EA Access Announced

EA announced a new service yesterday called “EA Access”. The service is akin to Netflix. You’ll be able to play EA Titles for $4.99 a month. Currently the beta is out and you can play: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4. On top of being able to play full games, you will also get to save 10% on all XBox One EA Digital Downloads and be able to play up to 5 days ahead of other people. Soon you will also be able to buy subscriptions in retail and online stores.

It sounds pretty exciting but it is yet to be seen if the library of EA Games available keeps up with the pace of releases. Sure, the current offering has some of their most popular games but if the service stays behind the curve, I won’t be shelling out $5 a month.

It is also interesting to note that Sony passed on EA Access saying it was not a good value. (check this IGN Article for more info)

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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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Destiny Beta Keys!

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


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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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