Sony Nukes Microsoft at E3!

datePosted on 22:47, June 10th, 2013 by David

Sony took the stage at E3 and proceeded to nuke Microsoft right out of next-generation contention. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause as Jack Tretton revealed the PS4 has no restrictions on used games. No requirement to stay online. No spying. Trade them, give them away, sell them after you’re done – they’re your games, do what you like.

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  • $399
  • No Used Game restrictions.
  • No online requirement.
  • No lawyer needed to trade your games.
  • No spying and listening in your home.
  • PS+ required for online play.

Never Forget What Microsoft Tried To Do

In the next few months Microsoft will do an about-face and change their business strategy completely. Ignore them. Gamers must never forget their greedy selfish attempt to screw us with no consideration whatsoever for what the customer wants. Their arrogant attitude is: “All your friends are here, where else you going to go?” PS4, that’s where.

Soon we will hear insincere apologies beginning with “We heard you…” You must ignore everything these greedy bastards say and boycott the Xbox One. You see what they have planned and it is horrible. Make them pay. Don’t give them a single penny next generation.

Bioshock 2 with Xbox 360 Controller & JoyToKey v5

datePosted on 08:57, April 4th, 2013 by David

GameFly’s sale of Bioshock 1 & 2 for $4 is a great deal but some may be disappointed to learn Bioshock 2 on PC doesn’t support a gamepad. JoyToKey is here to help! It maps your joystick to any keyboard/mouse combination.

Here’s a post with settings for an older version of JoyToKey, but doesn’t work with the latest version 5, so I created one.

  1. Download JoyToKey
  2. Create a new file in the JoyToKey directory called bioshock2.cfg
  3. Copy the contents below into bioshock2.cfg
  4. Run JoyToKey as Administrator (Windows 7)

Hope this helps some folks. Expand this post to see the contents of the file. I’ll look into posting it somewhere soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Games Summary

datePosted on 15:18, January 2nd, 2012 by David

2011 was one of the best years in gaming. We had dozens of amazing new titles to choose from and even more outstanding older games hitting bargain prices giving gamers on a budget (that’s me) a way to take chances on titles you aren’t so sure about. If I had to choose one game that stood out from the rest, it would be “Dues Ex: Human Revolution.” I keep lists of all my books, movies and games experienced each year so here’s my games list and some brief thoughts on them:

2011 Games

Killzone 3 – 8.5/10

Love the overall look of the graphics. Love all the great sound effects, like the guns, ships, bots and background war sounds – some of the best sound effects of any game. Nice custom soundtrack as well. My favorite level is the one with the jetpacks. Also enjoyed the flying sentry bots since they are fun to shoot and rocket towards you and explode on impact when killed so you have to take cover. Dialog is laughably bad and voice acting isn’t much better. The presentation of the cut-scenes are outstanding, especially towards the end. More fun than K2 and craps all over the 1st one. Difficulty is a bit easy on the default setting compared to K2. Rented it from GameFly and ended up buying for the multiplayer so I definitely like it. Will probably replay again with the Move controller and sharpshooter.

Portal 2 – 9/10

Great puzzles. Fun story and lots of fun experiencing the history of Aperture. Enjoyed it even more than the first game. Co-op is fun and interesting.

Resistance 3 (8/10)

Due to R3 having an Online Pass I only rented it for a few days and that’s exactly the right amount of time. The lighting effects are probably my favorite feature since they are gorgeous as they stream through windows and dust and reflect off of everything around you. The shooting mechanics and weapon variety are also nice. Even though Insomniac Games is one of my favorite developers, this series always felt like something is missing. I tried the multiplayer beta and was also underwhelmed.

Child of Eden – 9/10 (360 w/controller)

Loved this game. It shows colorful psychedelic graphics synced with some nice techno. From there it’s like an on-rails shooter where everything you shoot contributes to the song. You earn bonus points for firing with the beat so that makes it a rhythm game. You really start grooving with it after a while. The best thing though is it’s actually challenging! l never played REZ and only played the demo for RezHD – the demo was cool but way too easy, so you basically must get your enjoyment from the music/ visuals. CoE is hard (after the 2nd level) so it’s a fun shooter, a fun rhythm game, with great music and art style. Also interesting is that each level makes a subtle philosophical point. Wanted it for the PS3 for its Move support but found it dirt cheap on ebay for the 360 digital version.

