Posts Tagged ‘next gen’

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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Xbox One: First Week, Mini Game Reviews (Updated 16/12/13)

November 30, 2013

Here is my brief run down of a few of the games available on the Xbox One on day one with comments on their use of the Kinect functionality.

Killer Instinct

killerinThis is a free to play Beat’em up available from the Xbox Live store.  I downloaded this as it was free, I am not really a major beat’em up fan.  I have of course dabbled in the worlds of Street Fighter and more recently the Mortal Kombat update.  When I downloaded this I didn’t expect much, it was free with one character and the option to purchase more as time rolls on.  This game looks very clean, crisp and the frame rate is perfect.  It is extremely fast and from the little time I have had with it I think any beat’em up fans should definitely look into it.  With more characters coming as time goes on (for a fee) this may be the only beat’em up you need. 7/10

UPDATE: After having played this a lot more I feel that this game is very good however there does not seem to be a career mode so until all the characters are released I cannot see this game keeping anyone’s interest.

Kinect Sports Rivals: Preseason (Demo)

sportsI owned both the Kinect Sports games on the previous Xbox360 and they were probably the best Kinect games you can get, I was therefore very interested to see what the new Kinect could achieve with this edition of Kinect Sports.  The demo consists of just the wake racing (jet skis to you and I) and I have to say it is very impressive.  The Kinect controls are very responsive, it looks great in it’s amazing bright colours.  You also have to be very impressed with the tech, a simple clasp of the right hand accelerates with a pull of your right and left hands to turn, plus a lean to make a sharper turn.  If the other sports that will come with this release next year are anywhere near as fun and accurate with the Kinect, then this will be the Kinect title to own, with an avatar created from a quick scan of your body the future of this tech seems endless. 7/10

Ryse: Son of Rome

ryseThis Xbox exclusive game when seen in numerous gaming shows appeared to be a just a game full of quick time events.  Whilst there are quite a few quick time events, this is not a bad thing.  The game looks amazing, the fighting is smooth. quick and gory.  The quick time events are interactive and I feel are great.  The game also has a decent story.  If you are looking for a game to show off the graphical capabilities of next gen, then this is the game for you.  I have yet to try the multi-player aspect of this game but from reading numerous reviews I think this will raise my feelings of this game to an all new level, competing in massive roman colleseums against other online players sounds amazing.
Kinect:  This game has the choice of using voice commands along the way, there is nothing major being used here but it is a nice addition. 8/10

UPDATE: After having played almost all of the story mode I have to lower my original rating. The story mode is compelling and is one of the best stories I have played through, however the fighting is too repetitive.  The graphics and story I feel are just enough to keep you playing but if it wasn’t for the story you just would bore of the gameplay.  Therefore I am dropping my rating to 7/10.

FIFA 14

fifaNow this game was a surprise to me, having owned it on the Xbox360 I wasn’t expecting much, other than to continue my perhaps unhealthy addiction.  However upon first booting up this game I could not believe what I was seeing.  It felt like a completely different game.  The players look real, the stadiums look amazing.  The menus and loading is so much faster.  There are many new player animations all adding to the already great game.  The whole game just feels better, it is perhaps hard to explain exactly what is different, apart from the graphics of course, but the game just feels better.
Kinect: As with the 360 version you can use Kinect voice commands to make formation changes, substitutions, etc.  While not major it feels good to not have to exit to the menus every time you want to make a change and it is particularly useful whilst playing online when pauses are limited. 10/10

Forza 5

forzaI have always had an interest in driving games, but I have never been a fanatic or motor head.  Forza Horizon on the previous Xbox however got me to take an interest in this iteration of the Xbox exclusive franchise.  I was not a fan of Forza 4 as I felt whilst supposedly a simulator, it just wasn’t fun.  However in this generation the game feels amazing. from the vibrating triggers to the super shiny metal of the cars.  There is a lot to showcase the features of the new Xbox, from the utilisation of the cloud power, creating real drivers to race against based on the Xbox community (even when they are not online) to the head movement of Kinect.  This games just has the wow factor.  I can see this game getting the interest of non gamers interested in cars thanks to the realism and also the association with BBC’s Top Gear program.
Kinect: In Forza, Kinect can be used to get a better view to either side of you by simply turning your head to the left or right.  This can feel a little weird, looking forward whilst turning your head but once you get used to it, it is a nice little touch to an already very comprehensive game. 9/10

