Tag Archives: Tom’s Hardware

It was tempting

Yup, there it is, my option to consider another part of IP, or talking about the console war. There was temptation for a few reasons, but the console war won. In the first we look at Notebook Check, here we see “Convincing PlayStation 5 price leak and latest IGN poll all but confirm victory for Sony and the PS5 in the first battle of the next-gen console war”, which is certainly one way if losing at the situation, we could also include “if the figures are genuine then gamers planning on pre-ordering either a Blu-ray console or Digital Edition model are likely to be satisfied. Another IGN next-gen console poll shows huge popular support for Sony’s devices, regardless of the recent appearance of the Xbox Series S”, we have a start and it would b e quite the start, yet I believe them to be merely side reasons. You see, the real reason is also the reason why I dumped my Xbox One and all the games, I have no further faith in Microsoft, who is not ruled by deeds, but by marketing hypes. Microsoft through stupidity on the Xbox One, lost me at least twice over, and as I personally see it, there is no coming back from that one in the near future. Consider that I would be more hyped to get Super Mario 3D All-Stars free at $69, then whatever that new console will cost, so consider, I am more interesting to get a remade Mario game on the Nintendo Switch, then the new Microsoft console, their credibility is THAT low. 

I have written about these issues in the past and this is not a reuse issue, so lets get back to the article (at https://www.notebookcheck.net/Convincing-PlayStation-5-price-leak-and-latest-IGN-poll-all-but-confirm-victory-for-Sony-and-the-PS5-in-the-first-battle-of-the-next-gen-console-war.493457.0.html), where we see “An IGN poll asking Twitter residents the question “Now that we have more info on some next-gen console prices, which do you think you’re most likely to buy first?” has now closed, and perhaps unsurprisingly it has been a convincing win for Sony.

The PS5 attracted 55.3% of the votes, followed by the Xbox Series X on a respectable 23.5%, PS5 Digital Edition on 12.9%, and Xbox Series S on 8.4% (out of 138,045 votes)”. It is here that we see the 138 thousand people gave large support to the PS5, 55% to the full edition and 12.9 to the digital version, as such 2 out of three select Sony, the rest selected the other brand, yet I feel certain that Microsoft would be hurting a lot more if the Nintendo Switch Pro was part of the question. I personally have a little issue with the phrase ‘respectable’ but OK, I’ll let that slip. Microsoft only has itself to blame, it did NOTHING to listen to their fanbase, they hype and twist, but the two largest issues were not resolved for 8 years and nw they get to pay for that. The idea that many would select the Nintendo Switch Pro over a Microsoft console is something that they will have to deal with in 2021, but by then there is every chance that they are more nervous of Google or Apple sneaking up on them from 4th position, than the next Nintendo system, especially as Nintendo is already in sec and place in the console war. A good system does that and the fact that its users are looking forward to a $69 game a lot more than the next Microsoft console is a warning to the size of: ‘Careful what you wish for Microsoft!’, for them it doesn’t get much more painful, but they achieved it anyway. Oh and I do believe that pricing has nothing to do with it, if the PS5 would start at $699, I would still take it over whatever a Microsoft console goes for, I want a good game, not an exporting console, the lesson Microsoft never learned. 

Tom’s guide also gives us a forecast, in this it looks good but I am not sure if I could agree, even as Sony is a little lower, Microsoft will be a lot lower, all because of Nintendo and either Google or Apple (that fight is nowhere near settling). I think the consumers are forgetting that these two will influence the field. It leaves Sony optionally impacting 3-7 million systems up till 2024, Yet there is every chance that Microsoft will equally be impacted between 6-12 million systems up till 2024. It is a personal speculation, but there are plenty who take the PS5 next to a Nintendo, the rivalrous setting of Microsoft is a lot less so and the Nintendo Switch pro with 4K will impact the Microsoft a lot harder. You see, the Xbox Series S will be around $299, there will be a drive that is a lot harder that people think, instead of this, I can get a Nintendo Switch. Weirdly enough, they will have the Nintendo and a PS5 on the side (reversal of fortune), don’t ask me to explain it, I cannot, but I always felt that a Nintendo is welcome next to a Playstation, whilst Microsoft has aways about ‘Its only us’ and that ill hurt them a lot more then you think. 

