Sony to increase the prices of PlayStation Plus subscriptions in the UK

In an email sent to users today, Sony will be increasing the prices of PlayStation Plus prices in the UK:

From 00:01 BST on 31 August 2017 we are changing the prices of PlayStation®Plus.
– Annually, the price will change from £39.99 to £49.99 per annum.
– Quarterly, the price will change from £14.99 to £19.99 per quarter.
– Monthly, the price will change from £5.99 to £6.99 per month.

What this means for you
We will alter the price of a PlayStation®Plus membership at 00:01 BST on 31 August 2017. As you are an existing member, this means that all recurring subscription fees payable by you on or after 31 August 2017 will be charged at the new price. Up until 31 August 2017, you may purchase a PlayStation®Plus subscription at the current price, which will then be added (or “stacked on”) to your current membership period.
If you don’t want to continue with PlayStation®Plus
If you want to prevent your PlayStation®Plus membership continuing at the new price, you will need to cancel it – turn OFF “auto-renew” in your account settings at least 48 hours before your next payment on or after 31 August 2017 is due. There’s some guidance on how to cancel your membership on PlayStation.com.

Users from Reddit are also saying they got this email in other territories covered by SIEE.

Users are expressing their disappointment about this change on social media platforms. What do you think about this price increase? Let us know in the comments.

Registrations now open for next PS4 software 5.00 beta

As with the previous major software releases, Sony Interactive Entertainment is once again inviting PlayStation Network users to try out their latest PS4 system software 5.00 before it is officially released to the public.

Not much is known at the moment, but if you’re interested click on one of the links below depending on your region.

North America

Europe

Japan

Nintendo announces the SNES Classic Edition

Nintendo has officially announced the SNES Classic Edition today, after the NES Classic that launched a few months ago.

The system will include 21 pre-installed classic SNES games and can be plugged into any HDTV using the provided HDMI cable that’s included in the box, and will be available at a suggested retail price of $79.99.

The games are:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars™
  • Donkey Kong Country™
  • EarthBound™
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO™
  • Kirby™ Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course™
  • The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™
  • Mega Man® X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox™
  • Star Fox™ 2
  • Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV™
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts®
  • Super Mario Kart™
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™
  • Super Mario World™
  • Super Metroid™
  • Super Punch-Out!! ™
  • Yoshi’s Island™

The system will come with two wired SNES controllers so multiplayer play will be possible on this. For more information about the SNES Classic, visit the official Nintendo website.

Source: Nintendo What’s New

OnePlus 5 officially announced

OnePlus has officially unveiled the OnePlus 5 few minutes back via a live stream.

One of the features that was talked a lot in the press conference was the Dual Camera system, letting you choose between three modes. The first one is Portrait Mode, where the Dual Camera system allows you to focus on the subject and blur the background at the same time.

The second one is called Smart Capture where the camera can detect certain objects and optimise for accuracy and quality. And the last one is called Pro Mode, where it lets you fine tune settings like ISO, and capture them in RAW format.

The OnePlus 5 also has a new alert slider, similar to what can be found on the iPhone and can be customised to three profiles, Silent, Priority and All.

When it comes to specifications, the phone uses the latest and greatest SoC from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 835, paired with 6/8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM. You will be able to choose between 64 and 128 GB of storage and will come with a 3300 mAh non-removable battery. The phone will run OxygenOS powered by Android Nougat out of the box.

The phone is now available to order here with the base model starting at $479.99.

Everything announced at Sony’s E3 2017 press conference

While Sony’s E3 conference this year was arguably lackluster in comparison to the company’s almost unprecedented successes of their previous presentations at the gaming expo since the launch of the Playstation 4, there can be no doubt this year’s romp has nevertheless still imparted a sizeable chunk of interesting, albeit somewhat derivative, information onto the gaming sphere.

