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Astro’s Playroom: the story behind those fun PlayStation character cameos

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Hi everybody, we hope you are all doing well and keeping healthy. This is Jamie, the Animation Director over at Team Asobi. First things first, a big thank you for your feedback, comments and reviews of Astro’s Playroom (fact: we do read them all!). We are genuinely delighted to see so much love and positivity around the game. You guys are great!

Looking at your comments, one thing that stood out in particular were the various PlayStation game tributes and cameos hidden all over Astro’s Playroom. Being huge fans of the PlayStation heritage ourselves, we had a real blast creating these! And as you can imagine, with so many amazing and cherished game characters to pick from, we felt a big responsibility to deliver the fun and quality that would do justice to them. 

Today, let us give you a short insight into the creation process of these fun cameos!

As often is the case, we started with concepting these ideas on paper. Toshihiko Nakai, our concept artist oozes creativity and his ideas just jump off the page. Looking through the PlayStation games history, he started drawing lots of fun bot cameos based on PlayStation characters from the last 25 years.

The selection process was simple, if a given cameo was instantly recognisable, made us smile, laugh, and got our inner geek excited, then it would make it through the first step. 

Choosing iconic items of clothing or tools from the given game was paramount to getting that instant recognition while still leaving a little bit of guessing work to do for the player. It had to be a fun game of deciphering, even for players who knew where these cameos originated from. For this to work, a precise knowledge of each of the games was necessary. Once again, Toshihiko proved to be an incredible gaming encyclopedia! 

Another important aspect of making a good cameo was the comedy aspect: each of these scenes had to be funny to watch and not shy away from making a bit of fun of the original games while, of course, still paying respect: that was a balancing act and one of the more difficult things to get just right.

Here are a few examples of early cameo sketches from Toshihiko.

Next was the modelling into 3D. The modelers channelled their inner cosplayer to create unique clothes and props for each scene, resizing where needed to give all props a cute finish that would fit Astro’s world like a glove. At times, and with the approval of the original creators, weapons were modified to be more friendly and bullets would give away to colourful plastic balls. These modifications towards a cuter finish would, in return, put more accent on the light-hearted, humorous nature of the game and that’s how a cohesive style for all cameos would start gelling in.

Relaxing photography adventure Toem out September 17 on PS5

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Relaxing photography adventure Toem out September 17 on PS5

Hello everyone! We at Something We Made and the rest of the development team are beyond excited to release our small adventure game Toem on PS5 September 17! It’s a game where you chat with quirky characters, solve their problems by snapping neat photos, and make your way through a relaxing landscape.

To think that our little game has made it onto a next-gen console on launch is really something. If we’d known back when we first started in 2018 that our initial prototype would shape out to be the game it is today, we would not believe it.

Do you remember the first time you visited a new city? Being in awe of the architecture, the excitement of not knowing what lies around the corner, and all the happy memories you form along the way? Those are feelings that fuel Toem.

The game has had a long and interesting development cycle, all from changing genre to completely overhauling the game from scratch! It took a lot of us tinkering to realise the actual design of the game. That very first idea for what would become Toem started with a simple drawing, and even though a lot has changed, we think the spirit from that first sketch can still be found in the final game.

Toem is heavily inspired by Scandinavia, taking the bus to small towns and big cities, seeing the folks that live there and visiting the different tourist sights! We really want to emphasize the journey the player makes through the world of Toem, and what could possibly make this journey a little bit more memorable? A camera of course!

As you help out nice strangers you are granted stamps, these stamps are a neat sign of gratitude, and with enough stamps you can exchange them for a free bus pass to travel to your next destination. Your ultimate goal? Experience and take a photo of th

­­­theHunter: Call of the Wild – 7 tips to master desert hunting in Rancho del Arroyo

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Howdy hunters!

Autumn is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally welcome PlayStation fans to Rancho del Arroyo, the brand-new desert reserve for the immersive hunting game theHunter: Call of the Wild. Inspired by the grandiose Sonoran Desert in Northern Mexico, this stunning reserve includes five unique new animal species to hunt, harsh biomes to explore, and a thrilling storyline that involves uncovering a century-old family mystery.

­­­theHunter: Call of the Wild – 7 tips to master desert hunting in Rancho del Arroyo

But whether you’re an expert hunter ready to embark on your next adventure, or a newcomer heading into the vast desert for the first time, knowledge is power. Here are seven tips and tricks that will take your hunting experience to the next level!

