sony

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Bill Loguidice's picture

A Critical Look at Today's Videogame Landscape and the Possibilities for the Future

My Nintendo Wii U (2013)My Nintendo Wii U (2013)I've been quiet on the blog front of late as I've been focused on writing three new books for 2013 (and hopefully do what I can to help get the documentary out as well). However, with the latest NPD figures for videogame consoles being dissected across the Web-o-sphere, and Sony likely firing the next salvo for next generation platforms with their upcoming PlayStation-centric announcement (and Microsoft to follow soon thereafter), I thought this would a good time to break my silence and chime in with my perspective on the current videogame-centric happenings.

First off, it's clearly not looking good for pure videogame stuff with three lackluster hardware launches in a row: 3DS, Vita, and Wii U. The 3DS recovered sufficiently with a dramatic price cut that was very much against Nintendo's previous corporate policies that discouraged losing money on hardware, which allowed it enough time to hold out for the software situation to pick up. While it will never reach the sales heights of the blockbuster DS, considering how much competition both direct and indirect there is now versus then, it should still end up selling quite well when it has run through its complete lifecycle.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Summer Holiday Portable Gaming 2012

My games on the iPad while vacationing...This time no Pandora, PSP, DS or 3DS for my portable gaming needs.
Suffice to say that my phone more or less features the same setup.

Bill Loguidice's picture

E3 2012 - Most Significant Happenings from Sony's Showing

My PlayStation VitaAfter giving my impressions of Microsoft's surprisingly effective conference yesterday - that is, considering the fact that they'll be competing against a major new hardware unveiling from Nintendo - I wanted to follow up with similar impressions of Sony's major announcements related to the PlayStation 3 and Vita. Nintendo impressions will follow after their big announcements later today. Unfortunately, Sony didn't particularly impress, with a similar mix of the usual types of new game announcements as Microsoft, just without much else of interest to augment it. Naturally, if any of these companies make any big announcements following their main events, I'll put up another post. With that said, here are the few Sony announcements from late yesterday I found of interest:

Chris Kennedy's picture

Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 2)

Sony's Playstation 3 was released as more than just a game console. Some may argue that it was released as everything BUT a game console. It was expensive, it played Blu-ray movies, and it didn't really have significant launch titles as far as I recall. It quickly became the victim of smack talk among the gaming community.

I bought my first HDTV in 2004. I was already a fan of home theater and had adequate 5.1 surround at the time. Blu-ray and HD-DVD hit the market, and it was time to jump on an HD format. I chose DVD over Divx many years prior - a no-brainer, honestly - and elected to go with Blu-ray for this next generation of media. I purchased the 60 GB PS3 - The SKU with the wincingly high price of $600. Some might have called it crazy, but for me it was a Playstation that had HDMI out, played Blu-ray discs, had backward compatibility with PS1/PS2 games, and ushered in Sony's next era of gaming at home.

It was a worthwhile investment... that lasted for about 3 1/2 years.

Alan Vallely's picture

Heavenly Sword: The Sexiest Videogames of All Time (05)

In Armchair Arcade's fun new series, we ask the provocative question, "What makes a particular videogame sexy?" Each week's feature will explore some of the many intriguing approaches game designers have taken over the years to make their games more sensual, not just with increasingly detailed graphics, but also with romantic and seductive gameplay. While some of the games we'll be looking at are unabashedly low brow, displaying their raw sexuality like a badge of honor, other games in contrast are remarkably subtle, often downplaying their suggestive themes.

This week's entry, number 5, written by Al Vallely, features the popular martial arts action game, Heavenly Sword. Enjoy, help spread the word, and of course, let us know what you think:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Karateka to return on Xbox 360 and PS3 with Jordan Mechner at the helm!

Karateka (Apple II)Karateka (Apple II)To the delight of 8-bit videogame fans everywhere, the legendary Karateka will soon be getting a reboot courtesy of original developer, Jordan Mechner, for the downloadable game services on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. As we know with the long history of Archon remakes, it can take many years and iterations to finally hit on a proper remake formula, but at least Mechner is saying all the right things in interviews, trying to take direct inspiration from the original. After all, although Karateka is a type of playable martial arts film, it kept its gameplay simple and approachable, something fighting games have all but forgotten since the rise of Street Fighter II, and the related over-the-top, combo-heavy, and sometimes button mashing approaches to hand-to-hand combat.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Why I canceled my PlayStation Vita pre-order

