Thursday, June 6, 2013

Microsoft Announces Some Positive News on DRM, Used Games and Privacy

Microsoft instead of waiting for E3 has clarified on there most confusing topics, like DRM, used games, and privacy

Microsoft in a bold move came out today and clarified on there used game fees. Basically they are letting the publishers make the decision whether or not to put a fee or not. Microsoft has said that none of there owned studios will implement this fee. Microsoft has also said that games can be given to friends that have been in your friends list for at least 30 days and the game can only be traded once. Also to note you can also have up to 10 people in your "family" that can access your games and be able to play them as long as they have already been downloaded to the console. This seems to be a lot better then what we thought would happen so I am very happy to hear this straight from Microsoft. I think its clear that Microsoft isn't pushing the fees the publishers are. If the publishers are willing to push the fees its up to them which makes me wonder if Sony may be implementing a similar system. There is no need for Sony to comment on the Used games immediately sense they have almost no negative media on them but I would like to hear a defiant answer form them at E3.

Microsoft also addressed there privacy policy with there new Kinect. They said that the Kinect will only be listening to key words and not listening in on personal information.You can also determine how the Kinect will work when setting up the device. There exact words were "You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear. By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded." It also says that while playing games you can determine whether or not the Kinect is on, paused or off. You can put the Kinect in a paused state while playing the game, while only be able to listen to "Xbox off" to turn off the system. I think this clarified what the Kinect is actually doing and it is not invading the users privacy. On the other hand I can see how some people may still be spectacle sense it will be "always on" as long as the system is on and it will be listening to you sense it has to react to the key words like "Xbox On". Some people will still be worried but clearly if they are that worried they shouldn't buy it. For me this is great news and shows that the Kinect wont be invading on anyone.

They also said that the Xbox will have to connect to the internet every 24 hours. “With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies." I kinda don't like that we are forced to connect to the internet every 24 hours. I feel this will be preventing some people from even playing there single player games sense not everyone has internet yet. I see why they are doing this but am surprised they would do it. They are blocking out a portion of there audience by demanding an internet connection. Unfortunately this is something you will just have to deal with if you want to buy the console. This just means I cant bring it to my grandmoms house because she has no internet connection yet. At least on the bright side of this you can watch TV if you cant connect! Right?

I am very happy that Microsoft decided to address there problems and come right out and give us a statement  Hopefully this clears things up with people and will start to change the perception of the Xbox One form a negative to positive. Lets hope Microsoft doesn't make similar mistakes at E3 like they did at there reveal. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Top 5 things I hope to see at E3 this year

E3 is already less then 2 weeks away and I couldn't be more excited. There are so many things I hope to see there but I made a list of the top 5 things I hope to see this year at E3.

5) New Wii U games 

I really hope that at E3 Nintendo comes out swinging showing some of there legendary first party games. Nintendo already promises to show some games like a new Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda Wind Waker HD and Super Smash Bros which are all awesome titles but I hope to see more. A new Metriod, Pokemon ( that isn't a Pokemon rumble) Star Fox would be awesome to see. Show some more of these first party games and the Wii U will be basically flying off the shelves. Nintendo may not have a press conference at E3 but they can still dominate the hype if they announce some of there awesome titles.

4) 3DS and PS Vita games

As an owner off both portable systems I think both are awesome and full of potential. The 3DS is already in its prime, selling massive amounts of units every week. The 3DS  is a huge success because of the huge library of excellent games playable on it. Super Mario 3D Land, StarFox 64, Zelda Ocarina Of Time, Fire Emblem, I could go on and on about all the great games out for the 3DS. I still want to see a steady flow of games come out for the 3DS so I would love for Nintendo to show some upcoming games for there portable system. The PS Vita is almost the complete opposite of the 3DS at this point. Not selling well week by week and has very few games that are actually good on it. The PS Vita is defiantly off to a slow start but just like the 3DS the PS Vita can come back. I think Sony should announce a worldwide price cut and announce some strong titles for the PS Vita. Also elaborate on some of the PS Vita's cross play features for the PS4. If Sony does this I would suspect the PS Vita to make the same exact shift in sales the 3DS had after it got its price dropped. Both companies have very promising portables and I hope they get some attention this E3.

