The Grab Bag (Gamescom edition)

This weeks post is different than usual. Rather than having a single topic I want to write about, this week there are a few things worth mentioning, but none require too much detail. So I thought considering Gamescom took place this week, and I just upgraded to a PS4, that this would be the best format to convey my thoughts. In the future I might do the same when the situation calls for it.

Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity

During Microsoft’s conference at Gamecom they appeared to announce that the sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot, which was multiplatform, would be coming exclusively to the Xbox One. Needless to say many people were not happy. This even led to many videogame sites writing about how the decision was a bad move by Crystal Dynamics (developers of Tomb Raider) especially as the re release of the previous title had sold better on the PS4. After the PR storm grow in size, Phil Spencer (head of Xbox) cleared everything up and stated that it was only a timed exclusive. Whilst some people thought/hoped this was the case the original announcement and subsequent messages provided from Crystal Dynamics did not help to confirm this was actually the case. At least Sony (for the most part) were saying that games were coming “first” to PlayStation.

New Xbox One bundles and the importance of bigger hard drives

At Gamescom Microsoft also revealed new console bundles, the first being one that contained Sunset Overdrive and a white Xbox One, all for the same recommended retail price, making the game free. Then when you include the fact that it comes with a trial of Xbox Live Gold which offers two free games, it makes it a rather attractive bundle. Whilst there was also a Fifa bundle, the other really interesting bundle was the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle. This included a special themed Xbox One that also has special sounds, includes a digital copy of the game, and most importantly comes with a 1TB hard drive.

Previously the Xbox One only came with 500GB, and whilst after launch an update allowed users to expand the memory with external storage, the internal max was 500GB. Having just got a PS4, the first thing I did before even switching it on was to upgrade the internal HDD to 1TB, which is a relatively easy process. This was a very wise decision, as when you take out the space for the OS, and the fact that disc based games can take up over 20GB, space is not something that will be in abundance. I’ve had the console for two days now and I have used up 50GB, and with the OS, I now have around 830GB left. With the increasing move to digital, bigger hard drives are a must.

The benefit of having a pre-existing library

Even though when I got my PS4 it came with a boxed copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, I actually had plenty of games to keep me busy before I took the shrink wrap off. This is because aside from the Free2Play games available, over the past year I have bought into the PlayStation ecosystem I have a nice catalogue of games thanks to the Cross-Buy service. There were also games from PS Plus which I added to my account in preparation for the day I would upgrade, but the first game I played on my PS4 was Cel Damage HD. A game I first played on the GameCube a decade ago. It’s great having a next gen console, right.

P.T. (Playable Teaser)

During Sony’s conference at Gamescom they announced a demo for an upcoming game that was available on the PlayStation store that any PS4 owner could play. This was P.T. which stands for “Playable Teaser”, and that is exactly what it is. Since it came out the “truth” behind what it is for has been revealed by those who have gone through the entirety of the demo, as well as those involved behind the revealed game. I won’t spoil it here just in case you don’t won’t to know, but you can search for it yourself. I do recommend you at least give it a go or watch some of the Let’s Plays. The demo is a bit too cryptic for its own good, but it is definitely an experience, especially if you play it using headphones. That’s the added benefit of the current gen consoles, even though you could buy special headphones for the previous gen, now you can plug in any normal pair of headphones. Anyway, unless you have a heart condition, give it a go, you’ll thank me for it, or really hate me.

Share Play

Yesterday Joe mentioned about the ability for friends to play Co-Op in Far Cry 4 without actually needing to own the game. Well this won’t be limited to just Far Cry 4 as it will be coming to potentially any PS4 game, in what Sony is calling Share Play. They first announced this during the original PS4 reveal, although it was rather vague what that actually meant. At Gamescom they compared it to playing a game sat next to someone on a couch. But instead your friend will be able to stream the same game instead of playing it on the same TV. So for example I could want to play Towerfall, but Joe doesn’t own it, no worries because Joe can now join in a multiplayer game without needing to own it. Pretty sweet.

Joe’s Note: I’ll take that offer, Towerfall looks fun as balls.



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