Sony are in the process of making some big changes to several fronts of PlayStation as they gear up for the looming launch of the PS5- and that goes for everything to do with the console's online and user experience as well. A completely overhauled UI is yet to be revealed, while recently, Sony overhauled Trophies and their leveling system.
Soon, it seems, they'll be launching a new PlayStation Store as well. Planète Vita, recently got hold of a document that had reportedly been sent to developers. In the document, Sony explains that a new version of the PlayStation Store will be launching for web on October 19 and for mobile devices on October 28.
Interestingly enough, it also seems like the web and mobile-based PS Store will become restricted to the PS4 and PS5. The document states that PS3, PSP, and PS Vita games will not be listed, neither will PS4 themes, apps, or avatars. Those who've already purchased such games will, of course, keep those games in their library, while you will still continue to be able to make these purchases on the PS4's PS Store.
Recently, datamining of the web-based PS Store had several mentions of the PS5 and its features, so it's entirely likely that Sony is planning on overhauling the storefront in preparation of the PS5's launch.
Either way, we'll find out soon enough, so stay tuned.
Sony have been surprisingly stingy with how much information they've revealed on the PS5 in the weeks and months before its launch, and when they've chosen to reveal it. One of the things that they still haven't said anything about is the PS5's user interface, which is supposedly a complete overhaul of what we currently have on the PS4.
Whatever that new UI will end up being, it seems it will play into the console's backward compatibility features as well. As recently detailed, the PS5 will be able to play all but less than a dozen PS4 games at launch. In a blog update talking about the same, Sony also teased some other interesting new backward compatibility features- such as taking advantage of some of the new UX features in the PS5.
"PS4 games will also take advantage of some of PS5's new UX features, but more to come on that later," the update teased.
Sony have previously said that details on the PS5's new user experience will be coming soon– it's likely that these backward compatibility features will be detailed during that reveal as well.
In this same update, Sony also confirmed that the PS5 HD Camera will not be compatible with PlayStation VR. Read more on that through here.
Sony have drawn a pretty clear line between the PS4 and PS5 and their respective console generations, even with something like accessories. One accessory, however, that it will be supporting as is is PlayStation VR. Recently, some new details have emerged that clarify how exactly PSVR will be hooked up to the PS5.
For starters, the PS5 HD Camera, which comes with dual lenses (and costs $60), will not be compatible with PSVR- it seems it's meant only for recording and broadcasting purposes. If you want to run PSVR, you're going to need to the same PS Camera and camera adapter that you need to play PSVR games on PS4 as well.
The PSVR games that you do play on PS5 might come with enhancements, with Sony having promised "faster and smoother frame rates" in select PSVR games.
We've seen games taking significant steps forward toward being more accessible in recent years, with a greater effort from several in the industry to provide more options to players with disabilities. One of the best examples of that has been Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller, and it seems they're looking to continue in that direction with next-gen hardware.
Recently taking to Twitter, Microsoft's Inclusive Lead Bryce Johnson – who co-invented the aforementioned Xbox Adaptive Controller – revealed that Xbox Series X has tactile indicators over its powers for the blind, something that will also help with reach-around cabling.
In later tweets, Johnson clarified that the pattern of indicators over the ports isn't "a standard", and was instead "determined from working with our internal blind community." He also explained that Braille wasn't used because there wouldn't be enough space on the console, and it would also present localization issues.
As Johnson mentions a couple of times in his tweets, its "not a complete solution", but it's still great to see Microsoft taking the initiative.
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch worldwide on November 10. Microsoft recently kicked off the marketing campaign for the two consoles with a new trailer- check it out through here.
Inclusive design tidbit. E suggested we put tactile indicators (for the blind) over the ports of the Xbox Series X, also helps for reach-around cabling. @KaitlynJones_ worked with the design team and our community. It's not a complete solution but we'll see how it does & learn. pic.twitter.com/9Mx7WkI3CF
— Bryce Johnson (@brycej) October 9, 2020
The pattern was determined from working with our internal blind community. It's not a standard, we've thought of different approaches for different ports. We're still learning
— Bryce Johnson (@brycej) October 10, 2020
I'm not aware of any standard. If you are talking about Braille there are two things that we wanted to stay away from. The size of proper Braille takes more room than we had and localization.
— Bryce Johnson (@brycej) October 10, 2020
Watch Dogs: Legion is out on October 29th for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Google Stadia with the Xbox Series X/S getting it on November 10th and PS5 on November 12th. A wealth of new information has become available courtesy of new previews and Ubisoft has provided new details on the story and its post-launch content plans. Let's take a look at 15 more things you should know about the open world title.
