Like Logan Walker in Call of Duty: Ghosts, Sony’s eighth-generation console, the PlayStation 4, has come out of the gates swinging to accomplish a mission. That mission? Getting into as many gamers’ hands as possible — and as quickly as possible.
In the first 24 hours since the $400 PS4 was released on Friday, Sony sold 1 million consoles in the United States and Canada, the company announced Sunday.
“PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”
Thousands of gamers waited in line to purchase the PS4 at various midnight launch events across North America on Friday, including at the The Standard in New York City, where Sony unveiled game teaser trailers for Uncharted and Destiny.
Despite favorable sales figures and positive reviews, however, some PS4 buyers are reporting that their consoles are defective.
The gaming world is furious with Sony. First, The PlayStation Network has been down for weeks. Then gamers find out that the reason it’s down is because someone hacked the network and all of their personal data has been compromised. An appropriate spoof of Sony’s annoying PlayStation 3 commercials is only fair.
Beck will contribute three original songs to upcoming PlayStation game Sound Shapes, a game that combines music and art into an unique side-scrolling platforming game.
Sound Shapes will also feature original music from Jim Guthrie, deadmau5, and I Am A Robot and Proud. Each artist’s track will compose one level of the game, with a total of five “albums” of music.
Players collect different nodes in each level, which involves them hopping over obstacles and enemies. Each node’s activation adds another note or sound to the song playing; the more the player activates, the more complete the song is. After unlocking levels and audio tracks, players then can access them in Sound Shapes level creator, which allows them to make their own levels and music. Players can then share their levels with other players socially.
Beck’s three original tracks — “Cities”, “Touch the People” and “Spiral Staircase” — will each make up one level of the game that has original, whimsical artwork that pairs with the song.
Sound Shapes will come to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on Aug. 7. What do you think of its unique combination of music and gaming? Let us know in the comments.
Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, on display during the 2014 Game Developers Conference.
Image: Mashable Chelsea Stark
When Sony announced that it is developing its own virtual reality system, the gaming world’s dreams came one step close to a retail reality.
Sony showed off its Project Morpheus headset to developers and press during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, and Mashable spent some quality time checking it out.
Oculus Rift, the only other virtual reality alternative, came out with a second-generation version on Wednesday. The two have stark differences and striking similarities.
Four years in the making
Sony’s research and development team has been working on Project Morpheus since 2010. While the developer kit we saw at the booths doesn’t necessarily represent the retail product, it’s clear Sony took its time.
The Morpheus headset is covered in blue lights that make it feel futuristic, even if they don’t serve a purpose. It matches the tone of the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move controllers precisely.
The headset fits around your head using a plastic strap that goes around the bottom of the skull, along with an elastic band on top. This plastic band solves one of the problems of Oculus Rift: easily adjusting the headset while you’re wearing it. It settled in comfortably over my eyes, and even though I only wore it for two four-minute sessions, it was light and not cumbersome. The weight was never balanced too far forward on my head and the eye cups fit easily over a pair of glasses, minimizing neck strain. When I saw photos of myself wearing the headset, I didn’t realize how far forward it had sat on my face, at least during my brief testing period.
During its first of two demos with the Morpheus, Sony showed an underwater simulation called The Deep, which puts players in shark-infested waters.
It was more of a hands-off experience, and players mostly had the option of shooting ineffective bullets at angry sharks swimming toward them — but it was a great display of the technology. The headset, which has a 1080p resolution, displayed images of the underwater world that were sharp and crisp. It was hard not to compare it to the next-generation Oculus Rift developer headset, which looked similar in graphical capability. (The OR’s previous generation only offered a resolution of 640 x 800 per eye.) There was very little motion blur, even when I moved my head quickly, and the latency seemed to clear up. This headset was easily comparable to the kits Oculus VR will send this summer to developers who preorder them.
The Morpheus’ motion tracking for the head position generally worked well, but in two demos, it required recalibration as the game lost track of my body’s position. For anyone who has used an Oculus Rift, this problem isn’t uncommon, but it’s a sign that Sony is experimenting with the same types of problems. During a simulated dive underwater, my hand — holding a DualShock 4 — stopped syncing up with where the game thought it was, so I had to hold the controller a bit strangely while finishing.
A second Morpheus demo, The Castle, had similar issues tracking my positioning. Players held two PlayStation Move motion controllers that represented their right and left hands. Moving them around and grasping objects sometimes worked perfectly, but was also prone to problems. I found some trouble grabbing and picking up weapons, as my hand seemed to pass right through them.
