Archive for the ‘Playstation 4’ Category

PlayStation 5 will only leave 10 old PS4 games in the back-compat dust

October 9th, 2020
PlayStation 5 will only leave 10 old PS4 games in the back-compat dust

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Sony)

After tearing the PlayStation 5's guts apart earlier this week, Sony confirmed nearly everything we'd like to know on Friday about how its new console, launching November 12, will interface with PS4 games via backward compatibility.

We should probably start with the big news that Sony has not cleared up just yet.

Today, we received our first indication that PlayStation 5 will ship with something known as "Game Boost," which its Friday news post suggests "may make [select] PS4 games run with a higher or smoother frame rate." This suggestion doesn't come with a handy footnote pointing us to a list of affected games or features, however.

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Posted in backwards compatibility, Gaming & Culture, Playstation 4, playstation 5 | Comments (0)

Horizon Zero Dawn on PC: Not the optimized port we were hoping for

August 5th, 2020
In still-image form, <em>Horizon Zero Dawn</em> sure is a looker on PC. But it's a video game, not a slideshow, and that brings us to some bad news.

Enlarge / In still-image form, Horizon Zero Dawn sure is a looker on PC. But it's a video game, not a slideshow, and that brings us to some bad news. (credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Horizon Zero Dawn was an easy Ars pick for one of 2017's top five video games, but a certain subset of our readers disagreed. This was due almost entirely to the game's PS4 exclusivity. Never mind that its developer, Guerrilla Games, is a wholly owned Sony subsidiary; we want it on PC, our readers declared.

Historically, Sony Interactive Entertainment (not to be confused with other Sony publishing arms) has been cagey about letting its PlayStation exclusives land elsewhere, but the past couple of years has seen that stance shift, with games like Heavy Rain and Death Stranding making their PC debuts. Death Stranding stands out as a particularly impressive example of a console game's PC port gone right.

I remarked at the time that DS' PC version was good news for HZD, mostly because they share the same underlying tech, Guerrilla's Decima Engine. But today, two days before HZD's "complete" edition lands on Steam for $50, I'm here to report that their shared tech hasn't been paid forward with identical PC-version results.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Guerrilla Games, horizon zero dawn, Playstation 4, sony interactive entertainment | 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)

Sony’s Back Button Attachment is finally back in stock, so here’s our review

June 9th, 2020

For all the ways the PlayStation 4 has bested the Xbox One over the past decade, Microsoft has long had the advantage of selling an official enhanced controller. Its Elite series of gamepads come with extra inputs, swappable button layouts, adjustable trigger sensitivity, and other tricks that can give more dedicated Xbox One players a competitive edge.

Sony, meanwhile, has relegated these kinds of accessories to outside manufacturers like Scuf and Astro, whose “premium” controllers have largely been fine, but they can’t quite provide the feature set or sense of harmony that a full-on first-party pro controller could.

The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment isn't quite that. It doesn’t have “hair trigger locks,” interchangeable joysticks, or many other special features. But it does add the most immediately useful piece of any enhanced controller: two mappable rear paddles, which can duplicate any pair of buttons on the DualShock 4 proper. The idea is to give you quicker or more convenient access to inputs you frequently use in certain games. Because the device is so minimalist, it’s highly affordable—at $30, it’s multiple times cheaper than most pro controllers, even factoring in the cost of a DualShock 4 itself.

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Posted in dualshock 4, dualshock 4 back button attachment, Gaming & Culture, Playstation 4, Sony | Comments (0)

Breath of the samurai: Sony’s Ghost of Tsushima finally looks like a video game

May 14th, 2020

A Thursday video from PlayStation finally cleared up some mysteries about Ghost of Tsushima, the newest PlayStation 4-exclusive game from Sucker Punch launching on July 17. What had previously been revealed as a handsome, vague samurai epic now looks like an honest-to-goodness video game, for better and for worse.

Like many recent PlayStation exclusives, Ghost of Tsushima cribs liberally from the open-world gaming playbook of the past decade. Follow a chain of "primary" quests to move the plot along. Explore more deeply to find and resolve optional missions, which let your hero pick up extra items, crafting materials, weapons, and more. Missions include "primary" and "secondary" objectives, and they can all be completed in a number of ways, depending on your preferred play style. You've seen most of those bullet points before, and today's newly revealed gameplay lands somewhere between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Tsushima's differentiation begins with the question it poses to players: will you play as a "samurai," or as a "ghost"? The former is a path of honor, and it sees your hero resolving conflict in broad daylight with an emphasis on perfectly timed sword swipes and parries. The latter is a path of secrecy, and it emphasizes stealthy maneuvers, silent assassinations, enemy misdirection, and more. Each playstyle bleeds into the other: the samurai can sneak up on foes, and the ghost will have to face some enemies directly. But only the ghost style appears to include a default sense of terror—so that when your hero storms an encampment, some enemies will cower upon seeing you, the terrifying ghost of legend who has finally become real.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, ghost of tsushima, PlayStation, Playstation 4, playstation 4 pro, Sucker Punch | Comments (0)

Jedi Academy dev promises to fix mistake that let PC gamers slaughter console players

March 31st, 2020
One video game character kills another with a lightsaber.

Enlarge / A single-player screenshot from the Switch version of Jedi Academy. (credit: Nintendo)

Just last week, the LucasArts-era PC cult classic Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy was ported to PlayStation 4 and Switch. Apart from some iffy menus, it's largely a decent port with a good control scheme, high-resolution graphics, decent framerates, and all the content present. It even has multiplayer!