To my chagrin, Sony has stipulated a reliance on drab expansions and remasters/re-releases in favour of an abundance of original games this year, but thankfully some highlights such as the PS4 exclusive insomniac-developed Spider-Man game and the reveal of Monster Hunter: World as the first globally released entry in the series to not be exclusive to a Nintendo console in about a decade help to partially redeem this.

Expansions, DLC, Remasters/Remakes and VR

Uncharted: Lost Legacy – August 22nd 2017

This one’s pretty standard. Just more good ol’ Uncharted cinematic flair and fluid 80s action movie-esque gameplay. Not bad by any means, but not anything rivetingly exciting, especially given that we’ve known about this expansion for a while.

Horizon: Zero Dawn – The Frozen Wilds – Late 2017

Based on Horizon’s sales figures and popularity this was to be expected at some point. The ‘Wilds’ aspect of the title is quite intriguing when you take into account the game’s chief competition at the time of its launch, Nintendo’s critically lauded Legend of Zelda: Breath of the ‘Wild’. While Zero Dawn garnered exuberant critical praise many reviewers and fans alike somewhat ostracised the game for its lack of attempting to innovate and deconstruct the open world genre in the vein of Zelda, so I’m eager to see Guerrilla Games’ response to this enduring criticism of ‘playing it safe’.

Shadow of the Colossus HD Remake – 2018

I was rather taken aback by this initially due to the fact that there’s already been an HD remaster of the game bundled with its spiritual predecessor Ico on the Playstation 3. However this seems to actually be a reMAKE from the ground up like Insomniac’s ‘game based on a movie based on a game’ 2016 Ratchet and Clank reboot.

Playstation VR Games

This year’s conference was again drenched with a slew of VR titles ranging from subtly and intrepidly compelling to borderline prosaic.

Some of these include –

  • Skyrim (VR re-release)
  • Bravo Team (Military shooter)
  • Star Child (Cosmic Action-Adventure)
  • Final Fantasy XV – Fishing (Really Square? -_-)

Playstation Exclusives

God of War – Early 2018

The camera’s now over Kratos’ shoulder, which puts you right in there when he rips things apart. Combat looks pretty fun and interesting but overall more of the same classic God of War formula we know and love.

Detroit: Become Human – TBD

If you liked Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls you’ll be ecstatic about David Cage’s next game. Detroit is Quantum Dream’s take on the neo-noir thriller, filled to the brim with their now signature branched out story and series of QTEs as a means of changing course. Hoping it can reach the heights of 2015’s Until Dawn.

Days Gone – December 29th 2017 (Subject to be changed)

Wasn’t really too impressed with this one to be honest. It has the most generic premise – open world, zombie apocalypse, survival horror, third person shooter. Pretty much the blueprint for your standard run of the mill AAA game released between 2005 and now. I’m willing to be cautiously optimistic because of the game being developed by SIE Bend Studio, responsible for 2012’s Vita exclusive Uncharted: Golden Abyss.

Marvel’s Spider-Man – 2018

Here’s the big one folks. Sony’s crown jewel of the event was no doubt their highly anticipated Arkham-influenced Spider-Man game. The last couple years for most Spidey fans have evoked a sense of lassitude and weariness with the critical and commercial bomb that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (both the movie and the video game), the heavily divisive and rambunctiously immature Ultimate Spider-Man animated television series on Disney XD, and the demise of Peter Parker in the comics and Doctor Octopus effectively snatching up the role for a while, only for Parker to eventually return to a world full of other Spider characters like Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen Stacy while facing creeping irrelevance in the shadow of the Avengers.

Last year’s stellar Captain America: Civil War in the form of an excellently executed performance by Tom Holland reignited public interest for the character, and this year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Insomniac’s subsequent game hope to solidify this lurid resurgence. Insomniac Games, responsible for developing another fan favourite Playstation exclusive IP Ratchet & Clank, many fans believe have the potential to achieve this sanctity when taken into account their spotless track record. Seldom have their various games received less than an 80 on aggregate sites like Metacritic, thus spurring excitement for what could be done by them with Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s everyman superhero.

