Tag Archives: Xbox

This is the way to London Town

That as the first thought that came to mind. The idea that Microsoft is done for. 

See-saw, sacaradown,
Which is the way to London Town?
One foot up, and one foot down,
That is the way to London Town.

It is 2005, I become the proud owner of the Xbox 360, it is late in the year and I am happy. I saw what Bethesda is about to bring with Oblivion and I am happy. Gaming is at an all time high. I keep it next to me PS2, the PS3 is not there yet and Microsoft has an edge and they play it well, they become a new force to be reckoned with and I am happy. You see, Sony became better with Microsoft nipping at its heels and all gamers prosper because of it. 12 year later and what was once great is diminished to mediocrity. The Xbox One is released in 2013, I get mine in 2015. It is nice to have next to the PS4, but merely that nice. In 12 years Microsoft threw out of the window what it had, stupid people in the board room, stupid people agreeing with everything and getting nowhere. Sony is now the only titan in the sky, there is still Nintendo, but like Apple it has its slightly peculiar journey and that is fine. It is protective of the family as a gaming cluster and it does its part well. In 2017 Microsoft scratches its throat proclaiming it is releasing the most powerful console in the world and some fall for it. The limitations are a joke and moreover the weakest console of them all (Nintendo Switch) surpasses them in a little over a year. 

In the meantime, the Sony fans get the PS5 in November 2020, yes three years later but the impact is visible, it breaks record and the games are beyond anything we have seen. It shows their PS4 (pro) to be limiting but only to the games played. 

Whatever games Microsoft spins does not add up to anything near what Sony brings

Spiderman Miles Morales (2020)
Ratchet and Clank (2021)
Returnal (2021)
Horizon Forbidden West (2022)
God of War Ragnarok (2022)

Five exclusives and Microsoft has nothing to oppose it, it launches another Halo and it gets a mere 80%, it is like watching the spin of Ubisoft. What was once great is now at best mediocre and they feel certain because they bought Bethesda and Blizzard and that is not getting the people round. It is the stage of stale yoghurt with a decent chance of poisoning. There is nothing that gives Microsoft the value it requires. We see “Xbox beats PlayStation when it comes to backwards compatibility, which is a feature that lets you play games from older consoles. Xbox Series X can play games dating back to the Xbox 360, which was released in 2005. PlayStation 5 can play PS4 titles, but gamers can’t play PS3 titles they own with the latest console.” They rely on 15 year old games to safe their hide. The PS3 has 4 titles that would be nice to play again. 4 out of….. (you see my point). God of War 3, Arkham City (both rereleased on PS4), Skyrim (rereleased on PS5) and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots the only game I can no longer play. And with a 94% rating there is plenty of reason wanting to play it once more. One game and the rest is around the corner, as such Microsoft misses out again. There are of course more games, but I am focussing on exclusives. The fact that most PS4 games be played on PS5 is left in the corner. 

Microsoft got it wrong to this degree and they think that all is good, the marketing spin continues and they have no clue that they are a ship that is taking on water more and more. And do not get me wrong, I am not happy about this. It is because Microsoft was once close to a top position Sony opened up all engines and gave us the PS5 and we rejoiced. But I feel that the PS6 might not be the push forward. In the meantime I focussed on IP that will change the game, I am actually making sure that Microsoft cannot get to it, I am handing it to the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia at a reduced price giving them billions, I am willing to give up on a dream to prevent Microsoft fouling my IP. If we are not able to do this, then money controls us instead of we controlling money. Microsoft spin has no place here and I do not want them near my IP. 

There are two sides to the song and story. The great games live forever and Microsoft forgot that making new games and screwing up franchises. Thinking that a TV series solves it and with the 71% rating it shows how wrong they got that too. Consoles and Tablets two markets they wrecked and they give marketing the responsibility to safe it. Now their office market is starting to dwindle they are getting outmanoeuvred by Google, Apple and Adobe. Players that could not get close to Microsoft 20 years ago and now Microsoft is merely left with a spreadsheet, which they got from Lotus (basically). In 20 years Microsoft went from Titan to Tyrion Lannister, who talks a good talk and is smart, but this merely amounts to Microsoft marketing and they do deserve credit, but it might be their only division that does. And their Azure solution? It lost to an online bookshop (Amazon) and that loss is merely increasing as some sources claim. I honestly do not know enough to make that assessment, but Azure has a Microsoft logo, so I do not trust it right of the bat, the other divisions make sure of that. 

As I personally see it Microsoft is done for, it will merely take a few years for the carcass to start rotting and the first few years that rot will be masked as innovation as Microsoft is adding small to its divisions according to some alleged marketing people. In my lifetime I saw Microsoft grow from a simple company to a behemoth and after that dwindle to irrelevancy in the near future. I wonder what they will try to pull of with their partnership with Tencent. We will know soon enough.

