PlayStation 4 [ IN DETAIL ]


PS4, Get Ready To Play!

Lets brush up some Play Station History: 

Back in 2005 when there was no Android or iPhone flu in the market especially for games people only knew PC’s & consoles as the major players.. From then on the Play Station has taken a wonderful lead in the Gaming Industry by launching various creative products such as the PSP, PS2, then the PS3.  For many consoles with Internet connectivity was a novelty. These changes are only accentuated by the length of this console generation, which has exceeded any that went before it. It feels like the PlayStation 4 is launching into a completely different world.

Evolution of PlayStation:

Sitting down with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s president and CEO Jim Ryan the morning after the announcement, I asked him which developments of the past six years or so have made the PlayStation 4 possible. Here are the four most significant.

Most obviously, if the PlayStation 3 hadn’t done well over the past five years, the PlayStation 4 would definitely not be happening. “The first thing is that we had a condition of considerable success with the PS3, and had that not happened, we probably would not be sitting here after yesterday’s event,” says Ryan. “PS3 was not all that easy in the beginning, but we’re now 70m units in, and certainly in the part of the world I look after, in most European territories you’re in a very dominant market position, and there’s good momentum – PS3 will carry on going. That success was definitely a necessary condition… it’s a big thing for any corporation to decide that they’re going to introduce a new platform, and you can best do that from a position of success.”

Although the PlayStation 4 does not require an Internet connection to function – something that was rumoured before the announcement, and a prospect that was getting plenty of people worried – connectivity is a huge part of the console’s pitch, as evidenced by the Share button and the console’s Gaikai cloud-gaming integration, which looks set to become one of its defining features. What has enabled this is the improvement of the global Internet infrastructure; more people than ever are online, and more people than ever have access to broadband, so it is easier to justify making connectivity so integral to the console.

PlayStation at its Gaming:

“Our levels of connectedness on the PS3 platform are extremely high – in excess of 90%, even in places like Italy and Spain,” says Ryan. “When you have that level of connectedness it makes that sort of innovation much easier to justify. It becomes much easier to do than if you’re running at 10% levels of connectivity; everybody’s online, so the ROI [return on investment] – which unfortunately people like myself do have to worry about – on those sorts of investment decisions becomes much more straightforward.”

As well as better broadband, social media has totally changed the way we communicate with each other since the PlayStation 3 was announced, pushing us towards sharing more of our lives online. This has made social integration on the PlayStation 4 not only possible, but necessary. The DualShock 4’s Share button and the PlayStation Network’s increased personalisation show how the console is embracing the more socially connected Internet that has developed since the PlayStation 3’s release, claims Jim.

ps4 dual shock4 console

“We think personalisation is very important in this day and age. You’ll have a home page on the network which is yours, [with] stuff that you’ve bought and that your friends have bought, what your friends are doing… The social aspect is probably most important of all – this deep, very rich social engagement, whether it’s via social networks or by using this rather cool Share button.

“I think the general move to this connected world that we live in now makes the realisation of what we’re going to do with the PS4 possible to an extent that really wasn’t the case 5 or 6 years ago, ” he concludes.

In 2006 the idea of being able to use, say, your Samsung phone with your Sony games console was preposterous. Since then, however, smartphones and tablets have become so dominant that console manufacturers have had to acquiesce (and other electronics hardware manufacturers – there are even ovens you can control with your iPhone). This is the impetus behind the Xbox’s SmartGlass, and the PlayStation 4 will use apps to let you use tablets and phones as second screens (as well as the Vita, of course). We are no longer limited by hardware compatibility to anywhere near the same extent.

“One of the things that we increasingly see is that the silos that have existed in the past with these vertical platforms are getting broken down little bit by little bit,” observes Ryan. (In plain English, platforms are no longer closed – they have to integrate.) “Things are becoming more open and less proprietary, and this can only be good for consumers. It brings certain technical challenges and business model challenges in certain spaces, but I think in this day and age companies like Sony have to meet those challenges head-on.”

