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  1. It was during E3 2010 that Sony unveiled their subscription service titled PlayStation Plus. At the time, they touted the new addition would grant exclusive discounts, access to betas, Qore subscription, as well as the Full Game Trial that allowed users to play a complete game for an hour, rather than trying a specially-made demo. There were even free games granted to users to try and lure in new customers. However, at the beginning, there wasn“t a hugely compelling reason for anyone but PS diehards to subscribe. The service has trucked along from June 30th, 2010 until now. Of course, it wasn“t until E3 2012 that Sony revealed the true show-stopper. Instant Game Collection was announced as a part of PS Plus that would grant users access to a slew of new games each month to download at no extra cost. Gamers were enticed by the availability of first party titles such as inFamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. It seemed like this might be the start of Sony having a truly competitive service. PlayStation Plus“ Instant Game Collection (IGC) has been around for a year now. How has it done? As was promised, Sony has continued to bring new titles to the collection every month. Sometimes the choices might not be great, but other times they are fantastic. Either way, it seems they are skilled at selecting a variety of games for all tastes. Subscribers no doubt feel they have gotten their money“s worth from a $50 a year subscription. Have you ever been curious to know exactly how much the games would have cost otherwise, or how much space they all take up, or even how long IGC games generally remain a part of the collection? We“re about to answer all of these questions and more. First, let“s discuss the most exciting component of the IGC. When Sony revealed PS Plus they stated that users “will receive more than $50 worth of content”. While that may have been debateable near the start, it is 100% true now. In fact, it is astonishing to add up the prices of the 64 games that were made available in the first year of IGC. Valuing every game at its current cost on the SEN Store, IGC has brought exactly $1,049 worth of games to subscribers. This works out to an average per game cost of $16 (with $5 and $40 being the cheapest and most expensive game prices thus far). A $50 yearly subscription seems downright measly in comparison. Of course, you“re only accruing that value if you download every single game. It“s likely that most subscribers do not do this, but let“s imagine that you are someone who is a digital hoarder and has been doing so. If you downloaded all 64 games then you would be looking at approximately 188.6 GBs of game content. Due to how Sony handles game downloads on PS3, this would lead to doubling of size for many games.To be safe, let“s just say you would need at least 400 GBs across your PS3 and Vita to store them all. The average size of a game download is about 2.94 GBs. Thankfully, it“s not difficult to buy a cheap external hard drive and stuff it into the PS3. For the long term subscriber and hoarder, a hard drive exceeding 1TB is suggested (retail value $70+). The same is not the case with Vita. So far, approximately 13.08 GBs of PSP and Vita downloads have been made available to PS Plus users. As such, you might be able to squeeze buy with a 16GB card, but to really keep as many games as possible, you“re definitely going to have to invest in a pricey 32 GB card (retail value $100) and likely another down the road. The main reason to save IGC games and not delete them is because once they leave the collection they will not be accessible for free downloads in the future. On average, if you remove the first month of PS Plus, each month offers 11.52 GBs of content. This is not important to many of us, but others have data caps to worry about. Data caps are imposed by some internet providers and, once reached, may slow down a person“s internet a great deal if not turning it off completely, or charge them extra per GB over. These individuals need to be aware of what they download at all times. While 11 GBs might not seem much to you, it may to these people. With data caps in the United States being around 50 GB per month though hopefully PS Plus does not cause any detrimental effects. Exactly how long do games get to stay on IGC anyway? This is unfortunately not easy to tell because until 2013, Sony did not specify which games would be leaving IGC and when as they do with current entries to the PS Blog. Gathering from what information is available it was shown that 35% of games are only have a month long window in which to download them. The second biggest section is fourth months at 22%. Of course, a few of the games which were inaugural editions lasted the full twelve months, only now finally being switched out in July. More lately however, there is a trend of games lasting only a month on ICG to make room for new faces. Many PS Plus subscribers out there are now reticent to buy PSN games because of the ever-present possibility it will be added to IGC in the near future. So is this something really worth worrying about? Analysis must then be done on the time between when a game originally launched and when it is made available on IGC. As it turns out, 50% of games on IGC were launched within a year of their arrival on PS Plus. This is both incredible and detrimental, because it does cause many to choose to avoid purchasing new titles on PSN. Although only 13% of games on IGC are three or more years old, the amount of aging games coming to IGC is increasing. In fact, a bigger issue may be with which games Sony chooses to add so shortly after their launch. If you guessed that indie games would be the majority for this trend then you are right. Although only 38% of IGC games could be classified as “indie”, they are disproportionately the titles that come to IGC within the first six months of their launch. The trend benefits Sony by keeping IGC continuously stocked, but is likely detrimental to these independent teams who find their games getting great press but low sales. Let“s not end on a downer, though. The first few months of IGC were PS3 specific before the addition of Vita games in November. Since then, we have seen an uptake in Vita game availability on IGC and the trend seems to be pushing Sony toward equal representation for both systems. Of course, we“ll have to see how the PS4 factors into this. For the first year though we see that the PS3 dominates with 69% of IGC titles while Vita trucks along with 31% representation. Unfortunately, a chunk of that is PSP games that have been brought to Vita rather than Vita exclusives. What does the future hold for PS Plus and the Instant Game Collection? If they continue along this trend, then they“ll be offering thousands more dollars of gaming content to users every year. So far, the subscription works for Vita and PS3, and is said to carry over to PS4 as well. Unless Sony nixes IGC or splits PS Plus up into different system-based plans then it will likely continue to thrive. If you“re a PS Plus subscriber then hopefully you“re making tremendous use of the subscription by collecting as many fabulous IGC titles as possible!
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Divekick Kicking It On PSN This August

