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PS4 Yukimura update arrives

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Sony has announced it will release system software update version 2.50, codenamed “Yukimura,” for the PlayStation 4 system tomorrow.

The update is expected to bring highly-anticipated and requested features to the system. These include the Suspend/Resume feature, which enables gamers to jump in and out of their games quickly and pick up where they left off.  In addition, the PS4 system will add to its set of social tools by making it easier to connect gamers, furthering its position as the best place to play with friends.

Highlights coming to PS4 with “Yukimura” include:

Jump Back Into Games Faster with Suspend/Resume*

Suspend/Resume, which will be supported by nearly all PS4 titles, will allow PS4 owners to spend less time waiting for games to load and more time playing. Gamers will be able to suspend their game by putting their PS4 into Rest Mode, and then quickly resume the game where they left off by pressing the PlayStation button on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, which wakes their system.

Back-Up and Restore Hard Disc Drive to External USB Drive

“Yukimura” allows PS4 owners to back-up and restore the hard disc to and from an external USB drive.  Hard disc drive data includes settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data.

Find and Connect with Friends

PS4 owners will now be able to search for Facebook Friends with their linked account. Friend requests and Real Name requests can be sent together in one step when adding a friend on PS4. The update will allow users to easily view what their friends are playing by adding a “Friends Who Play This” section on each game detail page, while also highlighting which friends are currently online and playing it.  The process to create a Party has also been streamlined with a reduction in the number of steps required. Additionally, the What’s New section will now feature a section where users can see what their friends are currently playing enabling them to join in the game if they own it or find out more on PlayStation Store.

Share Your Earned Trophies and Trophy List Enhancements

PS4 owners have been sharing their most impressive gaming moments since the launch of the system, and with “Yukimura,” a screenshot will automatically be captured when a Trophy is earned, making it easy for users to share their favourite gaming moments with their friends. The update will also make it easy for players to share Trophy information to Facebook, Twitter or via Message by pressing the SHARE button. Additionally, users will now be able to sort their Trophy list by “Earned Date,” “Not Earned,” and “Grade,” as well as the option to remove games from the Trophy list that have zero percent completion.

Improved and Expanded Accessibility Options

“Yukimura” introduces new options to customize the user experience with PS4, making it easier for gamers with impaired vision and limited manual dexterity to play. Customized button assignments for DUALSHOCK 4 and a zoom feature for displayed pictures and inverted colours will be available for all system functions, apps and games.   Enlarged text will be available across the graphical user interface, including Message and Party, and enlarged text will also be enabled for use in the system’s browser.  Bolder fonts and higher contrast UI will be available for all system applications but will not apply to games or third-party applications.

Additional features and updates introduced with “Yukimura” include:

·         Remote Play and Share Play: For games that support 60 fps, users will be able to automatically enjoy those games with 60fps for both Remote Play and Share Play on supported devices.

·         Automatic Installation for System Software Updates: Users will be able to automatically install future system software updates.

·         Sub-Account Upgrade: Users 18 years of age or older with sub-accounts will be able to upgrade to a master account directly on PS4, removing restrictions on chat and enabling users add funds to their Wallet, purchase content and more.

·         Verified Accounts: Verified accounts for game industry professionals, including developers, producers, designers and community managers will appear with a badge.

·         Dailymotion.com: Players will have the ability to upload video clips directly to Dailymotion via the SHARE button.

The PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets will also receive system software updates with the same timing as “Yukimura,” adding complementary features to those added to PS4 with the update. PS Vita update version 3.50 and PlayStation App update version 2.50 will add new accessibility options, including enlarge text, increase contrast and more. This update also enables PS Vita to support 60fps streaming for Remote Play.

For more information, including the full list of features added to the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App, please visit: www.eu.playstation.com.

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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