Tag Archives: Xbox

Nindies and Nidhoggs

Welcome to another episode of the Lost Spark podcast. This week we have a bumper packed show with a bevy of all the latest news from this week in gaming. With thoughts on the Xbox One X Project Scorpio edition selling out pretty much everywhere worldwide and Microsoft’s elation and commitment to fulfill demand, all the games coming in September from PlayStation Plus and Games with Gold, right through to employees of KFC being trapped in a room by Colonel Sanders until they learn the hallowed Chicken Mastery in VR.

There’s also a good look at the latest Nintendo Nindies Summer Showcase that aired an hour before recording with a look at the highlights from the selection of over 20 titles for Switch that Nintendo packed into just 22 minutes.

Antony gets to grips with Nidhogg 2 and discovers, much to Dazza’s chagrin that he is in fact the lord and master of the game. Destined to forever wear the beloved Nidhogg Crown encrusted with jewels and claymation body parts and leaving Dazza shaking his head in fury at having Antony dance upon his face with his feet just one too many times. It really is some top notch non stop fun.

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Could Ties To Xbox One Prevent Us Seeing Scorpio’s True Power?

Welcome to the podcast, and Episode 87 of our weekly show of gaming goodness. Among the rest of the comings and goings in the world of gaming on this week’s pod, there is of course the small matter of Microsoft’s hardware spec reveal of their long awaited and eagerly anticipated Project Scorpio system.

With no games to speak of, this unveiling has concentrated purely on the specifications of the new system. In an unorthodox move by Team Xbox, the reveal was made via games media outlet Digital Foundry rather than Microsoft themselves. A fantastic scoop for the good guys over at Eurogamer and Digital Foundry and a move that indicates, surely, just how confident Microsoft is in their new shiny technology.

That confidence does not seem to have been misplaced as the reports that Richard Leadbetter and his team over at Digital Foundry are optimistic to say the least and seem to vindicate Xbox’s claims that this new machine will hit that dream of not only 4K resolutions but also giving us that beauty at 60fps.

Digging deeper it looks like the guys at Redmond have also baked in improvements to the 1080p community into the Scorpio with what looks like automatic improvements to many legacy games due to the architecture in this new console.

Obviously, the Xbox guys don’t want to alienate all their loyal Xbox One owners and so there has been much use of the word ‘premium’ (read expensive) around this new console and also there has been much made of assuring Xbox One owners that the Scorpio will not be a break off point that leaves them behind. There is a commitment to existing Xbox owners that there will be no Scorpio exclusives – ‘No One Get’s Left Behind’.

This is reassuring and sounds great, it helps soothe the players who feel that it’s too early for a new console in light of previous generations lasting 7 years or so who may otherwise feel rather short changed at this mid-gen update. But could a commitment to keeping those ties to Xbox One, to ensuring that all games will work on the soon to be legacy machine, be counterproductive? Perhaps not now at launch but in the future and will the Xbox One eventually become an albatross holding the new monster that is Scorpio back, keeping it from its true destiny of Scorpio only exclusives?

Obviously, there’s a concern there and a knee jerk reaction would indicate exactly this scenario lurking in Scorpio’s future. An alternative view though would be that we live in a gaming age where the consoles we have already allow for such amazing games that there would be no reason that a game could not run on one of the current consoles. Take Grand Theft Auto V for instance, an absolute behemoth of a title encompassing a wide breadth of gaming systems across a vast open world and using several different gameplay mechanics and all this on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Since then the game has been refined and improved as it has hit the PC and the next generation of consoles but the game itself is fantastic on the older consoles too. This seems a reasonable argument that any game that comes to the Scorpio will be able to be ported over to the Xbox One, it will just not have those extra bells and whistles in comparison to its new big brother. A move even closer to the world of the PC where, for example you can gain entry to a title using the minimum spec graphics card but you are aware that this will be the same game but a pared back experience in comparison to the Titan X owner.

So, rather than holding Scorpio back, we could see more titles for Xbox One and more innovation on the legacy platform as developers move forward and focus on the Scorpio. In a recent Q&A with Gamasutra, Phil Spencer mentions that it is actually an easier task to tweak a game downward rather than upward – this being the reason that the Scorpio dev-kits have double the memory in them than the consumer Scorpio.  This idea could then not only leave the Scorpio unfettered in future games aimed at it, but also benefit Xbox One players with a gaming experience that may perhaps have not been considered for their system in this new dawn of the Scorpio.

