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  1. Sony's much talked about streaming service (previously announced last year) now officially has a name: PlayStation Now. PlayStation exec Andrew House made the announcement at CES today, and mentioned that PlayStation Now would be coming to a number of Sony devices, including the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Bravia TVs, and tablets. The service is slated to feature games from the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3, with last year's The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls being two examples of games that will be offered early on. Sony is also offering different retail models, with games being able to be rented by title or through subscription. House announced that PlayStation Now will enter closed beta in January and roll out sometime during the summer. Are you excited for PlayStation Now?
  2. Last week's Japanese software and hardware sales data is starting to trickle in, and while Media Create info isn't quite available as of this writing, Famitsu's data is. Undoubtedly the best news derived from it is that the PS Vita is steadily gaining momentum in sales. While 3DS is still the number one seller in hardware, sales were down a bit from the previous week (208,893 vs 245,046 units sold). Wii U was also down from the previous week but holding at #2 with 79,174 units sold. However, the Vita made a jump from 49,366 to 75,207 units sold. Evidently, sales of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster helped spur the growth, with the Vita version debuting at #5 on the top 30 list with 134,645 units, while the PS3 Version made it to #3 at 182,638 units. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds made its Japanese debut at #1 with 225,418 units sold, proving the Zelda franchise still holds a strong bearing on fans in the Land of the Rising Sun. Unfortunately for fans of Final Fantasy, it looks as if Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has fallen off the top 30 list completely at this point; Square Enix can't be happy with those Japanese sales so far, but we'll see what happens when the game debuts in other territories in just another month. In the meantime, expect to see the trifecta of 3DS, Wii U, and PS Vita to continue dominating the charts in Japan until the PS4 finally makes its debut.
  3. PlayStation Plus members have had a great year in 2013, with big titles ranging from XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, and more hitting the service for free at one time or another, and now Sony is upping the ante in January 2014 with even more huge titles from 2013. The biggest Instant Game coming is inarguably Bioshock Infinite, which has been a huge Game of the Year contender for many sites. DmC: Devil May Cry is another big title from earlier in the year that many players may not have gotten around to yet, and the critically acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is also making its debut as an instant game. In all, it's slated to be a huge month for PS+ users, with six Instant Games on the way. You can check out the full list of games below: Don't Starve (PS4) Bioshock Infinite (PS3) DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3) Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3) Worms: Battle Island (PS Vita) Smart As... (PS Vita) Which PS+ game are you looking forward to playing the most?
  4. Developer: Nihon Falcom Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PS Vita Release Date: November 26, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen A download code was provided by the publisher for this review Founded way back in 1981, developer Falcom has a gaming influence so strong that they published one of the very first, if not arguably the very first, Japanese RPG ever with Dragon Slayer back in 1983. Of course, being the plebeian that I am, I barely found out about them only after diving into their most recent iterations and remakes of the long-running Ys series on PSP, which embodied some of the most pure action-RPGs I“ve experienced in recent memory. Continuing Falcom“s recent trend of Ys remakes, they decide to completely overhaul what is sort of the black sheep of the series, Ys IV, with the Vita release: Ys: Memories of Celceta. Bearing very little similarity to its two different and non-canonical incarnations of Ys IV, Ys: Memories of Celceta brings the core gameplay spirit of the PSP release, Ys Seven, but with a new story, setting, and characters. Ys: Memories of Celceta yet again brings the main character spotlight on Adol Christin, or the aptly nicknamed “Adol the Red". To the dismay of Adol, however, he has lost all of his memories at the game“s start after what is believed to be due to venturing too far into the forests of Celceta. In spite of that, by unconditionally helping to protect the local townsfolk, Adol proves that his combat skills aren“t nearly as rusty as his memory, and shortly thereafter is scouted by the Romun military to help out. After a short explanation, Adol is encouraged to chart and explore Celceta“s mysterious “sea of trees” for both his insatiable thrill for adventure and to help recall his lost memories, while his traveling partner, Durren, simply intends to line his pockets with gold in the process. What is particularly interesting about Memories of Celceta is that Adol feels like he has a more deliberate presence in this game through the use simple dialogue choices as well as some as some background flashbacks, rather than entirely being a mute protagonist like in most previous games. Granted, it