Playstation Now: Days of Future Past

So after listening to Danny on the last Alt F1 podcast I decided to give Playstation Now a look and see if anything caught my eye. I signed up and jumped into the catalog immediately looking at everything and of course jumped into F1 2014. Below is just my first impression of Playstation Now and not indicative of the entire service.

Games Catalog:

The games catalog is something of a trip down the PS3's memory lane. Except some of the nightmarish memories rear their ugly head here. Sony leveraged their catalog alright with a mix of first party games but honestly thats what should have been here in the first place as Sony's best interest is to do just that. The non first party games are mostly mid to low tier games like Bound By Flame and Rise of The Guardians. A 2014 game and 2012 movie game respectively. Thats not to say that its all crap. Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham City, and Saints Row IV are present and accounted for but they are some of only a few major non first party games available. Its also not surprising that God of War III is absent from the service while every other one is there as they are about to launch a PS4 remaster. My only other gripe is the filter selections. The Horror filter only has 2 games listed, Alone In The Dark (horrifically bad) and Dead Island (horrifically hilarious if you count that one TNT) Not Siren Blood Curse which is listed as Adventure. Sure I'll give you that but it is a horrific adventure. Also under Party there is but one game Pure Chess. Because when I have a group of friends over the highlight of the night is watching two people play chess against each other for a while. Yeah our parties can get weird so what? Another head scratcher is why Infamous 2 is listed as a Puzzle game. These are just small gripes however. Sony also leveraged some Japanese ass Japanese games as well like Arcana Hearts 3 and Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi so there is a little bit for everyone including fighting games. Which brings me to my other first impression.

Streaming Quality and Input Lag:

This is a big one because even a good game is shit if it looks and plays horrible remotely over the internet. However that isn't the case. I have a really good connection so the quality is typically very high and I could argue the input lag low. Sony recommends at least a 5mbps to stream however I assume that on a 5mbps connection you wouldn't be able to do much else while streaming. The lag while noticeable is very minimal and even on F1 2014 it wasn't enough to screw me up more than myself was screwing me up learning to drive at least from what I could tell. I can't speak for the fighting games yet that require super exact precision but I would suspect that it might be the most noticeable there.

Overall First Impression:

I think if someone missed several first party Sony games like the Last of Us or the Uncharted series then it is definitely worth it at least until you beat them. The catalog has some duds for sure but it also has a few games that if for what ever reason you missed years ago or have the urge to play again but don't have access to a PS3 anymore then the service is fine. However Sony needs to expand the library greatly to keep subscribers longer than a few months. It would be great to see that what ever came to PS Plus for PS3 also made itself available on PS Now that same month. I'll definitely stick around for a little bit and finish up some of the games I didn't get around to but I urge you to look before you leap into the futuristic world of playing 1-5 year old games again.

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Looking Back On A Year - Ryan Davis And My Goal

I wrote a quick post just about a year ago in the aftermath of Ryan's death. I broke myself down and explained how I wanted to be more like Ryan as a person because I had been missing something that in Ryan's passing I saw that he had. Genuine comradery with friends, coworkers, and strangers. So I thought I would do a retrospective of the last year since I made it my goal to be more open and genuine with people. Below are my thoughts on my progress.

So its been a year since Ryan Davis' passing and I remembered a goal I had set for myself in the wake of it. To be more open and caring and to establish comradery with people and to ultimately be a better person than I had been. So what was the result in all of this? One year in and I have found there is still work to be done, however progress has been made even in the areas I wouldn't have thought. While I still struggle with opening myself up I have been more open with family and friends and have strengthen their ties as a result. However outside of my immediate circle I still have not opened myself up as much as I had liked too. I've found that I have channeled that energy into putting myself out more into situations (good situations nothing horrible) that normally I would never have thought to do before this past year. I changed jobs to a more riskier field that I had no experience with and excelled at it then moved over to another department within the company with no experience and according to my supervisor I've excelled well at that as well so far. Wither that is just me getting older and wiser or a change from Ryan's passing I don't know. Perhaps a bit of both? I would like to think so. I've been a bit more creative than before as well, by trying to write a bit more than I used to outside of college courses, but that is still in it infancy and still sounds terrible to read out loud. With all of this said, this was not just a one year experiment; I made this goal as a lifestyle choice and want to pursue it until it is accomplished.

