Sony’s Heads Of PlayStation VR Discuss Virtual Reality’s Future

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Sony’s Heads Of PlayStation VR Discuss Virtual Reality’s Future

PlayStation VR is poised to take the console market by storm as the first virtual-reality system to be released from any of the three major home-console manufacturers. Rather than the typical competition of Microsoft and Nintendo, however, Sony Computer Entertainment must focus on challengers from the PC side of the industry. PlayStation must now compete with the likes of Oculus and Vive as while simultaneously blazing the trail for any other console manufacturers looking at making the leap to VR.

I spoke with Sony’s president of worldwide studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida, and director of PlayStation Magic Lab, Richard Marks, on the beginning of PlayStation’s interest in VR, the steps the company took to get to where it is today, and more. Because my two conversations hit on many of the same topics, I’ve combined them into one discussion, which you can read below.

Where did PlayStation VR start, and how did it get to where it is now?

Twitch Integration Puts Viewers In The Game

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Twitch Integration Puts Viewers In The Game

People often have their favorite streamers to watch and gaming personalities to follow, but new development possibilities are taking place that allow viewer participation to get those hordes of fans and watchers into the action. Utilizing account level experience points and other perks, viewers will soon be able to actually have real power in what’s happening on stream. Three games at GDC 2016 showcased some of the new potential of Twitch-integrated games.

SuperfightIt’s sort of like Cards Against Humanity, with each player selecting cards that he or she thinks will make the most powerful combo. Iconic figures like Chuck Norris, Cthulu, Loki, and He-Man face off with an arsenal of other wild and often hilarious powers and weapons, like catarangs. After the crowd sees who’s fighting who, they can start to build hype for their favorite via the chat, with the hype levels building into visible power for the favored card. Streamers make their cases as to why their particular combo is the most compelling, and after a few minutes it’s time to vote, with the crowd favorite taking down the opposing card. This goes on for a bit, tournament style, with both viewers and streamers accumulating experience points as they play. I can already tell this one is going to be a big winner at the Game Informer office with editors squaring off.

Everything We Know About Gears Of War 4's Multiplayer

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Since the series' debut, Gears of War players have logged an impressive 2.3 billion hours playing Gears of War's multiplayer. The Coalition is acutely aware that it has a passionate fan base looking forward to digging into the next online Gears experience. Our recent trip to visit the studio for our April cover story focused largely on the game's story-focused campaign, but we were still able to eke out a few juicy details about multiplayer.

1) Multiplayer is getting a bigger focus this time:"Historically, the campaign is the hardest thing to make out of any of these games," says studio head Rod Fergusson. "So if you look at the development of Gears one, it was probably 90 percent single player, 10 percent multiplayer. Over the course of the franchise, that percentage shifted, but I don't think it ever got above 70/30. Coming here, multiplayer has a much greater position at the table. On day one, as we were prototyping our first campaign experience, we were also building multiplayer maps. We really want to meet the needs of not just recreational players but eSports players, and it's something we've been thinking about for the entire development cycle."

2) Ryan Cleven is the Lead MP Designer:Cleven's resume includes series like Need for Speed and SSX.

The Best And Worst Video Game Pies

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Today is Pi day, and in honor of the occasion lets talk about the cake alternative as it appears in video games.

We originally posted this feature on 2015's Pi day, which was extra special since the date was 3.14.15 –  Pi to first four decimal places. This year isn't quite as special, but it's still an occasion to celebrate, and we've added a new entry to call out a pie that has appeared in the time between Pi days.

Fallout 4

Making Game Infarcer’s Bloodborne 2 Cover

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Making Game Infarcer’s Bloodborne 2 Cover

This year's Game Infarcer cover mixes From Software's haunting atmosphere with the surreal world of Dr. Suess. A match made in heaven? Probably.  

Ever since 2006, the cover for our annual Game Infarcer parody feature has been drawn by artist Zander Cannon. Cannon is the mind behind works like Kaijumax and Heck, and he sat down with us to talk about the process for creating this year's cover art. We've talked about the process before, but this is the first time we've had Cannon in-studio to record his thoughts and walk us through the process.

Plus, he points out a bunch of obscure Dr. Suess Easter eggs that only the most dedicated readers will recognize. Enjoy!

