Archive for April, 2015

PlayStation Now (or Later)? The Hands On Review and Let’s Play

When it comes to streaming music, Spotify is where I play ($9.99/mo). When it comes to watching movies and binge watching my favourite television shows, Netflix is also my streaming playground ($7.99/mo). I’m not the biggest fan of acquiring additional monthly bills, but the subscription model does have it’s advantages. It’s the convenience and the selection from these online businesses and websites that we pay for. And I’m a sucker for all of them. Well almost all of them (Sorry Adobe. I love the idea behind Creative Cloud, but the price is just not right). Enter Sony’s PlayStation Now video game streaming service.

Brilliant idea? I think so. This is totally right up my alley and perfectly compliments my internet streaming lifestyle. I am a vicious streaming monster and as a PS fanboy it’s only natural that something like this would grab my attention. For a monthly, or trimonthly fee (I’ll come back to this) I am able to stream 100+ PS3 games at any time I want. As long as I have a steady broadband connection (greater than 5Mbps is highly recommended) I can game until my eyes, ears and thumbs fall off. So Sony has left me no other choice but to quit my job and play all of these games. Just kidding! I wish! Seriously though, this has the makings of a really terrific service, but for me there’s just the one thing holding me back. The price of admission.

Now if you’re not an old fuddy-duddy who likes to pinch their pennies, like myself, then you can enjoy this rich digital content for $19.99/month, or for a much better value, $44.99/three months. Now that’s not bad in my opinion. It’s not great, but it’s not bad. What I did fail to realize however, when I created the let’s play video above, was that there is a third “à la carte” option where you pay to just play individual games. Those prices vary depending on the duration of your rental period and how new or old the game is. Apparently most games could be played for one dollar a day. This could be a nice option if the the rental library is strong enough. For the free 7 day trial I was only presented with the monthly and trimonthly options. Also the trial only unlocked a fraction of the playable games from the entire library. All things considered I must say that my PlayStation Now experience was very pleasant. For my test I decided to play Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus. There were no network interruptions and everything ran like clockwork. All of the controls worked well and Ratchet was very responsive. The only thing I could not gauge was how much the graphics were scaled back. I know for a fact that there had to be some sacrifices made in order to maintain a smooth gaming experience. This meant that the visual and graphical quality had to be compromised. So you’re not going to get that full 720 high definition sharpness and detail as you would with the actual gaming disc. But for what it’s worth, what I experienced was not offensive by any means.

So PlayStation Now…or later? Once again, it just comes back to acquiring yet another bloody monthly bill. I already have enough bills as it is (PlayStation Plus subscription included). Perhaps if I had more time to actually play all of these games then maybe. It’s challenging enough just trying to get through my current backlog, which I haven’t really started to do yet. Yes, I know. Damn you accountability! The rental option is nice to have. I may consider that in the future, but for now it’s a soft pass. It’s a great offering by Sony though so if you haven’t checked it out then give the free trial a try. Enjoy the let’s play video.

What are your awesome thoughts and feelings on these matters. Are you for or against PlayStation Now? What has your experience been? To comment (if reading from the home page) please click on CONTINUE READING below.


Why PS4 Is My Number One Social Device

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I love my iPhone 6 Plus. People always comment on how big it is. I always tell them that it’s proportional to my body. One time a co-worker saw me walking with my head down, glued to my 5.5 inch screen, and said that I looked like a Ghostbuster tracking paranormal activity with a P.K.E Meter in my hand. I laughed and thought to myself “I wonder if there’s an app for that.” I love my iPhone. It’s my trusted sidekick and it’s always there for me whenever I need it to be. Hands down, it is the best piece of communication technology that I own. But the truly interesting fact is that it is not my device of choice when it comes to being social. My PS4 is.

It was exactly one year ago today when I set out to acquire that unambiguous blue box. No ladies, I am not talking about that powder blue box from Tiffany & Co. As pretty as that blue box is I was on a mission to attain another blue box. A great big blue PlayStation 4 box. Precisely five months after it launched, with a $250 Best Buy gift card in hand (Thanks to my 300, 000 CIBC Petro Points!), I finally convinced myself it was time to start this exciting next chapter in my life. It was time to dive into the deep abyss of next generation gaming. I’ll never forget my excitement. My friends at work had been spoiling themselves rotten for months now with PS4 awesomeness. And so they should. I just could not put it off any longer. The picture text I sent them went something like this. “Just got back from grocery shopping! Milk, check. Eggs, check. PS4, double check!” Finally I had joined the club and it’s been an epic joyride ever since. But what I really want to draw your attention to is what I consider to be the console’s most underrated feature. Sharing. This is the true unsung hero of the PlayStation 4, but you know what? I’m here to sing it’s praises.

For some gamers the share button is a complete waste of space and should not even be on the DualShock 4. Some of you out there have never even pressed the button. To me this is absolutely outrageous because for me the sharing is a huge part of what makes the PS4 so special. Pressing that tiny share button is the first step I take in communicating to the rest of the world. Without it my whole entire gaming workflow would break down. This is how I talk now. This is me being a social butterfly. With an abundance of pictures and video clips I can talk your ear off with just a press of a button and tell my story. Like how I inadvertently absorbed another man’s powers and became a force to be reckoned with in the city of Seattle (#inFAMOUSSecondSon). Or how I got caught up in a civil war during my trip to the beautiful Himalayas (#FarCry4). This is the brilliant subject matter that the PlayStation 4 allows me to bring to each of my social platforms. I never would have thought, in a million years, that I would have a YouTube channel. Facebook, if it wasn’t for the PlayStation 4’s ability to share directly to my social network, I would have deleted my account a year ago. And God bless Twitter. Don’t worry Twitch. I’ll play with you soon enough. All of these platforms now have a warm and cozy spot in my life. My PS4 gives me a direct link to social media which, in turn, gives me the capability to reach and talk to the many other gaming workers of the world. This is why the PS4 is my number one social device. Sorry iPhone. You can be my number two.

So to all of you chatter boxes out there looking for fun, new and creative ways to socialize, not that there is anything wrong with the old ways, might I suggest sharing to your networks via the gaming console. This is the new and highly improved Snapchat. As for the rest of you PS4 gamers, who only give love to your options button on the right of your DualShock 4 controllers. Like Beyoncé says “To the left. To the left!” Don’t forget to show some love to this underdog. The share button on the left. It just might surprise you. Be warned though because once you start socializing in this manner you won’t be able to stop. That’s a promise. So the next time you stumble upon one of my #PS4share videos and/or pictures remember that these are the by-products from my number one social device. These are my artistic social creations that I use to express myself. I dare you to express yourselves too. Press that share button. But when that dreaded CE-33103-0, can’t upload to Facebook, error occasionally appears, try not to incredibly Hulk out and smash your controller. That would be bad.

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