Batman: Arkham City – 9.5/10

What a fantastic game. There’s so much to do, and with many different paces to fit your mood. Great value since there’s soooo much optional content. Love the stealth gameplay, love the improved fighting mechanics. Absolutely love the new flying abilities and zip-line. Looking forward to starting New Game+.

Dues Ex: Human Revolution 9.5/10

Amazing story and fascinating portrayal of what might happen to society if human augmentations became widely available. The stealth gameplay is fantastic. Outstanding music and very unique graphical look. RPG elements are great and loved how you can choose from many styles of play to complete missions. Pretty much loved everything about it except the boss fights. Went back and tried the PS2 version and it’s interesting how similar they are, but gameplay is so much better in HR will probably never finish. Probably my favorite aspect is the way you experience a potential future and see for yourself how things might be – like a period movie. Probably my favorite 2011 game.

Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) 10/10

Blown away with how great and creative it is. You really don’t think a series this old can be so creative. The level variation is great, lots of hidden paths and stuff to find. Love how accessible it is to gamers of all skill levels. If you die a few times in a row you are offered a white ‘retard suit’ making you nearly invincible to all enemies. Outstanding game.

Nano Assault 3DS

Really shows off the 3D effects nicely. Fun shooter with nice techno beats. A little short and it screams out for the dual slider pad accessory. Loved the first two games on the DS and this one is great as well.

Uncharted 3 (9/10)

Another fantastic adventure with outstanding graphics and production quality. I liked U2 a little more but that’s probably since it was first and made some of U3 seem ‘been there and done that.’ The environments are amazing, enjoyed just looking around and exploring all the cities. Loved the pirate boat graveyard stealth section where the platforms are rocking in the water – one of the coolest sections in any game. Definitely prefer the ‘alternate control’ scheme but can’t really pinpoint the difference. Am slowly getting into the co-op and multiplayer.

 

Older Games I Finally Finished

Resistance: Fall of Man

Played Resistance 2 first, then came back for FoM. Kinda liked FoM better due to the weapon wheel – experimented more so the game had more variety because of it. Also liked the narration better. Both are decent. Loved the XR-003 Sapper gun (that fires the sphere proximity mines)… so fun!

Menerva’s Den -The single player DLC for Bioshock 2

Loved visiting the Bioshock world again. Lots of fun after getting over the initial shock of having to level up everything again. There’s a few new weapons, the laser gun is cool, gravity gun is alright. The story unfolds slowly and keeps your interest as it builds towards the finally. Ending is good but wished it was a little better. A nice farewell to a great game. The best single player DLC I’ve bought – well worth the $.

M.A.G. (9/10)

Wow! I received this game as part of a game swap mostly to see what the famous 256 simultaneous players in action. Never dreamed it would be so much fun! The 256 players works really well due to brilliant level design and a teared objective system. Will have more to say on this amazing game later.

GTA IV (9/10)

Have kind of a love/hate thing going on with GTA 4, open world games are not usually my favorite. I’m in awe of the living city they created and spent the first 9 hours just looking at everything and marveling at all the details. The story is amazing in the beginning but quickly turned into forgettable missions with no moral problems with murdering random people for any reason. Ending was good.

Hate how the character moves. Kind of slow, sluggish and also don’t like the way he turns corners. Found myself endlessly tapping the sprint button all the time for everything, which gets old. LOVE the new driving physics… probably my favorite part of the gameplay. Infernus is my fav car. Seems a big step down from SA in terms of mission variety though.

Normally I’d give it an 8 or 8.5 but for the amazing level of details and the incredible city, bumped it up to 9. I bought it at a midnight launch. Got bored and stopped playing for a couple of years. Finally finished it this year so am thrilled to finally cross it off the list.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

Wow.. what a terrific game. Played MGS4 first and now playing through the previous games in chronological order. MGS3′s story is clear and straightforward compared to 4. It’s fun seeing the characters you already know when they’re young. Ocelot is a fun compelling young gun and a lot more interesting than the Liquid Ocelot he becomes. EVA is pretty hot and so interesting she is Snake’s mom and Big Mama later. Even Johnny is fun to see as the grandfather of Johnny from MGS4. All the Boss battles are great and good buildup leading up to them. Outstanding game!

