State of Play: January 2024 Highlights!

With a new year comes a new State of Play, and while nothing will ever truly replace the glory days of E3, these small bursts of news are always appreciated. While yet another State of Play has gone by without news of a Bloodblorne remaster or about Silksong, we still have plenty of new announcements to go over, so let’s get started! Helldivers continues to look like Starship Troopers The show opened with another quick trailer for Helldivers 2, which is coming out very soon on February 8th. The game looks like it would be fun for some online co-op, and I do appreciate the Starship Troopers-inspired style, but the lack of a single-player is important to note. Stellar Blade Gives me NiER Vibes An extended look at Stellar Blade came next, with a style and tone that reminds me much of Nier Automata. The wide open environments, the post-apocalyptic Earth, the surreal enemies, and the focus on characterization all felt somewhat similar. The game seems to be borrowing some soulslike elements, too. For example, you can find camps out in the world with shops. They confirmed you can also rest here to recharge your health, but I spotted a notification in the gameplay about how enemies have respawned, so that tells me it could have elements from those types of RPGs. Stellar Blade also received a release date of April 26th, 2024. Sonic Generations gets a New Version with Shadow Sega brought out the blue blur early in the State of Play stream. Not only are we getting a remastered Sonic Generations, but it’s going to include a Shadow campaign. Sonic Generations was a fun one, I enjoyed the levels inspired by both old and new generations of Sonic, so a new version with Shadow sounds good to me! Zenless Zone Zero looks very Anime-y From the same folks who brought you Genshin Impact and Honaki Star Rail comes their next free-to-play RPG, Zenless Zone Zero. While it was initially announced for PC and mobile, this confirms that PS5 players will also get it. Besides the new setting, the game will also feature real-time combat instead of the turn-based gameplay of the studio’s other titles. Foamstars Brings Splatoon to PlayStation I know that comparing Foamstars to Splatoon is a tired old meme, but with the latter title only being available on Nintendo Switch, I think there’s nothing wrong with bringing the idea to other consoles. This multiplayer title will be included on PlayStation Plus when it releases on February 6th. This is a smart move because I don’t know I’d immediately pay for a multiplayer-only title, which will guarantee a community initially. Dave the Diver Swims to PS5 Dave the Diver is an interesting indie title I’ve played on the Switch. It starts with a simple loop of catching fish and running a Sushi restaurant, but it quickly adds new gameplay and narrative elements. It’s whacky and fun. Most importantly, it keeps you on your toes and keeps things … Read More

PS5 Prices Are Going up in Select Regions: What You Need to Know

Prior to the launch of the PS5, we made a lot of predictions about what the price would be. When the next generation console came out at $399 and $499 I think we were all pleasantly surprised. I think we also all agreed that the price would go down over time, not up. If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that nothing is true and everything is permitted (little Assassin’s Creed joke for you there). In late August of 2022, PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan took to the PlayStation Blog to announce a price increase for PS5 consoles in select regions. Of course now you’re asking the big questions: Why, and by how much? Let’s dive in. PS5 Prices Going up Due to ‘Economic Environment’ and ‘High Inflation’ Spoiler alert, you’re going to hear some terms that have probably haunted you in your daily life outside of gaming. My apologies for that. It starts with “inflation” which is causing the price of everything to go up, due to economic mechanisms I don’t fully understand, but most certainly hate with a fiery passion. In a blog post written by Jim Ryan on the PlayStation Blog, the CEO doesn’t mince words. As a result of global economic challenges, adverse currency trends, and inflation rates, Sony has made the decision to raise the recommended retail price (RRP) of the PS5 in the following regions: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Asia-Pacific (APAC) Latin America (LATAM) Canada The exact increase varies between currencies, but it’s not a small amount. For unexplained reasons, the United States won’t be receiving a price increase, but if we did, it would most likely be a $50 increase in cost for each of the models. The post ends with a reminder that Sony is trying to meet demand by increasing production, but there’s no details on how or when this problem, which has been an issue since launch, will go away. The comments section, as you can imagine, is pretty angry. To my knowledge, this is the first time a game console has increased in cost after launch without any additional storage or features. As some of the comments have said, a larger hard drive to offset the cost here would have gone a long way, but as it stands, the price of the PS5 is now higher in all of these regions as of August 25th, 2022. According to the post, Japan will have until September 15th before the changes take affect, so if we have any Japanese readers, this is your chance to start looking for one before the price hike. For now, the United States won’t be receiving a price increase, but this could change. Stay tuned right here to PS5 gamers for any updates in this story, and here’s hoping prices can come back down in the future when inflation, chip shortages, and other factors finally calm down. Have you secured your PS5? Will you be affected by these price hikes? Let us … Read More

Without E3, Sony Carries on With a Packed June 2022 State of Play!

