Tag Archives: Games

Replay the past in the present

We all do that, we sometimes think we can and sometimes we hope it will be an option. I am on this horse because I am slightly too angry with UK Common Law, and I need to cool down, so I hope that THAT article will come next. To cool off, I did something I had not planned, I installed Skyrim on the PS5, in part because I saw a tweet regarding Skyrim that I can get it to do 60 fps on the PS5, part because I am still one achievement short (slay the legendary dragon), in the last two attempts there was too much grinding going on and I am still playing it on the PS4 as well. Yet for some reason I had forgotten how satisfying the first 10 levels were. The limits, the setting of joining groups, and the setting of having no place. I had forgotten just how perfect Skyrim is. Yes, I know, I have seen the crying people on ALL the bugs, but to be honest, I have had very little issues. Yes, there are a few glitches, but that comes with the setting of a game this big. Oh, and over 9 years we see that there are 17 patches (including the last one for PS5, I am guessing), a game that is 9 years old (released 11.11.11) and still it holds a sway over us (at me at the very least). A good game is really hard to find and Bethesda outdid themselves here. I had designed Elder Scrolls VII: Restoration, and I had hoped it would equal Skyrim, of course my ego feels that I would be surpassing it, but if I only equal it, the game would be a massive success. This is seen in two ways, in the first, write yourself a list of games that you still love to play (beginning to end), and I reckon that this list has less than a dozen titles, If the game must be older than 3 years, the list will be less than half of what you had and in 9 out of 10 cases Skyrim will be on there.

The future options
In light of the news that has been out there, 2021 will be a great gaming year. This is part of what is already out there and part because Bioware has announced a remastered trilogy of Mass Effect on PS5 and that Microsoft contraption. There is off course the first game, yet it is the second one that takes the cake, until recent seen as one of the best tactical RPG’s ever created, the people (read: gamers) have been eagerly awaiting that title. There are all kinds of rumours as to the reason, but in the end it does not matter, millions want to replay that trilogy and on nextgen is a setting that no one wants to miss. Even as I set the premise last year n an idea to relaunch ME4 (together with ME5) to give a larger credibility to the titles, we see that no matter how good that could be, it might never be as great as ME1 through ME3. I get that, the story was breathtaking no game could ever equal that in that era and even now games are struggling to equal those three titles. Bioware and Bethesda set the markers to near perfection and that I what gamers crave, that near perfection feeling, Ubisoft seemingly never understood that. 

Yet no matter who we embrace and what title we go for, we go for the entertainment and in that setting I looked again at the station of the open RPG I created (as a response to Microsoft buying Bethesda) for developers to freely use for Sony exclusive games. It was my way to make the Microsoft $7,500,000,000 to be a lot more expensive than they bargained for. In this I made a few more modifications, or perhaps a better description would be ‘a conceptual path to allow for more’ in this the idea to have 1-2 additions to be played on mobiles, free games that enhances the first one. In Fable we saw Pubgames, yet what happens when we create mobile games (android and iOS), that allows players to do some of the menial tasks in the game, whilst you are on route to work/school, during lunch, or just when you are out enjoying the sun. 

Work
The work app is one where the rejuvenated hero works a job (depending on what job he scored), over 30 minutes you tire the hero and he sleeps it off whilst you work/learn, and at the end of that time you come home, start the game and the hero has gained credits and coins.

Education
Whilst our hero works he learns and gains experience (not as much as in the game), but he could learn and achieve an extra skill point, in addition to that, whilst the hero learns, there will optionally be a stage where new and more equipment becomes available.

As we have thee money to go out and explore, we see that the game gets a larger push towards the gamer, to see more, learn more and do more. Yes, we acknowledge that there was a great stage to play Fable 2 and own the pub BEFORE you entered the tower, yet what happens when your years of absence made you lose the pub and its income? The setting is a mere reflection (I am not negative towards Fable), we need to see that there is a whole range of options and in this I moved as far away from the Bethesda s possible, not because the games were bad, no the opposite, they were really good, so creating something different was essential and when you look at all the D&D games, it is surprising how alike some are. If another franchise gets to stand up, it needs to be different from other games, it needs to set a different stage and it needs to have larger options, in this large is reflecting on the application of other solutions giving you more options to enjoy exploring, and do things. 

In this, I merely thought of a part of my consideration (Elder Scrolls VII) and I came up with another bevel to implore and to exploit. A setting that TES4 and TES5 didn’t have to the degree I considered and as such, I can add this to my game as it was never there, and that is not all, even as we see the larger stage of new opportunities, we need to weigh, just like in every game, will it be an addition, or merely a fab that goes nowhere? It is an important question to ask ourselves, because we always think that our idea is perfect, but that is not a given and even as I create something new, it will not be for every gamer, it will be for the RPG lover, that is who I cater for, and I will say right now, if you do not care for RPG games you might not like this game and even if you like RPG games, you might not like this either. I cater to a group of people and I will be happy when that group is larger than expected, but unlike Ubisoft, I keep realism in the visors, those who cater to all will never cater to anybody, I still believe that and so far I have not been proven wrong.

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Before life was, I was

Yup, there is the ego, floating over your head, look to the right, no, your other right, look about 43.8 degree higher (if you are outside) take the second star to the right, yup, there I am. So as you might have guessed, it is time to talk about god-games and whatever I consider here, is free to use in any Sony exclusive game.

To see this, we need to go back to the foundation of god-games. My introduction to this type was in the 80’s when Little Computer People came to the CBM64. We all see the age of Peter Molyneux as the stage of the ‘true’ god games, but it is out in the open to accept or reject that notion. And in all this, most of us might remember the game Black and White. It was a more god game than most god games and even the guy upstairs agrees, right Hades? 

Yet what if we create a game where it is merely part of the game, not the game itself. For example, if we set to an example most of us remember ‘Assassins Creed Brotherhood’, consider that the game remains the control of Ezio Auditore, yet the god side of it is that we can to some degree control the actions of NPC’s. An example, Ezio is running through town, and that is fine, but in the god side we unleash rain on the area and as a result all the courtesans hide inside their houses. Ezio loses an ability to his side. This is a crude version. 

