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Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 478: What We’ve Been Playing

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Hey y’all! With nasty colds circulatin’, bomb cyclones droppin’, and 2024 kicking off with a bang, the PlayStation Podcast crew has struggled to record a show for a few weeks now. Today, they get off their keisters to review some key details from the recent State(s) of Play and then talk about what they’ve been playing….

  • Tekken 8 – PS5
  • God of War Ragnarök: Valhalla – PS5
  • Alan Wake 2 – PS5
  • Cocoon – PS5
  • Jusant – PS5
  • Tchia – PS5

Thanks to Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music.

[Editor’s note: PlayStation game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.

Share of the Week: Cool

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Last week, we asked to see the coolest characters from the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog. Here are this week’s extremely cool highlights:

wingsforsmiles shares Johnny Silverhand sitting back with one leg up in Cyberpunk 2077

BitarHector shares Aloy smiling in the morning sunlight in Horizon Forbidden West

Taser9001 shares Tifa rushing forward with a sparking attack in Final Fantasy VII Remake

sorathluna shares Sam side-eyeing the camera wearing futuristic sunglasses in Death Stranding

juniaxe shares Ada taking deathly aim in the rain in Resident Evil 4

FrameCaptureVP shares Jin looking out from a broken kitsune mask in this black and white portrait from Ghost of Tsushima

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week?

THEME:  Romantic

SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on February 14, 2024

Next week, we’re feeling the love. Share romantic moments or characters from the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Ed boxes his way into Street Fighter 6 on February 27

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Entering the ring on February 27 in Street Fighter 6 is the troubled protégé, the bad boy of boxing, the Young Commander, Ed. With psycho power imbued within, Ed beats down his enemies with a flurry of fists to prove that he’s the true high-def picture of strength.

Ed boxes his way into Street Fighter 6 on February 27

First appearing in Street Fighter V, Ed was initially to be used as an alternate body for M. Bison, but rejected the idea and managed to escape. Coming into his own confidence, he formed Neo Shadaloo with a group of other experiments, intending to help others like them. In present-day Street Fighter 6, he senses movement in the shadows from the remnants of Shadaloo. Ed soon discovers they have a twisted goal and need his unique abilities to achieve it.


“Ed is a high-speed boxer. We designed his lower half so that you can clearly see his nimble footwork and added some volume to his upper body to make his punches look impactful,” according to Game Director Takayuki Nakayama. “ We also hope you take notice of the emblem on his chest and the design on his back. His attack animations have also changed significantly from Street Fighter V. To respect his background as a traditional boxer, all his attacks are now punches (except for his Level 2 Super Art). His kick buttons have been designated to various flicker attacks.”

Find the brazen boxer in World Tour on the subway fighting the Mad Gear Gang. Like all the Year 1 Characters, you can increase your bond with Ed and learn his psycho-powered moves (hot-headed attitude not included). Bring those moves into Avatar Battles in the Battle Hub to see what new combos you can create.


We’ve seen comments asking how Ed will work with Modern Controls since his inputs were already simplified in Street Fighter V. We decided to keep his simplified inputs and incorporated them in his Modern Controls while creating expanded inputs for his Classic Controls. Ed now has quarter-circle and dragon-punch inputs for his special moves in Classic. What an edge lord, right?

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Inside look: Rise of the Ronin’s recreation of late 1800s Japan

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Coming to PlayStation 5 on March 22, Rise of the Ronin is a combat-focused, open-world action RPG from Team Ninja, the developer of Nioh and Ninja Gaiden. The game will immerse you in a story set in the final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan, known as Bakumatsu, where you can experience different play styles and battle in simple yet profound combat as a Ronin, using an array of weapons and equipment – melee weapons as well as ranged weapons like firearms and thrown weapons.

Inside look: Rise of the Ronin’s recreation of late 1800s Japan

The resurrection of three major cities of the Edo Era in Team Ninja’s open-world

The story takes place in Bakumatsu, Japan, a period of great change triggered by the arrival of the Black Ships. In this era of mayhem, the story first unfolds in Yokohama, then in Edo (today’s Tokyo), and finally in Kyoto. These three major cities are each built as an open world where the non-homogeneous mixture of newly introduced Western culture and traditional Japanese beauty is dramatically depicted in detailed quality with new-generation graphics technology.


