Retro Monday Eyetoy Follow-Up

With this weeks “Retro Monday” that’s now out for the internet to read, I feel like doing a follow up.

To those who haven’t read it, and you should because I like watching the view counter, today’s “Retro Monday” was about the EyeToy, the Kinect for the PlayStation 2 from the early 2000’s. I have an easy dig at visual interfacing with games but even I feel like I missed a trick. Or actually, a console.

The Wii came out based on player interfacing. The main controller was/is a stick you make wanking motions with to move stuff or use the same stick and point at the your TV and attempt at furiously change channels. Or you could be a true idiot and just fling it at the screen, breaking the controller and your TV. Anyway, the Wii was a breath of fresh air. Microsoft and Sony had streamlined the box-with-string style of consoles and controllers so having something else was nice. The consumer market must have liked it because the Wii, over time, was a smash hit. It became so popular that Sony made the PlayStation Move, a Sony Wii-mote, when they launched the PlayStation Eye (The EyeToy 2) for the PlayStation 3. Because the Move was such a commercial failure, Sony has moved back to copying the Kinect with their PlayStation Camera, a Sony Kinect, which itself is based on their original idea of the EyeToy.

Both Sony and Microsoft are now looking confusingly at their camera devices. At least Microsoft is. Sony always seen it as an extra but Microsoft doesn’t. With effectively a flat out refusal to un-bundle the Kinect from the Xbox One even though it still is only used to shout at your TV/console rather then play games designed for it, its looking less and less relevant.

Nintendo also now looks like it’s trying to combine its DS (the leader of the hand-held games market) with a seemingly more retro styled console rather then advance their motion controllers. The WiiU is failing so badly that they are planning a new console already codenamed Nintendo Fusion.

So, is this the end for motion controls and camera games? I hope not. I like my EyeToy. The wavy-stick games on the Wii like “No More Heroes” where really fun. I even dusted off my old CRT TV and Namco Gun-Controller2 and played some arcade “Time Crisis 3” recently and that was fun. Most of the games I would play at the arcades would be shooters like “House of the Dead” and the ilk.

I take shots at the Kinect, PS Move and the other motion controls not because I don’t like them. I think their brilliant. They just shouldn’t be mandatory. My sister got a DDR mat for the same reason I got my G-Con2, it was a fun extra.

The console companies, mainly Microsoft, need to see that the motion and camera controls are fun but they are extras. Not mandatory add-ons to show off new, and expensive, technology because it breaks one of the main tenants of consoles:

Thou Shalt be Affordable.

PlayStation Adverts Abound!

The time when you can get your mitts on the PlayStation 4 is only a few weeks away. But lets delve, and by delve I mean search in YouTube, into the past and remember the adverts that came before for the PlayStation 1, 2, and 3. Yeah, Sony just went with numbers for new consoles. Their not that creative.

PlayStation:

This one hits the gamer stereotype harder than someone not using a parachute. Although it starts makes the line that ended up in the film “xXx”. (“Start thinking PlayStation!”) We love you Vin.

PlayStation 2:

The starting of when the Sony ad’s team started to go very arty. It’s not that bad art wise but that was a sign for what ad was coming next.

PlayStation 3:

I’m pretty arty-farty and I have no freaking idea what the hell is going on! Advertising a new console with the spawn of Chucky was never a good idea. It just freaked the hell out of people.

Getting away from the arty stuff, Sony did a string of “Dear PlayStation” ad’s that where just for fun then anything else. And to advertise the other stuff like individual games and the Blu-Ray movie Player. Least people knew what they where advertising.

This is the point when Sony realised that the gaming community made the console. So this was the start of Sony thanking the gaming community that help make them. This would come back when than advertised the soon to be announced PlayStation 4.

PlayStation 4:

Sony saw that people wanted to see games on the new console, especially since Microsoft got a lot of flack because it was concentrating on the Kinect 2.0 when the Xbox One was first announced. Sony did a lot to rub salt in the wound, mostly with adverts like this and with their pre-owned policy skit.

The Machinima live action films where doing well so Sony thought they would make it own for an ad. Well, when I say film I mean a reference to 2 games and a Napoleonic fight in “Killzone Shadowfall”. Least it had good production quality.

This advert I love. It show a commitment to the fans that have stuck with them for 3 generations. Maybe soon 4 generations. I probably love the ad because I’m one of them. (Except for the 4th generation thing. I’m waiting a year.) But still, thank you Sony for recognising the fans that have stuck with you for nearly 2 decades.

So, This Week…

As I’m going to Germany on Friday, (Oh yeah, Torch, I’m going to Germany on Friday for a week,) then Paris in September, (Oh yeah, Torch, I’m going to Paris in September) I’ve pulled out all the stuff I need to survive a flight (Germany) and a train journey (Paris). While rummaging for the DS (Just DS, not XL or 3) I found my old PSP, (No, not Vita, just PSP). I got it off an ex many a year ago and haven’t really played it much recently. Having a session of “Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier” made me realize why I haven’t.

1) My hands hurt if I play it for a long time. (I don’t get craps on my DS because I am a freak so it is an issue for me.)