So if we use the divine powers in Black and White, it is a direct option, what if it becomes indirect? Like drawing a line in the sand, the ants will find another path, but that is as clear an option as it comes. So what happens when the game is about indirect channelling and it becomes about indirect guidance. Not as a setting in the game, but as a setting towards the game? So like Batman fights his opponents in Arkham knight, we influence the brutality of those around him, we set the premise of depression of the victims around him, it changes the game, it changes his focus, whilst the gamer does not see a change in the player, the stage we see in detective mode of Batman and we see the criminals are at some point terrified, Batman instilled this, but what happens when we set a secondary stage that affects the persons in the area, but Batman cannot directly influence that. That stage is influenced by the the NPC’s, not like the stupid wave like behaviour we saw in AC Unity again and again, but a sort of herd like behaviour in NPC’s, it changes the entire setting of the playable area and we forgot about that, thee gamer (and the developer was so focussed on Ezio Auditore, Batman, Edward Kenway, they forgot to set the influence stage on the population when Batman, Poison Ivy, or Vaas comes into the level. Yes, there was some attempt (AC Unity) the the fear was where we see street run away in front of you was a failed attempt at this. A stage where we can only influence a second tier (up to a point), is something we have never faced. In this I grab back to the Black and White part. Until we set the premise where an evangelist is created by their own choice, the influence is limited. So we can directly interfere in the game (buildings, infrastructure), yet the NPC influence is only limited. Games like Spore, Black and White set the action as direct. I want to change that, give a much larger challenge where the person having the finger needs to think where he draws the line for the ants.

It is a speculative setting, but that is all that I can offer in a conceptual setting. It is conceptual, because it has never been done before and evolution of games happens in a stage where things are new and never done before, there was always the first one. And that is what we are aiming for, something never done in gaming before, upgrading the level of gameplay down the line, and that was all that gamers want, a new level of play, we all want that, because sooner rather than later more of the same becomes tiring. And for the most, the sandbox games has left the NPC part of their game to too much of a limiting factor. So we need to change that side of things if only to make sandbox games more realistic and more believable.

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Add one more

This started a week ago when I wrote ‘8 missed opportunities’, I had been pondering a few issues and I was wondering whether it was a fair call what I wrote (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/11/28/8-missed-opportunities/), and whilst I was pondering that, my mind being slightly preoccupied with “The Aeneid of Virgil”, I suddenly had this brain twist for an idea that might work on the Apple Arcade, the Google Stadia and the Amazon Luna. I named the game ‘Kick the Arcade’, a game optionally 2 players online (in co-op), a side scrolling game, not unlike Streets of Rage (SEGA Megadrive), but there is a difference, this game grows over time. An idea that the game has 20 levels, every 5 levels a boss and in each set of 5 levels an arcade, where one machine can be kicked (hence the title) and you can free the hero in that machine. At that point, you unlock the hero and after defeating that boss of these levels you can switch to one of the unlocked hero’s and continue the fight on those levels with different enemies. I was thinking of one little complication. When someone joins you that person can only select one of the unlocked hero’s and at that point, it might be your levels, but the enemies are the ones of the second player hero, it would be a whole new level of challenges. Consider all these great side scrolling levels, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, Green beret, Ghosts n Goblins, Golden Axe and the list goes on, there is still the issue whether the IP is locked, yet this idea basically washed over me in minutes, so what is keeping them making new games? Yes, Google Stadia at present has an interesting list of games, but lets face it Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (2014), Hitman (2016), Destiny 2 (2017), they have originals, but they need more originals, a console is defined by what others do not have, not what others ALSO have. And this is happening whilst 7 announced titles are apparently no longer coming, so if Google is all about being googly, be Googly!

Set yourself apart, because no matter how the presentation looks, there is every chance that most people will not be able to tell the difference between Apple Arcade, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia, when that happens, there is every indication that Apple would win by default, is that truly what we want?

I am not stating that Apple is bad, but I expected more from the out of the box thinkers (aka people at Google). No wonder I have the 5G IP that Google does not have, ah well, such is life. 

Even as we see ‘opinions’ like “Google’s Stadia was always going to fail, but a new report claims that the issue isn’t missing features or a tiny game library. It’s Google. … “Google didn’t offer them enough money, and they don’t trust the mercurial company to stick with gaming in the long term” and here we see two parts the important part ‘they don’t trust the mercurial company to stick with gaming in the long term’, it is the long term part, yes it is a fair call, but it comes with the dependancy on others to fill your chest with treasures, the selfish corporate settings we see all over the place gives a clear signal, they bring something that is exclusive and unique, or you are forever in a stage where you are not the first focal point. We have seen this a few times over (Bethesda anyone?), and as such the fickle state that Google tends to be on at present is partially forced upon them (corona viral distribution and change) and part from within, they are spread too thin and they are in too many places, as such Tracker smurf (Sundar Pichai) is optionally losing oversight, or he is too many places too often, take your pick. But the critique offered is not all empty. I do not care too much for ‘Google didn’t offer them enough money’, either there was no real commitment on the $$$ price or someone didn’t negotiate too well, no matter what the reason is, I find it lacks focus. As I see it, the old games would be an optional saviour, 1-2 dozen games rewired in better graphics, optional additional sides to the game and the stage is soon a different one, but does Google have the drive? The idea that ‘the long term’ would optionally translate into Google ending third in a three man race (with Apple and Amazon), it is the one outcome I would never have seen coming and perhaps that is also what Jeff Bezos is expecting with the Amazon Luna, the idea that he ends ahead of Google must be absolutely intoxicating to him. 

So in the end, I didn’t merely added one more idea, I have added a setting where Google is not leading the waves and that is a little weird, but if that what the googly people have decided on, that is how it will be, and if they do not want that one part, they will see other parts see a reduced setting soon enough as well. Consider the people expecting top notch from Google, when they take their market to Amazon the game changes and I would never have expected that to happen, yet that is what we face, a setting that is no longer imaginative, something that comes with anticipating expectations, options that are offered away from one and towards a player that started as an online bookshop. I will be honest, I never saw that coming a year ago, but that stage is now getting a little bit too real. For if the Googly people turn down the innovations, what else will they abandon?

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A,B,C,…..D?

We all have ways to promote the thinking pattern within ourselves, we all have our way to get about it, I am no exception. Yet, today is a weird day, I am overwhelmed with a thought and a sensation from the 60s. I was a wee young lad (a little piss ant is more like it), I was never a saint, especially when I was young. And in all this we all had our own ways to deal with ourselves, again, I am not exception. 

The sensation that bugs me today is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while. It is like a nuisance that keeps on bugging me and I do not exactly know why. It is a drink, in the Netherlands it was for a small time (in the 60s) decently wanted. The bottle was long and slim, with a light blue lid, it contained some form of a tangerine drink. That drink has been on my mind for a while now, and I miss it, but until recently it’s been nagging me and I do not know why. I looked up a few things and I noticed that there is no decent tangerine liquor. The drink I used to have was a lemonade, basically tangerine juice, settled with a third ingredient like water, still water. So why was it on my mind so strongly?