Still, it was good to see Sony facing some of the same problems that Oculus Rift demos have shown in the past. Virtual reality poses one of the biggest problems in gaming, and with two companies on the playing field, developers and consumers will be the ones to reap the rewards.
Gran Turismo 6, the upcoming addition to the realistic racing game franchise for PlayStation, comes out at the end 2013, but Mashable recently test-drove the game and talked to Sony’s Taku Imasaki at E3 to give you some early details about it in the above video.
Gran Turismo 6, developed by Polyphony Digital, is built on a new gaming engine, which will greatly improve the game’s graphics and load times, Imasaki said.
While the game is coming to the current-generation PlayStation 3 instead of the PlayStation 4, it will still look much better than previous titles. The game features over 1,200 cars, and players can customize the look of each car by earning money through races.
If you’ve played any Sonic the Hedgehog game, you’ve no doubt experienced the panic when our poor blue hero finds himself underwater for too long.
If a reduced-speed Sonic and the disorienting water modes weren’t enough, the frantic soundtrack and the inevitable countdown from “5” are absolutely unbearable. Sega mastered the horrors of running out of time underneath the ocean, so tread those levels if you dare.
2. Disturbing the Witch in Left 4 Dead
There are plenty of scary zombies in this post-apocalyptic shooter, but none get the heart racing quite like the Witch. If hearing her cries from far away and shakily trying to sneak past her slumped-over body — which is invariably right where you need to go — without a flashlight weren’t enough, waking her is even worse.
The Witch goes after whoever wakes her first and immediately incapacitates that person, so furious backpedaling to get her away from you is a challenge in itself. If she does manage to grab you, then good luck, because you’ll have to fight her off sideways and pray your friends or the AI can save your sorry butt.
3. Hiding in Amnesia
Make no mistake: All of Amnesia is stressful as you wander around the creepy estate trying to uncover disturbing secrets.
But nothing ever beats the fearful, frantic scrambling to find a hiding place from the horrific gatherers — deformed humanoids that wander the halls and will kill you on sight. With no weapon to fight back, just finding a closet or escape route can drive players to tears. Waiting the appropriate length to ensure safety is also harrowing, particularly since hiding in a totally enclosed area is the best way to survive.
You may need to take a breather after this one.
4. Fighting Satan in the The Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac is brutal. The top-down Roguelike indie game has unforgiving, labyrinthian levels. When you die, you don’t get a second chance. You have to start all the way over, as a blank slate.
By the time you even make it to Satan, the journey has been long. In order to fight him, you must have already separately killed Mom and Mom’s Heart 10 different times, which is a feat for any player. Then, it’s another nine twisting and turning levels, filled with increasingly more difficult enemies and rarer item drops. Finally, the last part of Sheol, where Satan lives, is essentially a maze full of bosses — not the easiest thing in the world to navigate.
If by some miracle, you make it to Satan alive, you have to dodge three separate forms, culminating in evading Satan’s meaty legs while dodging exploding leeches that continually respawn.
5. Sending Pikmin to the Onion in Pikmin
For a large part of the game, Pikmin is actually a really happy and upbeat adventure. As Captain Olimar, you have the great task of herding and delegating tasks to little Pikmin, who obey your whims enthusiastically. Heck, they’ll even pick up your ship parts and bring them right back to you.
But, at the end of the day, once the little twinkle of the chimes indicates it’s time to go, it’s hard not to stress the heck out trying to find all of the little envoys you’ve dispatched throughout the day. You may think you know where all the Pikmin on the field are, but nothing is worse than sending most of your workers to their respective Onions only to find out that you’re missing 10 or 15 dudes out in the middle of nowhere. If you can’t find them before the timer runs out, they will unfortunately, be eaten by the local predators.
Oddly enough, very few things weigh on the conscience heavier than needless Pikmin deaths. Curse you, wandering adorable servants!
6. Getting out of Zebes in Super Metroid
After traveling through a handful of perilous sectors, defeating the planet’s biggest bosses, venturing down into the most dangerous part of the world, fighting the most dangerous, mobile Mother Brain, and surviving one of the most dramatic boss fights, you’d think it would be a cakewalk outta there.
Immediately after destroying Mother Brain, Samus must run from the core of the planet back to her ship on the surface. In four minutes. What comes next is just as, if not more, stressful than the final boss itself, and that’s saying something.
