Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What are Sony's Studios up to?

Here is THE biggest question going into 2014, what are all of Sony's first party studios doing? We already know that every single one of them is working on a next gen game for PS4/Vita. We know that Sucker Punch is doing Infamous, Sony Santa Monica and Ready at Dawn is working on The Order, and of course Naughty Dog is working on the new Uncharted. But what are all the other unannounced games the studios are working on?

Sony Bend is working on a PS4 game, and it will be interesting to see what a developer that has worked mostly on PSP and Vita games can do. Could it be Syphon Filter? PLEASE!!!!!

Team ICO is working on The Last Gaurdian since the dawn of time, but really... When is this game coming? The biggest question now is if it is coming to PS4, which many believe has to do with even more delays.

Sony San Diego is of course working on the very popular MLB the Show series for PS4, Vita, and PS3. The early tech demos for this have lots of Show fans excited, and I am definitely one of them!

Sony Santa Monica is one of the more interesting studios to watch, because besides helping on The Order; they too are working on an unknown game. Some say it may be a new God of War, but other news may lead to a different type of game. What we know is it is a massive open world game and that God of War 2 Director Cory Barlog is working on it. All of this should have new PS4 owners very excited. Also, Sony Santa Monica is working with Battle Star Galactica writer Michael Angeli on a new game. Word is he has been writing the game for over 2 years and with his BSG background my money is on a space game, please be an awesome space game!

Naughty Dog is also on this "what are they working on" list due to the fact that we know they have split up the studio to develop different games. The Uncharted team is working on the new Uncharted game, but what is The Last of Us team working on? Keep an eye out at E3 as I believe Naughty Dog will make a huge splash and bring us something we may not expect.

There are literally tons of studios that Sony has working for them, and this is only the beginning. These are the main studios I am watching, but what are some games you are looking forward to? What studios could make a big difference in the next gen battle?

It's Almost 2014, What does the Future Hold for Sony?

We are hours away from the new year, and 2014 looks to be quite the interesting year for the PS4. Lots of games to look forward to, and lots of news we have yet to hear. Will we see gameplay from Uncharted? What are the other Sony studios creating? When and how much will Gaikai cost? All these questions should be answered and more in the upcoming year. But let's look at what we know about the next year. Sony just released a list of announced games that are releasing in 2014 and the list is promising, especially with exclusives.

Blast 'Em Bunnies
Bound by Flame
Child of Light
Diablo III
Don Bradman Cricket 2014
Don't Starve
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dying Light
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition
EA Sports UFC
Energy Hook
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Galak-Z: The Dimensional
Guilty Gear Xrd
Guns of Icarus Online
Infamous: Second Son
Lego: The Hobbit
Lily Bergamo
Lords of the Fallen
Mad Max
Mercenary Kings
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
MLB 14: The Show
Natural Doctrine
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Pier Solar HD
Rayman Legends
Rogue Legacy
Secret Ponchos
Shadow Warrior
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars
Sniper Elite 3
Soul Saga: Episode 1
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The Crew
The Elder Scrolls Online
The Evil Within
The Legend of el Lobodestroyo vs. la Liga de los Villanos
The Lego Movie Videogame
The Order: 1886
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witness
Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Patriots
Tom Clancy's The Division
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Trials Fusion
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Velocity 2X
Watch Dogs
Wolfenstein: The New Order

The highlighted games are the main exclusives, but there is probably more, I just didn't want to do the research this one time. My biggest anticipated games we can really watch for are of course Infamous and The Order. The Order is the real one that most PS4 gamers should be most excited for. A new IP that has everyone who has gotten their hands on it wanting more. A steampunk alternate past set in the playstyle of Gears of War. Not to mention what boasts to be the best looking game on any next gen console. Infamous will bring a fun game centered on gameplay while still looking pretty good. Besides those two we don't know a lot about the newer titles coming out this year. Of course the delayed games of Watch Dogs and Drive Club will bring some more great titles that have already had time to build in anticipation, but then you have ports like Tomb Raider and who knows what else to bring something we already know about.

This brings me to my next point, what games could we see ports of to try and get some new gamers to buy in? We all know GTAV will be coming at some point, new comments may be hinting towards The Last of Us possibly coming, and who knows what game released from last year may be ported. Now I know ports are just cash grabbing tactics to try and milk the market a little bit more, but I think I would actually be one of those suckers. I would love to play through GTA V just for the trophies, and I played the LAst of US, but didn't complete the game and sold my PS3. The Last of Us coming to next gen makes the most sense, seeing as how the new install of owners could allow them to experience a game they may never have had a chance to play.

It is looking like it will be an exciting time once again for gamers. We got a new system in 2013, now is when the software comes to really make that purchase even better.

What games are you looking forward to most this upcoming year? Are there any ports you want to see to next gen?

