Recent events in the gaming world

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Hello everyone! ¬†Due to recent events in my life such as catching up with university work, going on holiday to Spain and starting a new job I haven’t be able to blog as much as I’d like ūüė¶ Here is a catch up of all the events which have happened within the gaming world recently just to catch you, and me up.

Game Developers Conference

25th to 29th March 2013 saw the Game Developers¬†Conference¬†(GDC) being held in San Francisco, California, to catch up in full visit the following link¬†http://www.gamasutra.com/gdc-2013¬† Companies who attended the event included¬†Blizzard Entertainment,¬†Microsoft,¬†OnLive¬†and many more! Sony did not attend this event, I believe they are saving the best for E3 later this year, TechRadar quotes “A room full of potential PS4 developers got a run down of the system’s architecture, design philosophy and online features. However, as local multiplayer fanatics, we loved hearing that the system will use its controller tracking to automatically swap split screen, should players rearrange themselves on the couch.” ¬†Personally it will be¬†interesting¬†to see what will become of this and how it works, if it goes well perhaps other developers will look into this in the future.¬†UMB Tech¬†Game Network have confirmed that¬†GDC 2013 attracted¬†23,000 attendees, the largest crowd in the show’s¬†history. Future game ‘Battlefield 4’ seventeen minute footage was leaked, the footage is shown below.

Electronic Arts¬†Boss¬†denied there is any link between video game content and “actual violence”

Video Games and Violence is a topic of personal interest and hype in the gaming world as many gamers know video games do not cause violence, here are links to my other blog posts which feature this topic https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/a-brief-look-at-video-game-violence-a-political-and-video-gamer-view/ and https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/video-games-and-violence/

John Riccitiello, the boss of EA voiced the thoughts of many gamers in which he says video games can instead be good and they do not cause for any gamer to become violent or take part in violent acts.

Disney cancel the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ game

Sad news for any fan of Star Wars and gaming¬†LucasArts has been closed by Disney.¬†Star Wars 1313 which had a demo at E3 in 2012 will no longer go ahead. This game was set to place¬†“players in control of a deadly bounty hunter as he uses an arsenal of exotic weaponry to hunt down his marks and uncover the truth surrounding a criminal conspiracy.” However LucasFilm spokesperson Miles Perkins, spoke to¬†BBC, saying production on Star Wars 1313 has simply been ‚Äúhalted.‚ÄĚ Therefor this game could still get the go ahead at some time in the future.

 

Sources;

BBC News (2013) EA denies games encourage violence. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21274482 [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Game Developers Conference (2013) Game Developers Conference | Exhibitor List. [online] Available at: http://www.gdconf.com/expo/exhibitorlist.html [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

IGN (2013) Star Wars 1313 . [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/games/star-wars-1313-project/xbox-360-135469 [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Mashable (2013) Disney Closes LucasArts. [online] Available at: http://mashable.com/2013/04/03/disney-closes-lucasarts/ [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Norris, E. (2013)¬†Star Wars 1313 Isn‚Äôt Canceled, It‚Äôs Just ‚ÄėHalted‚Äô. [online] Available at: http://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/474643-star-wars-1313-isnt-canceled-its-just-halted [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Slash Film (2013)¬†Star Wars Bits: ‚ÄėStar Wars 1313‚Ä≤ Game Would Have Starred Boba Fett. [online] Available at: http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-bits-star-wars-1313-game-would-have-starred-boba-fett-plus-ilm-layoffs-and-clone-wars/ [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Sony PS4 Playstation (2013) GDC 2013: Developer Conference record attendance at GDC 2013. [online] Available at: http://sonyps4playstation.com/gdc-2013-developer-conference-record-attendance-at-gdc-2013/ [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

TechRadar (2013) GDC 2013: top 10 moments from the conference. [online] Available at: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/gdc-2013-what-to-expect-1129300 [Accessed: 6 Apr 2013].

Sony PlayStation 4

It’s official Sony have announced the PlayStation4

ps4pad

While the dual shock 4 does look similar to the prototype (admittedly this did disappoint me at first), do not let this stop you!

The all important features:

Share: As rightfully predicted by many, the PS4 features a ‘share’ button in which they can select some gameplay footage to share with friends and bring together the social experience. Not only this but players can also help out other players who may be stuck in a certain part of the game. Personally I love this aspect of having people who are able to help me when I am stuck in a game, and how other players worldwide can help. This is definitely what sold it for me! ¬†Think ‘Onlive’.

Enhanced PC GPU

8GB UNIFIED MEMORY- this is a huge upgrade! Developers can now load larger levels and more textures

Touch screen

Blue bar

Hello Share and Options, Goodbye Start and Select – The Start and Select buttons which have been around consoles for 24 years are now being replaced making way for new buttons – ‘Share’ and ‘Options’. ¬†This shows a change not only in media but also society.

