- What was funny to me about the PS4 reveal was the expectations of gamers. It seems as though the entire thing was a reveal designed to get the interest of people making games, rather than the people playing them.
Gamers seemed certain that the entire conference was going to be about them and their expectations, but it really seemed after watching just a few moments of it that Sony was reaching out to the people who make games to say, "OK, our hardware really was a pain in the ass for you in the current generation. How about now we give you essentially PC hardware and let you publish your own material on the platform (as a back-hand to Microsoft and how much cost and hassle it takes for developers, mainly indie, to put a game on Xbox Live.)"
- As for my impressions, there were two things that really stood out to me. Remote play and instant on/off.
The Vita becomes a much more powerful WiiUPad if the Remote Play and latency issues are worked out. I'd love to be able to start playing a game on the TV, stop gameplay, pick up my Vita and be able to continue the same game in the bedroom without missing a beat. No cloud saves, no nothing... that would be nice.
That goes along with the instant on/off functionality that they were talking about. The Xbox if the Kinect is hooked up takes forever to start... and then I'm smacked in the face with advertisements the second it does. Give me a console that can stop and start without me ever having to see an advertisement and store and I'll be a happy camper.
- Having said all that, Romier really nailed it in his comments to Dan's post from earlier. The PC is really where I want to spend the majority of my gaming time now due to the flexibility it offers along with the fact that game pricing is so much better than consoles.
Take a game like Sleeping Dogs for example. It released last August at a $49.99 price point on the PC and a $59.99 price point on the PS3 and 360. I could have bought the game for $10 at Gamefly yesterday, but the best price I could have it for on a console is $29.99.
This is where the Steam Box concept will really kill the console market. Almost every innovation that Sony tried to throw out yesterday is something that the PC should be able to do with almost no issues.
- Will I buy a PS4? Eventually, I'm sure I will... because I'm an idiot. But coming out of that conference, the clearest thing to me is that Sony wants to win the battle of the developers on consoles, but it may not be enough if Steam can make their Steambox console do the same sorts of things for a less expensive price point.
- Hope everyone had a great New Years.
We celebrated it with a few friends at our house by letting the kids watch movies in the theater while the grown-ups played Cards against Humanity. Personally, I think the grown-ups got the better end of that deal as the game is incredibly fun when played with the right people. I highly recommend it to anyone having a get together, as I can't recall the last time that I laughed that hard.
- Another part of my theater project has been completed as I have moved my gaming PC into my theater closet and have picked up a backlit gaming keyboard to start playing some games in there.
The first thing that caught me off guard was how great the audio for some games sound. I've always been listening to them on smaller speakers or via headphones and I was amazed how great (and loud) some of them could be. I think I'm really going to enjoy playing PC games on the big screen.
- Also, I got a chance to watch Looper last night and I have to say that I was really impressed with it. I had a few issues with a couple minor plot points, but overall I can easily recommend the film to any sci-fi fan.
- Another gaming note, I played a bit of Persona 4 Golden for the Vita over the holiday weekend and while I have spent a good bit of time with it, there is just so much there that I'm confused about (relationships effecting Persona's, finding a good balance to your schedule outside of school time, etc.) that I just don't know if I'll stick with it for all that long. Maybe I'll find a good balance as I keep going, but right now I'm confused about the aspects outside of the battle system (which I really dig.)
- It's hard to say that it was surprising that the Badgers came up just short yesterday against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers didn't lose a single game by more than 7 points all season, and you just had that feeling that it was going to come down to the end after the first quarter. Also, it wasn't really stunning that Phillips last pass was picked off. He had been hitting linemen in the head with passes for a good part of the game (which you have to give Stanford's D-Line credit for... they were in his passing lanes all day.)
As a person who is becoming more of a casual football fan, it was an enjoyable game to watch, which is what I was hoping for.
- I'm really curious as to what Intel's pricing model for this will turn out, or how they will even pull it off, but something that would allow me to cut my cable channels down to the 4 or 5 things that I actually want to watch would be incredible.
