Tag Archives: sony

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Sony’s Conference

25 Feb

As February 20th has come and gone, so has Sony’s reveal of the PS4. At their conference, Sony showed of many aspects of their new console. Sony showed off the specs, the new UI, and most importantly the games. But the whole conference wasn’t perfect, here’s what Sony did well, and didn’t do well during their conference.

THE GOOD:

Showing off the specs of the PS4 was a right move on Sony’s part. While half of the audience probably had no idea of what any of the specs meant, I’ll give you a comparison. The PS3 had 512 MB of RAM, now the PS4 has 8 GB. The PS4 is also essentially a PC in a box. Gone is Sony’s proprietary Cell processor that developers loathed to develop for, the PS4 has a processor from AMD.

Sony showed off the controller, and while we don’t exactly know what the front touch pad is going to be used for, the controller still keeps the look all Playstation fans know and love, with a few minor, but welcome differences. The analog sticks are convex this time, and the triggers are more like the Xbox 360 controller. The newest and best addition to the controller is the share button. I’ll get into what that does soon.

The PS4’s new interface looks good, although it looks a bit like Windows 8, but nevertheless, the interface is much better than the current XMB. From what was showed off, the new PSN seems better. Players now have the ability to spectate their friends gameplay as well as play for their friends, should they allow it. Finally there is the new Share functionality. Basically the PS4 is constantly recording. Get a crazy kill in a FPS, you can instantly upload in online, without the need of a PVR.

Finally Sony showed of some games. Sony invited Guerilla Games and Sucker Punch to show Killzone: Shadow and Fall, and inFamous: Second Son respectively. This would of been enough for them to show, but Sony went above their call, and had demos from third party developers such as Capcom, Ubisoft, Blizzard, and even Bungie.

THE BAD:

Remember when Sony acquired the streaming company Gaikai for 380 million dollars? Well the acquisition is finally being put to good use, but at the conference, Sony danced around the issue of backwards compatibility. Sony claimed that eventually the PS4 would be able to stream all PS1, PS2 and PS3 games, but when this is only an eventuality.

This is small an annoyance, but Sony didn’t actually show the console itself. While I understand that there is still 10 months until release, it’s easier to get excited for a product when you see it.

Most Playstation fans would usually be happy to see LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule to get up on stage, but what they showed was very confusing. No one was really sure if they were showing off a new game with the Move controller, or just a tech demo. Same with Quantic Dream. Sure it’s cool how realistic the person looked, but again this has no place at a console reveal.

THE UGLY:

Not much was ugly about Sony’s conference, but Square Enix really brought the conference to a low point. First they show a demo from a year ago, that every one watching has already seen, but then they just tell everyone to be excited for E3 because of a new Final Fantasy game. How about instead of announcing a new game, maybe Square should finish the one they’ve been working on for who knows who long now.

In conclusion, Sony had a great show despite a few low points, and I’m really excited to see what Microsoft can do to top Sony.

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The Next-Gen is Near

31 Jan

Earlier today Sony posted a teaser on its website. The only thing worth noting is this teaser is the date and time. February 20th, 6 PM EST. 

Now we can only assume that is the day that Sony will unveil its next-gen console, the Playstation 4. As we eagerly await its unveiling, the only thing we can do is speculate on what exactly Sony will show.

The Name:

Up to now, everyone has heard the codename, “Orbis”. The name Orbis is certainly a possibility, especially if the Vita and Orbis interact with each other. Vita means life, and Orbis means circle in English. Put those together and you get “The circle of life”. Personally I do not like the name, and besides it wouldn’t mean much to consumers because barely anyone owns a PS Vita, let alone knows what a PS Vita is. The name Orbis also abandons the Playstation name that consumers know. When parents walk into a store and see an Orbis, they’re not going to know that it’s the new Playstation.

Another name that Sony may be considering, is just simply calling it the Playstation 4. It simple and everyone knows what a Playstation is and the 4 clearly indicates that it is a new Playstation. Or Sony can name their new console the Playstation. Honestly, I really don’t care what they call it, but that’s only because I know the core Playstation audience already knows that they’re going to buy the system. Sony has to name their next-gen for the casual folk. The people that barely know the difference between the Wii and Wii U.

