The catch-up coffee: Thursday, October 3, 2019

6 mins read

News by Lindsay M., News Editor

Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!

Two major SIE employees leave the company

It was a busy week for Sony Interactive Worldwide, as it often is as Sony movies into the second half of its fiscal year, with someone leaving for unknown reasons and another announcing a retirement. Both should be familiar to fans of Sony, though, and both will be sorely missed. The first announcement was made in a tweet:

It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 30, 2019

That’s right: Sony Interactive Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden has left the company. There’s no information on where’s he’s gone, or his successor.

As for the person retiring, it’s Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia president and Sony Interactive Entertainment corporate director Atsushi Morita. SIE announced he was retiring due to age. His replacement hasn’t been announced either.

Green Hell coming to consoles in 2020

I’ve written of Green Hell before: it’s part realistic survival sim, part psychological thriller, and entirely terrifying. The game is set in the vast lushness of the Amazon Rainforest, where the world is filled with things that want to kill you. Plants, insects, illnesses, and infections are waiting around every corner to bring you to your demise. Currently available via Steam, Green Hell recently left early access and is ready to spread its wings and expand!

Developer Creepy Jar has laid out a roadmap of what updates will be made to Green Hell over the coming months. First up are updates for plant cultivation, expanded shelters, and controller support; plant cultivation adds the ability to grow and collect from your own garden, adding a lovely little Harvest Moon touch to the super scary world in the game. And in late 2019 or early 2020 will come players’ most request update: a co-op mode! You and three others will have to survive the Amazon together.

As for 2020, there is a “surprise” content update planned. But let’s not forget the biggest news of all: Green Hell will be launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime next year.

Brain Age is back, baby!

I adored the original Brain Age game back on the DS, and I’m so thrilled to see the brain-building game is going to be coming to the Nintendo Switch. I sure as heck could use some brain training right about now! Here’s a trailer:

There’s also a chunky overview trailer on Nintendo’s YouTube channel that shows off more features of the game; you can see it here. The physical release of Brain Age: Nintendo Switch Training will have an official Switch stylus bundled with it, and the stylus will also be available separately for those with a digital copy. New elements to the game includes exercised utilising the IR motion camera and two player exercises, e-mail summaries, online leaderboards, and world tournaments. Some of the exercises (five) require Joy-Cons and won’t be playable on the Switch Lite.

Brain Age: Nintendo Switch Training will launch in Japan on December 27. No Western localisation has been announced, but I’d be shocked if it doesn’t also come our way.

Sony drops the price of PS Now, adds premium titles for a limited time

Sony surprised everyone this week, with the seemingly random announcement that the PlayStation Now service will have its subscription fee slashed, sometimes in half, effective in players’ next billing cycle. There are also some premium titles available for a few months.

Those in the US will see the monthly cost drop from $19.99 to $9.99. European users will have the price change from €14.99 to €9.99. And Japanese users will have the price drop from 2,500 Yen to 1,180 Yen.

There are also four “blockbuster” titles (I use the term loosely, because they’re all shooty-bang-bang and bland as heck) available to play from now until January 2, 2020. The games are God of War, Grand Theft Auto V, inFAMOUS: Second Son, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Each month, limited-time games will be added in addition to general refreshing of the roster.

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