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The evolution of gaming

I have spoken on this before, and in that I tended to be specific, almost micro-manageable. It comes when you design IP, it is a path where you want to track every element so that you are not left in a loop, left with too many unknown parts. It is the way things go and especially when you do not have a brain-storm team, you end up designing as much as possible all parts of the equation. This is not new, this is how it is. 

However, In this stage I need to take a helicopter approach, I need to oversee everything (sort of), I need to take a wider stroll over this stage because the next part is not how to create a game, most can do that, most can set that stage. I need to create a stage where close to a dozen games a year can be created, a dozen a year for 3 years at least. So that the people are given new choices, new options. Streaming is a different kettle of fish and it cannot be approached in old ways. Weirdly enough the one I bitched about the longest (Ubisoft) has a clear advantage in streaming games. As such their approach towards GaaS is not the best but it is the most evolved one and they have a truckload of IP that comes with it, as such they are in pole position to get there. They lack elements, but they have a clear group of titles that could become clear winners in a streaming station. There are other elements in play and not all the players are clearly identified and there are other elements, like certain titles (example the Horizon games) that people would want to play again and those are not contenders, they are happy alliances. But it cannot be just about that, any system needs new titles, remastered titles and the less known, the better the chances. It comes as an addition towards the 50 million subscriptions I made a claim towards, but to sit on my laurels is not my way, If I can make the essential steps to make it not 50 million, but up to 75 million from year one onwards, I will have succeeded to a much larger degree and to end up seeing Microsoft executives choke on their Azure yaps, all whilst none of them look blue is a clear win for little moi and I like my wins, especially when it is warranted. And for them? Well the old saying (my old saying) applies. The blowback of sarcasm is merely irony, and I like to serve my irony with a wooden spoon award. It is not enough for them to fail, I want all others to see why they failed, why they should have been regarded as stupid from the get go and that is merely my bonus. So I am vamping up two of the three elements and it should be enough to get the ball rolling, and then I hit a snag. Well not exactly a snag, because I cannot test the snag. It leaves a trail and that I cannot use at present (well not until after the Saudi government paid me). And I have a stage that needs to be repeated a dozen times so that there is a floor-plan to work from and that is going according to plan (for now). There are two elements in play. How to make a worksheet, a plan of attack on the premise of art where we can identify enough elements to make sure that most hurdles are addressed, that most issues are identified. That is the task and that is not simple project management. Some project managers will make claim that they can do that, but outside of less than a dozen, how many +90% games have been released? The Xbox has released 6 games with a 90+ rating since 2020, over two years only 6 make the cut. Sony had 8, a clear win, but still low when you consider the investment of the dozens of games that were created. And it is not merely the 90+ games. One real hit was AC Origins which only got 81%. So there is another pool to work with and I decided to look at another pond altogether. I wrote about that too and when you consider the alternatives the investment per game decreases enormously creating a shifted investment number, one that is ultimately more rewarding. And there we have the station we need to look at, the second branch is close to complete with well over a dozen titles. It will take mere days to get the second dozen and branch two will be close to complete and then branch three starts, but I will not write to much about that. I like my surprises a much as I like to serve my plate of irony.

The evolution of gaming is underway, not because I said so, but because streaming games have advantages over console games, but it comes with additional dangers. A much better testing phase is required, the one elements too many game designers are weak on. Do not take my word on it, you merely have to look at the title AC Valhalla, released two years ago and it was still receiving patches three weeks ago. That side needs to improve, it needs to improve a lot. And there is the rub, any solution consultant that gives you the ‘these things happen’ line is wasting your time. Proper testing takes care of that and this is not done by too many. Streaming can only truly evolve when they have a better handle on it. This is not because it is GaaS, it is because Service will only last when the product is properly made and there Ubisoft left too many issues in the field. So you need an alternative to what they have, and there the second branch is the optional solution to getting traction to more people, and in streaming traction is the game that makes you the winner of the streamers and I have no intentions of losing, that is one definite that I am making clear to one party and optional Tencent too. But Tencent is complicated, they decided to work with Microsoft, making them the optional loser from the start, but that is the stage I am faced with, the question is what are my options next? If the Saudi government buys what I have, I am in the clear and my retirement starts. But if they decide otherwise, I will need an options and this is merely one of three IP bundles, so I am not out of the game yet, but I reckoned that the idea and proof towards $500,000,000 a month would have been enough, but I cannot rely on people making sense at times, as such I need a fallback position (as expressions go). And there I am doing work that is less creative, way too much tedious but essential, I get that. So here I am trying to work things out. On the other hand, in 6 hours 55 minutes and 23 seconds the premiere of Black Adam starts, so off to the city I go and have a bit of fun, I have earned it. 