Multi-Platform Games

Call of Duty: WWII – November 3rd 2017 (Also on Xbox One and PC)

Battlefield 1!…….. in World War II. Long story short, Activision saw EA’s success with their period piece shooter and decided to supposedly return Call of Duty to its roots by striding away from the dwindling sales of the newer futurism-induced titles in the series and returning to the tried and true war of resistance.

Monster Hunter: World – Q1/Q2 2018

This was quite significant as the Monster Hunter series outside of Japan for the last few years has been delegated singularly to Nintendo consoles after initially debuting on Playstation. From Monster Hunter Tri and its enhanced Monster Hunter 3 being released exclusively to the Wii and the 3DS and Wii U respectively, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Generations both being solely released on the 3DS, and the recent announcement of the enhanced version of generations being 3DS and Nintendo Switch exclusive, it was all but assumed that Capcom had either no plans or no incentive to bring the series to any other consoles in the west, perhaps as a result of the series’ niche position outside the Land of the Rising Sun.

Monster Hunter: World has proved skeptics wrong as Capcom have blithely allowed Sony to unveil their new gem. Could this be an attempt to streamline the complexities of the core MH gameplay to appeal to western audiences?

Some other non-exclusive Playstation games that were absent from Sony’s presentation include but are not limited to – Dragon Ball FighterZ, Marvel VS. Capcom: Infinite, Destiny 2, Undertale, etc.

Microsoft announces the Xbox One X

Microsoft has officially announced the Xbox One X at today’s E3 press conference.

The console was previously known as Project Scorpio when the technical details were revealed last year. The One X will be able to deliver 4K games at native 4K, compared to the PS4 Pro’s upscaled 4K.

The console features a custom AMD 8 core CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz, and 12 GB of GDDR5 memory. The GPU will run at 6 teraflops and the memory bandwidth will be 326 GB/sec.

A console this powerful would need serious cooling, so Microsoft has implemented a water cooling system on the One X console. It will also have a 1 TB hard drive.

Like the One S, it will support 4K blu rays as well. The HDMI output will be version 2.0b and will have AMD FreeSync.

The console will be available in November with a price tag of $499.

How to protect yourself from future cyber attacks

We have all heard about the cyber attack that occurred last weekend, affecting huge organisations like the NHS and Telefonica. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses and individuals don’t take the time to review the security systems installed on their computer. Here are some ways to prevent yourself from future cyber attacks.

1. Do not open emails from unknown senders

We might have gotten emails in the past which may look legit but are actually from a suspicious address. These sort of emails often trick you into giving your personal information away, and some may even have malware.

If you end up getting one of those emails, DELETE it immediately, and if possible report it as spam.

2. Make sure you install the latest Windows updates

Microsoft issues patches regularly, and these patches can improve the security and performance of your computer. To ensure you get these updates, make sure you have Windows Update enabled.

It is enabled by default on Windows 10, however in older versions you might want to check if it is set to install updates automatically. You can do so by going to Windows Update in Control Panel, and making sure that “Install updates automatically (recommended)” is the selected option.

3. Use up to date antivirus software

We at Gamenology recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7, and Windows Defender for 8.1 and 10. It is a free antivirus program from Microsoft and is updated regularly. You can download it for Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 and 10 already have it installed and enabled by default, but you might want to check your settings just in case.

4. Use a supported Windows version

Seriously, if you’re still clinging on to XP, we strongly advise you to upgrade as soon as possible. Microsoft terminated XP support on April 8 2014, leaving it vulnerable to malware and attacks like the one that happened last weekend. And if you’re using Windows 8.0, update to Windows 8.1 immediately from the Windows Store as Microsoft is no longer offering support for Windows 8.0. Think of Windows 8.1 as a service pack that you have to apply to get future updates.

And hopefully if you have followed these guidelines you should be well protected from the latest cyber attacks that are out there. Remember, make sure you keep them updated, as new attacks may happen from time to time.