Sony Announces Next Console Called PlayStation 5 and Details Controller Changes

Sony has confirmed its next generation console will be called the PlayStation 5 and discussed some controller changes as well.

Sony confirmed the PS5 name and release date before Holiday 2020 on its own blog. It also detailed two big changes for the controller in the form of haptic feedback to simulate different gameplay experiences. The other change called adaptive triggers, allows developers to program resistance into the L2 and R2 triggers to react differently to things like driving off-road or pulling a bowstring.

The most detail was released in a Wired article this morning which went a little more into the console hardware itself. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan discussed ray tracing, the solid state drive, and more details on the controller.

The PS5 UI will allow players to preview multiplayer and single player content before starting the game and to download and even delete each part separately. The Wired article also mentions the controller has an improved speaker and a USB Type-C connector. The controller was apparently identical to a PS4 controller (minus the details mentioned above) but I’m hoping the controller will get a cosmetic and ergonomic overhaul before the PS5 launches.

Check out the Wired article above for more details on the controller batter, a discussion with a developer from Bluepoint Games (of last years Shadow of the Colossus remake), and a little more info on what the SSD means for the PlayStation 5.

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Sony Cross-Play Available to All Games

In yesterday’s Wired article announcing the price drop of PlayStation Now, an interesting bit at the end apparently also announced cross-play is available to all games.

While the focus of the article was the big changes that came to PS Now, like God of War and other major first party games now available on the service, cross-play is discussed at the end. Wired states that “PS4’s cross-play efforts have officially moved out of the beta stage”, strangely with no announcement from Sony.

While cross-play on PS4 has been available for Fortnite and Rocket League for a while this means any game can theoretically do it. PUBG immediately took advantage of the end of the beta and announced the update was live yesterday. With Call of Duty Modern Warfare offering the feature at launch it’s likely many other games will start to add it soon.

As for the PS Now change, the service is available for $59.99 a year now, down from $99.99 previously. The monthly version is down from $20 to $9.99. The previously mentioned God of War, Infamous: Second Son, Uncharted 4, and GTA V were all also made available to download or stream.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Add Autosaving

Gameinformer reported yesterday that the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield games will feature autosaving.

It will be the first time in the franchise’s 20-plus year history players don’t have to pause the game to save. During an interview with game director Shigeru Ohmori, it was only mentioned for the open-world Wild Area, but later clarified it can be used throughout the entire game

But for anyone who feels like that takes away from the Pokemon experience, it’s optional. You can decide for yourself which you’ll want to go with when the game releases next month on November 15.

Nintendo Direct Recap

Today’s Nintendo Direct was chock full of announcements and new details about many upcoming games and had a few surprises as well.

The switch version of Overwatch that’s been rumored for a few days was the first thing Nintendo showed and is releasing on October 15. The trailer also showed of motion controls for some of the heroes as well.

Nintendo then jumped straight into Luigi’s Mansion 3 details showing off some new levels of the haunted hotel and a new multiplayer mode which pits a team of Luigi’s and Gooigi’s against each other.

The first surprise release was a free-to-play Kirby game called Super Kirby Clash which will be available today. Also releasing today is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s third fighter Banjo Kazooie which was detailed in a separate video after the Direct.

The fourth DLC character was announced during the Direct though. He is Terry Bogard from the series Fatal Fury and will release in November. Along with the Terry announcement Nintendo revealed there will be more paid DLC characters coming to Ultimate after the fighter pass finishes.

Pokemon developer Game Freak also has a new game coming to Switch called Little Town Hero which is coming out October 16. It’s available for pre-purchase today and seems to be a turn based fighting game that draws inspiration from Pokemon.

Speaking of Pokemon, the stream went over 4 new details for Sword and Shield. Character customization returns but now will have more depth and options allowing you to accessorize and even choose makeup. You can also set up a Pokemon camp in the wild and play with your Pokemon, experiment with curry recipes and visit other trainers’ camps. Two new Pokemon were detailed; Polteageist is a teapot shaped ghost type and Cramorant is a duck-looking water-flying type.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nintendo announced a few new IP’s, revealed new remakes, detailed already announced ones, and introduced new SNES games coming to the online subscription. They also announced a smorgasbord of new ports including a classic Star Wars game, Doom 64 and an Assassin’s Creed collection including Rogue and Black Flag.

The final announcement was Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, a remake of the Wii title coming in 2020. For more details on that as well as things like a Tetris 99 update, The Witcher 3 port, and Animal Crossing New Horizons, check out the video below.

Sony Finally Buys Insomniac Games

While many may have thought Sony already had Insomniac games, PlayStation announced via Twitter today it has formally acquired the Spider-Man developer.

Despite having worked with Sony for over 20 years, starting with Spyro the Dragon in 1998, Insomniac was an independent developer for over 25 years. Many of their games have been developed exclusively for PlayStation. The studio had branched out with a few games recently though, most notably Sunset Overdrive which was exclusive to the Xbox One.

Check out the press release from Sony for more info and bit more about the history between the two companies.

Dragon Age 4 Producer Leaves BioWare

Just a day after a producer on BioWare’s much-maligned Anthem left the studio, Fernando Melo, a senior producer working on Dragon Age 4 is leaving as well.

Melo made the announcement on social media that he’s leaving the once renowned developer after 12 years. Both departures may signal problems for BioWare which just released the Cataclysm update for Anthem. The update doesn’t seem to have galvanized the player-base and some fear BioWare may go the way of several other shuttered EA studios.

Both Melo and Ben Irving, the producer on Anthem, say that they are leaving the company on amicable terms. Melo mentions the upcoming game in his post calling it “the definitive Dragon Age experience” and that he looks forward to playing it as “a fan this time around.”

He’s not the only one hoping the next Dragon Age hits it out of the park. After the issues fans had with both Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, many see Dragon Age 4 as the studios last shot at restoring the faith many used to have in the developer.

THQ Nordic acquires Milestone S.r.l.

If you like virtual two-wheel racing, chances are you’ll recognize the name Milestone S.r.l.  The Italian studio has years of experience with motorcycle games, and they currently have partnerships with MotoGP, MXGP. and Monster Energy Supercross.  However, they’ve been facing tough dirt-bike competition in the form of the MX vs. ATV series from THQ Nordic.  And it’s ironic that I mention said competition, because the Swedish videogame holding company has purchased Milestone, thus acquiring the rights to series like MotoGPMonster Energy Supercross, MXGP, and Ride.  In theory, this could be a big help to Milestone since they didn’t quite have the budget that racing game giants like Codemasters have.  It’s also an ironic acquisition since THQ Nordic used to have the MotoGP license themselves, so it feels like they’re delving into their past in some fashion.  On a personal note, I feel like one of the biggest reasons for this purchase is that THQ Nordic has been concerned about the possibility of Milestone’s dirt-bike games wiping the floor with the MX vs. ATV series.  Again, that’s just my personal opinion, and you’ll have to hear the real story from the horse’s mouth.  Regardless of reasons, I’m curious to see how Milestone performs now that a giant publisher has acquired them and thus helped them out financially.