News Bytes: ‘Sonic’ Redesign Causes Delay, ‘Shrek’ vs. ‘Thrones,’ Sony Launches PlayStation Productions & More

Mattel & Warner Bros. CP Extend DC Global Toy Partnership
Mattel will continue to be the toy licensee for DC Universe characters and brands in the girls, preschool, vehicles, games and novelty categories, supporting and growing both existing franchises as well as new content from the DC Super Hero Girls brand.

“Mattel has been our partner on DC for over 15 years and really knows our characters and understands the special connection they have with our fans. Their leadership in the preschool, vehicle and girls categories will help us bring great toys and experiences to DC fans of all ages.” — Stephen Teglas, SVP for North America, WBCP

CALL FOR ENTRIES: animago 2019
The 23rd competition for 3D animation, vfx and design will be held Nov. 2-5 in Munich. Submissions are invited to enter for a shot at 10 competition categories, including the new Best In-Game Graphics award, Best Visual Effects, Best Game Cinematic, Best Short Film, Best Advertising Production, Best Character, Best Young Production, Jury’s Prize, Best Motion Design, and Best Still (public vote). Deadline: June 30, 2019.

Sony Interactive Launches Unit to Adapt Games for Film, TV
The new banner headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Sony Interactive chairman of worldwide studios Shawn Layden will mine the PlayStation games property library for filmed entertainment hits. Titles like Tomb Raider and Ratchet & Clank have previously received live-action and animated movie adaptations.

“We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world. It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that … We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises. When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways.” — Shawn Layden, SIE Chairman – Worldwide Studios.

Let Us Not Overlook ‘Shrek’s Contributions to ‘Game of Thrones’
One seemingly absurdTwitter thread has outshone every long-gestated fan theory about the show, tbh.

’Game of Thrones’ Alum Bryan Cogman Joins ‘Lord of the Rings’ Amazon Series
Speaking of fantasy epics! Cogman joined GoT as an assistant to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and went on to write many key episodes (including season 8 tearjerker “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) and wrap the show as a co-executive producer. The move to LotR is part of his overall deal with Amazon Studios. The new series will further explore Middle-earth outside the familiar book trilogy tale.

Jeff Fowler: ‘Sonic’ Date Pushed Back for Redesign
After the debut trailer for live-action/CG event feature Sonic the Hedgehog gave the entire collective internet a conniption and caused director Fowler to announce a redesign of the lead character, the helmer posted to Twitter Friday that the release is being delayed to accommodate the makeover. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right. #novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie,” Fowler tweeted, with a sketch of Sonic’s gloved hand (are they turning his furry white hands back into gloves?!) holding a sign with the date February 14, 2020. The new date means Sonic debuts the same day as comic-book movie Kingsman 3 and a week after hybrid family flick Peter Rabbit 2.



DC Universe toys

DC Universe toys

Animation Magazine

PlayStation Game-Streaming Service Officially Hits PS Vita Tuesday

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PlayStation Vita owners can very soon try out the final version of Sony’s game-streaming service PlayStation Now. The service will see its official launch on Tuesday for the portable, as well as PlayStation TV, Sony writes on the PlayStation Blog. PS Now was previously available on PS Vita only through a limited beta.

Beginning August 4, PS Vita and PS TV owners can stream any of the 125+ games currently available in the PlayStation Now streaming library.

A seven-day free trial is available here.

Sony has also announced the five new games added to PlayStation Now in August. These will be available on all platforms, including PS Vita and PS TV, along with existing systems such as PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.

They are:

Lastly, Sony also announced on Monday that the number of PS Now-supported devices is growing to include new 2015 Sony TVs. You can see a full list of supported devices here.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.


PS4 1TB Ultimate Player Edition Will Include PlayStation TV in Europe

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Sony has confirmed the 1TB Ultimate Player Edition of the PlayStation 4 will be available in the UK from July 15, priced at £349.99.

For a limited time only, and at participating retailers, this model of the console will also be bundled with PlayStation TV, which allows users to stream content from the console to a second screen.

Sony first announced the 1TB model in June, when it said the model will allow owners to “download more of the games you love to your PS4, extend your play with more great add-on content and save, and share even more of your best gaming highlights.”

This version of the console is a new quieter and more power-efficient model than previous models Sony has released. A PS4 hardware teardown has revealed model CUH-12000 features a smaller motherboard with a new GDDR5 memory configuration.

