Tag Archives: PS5

Picture this!

Yup, we all have these moments, I whilst facing the jabberwocky of insomnia ended up facing a new bout of creativity and I thought of sharing it right here, it can use the benefits that 5G brings but is not reliant on it, it is an altered way of looking at pictures. It is however a little more, ad to be honest, the issues at Ubisoft brought them forward, with an undisclosed part that is depending on certain pats that might come up in WatchDogs 4 (if Ubisoft still exists by then).

OK, to get you there, this needs to go in stages. 

Digital picture frames. We have all seen them, the cheap solutions in some asian setting that allows for some resolution and has some memory to show pics at 480dpi, not the greatest resolutions, but for the family snaps it is OK. There are more expensive versions, that have much higher resolution (and are more expensive), some will allow for an SD card to keep the pics and that is what they display.

The second stage is a new stage, what if the picture frame is whatever you need it to be? Now we move from the family snapshot to the presentation gigs. There are versions that call themselves ‘Clear 3D Rear Holographic Projection Screen film’ solutions and they are good for the usual presentation that are in a preset stage, but presentations on trade fairs tend to be anything but preset. Trade fairs tend to be dynamic, consider E3, ECTS, Horecava, Efficiency Trade Fairs, it is you against the world and sometimes that is quite literal. What if the display technology is adaptive?  Consider the projection screen film, it is a great option for some, but is depending on rear projection and that is not always a solution.

So what happens when we change the equation? What is the film is triple layered and the plasma technology is not set to dimensions? So whatever you screen you cut with scissors, has a determined point 0, but the size at that point allows to become whatever we need it to be? That sheet can placed in whatever frame we need it to be in and at that point we attach the thingamajig (technobabble for Display engine with embedded projection core). And it has what it needs to start the display, it needed a point 0. The rest can be set in the stage of side 2. So we have a sheet, it has two attachments, one with point 0, one with point Y, after that the image can be presented. Any image when one side is known, the rest can be made, no matter the size. If the size grows beyond a stage the engine needs to reflect display technology to deal with the matter (different subject). The issue is only partially solved.

3. The leaks that Ubisoft shows, is also a larger need to keep things confidential, so what happens at trade shows? So what happens when these displays are all set with a Micro SD card that has the cloud encryption so that a player like Ubisoft can keep its presentation on a Paris server, or Microsoft on their Seattle PCXT, IBM on their, you get the idea, marketing HQ keeps their presentations under wrap and the presentations would not be able to get leaked. 

4. The displays are merely part of the solution, there would be SD/MicroSD options to reflect that, but the larger stage is that not merely in trade show, in EVERY shop, the location can decide what display format fits them best. Almost like a TV to fit your exact size and that is where we go with this. 5G will allow for that approach and not all requires the internet. Mobile 5G stations can present whatever they need. Like the Schwarovsky Rose presentation is saw a few years ago, the option to localise whatever you need to present, a stage absent of one of the most important parts, heavy TV’s monitors, whilst most of that device is never used, a stage where we overthrow the part we require to be left with the part we need. 

A TV that is set to size using a pair of scissors, I wonder if we see that in Cyberpunk 2077, I might just have given a few idea’s to the technical nerds on planet internet.

 

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To knowingly intentionally ignore

There is a state in any person’s mind to ignore anything that does not fit the need of the receiver. This is not a bad thing (at times), and we can ignore all we can, yet to deceive ourselves that it does not exist is another matter. 

To look at the station we need to look at the consideration of two settings. The first is ‘an organized effort to gather information about targer markets or customers’ this is the foundation of market research. After this we consider the second part, which is ‘the process or set of processes that links the producers, customers, and end users to the marketer through information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems’, as I personally see it, some do not see the difference (or ignore that there is one), or as I would imply, to knowingly use one as the other. The first difference is the population. In market research we investigate a population and we set our hypothesis based on the station of it. We dabble, we slice and dice this population, and we draw conclusions. The problem is that some hide behind the slicing and dicing, calling it the arbitrary process. For the most I have no issues with it, or better stated I do not care one hoot about some of these analysts. Yet lately I see the impact of decisions and business processes and I wonder if the people accepting the marketing stories whether they are in the dark, they do not care or if they are clueless. 

It started with Microsoft, then Ubisoft, after that there was a stage at Apple as well as a stint in the US administration. All acts based on what some would call ‘a market research into the people and the impact of view’ yet it seems like the marketing research of passing a bitter pill to the extent of surviving the action. That is clearly how it feels and the first act on my side was remembering a previous conversation, a conversation I had roughly 20 years ago. The premise was that a board was cutting expenses and setting the stage of having the environment where they stopped getting a 90% approval on their product and settling on an 80% approval. It is a dangerous and slippery slide. Yes it seems cheaper and it might in the beginning be cheaper, yet the station as we see it is dangerous as the degrees of freedom diminish (intended pun). As a product drills down in different areas, the 10% shift implies that on three fields the danger grows that the overall approval rate is optionally down to 60%, especially if the 20% missed rate hits any consumer 3 times. This is where Ubisot is at present and that is where Microsoft was in the last few years. In that stage we see “to develop technology that will enable them to stream games to whatever piece of tech a person is holding – be that a smartphone, console, or something yet to be invented”. It is the Ubisoft statement and that is fine, yet with the testing and inadequate versions over the last two years alone gives the consumer (the player) a much larger lag, especially when these players are only relatively happy and get hit again and again with downloads that tend to exceed 20 GB, how long until the player has had enough?

It is nice to drill down unto a group of satisfied players, yet the larger issue is that the non players are too often disregarded making the story told one that is largely built onto a shallow base of shifty sands. My view is supported by one small detail, as the PS5 was viewed, we saw an absence of Ubisoft games, the station of that 20% is now growing is it not? One of the largest software makers in history had no business not being present at this Sony show, whether they are going forward on both systems or not. It seems to me that this is not a small part, this is a much larger part and it seems to me that the predictions that I gave last year is slowly coming to fruition. 

Could I be wrong?

Absolutely! I cannot state that there is certainty, that would be short sighted on my side, but the symptoms are there, the lack of excellent gaming, dozens of updates that are several GB in size, there is a lack of testing there is a lack of listening to the gamers and the ones setting the stage of listening are rolling the dice which they optionally loaded themselves. They look better that way, yet the consequences for Ubisoft seem better, until the gamers move away, when you set the stage of a non-assassins creed game to call it that, something they did once before, the stage changes. Even as we were given last year “Ubisoft didn’t provide numbers, but said that it had made a “sharp downward revision” in the revenues expected from both games, which it blamed on a failure to differentiate Breakpoint from its predecessor, an overall lack of interest in sequels to live games, and excess bugs for the game’s failure.” (source: PC Gamer) There are two parts in this, the first is that the game sucks, the basic failures seen only yesterday by myself give a larger rise to that Ubisoft has much larger issues at present. The fact that I ended up with the game at 20% of the full price only 6 months ago, and the fact that to start the game I needed a 38GB patch shows that the issues are close to massive. It is not ‘to differentiate’, but to ‘properly code’ a game that is at the core of it all. The difference of Market research where Ubisoft investigates their game against ALL gamers, to a stage of Marketing research where Ubisoft merely investigates the Ubisoft players is part of that optional setting. When anyone hides behind the message and not behind the quality of product, we have a much larger issue and in the next console war, it would optionally set the deck to a very different stage. 

This is not about Ubisoft, Apple and Microsoft have shown similar failings for too long, and the stage where the US administration is in shows similar flaws, even as it is not a product, trust is, and it is faltering on several levels in the US. We can blame several stages in this, but it is not the blame, it is the investigation into the analysts and the conclusions drawn seems to be a much larger stage of marketing research, not market research. One optional stage is the way evidence is rejected and optionally completely ignored. We might look at the Coronavirus, it is not the point, that element merely brought it to the surface faster. Huawei is the first one that matters, no evidence was ever brought to light, it shows a stgs where the US is close to economic collapse, at that stage we see the greed driven marketing research where the actions are at disposal to the US assets, not the US citizens. This matters because it shows that the slicing and dicing of data is not getting the attention it is due, it is happening on corporate and political levels and elements like ‘How Austin Tech Is Democratizing Data’ might seem nice in theory, yet the larger issue is that some views are now seemingly solely supported by the topline makers, not actual academics with the education required to make some conclusions based on data, not the presented views that those in charge of governments and corporations would like it to be. So when we learn that “Imagine business analysts, marketing teams and even the C-suite having the power to interpret data without the help of the entire IT department”,consider that we are now in a phase where those who have are about to decide the fate of those who have not and those people are in for a massive rough ride, or so they believe. When we see the corporate players like Ubisoft and Microsoft folding on strategies as they lose larger and larger market shares, we will see destabilisation of a much larger degree and there the game is up for grabs. Even as some resorted to terms like data democratization, it is a much older principle, it is the discrimination between those who matter to some, against those who do not. Corporations will find out the hard way what their choice brings them, in politics it is a different story and the impact there is nowhere to be seen. We cannot predict it until it is too late and there I expect (or is it dare I expect?), is the stage larger, even as places like YouTube is flooded in some positive light, the negative impact is much larger. The US riots are merely a consequence to part of what happens in data, it is not the cause but there will be much larger and much more defining then we ever expected, the problem there is that after the fact, repairing damage is close to impossible. You see it is not ownership of data, it is the fact that decisions are made on a level where too much data is disregarded. Hiding behind entrepreneurial action is close to a farce. The largest danger of misinterpretation and as the sources are less and less trustworthy and that is disregarding any ethical consideration, or to make it slightly more simple, as data democratization moves forward, the essential part of comprehensive information will be filtered and optionally disregarded too often, a such a full view is not available, implying that the decision makers are merely looking at a limited scope and consider that action when it is done by a billion Euro company. 

