Tag Archives: ps4

Alex Toy Reviews – Minecraft Skeleton Attack Playset (Part 2)

We continue building the playset and finish the first bag (part one here). Enjoy!

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Crafting with Alex – Mommy Debuts!

It’s a new series! Since Alex eats, sleeps and breathes Minecraft I figured let’s just make it it’s own series. Not only that, but we get the debut of Alex’s Mom on the channel! Watch as Alex shows us the house he built for all of us. Even his little brother Lukas. Enjoy!

Alex Toy Reviews – Bendy and the Ink Machine Playset

Alex only had one request for his birthday party this year. That the theme be Bendy and the Ink Machine. We don’t play PC games so he’s never even played the game. He’s just seen videos on YouTube. Still, he loves Bendy and knows all the other characters. We went all out on the decorations and of course it carried over to the presents. There is still only so much Bendy merchandise but the coup de gras was a faux Bendy and the Ink Machine Lego set. It was pretty impressive. As always the boys wanted nothing to do with following the instructions but I got them to agree to putting it all together one time before having their way with it. Enjoy!

XBOX ONE Announced: Details And Reaction

6C7512049-new-image-consoles.blocks_desktop_largeNow that Sony had their big announcement it is time for Microsoft to make their big next gen reveal. Will it be always on? Will we actually see the console? Here is a rundown of the event, with key details in bold:

1:00 PM: Microsoft set the tone early with a montage talking about how the new system will integrate cloud technology to give you what you want without having to find it. They want the new console to dominate your living room and the key work that sums it all up is “alive.”

1:03 Don Mattrick is the first person up to talk about how the XBOX has always been ahead of the curve with things like XBOX Live and Kinect, and how they are still looking forward. They want to simplify your living room by taking advantage of cloud technology to create an all-in-one system in an age where people go to their tablets phones while gaming and watching TV.

1:08: The new console is called XBOX ONE. They show off what the console looks like (unlike Sony), black and shiny like a PS3. There is a Kinect at launch with a new controller which seems to fix the d-pad issue. The hardware is then shown on the main stage. The idea is to make the experience simple, fast and complete.

1:10: Yusef Mendhi up next to show off the console. Like Don, he put heavy emphasis on what they will show at E3. The homescreen is similar to the 360 and remembers the last few things you were doing, and has a trending section which shows what your friends are into and what the overall community is into. This branches from games to music and movies. Yusef cycles through all of the options using voice command. Saying
“XBOX, watch TV” instantly switches to a TV feed. He is also able to switch to music, browsers, movies and games with voice command, and it’s pretty fast. There are also hand gestures that open up windows from the menu to go full screen.

You also have the ability to use multiple apps at the same time. While watching the 2009 Star Trek movie, Yusef uses voice command to open IE on the side of the screen to look up the new Trek movie, go through favorites and buy tickets. I’ll forgive the plug.

Yusef uses Skype with a fellow employee while watching the movie. Video and audio look solid.

After pulling up the ESPN app, Yusef displays the ability to show league standings and fantasy stats. Pretty cool if you’re in an ESPN fantasy league (which I’m not). There is also a TV guide which lets you see what is on cable and go to any channel by saying the channel you want to watch like HBO or CBS. The idea behind all of this is for the user to not have a reason to turn the TV off of the XBOX.

1:20: Mark Whitten out next to talk about the details of the console. 5 Billions transistors and 8 gigs of RAM. It has BluRay and USB 3 tech.

It uses three different operating systems to make it as easy as possible to use. This causes the system to shift from program to program with no lag. Voice control has also been adapted to be more conversational.

Kinect is getting an upgrade with a better camera and enhanced body recognition to recognize rotation and weight control.

The new controller has 40 design innovations with an upgraded battery pack and d-pad (which looks more like the Sony d-pad). The new Kinect sensor is what the entire experience revolves around.

New XBOX Live is built on 300,000 servers. Content is stored in the cloud so that you can access any content from anywhere. There is also a DVR program for gaming that lets you rewind and record gameplay (like PS4). There is also a system to find the perfect competitors for you in multiplayer, giving you the best possible experience.

