Day 319, Game 319 - The PlayroomRead Now
As you may or may not know or remember, I started this year long project of daily gaming and blogging at the beginning of this for one reason. Looking ahead into the future sometime late last year, it was quite evident that 2013 was shaping up to be one of the biggest and best years for the video game industry of all time. Not only did we have one big title after another scheduled for release, but we had the end of two consoles' life cycles and the beginning of two new, "next-gen" systems in their places.
Back before I started the blog, no one really knew anything about the new Sony and Microsoft consoles, other than they would probably be coming out this year, and all the information we would need would be presented at the 2013 E3 conference. Without the details ahead of time, I didn't really know what to expect from the new consoles, and even if they were worth being excited about, but ultimately, I didn't need them to be awesome. For this year-long blog, just them being released would aid me in adding some content to the blog, good or bad.
I hoped for the best, however, as I really wanted this year to actually be remembered as the best of all time, as that would only add more clout and importance to my project both immediately and in the long run as well. With that being said, I pre-ordered both consoles immediately after watching their E3 press conferences, as that was the soonest I could officially begin the wait for the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles, the PS4 and the Xbox One, respectfully.
The tagline for the PS4 marketing campaign was "Greatness Awaits." Well, the wait is over, and I, like many of other people around the country, finally have a PS4.
And boy, is it great. But I'm not here to write a review for the system, as clearly I need to put it through its paces before giving my full impression. No, I'm here to do what I've been doing all year long, and that's write about games.
Among the handful of games I played on my PS4 the first day, one of them was strictly for my five year old daughters sake, and because my curiosity wouldn't allow me to wait to check it out. The Playroom is an application/game that's installed on every PS4, whether you like it or not. At the very least, it's a glorified demo that showcases the new, reinvented and redesigned DualShock controller, aptly named the DualShock 4. Of course, this is all The Playroom is good for if you only have a DualShock 4 to use. Aside from showing off the new controller, however, The Playroom is a "proof of concept" game developed to utilize the new PlayStation camera and show how developers could integrate its functionality into games.
Think the Microsoft Kinect, only more like the PlayStation Move controllers, as the light bars on the controller are read by the camera, just like the old PS Eye did with the Move controller wands. It also incorporates Augmented Reality much like the Nintendo 3DS did and later the Vita did as well.
In The Playroom, you can interact with a flying robot on the screen with hand gestures, you can play a virtual game of air hockey with a second player using the new touch pads on the faces of the DualShock 4 controllers, and you can hang out with a mob of mini-robots that call home inside the controller, allegedly. All of the different games and interactions you can have within The Playroom are far too hard to fully explain, as they really need to be seen to completely understand their charm.
My daughter loved playing with me, and in all honesty, that completely justified the purchase of the camera alone. Sure, there will be more games coming to use the camera, as DLC for The Playroom has already been announced, so I'm not worried of it not being used ever. Also, you can use voice commands with the PS4 via the microphone in the camera, and they work well so far. Best of all, there are trophies to be had within The Playroom, and that was an unexpected surprise that was the cherry on top.
The potential is there for this technology to fully enhance gaming as we know it, now it's just a matter of time before developers take it seriously. But even if it remains more of a niche gimmick, as I half expect it to, it is still fun and a great addition to the new console. Can't wait to check out the Kinect 2, but that won't be until next week. For now, it's just me and my PS4, all week and all alone, right up until the launch of the Xbox One.
That is, if I can actually pull myself away long enough. As it stands right now, that is harder than it sounds I think.
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Games played for project : 365