E3 Posts Coming Soon

E3 is being held this week in L.A. California (as well as WWDC in S.F. California)  Keep checking back all week for new E3 related posts giving you a summarized look at the main events.  Keeping you up to date without having to watch hours of video, unless you want to that is! Let us know in the comments which events you want to see covered and they will be! – Simple right?!

Sony Playstaion 4 and Microsoft Xbox One will be published soon!!

Xbox 720 Reveal Date

Microsoft_Xbox_720_logo

Ever since Sony shown off it’s latest console, the PlayStation4, to the world gamers, including myself, have all been wondering what will the Xbox 720 look like and just how Microsoft are going to respond.

Rumours have always been appearing on the internet however just like what happened before Sony lured gamers with the “see the future” event these rumours may start becoming truth.  There is no confirmation of the name, price, or release date Microsoft are being very quiet however we could be close.

21st May 2013

This is the date every gamer, Microsoft, Sony fanatic should be aware of.

“Windows watcher Paul Thurrott revealed recently that Microsoft is planning an Xbox event for May 21st, and we understand this date is accurate. This is the tentative date for a next-generation Xbox announcement, but Microsoft had originally planned an April 24th event.” According to The Guardian.

Companies such as The Verge, IGN also suspect a May release date which  will then benefit Microsoft by showing off their latest console just one month later at E3.

IGN quote that “Despite fears to the contrary, Thurrott also asserted in the podcast that the Xbox 720 will be a gaming device first and foremost, and will not attempt to serve as an entertainment hub for the living room. Supposedly another model of the console was originally planned to target that niche, but the idea has since been put on the back-burner.”

The Xbox720, who’s name may be changed, will hopefully focus more on gaming rather than an entertainment system,however download content such as movies may once again make the 720 an entertainment system. It is rumored to make use of Windows 8 and a separate unit set to appeal to the more ‘casual gamer’.

Interestingly it may have to be connected to the internet therefore being DRM, as quoted once by Thurrot,

“The thing that interests me, going back and looking at some of the stuff I got a long time ago, it actually says ‘must be internet-connected to use’ in the notes,” he explained, before adding, “And that’s all I have, but it does say that.”

This could be Microsoft way of exploring cross-platform opportunities which may eventually lead towards a phone and television set.  However this is another story.

Please remember as of yet there is no comment from Microsoft.

 

Sources;

IGN (2013) Veteran Tech Blogger Spills Xbox 720 Reveal Date, Pricing and More – IGN. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/04/08/veteran-tech-blogger-spills-xbox-720-reveal-date-pricing-and-more [Accessed: 9 Apr 2013].

The Guardian (2013) Press Start: Xbox 720 event rumoured for May. [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/apr/09/press-start-game-news [Accessed: 9 Apr 2013].

The Inquirer (2013) Microsoft might announce the Xbox 720 in May. [online] Available at: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2259815/microsoft-might-announce-the-xbox-720-in-may [Accessed: 9 Apr 2013].

What’s Your Tag? (2013) Xbox 720 Reveal Date and Pricing. [online] Available at: http://whatsyourtagblog.com/2013/04/08/xbox-720-reveal-date-and-pricing/ [Accessed: 9 Apr 2013].

Xbox plan to announce the 720 soon!

With all the hype surrounding the latest PS4 and the announcement which took place last week in New York, Microsoft have indeed reacted to this, although not in the way that you may have expected.

Of course there is, and probably will always be, a dispute between Sony and Microsoft who are the biggest competitors when it comes to Video Game Platforms,  WHOIS data, has allegedly stated that XboxEvent.com was registered yesterday.

Another rumor is that Xbox may reveal the Xbox720 at E3 on 11th June, however with the Game Developers conference happening very soon perhaps Microsoft may decide to announce then.

More will be released on this story soon!

 

Updated 17th April 2013: Please note that since this post has been published the website mentioned is now removed.  Please visit https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/xbox-720-reveal-date/ for more Xbox 720 news.

OnLive: a cloud gaming platform

onlive-logo

OnLive, an online gaming network for your PC,  laptop, mac, or more recently you can download their app.  You can play games instantly with no downloads or discs required, whats better is demo games are free!

Taking a step back from reviewing games or informing you of future events we thought we would introduce you to OnLive, a free way trial some of the latest games. It is gamers best kept secret.  Some gamers reading this blog post may already be aware of OnLive, if you are then please comment saying how you first discovered OnLive and share your thoughts.  I first came across OnLive last summer, 2012, and instantly loved this world where I could free trail a number of games to discover for myself what they were like, what the graphics looked like and the back story to the game. This is a great way to try out as many different games you want while deciding which ones are worth you purchasing.

