In February 2012, I was a sophomore in high school with copious amounts of free time on my hands. Being the reclusive outcast I was, I spent more of those spare hours obsessing over gadgets than socializing or playing games. And of all the trendy contraptions making waves at the time – think iPhone 4S, Kindle Fire, and Nest – portable game consoles were my favorite. Not only were they more affordable than the smartphones and tablets of the time, but handhelds were also beginning to see an unexpected resurgence. The launch of PS Vita, then should have been a home run for Sony. And yet it's one of the company's few commercial console failures.Despite the ubiquity of smartphones, mobile gaming was finding its footing. Most games you'd play on your phone were either shoddy ports of well-known franchises (see: Dead Space for iOS) or rudimentary Flash games developers realized they could monetize by listing them in every digital marketplace imaginable (see: Jetpack Joyride). Most … [Read more...] about Sony’s support for PS Vita officially ends next month: what lessons can its failure offer PS5?
Sony stop making laptops
The PlayStation 5 is coming. And the PS5’s release date might be sooner than you think. Believe it or not, next month marks the six-year anniversary of the PlayStation 4 reveal event held by Sony in New York City on February 20, 2013. It was there that PS4 system architect Mark Cerny confirmed that his parallelepiped-shaped console – based on a "supercharged PC architecture" – would sport a x86 processor, an AMD Radeon HD 7850-analogous GPU and 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. Given that those specs align more with a gaming PC from over half a decade ago than one built today, it's only a matter of time before we’re playing PS5 games in our living rooms, with DualShock 5 controllers, and maybe even PSVR 2.With two teraflops of calculative processing power, the PS4 could double the number of polygons rendered in real-time by its predecessor, the PS3. Think of how good the best PS4 games now look compared to PS3. Suffice to say, the bar is bound to be high for the PS5, a console … [Read more...] about Sony PS5
Google announced Project Stream earlier this month, a "technical test" for a new service that will let players stream games. The idea is simple: instead of owning games or machines that run them, we'll pay a subscription service that does the heavy pixel-crunching remotely and streams great-looking graphics to us with minimal latency. The idea is often called "Netflix for gaming," and would theoretically allow us to play the latest games at the highest graphical settings without having to own a high-end PC.Within a week of Google's announcement, Microsoft announced its own take on the same idea: Project xCloud. While Google is experimenting with Assassin's Creed Odyssey right now, Microsoft's first public trials won't start until next year. Graphics card manufacturer Nvidia also launched its own service called GeForce NOW earlier this month.So many big names going all-in on this idea might mean the time has finally come. But for all the pie-in-the-sky sales pitch lingo, game streaming … [Read more...] about Here are all the times companies have tried to make ‘Netflix for gaming’
Earlier this week, Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta left me pleasantly surprised. This was cloud gaming done right, I thought. I can play my own games on my own ancient hardware at the highest possible graphics settings and give a cheeky middle finger to all those soaring GPU prices in one fell swoop. It’s almost like the PC-equivalent of the Nintendo Switch, as I can use my tiny laptop to play all the latest games from any room in my house. Having seen French start-up Blade’s new Shadow box, however, I’m starting to think I don’t even need a PC full stop anymore. Whereas GeForce Now is all about letting you game in the cloud, Shadow wants to move your entire PC there. You don’t even technically need that box up there in the header. That’s essentially just a 4K decoder for those who want to sit down at a desk and use a mouse, keyboard and monitor. You could, in fact, access your Intel Xeon and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080-powered cloud PC from your … [Read more...] about Blade’s tiny Shadow box could be your next gaming PC
Four days from today, Nintendo's latest console will go on sale. A little over four years since the launch of Wii U, a little over four months since Nintendo announced Switch, and to many, the system seems like a breath of fresh air — a game console Transformer full of potential with a steady stream of software to back it up. To some, though, the system seems incomplete. From early reports of controllers that don't properly sync to a limited launch lineup, a lack of non-game apps like Netflix, a missing Virtual Console library and lingering questions about the online service, there's a simplicity to Switch's launch that recalls the '90s — Zelda is Mario 64, and if you don't want that or a few other games, you might not need the system right away. In time, Nintendo will address those issues. Yet more than most consoles, Switch remains a bit of a mystery at launch. Are motion controls going to be a big part of it? What type of player will Switch developers cater to? And will … [Read more...] about What the game industry thinks of Nintendo’s Switch