3) The Exclusive games for each console

If there's anything I hope Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo focus on at E3 its there exclusive titles for there console. This is especially important for Sony and Microsoft because they have to convince people to buy there console. Microsoft already promises 15 exclusive games coming to the Xbox One and says there E3 press conference is all about games, so I defiantly expect for Microsoft to be all about the games especially after its disappointing reveal. Sony also needs to show some strong exclusive titles also. I doubt Sony will let Microsoft out play them at exclusives sense Sony has the most first party developers so I expect to see a lot from them too. Nintendo also shouldn't have a problem showing some of there awesome first party games.

2) Clarification on DRM and Used games by both Sony and Microsoft

After all the confusion with the whole Xbox one and used games policy I think the first thing Microsoft needs to talk about is used games. People are confused and worried so Microsoft needs to help clarify things. Also talk about DRM. Do I have to connect to the internet or not? Its that simple just tell the consumers because right now everyone is searching for answers and not getting any. The same goes for Sony. They have been silent on there used games policy sense there press conference in February. We need answers from both companies at E3 because this confusion is only scaring people away from purchasing there consoles.

1) Next Gen Games

I want to see next gen games! At E3 last year the publishers were to scared to show any next gen games ( except for Ubisoft ) but this time there should be nothing holding them back. I want to see some of the games they were probably not allowed to show at E3 last year. I want to see more then what we all ready know I want to see some surprises, something that hasn't been revealed yet. The next gen games are going to be the thing that makes us want to buy the next gen console so I expect them to be great. I cant wait to see what each company has in store for us in the upcoming year.

That is the top 5 things I want to see at E3 this year. There was more things I want to see like some talk about indie games and next gen console's features but these were my top 5. I know for sure that E3 will be awesome this year!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

PS4 games mandatory remote play for PlayStation Vita

According to a report from Sony has made a push to implement the remote play feature that was discussed at there press conference by making it mandatory for the developers to implement it in there games.

This is great news for the PS Vita because now it looks like it will work a lot like the Wii U'S gamepad. Now every game for the PS4 has to be compatible with the  PS Vita. We don't know how this will work just yet like: Can we now play PS4 games on the go? Can I play the game while the PS4 is off? We don't know for sure yet, but I expect clarification form Sony about this at E3. 
Could the Vita be a lot like the Wii U's gamepad?

This does mean if this is true that the PS Vita will be much more appealing once the PS4 is out. This is great for Vita sense it has been struggling to find an audience after a few months on the market. If this is true I would suspect one of two things: A PS Vita and PS4 bundle at the PS4 launch ( this seems like this would be very expensive but maybe Sony can keep it at a low $500-$550 ) or a worlwide price cut for the PS Vita. Japan has already got a price cut for the PS Vita so it wouldn't be unlikely to see a worldwide price cut. Although it is worthy to note that Sony said they are losing money on Vita's in Japan because of the cut so there has to be some strong games released to make some money for Sony before they take a cut worlwide. 

This can be viewed as a bad thing from a developers standpoint sense they now have to do more work but if programming for the PS4 and Vita is as easy as they made it out to be at the Sony press conference then it shouldn't be a problem. On the bright side this can make developers take a risk by implementing the Vita to create a different way to play or experience games like the Wii U'S gamepad does. This news is great for Vita fans and will hopefully push more people to buy the Vita as the PS4 draws near its release.
Sony talking about remote play at there press conference

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

PS3 lifetime sales surpass Xbox 360 lifetime sales after 8 years

According to the PS3 has finally outsold the Xbox 360 after 8 years on the market. Xbox 360 has sold 77,311,669 units so far while the PS3 has now sold 77,313,472. Even though the PS3 is only 2,000 more units ahead this is the first time the PS3 lifetime sales have surpass Xbox 360 sales.

Once the PS3 first hit the market back in 2005 the Xbox had already sold 5 million units. After the PS3 had a slow start at there release the Xbox had widened the gap to 8 million units ahead of the PS3. After the PS3 had some strong games come out for it, the audience for the PS3 grew. Soon the PS3 was out selling the Xbox in every region other then the UK and the USA. After 8 long years the PS3 has outsold the Xbox 360 in lifetime sales. This made the PS3 the the second best selling system of this generation behind the Wii buy 22 million units.