- Lastly, I hope Dan is feeling better. Never want to hear of issues like he is having.
- Since Dan posted his games of the year, I'll post my quick thoughts.
Sports game of the year - The new Fairway Solitaire - Easily the most time that I spent with any sports related game this year. Loved the changes that they made to the new version and still play it quite regularly. (Oh, and the iPod version appears to still be free at the following link. )
Console sports game of the year - (Tie) NBA 2K13 and MLB 12: The Show
Both games really are terrific for their representations of their sports. I do love the fact that I can upload my Show save to the cloud and play it on my Vita though.
Game of the year - Borderlands 2 - It's not the same as the original, but it's better in a lot of ways. Still one of the best co-op games that I've ever played, and it has one of the most comically entertaining villains that you will ever face.
Honorable mention - FTL - I have only had the game for the last few weeks, but trying to beat the game has become a major focus for me (and I still haven't beaten it yet.. even on easy.) A terrific game for a low price.
- Have to say that I'm pretty exhausted this morning as I played 2 1/2 hours of hockey last night for two different groups. One started at 7:45 and the other at 9:50. Having to get all that gear on, play for an hour and a half, then take it all off, change, go to another rink, get dressed again , and then play for another hour has just got me wiped out today.
Gotta bounce back though, as I have a New Years party at my house tonight.
- My 8 year old entertained me greatly yesterday when she was watching the Packers/Vikings game. I was busy with house stuff and wasn't paying all that much attention to what was going on until heard her cheer at one point.
"Yay! The Vikings scored."
...a few minutes later...
"Yay! The Packers scored."
"Who are you cheering for?" I asked.
"Both," she responded. "I want them both to win."
Moments like that just make me smile.
- One thing that made me very sad in the last few weeks was to see that the mouse (technically a trackball) the Logitech Trackman Wheel has been discontinued. I've been using this device for the last 10 or so years and absolutely love it. I went to buy another one for my PC that I moved to my theater and was horrified to see that it has been discontinued.
Anyone have any recommendations for a good mouse or trackball (other than the wireless model that they replaced it with?)
- Lastly, I started messing around with Persona 4 Golden for the Vita, as I rented it from Gamefly. The game is definitely different than any other RPG I've played recently. I hadn't tried any of the other Persona's before picking this one up, so the gameplay system is very foreign (no pun intended) to me.
- Hope everyone had a great holiday season. As for me, I picked up this yesterday (and thanks to great shipping, it arrived today.)
In the 4 DVD set, they include 4 of the best games in Brewers history (not that there are a ton, but these are excellent.) Game 5 of the ALDS in 1982, game 4 of the 1982 World Series, game 162 of the 2008 season, and game 5 of the 2011 NLDS (which I was lucky enough to be at with my wife.)
The most awesome feature has to be the fact that they include the full audio of the radio broadcast for each of the games, so I will always be able to listen to Uecker's call for each of these classic games.
A few things that I had completely forgotten about from the ALDS game in '82. 1. Charlie Moore had a cannon in right. Nailed Reggie Jackson trying to go to 3rd on a play early in the game on an absolute strike. Marshall Edwards was substituted into the game in the 8th (for an injured Gorman Thomas) and made a huge catch at the wall on a ball hit by Don Baylor that would have certainly been a double if Thomas had still been in the game.
For $13.99, I am incredibly happy with the set.
- If you're still looking for some great deals, Amazon is also running some good discounts on PC downloadable games (alot of which are steam activate-able.) There is a good thread over at CheapAssGamer detailing all of the deals.
- Have a good night
- Not sure what it is, but the games that seem to be taking up the majority of my time lately are less expensive ones, rather than the full retail titles that I have with the game.
In the last week I've dedicated hours to Motorstorm RC on the Vita, along with Retro City Rampage today (thank you cross save feature, Jet Set Radio on the Vita and FTL on the PC.
FTL has become a very sad addiction for me at this point as I continue to play the game over and over... and yet cannot win it. Such is life.
