Twelve Eighty by Seven Twenty


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.

Xbox One Unboxed, Clarified & More

posted in: Game News 0

As launch day draws near, more details come into focus including what’s in the box. Microsoft’s Major Nelson have stepped up and put up the world’s first Xbox One unboxing video.

It’s good to know that they’ve included a 4K suitable HDMI cable and a gaming headset. Microsoft’s initial plans asked players to rely on the Kinect sensor’s microphone for their chatting needs. If you weren’t content with that, there was a standalone headset that you could buy.

Other details concerning the Xbox One’s Game DVR and TV Guide have surfaced as well. The Game DVR will record at 720p30 aka modern day YouTube friendly resolution and framerate. And unfortunately both the will be locked behind Xbox Live! Gold which could not be more idiotic. Sharing game footage is free advertising, Microsoft.

Sony confirmed that their video sharing functionality will not be behind PlayStation Plus. Their capture specifications were not confirmed yet but Sony did upload a 1080p30 video of Killzone: Shadow Fall during their initial reveal.


Checkpoint: April Fools 2012 Edition


Was Google always so prolific with their April Fools gags? There are over 10 from the search overlord already.

My favorite is easily the Google Maps 8-bit which you can actually try out here. For those who are wondering, they’re mimicking the Dragon Quest aesthetic. Don’t forget to go to StreetView for more old school nostalgia.

Topping this all off is the NES cartridge which I’m sure folks would love to own (if they actually made it a reality):

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E3 2011: Microsoft Press Conference Round Up & More

posted in: Game News 1


  • Mass Effect 3 will have Kinect support
    • Can use voice to choose dialog choices & squad commands
  • All future Tom Clancy games will support Kinect
  • New Kinect enabled Xbox Dashboard interface coming Fall 2011
    • Voice control navigation enabled
    • YouTube, Bing, Live TV (where available) & UFC coming to Xbox Live!
    • Supports Cloud saving too (via PC Mag)
  • Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary coming November 15, 2011
    • Remastered version of Halo: CE using the Halo: Reach engine
    • Developed by Saber Interactive & Certain Infinity
    • Will cost $39.99
  • Forza Motorsport 4 coming October 11, 2011
  • MineCraft Kinect coming to Xbox 360 this Winter
  • Star Wars Kinect coming Fall
  • Ryse, a Kinect enabled Crytek game set in the Roman era
  • Kinect Fun Labs
  • Dance Central 2 coming
  • Halo 4 coming Holiday 2012 developed by 343 Industries
    • Start of a new trilogy
  • Tomb Raider coming Fall 2012 to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & PC

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