Other changes introduced in the new PS4 model include a new Blu-ray drive design, a new HDMI controller, and a new power supply, which is 80g lighter than the previous one and has a lower energy output.

It also seems that Sony has reduced the amount of noise the PS4’s fan makes, though this has yet to be confirmed. For a more in-depth list of the changes, take a look at the site’s breakdown using the link above.

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Tamoor Hussain

I earned the Fox Hound rank in MGS3. Shout out to Jackie Chan, I need to stunt right now.


Nintendo’s PlayStation, the Holy Grail of Game Memorabilia, Has Been Found

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An extraordinarily rare prototype of the SNES-CD console, which was created as part of a failed partnership between Nintendo and Sony some 25 years ago, has been discovered.

Never-before-seen images offer the first ever close-ups of the machine, now yellowed with age, which combines the form factor of the SNES along with the branding of PlayStation.

The console is so rare that its specific design features, such as a horizontal volume slider at the front and an assortment of outputs at the back, were not public knowledge. There are several other known prototypes of the SNES-CD, each with different variations on its design, which likely means that the version pictured below is the only in existence.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the images in full-screen

The console is historically significant because it represents the brief partnership between Nintendo and Sony prior to its intense rivalry that still exists today.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, Sony showcased its Nintendo-endorsed vision for a SNES-CD, which it branded with a “PlayStation” logo. Nintendo shocked Sony, however, by suddenly announcing–at the same show–that it would be partnering with electronics firm Phillips instead.

Incensed and embarrassed, the Sony executive Ken Kutaragi began to internally lobby the company to fund plans to build a console without Nintendo’s support. The outcome of that plan, also called the PlayStation, brought about a tectonic power-shift in the games business.

This prototype model was found by the son of a businessman who had ties with a former Sony executive, believed to be Olafur Olafsson, who was the chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment in 1991.

The son, who is only known by his online handle ‘Dnldbld’, first published the images on Reddit, and then on Assembler Games. He says that he will try to find the power supply for the prototype and boot the system up for the first time.

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Rob Crossley

Rob Crossley is GameSpot’s UK Editor. He is being forced to use Oxford commas.


PS4 Getting Special PlayStation 20th Anniversary Controller and Headset

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To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of PlayStation, Sony will release a new special edition controller and headset for PS4 later this year.

Both the DualShock 4 and Gold wireless headset will feature a gray color similar to that of the original PlayStation. The former also feature a PlayStation button using the colors of the classic PlayStation logo.

The controller will be priced at $ 65, while the headset will cost $ 100, according to the PlayStation Twitter account. Both will be available at some point during September in North America and Europe.

While the original PlayStation debuted in Japan in 1994, it wasn’t until 1995 that it launched in North America and Europe–hence this year being treated as the 20th anniversary.


PSA: Free PS4/PS3/Vita PlayStation Plus Games for June Now Available

This month’s free PlayStation Plus games are now available to Plus members on PS4, PS3, and PS Vita.

As announced last week, there are six new games in all for subscribers, with two meant for each platform. However, thanks to cross-buy support, PS4 owners get a total of four freebies, including Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Skulls of the Shogun.

You can grab all six games from the PlayStation Store now through the end of the month (and likely the first week or so of July, as the first Tuesday of the month isn’t until July 7). As always, these games are yours to keep for as long as you remain a Plus subscriber.

PlayStation 4:

PlayStation 3:

PlayStation Vita:


FUNimation Launches on PlayStation


Texas-based anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment has released a new PlayStation 4 app for its streaming service in the U.S. and Canada. Fans will now be able to access their favorite anime, including the new spring simulcast shows, through the free app.

Features include video queuing, history syncing with, autoplay, search capability and episode progress bar indicators. App users can use intelligent bookmarking so they never have to remember where they took a break from watching a series. The PS3 app has also been upgraded to mirror the PS4 version, and now has remote control support.

All-Access Pass members can watch FUNimation’s entire library — the latest simulcast shows, exclusive English dubs of current series airing in Japan (Broadcast Dubs), and a huge catalog of dubbed or subbed anime episodes and movies — in uninterrupted high quality video. Sub Pass members can watch the latest simulcast shows, as well as a huge library of subtitled content, also in HD, commercial-free. Free Pass members can check out a variety of current simulcasts and sign up for a free 14-day trial. FUNimation’s programming is available on multiple platforms, including the PS4 and PS3 systems, Xbox 360, Roku, iOS, and Android. Paid subscription pricing starts at $ 3.33 per month.

