Destiny 2 Season of Dawn: An Early Look

Season of Dawn is nearly here, and everyone at Bungie is excited to share this next chapter of the ongoing Destiny story with the world. I’m fortunate to work with tons of passionate and creative people — a few of whom you saw on our Season announcement live stream this week who shared a bunch of awesome info (and this action-packed trailer). Today, I’m here to share a few new looks of what you can expect to see this season.

Our story picks up where the last Season ended. Tomorrow, we’ll join Guardians all over the world as we travel through time in an attempt to rescue the legendary hero, Saint-14.

The story in Season of Dawn is told through new quests, bounties, and a six-player encounter we’re calling The Sundial. In that encounter, the Cabal are attempting to change the events of the Red War by rewriting history. We’ll enter the fractured timeline and stop them before they succeed.

A new Season of Dawn Artifact is ready to be powered up. As you level your Artifact throughout the Season, you’ll unlock new mods that you can slot into brand new weapons and armor to customize the way you play.

At Bungie, when we talk about the game we want Destiny 2 to be, we’re having conversations about exploring a living world that changes with every Season. We want there to be a through line that connects each of us to a unique moment in time with hopefully less Cabal meddling. It also gives way to new adventures on the horizon.

The Sundial’s conceptual origin was: “What would Osiris do with his vast knowledge of Vex technology?” “How would he repurpose it?” It’s taking that knowledge from the Vex, smelting the technology down, and repurposing it to create a machine that can manipulate time. One that he built through countless simulations, but now it exists in reality. Our reference material covered a multitude of things including astrolabes, typewriters, ancient cartography, compasses, and of course, sundials.

Bringing Saint back was something that we have always wanted to do. And luckily, since we’re able to play with time, we had a unique opportunity to give you a peek into an earlier moment before he was the legend we all know.

Rusted lands has been a team favorite for some time. This map was our primary test bed for PVP and it was the one where we honed in PVP as a whole within the studio. It has been exciting to bring it back to both new and old Destiny players.

This image illustrates the players being pulled through time within The Sundial. Conceptually we wanted to take fragments of The Sundial itself and stretch, tear, and warp them throughout the experience to show the echoes of its existence throughout the space between realities.

From the very beginning, we explored themes, conflicts, and moods that would connect the Seasons. This early work guided many of our design decisions and I’m always glad for the opportunity to share some of the more iconic elements that end up in the game.

Thanks for stopping by and taking an early look at Season of Dawn. See you in the Tower tomorrow.

Minecraft Bedrock Version Coming to PS4

Bedrock is coming to PlayStation 4 tomorrow! “Kelsey,” you gasp in horror, “you’ve given away the whole article in the first sentence.” Don’t worry, beloved reader of PlayStation Blog, there is always more!

“So how is this different from the version of Minecraft I can already play on my PS4?” The difference is that the Bedrock version of Minecraft is the unified version of the game that offers the same experience across all consoles. All that glorious, unified code means that you’ll be playing the same game as your pals on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, and mobile!* So, yes – that means you get cross-play between those different consoles. Not just that, PS4 players now also have access to the Minecraft Marketplace — a source for worlds, skins, mini-games, and mash up packs! So you’re going to have not just a better Minecraft experience than ever before, but more Minecraft than ever.

“What if I already own Minecraft on PS4, do I need to buy the game again to get the Bedrock version?” Short answer: No! The next time you start Minecraft, the new update will install automatically and free of charge. This update will never expire, and all game purchases after today for PS4 will always be for this new version.

We call this update ‘Buzzy Bees’ (or 1.14) and it’ll be arriving on PS4 tomorrow at 8am PST. Hope to see you in the Overworld soon!

*Cross-Play requires other platforms of Minecraft to be running update 1.14, including PS4 systems.

PlayStation Blogcast 352: Can You Dig It?

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On this week’s Blogcast, we interview Sean Velasco of Yacht Club Games about Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown! Then, we we dig into some hard-hitting listener letters that send at least one of us spiraling into an existential crisis. Enjoy!