- Went out and saw the Hobbit last Friday and really enjoyed HFR 3D. I did think that the movie was a bit longer than it should have been, but I definitely enjoyed it and look forward to the next film in the trilogy.
- Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Festivus, etc.
- Let's give a big hand to Patrick Hruby, friend of the site and podcast, for continuing to shine the light on sports welfare. It is absolutely ridiculous as to how much money is given by our governments to sports teams and this sort of thing has to stop eventually.
- In reference to what I posted yesterday about Big Picture mode for Steam, one of our readers, Shon, had this to share.
I've had my PC connected to my TV for a couple of years now and it's great. I work in IT and the last thing I want to do is come home and sit in front of a monitor to play games. I have my PC hooked to my receiver by HDMI then to my 65" TV which I can get 7.1 surround sound on most games. I also have the Nvidia 3dTV software so I can play in 3D. I use a 360 controller to play games and get around on Windows. I did purchase the Xpadder program that allows me to use my controller as a keyboard/mouse and it's so much faster to browse the web using the controller once you configure it. You still need a keyboard to type with that program, though.Big Picture mode works very well. When you enable it all of the menu items are larger in size and it's pretty easy to move around and get to the content you want. The typing interface is great and makes using the browser pretty easy, I'm used to my setup using Xpadder so I don't use the browser that much. The only issue I have with Big Picture mode is that if you are browsing through a large list and you select a game then back out it takes you back to the top of the list and you have to get back to where you were, the interface is fast so it doesn't take long but it's a minor gripe. I haven't seen any lag from any games that I've played and most games do work well on the TV. The games that don't are those that have a lot of small menus that you can't resize, like in strategy titles. Also some games like Ubisoft use Uplay which isn't controller enabled so you still have to have a mouse or use Xpadder for those instances to start the game.
- My wife got a new laptop the other day and it came pre-loaded with Windows 8. I can safely say that might be one of the least friendly operating systems I've ever dealt with.
It took me 4 mouse clicks to shut down the damn system. I can't wait to re-load it with Windows 7 tonight.
Also, I do have to say that it was the first time that my wife tried out a new Windows OS before I did. That should have been sexy in some sort of geek way, but alas, I just felt pity for her.
- Gabe Newell made the PC gamer in me very, very happy. The concept of having an honest to god PC gaming system hooked up to a large TV, with the pricing scheme that Steam has configured, could be one of the best things to ever happen to gaming.
I haven't had a chance to try out the new Big Picture mode that is now part of Steam, so I'm curious for those of you that have tried that out and wanted to know what kind of experience you've had with it to this point. I'm planning on moving a PC into my theater, as a media center and gaming system, and just was curious to know how many others of you have done anything like this before and how well it's worked for you (latency and lag-wise.)
- The site has been updated to the newest version of WordPress, so let me know if anything funky shows up or breaks.
- Good grief, the THQ Humble Bundle is pretty much getting out of hand. Almost their entire library of PC titles from the last year for less than $6 total. Company of Heroes, alone is worth that much.
It does serve as a reminder that they have made some pretty damn good games. If this helps them find some extra cash to dig out of their problems, it's a good thing.
- So, I had replaced the receiver for our home theater recently... then went out and made a little Christmas purchase for myself. The 3 "face" editions of the original Star Wars trilogy on Laserdisc. They were $16 for the whole set and I hadn't seen the original un-edited trilogy for quite some time, so I thought it was well worth the cost.
I put in Star Wars and found that there was no sound... which was odd. First off I thought there was something wrong with the laserdisc player, which could easily have happened, since it is 15 or more years old. So, I decided to try something on the Playstation to see if everything sounded fine there, and it seemed to. So, I went through a speaker test for the receiver and found that the left and right channels for it no longer worked, but that the center channel on surround sound was putting out so much, that I didn't notice the issue. Then I had to spend some time testing the speaker wire and all of the terminals, and found that the receiver was the cause of all of the issues. (The laserdiscs had no sound, since the player only outputs in stereo.)