And I am giving you this a day before Sony unleashes internet hell with their presentation, I believe that there are a few surprises for all of us, yet I do not care, I have made my decision, I made my bed and I will snore like a sawmill. I believe there is a lot more to come early 2021, but it depends on how competitive Apple and Google will get, if they decide to unite Microsoft will be done for, if it becomes a fight between the to (most likely) I feel that on personal grounds Google will win, but that is NOT a given, more of an expected vibe. In this either has a chance to push to third leaving Microsoft on 4th position and basically in the dirt, it will be the harshest lesson they ever received in 15 years. And that is merely the opening setting, there I more, but the waters are fluid and it involves Ubisoft, I wanted to go all out here, yet after reading some of the CNN stuff, I get the feeling that Ubisoft is not getting a fair shake, and that offends me a little, do not get me wrong, I’ll happily make fun of Yves Guillemot at the drop of a hat (any hat), but I have always been fair and based on things I myself can corroborate, not on expected whims lacking evidence, that is merely a no-go for me (it sucks having principles). 

Still, Ubisoft is important here, if Microsoft loses out (which is a lot more likely than you think) it will hurt Ubisoft as well, they are on all platforms, but now we get to the quote I had two days ago. With “What if we use the power of Sony and for example Google Stadia to the max what that system can give? Will the gamer not end up with a much better experience? If you doubt that, consider Metroid Prime 1 and 2 on GameCube, a game that is still mostly unsurpassed on Xbox One and PS4 11 years later, an entire generation later”, there was method to my madness and as Microsoft loses foothold, players like Ubisoft will lose massive foothold too. Their position can only be held if the systems are on equal footing and that has not been the case of at least 5 years and as one system slips behind Nintendo, the fault line becomes at least unnerving. 

So as we see Sony’s intent this week we muster the coins we have, because preordering early is massively needed. And in 2021? Well, I merely wonder how many will choose the Nintendo Switch Pro over a Microsoft console, because that too will happen more and more. And if the docking slot with an extra game slot is true, I will be on board as soon as I can. It is just too tempting.

 

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Games and more

Yes, the E3 is upon us, it is now mere hours away and anyone who is into gaming will be hyped to see what comes. It might be about their franchise, it might be about a maker, or it will be a little more generic. No matter how we slice it the next 4 days will be about that is likely to come, what will be hyped and let’s not forget the giveaways, free DLC codes and optionally the speculated hardware.

What makes the headline?

It is important to see the headline in this, and the headline is Google Stadia. We see several sources giving us information, yet the direct impact is there and it is less positive than one might gather. Let’s look at two quotes, first there is Techradar giving us: “A world in which all you ever have to do to start gaming is open up your browser, select a game and start playing – no lengthy download required. This could soon become a reality if Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia, delivers on its promises – you’ll be able to go from opening a Chrome tab to playing a 4K, 60fps game, in five seconds, no installation required“, this seems awesome, yet I have been around long enough in this business to notice that when someone states ‘look left’ I also ‘look right’. So when I look to the right, I see PC Gamer giving us ‘Stadia 4K streaming will use up 1TB of data in 65 hours‘ and that is not a good thing. Now, we all accept that gaming takes power and resources, yet 4K gaming in a setting where in some countries that could set you back $1,000 per month is not something you want to consider. Here in Australia (no Google Stadia coming here for now), a person pays (when it is not unlimited) $10 per GB, so that adds up really fast in a non-unlimited contract stage, yet with unlimited there has been noise that above a certain usage the download speed gets throttled, so there could optionally be that risk to consider.