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What? Already?

It actually started with a demo, one by Arkane (the makers of Dishonoured). They are giving the Xbox population RedFall. A game to be released somewhere in 2023. The demo was pretty awesome. No doubt about it. Yet certain things started to nag me from the beginning and this is PURE SPECULATION. I saw the setting of 4 players and the demo clearly states that this can be played alone. Yet the setting reminded me too much of a game named Evolve. A bland setting to say the least. Yet the people of Arkane have proven themselves, no doubt about it, but they are now part of Microsoft and Microsoft is all about team play, all about more people in a game. So I reckon that at some point it might be possible on what would have been a 94%+ game, Microsoft needs will diminish it to a mere 80% game. This is speculation, and you need to accept it. The game is a year away and so much could change. But it got the gears rolling and it was only an hour later that I came up with what I would call a shadow player. If I am correct It could change the game for either Amazon or Google (whomever buys my first IP bundle), I will add it to there. Microsoft is not invited to that party, they can falter and fail all by themselves. 

If I am correct (and I might be) this will change the game in a few ways and it allows pure solo play over a lot of games. You are still allowed to invite friends, that I fine, but it will be YOUR decision that count Microsoft has taken enough from you, as I see it. Time to give games back to the gamers, not the data collectors. 

It is an optional fictive setting, but if I am correct the streamers are about to offer a much larger stage of play and that is the first stage where streamers will set themselves apart. It is time for the next generation to become self-aware (as the phrase goes) and I think I have what it takes. 

So get ready to see your streamer to give you an edge you never had before in gaming. That is not on either Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. It is merely the shape of things to come and in this Google and Amazon could get the advantage they need to push Microsoft to the background (as we tend to do that). A new age is coming and I am overdue for some serious snoring. See you all tomorrow.

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Historic detours

We all do them, I do them a lot. On any course from A to B, I tend to take detours every day. For one, I walk a lot and I like the scenery to change, it might not make much sense if you are the avid automobile fan, yet when you walk it makes a lot of sense. It can be that one route has a cinema and I want to see what is coming. That thought makes less sense nowadays, but in the past there were windows with photo’s of movies coming and movies playing. Then thee are the detours the mind makes. Those tend to make a lot less sense, even to the wielder of that brain. The Brain wants to let you know something and it tells you in its own way. Through the dream state when you are asleep, through a day dream or even through a small jump away from what you were thinking. We all have them, we pay attention (at times), we will it away or we ignore, we tend to take different strides with any mind jump. 

This happened to me today when I was doing something meaninglessly simple, mind-numbing and the brain just took over. I was at a school, not sure which one, or where. The kids spoke English, but I did not connect to the location and I have no kids, so I am at a loss on that part. The kids were eating food and a I saw a ‘pretend it is Mexican day’ sign. The sign was troublesome in a few ways but that does not matter. It was then that I noticed the food. I thought they were all enjoying enchiladas. The rolled or is that wrapped food in a thick tortilla, it was then that I took notice of the smell, the sweetness, the stuffing and then things started to make sense. The kids all had rolled up pancakes, rolled like a tortilla and the stuffing was not that of an enchilada. It was filled with fruits. Then I saw others with some kind of chili, but it was I think cranberry mash with berries, bananas and stuff, the enchiladas had some kind of jam, dried fruits, tangerine parts and I think apricot slices. They were all having fruit dishes all shaped and imaged after Mexican food, the sign made more sense now. And it makes sense, the detours allowed me to design the 5G solution I created, this is not the same, but set to a similar premise. The mind can fill voids, but it can also label and identify things it is aware of. So what if kids see the same shape as a bowl of chili, as a enchilada yet not the same. What if the apple served can no longer hold the attention it once had? What if the premise needs change? It is not unheard of, it is not even that weird. The detour can serve as a journey marker and that is how we get to the actual stirrer of the trouble I saw. 

Two headlines needs to be shown. Once gives us ‘Amazon is ‘nearing a deal’ with EA to produce a Mass Effect show’, the second one is ‘Ex-Bioware Writer Explains His Concerns About a Mass Effect or Dragon Age TV Series’. They matter, but not the way you think. There is one clear truth that I never steered clear of. The Mass Effect series (1-3) is one of the 10 best stories to ever grace the ENTIRE video game industry. In 2007 they started something that had not ever been shown before and the universe of gamers took notice. It was a few years later that we were treated to a sequel which was nothing less than one of the best games that would ever launch on a console. Yes, Mass Effect was big and even as there were rumblings on episode three, I never joined them, the story as a whole was amazing and that story can still compete with almost anything today. They screwed it up with Andromeda, but the original was and will remain a legendary achievement. 