Watch the Official Live PlayStation Announcement.(Replay)

#Apple Entering into the Gaming Industry. [INFO]


Apple entering the gaming industry  has been a topic of discussion for a long time. Some people think they already made their move and it’s still playing out. Some people think they are yet to drop the bomb. Most oversimply the issue.

There’s a funny thing, though, about the way proponents of Apple (I say this without denigration) cheer-lead their champion. In a lot of ways, there’s already an Apple in the games industry: it’s the Games Industry. Apple is filling the position in the games industry that Android fills in the mobile world.

Part of what makes it problematic to discuss is that is that it’s really difficult to disentangle content from platform these days, both in mobile and gaming (and mobile gaming, for that matter). The complex network of relationships, channels, and emerging methods for distribution make practically every comparison apples to oranges.

I’m not going to unravel that knot just now. I’ll get to the nut of the issue instead of dancing around it.

One of Apple’s greatest strengths, something that it understood early and has exploited continuously, is the value of the premium platform — including hardware, of course. They were always, and remain, the premium choice in consumer tech. As others have put it, this moots certain comparisons: you can’t, they say, compare a Ferrari to a Toyota. And that idea is not without legitimacy.

So it’s funny when the opposite seems to apply for the games industry. There’s already a premium product out there: the triple-A games produced by huge studios like Ubisoft, EA, Valve, and so on. The Xbox 360 and PS3, and soon the Xbox 720 and PS4, or whatever they’re called, have always been and will continue to be the premium platform — something that has worked well for Apple elsewhere, and something they’ll never be in the games space.

Why? Here’s that content-platform thing again. Apple simply isn’t a triple-A platform for games. Sure, there are great games on it, good-looking games, expensive games. And millions of people play them. But let’s not kid ourselves.

Notice that almost everything relating to the success of games on iOS is in terms of numbers downloaded and hours played. In like wise, one could say that YouTube is far more of a success than Hollywood, based on viewer hours. In a way, it’s true! But what is iOS’s Godfather? What is its Shadow of the Colossus? Angry Birds and Infinity Blade are arguably is the closest thing to either. Talk about comparing a Ferrari to a Toyota.

In the other corner is a premium platform with exclusive, popular content — the very thing Apple was when Android entered the scene. And now Apple is playing the scrappy underdog, eating up all the low-end users, winning on volume instead of quality. It’s the same strategy that provokes such venom against Android! Thousands of options, barely differentiated, priced to sell, with wildly varying quality, except for a few high-end flagship items – am I talking about Android handsets or the games in the App Store? Hard to tell, isn’t it?

And of course, that’s a recipe for success, as either Apple or Google can tell you. But again, as either can tell you, it’s hardly a recipe for total domination. For that, one must control the vertical and the horizontal.

All the same, it’s funny to see the bottom-up strategy of the App Store and Android reviled one moment and then praised the next.


So far, so obvious. But the unknown creeps in when you consider how platforms may evolve over the next five years — which is about what we can realistically expect for the life of the next consoles, with increased entropy due to changing markets.

The platform/content thing enters again, bringing with it quite a bit of uncertainty. How long is Call of Duty and its ilk going to remain a console exclusive? It’s practical now, and I’m willing to speculate that it will be practical two years from now. After that, things get more hazy.

The way people acquire and play games is changing in a serious way. Will the next consoles have huge hard drives to store downloaded games? Will they stream them over high-speed internet? Will they integrate with smartphones? Will they use discs? Will they allow used games? Will they replace your set-top box? Will they be open to hacking? The answers to the questions are maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, and that’s hilarious. And there are a lot of other questions that will need to be answered before we can really start making predictions.

What about Microsoft, whose long-term three-screen plan is in serious jeopardy? What about Sony, which is in many ways falling to pieces (not in all cases a bad thing)? What about Google, which is a total wildcard? What about the publishers, who know which way the wind is blowing but can’t abandon ship yet?

