WWDC 2013 Impressions

apple-logo.pngIn the middle of the E3 hubbub was Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and in it were a number of notable announcements. Here are my initial gut reactions to those announcements.

Mac OS X “Mavericks”

It was only a matter of time before Apple moved away from big cats and onto something else. Names are names and I can live with whatever Apple comes up with.

I was impressed with two specific features of “Mavericks”:

There are interesting features tags and the new calendar as well but those aren’t items that I will be using on a daily basis. I sincerely hope the power efficiency improvements will be noticeable on my Macbook Air.

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Fuse PS3 Demo Impressions

posted in: Game Previews | 0

Fuse - Fuse doesn't look this good in practice but it isn't too shabby either.

I finally got around to trying the Fuse demo last night. It didn’t meet my expectations but not for typical reasons.

Fuse would have been far more amusing with four players chatting over the headset; they would have filled the void of noise or notable audio stimuli. I found Fuse to be muted with its audio. Visually it was fine but the lack of audio punch in nearly everything I was involved with left me underwhelmed.

I was also disappointed by the lack of flair from the characters. They too felt restrained and simply weren’t as funny or witty as I thought they could be. Maybe it’s too early in the campaign and they were not accustomed to each other yet. Or maybe — just maybe — developers should divulge a bit more than what we’re given here.

On the bright side, switching between the different characters worked just as well as switching weapons. I appreciated the fact that I could leave a character in a precarious situation and they would find their way to cover. The A.I was actually competent based on what I witnessed. They set up shields, revived and did kept themselves out of unnecessary trouble.

I’m not going to pick up Fuse. I felt like I got all I wanted out of that demo. The final game could end up being amazing but I can’t help shake the feeling that it would be better played as a 4 player co-operative game.

Also this game probably has the ugliest fire effect on this side of the PlayStation 1.

Fuse will debut on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 28th, 2013

Roku 3 Impressions

posted in: Gadget Impressions | 0

roku-3-box

I bought a streaming box for my parents place because they needed something that can pull down Netflix movies. Hooking up my Macbook Air to the big screen became a chore and I wasn’t planning on lugging it over every time I paid them a visit. So I chose to buy a Roku 3 from Amazon.com.

I chose the Roku 3 because of the praise and — more importantly — because it had has Plex support. It also has support for a variety of streaming services that are either a channel install away or a DNS change away. It even supports GiantBomb’s video feed which makes the lack of YouTube support easier to bear.

Broad channel support is very nice but it wouldn’t be worthwhile without the performance as well. Roku 3 is easily the quickest and easiest interface to use out of all the TV streaming solutions I have available to me. The remote is wonderfully designed and shames the remotes the accompany the HDTVs I own.

That headphone feature is ingenius and I’m surprised by the fact that it was a streaming box manufacturer that came up with it first. The remote is essentially a mini-Wiimote. It has an accelerometer and can be used horizontally for simple games. I’ve only tried Angry Birds: Space but its serviceable. I wonder if there are any emulators out there that can transform this box into a light gaming box as well.

The Roku 3 is such a wonderful device that I’m considering buying another one for myself. It’s a very sensible box and worth every one of the one hundred and twenty five dollars I paid for it. If you’re looking for a quick Netflix watching and Plex supporting streaming box, get the Roku 3.

 

PlayStation 4 OS based on BSD

posted in: Game News, Game Previews | 2

playstationlogoSo it looks like the upcoming PlayStation 4’s operating system will be based on BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) Unix operating. This is the same operating system that Apple’s Mac OS X spawned from.

This move should make it a whole lot easier for developers to create games. However this choice (and my current Red Hat course) makes me wonder why they chose BSD Unix over Linux. Their multitasking reason doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me because Linux is more just as capable on the multitasking front.

 

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