Soon on console and TV

So whilst I do not know if there will be concerns, if there will be issues, if there will be larger ‘fears’. Consider the first game, when we go beyond the game, the setting that we forget is that the Citadel is well over 4 times the size of Manhattan, optionally a bit bigger and that implies that there are 3-4 seasons ready to be made. 

Consider Doctor Michel, getting extorted, running supplies to a merchant in the Lower Wards in order to avoid a “secret” of hers getting out. A 5 minute mission, easily converted to a full episode, or as a sideline in larger storylines over two episodes. Now consider that the first game alone has over 60 side quests, all optional stories in their own rights. We might not care about some of them, but the truth is we were never given to goods so that we would care and that matters. Just consider that we remember the stars of a show, yet how many can give us the sidekicks in Buffy? The sidekicks in Bones? The sidekicks in Battlestar Galactics? Dexter? Now consider that Spike (from Buffy) was supposed to get killed off in the beginning. Yet he stayed around for 7 seasons. The writers had something to work with and they were handed time to show value in a character. That could happen to Mass Effect as well. The benefit (for Amazon) is that they get handed something with a proper foundation, a story that can go places. And in this we see a larger stage evolving, the games are starting to set the need for TV and movies. We knew about movies, we all saw Jolie (aka Mrs Smith) in Tombraider, but the stage is now altering, games are making a larger headway into TV and the solver screen. I wonder if this is to the well of creativity drying up, or is it that games bring optional a million plus fans to the TV screen and that startup is interesting to producers. I am not sure what the answer is, because I never really considered that setting before. Yet if that is true, then the settings for Bethesda will alter a lot over the next few years. And that too matters for gamers, because the franchise that grows tends to evolve and gamers love a game that truly evolves (not iterates like Ubisoft). In this there is no telling what Ubisoft can do with their AC franchise. 

Yet in all this, I wonder what we will be treated to next. I am not siding with the worry population, I will see and judge when it hits the TV or big screen. I have seen enough on both sides to worry up front, and we all saw our fill of ‘failed’ series. Yet plenty of those ended up being true gems (Dollhouse 2009, Firefly 2002, Rome 2005, Star Trek 1966) and it is interesting that Star Trek ended up with 9 spin offs and 10 movies. So taking the word of the critics is debatable from the start. 

I hope that Mass Effect will get the proper audience and get the right stage for people to care about a good story, because the story is everything, especially in TV. 

So why this detour?
You see, what we see and what we perceive is not the same. What we see is what we are offered to see and what we perceive tends to be based on the presentation of others and the ‘critics’ as well as ‘critics’ who have other venues to promote are the fake news bringers, especially in this day and age. Some of these ‘critics’ know that people have one purse, they can only spend money ONCE, so they are getting more and more careful on what they spend money on and Amazon Prime knows that (its a Netflix issue), so they need to get the larger population on board sooner, and some ‘critics’ have friends at Netflix and other places too, so they are eager to promote one and push down the other for whatever reason they hand us and they have a larger digital market to push their view, their need and the need of their friends. That is the stakeholder game and it is hitting TV series as well, yet only now will the push be more pronounced then ever before. But that is merely my view on the matter. 

Will Mass Effect succeed? I cannot tell, I will not give my answer one way or the other, but take notice. It comes from one of the truly great stories in gaming and that matters. I reckon we will see something real in 2023-2024. 

Have a great Sunday.

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The Wheel (reinvented)

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

We see titles like:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vindictive eagerness

