God of War Ragnarok Has Been Rated, Leading to Hopes for a Release Date Announcement

Fans are hoping for a God of War Ragnarok release date announcement soon as the game has received its first age rating by the Korean rating board, GRAC. Unsurprisingly, Kratos’ latest outing has received a mature classification due to its content, which includes profanity and alcohol, according to a translation of the entry.

When to expect God of War Ragnarok release date announcement

Amid skepticism, Sony has reiterated on multiple occasions that God of War Ragnarok will release this year. Fans have expressed concerns that Santa Monica Studio has barely showcased anything and we had no updates until this month when the developer finally broke its silence and detailed the game’s accessibility settings. Although a rating board listing doesn’t guarantee anything, it does seem to suggest that we’ll get some much-awaited news soon.

According to a recent rumor, Sony has an event planned for early June, around the same time E3 would have been. Speculation suggests that we’ll see more of God of War Ragnarok at the event. However, journalist and insider Jeff Grubb quashed some of those hopes by suggesting that the upcoming event might be focused on PSVR 2, and reliable insider AccountNgt later added that Sony is unlikely to hold any “major” events until September, at least. Prior to this, a different insider claimed that there won’t be a God of War Ragnarok State of Play anytime soon.

All of this sounds negative but rumors are rumors, and it’s possible that we’ll finally hear or see something next month. We just wouldn’t advise holding your breath because we aren’t privy to Sony’s plans. That said, we’ll keep our readers posted if there are any developments.

In other news, Sony has confirmed that PSVR 2 will launch with over 20 games, and there are plans for 12 PlayStation live service games by 2025.

[Source: GRAC via ResetEra]

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Looks Like Returnal Will Be the Next PlayStation Exclusive on PC

A Returnal PC version has apparently turned up on SteamDB under the codename “Oregon.” Strings found by internet sleuths make reference to Tower of Sisyphus and Atropos, and the “bullet hell, rogue-like” tags used by the database are a dead giveaway. Returnal’s PC version was first outed by the big GeForce Now leak, which has been accurate thus far.

Returnal PC might release before Ghost of Tsushima

Fans have long speculated that Ghost of Tsushima will be the next PlayStation exclusive to make it to PC but it looks like Returnal will beat it to the punch. Some users have theorized that this is because it’s a more recent game built on Unreal Engine 4 that’s easier to port than the 2020 Sucker Punch hit, which was built on a propriety engine. Nevertheless, Sony is taking its PC business seriously, as indicated by its recent statements.

Yesterday, SIE CEO Jim Ryan delivered a presentation in which he revealed that Sony expects its PC revenue to more than triple within the next financial year. In FY 2020, Sony made $30 million in PC sales, which increased to $80 million in FY 2021. By the end of FY 2022, Sony projects raking in $300 million in PC sales. God of War, which released on PC in January this year, sold nearly a million units on the platform by the end of March. That’s pretty impressive for a four-year old game that was sold at full price. Horizon Zero Dawn, which was ported to PC in August 2020, has sold nearly 2.4 million units on PC as of March 2022, earning a revenue of $60 million alone. Needless to say, it behooves Sony to exploit this revenue stream.

In other news, fans are expecting a God of War Ragnarok release date announcement soon as the game has just received its first rating, and Sony has blamed its recent PS Plus upgrade pricing fiasco on a technical error.

[Source: SteamDB via ResetEra]

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PlayStation Suggests It Will Buy More Companies

PlayStation has confirmed plans to continue making more acquisitions following its recent spate of deals, headlined by the company’s proposed $3.6 billion buyout of Destiny studio Bungie. PlayStation president Jim Ryan said during a recent investor Q&A, translated by VGC, that Sony isn’t finished yet digging into its pockets to buy more companies.

