ps4

A PLAYSTATION 4 EXTRAVAGANZA: THE SLIM AND THE PRO
September 9, 2016 1:02 pm

Time has moved pretty quickly since the release of the Playstation 4 in 2013. But this week two new Playstation 4 models have been announced named the Playstation 4 Slim and Playstation 4 Pro.

I won’t go into the long debate of whether we need these upgrades now, but it has been three years into the life span of the PS4 and a normal consoles gets to 10 years of age before becoming obsolete. With that said, a slimmer cheaper model was bound to happen, easier for the consumer to use and take care of, cheaper and yet still perform just as well as previous models. Go here for a specs comparison of the three different models, the original, the Pro and the Slim.

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Original ————- Slim ————- Pro

The real intrigue from this week’s announcements is in the Playstation 4 Pro. This is a powerful machine that rivals gaming PCs and yet comes at a very competitive price while including a handful of features. The Pro will not only play games at a much smoother rate and performance level, it will be capable of streaming HDR and 4K capable content. If you don’t know what those are, check out a quick explanation of HDR and 4K to catch up on the latest tech.

Netflix has announced that it will have over 600 hours of 4K content, and now you will have somewhere to watch it, if you also have a compatible TV of course.

Certain games will also be HDR and 4K ready down the road, including Spider Man, Watch Dogs 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1, and Final Fantasy XV.

Do you think we need all this upgrading for a gaming system that still does its job fine? Are you planning on upgrading to a fast and more powerful PS4 Pro?

Here is what I would suggest. If you are a casual player, get the PS4 Slim, you have absolutely no need for the Pro now or the near future. If you love playing games and want the baddest/strong console available, buy the PS4 Pro ONLY IF you have a 4K and or HDR TV, otherwise it won’t really be any different. I am happy to see these two be announced, they are great additions to the Sony Playstation family, but they might have jumped the gun a little because the general public is still not at that level of high definition and need for speed.

The Playstation 4 Slim will be available on the 15th of this month for $299 and the Playstation 4 Pro will be available a little later this year on November 10th for $399.

TWITCH.TV EXPANDS FUNCTIONALITY TO INCLUDE PERFORMANCE ART
July 21, 2016 5:25 pm

Since its launch in 2001, Twitch.tv has exploded in popularity and is now viewed by many gamers, artists and talented individuals as the pinnacle in online video-streaming. With the use of a webcam, Twitch users stream their interests online for other Twitch users to see, follow or subscribe for a small fee, which goes to the streamer. Some Twitch streamers offer additional perks to subscribers, or “subs,” such as access to private chats or shout-outs on streams. 

Each month, more than 100 million community members gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 1.7 million broadcasters. – Twitch

Most people know of Twitch.tv in regards to gaming and people who stream live video of playing popular video games while narrating and providing commentary over top.  This extends to game development, events and larger e-sports spectacles, such as the 2016 Evolution Championship Series (EVO). 

In October of 2015, Twitch launched Twitch Creative, a platform to expand their functionality to all kinds of broadcasters, not just gamers. This opened the floor for almost any type of creative arts, allowing for things like tutorials, live-creation, interaction with fans and live-streams of the development of popular projects.

To name a few, of the many, things users can broadcast on Twitch Creative: Photo Editing, Model Making, Brewing, Construction, Cooking, Video Editing, Programming, Jewelry Making, etc. The list goes on and on, and is really limited only by imagination (within the Twitch broadcast guidelines of course).

Now, Twitch.tv is expanding Twitch Creative to include performance art.  Up until this point Twitch Creative focused primarily on the creation of art, not the demonstration. With this addition streamers will have a new way to share and perform their art.

We are evolving Twitch Creative to become a central place for these acts of creation, including performance and music. – Twitch

According to Twitch, this addition includes the ability to stream live Magic tricks, Comedy performances, Theatre, Music, Voice Acting and Dramatic Readings.

Performers, and people broadcasting within the Twitch Creative platform, have the option to join a “Community,” which is a group of other streamers with similar interests. Users also have the option to create their own Community for others to be a part of.