So is a person eager to be vindictive, or does that person seek vindication through eagerness, they are not the same but at times we cannot tell the difference within ourselves. Yes, there are a lot of people who are angry because Bethesda games are not coming to Sony Playstation, it is the consequence of Microsoft paying $8,500,000,000 for Bethesda and all that is around it. I get it and even though we find it a dick move, if I owned Bethesda I would have done the same. Strategically speaking it was a pretty brilliant move. So as we took notice of quotes like “Bethesda’s SVP of global marketing and communications Pete Hines offered an apology to PS5 owners, claiming that he understands the frustration, but there’s also very little that he can do about the situation. At the end of the day, it seems that the exclusivity is just part of game publisher politics!” And the man is right, it is the trump card of a system, we feel stricken because millions of gamers embraced Bethesda on their console and that got me thinking even more. I had already handed out free IP to any Sony exclusive game, but what if I add Amazon Luna to that list? You see, the idea came when I saw “Microsoft outlined the future of the Xbox platform. It was a quick focus on how we’ll be playing games rather than what we’ll be playing. Part of this new design strategy was outlined in a Q&A with Xbox head Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella” in the PC Magazine that was headed by ‘Microsoft Expands Xbox Cloud Gaming, But Streaming Won’t Replace Consoles’ and PC Magazine is right, but if we give IP to Amazon Luna (Google Stadia made a few wrong decisions), which was seen 3 days ago with ‘Ubisoft keeps Google’s ship afloat as exclusives dominate the show’, yes, if Google wants to embrace gaming mediocrity it is their choice, and even as they see it as a valid one, I do not think that relying on Ubisoft will help them that much, as I personally see it Ubisoft dropped the ball too often and has become slightly too unreliable. So it seems that the Number three spot after Nintendo might in the near future become Amazon Luna. Microsoft will remain around in gaming ranking, but it will be 4th, or 5th (more likely) position. So as I have a bit of free time, I will try to make the $8,500,000,000 invoice to seem like it was a $28,500,000,000 one, and by handing out free IP to Sony and Amazon exclusive games is one way of doing it and as I am creating novel and never seen before gaming IP, Microsoft will have to counter and that is the funny part of a vendor that buys ideas, they more usually than not are utterly incapable of creating their own (Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). 

So as I was pondering a few ideas I suddenly realised that cloud gaming comes with another benefit, games can take new directions in a much larger field. It is like handing an artist who grew its art through drawing on A4 pieces of paper, an A1 sheet. In the beginning, he might think of how much bigger his art is, then he will see that he can place 15 additional pieces of art on one sheet, yet when you combine the two thoughts, you get a very different stage and that is where cloud gaming can take you.

I created in the past a game IP (situated in Amsterdam post apocalyptic) that had a wink towards Mercenary (a very old Atari ST game), but what if we change the premise, what if the sandbox is not merely one we create, but what if we can move from sandbox to sandbox? So what if we create the algorithm that can give us Europe around 400BC, 500AD and 2700AD and 3500AD? The same for a sandbox in China, India, South America and America? Not the people, but the lay of the land. So you end up with 20 sandboxes and the gamer can try and master them all. As we set the stage to a larger frame of mind (and a larger sandbox) we now can use that same sandbox in a few stages and in several games. So far none have offered that option, because it was not part of their setting, but they never considered the advantage of a much larger piece of paper, yes you can use it for larger art, but how many considered the ability to change that one piece of A1 and turn that into 16 pieces of A4? 

Yet that was merely the land, so what next? Well that is where it takes a shine to other fields and for that I need t remind people of something called Zoids, but with caution. I never saw the manga, I only saw the toys in a shop, but it was presented to me in a different fashion, two pieces make a larger third piece and even though I thought it was novel and nice for the kids, I never gave it much thought after that, but the idea stuck in the back of my mind somewhere. So what happens when the gamer is such a Zoid and by exploration the gamer can find and salvage more and more parts evolving over time and adding abilities, requirements and staging a much larger area. There was seemingly (never seen by me) something called ‘Zoids Saga DS’, it had the right idea, but like so many other things it was seemingly a really nice idea, but it was ultimately limited by gaming and that was 25 years ago, in this stage something like the Amazon Luna or the Sony PS5 can turn that idea into something serious and as we detach area from gaming premise we can add game after game in the same sandbox, the gamer can select which sandbox he plays this on, like an adaptive RPG, the stage will no longer be depending or limited on where you are, but what you become. Gaming as far as I could tell never took that sideway towards a larger highway, so as  we are dumped in what would become Madrid, Paris or Oslo, the adaption takes a different turn and we will not have seen that part before, cloud gaming allows for that and if we can bitchslap Microsoft marketing around on what they present to be innovation compared to actual innovation we might wake up whole scores of gamers as well. In this there is an old saying: “The analyst will show you what the best direction is, the politician makes you look forward to the invoice that follows”, yet the business world has more and more adapted from actual analysts to storytellers and now they have a problem, the politician adjusted to the storyteller, yet as I offer materials and foundations to others, the storyteller can adjust for what they have, not what others get. They can merely watch it happen and that puts the politician that the company relies on in a precarious situation.

