PC Decimating Consoles?

Over the weekend IGN posted an interview with Doom Designer John Romero where he says that the PC is decimating consoles. (You can read the interview here).

Essentially, Romero says that Free-To-Play is going to decimate consoles, mostly due to price. He mentions $5 Steam Games and other free to play games that release on PC. I would like to add an argument for consoles.

Romero seems to be focused on price of games but he seems to not remember the price of the hardware. Xbox One and PS4 are significantly cheaper than buying a PC with the same specs, and thats assuming you can build your own PC. Without getting into too much of the nitty-gritty of specification comparisons, if you were building your own PC to match specs with that of a PS4 or Xbox One, you would spend about $450 – $500 which is already over the $399.99 price point on the consoles. (something to note is that because the APUs are custom built, there isn’t a direct comparison to any other piece of hardware). Another thing you have to understand is that running a full blown Windows OS on said PC would not run nearly comparable to a console considering there are a lot more things going on behind the dashboard than on a console OS
that is specifically built to run on the hardware.

That being said, there are free to play games available for PS4 and Xbox One, so stating it like the consoles don’t have that option is kind of a misstep in itself.

Besides hardware, the other thing to take into consideration is the accessibility of consoles. Mostly everyone already has a TV of some size in their homes, so buying a device that is essentially plug and play into your TV is a no-brainer. A PC requires you to buy a monitor, case, and any peripherals (mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc…). There is also the constant threat of viruses, malware, and other nefarious things on a PC.

At the end of the day, the consoles are not going anywhere fast, the accessibility and price will keep selling the consoles. That being said, PCs are also a staple in their own right. So I wholeheartedly disagree with John Romero, Free-To-Play is not decimating the consoles.

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PS4 Getting 3D Blu-Ray Support

PS4 is getting 3D Blu-Ray Support!

Over the past few years, 3D has become extremely popular. According to Cinema Blend (http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Average-Movie-Theater-Ticket-Price-Dropped-Year-42666.html) the average ticket price is $7.94. I wish a movie was that cheap in Southern Connecticut. I just looked at Hercules in 3D and the price is $14.50 for an adult ticket. That being said, you would think the demand for 3D at home would be higher, especially since most TVs you buy now come with the 3D standard. 3D at home is just starting to take off and is looking to do better as time progresses. It really is about the way 3D is used, if the movie uses 3D in a gimmicky fashion or was not really filmed with 3D in mind, the extra charge is really not worth it and it makes it doubly worthless to purchase said 3D movie for 3D home viewing.

PS4 and Xbox One at launch did not support 3D movies. This boggles my mind for a few reasons:

1) PS3 could handle 3D Blu-Ray Movies with no problem. Why would you release a next gen console that had less features than the last generation?
2) PS4 could handle 3D Games at launch — Not that there even was any.
3) Personally, I sold my PS3 before the PS4 launched so I could get top dollar for it. I had to purchase a 3D Blu-Ray Player to watch my 3D Blu-Rays because I assumed (should have done my research instead of assuming) that the PS4 was going to allow me to watch 3D Movies.

It is interesting also that both Sony and Microsoft waited so long to add the functionality. Better late than never I guess. The PS4 update being released is 1.75 and it should be out sometime next week.

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Destiny Beta Keys!

So I have some extra Destiny beta keys and figured I’d give them out here!


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First Impressions – Destiny Beta PS4

I will be the first to admit, I didn’t like Halo. Before you come after me with a pitchfork, understand that I am a PC Gamer at heart and could never really handle playing a FPS (First Person Shooter) on a console with a controller. It always feels clunky and unresponsive to me. I also never really liked Halo’s repetitive maps, meaning, most of the maps felt relatively the same to me. I won’t even get into multiplayer, with my lack of skills, Multiplayer is really just me getting wrecked over and over again (Some video of that shortly). All of that being said, the Destiny Beta has blown me away. Destiny is most closely related to an MMOFPS but in my opinion Destiny is creating it’s own genre.

Upon starting the game there is a character creation screen. The options for customization are slim and I’m not sure if that is because the beta only has a few options or if this is it. There are 3 races and it doesn’t look like race changes anything as far as stats or bonuses. The 3 choices are Human, Exo (android-ish), and Awoken (look like aliens).

The 3 classes are Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. Titan is most closely related to a Warrior class in other MMOs, Hunter closely resembles a Hunter / Rogue Class, and Warlock is most like a Mage. Now that being said, the class only provides you with unique skills, the game is still primarily a FPS and no matter what gear or class you have, if you can’t aim, you aren’t going to do well. With all the experience that Bungie has with Halo, the Aim-Assist is phenomenal. (Aim-Assist is what helps you be a little more accurate since aiming with a controller isn’t as precise as aiming with a mouse. Think like a very minor aimbot.)