We are only seeing this because the surrounding scope was pushed to the forefront, as such those reacting are doing it too late having to disregard increasingly larger consumer markets. When was the last time that such an action was an actual benefit to that company?

 

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Playing the fifth station

I am watching what is to come and even as the first part was not my bag of tea, the New Spiderman game definitely was, a new Gran Turismo and now I stop with shouting titles, a lot more publications will do that. What was interesting was the response the game makers had (the man behind Insomniac games to name one), the additions that the PS5 enabled, and so far I am watching actual gameplay and it is blowing me away. The presentation is giving new titles from franchises we love and new titles from origins we never saw and so far it is pretty mind boggling, but Sony is pretty good in that respect, so I am not overly dumbstruck, yet the graphics and the environment as we see it in the game Stray leaves me with thought, Sony, not unlike Microsoft is going in a direction we expect, as such I see a gap that players like Apple and Google can touch on. Sony has well over half a dozen exclusive titles that players want, and there we see the first part that I sort of expected. We see the exclusive and the likely less exclusive games, yet after 30 minutes still nothing from Ubisoft. I am certain that Ubisoft will be on the PS5, no doubt, but the stage where the small software houses are taking the limelight and sharing it with Sony shows just how bad the stage of Ubisoft is at present. Then we get to see Ghostwire, a game teased before, now we see it on the PS5 and this game alone is reason to get the PS5, and even as it is not the most expected game, it is certainly taking the limelight and that is a new feeling. When we see what comes with Hitman 3 I feel certain that no Microsoft Hype has a chance at present, I am cautious because their show a few years back was really good, but they have to take all the stops out to even equal what Sony is bringing. And that is important here as Hitman is most likely coming to both systems. With a lot of titles handing out the Holiday 2020, the expected image that PS5 will come with an overwhelming amount of launch titles (or first month titles). At the end of the presentation it is clear, there is no Ubisoft, they are in trouble, because there is no way that they want to miss the event, Bethesda was there with 2 titles, so why not Ubisoft? 85 minutes after the start, we get the power hammer, Eloy is back and what we see on PS5 blew me away, Horizon 2, Forbidden West is a PS5 Gem andI can’t wait to get my fingers on this console, which was shown right after, it is gorgeous, you should see the video on YouTube yourself and see what is there, words cannot describe it. No matter how some Microsoft fans shout that their system is the biggest and the strongest, without good games it does not add up to much, so far they are 3 million systems behind Nintendo and that is not all, 4 reviewers were completely blown away, it is that overwhelming and most of us will be waiting with bells on for the next 20 weeks. 

Sony, you’ve done it again!

 

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Between fact and speculation

There are two parts in all this. The first is fact, the second is speculation, the facts come from what we know and have seen. First fact given by the BBC is that the PS4 has so far sold 108 million worldwide, the Xbox 49 million, which is 3 million less than the Nintendo Switch, The PS4 and Xbox both started in 2012. The Nintendo in 2017, surpassing the Xbox in half the time. As such, that so-called strongest console was surpassed by the weakest console and in 4 hours we get to see what the new PS, the PS5 will bring us. In all this there is no surprise for me, I saw this coming in 2016, and as the Xbox One X showed us the face of Microsoft and their short sightedness, I saw how they would lose the market more and more, even as Microsoft is trying to create hype after hype, selectively giving us missing information, the consumers are waking up to the colossal error that Microsoft has become and I firmly believe that it is about to get worse. If it was up to me I would direct Google and Apple towards alternative paths making Microsoft the system in 4th or even 5th position. I am that mean at times. 

Speculation

Speculation is another path, yet that is not about the hardware, that is set to the business practices of Activision and Ubisoft. To give you the example, I have been an Elite fan since its release in 1985, In 2016 it was on early release on the Xbox and it was pretty much the ONLY reason I got it. The game is still fantastic and since that point, over 3 years, the game has had a speculated 53 updates, the last one 3.4 GB, Ubisoft released AC Odyssey in 2018 and has a speculative 54updates, the last one 24 GB, almost 800% of the Elite Dangerous one. Activision seems to have a new record, Call of Duty has seemingly a 85 GB patch. That is way too massive and games on the PS5 will end up being larger, a lot larger. Under that given situation, the entire patch system needs to change. Ubisoft especially (Breakpoint 38 GB, AC Odyssey 2 GB) is a setting that gamers will no longer accept, it is a little bit ridiculous that Ubisoft cannot properly test its games. The AC series especially has shown a lack of proper testing, yet that will dwarf in both the PS5 and Xbox X series life. Under the new setting, the makers can hide behind ‘everyone has broadband’ and ‘there is unlimited download’, yet it is clear that rural Germany and France are not on the big internet page and the entire Coronavirus work at home part with congestion all over the place, in the same setting whilst players like Netflix is pushing 4K series more and more, the entire mess of congestion will only increase. Players like Ubisoft will not survive the quality they have brought so far and there is no doubt in my mind that both Sony and Microsoft will have to protect their player sooner rather than later. This is the speculative part and we will hopefully learn more in 4 hours when Sony gives us the works on the release of the PS5. The time of  release is nearing more and more. As I see it, it is a mere 22 weeks away and some will have to save up for both a 4K 125Hz TV as well as the PS5. As I see it, Sony is extremely likely to have a massively great 2020 soon enough and an even better 2021. None of this matters to Nintendo, it will work great on the new TV and they have already surpassed Microsoft, who will need the largest part of 2021 just to break even with the weakest console. They are not in a good place and whatever hype they create, it will not look good, yet that is still speculative of me and I hope to be proven right no later than March 2021. 

Gaming is about to change and we are only hours away from seeing it ourselves. 

 

 

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Parallels

I started playing a new video game. Well, it is not new, I have played it 7 times (I think), I played it on the Xbox 360, the PS3,the Xbox One and the PS4. The game was released on 11/11/11 and it is called Skyrim. I have loved this game since its release and it all started with the predecessor Oblivion. So how does a game become this amazing? There is a parallel with the series I Claudius made in the 70’s. You see there are two distinct differences, this game is great, not great through marketing (Microsoft never learned that lesson). In I Claudius its greatness came from 4 elements. 

  1. The Script
  2. The Cast
  3. The Director
  4. The Environment

I believe that games have a similar side to it, and we can see the difference between a good game and a great game. Even as there is no real cast in Skyrim, the makers have to define the characters, on TV they are played but the impact is similar. It is the environment that has the greater pull, whilst it was Roman times for Claudius, the medieval era that the Elder Scrolls exhibit have a similar pull on people.

It drove me to make the first design for TES: Restoration, yet in all this, I do recognise that another Skyrim was not going to make it, gamers are innovative driven not iterative and we have seen this going back to Tomb Raider 2 (1997) and even before that. 

The first question becomes ‘How can we continue a franchise and remain innovative?’, the second one is ‘How can gaming be pushed towards future greatness?’ In the first case we need to investigate, the second one is for the visionaries. The first question is important because what was released between Assassin Creed 2 and Assassins Creed Origin was less and less and almost destroyed the franchise, it is nice that Ubisoft remains in denial and after that makes a ‘Looking towards the future comment’, yet the issue is much more important than you think. 

Great gaming does not happen overnight and places like CD Project Red are really rare. A lot of game designers tend to be one trick ponies when it comes to great games and so far they pulled it off more than once, as did Bethesda as did a few others. Yet the ones that do are a minority and in the light of console wars investigating what is possible matters, good gaming is good for all, the era where Microsoft and Sony keeping each other one their toes driving gaming is almost a thing of the past and we need to see better games to resolve that issue. It does not matter how it goes, but at present only Sony and Nintendo remain great, Microsoft a lot less so and as such it will impact great gaming for Sony players down the line. 

