Xbox One vs PS4: battle of the next-gen consoles

fight

Whether it’s Apple vs Microsoft, iOS vs Android or Facebook vs Twitter, the tech world loves a good head-to-head. In recent weeks we’ve seen one of the greatest heavyweight battles yet as both Microsoft and Sony launched their much-anticipated next-generation consoles. The reviews are in, but which machine has the edge? If you’re thinking about making a purchase in time for Christmas, or are just curious about who’s offering what, we’ve pulled together a rundown of opinion from some of the most influential sites on the Web.

Microsoft Xbox One

xbox-one

Unlike Sony, Microsoft has a phone and desktop ecosystem to consider as well as a gaming one, and these other platforms make themselves felt on the Xbox One. The Verge picks up on this, saying that it’s both a games device and “a sprawling, ambitious attempt to be the most important thing in your living room for the next decade.” The review also notes the importance of Kinect: you can use voice commands to launch games, run searches and record gameplay, though it’s often frustrating to use. It’s even clever enough, in theory, to recognise your face and log you on automatically.

The digital media handling of the Xbox One is praised, though the review suggests the PS4 has the superior controller and the faster loading times. The theme running through the piece is that the Xbox One has lots of unfulfilled potential in terms of its Kinect functionality, TV integration and support for Windows apps. The article concludes:

“The Xbox One is here for a decade. If Microsoft can deliver on all its promises in that time, it will have built a console truly worthy of Input One — but that’s a big if.”

This overarching idea — lots of potential, but not there yet — is continued by Keith Stuart in the Guardian. The review compliments the Xbox One’s improved interface, advanced multi-tasking capabilities and helpful Kinect integration while lamenting the rather lacklustre selection of launch day games. Ultimately, writes Stuart, “something about the PS4 feels fresher and more seductive”.

At games site IGN, the Xbox One picks up a respectable 7.8 out of 10 score, and again the main theme is the “split focus” as Microsoft looks to please gamers and more casual users with the breadth of its offerings. According to IGN’s Fran Mirabella, the software and hardware ” isn’t totally ready for what the Xbox One’s trying accomplish.” Gameplay and Kinect integration are much improved over the Xbox 360, says the review, and there’s praise for the integrated digital media apps and television functionality.

In the end though, MIrabella comes to the same conclusion as many other reviewers, that while the Xbox One’s attempts to own the living room are laudable, the functionality isn’t quite there yet (and for the moment the PS4 beats it as a gaming machine). His final verdict:

“If you’re purely interested in gaming, you may want to wait until the platform stabilises or drops in price. However, if you’re more like me and are tired of the dumbest screen in your house being your TV, the Xbox One will change your living room forever.”

Sony PlayStation 4

ps4

If the Xbox One is trying to broaden its appeal, then the Sony PlayStation 4 is built primarily for gamers. According to the Verge, the PS4 is an attempt to build “the game console of our dreams”. The DualShock 4 wireless controller is described as “the best gamepad Sony has ever built” and the on-screen interface is described as putting games and associated apps front and centre.

Sharing and broadcasting your exploits is also a big deal for Sony’s console — there’s even a Share button on the controller. You can capture a screenshot or video of the last 15 minutes of gaming action and even broadcast your screen live. It has its own basic Kinect clone in the form of the £55 Playstation Camera, and then there’s the £180 PlayStation Vita, the portable console that can act as a second screen and complementary controller for the PS4.

In the end, The Verge argues, the PS4’s problem may not be the Xbox One but the PS3: “The PS3 was a media powerhouse, and the PS4 goes way too far the other way.” As the wrap-up puts it:

“Right now it’s a fast, powerful console with a great controller and a mostly useful interface… For right now, though, there’s little incentive to spend $399 on a PlayStation 4. Not only are there few games worth the price of admission, the vast library of PS3 games is more compelling than anything the PS4 currently offers.”

Over in the Guardian, Keith Stuart is once again on reviewing duties. “Everything is geared towards making the technology accessible to programmers,” writes Stuart. The trackpad is more comfortable, the interface is better, and the social and sharing aspects are better than its rival, claims the review.

