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About
A qualified Environmental Chemist who happens to live in a fairly dense city with no real environment or chemistry industry.

I review indie games on another blog and you'll see them pop up here if I think the review is a good or interesting one (along with a shameless bit of self promotion)

I also operate another blog reviewing films and I mean t pick that back up when I can.

I've been gaming since the SNES days. I've been in the pro scene before for tribes 2 but hate the present pro scenes and have no interest in going back into it.

I tend to get into quite a few Betas and love ones without NDA as it means I can write about them. I have even beta tested an xbox 360 game in my time (and no not a normal public Beta one )

In gaming I'm normally the guy looking at the shelf below the AAA titles first to see if there are any great hidden gems.

My gaming drug of choice: Timesplitters in any flavour (Why won't you make Timesplitters 4 Crytek, why ????? I need my fix of insanity )
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So I did lovingly mock the WiiU when it came out and gave a few jibes at Sony with their console reveal but with the Xbox One, well Microsoft you blew the comic potential out the water with this one. So not only did we have a conference where possibly less was shown off than Sony, no big questions were answered or fears put a side. Sure is nice to see Microsoft totally giving people reason to stop asking about the rumours and putting them aside as everyone though, oh wait they didn't.

What we got was very much a "Look what we can do" with a streaming capture system which unlike Sony's wasn't really shown working as such just what appeared to be a demo run of it.

So I decided to give my own take on the reveal and just keep on mocking the thing.

This is my in short impression


The conference was one big smokescreen with very little said and almost playing / delaying for time. They called this conference and everyone sat up and took notice thinking they'd address something and then they didn't


So the buzz word for this presentation and implied one was Innovation and how the Xbox one was innovating, I actually decided to tally up the buzz words I expected to see and marked down every time it was used or implied.


So while we didn't get answers to those rumours about always online, no used games. XBL pricing etc we did get to know the following.

Firstly Microsoft wants us to have a new kind of relationship with our TVs



Now not to be seen as backwards and against progressive relationships or be deemed electronicaphobic I'm happy with my TV as is, heck I'm happy with electronic devices as they are, I use them and that's it.............. damn that makes me sound like an awful human now, I have no idea how to rephrase that either so I'll just leave it and carry on.

The main claim being that with the TV you'll no longer have to change inputs to be able to watch TV or play your games. Strange the Wii U lets you switch too with the controller being a remote and being able to play some games on the pad. Also Most TVs are being designed to allow multiple inputs or you can even get adaptors.



  A TV with two scarts who'd have thought it.


Look this one even has two HDMI ports.


See you can even get adaptors you can change over with a press of a button or ones that override and prioritise signals.

Also with the tv segment we got the watch the whole thing be controlled by the Kinect voice recognition system and motions. It should be noted that Kinect 2 will included as default with all consoles so that's going to add nicely to the price, also the controller was n't shown being used to navigate. Look I'm the guy who hates touch screen for the most part, I have a kindle Fire HD and use it but other than that many things I prefer using remotes for. changing the inputs on my TV at home is no chore, I don't need my xbox to do that or be my TV guide. I use either the electronic one built in or an online side I like for listings. 

What we saw is a console which is very dependent on TVs to work, trying to take over their function........ oh dear this is just as many have suggested.


secondly we learned how much the kinect 2 can do

the big announcement being that “It can read your heartbeat”




ok so it looks like they've improved the thing and let it track more. The problem is we don't know if the damn thing works any better as more points and trackable things means it could be more easily confused unless you have a big open space the size of the stage. Also the "better with kinect" idea was hinted to be going a step further and forcing kinect use. Remember how people moaned about waggle mechanics in Wii games, oddly something I had and still have little objection to as its kind of part of the controller function. Well some games might require you to make motions while using the controller, you know like that game that did it so well, Steel Battalion [/sarcasm]. So now you're having to use two separate control methods. The example given of raising a controller infront of you to raise a shield, for the love of the great green arkleseizure just stick it on one of the buttons there's enough we don't need a whole extra control method to supplement the controller. 

If there was one thing I could praise the Wii on its the controller, I love that thing, the split controller design was perfect for me as it didn't force my hands into a certain spot or make it feel like they were too cramped or too stretched.

We also saw a look at the new controller with its "New" internal battery, just like the PS3 pads have. Now if you've got a Microsoft play and charge kit, you'll probably join me in saying you hope their internal battery is better than the play and charge one otherwise expect to be playing plugged in within 6 months or buying a new controller / paying to have the battery replaced.

Xbox Live is being expanded
now in the presentation the implication was that more people on Live and expanding it that way is making it better. Strange because the more people on live the more people like this I run into.