As to how to fix this, I have no idea. Yet the thought does propel me forward and I Claudius is still a prime example of what makes a product great. The fact that it can stand against any drama produced almost 50 years later is proof of that, yet in that regard looking at the elements help us. The two elements that are the strong drivers here are the Script (the game story) and the environment. In that regard Bethesda is sitting pretty for now. Evenas there is no finality towards Hammerfell (2021), the signs are good and as I personally see it, it would also benefit my idea of TES: Restoration. It doesn’t change the premise, it merely makes it larger and the new consoles are ready for that, the fact that PC’s need to reserve 150GB for the new flight simulator confirms that and gamers do not care about that space, they will do a lot more to their budget to get the best out of games. Thousands of Elite Dangerous fans are evidence of that, they beat flight simulators fans almost two to one on hardware. Andforthese fans storage is an important element (another thing Microsoft never learned in 8 years). And the setting is not PS5 against Microsoft, it is old, stale and Microsoft lost. It is getting The Apple and Google Solution to par off beyond Nintendo. It is not an easy trip but it can be done and a few good games is all that is needed. Not games already released (Diablo 3 and Skyrim), but actual new IP that the others do not have, that makes any new great game 5 times the challenge for the existing consoles. And it can be done, in all this I refuse to discard Apple, when it comes to TV Shows, they are showing to give Netflix a run for their money, and if they can do it on TV, they can do it on gaming too. 

It is a wild west of digital format and both Google and Apple are on equal footing for now, yet the stage in 2022 is not known and cannot be set until the IP comes out for comparison. So all the junkies that are hardware driven will learn a very interesting lesson, the lesson that it was never about the hardware. The CBM64 people saw it, the PS1 and N64 people lived it and no one seems to catch on. It has always been about great games and as we see copies of great amiga games arrive on Android the decision makers are starting to wake up, yet they lost dozens of opportune IP that is now in the hands of those making a few dollars from microtransactions. It is the loss that we have seen over a year and the larger players are apparently not catching on, so where do the gamers stand?

Well, that remains to be seen. I Claudius was almost never a reality and so far has never been remade. The chance of equalling I Claudius is rare to say the least and surpassing it will be almost impossible. It is the impact of a near perfect TV series and games have had that same impact. On TV we saw other series making it good, even great and games can do that too. Will we see it? I have no idea, but if I can come up with 4 golden idea’s in a year there is no way that there is no one else doing that same thing. My biggest issue is that it is unlikely to be Ubisoft, it is more and more likely that several indie developers are sitting on that great idea and finding them by the right people is what counts towards the next console battle. As I personally (and speculatively) see it, someone (high up) at Microsoft will open their mouth making a needed jump to their precious Azure solution, making the game a no go, as such I am more and more curious on what Apple and Google pull off. They might have what it takes to become a member of the big 4, the question at this point will be, does Microsoft have what it takes to remain one of the big four in 2023. The game is open for a lot of players, yet will they have the software to make it count?

 

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Marketing fools

We are at the moment getting drowned in YouTube videos on who will win the next console wars. Or the most a lot of videos are a marketing approach from both sides mind you. Even as the bungles and stupidities by Microsoft makes me go towards the PS5 alone, there are however a few exceptions, they do exist. The first is theGamer who gives us a few clear parts. 

Like the BS approach we saw Microsoft had brought in the previous approach, the given fact is that the Xbox does have more teraflops, yet what does it mean? Faster is not essentially better and speed is limited to the slowest part and in the case of Microsoft that seems to be the drive. Sony has optimised gaming to such an extent, that Spiderman will play on the PS5 in 0.8 seconds (against 8 seconds on PS4). They are bringing cartridge speed to the console and that is a huge advantage. To be honest, there is something you both need to know, BOTH consoles will have the option to an internal SSD expansion, so it seems that Microsoft is repairing one of their more stupid decisions, they only needed 8 years to learn this. 

Sony showed recently how their SSD works in speed and it seems that it is able to process well to close to 100% more data uncompressed and over 25% more data compressed, it seems that teraflops really don’t matter too much when your system is that much slower. Yes the initial drive on the Xbox is larger, but both can expand and so far I have seen a 3TB option for the PS5, as such there is no issue on storage, yet there is a larger issue on the setting on drive speed and that implies that the Xbox is already lagging at the start of the race. The second movie I watched was about the Decline of Xbox by the Act Man. I felt like him, mainly because I loved my Xbox 360, I only got the PS3 as it came as a free extra with my new Sony TV. Microsoft had that much advantage and they squandered it in one E3 meeting. After that the Xbox Flaws started showing up and it made me resent my Xbox. I actually only got it for 2 games, Subnautica and Elite Dangerous. The second one is a game that I have loved since the early version on the CBM 64 and what I saw on the Xbox was overwhelming. Here is a console that could have been the number one, yet they lost it on senior managers that see greed not games, revenue not fun and it showed in that disastrous E3 meeting where we heard ‘always online’, and ‘no lending games’. Greed enticements that would destroy a console from the very beginning. There is the harassment side to marketed pushes and bullying people to be online and it did not go well for Microsoft from that point onwards. The video has a lot more, including a few things I never knew, and it might not matter but they were nice to know things.

Now,as we are 6 months away from the next line of consoles, we see that Sony is taking the gaming lead again and Microsoft seems to hide behind their teraflops. Yes they have more, but consider that in the big three they are in third position, their most powerful console is behind the weakest console of them all (Nintendo Switch), which gives you an idea that those in charge are not ready to take the price home. Now to be fair Spencer is a massive upgrade, yet Microsoft had him fight the good fight with one hand behind his back for almost three years. They lost cool, they lost exclusive titles and a marketing team that had to do a 180 degree on physical games and cloud gaming twice. Yet that group has a unique view on spin.

Although some critique in that video is a little harsh, it is not that wrong, and there are still flaws that are very unlikely to be fixed at present, as such Sony is not just off to the races, it is close to be the only consideration for the upcoming console purchase, within two consoles the positions are beyond reversed and Microsoft did it to themselves.

As Microsoft keeps on focusing on power, more and more gamers are watching what they are actually getting for it, as such, I believe that Microsoft will make another mistake before the launch, we will see ‘demo’ options for 8K gaming, and how great it is. Yes, it will be good, optionally even great and if there was an 8K AC Origin, I would play it again, yet the one little part missing in all this is the fact that is the small fact that an 8K TV starts at $7000, that is a decent one, some are $10K and more, with the B&O version being mentioned at €13,500, which is almost $20,000. As such most 8K TV’s, will be in the immediate future unaffordable to 90% of the gamers. 

So how happy am I?

I am not, you see Microsoft had pushed Sony to its limits in their Xbo360 era, I doubt if the PS4 would be that much better if Microsoft was not breathing in their neck. Now that this setting is gone, there is every indication that the jump from PS5 to PS6 will be a lot less appealing. Competition drives good hardware for gaming and that is what we are about to lose. 

Even as we see that a lot of the damage at that disastrous E3 was repaired by
Phil Spencer, he still has a lot of work to do and the current approach of what we see marketed in the form of Gigaflops and ‘high dynamic cool’ games, all whilst we see a larger base of changes that make the claim pointless and it ends being a mere race of Microsoft fighting not to be overtaken by Nintendo even further. At present their option to surpass Sony is close to ludicrous. 

Their system and OS needs an overhaul, and if I am correct, Sony will have the option to launch their (highly speculated) internal social media named GameBook, if that happens and Microsoft cannot counter it (apart from marketed pushes to your page), there will be no second round, it could mean the end of Microsoft as a gaming platform, apart from what Google and Apple brings to the next year. There is a chance that they will nibble on the market share cadaver that Microsoft brings and that leaves Sony as the big winner, which is also a little bad. As both machines were true competitors, they upped the game and both delivered cool gaming experience, now that push falls away, there is every indication that Sony will remain at the lonesome top making their need to remain on the edge of gaming also a lot less likely, so I do hope that Microsoft ups their game, right quick.

 

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Playstation is Go!

Yes, the console war is off to a nice start. It is important to you (the reader) to know that for whatever reason, I am a Sony guy, hence, take no offense and if you are a dedicated Xbox person (no offense taken) then you might not like this article.

The event started last saturday when I saw this article that was massively Microsoft minded and how the new Xbox would be 30% faster, that person went on by throwing teraflops at us and making all kinds of speculated boasts, fair enough, I merely glanced at it and disregarded it to the largest extent. There will optionally be differences between the two, but the difference will be less than 50% (personal conviction) of what that person claimed. In the end, the PS5 will be a huge step up from the PS4 and a decent step up from the PS4 pro.