The PS4 earns itself an 8.2 score at IGN, putting it slightly ahead of the Xbox One. “The PS4 not only brings the PlayStation platform into a more modern era, but establishes a strong foundation for long-term evolution,” writes Scott Lowe. While the PS4 has similar specs to the Xbox One, Lowe points out that Sony’s console runs more quietly in a smaller form factor. There’s praise for the DualShock 4 controller and the “gorgeous, straightforward” operating system, while Lowe also has good things to say about the PS4’s social and sharing features. The review concludes:

“The PS4 is an exceptionally well-crafted console. It’s impressively small and attractive design sets a new bar for the industry, and its powerful hardware offers not only stunning visuals, but higher player counts, constantly connected experiences, and larger, more detailed worlds.”

In summary

It isn’t difficult to pick out the common themes from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reviews on the Web. Both machines have the potential to be great, but lack any outstanding titles at launch. The PS4 offers a purer, faster, more sophisticated option for gamers; the Xbox One has more strings to its bow in terms of digital media and app support. The advice seems to be wait and see, unless you’re desperate to get your hands on a next-generation console: the final verdict on these two heavyweights won’t be made for several years yet.

We’ll give the final word to Keith Stuart in the Guardian: “If you love games, PS4 is a smart choice, and if you want a progressive media hub, Xbox One is your thing.” You can pick up the Xbox One for around £430 online, with the PS4 retailing at £350 or thereabouts; don’t forget, though, that Microsoft’s console comes with a Kinect camera included, whereas the Sony equivalent is £55 extra.

PS4 image © Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.

PlayStation 4 Launch Roundup: Gaming from the Ground Up

Playstation-4

Wednesday night Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled what many had speculated, the PlayStation 4. Only they didn’t actually show the console. During the 2-hour presentation the console maker, alongside a range of developers, spoke at length about the next-gen console whilst never actually addressing the giant elephant in the room.

What the suits did show-off, during a rather wooden performance, was their vision; a console that meets five simple pillars: Simple, Immediate, Social, Integrated and Personalised.

Instead of showing off the actual console, SCE decided to only show off the new Dual Shock 4 controller, a re-design of the current controller. Improvements have been made to the 3D sticks and triggers, alongside the addition of a touchpad on the front of the controller, clearly inspired by the PS Vita’s touchpad.

Sony waxed lyrical about how the console had been designed by developers, for developers – essentially that means the console is loosely based on PC architecture; a double-edged sword if we’ve ever seen one. It’s clear it’s going to be a lot easier to make games for it, but backwards compatibility has been kicked into the long grass with the possibility that users will be able to eventually, one day, stream the entire PlayStation back catalogue via Sony’s acquisition of cloud gaming company Gaikai.

Some of the clever touches Sony did show-off is the ability to suspend and reload play sessions instantly. The console also has a secondary chip for uploading and downloading content in the background, and even more far-fetched was the ability to download digital games whilst you actually play them.

Another big feature was the consoles share button – the system has been designed from the ground-up to allow gamers to share gaming footage directly from the controller via a new share button – Sony is promising it will be seamless and will herald a new era of collaborative gaming, where you’d be able remotely take control of a friends console to help them complete a difficult level or boss – or just watch them play whilst you offer tips and advice.

Hardware-wise Sony confirmed the console would be packing 8GB of GDR RAM, usually only found on high-end graphics cards. 8GB is an interesting number as it’s twice as much leaksters had predicted during the lead up to the unveil. Underlying the new hardware will be a custom chip that contains eight AMD x86-64 cores. The GPU, as previously speculated, will contain 18 compute units which can generate 1.84 teraflops of processing power. This can be freely applied to graphics, simulation tasks or a mixture of the two.

Once Sony has got all that out the way it was time to invite a load of developers on stage to show off their games, and to be fair to Sony – there were quite a lot.

Journalists were treated to trailers running in real-time from Epic Games, though this was just a tech demo; Guerilla games wowed the audience with a new Kill Zone, Evolution studios, the maker of Motorstorm, showed Driveclub; Jack And Daxter creator showed off Knack; and there was a new Infamous game.