Stuff We Talked About

  • Next week’s big Shovel Knight update!
  • Our big #25YearOfPlay celebration
  • Death Stranding
  • Gris
  • Life is Strange Episode 5
  • Best game pairings?
  • Freezing time vs. not sleeping

The Cast

Official PlayStation Blogcast: Justin MassongillOfficial PlayStation Blogcast: Kristen ZitaniOfficial PlayStation Blogcast: Tim Turi

Justin Massongill – Social Media Manager, SIEA
Kristen Zitani – Social Media Specialist, SIEA
Tim Turi – Senior Social Media Specialist, SIEA

Thanks to Cory Schmitz for our beautiful logo and Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music.

[Editor’s note: PSN 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.]

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for December 10, 2019

Venture into the foreboding world of Ashen, a new RPG from A44 and Annapurna Interactive where you’ll fight to restore light to a shadow-drenched world. Band together with other players — or don’t — and plumb the depths of treacherous dungeons set across an expansive open world.

Other highlights this week include Avicii Invector, Shuttle Commander for PS VR, and Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace.

For a full list of new games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy The Drop!

The Drop Logo

PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12)
Ashen is an open world co-op action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home. As you adventure through Ashen, you’ll occasionally encounter other players in a massive open world. It’s up to you to decide how to deal with them — fight together against evil, invite them into your party or simply ignore them.
Avicii Invector
PS4 — Digital, Retail
Soar through vocal melodies, sweep each fade and attack every beat in 25 of AVICII’s biggest hits, in this enthralling futuristic rhythm-action experience – AVICII Invector. Fly solo or bring the pulse-pounding frenetic energy of an AVICII concert to your living room with your friends in competitive gameplay.
Blacksad: Under the Skin
PS4 — Digital, Retail
A dark corruption scandal in the heart of New York City’s underworld is a case for charismatic detective John Blacksad. With its anthropomorphic characters and its incredible 1950s feel, Blacksad: Under the Skin promises all the eerily dark adventure of a detective novel, just like the eponymous comic book series.
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12)
Make friends, play cards, twist the rules, become a Mega Mutant Power Pets master, and try to save the world in this single-player RPG about being a 90’s kid. Explore Dudsdale Elementary and build killer card decks to defeat the mutants from everybody’s favorite collectible card game that have invaded the real world.
Dead End Job
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13)
Dead End Job sends you into a madcap, wacky world to bust up ghosts. It’s a procedurally generated, couch co-op, twin-stick shooter that straps a vacuum pack to your back, and puts a plasma blaster in your hand. For you, it’s just another day in the office.
eFootball PES 2020 Lite
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/9)
Experience the E3 Best Sports Game award-winning gameplay with PES 2020, now free to download! Build your dream team in myClub, or support your favorite side in Matchday mode. Live and breathe the most authentic soccer game ever created, developed with the assistance of renowned midfielder Andrés Iniesta.
Eternum Ex
PS4 — Digital
Sir Arthur has gotten old… too old. He has lost everything he had and loved, and with nothing more to lose, he leaves for Samarnath, an evil subterranean kingdom (which no knight has ever returned alive) in search of treasures, adventures and the most important: five magical orbs that together provide: the Eternal youth.
Fishing: Barents Sea Complete Edition
PS4 — Digital
Take the helm of your very own fishing boat and explore the vastness of the Norwegian sea. Start with the little boat inherited from your grandfather, catch fish, and earn money for upgrades as well as bigger and better boats. Enjoy the beautiful Barents Sea and make your fishing industry dreams come true.
PS VR — Digital
A magical, musical hike through lush, chromatic VR wilderness. Bring dormant landscapes back to life by restoring native flora through light, water, and harmony, while collecting seeds to grow your own enchanted garden.The experience merges aspects of adventure and cultivation into a refreshing, musically enveloping whole.
Gunlord X
PS4 — Digital
Gunlord X is a 2D action platformer featuring stunning pixel art, 11 open-world stages, nasty creatures, huge boss battles and a pumping soundtrack. Blast yourself through giant landscapes, explore caverns and reveal all secrets in this retro-inspired action game. Enjoy the definitive version of this classic masterpiece with tons of new features and updates.
Headliner: Novinews
PS4 — Digital
Award-winning adventure where you control national news. A stack of news article sits on your desk. It’s time to make decisions. After work, emerge on the streets of Novistan, shaped by the very news you publish. Watch the city change day by day and influence the lives of the four main characters.
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13)
Seamlessly combining 3D action and point-click adventure, Kwaidan provides a nostalgic-yet-new experience. Explore an old Japanese manor, solve clever puzzles, and fight against monsters called Yoki.
Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/11)
A teenager from the modern world is being summoned into a fantasy world with an important task from a wizard — to return the King’s stolen treasures! Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland is an indie adventure game inspired by the best Metroidvania titles. It packs retro graphics, roguelike elements, and classical platforming action.
Rift Keeper
PS4 — Digital
Duty called and the Rift Keeper woke up from his deep slumber. Embark on your journey, travel through rifts, and restore the balance as the Rift Keeper in this handcrafted 2D roguelite platformer with challenging, fast-paced action gameplay.
Shuttle Commander
PS VR — Digital (Out 12/11)
Take command of the Space Shuttle as it embarks on various missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. Fly the shuttle in a full landing simulation based on real physics and flight dynamics. Join the crew on the space shuttle missions and assist in the deployment and servicing of the Hubble. More details
Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace
PS4 — Digital
Fall in love with the lab members all over again in this sweet and slapstick romantic comedy! Explore the private life of Rintaro and your favorite lab members in a series of ‘What if?’ scenarios, a slapstick story, and through interactions with Rintaro’s cellphone!
Superepic: The Entertainment War
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/12)
Join a racoon and a llama in their quest to save videogames as we know them! SuperEpic is a Metroidvania style action adventure game filled with humor and satire. The gameplay is nonlinear and fast paced, with exploration and combo-based combat the weapon of choice against the evil Regnantcorp!
Super Korotama
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/13)
Super Korotama is an arcade skill game that emulates a classic retro-style arcade machine with different perforated panels, where the user can move a metal ball through a vertical bar that can be raised with the machine’s joysticks. The main objective of the game is to put the ball in the correct hole while avoiding the rest of the holes.
Touring Karts
PS4, PS VR — Digital (Out 12/12)
Touring Karts takes maximum advantage of the possibilities of VR by reinventing kart-type races in the midst of chaos full of action and surprises. Features 22 tracks and 30 customizable cars, up to eight players online multiplayer support with no waiting, and more.

