E3 2017 Conferences LIVE on The Real Michael Pulman

The two big conferences by Microsoft and Sony will be live-blogged right here on The Real Michael Pulman on Monday June 12th and Tuesday June 13th.

Microsoft will be providing more detail on the Xbox Scorpio, and a price is also set to be revealed alongside a release date. But perhaps the bigger question is about the games – just what will Microsoft bring to the party?

Rumors have been rife that Naughty Dog will close out Sony’s E3 conference with some gameplay footage of The Last Of Us: Part II. But could there be more coming? Expect a release date for Days Gone and the new God of War.

Microsoft’s E3 Conference: Monday June 12th @ 9.00am 

Sony’s E3 Conference: Tuesday June 13th @ 1.00pm 

Following the conferences – there will also be a full reaction podcast to be uploaded onto the site shortly after.

Price of Xbox Scorpio’s could make or break its success

Microsoft will launch their much-talked abut high end games console onto the market in a few months, but if the price isn’t right, then you can forget about it being a success.

The Scorpio is always running at its highest capability of performance. Old games will not only look graphically enhanced, but they will run better overall as well. At least that is what Microsoft’s Phil Spencer is claiming.

Microsoft had planned on releasing two more consoles in the Xbox One generation. First was the Xbox One S, released last year, followed by the Scorpio in late 2017. Microsoft’s aim is all about immersion and creating a console that appeals to the core gamer – not the casual.

Speaking on YouTube last week, Spencer promised that the Scorpio will deliver the best console version of games, both third party and exclusive.

There is little doubt that the Scorpio will outshine Sony’s PS4 Pro in almost every aspect. The next time you hear Sony talk about new hardware will likely be the announcement of their next generation console – so Microsoft have the market interest for the time being.

With the PS4 Pro, it looked like Sony were leaning toward targeting that core audience as well, but the effort seemed lackluster from the start. In terms of sales, the PS4 Pro is well down on what Sony would have hoped and that will result in big drops in price prior to Microsoft’s launch of the Scorpio.

How the Scorpio is priced will be important to its success. For a console that is the closest thing ever to a high-end PC, pricing point will make or break its potential mass sales.

The price and release date for the Scorpio will be announced at E3 in June.

 

The Nintendo Switch will be a Flop

The Nintendo Switch has certainly got a lot of people talking, but is it a piece of trash? Expect it to be a blunder when it comes out.

The Switch will drop on March 1st and will cost gamers in New Zealand $549. That is the same price, if not more expensive in some cases, than the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim. That comparison is noteworthy, because the Switch is simply nowhere near as powerful and doesn’t have the same quality of games, yet it’s priced as a “Next Generation” system.

What’s more, the Switch will pack a tiny 32GB of internal storage. Games will be cartridge-based, and arguably may not be as sizeable as games on Xbox and PlayStation. But still, it seems, gamers who purchase the Switch will be forced to juggle around their libraries in order to play the games that they want to play.

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President of Nintendo, Tatsumi Kimishima, believes that the Switch is a brand-new type of console that offers variety in how users play on it. That’s true, but it isn’t as if portable gaming is anything new to the industry.

You can play the Switch in three ways:

  • Connect to the dock (included) and play via your television.
  • Place the Switch on a table, stand it up, and play using the controllers.
  • Portable, similar to other handhelds both Nintendo and other companies have released.

The battery life is said to last anywhere between 2.5 and 7 hours, “depending on the game” according to Nintendo. As The Real Michael Pulman understands, the Switch can be charged while in TV Mode, when connected to the dock.

The pro controller, a popular accessory to the Switch, will cost around $70USD. That works out to about $120NZD, just in case you were interested.

But first, let’s make the point clear, competition for Microsoft and Sony on the console front can do nothing but good for the industry. The Nintendo Wii was, in its own right, a very good gaming experience for the audience it catered too. It just doesn’t have the same amount of interest from Triple A developers; you won’t see a blockbuster like Uncharted 4 or Halo on a Nintendo console.

This doesn’t seem to be the calibre of games that Nintendo want on their consoles, and that’s fine, but at least make the system cheaper on launch. It is also likely that the Switch doesn’t have the power, or the internals, to run those Triple A games, massively scaled games.