Third party developers were there too – Bungie showcased Destiny, there new FPS MMO; Ubisoft blew peoples minds with their hacker-eqsue GTA clone Watch Dogs; and Capcom and Square Enix showed off rather lackluster tech demos of games that didn’t even really exist.

So while Sony did reveal a lot, it did leave many with many unanswered questions. Why was the console not shown, will it require an always-on internet connection, and will the console block second-hand games?

Some of the gaming pressed called Sony out on some of these concerns, and to be fair to Sony they answered almost everything apart from price, release date and what the console actually looks like.

Polygon: “But there was one glaring omission: The PS4’s debut was missing the PS4.”

“I ran into Shuhei Yoshida, president of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment, after the show and asked him why the console wasn’t shown during the presentation or after.

“We need something to show off later,” he said, half kidding.

Will it be shown at E3, I asked.

“We’re still trying to decide that,” he said.

Yoshida then went on to explain the thinking behind Sony’s decision to have the controller at the event but not the console that uses it.

“The console is just a box,” he said. “The controller was very important to show because it has the share button, but the console is just a console.

The point of this week’s show, Yoshida said, was to get across the philosophy of its new console, those five pillars detailed by executives and developers throughout the night.

IGN: “As I fight through the torrent of meaningless words, the ad-agency horsesh*t about ‘wars against reality’ I can also see glimpses of really nice looking games.”

In fact, the glimpses of games went on for like an hour, which is seriously impressive in the world of console first-looks.

It dawned on me, even as I sat enjoying the games, that PlayStation 4 is going be just as neat as we’d all hoped. But also that the incredible PS1-PS2 jump is never going to come again. Nor the enormous PS2-PS3 leap.

The astonishing visual fidelity being shown in New York, is quite a bit nicer than the gorgeous fidelity I can find on my PS3 at home. These are lovely-looking games. But they are not so much greater than PS3 that my tongue is lolling around my curly chest-hair.

This PS3-PS4 leap requires something extra. And that something extra is services, connectivity, ease-of-use, social thingamajigs. Important things. Useful things.

We found out when the console is coming, but there were words missing too. Words like ‘PlayStation 4 will be priced at….” and “look at the pretty box you’ll be putting by your TV soon”.

Eurogamer: “Does the PlayStation 4 always need to be connected to the internet, I asked Yoshida?

“You can play offline, but you may want to keep it connected,” he suggested. “The system has the low-power mode – I don’t know the official term – that the main system is shut down but the subsystem is awake. Downloading or updating or you can wake it up using either the tablet, smartphone or PS Vita.”

Are all of those things optional, though? For people who have broadband data limits, for example? They can customise everything?

“Oh yes, yes, you can go offline totally. Social is big for us, but we understand there are some people who are anti-social! So if you don’t want to connect to anyone else, you can do that.”

Watch the stream of the event here:



Streaming Live by Ustream

Hottest Video Games to buy this Christmas

Ask any casual gamer which title they would like most to have this Christmas, and you can bet any money you want that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 will be on the tip of their tongue. Yes yes, we know, we have heard it all before – surely there’s more to video games this year than the multi-million selling first person shooter? Of course there are; and if Santa delivers any of the following to your stocking, consider yourself a very lucky gamer indeed…

Assassins-Creed

Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Technically the fourth game in the Assassin’s Creed series, Ezio once again faces the might of the evil Knights Templar, with the setting this time based in the sprawling Renaissance city of Constantinople. Production values have never been higher, with jaw dropping graphics and breathtaking action to be had.

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Already one of the fastest-selling video games of all time, the world of Skyrim offers up to 300 hours of gameplay to keep you occupied for many months to come. In fact, chances are you will still be playing this epic RPG by the time Christmas 2012 comes around.

Lego-Game

LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 – The sequel to the first Harry Potter LEGO game follows the exploits of the last three books (or last four films) in the series. The Potter-themed combination of exploring, solving puzzles and building LEGO items is a winner.