As we've noted previously, DedSec tussles with a group called Zero Day which impersonated them and set off numerous explosions in London. This prompts the government to call in the PMC Albion to restore order by using ctOS. It's not long before DedSec re-surfaces and starts building up a resistance to fight back against Albion. In the latest story trailer though, a few more details were revealed about Zero Day. The group has a discreet digital avatar that it showcases on screens and via projectors on drones. It also feels that its methods are ultimately "good" because "destruction is always the cure." At one point in the trailer, it notes that instead of saving London, it's being armed for war. There's even a brief flash of someone with wires connected to them in a lab of sorts. While DedSec will need to prove it's innocence, stopping whatever grand plan Zero Day has in motion will also be key.
Of course, there's plenty of work to be done in dealing with Albion. The PMC has set up in various landmarks throughout the city, which means London Bridge will be crawling with Albion contractors. The Big Ben is a special case since it houses a propaganda machine and only a Spider-Bot can disable it. So you'll need to remote control the bot and do some platforming to reach the top. Expect other historical landmarks to appear and require liberating as well.
More Negative Traits
Details on different negative traits that Operatives can have have surfaced and they're fairly extensive. You can have a character that dies permanently; an assassin that deals and receives more damage; a living statue who can hide from pursuers in plain sight; and even characters that will waste your money with shopping sprees or other means. More details were also provided on the Low Mobility trait which the elderly can have. This prevents them from sprinting, taking cover or dodging in melee combat, which means you'll need to rethink your play-style when controlling that old ex-spy.
New Gadgets and Cargo Drone Hacking
The Operatives in Watch Dogs: Legion can be formidable and a lot of that comes down to the tools they carry. For instance, there's an AR Cloak that allows for going completely invisible, making it easy to sneak past metal detectors and infiltrate facilities in broad daylight. You can also use a missile drone, which is reportedly quite powerful, to bombard enemies. Even if that's toned down, hacking cargo drones passing overhead and dropping packages on enemies is also possible, allowing for all kinds of hilarity.
"Access" Gameplay Benefits and Drawbacks
Among the different NPCs that can be recruited are Albion contractors, making it easier to sneak into restricted areas. However, this kind of "access" gameplay has some drawbacks. As creative director Clint Hocking told USGamer, movement is slower and you can't crouch, plus cooldowns must be expended for any guards that get too close to you. Though it could make certain missions "easier", it's essentially a strong option for players in the early-game until they start unlocking new tools and Operatives with powerful traits.
Clothing and Cosmetics
It's not enough to just recruit characters and send them into battle. You can also customize them with a variety of cosmetics. Visit the different shops, walk up to a window and you'll have a choice of clothing items, from outerwear, inner-wear and leg wear to shoes, hats, and bags. These different jackets, shirts, jeans and so on can be purchased with ETO which you earn in-game.
NPCs Attacking Albion
One of the nicer touches that can be seen while roaming London is how NPCs retaliate against Albion. If you happen to save an NPC that's being arrested, then they'll attack the soldier in question. This can escalate even further as an entire group of people will lay the beatdown on Albion without you having to get your hands dirty.
Underground Boxing Arenas
Showcased during an official gameplay walkthrough is the prospect of entering underground boxing arenas to recruit fighters. There are several such arenas in London and you'll enter a tournament to fight your way to the final boss. Beating the boss will let you recruit them, adding some very powerful melee Operatives to your squad.
Unique Operatives From Liberating Boroughs
Different boroughs require liberating throughout London but there's some major incentive to do so. As Hocking told USGamer, if you successfully liberate a borough, then a unique version of classes like the hitman or spy could be awarded. Not only do these have an additional perk but also have their entire kit optimized for the task at hand. So if you're seeking some of the best operatives of the game, then liberation is the key.
Ubisoft will roll out four-player online co-op for Watch Dogs: Legion on December 3rd and it has quite the number of features. Along with free roam, allowing you and up to three players to recruit NPCs while exploring London, co-op will have its own missions. Dynamic Events are also being added along with Tactical Ops, the latter being tougher four-player missions which require strong efficiency and teamwork to complete.
The first dedicated PvP mode is Spider-Bot Arena which sees up to eight players battling it out with remote controlled Spider-Bots that are armed to the teeth. While it's not quite the same as the Spider Tank from Watch Dogs 1, it should serve as a decent way to compete with other players. More PvP modes are in the works for future updates.
