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  • Category Archives Console Games
  • Playstation Network vs XBox Live – What’s the Difference?

    After picking up my new Xbox earlier this week, I have had the opportunity to wade into the Xbox vs Playstation debate just a little bit more.  This was never my intention, but I guess that it comes with the territory when you own both systems.

    One of the main things that I have experienced is the differences between Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.  Although they have the same basic goals in mind, they each do things a little bit differently.  Some things they do are better than the other and some things are worse.  Some things, on the flip side of the coin, are down right annoying.  This is what we are going to discuss…the differences.

    First off, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been a Playstation guy for quite some time.  The Xbox that I just bought is the first ever Microsoft gaming console that I have ever purchased.  In contrast, I have owned 4 Playstation 3 consoles, 2 Playstation 2 consoles, a Playstation and now I own the Playstation 4.  I have only, up until this point, had experience with the Playstation Network.  That said, I only started playing games online a few years ago.  Prior to that, I only played single player and campaigns.  I enjoyed that but boy, I got tired of games quickly.  Especially when I would complete them within just a couple of days.  Hence, the move to online play.

    There, that is out of the way.

    The first thing that I really like about Xbox Live is the party chat feature.  What a nifty thrifty idea!  Being able to have a chat conversation with a friend or friends when you are not in a game, or when the game doesn’t support chat, is a big deal.  It really surprises me that Sony didn’t do something similar with the Playstation Network.  Now, this could be a feature in the PS4 but since I am not comparing the Xbox 360 to the PS4, that doesn’t matter.  I know that it isn’t a feature in the PS3.

    I also really like the Beacon feature.  Now, since I have played on PSN my entire life, I don’t know a lot of Xbox people yet so I haven’t gotten to take full advantage of it yet…but I have sent out my beacon baby!

    Aside from those two things, both networks are very similar.  Even though they are similar, they do each have their drawbacks.  Let’s start with PSN.

    First off, although I never missed the feature because I didn’t know it existed prior to now, the lack of the “Party” feature like Xbox Live kind of stinks.  I can think of several times when it would have been nice to use a party feature over using the in game chat.  There are so many trolls and people with the entire goal in life of annoying people on both networks that it gets old.  I find myself muting everyone more often than actually chatting.

    Second off, and this could be a function of the hardware in the PS3, download speeds suck.  Plain and simple.  I have a VERY fast internet connection at my house, faster than many schools and businesses actually.  So, when it takes several hours to download a game from PSN, that is just unacceptable.  As an example, I downloaded a 2 GB file on my computer today in less than 5 minutes.  Using the PS3’s built in speed test, the best speed I have ever seen was 5 Mbps.  Not fast.  I will say that the PS4 is a bit faster, but still slow.

    On to Xbox Live.

    Come on with availability Microsoft!  This is my chief complaint.  In the short time that I have had my Xbox, I have run into several instances where Xbox Live was not available.  Crazy!  Maybe it is the popularity of the service.  Maybe it is something else.  Regardless, this should not be an issue.  I understand there are going to be times when servers are down.  Technology sucks sometimes.  Still, they should be available more times than not.  LOTS more times!

    Next, the whole Xbox Live Gold thing.  Now, I understand that this has been the model for Microsoft for quite some time but really?  Shouldn’t everyone on the console reap the benefits of the subscription?  Sony, although I am not happy they have moved in this direction, has done it right in this respect.  If one person on the console has a Playstation Plus account, everyone on the console gets to use the features.  Making each user have a subscription to Xbox Live is straight out money grubbing in my mind.

    Continuing on, the ads Microsoft, the ads.  Really?  Now, this might be an Xbox thing, but it is, in my mind, a part of the network.  I paid a LOT of money for my console.  I pay a LOT of money for each game that I play.  I paid a LOT of money for my Xbox Live subscription.  Why on God’s green earth am I seeing ads on my home screen?  The desire for companies to generate advertising revenue has gotten out of control and this is a perfect example.  I should NOT have to EVER see advertisements within a device that I paid for.  Especially when I pay so much money for it.  Completely sick and wrong!

    Finally, when it comes to Xbox Live, I have become very frustrated with online game play.  The continual need to migrate hosts, stopping the game mid stream, is ridiculous.  This is not a problem on PSN.  At one time, yes, PSN also had issues with migration but they are long since gone.  I am not sure what Sony did to fix these problems but Microsoft needs to step up in this respect.

