Tag Archives: Microsoft

It has begun…

OK, so apologies to anyone who reads this blog for the lack of stories…starting a new job a few months back really cut into my time to play and get some content up.  With that, PS4 is officially here and while I’m sure some of you are excited I honestly couldn’t be less enthused.  I care about DRIVING games and the list of PS4 launch titles is a major yawn-fest for people like me (or us I suppose).

Leave it to Sony to tease us last year with DriveClub and then delay the release until Spring of 2014, months after the PS4 release.  Sound familiar to anyone??  If you recall, Gran Turismo 5 was delayed several times in the past so I wouldn’t be shocked if DriveClub was pushed back even further as we get closer to the current ETA.  Sure, Need For Speed Rivals is a PS4 launch title, but, like many of the PS4 launch titles it’s really just a port of a PS3 game (which comes out a week later…noodle on that one).

Is there any logical connection between the DriveClub delay and GT5?  No, of course not…it’s not like there is some sort of conspiracy here, it’s just a funny coincidence.  That said, I can’t help but wonder how many racing game fans, itching with next-gen excitement, and will be turned off by the delay and try an Xbox One and Forza 5 instead.  In the grand scheme of things it’s gotta be a small population but still, we do exist.  Perhaps the hardcore Playstation fans will get their fill from the upcoming PS3 release of Gran Turismo 6 but so far the chatter is underwhelming.

OK, so Sony’s disappointment aside, there are some things to get excited about!  Forza 5’s Drivata feature sounds so interesting and innovative and I can’t wait to see how it works!  For those who are unaware, Drivatar is a data profile that learns your particular driving style as you progress/evolve in playing Forza 5.  The game will then use your Drivatar profile as the Artificial Intelligence (or driving opponents) in OTHER players gaming experiences!  So, if you are a fast, successful driver, you can be rewarded for good driving habits when you aren’t even playing!  The idea is to improve the existing AI continually using actual gamers as groundwork – brilliant!  This sparked a bit of controversey as people worried that bashers or prankster profiles who can ruin some online races would screw up with the AI for everyone but Microsoft has ensured everyone that the Drivatar profiling is intuitive and knows what to record and what to ignore in their data mining.

Hopefully, Forza 5 is everything we hope it is and that DriveClub is worth the delay!

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New consoles, new games…same arguments!

With all the recent news surrounding the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One, people are still having the same ‘ol debates.  Gamers will speculate which machine has the raw processing power or the better launch titles or these ease/difficulty of development for the platform.  Hell, my buddies and I used to go through the same routine back at the lunch table in junior high during the height of the SNES/Genesis war.  Much like the cafeteria tacos, these discussions leave a bad taste in my mouth (yep, I’m proud of that pun…suck it).

That said, I refuse to participate.  In fact,  this time around I will do my best to remain positive in the hopes that both machines can co-exist and find their own niche because I think these could be the last consoles…ever.  After all, I own a PS3 and an Xbox 360 like many of you, so I’m more than willing to buy both machines if they each fill a certain gap.  I refuse to believe that there will be a clear winner here and it’s better for the industry and gaming fans alike if Sony and Microsoft both succeed this holiday season.  Oh, and when I say “gaming fans,” I mean those of us who will spend the cash on a console rather than straying from home based gaming in favor of the expanding mobile game market.  If the next gen machines are that good, maybe they can convert the casual mobile gamers into avid gamers.

See?  Now I’M getting sucked into the vortex and losing my perspective!  One other piece of information worth mentioning is how social media will play a role (if any) in the battle for market share.  Remember, back in 2005 and 2006, social media was in its infancy.  We all used Friendster as our at-work time waster and companies hadn’t yet jumped aboard to reach us.  These days, most consumer electronic makers have social media teams or “web intelligence” employees whose sole job is to have their finger on the pulse of how people view their products and their corporate image.  Again, the impact here is not really quantifiable, but it’s a big variable nonetheless.

With any hope, the new consoles will blow us away!  I haven’t seen much in the way of Gran Turismo 6, but “Race Club” looks promising and Forza 5 has me ready to make a pricey pre-order, but I will resist the urge…for now!