God of War Ragnarök Family Portrait Series featuring guest artists announced

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In God of War Ragnarök, the relationship between Kratos and Atreus is the heart of what defines our story. Though they are our central family, there are many others across the Nine Realms that will also place their marks on how the events leading towards Ragnarök unfold. 

We’re very happy to announce a new collaborative partnership that will feature five immensely talented artists capture a selection of the most prominent relationships in the story with their unique styles in the God of War Ragnarök Family Portrait Series. 

Over the next five weeks, Santa Monica Studio will be releasing one of the portraits every Tuesday. 

Drew Merritt – The Bear and the Wolf   

Drew Merritt is a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles, California. Working across a variety of mediums, his style blends classic realism that capture the emotional nuance of the subjects. 

Drew has painted the heroes of our story, Kratos and Atreus, for his work – focusing on the core family of God of War Ragnarök. 

“The complexity of the storyline and characters is hands down what really wrapped me into this project. I’ve also always loved Norse mythology and try to tie it into my work as much as possible, which basically made this franchise a dream for me to work with.” 

Portrait Reveal: Tuesday, September 13  

Emma Ríos – The Dwarves 

Emma Ríos is a Spanish comic book artist and illustrator whose cover art has earned her a 2020 Eisner Award and work with many of the heavy hitters in the comic book industry. Her style organically blends environments and subjects into fluid compositions with a whimsical, colorful quality. 

Emma’s work focuses on the Huldra Brothers, Brok and Sindri, alongside two dwarves you will meet during your journey in God of War Ragnarök. 

“I enjoy action and hack and slash games, so it was easy for me to find it appealing. The last game, God of War (2018), has a touching story that plays very smoothly and has beautiful art direction.” 

Portrait Reveal: Tuesday, September 20  

Romina Tempest – Heroes of Midgard  

Romina Tempest is an illustrator and character designer who we had the great pleasure of working with on B is for Boy, an illustrated retelling of the events in God of War (2018). Her cartoon style captures the heart and expression of her subjects with dynamic backgrounds that create a scene that draws you into the moment of the scene. 

Romina’s piece will feature the found family that Kratos and Atreus have gathered to them on their travels through the Nine Realms.

“I’ve been playing God of War ever since it first hit the PlayStation in the early 2000s. What originally appealed to m

PlayStation Store: August 2022’s top downloads

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Time to get the full download on August 2022’s Top Downloads charts! Congrats are in order EA, who scored a major touchdown on the US PS5 and PS5 charts with Madden NFL 23. A multiverse shoutout is also in order for MultiVersus, which pummeled the competition across both regions to top the Free-To-Play charts!

Drop your predictions for September in the comments, then check back early next month to see where your guesses land. 

PS5 Games

1Madden NFL 23Saints Row
2Saints RowGrand Theft Auto V
3Grand Theft Auto VCult of the Lamb
4Cult of the LambF1 Manager 2022
6MLB The Show 22Cyberpunk 2077
7Horizon Forbidden WestF1 22
8Gran Turismo 7Among Us
9Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesGran Turismo 7
10Cyberpunk 2077Madden NFL 23
11RollerdromeFIFA 22
13Way of the HunterHorizon Forbidden West
14ELDEN RINGWay of the Hunter
15Among UsStar Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
16The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special EditionFAR CRY 6
17Star Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderLittle Nightmares 2
18Soul Hackers 2ELDEN RING
19InscryptionMarvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
20Destroy All Humans! 2 – ReprobedThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

*Naming of products may differ between regions
*Upgrades not included

PS4 Games

Announcing Stray Reactions, a pet-loving photo event supporting the ASPCA®

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This July with the launch of Stray, we watched as the PlayStation community fell in love with the BlueTwelve Studio’s realistic feline hero. But it wasn’t just gamers entranced by the cat physics and ‘Press Square to Meow’ technology – your pets were loving it too! Across social media we’ve seen the real life reactions as cats and dogs alike ran up to the screen wondering how that very real-looking cat got in there. 

Given the excitement, we reached out to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to see how we could turn player support for this beloved cat indie game into support for real pets in need. Alongside a $25,000 donation to the organization, we’d like to create a digital photobook of your pets sharing their love for Stray.

With that, we’re pleased to announce a new social media initiative called Stray Reactions. Here’s how it works:

How to Participate

Starting today through September 23, 2022, players just share photos or videos of your cat, dog, or other pet reacting or posing next to Stray gameplay on PlayStation on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #StrayReactions.*

At the end of that submission window, we’ll select our favorite inquisitive kitty videos and tail-wagging photos into a digital photobook to present to the ASPCA alongside a $25,000 donation. We’ll also be including some of the posts into a sizzle reel that we will share on our blog and social channels.

It’s that simple! We can’t wait to see your pets playing Stray alongside you. 

