Sony has confirmed its PlayStation 5 first-party launch lineup, as well as confirming some details around PS4 versions of its exclusive titles and how the transition from current-gen to next-gen will work. In a blog post published after revealing the price of both of its upcoming consoles (the standard for $499.99 and the digital edition without a disc drive for $399.99), Sony says it has six launch titles confirmed for the PS5 on November 12th.
Here’s the full list, including pricing and confirmation for the first time that Sony intends to raise the price on some exclusive titles by $10 to a max of $69.99:
- Astro’s Playroom (Japan Studio) – pre-installed on PS5
- Demon’s Souls (Bluepoint Games / Japan Studio) – $69.99
- Destruction All Stars (Lucid Games / XDEV) – $69.99
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – $49.99
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Mile Morales Ultimate Edition – $69.99
- Sackboy A Big Adventure (Sumo Digital / XDEV) – $59.99
It’s important to note that this list does not include expected multi-platform games, like Fortnite (confirmed for both PS5 and Xbox One X at launch) and the standard annual release titles like the new Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed games, both of which should arrive before or just after the next-gen consoles launch this November. CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is also confirmed for cross-gen releases on November 19th, just a week after the PS5 officially starts shipping.
Sony has also confirmed that at least some of those games will see PS4 versions. It’s the first we’ve heard of the company committing to releasing cross-gen titles after some speculation that it would restrict most, if not all, of its first-party games to the PS5. The games that will see cross-gen releases include not only Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy A Big Adventure, but also the upcoming Horizon Zero Dawn sequel Horizon Forbidden West. That game doesn’t have a release date yet beyond 2021, but it’s reassuring to know PS4 owners that don’t make the jump to PS5 will still get to enjoy it at launch.
Sony hasn’t yet announced a free upgrade commitment quite like Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program, which promises all first-party Xbox One games and a growing list of third-party ones will see a free upgrade to Xbox Series X / S versions. But Sony’s blog post does point out that that the above mentioned cross-gen releases will get free upgrades regardless of whether you have the standard or digital PS5.
Here’s Sony’s full description of the process:
Additionally, we know that the PS4 community will transition to PS5 at different times, and we’re happy to announce PS4 versions of some of our exclusives. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy A Big Adventure, and Horizon Forbidden West will also launch on PS4. While these three games were designed to take advantage of PS5 and its unique next-gen features like the ultra-high-speed SSD and DualSense controller, PS4 owners will also be able to enjoy these experiences when they launch. The PS4 digital versions of launch games include a free upgrade on both PS5 consoles, while the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray disc drive.
That last bit of wording is a little vague; “the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5” seems to imply that players who own disc versions of, say, Spiderman: Miles Morales for PS4 will get a digital upgrade on the PS5 if they buy the new console. But it’s not super clear right now, and we’ll have to await more concrete details from Sony on how exactly the process of transitioning from a disc version of a PS4 game to the PS5 will work.
Twitter is expanding voice tweets on iOS and introducing trans
When Twitter introduced voice tweets earlier this summer as a way to send more personalized messages, it caught a lot of flack for not including accessibility features. Now, the company said it will add transcriptions for voice tweets as part of an initiative to promote accessibility within its products. It’s also expanding the voice tweet feature, which is still only available on iOS, effective immediately.
We’re rolling out voice Tweets to more of you on iOS so we can keep learning about how people use audio.
Since introducing the feature in June, we’ve taken your feedback seriously and are working to have transcription available to make voice Tweets more accessible. (1/2)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 29, 2020
After voice tweets arrived in a testing phase, critics pointed out that it should have had captions from the get-go as required by Federal law. Twitter then surprisingly admitted that it didn’t have a dedicated accessibility team, but instead relied on employees to donate additional time to work on those features. Since then, the company has launched two separate teams dedicated to accessibility, including one for its products.
Amazon starts offering virtual classes and sightseeing tours via new Explore platform
Amazon has launched Explore, a new platform which it promises will let you “explore anything from lessons to landmarks.” It works via a video stream, with tour guides, instructors, and personal shoppers providing one-on-one sessions. Amazon says the video is one-way, meaning only the host is on camera during the virtual experience, but the audio is two-way so you can ask questions and make requests.
The Explore page provides an idea of the range of experiences on offer. These include relatively cheap sessions like a $10, 40-minute virtual shopping experience in Ridgeland, USA, to a 45-minute virtual tour of a mansion in Lima, Peru for $70, or a $129 bagel cooking class. In some cases Amazon lists ingredients and supplies to buy before a session, but it says that these are optional if you just want to watch along from home. TechCrunch reports there are a total of 86 experiences across 16 countries.
Amazon is just the latest company to start offering virtual events this year, as people have had to cut down on trips and other in-person activities. Earlier this year, Airbnb launched its own virtual travel experiences, and fitness company ClassPass has shifted to offering online classes.
Apple was initially criticized for taking a 30 percent cut of these virtual purchases, The New York Times reports, but last week said it would temporarily stop taking its cut on virtual purchases from Airbnb, ClassPass, and Facebook’s online events feature. Amazon’s Explore product pages note that customers are able to browse and purchase experiences on mobile phones and tablets, though it’s unclear whether these will be subject to Apple’s 30 percent commission.
According to Amazon, hosts come from a range of established tour guide companies including Intrepid Urban Adventures, Bamba, and Essence of Berlin. TechCrunch notes that hosts are in charge of the prices of their sessions, but says that Amazon declined to comment on the revenue split. If you take a virtual shopping experience, any purchases are handled via Amazon’s payment system.
According to TechCrunch, Amazon Explore is currently only available on an invite-only basis to customers in the US. You book by choosing an experience, and then picking a date and time for a session, and these can be cancelled or rescheduled with up to 24 hours’ notice. Although Amazon says you can browse and book experiences on mobile, you’ll need to switch to a laptop or desktop computer for the session itself.
Ford makes the 2021 Mustang Mach-E a little cheaper
Ford is hoping to take the edge off some of the sticker shock when you buy a new Mustang Mach-E. Autoblog is reporting on a leaked memo, published on the Mach-E Forum, that purports to have been sent to Ford dealerships in the US. The instructions from HQ say that the electric crossover’s price needs to drop from between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the model.
The entry-level Select and First Edition models both get $1,000 shorn from their price, while the CA Route 1 gets $2,000 knocked off. If you’re opting for the Premium versions, either in all-wheel or rear-wheel drive, then you’ll get $3,000 off the sticker price, before incentives and extras and all that yadda.
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