Tag Archives: Nintendo

Refraining

It happens, sometimes we need to stop ourselves from acting, from jumping, from engaging. It is not that the action is wrong, it is because it is wrong at that stage. I do not know what pushed the act, yet the stage is larger and as I almost decided to trot on the novel I am still working on, optionally by giving away in another setting what comes afterwards, I was able to stop myself from doing what should not yet be done. 

It might also be the impact that Dracula (the Claes Bang edition) has on me. It was probably the first time that marketing drove me to watch anything. The ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIEr1Pcu03Y) and it is not merely the billboard (which was all kinds of perfect), it was not merely the cast Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are beyond believe, it is the way the story is set, it is a new and novel gander into the path of the undead, all whilst exposing us to all kinds of fears and in this the vampire fear is actually not the worst one. It pushes the envelope and it pushes us all to  surpass ourselves. Yet whilst doing that, we need to refrain from overacting on our impulses. It is a sort of balance between 2 innovations on one side and 4 iterations on the other. We want to be the 2 innovation side, but over reacting, reacting without some level of self discipline and we become mere iterations of the same. 

In this I created an approach to one game in my article ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/10/electronic-entertainment-expo-2019/), yet there I merely considered the approach to one game. 

Yet in the larger stage we create a very new kind of sandbox. Where every coloured ball is a new addition, a new DLC if you must that is added to the game, making the game a lot larger over time, so what I started with the teaching of Islamic religion using Medina as a centre stage, could evolve into another direction, a sandbox game that allows your person to evolve, to increase into a larger game where religion now becomes a segment, as we added new forms of gameplay, we didn’t alter religion, we merely enlarged the stage, a side of exploring, a side of economy, allowing you to get a house (in the game) and interact with others, whilst exploring the knowledge that is given to you, teaching you history and economy in new ways, altering what you know by letting you see what others saw. But in this, refraining becomes a much more essential stone. It is not like some Americans do, adding and adding. Sometimes more is not more, it is merely clutter and the overall experience is lessened. But how to go about it?

This is where QA becomes the essential side of developing any game, in the streaming world we will be able to create more, but it becomes a lot more important to create better and that is an essential lesson a maker like Ubisoft never figured out, not over at least a decade and I have no time to hold their hands, but the right people can take lesson from what I say, they can create and optionally create the right way. And my bonus is that Microsoft is equally not on the learning side, they are all about their azure and it will cost them, the sales of their latest Xbox One series X-file is so far proving me right. Between all the ‘hidden’ numbers, we see that the PS5 has well over 250% more consoles sold than its Microsoft counterpart and that difference is merely increasing. Yes, their golden boy talks a good talk but they are faltering in the field, all about cloud gaming now, optionally deserting the gamers on what they call the most powerful console in the world. There is an acceptable understanding that games need to evolve and that exclusive games take the cake (one Microsoft cake versus 15 Sony cakes), and we see that streaming will be the long term battle, but there they are falling hopelessly behind Amazon all whilst Google remains a player in that field and Netflix is yet to show it serious intent. And as we look at the options out there, they are also optionally restricting their stage and setting. All whilst I (mere little old poor me) came up with three games, one with the optional stage for up to 1,000,000,000 interested players and one stage where I redesigned three AAA+ games in new editions. And why is Microsoft failing? They have seemingly no alternative options to show in any direction. One UK newspaper gave us three hours ago “GAMES with Gold subscribers are getting closer to the official reveal of the free Xbox games for August 2021, but will Microsoft add a new Xbox Series X optimised game to the lineup?”, with all the careful leaks we see, this list is apparently more secure than the Windows source code, odd, is it not?

And these races are important too, you see, these races show the essential gaming experience that streamers can have, the consoles have too many ‘more of the same’ titles, all of them, even as we accept that there are markets and exclusives, but they are not the full range, mere icing on the cake, in a world where the three big cakes are the taste makers, two are too much alike and that is the market where the streamers and cloud games can rule. This why the Google decision on Stadia made no sense and I reckon that Amazon is loving that approach, it gives them a massive advantage. To be honest, I am a little shocked, 2 years ago I had no view on Amazon Luna, they were mostly one of the lot, a position 3 or less, now there is a decent indication that the Amazon Luna could evolve into the second best system in less than 4 years, that is impressive, they have a chance to overtake Nintendo by 2023, Sony will take longer, but if they push innovatively, they could be the ruling system by 2025 a setting I would never have anticipated in January 2020. That is the second marvel of gaming, true gamers are always on the edge of technology, a setting a few makers forgot about. Amazon apparently did not, is it a given, no it is not, but the fact that this stage is entertained implies that Amazon got a lot further than anyone anticipated. 

Is this till about refraining? To some extent it is, Amazon is not alone, even as the story of Microsoft can be dumped overboard, their story remains the same in the end, Google could change if they alter their current course and Netflix remains an unknown for now. So, Amazon Luna has the stage, it is what they do over the next 6 months that will decide how large their cake might be. Google sees (in their search) that refraining is merely another word for abstinence, a big mistake, refraining is halting action, stopping to act, it is also a setting to pause and reconsider, a tactical move to oversee what can be done, what is the best path to go and an optional form of balance between the fastest road and the shortest road, because these two are not always the same. I will need to keep my eyes on Amazon Luna for now, I wonder how close they end up getting to what Sony has achieved. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

Disturbed by memory

We all have that, we all get these thoughts that come from childhood, or from early teenage years and we make some form of connection, but the links are vague, missing and usually incomplete. For me it started today as I was figuring out a few things. I had the thoughts before. The first one was about elemental droids (see image) it was a comic book in the early 70’s, and just now I learn that there was a reboot in 2019. The second was some form of living cars, in part animals. Yet this was well over a decade before the original Transformers were launched as a cartoon. The mind is trying to make links, there is the option for gaming, the option for more. I am not doing to much about it, because it is not my IP, someone did the work, someone is doing the relaunch and for the other part, my mind is trying to make links and it is grasping back to those images for some reason. Just like there is setting where streamers (or Hollywood) would do good to start talking to Don Lawrence, who is one of the creative minds behind the Trigan Empire, as I see the half baked series on current channels, that might be a great catch for whomever scores those rights. 

Yet the creative writing mind of mine is seeking an outlet and the images my mind calls forth seems to be pushing me back to the 70’s, not sure why. It is like the mind found the solution and it is trying to remember the complete story to present to me, but that is merely me speculatively grasping. 

In an era where IP is growing a much larger concern in nearly all fields, as we realise that gaming will represent an amount exceeding $200,000,000,000 by 2023, IP is everything and we already see that only the strongest franchises will survive, Sony and Nintendo have their fair share, Bethesda, Guerrilla and a few others have strong IP, the rest needs to find it or become lost in mediocrity. And they all want their slice of that 200 billion dollar pie. So new IP is where it will be at and at the end of 2023 streaming games will be a massive part of it, games designed to work in client server mode with the client will be as small as possible. And here Amazon Luna has an advantage, with the only unknown player Netflix, who has game-able IP all over the place, so there is the crux. Google is not developing in house and Microsoft seems to rely in their master chief to save them. In that setting the consoles have their market and Amazon Luna has an optional field that could fetch them a massive advantage over the other players, but will they grab it?