If you’d like to learn more about the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and their services, you can find them at or contact information here

*Must be a U.S. resident, 18 years or older. If using a mobile device to enter, your wireless carrier’s standard data rates may apply. By posting a photo or video with the #StrayReactions hashtag to Twitter or Instagram between now and September 23rd you are agreeing that Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC may use the content (including your social media username) as described in this post and to otherwise promote the ASPCA and the #StrayReactions campaign. Posts should comply with the Instagram and Twitter terms of service (as applicable). This promotion is not associated with or sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram or Twitter.

The Last of Us Part I: Photo Mode detailed

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I’m still working my way through The Last of Us Part I. My progress is glacial for one specific reason: Photo Mode. Turning every corner or glimpsing a character’s reaction to any given situation has me pause the action and pour long minutes into framing shots. My personal preference is character close-ups shot in Portrait Mode. As such, at home, you’ll see me in front of the TV with my head tilted to the side or stationed in front of a rotatable monitor. With the game being highlighted in PS Blog’s current Share of the Week, it felt right to not only highlight some of the great Photo Mode options in the game but share examples to help generate ideas and approaches you could fold into your own shots.

Photo Mode is fun to experiment with, and there’s a range of tools to tinker with.


In the game’s Options menu, you’ll find an option to activate a Photo Mode shortcut, letting you press L3 and R3 together to freeze the scene. It’s quicker than having your thumb stray to the Options button and potentially miss a great composition.

Frame Forward

A new addition: located in the first tab of the Photo Mode menu, each button press will move the on-screen action forward a single frame. It’s useful if you’ve caught a person mid-blink in a group portrait or to nudge a character’s pose to be that bit more dynamic during an action shot.

Here, Ellie’s eyes are shut.

A few taps of Frame Forward corrects the issue.

Controllable Lighting

Also, a new inclusion is the multiple lighting options. Head over to the far-right tab on the Photo Mode menu. You’ve the option of spawning up to three dynamic light sources. All are locked to orbit your playable character, but each can be manipulated independently. Change their position with the left stick, use the menu to alter their distance from the character, change the strength and size of the beam, alter the beam’s color, and more.

They’re a versatile tool. Use them to subtly add detail to a specific moment, use one to balance out the natural light of an exterior shot by illuminating your character’s front, or mask a trio as ambient light in dark environments to keep your characters out of shadow. Alternatively, dictate mood through creative use of light position and color use.

One tip specific to those shooting close-ups: keep your Field of View wide (Camera tab, far left) while setting up lights. This allows you to see exactly where your chosen virtual light rigs are on screen, making them easier to position.

With the sun behind him, we lose a lot of detail on Joel’s front. I put a single light set to a soft glow just out of shot, pointing upwards towards him. Now he pops against the darker background.

I put a single white light with a narrow beam at a 45-degree angle at Joel’s right, softening its str

New PS5 system software update is out globally today

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Thanks to the support and feedback from our PS5 beta participants, today we’re rolling out a new system software update to PS5 players globally. The update includes several highly-requested features like 1440p HDMI video output* and gamelists, as well as social features like the ability to request a Share Screen from a fellow party member, easily view new friends’ profiles, and receive a notification to help you join a friend’s game more quickly from a party chat.

Additionally, you can now compare 3D audio and stereo audio on the same screen and more easily access in-progress Activities from game hubs. Check out our beta blog post to get the full scoop on these features, and read on for details about some new and forthcoming updates for PS5 and PS App.

New PS5 system software update is out globally today

YouTube Search through Voice Command (Preview)

Another feature we’re excited to bring to more PS5 players is the ability to search for content on YouTube through Voice Command (Preview). From anywhere on PS5, including during gameplay, you can say “Hey PlayStation, find [keyword] on YouTube.” The YouTube app will open and relevant search results will be shown.

Note: Voice Command (Preview) is currently available in English for PS5 players with accounts registered to the U.S. and U.K.

New PS App features

In addition to these PS5 console updates, we’re gradually rolling out some new features for PS App globally later this month, on iOS and Android:

Launch a PS Remote Play session through PS App

PS App users will be able to launch a PS Remote Play session directly from PS App on iOS and Android devices. To start, make sure PS App is linked to your PS5 console and your console is in Rest Mode. Then, select the “Play Using


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1Madden NFL 23FIFA 22
3Grand Theft Auto VGrand Theft Auto V
4Call of Duty: Modern WarfareThe Sims 4
5Saints Row Stray
6StrayCall of Duty: Modern Warfare
7FIFA 22The Last of Us Part II
8The Sims 4Among Us
9MLB The Show 22F1 22
10The Last of Us Part IIDragon Ball Z: Kakarot
11Gang BeastsThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
12Call of Duty: Black Ops IIIA Way Out
13Dragon Ball Z: KakarotOutlast
14Red Dead Redemption 2The Crew 2
15Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2EA Sports UFC 4
16EA Sports UFC 4Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
17Cult of the LambAssassin’s Creed Odyssey
18Horizon Forbidden WestF1 Manager 2022
19Among UsMonopoly Plus
20Sekiro: Shadows Die TwiceUnravel Two