The first major city the anti-Shogunate protagonist visits is Yokohama. In the Kannai area of Yokohama, where the East meets the West, you’ll explore Yokohama’s landmarks, such as the U.S. Consulate, Chinatown, the Yokohama State Guest House, the lighthouse, and even brothels. As you travel the outskirts of Yokohama, you’ll find yourself in a series of inn-towns along the Tokaido Road, the most important route of the era in Japan, linking Kyoto, the imperial capital, with Edo, the seat of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Kannai – Yamashita

An area overlooking the ocean in southeast Kannai, while Yamate designates the bluff and upper town, Yamashita designates the lower town. In accordance with provisions set out in the US-Japan trade treaty, it is the site of the Foreign Settlement, where soldiers from various nations are stationed. Yamashita Park, one of the popular tourist spots today, was built with reclaimed rubble from the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and formally opened in 1930.

How Skull and Bones takes advantage of immersive PS5 features, out February 16

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Thar be no room for landlubbers here. Get ready to start a golden age pirate’s journey taking you from shipwrecked nobody to kingpin when Skull and Bones launches February 16 on PlayStation 5, with an Open Beta running from February 8-11*. The development team at Ubisoft Singapore has been hard at work ensuring that the Skull and Bones experience is as immersive as possible on PS5, thanks to features like 3D audio, adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and more.

We sat down with Skull and Bones Technical Director Jussi Markkanen to find out how these features are utilized to make Skull and Bones such a unique adventure on the PS5, where the only thing missing is the smell of the salty sea.

PlayStation Blog: What is the backstory behind the title of Skull and Bones beyond the infamous Jolly Roger reference?

Markkanen: Skull and Bones is set in an unforgiving environment, during the tumultuous Golden Age of Piracy, in a world inspired by the Indian Ocean. Here peril awaits at every turn, and you will need to leverage every opportunity available to endure and flourish in this harsh world.

The title Skull and Bones reflects the gritty approach that we’re bringing to the pirate fantasy, as you begin your journey a shipwrecked nobody, and have to plunder and outsmart your way to become the most fearsome pirate kingpin.

How are the DualSense controller’s haptics used in Skull and Bones?

In Skull and Bones, naval combat is at the heart of the experience. You are able to equip a multitude of powerful weapons to outgun other ships, attack forts, and take down legendary sea monsters.

On the PS5, naval combat really comes alive with the DualSense wireless controller when using the adaptive triggers. From sea fires and giant ballistae, to rocket launchers and mortars, you will be able to experience the different tensions of the triggers as you fire a variety of different weapons.

For example, faster-firing arsenal such as ballista or carronade require only a light pull on the adaptive triggers. The weight of the long guns or sea fire are communicated through a stronger resistance, while the adaptive triggers translate the heft of your heaviest arsenal, such as of bombards or rockets, ensuring that every shot you fire is Skull and Bones feels satisfying and unique.

The controller also rumbles in specific locations based on where your weapons are firing and where you’re taking damage. When an enemy launches a volley of cannons at your starboard, you’ll feel the intensity of the attack in your hands as you see it on screen.

Do you have any setup recommendations for players using the customizable DualSense Edge wireless controller?

One option could be mapping the spyglass shortcut! An important tool in any pirate’s kit is their spyglass. It allows them to glean more information about the world, including scoping out enemy weaknesses and identifying new opportunities such as bountiful trade routes.

How was PS5’s 3D Audio implemented into Skull and Bones’ gameplay?

3D Audio has allowed us to push boundaries in how you hear our game. For example, you can pinpoint the arc of incoming

World of Tanks Modern Armor celebrates its 10th anniversary with new tanks, challenges, and more

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Can you believe it? Ten years of tanks! The game known today as World of Tanks Modern Armor officially made its debut in the console arena on February 12, 2014.

As one of the first free-to-play titles available on consoles, WoTMA (or just “World of Tanks,” as it was known then!) helped lay the foundation for experiences that PlayStation players would enjoy over the next decade. Of course, the game couldn’t have come as far as it has without the support of a thriving community… or without the efforts of a dedicated staff.

In fact, several of our Wargaming staff members who were present for the game’s early days are still part of the team today. Together, they’re taking a look back at the game’s history and a sneak peek at what’s ahead during the year-long event we’re calling Celebrations.

The past

It takes more than a few people to bring a game like World of Tanks to market, but five who made the game what it is today are:

  • Andy Dorizas, Art Director
  • Valerie MacCracken, Director of LiveOps Operations
  • Ben Crawford, Senior Player Experience Manager
  • JJ Bakken, Senior Producer
  • L. Daniel Burr, Live Game Director

Any of them will tell you that hard work and scrappiness were key to their efforts. Valerie MacCracken, who started at Wargaming in 2011 in a customer support role, drives the point home, saying, “The first North American office was brand new when I joined, and there were only maybe fifteen employees; I recall that on one of my first days, we assembled furniture for the lobby area!”

