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Posts Tagged ‘sony’

(Hi there. Long time no see. A very long time actually, almost one month and a half!
Blame games, tumblr and my vacations.)

I know how much of old news this is.

So. E3 came, went, and everyone was really excited by that afterwards, which’s exactly how things happen, since it always leaves a big impact on everyone. From what I could tell, since I only watched the three big conferences (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) and EA’s one, it was all split into one big joke and some awesome innovations.

Then again, isn’t it always like that?

Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly like I expected. And some things were just as expected, for the better or the funnier.

Nope, not THAT funny!

First big conference to brighten my day was Microsoft’s. And not even one minute in, while they were starting with the first level of Modern Warfare 3 (which was already spoiled to death, but I care not), a controller error happens for a few seconds, and I swear 80% of the viewers (online, not the audience, they’re somewhat obliged to not laugh at errors) at least giggled a bit. Now, that could be considered just a typical error, but we’re talking about Microsoft here. Anything bad that happens is ludicrously increased due to Kinect’s overall failure. Not to say it’s a complete gimmick, but it was made to sell more XBox 360 units due to its multitude of uses, from lazily browsing through your movie playlist to awkwardly talking to someone or making sure the whole buyer-spectrum is increased, since now older people can enjoy exercising games and girls who barely play games can just buy a dance one and do some steps.
Not a bad move, just awfully planned and rushed.

After that and a literal flood of bad games, even more bad Kinect action (what was that whole Star Wars: Kinect even about, good God Lucas stop the cow milking), the only thing that made my jaw drop a bit was the new Ghost Recon game, and its weapon customizing system. My God, what is that? Truly nice just to look at.

Come on, this IS awesome.

Though, truth be told, the whole thing was really just a big scripted presentation after all, just like all of Microsoft’s.

Now, for Sony’s little show…

"Calm down everyone, this apology will just take lots of minutes."

I was hoping for Kevin Butler making fun of the whole PSN Hack in any way but, instead, what we got was Sony’s CEO Jack Tretton apologizing every time he got the chance to. Which, to be honest, just made for a poor presentation. Not that I don’t understand his heartfelt apologies (which wouldn’t be so “heartfelt” if he didn’t made millions out of PSN itself), but the way the entire first half of the presentation was focusing on that was kinda sad. Pitiful even, if I might say so myself, but I suppose that’d be exaggerating. After all, he did what he was supposed to, even though Sony’s apology-gifts could be better.

Now, the second half… Here’s where the magic kicks in. See, back in 2010, Sony thought it would be cool to introduce 3D technology to games, making sure people were able to play them like so by just wearing a pair of glasses, while obviously with their PS3 connected to a Sony television which performed all the magic. And they thought it’d be cool to innovate on that too. Which brings me to the Playstation TV, a television that allows you to play split-screen games with other people while viewing your own screen fully (yes, glasses, obviously).

Can it do my homework? Nevermind that, still awesome.

Not only that, but they also announced their new portable console, the PSVita. Ok, not the brightest of names, but hey, still quite something! Specially when you get to actually play your game on a TV without losing your progress and/or the graphical quality! Yes, it really looked like a good portable console, and I wanted it right away.

That is, until the third (and usually biggest) conference.

OK, the whole "Wii" name is kind of an appeal.

Let’s face it, Nintendo always manages to pull some incredible technological show and, since they’re the last ones to present, it’s like the other companies just go to a corner to silently cry (yes I am exaggerating for comical purposes don’t bash on it). But this year was off the chart with Nintendo’s new console, WiiU. Firstly, that’s the most ridiculous name ever. And secondly, this funnily-named console is pretty much Nintendo’s entrance to the actual game market.

Yes, I said entrance.