Quite a pisser. Thankfully, I had hung onto our old receiver and can live with that for a few weeks until the new one gets back from repair. Still, it sucks to have a new item break after only 3 months.
- Rochard and Super Street Fighter: Arcade Edition will be available via Playstation Plus beginning tomorrow. This service has easily the best value of any service that I can remember.
- Still planning on getting a few reviews up this week. They got delayed due to another crazy week of work. First up (hopefully tonight) ESPN Sports Connection for the WiiU.
- Lastly, Best Buy has the 3DS for $129 and the 3DSXL for $159 this week. Do yourself a favor and pick up the XL for the extra $30. Well worth it.
Haven't picked it up yet and was curious as to if anyone would want to get in on a 4-pack.
3 slots open if you're interested.
- No idea how that user interface for the game hasn't changed over the years. You would have thought that some sort of UI expert would come along and say something by now, but there it is. It would be fine if it was good, but I've never cared for how it looks or the fact that you have to move a stick to get to the menu. Just feels odd. Minor issue...
- Last evening I started up the My Player, My Team, and Association modes. Here's my thoughts on each.
- My Player doesn't seem to have changed a great deal since last year (at least from my memory of it in last year's game.)
You play through the Rookie Showcase game, have a few interviews with teams for draft position, get drafted (Dallas Mavericks at #17 for me,) play games and have to answer single questions from the press after every game.
You deal with in game goals to get bonus VP (points for improving your player,) but sometimes the coach takes you out right after you get your goal. One of the first ones I got was to score 5 points by the end of the half, and the coach took me out of the game right after the message came up and didn't put me back in until the second half.
The interview components have already become annoying to me after a few games. I really wish there was a switch that you could turn on to just make yourself an ego-maniac and let that whole process play out via your in game Twitter account. It would be great to see the entire fan base turn against you like that.
Minor issues aside, it's still fun to build up your player and steal playing time from the guy above you in the lineup.
- As for the My Team mode, it's pretty much a straight rip of the Ultimate Team mode from the EA Sports games. I played one game online last night and had a guy 'rage quit' on me when I was up by 10 in the 3rd quarter. Awesome.
- Then before I went to bed, I started up an association with the Bucks and lost my first game to the Celtics.
What amazed me the most about the game was how it really felt like an NBA game. The Celtics went up big early, then for whatever reason, I started to hit all of my shots. The Bucks made a huge run and took a late lead, only to fall down the stretch. As I was playing, I felt like it was a rubber-band AI type thing, but they just made it seem so authentic. Guys missed some contested jumpers, but weren't missing wide jumpers to make it look obvious.
- Coming out of my time with the game last night, I couldn't have more positive impressions about the quality of the gameplay. For the first time in a long time, I was really enjoying playing a sports game and didn't want to give up on my My Player career.
If you haven't picked up the series in a while, give this one a look. I've barely dived into all of the things that it offers, and really enjoy it so far.
- People know that the Brewers season is done. They know that they're not going to make the playoffs, and the odds sites pretty much make it easy to see how they're not going to make the wild card this year, but it sure has been fun to see the team play well for the last 20 games (16-4 in that span.)
Again, I know that they won't make the playoffs, but it's fun to watch.
- As far as football went this weekend, I missed the entire Badgers game and slept through the Packers game.
Like I commented last week, football really hasn't been all that big of an interest to me this year. I might watch some of the games, but outside of fantasy football interest, I'm not really drawn to watching the games.
People might say it's because the teams lost that I'm not really interested, and that's fine, but I just can't seem to find the passion for the game right now.
- Last night I watched, The Raid: Redemption and I was stunned by the amount of action that they packed into a 1 hour and 40 minute movie.
It was mind-blowing in its violence, but quite an incredible action film. Well worth your time if you like martial-arts films.
- If you're a fan of Wing Commander or Freespace, check out this new site by Chris Roberts. Looks like he might be trying to make a new space combat game in the future. Color me giddy about that prospect of that.