Call of Duty:Ghosts

codWell having owned this on the 360, and being a massive fan I was unsure how I would feel about this version of the game.  All I can really say is that if you like COD you won’t be disappointed, but if you are expecting anything particularly ground breaking, you will be disappointed.  I immediately jumped into the multiplayer as I always do these days and it does look much better than the previous gen, the level of detail of the characters, buildings and dogs is fantastic.  All helping to make this a great game.  The campaign also looks great and from what I have seen so far it is a standard COD affair with amazing set pieces and explosive moments.  However with all COD games the premise is starting to wear a little thin so I am unsure how this will sell.  The new gen version does have the advantage of dedicated servers, meaning no more lag due to others internet connections, or game migration as the host has quit, which is a definite benefit of moving to the new gen version, however apart from this there is no real difference from the last gen, but there was nothing wrong with that so you can’t complain. 7/10

UPDATE: I am inclined to drop my rating of COD due to the poor maps, they are all of a similar colour bar one and it just doesn’t feel as exciting as previous editions.  At this stage I have no desire to sign up to the season pass unless there are some signs that the new maps will introduce something that looks different from the other maps.  Also compared to BF4 this just feels like a substandard game, so with great disappointment I am lowering this score to 6/10.

Battlefield 4

bf4Now battlefield has always been a beautiful looking game and like COD there isn’t a huge difference between the current gen and last gen versions.  However the graphics are amazing, unlike COD there is such a look of realism it is astounding.  With the term ‘Levolution’ being used to describe the massive events that can occur during multiplayer games this is a game that will just astound, whether playing or watching.  The campaign has been criticised yet again, however I am enjoying what I have seen so far and just see it as another great feature of this game.  If you want a quick game I will always revert to COD but for when you have more time on your hands I will always revert to battlefield for a truly epic game.
Kinect: Kinect is used very well in this game, whilst not intrusive it provides some nice little touches for a more enjoyable experience.  Team commands can be said, which get spoken by the in game characters, and whilst aiming down your sight, a slight lean to the left or right will make the character lean, useful when looking around corners, overall these are nice little touches to this great game. 9/10

Console Wars – Be Happy For Each Other

November 7, 2013

Call of Duty:Ghosts was released this week with devastating reports that when released on the next gen consoles it would be native 1080p on the PS4 but only up-scaled 720p on the Xbox One. 

This is obviously a marketing disaster for the Xbox, however can they ride the storm and get through this.  The answer should be yes to the informed but it is the uninformed that could be the issue.  The issues are apparently that whilst the PS4 is a little more powerful than the Xbox, this is not the main contributor to the downscale.  The PS has not come out unscathed either, in the last few days it has been reported that the PS4 version has dropped frames, hinting that it is struggling to cope with the 60 frames per second at the native 1080p.

XboxOne1As with every generation of new consoles, it takes time for the developers to get to grips with the new operating systems and patches are sure to be rolled out overtime fixing these issues.  We are still seeing ground breaking games being released on the current gen of consoles just going to show that developers will constantly improve what they can achieve from the hardware over time, the Xbox360 being over 8 years old.

The thing I don’t understand is all the arguments between each camps fan boys.  The Xbox guys will always refer to the PS accounts being hacked and the PS guys will always refer to to the early versions of Xbox 360 with the red rings of death.

Currently it is a fact that the PS is more powerful than the Xbox one, however there are many things that in my opinion are a benefit on the Xbox.  However whilst I feel my choice of pre ordering the Xbox One is the best decision, it does not at any stage make me hope for PS4 people to have issues or to be disappointed with their decision.PS4_lg

However looking over social sites like Twitter, various forums and particularly some friends it seems to be a common theme to feel superior by stating their choice is the right one and that others should be ashamed if they do not agree.

If it wasn’t for competition neither Microsoft or Sony would continue to work on adding things to try and make their device the more desired.  Therefore all gamers should embrace the other, acknowledge when the other has something good “The Last Of Us” looked amazing on the PS3.  But lets just as gamers be happy for the other side.  It gives us something to talk about.  Owning one does not make you superior to another, lets face it you just handed over cash for it, you had no input into it.

Just game and have fun and stop all the bitching!

Next Gen Console – Why I Have Finally Settled on the Xbox One.

September 16, 2013

Let me start this blog by making it clear, I am an Xbox fanboy, I have owned a PS1 and 2 but my last few years have been spent with Microsoft.

