From September 1st to September 29th, 2012, Whovians got enjoy the Part 1 of Doctor Who Season 7 with the tragic end of Amy & Rory at the end of the month long run. On December 25th, Doctor Who returned with an all new Christmas special that introduced Jenna-Louise Coleman, who would become the Doctor’s newest companion for Part 2 of the 7th Season.
It’s been 3 months now since the 2012 Christmas Special has aired, and I (like most Whovians) are getting antsy when Part 2 of Doctor Who Series 7 will premier. According to BBC America, Doctor Who has confirmed to return Saturday night, March 30th, 2013 as part of BBC America’s Supernatural Saturday block. As I am writing this post, that’s only 21 days (3 weeks) away.
Until then, I found this preview trailer of Part 2 of Doctor Who Season 7. Enjoy!
(Video courtesy of the BBC, YouTube)
Do you feel the upcoming season will be the Doctor’s best yet? Voice in and let us know what you think.
The Pokémon series of games for the Nintendo DS/3DS systems are in my top 5 favorite games. Why? I’ve become something obsessed with trying to “catch ‘em all!” There’s probably nothing more I look forward to with the Pokémon games than when a new special event distribution comes along giving me a chance to collect a rare Pokémon you just can’t get within the game itself.
The Legendary/Mythical Pokemon, Meloetta (Aria Form)
Having started just a few days ago (March 4th) and running all the way until Friday, March 22nd, Game Stop (your local video game retailer) is offering the latest Pokémon Special Distribution Event: the Legendary/Mythical Pokémon, Meloetta.
Meloetta is available to download for free for anyone who owns either a Nintendo DS/DSi or Nintendo 3DS and has either the Pokemon Black, Pokemon White, Pokemon Black Version 2 or the Pokemon White Version 2 games. As I have all 4 of the above mentioned games, I’m certainly going to download Meloetta for each one; bringing me yet one Pokémon closer to completing my National Pokédex.
To get your own free Meloetta download:
Grab your DS and any one or all of the 4 Pokémon games listed above.
Go to your local Game Stop store. No store purchases is necessary to receive the download; only the use of Game Stop’s free Wi-Fi Internet connection. (So you really don’t have to physically enter the store; you can still download it as long as you are in relative close proximity to the store’s wi-fi connection [i.e. outside the store, or in your car in the parking lot])
From the main menu screen of your selected Pokémon game, select “MYSTERY GIFT”
Next select “RECEIVE GIFT”"
Finally, choose “GET VIA WIRELESS”. This will initiate the Meloetta Special Event download.
Once the download is complete, get into the game and visit any in-game Pokémon Center. Please be sure to have an open slot available in your party first.
Speak to the deliveryman inside the Pokémon Center and Meloetta is now yours!
Save your game.
Meloetta is registered as #648 on the National Pokédex list. Meloetta is a small feminine humanoid Pokémon with long, green hair and is one of the few Pokémon to have alternate forms. Its default form is the Aria Form (or Voice Form), but it can also transform into the Pirouette Form (or Step Form), where its long green hair forms into a compact red beehive hairstyle and its body seems to take on more of a ballerina’s form. It changes forms whenever it uses its unique move Relic Song.
Players receiving the Meloetta download will receive this Pokémon at Level 50 in it’s Aria Form. In this form, she is a Normal- & Psychic-type; a rare mix only shared by one other Pokémon: Girafarig. This rare typing gives Meloetta total immunity to Ghost-type moves, which Psychic types are normally weak against. More importantly, Meloetta come with an impressive (and strong) move set:
Round (Normal-type; 60 Power & 100% Accuracy, which doubles in power is used by both members of a team battle)
Close Combat (Fighting-type; 120 Power & 100% Accuracy, which lowers the user’s Defense and Special Defense)
Meloetta (Pirouette Form)
For Meloetta to transform from it’s Aria Form into it’s Pirouette Form (and back again), Meloetta will need to learn Relic Song. To learn Relic Song, take Meloetta to Cafe Sonata in Castelia City. The Musician there teaches the move. If Meloetta still knows Round at the time you acquire Relic Song, it’s recommended to replace Round with this move as Round is relatively weak in power unless used in dual battles.
When Meloetta is in her Pirouette Form, she becomes a Normal- & Fighting-type Pokémon; something unique and never-before-seen with any other Pokémon. In addition, she receives an attack bonus on her Close Combat move. Sweet!
In either form, Meloetta has a very high base stat total: 600, like most other legendary and mythical Pokémon. She has great Speed, and her Attack is much better than its Special Attack, so Meloetta excels far better in her Pirouette Form versus her Aria Form.
In any case, don’t wait around to get your free Meloetta download. The Special Distribution Event is already going on now and will quickly end here in a matter of a few weeks (ends Friday, March 22nd). Having just learned of this new event just last night, I’m already making plans to get Meloetta for each of my 4 Pokémon games this Saturday.