Now this is no indication that all is bad for Microsoft, they will have home-runs and they will have plenty of good days, and they are entitled to those too, yet within the next year Microsoft and their  Azure work desk will add limitations and they will set the need for gamer data and as gamers will realise that always online means something different for Microsoft as it does for a cloud game, people will catch on, they are to some degree merely a revenue asset and that is where Sony, Nintendo and Amazon can shine and win. They always treated the gamer as a gamer and they gained the revenue, Microsoft and Ubisoft saw the gamer as a revenue piggybank and as I personally see it approached them as such, the moment the larger group of gamers catch on these two will take a dive and that is why my view of Google Stadia relying on Ubisoft gets hurt in the process. As I see it, should Amazon Luna embrace the qualities of Sony and Nintendo, they will end up in third position of the gamers list, with Google and Microsoft trying to catch up. I wonder if that is what Microsoft aimed for the whole time, spend $8,500,000,000 to end up in fifth position. I do not know, I am merely speculating and created a few ideas in the process. So as I left an (intentional) gap in the thoughts I offered, have you figured out what I am seeing all whilst Google Stadia and Microsoft Xcloud rely on Ubisoft+ titles? When Ubisoft+ becomes a separate vendor, something we have seen in streaming more than once, what will become of Microsoft, Google and its gamers? Amazon Luna has an advantage and over the next year it could evolve into an impressive amount of forward momentum, a stage that could degrade Microsoft in 4th position, so the maker of the strongest console in the world is basically a year away from moving from 3rd position to 4th position in gaming. I wonder if they consider that part when they handed over $8,500,000,000. I would not be surprised if they offer PS5 gamers Xcloud and Microsoft software on PS5 in some near future. I doubt Sony gamers will trust Microsoft, but you never know. 

So as we accept that we see “Xbox has roared to life at E3 announcing 30 new games for Series X|S”, we think it is a lot, and when we see “it laid out two years of exclusives including Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5 and Starfield from Bethesda”, yes over two years, implying 15 a year and more important, the big guns relying on a Bethesda game now need to create a hype that is staged for November 11th 2022. 11 years after Skyrim and it is still 511 days away and a lot can happen in that time, more important, their big guns are presented a year early and we saw that happen when Bioware did that with Mass Effect Andromeda, how exactly did that end?

The old expression: “You never know how the cow catches the hare” (answer: with a fishing rod)

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Baked Alaskan Marketing

Yup, it is about the desert, well in some form. To be honest, I never had it, I saw pictures, I saw people making it (YouTube), but I never ate it. And for today that is OK. You see, it is not really about food. It all started this morning when I saw ‘PS5 isn’t good value compared to Xbox Series X, and I’m sick of it, that is his view, I believe it to be a bit of a hatchet job, but that is usually the case with opinion pieces. There are also ‘anti-Xbox articles’ and that is fine by me. In the end the systems are closely matching, yet for me the actions by Microsoft over the last 8 years have been an indication that the Xbox console is lost to me. No matter what promises they make, as I personally see it, they betrayed the gamers, all in favour of more and more Azure pressure. It is a personal choice and you need to realise that, I personally demoted Microsoft, but it remains personal. Even as they are now starting the Xcloud and other services, I do not want any of them on my systems, but it is mostly personal (partly instinctive). I will not tell you to not do it, you must select what you think is best for you.

When it comes to Xcloud, I feel that I am leaning towards Amazon Luna if I get into that field. The Luna was close to the Google Stadia, almost there but not quite. Considering that Google should have won it as a tech giant implies that Amazon is more hungry and more willing to make the leap, it gives them an edge and in all this, I want something giving me games no other system will, exclusivity matters. I am not certain if the Luna can deliver, but their setting is looking good. 

The fact that we saw ‘Amazon Games opens new Montreal studio, developing a multiplayer game with Rainbow Six Siege veterans’ implies that Amazon has skin in the game, and as such, if my IP (as published earlier) is either PS5, and/or Luna, see it as public domain. The setting for good gaming is what we need and Microsoft (in my personal view) has betrayed that approach. It was their right to make choices, but they come with consequences. So why is there a baked Alaskan in play? Consider the method “The entire dessert is then placed in an extremely hot oven for a brief time, long enough to firm and caramelise the meringue but not long enough to begin melting the ice cream”, it is a way to use the crust to hide what is inside and it can only done once, yet via Microsoft we get ‘As Microsoft pushes partner transformation, a state of ‘channel inertia’ is emerging’, ‘Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 Is Nearly Perfect’ and ‘Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2022 is moving to 64-bit’, all different titles, all different sources, but there is a link, lets see if you pick up on it. There is also “Microsoft officials also said they are planning to refresh Visual Studio for Mac by moving it to the native macOS UI”, perhaps you are already catching on. One more hint. It is ‘The FBI removed hacker backdoors from vulnerable Microsoft Exchange servers. Not everyone likes the idea’ there are two parts here.