As a way to commemorate the addition of performance art streaming capabilities, TwitchCon is hosting an online talent show. 

We are looking for the best acts in theatre, comedy, dance, music, poetry, magic, and art. Think you got what it takes? – Twitch

For more information check out the audition page. 

Featured Image Source – Twitter, @TwitchCreates 

E3: THE GAMERS’ MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
June 17, 2016 1:31 pm

Four days of video game conferences, new game trailers, demos and entertainment? This is the most anticipated week of the year for gamers and tech enthusiasts. And this conference was the 22nd gathering of companies and people for E3 with some serious surprises.

If you don’t know E3, here is a quick run down. It stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, and vast numbers of enterprises, journalists, bloggers, gamers and tech geeks flock to the event to go on a mad binge of tech demos, playing new games and nerding out to the max.

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Sony busted out a huge lineup of new games and some big show stoppers. God of War’s fourth major installment was announced and looks amazingly beautiful, an amazing surprise for fans. The Last Guardian’s release date for October 25th 2016 was finally announced after 9 long years of development. Hideo Kojima, legendary game creator of the Metal Gear series and others, announced a new original game, Death Stranding, which had everyone in awe and wonder. Lastly, Sony announced that their VR headset will be coming out October 13, 2016 with a full lineup of games, demos and all sorts of different experiences. A spectacular presentation, especially the live orchestra that performed the music for all the trailers. 

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Microsoft on the other hand really showcased their new consoles and some good games. Their biggest reveal was the Xbox One S (slim). It is 40% smaller, beautiful white design, supports 4K output, built in power supply and only $299. If you don’t have an Xbox One, this is quite the steal. But, they also oddly revealed the Scorpio, a new gaming console for next year that has 6 teraflops of power, which sounds made up but it’s a real thing. To explain, think of the difference between the power of a horse and car, that is roughly the difference between the Scorpio and it predecessors.

There is way too much information from E3 and I couldn’t tell you all about it here. Games like Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, Gears Of War 4, Battlefield 1, Batman VR, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and so many more were shown and a lot of them playable. Check out Youtube’s gaming channel HERE and IGN has a great amount of coverage and demos HERE.

A great week for gamers and a superb E3 conference, from live orchestras and fantastic game demonstrations to tech surprises and amazing guest appearances, this was really an amazing event. What games are you most excited for? Tweet us @AtypicalBeasts with what you’re dying to play.

THE NEW HOME FOR GAME MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS
June 14, 2016 12:23 am

Do you listen to soundtracks? Are John Williams and Marty O’Donnell your idols? Do you have epic scores constantly forming in your head? ThinkSpace Education is starting three different video game audio Masters programs that you can do from the comfort of your own bed.

These programs will be starting in September and so if you want in, better start looking into it. This will be the first ever Masters Degree(s) based in video game music and sound design. A number of people who teach are those who have worked on various famous scores, for example: Assassin’s Creed, Dragon Age, Bioshock 2 and Mass Effect. These are some of the biggest names in the industry and they would be your tutors and mentors. Pretty amazing right? Well, it gets better. 

Your job as a student would involve testing games, creating scores and sounds for those games while familiarizing yourself with a vast amount of software and hardware, most of which is used by professionals every day. The games you work on are not only trials created for virtual classroom learning, but are also part of the formation of a commercial game. That means some of your own work, or the work of your fellow students at this school, may be present in some of the games you and your friends play in the future. 

I could go on about the possibilities. ThinkSpace’s site is filled with so much stuff I have no shortage of topics to discuss about music and the games they accompany. But to wrap up, they have three specific areas to dive into. The first is in music and audio, a focus on how the music and audio interacts and portrays the game. The second is in composing, taking musical genius to the max with scores that grab the player and can even be interactive and ever changing. The third is sound design; every gunshot, animal growl and transforming robot has a unique sound, and you would be the one creating it.

If I was more involved or passionate about sound design and score developing, I would’ve applied when I first learned of it days ago. I’m not trying to sell you on this place or anything, it just seems like an awesome opportunity to expand your knowledge on something so simultaneously creative and technical. If this sounds like you, ThinkSpace is the perfect place.