7. Chainsaw Hedge Maze Mayhem in Zombies Ate My Neighbors
The first few levels of the SNES B-movie horror classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors feel pretty approachable. You wander through a level, finding your seemingly ignorant neighbors before monsters find them first, tossing any sort of weapons that you can find. It’s very straightforward and not too hard.
But then level four (level four!), “Chainsaw Hedge Maze Mayhem” cuts that noise really quick. Trapped in, as the title suggest, a classic garden hedge maze, you must wander through it while being stalked by tons of Chainsaw Maniacs. The worst part is that you can’t just break down the garden to get to your neighbors. Instead, you must shoot valuable bazookas, use rare potions, or somehow trick the Chainsaw Maniacs into cutting it for you.
It’s not the hardest of the 48 levels in the game, but it prepares you for spontaneously transforming werewolves, relentless vampires and 20-foot babies. Be prepared to sweat all over your controller.
8. Running from the Angry Sun in Super Mario Bros. 3
There is perhaps nothing more stressful in any of the games in the Mario franchise than walking into a level and seeing that Angry Sun staring right back at you. The sun swoops down mercilessly as you race to the other side. It’s a pain in the butt that happens early in World 2, and it’s easily one of the hardest levels in the first half of the game.
A later appearance of the Angry Sun is also definitely a weed-out level if you were smart enough to check your GamePro FAQ and do all of the necessary steps to find the warp whistles and skip to the end of the game. Any cleverness you feel after switching to the new world is quickly dissipated once you hit the second level and start breaking into a full-on run trying to make it to the end.
Think you’re taking on Bowser in a breeze? This will make you think otherwise.
9. Fighting Motaro in Mortal Kombat 3
After fighting through the merciless tower of enemies in Mortal of Kombat 3, not to mention multiple endurance levels with more than one combatant and tons of cheap, overpowered AI moves, Kintaro is really a spirit-killer. The sub-boss before Shao Kahn, whether it be Goro, Kintaro or Motoro, is always much more difficult to predict and overpowered than the average enemy — and can sometimes be more difficult that Shao Kahn himself.
Midway has gotten a lot of flak throughout the years for making their boss combatants even more overpowered and cheap than usual, but Motaro breaks all the rules. In addition to being able to teleport in and out of the frame at will, making him entirely unhittable, Motaro can also deflect projectiles and shoot lasers from his tail.
Pray for some great spamming moves and more than a little luck, because he will stress (and rage) you out.
10. Time Limit Declassifieds in Gears of War: Judgement
A lot of the Declassified options in Gears of War: Judgement are stressful, and that’s on purpose. These optional mission enhancers are meant to make your time fighting through the city of Halvo Bay even more challenging. But nothing is more stressful than the time limit options, and you will find yourself on the brink of rage-quitting from the stress.
The reason these missions are more stressful than any part of the game, even the boss fight, is because the game’s AI spawning system (which adapts to the player’s style and sends enemies to “shake up” the gameplay) doesn’t let up when the mission is chosen. The best technique is to keep leaning on the Roadie Run and pray that you can kill necessary enemies as efficiently as possible.
This is a true time limit challenge, so don’t be surprised if you need to get some fresh air once it’s over.
Gamers who download some big October titles from Sony’s PlayStation Network will get a price discount off the game’s regular MSRP in retail stores, Sony announced in a blog post Tuesday afternoon.
The program is called PSN Day 1 Digital, and it also marks the first time that AAA titles from third-party publishers are available for download on the PlayStation 3 at the same time as they are released in stores.
Some highly anticipated titles, including Dishonored, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and NBA 2K13, will cost only $53.99 when downloaded via the PlayStation Network on launch day, and 007 Legends will have a 10% discount for the first week, according to the Sony blog. Additionally, Doom 3: BFG Edition will be available for $35.99 on the first day, $4 less than the retail release.
These discounts are only available to PlayStation Plus members, Sony’s new $50 annual online service. The other catch is gamers must preorder the game through PSN before launch.
Other games are participating in the digital download program, but not offering a discount, including Resident Evil 6, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Assassin’s Creed III.
Players will still be able to purchase physical versions of these titles for PS3 at retail outlets.
This is just one of many recent experiments by consoles with digital delivery. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was available for download on the 3DS the same day it hit stores. Nintendo has also said its first-party titles would all be available for download on launch day for the Wii U, its new console.
Would you download a game instead of purchasing a physical copy if you have the option? Let us know in the comments.