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Woo, great news :). Really enjoyed TWA, a great little game, I highly recommend it :).
1 month, 1 week ago on Thomas Was Alone is coming to PS4; free if you own the PS3 and Vita versions
I suspect they've paid too much for it ($2.5 Billion, really?!!!) but Microsoft have done this for the kids. While Minecraft is a broad-based gaming phenomenon, it's also huge with young 'uns. The idea will be that when the young 'uns get older, they'll want to buy the platform that the next Minecraft is on, and there you go.
But kids are incredibly fickle, and trends for kids go up and down all the time. For every Lego, there's a thousand things that are a flash in the pan. It might work out for them, but a $2.5 Billion long-odds bet is a brave thing indeed. I wouldn't want them gambling with my money.
On a positive note, it will increase the competitive pressures for other platforms to produce an alternative - and that's the big risk for MS - what if they buy Minecraft, and the next big thing among kids is something else on a competing platform that came about because of their purchase? ;).
PS - fully agree with MS' need to actually produce their own products, rather than ride on Windows to buy everyone else's.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Why Microsoft’s purchase of Mojang is bad for everyone
I love it how in an article entitled '7 reasons you'll eventually become a PC gamer' they show a chart with 2013 showing the lowest percentage of playtime on PC in the last three years and don't address it in the context of their arguments. The biggest issue with the whole article was that it was backward looking. For example:
1) PC is at an ebb, and yet it's already way ahead in digital distribution and the consoles are closing the gap fast. If PC's only at 33 per cent now, what's going to happen when consoles are feature-parity on price? Don't forget that for most digital games, there is price parity now, and price drops and sales for even the biggest titles have been around for a while (I picked up Tomb Raider on PS3 for 50% off, digitally, within six months of the games launch - that's a similar deal/setup as you'll find on high-profile releases on Steam).
2) In 2013, when broadcasting was still well and away superior on PC, PC gaming still only managed 33 per cent of playtime. As console options improve (and they are continuing to improve), and the PC advantage becomes relatively smaller, it's hard to see how PC can make up the gap.
3) Same story - in 2013, when free-to-play was clearly ahead for PC, it still only managed 33 per cent. Now that the likes of War Thunder, Warframe and others are successfully making their way on console, it's going to be hard for PC to maintain it's relative advantage, so hard to see how this factor is likely to lead to increased time share.
4) It's easier to replace a hard drive containing your OS in a console than a PC - this is a non-argument.
5) PC has _always_ had the mod advantage. It's a great advantage, but it's hardly some revolutionary new innovation that's going to swing the balance of power. If mods were going to bring everyone onto PC, they would have done that ten years ago.
6) From the latest talk, 90% of PC Gamers won't be able to run a rift in the first place, unless they're running with the most basic of graphical settings. As a side note, neither device is on the market as a consumer device - both Rift DK2 and Morpheus are for developers only. It's easier, as a developer (or a pretend developer ;)) to get a Rift, but to argue one is on the market and the other not is incorrect. Either way, looking forward both console (PS4, and XB1 if VR is successful will surely do something similar) and PC and smartphones (Samsung and Google's initiatives) will have VR. It's hardly a reason PC will draw out in front (particularly given the high spec requirements of OR at launch - the only people with PCs to run it will already be pretty heavy PC gamers).
7) Console gaming was run in competitive leagues since the PS2/Xbox days. Halo was one of the biggest title in eSports, played on Xbox 360s. Sure, esports is strongest on PC, but it's again not a differentiating factor, and not some new reason why PC is suddenly going to spring ahead.
Also - where's tablet and smartphone gaming in all of this? According to the Nielsen data, it went from nine per cent of playtime in 2011 to 19 per cent in 2013 - if the author is talking playtime, based on recent trends, PC is the wrong place to be looking - it's mobile and tablet that is on the rise ;).