Invasion from Watch Dogs 1 and 2 is making a comeback. Invasion involves infiltrating another player's game and hacking them, all the while remaining undetected. Whether features like Bounties and Retaliation will be carried over as well remains to be seen but those who had fun playing hide and seek against other players can rejoice.
Season Pass holders will be receiving four new playable characters called Hero Characters. This includes Aiden Pearce from Watch Dogs 1. Pearce will have his own DLC storyline called Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline and will work with Wrench from Watch Dogs 2 (who is also a playable character). Both characters will have their own unique abilities and progression but that's not all. Future Hero Characters include Mina, a former subject of experiments who has the power of mind-control, and Darcy, a member of the Brotherhood of Assassins from the Assassin's Creed series. This will mark the first time that an Assassin is playable in Watch Dogs, hidden blade and all.
New Characters, Missions and New Game Plus
For those not interested in spending money on the Season Pass, there will be new characters with different abilities to recruit for free (with a hypnotist being one of the characters teased). New missions and New Game Plus will also be coming for free, though more details are still needed.
To the surprise of no one, Watch Dogs: Legion has microtransactions. The premium store in-game allows you to purchase Operatives and cosmetics with WD Credits, which works out to $1 for 100 WD Credits (with bundles also available). ETO Packs and a map of all the collectibles can also be purchased with Credits. Ubisoft has clarified that Operatives sold through the premium store will feature "feature unique personalities, outfits, masks and cosmetics" but that their "gameplay abilities, traits, and weapons can be found on other Londoners around the city, and they do not offer any gameplay advantages compared with operatives recruited in the game."
Cyberpunk 2077, by all accounts, is going to be a massive game. CD Projekt RED has been hyping its improvements to role-playing and world-building for a while now and on November 19th, we'll get to experience it for ourselves. In the meantime though, we're going to go over almost everything you should know before buying the game. In fact, there's so much to cover that today's part will cover the story, world, Life Paths and the various groups vying for control in Night City. Without further ado, let's get into it.
The story sees protagonist V seeking the "chip of immortality." Details for the prologue see V and Jackie Welles having to steal it from the Arasaka Corporation. Of course, things go wrong and V is betrayed and seemingly killed. Except not really and top it off, legendary rocker Johnny Silverhand (played by Keanu Reeves) is haunting them. The chip of immortality is seemingly keeping V alive but why and to what ends? And why does Johnny want to burn Night City to the ground? A number of questions must be answered but it could all begin a whole lot more differently.
Three different Lifepaths are available from the outset, providing a different background, starting point and prologue for V. These are Nomad, Corpo and Streetkid, each providing their share of changes for dialogue choices and quests. Nomad sees V starting in the Badlands and venturing into Night City after their family is reduced to pieces. Streetkid has V as a citizen of Night City, running foul of Night City PD and Arasaka's Kaoru Fujioka after a car-theft gone wrong. Corpo V works in Arasaka Corporation as a counter-intelligence agent and receives a request to off another employee (which also goes wrong, obviously). All of these paths will tie into the meeting with Johnny Silverhand but provide a more distinct flavor to each playthrough
Along with Lifepaths, an extensive character creation suite is available for customizing one's very own V. We'll cover stats, cyberware, Skills and perks in the next part but there are plenty of cosmetic options worth mentioning. You can choose from different sets of faces, hair-styles, eyes, noses, jaws, ears and mouths; modify makeup, scars, piercings and clothing; add tattoos, eye mods, skin mods and surface wiring; and go with different voices and body types (along with other more explicit modifications). Whether it's a sleek Street Samurai or a mess of cyberware modifications, the choice is yours.
For all the character creation options available, it was perhaps most surprising to fans that Cyberpunk 2077 would be a first-person game. Community lead Marcin Momot said the decision to go with this is something that will benefit the immersion greatly "from gameplay and story-telling perspectives." Though the third-person perspective does pop up occasionally, this will only be in some cut-scenes and while driving. V will also be visible in the inventory menu and when looking at mirrors. It's a big shift but one that's started making more sense as more gameplay is revealed.
The world of Cyberpunk 2077 has a fair amount of depth. Night City is fully independent from the rest of the country, its main attraction being the six districts – Heywood, Pacifica, Westbrook, City Center, Watson and Santa Domingo – that are further divided into 16 sub-districts. Each district has its own distinct style, story and gang that dominates it. City Center is the lush centerpiece that serves as the location for numerous megacorps. Meanwhile, Pacifica is a vacation resort that was left to die after investment evaporated and is now home to all kinds of crime. There's also the Badlands, located outside of Night City, that features heavy pollution and which the Nomads inhabit.
