Hey, and welcome to! God knows how you ended up here, but all that matters is you did. The name, My Two Senses is meant to reflect the media nature of the games I’m reviewing (sight and sound), while playing on the “my two cents” idea – clever right? …no?

The purpose of this site, if it can be considered a real purpose, is to share my thoughts on current video games, and bring anyone careless enough to stumble upon it, up to date news on the gaming industry. I hope to have video game reviews up weekly, and convey industry news, partly from a personal gamer’s point of view, and partly from an industry standpoint.

More often than not, I’ll review Xbox 360, PS3 and PC Titles; as you will gather, I don’t buy into Nintendo’s clearly evil (see this for satisfaction), albeit ingenious Wii, as I don’t feel I fall into it’s casual demographic (my nightly CoD4 rampages, deny me that ‘privilege’). Anywho, a whole lot has happened over the last couple months, so I’ve decided to pick out the most important, amazing and mouth-watering developments. So, without further ado, here’s my Summer Summary, or “Summery”….

Undoubtedly the most important event in any gamer’s calendar this summer, was E3. The world’s largest video games expo returned to it’s former glory and turned out to be very eventful indeed. This year’s E3 saw the advent of the other console’s contenders in the motion control department. On behalf of Microsoft, Peter Molyneux (of all people to start hype) announced Project Natal; the video demonstration featured a frankly creepy exchange between a virtual child and a woman, but if its as impressive as it claims and looks to be, it could certainly have widespread implications in the gaming industry and probably further a field. The concept was control without any controllers, supposedly bringing the user closer to the interface of gaming. Personally I’m a little flustered that developers consider waving our arms about with controllers a step forward in technology and gaming, let alone doing it without anything physical to interact with at all. Meanwhile Sony showed off its more unimpressive wand, which looked a little ridiculous, and was a blatant and somewhat cheap attempt to compete with the “It prints money bitch” Wii.

E3 and various other games expos this summer were showing off a slew of kick-ass new games that are coming out or have already come out, proving 2009 to be a vintage year for gaming despite the recession and what some may say. Just to mention a few: Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 2 is doing extremely well and its good to see an adventure game out there that gets it just right. Batman Arkham Asylum is finally doing due homage to the horny tights-enthusiast but undoubtedly the most anticipated game of this year is Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 and unless you’ve been living under a clichéd phrase the past year or two, you’ll probably know that this looks to be the holy grail of FPS gaming. The fact that I and thousands of other gamers are still revelling in the genius that is COD4 two years on, despite those noob-tubing, racist 12 year-olds, is a testament to Infinity Ward’s general awesomeness.

Part of the industry which is advancing in leaps and bounds, is the iPhone app market. While these basic games are not my cup of tea I feel its important to mention the hugely positive effect they’re having on the gaming industry as a whole and I’ll admit I did have some fun with the T-Pain app; indie and small-time developers are now able to develop and sell their creations at ease, without the huge barriers to entry which existed before.

In terms of the health of the major companies, its been a bumpy ride over the summer: In July Sony reported losses in quarter one and August saw the NPD announce the US games industry to have slid %29. But just a month or so later, following console price cuts the PS3 jumped 73% in sales, then a whopping %300 after the release of the PS3 Slim: Other companies have had a similarly bumpy ride and although the Wii’s price cut has helped it somewhat, sales are beginning to lag – although it doesn’t mean Nintendo aren’t still doing staggeringly well considering the economic conditions, just that sales aren’t as high as they used to be; but then again that’s logical since almost every home has one of the damned things.

This year, and particularly this summer the role of consoles has begun to change dramatically – both Sony and Microsoft are transforming their consoles into home entertainment systems that rival PCs. Not only are they both offering films on demand, but the imminent arrival of Sky TV on the Xbox, along with twitter, and facebook has shown that the major companies are intent on developing these systems and not just games. Additionally, interface is becoming important as well, especially in terms of roping in less technologically learned people, and this is what the consoles have over the PC, as computers’ interface has changed little in many years. Personally I like my consoles as consoles and PC as my PC, but the ever expanding gaming market has already roped me in to a life pwning and being pwned and is now more interested in snagging up those that have escaped the net so far.

Interestingly, analysts keep telling us that in years soon to come, physical copies of games will become obsolete, with sites like seeing the bulk on sales. Accordingly, companies like GameStop in the US have frantically started setting up similar services in order to escape oblivion. And so rightfully, there have been appeals for digital downloads to be included in monthly NPD sales reports; its only logical!

Finally, last Tuesday, Modern Warfare 2 was actually released, and smashed, nay, owned opening day sales records in the UK and worldwide. It even beat the revenue from the opening weekend of The Dark Knight in cinema’s, once again proving the importance and massive size of the games industry; reportedly worth $50 billion compared to the films industry’s $40 billion. Lookout for my somewhat late review of Modern Warfare 2 in the next couple of days, with Assassin’s Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 following shortly after – it’s a veritable sequel-season. So once again, welcome to My Two Senses. There was so much I had to miss out of this article, but expect copious amounts of the stuff on a regular basis in the future!

November 15th, 2009
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