Category: Sony

Generally speaking, anything to do with PlayStation or Sony. Look to the tags for anything more specific.

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for July 11th

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for July 11th

It’s slim pickins again this week on the PlayStation Store but it’s a-ok with me because I’ve got a new job and less time to think up funny goofs about Avatars and Themes. Speaking of Avatars, Epic is back with four more free Fortnite icons because when your game is transcending into the global hivemind, who needs to charge for things like Avatars? Choose from Jonesy, Leviathan, Rex, or Tricera Ops, or just grab them all, they’re free!

Elsewhere there’s a free demo of Yakuza Kiwami 2 in case you missed it the first time around on PlayStation 2 when it was just Yakuza 2. I’m still not ready to dive into the Yakuza games but the Kiwami additions of “Virtual On, golf bingo, and Toylets” (whatever those even are) sounds more enticing than ever. I could really go for some Virtual On again.

Lastly, there’s a free bundle of “10 Standard Packs” for MLB The Show 18if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber. I imagine that adds up to a few bucks of in-game stuff to entice you to spend real money on fake stuff down the line. Grab ‘n Go… but be wary of their tricks!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for July 4th!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for July 4th!

Happy 4th of July, to those observing this incendiary holiday in the States. You can celebrate on PlayStation 4 with a couple of freebies including the “first-ever new level built for the original Crash Bandicoot gameplay in almost 20 years”. That’s such a specific statement that it almost means nothing but it’s still cool that Vicarious Visions added some totally new content to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Even better that it’s free!

Beyond that, there’s really just a couple of free demos this week. You can grab the Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends demo for free and see what’s new in the puzzle/adventure series or give “Episode 1” of this questionable horror shooter, The Unknown City, a shot. If you were thinking about buying it outright you should definitely take a look at the demo, it’s… something.

Seeing that it’s the Fourth, I would be remiss if I didn’t point you towards my favorite display of fireworks: FantaVision. The PlayStation 2 fireworks puzzle game has been a favorite of mine since its release in 2000 and it looks sharper than ever in its PlayStation 4 incarnation. It isn’t free, but right now it’s on sale for $2.99 (for PlayStation Plus members) which is pretty dang close to it.

Keep your fingers, eyes, and loved ones safe out there and… grab ‘n go!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 27th

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 27th

My ceremonial burning of hand-carved PlayStation Plus logos did not go unanswered, we have freebies! Here’s what’s free for the week of June 27th:

Demos

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Demo
Here’s that Captain Spirit game we all saw at E3 a few weeks ago that ties into the events of the upcoming Life is Strange 2. It’s listed on the PlayStation Store as a demo but this is the whole, standalone Captain Spirit adventure!

Unravel 2 Trial
Two weeks ago we got a free theme for Unravel 2 and if staring at that stationary artwork got you itching to try the game, now you can do that for free as well.

Super Kids Racing Trial
It seems awfully rare for a game that looks so plain to get a free demo. I guess you can finally find out for yourself if there’s some fun to be had without buying what looks like a showcase of Unity assets in the form of a kart racer. If you are bowled over by it, the full game is also on sale this week.

 

Add-Ons

New Gundam Breaker Special Mission: Her Name is Super Fumina
“The day-one special mission ‘Her Name is Super Fumina’ is the only mission where you’ll find the titular Super Fumina! Complete it to receive a special Fumina Ticket that can be exchanged for any part you like!”

Trove – Blocky Bonus: Rock’N’Rollin’ Rider
“The current Blocky Bonus is the Rock’N’Rollin’ Rider. Rock stars always need more gems. We appreciate you playing Trove!”

 

Themes and Avatars

Decorate your PlayStation 4 Home Screen this week with some new free trimmings featuring Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or… an old mansion. If that tennis ball avatar got you excited last week, you better buckle up! Dream Match Tennis VR is back with more free avatar icons featuring Ball and Racket, Tennis Robot, Tennis Ball and Kitten, and the daringly unique Tennis Ball 1.

Match, Set, Grab ‘n Go!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 20th + “Wow, That’s A Game!?”

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 20th + "Wow, That's A Game!?"

Now that E3 is over we can get back to the flood of exciting and free new releases… ohoh no, this is… this is a downright drought! For the week of June 20th we’ve only got two free offerings: Yang Xiao Long joins the roster of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle while Bimboosoft offers a free Avatar icon from Dream Match Tennis VR which they describe only as “the tennis ball”.

