Posts Tagged ‘generation’

E3 2016 – My Highlights (Xbox)

July 2, 2016

Well another E3 has passed, people have been wetting themselves with excitement.  Amongst all of the hype and bling here are the few things I’ve taken away from the event focusing on the Xbox presentation:

Battlefield 1 is looking better and better with each trailer, this is one game on my definite buy list for the year.  I am hoping this may be the year BF kills Call of Duty which has grown more stale and less fun each year since it’s glory days.bf1

Titanfall 2 – This looks awesome and with free DLC maps this is sure to be a hit.

Dead Rising 4 is coming, I liked the original but this probably won’t be a purchase for me.

Forza Horizon 3 – This looks amazing, another game I would like to purchase.  I just hope the music soundtrack falls more in line with FH1 than 2 as  that was a great soundtrack.

ID@Xbox – Always like to see what comes from here but there is a lot of crap to  sort through to find the gems.  However ‘We Happy Few’ really has taken my interest, this game looks very creepy but exciting.

xbox-one-sXbox One S – Don’t get me wrong, this looks great and I love the fact the size has been reduced and the power pack is in built.  I however have very little interest in 4K TV at the moment so it’s not for me, although I do know many people foaming at the mouth in anticipation of it’s release.

Project Scorpio – This was the big news for me, what is going to be the next generation of Xbox console for Microsoft and boy have they made it powerful.  They clearly stated it would not be the death of the Xbox One but Iscorpio-2 assume it will be purely backwards compatible with games as opposed to being able to play Xbox one players with better graphics.  The cost is an unknown at this stage and also it makes me wonder if this will just push Sony to delay their next console until the can make it better, however history has shown (as with the Xbox 360) that first out of the gate can gain a massive market advantage, so here’s hoping.

 

 

 

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Microsoft and the Xbox One – The War Isn’t Over Yet

August 27, 2013

blogLet me start this blog by making it clear that no matter how hard I try this blog will be a little biased as I am undeniably a bit of a Xbox fanboy.  However give me some credit as I have owned a PS1 & 2 and I am also trying my best to stay unbiased.

So over the last few months I have driven my wife, my friends and work colleagues mad with my thoughts on the next gen consoles.

Just a month ago I would have stated that I was well and truely now in the Playstation camp, almost certain I was going to pre order a PS4.  However a month on and that has all changed (yet again).

After the initial Xbox One launch I like many others thought this is ridiculous, how can they not allow indie games, or the sale of preowned games etc.  I also was strongly swayed by the number of friends (real life) who have always been and have stated will still be Playstation.

I had to agree with them, after the initial Xbox One launch, some of the messages coming from Microsoft HQ and the followiing comi-con annoucnments there wasn’t a lot to be excited about.  Microsoft also had made themselves look like money hungry fat cats.

In hindsight I can’t actually remember why I was drawn to the Playstation other than more of my friends would be on it and that it was much cheaper.  I am not a fan of the controller and the exclusives that appeal to me are few and far between.  Many of the Playstaion exclusives are often Anime/Japanese style games which do not appeal to me.

However in the last couple of weeks, particularly after gamescom in Germany I have started to swing my allegiance back towards the Xbox (all be it not fully).  My reasons for this change of heart are due to a number of reasons which I list below:
ps4-rhombox-cropped

The extra £80 on the Xbox is really caused by the inclusion of Kinect, whilst not a huge fan, I did like some of the functions of the v1 Kinect and so wouldn’t mind it being made a staple part of the Xbox, thus making it more worth while for developers to include Kinect functionality in their games.  I have since read on various websites that the PS4 would benefit from the use of their own camera for many functions and this itself would cost currently £50.  Firstly this would bring the cost of the PS4 within just £30 of the Xbox but without the full backing of developers as it is not necessarily going to be on every machine their game is played on.

Now mainly due to my friends all being Playstation fanboys I was desperately trying to find reasons to be excited by the PS4, however I could only find a few items (even on the Official Playstation magazine website) that even warranted a second look.  According to many sources (however yet to be proven) the PS4 is supposedly more powerful, Microsoft have tried to blind people with jargon to argue this case but nothing is yet concrete proof.  Microsoft say that their 500,000 server data centre will compensate for this slightly lower power, but surely this is dependent upon your internet connection?

They also state that the PS4 will be much faster than the PS3 for multi-functioning as they have allocated a large percentage of the RAM to background processing thus making friends list access quick amongst other things.  This however when judged against what is commonly reported as a very slow background processing PS3, which many claim is why the 360 won the current gen war makes you have hesitation about any real excitement by this announcement.

