The PlayStation Plus Rollout in Asia is Opening Up Some Peculiar Decisions From Sony

You know, yesterday I said something nice about Sony’s rollout of PlayStation Plus in Asia. How it was NOT entirely a dumpster fire and actually has a robust library of games. Then Sony completely fucks it up with strange and borderline anti-consumer decisions.

First, let’s talk about a decision that’s just plain lazy. In what some would say is a case of deja vu, it appears that some of the PlayStation 1 titles on PlayStation Plus are running the slower-performing PAL versions of games. The PAL versions usually run at a lower framerate, which translates into choppier playback. As some may recall, this was an issue with the PlayStation Mini. There really is no reason why Sony would opt for the PAL version, other than not giving a shit or pure laziness.

Another decision from Sony is just “scumbaggy.” According to reports circulating online, original PlayStation Plus subscribers who purchased a subscription at a discount now have to pay the difference in order to upgrade.

As one user in Hong Kong explains, “[Imagine] if I went to KFC [the other day] and I bought a meal at a discount, then today I have to pay back that discount in order to buy another meal…”

The fried chicken analogy really resonated with me. Why can’t launch a service without it being an utter shitshow?

PlayStation Plus Has Launched In Asia and There are Actually a Ton of Games

Last week, Sony announced a list of games that would launch with PlayStation Plus when it rolls out in Asia, and yours truly had a shit fit on how underwhelming it was. Today, I stand corrected.

The list that was released today on the PlayStation website is far more extensive, including a mix of PS4 and PS5 games, as well as a “Classics Catalog,” which is a good thing. Sony also goes on to promise that more games will be added soon. So maybe PlayStation Plus won’t be entirely dead on arrival when it matches up with Xbox Game Pass.

Better yet, it was announced that games on the service may feature enhancements, like up-rendering, rewind, and quick save, thereby taking advantage of the PS5’s horsepower. Gamers can also opt for various scaling, aspect ratios, and video filters, to give their classics some retro crustiness.

PlayStation Plus is scheduled to launch in Japan next, and then rolling out to the USA and Europe in June.

For a full list, go ahead and check out Sony’s website.

[Source: Sony]

EA Is Looking for Someone, Anyone, to Swoop in and Buy Them

Electronic Arts is actively seeking someone to sweep them off their feet, for a merger or outright buyout, according to a story first reported by Puck.

The company has held talks with a who’s who of media and tech conglomerates, including Apple, Comcast, Disney, and Amazon. EA allegedly tried to get Disney to take the leap back in March, to forge a relationship that was more than your run-of-the-mill licensing deals, but the House of Mouse was apparently not looking for commitment.

EA was apparently feeling left out with the news of Activision Blizzard getting snatched up by Microsoft and Destiny Studio Bungie hooking up with Sony. EA is literally acting like that one girl who goes on vacation with her friends who find flings for themselves, so she desperately goes after any available guy in the vicinity.

EA really should act less desperately and show a little self-respect.

Sony Has Eyes in Being a Major Player in the Metaverse

I know that I give Sony a lot of shit, but I’m hard on them because I love them, and want them to succeed. I believe in tough love and as a gamer, when all game companies are competitive, then gamers win. So to see Sony looking at something so futuristic and cool like the metaverse, I become genuinely excited.

According to a Reuters article, Sony is positioned to be a leader in the metaverse. To be clear, when I say metaverse, I’m not talking about the dystopian garbage that is being pushed by Facebook, or as they like to be called now, Meta.

Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida said at a strategy briefing on Wednesday that “…the metaverse is at the same time a social space and live network space where games, music, movies, and anime intersect…”

Sony Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida

Even though Sony is obviously all in on the PlayStation 5, experts have pointed out that they are willing to dip their toes into cross-platform titles. They have even gone as far as purchasing Bungie, where according to Yoshida, “We believe it will be a catalyst to enhance our live service game capabilities… (It) represents a major step forward in becoming multi-platform.”

The metaverse is very much in its infancy and just a general concept, but I’m old enough to remember the very early days of the internet, and the metaverse is a natural and exciting evolution.

[Source: Reuters]

Sony Reveals Initial List of Games for the Revamped PlayStation Plus for Asia – But where are all the games?

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.

[Source: Sony]

Sony Has Registered A New PS5 Model in Japan

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 Announces that Starfield and Redfall Delayed to 2023

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.

[Source: Bethesda]

Xbox Sees Massive Jump in Sales According to NPD

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.

[Source: NPD]

PlayStation Plus Subscriber Numbers Are Dipping, Sony’s Not Concerned – Should They Be?

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.

Actual reaction from investors

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.

Not trying to hate, but the numbers don’t lie.

[Source: Sony]

FIFA and EA to End 30-Year Partnership

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.”

EA

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.

[Source: EA]