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Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida playable in Super Time Force Ultra

Shuhei Yoshida will be playable in the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions of Super Time Force Ultra, Sony announced this weekend as part of their PlayStation Experience event.

The President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainme…
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Why Vib-Ribbon owes its new lease on life to Sony’s E3 gaffe

SCEA chief Shawn Layden tells Wired the story of how Vib-Ribbon came to see a North American release, and suggests the company will continue rereleasing older games from its archives. …


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Sony’s Vib Ribbon Finally Makes North American Debut 15 Years Later

As gamers entered the digital era, there was much trepidation about game ownership and always-connected experiences. We sometimes forget that our push into the new frontier also brings opportunities otherwise infeasible for a variety of reasons.

A classic PlayStation One game that never made it to North American shores will be available tomorrow on the PlayStation Network for PS3 and Vita. Vib Ribbon is a music-based action game in which players must navigate a ribbon filled with obstacles. 

Sony Computer Entertainment America president Shawn Layden was a supporter of bringing the game to North America when it was first released, but couldn’t get the marketing team on board. Now, nearly 15 years later, he’s bringing the title over as a digital PS One classic after dropping its name at E3 at the Sony press conference.

On PS3, the game will retain the feature to create levels based on your CD audio. It will be available for download tomorrow, October 7.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
While I have no particular attachment to this game, I do admire the effort in bringing an oft-requested classic game to its audience. I don’t see this making a lot of money, but it certainly demonstrates responsiveness to the audience. If addressing consumer feedback is the battleground for this generation, then gamers are the real winners.

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Sony’s Shadow Of The Colossus Movie Has A New Director

Sony has been mulling a movie based on Team ICO’s Shadow of the Colossus for five years now, and the project might be about to get some traction. A director has been named for the film.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Andres Muschietti (Mama) will be handling directorial responsibilities, replacing Chronicle director Josh Trank. Seth Lochhead (co-writer of Hanna) will be preparing the script.

Shadow of the Colossus was released on PlayStation 2 in 2005 to critical acclaim and awards for design, visuals, and game of the year. A PlayStation 3 HD remake was released bundled with ICO in 2011.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

 

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Sony’s Metal Slime PlayStation 4 comes with a piece of gunk

We touched on it yesterday in the hubbub of Sony Japan & Asia’s press conference, but here’s a proper look at the Metal Slime PS4 that’s coming to Japan. We’re guessing your two immediate questions upon discovering this are 1. Why? 2. What’s that…
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Sony’s Gamescom trailers showcase Bloodborne, Rime, Until Dawn, and more

Sony’s Gamescom press conference unleashed a flurry of new trailers for upcoming PlayStation releases, and new information flooded in via a series of back-to-back announcements. If you blinked at any point during the show, you probably missed a key…
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Quick take on Sony’s Gamescom 2014 press conference

Joystiq’s Ludwig Kietzmann and Sinan Kubba reflect on Sony’s Gamescom 2014 press event held today in Cologne, Germany. The event featured new game announcements from Rayman creator Michel Ancel (Wild) and Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory…
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Court approves settlement over Sony’s 2011 PSN breach

The US District Court for the Southern District of California approved a settlement for the class action lawsuit resulting from Sony’s 2011 PSN data breach. The settlement may result in Sony doling out as much as $ 17.75 million, which includes an…
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Analysis – Sony’s PlayStation Now Beta Pricing Is Overly Expensive

At E3, Sony announced that PlayStation Now will be going into open beta later this summer. Since then, users in the closed beta have noticed some changes, namely that there are prices associated with content rentals now. The problem is that the cost for renting games doesn’t make much sense.

Before we get into the weeds, it’s important to note that this is a beta and, therefore, final pricing might be more realistic in relation to other purchasing options. In fact, it needs to be, because out of eight games we sampled at random (approximately half of those available), there are less expensive options for owning.

In an email to beta participants, Sony says that pricing is set by developers and publishers. Based on what we’re seeing, it’s clear that content owners are charging prices for rental that they know exceed the purchase price. (The moral is that you should do your research before starting a rental.)

