Microsoft is about to unveil its Xbox Project Scorpio specifications. The event will be in conjunction with Eurogamer’s tech wizards, Digital Foundry. Eurogamer has confirmed it will run an “exclusive Xbox Scorpio reveal” on Thursday 6th April at 2pm GMT/9AM ET, following speculation. Microsoft reportedly invited Digital Foundry to its campus recently to observe the internals of Project Scorpio and witness Forza Motorsport 7 running at 4K resolution.
A surprising move for many but most definitely not an unwelcome one. It’s big news and of course the Sparks – joined this week by James (@BigSheep) – chew over the prospect of what will be in store when the news drops.
There are a few questions to ask here, such as why have Microsoft decided to make their big reveal ahead of E3, why make the reveal through an external outlet such as Digital Foundry and just how much detail can we expect Team Xbox to reveal?
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?
Gears of War 4 released last week to ‘Ultimate Edition’ players and Antony along with co-op partner Nicola (his wife) jumped into the campaign on day one. For anyone sitting on the fence or worrying that this once closed off storyline was getting a sub-standard sequel, fear not. Gears of War 4 ticks all of the boxes, well it actually sticks a frag grenade on the boxes and blows them out of the water! Antony was happy to report that Gears of War 4 is not only a fitting continuation of the story, it could possibly be the BEST GEARS OF WAR GAME!
With the campaign finished, Antony, Nicola and Gears noob James are about to embark on the hours of fun that is Horde 3.0 – updates to come on next week’s podcast.
Amidst this rousing appreciation for Gears of War 4 from Antony (and the relief at this news from the other Sparks), a listener question prompts an interesting discussion centering upon whether a player would need to play all the games in a given series in order to enjoy the newest shiny instalment. The question posed was directly regarding Gears of War 4 but the Sparks opened this up generally assessing the need to play all instalments in any series to be able to feel part of a fully rounded gaming experience. From a business point of view, it makes sense that games should be designed to be jumped in at any time in a series to keep that cash coming in but does that apply to all, or any games? And could catering to the newcomer harvest resentment in the gamers who have been there for the long haul? Continue reading →
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?
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…
With Oculus Rift getting released on 28th March the Sparks spend time breaking down the reviews that dropped in to coincide with the release.
Antony and Darren give thanks to Palmer Luckey for his vision and for driving Oculus forward and look forward to the future of this new platform that will no doubt innovate and deliver amazing experiences to the consumers.
Also examined is the fact that having PSVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive active in the market can only be a good thing for the future of VR as it seems the industry has a razor sharp intent upon making VR relevant.
Once the affordability factor is overcome VR will surely become more mainstream but as it stands at the moment, which platform would you go for? Continue reading →
We stand on the brink of VR entering the mainstream and with HTC Vive at last revealing the details of their ‘Very Very Big Technological Breakthrough’, the Sparks share their feelings about the announcement, asking was it as big as expected, did it take the wind out of their sails and are there applications that the forward facing camera will allow us to embrace that just haven’t been thought of yet?
Yesterday (6th Jan 2016) marked the date when the VR revolution truly began, with the consumer version of Oculus Rift being finally available for pre-order, costing £499 in the UK and $599 in the US and with a release date of April 2016. The price point is discussed…
The Sparks, along with James ‘Sensual Santa’ Thomas (@BIGsheep) record an epic podcast discussing the latest gaming news along with a jam packed VR News Desk covering all the latest VR News.
The first ever Lost Spark Game of the Year podcast is here! Games have been played (and played) and the votes are in. 2015 was a fantastic year for games but which titles got Antony and Darren excited this year?
In this week’s news section The Sparks chat about Uncharted 4’s slip to April 2016 and speculate on what could be causing the delay – a final polish after seeing Rise of the Tomb Raider in action or perhaps even some kind of VR mode? Yes, we can dream!
Also, Radio 1 finally acknowledges gaming and PlayStation release their PS Plus games for January 2016.