Enjoyyourpower.com

This post is more like an advertisement than anything, but I can’t get enough of how much work Sucker Punch Prod. put into Infamous Second Son.

Leading up to the release of the new Infamous, the site in this article’s title was a neat source of viral advertising.  Don’t let me be misleading here, as the site is still up and provides multiple pages of conduit information and quizzes that are as interesting to read as they are to partake in.  They also have the added benefit of earning you some in-game karma if you link your PSN account.

Besides the initial fun of a little extra backstory, Enjoyyourpower.com now serves an even cooler purpose.  At launch, Sucker Punch provided a day-one update for Second Son that adds about 5 hours of extra content through “Infamous paper trail”.  Paper Trail promises to expand on how the D.U.P came to be and it’s a really neat combination of in-game missions with real-world detective work that makes the game all the more engaging even after you beat the main story.  Just visit the website and create an account to unlock the karma/extra missions in your copy of the game.

I’ll most likely be writing a review of the game once I have the time to finish it. Obviously it won’t be very timely but it will more or less serve as a form of practice for me.  I’ll be sure to shout it out when I have it done and posted if anyone would potentially be interested.  Down with the D.U.P!

The Xbox One is launching March 11th…

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If you’re even semi-interested in games, you know that the title statement here isn’t completely true. The Xbox One formally launched on November 22nd of last year, but I don’t think that’s really when Microsoft intended to release the Xbox One, and here’s why:

The new Titanfall Xbox One bundle offers an insane amount of value compared to the “Day One” edition of the console.  Would you rather an achievement and some DLC for games you may not buy, or the first “must-have” game on the Xbox One alongside a bit of free Xbox Live?

Third party developers have had quite a bit of trouble getting games to run as well on the Xbox One up until this point. This could just be due to the hardware sacrifices that they had to make to include Kinect 2.0, but developers having less hands-on time to adjust to those shortcomings wouldn’t help either.

Microsoft is releasing their first major OS update on March 4th.  You know, the one that fixes a lot of features that were touted to be there on day one? Hardware for consoles gets locked down pretty early in development, but Microsoft could have easily decided to release the console with whatever they had running at the time.

Sony didn’t initially show what the PS4 even looked like when it was announced last February.  This is where things get a bit speculative, but not showing off your hardware could definitely give the impression that your console is far from release.  I wouldn’t doubt that Microsoft was expecting the PS4 to release in 2014 given the information shown at their reveal.

I’m not saying that these snippets of information point to undeniable fact, but they at least paint a believable picture. Only time will tell how the Xbox One can perform in the long run, but it at least seems like Microsoft is finally heading in the right direction.  So while the rest of the world may look forward to March 11th as the release of Titanfall, I look forward to that date as the official launch of the Xbox One.

– Rob (@Burdmayn on Twitter)

The Xbox One: Why you don’t want one (at least not right now)

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Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, you have most likely heard of the Xbox One within the past few days. It’s Microsoft’s latest gaming console, and chances are that you might want one at some point in time.

The new Xbox details some really cool looking features that I can’t give proper justice with words alone, but I can warn you about the crap stuff. So without further ado, here’s why you’re NOT going to want to buy that new Xbox One, at least not yet.

