Sony Feed

I'm Not Ready For PlayStation 5

InterocitorEarlier this month the Internet lit up in a flurry of excitement regarding a report that Sony was close to launching the PlayStation 5 earlier than most people expected with development kits (as if that term implies a single, fixed form for that type of hardware) for the new console supposedly already in the hands of noted studios preparing for a launch this year or next.  Kotaku's Jason Schreier put those rumors to rest and tried to calm the community down, but the clamor is real.

Most of the developers I spoke to, via phone and email and text, said they had not heard anything about plans for a new PlayStation. Even employees at Sony’s first-party studios said they have not yet been briefed on the existence of a PlayStation 5. People across all the disciplines (design, art, engineering, etc.) at major studios working on games scheduled for 2019 and beyond have told me that if there is information about the PS5 at their companies, they haven’t heard about it. (Those people said they haven’t heard about a new Xbox, either.)

I really don't understand the rush to move on to the PS5 and even the next generation of Xbox when the current consoles are just now finally showing us what they truly have to offer.  Highly anticipated games like God of War and the upcoming Spider-Man are showcasing development studios who are firmly in the groove and showing off their increasing mastery of developing for the PS4.  Why would players want to move on to the PS5 and have to wait several years for studios to fully understand new hardware?  Why would players be so eager to have to invest in a new console ecosystem already when many are still upgrading to the PS4 Pro or buying their first PS4?  Eat what's on your plate before ordering your next meal!  I'm perfectly happy to wait until 2020 or 2021 for the next generation of PlayStation.  My PS4 is meeting all of my PlayStation needs and I'm in no hurry to move it down a spot on the shelf just to make room for the PS5 and start all over again.


Add Some Retro Gaming Books To Your e-Shelf

21 Unexpected Games To Love For The Atari VCS and P.T.: A Video Game Ghost StoryThere are so many great games coming out lately and so many more games that you missed out on go on sale each week, so of course what you need now is some books to read.  You still have a few days to check out the Retro Wonder Game Bundle over at StoryBundle where you can pick up eleven books spanning the world of the Atari VCS to the Famicom Disk System all the way up to the withdrawn P.T. demo from just a few years ago.  It's a great deal. Here's the overall description:

Some of the biggest highlights for this bundle include exclusive ebooks on Hideo Kojima's 'lost classic' horror title P.T., on the Doom franchise's amazing start and triumphant 2016 return, and on unlikely gems for the Atari 2600/VCS (including, yes, E.T the Extra Terrestrial!)

We also have a truly wonderful book on the history of the Xbox, a complete look at the rare Famicom Disk System and its games, and a trilogy of Douglas Adams-style novellas about a retro computer/game collector, as well as rare games revealed from the Unseen64 crew and a look at the historical heroines that come in game protagonist form.

I was given early access to two of the books in the bundle, 21 Unexpected Games to Love on the Atari VCS by John Harris and P.T. - A Video Game Ghost Story by Joel Couture.  Both are great reading.  The Atari volume focuses on old classics that many modern gamers would deride as ancient trash that, nonetheless, hold up in various ways and are a worthwhile opportunity to look back in time at how some of today's modern genres took their first steps out of the primordial gaming ooze.  On the other end of the spectrum, P.T. chronicles Konami's withdrawn demo for the canceled Silent Hills project and examines what makes it so scary and why the publisher pulled the plug on it.  Make time for both of these and the other books in the bundle.  After all, you can't play video games all of the time, so you need to be ready to read about them, too.


Power Button - Episode 261: Catching Up

Power ButtonAfter two months of illness and injuries, Power Button is back on track!  This week Blake Grundman and I spend an hour catching up on some of the noteworthy gaming events that we missed during our time away including our new iPhones, dipping to Batman: The Enemy Within, exploring Kirby Star Allies, and much more.  Join us as we gear up the podcasting machine after hiatus.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 260: Failure To Relaunch (Part 2)

Power ButtonWe are finally back in the podcasting saddle after two months off due to illness and injury.  More on that in a later episode though because this installment is one of our recordings from the can in which we take up the second half of our discussion about failed video game reboots and relaunches.  Catch up on the first half in Episode 256 and then join us for an hour of kicking around failed titles such as Bomberman: Act Zero, Conker: Live and Reloaded, Splatterhouse, Turok, a fun story about Sonic the Hedgehog at E3, and much more. Also, Blake received something special in the mail recently.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


A Short History Of Ratchet And Clank

Ratchet And ClankSometimes I wish that Insomniac Games and Sony would reteam for new Ratchet And Clank sequels more often than they currently do, but then I remind myself that part of the reason the series is still innovative and entertaining is that the developers don't drain the creative lake by overfishing it.  At GDC 2018, some of Insomniac's current and former key people including writer T.J. Fixman recounted the history of everyone's favorite Lombax and robot duo in which they detailed the creative process behind so many important elements of the series.  From weapon design to cheeky subtitles to stacking crates, there's a lot of work that goes into this futuristic world.  GamesRadar has the story.

