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ESA: 54% of illegal file swapping comes from Brazil, China, France, Italy and Spain

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 20:23 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The ESA has named Brazil, China, France, Italy and Spain as the five countries with “extraordinarily high” levels of online game piracy.

The findings were revealed in a “Special 301″ report filed with the U.S. Trade Representative by the International Intellectual Property Alliance – a government body tasked with combating worldwide copyright infringement, reports Gamasutra.

The ESA, which is a member of this organization, issued a watch list consisting of 33 countries which it feels are not doing enough to quell issues of copyright infringement, with the aforementioned countries considered the worst offenders with 54 percent share of the peer-to-peer sector.

Those involved in the report, cited over 144 million connections in unauthorized game sharing, with the top five countries accounting for 78 million sources of P2P sharing – a number which is fives times that of the US.

“Our industry continues to grow in the U.S., but epidemic levels of online piracy stunt sales and growth in a number of countries, including Italy, China, Spain, Brazil and France, where we see crushing volumes of infringing peer-to-peer activity involving leading game titles,” says ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher who said flashcarts are still readily available despite recent laws against them.

The IIPA and ESA recommends that the USTR impose trade sanctions on offending countries after a set investigation period and add Spain to the “Priority Watch List” due to its seemingly relaxed policies on the issue of piracy.

It was recommended that Brazil remain on the regular Watch List, along with Italy, while China and Canada will continue to remain on the Priority List.

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18 Comments

  1. Roberto Guedes

    Hello, there.

    I’m brazilian and I founded with some friends last September an indie developer called “Give me Five”.

    As you may know be tired to know, all this thing about piracy here is true.

    But we think that it is about to change because of two things: “Jogo Justo” (Fair Game, in english) and ACI Games (Commercial and Industrial Association of Games), this last one founded by the creators of Jogo Justo. It does the same thing as ESA in the american games market.

    And Jogo Justo, which after turned out to be ACI Games, was created to formalize our games market (which simply didn’t exist before) and transfer the games taxes from “gamble games” (yeah, that’s why the prices are so high) to “software”, which was always supposed to be. With fair prices, we think that our market should finally rise.

    There are some evidences to that. There was days organized with the Jogo Justo’s team and the retailers to reduce the prices. I remember that slogan being “Take the game for free, pay just the taxes”. The titles were out of stock in less than one hour. And, of course, there is the success of StarCraft II (PC games already are on the “software” category).

    ESA and ACI Games are already communicating with each other, so I hope that some changes are coming soon. Those days of a game being banned with no good reason will be over, as well as the piracy subject, which I think that nobody here can take it anymore.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Proof that the only thing Italians pay for is their politicians?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. xino

    well obvious because those areas are poor and cannot afford to pay £40 full price for a game.
    I’m surprise the middle east was not mentioned as well.

    Publishers are just greedy man! 1million mark is enough for them but they still want more! Worst yet they’ve increased the prices of games and still expect people to pay their monthly gaming bill in order to reach 1 million mark. Atrocious they are introducing this online pass….are they out of their farking minds?

    It’s good that those countries above are pirating the sh* out of their games.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Roberto Guedes

    @3 No, not really, at least here. With fair taxes, a launch game should cost R$99,90, (US$60, £45). Right now, it goes from R$ 170 (Microsoft games) to R$ 250.

    And there aren’t many publishers here. Blizzard is here, as well as Sony, Microsoft and Warner (that also publishes EA games). But, besides those, NC Games and ZAP Games does the rest for the others.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Superfrog

    I’m surprised that Germany isn’t on the list. Video game piracy is VERY common around here since the C64 and Amiga days. People usually shake their heads in disbelief when you tell them that you actually BUY games (this also applies to movies, music and any kind of PC software for private use, of course). *sigh*

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Callum

    Proof that most people in the UK are too retarded to work torrents.

    I of course have never illegally downloaded anything…. I would genuinely feel sick and not be able to sleep until I wrote a letter of apology. I once stole a sweet from Woolworths…I didn’t eat it, I felt so bad I gave it to my dog instead. I wrote them a letter saying sorry, and they sent me a box of Maltesers.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Hunam

    The thing with the UK is that games are cheap here now. There isn’t much need to pirate games because they become affordable fast.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Gurdil

    Well, you gotta note that, in France, a game costs 70 euros (£60), which is quite expensive IMO. That’s why I buy my games in the UK. But seeing how easy it is to get a game for free via megaupload, torrents or whatever, I’m not surprised so many people get them! And the question remains, as for movies, would people who use piracy have bought the game if they couldn’t download it? Not sure. I think most people get illegal stuff just to see what they wouldn’t have bought anyway. It doesn’t make it less illegal of course but I can understand curiosity.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. back_up

    piracy is in the blood of PC gamers
    but figures are fake
    100% of illegal file swapping comes from world is the fact

    #9 4 years ago
  10. aleph31

    Well, I’m from Spain, and even though I’ve never pirated any console game (I pirated some PC games long, long ago during the 90′s), I understand prices here are too expensive.

    In Spain an XBox game costs around 70€, and prices don’t go down after a minimum of 6 months or even 1 year since the game was released, i.e., a much lower pace than in other countries (for instance, Vanquish and Enslaved are both 70€ in this moment).

