Posts Tagged ‘playstation 3’

Play, Create, Share

May 11, 2010

play create share

Play, Create, Share is the future of video game content.

sack boy

This was the Sony’s statement to its competitors nearly two years ago. Three words with endless possibilities, awash with post-modern vector power points and encapsulated within its flagship community-based video games. The term was created by Sony for its exclusive titles. Titles that rely heavily upon user-created content which can be uploaded and distributed over the PlayStation Network. Little Big Planet was the first release to fall within the Play, Create, Share bracket and despite initial teething issues it has proved to be a true success story in both micro transaction and community-based products.

After a year of speculation, Sack Boys worldwide popped, slapped and guffawed as Media Molecule announced there would be another Little Big Planet offering. Sony have alluded to creation on a grander scale than the first game. The trailer hints at this with a wider level of customisation with digital puppets, intelligently design characters, narrative arcs and hybrid genres all being demonstrated within the revamped engine.

Here’s the trailer (Did Nathan Barley do the score?):

The biggest concern with a sequel so heavily reliant upon its players content is that a new release would make everything previously created on the original LBP redundant. Media Molecule were keen to dispel this rumour by confirming that all the levels from the first game would be incorporated and fully compatible with Little Big Planet 2.

sack boy mod nation

Great news for content junkies but the gripe many have with the original release is the constant removal of content that has even the faintest nostalgic wink to a red plumber or blue hedgehog. Both Sony and MM demonstrated draconian copyright enforcement that would make Viacom blush. Let’s just hope that they won’t be too strict this time around when it comes to punishing the hard working individuals that served as stanchions for the community. People spent hours upon hours meticulously trying to rehash their favourite levels from classic franchises only to have them erased within thirty minutes for having the audacity to reference a mushroom.

mario lbp

The success of Play, Create, Share will be dependant on Sony’s communication with competitors rather than ambiguous statements of intent. Little Big Planet did exceptionally well considering its restrictions but did not fully live up to the original claims it made. ModNation Racers will arrive in two weeks time; the second game in the Play, Create, Share banner with just as bold claims.

It looks astounding what this game could and should be capable of. An intuitive and easily customisable sandbox that will allow the player easy access to a range of physics tools to create kart levels with both the fun and freneticism of Mario Kart and aesthetic horse power of the Playstation.

modnation

With two strong titles on the horizon Play, Create, Share appears better equipped this year. I shall remain optimistic as the framework is certainly admirable. If the press conferences’ claims turn out to be accurate this time it will signify a new era in video game console development and could usher in a new way we experience video games, training a generation of aspiring level designers, mappers and skinners in the process. Just to reiterate, brokering will be key in opening the door to true ubiquitous, uninhibited content. Look no further than Spotify for proof of the pudding – a handshake and discussion goes a long way.

ModNation Racers, scheduled for release on the 21st May 2010 on Playstation 3 and PSP
Little Big Planet 2, expected Winter 2010

Dré

Control the Motion, Control the Market.

October 20, 2009

consoles

Still bloodied and bruised from the first round, the consoles have begun taping up and preparing for round two – the controller wars. Nintendo came prepared for the fight with the motion sensor and has subsequently beaten its competitors to a pulp – consistently. Remember when Nintendo unveiled the ‘Revolution‘ back in 2005? With the fragmented success of the Nintendo 64 and miniscule sales of GameCube, it was common opinion that lovable Nintendo had officially lost its marbles. This was confirmed when they announced the name of the new console.

wii

100 million Wii’s later, Nintendo’s proclamation of a revolution was far from an idle threat, rather, a genuine statement engineered and marketed to perfection through non-gender specific campaigns (Yes, there are two genders with disposable income) and a thriving casual gaming community. Now, Microsoft and Sony are preparing to launch their counter attack to the mass market question Nintendo addressed three years previous.

natal

With Microsoft’s Project Natal 3D motion camera and voice recognition and Sony’s motion control wand/camera product, industry experts predict the new devices should help extend the life of the current console generation well beyond the standard five-year lifecycle. The arrival of the PS3 Slim and price drop of both the High-definition consoles reiterate this further. Once Project Natal and Sony’s motion controller arrive, we should essentially have three “Wiis” on the market (sorry but that name will never be acceptable).

sony wand

Are Sony and Microsoft wise to implement such a dramatic strategy shift at this point in time? And why are they even trying such a paradigm shift? I put it down to technological failures and the companies apathy to tackle the problem head on. Sony prevailed with their choice of Blu-Ray over the now defunct HD-DVD format. At this point, it would have been the perfect opportunity to market their system to a wider audience, as families worldwide began investing in their LCD’s, Plasma’s and home entertainment systems. A price drop to match the average priced Blu-Ray player would have seen the console off the shelves and into the homes before the recession hit. The recession I must concede, has halted sales of high-definition products, but if the console was in the homes before the downturn hit, Sony would be coasting through on a sea of crystal clear images.

dig

What both Sony and Microsoft failed to acknowledge was that their products were perceived as hardcore gaming units to the general masses rather than multimedia centres. The failure on their part is both consoles aimed to cater for such a wide variety of consumers that they both ended up getting consistently beaten by a console with specs that couldn’t match their previous generations; but had a succinct, clear strategy. The key to Wii’s success is in its consistency. Family participation, peripheral sales and 1st party products – simple. I’m sure Sony and Microsoft couldn’t tell you what their plan is, but the arrival of their motion sensor implements indicates it might operate along the same lines as its waggle stick competitor.

We’ve come so far.

atari

I suppose now its wireless though.

Dré

The Last Effort?

October 5, 2009

Last Guard

I was watching Sir Charlie Of Brooker’s program a couple of nights ago. The show was a breath of fresh air, having never seen a computer game discussed on screen in such a reasonable and dare I say it – informed way. The end quote from Micro-Live struck a chord particularly.

“So, if you’ve never played a computer game – dont dismiss them. There are games for all mentalities, its just that the good games are hidden behind a mass of crude shoot-em-ups.”

While it is true that the FPS has completely saturated the most interactive media form, when the survivors eventually emerge from the rubble of a piss poor world-war Gears of COD clones – they are all that more important.

imm

Team Ico’s upcoming PlayStation 3 game The Last Guardian is easily one of the most highly-anticipated games on the platform. While Ico’s previous efforts, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus preferred to target a Japanese audience, with specific tastes. Vice President of Japan Studio, Yasuhide Kobayashi, revealed that the new title will aim to appeal to a more ubiquitous consumer, in an ever-expanding market.

kool

It is very interesting to note how big of an impact marketing has, especially on a game possessing such artistic qualities. Apart from voice acting and dubbing issues, I believe the aesthetics alone will move this game off the shelves. Hopefully demonstrating to other developers that you can make profit off of innovation. Now leave the Nazi’s alone, we get it, Hitler bad! America Good!

Expect The Last Guardian sometime next year, now watch this..

Dré