Digital vs Retail

Digital versus retail distribution is a hot debate over the past few years. Being an age old gamer I can see why there is a backlash towards digital distribution model by the gaming faithful.

There is nothing like opening a freshly purchased gaming. From unwrapping the selaphane to ogling the images on the game box. Then opening up the package to unveil that fresh game smell. Then having a quick peek through the manual while your game fires up.

With the physical disc it is a material possession which shows the value of your purchase. Also, you can trade in your game once completed which you can’t do via the digital model as yet. However, I would welcome a trade in or a second hand online sales market so that you can recoup some of the cost you initially paid for the game.

Buying games is a difficult task and reviews are always subjective. Even if it has received rave reviews it may not be to your liking. Demos sometimes do not show the full potential of a game i.e. Bayonetta. This is what makes the online purchase model all the more compelling. At some stage games will be purchased in chapters/levels which will require minimum of invest up front and whether you like the game you will invest more time and money into it.

With the beauty of the iPhone I can keep my saved games and the game itself in the same location and it is transferrable to an iPad or iPod touch. Plus the throwaway pricing of games shows that there is a new model for shorter, innovative experiences. Not to say that the traditional model won’t exist but the digital model offers a lot of plusses.

For now though I am looking forward to my limited edition super Mario all-stars on the wii in December.

Sony E3 2010

In my eyes Sony’s E3 2010 press conference came second after Nintendo. They showed a vast array of game titles covering all types of genres and appealing to all demographics. This has always been a strong point for Sony.

In my eyes Sony’s E3 2010 press conference came second after Nintendo. They showed a vast array of game titles covering all types of genres and appealing to all demographics. This has always been a strong point for Sony.

I think the change that we are seeing from Sony is that like Nintendo they too are moving towards producing more first party titles as evident from the below.

One thing you won’t get away from is 3D with glasses or without. I believe playing certain games such as Killzone 3D or Gran Turismo 5 3D will enhance the experience and immersing you even more in the environments. From the keynote I thought Killzone 3 is shaping up to be something special and judging by the last public demo of Gran Turismo 5 you can tell it is taking shape and I hope it is worth the wait as it is still my racer of choice.

I wasn’t too impressed with Infamous 2 and never enjoyed the first game. However, LittleBigPlanet 2 looks all the more important with its new level of creativity taken to the extreme and covering a wide variety of genres. This could become it’s own ‘mini APP’ outlet.

EA seemed to be in cahoots with Sony as of late and announced exclusive content only for PS3 such as Dead Space 2, Medal of Honor and Mafia 2. This is overall good news for Sony given that Activision have favoured the XBOX.

Sony also, showed off their Move controller. Seeing some of the demos such as Sorcery, Tiger Woods 11 and Socom confrontation I can see this working well on traditional games as well as the frivolous party games that will inevitably ensue.

Kevin Butler also made a grand speech claiming that all gamers were important and that the casual and hardcore games could co-exist which is the overall message that Sony is trying to portray.

The oddity of no new PSP is a puzzling one but I suspect Sony wanted to sit back and wait to see what Nintendo offered. They have falsely backed a dying 5 year old PSP console for the next 6 months. Although, the PSP is selling well in Japan I am sure that these sales will pan down with no new Monster Hunter or Metal Gear for the remaining 6 months. I am looking forward to Patapon 3 and God of War: Ghost of Sparta which is due to be a last hurrah for the current gen PSP.

Sony also, showed off the Playstation Plus a new subscription service which will give you exclusive demos, free games and other benefits. Package looks good so far and the fact they have taken a different route to XBOX Live bodes well to add a differentiator in the services offered to gamers overall.

All in all Sony made a stable and impressive showing.

Kinect = 32x pricing listed and it is not good

Shopto and Microsoft’s website have priced the Kinect at a staggering £120. If this is true it’s gonna sink. Anyone remember the 32x??

I am not sure what strategy is being employed but this can’t be priced at more than £50 for it to be adopted by current Xbox users as well as newcomers. This is heading towards epic fail status.w. Let’s wait and see I am a fiend for new tech and probably purchase on day of release only to have buyer’s remorse the next day before being hurriedly flung onto Ebay.

