Tag Archives: Games

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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How weird are these two?

I got confronted with the weirdest article in the Independent today, the article was 4 days old, but then, I do not frequent that paper so often, hence, I initially missed it. The article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gaming/playstation-plus-price-date-details-sony-online-play-latest-expensive-cost-rise-hike-a7864351.html) gives us: “It’s about to get a lot more expensive to play PlayStation online“, which is an exaggeration to say the least. Now, for the longest time, the PlayStation plus has remained the same (as far as I remember), yet now we see a rate rise. The amount it rises with is £10 per year of £1 per month. It equates to 16% monthly, or 25% annually, yet the percentage increase is wrong, because it is £6.99 per month (new price), which comes to £83.88 per year, yet the full annual is a mere £49.99, which is only 59% of the monthly price on 12 months, so overall it remains a really good deal. So, as he whines on that event and how you can cancel the subscription. He also forgot to mention the fact that those with PlayStation Plus get 7 free games a month to play with, 3 PS4 games, 2 PS3 games and 2 Vita games, and the one subscription covers ALL three devices. Is it not interesting how that part got overlooked? The additional fact worth mentioning is that the list from June 2010 onwards has offered in total 493 games, 25 games had 90%+ ratings, which included games like Mass Effect (2+3), Bioshock Infinite, Batman Arkham City, Journey, Far Cry 3, God of War and a few others, So as we see the list offered, the £1 a month, or £10 a year does not add up to too much, when it amounts to 84 free games a year, which gets us an ‘enormous’ £0.11 increase per game (which makes it £0.59 per game in total) and in addition the access to multiplayer gaming, which we set at £0 for this exercise. So when Andrew Griffin writes that it is all about to get ‘a lot more expensive‘, I wonder if he has any clue on the gaming industry at all. Now, we know that there is hardship all over and that people can afford less and less, yet the option to get games at £0.59 per game remains a really good deal. In addition, you get them for the three devices without needing separate subscriptions. So I feel that Sony has always offered a really good deal for the gamers. Now, we might not always get the greatest games, yet 100+ titles had a higher than 80% rating and 25 games in addition had 90% or higher rating, so the people are getting really good games and they get a lot more than Microsoft offers and much better titles. The one part that the article does offer the reader is that if you try to renew the subscription now, you can get it for the ‘old’ price which is a pretty sweet deal, so you can delay the price increase for a year. In light of all this, not only is the description ‘a lot more expensive‘ a joke to say the least, the fact that the increase will not start until August 31st is also a clean option to quickly get the renewal now whilst the games are a mere £0.47 per game.

So when I see the title part ‘As Sony makes it more expensive to play online‘ I do wonder where he got his insights. Factual he might be right, yet in the day and age where the price of a PlayStation Plus videogame is set at less than a 1 pint bottle of Tesco Organic British Whole Milk, the entire setting of ‘a lot more expensive‘ should keep you on the floor laughing for some time to come.

From my point of view my response to the Independent is ‘Bad form, Independent, bad form!’

Second place issue

The second issue shown is one that was given to us in both the World Finance site as well as the Wall Street Journal. The issue given is “America’s young men are increasingly giving up on work in order to slay virtual aliens and fight videogame wars, new research suggests”, which is more than merely a laughable joke. The original source US National Bureau of Economic Research, the part that calls out might be “Academics from Princeton University, the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester say there’s ample evidence that since 2000, men who would otherwise be working are instead being drawn into immersive virtual worlds….”, yet what is this based on? You see, the data past 2008, a date many will remember, saw the Youth unemployment rate rise from 10% to 19%, after the beginning of 2011 those numbers have been declining steadily down to 9%, so the unemployment rate for the youth is now close on par with 1968, when it was the lowest in US History and only slightly better than 2003 which was the lowest at that point for close to 30 years. So when we consider those facts, it seems that the makers are giving us what some would regard a hatchet job. My title for that might be slightly too crass; yet when we see “Since 2004, time-use data show that younger men distinctly shifted their leisure to video gaming and other recreational computer activities. We propose a framework to answer whether improved leisure technology played a role in reducing younger men’s labor supply”, so how idiotic is such a notion when we consider the 2004 and 2008 meltdowns that thrashed the economy in several ways, in that same timeline, US unemployment (all) was set to 10% in 2008, with a steady decline that follows roughly the same downward trend to a little over 4% at present, now we might agree, that whilst unemployed those youthful individuals would divert towards videogames it is a path that is still better than heading towards the streets trying to be gainfully and criminally active.