PlayStation Now allows users to rent games that are stored on the server and streamed to a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and eventually a PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. This is similar to the concept behind OnLive and different than having a game locally on disc or on your system's hard drive. Sony will be offering a variety of rental periods, which it is testing along with prices during a beta period. 

Title 4 Hours 7 Days 30 Days 90 Days Retail* PSN
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know  $ 5 $ 8 $ 15 $ 30 $ 25 $ 40
Alpha Protocol $ 3 $ 6 $ 8 $ 15 $ 5 NA
Deus Ex: Human Revolution $ 5 $ 7 $ 15 $ 30 $ 7 $ 20
Final Fantasy XIII $ 3 $ 6 $ 8 $ 15 $ 14 $ 13
Final Fantasy XIII-2 $ 5 $ 8 $ 15 $ 30 $ 15 $ 20
Guacamelee $ 3 $ 5 $ 8 $ 15 NA $ 15
Saints Row: The Third $ 5 NA NA $ 30 $ 21 $ 30
Stick it to the Man $ 3 $ 4 $ 7 $ 10 NA $ 10

*Surveyed from a Amazon and GameStop (note: GameStop is Game Informer's parent company).

There are benefits to PlayStation Now that go beyond the price, though. If you don't have a PlayStation 3 (or PC or Xbox 360) on which one of the titles is available for purchase, a PlayStation 4, Vita, or even a PlayStation TV will be compatible with the rentals. This also means that you'll be able to play these games across devices using your account.

Put simply, Sony needs to insist that rental prices do not exceed the cost of purchasing a game via PSN. Additionally, ownership pricing via PSN should be clearly disclosed on the PlayStation Now page. It's up to the user to check retail pricing (just as it is with digital purchases now), but for the sake of transparency, Sony needs to display its digital storefront pricing options (and related limitations, like only being able to play on one type of device) in one place.

It's also important to note that Sony is currently testing durations. The four hour option is an absurdly short length for a relatively exorbitant price across the board. Spending four hours with Final Fantasy XIII or XII-2 (or even Deus Ex: Human Revolution for that matter) won't give you much insist into the games. Why anyone would choose that over spending an extra $ 1 – $ 3 is beyond me. 

Publishers should reject that duration as it will likely harm them in the long run. Can someone who played Final Fantasy XIII for only four hours really make a fair assessment of the game? Probably not.

On paper, PlayStation Now is a good idea, but if this pricing scheme is a portent of things to come, it's likely going to die on the vine. Rental, especially at these prices, won't be appealing to many users. It certainly won't incentivize positive word of mouth, and if publishers don't start seeing benefit from the service, they'll have little reason to commit to it for the long-term.

Sony has a lot riding on PlayStation Now, starting with the $ 380 million purchase of Gaikai, continuing through technology and marketing investments, and concluding with consumer faith in one of Sony's key promises from the February 2013 PlayStation 4 reveal. Sony can't afford to mess this up, and that means this pricing needs to change before the public launch.

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Dead Rising Movie Adaptation To Me Made For Sony’s Crackle Service

Legendary Pictures is creating a movie based on Capcom's Dead Rising franchise which will release first on Sony's video-on-demand service Crackle.

Variety reports that the film will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who had a hand in creating the blockbuster Transformers film franchise) in partnership with Contradiction Films, which did the Mortal Kombat: Legacy digital series.

The Dead Rising film will later be released on physical formats and other video-on-demand services but will premier on Crackle.

"Dead Rising has a built-in fan base and rich characters and plotlines that are ideal for digital storytelling and on target for Legendary's brand," said Legendary Digital chief Tom Lesinski. "Crackle and Content are adept at distributing cutting-edge digital content and we look forward to delivering a highly engaging and cool series for a global audience."

[Source: Variety via Polygon]

 

Our Take:
I'm not exactly dying for a Dead Rising movie, but the zombie craze doesn't appear to be going away and the property does have a certain gonzo humor that I hope the filmmakers preserve. It will be interesting to see how large an audience it reaches; I don't know anyone who uses Crackle on a regular basis.

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