8th Generation Console War: WII-U VS PS4 VS XBOX ONE

image from, gamingbolt.com
image from, gamingbolt.com

Sometime around a year ago we made our first post on an eight generation console, The WII-U. We rightfully predicted and tagged the 8th Generation, “Power-War”, based on the then, incredible specifications the WII-U spotted. It wasn’t long after the WII-U’s release that rumours about “Project Durango” and “Project Orbis” dev kits test PC requirements started surfacing .

Sony officially fed our curiosity with the technical specifications of the PS4 at the PlayStation meeting on 20th February, 2013, and Microsoft unveiled the curtains on the XBOX 360’s successor, called XBOX ONE 2 days ago (21-05-13).

Which of these consoles is actually the most powerful and innovative of the three?

WII-U VS PS4 VS XBOX ONE:

image from, mashable.com
image from, mashable.com

PS4 VS XBOX ONE VS WII-U

Processing Power:

The WII-U, whose processing power was considerably greater than that of the Nintendo WII, was a little impressive containing the IBM manufactured PowerPC 750-based tri-core processor called “Espresso“, it was ok, given how better than WII it was, it also features an AMD Radeon HD GPU code-named Latte.

Relative Rating (processing power): 7/10.

Given the popularity and wide adoption of SOC, so much monstrous computing and processing power was bundled into technologies released from mid-2012. The Rumoured Orbis game was first to wow us.

The PS4, spots an AMD manufactured, Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), hence allowing the single APU chip to contain the CPU, GPU, memory controller etc. The CPU is an octa-core (8 core) processor, based on AMD’s Jaguar Processor and it is of the X64-86 family, an inevitable and welcomed switch from the power-pc or the “not-X64-86” architecture based CPUs. Its AMD Radeon GPU can produce up to 1.84TFLOPS.

Relative Rating (processing power): 10/10

The XBOX ONE, which was announced 2 days ago, features an 8-core processor based on the X64-86 architecture (customary of the XBOXs), with an AMD GPU capable of providing up to 1.23 TFLOPS.

Relative Rating (processing power): 9.8/10

MEMORY

The WII-U, consist of 4 512 MB DDR3 memories (4 GB), with 1 GB reserved for its powerful operating system. It also comes with an internal storage (flash memory) capacity of either 8 GB or 32 GB (based on purchased model) but upgradable via USB hard-drives up to 2 TB or via SD cards (memory cards) of up to 32 GB.

Relative Rating (Memory): 7/10

The PS4, comes with a whooping 8 GB DDR5, 1 GB will be reserved for the operating system, leaving 7 GB! for games, Specifics about internal storage capacity and supported extension slots are still blurry but it’s internal hard-drive memory is expected to be very high.

Relative Rating (Memory): 10/10

The XBOX ONE, comes equipped with an 8 GB DDR3 RAM where 3 GB would be reserved for the operating system and some system applications.

Relative Rating (Memory): 9.4/10

CONTROLLER: WII-U Gamepad VS DualShock 4 VS XBOX ONE’s controller

After the features of the controllers of the previous generation, I’m sure we found ourselves asking the question, “after accelerometers and gyroscopes, what is next”? Could there be any new and important and innovative feature that can be introduced?

WII-U Gamepad:

www.theverge.com
http://www.theverge.com

Features a built-in touch-screen, (not multi-touch though but it’s need was justified), which can either extend the game presently being shown on the screen or may be used as a display replica or copy of the screen/TV, hence allowing games to be played directly through it (handheld TV),  it’s features and future prospects are huge. It has an in-built camera for video calls, in-built microphone for clearer video calling conversations or multiplayer conversations,  NFC support and all other expected sensors(accelerometer and gyroscope).

Note: key innovation, “an in-built touch screen that can replace the TV”

Relative Rating (controller innovation): 9/10.

 PS4’s DualShock 4:

Dualshock 4
Dualshock 4

There’s a big difference in look between the DualShock 4 and its predecessor because of the attached clickable two-point capacitative touch pad on the front of the controller, These will play a vital within the O.S and gameplay. New to the series are

  • A 3.5 mm TRS  stereo headset connector, for easy communication during multiplayer games (probably, video calling).
  • A dedicated share button for instantaneously sharing videos from game-play (super PES and FIFA goal videos)
  • An extension port.
  • Presence of light bars for status display and easy detection/identification by the PlayStation eye or switching of split screen position when players switch pads or position (cool)
  • Mono speaker, “yes, a speaker”. The sole purpose of the speaker is to provide unique ambient sounds, like bullets whooshing past characters ears or the sound created from waving swords therefore placing the user right in the middle of the game-play :

It also features the micro-usb connector and usual motion sensing via a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, which is now a common trend among controllers from the previous generation. The top of the analog has been modified to be concave, like that of the 360.