    Have you wanted to get into fighting games but found the multitude of combos too much to wrap your head around? Do you just want to have the thrill of being able to control your fighter without resorting to button mashing? If this is the case then you had better jump on Divekick when it launches. Divekick is a very unusual fighter. It features only one real mode of attack - jumping and then kicking as you dive back down to the ground. Each character has their own style of divekicking, but that's basically all they do. With that said, matches end up being hilarious and even "pro" players can find themselves learning the best times to initiate a divekick. The game is heading to both PS3 and Vita via PSN as well as PC. It'll be out on August 20th in North America. Sony fans should also note that Divekick is a Cross-Buy title, which means you can dive and kick both at home and on the go.
  3. Good news for those anticipating WayForward and Capcom's upcoming remake of retro classic Ducktales in HD; the game finally has a release date, and it's coming soon! Ducktales: Remastered is scheduled for release on August 13 as a digital download on PSN, Wii U eShop, and PC, with the XBLA version launching on September 11. Also, Capcom has announced plans to release a boxed PS3 version on August 20 (complete with a download code and an exclusive Disney collector's pin), which will retail for $19.99. And to help celebrate the news of Ducktales: Remastered, Capcom also released the first part of the game's "Duckumentary" that details the creative process of developing the game (with new episodes to come every other week until the game's launch). You can check out the video below. Are you excited for Ducktales: Remastered's release? If so, which version will you buy?
  4. You might recall that Curve Studios announced they were bringing Stealth Bastard to PSN in April. However, due to Sony's request or something else, they needed to change the "bastard" part of the name. They went so far as to host a fun little contest to see who could come up with the best name. In case you missed it, they changed the name to Stealth Inc - A Clone in the Dark. It's a bit more of a mouthful than before but at least it's a bit cute as well. With the game cleared for launch, it was announced that it will hit PSN on July 23rd. Players can choose to get the stealth/action game on either Vita or PS3, but it's not a big deal either way. This is because Stealth Inc is yet another game which is part of Sony's Cross-Buy promotion, meaning you get it for both systems anyway.
  5. Marcus Estrada