Get Ready For Our Game Club Discussion On Final Fantasy VII's Second Disc

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Get Ready For Our Game Club Discussion On Final Fantasy VII's Second Disc

Not too long ago, we started the Game Informer Game Club where we play games and talk about them with our (super-cool) community. The inaugural game has been Final Fantasy VII, and we’ve already had two discussion about the first disc. Now we’re gearing up for our second in-depth session that covers all of disc two.

Mark your calendars, because the next GI Game Club session is happening on March 17, and will air as a segment on the Game Informer Show podcast. If you still need to catch up on our discussions, you can watch part one here, and part two here. For our third talk, we’re  discussing everything up to the end of disc two (i.e. through the events that lead you back to Midgar).

Like last time, we have a few conversation topics to think about as you play through the game with us:

Six Improvements We Hope To See In Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

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Six Improvements We Hope To See In Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

The original Mirror’s Edge launched nearly eight years ago, and with the abundance of parkour-oriented action/adventure games we see today, it debatably hasn’t aged that well. For its time, it nonetheless broke new ground with its first-person platformer style and entertaining gameplay, but often Faith was tripping over her own feet. With Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, and even horror game Dying Light providing stellar climbing mechanics, the upcoming Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (releasing May 24) has some tough competition if it aims to impress. Here are some improvements we hope to see in the upcoming game.

More Fluidity Between Combat and Parkour

Mirror’s Edge was at its best when it was fast. If you kept up momentum, the gameplay felt smoother, but it wasn’t without interruptions. Sometimes this was more related to the trial-and-error gameplay, but other times, the problem went deeper. Clunky combat maneuvers often would bring your run to a stop, and difficult jumping puzzles would slow down the speed of the game. It would be nice to see more fluidity between running and enemy encounters in a way that doesn’t slow down the quickness of the game.

We Discuss The Division's Contagious Gameplay And Open-World Depth

about X hours ago from
We Discuss The Division's Contagious Gameplay And Open-World Depth

This feature was originally published March 9, 2016.

Executive editor Andrew Reiner and I spent much of yesterday playing The Division on our live stream. During that time, we got our bearings on the game's various systems, leveling mechanics, and multiplayer. Today, we've regrouped and are sharing our initial thoughts on the game, now that we've had some time for our opinions to solidify. Read on for our take on the setting, gunplay, and, of course, how it compares to Destiny.

Reiner: One of the questions we saw the most during our day-long live stream of The Division was “How does it compare to Destiny?” On the surface, both games are cooperative shooters at heart with elements from MMOs and open-world RPGs. In the 10-plus hours I’ve invested in The Division, it’s clear that Ubisoft’s development team studied Destiny – aping some of the content that works, and going in different directions for other things. What is your initial take on how the two games stack up?

Our Favorite Character Builds In The Division

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Our Favorite Character Builds In The Division

We’ve spent much of this week diving into Ubisoft’s take on a post-apocalyptic New York City, where a devastating illness has left civil order in ruins. If you’re getting started in exploring the city and leveling up, you’ve probably already noticed that Ubisoft has avoided traditional classes for its characters, and instead is allowing players to freely establish their own character build. The freedom is a lot of fun, but along with several weapon varieties, it can be confusing to know how and where to focus. We’ve experimented and chosen five of our favorite builds to let you customize your Division agent in awesome ways.

In order to work toward the builds described below, a little planning is in order. Take the time to look at your Abilities screen in the menu, so you understand how skills (active abilities), talents (modifiers on your actions), and perks (passive abilities) come together. Note that unlike in many progression-based games, these abilities do not unlock along a linear tree. Instead, the upgrades you purchase back at base determine which ability you get next. 

Replay – Kingdom Hearts II

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Disney has a knack for mashing universes together. Both Kingdom Hearts and Disney Infinity are built on the idea of characters crossing between worlds and joining forces to create the ultimate pop culture super team. In Kingdom Hearts II, we see Final Fantasy characters interacting with the likes of Donald Duck and Goofy, and protagonist Sora diving into The Lion King, Mulan, Tron, and more iconic films to uncover a mystery.

John Vignocchi, Disney's vice president of production, joined the Replay crew for a look at this beloved PlayStation 2 title, and also shared his experiences of working on both Disney Infinity and Kingdom Hearts games.

In our final segment, we take a much stranger look at the Disney universe through a NES title that Kimberley Wallace had fond memories of. We get a little rowdy in this episode, but had a great time discussing Disney and video games with industry veteran, Vignocchi. Enjoy the episode, and we'll see you again in seven days. Thanks again for watching!