Half Life 2 – 8/10

Finally finished after starting it several years ago. Especially enjoyed the puzzle sections and a few others like the Ant Lions and Shoulder Missile battles. Overall though it could be streamlined. Something about the gameplay feels a little off. Things like getting stuck on doorway entries, climbing ladders, the animation is a little choppy, etc. – most likely due to it being a PC port. Also don’t like the many abrupt loading screens in the 360 version. Was expecting more from the story so hopefully Episode 1 & 2 will be more satisfying. Overall a solid game but newer action adventures easily surpass it.

Darksiders – (8.5/10)

This is one of those games I didn’t know much about and frankly always had it confused in my mind with ‘Dark Sector’ and ‘The Darkness’ for some reason – not any more though – far exceeded expectations! People say it’s a God of War or Legend of Zelda clone, and it is, but it also borrows heavily from about 5 other games – but works really well. Story is good and keeps getting better, great acting, nice graphics. Just needed a little more polish to make it a AAA. Publishers always complain they see nothing from second-hand game sales, but this is exactly why that’s not true since I never would have played it if it weren’t $10. Looking forward to Darksiders 2, a day-one purchase for me now.

Halo ODST – 8/10

A dark and solitary experience compared to the other versions. Great moody music with a jazzy saxophone and tribal drumbeats that match the action – completely changes the atmosphere of the game and is a nice change. Mostly takes place at night and is very dark with brightly colored neon objects which glow to provide ambient light. It’s often too dark to make out the surroundings so you need to enable Visor Mode which adds a bright outline to objects and makes enemies glow through the walls – much like Batman AA or Tron. Gameplay and story are nothing special. You spend a lot of time traversing the world byyourself. Definitely an unique take on the series.

 

Game I Replayed

Metal Gear Solid 4

Replayed Metal Gear Solid 4 for the 3rd time. Love just about everything about this game. Great story, fantastic cutscenes & fun gameplay. Am playing through MGS3 and was going to wait to play this again but just got caught up in it when I went back to check on a plot point. Love it!

Bioshock 1 & 2

After finishing ‘Menerva’s Den’ on the 360, went back and bought the PS3 versions as well. I love everything about both these games. It just feels amazing living in their worlds for a while – like eating comfort food, it just feels so right. I don’t replay games very often but will probably keep playing these for many years.

Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction

R&C is one of my favorite series of all time so when I saw this on the cheap, I snatched it up again and blazed right through. My main complaint is there’s no difficulty setting and it’s too easy compared to others in the series, so this time I didn’t purchase any armor upgrades to increase the difficulty. Makes the best use of the dualshock 3 motion controls of any game, IMO, and simply love gliding around the cities by tilting the controller. Frankly, that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to re-purchase it. ;)

 

Games I Didn’t Finish (yet)

Splinter Cell Conviction 8.5/10

Nice variation on some of the other Clancy shooters I’ve played like Vegas and Advanced Warfighter. The stealth is fun and challenging… love how the screen turns black & white to indicate you’re hidden. Nice blend of stealth and action. Cool presentation style and effective cover system.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (9/10)

This was my first C&C game and am absolutely loving it. You fight out the many missions starting with Russia, then the Allies, and finally the Japanese. Each unit has its own strengths and weaknesses and the weapons are crazy over-the-top and funny. Each unit also has a secondary attack so you get lots of variety. It’s a RTS so you start out learning to mine for Ore and building up your resources. From there you can build aircraft, ships, troops, tanks, and many other weird but cool things to help you win battles. Each unit has their particular strengths which are good at defeating different strategies your opponent throws at you.

The graphics are freakin’ awesome – they really add to the immersion and enjoyment while playing. They are so bright and colorful it’s some serious eye candy. The story and cut-scenes are also fantastic. This game knows it’s kind of cheesy and plays it up to the fullest yet the plot is interesting enough to keep you wanting to see what’s next. The woman are hot and they dress them appropriately for your entertainment – but still mom friendly. Features MMA fighters Randy Couture & Gina Carano, and actors Jenny McCarthy, J.K. Simmons, & Jonathan Pryce among others, including Lieutenant Sulu from Star Trek! An outstanding game I’ll be playing for many years.

