PlayStation 4 Being Announced on February 20?

Sony Computer Entertainment America released a teaser video for an event on February 20, 2013. Most pundits expect the company to unveil the first details on the PlayStation 4 console. What do you think? What do you want from Sony and its next console? In honor of those silly flame wars we used to enjoy together on G4tv’s The Feed, “Fore!!!” Continue reading “PlayStation 4 Being Announced on February 20?”

Today’s Poll: Predict the 2013 Console Business

2012 was a rough year for the console gaming business. A lot of people believe that mobile devices and the vast improvement in the quality of mobile games are the key reasons for the decline in console game sales. Others believe that the current generation is simply long in the tooth and new hardware is needed to kickstart the console business. Some believe that the three major console companies haven’t done enough with digital distribution and relying on the boxed-disc model has hurt sales. Whatever the reason, sales figures are down and there are a lot of questions about console gaming heading into 2013.

How do you think things will pan out? Will console game sales roar back? Will sales continue to decline? Or will things remain about the same. Please vote in today’s poll and expand on your answer in the comments section.

[poll id=”171″]

Wii U Launches in America on November 18 For $299.99

Nintendo of America has announced the North American launch details for the Wii U console. Hitting store shelves on November 18, 2012, the Wii U Basic Set will be available for $299.99, while the Wii U Deluxe Set will be available for $349.99. Here are the differences between the two bundles according to Nintendo:

The Wii U Basic Set includes a white Wii U console with 8 GB of internal storage, one white GamePad controller, AC adapters for both the console and controller, a sensor bar and an HDMI cable. In the Wii U Deluxe Set, components are black. This bundle includes all elements from the Basic Set, as well as the Nintendo Land game, increased console storage capacity of 32 GB, a console stand, GamePad charging cradle and a stand that allows users to place the GamePad vertically on a table. Consumers who purchase the Deluxe Set also will be enrolled in the Deluxe Digital Promotion, which lets Wii U owners receive points for each digital download and redeem those points for future downloadable content from the Nintendo eShop. The promotion is currently planned through 2014.

As for the games, Nintendo listed a number of first-party and third-party titles that will be available within the Wii U’s launch window:

Additionally, Nintendo shared new information about dozens of games on the way for Wii U, including Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros.™ U, LEGO® City: Undercover, BAYONETTA 2, The Wonderful 101™, Capcom’s Monster Hunter™ 3 Ultimate and Activision’s Call of Duty®: Black Ops II. New Super Mario Bros. U offers unprecedented ways for friends and families to play together and explore Mario’s world using the GamePad. Nintendo Land, which will be available as a standalone game or included with the Wii U Deluxe Set, is a virtual theme park featuring a lineup of 12 playable attractions based on Nintendo’s greatest game worlds, including The Legend of Zelda™, Metroid™, Mario™, Animal Crossing™ and Donkey Kong™.

The selection of third-party games on the way for Wii U will include some of the industry’s biggest names and most beloved franchises. Activision is set to bring several of its leading properties to Wii U during the launch window, including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Skylanders Giants™ and TRANSFORMERS PRIME™. Other third-party games coming soon to Wii U include Assassin’s Creed® III, ZombiU™, Rayman Legends® and Just Dance® 4 from Ubisoft, Madden NFL 13 and Mass Effect™ 3 from Electronic Arts, Scribblenauts™ Unlimited and Batman: Arkham City™ Armored Edition from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two from Disney Interactive.

So there you have it! You know when it’s coming, you know what it will cost, and you know some of the games that will be available for the system. The question is, are any of planning to buy a Wii U? Why or why not?

Coffee Talk #496: Console Videogame Disruptors

Kickstarted-funded console Ouya received a ton of buzz yesterday. Part of the buzz was from the romanticism inherent to Kickstarter projects (people enjoy buying fantasies) and part of it was the crowd following the nerd chic. Additionally, there are some people that truly believe that Ouya is game-changer…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, BlackBerry 10’s rocky road, Comic-Con 2012 happenings you’re looking forward to, or your favorite robot, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Kickstarted-funded console Ouya received a ton of buzz yesterday. Part of the buzz was from the romanticism inherent to Kickstarter projects (people enjoy buying fantasies) and part of it was the crowd following the nerd chic. Additionally, there are some people that truly believe that Ouya is game-changer — a product that has the potential to disrupt the videogame world. I understand the argument for Ouya, but I’m not yet sold. For reference, let’s take a look at some recent disruptions that changed console gaming forever.

Microsoft made the Internet an integral part of the console-gaming experience with Xbox Live. It was the first company to execute Internet gaming on consoles “right” and it’s arguably still the best at it. Now every console has to have a strong Internet component. Nintendo made motion a huge deal with the Wii. Microsoft and Sony followed with different takes on the motion experience. Now every console has to have motion.

There are many pundits that say that the iPad is today’s console. A lot of people (myself included) believe that Apple is the most recent company to disrupt gaming in a major way. It brought games to a huge audience thanks to the massive reach of its iOS devices coupled with friendly pricing. While AAA console games are more satisfying to many gamers, there are millions that woud be just as happy with a $1.99 iOS game as they would a $60 console game.

