This Month On Edge
The things that caught our eye during the production of E302
BOOK Phoenix IV bit.ly/phoenixiv Though many outside of the US were unaware of it at the time, America’s videogame crash of 1983 ripped an industry to pieces, leaving a trail of high-profile casualties in its wake. The rebuilding process in the following years was the focus of Leonard Herman’s Phoenix in 1994, and the book retained its subtitle, The Fall & Rise Of Videogames, for two subsequent editions. With the arrival of its fourth iteration, however, we get a subtitle that encapsulates the book’s mission statement today: The History Of The Videogame Industry. At 828 pages, it is the most farreaching of all game-history studies (for arcade and console games, at least – it avoids computer games), Herman’s hardened dedication to his mission baked into every one of its 43 chapters, stretching from 1951 to the modern era. PHONE Sony Xperia XZ bit.ly/xzremote Sony may still be terrible at naming phones (and their components: this device’s case is made of a metal compound the company has dubbed Alkaleido), but on the evidence of its Xperia XZ, it’s at least getting better at making them. Indeed, there’s a tremendous amount here to like – USB-C connectivity, for instance, and an adaptive charging system that Sony claims doubles battery lifespan. But the real draw is PS4 Remote Play, which sings on the phone’s 5.2-inch display, especially when streaming at 1080p from a PS4 Pro. Also worth a look is the Game Control Mount, which clips your phone to a DualShock 4, and has the added bonus of not having a descriptive, not-entirely-terrible name.
VIDEO Atari 2600 Minecraft emulator bit.ly/ataricraft
Minecraft- focused YouTuber SethBling has built an Atari 2600 emulator in Mojang’s apparently limitlessly flexible sandbox. While a short video covers the basics, this version goes into more detail. The creation reproduces the works of the 6502 CPU using mud, stone and wool blocks, while a vast expanse of dirt blocks represent the console’s 128 bytes of addressable memory. Each game ROM is stored as a vast rectangular bank of blocks at one end of the RAM plain, while an elongated display sits at the other. The whole setup is capable of rendering at a blistering 15 frames per hour. continue Old Bones Xbox 360 compatibility continues to liven up this gen’s most boring console Trial 911 Porsche’s 17-year exclusivity deal with EA comes to a conclusion Hard knocks Rainbow Six: Siege’s PVE Bartlett University map gets a PVP revamp Face invaders Classic arcade games make Facebook Messenger marginally more palatable WEB GAME Spingun bit.ly/spingun Inspired by the likes of
Downwell, Luftrausers and Asteroids, Spingun is a frantic, brutal two-button shooter for iOS and PC. Your two inputs control your ship’s left and right thrusters, while holding both buttons down shuts down the afterburner and fires whatever projectiles you happen to have equipped at the time. The setup means you can’t boost in a straight line, causing a panicked, chaotic ballet of projectiles as you try to manoeuvre yourself as enemies close in. Some simply float directly towards you, others patiently wait for the opportunity to rush in, while still more fill the tiny arena with projectiles. Weapon powerups include laser beams, homing missiles and proximity-triggered explosives, and quick kills earn you precious health packs. But death in this fastpaced shooter is inevitable. quit X pains Not even the presence of
Skate 3 can ease the pain of Xbox One’s ghastly UI Sensored With Touch’s arrival, our VR rig’s USB-port quota is officially maxed out Virtual short Yep, we’re ready to get our teeth into some more substantial VR treats now Super Mario stop Super Mario Run needs to be online to counter piracy, apparently TWEETS Hey! So, sometimes game devs will tweet that the company they work for is hiring. This is not a request for you to DM them your game pitch. Emily Garrison @emilybuckshot Narrative designer, Batman: TheTelltale Series, TheWalkingDead: Michonne I’m so old that I remember when WASD was IJKM. Ben Collins-Sussman @sussman Engineering site lead, Google Chicago How can I explain to a 4 year old why all the men in FFXV look like Asian glam rockers, drive American cars and fight giant worms for love?
Alex Hutchinson @BangBangClick Creative director, Ubisoft Montreal