It’s episode 92 of the podcast and in addition, this edition marks the 2nd anniversary of the dawn of the Gamers of the Lost Spark. Join the guys as they celebrate this milestone with their unique look at the gaming news of the last 7 days.
In a week where Halo developers 343 Industries announced that there will be no Halo 6 at E3 or Gamescom, Antony and Darren discuss whether this is a bad thing or a good move for the Xbox team’s E3 presentation.
This can be argued both ways it seems with a reasonable case put forward that Halo is Xbox and Xbox is Halo, that the rolling out of a new and exciting Halo-centric announcement at the Xbox E3 conference is a tradition, a right of passage, the big thing that all the Xbox fans are excitedly waiting for during the other treats that are announced for the future of the platform and that a no show form the Halo franchise would leave a disappointing edge to the proceedings in June for Phil Spencer and the team. Continue reading →
Another week passes by and episode 76 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark podcast is here for your listening delights. Among the games being played by the guys and stories of the drudgery of clearing away festive decorations, the guys discuss EA’s decision to leave out the Season Pass from Mass Effect Andromeda. This bucks a seemingly inescapable and obligatory trend that during the last few years felt as if its unwelcome presence was here to darken our gaming doorsteps permanently, costs layered on top of the price of a game has never been a welcomed concept in the community and the situation is made worse when the majority (not all) of season pass content is usually disappointing. So could it be that this announcement could hail a time when the constant clamour for cash for content could be dwindling?
Of course, no Season Pass doesn’t necessarily mean no requests of cash for content, after all the game could just as easily have the same old DLC in there, just without the initial purchase choice to be made by the consumer.
It’s a hope that may be unlikely but not impossible that could 2017 be the year when EA lead by example by ditching the Season Pass concept but also changing their model to a path in which extra monetisation is gleaned from cosmetic DLC alone, keeping games and the gamers that love them less fragmented and more fun.
This week on the podcast Antony and Darren are joined once again by the illustrious James Thomas (@BIGsheep).
It’s been a busy old week in the world of games, with Big Geoff’s Game Awards and Sony’s Playstation Experience 2016. If you missed either of these and want a catch up, or even of you tuned in to these gaming feasts, you’ll hear overviews, opinions and speculations from the guys as they dissect the latest glitz and glamour fests from our beloved industry.
With so much to discuss, a surprising curve ball is thrown into the mix when the elephant in the (virtual playspace) room is addressed by the Sparks – Just when will VR experiences evolve from feeling like mere tasters of something that should be bigger and finally metamorphose into games that feel like they have the depth and the pull of their equivalent 2D counterparts?
In this week’s podtastic episode it’s no surprise that the Sparks’ eyes are firmly on the new PS4 Pro. Antony gives his hands on verdict of the hardware and games he has tested so far. Much of the discussion revolves around 4K and what Sony’s box delivers in this area. Is there a noticeably bump in visuals and performance or both and who exactly is the target consumer for the new system?
As the discussion deepens the question emerges regarding how this new format is going to spread to more than just the early adopter market and the guys can’t help wondering whether it’s 4K screen owners flocking to buy these new consoles. Or is it perhaps the other way around with gamers buying a 4K ready console and then finding that desire to upgrade their screen to get the most out of their gaming hardware? Darren certainly went through that very same process with the Xbox 360, where the HD aspect of the console drove the purchase of an HD screen in order to fully appreciate what that system could do.
With 4K sales looking strong, Microsoft and Sony displaying a huge vote of confidence in the standard by developing hardware specifically designed to harness this technology and also the sales figures for the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S also showing a high consumer take up the guys ask, are those 4K screens pushing the sales of the consoles or are the new 4K consoles pushing the sales of 4K screens?
Going forward, is the gaming industries choices on supported resolutions and standards going to have more and more influence on sales and standards of screen sales and the technologies used therein.
With 4K and HDR being the buzzwords of recent times, especially since the advent of this mid-generation console refresh, the Sparks’ take it upon themselves to try and diffuse some of the confusion around what this new resolution offers the consumer, where it came from, how the name 4K came about, what it offers in terms of visual improvement and how much of a ‘true’ 4K experience the PS4 Pro offers us. Tune in to hear the Lost Sparks’ (hopefully) definitive 4K breakdown. A couple of taster stats are included below to get you started!
720p and 1080p were named from the count of pixels on screen from top to bottom, or, the number of horizontal lines of pixels that formed the screen.
