Train2Game News PlayStation 4 update

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Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) today announced it will release system software update version 2.50, codenamed “Yukimura,” for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) system on March 26, bringing highly-anticipated and requested features to the system.

These forward-looking updates include the Suspend/Resume feature, which enables gamers to jump in and out of their games quickly and pick up where they left off. In addition, the PS4 system will add to its already robust set of social tools by making it easier than ever to connect gamers together, furthering its position as the best place to play with friends.

“With more than 20 million PlayStation 4 systems worldwide, PlayStation gamers are the foundation for our success. We are constantly listening to feedback from our growing community regarding improvements to make their PlayStation experience even better,” said John Koller, vice-president of platforms marketing. “We continue to focus on making PS4 the best place to play with friends. That’s why we’re delivering features like Facebook Friend Finder, Suspend/Resume to get into gaming quicker, a more streamlined Party and friending process, and new ways for users to see what their friends are playing so they can immediately get in and game together.”

Highlights coming to the PS4 system with “Yukimura” include:

Jump Back Into Games Faster with Suspend/Resume Suspend/Resume, which will be supported by nearly all PS4 titles, will allow PS4 owners to spend less time waiting for games to load and more time playing. Gamers will be able to suspend their game by putting their PS4 system into Rest Mode, and then quickly resume the game where they left off by pressing the PlayStation button on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, which wakes their system.

Back-Up and Restore Hard Disc Drive to External USB Drive “Yukimura” allows PS4 owners to back-up and restore the hard disc to and from an external USB drive. Hard disc drive data includes settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data.

PS4 owners will now be able to search for Facebook friends with their linked account. Friend requests and Real Name requests can be sent together in one step when adding a friend on the PS4 system. The update will allow users to easily view what their friends are playing by adding a “Friends Who Play This” section on each game detail page, while also highlighting which friends are currently online and playing it. The process to create a Party has also been streamlined with a reduction in the number of steps required. Additionally, the What’s New section will now feature a section where users can see what their friends are currently playing enabling them to join in the game if they own it or find out more on PlayStation Store.

PS4 owners have been sharing their most impressive gaming moments since the launch of the system, and with “Yukimura,” a screenshot will automatically be captured when a Trophy is earned, making it easy for users to share their favorite gaming moments with their friends. The update will also make it easy for players to share Trophy information to Facebook, Twitter or via Message by pressing the SHARE button. Additionally, users will now be able to sort their Trophy list by “Earned Date,” “Not Earned,” and “Grade,” as well as the option to remove games from the Trophy list that have zero percent completion.

Improved and Expanded Accessibility Options “Yukimura” introduces new options to customize the user experience with the PS4 system, making it easier for gamers with impaired vision and limited manual dexterity to play. Customized button assignments for DUALSHOCK 4 and a zoom feature for displayed pictures and inverted colors will be available for all system functions, apps and games. Text-to-speech and enlarged text will be available across the graphical user interface, including Message and Party, and enlarged text will also be enabled for use in the system’s browser. Bolder fonts and higher contrast UI will be available for all system applications but will not apply to games or third-party applications.

Additional features and updates introduced with “Yukimura” include:

*              Remote Play and Share Play: For games that support 60 fps, users will be able to stream those games with 60 fps for both Remote Play and Share Play on supported devices.
*              Automatic Installation for System Software Updates: Users will be able to automatically install future system software updates.
*              Sub-Account Upgrade: Users 18 years of age or older with sub-accounts will be able to upgrade to a master account directly on the PS4 system, removing restrictions on chat and enabling users to add funds to their Wallet, purchase content and more.
*              Verified Accounts: Verified accounts for game industry professionals, including developers, producers, designers and community managers will appear with a badge.
*              Dailymotion.com: Players will have the ability to upload video clips directly to Dailymotion via the SHARE button.

The PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets will also receive system software updates with the same timing as “Yukimura,” adding complementary features to those added to the PS4 system with the update. PS Vita update version 3.50 and PlayStation App update version 2.50 will add new accessibility options, including enlarge text, increase contrast and more. This update also enables PS Vita systems to support 60 fps streaming for Remote Play.

