Bungie Is Moving On UP

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It’s no secret that Bungie and Microsoft have filed for divorce and they will officially part ways when Halo: Reach comes out (with the exception of some DLC being released here and there I’m sure.) However Bungie is currently in the process of moving out of their tiny downtown Kirkland,WA studio and moving into a massive studio located in Bellevue, WA.

I’m not lying when I call this stuido massive either, it comes complete with room that houses a massive projector screen (and projector), with sound treated walls and two rows of seating. I like to call this room the movie theater room, however it looks like it will probably be for conferences.

Some of the other additions are massive pillars, a huge area for the Bungie employees to work as well as a room with a glass wall to overlook the employees and make sure there isn’t any “surprise buttseks” going on. The most noteable addition however, is this new studio has more than 2 urinals for the 150 employees to share, again this could probably help elminate any “surprise buttseks” that may go on during work hours.

From what Bungie has done in their old cramped studio, I can’t wait to see what they will do in their new P. Diddy approved studio with room to stretch and no waiting in line to use the bathroom.

Why Plasma TVs Are Perfect For Gamers

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Plasma TVs have been accused for burning in logos for a very long time now. This has caused gamers far and wide to look away from Plasma TVs when shopping for a new HDTV, since the games HUD would supposedly burn into the TV and ruin the picture.

If you don’t know what burn in is, it is when a TV will keep displaying a picture (or part of picture) forever. Not to be confused with image retention, this is when the TV keeps that image on the screen for a short period of time which usually isn’t even noticeable.

I can attest from owning a Plasma TV that they do suffer from image retention. Typically my TV will retain the image if the TV has been on long enough to heat up. However the image will only stay on the screen until it is filled with another image, so unless the screen fades to black usually it goes unnoticed. If your TV does retain an image for a long period of time you can go into the TV’s settings and run a filter that will scan a white bar over the TV and the image will be erased, it’s actually pretty cool to watch.

Alright so we now know that Plasma TV’s aren’t plagued with burn in anymore If your Plasma TV does have an image burnt in you probably bought a cheap, no name brand one. We also know that a Plasma TV does have something called image retention which usually isn’t noticeable. So now it’s time to move onto the reasons why a Plasma TV is better than LCD or LED TVs on the market today.

Price

You can buy a 50” Panasonic Viera Plasma TV right now for less than $1,000 from Best Buy. The TV is full 1080p with a refresh rate of 600Hz along with 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. If you were to buy an LCD TV for about the same price you’d be able to get a 46” Sony Bravia that only has 120Hz refresh and a 150,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Next time you are at a store that sells both LCD TV’s and Plasma TV’s take a look at prices and you will notice that you will get more bang for your buck going with a Plasma TV vs. LCD or LED.

Picture Quality

Plasma TV’s almost always give you a better picture. This is because the plasma gasses are able to give off richer blacks which then give the TV much more vibrant colors. This is the reason why movie enthusiasts love Plasma TVs.

Refresh Rate

Almost every Plasma TV on the market today boasts a 600Hz refresh rate while the most you can get out of an LCD TV is 240Hz. If a TV has a 60Hz refresh rate that means it will flash a picture 60 times per second so a 120Hz TV will display twice as many pictures as 60Hz, 240Hz will display four times more and 600Hz will display a whopping ten times as many pictures. A higher refresh rate will allow for a smoother picture and most gamers will agree that a smoother picture makes for a much better gaming experience.

The only time I would recommend LCD over Plasma is when you cannot control your lighting situation. Since a Plasma TV has a glass screen you can get a pretty bad glare from a room that gets a lot of sunlight. Of course investing in some thick curtains can give you a very dark room which is the optimal way to view your Plasma TV. Please note that the room I use my Plasma TV in does get sun light, it isn’t pitch black and the screen doesn’t have a glare, the only thing you need to worry about is direct sunlight hitting your TV screen.

If you are in the market to buy a new TV that will give you the best value for you money I strongly urge you to take a look at Plasma TVs. While you are looking at the TVs ask a sales person what TV they have in their own home and if they use it for gaming, in my experience most of them said they owned a Plasma TV and never had any issues with burn in.