    Overall, regardless of the drawbacks, both networks work and provide a decent service.  I still prefer PSN over Xbox Live but will still play on Xbox Live.

    What are your likes and dislikes with the service that you use?

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • So I bought an Xbox 360

    First off, I would like to apologize for this blog entry being late.  I know that it is expected at 6pm Tuesday but I will freely admit, I forgot.  On top of that, I was actually at my sister’s house playing Ghosts with my nephew.

    That said, you did read the title correctly, I bought an Xbox 360.  The single reason for this is so that I can play Ghosts with my nephew online.  So, after getting home and setting it up, what do I think?

    Honestly, it does what you would expect…play games.  Aside from the drastic difference in the feel of the controller, game play seems to be about the same except for one fatal issue…Xbox Live kind of sucks.  PSN has obviously figured out the P2P hosting in games like Ghosts because I have never once been disconnected from a game or had a game pause because of “migrating hosts.”  On Xbox live tonight, there were quite a few instances where the game was paused for just this reason.  I do not like it Sam I am!

    Ghosts, however, was the same experience.  Same crappy spawns.  Same stupid kills.  Same stupid OP weapons and/or weak health.  The fact that I could not change my button layout to swap the triggers and buttons, that kind of sucks.

    So, yup, got an Xbox.  My gamer tag on Xbox Live is g33z3r hd (because they wouldn’t let me use an underscore or dash…but a space was ok).  Shoot me an add sometime…we can play Ghosts.

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Call of Duty Ghosts: I am getting tired of it, but I am still addicted

    Yes, that’s right, I am getting tired of playing Ghosts.

    I am tired of the crappy random spawns that result in insta-kills.
    I am tired of rabies infected, roided up dogs with bulletproof fur.
    I am tired of perma-campers.
    I am tired of maps that take 5 minutes to run across.
    I am tired of lag.
    I am tired of the wannabe hackers.
    I am tired of all the BS deaths that come when an enemy shoots me through a mountain.

    Yes, to sum it up, I am tired of all the things that Infinity Ward and Activision need to fix.  All that said, I’m still playing.

    You see, I have a very addictive personality.  I get into something, I absolutely HAVE to continue doing it.  This is why I have never done drugs, this is why I don’t drink.  I did drink once, I think you could look at the profits of the breweries and distilleries between like 1992 and 1994 and see a marked increase in alcohol sales in Augusta, GA and Mankato, MN…that is how much I drank.  This, my friends, is an example of my addictive personality.

    So, because I started playing Call of Duty all those years ago, I have no choice but to continue.  I get to a point that I actually think about COD when I am laying in bed trying to sleep…which, in turn, causes me not to sleep.  I replay matches in my head, I think of ways that I can improve my play (none of which have worked btw).  This all results in me having to play.  Sometimes, that means getting out of bed to satisfy my addiction.  Other times, this means that I am just going to continue to lay there, staring at the ceiling, wide awake until I just can’t keep my eyes open anymore…which is usually about an hour before I have to get up 🙁

    At this point, I am hoping that IW and Activision are working on improvements and fixes for some, if not all, of these problems.  If I had to pick only a couple of things that they need to fix the most, I would go with the spawns and fixing weapon/killstreak damage.  Maybe I have led a sheltered life, maybe I am strange, but I have never seen or heard of a dog that has attacked someone and killed them instantly without the ability to fight back.  It’s just crap like that.  I saw a comment somewhere (I think on YouTube) wondering if the next COD was going to have a killer parrot that would fly around and follow you.  Heck, you could earn a uniform that looks like Shipwreck from GI Joe and you would be all set at that point…of course, then you wouldn’t be allowed to kill anyone because death in a GI Joe cartoon was banned (GI Joe is a cartoon, not a movie btw…the movie is NOT GI Joe).

    So, yes.  I am getting really tired of Ghosts.  No, I am not going to stop playing.  I will just continue to complain about it until I have something new to complain about…maybe Call of Duty: Lego Edition.

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Playstation 4 Rumors and Updates

    Pre-Launch, as we recall, we were given a list of things the Playstation 4 could not do.  Upon launch, we found out exactly what it could do.  Some things, the gaming community was pretty upset about.  Now, we are hearing rumors about what forthcoming things will be fixed in future patches.

