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Digital_DJ_00 Blog

New Gamespot Site Is A Mess, Here's My Resignation... Farewell Everyone...

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I'm sure there are countless other topics like mine that describe their annoyance/disappointment with Gamespots new web-page layout, but regardless, I feel the need to express my opinion because I've been a registered member on this website since May 2005...

Now back in the 2005, I don't remember what GS honestly looked like. But I do remember that Platinum Subscription services were available for paying members, as well as the MUCH missed .01 rating score that they would use for game reviews. All those are gone now, which nobody knew why and are to this day greatly missed. I guess isn't honestly up to the website members to decide whether or not a layout change needs to happen, but we SHOULD be able to voice our opinion on the possibility of a change of layout. It's probably inevitable that website change, after all, you start to see certain imperfections and would like to see certain facets change/revamped. Over the course of time on GS, they've changed layouts every couple of years. Some more annoying than others, but over time made sense after navigating your way around the new layout and getting used to things and noticing why they made those certain changes. They made sense. Not all of them mind you, but most of them.

Now we're in for another GS website change, but this time - it's a f****ing mess. Sorry for the language, but it's necessary to express my frustration with this change. Before this layout, the Gamespot website was nearly perfect. It was easy to navigate, the news sections were nicely categorized, latest reviews were easy to find, the member rating system was easy and accessible and the over-all layout was simple yet intuitive. All of that is gone now... Replaced with a bombastic layout that makes no sense. The review rating system has been changed AGAIN into now a 1.0 increment which takes away even more grading diversity than ever before. The interface is garbage and cluttered, the forum system is now not appealing at all, which is a shame because the Gamespot forums were the BEST part about this website... The forums for this website was great because it was populated, and full of regular users. But now the over-all forum interface has changed for the worse...

I don't honestly care if other people agree with me on this, but Gamespot was almost perfect the way it was... I wish my comment would convince the website designers to change it back to the way it was, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

Please don't misunderstand, I don't want to sound like I'm griping or bitter.

I love this community and thank all of you for the good memories and fun times. But now this is where I say good-bye. It was fun everyone, and I hope to see you all again on another website. Regardless if I can actually deactivate my membership or not, this will be my last post on this website. We've had good times Gamespot, but I no longer wish or want to be a member of this video game website... I'm sorry things had to turn out this way for the people who share my concerns and objections to this new website change. I'll probably still visit this website time and again out of habit, but I won't post any longer and I'll find a better website to be a member of. Farewell Gamespot, I will miss the old days...

Sincerely,

Caleb E. Rees (Digital_DJ_00)

Why 1080P Gaming Will Be More Satisfying Than Ever with Next-Gen Consoles

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HD gaming has been around for a long time. It first appeared on the Gamecube in the form of 480p via component cables. Of course, not many know this because component cables for the Gamecube were in limited production, they were proprietary, and not to mention HD TV's weren't exactly mainstream in 2002. So finding a compatible Television with component cables was tasking. I know 480p gaming was available for the Xbox as well, but not till further down the road of it's life cycle, and I can't recall if component cables/HD gaming was available for the PS2. In my experience, HD Televisions didn't start becoming mainstream until about 2007. And around that time, 480p was obsolete. 720p and 1080p took its place. However, with that said, 720p was the most used resolution format because component cables weren't capable of displaying 1080p, that's why the 1st generation of 360 consoles didn't have built in HDMI ports. But the PS3 did when it launched, and a year later, the Xbox 360 Elite had HDMI and it also came with an HDMI cable. (that didn't last forever though)

I remember playing Bioshock on the 360 on a standard regular TV. Then about 7 months later, I snagged a good deal on a 32" HD TV. Hooked up all the necessary cables, then rebooted the 360. Then it hit me, crystal clear 720p resolution. It was like being brought to a whole new world of gaming depth and clarity. I was literally blown away. I then said to myself "This is probably the wisest investment I ever made". And I still stand by that statement. HD gaming was so relevent to me, I'd never want to go back, and I never have...

Now this where things get interesting...

By now, for HD Movie viewing experience, 1080p is the gold standard. Who would argue? 1280 x 720 versus 1920 x 1080? It's obvious why 1080p is the go to source for movie experiences. Is it the same for video games? Well.....not really. Well it would be if PS3 & 360 hardware would let us.