Back story

First founded in 2009 by Steve Perlman (also the CEO), it was introduced at the GDC (Game devlopers Confrence), for the US and later released in September 2011 for England,

OnLive is an on-demand gaming service. It’s essentially the gaming version of cloud computing – everything is computed, rendered and housed online. In its simplest description, your controller inputs are uploaded, a high-end server takes your inputs and plays the game, and then a video stream of the output is sent back to your computer. Think of it as something like Youtube or Hulu for games.

It was set out to change the way we not only view, but also play our well loved video games.  I’m not going to get too technical with the system requirements however if you would like to know what they are a “system requirements” link will be posted at the end of this post.  Originally, OnLive was set out to charge a monthly-fee of $14.95 when it was first introduced, luckily now there is no monthly-fee instead you can pay to purchase a game (more to come on that soon!)

Just last year, in August 2012, Onlive went into a like-bankruptcy and was sold to aventure capital group for just $4.8m (£3m). This led to serval workers loosing their jobs and Steve Perlman stepped down to “focus on other projects”.

OnLive has said it had 1.5 million “active users” at the time of the sale – although reports suggest that only about 1,600 subscribers were using the service at any one time.

However there are still many OnLive fans out there

How to play

The service works with pretty much any Windows or Mac machine as a small browser plug-in.  To get access to the free trails just sign up to the OnLive website, download and then load up the game service, ‘OnLive Launcher’ and chose a game to play.  Depending on your system requirements and network connection speed the connection can be low, it is also common to see a message informing you they are experiencing a high number of players so you will have to wait a while to be connected.

This is a downside as sometimes you can wait much longer times than others, or sometimes you are allowed straight in.  you can view what games people are playing live in the arena,  or browse games and play any that state “free trail available”. Unfortunately OnLive do not always have the latest games available and the big name console titles do not include games from Activision and Electronic Arts.

However if there are a series of games available by the developer they may have an earlier game available with a free trial instead of the latest one, as is the case with Assassins Creed.  This does allow you to have a more general sense of the game.  Onlive is also a great place for new gamers to start, they can browse the many different games and explore what platforms they enjoy playing.  If you know someone, such as a friend  who has bought a game through OnLive, and a free trial is available for that game, they can host a multiplier game for you both to enjoy.  The length of a free trial can vary but it is roughly 30 minutes long.  Even if you decide to purchase the game for your Xbox or PS it is definitely worth a look.

Future

Hopefully an arrival of OnLive app for Android, such as the Kindle Fire, will be released soon.  An announcement was made in December 2011 and is still not released.  Although, an app has been released for many tablets and phones, see the link at the bottom of this blog.

Sources; 

BBC News (2012) OnLive’s founder leaves company. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19397037 [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

BBC News (2012) OnLive was sold for less than $5m. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19896362 [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

IGN (2011) Hands-on with OnLive’s New Tablet App. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2011/12/08/hands-on-with-onlives-new-tablet-app [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

IGN (2009) GDC 09: OnLive Introduces The Future of Gaming – IGN. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2009/03/24/gdc-09-onlive-introduces-the-future-of-gaming [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

IGN (2011) OnLive: A Beginner’s Guide – IGN. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2011/08/10/onlive-a-beginners-guide [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

OnLive (2012) Devices Compatible with OnLive App for Android. [online] Available at: https://support.onlive.com/entries/22247662-devices-compatible-with-onlive-app-for-android [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

OnLive (2012) Computer and Internet Requirements for PC/Mac®. [online] Available at: https://support.onlive.com/entries/22264983-computer-and-internet-requirements-for-pc-mac [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

E3 2013, what we know so far

e3

Although June does seem a while away right not we absolutly cannot wait for E3!  For that reason we’ve decided this blog post will feature what we already know about this years E3 and will be regulary updated with the latest news.  So you don’t miss out on this we will regularly post on our Google+ page when this post has been updated, be sure to check it out and please like this post.  Here is a quick link to our Google+ page https://plus.google.com/u/0/103896170333263244118/posts    Don’t worry if you are new to gaming, have never heard about E3 before, or currently do not know who will be at E3, all is explained and revealed below, just for you.

When is E3?

This year E3 is on 11th to 13 June at  Los Angeles Convention Center, California.  The show hours are; 12:00PM – 6:00PM on Tuesday 11th June 2013, 10:00AM – 6:00PM on Wednesday 12th June 2013 and 10:00AM – 5:00PM on Thursday 13th June 2013.  Please note all times are Pacific Time Zone, UTC-8.

