Tag Archives: xCloud

Thought for imagination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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First the sting

Yes, it happens, we get stung every so now and then. It is one thing when it actually happens, it is another when it is done for secondary reasons, which were the main reasons. Forbes gets us there with “Yesterday, there was a roundtable with Xbox and Bethesda folks talking about the recently finalised purchase of Zenimax, with the biggest news being the reveal that more or less every recent Bethesda game you’ve ever heard of was now being added to Xbox Game Pass as soon as today”, we get it it is a reason but a secondary one. There is also the exclusivity reason which is equally secondary and it is given as well with “a bunch of future Bethesda games, likely including the big ones like Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, are going to be Xbox exclusive”, but it also gave us “on any device that can access Game Pass”, which will be their secondary Xcloud push. The article ‘Microsoft Stuns With Reveal It Bought Bethesda For Xbox Game Pass’ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2021/03/12/microsoft-stuns-with-reveal-it-bought-bethesda-for-xbox-game-pass/?sh=27455bf8fa48) is more than that. The PS5 has broken all records and at present we get that over 4 million were sold in 2020 and it will rise to an expected 17 million in 2021. There is some conjecture because Microsoft is scared of the numbers, but it seemingly amounts to 2:1 on average sales two PS5’s for every Xbox series X sold, and it will likely rise to 3:1 when Sony stocks are globally replenished, these numbers scare Microsoft, which is why Twitter is drowning in XCloud advertisements. I also believe that it scared Microsoft enough to pay $8,500,000,000 for Bethesda. Bethesda has a loyal following and they hope that enough Playstation fans will drop the playstation to go wherever Bethesda is, the bandaid with the timed exclusive of Deathloop on the PS5 is merely a bandaid to deceive the minds, any gamer knows that the power of gaming is Elder Scrolls and Fallout. That is what Microsoft needs and that is why I had placed the setting of a new RPG as freebee for any Sony exclusive designer. I am about to add to that. And it might upset enough board members at Microsoft when others get for free for what they had to pay 8 billion plus, I am all about the sarcasm, unless it backfires, then it becomes irony.

You see, the largest challenge was that I am trying to avoid some Elder Scrolls replica, which is why I took the path I did and I added the generation stage, there is only so much exploring a person can do in one lifetime and I had the improvements for Assassins Creed to consider. So I created an altered stage for the player. 

The stage is set in phases, but I had to consider how to set the stage

Path APath BPath C
Path AXX
Path B1X
Path C2XX
Path D1

The story has a number of paths, we map the ones we take, but in this I am also allowing and setting the stage for the paths not taken, as long as the path has been discovered. To illustrate this, perhaps we can think back to Fallout 4, the first place you emerge from had a cold weapon at the end, but you have no skills to get there. So how many have forgotten that weapon? I certainly did the first two times I played that game. Yet it is about more than just a chest or a location, I wanted books, scrolls and tomes to be much more profound, I also wanted to make sure that you cannot carry like a mule and that the chest in your house does not hold a container full of stuff. Most RPG players are hoarders, as such I will need to change that premise too. As You see in the table, the first person (path A) will take paths B and C,  this is where the shoe gets a new style, there are two outcomes, the person dies before betting back home, in which the next generation has no idea where to seek, other then follow the same map to find his parents remains, this is a limited chart as there are only three options, but the stage is seen when the parent goes home after path A,2. Now as he is home the next generation gets their diary and tomes filled, more important, some of the skills are automatically gained. As such the next generation will not start from ground zero, and whilst that person has every option to take skills into new directions, it will be up to the player to do so. The second part is the map, I made mention of it in an earlier story, but what if we take what Assassins Creed does to a whole new level? There are dozens of RPG’s and they all map similarly, what if we change that? Each generation is at least a decade apart, we get to evolve mapmaking and transcribing maps during the game, so consider the AC2 map of Venice, going to the top of a tower fills it in, yet there was no learning curve. 

I want that time is an equaliser and evolving stage here, as such generation one will give entrances to a place with roads but not much more, all whilst generation 3 will map out roads, hazards, and also give rise to dangers AFTER you visit it, not before, unless the diary had given out the dangers in a place. These are just a few additions, or alterations to current RPG games. Like the blowpipe, I needed to get away with the bow and arrow, optionally crossbow. I wanted the blowpipe and later allow for something like a catapult (slingshot) to be introduced to keep range weapons alive and to give something new to the game. As one goes away a new portal opens and that was the intent all along. As evolution becomes a much larger stage in this game, we are confronted that death is pretty permanent and it allows for a new dimension if you play it in permadeath. In the end the stage is around these parts, but the story is still the most important aspect. So take the previous stories as a template and see what happens when generation one goes into one area, but as generation two you can travel in opposite directions, to set the land to that contrast requires a larger map, more options and different kind of hurdles. And there we see the initial part, with well over half a dozen stages that Bethesda never considered (or optionally rejected), and now it is in the public domain and we can show Microsoft what it feels like to spend eight point five billion on something that looks and tastes like a lemon, but that is merely because they thought it would solve all their problems and I am happy to add to their misery (I have to do something). So let’s make games and set the bar of Sony versus Microsoft to 5:1 or better, gives those Micro$oft people something to cry about, most of us will like that part anyway.

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Doubt and consideration

Yes, we all have them, doubts that is. And I had mine yesterday and this morning. I got a whiff of a game called Sandship (on iOS) and it did not take me long to get hooked. Now, we all get hooked, but hooked can be short term and long term. This game has all the trimmings that we can expect to see. It has some sort of storyline, it has puzzles, a sort of challenge setting and of course there is always the option of micro transactions. All these games have them now, but in this game it is done in both an ingenious and non-invasive way. As I was looking at what is possible, I realised that there was doubt in me. You see, I feel certain that a game like this would be a huge success on the Nintendo Switch, it would need some tweaking, but the foundation of the game is close to perfect. And as far as I can tell, Nintendo has nothing like this in their arsenal, especially when you consider that there is some level of operational education in the game. I get it, some will doubt my view on this, yet I also find myself wondering whether the makers took a look towards the Console, or are they in a stage where they will rely on micro transactions? For a beginning developer it is a fair call to rely on the micro transactions, yet this is not a game made by a beginner, if so that person is a real gaming savant. 

