Sony have finally introduced subscriptions to PlayStation Now -- the PS4 streaming service for older games that was, as we previously suggested, laughably overpriced. Here's what we said about PS Now back in June:
"There are a number of things to notice straight away, not least that some of the 90-day rental prices match or even exceed the asking price to buy the games outright on PSN. While it's true that PS Now does come with some added benefits, such as being able to play supported games across PS3, PS Vita, PS4, and PlayStation-enabled Sony TVs, alongside account-based cloud saving to allow for one game to continue across those multiple devices, these prices seem seriously steep."
The biggest criticism of the service by far, though, was the lack of an all-you-can-eat subscription model, something that Sony have moved to rectify as the service launches fully in the US. The companyt announced that PS Now will launch on PS4 in the US on January 13th, costing $19.99 per month or a discounted $44.99 for three months. That money will get you unlimited access to over 100 PS3 games available through the streaming service, with PS Now appearing on other devices "in the future". Apparently, there'll also be a free seven-day trial when the services launches.Click here to read more...
It seemed to be too laggy for a PS4 streaming box, too short on features for anyone looking for a TV-oriented microconsole, with too little out of the box for newcomers. Moreover, here in the UK it still costs upwards of £80, for which you just get the console, three games -- OlliOlli, Velocity 2X, and Worms: Revolution (all of which have, I think, been part of the PS+ Instant Game Collection) -- but, as I said in my first impressions piece on PS TV, you can't even fit them all onto the system straight out of the box thanks to the paltry 1GB of onboard storage.
The US, at least has itself a dedicated discount bundle that packs in a DS3 and a memory card. But we're not in the States.
The unit itself is stylish yet unassuming, it's tiny and beautiful, but hardly ostentatious. Measuring just 66 x 104 x 127mm, it really puts the *micro* into microconsole. Setup is nice and easy,the inputs -- the HDMI in, ethernet port, power switch and expandable proprietary memory slot are all found to the rear. There are other things you'll need to do for the optimum experience, mind. Cabling up your house completely is just not going to happen for most people, but if you're planning on using the PS TV for streaming, you'll need to make sure at the very least that your PS4 has a wired connection to your router. Extenders help -- if you can wire your PS TV up to an extender, that'll help, but what you don't want is a fully wireless setup.
To be fair, I've not had a terrible time of it beyond that first week. A bit of local FIFA 15 action went down a treat. There were a few instances of lag, but nothing major. It's important to note that the more controllers you have connected to the PS TV unit (you can have up to four), the worse the performance becomes, but for solo play, PS TV has held up surprisingly when well streaming from the PS4. Online competitive multiplayer, however, is going to be variable. Two hours with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare worked almost seamlessly, but a later test with Far Cry 4 was unplayable, and FIFA 15 online made me feel like I was drunk. Or the players were. Or both. I haven't used it for that since. It should also be noted that the games don't look as good as they would on your PS4, what with the resolution down to 720p.
I'm enjoying the PS4 Remote Play, but that's not worth dropping £80. Really, PlayStation TV is a niche microconsole for niche gamers who bought a niche handheld.
Which is why, I'm happy to report, I'm sort of loving it right now.Click here to read more...
This has made us all feel very old, you know.
Twenty years of PlayStation is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated. And to think that the original PlayStation might never have come about had Nintendo not made the most colossal douche-move of their existence.
Of the course of nearly an hour, we look back on our first dealings with Sony's little grey box of tricks, and reflect on the gaming experiences that have stayed with us over the years. We pick apart the top ten PSOne games list I ran a few days back, and look at some of the titles that didn't quite make the grade, before looking at the legacy of the original PlayStation and how, even twenty years ago, Sony were espousing their #4thePlayers mentality.Click here to read more...
It isn't a part of the Black Friday flash deals, but this price for The Last Of Us Remastered is definitely worth considering. Amazon's listing beats the next cheapest offer by around £8.
Improved textures and frame rate, along all the previously released DLC, makes this a definitive package that is absolutely worth getting if you didn't play it on PS3. Hell, at this price it *might* be worth making the jump even if you did already play it. Meh, that's for you to decide. Thanks to imax84 @ HUKD!
