PS4, Sony’s way back to the top ? or is the Xbox One the way to go ?

22 06 2013

So, the PS3 wasn’t exactly a flop, but Sony certainly did not win the last generation of console wars. Previously the Playstation 2 and Playstation One had a big lead over most of their competitors with the PS2 being  a stable in most households.

PS4 vs Xbox One composite

The Playstation 4 is looking to regain the console crown, and when first released, was hyped as doing just that. With Microsofts stance on DRM ( Digital Rights Management ) Sony was flying in front in terms of pre-orders, but now that Microsoft has had a complete re-think in terms of DRM, will this hamper the PS4?

PlayStation 4 Dual Shock 4 controller

The answer is undoubtably yes, not a lot of people would pay extra money for the Xbox which retails more than the PS4, for a device they can not swap games with friends on, or trade in etc. But now with the massive stance change, a lot of people will be staying with their beloved Xbox.

This site gives a great comparison in terms of specs

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6972/xbox-one-hardware-compared-to-playstation-4

The specs are very close, with both devices running 1.8 GHz of processing power, but the PS4 does have a distinct advantage in terms of having 50% more CU’s(Compute Units) than the Xbox One meaning again the PS4 may have its head in front in the Graphics war, which to be fair it mostly always has had ..

Xbox-One-official-4-

Now, I’ve went from N64 to PS2 to Wii to PS3 to Xbox 360, so to be fair.. I’ve experienced a few different consoles, and to say I have a preference is null and void. I’ll be choosing my next console on a couple of different factors, Price, sheer power, and the quality of the games it will possess. The games for the PS3 were great, mines just reached the end of its lifespan, and the individual games for Xbox were also great .. but which one will have the next stand out ?

The Xbox has already shown games off like Metal Gear Solid, and Forza, with the PS4 showcasing The Order and Infamous amongst many others.

Both devices look like massive improvements on the current in terms of game performance, which ultimately is what most gamers are looking for. The additional features are features to seal the deal, but ask most gamers what they would prefer, great extra features or a good solid device and you will likely only get one answer.

My money isn’t down on any of the Devices yet, when Microsoft retracted the DRM policy to allow traded games etc, my money quickly came off of the PS4, and I shall await further revelations in the console battle !





No more games for Wii U says EA

23 05 2013

So, as the heat of the biggest console war of the last 10 years heats up ! The flame is slowly put out on the hopes of Nintendo.

The Wii U was never really built up by many gamers, but Nintendo placed a lot of hope of it saving there position in the console world, but instead.. has more or less sealed the end and saw them again receive the wooden spoon with Nintendo being about .5 million consoles behind where they had forecast to be by this point.

EA have announced that they will be making no new titles for the Wii U. Although this only 1 game maker, it is a pretty substantial blow for Nintendo. EA have made games like Need for Speed and Mass Effect for the Wii U, and many will be disappointed to see the company pull out of the console altogether !





Microsoft 3D Projected Games !

13 09 2012

According to numerous news sites, Microsoft have applied for a patent for a 3D Projected Gaming System.

The above image gives an idea of what this basically means. The images for the game would be projected around the room completely immersing you in the gaming experience. This, looks like a great idea but if you own a kinect or a Wii, you will know that your playing space has to be more or less clear for this to work without everything in your room being broken ! I’ve found this out the hard way in breaking numerous lampshades and bulbs over time.

The technology is also expected to track the players head position, this will allow the correct images to be shown for the correct perspective, as well as altering the images to compensate for coloured walls and objects in the room.

This is some seriously cool tech, it could be the future of gaming, but similar articles have also analysed Sony’s next gen gaming ideas. These are going down a completely different avenue and involve using a virtual reality headset. The headset would obviously remove the limitations of room space, but may not provide as realistic of a virtual reality feel as Microsofts efforts.

This is an area which is expected to be focused on over the next few years. Microsoft and Sony are expected to launch new Consoles in 2013 and its more than likely that after these we may start to see gaming moving in a different direction, if not a slightly different direction already with very limited information being leaked on the 2013 consoles so far.

This, with limited information so far ! Is obviously a very short post, I’d like to take this opportunity to get some views on what you would like to see covered ! I’m open to all suggestions and want to make this blog as interesting as it can be whilst also being useful at the same time.

Thanks !

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Wii U Preview

30 07 2012

Ok, with the announcement having been made over a year ago.. we are slowly creeping into the release date for the Wii U, anticipated for the 4th Quarter of 2012.

The Wii U is the newer version of the Wii as you might have guessed. The console will be backwards compatible with Wii games, and is trying to create another entirely new form of gaming, just as the Wii did on its release date.