So the reasons for my swing back to Xbox has been caused by the following factors:microsoft-xbox-one

The launch game exclusives on Xbox One have taken my interest much more, perhaps it is because they are more western developed games but games such as Forza, the exclusives for FIFA and Battlefield all have taken my interest.

Microsoft seems to be listening to feedback and have quickly U-turned on many of their original decisions, this makes me think of Microsoft no longer as a corporate fat cat (which I know they are) but of a company that actually listens to the fans.  They have always seemed to listen to feedback and have kept their Gold service running very smoothly over the years I have owned a 360.  This would appear to be continuing into the next gen with the massive data centre investment and all of the new functionality to be available at launch.

I am however, contrary to popular belief no fool, and will not take any reports as concrete evidence at this stage.  I am going to, as hard as it is, wait until both consoles have launched and wait for the consumer/independent reviewer feedback.

Until the consoles are both in the hands of the gamers we cannot be sure of anything, only time will tell.

Shifting to The Dark Side – Why I am ‘Currently’ Leaving Xbox for the PS4.

July 9, 2013

playstation-4-release-dateWell the E3 news and rumours has now died down and it is time to reflect on all of the news that came out from it, particularly relating to the next generation of consoles.

As I have previously posted I was finding it difficult to decide which next generation console I thought I would be going with but I believe I have finally made a decision, although I am still keeping a toe in the Xbox pool.

Many of my reasons could be applied to a PS gamer looking to switch to Xbox but there are also a few other factors that have swung my decision and I list them below:

1.  The most powerful reason of all is my friends.  I have many more current gen Playstation friends and there has always been the usual banter between the different console owners.  However it seems that all of them will be staying with Playstation plus some other Xbox friends along with me are making the switch.  More friends means more chances of having games with people I actually know in real life.

2.  The rumours are that the Playstation is actually more powerful than the Xbox.ps4-rhombox-cropped

3.  Whilst the Xbox is supported by a powerhouse of servers which apparently will compensate for the lack of power, these servers will only ever be as good as your internet connection, therefore whilst these servers were keeping me interested in the Xbox, they have now lost their pulling power to me.

4.  I have no interest in the entertainment aspect of Xbox, I do like the current gen Kinect and the ability to use voice commands but that is really not enough to swing a buying decision.

5.  The Playstation is cheaper, no more no less.  If the Xbox turns out to be better and more expensive they may win back some fans but I suspect it is more likely to be a level playing field and therefore the price does matter.

6.  I do not know much about Playstation exclusive games, and I have to say the Xbox launch line up is the only thing niggling at the back of my mind.  The Xbox launch exclusives so far look amazing, and I have read little on the Playstation ones, however if the “Last of Us” is anything to go by, then there should be no concerns on this front in the near future.

7.  Whilst I have to admit, I prefer the Xbox controller, reports indicate the Playstation controller is larger and therefore hopefully won’t mean a re-occurrence of my old PS2 left thumbs strain, but only time will tell on that one.

8.  Whilst this could be applied to Ps3 owners, I do find the lack of backward compatibility for old hardware very frustrating, whilst I am not bothered about game backward compatibility, the hardware is a major outlay and therefore it is frustrating to find none of it will be compatible on the new console.

Well there you have it, those are my reasons for ‘currently’ looking to switch, we will only really be able to comment once the consoles are actually released but with 4 months still to go, there is a lot that can change in that time!

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Next Gen Consoles – Thoughts So Far – Part1

May 24, 2013

xbox one vs ps4

Let me start this post by making the statement, I am currently an Xbox360 user.

I have not played on a PS3 but many of my friends own one and in my opinion there is little difference between the consoles bar the PS3 Blu-Ray.  There will always be the fanboy wars over which is best but in general it is just down to personal preference.  I chose Xbox360 after owning a PS1 and PS2 as it was cheaper.  I also prefer the controller as I am not having to stretch my left thumb to the analogue stick, but as I stated before, this is just my personal preference.

Over the past couple of months both Sony and Microsoft have made major announcements about their next gen consoles, both presentations (as I presume they planned) presented more questions than answers.

Now both consoles have very similar specs and the varying combinations of RAM type and CPU/APU pretty much makes it a level playing field as far as you can tell at this stage.  The real test will come when the consoles are in the users hands, or more importantly the independent reviewers hands.

