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Games News

PlayStation Vita TV Announced: Kills OUYA before it got started

In a somewhat surprise move, Sony has announced the new mini sub £100 games console, the PlayStation Vita TV. ps-vita-tv-bundleAiming squarely at OUYA and other cheap Android game consoles, as well as Apple TV on a media front, it promises much potential thanks to PS4 connectivity and a backlog of Vita games, combined with a VERY keen entry price for a PlayStation console, £64 converted from Yen.

Key Features of the PlayStation Vita TV:

– Plays PS1/PSP Games – 1,300 available

-Plays MOST Vita games (more on that later)

– Games are played with a bundled Dual Shock 3 controller

– Apps like HULU and other Japanese Netflix style services (not announced UK/US services but they will come, except the usual suspects)

– PlayStation Store

– Local Multiplayer

– Stream PS4 games into another room via the Vita TV.
vita-tv-ps4-streaming

What We Know So Far:

The Vita TV will be launched in Japan first, and will cost 9480 yen (£63) / 14,994 yen (£96 with Dual Shock 3 and 8GB memory Card) on the 14th of November. no official confirmation of a Europe/North America launch but why would they not?

The basic Vita TV bundle is ideal for current PS3/Vita owners as why pay again for controllers you dont need? The Vita based games are outputted at 720p/1080i which should look very good. Sony have released a list of  games that will work on launch, and some huge titles like Uncharted and AC3 are missing. However Sony have not ruled out patches for these games. The most obvious reason they are not available is the Vita TV lacks the touchscreen of the Vita. So games would have to be modified for this.

To use the touch pointer you hold down the PS button, then click in and move the R3 or L3 button.

Potential Uses of the Vita TV:

On a business point of view, this is a cheap way to get latest PlayStation hardware on the big screen. There are a huge amount of gamers in places like Brazil, but they still use PS2. This would allow Sony, if they released the Vita TV there, to get a device they can add games to an online library without needing the distribution channels. There is also no reason Sony couldn’t release Gaikai, their streaming service for PS3/PS4 games on Vita TV. Since the PS4 is a loss leader, while I imagine the Vita TV is not, if you have a good enough connection it could be the device to buy the latest PS3/4 games from the PlayStation store and stream without needing the expensive (for both Sony and the gamer) hardware. Wouldn’t work for everyone, but in fast broadband countries, this could be VERY interesting. There would be controller issues with PS4 games, but PS3/indie titles would potentially “just work”.

The other confirmed Vita TV application relates to something adults will remember unfondly. In my childhood I remember it being a pain to move my console from the lounge to my bedroom. If you are lucky enough to have a PS4, you could just move yourself to the Vita TV room and continue your game.

14 year old me is happy.

 

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Android Gaming Devices, Tablets and iPads Console Gaming News PC Gaming

Why the NVidia Shield is My Most Wanted Piece of Tech in 2013

The portable games console, the Nvidia Shield is looking at being a surprise hit of 2013. This open sourced handheld games console allows streaming to HDTVs/monitors and even your PC. Plus it has its main party trick, streaming PC games to it. Based on a stock Android Jelly Bean, the Nvidia Shield will be an open platform gaming device, with the full Android back catalog available to play. So why do I want one? And what problems do NVidia face?

What the Nvidia, and the Play Store lack are mutliplayer games. There are very few, and even less good, online mutliplayer console style games on Android. Shadowgun shows the potential, but we need to see the big name games/brands like Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat, and FIFA putting serious effort into the online modes. Local multiplayer games would be nice too. On phones this was a none issue, but with a device like the Shield it would be great to be able to bring a friends Shield around and play some split screen on the big TV.

The biggest task for NVidia isnt to get manufacturers onboard, the success of Android platform has done that for them. Its to push the Tegra optimised games to the next level. I love the Tegra Zone on my Nexus 7, the games tend to be better than the average Play Store games as they have got the budgets to do the graphical side, they also tend to put effort into usability. Now Tegra 3 is in millions of devices, and while Tegra 4 looks to build on this, lets see manufacturers pushing the platform.

The Shield (and the OUYA) represents a shift in home gaming, not mobile in my opinion. If the price is right and I got a Shield, it would very rarely be taken out. It would be the device I pick up to play on, while the missus is watching TV instead of my tablet. Then when a TV is available I can continue my game on the big screen. Plus with the free to sub £5 games, you feel like you can have a punt and get into a game fast without thinking. Being in my late 20s I unfortunately dont have the time to play 80 hours of Final Fantasy 7, like I did…. Or 50 hours of Forza Motorsport. I enjoy a quick blast on Gears of War Horde mode with my friends, and the odd game here or there on my Nexus 7.

However the genius of the Shield is it also appeals to console gamers like me, also well as those who do spend £300 on a graphics card for their PCs, as they can stream the games from their GTX cards to the Shield. Steam are behind this too, plus once Nvidias cloud gaming gets into full swing, the Shield could become the one stop device. I’m not sure why you would want to stream to the Shield inside the same house though?

What about OUYA? Well just because it is not as powerful as the Shield doesnt mean it cant succeed. Nintendo has shown that. Both the OUYA and the Nvidia Shield do represent a threat to the Console Establishment, although they are not direct competitors to each other. Despite all the rumours, no one knows what the PS4 / Next XBox will do or be. However for the first time, I am not interested. If they just turn out to be more power, more media center etc. I 100% will not be getting one. I haven’t bought a full price £35-40 game for years. I buy second hand 6 months down the line as I cant justify the full price. Neither can most of my friends, its simply not worth it. With rumours that the new XBox will push what some current games (Battlefield 3 /WWE 13 etc.) have started by requiring a code to play online, it will make second hand games as expensive as new ones. £10-15 for the game, £10 for the online, on top of £40pa for the online service, it all adds up.  I get why they do it, the publisher makes nothing off second hand games, but it will stop some people buying. The NVidia Shield will have none of this, plus the games will be dirt cheap in the first place. Sure you cant sell the games on, but at Free to £5 does it matter?

Until it is released, noone knows who well it will catch on, but with the might of a company like NVidia behind it, and some very clever and POWERFUL tech I really want to get my hands on a Nvidia Shield.

Watch this video of Real Boxing running on the Nvidia Shield