Thursday, February 21, 2013

PlayStation 4 and the Media

So Sony made the big announcement that the next PlayStation will be called… PlayStation 4. They mentioned some specs (8gigs of RAM!! PS3 has 512MB), showed some trailers for some games, announced every developer in the world is on board (like there’s any chance they wouldn’t be).

They also seemed to concentrate a bit on social aspects which I really couldn’t care less about and cloud services which I’m leery about. The cloud service thing I’ll talk a bit more about later.

The gaming press in general to me almost seems pissed off more information was not handed out, they talk about real issues such as price and off the wall things like does the console have actual buttons or touchpads.

While I do agree it’s a bit of a letdown not to hear about price, we do need to understand Sony’s got approximately 9 months of announcements to plan for. They can’t tell us everything  or there’s nothing to talk about. Let me touch on a few of the odder questions I’ve seen floating around.

How much is it?
Agreed, it’d be nice to know. Sony is probably saving this announcement for E3, they may also be waiting to hear from Microsoft.

When does it launch?
Seriously? You need an exact date, right now? How strict is your job’s time off request system. Holiday 2013 to me is between Oct-Dec. Seems fair enough date range this far out.

Will the system use physical media?
I’ll file this one under the ‘duh’ category though it’s been mentioned at several site’s I’ve seen. I’ll assume it’s because Sony was touting it’s cloud services so much, but really… Did anyone expect PS4 to NOT have a drive? Eventually, but I think we’re still a long way off from streaming everything. Speeds and bandwidth caps just aren’t there yet. Besides, Sony learned that lesson with the PSPgo.

Were the trailers gameplay or cutscenes?
A bit of both, just like every other trailer that’s ever been made.

Will existing peripherals work?
Considering the changes in the controller (touchpad, move integration, built in headphone jack) do you really expect it to? Seems like a non-issue to me, though I suppose families might be irked to buy 3 new controllers again.

Maybe I’m a Sony fanboy and don’t realize it. I mean, I prefer my PS3 to my 360*, but I don’t actively hate the 360. I just don’t care for the controller and honestly, the green cases bug the hell out of me. Many of the authors of these articles I’m reading give the appearance to me, of bitching just to be bitching. Which is what I’m doing right now. I’ll shut up.

*Full disclosure: I actually uh… traded in my 360 to Gamestop last week. Seeing as it’d been collecting dust it seemed time. Paid for a StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm CE!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Graphics Aren’t Everything…

… but they are something.

On a whim I decided to install Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 a whirl. I’ve never beatin’ the game but I have fond memories of it’s outstanding level design for the levels I did get to. My playthrough oddly enough usually stopped once I gained more than one Force Power as the Force interface sucked.

Anyway, I went into this knowing that the soundtrack wouldn’t be there. There’s an weird thing were originally the music played right off the disc in a CD format not MP3 and Steam released ‘as is’. Sucks, but I get that it’s an older game and these things happen.

Also, I expected a certain amount of fiddling to get the game running smoothly. Had to download a hack DLL file to prevent the game from looking like an acid trip (Maybe a mistake..?). Once that was done though, I was ready to jump back into one of my favorite games from the olden games… ACK my eyes!

In these days when a lowly marine is rocking 100k polygons in Starcraft 2, Jedi Knight’s characters seem to be sporting… 30? Jarring to say the least.

I really don’t consider myself a graphics snob (Is that the right term?). To me my mind seems to be stuck in Playstation 2 mode. Most any current gen game will leave me in awe. Baldur’s Gate is still playable for me. And I really don’t get people knocking WoW for it’s ‘outdated graphics, they act as though the engine hasn’t been updated 4 separate times. Go hunt down a vanilla robe, then put something on from Pandaria, the texture differences are shocking.

Still, Jedi Knight was a shock I’m not sure I can overcome, and it saddens me.

Oh well, Crysis 3 comes out soon!