11:07 AM 2 comments

The beginning of the end for Sony ?

 

playstation-3-game-console

 

Could Sony really be headed for Doom ? With the recent threat of Activision’s CEO Robert Kotick they just might be.

"I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation,"

"They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony."

Could this happen ? Would this happen ? Will the industries largest third party developer bail on Sony. In these times Its very possible with the economical cut backs over the last year. Sony is already losing money on the PS3 so a price cut is going to help them out even if it generates more sales for the system.

Of course more systems sold would benefit the publishers, but how many more would Sony need to sell to make worth the development costs ? Quit a bit I'm sure. So no more Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk or Call of Duty in the PS3’s future…… Is that enough to bring down the all mighty gaming giant that is Sony ? That and just maybe along with other third party titles that Activision  publishes could be enough to send Sony’s gaming division into a downward spiral.

Of course Sony could go out and buy EA and screw everything up for Nintendo and Microsoft. Imagine Madden, NHL, NBA Live, Need for Speed, Rock Band, Skate, Mass Effect and Dead Space along with the rest of EA’s stable only available on the PlayStation brand. That would be crazy. That was just a “what if” on my part. It just shows what can happen if something like that did happened.

With Activision though the possibilities of bailing on Sony are close to a reality and could really hurt a company like Sony. I'm sure Sony will do what ever it takes to keep such a thing from happening, but in the mean time until they do they have to be a bit concerned with such a threat.

-TX

1:30 PM 0 comments

Things to do while Xbox Live is Down

 

Don't forget Tuesday Xbox Live will be down for maintenance so here are a few ways to keep you busy.

 

TAG001a 1. Read a book, may it would be a great time to start the Walking Dead if you haven't already.

2. Watch those show piled up on your DVR. How many Family Guys can you record before you start watching them again ?

3. You could spend some time with a loved one or the family.

4. You could use your (If you have one) Playstation 3, Wii or DSi for some online gaming….Nah you'd still be alone.

5. You could get some sleep and go to bed early.

6. You could chat on your favorite ‘IM’ or Skype with you friends.

All that or you can just do what it is you love to do. Pop in one of your favorite Xbox titles and enjoy a nice quiet night of some one on one time with you and your 360 !

-TX

7:22 PM 1 comments

Text Adventure Q & A

QUESTION: DO YOU REPLAY GAMES?

replayANSWER: Yes: For me, the reasons for replaying games tends to be for three reasons, 1. The game offers a compelling reason to replay the story (ex. Mass Effect and Fallout 3, which provide the player multiple choices as they progress through the game), 2. The game has an upcoming sequel and I want to refresh myself with the narrative again (ex. Gears of War and the Halo series) and 3. The game was fantastic and I want to experience it again (ex. also see Mass Effect).

I can understand people wanting to move on to the next big thing, but some games are just worth repeating, however I think I’m probably in the minority amongst gamers.

Text Adventure readers, do you replay games?

- Schu

10:24 AM 3 comments

10 Year Life Cycle

 

xbox_360_project_natal

 

Sometimes you can beat me over the head with something and I just wont have it.  What am I getting at ? Well fellow writer SUPERGHOST and myself have been having this debate about the this so called “10 Year Life Cycle” of gaming consoles. He's for it …I'm not.

The PS2 is a Phenom when it comes to consoles with over 10 years of active sales and with well over a 1000 titles available world wide. There continues to be support for the PS2, minimal… but support none the less. At $99.99 the PS2 still continues to sell, sometimes out selling its younger and more powerful buddy the PS3.

So a console can last 10 years maybe even more. Did Sony know this would happen or even plan for it ? I really doubt it. So last years at E3 when Sony started talking about the “10 year life cycle” of consoles it was really something they had to play up considering that the PS3 was just having poor sales in general.