    As you have all probably figured out, the one thing that really gets me going is the HDMI recording issue.  Sony has promised that a upcoming patch will include the ability to record game play using HDMI.  Many in the industry believe that this is going to happen early 2014.  I will be anxiously awaiting this update.

    Support for playing MP3s.  Although much less important to me, this is something that I can imagine myself actually using.  I don’t want to pay for another music streaming solution.  Yes, I pay for Pandora.  I don’t like commercials.  So, I am not really willing to pay Sony for the music unlimited feature.  According to a recent video by boogie2988, Shuhei Yoshida promised boogie2988 that MP3 support and media streaming will also be included in an upcoming patch.  However, if this feature never makes it, I won’t cry about it.  At this point, if I want to listen to music while I am gaming, I will plug my iPhone into my Astro mixamp and stream it straight to my headphones.  What is the time frame for this?  Who knows.

    I take time frames and feature promises like these with a grain of salt.  It doesn’t matter if it is Sony, Microsoft, or some other manufacturer.  They are going to do what they believe is best for their bottom line and what fits within their model and plan for their brand.  As an example, if Sony’s plan is to push people to use their paid service (music unlimited), then they are less likely to allow you to stream your own music or MP3s.  If Sony wants to control what you can and cannot share and stream, they are not going to allow recording via HDMI.  Long story short, time will tell if these rumors come to fruition.

    Of course, in my opinion, Sony should move quickly to release patches with these features.  My opinion is worth nuts 🙂

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd

     


  • I have dropped the ball…here’s why

    Excuses, excuses, excuses.  Can I come up with more excuses?

    Why yes, yes I can!

    As you have noticed, I have really dropped the ball lately when it comes to updating my blog and posting new videos on my YouTube channel.  I have still been streaming on Twitch but, seeing that Sony has not permitted the archiving of streams from the PS4 yet, that is only good for you if you happen to be on, and watch, while I am actually streaming.

    This inability to record game play on the PS4 is starting to really get me crunchy.  Yes, I know there are some work around solutions but they have some inherent flaws that I just can’t get past.  First, the cost.  I don’t cherish the idea of going out and spending a few hundred dollars on equipment that may become completely useless to me in a matter of days or weeks.  If I knew a time frame of when Sony is going to release the patch that fixes the HDMI game capture issue with the PS4, I would feel better about the decision.  Second, the gray area about legality.  Stripping HDCP is technically illegal.  That said however, I don’t think that there would be any issues thrown my way.  Really, what case would a company (Sony or game devs) have if they did pursue someone for this?  Sony built streaming and recording into the system with the intention of people sharing and streaming their game play.  They simply lacked the forward thinking to address the HDCP issue.

    So, that is excuse number one.  I really want to play on my PS4, and as a result I haven’t created any new video content since November 13th.  But wait, g33z3r, you also play Minecraft and such.  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  Excuse number two is that I have been busy with work.  I spent the entire last week darting around North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia with on of my regional sales managers having meetings with potential customers.  Because I was spending each day in the car and in meetings, that left me little time to do my actual work.  As a result, most of my actual work ended up happening in my hotel room in the evenings.  This didn’t leave me a lot of time to do much anything else.  On top of that, I also spent quite a bit of time working with my other engineers on a project they were working on.  That said, I did find several periods where I was able to take advantage of the fact that my PS4 managed to follow me all the way from Minnesota!  I played a little bit of Ghosts but the internet connection in the hotel was less than adequate because their NAT was closed and I could hardly ever get into a decent game.  I also played some Minecraft but it was on the flight back home and really wasn’t that interesting.

    Yeah, excuses…no more excuses!

    So, this I promise going forward; I will post a blog entry every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the least.  I will post a new video every Saturday at the VERY least.  I will continue to live stream on Twitch whenever I have time (as you know, most often on Saturday/Sunday).  I will be a good g33z3r, I promise 🙂

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Featured ImageThe g33z3r_hd Playstation 4 Review

    As you know, I wrote a post last week documenting the reasons I wasn’t going to go and pick up the Playstation 4 right away.  I also posted a blog letting everyone know that I am weak and broke down and bought one on release day.  Now that I have had some time to play with it, I have to say that I am quite impressed.  Although there are some things that I would change, the Playstation 4 definitely performs quite well with its primary purpose; playing games.