In this the quote used by world finance “While eight percent of younger men were not in work in 2000, this number rose to 15 percent in 2016”, is more than inaccurate, according to worldfinance.com it is an outright lie. Governing.com gives us some extra information that is actually useful. Their quote (at http://www.governing.com/gov-data/economy-finance/youth-employment-unemployment-rate-data-by-state.html) is “The employment-to-population ratio for younger workers had only recovered about halfway for its recession-era decline as of early 2017. Youth employment rates have returned to pre-recession averages in just four states”, which seems to fit the other sources. This is what could be regarded as something that pisses me off. With ‘Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men’ by Mark Aguiar, Mark Bils, Kerwin Kofi Charles and Erik Hurst, I have a hard time just giving it too much consideration. The paper has additional flaws, the consideration that we see on page 4 with “We further exclude full-time students who are less than age 25” which is a chunk of undergrads and post grads that work at least part time to be able to afford food and other small issues like books. So the numbers are already skewed, in addition some sources give us that 80% of the full time students work part time, which marketwatch.com gives us, which was part of a Citigroup study. The UK has numbers on 1 out of 7 students work and study full time, this might not be reflective of US students, yet it should be to some extent reflective of students in some of the US metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco where the cost of living remains a rising burden. It is in section 6 on page 31 when my laughter explodes. The issue given “we can use time allocation data to infer the rate of technological progress for gaming and computer leisure since the early 2000s”, this a given? With two recessions and the non-working youth being a historic high in 2010, surpassing the recession of the early 80’s is more than just an issue, with numbers showing a steady decrease since then, the job market starting to open, whilst outliers have a stronger impact. In 2017 retail shed 60,000 jobs in the US, whilst Wal-Mart and Amazon seem to be in a strategic battle of realigning jobs towards online presence, all elements that impact the job market. So as jobs get realigned through strategy, where do the jobs end up? What will those people do when they are not working? The information Forbes gives us on this is even scarier when it reflects the need for consumer appeal via transferred initiatives. In all this, the paper does give some interesting premises, yet relies on certain parts, which are I light of the two recessions a little too much of a stretch, yet the fact on how the formulas were used is actually quite interesting. Another flaw is seen on page 32, now this is the flaw as I personally see it regarding the data as showed, yet without the actual questionnaire on view, there is a flaw in both the results and the way that I see it might be, so we need to be aware of that.

With “We stratify by three groups: younger men who spent zero time on computer leisure the prior day, those who spent 2 hours or less, and those who spent more than 2 hours”, the flaw is the ‘when’, I would spend well over 2 hours playing after a full day work, so when we consider the working population with or without full time study, we see that the graph is flawed. Even the other way round, part time students with a full time job, they could fall into the 2 hour plus gaming bracket. It is that flaw that calls even more doubt into question regarding this paper. A final ‘consideration’ needs to be given when I take a look at the ‘Leisure Engel Curve’. Here I also must admit that I will give doubt to my own thought as I might not have comprehended that part completely (apart from the formula), you see, they do state “With the leisure Engel curves, we can link shifts in time spent across activities to an implied change in the marginal utility of total leisure”, yet does this part correct for any hype (read: diversion through peer and social group pressure)? I doubt that very much, as evidence I call for the Pokémon Go wave that started in July 2016, which is clearly computer leisure (read: mobile gaming leisure), yet the paper has not taken mobile gaming in any of it and sets gaming as a static given, yet this wave suddenly pushed 60 million people to a hyped community in the same group as other gamers, whilst mobile gamers can be set into any part of an idle time setting (like travel time), this disjoints the entire exercise as I see it and gives a larger (read accelerated) gaming community in a shifted setting according to the settings as given, yet not corrected for any version of the definition of what constitutes a gamer.

Even as we can admire the formulated exercise, we need to concern that the raw data is not reliable as such and that there are additional issues that the data model and the questionnaires and requested data cannot correct for. In addition when we see the models, there seems to be no consideration for idle time and/or transit time and the consideration of handheld devices or smartphones which calls for even more questions on the gaming environment.

No matter how clever some will think the paper looks like, from the stage as I see it, there are too many unknowns or unanswered question marks and in reflection the conclusion and some of the media statements are not in line of the reality of the recessions the people lived through.

