Enjoy the silence!

Some of you may remember that I was contemplating getting an Xbox 360 a while back to supplement my PS3 following the world wide price drop of old 360 models after the release of the S (slim) model. Well I got an old 20GB 360 with Splinter cell Conviction. and while the Game was fun my Xbox models lack of HDMI port, wireless online access and small hard drive (which I know could be upgraded) meant that I was never tempted to buy any more games for it.........

Until today!

You see I was playing my PS3 today in my room (with headphones on) while my Fiancé was snoozing on my bed but all she could hear was "Damn screeching" as the Blue ray disk was being read every five seconds. So I turned it off and decided I would buy a new Xbox S with Battlefield 3 for £199.99 / $317.46 USD (rather than buy a Wireless adapter new hard drive etc for my old model). as I will be able to install games to the hard drive.

So now I hope to enjoy the silence with my new 360 rather than Lose Friends & Alienate People with my PS3!

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PS4 wish list

Here are a few things that I want Sony to implement/improve for the Playstation® Four (PS4)

(1) PS3 backwards compatibility: I want to be able to play All my current games on my new console, Then I can use my PS3 in the living room as a blue ray player and family games console (along with the Wii)

(2) Cross game chat: come on Sony DO IT!!!

(3) Online play with PC gamer's over Steam: I doubt we will see more of this but it would be a cool exclusive feature for a new console.

(4) No limit to friends list: I want to be able to connect with as many fellow gamer's as I wish.

(5) Google chrome browser: PS4 needs a good web browser and this is my favorite. Meanwhile Xbox 720 users will be stuck with using Bing! and Windows Phone 7 ;)

(6) Android apps: Maybe this could happen also after all Sony has released that Playstation certified phone.

(6) True multitasking: I want to be able to download films and games while I play a game or play a pre-downloaded podcast while I'm playing a game.

(7) Mandatory 1080p for all games. (Credit goes to Three0neFive for this one)

More will be added as I/you think of them.

30 Comments

3DS temptation.

"Today's UK 3DS recommended retail price (RRP) stands at around £229.99. Take a third from that and you're left with £153. Giant online shop Amazon isn't far off that currently with a 3DS price of £169.00." (source http://www.eurogamer.net)

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Wow If this news leads to Amazon and other online retailers dropping the 3DS's price to around £120 pounds or £160 in the UK with a game it's going to be hard for me to resist buying one.

While I already have a Vita on pre-order (as a powerful hand held with twin analog sticks really appeals to me) I'm now thinking of cancelling it so I can afford to pick up the cheaper 3DS. Then getting the Vita next winter when it may also be reduced in price and more games will be out for it.

Another reason I'm also tempted to get a 3DS is to play some old N64 games on a handheld. as I'm never going to get round to setting up my old N64 console and our Wii is in the living room so I'v never bothered to buy any old games via The Virtual Console.

Anyone else thinking about getting a 3DS like me who really wasn't going too until the news of the price drop?

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Time to become a multi (this gen) console owner?


Ok here goes.......Im a current PS2 & PS3 owner and a  former owner of a SMS, SNES, PS1, N64 and a Dreamcast (Plus we have a Wii in our family livingroom).
So Im not a Sony fan boy I'm just a happy Sony customer for whom it was a natural  move over from the PS2 to a PS3.

But.....

This of course means I have missed out on everything exclusive to Microsoft / The Xbox :(
Now while I admired Microsoft for trying to for a better phrase "PC-ify consoles" with the original Xbox by including things like a built in hard drive, I dont think the original Xbox ever became the "console that played PC games" that I had envisioned it would become so I do not feel like I missed out on too much there.

But then !!! ....

Came the 360. Now when it came out I was still happy with my trusty old PS2. But over the course of the last five years or so I have been really  impressed with the 360 and how it has become a hardcore gaming machine rather than a PC in a  box.  Infact it's ironic that if anything my PS3 more closely resembles what I thought the original Xbox would become with it's " Does everything" attitude!

I also I think Microsoft was very smart to offer the Xbox in various specs (Arcade/Elite) as this made the console more accessible and also gave people the option of paying for what they actually wanted. Unlike Sony who made my buy a blueray player with my console! But I'm digressing here so to summarize the 360 has done well in sales down to both good marketing and a great  games line up.

But now !!! !!!

