Sony

Better, but still not enough…

Beginning April 1, Hitman Absolution will be available through Xbox Games with Gold. Hitman is a Square Enix title, one of my favorite publishers, and I missed it when it was originally released, so I’ll definitely be picking it up. Hitman Absolution was released in 2012, so it’s not exactly a new title.

On April 16, Hitman Absolution will be replaced with Deadlight, an XBLA title also from 2012. While it was well received, like Hitman, Deadlight is over a year old not exactly at the top of anyone’s radar.

Microsoft continues to fall behind in comparison to the titles being released via Son’s Playstation Plus. In January, Sony made Bioshock Infinite available for free to Playstation Plus subscribers. Bioshock Infinite is barely a year old and is largely considered to be one of the best games released last year. Among the titles being released this month via Playstation plus, is Batman: Arkham City.

I’d be interested in seeing the numbers behind the Games with Gold program to see how many downloads are actually being made. At any rate, Microsoft should consider opening up the safe and letting go of the few exclusives they still have. Give us Halo 4, or at least Halo Reach, and Gears of War Judgment. Or if not some new games, then start dishing out some of the older fan favorites like Crackdown or Left 4 Dead.

Step it up Microsoft. You’re not winning this fight and if you don’t start making some moves soon, the ref is going to call it.

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News!!! — 3/6/14

Two pieces of news today.

Screen Gem, the studio responsible for the Resident Evil films, has its sights set on The Last of Us.  Sam Raimi is involved as a producer at this point, though I wouldn’t be surprised if ended up directing as well.  Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director for the game, will pen the screenplay with Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures company.

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Personally, I don’t think the Last of Us needs a movie.  It accomplishes the goal of telling it’s story better than many films.  While I have some faith in Raimi and it’s good that people who worked on the game will be involved, I would worry the film might fail to capture the essence of what the game was able to accomplish.  And really at this point, perhaps even more so than any other game, a film adaptation is just redundant.  I’ve already been incredibly moved by that story.  Why do I need to see it again.  The film isn’t for me, of course.  It’s merely an attempt to make money by creating a product that can be sold to an audience that doesn’t play video games.

In other Sony related news, Jack Tretton, President of Sony America, is stepping down, with his last day on the job being March 31.  You can read the official press release here: http://m.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jack-tretton-to-step-down-as-president-and-ceo-of-sony-computer-entertainment-america-248876781.html  Shawn Layden, executive vice president and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International will take his place.

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“Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career,” said Tretton. “Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I’m very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation.”

Grounded: The making of The Last of Us

If you enjoyed TLoS, or are just interested in behind the scenes documentaries, or even just like video games in general, then take some time and watch Area 5’s Grounded: The making of The Last of Us doc.  It’s available for free from Sony on YouTube and Amazon.  Spoilers if you haven’t played it yet.

It’s not that bad…

About Microsoft and always on…

Yes, it’s about piracy and used games. This pretty much goes without saying. They want to make sure the game you’re playing are legit and if is, and it should be, why does should that matter. It doesn’t to me. You know what’s also always on and connected, my PC and cell phone. Yes I may lose coverage in certain areas and that’s annoying but they’re always working to expand better coverage and that represents what I think Microsoft is really doing here.

We all know all digital disc-less games are coming. We’re there with music, tv, and movies and games are next. They problem is that games are big and a lot of people still have slow Internet or no Internet at all. That’s a problem.

One way to fix this, is to create an incredibly popular service that demands a high speed Internet infrastructure. If the need is there, service providers will have no choice but to comply to meet the demand of their consumers. And if they won’t, someone will enter the market to fill that void because money is there to be made. Google Fiber stands to make a small fortune if they can ramp up production of their own high speed Internet service, but that doesn’t seem to be happening right now. Sow for now, we’re stuck with slower speeds.

Microsoft isn’t settling for what the market and consumers want right now. The 360 taught them that they’ll need to be adaptable as the gaming landscape changes. Compare what was available on the first 360 to what you can do with that machine now and the difference is substantial. Microsoft is banking on the future where gamers will download all their media, including games, in a time when you’ll not only need to be always on, but want to always be online and connected.

The Xbox One may not live up to its potential on day one, but in time, with some refinement, it has the potential to be something truly great.  The people crying that Microsoft is doomed, based solely on what they saw yesterday are failing to see the larger picture.  In less than three weeks, Microsoft will no doubt showcase a plethora of games at E3.  Between now and then and even after that up to the point the console actually launches, they’ll likely spend a great deal of time on their message, branding, and clarifying what the console can and can’t do on day one.  And realistically until people actually get their hands on it, I remain optimistic about its potential.  Secondly, they couldn’t show everything yesterday, because they need things to show at E3 so any expecting a nonstop lineup of games going in, was going to be disappointed no matter what.

Lets keep in mind that Sony hasn’t even shown what they’re actual console looks like yet.  Yesterday, Microsoft was showing a working console.  And the WiiU isn’t even in the same class.  It’s a current gen console at best, with two of it’s major games, Batman and Mass Effect, already long over on its competitors consoles.  And do we actually remember the Nintendo press conference?  Ninetnedo only showed the tablet, never making it clear until after the press conference that it was indeed a new console and not just a new peripheral for the Wii.

None of the big three have exactly come out and taken the top spot yet, and to claim a winner at his point is simply ridiculous.