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The information above is subject to change without notice.

Share of the Week: 25th Anniversary

This week PlayStation celebrates 25 incredible years! We asked you to pull out your memories from over the years and share your favorite consoles, games, and show off your collections. We were blown away by the response, and are highlighting just a handful of the amazing submissions:

gamers_strike displays an impressive gaming setup, complete with a homemade TV frame to resemble the PSP.

frollein.herzlich shows off her love of the original PlayStation.

AmericanPrinceX shows off his impressive collection of consoles and handhelds.

Homer2k shows off his impressive collection, but the real treat is clicking through to hear the relationships he’s forged through PlayStation (including proposing to his fiance at PSX and their upcoming PlayStation-themed wedding!).

museo_gamer shows off their set up and many collectables.

Vicky890_ has a flair for limited editions and DS4s.

This is just a taste of the love we saw submitted. Make sure to peek at the #25YearsOfPlay tag on Twitter and Instagram to see more incredible memories celebrating this week’s theme. Want to be featured in next week’s Share of the Week?

Theme: Snowing
Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, December 11

Next week, it’s time to bundle up for the winter. Share snowy scenes from the game of your choice using #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Launches Today on PS4

It has now been 10 years since I have shipped a game on PlayStation. Back then, it was on the PS3. Can you imagine! Needless to say, I am extremely proud today to bring Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey to PS4 players around the world.

