Aug. 12, 2014 | 4:59 p.m.

Guillermo del Toro, Hideo Kojima team up for new ‘Silent Hill’ game

Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and “Metal Gear Solid” creator Hideo Kojima will join forces for a return trip to Silent Hill. Word about the new installment in the long-running video game series arrived Tuesday via an interactive teaser released on the PlayStation store. Near the conclusion of an hour-plus long demo for a game referred to as “P.T.,” title cards appeared on screen featuring both Del Toro’s name and Kojima’s (another suggested the game could be titled “Silent Hills”). Also glimpsed was a character modeled on “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus, who could be seen standing on a desolate city street at night. Although some years away from its creative zenith, the “Silent Hill” franchise won a legion of fans for its atmospheric thrills and surreal imagery. It spawned two films — 2006’s “Silent Hill,”and more recently, 2012’s “Silent […]
June 09, 2014 | 10:44 a.m.

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Charting the video game console evolution

The world’s largest annual video game trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, kicks off in downtown Los Angeles this week, with more than 45,000 people expected to converge on the L.A. Convention Center for the event. Now in its 19th year, E3 has become a mecca for video game developers, retailers, industry professionals and journalists. The trade show, which is to run Tuesday through Thursday and is not open to the public, often serves as the pulpit for the industry’s biggest announcements, such as last year’s reveal of two next-generation video game consoles — Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Buzz on the show floor often revolves around the rivalry between the major consoles, and though the wars between the systems couldn’t be more contemporary or contentious, the modern-day brawl has been more than three decades in the making. […]
Nov. 16, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

PS4 review roundup: Critics love the console, lament the games

After thousands of gamers waited in line for the midnight release of PlayStation 4, Sony’s next-generation video game console is finally out. Reviews for the highly anticipated machine are pouring in and for the most part, they’re positive. Game critics tout the PS4’s sleek console design, intuitive controller and improved user interface while lamenting the relatively slim lineup of original launch games to show off the powerful new hardware. The Times’ own Todd Martens notes that the new console is evidence of Sony’s laser-focus on its hard-core gamer audience. “The highly sociable PS4 sidesteps attempts by competitors to capture a more casual player and subsume all home media options with a machine that offers no-nonsense gaming professionalism,” Martens writes. “If it the PS4 weren’t $400, it could be seen as a love letter to Sony’s core audience.” Console design The […]
Nov. 15, 2013 | 1:29 p.m.

Review: Sony’s PlayStation 4 console is connected, communal

It was one hour after the West Coast’s midnight launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4, and there were 100 channels live-broadcasting the event. On one, a “Call of Duty” player confessed to just randomly pushing buttons, and on another a group of college-age kids engaged in trash talking in “NBA 2K14.” Riveting stuff? Probably not to most, but arguably no console out-of-the-box has felt as laser-focused on its audience as the PS4. New for the PS4 is a button on the controller labeled “share.” Players can use it to upload video to Facebook or tap into Twitch, a popular streaming video site. This new generation of video games may not offer the knockout graphics that once heralded a new console epoch, but the content will be televised and shared. Though communal gaming is just one feature in the PS4’s tweaked and […]
Nov. 14, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.

PS4 first impressions: Sony’s new console is sociable about gaming

Sony’s PlayStation 4, which will be released Friday, is the successor to 2006’s PlayStation 3 and the first of two major video game consoles out this holiday season. Microsoft will release its Xbox One on Nov. 22. Both consoles are technologically comparable, but each offers a diverging theory as to the future of gaming. Sony’s point of view is apparent after spending just one hour with the PlayStation 4: Tomorrow’s gaming experience will be, above all else, a shared one. Today’s consoles, including last year’s Wii U from Nintendo, are increasingly seeking ways to hold the attention of the player at a time when the fastest-growing area for games is the mobile phone. REVIEW: Sony’s PS4 is communal, connected PlayStation 4, like the Xbox One, requires an always-on Internet connection to be used to its fullest potential. Part gaming machine […]
Aug. 20, 2013 | 12:53 p.m.

