Like Microsoft, Sony held a pre-E3 event where they officially announced the next-gen PlayStation, the PS4. Without showing off the actual console, Sony filled in a lot of the blanks by talking up the advanced architecture that powers the machine, introducing the DualShock 4 wireless controller, a new PlayStation Eye camera, the system’s ability to share and stream gaming sessions, and the company even saved time to introduce some next-gen games. At last, Sony revealed the actual box behind it all and previewed many more games coming to PS4 (more than 140 of them are coming this year) at its E3 briefing. For more, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
The ability to save game progress and content in the cloud is here; it’s exclusively for PlayStation Plus subscribers, though. For those who dish out $50/month for the premium service, listen here. After downloading the latest PS3 software update (v3.60, it came out today), you’ll be able to store up to 150MB of PS3 game save data in the cloud. Here’s the kicker: users who save their files to the cloud can access their data on any PS3, using their PSN sign-in ID. Secured game data backed up to the cloud and accessible anywhere–sounds like an extremely compelling hook to sign up for PS Plus.
Look after the break for the official PR that explains the process of backing up game saves.
On July 14 Hulu Plus, the $9.99/month service that grants you access to boatloads of Hulu content on and beyond the PC, launched on the PlayStation 3. Currently only “a select group” of PlayStation Plus subscribers can gain access to Hulu Plus since it’s still in a preview phase. Remember, PlayStation Plus subscribers pay an additional $50/year for the recently launch Sony service that provides gamers with exclusive game demos, trials, and other content. If you’re a member of the PS Plus community you can download the free Hulu Plus application in the PlayStation Store and request an invitation to the preview. If you’re selected, good for you! If you’re not selected, and if you’re not a paying PS Plus subscriber, there’s no need to worry. “As Hulu Plus becomes generally available in the coming months”, all PS3 owners will have access to Hulu Plus. PlayStation 3 will be the only console-bound home for Hulu Plus through 2010. It is expected to land on Xbox 360 and Wii sometime next year. Full PR after the break.
PlayStation Plus, Sony’s online premium offering for the PlayStation 3, was announced at the Sony press conference a couple weeks ago. Since then more details have spilled concerning what exactly it offers for paying subscribers. First, it’s important to remember that PlayStation Plus does not replace PS3′s current offering of free online gameplay and PlayStation Network usage. PS Plus is an additional, optional service that provides subscribers with discounts on games purchased in the PS Store, early access to betas, exclusive offers on select demos and early purchases, free monthly episodes of Qore, and automatic downloads. Let’s dive a bit deeper.
Subscribers have access to free monthly PSN games, minis, and PS One Classics from the PSN Store. You keep these games for as long as you’re a subscriber; if you decide to opt out of the service, the free games disappear from your library. Exclusive themes, avatars, and premium game elements/add-ons are also available to purchase; these are yours to keep “forever.” Exclusive PS Store discounts are also offered, ranging from from 20% to 50% off (that’s on top of the any current discounts currently available to non-members). Again, these are yours to keep “forever.” Early access to beta trials and game demos pop up as well. Members can download a full game trial for an alloted amount of time (typically one hour) to decide if they want to purchase the game. Unlike a standard game demo, full game trials do not restrict you to certain levels/game modes. You get the full game. And get this–if you decide to purchase the game after testing it out, all awarded trophies and saved data carry over from the trial. Lastly there’s automatic downloads. Subscribers can set their PS3 to wake up from standby at a determined time to automatically download PS3 firmware updates, game patches, and “select demos and videos.” PlayStation Plus is available to sign up for today over PSN. A one year subscription goes for $49.99 (this comes bundled with three free months at the end) and a three-month packaged is priced at $17.99.
PlayStation Plus came to the PS3 as part of firmware update version 3.40. Here’s what the update brings: Photo Gallery enhancements (allows you to upload, browse and comment on photos on Facebook and Picasa Web Album & share your photos between your PSN friends and print photos from Photo Gallery); Video Editor and Uploader (new XMB function enables you to edit, save and upload video files stored on the PS3 system to sites such as Facebook or YouTube); Five Star Rating Support (you can rate PS Store content on a five-star scale); and additional power save options. There’s also been a few upgrades to PSN-Facebook integration. A new PSN Facebook application allows you to display your PlayStation Network profile on Facebook, send friend requests, and view your PSN friends’ online status. Check out a few snapshots of the new features in the gallery below.
The Sony press conference took place at the Shrine Auditorium. And I was there! So please continue on, will you?
3D gaming is all the rage in Sony’s world, and so all distinguished guests of their press conference received 3D glasses. After humorously jabbing Microsoft and their poncho-required Cirque event from the other day, President & CEO of PlayStation Jack Tretton invited Kazuo Hirai to start things off with a gorgeous demo of Killzone 3 in 3D. Though 3D gaming might sound like a gimmick to many of you, listen here: 3D adds a great sense of depth to the game and likely become an integral part of video games. Parts of the gameplay featured the use of jetpacks; during these scenes I felt like I was at a Universal Studios theme park ride, fully immersed in an exciting, different world. In another scene we were taken to the skies via a helicopter and watched a gunman fire at enemies down below. At one point I asked myself if I was witnessing a video game demo or a scene from Avatar. Yeah, it was that good. The 2-part demonstration elicited many oos and ahhs from the crowd. I might have been the loudest. In short, 3D added a tremendous amount of excitement to Killzone; after a few seconds of adjusting to the depth perception any distractions that might have existed disappeared. Killzone 3 from Guerrilla Games drops February 2011 and will be compatible with Sony’s motion controller called Move. 20 games will be made available in 3D for the PS3 by the end of this year. Sony promises 20 additional titles will be created natively in 3D by March 2011, some of which include Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Shaun White Skatebording, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, EyePet, Tron: Evolution, MLB 2K11, NBA 2K11, Motorstorm Apocalypse, Gran Turismo 5, and a Sly Cooper collection. A short montage of 3D video and gameplay rounded out the first section of the conference; let’s just say fatalities look fantastic and baseball players throwing balls at you is a bit scary in three dimensions.