Sony’s PS4 Conference

In an extremely anticipated event on February 20th, Sony finally revealed the PlayStation 4 to the public, along with some upcoming games for the system. The system is coming out for the 2013 holiday season, and sports impressive technical specifications and a modified DualShock 4 controller with extra features like a touchpad and a built-in speaker.

PS4 Logo

As I did for last year’s E3 conferences, I have prepared a comfortable bullet-point summary of the major announcements during the conference, in order of appearance.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 gets a Western release in 2013

Phantasy Star Online 2 Start Screen

SEGA have announced that the release of the highly anticipated Phantasy Star Online 2 in Europe and North America will happen in 2013.

The game is already out in Japan and is accessible to everyone, including people living in the rest of the world, but those of us who do not want to bother with translation guides will have to wait a while for the English release Nevertheless, I am happy that the game was confirmed for the West at all, as there were some rumours floating around that it would remain Japanese-only.

As discussed earlier on “Between Life and Games”, unlike Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst, the second installment of the PSO series will be free-to-play!

Some of the Phantasy Star Online 2 features:

  • Deep sci-fi fantasy universe filled with lush landscapes, extraordinary creatures, and epic adventures
  • Revolutionary real-time combat and third-person action with devastating combos and counters to master
  • Flexible, class-based leveling system that lets players define their own play-style with distinctive melee, ranged, and magic weapon types
  • Randomized maps and unexpected mid-quest encounters that ensure each quest is different for each player
  • Deep character creation system with a nearly limitless number of potential appearances
  • Three degrees of humanity to experience across three unique races: the versatile Humans, spiritually-powered Newmen, and artificial CAST

Source: http://www.sega.com/news/?n=5722

I am happy with this news and cannot wait to recreate my FOnewearl and start her new adventure in PSO2!

E3 2012 Summary

This year’s E3 was spectacularly mediocre, what with many people expecting PS4/Xbox 720 to be unveiled, and they weren’t. Not even Nintendo managed to hype its upcoming Wii U console that well. Nevertheless, a lot of stuff still happened, many new games were shown, and a lot of new information regarding already announced games was revealed. Even if it didn’t meet our expectations, it was still E3… If you’re a gamer, it’s bound to excite you at least a little bit.

E3 Logo

Here’s a summary of the happenings at the five major conferences (Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Nintendo), along with my comments. The items in bold are the biggest announcements each company made in the respective conference.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 to be free-to-play!

Phantasy Star Online 2

SEGA has announced that the sequel to one of the finest online RPGs and a pioneer of the genre, Phantasy Star Online, will be free-to-download and free-to-play. The game model will be based on microtransactions with items and other benefits costing money. However, it will not be required to buy anything in order to progress and there will not be a level cap or any other restrictions for non-paying customers.

PSO2 had already been announced for PC and PlayStation Vita, and now we know that a third version is being developed – one for Android and iOS devices. This version will share character data with the main PC/Vita versions, but will be more simplistic and will not offer cross-platform play.

The PC version is scheduled for a summer 2012 release in Japan, the smart phone version follows in the winter, and the Vita version is to be released in early 2013. The PC version’s second alpha test for the game was recently completed and reached a scale of 50,000 users. A closed beta for the PC version will start in April, with a scale set to 100,000 players.

Source: http://www.gamespot.com/news/phantasy-star-online-2-will-be-free-to-play-6368061

I am really happy with this news. Since I would not be able to put in more than 10-20 hours of play a month, I was never going to get the game if it had monthly fees. Now it is a definite for me. If it has even half of PSO’s magic, I will enjoy it greatly. I have a total of about 200 hours logged into Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst for the PC (138 on my currently existing character), and I still play it occasionally on Schthack’s server.