Well, I did it, I canceled my $359.96 pre-order of the Sony PlayStation Vita - WiFi, ModNation Racers: Road trip, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Hot Shots Golf on Amazon. It's not because it was too much money - it was - but I planned for it. It's not that I don't want it either - I do - but it simply doesn't make sense at this time. I have long gone on record - much to the chagrin of the Nintendo faithful - that I believe this is the last generational hurrah for dedicated gaming handhelds. In short, I believe they will still sell well this generation, just not anywhere near the heights of the last generation when the DS and PSP ruled the roost. I've given many reasons for this line of thinking, but I primarily chalk it up to smartphones and tablets being good enough as game machines and the inclination for most people to carry as few electronic devices as possible. In other words, would you rather have a device that does everything multimedia and Internet effortlessly (and, as a smartphone, makes phone calls and texts), and has inexpensive apps (and a great camera for stills and video, etc.), as well as plays good games, or would you rather have a device that plays really good games (thanks mostly to onboard physical controls), but is mediocre (or incapable) at everything else and has expensive apps? Some of us will have both, but many of us will only choose the most logical of the two. If you look at the issue without the emotion of a dedicated gamer, there really is no good argument for having anything other than a smartphone and maybe a tablet in your portable arsenal, particularly since the former has an excuse to be with you 100% of the time.

Bill Loguidice's picture

E3 2011 Viewpoints: Sony PS3, PSVita, and more

After starting off with Microsoft, it's now time to talk about Sony's E3 showing. Here goes:

  • Something of a bizarre one-off, but nevertheless, a clever and interesting gamble, particularly if you use it as a PC monitor as well--a PlayStation-branded 1080p LED-lit LCD 3D monitor with two HDMI inputs, stereo speakers, and integrated subwoofer. You get the monitor, a pair of active 3D glasses (additional are $69 each), an HDMI cable, and a copy of Resistance, for $499. The truly unique aspect of the monitor? If you have a second pair of glasses, you can play split screen games where each player has their own full view of the action (with the caveat that games must be programmed to support that feature). That's right, no more split-screen nonsense! It still remains to be seen if the pricing is truly competitive (and gamers are willing to forgo big screen HDTV's in favor of the smaller form factor), but I do appreciate the effort.
  • The NGP's name is official, PSVita, or PlayStation Vita. That name was of course leaked last week. The powerful handheld will be very competitively priced at $249 for the wifi-only version, with the addition of 3G through AT&T going for another $50. While the 3DS has received a tepid response overall, Sony is at least going with the right price point this time around to help what will still decidedly be an uphill battle. It's definitely a promising system though if the public is willing to give it a chance in this age of buzz- and gametime-stealing smartphones and tablets. The handheld offers six-axis motion sensors, dual analog controls, front- and rear-facing cameras (for the now seemingly mandatory augmented reality feature-set), an OLED touchscreen, and a touchpad on the back. Several promising and high profile titles were also announced, so early signs are definitely good.
  • Though minor, I found Sony's PS3 wireless stereo headset interesting, particularly since it works with a USB dongle (there's nothing I hate more than having to fumble behind these systems). For only $99 to pre-order on Amazon, it's supposed to deliver 7.1 digital surround sound. Too bad it doesn't hit until October.
Bill Loguidice's picture

The PlayStation Network (PSN) is now 100% back in the US and Wizardry returns!

 Labyrinth of Lost Time (PS3)Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Time (PS3)As you've all no doubt already heard, PSN is 100% back in many parts of the world, including right here in the US. This of course means that the Welcome Back Program is now available to download all the free goodies to your PS3. I'll be getting to that tonight, though I'm not sure what I'll ultimately pick. In any case, I'll report back in the comments what I ultimately chose. In related news, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is now available on PSN, marking the return of a series that has received continuous, but sporadic, releases since the Apple II original in 1981, though some of those were only in Japan. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls looks to be a definite return to the series' roots, albeit with a love-it-or-leave-it anime style. I'm firmly in the "leave it" camp, but being able to play classic-style Wizardry again might trump any misgivings over the visuals.

Matt Barton's picture

Brain in Vat Happy to Test All Day

Introducing the PS4.Introducing the PS4.It's Friday! Let's see what's in the queue.

Not so good news for Sony fans. Apparently, Sony will be slashing budgets for its next-gen PlayStation. Did they really invest that much in the PS3? Hm. So what do you call a half-step between generations? An upgrade? Maybe they're releasing some type of add-on expansion type thing instead of a standalone console? Perhaps this isn't really a headline at all, and it's a very slow news day? Speculation!

Now this is cool: Test chamber music: Valve offers free Portal 2 soundtrack downloads. Go ahead and grab it. I played Portal 2 a few weeks ago, and man, was it awesome! The music is great, too. Hm. What the hell is that orange goo gushing from my speakers???

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