- Destiny Limited Edition Glacier White PS4 Bundle, available on September 9 for $449.99 MSRP, includes a 500GB white PS4 chassis, Activision and Bungie's Destiny and a 30-day memberships to PlayStation®Plus.
- Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation®3 12GB bundle, available this Fall for $249 (SRP), includes PlayStation®3 System 12GB, DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes for PlayStation®3 Avengers-Themed Play Set, Two Power Discs, Infinity Base, Thor Figurine, Iron Man Figurine, Black Widow Figurine.
- PlayStation TV bundle will be available this Fall for $139 (SRP), and includes a DUALSHOCK 3, an 8GB memory card, an HDMI cable, and a digital voucher for Lego: The Movie.
Archive for the ‘PS Vita’ Category
Over the last few days we've been happy to receive enough review copies to keep us busy for a while. Sony was kind enough to pop us over the latest and greatest for the PS Vita and PS3 in the form of Killzone Mercenary and Puppeteer respectively. Today we were also surprised to receive a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD almost two weeks before its official launch date on October 4th (we'll be buying the GameStop/EB Games special edition with the Ganondorf figurine for the office too). Look forward to full reviews of these games and more in the coming days, and you can check out our first Let's Play episode featuring Puppeteer here if you haven't already liked/commented/subscribed.
Sony surprised everyone today with a couple of potentially game-changing announcements for the struggling (if not completely dead) PS Vita. Firstly, a tiny (6cm by 10cm) brand-new product is hitting Japanese stores on Nov. 14th for the equivalent of $100 US called the PS Vita TV (pictured above). This contraption combines the Netflix/Hulu/etc. streaming features of an Apple TV/Roku/WDTV/etc. box with the ability to play PS Vita games straight from the card and access the PlayStation Store. It can be used as a way to stream your PS4 games to a separate TV elsewhere in the house, as a way to stream your PS Vita games to your PS4, or as a way to play your PlayStation Store-available PSOne and PSP games via the TV. At launch it will support the use of a PS3 controller to control said games (limiting the PS Vita selection to only those entirely controllable via button input (not requiring touch screen/camera interactions)), but support for the PS4 controller and thereby PS4 game streaming will be available through a patch at a later date. There is no word yet on whether the touch functionality of the PS4 controller will be used to enhance the playable game selection of the PS Vita TV or not.
While the breadth and quality of the features listed for the PS Vita TV are indeed impressive, there are a few considerations that may yet mar the new devices capabilities. Firstly, consider how for the 3DS line of systems, moving to a screen that was even 90% larger than the original on the 3DS XL started to cause noticeable pixellation of the graphics. Unless some unprecedented algorithms are used to up-convert the PS Vita's 960x544 resolution to 720p or 1080p, the games will likely end up looking pretty blocky on a large HDTV (not to mention how the PSP or PSOne games will look). These resolution concerns extend to the streaming and video features of the device as well -- as far as we can tell Sony has made no announcements pertaining to the output resolution of this device; if it's under 1080p there will be no point using it for movies or media if your TV is 1080p when there are so many more capable and similarly priced choices, if it can't even do 720p everything it does will look blurry and/or pixellated on modern TVs. Secondly, when the PS4 controller is implemented for controlling the PS Vita TV there are no guarantees that the PSVTV will be able to use its touch area for otherwise unsupported games -- if it doesn't it would be a sadly missed opportunity. Thirdly, no details about a launch outside of Japan (however likely it is) have been made yet. It's very possible that the PSVTV could carry a larger pricetag when it comes to non-Japanese countries and go beyond the magically enticing $99.99 price. Lastly, even if the PSVTV comes out at $99 in North America, it could spell trouble for the PS Vita brand as a whole; developers would have more than primary output method to program for and may start thinking that it isn't worth the time to try to code games for the PS Vita that will also look nice on a TV or PS Vita-proper sales could completely bottom out with a much more versatile option for playing the games being offered at half the price.