Shinobi (3DS) 9/10

About 3/4 complete and so far it’s exactly what I wanted – a classic Shinobi in 3D! Was a little worried when all the reviews say it’s crazy hard, so I’m playing on easy and it’s probably just a little too easy. Game looks great, fun boss battles, nice scoring system.

Rayman Origins

Fantastic new platformer with great graphics, fantastic level designs and extremely fun multiplayer. My nephew and I are taking our time playing through this one together and are having an absolute blast!

RAGE (9/10)

Bought this on sort of a whim based on reviews saying how great the AI is, and am surprised how much I’m absolutely loving this game. First, the graphics are simultaneously some of the best and worst in any game! They’re bad due to the incredibly horrible texture pop-in that never goes away. It’s just amazing they could release it in this shoddy state – the worst I’ve ever seen (PS3 version). That being said, it’s easy to overlook since when they do finally pop-in, it’s one of the most gorgeous games you’ve ever seen. The lighting is amazing, the environments so detailed. The gameplay itself is absolutely fantastic. The way the enemies respond by reacting to where you shoot them; Shoot them in leg and the fall down, grabbing the leg you shot, then pick up their dropped weapon to return fire. They run off walls and actively dodge you and try to get better positions. The gameshow levels are ridiculous – this is way more fun than I ever expected.

Saints Row: The Third 9/10

My first Saints Row game and am enjoying it much more than GTA4 – though they are completely different style games since GTA is more serious and realistic. SR3rd is not realistic but fun, ridiculous and over the top humor.

LA Noir

Interesting and unique crime detective game where you solve crimes by finding clues and interrogating suspects. You gauge the suspects responses based on the evidence you’ve gathered and their facial expressions – which is highly touted as the most realistic ever created. As an old car buff, I also appreciate all the various models they recreated and reward you for finding.

Dream Trigger 3D (3DS)

Can’t seem to get into this one. Enemies don’t appear on the top screen until you click on spots on the lower screen and they pass through them AND a radar sweeps over those spots as well. Tried it several times but it just wasn’t doing anything for me. Wish they had an option to not have to click on the bottom screen. haha.

Alice: Madness Returns (8/10)

As a big platforming fan am really enjoying Madness Returns. The atmosphere and graphic effects are quite beautiful – that makes it a pleasure just seeing what crazy things they’ll come up with next. The enemy designs are creative and love finding the pig snouts that you locate by tracking down their snorting sounds. The platforming while fun is a little on the simple side and not very creative. The fighting mechanics are also only mediocre, so that’s why it doesn’t do as well. Overall am having fun with the game and the fact that it comes with the complete version of the previous Alice (DLC voucher) makes it a great bargain.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

As a big fan of the ‘Advanced Wars’ series on the DS, this game is a fantastic edition to your 3DS library. With dozens of challenging and varied missions, Shadow Wars give you many hours of thought provoking fun. The 3D looks great. The missions all let you choose your difficulty so you never get too frustrated on any one mission but can always come back to complete them later. You get more upgrade points the higher the level so it’s always a challenge. Also fun is selecting which team members to accompany you based on what skills they have.

Game I Didn’t Play and Why

Gears of War 3

I played in the multiplayer beta and had a great time so why not buy Gears 3? Only because I never finished Gears 2. It’s sort of a personal rule to at least finish the previous game (if I already own it) before buying the next one.

Skyrim

My friend actually lent me his copy since he won’t be able to play for a few months but I just can’t work up the nerve to pop it in the tray. I know it’s great and I know I’ll love it, it’s just there’s soooooo many games in my pile-o-shame that adding a 80+ hour game to the list seems ludicrous, and frankly scares me a little. When I’m bored of everything I have and am ready for a monster time-sink, Skyrim is waiting.

Battlefield 3

Because screw EA, that’s why.

