snow_light_1Snow and ShivasFF_13_Crew

From the Vault: Final Fantasy XIII

In an earlier incarnation of GeekApproach, I wrote an awful lot about video games.  At the time I was doing work for the games industry and it was a logical extension of the sheer amount of free time I had to actually play said games.  Rather than spend more money (that I don’t have currently) on games, I thought I would go back and replay some titles that I have skipped or didn’t finish for some reason.  Enter Final Fantasy XIII.

The Final Fantasy series is rather legendary in gaming circles.  A cornerstone of the so-called, JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) genre, Final Fantasy (FF) titles have been on every major gaming system since their inception.  Beginning with Nintendo consoles, and moving hand-in-hand with Sony during the PlayStation 2 era, and finally being wooed by Microsoft in the X360 generation to at least make a multi-platform title.  Within the 7th-Gen lifespan that included Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii, Square-Enix managed to put out at least 3 FF titles that spanned the XIII universe: FF XIII, FF XIII-2, and FF XIII: Lightning Returns.  Around March 2010 the game was released worldwide after a holiday release in Japan the quarter prior.  The reviews were a mixed-bag with reviewers offering contradictory opinions on the games linearity, as well as its much-hyped “Paradigm” battle system. (more…)

Azure based augment for gaming

Azure based augment for gaming

Here is a link to a Kotaku article about Microsoft augmenting a future title using the power of Windows Cloud (or Azure, or whatever they’re calling it these days).  I can only imagine that one of the sweeter deals of being an Xbox One developer is that you’ve got access to some of these services backed by Microsoft.  I know the game Titanfall mentions making some use of this (here). By offloading CPU intensive tasks to the cloud and “streaming” that data back to the client requesting it, you free up the CPU and GPU for more intensive rendering tasks.

That has to be a huge win for Microsoft!  Utilizing such a cornerstone of the Microsoft infrastructure hurts, especially if there’s no equivalent on the Sony side to touch. Unfortunately, I find almost no mention of this on the Net, and navigating the Channel 9 MSDN video site is an exercise in pain.

Filing away to follow-up and dig up more.

Sony quits the PC business to focus on mobile

Sony quits the PC business to focus on mobile [Source: The Verge]

I know we keep talking about the demise of the traditional PC, that things are trending towards a powerful mobile device that will be cheap and easy to use.  I don’t think we’re there yet, and while I love my Apple products, I still end up juggling a lot of them.

Sony’s devices had a similar design aesthetic to Apple.  They were truly beautiful machines, designed with intent and purpose.  But while running WinTel it was hard to justify the rather insane price premium vs a completely different OS and environment like the Mac offered at the time.  Throw in that that ridiculous support of the MemoryStick format, and any other proprietary Sony technology and its easy to see why the ship began to sink.

Still sad to see fewer manufacturers out there making the devices we use every day.  I want to see an underdog arise that makes some truly mind-blowing tech.

Day Before CES

The last place I should be is in front my MBP right now considering I need to be up at 4:30 and on-site at 5:45. However, I saw a lot of cool shit today and wanted to note some of it down before I experience complete sensory overload tomorrow and Friday with the masses at this show.

First off, everyone and their grandmother is afraid of the iPad. Any company that has a foothold in computing devices has some sort of new tablet device here, I kid you not. Vizio, a TV manufacturer is coming out with a Phone. Google announces yet another fork of the Android platform, called Honeycomb specifically designed for tablets. Sony demos a 4k resolution 3D LCD TV.

There’s just way too much shit to see here. In between some meetings that I’ve got set up, I have roughly 8 hours across two days to see what I’d like and given how large this show is, its just not possible. I’m hoping to binge a bit and then digest and spit out some useful data on the way home.

Kinda crazy to think that last year I was writing about what Intel was bringing to CES by consuming data on the web. This year I’m actually on the show floor and I can get some hands on time with the new Sandy Bridge family of processors.

Rambling. Should probably get some sleep now.