The price of a 360 has been reduced in the UK to £160 as it is nearing the end of it's lifecycle so I'm really tempted to see what I have missed as it is almost too cheap now not to buy one! so here is what I am thinking I will get :-

(1)  Xbox 360 Console 250GB (250GB Hard Drive)  £159.99
 Im tempted to buy the Halo Reach limited edition silver console which looks great on it's own but is £100 more and wont blend in with my TV ect due to being silver.

(2) Gears of war 3 limited edition £59.99
 The Octus servise medal and COG flag look cool as frack!

(3)  Halo Reach £24.99
I like Sci-fi schooters like Killzone and  the game is the start of the Halo story so is good point for me to begin I guess.

(4) Fable II and Halo 3 double pack. £19.99
Fable has always been a game I think I would enjoy playing and with this double pack I would also have Halo 3 to play once I had finished Reach.

(5) Bullet Witch £4.99 (preowned)
Looks fun, its cheap and........OK .... I like sexy Goth Witches!

(6) Forza 3 £12.99
Soild and pritty looking racer that's very cheap.

That's enough to be going on with I guess :)

Im happy to read any comments or recomendations on this too!
19 Comments

Is there going to be another gaming crash soon?

Over the last few years I have started to notice more and more signs that their might be another video games crash like the one in 1983
Here are some examples :-

(1) The recent spate of  studio closures such as Realtime Worlds, Bizzare Creations, Propaganda Games and  Cohort Sudios.
(2)  Saturated and divided market due too the plethora of formats/consoles (PC/Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/Apple/mobile)
(3) A (general) lack of innovation and an over reliance on sequels eg [ another Bond game] [ call of duty] Killzone 3, Resistance 3, Dirt 3 etc
(4) high-profile disasters for the industry such as the current PSN hacking (and subsequent loss of personal data) and the after effects from the Japanese  earthquake and tsunami. [ source]
(5) The rising cost of developing games "estimated to be roughly $10 million as compared to $3-$5 million for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube" [ source]
(6)And  although April looks set to see growth  in games sales of up to 15% (due mainly  to the release of several major games)   it will still be "only the fourth month of growth in the past year".  [source]

While it,s not all bad news in the industry ( China's online game industry to grow $5.8 billion) I do still think that there will be some form of crash/slump which will also see some  major casualties or with drawls,  (possibly such as Sony).

What are your views on the state of play at the moment  and for the future ?

[edits]
(1) added Propaganda Games to list of studios closed. (13.5.11)
(2) Fixed dead link on point No 6 (13.5.11)

38 Comments

Time to cut back my games collection!

Today I was doing a bit of cleaning (yeah exciting inside info I know!) when I saw my stacks of PS3 games ontop of my cupboard and I was like "frac I have a lot of games here" so I counted them.

I have Eighty Four .... yes 84 PS3 games! Now in my defence 90% of them where bought pre-owned, but it suddenly dawned on me (and surprised me) how ridiculous this amount of games is! Do I need ten first person Shooters? Five football (soccer) games? or nine different racing games?!!! will I really play Shellshock 2 again ?

Also It occurred to me that maybe I would have more fun playing fewer games (for the same gaming time as I do now) as I would get more absorbed in the games, rather then loosing patience and switching games?

So do you feel like you have too many games, or have you ever cut back your games collection (for none financial reasons) ?


PS3 STACK OF DOOM! (via low res webcam)
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Component video

Since I have owned my PS3 (non backwards compatable slim version) which is connected to my HDTV via a HDMI cable, I had been finding it increasingly hard to return to my old PS2 games due to the poor/blurry picture quality that I was getting via the composite cable I was using.

Well today I recieved a replacement  Component video cable through the post and I have to say that I was really impressed with the improvement. Im now getting a 576i  standard definition resolution, which while not HD is a lot sharper and has a lot less of a murky colour palette than before :)

So if your thinking of playing some old games I recomend a component video cable as it will make the trasition back a hell of a lot less difficult (just make sure you TV has the approptriate  connections first!)

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Japan disaster

I wish to  express my  sympathy to all those effected by  the ongoing natural   disaster following  the earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale that 
struck off the east coast of Japan on Friday the 11th of March. 
 
 The earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a tsunami which hit the east coast of Japan with 7-metre-high waves, leaving a trail of destruction. including severe damage to the  Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. 
 