Saints Row 3 – GTA may grab all the headlines, but everybody knows that Saints Row is a far superior sandbox game in almost every respect. Refuses to take itself seriously, and is all the better for it. Outrageous, over the top action with a wicked sense of humour.

Arkham-Asylum

Batman Arkham City – We have saved the best until last here. The Dark Knight returns in this sequel to Arkham Asylum. Fans of the caped crusader will be in heaven here, and this is a strong contender for one of the greatest video games of all time, it’s that good.

GAMEfest event review

Eager gamers got the chance to play this year’s most anticipated games at last weekend’s GAMEfest – we jumped in the car and set sail to the Birmingham NEC to see what’s hot and what’s not at the very first GAMEfest.

September actually see’s two computer game conferences within week of each other; this weekend saw the inaugural show from UK retailer Game and their aptly name GAMEfest.

GAMEfest

And this week see’s Eurogamer hosting their annual Eurogamer Expo – there is something to be said about have having both so close to each other. But it was nice to see GAMEfest hosting their event outside of London. Something Eurogamer did try, once, with their Leeds show.
 
The timing of the event has seen criticism from some publishers who feel a new event from the UK’s biggest games retailer, and an established consumer was poorly timed due to its close proximity to Eurogamers Expo.
 
One affected publisher anonymously told MCV recently “with just three days to move from one site to the other, many are unimpressed by the expected costs”. 
 
Eurogamer big-wid, Rupert Loman, told MCV he was “disappointed GAME is attempting to split the market”.
 
Gamefest’s pièce de résistance was an exclusive showing of Activision’s Call of duty Modern Warfare 3. Upon entering the NEC it was clear to see that COD was the big cheese of the show – and what Activision showed was truly stunning; witnessing New York’s skyline ablaze certainly got our attention.
 
We managed to get a few minutes with the game playing Survival Spec Ops mode, which involves fending out fiendish enemies alongside a fellow fragger. Everything is looking very good for Modern Warfare 3 this Christmas – everything except Battlefield 3.
 
That’s right, EA and DICE were on hand to try and steal its thunder. Unfortunately BF3’s stand was a little underwhelming, apart from the guys holding machine guns.
 
Although, they were probably just letting the game do the talking. We were treated to quick press preview before the riff-raff started to queue up.
 
First we hopped onto the single player and can report that the PS3 console version is looking very good indeed. Sure it not on par with the PC version – but the lighting and frame rate were solid as a rock.

Multiplayer-wise it was clear that the graphical fidelity had been toned down somewhat. But everything we saw, played and gawked at proved that BF3 really does have what it takes to take on COD and its first person shooter crown. 
 
Whilst we rushed around the NEC to see as many games as possible before the show was opened to the public and we managed to get sometime with Microsoft’s Forza 4 – which is looking like the racing game of the year. 

The graphics, lighting and handling tweaks add up to a massive change and was one of the most enjoyable games we played all day. Maybe that was because we were driving a stunning Ferrari 599 GTO around a beautiful vista in the Swiss mountains.
 
We managed to get a few laps on Codemasters follow-up to F12010 and from the looks of it not a lot has changed. The handling has been overhauled – but the steering wheel setup we were given made it hard to really access the changes from last year’s version.
 
Elsewhere, it was a little disappointing to see only three consoles showcasing the much-anticipated Batman: Arkham City. Although from what we did see it looks like it’s going to be every bit as good a Rocksteady’s first attempt.

Other games attracting enthusiastic punters included Elder Scrolls V: Skrim, the imminent Gear of Wars 3, Unchartered 3, Quake follow-up Rage and Saints Row the Third. There were even some games that won’t be available until next year – namely – EA’s Mass Effect 3, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. 
 
After a few hours there was a definite growing frustration with having to queue up to play pretty much every game. We even heard stories of several hours just to play one game. It started to feel more and more like a Theme Park than a games convention.
 
Overall Gamefest was a massive success, to sell out a new show within a week of its main competitor shows that there is more than enough space in the market to have a couple of shows in the UK. Just not a week apart.
 
