All posts in “playstation”

Rivals in gaming, Microsoft and Sony team up on cloud services

For the last two decades, Sony and Microsoft’s gaming divisions have been locked in all-out war against one another: on price, on hardware, on franchises, on exclusives… you name it. But it seems they’ve set their enmity aside temporarily that they might better prevent that filthy casual, Google, from joining the fray.

The official team-up, documented in a memorandum of understanding, was announced today, though details are few. But this is clear enough:

The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.

Of course there is no doubt that Sony could have gone with a number of other cloud services for its gaming on demand services. It already runs one, Playstation Now, but the market is expected to expand over the next few years much like cord cutters have driven traditional TV and movie watchers to Netflix and other streaming services. Expansion would surely prove expensive and complicated.

The most salient challenger is likely Google and its new Stadia game straming service, which of course has a huge advantage in its global presence, brand recognition, and unique entry points: search and YouTube. The possibility of searching for a game and being able to play it literally five seconds later is an amazing one, and really only something Google can pull off right now.

That makes Google a threat. And Microsoft and Sony have enough threats already, what with the two of them making every exclusive and chip partnership count, the resurgence of Nintendo with the immensely popular Switch, and the complex new PC-and-mobile-focused gaming market making consoles look outdated. Apple Arcade exists, too, but I don’t know that anyone is worried about it, exactly.

Perhaps there was a call made on the special direct line each has to the other, where they just said “truce… until we reduce Google Stadia to rubble and salt the earth. Also Nvidia maybe.”

We don’t actually have to imagine, though. As Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida noted in the announcement: “For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”

Sony doesn’t lack technical chops, or the software necessary to pull off a streaming service — but it may simply make more sense to deploy via Microsoft’s Azure than bring its own distribution systems up to par. No doubt Microsoft is happy to welcome a customer as large as Sony to its stable, and any awkwardness from the two competing elsewhere is secondary to that. Google is a more existential competitor in many ways, so it makes sense that Microsoft would favor partnering with a partial rival against it.

Sony has long been in this boat itself. Its image sensors and camera technology can be found in phones and DSLRs that compete with its own products — but the revenue and feedback it has built up as a result have let it maintain its dominance.

Speaking of which, the two companies also plan to collaborate on imaging, combining Sony’s sensor tech with Microsoft’s AI work. This is bound to find its way to applications in robotics and autonomous vehicles, though competition is fierce there and neither company has a real branded presence. Perhaps they aim to change that… together.

PlayStation VR bundles on sale — save up to $50

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
A VR system *and* two fantastic games? Yes, please.
A VR system *and* two fantastic games? Yes, please.

Image: amazon

Virtual reality is just one of the latest crazes within the games industry — it’s immersive and honestly just plain fun to seemingly put yourself inside of your video games. Thing is, VR headsets can cost you quite a bit (and the rent isn’t getting any lower), so it’s a good idea to get the best bang for your buck by investing in a bundle that includes not only the VR tools needed to play, but also a few video games for you to sink into from the get-go.

And we found just the one — this PlayStation VR bundle with two critically-acclaimed titles, Borderlands 2 and Beat Saber, is $50 off on Amazon

In this kit, you’ll receive the PSVR headset, PlayStation Camera, two Move controllers, a demo disc, and vouchers for both Borderlands 2 and Beat Saber. Balanced, comfortable, and adjustable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing the PSVR headset while you’re exploring whatever gaming world you’ve inserted yourself into. Whether you’re tracking quests across the untamed lands of the iconic looter-shooter Borderlands 2, or breaking a sweat with the intense, precise rhythms of Beat Saber, you’re going to be having the time of your life. 

Image: amazon

And if those two titles aren’t quite doing it for you, there are two new PSVR bundles up for preorder that include some highly-anticipated games over at Walmart. In bundle number one, you’ll get access to the comedic adventure Trover Saves the Universe from Rick and Morty‘s Justin Roiland, and the uber-creepy survival-horror game Five Nights at Freddy’s. The second bundle will put you deep into the crime-ridden London underworld of Blood & Truth, along with the more lighthearted sports game Everybody’s Golf. Whichever bundle you pick, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. 

You’re not just playing a video game, you’re in it — grab this PlayStation VR bundle with Borderlands 2 and Beat Saber for $50 off on Amazon.

Sony shares some details about the PlayStation 5

Lead architect for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita Mark Cerny gave a lengthy interview to Wired’s Peter Rubin and shared some details about Sony’s next-gen console — the console that is likely to be called the PlayStation 5.

