The Bard vs Next Generation Gaming

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“To PS4 or not to Xbox, that is the question:
Whether ’tis better, another console in mind —
Nay a Nintendo. Forsooth a PC?
All be it in gravitas for what
Divine Janus may offer in the New Year.”

— Ed “The Vintage Tempest” Sum

 
Sony’s PS4 has some impressive specs and interesting features like using an iPad for a second screen, but that’s not enough to convince me to own a unit yet. The Xbox One has an improved Kinect but that’s not a huge selling point. The videos of various games demos for both look great in high-def, but the list of games available during launch week are scant. They are not as wide and varied as I hoped.

The current line of exclusives are not all that interesting, and there will no doubt be some hardware and software kinks that need to be ironed out. There were reports over the weekend about the PS4’s ‘blue light of death,’ an analogy that brings to mind Microsoft’s infamous ‘red ring of death’ back when the Xbox 360 released. At least .4% of the people who bought the system were affected. I suspect the figure is larger but when considering the number of units that flew off the shelves in stores on launch day. That is not a good start. Read the rest of this entry

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Moga Pro Power Controller Zaps the Competition

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I’m the type of person who carries a lot of tech — namely a tablet, smart phone, two port usb charger, headphones, digital camera and portable gaming device. When I travel, one of these devices is guaranteed to be nearly drained by the end of the day. With MOGA’s Hero or Pro Power Controller for Android devices made by Power A, an all-in-one smart phone is all I need. It can keep running like an Energizer Bunny thanks to MOGA’s Boost technology; the controller doubles as a spare power charger. Read the rest of this entry

Future Tech: Simulating Textures with Touchscreens?

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In a few years, computer users and gamers will have the option to be able to get touchy-feely with their monitors. That technology is definitely in store for tablet users, and traditional desktop setups may not necessarily be all the same. That will depend on where this technology will get used. Without a doubt, certain entertainment industries will be excited in what can be developed from it, and that can bring new meaning to what kind of new simulations can be programmed off it. In essence, this new invention is a form of haptic technology, and its use in video games have been around for some time in the form of force-feedback motion-controllers.

In a report by Gizmag, Disney Research and Senseg are developing a system where a user’s fingertips can sense a simulated bump on a flat screen that corresponds to a bump on a displayed image. Now if that included 3D projection, the beginnings of hard light projection may well become a reality. Remember Rimmer from Red Dwarf? He’s a hologram with no ability to interact with his environment. Later in the series, his projection unit was modified so that his light body is more “tangible,” and thus be indestructible. Read the rest of this entry

Link Roundup for Oct. 9th: Gravity’s Gaming Inspirations; Switching to Trevor; Consequences in Video Games; and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday (and sometimes Wednesday, apparently). Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Does Gravity borrow its best moments from video games?

Inside the “bibles” of Halo, Tron, Splinter Cell, and more.

The funniest switching to Trevor moments in GTA V.

Ten principles of good level design.

The rise of consequences in video games.

WB Montreal is opening up a wackload of new jobs.

Game Informer grades the fake PS4 designs.

Link Roundup for Oct. 2nd: Tom Clancy R.I.P.; Video game antiheroes; the original take on Resident Evil 4; and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday (and sometimes Wednesday, apparently). Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Tom Clancy, the mind that inspired three huge gaming franchises, died today in Baltimore at 66. R.I.P.

Here’s a look at the Dark Souls II beta. This is a big deal.

Antiheroes are ruling the media right now. Video games are no exception.

Aspiring dev? Self-publishing vs. working with a traditional publisher, Gamasutra’s take.

Resident Evil creator Shinji Makami reveals that RE4 was supposed to be a darker, traditional entry in the series before, for better or worse, focusing on action.

Wanna get into the industry big leagues? Now’s the time to move to Montreal. Ubisoft has revealed plans to increase its workforce in Quebec dramatically by 2020.

Link Roundup for Friday, September 27th: Valve attacks with a vengeance; China lifting its ban on video games; the weird, awesome world of Paradox Interactive; and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday. Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com. (Although this is gonna be an extra long one because I didn’t put one up Tuesday.)

Valve is unleashing multiple Steam machines next year. The world shakes.

I don’t normally like to link to the “big” sites, since anyone reading this probably checks them anyway, but after this past week’s glaring reminder of widespread gamer immaturity everyone should check out GameSpot’s video on misplaced anger.

China is lifting its ban on video games and consoles. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Valve just heard a very loud cha-ching.

