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Sony's PlayStation network has always been a free service to all PlayStation users. Sony's head of global marketing and vice president of Sony Network Entertainment, Eric Lempel explains to GamesIndustry.biz why they had to make the change and that it would be too difficult to keep the PlayStation Network free. Although the PlayStation Network's app services will still be free, Lempel says the PlayStation 4 will still have an edge over Xbox One due to Xbox Live's requirement to use many of its services. Lempel also explains that you get a good value and that it is worth paying for.
Eric Lempel mentioning it's difficult to keep PSN free: "There's a ton of value in the network. We've built up the network over the years and made a significant investment... and it's quite honestly hard to keep everything free"
Lempel continues: "The network's gotten so much better and it's completely redesigned on PS4. And the investment in Plus gives the user a ton of value, so putting multiplayer in there will continue to help us build the network up for our users. It's a massive infrastructure to run this thing, and now with some of these social features there's a lot going on."
Sony has finally unleashed its next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, to at least some parts of the world. The first few reviews are still a work-in-progress, as the PS4 will continue to grow as a device over the years to come.
Something I've noticed, but I'm not surprised to see, is that most reviews of the PS4 aren't completely glowing. There doesn't seem to be a killer game, that is an absolutely must-have title. I really expected there to have been a truly, next-generation console defining title - something like the Halo of the Xbox era. Oh well. Here is a list of the PS4 reviews:
The next generation of consoles are just right around the corner. Ubisoft's CEO, Yves Guillemot comments that the PlayStation 4 is doing better in pre-orders than the Xbox One. Guillemot is not worried though, and says the Xbox One is improving in pre-orders. Guillemot was asked if he was worried about a lack in demand for The Xbox One's pre-orders.
Guillemot comments: "What we see is that there is a good pre-order list on that machine. Even if the PS4 is in front in terms of pre-orders, we see lots of improvement in the pre-orders that are coming on Xbox One. So no, we are not worried at all. We think it will be a big seller as well."
Guillemot is also not worried about the short term transition the consoles bring. Guillemot says, "The PS4 and Xbox One will be released in a few days' time and will be a new driving force for the industry,"
Guillemot continues: "We are confident in our capacity to rise to the short-term challenges posed by the transition phase, thanks to the very high quality of our games, which, combined with the upcoming arrival of the next-generation consoles and the traditional ramp-up of sales during the Christmas season will trigger positive momentum towards the end of the year."
We are hours away from the next-gen consoles launching, and an interesting statistic has hit my inbox from Amazon. An Amazon spokesperson has said that if you were to combine the pre-order sales of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, "it would make up the largest product release in Amazon history for all categories worldwide".
This is a seriously strong statement, and goes to show the kind of money that is rolling around with these next-gen consoles launching right now. Amazon is one of the biggest retailers shipping and selling the PS4 and Xbox One, but those numbers above are just gigantic. The company with the biggest smile on their face? AMD. AMD have APUs in the PS4 and Xbox One, and they must be laughing all the way to the bank, or at least to the Kaveri APU.
One of the Xbox One's most unique features is app snapping, a feature allows users to do two things at once such as checking up on your friends via the activity feed while playing a game. Users activate the snap feature by using the command "Xbox Snap" which is picked up by the microphone in the new Kinect sensor.
The new snapping feature will even let gamers watch tv while gaming. For instance, a user may be playing Madden 25 on the Xbox One and could say "Xbox Snap to TV ESPN" and could watch Sports Center or this weeks NFL game while playing Madden at the same time. Other snap features include Skype, and internet searching. Users can use this feature to search for hints or game walkthrough in the event they get stuck in the game they are playing.
Sony mentioned a just a couple weeks in their FAQ that the PlayStation 4 will not play MP3 or CDs, which was a huge disappointment from fans. Most people where thinking it was a way to push out their Music Unlimited service. Sony says that was never their intention. So they have decided they will push out a update after the PlayStation 4 launches.
Sony's Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida comments on an episode of Giant Bomb's Interview Dumptruck: "The biggest surprise for us all internally at Sony was there are so many people who passionately reacted to our announcement that there's no MP3 support or CD support on day one," he says. "It's not like we actively decided 'let's not do this feature so people will have to subscribe to Music Unlimited."
Yoshida continues: "The focus has been more on the game features. Some of the features we wanted but we couldn't get in on day one. We didn't really think about MP3 or CD. We thought 'we're going to do that eventually.'... It caught us off-guard. People don't really talk about these features, right? Some people get really mad and [say] 'I'll cancel my pre-order!' So as we speak, people in Japan - the system guys - are discussing when we can put these features in."
The Xbox will come with 500GB of storage. Sounds like a good amount but with the next-gen consoles you will have to install your games. Some of the titles are pretty massive like NBA 2K14, which is a 43GB install. You might have to worry about filling up your console too quickly if you're an avid gamer. Although some titles are not as big like Xbox Fitness is only 246MB install.
Some of the people from NeoGAF have been testing install sizes including @midnightswami. Here is a list from NeoGAF.
The Xbox One has an interesting feature that other consoles seem to not cater to, where it has a HDMI input port. This HDMI port can take most HDMI-based devices, including the PlayStation 4 and Wii U consoles.
This means that you can actually use your Xbox One as an amplifier, or HDMI receiver of sorts, and plug your other console into the Xbox One to play it, saving those precious HDMI ports on your TV. Jeff Henshaw, Group Program Manger of Xbox, said: "[i]f it puts out HDMI, it'll work just great," and that any lag would be imperceptible to the human eye.
It feels like every few articles I write are about the PS4, but we are on the eve of next-gen consoles dropping, so why not? The Japanese electronics giant is expecting to sell at least 3 million PS4 consoles before the end of the year.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, President and CEO of Sony's US Computer Entertainment Division, Jack Tretton, said that Sony is currently running a marathon, and not a race, in terms of next-gen console sales. Tretten is confident that the company won't have supply issues during the holiday season like it did with the PS3 launch back in 2006, which should be a good thing for consumers this time around.
The PlayStation 4 is pushing all controller-based gameplay, as you'd expect from a console, but there will be one mouse and keyboard driven title. War Thunder is currently on the PC, with over 5 million gamers in the open beta.
The PS4 version of War Thunder will let you play like you do on the PC, as it supports mouse and keyboard gameplay. Oh, and flight sticks. Better yet, War Thunder will also pit PS4 gamers against PC gamers, which is something we should see more of. War Thunder will also support the PlayStation Eye camera, which will feature head-tracking, letting you change the viewpoint in the game by just turning your face.
War Thunder is coming, soon, with the game launching across Europe on the 29th of this month.