I had been considering a lot more from that era, mostly TV series, it was all before the house of Pong set up its shrine (a manhunter New York joke). And then it hit me, it was 1968, the Dutch TV series ‘De Fabeltjeskrant’ created by Leen Valkenier started, the UK got it later titled ‘The Daily Fable’, the setting had connections to the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, Aesop, and others. No matter how simple it was then, it was close to unequalled until it ended in 1989 after well over 1600 episodes, a gem too many had forgotten about, The adventures narrated by Mr Owl, with Miss Stork, 

Mr. Cunningham the Fox, Mr. Crow, Boris the Wolf, Bert and Fred Beaver, Zippy the Hare,Shelly the Tortoise, Miss Ant, Gerald the Pigeon, Milord the Horse, Harold the, George the Guinea Pig in the British version, Mumbles the Mole, Myra the Hamster, Greta the Cow, and Zaza the Zebra. There were more characters, but I stopped watching when I grew a little older, yet consider the simple fact that this series ran for over 1600 episodes and consider all the old tales as well as the tales of Grimm and others, what a treasure trove it could be, even today, we are all looking at the hi-tech series, but there is a reason that Tim Burton struck gold with the Nightmare before Christmas, stop motion animation is still an art that can move all the senses we have and we forgot about that tiny detail. We seemingly forgot about the situation where what was is still good, but how to embrace it? The fair part is that children do not mind, they embrace the story, the interactions, the inclusion, it is the inclusion that tends to take the cake, but it is merely one of a few factors and to be around for 22 years, that matters, that shows that you have a winner. So can it be relaunched? That is the question we need to face. E can remaster it, it can be remade, but in the same way? It is like the original Mass Effect, these gems are close to timeless, in 15 years when we have the Playstation 6 and the Zbox (or XboxX), a game like Mass Effect will still have a value that equals its weight in gold, so TV series too will have their moment and the IP and its owner sees a new life where none was expected. It is the showing of a real visionary, a game like Mass Effect (the original trilogy) is truly one of those. 

So whilst my mind focussed on a tangerine smell and a faint taste of what was, the reason was lingering in the back of my mind and the Daily Fable is not the only thing from those days. Netflix is investing a little over $17 billion in this year alone, but on how much actual IP? What if a fraction could get them several series that could give them a much larger offering of series? As the workflow comes back (after another lockdown), we see that there is a need for materials that will be there for the younger and the not so young viewers. 

It is about series, games, streaming and non streaming. It is all directed via IP, but it is not the only option, there is a whole league of games that lost their IP protection years ago, the same for TV series and the clever mind is one that looks in the past and find the troves most forgot about.  A setting we need to take another look at. So consider on what Netflix is spending and then add the billions that DisneyPlus is spending and see what some can get at a mere farthing per pound, a setting too enticing to ignore, but the will be the name of the game soon enough. 

It links to an old joke, what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant? A zookeeper has a $10 note and hands you 10 $1 coins, an accountant squeezes the $10 note until it gives up 11 $1 coins. We can laugh at the or realise that the Netflix has an optional $1,700,000,000 around, all because not the right accountant took a look at the $10 notes. We can laugh at the joke, or we can consider that there are parts none of them looked at, why is that? Or better stated, where are the gemstones? You already saw one, let me give you one more, it was a Swedish series called ‘Den vita stenen’, a series based on a 1965 award winning book. In a collection of nations, a mere 2 options and that is before you realise that France, Germany, Norway, Estonia, Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. They all have the gemstones no-one noticed or they forgot the impact they had focussing on a local market tends to have that impact and the time goes short, soon more than one will catch on and when they get it done it will be too late for them.

Such is life, as such, did you get to point D? If so, is it a square, a rectangle, a trapezium or a parallelogram? All options and none are the same.

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The tech is out there

Even now, as the larger players (Microsoft and Wall-mart) are starting a bidding fight for TikTok, we see the flaw on several levels in the digital age. I illuminated it yesterday, in my previous article.  We are in a stage where everyone is shouting that they have Digital Media Managers , Digital Marketers, Account Managers, Social Media Managers and so on, and so on. Yet, where it counts, we see (at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/bulletins/29bf2b8) the statement on Kenosha and the shooting, but when I looked at the site in ‘Self destruct initiated’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/27/self-destruct-initiated/) there was no mention at all and that was at 02:57 on August 27th, whilst the shooting was on August 23, it took 4 days for the digital media manager to wake up. Yet the police section in the news of the City of Kenosha website is still empty, so why do they have a website and who manages it? It is nice to have politicians and captains of industry hide behind the Internet of Things, digital media and digital needs, but where it counts, are they even aware that they flunked the pooch? 

A second set is given by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53930775), here we see ‘Facebook says Apple ad-blocking settings could halve revenue’ where we get introduced to “Apple’s plan to require all users to actively opt in before they can be tracked “may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it”, Facebook said”, whilst we also get “In the upcoming iOS 14, apps have to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data, meaning ads will no longer be able to just “follow” users to apps outside of Facebook”, all whilst everyone is ignoring “way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps”, lets be clear, FaceBook has every right to advertise on its site, it is the price of getting a free service, yet where does it state that the people have to agree to be followed “into other mobile apps”? In that article, where does it state the need and rights of the consumer? (I am not attacking the BBC or the writer of the article), we overlook technology to the mere shallow assumption related to it. We see the attack on Apple from Epic games (Fortnite) and we see Microsoft supporting Epic games, yet thee fact that the rule that Apple relied on is pretty much the same rule Microsoft has in place, so how did that make sense? It only looks clear when we see the path Microsoft has in play and they mobile XCloud is relying on the millions of iPhone users. I mentioned that in ‘The stage pushed by Microsoft’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/24/the-stage-pushed-by-microsoft/), so again we see a tech setting that is getting a shallow treatment and in this case I do not attack the media (even though I think they fell short), for the media it is all the emotion, as such we see the BBC giving us ‘Apple Fortnite players left behind in new update’, yet the stage where Epic games would be allowed back if they remove the external link in the game, which is against the developers agreement that Epic games agreed to when they got on the Apple store, a rule that Microsoft has in play as well and the media pretty much smoothed over with what I would personally see as ‘applied ignorance in action’.  

We see two versions of limited tech insight. This entire setting also applies to Huawei, the accusations and the lack of evidence is centre to all this. We get ‘Huawei’s networking equipment has not been detected spying’, in a Sky article last July, and it is the driving part in all this, we want evidence and we keep on getting bitching American politicians, one after another all emotions and no evidence. All whilst last week in the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/technology/is-huawei-too-big-to-fail-20200824-p55ont) where we get the repeated “shot down by an announcement from the US government that it would use the global dominance of American technology to cut off all supplies of semiconductors to Huawei”, which is stupidity on a new level. It seems that it is not and that would be fair, the short term solution is met as semiconductors are not available. Yet in this for over a year Huawei was ready to that stage making (read: designing) their own semiconductors. When that happens, the US will have a Chinese competitor in another field and the US will lose even more ground. So whilst the US is in denial that Huawei grew because it had a good product, slightly cheaper but a lot better, in all this they rely on “Driven by the belief that Huawei could enable the ruling Chinese Communist party and its military to spy on other countries and their companies, undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets, the US government used every option open to it”, where ‘could’ is the operative word and the additional ‘undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets’, and guess what, there is no evidence on any level and the situation merely becomes worse when you consider ‘Critical flaw in IOS routers allows ‘complete system compromise’’, a part that ZDNet gave us in June (and before that, at https://www.zdnet.com/article/ciscos-warning-critical-flaw-in-ios-routers-allows-complete-system-compromise/), it is a simple situation, the Chinese government does not need to use Huawei to spy, they can use Cisco equipment (an American company based in San Jose) and download server by server on a global scale. When did the media give you that part? That weakness and a few more have been out in the open, and we hear nothing. This is not on Cisco, as it warned the users and is working on fixes, but the media is blind to the flaw, why is that?

