What a weird month for PlayStation. Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much considering we've passed Not-E3 season, and Sony is rumored to hold a PlayStation showcase in September. However, August took a bizarre turn with a PS5 price hike, and a random DualSense controller announcement thrown into Geoff Keighley's Open Night Live at Gamescom. On top of that, PlayStation announced yet another studio acquisition, this time bolstering its fledgling mobile games division.
Here's what you may have missed in the world of PlayStation for August.
The PS5 just got more expensive
In the latest round of "What was PlayStation thinking?!" CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the PS5 would see price hikes across the globe due to high inflation rates and the current economic environment. Oddly enough, despite increasing the price in regions like Canada, Europe, and Japan, the United States is spared from these price hikes for the moment.
While the economy has affected companies and manufacturing worldwide, this is a terrible decision to pass the price onto consumers when the PS5 is already so expensive — and hasn't been sold at a loss for Sony since 2021. It also happens to be the fastest-selling PlayStation console of all time, and it's hard to see how "necessary" this move was, as Ryan puts it.
All in all, it's a terrible look for Sony, especially when it's been getting heat for being less consumer-friendly than Microsoft as of late. "For the players" seems to be "for the stockholders."
People can barely afford rent and groceries in some places, and now trying to save up for the one luxury they would have liked just got a lot harder. Combined with stock shortages, Sony seems keen on selling fewer systems. Good luck with those PS5 restocks.
DualSense Edge is PlayStation's answer to the Xbox Elite controller
I've been wanting PlayStation to create its own premium controller for a while now, so it's nice to see that the company is finally doing so, instead of partnering with third-party manufacturers. Just like Microsoft's own Xbox Elite controller, the DualSense Edge sports swappable back buttons and a higher-quality build. PlayStation also says that users can save multiple control profiles and quick-swap between them using a dedicated onboard user interface.
It's unclear when the DualSense Edge will release, or for how much, but if I had to take a guess I wouldn't be surprised if it costs $150, or even more. It's hard to tell whether or not it will be worth such a high price, but a lot of people swear by the Xbox Elite controller, which costs $180.
I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with controllers and like to get different colorways or models when I can afford to, so I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this.
Savage Game Studios joins newly created PlayStation Studios Mobile Division
PlayStation has been making moves into the PC gaming space, with plans to expand to mobile, and those plans seem to be moving forward. PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst announced that Savage Game Studios would be joining the PlayStation family as a part of its newly created PlayStation Studios Mobile Division. According to the blog post, this mobile division will "operate independently from our console development and focus on innovative, on-the-go experiences based on new and existing PlayStation IP."
Savage is already working on a AAA mobile live service action game, though Sony did not provide any further details than that. Whatever the case, the wording indicates that PlayStation wants to bring its premiere blockbuster-quality games to mobile, something the company had indicated in the past.
While I don't think I'll ever primarily become a mobile gamer, I am excited to see what PlayStation has in store for the pocket-sized screen.
Hogwarts Legacy won't release this year after all
Surprising probably no one, Hogwarts Legacy was delayed into 2023. It was intended to release this holiday, but the developer said that it needs "a little more time to deliver the best possible game experience." It's a fairly boilerplate statement that many companies have gone with to announce delays, but it's no less true. Hogwarts Legacy now aims to be out on February 10, 2023.
Hogwarts Legacy has been contentious, to say the least, because Harry Potter series creator J.K. Rowling continues to spout vile transphobic rhetoric online. Regardless of where you fall in the separating art vs. artist debate, there's no arguing that Rowling's words have caused tremendous harm.
I'm not here to tell you whether or not you should buy the game; that's your own decision to make. But it is my responsibility to acknowledge the reality surrounding the series and the upcoming release of this game that will undoubtedly be popular. And, as I'll always say when talking about Hogwarts Legacy, you can donate to the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLAAD, Mermaids, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and several other charities and organizations to support transgender people.
Sleuths uncover PlayStation PC launcher files in Spider-Man
PlayStation's venture into the PC gaming space seems to be getting more serious if some newly discovered files are to be believed. It looks like people have found references to "PlayStation PC launcher" in Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered for PC, and VGC has verified the files. References to "PSNAccountLinked” and “PSNLinkingEntitlements” were also discovered, though no PC game from Sony supports PSN connectivity at the moment.
I always find it funny — and a bit pathetic — when "fans" online get mad about PlayStation exclusives coming to PC, but it's a net positive for everyone involved. More people will have access to play the games, and Sony will end up making more money. Console exclusives coming to PC don't somehow erase the console versions or your experiences with them. But the internet is gonna internet.
PlayStation ended up debuting the "PlayStation Games for PC" section of its website shortly after these leaks as well, only adding fuel to the fire.
Will I personally play Sony games on PC? Probably not. I'm still happy PlayStation is branching out, though, and not putting all of its eggs into one basket. Diversifying its assets is a good thing.
HBO debuts first footage from The Last of Us television show
It's been a long time coming, but HBO finally revealed the first footage from its adaptation of The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie. Though the teaser is only a short 20 seconds, it gives us a look at some key moments in the game, including the opening of Joel carrying his injured daughter after the outbreak began, and him arguing with Ellie after she runs away. We also caught a glimpse of the cordyceps growing on a wall, and Nick Offerman as Bill.
The Last of Us is set to air in 2023, and despite video game adaptations having a rocky track record, I'm really looking forward to this one. I can't pass up an opportunity to see Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey portray the tumultuous father/daughter relationship Joel and Ellie have in the game, especially when it's being co-written by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, alongside Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann.
Will one of the best PS5 games of all time become one of the best television shows? I have doubts, but time will tell.
PlayStation needs to regain some goodwill
While I wouldn't say it was a busy month in the world of PlayStation; the news we did get was certainly interesting, to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing what PlayStation has in store with its rumored showcase, especially considering that its only big game for the rest of the year is God of War Ragnarok. Given the PS5 console price increase and PlayStation generally not being in the good graces of fans recently, the company needs a win.
– Jennifer Locke
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.