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The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings: The Kingslayer Xbox 360
New Post has been published on http://thekingslayer.com/?p=395
Ouya Unboxing: The Open Source Console Generation Begins
Ouya, is part of the success story in gaming, and tech for 2012. Why? Well because it was part of the crowd funding phenomena that allowed the community of interested to directly fund projects that they were inspired, and believed in. Kickstarter was the preferred platform. What makes Ouya an exciting project is the fact that it is Android based, open source, customizable, and is much more than a gaming console which allows third party support to come from a myriad of sources. To give you some background on Ouya specifically though; Here is a short video outlining the company’s mission, backers, and Ouya platform itself.
As the first open source console Ouya offers developers a means to dig in early, and with Android you have a proven operating system that exists having familiarity with a wide audience. This audience that I speak are those who own Android smart phones, or tablets. So with the proliferation of apps on the platform you know it is pretty strong for gaming. Add to the fact that Ouya uses a Nvidia Tegra 3 gpu which is powerful, but limited on smart phone/tablet devices due to batter consumption. In a console limitations like that vanish. The significance is that you can take the games you see by developers on Google Play market place, and play them at home on your television. Again although this a mainly gaming console, the fact that apps come in all forms; then it is safe to say this will be the case on the console.You’ll get music players, video streaming services, organizing apps, etc. Now you may say well my phone has all that. True, but being able to have that in a console on your TV all dedicated is a different experience. The Xbox 360, and PS3 got close to this, but not so much. More importantly not everything there offered as much free content early to access. Yes, the business model is all free-to-play on Ouya.
With the platform being so open Ouya’s brain trust is going to face some real issues. Those come down to hacking, and overall policing of what comes in, and user experience. If you take a look at the way hacking has exploded this generation, then you should be aware that the Android platform is being bombarded. Games, and apps are being pirated everyday. As open as Ouya is there should be some safety measures taken if not to twart pirating, but to create an environment that is more conducive to helping users not feel overwhelmed. You have to look no further than this being an issue in multiplayer gaming where cheating can be a real deal breaker to consistent players believing in the platform. Obviously this goes against some of the things that Ouya is about, but ultimately it’s about the end user experience.
Ouya’s presence in the game console market is significant because when you have fledgling services such as the cloud gaming idea then you need a platform that makes sense. Onlive which wanted to offer a hub that gamer’s could buy is now defunct as a publisher. Is now a third party software developer. The assests that made up Onlive fit well with Ouya’s community driven philosophy. So it’s good to see that Onlive will be one of the apps gamer’s can tap into offering all kinds of games from PC titles to console ones for Ouya. What this means for other publishers, and developers is a platform with less restrictions. The Xbox 360, and PS3 generation has pretty much prepared developers for what they need to do to focus on their games as services. Not just sell offs. At the same time they can play with business models like free-to-play with titles that already exist in more extensive way’s without too much damage to their bottom line. In many respects it turns each developer/publisher into Steam. How you ask? Well they can dictate without much financial restriction how gamer’s interact with their titles on Ouya. So the freedom now gives them all the reigns, but we have to remember. With great power, comes great responsibility. So developers must be diligent on Ouya to make it work for them. So far companies like SquareEnix, and Namco Bandi are on board. Both companies I believe have the titles to hit the ground running in their catalog. Robotoki is one developer that is taking it’s next generation aspiration seriously, and looking at what platforms can offer their IP “Human Element” a community back bone early. They are going to do episodic content, and other exclusive activities on Ouya. More developers need to follow their lead, just to establish themselves with good will, and to really get a feel for what they can do in the next generation.
Free-to-play can thrive like nobody’s business on Ouya. Offering young developers, and publishers a means to really make an impact. The biggest obstacle again is piracy. This is where Ouya’s development, and constant progression with Android needs a concerted effort from both Google and Ouya as a manufactuer. Now I’m of the mind set that because this has all been community driven, and all that has to be done is satisfy that niche base. Then Google can look at Ouya as test run, and with it being cheap they can come out in several years with a more focused platform. I think they should take advantage right now, and have that plan as a great “B”. The opportunity is now to turn the Free-to-play model into one that exists with huge incentives, and hybrid alternatives which are profit making, at the same time user focused to get gamer’s believing/buying games. Outside of business models what should be kept in mind is that this is about having a great console experience. This is yet to be seen. With that being said. $100 dollars for a next generation system is by far a steal, especially with the caliber that Ouya is going for. There really is no barrier to entry. As I said earlier in this post, it’s about how serious do developers, and publishers take the platform. At the same time the main people behind Ouya focus on user satisfaction. Right now like everyone who’s watching Ouya. The excitement is constrained with practical optimism in the platform.
New Post has been published on http://thekingslayer.com/?p=579
End Of The PS2 & The Global Lead Of The PS3
Earlier this month, and last month news broke out that after 12 years in production. The Playstation 2′s production has been stopped by Sony. Which in spite of the current generation is still one of the most successful consoles of all time. If not the most. The Playstation 2 took Sony’s success from Playstation 1, and turned it up to new levels. Sony is largely responsible with the Playstation 2 for ushering the new, and more mature gaming taste. At the same time offering old school gaming franchises a new chance to be seen by a more mainstream audience. The Playstation 2 was just an incredible standard in gaming. Despite competition from the old stalwarts like Nintendo, and new comer Microsoft. Sony was able to push forward with their 10 year goal, surpassing it by two years. Released in North America in 2000, the console to date has pushed out more than 150 million units sold in its lifetime, with software sales breaching billions. The Playstation’s long legs are a testament to it’s impact, and steady brand allegiance by consumers. It’s this brand allegiance that we have a more monumental accomplishment by Sony this generation with the Playstation 3.
Market analyst firm IDC’s data now shows a slight advantage for Sony’s PlayStation 3. PlayStation 3′s worldwide sales numbers now stand at 77 million, compared to Xbox 360′s 76 million. However slight that number advantage is, we have to keep in mind that on a world wide basis Sony has a brand loyalty with the PlayStation that despite Microsoft’s roaring success with the Xbox 360 in the west. Through the rough times, Xbox 360′s dominance with third party software, exclusive, and consistent game software form Sony has kept them more than relevant. The irony is that the end of PlayStation 2 offered Sony to be the hands down favorite to win this current generation highhandedly. Microsoft came out the gate early, but substantially more prepared with the Xbox 360 than Sony was with the PS3. Arguably one can still say that the Xbox 360 is a winner despite global numbers. Sony is still operating less profitable than Microsoft who with the Xbox 360 is making money on the platform hand over fist. The Japanese gaming audience never took to the Xbox 360 irrespective of the plethora of titles. The platform never appealed to the audience of the rising sun. It’s safe to say that for Sony home turf helped, despite Japan not being a hotbed of game sales like it used to be. The PlayStation 3 has been behind the Xbox 360 in the U.S. for a long while. So being able to have a strong global presence overall really is something special for the PlayStation 3. You have to admire the PS3 success, no matter the hiccups the platform has staid the course. Think about it, this is the first generation with 3 consoles have coexisted successfully. That speaks volume for how much gaming has grown, and appetite for our entertainment medium continues.