Even with the PS4 coming out this year it is projected that the PS3 sales to get much, much higher because of many exclusive AAA titles coming out this year ( Last of Us, Gran Turismo 6, Beyond Two Souls ). It is also very probable that Sony will keep PS3 support well after the PS4 release. This means PS3 will most likely only make the margin between the PS3 sales and Xbox 360 sales larger. This is great for Sony because this can make up a lot of momentum for the upcoming PS4 release. Will this help Sony out on PS4 sales? Probably, only time will tell. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Xbox One's used game fiasco

In the wake of the Xbox One reveal on Tuesday there has been massive confusion around many of the features Xbox One will have. Will there be a fee for used games? Can I let a friend borrow my game? Can i trade games into stores like Gamestop?All these questions were left unanswered by the Xbox one reveal. After the conference instead of a solid firm answer to these important questions we got answers by many Microsoft employees that either contradicted there answers or just dodged the question all together.

Defiantly the most important question was the ones regarding how Microsoft will be handling used games. Many different answers have come out from this saying that the game will be locked to your Xbox Live account. Therefore if you bring the disk over to a friends house you have to log into your Xbox live account to play it. If the friend tries to play it then he will have to pay a fee to play. The official comment form Major Nelson  ( an Xbox employee ) can be found here. After this there has been huge confusion. Just a day ago polygon said from a anonymous source that the people wont be feed but Microsoft will fee the retailers which in the end hurts the consumers sense the prices for used games will just rise. This is still just a rumor though. In an attempt to clarify Major Nelson came out and said this:

"The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future."

However this doesn't really clarify anything. With conflicting stories about this used game stuff its clear Microsoft doesn't even know what there going to do yet. It seems we will have to wait until they figure this out. Hopefully everything will be sorted by E3.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why E3 will be important this year.

With both consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One announced we still know very little about them. Both Sony and Microsoft have already announced to reveal much more about there systems on June 10th at E3 this year. Making E3 very important for both companies to use to show why there console should be purchased this year.

E3 is always a big deal for the gaming community because this is where all the new games are announced for the upcoming year. This year however will be probably the most important E3 in the last 7 years sense this year both Microsoft and Sony are completely revealing there consoles. Hopefully we will see more about the upcoming games, hear about the price, hear about the online service and learn more about the features each company offers. Even though Nintendo decided to not have a press conference at E3 this year it is still important for them to show that there console will be relevant compared to the next gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Clearly E3 will be a important for each company to show what they have to offer.

I hope at E3 Sony actually reveals there system. I personally don't care what the console looks like but you have to show the public the product before you can sell it. Sony has to show there console at E3 this year. ( They most likely are sense there ad showed glimpse of the console this past week ). Sony also needs to stay focused on games. I hope to see some real good games that will defiantly sell the system. Games like Uncharted or Little Big Planet would defiantly sell the console and would get people excited overall. Games like Infamous and Killzone are both great games but wont sell the system like an Uncharted would. I would also really like to hear more about there clouding gaming service. They touched a little bit on it at there press conference but not much was shown. Also I would really like to here pricing for the system. I'm hoping between $400-$500 as a fair price. I would also like them to clarify more about PSN and used games. Will PSN still be free? Will PS+ be on the PS4? Will there be a fee on used games? Also show some games coming to the Vita! We will have to wait and see at E3 before we can answer these questions. Lets hope all will be answered about the PS4 at E3.

Luckily Microsoft has the first press conference at E3 so they can clarify many of the unanswered questions that there reveal event had. Microsoft has to clarify there used games policy. Will there be a fee? How much? How many Xbox one's can I add my account to? What retail store can I trade my games to, Gamestop or some internet store? They need to address how often you have to connect to the internet. It has been stated by Microsoft has to connect to the internet at some point periodically. We need to know, how often? Can I still use the Xbox One if I have no internet? These are serious questions that need to be answered at there press conference  Microsoft has said many times that there E3 event will be all about games, so we need to see some games! Microsoft promises 15 new exclusives and 8 new IPs. We need to see these exclusives at this event. They need to forget about EA games and Call of Duty sense we can get them on every other console. Show us the gamers the exclusives. I also hope Microsoft can clarify more about Xbox Live and how it will work. Will the TV features be only accessed on Xbox Live? How much will it cost? Lastly a price would be nice to see. I also hope its around a $400-$500 price. I think as long as Microsoft answers some important questions and shows us the games they promise they will be just fine at E3.