    PS Plus Version of DriveClub is Incomplete

    Although we don't know everything about how PS Plus will function on the PlayStation 4, we do know that it is definitely coming. So far, it will even be a part of the same subscription cost alongside Vita and PS3. Sony previously revealed that launch title DriveClub would be the first free game for PS4 PS Plus users. But is this version as complete as the other existing Instant Game Collection titles? Unfortunately, no. An interview was conducted by PlayStationer with Evolution Studios which helped explain what is missing: "The PS Plus version will be the exact same as the full version, except that it may be missing a few assets such as cars or tracks, that will be found in the full version. However the online multiplayer, the asynchronous challenges and the single player campaign will all be present in the PS Plus version. The PS Plus version gives us to the biggest open community, day one." This means that you've got the full multiplayer experience but certain items are going to be kept from PS Plus users. They may choose to upgrade the free copy to the "full" digital version by, well, purchasing it. Apparently there is no way to simply buy the few items that are missing as DLC on their own, only the entire game. Perhaps we will see this parceling out of the game into free and paid versions more with PS4 PS Plus.
  6. Marcus Estrada

    PS Plus Adds Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD

    With the regularly-scheduled PlayStation Plus update just a day away they have done the usual thing of posting about what's coming next. This week's update includes one additional game in the Instant Game Collection and it is Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD for PS3. You can of course still buy the game if you don't have PS Plus, but it'll cost you $10. It's a bit funny to consider how few games you would need to buy to equal the cost of a year of PS Plus, but there are definitely reasons both for and against the service. Enough of that though, let's get onto the second order of business. The second week of the Summer Blast sale is also underway. Of course, if you need to see what's available you can check out the official blog post. This week will also take The Cave (PS3) off of IGC so grab that adventure title if you are at all interested.
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Latest PS2 Classics Update Adds Castle Shikigami 2

    Have you been itching for PlayStation 2 games to play lately? If so, and if you don't have a backwards compatible PS3 (or PS2?!) then your one stop shop for games is the PlayStation Store. Today they added two more PS2 Classics to the lineup, both of which may be worth looking into. First there is Dynasty Tactics 2 which came out in 2003. The short-lived series focused on more tactical battles than what you might see from hack n' slash heavy Dynasty Warriors. The sequel is likely available in lieu of the original game due to Dynasty Tactics 2 being the expanded and better title. Next up is Castle Shikigami 2. Fans of sidescrolling shooters should definitely take note. The Shikigami series has seen continual release in the US despite a likely niche audience. The prequel of the series is best known as having a seriously Charlie's Angels-looking cover when it launched in the West as Mobile Light Force 2. Anyway, Castle Shikigami 2 is a competent shooter. The only issue is the English dub which features some truly ridiculous translation and voice acting.
  8. Today's PS Store update has either already gone live or will go live in the next few hours. What is up for grabs with the weekly Tuesday update? Well, there's a few things going on. First is the Summer Blast Sale which we talked about yesterday. Of course that's not all there is to check out. PS Plus subscribers can start the month of July off with a hefty download of Battlefield 3 on PS3. At 11.6 GBs, this is one of the larger digital additions to the Instant Game Collection. If PS2 Classics are more your style then it looks like an actual "classic" of sorts is now available. Warriors Orochi can now be purchased for the normal price of $10. Gran Turismo fans can check out the newly opened GT Academy 2013 which serves as a demo for Gran Turismo 6.
  9. Marcus Estrada

    NPD to Start Tracking Digital Game Sales

    If you ever look at NPD statistics released month after month, you'll see trends that seem to bode ill for gaming as a whole. Sometimes it seems, and is interpreted, that gaming is in a decline. However, the real point to make is that physical game sales are in decline while digital sales pick up the excess and continue to grow. Because of this, NPD is finally set to address what they have been missing by tracking digital sales. They have previously followed total consumer spending (including mobile, social, subscription, etc) but they can only do so much without the industry offering better standards of data presentation. David McQuillan, president of the games group of NPD, said the following to Games Industry International. By the way, POS stands for Point of Sale: "The plan is to have digital POS sales integrated into our US new physical POS retail sales data to enable more efficient analysis for our clients. The timing of when that will happen has not been finalized. Since hardware and accessories can't be sold digitally, we don't think digital will ever become bigger than physical retail sales at the total industry level. That said, if you're isolating content sales, we're already at the point where we estimate that digital sales of content are at par with new physical retail sales. Digital sales will continue to grow, but we also believe that we'll see a return to growth in new physical retail sales of content in 2014." Their findings will track stats globally, as opposed to region-centric reports that NPD has been doing thus far. They are likely right by assuming physical hardware sales will increase in 2014 due to the influx of two new consoles, but who knows what years beyond 2014 hold.
  10. Marcus Estrada