The biggest lesson that publishers have to come away with, is that they need to expand to events outside of London, due to the success of their business it’s clear that gaming isn’t just the preserve of Londoners. The NEC is a massive space is the perfect place to hold any form of trade show – let’s hope it back next year – bigger and better.

Nintendo at E3: Wii U and endless unanswered questions

Nintendo has just finished its E3 press conference and as many had predicted they did show off their new console which has been named Wii U – but in true Nintendo fashion they did their way by only showing off the revolutionary controller and not the actual console itself. It was more like a half unveil with the actual console being shown off properly sometime in the future.

Nintendo-E3

Quite why Nintendo thought it would be a good idea not to show the actual console is puzzling. Either they wanted the controller to take centre stage or they haven’t actually got a console. Were betting on a bit of both. It’s almost as if they forgot to show off the console for us it was one of the most bizarre console unveiling in E3 history.

They did have some small wafer thin box next the screen in some of the videos on show, but they didn’t show it off physically or go into detail about it. Today it was all about the controller, not the box that powers it.
The Wii U has what Nintendo and others are calling the most advanced controllers ever. It looks like a small 8-inch tablet device with DS-like screen and traditional Xbox/Playstation controls all baked into one rather impressive looking controller.

Nintendo showed off how you can play games on a normal HDTV using the controller like you would any other consoles. And how can play games on both your HD TV and on the 6.5-inch on the controller at the same time or just on the 6.5-inch on it’s own.

They then went on to show innovative ways on how future games could use the second screen. One eye catching example was the new controller laying on the ground showing a golf ball in a bunker on the screen. The user was the stood over the controller with the original Wii remote and nunchuk and the game on the HDTV in front of the player. It looked mighty impressive. All at the same time seamlessly with no lag or latency.

Nintendo went on to promise that all the controllers from Wii would be backwards compatible; so you’ll be able to use your Wii Fit Board, Wii remote and nunchuck for the new console.

The tech demos showed off new types of gameplay you’d usually expect to find on the DSI and 3DS on the new console. Players can use the touchscreen with your fingers or Nintendo Stylus a la DSI or 3DS on the controller, which then appeared on your TV seamlessly with no latency. One such example was painting on Art Academy on the new controller then appearing in real time in high-def on your TV.

They promised that the controller would have gyroscope, accelerometers, front facing camera and microphone. The console and controller would have internet browsing as well as video chat all through the controller and TV.

What didn’t say anything about is how long does the controller last on battery, does it even run on batteries or have they created all-new power source? Most worrying was the lack of price or release date during the press conference.

They went on to announce a new partnership with EA, which will see all of its massive gaming franchises coming to the new console including BF3, Madden and FIFA. There will be full online gaming for all the titles, as well as exclusive support of the second screen capabilities. This was shown off with Madden, where all plays were handled on the screen on the controller leaving the TV for the actual gameplay.

We’re slightly concerned that there wasn’t any mention of the actual console. Call us old fashioned but how can we make a judgment on the console if we can’t even see it. We have no idea how powerful it is, what media will the games come on? Is it Full HD? Even little things like how many controllers can play together. Most of all is how much is this very impressive new controller going to be? What storage solutions will be offered? All of this was not mentioned during the press conference.

Nintendo always do things a little different, but for consumers to take the new console serious we need to see some bricks and mortar. Today’s announcement has left more questions than answers. There’s no chance that you’ll seeing this console anytime soon. They haven’t even got a console from the looks of it. They’ve got a controller. All be it a very nice one. So we need to be patient and see what they come up with. The controller looks incredible. But it looks like it is going to cost an arm and a leg. Then you have to buy the yet to be seen console. Were slightly worried. But Nintendo has a lot to still show off. When. That is the million-dollar question. Nobody knows.

Although they didn’t say any of this Nintendo during the event – the new console will run in full HD, via HDMI, but the touchscreen isn’t HD. The console has internal Flash memory which can be augmented with “SD Card or USB solutions”. It will play optical disks and downloadable content, and will be backwards-compatible with Wii software. And it will launch some time between 1 April and 31 December 2012.

