Category: Gaming (page 1 of 5)

5 App Games Made For Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality gaming is about to arrive in a big way, and there are tons of discussions going on about what the best gaming genres will be. But in these discussions people tend to think big, looking at the most significant existing console games and imagining them in VR form. This is probably the right way to go about it, but it’s also important to remember that the first generation of in-home VR games might be a little bit simpler than some are imagining. And with that in mind, one might wonder if app games might actually serve as better foundations for VR than console experiences that are already so big as to be totally immersive.

Gaming in general thrives on detail these days. On mobile devices, PCs and consoles alike, players appreciate big beautiful environments and realistic 3D graphics. The difference is that, on consoles, such environments are about as satisfying as they need to be, and it’s easy to imagine a sort of clunkiness to them in the early transformations to VR. Beautiful app games, however, are small and limited by nature, almost automatically making us long for more. Super-sizing a popular app game and turning it into a VR experience may be a better way to please a lot of gamers.

Whether or not this will happen on a large scale remains to be seen, but in the meantime here are a few popular app titles that illustrate the point across different genres.

FruitNinja_1 (1)

It’s one of the longest-running popular apps available, and it’s always been almost amazingly simple. Fruit flies up in the air, and you cut it up with a swipe of your finger. So why not do it with a VR headset on and more of an actual knife-swiping motion? This has actually already been attempted; an article at PC World revealed efforts by German University students to rig up their own VR version of Fruit Ninja, and it appears the results were satisfying. This would be a nice, simple game for VR developers to start out with.

real-racing-3 (1)

It’s been suggested that racing games could be some of the most successful titles on VR.  Wareable’s look ahead at the next year of VR game releases pointed to a couple racing games that are apparently on the way. However, it might just be simpler for developers to adapt an existing game. Real Racing 3 is an incredibly realistic and detailed game for a something that’s played on phones and tablets, and could do wonderfully if it were simply scaled up.

bf-casino

The trouble with a lot of ambitious VR games is that movement is tricky. An environment can look stunning and real, but it’s tough to interact with it in a way that feels natural. That’s precisely why the casino gaming genre could do well—it requires minimal movement. There actually aren’t too many ready-made casino games featuring a legitimate variety of options, but the array of games at Betfair makes for an intriguing VR concept. Interacting with a full-scale casino (as opposed to just a single poker table or something of the like) could make for a deceptively big VR experience.

star-wars-galaxy

Inevitably there will be plenty of shooters and adventure games released on VR, even if movement within them is at first difficult and unfamiliar. But the recently released Galaxy Of Heroes game could make for a smooth transition toward VR shooters.   EA describes this game as having  an “epic RPG-style combat,” which just seems brilliant for VR. An RPG can be more turn-based, meaning you can enjoy the realistic look of having someone shooting at you without having to figure out how to move around while your face is masked in a headset and your body is on your couch. Not to mention, given the Star Wars resurgence, this particular RPG title would undoubtedly be popular.

proton-pulse

This game might be cheating a bit, because it was actually designed specifically for a VR headset. Well, sort of.  Proton Pulse was designed for Google Cardboard play, meaning it’s a phone app that can be slotted into Google’s VR goggles and enjoyed as if it’s a full-fledged VR experience. Still, it’s probably the best existing example of how easily some app games can be transformed into this new genre of gaming. The game itself is basically a 3D brick buster.

Who knows if we’ll ever see these particular titles turned into VR games. But it’s easy to see how some simpler concepts could work better than full-blown shooter and adventure games.

Apple TV Features Games

apple tv

There is a lot of anticipation about the new Apple TV device, which is compatible with almost every smart television. People who regularly use Apple products and software will certainly appreciate Apple TV because it will connect them to their digital Apple products through the television. So instead of having to watch movies on the laptop or computer monitor, users can see them on a much bigger television screen.

One of the key features that Apple is going to focus on with their Apple TV product is its gaming functionality. They are aiming to generate better graphics with more power for the device along with a new remote control that could be used as a gaming controller as well. Then if people want to play the games they purchased at the app store through their iPhone, they can play them on their Apple TV. They will also be able to purchase new games on their Apple TV.