1 month, 3 weeks ago on 7 Reasons Why Everyone Will Eventually Be a PC Gamer
Sounds great :). I'm sure this will be from the Ubisoft press release, so no slight on PS4A, but the seven years war took place before the American revolution (it was the extra taxation from Britain to help cover the cost of the seven years war that contributed heavily to the 'no taxation without representation' thing that got the colonials all fired up), so that'd put Rogue before and in line with the earliest parts of ACIII.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Become an assassin hunter in Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Credit for the author to get into writing/gaming media, but I'd caution going for an easier, more bounded topic first up. There are a few things that could be done better with this piece:
- the definition of 'failure' provided is woefully inadequate. For a good, long while the PS3 was well, well behind the 360 everywhere, and it took years to pull ahead in europe and alongside worldwide, and is well behind the X360 (about half that of the 360, I think) in the US. Does that make the PS3 a failure in the US? Sony have regularly sold multi-millions of units of individual games in the US alone, and have made a decent business of it. There's nothing to say the XB1 won't achieve this either.
- Going back to the PS3, the thing that turned it around, primarily from late 2007 onwards, were the games, Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 led to a sustained pick-up in sales. Prior to this, everyone was talking about the PS3 much like this article discusses the XB1.
- Which takes us to time - it's far, far too early to judge the success or failure of a console. The article even raises the Wii U, a console that has performed even worse than the XB1, as an example of improvement after a while.
- Further, the comment that the XB1 is vastly inferior to the PS4 is exaggeration. It _is_ inferior, but the perceptual difference of that is relatively small. By and large, gamers on both systems will be experiencing similar experiences. Imo, Sony's main advantage is in the quality of its in-house studios.
- The author also discusses why anyone would both bring their game to XB1. Smartly, both Microsoft and Sony have made their machines easy to code for this go-round. It's relatively easy to take a game made for the PS4 or PC and get it up and running on the XB1. If the game was built in Direct X for PC, it's incredibly easy. It's ridiculously unlikely that the return on investment for porting to the XB1 wouldn't be positive, so it's unlikely that (unlike the Wii U, which is a whole different kettle of fish) that the XB1 will lose a lot of third-party support.
Don't get me wrong, I think if MS didn't have their head in the sand they would have done a lot better - the Richard Nixon analogy was a good one :). But it's far, far too early to call it a failure generally, and the article didn't provide a more precise definition for what was considered a failure,
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Why the Xbox One is a Failure
Thar be plenty of quality content incoming. I thought it was interesting how many unannounced titles Sony kept close to their chest at E3, I suspect we may hear of one apiece at Gamescom and TGS. Lots of goodies either way :).
4 months, 1 week ago on The games of the PlayStation 4: SCE Worldwide Studios
I enjoyed the last MotoGP on Vita, was very impressed by the game and the career structure, and it sounds like the next cab off the rank is even better. Thanks for your review the other day as well :).
4 months, 1 week ago on MotoGP 14 speeds into action with launch trailer
While it's not a huge thing (well, unless you're a nutty fan of the game), you can also use the Playstation camera for head-tracking in WARRRR THUNDEERRRRR! Totally agree it needs more support so. Am a little surprised, with similar cameras out for both the X1 and the PS4, that we haven't seen more games as the camera install base is pretty decent at the moment.
5 months, 1 week ago on PlayStation 4 six months on: the bad
This be good news :). I'll probably play it on PS4, as I've got a bigger backlog on Vita, but choice is good :).
5 months, 1 week ago on Ubisoft’s Child of Light to grace Vita early July
What, no War Thunder?! With Ground Forces coming out sometime, it could have been the current _and_ future best PSN game :P.
Not a serious comment, of course ;). A very good list, we've done pretty well in the first six months (very well, in the context of other console launches), and the next 12 months looks to really blow things out of the water :).
5 months, 2 weeks ago on The best games on PlayStation 4
Top news this be, I really enjoyed FC3 (and quite enjoyed FC2 as well), and Ubi are on a roll lately with design decisions :).
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Far Cry 4 announced; will be available on both PS3 and PS4
I'm playing a little Moto GP 13 on Vita at the moment, and it's a very enjoyable, well-put together game - if they build on that for the 2014 edition (which you'd expect them to), it could be a winner :).
5 months, 3 weeks ago on MotoGP 2014 to use YEBIS 2 visual effects engine
I think this is still a pretty good deal. It's important to remember that Driveclub is a full-sized AAA game, and the cost of PS+ each year is less than the full version Driveclub is likely to cost. Clearly, there'll be two groups of people, those that just play the PS+ version and those that want the whole experience, but I suspect there'll be plenty of people in both camps, and DLC tends to split communities in every game anyway, so it's hardly a new issue (other than in the most excellent KZ:SF - may GG's example here be followed).