1:28: Andrew Wilson from EA announces that EA is producing FIFA 14, Madden 14, NBA Elite 14 (uh oh) and a UFC game (that’s interesting). They will all be ready within 12 months and feature a new program called “Ignite.” This is meant to adjust the mental aspect of playing, along with more realistic body movement when colliding with other players on the field. There are also more dynamic crowds and playing environments teased. There is also a tease of XBOX only full multiplayer. This was all recapped with a montage of what could be gameplay. If it is it looks pretty great. That’s expected of course. The main thing I took away from it was uniform  and face movement.

1:35: Phil Spencer out next to take a look at Forza Motorsport 5. I don’t know much about racing games but it looks good. After the PS4 reveal I’m kind of numb to the graphics. Of course it is all going to look amazing. It will be available at launch.

1:40: Remedy Games debuts a game called Quantum Break. The games starts with a live action scene which cuts into a heavy disaster scene with a ship crashing into a bridge. What followed was a sneak peak of gameplay (most of it I missed due to LAAAG). What I did see looked okay.

XBOX ONE will launch with 15 exclusives, eight of which are new franchises. This is kind of a big deal as exclusives have been lacking recently.

1:45: Nancy Tellem from XBOX Entertainment Studios talks about how TV on XBOX will emerse you in the experience. The emphasis will be on personalization. She brings out Bonnie Ross from 343 Industries to talk about how Halo will integrate into this. She reveals that there will be a live action Halo TV series to be produced by Steven Spielberg.

1:50: XBOX ONE will have a partnership with the NFL to have exclusive content, as well as app access to integrate your fantasy league stats. I imagine this also means Sunday Ticket will be available as well. It was on PS3 last year.

1:55: Dan Mattrick comes back out to wrap things up, announcing that the XBOX ONE will be released later this year, and again promotes E3 where several more games will be revealed.

2:00: Eric Hirshberg from Activision out to announce the next generation of Call of Duty, of which DLC will all be released first on XBOX. Using a new game engine, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the next CoD game. There is a short behind the scenes clip showing the making of the game and some of the new features like dogs. Yup, dogs. The engine upgrades the way objects look when you are close to them, as well as changing the way you hurdle over objects, slide and interact with the environment. Another new feature is interactive maps, which include essentially traps that you can trigger within the environment. Hirshberg describes it as the best CoD game in terms of graphics, gameplay and story. Ghosts was then compared side by side to MW3. Of course its better. I’m honestly not going crazy over them though. Finally we get a clip of gameplay on the XBOX ONE engine. What we actually get is the games trailer. The biggest element to me was the interactions with water and shooting down a building while you are scaling it. The parts that looked like gameplay certainly had the graphics of a cutscene. It looks good. It’s supposed to.

2:08: One final plug for E3 in the form of a countdown and the presentation is over.

I’ll probably sound like the huge Sony fanboy that I am but I was a little underwhelmed by this event. On the plus side, we actually saw the hardware which looks very nice and not oversized. It also did not drag the way Sony’s did. However there was so much emphasis put on watching TV and not very much on gaming. NFL, ESPN, watching moves, surfing the internet. Gaming seemed to be second to everything else. They did announce some titles and show off some footage, but aside from Forza, it was all third party titles that will be on PS4 as well. I imagine this will all be address at E3. I’m sure this had everything XBOX fans were looking for, but in many ways it’s what Sony already announced with the PS4. The TV features are very cool. I just hope the games are as well.

Playstation 4 Announced: Details And Reaction

ps4-hero-logoSony held an event today to announce the future of the Playstation. It didn’t take long to figure out that the Playstation 4 was a big part of that announcement. But how much will be revealed? Will the Vita fit into their plans? How about the Move? Will any games be revealed? Here is a rundown of the event, with key reveals like specs and games in bold:

6:00 PM: Don’t worry guys, this announcement is rated E for everyone.