The Ratchet and Clank series spans 14 games, with some unusual highs and lows. “After about six years, we’d seen a number of changes to the development team, and a lot of the new designers didn’t really know how to design a stack of crates”, said director Brian Allgeier. This led chief creative officer Brian Hastings to draft a four-page document on the art of stacking crates. Unusual as it sounds, smashing up crates to release a shower of collectible bolts is one of the game’s small joys that benefits from a set of design rules. For example, they created guidelines for the shape of the stack, the number of the crates, when to include exploding boxes (to encourage use of your wrench as a projectile)… each little detail contributing to the game’s feel.

They're on to something about the crates.  One of the little joys of the Ratchet games, particularly near the end of the story when multipliers are active, is to toss the wrench at a large stack of crates, see them smashed to bits, and watch as what feels like thousands upon thousands of bolts come flying at Ratchet and somehow land in his pocket as spending money.  It's such a little thing, but the series wouldn't be the same without it.  Knowing that, I'm not surprised that there are pages of guidelines on how to stack crates properly for maximum enjoyment and fulfillment.  With all the care that goes into Insomniac products, why should the crates be any different?


Power Button - Episode 258: The Best That 2017 Had To Offer

Power ButtonAs we finish our wrap-up of 2017, it's time for our annual Game of the Year episode in which Blake Grundman and I discuss the best games of the past year along with a few honorable and dishonorable mentions.  We have a supersized two hour show for you this week because there were a lot of games last year that are worth some discussion.  From Destiny 2 to Bye Bye BoxBoy and beyond, there's certainly a lot to discuss.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. Next Week: We're going back to a galaxy far, far away for a special Star Wars discussion.


Street Fighter V's Balrog Theme Is Right On The Fight Money

BalrogI walked away from Street Fighter V back in 2016 after a few weeks of playing through what little single-player content the game offered, and while there was a solid fighting game at its core, there just wasn't enough to do that kept me engaged.  Now that Capcom has added an actual Arcade Mode that goes above and beyond my expectations, I'm back into the fray and exploring just how much the game has expanded with post-release content over the past two years. 

One aspect that has really captured my attention is the soundtrack, particularly new remixes and rearrangements of my favorite music from Street Fighter II.  Ken, Zangief, Ryu, and Guile all have rocking new tunes scoring their battles, but Shadaloo enforcer and dirty cheat Balrog has to have the absolute best new take on a familiar theme.  Check out his personal theme song and marvel at how it's structured like a flashy, glitzy Las Vegas boxing match.  I can practically envision Balrog making his entrance into the ring and then letting loose with a flurry of punches... then throwing it all away with illegal headbutts.  "You should be grateful you even had a chance to step into the ring with me!"


Power Button - Episode 257: 2017's Biggest News Revisited

Power ButtonWe always take a look back at the previous year and close the books on it each January, so this week's Power Button podcast episode sees Blake Grundman and I joined by Ross Polly, our Special E3 Correspondent live from the Los Angeles Convention Center loading dock (we really should let him come home one of these days).  The three of us spend a supersized show talking about the big gaming news from 2017 including the rise of the Nintendo Switch, the end of the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox One trying to change its image with more 4K & less Kinect, the continued rise of eSports in surprising places, loot box controversies, and much more.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. Next Week: We wrap up 2017 with our annual Game Of The Year episode.


Power Button - Episode 256: Failure To Relaunch (Part 1)

Power ButtonI was overjoyed when Accolade returned from the grave in 2017 and announced a revival of everyone's favorite chatty bobcat, Bubsy.  Starring in the sequel/reboot Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back for the Sony PlayStation 4 and PC, Bubsy's big revival stumbled out of the gate which brought to mind other moribund franchises that came back and then left again just as quickly.  On this week's Power Button episode, Blake Grundman and I discuss the new Bubsy which leads us into some of our favorite and reviled video game reboots. Also, it's last call as our annual News of the Year and Game of the Year episodes are coming up and we want you to get in on the fun!   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 255: The Mega Man 11 And Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Cavalcade Of Capcom

Power ButtonCapcom is going all-in on new nostalgia with the announcements of Mega Man 11 and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection due out in 2018 for all major current generation consoles (including Nintendo Switch) and PC.  On this week's podcast, Blake Grundman and I discuss the news and kick around our hopes and dreams for the new titles.  There's a lot of potential here and we're eager to see Capcom reach it. Looking ahead, our annual News of the Year and Game of the Year episodes are coming up and we want you to get in on the fun!   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.