PS3 Move in all its glory

The PS3 Move has now been released.  I have been an advocate of this tech when it was shown at E3 2009.  The potential for the motion controller seemed high.  Strategically it was geared up as high definition version of the Wii Remote and would have really appealed to an audience who were looking for the next generation of gaming.

In the PS3 Move bundle you get the Wand controller, PS3 Eye and a starter disc.  You have to purchase a sub controller separately at additional cost or use a Dual Shock 3 controller using one hand (good luck with that).  The setup is slightly pain free which will get you up and running in no time at all using the starter disc.  However, if you have lighting issues i.e. too brighter an environment the PS3 Eye will have trouble in detecting the Wand controller.

Where I think the trouble begins with the Move is its integration with the XMB (cross media browser) menu system.  Trying to navigate with the Wand controller is night on impossible and Sony really need to update this to be a more integrated solution.  The problem arises with the sensitivity of the device and scrolling up or down, left or right through the menus is either too fast or too slow.  I also, found that there is slight lag in picking up the controller.  The Wand controller needs to mimic a mouse controller rather than a dual shock controller and this is where it will be most effective when using the PS3’s web browser for their PS store and also the BBC Iplayer, 4OD and ITV player services.  But this will entail a complete rebuild of the XMB which I don’t Sony will commit to.

However, playing some of the demos available on the start up disc such as Table tennis and Tiger Woods golf proves how effective the controller can be.  It is super accurate in picking up your movements and it is truly 1:1 detection.  The potential for future games such as Killzone 3 having Move support seems to be a mouth watering proposition and will appeal to the hardcore. The PS3 Move has now been released.  I have been an advocate of this tech when it was shown at E3 2009.  The potential for the motion controller seemed high.  Strategically it was geared up as high definition version of the Wii Remote and would have really appealed to an audience who were looking for the next generation of gaming.

In the PS3 Move bundle you get the Wand controller, PS3 Eye and a starter disc.  You have to purchase a sub controller separately at additional cost or use a Dual Shock 3 controller using one hand (good luck with that).  The setup is slightly pain free which will get you up and running in no time at all using the starter disc.  However, if you have lighting issues i.e. too brighter an environment the PS3 Eye will have trouble in detecting the Wand controller.

Where I think the trouble begins with the Move is its integration with the XMB (cross media browser) menu system.  Trying to navigate with the Wand controller is night on impossible and Sony really need to update this to be a more integrated solution.  The problem arises with the sensitivity of the device and scrolling up or down, left or right through the menus is either too fast or too slow.  I also, found that there is slight lag in picking up the controller.  The Wand controller needs to mimic a mouse controller rather than a dual shock controller and this is where it will be most effective when using the PS3’s web browser for their PS store and also the BBC Iplayer, 4OD and ITV player services.  But this will entail a complete rebuild of the XMB which I don’t Sony will commit to.

However, playing some of the demos available on the start up disc such as Table tennis proves how effective the controller can be.  It is super accurate in picking up your movements and it is truly 1:1 detection.  The potential for future games such as Killzone 3 having Move support seems to be a mouth watering proposition.  However, the controls need to be spot on for this to work.  Most of the launch software seems tripe though and like with all console related peripherals this can only be as successful as the software launched for it.  There needs to be a game changer for the casual crowd to start buying into the PS3 Move.  At the moment, it doesn’t seem like Sony are fully behind the Move whilst Microsoft on the other hand have heavily invested in advertising campaigns and released a decent amount of good quality software for the Kinect.

Truth be told both the Kinect and PS Move were released to extend the life of the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively however, as the tech is not an integral part of the way the consoles work compared to a traditional controllers I expect interest in the devices to drop early next year.  This will allow Nintendo’s next home console to start building momentum.

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

Star Defense review

I purchased Star Defense back in July 09 and have only just managed to play it. With a barrage of games to play this was put on the back burner. After purchasing an IPAD I decided to give this a go on this device. I have been playing this on and off over the past few weeks and managed to complete the game whilst watching the world cup games :)

The objective of the game like any other strategy tower defense game is to defend your base from the incoming enemies this time being aliens. The hook of this game seems to be the planet being your level which is an ingenious piece of level design. You pinch, pan and zoom around the globes and add towers in key locations to defend your base. Enemies come in waves and in a variety of sizesthey are immune to certain types of weaponry i.e. fire, plasma. So you really need to have an assortment of cannons placed to maximise your chances of success.

A few strategy hints I could give is to make the most of your environments. You need to really use each tower/gunner in the optimal position i.e. covering the most area/radius possible. Also, it is better to upgrade your weaponry rather than adding towers. The plasma and flame cannons should be your staple and adding the slow down cannons at key locations such as opposite flame or plasma cannons can help but I wouldn’t use them more than two or three of them on each level. I completed the last level using only 20 out of 30 possible towers and the majority were upgraded to the max.

Lastability is around 8-10 hours. The fourth planet was really challenging and took the most effort. It is a very addictive game but there are gameplay balancing issues as mentioned before which hampers the experience a little bit they could learn a thing or two from Popcap. All in all I enjoyed this very much and similar to Plants vs Zombies has that ‘one more go’ appeal.

4/5

Microsoft Natal = Kinect

So have seen some of the videos on IGN.com and computerandvideogames.com for the newly named Kinect. To be honest I am not that impressed.

So have seen some of the videos on IGN.com and computerandvideogames.com for the newly named Kinect.  To be honest I am not that impressed.

The videos show nothing new so far and looks like a blatant rip off of the Wii.  The Kinect sports game seems painful and tiresome to play.  I am no couch potato but I live above someone and I don’t think the stampeding of four players is a good idea when playing the hurdles event in Kinect sport.

The only thing the Kinect seems good for is using as a virtual remote by using hand gestures a la Minority report.  This seems like an expensive investment if you are using as a virtual remote and let’s be honest judging by the games so far that’s what it’ll end up being.

Good idea on paper but execution is poor, put in the list as the most costliest failure ever.  I have said all along that Sony have taken the right strategy with the PS Move and are showing games which will appeal to all audiences.  With regards to Nintendo Wii they can rest in peace.  It’s gonna take a lot to convince me.

Iphone 4 details

Iphone 4 has finally been confirmed with a UK release date of 24th June. Pricing has yet to be announced by O2, T mobile, Orange and Vodafone.

Iphone 4 has finally been confirmed with a UK release date of 24th June.  Pricing has yet to be announced by O2, T mobile,  Orange and Vodafone.

The new Iphone looks very good on paper and with the new OS firmware which includes multi-tasking plus a raft of other features we are in for a treat.

The features are:

  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • Imovie (App purchase seperately)
  • Slimmer form factor
  • Wider viewing angle
  • High resolution display
  • Facetime for video chats over WIFI
  • Front facing camera
  • Longer batter life
  • Glass back and front
  • Metal housing
  • A4 processor (speed hasn’t been confirmed; could be same as IPAD)
  • 720P video recording
  • 16GB or 32GB version
  • Gyroscope for full six axis movement – ideal for gaming

Looks brilliant and has upped the stakes in the mobile space.  Can’t wait to play games even smoother and crisper than before.  Bring it on!!!