    Pinball Heroes: Complete Now Available on Vita

    Pinball aficionados may be aware of the Pinball Heroes name. It was in 2009 when a game by such a title released on PSP. Now that it's been a while, and the PSP is no longer in vogue, a new version is being made available for Vita owners. This game is of course Pinball Heroes: Complete. It includes all eight original tables, although some of these do show their age. Tables are based off of Sony properties such as Fat Princess, ModNation Racers, and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. What makes Complete a step up from the old version? High scores, which are important to many pinball lovers, can finally be shared between players. You can also face against others with custom online tournaments. Of course, touch-based control is also included since the game is on Vita. You can grab Pinball Heroes: Complete for $6 today.
  11. Marcus Estrada

    The Walking Dead: 400 Days Out This Week

    If you voraciously devour anything and everything The Walking Dead related then no doubt you've played Telltale's rendition of the material. Although season one has concluded, there is a new season upcoming. Before that comes out though we have new DLC by the name of 400 Days to tide us over. The Walking Dead: 400 Days will help bridge the gap between the two seasons by focusing on different characters who were also dealing with the zombie apocalypse alongside season one. If you want to get your hands on the DLC then you won't have to wait long, regardless of platform. 400 Days is out this week for the following systems: Tuesday - PlayStation Network Wednesday - Windows/Mac (via Steam or Telltale) Friday - Xbox Live Next week, it will also come to iOS, in case that's more your style. Sony owners are luckiest to the game today for either their PS3 or Vita.
  12. Marcus Estrada

    PS Plus Offers 5 Free Games in July

    Welcome to summer! Sony is starting the month of July off in style with a fairly mouth-watering selection of new Instant Game Collection additions. Don't believe me? Well, take a look at the list which has just gone live on the PS Blog. Here are July's games in alphabetical, not release, order: Battlefield 3 (PS3) Dokuro (Vita) Jet Set Radio (PS3) Metal Slug XX (PSP/Vita) Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD (PS3) There's a fairly nice split here between what Vita and PS3 owners can enjoy this month. Of course, if you own both systems then you're doubly in luck. Strangely, this is the second time Jet Set Radio has been made available on PS Plus, although the last time it was for Vita owners. With these great games being added in, five other titles are being pushed out of IGC. They include The Cave, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Germinator, Joe Danger 2 The Movie, and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. Be sure to grab those if you have any intention of trying them out.
  13. Marcus Estrada

    Ethan: Meteor Hunter Pegged for PS3 Launch

    Puzzle game fans as well as Steam Greenlight devotees have probably already heard of this game, but for everyone else, say hello to Ethan: Meteor Hunter as it is coming to PS3! This title focuses on a cute little rodent named Ethan who platforms through a 2.5 D world, solving puzzles along the way. The game had previously been announced for PC by developer Seaven Studios. Unluckily for them, they have yet to see the game get through Greenlight. Regardless of what happens there, Sony has already forged a partnership so Ethan: Meteor Hunter will definitely come to PS3. The game will arrive sometime this summer. Seaven Studios has expressed interest in bringing the game to Vita as well, but want to focus on the PS3 and PC release first. If it does come to Vita then it will also be a Cross-Buy title.
  14. Marcus Estrada

    Proteus Coming to PS3 and Vita

    Proteus was released near the start of this year and quickly saw a lot of attention. The strangely beautiful game was applauded by some and annoyed others. All the same, the game has seen great success on PC thus far. Curve Studios posted on the PS Blog to let everyone know they'll be handling bringing the title to Sony platforms. Here is what PR and marketing manager Rob Clarke had to say about what will differentiate the Vita and PS3 versions from PC: "Here at Curve we“ve been working with Ed to make the PS Vita and PS3 versions even better than the original, and over the next few months we“re going to have more information on how we“re using the power of PS3 and PS Vita to bring the absolute best Proteus experience to you guys." Unfortunately that means we don't have any details about how this is meant to be the de facto version, but we should hear more soon. Curve Studios was at least able to share the news that Proteus will be a Cross Buy game.
  15. Marcus Estrada