    What do I like about the new Playstation 4?  One word; performance.  Compared to the Playstation 3, the Playstation 4 is just amazing.  That shouldn’t be a revelation however seeing that it has been over 7 years since the Playstation 3 was released.  As an example, playing Call of Duty: Ghosts on both platforms, the Playstation 4 was faster loading and, or course, much better graphics.  Where the Playstation 3 would take up to 30 seconds to load a match, the Playstation 4 takes less than 15 seconds…it is great!  Thinking about it, when playing multiplayer, you can’t really go much faster than that so that players have the time to actually load, and enter, the match.

    The controller feels like it was completely meant to be in MY hand.  I am still getting used to the placement of the share and options buttons, and would like to see them a little more accessible, but when you are used to the select and play buttons, this is expected.  The touch pad is pretty neat although I tend to accidently press it from time to time when I am trying to press either share or options.  Something that, again, I will have to get used to.

    Yes, there are a lot of differences between the PS3 and the PS4 that you “just have to get used to.”  This isn’t a problem for someone that is doing a complete upgrade to the PS4 from the PS3 but I am sure that there are many people out there just like me that are not doing a complete upgrade.  There are a lot of people that are going to keep on playing their PS3 systems simply because we can’t play some of our games on the PS4…not to mention, the features that the PS3 possesses that the PS4 does not (the ability to play MP3s or, for now, the ability to record and upload game play videos to YouTube).  Simply “getting used” to the PS4 is a much more difficult proposition to me.

    One of the biggest things that I was upset about when it came to the PS4 was the HDCP protected HDMI output.  To most people, this doesn’t really matter much.  To me, it is huge.  What does this mean?  Well, when HDCP is used, this means that you cannot use a traditional game capture card (such as the Elgato Game Capture HD, or the Hauppauge PVR HD) to record your game play.  Now, there are ways around this but, technically speaking, they aren’t legal.  Sony has addressed this issue saying that, in early 2014, they will be releasing a PS4 patch that will allow HDMI recording of game play using game capture cards.  I wonder, exactly, how they are going to work this patch to only provide capture of games and not movies.  With the PS3, we could simply skip the entire HDMI route and use the video composite cables (the red, green, and blue RCA style cables).  This allowed the recording of ALL output from the PS3 as if the game capture card was actually your television or monitor.  This meant that you could not only record your game play but that you could also record movies or TV shows from sources like Netflix.  I am sure the entertainment industry is just thrilled with that…

    The menu on the Playstation 4 is a little something that I am going to, again, get used to.  I am still having quite a time getting around and finding the exact things I am looking for.  Eventually, however, I do manage to find it.  I would like to be able to customize exactly what I do, and don’t see on the menu.  To be honest, I don’t really care about Music Unlimited or Video Unlimited.  I have never really watched movies or listened to music on my Playstation, and I am not really going to start now (although I am watching Netflix on my PS4 right now just to see the quality and performance LOL).  Typically, I only want to see the things that I use…games, settings, and other such features showing on the menus.

    PS4 ScreenshotFinally, although I already briefly touched upon sharing, I want to spend a considerable amount of time on this subject as it is what I do.  Everyone knows that I absolutely LOVE sharing what I do when it comes to gaming.  Whether it be live streaming Minecraft or posting game play from Call of Duty, I absolutely adore sharing.  Sony realized that this was the direction of gaming in general.  So, in their attempts to be forward thinking, they included the new share button on the controller.  This share button would allow you to, with ease, share screenshots and even game play video with the world.  The problem is they severely limited it.  As of now, it is only possible to upload videos to Facebook and post screenshots to Facebook or Twitter.  There is no option, that I can find, to directly download the images or videos from the Playstation 4 to your computer or upload them to another location.  Barring this option, in my view, the share button is about as useful as a glass of water to a drowning man.  I do however like the concept.