The term 4K actually came from the movie industry format resolution of 4096 x 2160 that was first introduced in digital cinemas (called cinema 4k) and was named 4K.
The big news this week on the Lost Spark Podcast is the reveal of the Nintendo Switch and so of course, your friendly neighbourhood Sparks’ dive into the announcement with gusto discussing thoughts on Nintendo’s reveal trailer, speculation of those questions that the reveal didn’t answer and everything we know so far about Nintendo’s latest tech.
Is portability the killer move for Nintendo with this new platform in an era where smartphones and tablets do have a chunk of the market? Or does the fully fleshed out, more rounded and complete gaming experience that the Switch will offer give it the edge in that area, or is this a niche of its own, becoming what the Vita or even indeed the Wii U portable screen should have been? Continue reading →
This week, along with many other questions about the mysteries of the gaming world, we ask the question that chills us to our very bone – what if The Last Guardian was so over ambitious at it’s first reveal way back when, that all it could ever do was meet an expectation set almost ten years ago?
With Sony announcing that Uncharted 4’s Multiplayer experience will be underpinned by a new philosophy of ‘Fairness First’ the Sparks are stunned and elated to hear that all future maps and modes will be included in the game for free and that vanity and gameplay in-game store items will all be attainable by gameplay.
Yes, it’s exactly how it should be done and is it not a shame that this action is such a surprise? It really shows how the industry has changed over the years. Check out the core philosophies involved in more detail here.
With a huge industry player throwing down the gauntlet and getting back to basics with regard to how unlocks should be earned, will others follow and lead us off this path we have found ourselves on?
Excitement and speculation is rife regarding Nintendo’s latest console and has been for months now. At last though, we have been given an official release date and some information that rather than helps us with what to expect, rather prepares us for what not to expect. So, we have a March release date and that’s great to know. We can all look forward to getting more official information on the run up to release. It will also give purchasers of the PSVR time for their wallets to cool off before taking the next gaming plunge should they choose to. Also, we have been furnished with the tidings that the new Legend of Zelda game will not be on Wii U in time for Christmas and it will in fact be releasing next year, at the same time as the NX version.
This raises some questions with the Sparks:
Is this a repetition of what happened with Twilight Princess and could the development of a Wii U version mean that the NX version is held back? With the lack of love and attention that the Wii U has had over its life it seems surprising that a new Zelda game should be anything but exclusive to Nintendo’s new system. A benchmark game to fly the flag of the new console’s abilities, unimpeded by another version that may hold it back. Surely this should have been planned as an exclucive? An NX-clusive if you like (sorry).
Now then, what about what not to expect, well, lets not expect the NX to make an appearance at E3 as that is not scheduled to happen and lets not expect any blockbuster releases for the Christmas season on the Wii U, unless Paper Mario – Colour Splash gets you all tingly.
This week the big topic is of course Sony’s codenamed Playstation Neo. Antony and Darren discuss at length whether or not this is a good thing, a bad thing or just something we can be indifferent about and just buy if our existing PS4’s break. Is the news understandable from a business point of view? Deplorable from a consumer point of view? Or should the PS Neo be looked upon as a luxury item that doesn’t divide the Playstation playing field into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ but is simply an item that those that can afford it can purchase or upgrade too simply to have that best version of Sony’s beloved console?
After all, no one’s forcing us to buy it are they? Perhaps though, there are some that feel that though obviously nobody has to jump on board, they may, just maybe feel a little less happy with there original console in light of the release of the new. It’s an interesting debate, the outcome of which could change the way consumers view console gaming forever. Continue reading →
This week’s episode welcomes James Thomas (@BIGsheep) to the fold once again to discuss the latest comings and goings in the gaming world we love.
After answering 10 questions about Final Fantasy VII in an interview with Gameinformer, producer Yoshinori Kitase has shed some light on the plans for this long expected game. His comment that each part of the serialisation of the game would be on par with the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game has us excited and has certainly helped rekindle some of the optimism for this remake that had been slightly scuppered when the announcement of serialising the adventure may dearly love was announced.
With the number of episodes Square-Enix have in mind for the remake still under wraps, the Sparks wonder just how big a game could we be getting here? With it sounding like the game will explore new areas of the game in more detail than was possible in the original along with perhaps a good deal more character building, could we be looking at a story of 100 hours plus, not even including sidequests? Imagine 10 episodes at 30 hours each – wow! – potentially 300 hours of Final Fantasy VII goodness to look forward to. If it’s good of course…