When I decided to start my own indie studio, Panache Digital Games, back in 2014, we were a mere handful of people and one thing was clear to me: I wanted to do things differently and to be bold. I wanted to do things with panache! Fast-forward five years later and this is exactly what my clan of now thirty-something game developers and I have accomplished with Ancestors. It is unique, refreshing, and most of all ambitious.

With this open-world survival game, I wanted to put players in the shoes of our early ancestors in Africa 10 million years ago. We have come so far as a species over the millions of years of evolution that we are now somewhat disconnected from our roots. This game brings you back to your primal instincts and what makes us all human.

To do so, I couldn’t make a game that was about chasing green dots on a map. I had to create systems that would let you write your own story; forge your own path to evolution. The original story of how you survived and came to evolve as a pre-human in a dangerous and menacing environment. Your survival as a lineage depends on the decisions you make. The four core systems of the game (senses, intelligence, communication and motricity) were built to support exploration so that you can develop your clan and your species through generations. That is how Ancestors lets you make surprising discoveries and be much more than a player. In Ancestors, you become your character and evolve along with your clan.

Eureka moments in games usually come in the form of a story, a clever twist in the narrative that amazes us at the end of a playthrough. This time, my team and I tried something drastically different. With no narrative, eureka moments in Ancestors are sprinkled through your journey and occur as you experiment with known skills to attain new and novel results as you explore, expand and evolve. These skills and knowledge will be transmitted to your fellow tribe members, to your little ones, to your whole lineage. Yes, something as simple as cracking open a coconut, crafting a tool or finding an ointment to heal your wounds can result in an eureka moment in Ancestors. Because we don’t tell you how to do it, you have to figure it out on your own. So be curious, be creative, be adventurous. The game will notice your out of-the-box playstyle and will respond to it by granting you new ways to progress.

Every one of us here at Panache hope you will lose yourself in the game, letting your instinct guide you. At the beginning, we warn you that we won’t help you much, and we don’t; we’d rather see how your ingenuity leads you through the uncharted territory and helps you conquer your fear of the unknown. You, Homo sapiens, can you survive like our ancestors did before us? How are you measuring compared to science? Are you better than our ancestors?

With that said, good luck on your journey to evolution. Take your time. Be patient. Follow your instincts.

10 Worldwide Studios Creators Name Their Favorite PlayStation Game of All Time

As we wind down our week of #25YearsOfPlay celebrations, we wanted to leave you with a special treat. We reached out to a few of the biggest names across SIE’s Worldwide Studios to ask a simple question: “What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?”

Read on to get a peek inside the mind of creators from Santa Monica Studio, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, and more — even the new head of WWS, Hermen Hulst, spared a moment to share his pick!

Now that we’ve gotten answers from these 10 creators, it’s your turn: after you’ve read through these selections, hit the comments and tell us: What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Cory Barlog
Creative Director, Santa Monica Studio
No single game that appeared on PlayStation hardware over the years has more solidly formed the foundation of how I make games more than Koji Igarashi’s seminal platforming action/adventure RPG mashup – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

The tone, world building, mechanics, pacing and level design are absolutely masterful. This game is so timeless that I find myself replaying this game almost yearly and it is STILL compelling!

Honorable Mentions
The Last of Us
Metal Gear Solid

Shadow of the Colossus
Jason Connell
Creative Director, Sucker Punch
Shadow of the Colossus is such a classic. It became an instant favorite the moment I played it. The color, light, atmosphere, and music contribute to a mysterious and eerie mood that’s so somber, yet so beautiful. The mechanics were fresh at the time and are still timeless, and I especially love the way you guide the light with your sword in order to explore. So awesome.

The game goes to great lengths to deliver a cinematic experience that has always stuck with me. The horse-riding animations and the sheer scale of the Colossi all felt so unique and ahead of their time.

To me, Shadow of the Colossus is a masterwork that has provided creative fuel for me throughout my entire career as a game maker.

Honorable Mentions
Final Fantasy 7

Metal Gear Solid
Nicolas Doucet
Creative Director & Producer, Japan Studio (Team Asobi)
With Metal Gear Solid, it felt like games suddenly took a massive leap forward. Halfway between realism and pure fantasy, it’s a game that totally sucked me in with its stealth action.