While I still shed a tear every year when there’s no E3 to bring Christmas to gamers in the summer, I’m happy that we still get these streams from major publishers to fill the gap. In the spirit of that, we’re here to look at Sony’s June 2022 State of Play! Now, normally we would just discuss the big highlights, but this time we’re going to do things a little differently. We’ll still discuss the big news, but I will be providing a little more input and opinion on everything, including rating each of the announcements on a scale from one to ten, culminating in a final score for the stream. We’ll base these scores on the hype level of the announcement, the quality of the content shown, and my overall excitement for the game or DLC. It is a review after all. Alright? Alright. Let’s get started! Rating the Announcements From Sony’s June 2022 State of Play! We’ll start with the full stream if you’d prefer to watch yourself before reading on. No worries, by the way, I watch the stream before doing anything else myself. I’ll wait. All set? Let’s talk announcements! Resident Evil 4 Remake It’s real! The RE4 remake is happening and we got to see some snippets of gameplay. They showed some iconic scenes in the latest engine and confirmed it’s coming 2023. It will also feature some PSVR content, which is nice! Hype level on this one comes in at a 8.5 out of 10. I’m a fan of RE4 and for some people this announcement is a ten, and I am happy for them to be sure! RE Village is Coming to PSVR 2 I was honestly hoping for news on the DLC here, but yeah, I would play RE Village again in VR, so this is cool, but it’s not amazing. No news if it’s free for current owners or how that will work. Going to give this one a hype score of 7 out of 10. Walking Dead Saints and Sinners Retribution Coming to PSVR 2 The original version of this game is a VR classic and the sequel is looking good! Coming to PSVR 2 sounds good to me, and interestingly it’s coming in 2022, so that kind of gives us an idea of PSVR 2 coming this year? Hype level is 7.5 out of 10 here. Would have liked to see more of what makes this unique to the first one. No Man’s Sky Coming to PSVR 2 Listen, I love how far No Man’s Sky has come and I will probably play it in PSVR 2, but this is nothing groundbreaking. We knew it would happen, it’s already on PSVR after all. I give this a five out of ten on the hype scale. Horizon Call of The Mountain The PSVR 2 Horizon game got some gameplay and it looks excellent. It preserves the action of the regular game while offering superb graphics. Horizon Forbidden West also got … Read More

Take-Two Purchases Mobile Gaming Giant Zynga For $12.7 Billion

Despite the chaos of our modern world, business is booming in 2022. We’ve seen mergers and acqusitions across numerous industries this year. The gaming industry has been quite busy as well, with notable purchases like Activision Blizzard and Bungie to name a few. In late May of 2022, the next big purchases came to light. This time, the publisher of games like Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, and Red Dead Redemption, Take-Two, announced they will acquire the mobile gaming giant Zynga for a cool $12.7 billion! Another Merger, and Another Reminder of How Big Gaming Has Become While this news broke in January of 2022, the deal is now official as of May 23rd, 2022. For those who don’t know Zynga’s portfolio, this means that mobile titles like Farmville, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker will join Take-Two’s portfolio. Take-Two’s chairman and CEO, Strauss Zelnick, commented on the deal closing with the usual fanfare, saying: We are thrilled to complete our combination with Zynga, which is a pivotal step to increase exponentially our Net Bookings from mobile, the fastest-growing segment in interactive entertainment, while also providing us with substantial cost synergies and revenue opportunities. As we bring together our exceptional talent, exciting pipelines of games, and industry-leading technologies and capabilities, we believe that we can take our portfolio to another level of creativity, innovation, and quality. While the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is still going through approvals, this acquisition will temporarily be the largest of its kind in all of gaming. Once the Microsoft deal completes, however, it will take the crown as that deal is valued at $68.7 billion. With the global gaming market set to reach $256.97 billion by 2025, these kinds of acquisitions and mergers will no doubt continue. As to whether or not this deal will result in the inevitable Grand Theft Auto Mobile, or mobile versions of Take-Two’s other popular properties? Time will tell. Let us know which of Take-Two’s games you’d like to see get the mobile treatment in the comments! Article by – Bradley Ramsey Insert date – 5/27/2022

