PlayStation Experience 2015 Keynotes: Thoughts on VR

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Today was the start of PlayStation Experience. A 2 day event taking place in San Francisco to showcase some of PlayStation’s best, brightest and upcoming games. The most exciting part for me though was getting to hear more about PlayStation VR. What we knew about PlayStation VR coming into the event was the specs, release window (Q1 2016) and that fact that this device COULD cost alot, (think console price) these things were discussed earlier this year at E3, where PlayStation also showed off some pretty cool looking games. I expected to see more of those today, I didn’t.  What I was hoping for during this mornings keynote was a solid release date and a compelling reason to purchase this device day one. What I got was a a feeling of uncertainty for PlayStation VR.

 

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The Modern Zombie Taxi Co.

During the VR portion of the keynote I was hoping to hear about that “must have app”  the game that will sell this probably expensive device, I didn’t really see that. What I did see was The Modern Zombie Taxi Co. and Job Simulator which both look like fun bite sized distractions but nothing that I could sink my teeth into and get lost in. Eagle Flight by Ubisoft a dizzying look at how it must feel to fly like an eagle. 100 ft Robot Golf, which looks like 100 ft robot golf…and seems fun enough but all of these are arcade type of games.

What was absent were experiences that have high fidelity visuals and a vast world begging to be explored. Even though I’m sure some of those games are in development and like mentioned above we have seen bits of during E3 this year but the fact that they weren’t shown or even talked about during this keynote was a bit discouraging. Sony is running out of time to explain to us why VR is important. But luckily it does seem as though PlayStation is all in and betting big on VR . Making the lack of the “must have app” even more maddening.

 

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It wasn’t all bad though. Some positives from the VR portion of the Keynote were things a quick trailer for Golem from Hirewire Games, Ace Combat 7 and REZ Infinite. They look great. And really the promise is there with VR you can see the glimmering of hope.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong no one is more excited then me for VR and especially PlayStation VR. Will I buy one day? Yes. Will I have fun with it? Most definitely, but for PlayStation VR to become mainstream and not just another PlayStation Move, it needs to appeal to more than just the tech junkies and gamers that need to have something day one. (I fall into both of those categories) There is still time during #PSX2015 to show us something and since we don’t have a solid release date it’s not all doom and gloom for PlayStation VR, and its not like I didn’t want to play the games I saw. I just expected a little more since the had the stage and a lot of people watching. Let me know your thoughts on the VR portion of the keynotes in the comments.

-Tony-

Image Credit: PlayStation Blog

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What Gaming Taught Me : Metal Gear Edition

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Well well, what do we have here? Another fantastic entry in our weekly feature What Gaming Taught Me! 

Kick back, relax, grab a Mountain Dew or whatever the kids are drinking these days and have a read of……

What Metal Gear Taught Me!

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You can’t run from your problems.
In the original Metal Gear there might have been times when you felt overwhelmed by the enemies on the screen. So much so that you might think after taking out one or two of them that the best plan is to flee before you get killed. Running to the next screen might seem like a good idea but if you ever have to return to that previous screen you’ll see those same enemies waiting for you. And worst of all the ones you killed, umm yah they’re back now too. This taught me at an early age that it’s best to deal with your problems then and there.

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Think outside the box….
Or in this case inside the box. Metal gear shows that sometimes you need to find a way that MIGHT be a little different than the norm to solve a problem. What’s the best way to sneak around an enemy compound? Well a box of course. To solve a problem like that indeed shows some out of the box thinking.

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Nothing lasts forever 😦
David Hayter is a name most Metal Gear fans know very well. He’s been the voice behind Snake for over a decade. It wasn’t until the latest game in the franchise (Metal Gear: Ground Zeroes) that he was replaced, by Kiefer Sutherland no less. Most of us couldn’t image Snake without Hayter and I’m still not happy about it, but I guess nothing can last forever.

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Dress to impress.
Metal Gear Solid on the OG PlayStation had TONS of unlockables. One of my personal favorites is the tuxedo suit. After beating the game twice, on the third playthough Snake would take off his swimming gear in the famous elevator cut scene and reveal that he was wearing a tuxedo! At that moment I thought to myself if Snake can suit up for a dangerous life-threatening mission, surely I could dress to impress in my daily life as well. Thanks for the fashion tip Snake. SUIT UP! 

And there you have folks. Has there been any lessons that Snake and company have taught you??

-Tony-

The Virtual Console: Where’s the Games

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I’m going to start off right away by saying I love Nintendo. They are a great company and have the best franchises in the industry in my opinion. That being said I’m also their biggest critic. I want them to succeed and be the Nintendo that the fans deserve. So if I see a misstep in their strategy I’m the first to point it out. Ok now that we got that discloser out of the way here comes the rant 😉
 
Every week I eagerly await Thursday morning. When Thursday roles around I jump online first thing to see what Nintendo will allow me to download on my Wii U and 3DS. Mostly it’s the virtual console titles that I am interested in. Nintendo has a fantastic backlog of titles that can be released at any moment. So why is there so many weeks where I find nothing, I repeat nothing that I want to download. In my opinion this is unacceptable.  Let’s face it as much as I love the Wii U and the companies first party titles they are not coming out fast enough. So how do you keep customers happy during this time? Give them more of the classics that made them fans in the first place. This shouldn’t be this hard. We already have a fantastic library available on the Wii. I was hoping second time around we wont have to wait so long. It boggles my mind that the Virtual Console service is such a barren wasteland. There has been times where weeks in a row I have no interest in any games released. How does this happen you’re the company that created Mario?!   
 
