Posted by John on December 17, 2011

Ben’s Week In Review: December 18

PlayStation Vita
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I’m trying to enjoy this mini-break, but I still have to try and solidify a few interviews during a time when everyone is on vacation, and I have to dig into the Starhawk beta, too.

Will the Vita succeed? Don’t ask me

So this guy says the PlayStation Vita is in definite trouble, and he’s hardly the only one to voice his concerns. Now, one could easily argue that many people considered the PSP to be a “failure” when in fact, based on sales numbers alone, it doesn’t really appear to be a failure at all. The Nintendo DS certainly overshadowed it but in 2010 and 2011, the PSP enjoyed a definite surge all around the world. I’m sure Sony doesn’t want to wait that long to have good success with the Vita, but I’m just trying to make a point. Sony’s handheld position has always been hazy.

Thing is, I’ve never been into handheld gaming. I loved the GameBoy but then again, who didn’t? And that was pretty much the last time I was really into any sort of portable gaming. I also don’t care much about fancy phones and 3G or 4G or whatever-G and despite the potential of the Vita, I’m just not sure what to think. Even when weighing all factors - the mobile gaming explosion, virtual social connections, price, games, etc. - I still just sort of shake my head and shrug my shoulders. My only response? “I don’t know.” Honest. I haven’t the slightest idea how the Vita will fare.

The Last Of Us sounds amazing

Those early details were plenty encouraging, don’t you agree? Firstly, I know people don’t think it’s too important, but even Naughty Dog could have difficulty adapting to an entirely new control format. Keeping their new project third-person, with which they’ve had tremendous success, is a damn good idea. Secondly, the blending of different genres has been a relatively common theme this generation, but this may be one of those progressive, innovative mixes that redefines gaming. I got chills when I read this-

“We’re trying to move the medium of video games into an area elevated in the same manner of respect of film. We want to redefine what our medium is even called. ‘Video game’ is not an accurate name anymore. It is not necessarily a game with rules and a winner and a loser. It’s an experience.”

I mean, that sounds like something Quantic Dream would say. Speaking of which, I keep wondering about their mystery project, too… But I won’t go off on a tangent; I’d just like to say, for the record, that The Last Of Us could set new industry bars in both graphics and gameplay.

Personal gaming update

I haven’t yet had time to try the Starhawk beta but I’ll get into that between tomorrow and Monday, and deliver my impressions soon after. Thanks to all who participated in the beta giveaway, by the way. Whenever they come to me and ask how many codes I want, I always say 50…but given the rapidity with which those codes disappear, I think I’m going to have to start saying 100. ;) I keep forgetting we’re a little bigger now.

Also, our new show should be part of Home’s final update for 2011, so the party we usually have in the Community Theater is tentatively set for December 22 (Thursday) at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. I might be giving away a copy of the Uncharted Drake’s Journal, and the PS3 version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. When it’s all official, I’ll put up a news headline.

Still playing Final Fantasy VII; I’ll get involved in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Gears of War 3 after Christmas. Oh, and be on the lookout for the poll this weekend; it’s the first of two polls that will determine the reader’s choice for Game of the Year.

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