would still be stretching it to say Adol is a defined character even in Memories of Celceta. Like a lot of Ys games, the overall storytelling will probably fade from the subconscious of most players beyond some light-hearted character exchanges and nods to other entries in the series for fans. The storytelling has some interesting ideas, but, as in Seven, the narrative scenes are more bloated than they should be, particularly early in, for both a narrative and cast that don't make a particularly lasting impression. That said, if you want in-depth storytelling from a Falcom title, you can easily turn to something like Trails in the Sky, or its wealth of currently unlocalized sequels, but when you want fun and fast-paced action-RPG gameplay- that's where Ys delivers. Celceta maintains the three-person party structure system of Ys Seven, but with minor refinements to the controls and additional skills. Combat is easy to learn, with one button relegated to normal attacks and many others for special attack shortcuts and defensive maneuvers. In addition, each character has strengths against different enemy types: like Adol with his slash attacks for grounded enemies, Durren against sturdier enemies with his blunt attacks, and Karna with her piercing attacks for aerial foes. Despite its simplicity, the tight controls, playable characters, varied enemy types, and constant progression of new skills make the general combat pretty engaging. Bosses in particular are quite a treat, due to their variety in attack patterns ,which encourage mastery of the game's mechanics, and they become quite the force to be reckoned with on higher difficulties. My favorite combat mechanics in Celceta have to be the 'Flash Guard' and 'Flash Dodge' skills. Flash guard is a perfectly timed block which completely negates enemy damage while also turning all player attacks into critical hits for a short-time, and while it is not new, it is way more functional control-wise than it was in Ys Seven. Flash Dodge is new to Ys, however, where a perfectly timed dodge makes enemies move slower and the characters temporarily invulnerable to attacks, reminiscent of Bayonetta's 'Witch Time.' You can probably get by without intentionally mastering either on the Normal or Easy difficulties but they become an absolute necessity on higher difficulties, especially against bosses, and when successfully utilized they are super satisfying to pull off. As much as I enjoy the core gameplay of Celceta, I don't feel completely the same about the structure. Since Adol needs to chart a map of Celceta, the game tries to present an open-ended structure by making it more akin to earlier Ys games, like 1/2. This doesn't completely work in Celceta, unfortunately, because progress is made in a linear fashion, like gaining new skills or obtaining party members to open-up parts of the world. This in turn, leads to some pacing issues, early in especially, because it's very easy to wander around aimlessly into one road block after another. After you get past that awkward initial hump, primarily after you gain a couple new party members, the title definitely has a more natural progression. Later on, it certainly does become tempting to check every nook and cranny for that extra treasure chest, or find Adol's optional memory cutscenes, or report to the Romun general for a lucrative reward, and the game only rewards you even more as it progresses. Still, because the meatiest game of the series, it's hard to not overlook the parts where it sort of drags it feet in terms of pacing. On a technical level, Memories of Celceta is pretty underwhelming. While it isn't offensively bad (like Valhalla Knight 3), I'd say it's less pleasing to look at than even Ys Seven. I'm sure sheer polycount will easily point towards Celceta being technically superior, with less deformed character models than Seven, but the environments and overall aesthetic are generally rather drab and usually just not interesting to look at regardless on the OLED screen. Thankfully the visuals don't really hinder the gameplay aside from when using certain equipment that allows for extremely fast traversal that causes the framerate to chug down. I'd say the same goes for the soundtrack, in comparison to the very high-caliber score of the more recent Ys remakes or Seven, which is less consistent and varied, despite its attempted musical throwbacks to IV. It's a solid score with some definite standouts, but maybe I've been too spoiled by other recent Falcom titles. Ys: Memories of Celceta is definitely a fun game as it marries tight, fast-paced Action-RPG combat, engaging design choices, and is very approachable for newcomers as well as fans. Vita owners would certainly be doing themselves quite a disservice by not at least checking it out, especially as it is unquestionably the strongest Action-RPG on the system. As a whole, however, it doesn't really move the series forward in too many meaningful ways, making it feel like a rather safe sequel without quite the heart of other recent titles. It does not represent the series at its best, but it serves it pretty well all the same. Pros: + Fun, fast-paced combat with very tight controls + Great boss fights + Flash guard and dodge mechanics are super satisfying to pull off + Biggest game in the series +Solid soundtrack Cons: - Forgettable storytelling - Lackluster presentation - Rather slow start and has some pacing issues Overall Score: 8.0 (out of 10) Great Without a doubt the best and most fun Action-RPG on Vita, but as a sequel it does little to try to overachieve its fellow brethren.
  5. Jason Clement