You see, pretty much all of Nintendo’s customers are loyal ones, who tend to go just for the same old franchises, buy new consoles just because it’s a family-brand one and all that which we already know. Now, though, Nintendo’s bringing in the heavy firepower to counterattack this gen’s consoles, not just with the system’s specifications, but with how it handles it. Many new titles seem to be coming to it, and a broader range of genres as well, including the ones everyone thought were feared by Nintendo, like “gorey” First Person Shooters.

WiiU fact sheet, dated from the end of the conference.

About the controller, which possess augmented-reality, you may think it’s just something to take our eyes away from the fact that this new console “won’t stand much of a chance against the other ones, specially new ones!“.
I beg to differ:

Then again, I’m not gonna place high bets on it either. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?

Signing out again, hopefully without more breaks,
Arthur Müller.

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(I seem to speak an awful lot about Sony, gotta check that sometime)

And the PSN is up again! This time, I hope, at full force. Then again, it was no surprise to everyone when it went down shortly after powering back up again, due to a server overload. Good users, after changing their passwords, were informed they could download 2 of the following games for their PS3: Dead NationinFAMOUSLittleBIGPlanetSuper Stardust HD or Wipeout HD+Fury. This offer is valid up to 30 days after PSN Store is up and running again and, in my humble opinion, this is just a small offer of theirs.

Hooray, a racing game! Then again, there could be more.

I’m not saying the games listed are bad, not in the slightest! First of, you get LittleBIGPlanet, where you can pretty much make any game you want, limited only by your imagination (and one or two game mechanics, but let’s leave it at that). Wipeout HD is another really fun game, then again, I love racers, so I’m kinda suspicious. But we also have Dead Nation, a good shoot’em up, like it’s “predecessor” (well, made by the same company, anyway), Super Stardust HD! All of the mentioned with multi-player action, which is a smart option by Sony, given how multi-player games can make all fun last a little while longer. Or a bit more, depends on your friends and on the game!

Dead Nation also has really amazing graphics, at least for a shoot'em up!

If you’re a fan of single-player games only, there’s inFAMOUS, which is OK, I suppose. I mean, I for one like Prototype way more than inFAMOUS, but that’s just good old me. Now, what was I saying about games? Oh, yeah! Their selection seems good, but it’s not that much, honestly. With so many good single-player games to be released as well, like Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, an exclusive JRPG, but a good one nevertheless. Speaking of JRPGs, White Knight Chronicles, another incredible title which could’ve easily been put as a free game for a period of time. Or even Heavenly Sword, an amazing hack’n slash game which was highly regarded by everyone. With Killzone 3 released, I thought they could also give Killzone 2 for free, but for a lesser period of time (something like a 3-day-limit or so), it’d work wonders. Hell, even Siren: Blood Curse would be an excellent, excellent choice!

"Hey we're sorry PSN was down, here, have this awesome game instead, free of charge!"

“But it’s not that easy to get such games for free and” oh, cry me a river then. Do you know how low PSN being down would look like if they gave one of the mentioned (and exclusive) games earlier, doing something like what Steam’s doing with their deals, one game per day for a period of 30 days? And then, maybe, a mash-up of the top 6 most downloaded games on the 31th day. Hell, this would make everything look ignorable. But no, they did that. It wasn’t that bad of a move, but it seemed a bit… Inconsiderable of them.

I’m not complaining about their choices.
I’m just saying they could’ve acted a bit smarter there.

(I own none of the images above)

Thinking about playing Dead Rising 2 anytime now,

Arthur Müller.

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Ah Sony, you really know how to dive!

We all know (or should, come on, it’s on most news!) that PlayStation Network is down for quite the time now, nearly one week! And that’s no good, specially to users, who could have their information stolen due to a, with all due respect, lazy regular procedure by Sony (it seems the credit card information is encrypted while on server, but this could’ve be said just to calm people down). At least Sony confirmed this data loss possibility, and is bound to face countless law suits against (with 77 million accounts registered since November’06, and about 18 million actual users you do the math) such irresponsible attitudes. What was their Public Relationships area thinking? Better yet, were they thinking at all??

