I've recently been playing a ton of Bloodborne, and decided to check out Demon's Souls and Dark Souls on the PlayStation 3 to see if I could now wrap my head around them. Boy, those visuals are hard to go back to. The transition to the current state of game visuals must have been so gradual that I didn't notice how far we've come. The first batch of games on new systems were cross-generation, and there are a lot of HD remakes, all of these not fully exploiting the new systems.
Sure, the Souls games might not look as good as the cream of the crop like The Last of Us, Witcher 2, Uncharted 3, or Halo 4. These four games were released in the latter half of the previous generation, and we're at about one and a half years in the current cycle and already seeing something as amazing as Bloodborne. I can't imagine what we'll see a couple of years from now when developers really know how to get the most out of the new hardware. What do you think?
This week, the PlayStation Store sees the arrival of Tim Schafer's big Kickstarter project, Broken Age (available as a PS4/Vita Cross Buy). Also new this week, banana republic sim, Tropico 5, a Japanese rpg/idol managing sim called Omega Quintet, and a handful of Star Wars PS2 classics. Go ahead and jump past the broken page (sorry, couldn't resist) to see the complete list of new releases.
- Broken Age (PlayStation Vita Cross Buy) (Double Fine Productions, 2.1 GB, $24.99)
- Tropico 5 (Kalypso, 2.4 GB, $59.99)
- Omega Quintet (Idea Factory, 12.6 GB, $59.99)
- Project Root (PlayStation Vita Cross Buy) (Reverb, 328 MB, $9.99)
[Image: Double Fine Productions]
Console users have been offered very few chances to change minute settings in the way that PC games have featured in order to achieve optimal performance, but this is mostly due to the game being designed for a specific set of hardware.
Games like Tekken 4 and Quake 64 have given players the option to switch anti-aliasing on and off, BioShock Infinite allowed vsync to be disabled, and inFamous Second Son has an optional frame rate cap. These examples go beyond the typical practice of providing a single standard for dedicated gaming hardware.
Console games are fine tuned to deliver a consistent experience. While concessions are sometimes made compared to the PC version, often they are replaced with alternate techniques that are optimal for the target platform, and the overall experience reflects the developer's intent.
It's unclear whether these options will affect the game's performance, and in my opinion, hopefully that isn't the case. The reason I bought a console was to have a plug and play experience, not having to worry about any tweaking to have a good experience. While I welcome the ability to personalize the visuals, I hope it doesn't open the door for games that won't have an assured level of quality, relying on the user to decide what compromises they are willing to make.
How do you feel about this, do you see any other pros and cons arising if this becomes a trend?
This might be your chance to obtain the brilliant Playable Trailer of Konami's upcoming Silent Hills. I've personally played through this multiple times, and urge you to get it if you can.
Although Kojima's involvement might not be guaranteed for the duration of the project, it's evident that a highly inspired team is involved with the next Silent Hill game. Whether or not you've been interested in the series, this is something worth experiencing. On April 29, 2015, Konami will cease distribution of the playable Silent Hills teaser trailer. Check it out while you can!
A gaffe occurred when Microsoft posted a video featuring the PC version of The Witcher 3, running at 60fps and 1080p, while representing it as the Xbox One version of the game. In a statement to GameSpot, Microsoft apologized, saying it never intended to deceive viewers. The video has been updated with a disclaimer, alerting viewers that the footage is indeed from the PC version.
While no concrete reason was stated, perhaps the mix up was due to the fact that the footage was provided by CD Projekt Red and not captured by Microsoft themselves. Clarification of the video source might not have been contributed.
The PlayStation 4's cost has temporarily been cut by £50, matching the Xbox One's current retail price. This is only going to last until next Tuesday, so if you've been waiting for the right deal to come along, jump on this one before it's too late!
Update: Some retailers have the system for £289.99, such as online sites for Tesco, Amazon, and Argos!
Remember, on April 28th the price will go back to £349.99. Perhaps Sony is testing the waters for an official price drop, but that might not come along until the holiday season, if at all.
Check your inboxes! If you're one of the lucky ones who got a beta invitation, you'll be able to start the limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online tomorrow on PS4 and Xbox One. and lasts until the 27th of April. There's no NDA in place, so we may learn a lot about performance and stability.
Since unforeseen issues may arise, PC characters will not carry over for the duration of the beta. For that, you'll have to wait until the official launch on June 9th. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 servers will be isolated from each other and the PC version.
Finally making its way to Sony platforms this week is none other than the retro indie darling, Shovel Knight (as a sexy Cross Buy 3-Way, no less)! Also releasing this week, Assassin's Creed (goes to) China, and LA Cops (you can find our review of that one here
). Head past the break to dig up the complete list of new releases.
- Shovel Knight (PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Vita Cross Buy) (Yacht Club Games, 147 MB, $14.99)
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (Ubisoft, 2.9 GB, $9.99)
- LA Cops (Team17, 420 MB, $14.99)
- Ziggurat (Milkstone Studios, 993 MB, $14.99)
- Infinity Runner (Wales Interactive, 2.3 GB, $6.99)
[Image: Yacht Club Games]
With Uncharted being pushed to 2016 and the Xbox One lock on Tomb Raider, Microsoft is further exploiting a perceived weakness in its arch rival by focusing on first party exclusives at this year's E3. The head of Microsoft's Xbox Division, Phil Spencer, is saying "this may be the best year for first-party content on Microsoft consoles than ever before."
At least one exclusive new first party IP will be unveiled at this year's E3 in addition to other franchises that will see new entries unique to the Xbox One's library. Perhaps we'll see more of Crackdown, a title which was previously used to demonstrate the potential of leveraging Microsoft's cloud computing. What would you like to see?