That is merely my setting where $0.02=C(1+r)^t

 

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Deadly diversification

A term that is very much aligned with finances, perhaps to some degree this is about that, but it is even more about the diversification of business. The path we see did not start today or yesterday, yet as the news releases pile up, we need to consider the impact some are creating, mostly by not making any level of an impression. The final straw became clear and visible as Eurogamer (at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-12-20-crytek-breaks-silence-lets-go-of-multiple-studios) gave us the news on Crytek. The quote “Crytek had struggled to pay staff since May 2016, but a source within Crytek’s main office in Frankfurt, Germany, told Eurogamer last week that October salaries had arrived, with November salaries set to be paid this week” is at the heart of the matter and as we realise that it is end December, we feel for those people who have been without pay for the longest of times. Now I am not going to kick a person who is down, that just ain’t cricket. Yet what does matter is that if we were to believe Ubisoft, that this house, the makers of Far Cry, Ryse and Crysis is in a mess that is deeper than a mere slump.

So Ubisoft? Were they not evangelising how great a game Far Cry was and how well Far Cry had been doing? If that is so, how come that Crytek is in such a mess? From what was initially a game I did not like (far Cry 1 on xbox360 is the only game I literally threw out of the window, the disc that is) was a game that I ignored, until I got the free edition on the PS3 as part of my PlayStation Plus, so as one does not look a gift horse (you know what I mean), I had a go at it and I was amazed on how a failure had become such a good game. I even bought the 360 edition later. Yet I kept my distance with Far Cry 4 as things were a little weird and the least said about Far Cry Primal the better, although it was not a bad game (at $20 I was willing to chance the burn of a lost $20 bill).

Yet here I myself was making the initial error. You see Crytek was the initial developer of Far Cry, the rest came from Ubisoft Montreal. Far Cry 3 was awesome and what followed was basically more of the same with a few nagging issues, not bad games mind you, but continuation of the same is what was the matter with the Far Cry series, a lesson Ubisoft has been unwilling to learn. I loved Far Cry 3 because of the stealth part, there is a lack of stealth games and Far Cry 3 filled that need. Yet repetition will never be a good taskmaster so as we saw more focus on large explosions and big guns, I personally saw a decline in the Far Cry series. Everyone said I was wrong and the fact that the ratings have been in decline is to some extent evidence that I was not.

Now we know that Ubisoft sees itself as the multibillion dollar revenue titan, yet we can agree that it only remains to be a titan for as long as the games are really good and it has been lacking in that department. If Ubisoft is still breathing it is mainly due to the impressive improvement that Watch Dogs 2 is turning out to be (by Ubisoft Montreal) and the anticipated success that For Honor is showing to become (also Ubisoft Montreal). So is that all?

Nope, the other side of their gaming franchises are taking another hit when we consider the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/19/assassins-creed-film-review-michael-fassbender-videogame-marion-cotillard), when we see ‘achieves transcendental boredom‘ gets a rating of one star and scores a lot lower than last year’s remake of Point Break, we know that the bottom of the barrel had been reached. Ubisoft might not mind losing $120 million as they are approaching 3 billion in value, yet that value becomes debatable and questions whether the value of Ubisoft has been inflated when we look at the non-successes from the last few years. As for the movie? Well I personally think that other questions come to mind when IMDB gives it 8.2 out of 10, yet Rotten Tomatoes sees it as 26% fresh, making it basically 74% rotten. Where the tomato dudes and dudettes state “the CGI-fuelled end result still is still a joylessly over-plotted slog“, with a stellar cast that includes Michael Fassbender (12 years an entrepreneur), Jeremy Irons (from Brideshead Revisited to Justice League a hit) and not to forget the utterly lovely fashionista  Marion Cotillard from Orleans (which is cool as this is one of the few French cities I actually visited in the past), who some saw first in Taxi (by Luc Besson) and most remember for being the person who drive the dagger home into Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, with dozens of additional awesome gigs in between. So the cast was already top notch. So as I see the ratings and critics we can set the issue with the director and script that both might be regarded as below basement levels. In all this Ubisoft needs to be pointed at as the cause for the mere reason that you do not sit idly by as what should have been regarded as the most important franchise of Ubisoft to take a hit like that. A mistake that is not the first one (remember Unity). In this, the review Forbes is giving, as diplomatic as they could be, gives way that several high placed Ubisoft meetings are due and these board members better get a really good grasp of the risks they are now running. Although, I thought they would not last this long, the fact that they are still around can only be attributed to the hit ‘the Division’ became (it really is), the improvements Watch Dogs 2 proved to contain and the informing approach that Jason VandenBerghe has done through quality gameplay videos on YouTube showing the people that For Honor is indeed the awesome journey gamers hoped it to be. We could speculate that the life of Ubisoft would be depending to promote several people from Ubisoft Montreal to get promoted to the board of directors whilst we trim the fat with a sharp blade from the current collection of board members, whether Yves Guillemot would like to call it trimming fat or slicing off surplus weight is up to him, but he needs to do something to get Ubisoft to stand out in a few ways, standing out in one way will no longer be enough, the movie is making sure of that. Regarding For Honor, we have a small addition (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1LF52R8U_0) where the gamer himself is really not that good, yet we still get to see some awesome gameplay, making us all wonder, what damage can we, as overall better gamers do? The fact that I had this question in mind in a multiplayer setting is something I rarely have, mainly because I am not that much of a multiplayer person.