Both the tech and the flawed tech is out there and there is a growing issue for a lot of people that we get limited and one sided revelations, who is served better to that? I am going with the personal view that the setting of the media catering to Shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers remains firmly in place.

The tech is out there, but who is taking a good look at it and who is using it to the maximum that would be required in the digital age? I’ll let you brew on that for a little while.

 

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Rad 451

Yup, creativity bone got active again. It is a thought I had before and in light of the PS5 coming and the time of a new Fallout (Fallout 5), I decided to think things through. I loved Fallout 3 and 4. I never played Fallout 76, for the mere reason that I am not in multiplayer games. And in all this the idea floated to add to what Fallout 4 brought and in this I started. The first thing I did as consider Fallout shelter, what if the players can transfer the three vaults to the game? Your own vault, they can all become places to live (once they are cleared out) and the game will set a stage based on the amount of rooms and on the locations used. There is a form of randomisation in this, but consider the situation where you the player have created a vault and it can become your new home. In addition I thought of a way for Bethesda to gain a few millions by making one change to the game, but that is for another time. So there I was thinking on the additional vault(s). So up to three vaults can be added (as Fallout Shelter has three vault options), and the stage is set to add it in another way as well. Each vault becomes a larger storyline in several ways to gain a larger stage. The new game is set around Seattle, from the Atlantic, the Olympic National park, Raymond, Centralia, Mineral, all the way north to Bellingham. It will be some area to explore. As such, one vault will be around Forks, the second around Blyn and the third will be around Yelm, these three will be additional to the Vaults in play and the stage that is set will aid to more exploration and a larger stage of exploration. The story in this game will be around restarting a new city, so the build option is required. In Fallout 4, it was limited to about 20, now it will be up to 100 for a city and three need to be created, beyond that there will be chapters on growth and chapters on each of the actions required. Filling it in will take time (this took me two hours). When we set that stage we have to evolve short and long distance weapons, we get a form of experience, each experience can be set to holo-discs and be used to create a stage of experience. Yet the holo-discs are rare, really rare. So we need to find those as well as holo-readers (one for each town). The challenge is to make it non-repetitive. In this game there will be 5 by 5 sectors, there must be a ring of non towns around the town selected, so that there is ample distance, in addition, the towns each will have one speciality (greens, fishing, hunting, building, tinkering, vehicles, armouring or X (currently unknown). The second part is that certain items will be class E (Exclusives), they will be placed in selected locations, but the 70 places will get 50 items seeded (so 25 remain empty) and they will be shuffled every new game, so there is a new situation, running after a guide or solution is a thing of the past. The idea of the 25 empty locations is to keep the pressure on and to allow expansions (or DLC’s) to add a few items over time. Then there is the situation of the Shelter locations will stage 5-15 additional spaces. 

There will be 10 main stories, one for each of the shelters, three for the villages created and there will be in addition a railroad, a synth, a story of a Brotherhood of steel equivalent, and a Mariner story. Apart from the 10 main stories, I was considering adding several stories founded and connected to the native American tribes that were part of that region. So there are 10 main stories and 5-10 connected stories and after that smaller sub-quests that players could be connected to. 

The idea is to set the stage where we get a adventure that is well over twice the amount that Fallout 4 allowed for. 

In all this, there is a need for me to address the small issue I had with number 4. The workbenches  made sense and were accepted, but what I saw from Fallout76, having a mobile one that we can place wherever. As such we get the second part, not just the mobile part, but to get a piece that like the holo-disc is really rare. It gives the game another dimension. As the title implies through innuendo, there was a thing in Fallout 3, There was the need to find the ‘pre-War books‘, here we will add 100 titles (out of 300) to a loot class, so 100 books will be set in locations, even as there are 200 locations, first 100 from 300 will be set, and they will be spread over 200 locations. Just a thought.

There is more to come, yet in an age of iterative gaming that gives us more of the same (certain Ubisoft titles), I have now given the readers 5 games (over the past stories) with highly innovative parts in gaming, so what is keeping makers like Ubisoft giving its gamers true innovative gaming?

 

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Decision time

I had to make a decision, we all do. For the longest of times, basically since 1983 when I got into gaming, I mostly played as many systems as I was able to buy. First the VIC-20, then the CBM-64 and from there the tracks started. PSX, N64, Megadrive, Dreamcast, Gamecube, PSX2, Xbox360, PSX3, PSX4, Xbox One, Switch and soon the PSX5. I have decided to drop the Xbox as an acceptable system, I am not taking in the hype, I am dropping my Xbox One system with 20+ games. Microsoft has left too much gaming betrayal on the road as I personally see it. 

I will admit that there is another reason, my life of 18 hours a day is over, I now need more than 4 hours of sleep a night, a system has to go and Microsoft lost the toss. Too much overhyping go games (not entirely their fault). To be honest, I got the Xbox One for two reasons. The first was Elite Dangerous and the second one is Subnautica, both are now (and have been for a while) Sony games as well. The disappointing Xbox release list and the stage where both the Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima are so far above whatever the Xbox offered that the choice was simple. 

Let’s look at the station as it now is, over 6 years Microsoft refused to give in to the old station where we do not need to be online. Former boss of Microsoft stated once “We have a system for offline players, it is called Xbox360”, yet and we noticed it, as games showed issues, I have missed out on well over half a dozen achievements. In addition to the offline part, for some reason (as I showed in a previous blog), the Xbox started to upload, it uploaded well over 50% of my monthly allowance whilst I was not playing multiplayer games or online games. Microsoft help-desk said that this was between me and my internet provider. Really? The Xbox uploads without my consent and it was their fault? The entire Azure push and that is almost halfway through my issues with a console that takes the freedom of gaming and makes it a path of data collection. Then we see the headline ‘Microsoft’s xCloud Will Officially Launch in September as Part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’, there is nothing wrong with the state or the choices, yet it does not show us the amount of patches this gives and the amount of data you require. Even as my link is not great 60GB in one month dented my data usage, I also see that a lot of places in Europe will see more and more congestion, and less data width (especially rural places). When that pressure gives way in too high a setting, how long until the internet providers start chasing gamers? It was within 4 weeks of the Covid-19 when congestion made YouTube and Netflix lower resolution play, no more 4K movies and streaming was reduced. As the American BS war on Huawei (and China) continues, we will see reduced systems faster and more often. So what will happen to those 4K and 8K games? If it does not come in physical format, how much more congestion will we face? As such it is important to make a stand with other gamers and make a choice, I decided to drop the Microsoft console. It was a choice that happened on several factors, several choices were available and the station that is PSX has shown more promise and have left me with less disappointment over the time that I had a Playstation (1995-2020) than the Xbox One (2015-2020),  in that stage, I am clear in my voice when I see the entire stage, it is clear to me that the most powerful console in the world has no business focussing on directing gamers in a direction we need to go, especially when it gets surpassed by the weakest console currently on sale. 