CCN (at https://www.ccn.com/sony-ps5-reveal-beats-xbox-series-x-without-trying/) gives us “Sony’s PS5 reveal video gets more views than the Xbox Series X trailer after being criticized for being boring and technical“, yes that was always going to be the case, in the end there are two parts, the technical superiority and the games, the first one we can see and anticipate, the second one we can hope for and in coming towards our hopes and dreams the PlayStation has been a lot more rewarding than its counterpart ever was. The one time the other one stood out was when the date was October 27, 2017 and that was the day that Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed Origins. Even as a Sony person I have to give voice to the amazement that the Xbox One X brought at that time. Assassin’s Creed Origins blew my socks off, and as a 4K title it was overwhelming. Yet that was pretty much the only time that the Microsoft console truly shined. As the self-proclaimed most powerful processor system it was surpassed by Nintendo, which with the Switch has the least powerful processor of the three, so that is the impact of superior hardware.

As such CCN gives us “The PS5 video has 13.5 million views compared to the 10.6 million views on the Xbox Series X reveal. This suggests that Sony may not have to try very hard to make the PS5 more successful than the Xbox Series X.” My response would be, Sony listens to its gamers, Microsoft only claims to do so and then does what the bottom dollar presented tells them to do, the gamer is not a consideration (proven twice over), that is how I see it (Die hard Microsoft console fans are allowed to disagree).

For me it is a much more interesting field, even as I am considering two IP’s on the matter, I can clearly see that the advantage that Microsoft created with the Xbox 360 has gone. My personal achilles issues is that the entire matter of storage has not now, not ever been properly addressed by Microsoft since the first One was released, that is 8 years ago. In all that time it was about being online, about being able to download, all whilst we see that on a global play there is a bandwidth issue, it is to such a degree that some people see how some players (YouTube and Netflix) decided to limit the video quality so that they won’t congest the internet in Europe in this Corona beer environment. It had grown to such a degree that Brussels decided to talk to Netflix on reducing internet congestion (at https://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-in-talks-with-netflix-about-reducing-internet-congestion/) and the quote “Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton today spoke with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to discuss ways to help reduce internet congestion, a Commission official told POLITICO“, as such a case I saw coming years ago (not on the how it would happen) is seen three days ago in the article, there is congestion and in that environment Microsoft wants to be an ‘Always Online‘ player? As such the Sony solution with their secondary internal drive (SSD) might be a slightly limiting factor, but as it would (speculated) fit the 2tb and 4tb drives from Samsung, the Playstation 5 will have a great situation, and the 2tb SSD version is now $325, which is not required in the initial year (unless the games become really big) I reckon that Microsoft has a lot more to lose, superior processor or not. Even as they come again with their ‘most powerful processor‘ song, the moment the gamer chorus starts with ‘Yet where can we store our shit‘ they will fall silent very quickly, 1TB in 4K/8K gaming will do that. Sony has a similar start but you can add a drive to enhance player needs and 2tb/4tb will do that nicely. I expect that the 2tb drives at the end of the year will be $250-$300, so there is that too.

The larger issues is not merely that, Tom’s guide (at https://www.tomsguide.com/us/ps5-release-date-rumors-specs,news-26954.html) gave us “In his Road to PS5 talk, Cerny gave more details on the SSD again, with the key spec that it could load 2GB of files in 0.27 seconds. That should make for some unnoticeable loading times once game devs get to grips with the new console.” in this consider a Bethesda RPG where the load times in between locations becomes almost zero, the additional joy we get by replaying Fallout 4 and Skyrim, this evolution is one I anticipated, although not the “load 2GB of files in 0.27 seconds“, that is just the icing on the cake. The idea that Elder Scrolls: Restoration (see several other articles) becomes a technical viability opens up a lot of doors for RPG games, in this I wonder what Guerilla games could make of Horizon Zero Dawn 2. It is almost beyond belief and that is before we consider other franchises that offer us more and more. 

You see in the end it is not about Sony or their Playstation, it is about the gamer and gamemaker and it seems that Sony is facilitating to an amazing degree to those two, as I personally see it Microsoft is merely facilitating to those embracing Azure, in lesser degree to the game makers and last to the gamers, it is another setting entirely. Gamers are the first priority, Sony learned that lesson when they launched on 3 December 1994, a first try to debunk Nintendo as the king of gaming, they succeeded. So whilst we are all in folds on how much it is going to cost, consider that the Xbox360 was $699 and we all shelled out because we were going to get an awesome experience. That was proven true by Microsoft and I never regretted buying a second one when the red rings of death came to ring my front door bell (two days before Fallout New Vegas was released).

It seems to me that Microsoft forgot about what gamers need and they seem to listen to those who want gamers to take a certain direction, it is not the same. Still there are options where Sony could improve too, not the gaming side, but the connected social media side where we share what we want to share, that side is up for a tremendous amount of improvements, and when they do this considering that people are not always online (consider rural France and Germany) they might just wipe Microsoft out of existence, they don’t seem to care what happens to those gamers without excellent digital path access. As i Personally see it, it is due to a population of gamers without a global scope on the matter. 

The Sony presentation (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph8LyNIT9sg) is nice, but as CCN told us a little boring, still boring or not Google told me that it is #20 most trending videos at present, so boring is nice. Yet the presentation is also important as the OS is part of all this and the improvements in social media we will see before 2022, is lacking at present. As I personally see it both have that weakness and just like I was correct in storage, I expect that the social evolution on sharing becomes a much larger issue down the road and it seems that both are not ready for this part, even as it is not part of the console, it will be part of storage and synching (when possible), as such the console needs a pass through need that developers would have to adjust for and that is at present not a given. Even if it is easy, getting this in place BEFORE the console releases gives the makers of games a lot more to be ready for and I believe that it will impact the success of any of the consoles. 

How am I right?

This is much simpler. We have our friends and our social circles, at times we want all our friends to be aware, yet we have gaming friends and a social circle. They are not the same (for the most in Europe and America they are very different), I think that Sony did not consider this, or rejected this even as their PS3 presentation years ago gave sight of their plans. It was in that case a rejected plan that is now on their plate.

I am not talking about some marketing play, I am talking about gamers talking to their other gamers in an actual way, not pushing them messages (what happens too often). In this Google Plus had solved a few of the issues in the very beginning. Having circles solves it. Circles of connections playing the same game, playing a type of game and the individual messages that you can direct. So another game gets some of the messages and if that person is curious he or she can come look at YOUR wall where you see everything. So you basically have several walls, your wall, your shared wall, and circles and a message will be on some or (ill advised) all walls, your friends can select from your wall what they are interested in, and as you gain gaming fame they will optionally want to see more. It makes for a much easier social media, and that is the foundation of the dictionary “applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking” it is not about pushing content, but sharing content and like in any conversation, when the other party is not interested, they cut off the conversation, that part is often ignored because some players in social media need the traffic and the advertisements to go through, actual social media is about connecting and conversing (via sharing). It is a lesson that Microsoft (for the most) never learned in the last 8 years. Sony did not learn it either, but their solution was not about pushing marketing (to the degree Microsoft did) and as such we were a lot more happy, as well as the fact that we were not required to be online all the time, the system synched when we were (most often when synching achievements).

As this approach is matched with the games, we can select for games where the information goes (all to our wall) but then we can select per game where it goes (those who have the game too), when it is a genre we can also share it with those sharing that interest. So Fallout 5 is initially shared with those who have Fallout 5 and an interest in RPG, these players can then disregard (optionally temporary) Fallout 5 materials or disregard your material. That is a reality too, I have several friends and we shared Mass Effect 3 multiplayer gaming, but only that, as such my achievements in Mass Effect Andromeda was not interesting to them. In this I mentioned ‘optionally temporary‘ as a person starting in a game might not be interested in someone’s achievements who is at 90% (for means of spoilers and optional envy). This too makes for a much nicer experience in social media.

It is the side effect of any facilitating system of news events and achievements.

I believe that the PS5 will have a large base growing much faster if the social media template is set to facilitate to a much larger degree to gamers. Whether it is done or not will not affect the initial need and desire for the PS5, but I feel certain that over time it will be a much larger facilitating and desired part of any console. I also need to emphasize the win that Nintendo had on the switch with the calendar, I am amazed that none of the others see that part. You might not want to share your calendar, but an overview of achievements gained over a week is not something a gamer is not interested in, and the option to keep that calendar for years (an option the Switch does not seem to offer). I believe the option for gamers to open this part (per game) to the developer will be much more interesting to the makers too (as the gamer decides whether to inform others). It allows for an optional  deeper connection between maker and gamer. 

This allows for two elements the first being a direct gauge where the maker can inform (once) the gamer on season passes and DLC options. The second is that we can be aware of updates required on games we have, not blindly updating a game we haven’t touched for weeks (Microsoft actually has a much better system in play here than Sony does).

As we see that the PlayStation is Go! (Thunderbird pun) we see that no matter how great any system is, there will always be space for improvements. Sony however seems to have been listening to its gamers for the longest of times, lets see what the PS5 brings and what the second wave brings. This time around there are benefits and disadvantages for Sony. The last time around the Nintendo Switch was not a factor, this time it is and no matter how strong any system is, gaming is about joy and that is a lesson Nintendo has taken to heart every single time, they did this long before the Nintendo 64 (at $699 in those days) became a reality.