    PlayStation Store Update: Week of 11/19/2013

    We're slowly but surely approaching the end of the gamut of Fall releases as November passes the midway point. Still, there are plenty of new games coming out, and today is no exception. Here's a look at the latest big as well as small releases out on the PlayStation Store this week. Full PS4 Games NBA Live 14 - $59.99 Full PS3 Games Farming Simulator 2013 - $29.99 Need for Speed: Rivals - $59.99 Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW - $39.99 Air Conflicts: Vietnam - $29.99 Aquapazza - $29.99 (check out our official review) Arcania: The Complete Tale - $29.99 Blood Knights - $14.99 Dynasty Warriors 6 - $19.99 Young Justice: Legacy - $39.99 PSN Games Contrast - $14.99 Stick It to the Man - $12.99 Soul Calibur II HD Online - $19.99 PS Vita Games The Amazing Spider-Man - $39.99 Demos Blood Knights (PS3) NBA Live 14 (PS4) New PS Plus Instant Games Binary Domain (PS3) Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (PS Vita) Are you interested in anything on the PS Store this week?
  6. With The LEGO Movie releasing in theaters early next year, it comes as little surprise that the somewhat ironically named The LEGO Movie Videogame is following closely behind. Once again helmed by TT Games, the game adaptation follows the tongue-in-cheek plot of the movie where you take on the role of Emmett, an ordinary Minifig thought to be "The Special," a character prophesied to save the world from an evil tyrant. The game itself will contain some 90 playable characters inspired by the movie and 15 levels in all. Also, there will be a brand new LEGO visual animation style that is said to simulate the movement and feel of real LEGO toys. You can check out The LEGO Movie Videogame when it releases in February 2014 on just about every major console and handheld.
  7. NIS America announced today that they'll be releasing Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc on the PS Vita in February next year. This version of the game is actually a revised version of the original, which released on PSP in Japan back in 2010. The story focuses on a teenager named Makoto Naegi, who is accepted into a prestigious school, Hope's Peak Academy, only to discover that he and the other students have been trapped and imprisoned in the school by a murderous little bear known as Monokuma, who promises freedom to anyone who can murder a fellow classmate and get away with it. As such, you'll need to investigate each murder incident in the school, search for clues, and talk with fellow classsmates to get to the bottom of each case. You can look forward to playing Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc when it releases via retail and PSN on February 14, 2014 in North America and Europe.
  8. One of XSEED's most anticipated titles for 2014 is Ys: Memories of Celceta, but for the longest time we had no release date to go by. Thankfully, that ends today as the publisher revealed that it will be released later this month. For fans who love limited editions, XSEED is releasing a special YS: Memories of Celceta Silver Anniversary Edition, which contains a 3-CD collection of original and arranged music that spans the series' history, a cloth map of Celceta, a compass emblazoned with the logo, and 'Adol's Travel Journel,' which contains 130 pages of artwork and strategies. Memories of Celceta serves as an extensive reimagining of Ys IV, and revolves around series protagonist Adol Cristin, who wakes up at the outskirts of the Great Forest of Celceta with no memory of how he got there. The game is said to have the largest overworld map in the series' history, and it uses the same party battle system from Ys SEVEN with a number of upgraded features. YS: Memories of Celceta will be released via retail and PSN on November 26 for the PS Vita for $39.99. The Silver Anniversary Edition will retail for $59.99. Are you excited for Ys: Memories of Celceta?
  9. Jason Clement

