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Games

Polygon: “When Watching Beats Playing”

If you haven’t read this piece on Polygon on the origins and rise of the Twitch streaming service, you owe it to yourself to give it a spin.

Developers are now using Twitch to show their games to the public before they’re completed. Publishers are using Twitch as a marketing tool to speak directly to consumers, and users are creating their own form of entertainment and breathing new life into games that launched years ago.

Twitch is a certified phenomenon, and it’s doing a great job making inroads into allowing just about anyone to broadcast their gameplay. I stream on Twitch sometimes, and you can find my channel here.

It was a great service before, and that’s only being augmented by recent increases in its accessibility.

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Games

Titanfall Classic Gameplay

Originally, I wasn’t all that interested, but after reading reviews on the game, I decided to give Titanfall a shot last night and came away somewhat impressed. I really like the style of the game and the relative simplicity of the system.

I do wish that these kinds of games would stop locking things like the Burn Cards or custom load outs behind level progression. It doesn’t do anything to help the game and makes those first few levels feel like a chore.

The video above was recorded using the Xbox One’s built-in Twitch support, which started this week. I have to say that the quality is really quite good, and it’s super-nice to not have to plug in a capture unit to get video from the console. I kind of wish they could backport this kind of thing to the 360, and now it’s my strongest case for backwards compatibility and why it would have been nice to have it.

If you have questions about the game, please let me know. If you want to play, just flag me down and I’ll be happy to hop in a game with you.

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Games

PlayStation 4 Quick Thoughts

So my PlayStation 4 arrived today, and I’ve spent a little bit of time playing with it. Some quick bulleted thoughts on it so far:

Hardware

  • The DualShock 4 is a great controller. The analog stick is still in the wrong place, but it’s leagues better than the DS3.
  • The box itself is really small for launch hardware; it’s smaller than my PS3 Slim. And it’s really aesthetically pleasing.
  • It wins the simplicity award; as few ports as possible and really easy to connect.
  • I wish Sony would lose its apparently institutional fear of IR ports for use with universal remotes. It pretty much guarantees I’ll use the One for movies.

OS/Dashboard

  • The home UI is kind of a disaster. It’s like they took the PS3’s XMB and the Vita’s menu system and just mashed them together. That’s not a good thing.
  • Service integration is pretty painless, though it’s a notable omission that you can’t push your video to YouTube.
  • That said, the Twitch integration for broadcasting is badass.
  • I don’t always want to drop my screenshots to Twitter or Facebook; my friends don’t always need these updates. I may make a new Twitter account just for my PS4, which defeats the purpose.
  • The activity stream (“What’s New”) for your account and your friends’ accounts is a cool idea and looks really neat—but it’s way too busy.
  • Vita and/or iOS screen linking works well and especially on Vita is really cool.

Games

  • It would be nice if there were some that reviewed well and that I’m not buying on Xbox One instead.
  • Except for Resogun, which is pretty cool.
  • But losing Driveclub as a launch game probably hurt. (I don’t even know if it’s any good.)
  • Offering Cross-Buy on some games that I’ve bought on PS3/Vita already is really nice of them even if it’s to play the games I’ve already played.