  1. The system requires Kinect 2.0 to function. If you don’t have the Kinect Sensor plugged in, your system won’t work.
  2. The system is never truly “off”. This ties into #1, in that the console will always use a small amount of power to keep itself in a sort of “standby” mode. This enables neat features like the ability to say “Xbox On!” to power on your console with Kinect, but it could also lead to vulnerability. Just think about it. Kinect is watching you. All. The. Time.
  3. Xbox One doesn’t play Xbox 360 games.  You know that library of games for your current Xbox that you have sitting on the shelf? You’re gonna have to keep your Xbox 360 to continue playing them, as the Xbox One won’t be backwards compatible.
  4. Games are locked to your profile.  So here’s how it works: When you buy a new game for the Xbox One, you’ll be prompted to “install” it to your system as soon as you put the disc in. This allows for the game to load faster, but it also locks that game to your Xbox Live profile.  So if you want to lend a game to your friend they’ll have to use your account. If your friend were to put a game into their console that you already registered, the system will prompt them to pay an unspecified fee to purchase the game themselves.
  5. It’s going to kill off used games as we (currently) know them. Just released today are details about how Microsoft will be handling used games for the Xbox One. The way things will work is this: If a retailer wants to sell used games, they’ll have to agree to Microsoft’s policies. These policies state that if you sell a game to a store (like Gamestop) they’ll delete the ownership details from your profile and assign the game a new validation code.
  6. The system is always (or at least mostly) online. As of right now, Microsoft reps have been quoted as saying that the next Xbox will need to connect to the internet at least once a day. This length of time is subject to change, but the overall idea behind it will most likely stay the same. If you want to play a game offline, you’ll only have a certain amount of time to do so, otherwise the system will essentially lock you out because it can’t connect to the internet.  This is a clever way for Microsoft to make sure that the game you’re playing belongs to you.
  7. Microsoft recently filed for a patent that allows Kinect to track how many people are in the room while you play media. What this could potentially mean is that you’ll be locked out from media you either rent or purchase. A potential scenario could include a movie that says it isn’t meant for public distribution. In this case, if you have a large group of friends over, Kinect would detect that and lock you out of the media for not adhering to their policies.

So that’s all the information I can think of to provide at the current moment. Obviously there are plenty of cool new features that you might want from the new Xbox One, but I’m not here to tell you about those. This is just a warning, because Microsoft obviously isn’t going to say these facts outright.

Sources:

Rothman , W. (2013, May 21). Microsoft reveals xbox one, the ‘new generation’ console.                                Retrieved from      http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/microsoft-reveals-xbox-one-new-generation-console-6C10009350

Parfitt, B. (2013, May 24). Publishers to receive cut of xbox one pre-owned sales at retail.                              Retrieved from http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/publishers-to-receive-cut-of-xbox-one-pre-owned-sales-at-retail/0116137

Makuch, E. (2013, May 22). Xbox one: Microsoft’s phil spencer talks used games, always-on.                        Retrieved from http://www.gamespot.com/features/xbox-one-microsoft-talks-used-games-always-on-6408725/?tag=Topslot;Slot1

Sessler, A. (2013, May 22). Microsoft responds: Xbox one’s drm, always-online, and focus on tv/ga.              Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y508_rXPogQ

Totilo, S. (2013, May 24). The xbox one uncertainty principle. Retrieved from                                                  http://kotaku.com/the-xbox-one-uncertainty-principle-509582525

PS Vita initial impressions

Now that the PS Vita is finally in my hands and I’ve had some time to play around with it, I thought I would make a quick post of some things I really like so far.  So without further ado, here’s my list!

  1. The PS Vita is a sexy machine, seriously.  The glossy exterior is prone to smudging, but other than that this baby will knock your socks off.  Sitting one next to a 3DS looks like a contest between a nerd and a cheerleader, with the Vita taking the position of cheerleader.
  2. The dual analog sticks are awesome. I’ve played Uncharted: Golden Abyss for quite a few hours now and the analog sticks make it feel like I’m controlling the console version.  They’re that good.
  3. The games look amazing and play even better. There’s a bit of an exception here in that not EVERY game is amazing, but the titles I picked up are pretty much cream of the crop.  Uncharted, Rayman, and Wipeout feel like full console titles that you can take anywhere you want.
  4. The front touchscreen and rear touch-pad work great. The front screen feels about as responsive as my dual core smartphone, which is absolutely amazing.  The rear touch-pad works well at what it does, though it isn’t going to work very well for precise touching seeing as you can’t see the front and back of the system.
  5. There’s no shortage of good games to play.  I just bought my system and I have 5 titles that got good reviews to play already, and there’s something for just about everyone.  I can’t exactly speak for the future of the handheld, but it already has a nice start in comparison to the abysmal 3DS launch lineup.
  6. You can take screenshots of games. It involves pressing two buttons simultaneously and saves the screenshot right to your photo app.  You can then send it to your friends in a message, use the shot as a wallpaper, or send it to Facebook or Twitter once the apps make their way to the system.
  7. You can be constantly connected. Your PS3 friend list is just a few inputs away no matter what you’re doing on your Vita.  You can also send messages to people on your friend list, invite other Vita owners to a voiced party chat, and see who else around you has a Vita with the “Near” app.
  8. The store is full of games and easy to navigate. This one more or less speaks for itself.

