Call of Duty: Ghosts and The Revealing Power of Buzzwords

Call of Duty Ghosts

Now featuring a dog and superior fish AI.

Even though Call of Duty: Ghosts is going to come out on practically every available system, both current and next-gen, everyone knows that any real discussion over AI or graphical innovation is mainly going to involve Microsoft, Sony, and the PC. What is so interesting about this particular discussion, however, is that it provides yet another example of just how insecure Microsoft is about the upcoming jump from the current generation to the next generation in terms of PR and sales. Take this recent article from Eurogamer and Infinity Ward’s Executive Producer Mark Rubin talking about the differences between Call of Duty: Ghosts on this generation’s consoles and the next: Continue reading

Playstation 4 and the PS Vita: Bundles and Options

Playstation 4 and PS Vita Bundle

Hopefully this becomes a thing. It would be an awesome thing indeed.

Perhaps the most important thing to consumers, after convenience, is options. Even if those options are are pointless, or downright counter-intuitive, consumers want them none the less. In a world where entertainment technology is becoming increasingly homogenized, and thus the amount of choices offered is increasing everyday, a distributor merely seeming to have fewer options can be a major disadvantage. This is doubly so when done in the face of competition, and triply so if the distributor is seen as just plain not giving enough or no options at all.

This was part of the problem with the original Wii, and has been the case for the Wii-U even more. Though this consensus mostly deals with the offered software, and not so much the package itself. It does bring up some interesting questions, however. Continue reading

Xbox One: Charging for “Key Features”

Xbox One features

Tons and tons of features for sale!

This does not seem all that surprising, considering the company involved and their previous actions so far. Considering the blatant grab for pervasion on display with initial Xbox One reveal, this comes across as a logical next step. Naturally, Microsoft is understandably seeking other revenues for market control and profit:

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“Key features of Microsoft’s Xbox One console, which is expected to go on sale in November, will only be available with an annual subscription […]”

“An Xbox Live Gold account that currently costs $60 (£40) will be needed for all these features […]”

“Microsoft revealed the requirement in an update to webpages detailing the Xbox One’s features.

The webpage shows that, as with the current Xbox 360, a Live Gold account is needed if owners want to use their new console for online multiplayer gaming, watch Netflix or similar streaming services and to browse the web via their TV. 

In addition, on the Xbox One the annual subscription will let players share videos with friends. The console records a rolling sample of a player’s previous five minutes gameplay to make it easier to share key moments.

The payment will also let owners chat to friends via video on Skype and use the OneGuide and SmartMatch services [….]” Continue reading

Super Smash Bros. Without Cutscenes: Closed Minds and “Two Black Ships”

Super Smash Bros. Logo

Before talking about the newest iteration, it is perhaps important to establish some thoughts about the previous game in the franchise; Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB). Super Smash Bros. Brawl offered a strange and conflicting experience. One one hand:

  • It had superb production value.
  • An amazing and inimitable soundtrack.
  • Was almost perfectly balanced (almost to a fault).
  • Fixed the horrendous level of “clone” and “copy-paste” characters (i.e. Mario/Dr. Mario/Luigi, Pikachu/Pichu, Captain Falcon/Ganondorf, Marth/Roy, Mewtwo and Ness/Zelda, etc.).
  • Had a much better variety of stages.
  • Added good variety of game modes.
  • The inclusion of an online mode.
  • Interesting addition of third-party characters.

On the other hand: Continue reading

The Navy and Kinect: “Stopping Sexual Assault”

Xbox One Kinect

The Kinect will make sure you’re not a sexual abuser.

The Kinect never ceases to be a great source of unintentionally hilarious entertainment, and that’s not even considering actually playing the thing, necessarily.

Though in this case it has less to do with the Kinect itself, and more to do with a management and higher brass that seems hopelessly out of touch. Kotaku sheds some light on the idea of the U.S. Navy using Kinect software as a proxy for sexual harassment/assault training and deterrence:

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“Sailors are going to learn how to read another person’s verbal cues and body language with a Kinect training game meant to curb a sexual [harassment]/assault issue that has become increasingly embarrassing to the armed services.

Like all great things in the military, this game has a very literal and no-fun title: ‘Avatar Based Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training.'” Continue reading

3rd Party Exclusives: The Declining Relevancy of Gaming Consoles

While perusing the internet, fiddling around on YouTube earlier this morning, this video showed up in my feed and it got me thinking. It mostly focuses on the decline on 3rd party exclusives and increasing dependency on 1st party exclusives:

Continue reading