2) DAMN AUTOMATIC CAMERA AND IT NOT MOVING FIXED POSITION AND ITS AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Of the two, it is pretty obvious which one annoys me more. By the way,

CAMERA IS FUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Ok, I’m done screaming.

The biggest flaw of the PSP was that it only had one analogue stick, and the one it had was crap. Properly because of age, the analogue stick on mine sticks sometimes making whoever I’m controlling creep slowing to the side. Or when I go into a menu it flickers about. Although it doesn’t happen much or at all in “Jak & Daxter” but happens all the time in “Killzone Liberation“. Which it odd to say the least.

As it only had the one right stick, it meant that the left stick, the one that usually controlled the camera wasn’t there. I would have preferred if they kept the left one and lost the right one. Least I could use the directional pad and have control of the wild, unfettered camera.

Otherwise the PSP was ok. The graphics were good for a mobile device. The sound output was good. The games where close to its console brother, the PS3, in quality. Even using it to go online was decent for a mobile device. It was generally good.

Just without the left stick, playing on it is horrible!

I as glad that they put the left stick on the Vita so playing games on a PSP was now good. But they made it to expensive and no one could afford it. I still want one now but could never afford it. And with a new console generation, it’s the PS4 or the Vita. If either.

 

PS: If you follow my Twitter, and you should, you may now that the Escapist Magazine Podcast like my pictures I did, they put the on their Facebook. Check them out here.

Well What Does This Mean…

Over the last few hours of today a story has been breaking. No, not Egypt or that Rupert is a bit of a prat, or worse

No its the story that Sony has been slowing unveiling pictures for… something. Well it’s for the PlayStation we know that. But the 3 or 4, or both.

The first picture was this:

Then it became this:

Considering that Insomniac Games is connected to it, it smells of a new “Ratchet & Clank.” And considering there is a “Ratchet & Clank” feature film in the works, it wouldn’t be a bad guess. But they are making “Sunset Overdrive“, a multiplayer, online shooter exclusive for the Xbox One, and I can’t help but wonder if there involved at all. It would be a first, that I’ve heard of at least, for a company to be making two exclusive games for Xbox and PlayStation at the same time.

For those say that it is a “Ratchet & Clank“/”Jak & Daxter“/”Sly Cooper” cross-over, a) Remember this? and b) Until Naughty Dog/Sucker Punch say there involved, we can rule that out. And considering the Dog’s only just finished “The Last Of Us” and Punch is doing “Infamous: Second Son” for the PS4, the chances are small.

So I’m heading for a new “Ratchet & Clank” game as a film tie-in. Even though the film is based on the first “Ratchet & Clank” game from the PS2…

If there are updates, I will update!

EDENDUM! [A Little Later…]

While this is an added comment I should fly the SPOILERS flag right about now, although what I will say is more back-story then anything. Anyway,

!SPOILERS!

I the PS3 trilogy of “Ratchet & Clank“, it is nailed home that Ratchet is the last of the Lombax’s [His race/species]. This is because all the Lombax’s fled to another dimension to not be murdered by Emperor Tachyon [the bad guy from “Tools Of Destruction“. In the fleeing, Ratchets parents were killed but most of the Lombax’s escaped. The last game [“Crack In Time“] ended with Clank re-joining Ratchet [long story] on a quest to find his people!

Considering that the poster says, “when two worlds collide“, I think it could be hinting at the return of the Lombax’s.

!END OF SPOILERS!

Late E3 Finisher/Opinion

I am back! Yeah, stuff came up so nothing went up anywhere but now that’s sorted so, I back!

Anyway, what do I think of this years E3?

“It sounds like battleships. E3! Hit! You sunk my console!”

“Speaking of sinking people’s consoles…”

[Paul Goodman/Jon Bolding on Escapist Magazine Podcast]

There was the spat between Sony and Microsoft. Or the ‘PlayStation 4’ and ‘Xbox One’ in the media machine. Frankly, its been a cluster F**k. With Microsoft pulling what the internet has dubbed the “Xbox One-80”, Sony not really doing that much as moving on and everything else. Here is how the consoles stand at the moment.

Xbox One: No DRM/always online/no permanent Kinect connection. But with the taking away of that the “Family plan” [the 10 people on you list can share from one catalogue of games] went with it.

PS4: Allows used games and has no DRM, but have to have a PS-Plus paid account to play online.

Peter Molyneux I think made a good point in saying that Sony and Microsoft where “like two frat houses.” and that the Microsoft conference was “un-professional” adding “As a consumer, just show me why I should be always online and I’ll be happy with it. At the moment, it just means game sale authentication. I don’t want that.”

With Microsoft u-turning on that policy has made me suspicious more than anything else. Yes, it is a good thing that they have repealed it but, as Jim Sterling said, we shouldn’t forget that they tried this because it may rear its head later. And the fact that everyone involved with the Xbox One at E3 defended the DRM to the hilt really made me think that the U-turn came from the much-higher-ups looking at the press and graphs and math, which makes me more concerned that it may be a console that is controlled more by the executives and shareholders rather then the game section of the company or by actual gamers. Sony has pretty much had a free ride because of all the cluster f**k that has revolved around the Xbox One. Sony hasn’t more far from its current model of doing business. The only big change is that people have to have PS-Plus account [a paid subscription] to play online. Although Sony has said that it is up to the publisher. So players of games like “DUST 514” may not have to pay because its free-to-play, but it is un-clear, to me at least, if this is the case or not.

