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Your McMurray Tech Talk

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E3 2013: A Place of Wonders!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short. Dubbed the “mack-daddy of all entertainment conferences,” E3 is an annual trade show of sorts designed for the computer and video game industry. A place where console developers, video game publishers, and accessory manufacturers show off what they have to contribute to this billion dollar industry within the next year. The only difference between this trade show and the ones we’re used to in Fort Mac is that the only thing being sold at E3 is gaming rights and distribution for millions and millions of dollars. But I digress.

I had the opportunity to attend this year’s show on behalf of the YMM Podcast and Your McMurray Magazine; luckily it was one of the bigger years to see with the release of two major next-generation consoles. Both Sony and Microsoft announced their new designs, the PlayStation 4 and XBOX One respectively, to much fanfare that engulfed the entire four-day event. Both of these major releases prompted an all-out war of words between attendees.

Sony first announced the PS4 back in February, giving us a look at the new Dual-Shock 4 Controller (with includes a touchpad) and also only telling us what the new system will contain. Featuring an AMD 8-core processor, 8GB RAM, 500GB memory, and 6x Blu-Ray Optical Drive, the PS4 was set to become the benchmark for console systems that are able to deliver PC quality gaming.

Skip ahead to May where Microsoft lays it all out on the line by telling and showing us their new console designs. Named the XBOX One because it is the “All-in-One” Entertainment System, the XBOX One has very similar technical specs to the PS4. An 8-core processor, 8GB RAM, 500GB memory, and yes, it now has a Blu-Ray disc drive. What separated the system from Sony was its features, including an integrated DVR and TV support. Microsoft also wanted to “enhance” Digital Rights Management for user groups which enraged gamers around the world. XBOX was going to have to be connected to the internet on a permanent basis so it can “check-in” with Microsoft servers every 24-hours. If the system was not connected online for 24-hours, then it would not work…regardless of the type of game you were playing. Microsoft also placed restrictions on used-games. Now they flip-flop on this particular feature but the general consensus was that you could not play used games on the XBOX One unless purchasing from specific retailers. As you would guess, this would leave a horrible taste in the mouths of XBOX fans everywhere.

Sony finally revealed the actual PS4 unit at the their E3 Press Conference, all while taking advantage of the angered XBOX fan base by stating they support used games and will not be placing any restrictions on their new system. It wasn’t until a week after E3 that Microsoft came to their senses and reversed their policies on Digital Rights Management, leveling the next-generation playing field. Both the XBOX One and the PS4 will be able to play all used games and will not have to be online in order to function. Both new systems will be available November 2013 with the PS4 costing $399 and the XBOX One $499.

While the new PlayStation and XBOX were the main topic of discussion amongst E3-goers, there were a ton of upcoming video games on display that are gamer must haves:

{slider=The Last of Us}

This PlayStation-only title hit the shelves in June so if you haven’t played it by now you need to drop what you’re doing and grab a copy! Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this horror survival action-adventure game is a roller coaster of fun that has the plot change based on the choices you make within the game. Given perfect scores by reviewers across the world based on its emotionally driven story, The Last of Us will give the PS3 a last hurrah before the next-generation hits the shelves.

{/slider} {slider=Dead Rising 3}

This XBOX One exclusive launch title takes the open-world format of video games and turns it upside down! Using the XBOX One “No Load Time” feature, you have the ability to freely move around a zombie-infested city literally using everything within the game as a weapon. From the stop sign that can be broken off and thrown into a zombie, to the car that can be driven through a massive horde, you can even combine objects to make more effective weapons, like using a sledgehammer and a chainsaw to make the ultimate weapon, the Sledge-Saw! Dead Rising 3 will also integrate a separate app called XBOX SmartGlass (available for all mobile devices) used within the game. For example, if you find a walkie-talkie in the game, the SmartGlass App becomes the Walkie-Talkie and gives story information used within the game. Cool stuff!

{/slider} {slider=Destiny}

Bungie, the creators of the Halo Universe, have moved away from the United Nations Space Command to develop another world that will evoke many new and old design elements we’ve come to know and love from these guys. Set seven hundred years into the future in yet another post-apocalyptic world, humans have explored and colonized space only to be devastated by a mysterious alien race. Sound familiar? Regardless, this human race is equipped with amazing magical abilities! The demo I had a chance to play was amazing…think Halo but with superpowers! Destiny will be release in 2014 on both the PS4 and XBOX One.

{/slider} {slider=Call of Duty GHOSTS}

You played one Call of Duty game you played them all right? WRONG! With the Modern Warfare series complete, GHOSTS brings an entire new batch of characters, new story, and new gameplay. The story takes place after some kind of catastrophic event that changes the balance of power in the world. With the United States no longer a superpower, a military team known as the “Ghosts” needs to combat a new threat to the world. The demo I got my hands on gave you the ability to actually control a combat K9 much to my pleasure! GHOSTS will be available November 2013 for both the PS4 and XBOX One.

{/slider} {slider=HALO 5}

Fans of this exclusive XBOX blockbuster franchise got a sneak peek into the latest installment coming in 2014. No information whatsoever; just a quick teaser trailer that will still get any fan’s blood pumping!


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