It’s such a slim week that I want to fill out this post with a feature I like to call WOW, That’s A Game!?. In looking at the PlayStation Store every week I’ve started noting some of the more dubious entries on the platform that I’ll point out during slow weeks like this. Fair warning, these aren’t necessarily free things!

BRIKS 2 comes from Smobile, makers of some of the PlayStation’s most generic, lightly animated and titillating Home Screen themes. In BRIKS 2 you can play a game of Breakout on top of those same lightly animated wallpapers and yes, you read right, this is the sequel. From what I can tell BRIKS 2 doesn’t actually change much over the original but both remain on sale for $14 and $16 respectively.

That’s an egregious price for what looks like a pretty simple offering given that most of the art already exists and is even sold separately on the PlayStation Store. Nevertheless, I respect Smobile’s resourcefulness, turning one product into another. It also gives me vibes of the arcade game Fantasia 2, the sensationally NSFW knock-off of Qix that I have a strange, earnestly non-sexual fondness for.

PlayStation 4: Our Once and *Former* King?

I hold to the belief that the current ruler of the console space at any given time didn’t get there by being smart, visionary, or tactful. They got there largely for one reason: the hubris of the former ruler of the console space. Nintendo dominated with the SNES and Wii but fumbled with misjudged follow-ups. Sony dominated with PlayStation 1 and 2 but overpromised on PlayStation 3 and hobbled developers with exceedingly proprietary architecture. Microsoft took the lead for the fantastic Xbox 360 era but reneged on their promise of a digital-only future, giving disgruntled gamers only one recourse: PlayStation 4.

In all these cases, the current leader did more to set themselves back than the competition did to deftly outsmart them and Sony is just the latest example. They’ve been riding that good will gale of Xbox dejecters since 2013 but their blowhard ego is very nearly ready to shred through their own sails. The signs have been on display for years: After bolstering their meager lineups with streams of indie titles, they’ve cooled immensely on promoting smaller developers. They continue to dance around the inability to change your PlayStation Network ID name. But most visibly is their continued stance against online cross-play between rival platforms.

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has been extending the olive branch of cross-play peace for years and Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime has most recently remained open to the idea. Sony, in comparison, seems dead set against it and they are quickly alienating themselves from the rest of the industry. This has all come to a head after Fortnite debuted on the Nintendo Switch this week and left players who had previously played on PlayStation 4 with inaccessible accounts.

The situation is upsetting enough but Sony’s response (thus far, at least) is worrying. The official statement is a self-aggrandizing one that prides Sony on being open to the PlayStation community’s wishes while completely ignoring the complaint. The statement delivered to the BBC reads:

“We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. With… more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we’ve built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles.

We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms. We have nothing further to add beyond this at this point.”

This, I feel, is one of those moments when you can see the tide turning, the overinflated ego unable to rebalance itself after a misstep that sends it full-tilt into oncoming traffic. PlayStation 4 is strong, but growth is slowing. If cross-platform play is where Sony digs in their heels — while more online-only games release every year that support it outside of PS4 — then by the time they reluctantly concede it could be too late.

Where would the crown go from there? Microsoft has an amazing platform but they’re still suffering from the “always-on” backlash and are missing the exciting exclusives to spark a major shift to their side. The Xbox One X hardware, the Play Anywhere and Game Pass features, and Mixer integration are a great groundwork for a fantastic leader but the games and support just aren’t there. Still, if you’re pissed at Sony and want to play The Division 2, Anthem, Fallout 76, or Rise of the Tomb Raider, Xbox is your only console recourse.

That said, I think Nintendo is poised to gain the biggest boost should Sony drive the divide between its players too wide. The Switch continues to sell well and Nintendo is still riding high on the wave of “It’s coming to the Switch” announcements. They’re also using indie Nindie releases to great effect in supporting their traditionally thin lineup.

Would enough PlayStation dissidents side with Nintendo? Would that be enough to push player and publisher support for the Switch over the already beleaguered Xbox? Look, I’m terrible at predicting this stuff but I do believe a changing of the guard is coming. I just wanted to put this out there because it’s a pattern I’ve been thinking about for a while now. What do you think? If Sony royally pissed you off, where would you go?