ADMAN’s Den – 09/08/2014: Life with a 144Hz Monitor, WiiU & PS4 thoughts.

144Hz

A monitor like this has been something I’ve wanted for about a year or so. Since hearing John Carmack’s Keynote at QuakeCon when he talked about the benefits of a 120Hz monitor and how it significantly improved response rate. Finally, I managed to find one for less than £200 from a well-known brand. It’s a AOC G2460FQ.

First problem with it, it comes with a HDMI cable, however the cable is not cable of doing anything over 60Hz. Secondly, I had to purchase a new DVI cable to actually get it working properly. Once both of those issues were taken care of, I noticed an immediate difference in moment from the mouse alone. It’s incredibly smooth. I have two monitors, and the other is my old main 60Hz monitor from Acer. So I notice the difference quite clearly. Mouse moment is significantly choppier and stiff by comparison.

As for games.. I haven’t really been playing anything that takes full effect of it yet. I was tempted to try GRID Autosport, but I didn’t feel like playing it. I did play a lot of Deus Ex Human Revolution, and I can certainly say it seems smoother in parts.

Other than that, with adjusted options, this monitor is on-par visual wise with my old main, which was already an excellent monitor in regards to the contrast ratio and colour output. I still think my old one looks shaper, but the colours are less vivid.

All in all, I really like this monitor. Maybe I should boot up Quake.

WiiU

Let me be honest, outside of Uni and the other crap I’ve been doing, the reason I put off giving my impressions of this thing for so long is because I haven’t had much to play on it outside of Wii games. I mean I fucking love the fact that it is backwards compatible, but still.

Although I should start off with that. It is basically a Wii when it comes to backward compatibility. Wait no, it is a Wii. It’s not emulating it, it is one. Anyway, any Wii game works and all the controller stuff works fine (Except GameCube stuff, but I don’t have any of that). Only thing I wish it would do is have some filtering options, better scaling, and maybe some AA. Other than that, everything looks fine.

In terms of actual WiiU games, I’ve only got 4:

  • Windwaker HD
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • Wonderful 101
  • Mario Kart 8

Windwaker looks pretty good and runs perfectly. Wonderful 101 has it’s charms and barely ever drops below 60FPS. Mario Kart 8 looks really good, but that’s probably more to do with the art style choice of the tracks than actual graphical ability. It does the job. No, it’s a fucking power-house, but the games I have look and run perfectly fine.

One thing I ended up doing on it was using it to watch stuff on YouTube and Amazon Instant Video, along with other things in the browser. The web browser is pretty fucking impressive, and is easily the best web browser I’ve used on a console. As for Amazon Instant Video, it woks, but the UI can be kind of choppy at times.

Frankly, that’s my one major complaint about the system, the load times on the menus for fucking dreadful. I’m sometimes sitting there for a good 10-20 seconds waiting for thing to load, and this is after all the patches. I know there’s one released super-recently which might improve it more, but I haven’t installed it yet.

On a final note, MiiVerse is a cool idea. Too bad no-one gives a damn about it.

SoVeryLonely

Look at all these friends I don’t have.

Overall, it’s not a bad console to be honest. The things it does well are enough to justify it. Backwards compatibility are a good selling point seeing as you’ll probably want to check out the few JRPGs the Wii had. And the games it currently has work fine and are fun. It’s a good console. Also, the Pro Controller is pretty damn good and has an insane battery life.

PS4

Now that you’ve skipped ahead to the point you actually want to read, let me tell you about the PlayStation 4.

It’s shit.

Nah, just kidding. But there is more promised potential than it actually has features right now. Games wise, I’ve got MGSV Ground Zeroes and InFAMOUS Second Son on disc, and Resogun as a downloadable title. I have more download stuff, but it’s the only one I’ve played. Anyway, I’m satisfied with graphics improvement that the PS4 offers. It’s not amazing, but it is an improvement. What I’m most looking forward to is a heavier use of custom shaders to get some cool effects. However, the problem InFAMOUS and MGS have is draw distance. InFAMOUS has some really bad moments where the other end of a street can look untextured and blurry. I kind of expected it though.

Another thing I hope for is more photo modes like InFAMOUS, look at these:

inFAMOUS™ Second Son_20140708141659 inFAMOUS™ Second Son_20140708010456 inFAMOUS™ Second Son_20140707175340 inFAMOUS™ Second Son_20140704201841

I’m not sure how many people agree with me, but I think that shit looks cool. Which brings me on my next point, the Share button.

Now, people like me have use for this thing because I like taking pretty screenshots of games or recording interesting moments. And while the screenshot feature works as intended, I’ve been having issues with the video stuff. Basically, it isn’t saving any videos whenever I press the button for first time booting up the console, so whenever I need it to work, it doesn’t. I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem, but it annoys the shit out of me. Another thing, the quality when streaming from the console is awful, even with HD selected. Frankly, you should get a capture setup if you are actually serious about streaming. It’s not like those are terribly expensive anyway.

I mentioned before how much I like the PS4 controller from a comfort perspective, but actually using it with a PS4, still the best controller out there right now. I don’t like the materials on the sticks, but other than that. From a functionality stand point, CAN DEVELOPERS STOP USING THE TRACKPAD FOR BOTH START AND SELECT FUNCTIONALITY? Fucking Hell. Use the options button for the Pause Menu, and the trackpad button for what used to be known as the “Select screen”, or “Map screen”, or whatever the fuck games used it for. MGS has this problem. Whenever I try to get the pause menu, he pulls up the I-Droid shit. But pressing options is just pause, and no menu. Why would you do that? Holy shit.

Another thing, let me decide if I want sounds coming out my controller or not, don’t force them on by default. The only way to get around it in InFAMOUS is to stick headphones in. As for the lightbar, well I usually sit with my legs crossed, leaning back into the chair, so my legs block the light from the controller glaring the screen. Even still, the light from my window gives a more significant glare than the controller does.

Vita Remote Play works for the most part. I tried a little bit of InFAMOUS and it seemed to work fine, give or take 50ms or so of latency. You just have to be careful of the connection. I lost connection while using my Vita, and the game no longer registered regular controller input, the console then had a hard crash which required me to unplug it because it wouldn’t turn off via the switch.

Applications like the PSN Store and Amazon Instant Video are much smoother on the PS4 than they were on the PS3. Especially the former. Trying to use the store on PS3 is a nightmare. It’s slow and really unresponsive at times.

Miscellaneous things like friends lists, profile view, and trophy lists have been improved in various ways, mostly from a UI perspective.

Overall, there are a lot of things I still want, mostly MP3 support and custom backgrounds. But for what’s there now… It’s good, but I wouldn’t recommend buying one unless you really want to play something on it RIGHT NOW.

I would usually talk about anime stuff now, but it’s been so long since I did this type of blog that it would take a really long time. So instead here’s a link to my MAL account. It should give you an idea of what I’ve been watching lately. If there’s anything specific I feel like talking about, I might post about it.

Only anime related thing I feel like talking about in any sense is Monogatari. To which I say; I looking forward to Hana next week.

Later

-Adam

 

 

About Adam Lutton

Game Designer / Programmer
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