By now, I'm sure most people who just read that segment of my article are saying to themselves "What? Of course you can game on 1080p, it lets me select it on my 360/PS3". Well sorry, but that's not necessarily true. You can most certainly watch HD Movies in 1080p, but gaming in that resolution is a different story. Here's why. When you select in your settings menu to display content in 1080p, it does so for the menu layout before you start a game. That's in 1080p, however, you're video games are "upscaled" to 1080p from it's "Native" resolution of 720p. I stress the word "Native", meaning it's natural resolution in which it's meant to be played. The Xbox 360 is much more lenient in upscaling 720p games for it's library than PS3, but the fact is that RAM, CPU and GPU capabilities in both the 360 and PS3 are so small that it's very difficult to design native 1080p games. The Xbox 360 and PS3 each have 256 Megabytes dedicated RAM to the GPU for games, which is the space that devs have to work with. This isn't a dead on accurate statistic, but I'm willing to estimate that 85% of games that are both on 360 & PS3 are designed to played in 720p. Now to say that ALL games are 720p for 360/PS3 would be a flat out lie, native 1080p games certainly do exist for current gen consoles, but some things are sacrificed in terms of detail and graphical quality in order to achieve that smooth 60fps at 1080p resolution. You can't really blame developers for this, they only have so much to work with in terms of hardware capabilities. But regardless of all this, developers have found great ways to work around these restrictions to deliver great looking games.

Now fast forward to the announcements of the Xbox One and PS4. Each have a total of f***ing 8GB of RAM! Whoa! That's a HUGE difference over the previous 256MB's that video game developers had to work with. The PS4 will have GDDR5 Ram, and the Xbox One will have DDR3, both of which are huge upgrade frequencies over the previous versions on current gen. The PS4 will have an AMD 8 core x86 Jaguar CPU, the Xbox One will have a classified/unknown AMD x86 8 core CPU as well, but appearently it's not the same as the PS4's. Neither consoles have specified what GPU's they're running except that they are from ATi. But appearently rumors are going abuzz that it's around the capabilities of the 6850 or the 7850. Whether these rumors are true or not, it won't matter because whatever GPU they're running, it'll be hands down significantly better than PS3/360 GPU's.

Now what does this all mean?

REAL AWESOME NATIVE UNCHAINED 1080P!!!

Developers will now have the hardware flexibility to deliver truly satisfying games in 1080p glory. Games will finally be able to take advantage of full 1080p native resolution with out having to upscale from 720p. Gamers should be excited about this, very excited actually. It'll be amazing to see what developers can do with this much capability. Textures will be smoother, enviornments will be more immersive, frame rates will still be at silky smooth 60, and gameplay will be much more streamlined & engaging with out having to worry about GPU buffering when loading new levels. (That shit go so annoying with the Unreal Engine, especially in Borderlands...)

Being able to game in native 1080p is almost worth it alone to buy a next-gen console, and is definately something that ALL gamers should look forward to.

Playstation 4 - The Last of it's Kind?

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By now, I'm sure you've been digesting what's happened at E3. The Sony PS4 Console was finally shown, as well as the initial price at which Sony will set it. ($400 incase you haven't heard) The console itself looks similar to the 1st generation of the Playstation 2 console. It's mostly constructed of a matte black finish, it has a boxy stature, and it has the PS2's signature blue streak/line. The biggest difference though is obviously that it's slanted. Why? Who cares, it looks good. The Xbox One did little to innovate it's chassis design resulting it looking like a really expensive cable/dvd player. Which really isn't too surprising since Cable television and video streaming is Microsofts main focus on the Xbox One and not video games. Sorry if that offends or confuses Xbox fanboys/supporters, but it's the truth, no matter which way you slice it... Which is a real shame, because the Xbox 360 was a huge success compared to the original Xbox, which was flat out dominated along side the Gamecube by the PS2. Sony's PS4 Feb. confrence was all about the games. Microsoft's May confrence was all about TV, Cable, and video streaming, oh and there was Call of Duty, but it was mostly about TV.... See the difference? Now I'm not saying that the Xbox One has completely forgotten about gamers, but gamers and video games is definately NOT it's main focus anymore. Which is bad news for Microsoft, because video games was it's prime source for success. Why alienate the audience that made the 360 so successful? It makes no sense...

And to make matters worse, Microsoft wants you to log into the Xbox Live atleast once every 24 hours, they have strict policies on used games, (I won't go into detail because I don't know the whole story on that) you still need to pay for Xbox Live membership, (which is a cop out now because you're paying for features that are FREE when you're using a PC....) Oh yeah, and it costs $500....

Did Sony gain anything from Microsofts bad decisions? You bet your ass they did. After Microsofts Xbox One May confrence, Sony's stock rose an eye popping 10%. Sony's E3 Show was awesome. We got gameplay footage of inFamous Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Destiny. And that was just the games. Sony went on to continue their momentum by announcing no used game policies, no "always online" or 24 hour check in. It's region free, and it costs an attractive $400. That's $100 less that Microsofts Cable Box.

Suffice to say, Playstation dominated E3 this year. Console sales will be the only actual indicator of which gamers favor, but I'm pretty sure Sony has this next console race in the bag. I don't expect the Xbox One to fail miserably, it probably won't by any sense, but I highly doubt that it'll sell as well as the PS4. Speaking of which, despite VGChartz questionable sales number legitimacy, as of now, the PS3 has officially outsold the Xbox 360. I guess all those PS3 doom sayers were wrong after all...