It's on sale for $24.99 at the Sports Mogul website.
- The fantasy draft went off without a hitch on Sunday evening. I was actually surprised to see that there were 9 people taking part in the live draft as well.
Don't forget to set those rosters today as the Giants and Cowboys kick off the season this evening. C'mon Demarco... I'm counting on you in two of my leagues this year.
- One of the topics that came up in the draft room were the games that people have been playing and what people are looking forward to. Borderlands 2 was mentioned and it is now on sale at Greenmangaming.com for $36.00 after their coupon on the front page.
I'm committed to playing the game with a few of my friends on the PS3, but I'm debating the PC version as well, as I know a few people from here will be playing on there. I don't think I've ever bought the same game for two different platforms before (Portal 2 would have been the closest thing and one of the copies came for free,) guess I'd have to check with Dan to see how that works out for him...
- For Labor Day weekend, I spent a good deal of time working on projects around my house, including finishing up my theater room. I'll have to post some pictures soon, as I have nearly completed most of the work.
What's funny is that we have been in the house for almost 8 years and I'm just now getting to completing the work. I'm a real self-starter...
- I've played a bit more Madden and while I like it a bit more than NCAA, I still just can't really get into it. In fact, the only component that I really seem to like is Madden Ultimate team, but considering the fact that I can't play it online (due to the fact that I don't have an online pass with my Gamefly rental,) I can't really spend much time with that either.
I do have to say that I'm annoyed that you can't even get a roster update without the online pass. That just seems silly to me. I'm not trying to play a portion of the game online, just get a roster.
- More later in the week.
Credit where credit is due, Dan was right on about the PS3 3D Display. It's a pretty sweet display. I picked one up on Friday and then proceeded to stay up until 1:30 in the morning watching movies and playing games on it.
Here are some of the details.
- It can be configured to be used as a PC 3D monitor via Nvidia's 3DTV Play software. I played around with Diablo III and found that while it did work, there were some things where it took a lot of mental adjusting to get the "feel" of playing a game like that in 3D.
- The 3D effect in the 3D movies that I watched (Tron Legacy and Tangled are the only movies that I had that came with 3D Blu-Rays when I bought them) had a very good 3D effect and little to no ghosting. Very cool.
- PS3 gaming was decent. Racing games like Wipeout HD, Everybody Golf 5, and Super Stardust used the 3D effect pretty well. Playing Shadow of the Colossus was a bit of a challenge in 3D, as the effect made the game quite a bit darker and made it difficult to see which areas I need to attack and climb.
Having said all that, the display was easily worth the $200. Considering you get a copy of Motorstorm: Apocalypse and the glasses that were included, it was a terrific deal.
So, after having picked up that display on Friday... I went out and picked up an Epson 3010 projector for my theater (to try out... and possibly keep.) After spending a good deal of time trying to determine whether or not I wanted to have a projector that could display 3D or just 2D, I went with the option that would entertain my kids the most. The one word that I would use to describe this projector after only a few minutes of viewing? Bright. Holy crap does it put my old Sony projector to shame.
In fairness to the Sony, it was a 10 year old 720p unit, but man... the technology for these units has really improved by leaps and bounds.
The few minutes that I spent looking at the 3D for the system were very impressive as well. The images were a ton brighter than any 3D movie that I've seen in the theaters to this point.
I'll spend some time with 2D playback and 2D to 3D conversion tonight to see what else the projector has in store.
- Outside of the geek world, I hit a "legit" 52 in league play on Thursday night. It's just so funny, because I can see where I can make up at least 5 to 10 strokes just by hitting solid shots and not shanking so damn many. It's going to be a matter of just really working on my swing and getting that consistent motion down. I'll be playing tomorrow night, Thursday night, and in a company outing on Saturday. Hopefully that will allow me to keep improving my game, as it is a ton more fun when you actually hit good shots from time to time.
- Have a good week. More in the next few days.