a small update


I think we as bloggers or simply as movie fans can go through a bit of a dry spell.  I suppose with work, life, personal stuff I’ve not really been in a movie-watching mood … but rest assured viewers, that is going to change soon!  I have a few things on the horizon, of which I wont spoil for you here, and have also been playing a lot of Titanfall with the newly released ‘expedition’ map pack which is proving a great deal of fun.  What I hear you ask are my thoughts on the recently announced kinect-less Xbox One?  Concern really.  Yes Microsoft’s machine has been flagging behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 sales-wise as well as technically … but its still been a huge success, and I for one think Microsoft should have stuck to their guns and kept Kinect as part of the package.  These rumors of a performance boost is also puzzling considering there is already an installed user base who will have the Kinect sensor attached … what does a performance boost mean, that the machine will work better without the sensor attached, or just that developers can choose to disable Kinect to use that extra 10% of GPU power?  If so then what of Kinect functionality like ‘xbox record that’ … will that just not work?  It all sounds very problematic.

On a plus announcements like Halo 5: Guardians and a stronger games with gold line up, including price cuts and free games can only be a good thing, and like the 360 it is good to have two different purchase options, as in the console with or without Kinect … opens up the potential sales to those that don’t agree with the higher price over the PS4.

I will be watching these developments and everyhting Xbox related with much interest.

Xbox One – what next?


Xbox One Controller

I have had my XBOX One for a few months now and have been quite happy with it.  Not so happy have I been with all the negative press Microsoft and it’s new machine have been getting.  Firstly I am puzzled by this emphasis on 1080p / 60fps that the PS4 has been touting in many of it’s games.  What really is the big deal?  How many gamers out there play their games on 50 inch televisions?  Because that or close to that size is how you’ll notice much difference from 720p to 1080p … and having sat and played Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Titanfall, both games that are running below full HD resolution on the Xbox One … I can confirm that these are ‘superb’ looking titles that more than satisfy me even as a self-confessed graphics whore. 

I like the user interface, have enjoyed the Kinect even if I feel it’s a little under-used (although XBOX record that is awesome, as is pausing Netflix).  The controller is also great and feels great and is a joy to use.  Yet I do get the feeling that Microsoft rushed out their machine in wake of the PS4’s announcement – really, it so looked like that.  This can be confirmed with the wealth of updates to the console to add features that a little longer development time would have put in place from day one.  Yes the machine isn’t as powerful as the Sony platform and that’s unlikely to change even with the recent announcement of DirectX 12 for the machine, which will reportedly aid development, something which developers have struggled with, resulting in games running with slightly less bells & whistles (see above…).

quantum_break

But what can Microsoft do about this, to win back fans to their console brand who may be looking to the PS4 more favourably?  In a word – games.  This year’s forthcoming E3 promises to have a big show from Microsoft and Xbox, and I really hope there are some big announcements – but what we really need, and quickly is in-game footage of announced exclusives such as Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive and Halo 5 … come on Microsoft, sell your system by doing what you did with the 360 – throwing down our throats big names, quality games that the public can’t ignore – regardless of what is coming to PS4.  You have the money, you have the ability … just f*****g do it already!

MurderedSoulSuspect

On a plus there’s games I am looking forward to.  I am open minded about Watch Dogs despite the delays and recent reports of a visual downgrade since the E3 2012 reveal.  It could still be a very involving open world game.  Also I am tempted to pre-order Murdered: Soul Suspect which also looks good, sort of a supernatural spin on L.A. Noir.  The future looks good for XBOX One despite the bad press and there are plenty of things to look forward to … Microsoft just need to start making some wise and clever choices and let the games sell their console rather than the media features.

I’m not saying I won’t get a PS4 some time in the future, but for now in comparison to the Xbox One the games just aren’t grabbing me.  That could all change, so we’ll see what happens.