So can the Xbox 360 have a life span of 10 years? Sure it can, but will it ? I think the Wii is the new 10 year console of this generation of gaming. Its cheap and has not shown any sign of slowing down. The PS2 is in the same boat. A consumer that doesn't wanna spend a lot of money on gaming can buy a PS2 at the best value and a Wii for the gimmick if they choose to.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 are so far more advanced I just don't ever see them going any lower then $200.00. Do you ever plan on seeing a $99 PS3 w/ Blu-Ray ….didn't think so. Yes the 30 Arcade SKU is already at $199.99 but it really is a poor option for some one looking to get into the next generation of gaming. Its really just a quick fix for your RROD when you need a new console. In fact Microsoft and Sony both made a mess for consumers this gen with so many SKU’s.

So this all boils down to the rumor that Microsoft would be re-launching the Xbox 360 with Project Natal built in as well as newer chip sets. Another SKU great. Well its is kind of. If they can release the “newer” system at a affordable price and still have just one other SKU like the 60 GB Pro System ay a valued price that would clear things up for the consumer. The Elite is on its way out and will only be for limited edition packages and the Arcade really needs to go with no hard drive.

So Microsoft  looks to be taking the right steps towards extending the life of the 360. In these economic times it would be silly not try and get as much out of one console. Just like Sony and MS are still trying to do anything to get the crowd that the Wii already own which seems like an up hill battle. Microsoft trying to accomplish something Sony didn't even know they had till they were desperate for anything positive seems like a shot in the dark at this point.

For me I’ll buy the new improved Natal version of the 360, but I'm still banking a new full blown console buy fall of 2012. Are you willing to play your 360 for 10 years before jumping into the next generation of console gaming ? That being said the 360 will not last 10 years for me, Ill be moving on to bigger and betters things.

-TX

6:55 PM 0 comments

If You cant beat em… Join em !

 

fgomhLeft060909fgomUp 

I've always considered myself to be a “hardcore gamer”. I don't even mind being called a “fanboy” towards my favorite console of choice. So it always bothered me when Microsoft pushed so hard to be come the Family gaming console.

From the newly packaged Arcade unit, to the Family Game Night Advertisements on Xbox Live as well as Xbox.com, I just kept saying to myself “Not me , not my console”. I always felt it was just a cheap and desperate attempt to steal some Buzz away from Nintendo and the Wii and it was. I just didn't like it.

Now I'm not anti Family Gaming or anything , but I felt that there was a system out for that and my 360 just needed to worry about my needs not the needs of my 4 and 9 year old sons. Isn't that why I purchased a Wii so “the family” has something to play ?

This years E3 made it perfectly clear that not only Microsoft, but Sony as well are not sitting back when it come to the motion controls. I was very impressed with Project Natal in its early stages. As far as Sony's double fisted ‘Wii like remotes’ it just makes me think “what were they thinking” ? (That's the Fanboy in me)

So motion controls are part of the future and are here to stay it seems. Nintendo did a great job pulling this off with the Wii and capturing the casual crowd as well as bringing in the non-gamers such as the moms and the aunt and uncles.

So that's were the family crowd should be on the Wii.. Right ? My kids, they play with the Wii all the time right ?  Wrong ! My 4 years old son proved to me how wrong I was to feel that my “hardcore console” couldn't be a family machine. He likes the Wii, but doesn't get the waggling part of the whole thing. Instead he can figure out how to use the Xbox 360 controller and its 10 buttons. For that matter even my 9 year old son prefers Master Chief over Mario. Go figure.

I downloaded several demos for my 4 year old son such as The Bee Movie, UP, Shrek The Third and Monsters Vs. Aliens just to name a few. After seeing the movie and playing the demo he was hooked on Monsters Vs. Aliens. So I wasn't sure If I should buy it for him on the Wii or just get him the 360 version since he was already playing that one form the demo.

Well I bought the 360 version and he's doing very well with it. Turns out the game has coop and makes it a blast for my two sons to play together or it even makes fun for myself or my wife to jump in and play with him as well. Turns out that a lot these game geared towards the younger crowd have coop and make great for ..uh…er…. Ah “Family game nights”.

So do I feel that my Hardcore only Xbox 360 is a great place for the whole Family to gather around and and have some fun ? I most certainly do. I think Microsoft and Sony both share the same third party licensed titles that are geared towards the younger audience and make for great family titles with coop play. Both companies have a lot ground to make up, but in the mean time I guess if you cant be em …..Join em !