1. Leverage your surroundings

When you move around in the open areas of the desert, animals are more likely to spot you. Trees, rocks, and foliage make for great hiding spots, so use them to your advantage! What’s more, simple things like standing still, crouching, or laying down can reduce the risk of being seen. If you’re unsure about your visibility, you can check the visibility meter in the lower right corner for more details.

2. Learn about Flushing

With the release of Rancho del Arroyo, we’re introducing an exciting new animal behavior called Flushing. By pushing pheasants into open areas, or towards a fellow hunter or Bloodhound, bird hunting enthusiasts can strategically move them out of their hiding spots and cause them to fly away, opening up for the perfect shot!

3. Move silently

If you can hear an animal, chances are they can also hear you. Shooting, running, driving or moving through dense foliage all make noise, which can alert animals and scare them off. Therefore, move silently when you approach an animal. Additionally, weather conditions such as rainfall and wind actually hide noise.

Also, players can unlock specific skills that further reduce noise in certain situations, like moving through larger vegetation. If you’re curious about how much noise you’re making, take a look at the speaker icon in the lower right corner.

Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege join the PlayStation Tournaments: Open Series

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In our efforts to make PlayStation the best place for gamers to elevate their competitive play, we’ve invited challengers of all skill levels to compete and grow our competitive community with over 16,350 tournaments across 70 countries in eight languages. With the addition of Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege to the Open Series, FPS fans will have an expanded range of options when deciding to squad up with friends. We’re delighted to keep motivating fans to Play, Watch, and Learn with these fan-favorite titles coming to the PlayStation Tournaments: Open Series in September.

Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege Join the PlayStation Tournaments: Open Series

The Competition Center currently features 17 Open Series competitions across a broad range of genres for players of all levels to improve, build reputations, and win exciting prizes. Our team is dedicated to growing the community through even more Open Series games in the future, but first let’s explore our new additions.

Apex Legends

Play one of 18 Legends, ready up with friends, and survive in this innovative hero shooter game. Every match starts the same way. Teams must pick a landing spot, then loot for weapons. The real strategy comes from understanding when to fight or run based on your health, position, and equipment. With the latest Emergence update, it’s never been a better time for newcomers to play Apex Legends and explore tons of fresh content, including new maps and cosmetics! Squad up with friends, then aim for first place in custom Open Series lobbies. You might even learn a new trick from the competition. Outscore opponents through kills and placements in any of the four open qualifiers to reach the Monthly Final. Discover new strategies or show off your coordination for greater cash prizes.

Sign up to drop in on the action on September 1: https://playst.cc/3j8dGZF

Must be 18+ and a resident of an eligible country.* Void where prohibited. See full rules

Rainbow Six Siege

Grab your friends and work together to outplay your opponents when Rainbow Six Siege drops onto PlayStation Tournaments. These competitions pit two squads of five against each other in TDM Bomb, where you’ll deploy your cooperation, time management, and communication skills to defuse bombs before time runs out. That is, unless the defending squad eliminates you first! Choose from more than 60 Operators, each with unique abilities, then play different combinations to find the perfect match for your team. Rainbow Six Siege also tracks in-game stats. Analyze your performance to improve before gaining recognition in the community. You’ll even earn prizes like themes, avatars, and cash on your way to the objective. Create your gameplan today.

Register now to play on September 2: https://playst.cc/3gmajMX

Active PS Plus membership required. Must be 18+ and a resident of an eligible country** Void where prohibited. See full rules

To connect with more players in your favorite competitive communities, and to see more information on the complete Open Series offerings in your region, visit compete.playstation.com.

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Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 408: Minds Over Matter

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Email us at PSPodcast@sony.com!

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here


We may not be telepathic, but we think Psychonauts fans are going to like this week’s episode. Double Fine Productions’ Tim Schafer joins us for an insightful and entertaining chat about launch of the long-awaited Psychonauts 2.

Stuff We Talked About

  • Gamescom
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Sharks
  • Psychonauts 2 (Interview starts at 18:05)
  • Splitgate
  • What The Last of Us might smell like…

The Cast

Sid Shuman – Senior Director of Content Communications, SIE

Tim Turi –  Manager, Content Communications, SIE


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 E

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