For more information, including the full list of features added to the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App, please visit: www.us.playstation.com

Train2Game News Suikoden coming to PSN

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Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has responded to a huge online campaign to bring back its popular Suikoden role-playing series, and will re-release the ever-popular Suikoden and Suikoden II titles digitally via PlayStation Network in January 2015.

Both games are regarded as some of the best role-playing titles for home systems, with Suikoden originally released for PlayStation® in 1997 and Suikoden II was released across Europe for the same format in 2000. They form the first two installments of the six-game series, With Suikoden following an unlikely hero as he attempts to locate the 108 Stars of Destiny that are needed to free his homeland.

Suikoden’s hero, who can be named by the player, is the son of the Great General, Teo McDohl. With his Father summoned to the front in Northlands, the player begins the game undergoing guard training in Gregminster. Via an old friend, the player is charged with protectingthe Rune of Life and Death; one of the 27 runes that govern the world, and which lead the hero to flee the capital. He duly encounters a rebel organization and embarks on a mission to find the Stars of Destiny – comrades needed to restore peace to the land, and to save the home they love.

Suikoden II centres on an orphan called Hero, his friend Jowy and his orphan sister, Nanami. This unlikely trio find themselves in the middle of a war between the Highland Kingdom and the City States. Thus, the three heroes embark on a journey that will question their preconceptions of life, society and war as they gather the famed 108 Stars of Destiny, initially introduced in the first game.

Together, the friends will face potentially life-and-death decisions that force the player to make tough choices, while the game’s celebrated story takes twists and turns and develops based on the decisions made. The trio will also be forced to go into battle as they progress, with combat consisting of a dynamic battle style where multiple team members or enemies can attack simultaneously. Suikoden II also offers players a unique magic rune and skills system that encourages players to perform combat moves with strategy in mind.

Some 18 years after the first game’s launch, Suikoden and Suikoden II are still regarded as two of the greatest role-playing games for home formats. Both will be released via the new PSOne Classic games collection in January for PlayStation 3. Release date and price will be announced soon.

“It is a testament to the content and quality of the Suikoden series that fans still talk about it, some 18 years later,” commented Shinji Hirano, President of Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. “We have received countless requests to revisit the series, so are delighted to be able to satiate its fans with these digital editions of the first two games. We hope people enjoy returning to the world of Suikoden, and that maybe its clever mechanics and engrossing story wins it a new fanbase.”

Train2Game News Unity for PS Mobile offers Vita support

PS VitaUnity now fully supports PlayStation Mobile, allowing users on the PSM Developer Program to publish content to the PlayStation Store and Vita for free.

The PSM build option works with both the free and Pro versions of the Unity game engine.

The new release features in-app purchase APIs and also allows developers to distribute their titles to PlayStation TV.

Unity for PS Mobile differs from the existing Vita build option however. PSM support is designed to provide free access for development on a standard retail Vita, while the existing Vita build option provides full native access to the handheld and full access to PSN.

Visit the official website for more information.

Train2Game News: OlliOlli coming to PSVita this month

OlliOlli LogoSkateboarding game OlliOlli, developed by Roll7 – who employed some Train2Game students, is coming to PlayStation Vita on January 22 in Europe.

OlliOlli is a 2d skateboarding game that mixes addictive one-life gameplay with over 120 tricks and grinds with 100 deviously crafted levels & 250 challenges across four gameplay modes.

OlliOlli rewards the most skilful and riskiest of players, always tempting you to go for that massive 360 Inward Heelflip and ludicrous chain of combos. Leaving you to time your landing to perfection – or risk losing your score!

The whole game is hand-drawn in pixelly loveliness, which is no mean feat considering the number of tricks, grinds, slams and stages.

“At PlayStation, we’re delighted to be working with the talented Roll7 to bring the savagely addictive genius of OlliOlli to the PS Vita” said Shahid Ahmad, Senior Business Development Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE). “We loved OlliOlli from the first prototype and can’t wait for PlayStation fans to play this beautifully crafted game on their PS Vitas”

OlliOlli is developed and self-published by Roll7 and was QA tested by a couple of our very own Train2Game students! This is a big triumph for them and will do wonders for their CV’s

You can enjoy the trailer for OlliOlli below:

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 08.03.13

UE4It’s the end of the week so it is time for another Train2Game News round up.

