Weekend Short-Takes: 1/18/13

PlayStation 4 could be unveiled in May‏

Simon Wu:

This year’s CES which just concluded was notable for the conspicuous absence of Microsoft which left last year. The main reason was to start doing their own events Apple-style, carving out an exclusive niche to have the media at their beck and call. It makes perfect sense for Sony to try and pre-empt the June E3 with a grand announcement of their best shot at continuing to make consoles relevant. E3 could be followed up with even more reinforcements; since the product has already been announced, it can all be about game demos and the new content deals. Sony was late last time, and it’s good to see that they might be able to learn from mistakes.

John Fenix:

Simon makes a lot of important points about the reasons Sony would try to push ahead with their own events, especially with their substandard, despite recently, with the PS3 compared to the enormously popular PS2, as well as the mediocre reaction to PS Vita, I would not be surprised to see something from them before gaming’s equivalent to CES. Not to mention that they have the resources to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft in these situations.

Alex Miller:

Well, wouldn’t it be interesting if Sony stole a march on Microsoft here. Microsoft have often held their own press conference just before the show, but if Sony steal a whole month of media time for their next console, it could be a big decider in pre sales. Look for more on this in the coming months, but definitely interesting to see if Sony learns from their mistakes.

Photo Credit: dualshockers.com

PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 could cost just $350, expected to launch this fall‏

Simon Wu:

I am very excited about these numbers, because this is just as much as the Wii U deluxe costs. If this pans out, then Nintendo will be absolutely smashed by what will be far superior consoles, in terms of specs, content, and games. It makes sense that they would simply use regular PC components this time around, and not make unique processors and parts as in past generations, especially if Microsoft in particular wants better compatibility and cross platform experiences with Windows 8 and Windows Phone, as the article suggests. While I think a preemptive Wii U price drop is in the cards, I don’t think it will be enough.

John Fenix:

These prices, I first thought seemed hard to believe, but I can see the reasons to try to aim for this price, because not only do they have to deal with Microsoft, but with the revival of PC gaming as well, thanks in part to Steam, who’s looking at releasing their stab in the console market, sort of, but you know what they say about competition?

Alex Miller:

Ooh, I’m liking the sound of that. My biggest fear with these new consoles, as I have said in previous Short-Takes, is that they will be too expensive for normal people because of the new high end components. Hopefully this report is true as I find that price range more than acceptable for a new, high-end console. The expected launch date of sometime in the fall would seem to support an E3, or near E3 announcement time, as they would then have the rest of the summer to market the consoles. That countdown to E3 on Major Nelson’s blog seems to be more and more next gen oriented.

Photo Credit: examiner.com

Stay seated: Valve's Team Fortress 2 ported to virtual reality‏

Simon Wu:

I feel like Valve just leapfrogged Microsoft without even trying or intending to. Last week I gave a nonplussed reaction to the Illumiroom concept, mainly because it would largely be vague outlines, and the experience totally at the mercy of the composition of your living room. This provides the same experience without needing a planetarium projector. Instead, as you “look” around, the glasses adjust what you’re looking at. Team Fortress is certainly a proof of concept, and imagine what Far Cry 3 or Crysis 3 would look like. One more thing to remember: when Valve publicly talks about something, they intend to get there: i.e. Linux or Steambox.

John Fenix:

I’m not surprised to see Valve try to look ahead of the curve. While I have not played Team Fortress 2, from what I’ve seen there’s no surprise adapting that game for this technology. Now how about Portal?

Alex Miller:

Virtual Reality is awesome. i’ll come right out and say it, one of the things that interests me most about gameplay is immersion and eventually total immersion, ala Virtual Reality. The fact that the guys at Valve are playing around with it internally is definitely cool, and with Microsoft also pushing hard on this front (whether or not Simon likes the results) hopefully means we will see some neat tech (and games of course) come out of this.

Photo Credit: techzed.com

Nintendo to unify console and handheld divisions in major organizational shift

Simon Wu:

This makes too much sense. They should have done this a year ago, and they might have gotten a better market position for mobile. It already makes sense that the online market, social network, and shopping experience should be unified and accessible from any platform, as should entertainment, which on a bigger screen DS makes sense: content on the top screen and a Smartglass/second screen experience on the bottom. Or, your DS will be able to function as a Wii U gamepad, thereby saving less die-hard fans money and gaining their interest and loyalty. In addition, they could begin better emulating the Playstation’s cross platform tie-in games, with awards and unlockable items in games on one platform for actions and achievements in the other.

John Fenix:

With the rise of mobile gaming, handheld gaming has been going downhill ever since, and it’s no surprise that Nintendo, the handheld dominator for years (my first gaming system was a Game Boy Color), would step up for a chance to keep handheld gaming in the spotlight and holds its ground against the “Angry Birds” and “Infinity Blades.”

Alex Miller:

Well, all I can say is well done Nintendo. We have no idea how this will affect their games or the two devices, but we do know that it is at least SOME action. Too long have they sat around and rehashed the same things without bringing about some true innovation. Hopefully this drives the to make some quality titles and improve the WiiU. Maybe it will even change my opinion on the company (see my Mindshare next month for more on this. Listen to Podcast #20 if you don’t know what Mindshare is ;) )

Photo Credit: theverge.com

Whiplash's picture

Nice to see the two Collosi of gaming—Sony and Microsoft—squish Nintendo into the pavement. But it's interesting that both the 720/V Next/Xbox and the PS4 may end up being the exact same price as what the Wii-U is. At least Sony have learned from their embarrassing E3 2006 conference.

Solifluktion's picture

I like that Valve is looking into VR but I don't think that TF2 is the right game for VR. What use is VR when you're still only playing a floating gun? You need a body like in BF3 or Dark Messiah to really convey the feeling you wan't to convey with VR. Still, I'm looking forward to it.

Create New Account or Log in to comment