Source [Xopus]

3 Reasons Dead Nation Will Be A Must Have Game

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I will appologize that I have not been following Dead Nation’s development at all. In fact today is the first day I even knew it existed. However after reading over an article by zombie lover Sid Shuman on the PlayStation Blog I have become a strong beleiver in this game.

First of all this game looks like Alien Swarm with Zombies. Which is ironic because Alien Swarm was like Left 4 Dead with aliens. I was a major fan of Alien Swarm, those of you that haven’t played it yet I suggest you check out my full written review and then go download it from Steam.

The second reason Dead Nation will be a must have game is the ability to upgrade your weapons. Dead Nation’s world is dotted with fenced-in “safe zones” that will give players a chance to change into a clean pair of underwear and buy supplies from a nearby gun shop. Along with buying ammo for your zombie killing machines, you can also upgrade them in different ways depending on what gun you choose to use. These upgrades will add to your weapons damage, ammo capacity, firing rate, reload time as well as the guns range. The best upgrades will cost you a very pretty penny however breaking open car trunks and chests found in the game will allow you to collect plenty of cash to make those upgrades.

In Dead Nation not all zombies are created equal. Some zombies will be taller and move quickly however a simple melee attack will bring them to their knees. While the zombies that ate a few too many Big Macs in their human life, will move slow but will be able to take quite a bit more damage. It doesn’t just end with “fat zombie is slow” and “skinny zombie is fast”, players will also encounter zombies that were once cops and will use their service revolvers while trying to “surprise brain seks”you.

I’m a huge fan of games that let me upgrade my characters which is why when I see a game like this one I act like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. Of course the game just looks like its being developed really well and since we will have to wait until this fall to play it, it should also receive all the polish it needs.

Lego Universe Has Been In Testing For Four Years

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Today anyone that plays video games, even casually, knows what the term beta means, or at the very least they know it means they get a play a game early. Typically a beta will last anywhere from a week to a month but with Lego Universe it’s had a beta out for over 4 years.

Gamasutra was able to interview Ryan Seabury, the creative director at NetDevil and he revealed that they had focus-tested with a group of children that went on to test this game as much as they could. Well the same group of kids were about 8 to 12 at the time and are now 12 to 16 so if I did my math correctly that means this game has been in the form of a beta for 4 years now.

As someone that was lucky enough to get into a later beta of the game I will admit this game seems to be geared towards children and I honestly wasn’t a big fan of the game. Despite being in a closed beta the game did little to draw me in and I haven’t returned since. I’m sure the game gets better the more you play it, however I found better ways to invest my time.

Lego Universe will be released on October 26th.

Kinect Will Be The Next 32X – Shut Up Microsoft

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Those of us that have been playing games for a while probably remember the infamous Sega 32X that suffered an unsuccessful launch. This was supposed to add on to the lifespan of the Mega Drive, but it didn’t.

With the Kinect from Microsoft they are hoping to do the same thing only not have it fail miserably however I get the feeling that the Kinect won’t be able to keep the Xbox 360 alive for another five years. Don’t get me wrong my PS3 collects dust while my Xbox 360 is played daily, however with the way video games are evolving today, one day soon the Xbox 360 just won’t have enough power and the PS3 will start to come out with better titles.

The Kinect doesn’t really add any features I’m interested in, and I’m unsure how I am supposed to play a game without the controller. Sure I can play some silly casual games with the Kinect but can I play Halo or Gears of War? No. Essentially the Kinect will help sell the Xbox 360 to the casual gamers, and by casual I mean your mom or grandma. The only kind of game I might be interested in would be a sports game, and even then I’d rather play that using the PlayStation Move.

While I’m sure the Xbox 360 will be able to stay alive for another two or three years I find it very hard to believe that the Xbox 360 will be able to compete with the PlayStation 3 four to five years from now. So Microsoft stop trying to say that the Kinect won’t fail when it hasn’t even been launched. I have seen enough negative press about this device to question where on earth you have found the positive press on this.

[Source: Edge]