However I am guessing the actual games are going to be very similar, I cannot see publishers spending huge amounts of time making one version of a game significantly better than another.  There are of course the exclusives but it really depends on the type of games you are into.  Xbox may have the advantage of being more similar to a PC operating system and therefore easier to port from PC (which most developers use) to Xbox.  But this probably won’t have any impact as they rarely release a game on one console before the others.

Overall I was more impressed with the Xbox One presentation, from the limited game snippets we saw, there does not appear to be much difference between the two consoles when  it comes to gaming, yes this is what the main purpose of the console is for despite all of the new functionality.  Partly due to the similar specs and partly because we cannot assume anything we have seen is genuine, often previews are pre-rendered making them look even better than they actually are.

microsoft-xbox-one

The Xbox presentation was better for me purely because  they showed the improvements from current gen and also they numerous new features.  Sony however spent much time talking about the social side of the system, I have never found the need to let a friend take over a game for me as once completed I cannot say that I completed it if a friend had to help me.  Sony spent much of their focus  talking about the social aspects and with the (in my opinion) fatal marketing error of only showing the controller,  I completely lost interest.

That is not to say I was amazed by the Xbox presentation, whilst I must admit I probably am an Xbox fanboy, I did find some of the presentation a little underwhelming.  For example, Kinect 2.0, whilst much improved on the current system, I rarely get the chance to use it as you cannot have other things going on in the room or others talking whilst you use it, therefore with my current setup I only really get to use it whilst my wife and I watch films or when she is not in the room.  This leads on to the new TV functionality, whilst it is pretty amazing, I cannot imagine many households where the Xbox would be connected to the main TV.  If you are a single person living alone then this functionality is pretty impressive however many families, couples would have the Xbox connected to a different TV to allow others to watch TV whilst others play games.  Therefore impressive but not a major consideration for someone like myself.

Also the ability to use multiple applications together, again impressive but just how much would we use it?  I am not so sure as I very rarely use internet explorer on my Xbox as it just isn’t as user-friendly as on my laptop.  However the ability to leave a game and come back to where you left off is pretty cool, especially if the speed of switching is as impressive as the presentation.

Dual-Shock-4_contentfullwidthThere are still a number of ongoing debates regarding pre-owned games, Xbox has given some information none of which is particularly clear, however it does seem that games will have to be installed (as currently on PS3) and each game will be registered to a user profile, so no lending games to your friends without a fee.  This is however all guess work and without Sony making any announcements yet I am sure it is a strategic waiting game between both companies as to exactly what will happen as whichever makes a wrong move will knock their own market share to disastrous levels.

No prices or release dates have been announced so it is now just a waiting game whilst we sift through the numerous rumours and snippets of information out there.  Roll on E3 where hopefully many of the outstanding questions will be answered, although I am not holding my breath!

UPDATE 25th May 2013
Since publishing my post yesterday I have watched Woody’s Gamertag on YouTube who raised some more concerns. Will our existing accessories work on the new console? Allegedly the Xbox has a new connection on the controller so does this mean our headsets will need to be replaced? I have a new set of Turtle Beach XP 500s and I can’t afford to replace these yet again! I am hoping that they bring out a new connector which would be far cheaper than a completely new headset. The theory behind this change is so Microsoft can take a cut of any accessories for the new Xbox as the connection is proprietary to them. Alternatively they may be looking to only allow some companies to produce items for the console which wouldn’t be good news for consumers as competition would be all but eliminated.

Another concern raised in the video was privacy. If the console can be always online could hackers switch on the Kinect’s camera without your knowledge? I am sure these questions will be answered in time but for now it is definitely food for thought!

The Next Gen Consoles – The Good The Bad and The Fun!

October 1, 2008

I have recently acquired an Xbox 360 console, which made me realise that my gadget addiction is really quite bad as bar the PS3, I have owned at some point all of the current generation of consoles!

I am by no means a rich man so I have always sold on the console before getting the next one.  Below I list my personal opinions on each of the devices from the handhelds to the consoles.

I have always been a PC game fan, mainly as my parents never allowed me to get a games console as they wanted it to be educational as well as fun.  Maybe it was this ban that made me the addict I am today.  I have to admit upon analysing the fact that I have owned most of the latest generation of consoles that I must be easily bored, quickly losing interest with each console and moving on to the next.  I have however owned each of them for a fairly long time which I feel gives me a good grounding for commenting on the positives and negatives.

The first of the latest consoles I owned was the Sony PSP.  This was a fairly pricey machine, but it was upon seeing a friend play Virtua Tennis on it that I was hooked and had to have one.  Much eBay selling later I had enough cash to buy one.

The PSP is an amazing piece of kit, with video, games and music however there were a number of issues I had with the device.  Firstly the price, for a handheld console it was very pricey (at the time £180).  My second issue was that for a handheld console it was pretty big.  However, the device had an excellent screen, plush colours, film and games looked realy good and the games were as good, if not better than the actual PS2 console.  The reason however that I decided a year later to get rid of the machine was just that the machine didn’t have the games to make it a great device.  This may have since changed but at the time I felt that the games whilst stunning, were not much fun.

My next acquisition was the Nintendo DS, after selling my PSP this was  gaming device that was completely different.  The graphics are no where near as good as the PSP but the games I felt were just a lot more fun.  The device was also a lot cheaper at nearly half the price.  So on a comparison between these two devices you have to consider what you want from the machine;

If you want an MP3 player, video player and amazing graphics then obviously the PSP is for you, but just watch out for the price tag.  However if you want a device purely for games (and now training games) then the DS is definitely a cheaper and more fun option.

I then on the basis of how fun the DS was and from much recommendation from work mates purchased a Nintendo Wii.  This is an amazing piece of kit and in comparison at the time, a lot cheaper.  This has since changed but I will mention that later.  Nintendo in the latest generation of console went for innovative instead of the costly high powered option which currently appears to have been a wise decision.  Whlst not as powerful, I find the Wii has very good graphics and the games are amazing fun.  I would however state that I have found this machine only coming out when friends are over.  I am not entirely sure of my reasons but as a one player machine I just do not find it a great deal of fun and the controller is somewhat of a novelty when playing serious games.  As a party device tough this is by far the best machine I could recommend.  Family and friends who were never, or would never have considered themselves to be gamers really found the device fun, and any machine that can get my Dad wanting to play to all hours on Christmas day must be something special.  With four controllers it is a huge amount of fun, seeing friends and family frantically pointing and shaking their controllers is a site to behold.  As I said though as a one player machine I feel you would soon lose interest, as I did and therefore you will need to have friends over often or a partner to get the full use out of it.  The wii also has the great download system so you can download games from your childhood which are still amazingly fun today.

The final console I have owned is the Xbox360.  Now this machine never really appealed to me in the early days as I had a PC for gaming and the price tag was just too much for me to consider.  This however has changed, with the price dropping for the Arcade version to £129 it started to become a possibilty for me.  Whilst I cannot compare to the PS3 I can only say that the few friends I know who have played both state that the PS3 is far too over priced and isn’t a lot better.  The main incentive for me to buy this machine was the fact I was selling my pc, I was no longer able to play Fifa and so wanted a system to play PC equivalent graphics.  So with the price drop I quickly shifted some items on eBay and raised the cash for the console.  Now I have only owned this machine for a week but I can give the following opinion.  This is a gamers machine, not really a social machine for when friends come over but it does have a lot of positives.  Firstly this machine has HD graphics, you will need an HD TV to benefit from this but it needs to be seen to be believed.  Games such as Grand Theft Auto are absolutely amazing, to have seen every evolution of this series from the first jump from 2D to 3D to the latest incarnation is amazing.  This game is so rich in detail, from the graphics to the gameplay, it has to be seen to be believed.

There are however some negatives to the Xbox, firstly is the Microsoft online system Xbox Live, whilst I have heard many great things about the service my issue is why should I have to pay for an online service to be able to play my friends when Nintendo and PC games provide this for free?  So paying to play your mates seems a bit expensive to me.  Another downfall to this service is whilst it provides the ability to download demos and previews and also full games, the Arcade version of the console does not have a hard drive and so you do not have the space to save any downloads.  Therefore if you have the Arcade version you will be paying £40 a year just to be able to play other people online which is too much.

Anyway, from what I have seen so far from this machine I am very impressed and hope to continue to be impressed.

 

To summarise I would say each of the machines are for the following people:

PSP – People who travel a lot, want games, music and video and also have a big wallet.

DS – For people who travel a lot and just want something fun to play as they travel, with a slightly smaller wallet.

Wii – For people who regularly enjoy having friends over for laughs on a whole new control system.

Xbox360- For the serious gamer, who appreciates the level of detail and style this machine provides (watch out for the online cost though).