In some ways, LittleBigPlanet is a series that defies traditional generational thinking, that is to say it's a game series dependent not on power or graphical output, but on simple systems, deployed and interwoven in imaginative fashion. The processor that LittleBigPlanet relies on most isn't even inside whatever PlayStation you have, it's inside your head.
With that in mind, it's a little difficult to say what a new-gen LittleBigPlanet could, or even should, bring to the table, and indeed, I think it's rather important to note that this isn't really a new-gen LittleBigPlanet. Sumo Digital, having fully taken the reins of the series from Media Molecule, have crafted something accessible and deep, creating a game that ultimately does everything to illustrate that LittleBigPlanet 3 is all about us -- the players.
Sumo Digital have some pedigree with this series, having been on hand for the excellent Vita version, and they've done themselves proud here, even tweaking a few longstanding niggles. The floaty jumping feels a little tighter this time around (though it hasn't been completely overhauled due to backwards-compatibility), and environments are larger and more dense than ever before, filled with aesthetic and mechanical riches that take full advantage of the game's increased levels of spatial depth. Alongside the straightforward map that takes you from level to level in the Adventure mode, there are now hub worlds to explore in Metroidvania fashion, returning time and again to access previously unreachable areas thanks to a freshly unlocked utility or character.
The story aspect of LittleBigPlanet 3 revolves around Hugh Laurie's maniacal Newton unleashing the power of three Titans, which then proceed to possess Newton and suck all of the creativity out of the world of Bunkum, and it's up to Sackboy, or a Little Red Riding Hood Sackgirl in the case of my adventures, to restore creativity and colour to Bunkum once more. Help is required, though, and this arrives in the form of some nifty gadgets for our stitched friend, and the resurrection of the three legendary heroes of Bunkum -- controllable super Sackfriends who each bring their own flavour to proceedings.Click here to read more...
One thing that was missing from our Christmas games console buyer's guides was an in-depth look at PlayStation TV, the little microconsole from Sony that'll allow to play Vita titles on the big screen and dish out some PS4 remote play goodness as well. I'll be the first to admit that generally, when it comes to microconsoles, I've never been the most evangelical supporter of playing mobile games on a big screen. I can, however, see the appeal of multimedia plug-in boxes for consumers without smart TVs, or if you have multiple sets and just want a little media box for secondary televisions.
I was rather eager to investigate PS TV, however, what with already owning a PS4 and having a large Vita library. I have large hands, and I must admit to not finding the Vita's tiny thumbsticks to be all that comfortable. It's a problem that I've mitigated somewhat with third-party attachments that give the Vita gamepad-like handles, but even so, it's not an ideal solution. With that in mind, and considering that I no longer have my PS3 plugged in any more, I quite liked the thought of PS TV as a remote play unit for my PS4, and a little home console equivalent for playing classic PlayStation titles and broader Vita titles more suited to longer periods of play.
The trouble is, given early impressions, I can't work out who PlayStation TV is actually for.
It certainly doesn't seem to be for people like me, eager to use the little box, which is barely larger than a deck of cards, for PS4 Remote Play purposes. After much swearing and getting tangled up in cables, it's become readily apparent that the only way to eliminate the all-too visible lag is to have a house set up with full LAN coverage. This is just fundamentally impractical at best, and downright impossible at worst. Having the PS4 plugged in helped a bit, but even so, the latency was still immersion-breaking. I really hadn't expected that to be an issue -- standard remote play on my Vita, for example, works like a dream.Click here to read more...
Update: We've updated the title for the sake of clarity.
The PlayStation 4 recently turned one year old, and we put our heads together to have a look back over the inaugural year of Sony's latest console, and see how the PS4 has fared.
Sony are clearly winning, at least in terms of numbers.
However, to my mind, the PS4 faces the same questions this Christmas as it did last year, perhaps most chiefly where are the headline games? But really, that's a question born out of the previous generation. Back when the PS3 was lining up against the Xbox One, Microsoft had the headstart, the ease of access, and a flourishing indie initiative. The PS3 did a barnstorming job of playing catch-up largely thanks to Sony unleashing their stable of first-party studios and exclusive partners.