Before we start crying, there is the additional info given with “That works out to around 15.75GB per hour of 4K streaming, 9GB per hour of 1080p, or 4.5GB per hour at 720p“, when you have a 1TB contract, which is a lot, you get 65 hours, 110 hours, or 227 hours of gaming. So options 2 and three should be fine, it is a reality to face that 4K gaming is not immediately available for usage for all, and that is beside the setting whether you have a 4K TV or not.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo was a lot less positive (at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/06/is-stadia-already-screwed/), and when we see: “We have an updated guidance here,” he said. “You actually need 10 Mbps to stream at least 720p, but actually, it could be higher depending on specific details of the kind of network situation or your game. And then to comfortably stream 4K—the best experience—we recommend 35Mbps.” It takes out all the wireless 4G players, they can pretty much forget about it and even in the lowest mode there will be issues, even if you are with a major Australian player like Optus, it is the direct impact of bandwidth and it is likely to remain an issue in the foreseeable future, yet only until you get 5G, at that point speed is no longer an issue, total usage might remain, but that is depending on the providers and no one has any clear information at present which makes sense for now.

The writer gives us: “as long as it’s streaming over a broken internet, it’s fucked” at the very end, which is only a truth for today, and even then it is still only a partial truth. Google has been playing the long game for enough time to know that anyone getting 5G will seriously consider Google Stadia, especially Online players in MMO games. It gets to be even better when you consider the Verge who has the list (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/6/18655380/google-stadia-games-list-cloud-streaming-service-e3-2019), It includes the newest games as well as other games like DOOM Eternal, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, NBA 2K, Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, and The Crew 2. I believe that to be a decent start of any service. There is a little too much uncertainty on pricing; one source gave me $10 per month for a pro license, which is not outlandish when you consider the game list. In addition Google Stadia has started its own game development studio, headed by Jade Raymond. A well-known producer who has earned her marks at both EA and Ubisoft.

In this regard, I believe it might be seen as a rocky start, but not a fatal one, in the long run Google is now set up to remain a force to be reckoned with. I also disagree with the view that Forbes has. Paul Tassi gives us trivialisation like ‘this offers something like Microsoft’s Game Pass the ability to eat Stadia’s lunch‘, which is true, yet Microsoft never fixed their problems, did they? Not in 6 years, and as he gives us: “While Google is indeed starting to develop its own games in-house, it could take years for those to arrive, and there’s absolutely zero guarantee of their quality when they do“, this is true too, yet the failing of quality by Ubisoft has been noted for years, what has he done about it to illustrate that? And when we saw the lack of Microsoft exclusives last year, the mention of ‘their lengthy roster of must-have exclusives‘ should be regarded as work in progress. That few to none part is easily rectified, and even the PS4 had loads of long delays for some of their games and exclusives, with the Ubisoft Watchdogs the delay was long enough to get your wife pregnant and still not being able to play the game until the child was born, so pot and kettle are both utensils of a similar colour in this setting.

Then we get the last overstated statement with: “but with 200 million consoles sold every year and untold number of gaming PCs“, I wonder how he got those numbers, over 6 years Sony sold 93 million consoles, Microsoft is on that same stage at 41 million at best and Nintendo in 2 years got to 34 million, so his math is in the toilet as well, unless he includes the handhelds which is a skewed finding, still there the 200 milllion a year will not be reached, not even close.

I believe that Google is an early starter in a stage where Microsoft hoped to get their Scarlett (whatever they named it in 2018) system, I am not sure it has a real chance, but I have been wrong before, it might work, Google on the other hand still has a lot to learn and optional plenty of promises to break, time will tell where they go, but there is space to succeed, especially when 5G arrives at homes it is then that Google Stadia truly gets an option to earn its laurels, and it is likely to do so.

