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We’re finally through the double-tap of next generation console releases and it’s actually pretty good to be here. No more speculation or wait-and-see. We have them in our hands to test anything and everything we could ever want to know about the systems.

Tomorrow on the show it’ll be Arjay, Matt, and myself talking about our new systems. Matt’s had a bit of time to put in with his PS4 and we’ll get his take on things. I’ll give an update on the status of my Xbox One and we may even have a segment with James as well (still undetermined, but we’re trying).

Also on the show we’ll be talking with Evan Hahn from Snowed In Studios. They’re currently at work on a game called WindForge. He’ll be on the phone with us live and we’ll take your questions for him in the chat room about what it’s like to make a game with flying whales, airships, and grappling hooks. We’ve no confirmation, but we might also be joined on the show by fellow Colony Of Gamer – Codicier, who is also with Snowed In Studios working on WindForge.

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there. We’ll see you live in the studio tomorrow night!

 

We’re grinding through this episode at the following link

This episode should have been more about the Xbox One rather than about my problem with the Xbox One. Our plan was to do just as we did in the previous episode with the PS4 and comb over the dashboard and other features of the system and talk, at length, of its highs and lows. At least so far as in the amount of time we’d had to discover them. Except I discovered the lowest of lows. One that wouldn’t let us do any of that as we’d intended.

Still, without the aid of the console itself, we do our best to talk about the very short amount of time I spent with it and answer as much as I can from the chat room crowd. Plus, Matt makes his return with this episode and Jeremy has his first encounter with a next gen controller.

 

So…this happened to me:

 

This feels familiar.

As though we did this just recently…like you don’t know what we’ll be talking about on tomorrow’s episode.

ArJay will be there and Matt makes his return to the show plus I think Jeremy will also be on hand as well as myself. The Xbox One is still in the box and I’ll be hooking that up after I post this to make sure it works and get the system up to speed.

Should it all go as planned and I don’t end up with a disc eater out of the box, we plan on bringing it into the studio tomorrow and hooking it up there while we broadcast. There won’t be much detail for you to see, but there will be plenty for us to say while we play around with the system.

This IS the discussion for tomorrow night. There’s no two ways about it. And as we learned last week, we’ll have a lot of you in the chat room asking us about the system. We like that, and so we invite you again to join us and bombard us with questions that we can demo right there live in the studio for you.

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there. We’ll see you live in the studio tomorrow night!

 

I grabbed a new cam for the show (Logitech C920, by the way) and decided to test it out. I seem to have ended up making a video blog post. As it was my first time, I made the mistake of not checking my volume levels. It’s loud. You should adjust the level before listening. My apologies and I’ll make sure that mistake doesn’t happen next time. If, of course, there is a next time. This is a little weird, to be honest.

 

It’s “bring your console to work day” at the following link.

Make no mistake about where our loyalties lie. We’re quite wrapped up in the grasp of the PS4 and the Xbox One, and we welcomed it with open arms. It’s this way with any new technology for us, but more so since it involves our prime pastime – though it’s more a lifestyle when shelling out 900 plus dollars in the span of two weeks for a “hobby”.

In the span of two hours, however, we exhaust our talk of the PS4 and go over the system as best we can audibly, and as much as we can visually. In most episodes you can watch or listen, but this one (and next weeks) work better when combined.

 

Right.

Like you don’t know what we’ll be talking about on tomorrow’s episode.

ArJay will be there as will James and myself. Currently, I have my PS4 and James has one. ArJay is holding tight until there is more on the system he wants to play. James, while having one, is still not sure he wants it. And I’ll be opening up mine just as soon as I finish writing this.

Should it all go as planned and I don’t end up with a dud out of the box, we plan on bringing it into the studio tomorrow and hooking it up there while we broadcast. There won’t be much detail for you to see (and we might try to fix that), but there will be plenty for us to say while we play around with the system.

This IS the discussion for tomorrow night. There’s no two ways about it. Also, I can’t go a show without mentioning Uncharted (and now probably Cyan’s Obduction too), so there’s that.

And you should probably have a good idea of how this post will look next week.

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there. We’ll see you live in the studio tomorrow night!

 

We’re paid in full at the following link.