The Games:

While I highly doubt many games will be shown, because I’m expecting Sony to do their big reveal at E3, but it wouldn’t hurt if Sony gave us a tease of what is set to come, so people know what they’re going to be getting into when they buy console at launch. If you didn’t know, Sony owns 12 studios, and most of them are currently working on unannounced titles. The key for this event is to show off key franchises.

Sony’s flagship studio, Naughty Dog has one team working on The Last of Us which is out on May 7th, but their second team hasn’t said anything on what they’re working on. It’s easy to guess that they’re working on Uncharted 4 because that is Sony’s biggest franchise. If Sony were to show off a trailer for Uncharted 4, and say that it is a launch title, people would go crazy.

Guerrilla Games also hasn’t announced anything, and their last game was Killzone 3, and now we can only assume Guerrilla Games is working on a sequel to Sony’s FPS. Guerrilla Games knows how to make amazing first person shooters, and if Sony wants their console to sell, Sony’s going to need show fans that they’re ready for the next-gen.

As I previously said, Sony is most likely going to wait for E3 to show off the majority of their launch titles, but teasing those two games will get people to pre-order their console early.

The Price:

“599 US Dollars!” That is one mistake Sony does not want to make again. After this generation, Sony has learned that their customers will not get second jobs to buy their console. The sweet spot for the PS4 is going to be 300$. The highest Sony can charge is 500$ and that’s really high for console. Today consoles, are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and Sony must price it perfectly to get people to buy it.

Hopefully Sony will show off some cool stuff at their event on February 20th, but even if they don’t show any games, or give the price, I’m still very excited to watch the event. Thanks for reading!

My Most Anticipated Games of 2012

24 Sep

The fall season has started with the release of Borderlands 2, and now the floodgates are open. As much as I would love to get all the big games of 2012, I can’t, so these are my most anticipated games, and the games I’ll be getting this fall.

1. Dishonored (Release Date: October 9th, 2012)

Dishonored is a first person “shooter”, and I put shooter in quotes because, you can play and complete Dishonored without killing anyone the whole game. Dishonored takes place in a Victorian style world. The city is separated into the slums, where the poor and people affected by the plague live, and the rich part of town. In this world players are going to be tasked with assassinating targets, but getting to a target can be executed in any way the player wants. Want to go in a heavily guarded fortress guns blazing? You can do it. Want to go take the stealthy path, and take out your target quietly? You can do that too. With powers and weapons, each assassination mission is an open playground. This game sounds extremely interesting, and at this point in the console cycle, any new IP has to be really cool to get anyone’s attention.

2. Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Release Date: October 23rd, 2012)

Medal of Honor: Warfighter uses DICE’s new Frostbite 2 engine to build both the single and multiplayer portions of game. Besides the powerful tech to build the game, the single player is a unique experience. The campaign tells the story of American Tier 1 Operators, which are the elite members of the military, and the story itself is taken from actual events told by Tier 1 Operators, the same people players will control when the game is released. Aside from the single player, the new multiplayer will make players proud to represent their countries, by letting players choose their own respective countries to fight for. Americans can choose an American military unit, and same goes for various other countries such as Canada, England, and Germany. The multiplayer also includes the new “Buddy System”. The “Buddy System” allows player to spawn on their “Buddy’s” and they can have each others back in an intense firefight. I liked the last Medal of Honor that came out in 2010, but it didn’t really impress me. Maybe this one can can really change that,  and make it my go to online shooter for the year

3. Assassins Creed 3 (Release Date: October 30th, 2012)

After two spin-off titles in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations, gamers are finally getting a full sequel to 2009’s Assassins Creed 2. Set during the American Revolution, players take the role of Connor, a half native American, and half English assassin. In this game Connor is tasked with seeking out members of the Templar on both sides of the battlefield. Players can also explore Colonial Boston, New York, and can explore the Frontier. Assassins Creed 3 also includes the ability to explore the ocean and take part in ship to ship battles. I really like the Assassin Creed story and I’m hoping this can be a fitting conclusion for what has been so far an amazing story.

