Computer America: Gamer Tuesday

On the second Tuesday of each month, the Computer America Radio Show hosts “Gamer Tuesday” in which Craig and Ben devote the entire show to news and reviews about video games and the video game industry. Invited on as a guest host, I debate the latest topics with them and how they might affect the future of the industry.

 

This month, we take one final look at the upcoming launches of the PS4 and Xbox One:their advantages, challenges, exclusive titles, and which product is the best fit for the average consumer. We also recap Blizzcon 2013 and detail some of their bigger announcements, including details on a live-action Warcraft movie due out in 2015. 

 

Click here for hour 1, and click here for hour 2. Hope you enjoy!

 

See you in the next level,

Gray

Advantage–Sony: Compete Finds PS4 Gaining More Interest Than Xbox One

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With the next-generation consoles just a month away from release, consumer interest is starting to swell. Those unable to snag a reservation last summer are still combing through the web looking for any chance to lock in a console come November. According to a study released yesterday by digital intelligence firm Compete, consumers are showing more interest in the Playstation 4 than the Xbox One by a margin of 2 to 1.

Matt Pace, vice president of retail and consumer products at Compete, studied online shopping habits and trends from June through September and found that 61% of next generation shoppers were considering the PS4 exclusively, and 27% were considering the Xbox One exclusively.

“The fact that 12% of these online shoppers have shown interest in both systems, suggests that at least so far the next-generation consoles are attracting platform loyalists, rather than casual gamers,” wrote Pace.

Although interest has declined 53% since June, Pace expects consumer interest to rise significantly in the next few weeks. While pre-orders accounted for most of the traffic in the summer months, TV commercials and marketing tie-ins have already begun to drive up consumer interest. Sony’s tie-in commercial with Taco Bell started airing last week, and given that the PS4 has been projected by other analysts to be publicly favored over the Xbox One, it is expected by many that Sony will take the lead in the holiday season. In response, Microsoft commented that the next-gen race is “a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Playstation 4 launches on November 15 for $399.99, and the Xbox One launches a week later on November 22 for $499.99.

Computer America Radio Show–Gamer Tuesday

On the second Tuesday of each month, the Computer America Radio Show hosts “Gamer Tuesday” in which Craig and Ben devote the entire show to news and reviews about video games and the video game industry. Invited on as a guest host, I debate the latest topics with them and how they might affect the future of the industry.

In this month’s edition, we dive into E3 and the many announcements and surprises from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo as they each took the main stage. Which camp stole the hearts of gamers across the nation this year? Tune in and find out!

 

Here is the link for hour 1, and Here is the link for hour 2. Hope you enjoy!

 

See you in the next level,

Gray

Computer America: Gamer Tuesday!

Another second Tuesday of the month means another edition of Gamer Tuesday on the Computer America Radio Show! This month Craig, Ben and I talk about major cable TV providers providing cloud-gaming services, Microsoft updating their policies regarding using their games to make original content (example: Red vs Blue), and we revel in the glory that was Borderlands 2. Below is the link to the first hour, followed by the link for the second hour.

And hey, while you’re at it, you can now find Computer America on iTunes and subscribe to their podcasts! Enjoy the show!

 

 

See you in the next level,

Gray

Radio Show Time…

Stay a while and listen!!

I know it’s been a while, and for that I cannot apologize enough. I’m sure a bunch of you out there have been knee deep in Diablo 3 like myself. Thankfully, I was able to pull myself away and make this post about the radio show I was on last week!

The Computer America Radio Show with Craig Crossman is a nationally syndicated radio show, and the 2nd Tuesday of each month is Gamer Tuesday, for which I am now their official video game correspondent! That’s right people, I get a nation-sized amp to talk about video games once a month. So why not check it out? Have it on in the background while you game, read, go to the bathroom, on the road, wherever! This month we go indepth with Diablo 3 and recap the bigger announcements at E3 this year.

Here is the first hour, followed by the 2nd hour:

See you in the next level,

Gray

On From Dust…

(*****NOTE: This was published on my other blog on the San Antonio Current’s website, called the “people’s gamer”, on August 10th, 2011. I am re-posting it here to keep my personal and professional work in one place. If you’re interested, feel free to check out my other blog on some of the other video game writing I do. Hope you enjoy!)

After a short, yet relaxing vacation in the far off land of Houston, I finally managed to borrow a friend’s 360 long enough to play through a new XBLA title I’ve been hearing more and more about. From Dust, an independent endeavor by one of Ubisoft’s smaller studios, is one of those fairly uncommon ‘God’ games. If one remembers the Black & White franchise from years ago, From Dust is a definite cousin to its style, but still remains original in terms of visuals, landscape, and game play.