Although I am not a religious  prerson my thoughts are with all japanese people at this time.
 
 Donations  can be made to  The Japanese Red Cross  via :
http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal

 Two young girls play on a Nintendo DS while in a emergency shelter 50km north of  Fukushima.


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My favourite consoles and why


 This is the SMS mk II

Part one Years 1989 - 1997 "The formative years"

SEGA Master system 

 
 Move over Mario,  Its Alex Kid!!!
Before playing Duck hunt on my niece's  Master system mark one my gaming experience had been limited to playing some text based  educational games at junior school on a BBC micro!  But it was from playing  Pac-Mania and  Xevious on my Aunt's SMS mark II some time after that the gaming bug really bite me. A little while after this my parents where able to get me a SMS as they had now been reduced due to the the new Sega mega drive being released in the UK  (this would be way back around 1991) 
 
So that,s why Alex kid was my platform god and not Mario!!!
 
 
 
 A European style SNES (it's NOT ugly!)
Super Nintendo (snes)
 
The Sega Master System kept me happy for a good while but by mid 1994 I was wanting more than what the humble master system could offer, and  it did not help that I was now buying gaming magazines that where  teasing me with pictures showing off the far better looking games on 16-bit systems! 

My best friend already had a mega drive which was fun to play,  but I had already seen photos of Donkey kong country by now and they had frigin blew my mind!!!  
Seriously I was gob smacked by the photo realistic rendered graphics! plus it was my favorite type of game at the time a platformer :) 
 
 
 This was mind blowing.... Back in late 1994
Now  to anyone under 20 this might be hard to imagine but seeing photos in magazines in late 1994  (remember their was no home internet in  99.9999999% of people's homes back then)  it really was something else.  But the SNES was soooooo expensive there was no way I would ask for one! 
Luckly for me Nintendo knew this......... and that the PSX (or Playstation) was coming out soon which could "steal" a large market share unless people had already got a SNES, so Nintendo reduced the UK price for X-mass 1994.
 
Now my parents already knew that I did not want a Megadrive (probably due to some stelth questioning or  possibly due to me  constantly talking about how wonderful the snes was 24/7) 
 
So skip to Christmas day 1994 and the best surprise in my life EVER  (this massive event  in my life is recreated bellow)
 
  
  
 

Part two Years 1997 - 2002


Now that I had the SNES I was becoming a more obsessed gamer! not only did I have The great new Donkey Kong games to play but there where also a load of classic SNES games like F-zero Supper Mario world, Mario kart and possibly the greatest game ever Yoshi's Island (on which me and my dad got every red coin!)


Then in the summer of 1995 I remember  going to a friend of a friends house and playing on a Sega Saturn and while I enjoyed playing Sega rally and a footie (soccer) game he had it (the saturn) seemed to be too much like an home arcade and I wasn’t into playing arcade games much. plus the SNES was still quite new for me and their were still loads of games I really wanted.


 The Nintendo Ultra 64 a.k.a N64

Also around that time a started to read some interesting  roomers in the Official Nintendo magazine UK (ONMUK) about "project reality"  which used Silicon graphics (which were being used to produce special affects in moves at the time) then the name Ultra64 and 64 bit CPU. This all sounded really advanced and pretty much made me ignore talk of the upcoming Sony PSX (PlayStation) as afterall what did Sony know about games! and also the now struggling Saturn which didn’t seem for me and who's days already seemed numbered.

So to cut a long story short I got more and more into this Ultra 64 thing and then in late in 1995 Nintendo finally released pictures of the new console (now known as the Nintendo 64) plus the controller and everyone was like "it has this cool (analogue) stick to control the 3D games that will be on it AWSOMOME!" But then 1996 came and By now this new Sony PlayStation console was starting to take off because it had a CD rom so it could play full motion video in games and it could play audio CD's too. also some good games other than Ridge racer were release for Playstation towards the end of 1996  like Tomb raider.


This caused most of my mates to "break" and ask for a PlayStation for Christmas 1996  while I waited...


And waited....  Now I wasn’t a Nintendo fan boy  as such but the SNES had been such a revelation for me that I put my trust in  the Nintendo 64. I had even saved Christmas money that I had been given and then after days of marking off dates on the calendar it came, Saturday the 1st of March and the release of the N64 in England!


 
(part two) To be continued...
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