Every exit is an entrance someplace else, and we’re about to find out if leaving the old gen for the new is worth our time and money.  We don’t have much to offer now beyond recollection, lamentation and stupid stories of the last seven years of console gaming.  We’re honestly very tired of, and from, all the discussions about the transition from this gen to the next, so let’s just get with the transiting already.  There’s a thousand dollars of toybox hardware to pass judgement on this month, and we’re not getting any younger.

 

The last system I can remember really being excited to get was probably the original Xbox or the PS2. Both of those, and the GameCube to some extent, marked my return to home console gaming after skipping Sony’s first effort and the N64. I can’t remember why I skipped those or what happened, but up until that point my experience of gaming at home was with my father’s PC and the SNES and Genesis.

By the way, those two systems were easily remembered as ones I pined over, and not because they were new systems like today, but because holy shit! A new Mario game! And damn…Sonic is all fast and has that attitude. Altered Beast?! I played that in some arcades and the guy turns into animals OMGWTFBBQ!!11eleventyone11!! I mean, really…those were games I desperately wanted to play and they came packed in with the system. Something I didn’t get with my PS2 & Xbox purchase. However, they were still driven by a strong desire to play their launch lineup. The Xbox, of course, had Halo and I had a slight urge to play another Oddworld as well. The PS2 had SSX, Summoner, Midnight Club, and FantaVision (shut up). As for the GameCube, it didn’t have much out of the gate, but I really wanted to play that Rogue Squadron game, and there was always the promise that a new Nintendo begets a new Mario game. So I was more in it for that than anything else.

Still, the Xbox and PS2 had a strong opening even though they were a year apart in release. I played a ton of Halo and loved that system dearly. Just as much as I’d come to love my PS2. Seriously, SSX was one of the most fun games I’d played at launch and didn’t feel like some kind of a stretch in filling out a launch lineup. It was just a damn blast to play. And I looked forward to both systems because of that reason – they had games I wanted to play.

I have a hard time saying that today with the impending release of the PS4 and Xbox One. Hell, I had a hard time saying that with the PS3 and Xbox 360 release. Advancing the technology is great and always a good thing, but the launch lineup for that generation was pretty lackluster and this next one is as well. Keep in mind I am only speaking for myself with this so let me explain a little bit about why that is. At the core of it is my PC. A machine I built just over a year ago and seems to only now be showing off what it can do with titles like BioShock Infinite, Batman Arkham Origins, and (probably) Assassin’s Creed IV. And that’s just this past year, to say nothing of what Titanfall and others next year will look like. The PC gives me these games at a cheaper price either out of the gate or, at the very least, faster than I’ll get them cheaper on the console. Currently it allows me to play these games at a max setting that the PS4 and Xbox One just cannot match.

Now that just covers the multiplat titles. The games I mentioned for the SNES, Genesis, PS2, and Xbox were all first party exclusive titles. And the first party titles for the Xbox One and PS4 just aren’t getting me excited. I’ve never been a fan of the KillZone franchise. It never clicked with me and has really remained off my radar for the most part. The last I ever saw of Knack was back in February with Cerny on stage talking up the system and his game. Sony hasn’t really been pushing that game and the media hasn’t been doing it either. The best I can hope for, personally, is Resogun, and that’s a PSN title! That doesn’t diminish the game itself but it’s surprising to me that your best launch title is on PSN (and free to PS+ members). Although, maybe that isn’t so surprising as I played a ton of Geometry Wars and Hexic HD on the 360 when it launched.

On the Xbox One side of the equation they have Dead Rising 3. I plan to check it out but I haven’t really been paying attention to it. I played the first Dead Rising during the desert of no games in the early first year of the Xbox 360. I haven’t played it or the sequel since. I like my racing titles, but I’m not a fan of the sim type of racing games that is Forza 5 (unless it has a DeLorean in it). RYSE has me curious but cautious, and, again, the best I can hope for comes digitally from Xbox Live in LocoCycle. Oh, and I’ve heard good things about Zoo Tycoon (or real life Viva Pinata, I guess).

The point I am making here is that the launch games aren’t driving me to buy the systems. I want them, but I can easily remember a time when I wanted a system to play the games that launched with it. Now…now it’s just some weird caveman instinct in me to own something right when it releases and be within that crowd of people who can talk from experience in owning the system and checking it out – even though I might not be playing much, if anything, on them. For now, at least.