-TX

6:53 PM 3 comments

85 hours….

..is how long it took me to complete Persona 3, which as of now is probably in my top 5 RPG’s of all time.

I won’t go into much detail about the game, but I’ll just say even though it shares a lot of similarities with other JRPG’s it still felt fresh (fresh to me anyways since it actually came out several years ago!) primarily due to the setting and story.

aigis

Completing the main story is not the end however, Persona 3:FES comes with an additional chapter, which contains another 30+ hours of gameplay, which I’m going to jump right into, and after that Persona 4.

- Schu

4:45 PM 1 comments

Forza Fever

 

20090506131442173 You know its only been the last few months or so that I would here on a podcast or read in the gaming media that the racing genre has taken a fall. I find this to be strange to me considering the fact that I own 7 racing titles.

Well there's no better way to get people excited about getting behind the wheel then with the official announcement of Forza  Motorsports 3 at this years E3 this past week.

Do you remember  E3 a few years back when Jay Allard was introducing the Xbox 360 and talking all about what it can do on technical and community level ? Yeah, well then you might remember him talking about “Velocity Girl”. She was the “non-gamer” that could create content like  t-shirts and other user created content and put them up for sale in on Xbox Live.

Well Forza Motorsports is as close to that as we've come so far. Behind a incredible racing game is something much deeper and that's were Forza’s community lies. Even if you couldn't steer that car around the track for even one lap you could spend hours at a time playing Forza.

52_2 If you know what your doing under the hood of a car you could spend the time to fine tune a vehicle for others that cant even change their own oil (Me). The you put that car in to the Forza auction house for bidding.

Or if your the creative type with some artistic talent you can truly make some breathtaking paint jobs and put them up for bidding as well. For all you A/V buffs out there the new game will also include a video editor for uploading and posting to the net. And this is what people in the Forza community do.

You don’t need to be an expert to tune your car and paint it in the game, but the opportunity to get a car from someone who might be is there. Turn 10 the producers of the series make this very easy to do in game and also provide a great site for the community at ForzaMotorsports.net

Forza also takes the racing genre one step further with its superior controls and handling. Now there's plenty of games that can utilize a force feedback steering wheel, but non of then give the true drive experience like The Forza series. Yesterday I dusted off the old Microsoft steering wheel and fired up Forza 2 and was blown away all over again by just how great of a game it is.

If your thinking about getting into Forza for the first time of even if you have been playing the franchise for the past 4 years or so I highly recommend picking up a Racing wheel to enhance your gameplay. You can get the Microsoft wheel for around $99.99 and it is a great wheel. If your wanna be a bit more hardcore about things and spend some more cash you could checkout Fanatec.com for some higher end racing wheels.

With the release of Forza 3 this October I think Il be spending more time with Forza 2 and my wheel to get warmed up for the season and just maybe this year I'll reintroduce The Ballad of TormentX. See you on the track this fall !

-TX

5:33 PM 1 comments

GameBooks: Silent Hill & Dead Space

Sometime you just can't play video games all the time.  So instead it is good to take time and read stories based or supplementing video games.  Last weekend I ordered a couple of books online, graphic novels to be more specific.  Today I received them,here is what I got:

SHomnibus

Silent Hill Omnibus: This book is a collection of several comic book stories set in the Silent Hill universe to the tune of 400 pages.  This collection includes Silent Hill: Dying Inside, Silent Hill: Three Bloody Tales, and  Silent Hill: Dead/Alive, all written by novelist Scott Ciencin and featuring art by Ben Templesmith.  Since they announced Silent Hill: Shattered Memories I have been really inspired to complete my Silent Hill game collection and have since brought Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3 back into my collection joining SH2 and 4.  When I saw this in the book store recently I thought it would be a good way to build up my Silent Hill passion.  I will let you know if it any good.

Dead_Space

Dead Space:  Another game I have been waiting to play for some time.  And since I have heard nothing but great things about I wanted to jump into the Dead Space universe with both feet.  So in the last few months I have purchased the movie, the game, and finally the graphic novel.  Apparently the game designers have made the story a trilogy with each medium supplying a chapter.  I plan to put them all together and see if they fit.  Again I will let you know how this trilogy turns out.