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The End of Ryan Davis A New Start For Me

First off I'm no writer and certainly no creative wordsmith but here it goes.

I've been able to shutter serious emotions out of my life for a while now. Say what you will but, I swore to never get attached to things, or people because there is always an end and I hate endings. However driving home from work early due to being sick and seeing that Ryan Davis had passed broke something inside me. It took everything I had just to get home without breaking down. At first I couldn't place it. Of course I was sad that someone I've listened to and watched for 5 years is just suddenly gone but I only knew the Giant Bomb Ryan not the every day Ryan that Jeff and the rest knew. As I read more personal stories about Ryan as the day and the eventual night wore on I finally realized what it was I couldn't place. In one since envy, and in another sense longing. The personal stories of Ryan showed me that not only was every day Ryan the same as Giant Bomb Ryan but that he affected everyone he knew and even thousands that he didn't know. I realized that even though it may hurt the Ryan Davis way was far better then the way I had been progressing. I've never had the same type of relationship with friends as Ryan had with every one his co-workers and friends and realized what I was missing. The comradery he had with anyone he met and talked to is something that deep down inside I knew I wanted but never knew how to express. So with Ryan's passing I've made it a goal to be as open and caring as he was with people even though there is always an end. Even though he'll never know the ultimate difference he made in my life maybe in some way he will through the Giant Bomb community.

Take this for what you will, I know it sounds sappy and overplayed. Many others have expressed in better ways their feelings of Ryan but this is my way of saying good bye. Thanks Ryan for all the great moments. Good luck and have batman where ever you are.


The End of an Era? (The Shuttering of Nintendo Power)

In a possibly poorly informed opinion on a topic well worn into the ground, I wanted to share my thoughts on the end of Nintendo Power. While everyone one of us knows Nintendo Power the relevance of Nintendo Power today has dwindled greatly from its original Mt. Everest dominance. Was the announcement about Nintendo Power really surprising or did Nintendo Power die years ago and the life support was finally pulled? Nintendo Power entered the magazine world in 1988 with its first cover spilling the details about Super Mario Bros. 2. While Nintendo Power wasn't the first on the scene it did bring much to the table. Nintendo Power was in a unique position being published by the manufacture and publisher that had taken the console market by storm effectively monopolizing the news and information about its own products that everyone wanted. Not only did it cover news and information but gave gamers an inside look into hints and tricks to help them through games during a time of less widely available information.

Nintendo Power was well entrenched by the time the SNES came around and in my own opinion was one of the main differences in the console wars between Sega and Nintendo. If the user base is high enough you can feed all the information on why you are better than the competition while the consumers give you money to do it. The dominance continued through the N64 but took a huge blow when Sony stepped up to the plate. Sony and the Playstation 1 and 2 effectively crushed Nintendo as the premier console. Now that there was a successful console from someone other than Nintendo a paradigm shift occurred away from Nintendo. Many like myself continued to subscribe to Nintendo Power but finally the night in shining armor was wounded. I believe this was the beginning of the end to Nintendo Power. Nintendo had chances to save Nintendo Power but failed to make a major difference with the Gamecube but it did stabilize it for a time. Their final chance to save Nintendo Power was with the Wii that catered away from the user base that had built up Nintendo and to a more casual crowd. Even then I feel that Nintendo Power still would not have saved itself due to the increased competition with in the game industry from Sony, Microsoft and GameStop’s Game Informer.

Game Informer was another huge force that drove away subscribers. Why subscribe to two magazines when you can subscribe to one and it would cover all the systems. Now with the web I can pull up stories as they break. I don't have to wait a month like I did in 1997 to find out about new announcements. The advent of the Internet and the find anything now aspect, really drove down publishing as a whole and not only with gaming publications.

The final nail in the coffin came in 2007 when Nintendo contracted out the publishing to Future US. This to me showed that Nintendo had lost interest in its own product and were slowly giving it the boot. In my opinion the Nintendo Power era died a slow prolonged death that was foreseeable for many years.

Again I wish to reiterate that this is strictly my opinion and that yours may differ to it. Feel free to state your opinion and give me advice on improvement.