Monthly Archives: November 2013

  • PS4/ Xbox One – How Many Launch Titles to Buy?

    So you got yourself a brand new console. What now? Well buy games of course. But how are you going to buy? How many for the PlayStation 4 and how many for the Xbox One?

    xbox-one-vs-ps4-578-80

    Seems one analyst has already figured it out for us. Seems like Doug Creutz, Cowen & Company analyst, believes that on average a gamer would pick up about 3 (3.25 exactly) games with their new consoles during the initial launch period.

    Considering a total of 32 retail titles being available since launch day, the 3.25 attach rate basically stands to 20% attach rate across all available titles. According to him Battlefield 4 will perform better and thus has an attach rate of about 30%. Along with BF4, it seems NFL 25 and NBA 2K14 will also have higher attach rates.

    On the other hand, Zumba Fitness, Fighter Within, Injustice: Gods Among Us have been given a lower rate. Funny thing was that COD: Ghosts wasn’t rated at all. If you need some sort of comparison, the Xbox 360’s attach rate was 4.2 while the PS3’ was 1.9. So it seems the playing field is much more even this time around. Only time will tell.

  • Playstation 4 sells 1 million in 1 day, Sony "Very Comfortable" 3 million units Sale Predictions

    SCEA CEO Jack Tretton told Bloomberg that there should be no issue at all with the PS4 sales to reach the predicted 3 million units by the end of the year. Supposedly many analysts have confirmed this number and Sony is supposedly “very comfortable” with it.

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    Tretton added that Sony has made sure that “adequate” number of PS4s will be available throughout the holiday season. For now Sony is still aiming at the 5 million unit sales prediction by the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2004).

    Like before he added what seems to be his favourite catch phrase, "This is a marathon, not a sprint, but getting out to a nice start is a good thing. That hurdle has been cleared. We're very, very confident we're in great shape." And he is absolutely right, if we look at the past, all the previous iterations the overall performance shows that it was indeed a marathon.

    For now they are off to an amazing start. 1 million already sold within the first day of launch. And remember, the sales numbers just represents North America, their once weakest link. Andrew House, SCEI President and Group CEO, said:

    "PS4™ was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal. Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support."

    I guess the demand is there and Sony might be well on their way to their target 5 million units sold. At the rate at which it is going, they might just do it well before their initial estimated deadline.

  • Will the PS4 be Getting MP3 Playback and Media Server Features Soon?

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    It is never easy for a company to gauge how the gamers are going to react to a piece of news. When Xbox One’s reveal had more to say about television than games, gamers all over the world just lost it. Probably seeing the backlash, and keeping to their original plans, Sony aimed at creating a gamer centric device.

    Now that it has been revealed that the PS4 does not support MP3 playback or media servers on launch date, we have a similar situation in our hands.  Gamers worldwide are losing their minds about this. To put this issue to rest Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida has mentioned in several interviews that they have heard the gamers and have currently set engineers from both US and Japan to establish “how and when” these features can be delivered to the PS4. Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony was surprised at the angry feedback:

    "It’s not like we actively decided ‘Let’s not do this feature so that people will subscribe to Music Unlimited.' Like we have been saying, the focus has been always on the game features. And some of the features we wanted but we couldn’t get in on day one we are very disappointed and worried about not having on day one, and that have been the higher priorities."

    The reason why Sony has a huge following for the PS4 is the fact that they have been clear about their mission statement, they are building a game centric system. But I guess consumers want a fully fleshed out entertainments system, and rightfully so. My opinion regarding this is nothing but demonstrating a bit of patience. Considering how fleshed out the PS4 is since launch day, we can give them a few more months to add in the additional stuff. As long as they prioritize gaming, they are good in my books!

  • Playstation 4 The Mandatory Game Installations Explained

    All of you probably know by now that all the digital versions of the PlayStation 4 games will be expectantly huge in size, around 50GB. Now it seems that even the physical copies of the games would require similar amount of space on our hard drives. Guess we all have to keep an eye on our hard drive space. I am upgrading mine to 1TB as soon as I can!