    Comparing the Spanish vs. UK GDP per capita, if UK followed the same rules than in Spain, an XBox game would cost there £70, and after 6 months, again £70… I presume that’s not the way to go if you want to erradicate piracy from lower-income countries.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Robo_1

    @1 Thanks for a good summary of the situation in Brazil, I do hope it gets better for you and the other devs out there.

    I do think publishers need to price their products according to the market they’re selling in. There’s no excuse in countries like France, which has a relatively healthy economy (but seemingly a high proportion of leeches), but in poorer countries like Brazil and China, they need to meet the consumer half way, and charge a price for software appropriate to the average persons income.

    I suppose they’d also need to introduce region locking to the software then, but it just seems insane to try and sell a new game for €70 (or equivalent amount) in countries where that can be a big chunk of an average persons monthly wage. There are, better, easier and more effective ways of combating piracy than building another DRM system.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Gurdil

    @11 Don’t mean to be rude but your argument about French people having a healthy economy is ridiculous. A good economy doesn’t mean all people are rich… For most people, 70 euros is very expensive. Even I find it expensive and have to turn to UK websites while I’m middle-class. I guess it’s ok for people who don’t play a lot to pay this amount once in a while but for “real” gamers it’s a pain in the ass.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Robo_1

    No it doesn’t mean people are rich, but it does mean that luxury items like games are priced accordingly. I order all my stuff from the UK too, so I’m not saying people should just accept the 70 euro price tag blind.

    €70 is the high end though. Most games in Belgium sell new for €55 – €60 euros and I find that a fair price for the amount of entertainment I get from games.

    Whether it makes good business sense is another question entirely of course, but given how quickly games fall in price these days, and how extensive the second hand market is, there are cheaper options available for those who don’t wish to pay full price, so yes, in developed economies like France, I don’t think there’s any excuse for rampant piracy, certainly not when measured against places like Brazil.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Gurdil

    @13 I’m with you on that, I didn’t try and stand up for piracy. Just saying new games are too expensive IMO and it could be a good idea for France to follow other countries’ lead (either cut new games prices and/or make those prices fall faster). I think we’re slowly getting to the same situation as music knows except it would REALLY be a problem for the game industry.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Neolucifer

    Hell the continental parts of France got it “easy” , try living in their Carribean island and french guyana . Every consoles cost 100 more euros at least , and games are usually at 85-90 euros .

    When it comes to Online , if the game are region restricted , wich still happens every once in a while (and for every mmos) , we are screwed , being forced to play on euro server while being located near America .

    We dont have access to most PSN and XBL movies , music , and comics services , being flagged as not part of France , nor part of anywhere else , while still being fed PAL access and games .

    Yet most of those places dont have that many pirates , most “hapilly” buy their games , and the most disgrunted ones like myself , simply import the cheaper us games .

    So no bottom line , and finally to the point , i dont see 70 euros the game as a valid excuse .

    #15 4 years ago
  16. aleph31

    In any case, as far as for Spain goes, I see a clear picture:

    – Our population is whealthy enough to buy the hardware (you can easily spend 300€ per year on a console or new graphics card)

    – Our population is not whealthy enough to buy the software they are willing to buy (2 or even 3 games per month on average, which amouts to 140€ – 210€ per month)

    – We are sick of seeing other countries with prices that are half the price we have here, also we suffer from some kind of “normalization”, so every game costs the same no matter whether it’s an AAA title or not. And as a plus, prices drop here only after the game is not just old, but a reliq.

    I wonder what would happen in UK if every retail shop offered every game at £70.

    Of course I’m against piracy, but some type of equity policy must be implemented if you want everybody to be fair play; otherwise, the percentage of rogues will rise, as it is happening now.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. TheWulf

    Glad to see that there was only one openly racist comment here, though ideally that would’ve been none.

    That said, I can certainly understand that people might be struggling, financially, as I’ve been there. You spend your money as best you can, which is all that anyone could do, and when you find a game you like, you’ll likely shell out for it anyway out of the desire to support the developer.

    What gets to me is how much of the industry today encourages piracy.

    Example #1: Sony bans those who just want Other OS back on their system but are otherwise legitimate customers. As good as to say that they don’t want your money.

    Example #2: Nintendo has tried releasing firmware updates that block cards, otherwise you can’t access their store. Another way to say that they don’t want your money. (This one has bugged me, since I have a card and I use it for ScummVM. I like point & click adventure games, and they play well on the DS.)

    Example #3: Publishers aren’t putting out PC demos. At a time when console ports are so horribly optimised that even a quad core can’t pull more than 20FPS out of them, we need demos to ensure that things will work on our respective computers. Piracy is used in the place of demos.

    Example #4: Publishers price things way out of the league of someone’s ability to pay. This is helped with the likes of Steam sales (I’ll always respect you, Valve), but not everyone has a PC, so not everyone can take advantage of those.

    I could sit here and continue to do this.

    All of this acts contrary to making games saleable.

    They say with their lawyers that they don’t want people to pirate, and yet corporations say with their business ethics and choices that they do want people to pirate. To the point where they’re almost begging people to do so.

    I can understand GeoHot’s rap about not understanding corporations, because quite frankly, I certainly don’t either. Do you?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. TheWulf

    (And I will note that I own all the games I play with ScummVM. Hell, my CD for Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis recently gave up the ghost, so I picked it up on Steam to gain access to those files.)

    #18 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]