We might wonder where they find it. And in all this we see what was brought in 1985-1992, the IP on three systems might not be protected and those owners might be interested to see their ideas push to new levels, there are all kinds of new options, especially in the old alternatives. But that does not stop my mind of thinking up new ideas and new IP. For those in doubt, consider that Jeff Minter brought us the mutant camels and everyone was happy. Yet it took 17 year old Matthew Smith to teach us that Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were more than ground breaking. Someone had to take a jump into the unimagined. And in all this we ignored a whole range of games, because in those days it as always about the next game, not admiring the current game. That led to the diminished visibility of Andrew Braybrook who would bring the people Paradroid and Paradroid 90, Microprose brought us Covert Action and no one considered where those two could lead us on consoles and in streaming. Even now, some of the games from those days are now making it to Android, they will have an advantage as they develop for streaming systems and those systems will want these games, because the more games they have and the more games that an work in a limited 5G environment, the stronger the pull will be and soon these systems will wake up to the call of number of games and they want that level to be as high is possible with as much quality as possible. In the last 24 hours over a dozen sources are making this claim, as I have clearly made the claim for weeks, for months even. We are now seeing the media waking up, the streaming systems were already on that page, but do they have the IP? That remains to be seen. Yet time will prove that I am right, the moment they make a run for the IP, we will see that they have the sets to make a run on the number three position and they are setting a Hugh yield low impact race. Microsoft paid billions for Bethesda, a good move but there we see less then half a dozen IP, good IP mind you, but still the same IP on other systems and that is the difference, there will be a run on IP that other systems do not have, or not anymore, and the remastered and new versions will be accepted (Mass Effect proved that), yes, Mass Effect is exceptional. Yet the makers relied on that to push forward. Now when one of the players get their hands on a dozen IP’s that can be remastered, we will see systems with over a dozen unique games. If they are good enough, it will make them a winner, that is the game and the winning system will have a much bigger slice of 200 billion than mediocre games do. Sony is ready, Nintendo seems to be ready and Microsoft claims to be ready. So where are Netflix and Amazon? They remains silent and they are having a game plan, they aren’t silent because the media makes it so, they are silent because in the final hours any marketing wave will be 2-3 times more powerful than waves created a year in advance. For me Netflix remains an unknown, Amazon less so and they are off to a good start, will they make the number three position in gaming? It is becoming more and more likely, but it is not a given. And there is more, Microsoft gave us 4 hours ago (via Video games chronicle) “As an industry, I would love it if we came together to help preserve the history of what our industry is about so we don’t lose access to some of the things that got us to where we are today and built this industry. That would be a cool thing.” And we see the intent, but not what happens to the IP, it seems to me that Microsoft wants to claim it all, they fear the setting I gave for some time and now it becomes sort of a race and there is where I get to laugh. I put my IP out in the open, making it public domain, it gives game makers free reign to make gams for Sony and Amazon free, but that also limits Microsoft, and any created game is a loss for Microsoft and as they try to make the historic jump (over time) they will lose out more and more. In a stage Microsoft gives us ‘I would love it if we came together’, yes because that has always been their objective (not really). They want it all under the Microsoft flag, a flag I personally detest because of steps they made in the past. They ignored the players and decided for the players what the players wanted, it is not the right way. So as a gamer I revolted and published IP for all other game makers to freely use, my way of stopping a short sighted giant. And it was easy to do, I had the time and I (hopefully) expect that my 5G IP will get me through, it is all I need. The rest is to make a new stage for gamers by gamers and that stage is highly unlikely to have a Microsoft logo. 

And still my mind is giving me issues with a comic book from the 70’s, I see a little more, but so far not enough to identify why my mind is pushing me there. Irritating!

Yet I do believe that the mind will win and it will show me what I missed (and why), perhaps in my dreams, perhaps not. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT

The Lawyer wins, the law loses

Yes, it is a stage that we will be seeing soon enough. As the lawyer wins, the law loses and tht is just the beginning. As we see ‘Apple loses appeal in Fortnite court battle’ (source: Australian Financial Review) there is a secondary stage that comes up. It is not immediately clear, but someone gave the reader by Jeff Dotzler in GC Consulting in 2019 ‘Will You Get Sued if Your Business is Hacked?’ There we see “Even though the company was able to restore the records, one of the affected clients, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics in Boynton Beach, sued Allscripts in federal court. Surfside accused Allscripts of not doing enough to prevent the attack or lessen its impact and sued on behalf of all affected clients for “significant business interruption and disruption and lost revenues.”” Now consider that ‘significant business interruption’ can be replaced with ‘game score disruption’, a stage I saw coming a mile away. Epic Games did not  consider the stupidity of their actions and now, should they win they will soon face several, if not well over a dozen class cases. They cannot make some ‘we are not responsible draft’, the moment ANYONE at Google or Apple squeals the setting of the hack and it comes with the accompanied ‘We could have prevented that’ Epic Games is lost, it will cost them billions in settlements and lawyer costs. If you doubt that, consider ‘SolarWinds says unknown hackers exploited newly discovered software flaw’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/solarwinds-says-unknown-hackers-exploited-newly-discovered-software-flaw-2021-07-12/), so they just got out of one mess only to land in a new one and these people have a decently simple system, Epic Games will have to spend on protection that is several levels higher and I feel decently certain that it is not enough. The moment any profile is transgressed on whilst there was a purchase, that is the game, loss Epic Games and loose they will, a lot. 

Even as we are told “SolarWinds said the flaw was “completely unrelated” to last year’s hack of government networks”, it will not matter, another flaw is found and there is every chance that more than one will still be found. In this Forbes gives us ‘Why SolarWinds Is The Wakeup Call No One Heard’, it comes with “everyone talks a good game, but the very structure of American (and other businesses around the globe) makes it nearly impossible to, for example, deliberately and significantly reduce EBITDA to prepare for cyber warfare” and when you consider that EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation. You see the problem, it is not all, it is earnings before interest and depreciation that bites, earnings before interest is all earnings with cost diminishing this and too many corporate players tend to cut cost. In some cases they have no choice in the cloud a lot does not matter but it is transgressed on (according to some numbers) for almost 90%. And when you add that Amortisation is merely anther view of  depreciation the path is clear. Steve Andriole also gives us “The number of severity of cyberattacks will explode in 2020.  Cyberwarfare has now levelled the playing field in industry, in government, and in national defence:  why spend ten or fifteen billion dollars on an aircraft carrier when you can disable it digitally?” You think that this is about defence? Do you have any idea what 50 million whining gamers can do? EVERY ransomware player will target Epic Games and with an open Android and iOS setting they will succeed. I saw this when this all started in 2020 within 5 minutes, the short sightedness will hit Epic Games and others in a few ways. Think I am BS’ing you?  Consider that several sources gave you a month ago “Hackers Stole 780GB Data Including FIFA 21 Source Code in EA Hack” and EA has been in this game a lot longer than Epic Games has been. That is not evidence, but it is a setting that we need to consider and when Epic Games loses that data the class actions start, and it is not something that they can keep quiet (apart from that being a crime), the people will talk and the parties involved, including government parties will find a nice letter making claim to financial losses. The law source (see above) also gives us a link to the Ohio Data Protection Act. There we see “Under the law, damages cannot be imposed if a state court finds your company had a reasonable cybersecurity plan when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability. Or, as the legislation puts it, the law is “an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.”” In this I offer ‘reasonable cybersecurity plan’, was it followed through? Was there a backup if it fails, was there consideration for cross platform transgressions? In this last part I offer to the older programmers 

IF(clipper)
  
ELSE

   …
ENDIF

Those who know will nod and consider what else Epic Games and others have forgotten, what happens when someone exploits a Sony flaw over the entire system, and at that point these companies have little to no protection. 

Which gets us to ‘when a breach occurred and followed it to the best of your ability’, but the suing side will argue that the breach could have been prevented on day zero, or even day -1, which will be their way of saying that they opened the system when they were not ready and that is another billion in class actions right there, and I agree with the stage that there will be enough cases that have no bering (just like the loot box cases in the media), yet Epic Games will have to hand to their lawyers to investigate them all, the hours alone will rake up millions and that is merely year one. The lawyer wins his bread and butter for a year (at the very least) and the law is up the creek without a clause. The law was never ready for this, so the going will be good towards the coffers of Epic Games, a looting box that requires time, not money. 

