How is your holiday shopping going? Finished yet? Haven't even started? No matter how far along you are on filling out your list, this week's episode of Power Button is here to help. Blake and I take your through some of our picks for great gaming gifts this season, some of which may well surprise you. Listening is free, but the rest will cost you! For more great holiday gaming gift suggestions, be sure to read my 2013 gift guide. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
Lost in the mix of console launches and new holiday game releases is the plan for Sony to use its Gaikai streaming game service to add a kind of backwards compatibility to the PlayStation 4 in order to let the new machine on the block play games from the PS1, PS2, and PS3 libraries of classics and cult favorites. Nobody's heard much about the Gaikai plan in a while (and what we have heard is mostly wishlisting and nebulous promises), but Pete Davison at USgamer has learned a little about the retro service's upcoming launch timetable and whether or not it'll live up to expectations.
Speaking with our sister site Eurogamer, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House noted that Gaikai would be launching in the US first "within 2014" -- trusted sources were a little more specific, telling Eurogamer that beta testing would begin in "early 2014," and that the full service would be up and running by the third quarter of 2014. Europe, meanwhile, would be waiting until 2015.
"Our goal is to be able to have a new form of game distribution streamed from the server side, initially to PS4 consoles then gradually moving that out to Vita," House said. "But eventually, the endgame is to have this available on a multitude of network-connected devices, essentially delivering a console-quality gaming experience on devices which are not innately capable of doing that.
I'm eager to see what Sony's service ultimately ends up becoming, but I know we're in for lots of growing pains along the way and I will miss the way the majority of games have been consumed up to this point. Rather than play the discs we already own from years of collecting, we'll end up having to pay a fee to access the games on the new service and use its online infrastructure over local storage and processing. Contents of the online catalog of games can change on a whim or a licensing arrangement. The entire thing will be in just about constant flux on one level or another. The industry will drag us into the future once again, and while I'm sure I'll come around to the new way of doing things eventually, for now I have my reservations. Still, I am determined to keep myself open minded and optimistic despite my pessimism, cynicism, and desire to keep things familiar. That's all a long-winded way of saying: I want to know more about Gaikai, but until I do, I'll be over here in the corner making that Marge Simpson groaning noise of concern and mild disapproval.
First it was the Black Friday shopping frenzy and now comes the Cyber Monday glut of deals and discounts. Amazon is back in action again today with more video gaming deals throughout the day. Some of last week's sales are still in effect as well. Here's a quick list of some of the games that will be offered at low prices today via Polygon:
- Madden NFL 25 - PS3, Xbox 360
- FIFA 14 - PS3, Xbox 360
- Battlefield 4 - PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- NCAA Football 14 - PS3, Xbox 360
- Need for Speed Rivals - PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Call of Duty: Ghosts - PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Grand Theft Auto 5 - PS3, Xbox 360
- Ryse: Son of Rome - Xbox One
- Forza Motorsport 5 - Xbox One
- Dead Rising 3 - Xbox One
- Saints Row 4 - PS3, Xbox 360
- Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix - PS3
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - PS3
- Elder Scrolls Anthology - PC
- Dead Space 3 - PS3, Xbox 360
- Epic Mickey 2 - PS3
- Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time - Vita
- LittleBigPlanet - Vita
- Hot Shots Golf - Vita
- Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus - PS3
I know it's sounding like telethon season here lately, but PTB does earn a small percentage of every item purchased via the green link above and I really do appreciate the support. Find something fun for yourself or that special someone on your shopping list. The sooner the buying is done, the sooner the playing can begin.