What is E3?

E3 stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo.  If you want to be among the first to know anything that happens in the gaming universe then it probably will be announced or revealed at E3.  As quoted on the website the event;

 “…draws tens of thousands of professionals to experience the future of interactive entertainment. The most influential people leading the most innovative companies in the industry attend E3 to see groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products for computers, video game consoles, handheld systems, mobile and social, and the Internet.”

This is the largest trade show and covers all aspects of gaming.  You cannot rightfully be a true geek until you have either been lucky enough to attend or sat on your laptop at home watching live the latest streaming of E3 coverage.  (Or so that is my definition)  An Expo floor pass for all 3 days will set you back $795 ($995 after 29th April 2013), a Industry pass is free with the catch being you have to be a qualified Interactive Entertainment Industry, meaning  professionals only.

Who is attending?

There are over 90 exhibitors so far! To see the full list visit the ‘E3 exhibitor directory’ link at the end of this post.  We have selected the best below;

      • Activision Publishing, Inc.
      • Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
      • CI Games
      • Disney Interactive
      • Electronic Arts
      • Epic Games Inc.
      • Gameloft
      • IGN Entertainment
      • Microsoft Corporation
      • NAMCO BANDAI Games America
      • Nintendo of America Inc.
      • OnLive
      • Sony Online Entertainment
      • Wargaming.net
      • Warner Bros. Interactive

Latest News

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have announced they will continue to hold this event in Los Angeles until 2015.

There is a possibility of Sony announcing the PS3 for the first time.  This has been hinted at with the past with Sony being in no rush to make an announcement, with the GDC (Game Developers Conference) happing in March maybe Sony will wait until June.

If you are a Nintendo fan then you’ll like this. Nintendo has confirmed that the next Super Smash Bros. game, which is to be a new 3D Mario game and a Mario Kart for Wii U will make their debut at E3.

More News Coming Soon!!

Such as the E3 2013 mobile app!  (if you prefer you now download the E3 2012 mobile app (available for Apple devices only) which features maps, photo gallery and a special E3 insider feature)

Links

E3 (2013) Exhibitor Directory. [online] Available at: http://e313.mapyourshow.com/5_0/exhibitor_results.cfm?type=alpha&alpha=@&CFID=78168060&CFTOKEN=f5644dccd231e99-1963A875-E1AA-7D72-EA0FE36A9180FC2C [Accessed: 23 Jan 2013].

E3 (2013) Welcome to E3 2013 . [online] Available at: http://www.e3expo.com/homepage/ [Accessed: 23 Jan 2013].

GenGame (2013) Major Nelson is Particularly Excited About E3 2013 for Some Reason | GenGAME. [online] Available at: http://gengame.net/2013/01/major-nelson-is-particularly-excited-about-e3-2013-for-some-reason/ [Accessed: 23 Jan 2013].

IGN (2013) Smash Bros, Mario, Mario Kart Confirmed for E3 2013 – IGN. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/01/23/smash-bros-mario-mario-kart-confirmed-for-e3-2013 [Accessed: 23 Jan 2013].

pwnrsmanual (2013) Dates for your geek calendar! (Part 1). [online] Available at: https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/dates-for-your-geek-calendar/ [Accessed: 23 Jan 2013].

Video Games: Benefits of Playing

 (catch up)

Only a couple days ago we posted a blog discussing the latest topic in the video game world, and also popular outside the video game world too, which is if the violence we see in video games does have an impact on us, the players.  For those who would like to read the post here is a link; https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/a-brief-look-at-video-game-violence-a-political-and-video-gamer-view/

Video Games

The benefits

Full of strategy and strength, today, in this all new post, it is time to discover the reasons why playing video games are good for you.

  • They can help ease pain

Although you do not feel any pain direct (well at least we hope you don’t!) while playing video games there are two studies which prove just how video games can help the player to feel less pain.  The most recent study, conducted by Keele University (based in the United Kingdom) in 2012, shown that you can increase your pain tolerance by as much as an impressive 65% even if the video game is of violent content.

The other study,  was conducted by the American Pain Society.  In 2010 the society focused upon video games,  carried out the research by looking at what benefits playing a video game had on patients who are undergoing serious procedures.  This led to the discovery that when the patients are immersed in a virtual world, allowing them freedom, they became not only significantly less stressed but also less trepidation.  The study results also show a decrease of around 30 to 50% in pain for burn wound care patients.