The biggest talking point, is shown in the image above, the Wii U GamePad. This has a screen on the front and allows you to view the entire game on this screen, or supplementary information such as maps, just like the bottom screen on a DS and also acts as a touchscreen. The interesting thing is that this can be used with, or without a TV.. The first mainstream console that could also double up as a handheld. The GamePad also has a front facing camera, a built in accelerometer and Near Field Communication (NFC) built in. This, like many smartphones means that you will be able to make payments using the Wii U and also use this with interactive figurines within a game.

 

As well as the GamePad the Wii U will also have the option of a more mainstream Wii U Pro Controller, which is an attempt by Nintendo to attract more console gamers away from the Xbox and Playstation and bring them to the Wii. Nintendo are also attempting to make porting of games to the Wii U far more easy and streamlined meaning that some of our other console favourites could be making their way to this device. This could be a massive benefit in my eyes as when I had my Wii, it was more of a child friendly gaming device that occasionally was a good laugh at parties.. but I would never sit down for hours on end and play like I would an Xbox or Playstation.

It will be good news to existing Wii owners that all peripherals such as the Nunchuk and Wii Balance board are all thought to be compatible with the Wii U.

The following games have been confirmed for the Wii U:
Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3, Wii Fit U, Wii U Panorama  View, SiNG, LEGO City: Undercover, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Aliens:  Colonial Marines, NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge, Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed  III, Batman Arkham City Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3, Rayman Legends,  Scribblenauts Unlimited, TANK! TANK! TANK! , Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and  ZombiU.

It will be interesting to see how it performs at its release date. The Wii did well, but like the DS, it flourished to an unusually high level at Christmas. This is a time console sales usually shoot through the roof but even taking this into account, Wii’s have been like golddust for the past few years at Christmas with stores selling out for weeks and possibly months on end.

The Wii U is thought to be arriving shortly, and with rumoured prices of upwards of £200, equivalent to 2 Ouya’s it might be an easy choice for some, but a tough sell for most.





Netflix , How to get USA when not in USA !! PC XBox PS3 PS Vita IOS Android

26 07 2012

Having been a member of LoveFilm as opposed to Netflix for a while, this hasn’t been an issue I’ve really came across, but on checking UK Netflix compared to the US, the differences are vast !
The US has a lot more choice, as well as a lot newer programmes than most other services making it an easy choice for such a simple fix. This will also work for other countires such as Canada, as long as the user has a valid Netflix account.

When you register for a Netflix account, you don’t register for a UK account, a US account or any other account.. You register for a universal account, this is why the fix is so easy.
The Netflix website uses your IP address to locate you, then with this information the correct website is displayed for you.

PC
Using a VPN ( virtual private network ) you can easily get access to whatever service you like.
While you are connected to this VPN you take advantage of its IP so if its based in New York, Netflix thinks you are in New York, hence displaying the US Site as opposed to where you really are. The service I use is Spotflux, there are numerous different services you can use to take advantage of different VPN’s but I found this one was pretty simple and is free to use and download at
http://launch.spotflux.com/

Once this is downloaded, you merely open it up and click enable. This will then make your browser connect to the VPN ( this may slow your connection considerably ) Once this is complete go to the Netflix site, sign in and search for your film/show, you will notice there are now more options on many TV Series as well as lots more films.. Taking Breaking Bad for instance, the UK site has up to, and including Season 3 whilst the US has the entirity of Season 4 included on top of this.

From my experience a tip I would give is that once you had chosen what you wanted to watch, once the streaming starts disable Spotflux, this means that your browser will revert back to your normal internet connection and will help the speed and quality of the streaming. Spotflux is a free service, a lot of VPN’s require monthly subscriptions or joining fees. This, may put a lot of sceptics off, thinking it must be free for a reason but it has a lot of positive write ups. As well as giving this benefit for Netflix, it also blocks pop-ups and ads, as well as constantly scanning for Viruses and malware, whilst keeping your IP address secure.

Consoles, XBox, PS3, etc.
For Xbox, PS3 etc ,  if you change your network settings so that your Primary DNS is set to 208.122.23.22 and the Secondary DNS is set to 208.122.23.23 you can access all of Netflix USA’s content. You don’t have to change any router settings, the changes should be made on the console itself. This is useful when using it to watch Netflix, but for gaming id recommend reverting your settings back as this will put you into US servers for games like COD, FIFA, Battlefield etc.