    PlayStation Store Update: New Games for 11/5/13

    This week's PlayStation Store update is bustling with a number of new game titles, with at least one notable highly anticipated release in the form of Call of Duty: Ghosts. Also, The Guided Fate Paradox looks to satisfy RPG enthusiasts (we should also have a review for soon), while CastleStorm heads to PS Vita. Check out the full list below! Full PS3 Games Call of Duty: Ghosts - $59.99 Call of Duty: Ghosts Hardened Edition - $119.99 Ben 10 Omniverse 2 - $39.99 The Guided Fate Paradox - $49.99 PSN Games A-Men 2 (Cross-buy with PS Vita) - $9.99 CastleStorm (Cross-buy with PS Vita) - $9.99 Final Exam - $9.99 How to Survive - $14.99 PS Vita Games A-Men 2 (Cross-buy with PS3) - $9.99 CastleStorm (Cross-buy with PS3) - $9.99 PS2 Classic The Adventure of Cookie and Cream - $9.99 For the newest sales, check out this thread. See anything you might buy this week?
  10. Jason Clement

    Rainbow Moon Coming to PS Vita In December

    EastAsiaSoft announced a while back that its strategy RPG title, Rainbow Moon, would be coming to PS Vita, and now they can confirm that the title will hit before year's end. Though it's a bit light on story and plot, Rainbow Moon is an interesting title that RPG enthusiasts especially will want to look into; there's a lot of depth in its battles, especially later in the game. If you're interested, be sure to check out our official review of the game by yours truly. Also, you can check out a trailer for the game below.
  11. Jason Clement

    November PS Plus Instant Games Revealed

    Ah, the end of the month. That time when we can all look forward to what next month brings, especially in the way of new content on PlayStation Plus. Fortunately, November looks slated to be a solid month for new Instant Games, and with the likes of the PS4 launching in just a few weeks, we'll also get our first look at the initial PS4 Instant Game offerings. Here's what you can look forward to seeing on the Instant Game Collection roster over the course of November. PS4 Resogun Contrast PS3 Ibb & Obb Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Binary Domain PS Vita Soul Sacrifice Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD Don't know what to make of some of them? Check out our official reviews for Ibb & Obb and Binary Domain. Marcus and I agreed that the former is a great experience worth checking out while Brittany thought that Binary Domain was relatively good. Are you excited to play any of these titles?
  12. We first heard about Ragnarok Odyssey ACE when it was announced earlier in the year, but now XSEED has confirmed (via the PlayStation Blog) that the game will be heading to North America in 2014 on both PS3 and PS Vita. Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is best explained as a revised and expanded edition of the original game, so it's not quite a sequel, but it does have extra content and is perfect for those who may have missed out on the game the first time around. ACE also includes crossplay between PS3 and Vita, with up to four players being able to play between both. Players of the first game will be able to import their saves into ACE in order to carry over their characters and such, though you'll still have to start the story anew due to the new material added. In addition, new trophies will be attainable (along with the old ones, which will still be saved if you've already gotten them). You'll still need to wait for a specific release date, but XSEED is aiming to get the game out in early 2014 at $39.99 price point. As a bonus, you'll also get a soundtrack CD with 25 songs from the game, including one from Nobuo Uematsu called "Roar of the Black Dragon."
  13. Telltale's latest game, The Wolf Among Us, just debuted on PC, Mac, XBLA, and PSN recently, but it'll be coming to a few more platforms yet. Those who enjoy handheld gaming will be glad to know the game is also coming to the PS Vita and iOS later this Fall. Laura Perusco, Telltale's community lead, gave a few details on the Vita version on the PlayStation Blog, saying that you'll be able to switch between analog and touch controls on the fly (similar to The Walking Dead on Vita), as well as the ability to invert the controls (invert Y option, that is). No pricing or release date info for either version just yet, so stay tuned. The Wolf Among Us is based on Vertigo's Fables comic book series, where fairytale characters and creatures live in our world albeit in a very gritty and realistic way. The story specifically focuses on protagonist Bigby Wolf as he sets out to uncover a murder plot and more. You can expect to see our official review of the game's first episode soon.
  14. Jason Clement