  • You can become more creative

Remember as a child when you used to love playing with a cardboard box.  Although it was not just a cardboard box to you, it could become anything you wanted, whenever you wanted.  Such as a dragon or a secret hiding place leading into another universe.  One of my personal favourites was after putting up the Christmas tree my sister and I used to sit in the box it came in while our dad (poor guy) dragged it (with us in) around the living room.

Over time, having to adjust to the adult world, this creativity can unfortunately fade.  It is with playing video games that you can get this creativity back.  Although the study was initially done on children, there could be an pass into our adult like…and atleast telling someone you play video games to further you creativity will sound good right?!  Linda Jackson, professor of psychology and lead researcher on the project at Michigan State University discovered this.  In 2011, Entertainment Software Association revelaed that around 72% of American households play a video game.  She surveyed 491, middle school, 12-year-olds and then assessed how often the students used different forms of technology.  These included playing video games, internet use and mobile (cell) phone use.  The researches used mostly the ‘Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural’.  We believe this to be that, firstly, each child was handed the form of an egg shape on a blank sheet of paper, they then were required to think of a unique picture to could draw with this shape and write a story about what they had just drew. The second stimulus was a picture of an elf lying in front of a small pool of water, staring at its reflection, every child then had to answer a collection of hypothetical questions about it.  The results shown the relationship between video game playing led to the greatest creativity.

  • Better eyesight

Did anyone else used to get told as a child that eating carrorts would help to improve your eyesight and belive it?  I did.  Now,  thanks to the University of Rochester, New York, I and now you too, can inform them that a 2007  study discovered after just 30 hours of “training” on a first-person shooter, this can result in a significant boost to your spatial resolution (the ability to clearly see small, densely packed together objects).  If they want more convincing explain in 2009 a further study, conducted by the same university, found that players of action games can become up to 58% better at perceiving fine contrast differences. Guess Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell must have played many video games while he was younger.

“If you are driving at dusk with light fog it could make the difference between seeing the car in front of you or not seeing it,” Quoted by research leader Daphne Bavelier.

  • Boost self-esteem

Who needs to and watch the latest television show when playing the latest video game is better for you.  Three researchers, Dr Penny Sweetser, Dr Daniel Johnson and Dr Peta Wyeth,from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, made a discovery that playing video games can be more beneficial for a child than watching television.  Watching television is a passive experience (you just watch) whereas playing a video game involves the child and allows them to be active and involved in what they are doing. More than 92 per cent of Australian homes have at least one device for playing video games  Although the majority of children aged two to five exceeded government recommendations of a maximum of one hour of ‘screen time’ per day.  Analysing data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children the researches found children aged two to five spent, on average, some two to three hours watching television compared to less than a half hour playing video games.

Remembering that computer games are an  interactive experience, it is this research which shows this experience boosted children’s self-esteem, cognitive skills such as problem-solving and, in some cases, physical activity levels.

  • Become a faster decision maker  

After discovering that video games help to improve your eyesight the researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, decided to see what else you can improve by playing video games.  This time, in 2010, cognitive scientists discovered that while you play a video game, being more immersed in the game, instead of the world around you, can be a good thing.  Being involved in the game it helps to “develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this benefit doesn’t just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.”  The research was carried out by playing 50 hours of video games over multiple weeks. It is important to note that it is fast action paced games, such as Call of Duty, which have this effect.

Other benefits include;

  • Tackle Mental Illnesses

  • Improve Motor Skills

  • Increase Social Activity

  •  Help the Elderly Avoid Serious Falls

Sources;

IGN (2012) 5 Reasons Video Games Are Actually Good for You. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/09/10/5-reasons-video-games-are-actually-good-for-you [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

IGN (2013) 5 More Reasons Video Games Are Actually Good for You. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/01/21/5-more-reasons-video-games-are-actually-good-for-you [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

Kids and Media (2000) When video games are good for you. [online] Available at: http://www.kidsandmedia.co.uk/when-video-games-are-good-for-you/ [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

Michigan State University (2011) Video game playing tied to creativity. [online] Available at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2011/video-game-playing-tied-to-creativity/ [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

QUT (2013) QUT | News | Video games benefit children: study. [online] Available at: http://www.news.qut.edu.au/cgi-bin/WebObjects/News.woa/wa/goNewsPage?newsEventID=54961 [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

R4 revolutionds (2011) 3 Massive Benefits of Video-Gaming. [online] Available at: http://www.r4revolutionds.co.uk/3-massive-benefits-of-video-gaming/ [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].

Rochester (2010) Video Games Lead to Faster Decisions that are No Less Accurate. [online] Available at: http://rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3679 [Accessed: 22 Jan 2013].