MGS’s gameplay was innovative at the time and I loved the many ways it surprised players. It also carried a deeper message that keeps us talking about it years on. MGS V may be the best of the series, but this one is the most iconic.

Honorable Mentions
Ridge Racer
Resident Evil

God of War (2018)
Hermen Hulst
Head of Worldwide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment
So tough this, like having to pick a favorite child. Alright, I’m going to go with God of War. What a beautifully woven story that was — so immersive with the continuous camera, focusing on Kratos’ relationship with his young son Atreus. As the father of a 14 year old when it came out, this story was incredibly recognizable. Atreus finally throwing it all back at Kratos in the latter’s dream sequence – ‘I just wish he was better.’ Creative director Barlog had me there.

Reboots can be risky, but Santa Monica Studio succeeded even in making Kratos a likeable character.

I loved God of War’s Norse mythology-inspired world so much, I made a trip to Jotumheim recently.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Bryan Intihar
Creative Director, Insomniac Games
I went back and forth between choosing MGS1 or MGS3, but at the end of the day I had to choose the latter. I absolutely loved the decision to take the series back in time to the 1960s and its shift to a more natural setting, as well as a greater emphasis on surviving the wild. Oh, and that showdown with the ripely-aged sniper The End—I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out during a boss fight!

But it’s the larger-than-life characters that has always kept me coming back to this historic franchise, and Snake Eater has some of the absolute best. From the mad Russian Colonel Volgin to the brash (and now much younger) Ocelot, their unique backstories and motivations were only matched by their memorable performances. Yet, whenever I look back at Snake Eater, it’s The Boss who I will never forget. Snake’s mentor is the very definition of being the “hero of her own story.” And if learning why she was doing all of this wasn’t gut-wrenching enough, having to actually pull the trigger to end her life (or the cinematic wouldn’t end) did the trick. For me, that was an all-time gaming moment.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
God of War (2018)

Resident Evil series
(Resident Evil 2 if I have to choose!)
Siobhan Reddy
Studio Director, Media Molecule
I grew up in the era of “strange things happening” stories – the Bermuda triangle and UFOs were big features. I loved choose your own adventure stories, ghost stories, mysteries, and scary fairy tales. These things all terrified me but I loved them. It’s possibly no surprise then that I love horror and the idea that the unexpected can happen and totally change everything around us.

In real life, Resident Evil would be really scary. In a video game, it allowed us to suspend belief and just be in that world and help save it. I loved that I felt like I was in some kind of crazy X-Files episode but I was badass with my zombie killing and then when I was able to be nifty with my crafting potions. It changed my perspective of what games could do, and I could see before me that they would join films, theatre and literature as mediums to express a wide range of experiences, emotions and motivations.

This series is the reason I make video games, and it has inspired so many other creators. I have loved seeing the horror genre develop in Dreams. Long may the enjoyment of exploring “strange things happening” continue!

Honorable Mentions
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey
Dark Souls 3

Dominic Robilliard
Creative Director, Pixelopus
Ico is such a memorable game for me, not just because of how beautiful the world, audio and narrative are but because it was the first time an actual gameplay mechanic had affected me emotionally. This story about a young boy trying to save someone is underwritten by a compelling and innovative gameplay ability – holding someone by the hand to guide them and solve puzzles together. The resonance of this game is pinned together by it and makes it so coherent in a truly player-driven way.

The experience of playing the game has stuck with me as a ‘feeling’ ever since I finished it for the first time. All of Team Ico’s games have a similarly powerful and memorable emotional quality to their gameplay and worlds, (all of which I love!) but Ico remains my favorite. It absolutely blew me away when I first played it, and expanded my horizons for what games can achieve as a medium.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The Last of Us Remastered
Jeff Ross
Game Director, Bend Studio
A case of gameplay and narrative working together in perfect harmony.