Yet let’s get back to bleeding and sickly Ubisoft. We will see how they will do and how desperate the fans will be to see the movie, yet the reviews are not great and as the AC fans have Rogue One, Moana and Office Christmas Party to see the options for the AC movie are not that great, yet we should consider that any large issues we will possibly see in the new releases could be countered by Ubisoft giving us a free download of the movie, which they can then book as sales and as negative sales (loss) keeping their tax deductibility high as well as their ‘revenue’.

We could attribute that approach to optional good CFO management, yet in that regard, the games that are lacking the high reviews they could have had, as seen by Assassin’s Creed Unity, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Far Cry Primal and the Crew. We need to wonder what else gamers are missing out on and the issue with the movie should not be linked, yet the gamers are unlikely to see it that way. With two non-hits, the movie now expected to be a flop and the AC franchise a year away from the next one, you should see this as an alarm issue for Ubisoft; in addition it is not impossible that Ubisoft could decide down the track (next quarter) to push forward the time line of the next AC game, with additional risks that the next one is another version of Unity.

In all this I am intentionally ignoring Steep. Even though the ratings are not great, I think it is a great achievement in its unique kind. Extreme snow sports are very niche, just like some sport games. The open world approach is truly cool and the fact that there is a tongue in cheek developer amongst that team and added the achievement ‘Shaked by the bell‘ is just awesome, just remember to go head firsts! I will accept that niche games like this score lower because of the niche character, but the fact that it shows something not seen before needs to be heralded, especially as I have been roasting Yves his chestnuts for not doing so in a few franchises.

Crytek might not be linked to Ubisoft, the issues they face are hopefully a loud wakeup call towards Ubisoft. Diversification in gaming is a good thing, as far as I can see, Jason VandenBerghe is excellent evidence of that, yet the wrong direction and distance could hamper growth and divert attention in another direction. Any firm that has €2.98 billion in revenue, whilst ending up with a remaining €561 million in net income should realise that the cost of 10,000 employees is quite the anchor. It is hard to state whether a remaining 18% of the revenue is a good result. I might have a good grasp on games and gaming, yet the CFO side of such a firm is a close an equal to reading tea leaves. Consider that next year, the AC movie results will be in. Not sure on the producers and where the funding came from, because Ubisoft Motion Pictures is only one of the three producers, so the damage would be limited, but with the additional releases in 2017, Ubisoft needs to make very sure that they have at least 2 really good hits in 2017. For Honor seems to be a definite one, yet the other two at present announced is the South Park game and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Ghost Recon has a good track record, sales will have to show how good a game it is, of course until the final version is ready, we just cannot tell. Of course in addition there will be the games that remain unknown for now, games that will see the first light of day on June 13-15 2017 at the E3, unable to tell whether it will include additional 2017 releases, yet from my point of view, if the list does not change, there will be slimming required for Ubisoft. It would be great to see Ubisoft escape the abyss, especially as the push at present might not be entirely their fault, yet they were partly producers, giving them a slice of that expected flop too.

In the end, these are only a few parts, as stated, Ubisoft has had its shares of successes and the Division is one, with a new DLC available, those who did not take the road of the season pass will have to shell out $15 to get this DLC, giving Ubisoft another boost in revenue. In the end, do these actions matter to anyone but Ubisoft? I am going with yes! You see, we might be positive or slightly negative for the first Assassins Creed, yet there is no doubt that 100% of the fans have been 100% positive regarding Assassins Creed 2 and Brotherhood. This is the reality and we gamers, we want more of that amazement offered in November 2009 and 2010. I reckon it is that part that has driven fans (me included) to such anger as the franchise started to slide and the movie reviews so far aren’t helping either.

Yet, there is a clarity in the success that Watch Dogs 2 brought, which is a forward momentum, baby steps, baby steps.