There is a part that matters, Paul rightfully asks the question: “it’s hard to know how this actually poses a threat to traditional industry staples like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft“, it does not as such, but Google has the option to grow on the side, the fact that many consoles have online and multiplayer issues (mostly due to the software), we see the setting where this failing falls away (having to download massive patches again and again will not be an issue for the Google Stadia), MS Scarlett might have been the initial option, but Microsoft has issues and they have also been in denial of that to some degree (that is my personal view).

As I stated it will be a rocky start, yet those with a good internet stage and a decent income will have this option there as early adopters. For these people they have no interest in walking into a game shop trying to find a game, Google Stadia, like Netflix lets you browse and try and try and try, until you find something you like. It is optionally the stage where gamers are born and is Google Stadia the worst place to start gaming? For years people started their gaming habit on Facebook and was that such a hi-res 4K solution?

Paul Tassi asks good questions and they are real questions that need answering, but he also overlooks (as a hard-core gamer) on something he forgets. When a person wants to do 4K gaming, he needs a console or a PC, when you see the cost of a good 4K system; you have the risk of cardiac pressure issues. With Console, will you go Sony, or Microsoft? The fact that Google is now option 3, but not set in hardware is a choice, an option, one that was not there before. So what is needed? An internet connection and a TV, yes when you look deeper it is a 2 choice system, now with option 3. He is right, there are issues (for now) and I believe that with the arrival of 5G many issues will resolve itself immediately, yet at that point, will Google be standing as a survivor? I believe that with the right games it will and that too is the setting for the E3, how much more support for Stadia will we see. It seems that Ubisoft is on board and so is Bethesda, yet how many more players will commit to Google Stadia? That is where Google Stadia could win making unique or remastered good games. There are dozens who could become Stadia hits, 3 generations of games that are still regarded by some as excellent games, some are even legendary.

We will just have to see and wait how it all unfolds, there is plenty of space for a new player in this game and it also means that some of the other players will have to up the ante to remain a choice with consumers, which is equally a good idea.

Then there is another reason, for well over a year we have seen the stage: “a higher-end Xbox One X replacement as well as a less-expensive entry-level machine“, yet there is a host of issues especially with Microsoft, can the entry model update to high end? If that is not possible will we see any other impact on gaming? Will Microsoft keep their bully to ‘be online’ issues. Will Microsoft force advertisements on their consoles (like with the Xbox One)?

Microsoft has lost so much credibility (as I personally see it), the fact that the correlation between entry model and Google Stadia is so high that plenty might consider Google over Microsoft and I think that they know this. Another issue is how close Microsoft streaming service ProjectXCloud is next to Google Stadia, all issues that will optionally come head to head in the next 4 days. We can lose time reading on speculations or wait, I decide you need to wait and even better watch the live shows on YouTube.

The biggest issue will be on the last day, Nintendo have amazed nearly all with the Switch and all they have done in these two years, now that the larger games are due this year, it will be a sight to see, at the very end one or two little spoilers. It seems that Sony has gotten themselves in a little spot of hot water. Tom’s Hardware (at https://www.tomsguide.com/us/ps5-120hz-ps4-cross-save,news-30268.html) gives us: ‘120Hz Display Support‘, this is really good news if it was not for the fact that most 4K TV’s, even the ones from Sony do not support this speed yet, so yes the PS5 will be a sight to see, when you  get the TV that supports it. Then there is crossover play, so you can continue your ps4 games on ps5 forth and back (switching between consoles so you do not lose anything like friend lists and game saves, this is really good news, and a nice feature to have when you get the console in 2020. I have my mind set on that and do away my Xbox One completely, the one game I bought it for is on Sony as well now so there is no reason to keep it around any further, especially when it options me to remove Microsoft from all considerations, it is not like they have been considerate.

Even as it is about the games, I do hope to see some hardware as well.

See you all on the flip side, and don’t forget to seek the YouTube streams of the E3, missing out is such a drag.

 

 

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