This all started this morning. I am not entirely sure how I got there, but it started with recalling an old St. Nicholas present. It was a book by Hector Malot called ‘Sans Famille’ (the original Dutch version) I think I was 12 or 13 when I got it (see cover below).
It suddenly dawned on me that the stage of reading books is falling away, we need to temper it, we need to alter the perception of people, but how to do this? Then I suddenly realised that Ubisoft has an inside track here. You see, we can do more with streaming systems, especially Amazon. Consider the game AC Origin, the first DLC adds a travel option, to go to certain parts of the game and do a walking tour. Embalming, beer brewing and several other parts were added. Now you might think it was trivial, but it was not. I had partially missed it, but these parts were all added to the game, the game was almost flawless and had several additional parts to the game we never realised before, Ubisoft with this game hd outdone themselves. Yet when you combine the ideas you get something more. First we take the environment of AC Unity (buggiest game ever) and we use the environment to set the story of Hector Malot in motion. It will be a little more than a walking tour, but as you complete the chapters, you get a whole book and optionally, you could unlock the book in your Kindle, Amazon would have a massive advantage here, and it would not be bad for Ubisoft either. AC Syndicate would allow for Oliver Twist (and a few other books), AC2 or Brotherhood could add several Italian works including those of Master Machiavelli. And it would not be part of the game, and the full game would not be included, merely the environment. Games and challenges to unlock books you can then read on your Kindle. These are mere top notions. The settings allow for so much more and it could gently push the gamers (especially the younger ones) to start reading more. We see environments as a set stage, but they do not need to be and in the streaming environment all elements are non connected and are merely that, elements to use in other ways. I wonder if Ubisoft and Amazon have considered that option at all. It is a side towards a direction I do not think anyone ever considered taking at present and the stage could grow from there.
What if books are for a system like this achievements? Consider Watchdogs: Legion. Consider that they add 3-4 relics which are in facts unlocked books when you complete the relics, in that case books on London, on London history, or some setting thereof. Interesting that thee two didn’t consider projects on the side to fatten the chest of users and their love for free stuff. Just a thought.
Clusters are a weird concept. There is the science, the art and the personal which tends to be a blend of both. We think that we love that one person more than all the other grapes in the bunch. We think that we know more than all the other grapes in the cluster of grapes and we watch how all the grapes get squished and we avoided that wreck. Clusters are weird, they are at times like Horoscopes. We merely ‘believe’ them when they are positive. And we are all the same, I in this am no different. I know more than a lot of people in certain areas but not all areas and still I am like all the others, I am the one grape aside from the other grapes in a cluster of idiots. There is no delusional side, it merely is what it is. Yet when you realise this and you start to dimensionalise that cluster of grapes, it is then that you might see structure and that structure is important. It gives size and shape of what you contemplate. I might compare myself to Amazon and Google, but the reality is that my solutions merely outstrip the one grape that Google or Amazon hired to make sense of that structure. When you realise that part you start to understand the company and now you have a new setting. That setting can help you to see what they are missing and optionally where else they are not looking. Yet the cluster is more dangerous than you think. You see one grape, but you do not see the other 143 grapes and what THEY see. That is the larger stage. And it is not limited to Google and Amazon. There is Apple who merely focus on the white grapes, there is Microsoft who is blind to all other grapes, and then there is IBM, SalesForce, SAP, Adobe and many others, all focussing on THEIR vintage, THEIR strengths and that is how it is, but for you it matters where these focal points are. Google is in the news about the news, and when we try to look at the Australian in google search when we click on ‘Google’s ‘News Showcase’ stalls in US as media outlets balk at terms’ we merely get what we see below.
This is the larger stage, the news makes claims but then uses the news to advertise and even as the Australian is the most visible, they are not alone and lets be clear I wanted to see what the news war regarding Google. And yes, others gave me ‘Google films people reacting to the Pixel 7 Pro, confirms pre-order start date’, I was merely curious. I recently got the Pixel 6 and I am happy with that one, the camera is heaps better, the battery is good, the phone is faster and the screen is better. For amount X I got a mobile phone that is well over 3X better. So I doubt I will get the Pixel Pro 7, I will most likely wait for the Pixel Pro 8, or perhaps 9. The previous phone laster me well over 6 years and it did its work. No regrets on previous phones, no regret on this phone. Merely Optus making a mess of too many things, but that is not on Google. Amazon announces its new kindle and the first thing I notice is that it ‘only’ has 32Gb, double the previous one, but instead of just adding 64GB or even 128GB, it keeps the pressure on and I reckon that it will bite them soon enough. In SD card settings it is $10 versus $19, less then twice the price and when you offer something for long term use, storage matters. It gets to be even less nice when you consider “The Kindle Paperwhite 8gb does not have the ability to add more memory via an sd card like the Fire Tablets” this is not asleep at the wheel, this is creating one brand dependancy and that is not a good thing. It does not matter for my IP, but the fact that Amazon is optionally (make sure you see the word optionally) brand dependancy matters, it makes Amazon a lesser choice and they did this too themselves, as such my advice to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could go “For the future of your 50,000,000 subscriptions there is now added value of selecting the Google Stadia choice over the Amazon Luna as a choice for the future of your IP. One selection could have that large an impact and as such it is important to see as much of the Kindle cluster as possible, because this could reflect back to people like Andy Jassy. Is it fair? That is not the question. He allowed this to happen on his watch, it is that simple. And it matters because the 32GB would seem enough, but we are not always in reach of decent internet, and as 32GB allows for a decent amount of books, 128GB allows for 400% more and is that not why you travel with your Kindle? It was a simple equation and the grapes of that cluster either missed it, or the grape in the cluster had its own agenda. It sounds simple, too simple. Yet that was where Microsoft was in 2012 and in a decade they are close to going tits up (not in a nice way). They are not a player in the gaming market (no matter what their marketing states), the tablet market went past them and they are close to lose 15% of their cornerstones. Of and when we add Adobe to the mix, they lose even more. This is what asleep at the wheel looks like (or the wrong grape in charge of the bunch, or cluster). So clusters matter. They are often not scientific, but they rely a larger story and that matters too, it also gives rise to other choices YOU will have to make and not all of them can be made on solid numbers, as such the cluster view tends to have a larger or weightier effect.
