Shawn Layden States Fans Will “Likely See Us Start To Make More Noise In The New Term” When Speaking On PlayStation Multiplayer

Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studio CEO Shawn Layden has been reemerging from Sony’s overall silent end of 2018 by speaking more to multiple news outlets. With much of Sony’s road map of 2019 for the PlayStation 4 being relatively unknown outside of the upcoming Days Gone from Bend Studios in April, one area Layden mentions fans should expect to see a higher emphasis on is multiplayer.

Speaking Business Insider, the long term Sony gaming staple touched on a multitude of topics, such as the staggering units sales that the PlayStation 4 has accumulated, which currently has surpassed 91 million lifetime units sold. While the positives for the gaming company rolled, the PlayStation guru was given a somewhat devil’s advocate approach: for all of the success this past year (and the overall console generation), what is something that PlayStation has whiffed on? “For all of the advances we’ve made, and the high bar we’ve focused on in storytelling” Layden began. “I mean, I dare anybody to experience something like The Last of Us and not feel emotional about it; and with God of War, that story of a father and son; and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the power of Aloy, the protagonist. All of these things, I believe we’ve done quite well. I’m very happy with the Spider-Man game that went out last year. And looking forward, Days Gone is coming in a couple months. That’s not only compelling and gripping, but it will emotionally try you very hard. I think all those things we do really well. What we don’t do so much in is multiplayer.”

Admittedly, while PlayStation has been the go-to home console for many gamer’s needs this generation, they have seen a distinct drop in first party multiplayer based games. Many Sony owned franchises such as Killzone and Twisted Metal that rely heavily on multiplayer aspects, have laid dormant for year; with the former of the two last releasing in 2013, with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4. While they haven’t necessarily been hurting because of it, due to the immaculate resume of their single player, first party experiences, it is something that Layden has noticed and looks to address moving forward.

When asked for clarification on if he meant local or online multiplayer, Layden specified his intentions on online multiplayer. “Couch co-op — I mean that’s a whole category I think the industry needs to look back at. We have that with sports titles, and some racing titles, but not with much else. And I think that speaks to the power of the internet on the one hand, but otherwise we might wanna revisit that to get more family engagement in the gaming experience. But, no, I was referencing more with the things like GTA 5 Online, or you look at Call of Duty, or Fortnite, or any of those experiences. Worldwide Studios, like I say, we’ve been going really heavy into story-driven gaming. The power of the narrative. Big, spectacular experiences. But not a whole lot in the multiplayer side of things, I think. That’s an area where you will likely see us start to make more noise in the new term.”

With confirmation of Sony’s departure from this years upcoming E3 event later last year, both media and consumers remain optimistic of the Japanese tech giant’s 2019 year, but the mystery surrounding its releases does make some cautious. Layden has gone on record via a tweet stating “see you in the new year” when pressed about the upcoming year, but many releases outside of April’s Days Gone still don’t have dates attached, including The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Ghosts of Tsushima. Hopefully by Layden’s recent media presence it means that more information on PlayStation’s 2019 isn’t that far in the distance.

For updates on all things PlayStation, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Shawn Layden on ‘Fewer, But Bigger’ Sony First Party Games, Acquiring Studios, and More

The eighth generation of video game consoles have been nothing short of a grand slam for Sony and the PlayStation 4, selling over 91 million units in its lifespan so far. With the newest generation of consoles looming on the ever closing horizon, many have found it interesting to see that the Japanese tech giant has decided to take the year off from attending E3 2019, the biggest gaming expo and press event of the year, leading speculation to run wild on what Sony could have up their sleeve. At the helm of the company’s gaming endeavors, chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, has remained overall silent outside of his ‘see you in the new year’ tweet late last year. Now, the Sony executive is starting to reemerge in the public, ahead of his upcoming keynote speaking role at tomorrow’s DICE Awards.

In an interview with CNet, the long time Sony staple touched on a number of topics, including the company’s current mindset on how they go about producing first party titles with current trends in mind. “I think we’ve done a lot over the last three or four years to get us to a place right now where we’re building fewer games per year than ever before, but we’re spending more time, more energy, certainly more money, on making them” Layden touched on. “So we’re striking on all the beats that we want to, and we’re getting both critical and commercial acclaim. Let’s see now what we might add to our arsenal. I’ve looked at some opportunities in the past, it’s an opportunity to look for the ones that are the best cultural fit.”

