Tag: ps5

Ambition, Amazon, PlayStation Tiers, and More

Amazon Games Studio Head Steps Down

Mike Frazzini, who helped start Amazon Game Studios, is stepping down in order to focus on his family. Having been an Amazon employee for many years, moving from the books section to Amazon Game Studios, despite being somewhat of a game novice at the time, he had faced criticism for veering too far from the traditional, game-making playbook, while the division cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The company did release the online PC game New World, bringing hope that video games could become Amazon’s greatest entertainment category. Time will tell how Amazon Games Studio navigates a change in leadership, and what it produces next.

Coffee Talk Creator Passed Away

Mohammad Fahmi, creator and writer for the indie visual novel Coffee Talk, has passed away.

“Today we received devastating news that Fahmi, the creator and writer of Coffee Talk, has passed away. May his soul rest in peace, and our hearts are with his family and loved ones. May all the good things he shared, story he wrote, live on with us forever. Thank you Fahmi.” – Coffee Talk team.

Cause of death is unknown at this time.

More Options for PlayStation Players

Sony Interactive Entertainment announces upcoming changes to their subscription services. Starting June, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now will come together into a new PlayStation Plus subscription service that will have three membership tiers. These tiers are:

PlayStation Plus Essential, which provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are currently receiving, including two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access, with the price remaining the same as PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Plus Extra brings all the benefits of the Essential tier, and includes a catalogue of 400 PS4 and PS5 games downloadable to play.

Finally, PlayStation Plus Premium brings you all the benefits mentioned, 340 additional games, including PS3 games via cloud streaming, and a catalogue of classic games from the PS1, PS2, and PSP generations. Premium also includes time-limited game trials, so you can try before you buy.

Game Connect Asia Pacific Announced

Game Connect Asia Pacific, or GCAP, will be entering its 17th year, taking place in Melbourne during the Melbourne International Games Week from 3rd to 5th of October 2022.

GCAP is committed to professional development, education, and networking experiences for developers in Australia, and abroad. While GCAP will be held in person, a few sessions will be streamed for those who can’t attend, with the focus this year being Ambition.

GCAP promises to challenge attendees to chase their ambitions and create world class products, experiences, studios, and businesses for the global games audience, and will consist of talks, panels, and workshops from experienced industry professionals.

Keep an eye on the GCAP website as more information becomes available, and to find out more about how you can support this event.

And now for some upcoming games!

March 31

  • Coromon (PC, Switch)
  • FixFox (PC)
  • Midnight Ghost Hunt (PC)
  • Pirates of Gravitae (PC)
  • Weird West (PC, PS4, XBO)

April 1

  • Flat Kingdom Paper’s Cut Edition (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Terrorbane (PC, Switch)

April 5

  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

April 7

  • Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition (Switch)
  • Demeo: PC Edition (PC)
  • Slipstream (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

Virtual Reality Is Very Real (and so is Hacking)


Record VR Sales Across The Holidays

The 2021 holiday season was a big one in terms of virtual reality systems and games, with the Oculus app topping the Apple App Store on Christmas, beating TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t release sales numbers for Quest headsets, so we can only piece together how popular it is through unofficial data points. So the Oculus app being at the top indicates a strong uptick in new headset usage. But that’s not all, Rec Room, a free social virtual reality experience has reported record numbers over the holidays, with over 1 million VR players logging in over a 60 hour period.

Apps such as Hand Physics Lab, Golf+, Eleven Table Tennis, and Loco Dojo Unleashed, have also reported a similar spike in new users.

 

PS5 Explains Their New VR2 System

PlayStation have announced the names for their new virtual reality system for the PlayStation 5 console. PlayStation VR2, and the new virtual reality controller, PlayStation V2 Sense controller.

PlayStation VR2 promises to take virtual reality gaming to a new level of presence and escapism, with new hardware features, greater depth of immersion, and new worlds being built. PS5 VR2 offers the following:

4K HDR 110-degree field of view, combined with an OLED display, means a display resolution of 2000×2040 per eye and smoother frame rates.

Inside-out tracking, with the player and their controller being tracked through cameras embedded in the VR headset, eliminating the need for an external camera.

Brand new sensory features, combining eye tracking, headset feedback, 3D audio, and the VR2 Sense controller to pull you deeper than ever into virtual reality. The most significant hardware feature being the motor in the VR headset that can vibrate to offer tactile feedback.

VR2 will detect the motion of your eyes, allowing the player to interact more intuitively with their environment.

PlayStation has announced that Horizon Call of the Mountain will be coming to the PlayStation VR2, making it one of the biggest franchises for the potential lineup available for the VR2.

Activision Sues Call of Duty Cheat Maker

Activision has asked a court to take action against EngineOwning, a cheat maker selling cheats to Call of Duty: Warzone players. This latest case is another battle in Activision’s war against hackers in their online battle royale, accusing EngineOwning for causing “irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation”.