So when we go back to Forbes and consider “When I took the results to the CFO (to which technology weirdly reported), his only question was, “what’s all this going to cost me?,” which of course was the wrong question.” We see there setting, but I wonder who gave that same question to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) with the question ‘What will this cost the firm?’, a question that he can decently predict when he considers 1-5 class actions and that result has to be scary and any consideration of future profit goes straight out of the window, not merely the legal costs, marketing will have to offer a whole range of products and services to stem the tide of people leaving for the next safer harbour, the most dangerous of all settings, and that is merely the beginning of year one as Android and iOS stores open. Forbes also gives a reference to Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine, 2019) said about why governments have been unwilling to deal with cyberthreats: “More fundamentally, governments haven’t been willing to sign on to cyberwar limitation agreements because they don’t want to limit their own freedom to launch cyberattacks at their enemies.  America may be vulnerable to crippling cyberattacks carried out by its foes, but US leaders are still hesitant to hamstring America’s own NSA and Cyber Command, who are likely the most talented and well-resourced hackers in the world.” And this is not a government setting, Epic Games will be hit be greed driven and vengeance driven hackers as well as organised crime, a %5 billion company? With the state of cybercrime convictions? They are definitely on board. A stage Epic Games could have prevented from the start, but someone saw 30% of $5,000,000,000 and did the math, but whoever did the math was not ready for the tidal wave they would be inviting through that choice. In this, Forbes had one more gem, it comes from Nicole Penroth and ‘The hubris of American exceptionalism’, when we see “More hacking, more offence, not better defence, was our answer to an increasingly virtual world order, even as we made ourselves more vulnerable, hooking up water treatment facilities, railways, thermostats and insulin pumps to the web, at a rate of 127 new devices per second”, now consider that Fortnite is on Windows, MacOS, Switch, Sony, Microsoft, iOS and Android, they drew more than 125 million players in less than a year, do you think that there will be no flaws? And how many devices a second will that add to the equation? Do you have any clue what level of protection is required, even as Sony, Solarwinds, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been hacked even though they had nowhere near that level of complexity required. This was a dangerous situation from the start and gamers will soon have to seriously consider to remove any program that has an ‘open’ store, the cost will be too high for a lot of them. 

And that is not all, as Nicole spoke about ‘an increasingly virtual world’ the danger that open stores will mean that you either have a dedicated computer, or healthcare and safety products will not be considered to be insured in your house, when that happens we get a whole new level of nightmare, I can only imagine that setting, but I am clueless as to the impact, we cannot oversee that, not with an evolving IoT and 5G evolving before our very eyes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Law, Politics

The Wheel (reinvented)

I happened to stumble upon 9 to 5 Google, with all kind of non-Google news. The article (at https://9to5google.com/2021/06/25/bandwidth-xbox-game-pass-and-amazon-luna-announce-july-2021-game-additions/)

We see titles like:

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction
Saints Row The Third: Remastered

Some of them are really great, but I am missing something, a new dawn, an actual new dawn, a setting we have never seen before. I am a little bit surprised, none of them have anything really new. I am not talking about new games, new titles, new originals. I am talking about a new stage of gaming, cloud gaming made it possible, so what is stopping them? I even dropped a few ideas in previous articles (go look for them). Cloud gaming allows for a new stage, so why do we see the same stage props that we saw on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox360, N64, Wii even Nintendo Switch. Cloud gaming allows for a different station a larger setting with optionally a private set social media option, none of them are going there, they all seem to be much more relaxed in reinventing the wheel. None of them show us a station that is actually new. Perhaps it is still to come, but it is day 1 where you show that you are not the sheep or it’s herder, you are new, you are unique. So why do they not see that option? I am pondering it, I actually do not know. But to see some level of herd mentality is a little disappointing. Will it be up to Netflix to teach them that? 

The Amazon Luna has a refreshing amount of new games, yet there is an overwhelming presence of Ubisoft, not that this is bad. There are plenty of titles I never saw before and that is good, but so far cloud gaming shows more of the same, nothing refreshingly new and that is a disappointment. And with Luna starting at $6 a month and Ubisoft+ at $15 a month Amazon will soon need to reconsider what they have (without Ubisoft) and see how they are different from Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Being different is at times scary and it does have its own unique set of challenges. Yet we have seen how exclusive games make a console, Xbox proved it, Xbox360 continued it, Xbox One wasted it. Playstation 1 through 5 have shown that exclusive games make the difference and Nintendo did this as well. Now consider that cloud gaming is more than a console, it offers a few unique settings that others cannot offer, the cloud gives the makers a unique advantage, so why was this not drilled on? Why was that source not tempered into a powerhouse? 

Cocoon (at https://cocoon.com) shows a ‘new’ kind of social media, not unlike what Google Plus offered. It seems that none of them adjusted those two ideas in a stage where the gamer can talk to friends, can optionally open up to talk to fellow gamers of a game. All options were there and it seems no one took that. No one took the idea that games can have a larger impact on more settings and it seems to me that these makers are all about others doing the work and no innovation comes forward. Achievements can be traced back to 1982 (Activision) and we have seen the evolution on systems, yet as far as I can tell no one in cloud gaming land had the idea to evolve that into something more. It was the Xbox360 that had the last evolution, it was Ubisoft that reinvented the badges and none of them took it to the next step, so why would anyone consider cloud gaming when we see: “Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase a gaming console or gaming PC” yet if we already have a gaming solution, why go there unless it offers more and in this I do not mean the same games and more games. Cloud gaming needs more and so fr I see none of this happen, I left the ideas months ago and so far none seem to be clued in on what others seemingly throw at their feet. At best we are most likely to get a ‘we are looking in that direction’, which is like marketing telling Jaguar that they are waiting for more customers, it is innovation that drives a system to customers, when innovation is absent the customer merely looks form a distance and considers ‘I can already do that. It is innovation that drives the games, the hardware, the technology and from there the customers flock. Yes there is an equal chance that they distance themselves, but the true innovator can see the chances that are out there. So what is keeping them?

Consider that we see Ubisoft+ at $15 a month, yet on consoles Amazon (the dot com version) offers the Division for $10, The Division 2 for $13, for Honor $12, the Crew $15, Black Flag $11, and in this case the subscription only pays if you pay more than one new game every month, so how long until the mediocrity of Ubisoft games (and its glitches) gets to you? Yes, it seems interesting when you consider the latest games, but still, you break even in month two, after that the cost continues and any delay will set you off, that is the setting we all ignore and their marketing hopes we ignore it. And when we take notice of Android Central and with “Ubisoft is dedicated to cloud gaming, specifically Stadia and Amazon Luna, and that was reflected in numerous announcements”, so what happens when they service the consoles, PC’s, Stadia, Luna and xCloud? What happens when patch after patch is required? How happy will you then be? This is not on Ubisoft, this is the cost of doing business and I expected that Stadia and Luna were ready, yet all I read is that there is a ‘more of the same’ approach and games alone will not get you there. Luna has a fair amount of titles that I see nowhere else and as such they have an advantage, but none of them took the environment to the next level and that is a bit of a disappointment, and there were options. There were ideas that I (others too) threw out there for them to pick up and they did none of that. Perhaps it is not the mission statement (which already cost one firm billions), perhaps it was not their technology, which shows us that they were optionally not ready and there was no brainstorm on what else is possible and that is the foundation of ANY game. 1984 gave us (unknown to George Orwell) Elite, Ultima, Archon, Spy hunter, and Lode Runner. Some of these games still have a following today, some of these games reinvented themselves (Elite Dangerous is the most visible one). They all set a new standard, the hardware evolved and now we see the makers of that hardware show us that they can do it using our PC, MAC, Console. But they had the option to give more and they seemingly neglected that.

New hardware that brands ‘itself’, yet they ignore the path of awareness. When we look at awareness, perception, and cognition we see mere words, but any market researcher will look deeper and the makers of cloud gaming seemingly learned nothing, not even from their marketing department. Perception without awareness, cognition without perception and awareness with no lead towards cognition. Three elements that they do not connect but that is the larger mistake, one leads to the other. It is almost a Pokemon setting water beats fire, grass beats water and fire beats grass, yet what do we get when we reverse that? No one looked at that part and in the Pokemon setting it does not really work, yet in consoles we see what lacked (even though there was a hidden hint with Sony) they never pushed through, now cloud gaming has the opportunity to make it all a reality and it seems that they are not doing that. Perhaps Netflix will and make a clean sweep, or perhaps Nintendo will. We cannot tell, but the one that does will have a massive advantage, a place where others seemingly dreaded to go, and now that setting changes the game completely. Yes number one and two will remain the positions for Sony and Nintendo, but the number three (most likely Amazon Luna) is not secure, so the one who innovates the cloud the most will head for position three with the option to gain and optionally overtake position 2. Will that happen? I cannot tell, because Nintendo has been innovative and it has a massive advantage, even before their second version is out. Yet personally I feel that one thing is clear. More of the same will not hack it, not in this economy of people trying to pay their bills, unless there is a massive upside the consoles will remain the largest players in game land. That part is almost certain. There is a clear space for cloud gaming, but not in the ‘more of the same setting’ not for 1-2 years to come. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

The future doorstop

That is how we sometimes see a book, a doorstop, a missile towards our partners (and sometimes really annoying elderly teens), a weight for the papers we need, when a book is not really what we wanted, it gets a secondary function. So even as some saw this specific book as ‘A beautiful defense of the common man and woman against a technological elite’, I consider a book like ‘The Tyranny of Big Tech’ as one that is not stating the issues. 