    Valhalla Knights 3 Coming to Vita in Mid October

    We're fast approaching XSEED's last remaining releases of the year, and now that Rune Factory 4 has released for 3DS, next up is the Vita's turn to get a game; Valhalla Knights 3, namely. The plot in Valhalla Knights 3 puts players into a medieval prison full of criminals where they search for a long lost treasure. You'll be able to create your own fully customizable character and allied party members from among seven races and 20 different job classes. From there, you'll experience the game's real-time combat as you explore the prison, lower dungeons, and more. Boasting over 200+ quests and over 500 in-game items, weapons, armor and more, Valhalla Knights 3 features more than 40 hours of gameplay as well as online connectivity so you can play against friends and other players. XSEED has announced the game will release on October 15th as a physical retail and digital download release for PS Vita. Are you looking forward to Valhalla Knights 3?
  15. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Sweet Fuse: At Your Side

    Developer: Otomate Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PSP (PSN) Release Date: August 27, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen A download code was provided by the publisher for this review Chances are, even if you“re reading this review, you“ve never played an otome game before (or only one). Otome games are most generally equivalent to dating sims. Except instead of focusing on a cast of datable girls, you play as a young woman who is surrounding by a bunch of guys. Dating sims themselves are quite the niche, so this genre is a niche of a niche. So far, it seems Aksys Games is the most willing to venture into otome territory. Their most recent otome release is Sweet Fuse: At Your Side by developer Otomate. It“s far from the cute and cuddly title you might be expecting, though. As the story begins, it all seems goofy enough. Your lead character, Sake Inafune, is actually the niece of real life game developer Keiji Inafune. He has just opened up a theme park based around video games and of course you“re excited to check it out during an exclusive opening event. Alongside other curious parties, you arrive, only to see Keiji kidnapped by a strange pig-looking monster. From there, things get weird. This pig guy, named Count Hogstein, is an apparently insane creature who has decided to turn the entire theme park into a massive diabolical game. He requires a cast of seven people to engage in his game and Saki jumps right into the mess. Alongside six men, she learns that the Count is forcing them to solve puzzles as a group. If they fail in their attraction-themed puzzles then they“ll all be caught in explosions rigged to each attraction. The cast of men is pretty varied, even if their presentation harps a bit too much on stereotypical types. There is a musclebound man calling everyone his “bro”, a shut-in gamer with greasy hair, a boy band idol, and a few others. With the vast differences between each character it“s likely that everyone will find one they like more than the rest and wish to focus on. Even if they don“t, the game will eventually push them down the path of whoever they are closest to. Those without interest in the romantic components still have the rest of the game to enjoy, which focuses primarily on the drama of making it through each puzzle alive. One of the most interesting facets about Sweet Fuse is the gameplay. The way Aksys marketed the game made it almost sound like an otome version of 999: Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors. However, there is never a point in this game where you are actually solving puzzles on your own. Instead, it plays purely as a visual novel. Characters will slowly come to conclusions about the solutions to puzzles, and likely you“ll come up with them beforehand, but there“s no way to act on them yourself. That doesn“t mean all you do is read, read, and read some more. As with other visual novels, your interactivity is based on making choices at specified times. These choices tend to be focused on what you“ll say to characters next. You might make someone happy, sad, or start yelling at them. Some of these choices affect very little, but others will put you on the path toward romancing one character over the other. There are also special times in puzzles where you must choose the proper hint to move on. Failure to guess the right hint will lead to everyone“s doom - and a game-over screen. But, for the most part, you“ll be doing a ton of reading. It takes five to eight hours to get through Sweet Fuse on a first playthrough depending on your reading speed. Of course, if you like the game enough to get through it once you“ll probably be excited to go through again. There is a lot of replay value simply for the fact of being able to romance a variety of men. A second playthrough in particular even yields an entirely new romance option. Since there“s not too much gameplay to handle, the main point of interest is the characters and their interplay. Thankfully, the translation is engrossing, even if not completely accurate to the original Japanese. Saki herself is an incredibly strong-willed character who serves as a stable base to the more fiery attitudes of some of her team members. It“s fun to see them play around and all that, although it does come across as a bit odd they would be capable of being silly in such a dire situation. Also, one unfortunate aspect is the amount of typographical errors to come across. It seems likely the game just wasn“t enough of a priority or something as it“s rare to see this much wrong in a published title. With that said, the game and its characters are primarily enjoyable. The puzzles are also pretty neat even if you never get to actually “solve” any yourself. With so few otome games out in the West it would even still be worth supporting if the game were not so great. Thankfully, Sweet Fuse is fun and offers a great deal of replay value. Definitely grab it on UMD or as a PSN download and then get to work with Saki and her crew on PSP or Vita. Pros: + Interesting cast of dateable characters + Multiple characters allow for a bevy of playthroughs Cons: - Fair bit of typos to be found - Puzzle interactivity severely limited Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great With such a small amount of otome games easily available to the American audience, Sweet Fuse shoots up to the top of the top of the list.
  16. Jason Clement