    PlayStation-4-controller

    Kotaku recently just revealed that regardless of what you call it, installation or caching, everyone would be required to save large amounts of PS4 game data to the system’s hard drive. And no there is no alternative, this is mandatory.

    Mark Cerny, PS4's lead architect, described how the PS4 would deal with disc based games in order to clarify the situation. First, the PS4 will start to save parts of the game to its hard drive e.g. Knack will take up in total 37GB of space. Players would need to wait about 10 seconds before they can start playing but the caching will still need to happen. He said that Sony had initially decided to set up a system that would delete installed data the users haven’t touched in a while. But eventually (smartly so if I may add) they decided against it.

    The obvious reason for considering such a system is obvious, as without it we need to delete the data manually. Even a 1TB hard drive can only hold 20 PS4 game data's at one time (launch titles are expected to be around 50GB), where the system only comes with 500GB drive. Basic point being, the PS4 hasn’t been designed to read games off discs, might sound a bit weird but I guess they planned it considering a lot of gamers (including me) are moving towards digital content than physical media.

    However you do need to remember that if you decide to go digital, you will need to give more time for the installation process to complete. Well if this sounds like a deal breaker to you, please do know the Xbox One will work in the exact same way.

  • Sony - "Yes, Resolution Does Make A Difference"

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    Well there was a big fuss around the rumor that Call of Duty: Ghosts can run at 1080p on PS4 but can't on the Xbox One. This was later confirmed by Activision themselves who blamed that the fault was not with one particular thing, but probably a mixture of several things. They continued to add that this is probably a onetime thing, and won't happen again for their later games on the Xbox One.

    As always the news was not taken well by everyone. Some Xbox fans were outraged and instead pointed out at some frame rate issues on the PS4. When Sony was asked whether there is any difference between 720p and 1080p the answer was a resounding, yes it does make a significant difference when it comes to the video game world.

    During a PS4 review event in New York Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida attempted to clarify about this argument. He said that he does not believe any team is “fixated” on 1080p, but he does believe that it allows us to be “better gamers”. He gave the example of Killzone Shadow Fall which runs natively at 1080p. He compared Shadow Fall to previous iterations of Killzone on the PS3, all of which ran on 720p, and said that there are clear differences.

    To this Mark Cerny, PS4 lead architect and Knack game director, added -

    "Resolution does make a difference. One point of confusion is that people say, 'Oh, you won’t notice the difference because you can't resolve individual pixels unless you're very close to the TV set.’'But even if you take a 1080p image and scale it down to 720p, it looks better. That's called supersampling. It's a very specific quality graphics technique."

    Knack runs in 1080p and has no option of being run on 720p. Till now no issues have been reported for Knack like the frame drop issues reported in COD Ghosts on the PS4. This is one drawback of 1080p, not so smooth gameplay. To this issue Mark said,

    "Every developer is doing a trade-off between framerate and resolution, and they do that based on the game experience they are trying to create. Typically the fighting games and the driving games want to be at 60 because of the twitch aspects of the gameplay, so they're much more sensitive to framerate. The other genres then, tend to have a bit more freeform. Specifically looking at the launch titles for PlayStation 4, most of them are at 1080p. There are a variety of framerates."

  • Amazon Faces "Unprecedented Demand" For NEXT GEN CONSOLES

    This is a really good time to be Amazon! The demand for next gen consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, are through the roof. This puts to rest any and all speculations that the end of the console era is near.

    1 million PS4 day one sales

    The sales numbers for both consoles are breaking all previous records. The sales are going so well that Amazon said that they are working hard to prepare their fulfillment centers for "unprecedented" demand for the consoles. And there is very good reason for them to expect such high sales.