Activision alleges that the cheat maker has hurt sales through the distribution of aimbots, triggerbots, and other cheats. Other than allegedly ruining the online experience for thousands of players, Activision says that EngineOwning has infringed on their copyright, and violated its terms of service, and claims that “tens of thousands’ of players have been caught using EngineOwning’s tools over the past year.

And now for some upcoming game releases!

January 10:

  • Super Sami Roll (XSX)

January 12:

  • PUBG: Battlegrounds Free to Play (PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia)

January 13:

  • The Anacrusis (PC, XSX, XBO)
  • Mushroom Wars 2 (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)

Stalking NFTs, Winning Games, and Gaming Bytes

Stalking NFTs
With big brands like Nike and Adidas jumping on Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, it would seem like a mistake for game developers not to do the same. However, Ubisoft’s experimental NFT sales for Ghost Recon Breakpoint appear to have sold just 15 NFTs since their release on the 9th of December.
Jumping on this bandwagon, GSC Game World, developer of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, announced on the 15th of December their intention to introduce NFTs via auction in January of 2022 and later. These NFTs would range from “genesis” collectables to the rights to be scanned using photogrammetry and inserted into the game as an NPC “metahuman”. Within 24 hours after the publication went live, GSC Game World was hit with community backlash and responded with a tweet saying, “Based on the feedback we received, we’ve made a decision to cancel anything NFT-related in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.” but not before doubling down in a now deleted tweet attempting to reason with the community.
It must be noted that in the third quarter of 2021, NFT games such as Sky Mavis’ Axis Infinity reportedly generated about 2.32 billion US dollars in revenue, paving the way as further incentive for future developers to integrate NFTs into games.

Winning Games
In an unprecedented year for games, Hades now sits alongside Oscar-winning Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’s Colette for being the first game to win a prestigious industry award in 2021.
In this year’s Hugo Awards, the World Science Fiction Society used its bylaws to create the one-off 2021 Best Video Game award. Many games were nominated with Spiritfarer from Thunder Lotus Games and Animal Crossing: New Horizons from Nintendo coming runners-up to the award winner Hades from Super Giant Games. While Super Giant Games were unable to be there, Greg Kasavin, Creative Director and Writer of Hades had the following to say on twitter.

“We are incredibly honoured to be the first-ever recipient of a Hugo award in the category of best video game. We, myself included, grew up experiencing these classic works of science fiction and fantasy, from Ursula K. Le Guin to Philip K. Dick, what have you. That’s when we first came across the Hugo Awards name, of course, as kids.
“To have earned this distinction all this time later, especially alongside such an incredible slate of nominees, games of all shapes and sizes, from teams big and small, it really means the world.”

Keep an eye out in the future as there are rumours floating around online that this gaming category may become an annual Hugo event.


Now for some Gaming Bytes:

Finishing First
HowLongToBeat’s stat breakdown of game releases in  2021 show that Resident Evil Village is the most completed game this year with 2.6 thousand completions of the game so far narrowly beating Metroid Dread with 2.2 thousand completions.

CD Projekt Settles
CD Projekt has settled with suing investors over the release of Cyberpunk 2077 to the tune of 1.85 million US Dollars. The lawsuit accused CD Projekt of misleading investors over the release quality of the game and suing for damages incurred by this.

North America Unionises
North America finally has its first ever video game studio union, formed at the Vodeo Games Studio, developers of Beast Breaker that released for PC, Mac, and Switch this year. The Vodeo Workers United union formed to protect independent contracted workers and salaried staff to maintain a fair and equitable workforce and lock in some of the perks they love… like the 4-day work week they currently enjoy.

Sony Faceplates Finally
After exerting legal pressure to stop the creation of personalised faceplates for the PS5 late 2020 and more recently against dbrand in October of this year, Sony has finally released their own personalised faceplates with 5 different colour offerings of Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Nova Pink, Starlight Blue, and Galactic Purple.

Now in upcoming games:
On the 23rd of December the 3D platformer puzzler Scarf released by Uprising Studios has you forming an unbreakable bond with your dragon who is also your scarf on PC and Stadia. Teratopia and Tunnel of Doom are releasing their Switch ports on the 23rd.
On the 24th Tunnel of Doom is also porting to the Xbox One and releasing on the 28th of December, the Switch port of Lacuna.

Blizzard Entertainment CLO resigns, Melbourne Earthquake & Game Deals.


Bliz
zard Entertainment CLO resigns
.
Claire Hart the Chief Legal Officer of
Activision Blizzard’s Entertainment announced her resignation this week posting on her LinkedIn saying After more than three years at Blizzard Entertainment, I have decided to move on to my next adventure. The past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns, but I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses. Claire Hart doesn’t make any comment about whether her resignation is anything to do with the very public and ongoing harassment lawsuit with Activision Blizzard.