    Sony Announces PS Vita TV

    At their Japanese press conference today, Sony announced the PS Vita TV - a small device that enables users to play PS Vita games on the TV via their PS Vita handheld. In addition, PS Vita TV also supports downloadable PSP and PSone classics games (through its game archive section) with the Dualshock 3 controller, and streaming PS4 games to another TV in the same house, as well as various streaming services (such as Hulu). The PS Vita TV will release in Japan on Nov. 14 for 9,480 yen. A 14,280 yen bundle is also planned for release at the same time, which will include the PS Vita TV, a Dualshock 3 controller, and an 8GB memory card. No plans have been announced for the PS Vita TV to come to the West just yet, but stay tuned for more info in the near future, hopefully. Update: There was some initial confusion at first as to whether a PS Vita is required in order to play games through the PS Vita on TV, and we now know that this is not the case. The Vita TV actually does have its own PS Vita card slot on the device, in fact making it a non-handheld Vita unto itself (a $100 one at that). You can find a full list of the specs for the device here.
  17. Jason Clement

    Vita Getting a Redesign, New Colors

    Sony announced a new redesign for the Playstation Vita that will be 20% thinner and 15% lighter than the original, and will come with a 1GB of memory. The new model is being designed with more portability in mind, according to Sony. In addition, new colors were presented for the handheld as well, including a lime green color, pink, grey, and a greyish blue color. Currently the newly redesigned Vita is only announced for Japan for an Oct. 10 release, but it's likely we'll hear about it coming to other territories soon as well.
  18. One of the strangest new titles for Vita shown at Sony's Gamescom press conference was for a 2D puzzle platformer called Murasaki Baby. It has similar atmospheric art direction and overtones to something like Limbo, with the main character being a little girl whose mouth is apparently above her eyes on her face. From what was gleaned from the footage shown, the game will take full advantage of the Vita's touch controls, much like LittleBigPlanet Vita and the upcoming Tearaway. One example shows a finger being used to turn the rotors in a fan to make it blow, or moving the background around in order to affect change with the characters. Murasaki Baby is being developed by Ovosonico. No release date has been announced just yet.
  19. Jason Clement