6 months ago on DriveClub on PlayStation Plus to only include 10 cars and 5 tracks
Trials Fusion is a great game, and you've got some good times Stef ;).
6 months ago on PS4A PlayTime: 21st-27th April 2014
I'm not sure if Stick it to the Man will be my thing, but Puppeteer has been on my 'to play' list, and you can never go wrong with Everybody's Golf, I could see that one taking up permanent residence on my Vita memory card :).
6 months, 1 week ago on EU PlayStation Plus content revealed for May
@mitchjay1992 @Axe99 Aye, I played a few turn-based games on PS3, but it's a bit clunky. Apparently it improved over time, but by then interest in MP had fallen off. Local MP is great, lol, but I prefer the traditional board and wooden piece :D.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Pure Chess joins PS4 later this month
Thanks for the news Mitch :). Am a big fan of the 'ole Chess, will deffo get into it.
There's no doubt that most of the bigger new games on the new consoles are successful templates with a bit more shiny, and that we definitely want change going forward, but thar be a couple of issues that I think the author's overlooked:
- New, big-budget games cost a _lot_ of money - often north of $100 million. You're not going to find people to back a project of that cost unless you have an established audience. Going forward, don't expect the big-budget games to stray too far from the norm, or the failures would put whole publishers out of business. It's in the indie and small-project space where innovation will generally take place.
- Similarly, most new-gen games are cross-platform, so it's clearly impossible to design a game around the strengths of the new consoles without leaving a large install base behind. Gotta cover costs, game developers and publishers aren't charities.
- Iterative development is the best way to create innovation, but you won't have any 'wow' moments, unless you look back at where you came from. MGS:GZ is great (yes, it's cross-gen, but it's step forward in gameplay which is what we're looking for), but it's not a huge step up from MGS 4, but is well ahead of 3 and a universe apart from 1 and 2. This slow, steady development has produced some of the best stealth gameplay yet.
- Up until around 12 months before launch, both consoles would have been 'moving targets' tech-wise. It's hard to design a game around a system that you don't know what it's going to look like, and big-budget games take 2-3 years, so they were always only going to be small-ish steps forward. Look for innovation in the second wave of big titles.
- As per the author's own arguments, in the indie space people have a much smaller budget, so can be more experimental, as they need far fewer sales to cover costs (pay salaries and the like, important things). XBLA, the PSN and WiiWare are, in my view, the biggest innovations in terms of game delivery in recent years, and more important than Kinect, the DS4, the Gamepad, Wii controller, Move, even VR.
- The Wii U gamepad kind-of innovates (noting that second screen experiences existed well before the Wii U), but it only innovates in the area of input. Think of a car - the Wii U innovates on the steering wheel and pedals, but has barely touched the rest of the package. On the other hand, the PS4 and XB1 innovate on control (the PS4 controller is the bomb, and Kinect 2.0 is unique and innovative, if not my thing personally) but also in terms of the guts of the machine, the way people connect to each other on it, and the delivery method of games (PS+, Games with Gold). Yes, the steering wheel is important, but there's a lot more to driving than just that, and Nintendo got carried away looking at one (important, yes, but hardly the only important one) element of gaming and lost sight of the rest. I would argue in the chase to create a gimmick to suck in the masses.
6 months, 4 weeks ago on Next-Gen ... Or New Gen?
This is brilliant :). Have played both, but will happily play both again on PS4 :).
7 months ago on Metro Redux confirmed for PS4
That looks really, really slick. I likes me some AC, am looking forward to one built with next-gen in mind :D.
7 months, 1 week ago on Assassin’s Creed: Unity confirmed for PS4
Looks good, will deffo give Watch Dogs a run, looks like a lot of fun :). That said, I'm not really sold on the idea of platform-exclusive content for multiplat games. I like the idea of people having a shared experience playing the game, and this kind of messes with that. Just a point of view though, I'm not saying it's a fundamental wrong or anything like that, and I can see the marketing benefit :).
7 months, 1 week ago on Aiden catches the eye of DedSec in Watch_Dogs Sony exclusive content trailer
Woo! I rather enjoyed the original, looking forward to this, thanks for the news Team PS4A :).
