Cheaper Xbox One Coming 2014?

There have been numerous leaks coming from Microsoft about what is happening with Xbox in 2014 and beyond.


For starters, there was talk of a 1TB White model of Xbox One. The sleek white version was only previously available to Xbox staff members. Another report comes from VG247, who claims a “well-respected source” told them Microsoft has been briefing publishers about a new, cheaper model of Xbox One that is going to be coming out later this year.

Other rumors say this model will not have a disc drive, that it will feature bluetooth technology, and that it is coming in October at price point that will be competitive with the PS4.

There are also rumors from earlier this week that say Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is coming to Xbox One and buying it will give you access to the Halo 5 beta. There is also talk Crackdown 3series is coming in 2016.

 

 

I went to CES 2014!

The 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show took place in Las Vegas once again this year and featured the hottest tech gadgets and inventions on the planet. The focus this year? Robotics, 4K TVs, and wearable technology.

I covered some interesting topics from Steam Machines to Virtual Reality. Check out my videos below!

Me in Gunnar Optiks glasses!

Omni Virtual Reality Gaming

 

MadCatz M.O.J.O. Android Microconsole

 

Tegra K1, Roku TV, and Xbox One Sales

 

Nvidia Shield Overview

 

Gaming Accessories of CES 2014

 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to The Escapist on YouTube for more videos!

New Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Gameplay!

shadowormordor

Warner Bros released a new video showcasing gameplay for their upcoming project being developed by Monolith called Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

The game features a protagonist named Talion, a Ranger and guardian of the Black Gates, who is out to take down Sauron and avenge his slaughtered family. The game takes place in between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and is an original storyline set in the universe of Middle-Earth. My thoughts on that aside, the gameplay looks pretty awesome.

The walkthrough in the video focuses on the Nemesis System, a gameplay mechanic where enemies remember your previous encounters with them, which is unique to each player. The orc shown in the video is called Ratbag, and is a coward that has faced Talion before, and after being defeated will come under Talion’s power.

He can control other characters like Ratbag by using the mysterious powers he gains from a Wraith. There aren’t details on who the Wraith is and how Talion receives these powers, but they look powerful. Activating the Wraith powers allows him to pursue enemies into Mordor, along with moving between the physical world and the Wraith world. Talion can also spread terror with Wraith powers, controlling characters to scout other enemies that are connected to that particular character.

Players can use information learned to make choices about how they want to carry about specific missions. You can use stealth to sneak into heavily guarded areas, you can run in sword flying, or you can use Wraith powers to take over other characters and make them your minions.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Escapist on YouTube for more videos!

Come see me at Escapist Expo!

Wow it has been a loooooong time since I posted here. But it was one busy summer so apologies for the delay. In this post you’ll be able to find out my activities for this weekend’s upcoming Escapist Expo 2013! This is the 2nd year for the Expo which takes place in Durham, North Carolina. It runs from Friday Oct. 4th – Sunday Oct. 6th, and yes, you can still buy tickets!

expo

You can find a complete list of events and activities here: www.escapistexpo.com

But here is where you’ll find me!

Friday October 4th:

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: The Escapist Q&A in Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

Saturday October 5th:

10:30-11:30 a.m. – PANEL: PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. Wii U – in Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

12:00-1:00 p.m. – PANEL: How to Start a Gaming Channel on Youtube – in Meeting Room 2 @ Durham Convention Center

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: The Escapist Q&A Day 2 – Fletcher Hall @ The Carolina Theater

6:00-7:00 p.m. – D20 Cosplay Contest Finals! – Carolina Theater

Sunday October 6th:

12:00-1:00 p.m. – PANEL: Game of the Year – Fletcher Hall @ Carolina Theater

3:00-4:00 p.m. – PANEL: Smosh Games Q&A – Meeting Room 2 @ Durham Convention Ctr

I will also be around the Expo Hall all weekend, playing table-top games, catching a match or two of the WCG USA Finals, or maybe even *GASP* cosplaying. Be sure to say hi and hope to see you there!