    Dragon's Crown Is Selling Out In Japan

    Dragon's Crown just released in Japan this last week, and according to Dual Shockers' Giuseppe Nelva, the game is already sold out at most retailers. Nelva ran through the gamet of some 10+ major Japanese chains as well as smaller retail stores, finding that only two had the game in stock for immediate shipping but with low stock warnings. In any case, this is definitely positive news for both Atlus and developer Vanillaware, of which Dragon's Crown has been its most expensive project to date (estimated at some 100 million yen, which equates to roughly just over $1 million US dollars). The success of the game so far also spells vindication for Art Director George Kamitani, who had been pitching the project to publishers for 13 years before it finally began development. Although it's currently unknown exactly how many units were in the first shipment of games that went out, this is undoubtedly a victory for Atlus, which currently faces an uncertain future as its parent company recently declared bankruptcy in recent weeks. Hopefully this is yet a sign of positive things to come for the cult JRPG publisher.
  20. Whatever your opinion is on Sony, there's no denying that the PS4 is the next-gen console that clearly has the most momentum coming into E3, especially after a few weeks of negative PR for Microsoft's Xbox One, thanks to a backlash against DRM implementation that will require an online presence once a day and more. When Sony's successor to the PS3 was announced earlier this year, they made sure to come out of the gate running. This was a system that would be first and foremost dedicated to games, and the message was clear to both consumers and developers. That same game plan still holds true going into E3; by focusing on the gamer and not the average consumer (at least not yet), Sony hopes to win the hearts of fans everywhere with what many expect may be a killer launch line-up that will likely be fully revealed on Monday. What other announcements might Sony make? Join the GP staff as they ruminate on their predictions for the upcoming conference. No Price... Just Yet Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "If anything, the one thing I don't think Sony will do is announce an official price for the PS4, contrary to popular belief. While it's true that they did announce the Vita's price at E3, the PS4 is an entirely different beast altogether. Think back to 2006 when Kaz Hirai presented the PS3 to the world; that conference had a plethora of bungled moments, but the one that really cost them was the announcement that the price of the console would be $599. Kaz saying that it represented "significant financial investment" from the consumer only further twisted the knife, in a sense. So if Sony learned anything from that conference, it's that the price can undermine everything. They could have the best, most surprising announcements, but if the price is wrong, it'll cost them dearly. No, Sony will announce the things people want to hear - games, exclusive deals, price-drops on PS3/Vita, new accessories - but they'll leave the pricing announcement for another day in order to preserve the good PR they'll no doubt receive from fans and press alike... at least for a time. Expect the price to be announced sometime before the Fall begins, likely sometime in August." Nothing But Games John Kidman | Contributing Writer "My prediction for Sony is that they will hold a conference that echoes Kaz Hirai's statement that the Playstation 4 is "first and foremost" a console designed for gaming. The press conference will likely reiterate a few of the features, but the primary focus will be on the console's launch line-up and the console's powerful specs. Of course, how can we forget the actual unveiling of the console beyond a few blurry teaser trailers? The VITA will also receive its own share of the limelight with a few key games, but the use of the VITA as a PS4 peripheral will be a major focal point for the device. Also, be prepared for a major pat on the back regarding the stellar Playstation Plus program. My predictions for the Sony conference are less about what I'm expecting to see, but rather what I am not expecting." Power in Simplicity Gaiages | Community Manager "Sony saw how the Xbox One conference failed to impress gamers, and they're not about the same mistake at E3. Of course, that means they're going to focus on the games, but there's another way Sony can one-up the competition... and that's with the PS4's interface. I think Sony's going to show off how exactly the PS4 works... from turning on the first live system they're going to bring to the floor. If they show off how easy it to turn on and simply play a game, then I believe they'll have a clear-cut advantage over Microsoft. With all of the Xbox One's complexities coming from trying to do everything, the possible simplicity of the PS4 might be just what gamers need... if Sony wants to play their cards that way." The Wait Ends For One Long Awaited Game, And A New Era Begins At Sony Santa Monica Barrel | Moderator "With the Playstation 3, I don't expect to see [Final Fantasy] Versus XIII, but I'm going to be the crazy person and say I do expect to see The Last Guardian at long last. It's crazy, and I'm more than lying to myself, but I could see Sony at least act like they are bringing it for real... in 2014. Also it will have like a fraction of a second of gameplay footage, which people will be dissecting/complaining the heck out of about how it looks pretty different from what they expected in earlier trailers. For Playstation 4, I expect to see a new IP from Sony Santa Monica Studio to make a big splash and possibly be the talk of their conference. Yes, something not God of War related. I'll go the extra step and guess something with a modern day realistic-ish setting with a sort of unserious twist, in contrast to their God of War titles and more artsy downloadable stuff like Sound Shapes." Vita's Lukewarm Presence Continues Barrel | Moderator "As much as I want the Vita to succeed, I sense a lukewarm presence at best for it at E3, even though smaller publishers like XSeed, Aksys, and Atlus will surely put stuff on the show floor. That said, I can see Sega to surprising us by announcing the US version of Phantasy Star Online 2 for Vita and promising more info to come in the following months (since they don't want to talk about PC specifically and the compatibility with it at a Sony event). I also expect some throwaway talk with Killzone: Mercenary working with Killzone 4 on PS4; Possibly working similarly to how Resistance: Retribution worked with Resistance 2." Focus On Move, Streaming, And Social Features Continues John Kidman | Contributing Writer "Don't expect Sony to abandon the Playstation Move in the least. We already know that the peripheral will be supported and Media Molecule's upcoming sculpting game will be a next generation release, so we will likely receive our yearly conference fill of waggling. Also, we will undoubtedly hear more information on the PS4's Facebook integration, but I am not expecting any major surprises in this area... unless they happen to bring Zuckerberg on stage." Barrel | Moderator "Expect to see something heavily related to Gaikai, and this will... slightly waver consumer trust despite how new and old IPs will be shown earlier in the conference. I say this because the PS4 will be implied to have online DRM functionality (which won't be directly answered during the show, for better or worse) while also having supposed other community related benefits." What are your predictions for what will be shown at Sony's conference?
  21. Jason Clement


