Archive for the ‘PlayStation’ Category

Our PlayStation 5 has arrived—here’s what we can show you so far

October 23rd, 2020

This morning, the PlayStation 5 arrived at the Ars Orbital HQ, which means we're allowed to say a few things—emphasis on "few"—as the new console's November 12 launch date draws nearer.

First off, take a look... at the box! You can look as long and hard at the console's box as you wish. As part of our console review agreement with Sony, we're not allowed to share photos of anything inside the box yet, but we are allowed to confirm that there is indeed a working PlayStation 5 console in there. (Not cake.)

But we really can't say anything else about its contents. Anything that resembles an "impression" is off limits at this point, so if your many questions haven't already been answered by a Sony promotional video or social media post, we can neither confirm nor deny. (Our box absolutely pales compared to one of Sony's lead hardware engineers tearing an entire PlayStation 5 apart.) At the very least, we can zoom in on the box's fine text, which you'll find in the above gallery.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, playstation 5, ps5 | Comments (0)

Sony makes it official: PlayStation 5 won’t natively support PS1, PS2, PS3

September 17th, 2020
Were you hoping to play classic PlayStation discs on the newest PlayStation 5 console later this year? If so, we have bad news.

Enlarge / Were you hoping to play classic PlayStation discs on the newest PlayStation 5 console later this year? If so, we have bad news. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Wednesday's deluge of PlayStation 5 news mostly revolved around brand-new content launching alongside the console on November 12. Lost in the fray was a key detail that confirmed an August leak about PS5: its lack of sweeping backward-compatibility support.

In a Wednesday interview, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu asked Sony Interactive Entertainment chief Jim Ryan about the new console's compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 discs or downloads. Ryan explained that "PS5-specific engineering" meant the design team was mostly focused on "the simultaneous use of high-speed SSDs and the new DualSense controller."

This prevented Sony from delivering compatibility with older consoles, Ryan told Famitsu, even though he made clear that Sony wanted to support PlayStation 4's "100 million players" by developing compatibility with "99%" of PS4 games, since "we thought that they would like to play PS4 titles on the PS5, as well."

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Posted in backward compatibility, Backwards compatability, Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, playstation 5 | Comments (0)

Sony could detect PlayStation users based on how they hold a controller

August 25th, 2020

A recently approved Sony patent identifies a problem many console gamers may be able to identify with when moving between consoles: "To log in to their account a user is often required to enter a password, which may be seen by other users. Moreover, once a user has entered their password, a situation arises where the user remains logged into their account unless the user subsequently performs a log out operation, which can result in other user's [sic] potentially obtaining access to the user's profile."

Luckily, Sony's patent for an "apparatus, system, and method of authentication" also offers a solution: a new method for "determining an identity of a user holding a handheld controller" by detecting and analyzing that user's unique "manipulations of the controller."

Controller fingerprinting?

The full patent, filed by Sony in February and approved by the US Patent Office late last week (and first unearthed by SegmentNext), details how this detection system would rely on measurements of the controller's position, orientation, and the "closed or open state of a pressure sensitive switch" (i.e. pushing the controller's buttons). Analyzing how these values change over time for different users during standard gameplay can provide a unique signature, the patent suggests, which can be recognized the next time they pick up a controller.

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Posted in controller, Gaming & Culture, patent, PlayStation, Sony | Comments (0)

How your PS4 and Xbox One games will work on PS5 and Series X

August 12th, 2020
Opposing sides of a long corridor are emblazoned with the logos of opposing video game companies.

Enlarge / A tense standoff across the demilitarized zone. (credit: Barone Firenze |

Console gamers looking to upgrade to a new system at the end of the year likely have a few major questions about how their existing game libraries will work across console generations, such as:

  • Will I be able to play my current games on the new system?
  • How will those games be improved when running on more powerful hardware?
  • Will I have to buy another copy of the game to get those enhancements?

The answer to those questions varies greatly depending on the platform and publisher involved, and answers for some specific games are still unknown. That said, here's a handy guide to where various cross-generational game compatibility and upgrade plans stand at this point.

Backward compatibility

At a basic level, both Microsoft and Sony are taking steps to ensure that most (if not all) of your current-generation console game library will be playable on their new consoles.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, microsoft, PlayStation, ps4, ps5, series x, Sony, Xbox One | Comments (0)

PS4 gamepads won’t work for PS5 games, Sony says

August 3rd, 2020

You won't be able to use Sony's DualShock 4 or other third-party PS4 gamepads to play PlayStation 5 games, Sony confirmed in a blog post today.

Those older gamepads will still work with "supported PS4 games" running on the PS5, Sony said, and PS5 software will work with "specialty peripherals" designed for the PS4—including "officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks." Those caveats highlight the fact that there's no technical limitation or communication protocol mismatch stopping the upcoming hardware from communicating with legacy controllers.

But Sony says it "believe[s] that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller." Those features include what Sony is calling "haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects" and a built-in microphone (last month, Geoff Keighley hosted what is, thus far, the only public hands-on impressions of these new controller features).

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Posted in dualsense, DualShock, dualshock 4, Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, Playstation 4, playstation 5, ps4, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

Ghost of Tsushima review: An open-world haiku of honor, stealth, and revenge

July 14th, 2020
ghost of tsushima: the game's hero teams up with a childhood friend to battle, swords raised and ready to attack

Enlarge (credit: Sucker Punch / SIE)

Like clockwork, certain friends of mine text or IM when a big video game is about to launch. I'm the guy they know who gets games like a new Smash Bros. or Half-Life before the general public, and they love to push my embargoes to the limits with questions like "does it live up to the hype?" or "no spoilers: should I buy it?"