Apple, Microsoft, and Nintendo are enormous companies with loads of money. It’s relatively easy for them to take risks in an attempt to change the gaming market. That’s one reason I’m surprised that so many people are buying into Ouya this early. There have been several attempts by smaller companies to disrupt gaming and all of them have failed. Indrema, Phantom, Red Jade, Gizmondo, and Pandora are just a few off the top of my head. Some people are arguing that Ouya has benefit of Kickstarter hype ($2,905,328 pledged as of this writing) and the timing is just right. I’m not buying that argument (yet). The argument that I (possibly naively) want to buy is that Ouya will empower developers and lead to more creative games. That would be sweet, but I’m not sold on that either (yet).

Anyway, there are a few things that I’d like from you today. First, I want to hear about happenings that you think caused the biggest waves in gaming. What were the biggest disruptors in your opinion? Secondly, do you think Ouya has a chance to change the videogame market in a meaningful way?

(For reference, the header graphics is from Disruptor, the first game developed by the awesome people at Insomniac. The second graphics is The Shocker fighting Spider-Man. I know he’s not The Disruptor…but he’s way funnier.)

Today’s Poll: Who Had the Best E3 2012 Press Conference?

You guys and dolls have discussed the Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony E3 2012 press conference. Now it’s time to pick which console company had the best presser! Please vote in today’s poll and explain your pick in the comments section…

You guys and dolls have discussed the Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony E3 2012 press conference. Now it’s time to pick which console company had the best presser! Please vote in today’s poll and explain your pick in the comments section.

As for me, the choice was clear. Nintendo had a great start with Pikmin and Super Mario Bros., then crashed hard. The presentation for SiNG halted momentum and that 3DS vice president dude sucked the oxygen out of the Nokia Theater. I thought Sony Kaz Hirai was the master of that trick. The Nintendo guy’s air-sucking ability raised the bar. He must have worked with the Kirby games.

Microsoft had a good show, but I wasn’t overly impressed with its first-party lineup. Halo 4 is going to dazzle — no doubt about that. I was never big on the Forza series, buy I get why people love it. The new Gears game??? With all due respect to the awesomely talented people at People Can Fly, my initial reaction was, “Look, it’s Gears of War: The Money Grab!”

Sony did the best job emphasizing games and had the best first-party lineup. I’m so psyched for Beyond and The Last of Us. Lots of people loved the God of War III demo…which I called Kratos vs. Goat Boy and Elephant Man. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was more fun than I thought it would be. Although it only got a brief mention at the presser, The Unfinished Swan is my favorite game of the show so far. For me, this was easily the best presser among the three.

Now it’s your turn! Pick the best E3 2012 presser and explain your pick in the comments section (please)!

[poll id=”153″]

Coffee Talk #478: The Sony PlayStation Mascot Is…

On Friday, my industry pal Michael and I were talking about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Obviously the game it’s most compared to is Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. The characters in Sony’s upcoming game simply don’t have the history of the characters in Nintendo’s games. That isn’t to say that the Sony characters…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Intelligentsia’s Panama El Machete, Jim Lampley’s The Fight Game on HBO, or Charlize Theron as Snow White, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

On Friday, my industry pal Michael and I were talking about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Obviously the game it’s most compared to is Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. The characters in Sony’s upcoming game simply don’t have the history of the characters in Nintendo’s games. That isn’t to say that the Sony characters are bad or inferior; they just haven’t been around long enough to invoke the feelings of nostalgia that the Super Smash Bros. games conjure.

The conversation moved onto discussing Sony’s mascots. Nintendo has a host to choose from, like Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Samus, etc. Millions of people automatically think of the Microsoft Xbox when Master Chief is mentioned. As for Sony…there are several candidates, but which ones stand out to you? Some great characters have been revealed for PlayStation All-Stars, but most of them are relatively new. Even the game’s oldest ones — Parappa the Rapper and Sweet Tooth — aren’t exactly mascot material.

In the original PlayStation days, there was an effort to make Crash Bandicoot the Sony PlayStation mascot. That was dropped when the character went to Unviersal Interactive. A generation of mascot making was lost as Crash and Spyro made way for Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. They were joined by great characters like Sly Cooper, Cole MacGrath, Kratos, etc.

Sony Defense Force members will say that the company simply has a lot of great games to choose from and that Microsoft put too many eggs in its Halo basket. Microsoft fanboys will argue that Sony has done a poor job at establishing its mascots. What say you? Are you a Kratos worshipper? Is Sackboy your man? In your mind, who are the best Sony PlayStation mascots?

Coffee Talk #447: Are You Buying a Wii U?

Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U will be released in time for the 2012 holiday season. I know that a lot of you were down on the Wii and the Nintendo 3DS, but it’s my civic responsibility (not really) to check if you’re at all interested in picking up a Wii U…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, disappointing ramen, creme brulee, or paying homage to Juan Epstein, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U will be released in time for the 2012 holiday season. I know that a lot of you were down on the Wii and the Nintendo 3DS, but it’s my civic responsibility (not really) to check if you’re at all interested in picking up a Wii U. So how about it?!?

If you’re already on the hook, please tell me why you’re set to pick up a Wii U. If you’re definitely not buying it, please tell me what you don’t like about the system. If you’re taking the wait-and-see approach, please tell me what features and/or games you’re waiting for.