A stage where we will soon see more weak promises and powerful hype creations, I personally see the stage changing by Microsoft Business needs that has less ad less to do with the joy of gaming and more with other needs. I will admit that I might be wrong, but I feel strongly to go in the direction I believe in and as I personally see it, a Microsoft Console is not that way. Over time I might replace it with a Google Stadia, so as we see the stage entering 2021, I might miss out on a game or two, yet at present Ghost of Tsushima has blown me away, The Last of Us 2 blew me away and I expect that Cyberpunk 2077 will blow me away. That will keep me settled until Q2 2021, when the upgrade to Elite Dangerous (4K) comes through (there is a lot of noise but not an official yes or no), I will be set for the largest part. I am not continuing to rely on Ubisoft as its flaws angered me enough to uninstall those games and I feel certain that the disappointments from that address have more negative news to come for gamers on any console. 

2020 has changed a lot for us and I do believe that Microsoft will hide behind hypes soon enough and give half baked information that can be bend in a few directions, yet the clear station where the games of the Nintendo Switch are more fun and more addictive than anything the MS Console can give us is a larger stage, a stage where we wonder why this system? And whilst Kotaku (at https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/07/xbox-series-x-exclusives-phil-spencer/) gives us ‘Exclusives Are ‘Completely Counter To What Gaming Is About,’ Xbox’s Phil Spencer Says’ we see the real flaw. An exclusive game maximises what is possible and Sony has them, whilst Microsoft gave them up. If it was on multiple systems, games like God of War, Last of Us, Last of Us 2, Spiderman, and Ghost of Tsushima would not be the breathtaking results they are now. And the list is a lot larger, which also implies that some are merely on par, not beyond. Microsoft is largely lacking such a list, which is different from the Xbox360, The elder Scrolls Oblivion, Fable 2, Fable 3, and a list that goes on a long while, Microsoft threw a system advantage that put them on par with the Playstation 3 and let some bureaucrat set the long term goals into the Microsoft greed well and ignoring the population they were serving (the gamers). So now we see the not entirely unexpected ‘completely counter to what is gaming about’, yes, counter to what THEY are about. Gaming is to set the boundaries of gaming forward, to give us the wow factor that Microsoft has largely ignored. Sony never forgot that lesson, not since the first Playstation. 

As Google learns that lesson, it will see that there is more profit in catering to gamers, than to data facilitators. We will see larger shifts in 2021, but not immediately, the next Xbox will get the limelight as it deserves, yet when the issues start hampering the Xbox and as the people will get to read carefully phrased denials and carefully phrased counters, one by one it will impact the gamers more and as they switch to Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5, we will see that Microsoft consoles will end up in 4th or 5th position. I doubt that this will happen in 2021, but 2022 yes, that is entirely possible. I predicted the fall behind Switch a year before it happened, but it did happen and I will be right again and at least now I am ahead of the curve and got rid of my system for a fair price, I wonder when others catch on.

 

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I had a rough start this morning

it started with Reuters giving me ‘Ubisoft delays 2020 releases as Ghost Recon Breakpoint underperforms‘ I had to go read that a second time before it sank in. Now, I did not meet that news with ‘hurrah’ and some form that I was right. I am not a FPS fan, so the floor was not waxed for me; I am not a glutton for punishment, so I read it twice and decided to ponder it over. I remember the IGN review about a week ago (it had been out for a week) saying: “Ubisoft’s latest tale of Ghosts is an overly familiar romp with too many pieces that don’t work together for an ultimately disjointed“, it is something that I adhere to, yet I will consider that this reviewer has the same castside feeling about some games, hence there might be some conflicting reviews. Conflicting that they would be the same thing! (yes, you read hat correctly)

This gives rise to an explanation; I am an RPG player, an explorer. So there is beauty in Far Cry 5, there is beauty in Far Cry Primal, but there are issues too. You can see some of the issues in the video ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 56‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3R7FQSNic0), there are several points in the game where most FPS people would back down, the arcade player wanted something more realistic, the simulator lover, wanted something more realistic, they all wanted something more realistic, which beckons the question, what was Ubisoft thinking? Oh and the coloured schemes dropped loot, so that the player knows where he or she is running to, is just too freaky, yet questions should be asked, but who to ask them too?

The Article also gives us: “The profit warning resulted from a “sharp downward revision in the revenues expected from Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, to a lesser extent, The Division 2,” Ubisoft said” I cannot vouch for Division two, merely for the reason that two beats down part One and that has clearly been achieved. It could be that the beat down is clearly on Breakpoint and the The Division 2 has met the target, it was not a primal target and as such it goes hit as well. This would explain the “We have not capitalized on the potential of our latest two AAA releases” it merely would not be great for the Division 2, especially as Breakpoint is showing to be an over the hilltop kind of game. So the traverse of conversation this morning is “critical reception and sales during the game’s first weeks were very disappointing, Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, said in a statement” that whilst YouTubers give out ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 56‘ and ‘Ghost Recon Breakpoint Free Roam – Part 49‘, where you are treated to all kind of visuals and sounds warning you of enemy combatants, taking away the insertion and extraction part of any mission. Further, I would have loved some noises to war me of enemy combatants in the field, not that this is awesome, but it allows me to survive in real life. War as a videogame and not a realistic one, that is what Ubisoft promises and it is setting gamers in some unsettled mode. Some of the reviews out there call it a ‘fun shooter game world‘ which is exactly what these Ubisoft games are turning into, taking the nerves out of the combat, the video’s I saw inclined it, but I wanted to see more evidence. It reminded me of the Conversation between two characters in Red DawnI wish I was at home playing Call of Duty 4” to which the reply comes “We are playing Call for Duty 4 for real and it sucks“. That is the feeling that a war and a game have, here you feel the war in light of an urban center and it is not that great. It is overwhelming how some seem it to be underwhelming in the game, did that make sense?