Even though Nintendo isn't having a big press conference they will still be at E3. I think its pretty simple for Nintendo, show us the big first party games. If we can see some Super Smash Bros, new Zelda and new Mario then Nintendo will do just fine. All they have to do is show that there will be games coming out for the Wii U that you can only get on there console and the Wii U would do just fine at E3.

HD Zelda

Clearly E3 will be very important for the 3 gaming giants this year. I think this will be the biggest E3 yet and that none of the companies will disappoint. Well have to wait until E3 before we here anything about the consoles but I can tell it will be epic.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Xbox One Reveal Overview and My Opinion

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of hours you would know that Microsoft has finally unveiled there new Next gen console called Xbox One. Microsoft showcased the Xbox One today at there Xbox Event also revealing some features and upcoming games for there brand new console.

It was clear from the start of the event that Microsoft had a focus on the entertainment side of there console saying many times that it was going to be the "living room device". They first started right off by revealing the new system, new Kinect, and there new controller. Microsoft then started off talking about the new TV and DVR features on the new Xbox. This was defiantly the strongest part of there presentation because this showed that the Xbox had cool features that no one else had. They showed that the user can easily flip through playing a game straight to watching TV just by your voice or making a gesture through kinect. This feature was pretty cool but there were somethings that felt oddly left out. For one they never discussed if the new TV features would be free or not. I highly doubt the use of TV through the Xbox would be free sense you have to pay for internet, so I wish they would have told us how exactly we would be able to use it. Will it be a monthly fee and how much would it be?

The next part of the conference was focused on upcoming games from EA and some new exclusives. They announced that there would be 15 new exclusive games coming out for Xbox One in the first year and that 8 will be new IPs. This was great news sense Microsoft needs some new exclusives to compete with Nintendo and Sony who both have a big line up of exclusive titles. They also showed that they were working with EA and that Madden 25, Fifa, NBA live and UFC will be coming to the Xbox One. I found this to be very unimportant sense these games are all coming out on other consoles ( other then Wii U ). Why  put an emphasis on games that have already been confirmed to be on other consoles like the PS4. Also Microsoft announced a new Forza game will be coming out for Xbox One. As far as showing new IPs they did show Quantum Break which showed off some pretty cool graphics but left a lot to be desired. If I was Microsoft I would have shown more IPs making it a more appealing system but it seems Microsoft wants to wait till E3 to do that. 

After some talk about games they went back to talking about some more TV features. They announced an exclusive TV series of Halo being made for there console. This seemed out of place, how they went from talk about TV to games back to TV features  Not really interested in the new Halo series but I can see it bringing in some people to buy into there TV service.

They then ended there conference with a long segment about Call of Duty Ghost. Again it seemed very odd for Microsoft to put so much time into a game that was already announced and will be on other next gen consoles. The segment consist of a gameplay trailer ( thankfully ), some talk from the developers about new features and Microsoft stating the obvious that again Xbox would be getting there DLC before any other consoles. I understand that Microsoft probably decided to spend time on Call of Duty Ghost because it would bring in a bigger audience but the event was planned at an odd time that was inconvenient for most which makes the emphasis on the game very odd.

My opinion on the event was that it was pretty mediocre. The conference felt slightly rushed and not well planned. ( going form TV to games back to more TV talk ) Also almost all the games shown were for multiplatform games with only 2 games showed at this event that will be exclusive for the Xbox One. The most appealing part was the TV features sense it showed something only the Xbox one can do. I would have talked more about some of the new exclusive games they have planned and then talked about some of the exclusive features Xbox One has like there TV feature and Skype features. Also I found it odd that during the press conference Microsoft did not talk about there biggest rumor always online. They latter said after the press conference that it will not be always online.

 Microsoft had the perfect opportunity to show up and completely blow people away but I think they focused to much on things that will be on all next gen consoles and not games that will make people run out and purchase a Xbox One. They can defiantly show up at E3 this year and show some kickass titles but now they will be there with Sony doing the same thing. This event was Microsoft's time to really shine but I fell they just missed it by losing there overall focus on whats going to push the system the most: exclusive games.

New kinect, new Xbox and new controller