 

Xbox One: Thoughts about the Reveal

Unless you are living under a rock you heard about the reveal of Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One. I am hesitant to call it a gaming console because during their reveal event, Microsoft focused on home entertainment as opposed to video games. This has quite a few fans up in arms over what we will truly be able to expect from the device. I spoke at length, on several different shows about my feelings about the new Xbox.

To say I don’t have an opinion, is pretty far off base. But if you are looking for me to drag Microsoft through the mud, best find yourself another blog to read or watch.

First, some details on the device:

GameTrailer’s Bonus Round:

The Bonus Round guests Andrea Rene, Garnett Lee, and Alex Abrecht along with host Geoff Keighley highlight the memorable moments and missteps of the Microsoft Press Conference.

 

Smosh Games Gamer Nation:

I join Lasercorn, The Jovenshire, and Sohinki talking about Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal:

Weekend Confirmed:

Jeff Cannata is a man on an island (a Hawaiian one, that is), which leaves host Garnett Lee to captain the S.S. Weekend Confirmed alone. He’s joined this week by his hardened crew of “Indie” Jeff Mattas, the Escapist’s Andrea Rene, and Double Jump’s Christian Spicer. Their destination: The fabled isle of Xbox One. The team discusses Tuesday’s reveal event, what we know about the new console, and dive into the pile of unknowns and what-if’s. After discussing the hardware, features, and rumors, everyone discusses reader reaction and how the Xbox One will fare against stiff competition from Sony and Nintendo. The show ends with some non-Xbox related Finishing Moves.

 

The bottom line: We won’t know the full picture on Xbox One or PS4 until after E3.

Be sure to subscribe to my new show on The Escapist for all my E3 coverage and for your chance to win a $100 GameStop gift card!

Watch me on Escapist News Now!

Hello everyone!!

I’ve very excited to announced that my new has officially launched on The Escapist Magazine called “Escapist News Now.” I bring you daily news updates Monday – Friday on geek, gaming, and nerd culture.

escapistnewsnow_logo_andrearene

Please SUBSCRIBE to not miss any videos and let me know if there are topics you’d like me to cover 🙂

Thanks for all of your continued support!

My New Job With Alloy Digital

Hello everyone!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you probably have already heard that I have joined the team at Alloy Digital. You can learn all about them here by checking out their website http://www.alloydigital.com or by reading this great article: http://betabeat.com/2013/03/alloy-digital-smosh-youtube-ian-anthony-clevver-alloy-entertainment-pretty-little-liars/

Many of you have asked when I’m going to have my own show again and I’m proud to say that time is rapidly approaching! Starting in early April I will be taking over “Escapist News Now” on the The Escapist Magazine YouTube channel. I will also be making appearances on my former channel Clevver Games, as well making an occasional appearance on breakaway success Smosh Games.

Please subscribe to all 3 if you haven’t already!!

cg_icon escapist_icon smoshgames

I will be doing all kinds of content on video games and I want to hear what you guys want to see! This is important because I will also be starting a new channel just for me! You’ll be able to find vlogs, let’s plays, and commentary videos there. So Tweet at me @andrearene, post on my Facebook fanpage, or comment on this post to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for all your support and I look forward to making lots more posts in 2013!

Playstation 4 Announced For Holiday 2013!

We all knew next-generation video game consoles were right around the corner, and first out of the gate is Sony with the announcement of PlayStation 4 this week. At an event held in New York City on February 20th, Sony told the world their new console will be coming Holiday 2013.

sony-ps4-logo

Here are the technical specs they announced:

  • Supercharged PC Arichetecture
  • X86 CPU
  • 8 CPU Cores
  • Enhanced PC GPU
  • 8 GB Unified Memory
  • Local HDD Storage

Lead Hardware Architect, Mark Cerny said this system is, “By game creators, for game creators.”

Though they didn’t show the unit, they did show the newly redesigned DualShock controller complete with Touchpad, Share Button, Headphone Jack, and an accompanying Light Bar to identify players.

