Let the games begin!

Yesterday the world’s largest trade and public video games expo “Gamescom” opened its doors in Cologne for approx. 275.000 visitors. The not entirely surprising Nr. 1 topic is the battle of the giants; Microsoft versus Sony, Xbox One versus Playstation 4.

Since Microsoft offended their fans earlier this year by announcing ridiculous restrictions and more than questionable data collection plans concerning their latest console, Sony had a very good start to the race. Although Microsoft revoked most of the planned restrictions, there are still a few things that are keeping Sony on top – a few days ago, Sony said it had over 1 million preorders for the PS4.

Despite the bumpy start, Microsoft believes in their concept of a media-center / game console / TV / Internet / all-in-one solution – and of course in their phenomenal new Kinect-System, that should provide a new gaming experience.

Just before the Gamescom started, Microsoft announced that there is going to be something “exclusive and unique” that Phil Spencer will present during a press conference on the fair. The speculations go from “it’s only another exclusive game” to “a new piece of hardware that will make the Xbox One the ultimate gaming device”. And indeed, Microsoft is working on a project called the “IllumiRoom”, that could be a game changer in this race. In January this year, Microsoft Research published this video on youtube showing the technique in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re1EatGRV0w

We’ll keep you posted on what Microsoft has up their sleeves and if it is worth it to pick the less powerful, more expensive hardware with more restrictions, or if the Playstation 4 is just too far in the lead.

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Revealed next gen

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Yes this broke yesterday but im going to say it. The PlayStation 4 has been announced and will be released this holiday season no official dates or pricing but i am very excited.

Sony’s CEO Andrew House said their new console will create…

“experiences that surpass gamers’ wildest expectations.”

Followed up by the lead systems architect on the PS4, Mark Cerny said…

“the development of a next-gen platform started about five years ago.”

and that the goal is

“freeing developers from technological barriers.”

Now Cerny has had a very long history in the video game industry more than 30 years stretching many companies, he also states that platform is…

“By game creators for game creators”

                      And that its architecture is…

“like a PC, but supercharged”

This leads me to believe that game devs have had input in to the new console, the consoles innards were also shown off and the new console will ship with a custom 8-core AMD “Jaguar” x86-64 with integrated graphics APU and “next-generation” AMD Radeon graphics processor capable of driving 1.84 teraflops. As detailed at the event, it will come paired with 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, making it competitive with most gaming-focused PCs on the market. As expected, the system will ship with a Blu-ray drive, built-in 80.211 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, as well as HDMI, Analog-AV, and optical digital output. Sony is giving I/O options a boost with the inclusion of USB 3.0 ports and a mysteriously vague “AUX” port. Each system will ship a “Mono Headset” for cross-game chat and other social features.

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yes that’s what it looks like.

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there will also be the PlayStation 4 Eye which will have a 1280×800 camera at 60 FPS, a significant gain over the kinect’s 640×480 30 FPS sensor but Sony has yet to go in to full detail.