    PSN's Summer Blast Sale Begins Tomorrow

    PlayStation Network fans should start preparing their wallets because a new sale is about to go live. Summer is the season of video game sales and Sony's Summer Blast starts on Tuesday and runs for two weeks. There are a handful of games and movies available as part of the sale. Here are a few of the upcoming discounted games. Shown first is the cost for general PSN users followed by the PS Plus price: Alice: Madness Returns (PS3) - $8 / $4 Hitman Trilogy HD (PS3) - $20 / $15 Mortal Kombat (PS3/Vita) - $10 / $5 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game (PS3) - $4 / $2 Shadow of the Colossus (PS3) - $10 / $5 Silent Hill: Book of Memories (Vita) - $15 / $7.50 Of course this is just a small sampling of what will be available from July 2nd to July 15th. If you want to see the rest of the discounted games and movies then check the PS Blog post.
  16. Marcus Estrada

    Total Recoil Aiming for Vita Release

    Today Eiconic Games took to the PS Blog to post about their newest game: Total Recoil. Apparently the inspiration came from wondering about what a classic arcade shooter might look like today. So they went about creating a frantic top-down shooter and this is what they came up with. Total Recoil makes use of both the buttons and analog sticks of the Vita as well as the front touch screen and rear touch pad. An example was given where players would trace a path for their missiles to travel with the touch pad. It seems interesting, although not a particularly obvious use of the Vita's functions. Funnily enough, the game also has grabbed voice actor Tom Clarke Hill who is best known for voicing Tony the Tiger. Considering there are 40 campaign stages, Total Recoil sounds like a tremendous deal at the cost of $2.49. Players will have their chance to blow up everything in their sight when the game launches on July 9th.
  17. Marcus Estrada

    PixelJunk Monsters Scares Up Vita Launch

    The PixelJunk series by Q-Games has been a quirky subset of titles that each have their own unique style that makes them worth playing. PixelJunk Monsters originally came to PS3, and later to PSP with the word "Deluxe" amended to its name. However, that release was way back in 2010 meaning many have never played either version. With a different Sony portable system now available, Q-Games decided to bring their title back. PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD was announced for Vita on the PS Blog today. The port is being handled by Double Eleven and includes graphics redone for Vita, as well as some 30 hours of possible playtime. The edition of course includes everything that was present in the PS3 and PSP games but has also added touchscreen controls. Trophies are also included for those who simply need to have a reminder of their accomplishments. You'll be able to play PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD on your Vita this Summer.
  18. Marcus Estrada

    Motorbike Races to PS3 Today

    There is one game series based on motorcycle trials that both Xbox 360 and Windows owners have had as exclusive over Sony players. Of course, the series I'm referring to is Trials. Now it seems that developer baKno Games is hoping to bridge that gap with their latest game. Simply named Motorbike, it takes players through the exciting sport of motorcycle trials. Similarly to Trials on XBLA/PC, it has a 2.5 D perspective are more intense courses and jumps than would be applicable in the real world. The game launched today for PS3 on PSN. baKno Games would like to bring the title to Vita as well but that is dependent upon the current PSN success. Prior to today's launch, Motorbike was also made available for PC, Android, and iOS. However, the PSN version has 40 exclusive tracks over the initial 80.
  19. Chances are this may be one title that has slipped past your radar. Ride to Hell: Retribution is a game that was developed by Eutechnyx which focuses on the 1960s bikers in North America. As the title suggests, you play as a character who is seeking revenge over the murder of their brother at the hands of a biker gang. it sets the stage for a heaping lot of fighting as well as motorcycles, which may be appealing to you. Ride to Hell: Retribution launched today on XBLA, PSN, and PC via Steam for $30. Here is the trailer:
  20. Marcus Estrada