An update on that lawsuit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched a widereaching investigation into Activision Blizzard, they will be looking into how the publisher dealt with the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behaviour. California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed this lawsuit back in July. They also subpoenaed several of Blizzard’s higher executives including the CEO Bobby Kotick. It would appear that the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) have started asking Blizzard to hand over various documents. These include personal files of those higher ups. A spokes person from Activision confirmed that there is indeed an ongoing investigation and that the company is cooperating with the SEC.

Gaming deals!
If you
are looking for awesome deals on games now is the time with sales
rolling out before the Christmas period. Amazon have a bunch of good prices for PS4/PS5 such as;

  • Deathloop now $79 (down from $99.95)
  • Death Stranding: Director’s Cut $69 (down for $79.95)
  • F1 2021 now $56 (down from $99.95)
  • Far Cry 6 $72.90 (down from $99.95)
  • Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut $99.95 (down from $124.95)

There is also a bunch of deals going for Xbox console games such as;

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate now $44.98 (down for $89.95)
  • NBA 2K22 now $80.90 (down from $109.95)
  • Star Wars Squadrons now $14.98 (down from $59.95)
  • Watch Dogs Legion now $30 (down from $99.95)
  • Nintendo Switch lite is also down to $259 from $329.95
Melbourne’s Earthquake disrupting gameplay.
The 5.9
magnitude earthquake in Melbourne
caused quite some disturbance this week however did inject some funny moments into people’s lockdown. Former Carlton player Brendan Fevola was playing Call of Duty he tweeted out saying I’m sitting here playing Call of Duty on the PlayStation with me headphones on and my whole screen started shaking, my PlayStation nearly fell off. It would appear that many game players and streamers experienced moments of fear for their gaming gear during the earthquake. If you have a story to share about nearly losing a console or PC with a lucky save message us on Facebook @ZEDgamesau we’d love to hear about it.

This week in gaming releases;

September 23

  • Diablo 2 Resurrected [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Embr [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Flewfie’s Adventure [PC]
  • Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries [PS5, PS4]
  • Medieval Dynasty [PC]
  • Sable [PC, XSX, XBO]
  • Sea of Thieves Season 4 [PC, XSX, XBO]

September 24

  • Death Stranding Director’s Cut [PS5]
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot [Switch]
  • Lost Judgment [PS5, XSX, PS4]

September 28

  • Chernobylite [PS4, XBO]
  • Ghostrunner [PS5, XSX]
  • In Sound Mind [PC, PS5, XSX]
  • Lemnis Gate [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • New World [PC]
  • Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye DLC [PC, PS4, XBO]

September 29

  • Guardians of Hyelore [PC]
  • Insurgency Sandstorm [PS4, XBO]

 

Roblox Finds Its Voice, Horizon Forbidden West On The Horizon, Tripwire Backlash

Roblox Is Getting Voice Chat

The popular online play space will be introducing voice chat as a feature! Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system, where players can create games and environments and then play and interact in those spaces, making it a popular online hangout. Voice chat is on the way, starting with ‘spatial voice’ for developers, to test the concept of realistic conversations within the game, mimicking the way that voices carry in the real world.

There are concerns on how these conversations can be moderated, especially considering that a large portion of Roblox players are minors. As a result, voice chat will have a slow rollout, with initial access only being available to 5000 developers. It has been suggested that voice chat may never be made available to those under 13, depending on how each stage of the rollout progresses.

In addition, Roblox will let users self-report issues, flagging problematic players which may result in losing speaking privileges.

You Will Be Able To Upgrade Horizon Forbidden West To The PS5, But There’s A Cost

With many people unable to get their hands on the PS5, it has been a relief to know that many PS4 games will include a free PS5 upgrade for when players are able to get the next-gen console. So many fans were disappointed when Sony initially announced that Horizon Forbidden West wouldn’t include this upgrade.

Thankfully, Sony has retracted this decision, and people who buy a copy of Horizon Forbidden West for the PS4 will be able to receive a free upgrade allowing them to play it on the PS5.

However, Sony has confirmed that from this point onwards, all PS4 games both digital and physical will come with a $13 AUD upgrade fee for the PS5 version of that same game. This will include games such as Gran Turismo 7, and the next God of War.

Tripwire Interactive CEO Steps Down After Backlash

Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson is stepping down following backlash against his tweet supporting the recent Texas restrictive abortion laws, which allowed citizens to sue anyone who aids the procedure.

“His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners, and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment,” says Tripwire representatives.

Current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO. Alan has worked with the company since its formation in 2005 and takes an active lead in Tripwire’s business and development. There are intentions to address concerns within and outside the company, starting with a company-wide meeting to promote open dialogue.

Upcoming game releases!