Epic announced earlier this week that the Unreal Engine 4 is available for PlayStation 4. In addition to showcasing the new Unreal Engine 4 “Elemental” demo running live and in real time on PlayStation 4 at the PlayStation Meeting 2013, Epic is providing the resources PlayStation 4 developers need to harness the full power of its Unreal Engine 4 technology and realize all facets of their creativity using Epic’s revolutionary new toolset now and in the future.

Multiplay, a leading provider of community gaming, game server hosting, events management and broadcast services, is pleased to announce Insomnia 48. Taking place on 22nd-25th March at the Telford International Centre, i48 pits 1,000 of the best gamers against each other to compete for prize funds of up to £10,000 per tournament. The event will give UK gamers their first hands on experience with Injustice: Gods Among Us. Find out more about the event by going to http://iseries.multiplay.co.uk/

High Moon studio and Marvel have released a new trailer for the upcoming game featuring every bodies favourite “Merc with a mouth”, Deadpool. If you know the insane Marvel character, you will know what to expect. If you don’t know him, prepare for a shock! If you are over 18, you can watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaCBD7NPhCQ&feature=player_embedded

Sony Computer Entertainment UK MD Fergal Gara announced that PlayStation VITA sales absolutely exploded over the holiday period. When asked how he rated the handheld’s performance in its first year on the market, the executive said: “Vita really, really responded as we went into Christmas. We had a pre-Christmas lull where sales were quite low. But that absolutely exploded 20-fold from that low-point into the peak of Christmas. That’s very encouraging and shows that with the right promotion and software we can light that fire.” Mr Gara also admitted that the system’s software release schedule currently appears light, but promised: “It looks bare in terms of what we have announced. The cupboard won’t be bare.”

Finally Eidos Montreal have confirmed they are working on a reboot of Thief. The game is scheduled for a 2014 release and will be coming to PC and Next Gen consoles. The official blurb for the game is “Series hero Garrett returns to the Gothic, industrial metropolis known simply as the City to steal any and everything that will make him richer. Unfortunately, the City is broiling with social tension as it is ravaged by a plague and lorded over by a political tyrant known as the Baron. In order to survive his adventures, Garrett will have to pay attention to his environment and make use of the many possible paths through each of the game’s levels.” Sound familiar?

Train2Game News: Smart device games outselling handheld

Smart devicesGames on smart devices are outselling games on Nintendo and Sony handheld consoles. This is excellent news for Train2Game students looking to break in to the industry.

The final quarter of the year’s sales are normally the best for devices such as the 3DS and VITA, thanks to all the package deals around Christmas time. This time however iOS and Android games completely eclipsed the games sales of the consoles.

A breakdown of the data also indicates that iOS games made three-and-a-half times more money than Android ones over the period but Android games are growing at a faster rate.

The data covers global sales between October and December 2012 and comes despite the fact that games for the PlayStation Vita and 3DS typically cost more than their smartphone equivalents. In-game ad revenues were excluded.

Despite the findings, the researchers said they believed the Japanese firms would release further handhelds.

The Portable Gaming Report by IDC and App Annie is the first of its kind produced by the companies. It helps build on NPD’s influential monthly study of US games sales which does not include smartphone and tablet games.

IDC’s Lewis Ward said “If you rewind the clock a year you will find the dedicated handhelds were clearly ahead, and this year they are more or less tied with an edge going to Android and iOS games.

“If we fast forward to the end of 2013 we should see a decisive edge for smartphone and tablet gaming.

“I think a further version of the Vita could be the last dedicated handheld from Sony, but I suspect Nintendo will continue for a while. They are three to four times as large as Sony in this business and I think they have a much more defensible niche.”

All this data is good news for Train2Game students as the mobile market is much easier to develop for than the console market and with the mobile market growing to even bigger and better heights there should be more chance of developing a financially successful game.