Category Archives: Gaming

New PS4 Coming Soon

If there’s one thing in life that I really hate to do, it’s telling someone I told you so. So it is with great humility and considerable regret that I must write these words: J, I told you so.

Just kidding, suck on that, J! 😛

Also, sorry to our readers for being so quiet lately. J and I are working on a video game. These are demanding times.

New 3DS faster than PS Vita! Or not.

A recent teardown of the Vita discovered that the CPU is actually an underclocked quad-core ARM Cortex A9 running at 333MHz. This has been a much discussed topic for years, so, uh, mystery solved I guess. In comparison, the new New 3DS doubled their cores (2 to 4) to match the Vita, and is rumored to run at a whopping 800MHz, so it blows away the Vita. So New 3DS is totally >>>>> than Vita!!1!1! Or not, because according to Wikipedia, it’s still running at the same 268MHz clock speed, which would make sense for backward compatibility purposes.

Why is all of this facinating, you ask? It’s fascinating for how unfascinating this is. Portable consoles are dead. The iPhone 6s is arguably faster than an entry Macbook. Read that again. Your phone is now faster than your computer.

I could see this going two directions. Either gaming hardware companies will pivot to releasing phone specific gaming hardware (think Sony PhoneStation; a portable controller that works with your phone). Or, maybe the hardware just gets so cheap and ubiquitous that releasing a new portable console is feasible. Who knows.

What I do know is that both devices, the Vita and the New 3DS, have some cool games. And that’s all that really matters.

PS Now’s time is Now (or other stupid/clever headline)

I recently had a kid. Scratch that. I didn’t have the kid, my wife had the kid. And when I write “had the kid” I really mean she explored the barriers of human pain to push an eight pound living, breathing human being out of her lithe female shape. Much respect.

Anyhow, in my time off, and in between the many distracting baby activities (gawd baby, can’t you see I’m trying to finish off this boss battle?), I’ve been giving Sony’s PS Now service on my Vita a tryout.

In short: I’m impressed. The quality is fantastic. Latency doesn’t seem to be an issue at all—honestly, I haven’t even been able to notice it (maybe if I was playing an intense shooter?). I’ve tried several games (notably Enslaved and X-Com) and they all play flawlessly on my Vita. My only complaint is the Vita’s lack of R2/L2; but Sony has a few options for mapping these to the front touch-screen or back-touch pad. Both work, but neither are ideal. Still, overall, the whole experience is very solid. My Vita’s library just exploded exponentially.

This has led me to believe the future of gaming is in the cloud. Why wouldn’t it be? From a customer perspective, I don’t need to buy new hardware every few years, I don’t need to worry about hardware breaking, bug fixes come immediately, and even performance improvements roll out as I play.

From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense too. Specifically, the subscription model allows for predictable revenues. Risk is reduced from hardware returns and poor releases. Releases cycles can be faster (or sort of nonexistent). Bugs are fixed faster. Support costs should drastically reduce.

Prediction one: five years from now a significant portion (let us say… 25%) of non-casual (eg, non-app) gaming will be cloud based.

Prediction two: Sony will release a mobile controller for iPhone/Android that will play PS Now games through an app within 18 months. The controller will cost $49 (20% profit margin, at least), and will be the only way to use the app. It will be similar to the DS4, except the phone will replace the touch-pad. This is Sony’s bet on mobile gaming.

Thoughts? Am I as high as the clouds?

VR News

In case you missed it, Time magazine (yes, those things your great uncle still reads) recently had a ridiculous cover about VR. And, because internet, people are having a field-day with it. Per usual, Forbes’ David Thier’s comments on the matter echo my own, so go read his post.

Five years from now, this shit will be ubiquitous and none of this will matter. That said, I seriously doubt the Oculus founder’s street smarts. Google should probably tamper him down a bit and let him just focus on releasing a rad product (instead of trying to market it).