Tag Archives: Microsoft

Has The Sting Been Taken Out Of Scorpio’s Tail?

This week the Sparks drill down into the surprising revelations of Microsoft Scorpio’s hardware specifications according to the leaked whitepaper that Eurogamer brought to light. These poured a degree of cold water onto the flames of expectation that Antony and Darren were fanning in anticipation of what was thought to be communicated as a console that would be godlike in its power, delivering true (let’s assume that means native) 4K graphics without batting an eye, a monster of a box that had the Sparks seeing the line between console and PC getting meaningfully blurred.

But wait! Stop right there oh faithful one, because as Digital Foundry writer Richard Leadbetter delves deeper into the whitepaper specs, it seems that a less awe inspiring piece of tech could be what looms before us and if the information is correct we could be looking at making a decision on buying a very different beast than we may have been lead to believe from the initial announcements. More of a PS4 Pro competitor than the behemoth incarnate that the initial announcements framed for us.

The Whitepaper in question is from E3 2016 and so is an old piece of documetation and could have changed from that time to this so we can perhaps look at this news as possible conjecture. Of course we will know nothing for sure until we get official word from the boys in green.

But were we perhaps naive to expect such a machine to appear within this generation being as it was also communicated that this system (akin to the PS4 Pro), would not leave those not ready to upgrade their Xbox Ones (and S’s) behind, promising parity with those legacy systems. Could we truly see something great from any endeavor that was in this way shackled to the legacy sku’s?

Whether it is Naivety, Desire, Gaming Passion or just plain old believing official communications, let’s all just step back, take a breath and temper our expectations. Let’s stop expecting the second coming of the (Insert your fave console here) and just downplay our hopes a little.

Then, when the time comes for reveal, instead of a collective disappointed eye roll and sigh resounding through gaming communities everywhere, we may just be surprised for once. A little bit pleased and a little bit excited about the next shiny console to look forward to.

You never know, those sighs may be replaced with surprise as our tempered expectations are met with more than we expect from the

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The Lost Spark E3 Podcast Extravaganza Strikes Back

Strap yourself in because it’s back! The Lost Sparks breakdown and analyse the E3 2016 Press Conferences:

EA (00:01:49)
Bethesda (00:14:18)
Microsoft (00:45:19)
UbiSoft (02:22:00)
Sony (02:45:00)

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!

The Lost Spark Essential E3 2016 Games List

Phil Spencer – The Big Interview

Are you OK with PS4K?

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In this week’s episode Antony and Darren welcome James Thomas (@BigSheep) into the gaming fold to discuss the ins and outs of the latest gaming news, rumour and what we’ve been playing.

According to an article on Kotaku and corroborated by Eurogamer news of a PlayStation 4.5 or PS4K has surfaced…

With rumours of Sony working on a PS4.5 currently rife around the interwebs the Spark’s dive into the speculation pit and hammer out whether or not it’s a good thing for a more powerful PS4 to be just around the corner.

The idea of some increased functionality has happened before of course and we have been furnished with refinements in standard and slim models before – the Xbox 360 Elite having an HDMI input for instance – but, and this is just hypothesis at this stage as we do not truly know the difference that the rumoured new model would make – if this turned out to be more than just an iterative change, if a newer 4.5 model really was a jump in terms of graphical finesse and had the power to match that with an increased frames per second, where would this leave existing owners?

Surely it would not be prudent to incense a user base of 32 million happy PS4 customers with the news that their PS4 is now second best to a newer and shinier model?

It will of course depend on the extent of difference between the models, the cost will certainly be a factor and whether Sony will be able to offer an upgrade path to existing owners will also be interesting to see. Console owners, as a rule, buy a console because they know they are safe from upgrades. They know they are on the same level playing field as the rest of their console buddies. Are the lines between console and PC set to blur if this trend escalates? Could mid-cycle console upgrades become the norm?

Time will tell.

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Why Do We Expect Budget Prices For Indie Titles?

Last Week ‘No Man’s Sky‘, the epic space adventure from ‘Hello Games’ finally got a release date and will be launching on June 21st on PlayStation 4 and PC.  The PC version, will cost £39.99/$59.99, according to listings on GOG and Steam while the PS4 version will cost £49.99/$59.99 and a special package, the Explorer’s Edition, will be available for $149.99 exclusively at iam8bit.com.

With the announcement came internet criticism as some felt the price was too high for this title but we say that this old way of thinking – ‘it’s an indie game so I expect to pay £20/$30 for it’ – needs to end and we need to stop placing games in brackets just because the size of the development team.

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If Star Wars Battlefront had followed the PES Freemium Model Would You Rejoice?

PES2016_Neymar_02

So, Konami have announced a freemium version of PES 2016 for the PS4. It’s an ‘entry level’ version of the game and so it’s quite light on content but you can try it for free and if you like it and want more you can add to it with micro transactions. The usual thing really, almost like a kind of demo with added expansion via microtransactions. Continue reading

Gamescom Conference Analysis – Are Sony Getting Complacent or Running Scared?

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, at the Xbox gamescom 2015 Briefing on Tuesday, 4 August 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Juergen Schwarz for Microsoft)

This week it’s Gamescom! So of course Antony and Darren discuss all the news that has come to light from the Microsoft and EA conferences. The highs and lows, the faves and the frowns all come under the Sparks’ microscope and the lack of a presence from Sony is discussed at length, can they keep their edge on promises alone and does their absence signify the start of a turning of the tide?

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