Naughty Dog’s brave design shattered conventional power fantasies by building mechanics around each character’s physical and developmental limitations, which led to highly immersive and relatable encounters. In the final fight through the hospital corridors, as I cut through waves of Firefly soldiers, my mind raced with grief about Ellie’s fate to the point I engaged in rapid-fire emotional bargaining trying to rationalize an outcome I could live with if she were to die.

In Left Behind, I played as Ellie on a fateful night with her best friend in an abandoned mall and peeled back layers of their relationship through creative gameplay like taking pictures in a photo booth, trying on Halloween masks, and a playful water gun battle. I felt first-hand what it’s like for someone born into a bleak and dangerous world to yearn for universal human desires like freedom, idealism, and love.

I’ve never inhabited any character’s mind and feelings so fully in another game, but Naughty Dog accomplished this feat twice in one package, and that’s why The Last of Us is my favorite PlayStation game of all time.

Honorable Mentions
Red Dead Redemption
Syphon Filter 2

Angie Smets
Studio Director & Executive Producer, Guerrilla
A game that moved me tremendously, and has always stuck with me is Journey. It is visually stunning with impeccable sound design, and takes you to a unique and mysterious world while creating emotional connections to its characters and events. It beautifully combines subtle game design and storytelling into a deeply meaningful experience.

A profound classic.

Honorable Mentions
Shadow of the Colossus
The Last of Us

Demon’s Souls
Stuart Whyte
Director of VR Product Development, SIE London Studio
Demon’s Souls, at least in the UK, was a sleeper hit for the longest time. I remember getting my hands on a US copy and loading it up with very little awareness of the challenges ahead… From the opening section through to the end game Demon’s Souls was a breath of fresh air – an original action RPG with no safety net – no hidden walls to stop you falling off cliffs, no restrictions on being able to accidentally murder a key NPC with a slip of a controller press, and no ability to even pause the game!

Each combat encounter was a battle of wits, every trap avoided was a near miss – the experience was stressful but highly unique. The multiplayer was truly pioneering – completely integrated into the single-player experience, black phantom invading and that boss fight, the Old Monk, where you had to battle another player to progress – so original even now.

This was the spiritual prequel to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was, and still is, a masterpiece.

Honorable Mentions
Final Fantasy VII
The Last of Us

What a lineup! Our thanks to everyone who participated in this story, and to you for reading it.

Finally, thank you for your support over the past quarter-century. In the same way that a console is only as good as the games you can play on it, PlayStation would be nothing without its fans. Happy 25th, everyone.

It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains Hits PS4 Early 2020

It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is a twin-stick arcade shooter coming to PS4 in early 2020. Join up to three others in a beautifully stylized world overrun with snarling, pink, brain-hungry aliens.

Growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, the favorite weekend pastime of my brothers and I was playing video games. Keep in mind that this was a time before high-speed internet, before 65” flat screens and before wireless controllers even. This meant we used to take turns or play at the same time, but always sitting right next to each other. Our friends came over to play games, and we even took our consoles with us when we went to visit family. Even now, my brothers and I share fond memories of beating difficult levels together, improving lap times, or finally saving the princess.

As time went on, I had a blast playing early online games like Quake and Counter Strike. The best memories from those times were of garage (or attic) LAN-parties at my friends’ houses. During college, we would invite people over to play games before our nights out. Party games, dancing games, fighting games, something for everybody, even those who always said they “didn’t play any games, really.” Those were usually the ones shouting the loudest by the end of each session.

Fast-forward to some fifteen years later. I’ve been running a game development company for the better part of a decade now and am the father of three wonderful kids. When we design and build our games, we aim to re-create that experience of many years ago — sitting side-by-side with your siblings, friends, or kids, enjoying great games.

This co-op experience is at the core of It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains. Make your way through six campaign missions, then challenge your friends to Survival, where you’ll collaborate while battling each other for the highest scores. Choose and upgrade your favorite weapon each round to make sure you’re ready for that final huge wave of aliens.

It Came From Space and Ate Our Brains is a true couch co-op experience that can be enjoyed by everyone and will be available on PS4 early 2020.

