PlayStation Network to Finally Allow Name Changes

If it hasn’t been hijacked yet, PSN is finally going to allow you to change your username. Sid Shuman says it’ll be free the first time, and $10 or $5 (for PlayStation Plus subscribers) after that, and the feature has some odd limitations:

When you change your online ID, you will have the option to display your previous ID with your new ID, so your friends can recognize you. Once you decide to display your old ID or not, you won’t be able to adjust this after completing the online ID change process.

The name-changing feature will be in a temporary “preview program”  in November for people who have registered to test pre-release versions of the PlayStation 4 system software, and it may break some recent games:

This feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after April 1, 2018, and a large majority of the most-played PS4 games that were released before this date. However, please note not all games and applications for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita systems are guaranteed to support the online ID change, and users may occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games. If for any reason you experience issues after changing your ID, you can revert back to your original ID for free at any time (you will only be able to revert once during the preview program). Reverting back to an old ID will resolve most issues caused by the ID change. In addition, when this feature officially launches, a list of compatible games published before April 1, 2018, will be provided on PlayStation.com for reference before you make a change.

Yikes.

It sounds like some games may just be broken for anyone who wants to play them after changing their name. I hope that Sony has a better workaround than “pay us to change back so you can play old games” before the name-changing feature ships to everyone early next year.

PlayStation E3 2018 Showcase Notes

We’re onto Sony’s E3 2018 event, it’s the PlayStation Showcase. Somewhere in a parallel universe there’s a bunch of executives watching a video stream of a writer in Honolulu and writing down what he’s talking about.

Continue reading “PlayStation E3 2018 Showcase Notes”

It’s 2017 and Windjammers is Available Again

Speaking of games that have left a void and been inexpertly filled by well-intentioned developers. The Neo Geo classic disc tossing game that’s basically pong if it involved a gruff euro beach 90’s future aesthetic,  Windjammers, has been riffed on so many times. It’s actually been thrilling to see who gets the closest to surpassing the original game because it was so difficult to get a hold on many Neo Geo games legitimately.

Those days are over, as long as you have a PlayStation 4 or (surprisingly) a PlayStation Vita. DotEmu has brought the original game back out on these Sony platforms for $15, with some pretty big updates to multiplayer and leaderboards that go beyond your typical ROM-in-an-emulator package but don’t seem to change the art or gameplay. Buying one version also nets you the other with Sony’s cross-buy promotion.

PlayStation E3 2017 Media Showcase Notes

Sony has a Sid Shuman pre-game before the press event this year, so you can skip to about one hour in if you want to get to the event.

One of the trailers they opened the show with features a hideous gold PlayStation 4 that’s $249 for a few days. Get it while it’s tacky and cheap?

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

A new Uncharted game coming out just a year after the last. I had fun with Uncharted 4 last year, and this time we’ve got no Nathan Drake. Instead it’s Chloe and Nadine’s adventure in India and it’ll be out on August 22nd. At least Sony doesn’t feel the need to have some deep voiced “exclusive” before every trailer, even when this is.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds DLC

It’s DLC for a game I haven’t played yet. The Frozen Wilds will be out some time later this year.

Days Gone

This post-apocalyptic zombie game was announced last year. The gameplay in the trailer is pretty interesting if the game actually gives you different options for getting stuff done. No release date yet. Another exclusive.

Monster Hunter World

Capcom’s been making Monster Hunter games for a long time, but I don’t ever remember them looking like this. It’ll have four-player co-op online early next year on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows. They actually had pyrotechnics on stage at the end of the trailer.

Shadow of the Colossus Remaster/Remake

Hell yes I’d play Shadow again. It’s kind of a surprise Sony are doing this after doing an HD remaster on PlayStation 3, but this looks more like a remake than a remaster. It’ll be out some time next year on PS4.

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite

September 19th for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. The art is real weird on some of these characters. There’s a story demo out now. I think I’d rather play Ultimate MvC 3.