  1. A court order allowed the FBI to enter networks of businesses to remove web shells used by cyber attackers exploiting Exchange vulnerabilities. But what does this mean for the future of cybersecurity? It is one view, I am not against it, but I get that some are. This has nothing to do with the FBI, it has everything to do with Microsoft dropping the ball. 
  2. Microsoft is seemingly everywhere, with connections way past their computers, Xcloud gives them more and there is too much questions on what Microsoft is capturing, when I asked why they needed to upload 5GB their help-desk stated that this was with my ISP, how stupid is that? I will not allow them on any device, no matter what game will become unavailable to me.

You see, it is not today, or tomorrow, it is what happens a week after that, when we see the exchange issue, the idea of a DDOS version that can use Xcloud is not that farfetched, a DDOS setting using any console it can connect to is a nightmare that should keep several Cyber divisions awake for a long time to come and when we see how Exchange was ‘bitched’ that thought is not the weirdest one to have, with any connection through Xcloud and Azure, the data options are the wettest dreams of organised crime, whilst data facilitators will seek access in whatever way they can and it connects to your systems, your data and could optionally impact your consoles and games. If we get (as published earlier) the setting of ransomware, considering the millions of gamers who have built up a lifetime of achievements, gear and wealth in a dozen games. How long until someone gets a hold of that? Microsoft is spreading itself too thin on too many systems, channels and operating systems. I believe it to be the much larger danger down the track. Yes that is a personal feeling and it is riddled with speculation, but when we see the transgressions over the last 6 months, is the thought that far fetched? 

At the middle of this is their marketing. ‘Partners should ‘ride the wave’, ‘Nearly Perfect’ and a lot more, all to make sure that Microsoft is on the high rise and in the light of diminished negativity, which is the job of marketing, with over 285,000,000 hits on Microsoft (as per today), and 329,000 (Microsoft+scandal), 14,500,000 (Microsoft+problem) we see an overly positive view, which might not be wrong, but that imbalance is making me massively uncomfortable. Especially when we consider “Some Windows 10 users are encountering serious problems following the release of the recent “KB5001330” update, with some reports even coming in that the update itself can’t be installed on some machines”, now these things happen, anyone making other claims is flat-out lying, there is no way that things go perfect, things happen. However, in a stage where Microsoft is so widespread that one hitch could mean all kinds of transgressions, the setting becomes a problem. When we see that and consider “Socure to Provide Identity Verification for Microsoft Azure Active Directory Verifiable Credentials”, we see more and more third party solutions becoming part of the equation. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, but speculatively consider that any danger is double of the previous danger per party involved, as such we see 1%, 2%, 4%, 8%, 16%. The fifth (third party) connection sets the danger to almost one in five, and now consider that we see a stage of overlaps of PC, MAC (iOS), Surface, Azure, Xcloud, Android, we are now optionally in the 32% group, almost one in three where things can go wrong and organised crime wants in, I hope that you realise that a group like HAFNIUM will have no issues selling their solution to the highest bidder, as such, are you sure you want to connect all these systems? 

I accept the work that any marketing division does, but the setting of keeping the users for too long in the dark can have massive consequences down the line and that is where Microsoft has become (my personally speculation) a clear and present danger to gaming (among other parts), that is beside the fact that they are in it for the data, but that too is my personal assumption on the matter. Oh, and I remained conservative, when the error becomes exponential, the setting goes towards 1%+4%+9%+16%, there we see the 4th link making a lager negative impact then any before, I see that, but I personally do not believe that the situation will become quite that bad, but it could be.

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Real life in virtuality

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

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

The new game an entire exabyte of challenges.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day

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A repetitive bashing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend!