With all the crime that occurs in Night City, V will run into a multitude of different gangs. 6th Street inhabits Santa Domingo and Heywood and is all about patriotism. The Animals are a booster gang in Pacifica using cyberware and substances to enhance their physical abilities. The Voodoo Boys are also found in Pacifica and consist of netrunners and edgerunners investigating the Old Net and Blackwall. Maelstrom is focused in Watson and uses all kinds of cyberware to the point of obsession. Scavengers can be found all over but like to hang out in Pacifica – they like to illegally extract cyberware and sell it on the black market. The Tyger Claws inhabit Westbrook and are akin to the Yakuza in their dealings – they're also one of the biggest gangs with thousands of members. Finally, there's the Moxes, a motley group interested in self-defense especially against the Tyger Claws. Each gang has its own motivations, style and story, and V can take missions from fixers for each one.
The megacorps are omnipresent in Cyberpunk 2077. They own and control pretty much everything. We've thus far been introduced to Arasaka, one of the most powerful megacorps in the world. And while Night City belongs to it, there are other groups to keep in mind. MAX-TAC aka Psycho Squad figured in the 2013 trailer for the game and has popped up briefly in some more recent screenshot. Meant to deal with cyberpsychosis victims, the Psycho Squad boasts significantly more firepower than the NCPD. Trauma Team International is a paramedical corporation that's all about responding quickly to medical emergencies but charges premium prices for the same. Other megacorps like Militech, Kang Tao and Budget Arms also exist and seem to contribute to the weapons that players will discover. More details on them, along with groups like Biotechnica, are needed though.
Those interested in the overall lore and history of Night City might want to seek out Shards. These are collectible lore items that will outline a number of things, from Johnny Silverhand's backstory to the history of each gangs, the megacorps, and perhaps even how the world got to be this way. It would be interesting to see if collecting these Shards will trigger a secret ending or revelation. Regardless, it's worth keeping an eye out for them all the same.
Jackie Welles has popped up quite a bit as V's companion but there will be others that can fill that role. Quest designer Philipp Weber said in a developer Q&A that there would be several different companions throughout the game. Along with accompanying V on different quests, they can also hang out with them and will serve important roles in the story. Interestingly, some of these characters can become friends or foes depending on your choices.
Though CD Projekt RED hasn't explicitly outlined how romances will work, quest designer Paweł Sasko told GameSpot in August 2019 that meeting characters whose goals align with V's "may spark interest on the side of the NPC" (depending on the decisions made, of course). They won't fall for you immediately though and some may even opt to just be friends. Sasko also noted that, "Players' choices define how many relationships V is going to have – but some preferences are impossible to change, almost how it is in real life. We believe that this is one of the key factors that makes characters feel genuine, natural, and real. We pay a great deal of attention to characters in the story, as they are the main pillars of the plot."
Branching Dialogues and Quests
Every choice has a consequence but even simple conversations will have a range of options for players, whether it's the usual dialogue choices or specific lines based on one's Lifepath, stats and so on. During last year's demo, which saw V taking on a job for the Voodoo Boys, it's possible to either successfully connect the gang to Netwatch's network or distrust them completely in favour of Netwatch, which opens up even more choices. Different Lifepaths will also have some content exclusive to them, though CD Projekt RED won't divulge too much on that front.
Main Quest Length
The main quest in Cyberpunk 2077 will be shorter. This doesn't necessarily mean that it will have less content overall but it should take less time to see the conclusion to V's main story. In fact, you could end up finishing the game without even completing the main quest. Lead quest designer Pawel Sasko described the story to Spider's Web as "the main storyline with different subplots surrounding it, which can be triggered in various ways. Those subplots allow us to do something that we have never done before – they change the main plot of the game and they are doing that in such a way that you may not even finish the main plot, but still finish the game and get a completely different epilogue than the player with a different Life Path who made different choices, met different characters and formed relationships with them." So even more variety is in store for players who choose to do their own thing.
Along with the main quest, players can indulge in Street Stories, side quests which follow a certain template but that "are customized to make them feel unique" as per producer John Mamais when speaking to OnMSFT. Though you won't see some of the more "advanced cinematic storytelling sequences" in these quests, they will have some story to them and provide ways to level up V. Expect "around" 75 Street Stories in total to go along with various activities.
