Platform Mayhem: Xbox One versus PlayStation 4?

Today I got a phone call from a journalist who was writing an article for 14 local newspapers. He asked me about my opinion on the ‘battle of platforms’ and wanted a response to the quote that ‘the AAA hardcore game platforms are doomed to die’…

I wrote an item about this recently when I saw new platforms were emerging like the Ooya, the Gamestick and the Steam Box.

If you saw the release of the Xbox One (great name by the way) yesterday you know that Microsoft is trying to claim the battle for the living room entertainment with a ‘all-in-one’ content solution (music, moveis, TV, series, games, etc.) and I must say I was impressed that finally one company dares to really claim that spot. However… shouldn’t (or didn’t) Sony have taken that spot years ago…??? They have the hardware (TV, Audio sets, PlayStation), software OS, content (Sony Music, Sony Pictures, Sony PlayStation)…?? I still wonder why they never managed to make it happen….

What Sony PlayStation does is claim to make gaming social and play ‘anywhere – anytime’ on different devices (cross platform gameplay). Finally the integration of devices revolving game content! And finally ‘social connections and ‘instant share’ of ‘in-game moments! They even added a button on their controller that facilitates that. Sony PlayStation sees that gaming has truly become a ‘social activity’ and understand that gaming is accepted around the globe. Thanks to Apple of course! Because if you can say one thing about the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad…they are all game devices and Apple has made ‘gaming’ cool, easy, accessible and mainstream! I remember when people looked at me when I told them I am a fanatic gamer like: but you are not fat, hairy, smelly and eat chips and drink coke all day??? Not without rum at least… and I DO SMELL! πŸ˜‰

I sincerely thank Apple that they made gaming as an ‘anytime – anywhere activity’ acceptable and that they managed to make touch screen devices work in a superior manner.

Where is Google Play by the way? Oh yes of course. Well Android is a great follower in this matter and the Ooya will bring Android games to our living room on a big screen for who ever wants that. It will be great I am sure. And as for Nintendo? I respect their choice of target group: family and children. And that’s just fine and swell.

So… back to my main question: who will win the battle of the platforms? My answer: ALL OF THE ABOVE and more…

It’s just a matter of context, target group, interface and game genre. It all depends. Example?

I love to play shooters and strategy games on PC, because I need an analogue control to react quickly in shooters and need a lot of buttons to control my armies in Shogun 2 (a strategy game). I love to play ‘The Walking Dead’ and Machineria with my girlfriend on the PlayStation 3 in the living room. I love to play Angry Brides (just kidding: birds – BIRDS) and Ridiculous Fishing on my iPhone where ever I have to wait for an appointment… so there is no ONE game console (except for the XBox One but that’s not a game console anymore, it’s a HES – Home Entertainment System, just like the PlayStation 2, 3 and 4… and Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple TV…).

This video above is a joke of course…

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PlayStation Vita Launch: innovation or recreation?

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One of the funniest things that happened during the launch of PlayStation Vita was that the PR-lady introduced the new PSP saying: “I played with it last night and just couldn’t stop… it really felt great in my hands…” of course all 640 present nerds (me included) laughed out loud (LOL) and clapped their hands. This was one of the highlights of the presentation of Sony PlayStation.

I don’t want to make this posting a ‘hatemail’ because I love the power of PlayStation and really admire Sony, but during the presentation yesterday they tried to highlight ALL product features instead of picking just a few eminent benefits compared to modern smart phones, like the iPhone.
That’s what bothered me most I feel. To name one example, PlayStation claimed to ‘start the social gaming revolution’, but the social gaming revolution has already started thanks to companies like Zynga with all of their ‘social’ games on Facebook and Spil Games with all of their gameportals around the globe… and to be honest: Battlefield and Call of Duty with all of their multiplayer features are social as well and what about World of Warcraft where you have to slay dragons with hundreds of fellow gamers in epic battles….?

The intentions of the people of PlayStation was not to be arrogant I’m sure, but promoting the fact that the PSVita has a camera on the front and on the back and that it can be connected to the internet seem outdated Unique Selling Points in my opinion since my iPhone has both of these features…
To help you to an insight on the most stunning USP’s, I summed them up below in my comparison of the PSVita with my iPhone…

The advantages of PlayStation Vita compared to an iPhone:

+ Compatible with PlayStation 3 content: play anywhere and even play against PS3 players
+ ‘Scratch my back’ touchscreen controller for innovative gameplay
+ Physical controllers instead of ‘just’ touch-screen controls.

The downsides of PlayStation Vita compared to my iPhone:

– It’s a lot bigger than my iPhone
– Extremely high priced games compared to 90% of all iPhone games
– PSVita was lagging behind and now just caught up instead of setting a new barrier

Other features are Augmented Reality games and motion controlled features, but that’s just tech-shizzle and in my opinion seldom ads great fun to my game-experience. The fact that Microsoft has opened up to all programmers in the world also means they cannot think of enough sound and useful applications of the Kinect-technology. I keep saying that the only good example of Augmented Reality is Layers… but of course I am slightly exaggerating… πŸ˜‰

So all in all I am really sceptic if Sony’s latest toy will be the big hit they need so much… I know great things will happen soon with the Sony Entertainment Network (formally known as the PlayStation Network), but until then – I don’t think the PSP Vita will meet Sony’s expectations… I guess Nintendo’s unique selling point of providing a safe gaming playground for children is why their Nintendo 3DS is still selling so well. They have a clear focused strategy which will probably help them through these tough years of play…

Now, the retail price for the PSVita is € 249,- which is fair I guess, but games will cost you in between 20 and 50 euro’s…

Please form your own opinion and check out the promotional video:

Posted in Kinect, Microsoft, Nintendo, PlayStation | No Comments »

Games for Internal Branding: Microsoft Silver Line Society ARG

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Microsoft used an Alternate Reality Game to encourage players (employees) to increase cooperative working. The puzzles had to be solved by working together before the 7th of december….

The strength of the execution lies in the fact that both virtual- and real-world elements have to be combined to achieve all goals… check the films to learn more!

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Microsoft Kinect Xbox 360 Experience in Florida

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We were invited to test the Xbox Kinect in Florida USA – this is a short video of that experience.

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E3: Live from Microsoft's Kinect and New Xbox 360 Unveiling

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Microsoft Xbox Project Natal is renamed to Kinect!

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E3 2010 Microsoft Press Conference – Part 1

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And Microsoft Xbox press conference of the E3…

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Project Natal: Meet Milo

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Interesting presentation by Peter Molyneux on Microsoft Xbox’s Project Natal

[14-12-2010 currently known as Kinect!].

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Xbox 360 Project NATAL – Official E3 First Look

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The first examples of how motion controlled gaming can really enhance and uplift family play following in Nintendo Wii’s footsteps.

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LEAKED: Microsofts Robbie Bach Discusses Project Natal and Avatar Game Room

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A slip of the tongue reveals the release of Project Natal (Xbox’s new way of controlling games using 2 camera’s and your body) this year! It should generate a total new game experience when the Xbox can actually recognize you and start virtual dialogues! Also games that invoke physical movement (best-sellers on the Wii) will become more likely to hit Xbox as well. The console will finally become a 100% home entertainment system where films, music, living room exercise and family entertainment unites!

Posted in Microsoft, Xbox | No Comments »