Naturally, his answer led to a follow up surrounding the company’s decision process in terms of acquiring studios. “We’re always exploring opportunities” Layden continued. “If we found a partner or a team or a game that we felt was particularly meaningful and interesting in a service area, we will look to bring that in. We’re always open to that kind of experience. We try to make it really easy for our teams to focus on what our vision is for the future. And we have simplified it to ‘first, best or must.’ If your title is going to be “first” and creating a genre, or “first” and creating a new game activity, let’s look at that. If you’re going to make an action adventure game, It better be “best” in class. And we have the third category called “must,” which is we must support the platform, we must be present when new technology comes out.” First party studios and an emphasis on exclusive titles has always been a sticking point for the now fourth generation gaming hardware company, but competitors have began to take notice of their secret formula. Currently, Microsoft now owns fourteen game studios, with seven of them being added in the past year.

Layden also emphasized that Sony still is putting accessibility in mind first and foremost when delving into a eventual streaming-based future of gaming. While he confirms that PlayStation does have a great ecosystem set in place for those who are interested in streaming with PlayStation Now, Layden promises that the company still views their perspective as “we can leave no gamer behind”. When the PlayStation 4 was first in development, talks of a web based system were plentiful, but the company wanted to keep the system accessible to everyone possible, using the example of military members using the hardware. Many wouldn’t have access to internet when on deployment (or internet that was stable enough to download/stream info consistently), so disc based hardware was important.

While Layden remained tight lipped on the rumors surrounding the inevitable PlayStation 5, it is a good sign to see the company begin to emerge as the new year is in full force. With upcoming first party blockbusters such as The Last of Us Part II, Ghosts of Tsushima, and Death Stranding still possible to all release this year on current generational hardware, along with the upcoming Day’s Gone, Sony fans should buckle their seat belts; the rollercoaster may be just about to start.

For updates on all things PlayStation, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Norman Reedus Shares Thoughts on Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, ‘Crazy Complicated’

New comments from Death Stranding star Norman Reedus on the game have began making rounds on the web, and famed The Walking Dead actor focuses in on how ‘crazy complicated’ the game is in a positive manner.

Speaking to Metro’s GameCentral in March of last year (the contents of the interview have been under embargo until now), the zombie slaying star touches on multiple points on the game, along with this relationship with storied game developer and founder of Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima. ‘That guy is such a genius, Hideo Kojima,’ Reedus stated. ‘I’m like, ‘Oh so they’ll be playing me?’ And he’s like, ‘No they are you. We will make them cry as you.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? It’s a video game.”

When asked about what fans can expect from Death Stranding, Reedus elaborated ‘The concept is so far out into the future. Instead of eliminating everyone around you, it’s bringing everyone together. It’s a very positive video game, but scary and depressing at the same time. It’s kind of a new movie. I’ve never seen anything like what we’re doing. Guillermo Del Toro introduced me to him, who is also working on the game; he’s also a character in the game. I saw that video game director at the Video Game Music Awards, walk down the steps and they lit up underneath his feet like Michael Jackson and he goes, ‘I’m back.’ And the place is like, ‘Oh my god.’ Like grown men in tears. ‘I was like who is this god – whatever he wants to do I’ll do it. He’s a genius.’

Reedus, who leads a now star studded cast including Mads Mikkelsen, Lea Seydoux, Lindsay Wagner, Troy Baker, and the formerly mentioned Guillermo Del Toro, in the upcoming action game as main protagonist Sam Bridges also touched on if the game’s trailers were truly indicative of what the actual game will represent. ‘The trailers show you an aspect of it, but not a whole picture of what the game will be. That’s like a whole other thing. It’s complicated, it’s a crazy complicated game. I’ve been learning a lot about video games doing it.’

First revealed at Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, Death Stranding is currently described as an open world action game, with a mysterious somewhat-purgatory environment waiting for Reedus’s character everytime he dies. This will be Kojima’s first game since his split from Konami in 2015, and the first project under the now independent Kojima Productions. While a release date has yet to be revealed or confirmed, the game is slated to be released exclusively on PlayStation 4’s family of systems.

For updates on Death Stranding, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Apex Legends Revealed, Free to Play Battle Royale Now Available On PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Respawn Entertainment, the makers of Titanfall, have announced a new free to play battle royale game in the futuristic FPS franchise called Apex Legends.