Forza 4

Racing used to be my all-time favorite genre, but I guess I have to admit my tastes have changed. I know since I just haven’t put all that much time into Gran Turismo 5. I still like playing occasionally, but seeing as there’s still so much of GT5 I haven’t played yet, I can’t really justify buying Forza 4. Also contributing is my Xbox Live subscription expires well over a year ago and mostly play multiplayer games on the PS3 now since it’s free, so that’s probably a major factor on passing over these 360 exclusives. Good job Sony making PSN free!

Attention Publishers: Compete with GameStop Instead of Screwing Gamers

datePosted on 15:37, October 15th, 2011 by David

Listen up publishers: We get that you don’t like the used game market; That you blame GameStop for ‘stealing‘ your sales. However the way you’ve gone about remedying this – taking away features, restricting access, charging extra fees for the same content, basically punishing your own customers – is all wrong. Frankly, we’re tired of all your whining that somehow the gaming industry needs special protection that movies, music and all other industries don’t, and we’re definitely tired of getting screwed by your scheme-of-the-week. You are creating ill-will and harming the gaming industry and it must stop.

Competition is the Answer

What you need to do is compete with GameStop. The number one reason physical media is massively more popular than digital downloads is gamers can sell their old games and use the money to purchase new games. That’s why GameStop is so popular for used games — you bring them your old games and instantly convert them to new ones. If you wish to make a dent in this market then you must compete in it. Here’s how:

 

Buy Back Your Games

Offer trade-in programs for all your old games. Give gamers a 20% discount on “Batman Arkham City” when they trade in their used copy of “Batman Arkham Asylum.” Isn’t that a much better alternative than screwing everyone who buys “Batman Arkham City” instead? (For those who don’t know, Arkham City disables various single player sections on all used copies.) This way you remove the old copy from the market – thereby denying GameStop the sale in the first place.

Better still, add a used game buyback feature to all your games: Every game should include a BuyBack Menu option to to trade-in the game when you’re done with it for a voucher for discounts on future purchases; Fill in your address, click send, and a few days later a shipping envelope arrives (a-la Netflix) to send back your game. A few days after that, a voucher arrives. Even better for you is this keeps the money flowing back to your company instead of risking it going to the competition.

Sell Used Games

Let’s say your buyback program is working beautifully and you have a large inventory of used games. What to do with them now? Why not open a used game website? GameStop proved that used games are big business. Not only are gamers more likely to buy directly from the publisher but you can offer something that GameStop can never match: DLC. Why not offer some DLC content along with that used game purchase? You will significantly damage GameStop’s used game business overnight while simultaneously earning massive profits for your stockholders. The profits will surely dwarf the online-pass schemes you’re foisting on us now.

Include Previous Versions with New Games

Sill have a used game inventory? Offer the previous version of a game with all new game purchases (while supplies last). Buying a copy of “Gears of War 3?” Well here’s “Gears of War 2″ as a bonus. Now that’s a reason to buy new. Much better than “I’ll get screwed” if I buy used. Don’t you think?

Be Truthful About Your Motives

You claim the used market is harming publishers since they don’t receive any of the proceedings from used game sales. If that’s true then simply compete in the used market yourselves. If you were actually serious you would simply stop supplying GameStop with any new games until they stop selling used games — haha, we all know you’re far too greedy for that. The most likely explanation for why you don’t compete in the used game market is what you really want is to eradicate all used game sales completely and give nothing back in return.

What You Really Want Will Never Work

If you had your druthers, games would only work on one console, then become disabled forever more. Sorry Charlie, that’s not going to happen.

Sony wanted to try it with the PS3 before it launched and even baked the required technology into Blu-ray to make it happen – but later determined that strategy would essentially be their exit from the game market. They couldn’t let go of the idea and did try it with the PSP Go and the free market told them where they could stick it.

Used games have value. That value is not going to vanish because you don’t approve. Once you accept this fact, then we can all move on to a solution that’s a win-win for everyone.

Conclusion

Game publishers: You have many options available to compete in the used game market yourselves instead of just crying and screwing your customers. You have distinct advantages over GameStop since you own the DLC, you provide GameStop with new games, and have direct access to gamers since we play your games all the time. Use these advantage to profit from used game sales and stop screwing over your customers, creating ill-will, and harming the game industry.