Even as the PS5 players will adjust to “We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5“, we see that the ‘truth’ of the matter is that the largest Sony base will initially be interested in less than 200 of them, especially if they upgrade from the PS4 and never had a PS4pro. 4K will be the larger reason for that. As such even the makers will benefit from the setting where someone did not buy it initially, their title was good on what was and optionally now will be a great added title (especially with patches in place). 

It is still early days, for the most, I am merely anticipating what is and what we will get, not what might optionally be missing. In that regard the Playstation family has never disappointed us (apart from the day one games on PS4) and it is still 9 months away, as such I believe that there will be a lot more information coming our way soon enough, most of that is most likely around the time this year’s virtual E3 hits us.

 

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Gaming towards isolation?

We have so much to look forward to, especially now as Sony has revealed much on their PS5 (at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2020/mar/19/playstation-5-specifications-revealed-but-design-is-still-a-mystery), the first thing I checked for was storage, and there we see “the PS5’s 825GB model is promising faster throughput, with 5.5GB/s as opposed to 2.4GB/s on Microsoft’s machine. PS5 will also offer an expansion slot so that users are able to plug in a secondary SSD“, and it also gives us the Microsoft part “the Xbox Series X will include a larger capacity drive at 1tb“, as such I wonder if the Xbox will allow an additional internal drive? They still have not learned anything, the 1TB drive was not sufficient on the oldest Xbox One and with two generations the storage requirements merely increased with 4K, but the Microsoft executives have the idea that their consumers will accept what THEY consider wisdom, well as I personally see it, they do not.

And I get it, 1TB is enough to start with, but at the end of the first year we need more. Now, let’s be clear, I do not know if that internal drive can be upgraded like the others, We did not have that information on the PS4 until the first week of the PS4, so the Sony situation might actually be better, but even then, in this situation a secondary internal drive might fit the bill. And optionally we can select the Samsung 860 QVO 2TB 2.5″ SATA III SSD for $325, which gives us the additional 2tb that gets us a comfortable 3tb in total. The nice part here is that we do not need to do it on day one and for a while enjoy the PS5 as is. Don’t get me wrong I never regretted the 2TB drive in week one, but there is a benefit to this setup, and Microsoft in 8 years has not learned this lesson (or refused to learn it). 

There is an additional win, this time for Microsoft: “Microsoft has confirmed the machine will be able to play games from each previous generation of the machine, while Sony is only currently talking about backwards compatibility with PS4 titles“, it’s a fair win, yet at present I cannot remember when I even considered playing a PS3 game in the last 36 months, all whilst the games I love will be playable on the PS5 (Skyrim, Last of Us, God of War, Elite Dangerous), and now that I will be able to replay them in 4K mode, I will get a secondary WOW feeling from games I have had for years. 

As such we are in for a little larger christmas list this year around, as the PS5 (I reckon the Microsoft contraption as well) will get the best from a 4K 120Hz TV, as well as some of the 8K TV[‘s (for the rich bastards among you folks), we get to have the nicest digital christmas for a while. In my perception (at present) the Sony X8000G 65″ 4K UHD is a great buy at $1300, and even then I realise that it is not as cheap as some models in the same size offer, in that field players like LG and HiSense offer models for less than $1000. They all have 4HDMI ports, so that is not the achilles heel to worry about, I reckon that there are automated features in Sony I kinda love, when I switch on my Sony Bluray player, the TV also goes on, when I switch on my PS4, the TV reacts as well, all things other brands do not seem to have and that is fine, they are minor points that do not take away from the joy of a TV. I reckon that the one thing we all will need to enjoy the console a lot more this time around is a soundbar, there are plenty of solutions and even as there optionally might be benefit to having the same brand as the TV, there is not one person that can convince me that there is an actual contender to whatever Bang and Olufsen or Bose can bring, I heard the B&O solution this week and it almost literally blew my socks off (I found them 30 minutes later). That would be one hell of a way to hear what the Sony PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D Audio engine brings to the table. Now, I get it, you can get that part later, or get it when there is a sale going on, yet I reckon that you want it the first time you hear that distinction, because it will be a much larger distinction. Lets face it, you were getting a TV, it has its ups and the sound no matter how great it is with Blu Rays, will not compare what a 3D audio engine brings to the table. Will you essentially need it on day one? Absolutely not, it is actually better to get it later, the WOW factor is pretty awesome, but once you have it, you won’t enjoy sound without it, no matter if it is a bluray or a game, the soundbar brings a lot to the table.

Yet in all this I am aware that we do not all have the coins to get it on day one and in that regard it is now the time to start looking for that 4K TV, or at least saving up for it (a decent 8K TV starts at $9,000), and you need not go for the larger brands, one option was a nameless brand giving a 50″ 4K TV for $450, consider the $79 for additional warranty (an extra 3 years) and you are set for 3-4 years. Then we get the target of our desires (the PS5) and here we see that they are still not giving us a price, but I reckon that $550 gets you there, as such you see a $1100 need by the end of the year. The additional $800 (soundbar and additional drive) is set to a later date giving you a year’s respite and you will end up having upgraded your gaming experience to almost the  highest end. 

In the end we can get all geeky with “CPU: x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2, eight cores, variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz GPU: AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine, variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 Tflops)“, yet in the end, we gamers want to see our socks blow off when we restart Diablo III, God of War IV, Skyrim and a few other titles and wonder how we were ever happy playing it on a standard day one version of the PS4, that too is the adaptation towards new technology. And all that before you see the impact of a PS5 game. We can argue and speculate all we want, but until there is a launch trailer and official release date, I am discarding all the rumours. CD Projekt Red already gave the goods that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a PS4 title, not a PS5 release, it will optionally look better on the PS5, but it will not be designed specific for it as such, the same tale applies to the microsoft version. It is an important distinction as we will see that the best experience on either console will be CD Projekt Red with both Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, a distinction that sets them apart and ahead of all the other AAA developers. If getting a new console is about the best gameplay you could experience, it needs to include a CD Projekt Red (Witcher 3 or Cyberpunk 2077) game. I am not discounting the joy that Skyrim or Fallout 4 brought, I will want to replay them in 4K mode, but the distinction that the best feelings in gaming will be available on day one if you have any of these games is just a little too awesome for anyone’s good.

In all this we see that others are in their own world of hurt (no need to kick a developer when they are down). If there is one speculation that cannot be ignored, then it is the coming of a Harry Potter RPG to the PS5. An important distinction here is that in all the text none of them are making any ‘exclusive’ noise, as such I reckon that both the Microsoft and the Sony console will get this title, even as all the references only include the PS5 mention, the absence of ‘exclusive’ gives the larger rise that it will be on both platforms.

So whilst we wonder what will be coming to either console, the fact that most of us have the greatest games already on the PS4 and some will be getting the Last of Us part 2 (presently on 29 May 2020), we see an abundance of new WOW feelings as we replay the games we already had (for those who had no PS4 pro). 

For that too is a side of gaming we forget. The idea that we played Skyrim, but did we see it? Try it in 4K and see if you can play the game without finding your lower jaw on the floor, I dare you! The same can be said for Fallout 4. In that same trend, if Witcher 3 blows us away in 4K mode, what will Cyberpunk 2077 do? The boys (girls also) at CD Projekt Red were very distinct in the fact that they want to surpass Witcher 3, as such, whatever more time they need, I will not be offended. I merely hope that William Gibson (writer of Neuromancer) will be there at the launch to see the world he wrote about becomes as close to reality via a console, as he wrote it in 1984, the technology did not exist to blow him away, Sony needed a little longer for that, now that the time is here, I wonder what his thoughts will be on what the in his mind created world became in the hands of CD Projekt Red. 

Even as we are isolating ourselves in gaming, the setting is not that far away, if this Coronavirus (not the beer) is here to stay, alone time with the console will set us free. Lets face it, in this day and age, we see an absurd amount of reflection on something that we cannot avoid. 

OK, I get it, what had an initial mortality rate of 3.2% is now 4.1% as such our survival rate goes allegedly down, yet the amount of people is still well over 95%, so we should not worry, or if we do get a PS5 at the end of the year and celebrate our life in another way. 

Gamers have enjoyed this style of life for decades, are we crying? Nope!

How do we game towards isolation? In fact we do not, when Facebook started groups and gaming groups got involved, we saw an uncanny amount of new connections, this is likely to repeat itself when the PS5 (and Microsoft contraption) comes out. I even speculated on an upgraded version of console dependent social media (on the consoles), yet even as the previous versions were already in that mindset, the makers (both Sony and Microsoft) took too limited a view on it and as such both lost out. It is clear that we want to shout our achievements out at times, we also want to share a lot more, but the station at which both offer that is mindlessly limited to a larger degree. Both systems forgot to think things through and even as Microsoft is ahead of that game, both still think on how THEY can profit visibility, the thought of how the gamer benefits is seen that as they can approach the gamer, the gamer wins, which is the wrong attitude to have. In this they merely had to look towards Google Plus and learn from what was there, they did not. 

