Would An Xbox One.5 Give Microsoft The Edge Over Sony?

This week the Sparks discuss (amongst much more) the recent news that Phil Spencer would like to see the end of ‘fixed console hardware’ and debate whether changing the historical fixed hardware spec of a game console’s life to a more open ended upgrade-able version or maybe bringing us iterative upgraded version releases would be a good thing or a bad. It’s certainly a massive change in a landscape that has for so long been based on fixed, closed systems for the lifetime of the generation. Phil’s quote below outlines the plans and shakes the Sparks normality to their very core.

‘We believe we will see more hardware innovation in the console space than we’ve ever seen. We’ll see us come out with new hardware capability during a generation and allow the same games to run backwards and forward compatible because we have UWAs (Universal Windows Applications) running on top of UWP (Universal Windows Platform). It allows us to focus on hardware innovation without invalidating the games that run on that platform.’

Is it too divisive a change? Will a line be drawn between the Have’s and the Have Not’s who can’t afford that latest upgrade within a consoles lifespan? WIll a consoles lifespan cease due to this and just evolve akin to the PC world?  Or, as the vision is for all games to run across all iterations, is this just a sensible plan that will open up gaming universally to more gamers?

In this week’s ‘What We’ve Been Playing‘ section Darren is overjoyed at a Wipeout clone that could potentially surpass the original masterpiece.  ‘Fast Racing Neo’ (available now on Wii U) is a futuristic racing video game developed by Shin’en Multimedia in which, much like Wipeout or F-Zero you race at blistering speeds along fantastic looking tracks while changing your crafts colour allegiance to take advantage of boost strips – almost a nod to the excellent Ikaruga’s well loved dynamic.

Also Antony spends some time with Broforce (currently free with PS Plus) and discovers that this free title is not to be scoffed at!!  Plus following last week’s Viva Piñata week Darren allows Antony to get all mushy about Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise once again!

In this week’s news section we have lots of game announcements, we discuss Shenmue 3, Uncharted 4 and Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. Hardware rumours are abound with fresh information surfacing about the upcoming Nintendo NX, will this be the all singing console that us gamers and hardcore Nintendo fans have been waiting for?

Also in this week’s news section we talk about the latest information about the upcoming ‘Quantum Break’, this new title from Remedy mixes live action video to your gaming experience with a difference.

Live from the VR News Desk this week we’re all about HTC Vive, now that Darren has made his first steps into the world VR we discuss his purchase and how he is doing sourcing his monster PC. We also have the Hololens developer edition specs and price, so there’s plenty of VR to enjoy.

If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:

If you would like to give us a rating or a review on iTunes then we have this handy link for you, click here to jump to iTunes review for the Lost Spark Podcast!

http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/1/11137694/quantum-break-is-full-of-alan-wake-easter-eggs

http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/1/11121666/xbox-one-hardware-upgrades-phil-spencer-microsoft

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-02-29-an-all-new-new-look-at-shenmue-3-is-pretty-promising

http://media.steampowered.com/apps/steamvr/vr_setup.pdf

Fantastic HTC Vice video (flipping the controller demonstrating just how good the motion tracking is)

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