Posts Tagged With 'Console'

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Gabe Newell’s comments lead to questions

There was some buz around the Internet lately about some comments Valve’s Gabe Newell told Penny Arcade Report regarding a console.

He said that if they had to, Valve would make their own console. Speaking entirely on a hypothetical situation, would a Valve console work?

One of the most appealing features for a Valve console would mean it would run on Steam.  Automatically it’s online service would be on par if not better than X Box live. There would be a wide variety of downloads to choose from and the online play would be great.

This raises a big question, what about Valve’s already huge PC user base? There were talks about Microsoft streaming X Box live through PC’s as well; maybe it would work the same way. Perhaps an integrated online community of PC and console devotees? If that were to happen however, there would be no point for a Steam run console.

The exclusives would be insane for the system, Portal, Half Life, Team Fortress, and Counter Strike exclusively on one system would be intriguing to say the least.  However, another question that comes to mind would be new IP’s.

Would Valve run with their big guns, or build a whole new brand for their console? Would a game like Counter Strike Global Ops still be playable on the X Box 360, PS3 and PC?

To me, the idea of a Valve console is very promising, I believe that it could be a force if implemented properly, however there are too many questions to reconsider, especially because it is a third party publisher who releases games multi platform, and has a strong dedication on PC.

Would there be room for a fourth console? What will the price be? Will people want a fourth console?

What do you think about a Valve console?

Posted by Cody Orme 01.03.2012 in Microsoft, News, Roundup
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Amalur: The Next Skyrim?

Call me crazy, but February 7th could see my copy of Skyrim get the shelf for a very long time. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is shaping up to be the kind of single-player RPG I just didn’t get from Skyrim. Why the Elder Scrolls hate, you ask? It’s quite the contrary – I don’t hate Skyrim or even dislike it – I enjoy it a hell of a lot, actually.

That said, Skyrim is my first foray into the world of Elder Scrolls, and there lies the main problem: I have…no idea what I’m doing story-wise in that game. Apparently I’m a Dragonborn, and I’m meant to save the land from dragons. Ok, that’s easy enough to understand. But, what are these Deadra I keep hearing about? “Oblivion Crisis?” What the…? Not to mention the overall Elder Scrolls lore that contributes to a supposed atmosphere I’m just not getting. I’m lost – an ignorant fool leveling a character who’s stuck with a single point in archery he’ll never do anything with (the console version is in question here). Way to go.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning fixes that problem, though, by featuring a rich, original story written by R.A. Salvatore, a fantasy writer with loads of impressive credentials. So, the game is accessible to everyone craving a good story, and there’s no lengthy backlog to explore to get the full picture. Not to mention the game is massive, with tons of side quests and branching stories. There’s hours upon hours of content here – time will tell if it holds up in the long run and stays interesting. Here’s hoping.

Gameplay is where the game’s got me real excited, though. Console versions of Skyrim, which many people own (myself included), lock a player into a particular class and skill set. That one point in archery I mentioned earlier – my mage will be stuck with that forever. And I’ll always be a mage, besides. What if that gets old? I should start a new character when I’ve grown so attached to the one I’ve had this whole time? Why can’t my mage stop being a mage and be a thief or melee class?

Amalur fixes that issue by allowing significant (and reversible) character customization. You can be a dagger-wielding, pickpocketing mage who also necromances in his spare time if you wish. That isn’t to say you can’t do these things in Skyrim, but at least here if things aren’t working out or get stale, skills can be deleted and reassigned.

Combat is another major issue I’ve got with Skyrim. You see an enemy, you aim, you pull the trigger. Rinse and repeat. It gets stale rather quickly. Amalur features fast-paced, varied combat that’s more comparable to action RPGs such as…Kingdom Hearts, if I had to compare it to anything. Spells can be accessed through the same kind of sub-menu system, though Amalur allows for weapon-switching on the go.

Story, combat, and customization are big parts of any RPG experience, and Amalur just seems to nail them better than Skyrim did. Just because something is more accessible doesn’t mean it’s watered down, either. Apparently item/armor customization in Amalur is an involved experience, and I look forward to exploring it. The fast-paced combat is sure to keep me awake whereas Skyrim has lulled me to sleep on occasion, and the story will hopefully be engaging enough to draw me in and keep me there.

February 7th is fast-approaching. Who else is excited for this game? Think it’ll be better than Skyrim? Will it crash and burn? Let us know.

Posted by Michael Fletcher 21.01.2012 in News, Sony
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Wii U is Set to Dominate 360 and PS3, According to THQ!

The guys over at FedWars recently had a chance to sit down and talk with an employee from THQ studios, the company behind the WWE video game franchise, Saint’s Row franchise, and Company of Heroes. In the interview the THQ employee talked of the future plans of the gaming studio, including his opinion as a video game developer on Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console. He mentions how he believes that buying a video game for the Wii U over buying the same game for the 360 or PS3 would be the equivalent of buying a movie on Blu-Ray disc over the standard DvD version. As for performance against Microsoft’s and Sony’s next big gaming juggarnauts? He thinks the Wii U will be A-Ok!

Question:  In what ways would the Wii U version be superior over the 360/PS3 versions?

THQ Employee:  Well the Wii U is full of potential as far as specs go.  I know that Metro: Last Light is running at a good 50-60 fps on the PC, so I’m not sure how the Wii U version will compare to that.  But the Wii U version of games from ALL developers and publishers, have potential for much smoother framerates, improved textures, and additional bonus content that the 360/PS3 version’s won’t have.  In a way, buying the Wii U version over the 360/PS3 versions, will be like buying the Blu-ray version of a movie instead of the standard dvd version.  You get better visuals, and more additional content with the Wii U version of any game compared to the other console version.  But this will only happen as long as a developer or publisher puts in the time and effort instead of doing a straight port.

Question:  I noticed a lot of games for 360 and PS3 don’t take advantage of TRUE 1080p.  Could we see more games on Wii U taking advantage of true 1080p resolution?

THQ Employee:  The Wii U is much more powerful than the other HD consoles, so Wii U doesn’t have a huge problem doing 1080p for the majority of its games.  Will Darksiders 2 and Metro: Last Light be in 1080p on Wii U?  I can’t speak for the teams behind those games.  I don’t work on those specific teams so I can’t say what they plan to do with the Wii U versions of their games as far as graphics or content go.  I do know based on the specs I’ve seen, the console is more than capable of graphics that surpass current consoles.  It’s like I said before.  Expect majority of third party Wii U games from most publishers to have true 1080p, additional content, and smoother framrates than what the PS3/360 versions offer.  If you want the DEFINITIVE version of any game in your library, I would suggest either the PC version or the Wii U version…at least for now. This is not a knock agains the 360/PS3 versions of any games either.  Fans of the 360 and PS3 are the majority of the gamers who games…period.  So publishers have to give them the best product we can.

Question:   There is a lot of emphasis on graphics nowadays.  Where do you see graphics going with future consoles?  And will the Wii U be able to graphically compete against new consoles from Sony and Microsoft?

THQ Employee:  Listening to people within the company, people are pretty happy with the specs of the Wii U.  I don’t think anyone has anything to worry about.  There is one thing I want to mention though.  Better graphics is not all rosey for gamers in the long run.  Better graphics means that game developers have to increase their staff and their budgets so games will tap into the full potential of next gen hardware.  The costs to hire more artists or programmers to a team would get passed down to gamers.  Which is why 360 and PS3 games went up 10 bucks compared to the previous generation with Playstation 2, GameCube, and Xbox.  It’s fun to dream about the possibilities of the kind of graphics you could see if a console had 10 times better graphics than the current consoles.  But with a console that is 10 times more powerful…expect 10 dollars to be added to the price tag every generation.  Again, I’m just speculating.  I’m not saying any publisher would add to the price.  But games aren’t selling like they use to, and costs to produce high budget games need to be passed down to the consumers who can afford to play.  I predict a very expensive future in gaming.

Posted by Mr. MITTH 29.09.2011 in News, Nintendo
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