Weekend Short-Takes: 8/17/12

PlayStation Mobile bringing 'bite-sized games' to Vita and PlayStation Certified devices

 

PlayStation Plus coming to the PS Vita this year, cloud storage increasing from 150MB to 1GB 'from September'

 

PS Vita and PS3 cross-buy feature revealed: buy one copy, get the other free

 

PlayStation Vita Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified bundle announced, pricing MIA

Simon:

Picture this: You’re in a command center. Things aren’t going well. You’re fighting a two-front war and losing on both sides. You take an opportunity in the year to launch a bold and risky counterattack, throwing everything at the advancing onslaught to try and claw back some initiative. I think this is Sony’s Battle of the Bulge. At Gamescom they had a sweeping set of announcements to try and counter on both console and mobile fronts, where they’ve been losing steadily to Xbox and iOS/Android, respectively. What most interested me was that both new Playstation Mobile partners are Android tablet makers, which makes me wonder how much faith Sony has in its own tablet offerings.

Alex:

This strong push by Sony is exactly what I would want to see from them. Instead of the Nintendo policy of blindly rushing ahead, fingers in ears, rehashing the same product with a new feature that still barely matches present day consoles, Sony have elected to try their hand at innovation. Expanding cloud based storage to a full gig is nice as it makes cloud saves much more viable on the device, and the two at once delivery scheme is a nice, if not particularly business savvy, touch. Their move to bring all of their devices in line seems strangely familiar, as if another device that already had cloud based storage and unified services had already done this…
(As far as the Playstation games on Android go, seems like a rather desperate cash grab/plan B in case the Vita continues to unimpress in terms of sales figures)

Photo Credit: stevebakerfilms.com, sociable.co, sonyrumors.net

Mobile is the new PC, says Epic

Simon:

Look, I know I’ve said some bad things about mobile games, but if I listed the following specs: 720p screen, 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 64 GB storage, I could be describing a computer. Or one of the newest phones/tablets coming out these days. And that is mobile gaming’s single redeeming quality to me. As a matter of fact, the highest end tablets are pretty close to eclipsing the performance of our current consoles. Combined with innovative hardware arrangements like the Surface (see Com-cast 7), we’ve essentially created consoles that are superportable. And that, I’m completely fine with.

Alex:

As with Simon, I have no problems with mobile games themselves. I have my phone with me wherever I go and so being able to play my games whenever is a great convenience. My problem with mobile game development however, is that, due to the limitations of the platform or just pure laziness, a company can cash in on a mediocre game that they put little time into and that does nothing more for me than simply eat up time. Now I may have once been satisfied with this controlled timewasting, but as phones and tablets finally reach specs comparably to consoles and PCs alike it is time to engage in a richer, more fulfilling mobile game, something that will make me want to play it when I have the option to play something else. Because until I choose to play a mobile game over a console or PC game based on the quality of the game, mobile games have not done enough.

Photo Credit: phonearena.com, 343 Industries

EA, guns, and the danger of brand identity

Simon:

When I said on the podcast that I thought EA should make a concerted effort to challenge CoD, I didn’t mean outfitting all the MoH players with actual weapons and shooting up Activision HQ. Seriously, though, this is one of the more bizarre and rather disturbing marketing pushes I’ve seen. Are they trying to push some new and peculiar level of realism? The links have already been quickly removed, and good thing too. Coming off the tragic Aurora and Sikh temple shootings, this push just seems downright callous.

Alex:

Luckily, as Simon said, the links have been pulled, yet the fact that this was even considered, let alone green lighted as a “good” marketing idea, is baffling. Moves like this are what prompt Fox News to launch a tirade against the evils of gaming, how they corrupt the minds of the youth today, and as much as I dislike Fox “News,” in this case I might have to agree. Boneheaded move by EA, Activision had a much better idea with their MW2 NVG.

Photo Credit: techau.tv

The Entirely New Way to Play Black Ops II

Simon:

So is this what we were hearing about for so long as CoD’s challenge to Halo’s venerable theater replay system? Quite possibly. And I don’t think it could be aimed more perfectly at this community. It makes producing guides even easier with the palette of tools provided to you, and pick apart every single solitary angle of one match, hyperanalyzing it to CNN levels of ridiculousness. What happens with accessibility though, as always, is the proliferation of mediocrity and having to wade through mountains of it to find the true gems.

Alex:

While the author of this article seemed to think it was the next greatest thing since sliced KoToR (so much better than bread), I remain less than convinced. While the palette of tools remains excellent and the abilities of the “reporter” are most certainly incredible, I can’t help but feel when I’m watching the video that this would be like watching Killcam 2.0. Following other players around as I wait to respawn is one of the most annoying parts of the game for me, so making a feature that consists solely of that makes me question the mass appeal. Certainly it will be praised by many: MLG commentators, machine directors, and obviously guide makers like those on our very own WikiGameGuides will love the wide swath of tools available to them for viewing and content production, but for the mass audience, I just can’t, hard as I try, shake the feeling that this will be something many people try once and, like a Wii, never use again.

John Tarr's picture

Mobile is the new PC, says Epic

I'll be posting some videos of a new iOS game called Horn that uses UE3 that is one of the best looking fully 3D games I've seen so far. I still don't like the gameplay for most iOS games, but Horn is a big step in the right direction.

the proliferation of mediocrity and having to wade through mountains of it to find the true gems.

This is definitely a problem with any online social service. When you have zero barrier to entry (a $200 capture card and a good PC), garbage content flows like the sound of Capistrano.

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