September 9

  • The Artful Escape [PC, XBO] 
  • Terrain of Magical Expertise [PC]
  • Webbed [PC]

September 10

  • A Day Without Me [PS4, XBO]
  • Kraken Academy!! [PC]
  • Life is Strange: True Colors [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia]
  • Lost in Random [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • NBA 2K22 [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Tales of Arise [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • WarioWare: Get it Together [Switch]

September 14

  • Honey, I Joined a Cult [PC]

September 15

  • Age of Darkness: Final Stand [PC]
  • Fire Commander [PC]
  • Merek’s Market [PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia]
  • Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town [PC]
  • Timberborn [PC]
  • Titan Chaser [PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]

Nintendo in the Headlines, Special Olympics and Microsoft team up for Gaming for Inclusion, and some Game Bytes

Nintendo in the Headlines
On the 18th of August a Pokémon Presents by Nintendo revealed several updates to their mobile Pokémon franchise the most notable being that Pokemon Unite would be coming to mobile with crossplay available on September 22nd. The Present also announced two new Pokémon are slated to join in future updates; Marmoswine & Sylvion
Nintendo also confirmed the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for the 19th of November, and a surprise Switch lite Dialga & Palkia Edition available on November 5th. For this generation remake they showed off partner Pokémon, customising your pokeball with stickers to personalise the pokeball release effects, revitalised mini-games, outfit personalisation and that personalising your underground base with statues will gain you access to specific types of Pokémon hideaways new to this remake.
Lastly, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It was confirmed this game will take place in Hisui, in an early age of the Hinoe region, and in it you will survey, observe and capture Pokémon. In new developments to this generation, you will be able to be attacked by Pokémon outside of combat, and there will be two new combat “styles” of strong and agile. This change puts a strategic edge to the move economy as they will allow for heavier but slower, or multiple attacks per round of combat. Nintendo also showed off new region-specific evolutions and type changes, as well as mounts available for fast travel within this open world game. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on January 28th 2022.

Another feather in Nintendo’s cap is that for the week of August 2nd to 8th the Switch held every slot in Japan’s Top 30 Famitsu’s chart. No single console has held this title since November 1988 when Nintendo’s Famicom managed the same feat.
In other Nintendo news, earlier in the year the company was awarded $2.1 million in damages for copywrite and trademark infringements against Mattew Storman, owner of RomUniverse, a website hosting pirated ROM versions of Nintendo games. This week a Californian court has ordered Storman to keep RomUniverse offline and destroy all illegal Nintendo ROMs by August 17 after he threatened to continue to operate the site and failed to pay the first $US50 monthly instalment for damages to Nintendo.

Special Olympics “Gaming for Inclusion” hosted by Microsoft.
Microsoft has teamed up with Special Olympics to create the inaugural bracketed e-sport tournament named “Gaming for Inclusion”. The event has evolved from the Xbox Virtual Gaming Event of May 2020, which aimed to combat the effects of loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic. This time round, Special Olympians and Unified partners will participate in a bracket-style tournament over several days in September with the aim to “…showcase the power of inclusion through sport.” Each day of the event is dedicated to its own game;
Sunday 12th Rocket League,
Monday 13th Forza 7, and
Tuesday 14th Madden 22.
Participants are awarded the chance to play with celebrity supporters of the Special Olympics to be hosted on Saturday 18th.
The event will be organised by Microsoft’s online e-sports platform Smash.gg and live-streamed on Xbox’s Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel.

And now for some Game Bytes;
Activision Blizzard let go of two of the employees seen in the 2013 picture of the infamous “Cosby Suit” following the lawsuit announcement last month. Jesse McCree and Jonathon LeCraft’s departure was announced internally without an official statement.
Journey to the Savage Planet’s developers have reformed under the title Raccoon Logic after being unceremonious dropped following the failure of Google Stadia. They retained the rights to Savage Planet and have received investment funding from Tencent to bankroll an unannounced future project.
Boyfriend Dungeon have promised to update their content warning after complaints from their player base that the warning doesn’t go far enough. Developer Kitfox Games quickly apologised via Twitter for any hurt caused and reassured players the warning would be updated shortly.
To learn more about these headlines head over to our Facebook page @zedgameau.

And finally, the upcoming game releases!
On Friday 20th the release of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is coming to PS4 and 5, Heart Chain Kitty is coming to Switch, and Madden 22 is coming to PC, PS 4 and 5 and Xbox One and Series X.
On Tuesday 24th, Alien franchised online team shooter Alien: Fireteam Elite comes to PC, PS4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X. Turn-based tactical RPG King’s Bounty comes to PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. And the long-awaited sequel Psychonauts 2 comes to PC, and Xbox One and Series X.
Finally, on Thursday 26th, the arcade party game Have a Blast comes to PC and Switch, and PCGamer’s 2013 Game of the Year and its sequel Spelunky and Spelunky 2 come out on the Switch.