Ubisoft took the feeling of war away from the feeling of warfare, that part is clear and it is a larger failing that Ubisoft has heralded into its titles. It is fun but it took me a while to put my finger on the cause of it, so it was a decently done job, but war is finite, even now when we look at the latest warpath, Saudi Arabia versus Iran, you can be for neither, which is fine, but at some point you will be drawn into one of the two camps and that is the point of your equilibrium. We all have a point where we have no input, then we get to have a point of view, it is how it is, only those of an unnatural shape have the inkling to be drawn to both sides, it is an unnatural point of existence and the game does that, You feel nothing as you pivot from one side to the other side. That is the unnatural feeling that Ubisoft leaves behind.

That is the larger flaw in the game called Breakpoint. It is the flaw and everything surrounds that game is there for flawed. As we are now treated to “Ubisoft decided to increase development time for its Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine and WatchDogs Legion games, postponing their releases to fiscal year 2020-21” I have to wonder how much interaction there is between the games, We are given at the end “Jefferies’ analysts added that the combined profit guidance for fiscal-year 2020 and 2021 is “not simply shifting profit” but an overall guidance cut, according to its calculations“, yet I myself wonder if the actions and the reactions database is covered in other games, if Breakpoint has the covering of an element shown in breakpoint (like the cover seeking agents), we will see a larger flaw soon enough, if that is not the case, we will see some failing, but not the failing to the largest degree, it seems to me that there is a flaw in the creation of games by the expertise that Ubisoft analysts are showing, they have no expertise.

My point will be seen soon enough by all the other investors soon enough, a template for war can be maintained, but its evidentiary failing can only become monumental from game to game. So when we are offered: “This delay leads to five blockbuster games now scheduled for release in fiscal year 2020-21, Ubisoft said, targeting net bookings of 2.60 billion euros“, we get that one subroutine has an impact, but that several will slide the boat. All in all, there is an impact to be felt, and that impact might be hitting Ubisoft a lot sooner than we all anticipated.

Ubisoft should have known better!

What is adamant is he checking and the controlling factors that are set beyond any cypher, it is in the games that we play and when we get this mass wave of recognition from game to game that is where we see that the game by Ubisoft was faltering and now it falters for two years until certain recognitions are no longer available. Try finding the maps and try finding the considerations that are within the games of Ubisoft that is where you’ll see the mapping error. Police officers will not go into cover the way mercenaries do, that has always been a snatch, furthermore they do not fight in similar shapes, they take cover in different ways, and mercenaries are always alone, even when they are not. A police officer is different, he is part of a unit, relies of others that is shown in every fight. I believe that Ubisoft is failing this part, they are so concerned by looking good, basically that beyond the graphics they are finishing it off with a larger paint stroke. Some of the reviews are pointing into that direction. Am I wrong? I hope I am, because Ubisoft is banking on a real whopping downfall if they do, yet the lager failings seen in Wildlands, now seen in Breakpoint point in that direction, Watchdogs Legion is implied due to its setback, but is it such a large leap from the ‘One Assassins Creed every year’ herald that Ubisoft announce with a clarion call almost four years ago?

I leave you to ponder that thought and in support of that choice, consider the actions by anyone who posted: ‘Taking out a Level 150 Wolf Camp!’ several kills, then ‘kill witnessed’ as well as ‘dead body found’, you tell me where the Intel was that prompted those responses that would give me such an angle in real life? And as for the entire setting towards Level 150? In the Middle East there were soldiers, who were better than me, and there were soldiers who wanted to be as good as me, there are no levels, there are those who live and those who will not make it, it is that simple. Ubisoft made warfare some kind of steeple chase that is set around equipment that you can have and that equipment is the leveler for life. Equipment is not like that, Ubisoft is making a world that is dependent on micro transactions and generic reality that everyone adheres to. I remember the first time I was shot at, I was freaking losing it and that has always instilled in me a sense of caution, everyone reacts different, that much is a given and we are always taking different styles of warfare, so the Breakpoint game might sound nice and funny, but the entire game of FPS is taking on an arcade style, a style that is not regarded as funny, yes these are games, but we are not in some arcade, and that is where Ubisoft got it wrong. We look at what we know, we know that there is a down strung level of realism and that feeling is gone when we play Breakpoint, that part is now out in the open and the dozens of Breakpoint videos are just some kind of instillers of whatever they are supposed to be.

Where is the reality?

That is what some question about it and there are more who question the scenic approach that Ubisoft has untangled in front of us. The first is what was before, it does not matter how it was experienced, it is about how the game is surpassed that matters in my personal choice. Watchdogs 2 is better than the first and I do hope that Watchdogs Legion is better than the first two, it is seemingly so, Yes it comes down to that, yet if the project is imbued with the flaws of a previous game, optionally not the same game, we get a game that has a downtrodden approach, that is the reality that we’re faced with.

How real it is? That is something that needs to be tested for, so we will see about that part of the equation soon enough.

 

 

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Dark Friday

There was an article last Friday. I knew it was bogus from my point of view, so I waited until the end of that event (actually this is the last day). It starts with the sub line, which gives us ‘Brands, activists and charities are questioning the annual consumer feeding frenzy‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/23/has-the-backlash-to-black-friday-already-started), it was the undertone that made me wonder and even as I knew it was from my point of view a bogus article, I waited to see how it unfurled. And behold, hallelujah, someone states the stupid part and my case is won. It is seen with: “The whole Black Friday thing is fake and customers are getting wise to it,” said FatFace boss Anthony Thompson. “Bigger brands and retailers should look very hard at what they are doing. They are damaging the high streets and local independent traders who can’t compete with these fake promotions and customers are getting ripped off.”” I am certain that Anthony is a driven ideologist towards his own brand and we cannot fault him for that. You see clothing, shoes and other temporary items dread these sales moments as it undermines their bottom dollar, they need their margins and for them Black Friday is a problem, yet it is not something fake. It has become something real, it always was real, yet now it impacts people to a much larger degree. I remember last year, I got Assassins Creed Origin with statue for well over 55% off. What was $199 was offered at that point for a mere $85, so that was a real saving. There was more at that point, and I got one or two additional things. I believe it was Nioh, with season pass and all extra’s for $24, a bargain if ever there was one. this year my budget is strapped, so I have to forego Black Sunday this year around, which is a shame, because getting yourself a nice Christmas present 4 weeks early with 50% or more off is a huge deal. That is also the impact of Black Friday; it is close to Christmas for all those people doing their Christmas shopping early. A Xbox One S for $299 (+ games) is a real deal and those who have the old Xbox, it is also a nice step up and that is beside the point that the slimline Colgate white One S is actually really pretty to see, there is no denying that. Loads of places give 20% of TV’s, Camera’s and laptops, so at that point getting the device that is on its last legs a quick replacement is a good option to have.

