Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Almost seven years after its debut in Japan, Sony has released the latest - and final - iteration of its venerable PlayStation Portable handheld. The new E-1000 is a cut-down budget model available in stores now for just £85. Is it an example of cost-cutting too far, or is it a sparkling return to form after the ill-advised PSPgo and the disappointing PSP-3000?
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Monday, 28 November 2011
Grand Theft Auto may be taking a more serious tone as the series matures but the Saints Row games are moving in the opposite direction. In-depth characterisation and an intriguing story are left behind in favour of what made the earlier GTA games so much fun to play in the first place - that is, being able to mess around in an open-world playground where realism is given the elbow in favour of all-out insanity.
Saints Row: The Third also represents a large graphical improvement over the second game in the series. The change in art direction in this latest instalment in combination with more restrained use of normal mapping and specular highlighting on some surfaces creates a more realistic look to the environments. A closer look at the texturing also reveals quite a bit of subtle detailing in many places: the small cracks that appear on the road and pavements, and the degradations manifesting on the walls of old buildings found throughout Steelport.
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Saturday, 26 November 2011
At Digital Foundry, we enjoy 3D gaming but we remain unconvinced about the delivery mechanism - never mind the glasses, it's the nature of the screens themselves that we have issues with. The experience of going to the cinema and having your entire field of view consumed by the 3D image is a level of immersion far beyond what we see at home where the typical 3DTV can't hope to compete, presenting itself almost like a "window with depth" in the corner of the living room.
Sony's solution to this problem is one of the reasons we love the company - it'll quite happily turn ultra-niche, proof-of-concept devices into full consumer products, seemingly no matter how low the sales volumes are likely to be. The grandly titled HMZ-T1 Head Mounted Display places twin 0.7-inch 720p OLED monitors an inch in front of your eyes, the aim being - according to Sony PR - to emulate viewing a whopping 750ft IMAX screen from 20 feet away, delivering a 45-degree field-of-view without the need for a gargantuan projector...
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