I believe that the next gen consoles will have a much larger stage as they embrace ‘true’ social media (not brand and profit driven media), as such we see that both systems have a much larger field to enjoy. I am not stating that any profit driven option is out of bounds, but to have 50% of your homescreen limiting itself to advertisements (Xbox issue) is just stupid, the home screen is where you start your game and see 50% removed for usage is just silly (on more than one level). Yes, the new platforms could ring in a few stages that embrace connections, will they? I honestly do not know and even as the PS3 had the advantage, the PS5 can recreate that advantage and see a much larger boost, in the opposition Microsoft might decide to wake up and do something about it all, will they? 

I do not know, but the lost connections and the stage where it could optionally lead to better revenue is just silly. Yes, I am all for non-profit-driven-players, yet I am not saying that to some degree it should not exist. 

For example, we have social media and we have the PS3 situation of PS Home. Consider that you have your one environment, for example it comes with the next Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed game, for example the Montefiori villa. You get to have one location for yourself (the villa) you can set the main game you are playing and how far you got. in some of them, you get to have a note board where people leave links to their mail and messages, screenshots and you decide who gets to leave those (Google Plus feature). As you chose the location that provider will have a place to advertise new things (and they alone). You get to walk around your place looking at the news and at the interactions you decide on, the previous version never had that. Will it be the Montefiori Villa, a Watchdogs location, the Batcave, a last of us house, or a house in Skyrim, and there is still the community wall where you get a better sense of what is placed there and you can decide. All elements that make for a much larger stage, a stage largely ignored at present, or at times too overwhelming. It requires filtering for some and almost none are there and both players have this issue. And to be honest, I would have thought they would have done a much better job of it (ever since the PS3), both players had the wrong hat on and in the end it makes the wall a ‘whatever!’ experience. 

I believe that the PS5 (and Microsoft equivalent) have a new stage in 2021-2022, as 5G is playing a much larger stage, there will be a larger stage for people to feel comfy in, it applies to gaming as well. Even as we are all in it for the game, the stage where we are comparing and reading about other gamers will become a lot more distinct. Perhaps it is the one field where the Google Stadia could rule in the end. 

I believe that it shows a much larger community that is out there. Some gamers do not want to talk to all their friends, they do not want to read about all the others, but he or she might want to look at something specific and it will differ per game, neither Microsoft or Sony considered that for almost three generations. None of them gave the right focal point on filtering, they merely dumped it all on the player, who ignored it in a hurry.

Forbes gave us 4 days ago “Stadia has been struggling to make waves and capture the interest of harder core players who were willing to pay for Founder’s Editions or the paid tier. But now with everyone stuck indoors, it seems like the right time to introduce the free tier” (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2020/03/16/coronavirus-quarantine-seems-like-the-right-time-for-google-stadia-to-release-its-free-tier/#e60fd00b168f), I believe that the issue goes beyond that. Yes the article reads easier when we see ‘the free tier‘, yet the truth is that this is the stage of cash strapped people, the gamer has another need, to see what they want to see and that is not addressed, by none of the providers, they merely dump a shitload of items and issues, with no filtering, or at most limited filtering.

Even as we are all gamers, we all have distinct needs or interests. I am interested in some of my friends on how far they get, one of them is a Witcher virtuoso, so seeing where he gets at is interesting, some games have nothing to contribute to me and some gamers are seemingly in it to get achievements. i cannot directly see which gamer is in it to enjoy Skyrim and who is in it to run through Skyrim. Filtering of users, friends and game specific items became apparent and it has been that way since the PS3/Xbox360, yet the makers did not really catch up, not in almost 15 years, how peculiar. There is always the option that they did not think it worthy of their attention, but that choice is dwindling down in light of what 5G offer and what the hardware can currently deal with.

It is a stage where we force our bodies into isolation, yet the mind is globally available and that is how it has been with gamers almost 30 years (M.U.L.E.) that is one of the first games that had enough multiplayer sides for people to take a much larger interest and the CBM64 (with an actual 300 bit modem option, no less) took that to another level (in those days). 

We (the people at Sony) seemingly forgot to take that into account and even as the world premiere on the PS3 implied it, it never really came to the degree we all desired, yet this time around, the isolation phase in the Coronavirus might give them pause to think on what gamers need and desire and adjust the system accordingly. The fact that most is software arranged implies that the systems will not be impeded and it could all be finished and better adjusted to when the console launches. I believe that whomever adjusts to that has a much larger audience to cater to when that part is realised. We might (to some degree) be in denial of that, yet I believe that the lockdown and self imposed isolation out there will push these issues to the surface and I believe that it will happen just in time. I reckon that the 2020 Olympics will add to that flavour of realisation as well. No matter whether the Olympics will be delayed for up to a year, or that Wimbledon will push that part to the upper reaches, it is a field where we see growth of a different nature, 5G already has the ability to set things in faster mode, but gamers have not been so lucky and we need to consider this, in the past where it was all PS2, the world consisted of 150,000,000 gamers, now that number has grown to well over 500% and now, as we see that 1,000,000,000 people want to reach out, now we see that the proper addressing on how they can reach out will matter, even as Facebook ignored it for far too long to cater towards advertisers, we see that consoles have a much larger game to play here. 

I merely hope that Sony (and others) take notice when it can still impact them in a positive way, the next two years will show where it ends. Will it end well? I cannot say at present.

 

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WYSIWYG?

What you see is what you get, that has been around since the old PC XT (or AT) tried its hands on desktop publishing. The phrase continued and spread in other paths, and we all accepted the term. Yet the term evolved and the fakeness of the term used later was ignored. As such the evolved WYSIWHY has come to be: What You See Is What Hyped You.

We see it in all matters of events. How the media gives rise to ‘Fed cuts rates by half a percentage point to combat coronavirus slowdown‘ (source:CNBC), even as there were less than 300 cases in a nation with 325,000,000 people, no such consideration was ever given with Swine flu or HIV. It was merely an administration what wanted to avoid the use of ‘recession’, now we see ‘Recession fears grow as Wall Street investors brace for a wild week for stocks‘ (source: Washington Post), even as we accept “after coronavirus fears caused the biggest weekly decline for U.S. stocks since the financial crisis“, the idea that a case of the flu, with a present 109,975 cases is just insane and most people are just buying the cake shovelled towards us. Consider that China has 73% of the cases and 19.3% of the cases are spread over Italy, South Korea and Iran. So how can these 4 nations impact the world economy to THAT extent? Lets not forget that the global fatality is still around 3.4%, all whilst the cases in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Singapore, Austria, and Canada are without fatalities (at present), as such the overreaction is large and WYSIWHY is as I personally see it the stage.

Yet this is not about that, even as the beer virus (Corona) is staged to you in ‘E3 2020 is on a knife-edge right now – and it could end the gaming show for good‘ by Techradar (at https://www.techradar.com/news/e3-2020-is-on-a-knife-edge-right-now-and-it-could-end-the-gaming-show-for-good), there are a few important parts here and it is time to call the spades that they are not diamonds (or hearts for that matter). 

As I personally see it, there is a larger rift between Sony and Microsoft and it is coming to blows soon enough. Sony wants to be slightly cheaper than the Microsoft product, all whilst the Microsoft presentations are hiding the simple fact that they DO NOT want to reveal the storage space on their contraption. Look at all the presentations over the last year, it is all about hype creation, all whilst storage is a massive part of a console, no matter how you play, you need storage and for almost a year Microsoft steered away from it in any way they could and for them the E3 is coming too soon to feel comfortable. More importantly, in 2013 they had this ‘always online‘ part and it nearly destroyed the Xbox as a product, now they are afraid to come out and play as the kids would say, they are all into hype creation, whilst essential issues like price and storage are averted. I give them a pass on price this early, not on storage, because if the systems is this ready, the storage is known, even if there are multiple options. 

Microsoft desperately needs WYSIWHY and the people in gaming have had enough of that stage. The Techradar article mentions Microsoft once, a player that distinct in the E3 history, to see it only once, implies (for me at least) that this is about avoidance. Sony has had a great run and it has the benefit of a huge PS population, it is ahead by a lot. To be honest, if the PS5 is $100 more expensive than the Microsoft version, I will still go for the Sony option, as I personally see and feel it, there was too much treason by Microsoft towards me, too much harassment towards online and too much bricks on the road for the offline players (not to mention all the advertisements on my XBox One home page), intentional limitations is as much of an harassment than anything else and Microsoft is out of options with me.