Why I believe Trophies are better than Achievements

As I have stated in my first blog, I was an Xbox 360 person through and through. I fell in love and became addicted to achievements... however not as much as others. I am in the 25000's for score, and mostly because of playing a ton of games and not really getting 1000/1000. I didn't really see a point of getting a 1000/1000 and only got two. When I first got my ps3 and saw their system with a Platinum earned when hitting 100% and I thought this was an amazing idea. Giving an extra reward for 100% was just that extra incentive that I thought was great!

Besides the platinum trophies, the weighted ranking system is also amazing in how it isn't just about points and trophies, but also silver and gold versus bronze easy trophies. Now don't get me wrong, Microsoft were geniuses when they brought achievements to the past gen of consoles. But Sony being late to the party may have benefited them with a more complex structure that has created a new sub culture for Sony fans. What has brought the trophy system even higher is the connection to Vita and being able to earn trophies through your PS3, Vita, and PS4. Since making the PS4 now my primary console, I have raised my level of interest of trophies, and have renewed a quest to start platinuming as many games as I can. This is an amzing job by Sony and something that I think is very underrated when comparing systems and isn't talked about in the comparisons.

With that out there, I would love to post about my new platinum adventures and keep everyone updated on my platinuming escapades.

Currently I am looking to platinum FIFA 14, Mdden 25, Lego MArvel Superheroes, Walking Dead Vita, Lego Lord of the RIngs Vita, and Tearaway.

FIFA I am only 4 trophies away and they should be easily obtainable since I got the hardest ones out of the way. One that I need does suck as I need the help of a friend to complete 5 2-minute games. the other ones I need to get from playing pro clubs and I need to find a team. If anyone wants to help add me on PSN russdornisch.

Madden I am only a few away, but the hardest one of winning the superbowl in ultimate team has been harder this go around. I got it on 360 before switching to PS4, and I have played some terrible abusers online in my quest. I loved the experience on 360 getting it because I played some really good players and felt acomplished to get it. On PS4 I find myself playing the same guys who run 3 total plays that are unstopable no matter what defense you play. it sucks but hopefully I can keep trying and maybe get the superbowl when interest in the game goes down.

I leave for 10 days on a trip Wednesday and will be taking my Vita with me in the hopes of getting close to platinum in Lego Lord of the Rings, Walking dead, and tearaway. we will see and I will bring an update when I get back!

How the PS4 Can dominate this Generation

I may have said this before, and although this is not a slight at the Xbox One... I do think Sony is in position to take back the crown of consoles this generation. And there are two direct reasons that this could happen. Now let me also state that I said "gamers", and by this I mean solely games and features that involve games. And while I do love the Kinect, Tv watching capabilites, and multi tasking that can be done on the Xbox One that cannot be done on the PS4, I don't care. That is right, I don't care. All I care about is pure gaming and things that can help to create an even better gaming experience.

This is where I think Sony can take a firm grasp on the competition and never let go. Those two things I speak of are remote play and Gaikai streaming. I know that Microsoft has talked about cloud gaming and it is coming and all of this, but until something concrete comes out stating they are bringing a streaming game service to the console I am putting this as a Sony exclusive feature like remote play. At this years E3 where I am sure Sony will finally be bringing details to the Gaikai streaming service, they have a chance to truly take over. Last year they nearly won it with their press conference going against every Microsoft feature and policy and gave the gamers what they wanted. If they listen again and announce either a competetive pricing model for the streaming service or , and the BIG or, state that it will be a part of Plus they jump ahead. My money and loyalty will take a big hit if they announce the service anything over $10 a month. If they can show that it works, provide some major PS1, PS2, and PS3 games that people want to play; Sony could hit the jackpot and add a service that could get as big as Netflix.

With nearly 3 million sold already, potentially 5 million by spring, think of what a $5-$10 a month service could do to Sony and there figures. I would say over half of PS4 owners would use the service and pay the fees bringing a lot of profit to the company depending on the price to runt he servers.

Now if they add the potential down the road to stabalize remote play to work even better and even allow 1:1 streaming on any network, it's checkmate for Sony. The ability to play anywhere no questions asked with a dependable server and good network is available right now with some lag. but to perfect it would create even more of a need for both the console and the Vita and again give Sony an Avenue to increase profits while also giving its gamers what they want. I know Sony is in it to make money, but providing your clientel with such amazing features that almost make it a value while also making a profit: GOLD!

We will see what is to come, but any indications of what will happen are unknown. Sony could rise out of the ashes that last gen put it in, or it could ride the initial launch success and fall back again once the Xbox one has some more times to succeed. What is everyone's thoughts on Gaikai and Remote play? How much would you realistically want to pay? (we all would like free... but that is asking a lot)

Greatness Awaits...But how Long

So now that the PS4 has been out over a month, I am wondering what amazing things we can look forward to? I know the games that are coming and they have me super psyched for the potential to come, especially for games like the Order and Infamous. But what I am more talking about has to do with the OS and what Gaikai will have to offer.