FUNimation on PS4

FUNimation on PS4

Animation Magazine

VIDEO: Cart Diggers – Tokyo’s Video Game Dance Party

Go inside a party celebrating classic game music at Shibuya’s legendary club Womb. Featuring new tracks from chiptune legend Chip Tanaka.

Read more… “VIDEO: Cart Diggers – Tokyo’s Video Game Dance Party”

Get a Free PlayStation Camera When You Buy a PS4 at Best Buy

If you like streaming yourself playing games on Twitch and don’t already own a PlayStation 4, Best Buy has a great deal on Sony’s console.

For $ 400, you’ll get the PS4, a copy of The Last of Us Remastered, and a free PlayStation Camera, which usually costs $ 60. You can find the deal on Best Buy’s website here.

Another great PS4 deal this weekend includes one of the biggest exclusive games to hit the console yet. For $ 400, you can get a PlayStation 4, a copy of Bloodborne, a $ 20 Amazon gift card, and a copy of The Last of Us Remastered. You can find the deal on Amazon here.

If you’re looking for more great offers, check out GameSpot’s regular gaming deals posts, which round up the best discounts of the day.


1UP’s PlayStation 4 Roundtable: Opinions, Analysis, and Community Reactions

Jose Otero: At the PlayStation event, Sony showed some of the best and worst kept secrets in the gaming industry. We all got our first peek at the PlayStation 4’s controller and the rumored social features, like the ability to allow other users to spectate the games you’re currently playing. I went into this thing unsure of how social features would help boost this upcoming generation of hardware, but I walked away impressed by all of the possibilities. Today’s Internet thrives on a socially connected culture where people share pictures, video, and information at a rapid pace. It only makes sense that games would go in the same direction. The next gen doesn’t appear driven by graphics and polygons like the previous one’s that came before. If Sony placed their bets properly, it’s more about the social features and what they bring to the table.

Marty Sliva: Yeah, one of the biggest things I took aware from the conference was Sony’s push to make the PS4 the first social network with “meaning,” their words, not mine. Strange verbiage aside, they said all of the right things to make me believe that this could be the first console to succeed in connecting gamers on the same level that a platform like Facebook does. The idea of being able to watch what my buddies are playing on the fly, or upload something amazing that just happened in whatever game I might be playing is promising to say the least. If “Let’s Plays” seem popular now, just wait until any kid with a PS4 can record commentary without ever leaving their living room.

March’s Free PlayStation Plus Games Not Ready to Be Announced

If you’re wondering where the announcement is for next month’s free PlayStation Plus games, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, Sony’s not ready to spill the beans just yet.

The monthly reveal of free PS4, PS3, and PS Vita games typically comes a few days before the end of the prior month. With today being Friday and March starting on Sunday, PlayStation fans were expecting to have gotten some word by now. When that didn’t happen, some of them took to the comments of Europe’s PlayStation Blog to ask about this.

“Sorry to keep you good folks waiting,” replied Sony’s Fred Dutton earlier today. “I appreciate you’re all really keen to see the line-up and that it’s frustrating having to hang on a bit longer than usual. Alas, we’re still not quite ready to make the announcement. I can’t give you a firm time at present as to when the post will go live, but we’re working to get it to you as soon as possible. It may well be next week at this stage.”

If word doesn’t come until next week, that would mean the announcement is being made in March–which isn’t a huge deal, as we wouldn’t be getting the freebies until Tuesday, March 3, at the earliest, anyway. As soon as we have word on what the games will be, we’ll report back.

We do know one benefit Plus members will be getting in March (and April): Discounts on eight highly anticipated indie games that are debuting on PlayStation systems over the next two months. These include Hotline Miami 2, Bastion, and Shovel Knight, which, like the five others, will be available to Plus members for 10 percent off during their respective launch weeks as part of the Spring Fever promotion.


VIDEO: Humble Bundle Features Key Star Wars Games – IGN News

Several key Star Wars video games are currently available in a pay-what-you-want collection of games from Humble Bundle.

Read more… “VIDEO: Humble Bundle Features Key Star Wars Games – IGN News”