Informed system architecture

Informed system architecture

The new PS4 seems to fit perfectly with the not so new PS Vita,
maybe this is a reason why they went cheaper before the soon to be popular demand.

Happy Valentines Day

Hello everyone!  Just wanted to quickly say,
 

Happy Valentines Day! 

 
No matter what you are doing today, or who you are spending it with then have a great day!
To all the gamers who are in relationships, or those who just want to hear some great music you must check out the ‘2-Player Co-op song below. ¬†All¬†credit¬†goes to¬†Danny Wiessner for this. ¬† This song features so many references to all different games it is incredible.¬†
 
 
 
 Also, check out these very special Splinter Cell hearts as posted on the Splinter Cell Google+ page.
 
 
If however you do not like valentines day then be sure to check out our other posts, have a video games marathon and visit this page again later for a un-valentines day post.  

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Remember only 7 days to go until Sony’s ‘See the Future’ announcement!¬†

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 РIGN. [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¬ģ. [online] Available at: https://support.onlive.com/entries/22264983-computer-and-internet-requirements-for-pc-mac [Accessed: 27 Jan 2013].

Hitman HD Trilogy

Set for release on 1st February for all Europe fans and luckily 29th January for all North America fans.

Featured in the Hitman HD Trilogy you can enjoy 3 classic Hitman games. However none of which are the first game, Hitman: Codename47)  The three games are Hitman 2: Silent Assassin ( released in 2002), Hitman Contracts (released in 2004), and Hitman: Blood Money (released in 2006), all remastered for you Hitman gamers out there, as you may have already guessed, in HD.  Available on platforms Xbox 360 and PS3.

As these games have all previously been released the speculation surrounds how good do these games look in HD.  If you would like to find out for yourself scroll down to view some of the latest HD pictures.  For those who have not played any Hitman games before, or would like a reminder, here is a quick review of all 3 games featured. (Warning: Hitman: Contracts contains a spoiler if you have not yet played Hitman: Codename 47)

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin ‚Äď Agent 47 has left his life as an assassin and retreated to a church in Sicily wanting to find peace. 47 works as a gardener for his best friend, and mentor, Father Vittorio.¬†Unfortunately¬†an event occurs meaning, the man we know as Agent 47 has to return to his old life as an assassin. ¬†Making a deal he agrees to work for an agency, on one condition.

Hitman: Contracts ‚Äď The start of the game shows Agent 47 wandering through a dark hotel corridor entering his room. Collapsing, he begins to have flashbacks off past assassinations he has committed, they have taken their toll. Starting with the aftermath of killing Dr. Ort-Meyer. The mission mainly focuses on replays of previous missions that take place in the original game, except this time they are played in reverse.

Hitman: Blood Money ‚Äď This begins with a flash at an abandoned Baltimore, Maryland amusement park. We gather that many people were killed in an incident caused by negligent maintenance of a ferris wheel. The father of one of the victims calls the agency and orders a hit on the park owner, who was cleared of all charges. Agent 47 carries out the hit, following that assignment, he get‚Äôs a string of contracts from American clients all of which are eager to¬†hire¬†the famous hitman.

Latest HD Pictures

The pictures below have all been released by Square Enix, the developers, to show off the newly improved look;v

hitman

10105hitmanbloodmoney

hitman_art

Sources;

So Video Gaming (2013) So Video Gaming. [online] Available at: http://www.sovideogaming.com/ [Accessed: 24 Jan 2013].

The Gaming Liberty (2013) Square-Enix РThe Gaming Liberty . [online] Available at: http://thegamingliberty.com/index.php/tag/square-enix/ [Accessed: 24 Jan 2013].

Special Report: PlayStation 4 (PS4) The latest surrounding rumours

2013 sees the release of two very different rival consoles. ¬†The Xbox 720 and the PS4. ¬†With the Xbox720 already being covered, (here’s a link for anyone who would like to read it https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/special-report-xbox-720-the-latest-stage/) it’s time to focus on the, soon to be, arrival of Sony’s¬†PlayStation 4.

Rumours are¬†speculating¬†that Sony are to hold an “apple-like” event to¬†announce¬†the PS4 to the world. ¬†In order to have an “apple-like” event you will need a main speaker, a¬†conference¬†with people in the respecting field and the all important press for¬†publicity. ¬†The annual Game Developers¬†Conference (GDC), ¬†being held on the 25th to the 29th March 2013 (expo dates 27th to 29th March) in San¬†Francisco¬† California presents the perfect¬†opportunity¬†for this. ¬†Although, there is still the possibility of the¬†announcement¬†being made around 11th to 13th June at E3 in Los Angeles in California.

