FeatureRobin Hunicke's extraordinary journey

From Spielberg's postman to discovering Katamari, Journey's lead designer's wild voyage of discovery.

VideoExclusive Journey co-op mode footage

Eurogamer presents a spoilery hands-on look at thatgamecompany's latest.

Key events

FeatureRobin Hunicke's extraordinary journey

From Spielberg's postman to discovering Katamari, Journey's lead designer's wild voyage of discovery.

For one summer in the mid-2000s, a not insignificant portion of the game designer Robin Hunicke's day involved placing a Nintendo Wii disc into an envelope and posting it to Stephen Spielberg's boat. Spielberg was on holiday at the time, taking a break with his family from sweltering Los Angeles and production work on the film adaptation of Herge's TinTin. There was no time to break from Hunicke's game BoomBlox, however, whose deadline was approaching. Besides, Spielberg's original idea for the game - a kind of anti-Jenga involving knocking down towers of blocks - came about because he wanted a non-violent game to play with his children. He was happy to receive builds through the mail while on holiday, where his kids could pitch in with the feedback.

Face-Off: Journey on PS4

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Journey on PS4

Improved gameplay vs PS3, but has the remaster compromised thatgamecompany's original vision?

Journey. Perhaps the perfect word to define the trajectory of this particularly elusive PlayStation 4 remaster. Having briefly spent time with the game just last year at Gamescom, performance was solid enough that it seemed likely that a full release would follow shortly thereafter. Instead, nothing. Outside of the odd blog post, this particular port remained shrouded in mystery throughout most of its development cycle. Now, three and a half years after its original last-gen release, Journey has finally emerged on PlayStation 4.

Its technological underpinnings are based on an advanced iteration of PhyreEngine - a modular, cross-platform, free to license graphics engine created by Sony Computer Entertainment. It's an engine which thatgamecompany, creator of Journey, previously used in each of its PlayStation 3 projects. With its complex sand rendering, dust effects, and fluid simulation, Journey made extensive use of the PS3's SPUs to bring its world to life. With a small development house known as Tricky Pixels tackling this PS4 port, we were genuinely curious to see how this ambitious project would translate to Sony's latest console platform.

At first glance, this PS4 iteration appears to fully retain the beauty of the original game. The simple, clean designs, attractive lighting, and lovely sand simulation return alongside a nice bump in performance and image quality. Even better, it's available for free to owners of the original game thanks to the CrossBuy feature - if you bought the original and upgraded to PS4 in the meanwhile, the new remaster is sitting in your download list right now, just as it was for. We finished the remastered version of the game in one sitting and have to say that the experience was just as wonderful as we had remembered. However, upon closer inspection, we began to notice some rather subtle changes, suggesting a conversion scenario that was less straightforward than you might imagine.

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Video: Journey - PS3 vs. PS4 gameplay and graphics comparison

An upgraded version of thatgamecompany's stunning sand-clogged adventure, Journey, has just been released on Playstation 4, complete with a host of improvements including 1080p resolution and 60 fps. It supports cross buy, so players who already own the game on PS3 can download the newest version for free.

If you still aren't sold, I've placed the native 720p PS3 version (upscaled to 1080p for the video) side-by-side with the brand new PS4 build in a graphics comparison video below. How many differences can you spot? Which version do you think looks best? What's your favourite Journey song? Let us know in the comments!

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FeatureVideo: ABZ is a Journey under the sea

Darling, it's better down where it's wetter.

After all the announcements and big studio posturing to come out of this year's E3, my game of the show was a quiet little indie game I'd barely heard of before. On my last day at the show, I was ushered into a screening room tucked at the back of 505 Games' media room, far away from the show floor (and, appropriately, in room 505 of the LA Convention Centre). There, I put on a pair of headphones and all the noise and bluster and gunfire I'd been subjected to for the last three days just washed away.

Journey and The Unfinished Swan confirmed for PS4

Journey and The Unfinished Swan confirmed for PS4

Santa Monica studio games coming as remasters in the near future.

Journey and The Unfinished Swan, two games that emerged from under the umbrella of Sony's Santa Monica studio, are both headed to PlayStation 4, it has been confirmed.

The news is hardly a surprise - both games were listed towards the end of July by Sony, presumably in error - but the official announcement brings a few more details. Both games will be playable at Gamescom this week, and both run in 1080p on the PlayStation 4. There's no word on whether they'll also boast a 60fps frame-rate.

Tricky Pixel is handling the Journey port, while Armature Studio is dealing with the PlayStation 4 version of The Unfinished Swan. There's no firm date on either release, though they're promised this year. We may well see them take their place at Sony's Gamescom conference, which takes place later today.