4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2

Yes I’m anticipating a Call of Duty game. The original Black Ops was my favorite Call of Duty ever (COD4 being a super close second). The campaign takes place in the 1980s and in 2025 and Frank Woods and Alex Mason are returning during the 1980s portion of the story, and players take the role as David Mason, Alex Mason’s son, in 2025. The story revolves around the super villain Menendez and how he takes control of America’s drone army and turns it on themselves. Everyone knows that Call of Duty fans don’t play CoD just for single player, the multiplayer changes the usual formula a bit. With the new “Pick 10 Create-a-Class” , the gives players the freedom to choose to put whatever they want in their class with new “Wild Cards”. With “Wild Cards”, players can put multiple Tier 1 perks, or multiple gun attachments. Also who can forget the fan favorite zombies. I wasn’t much of a fan of Black Op Zombies but I’m hoping that Black Ops 2 can turn me back around on that.

5. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (Release Date: November 20th, 2012)

Bad name aside, I’m actually really looking forward to this game. On the surface it seems like a simple Smash Bros. clone, but from watching gameplay and hearing people talk about it, Playstation All-Stars requires a whole different strategy to win that Smash Bros. In this game the way to win is to gain AP (Action Points), and with enough AP, players get access to their Level 1 Super. There are 3 Tiers of Supers. A Level 3 Super will kill the most players on screen, but players can earn Level 1 or Level 2 Supers faster and can get a lot of kills that way too. I think its unfair to cast this off as a simple Smash Bros. clone, and the roster of characters is amazing for any Playstation gamer, or any gamer, and that’s why it deserves any gamers time.
Those are my most anticipated games of 2012. What about you? What are you anticipating this year? That comments are there for a reason. Thanks for reading!

What if Blu-Ray lost the Format War?

9 Sep

After the success of the Playstation 2, Sony became over confident with its console business and thought anyone would buy the Playstation 3. Sony priced the Playstation 3 at 600 dollars because it was also a Blu-Ray player. In this reality, Blu-Ray won the format war, and is probably the only reason people bought the Playstation 3, and because Blu-Ray players at the time were very expensive as well. What if Sony hadn’t won the format war? What if instead of Blu-Rays we’d all be watching HD DVDs. This is what it would be like in that alternate reality.

In 2002, Toshiba and various other companies started to develop a new DVD format which would be eventually be named HD DVD. Various companies including Microsoft announce their support for HD DVDs. Negotiations between the Blu-Ray Disc Association and and the DVD Forum have broken down, and now both formats are at war.

The first HD DVD player finally launches March 31st, 2006 and costs approximately 1000 dollars. The first movies to be released on HD DVD are launched on April 18th, 2006. Soon after on June 20th, 2006, the first Blu-Ray movies are released.

By CES 2007, it was clear the HD DVD was the format of the future. After realizing that the format war was lost, Sony closed the Blu-Ray Disc Association and discontinued Blu-Rays. Now Sony’s already struggling console suffered even more, now that its Blu-Ray player was completely useless. In an effort to save the Playstation 3, Sony announced a newer, cheaper version of the Playstation 3 at E3 2007. The new version of PS3 would still be an expensive system at 400 dollars. Sony again tried to help the PS3’s sales announcing God of War 2 as a PS3 game instead of a Ps2 one. Even with the release of God of War 2 and new IP’s such as Resistance and Uncharted, the PS3’s future didn’t look good.  Sony’s last hope would be the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gran Turismo 5.

Two years into its the life cycle and after the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, it still wasn’t enough for the PS3. Soon after Insomniac Games would announce that it would be only developing for the Xbox 360. Right before CES 2009 Sony would announce that they would be withdrawing from the console market, and would become a third party developer just like Sega had done. Sony would eventually have more success as a third party publisher because of all the studios they own.

This is just my interpretation of what could of happened if Blu-Ray and Sony lost the format war. What do you think could have happened?