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The argument that Nintendo are stuck between a traditional gaming console, and one that will appeal to the new, younger-based mobile gamer, is a very true one. Nintendo should have had a clearer idea about what audience they wanted to target first; make a choice and back it to the hill. Instead, here we see another new piece of hardware that is wanting to break into both markets, and again, price the system cheaper and that may be a big payoff.

Nintendo’s online service for the Switch will eventually cost gamers a monthly fee. There will be more on that to come.

All in all, the Nintendo Switch is overpriced for what it can deliver. What it will deliver is the freedom to play in different places and in slightly different ways. It’s a tremendous gamble to take, but it’s hard to see the Switch satisfying hardcore gamers who want truly immersive experiences. Nintendo’s shares dropped 4.9 percent after the pricing and release information on the Switch, and this is a good example of the likely success that the console will have once it releases.

Xbox Scorpio is already beating PS4 Pro

Microsoft Scorpio is an impressive system, but could it be the next-gen console it has the timing to be?

We are in the middle of a big change to the console gaming space, and it is Sony that has suddenly become the big loser. With the big push toward 4K gaming, both Sony and Microsoft are releasing ‘more powerful’ versions of the PS4 and Xbox One.

Starting with the PS4 Pro, Sony will be the first to drop their upgrade this November, and yes, it will be more expensive than the existing consoles currently on the market. Continue reading Xbox Scorpio is already beating PS4 Pro

PlayStation Pro: Is it worth it?

In a conference that didn’t provide any ‘wow’ factor, Sony finally revealed their newer, and more powerful PlayStation.

Officially named the PlayStation Pro, the more powerful version of the PS4 will be available in New Zealand from November 10th – at a stiff price of $649.95.

It will release just a month after the PlayStation VR and will allow Virtual Reality to run smoother thanks to its upgraded capabilities.  Continue reading PlayStation Pro: Is it worth it?

Crash Bandicoot returning to PS4 and Xbox One

Crash Bandicoot is set to make a comeback, with a fully remastered version of the original series releasing on PS4 and Xbox One this October.

Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped Remastered has been redeveloped by Activision in full HD. The announcement was met with a loud applause during Sony’s E3 Conference on Monday, and as an extra special treat, Crash will also be available as a playable character in the upcoming release of Skylanders.

This marks the first time that Crash Bandicoot has been released in the over two generations of gaming.

Microsoft don’t release official numbers as PS4 sells over 5 million during holiday 2015

Sony sold over 5 million PS4 consoles over the holiday period in 2015, but this doesn’t mean Microsoft were beaten either.

Microsoft didn’t release their official hardware sales numbers, giving no indication of who exactly won the sales war in 2015’s holiday period.

Microsoft did say that first party titles like Halo 5, Forza Motorsport, and Gears of War combined to sell over 1 million copies.

It has been revealed that Sony sold exactly 5.7 million PS4 consoles during the holiday period, taking the all time sales figure to a tick under 36 million since releasing back in November 2013.

In case you didn’t know, the “holiday season” for sales is measured between November 22nd and January 2nd.

Sony say that PlayStation Plus subscriptions have risen by 60% this year, while Microsoft has revealed that on December 28th 2015, more people logged into Xbox Live than at any other point in Xbox history.

Charging for PS2 games could hurt Sony’s current dominance

For all the excitement about Sony’s ‘backwards compatible’ promises, the end result has left a lot of PS4 gamers furious.

It isn’t just a case of putting an old PS2 favourite like GTA: San Andreas into the PS4 console and playing, yes Sony are allowing gamers to play these old gems, but at a price.

A selection of classic PS2 games are available for purchase and download from the PlayStation Store, but it is requiring gamers to shell out additional money for the pleasure of playing a game that they have already brought.

Simply saying that gamers should keep their old systems is entirely beside the point.

Sony is winning the latest console war, and by a big margin. They aren’t in a position that requires charging gamers a price to download old games, most of which were released onto the market well over 10 years ago.

A lot of YouTubers have stated, quite rightly, that Sony is being greedy in this latest ploy.

How is it that the PS4, a far more powerful console than its rival Xbox One, is not able to provide gamers the luxury of playing old classics for free? Is this the beginning of Sony’s arrogance that will lead to a failed next generation?

It appears that nothing Sony does comes without a cost in 2015.