Forza 5 – Benchmarking the P1

Thought I would try out the Xbox One’s GameDVR and Upload Studio facility whilst going for the ‘Benchmarking the P1’ challenge in Forza 5…

Anyone interested in getting this challenge/achievement should purchase the McLaren P1 and head over to the Old Mulsanne Le Mans Circuit. The challenge requires you to hit 245mph – this is easily achievable on the long straight. I was able to briefly hit 246mph with a fair amount of straight track left ahead. I did this under the ‘test drive’ facility so there wouldn’t be any traffic in the way. The challenge didn’t actually ‘pop’ until I quit the test drive so don’t expect it to pop as soon as you hit 245mph.

Anyway here’s the video – it’s come straight from Upload Studio via SkyDrive and hasn’t been re-edited in any way. The quality is pretty decent but it’s heavily compressed which makes the resulting video appear sub-HD. No match for the Elgato capture card then, but for speed and convenience it’s hard to beat.

Forza 5 ‘Zeotrope’

Just watched this and it really captured my imagination. As a PR stunt they guys at Turn 10 have setup hundreds, if not thousands of static photos from Forza 5 around the outside of a racetrack… then hurtled a McLaren 12c supercar around it at 120mph with a camera on the back. What happens then is that these static images become animated at high speed – bit like when you drew little match-stick men in different poses on the corner of the pages of your school books and then thumbed quickly through them to make them ‘move’. The result is a video of Forza 5 in action – but viewed from a moving vehicle with real world scenery zooming past in the background creating quite a surreal effect.

It’s easier to understand, and much more entertaining, to just watch the video…

First look at XBox One Dashboard in action!

Don’t know how long this video will be available for as I’m pretty sure Microsoft won’t be impressed when they see it – guy has probably broken his NDA to show it.

Anyway it’s a video showing the XBox One dashboard and briefly displays Ryse being launched and the dashboard being brought up whilst the game still carries on running in a window.  Looks pretty sweet to me.

XBox One Launch Day Confirmed 22nd November 2013!!!

Really excited today after Microsoft have finally announced the official world-wide launch date for the XBox One!

It’s Friday 22.11.13 so I know exactly what I’ll be doing all of that weekend now!

Not only that but they have also announced that the CPU in the production version will be running 150Mhz (10%) faster than previously reported, clocking in at 1.75Ghz instead of 1.6Ghz. This is on top of the 6% GPU improvement announced a short while ago.

Finally to really make my day I’ve just discovered that Amazon and Game are offering free copies of Forza 5 (instead of Fifa 14) with pre-orders! I got my pre-order in months ago in my local Game store so I just hope I’ll be eligible for the Forza 5 version as I hate Fifa!

Now all I need to do is decide whether I’m going to go ‘all digital’ with my game purchases this XBox generation????

XBox One Forza 5 bundle

XBox One Forza 5 bundle

XBOX ONE Announced

microsoft-xbox-one

So Microsoft have finally announced the 360’s successor and it’s to be the XBOX ONE. Here’s a few of my thoughts about it so far:

Design

XBox ONE Console

XBox ONE Console

I have to say I really like the looks of it, sleek and understated and will blend in well under the TV. I have never liked the funky design of the original 360 or the ‘George Forman’ style PS3 and have longed for something more along the lines of a Blu-ray player. Looks like I’ve finally go what I’ve been wishing for.

Have to say I’m not that interested in the Kinect 2.0 side of things for the time being. I have Kinect already and it only gets used occasionally when I’m in the mood.

Hard Drive

Given game installation is mandatory I would have expected a 1TB HDD as standard rather than 500GB – the difference in price is negligible.

Controller

XBox ONE Controller

XBox ONE Controller

The controller is staying largely the same which is fantastic news as it’s hands down the best designed controller I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. It now also offers some form of force feedback for the triggers which sounds really interesting – imagine the kick-back of a gun trigger or a brake pedal in Forza!

Achievements

They will carry across! I should bloody well think so too! Sadly the same can’t be said for your games…

Backwards Compatibility

Very disappointed. I know Sony has already said the PS4 won’t support BC but I had hoped Microsoft would, especially given the effort they put into supporting original XBox games when the 360 came out.  I have hundreds of games both physical and digital for the XBox and I’m not about to consign them to the bin! I guess I’m going to have to find room for yet another box under the TV.

Apparently you CAN bring across any films and music you’ve bought on 360 but as I have never bought anything, this is of little comfort. To me it is all about the games.

It also worries me that there is now a question mark hanging over my digital download games off the marketplace. How long will Microsoft support them? What if my HDD dies and I need to re-download them in a few years time? I want some re-assurances from Microsoft that they have this covered.

Always On & Second Hand Games

Info here is a bit thin on the ground. Microsoft have said that you do need an internet connection but it doesn’t need to be ‘always on’. They are also talking about a fee to install second-hand games… Doesn’t sound good but I’ll keep an open mind for now until I hear more.

DVR for Games

This looks cool, a built-in DVR facility for recording game footage. Can’t tell if it’ll give you full control or if it’s going to be limited to kicking in automatically to record key moments of your game. Hoping for the former but interesting all the same.

Games

There was a bit too much emphasis on TV for my liking though. Not really interested in Spielberg making a Halo series – it’s been a long time since he’s produced anything stellar anyway. Forza 5 footage looked genuinely amazing. The difference between COD:MW3 graphics and COD:Ghosts was also very impressive and I really do like the idea of having the dog on my team – so long as he doesn’t get shot! Quantum Break looked interesting although not amazing graphically yet. Had zero interest in any of the EA sports games so guess I’ll have to wait until E3 to find out what else is in store.

Will I get One?

This was never really in doubt, I’m a sucker for new tech and besides, Forza 5 has been confirmed as a launch game and I love this franchise. Count me in!