Physical infrastructure for various offices wasn’t the only challenge; there were technical challenges in developing the game, too. According to Andy Dorizas, who was Lead Artist at Day 1 Studios before it became Wargaming Chicago, “We had to trim things down just to get it to run on early hardware. Art assets had to be shrunk or compressed. Levels had to be simplified… It was a seriously large mountain to climb.”

JJ Bakken, who joined the Chicago studio as an Associate Producer in 2013, adds another issue the team faced: the novelty of what Wargaming was doing! “This was the studio’s first time developing a free-to-play game, and it was early in the days of F2P on console platforms,” he says. “Figuring out a new genre and a new way to connect with game players is always challenging, but exciting at the same time.”

How did they do it? MacCracken says that the process was gradual, “with the alpha, beta, [a] soft launch in certain regions, and then [the] full launch happening, back-to-back.” She also ran what she calls a “super-secret” forum, available only to early testers. “When I saw the passion that the game was creating among our early testers, many of which are still around today, I knew we had something good going.”

Bakken echoes this: “…there is always extra trepidation on launching a live-service game (will the servers perform, etc.), so we were hopeful all our technical efforts would be rewarded. Spoilers: it went pretty well and here we still are, ten years later!”

The future

Ben Crawford, who started with Wargaming Europe ten years ago as a Customer Experience Manager, is excited about the changes he sees in WoTMA’s technology and services, saying, “The evolution is evident in the updated portal [website], new support tools, expanded capabilities outside the game, a

State of Play Recap: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth demo out today, 11 minutes of new gameplay revealed

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the newest installment in the Final Fantasy VII remake project and one of 2024’s most-anticipated games, tells the tale of main protagonist Cloud Strife and his loyal companions who explore a massive world outside Midgar, the city of Mako, as they pursue Sephiroth, one of the most iconic antagonists in video game history. 

Ahead of the full game’s release on February 29, the demo releasing today allows you to not only take control of the protagonist, Cloud, but take full control of the legendary swordsman Sephiroth in battle. You will be able to play as Sephiroth as part of the extended flashback section, as Cloud recalls an earlier mission in his career as a Soldier – the Nibelheim incident. Taking place several years before the events of the game, this will set the stage for several important moments within Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. What’s more, we’re planning to release an update later this month that will allow you to explore part of the Junon region before the release of the full game on February 29. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to venture into the world of Final Fantasy VII!

State of Play Recap: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth demo out today, 11 minutes of new gameplay revealed

Today’s State of Play includes a new trailer focusing on the story of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth alongside around 11 minutes of never-before seen gameplay. This footage includes the world premiere of many unseen elements of the game: an overview of the world map, ways to get around the expansive world including a wide range of vehicles and mounts, varied exploration, minigames, and much more.

It’s a must-see, both for those excitedly awaiting Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and those who have yet to dive into the world of Final Fantasy VII.

Highlights from the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth gameplay 

The around 11 minutes of gameplay footage showcases the following elements of the game:

The stage for your new adventure: a gigantic world map, connected seamlessly

The stage for the adventure of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a gigantic world map, constructed of several areas seamlessly joined together.

The footage showcases a wide range of ways to get around the expansive map, from Chocobos – that Final Fantasy series mainstay – to buggies and wheelies. Chocobos will be of particular help to Cloud and his companions, since they have different abilities in each area. Some can swim through raging currents, jump over mushroom footholds, or even scal

Helldivers 2 story recap, plus free post-launch story updates confirmed

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The Helldivers universe is one of noble soldiers, heroic deeds, and heartfelt, unflinching patriotism in the face of giant acid-spewing bug monsters.

“I personally love writing for a game with opportunities for comedy, and that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I hope I can find a game like that soon…”

– Stephen Flowers, Game Writer, Arrowhead Game Studios

If you want to catch up with the story of Super Earth and her valiant defenders before Helldivers 2 launched on February 8, read on. Plus, we share the first news that the story will continue in post-launch Helldivers 2 updates.

Helldivers 2 story recap, plus free post-launch story updates confirmed

Since Helldivers…

Helldivers 2 takes place a century after the events of the first game, with Super Earth having emerged victorious against its adversaries – the deadly, bug-like Terminids, the grotesque Cyborgs and the inscrutable Illuminates. With its foes vanquished and the Galactic War won, an era of peace and prosperity ensued. The Helldivers, Super Earth’s elite task force, were dismissed.

Super Earth entered its most peaceful and prosperous years.