There are too many variables to say with any kind of assurance how things will be in a few years. Apple will continue to make its play for the living room, but supplanting the consoles is out of the question (not that many have advanced this notion). But it isn’t going to enter the space in a way that requires them to abandon the last five years of app and device development, and they’re not going to compete directly against an opponent that offers a product they can’t hope to match. They may like to lead the charge, but they’re no Leeroy Jenkins.

 

BlueStacks – Rumored to bring Android Apps To WindowsRT Devices, Hits 5Million Installs.


new-bluestacks-logo

It appears that BlueStacks isn’t just a flash in the pan. The Silicon Valley-based start up, which makes software that allows users to run their Android apps on Macs and PCs, said today that it has passed 5 million organic installs through its homepage. Vanity stats like this are annoying, yes, but what’s notable is that BlueStacks hit this milestone in under eight months. And the news comes on top of its recent partnerships with AMD and Asus, which have announced their intention to pre-load BlueStacks’ technology on over 100 million units.

In September, BlueStacks announced a partnership with chipmaker AMD, which brought its app catalog to AMD-powered Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines through the launch of its new app store, AppZone. As Sarah pointed out at the time, much like AppUp, Intel’s app store for PCs that “has been optimized to run on Intel-powered Ultrabooks,” with AppZone, the chipmaker optimized BlueStacks’ technology for AMD GPUs and APUs.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before the chipmakers began implementing the startup’s technology, as AMD was the lead strategic investor in BlueStacks’ $6.4 million series B raise in October of last year. The round brought the company’s total investment to $15 million and saw AMD join investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Ventures, Citrix and Qualcomm.

It’s unusual for software makers and manufacturers like Citrix, Qualcomm and AMD to show up on the same roster of investors, yet, as Sarah said, it was a demonstration of an eagerness among investors to leverage the Windows ecosystem as a platform to run Android apps.

The partnerships with AMD and Asus and its backing from Qualcomm also set the stage for BlueStacks to team up with additional manufacturers to pre-install its technology on PCs. The big-picture goal for the startup is to help bring the some 750K Android apps to each and every one of the billion-plus PC users out there. It’s a sizable opportunity, another part of the reason investors (and chipmakers) are eager to test the waters.

BlueStacks’ technology allows users to run graphics-intensive Android apps on desktop PCs via its patent-pending “Layercake” technology, which initially enabled Android apps to be compatible with x86-based PCs, followed by Macs, and now includes those developed for ARM processors — Angry Birds Space and Fruit Ninja being two familiar examples. (More on this below.)

The company has been looking to build a developer platform, as well, and has been partnering with the makers of apps like Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Townsmen, Evernote, StumbleUpon and Barnes & Noble (Nook). The main selling point being that developers don’t have to modify or port their apps to run them on PCs, which means less heavy lifting for those who have already developed apps for Android.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 3.08.44 PMTo this point, HandyGames CEO Christopher Kassulke let it slip last night at Mobile Gaming Europe that HandyGames will be launching their uber popular Clouds and Sheep as a PC game using BlueStacks. And the more big app development houses begin signing on, the more BlueStacks thinks that it’s helping to create a crack in the wall between mobile and PC gaming.

But here’s what could be most exciting for developers (and users) looking at developing for (or buying) Windows mobile devices. The newly released Windows RT, for those unfamiliar, is a special version of Windows 8 built for mobile (specifically ARM) devices — so, really, tablets. If somehow you haven’t noticed, Microsoft has been pushing its new Surface tablets pretty aggressively since their initial release in late October, partly manifesting through that snappy, percussive ad campaign you’ve probably seen by now on the tube. The main mobile OS being offered by the Surface? Windows RT.

As of now, consumers can buy a number of ARM-powered Windows RT devices, and there are more coming. But Surface currently has the highest profile among these tablets and devices, yet, the problem is that they’re not selling as well as Microsoft would have hoped. According to Tech Report, MSFT’s initial order of 4 million Surface devices has been cut in half thanks to slow sales.