The starting price for the Apple TV is predicted to be about $150, which is a good price when you consider all of the features and convenience you will be getting. However, there has been some speculation generated by the New York Times about how analysts and game executives think it will be difficult for Apple to compete with other gaming consoles, like the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. That is why the Apple TV will likely only be popular with those who use Apple products already. That way they can benefit from the convenience of using them on their television. But for those who use personal computers and Android devices, it will have to take a lot more than gaming features for the Apple TV to attract them.

Apple is one of the biggest brands in computer technology. They are continuously trying to compete in all aspects of the tech marketplace. Remember that Apple TV is not a service like Netflix, so there won’t be any monthly fees involved. All you have to pay is the initial purchase price. Then you just hook the Apple TV box up to your smart television and you are good to go. Of course, you will need your own internet connection which does cost a monthly fee. But if you were to install a router in your home then you could share your existing connection with your computer and Apple TV. If you have a Wi-Fi connection then you could enable your mobile devices and Apple TV to have the internet as well. Therefore, the Apple TV may sell just on the basis of its affordability. We shall see what the future holds for it.

After Delays, Valve and Partners Near Production on Steam Machines for Living-Room Gamers

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If you follow video gaming then you have probably heard of the video gaming company, Valve, and their video gaming software known as Steam. This software connects people together by allowing them to play multiplayer games with each other right over the internet. The only thing is that Steam is traditionally for the PC, Mac and Linux computer systems. This means people who want to play these games have to use their monitors, unless they have the right video cables to hook up their computer to a flat screen television set. Most people do not have these cables, or they simply don’t know how to hook it up properly.

After years of delays and setbacks, Valve has finally created a Steam gaming console that people can hookup to their television sets. That way people can now play video games through Steam right on their big television sets instead of their smaller monitors. The console will still connect to the user’s Steam account, so they won’t lose any of their games. All they have to do is login to their account through the Steam Machine and then they can just download all of their games right back onto it.

The Steam Machine will create competition for other living room gaming computers, like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 4. Right now they are king of multiplayer gaming through consoles. But with the massive amount of people who already use Steam, the new Steam Machine could very well turn people off from those other consoles and cause them to lose money. Not only that, but the Steam Machine will have its own Steam operating system to run games on. This could very well jeopardize the $25 billion market for Windows PC gaming. The majority of the people who use Steam on their computers are using a Windows operating system, which the games require in order to play them. But with the Steam Machine, the games won’t need the Windows operating system anymore. This could cause Microsoft to lose even more business and set them back much further as a company.

The only complication is not all of the 5,000 games on Steam will work with Steam Machine. After all, the original designers of these games were creating them for popular operating systems like Windows and Linux. The Steam OS is brand new and a Linux-based operating system. This means it will only be able to run games that can be run on Linux operating systems. Right now there are over 1,000 games on Steam that could be run on the Steam Machine. But as time goes on and the popularity of the machine increases, the number of approved games is likely to go up.

PlayStation at 20: how Sony’s console has grown up with its players

 

Playstation at 20Sony PlayStation became 20 years old in late 2014. For many gamers, it seems like only

yesterday that the original Sony PlayStation hit the shelves of their favorite toy store. Its ability

to play 3d games completely revolutionized the industry. The only 3d competitors at the time

were the Sega CD and Nintendo 64, which did have their own place in 3d history even though

their games lacked certainly qualities that Sony got right. The PlayStation had smooth 3d

graphics that were fast paced and much more interactive. Then as time went on, PlayStation kept

developing new consoles with improved graphics, sound and DVD playback capabilities. The

most recent system is PlayStation 4, which has sold more systems than even Sony expected. So it

is safe to say that consumers are still interested in Sony Playstation systems.

