Posts Tagged ‘Sony’

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Why Sony Fanboys Are the Worst of the Bunch

March 13, 2010

Before I get into this editorial/rant, let me set the record straight. I absolutely, positively do not hate Sony itself or the PlayStation brand. I do not blame Sony for the actions of the people who have chosen to stand behind them. I have nothing against the PlayStation brand and I honestly believe that Sony is doing great things with their stable of consoles and handhelds.

Their fanboys on the other hand? They are among the most illogical, irrational, arrogant and all around idiotic group of people I have ever come across. In the past five years of going to various forums and just being in tune with the internet in general as it relates to gaming, I’ve come across just about every type of fanboy you can think of. Microsoft fanboys, Nintendo fanboys, Apple fanboys, even Sega fanboys and none of them, without exception, can compare to Sony fanboys in terms of sheer annoyance.

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V-Moda Bass-Freq Review

February 7, 2010

Introduction

Back in 2008, I began making the transition from casual music listener to full-fledged audiophile. This was the year I sort of reached a sense of enlightenment and I began to reevaluate my tastes in music. I stopped listening to the radio and started listening to what I consider to be “good” music (IE anything that’s not on the radio), especially when it came to Hip-Hop, on my Zune whenever I went out. During this time, my Zune and I were inseparable. Any time I was driving, it is always plugged into the car’s stereo and set on shuffle mode and when I was a passenger, I always had my headphones on my ears, a trend that rings true to this day.

Back then, I owned a pair of Sony clip on headphones which had been decent for a while but when I made the transition to audiophile they just couldn’t cut it, especially after I picked up a pair of the full size and great sounding Sennheiser HD280 Pros. So, I had to do some shopping and eventually settled on a pair of $40 (at the time) V-Moda Bass-Freq earbuds that I managed to get from Amazon for $20. Based on reviews I’d read, these earbuds offered good sound quality while also delivering a very strong and deep bass. Being somewhat of a bass-head myself, I decided to order them based on their low price and bass-heavy sound.

After all this time, I’ve finally decided to write down my thoughts on the earbuds that have served me well over the past year and a half or so. Without any further delay, read on for my thoughts on the Bass-Freq earbuds.

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The iPad and Gaming

January 30, 2010

I’ve already posted my initial thoughts on whether or not the iPad needs to exist within Apple’s hardware ecosystem but now I’m going to shift gears and examine what the iPad means for gamers. After all, the main focus of Apple’s iPod Touch refresh last summer was gaming so it’s clear that Apple wants a nice big slice of the portable gaming pie that had previously been dominated by the likes of Nintendo and Sony with their DS and PSP systems. Now, the iPhone and iPod Touch represent logical gaming platforms and legitimate challengers to Nintendo and Sony’s portable gaming dominance because of their competitive price points, abundance of features in and outside of gaming, generally far cheaper prices for games and portability. The iPad on the other hand, is a different story altogether. While it has been said that the iPad will run most of the applications (in this case, meaning games) designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the real question is not only whether or not the average Joe will want to play games on the iPad as opposed to the already firmly established Nintendo DS or Sony PSP but whether or not someone will want to play a game on the iPad as opposed to the iPhone or iPod Touch.

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Gran Turismo PSP Review

October 6, 2009

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At a Glance: Gran Turismo PSP is a game that gets the fundamentals down but drops the ball in its execution.

Originally announced as one of the flagship titles of the then yet to be released PSP, Gran Turismo Mobile quickly dropped off of the radar into vaporware territory. Well, imagine everyone’s surprise when, at E3 2009, Sony and Polyphony Digital confirmed that Gran Turismo PSP was not only in active development but that it was also going to be released this year. After all this time, you’d think the PSP iteration of the long running and obscenely popular Gran Turismo series would measure up quite nicely with its console predecessors. Regrettably, if you thought that, you’d be mistaken.

While this title boasts a very impressive 800+ car roster and a fairly large selection of tracks, many of which can be driven in reverse, and a realistic handling model lifted from Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, it can’t compete with its console brethren due to one very large and disappointing omission. The career mode of Gran Turismo games past is missing in action in Gran Turismo PSP.

In lieu of any kind of career mode, you have the option to run a time trial, single race or drift trial and only the latter two will earn you the valuable credits you’ll need to build a vast collection of automobiles, both classic and modern. In addition to this, there are a large number of “Driving Challenges” to test your skills. These challenges are almost identical to the dreaded license tests in Gran Turismo games past, the primary differences being that they (thankfully) aren’t mandatory completions in order to enter certain races and reward you with credits for completion in the bronze, silver and gold tiers.

Starting out, you are given 100,000 credits and presented with four of the game’s many dealerships from which to buy your first car. Every two in game days, there will be a random selection of four dealers to choose from and none of them will offer you more than ten vehicles to choose from on any given day. There’s no option to bypass this system, so if you’re looking to buy a particular car from a particular dealer, you have to participate in a couple of events to advance the game forward a couple of days and hope the dice roll in your favor.

This was particularly annoying when I spotted one of the cars I’d been dreaming of (the ’09 Corvette ZR1) and tried to buy it, only to realize I didn’t have enough credits. I was forced to cope with the frustrating realization that I couldn’t possibly earn enough credits before a new selection of dealers and cars appeared the next day. On one hand, this is an interesting way to introduce players to cars they might otherwise have overlooked but to leave everything to the luck of the draw seems asinine.

Before this turns into a giant hate fest, allow me to say that there are a number of things that Gran Turismo PSP does right. The visuals on display here are among the best the PSP has to offer, running at a liquid smooth 60 frames per second, the car models are surprisingly well detailed, given the limitations of the platform. Control wise, everything is completely customizable, which is a great inclusion. Handling physics are another high point, but this is no surprise, as the Gran Turismo series has always delivered fairly realistic physics. This also seems to be the easiest Gran Turismo to get into and it’s very easy to pick up and play from the very beginning, especially with the much less strict and inviting Driving Challenges.

With no career mode structure and everything unlocked from the very beginning, there’s a prevailing feeling of pointlessness in your actions. With everything unlocked from the start, there’s no brass ring to reach for and no sense of accomplishment to be gained. Eventually, the endless grind of racing for credits to buy new cars gets stale and combined with the lack of online multiplayer, the long term appeal is limited quite a bit. Ultimately, Gran Turismo PSP is a good game that’s buried underneath a series of poor design decisions. The gameplay, visuals, car roster and track selection are rock solid but without any sort of direction to guide players through the game, I can’t imagine this will appeal to any but the most hardcore of Gran Turismo fans.

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Playstation Home Beta Impressions

December 2, 2008

playstation-home-beta-logo

In the days, weeks and months since the announcement of Sony’s Xbox Live killer, Home, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve gone from hotly anticipating this feature to almost completely uninterested after numerous delays. I began to think that this was one of many things that looks and sounds great on paper but ultimately fails in execution. And who could blame me for feeling this way? What was supposed to launch to all Playstation Network users as early as September 2007 is still only in the beta stages well over a year later.

Oh how quickly things change when you press the right buttons…

Yesterday afternoon, I opened my email account to see that I’d received a long awaited invitation to the pubic beta for Playstation Home. Naturally, I quickly rushed over to my Playstation 3 to turn it on, input my beta access code and start playing around with it. So, how do I feel about it? Well, in a word…conflicted.

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