Archives For Gaming

playstationtv

Amongst the various E3 gaming convention announcements is news that Sony intends to bring PlayStation TV to US shores this fall. Introduced in 2013 as PlayStation Vita TV (review), Sony appropriately drops “Vita” branding given its generally poor mobile market reception and the PSTV’s broader capabilities. Part TV streamer, that will surely replace Sony’s unsuccessful line of Roku competitors, and gaming system, PSTV will be priced at Fire TV equivalency: $100 for the base system, add $40 if you’d prefer the gaming controller upsell. Continue Reading…

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 24, 2014

A periodic roundup of relevant news… that we may have missed due to database issues

titanfall-stats

After recording my first flawless victory, in terms of K/D ratio, and frequently landing the top spot in Hardpoint gameplay, it’s time to retire my Titanfall mech. As you probably know, Titanfall launched a month ago as the first, big exclusive Xbox One title and the game is also notable by forgoing a single player campaign, offering only online combat. In fact, its release finally compelled me to pick up the Xbone One via Titanfall bundle on day one.

In terms of gameplay, the Titanfall controls are mostly spot on – I’d say pretty close to flawless when playing as a human and generally very good when strapped into your mech. Available weaponry is well balanced, although as with most shooters, snipers will be frustrated when they’re taken down at range by a mere assault rifle. And satchel charges do supersize damage – including usage as a more effective grenade. Continue Reading…

amazon-bluetooth-controller1

By way of an overseas regulatory agency, similar to our very own FCC, we continue to hone in on the elusive Amazon media streamer. And it’s looking to be something far more substantial than a Roku or Chromecast competitor. As the story goes, an Amazon fall set-top box launch was delayed with the potential Apple TV competitor now looking quite likely for a March or April delivery. Netflix and Hulu appear to be confirmed, along does a forked Android build – similar to what Amazon has done with their line of Kindle Fire tablets. Which makes gaming out of the box quite likely.

The uncovered wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls – ideal for the aforementioned streaming services in addition to Amazon Instant, of course. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque iconography for home, menu, and back. Additionally, the central radioactive-looking button presumably taps into Amazon’s GameCircle – perhaps to evolve beyond merely a gaming app hub and into something more full featured akin to Apple’s Game Center or Xbox Live. A LED array is used as an indicator for both battery levels and Bluetooth connectivity. Lastly, we expect the controller, powered by a pair of double As, would be sold as an accessory and ultimately also designed to work with Amazon’s line of tablets to close the circle. Won’t be long now…

wiiu-tivo-scheduling

As Wii U sales plummet, despite price cuts, it appears the Japanese gaming pioneer may finally be ready to embrace third-party hardware. From Nintendo President Satoru Iwata:

If we stay in one place, we will become outdated. We are thinking about a new business structure. Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business.

While Nintendo has produced all sorts of compelling hardware (Virtualboy!) over the years, they haven’t always found sales success and aren’t nearly as relevant as Microsoft and Sony in the console space… which I attribute to their slow embrace of HD. Continue Reading…

Next Gen: Xbox One vs PS4

Dave Zatz —  November 20, 2013

xboxone-vs-ps4

The next generation gaming consoles have arrived. And, while the enclosures are more subtle this time around, it certainly appears that Sony engineers have schooled Microsoft on hardware design with the PS4 featuring a substantially more compact and elegant form… that doesn’t, yet again, require a massive power brick as the Xbox One does. However, initial skin-deep impressions may be irrelevant, given these devices ultimate home within a TV stand (assuming the Xbone will fit — in mine, it certainly will not.) Of course, both units feature beefed up hardware and a focus on gaming. Yet also offer so much more – particularly the Xbox One that comes bundled with Kinect 2.0 and an intent to own “Input One” of our living room televisions with HDMI pass-thru, including a TV guide overlay (of questionable value to TiVo owners). Also, this time around, both consoles require an annual fee for online, multiplayer access ($50-$60). Which is probably why I picked up a fee-free PS3 Super Slim two weeks ago for my modest gaming and Blu-ray playback needs…

I imagine I’ll be more interested down the line, after the requisite bug-squashing updates and price drops hit. But what about you – is 2013 the year, which platform and why?