Call of Duty: WW2

Last year’s Infinite Warfare was an unexpected delight, and I was surprised at how little the other journalists I follow enjoyed it. Some still thought that Advanced Warfare was the best game from the triad of developers switching off on the game every year. I felt that going back to the same ship between missions in IW added a slice of life that I hadn’t seen in other Call of Duty games. If WW2 is as far back to its roots as it appears, it won’t be much like Infinite and even though I am sure I could still enjoy playing through it and some multiplayer, it’ll be worse for it. Call of Duty: WW2 is due out on November 3rd for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Skyrim VR

It’s Skyrim VR’s trailer for PlayStation VR. While I’m sure it will be a very different experience, and it’s good that VR is getting more full games, I’m not that psyched to replay it. Still no release date, and it’s going to be on Windows as well.

Star Child

A curious kind of sci-fi side-scroller for PSVR without much other information. No release date given.

The Inpatient

The idea of playing a horror game in VR is particularly terrifying. According to the game’s description The Inpatient is a prequel for another Playstation exclusive game, Until Dawn. No release date.

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is a strange RPG. This fishing spin-off is hilarious and will be out this September. It isn’t clear if this will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 and its VR platform or not, but until there’s an official VR solution for the Xbox One it’ll probably be exclusive by default.

Bravo Team

Another PlayStation VR exclusive. This looks totally unremarkable. No release date.

Moss

The thing I like about Sony is their tendency towards the weird. That PlayStation VR gets a solid shot of that weird is good, too. I’m a little concerned about the collectible card images depicted on the game’s website, but Moss looks good and weird and the developer promises it’ll be out late this year.

God of War

God of War is a series that I spent the most time with on the PlayStation Portable, but adding Kratos’ son to the game could convince me to try playing more of it on a console. This dadventure is due out on the PlayStation 4 next year.

Detroit: Become Human

Quantic Dream’s games are amazing. Sometimes the gameplay is awful, sometimes it’s the terrible voice acting, sometimes the story is atrocious like a bad TV movie on the Syfy channel, but I enjoy going wherever David Cage takes me whenever I play these games. I look forward to whatever Detroit has in store as it liberates androids. No release date yet.

Destiny 2

I used to wonder if Bungie was disappointed about losing the Halo games to Microsoft, and I bet they are, but Destiny is clearly their own thing and it’s good that they had the opportunity to leave Halo behind and do something different. Destiny 2 will be out on September 6th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on October 24th for Windows through Blizzard’s Launcher. That delay for Windows kind of sucks, and it looks like Sony’s PlayStation 4 will have a bunch of exclusive stuff.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man has a very long history with games and I’m looking forward to see Insomniac’s take on the wallcrawler. The combat looks fun and watching Spider-Man take out guys with guns feels like a refreshing change from so many shooter games. He’ll be on the PlayStation 4 next year.

Overall
This event was strange because Sony didn’t have a presenter to give context between the trailers, only bringing out Shawn Layton sparingly at the beginning and end. There was spectacle in the live music and pyrotechnics, but people clearly didn’t know when to leave after the show was over.

I am happy that Sony hasn’t abandoned virtual reality. For some of 2017 it has felt like the air around VR got stale without more hardware updates and fresh software, but there is clearly still interest and development going on for most VR platforms.

Ben Heck Got That Nintendo Playstation Working

Last year Ben Heck attempted to repair a Nintendo Playstation prototype. It was a console developed in partnership between Sony and Nintendo during the Super Nintendo era. Before Sony decided to go their own way and the project was scuttled, this prototype was developed and made its way into the world.

Last year Heck managed to get the unit loading regular Super Nintendo games. He now has the prototype loading homebrew games off of the disc drive.

Ben Heck’s Hands-On With The Nintendo Playstation Prototype

Ben Heck met with and interviewed the people who found a prototype of the original Playstation. That was actually going to be a joint project between Sony and Nintendo where Sony would develop the hardware and Nintendo the software for a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. The partnership didn’t work out between the two companies, which is why we have Sony’s Playstation competing with Nintendo’s consoles today. Heck tears down the Nintendo Playstation prototype in this video, and in the next part he’ll attempt to repair it.