The big question that gamers often wonder about Sony Playstation is, “What more can be

done to further enhance the system when PlayStation 5 comes around?” The graphics of the

PlayStation 4 are so realistic looking that it is hard to imagine them getting any better. Plus the

PS4 has digital downloads now, so people don’t even have to purchase the physical disks

anymore. So, what next? Well there are rumors that Sony is taking an interest in virtual reality

technology. We have already seen some positive reviews for Oculus Rift, which is a virtual

reality headset that lets you game inside a 3d world. Sony may be contemplating whether or not

to switch from a gaming console to a set of 3d goggles. The only thing is virtual reality games

have to be built from scratch. You wouldn’t be able to transfer older PlayStation games onto a

virtual reality system like you can with the later PlayStation console models.

The only thing that can go wrong with 3d goggles is the sickness. People who use 3d

headsets for extended periods of time can easily feel disoriented or nauseous, especially when

they take the goggles off their head. Sony wouldn’t want to lose their millions of loyal customers

by creating a product they are going to be sick from. So there are a lot of bugs and quirks that

have to be worked out in the goggles before they become main stream for gaming. But in another

20 years, we may very well be seeing goggles as the main type of console. Either that or it will

already have become irrelevant by that time.

Far Cry 4 Free

The ElectrFar Cry 4onic Entertainment Expo, also called E3, has recently taken place in Los Angeles. This annual event is an opportunity for big video gaming companies to release their newest games and consoles to the world. More importantly, it gives a chance for these companies to interact with their fans and present them with some pretty sweet deals in the hopes of staying ahead of the competition. Sony’s announcement at E3 was an offer where customers buying the new Far Cry 4 video game would receive other free games on the PlayStation Network. This deal is exclusive to the Sony PlayStation, and Sony’s rival, Microsoft Xbox, will likely lose a small portion of their customer base as a result. After all, the Far Cry series is very popular amongst video game players of all the major consoles. Even if customer owns multiple gaming systems, they will most likely buy Far Cry 4 on PlayStation since they have the most attractive offer.

The Far Cry series was developed by Ubisoft. They are first-person shooter games that are fun and adventurous at the same time. At the E3 gathering, Ubisoft showed off their new Far Cry 4 game to a crowd that seemed very pleased with the game play. The game has a new feature that allows you to call in other mercenaries to help you in battle. At the event, a scene from the game was demonstrated where a single engine aircraft landed and the player got on board. Then the player shot a big machine gun at a large compound. The people who were watching this at the event were laughing and cheering at this demonstration. It is safe to say that the game is gaining a lot of attention and that fans of the series will be quick to spend their money on it when it gets released. Ubisoft plans on releasing the game sometime later this year, although an exact date is yet to be determined. The game will be available on all the major gaming systems, like PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and even on PC. Since Sony is offering the opportunity for people to play for free on the PlayStation Network, then you can only imagine which console is going to win in the end.

Call of Duty Gets New Lives

call_of_duty_2014The Call of Duty franchise is one that will not die off anytime soon. It is the number one video gaming franchise that is currently generating about a billion dollars per year. So as you can imagine, fans of the franchise are eagerly awaiting to find out when the release date of the next Call of Duty game is going to be. Game Informer magazine (http://gameinformer.com) has already run a teaser about a 2014 release date, and they’re planning a cover story to share more details. The owner of the franchise, Activision, has released a video regarding the story of the next Call of Duty game. It hints that the story revolves around private military contractors and how corporations hire these contractors to go on actual military missions. It is kind of similar to the real life scenario surrounding the company “Blackwater” and how the federal government hired them to do missions in Afghanistan.

The story quality of Call of Duty games typically reflects their success and number of sales. Call of Duty: Ghosts was one of the weaker games of the franchise and many gamers complained that its story was terrible. But if you look at Call of Duty: Black Ops II, gamers loved the story and the number of sales it had certainly reflected that. Insiders for the next Call of Duty game say the story is going to be great and it should mirror the success of Black Ops II. Of course, the story alone will not make a decent Call of Duty game. If it did then the studios could just hire one script writer to think up a good story for the game and that would be it. Instead, Activision has three major gaming studios that are all devoted to making Call of Duty games. Why not? When you have a franchise that makes you $1 billion in annual revenue then you certainly want to have as many people working on it as possible. The three studios are Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Activision allows these studios to rotate the launch dates of the Call of Duty games they make every year. Sledgehammer Games is the one responsible for the next Call of Duty game that is about private military contractors. There are high hopes by both Activision and fans of the franchise that Sledgehammer will produce a great game. We shall see.