Did I read it?
Nope, and I do not have to, the article clearly shows a republican (who looks like he recently stopped being a teenager) who is aiming for money from both the left and the right. When we see “According to Hawley, it’s not our politicians, our lawyers, our Ivy League graduates, or our Hollywood celebrities. It’s Big Tech – those big names like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, and Google that have embedded themselves in our lives to an almost irreversible degree”, I see the beginning of a BS string of texts that will most certainly become debatable and utterly rejectable. You see Zuckerberg attended Harvard whilst designing Facebook, Dorsey came up with the idea for Twitter at NYU, Jeff Bezos was already done with Princeton when Amazon became the idea, Apple was the child of Steve Jobs who attended part of Reed and dropped out, Sergey Brin and Larry Page came from Stanford, so what is left of “not our Ivy League graduates”? Oh and I with my 5G IP am from UTS (Sydney), so there! And when we get to “have embedded themselves in our lives to an almost irreversible degree” we get a lot more. Apple (Macintosh) offered what consumers wanted, Google did the same, Facebook did it even more and created a new digital era and they all OFFERED it to consumers, they planned long term and they won, the small minded people lost. The exception is the Amazon guy who doesn’t need to spend on Shampoo, he offered something to rural people all over the world which they never had access too. In the US this is 60,000,000 people and in the EU it is 125,000,000. One firm aimed for a little over 180 million consumers. The people shops forgot and now Amazon is the bad guy? So this is the setting from the start and the man with the teenager look (Josh Hawley) is already off to a bad start. So when we see “the robber barons reshaped the economy into a corporate monopoly to serve their own ends, in which an aristocratic elite govern above the labouring masses”, all whilst the US government stole from the native Americans whatever they could (99.655% roughly) is like the pot calling the kettle black. In this one pushed what they wanted, the other (current big tech) let the people decide on WHAT they desired and the consumers liked the free 1GB email (Google) whilst the internet providers offered 20MB for a fee. What would you do? That same grocery store (still Google) came up with additional ways to service the consumers (cookies anyone?), the offered shopping, information and choice, whilst those dabbling on the internet wee all about grabbing whatever coins they could get. When the consumers were happy players like Amazon created the Amazon Web Services offering a pay as you go approach, a cloud approach to small businesses. First web services in 2002 and cloud services in 2008, it would take IBM and Microsoft years to offer anything near that, the big tech of then were made basically redundant. And with the pay as you go there was a larger SaaS (Software as a Service) setting. The big 5 became big not because “Big Tech is a direct descendent of the Gilded Age robber barons”, but because they offered choice when the others were unwilling to do so. In this Apple stands alone. They were always the elite DTP solution (a lot more expensive than others) and in 1998 they recognised the needs of the consumer and the iMac was born, all whilst the consumer got the amazing phrase “There’s no step 3!”, an affordable solution in an age where PC’s were still running behind the facts. If you were not up to speed you were either lost or you became an Apple user. All this whilst the writer wants to push “descendent of the Gilded Age robber barons”, a stage none of them pushed for, it merely is in the statements of those who were asleep at the wheel between 1996-2006, they lost it all by not pushing the envelope and 5 companies got ahead. The fifth (Netflix) was like Facebook, it offered something never offered before and whilst we had to seek TV provider after TV provider, they offered what we wanted, movies and specifically movies not hindered by advertisements. They went from sales to rental to streaming and as the firm started in 1998, Hulu, Stan, HBO Max and Disney Plus, some well over a decade AFTER Netflix, so the statement from Josh Hawley is not just bogus, it is utter nonsense. So when we see “Washington, D.C. politicians routinely protect the interests of Big Tech over and against the freedom and well-being of the American people” we see the joke that this book seemingly is. These systems were offered to consumers, you can walk away! I kept my Yahoo account for years later, until the information offered was too outdated or too much adjusted for localisation (against my will), so when we see ‘well-being of the American people’ I wonder what data he can actually produce (raw data, not aggregated and weighted data) and in the grand scheme of things, the US has 320 million people, Europe has 750 million and India has 1.3 billion. All enjoying what the five players are offering. In all that, the US is a mere 15% and on the global scale they do not add up to much, and the US is actually part of that failing. In the era of 1990-2010 American firms remained largely absent on the international scale, relying on someone to pick up the ball and none of them did and the American needs were swallowed by the voice of the consumers, no barons, no lawyers and no politicians. The people wanted what Google offered and Youtube now has over 2,000,000,000 viewers (I am one of them), so far none of the offerers were able to meet this and more important by 2005 both IBM and Microsoft were merely relying on Adobe Flash, these two players had nothing to offer. In 15 years they never really woke up and here I get to use Microsoft against itself with “Microsoft Stream is a corporate video-sharing service which was released on June 20, 2017 that will gradually replace the existing Office 365 Video”, so 12 years of inactivity, in comparison, the Chinese (the makers of Won Ton soup) gave us TikTok one year earlier and now has 100,000,000 active users. Players like IBM and Microsoft have been that much asleep at the wheel. As I personally see it, American BigTech is the only player (all 5 of them) that stops the USA from becoming utterly irrelevant, if they were not there China would be superpower number one and they are close of becoming that anyway, any issues with BigTech and every BS article in every newspaper with  some ‘alleged’ and ‘watchdog’ is merely another delay and it will help China to become the greatest tech power, US politicians (EU politicians as well) are helping China meet that goal.

BigTech, the virgin
BigTech is not holy, it is not innocent and it is no virgin (they got screwed by global politicians again and again, so they are definitely not virgins), BigTech are merely the innovators we always needed and the rest is merely a wannabe player, even Microsoft and IBM have fallen that much from grace. Microsoft had the most powerful console in the world and within 2 years they were surpassed by the weakest console of all (Nintendo Switch), IBM has its own stream of non-successes, and they are all crying to their politicians as to the bad bad tech companies. Most of them had no idea what the digital era was until they were surpassed by a lot of other players (some of them Asian). So when we consider the stage, we need to see the whole stage, not some setting of “Ending Big Tech’s sovereignty is about taking back our own, and we can begin to do that in the lives we live together. Big Tech works relentlessly to force individuals into its ecosystem of addiction, exhibitionism, and fear of missing out. It seeks to create its own social universe and draw all of life into its orbit. But the real social world, the life of family and neighbourhood – the authentic communities that sustain authentic togetherness – can act as a counterweight to Big Tech’s ambitions”, in this phrases like ‘force individuals’ is massively wrong, people have choices. I do not have Facebook on my mobile, I have no need for it there, I do not order from Amazon (I am a support your local hooker kind of guy) and I have currently no Netflix or Disney Plus subscription. That is 3 out of 5, I have an Apple because Microsoft dropped the ball 4 times in the last 5 years and IBM is too expensive for what it offers. I chose! We can all choose and that is where we realise that ‘The Tyranny of Big Tech’ is like a Chicago politician, all hot air and not too much on substance (judging from the article (at https://mindmatters.ai/2021/06/a-book-review-the-tyranny-of-big-tech/). He might at some point present a few parts that are relevant, I am certain that he will, but as a former Missouri’s Attorney General he will tread on places where he knows the answers, so as I see “holding Big Tech accountable where others don’t dare tread. In investigations, in legislation, I merely wonder how much legislation against BigTech made it through? It matters because it is what you can prove that matters, not what you claim. I made no claims, it is all timeline stuff, including the Chinese parts. 