Microsoft e3 2010

Microsoft’s E3 was light on content in my eyes. They started off by showing call of duty black ops and announced an exclusive deal with activation that sees all future dlc will come out on xbox first then Sony after a few months. I say meh :/

Secondly, Gears of war 3 was in playable form. Looks graphically stunning and add to that 4 player co op campaign should see it as an instant success in April 2010. Cliffy B of Epic games also announced a new franchise that will be coming exclusive to Xbox called Bulletstorm which to me looked similar to Gears of war in style. Maybe this will take over once the Gears trilogy concludes.

Next it was Bungie’s turn to show their latest build of Halo Reach. Looks like the same Halo formula to me expected to hit September I am sure it will sell by the bucketload. I wasn’t that impressed with ODST. However, some of the best multiplayer co op experiences I have had was playing Halo so here’s hoping.

Then Microsoft decided to devote the rest of the show to project Natal now officially known as Kinect. Games which eerily resembled the casual Wii catalogue without the Nintendo charm were shown. Harshly putting it they looked pants and I lost interest in the conference going forward. Kinectimals, extreme sports game, kinect sports and dance central (by Harmonix) were shown. I was more impressed in using the Kinect as a virtual remote where the camera detects your movement however this does whiff of eye toy to me with you holding your hand over a menu item for a few seconds before it is selected. In order to use the Kinect as a virtual remote Microsoft have created a new section in the dashboard which let’s you control all of the features using Kinect as a camera and microphone with voice commands.

I perked up when I saw new hardware unveiled at the end of the show. The new Xbox 360 slim console was long overdue and comes with wireless n wifi, 250gb hard drive, whisper quiet DVD drive and smaller chassis. All in all I was disappointed with Xbox line up and Kinect did not live up to it’s hype from E3 2009.

Mirrors edge iPad review

After playing the 360 version of Mirror’s edge and enjoying it. I decided to give this a whirl. This game basically takes the same story from the 360 version and transfers it on a 2d plane. You use motion swipes to control faith the runner. The movement and the feedback of controlling the character is executed very well. On occasions however I did find that when I swiped to do a flying kick fir instance it did not detect my movement. This was sometimes frustrating as with the 360 version where instant death ensued for any mistakes that you do.

The game is very short at around the 3-4 hour mark. There are extra modes such as multiplayer and challenges but I haven’t tried them yet. Graphically as a first generation iPad game it has a high enough resolution however I feel the polygon count could have been upped to produce better character models. But overall I was happy with the game if not a tad short for the outlay and usually I an more interested in playing the story modes above anything else.

3/5

Nintendo e3 2010

I made the ballsy move and purchased an IPAD. I fell in love with this device straightaway. I have owned various PC’s, MAC’s and portable touch screen devices over the years and I will try to justify what makes this essential and different. This is not just an oversized Iphone which many have stamped this with.

After streaming the Nintendo e3 I was left feeling elated. The past few years Nintendo have been dismissive of the hardcore gamers and chasing after the casual crowd. This year changed all that. There were no new franchises announced which is good and bad.

Nintendo unveiled the latest demo of Zelda skyward sword using the motion plus. Granted this didn’t look like nothing ground breaking but I am hopefully nonetheless. Also, Nintendo unveiled kirby’s epic yarn and confirmed that 2d gaming is truly back. Graphically Kirby looks amazing using fabric type textures. A remake of goldeneye by activation was also announced. I remain sceptical on this one and don’t they will be able to reinvigorate this title bearing in mind there are some great first person shooters currently out there.

The unveiling of the 3ds with no glasses required had people puzzled but post keynote the response was positive. Once people got a chance to experience it for themselves however the hype went sky high. I am not impressed with the appearance of the unit and in my eyes looks slightly ugly compared to the Nintendo dsi’s sleek lines. A bunch of games were announced for the system such as a remake of Zelda ocarina of time, pilotwings, final fantasy, dragon quest, metals gear snake eater among others. I am sure there will be a Mario game as well.

Overall Nintendo did well this time and won many more gamers who are looking for the next gen portable device.