Leaving the device itself out of it, probably the biggest reason for this boils down to apps. Compared to iOS and Android, few developers have built native apps for Windows 8. Even if consumers want to buy the Surface, many would rather opt for an Android or iOS device, because they offer far more access to the apps we’ve all grown accustomed to using on a daily basis.

So, naturally, rumors have begun to mount that BlueStacks’ next project will be to make its tech available to Windows RT users. As evidenced in this forum, hilariously, it appears that Microsoft salespeople have even begun to suggest using BlueStacks if users want to buy a Windows device and get access to Android apps.

The Droid Guy was one of the first to pick up on the BlueStacks, Windows RT rumors, as a BlueStacks team member recently divulged in a separate forum that the company was in the process of bringing those 750K+ Android apps to Windows RT. BlueStacks Engineer Deepak Sharma, via The Droid Guy: “We are considering offering BlueStacks for Windows RT next year.”

BlueStacks team members approached by TechCrunch would not confirm that this is in fact happening, but from what we’ve been able to gather from other sources, it seems there’s a good chance this could happen in early 2013.

However, as The Droid Guy points out, Microsoft’s Windows Defender could pose problems in this regard, as it could force BlueStacks to release its own app on the Windows Store, which, knowing Microsoft, would likely be disapproved. Until then, BlueStacks works well with Windows 8 Pro-based tablets and devices, but if BlueStacks is able to produce an ARM version of its technology, this could be a big boost both for the startup and for those looking for access to a viable app platform on their new Windows device.

With support for both ARM and Windows 8 Pro, developers could significantly increase their distribution without having to develop native apps for Windows devices — great for them but, again, not something that Microsoft is likely to get too jazzed about.

For more, find BlueStacks at home here.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 3.10.26 PM

(-via TC)

Angry Birds Space gets on the App Store.


Here’s a brief description of the game:

“…. After a giant claw kidnaps their eggs, the Angry Birds chase it into a wormhole and find themselves floating in a strange new galaxy – surrounded by space pigs! Luckily the Angry Birds have super powers of their own…

Angry Birds Space features 60 interstellar levels on planets and in zero gravity, resulting in spectacular gameplay ranging from slow-motion puzzles to Lightspeed destruction. With regular free updates, new in-app purchases, brand new birds, brand new superpowers, and a whole galaxy to explore, the sky is no longer the limit! ”

It includes the following features:

  • 60 interstellar levels!
  • Regular free updates!
  • Brand new birds!
  • Brand new superpowers!
  • Zero-gravity space adventures!
  • Trick shots using planets’ gravity!
  • New in-app purchases!
  • Hidden bonus levels!
  • Beautifully detailed backgrounds!

Angry Birds Space is available in the App Store for $0.99 for iPhone and iPod touch users (App Store link), $2.99 for iPad (App Store link) and for $4.99 in the Mac App Store (Mac App Store link)

! Trailer !

! A hands on Video by IGV !

 

Various New Birds which are a part of Angry Birds Space:

1) Ice Bird

2) Lazer Bird

3) Bomber Bird

4) Red Bird

5) Terence

6) Blue Bird’s are back

Mobile World Congress 2012 [EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE]


About the MWC 2012 :

MWC is redefining “mobile”.  No longer limited only to communications, mobile is now a force transforming our world in an unprecedented way. Mobile connects, entertains, informs and inspires us, ultimately changing how we live and who we are.

Mobile World Congress is the global epicenter of this redefinition as our participants enable, lead and accelerate it. Join it in Redefining Mobile at Mobile World Congress 2012, which will be held 27 February to 1 March at Fira Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain.

 Surf the below for detailed View:

PlayStation Vita (PS Vita): Relive Pop History in Michael Jackson The Experience


 Michael Jackson The Experience for PS VitaMichael Jackson The Experience for PS Vita

In Michael Jackson The Experience, you’ll experience the King of Pop’s chart-topping tracks as you draw shapes and tap on both of PS Vita’s multi-touch pads to the beat and choreography of the Michael Jackson avatar. You’ll play through 15 HD scenes inspired by Michael Jackson’s iconic music videos and short films, including “Smooth Criminal”, “Thriller”, “Remember the Time” and many more, all with high-definition quality graphics. Master each of those performances and unlock collectibles and rewards, including alternative outfits and special effects. Michael Jackson The Experience will also have song-based leaderboards and an online Dance Battle mode, giving you a reason to keep playing these classics over and over again.