    From the album: Editorial/Feature Images

  22. Cloudberry Kingdom is an indie game that was originally slated to be a launch window game for the Wii U last Fall, but today Ubisoft has announced that they have picked up publishing duties for the title. Developer Pwnee Studios commented to Nintendo World Report on the matter, saying: "We“re really excited to be able to reveal that we are working with Ubisoft to release Cloudberry Kingdom. They have been a great help to us throughout the making of Cloudberry, and we don“t know if we could have done it without them. This game has been a long time coming, and we“re glad that we have such a great publisher to help us share it with the world." As for the game itself, it features procedurally generated levels that adapt in difficulty to the player's skill. Cloudberry Kingdom is set to release as a downloadable title on Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, and Steam this Summer. You can check out the Cloudberry Kingdom developer diary video that Pwnee released today in light of the announcement below; it details how the game got started, how it progressed in its development, and the troubles that the two Pwnee members faced along the way. Source: Nintendo World Report
  23. Jason Clement

    Tearaway Coming To A Vita Near You This Fall

    Tearaway was first revealed at Gamescom last year as Media Molecule's next project; their first new project since LittleBigPlanet 2 released some two years ago now, in fact. While we haven't heard a whole lot about the game since, Sony has revealed a solid release date for the Vita game: North America will be getting it on October 22nd; continental Europe on the 23rd; Australia and New Zealand on the 24th; and the UK and Ireland on the 25th. The game, while not terribly far removed from LittleBigPlanet's whimsical aesthetic, is based on a world that is entirely constructed from paper, and its gameplay focuses on manipulating the world and its levels by using the Vita's unique features (the touchscreen and touch pad on the back) to cut, paste, fold, and more. Are you looking forward to playing Tearaway this Fall?