Sony’s E3 2015 News

The Playstation press conference starts now:

  • Some dude with a shitty beard is yakking it up about how awesome gaming and Playstation are.
  • The Last Guardian, the next game from the developers of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is still on. They’re playing a trailer now. It comes out in 2016.
  • Guerrilla Games the developers of the most creatively named game since BonestormKillzone, are making something new. It has some kind of crossover between tree creatures and robot dinosaurs, looks a bit Turok-y and Heavenly Sword-y. There’s a stealth system similar to the one in Assassin’s Creed where you can crawl through bushes to keep awareness down. The protagonist lady has a laser bow that shoots rocket arrows. Also, a gun that binds the giant robot dinosaurs to the ground.  It’s called Horizon: Zero Dawn.
  • From IO Interactive, a new Hitman, seemingly just called Hitman with no colon or subtitle. No gameplay footage, just a new trailer. Playstation beta is exclusive for pre-orderers. Don’t pre-order games.
  • Street Fighter V. Exclusive to Playstation and Windows. Beta starts July.
  • Hello Games is back with more No Man’s Sky. Which predictably still looks amazing. The unpredicted is that they started off with space combat which hasn’t been shown before. I can picture the mythical publisher boss sitting in front of his desk, smashing down papers and shouting IF THIS DEMO DOESN’T START WITH GUNS YOUR GAME IS CANCELLED!  After the space combat, we go to a random planet. “Every planet in every solar system is fully destructible.” This demo is amazing. There are NPC guardians who protect the planets from being destroyed. Release date will be announced soon, but not today. Ends with a Carl Sagan quote.
  • Media Molecule is here to tell us about our dreams. You can sculpt in 3D with your regular Dualshock 4 controller and animate short films as well. It’s just called Dreams.
  • Firewatch from Campo Santo. Some kind of timed exclusive for Playstation. Still looks great. No release date.
  • Destiny: The Taken King. Another expansion for Destiny. If we don’t see Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 before the end of this press conference I will be surprised.
  • More Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Exclusive missions on Playstation 4.
  • Final Fantasy has gone super-chibi in World of Final Fantasy. Timed exclusive for PS4 and Vita. 2016. No real information as to what it is.
  • Final Fantasy 7 remake trailer. Timed exclusive for Playstation 4. Not even a year for a release.
  • A montage trailer from Devolver Digital for a bunch of games, Ronin, Eitr, Mother Russia Bleeds, Crossing Souls.
  • Shenmue III is going to be crowd funded. It’s already on Kickstarter. 2 Million goal for the project. It’s very strange since this isn’t from Sega, instead it’s Shenmue’s creator, Yu Suzuki with a company called Ys Net. $29 for a digital copy for PS4 or Windows. Estimated release is in December of 2017.
  • We’re on to some Batman-related thing. Oh it’s just Batman: Arkham Knight with some very strange exclusive Scarecrow missions for Playstation 4. 
  • Guerrilla Games Cambridge is working on a VR game called Rigs that will work with Sony’s Morpheus VR Headset. They said IP. Stop saying IP. There were a few other games in a montage.
  • Sony’s TV subscription package, Vue, is expanding to more places and will go a-la-carte. I don’t care.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Treyarch’s Mark Lamia is on stage to tell us about it. He looks and sounds like a car salesman who got hired to tell us about Call of Duty. Four player campaign co-op depicted in the trailer. It looks like you’ll have Bees instead of or in addition to attack dogs. Next up we’ve got some multiplayer. You can shoot people online. It comes out November 6th, 2015. Map packs come out first for Playstation this time instead of the Xbox. Pre-orderers get a beta. i made a mistake last time by getting it on Windows which was a horrible experience. Treyarch does typically do better on Windows than the other Call of Duty developers.
  • Shenmue 3 is now at $294,035 of its $2,000,000 goal. Kickstarter is going to get at least $100,000 for hosting a website if this project is fully funded.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Rise Against the Empire Playset. One month exclusive on Playstation 4. The voice actor for Darth Vader sounds terrible. The Boba Fett toy is also exclusive.
  • More Star Wars: Battlefront. Nothing exclusive.
  • Awkward pause between the room going dark and the start of the Uncharted trailer. I need to go back and finish Uncharted 3. More techincal difficulties.They restarted and things are working now. The graphics look so good, but the gameplay looks like exactly what you would expect from a new Uncharted game.

That’s it for today.