Sony’s recent purchase of Gaikai, a cloud-based streaming service, will be put to use in the PS4. There will be many features including:

  • Social integration with Facebook, Ustream where you can broadcast gameplay live
  • Screen sharing where you can take over someone else’s game to help them with difficult sections
  • Remote play of the PS4 with Vita, something introduced for PS3 but taken to the next level for PS4, possibly even working with smartphones and tablets.
  • Goal is to make every PS4 title available on the PS Vita so you can game on the go
  • Goal is to play any PS console game on the PS4 through the cloud, since they have announced there will be no backwards compatibility through discs

Sony said there will be a secondary processing chip to allow for processes to happen in the background while users are playing games. This means faster downloads, faster loading, and virtually no wait time at startup.

There will also be a completely redesigned User Interface that allow for more social integration and easier purchasing of digital items. Personally, I don’t need that much sharing while I’m gaming, but it is a great feature for those that do.

sony-playstation-4-ps4-social-ui-002

There was also a slew of software announcements including:

  • Knack from Mark Cerny
  • The Witness from Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid)
  • Diablo III from Blizzard (on PS3 and PS4)

But those were just the appetizer, there were some big 1st party reveals that look very promising.

Killzone Shadow Fall

Driveclub

inFAMOUS: Second Son

Plus, there was a new gameplay walkthrough of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, one of the hottest titles to come out of E3 2012.

It was also revealed that Bungie’s new game Destiny will appear on the PS4. This ViDoc has new details about the story of the game, plus some really cool visuals:

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono took the stage to show his newest engine, Panta Rhei, in action on a game with the working title “Deep Down.”

Square Enix also showed a tech demo, but this was previously shown the year before (a few times) so not much to report there except they will be unveiling the latest game in the Final Fantasy franchise at E3 this year.

Now that you have all the information, here are my thoughts:

  1. I was disappointed we didn’t get to even see a photo of the console.
  2. Killzone Shadow Fall was the best game Sony showed at this event, but I don’t think it is big enough to sell consoles for them. I hope they announced Uncharted 4 at E3!
  3. Though the tech demo they showed with the PlayStation Move controllers was neat, Move is still a novelty item much like Microsoft’s Kinect.
  4. The new DualShock controller has a tiny touchscreen on the front, and at that size why even bother? Most smartphones have bigger screens and Nintendo’s Gamepad blows it out of the water. It seems to me they want to incorporate some of the tech they created for the Vita, but this doesn’t seem like the right way.
  5. The new UI looks like a vast improvement over the current one of PS3, but I really need a chance to play around with it before seeing all of its bells and whistles.
  6. They didn’t announced how big the drive space would be, which I’m guessing will come with the price announcement. But with all the hype around Cloud services perhaps the days of having a 500 GB hard drive are over.
  7. It is an interesting idea to make every game on PS4 available on Vita, but my first thought was, why bother? The Vita had less-than-impressive sales numbers and this just seems like a shoe-horned idea to sell more units. The Vita really needs more software that is tailored to the device, not more ports.
  8. There was no mention of PlayStation Plus service, but I’m guessing we’ll hear about that at E3. Currently Sony offers great bonuses for being a Plus member, such as free game downloads, so I am interested to see what PS4 Plus offerings are.
  9. Having Mark Cerny overseeing hardware design is a great thing for developers. With a long history in the gaming industry, Cerny knows what developers look for in hardware design and hopefully more 3rd party game publishers will give better offerings on PS4 than the PS3 had.
  10. Lastly, while this was an interesting announcement, I am still not convinced that PS4 will best the next-gen Xbox. Even if only some of the rumors are true about “Xbox 720,” I don’t see where Sony’s advantage comes except from 1st party software offerings, which aren’t much right now. That said, this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more reveals to come.

It is going to be an exciting year to be a gamer! I am really looking forward to E3 this year and I’ll be sure to put as much coverage as I can on my blog.