Feb 232012

By the time they get to the front of the line they'll be two more updates to wait for.

Even after Jessie’s impressions I was still kind of looking forward to the PS Vita. It looked like a fun system. As a fan of portable gaming I was prepared to forgive some of Sony’s missteps in the past. Then they announced that before the Vita got a major release they already had a firmware update.

You know, sometimes these things just write themselves.


See you next week.

Feb 172012


This account is based on very limited exposure to the PS Vita, but as they say, first impressions can be important. A few trips to Game Stop under my belt and I’ve mostly made up my mind on the PS Vita. At this point it stands in the “maybe someday” category. I feel my reasons are just, and it mainly stems from the fact that I believe the PS Vita is just too high maintenance for me.

Allow me to put it this way. Think of the PS Vita as a downright super attractive model that you and your buddies check out on the internet. You discuss all the things you’d like to do to this person and high five. Fact of the matter is, most of these really great looking model types are super high maintenance. Sure, they make great eye candy, but you gotta spend a butt load of money on them, they bitch and complain all the time, they have to have everything their way, and in the end they won’t really do all those things you were hoping for.

Then you have the 3DS. The 3DS is that cute girl, with a few extra pounds in all the right places. You can carry a conversation with her and actually have fun. Your friends don’t get sick of her, and come to find out, she is really fun and dirty in bed.

How did I come up with this analogy? Well, simply by looking at the PS Vita, you HAVE to have all sorts of protective devices on it or its going get scratched up and possibly warp the thumb sticks. Sure, it looks great with that big flashy screen, but you can’t exactly just slip it into your pocket and go about your day ready to start gaming from any location. With the 3DS, you can just close it clam shell style and drop it into your pocket knowing that unless you plan on being hit by a bus it’s going to be ok.

If you do plan on getting a PS Vita, you have to decide if you want data coverage or not. You have to decide how much data coverage, and then you have to pay extra for that coverage. The 3DS, you give the clerk some money and BAM it’s yours. I am ok with it having good old fashioned WiFi anyway.

Of course how it will ultimately succeed depends on the games that are released, but at this point there is no reason for me to consider it. That’s just my opinion, and honestly I hope it changes.

Jan 142012

Happy New Year! The first RoboCast of 2012 is here and it won’t disappoint. Listen to Modus, Lucas, Adam and Jessie chat about all sorts of things. Mainly we discuss the PS Vita and what we think about it. Which snack is better: Cheetos or Doritos? Why does Spaceballs suck? So, listen up and join in on the discussion with your comments below, or even better join the forums and chat it up there!


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Musical consideration provided by:

Wild Arms “Succumb to the Wilderness” via OCRemix.org 

Robot Science “Teacups” via Bandcamp.com

Aug 162011

Hey, RoboReaders! Couldn’t make it to Germany for Gamescom this year? Neither could we. However, we can get you as close to the action as possible, without the hassle of international travel, by rounding up all the announcements, demos, and trailers from Sony’s conference at the annual convention. Take a look!

Sony‘s Gamescom conference kicked off with Sony Computer Entertainment‘s Europe CEO, Andrew House, discussing how “PlayStation [is] stronger than ever as an innovator and an entertainer,” and outlining how the brand continues to fill that role with the development of Vita, Sony’s newest handheld gaming system, and their foray into 3D gaming. He then turned the floor over to Jim Ryan, the upcoming CEO of Sony Europe, who presented Vita to the audience.

Vita appears to be an impressive piece of hardware, boasting two analog sticks and SIXAXIS control, like the PS3 controller, as well as front and rear cameras and a five inch OLED front touchscreen. In addition to the portable system’s stellar design, Ryan spoke of the importance of social connectivity in the development of the handheld. The 3G version of Vita, a cheaper version with Wi-Fi will also be available for purchase, will include a number of new features that will make interacting with friends easier and foster social connections between gamers. Near will allow you to see what friends in your area are playing, while Live Area gives you updates from your friends and allows you to leave them comments, and Party gives players the opportunity to join group chats. Furthermore, you can access popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare through applications on the device.

While these features are unique to handhelds, they’re almost meaningless unless Vita has a strong selection of games to back the system up. Luckily, Sony showed off an impressive amount of upcoming titles. First up was Resistance: Burning Skies, which features a new timeline, new environments and even a new lead character, Tom Riley, a New York City firefighter, from the PlayStation 3 Resistance titles. With the double analog sticks, it looks like the game will have a similar control scheme to Ps3 games, but also has features unique to Vita‘s touch screen capabilities. It was cool to see how some of the game’s weapons were compatible with the system’s touchscreen, and to see how SIXAXIS plays a role in looking around and over objects when the character is in cover.

LittleBigPlanet followed the Resistance demo. It looks like the fun of bringing your creations to life will be made easier on Vita thanks to touchscreens that allow you to easily place, move and resize objects and built-in cameras to capture images for use in the game even when you’re on the go.

In addition to carrying popular PS3 titles over to Vita, Sony also showed two new IPs for the device. Reality Fighters is a fighting game that lets gamers create custom characters with their own specific fighting style, while Escape Plan is a puzzle game that has players navigating the tall and rotund, Laarg, and short and slender, Lil, through rooms laced with traps and other dangers in an attempt to escape. Although I can typically only tolerate puzzle games in small doses, Escape Plan, with its simplistic plot and brutal monochromatic violence, looks appealing.

Sony also noted that there will be tremendous third-party support for the system, and that Ubisoft is currently going to contribute six games to Vita, including FIFA, Rayman: Origins and a new Assassin’s Creed title, based on new characters. It’s been fun, Ezio, but it’s time for a change. Noted franchises to hit Vita will include Call of Duty and Bioshock, although further details about the games were not provided. Before ending their discussion of handheld systems, Sony announced a new, scaled-back model of the PSP without Wi-Fi that will retail for 99 Euro.

After devoting a huge amount of their conference to Vita information, Sony talked about upcoming PlayStation 3 releases compatible with Move, their motion control device. Fitness game Move Fitness appears to be a fusion of Wii Fit and PS2‘s Eye Toy: Kinetic, while DanceStar Party looks like a Just Dance clone. Move compatibility with FIFA ’13 was announced, but considering FIFA ’12 won’t arrive in stores until the end of September, was not demonstrated.

On the non-Move PS3 front, Sony debuted trailers for Resistance 3 and inFamous 2: Festival of Blood. Resistance 3′s trailer is full of emotion, but noticeably devoid of actual gameplay, which we would have loved to see. Festival of Blood is DLC for this summer’s inFamous 2, which has hero Cole McGrath roaming a fictional incarnation of New Orleans to stop a legion of vampires that have overtaken the city and bit him. inFamous has been one of my favorite franchises in current gen gaming, so I’ll refrain from being too judgmental, but, vampires? For real?

Sony saved the most impressive game for last and chose Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception to close the show. The trailer blends together intense gaming action and film-quality aesthetics, to deliver a sequence that is filled with excitement, suspense and emotion.

The conference concluded with an announcement that the price of PlayStation 3 will drop $50 to $249, great news for anybody who doesn’t yet own the console.

Sony‘s Gamescom presentation brought us information on a new handheld gaming system, a preview of games we can be expecting, PSP and PS3 price cuts, and one of the most impressive trailers we’ve seen in a while with Uncharted 3. Head over to our community forum and let us know what announcements impressed or dismayed you in the conference.