Overall, I still think that the most likely big winner of the next generation is probably going to be the PC. There has been a big shift towards PC gaming. But If I had to choose a consoles, it would be the PS4 or the Wii U. People forget the Wii U but that happened last generation and the Wii sold solidly for many years and I expect the Wii U to do the same. Not to the huge extent that the Wii sold at because some people, including me, are unwilling to upgrade or spend the extra money for the Wii U but I have a feeling that the sales figures are not going to dip that much.

Now on to the games.

Kingdom Hearts III” had me open-mouthed in awe and glee. I love the “Kingdoms Hearts” series [you should play it right now] and III is one I will get.

Another one glad to see is at least in production is “Star Wars: Battlefront.” As 3rd person shooters go, the “Battlefront” series has always been solid and I’m looking forward to it the with “Star Wars: 1313” being cancelled.

Seeing Insomniac Games, a company that made the great Sony-only “Ratchet & Clank” and “Resistance“, move to make the Xbox exclusive “Sunset Overdrive”. It seems awesome but seeing what happened to “Overkill“, or should I say “FUSE“, I hope it stays that way.

The Order: 1886” is another steampunk shoot-’em-up. I love Steampunk and it would be good to see how that turns out.

I should give an honourable mention to “Call of Duty: Ghosts” and “Battlefield 4“. That’s it. More of the same. Just bigger, more people and [with COD anyway] more dog.

Destiny“, that small Bungie thing that always has ‘By the makers of ‘HALO’ ‘ stamped all over it, seems to be going alright. If they do everything they say then it will be a very good game, but they said they would do a lot.

I called “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” when it first went public, [they wouldn’t have spent that much time on the ship mechanics for a mini-game/side quest] but pirates always seem to do well and they have my attention. I just do wish they will drop the weaker story elements now [spoiler redacted] at the end of ACIII. Just do the adventures in the past with the past story lines. Drop all the present day stuff please.

Titanfall” seems a whole load of badass but hearing that its online only, I have to admit, has tempered my enthusiasm. It seems great with the mecha’s and the jet-packing around but it had a lot of potential for a great story campaign. But it is by Respawn Entertainment and if there is anything they can do it is multiplayer games.

Tom Clancy’s The Division” looked rather interesting. It may not be my cup of tea but it is a game that I will keep my eye on.

Mario Cart 8“. What can I say? It’s Mario Cart!

Watch_Dogs” I will get. It seems brilliant and I say you should get it too.

I know one guy that is looking forward to “Batman: Arkham Origins“. Although it does seems badass like the rest of the Arkham series so far.

There a bunch of driving games coming out. Most of them racing-sims. There’s “The Crew“, “Drive Club“, “GT6” and more. And there is also a “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” movie. All I can say on that is, Hollywood took its time. It green-lights “Fast & Furious” films and NFS is not that far off from that.

Project Spark” seems very interesting as a game make tool. Worth keep your eye on if you like that sort of thing, including me.

Sony showed a big line up of ‘indie’ games. Some like “Don’t Starve” you can get on Steam, but stuff like “Octodad” shows they have a good indie policy.

Minecraft” is coming to Xbox One. Not much of a surprise but it always seems like Markus ‘Notch‘ Persson wouldn’t mind it going to Playstation as well. Sony did invite him to E3 with a Golden PS1 because Mojang didn’t do to E3 this year. Least it’s on disk for 360 now.

And there is, of course, “Peggle 2“.

There are loads of games but going through all of them would just take too long.

More news and such.

Nintendo was fairly quiet this year. Most because it knew that it couldn’t compete with the shouting from Sony and Microsoft. But it had a small conference that pretty much just said what we wanted to hear. decent games, nothing outstanding but nothing  to make people forget them about them this year. There is a new “Smash Brothers” with a ‘new’ roster. It’s pee’ed a few people off because of their selection but the characters are carefully selected so they can’t say that much about it.

People following the Ouya would have an interesting time at E3. Firstly, properly as a cost saving measure, they didn’t buy a space in the main hall. But they did rent out a space in the parking lot and had a small show there. They didn’t have that much to show off so I can see why they did that but the Entertainment Software Association [A.K.A. the ESA, A.K.A. the guys who run E3] didn’t see it like that. So they rented out some 18-wheelers and parked them in front of them, blocking them from view of the public. The Ouya rep’s responded by getting its own 18-wheeler’s and parked them in front of the ESA’s trailers and stuck signs to the effect of ‘Ouya this way‘ on them. ESA’s response to that was calling the police to get them evicted. [Which fell through because they had the permits to be there.]

Well that was an interesting E3 2013 in a nutshell. It would be fun if I could get their next year.

Wil.