6:01: LAAAAAAAG

6:02: Big ol’ montage of PlayStation’s history over the last twenty years from commercials to games and such to rock opera music before introducing Playstation president Andrew House who says that today’s announcement is a big risk and unifies all of their technology.  The gamer is labeled as the focal point of the efforts, with mobility and sharing a priority.

6:06: The Vita is mentioned as being powerful enough to enhance the home experience, with more being revealed about that idea later this year (already teasing announcements for later in the year at this big announcement).

6:08: The Playstation 4 is announced and is officially called the Playstion 4. 

6:11 Mark Cerny, lead architect is introduced to talk about what improvements can be made on the current technology. Devices are now expected to do more than just play games now. The goals of the system are to erase the separation between the games and the player, as well as doing what the developers wanted for it. Developers has a big part in what specs the PS4 will have. X86 CPU, enhanced PC GPU, 8GB unified memory and a local storage HDD. Basically it’s a powerful piece of hardware.

6:18: The reveal of the Dualshock 4! It looks exactly like the leaked photo. Rumble and controller latency has been adjusted.  A touch pad and share button are added, as well as a light bar which links to a camera set up for move capabilities. It’s not setting the world on fire, but it’s a controller. It doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

6:19: Brief demo of rendered footage with the camera being moved with the touchpad. System memory will use GDDR 5.

6:20: Cerny reveals his own title. It centers around a robot that can gather multiple objects to take different forms. It is called Knack, and it does a good job showing the capability of the system to handle multiple objects. Not sure how fun it is to play, but it’s unique.

6:23: The PS4 will be able to load a game from being powered off in seconds. Game and system updates are all done in the background, while you can play other games.

6:25: PS4 user interface is revealed. Hitting share on the controller goes through your last few minutes of gameplay. You can share these videos as easily as you would share screenshots now. You can watch what other people are playing even if you don’t have that game. If someone you know is having trouble, you can take control of that person online. Gamer ID’s will still be used, but a facebook type of integration will be used. Tablet and smartphone capabilities are also added, to check status’ and messages. The system will read your habits and downloads much like TIVO. Games will be pre-loaded for you to try based on previous activity.

6:29: LAAAAAAAAAAAG

6:30: David Perry, CEO of Gaikai introduced to talk about the new Playstation Network. He aims to create the fastest network for gaming. When your friends purchase a new game, you will know about it. Games can be played instantly from the store with a single button touch. You can try any game for free, buying only the games you love. Facebook and USTREAM have been adapted into the PSN and PS4. The aim is to create a social gaming network that means something.

6:33: Spectating is emphasized, with the “share” button streaming your game live, with your friends being able to watch and comment as you play. Players online can also take over your controller and assist. Friends and developers can leave items for you in game, and USTREAM sessions can be scheduled to stream your game session on the internet.

6:35: Remote play is a feature that will make the PS Vita an integral part of the system. Essentially the Vita will become what the new Wii U controller is. You can  transfer any game from the PS4, onto the Vita if someone else needs the TV. 

6:38: Technology is being developed to put games from any device, from PS1 to PS3 and Vita, into the cloud and available on the PS4. The cloud services will be revealed in phases, with this just being the earliest options for it.

6:40: A clip of game developers talking about how they were contacted to help design a system that works for them. Considering how much developers complained about the PS3, this is probably a good thing. They mention how you can start a new game right away, before the rest of the game loads. 

6:45: Michael Denny from Worldwide Studios comes out bring out Michael Miller Gorilla Games. He announces Killzone: Shadow Fall and it looks absolutely fantastic. Water and glass looks amazing from a distance. The sun sets detailed shadows around the world, with multiple npc’s that react to your movements. After some peaceful meandering a bomb goes off in slow motion, showing the details of the system. We come back to see fire and some FPS gameplay. It’s all seamless, with no cut scenes. Very impressive stuff. The details on even little things like rope, the size of the game world and how quickly you can go through that world is amazing. At the end of the demo, the share button was used on the controller, putting the video straight to Killzone’s facebook page.