PlayStation Launches Game Preservation Team For Titles Dating Back to 1994

With news emerging of the old Wii and 3DS eShops closing, numerous digital games are going to be lost forever. Even Sony caught flack last year when they initially tried to announce the closure of the PS3, Vita, and PSP stores. They’ve since reduced this to just the PSP store, but all of this has sparked a conversation about game preservation. I love digital downloads as much as the next person, but what happens when those servers are gone? Up until now, the games are gone too, save for that SD card or external drive you have, which in and of itself could go back. It’s scary to think about, but it got a little less scary in April of 2022 when news came out that Sony is starting up a game preservation team. Let’s dive in and see what the new team has planned! New PlayStation Roles Point to Game Preservation Team A tweet from a new PlayStation employee by the name of Garrett Fredley announcing his new role revealed the existence of this new team. This confirms other roles spotted on platforms like LinkedIn that pointed to the formation of a game preservation division. On a personal note, I’m not jealous at all. He describes the team’s focus will be preserving PlayStation IPs, and ensuring that “our industry’s history isn’t forgotten.” Today is my first day as a Senior Build Engineer at @PlayStation, working as one of their initial hires for the newly created Preservation team! Game Preservation was my first career passion, so I'm ecstatic that I get to go back to those roots 😊 — Garrett Fredley (@SomeCronzaGuy) April 25, 2022 PlayStation Studios’ global QA manager, Mike Bishop, hired Fredley and went on to further describe the new team in a LinkedIn Post saying “the day-to-day focus is on IP Preservation for the business, ensuring the titles of today are captured, catalogued, and secured for the games industry of tomorrow.” While the team seems to be in the early stages of hiring, the goal seems to be on preserving games from the entirety of the PlayStation catalog, dating back to 1994 when the first PlayStation was released. All of this comes as PlayStation recently unveiled project Spartacus, which includes new tiers of PlayStation Plus and access to classic titles via download and PlayStation Now game streaming. What do you think about game preservation? Are you a diehard fan who wants access to classic titles through means other than things like piracy and emulation? Let us know in the comments! Article by – Bradley Ramsey Insert date – 4/26/2022

Is there about to be an acquisition war between Sony and Microsoft?

Over recent years we have seen an uptick in developer studio acquisitions, but this year has really begun to heat things up. Or at least it seems as such.    Microsoft showed the world just how serious the company is about getting ahead of the curve and definitely flexed just how much money the company has to play with.    With the acquisition of Activision underway, Microsoft has a huge edge right now. Owning both Bethesda and Activision is a major win for the company. Granted, Sony has made some decent acquisitions such as buying Insomniac and now buying out Bungee, but it just didn’t speak as loudly.    When it was announced that Microsoft was closing a deal to purchase Activision, stocks for Sony took a big hit. Sony answered the call by announcing they were buying Bungee. That’s a small flex, if it’s a flex at all, but still, the timing was definitely about trying to swing back at the Xbox company and try to give investors a little peace of mind.    While Microsoft has stated that Activision games will continue to show up on PlayStation consoles even after the initial timed agreements, that could very well change once Microsoft seals the deal and owns the company.    We don’t know for sure that the acquisition will go through as lawmakers in the US look into the matter, but if it does happen, there’s a good chance Microsoft will recant on their promise or even go as far as using their new found franchises as a bargaining chip to get more of what they want out of Sony.    It wasn’t that long ago that Phil Spencer said he wants Xbox Gamepass to be available on PlayStation consoles. He wasn’t kidding when he made that statement and in my humble opinion, I don’t think Microsoft cares as much about console sales as they do subscription and game sales.    Infact (and call me crazy), I think it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft closes up shop on being a console manufacturer and solely becomes a game publishing company instead. Not because they have to, but because the company makes money for software sales and not so much hardware. Granted they make their own consoles in order to get more sales, so I could be completely wrong, but it’s just my opinion and doesn’t hold much water.    As 2022 goes on, I think we’re going to see a few more major acquisitions from both Microsoft and Sony. Both companies obviously have different strategies when it comes to this, but Sony is definitely looking into its pockets to see if there’s a way to increase their acquisition budget and grab a few more studios.    I don’t think Sony has anything to worry about. The company may not have the deep pockets that Microsoft has, but that hasn’t kept the company from continuing to dominate the industry. I know the Gamepass is incredibly hard to compete with … Read More

Is the end of CoD on PlayStation?