Consider the choices YOU have, and make choices, it is your right. You need not be on Google, you can select Microsoft Bing. You will lose out on a lot but that is the choice you make. For well over 20 years Google offered choices, YOU were the consumer that selected WHERE you wanted to go and you went there. All whilst Microsoft could not be bothered, it seems to me that the Netscape Victory made them lazy and now they are no longer the relevant company, they are merely the Column B (or C) company. And consider being in a place like Antigo Wisconsin. Now try to buy a game, a DVD, a bluray, a 4K movie, a CD and a book. How many of these items will require Amazon? It was the foundation of 4G (Wherever I am) and it will be the stage of 5G (wheneverI want it), so when will 5G be available in Antigo Wisconsin? Consider these points and consider whatever Josh Hawley is trying to imprint on you and consider what you can find out for yourself. BigTech is not evil, BigTech is because the others became lazy, BigTech merely is and governments do not like the self sufficient organisations, the ones that do not make large contributions to them. In the end if you look into the shareholders and stakeholders of some of these players you get a very different picture, one you need to be wary of.

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

Clouds with a change for gaming

Yup, I started it yesterday, and part 2 is today as I had a few ideas on the subject. These ideas can be used as public domain by Amazon (Luna), but Microsoft will have to pay big time (if they can hand over $7,500,000,000 to Bethesda, they can pay me at least 1%).

Changes (by David Bowie)
The first thing I will do is to introduce Milestones, it is for the most part merely a name change to ‘Achievements’, yet over time it will be a little more. The second is to add a second tier to this, I will add ‘Discovery’ to this, yet all you Susie Dent boffins can clearly see it is a Synonym, yet the function of Discovery is different. As you discover something in one game, it gives you a token that can be spent as YOU see fit. For example if you find a ‘golden chess piece’ in a game like Clue, or a ‘Golden Revolver’ they will become Discoveries that wield the token of a revolver, or a Chess set. In a game like Battle Chess (in normal or battle mode), the Chess token will unlock a Greek Chess set, The golden revolver could unlock a weapon in another game and so on. This is one of the nice parts of the Cloud, we can add a lot more over time and give the people a reason. David Bowie sang:

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes

I think it is time to take a page from that, we see gaming chances in perspective, but never remove you from where you are. I am setting a stage where that is possible, where games have a longer lasting appeal and I am offering the stage where the player tries something else as well. Most gaming options outside of the console and singular streams do not offer you this, merely an optional DLC and an optional skin, I want the token to take on new life and a much larger stage. This is about gaming and this is about making gamers happy. The nice part is that there is no guarantee that the token is there at game 1, I thought it through, yes there are some internet driven completionists, yet it is time for them to smell the reality of gaming.

We have largely ignored the masters of yesterday because they were 8 bit, yet some of them with today’s graphics and better intelligent response mappings could become the heroes of tomorrow and the nice part is that the groundwork is already done. Consider Millennium 2.2 with an upgraded map of this solar system, with additional information, more options and a larger stage, can we truly think it will not matter? I wrote about Murder on the Zinderneuf, Seven cities of gold and a few more in the past, close to a dozen games ready to be ‘captured’ (if the IP was abandoned), and the early bird that hesitates grows its own worms, so let’s get cracking. 

Microsoft throws money at everything, wouldn’t it be nice for players like Amazon (optionally Netflix too) to show them how silly that idea was? You see, I love Bethesda products, I really do, yet I also believe that gamers like the next fresh (and original) game. Consider that the top 100 of all time (by Metacritic) has a top 10 with 3 games older than 20 years and an additional 4 games that are between 10 and 19 years old, giving us that the 70% of the top 10 is 10 years or older, these numbers are in front of everyone and as far as I can tell, none of them are Electronic Arts or Ubisoft and 30% of the top 10 is Nintendo. So I have a clear case here, so why are the different board of directors pushing for some game every year, cool graphics will do the trick or perhaps having the most powerful console is the solution. As I see it, without a really good game they will not continue and that evidence is all over the place. 

So where to go after this? Well that is up to I reckon the Indie developers, they will need to choose an optional winner and in that platform create their original or remastered and revamped game. Consider that Elite was released in 1985, now the revamp called Elite Dangerous has 500,000 active monthly players. Ubisoft has plenty of successful games not being that busy, as such we can see that the old games still have appeal. OK the difference between Elite and Elite dangerous is larger than the Grand Canyon, but the foundation remained the same and that is the pull we need to consider that close to a dozen games released in the last decade could have a great revamped and remastered life on streaming even if they were not that successful in an earlier life. The difference is to truly look into a game and see what is possible. Like a sculptor to take that block of marble and chip away what is not needed and reveal the Torlonia statue and yes, it is not merely about chipping away, in some cases it is about polishing, upgrading and adding which we cannot do in a statue, but the statue could be given a shield, a sword (or trident). All options and streaming will give us a larger and adjustable stage as well. A stage where your game will be in the streaming stores for close to a decade. There are clearly options for streaming and it will not hinder consoles, the console gamers will most likely choose an additional streaming solution on the side.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

Thought for imagination

Consider the next setting, I am in the Harrods foodcourt, I feel the meat-pie as my right hand caresses the side pf the pie, I see two small basins of ketchup, I grab the knife in my left hand as I slowly use the sharp knife to cut a part of the left side of the pie. I cut through the pastry and the what I think is minced meat. It looks a little dry, but the overwhelming scent of fresh and warm meat enters my nostrils. I add a small bit of ketchup to the pie. The slice is cut in half and I slowly eat the part on my fork. My senses overwhelm with the spices in the meat, the pastry and it does not taste dry, it is an amazing experience and this is merely the first bite.

All what you saw before is true, all came from my imagination. You see I have had meat pie in the past and I envision what might be the perfect meat pie. I have been to harrods twice, but I never set foot in the food courts. Not for any particulate reason, I just never got around to it. I hope to do so in the future, but that will be part of the future that I see, or it might never happen. This is life. So what was this about?

The train of thoughts started a little while ago and that train entered the station again when I stumbled upon same article today ‘Netflix reportedly plans push into video games market’ by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jun/02/netflix-reportedly-plans-push-video-games-market). The thing that got to me was “Streaming company said to have approached game industry executives with project at early stage”, one could argue that they kill their own project by approaching Ubisoft, Ubisoft has another setting of needs and their product is what I personally would call ‘faulty at best’. Yet it is not all bad news “Netflix has been approaching senior game industry executives about joining it to lead the creation of a subscription games service, according to reports from the tech news site the Information and Reuters”, is the right sentiment, but as I see it, the safest route is to take the route Apple is seemingly taking. Games absent of in app purchases and absent of advertisements. These two elements will spell a much larger stage of doom on the industry than you know. Places like Android and iOS are now filled with phrases like “These ads are driving me insane, every level again”, and it will not be long until people have had enough. Then there is the stage of deceptive conduct in advertisements, a decently new approach to getting people to install your software. But these two elements will have a disastrous impact on gaming soon enough, and it will hit Apple as much as it will hit Google. Then there is the competition, Amazon did a lot better than I expected it would. I (personally minded) thought that it would be an easy win for Google, a tech maker if ever these was one. And it is ahead of Amazon, but I never expected Amazon to be this close to Google in the first place, as such the Amazon Luna remains in the race and there is an element that might not make Google the winner in the end. Google’s approach to exclusive games is not that impressive (as far as I can tell, they have none), Amazon Luna has acquired the knowledge it needs to make that difference. And the article repeats my thoughts towards gaming, with “However, the new offering is at a very early stage, with executives focusing on Apple Arcade as the potential competition. Users of that service, exclusive to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and AppleTV, pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for access to a library of downloadable games, spanning genres and target audiences. Apple sets strict rules on developers, banning them from monetising their games through in-app purchases or advertising, in order to try to keep Arcade a premium service” is the right move, but they made one mistake, a big one, there is no mention of the Amazon Luna and the Luna is in a primed spot to become the number three system behind Sony and Nintendo (yes, I have written off Microsoft to remain a competitor), so even as Netflix has the advantage of a subscription group that makes the head spin of all streaming gaming solutions, good games is where it is at, innovators and makers of original creators that is the winning combo and Netflix (might or might not) move into a field where it is not certain it will become the third position player, or what they classify in the Tour de France, the polka dot player. On the plus side (from my point of view) it will soon thereafter reduce Microsoft to the 6th position, behind Sony, Nintendo, Amazon, Netflix and Google. So as I see it, their investment $7,500,000,000 investment in Bethesda goes tits up and Bethesda is not to blame, the board of directors at Microsoft is. 