I mean, even if I didn’t get either system at launch I’ll own them eventually. Naughty Dog will do what they do and release a game or 4 on it that I will WANT to play. And, hell, what if we see The Last Guardian show up – that’ll put a system in my hands for that title alone. On Microsoft’s side, Halo will release and I’ll want that, I’m sure. However, it begins to look a bit bleak there for their first party titles. They’ll have some surprises, sure, but at the outset I can’t see much in their future for me at the moment. I’m sure it’ll come though. Then we go to the third parties who usually will include the PC, but sometimes stick to just the home systems or delay the ever-loving shit out of putting their game on the PC. Rockstar will be there with something eventually and they made Table Tennis – something I spent $60 on when it released. Destiny seems to be destined for ONLY being on the PS4 & Xbox One (fix that Daniel…do it!), so I would have a system by then as well.

Eventuality, price drops, exclusives, form factor updates, system improvements, and holiday bundles would put both systems in my hands in the future. That part is inevitable. But man, I do miss that excitement of having a brand new game to play at launch on my brand new system. For now, we’ll just get the wedding over with and take a rain check on the honeymoon.

 

I don’t really like to get too personal on these posts. Usually about as far as I go is with my personal connection to some games and I’ll continue those, but this one is a bit more personal, but still has to do with the show and IGC as a whole.

As some of you may know, IGC isn’t a day job for any of us. It’s this thing we do around our day jobs and brings in nothing financially. Also, as likely most of you know, I work at and for the same radio station we broadcast IGC from. In June of this year, right after I got back from E3, I was informed I’d be let go from my day job. Immediately being informed of this my thoughts went straight to the show. Which still feels odd now, that I would be more concerned for it than I would be paying my own bills in the coming months. But I had just gotten back from E3 talking with publishers and developers and having lots of hope and promise for the show in the weeks and months ahead so my mind was focused on it. Plus, it felt like we were back on our feet again as a show.

Before getting back on the air regularly we’d spent a few years in a limbo like state of just doing the show when it was convenient for all of us, and from my couch no less. Hell, we’ve done more episodes this year being back on the air than we did in the past two years combined. I can remember in January of this year when I drove over to James’ house to drop off some yard tools or whatever and, as we normally do, we started talking of when we’d be doing another episode. He finally said what we were both thinking – it’d be really great if we were on the radio again. We talked it over a bit outside his house and finally decided that I would go in on Monday and ask if we could go back on the air. If we got the all clear for it then great! We’d take whatever time slot they offered and go from there. If they denied us, then we’d try to find a way to wrap this all up and get out of it. We enjoyed doing IGC, but we didn’t like how we were doing it or how it was being presented to you. So there it was, all out on the table. If we get a “yes” we continue and if it’s a “no” we end it.

To the surprise of all of us on the show and a few of you out there, they let us back on the air and the rest is exactly what you know of it and also brings us up to speed so far. I’d been told my last day would be the end of July and then I’d be paid for another 2 months of work and that would be it for me and the company. Except that isn’t what happened. Due to an overwhelming amount of support from coworkers, things shifted enough that I was able to stay on as an employee but the pay was drastically cut as were the hours. I was okay with this simply because it meant we’d still be able to do a show and I’d have a ton more time to devote to it. Again, the show came first for me in this scenario and this really worked out well in that regard. This set up the opportunity to get more time in with games, set up pre-recorded interviews with folks who just couldn’t join us live and, lately, start doing posts like these you’ve been seeing. It did not, however, work out very well for me on a personal basis since the money just wasn’t there to cover my month to month expenses as I thought it would be (contracts and auto-renewals are bastards, by the way).

It was looking bleak for a moment there. In the event I couldn’t find a second job or would have to get another full time job somewhere else, the ability to do the show at the radio station was in question. I felt it was very likely it would have to go away since I wouldn’t be employed there and would also not fall under any regulations of being on the air and operating the equipment. It would be more a rule/CYA situation for the company rather than anything personal between me and them. Keeping some kind of employment at the station was crucial for me so that the show could continue.

Like the last few minutes of a sports movie, the winning point was scored and due to specific circumstances, I was given my old job back. There were a few tweaks, but it was, for the most part, back to normal for me. However, as you may can tell from the lack of posts we’ve gotten out recently, my time for IGC has been cut back a bit. It isn’t anything drastic but there’s less time than what there was before. Incidentally, there’s more time now, however, than what there was before this all happened after E3.