How Takafumi Fujisawa Created the Original PlayStation’s Startup Sound

Hey! My name’s Jeff Cork, and I’m a senior editor at Game Informer. It’s a great gig; I get to travel around and talk about the hobby I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid. The games are clearly the flashiest part of the job, but I’ve found the most rewarding aspect is talking with the talented men and women behind those games. That’s why this month’s cover story is easily one of the most satisfying that I’ve worked on across my entire career.

As you probably know, today marks the 25th anniversary of the PlayStation’s launch in Japan. That’s a big milestone. We thought we’d blow it out with what seemed at first like an impossible task: Boil down the past 25+ years of PlayStation history into a single magazine feature. Over the past few months, I’ve interviewed more than a dozen people who were instrumental in making PlayStation what it is today – people like Ken Kutaragi, Jim Ryan, Masayasu Ito, Shuhei Yoshida, Mark Cerny, Kazunori Yamauchi, Evan Wells, Ted Price, Angie Smets, Andy House, and many, many others. It’s been a tremendous amount of work (I think I’m good on transcription, at least for a while) but it’s also been an absolute pleasure.

Over the course of 24 pages, SIE employees past and present share their stories about PlayStation. We cover the pre-PlayStation days, when Nintendo and Sony were collaborating on a CD-ROM attachment for the SNES, up to our current era and beyond. There were mistakes made along the way that the company learned from, and people struggled for a variety of reasons. But it’s also hard to look at the trajectory from the original PlayStation to PS4 and not see the amazing successes on that journey.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share my entire interview with sound designer Takafumi Fujisawa. Think of this as the director’s cut of a conversation with one of PlayStation’s unsung heroes. While Fujisawa’s name might not be immediately familiar, you’re undoubtedly acquainted with his work. You know the sound that played when people fired up the PlayStation 1 console 25 years ago? Yep. That was his work. If you want to read the rest of our cover story, head over to We’ve posted the feature in its entirety, so set some time aside and enjoy. Thanks!

How were you first approached to design the PlayStation’s startup sound?

Takafumi Fujisawa: I was a part of the PlayStation project even before the team was official, and as the hardware development progressed and the prototype was built in the spring of 1994, I created the startup sound. I received the logo animation (in Japanese we call it motion logo) and added my sound design on it.

What were the parameters that you were given? Were you limited to a specific amount of time?

Fujisawa: There weren’t much time restrictions on the design itself, but being also a part of the sound chip, firmware, development tool team I was aware of the polyphony and ADPCM requirements already, so I tried to make the best out of them. The concept was set to maintain the core image of PlayStation no matter what type of TV speaker it is played on, as there could be countless kinds of TV around the world. The only limitation I experienced was the size of the ROM, so I kept the size as minimal as possible.

Did anyone from Sony give you ideas for what they wanted? Like, did Ken Kutaragi come over to you and hum a few bars?

Fujisawa: No, though I wish he did (laughs). I only got a general brief but the first demo almost already got approved. I had an alternative version with a voice whispering “PlayStation” layered on top of it which I sampled myself, but with the impression being that the game console speaks to you we decided to go with the orthodox (simple) option in the end.

PlayStation Startup Screen

The opening tones remind me of Strauss’ “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” Am I just imagining things, or was that an inspiration?

Fujisawa: I’m so impressed by your amazing taste. I’m very happy if you got that impression. I started off with an orchestra like sound and added an ethnic style tone as the sound progresses. I structured the sound so that the listener starts off stable and then feels a little bit off, so that the sound will create a strong impression by starting with an equal temperament and taking it to an original, pure intonation harmony.

The startup sound almost seems as though it shifts through several phases that tells a story. You have the opening tones, then it has the bells, then the swooshing sound, then an almost ethereal finale. Were you trying to tell a musical story? If so, what was that story, in your mind?

Fujisawa: I expressed the excitement to the game that begins after this sound by starting the music quietly in order not to scare the user when they turn the power on and follow it with the sound quality that sounds original and also welcoming.