It will be the oddest console ever, and possibly the best, too. Or it may turn out to be a complete cul-de-sac. But one thing is for sure: it won’t just be another generic games console.

Batman: Arkham City, an Assassin’s Creed game, Dirt, Ghost Recon Online, Tekken, Metro Last Light,Aliens Colonial Marines, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, and Darksiders II all got a mention as coming to the Wii U. Yes!

Review: Roxio Game Capture

Roxio-Game-Capture

Roxio Game Capture has been designed to let you record and edit your Xbox 360 and PS3 best moments on your computer. That’s great, but we’ve got a better use for it: plugging your PS3 into your laptop. If you’re under 18, you’ll know what it’s like. You have your powerhouse of a laptop, but your super-hot games console is tied to your living room TV. And your mum’s on it. And  you’re a bit interested in what’s going on in Coronation Street, anyway. The Roxio Game Capture solves your problem – it can take in your console’s video signal and transfer it via USB to your computer.

Using the Capture software, you can then watch it live and full-screen, without ever touching a TV. And because the Game Capture also outputs to your TV, you can leave the device plugged in as normal, and then just plug the USB cable into your laptop to game, instead of battling with the parents over TV rights. Oh, and you can also use it record and edit your gaming prowess, to share on YouTube or broadcast live over the internet, like a USB-attached webcam.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the plan, though. Firstly, your computer has to be a bit of a beefcake. Nothing ridiculous, but you’re looking at an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor at 1.8GHz, or an AMD x2 64 at 2GHz. Then throw in 2GB RAM. You’ll also need 2GB free hard drive space for the initial install, and an additional 10GB+ for recording videos.

And Mac users – you’re out of luck. You definitely need Windows Media Player 11 or higher.

The Game Capture box accepts component cables, so in theory, anything can plug into the device. Another games console? Specialist camera? Blu-ray player? The limit is your imagination… And the 480p, 60/frames per second recording limit. None of your games will come out HD in your recordings, but then, that would be difficult to stream on the internet, and take an age to upload.

Update – Here’s a video of a user setting it up:

Output formats include AVI, DV-AVI, WMX, DivX and MP4 video, with MP£, WAV, WMA and ACC audio options. You can also take screenshots in JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP or GIF formats.

The box itself is pretty compact and doesn’t require a plug socket – so it is really flexible to take places or hide away when not in use.  There’s also some video editing software (available separately), that works fairly well – especially when you’re used to it. Slight issues include a faint ghosting on the video as it passes through to the TV – not ideal. There have also been reports that the required computers specs are a bit higher than those advertised – we couldn’t test this, as our computers are all drastically over-powered.

Find out more at http://www.roxio.com

Nintendo 3DS review of reviews

The Nintendo DS, along with the Wii, has managed to change the face of gaming. Even the least games-playing types have managed to have a go at Brain Training, or have squeezed in an exercise session in on the Wii Fit.

Certainly among primary-school children the DS is the gaming console of choice, whether they’re in the car or on a train – and it’s a piece of kit that is shared by kids and adults alike.

Nintendo-3DS

Now Nintendo has taken it to another level – the 3DS comes to UK shops on March25, will be priced around £200, and has one big USP – it offers the full 3D gaming experience without the need for 3D specs.

So what do the experts say about the new 3DS?

At Tech Radar, they commented on its build quality, saying: “In terms of how the new device is to hold, the 3DS doesn’t feel quite so expensive or solid as something like the Sony PSP. The d-pad, face and shoulder buttons are small with that distinctly ‘clicky’ feel. We’d also say that when fully open, the top panel encroaches on the space your fingers need around the shoulder buttons.”

Another negative is the battery life, according to Ryan Fleming at Digital Trends, who comments:

“Nintendo claims that the battery is good for around five hours of use, and that is being generous. If you are using it fairly intensely, with the brightness turned all the way up, the volume at full, and the 3D as high as it can go, plus you are connected via Wi-Fi, you will probably run out of juice in less than three hours.”