Coming from the 360, I saw the OS transform from the ugly blades to the more dynamic menu they brought over to Xbox one. On PS3 we didn't really any changes to the interface at all. That made me wonder if we will see changes? I have loved Sony's new stance on really hearing what the gamers have to say and we saw that in the PS4 itself at launch. But now that we have it and have begun to voice our opinions, I wonder where Sony is heading? Can you think of anything you want fixed or added as features or part of the OS?

Then there is Gaikai, the mystery of what it will bring with absolutely no news or info other than it will be coming next year. I honestly feel that Gaikai and remote play are what will truly differentiate the PS4 from the Xbox one and decide truly if Sony will take back the lead of being the go to console. My honest bet since the delay of Gaikai is we will not get it till next fall, and that E3 will be the big Gaikai announcement where we will actually get the details and see it in person. It excites me when people at Sony say there are big things coming and huge announcements left to give. I believe them. They have delivered on what they tell us and have yet to flip flop to make me feel I can't trust them. It was another reason I loved switching back to Sony. Guys like Yoshida who are gamers themselves and really look to listen to other gamers, the guy is amazing!

So I leave this question to end out this blog, What do you expect the next year brings on the OS and hardware side of things for the PS4?


A Warm Welcome Home

I remember clearly Christmas a long time ago, I had a Super Nintendo that took up my time with games like Mario, Power Rangers, NHL, Madden, Basketball... But that Christmas Morning changed everything and started what would become a journey to becoming a hardcore gamer. I don't remember asking for one, or even knowing about them, but I opened a Playstation one that morning. My dad who had originally got the Nintendo for him, thought I might want to try the new Playstation(the more I think about it, I think he got it in hopes of playing it himself).

I literally ripped the box open, hooked it up to the TV, and popped in my first game: NHL 96. I was amazed at what appeared next on the screen with an in studio update about the upcoming season as my Colorado Avalanche. I went to play my first game and was again surprised to see John Davidson do some pregame analysis. Once the puck dropped I couldn't believe the 3D players on the ice and that I was actually playing full 3D hockey. I was hooked! I don't think I put the game down all day.

Fast forward to the Playstation 2 and I was pumped! I wanted one so bad not just for the games but the capability to play something called DVD's. I am also a huge movie junkie so it made the PS2 that much cooler in my eyes. My dad and I wanted to get really bad since we enjoyed the experience of the playstation and the times spent playing Triple A baseball. One minor hiccup however, they were sold out every where! You couldn't find one to save your life, let alone in the small town I lived in. But I had an ace in the sleeve, my dad was a truck driver going all over the country and just so happened to be spending some down time in Utah at a mall. Sure enough while he was there, there was a huge commotion as a truck had delivered some to the K.B. Toys. He was able to pick one up and the time it took for him to get home couldn't have taken any longer.

Once I got it I was able to admire the amazing design and that was it: I had no games! I did however get to go and rent some movies that day and try the DVD player out, but no games for rent. So I saved up some money from some odd jobs and went to the local Game exchange that had a few PS2 games. I went with a game that would change how I looked at games forever and that would give me hours of enjoyment: ATV off road fury. Loved that game and would just drive around for hours! The PS2 was my favorite possession. Friends would get other systems and I did some gaming on handhelds but nothing could beat my PS2. I got an Xbox the year before the new systems would come out, and although I enjoyed some of the games, my PS2 was still my main console.

I knew that new systems would be coming out and I began saving up money, and for Christmas asked for nothing but money so that I could buy the systems when they released. I knew I wanted to get a PS3 because of my love for my PS2.... but then the most terrible news to a person who loved Playstation and also had no income: The playstation would cost $500! I thought it would be $400 and had saved up that much money. It was heart breaking, but I decided the 360 would get my money. Since then I have owned a PS3 and although it wasn't my main system, I still enjoyed it.

Now here we are today, and Microsoft made the same mistake that Sony made during last gen, and that was price me out of the system. When you are a young married man living in a single income home, getting any system alone is going to be hard, let alone $100 difference. So I knew that I would be coming home to Sony for good! Since getting the PS4, it has gotten all of my time, not to mention I did sitck with Sony on handhelds and own a Vita, which has been collecting dust for a long time. Now the PS4 has brought my Vita back from the dead and renewed my interest in it. I am very happy with my PS4 and feel like I am home again after the absence of Sony from last gen.

Now I want to dive into trophies fully and dedicate time to games I may have missed. Mostly looking at games that I did not pay attention to on my Vita, and then completing all the launch games that I got at launch. I look forward to what this gen has to offer, and although I may get an Xbox one later on, I know that I have found a new main console that is not actually that new to me. Thanks Sony for redeeming yourself and pulling me back in!