Relative Rating (controller innovation): 9/10 (should have been an 8 but the speaker is just so welcomed).

XBOX ONE Controller:

image from, mashable.com
image from, mashable.com

Very very similar to the previous controller, with notable changes in the D-PAD, which is now a four-way button, replacement of the start and back buttons. It’s most innovative introduction is the “Impulse Trigger”, meaning the trigger buttons will have it’s own rumble motors hence providing feedbacks (“Probably vibrates when a gun is being shot” :S).

Relative Rating (controller innovation): 8/10 (should have been a 7 but ideas regarding “Impulse triggers” have been flying around.).

 Summary:

Processing Power:  The XBOX ONE and PS4 are close in strength both vividly edging out the WII-U with their insane specifications. Overall the PS4 is slightly more powerful than the XBOX ONE in terms of graphic power, but little is still known about the clock-speeds of the processors.

TIE (PS4 and XBOX ONE).

Memory: All three system contains insane amount of RAMs, but the PS4 and XBOX ONE really outsmarts the WII-U in these department. But the PS4 aslo slightly defeats  the 360 based on available RAM for game and the usage of DDR5.

WINNER, PS4

Controllers: All three controllers are very cool, especially the WII-U gamepad and Dualshock 4, but the WII-U gamepad happens to be the most feature packed of the three.

TIE (WII-U gamepad and Dualshock 4).

Overall: PS4 wins both XBOX ONE and WII-U based on paper-specifications, but how this will pan out in the market and among game developers of video games, is presently unknown.

To know more about these consoles, read our articles on them by following the following links:

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PlayStation 4: When great development leads to greater questions

PS outlook

February 20 2013 was a day like no other in the world of technology; and though its prime significance was centered around building the necessary expectations to usher in another great day in the world of technology, the day did spark off well… some other great things.

Video game consoles are nothing like they used to be. Gone are the days where you bought a console for the sake of gaming. “Buy the game, then the cartridge or CD, insert, power on and play” is old news. Video game consoles have taken on several tasks that give even the non-gamer good reasons to get one. With the fact that they also provide hours of great gaming entertainment for both the kids and the adult minded, owning a video game console has finally become a set standard for modern homes. On February 20 2013, the PlayStation 4 was officially announced with Sony, giving presentations of several good things to come concerning various breakthroughs in video entertainment technology.

The PlayStation 4 was billed to be released by late 2013 so, it would be quite a long wait for many. The wait might be worth it though; Sony’s fourth console entry to the PlayStation brand packs more than a punch in making sure “nothing is between you and the game.” It boasts of an 8 core Accelerated Processing Unit, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and 1.8 teraflops of processing prowess of which, even if you have no idea of what these mean, you just have a hunch that it must be powerful enough to deliver what you are expecting.

Not 16x9 PS4 camera 1-580-100

PlayStation-Controller-Touch-Pad

Coming along is the PlayStation 4 eye which is a newly developed camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity cameras equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views. There are also lots of comments about the new PlayStation 4 DualShock controller which comes with an “Option” button that replaces the traditional Start and Select buttons, a three axis gyroscope and touch panel. Will the DualShock 3 be compatible for the PlayStation 4? The answer is most likely a big no.

A number of issues come up whenever you give a closer thought on the anticipated Sony pacesetter. One of these would be backward compatibility. Some people would not find it very palatable spending money on great PlayStation 3 games just to spend even more for PlayStation 4 games which also come on blu-ray discs. A single console that could run pre-owned games would be extremely user cost effective. Having acquired Gaikai, a cloud based service, Sony plans to render older PlayStation games and stream them to the PS4. Cloud based services play a very integral part of the PlayStation 4 concerning games and this could mean that without a good internet connection, you may not even have access to the games you may have bought on the online store. Worse still, you may end up paying again for a game you already own since you can only play older games through the cloud service. Is that really okay?

Whether or not the PlayStation 4 would support blu-ray movies on 4K ultra high HD is still being rumored but having that would certainly do well to promote other offline functions of the console. The relationship between the still young-in-the-market PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 is unclear as well – if this remains, and no relationship is established, PS Vita owners might be headed for a level of heartbreak. The PlayStation 4 is estimated to cost about $400 – $600 which seems decent enough for its abilities.

PlayStation-4-user-interface-screenshots-1-1024x606

PS4-GUI_02-27

One other thought that comes to mind is what the future of console gaming would be. The PlayStation 4’s active social media integration involves a SHARE button on the DualShock 4 controller that allows the player to cycle through the last several minutes of gameplay to select a clip appropriate for online sharing. Videos can be uploaded directly from the console, either to websites or other PSN users. Players also have the chance to access their PlayStation online account using a PlayStation app available on the iOS AppStore and Google PlayStore. This App, is also mentioned to even support games as a second screen on compatible tablets and phones.