There is a lot going on with the game industry right now, and if you’ve been living under a rock lately (which is actually possible), you probably already know that Microsoft is purchasing game publisher giant Activision for close to $70 billion USD.   I’ll be the first to admit that I never saw this coming. I mean, I’m not usually surprised when a development studio gets purchased, but Activision? I’m still a little floored by this announcement.   The biggest thing I’ve been hearing about this acquisition is concern that Call of Duty will no longer be put on PlayStation consoles. There is a lot of back and forth thinking on this topic.   On the one hand, people have pointed out the loss of sales the franchise would have if it was no longer available on PlayStation. On the other hand, it would most likely help boost the number of Xbox consoles sold by Microsoft. Either way, Microsoft is going to be in control and there isn’t anything we can do about it except to speculate about the future.   CoD has always been a favorite game of mine, but over the years it’s gotten to a point where many feel like the series has gone downhill. It’s really a rollercoaster ride. One year it could be a great entry and the next it could be Vanguard. It’s hard to put faith into it these days. It feels played out and used up. Hopefully, this Microsoft acquisition will improve the series, but this does sting a little. I am fortunate enough to have both a PS5 and Xbox Series X, but I always prefer my PlayStation as the go to console.   It’s been said that the next three CoD titles will be on PlayStation, but I take it with a grain. We thought Starfield was still going to be on PlayStation, but it was yanked and will be an Xbox/PC exclusive. It seems strange to me that after we finally got cross-platform play on consoles, that they would take the franchise away from PlayStation players, especially since we’ve seen MLB The Show become available on Xbox consoles.   All of the above said, if Microsoft does end up pulling CoD from PS consoles, I don’t think it will really matter. People won’t leave Sony over CoD. I don’t buy the PlayStation brand so I can play CoD, I buy it for the exclusive titles. Same reason I have an Xbox on the side. There are some games I want to play, but they’re only on Xbox or PC, and my PC is a potato, so there’s that.   Personally, I think Microsoft will eventually make CoD a timed exclusive that will release on PlayStation consoles later on. This gives consumers motivation to purchase a new Xbox console and CoD in order to avoid waiting for it to drop on PlayStation. We might just see timed dlc exclusives like the old days (that weren’t that long ago, really) … Read More

Microsoft to Acquire Activision Blizzard for $70 Billion

For some people, January 18th is a Tuesday, but for us in the gaming world, it’s another massive announcement out of left field. News broke on this day that Microsoft, fresh off of their recent Bethesda acquisition, is now set to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion dollars! This is pending final approval from regulatory bodies, but if this goes through, it will make Microsoft the third largest gaming company in terms of revenue, beaten only by Sony and Tencent. Of course, you’re probably wondering why this matters to a PlayStation gaming site. For starters, a lot of games you may play on PlayStation could be going exclusive to Xbox now, not to mention the ongoing harassment investigations and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive in. Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: Could Call of Duty Become an Xbox Exclusive? Getting past the huge amount of money changing hands here, what does this mean for Activision Blizzard’s catalogue? We’re talking about Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and yes, Candy Crush. This is one of the biggest companies in gaming that’s merging with Microsoft, so does that mean some of your favorite titles are going to go exclusive to Xbox? Right now the best answer is “maybe.” We had a similar line of questioning when Microsoft acquired Bethesda. As it turned out, Starfield is going to be exclusive to Xbox. This may not be a blanket policy for Bethesda titles, but the other options aren’t much better for PS5 gamers. Future Bethesda studio titles could be timed exclusives that come to PS5 a year after Xbox, or they could have exclusive content, which brings us back to Call of Duty. Call of Duty games have often had PlayStation exclusive content or modes in the multiplayer. Obviously, if this deal goes off without a hitch, that’s no longer going to be the case. What could happen is that Xbox enjoys that type of content and COD remains a multiplatform title. My gut says this is how it will be, only because of things like Warzone being multiplatform and Call of Duty being such a decidedly multiplatform title. Of course, $70 billion is a lot of money, so maybe Sony needs to bring back something like Resistance or Killzone to fill the gap if COD goes Xbox exclusive. Without more detail, we can only speculate here, but it’s safe to assume that at least a few big franchises won’t be on PlayStation going forward. Addressing the Kotick in the Room Now, something that cannot be left off the table is the ongoing accusations of harassment and toxic culture at Activision Blizzard. The entire scope of this ongoing investigation is worthy of its own entire article and discussion, but you can get caught up on everything with this piece from PC Gamer. In addition to the horrible stories coming out of Activision Blizzard since last year, it’s curious that just one week prior to this … Read More

What you need for your new PS5!