"Game Over" and Quest Failure
V can't stay dead thanks to the chip of immorality but that doesn't mean they can't die at all. This will cause a "Game Over" screen to appear but, no matter how badly a quest is failed or who dies as a result, the story will carry on. This fits into CD Projekt RED's earlier confirmation that GTA-style rampages will be possible but that players may be dissuaded from doing so due to the number of choices available. Whether some NPCs are unkillable or not remains to be seen but the sheer number of ripples in the game world could be immense.
To no one's surprise, there will be multiple endings to the game. With the number of choices, Lifepaths, NPCs and so on, this seemed a given. How different each ending will be, what can occur in the Epilogue and the ramifications of one's choices is all yet to be revealed. Suffice it to say though, that there will be plenty of reason to replay Cyberpunk 2077 for months, even years to come.
Motive Studios is one of EA's youngest studios. After first having developed the single player campaign of Star Wars Battlefront 2, they recently released their first full game, Star Wars: Squadrons– and it seems they're already moving on to new projects.
In a recent update, Motive's GM Patrick Klaus said that the studio is currently working on "several unannounced titles" and that it wants to keep experimenting and iterating to "ush the boundaries of what players expect now and into the future."
"In addition to Star Wars: Squadrons, we're also working on several unannounced projects," Klaus wrote. "Innovation is tough, but it's also exciting and energizing. With our new mission, we're trying a lot of things and testing many ideas which you can't get attached to, as iteration and experimentation are healthy and a key to finding something great. The team is super talented and we're all striving to make aspirational games that push the boundaries of what players expect now and into the future."
EA have previously said that they intend to "double down" on their exclusive Star Wars license, so it's possible that Motive Studios have already moved on to a new game in the franchise. Earlier this year, EA said that last year's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the first game in a new franchise. Meanwhile, development on a sequel is seemingly already underway at Respawn Entertainment.
As far as Star Wars: Squadrons itself is concerned, it seems EA are treating this as a one-and-done release, with the developers currently having no plans to release any DLC.
The game is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can read our review through here.
Last week, various Japanese media outlets and influencers got to go hands-on with the PS5, which led to a long overdue flood of impressions and information, from its cooling system to new details about the DualSense to new pictures of the console itself. We also got to see some real-time gameplay, and now, we have a little more of that to check out.
Japanese YouTube channel 2Bro Entertainment recently uploaded a PS5 hands-on video showing 40 minutes of gameplay. Like many similar videos from last week, this one shows gameplay from Godfall, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition and Balan Wonderworld, but there's plenty to look at, and it's all running on a PS5 in real time. Check it out below.
In this same video, we also got a glimpse of how significantly the PS5 cuts down the load times in Devil May Cry 5. Read more on that through here.
Recently, Sony also released a teardown video for the PS5, taking a detailed look at the console's hardware and its insides. Check it out through here.
We've been hearing about the PS5's SSD and how it will, among other things, significantly reduce load times in next-gen games. Lately, however, we've also been seeing it in action here and there. Most recently, we got to see it for the recently announced Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition.
As spotted over on the ResetEra forums, a Japanese channel recently uploaded a hands-on video of the PS5, in which they showcased gameplay from various titles. One of these was Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, and the video shows the game taking 4 seconds to load into a mission. On a PS4, by comparison, the same mission takes about 22 seconds to load (you can compare both in the timestamped videos below).
In fact, it seems load times have been reduced so significantly on the PS5 that Capcom have even added a "press X to continue" prompt to actually allow players to read the tips and tricks the game shows during loading screens.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition launches for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on November 10 and for PS5 on November 12. Capcom currently have no plans to bring the expanded re-release to PC. Meanwhile, one of the game's new features – ray-tracing – will not be in the Xbox Series X/S release at launch.
Recently, Capcom showed off DMC5: Special Edition's ray-tracing, Turbo mode, Vergil gameplay, and Legendary Dark Knight mode. Take a look through here. You can also watch more gameplay footage through here.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales would have been a game worth looking forward to even if it were just offering more of the same- but the prospect of playing as a new Spider-Man with his own unique strengths makes the game even more exciting. Miles will come with abilities entirely of his own, and recently, in a short but effective gif posted on Twitter, Insomniac Games showed one of those off.
Using Miles' camouflage powers, players will be able to essentially render themselves invisible to get the upper hand in stealth and get up close to enemies and perform Takedowns on them. You can see this in action in the clip below. It spells interesting things for what the game could do with its stealth sections.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which recently wrapped up development, launches for PS5 and PS4 on November 12. The game will allow save transfers from PS4 to PS5. Its file sizes were recently confirmed- read more on that through here.
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) October 10, 2020