There are clearly times when the media cannot be trusted, or the numbers they bring. That is not really their fault at times. Too many stakeholders, too many mouths to go after the Microsoft grape-juice, or whatever grape pie they serve. We need to make up our own minds and at times the cluster view is not as scientific as we would like it, but it does tend to give a much better view when we realise how to see all (or as many as possible) grapes in the cluster. At times that is all we have, especially when we solely rely on our instincts.
Have always heralded and championed the need for innovation, it is harder but ultimately more rewarding than iteration. I am not against iteration, it has its place and it has its benefit. It was that setting that I entertained this evening when I watched Remains of the Day again. I had the DVD for the longest time, but I had not watched it for well over a decade. And as I was watching an idea came over me and it was specific to this situation. You see, the movie is based on the classic masterpiece by Kazuo Ishiguro. This matters because some film fanatics, some film lovers want more than a DVD, Blu-Ray, or 4K movie. It is of course nice to get a higher resolution, but it is limiting. Why is there not an option to link with it the second screen, or a screen within a screen that allows us to see the script and/or the book that this movie is based on. It is of course not applicable to every movie, and there are stages where people merely want the script, but both have equal desire with their fans. Whether it be the Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), and so on. The list is almost without end. Yet there are movies like for example Remains of the Day where both the book and the script would be desired to be seen side by side, and now that screens tend to be over 50”, there is enough space to keep on on the side of the movie. I doubt that this will not happen quickly and it will be overnight, but as the movies go beyond 4K, the storage will increase and someone will ask why there isn’t more about the movie on the disc. It is a fair question and it remains to be seen if it is the stage we will turn to. Perhaps the movie will keep track with the script on a Kindle, or similar device. It is an iterative step, but I reckon it will be an almost unavoidable one. As movies attract fans to the cinema, the makers will see the need to add more to the media disc, to give the people a larger desire to satisfy questions, to satisfy curiosities and not to forget to increase the desire for the media article.
If you want numbers, statistics and data proving this, I will not be able to satisfy that request. Yet as a movie lover I have a fine (and large) collection of movies and I see that there is a growing need. You see as the movie is shown with a script it will remind people that there is a book (at times). The Twilight and Hunger Games fans do not need reminding, but how many have seen the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs? This is not an accusation, I got the book after I saw the film, I never heard of Ransom Riggs and the books he wrote. The entire matter comes at a stage where the people need more than the 134 minutes that the movie offers and plenty of movies add making off, specials, bloopers (always fun), ad several other attachments. Yet it is rare that a script is added, it has been done, but merely as an extra, not a an added layer to the movie. Yet perhaps some will push for this and we will see this in a new version or new release of the movie.
I was thinking (yes, I do that at times) and my mind wandered towards a few Amazon fields, not because it is Amazon, merely because it is not Microsoft. If I can get these arrogant idiots to lose more than 2 battles, I would feel good. I need that idiotic marketing arrogance to pay for their ‘Most powerful console in the world’, all whilst they happily ignore the needs of the gamer. They lost so much credibility (and I roughly $599), I feel that it is my right and my civic duty to make sure that they lose $599,999,999, just a dollar short of a large number. So if I can hand over the ideas to make sure that their Xbox Cloud Gaming will be a number three at best (if Netflix is present number four would be better), I would feel good. Sony passed their 10,000,000 PS5 consoles sold, no matter how Microsoft phrases it, they are nowhere near that. The console equation on Sony versus Microsoft is now at 3:1, three PS5’s for every Microsoft system. So that is one battle they will not ever win at present and there is Nintendo still going great, so they are a mere third option console. Yes, the strongest console is that much behind and I want to offer whatever idea I can to make their cloud gaming solution equally a fiasco.
