Did Console Kill the Arcade Star

I’ve just returned home from a weekend away in our now regular holiday haunt of Rockley Park, and something twigged a techno-nerve whilst we were away and that is the title of this post: Did Console Kill the Arcade Star?

I’m from Southampton, and in the 1990’s at home the craze was Segaworld which was I must say a pretty awesome arcade with all the games of the day available, however in this 21st century, modern, interconnected, high definition world how can the arcades compete?

In yester-year, I was a massive fan of Sega Rally and Time Crisis 2, however I step into an arcade today and the games are exactly the same.

I’m an avid fan of gaming at home. I own a Wii, PlayStation 3 and my PC to scratch the World of Warcraft itch, however I can definatly see a place in the gaming eco-system for arcades or at least I would if they tried to be competitive. The games available today at viewed on our 40” LCD television, in 5.1 surround sound or 7.1 if your rich in glorious 1080p resolutions. Mix this with a few gamers perks that some people invest in, like a gaming chair or even a decent set of Logitech driving controls (aka steering wheel, pedals and a gear shifter) and you have a fully immersive gaming experience which not only gives you the same feel as the arcade but a significantly improved visual and audible experience.

Compare the graphics in Forza 3 from the Xbox 360 or Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on the PS3 to that of Ford Rally or Sega Rally and well….you can’t even compare them and that’s excluding the fact that even the most cared for arcade has broken things – Badly forcing steering wheels or flappy flappy paddles on a paddle-shift gearbox.

Then take all of this, and add the interactivity of the Wii, Project Natal for the Xbox 360 and whatever Sony deem their motion sensing offering to be and you add another dimension to the leaps ahead that console gaming has taken. Originally the arcades had guns for the shooters, but it didn’t even take long for home gamers to get these add-ons at their disposal, and now you can get fully fledged imitation weapons for playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 or gun holsters for your Wii remote.

All in all, arcades have had a rough time since the dawn of the next-gen consoles, however I do wonder if one day the attention of the developers and the studios will come full circle upon the arcades and bring them up to date again? In a way I hope so – I just hope they don’t expect they can continue to charge £1 or £1.50 per play for them when I can buy a fully licensed version of the game with unlimited credits for £35 for home use in my own personal arcade.

I would love to one day see some interactive services where arcade games can link to Xbox Live gamer tags and share games in common with the home systems such as Forza. Just imagine being able to play Forza 3 or GT 5 in the arcade, using cars from your own garage which have been collected from the systems internet connection or Wi-Fi and then once the race is over you can upload the times and race stats to your profile and share them on Facebook or Twitter with your friends?

The Anatomy of UPnP Device Discovery

Since my Cisco ICND1 training last week, I’ve become somewhat obsessed. I’ve previously been looking at NETGEAR routers to replace my current FVG318 as I am hitting the concurrent connection limit on it almost daily. Due to now seeing a little piece of Cisco, I figured why not look at getting a Cisco router so that the router will be more reliable and also will help give me some on the job training.

Everything was looking good until I thought about UPnP. I use UPnP quite heavily at home: Not for the port forwarding but for the internal advertisement of network services (namely media streaming to the PlayStation 3).

I discovered a few articles which outlined that Cisco doesn’t support UPnP on any of its devices and that it looks like there is no plan to add support for it either which is a bad thing if you are an SME looking for easy to deploy networking products but good from a security standpoint I suppose.

To test, on the FVG318, I disabled UPnP and had Nicky test the media streaming, however it didn’t work so today I took it upon myself to test this to ensure I can actually achieve full functionality using a Cisco 2651XM.

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Stealth Patch

So ever since the firmware update 1.8 for the PlayStation 3, media sharing has not been working for me, nor many other people if you believe anything you read on the Sony PlayStation 3 forums.

Firmware update 1.8 according to Sony fixes some little bugs which are nothing to do with media sharing? So why did it break – The answer it nobody seems to know – Everything else on the PlayStation works fine, although some users reported issues with Folding@Home not that I ever use this, but media sharing is an issue for me being that I like to listen to music or watch something DivX via the network after Sony released the DivX update for the PS3 late last year – Before Microsoft released it for the XB360 may I add 🙂

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My Birthday

It’s late I know, but I didn’t get a chance to blog on it at the time.

As you may or may not know, it was my birthday on the 9th – I’m now 22, so I’m slowly getting older. With this old age comes brokeness as my doctor won’t tell you because of doctor patient confidentiality, but I’ll find out if I really am broken when they get my test results back.

I had a good birthday. even though it wasn’t anything special. Mum and Dave and Mick came over and we got a curry in from Chineham Indian which was nice.

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Is Industry a Late Adopter?

The title says it all: Is industry a late adopter? As far as the eye can see there are new technologies evolving and reaching out to us, but are the manufacturers of the equipment we use holding us back?

The PlayStation 3 a example of how it should be in my opinion – I’m talking about Bluetooth. Since the day a remote controlled television was built, they’ve been using Infrared for the control. Infrared has it’s inherent issues – Mainly line of sight. Bluetooth is the perfect candidate for remote control operations – 10m range for Class I devices an no line of sight issues as with IR.

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