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Costume Quest 2 announced; ready for Halloween
This be good news :). Not that I don't have a PC that can cope, but I far prefer the console experience :).
7 months, 3 weeks ago on PC indie hit Gone Home coming to consoles
Thanks for the review :) This is deffo on my to-play list after Rayman Origins on Vita, they know how to make a good 2D platformer at Ubisoft :).
8 months ago on Rayman Legends (PS4)
Seems a bit sad that they had to close the studio down so that Levine and the smaller team could split off, you'd think there would have still been some useful organisational strength there even if they had to get 15 people to step up to higher positions. Of course, hope Levine and his team do well, the kind of thing I think he's thinking about doing is the kind of thing I've thought about in game design terms on many occasions in the past, and if they can crack that nut'(and Levine and co have a better chance than most, and a far, far better chance than me!), they could come up with something really special :).
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Irrational Games winding down in favor of a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor
Great list, although remember that for Skyrim the PS3 glitches have pretty much been patched out now, and at launch the PC version at least as buggy ;).
8 months, 2 weeks ago on PS3 games that should come to PS4
Looks pretty slick :).
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Monster shooting title Evolve gets a new CGI trailer
Well said, couldn't be happier with the PS4 (noting that I'm old enough to expect a few niggles, anything big and new always has 'em, and I knew CDs/MP3s weren't in the spec for launch). I have to say, I have found the graphical improvement a greater benefit to added immersion than I'd originally expected, something I'm not complaining about :). I'd be happy if PS4 games never looked better than KZ:SF - that it's a launch game is mind-boggling!
9 months ago on PlayStation 4 two months on: the good
All good points - the messaging and friends system can fall over a bit when you push it as well - but not unexpected for early niggles, as we haven't had a proper full-fat firmware update yet, just some emergency patches. Agree with the camera, although it's worth noting it can also be used in War Thunder for head tracking - I'd say this'll be one of it's better uses going forward for traditional gamers.
9 months ago on PlayStation 4 two months on: the bad
Glad they're bringing it to the West, although a right shame they dropped the OLED (and odd that the price is as high as it is). Still can't praise the Vita enough, it's the king of handheld gaming in terms of quality of experience, which is what matters for me.
9 months ago on Vita Slim makes its way to the UK
This sounds great :). Survival Horror isn't a genre I play a lot of (gaming for me is about relaxing and resting, with some gentle challenge, and survival-horror is all about the tension and the scares!) but I do enjoy them in moderation, and have heard good things about this one. I've been very impressed with the PS4's line-up so far - a decent new game every month _for free_ with PS+. Unprecedented in gaming platform history (in terms of at launch).
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Survival horror game Outlast confirmed for PS4 PlayStation Plus
I'm not surprised at all, TLoU was a genuinely head-and-shoulders-above experience :). There's not many games I'd buy again on HD on PS4 (as the step up isn't as big as the PS2 to PS3 era), but I'd grab a spruced up TLoU in an instant ;).
9 months, 3 weeks ago on PS4A Readers’ GOTY 2013: And the winner is…
I like the idea of just having the one enemy, will be interesting to see how they manage the gameplay, done right it could be a very interesting and innovative experience :).
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Alien franchise to return to its roots in Alien: Isolation
Will be interesting to see how this goes - for a range of genres, I'm not convinced they'll be able to get around the latency issues, but I'll happily be proved wrong :).
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Sony announces streaming service PlayStation Now
TLoU for me, although I'm actually finding KZ:SF's MP is the surprise find this year, the most fun I've had in an online shooter since the SOCOM/KZ2 days. But not good enough to push TLoU into second place ;).
10 months ago on PS4A Readers’ GOTY | Vote Now!
Hahahaha, brilliantly written, top stuff Dolph :). My GOTY too, in a pretty packed and quality field.
10 months ago on PS4A Writer’s GOTY | The Last of Us
Another one one my 'haven't gotten around to it' - but rest assurred I will, it sounds awesome, and I really enjoyed Bioshock and Bioshock 2. May the Burial at Sea DLC continue the story in fine form :).
10 months ago on PS4A Writer’s GOTY | BioShock Infinite
Hahahaha, it's great to see someone enjoy a game and series so much :). Been a while since I've played a JRPG - is there much grind to this one? (I enjoyed my JRPGs more back on PSOne when there was less grind built into the system - the 'grind inflation' through PS2 and PS3 turned me off 'em a bit). Good luck in the hunt for the plat :).