Please stop comparing real-life to video games.

IndieGameStand is having a rocking big sale until the end of September. They’re associated with Destructoid, and their HUGE members can claim a free game right now. (Including the JTM-favorite Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller!)

What does the New York Daily News think are the three best games of the year so far?

A number of new Africa-centric games are starting to make waves on the continent.

What does ‘serious game‘ really mean?

10 classic games that got a major level up.

Definitely read this article on Paradox Interactive, the makers of the awesome Crusader Kings, whose vice president uses the title Vice President of Business Development and Manager of the Unicorn Division.

In honour of Breaking Bad ending this weekend, here’s a clip of Bryan Cranston doing the voice over for Twin Man on an episode of Power Rangers. What does this have to do with games? I don’t care.

Link Roundup for Sept. 20th: Nintendo mastermind dies; Grand Theft Auto V has the biggest opening of anything ever; Mobile Final Fantasy for everyone; and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday. Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Ex-Nintendo president — who saw the company through its legendary turn to video games — Hiroshi Yamauchi died yesterday. R.I.P.

No one’s laughing at that $200 million price tag now.

But not everyone loves it.

Looks like us North Americans will be getting a localization of Final Fantasy Agitothe upcoming mobile FF game rumored to have been Japan-only.

Some of us were luck enough to get added to the random Dark Souls II beta group. Hrmph.

22 video game flicks Hollywood hopes you’re gonna line up for.

Link Roundup for September 17th: Grand Theft Auto V was released today, Grand Theft Auto V was released today, Grand Theft Auto V was released today, and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday. Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Rockstar Games releases Grand Theft Auto V today — so far it’s unsurprisingly awesome — and, unsurprisingly, controversy isn’t far behind. Here’s a nicely balanced look at a sequence that’s particularly exciting people. (Warning: minor spoilers within)

Apparently readers want to get Carolyn Petit, a critic over at GameSpot, fired because she mentioned misogyny in her review. The depths of fanboy immaturity never ceases to amaze me, considering she gave the game a glowing review despite her misgivings.

The devs of the original GTA dish on its plagued, nearly-failed release. Bet they didn’t see a day like today coming.

Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser talks about why GTA remains relevant, and where he sees it going in the future.

Something that a lot of you can probably relate to this morning, 10 people you see at midnight releases.

And because I should probably include some non-GTA related piece, Diablo III recent console release re-raises of the question of controller-vs-mouse-and-keyboard superiority. (My piece: maybe it depends on the game.)

Two Players are Better than One? Neuro-interfaces and Gaming

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Neural interfaces are an idea of science-fiction, and over at the University of Washington’s Neural Systems Laboratory, the concept has moving one edge closer to reality. A direct brain-to-brain communication in humans is part of a pilot study by Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stucco where one human can influence the actions of another through electro stimuli.

If that sounds too complex, then consider the analogy from the movie Pacific Rim. Two pilots are required to move one of those Jaegers. The reason is because there are too many mechanisms to make the robot fight, run and jump. Two minds are better than one when coördination is required to handle all the variables that happen when this robot is fighting it out with a Kaiju. But in order for two pilots to be able to work together, they have to be compatible in more ways than one. Read the rest of this entry

Link Roundup for September 13th: Microconsoles not going anywhere, Obnoxious game dialogue, Zimmerman’s game manifesto, and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday. Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Judging by the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s treatment of the Ouya, the big boys would like this new crop of microconsoles to go away. Unfortunately for them, they probably aren’t going away anytime soon.

Check out the Kickstarter for Hyper Light Drifter, a proposed Zelda/Diablo-hybrid. Another very reachable $5000 means they’ll be collaborating with Fez composer Disasterpiece.

Check out Yahtzee’s ‘Extra Punctuation’ article on video game dialogue. (I agree with his argument, but I’d like to add to it: whenever I’m faced with a massive dialogue tree, I always listen to everything, even though 95% of it is pointless exposition. I feel obligated because every so often the third branch of the second branch of the ninth branch of the tree will lead to some helpful/crucial piece of information, or open a sidequest. It’s a bit stockholm syndrome for my taste.)

Because even artists can’t seem to learn from history, here’s Eric Zimmerman’s ‘Manifesto for a Ludic Century.’

Killscreen’s Jon Irwin imagines Grand Theft Auto V as a reflection of the real Los Angeles.

GTA V is #1, but what are the next most expensive games ever?