Regardless, we didn’t lose the show. We didn’t lose the ability to do the show or come to the point where we’d have to stop doing the show. But we came pretty damn close. Twice this year. None of us like to NOT do a show. We all have jobs that can sometimes force us away from some episodes – Matt never likes having to miss an episode and wouldn’t if he could help it. Dennis is the same way and does a ton for us during the week in show prep because he can’t make it there on Saturday night due to his job. Jeremy has children. James and I don’t understand that part, but from what we’ve been told it’s…like a job. ArJay is hardly never there and usually when he isn’t it’s because of video game tournaments he takes part in. As for James, unless he’s deathly ill or has a prior commitment to his day job, he’ll be there. And, as some of you may remember from earlier this year, we’ll even reschedule ourselves so he can be there and do the show. We all love to do this, because this is exactly what we do when there aren’t microphones in front of us, and we are continually amazed by the support we get and the ever growing amount of people who enjoy listening to us.

I realize this post isn’t really going anywhere specific, if only to mention a few things that have happened that some of you may not know about and a reason or two in explanation of the lack of updates here and there. I suppose at the end of it all, what almost happened in losing my job made me realize what was bound to happen in reenforcing just how much IGC means to me and the rest of us. We’re grateful to be able to do this and to have the people like you reading this to do it for and have that kind of support. So, from all of us on the show, off the show, show’s past and show’s to come – thanks for emailing us, tweeting us, liking us, supporting us, promoting us, and as always…thanks for listening to us. Means a great deal more than I can put in any of these posts, I assure you.

 

The next time we post one of these we’ll be one console deep into the next gen, but for now, we’ll just have to settle for continuing our talk about it. Tomorrow night on the show it’ll be ArJay, James, Jeremy, and myself sitting down yet again and discussing what’s to come in the next two weeks. Obviously the PS4 is top of mind at the moment since it’s first out of the gate, but there’s still room for chat about the Xbox One and the ever consistent current generation of PC gaming.

While new information wasn’t available, there’s been more talk on why resolution matters – or at least questions as to why some of the gaming press doesn’t seem to want it to matter. Call Of Duty was released and didn’t sell as well as last years CoD title. Also didn’t score as well either for some outlets. It still has two more SKU’s to release, however, and could likely be the reason for the low sales figures – but those SKU’s aren’t likely to change the review scores.

To be perfectly honest, we have no idea what will be our opening topic for tomorrow’s show (or topics beyond that either). With one week to go before the release of the PS4, we feel like we’ve covered our ground on the next gen discussion until reality hits us next Friday…and then again the Friday after. Whatever the case, we have the four of us in the studio ready to rattle off words and string together thoughts and a chat room full of you to correct us, direct us, and keep it all interesting.

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there. We’ll see you live in the studio tomorrow night!

 

We’re hearkening back at the following link.

The consoles are damned close now, aren’t they?  We’re near the end of a six-month campaign of speculation, spec comparisons, theorycrafting, and shit-slinging, and we’re about to enter a six-year period sure to be filled with more of the same.  It’s nice to take a quiet moment, then, and enjoy oneself by tearing through a flimsy package and liberating a fresh new toy.  For a few minutes, the PS4 was less important than its controller, and the console war less interesting than the satisfying click of a button.

In an effort to get even further away from a cynical present, we connect with a wonderful memory and speak with one of the men who helped deliver it.  Twenty years after the release of Myst, Rand Miller of Cyan, inc joins us to discuss the development of exploration and puzzle-solving game Obduction, and the history of the games that shaped a genre.

 

Some recent events over the weekend mean the holidays are going to be a bit better for me than they were before this past Friday. Not in any kind of extravagant way, but it means I can now get both new systems without as much worry as there was before.

I was in LA for E3 when prices for the systems were announced and that’s all the retailers were waiting for before they started taking pre-orders. As soon as I could I called the local store in town to find out their supply and see about getting one ordered for myself. The only way I could get a system pre-ordered was doing so in-store. They would not accept them over the phone.

That’s when I called James and he got to the store after work and was able to get an Xbox One held in my name. Later that night when Sony revealed their price, James did the same thing and went to the store the very next morning and pre-ordered a PS4 for himself and for me as well – camera included.

