Friday, January 28, 2011

The Next Generation Portable / The PSP 2

Admittedly, I was never particularly excited about Sony's original PSP, in the same way I'm not particularly excited about the soon-to-be-released Nintendo 3DS. Shockingly, the recently unveiled PSP2, or to give it its current name Sony's Next Generation Portable, has also failed to excite me. Then again, only time and games will tell how the new, gimmick-laden handheld will fare. The multi-touch pad on the back of the screen does sound intriguing and the fact that UMDs have given their place to proper cartridges can only be considered wise.

Anyway, here are the main features of the machine: 

  • Multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display
  • Multi-touch pad on the rear of the device
  • Dual analog sticks
  • Two cameras (front and rear)
  • Software titles on small, dedicated flash memory-based cards
  • Three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass
  • Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity
  • PlayStation Network access, including LiveArea, Near and Activity log features Trophy Support
  • NGP will be able to play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store.
The NGP will, performance-wise, sit somewhere between the PS2 and the PS3 and will launch with a rather safe, rather boring line-up, that will include mega-franchises like Uncharted, WipeOut, Killzone, Call of Duty, LittleBigPlanet and Resistance. Yawn.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A brief Kindle review

The Kindle -my very own Kindle- is the first ebook reader I've ever seen, and can't thus review it in comparison to the other devices of this sort. I can instead review it -it being the 3G version of Kindle 3- as somebody who loves books, reads a lot and has a modest passion for handheld gadgets.

So, what is the Kindle? Well, it's a handheld device that sports an e-ink display, mainly designed to allow you to read books without having to suffer looking at LCD pixels. It will impressively also allow you to listen to audio books, surf the internet, browse Wikipedia, play some rudimentary games, experience interactive fiction and even enjoy some mp3 music. These things it does admirably, though its most impressive feature is -by far- its amazing display.

Looking at the Kindle screen actually feels like looking at a proper printed page of the highest quality. You can thus actually read in direct sunlight and still be impressed. I for one was, as I simply couldn't imagine just how beautiful this little grayscale display could be. It really is the only suitable way to read digital books. What's more, you can freely change the text's spacing, font size, margins etc, while intuitively flicking them virtual pages, instantly accessing dictionaries, bookmarking stuff, adding notes and, yes, underlining. Should you be so inclined, the Kindle can actually read your book out loud too. Impressed yet? I definitely was.

Well, truth be said. you should be too, for the Kindle effortlessly connects to Amazon (via its very own 3G Whispernet or Wi-Fi) and lets you purchase and instantly download a huge variety of books, but also lets you enjoy your pdfs and the thousands of freeware -mostly classic- ebooks that can be found on, say, Project Gutenberg. Reading Jack London's Iron Heel just couldn't be easier... Oh, and by allowing you to globally and freely connect to Wikipedia, this is indeed the closest we have come to getting our hands on The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

You can find out more and of course order your truly excellent Kindlevia Amazon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Arham Horror Toolkit

Things are really simple with this one. If you love your Arkham Horror boardgame, can spare 3$ and own an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch you simply have to grab the excellent Arkham Horror Toolkit. It's an amazing collection of tools ranging from character manager and dice roller to an incredibly handy Location Deck and map thingy, that will easily enhance your game. You can find out more here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sierra Classics on iPad

iPad gamers will finally be able to play classic Sierra adventures for free via the utterly excellent Oh, and you'll be playing them in multiplayer (!) and with a magnificent new interface. Available games include Gold Rush!, Leisure Suit Larry 1, Space Quest I & II and the first three King's Quest games. Horray and hoorah!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Super Soviet Missile Mastar

Oh, yes! The creators of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, the cuddly Behemoth, will be bringing Super Soviet Missile Mastar to your iPhone and/or iPad. It will be a free, humorous and utterly wild mini-game. Find out more about it here, right after you read these wise words from the developer:
In our very first foray into iOS development, we are bringing Super Soviet Missle Mastar into the palms of your hands. The much beloved and not at all offensive mini game from Alien Hominid HD will let you pilot your missile into the capitalist pigs, dodging the usual helicopters, planes, and pesky birds. Assuming Apple doesn’t employ anti-air measures during the approval process, we expect to launch this into the universe sometime in the next month, for FREE! SSMM will push your iPhone to the edge of its capabilities with state-of-the art 8-bit graphics! Remember, in Soviet Russia game plays you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Deadly Eye Wiz

Time for another freebie for you dear open-source Wiz: Deadly Eye. It's a rather traditional and definitely frenetic shoot-'em-up, that sports lovely 16-bit era graphics and a ton of power-ups. Oh, and when I say frenetic, I do mean frenetic.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Minotaur Rescue

Jeff Minter's legendary Llamasoft has finally released the eye-melting, old-school arcade game Minotaur Rescue for the wide range of Apple's iThings. Expect a relentless, psychedelic experience with a ridiculously low price and surreal enemies. Find out more here. Minotaur Rescue is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.