Meshing the hero shooter style found in games such as Overwatch with the battle royale genre, Apex Legends will adopt the free to play method, bring the unique take on the widely popular genre.

Rumors began hitting the forums and messages boards late last week, with Kotaku’s Jason Schreier breaking news that the game’s initial reveal would be take place later that weekend, with a possible soft launch on Monday, February 4th. Last night, many content creators and streamers took to social media to confirm the existence of the game, along with Respawn themselves, promoting their reveal stream today.

While a mainline Titanfall sequel was confirmed to be in development by Respawn, it is unknown if that project had morphed into Apex Legends or if the original project is still in the works. Respawn, who EA purchased in December 2017, is also scheduled to release an upcoming Star Wars game later this year, titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Apex Legends is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (Origin). For more information, tune into Respawn Entertainment’s deep-dive stream on the game starting at 3 PM EST/12 PM PST.

For updates on Apex Legends, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season To Get Physical Release March 26th

Skybound Games has announced that the final season of the now defunct Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead will be seeing a physical release starting March 26th, 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

In a blog post from the publishing arm of Skybound, the company announced that the physical release of the game would accompany the release of the game’s final episode, Take Us Back, to complete not only the season, but the entirety of Telltale’s vision of the story.

“We’re excited to announce that when Episode 4, Take Us Back, launches on March 26th, we’ll be releasing a physical boxed edition that includes the entire Final Season for Xbox One, PS4, and Switch” Sally Jack of Skybound stated. “This version will be available at all major retailers, including right here in the Skybound Shop. So, for fans looking for a great gift to give, or to actually hold the final chapters of Clem’s story in your hands, well, you’ll soon have that chance!”

Skybound Games officially took over development of the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, in October 2018, after the latter studio announced a major closure less than a month earlier. While it is unclear what the studio’s plans are with The Walking Dead IP once the final episode is released, there seems to be optimism surrounding the future of the series in some capacity within the new developer/publisher.

For updates on The Walking Dead’s final season, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Sony Patents New Backwards Compatibility System, Could Include Full Lineage of PlayStation Consoles

Sony Japan has just registered a new patent centered around backwards compatibility that could allow their next generation hardware to have retro-compatibility on all of Sony’s previous home console. While there is no direct confirmation that the patent is specifically for the inevitable PlayStation 5, the timing seems to all but fit the forecast of 2020 that many analysts and insiders have predicted.

The patent, which was published on January 31st, 2019, shows an intricate system that could be applied to future hardware (more than likely the unannounced PlayStation 5), allowing the system’s processor to ‘interpret’ the CPU of previous compatible systems. As pointed out by Spanish site HobbyConsolas, Mark Cerny, designer of the PlayStation 4’s structure, developed the patent which has been filed under #2019-503013.

The primary focus of the patent is to perfectly execute previous hardware’s games and software on future hardware, helping to eliminate bugs and errors that could permanently damage said games or hardware. For example, given the processing power of newer and future consoles, data could accidentally overwritten and compromised on the older software and emulated hardware, and in turn could damage the current hardware as well.

This patent comes on the heels of a rumor that many of Sony’s first party studios have began focusing on projects for their next generation of consoles, which seems to point that the popular line of home console will be seeing a new iteration in the very near future.

For updates on Sony’s unannounced next generation console, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

 

Blizzard Announces New Overwatch Map, Paris

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that their hit hero shooter Overwatch will be receiving a new map soon that is set in Paris, France, and it is currently live on the game’s Public Test Region for PC players.

Announced through the game’s newest set of patch notes along with a tweet from Overwatch‘s official Twitter account, the new map themed around the famous European city is an Assault map, which pits teams against each other by capturing and defending a pair of points throughout the map. ‘Begin your journey at the Cabaret Luna, where the velvety alto voice of preeminent diva Luna charms movie stars, revolutionaries, locals, and tourists alike” described Tom Powers, Community Manage of Overwatch within the patch notes. “After the encore, step outside to see the sights and seize victory. Artisanal shops line the streets as you approach the first point, so duck in to sample a macaron or escape enemy fire. Battle through alleys and corridors before clashing with your foes on the banks of the Seine. Once you establish dominance over your adversaries, make your way to Maison Marat and deliver the coup-de-grâce.”

Paris will be the first map to hit Overwatch since the addition of Busan in September 2018, along with the first Assault map since June 2017’s Horizon Lunar Colony.

