Archive for category Soapbox
This is what voice chat is like playing Borderlands with my friend Steve:
“Henning, I PFFFFFFFFFT PFFFFFFFFFT the ________ while PFFFFFFFFT and _________ ________.”
“Steve, what? I can’t hear you. Can you say that again?”
“Henning? PFFFFFFFFFFFT. PFFFFFFFFFT. _______ ________ ________ .”
“Sorry, Steve, I can’t make you out at all.”
“______ ________ ______”
“______ ________ ______”
This is what voice chat is like playing MW2 with a group of six of us:
“I see a guy around the ______. Ah! he got me!”
“Yeah, I _______. I don’t think he’ll be a problem anymore.”
“No, he’s back. I think ________ ________ ________ white truck.”
This is voice chat playing with Steve on MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (I think it was…):
“Whoa! Did you see that?”
“Yeah! Dude, you have serious control issues!”
“That barrel jumped out at me like it had frog legs!”
“You idiot. You just can’t see past the end of your honking nose. Good for me, though. I’m gonna win cause of that.”
I heard somewhere that Microsoft basically handles the voice chat for developers, while Sony devs have to do a lot more work. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but my experiences seem to corroborate that sentiment. And it’s really really starting to annoy me.
So a week ago when I was playing Borderlands with Steve I pulled out my iPhone, booted up Skype, and lay it on my chest. Steve had his laptop (I think) next to him running Skype. So Steve and I played Borderlands using Skype for voice chat. Did it work? Like a charm! I had no issues whatsoever. His voice was as clear as fiber optic glass. I never missed a word, and he didn’t ask me to repeat myself once. To be clear: Skype was running over the same internet connection I was using to play the game. So it’s not an internet bandwidth thing (in case any of you are thinking that).
Sony really needs to step up to the plate here. They need to improve the Bluetooth chat. Improve the USB chat. Make a rock solid library for ALL developers to use so that EVERY game has rock solid voice chat. Why bother with online gaming if you can’t communicate effectively?
Come on Sony, work with me here!
Without doubt the biggest problem plaguing FIFA 10′s online play is rage quitters, in a game that heavily relies on 1v1 matchmaking it can render playing online almost pointless as the match cannot continue if your opponent has left. In a racing game or shooter like Modern Warfare 2 if one person leaves during a match its not noticeable as there are plenty of other players to keep the game going but in FIFA or other similar sports games its over as soon as they quit. So infuriating is this that there is even a twitter set up to report quitters at twitter.com/FifaQuitters a recent personal favourite being this one.
There is definitely nothing more frustrating than scoring a goal or two in the opening minutes of a match and having your opponent quit and lost nothing and the match isn’t counted as a win for you. Just try earning that 100 online wins trophy in FIFA 10 where your opponent quitting doesn’t count for a win. I’ve been trying to decide what the best possible solution for tackling this issue could be and came up with a couple of suggestions.
When I rent a video from the PlayStation Store. Which has been quite often lately. I like to see a quick preview of the movie. It’s very slow to load. It’s much faster for me to exit out of the store and pull up YouTube on the PS3, search for the trailer and watch it there instead.
But when I do let it load the preview a little, if I watch it up to the point where it needs to download more the audio will usually skip through the rest of the preview unless I restart the entire preview. Minus annoyance. I also find it a little odd there is no rewind/forward option. Just to restart the preview or pause.
So I decided to time how long it took to fully download the preview. I have a fast connection. I checked it right before I timed it, I had 6.53 MB Down and 3.26 MB Up. These previews are SD too, so it shouldn’t take that long to download.
I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long time. It’s something that has always bugged me. There are certain game saves that are locked to the console itself. Now this isn’t an issue as long as your PS3 doesn’t break. But what if you want to “upgrade” to the PS3 Slim? Or if your PS3 breaks down, and you get a different PS3 back from Sony?
Even if you do a full back-up to a external hard drive. It won’t restore the locked save data to a different PS3. But if you restore it to the same PS3 you did the back-up on, your fine. For example if you upgrade your hard drive.
Most of the PS3 games are NOT locked, so this may not even be an issue for some.
I can understand locking save data. But don’t lock it to a specific PS3. Lock it to a PSN ID instead. That way if you move to a different system you won’t lose all the hard work you’ve done. You could lock copyright-protected movies and music to a PSN ID as well.
I’ve found a list of game saves that are locked to the system:
Army of Two: The 40th Day
Assassins Creed II
Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
C&C Red Alert 3
Cloudy With A Chance With Meatballs
Devil May Cry 4 (Only the online file is locked)
Dragon Age Origins
Dragon Ball Raging Blast
Dragonball Z Burst Limit
Earthworm Jim HD
Eye Of Judgment
Fight Night Round 4
Funky Lab Rat
Get Fit With Mel B
Guitar Hero Greatest Hits
Guitar Hero Metallica
Guitar Hero World Tour
High Velocity Bowling
Janline R Mahjongg
Lara Croft & The Guardian Of Light
Lego Rock Band
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Mega Man 9
Mega Man 10
Mercenaries 2: World In Flames
Mortal Kombat 2
Namco Museum Essentials
NCAA Football 10
Need For Speed: Carbon
Need For Speed: Pro Street
Need For Speed: Shift
Rock Band 2
Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse
Simple 500 Vol 1 The Mahjongg
Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Star Ocean Last Hope International
Street Fighter IV
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online (Your online stats won’t transfer)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Tom Clancy’s HAWX
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010
LittleBigPlanet is kinda unique, see below. Thanks go to Andrew for this.
I believe the game save data is now locked, but all game progress and created levels are now actually stored as game data rather than as a game save.
From in game you can export your profile, which generates a file in the save data folder, which can be copied around, and imported on another system. This file appears to contain everything you would have expected to be in the save file (character customization, single player progress & created levels).
You need to export your profile each time before you are able to save it to an external device.
- Red Faction Guerrila – copy locks your personal profile and settings, but not your game saves.
- Mass Effect 2 Profile (Game progress/Settings) is locked. Actual game save file for ME2 is not locked.
Games saves patched to remove copy protection:
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Said to not have copy protection)
Gran Turismo 5
MotorStorm: Pacfic Rift
Resident Evil 5
Resistance 2 (Been told it isn’t copy protected)
Valkyria Chronicles [System Data (settings) file is locked, but the Play Data file is not]
Let me know if you find any more and I’ll add it to the list.
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Mark Rein of Epic Games was interviewed by Eurogamer and dropped this interesting fact;
Over half the users who played Gears of War 2 so far do not have HDTVs.
Ok now i know this is an Xbox game, but its a good indication that PS3 owners are mostly in the same boat and with the size of the install base, that makes millions of gamers are not playing in high def. Digital Foundry has put together an intriguing analysis to compare the performance in game between high and standard definition and revealed some intriguing facts about the PS3, that the standard definitions have some serious issues. SD owners worldwide though should take note of this quote;
A US PS3 owner who buys a cheap game in the UK and takes it back to the US could well find it completely unplayable if he only has an SDTV. Two of the games I tested (GTAIV and Far Cry 2) wouldn’t work, whereas Killzone 2 and Call of Duty: World at War would. Euro PS3 owners buying games from the NTSC territories could be similarly inconvenienced.
To sum up, if you plan on importing games and you own a SD TV then don’t bother as you will encounter some serious performance issues but if you’re fortunate enough to own a HD TV then you should be fine.
But what about the readers here, how many of you own an HDTV?