Sony readies two $300 PlayStation 4 bundles for December

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

$330 PlayStation 4 Star Wars Battlefront Bundle Waltz in Cyber Monday.

Last week, one of the world’s largest video game companies, Electronic Arts, released one of the biggest games of the holiday season, a shooter called Star Wars Battlefront. If you failed to snag a discounted PlayStation 4 bundle on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the holidays don’t have to be ruined for the gamer on your list. The game combines the settings, characters and sounds of the Star Wars movies with the frenetic combat of games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Sony’s limited-time price drop represents the savings of $50, as both bundles normally retail for $350 apiece. “That’s a whole lot of Star Wars in one bundle!” Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, Star Wars Bounty Hunter, and Super Star Wars are available digitally via the PlayStation Network for $10 each. On the other hand, folks who wish to pick up the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 bundle will be rewarded with the first three Uncharted games in the series: Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception.

It’s Monday, the day before the game officially launches, but Battlefront is already being played by thousands through the company’s “EA Access” program. If you’re still in the market for a PS4, unfortunately most retailers already have priced the Uncharted bundle back up to $349.99 – the same as the more recently released Star Wars: Battlefront PS4 bundle. In north-west Austin, Annie Benedict, a cheerful customer adviser who’s been at EA for a year and a half, takes the call at her desk adorned with a tiny green X-Wing and a more sizeable Yoda figure. These are the people – closer to 1200 to 1300 globally – who answer telephone calls, conduct online chats, tackle social media requests or read and post in EA’s forums, where people are seeking help with technical glitches, installing a game such as Battlefront on their system or trying to get past a billing issue, such as the man from Colorado. (EA did not provide specific customer data for this story.) “Hello, this is Annie from Electronic Arts, it looks like you’re having a problem with your Origin account. In addition to Nathan Drake’s original adventures, the bundle will also include access to the Uncharted 4 beta that runs from Dec. 4-13. “We hope to bring some holiday cheer to PlayStation fans with these amazing bundles … and look forward to many gaming hours this holiday season and beyond,” Sony’s Vice President of Brand Marketing John Koller wrote in a blog post.

Released last Nov.17, the “Star Wars Battlefront” title is bundled with a standard edition 500GB PS4, a black DualShock 4 controller and digital vouchers to download four “Star Wars” games. On her dual-monitor screen set-up, she’s able to see account information from the caller, access notes and information that can help solve the issue, and a chat dialogue with a specialist who can help Benedict get the issue resolved. These are “Super Star Wars,” “Star Wars: Racer Revenge,” “Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter” and “Star Wars Bounty Hunter.” Recently, it was found that Sony has already unlocked the seventh core, which is the same move that Microsoft has done before for the Xbox One, Eurogamer spotted the discovery in a changelog and confirmed that Core 6 has already been unlocked.

However, this additional power is still undefined, as the source raises questions that Sony may need to answer soon to let gamers and developers know the extent and capability of the unlocked core. It’s locked down for two hours and the caller will have to wait until that time limit expires. “I know it’s a little irritating, but our system has to process all of those,” Benedict assures the caller. “In two hours you’ll be able to use the wallet.” Benedict confirms his card information and ZIP code and does a few more bits of troubleshooting before hanging up. Benedict says she’s not a super hardcore gamer; she grew up watching her brother play games, but she really does like video games and enjoys helping people get their games up and running. For a big game like this one, advisers get the game about a month early to play through and familiarise themselves with potential gameplay and installation issues. Sometimes, Benedict says, they just want to have a conversation with a live person or geek out about games. “Being in the gaming industry, helping gamers, you do have those crazy passionate ones,” she says, and part of her job is keeping them on track during calls. “What I really like is just helping people in general and getting a smile on their face, fixing it and getting them going.” The best, she says, is when she can get a frustrated parent’s tech issue solved on behalf of a waiting kid. “You hear a kid cheering in the background,” she said. “That’s the best one.” Supporting games has become crucial as the gaming business has grown into a $US22 billion ($30 billion) industry.

The Windows version of Batman: Arkham Knight had so many problems that publisher Warner Bros Interactive had to offer refunds to anyone who bought the game. Here we have the lineup for the last month of 2015: Stay tuned because there will probably be more deals and discounts for the consoles later this month. So far, Battlefront has had a few glitches and problems, but that hasn’t prevented lots of people from playing the game since it launched, particularly on the PS4. That helps developers stamp out bugs and improve game play, says Joel Knutson, who works in Austin as EA’s vice-president of worldwide customer experience.

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