But the PS4 isn't in that position, and Sony haven't had to do that. It's even more clear now, writing at the crest of 2014 before we plunge into the craziness of Black Friday and the Christmas retail period, that Sony are playing a long game. Moreover, when Sony said #ThisIsForThePlayers and began heralding the accessibility of their platform, what they really said was "it's not about us", and that's rung true throughout this first year. Third-parties have been given the red carpet treatment, exclusive content deals have been the story of this first year, gaming services have come to the fore more than ever before, and Sony's pricing has been spot on.Click here to read more...
With a week to go until LittleBigPlanet 3 arrives, this pre-order deal is a mighty tempting proposition for the Play.Create.Share title. By using that delightful voucher code below, both the PS3 and PS4 version become the cheapest offer around... which funnily enough would otherwise be over at The Game Collection proper.
As Matt put it yesterday, LittleBigPlanet 3 is exactly what the PS4 needs this Christmas. Our review is currently on its way, but I think it's safe to say that, despite the change in developer, it will be more of the same enjoyable creation gaming we've come to expect from the franchise. But with with flying birds and weird dog things. Be sure to check out our video interview for all the details. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
I'm not very good at Driveclub. I'm in the process of playing F1 2014 for review, and I always like to dip in and out of Burnout Paradise or Need For Speed: Most Wanted for a regular Criterion fix. One sits firmly at the simulation end of the spectrum, the other two are much more geared towards exaggerated thrills and over-the-top racing.
Such extremes in either direction are far too much for Driveclub.
I won't pretend that I've been looking forward to this game with eager anticipation. Indeed, it's difficult when there's not much to actually get excited for. The USP upon which Driveclub has been built is currently in a sorry, shambolic state. Apparently, Evolution learned nothing from the half decade or so in which we've had systems like Autolog. At the time of writing, Driveclub is still engaged in a "one in, one out" system regarding access to its servers. As you'll see in the video, connectivity was limited. And by limited I mean laughably non-existent.
First Contact is a series all about first impressions. The ones I had of Driveclub were a mixed bag, to be sure. It wasn't all bad (though my driving, as you'll see, certainly was). It looks fantastic. So good, in fact, that when you start up the game you might well crash terribly in your first race on account of enjoying the view. I speak from experience. The handling is geared more towards the arcade end of the spectrum than sims, but that's okay, and the little objective challenges for each race are a nice way of encouraging replayability.Click here to read more...
Infamous: First Light is out in the US today, and our review went live earlier. Here's what we said about the game:
Infamous First Light packs a whole bunch of content in at a decent price, and fleshes out Second Son's most interesting character in fine fashion, with a sibling story that tugs at the heartstrings thanks to another great performance from Bailey. It's an extension, perhaps, more than an expansion -- more of the same sort of thing, but with a slightly different flavour -- but given how much fun Second Son was, that's no bad thing.
But if you're still uncertain whether or not to buy the standalone prequel to Second Son, here's a little look in more depth at some of the changes you can expect to find playing as Fetch rather than Delsin, along with a video of the game's opening 10 minutes.Click here to read more...
I had a blast with Infamous: Second Son. For me, it was probably the best game in the series thus far, a polished experience that did the basics incredibly well, delivered some cracking performances from its leading stars, and dazzled the senses with a gorgeous Seattle sandbox and plenty of interesting abilities. It didn't seek to really break new ground or reinvent the wheel, but Second Son was supremely satisfying because Sucker Punch managed to nail things where they counted -- combat, traversal, scale, story. Would it have been nice to have Seattle live and breathe a little more rather than simply being an obviously gamified sandbox? Perhaps. But frankly I was having too much fun to really care.
Given the hot topic of female protagonists in the gaming industry, it's not surprising really that Sucker Punch were asked in the run up to Second Son's release about the possibility of a female playable protagonist. That questioning only became stronger when we were introduced to Abigail "Fetch" Walker -- a Neon-powered Conduit with some serious baggage in her past and a heavy chip on her shoulder. That Sucker Punch followed through and have given us a fat slab of Fetch's backstory to play through here in First Light is admirable.