After character creation the game puts you through a tutorial mission where it teaches you how to play and gives you a little back-story. **A side note: Peter Dinklage plays the voice of the Ghost (your little robot companion) and he does do a good job I think. Whatever the fuss was over his voice in the Alpha seems to have been fixed.** Once you’re out of the tutorial it brings you to the Tower. The Tower is the main hub where you can buy new equipment, pick up quests (side and main story), and pick up bounties. Bounties are quests for multiplayer (example: Win 3 Multiplayer Games and get experience and other goodies). Then you can fly your ship down to Earth which is pretty much a wasteland now. The main area on Earth seems to be Russia (or what’s left of it). The game at first gives you the false sense of instanced quests, meaning that the landing zones for your ship are not linked in any way and you can only play in that single area. The world is actually completely open. What looks to be instanced mission areas turn out to be all connected. If you wanted to, you could walk from end to end of Russia without ever having to go back to your ship. I made the mistake of running off and exploring and I ended up in an area with level 10 enemies who swarmed me and destroyed me, a tiny level 4. That being said though, until I got swarmed, I was able to duck and weave well enough where I was actually killing them. That’s where the FPS side of the game shines through, if you can aim well enough, you can kill higher level enemies, it’s just going to take longer per kill since they have more health and armor at that level.

Just one more interesting gameplay tidbit. You have a bar that charges while you play. I believe kills make it charge faster but I wasn’t able to prove that 100% yet. When it charges you are “Supercharged” and can use a Special Attack. It makes for an interesting mechanic in multiplayer, see the second video below for an example.

So enough of me talking, check out the 2 videos below. The first one is an example of a “boss area” in a mission and the second video is me using a Supercharge to take out 2 guys trying to cap a point in multiplayer.

I will post some final thoughts once the beta is over in a week or so! Sound off in the comments or twitter about what you think about Destiny.

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Playstation 4 vs Xbox One Controversy

Being that the big thing on the internet right now is the XBONE vs PS4 controversy, I figured I’d weigh in.

Something that is interesting to note is that I’ve read a ton of different blogs, gaming websites, etc… and all of them assume that people know certain things inherently.  A big term I see being thrown around is “Up-scaling” or “Up-converting”.  What exactly does that mean?

We’ll take Call of Duty Ghosts as the example here.  CoD: Ghosts runs 1080p natively on  the Playstation 4 but is up-scaled from 720p on the XBox One.  Essentially what that means is that the xbox video is being enlarged to reach the 1080p mark.  So think about the following analogy:  You have a picture and you enlarge it to post on your wall.  The more you enlarge it, the more distorted it becomes.  Essentially, when you upscale a video you are doing the same thing.  How good it ends up looking has a lot to do with the size of your TV.  On a 32” TV the difference wouldn’t be as noticeable as it would be on a 72” TV.

I would post a comparison video or pictures but the underlying truth is…  the difference is not going to be that noticeable.  I could get into the technical jargon which may prove that yes, looking purely at the numbers, there is a difference.  However, where the difference really matters is at the point where you are playing the game and at least for me, I can’t really tell the difference.

The other comparison going around and what the next gen console games are touting is the coveted 60 frames per second (FPS).  It can be argued that a game running at 30 FPS looks just as good as a game running at 60 FPS.  A really good example can be seen here:

Shown from that example, the 60 FPS does in fact look smoother.  Another example can be seen here:

The video example shows something interesting.  The difference is more noticeable when you slow down the video but at normal playing speed there is barely a noticeable difference.  Let’s go back to gaming though.  This example is taking from Sleeping Dogs:

Can you see a difference?  Now take a look at F1 2013 running at 30 FPS:

Can you see a difference?

The FPS argument is one that changes based on the person.  Some videophiles claim to be able to notice the difference more drastically than a non-videophile which is why you see so many arguments all over the internet regarding this topic.  As a typical gamer though, my purchasing of a console or game wouldn’t be changed solely based on the fact that a game was developed to use 30 FPS vs 60 FPS.

With all that being said I personally will still be purchasing both next gen consoles.  Something that gets overlooked is the fact that these consoles are just coming out and the optimization is not the best yet.  Being that both the XBox One and Playstation 4 are almost identical in specifications the question is why the huge difference?  It can be explained by the optimization process that currently exists.  The optimization processes may not be fully developed yet and as time goes on the games will look and perform better.  To give this a visual: http://kotaku.com/the-ps3-had-12-games-at-launch-heres-what-they-looked-513396910 .

So in the XBONE vs PS4 battle, I fall somewhere in the middle.  We’ll see how that changes once I get my hands on the two consoles and have some time to really dig into them.


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