I’ve been wondering about the ultimate future of consoles lately, following my conclusion that I don’t have a good reason to join the next-gen yet. Yes, consoles are still the pinnacle of mass-market consumer games but in this latest generation, some serious cracks have started to appear in the business model, in my view. It’s all to do with the costs and the direction in which the technology of the ‘living room device’ is going.
So, I’ve been a PS2 owner for all of ten days or so, and what have I learned so far. Well, firstly it doesn’t look anywhere near as hideous on my widescreen TV as I expected. Even with no progressive scan it’s actually quite tolerable and I can’t say I’ve noticed particularly that I’m playing almost seven year old tech. That’s a good start; I expected to be wincing for at least a little while before the pattern recognition kicked in.
As you may have detected, I’ve been oddly quiet for the last few days, mercifully saving the blogosphere the trouble of carrying my enthusiastically spouted verbiage. The reason is that it’s been a rather busy week, with 2 contracts on the go at once and rather less slack time than I had hoped (no editor work this week), so the forums have been skimmed rather more hurriedly than usual. One of these contracts involves work on OGRE itself, so I can talk freely about it now you can see the results of it in CVS - some enhancements to light scissoring and clipping.
Yep, I’ve been full-time self-employed for 6 whole months already. Where on earth did that go? 😕 I was getting frustrated at the weekend, partly because of that milestone - feeling like I had nothing but an ever-expanding TODO list in that time. I’m generally always dissatisfied with my productivity - it drives Marie crazy, but it’s a trait that I can’t seem to shake off. Occasionally I’ll be contented (typically for a couple of days after the end of a project), but pretty soon that ‘I wanted to get more done today’ feeling will start creeping back in, the knocking-off time in the evening will start stretching out again, and the weekend working will sneak back, despite my best intentions.
It’s a fairly simple thing, but by far my favourite viewing mode in 3D editors is ‘hidden line mode’ - it’s basically just like regular wireframe modes but you can’t see through the triangles. I like it because I think it gives you the purity of wireframe modes without the clutter. XSI has a specific mode for this, in other tools you can approximate it e.g. in 3DS you can use flat mode and enable display of face edges - although you tend to get garish solid colours and white edges instead of plain areas and coloured wires like XSI does, which is also how I’ve done it.
The full skinny Firstly, it’s unexpected because one of recipients of said cheering is Microsoft. Yes, I’m actually glad that they won a court case, because the case in question was about not being able to enforce patents approved in the US in the rest of the world. Given the utter shambles that the US patent system is in, I’m particularly glad that I can’t be sued for having a revolutionary idea such as wearing my underwear inside out to save on laundry bills.
Someone pointed out to me that OGRE is mentioned in Game Developer again this month, which is very cool. This time it was in their news pages: I’m pretty sure they won’t mind me posting the image of it here since the text is just from press releases anyway rather than copyrighted articles. It’s not a huge mention but it’s nice to be included - the last time we were mentioned was in a box-out in a larger article about engines, I think about a year ago.
The whole 360-or-PS3 dilemma continues, and whilst 360 is winning right now, given an inevitable price cut and an exclusives war around Christmas I really can’t decide which I want right now. Neither console has screamed ‘buy me’ loudly enough for a jaded tight-arse like me, and whilst both have games I sort of fancy (Motorstorm and Virtua Fighter 5 on PS3, Crackdown and Dead Rising on 360), neither have a system-seller for someone who feels he’s played a fair amount of what’s on offer before, admittedly in slightly less dapper clothes.
I’ve ranted discussed on this blog quite a few times about my gaming tastes and how most of the time I’m looking for new experiences, or at least experiences I haven’t had recently, more than the latest blockbuster audiovisual effects. There’s this rather nebulous thing called ‘gameplay’ which pretty much everyone agrees is the central key to enjoyment of a game, albeit subject to varying levels of mitigation by graphical or auditory spectacle, depending on your point of view.