There are a few options, especially as the E3 trade show is a moneymaker, merely delaying it would already be a clear alternative, no the talk is ‘cancellation’ and it does not sit well with me (so far ESA has clearly denied any cancellation of the E3). Yes, even as the corona cases are blatantly out of proportions (the shouting that is), we see no foul in delaying the E3 event, cooler heads prevail and I see that the E3 might have to be delayed, yet for how much, that is the question, also, as the E3 is getting closer to the end of the year, the PS5 and the Microsoft alternative could actually be presented to players, as such I see that there is a lot more going on. Nintendo has a hard time ahead, but the Switch is so switched on that it will stay standing in the upcoming Sony vs Microsoft battle, but Microsoft does not want that, you see with the Nintendo Switch surpassing Microsoft on lifetime sales the stage is not pretty for Microsoft, they were willing to grudgingly be in second place, but to get to a trade show where the weakest processor sells better then the most powerful one, especially as pricing is seemingly not the issue is too unsettling for Microsoft, until they can hype some kind of a win over the other two, they want to avoid the E3 completely, yet the E3 is more than these three, the game makers (Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Sega and others) are also a factor, they are the people also enticing the audience and even as we see good things, we see that Ubisoft is in terrible danger. First we get “The Division 2 is still having a few issues, despite the release of a new update. The issue appears to be affecting Xbox One owners, who are unable to login because their characters are locked.” (source: the Express), then there were a load of issues with Breakpoint, Digital Trends gave us yesterday “Ubisoft will try to save Ghost Recon Breakpoint with huge overhaul, new modes” this is on what some would call ‘an old system’, and it seems that they are nowhere near ready to go to the new systems, whatever presentation they bring with get nitpicked by thousands and Ubisoft might not ready for that as I personally see it because they could not properly test games (as the released evidence shows or muzzle their marketing department until it was safe for them to create hypes).

Bethesda’s largest issue was Fallout 76, and that is fair. They gave us two days ago “Just Because It Didn’t Go Well Doesn’t Mean It Was Wrong to Try Something Different“. OK I support that part, trying something new could break the bank, it did with the Nintendo Switch, and there is no shame in trying and failing (Nintendo WiiU anyone?) This is how gaming goes. When you are on the edge of what is possible, doing the same will not get you anywhere, I personally was not up for Fallout 76 (I prefer my games single player), as such Pete Hines is correct and beyond that, until they have something that is really ready on PS5/XBox, they might prefer to remain quiet, I get that. The E3 is too big and it is possible that some makers don’t have anything ready at that point and that is fine, but the fact that no one has anything, that becomes too weird.

If I can design a gaming idea in 8 hours, so can those who are better at it then me, that is merely a simple truth to behold and the cancellation of the E3 does not make sense. Yes it makes sense for Microsoft (for all the expected reasons) and it makes sense for Ubisoft (for all their unfortunate events), yet there is more than these two and there is so much to behold in gaming land that it is sad to see so much depend on the PS5/XBox to falter (whilst some are hiding behind a bottle of Corona).

As Techradar finishes with “given the melting pot of illness, behind-the-scenes disagreements, and online distribution channels threatening its survival. And the status of E3 2020 could be decided any day now. We’ll keep you informed either way” we see that nothing is set in tone, but the flexibility to avoid issues are in play, we get part of that. 

So let’s look at the elements

  1. Illness. Not an issue, the delay could optionally avoid that and give rise to solving another part.
  2. Behind-the-scenes disagreements. OK, we accept that, but that has always been the case, in this stage we see that Microsoft and Ubisoft are in a massive negative swing, so do these two players have THAT much swing on the E3?
  3. Online distribution channels. Not an issue educating and buying a muzzle for your marketing department solves that. What is hyped is an issue, but only to the hyper, online distribution channels have been a larger issue for much longer and the NDA tends to solve several issues, in addition, barring those who break the NDA is also a solution, the fact that they can never get nfo ever again also makes them unemployable, so people tend to take these parts serious. It also implies that the smaller fry gets left out which is not a bad thing, there are plenty of larger players that have (to the best of my knowledge adhered to the NDA states, as such just the muzzling of their marketing department remains, hiring the right people tends to solve that.
  4. New: E3 2020 Creative Directors Resign, OK that is an optional event, there is a larger issue in play and it is not merely the running aways by Creative Directors. There is not enough information to judge the actions of iam8bit, and the actions by Geoff Keighley give rise to a lot more and this has nothing to do with any fear of any case of the flu. 

As we look at the stage of the E3, the amount of questions rising within me is increasing almost exponentially, no matter how certain paths go, anywho has ever planned for an event will tell you that largest contributors walking out past the 90% point is not merely rare, it should be grounds for a large open debate towards what is really going on, in that same trend we see the walking off by Geoff Keighley and the face he presented towards gaming at so many events should also be the foundation of questions.

What you see is not what we are getting and the media is actually part of the problem here, and it is seen in other ways too, as CCN gave us on February 15th (at https://www.ccn.com/this-company-wants-to-save-e3-2020-and-its-inviting-keanu-reeves-for-the-ride/) ‘This Company Wants to Save E3 2020, and It’s Inviting Keanu Reeves for the Ride‘, we can optionally argue that this is the coolest invitation that Keanu Reeves ever got for St. Valentine, the truth is that he is more than a crowd pleaser, as actor, as the actor for the John Wick stories, as the man playing Silverhand in CD Projekt Red ‘Cyberpunk 2077‘ it is one of the better thoughts, yet Limited Run Games (the company behind this action) is largely unknown and so far the media is ignoring all this and I see no refusal or denial from the agent of K. Reeves (as far as I was able to look into this). As CCN (in their article) gives a lot more, we see the stage that makes no sense, The E3 is a lot larger than the mere product makers, there are the entertainers, the software makers and there are multiple event carriers in place, the math doesn’t add up on my side and the media gives too little attention to this (the news media, not the gaming media).

When a global event like E3 is on such a stage, how can the news media remain silent to such a degree? Lets not forget that the event is 3 months away, optionally 5-6, as such there is a much larger stage in play, can you all see that? For the most I steered clear of the  Electronic Software Association (ESA), I am not stating that they are not a factor, but I have no idea what factor they are and what their agenda is in all this, even as we see statements like ‘ESA says E3 2020 still going ahead as planned‘, we cannot say what the finite standing is, they will have to take the Coronavirus as a factor, because there are costs for moving an event like this and as such there is a financial path to consider, I am not denying that in some cases. 

The math doesn’t add up and the stage is too large, whatever is plaguing E3 has a much larger issue that is not reported on and it seems to me (paranoia comfortably setting in) that this might be a case of the media having to deal with people who are either shareholders, stakeholders, or advertisers. Yet this is merely my take on the stage.

Is it true?

Well that remains to be seen, until the end of last month Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft and Bethesda were all confirmed (more were), so I have to remain skeptical at the whole ‘cancellation’ hype, yet there are rumours in the weeds that the cancellation drive is growing and two players cancelling at this point implies that the cancellation drive is not non-existent. There are optionally more issues in the field, one is ‘Top Rainbow Six Siege creators call for Ubisoft to prevent harassment and ‘stream sniping’‘ (source: Windows Central) which is nothing against Ubisoft as a company or a product maker, but it is fallout that they have to deal with, as such I also accept “Ubisoft has made strides in tackling cheating and toxicity, top content creators voice concerns over tools to protect broadcasters“, we can argue that there needs to be ample protection against cheaters, yet against bullies it becomes a different matter, what can you allow for to keep the game as open as it is without restraining valid gamers beyond valid measures, it is an optional headache that Ubisoft doesn’t need and more clearly does not deserve. In addition to all this, there are several software houses pulling titles from the NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW service. This will also lead to all kinds of questions, as such we see that this E3 has an enormous amount of questions and this will be the first E3 lacking all kinds of answers, we can expect a whole range of spin answers, but actual answers? I fear the worst at present.

At present there is no cancellation of the E3, yet I believe that if this does happen during the week, whatever factor is given to the Coronavirus will be off by at least 50%, it is in my humble opinion too much about certain people needing it not to happen because of very different factors, the Coronavirus was seemingly no more than a happy coincidence.

 

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Value and validation

We all see both, we need to be valued and our work, our thoughts and our point of view needs to be validated. It is for almost every person the same, the value and validation drives him and her alike. As a blogger I have to do with rants and bad mouthing, but that is what comes with the terrain, with my IP it is different, like a writer I need validation, but I cannot get it without putting my IP in the public domain and that is a really bad idea any given day of the week, so how will I get value and validation if there is no feedback? Well in my case there are a few items that work. First there is the validation on what I write. I wrote in September 2019 ‘It’s been that long‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/09/28/its-been-that-long/). I had written about the issues before in ‘Gaming ‘after silence’ or ‘pre noise’?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/14/gaming-after-silence-or-pre-noise/). there I wrote May 2016 “This is just my view on it and I expect to be proven correct before the end of 2018, possibly even sooner” and as I see it System Shock (delayed, 2020), Moonshades (a Dungeon Master style game) have proven me correct, basically I feel validated beyond the value of Ubisoft at present (nothing wrong with my ego). Dungeon Keeper and a few others were already out (or openly in production), so that does not count. These are a few of the little things showing that I was right all along. This does not prove that my IP is da bomb, but if I am right in my way of thinking in one way, I will also be right in the speculative reasoning, and as my path is still not showing in 5G, I feel more and more happy.

