PlayStation Network Improvement Impressions

Playstation Network

Sony has been making numerous additions and improvements to the PlayStation Network service. It comes as no surprise that one may need to re-evaluate just how good the PSN really is, in comparison to Xbox Live.

How good is the PlayStation Plus service?

To start off, let’s take a look at the PlayStation Plus membership. This higher-leveled tier is a way for players to become a part of an elite group of subscribers. Subscribers to the PlayStation Plus service receive numerous benefits, such as full-game demos, exclusive themes, four free games a month, free QORE subscription, sweepstake entries, beta invites, and more. All of these incentives alone are enough to push someone to become a member, but they also went and offered discounts in the PlayStation Store to those who are members. As of now, the price for subscription closely rivals that of Xbox Live, before the price hike. This has caused many PS3 owners to look for a PSN Generator, but that is for another topic.

Best of all, while Microsoft only allows Gold members to play online, Sony continues to allow the free-gamers to play their games over the internet. This is a solid subscription model that draws in many gamers who do not think paying for multiplayer is justified. I have many friends who refuse to purchase an Xbox 360 simply because they cannot afford or refuse to pay monthly just to play a multiplayer game.

What about the PlayStation Rewards Program?

Sony recently revealed that they are working on an incentives program that rewards the most active gamers. Gamers, on their PlayStation profile, will have an activity bar. When the bar fills up to the top, you enter the next tier and receive added benefits. There are three tiers in total, each requiring a certain amount of activity to reach. Activity, according to Sony, is considered the time you spend playing games, purchases you make in the PlayStation Store, trophies you unlock, and more to come.

Sony designed the program with the intention of allowing gamers of all kinds, both paid and free, to earn rewards. This rewards program will work greatly with the PlayStation Plus membership. You will be receiving benefits from both your subscription and this program.

How does PlayStation Network stack up against Xbox Live?

Sadly, Xbox Live is still trumping PlayStation Network in terms of raw content. Microsoft has pumped a lot of money into purchasing and developing exclusives. Video Chat has been added to Xbox Live, via Kinect and Skype, which is certain to appeal to the more casual gamers such as myself who sometimes get on solely for the social aspect. ESPN Live Streaming has been added which appeals to the rabid sports fan that are on Xbox Live. They can watch a game while in a party, talking to masses of people as they watch the game unfold. Twitter and FaceBook integration is pretty much perfect and in working order. Netflix was originally placed on this system, I believe, which is another plus.

PlayStation Network has a bit of catching up to do. The main thing that Sony has going for it, with the PlayStation Network, is that it is free. Free automatically makes it appeal to masses of people who do not want to pay for online access. It seems, however, that offering the service for free hinders it’s progress, a bit.

Ultimately, the success of the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live falls upon you, the consumer. So which do you think is better? PSN or Xbox Live? Discuss.

Final Fantasy IX Coming To PlayStation Network

Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX by Square Enix

Square Enix has been teasing the release of Final Fantasy IX for the past couple of weeks, but Yoichi Wada now confirmed it via Twitter.

With Final Fantasy VII and VIII already available on the PlayStation Network, FFIX should not be considered very far behind. On Twitter, a Square Enix producer mentioned how the company is considering a release sometime soon. Shinji Hashimoto has been asking for opinions on FFIX over the past couple of days, and news has now arrived. He thanked everyone for the opinions on FF9 and that since it has received such a warm welcome, it would be proposed during the next board meeting.

Many people, including me, consider this Final Fantasy to be one of the best in the whole franchise. The cast of players was definitely enjoyable, and it actually had one of the first button mash sequences that I have ever played. The storyline was not bad, and I definitely remember staying up late at night playing as Zidane (I still do not know if the tail he had been fake or not).

You can see the video of Yoichi Wada confirming Final Fantasy IX for PSN.

PlayStation President Jack Tretton promises Killzone 3

Killzone 3
Killzone 3

The Killzone series is extremely successful and popular amongst the fan base, so this may not come as a surprise to many, but it may be reassuring. The PlayStation president, Jack Tretton, promises that there will be a third installment to the series sometime in the future.