My aim is to lead the sense of security when the console is turned on to the excitement after with the C major dominant motion showing the intention for continuing to be on the mainstream, the rich strings kick in and the last part features twinkling tones and setting the perfect 4th chords.

The function of this sound is to tell the user that the hardware is running like it is supposed to, and that the disc has successfully been read.

To add, the swooshing reverse sound is designed so that it can go into loop if the disc couldn’t be read, and we can understand if something went wrong.

Did the sound come to you fairly quickly, or was it something that took a significant number of iterations?

Fujisawa: I thought of the structure, selected the tones, and gathered the instruments in two weeks, and the studio work was done essentially in two days. I kept thinking from the start that I wanted the sound image to be something exciting, like that feeling when you walk into a cinema. I really wanted to communicate and reinforce that something fun is going to happen.

Did you also work on the startup sound for PlayStation 2 or 3? If you did, do you happen to have any stories about them that you can share?

Fujisawa: When we went into PlayStation 2 the Sound Team had grown to a significant size, so I decided to create a concept and we had a team contest.

PlayStation Startup Screen

I finalized the final two options, and made sure that the perfect 4th chords were emphasized as the key feature of the series. Kutaragi-san briefed us with the concept that was beyond our image, like a monolith floating in space with the earth in the background. I used the perfect 4th chords with stable harmony to express simple strength and the image of landing somewhere from space.

PlayStation Startup Screen

I was focusing on my duties as the development manager by PlayStation 3 so the sound was created by my junior staff, but I think that the concept is great that the sound features the orchestra tuning up to express that something is starting.

Sound Design has a never-ending charm of exploring the meaning of homage, superiority and context. In that sense my experience with the startup sound has been extremely valuable and exciting.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Gets New Tundra Region, Stygian Zinogre

Not long ago, we covered the triumphant return of the mighty Zinogre in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and I hope many of you had the chance to face this fearsome beast already. Once you do, and have gotten comfortable with hunting our beloved Thunder Wolf Wyvern, make sure to craft some of those electrifying weapons and armor sets. Then, prepare for a harder variation of that hunt… with some pretty deadly twists!

For starters, Zinogre’s thunder element makes way for Stygian Zinogre’s ability to channel the debilitating dragon element. And since this beast often prowls locales with extreme temperatures—the scorching heat of volcanic areas or freezing cold of icy regions—and low food supply, it becomes exceedingly aggressive; thus earning Stygian Zinogre the moniker “Hell Wolf Wyvern.”

The Guiding Lands Expands: Tundra Region

Your Special Assignment will start with an investigation of a newly discovered area within the Guiding Lands: the Tundra Region. This frigid locale expands the possibilities of monster appearances within that ecosystem: Barioth, Viper Tobi-Kadachi, Shrieking Legiana and Stygian Zinogre will feel right at home… and will fight anyone who steps on their turf.

More monsters means more materials to acquire, and our Smithy will be ready to put those to good use, further increasing the potential for weapon augments. By the way, I heard he might have a wider selection of High Rank Layered Armor to craft too; so bring him some of those new Guiding Lands monster materials and see what he can make.

Good luck braving this new locale, hunters! And keep your eyes open for any new unforeseen dangers this new region may bring…

Defender Weapon Line

Finally, we have an update for the hunters making their way through the main story and new hunters wanting to join the hunt in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. As part of the latest free title update, all hunters (including both Monster Hunter: World and Iceborne owners) will gain access to a new weapon line: the Defender Weapons.

We’ve added a line of Defender Weapons, covering each of the 14 weapon types, so you can choose (or discover) your favorite weapon type and go from fledgling rookie to Master Rank hunter in no time! This weapon line pairs nicely with the Guardian Armor set (also free to all hunters!), so make sure to equip that too if you want to get to the Iceborne part of the game as fast as possible. The weapons can be easily forged at the Smithy and are upgradable, becoming even more valuable for those currently playing World.

All of the contents I’ve covered today are actually available now, as part of a Free Title Update (version 12.00) to Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. We have even more content lined up for the future, such as special crossovers with Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, so keep on hunting and stay tuned for more info soon!