So that’s that, a nice list of some of my favorite things about the PS Vita so far.  I do have some things that I can nitpick about the system as well, and I might make another post about those though I’m not entirely sure just yet.

Thanks for reading!

PSVita game box comparison!

Upon moseying into my local Gamestop today, I was informed that the street date was broken on PSVita games!  Sadly the console itself won’t be out until next week, but I picked up my copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss anyway.

As a result of that, I’ve taken some comparison shots to show just how darn small the packing for Vita games is.  The games themselves are pretty small as well, smaller than a 3DS game cartridge at least.  Also of note is that Uncharted does not come with a game manual, the instructions are in the game itself.  Go green!

What PSVita is right for you?

(Images taken from amazon.com)

You’ve been thinking about it for months and you’ve just now decided that you want to buy a Playstation Vita as soon as it comes out.  The question is, which model do you want?  What do you want to want to buy along with your system?  What do you need to buy along with your system in order to fully enjoy it?  Well fear not!  This handy guide is here to help you choose the PSVita console and accessories that are right for you.

There are three different models of the Playstation Vita and a wealth of accessories and games to go along with them on day one, so it can be a bit confusing.  Before we get into the different models, the first question you should ask yourself is: How do I plan to purchase and play my games?

Most games on the PSVita require you to have a memory card in order to play, so you’ll be needing one of the little sticks no matter what model you buy.  The memory sticks range from 4GB to 32GB, and what size you end up buying (or what PSVita bundle you buy) should revolve around what size memory you want for your system.

Do you plan on buying physical copies of all of your games and just want to get to playing them?  Well then a smaller memory stick will probably suit you best.  If you want to download and have multiple games with you everywhere you go, you’ll want a system with bigger memory.

(A nice bit of information to have handy is that every game available in-store for the PSVita will also be available for download through the system’s Wifi.  This is important because the downloadable games are confirmed to be at least $5 cheaper than the retail version)

With that out of the way, we’ll get on to a basic rundown of the three different PSVita models that will be available for purchase.  The three models are: Wifi, 3G/Wifi, First Edition bundle (with 3G/Wifi console)

PSVita Wifi only model:

  • Just a straight up PSVita with Wifi capabilities for playing/downloading games online
  • $249.99 asking price
  • Release date: February 22nd

PSVita 3G/Wifi model:

  • A PSVita that can use both Wifi and 3G to connect to the internet
  • 3G  connectivity is provided by AT&T and requires prepaid data plans for access. The plans range from 240MB of data per month for $14.99 to 3GB of data for $30. The plans do not require a contract but it should be noted that 3G connectivity is more limited than Wifi internet access (You can’t download games or play some games competitively online via 3G)
  • If you buy a 3G model at launch, you’ll get the “Launch Bundle” which includes an 8GB memory card, a voucher for 250MB of 3G access (once you pay for a month of data out of pocket that is), and a downloadable game for the standard asking price
  • $299.99 asking price (This price is the same whether you get the “Launch Bundle” or not)
  • Release date: February 22nd

PSVita First Edition Bundle:

  • A PSVita bundle that includes a 4GB memory card, 3G/Wifi system, the game “Little Deviants” and a special edition  carrying case.
  • This bundle releases one week earlier than the other two versions of the system, all games/accessories will also be released early to coincide with the release of this bundle.
  • This bundle will include a voucher for 250MB of 3G airtime, and a free downloadable game just like the launch bundle for the regular 3G/Wifi version. (The First Edition Bundle does not get the 8GB memory card as well)
  • $349.99 asking price
  • Release date: February 15th

So there you have it, just about every bit of information regarding the PSVita that you could want all in one place.  It should be noted that there will be a wealth of accessories available on day one, but these were not included in this guide for the purpose of keeping things somewhat brief.  That being said, hopefully this guide will help you decide which version of the handheld console you want to buy.

Thanks for reading!