    Currently if you add the pre-order sales for both the PS4 and Xbox One, the result would be the "largest product release in Amazon history", excluding their Kindle sales of course. According to Amazon, the sale numbers are even more surprising due to the high prices of the consoles. A PS4 would set one back $400, while an Xbox One would cost $500.

    Well this just goes to show that there is an ever increasing demand for consoles, and that the gamers are hungry for some action! So if they are smart, Sony and Microsoft should take advantage and present the best deals they possibly can.

  • XBOX ONE - INDIE DEVELOPERS WILL GET UNITY FOR FREE

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    Microsoft has gone ahead and shown more support for the independent developer community. Sony has been supporting indie producers for a while now, with PlayStation 4 turning out to be one of the best platforms for indie games. This console war every feature is a battlefield, thus it is only natural for Microsoft to come in and even out the playing field.

    Microsoft has just revealed that the Unity add-on will be free for indie developers that are registered in the Independent Developers @Xbox program. This was done in order to open up greater possibilities for developers on the Xbox One.

    The Unity add-on which will be releasing in 2014, will allow the registered developers to use the Unity game engine to publish their games on not only on the Xbox One, but also on Windows 8 PCs and Windows 8 devices. According to Microsoft, this move will level out the playing field for all developers, big or small.

    In addition to this, Xbox One-only Unity Pro license will also be offered to “qualified” developers. For now Microsoft has promised to be out on the lookout for any upcoming impressive titles, but making Unity available for free to those who are willing to register is definitely a step ahead in ensuring original and creating content for the Xbox One.

     "Microsoft continues to show their commitment to creating opportunity for developers of all shapes and sizes, a commitment shared by Unity," said Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason. "The drive behind the [email protected] program is exciting for Unity and the games development community in general. We can’t wait to see the results.”

    At this year’s Gamescom the [email protected] program was announced which was created in hopes of making development and publishing much easier on the Xbox One than it was on the Xbox 360; thus being able to compete with other self-publish friendly consoles like the PS4 and Wii U. With more developers working with Unity engine, this sort of pro indie movement could really open up great possibilities for indie developers.

  • Microsoft’s New Trailer Shows Off Xbox One’s Multi-tasking Capabilities

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    Microsoft just release a cool little trailer showing off the Xbox One’s dashboard capabilities. The console war is heating up every passing day and it would be stupid for the creators not to show case their product’s new and unique features.

    The entire video is basically a showcase of the Xbox One’s voice-controlled functionality using the Kinect. The trailer shows the user using voice commands to switch between several entertainment features; from games to movies, to TV and Skype.

    The display was pretty impressive, being able to record (Game DVR service) and share gameplay videos using via voice commands is definitely cool. However this is still a promo video, and how smooth and intuitive the actual navigation and multi-tasking is, will only be decided after some reviewers get through with it. For now, all we got to do is hold tight and wait for its official launch on November 22.

    Xbox One Trailer - http://youtu.be/1aWrjuBo70o

  • Full List of PS4 Launch Titles

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    The similarities don’t cease to amaze me. It seems the PS4 will be launching with exactly the same number of games the Xbox One will be launching with, a total of 22 games. I am glad that Sony has finally confirmed their launch lineup of games for the PlayStation 4, which will be released in the US on the 15th of November. Full list of games are as follows -

    1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
    2. Angry Birds Star Wars
    3. Battlefield 4
    4. Call of Duty: Ghosts
    5. Contrast
    6. DC Universe Online
    7. FIFA 14
    8. Flower
    9. Killzone: Shadow Fall
    10. Knack
    11. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
    12. Madden NFL 25
    13. NBA 2K14
    14. Pinball Arcade
    15. Resogun
    16. Skylanders SWAP Force
    17. Sound Shapes
    18. Super Motherload
    19. Tiny Brains
    20. Warframe

    If we look back, then we can see that PlayStation 1 came out 10 games, PS2 came out with 27 games, while the PS3 came out with 14 games. There is no doubt that the success of the PS2 was dependant on the launch lineup and I guess Sony is trying to go for gold again. Although the PS4 still doesn’t have as many games available, it still has some big titles and a few exclusives at launch.

  • PS4 – List of All Features Allowed by Update 1.50

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    Sony is going at it nonstop. Bombarding us will all the info we ever wanted to know. This new bit of info came from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) which announced that the 300mb software update 1.50 will be immediately available upon launch of the console in North America.

    They have listed out the numerous features which will be available to the users upon the update. Here is each of the features in detail.

    Remote Play - Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks by using PS4 Link. SCE anticipates that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play.

    Second Screen - Users can use the PS4 Link application for the PS Vita system, and PlayStation®App for iPhone, iPad, and Android™ based smartphones and tablets, to use these devices as second screens in supported titles. PlayStation®App has the ability to enable users to interact with games with their mobiles devices. For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation®Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.

    Record, take screen shots, and upload gameplay effortlessly - The PS4 system provides dedicated, "always on" video encoding systems that enables seamless uploading of gameplay. Users can share their epic triumphs by simply hitting the "SHARE button" on PS4 Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK®4), take screenshots or scan through the last 15 minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to the game—the video uploads as the user plays. At the PS4 system's launch in North America, users will be able to share their images and videos with friends on Facebook and screenshots with followers on Twitter.

    Broadcast and spectate gameplay - The PS4 system also enhances social spectating by enabling users to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to game fans around the globe, using Ustream and Twitch live internet streaming services. SCE provides two ways for users to view live broadcasts. First, the Live from PlayStation® application on PS4 aggregates streams from all PlayStation® users. Second, users can spectate friends' PS4 gameplay from PCs, and applications such as Ustream, Twitch, and browsers, which are installed on their mobile devices. These applications can be easily started up via PlayStation®App, and users can also use these applications to post comments to gameplay broadcasts. Furthermore, users with PlayStation®Camera can stream camera images and microphone sounds along with their live gameplay broadcast.

    Play as you download - This feature enables users to play supported digital titles as they are being downloaded. When a game is purchased, users can start playing after PS4 downloads a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. Games may be downloaded in stand-by mode.

    Multi log-in - A maximum of 4 users can log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. These players can use their own save data to play games, and also earn trophies on their own Sony Entertainment Network accounts even when playing a multi-player game together on a single PS4 system.

    Party (Voice chat) - By using the Mono Headset bundled with the PS4 system, users will be able to chat with up to eight friends enjoying different applications or games. Furthermore, users can use Party to chat between PS4 and PS Vita systems.

    Face recognition and voice commands -Users with PlayStation®Camera will be able to register their facial image onto their PS4 system, and login to their system using facial recognition instead of DUALSHOCK®4. Furthermore, users can use either the microphone of the Mono Head set connected to DUALSHOCK®4, or PlayStation®Camera to navigate through the PS4 home screen (PlayStation®Dynamic Menu) with voice commands to start up games and shutdown the system, among other features.

    Background music player - Users can enjoy gameplay while listening to music in the background with Music Unlimited, a cloud-based digital music service. Users can also voice chat with friends while listening to music.

    Online Multiplayer - PlayStation®Plus (PS Plus) members will be able to play PS4 titles online with other players via the network. PS Plus makes it easy for members to join available online multiplayer matches in a variety of ways, including the ability to easily join a game from a live stream broadcast or Party voice chats.

    Blu-ray Disc and DVD player - Users can enjoy not only gaming on their PS4 system, but also Blu-ray and DVD video contents."

    Wow that is a whole lot of nifty feature. Party chat and background music player really got my attention. These features were greatly missed on the PS3. Also, the facial and voice command features sound a whole lot like the Kinect’s functionality form the Xbox One. I guess you can’t really call it copying, but I don’t recall Sony publicly broadcasting these features. Either way, all this did was to bring the two consoles that much closer to each other. If you had a preference to Xbox for these features alone, maybe it is time to re-think your purchase decision.

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