The second bit of PS Vita news from today (yes, there's more!) was that a slimmed-down version of the portable PS Vita is being launched in Japan on Oct. 19th at the same price as the current iteration ($199 US). Similar to the changes made with the PSP-2000 update, the slimmer PS Vita is 20% thinner and 15% lighter than its immediate ancestor with a battery life expectancy clocking-in at a full hour longer. Aside from the multiple colours now available (pictured above), one thing of great note in this product refresh is that the glorious OLED screen in the original PS Vita is being replaced by what from currently available information seems to be a run-of-the-mill LCD screen. What customers already not terribly attracted to the console will think of trading a cutting-edge screen for a slimmer profile, multiple colours, and a smidge more battery life remains to be seen, but that is one aspect of the system that it is questionable to make economies on.
If/when any North American details are released about these intriguing new PS Vita products we'll let you know. Having an in-house PS Vita ourselves, we're definitely more interested in the possibilities inherent in the PS Vita TV than in downgrading our current pretty-screened device.
Developer: Zen Studios
Publisher: Zen Studios
Console Reviewed: PS3/PS Vita (PSN)
Also Available On: Xbox 360 (XBLA), PC/Mac, iOS, Android
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Progress: Played each board several times on both systems and achieved decent high scores
Zen Pinball 2 and its inexplicably numerous variations on just about every currently available platform is about as ubiquitous as a pinball platform could possibly be. In most of its forms, the core Zen Pinball 2 platform is free with extremely protracted demos of a few available tables included, so you're expected to purchase packs of pinball tables to get any real gaming experience out of the game. The first three of ten planned Star Wars themed DLC pinball tables for the Zen Pinball 2 suite were launched recently with designs based on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the character Boba Fett and the animated TV series The Clone Wars. Is the Force with this first batch of pinball tables or do they belong to the ever-growing dark side of licensed Star Wars video games? Read on to see how we liked our pinball Jedi training.
Off the bat, one of the best features of any DLC for Zen Pinball 2 is that if you buy it via PSN from either a PS3 or a PS Vita, it is "Cross-Buy entitled" meaning that you get it for the other system too. This is the first Cross-Buy entitled product on PSN that I've played and I have to say that it's quite a great feature that Nintendo would do well to looking into with the Wii U and 3DS. I thought that I would spend most of my time playing Star Wars Pinball on the PS3 because of the bigger screen and better graphics, but the portability and touch controls on the PS Vita won me over in this case and I ended up setting my highest scores on all three tables on the PS Vita. The only difference between the two versions of the game were that the PS Vita version (understandably) looks a good deal worse than the PS3 version and the PS Vita version sported the ability to control the paddles with a touch on either side of the screen, a method I found much more personal and responsive than using the shoulder buttons on either system. (It never really says anywhere, so I only discovered it accidentally, but you can also rotate the PS Vita 90 degrees to get an elongated view of the table, which is pretty neat if a bit uncomfortable to hold.)
Zen Pinball 2 does its damnedest to try and emulate the experience of playing on a physical pinball table. The sounds and mechanics are spot on even if the ball physics sometimes take a back seat to convenience or showmanship depending on the table. Also clearly visible from most of the generously many view options is a classic pinball-style Dot Matrix screen that shows everything from your score and progress to extremely pixellated movie scenes just like in the days of yore. While for pinball purists these considerations may be a relief, from a gaming point of view there is no reason that they couldn't at least have included an option to have a more updated and colourful status screen. Just like many of the great physical pinball tables, the Star Wars Pinball tables in this pack make liberal application of all of your favourite Star Wars noises and sound bytes. The only problem here is that even though Zen Studios was given full license from LucasArts, I swear that they went the cheap route and had most (if not all) of the supposed film sound bytes impersonated instead of taken straight from the films. I didn't notice at first, but the more I played the more I noticed that the distinctive voices of characters like Han Solo and Yoda really did not at all sound like they did in the movies. I'm not certain if this was a cost-cutting decision or not, but I hope that for any future Star Wars tables (if they occur since LucasArts' untimely dissolution) that they go with real movie clips rather than poor facsimiles.
