PS4-Console-wDS4

Why the PS4 Has Become My Go-To Console

Even though I have no time to play them all, for the past two generations I’ve purchased all three major consoles. And like many others, last generation I was primarily an Xbox 360 gamer (though I loved my PS3). But as we are about to enter year three of this generation (four if you count the year lead the WiiU had), there is one console that I spend the majority of my time with–the PlayStation 4.

There are a few reasons for the PS4 becoming my console of choice. There are exclusives like Until Dawn, The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne, and console exclusives like SOMA and the upcoming No Man’s Sky. And there’s the PlayStation Plus service, which has consistently given me hundreds of dollars of games a year for the price of one game.

But the biggest reason I’ve become more of a PlayStation gamer this generation is because of this:

accessories-dualshock4-black-01-us-27aug14

The ‘Share’ button.

But it’s not just the button, it’s what it represents. Sony had a clear vision when they designed this console, and it’s one they’ve stuck to throughout it’s life so far. Sharing the gaming experience in a variety of ways has been something Sony touted from the get go, and they continue to deliver.

I like to keep things simple. While Nick and I both have capture cards (and Nick uses his for most of his videos), I was psyched when both Microsoft and Sony announced that the new consoles would have built-in streaming capabilities. And in fact, both do have the ability to stream, but in my experience, PlayStation 4 is superior in terms of its flexibility and the user experience.

I can forgive the fact that the Xbox One and it’s ‘snapping’ of the Twitch app is a clunky process. But there are three things that make the PlayStation 4 experience better, in my opinion.

k2-_76254b32-aef9-44f4-abc0-42aa0e92511c.v11. External Mics–If I want to use and external mic to stream with the PS4, I just plug it into the usb slot on the console. That’s it. My Snowball mic works perfectly for the Minecraft series my son and I do. Xbox One still doesn’t have support for external mics, forcing us to use the mic on the Kinect for couch co-op streaming. As you might imagine, the audio quality is less than desired.

2. Party Chat Streaming–On PS4, Sony added the ability to stream party chat a year ago, while we are still waiting for this feature on XBox One.  Destiny allows you to enable the feature in its audio settings, but most games do not. On Xbox One, we’ve been forced to use Skype to record party chat and then edit it into videos later.

3. YouTube Streaming–The latest PS4 firmware update added direct streaming to YouTube to the existing sharing options. This is potentially huge for Co-Op Critics, both because most of our audience is on YouTube instead of Twitch, and because of the newly launched YouTube Gaming app.

Now, I am well aware that using a capture card with either console offers a great deal more customization options, and can provide better quality on the output side. But as I said, I’m a fan of keeping things simple. And the PS4 has made streaming and sharing very simple, just like they said they would when the PS4 was announced.

More, flexibility, more options, and a smoother user experience. For those reasons, the PS4 has become my console of choice so far this generation.

Star-Wars-Battlefront-Key-Art

Games I’m Looking Forward To: November 2015

I got all ready to make a monster post about the games of November this month, but guess what? The usual glut of games that makes November the busiest month of releases just isn’t there this year. With a bunch of games getting delayed into 2016, and publishers spreading releases out a bit more evenly through the year, November just isn’t the parade of releases it used to be.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t big releases to speak of this month. in fact, the one thing you can still count on is that November is where the biggest games are usually released. So without further ado, here are the games I’m excited about this month:

 

packshot-36fa10f44a57fde5f3eccb9c6ad92e44

Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PC, PS4)–November 6

I played a bit of the beta for Black Ops 3, and while it felt bit more like Titanfall than Call of Duty to me, the super tight gameplay that is the backbone of CoD was as good as ever. CoD is a game all of my friends play, and while my interest in the campaign has waned over the years, the multiplayer is something I’ll always jump into.

 

Fallout_4_box_cover

Fallout 4 (Xbox One. PC, PS4)–November 10

If I could only get one game this month, Fallout 4 would be it. I am a huge RPG fan, and like many others, spent well over 100 hours with Fallout 3. I also live in Massachusetts, so the Boston setting is just one more reason I’m interested in the game. I will probably buy this one digitally, as I expect it to live on my console for the rest of the generation.

 

RotTR_KA-BoxShot_F_RGB

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One, Xbox 360)–November 10

I came late to 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, but when I did finally play it, I absolutely love it. Not only was Lara’s new origin story a great adventure, but mechanically, the game was fantastic. As a 40-year old gamer, I’ve been playing Tomb Raider games since 1996, when I played the first one on PlayStation. I’m really excited to see how Crystal Dynamics is building on the 2013 game, which completely revitalized the franchise.

 

Star-Wars-Battlefront-Key-Art

Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PC, PS4)–November 17

I did not get a chance to play the beta for Battlefront, but I don’t need to. I’m a big Battlefield fan (Hardline was great), and from everything I’ve seen, it looks like DICE got the aesthetic right. Not to mention, every single one of my friends that plays shooters will be getting this game. I expect this to be our go-to shooter for the next year. I’m just hoping the core game has enough content, as I’m not a big fan of season passes, which Battlefront is going to have.

As always, there are several more games coming out in November, and these are just my personal picks, so please sound off in the comments and let us know what games you’re excited to see this month!

2367051-mgsvgz_ss_demo_001

MGS V: Getting Ready for the Phantom Pain with Ground Zeroes

I picked up MGS V: The Phantom Pain this week, but I’m not ready to dive into it yet. See, I’ve had Ground Zeroes sitting on my PS4 hard drive for months now, and I’ve been meaning to find time to play it. I was going to skip over it entirely until I learned that you can upload your save from Ground Zeroes to Phantom Pain. Some of the POWs and NPCs you rescue/capture in Ground Zeroes can help you at Mother Base in Phantom Pain.READ MORE

header

Check Out Our Dueling Dark Souls Let’s Plays!

This is a very exciting month for me. For those of you that follow the blog and our Co-Op Critics podcast, you know we spotlight one game a month for the show. This month’s game is Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, and I could not be happier.

I am a HUGE Souls games fan. I’ve put over 400 hours into the first three games, and I’m currently making my way through Bloodborne (in a Let’s Play series you can check out here). I’m also an evangelist for the games, so when Nick agreed to take the Souls plunge and play Dark Souls II, I was ecstatic. I’d played through once on the PS3, but with the Scholar of the First Sin edition, there are some changes that make the game challenging even for returning players.
READ MORE

ElderScrolls-giveaway

Win a FREE copy of Elder Scrolls Online for Xbox One or PS4

We’re giving away a copy of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is follow us on Twitter, tweet about the contest, and Subscribe to our YouTube channel (click the subscribe button in the sidebar). You can come back and tweet about the contest once a day to continue earning more entries! Follow the instructions in the contest widget below to enter.

The winner will be announced at the on June 2nd. To be considered, you must be currently subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Twitter. Winner will choose between a copy of Elder Scrolls Online for Xbox One or PS4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloodborne Diaries: Co-Oppin’ in Central Yharnam (Father Gascoigne)

While the multiplayer system in Bloodborne has its similarities to the previous Souls games, it has its differences as well. Instead of using soapstones to leave symbols on the ground for other to see, in Bloodborne summoning is done using bells. And while I received the Beckoning Bell (which let’s me summon other players) pretty much right away, I had to actually purchase the Small Resonant Bell with Insight, a currency similar to Humanity in the other games. And in order to even access the merchant where I could buy the Small Resonant Bell, I needed 10 Insight.READ MORE