(Update: Kazuo Hirai CEO of Sony  has announced today (21st January) that it will let Microsoft make the first move.  This could lead to Microsoft announcing the all new 720 at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California held on 25th to 29th March.  Therefore maybe the new PS4 will be announced at E3)

Whenever the¬†announcement¬†happens all eyes will be awaiting to see if Sony have decided to continue with the 18 button DualShock controller they are known for globally. ¬†If this does happen it could drastically change not only the video game business for Sony but also other companies will await the reviews. ¬†If they drop the DualShock controller for an LDC touchscreen will this then lead to an impact on future Xbox’s and game consoles? ¬†With the 720 also being released this year it does not look like Microsoft will make any similar drastic changes soon.

Time for a makeover?

Launching more than 16 years ago,

3rd December, 1994 РJapan
9th September, 1995 – North America
29th September, 1995 – Europe
15th November, 1995 – Australia

the world was able to lay it’s eyes on this; what is known to many as the¬†first of the ubiquitous PlayStation series.

PlayStation

By March 31, 2005, the PlayStation and PSone had shipped a combined total of 102.49 million units, becoming the first video game console to reach the 100 million mark. ¬†Every time Sony add on to the PS family they make certain that ¬†they continue to push limits and boundaries. ¬†The original PlayStation really does own it’s title as a “classic” and has given many children and adults great memories of continuous hours of game play.

Now come March…or June we may see this;

PS4                      or                  PS4

The image on the left is taken from the “Official¬†PlayStation 4 Magazine” website, a link will be at the bottom of this post.

This does seem impressive and clearly shows the modern menu, which we have seen on other PS consoles, along with several options.

The image on the right is taken from the website “Geeky Gadgets”, again a link will be at the bottom of the post. ¬†Here we do see the DualShock controller but what is interesting is it’s built around a screen. ¬† This would certainly¬†allow for better cross play experiences¬†especially¬†between the already great consoles¬†PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. ¬†Featuring¬†a touch screen would certainly raise competition with the WiiU.

Mock up designs are now appearing on the internet with some looking great and featuring the essential buttons along with the new screen.  For more mock up designs see the Push Square link below,  this one is my personal favourite,

Mock up design

Mock up design

Whatever it will look like people are speculating¬†biometric sensors, a processor with a¬†run-capability of 1.84 teraflops, if this sparks true it will be¬†50% more powerful than Xbox 720. ¬†A downside is one rumour sees the PS4¬†ignore the possibility of backwards compatibility and focusing firmly on the next generation, this means if you want to continue playing PS3 games it’s best, for now, to keep hold of your PS3. You never know one day it could be useful for vintage gaming.

If the PlayStation 4 real name changes to become known as Orbis or Omni. Whenever it is released, possibly December 2013,  Sony will not disappoint and release another great console ready for gamers and PS fans everywhere to have many fun hours of game play on.

UPDATE 7th February 2013

One of Japan’s biggest newspapers, the Asahi Shimbun,¬†has run an interesting¬†story they hint¬†towards¬†the new PlayStation 4 will cost over 40,000 Yen, or about $430/¬£270/‚ā¨320. ¬†Interestly they only converted the price from Yen into $, perhaps Europe may have to wait a little longer for the PS4. ¬†For more on this story see ‘The Verge’ link below.

Reminder

Don’t forget to check our website and this blog for new posts daily!

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/774884/Websites/claire/site/index.html

Sources;

Digital Trends (2013) PlayStation 4 drops the DualShock controller after 15 years | Digital Trends. [online] Available at: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/playstation-4-drops-the-dualshock-controller-in-favor-of-a-new-wii-u-style-dna-sensing-pad/ [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

GDC (2012) Game Developers Conference. [online] Available at: http://www.gdconf.com/ [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

Geeky Gadgets (2013) PlayStation 4 Controller To Have A Touchscreen? . [online] Available at: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/playstation-4-controller-to-have-a-touchscreen-19-01-2013/ [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

Offical PlayStation Magazine (2012) PS4 News РOfficial PlayStation Magazine. [online] Available at: http://www.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/2012/01/30/ps4-sony-ceo-says-we-will-probably-be-the-last-to-announce-something/ [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

PS4 (2013)¬†PS4 Site ‚Äď Playstation 4. [online] Available at: http://www.ps4site.com/ [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

Square, P. (2013) Which of These PS4 Controller Mock-Ups Is Your Favourite? РPush Square. [online] Available at: http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2013/02/which_of_these_ps4_controller_mock_ups_is_your_favourite [Accessed: 8 Feb 2013].

Tech Radar (2013) PS4 release date, news and rumours. [online] Available at: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/ps4-release-date-news-and-rumours-937822 [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

Telegraph (2013)¬†PlayStation – Sony’s gaming highs and lows. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/picture-galleries/9776067/PlayStation-Sonys-gaming-highs-and-lows.html [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

The Guardian (2013)¬†PS4 rumours: ‘50% more powerful than Xbox 720’. [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/jan/18/xbox-720-ps4-rumours [Accessed: 19 Jan 2013].

The Verge (2013) PlayStation 4 report suggests $400+ price . [online] Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/6/3961512/ps4-price-and-release-date-in-asahi-shimbun-report [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].