IDW Publishing: Silent Hill

-SG

6:05 PM 1 comments

Bargain Bin: Raiden Fighters Aces & Condemned 2

 

I have been away from my blog post over the last few weeks, and being in the middle of my personal X-mas (E3) I really should be more focused on those events.  Instead I am going to talk about a couple of the cheap, cheap games I saw on my excursion to the mall last week.

raiden_fighter_aces_x360 While rooting through a discount bin at my local Wal-Mart I uncovered this little gem.  While it is a brand new title, it also comes in at under $20 in price.  Raiden Fighters Aces is a great package for old-school 'shumps' fans.  The disc contains 3 full games in the series as well as a bevy of options to tailor your experience to your liking.  Being under $20 and in the mood to buy a game I thought why not give this game a try.  While I just spent one evening with it so far, it is a good little experience.  And with most XBLA titles of the same calibre being worth up to 1,200 points each, RFA is a great value.  So if you are in the mood for something a little different, why not test your reflexes with this 'shump' package.

C2box

Same night as I found the above I went into the EB in the same mall as was the Wal-Mart.  In their I found Condemned 2: Bloodshot on sale for $15!  What a steal!  I love both Condemned games and the fact that a year later this game is only fetching $15 is a crime.  If you have not had the pleasure of playing either game and are interested in survival horror or perhaps an FPS with a different hook, C2 is the game you have to play.  At that price I should have almost bought a second copy!  In all seriousness this is a fantastic game.

From what I have seen at E3 though I am going to have so many games to play this Fall that it will make my head spin.  Owning an Xbox console is kind of like Wrestlemania, every year it is the best ever, except in the case of the 360, it is.

Raiden Fighters Aces - Valcon Games

-SG

4:52 PM 1 comments

Say Cheese ?

 

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So what did you think of the Microsoft press conference at this years E3 ? Not to shabby eh? We Finally saw the light of day for Alan Wake and yes Facebook is coming to the 360.  While Microsoft impressed with a new Halo and 9 other exclusive game to look forward to, I still cant get over the fact that they are still trying so hard to be the Wii.

Now for me I felt that “Project Natal” was cool……BUT I dont wanna play games with a camera or waggle controller for that matter. I wanna sit on my butt and enjoy the skill that's needed to pick up a remote with over 10 buttons on it. I hope this isn't the “Future” of gaming.

While the camera itself impressed (especially with “Milo”) I just think its an add-on and maybe to late to capture the crowed that's used to playing games that really aren't any good all while waggling  a remote around. Now don't get me wrong I will buy this product due to my nature of buying just about everything MS has to offer, but that's me. What about that target audience Microsoft is trying to reach…..?  When they already own another system will the consumer  want to run out  and buy another console with an add-on that will probably cost them more?

On top of that this same consumer are the ones who really aren't gamers. They are moms and grandparents, they are aunts and uncles who thought that  the Wii was neat and affordable. They are people who buy the Wii for themselves and for the younger kids in the family and play the game 2 to 3 times a month at the most (this statement is only from personal observations).

Yes the kiddies are playing their Wii more often and enjoying “some” good games with smooth motion controls. Others just get caught up in a name on the box that draws them into buy 3rd party garbage.

Enough of my Wii bash , but really I was promoting the Wii. They have that consumer that Sony and Microsoft are trying to capture. Nintendo came up with the multi million dollar seller and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

That's why I feel as cool as “Project Natal” is, it just maybe to late for Microsoft and the Xbox 360 to pull in that crowd. I haven't watched Sony’s press conference yet but I’m willing to bet they stuck to what they know and thats games.

I think If Microsoft keeps trying to play catch with the Wii they might get burned by the PS3 ! The Natal camera tech is impressive like I said. I just think its to late for the consumer to buy into now or maybe tad bit to early thinking they should have given this time to develop more for  the next generation console war in 2012.

Update: I just read up on Sony’s motion controller, now they are both chasing a dream !

-TX