“In terms of future [mergers & acquisitions] activity, the answer to that is we are not at all finished with our strategy of trying to grow PlayStation Studios inorganically,” he said. “As we transition from our historic game development strategy to a much broader and much wider market reach than we enjoy today, it is very likely that inorganic stimulus will be required to help us to realize these dreams.”

PlayStation has been snapping up companies left and right of late. In the past year and change, Sony bought Returnal studio Housemarque, PC port company Nixxes, Demon’s Souls remake developer Blupoint, The Playroom developer Firesprite, and Valkyrie Entertainment.

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Jim Ryan Claims Reaction to PS Plus Launch is ‘Extremely Positive’ Despite Pricing Backlash

Jim Ryan has told investors that he believes the reaction to the launch of the new PS Plus tiers in Asia has been “extremely positive”. The comment was made despite the “technical error” that saw some players charged higher fees to upgrade to PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Premium depending on how much they had paid for their existing PlayStation Plus subscription, causing a significant backlash on social media.

Many players don’t feel the PS Plus launch is “extremely positive”

When the new PS Plus tiers launched in Asia earlier this week, players who had existing PlayStation Plus subscriptions that had been purchased at a discounted price reported they were having to pay a higher fee to upgrade their membership. Despite a customer support e-mail that confirmed this was deliberately by design, Sony later blamed the issue on a “technical error” following the aforementioned social media backlash. Other complaints have been leveled at the smaller-than-expected list of games available for PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium, including a small list of PS Plus Classics.

Of course, Jim Ryan was most likely looking at membership figures rather than actual customer reactions when he made his comments. As transcribed by VGC, Ryan told the PlayStation business briefing audience that the “initial market reaction is extremely positive” and they are hoping to grow the number of subscribers to the service:

We’re very proud of the work that we’ve done on this service and it’s only two days [old] so it’s far too early, but the very initial market reaction is extremely positive. I think if we execute well as we implement this service, beyond Asia to Japan and then to the US and then to Europe, the possibility for us to significantly grow our subscriber base is really real, particularly as sales of PS5 consoles start to accelerate extremely rapidly.

The other vector of this of course is that the new service allows us to optimise not only the number of subscribers but to offer the possibility for subscribers to join our second tier of our third tier and access a range of really attractive features and gaming propositions. And if we do that, if we are successful in that, not only will the number of subscribers grow, but the ARPU (average revenue per unit), the ARPU of the subscriber will also correspondingly increase, so there are opportunities along both vectors, the number of subscribers and the ARPU of each of those subscribers.

Sony hopes to increase the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers from 47.4 million at the end of the last fiscal year to 50 million by the end of the current fiscal year, due to end on March 31, 2023. The new PS Plus tiers are due to launch in Japan on June 2. The Americas will follow on June 13, while Europe, Australia, and New Zealand will conclude the rollout on June 23.

In other news, Sony is expecting to phase out PS4 games by 2025. Elsewhere, Returnal is expected to be the next PlayStation Studios title to head to PC after the launch of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.

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PS5 Sold 1,000 Units Per Minute In First Fiscal Year, Fixing Supply Issues A "Top Priority" For Sony

The PS5 has been difficult to find, due in part to demand exceeding supply and ongoing component shortages. But just how fast is the system selling? Sony said as part of its latest business briefing that the PS5 sold about 1,000 units per minute in the US. Sony is seeing “unprecedented demand” for the PS5, it said.

US retailers sold nearly 1,000 PS5 units per minute for the end of the console’s first fiscal year. For comparison, the PS4 sold about 6 units per minute over the same stage of its lifecycle. Sony said these numbers cover three different “leading US retailer events.” It’s not immediately clear what that means, but in any event, the PS5 had a huge start and is, obviously, a very in-demand platform.

The PS5 got off to a hot start

As anyone who has tried to purchase a PS5 understands, the system is hard to find, due in part to supplier sourcing issues and factors like “logistical negotiations” for the delivery of systems, Sony said. Sony also stated that Russia’s war against Ukraine is impacting PS5 supply issues.

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