Unlike other God games, which give you direct control over pretty much anything in front of you, From Dust settles more on the idea of indirect power; rather than controlling the tribespeople that populate the game, you can only control the actual landscape around them. You can pick up earth from one location and place it somewhere else, or move water away from their village to guard it from tsunamis. Lava is your friend and enemy, as it can devastate your entire tribe in moments or be used to create more land to reach the next totem. At its heart, From Dust is a puzzle game, challenging you to protect the tribe as it moves from place to place without granting you the ability to directly control their movements. That’s what makes it both addicting and frustrating.

The landscape is the main character in From Dust. While you partake in most of the land’s bigger changes, the entire world is dynamic and vibrant all on its own. Oceans can be both gentle and menacing (tsunamis, remember?), volcanoes will sporadically erupt without warning, and your abilities are all that stands between your people and their quick demise. Don’t go into this game thinking a perfect game is achievable: Your people will die, and die often. This isn’t to say your omnipotence isn’t as good as it should be; quite the opposite, it’s one of FD‘s more existential moments when you start to learn that no matter how perfect you are, the world is not. Nature is unpredictable, and that’s where things can get annoying.

Toward the game’s latter half, the difficulty of each level is noticeably higher, as more nuanced godly powers come to your disposal. Since you don’t have control over the tribe, their movements can sometimes be erratic and a little sluggish when it comes time to move to the new location. Moreover, the last few levels have multiple solutions, all of which will require a bit of luck, ultimately. But these are small gripes about an otherwise beautiful and engaging struggle between you and the elements. Without a doubt, my lasting impression after finishing From Dust was one not of disappointment at its brevity, but over the feeling that I could have done it better. Perhaps I could have saved more lives or done it in less time, but when your enemy is Mother Nature itself, I suppose I should just be happy I saved some of them at all.

See you in the next level,

Gray

On Microsoft E3 2011…

(**NOTE: This was originally posted on my other blog on the San Antonio Current Website on June 12th, 2011. I am re-posting it here to connect it with my other personal work from the past and future. If you haven’t read it yet, hope you enjoy.)

 

Turn out the lights, the party’s over; in a flurry of trailers, demos and promotional announcements another E3 has come and gone. Amidst the sheer flood of new juicy details on some of our favorite franchises, E3 has also become the annual B.O.T.B.T. as the main event (it means Battle Of The Big Three). Each year, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft take the stage for a 60 minute boast-fest and show off several new games and features in an effort to get the gaming community salivating for what’s on the horizon.

This year, Microsoft stepped up to the podium first to set the bar for their big competitors. With Kinect outselling Playstation Move and the Wii sales beginning to show habitual decline over the past several months, Microsoft knew this was their time to shine… and left a lot to be desired when all was said and done. Here’s the highlights:

 

  1. Gears of War 3: A no-brainer here, I cannot be more excited to take on the Horde one more time. We already knew Marcus and his crew were in dire straits, but the campaign footage they were showing off looked gorgeous… you know, in a gory, chainsaw-on-a-machine-gun kind of way. The introduction of Mech Suits brings destruction to an all new high, and the scale of battles are beyond madness. I used to think M.A.G. was chaotic, but the videos alone are enough evidence to prove that Marcus’ final chapter is going to be a doozy.
  2. Halo 4: Welp…I can’t honestly say I was surprised to see this one. I knew Master Chief’s franchise would continue in some form (Hell, MC just built an in-house studio solely for Halo), but another sequel? And not only that—but according to them, a beginning to another trilogy? The teasers certainly made the game look stunning in all of Halo’s sci-fi glory… but one can’t help but feel a twinge of regret. The Halo trilogy told a fantastic story and ended about as poetically as you could ask for. Can’t we just leave well enough alone?
  3. Halo: Combat Evolved HD Remastered Edition: Apparently Not. Not only are they working on a 4th Halo, but they’re also giving the original Xbox game a significant face lift for the 360. I suppose if Nintendo is allowed to milk all of their franchises, MC has the same honor. Huzzah for remakes…?
  4. Ryse: Now this is interesting. Set in Roman times, Ryse is touted to be a game built entirely for the Kinect and built for the hardcore community. Not much can be gathered from the trailer, but if we can take MC’s word, Ryse will be getting all of us out of our chairs and kicking someone’s ass—literally.
  5. Fable: The Journey: Not much was said regarding Lionhead’s new adventure in the Fable series, but they’re also jumping on the Kinect bandwagon and incorporating motion features to their franchise. The idea is certainly intruiging in theory, but I hope for their sake they don’t half-ass it and shove in there like most games on the Wii.

 

These were certainly not the only items touched upon during the conference. IGN did a solid job covering almost every angle of E3, so feel free to jump on over to their website to find out about Minecraft coming to the 360, Live TV streaming, Kinect Star Wars, Mass Effect 3, Modern Warfare 3, and plenty others.