Sony Alters the Deal:
Pray We Don’t Alter it Any Further!

datePosted on 23:47, September 17th, 2011 by David

Anyone attempting to go online with their PS3 after September 15th noticed they can not unless agreeing to Sony’s latest EULA conditions. The new terms prohibit individuals from joining any class action law suit against Sony for any reason, among others.

Sony has grown weary of their pesky customers suing them for negligence in protecting personal information, removing features with system updates, and installing root-kits on their PCs. Well no more!

Agree to the new terms or stop playing games online, and forget about any new games as well since they will require a system update that you won’t get unless you agree. Essentially: Agree to the new terms and pray we don’t alter them any further, is Sony’s attitude.

Sony claims the new conditions are “designed to benefit both the consumer and the company by ensuring that there is adequate time and procedures to resolve disputes.”

There may be a way, however, to opt out of the binding arbitration and the class action waiver by sending a letter to:

Attn: Legal Department/Arbitration
6080 Center Dr.
10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045

The letter must contain your name, address, PSN Acct#, and a clear statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with any Sony entity through arbitration. You must send this out within 30 days of agreeing to the latest EULA.

Wanted: Special Edition Avatar 3DS

datePosted on 15:26, August 1st, 2011 by David

It seems so obvious that a Special Edition Avatar 3DS would create one of the most desirable handheld combos in history, we assumed it would be a surprise announcement at launch – especially considering aqua-blue is one of the only two color options available. Movie lovers went crazy over James Cameron’s Avatar – many paying to see it 4 or 5 times just to marvel at the glorious 3D. What better way to showcase the world’s first 3D handheld than bundling it with the world’s greatest 3D movie? Show customers that 3D is no gimmick and the 3DS is the only affordable way to get it.

Price Drop

Nintendo didn’t make one, however, so we’ll never know how different launch sales might have been with a $250 Avatar Edition. Starting on August 11, the price of the 3DS drops to $169. An incredible savings for a four month old console. Sales of the 3DS are significantly lower than expectations and the 20-50% pay cut across Nintendo management confirms it. So how much will the price cut boost sales? At only $20 more than the DSi and full backwards compatibility, the 3DS becomes the one to buy for anyone in the market for a new DS. We’d also like to see 3DS game prices reduced to $30 – a $10 savings. Smartphones have lowered our expectations for handheld game prices so now is not the time for Nintendo to buck the trend. And besides, affordable games is one of the reasons DS games sold so well.

We would love a Special Edition Avatar 3DS so we can experience Avatar again in the palm of our hands in eye-popping 3D. Please make it Nintendo.

Donations Required by Honest Hacker

datePosted on 01:44, June 19th, 2011 by David

The term ‘hacker’ gets thrown around a lot these days to describe everything from breaking into corporate networks to steal data, to script kiddies running Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and even pirating software. However none of these represent real hackers at all. A true hacker is someone driven by intense curiosity to discover how things work and learning through experimentation without regard for money or fame.

SONY’s lawyer asked me why I’m doing what I’m doing, because of my hatred for SONY? He cannot understand why I’m doing it, because he is paid for what he does. I’m not. I don’t hold a grudge against SONY even now. Hatred clouds your mind, keeps you from more important things. I have a better use for my mind and knowledge.

Alexander Egorenkov is one such selfless hacker. His passion, his crime, is learning the internal workings of his own PS3. He shared this knowledge without hording the information, profiting or taking anything at all in return. He never broke into Sony’s network nor stole any information from them. Ironically it is Sony who convinced the police in Germany to physically break into his home to arrest him and confiscate his electronic belongings.

Alex now faces prison time due to not having enough money to properly defend himself from a mult-billion dollar corporation who aimed their legal sites at this kid. He doesn’t deserve it. Sony should flex their legal muscle by going after the pirates who steal their games and the crackers who broke into their network.

And to answer some of your questions and attacks, I do not do GameOS development nor PSN hacks, my goal is OtherOS and nothing else.

We all agree that the Anonymous hacking groups’ breaking into Sony’s network and shutting them down is not the right way to express your dissatisfaction. Fighting them legally is. To do so, he needs our help.

Nintendo Reveals the WiiU

datePosted on 14:58, June 7th, 2011 by David

Nintendo’s long awaited new HD console was announced today at E3 and is called the WiiU. The U standing for ‘You’ to emphasize that it’s more than just a party-game platform and good enough for playing single player AAA titles as well.