Yes, yes, but you want to know about that 3D don’t you? First, let Luke Westaway at CNET explain how it works: “The 3DS uses parallax barrier technology to create a 3D effect without requiring the user to wear glasses. The parallax barrier is a layer within the screen that’s covered in tiny slits, allowing two different images to be fired from one display in slightly different directions. Align your eyes correctly, and you’ll see a 3D image.”

Okay, now we’re getting to it. The Telegraph’s Tom Hoggins tried out the 3D effect and found it was not without problems:

“The 3D has its problems, however. Shift the console out of that 3D sweet spot, and it can be tricky to find it again, often creating a ghosting effect. It’s distracting when playing Pilotwings and the hoop you are flying towards suddenly splits in two. It’s also unquestionably a strain on the eyes after prolonged play, and will have many reaching for the 3D slider that can switch the effect off. Fortunately, the 2D visuals look good too.”

In fact, back in December the company’s Japanese website warned that children under the age of six should not use the 3D functionality as it could affect their eye development (that will be my argument if number one son asks for one for his birthday!)

And on MSNBC Winda Benedetti had the same problem: “…to see the 3D imagery correctly, you have to keep your head directly in front of your 3DS. There’s only a small window for wiggle room. Moving your body around and keeping your head aligned with the gadget at the same time isn’t horribly difficult. But it does require some extra attention and, if you move your eyes too far out of alignment, the visuals go wonky.”

Ben Kuchera at Ars Technica was more complimentary:

“The 3DS’ main gimmick is the glasses-free 3D screen, but Nintendo included a slider on the right-hand side of the device that allows you to adjust the 3D effect up and down or turn it off entirely. You don’t have to go to a menu, you don’t have to reboot the software, you can adjust the 3D whenever you’d like—even just to let someone watch over your shoulder—and it works beautifully.”

So the jury’s divided on the Nintendo 3DS –some think it is too pricey, and that the battery life lets it down big time – so it definitely seems like a case of try-before-you-buy to see whether you really get on with the 3D offering before splashing your cash.

Latest Gadgets visit MCM Expo: Gran Turismo 5, Mavel Vs Capcom 3 and Assassin’s Creed:Brotherhood

MCM Expo in London is often considered London’s answer to Comic–Con. LatestGadgets had a chance to attend the MCM Expo where the hottest movies, comics and games were all on show. Navigating through the CosPlay fans in Full Metal Alchemist and Samurai Champloo outfits was interesting but we did eventually fought our way to the games area. There were games for all the consoles on show and we got a sneak peak at some of the new titles head to the stores for Christmas. We also got to play with Kinect and Playstation Move systems, the differences between the two, were covered by Jack over here.

MCM

One of the most anticipated games is Gran Turismo 5. The demo we played showed off the smooth controls and amazing graphics. It will have Move capability allowing you to really feel like you are in the car driving. Many licensed cars will be available, including the Top Gear license and you will be able to create custom tracks. There will not be any demos out, but rest assured the game is due out in December. It was previously due out in November but they had to delay it due to issues with the gold production.

I remember spending the little pocket money I got all on the arcades, playing mainly Marvel Vs Capcom. So it is fair to say I am looking forward to Marvel Vs Capcom 3. It is now polished with HD and new features to make your mouth water. A new feature includes tag team play, allowing you to change players mid-fight. When performing a special move, you can bring your partner in to make it more powerful and obliterate your opponent. The special moves were varied and are unique for each character. Due out Q2 2011.

Being a veteran of Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2, it would be wrong not to play Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The story for Brotherhood picks up right where AC2 ended. There will be more weapons and more combos available. A new feature is the ability to call on help in the form of a fellow assassin. You can send them out on missions for you or bring them along to help you on a mission. Brotherhood will be the first in the series to feature multiplayer, which is a marquee feature for this release. The level we played tasked us with locating and assassinating the other assassins before they got to us. The game lasts approximately 15 hours which is a good amount of time. Personally, I think some of the games released recently are far too short, one (which shall remain nameless) being just 6 hours. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is due out 19th November.