Geoff Keighley, the GameTrailers TV host, asked Jack Tretton a question regarding whether or not the PlayStation 3 will be equipped with a shooter ready to show at this years E3. He would not confirm whether Sony does or does not have something in store for this years E3, but he did say that Sony will certainly have something bragworthy. There will certainly be surprises, some are hoping for teasers for the new Kingdom Hearts console bound game, some are hoping for some insight on Rockstar Games’ Agent.

Tretton went on to say that he does not know when announcements will officially be made about this, but he personally promises the release of Killzone 3 sometime in the future. Guerilla Games’ will most likely be taking their time on this game, as it has the potential to stay as one of the top PlayStation 3.

PlayStation Move, Best Motion Controller Of The Generation

PlayStation Move for the Ps3
PlayStation Move

Of course, speaking in terms of the video game console generations, the PlayStation Move will easily prove to be the best one available out of the big three. The footage being shown at the Game Developers Conference of 2010 is definitely confirming this thought.

The PlayStation Move is the name given to what was formally known as the codename Gem for the PlayStation 3. This motion controller comes with a wand and a peripheral that is used to hold the buttons and joystick for movement. This set up is similar to the one that the Nintendo Wii makes use of for the Wii Mote, but the Wii Mote is a lack luster device so it does not matter. When people think of the PlayStation Move, people should generally think of it as what the Wii wishes it could be.

The PlayStation Move has about 1 fps lag, which is equal to the lag on the dual shock controller. So the time it takes you to press a button and for the action to be displayed on the screen will be equal to the amount of time it takes for a movement to be registered with this new motion controller for the Ps3. What makes this device in particular special is that this will be the true motion controlling device for video games. Instead of allowing you to make a movement and having it translated into a preset motion directed by the game developers, there can now be true 1:1 movement recognition. Which, I believe, is the ultimate goal of motion controls for any video game console.

The demos shown at GDC 2010 for the PlayStation Move were fairly impressive. These demos offered situations such as you being an underground fighter and you having a fist fight with a foe, archery and gladiator battles. These are three situations that can best display how efficient this motion controller is, as these are all events with which people generally wish that had complete and original control over.  With that being said, the gladiator game did not have 1:1 motion sensing, I heard, but something quite close to it. As for the underground fighting game, titled Motion Fighter, I believe it does have a 1:1 motion control detection, but it gets criticism for having a sloppy control set up.

All in all, the PlayStation Move is making its first impression out in GDC 2010, and the impression appears to be a good one. This device is very versatile and can be used for both hardcore gamers and family mini games, which is desirable for a product, unlike Project Natal and its regrettable interface. Be sure to look out for the PlayStation Move, it will be coming out some time soon.

PlayStation 3 Modern Warfare 2 Javelin Glitch Fix Coming Soon

Modern Warfare 2

A Modern Warfare 2 update recently hit the Playstation 3, update 1.05, but this patch does not fix the Javelin glitch that everyone complains of so much.

However, Robert Bowling, the Infinity Ward community manager, made a tweet that says update 1.05 will fix some of the matchmaking issues. However, the update after that, update 1.06, is still in the works and will fix the Javelin exploit, fix areas in the map where players may get stuck in, and other minor fixes.

This update is expected to be delivered as soon as possible, but there is no official release date for this patch. It is interesting to see the contrast of punishment between cheaters on Xbox Live and those on the PlayStation Network. While Microsoft is banning those who do the Javelin exploit, it seems that Sony is not paying much attention to it. I honestly think that is the cooler approach, because while this exploit is a bit annoying, there are some in the army who suicide bomb…

To be honest, it makes the game more hectic and even fun at times, if you are doing this with the danger close perk on a small map such as Rust. What many people do not know about this exploit is that it is nullified if the exploiter uses their knife. So if you sacrifice your self and let yourself be knifed by the person doing the glitch, then he can not kill anyone else with the suicide explosion, which not many people know about.