One-Second Galaxy Fight

I’ve actually never played this game before, but this tournament(?) of matches for an (I’m assuming relatively) obscure Neo-Geo title with the timer set to only one second is beautifully insane:

A port of the title to PS4 was released last week, and you can buy that here for $7.99.

It’s been confirmed the one-second round timer is possible in the port:

If anyone knows any of the other rules that were used in the Japanese tournament video, let me know; it looks like it’s at least set to Level 1. I’m not sure there are any other settings that matter. :)

PS4 Is Getting Improved Streaming

Speaking of streaming, from a post on the PlayStation Blog:

In addition, this update will add an HDCP off option for capturing gameplay via HDMI, a feature we’ve previously said would come after launch. We recognize that some gamers want to record and share longer clips of their gameplay sessions, and we’re excited to deliver this option with PS4.

HDCP-protected game content was something they never “fixed” with the PS3, though I would like to see them handle that with an update at some point there as well. It makes it quite a bit harder for people to stream games from PlayStation platforms.

When they announced that this was going to happen in a “future update,” I assumed this would be vapor, so I’m happy they are actually going to ship it. But why will it apparently default to on? Having HDCP on for game output has never made any sense.

As part of a separate system software update in the future, we have been working with our partners at Twitch and Ustream, and will also be adding the ability for Twitch broadcasts to be archived – another highly requested feature among PS4 fans who are taking advantage of the SHARE button features. These broadcasts will be also provided with a higher resolution of 720p, so PS4 fans can enjoy live broadcasts with clearer images.

This fixes the other big thing that annoys about the PS4 streaming: the inability to archive the broadcasts on Twitch. And to be honest, I didn’t even know the streams weren’t 720p, I just knew that the Xbox One streaming looked a lot better (which it does).

Either way this shakes out, this is good proof that the console situation this time around is much more competitive. I love seeing these two companies trying to outdo each other with updates and content.

Turn Your PS4 On Tomorrow

Double-fisted goodness from the Playstation Blog:

The holidays are here, and we’re happy to be launching Pinball Arcade on PS4 tomorrow! We’ve been working hard all year on remastering and relighting the classic pinball tables in our game to take advantage of the PS4′s power. And you’re getting a table on PS4 for free.

and:

Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition will be available to download from PSN on December 17th in North America. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition and Minecraft: PS Vita Edition are also being developed, but we don’t have release dates yet. Expect them sometime next year.

Both are of course great games and worth your money, especially if you haven’t tried either yet.

Insert Typical PA Report Overreaction Here

So, yeah:

Sony has announced that over one million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold to consumers in the first 24 hours of availability. It’s important to put some context around that number in order to drive home the power of that number.

Context number one: Amazon.

In case you have forgotten, here’s what Amazon.com looked like in 2005, when the Xbox 360 launched.

Context number two: Supply shortages.

Every other system quoted in the article for comparison was a supply-constrained launch. There weren’t any Xbox 360s to go around for weeks after launch. The same with the PS2 (to a lesser extent) and I remember waiting for months to be able to buy a Wii.

If you want to talk about sell-through, let’s talk sell-through after two dates:

  1. This Friday.
  2. The end of the year.

Those will be the meaningful comparisons.

PlayStation 4 Unboxing Video

Speaking of next-generation platforms, only Sony could have created an official unboxing video1 this ridiculously pretentious.

It’s amazing.


  1. I continue to be amazed official unboxing videos are a thing. 

The Digital Future

The image you see up there is my game shelf. It’s loaded with titles I haven’t played, titles I’ve played through more than once, titles I think are classics and should be archived, and a years-old desire to put these things on display. It’s a collection in every sense of the word, especially since I stopped reselling my games a couple of years ago.

I’ve done this for a long time. It started with that latching game case that every kid on my block had for NES games, to a shoebox I used for SNES games, to CD racks and bookshelves and now DVD shelves I use to store bits in the form of plastic and aluminum.

Starting the end of this week, we’re headed towards a generational leap that for the first time promises to deliver games equally (or close to it) over the internet as well as from traditional retailers. I plan firmly to embrace it and at this point I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another physical game, Nintendo platforms excluded for the time being.

It’s weird to think that I won’t have a shelf loaded with the spines of titles I’ve purchased for my console, lined up for guests to peruse, but I’m excited by the idea that I’ll be able to access any game I’ve purchased at any time and load it up much faster than I would be able to move the disc from place to place. Reasons I’ve held off from this for some time but now don’t agree with:

  • Physical games are better from an “archival” standpoint and have more guarantee of being around in the future. I know this isn’t true because I have DVDs that haven’t lasted to this day because the materials simply broke down. They can be destroyed in a fire, lost, stolen, or have any one of a number of accidents happen to them.
  • The platform holders could revoke my access to my games at any time. With the increased emphasis on services in the industry forcing the hardware to the internet anyway, who’s to say they couldn’t do this with physical copies and your account as well?
  • I might not be able to download my games forever. This one will be interesting, but in any case I now believe that I’ll be able to download everything probably as long as or longer than my physical copies will survive.

The argument against myself basically came down to, “you trust Steam to be custodian of your games; why not the new consoles,” and I found that I really didn’t have a counter to that.

But here’s why I’m excited about going digital:

  • I have limited space. Shelving isn’t infinite.
  • It liberates me from caring about pre-order bonus bullshit. And I’m happy to see what Microsoft is doing with digital purchases of the “Day One” editions of some launch games, providing them to people who purchase digital within a certain number of days from release.
  • It disarms the power of the review embargo. One of the dumbest things the game industry relies upon is rendered almost completely impotent in an economy where I can trigger the download as soon as I’m done reading the reviews and I don’t have to worry about shipping times or store hours.
  • No more pushy retail clerks. I shouldn’t have to explain this one to you. Did I preorder? Nope. Don’t need to, because there’s no “allotment” I need to worry about.
  • The hope of day-and-date digital with the generational change. Sony appears to be backtracking this a bit, but my understanding is that most if not all major titles will be available digitally the same day as their physical versions. And if not, I’ll be voting with my wallet.

This change is something that’s been a long time coming. I was one of the first people to trust Steam with my game purchases when Half-Life 2 wandered onto the scene; now I plan on being one of the first people to cast off the restrictions of the disc and embrace digital distribution.

I only wish I could trade in my old physical games for the current generation for the same digital versions now. It would make things so much simpler.