The next PlayStation will be based on an AMD architecture just like the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. The custom made CPU will be based on the third-generation AMD Ryzen CPU line. It’ll feature eight 7nm cores.

As for the GPU, Sony plans to use a custom version of AMD Radeon’s Navi GPUs. While AMD is supposed to unveil this new generation of GPUs in the coming months, Cerny says that the next-gen PlayStation GPU will support ray tracing.

Those chips should also lead to a jump in audio performance. You can expect better 3D audio support if you have a set of speakers or headphones that support this kind of stuff.

The PlayStation 5 will also ship with SSD hard drives by default. This is a key differentiating factor between PC games and console games. Spinning hard drives lead to endless loading screens.

Opting for an SSD changes everything. For instance, Cerny says that fast-travel in Spider-Man running on a PlayStation 4 Pro takes approximately 15 seconds, while it takes less than a second on a next-generation PlayStation devkit.

On the hardware front, Cerny also said that the PlayStation 5 will have a BluRay drive to read physical games. And you’ll also be able to play PlayStation 4 games on the new console.

Based on the interview, it’s unclear whether Sony wants to launch a second-generation PlayStation VR headset. But if you already bought a VR headset, it’ll be compatible with the future PlayStation.

Sony is skipping E3 this year, which means that we won’t hear more about the PlayStation 5 for a while. The company will most likely launch the new console in 2020.

PlayStation 4 controllers are on sale on Amazon — save up to $18

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Choose your color and your savings.
Choose your color and your savings.

Image: amazon

The PlayStation 4 is a favorite among a large swath of gamers — not only can you play some of the industry’s biggest exclusive titles, you can also play Blu-ray discs, use your streaming service of choice, and so much more. What could make it even better? An awesome controller to match.

The PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller is on sale on Amazon in a bunch of different colorways — save up to $18 depending on which design speaks to you.  

The DualShock 4 Controller provides a great sense of control and a comfortable, ergonomic grip (which you’re going to need if you’re taking on more difficult games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice). Its patented clickable touch pad in the center of the device makes gameplay mechanics possible that you couldn’t experience otherwise, and the built-in speaker and headphone jack open the door to a lot of unique audio options (you can also chat with your friends online). No matter what you’re playing, you’ll be happy to have a DualShock 4 in your hands.

Play your games in style — grab a PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller for up to $18 off on Amazon.

Check out all the options below.

Get a free Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K when you sign up for PlayStation Vue

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
The Fire TV Stick 4K usually goes for $49.99. Get it for free and use it to flip through your 90 channels.
The Fire TV Stick 4K usually goes for $49.99. Get it for free and use it to flip through your 90 channels.

Image: sony

Cord-cutting (or committing to anything past Netflix, honestly) can be daunting. Trying to navigate streaming packages sucks — and why even pay for them when your non-smart TV can’t pull them up?

We gotchu: Until March 12, PlayStation Vue will give you an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for free when you sign up for and pay for one month of the Core, Elite, or Ultra plans. We’re pretty sure this deal hasn’t happened since PlayStation Vue came to Fire TV in 2015. You can thank us later.

If you’re going to be paying monthly for live channels and have a few extra bucks to throw in, PlayStation Vue is the best choice — hands down. With over 60 channels in Core, over 90 in Elite, and those same 90 plus HBO and SHOWTIME in Ultra, it’s kind of impossible not to find something to watch. Actually, PlayStation Vue is so good that Mashable named it the best overall premium streaming service.

Image: sony

Vue allows simultaneous streaming on five devices at once, including a PS4, PS3, plus three other devices — so the whole household can use it even if they’ve never touched a PlayStation in their life. This also means five virtually unlimited DVRs.

Here’s the plan of attack:

  1. Sign up for a five-day free trial of PlayStation Vue with the Core, Elite, or Ultra Plan by March 3. The lowest-tier Access Plan isn’t part of the deal, but the Core Plan is only five bucks more.

  2. Enjoy a free week and pay for your first month by March 12. (If you’ve already done the email sneak and used a first trial, you can skip the trial business and still pay for your first month by March 12.)

  3. Around March 18, PlayStation will send a code to the same email address that was used to sign up. The code can be redeemed on Amazon for a free Fire TV Stick 4K (regularly $49.99), and the code must be used before May 6 at midnight.

No, seriously — if you have a non-smart TV and don’t have a Fire TV Stick, WYD? These little plug-ins can essentially turn your TV into a smart TV, housing your Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and more all in one place  — or just ask Alexa via the remote. The latest and greatest Fire Stick also lets you stream in 4K.

See the channel lineups and sign up for PlayStation Vue for $49.99, $59.99, or $79.99/month here.