There has been a good amount of information released today regarding the imminent launch of PlayStation Plus in Asia. Too bad that it’s not all good and still confusing as hell.
Next week, the new tiered PlayStation Plus subscription service will launch in Asia with a slow rollout to other regions in June. Sony has announced today that 119 games will be available in the $15/month Premium tier and even fewer titles will be available in the $10/month Extra tier.
That’s great, but that is not even close to the “up to 740 games” that Sony announced previously. That even includes 27 titles from the recently announced Ubisoft+ service that Sony has partnered up with.
It’s interesting that an official Sony blog post in March touts 700+ games while their post today mentions no count at all. However, a quick manual count shows the library at 119, so what gives? Will more games be added for the June global rollout or was this a massive miscalculation from Sony?
What I do know is that if Sony expects PlayStation Plus to compete with Xbox Game Pass, then they will need to up the value proposition. As of right now, Sony’s answer to Game Pass is looking lame as hell and I see no way how it can possibly compete with Game Pass.
Sony has reportedly registered a new PlayStation 5 model in Japan, however, it may just be for cosmetic or internal changes. So for those hoping for a PlayStation 5 Pro, you need to slow your roll. Sony is having enough trouble getting the current iteration of the PS5 onto store shelves.
If anything, this is simply an internal change to make the console more efficient to build, which could lead to easing the manufacturing process and in turn, getting more consoles into the hands of eager gamers.
According to Sony’s latest investor call, if they project selling 18 million PS5 consoles during this financial year, then they better find a way to get these onto store shelves.
Bethesda has announced via Twitter that both Starfield and Redfall are delayed until 2023.
Given that these are both hotly anticipated titles with a ton of hype following them, I cannot fault Bethesda or wanting more time.
With that said, I cannot say that this isn’t disappointing news, as I was looking forward to playing these during the holidays. However, I totally understand the need to put out the best possible game to launch a new IP. Look at what happened to Cyberpunk 2077.
Even though videogame sales saw an overall decrease of 8% between January and March of this year, compared to 2021, most likely because folks are returning to work from the pandemic, Xbox hardware sales saw a massive increase in the US compared to the same time last year.
And when we say massive, we mean fucking massive, to the tune of a 92% increase, according to the NPD.
The NPD Group’s consumer spending report for Q1 2022 shows that hardware spending has decreased by 15% compared to Q1 2021, however, Xbox hardware saw a huge 92% increase.
NPD has given no specifics for the increase, but the fact that you can actually find an Xbox Series S on store shelves easily, and the Xbox Series X is attainable relatively easily online are certainly possibilities. Who knew, if you make your shit available, people will buy it.
Even though the Xbox is doing well, it cannot touch the mighty Nintendo Switch, which was the best-selling console during the same time frame in terms of total units sold.
During a year-end financial report, Sony announced that PlayStation Plus had a “small” in membership, but they are not worried apparently.
For the year-end fiscal report, which for Sony is on March 31, Sony reported that PlayStation Plus had 47.4 million subscribers during the quarter ending on March 2022. That figure is a decrease of 600,000 subscribers when compared to the previous quarter from December 2021.
If you ask me, the loss of 600,000 subscribers in a three-month period should be concerning. However, Sony expects to attract new subscribers when it relaunches the tiered PlayStation service in June.
Just for shits and giggles, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service has 25 million subscribers while Xbox Live Gold has nearly 100 million subscribers. Sony has quite the hill to climb to even come close to what Xbox provides its customers.
I’m going to level with you. I don’t play a lot of EA Sports games anymore. EA Sports titles have ceased to feel cutting edge a long time ago, and are more akin to yearly shovelware if you ask me. So the news of EA breaking up from FIFA does not tug at my heartstrings. With that said, this is a major divorce.
This year’s planned FIFA 23 will be the last title, in a nearly 30-year run. That doesn’t mean that EA is giving up on soccer (football for my European friends), as future titles will fit under the newly minted “EA SPORTS FC” umbrella.
EA promises that everything you love about the series will mostly remain intact:
“Everything you love about our games will be part of EA SPORTS FC – the same great experiences, modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes will be there. Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs and VOLTA Football will all be there. Our unique licensing portfolio of more than 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues that we’ve continued to invest in for decades will still be there, uniquely in EA SPORTS FC. That includes exclusive partnerships with the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, the MLS – and more to come.”
Since EA has partnerships with individual leagues and clubs, gamers will still see their favorite players and teams in future games.
In the meantime, FIFA will need to find a new partner, to release a soccer video game with FIFA branding. FIFA will find it difficult to compete with EA since many leagues are now locked in with an exclusive partnership with EA, like England’s Premier League for example.
Microsoft is planning to release the rumored Xbox Streaming Stick within the next 12 months. The Xbox Streaming Stick will allow users to stream Xbox Game Pass games to your TV without a dedicated console.
The Xbox Streaming Stick aligns with Microsoft’s “Xbox Everywhere” initiative, to get Xbox Cloud Gaming and Xbox Game Pass into as many connected devices as possible. Microsoft is also partnering with Samsung to develop an Xbox Cloud Gaming app for the TV manufacturer. This will allow Samsung TV owners to stream Game Pass titles without a streaming stick.
The Xbox Streaming Stick was initially revealed during E3 2021, but things have been quiet since then. Looks like Microsoft has been quietly ramping and perhaps an announcement is imminent.
Not me, I can tell you that. I loved the Nintendo Wii, but who really needs this? I also could care less that it was made for Queen Elizabeth II, but I digress.
The 24-karat gold-plated Wii was created by the original THQ and intended for the Royal Family to promote Big Family Games. However, it was returned to THQ as there is apparently a strict gift policy at Buckingham Palace.
Currently, the bidding is at $2,200 and the auction ends on May 21, 2022. I suppose you could always melt the thing down as gold is crazy valuable right now.
Too bad the Queen decided not to keep it. She could have auctioned it off herself to pay for her piece-of-shit pedophile son’s sexual assault settlement.
Playing Fortnite on a mobile device has been a real pain, if not impossible since Epic started its legal fight with Apple and Google due to their app store fees. However, things are going to be much easier now, as Epic Games has partnered with Microsoft to get the title onto Xbox Cloud Gaming. Fortnite is officially the first free-to-play title on Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Now, anyone who wants to play Fortnite on mobile just needs a Microsoft account, an iOS device or Windows PC, and an internet connection to play via browser. Also, there’s no need to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass since Fortnite will remain free-to-play.
Maybe not in the literal, throwing fists sense, but according to Reggie Fils-Aime, he had to fight Shigeru Miyamoto to have Wii Sports packed in for free with the Nintendo Wii.
In Mr. Fils-Aime’s own words, from his latest biography:
“So now Mike [Fukuda] and I were trying to get agreement to two different bundles, and the world’s best game designer was not happy. The ever-present smile and impish squint of My Miyamoto’s eyes were gone. ‘Neither of you understands the challenges of creating software that people love to play. This is something we constantly push ourselves to do. We do not give away our software,’ Mr. Miyamoto stated.”
Reggie Fils-Aime / Disrupting the Game
But, give away the software he did, and it was a good decision. First off, the Nintendo Wii went on to sell like crazy. Secondly, you do not cross Reggie, as he will fucking smash you.