Apple IOS & Android Devices
There are a lot of Apps on these devices that make this really easy, as well as a manual option to input details of a VPN. If you have signed up to a VPN service you can input the details at this point to join your VPN, or as I said, use an App. A lot of the VPN’s are constantly changing at this point so its probably best to google a currently working VPN for the US for IOS and Android devices as these are prone to shutting down with them working great some days and not others.

I hope I’ve helped get a little more for your money if your outside the US !! Feel free to comment on any current Usable US VPN’s as you find them!





Playstation , Xbox , Nintendo .. Now Ouya !!

18 07 2012

Ohhhhh yaaaaaaaaah! No, not a Randy Savage wannabe but a new console completely !

With the introduction of the Internet and then Social media, the preverbial rumour mill is on full speed constantly, new games, new apps, new this, new that. Ouya started out and has been making the rounds mostly thought of as a rumour, but has since been confirmed as official.

Streaming games has become largely more popular recently with devices such as Onlive and Gaikai, but in my opinion still hasn’t made it completely main stream as of yet.

The Ouya is going to come in at $99 and via http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console you can donate to the project starting from as little as $10 to $10,000. These clearly range in what you get, with $10 reserving your Username for the service and $10,000 getting you an invite to the launch, a console and clearly a massive handshake from the developers ! The aim as you can see was to raise just under $1million. As 5 times this has been raised, it hopefully shouldn’t be too long away.

The first of these donation packages to include the actual device is $99 with additional shipping costs outside the US and additional costs for an extra controller etc as you would expect.

The device is made to be open running Android 4.0, meaning that Ouya effectively welcomes hackers with your warranty still being valid even after hacking. This means that games can be tweaked and made from scratch as well as the actual box its self giving budding developers a chance to show their stuff. All of the screws on the device are normal ordinary run of the mill screws giving easy access to mod till your hearts content with new peripherals and accessories possible with the help of your screwdriver!

The specs are thought to be pretty impressive also boasting a Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage initially, with the obvious choice of changing and altering these due to its open source nature.

One of the best points of this new device is that at least some of every single game developed for it must be free.
Whether this means getting a free demo or getting an entirely free game with additional paid content available is completely up to the developer but should hopefully be a lot easier on the pocket than £40/£50 per game with £200/300 consoles.

For $99, it seems a bit of a bargain thus far. I’m in the UK so I’d have to pay $119 ( £75 roughly). For that sort of money its surely worth an investment, considering its difficult to even get some pre-owned consoles for a similar price, still paying £40 a game.

The estimated delivery of the devices is March 2013, 9 months till hopefully a  new world of gaming begins !!





Nintendo 3DS, Success or Flop?

3 07 2012

Since Handheld gaming became a bit hit the devices have sold in the millions, mainly the gameboy range, and later the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP range.

Recently we have seen new devices from Nintendo as well as Sony but have they been as big as the manufacturers would have hoped ?

The Nintendo 3DS has been released for over a year now, at the time of its launch it boasted technology that it thought would change the way we game, and the way all of our screens worked as we move deeper and deeper into a 3D civilisation.

The 3DS screen works in an interesting and technical way which i shaln’t bore you with explaining in its entirity but this picture explains it pretty well ! Basically in a normal 3D film, the screen is polarised and one eye sees one picture whilst the other sees a different one, your brain then puts these together to get a composite 3D image, in the 3DS a parallax barrier controls the way the light leaves the LCD display, meaning different images reach different eyes.

This was seen to be the way 3D would evolve at the time but as of yet, we have still to see another application of this technology being used as effectively as we would have thought.

Worldwide the 3DS has sold over 17 million units, the GameBoy and GameBoy colour Nintendo released sold over 115 million units, so as you can see.. the 3DS is more like a drop in the pond in relation to figures in comparison with its older brother.

Even though the 3DS hasnt brought home the numbers it maybe should have done, it does still make a great device to own for mobile gaming. Whilst the PSP is more of a console gaming miniature, the DS does not attempt to be this at all, the style of gaming is completely different and unique in its own way and has brought many generations of gamers to games who may have never have considered it before, with the popularity of brain training and puzzle type games by far the most popular sellers.

These devices have also became more versatile with wireless connectivity to the internet with inbuilt browsers and stores for downloadable content including music and video, it seems as though this is an attempt by Nintendo to through as many features into the device as possible to maximise sales but sadly it hasnt done so.

I own a device, and was unfortunate enough to pay launch price before it dropped by £100 ! So obviously im a fan, but i believe this device could be far more popular than it currently is, especially with the current price it is going for with new devices being sold for £135, or even cheaper on the pre-owned market with a typical new package price including a best selling game £155.

A luxury i admit ! Especially with the gaming capacity of most smartphones and tablet pc’s, but a luxury worth having as far as im concerned !








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