I remain a Sony person, hence my Playstation remains on its pedestal, I would say right next of the shrine of Panigale, a Ducati shrine where the executives of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati come to pray for inspiration, OK, there is no Panigale there, because I could never afford one and I am not a racer, but engineering perfection can be recognised by plenty of people, so there! Yet the stage is given, inspiration comes from excellence in creativity and that is what a good gaming provider offers. I wonder if Netflix is considering what they need to do to get there. Microsoft merely bought the IP out there hoping it would thrust them there, but they had too much against them, like the most powerful console in the world that has nothing to offer (at present). They might in the future, but with all the bad decisions haunting them, all whilst Amazon is already on the run towards an upcoming third position, they might not be in time to make a real difference anymore. All this whilst they are trying to bash xCloud streaming everywhere. They become their own worst enemy and when it happens, the people will not trust Microsoft, I see elements of that everywhere and they, what I personal regard as a push towards whatever influencer they can muster is more than a bad call. 

Microsoft (as I personally see it) forgot that good games come from the mix of imagination and creation, they used to know that, yet it seems that they forgot, I have no idea why, the wrong board member, the sentiment of revenue over substance, it could be a boatload of things, but there you have it. And Netflix? 

Well the article gives us the important stage “One key decision that has not yet been finalised is whether a game subscription service would also require Netflix to develop games itself. Apple Arcade is filled entirely by third-party developers, but other gaming subscriptions rely on first-party exclusives to drive signups.” They are hitting the nail on the head, it is the exclusives, Microsoft forgot, Google never embraced and that is the stage why Amazon Luna is in a good place, Netflix could be too. One of these two needs to get these 2-3 exclusives that no one thought about that they are locked into third position and in an industry that is about to have a relevance of 90.7 billion, with a stage that has an annual increase of 24%, it matters, the difference between third and fourth position implies the stage representing several billions, when you consider that good AAA games cost (according to some) $500,000,000 to make, but that result in a God of War with a 97% rating, it is the price of an original masterpiece and it sold over 10,000,000 copies, implying that the game close to a billion. In streaming land, that setting will be a nail driver, 2-3 games like that and people will jump on that bandwagon a lot faster than you think. So as Microsoft gave us (via sources) that they will build native games for the cloud, why would anyone buy one of those overly stated powerful Xbox’s? And in that stage, would you trust a provider who dropped the ball three times in a row to provide you with original games, all whilst they bought the talents and are trying to grow through that premise? So far Netflix might make it, but as far as I can tell, Amazon Luna is most likely primed to get there at present.

And that too will set the indie developers off into a direction, where they end up I cannot tell (it will be their choice), but there are a few indicators that it will not be in a direction Microsoft will like. As I see it, outsourcing gets you a labour force, hiring creation and imagination grants you a universe of opportunity. I will let you work out the rest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT

On the Plus side

My mind has been busy on a few levels. The first is that the new system that I name ‘Fibretech’ is currently standing still, It is partially by me, it is partially by the ned to connect two elements, it is both hardware and software, not sure how to see the solution yet, but I am in no hurry, my initial focus is now and remains the 5G parts. The three devices (one now Public Domain) is in a stage where I want to add another device, or another system. I see loads of POS (Point of Sale) advertisements, but they are all in a stage of previous tech, basically setting a stage of 30 days free and then no longer free. I am not against the capitalistic view, but it is based on what was and that no longer suffices. As I was thinking things through, I remembered that I had these thoughts before, in another stage and yes, on November 25th 2020 I wrote ‘An idea is born’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/11/25/an-idea-is-born/), the idea went in a different direction, yet the foundation was the same. What happens when we do not carry a shopping basket, but what happens when WE are the shopping basket? It is a different key system, a system that recognises what we bought in rollover settings (weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual), that systems has a check in a locked stage, only accessible by YOU to set a stage of creating internal awareness towards what MIGHT interest you.

As such, you get to alter and edit the list, I for one am NUTS about liquorice, especially K&H currency liquorice, not sure why, I merely am. We have all kinds of needs, cravings and interests. The problem is that most people under 4G are all about centralising knowledge, it made Facebook superrich, so what happens when we set a stage where we take it away on one end and give the people that stage? Consider that you are now directly advertised with 90% relevant advertisers, no matter how many push advertisements to everyone, it will never reach you. Is that not what you wanted all along? If Domotics is making the house smart, what if we make the user the people smart? What if your wearable, your mobile or your personal smart drive gets a filter direction from a tag on perhaps your keychain that filters? 

It might also be an evolutionary stage to limit, or at least diminish to some degree skimming. We cannot stop all events, but as the key is highly encrypted, we get a setting where the POS systems is facing two levels of encryption, more important, it might not decode one, but it can register one, the skimmer will merely try to capture the Credit Card details (its limited), and as such we will be able to see a larger stage of where and who is getting skimmed, optionally where it got skimmed too. It is a side effect, but a nice one. 

So as domotics and personal shopping identification tags evolve we see a new stage, a stage where the people ONLY (or at least mostly) get relevant advertisements, decentralisation is key there, centralisation has not worked, not for some time and the new 4G systems are merely making matters worse. Why? Because they were set up that way, iterative thinkers trying a new jacket all whilst the couture of the jacket went out of fashion half a decade ago. It is not all bad news, these POS systems are still evolving and they will also evolve in the 5G era, I am merely considering a few options to get ahead of the game. I have awareness creation of the user, recognition and awareness levels of the shops, especially in a stage where the shops is in control, so as domotics is in the frame of too many makers, the personal tag made sense. Especially in malls and larger cities. Consider the average Westfield Mall, we know that JB Hifi and EB Games sell games, but there are plenty of cases where others do too (small shops, Target, etc), the tag will create a situation where the interest in PS5 games is detected (in an encrypted way) and that tag will allow for the arrival of advertisement, even as the advertiser has no clue who they were reaching, the person would have been made aware of the other shops, more importantly a stage of special PS5 deals would be visible, if there were any. The consumer is kept informed. 

The stage of recognition and awareness creation will be key in 5G, as 4G was all about ‘Wherever I am’, 5G will push ‘Whenever I want it’ and the consumer always wants it now. The setting makes sense, but in this age, it will be more powerful in a decentralised setting, give the shopkeepers the power back, and those who do not care? They will miss out on all kinds of revenue, I believe it is time for lazy people to feel that pain. Whenever I see some shopkeeper be active 12 hours a day to get a larger chunk of the revenue pile  I see a need to cater to that whilst not stocking up on more and more work, but a workflow that makes sense and shows to be its own reward. Even as some might say that Google Lightbox Advertisements were the answer, it was, but it could go so much further and that is what I aimed for, and so far I reckon I am on the right train, yet in this I wonder will Google or Amazon make the larger steps to head the technology drive? In this there is a larger debate going on, it is no longer merely whether Google Stadia or Amazon Luna will occupy the third position in gaming, there is every chance that Netflix is pushing to become a contender too. You see, when we consider IGN with ‘Xbox Series X DRM Makes It Near Impossible to Play Games Offline’, Microsoft is till playing its games, and now it will hurt them massively. What happens when the weather is taking its toll on landlines in Australia, UK, US and parts of the EU? If you cannot be online, what then? That is the shortsighted view of Microsoft. Now, let’s face it, when that is down cloud gaming is also not an option, but in all this, there are a lot of players that would have their cloud system next to a Switch, or a Sony and that is when Microsoft falls away. It is currently losing to Sony in a 2:1 stage, I personally reckon that it is 2:2:1 (Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft), as such it will not take long for the ‘most powerful system in the world’ to become player number 5, or perhaps even 6. These pushes all matter, it is last decade thinking ‘always online’ and it is not always possible with ransomware and hackers making life hard on too many systems, there is a larger need to decentralise and those who can will be around, those who cannot will slowly perish. 