    What would make the share button better?  First, let us have have control over the media.  Let us move the content off of the console, let us post the content where ever we choose.  Don’t Google+ us into using what you want us to use.  Mostly, I am waiting for the patch to allow HDMI recording…you know, that option that people who use the Xbox One will be able to use on day 1…

    Long story short…well, not really, I really like the Playstation 4.  Sony has done a great job of creating a platform that performs very well when playing games.  All of the extra stuff, like playing movies and music, really doesn’t entertain me.  I have a smart TV and and an AppleTV to watch movies and I have a stereo system to play music.  For you, these things may, or may not, matter.

    If your console goals only include playing games, and do not include sharing content, I would suggest picking up a Playstation 4 post haste.  If you do wish to share your content, I would wait until Sony releases the patch that allows HDMI recording…if they ever really do.

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Ok, I admit it, I am weak! The story of me and a PS4

    You will recall that I spilled my guts last week with the reasons that I was not going to go out and get a PS4 right away. They were all some very good reasons. There was one thing that I didn’t take into account when I wrote that article; I am weak when it comes to techie stuff!

    That said, I have to admit, if you don’t already know, that I stood in line for 6 hours Thursday night and ended up leaving Best Buy with a brand new PS4 under my arm. Yes, I am weak.

    I will say this, the graphics are amazing! I have run into a few issues so far but for the most part, I am liking the new platform. I will write a detailed review Sunday, after I have spent many many hours playing 🙂

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Call of Duty: Ghosts – Improving Your Game

    I don’t make it any kind of secret that I really stink at first person shooters.  As a matter of fact, I advertise that fact to the point of annoyance.  So, it would be no wonder to most people that I am forever searching for tips and information on how to get better.

    All of the videos or articles that I have ever found focus almost exclusively on in game tactics and tricks and most, if not all, of them have not seemed to help my game at all.  After all of the searching, I have figured out one thing that has helped improve my game and that is how I use and hold the controller!

    I have always used large, sweeping, movements when aiming or moving through a map.  I would see an enemy and would slam the right joystick in that direction, often overshooting the target and having to slam it back the other direction.  As a result, I found the higher sensitivity levels very difficult to deal with.  I realized that overshooting the target was my entire problem and I would have to figure out a way to either compensate for this or fix it all together.  Well, the other day I was browsing around on Twitter and I ran across a video by TmarTn.  During that video, he talked about a product called Kontrol Freek.  The premise behind this product is that it extends your joystick, in turn giving you what they call more range of motion.  In reality, however, you aren’t gaining more range of motion, you are gaining more feedback from less input…so basically upping your sensitivity.

    So, I watched a few videos about the Kontrol Freek and I noticed something…everyone holds their controller differently than I do.  On top of that, they use their thumbs differently than I do.  So, I adjusted my grip and payed very close attention to how I was actually using the controller.  I slowed myself down, increased the look sensitivity from 5 to 10 and stopped slamming the joysticks.  What I found was an immediate improvement in my game.

    Since then, I have had good games and I have had bad games.  Most, however, have been an improvement over my previous games.  I am still not very good, but I can see marked improvements!

    The included video is of a Cranked match on Stormfront.  I actually got the final kill cam and ended the game with a positive K/D of 8/5!  This is indicative of how things are going for me lately 😀

    So, here you go!  If you are in the same club as me…the I stink at fps club…don’t fret, you can improve provided you know what needs fixing.

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Featured ImageCall of Duty: Ghosts – My Thoughts After 6 Days

    Here we are.  It has been six days since the grand release of Call of Duty: Ghosts.  I have had time to play quite a bit and my opinions have changed a little bit.

    Initially, I was very excited about Ghosts, that hasn’t changed.  I still really like it but there are a few things that I have noticed that are driving me nuts.  Some of the things that were frustrating me were fixed with the patch that was released yesterday but some things remain, and I don’t know that they will fix or address them…or even can.

    First thing that drove me batty, which has since been fixed, was the inability to mute individual players while in game on multiplayer.  Most of the time, even if they are annoying, I just tune out the other players unless I am looking for specific information such as enemy location or such.  As everyone knows, there are those goofballs that insist on playing music in the background, have really annoying buzzing sounds (crappy headset), or are obviously playing from some location like the Mall of America where there are 60,000 people yelling and screaming in the background.  Well, this makes hearing the game, as well as other players you want to hear very difficult.  I want to mute these derps.  Initially, the only time that you could mute individual players was in the lobby before a match.  When you actually entered the match, the only option that you had for muting was to mute everyone or mute everyone except friends.  Seeing that very few of my friends a) have a PS3 and b) play Ghosts, this would mean that I would always be muting everyone.  As I mentioned, the patch that they released yesterday fixed this problem so, GOOD JOB Infinity Ward!