But that last point has become something of a problem, as veteran PC players have found a way to enter console lobbies, and they're crushing the newer Switch and PS4 players.

It's made possible by the fact that the console ports' multiplayer servers appear to work the same way as their PC counterparts have for almost two decades, and the IP address for each server is exposed to the user. PC players can use that IP address in the Windows version of the game and join a Switch match. Forums like ResetEra have console players complaining that PC players are trolling them and that the invaders have an unfair advantage.

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Posted in Aspyr Media, Gaming & Culture, nintendo switch, Playstation 4, ps4, Star Wars, Star Wars Jedi Academy, Star Wars Jedi Knight, Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy, Switch | Comments (0)

Sony has a PlayStation Now problem

November 8th, 2019
Sony has a PlayStation Now problem

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Today, every major gaming company and its subsidiary cousin is aiming to be the "Netflix of games" in some form or another. Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, Ubisoft's UPlay+, EA Access, and even Nintendo's Switch Online all bundle together access to dozens or hundreds of games for one low monthly fee.

And then there's PlayStation Now. Sony's service started offering monthly subscription game bundles back in the beginning of 2015, long before most of the competition. But a mix of confused marketing and limited access to Sony's own first-party catalog has left the service to languish with just 700,000 subscribers as of May (compared to a reported 9.5 million monthly subscribers for Xbox Game Pass). Despite its head start, PlayStation Now runs the risk of being lapped by the subscription competition in the market and the public consciousness.

When PS Now was PS Then

Many of PlayStation Now's problems can be traced back to its launch. Back in 2014, the service introduced itself by charging ridiculously high, single-game, time-limited rental rates for streaming access to a small selection of PS3 classics. After just a few months, that changed to an all-you-can-stream subscription model that included functional streams of 100 PS3 games for $15 to $20 a month.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, PlayStation, Playstation 4, playstation 5, playstation now, ps4, Sony | Comments (0)

Dragon Quest Builders 2 review: Building on success

July 11th, 2019

The three-decade-old Dragon Quest franchise loves its traditions. While Final Fantasy has never been afraid to depart from its roots, there are big parts of Dragon Quest XI that are directly drawn from the very first Dragon Quest NES game from 1986.

So when 2016’s Dragon Quest Builders successfully combined the art, story, and general aesthetic with the open-world Lego-style building of Minecraft (itself seven years old at the time), it was paradoxically fresh. The games share exploration, crafting and an intentional retro streak, and those elements formed the foundation of a short, sometimes limited, but ultimately entertaining game.

The game did well enough to make Dragon Quest Builders 2 a thing, and it’s a game that does what good sequels do. It gives you more of what its predecessor did well—both in that it is literally more content in the same style, but also in that the game is slightly larger and more ambitious in scope—while improving the core gameplay and jettisoning stuff that didn’t work. Builders 2 is fun enough, flexible enough, and charismatic enough to be fun even for people with zero knowledge of the source material.

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Posted in Dragon Quest, dragon quest builders, Gaming & Culture, nintendo switch, Playstation 4, ps4, Square Enix | Comments (0)

Dealmaster: Sony and Microsoft launch a bunch of PS4 and Xbox deals ahead of E3

June 7th, 2019
The limited-edition PS4 Sony has launched for its E3 sale this year.

Enlarge / The limited-edition PS4 Sony has launched for its E3 sale this year. (credit: Sony)

This weekend marks the unofficial start of E3, the most prominent video game trade event in the United States. Ars will be at the show again, and this year's edition is expected to be somewhat muted compared to years past, what with Sony joining Nintendo in foregoing a formal presence at the event. There should still be plenty of news and new game footage for industry watchers to digest, however.

For those who are just interested in playing games, though, E3 has also become an excuse for game companies to hold sales events. Sony and Microsoft both rolled out big promotions this time last year—and apparently, their efforts went well. On Friday, the two once again kicked off sweeping sets of discounts for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, respectively.

The deals apply to consoles, controllers, subscription services, and, naturally, lots of games, and are available on the company's own digital stores and at various retailers. Both Sony and Microsoft say their promos will last from June 7 through June 17.

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Posted in dealmaster, E3, Gaming & Culture, microsoft, Playstation 4, Sony, Tech, Xbox One | Comments (0)

Kojima’s Death Stranding gets November 8 release date, wackadoo trailer

May 29th, 2019

Video game auteur Hideo Kojima's first game since leaving Konami, Death Stranding, finally has a release date: November 8 for PlayStation 4 consoles. The news came at the end of the game's most revealing "gameplay" trailer yet, though as you might expect from the enigmatic Kojima, Wednesday's trailer raised more questions than it answered.

Yes, we've seen long and utterly confusing trailers for this game before, but this one comes with a semblance of a plot anchor. From what we can tell, the game revolves around a United States that has been torn asunder by some kind of plague or extinction event. The hero, Sam, played by actor Norman Reedus, is asked by the president "to help us reconnect, to make America whole." To which the character Sam replies, "You're the President of jack shit."

Yet clearly Sam is compelled to do something. This trailer shows him generating ladders and ropes to scale rocky cliffsides, getting into melee fisticuffs, hopping on a stylish, three-wheeled military vehicle, stealth-crawling through tall grass and alongside giant tanks, shooting guns, and scanning environments to discover, and stealth-sneak around, spooky creatures made of dust.

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Posted in death stranding, Gaming & Culture, metal gear solid v, Playstation 4 | Comments (0)