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Copyright: Copyright (c) 2002-2008 Ziff Davis Media Inc.
 



Listen to the Final 1UP Podcast Ever

Sat, 06 Apr 2013 14:59:00 PDT

As you know, 1UP.com has breathed its last. Such are the vicissitudes of business. Happily, Jose Otero managed to pull together a startling number of former 1UP staff during Game Developers Conference this year for one final podcast. Not everyone was there due to the last-minute nature of this show (or because they had other duties that kept them away), but if you paid any attention at all to the site for the 10 years it lived you're bound to hear some voices you recognize in this three-hour tag-team adventure. Rather than spoil the surprise, though, we'd rather just let you hear the show for yourself.

Thanks for all the years of support. Your enthusiasm for our work fueled these shows, and we very literally couldn't have done it without you. Please enjoy this final gift to you all.





A Plea for the Gaming Industry to Respect Gamers

Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:27:00 PST

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Although the economy might not be in the thick of a recession as it once was, that doesn't mean things are going especially great for videogame publishers. Take Electronic Arts, for instance, which hasn't exactly set the world on fire with its performance as of late. The start of the next generation is an ideal opportunity to effect change that doesn't come along often, and it seems EA doesn't intend to miss it; just yesterday it revealed plans to proliferate microtransactions throughout each of its games. As EA and publishers in general attempt to do this (and try out other means for generating additional revenue), I hope they don't forget to treat gamers with respect.

This current generation of consoles has seen the onset of numerous new money-making tactics. While expansion packs had been offered in the past, downloadable content became the norm for nearly every game, delivering everything from horse armor to new characters, maps, and more. Online passes have attempted to fight used games sales, encouraging gamers to buy new copies of their games or, failing that, forcing them to pay money directly to the publisher for access to certain (often multiplayer) content. Always-online connections, allegedly intended to enable new features but with the obvious benefit of trying to ward off piracy, spread from games where its use was implicit to those where its use is a detriment more than anything else.




Moving Forward and Looking to Indies, Not Better Graphics

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:59:00 PST

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Excited as I was to finally see a next-generation console, much of the PlayStation 4 software we saw last week struck me as underwhelming. It was pretty, certainly, and I'm all for beautiful games; I paid a great deal to upgrade my PC in 2011 so that Battlefield 3 would look its finest, and it irks me that Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3 each stresses my computer to the point that I can't see every last bit of visual goodness they have to offer and maintain a decent framerate. Still, gorgeous graphics are not all I want out of new games, and yet it would seem as if the PS4's hardware is being extolled purely for its ability to accommodate even nicer-looking visuals.

That belief is representative of the majority of what Sony had on show last week. While the capabilities of the hardware to push more pixels was invariably going to be a major part of the event, with the way things went you could be left thinking the future of games entails little more than better-looking games that boot up faster than ever. That's all well and good -- I am legitimately excited for auto-downloads, suspend modes, and all manners of hurdles between player and game being removed -- but the hurdles Sony and Microsoft should be doing their damndest to remove lay between independent developers and next-generation consoles.




The Orwellian Superheroes of Watch Dogs and inFamous: Second Son

Fri, 22 Feb 2013 15:25:00 PST

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Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed -- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull. -- George Orwell, 1984

Ever since George Orwell published his dystopian masterpiece in 1949, people have compared it to the current state of national or international affairs. But in the always-connected, always-public world of 2013, perhaps the novel's themes hit closer to home than ever. We're living in a time of fierce debate over privacy concerns, an era where government and law enforcement argue for the right to GPS-track citizens without their knowledge. And like any form of art, video games are influenced by life.

During the PlayStation 4 event, Ubisoft and Sucker Punch gave the world a glimpse of their upcoming titles. And while there are clear differences between Watch Dogs and inFamous: Second Son, it's hard to ignore the overriding sense of paranoia and fear over a totalitarian state. Superheroes don't always wear a cape, and in the case of Aiden Pearce and Delsin Rowe, the rise of the anti-hero is a consequence of an oppressive regime.

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PS3 Digital Games Could Be a Gentle Way of Easing Us Into Streaming on PS4

Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:08:00 PST

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Much like their disc-based counterparts, PlayStation 3 downloadable games won't be supported on PlayStation 4. What that means is your entire PlayStation Network library is going to have to stay put, and won't be carried over to the next generation as many people were hoping it would. That's no surprise considering the major changes to the system's architecture which, other than the issue of backwards compatibility, are excellent news. This leaves gamers who wanted the PS4 to fully replace the PS3 currently sitting on their entertainment centers in an unfortunate position, although it does present Sony with an opportunity.