Gamers and Michael Jackson fans can pick up Michael Jackson The Experience on February 14 in preparation for PS Vita’s launch — and just in time for the release of the First Edition Bundle. Thanks for checking out our series of PS Vita launch title posts this week on Mobile Gameroids. As you can see, we’re eager to see the platform launch!

(via PlayStationBlog)

Skyrim Patch 1.2 Now Available For PlayStation 3 Users – (Xbox 360 And PC Fixes Coming Soon.)


Hurray, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim patch 1.2 is now available for all of you whiny PlayStation 3 users and will be out for Xbox 360 and PC players on November 30. Most importantly, the update fixes game-breaking stuttering issues for the PS3, but it also comes with fixes for other frustrating gameplay issues. Additionally, Bethesda has confirmed that the Skyrim Creation Kit won’t be released this week.

The patch notes are listed after the break and are for all platforms unless otherwise specified. 

* Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long-term play (PlayStation 3)
* Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
* Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
* Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
* Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead
* Dragon corpses now clean up properly
* Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
* Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
* Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
* Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
* Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
* Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
* ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
* Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
* General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)

Did you encounter any of these issues while playing Skyrim? If your issue hasn’t been addressed, be sure to let Bethesda know via this form and we’ll be sure to let you know when the next batch of patches are released.

~[via Bethesda Blog]

The Sims Social, the fastest growing game on facebook:


The Sims Social, a reboot of Electronic Arts’ bestselling $4 billion games franchise, has only been out of beta since last Thursday — but it already has 4.6 million people playing it daily, according to AppData, a traffic tracking service from Inside Network.

That makes The Sims Social the number 10 app on Facebook overall, and the number 6 game behind Zynga hits CityVille, FarmVille, Empires & Allies, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Pioneer Trail. Not bad for a week’s work. At this rate, The Sims Social should overtake Facebook game leader CityVille (which has 14 million daily players) sometime in September.

If The Sims doesn’t ring any bells, or even if it does remind you of many hours of addictive domestic gameplay, you may want to stay far away from this app for the sake of your productivity. As in its PC-based predecessors, which sold more than 140 million copies, The Sims Social starts with you creating an avatar, your Sim, who is then dropped into a dollhouse-like environment. You can extend and upgrade the home by earning Simoleans, and you must manage your Sim’s needs by feeding them, sending them to bed or the bathroom, and having them interact with other Sims.

So far so ordinary. But here’s where The Sims Social differs from its predecessors: those other Sims belong to your Facebook friends. You’re not actually interacting with your friends in real time, but you can view a video replay of what happened when their Sims came over to your Sim’s house. If their Sim is mean and wants to become an official enemy of yours — or is flirtatious enough to take the relationship to the next level — you have to approve it first.

Veteran players may be disappointed by a few features, or lack thereof. You can’t control a whole family of Sims and found a dynasty that will last for generations. Sadistic Sims fans will be saddened by the fact they can no longer kill off their creations. And then there’s the in-game advertising — The Sims Social has debuted with Dunkin’ Donuts products incorporated into gameplay, although my Sim hasn’t run into a single doughnut yet.

But overall, it’s a fun and friendly twist on The Sims franchise that seems sure to attract millions more new players — and knock Zynga off a pedestal where it has been sitting comfortably for far too long.

For more on The Sims Social click here and for updates click here

Angry Birds adds 15 levels of Mine & Dine


Rovio’s Angry Birds is the most popular game in the Android Market and for good reason. Not only is it a good game, but they continue to update it regularly.

For those of you that have 3 stars at every level, and desperately need something new, you will be happy to know that Rovio just released 15 new levels. The theme is Mine and Dine and you will be battling the pigs in underground tunnels