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PlayStation 3 sales hit 80 million

PlayStation 3 sales hit 80 million

4332 games released.

PlayStation 3 sales have hit the 80 million mark, Sony has announced.

That's as of 2nd November 2013.

PlayStation 3 launched in Japan on 11th November 2006 (it didn't launch in Europe until March 2007), making the console nearly seven years old.

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Over the next two weeks we'll be bringing you our pick of the games of the generation. Today we're looking at Journey, thatgamecompany's slight PlayStation 3 exclusive that won instant critical acclaim when it launched last year.

Watch the BAFTA Game Awards live on Eurogamer

UPDATE: Dishonored takes top honours, but Journey scoops up five awards.

UPDATE: The 2013 BAFTA winners are in and they're a doozy. Dishonored took top honours, winning best game overall, which is odd as it didn't win in any other awards. Conversely, Journey received a whopping five awards in various other categories.

FeatureDevelopers' Games of 2012

Levine! Molyneux! Dean Hall!

You lot have your fun with this. And we do, too. So it's only fair that game developers, the people who smash the virtual hammers onto the virtual anvils, get their chance. What are the games of 2012 according to the likes of Ken Levine, Peter Molyneux and other game design luminaries? Read on to find out.

Journey Collector's Edition innards confirmed

Journey Collector's Edition innards confirmed

UPDATE: TGC reveals US release date, box art.

UPDATE: Journey Collector's Edition launches in the US on 28th August for $29.99, thatgamecompany has announced.

TGC worked with Sony Santa Monica Studio to create its first disc-based release. Release information for additional territories will be announced soon, it said. The game's US box art is above.

The complete set of bonus flOw, Flower and Journey content includes:

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FeatureActual New Games of 2012: The Half-Time Verdict

We pass judgement on the candidates from January and add a few to the list.

Back at the start of January, we wrote of our hope that 2012 would bring us more Actual New Games. As much as we like stuff like Diablo 3 (when we can play it), we also want games that "invent new styles and genres", as I said at the time.

PS3 exclusive Journey Compilation spotted

PS3 exclusive Journey Compilation spotted

UPDATE: thatgamecompany confirms 3-title collection.

UPDATE: thatgamecompany has confirmed Journey Compilation as a three-title collection.

"Yes, the ‪#JourneyPS3‬ Collector's Edition is a thing, and it includes ‪#flOwPS3‬ and ‪#FlowerPS3‬, but we can't say anything more," read an update on the official thatgamecompany Twitter page.

The game is listed on PlayAsia as Journey (Collector's Edition), out in August 2012.

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Journey tops March PSN sales chart

Journey tops March PSN sales chart

Escape Plan is still the most downloaded Vita game.

Critically lauded PlayStation 3 adventure Journey was the most downloaded PlayStation Network game in the US during the month of March, Sony has revealed.

Elsewhere on the chart, the PlayStation 3 version of MotorStorm RC entered at four, one spot above the free-to-play Killzone 3 multiplayer download.

Mass Effect 3 entered at six, Rayman 3 HD at 11 and Warriors Orochi 3 down at 13.

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FeatureJenova Chen: Journeyman

From the archive: Journey's creative director on his quest to become the best gamemaker in the world.

Just over three years since it was first released, and having become one of the critical darlings of the last generation, Journey is being re-released for PS4. Digital Foundry will be looking at the technical upgrade the game's received, and in the meantime here's Simon Parkin's profile of Journey's director, Jenova Chen, originally published in April 2012.

FeatureGame of the Week: Journey

If only you could talk to the people?

"If only you could talk to the monsters," goes the much-mocked and only slightly misquoted line from Edge magazine's review of the 1994 classic, Doom. How we laughed! And yet, it was quite a statement of intent for a magazine that has always championed meaningful evolution for games and deeper experiences for gamers.

Sony confirms Journey goes live for EU PS Plus subscribers a week early

Sony has confirmed that European PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to play enchanting downloadable adventure Journey a week before everyone else - just like their US gaming cousins.

They'll also get a free Plus-exclusive Dynamic Theme.

Trine 2 finally launches on the European PS Store this week months after it went live on the US PS Store. To apologise, Sony and publisher Atlus have arranged a 30 per cent discount for the first two weeks after release.

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Journey Review

Journey Review

Just deserts?

If Journey is about God, then God has played an awful lot of video games. One of the most fascinating things about thatgamecompany's sand-blown chunk of spiritual eye candy isn't that it reinvents gaming, or extends the medium's reach: it's that it takes old ideas - sometimes very old ideas - and repackages them in clever, stylish, and unexpected ways.

