Well, I did it, I canceled my $359.96 pre-order of the Sony PlayStation Vita - WiFi, ModNation Racers: Road trip, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Hot Shots Golf on Amazon. It's not because it was too much money - it was - but I planned for it. It's not that I don't want it either - I do - but it simply doesn't make sense at this time. I have long gone on record - much to the chagrin of the Nintendo faithful - that I believe this is the last generational hurrah for dedicated gaming handhelds. In short, I believe they will still sell well this generation, just not anywhere near the heights of the last generation when the DS and PSP ruled the roost. I've given many reasons for this line of thinking, but I primarily chalk it up to smartphones and tablets being good enough as game machines and the inclination for most people to carry as few electronic devices as possible. In other words, would you rather have a device that does everything multimedia and Internet effortlessly (and, as a smartphone, makes phone calls and texts), and has inexpensive apps (and a great camera for stills and video, etc.), as well as plays good games, or would you rather have a device that plays really good games (thanks mostly to onboard physical controls), but is mediocre (or incapable) at everything else and has expensive apps? Some of us will have both, but many of us will only choose the most logical of the two. If you look at the issue without the emotion of a dedicated gamer, there really is no good argument for having anything other than a smartphone and maybe a tablet in your portable arsenal, particularly since the former has an excuse to be with you 100% of the time.
After starting off with Microsoft, it's now time to talk about Sony's E3 showing. Here goes:
As you've all no doubt already heard, PSN is 100% back in many parts of the world, including right here in the US. This of course means that the Welcome Back Program is now available to download all the free goodies to your PS3. I'll be getting to that tonight, though I'm not sure what I'll ultimately pick. In any case, I'll report back in the comments what I ultimately chose. In related news, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is now available on PSN, marking the return of a series that has received continuous, but sporadic, releases since the Apple II original in 1981, though some of those were only in Japan. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls looks to be a definite return to the series' roots, albeit with a love-it-or-leave-it anime style. I'm firmly in the "leave it" camp, but being able to play classic-style Wizardry again might trump any misgivings over the visuals.
Not so good news for Sony fans. Apparently, Sony will be slashing budgets for its next-gen PlayStation. Did they really invest that much in the PS3? Hm. So what do you call a half-step between generations? An upgrade? Maybe they're releasing some type of add-on expansion type thing instead of a standalone console? Perhaps this isn't really a headline at all, and it's a very slow news day? Speculation!
Now this is cool: Test chamber music: Valve offers free Portal 2 soundtrack downloads. Go ahead and grab it. I played Portal 2 a few weeks ago, and man, was it awesome! The music is great, too. Hm. What the hell is that orange goo gushing from my speakers???
Good news for all you Sony PlayStation (PS1) fans out there--a 436 page book filled with PS1 retrospectives. It's a print-on-demand book from GameSpite Quarterly, put together by one Jeremy Parish. It's an attractive volume available in paperback ($20) and hardcover ($44). Here's a little blurb from the intro to set the tone: Perhaps more importantly, the PlayStation grew up alongside the World Wide Web, making it the first game console whose audience was connected both to one another and to the latest news the world over. PlayStation was where gaming grew up -- not in the sense of its newfound “mature” content, but rather in the breadth and sophistication of its software. It wasn’t 32-bit technology that marked the birth of gaming’s modern age. No, it was very specifically the PlayStation.
We're back again with a month's worth of audio content for retrogaming fans of all makes and models. Clocking in at two and a half hours, this episode features exclusive content from Bill Loguidice, Rob Daviau, Chris Kennedy, Matt Barton, Nathan Tolbert, Andre Faucher, Rebecca Tolbert, Max Shelton, and special guest Chip Hageman.
Download the episode here (128 K format).
Segments and approximate times below:
Since I've had a chance to actually play some games on platforms like the PC, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, and PS3 lately, I thought I would share some quick thoughts. After reading, why don't you share some of your own thoughts on those games or some of what you're playing?
Here's a standard unboxing video that I put a small bit of polish on and placed under the "Armchair Arcade TV" banner. I have another unboxing video that I'll be posting tomorrow, as well as the next actual formal episode not too long thereafter, so keep checking back here on Armchair Arcade.
Armchair Arcade TV is in high definition (720p) and available at a wide range of locations, with a wide range of subscription options, and in a wide range of formats, including YouTube, iTunes, RSS, and many more via blip.tv!
This week's Matt Chat is on Tomb Raider, one of my favorite games on the PS1. It was my first 3D platformer, and I still vividly remember the experience. Core did an excellent job really demonstrating what was fun about 3D and what the third dimension could add to the genre. Of course, the game also introduced Lara Croft, the most famous female avatar.
Click here to go to the Armchair Arcade product page for Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time (2009) by Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton.