2013 and the year ahead

Been an interesting year (so far) and with 2014 looming on the horizon, I got thinking about some of the interesting things I have been able to experience in 2013.  Three quality pieces of technology immediately spring to mind … firstly my Sony Xperia SP smart phone, which I really enjoy.  Slick functionality, with none of the slow down of my previous phone (the Sony Xperia U) and it’s great for emails, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Oh and it makes calls, takes very good pictures with it’s 8mp camera – can see me sticking with Sony for a phone in the future too. 


Next up was my Windows 8 PC … now I was as sceptical as the next person regarding Windows 8 but I really like it.  The implementation of Apps, the new Start screen, and general slickness of everything makes it feel like a really state-of-the-art piece of kit on my humble budget.  This carried over nicely into the XBOX ONE, which visually borrows a lot from Windows 8 and is proving to be a great machine … even if at the moment the games only hint at what the console is capable of.

Movie-wise 2013 has been pretty good and highlights include Tom Hank’s movie Captain Phillips, Park Chan-Wook’s english language debut Stoker and Tarantino’s Django Unchained.  My yearly Top Ten will follow on New Year’s Eve and I think it’s going to be interesting selecting the best movies and choosing what order to put them in.  I am sure everyone has their favourites so I will be browsing and commenting on those that I discover on other blogs … look out for me!

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This year has also been interesting for TV shows, with highlights including the Kevin Bacon thriller The Following, even with the final season of Dexter proving disappointment.  Yet I discovered Breaking Bad this year too, and was the reason I subscribed to Netflix.  Boardwalk Empire, in it’s fourth season seems to show no hint of letting up on it’s quality either. 

2014 for me, aside from life, work, family, bills etc will be all about the XBOX ONE … with big hitters coming next year like Metal Gear Solid 5, The Division, Watchdogs and Quantum Break.  Should be very exciting.  We should also start to see true next gen graphics finally being showcased.  I’ll be honest in saying I haven’t taken a lot of interest in movies coming out next year … is there an Avenger’s sequel?  Oh and what about that rather worrying sounding Batman Vs Superman??  At the moment I am trying to cram in as many movies as possible before the end of the year, with the likes of Iron Man 3, Kick-Ass 2 and Monsters University all scheduled to be reviewed in the next fortnight.  Oh and let’s not forget a little movie by the name of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.


Plenty to think about and watch in the coming days, and hay it’s Christmas too – so I will report back as usual on what I have gratefully received on the day.


PS4 for the win?

You may be surprised to read this, but I think I see me owning a PlayStation 4 in the future, more than the XBOX ONE.  Why this sort-of turn around?  In a word: gimmicks.  The gimmicks of the XBOX ONE have put me off to a degree.  I just don’t want to talk to my XBOX ONE or use hand gestures.  Also the U.I. look a great deal like Windows 8 – which I already have.  It seems clear to me the focus in the design of the console has not been the games but the gimmicks, such as watching TV which I personally will not get to do as I don’t have satellite or free-view coming into my bedroom.  So taking all that away, warranting that extra £80 is difficult.  Yes some of the exclusives I will miss, the next Gears Of War I’d have liked to play … even though Halo and Forza Motorsport don’t interest me all that much.

Now turning to the PS4, it’s clear it’s all about the games, with gimmicks like sharing gameplay, watching Netflix etc pushed into the background – as it should be.  PS4 is primarily a gaming machine … and that’s where I stand, so it’s increasingly looking like PS4 is the console for me – I even got to handle the new Dualshock 4 the other day, which has gone a long way to sway me.  At this stage some of those hyped games have been pushed back to 2014, yet we still have the meaty looking Killzone Shadowfall, and to be honest … Knack looks my kind of fun.  Also let’s not forget the free to play games like Warframe which although not shouting next-gen do look worth a go, at least in the weeks or months until the big hitters like Watchdogs and Metal Gear Solid 5 turn up.

So ok readers, I am not fully saying the PS4 is my next games console (can I live without Titanfall??) … but at the moment, Microsoft are struggling to convince me otherwise.


A small update from me.  Not a great deal going on here, but I did pick up a new computer recently.  I am currently getting my head around Windows 8.  Now I have read (some) of the negative feedback of the Microsoft operating system, but honestly – I like it.  It’s very stylish, so makes your computer look very nice and colourful.  Also the start screen is pretty cool, even if I am using the standard desktop more – yes, old habits die hard.  Yet I am enjoying finding my feet and just exploring – it’s actually fun not knowing the way things work straight away, and having to actually learn – it feels refreshing, and probably the boot up the ass Windows has needed for a long time.

Other than the above I have been playing two games, namely the acclaimed PlayStation 3 exclusive The Last Of Us, which is proving very impressive … and also the hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5.  This is easily proving the best in the long running series, with superb graphics and total fun gameplay, with the evolution of having three characters to swap between proving very well implemented and giving the series a deserved face lift – without losing any of it’s risqué image or attitude.

I have a few movies on the horizon also, including Iron Man 3 and Elijah Wood serial killer thriller / remake Maniac, so expect reviews soon.