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Can Microsoft Escape The Shadow of Sony’s Killer First Party Line-Up?

We’re back baby! After an unavoidable 2 week break the Sparks are back, bringing with them Episode 80 of their unique brand of pure podcast-tastic-ness.

This week the discussion turns to how well 2017 is shaping up for Sony and PS4. Not only with some fantastic existing releases coming in so early in the year but with platform exclusives coming down the line that have the guys very excited. WIth Resident Evil 7 in PSVR, Nioh garnering well deserved praise, Horizon Zero Dawn nearly upon us and many other exclusive titles (some being new IP’s) awaiting us down the road it is, once more, a great time to be a gamer.

If, that is, you own a PS4… Continue reading

Will You Switch To Nintendo?

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?
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Gears 4: A Triumphant Emergence – Is Playing Legacy Games A Prerequisite?

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?
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The PS4 Slim Is Out Now…On eBay!

PlayStationMeeting

This week we got our first glimpse at one of Sony’s surprises for their September 7th PlayStation Meeting as the new PlayStation 4 Slim popped up on sale on both Gumtree and eBay.  Both Eurogamer and Kotaku covered the story and one report from Eurogamer visited the seller at his home to verify the authenticity of the new PS4 Slim!

Has this ruined one of Sony’s surprise or does this clear the decks for the unveiling of the new PlayStation, currently codenamed Neo?

With only a few weeks away until the PlayStation Meeting can Sony protect its other secret announcements and not spring anymore leaks?

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Gaming Rapture, Is The Bioshock Collection Worthy Of A Double-Dip?

This week, the Sparks discuss all the latest goings on in the games world and spend a good degree of time remembering and appreciating the Bioshock franchise after the announcement of The Bioshock Collection; a HD remaster of the series, Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and the awesome Bioshock Infinite all complete with DLC.

Join us on a nostalgic stroll down the lane of some of the most enjoyable and atmospheric environments that gamers’ dared to tread, from the depths of Rapture to the heights of the air city of Columbia, that first encounter with a Big Daddy, that harrowing original Bioshock trailer and much more.

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The Lost Art of Surprise – Do Pre-Show Leaks Take The Shine Off E3?

This week James Thomas (@BIGSheep) joins Antony and Darren on the Pod adding his unique mix of insight and critique that just, well, simply classes up the whole affair to be frank.

With E3 almost upon us, the excitement at Spark Towers is tangible and so, of course, a fair chunk of debate time is allocated to discussing and dissecting what treats will be scattered before us at next weeks show and at the pre show conferences.

Taking a layer of sheen off things though is the now usual and ever increasing (at least, so it seems) number of leaks in the run up to the event.

Are these leaks truly uncontainable? Or could they be some kind of industry PR orchestrated attempt at hitting us with news in a way that makes it seem more exciting? If that is the case, then we could expect that all the great news would indeed be held back for the big conferences over the E3 week of gaming goodness.

E3 Expo in Los Angeles

If that is the case, well, that’s all well and good but here’s an idea, in fact no, a plea, from the Sparks and indeed any gamers that will join in the cry.

Legitimate or not – Please try to plug those leaks before E3! #dontleakE3

For gamers all around the world E3 has always been such an exciting time and never more so than nowadays when, thanks to the awesome evolution of technology, this hallowed event has also evolved. From its humble beginnings as a primarily business affair, to a much more exciting and inclusive event that is available for fans to watch live along with the press, to share in the anticipation, excitement and delivery of the gaming news that will shape the next year of our beloved hobby.

So please, leave the surprises alone and keep the leaks away.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an E3 with out the Lost Spark E3 Predictions, so this week Darren, Antony and James running through some possible , some crazy and some down right awesome predictions for the celebration that is E3 2016.

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After All This Time Can The Last Guardian Still Impress?

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?

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Has E3 Lost Its Spark Or Is The Magic Still There?

This week amongst the usual wealth of gaming and tech news that the Sparks’ discuss the glory days of E3 are lovingly looked back on. Have the best days of this core gaming event passed us by and will E3 return to former glory this year or in future? Antony and Darren swap stories of enjoying the conferences of E3’s past, chat about how they feel that it really is a core gaming event still, that brings not just the press but also the gaming community along for the ride causing a level of excitement they are sure could only happen in gaming.

As more big players drop out of the main event though, a tremor of worry rears its head – could the best of E3 already be behind us? Let’s hope not.
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