in one year’s time.

A: “Sony handled that situation amazingly. They held their hands up and took appropriate share of blame. They outlined a clear plan of action to remedy the situation and they made sure all stakeholders were recompensed beyond reasonable expectations. They showed their human side and came out of this a stronger company.”

B: “It just kinda went away, didn’t it? Sony entirely laid the blame on the hackers, launched a lot of legal flak, refused to take any responsibility, offered the minimum clarity and token recompense. But no-one cares any more. At least they’ve encrypted my personal data now.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that answer B is looking a whole lot more likely than answer A.

Sure, Sony has offered up some free games and enrollment in an identity theft program, but has it really made you believe that it’s truly sorry for what’s happened and that it will do its best to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

I didn’t think so.

Wired had a pretty funny list of ridiculous things that Sony could have used to compensate users for. It’s a silly read, but you know what? If Sony had the balls and/or humanity to take responsibility and show off their human side, why not pull off one of the stunts listed in the article? Pay the Kevin Butler actor to go to someones house and personally apologize. Make a whole media blitz out of it. Everyone has a laugh and Sony comes out with some great PR.

Instead, we get reports that Sony CEO Howard Stringer still doesn’t believe he has anything to apologize for.

From an interview last week:

Sony believed it had “good, robust security,” Stringer said. He rejected suggestions that the company is paying for a lack of vigilance and said he was unaware of the 2008 intrusion on the PlayStation Network.

“We have a network that gave people services free,” Stringer said. “It didn’t seem like the likeliest place for an attack.”

When the April incursion first started, he didn’t know how serious it was, Stringer said. “I really don’t think I could apologize for not knowing,” he said. “It’s a whole new experience for everybody at this scale.”

Seriously, dude? You didn’t think that a service with over 77 million users whose target demographic also happens to include the most computer savvy and vocally active people in the world could be the target of an attack? Sure it may be a whole new experience for your company at that scale, but you’re not the first people to have a massive database of users to take care of. If anything, you should have been more cautious and vigil because networked software solutions has not been your company’s strong suit in the past.

We may be forced to live on with Sony due to game developers being obligated to support a platform with such a huge userbase, but you can bet your ass that if we could still enjoy all of the exclusive content on the PS3 elsewhere, we’d be gone in a heartbeat.

via Gamasutra