The reality that was suggested more than outright said was a very simple one. 
What was being claimed an an innovation here really isn't going to sound that impressive to PC users or many console users who know about certain companies actions. Dedicated servers available from Microsoft for companies to use, for a fee of course. No doubt an exorbitant fee which will mean companies won't want to, this would also explain why EA are suddenly so keen on this partnership as no doubt they'll get a better deal on them.

Its good to see this finally coming to console "about bloody time" some people will no doubt say. The question is will this cost us more ?

What was mentioned was how live was bringing “Exciting new ways to play and have fun” 




There will be a new COD

well we kind of all knew this was happening but still it was shown off and we were expected to clap and applaud for this supposed upgrade its getting. 

what got me about this section was trotting the idea of adding a dog you'll care about into the game. 

Seems such an innovation right ?




Seriously the way they were talking was that this was some grand new concept no-one had ever come up with, I don't know if I should ask if they've been talking with Peter Molyneux or completely ignoring him and his work.

Oh and calling it now, the dog dies at some point and we'll have PETA up in arms again because its COD.

Ok so then they said about dynamic maps with changing landscapes, that must be new right ?


Red Faction already blows simple map changes away

Look just because Red Faction has retired you don't get to claim others innovations as your own and present them as new.

There were some other parts of the Call of Duty Ghosts Presentation I particularly enjoyed and feel I should highlight.

Gameplay drives Tech" Which lead to a moment I seriously thought I was watching David Cage talking for Sony again as they proceeded to show off how much better and more detailed the game gets, because um Immersion = gameplay or something ? Sorry just as you can't improve a terrible story by making it look shinier you can improve gameplay itself by just making the game look better.

Side by side comparison" during which they showed one clip then the other. You want a side by side comparison, here's one even a monkey like me can do, oh and its of the New Resident Evil game (Well new to consoles other than the hand held) so enjoy.




It really did seem like someone should have explained that side by side term first to the PR team before letting them loose with it. Well if you know them at least you know what to buy them for Christmas, a good dictionary.

Also the claims saying they could show how much better their game had become graphically. In an industry where bullshots (faked photos and enhances ones often running on PC) are so common now, to claim you can show how much better you game is, you might as well just say "We've improved our technology so much that we can make even better bullshots to fool you people". 



So what else did we learn ?

-Halo is getting a TV series and that needed 343 industries to come on because um.... they make Halo games now ? Oh and Spielberg was on
-EA is going to be using an engine called ignite now, which as consumers have only just put away the pitchfolks and torches is a little soon to risk such a name but whatever.
-You can Skype Video call, which with Kinect controlling things and voice activation is a good reason to not sign up for skype or you might end up calling someone you know accidentally while not suitable, or you know posting to facebook or something.
-It has a blue ray drive 
Oh and we learned what its innovative look would be here it is:



Sorry Wrong picture, how could I mistake the innovative design choices




So what things were left out ?

-The price or any pricing model, sure they're probably waiting on sony then they'll try to beat them but come on this would have been nice to know
-A justification behind the name, I mean if they're going for the nintendo angle as in Wii (We) and Wii U (We universe) then I don't think One is the best approach as One tends to invoke the thoughts of *read in dodgey German accent* "One Nation unified under one Leader" so before I break Godwins law fully I'd better get another point out.
-What these other game are, 15 exclusive games you say, well the Ouya claimed about 300 exclusives to its console or something mad like that, saying you have them makes us neither believe you nor want the.[/li]
-Backwards compatibility
-Indie developers - with the killing of XNA and the creators club, cutting most of the Windows 8 phone app developers off too its rather disheartening to not see it replaced and hear nothing about indie games and maybe not being such complete gits to their developers in future.
-Patching cost ? Nintendo are killing them, Sony are thinking of doing it so will Microsoft
-DRM, is it always online, can it play pre-owned games, sure they actually even mentioned taking your Xbox round to a friends house but is this going to be left behind and all force cloud gaming on us. heck the idea of the cloud usage suggests it might be heavily online focused. 
-If you're playing Call of Duty and shout fuck at the screen will kinect switch to the XXX rated TV ?[/li]


So how much of a joke was the conference really ?




Yes really it was that much of one that I nearly got a house on the bingo card.
Was the console called One because it plans to be the only one left standing.
Whatever came out of this the brand and console certainly didn't come out looking like this "One"



Well I've been hugely negative throughout most of this post so I suppose I should say something positive that came out of the conference.

So who came out better from this press conference ?

Sony did

What you don't believe me ?


That above is Sony's share price as of today, look at the huge peak, looks like Microsoft didn't even convince the markets and investors this time which they could have run with and probably just ignored gamers for a longer period. But no the investors are seemingly backing Sony now too.



It could have been worse and I should probabaly end on a good point so here at least this never happened.  For a moment there I really thought this was going to happen with 343 on stage.

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