Nowgamer.com has an article that talks about the rumors going around that the PS4 will launch October 21st, 2013. If true this could be a big move by Sony.
A “mod-verified” poster on neoGAF stated that he works with a retail background privy to release dates, so they can get their instore merch plans setup. He noted that in a recent internal memo they had an “unknown Sony Console” launching on Oct 21st. And that in the recent past new consoles were labeled as such, also noted that if a release date has not been confirmed from the manufacturer it simply lists TBA.
Keep in mind this is only a rumor, however if it turns out to be true it could be a big move for Sony, as they’ll have a full month to restock supplies for Black Friday, after the pre-orders and first day buyers get theirs.
Most likely we’ll get confirmation of this, true or not, at Gamescom next week.
So yesterday both Microsoft and Sony had their keynote conferences yesterday. Early, and continued, reactions to the two is not going well for Microsoft. Thanks to their conference a couple weeks ago we know a bunch of details about the Xbox One (still hate that name) than we do the PS4. So here on Nerditronics we’re going to cover the PS4 announcements first, well that and I don’t like Microsoft, and I’m in charge of the blog!
First off, Sony went into full beast-mode in it’s attack on the Xbox One. If you’re squeamish, might want to look away now. NAW who am I kidding keep reading!
Sony’s first jab to the Xbox One is it’s price, at $399 (In Europe, it’ll be €399 and £349.) PS4 will be priced a full $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s offering. This is a very welcomed change to the $600 launch of the PlayStation 3, which for the record, yes I still paid it. Though it does not appear that this will include the new PlayStation Eye camera.
At the console launch in February Sony didn’t show the actual console, however at E3 they fixed that quickly. I’ll be honest, I’m not psyched about the look, granted it doesn’t look like an old boxy VCR like the Xbox One does, but it does look like an italicized original PS2.
The system will include a 500GB hard drive similar to the X1 (hate that name too), however they’ve already announced that it will be upgradeable similar to the original PS3′s.
Now here’s where it gets a little ugly for Microsoft.
Jack Tretton, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment America said, ”We’re equally focused on delivering what gamers want most, without imposing restrictions or devaluing their PS4 purchases.” Soon after this Sony start launching bombs that were not subtle at all.
Kotaku’s summary of what happened next said it best I think.
“PlayStation 4 won’t impose any new restrictions on the use of PS4 games.” Twenty-second applause break. “When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to use that copy of the game, they can trade in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.” Twenty-second applause break, with “Sony” chant.
“PlayStation 4 disc-based games don’t need to be connected online to play.” Twelve-second applause break. “If you enjoy playing singleplayer games offline, PS4 won’t require you to check in online periodically.” Eight-second applause break. “And it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours.” Ten-second applause break.
These were obviously directly aimed at Microsoft’s ‘clarifications’ the other day, which has not sat well with gamers. Sony knew this and played into it beautifully.
Now all the cheering and brownie-points that Sony gained with the last announcements made this next bit of news go off oddly well:
The PlayStation 4 will now charge for Online Multiplayer, unlike with the PS3. You can pay $50 for a year’s subscription ($4.17-ish per month). However you will get multiple free games for your subscription and it’s good for every PlayStation device.
Now obviously this is very early on, and both systems are VERY far from launch, both slated for Holidays 2013. But at this point if Microsoft backs out on their announced plans they’ll run the risk of dropping more face with the customers by admitting that Sony was “right”. Also there’s no saying that Sony won’t change their mind about certain things between now and then. However as it stands now, Sony is swinging for the fences and Microsoft is leaving itself open for every shot.
Now for one last shot at the Xbox One, Sony released the following video.
As has been well documented already in the blog and podcast, I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. It was one of my very first video games and as such I have many wonderful memories of sitting in front of my huge 13-inch TV (hey shut up it was big when I was 6) playing the first Final Fantasy for hours and hours.
Now, I’m not writing to day to tell about my history with the series, that will have to wait for another day. No dear readers, today we celebrate the 15th anniversary of one my (and many others) favorite game in the entire Final Fantasy library, and boy are there a bunch of them. Fifteen years ago this month, Final Fantasy VII (7) was born into the world, and even if you don’t like the game, changed the face of gaming forever.
Now I admit I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning, what is Final Fantasy VII? Well, wikipedia.org describes Final Fantasy VII as “a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series.” Now some people may be saying “Big deal it’s another stupid RPG made in Japan, I’ve seen about a billion of those.” When Final Fantasy VII was released, we had never had anything like it before. Before the game launched you couldn’t go anywhere in gaming and not see and hear about the game. 30 second TV spots would tell you how many programmers worked on the game and how much money they spent working on it, your favorite video game store had demos and cardboard standees of the characters, video game magazines had numerous cover stories months after release.
When Final Fantasy VII was first in development, it was originally intended to be released on the Super NES, however it was eventually moved over to the N64 system. But since the N64 lacked the required storage capacity in their cartridges Squaresoft (yes this was before it merged with Enix) released the game on the Sony PlayStation, as it used CD’s instead of cartridges. It was the first game in the series to use fully rendered 3D characters and graphics. Thanks to the previously mentioned advertising blitz the game was quickly a critical and commercial success, selling over 10 million copies by May 2010.
Now all this is well and good, however none of this explains why I or anyone else loved the game. From the onset of the game the story line sucked me in thanks to the iconic cinematic opening. This was something frequently used in the game, to tell the deepest parts of the story line. Now cut-scenes was nothing new thanks to CD media. However some games were better at this than others. In Japan an RPG that relies heavily on a deep theatrical and cinematic storylines was nothing new, however over in North America, our selection of deep storylined RPGs were severely limited. Also Final Fantasy VII was not just a childish cartoon of a video game, the plot was not all sunshine and bunnies, which brings me to my next point.
**SPOILER ALERT** This section WILL have spoilers. You had 15 years to beat the game, if you haven’t yet, you’re not going to. Get over it. Now, the storyline revolves around the main character Cloud, and his band of friends, saving the world from the evil Shinra Corporation. While this may not seem very original in the grand scheme of RPG’s (especially J-RPG’s) it was the plot twists that really drew me in. Now the largest and most shocking of these was when the second most important character in the game was killed. Yes the flower girl Aerith (or Aeris depending on the translation) was stabbed from behind by the one and only Sephiroth. This caused a major uproar in the gaming world. Some players were literally brought to tears at the scene as nothing quite like it had been seen here in the states. The death brought countless rumors, anywhere from a secret mission where you could resurrect your fallen ally, to many stories of locked items and quests on the CD meant that the game developers planned to bring her back originally. However no matter what you tried, who you talked to what item you used, she wasn’t coming back.
Now I could keep going for pages and pages on why I love the Final Fantasy series, and maybe someday I will, but not today.
Even if you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, or any Final Fantasy game, I do ask that you give it but a moment of respect for without it, our RPG world would be much much darker indeed.
For those that want to know more 1up.com has an entire week of great articles in honor of Final Fantasy VII’s 15th anniversary.