To expand on the PS4 playability, Sony is making all its games PS Vita compatible.
Trends in the video gaming industry are definitely changing. With the prevalence of smartphones, tablets and even the handheld gaming systems (Nintendo DS, 3DS, Sony PSP and PS Vita), more and more people seem to like the option of mobility in their games.
Keeping up with these changing times, Sony has suggested with the release of it’s next-gen console (and it’s line of games) looming just ahead later this year, that all of its PS4 games will be compatible with the PS Vita. At the recent PS4 reveal, Sony stated that only certain PS4 game titles will host Vita functionality at its initial launch, but have sights set at a point where every PS4 game released will offer players the option to play on-the-move via remote play. Sony makes this decision based on consumer’s increasing demand for portable content.
Mark Cerny, Sony’s lead PlayStation developer, stated:
“Our long-term goal is to make every PlayStation 4 title playable on the Vita. We believe so much in remote play that it’s been built into the architecture of PlayStation 4. The answer is PlayStation Vita. We’re meeting the demand for mobility with the most powerful portable gaming system we’ve ever created. PlayStation 4 will unleash imagination while also allowing developers to explore new business models.”
Andrew House, Sony’s head of PlayStation added:
“We painted a picture of the future that would revolutionize not just the console, but would have implications across the entire portfolio. Today we will give you a glimpse into the future of play.”
House has claimed portable gaming options have become an expectation with the ever changing gaming market and suggests that PS Vita based access to PS4 content is “designed to make accessing the content gamers like easier than ever,” and offers “the most personalized gaming experience today.”
“We must give gamers the kind of multi-dimensional experiences they not only expect, but quite frankly deserve.”
With that in mind, I’m still rather disappointed that existing PS3 games will NOT be compatible with the new PS4. I guess the question then begs… will you still invest the money in a brand new PS4 if you already have the Vita? Leave your comments and feedback below.
In the midst of Sony’s recent PS4 reveal on February 20th, it has recently been learned from Shuhei Yoshida (a boss at Sony Worldwide Studios) who told The Guardian (a British national daily newspaper) that all PS4 games will be available as digital downloads.
Shuhei Yoshida from Sony Worldwide Studios said:
“We’re shifting our platform more and more to the digital side – PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc. The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models.”
PlayStation Network sample screen.
Yoshida said that users downloading PS4 games might want to take advantage of the PS4′s ability to download games and updates in standby mode, as the games will average a very hefty 50 gigabytes. To understand the scope of these downloads, consider this frame of reference: new PC game releases available for download via Steam average anywhere from from 5 to 15 gigabytes. That’s about a 5x difference. But for those not happy with this decision, fret not. At least, not yet. Players still preferring the physical game disc over the digital counterpart will still be able to purchase them, at least for the next few years. After that time, Sony will more than likely have phased out the physical game discs completely in favor of a complete digital library.
The plus side to this, as Yoshida claims, is that the focus of digital downloads and cloud computing will make the gaming experience more instantaneous; being able to turn it on and play straight away as opposed to having to sit around and wait for patches and other downloads. As Yoshida justifies:
“Waiting for downloads – That’s ridiculous, that’s crazy! We want to get out of this madness with PlayStation 4. The games are big, they’re 50GB; download isn’t instantaneous. So we’re making purchase available from any device, so when you’re at work, you can spend a couple of moments looking at PlayStation Store and choosing a game, and straight away it starts to download at home.”
The downside to this is the devastating impact it will have on the local economy and physical retail gaming stores. With games no longer available on disc, but readily available to download from the comfort of your living room couch, there will no longer be a need for physical gaming stores. Like OnDemand, Hulu and Netflix have done with Blockbuster stores, services like Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Network, GameFly.com and Steam will do to gaming stores like GameStop; they’ll have to close their doors (at least to their physical storefronts; not necessarily their online presence) permanently and many will lose their jobs, all in the name of gaming innovation and convenience.
PS4 downloads will utilize a “progressive download” system, which essentially means you won’t have to wait for the whole game to download before you can start playing. As Yoshida explains:
“Once you have the minimum amount of data downloaded you can begin the game, and while you play, the remaining data downloads.”
Many of the existing PS3 games today are available as digital downloads and can be purchased at a cheaper price than their physical retail disc versions. It’s no surprise that the relative success of services like PSN, Xbox Live and Steam have pushed digital distribution to the forefront of the gaming industry. But how do feel about Sony’s move to a complete digital download system? Do you feel digital game distribution will revolutionize the gaming experience? Or will gamers end up losing out with the one-on-one personal connection they have with game store employees who can offer valuable insight and feedback on their favorite games? Leave your comments below.