The SNES had some of the best games and there are hardly any of them on the service. Don’t even get me started on N64 games. I want to play Mario 64 again. And on the gamepad.  That would be so awesome. I know Nintendo is said to be adding GameBoy Advanced games in April and I welcome those games. But shouldn’t they have all the games that are already on the VC for the Wii get released on the Wii U by now. Like seriously N64 GAMES PLEASE!

Alright I’m done being angry now I’m going to put my Wii U into Wii mode so I can play Mario 64.
 
-Tony-

Project Morpheus: The PS4 VA Headset

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After much speculation Sony has FINALLY announced the much rumored VR headset for PlayStation. The prototype with the code name Project Morpheus, gives us a look as what could possibly be the future of PlayStation.

PlayStation Head, Shuhei Yoshida said that (virtual reality) “may well shape the future of games” he also stated that the company will be looking at the headset as a medium and not just a peripheral. Project Morpheus will be making its way into devs hands shortly, with a few partners already said to be on board.  
 
Dr. Richard Marks of PlayStation research and developed mentioned that Sony is thinking outside of gaming as well. Stating that he has been working with NASA to create a “virtual walk on Mars”
 
 
No official specs or price has been announced.

With the Oculus Rift, PlayStations’ Project Morpheus and Microsoft rumored VR headset it looks like gaming could get even more interesting later this year.
 
-Tony
Source : IGN

Ubisoft: Nothing But Franchises

In a recent interview with The A List Daily Ubisofts Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tony Key was asked if Watch Dogs will see a sequel. “Absolutely. That’s what all our games are about; we won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it.” Tony replied. He also mentioned that the cost of development is too high to make anything other than a blockbuster. So what does this mean for us, the end users, the gamers?

Well you can bet that there will be another Assassins Creed and Far Cry and now I guess Watch Dogs too. But is that what we want?  Sure Ubisoft has some amazing properties but recreating those same experiences over and over again leads to less innovation and frankly to me feels like a money grab. Some people may argue that Assassins Creed already has become a little long in the tooth. And do you really want another Raving Rabbits game? 

The point is regurgitating franchises over and over again leads to the same experiences over and over again as well. Games like The Last of Us wouldn’t get made and couldn’t get made with this mind set. How can we ever get rich new experiences that push the boundaries if we have to play the same game time and time again. In my mind its nothing more than a money grab, if you build it they will pay. I guess what could you except coming from the mouth of the sales and marketing guy.

What are your thoughts on matter? Are you satisfied with getting a new Assassins on a yearly basis? Sound off in the comments?  
-T-

Souce: http://www.thealistdaily.com/news/tony-key-interview-part-1-now-were-in-blockbuster-world/

Why I’m Addicted to Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS is super addicting game and after clocking over 150 hours (I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon by the way) I started to wonder what makes me so hooked on this game. How could a game about essentially just working and paying off debits be so rewarding? I do that in real life and it’s NOT fun.
 Some people like to play Animal Crossing nice and slow at a pace that is obvious the developer wants you to play. Little by little you progress new events trigger and sometimes even holidays and festivals. This keeps you engaged for the long term and ensure you’ll still be playing months from now. And some people like to grind it out and collect all the bells they can and also use time travelling to aid the progression of there game. Myself I like to play right in the middle. Some days I really grind it out collecting all I can, it’s something I usually do if I can’t sleep or am up really late when there is not much happening in the town and no shops are open. (I decided to keep the default town hours) Other times I like to have a chat with the always colorful towns fork, and see if there is anything I can do for them. I also enjoy decorating my home and from time to time a little gardening. (This is starting to read like an internet dating profile)
Anyways after some thought I realized what it is about this game, it’s just so delightful. The whole world and all it inhabitants are charming. And then when I put down the 3DS for a moment I start to wish my life was more like how it is in Animal Crossing.
Some examples include:
In Animal Crossing I go outside and my neighbors give me awesome nick names and tell me how cool I am.
In real life I go outside and my meddling neighbors complain about the height of my hedges.
In Animal Crossing I can expand my house at least every week.
In real life…since I moved in to my home last year, I changed umm… my shower head. That’s a start right?
In Animal Crossing I am the mayor and I work in an office and my co-worker is delightful and wants to help me any chance she gets.
In real life I work in an office, its horrible and soul sucking and my co-workers are all jerks….
You get the idea.
It’s refreshing to see such a polished, detailed game that doesn’t have to be about shooting or killing. Overall the world and the game just makes me feel happy and after all isn’t that what gaming is suppose to do to us.
What are your thoughts on Animal Crossing? What’s you style of play and are you as addicted as I am?
-T-

Final Fantasy VII now with more STEAM!

ImageHappy Days Everyone! Today on Steam you can go and download one of my personal favorite games, Final Fantasy VII. The game includes a few updates like cloud saves, achievements and some character upgrades. This game to me is the definition of Final Fantasy. It is the apex of the series and represents everything good about the Final Fantasy. It’s one of the very few original Playstation discs I still physically own. Even though I have the disc I don’t currently own anything that could play it, it’s kind of just a keepsake at this point. But now with the re-release on Steam it means I get the chance to enjoy this gem of a game all over again. All I know is that my wife and daughter may or may not be ignored this weekend. So anyone else have a soft spot in their hearts for this game? Or am I just crazy? Either way sound off in the comments.

-Tony-