    Welcome Two New Additions to PS2 Classics

    Even though the PS4 is nearing release Sony is going to keep supporting the PS3 - and even PS2 Classics fans - for a long while. Of course, what is given the the official title of PS2 Classic is not necessarily any sort of "classic" but it can't be helped. This week sees two games join PSN and they are Warship Gunner 2 and Riding Star. The first game is a bit strange of an addition only because Naval Ops: Warship Gunner is not available on the store but its sequel will now be. It is however a sort of hidden gem so you might want to check it out. Riding Star is a game focused on riding horses for sport. Many may scoff at it due to a cover reminiscent of Barbie-branded horse games but the title may be worth it for fans of horses. There are in fact a great deal of games themed around horse riding for PS2 but this seems to be the first on PS2 Classics.
  21. Marcus Estrada

    PS Plus Adds Virtue's Last Reward

    If you have played the game 999 but never checked out Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward then here is your chance to finally do so. This is just the latest game added to Sony's Instant Game Collection for PS Plus subscribers. The game is Vita only but very much worth a download. PS Plus users also can make use of the following discounts this week: Escape Plan (Vita) - $3.75 Fat Princess (PS3/PSP) - $3.75 Hydrophobia Prophecy (PS3) - $0.60 Pool Nation (PS3) - $5.09 This week's update also sees Deus Ex: Human Revolution being removed from IGC. You'll want to hurry and grab that if you still haven't because you likely won't have an opportunity to on Tuesday. Sony announced that PSN maintenance is scheduled tomorrow for a span of almost 7 hours, after which PS Plus will likely update.
  22. Did you see the recent announcement of Hotline Miami 2 and feel an immense amount of gamer shame for having not even touched the original? If so, and you have access to PSN on Vita or PS3, then you're in luck! The port of the game is coming soon - next Tuesday, in fact. What might make this the best version to buy? First, there is an exclusive mask available which makes the game black and white minus the egregious red pools of blood. Leaderboards, touch controls, and Trophies have also been added in. Perhaps the best reason to consider this version is that you get all that alongside of Sony's Cross-Buy promotion. As such, if you buy one version you will then have Hotline Miami for both your PS3 and Vita. Feel free to check the PlayStation Blog for more info before the game's launch on June 25th.
  23. Marcus Estrada

    Velocity Ultra Takes Flight on July 2nd

    Although big name physical releases do not seem to be swarming the Vita at the moment, digital titles are constantly being brought to the device. Case in point, there have already been multiple shoot 'em ups coming to the platform which is a genre that usually languishes in the background. Velocity Ultra is the, well, "ultra" edition of Velocity and is coming exclusively to Vita via PSN. What makes it better than the first? Well, the game is said to provide "flawless" 60FPS action, which is often an issue with shooters. It also has artwork tailored to the screen size of the Vita, touch screen control, leaderboards, and Trophies. The game will land on Vita this July 2nd and cost $8. Those who are monitoring their handheld's memory card space should be pleased to know Velocity Ultra is only 220 MBs.
  24. Marcus Estrada

    PS3 Software Update Available on June 27th

    June 19th was a frustrating day for some PlayStation 3 fans out there. All they did was attempt to update their consoles to the new 4.45 System Software Update only to have it mess with their PS3. As soon as word got out about the update affecting some users it was quickly taken offline by Sony. Today Sony's digital platforms community manager made a post to the PS forums with an important update: "We have identified the issue related to the PlayStation 3 software update (version 4.45) that impacted a small number of PS3 systems earlier this week. A new PS3 system software update is planned to be released on June 27 that resolves the issue. Thank you for your patience and understanding and we apologize for the inconvenience." As long as this update doesn't get delayed it will have been about a week of time between the pull down and reinstating of the update. The forum will also be updated with steps for those affected users to get their system back in working order again.
  25. Marcus Estrada

    ZRun Brings Running and Zombies to Vita

    Fans of beat 'em up games may find a game up their alley when ZRun launches on Vita. Beatshapers have been crafting a new beat 'em up for the system that looks fairly different from the norm. Instead of being in a sidescrolling perspective, you move forward in third person through hordes of zombies. Players can select their character and weapons to start, which all have their own special abilities. Although the game is a single player experience there is an interesting little feature available aside from leaderboards. Friends who have also played a level will appear as zombies in your game wherever they died. It's possible to play ZRun entirely via touch screen controls but they are not required. Thankfully fans of tangible buttons are still able to use them, or a combination of both control schemes. ZRun will be out this Summer.