    The next thing that is kind of driving me crazy is the weapons and the amount of damage they cause.  It seems to me that there is a very large inconsistency in this regard.  First off, I play a lot of Infected mode.  I really like this mode and it lends to my style.  I like one-on-one styles where you are not responsible to a team and only to yourself…you know, because I really suck and don’t want to bring others down LOL.  In Infected mode, you start off with a Bulldog shotgun, an IED, and a concussion grenade.  The goal is to survive for as long as possible without being infected.  You become infected when you are killed by a player that is infected.  The game starts with one player randomly being selected as infected.  Unless you are this random player, the only weapons that you have when you are infected is your combat knife, throwing knife, and a tactical insertion.  If you are lucky enough to be randomly selected as the first infected, you also receive a pistol until the first player is infected besides yourself.

    Where am I going with that you ask?  Well, here is the thing.  Shotguns are great for in close, one shot, kills.  The further you get away from your target, the less effective the shotgun is going to be.  In the world of Call of Duty, the further you get away from your target, the more shots it is going to take to the point that the shotgun is ineffective.  Where this inconsistency that I mentioned comes into play is the effective distance of the Bulldog.  There have been several matches where I have been shot by a player at a range that should be well outside the range of the Bulldog.  I have also seen where shots failed to kill an attacker when fired well within the expected range of the Bulldog.  This inconsistency is ridiculous in my book.  There should be no factor, other than weapons attachments, that effect the range of a particular weapon.  Even with shotguns.  To me, it seems there is some randomness built in here.

    Also, when it comes to weapons, there seems to be some confusion over the damage that is caused by each weapon and, by contrast, based upon what player is using it.  Take the ARX-160 for example.  Within 1,000 units (CoD’s measurement of distance), the standard ARX-160 with no attachments should kill the enemy with 3 on-target shots.  As an example of distance, a frag grenade in Ghosts has a lethal range of 102 units and you can throw a frag grenade up to 1,200 units.  Discounting head shots of course, this should be pretty darn consistent.  It isn’t.  I have been super close to other players and unloaded half of my magazine into them and they hit me once or twice, and I go down and they continue on.  As an experiment, I recorded the following video.  The load out, simple.  ARX-160 with VMR Sight, Foregrip, and Semi-Automatic.  No secondary weapon, no Lethal or Tactical, no Perks, and no Strike Package.  As a note, for some reason that makes no sense to me, the addition of the Semi-Automatic mod reduces the number of on-target hits from 3 to 2 within the same distance as an unmodified ARX-160.  At a range of 2600 units, with the same configuration, it should take only 4 on-target hits.

    Here is what happened:

     

    This is by no means scientific, just an example of what I am seeing.  Now, this was local and not multiplayer but it is the same thing I am seeing.  The telling point is at the 2250 unit mark.  The first round, it took 4 on-target shots to get the kill.  That is what I expected.  What took me by surprise is on the second go, it took 6 on-target hits to get the kill.  I didn’t miss, you can see the hit markers and the reaction each time.  This makes no sense.

    Next, the iPad app.  What a piece of useless crap!  The entire reason that I downloaded and installed the app was the second screen feature that they advertise.  Well, almost every time I try to use it, it says that the second screen feature will be rolled out soon.  I don’t play in a clan, so all the clan features don’t mean a thing to me.  Guys, don’t promote stuff until you have it working!

    Finally, and this is the biggest thing to me, the dedicated servers…or lack there or.  Where are the dedicated servers that we were lead to believe were going to happen?  You know, to get rid of a lot of the hacker problems?  To get rid of lag switching?  I will admit that I don’t have any proof at this point, but I have already seen evidence of people cheating and taking advantage of some of the same issues that we have seen in the past editions of COD.  A perfect example from a match I was playing yesterday;  I was first infected.  There were two players, split-screeners of course (I hate split-screeners) that, no matter what direction I came from, they were perched on top of a rock facing the direction that I came from.  Now, if this had happened two or three times, I could write it off as coincidence.  It happened ten times!  Also, this was another example of their Bulldog shot guns having a range way beyond what would be expected of a shotgun of any type.  In a game mode where you cannot adjust your weapons loadouts, there is no reason they should have an advantage over anyone else except if they are cheating in some manner.