PlayStation 4: Sony announces release date for anticipated new console

Mark your calendars, gamers: Sony has announced that its anticipated new console, the PlayStation 4, will debut in North American on Nov. 15 and will be available in Europe two weeks later. The company made the announcement Tuesday at Gamescom, Europe’s answer to L.A.’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Sony has promised that the PlayStation 4 will offer players more power, faster response time, higher performance, better playability and the increased mobility to “take gaming out of the living room.” (Take a look at the February PS4 unveiling in the gallery at the top of this post.) The PS4 will come equipped with 500 GB hard drive, 8 GB of RAM and an optical drive that will play Blu-ray and DVD discs, in addition to a new DualShock 4 controller with a touchpad, a headphone jack and a built-in speaker, and will […]
June 15, 2013 | 8:48 a.m.

E3 2013: Selling the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U in a tough climate

The just-completed Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles is an extended tease. It began early Tuesday with a promise from Nintendo, that an extremely important announcement would be coming at Nintendo’s E3 booth at 11:40 a.m. Press had been gathered before the Los Angeles Convention Center doors opened at noon for early looks at some of Nintendo’s fall slate of games. Nintendo execs walking the floor ensured the media that no one should leave before 11:40 a.m. “You won’t want to miss this,” one of them told me. Except by the time the announcement came and went, I wished I had missed it. The info-disguised-as-news was simply that the human avatar in Wii Fit would serve as a playable character in “Super Smash Bros.” for the Wii U and the recently unveiled 3DS editions of the game. Cute, but […]
June 13, 2013 | 8:49 a.m.

E3 2013: ‘Knack’ brings a dash of fun to PS4 launch

Now that more games have been revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles, it’s clear there’s going to be a lot of bloodshed when the systems are released by the end of the year. From “Ryse: Son of Rome” on the Xbox One to “Killzone: Shadow Fall” on the PS4, each system does violence with extreme detail. But how about a next-gen game that can make you laugh? Sony’s PS4 launch title “Knack” looks to fill a void. In development from Mark Cerny, the PS4’s system architect, “Knack” is his attempt to bring “Pixar-quality graphics and storytelling” to the new platform. Cerny told Hero Complex on Wednesday at E3 that essentially what amounts to a full-length feature film is inside the game. PHOTOS: Scenes from E3 2013 “We’ve embedded pretty much what […]
June 12, 2013 | 10:27 p.m.

E3 2013: Conan O’Brien will weigh in on PS4 vs. Xbox One

Conan O’Brien’s familiar pompadour of red hair stood out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center as he made a stop at the small SnailUSA booth Wednesday. O’Brien was among fans, retailers, media and industry professionals who took to the aisles to get some up-close time with new offerings, many of which they’ve been hearing about for a few days. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all hosted big press events, including the introductions of two new consoles in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. FULL COVERAGE: E3 2013 When asked why he was visiting the SnailUSA booth, he shrugged. “I was here just to cover E3 and mostly to try to settle the controversy between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One consoles — the Hatfields vs. McCoys argument of our time,” O’Brien said. “I haven’t […]
June 11, 2013 | 7:48 p.m.

E3 poll: Xbox One vs. PS4, plus 5 things to know in the console wars

If the console wars between PlayStation and Xbox had been languishing the last few weeks, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) media presentations by Sony and Microsoft launched gamers back into the brawl. On Monday, Microsoft revealed more details and new games for its upcoming Xbox One console, unveiled last month, and Sony finally gave gamers a glimpse of its next-generation PlayStation 4 console, announced in February. The companies traded barbs during the press presentations, game enthusiasts argued online, and the battle continues as critics and industry professionals converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center this week for E3 — the largest video game trade show in the world. The war’s outcome will likely be decided at the cash register; both consoles are slated for release in time for the holiday shopping season. PHOTOS: Scenes from E3 2013 In the meantime, […]
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