While Blizzard has not released a specific date on which the map will go live from PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One players, normally the test period lasts a few weeks before integrating them into the game’s main map rotation. It wouldn’t be shocking to see the map go live by the end of February (if not earlier).

For updates on Overwatch, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Capcom Announces Release Date For Resident Evil 2 Free Update ‘The Ghost Stories’, February 15th

Capcom has finally confirmed a release date for The Ghost Survivors, a free content update for Resident Evil 2, coming on February 15th, 2019.

Announced last week, the free content update delves deeper into the fateful events that took place in Raccoon City during Resident Evil 2, centering around three characters that don’t receive a brighter spotlight within the game’s narrative: the gunshop owner, the mayor’s daughter, and the solider. The titles of the specific scenarios have been released as well: No Time to Mourn, Runaway, and Forgotten Soldier.

The remake to the original survival horror classic released last Friday, January 25th, to massive critical acclaim, and it appears to also be finding commercial success as well. Eurogamer is reporting the re-imagining of the classic title has topped the UK sales charts for the last week, and is the best selling Resident Evil entry since Resident Evil 7 in 2017 (though RE2‘s sales are currently 18% less than that of RE7 during the same time frame). US sales numbers have yet to be released, but we will provide an update when they are.

Resident Evil 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

UPDATE 1/28/19 12:25 PM EST: Capcom has also announced that two character skins resembling the 1998 aesthetic of the original for Leon and Claire will be coming to Resident Evil 2 for free on February 15th, 2019.

For updates on Resident Evil 2, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Anthem Will Have Matchmaking For Every Activity In The Game

BioWare’s newest IP Anthem is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases of 2019, with fans itching to jump into the world the EA owned developer has created. While excitement is high for the upcoming multiplayer Sci-Fi experience, a common concern amongst fans is the issue of gaining the full experience intended within the game when other players aren’t available to play. Now, a lead producer on the project is confirming details that will help players ease themselves, knowing that there will always be players to group up with.

Responding to a question on Twitter yesterday, lead producer on Anthem Ben Irving confirmed that “there is matchmaking for every activity in the game.” While the statement does comes off a bit vague, Strongholds, free roaming, missions and much of the core gameplay seems to be a given at this point. Players will likely find this feature to be most useful when attempting to tackle Strongholds, which require four players to enter. Traditionally, matchmaking in experiences like Anthem and Destiny (open, shared world shooters) has proved to be a bit problematic. The latter of the two listed in destiny saw multiple revisions to its matchmaking system over its two entries. While the confirmation of matchmaking within the game does ease many players’ minds, Irving went on to clarify that matchmaking is an optional feature that you can opt out of.

Anthem, which was officially shown and announced at Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference, sets players in the role of a Freelancer who sets out to leave their civilization to explore the surrounding landscapes. Controlling exosuits called Javelins, players will fight and explore their way through a vast world in hopes of finding a better tomorrow. In traditional BioWare fashion, the game will also feature a heavy emphasis on single player content, through their trademarked storytelling excellence.

Anthem is set to release on February 22, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

For updates on Anthem, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

The Walking Dead Final Season Episode 4 Set to Release on March 26th


The end to the final season of the former Telltale Game’s the Walking Dead series is right around the corner, with a now confirmed release date of its fourth and final episode on March 26th, 2019.

As first reported by DualShockers, the episode titled “Take Us Back” now lists a specific release date of March 26th, 2019 on the game’s episode selection page. While Skybound Games, who officially took over production of the final episodes in the series following Telltale’s closure, has yet to officially announce the game themselves. Yet, it doesn’t look like fans will have to wait long to experience not only the end of the season, but the conclusion to Clementine’s overall story as well.

The original season of Telltale’s the Walking Dead first released in April 2012 to critical acclaim and commercial success, claiming multiple Game of the Year nominations and awards in the process. Many could argue that the success of Telltale’s the Walking Dead helped catapult the graphic adventure genre into mainstream popularity, with many studios following the formula after. Due to the unfortunate financial events last September, Telltale Studios was forced to suffer a major studio closure after their last investor pulled out of funding the studio. Over 250 employees were let go from the studio, with only 25 remaining to finish previous obligations including a port of Minecraft: Story Mode to Netflix.

The first three chapters of the Walking Dead’s Final Season are available now on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.