Nothing fake about this moment and we all need it, even as some people are in denial (especially Anthony Thompson), most of us have too small a budget, we cannot afford to get the nice things as the cost of living all over the world keeps on going up and there is less cash to go around for other things. At that point the Black Friday is a blessing. Especially for parents, most kids desire a console, or perhaps a new mobile. At that point 20% makes a dent in that bill and even as some parents give the present early stating no bog presents at Christmas, for these kids Christmas came early and they are all so happy. It also applies to adults, especially when we take a look at Applewear and Fitbit deals, there were plenty.

Yet there is nothing fake about other venues either. When I see: “The Charities Aid Foundation is backing the UK’s efforts for global charity event Giving Tuesday on 27 November, which encourages people to do something for – or give something to – a charity they care about. Celebrities including blogger and Strictly Come Dancing participant Joe Sugg, Ricky Gervais and Martin Lewis are supporting the day which last year raised £213m online alone around the world” I see that there is reason to look in other directions too. I am a little amazed that there was no union. How would it be if a store on the Black Friday announces that any sale under $109 adds 50 cents to that charity and over $109 the send $1 that way. It could effectively add millions to such causes and that would be a reason to embrace Black Friday even more. Knowing that I was looking forward to this black Friday hoping that there was some cash left, I would not have whinged at the extra $1, even with a purchase of $85, the saving was already awesome and the extra dollar would not have dented it. So when I see this article, is it really about a missed opportunity for charities, or were some of the people at Charities Aid Foundation negligent to see if a deal could have been made with the thousands of retailers for those few extra coins for every visitor? There was even the chance that some of them would have been willing to add it that little extra to every deal they had, even more money lost out on.

There is a similar issue with the opinion piece by Stuart Jeffries where we see: ‘I’ve discovered the Joy of Missing Out. Black Friday isn’t for me‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/23/black-friday-joy-of-missing-out) an be seen in more than one way. Apart from the sensation of ‘Missing Out’ which tends to be a negative one. Like many other men, I do not really warm up to 50% fashion sales, unless I am in dire need of Jeans, Cargo Pants, Polo shirts or something like that. He takes us to an advertisement with: “Take the ad starring Martin Freeman for a mobile phone company. His train carriage is filled with boneheads staring into their handsets; even in the loo he finds the guard furtively watching something on his phone when he should be checking tickets. “What is wrong with you!” Freeman yells. And then a beat, before he realises that what’s wrong is him. He doesn’t have a two-year data deal to get unmissable TV, music, movies and sport promised in the voiceover. Freeman winces – and there it is, Fomo in the face“. I personally believe that contracts are for the most not a spur of the moment thing. They are long lasting and even as I had a great deal 2 years ago where I got an additional 200GB for $50 (considering that any gig over quota gets rewarded with $10 to the bill, $50 is a steal any given day. We need to think long term when we sign up to those deals. It will impact long term, yet getting a console, a game, movies or perhaps even a TV is a short term impact and 30% of a 65” 4K TV is actual money for savings. These are things you do not normally buy, so getting them in January or February when all the sales are on is the time to get them, now Black Friday changed that by offering a similar deal just before Christmas and people are getting in line a year ahead to see what else is getting the large write-off. We have to as it is almost the only moment when we have the option to spend cash on something we normally cannot afford. It is at that point that we see that the article was stupid, hollow and misguided, especially when we realise the ‘customers are getting ripped off‘, how is 20%-30% discount ripping of customers?

As for the entire Charities Aid Foundation, we see another path, perhaps it was taken; I do not know that part. Yet the entire setting where I give the option of $1 (or £1) per sale and 50% of that if the amount was small would have made an extra mountain of cash for Charities Aid Foundation. Was that path taken? I guess not, but that would be speculation. From my point of view, even cash strapped when you gain (in my personal example) 114 coins of profit, handing one over to charity seems perfectly normal and it would be given when the savings were really nice, the impact would have been marginalised to zero. Not everyone can do this, but the bulk can and in that I do not see a ‘backlash to Black Friday‘, I merely see a ‘missed opportunity for the Charities Aid Foundation‘ and of course all other charities trying to get a few extra coins on November 27th. As I see it, giving Tuesday could have started early, optionally giving the premise for people to give one more coin on Tuesday too, so how much will be missed out on as we whinge in one direction whilst we all know that there are more and more people depending on this point in time to get something essential, something the budget does not allow for?

It is in that trend that I always look forward to Christmas dinner on December 27th when all the supermarkets are pricing their Turkeys and hams down by 60% or more, December 25th is merely 0.273% of a year. When you can do that (most atheists and agnostics can) does it really matter when you have an abundance of food as a meal? whether I do or do not does not matter, when our lives are set to strapping for a budget we look towards what the opportunities give us and it seems to me that for several players Black Friday ended up being a missed opportunity. I wonder if that book ‘The Joy of Missing Out: The Art of Self-Restraint in an Age of Excess‘ by professor Svend Brinkmann takes into consideration the timing of maximising one’s budget, and as it goes on sale in March 2019, at a time when there might still be book sales going on, so we can find out then.

I am curious, merely because the list of people getting to live a life of excess is actually dwindling down. Even as incomes are not the worst, some groceries (especially meat) went up by 12% last month, and when you consider that budgets are tight, 12% has an actual impact on people, especially in places like meat & milk, items most of us need on a daily basis.

Budgeting is becoming an art for many families and for them Black Friday is becoming an opportunity to put a dent in what is needed versus available funds, nothing to miss out on. So if we see the Charities Aid Foundation using next Black Friday to give a ramp towards Giving Tuesday, I would happily hand over those extra coins if I am able to participate in the Black Friday deal, we will see what happens on Black Friday 2019.

This is merely my view on the matter, feel free to oppose it.

 

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The red lights of death

It has been one year, one year since the doors opened to the consumers to become the owner of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has been a true gaming company that has focussed on gaming since the beginning of time. Even as we loved their journey and whilst we globally disliked the WiiU; that what followed is a machine that has been embraced by pretty much every gamer young and old. The numbers are giving a picture, one that is not yet complete, yet Nintendo has had one year, Sony and Microsoft have both had 6 years and the numbers are actually quite scary. The analytical site Statistica (at https://www.statista.com/statistics/687059/nintendo-switch-unit-sales-worldwide/) gives us that after a year, the Switch has now surpassed 14 million consoles sold, in one year it is close to 45% of the Xbox One lifetime sales over 6 years, and the Nintendo is still rising its sales numbers. Another source (VGChartz, at http://www.vgchartz.com/article/272742/ps4-vs-xbox-one-vs-switch-global-lifetime-salesjanuary-2018/) gives us more, the monthly numbers are that Nintendo has close to 225% of what Microsoft is doing and it is getting close to nipping the Sony sales numbers at the heels. Even as the PlayStation 4 is now set to 75 million gamers, the achievement of Nintendo is noticed. It is noticed to the extent that in the market share, the PlayStation 4 managed to achieve 48 percent. The Nintendo Switch accounted for 37 percent of the consoles sold, and the Xbox One 15 percent. So even as the total numbers are not yet equalled, Nintendo has defeated the Microsoft market share by well over 2:1, I predicted that Nintendo would surpass the total sales numbers, but the fact that the Microsoft share numbers would be outdone 2:1 in just one year is a little more positive than even I imagined.