10 months ago on PS4A Writer’s GOTY | Persona 4 Golden
Great stuff :). I have to admit this is among my 'slightly embarrassed I haven't played yet' pile - I _will_ play the game though, and would play it this week if I wasn't lending my PS3 out to a mate for a few weeks.I also find it somewhat eyebrow-raising that many video-game journalists have the confidence to criticise the writing in a game, when their own level of literary and film experience is clearly woefully lacking (not in an absolute sense, this is pretty much impossible, but lacking the experience to make a judgement about something else's writing). From what I can see, the video-game journalist 'community' seems to be developing a larger and larger 'casual, mass-market' core that really struggles when it's faced with something outside of the familiar bounds of action/adventure/FPS/WRPG games. There are still great reviewers and great sites out there (not the least of which is this one :)), but so many seem to be struggling with the increasing diversity in video games (somewhat ironically, given many of the same journalists had been calling for diversity for so long.....)
Thanks for the reminder, am keen as mustard to play this one, and have no doubt I'll enjoy it :).
10 months ago on PS4A Writer’s GOTY | Beyond: Two Souls
Thanks for the review Mitch :).
10 months, 1 week ago on Tiny Brains (PS4, PS3)
Well played, and Merry Christmas y'all, I hope it's a great one for all of you :).
10 months, 1 week ago on PS4A PlayTime: 16th-22nd December 2013
Great review :). I'm about three-quarters of the way through and really enjoying it. It's not challenging in the traditional sense of old-school arcade games, but it is a very enjoyable and absolutely interactive experience, and while inspired by Scribblenauts, oozes originality. Really enjoyed the writing in it as well, a decent amount is genuinely funny :).
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Doki-Doki Universe (PS4, PS Vita, PS3)
That's an incredibly impressive launch! I wonder what their launch sales in Japan will be? Have to say, having one to play with, it's not hard to see why it's doing well, it's a great piece of kit :).
11 months ago on PS4 surpasses 2.1 million consoles worldwide
Great to hear you're all enjoying it, and getting into Killzone. It and Resogun are the two launch standouts for me, and I have no idea what some sites were thinking when they hammered Killzone in reviews. Also have BF4, but it's also parked, I'll wait until they've finished the game before I try playing it ;). Happy PS4ing, Team PS4A :).
11 months ago on PS4A PlayTime: PlayStation 4 Launch Special
Looks pretty flash, will be picking this one up on Friday :). Sounds like US players have worked out the worst bugs already for us as well ;).
11 months, 1 week ago on Sponsored Video: Battlefield 4 invades from land, sea, and air
Intriguing times indeed :). While it may happen, I'm kinda hoping Sony Santa Monica moves on from God of War, or at least puts it down for a bit - I think that it's run its course, at least in its current form, and it'd be great to see something new from them.
11 months, 1 week ago on Which PS4 games is Sony working on?
Well played all :). Thanks for info on Tearaway Dolph, looking forward to that and no mistake (I feel a bit bad, but had to focus gaming finances on PS4 at launch, so Tearaway's probably a post-Christmas play, but it _will_ be played).
11 months, 1 week ago on PS4A PlayTime: 18th-24th November 2013
Looks very slick indeed! Have enjoyed all the Killzone's to date, and this looks like it could set a new high watermark for the series, all being well :).
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Killzone: Shadow Fall launch trailer released
Interesting - I wonder if this is a tease of CoD going fully sci-fi down the track?
1 year ago on Call of Duty: Ghosts Extinction mode revealed
Well said Stef :). I'm actually in favour of DLC, in a way - it means die-hard fans can get more, and it is all optional, and most of the bigger stuff is usually reviewed somewhere so we usually have some idea what we're getting. I dislike it when it becomes exploitative of course, but at least it's still optional, and the demographic for consoles is a bit more clued into these kind of things than the broader mobile demographic (where the emotional exploitation is often undertaken on far less savvy and more vulnerable customers, and in a far worse manner).
SlayHunty - fair enough, I'll personally remember both, but your tastes are your tastes ;).
1 year ago on Things I’ll remember about this generation (but wish I could forget)