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sony

Reviews From a VR Future

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Reviews From a VR Future

This VR theme month has really got us here at Built to Play thinking about the future. We were promised hovercars and cool robots by now, and the future has yet to deliver. But, in a mystifying coincidence, while we were sitting around complaining about our lame present, we got a missive from the future through one of the many pneumatic tubes set up in the recording booth. It told of a terrifying but wondrous future, mostly similar to our own, but where virtual reality technology had taken over video games, ushering in the anaglyphic age of gaming. As part of the time capsule, we also got a set of reviews set to go up the week of September 22nd, 2034. We’re pretty sure we can’t break embargo on games that don’t exist yet, and stable time loops are for wussies, so we’re gonna post them today. Unfortunately, as we have no photos of these future games, you'll have to make due to terrifying Google search results and atrocious artist's representations.

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Op-Ed: E3 Shows us that 2014 is the Year of Stagnation

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Op-Ed: E3 Shows us that 2014 is the Year of Stagnation

There were more severed heads in trailers at E3 this year than there were women on stage. 

That's a frightening statistic, but let's be honest here, it didn't surprise you, did it? It's E3 after all. Sure, no one made a rape joke on stage this year, but across the four major shows (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and EA) there were five women presenters. Counting Nintendo, which had none, that averages out to one women per show. Meanwhile, the number of severed arms, heads and other appendages probably tallied somewhere in the 50s by the time all was said an done. Hell, outside of Nintendo, individual presentations had more gore than women every single time. Nintendo went zero for zero by the way, but they're something of a special case. Not so special though that they didn't have more women playable characters on screen than every other presentation combined. 

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Op-Ed:  We Need To Talk About Budgets

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Op-Ed: We Need To Talk About Budgets

Yesterday's EA conference bugged the hell out of me. Not because of the constant deluge of sports games, I'm used to that. That bit where they called bothMadden and Fifa football in the span of like 20 minutes was pretty annoying, but I got over it. There was a good 5 minutes there where they were using Bruce Lee's digital corpse as a puppet to shill UFC games, but that didn't annoy me so much as make me deeply uncomfortable. No, the part that drove me insane was when they showed four games that looked to be in varying stages of pre-beta development. Criterion's new, currently untitled, action sorts game, DICE'sStar Wars Battlefront 3, as well as their Mirror's Edge prequel/sequel/reboot and Bioware Montreal's Mass Effect 4. 

Every one of these games was prefaced with plenty of text telling us about how the footage we were seeing was nowhere near final, and, in the case of Battlefront, that this was merely a test of what the engine could potentially achieve. Hell, Bioware announced a new game that didn't have a concept, just a fancy season changing system. 

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Sony E3 Roundup: The Day Sony Won

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Sony E3 Roundup: The Day Sony Won

After Microsoft's lackluster showing this morning at E3, it was Sony's show to win, and boy did they win. With no DRM, a low price point, and some top notch games, Sony went on the aggressive, and tore Microsoft's Xbox One to shreds.

This E3 might go down as the E3 that Sony won.

It started as Sony America CEO Jack Tretton strutted on stage to Daft Punk music with a spring in his step. We had no idea how pleased he was, promising to show up some upcoming PS4 titles, but first there was the housekeeping to do.

Sony's minor flop, the Vita, got a little bit of love, with Media Molecule's Tearaway , Batman Arkham Origins and Flower, as well as a port of God of War Collection  and Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD , among a handful of other titles showing up for the handheld. Ports and remakes can only take a system so far, but Sony was quick to move onto a sizzle reel of PS3 titles.

Sony gave us another look at The Last of Us , which launches on Friday, then moved onto Japan Studio's Puppeteer, Rain,   Beyond :Two Souls, and Gran Turismo 6. After that, it was time for third party titles, with Batman: Arkham Origins headlining. Sony also announced a $299 PS3 plus Grand Theft Auto bundle, which will also come with a Sony Pulse headset.

Then it was time for the real news. Andrew House came on stage to give us out first look at the PS4, a parallelogram looking machine, much smaller than the Xbox One. This was followed by a pretty long talk abot Sony's music and movie offerings on PS4, where they announced that Redbox and Flixster would be coming to the new machine.

Shuhei Yoshida then took the stage to show off a slew of PS4 titles. The Order 1886, a steampunk themed shooter only got a CG teaser, but looked quite interesting. Yoshida also introduced Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, DriveClub, and Knack, games we saw at the PS4 reveal in February. We also go to see Quantic Dream's old man tech demo once more, but now in the form of the "Dark Sorcerer" a strange comedy skit meant to show off the processing power of the PS4, but mostly showed off David Cage's lack of comedy chops.

Sony made up for the lost momentum by rapidly showing off a bunch indie games in quick succession. Transistor, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Ray's the Dead, Outlast, Secret Ponchos, Mercenary Kings, Don't Starve, and Galak-Z, all console exclusive to PS4. 

After a quick stop with Diablo,  Sony brought on a video of japan's favourite zipper slinger, Tetsuya Nomura, to show off Final Fantasy Versus 13. After a very un-Final Fantasy- like trailer, it was revealed the game had been rebranded as Final Fantasy 15  That shocker was quickly followed up with the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 for PS4.

Sony's winning slide

Sony's winning slide

After a few third party PS4 games, including Assassin's Creed IV, Elder Scrolls Online, NBA 2K and Watch Dogs,  Sony got to what we were all waiting for. DRM. Sony revealed that the PS4 has no used game DRM, nor does it need to check in online like the Xbox One. The crowd cheered, Jack Tretton, who came back on stage for this announcement, opened his arms to the crowd, ready to receive the applause. The audience began to chant "Sony" over and over again, and Tretton only smiled.

After some announcements about PS Plus, namely that it will carry over to the PS4, as well as include online multiplayer for PS4 games, Sony revealed the first ever gameplay footage of Bungie's Destiny.  Most people were still distracted by Sony's brazen display of their victory over Microsoft, going so far as to specifically point out that the PS4 didn't ever need to check in online, not once every 24 hours, not every hour, never.

With Destiny out of the way, Sony moved in for the kill. They announced the PS4 would launch at $399. A whole $100 less than the Xbox One. Their conference over, Sony played themselves off with a sizzle reel, but this time to a deafening applause.

That applause was the sound of Sony winning the console war before it even began.

 

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