For some time now there has been no single greater news story in the gaming community than the PlayStation 4; what the console will look like, it’s features, the games we can expect, and it’s price. On February 20th at 2pm PST, Sony finally unveiled the next-gen console, hopefully putting an end to all of the speculation and conjecture surrounding this most anticipated of systems.
Sony went into some depth about what the PlayStation 4 could do, but never once through the entire 2-hour presentation did the console ever make an actual appearance. Presenters did play some of the next-gen games that were prominently projected on screens inside the converted opera house, but the PlayStation consoles were all nicely tucked away backstage.
Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America had this to say:
“I don’t know that the box is going to be something that’s going to have a dramatic impact on people’s feelings about the game. It will be a color and a size fairly comparable to previous consoles. There’s a big story to tell here, and it’s going to take between now and the holiday season to get all the details out there.”
There’s something to start… the PlayStation 4 has been confirmed to be released for the holiday season 2013, just as Nintendo did with it’s next-gen Wii U this past holiday 2012. Unfortunately, a finalized price hasn’t been settled on yet, but it was stated that the PS4 wouldn’t be as high as the PS3 when it first came to market which averaged around $500 to $600. With that being said and comparing prices of other related consoles, I’d expect to see the price fall around the high $300s, if not in the $400 range, which is still a nick chunk of change, but a price many gamers will gladly pay to get their hands on the new system.
If you missed the Live Stream Unveil on February 20th, here is a full replay of that same 2-hour unveil I found posted on YouTube by the Sony PlayStation company:
(Video courtesy of PlayStation, YouTube)
(Warning: Some content may not be appropriate for all users. Viewer discretion is advised.)
What Sony did reveal were a few details of the inner workings of the PS4, which they said would essentially be a “supercharged PC,” mush like Microsoft’s Xbox. Sony, departing from PlayStation designs of old, are incorporating processing chips made by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Unfortunately, incorporating these chips will come with a cost that may leave a sour taste in the mouths of some gamers: that the new console won’t be able to play games created for any of the three previous PlayStation models. Essentially, no backwards compatibility. Instead, gamers will have to stream older games to the PS4 through the Internet.
Other new features focused on social networking and remote access. With the press of a button, players can broadcast video of their game play so friends can “look over your shoulder virtually.” With the remote play feature, players can have a game running on the PS4 and steam it over the Internet to the PS Vita, Sony’s latest mobile gaming device. One of the goals is to make the new PS4 good at determining what games & other content you want and download it on it’s own so you’ll have it before you even know you want it.
According to Mark Cerny, Sony’s lead system architect for the PS4:
“Our long-term vision is to reduce download times of digital titles to zero.”
The new DualShock 4 controller for the PS4.
Sony did show us an updated controller, the DualShock 4, and a decent in-depth look at the features it boasts, including:
A new light bar containing 3 color LEDs, corresponding to the PlayStation Move motion capture interface. The LED array changes colors to match the color of a character in a video game, or alert players to important situations (ex. a flashing pattern when nearing death).
No ‘Start’ or ‘Select’ buttons.
A new ‘Share’ button; giving players the ability to stream live game play to UStream, upload recorded game play videos to Facebook and other social media.
A two-point capacitive touch pad (similar to the rear touchpad on the PS Vita) located above the analog sticks.
A sensitive 6-axis accelerometer/gyroscope.
An integrated small mono speaker and a stereo jack enabling players to speak into a headset and simultaneously hear game audio from the controller.
Improved analog sticks and trigger buttons.
An option to charge the controller even when the console isn’t powered on.
Weighs only 0.6 ounces more than the PS3′s DualShock 3 controller and only a few centimeters difference in overall width, height and depth.
However, the bulk of Wednesday’s unveil was primarily devoted to demos of games to be released for the PS4, including a realistic team racing simulator, Drive Club, the super-powered action sequel Infamous: Second Son, an artsy puzzler The Witness and several first-person shooter games, including Killzone: Shadow Fall. Not only that, but it was also announced the PS4 will let people create animations in 3-D using a Move motion controller, all in real time.
And with the trending age of social networking and the rising surge of smartphones and tablets, the PlayStation Online Network will have access to Sony’s video and music services, as well as paid subscriptions to such services as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Users will also still be able to access Facebook.
The final conclusion… we did get some questions answered, but there is still more questions hanging out there left in the open. I’m still rather disappointed that we didn’t even get a sneak peak glimpse what the PS4 console even looked like. Over the upcoming months, as we get closer to the 2013 holiday season, more and more details surrounding the PS4 will come forth, and I’ll be sure to pass them along as I learn about them. But it looks so far that the next-gen PlayStation isn’t designed to revolutionize game play as many would have hoped, but simply seems to improve upon what already exists with updates to pre-existing games, but with more improved graphics.