From my point of view, Ubisoft needs to diversify as stated, yet I reckon it should be in another direction of gaming. I think that the salvation (read: stronger growth) of Ubisoft lies in new IP, in light of Watch Dogs 2 we know that the right team can salvage broken IP, we also know that the right person can create awesome IP (read: Jason VandenBerghe), so if Ubisoft can pull this off twice more, it could return back to the top it once clearly held, even more interesting for the big dude at the top of that hill (read: listens to the name Yves), possibly with a margin decently better than 18%. In that regard 2017 will be an interesting year.

 

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Spin dryers by Microsoft

Some might have heard the news and some might not. Microsoft will be launching their new console by the end of this year. Sony will come with one too, but about that more at a later time.

So, I did watch the presentation, and it is not unlike an American based company to take on so much more than they are likely to chew when they go up against a population of gamers. This has been proven in several occasions and as such this moment was no different.

The new system is called Xbox One (sounds like a Star Wars episode copy).

This system is supposed to be the new revelations that evangelical gamers will pray too. Yet, this is no longer a gaming console. They now call it an all in one entertainment system.

It is a fair step to extend boundaries. Any business minded person will do that whenever possible. Yet, at this time, with the current available information, many wonder why things were not thought through on many levels is slightly baffling.

Even though Microsoft is releasing information on many planes, I would be in remiss if I did not mention that Gamespot (www.gamespot.com) is a massive centre player when it comes to console information, so they are an important source of information for all readers.

There is one part where Microsoft is right, and it is only fair I mention it. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick stated “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.” I grant him that one. Even if I was opposed in the past, in combination with statements made from those who made the ‘promise’ at that point (a promise both Microsoft and Sony royally broke). Where we saw the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to be required to be backwards compatible to PlayStation 2 and Xbox, is just not realistic to expect at this time. So, as such, I will agree on that, even if several gamers might not agree with me.

My first issue is with the hardware that is central to the new Xbox One. If this is supposed to be an all in one entertainment solution, always connected, always cloud ready for downloading of Movies, TV, Games and so on, then whomever lacked the synapses to decide on a 500 Gb drive had clearly been watching a little too many Xbox-Files (like the TV series from the 90’s with Box Mulder and Data Scully). Then 500 Gb would then have been mucho alien. Now, the difference between 500 Gb and 1 Tb is about $20, so when they state it cannot be upgraded, in a time when we are all overloaded with data, we should start asking serious questions. Their statement that we can add a USB3 drive just does not hold water. Consider that they called it an all-in-one entertainment system; consider that a Blue-Ray can contain up to 50 Gb and consider that the operating system and temporary files for this system takes up some space too. Then this system has space for 9 movies in high res (worst case scenario). Even less if we consider the need for our music on MP3, out private photo collection(s) and a few games, then this drive will be choc-a-block stuffed full really quickly.

In opposition, as a start, I might not object to a 500 Gb start. Yet, the non-upgrade limit means that we will need extra external drives; so in addition needing power, needing cables and one young player accidently yanking the wrong cable might make things go wrong fast. This is also the first of many points where your internet data plan will cut in (or cut out might be a better phrase). You see, data plans cost money, and considering the plans some are on now, then the added changes would also mean you might on average pay $30 a month extra to keep being online. So that goes towards $400 in extra costs each year (not including the annual fee for Xbox live). Mind you, this is the INCREASE, not the bare cost. In some cases some would go from $69 to $99 a month. That should go over well with the millions of students all over the globe who are already in dire need just to make ends meet. If you think that this is an exaggeration. Think again. The system that now boasts on 3D gaming possibilities will need data to get this all rolling out. So either you accept time for a dozen DVD’s to install, or you’ll have to get to the cloud. In addition, they might offer the ‘normal’ version on 1-2 DVD’s and the rest needs downloading. This is a bigger deal then you realise. For example, consider the option of starting World of Warcraft on the PC as a new gamer. It is really nice that they offer it for free to new gamers to try. I am honest; it is a really nice gesture. Yet the initial download is 22 Gb. For some that is almost half their monthly download allowance. The second part of their entertainment boast is that they will support 4K. 4K is a resolution for TV meaning 4000 pixels per line. In all fairness there was a mention that this is for photos and movies only, not for games, yet, the 4K trailer of Spiderman (trailer, not movie) was said to need almost 500 Gb. That much for a 3 minute trailer? Is anyone waking up considering the ridiculous limitation of a 500 Gb hard drive?