More importantly, it's pretty damn good.
Laura Bailey is back to voice Fetch, and once again, the strength of Sucker Punch's performance capture really comes through. Anyone familiar with her story in Second Son will already know the end state of this prequel, set two years before the events of the original game. Fetch is making a living on the streets with her brother in First Light, making ends meet by doing unsavoury jobs for unsavoury people. By the time we meet her in Second Son, she's lost a huge deal, not least a sense of control, and First Light tells the story of how she goes from being a woman trying to hide her powers to being a Conduit fixer and assassin, to eventually becoming a powerful renegade filled with rage and anger.Click here to read more...
"Prepare to die." Dark Souls issued the challenge and gamers responded. Then promptly died, over and over again, becoming more skilled and experienced with each crushing setback.
In Bloodborne, however, that mentality won't get you anywhere. If you mean to unravel the secrets behind Yharnam's mournful bloodsoaked streets, you need to be prepared to KILL.
Don't panic: Bloodborne is still unmistakably From Software fare. It's a third-person action-RPG, tough as nails, as dark and soulful as you'd expect. You'll stalk through intricate and evocative environments, feeling truly isolated and alone one moment before all hell breaks loose the next. Punishing and deeply pretty even in its early Gamescom build, sharing many of the same buttons as its spiritual predecessors, Bloodborne will feel second nature to fans of Miyazaki's work.Click here to read more...
The Last of Us: Remastered emerged last Friday, bringing one of the finest games of last year to the PS4, and inviting a whole bunch of people who'd never played the award-winning game before to enjoy it in super-sparkly fashion, with the game having been given a fairly impressive graphical overhaul.
You can see the difference to a certain extent in the comparison video we sent live last week (embedded below), but really videos don't do this game justice. It was one of the best-looking games on the PS3 (if not the best-looking game on the PS3), and it really looks the business of PS4.
If you've never played The Last of Us before, here are five reasons why picking up the Remastered version is something you really ought to do.
Naughty Dog don't make bad games, at least they haven't even come close yet. I gave The Last of Us 8/10 and an Editor's Choice badge last year, praising it for its script, its cinematography, and the standout performances from Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. Here's what I said in my review:
The Last of Us tells a cracking story, but it does so in such a heavy-handed way that it's difficult to feel totally engaged come the conclusion. Well paced, superbly written, and boasting some of the best visual and audio work of this generation, Naughty Dog have once again produced a fine game. This is linear blockbuster gaming at its best, and it dazzles the senses. even if the form disappoints the mind a little given the genre.
The criticisms I brought up in my review are still valid, but that doesn't make The Last of Us: Remastered any less of an attractive proposition. It's a must-play game if only for the story itself, and you owe it to yourselves to see What Naughty Dog Did After Uncharted.Click here to read more...
The Last of Us: Remastered is a bit of a no-brainer for people who find themselves with a PS4 having not ever played one of the best games of last year. But is it worth a punt if you've already Platinum'd (yeah, that's a verb now) the original? Well, we'll have a full breakdown for you early next week, but in the meantime, here's a helpful little video that puts the two versions side by side, to help you make an informed decision as the game launches today.
You can check out the first 15 minutes of The Last of Us: Remastered after the jump.
We've frequently poked a bit of fun at Driveclub here on Dealspwn. First it was for the complete lack of details to differentiate it from Any Other Driving Game Ever. Then it was for the incessant, hilarious delays of what was supposed to be a flagship launch title for the PS4. Then we split our sides chuckling suspiciously over Evolution's completely contradictory comments regarding microtransactions. And let us not forget the farcical PlayStation Plus version that looks like a glorified demo.
We even went hands-on with it, in a preview build that showcased absolutely nothing worthy of particular note.
Then we got bored and wandered off. We've tried our absolute best to muster some form of excitement about Driveclub, but have completely failed to do so.
Until now.Click here to read more...
