Anyone who is a close friend of mine is already aware that I have taken a challenge upon myself to save as much money as possible on my gaming habit in 2012. There are lots of obvious tactics involved to the overall strategy, many of them like never purchasing anything at full price, looking for sales, taking advantage of sites like Half.com for pre-owned purchases, making liberal use of Steams ample sales, avoiding Gamestop at all costs, are all pretty much common knowledge to most gamers who give a damn about how much of their hard earned money they expend on gaming. However, some less commonly known tactics towards this goal involve a bit more imagination, a little extra leg work, and sometimes a little help from your friends. This particular tale, is one in which I purchased/pre-ordered over $130 worth of brand new games, for less than $16 out of pocket. I have finagled some really good deals over the past six months, but I have to admit that this one, this one took the cake.
It’s been a while since I have actually made a blog post, but in all honesty, I have decided not to blog for blogging’s sake, but to do so whenever something comes up that I truly feel I need to say something. I know this goes completely against the proven formula of what makes a successful blog, successful (three regularly scheduled, new posts a week; creating a poll with every post, like you really give a shit about what the reader thinks, et al.), but I feel in the long term, honesty in my blog is going to be my differentiating factor. And honestly, there is no point in blogging unless I have something I really want to say . . . which brings me to the following post.
Nintendo released their fiscal 2011 financials today, and looking over the sells charts for the 3DS, it became readily apparent the effect last summer’s price drop has had in turning the misfortunes of that system around from the dismal start last spring. The effect is so pronounced even, that 3DS is gaining traction faster than the DS, or the Wii in all three major sells markets: North America, Europe and Japan.
Looking at that charts in fact, not only can you see exactly when the 3DS price change occurred, but how far 3DS adoption has climbed, both in reference to the DS and the Wii, has got me thinking that Sony may seriously want to reconsider the price point of the PlayStation Vita before it launches next month, or they may be looking at a repeat of the 3DS’ initial dismal performance, prior to last summer’s price drop.
For those not in the know, late last night (or early this morning if you are in Europe), cloud gaming company OnLive, released their Android and iOS apps, that will allow anyone with an Android tablet, Android smartphone, an iPhone, or an iPad, to play full PC games anywhere on the go, where they can connect with a 3G, 4G, or WiFi wireless connection. Along with the apps, OnLive debuted the OnLive Universal Controller, which will wirelessly connect to any of the above mentioned devices, plus an entire cornucopia of future HDTVs, blu-ray players and settop boxes that will come with OnLive already embedded in the device. Over 30, out of the near 200 games currently on the OnLive service, do not require a controller to play while using them over your mobile device. Working with publishers, these games either come with button overlays for your touchscreen, or in the case of titles like From Dust (arriving on the service soon), and Rockstar Games’ runaway hit, L.A. Noire, the developers worked extremely closely with OnLive to create game specific touchscreen controls. Which if reports are to be believed, not only represent the future of bringing PC games to mobile ecosystems, but are truly extraordinary, and have to be demoed by everyone to be believed.
Over at Joystiq where I regularly hang out, the topic kind of sprung up among some of the posters there (namely myself, ZoomyRamen, Scuffles, eat it, nerdydesi1, Kentbrockman, and a few others) about how OnLive, and more specifically what they were doing, could serve to benefit PC gaming as a whole. I was in the process of contributing my insights on the issue, upon realizing those insights were getting a bit verbose for Joystiq’s forums, and out of courtesy to the community there, have hosted my comment from my own blog. (more…)
Anyone who has played around with Playstation Home, Sony’s experimental, online, meta world where gamers can experience new levels of marketing from game publishers, long enough realizes, that the load times, and the downloading is horrendous at times. Any time you direct your avatar to go into an area, you have to stop and wait for that area to load – which takes quite a bit of time, before you can actually go there. And if you want to get into any new area you have never been to before, then you have to preempt your visit by first downloading and installing that area, before you can head there. And as can be expected, you have to wait for the download, and wait for the install, both of which thankfully can be assigned to the background while you continue to play around in your current area. All the same however, waiting around for the new area to load, is not as fun as you would think. And of course once it has loaded and installed, you still have to deal with the load times of actually going to and from the new location. Basically, there is quite a bit of waiting going on over Playstation Home. And this waiting can be a major interruption to the flow of the gaming experience.
So yesterday when the Playstation Blog updated with a video (found after the break) detailing all the improvements that are coming to Playstation Home in the very near future, the omission of Sony remedying the waiting problem, rightfully caught the attention of many fans of the service. But it was not until today, while perusing the comments at Joystiq, that I saw a comment that caught my eye, and got me to really thinking on the matter . . . not the matter of why the problem exists, I think we already know the why’s of the problem, but on the matter of how to fix it, once and for all. (more…)
I saw something about the Aimon XB controller/mouse on the OnliveFans forum, and remembered a friend who mentioned having purchased one of these under a different brand, FragNstein, a quite a while back for his gaming needs. Didn’t give much thought to it at the time, but after seeing this at OLF over the weekend, I called him up for a demo of it in action. After mucking about with them for a few hours, my general opinion of the product is that it delivers the precision of a mouse, without any of the clumsiness associated with the keyboard. And it succeeds at doing so, whether you are on a console or a PC. To say that the Aimon controllers embody the best of both console and PC gaming worlds, is a bit of an understatement from where I am sitting. And quite frankly considering the benefits, I am surprised that neither major console makers thought of this first, and made something similar as an official offering in their console-branded product lines. (more…)
Was checking out some 240Hz HDTVs today. You know the problem with the 240Hz mode on these TVs? You see too much. Was watching Tron Legacy on blu-ray, and while at times it looked amazing in the 240Hz mode, at other times you could tell when a prop was a prop (made of wood, or plastic), and you could tell when a special effect was a special effect (younger, evil Jeff Bridges looks like MOVA-powered CGI). There is a bit of the magic lost on any film when you can see through the fourth wall that way. And while with an older film, say like, A New Hope, you expect existing display quality to blow the source quality out of the water to the point where you can see every effect and prop in the film for what it is. When you get a similar effect on what amounts to a brand new film, then perhaps display quality is progressing a bit too far, too fast for our own good. Definitely outpacing how fast Hollywood can keep up with it.
Okay, this one is totally blowing my mind right now. Apparently sometime early this morning, the official Facebook page for Activision’s upcoming super hero title, Spider-man: Edge of Time, posted a pretty disparaging comment (see photo after the break) on their wall, apparently in response to one fan’s (now, no doubt a lost customer who probably would have happily purchased the game on a different format were it not for the slight) query of the possibility of the game ever coming to OnLive. (more…)