    Long story short, well…there is no short story from me, I still enjoy playing Ghosts.  I am working on my game play, working on getting used to the newness of it.  I am starting to understand the maps and I seem to be getting the hang of it.  I will keep playing.  I won’t let the negatives get me down…I will just adjust to them and carry on.  Overall, it is still a good game in my mind, it just needs some tweaking and adjusting.  That was expected in my mind and should have been in everyone else’s mind as well.

    What do you think about Call of Duty: Ghosts now that it has been out for almost a week?  What are your likes?  What are your dislikes?  What would you like to see changed?

     

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd


  • Featured ImagePlaystation 4: Why I won’t be buying one right away

    I was super excited last week at work when I logged onto my corporate credit card account and found that I could get 7 $100 Best Buy gift cards because of the points I had earned.  See, where I work, we get to keep the points we earn and use them for whatever we like.  Yup, you guessed it, the PS4 immediately popped into my head (along with a couple of other things from Best Buy).  My gift cards showed up yesterday!

    I stopped at Best Buy yesterday to pick up a couple of things.  First, I got a Call of Duty: Ghosts season pass.  Bought through the Playstation Store, this would have been $60 but, buying it at Best Buy, it was $50.  So there was that.  Second, I picked up the Call of Duty: Ghosts game guide.  This book has some awesome information in it but mostly…the maps rock!  Finally, I was able to score a sweet Call of Duty: Ghosts poster from the cashier!  It is proudly displayed on my bathroom door as we speak!  Thanks for that Best Buy guy!

    While I was there, I was also able to test drive the Playstation 4.  This was the first time that I had seen one out on demo and I jumped at the opportunity to play around.  The first thing that I noticed was that the controller wasn’t bad like I thought it was going to be.  Even through it was tethered to the display, it was relatively comfortable in my hands.  From the photos that I have seen, I was really concerned that it would feel way different than the PS3 controller and, as such, I either wouldn’t like it or would have to get used to it.  Honestly, it fit into my hands like it was supposed to be there.

    The demo game selection that they had was horrible.  Seeing that I like playing first person shooters, and so many other people do as well, I would have expected some version of an fps to be on demo.  Maybe not Ghosts or BO2, but something that would show the game play.  Nope.  There was some silly mining game and a couple of kids games.  Nothing really excited me so I just played the mining game…for about 30 seconds.  It was the epitome of stupid.

    So, I left the store convinced that I would be returning later next week to buy one of the new PS4 systems.  But this is where the story turns.

    When I was at the store, I was looking at games and game cards.  I looked at the Playstation Plus card and almost bought it but then realized that I really don’t care about the features that it would offer at the price I would have to pay.  I thought I had seen something about the PS4 requiring Playstaion Plus to play online but I thought, oh Sony wouldn’t do that to us.  After some research, sure as heck, they did that to us.  This is when I started looking closer at the PS4 out of horror.

    I headed over to the Playstation 4 website to research a bit more.  I am uber disappointed in Sony.  Just looking at the specs alone, I would call the PS4 a failure.

    ps4 specs
    Screen shot from Sony’s Playstation 4 web site for consumer educational use

     

    Above, we find the specs of the new Playstation 4.  Normally, I would expect to see a much longer list, one that I can’t screen capture in one image.  This is vague to say the least.  However, it does give me enough information so I have decided to wait to pick up the PS4.

    Let us start at the top and go from there…

    Main Processor

    This section doesn’t tell us crud.  It basically tells us, “yes, it has a processor” but doesn’t give us any specs.  I would really like to know how fast it is, how much cache it has.  Just telling me that you used an 64 bit AMD processor with 8 cores tells me that you have used a “current world” processor.

    After some digging, I was able to find that IGN had more complete information and specifications for the PS4 here.  This shows they they believe the processor to run at 1.6Ghz on a processor capable of 2.75 Ghz.  Why did they do that I wonder?  To save power?  I know they are focusing more on the GPU than the CPU (GPUs are often faster and more powerful than CPUs for those that are less geeky).  Curious.