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Post Scuttle-but 5

Yup, rumours, we all see them, we all hear them and sometimes they are true. So as we consider the digital media need to get people to click, we see a tidal wave of PS5 issues all over the internet. Things like ‘Reports of PS5 ‘Stick Drift’ Surface Weeks After Launch’, ‘DualSense Controllers Are Already Suffering From Drift, Apparently’ and it goes on. Now, rumours are not new and perhaps they are true, in some cases. I had issues with my Switch controller after a year, it was the left one, but I am not a standard user. I agree that these things happen. I never had issues on my CBM64 (after I bought a proper stick), never had an issue on the PS2, PS3, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360 or Xbox One. Yet the proper gaming sites do not give me that news, Eurogamer did have in October ‘Class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for alleged Xbox One controller “stick drift” now includes the Elite Series 2’, in this case with Eurogamer I will give them the benefit of the doubt, they are a decent place for gaming news and ‘class action’ does not mean that there is larger validity, it is merely a legal setting and as I stated, none of my Xbox systems EVER had a controller problem. Like many I had the red rings of death, but Microsoft sorted it out in a decent way. Will the PS5 go that way? I have absolutely no way of knowing, but the controller is comfortable, it works well and it shines nicely. It might happen, it might not, but the sites making these proclamations are not sites I trust. They all want you to click on them, so I did and whilst some might have an optional case, the fact that they added ‘Apparently’ in the headline is some form of doubt on their part. So why is it a case? We seek out the positive and negative and the digital funds stations all love a ‘click bitch’, as such they flame and they exploit, and whilst some of the ACTUAL gaming sites give us plenty of goods, they also tend to give the bad news when it is out there and confirmable. I did notice that the day I set up the PS5, a controller driver was updated. Was that. Solution for an issue I never faced? Possible, we might never know, or I might see the same issue soon enough. The fact that a size 7 controller (Nintendo Switch) had an actual malfunction dealing with the stress factors of my size 11 hands is fair enough, the fact that it was able to keep up for a year is a good thing. In light of all that, will my PS5 hamper and give errors? Possible, but so far my PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4pro never had issues, my PS4 did, but at my own silly stupid hands, not the fault of Sony. We all face these moments in time. My PS4 controller had an issue, but t my own hands, and only after 7 years of intensive use, and I mean INTENSIVE! As I see it Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony brought me controllers that for the most, outlived the console. This is worthy of mentioning. Now, I never got any of the Elite controllers, so I am reserving judgement, yet if that thing is anywhere near the other controllers, we are in good hands. So, back to the Eurogamer article (at https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-10-11-class-action-lawsuit-against-microsoft-for-alleged-xbox-one-controller-stick-drift-has-been-updated-to-include-the-elite-series-2) here we see “the updated paperwork now adds seven additional plaintiffs and asks that the case goes before a jury, as well as appending more detail about the alleged defect”, as such we are given “Microsoft does not disclose to consumers that the Xbox controllers are defective, causing the joystick component to fail. Members of the general public have the right to know the latent defects with the Xbox controller components”, so this might be the case, yet before I bash Microsoft (yet again), I feel that it is important to take notice of a few facts. It is a year old, pretty much sold out everywhere, and overall there were complaints to which Windows Central gave the consumers “Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and is investigating”, this does not invalidate the class action, the wording seems to imply that Microsoft made (yet again) a stupid mistake. The claimants might have something to complain about, yet the number of Elite 2 controllers is in the wind, so this impacts dozens of controllers out of a batch of thousands. As such Microsoft optionally faces a minor issue, but they face one non-the-less. This also impacts Sony, who seemingly sold 2 PS5’s for every Xbox, and a 2:1 stage is nice for Sony, who apparently is out of stock until the end of next month. That is a good setting to have, and one I expected. Microsoft is missing out yet again and they merely did this to themselves. Although, tactically, by buying Bethesda, they do have  larger advantage, as the Bethesda fanbase is in the millions. Still, overall, as there are no new Bethesda games (at present), Microsoft will see an increase, will it meet the 3.3 million that Piers Morgan apparently stated is something I put a question mark to. I reckon that it barely will make the 3 million mark and when congestion hits (when, not if), the digital versions (both Sony and Microsoft) will hit a snag and in that Sony might overcome it a little faster, this is speculation, but the amount of system updates (between Sony and Microsoft) gives Sony the advantage. Microsoft had too many of them, and they had them too large (by my consideration).

Still, the systems are a decent match to one another, and yes, I am not ignoring the Verge who gave us ‘Why is the PS5 outperforming the ‘World’s mot powerful console’?’ (at https://www.theverge.com/21718936/xbox-series-x-ps5-performance-game-comparison). Here we see “With the Xbox Series X capable of 12 teraflops of GPU performance vs. 10.28 teraflops on the PS5, most onlookers expected there to be a small gap between the consoles. Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox also has higher levels of memory bandwidth and more compute units, but Sony offers developers less compute units running at a variable (and higher) clock rate to extract better performance out of the PS5”, as well as “the Xbox Series X version of Valhalla includes a lot of screen tearing and regular dips below 60fps. The PS5 version appears to run a lot more smoothly. Variable fresh rates do make up for this screen tearing on the Xbox Series X”, which I reckon when we see all the Xbox AC Valhalla advertisement, is funny as hell (or is that hela?) Anyway, the stage we see is littered with rumours and it is important for gamers that you check EVERYTHING you hear with a proper gaming site and for the most, if 2-3 decent gaming sites do not mention it, dump the gossip where it needs to be, in the trashcan. As such, when we consider everything, you can expect plenty of games having patch after patch after patch.

So feel free to get whatever console you want, but be certain to check decent gaming sites on the console you want, and ‘decent’ gaming sites  exist, there are however less than a dozen really good ones. 

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