So if the Xbox360 users might remember the red lights of death, we can now say that for Microsoft as a gaming provider, they too are now facing the red lights of death, because at present Microsoft will be surpassed by Nintendo well before December 2019, even Sony who is still ahead by 400K systems per month is feeling some pressure growing. As I stated in the past, Microsoft can pretend whatever they want to in the business world, gamers demand results and excellence and in that regard, both the Xbox One and Xbox One X have faltered the gamer at large. Did they actually think that hiding behind ‘the most powerful console‘ would help them? That system can store no more than at most 50% of a Nintendo Switch? Who were they kidding?

Forbes had a go at Microsoft on more than one occasion and their views are not good, even as they ‘hide’ it with ‘rough’ time, with “Sony is coming out swinging next year with games like Spider-Man, God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Death Stranding, Days Gone and more. Exclusives remain Sony’s most important advantage over Microsoft, and the company’s 2018 line-up is one of its strongest yet” we see the first part, the second part was given by Forbes a month later with “I can’t really get into specifics because Microsoft no longer shares sales information on Xbox One consoles, but common estimates put it at about half of what the PS4 has sold, maybe around 30-35 million units. The Xbox One is not a failure, I don’t think anyone but Sony die-hards would say that, as we are miles past something like the scant 13 million sales of the Wii U, but it is clear that if we had to pick an odd man out in this current climate, it’s Microsoft“. Forbes is partially right. I see it in two parts; the first one is that the Xbox offers merely 80% of what the Xbox360 offered, which is a really bad thing. What is more important is that Microsoft refused to listen to the gamers and when they pretend that they did, they still harassed gamers to do what Microsoft wanted against the express desire of the gamer, so how long was that EVER going to work? Some took the $150 loss and traded in for the PS4Pro, others (like me) left to old Xbox to gather dust and played and enjoyed their PS4 and some their Switch on the side too. One console they could not keep up with, the other has surpassed them in market share and will within the next year also surpass their total console sales.

In this the only losers will be the independent game designers who will now have to see if Sony and Nintendo offer a better deal. Two of the most amazing ones have been Astroneer and Subnautica. Astroneer would be a great Switch addition and Subnautica might make it, If they can get this playable on Switch too, it is a long shot, but it would be a unique experience to say the least. And that also triggers another part. As independent designers are now looking if their game can be ported, Microsoft will be losing out in all three fields, meaning that the red lights of death for Microsoft in gaming would soon be heralded. That is the consequence of not listening to gamers and selling short what gamers need. You see, all that Microsoft Azure pep talk sounds nice, but there they have rough competition, to bank in that direction whilst short selling a $125 billion market was perhaps one of the most stupid acts that Microsoft could have tried, they tried and they are getting fried!

Even now, as we saw only a week ago (at https://www.windowscentral.com/new-xbox-one-preview-build-spring-update), on how there are improvements, we see “As with any pre-release update, expect bugs – a lot of them. Current known issues include black screens, update errors and various issues across the Xbox One experience. These will soon clear up in forthcoming builds, though caution should be taken, especially when installing on your daily driver“, so apart from non-stop updates, the fact that the largest console is 1TB, how much space will be wasted in that regard? In that side there is one issue that both Sony and Microsoft share, or is it? With ‘Fortnite’s new 60fps mode is the real deal‘ (at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-fortnites-new-patch-really-does-deliver-60fps), where we see “Now, we’ve seen a range of ‘performance’ modes in the past that target 60fps on Sony and Microsoft’s enhanced consoles, but generally, they fail to deliver. The good news here is that Epic’s work is the real deal – and it’s by no means exclusive to the more powerful consoles, with owners of the standard models getting an equally impressive boost“, so both PS4pro and Xbox One X have issues and as the most powerful system cannot deliver at present as implied by multiple parties, the issue remains why that was not properly addressed before launch? That is still a dangerous subject as several games (example Forza: Horizon) do promise to deliver 60fps, so there is still an issue there. Still as the Switch is showing more and more games that get a much larger appreciation than other consoles tend to have for titles give even more rise to the Switch, which Nintendo will see as a handsome extra to the setting as given at present.

So in how much death danger is Microsoft?

That is the whole picture and until the 12th-14th June 2018, when the E3 will explode in our faces there will be no way to tell. The Microsoft marketing engine will continue to boast and boost what it can, but the E3 will be the first true test where Microsoft is and if they have any serious intentions to listen to the gamers and please their needs to the minimum, which is at present essential for their survival, Sony learned that lesson in 2017 and their adjusted views are back on the positive side for the most (they had less issues to deal with), in addition, the new exclusive game line-up that Sony has for this year is much stronger than before, so they are likely to rule the show. Although, there is no saying what Bethesda hits us with and they are on all systems, so Microsoft will have a benefit there. I also predict that they will be more and more dependent on Ubisoft stealing the show (whilst including the Xbox One X as much as possible) , more than ever before, so there will be information coming from several sides in all this and that should not be ignored.

The one thing that is at present almost a given, that is that the tickets to the Nintendo E3 show might be the hottest tickets in town because whatever they bat out of the park is also the size of the market share that Microsoft could lose to Nintendo, a side they never had to fear before. The game of gaming changed and Microsoft missed at least two exits from that road to nowhere. The E3 which is of course still rumours for the most as it is 12 weeks away is still an issue as it also rumoured to include a new Pokémon, Kirby, Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4 on Switch, whilst the Xbox One has 3 titles at present (no exclusives rumoured or announced) but does include the long awaited Cyberpunk 2077 by the makers that gave us Witcher 3, so there is that to desire. Bethesda had a teaser with references to Elder scrolls, Fallout and Doom, so there is more behind that whilst Sony might be stealing the show in regards to exclusives and it includes a conformed The Last of Us Part II, so there is enough to see that the Xbox might need to be placed in the ICU sooner than thought. Yet, in that last part, it will be at least another 5-7 weeks until there is a stronger confirmed list of games and gamers. The one part that is missing for now is the list of indie developers, because they can actually change the landscape by a lot, so I wonder what we will see. what is now clear and what is being shown by data, by the evidence out in the field is that Microsoft has lost the benefits they had and unless there is a massive overhaul and a large course adjustment by the Microsoft board of directors it is not impossible that the E3 2019 is one that will happen without Microsoft, or with them not getting noticed at all. I wonder which they think will be worse, but hey, they have ‘the most powerful console’, so this speculation might just be me with no chance of this becoming a reality, or will it?

 

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