You see, Amazon has another benefit, another arrow in their quiver and I am a little surprised that they haven’t grabbed it yet. There are two sides to it (actually three, because I couldn’t find the images). In the 80’s there were books, they were printed on the same wood pulp paper that newspapers were printed on in those days (1978-1988), there were two series I read (there were more). One was a disaster series, they were a cheap version of movies like Earthquake, 2012, The towering inferno. They were about $2 each in those days affordable and they sold. Yet these books are now all but forgotten, they weren’t that bad, they were a decent option to pass the time when I took the bus every morning and it was 45 minutes each way. The second series was a horror series, in that there was one series (a series within a series) that was some sort of non-governmental form of the X-files (a decade before that series was made. The men had descriptions like X-Ray-A, X-Ray-C, the women X-Ray-3, X-Ray-5. It might have ben the other way round. The stage is that these books are pretty much lost to the ages, all that IP out there and optionally open for business. Not only is there a larger stage, Amazon has one additional stage. It can offer the game, whilst within the game there are options to get achievements that will opt for a kindle edition. A stage NONE of the others can offer. More important, it could drive sales in either group. There is a lot more when you consider some of the sexualised comic books like the Italian Oltretomba. A comic book form that still exists with collectors, some of them going back to the 70’s. Now the books are to some debatable and plenty want to offer their $0.02 after they read it at least twice, but the stage is larger. You see, the stories are nowhere near the calibre of Tolkien (or Shakespeare), yet in gaming, the stories when distilled are all in some form missions that could be added in most RPG’s. Consider creating any RPG and now consider that you have access to 125 missions, jut like that. Yes, you and I can create a few missions, we all can, but access to well over 100 missions is nothing to be sneered at. If you want to create an RPG that is a decent alternative to whatever Bethesda offers (Elder Scrolls & Fallout), you need serious ammunition, no matter how original you are. 10 missions do not cover it, you need 300-500 missions (part of, or independent of the main story).
That is the game that the streamers are looking at, some are relying on some Ubisoft link to make up for the gap, but Ubisoft has not been bringing home the bacon for almost half a decade and they need exclusivity to make it happen. I offered a solution in social media for gamers, Amazon has a kindle link that no one has, and I even wrote about a larger gaming stage via achievements, which could help Amazon and its moonshine (a Luna joke). Consider that I had to go from memory, the images (like covers) and keyword searches reveal nothing (to me), as such the IP might be in the open and that is merely a western approach. Places like India and Japan might have all kinds of additional path to acquire IP as well as writings to beef up the streaming games.
And if I cannot find that, what else is out there from your youth that is forgotten by too many? As such Amazon Luna (Google Stadia too) have several paths to consider before they enter the stream battle with Microsoft and any exclusive that they can offer that Microsoft. Cannot merely pushes them to third or even fourth in another console war, it sucks to be Microsoft (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk).
Even now (19 hours ago) when I see that 4 more titles were announced and that the Amazon Luna has 91 titles, the stage is not set. Yes, Hokko will be nice, but it is basically some form of Animal Crossing. I skipped the Skateboard part, but some will like it, I get that. Yet it will be about the exclusives, that will make the race, and before Facebook gets everywhere, Amazon (Google too) will need to offer their game minded alternative. It will impact and the better that part the stronger the impact becomes. I also foresee that if we get a true interaction of achievements there will be a larger stage that they can win, but will they? I reckon they will not, they will at first give us a ‘considering it in a future update’, it will get delay after delay and then it gets scrapped. It is their right, and they can opt for that, and when the losses are clear they will overreact and have some half baked solution out there. That is the field we see and I believe that gamers do want to talk about games, but they want THEIR data to be safe and they do not need to see 4 advertisements a minute, they are past that now. Exclusives will set the stage for Google and Amazon, mark my words, when Ubisoft has another failure on multiple systems the gamers will see whatever they can get and there is a lot out there, is it enough? I do not think so and focussing on exclusives is important. Do you think that Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda because they were nice people? No, they wanted the two top hitters to be on Microsoft consoles only and that is where we are, so I gave the world a new RPG console, made it freeware to all Sony and Luna developers. It is the one way where Microsoft gets to feel the sting faster and harder. And whilst Microsoft buys its way into gaming (Portal anyone?), I feel the need to warp my creativity towards Luna and Stadia to give them a chance to beat a two trillion dollar company opposing inferior contemplated tactics and taking games away from us, Sony is doing its bid by outselling them 3 to 1, so I offered some IP to the other two hoping they wake up and smell the coffee whilst the drinking is good.
Microsoft bungled bing, wasted tablets, sudden death’ed their game, all whilst they rely on marketing to convince the people the opposite is happening, and if they print and publish it often enough some people might accept that. I do not and I used my creativity to give the others a fighting chance, a tactically superior fighting chance, mind you. And I believe that the ignored options are a path, one should not rely on them, but they can be a great support for good ideas when they are around. Consider the next Fallout with a Microsoft logo, all whilst we can play something with 100+ more missions and a good storyline that has not be seen before. It would be the ultimate nightmare for Phil Spencer to face and let’s face it, it is not the worst setting for him to be in, that is when Microsoft gaming is dead last on nearly fronts (they are the true number one in flight simulators, we accept that). That is where I want them to be, I roll like that.