Tag Archives: gaming

Back to the future

22 May

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I’d like to reiterate and adjust a point I made in my previous blog – XBOX THRE… ONE.

I previously noted that the biggest downfall of this device was the inability to play old XBOX 360 games on the console. After giving it some thought, I’d like to retract my point and replace it with “The lack of backward compatibility within the XBOX ONE is a brilliant move from Microsoft”. Why? Read on.

The XBOX 360 era is over saturated with games, some games such as the Call of Duty titles are repeated year after year without much difference between them, and by removing backwards compability, the XBOX 360 ERA is put behind us.

It was brilliant! We all loved and enjoyed it. But its an old era now, akin to the old era of the SEGA mega drive. The XBOX ONE is a new platform that allows a new era of games to be developed using the x84 architecture.

Many people (myself included) are annoyed that we need to use two separate consoles – but upon reflection I believe there needs to be a separation, a barrier, between the old generation and the new generation. It’s a completely new console that requires new IP’s and a new lease of life. The XBOX 360 and its games had lost a lot of their fire because the same similar games were being produced over and over again and it was becoming the same old. By not allowing all these games to be carried over Microsoft are wiping the slate clean, starting over, regaining interest and giving developers a chance to rethink and redesign their games for the new era.
Here’s to the future… not the past.

 

-DC
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XBOX THRE… ONE

21 May

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Well. Microsoft, you surely know how to do a press conference don’t you? Instead of bothering with all the stats, the conference got straight to the point. Less than five minutes in and we had visuals on the console. Sony, take note – customers like to see the product you are trying to market.

Some may think that Sony’s choice not to release the design of their console was all a strategic plan to build up the hype. I do not agree, the design of the PS4 has not yet been revealed for one of two reasons:

  1. Sony have not yet finished the design of the PS4, they are either struggling with the design or taking their time to make sure it is perfect. Either way they are slacking behind.
  2. They have chosen to wait to see what Microsoft produced, and to try and produce something better.

Judging by the short teaser that Sony released on Monday (following confirmation that Microsoft would in fact show the look of their new console today), Sony panicked. Realizing that the attention would be drawn away from the PlayStation, and in an effort to bring the attention back, they released a teaser that still really doesn’t give much away about the design.

It is all a bit strange.

If you had read my previous blog The Next-Next Generation of Gaming I predicted that there would be no new major features to this console, and this has proven true. What Microsoft have done, is taken what they already have, and built it all into one unified polished system. We already had voice commands and hand gestures through Kinect on the 360, but this seemed to be a main focus of the event for the XBOX One. It is clear from the event that the Kinect integration is deeper than it was with the XBOX 360, with added features such as smart switching.

The added processing power also helps run more intensive commands through Kinect providing more accurate responses and more capabilities. The graphical processing power is going to make a huge difference between the consoles, from what they have shown it is set to look incredible, but so will the PS4’s graphics.

  • Biggest benefit to the XBOX ONE: Exclusivity. Microsoft seem to have very strong links with EA and Activition, and as a result they are getting content exclusively for XBOX. In a console war where both sets of consoles will have similar features. This is a huge benefit.
  • Biggest Downfall: No backwards compability. A truly unified system would allow you to play old games on the console, getting rid of the need for a second (old) console. They are totally going against their own marketing campaign in not offering this feature.

All in all a bery well polished presentation for a very (seemingly) polished system. Lots of nice new little features such as the smart swtiching (saves having to annoyingly switch between tv and xbox using input changes) and easy and fast swtiching between games, movies and music. We have also finally got ourselves a blue-ray player, this is a massive feature for me as I have no standalone blue-ray player. Hardware specs seem promising, a massive 8GB RAM, which is a huge jump from the 512MB in the XBOX 360.

This product has to be the only recent release that Microsoft has got right. The XBOX seems to be the only product in their catalouge that is of any success. Keep it up guys.I wonder how much this is all going to cost? Either way, take my money please Micrsoft.

- DC

The Next-Next Generation of Gaming

24 Apr

It has been a huge day for the console gaming community, in fact, a huge few months. First off we get a PlayStation 4 announcement, and now we get a cheeky invite from Microsoft for a new unveiling.

It was inevitable, the rumors of a new Xbox (lets hope to god its not actually named 720) have been circulating for years now and it has after all been almost 8 years since the Xbox 360 was released.

Why has it been so long since a new major console has been released? The simple answer to that question is that there has been no major reason to refresh the console. The PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360’s specs have been good enough to continue being the best on the market. There have been no groundbreaking new technologies that have warranted a complete relaunch of the console, and in my opinion, there still isn’t.

The 360 was released on the brim of a major breakthrough in online gaming, Xbox Live had not long taken off and it was becoming a massive hit. The 360 was truly a next generation console that provided groundbreaking graphical processing power which can be seen in the games we have today. Microsoft had released a console that was future proof, it was high-spec for its time, it allowed for online software updates so new features could be pushed to the Xbox without the need of an upgrade. What more could people want from a console? Very little. I admit, there are a few things missing from my Xbox such as a Blue Ray Player, maybe a built in rechargeable battery pack for controllers. These little features that the Xbox has been missing are minor and don’t warrant a new machine.

We are now, like it or not, getting new consoles. Even though there is no major technology breakthrough (3D I hear you say, it’s just not practical), we will be treated to a lot more graphical processing power, this will be noticeable when game developers begin to take advantage of the new architecture that the consoles will bring. This combined with Ultra-HD (4K) TV’s should bring along some stunning visuals.

Whatever Microsoft bring to the table come May 21st, I am pretty sure it will just be a new console and controller design, with a new GPU/CPU shoved in to keep it going for another 8 years, a blue ray player(!), built in Kinect, and increased integration into SmartGlass. No new major features here.

And we all know, we will have to buy it if we want to continue playing upcoming titles.

-DC