From what we’ve seen so far, the graphics look to be about on par with the 360 and PS3 with slightly better lighting and shading effects. The graphics and main processor specifications have yet to be released so we’ll have to wait to really know how it stacks up. However, the graphics look quite good considering it’s still in the pre-launch phase. Take a look for yourself:

The most innovative component by far is the new the touch-screen controller. It can be used as a stand-alone screen, as a second screen (much like the DS), or as an accessory for other controllers.

Unlike the DS screen, it’s not attached to the main screen so its purpose is more versatile. It also has motion controls, dual sticks, d-pad, traditional buttons, camera, microphone, and stereo speakers. It can do video conferencing, act as a web browser, and be used as a drawing pad. It can’t generate graphics on its own since it requires the WiiU for that, so it won’t function as an alternative portable console.

Much less is known about the WiiU itself. It is backwards compatible with Wii software and controllers. It’s capable of full 1080p output. It does not come with blu-ray but instead has its own proprietary high-density disks – the details of which are not revealed. It doesn’t have an internal hard-drive but is compatible with off-the-shelf USB 2.0 drives, so is easy to expand. The price will be around the same as the 360 and PS3.

Conclusion

So where does the WiiU fit into the current generation of consoles? It appears to be more or less roughly equivalent to the 360 and PS3. That makes it a late edition to the current generation of HD platforms. If you already own a 360 or PS3, its new controller will have to be enough to sway you into purchasing one. If all you own is a Wii- or no console at all- it might make sense to jump on board. It really comes down to how innovative the new controller will enhance the gameplay experience. My initial reaction, though, is that it will have a rough time competing. Though Nintendo has made me eat my words before!

Here’s the official specifications so far:

Launches: 2012

Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.

New Controller: The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.

Other Controls: Up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk controller, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Wii Balance Board.

Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.

Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.

Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.

Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.

CPU: IBM Power-based multi-core microprocessor.

Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.

Pricing: “The price point of the system will be competitive to the current prices of the PS3, 360 in terms of value” (GTTV interview with Reggie)

Games announced: Smash Brothers, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon Online, Darksiders II, Dirt, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Night, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3, FIFA 12, Madden 12, Driver, Lego City Stories

Other facts:

  • No BluRay Support (GTTV interview with Reggie)
  • Controller’s screen is single-touch (GTTV interview with Reggie)

While Sony Presented at E3, LulzSec Sneaked Off with the PSN Code

datePosted on 01:27, June 7th, 2011 by David

While Sony was presenting their E3 press conference, LulzSec was sneaking into Sony’s network and got away with the crown jewels: the source code for the PlayStation Network (PSN) or the Sony Developer Network (SDN).

LulzSec is one of the hacker groups who declared war on Sony in retaliation for Sony’s lawsuits against those attempting to restore OtherOS on the PS3.

LulzSec then published the source code in its entirety with their announcement posted on Twitter.

It’s not clear if the code is current or if new PSN code that Sony developed during the PSN outage is included. Hopefully LulzSec will get bored soon since Sony appears helpless to defend its most sensitive data.

E3 2011: Microsoft and Sony Conference Summaries

datePosted on 20:42, June 6th, 2011 by David

Microsoft started their press conference with a common trend running through their entire presentation…. seemingly to add Kinect to anything and everything they could possibly think of. Most of the Kinect demos were slow with delayed responses so it definitely got old fast. They presented lots of great looking games though like Halo 4, Tomb Raider,  & Mass Effect 3. Also announced a UFC partnership and some sort of live TV deal.

Sony stole the show though with their $249 price announcement for the NGP (now called Vita). They also showed a beautiful stable of games including StarHawk, Bioshock Infinite, Uncharted 3, and a new Sly Cooper.

Something both presentations shared were the stunning graphics and amazing production quality of the games. This generation of games are certainly coming into their own now. The next few years are the sweet spots for both the 360 and PS3. Let’s hope Nintendo’s announcement tomorrow doesn’t force them to go next-gen anytime soon.

Microsoft

There must be lots of folks clamoring for Kinect controls, however I’m definitely not one of them. They usually make the games look much worse so sorry if some of the following observations seem pessimistic.

