Dec. 10, 2014 | 4:58 a.m.

PlayStation Experience shows soul-searching among gamer culture

THE PLAYER The young, college-age man meant to praise Telltale Games’ emotionally wrenching take on “The Walking Dead” during a Q&A session Saturday night at the first-ever PlayStation Experience, a fan convention in Las Vegas largely dedicated to hyping mainstream and indie titles due out for Sony’s game platforms. “I was crying like a little girl,” he said, admiring the game’s effectiveness in one particularly difficult-to-stomach scene. An audible gasp shot through the room and a woman in the audience immediately spoke up.“I didn’t cry,” she yelled. Melissa Hutchison, the voice actress whose character was responsible for the tears, was next to chime in. “I cried like a grown woman,” she said, inspiring cheers from the crowd. If one is going to speak at a video game event in 2014, it’s best to first carefully consider the remark. As the […]
July 12, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

The balletic ‘Bounden’ is a pas de deux with Player 2

THE PLAYER I had only known Eline Muijres for a few minutes before our first dance, and it wasn’t long before I became scared our movements were going to lead to more physical contact than is likely appropriate for near-strangers. So I let go of her iPhone. Muijres is a producer on “Bounden,” a mobile game that aims to teach players ballet — or maybe just inspire them to get closer, awkwardly. Either result is a win. Most dance games, such as the popular “Dance Central” or “Just Dance” franchises, have players moving in front of the TV, working off a sweat solo or goofing off at a party. “Bounden” is far more intimate. And potentially more revealing. Developed by Netherlands-based three-person studio Game Oven in conjunction with the Dutch National Ballet, “Bounden’s” challenge — the difficulty of being in […]
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 11, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.

E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

At a presentation Monday night in Los Angeles, Sony unveiled the look of its next-generation PlayStation 4 console, showcased a slew of new mainstream and indie titles and threw down the gauntlet before Microsoft, one of its two main competitors in the console space. The PS4, an upright standing box with two shades of black and diagonal edges, is due to be released this holiday season and retail for $399. It will not enforce digital rights management restrictions on those playing offline, single-player games — a stance in direct opposition to the one taken by Microsoft for the release of its Xbox One. The Xbox One is set to hit retailers in November and carry a price of $499. From a consumer perspective, the key differentiating point between the consoles appears to be Xbox One’s inclusion of motion- and voice-detecting Kinect […]
June 10, 2013 | 4:12 p.m.

Watch Sony’s 2013 E3 PlayStation 4 press conference live at 6 p.m.

Gamers can get a first look at the upcoming PlayStation 4 video game console during Sony’s media briefing this evening at 6 p.m. PDT. Sony is also expected to discuss the future of the PlayStation 3 and the PS Vita handheld console at the event, which comes before the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, the largest video game trade show in the world. Hero Complex readers can watch the media event, streamed live from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, in the video above. Although E3’s doors at the Los Angeles Convention Center won’t open until early Tuesday, heavy hitters such as Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft were holding arena-sized conferences Monday to get ahead of – and control — the media cycle. FULL COVERAGE: E3 2013 For Sony, the stakes are high after the company avoided showing […]
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