October 25, 2013, 6:00 AM —
In these final days of waiting for the next generation of console gaming to start, I thought it'd be fun to do a quick recap on Fridays to catch up on some of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 stories that didn't warrant a full post.
So let's see what we learned this week. Well, both consoles will support 8-person party chat. That's the same limit as on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation Vita but it's a feature the PS3 lacked. On the Sony platform you can have both Vita and PS4 players in your chat party, too.
Xbox fans got a concrete date for TitanFall: it'll be out on March 11th in North America for both Xbox One and 360 (you can tell your PC gaming buddies it'll be out for them on that date, too).
There's a lot of drama going on in certain circles after a rumor started on the NeoGaf gaming forum saying that Call of Duty: Ghosts runs at 1080P on the PS4 and 720P on the Xbox One. I'll link you to the recap at FuriousFanBoys mostly because the site has such an epic name (many of the smaller gaming sites are talking about this).
I'm staying out of this one because first, we don't even know if its true and second, if it is true we don't really know what it means until someone can show the game running side by side on production hardware from each company. Resolution isn't everything.
Back to the PS4, where we learned that, if you want to, you can use your real name instead of your Playstation ID when gaming on the new console. This is an option Microsoft will be adding to the Xbox One sometime after launch. I assume this won't be an 'all or nothing' choice (because if it is, no one in their right mind would opt to always use their real name) but as far as I've been able to find out, Sony hasn't shared the specifics of how you control who can see your real name. No one panic, though: using your real name will be totally optional.
Another Xbox One leak, once again from NeoGaf, was of a setup manual for the Kinect 2. It shows that the user has to stand about 4.5 feet from the Kinect 2. That's better than the original Kinect where the minimum distance was 6', but still a bit farther than I was hoping for. At first glance it seems OK but then you remember, that's 4.5 feet to the front of your body. You've got some depth (some of us have more than others) and you probably don't want to be standing with the back of your legs pressed against the coffee table, so you'll want some room behind you. I think most of us will be moving furniture again, if we get the urge to jump around in front of Kinect 2 in order to play Just Dance or something.
The next item is a kind of a correction. Some gaming blogs are writing about the fact that the PS4 controller doesn't have analog buttons, citing a recent post at VentureBeat. The critical detail that is being missed by some readers is that VentureBeat was talking about the face buttons; the 'triggers' are still analog. It is, I guess, an understandable mistake because a lot of people don't even realize the PS3 controller's Circle, Square, Cross and Triangle buttons are currently analog.
The closer we get to the launch of the PS4, the more we're hearing rumblings about the quality (or lack thereof) of the launch library (check out this post at Kotaku for an example). It seems many people were counting heavily on Drive Club and Watch Dogs to be the cornerstones of their new gaming library. Possibly as a result of this talk, Sony has released a new 'sizzle reel' ad for the PS4. Of course many of the titles shown won't be available at launch. A skeptic could see this ad as promoting the PS4 as a nice Memorial Day gift for someone.
And I think that's all that I have for this week. Did I miss anything? If so, please share in the comments.
Update: Microsoft released it's own ad this morning. I like it a lot except for one thing. The one woman that the Xbox One 'invites' uses it for watching a movie, while all the men use it for playing games. I'm pretty sure women enjoy gaming, too. Here it is:
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