In that stage I see tagging systems evolve, not because we are online, but because we should not always be online. It is a failing that is getting more and more exposure and those making the claim that this is essential and it will always be, those are the one relying on 10 year old technologies trying to fuel their needs a little longer. In that stage we see the media, all dressed up and ready to make digital claims, all whilst they weren’t even relevant, Google and Amazon made sure of that, so whilst the media was chasing a path that was not realistic, I was considering a path that gave the power back to the people. And I think I am on the right track, or perhaps better stated ‘I am personally and speculatively considering a different path that might work’, will I be correct? I hope so, but I cannot vouch for that. No person can, time will prove me right (or not).

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Media, Science

Real life in virtuality

The other night I was pondering the setting (as you might have read in the previous blog) on RPG’s and the setting of a dream within a dream. The idea took another turn as I was considering the interaction of reality with virtuality, and in this a game based on a 1 exabyte setting, an online multiplayer game based on virtuality. A game where players fight each other, they create alliances and they conquer. To get this done, we either create a world that is believable, or we turn it around and let the world create our reality. 

And as I was pondering this, I remember a game called ‘Virus’, in this shooter the game created the levels depending on your hard-drive, that was when the cogs clicked together. 

The new game an entire exabyte of challenges.

The world where we are thrown into is not unlike TRON, but in this setting we become citizens of a cloud environment, we are kidnapped and as we scape we end up getting left to our own devices. So as such we see a challenge, but consider a cloud environment, one that has a dozen Fortune 500 companies, thousands of mid sized companies and a lot more small companies. So will you take on a large player, or do you start small? A game with settings unlike we have ever seen and it is a game that develops further as more players sink into a company, a game without a timeline, but with time as either an ally or an enemy. A stage we have (as far as I know) never seen before and as the cloud evolves, so does the world and the enemies we face. So consider creating a cloud environment for that event and turning it into a game, we are always looking for a challenge, so why not become the infecting part and take over companies, corporations and grow in that way and this is the game with a difference, it is hard core only, one life! You can restart as often as you want, but one defeated you start at square one, until you have complete control of your first company, corporation or enterprise. So as we see and as we get into one cloud, it will be close to an all out war with anyone you face, that is unless you can strike an alliance, and alliances require all parties to see the benefit of one another. The nice part here is that this might (or might not) be the stage where we either love it or hate it. You see this will not appeal to all, there is no doubt it is, yet how can we create the challenge of such a game? We appeal to the player and we set the event that the player will embrace. An approach where the benefit of both sledgehammer and scalpel are seen, and the creation of an environment where both can thrive. And that is the challenge, creating the environment where everything piece of hardware is shown as something, where every router and its components are shown as challenges, I wonder if it can be done.

The question
Yes, I do ask myself the question if it is feasible, if it is even remotely possible. You see, we all have Monday morning quarterbacks in one end, but the other end is also taken. Usually by some manager that has a new plan every Monday morning, but it never pans out to be possible, achievable or even deeply contemplated. I see that, I always question my own thoughts, you see the person who does not question their own thoughts ends up drawing castles in the sky, and then expects a dot matrix printer to print a 1200 DPI photograph. We must question ourselves at all times, especially when we caress our creative side. 

So is my idea a castle in the sky? Perhaps it is, there is no doubt on that. Yet for every 8-10 failures, that one idea will push through and become a real winner. In 1997 I opted and idea to my bosses to use a marketing strategy that used websites as the central core for reaching out to others, my bosses laughed, stating that there was no business model for something that delusional, and stupid me, I listened, 4 years before Facebook, I had the idea for a digital marketing path and it was ignored, silly stupid me, as such I am putting ALL my ideas on the public domain, some will find ground, some will not, perhaps most will not, yet in this I am setting the stage for some to take the idea and push it into a direction that I am currently unable to pursue, for a few reasons, but I digress.

We can try to literally translate a cloud, or we can set the inventory of any given cloud and create a converted one that boggles the mind. Consider that a company has a server, users, computers, routers, Cloud Connectors, Data Center Interconnect Platforms, Mobile Internet Routers and a few other devices, and the larger the company becomes, the larger the hardware and that is before the cloud, in the cloud we see all kind of other issues and to map these out we need a different set of rules, a different set of limits to add to the game, to give some version of ‘reality’ to the game, a set of spawning rules (I hate spawning in games) or to set a better stage, if a cloud is represented in elements (see image) now consider that each company has larger or smaller elements of all, how diverse will be the challenge a gamer has, even as the gamer goes from place to place, he is still in one cloud and there is the larger cloud security to content with. Perhaps the game is a fools errant, yet I believe that if gaming is the edge of technology, the only way we get beyond what we have now, is to push the stage of a new game towards and beyond the horizon of what we now can see. Sony gave us the console to do it, so let’s push into a realm we have never seen before, it is the only way to keep gaming at the height of any system, if we do not do that, we are hopelessly lost.

So where is your virtual gaming life? In a new version of an existing game, or in a stage of gaming we haven’t seen yet? I have nothing against the next iteration in gaming, I played Tombraider, 1, 2 and 3 and never regretted that, yet even there, we saw evolution of gaming. That part was less and less visible in some other franchises and that is a sad part, because only those who push gaming beyond the limits will show a game worthy of conquering. We have all kind of views on this, some hate them, some love them and that is OK. I was never a GTA fan, but a lot are, some hate Watchdogs 2, I loved it (3 as well). Some love Breakpoint, me not that much. That is fine, I always state that those claiming to create a game that appeals to all, will create a game that pleases none, so if I am not part of any equation, that is fine by me. Others, will serve the game I like. 

This is how it should be and in all this creativity will push limits and creativity will open up other doors, such is life and we need to push as many doors as we can if we are to make life better all around us, the iterators never will, they are part of the margin spreadsheet, sailing a safe course to last longer, it will never ever go their way. Nintendo is perhaps one of the shiniest examples. It pushed the Wii, which was a decent success, then the WiiU, an abysmal failure, yet it resulted in the Nintendo Switch, an absolute home run in gaming and there we see that failings will optionally turn to wins, an iterator will never see that, only the innovator will get there. Nintendo at present is close to 75,000,000 switch consoles sold, that implies 2 Nintendo’s for every Xbox, so where is their ‘most powerful system in the world’ now? Iterators always have a good story, but they do not yield results, we will get another ‘We’re not driven by how many consoles we sell, it is the same all over, the losers will say the numbers are shallow, but when they are in pole position, it is everything. A brand gone to the dogs, largely because they ignored the voice of the gamer, I saw that almost a decade ago. And now we see a new world rising, one run by Sone ind Nintendo, it is fine by me, although I needed Microsoft to keep Sony on their toes, this idea will soon be a bust. So the best I can do is to set a stage of creativity and hope that some will Create more and more Sony exclusive games, those who do will be able to use my gaming IP free of charge, I do have commercial needs (income) for my 5G IP, such is life and I do like to enjoy a good meal.

So is my cloud game a bust? Perhaps it is, but for now I will try to envision more and more of that approach, consider a complete created cloud, one where you travel and set the premise of ruling the cloud, yet not alone, it is too big making alliances more and more important, a stage that several have attempted, some a lot more successful then others, I merely want to add to the success rate, or at least attempt to do so. It is the price of creativity and its push to innovation, only the successful continue that battle stronger, the failures continue too, but on a smaller scale, and that is fine, every person will fail at some point, it is what they do next that matters, because Steve Jobs had its successes, but he also had the NeXT computer. We recognise success, but we fail to recognise the failures and where they lead to, it is the flaw in many of us. And this is a larger stage, so how can we set that stage, when people keep on pushing Microsoft and their Blue solution. So as ZDnet reported “Microsoft acknowledged it was a service update targeting an internal validation test ring that caused a crash in Azure AD backend services. “A latent code defect in the Azure AD backend service Safe Deployment Process (SDP) system caused this to deploy directly into our production environment, by passing our normal validation process,” officials said”, a lot of bla bla and yada yada, yet the flaw is not merely within Microsoft, it is the same approach that is replicated again and again. So as we see mentions of Active Directory, we also see ‘a validation ring that doesn’t include customer data’, as well as ‘the SDP didn’t correctly target the validation ring due to a defect and all rings were targeted concurrently causing service availability to degrade’, so how long until there are more and more failures and the rollback merely adds to the problem? This is what I saw when I considered the NSA approach towards Trust Zero, the idea is good, but larger players will screw up making any rollback a much larger issues over the whole field. This is part of the idea to make the cloud a game, we could optionally see something we never noticed before, because thousands of gamers will kick the one part everyone ignored. 