The Empire Strikes Back (TESB) table was the one I was most excited to play, but it ended up being the one that I disliked the most. TESB table requires much more precision than its pack-mates and despite several attempts I was never able to complete any of its five movie-event themed missions. This is the table on which the impersonated voices are most prevalent too, but compared to your average virtual pinball table it's still a decent amount of fun. My highscore on this table was just over 6.2 million.
The Clone Wars (TCW) table, with the license I care the least about, ended up being far and away my favourite of the three. TCW table is much more fast-paced than TESB table with plenty of wire tracks winding about. You can have a great time just shooting the ball about and watching the lively 3D character models have lightsaber battles all over the table. After hitting some things that I am uncertain of a bunch of times a path to a mini-table above the regular table can open up too allowing you to rack up a ton of bonus points if you're careful enough. I'm not familiar with the voices from the series, so I can't say if they were as poorly impersonated as the ones on TESB table, but everything else on this table is spot-on. My highscore was just under 48 million on this table, so I was proud to be in the top 5000-ish or something players on the leaderboard.
The Boba Fett table is kind of middle-of-the-road, neither as actively frustrating as TESB table or as generally awesome as TCW table. This is the table of the three that I played the least, but it is probably the most activated animated of the three. Boba Fett zips around the table pretty much the entire time and there are some nice visual touches like a Han Solo frozen in carbonite spinner located above a sarlacc pit. Fans of the infamous bounty hunter will surely have a blast on this table if only for all of the movie references.
Whether or not you think three virtual pinball tables is worth $9.99 is up to you, but Zen Studios does make it a little easier to decide by allowing anyone to download the aforementioned extremely protracted demos of the tables before they commit to a purchase. Considering both the amount of fun I had with the tables and the fact that you get them for both PS Vita and PS3 in one purchase, even though these tables don't all knock it out of the park quality-wise they're worth a play from pinball and Star Wars fans alike. (I just hope that if/when all ten tables are available that they'll offer discounts if you buy more than one pack at once.)
- "Cross-Buy entitled" meaning your $9.99 nets you the tables on both PS3 and PS Vita
- PS Vita version offers touch controls and a possible vertical holding position
- Structure is very true to classic physical pinball tables
- Misses some opportunities to add video game zest to the formula (emulates a Dot Matrix display)
- Lots of dynamic characters and ships flying almost constantly around the tables
- Classic voices are impersonated instead of using sound bytes from movies
- Empire Strikes Back table is precision-based, Clone Wars table is easier and speed-based, Boba Fett table is a mixture of the two
- As a whole a good buy for both pinball and Star Wars fans alike
A review code for this game was provided to us by its publisher.
Sony's conference dubbed the "PlayStation Meeting 2013", where Sony is expected to announce the next PlayStation home console (as well as perhaps a PS Vita overhaul and price drop), is set to air at 5:00pm CST today. Various websites around the web will be liveblogging and livestreaming the event, we have it embedded below as well in case you have problems loading other sites. We'll do our usual job and take notes during the presentation for you and then put up a summary shortly thereafter with the information we have been able to glean from it. It's an exciting time for any gamer, whether you're a fan of Sony or not, so be sure to check back when it's over. You can watch a repeat of the live stream for as long as Sony offers it after the jump.
It's nothing huge, but we found an in-game typo in Virtue's Last Reward today. Since it's a really story-driven game, it's just a little funny that such a thing got through several layers of quality control. It will be interesting to see if Aksys thinks this is a serious enough thing to release a patch for, or if it magically becomes fixed in later printings of the game.
(See an image of the typo after the jump if you can handle minor spoilers)
Remember: there was only one chocie!
We took the PS Vita and the 3DS XL from Kotaku's recent size comparison image and overlapped them so that you can get a better picture of just how similarly sized the screens are now. It's still worthwhile to note that the pixel density on the PS Vita's 960x544 screen is nearly twice that of the 3DS XL's effectively 400x240 screen. When August 19th rolls around we'll be able to tell for sure just how much better/worse 3DS games look on the XL's screen.
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Here is a gallery of the pictures that we took during Sony's press conference in addition to two pictures from the fancy reception they held afterward. See the rest of the pictures after the jump!
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