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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

State of Play at E3 part TWO: Sony but so far

Sony really surprised everyone (note: sarcasm mode engaged) with the announcement that PlayStation 3 is to get a Wiimote like motion controller. Unlike Microsoft's Natal however it doesn't seem to have anything to distinguish it from it's competitors- at least nothing that's been unveiled yet. Maybe Sony is keeping that under it's hat for now. However it really can't help but seem like a very 'me too' addition and seemed to be tacked on to their conference as a bit of an afterthought. Sony's big hardware announcement was the remodelled third generation PSP (PSP Go!), a very badly kept secret (it leaked days before E3) that drops the UMD drive and really doesn't seem to make me any more keen to get one to be honest. It's the lack of decent games that's the PSP's big problem not the design of the machine itself.

Speaking of games the PSP is getting a new Metal Gear game plus a portable Gran Turismo that may go someway to improving the handheld's library, but the PS3 has a couple of exclusives worth mentioning too. I loved Uncharted: Drake's fortune and find it to be one of the best PS3 games I've played, so it's good to hear that Uncharted 2 was shown off at E3, even though it was already announced. Completely new however is the interesting sounding (if unimaginatively monikored) Agent made by the bods behind GTAIV- Rockstar North. It's someway off but promises to give you a chance to be a super secret agent in a 70's setting. Could be ace.

Next time: Nintendo!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Film buffs and collectors the world over are like asking themselves the same question. Now the pesky High Definition Format War is over, is it time to upgrade to Blu-ray? For most people it's probably worth waiting a little longer. For starters, if you don't have an HD compatible TV there's no point, as you wont be able to watch films in HD anyway. If it's time to get a new TV then it's worth getting one with HD compatibility, but if you don't have one already then buying a new set, as well as a Blu-ray player is going to set you back loads of money. Which brings me to the next point- you won't find many BR players below £250, meaning that the most economical way of getting Blu-ray is currently to get a PS3 (as it's a similar price, and also lets you play the latest games). The discs are mightily expensive too, whereas DVD's have really gone down in price. BR players play DVD's too (and up scaled on HDTV's making them look better than ever), so there's no real need to rebuy your collection (unless you're a real film geek who has to have the best of everything). In time, both hardware and discs will go down in price, so the sensible option is really to wait. But then again, they do look awesome. Watching something like Sweeney Todd in HD is fantastic and you really can see the difference. So should you upgrade yet? Common sense would say probably not. But my inner Film Geek and Gadget Freak would say... "Hell yeah!" It's completely unnecessary, but boy is it pretty!

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