Whether we see the issue in reality, or merely virtual. We need to look with different kind of glasses, I see that because 20 years ago I listened to the wrong people, those relying on bullet points, memo’s and ego. There is no space for that in gaming, or in innovative design, I wonder when Microsoft will figure that part out, they are now in 3rd position, what happens when they become deal last (behind Amazon), will they blame metrics or will it be a Covid set of variables? No matter what they will rely on, they are in a stage where they are losing more and more slices of business cake, they are losing slices in a time where they should have had the entire pie, as I personally see it stupidity, greed driven short sightedness and ego driven conviction made them lose field after field, and now they are in a ratchet state, they have no ability to get close to Amazon and at the same time there is every chance that Google could catch up with them. When that happens, Microsoft will be holding a losing hand in the both the cloud and the gaming field and as their surface solution falls short, we see them handing over slices of that pie to Apple, a three sided losing streak, it is a rare but slightly satisfying field. Why do I think that Microsoft will fail? ZDnet stated it best with “There is still no publicly available data on Azure sales. Azure is the part of Microsoft’s cloud business that most rhymes with AWS, but is buried in the commercial cloud”. In a lifetime of working in IT, I have learned that when commercial driven players rely on ‘no publicly available data’, it tends to be because someone is too close, they are too far behind, or the results create questions, and as I personally see it, Microsoft does all three, Google is too close, they are too far behind with Amazon and the Exchange server issues call in question issues with the Microsoft cloud as a whole. As we saw (from 2019 onwards) more and more hacks towards clouds, there is every notion that together with one source claiming that 90% of clouds are in danger, Microsoft has a lot is problems coming their way, I do not know if this is completely fair on Microsoft, as all three have issues, but the replicated approach Microsoft has (Active Directory anyone?), we see a larger issue, if hacks can be transposed from one system to the other, Microsoft hacks might be seen as lucrative (from the organised crime point of view), it makes the NSA approach more and more essential, yet I personally feel that any rollback has hidden flaws and flaws are a problem, especially in a cloud where one flaw transfers to a whole number of corporations. I will be the first to agree that my view is speculative, because it is, but to see that part you need to grasp back to 2003 where the people got “Erroneous VeriSign-Issued Digital Certificates Pose Spoofing Hazard”, this needs to happen only once on the cloud and the mess is almost complete and I believe that a rollback will make it happen. So how do you feel about ‘due to a defect and all rings were targeted concurrently’ now?

So perhaps my idea for a cloud game has a few additional benefits, apart from it being an interesting approach to a new game. 

Have a great day

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

A repetitive bashing

Yup, I will admit this upfront, that what I am writing is a little repetitive, yet when I stated it initially we were before the Bafta nominations and we were before the actual winners, now that they are out, the repetition sets in. 

So as we took notice of those who made it and those who did not, let’s be sure that being nominated is already a huge step forward, yet there can only be one winner, or in this case two. 

So when we see Nintendo with its switch and we see the wins that Hades and Animal Crossing New Horizons, we see groundbreaking moments in more than one way, Hades where dying is part of life and part of the game, which is a first, then there is the addictive Animal Crossing (I know, as I am as hooked to this just like the other 19,999,999 players), two games taking home multiple awards, yet that was not enough, Sony was there too, taking trophies for the Last of Us part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Sackboy and Spiderman: Miles Morales. All great games, all getting awarded and in some cases Nintendo and Sony were vying for the same title, the moral of this story, Microsoft might buy all the talent (that $8.5B invoice) but in the end the story and originality are everything and the games that the two houses brought did just that. Microsoft (Rare Studios actually) had one win with Sea of Thieves and Ubisoft was absent, my predictions are in part seen in the Bafta’s as they are massively absent, it is the consequences of not comprehending your audience. My advice to Ubisoft? If you try to make a game that should appeal to all, you end up with a game that pleases none. It is a flaw they have shown again and again, yet I must also allow for a part that is not of my liking, it is Rainbow Six, it is not my cup of tea, but for those who do like it, they are raving, as such I was expecting to see them show up, because fair is fair, they have poured a lot of talent into a game that is showing appeal to millions, as such I was a little surprised. 

Another prediction I made was the fact that indie developers would become more and more important and Supergiant Games showed that, it took home 4 bafta’s, a company with 20 people took the limelight away from a multi billion company named Ubisoft, that has got to hurt. And as the media is all about the impact of lockdowns, they better realise that these games were there, lockdown or not, the games were about fun and in that regards both delivered, it seems essential that some of the players start to realise that small lesson, the fact that I (over a few articles) set the stage of a unique RPG game should tell these people that their time is up, they tried and failed (and now these software houses are dying), it matters because I never wanted Ubisoft to go under, I needed them to make gams better, because good games is what we all want, yet last week we were given ‘Ubisoft removes some new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla quests and decorations to address crashing issues’, we are till seeing these things all whilst the game was released on 10 November 2020, a week early because they were ready, well we know how that is ending, do we not? And as we contemplate “Based on the latest financial disclosure, UBISOFT ENTERTAIN has a Probability Of Bankruptcy of 36.0%, significantly higher than that of the Electronic Gaming & Multimedia industry” (source: microaxis.com), as such a software house that was nowhere near collapse is now regarded as a lace where their downfall is almost one in three, a stage that they did themselves, but I am not happy, like any other junk I hope for another AC Origins, another Far Cry 3 and I loved Watchdogs: Legion. But I also warned all last year that their next two products better be beyond good and Watchdogs: Legion was, the other (AC game) was not, so as we are treated to ‘Try Ubisoft+ for a week for free’ might be the last attempt by their marketing to stop the flow going somewhere else, but I think it might be too late, if they had a massive great announcement during the Bafta’s, there was a small chance, but when we see special forces comment on Breakpoint on Youtube to the degree I saw, they better realise that the gig is up. They had good game and then they got lazy (optionally Rainbow Six and For Honor excluding), not my kind of games, but I want to make sure that the truth as I see it is given to you as complete as possible. And as we see that subscription services are getting more and more sides, we might realise that Ubisoft is one of many and they are not in a good place at present. 

A stage they could have prevented years ago, if only they had listened to their gamers, things would be different, very very different. Together with Microsoft they are pushing gamers somewhere else and that I still important, You see, Sony is now great, but they became great because the competition was fierce and Microsoft forced them to become good, the gap between Sony and Nintendo is too large making me worry about the PS6 (a extreme future view), in addition, Ubisoft forced both to keep their game high and indie developers are less likely to do this as they often are set to a specific system (example Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch Productions, Guerrilla games, Santa Monica Studio), and I do not mind, but when there is no competition, the high enders tend to get lazy as well, not the software houses, they are competing with each other. 

I still fear a lull in Sony because Microsoft consoles might fall away in 2022/2023, that part is seen as they are more and more promoting streaming gaming on your mobile, it seems that they are trying to get their streaming solution on PC, Android, iOS and other places (not on my system they will), and in all this other sources give me an implied state that sales of Xbox to PS5 is 1:2 moving towards 1:2.5, so I have reasons to doubt the existence of a Microsoft console in 2023, all because (my personal speculation) because the makers were asleep at the wheel from 2012 onwards, all the pushy games they played with their always online whilst that adjustment should have been fixed no later than 2014, that is now 7 years ago. They lost the field and I am actually not that happy, because it optionally takes the fire away from Sony in the longer run. Yet for now, all we can do is be happy for the Bafta Winners and enjoy the games they made, I am still missing Sackboy, but I have all the rest, so I am good for now and as I am replaying God of War in easy mode, so I can focus on exploration and the story this time around, that is besides the amazing views the game gives and lets not forget that this game is almost 3 years old. As such, I end this article hoping you all have a great day and I hope you will enjoy a game or two on whatever system you prefer. 

Have a great weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming