The Gadget Show Live at the NEC was a desolate place for anyone who games on a console from Sony. Attending on the “pro” day for trade buyers and press, walking around the show from the point of view of presenting Vita Player was quite depressing.
With Microsoft sponsoring the show both Sony Computer Entertainment and Nintendo were not present while Microsoft had a shared large Windows stand with Currys PC World (essentially their staff selling Windows and Surface), a Windows Bus at the other end of the hall and right next to the actually well lit GAME stand was a large XboxOne display. Possibly more of a worry was that of all the commercial games on display, separate to the XboxOne stand, of which there were not many (and I am referring to non-indie developed stuff here) were all first person shooters (bearing in mind the main push on the Xbox display was Titanfall…) If it wasn’t for the indies, the Games Zone at the event could not have been more boring – at least the Vita appeared on GAME’s stand, along with an offer of the XboxOne Titanfall pack £5 cheaper than the PS4 Infamous pack (really, SCEE, you missed a trick at this event!)
However with EGX Rezzed having just taken place, the indie section only had one new game. Fortunately the lead developer/manager on “MagNets”, Richard Weeks, is in fact a former Psygnosis/Sony staffer who also heads up the company known as Total Monkery (as in primates, not silent abbey dwellers). The game involves electromagnetic nets which the player extends around robots that have gone bad, to stun and disable them, so they can be recycled, which fills up a meter and provide powerups. It’s a simple but fun game that becomes very addictive. The game is in active development at the moment – Richard, Andrea (another Total Monkery staff member), and I discussed the chances of it coming to the PS Vita and how the machine’s rear touch pad and other controls could be used in the game. The team is keen for the game to make it to our favourite handheld, and I hope that we’ll see it on the platform by the end of the year (so that’s over to Mr. Ahmad!) Find out more at totalmonkery.com.
Another game I got to play on was Salvaged which Sony REALLY need to sign for the combination of the PS Vita & PS3 and PS Vita & PS4. You play the commander of a squad going into abandoned space craft to salvage what they can. It’s a real time tactics game where you send the team in and they handle the actual combat. The difference is that the PC game is controlled by a smartphone or tablet, as the second screen. The second screen unit acts as your control centre while the main PC display gives you the camera feeds from the squad. This is something that needed to be showing off what the Vita could do with the PS3 on launch, let alone after the PS4 launch. Go sign it guys! You can find out more at salvagedgame.com
Sony had appeared in one form showing of the Playstation Mobile certified Xperia Z2, but with only the one member of staff who actually had a clue about PlayStation Mobile and pointing out the PS3 controllers connected to a Z2 and a Sony tablet, it was not good PR for the Japanese company as a whole as the stand was surrounded by companies showing off their consoles, TVs and other home electronics. All in all it was more like The Gadget Show Dead as far as the PlayStation brand was concerned. Not a good thing. There is a bit of fun gadgety news going to be appearing on 4M@ later though.
Finally I would just like to congratulate Sony on finally getting rid of that daft 100 icon limit on the PS Vita, though to be fair it’s about damned time! Can we have the ability to make MP3 and video playlists now please, as well as media functionality in the PS3 making it to the PS4 ASAP!