Beyond: Two Souls, the, last true great character and story driven PS3 exclusive for this generation?
Quantic Dreams curtain call for the PS3 has polarized gamers, critics and news outlets a like. I’m currently about to start the long, “arduous” process of playing through David Cage’s latest attempt at combining conventional game interactivity with cinema-style writing and actors that hopefully achieve extraordinary results. Visually, the game is probably the prettiest thing available for Sony’s console and it should be, as Cage and company have had years to develop the engine, assets and mo-cap technology that take great advantage of the multifaceted Cell processor.
The PlayStation 3 has had a great run, and it’s still not over with. Sony has publicly stated that the PS3 is meant to have a 10-year life span, which is entirely feasible as Sony supported their PS2 while the PlayStation 3 faced multiple first-party software delays, extreme ineptitude with it’s online support and sub-par multi-platform releases. The Wii outsold the Wii U consistently month after month when Nintendo’s new console got off to a rocky start, thanks to an absurd amount of first party software delays and an abundance of third parties choosing not to release their multi-platform titles for Nintendo’s next-gen console. While Nintendo recently announced they have discontinued manufacturing Wii consoles, It’s no surprise then that a month from now when the PlayStation 4 comes to town, PS3 owners should expect the same level of support they’ve been receiving for years from Sony. Nintendo still has the 3DS and the Wii U will get a boost this holiday with some strong first-party support, and while Microsoft doesn’t exactly have a strong track record of supporting their previous console iterations, they should acknowledge that their are still somewhere in the neighborhood of 70+ million households with XBOX 360’s. Eventually it previous-generation will drop off as the PS4 and Xbox One gradually takes their place, but there will still be a strong level of support from Sony. However, while multi-platform titles are a no-brainer to see releases on both last-gen and next-gen PlayStation consoles, what we may not continue to see much more of is first-party exclusives for the PS3. Beyond: Two Souls is a huge first-party release for Sony, simply because it may be the last PS3 exclusive outside of Gran Turismo 6 to be released for awhile.
Sony will concentrate most of it’s efforts to shifting it’s first-party studios from the out-dated Cell-powered PS3 and acclimating their prized studios with the much more developer friendly x86 8-Core AMD powered PS4. Typically, the first batch of games for a new console are watershed titles; games that players will recognize and instantly be attracted to. Sony, however, has chosen to release two brand new IP’s in Knack and Drive Club. The only recognizable franchise is Killzone: Shadow Fall which has always been a show-off title for Sony’s platforms. The sandbox shooter will take advantage of the PS4’s new touchscreen on the Dual Shock 4 controller and the integrated mic. However, Shadow Fall’s most significant contribution will probably have nothing to do with gameplay at all, but instead will be the title that demonstrates what the new horsepower Sony has under their sleek new parallelogram-shaped box is capable of: Particle effects, larger depth of field, higher resolutions running at a solid 60 fps, high-res textures, background UI computations with the “SHARE” button…. etc. Shadow Fall looks to be a visually stunning game and while the Killzone franchise has never reached the level of success like Microsoft’s HALO series, on launch day that won’t matter because Microsoft doesn’t have Halo, or any new exclusive FPS to compete directly with Shadow Fall. Sony can simply win by default, as Microsoft did back in 2006 when it released the XBOX 360 a year a head of Sony’s PS3. MS showed up to the party first, and many gamers didn’t feel it was worth the wait for a console that was more expensive and included extra features they didn’t care about (ie: the Blu-ray Drive, Micro SD slots, four USB slots; although as a retrospective Sony clearly made the right move implementing BD as Blu-Ray has become the go-to replacement for DVDs, and as the price continually dropped for the PS3, gamers saw that owning a game machine that included a BD drive and a bevy of great exclusives was a clear win-win choice).
Titles like Beyond, Heavy Rain, The Last of Us, Ni No Kuni, Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Journey, Puppeteer, Ratchet and Clank, Gran Turismo, Resistance, Killzone, WipeOut, Metal Gear Solid 4, Kingdom Hearts Remix, Persona 3, 4 (and hopefully 5) show that Sony clearly has a broad selection of first-party content and clearly aren’t afraid to take chances with more daring content. As long as Sony can keep the great exclusive content coming, the PS4 should be just as, if not more successful than it’s predecessor. Here’s hoping that my play-through of Beyond: Two Souls leaves a lasting impression on me like all the great aforementioned Sony exclusive content. Oh and by the way, Team Ico, if you’re still out there, please let us know if the “The Last Guardian” is really still in development or it has been sucked into the gaming abyss of lost titles, otherwise known as vaporware. PS3, PS4, PS Vita, I don’t care at this point anymore- JUST RELEASE IT FOR ONE OF SONY’S PLATFORMS ALREADY!