In all this, my mind needs to create, it needs to be creative and I wonder when we see ‘3 Reasons 2020 Will Be a Make-Or-Break Year for Netflix‘, whether this is merely a ploy to bounce the stock or something else. Yes, the Nasdaq article gives us “Will Netflix finally win the Best Picture Oscar?” as the second reason, making the article bogus (to some extent), some of the best movies in the history of film never got awarded best picture and that did not hinder them, did it? The Independent (UK Newspaper) shows us Citizen Kane, Vertigo, the Graduate, 2001 (a computer going nuts), Taxi Driver (Robert de Niro with a decent haircut), Apocalypse now (Martin Sheen as a teenager), Blade Runner, Pulp fiction and the list goes on, the paper gives us 23 movies (a lot with De Niro) all worthy to rub shoulders with the Irishman, none of them Oscar winners, does it matter? What matters is not the billions spent ($15 billion last year on materials alone), the matter at hand is if Netflix keeps on making quality stuff, even if it is less, quality is quality. In that light I thought

Wouldn’t it be nice

Let’s take a look at Rendezvous with Rama, the atmosphere of the book gives us a handle, yet what if we turn this around, what if a group of people wake up on a space station with a diameter of around 250 meters, it is a way station, between us and the Sombrero galaxy, all indications are that the people wake up at 1/3rd between us and the Sombrero galaxy, in the middle of nowhere. At what point will we consider that we are merely rats in a maze? Even as every piece of equipment works, even as most of it is beyond most technology firms, what is the test? Is it the one we are given? Will we abide? What happens when two more teams arrive? What happens when we start taking initiative? 

As the situation presses and another platform is found, we see that there is division in the groups, one group (from the three arriving teams) decide to use it only to find themselves on a station more than twice the size, yet now only 1/3rd away from the Sombrero galaxy. As we consider the hardware available and working that it can get us to another galaxy, how much more advanced were the makers and what do they want? With one or two twists, one involving a priest going nuts (a wink at war of the worlds) we are left with questions, because we now know enough to know that there is no way that we are alone in this universe, yet the people here have no clue what we are missing to go travelling and yes the cold fusion we claim to have does not cut it (not without two elements and Celestrium) the last part is essential as its existence answers a few question, including how to find others.

When we take the science apart and see that we are often too clueless to consider leaving us alone with that equipment. Would you leave a box of matches in YOUR house with your 2 year old? The considerations I had on a Sunday evening would become the foundation of an optional mini series, with my additional mind on games, TV series and IP, I see that there is nothing wrong with my imagination! Now Google and Huawei need to wake up for the circuit to be completed (almost literally so).

In all this, we can feed our need for science and our need for fear, fear makes its own conclusions and it has no reservations taking the upper hand, just like it tends to take over giving doubt in a stage of our ability to value and validate ourselves, and it all matters! Did you think that I am so much brighter and better than some others? (Well I am to some degree), the issue that we see nowadays with the US playing tantrum child all over the field is showing a larger lack of imagination. The movie industry sees the imagination of a man like Stan Lee take over, but it was his imagination that spoke to millions of people all over the world, a lot of them having seen at least a dozen of his comic books, and Marvel cashed in, in a world where we see a lack of imagination we see the people of Stan Lee comics making a killing, imagination gets to do that. In that same view I see the Irishman, an amazing piece of work and if that is the quality that Netflix brings, then best movie Oscar or not, Netflix is likely to be around if those holding their credit is standing strong too. for that is the game too, if the credit holder is not a visionary, if that person is a short term bullet point oriented Excel user, you tend to be royally screwed (pardon my French).

And in this I am not alone, Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2019/08/20/all-the-reasons-why-netflix-is-doomed/#59953e37465e) gave us last year “Content Spending Not Adding Enough Subscribers“, an optional issue to some degree, yet we seem to overlook that there are 170 million subscribers, with 100 million outside of the US, in all this we tend to forget that France has a dismal internet (outside of Paris and Defense au Lille), and they are not alone. there is still the need to see Netflix, in many nations and as more people see the pull to new series (like the Witcher), Netflix will survive, by the way, in all this we see the lack of visibility on HOW MANY watched The Witcher, none of the cable services EVER had that much viewers. A small item easily overlooked and as Netflix moves through time, we will see more players and some will switch, but Netflix remains a name not to be forgotten, no matter who shows the Marvel movies.

And as I see the writer of Forbes give us “As I wrote about in “Loss of Licensed Content Is an Underrated Crisis for Netflix”, Netflix doesn’t appear to have a plan in place to replace these beloved shows when they depart the service in 2020 and 2021” and there it relies on the Office and Friends, a TV series that was big in 1994 and the ten years running. Yes it was fun and it is highly regarded, yet so it Star Trek, so is Altered Carbon, so is Bojack Horseman and that list can continue for some time. I believe that it is the new material that will pull in the subscribers, not old series (although a case can be made for the West Wing and Babylon 5). And what we like is out in the open, with 4 billions ooptional watchers, what we like is spread between Aaron’s Way and Zorro, there is a need for almost all and over time they all will be watched (at some point). If there is one flaw in the Netflix formula, then it is the abundance of choices, we are like children in the candy store having to make a choice, yet whenever we make one, we see another lolly overwhelmingly tasteful. It is great for the creative inspiration, but you tend to miss out on perseverance or a lack of sleep, whichever comes first and ask around you, whomever saw the Witcher, how many watchers turned into overnight bingers? Now consider that Netflix releases one show a month, how much sleep did you forego?

At times validation takes its own currency as payment and it tends to be the currency you did not see coming, and it is not a currency that holds water at the check out of the supermarket. We all tend to forget that a little, as well as the small thought that creativity starts in someone’s mind, not as a bullet point on a document. This is important, especially as I agree (and oppose) with ‘Ubisoft: A Number Of Risks Make The Company Non-Investable At This Point‘. Those who know me, have seen that I have spoken out against Ubisoft on a number of occasions, yet the issue is that this (source: Seeking Alpha) article is all set to the investors and there we have another matter. Yes games are reasonably high risk, yet there is a reason that places like CD Projekt Red are successful, they went the extra mile. Ubisoft needs to adjust course. I cannot completely disagree with “We don’t think that Ubisoft is worth investing in right now and believe that the market offers greater opportunities with less risk“, they do have a point, yet this investment report is set around the overall, not the specific. As we see “While shares are slowly rebounding from the bottom” we see a reason to consider Ubisoft, even as we have to agree with “poor decision making in the past and a ruthlessly competitive environment are making Ubisoft non-investable at this point“, we forget that the engine is set around creativity. It is watching two channels at the same time, and Ubisoft did this to themselves. There is the creative channel that is showing delay upon delay as they need to get it right and there is the hype creating business channel that needs to get muzzled, the stage is wrong, the PS5 and Xbox releases at the end of the year require their best foot forward, if Ubisoft is able to release a game in the quality settings of AC Origin, they are saved, if they do it AC Unity style, they are buggered and their marketing department is not helping, there are almost literally hundreds of shouts from all kinds of publishers on delays and other news that does not make the coffee, creation is equally about muzzling that part. All while one source is giving us the image of WatchDogs Legion: “The release of Ubisoft’s new animal-themed action-adventure game“. It was 4 days ago, why is Ubisoft marketing not all over that? I should be less concerned, Ubisoft did this largely to itself, yet the creative minds like Jason VendenBerghe were lost in this marketing shuffle. An amazing game that should have made his desk at Ubisoft a permanent one, was shown in Netflix as we are shown what the creative minds go through when they are bounced of other creative minds and off the walls, we see the need of validation and how it was missing at Ubisoft, at least that is how I saw it. There will always be a large part that is not on any camera, but what some see as validation is not always picked up as such and the need for clear communication tends to go in every direction, you merely need to look at several surveys and how people perceive brands to get that part of the picture, as such a driven creative mind with a single focus tends to go in any direction, except the direction it had to go in and the lack of validation tends to be a larger concern. As for value? that remains to be seen and that remains open, yet I do believe that if there is validation, the value of oneself tends to go up, that has been the case since before Brutus was slapped on the shoulder for treating Caesar to a dagger on 15 March 44 BC. He was validated, but his value remained that of a traitor (hence he comitted suicide). In all this we rely on one, knowing all too well that the second does not give validation to the first, or it does, yet it will not give value to both and that is where the internal person and the realist tend to sway, how to assess value? We have been on the false brink of stockmasters for too long and our  assessment of what is value is in the wind, time will tell how we go about it, because that is something we cannot do on the fly or in an instant.

 

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