Tag Archives: Sony

The Future is Here, Except Not Really Cause it’s a Virtual Illusion!

Oh hi, it’s been a while (again) since we’ve talked. Apparently some stuff has happened in the videogame industry, but sadly not every news day can be about Battlefield 4‘s plethora of online issues or how Kinect is still sucking harder than PS Vita sales right now. Man my hyperbolic meter is off the charts today. Point is something grand has happened today…or tomorrow…or whenever this article will go up. It’s the dawn of the age of…

BDSM Goggles

“Steam-punk BDSM goggles?”

It’s not what you’re thinking you sick son-of-a-lovely-reader, you. Virtual reality is here, and it wants your living room – badly!

What could eventually be the next gaming trend had its roots shaping into form when the Oculus Rift starting hitting news outlets via Kickstarter. It’s essentially a giant head-set that looks like  like a clunky modem strapped to binoculars that were used by gnomes. It wasn’t pretty, at first, but in due time thanks to its founders – Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, and id Software co-founder John Carmack it looks more like you’re wearing a mini-laptop instead.

Oculus Rift 1

“It’s also a great way to pick up the ladies.”

All kidding aside though, the Oculus Rift is quite an impressive piece of hardware. With its intriguing resume of maintaining a 5.6 inch display, high-speed IMU, along with its special firmware (requested by Carmack) and you get a pretty beefy set of 3D glasses. Speaking of Carmac, the man himself actually left id Software just to put more time into the damn thing. This goes to show that when you leave a highly complex piece of equipment on your front door step, a Carmack will appear. Granted we still have about a year or two  before we finally can get our hands on these bad boys (in about late 2014 or early 2015), but the reception so far has been pretty great for the Oculus Rift.

It was so great that even Sony was like, “Hm, we’ve tried selling these blue dildo controllers, how about we take these futuristic visors from Picard’s sex dungeon?” And indeed that is how Project Morpheus came to be.

Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus is the latest attempt from Sony to try and rail in some of that Oculus Rift dough. Currently the kit will come at 1080p resolution, has sound rendering, and will have full 360 degree support along with other fascinating technical attributes. However with that said, it will be used mostly with PS Move and the PS Camera. So you’ll practically be looking like a mentally challenged Darth Vader, and not even as intimidating. It would be one thing though if it was just Sony doing this, oh no, now we have several different types of VR headsets.

We have Seebright working on a headset that separates its experience by removing the feeling of ‘isolation’. Cause that’s doesn’t sound concerning about your mental health.

Seebright

Then we have Sulon’s Cortex headset that can map any room. Even the inside of your own body for sexual purposes that may be talked about on launch date.

Cortex

Also there are rumors of Microsoft wanting to make a VR headset, and Valve has already been in talks of working on something similar. Probably. Virtual Reality is coming, and it’s coming real fast. But even after its initial phase, will consumers still buy into it?

Motion gaming was at one point being claimed as this new wave of innovation that everyone was waiting to get on board with. It sure did seem like it too with the way Nintendo was making some serious money off the Wii on launch week and the year after. Though there was one major problem that Nintendo would soon encounter with the Wii, there was no software to back that shit up yo. Plus once you bought the Wii, you would recieve a copy of Wii sports for free, and that was all you essentially needed. That was until you got to the latest Mario, Zelda, or Super Smash Bros. game.
However by the time the age of the Wii was ending, Sony and Microsoft would seize control of Nintendo’s reign of mediocrity. While both of their peripherals or systems were different, both the Playstation Move and the Kinect were both trying to ape the Wii from the get-go. Certainly Nintendo wouldn’t just let it go down like that, especially not after they released Wii Sports Resort? Well tough shit Wii Sports Resort, because Move had JK Rowling with her new kooky videogame and Kinect had baby tigers! What more could you give us you piece of retirement home entertainment?!

Therein lies the problem with these peripherals. The Wii began as an excellent idea that capitalized on the least likely demographic you would ever expect to play videogames, your parents and grandparents. But once grandpa Lester stopped giving a shit about his high score on Wii bowling, he probably wouldn’t have given a shit about anything else. Move’s problem didn’t consist with its titles since apparently we’re talking about a peripheral that looks like someone strapped Doctor Manhattan’s testicle on the other end of a remote. The problem there was just basically a combination of a peripheral that looked to similar to another’s, and the timing behind it.
Kinect as well began with a cool idea of utilizing your entire body as the avatar for whatever game you were playing, it just so happens that everything else was kind of shit beyond that concept.

Sure we still have Kinect 2.0 and Move is still around, but as usual with Nintendo, they love to start trends such as implementing a tablet controller into their next system. Tablets around the time before the announcement of the Wii U were an interesting concept that companies such as Apple and others seemed to have an understanding of. Some of their games weren’t too shabby either, one of these ‘not-too-shabby’ games was Infinity Blade which utilized the touch screen and was an actual game (shocking). After seeing the success of the iPad, Nintendo thought they would catch lightning in a bottle again and…yeah…ZombiU.

Also 3D doesn’t count because ‘who cares’.

But look I’ve already mentioned motion gaming, tablets, 3D made a resurgence once again, but virtual reality at a time seemed like something that was only heard of in Star Trek episodes. Now it’s becoming real, bulky – forehead sweatin’ – red eye inducing – realness. Granted I don’t think it’s fair to make a full judgement of a piece of hardware on launch day when it hasn’t had much time yet to progress into something great (except for the Ouya). So at the moment I can’t make an assessment of what the future beyond launch will hold for this piece of equipment.
Anyway I’m dilly-dallying along here, point is will virtual reality be welcomed into the industry like a warm toaster strudel that was left in the oven for the right amount of time? Well the icing may, I mean, the answer may surprise you because…I think it will…have its place somewhere. For the longest time this industry has suffered from being too safe when it comes to making decisions in order to attain cash from consumers, or a lack of decisions in some cases. So with the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, perhaps we could gain new experiences and challenges that will boost this industry’s creativity?  I’m no fortune teller, but if I was, I would have the sickest crystal ball you would ever see and perhaps assume that virtual reality would have a relatively nice stay since it would give something different for developers to work on.

But then again, I have been wrong before…Hm…nah! It’s all going to turn out just the way I foresee it.

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Sony Playstation 2013 Event Highlights!

So Sony recently wrapped up its special conference to unveil something big-‘PS4′-and made people guessing what it was. Turns out it was the announcement for the PS4, and a lot of other stuff that just rounded out the conference to just be decent. Luckily a good majority of it was games, but to some degree it felt like the first hour was sort of bringing the show down. What I mean by this is that it’s a combination of me reading up on leaks several weeks beforehand, and that it simply lingered on too long on a certain parts. However before I dive in too far, let’s go into the beginning of the conference.

Social Gaming and Sharing

Sony Socializing Plans

In order to make their fanbase feel even more like lonely sad sacks, or maybe it’s just me, Sony brought on Mark Cerny to discuss sharing game updates with your friends through your Facebook, Twitter, phone, iPhone, camera, refrigerator, and…zzzzzzzz. Honestly it was Sony’s version of ‘We Are The World’, except ‘We Are the World…With A Controller In Our Hands’.   Also interesting to note that Sony thought that they would keep forcing in the word ‘socializing’ any chance they got. It was very typical and it was just there to garner the attention of that demographic who love touching their iPhone’s and tweeting on them. Though from what I heard, investors weren’t too happy about it either.

The one awesome thing though that me and a lot of other people took away from this was the sharing button on the controller. Basically it allowed you to either take screenshots or share gameplay footage on to the internet, though it isn’t fully confirmed it may be possible to post these videos on Facebook. It’s a neat option that can branch off into different ideas, but how well will it integrate with the software? Several questions like this popped up, but I expect to hear answers later on, probably at E3.

The Controller

PS4 Controller

From a distance the controller looks almost the same, but up close there are definite changes. For one thing, they added a touchpad on top that will integrate into certain software (just like the Vita). Of course as I mentioned, there is a share button that allow you to capture video and show it off to your friends. Under the touch screen is a speaker, however it’s also implied that it could possibly be a microphone as well. Then there’s the convex triggers, smoother redesign, and a creepy move light strip component that can essentially see anything you’re doing.

Oh Sony!

The Hardware and Other Peripherals

Hardware For PS4

After ditching the processor that was being used for the PS3, Sony decided to stick with a more PC format this time for the system. It will be utilizing a x86 architecture CPU, an enhanced PC GPU, and 8 GB of GDDR5 system memory. Also there will be a low power option that pauses the game to conserve energy for the system. Another unique option is the ability to customize certain things in the background like uploading videos or updating games. On the whoring out side, the PS4 has apparently attained several engines as well. Having not only the Unreal Engine 4, but also showing the Phanta Rei engine from Capcom as well.

On the motion gaming side, it was also revealed that the console will ship with a camera peripheral and built-in motion sensors on the controllers. Obviously judging by its design, Sony is desperately trying to compete against Kinect. I have no idea how it’s going to work out, but in due time we shall see.

Games

Watch Dogs

Things got started with Knack which is developed by Sony Santa Monica studios, it seems to be a platformer/brawling game aimed for kids judging by its art style, but perhaps later on there could be some more complex mechanics that could attain the attention of older consumers. Killzone: Shadow Fall was next (developed by Guerilla Games), and there is not much else to say other than its an FPS sequel with a sharper look than it’s predecessors. After that was DriveClub (developed by Evolution studios), it’s Gran Turismo but with more of a wolf pack/friend gathering element behind it. Infamous Second Son (Sucker Punch) only premiered as a trailer,  a new IP called Deep Down (Capcom) showed up along with a new engine, and Diablo 3 was revealed to be ported over to the PS3/PS4. And I’m sure is going to get a bunch of hardcore PC gamers panties in a knot.

Aside from unannounced projects from Square Enix, Media Molecule, and Quantic there were 3 games that caught my attention. One of which was Sleeping Dogs, Ubisoft’s next-gen title that was revealed last year got a new demo this conference and showcased more of the smart device the main character used. Destiny is Bungie’s latest title, and aside from the beautiful visuals it seems to have a lot more going for it than the usual FPS affair in terms of customization options, exploration, and attaining loot. Lastly the Witness by Jonathan Blow (of Braid fame) looks great and seems to up the challenge in terms of puzzle solving, and making things interesting by having it become a PS4 exclusive. While there certainly wasn’t a whole lot of new creative titles on the forefront, the few that were there did get me really excited for the potential these games could have.

Opinion

I wasn’t exactly expecting a whole lot from the press conference considering that I knew that E3 was going to be a major show for the software, but at the moment it was simply alright. To be fair too, a lot of my lowered expectations came from the fact that there were several reports and leaked images that were shown off a month or two before the conference. However the hardware was not my biggest concern (in fact, that’s one of the things I got the most excited about), what bugged me was just that it felt more like a continuation from the PS3 rather a new start. What I meant by that is that it seemed like there were more sequels to well-known series than there were new IP’s.

On the flip side though, we did get those new exclusive titles along with a few small surprising ones too. Actually by the second half it did seem like the conference picked up some steam and maintained my interest. In fact the more I think about it, the more I get excited for the actual hardware itself than the games. The ability to share your gameplay footage with the simple touch of a button is a really cool feature, and not to mention that now Sony has ditched the processor for a more PC like structure means more smoothed out games. At first I wanted to criticize the conference really hard for spending too much time on the ‘socialization’ options and less new IP’s, but then I kept remembering that E3 isn’t too far away.

Main point though as I said before, it was simply okay. Too long, but okay.

Anyway, thanks for reading, tell your friends about the Brutlounge! Also keep your eyes open on part 1 of a certain retrospective piece I will be posting soon.

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