New multi-platform and exclusive PS3 releases that you shouldn’t pass up
A couple of awesome re-releases have come to pass this October. First and foremost, if you haven’t yet played Borderlands 2 or found reason to buy it yet, Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition (released October 8th in NA) contains all the DLC packs on disc that were released for the title over the past year (there were like 6 or 7 DLC packs for this game, SERIOUSLY) along with the crucial update which raises the level cap and two new playable character classes. I have easily put well over 80-100 hours into BL2, so I traded in my old copy towards the GOTY Edition because I know i’ll be playing the new content and maxing out my character class again.
Released Oct 8th, BL2 GOTY includes over $100 worth of DLC on disc and other awesome goodies for the massive FPSRPG
Another great GOTY Edition released October 8th was Dishonored Game of the Year Edition which includes all the awesome DLC packs ON DISC released for the critically acclaimed Stealth-FPS hybrid. Again, if you have yet to play this title here’s a great reason to pick it up. At only $40 brand new, Dishonored GOTY Edition is a great addition to any gamers collection who is looking for a serious FPS challenge.
Corvo returns to wreck havoc on those who wronged him in the GOTY Edition which contains all DLC packs on disc. The total pack is a very lean $40.
And last but not least, Capcom Essentials is a collection of Capcom games this generation. Released also October 8th that includes 5, yes FIVE full-fledged signature releases from Capcom this console cycle. Included in the bundle: Dead Rising 2, Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry 4, Super Street Fighter 4 and a download code for Megaman 10. I’m not sure why Megaman 10 wasn’t included on disc, especially for the PS3 version which can take advantage of absurd amount of storage space used by BD discs. Anyways, here’s a breakdown of the bundle for the XBOX 360 version:
The Capcom Essentials 5-in-1 bundle may be a nice addition to your collection if you don’t own any of these titles, although you probably can pick up most of these titles used for under 10-15 dollars. The MSRP is $59.99 for this new bundle, so it may be more of a matter of convenience to have all these games in one package.
For PS3 Exclusives, there are a couple obvious choices.
We had Beyond: Two Souls, which was Sony’s big exclusive for October. For September, we had the whimsical platformer Puppeteer which was released for a reasonable $40 brand new. And on the digital front we had the PSN exclusive puzzle-platformer RAIN which came out mid-October. And for you rabid Last of Us fans, we have the first of the DLC multiplayer content being released October 16th. It’s a map pack that contains around 4-5 new maps.
Released September 10th to mostly positive reviews, Puppeteer is the latest retail release from Studio Japan. You take control of a puppet (duuh) missing his head and throughout the game you obtain different heads that each give you a unique power . You also obtain a pair of shears that you wield as a sword and also as a means to “cut: through certain parts of a level to access new areas or navigate through specific areas. You will also face some pretty intense boss battles, which many reviews highlighted as the games strongest moments.
PlayStation 4 won’t support Bluetooth headsets for chat, Sony confirmed to Game Informer
With the PS4 and XBox One on the near horizon, new details are emerging about both consoles as launch day nears. One little nugget of info is that existing PlayStation 3 Bluetooth Headsets will not be compatible with the PS4’s chat features. This is definitely a bummer, since I own a Sony licensed and manufactured Bluetooth set that works beautifully with my PlayStation 3’s online gaming. Fortunately, I didn’t pay much for it so if need be I can replace it if Sony hasn’t fixed this glitch with a firmware or software update to the PS4 OS. I won’t be purchasing a PS4 probably until a year or two into it’s life cycle, so PS3 headsets will eventually be made compatible by a firmware update. If you own a Sony Pulse Bluetooth headset (which costs around $100).
The PlayStation 4 will include a simple headset/mic combination, but these typically are not as clear sounding as Bluetooth sets. As previously mentioned, an update will provide compatibility for Sony’s branded PULSE headsets and Sony will issue a system update to provide this compatibility in the coming months, but would not specify an exact date. The included USB headsets will be mono, so you essentially get what you pay for (the bundled PS4 headsets are free, btw).