Tomb Raider: Prequel to past titles – definitely before the free boob jobs were done. Fantastic looking graphics.

Mass Effect 3: Can’t wait for this amazing sequel. Voice recognition while interesting, seems pretty lame in this context.

Modern Warfare 3: Outstanding graphics and atmosphere. The demo was mostly cut-scenes without much gameplay, at least not any that you’d be excited to play.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier: Nice stealth gameplay. Four player co-op. Kinect has been shoehorned into this game to make everything worse it seems. Reminds me of the early days of Sony Motion Control where Sony forced developers to add motion to their games whether it made sense or not.

YouTube coming to Xbox Live.

Bing coming to Live for searching xbox content, still no browser.

Live Television: More details are needed but this is sure to increase Live subscriptions.

Order UFC PPV fights through Live. Live interactive voting. Looks like a terrific match for both companies.

Gears of War 3: Now with hockey goaltender mechs.

Ryse: Takes place in Rome. Incredible number of moving characters.. but Kinect controls zap out the excitement.

Halo Anniversary: Looks to be Halo 1 HD remake.

Fable The Journey: Great graphics.. looks like a rail shooter now. They put a lot of effort into the Kinect controls but still nothing I’d want to use.

Mindcraft: Coming soon to Live… Yeah! With Kinect… awww crap.

Virtual Disneyland: Sony should have made this for Home. Gameplay looks sooooooo bad.

Kinect Star Wars: Graphics look great. Kinect controls look horribly delayed and ridiculous. Ohhh no.

Once Upon a Monster: Looks like a great Kinect game for young kids by Sesame Street. Didn’t see any educational elements but if it has them, will be a blockbuster seller.

Kinect Fun Labs: Community based Kinect software portal. Nice idea… looking forward to seeing what develops. They need to never use that main speaker again and let him go back to his prison cell.

Halo 4: One of the few Sure Things in gaming. Am definitely looking forward to a true Halo 3 successor.

SONY

Jack Trenton begins with an apology for the PSN being out for over a month but strangely doesn’t apologize for all our personal data being compromised or waiting a week to inform anyone.

Uncharted 3: Game looks incredible. Nice underwater effects. More of the great gameplay we’ve come to expect from the series. Interesting partnership with Subway sandwiches for early access to the online multiplayer version.

Resistance 3: Offered with a Move bundle including the game, camera, move controller, navigation controller, plastic gun accessory all for $150 – a significant price drop.

StarHawk: They showed the first outer space gameplay footage, which looked great. My most anticipated title.

24″ 3D Monitor: $499. Comes with glasses and a game. Most interesting is the option for two players to see entirely different screens depending on which headset they use. Probably the cheapest 3D option available but still pricey for only 24 inches. Comparable monitors are around $250-300.

Also interesting was their announcement that they’ll be supporting other 3D TV’s besides only Sony’s – about freakin’ time.

NBA 2K11: Kobe Bryant struts on stage to demonstrate the new Move controls which are similar to PES on the Wii. Players direct action like a RTS game. Looks interesting.

Infamous 2: Demo is available now and it’s already fun as heck. Graphics are much improved.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: The long anticipated squeal to Sly 3 and the first Sly Cooper on current generation hardware. The first three are all stellar platformers.

Dust 514: Just what the world needs: another futuristic shooter – exclusive on the PS3. Looks decent enough from the demonstration.

Bioshock Infinite: Game looks amazing. Bioshock 1 & 2 are both outstanding titles so that makes this my second most anticipated titles yet to be released. PS3 version comes with Bioshock 1 on the bluray disk – a trend I hope to see lots more of.

Star Trek: Graphics look similar to Mass Effect 2. To be released in 2012.

PlayStation Vita: The NGP has an official name: Vita. $249 for wifi version, $299 for 3G!!! By far the most significant announcement of the show so far. This is exactly the price we all hoped it would be. Sony is now ready to completely dominate the handheld market this generation. Hip hip, hooray!

Love how the crowd booed and groaned when AT&T was announced as the official carrier – the worst cellphone company in the US. The Vita is the first portable console by a major company to have dual sticks and I couldn’t be any more excited. Day 1 purchase for me.

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