Sony’s employees are working day and night to restore the servers, which will be turned back on when everything’s 120% safe. Things should solve themselves in one week, give or take. And that, to the regular, slightly-avid gamer, is almost a month.

In any way, all of this mess (or, as they refer to, “crisis”) will cost Sony the small sum of approximately 24 billion dollars, and it caused this:

And down they go!

With stocks going down at an alarming rate, their tablets will barely save them. The gigantic Japanese industry is, quite sadly, falling. Or, in the most cheerful of hypothesis, it’s all just a big scare from this awful problem. Sony’s working with the police to find out who did this horrible thing, but I don’t see many hopes in finding the guilty. I mean, I hope they’re brought to justice, but let’s face it, they hacked into a very big and somewhat powerful server, crippled it completely and quite possibly stole personal/financial information from about 18 million users. That’s no small feat.

While most would think Anonymous itself was responsible for this, they weren’t. In fact, they even released a video with theories that Sony is using this to justify their “incompetence”, and claim that, while any other anonymous group could have acted by themselves, they weren’t the ones who did this. Check it:

With online gaming business increasing every single day, that’s quite the sucker-punch, not just to that kind of approach, but to the entire company in the gaming area.

Regardless of anything, I hope Sony don’t repeat the same mistakes they did in the past and don’t screw things up more than they already are.

(I own none of the pictures above)

Logging off,

Arthur Müller.

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(No, I’m not getting paid to say this, sadly)

Say hi to the one tablet that will most likely rock the market:

Introducing S1 (left) and S2 (right)!

After trying its luck with PSMove and surprisingly succeeding more than I thought it would (although giving some Nintendo “people” (read: Shigeru) a true Poker Face during E3), Sony decided to embark head-on in the tablet industry, presenting in Tokyo the S1 (the big one there, 9.4″ screen) and S2 (you know, the one that looks like a Nintendo DS with two 5.5″ screens). Both have cameras and a Tegra 2 SoC (nVidia) processor, along with Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. The S2 also doubles as an e-book reader (at least it has an app for it) and is in the “clamshell” format, making it incredibly easy to handle and pocket in.

See what I mean?

S1 is supposed to be incredibly light and, yet, able to sustain a good level of comfort through extended use. S2, on the other hand, also has some buttons to control how the screens react, since you can use a simple or double screen system, which also means both can interact independently. both with Android 3.0 (oh yes it is the sweet and delicious Honeycomb), a quick to use interface and a more than obvious PlayStation certificate, making them able to connect to any network (a.k.a. PSN, but that’s still to be really confirmed) and playing most low-end PlayStation games (think PS1 oh God PS1 classics with dual screen give me two now).

Plus, many other features from Sony itself, like the ability to stream videos and music to televisions through DLNA wireless, infrared to be used with their Bravia televisions and much more (or so they say, I wanna confirm this before anything else). On the infrared note, S1 can be used as a remote control for most Sony apparels.

You can check on more photos of these beauties here, and a quite small presentation video here!

Sony's S2, closed.

Now, why did I said it’d rock the market? If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s not due to their Sony-only-compatibility. No, Sony televisions aren’t that high in sale charts, and with the PSN down for almost one week, it’s not like the PS3 got any positive looks. It’ll shake down the tablet market solely because of Android 3.0. With its apps, functionality and so on, we can only hope (again with hopes) for an incredibly high ability to customize them.

And I doubt they won’t be “hackable” so users can emulate other systems and play PS1 games just fine, for free (yar-har and a bottle of rum). Hell, even PS3 had its security measures and look at what happened.

Prices are still to be announced (rumor has it that it’ll be $599 for S1 and $699 for S2), and I’m as eager as a thirsty man stranded on a desert. That aside, we can also expect good things from the NGP (PSP’s successor) and some acceptable ones from Sony Ericsson’s new smartphone, XPeria.

(I obviously own none of the pictures above)

Signing off with hopes no one sues me,

Arthur Müller.

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