Since that time, I’ve been pretty excited with the anticipation of the systems, but as the date drew closer, my excitement has settled. It’s actually quite mild, really. If I really give it some thought, I’m more excited for the future of these systems than I am for their launch. If I’m really honest, there’s nothing drawing me to the Xbox One or PS4 right out of the gate. If I had to choose, there’s KillZone and that is it. Even at that, I’ll likely rent the game and play it. It’s a title that if it were released for the PS3 right now, I’d do the same with or maybe even skip it altogether. Everything else on the PS4 and Xbox One is either not in my wheelhouse or can be played on my PC.

There are some digital titles I’m interested in that are exclusive to the systems like LocoCycle for the Xbox One, but even added into the mix that comes to one title per console that I have much interest in at all. So then why get the consoles?

Well, I know eventually I’ll be getting them. There’s just no way around that fact. One of these systems will have a must have title on it that I want to play. It’s a guarantee for the PS4 that I’ll want Infamous Second Son and ANYTHING that we see from Naughty Dog. On the Xbox side of things I can’t be as specific but they’ll bounce back a bit with some exclusives for their system that would eventually make me break down and buy one. However, the main reason is because of what we do every Saturday night. No one on the show is getting both systems. James was in the PS4 camp and that’s a maybe at the moment for him. Matt has a PS4 on pre-order. Jeremy isn’t jumping into next gen at the moment and will continue his course of gaming on the PC and current gen roads. ArJay will eventually get a PS4 but not at launch. In fact…none of us, even in the future, see ourselves owning an Xbox One.

Even still, I don’t feel like I am taking one for the team on this. The Xbox One is a system I know I’ll eventually own and I’m still going to try out some of the launch titles from it – none that I’m excited for, but I’ll still give them a go. Never hurts to try new things and they could easily sway me into liking something like RYSE or maybe even Dead Rising 3. I’ve never been a driving sim fan but if Forza has a DeLorean in it, well….

The truth of it is, I like to be a part of things like new console releases. I wasn’t there for the WiiU and, for me, it didn’t feel like what this currently feels like. I couldn’t look down the road a ways for the WiiU and see me getting that console for a game I really wanted to play. But here, I can afford it, and we can talk about it on the show, and I can say I was there when it released and I own a launch day system (something, by the way, I can still say for my PS3 launch day 60GB machine – not so fortunate with my 360, however). Six years from now it won’t matter. Hell, a year or maybe even six months from now it won’t matter, but it’s this weird thing for me – and it feels strange for me to think of myself not owning these systems when they release. I’m sure it has something to do with being spoiled as an only child or something like that – but whatever. This is what being an adult has always meant to me. As James once put it, I’m a 15 year old with the salary of a 35 year old.

 

Tomorrow night on the show it’ll be myself, ArJay, and James in the studio discussing this week’s recent topics. That, obviously, goes without saying, but you’d probably like to know what those topics are and…so would we. You see, we have an outline of topics to hit if we want, but we never have some determined script to get through. That said, some of the highlights on the list for tomorrow’s show are the PS4 FAQ released this week. We found out a lot of things the PS4 actually WILL NOT be able to do on launch. We’d also like to know if any of the info we found out this week with the PS4 has changed your decision to buy one – or skip it.

We also got an official statement concerning our opening topic of last week’s episode. Turns out Call Of Duty Ghosts will run at 1080p native on the PS4 while only 720p on the Xbox One, but upscaled to 1080p.

While we’re on the topic of the PS4, we’re set to have a Dual Shock 4 in the studio with us and you’ll get two live instant impressions of how it feels from James & ArJay. We also might play with the camera a little bit to give our live viewers some good looks of the controller while we broadcast.

I’ll have more to say about Batman: Arkham Origins while James has been putting in his time with Battlefield 4 on the PC. Speaking of Battlefield 4, we learned some more about the PS4 & Xbox One with some sites and their observations of the systems performance with the game as well as learning a bit about how sites might be reviewing games in the coming weeks on the next generation consoles.

Our guest this week is a big deal for me, personally, as we welcome Rand Miller to the show. Rand is one of the creators of my all time favorite series of games, Myst. He’ll be live on the show with us tomorrow night and we’ll be asking him your questions and talking about Myst, The Witness, and Cyan’s new project on Kickstarter, Obduction.

Remember, all the links you need to listen or watch the show live can be found just over to the left there. We’ll see you live in the studio tomorrow night!