Though some were no doubt disappointed in Sony's PS4 announcement for every reason from general ennui with the whole videogame thing to a passionate allegiance to a competing platform, I fail to see how any real videogame enthusiast can come away anything but impressed at the promise of it all. The keyword of course is "promise," since everything sounds great on paper, but we don't really know how much will be executed how soon (and how well), nor did we have an actual appearance by the apparently camera-shy console itself. You can find many summaries of what Sony did unveil online, including a good one by PlayStation Universe, but I'll try to cover some of the high level highlights.
Check out part 1 of 4 of the Portuguese translation of our Spacewar! (1962) bonus chapter from our 2009 book, Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. It looks like Juan Castro did a nice job and I'm looking forward to future installments. Don't forget that Vintage Games is available in its original English language version at Amazon and other fine retailers in both print and ebook variations, as well as in an Italian language version, found here. As a reminder, Matt Barton and I are also hard at work on a new entry in the Vintage Games series focused on the great platforms that powered those great games, Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time, for release later this year. Enjoy!
I've been quiet on the blog front of late as I've been focused on writing three new books for 2013 (and hopefully do what I can to help get the documentary out as well). However, with the latest NPD figures for videogame consoles being dissected across the Web-o-sphere, and Sony likely firing the next salvo for next generation platforms with their upcoming PlayStation-centric announcement (and Microsoft to follow soon thereafter), I thought this would a good time to break my silence and chime in with my perspective on the current videogame-centric happenings.
First off, it's clearly not looking good for pure videogame stuff with three lackluster hardware launches in a row: 3DS, Vita, and Wii U. The 3DS recovered sufficiently with a dramatic price cut that was very much against Nintendo's previous corporate policies that discouraged losing money on hardware, which allowed it enough time to hold out for the software situation to pick up. While it will never reach the sales heights of the blockbuster DS, considering how much competition both direct and indirect there is now versus then, it should still end up selling quite well when it has run through its complete lifecycle.
Welcome to the December 2012 update to my list of working emulator and simulator sites for various platforms and games. All of these enable play directly within your browser, so there's no sticky business of downloading software and finding the necessary game files to get it all going, though some do offer the option. These are all great sites and we should all show our support. I'd love to keep adding to this list, so suggest away. Here you go:
It's a busy time for the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld. Due for release within a week at fine retailers everywhere, our latest book, My PlayStation Vita, is available for immediate pre-order at a great low price (Amazon is only $15.93, for instance, for the paperback, and $9.99 for the Kindle version!). You can use Amazon's look inside feature to get an idea of the great content, or download a PDF of Chapter 5 and the Index, direct from publisher Que. You can think of My PlayStation Vita as the Vita's missing manual, and your friendly guide to all of the powerful handheld's hardware features, apps, games, and overall capabilities.
In addition, today, Sony has brought the best deal in gaming, PlayStation Plus, to Vita owners. For a low monthly, quarterly, or yearly price (which is less than the price of a single game!), PlayStation Plus not only gives you regular discounts on games and game content, but also a selection of free games every month. The best part is these are often full blown retail games or AAA downloadable titles. The first batch of freebies are none other than: Uncharted Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Wipeout 2048, Jet Set Radio, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Mutant Blobs Attack. All of those amazing games and more each month are yours to keep and play as much as you want as long as you're a current PlayStation Plus member. This is all in addition to similar freebies you get for the PlayStation 3. Best deal in gaming indeed... Finally, if you don't already have a Vita, there are some nice bundles available, and Sony has indicated that a particularly intriguing offer is coming Black Friday: $199.99 for your choice of system and game bundle. Can't beat that!
So, to sum up, check out the book, then buy the book, and then take advantage of all the great deals and get to playing and tapping into the full potential of the Vita. If you're a fan of great gaming and amazing technology, you won't be sorry!
As one of a legion of fans of the 1984 videogame classic, Karateka (Apple II and a host of other 8- and 16-bit platforms), I was both delighted by and cautious of the February 2012 announcement of a modern day reimagining. On the one hand, the game's original developer extraordinaire, Jordan Mechner, was going to be directly involved. On the other hand, Karateka was not your average game, so reimagining it could prove disastrous even with Mechner's involvement. As heavily stylized, Disney-esque in-game images began to roll in, along with camera angles that reminded more of a modern day Street Fighter, it seems our worst fears had been realized. So, it was with somewhat muted enthusiasm that I set the new game to download on my Xbox 360 at work to wait for me when I got home. I was sure to be disappointed. Luckily, I was anything but.
Hot off the CoCo mailing list press comes word of a new Tandy Color Computer coding contest. As the Website states, "Just about any software that runs on the Tandy Color Computer (1, 2 or 3) is an eligible entry. Whether you finally finish a project that has been simmering on the back burner for years or decide to start something entirely new, you are welcome to enter. See the rules for clarification and details.
Entries will be tested, reviewed, scored, beaten, and mutilated in time to announce the grand prize winner at the 2013 CoCoFest! in Chicago, IL, on April 27 - 28, 2013. You don't need to attend the fest to enter or win (but you'll have more fun if you do!)."
I thought I'd mix things up a bit today with a list of my current 10 favorite cartoons (most of which are also my family's favorites, too), which I'd argue are among the short list of best shows on TV today, animated or otherwise. Interestingly, videogame culture/influence - not to mention, technology - has clearly made its way into all of these cartoons in one way or another, which I'll of course point out where relevant.
Here's the list, in no particular order:
As mentioned previously, I've been going great guns in an attempt to make my overly large collection of 400+ videogame and computer systems more accessible and immediately usable. In other words, figuring out how to waste less of my precious time setting up this stuff and use more of that time actually using what I want to use. Part of that initiative is to take the most "important" computer and videogame systems and put them front and center - and ready to go - in various rooms. I'll discuss the classic videogame consoles in more detail in another post, but basically I've set up a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to supplement the other basement TV and can now plug in various consoles in that area quickly and easily, though I've changed up where (and how) I'll be making the actual systems themselves accessible. Anyway, where last we left off, I couldn't get my Amiga 600 or 1200 to work, which left me to choose between my Amiga 500, 1000, or 2500HD (with 8088 Bridgeboard). I chose the latter.
With the above in mind, it was of course bugging me that neither the 600 or 1200 were working, so I resolved to address the issue within my limited skillset, and of course when time permitted. Long story short, the 600 is dead, but the culprit in the 1200 was a deceased 40MB hard drive, which was easy enough to remove and replace with a Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software. In the mean-time, I also got a PAL Amiga 1200, stock, with its own Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software.
In part 3, RadioShack enthusiast Boisy Pitre and RadioShack engineer of over 30 years, Jerry Heep, conclude their sit down and chat about the Color Computer at RadioShack headquarters.