Jebus, Yet another thing to make me feel old

Episode #24: Sonic’s Birthday Episode

Jebus, Yet another thing to make me feel old
Jebus, Yet another thing to make me feel old

Thank lord for that, I didnt have to do two weeks ruuning on my own. Gow managed to drag himself away from his work to podcast this week.

No that it means this episode makes any more sense than any of the others, god I think we went of topic even more than usual this week.

However between our random ramblings about things Gow missed and the possible future of gaming we managed to get some news in and even a song.

We’re still taking suggestions for the mid podcast songs. So if you have a suggestion for song to be included in the podcast then put it in the comments of this post or send them too @DrunkenGamer or @D_Gow . They will be put on the short-list and you will be mentioned in the podcast itself when played

Anyway enjoy this episode of the Drinky Talky Thing.

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Drinky Talky Thing 2011 #16

The cake is definitely not a lie! I know, me and the wife made it this week

Well this episode of the Podcast was actually rather a close call.

On Monday the power supply committed Seppuku and put my PC out of commission.

Thankfully though Gow, being the supergeek he is, happened to have a spare power supply lying around that I have temporarily borrowed until me new one shows up.

As a result the sound may well be a little out in this episode as we only finished putting the machine back together less than 10 minutes before recording – We literally booted he machine up and  started audition.

Anyway, as always enjoy the podcast and let us know what you think

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A Portal between Platforms

Even robots enjoy a good Hug!

One of the best new games of recent years is the incredible Portal. So it was hardly surprising when they announced a sequel was to be released in the first quarter of this year. One of the ways they are expanding on the first game, is the inclusion of co-op play. Now this is great but it did cause me a little concern for a single reason, I don’t know what platform the rest of my friends will be buying it on.

Now I’ve already pretty much set my mind on the PC version, because of the Razer Hydra, but some of the people I would like to play it with are console fanatics. Until now I, and probably many other, had assumed that it would only allow you to play with people of the same format. PC with PC, PS3 with PS3 etc.

Today however Valve announced that I was wrong. It seems that when they said that the PS3 would be the best console version of the game, they were not kidding.

They announced officially that the PS3 version would come with Steam integrated and would allow you to play cooperatively with your friends on the PC & Mac. This is a great move as while cross-platform has been tried before, it has never really succeeded.

As well as that the PS3 users will be able to make use of a bunch of the other Steam, such as cross platform chat and the ability to upload their saved games to steams cloud-based storage. Why would they want to do that with their saves? Oh because they will also be given a Steam code that will give them the PC version.

But it’s not simply what this could mean for Portal 2 that interests me in this announcement, it’s the future games that could make use of this new Steam cross-platform functionality.

Cross-platform has pretty much failed in the past for a single reason, the games that have had that ability have been for the most part competitive titles. This means that there has been and unfair advantage to one side or the other (normally the PC) due the control schemes just being better suited to it.

However Co-op play does not have the same pitfall, in fact Co-op is actually enhanced by having different control schemes as it allows the players to pick the one that is best for them. It is my hope that this functionality proves popular, as if it does I would not be surprised to see a whole pile of games either using or planning to use the technology by the end of the year (obviously assuming Valve are willing to share it).

One genre I could see making really solid use of it is the RPG market, I’m looking to you Bethesda, I would love to see it as possible to play for players to be able to jump in and out of each others Skyrim game. Obviously the primary storyline and quests would remain single player, but I would like to have the opportunity to work together with a friend on some of the side quests. Perhaps it could even be a way experiencing some of the quests locked away by my choices in my version of the world, without having to start again.

Anyway, I am starting to lose the track of this – basically this news is not only great for Portal 2, but in my opinion has a lot of potential for the future of Co-op & RPG gaming if studios make use of it.

I Want One of Those!: Razer Hydra & Switchblade

Well the year has already seen it first trade show, namely the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While most of this show is about what is coming up in the terms of televisions and laptops, there is always plenty of interesting bits of gaming news that comes out too.

This year was no exception, and top of the crop this year in my opinion was Razer. They displayed two bits of tech for this year that really caught my eye.

The Razer Hydra

It seems that motion gaming is well and truly here to stay. What started with the Wii has now been copied by both the PS3 & 360, in the form of the Move & Kinect. I’ll admit that I have not bought either of those just yet, as to this point neither company has shown me anything that makes them stand that much above the Wii.

It was only a matter of time before the PC got in on the act directly, without the need for hacked versions of the Wii & Kinect controllers. The answer was first displayed at last years CES in the form of the Sixense technology, but this year saw Razer come packing its latest version of the tech, The Razer Hydra.

This was shown off to great effect with come custom-made Portal 2 levels, specifically designed with the Hydra technology in mind. As the video below shows these specially added levels with see you using the motion & positional sensing of the kit to twist, scale and move blocks and portals in three dimensional space.

My favourite example about a  is when the sneak up behind a turret at about 1:30, picks it up and then using the control to push it further away from them into a laser beam. This is followed by them showing off the ability to twist a mirror block to redirect the same beam in a way that would simple not be possible normally.

The Hydra is set to be released in April in a special bundle with Portal 2. The version of the game included in the bundle will support the controller natively obviously, but will also include a bunch of specially created maps & puzzles designed with the controller in mind.

With a  rumoured  sub-$100 pricetag on the bundle – I think I will have to grab one come April.

The Razer Switchblade

This was their big new prototype, and is meant to be the gaming equivalent of a net-book. The prototype Intel ATOM based mini laptop comes with a 7 inch touchscreen and a small yet comfortable looking keyboard. What is good about the keyboard buttons are customisable and will change based on the game you are playing.

This is done with the use of a second LCD screen underneath the keyboard, that projects up to the buttons surface in a similar way to those expensive MINI-LCD keyboards you can buy. However if you really wanted to use standard keyboards & mice the device will include Bluetooth & USB support for just that reason.

For a prototype and Concept device, this thing has certainly got a lot of people’s attention, myself included. The best part of the me is the on the fly configuration of the LCD keyboard. I will be keeping a watch on development of this to see if they can get it beyond the concept stage and into something they can actually bring to market.

Video below is IGN’s talking about the device after getting a press hands-on.

Could be an expensive year for Gaming Tech.