Here we are again. The holidays are in full swing, video games and accessories are on sale everywhere you turn. For many gamers out there, this is the best time of year and there are plenty of good reasons for that. Wake up to some brand new video games, stockings stuffed with accessories, candy and possibly some energy drinks to help get us through an extended amount of play time, if all goes well. Of course there’s that major gaming purchase that a lot of people are still hoping for, a brand new PlayStation 5! Sadly the pandemic rages on and is still causing a microchip shortage across the globe, which leaves a lot of less consoles available to purchase. Not to mention the scalpers are still out there scalping… it doesn’t help matters any. Pandemic woes aside, what would you want to go with your PS5? A few games, a headset? A new screen, maybe? To get things going, here are a few things I recommend this holiday season for your PS5! I’m going to avoid recommending game titles this year. There isn’t a huge selection to pick from just yet and if I’m being quite frank, a lot the games so far have been disappointing. Looking at you CoD. You too, Battlefield… Headset! The PlayStation 5 has 3D audio and will work without a headset, but for any avid gamer, a headset should be on their list. I highly recommend Sony’s PS5 headset. It sits at a great price of $99.99 (USD) and has excellent surround 3D audio that was designed for this console. It’s a comfortable headset that has a wide range of features to pair up with your new PS5. An extra Dual Sense controller. This might not seem like an important accessory with today’s gaming market. Couch co-op still exists, but it isn’t very common, so why the need for an extra Dual Sense? Well, the Dual Sense doesn’t have the longest battery life when you’re deep in long gaming sessions. Having a spare charged up and ready to play is definitely a good way to go. Sure you could plug in the controller and use it that way, but not everyone wants to do that. While the PlayStation 5 controller is quite durable, it’s also nice to have a backup just in case something goes wrong. The biggest accessory I’m going to throw out there is a pretty big deal. It’s also the most expensive one, but worth the money. I’m talking about curved monitors. Grabbing a curved monitor that is 1ms and is at least 144hz, you’re in a pretty position. I recommend going with a 27 inch curve and as far as graphics go, I think that’s more up to you. The 1080p monitors are cheaper and offer the above features I mentioned, but if you really like your graphics to be pretty, shelling out a little extra will give you the 4k experience you’re craving. As far as the little things … Read More

The Game Awards 2021: All The Major Announcements and Highlights!

It’s that time of year again! The Game Awards 2021 airs on December 9th at 8PM ET / 5PM PT. Join us on this page to watch the full stream and check out the major highlights if you’re in a hurry. It is a three hour show, after all. Check out the full stream and our highlights below! Game Awards 2021 Full Event and Highlights During the preshow we saw a few announcements, but Telltale’s new game based on The Expanse was a nice surprise! Kena: Bridge of Spirits wins best Independent Game! Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga shows us a new gameplay reveal, and the graphics are absolutely stunning. This is the closest we’ve come to CGI that I can think of in recent memory. The gameplay looks similar, but this particular combat encounter is incredibly intense. Star Wars: Eclipse is the new game from Detroit: Become Human developers, Quantic Dream! They have a history of very interesting story-focused titles with lots of decisions to make, so this will be one to watch! A new Wonder Woman game is coming from Monolith, who brought us the Lord of The Rings: Shadow of War game. I could see that format working well here! Alan Wake II is finally official! It’s coming in 2023, and OH BOY AM I EXCITED! A new trailer for Horizon: Forbidden West showcases some excellent new biomes and gameplay, along with new enemy types. Sounds like we’re still on for February as well! Best Action Game award goes to Returnal! Now, if I can just get good enough to beat it… A new trailer for the Destiny 2 expansion, the Witch Queen, showed off some interesting stuff with the Hive. It’s out in February 2022. A new game from the creator of Silent Hill called Slitterhead was announced, with some truely crazy monster designs. Nightingale looks to be a new survival game from the new Inflexion Studios that looks like a steampunk type of setting but also within a network of fairytale worlds. The combination of the two styles is awesome and it comes to PC Early Access next year. Cuphead The Delicious Last Course finally has a date. June 30th, 2022. A new Sonic game is coming in 2022, and it looks to be inspired by Breath of the Wild? The trailer makes it seem open world. It’s called Sonic Frontiers and it comes holiday 2022. Best Art Direction goes to Deathloop! Best RPG goes to Tales of Arise! Best Score goes to Nier Replicant! Best Multiplayer Game goes to It Takes Two Best Narrative goes to Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy Tchia looks like an interesting action adventure game coming to PS4 and PS5 in 2022 New gameplay from Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is sleek and colorful. Gives me Sunset Overdrive vibes, which is absolutely a compliment.It’s coming in 2022. A new trailer for Forspoken looks very good, and I’m a big fan of the modern day heroine getting transported to this fantasy … Read More