    Memory

    With 8 GB of RAM, I am not really impressed although I am not completely disappointed.  I would have expected to see a bit more crammed in there since they are going to be expected to run some killer games with killer graphics.  A lot of the responsibility for making these games run smoothly falls onto the GPU but there is quite a bit of requirement for the RAM to put things on the plate for the GPU to process.  I would have like to seen at least 16 GB.  My laptop has 32 for Pete’s sake.

    Hard Disk Drive

    LOL.  That is all I have to say.  Really Sony?  The hard disk is built in?  Is that new technology?  How innovative of you!  I understand there might be several different storage space options but, for crying out loud, tell us what they are, or at least what you expect them to be.  Built-in.  Really?  IGN’s article also specified that the PS4 will have a 500 GB hard drive.  With the price of storage space being as low as it is, I am super surprised that Sony elected to use such a small drive.  I would have expected at least 1 TB of storage, especially seeing the size of games has been increasing.  The Call of Duty: Ghosts download ended up using 12 GB of storage on my, already full, PS3 hard drive.

    Optical Drive

    Yup, it plays BluRay and DVDs.  Next…

    I/O

    Yup, it has USB 3.0.  Next…

    Communication

    Right.  Fail.  Big time!  I wonder if Sony has heard about this new thing called wireless?  I wonder if they have heard that it has just exploded and demand continues to grow every single day.  It baffles me why manufacturers continue to do exactly this.  They put a 2.4GHz only wireless card in the PS4.  No, seriously…that happened!  Ok, so I accept that most people don’t understand what I am talking about, so I will explain.

    Currently, there are two frequency bands that are available in the US for wireless networks, the 2.4GHz band and th 5GHz band.  What you are used to hearing is the letter so I will associated them for you.  The standards of 802.11b and 802.11g operate on the 2.4GHz band while 802.11a and 802.11ac operate on the 5GHz band.  The 802.11n standard operates on both bands.

    Why is this an issue, you ask?  Well, first and foremost, the 2.4GHz band is overloaded.  There are so many devices out there that operate within this band, both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi, that the spectrum is packed.  On top of that, we have a very limited amount of space for wireless networks on the 2.4GHz band.  There are only 3 non-overlapping channels within this frequency space and, as such, there is a ton of interference.  This is why more and more devices are moving to the 5GHz band.  Just look at the 802.11ac standard.  It is a 5GHz only standard but that is a whole separate topic and subject of rant for me.

    In addition to the limited amount of space that we have on the 2.4GHz band, we are also going to have slower over all speeds.  Not good when you are trying to play a first person shooter with friends online.  Yuck.

    I know that isn’t a complete explaination but this is a gaming blog, not a wireless blog.  If you want more information about that, please let me know and I can give you the full run down.  Oh, in case you didn’t know, I am a wireless networking engineer IRL.

    Long story, well, not much shorter, they should have busted out the extra nickle that it cost to put a dual band wireless NIC into the system so that we could take advantage of the 5GHz spectrum.

    Good thing I don’t use wireless for my PS3.  I am happy they put a gig Ethernet card in however.

    AV Output

    Alright, this is the section that really grinds my gears!  On the PS3, the HDMI output is protected.  This means that you can plug your PS3 into your TV using the HDMI cable but, if you like to record your game play as I do, it won’t worked plugged into a capture card like the Elgato Game Capture HD (this is what I use and highly recommend).  In order to record or stream from my console, I have to use the composite cables.  Most people would recognize these as the red, green, and blue cables that look just like the ones that you would plug into the back of your stereo years ago…as a matter of fact, they are the same connectors…RCA.  This does not appear to be an option with the PS4.

    If the HDMI output from the PS4 is still protected, and there is no reason that I can imagine that Sony would have changed that, then game capture is dead on the PS4 unless someone comes up with a work around solution.  This is the number one reason that I will NOT purchase the Playstation 4.  If I cannot capture my game play, then I have no desire to play games on this console.  I share what I play…plain and simple.

    So, the combination of having to pay $60 a year to play online with others and the inability to capture my game play have completely killed any thoughts I once had about picking up a Playstation 4 for the time being.  If new information comes to light, or they change things, that could change my mind…but not for now.

    Cheers for now

    g33z3r_hd