Xbox Music Locker Service

Digital music is a very competitive area amongst electronics companies. Now Microsoft is trying to get in on the action by having a music locker service for Xbox. The two big digital music competitors of Microsoft are Amazon and Google, which already sell digital music through lockers of their own. Their music locker services allow you to store music data for free and then access it through their cloud service on any device that connects to the internet. With Microsoft, their music locker would be similar with the OneDrive cloud storage service they provide. It allows users to upload music through the OneDrive folder on their desktop. Once the music is uploaded it becomes available on all devices that support OneDrive, such as Xbox consoles.

You are probably thinking, “What is the big deal about this OneDrive service? Microsoft already has a music streaming service through Xbox Music.” Well, there is difference between a music streaming service and a music locker service. A streaming service just allows you to download music, but it doesn’t let you store it anywhere. The music locker service allows people to take their downloaded music and store it on a cloud that can be accessed from any device in the world that supports OneDrive. What makes this music locker unique amongst other music lockers is the OneDrive music folder that you use for uploading files. All you have to do is drag the music files into this folder and then the uploading begins. The music data will be stored on the OneDrive for easy access from any of your OneDrive supported devices. People that have already downloaded tons of music files through Xbox Music will certainly want to purchase this locker service.

The real challenge that Microsoft will face is getting people who are used to Google and Amazon to convert to Microsoft. There really is no difference in service quality, so why would anyone switch to Microsoft? Well, people who use the Xbox gaming console will likely stay loyal to Microsoft. Gamers tend to be tribal when it comes to a particular gaming company and their services. Ever since Microsoft got into the video game industry, they have created a whole new consumer base for themselves who have stayed loyal to Microsoft’s products and services. These are the people that will likely take advantage of the OneDrive music locker service because they are already using the Xbox Music streaming service to download their music. If the storage service ends up being fast and convenient then word-of-mouth will help spread interest in it even more.

5 Amazing Tech Gadgets from CES 2014

playstation_nowFor our 2014 CES wrap up issue we’re covering a few of the most amazing gadgets that were in this year’s exhibit hall. CES has changed a lot over the past decade. One of the positive changes is that independent companies have a greater ability to shake things up now even if people give more attention to announcements by tech giants like Samsung or Sony. With a mix of interesting and exciting presentations from independent projects, CES 2014 was one of the most memorable shows ever for showcasing new  tech talent.

Although a lot of gadgets were cutting edge and innovative, we have shortlisted the following 5 gadgets that simply stole the show.

  1. Playstation Now: it is true that Playstation Now is not exactly a gadget but this online game  streaming service was definitely the most important and exciting announcements at CES for the gamers around the world. Sony purchased Gaikai – a cloud gaming service- in 2012 and now at CES 2014 we came to know what it was for. Playstation Now solves the backwards compatibility problem along with a new Sony Playstation 4’s app – a killer think that is going to make the gamers reserve a special space for this one under their TVs.
  2. Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector: perhaps this was the best announcement by Sony made this year. Due to the short distance the projector needs from the wall while giving a fantastic sharp picture, this projector gives the feel of the best future of a projector as well as a TV on the whole.
  3. Pebble Steel Smartwatch: this is being considered one of the top most gadgets of 2014. The new Steel version is an update of its original model and shows Pebble’s next step towards attaining the mainstream market with this special device. The gadget’s Aluminium and leather straps look great and might be enticing enough for those who do not wear a watch every day yet.
  4. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Smartphones are not regularly showcased at CES because most of the big companies save the unveiling of their flagship products for their own conferences and press events. However, Sony surprised us by bringing their best smartphone to the show: Xperia Z1 Compact. The device comes with an amazing camera too!
  5. The Stream Machines: this year at CES, Valve finally lifted the cover off the first generation of Stream machines. The consoles range from $500 – $600 and the number of displayed computers literally shocked everyone. Even if these feel like a prototype, Valve has certainly put a serious message across – it’s coming!
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