I have spent the last few months agonising over which console I would be going for.  I did a large amount of reading on both consoles and a couple of months back I would have said I am going to get a Playstation.  This decision at the time was purely based upon the rumour that the Playstation was going to be more powerful, the cheaper price and the fact that more of my friends would be going for the Playstation.microsoft-xbox-one

However, a few months on and I have made my decision and actually pre-ordered the Xbox One.  The reason for this complete 180 is down to a number of reasons which I will go into below.

1.  Price – The Playstation is cheaper however if you purchase the Sony camera to go with the console, thus taking advantage of the tech, the prices are almost identical.  This however is not as good as the Xbox One Kinect camera and also not being a mandatory part of the console also means that it will follow the way of the Kinect and thus games using it will be limited as developers are not going to waste money on camera development if only a small percentage of the gamers have it.

2.  The specifications of both consoles are now much closer, particularly since the Xbox’s recent upgrade in GPU means that there is not a significant advantage to go with the Playstation.

3.  Despite my friends being likely to get the Playstation I have found that the fact I play in the same room as my wife watches TV means that I rarely talk to players and therefore playing against friends is such a rare occurrence it cannot justify a console purchase.

4.  Microsoft appear to be listening to their customer base.  At the original launch of the Xbox One, things could not have gone worse, Sony took advantage of that and took as many shots at Microsoft as they could.  They had good reason too, the used game policy, the always online although not major concerns to me were seen as a major issue by many.  However Microsoft (no matter what the reason) quickly did a u-turn on these decisions.  Therefore I feel more comfortable knowing that Microsoft will make further improvements as time progresses.

5.  Perhaps the biggest reason I made my final decision was due to the games.  With both consoles being very similar with regards to specs, Microsoft development is slightly easier as most developers will be programming on windows systems, therefore making the transition between PC and Xbox ports much easier.  I have also found that many of the PlayStation exclusives are directed at the Japanese market, ie anime style games which just isn’t for me,I realise this is not all they offer but it contributes to my feelings on this.  Also the exclusive titles, earlier releases etc on Xbox are more my style of games.  Do not get me wrong, games such as ‘The Last of Us’ on Playstation looked amazing but I felt that these games that actually grabbed my attention on Playstation 3 were few and far between, therefore my decision has been led by the type of games already being shown for the Xbox.  Also the massive server investment Microsoft has invested in the Xbox looks to provide a better gaming experience, yes Playstation are also making a large investment in this area, but in comparison they are a few years behind on this and therefore it will take some time for them to match the power house behind the Xbox One.

6.  It is only now, with the PS4 that Sony are focusing much more RAM on the operating system, I have heard many complaints from Playstation gamers regarding slow friends lists, etc on the PS3.  Xbox had this mastered in the 360 and this looks to continue into the next gen.

So this is why after month of boring my friends on Facebook I made the decision to stick with Xbox.  The discussions will, as with the current generation continue for many years as to which console is best, but I am going to remain an Xbox fanboy for the next 7 years at least.

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! Part 2

June 13, 2013

Well after a few days of E3 there has been a ton of announcements and news around the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.  Many of which are starting to make me confused and concerned as a current Xbox fan boy.

xbox one vs ps4

Sony has by far come out on top of the initial bout of “my console is better than yours”.  I have owned PlayStations in the  past but have had an Xbox360 for the last decade.  The major blow came as Sony announced their console price is £80 cheaper in the UK than the Xbox One.  I really want to stay with Xbox but with so far no backward compatibility for hardware confirmed there is no apparent reason to remain loyal to Xbox.

It has already been confirmed that neither system will play last gen discs.  But what about my existing controllers and headsets?  It has already been noted that the controller ‘s connectors are different but will there be adaptors available?

The cheaper price for the PlayStation also means non hard-core gamer friends are likely to go for this cheaper option.

The Xbox has come under much fire for it’s pre owned game policy and it’s connection policy which is a concern for  many.  At this point in time I have to admit I am starting to lean towards joining the PlayStation nation however there is a lot of time for Xbox to regain my loyalty.

As far as I understand Xbox will be better for online gaming with it’s 300k server system, it will also have many useful Kinect features, previously wasted due to developers not bothering due to not all owners having Kinect.

But Xbox need  to make consumers unlike myself, who do not have time to read every detail of the specs and news, see why it is worth the extra cash for what a casual gamer sees as a similar system to the PlayStation.

Xbox does seem to have a better launch line up but to casual gamers it probably won’t be enough.

Round one to Sony, bring on round 2.