That glowing mountain on the horizon is a case in point. It seems like a straight lift from the Old Testament at first, but in Journey it's also your ultimate objective. It's both goal and waypoint marker, far less artificial than the breadcrumb trails of Perfect Dark Zero or Fable 2, but no less effective when it comes to the simple, crucial things that a game has to do - like keeping its players oriented as they move through large, artfully empty environments.

Or check out the scarf that billows and flaps around your devout and pin-legged avatar as you lean into the wind. It's part of a distinctive moth-brown uniform that comes teasingly close to referencing religious garb as varied as the burqa or a Franciscan's habit, but it's also there to tell you how much magical energy you have left for jumping and floating. It's a piece of standard UI, essentially, yet it's stuck right into the game world, tracing pretty little spirals in the desert air as form and function merge.

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Sony details Journey Trophy list

Sony details Journey Trophy list

Save yourself a trek.

Sony has revealed the full PlayStation Trophy list for Journey, the upcoming adventure from Flower developer thatgamecompany.

Minor gameplay spoilers lie below.

The list of awards includes several nods to previous thatgamecompany titles. Bronze reward "Ancestors" is earned when players track down a mysterious creature - one of the beasties from aquatic life simulation flOw.

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Journey release date announced

PlayStation Network game Journey launches on 14th March in Europe, Sony has announced.

Journey is from thatgamecompany, the maker of Flow and Flower.

It's described as an "interactive parable", an "anonymous online adventure to experience a person's life passage and their intersections with others".

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FeatureActual New Games of 2012

Wonder and joy, please.

Back in December the Eurogamer editorial team had a massive public fight about whether 2011 was a good year for games. Well, we had the closest thing we're capable of having to a massive public fight - we wrote polite editorials disagreeing with one another. One thing we all agreed upon, however, was that we would very much like to see more Actual New Games in 2012.

FeatureGameCity Discussions: Indie Kids

thatgamecompany's Hunicke and Retro City Rampage on life as an indie.

Everyone's going indie - it's a path that's becoming increasingly well-trodden, and with the rise of Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, striking out on your own is becoming an increasingly viable option for developers.

PlayStation Access hits Birmingham

Play Team Ico HD Collection early.

Sony's PlayStation Access tour hits the Rainbow Rooms in Birmingham tonight and tomorrow, bringing with it hands-on opportunities with FIFA 12, Resistance 3 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

PlayStation Access tour announced

PlayStation Access tour announced

Resistance 3, Ico in London, Birmingham.

UK gamers will get a chance to play alien-invasion shooter Resistance 3, the stunning-looking Journey, and the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD collection at an upcoming Sony tour.

Sony will show off a selection of upcoming software at its PlayStation Access roadshow, to be held in Birmingham and London over the next month.

PlayStation Access Live camps at Birmingham's Rainbow Rooms between 25th and 27th August.

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FeatureA Hero's Journey

Jenova Chen's mission to revolutionise multiplayer.

The first time it happens is thrilling. I'd spent a couple of evenings gliding across the shimmering deserts of the Journey beta, desperately seeking someone, anyone, to share the experience with online.

How to get in the Journey beta

How to get in the Journey beta

US first, then Europe. Do you qualify?

Sony is sending invites into the Journey beta, but you'll only get one if you're a long-time fan of developer thatgamecompany.

Invites are being sent to PlayStation Plus subscribers who are also the "very earliest adopters" of Flower, thatgamecompany's abstract movement PlayStation Network game.

If you're one of these select people, "watch your XMB inbox for your invitation and entry into the beta" SCEA Santa Monica Studio for Flower associate producer Randall Lowe said on the US PlayStation Blog.

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Flower dev announces Journey beta

Flower dev announces Journey beta

Spaces "very limited".

Journey, the next game from Flower developer thatgamecompany, will enter a limited-entry beta next week.

The company confirmed the news in a Tweet last night: "Rumours of a very limited, private Online Beta for Journey are... true!"

Details of how to get your name on the list will appear online next week: "Check our Facebook page & the PlayStation Blog for details on Monday!"

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A line in the sand.

A games industry press event is not a good place for quiet contemplation. For Sony's PlayStation Experience, a raft of boisterous blockbusters have been crammed into a converted tram shed in Hackney. Each adds its own combination of explosions, gunshots and super powered slam attacks to the cacophony.

Journey dev: shooters are "not useful"

Chen rips into lazy online FPS design.

FPS and fighting games are "not useful" and contribute nothing to a player's life, so says the developer behind boutique PlayStation Network download Flower.


Not the band.

"It's like hiking," says Jenova Chen, towards the end of a fascinating, bewildering, inspiring, and well-hidden E3 videogame presentation. "You're hiking along and you meet somebody. Maybe you like them and you want to hike with them for a bit. Maybe you don't like them, and you want to go your own way again."