6:56: Matt Southern of Evolution Studios introduced a team based racing game called Drive Club. You and friends can play among thousands of other players into races. You can send challenges through tablets and cars are being recreated with 100% parameters. A first-person view is shown with the driver checking the engine before stepping into the car and driving it. The details are very fine and the cars have a beautiful shine to them. There are 3 on 3 club challenges teased before the video ends.

7:03: Sucker Punch reveals InFamous: Second Son. It is a long cut scene featuring a new protagonist in a very good looking action sequence. No gameplay though.

7:10: Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, introduced The Witness. An open world PS4 exclusive with various destinations and themes. It is a puzzle game which promises to have no filler. The demo reel has you go through various backdrops, from beaches to forests, castles and more. It looks very innovative, although not as visually appealing as the other games so far. The puzzles appear to have a very large scope though and the world is huge.

7:15: Technology previously reserved for feature films is displayed on the system. The PS4 is capable of characters using 30,000 polygons. Heavy Rain for example used 150,000.

7:20: Media Molecule (Little Big Planet) talks about the potential of the Playstation Move on the PS4. They started by showing a tech demo where the Move controller is a sculpting tool. It shows statues being created in real time and it’s very cool stuff. It is a beginners program for 3D sculpting, and can also develop game levels. A sample is shown of a fully rendered video made with the PS4, displayed as it was made in real time. It featured people controlling characters freely, grabbing instruments and playing them in the game. I’m not about to believe that what they showed was as easy as they make it look, but it was still cool. No actual game was announced with this technology.

7:27: Virtually every third party company will support the PS4. (That can’t surprise anyone)

7:28: Yoshinori Ono from Capcom comes out to first say he is not talking about Street Fighter. They go through their history with Sony starting with Resident Evil on the PS One. For the Playstation 4, a new engine called Panta Rhei has been developed to take full advantage of the system. They sample the engine with a game called Deep Down (working title). It is a medieval adventure, showing characters going through dingy caves and fighting fire breathing dragons. Dungy has never looked better, and some small portions of gameplay were shown. Afterwords, a clip of Blanka sending a Metal Gear style SOS message was sent. So that’s something worth keeping an eye on. They will reveal more for the PS4 this year.

7:35: Yoshihisha Hashimoto of Square Enix shows off a demo of their work. Shinji Hashimoto announces that a new Final Fantasy title will be announced at E3.

7:42: Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot unveils a game titled Watch Dogs. They expand on the E3 demo, showing that everything, including people, is controllable. A new demo is shown off, with yet another visually stunning game world. Set place in Chicago, the player goes through the city, identifying people through his cell phone. It looks similar to Heavy Rain. The player breaks up a crime and chases the criminal through the world. It’s high speed and fluid. As the cops come in on him, the player can trigger traps electronically like barriers and stop trains to use as a means of escape. It all appears to be done with a single button as you go. Very cool.

7:50: Chris Metzen from Blizzard makes his first console announcement. They have entered a partnership with Sony to “take over the world.” Diablo 3 is coming to the Playstation 4 as well as the PS3. The PS4 version has full screen four player coop. Only some stills were shown, but the game will formally be debuted at PAX East.

8:00: Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg says that Bungie will be working with Sony to bring Destiny to the PS4 and PS3. It is a new FSP that is in development. Very little was shown, but think Halo. It provides an online experience, and there will be exclusive Playstation content. This is a huge win for Sony, as the XBOX has practically made its living off Halo.

8:03: The presentation ends with a montage of the footage shown, and the message that the Playstation 4 will be available this holiday season.

Much more games and footage was revealed than I ever thought. Sony came on really strong and it looks fantastic. When I says “looks” I am referring only to the games because the actual console was not shown. Will it be a beast like the original PS3 or a small like the Wii? No idea. I’m also not sure about the touchscreen controller, or how the promises of instant play from the on button will come to fruition. The most notable thing that was not revealed (unless it happened during all the lag time) was price. Rumored around $450-$600, it can’t go anywhere above that if it wants to open well.

I may have to wait a year before I can afford it, but I definitely want one.