The same faster-than-light travel technology, heroically liberated from the Illuminates, that gave Super Earth access to the galaxy, has since been used to colonize it. This period has come to be known as The Great Democratization. FTL technology is reliant on a steady supply of the precious substance E-710 which, luckily, can be found in decomposing Terminid bodies. So naturally, Super Earth has been farming Terminids on an industrial scale. 

The success of Super Earth depends on the hard work of citizens.

Why Super Earth needs you

In a shocking turn of events, the Terminids have broken

MLB The Show 24 showcases Negro Leagues Collector’s Edition

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Before radios, television sets, and the internet, physical newspapers were the primary source of news and information. Black newspapers and the Black press not only documented Negro Leagues history, in addition, the newspapers were also a source of pride in the black community. (You can learn more here)

Without these newspapers and the pioneering baseball writers, the Negro Leagues wouldn’t have survived. They preserved this often overlooked chapter of American and baseball history. This year’s collector’s edition theme is a tribute to those who helped give a voice to the voiceless.

MLB The Show 24 showcases Negro Leagues Collector’s Edition

San Diego Studio x Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

We are also excited to announce our continued partnership with The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. MLB The Show will donate $1 for every Negro Leagues Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and MVP edition sold in the US until 12/31/24 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Donations will help the Museum continue its work, which is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. Visit to learn more. This purchase is not tax deductible.

The Negro Leagues Edition (Retailers in the US and Canada)

The Negro Leagues Edition is $124.99 USD/$164.99 CAD and is available at retailers in the US and Canada. Stock is limited, so be sure to get yours while supplies last.

Pre-order now at Early access begins March 15, 2024.

The Negro Leagues Edition includes:

  • Full Game (Access to both PS4 and PS5*)
  • Limited Edition Physical Steelbook
  • Limited Edition New Era MLB The Show 9FIFTY
  • [4] Days Early Access – Begins March 15, 2024
  • Double Daily Login Rewards (For the life cycle of MLB The Show 24)
  • [1] Barrier Breakers Diamond Choice Pack
  • [1] Legend Diamond Choice Pack
  • [5] Gold Choice Packs
  • [1] Equipment Pack
  • [1] Cover Athlete

PS5 beta adds DualSense controller sound enhancements and Share Screen interactions

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As the new year kicks into high gear with an amazing slate of PS5 game releases like The Last of Us Part II Remastered, Tekken 8 and Helldivers 2, along with FINAL FANTASY VII Rebirth later this month, we’re pleased to roll out another PS5 system software beta today with a number of quality-of-life enhancements and new features.

While beta access is limited to invited participants in select countries*, we plan to release the update globally in the coming months. If you’re selected to participate in the beta, you’ll receive an email invitation today when it’s available to download. Some features available during the beta phase may not make it into the final version or may see significant changes.

Let’s jump in to the newly added features:

DualSense wireless controller built-in mic and speaker audio enhancements

We’ve updated the device software of the DualSense and DualSense Edge wireless controllers to improve their sound features.

  • Controller speaker enhancements. The controller speakers can now produce higher volume sound, allowing you to hear in-game sounds and voice chat audio more clearly.
  • Improved noise cancellation. The mic input quality on these controllers has been improved, courtesy of a new AI machine learning model. Background noise from button presses and game audio are suppressed, resulting in a better voice chat experience. Install the system software beta and update the controller device software to enjoy enhanced clarity of your voice chat audio when using the controller mic.
  • With this update, you may feel that the sounds coming from your controller speaker may sound louder. You can adjust the controller speaker volume from the control center.
Image of a white DualSense wireless controller on a white background

Share Screen Interactions

Players watching Share Screen in full screen mode can now use pointers and emoji reactions to interact with the host’s gameplay.

  • Viewers can move a pointer around, send a ping or draw a line on the shared screen, allowing them to highlight certain objects or areas to guide the host player more accurately.
  • Viewers can send emoji-based reactions to the host’s screen to visually encourage and celebrate gameplay actions.
  • Note: this feature is available by default but can be turned off by the host in the Share Screen settings. Both the host and the viewer must be participating in the beta to use this feature during the beta period.
PS5 UI screenshot showing pointers and emoji reaction on the The Last of Us Part II Remastered gameplay screen

Adjust Brightness of PS5 Power Indicator

You can now adjust the brightness of your PS5 console’s power indicator.

  • Go to [Settings] > [System] > [Beep and Light], and then select [Brightness].
PS5 UI screenshot showing PS5 console’s power indicator brightness options

A heartfelt thank you to our community for always providing valuable feedback and supporting our beta programs. We’re excited to hear your though