With Ghost of Tsushima, likely the last major new first-party game for Sony's PS4, I got a surprising number of these questions over the past few weeks. You might say they were surprising because Tsushima is an entirely new game series, not a hotly anticipated sequel. But the surprise came in a different form, as all of my friends came out of the woodwork to essentially ask me the same question: "Is this new Sony game hopeful?"

PS4 fans are likely still reeling from the console's last major exclusive, June's brutal Last of Us Part II—a game that revolves around the biological and social devastation following a global pandemic. TLOU2 is a brave, challenging, and compelling game, but the consensus I've gathered is that people are hungry for a different kind of adventure right now.

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Posted in Features, game review, Game reviews, Gaming & Culture, ghost of tsushima, Infamous, PlayStation, Sucker Punch | Comments (0)

New hack runs homebrew code from DVD-R on unmodified PlayStation 2

June 29th, 2020

A demo from CTurt shows an SNES emulator running on a PS2 from a burned DVD-R.

Nearly 20 years after its initial release, a hacker has found a way to run homebrew software on an unmodified PlayStation 2 using nothing but a carefully burned DVD-ROM.

Previous efforts to hack the PS2 relied on internal modifications, external hardware (like pre-hacked memory cards and hard drives), or errors found only on very specific models of the system. The newly discovered FreeDVDBoot differs from this previous work by exploiting an error in the console's DVD video player to create a fully software-based method for running arbitrary code on the system.

Security researcher CTurt laid out the FreeDVDBoot discovery and method in detail in a blog post this weekend. By decrypting and analyzing the code used for the PS2's DVD player, CTurt found a function that expects a 16-bit string from a properly formatted DVD but will actually easily accept over 1.5 megabytes from a malicious source.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, hack, hacks, PlayStation, ps2, Sony | Comments (0)

The PlayStation 5 looks to be the biggest game console ever made

June 15th, 2020

Last week, Sony finally gave us our first look at the unique design of the PlayStation 5 hardware, leading to plenty of Internet mockery (the company also showed some PS5 games, I guess). For all the ethereal coolness of hardware shots shown on an amorphous white background, though, Sony's promo images didn't provide much external context for judging the actual size of the PlayStation 5 box (and Sony hasn't provided official measurements yet, either).

That hasn't stopped Internet sleuths from figuring out their best estimates of the PS5's size, though. Reddit user GREB07 was among the first to judge the dimensions by using the standard sizes of the disc drive and USB ports as reference. Users on ResetEra did a similar analysis, using the size of the d-pad on the PS5 DualSense controller (which is presumably the same size as on the PS4 controller) as additional context. Twitter user EvilBoris and the folks over at IGN added their own estimates using similar methodologies.

The precise results vary a bit depending on the source—and based on precisely where you start and end the measurements on the PS5's wavy design. That said, the consensus estimate puts the PS5 at anywhere from 15 inches to 16 inches wide (all measurements in this piece assume a horizontal orientation for the console, for simplicity). That's easily the largest single dimension for a video game system on record, outpacing the 12.8-inch width of the PS3 or the 12.6-inch width of the original Xbox.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, playstation 5, ps5, Sony | Comments (0)

The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can’t pet the dog—but you can expect terror

June 2nd, 2020

Ahead of our June 12 review of The Last of Us Pt. 2, Naughty Dog has given us the green light to describe a small portion of the PlayStation 4 game. The content in question is a 1.5-hour mission that takes place roughly 12 hours into the full campaign.

For many games, this would be an inconsequential way to set fans' expectations of what's to come. Think of a Halo game, where the shooty-shoot in a later mission is representative of the whole game. Standard game-preview stuff, you might say.

The Last of Us Pt. 2 is not necessarily that kind of video game. Using this preview to make that point is difficult, as Naughty Dog has held members of the press to an incredibly high standard of secrecy, enough to make me debate whether to post this impressions article at all. Ultimately, I can say quite a bit about this game by pointing out what I cannot mention, and why the "allowed" content makes me excited to share more about this game with you. Smarter readers may very well notice what I mention about this single mission and read between the lines. (This is a particularly safe article to read if you're spoiler-averse.)

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Naughty Dog, PlayStation, the last of us, the last of us: part 2 | Comments (0)

PS5 game reveal event is back on: Thursday, June 11 [Updated]

May 29th, 2020
Sony's vision of the "future of gaming" will come some day, but not as originally scheduled, thanks to this week's event delay.

Enlarge / Sony's vision of the "future of gaming" will come some day, but not as originally scheduled, thanks to this week's event delay. (credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Update, June 8: PlayStation 5's game-reveal event, after being teased and indefinitely canceled, is back on.

After leaking as a video ad in various territories on YouTube and Twitch, Sony has since confirmed the new game-reveal time slot of Thursday, June 11, at 4pm ET / 1pm PT. The announcement briefly acknowledges last week's delay, telling fans, "We needed to step aside so key voices could be heard during this historic and important time."

Sony Interactive Entertainment's statement then goes on to confirm a strange technical limitation for its reveal of next-gen games: that the feed will top out at 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second. This comes in spite of next-gen console manufacturers frequently announcing specs like 4K resolutions (which YouTube supports) and 120fps refresh rates (which YouTube does not).

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, playstation 5, Sony | Comments (0)