Backwards compatibility has never been a guarantee going into a new generation. More often than not, it's been something we've had to do without: NES games didn't work on SNES, SNES games didn't work on N64, N64 games didn't work on GameCube, Genesis games didn't work on Saturn, and so on. More recently we've had exceptions to that as the media games were delivered on became more consistent across generations with CDs and DVDs. The current generation of consoles initially promised backwards compatibility to varying degrees, but eventually Sony stopped including the hardware necessary to play PS2 games on PS3, Microsoft stopped adding Xbox games to the list of those that could be played on 360, and Nintendo left GameCube support out of the most recent Wii hardware revision. Now, with not even PSN games being playable on PS4, you can see that there is more to backwards compatibility than having a way of getting the data onto the newer system -- particularly when the system games were originally on had complex hardware.




It's True: 1UP has Reached Its End

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 16:04:00 PST

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The corporate version:




The Games Industry Loses an Exceptional Individual as Kenji Eno Passes Away

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:44:00 PST

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Kenji Eno, famed game designer and composer, passed away yesterday from heart failure at the age of 42. Eno was truly a unique individual, both in terms of the games he worked on over the course of his more than two-decade-long career and the bold way he operated.

One of Eno's first experiences with games was Space Invaders, which was quick to make an impression on him. "I liked how it made you feel kind of different. And the first time I experienced it, it's like the first time you meet a woman -- you feel something there; you feel some kind of chemistry," he told 1UP in an extensive 2008 interview. "So I felt something like that for Space Invaders. That was probably love at first at sight. The sound was also what attracted me to it. Back then, I was in elementary school, and some schools banned kids from playing Space Invaders because kids were playing it too much."




Can PlayStation 4 Restore Our Lost Love for Sony?

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:10:00 PST

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I used to love Sony.




PS4's Encouraging Start Centers Around Sharing and Developer Friendliness

Wed, 20 Feb 2013 22:44:00 PST

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It's true, the games are ultimately what we are most concerned with when we talk about a games console. But when they are first announced, it's the systems themselves that are often the most fascinating topics. This is perhaps truer than ever before in the case of the PlayStation 4, what with the industry changing so dramatically and the current generation of systems having lasted for as long as it has. Going into today's event, I was of the belief that Sony needed to present a convincing reason for why it chose to make the decisions it would unveil and, more importantly, why it is that gamers should care about investing hundreds of dollars in a new system. At least part of Sony's answer to the latter question revolved around making the PS4 a much more social platform than other consoles, though whether that's a satisfactory justification remains to be seen.

The picture of the system's new controller that has been circulating around the web for the past week did prove to be real. The DualShock 4 uses Bluetooth and is largely the same as its predecessor, save for some tweaks (like merging the Start and Select buttons into one, and the introduction of new, concave analog sticks, which are unfortunately not offset, Xbox-style) and a few new features: a headphone jack, a Share button, a touchpad, and a light bar. The touchpad, which I figured would have received some attention during the event, was all but ignored; I had hoped to see some reason for its inclusion. Perhaps it's better that the games we saw didn't include it, as it's the sort of input that should only be used when it makes sense to do so, not simply because it's there.




1UP's PlayStation 4 Roundtable: Opinions, Analysis, and Community Reactions

Wed, 20 Feb 2013 21:09:00 PST

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Jose Otero: At the PlayStation event, Sony showed some of the best and worst kept secrets in the gaming industry. We all got our first peek at the PlayStation 4's controller and the rumored social features, like the ability to allow other users to spectate the games you're currently playing. I went into this thing unsure of how social features would help boost this upcoming generation of hardware, but I walked away impressed by all of the possibilities. Today's Internet thrives on a socially connected culture where people share pictures, video, and information at a rapid pace. It only makes sense that games would go in the same direction. The next gen doesn't appear driven by graphics and polygons like the previous one's that came before. If Sony placed their bets properly, it's more about the social features and what they bring to the table.

Marty Sliva: Yeah, one of the biggest things I took aware from the conference was Sony's push to make the PS4 the first social network with "meaning," their words, not mine. Strange verbiage aside, they said all of the right things to make me believe that this could be the first console to succeed in connecting gamers on the same level that a platform like Facebook does. The idea of being able to watch what my buddies are playing on the fly, or upload something amazing that just happened in whatever game I might be playing is promising to say the least. If "Let's Plays" seem popular now, just wait until any kid with a PS4 can record commentary without ever leaving their living room.