Twelve Eighty by Seven Twenty

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When the PlayStation 3 launched for $699.99 CAD, I could understand and justify its high cost. I had a built in Blu-ray player and actual PlayStation 2 chips were included in the box. It also came with specifications that were comparable to the Xbox 360.

Early third party results were poor. Many titles had poor frame rates compared to their Xbox 360 counterparts; some operated at half the framerate even. The hardware was complex and the software development tools were abysmal but as time marched forward, technical gaps narrowed.

One of the secrets to closing the gap was the PlayStation 3’s Cell. Developers used some of its many SPE’s to augment the relatively weaker RSX. But despite the increased familiarity and advancement in tools, in order to get favourable results on the PlayStation 3, Sony’s platform had to be the lead. And if that was the case, the PlayStation 3 version usually earned a narrow victory in Digital Foundry’s famous “Face offs”.

The early results for the Xbox One are not so hot. Of all the high profile games, only one is running at 1080p60. Every other exclusive and major third party release is running at 900p or lower. I have no problems with 900p but settling on 720p for so many titles this early on is a bit worrying.

I presume Microsoft will improve their tools and developers will become accustomed to utilizing the Xbox One’s ESRAM configuration but all the tricks in the book could not possibly make up for the hardware deficiency. There’s no SPE or unconventional powerful hardware that they could harness to make up for the lack of actual hardware power.

Now this normally wouldn’t be worth noting but the Xbox One is in the unique position of being less powerful and more expensive. It may be more capable than the PlayStation 4 with the Kinect Sensor and TV abilities but those two things aren’t as compelling as the Blu-ray player. I’m trying to phase out cable TV and the Kinect isn’t exactly something that I was hankering for.

It’s an interesting situation and I’m very curious how third parties approach it. Early signs are that they’re just going to make the best game the can on each console. They are not going for parity here and for future PlayStation 4 owners, that’s good news. I just hope they keep it that way.

Checkpoint: Alien Anthology Edition

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checkpoint-alien-anthology-edition

I wrapped the last of the four Alien movies on Blu-ray yesterday. The franchise’s downward trajectory was reminiscent of the Terminator movies where the first two were stellar movies and the subsequent ones fell well short of expectations.

I don’t usually do movie reviews, but I thought I’d share my thoughts on these four face hugging sci-fi “horror” movies.

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God of War Collection Coming This Holiday

posted in: Game News | 0

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God of War 1&2 at 1280 x 720 resolution with anti-aliasing and a framerate of 60 FPS? On one Blu-ray for $39.99 USD?! With Trophy support too?!

That sounds too good to be true. And yet it is true!

Sony is releasing both the God of War Collection sometime this holiday season in preparation for the third installment of God of War. It’s not a remake. It’s simply a reworking of the engine and tech to allow for higher resolutions and framerate. That’s fine by me!

Even though I just bought God of War for $19.99 three months ago for the sole reason of replaying it, I am still going to double dip and pick up this “remastered” collection. It’s just too good to pass up!

I hope Sony does the same thing with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. It’ll slot in perfectly into The Last Guardian hype machine.

FYI: GDC 2009, FFVII:AC, Wii Update 4.0

posted in: Game News | 0

Announcements

  • Bionic Commando Coming May 19, 2009 for Xbox 360 and PS3
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks announced for Nintendo DS. Coming 2009
  • Virtual Console Arcade games initiative launched today (via PR)
  • Katamari Tribute coming to PS3 (via 1UP)

Miscellaneous

  • Wii 4.0 System Update Available Now
    • Enables SD-HC card use
    • Enables the ability to run Virtual Console games from SD cards
    • Improved data management
  • Apparently, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Announced for June (via Blu-ray.com)
  • CryEngine 3.0 GDC 2009 Trailer (via GamerSyde)

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