Entwined is apparently an artistic representation of the love between a bird and a fish -- dancing about one another like a twin-stick take on a 3D Sonic bonus level. It emerged in surprising fashion at Sony's E3 press conference, a pleasant interlude between brooding, big-budget titles, that injected some colour into proceedings.
A blue, origami bird comes to rest on a body of water as twinkly music plays, and an orange papercraft fish bobs its head out the water to meet its feathery chum. They touch noses, it's all very cute. The bird guides the fish skywards, and they shoot forward down a series of psychedelic cylindrical paths that will span nine lifetimes (levels) and see player guiding the two creatures through colour-coded rings of sorts that twist and turn, creating a playful dance between the two creatures. They occupy separate halves of the screen, occasionally meeting in the middle as the coloured gates demand -- orange and blue individually, green when they meet.
The patterns of the gates/rings/checkpoints, whatever you want to call them, twist and turn, becoming more complex as the game progresses. In between these sections, you collect coloured orbs to fill progression meters for each creature. Then, if you successfully manage to guide them through the channels of rings, you keep the orbs. If you skip a ring, the bar drains. To begin with, these channels arrive one at a time in simple patterns, but it's not long before they begin to shift in length and distance, sometimes alternating at speed, before starting to move and undulate, forcing you to keep careful control over both creatures at the same time across different sticks.Click here to read more...
Entwined proved to be a very pleasant surprise at this year's Sony E3 presser. Described as an interactive musing on love, Entwined sees players controlling two flying origami creatures -- an orange fish and a blue bird -- simultaneously, with an analog stick apiece, guiding the creatures through series of colour-matched gates that move in increasingly complex patterns.
"It's a game about two souls that are in love, but can't be together," said creative director Dominic Robillard onstage during Sony's E3 press conference, and that's sorts of reflected in the playful design of the coloureful portals, which have players guiding the creatures around in spirals and loops, one feeding off of the other like some sort of aerial dance.
It's all incredibly pleasant and soothing, and reminds us an awful lot of Flower, which is no bad thing. It's quite short, though, and we'd suggest you check out our review coming later today before slapping down £6.49. In the meantime, however, above is a little gameplay video look at the first of the game's nine levels.
Here we have yet another reduction for Quantic Dream's latest cinematic effort, with the price falling to the lowest we've seen in a while. Overall there's a saving of around £2.50 to be had with this listing.
Opinion on Beyond was scattered like a buckshot for good reason - the lack of apparent choice and interaction rubbed many people the wrong way, coming across as limited compared to Heavy Rain. While the storyline isn't the best in the industry has produced, it's certainly an enjoyable one, and the performances by Ellen Page and Willam Defoe are outstanding. That said, at this price it could be the right time to make up your own mind. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!
This week, Sony released a list detailing every PlayStation 4 game announced for 2014 so far, along with expected release windows. Still no idea when the hell Driveclub is coming, mind; and there's no sign of The Last Guardian either, unsurprisingly.Click here to read more...
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
As someone who enjoyed The Last Of Us (perhaps significantly more than our on-site review) I was both excited and rather nervous about Left Behind. After all, getting your money’s worth out of DLC has always been a hot topic here on Dealspwn, and buying season passes ahead of time has added further fuel to that fire (and is something we really, really suggest you do not do – wait for the content to be revealed and reviewed first to avoid disappointment.) Thankfully, Left Behind provides a delicate and engrossing look at Ellie’s life before she met Joel in an extra chapter that fans of The Last Of Us should absolutely get hold of.
With that rather stark and quite upfront endorsement, let’s explain why I feel that is the case. It should come as no surprise that the narrative aspects of The Last Of Us are as strong as ever in Left Behind, with the optional environmental interactions once again bringing a very human touch between the traversal and action sequences. This time around, the subject of lost innocence and growing up in a world gone to hell is the main focus, as Ellie’s relationship with her best friend Riley reaches a critical turning point. It should come of no surprise that the script is of a high standard, but it is the performances by Ashley Johnson and Yanni King that make each interaction between the two a highlight of the DLC.Click here to read more...