Realistically, we are not ready for 4K resolution, as this goes beyond the ability of Blu-Ray, which of course makes me wonder why the 4K mention was such an effort? 3D is more and more added to the consumer’s home, yet at this point, we see an unbalanced situation between the offered hypes and the offered hardware. Not a good thing Microsoft!

So let us take a gander in the second division of MS issues (This applies to Sony too by the way). This new-gaming wave seems to cross several borders. What is advertised as new gaming, what others call entertainment, what few see and should see as the end of privacy! Microsoft is now offering a solution that is always on, always connected and remembering and learning from you all the time. Most laws are not ready.

The one thing that we hold dear, that we protect, we seem to give away when playing a game.

The new systems are all about data collecting. They call it ‘trending’, it is in reality a ‘personalised’ form of mass-advertisement. The abundance of hype created whilst stating interaction through the cloud is in fact nothing less than a new form of data collection as Skype, TV, movies and your choice of gaming is at all times stored and saved on the cloud. A system that interacts as per now on multiple levels, unhindered by privacy laws as we surrender to that extra little ‘benefit’ where we forget that others get access too.

Their on-line system is now getting grown from the initial 15000 servers now that Xbox 360 uses, to 300,000 servers from the moment the next Xbox is launched. It is a 2,000% growth in data collection and over 200,000% storage capacity. If foundations of business are set to return-on-investment, then ask yourself why a gaming system requires that level of growth. Intellectual property that is no longer bought, but rented on a temporary basis as the cloud keeps what we buy, yet we will pay more per hour and hand over our identity in the process.

Most laws are not ready, with these new systems starting to get pushed out as per this year. Consider this; the presentation had a quote in relation to the collected information “Game developers can take advantage of our data centres“, is anyone else getting access?

As Justice continues a losing battle against cybercrime, corporate entertainment is about to hand the keys over to a group that can really use all that input. Should you consider that this would not happen, then remember how Sony lost the security of a few million accounts which included credit card information, affecting many in Australia. When this level of collection happens, when consumers connect devices, then consider the added interest cybercrime will get as many will want these amounts of data for several reasons and most laws are not ready.

In less than 6 months we will see a new age where many willingly, unaware of the consequences will give out their details, their personality and their identity to a data cloud where we can all be statistically weighted. The haves and have nots will see their private lives classified into moments of targeting, some of it likely questionable. The laws are not ready, the justice system is not ready and law enforcement is not even close to ready.

So we are faced with the cloud, space and privacy. Consider that the new console was announced to be cheaper than the 360 initially was. Consider that Microsoft is adding hundreds of thousands of servers. Then consider that thy need to make a profit. So how will this happen? More important what extra costs will you the consumer get when their marketing will start making statements like the one we heard when the 360 was about to be launched “Each console has a variety of games. Most games released on the original Xbox are backwards compatible and can be played directly on its successor, Xbox 360” This did not pan out so well. Sony was just as bad, if not worse as millions signed up for the PlayStation 3, selling (or trading in) their PlayStation 2, only to learn that this backward compatibility was not ever working correctly.

Now, as stated earlier, the new consoles will NOT be backward compatible, yet Marketing is making all kinds of statements again. The Telegraph reported in (Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/Xbox/10075540/Xbox-One-gamer-backlash-over-fee-for-pre-owned-titles.html) that gamers will see a fee coming their way when they are playing pre-owned titles. How fun is that? I admit, I am not yet aware what Sony does, yet this could tip the scales in a major way. I all honesty Microsoft Marketing did state that there will be pre-owned possibilities, yet they have not officially stated how this EXACTLY will play out, so we await clarity by Microsoft (be really really patient)

Personally I am on the fence in this regard. I never liked pre-owned games. And as such it never really hit me. When we look at off line gaming, my thoughts are that this is none of Microsoft’s business. If I give a game I am done with to a niece, a nephew, or even the neighbours so their kids can play a game without having to pay for it, then so what? I do agree with Microsoft that the one who buys the game gets access to on-line gaming. If someone else wants to go on-line, then they should by an access pass for the on-line part. They reserved the gaming server for me the buyer, the next person will need to pay for that service. So off line gaming, patching and so on, they should stay away from charging. That is my personal view.

So here we are, Microsoft marketing spinning their party lines fast enough to get your clothes dry, it does however gives more and more pause to the quality of gaming we have to look forward to. This is how I currently see the gamers market go backwards. A business approach to a consumer world, pushing through all kinds of idea’s the youthful player never signed up for.

So Microsoft calls it an entertainment system. Entertainment? For who?

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