With all these features, it is sure that Sony has done a rather impressive job in presenting a working entry to this current technology demanding age. But whether it would be the next big thing in gaming compared to its rivals is another question for another post.

Available homebrew hacking puts a green light on PS Vita

PSPVita

The PS Vita is not as flexible as the older PSP by Sony. This is not an uncommon argument. Not-so-many yet expensive games and a custom memory card type are just some of the letdowns that comes with having a PS Vita. It does have it’s good sides though, but honestly, anyone with a PSP would have a bit more to do on the overall. It doesn’t take that much time for anyone to realize that the PS Vita does have the potential of playing older PSP games and those custom applications that made the PSP a one-of-a-kind love affair. Could it be possible to just have my old PSP games to run on the PS Vita?

For a variety of people who are having a PS Vita and you just cannot do much with it, you don’t have to get dissatisfied just yet as there are now a myriad of available hacks. The height of PS Vita hacking has already been here for a while and as you may have already guessed, you can actually run homebrew on your PS Vita.

Just in case this homebrew thing seems to be a new term to you when it comes to Sony’s handheld and gaming in general, here is a simple way to put it: video game homebrew is a term gamers use to describe the installation or fixing of any software on usually hardware restricted devices. In other words, it’s when someone installs a software that the hardware manufacturer didn’t, and probably wouldn’t put there. These consumer installed programs are usually used to perform user-desired tasks which includes playing user-developed games and software, and hacks that allow game dumping on memory cards like in the case of Sony’s PSP series. However, it is worthy to mention that although it is common practice, hacking your device is liable to void your warranty and could alter the normal functionality of your device. So please consider so before you embark on the great “adventure.”

PS-Vita-White

The PS Vita first was first hacked successfully using an exploit on Gameloft’s UNO. It was probably the greatest new year gift for anyone who had guessed that it was very possible to play your PSP games on the PS Vita. It is not a bad idea; many had been fed up with the big and bulky PSP-1000 of which most models came up with analog stick issues. The PSP-2000 and 3000 were much lighter than the 1000 but the analog issues still continued nevertheless even though on fewer models.

But the bad news is that Sony quickly reacted to this exploit hack by removing the game from the online store and patching up the kernel exploits with firmware 2.05. Hence, only those who did get a copy of UNO could use the exploit and hack their PS Vitas and till this day, although several hackers have posted possibilities of new exploits for Sony’s new firmware, nothing official has been released.

So, if you have a PS Vita with a firmware lower than 2.05 and you can get a hold of Gameloft’s UNO somehow, here is a good place for you to start if you are interested in hacking. Others would just have to wait however; and be sure that we would let you know as soon as any is released 🙂

Sony Xperia Z

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

Combining incredible photography with style and power, Sony really are not  only competing in art and beauty anymore, they are taking the bazookers to the war front. The Xperia Z is a real master/power piece.

Being one of the new Z Xperia line smartphones by Sony, which was announced at the CES 2013 show, set to be released before April; it is the first smartphone with high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) full HD video and, at the moment, the phone with the highest resolution front facing camera at 2.2MP. Here are the goodies, Xperia Z will be bringing to our pocket (shortly after draining our wallets :p).

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

Processor and GPU

The phone features a quad-core Krait processor, clocked at 1.5 GHz and an Adreno GPU and Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 SoC.
RAM and Storage: A whooping 2GB RAM, with an internal storage space of 32GB, supports microSD/HC of upto 32GB

Display

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

A 5-inch screen full 1080p touchscreen smartphone, with a 1920×1080 resolution at a density of approximately 443ppi providing a superb display,

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

with the new Bravia Engine 2 for images and videos.

Camera

It has both rear and front facing cameras, with the rear Camera being 13.1MP in resolution, with a back-side illuminated sensor with LED flash and Sony’s Exmor RS sensor, thereby making it the world’s first smartphone with high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) full HD video (< >wiki). The rear camera can shoot 1080P videos at 30FPS.

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

Its front facing camera is 2MP, which also is the highest resolution of any phone front facing camera.

Design

It will have 3 colour variants, black purple and white. It is lsightly longer and wider than the ZL, it is however thinner and more sleek looking, albeit its glassy cover may reduce grip, it is unknown how sturdy and strong it is when dropped.

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

The ruggedized(water and dust proof) phone was stated to be 139mm long, 71mm wide and 7.9 mm thick, it is covered with Dragontail glass manufactured by Ashashi Glass Co.

http://www.sonymobile.com
http://www.sonymobile.com

The device was reported to weigh 146grams (including battery).

Connectivity

Supports GSM, GPRS, EDGE 850, HSPA and 4G LTE (80mbps). It also supports Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi, NFC and DLNA.

one-touch-sharing-544x504-62a5b85717e529e98cf5b4c492f4aea0

Using NFC, the One-touch feature allows seamless zero-configuration connection with other NFC enabled devices

Sensors and Other Features

The mobile comes equipped with the usual motion, orientation, light sensors; noteworthy it also feature both GPS and GLONAS, a trend in the newest devices.

Software

The Xperia Z’s default OS will be Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and it is expected to have the regular Sony apps preinstalled.
Overall the Xperia Z is a very powerful mobile phone, the incredible features greatly reflects in its proposed price. Expect the Z line of devices to start hitting our bill boards.

The Good

Very powerful, and with a good better pricing system, it a may topple the Iphone.
Supports both GPS and GLONAS.

The Bad

A little too Xpensive for the average Nigerian.

Click for more on “Xperia Z smartphone”.

Please Note Ratings and Scores are absent as device has not yet been released, and may be subjected to some unexpected modifications, full review and score will be given after released as competing products are considered when rating devices at Nijaspecs.

Buy the PS Vita? Maybe…

If you are yet to buy a Playstation Vita and you need to know the facts to consider, then this is for you.

When the Playstation Vita (popularly known as PS Vita) initially entered the Nigerian market in the second half of 2012, it did not have much of a warm welcome for many had already spent a lot on Sony’s four older editions of the PSP. As others had not even finished with their PSP devices, it would be only consequential that a majority saw it as a “wish list” device than a comfortable replacement for their existing handhelds. Of course, another issue was the pricing and availability of the device in the local market. It penetrated rather slowly and with the introduction of its new-found media and connectivity options, it looks like more money would be spent to ensure maximum use of the relatively powerful device.

The PS Vita comes with either just Wi-Fi or along with 3G for an extra cost. With two analog sticks (much better than the former and rather annoying PSP nub), two cameras, a front touch sensitive screen and rear touch pad, microphone, a “Six-axis” motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass, built-in GPS receiver (only for the 3G version) as well as Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity, it is clear that the PSP Vita does show off some very impressive abilities. The two cameras bring to life face and head detection and a very solid array of customization options. Internally, the device features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 Mp-Core processor (3 of the 4 cores are usable for applications) and a quad-core GPU. The PlayStation Vita has 512 MB of system RAM and 128 MB of VRAM which can support cross game chats.

The 3G PSP Vita is carrier locked to very few networks across the world. Hence, the 3G option is not very relevant on Nigerian soil for the time being… well… until a hack or unlock or something of such sort is released or a contract has been signed. For those wondering if former PSP games would be playable on their PS Vita, the answer is yes. However, at the moment you would only be able to play games that are downloadable via the Playstation Store. PS One games compatibility is also enabled on the PS Vita; available on the Playstation Network. So i hope you have your wifi internet ready for some serious downloading. Reports surface that the PS Vita has been hacked by a reverse engineer named Yifan Liu to run source code and “homebrew”. This is usually the first step before everything else in that direction. Trust us to keep you posted on this development.

Good news would be that the PS Vita is equipped with a storage media slot in addition to the PS Vita card slot, so that users can choose their memory capacity based on their use. But the very bad news is that it is also not compatible with standard memory cards, such as SD cards, and instead stores data on more expensive proprietary PS Vita memory cards, which are available in sizes from 4 GB to 32 GB. Software for the PlayStation Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called “PlayStation Vita game card” rather than on Universal Media Discs (UMDs) as used by the PlayStation Portable. Some media applications and games require a proprietary PlayStation Vita memory card inserted to be used. 5–10% of the game card’s space is reserved for game save data and patches. You may also be interested to know that the PS Vita only supports mp4 based formats (precisely MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High/Main/Baseline Profile (AAC)). Yes! No .avi and .mkv for those who understand what that means. A PS Vita is considerably large for a handheld and could be a bit heavy. We don’t recommend you to be very fond of dropping the device – get it? Of course you do!

The PlayStation Vita web browser does not support the proprietary Adobe Flash. However, HTML5, cookies, and Javascript are available. Sony also has put in the PlayStation Vita official Recovery Menu to solve common firmware based problems. As a new feature of PlayStation Vita’s Live area, latest game information such as downloadable contents are shown on the game LiveArea. In addition, by scrolling down the game LiveArea, the “Activity” of other users who are playing the same game can be checked instantly.

A truth is that there really isn’t any device that can give everything that everybody wants. But whether the PS Vita would be a device that is worth your saving money to buy immediately or not would be a choice that we hope this post would at least equip you to decide.