The doubt is whether I am seeing it correctly, I am to some degree anti-MT, yet I understand that these MT’s are a good starting point for any developer. In addition, even as I accept that some people want to play on their phones, some games need a tablet or a decent TV screen. It just works better that way.

The consideration is for some of these developers, once they have a starting capital, did they consider setting the game, optionally adjusted on a console and with cloud gaming on the rise that consideration will soon be a lot more important than ever before. It is more important because extending existing IP is a lot more important and optionally a lot cheaper than making up new IP. 

This gets me to part 3 in this, you see there was a game in 1985, it was made by Epyx and it was called Chipwits, now the game seems redundant, but the educational side as well as the challenge in all this was amazing, especially for a computer with only 64KB (RAM and ROM), consider what could be done with a Nintendo Switch that has 62,500 times the memory and a CPU that is probably just as excessively more powerful than the 6502 in the CBM-64 was. One of many games that are as easily remembered as some of the other games that some gamers idolised. Why? Because these games were truly innovative and original. And even now as as we see some developers concentrate on the flash and the bang, they are all seemingly forgetting that gamers come in all shapes and sizes, in addition, plenty of younger gamers are dependant on the parents and guess what, these parents are not a great fan of games like Manhunter 2, but they are  always seemingly willing to buy the additional game that has an educational character. But that might be mere speculation.

What is in view is that too many games rely on one path, whilst they could add paths to their software range and in these days having more than one path is important, especially when the waning range of downloadable games that can be surpassed every new week, yet the games we purchase are the games we keep around, often for a long time. There are plenty of examples. 

It is that part that shows the folly of Google when they dropped certain paths from their Stadia range, I wonder what Amazon will do, because we have 4 generations of consoles that show us that original and exclusive games make the console. PSX, N64, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox360, PS4 and PS5. They all had their range and gathered clusters of 1000’s if not hundreds of thousands. Microsoft had their Master Sergeant, Sony had Lara, Kratos (and a few others), it is the exclusives that makes and break the console, yet original games are still part of that equation and the makers need to realise that, because there is every indication that some are relying on makers like Ubisoft and EA (complete with bugs), yet that comes with a risk, the moment the gamer has had enough the entire development house will be regarded as toxic, whether that is fair or not, the gamer will almost always act out of emotion and emotion does not really consider the balance of the topic, merely his bruised ego and the aggravation of glitches. As such all consoles need a stack of options, options that Google (as I was told) has done away with, giving a larger playing field to Amazon. It is in this light that we will optionally sooner than expected see:

1. Sony
2. Nintendo 
3. Microsoft

Turn into 

1. Sony
2. Nintendo
3. Amazon
4. Microsoft
4. Google

This is not a typo, Even if Amazon wins, there is no real telling how Microsoft ends up against Google Stadia, I think that is the fear that drove their Xcloud. You remember the pictures? 

Why keep on pushing this when you have a console that comes close to the PS5? No one is asking that question. We see speculative settings on Xcloud and mobiles, yet the real gamer does not consider a mobile screen to be a real screen. So facilitating to more games will push Microsoft further to the back of the console line. I wonder how much Amazon and Google are considering that path, and there are options, there are games that matter, but will the hardware people consider the options that are decently in abundance?

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A sucker is born every minute

It is a nice expression; it is one that those who live by the rules of ‘opportunity knocks‘ rely on. In slow times you need the occasional sucker to infuse the grounded capital with lose change and they are all for it. Then there is the expression of ‘there is a hustle Smurf nearby’, where the experienced player creates a new account to amass gear from inexperienced players and newbies.

It comes down to the status on how something is seen. Some Investopedia page passed in front of me this morning and woke me up instantly. It linked to Barron’s (at https://www.barrons.com/articles/microsoft-stock-videogame-streaming-cloud-xbox-xcloud-51560373000) where we see: ‘Buy Microsoft Stock Because of Its Videogame Opportunity, Analyst Says‘, the entire setting is like a rewrite of the Divine Comedy, as Inferno is all that Microsoft seemingly delivers on a whole (as I personally see it). They went from an innovative system (Xbox 360) to a flawed concept and in the three iterations we see basic shortcomings that have never been fixed over the space of 6 years.

The beginning is already fun to work with: “Microsoft stock will rally because of its strong position in the videogame industry, according to Evercore ISI” No! It does not have a strong position, Microsoft degraded from 2nd to third position, and they could end up fighting over 4th position. The strongest console of the world got surpassed by the weakest one; the Nintendo Switch system surpassed them as they truly comprehend gaming and gamers. They got there in 2 years; it took Microsoft almost 7 years to get to this stage and ending up decently below 50% of the share that Sony has with its PlayStation. Microsoft games survives through marketing and bad decisions, with the optional good decision every once in a while.

The Microsoft stage of pushing for online, whilst basic shortcomings are frustrating gamers more and more, so when we see: “Ultimately, we believe gaming can become the next major narrative as it relates to Microsoft’s long-term growth opportunity” my response is: ‘Not Really, whilst the exclusive range of games is not impressive, the shared stream (Xbox and PS4) are often shown to be PS4 gems, whilst Microsoft is merely nice (with Assassins Creed Origins being a clear exception). The PS exclusive range is still growing and whilst the larger part of Microsoft IP is done through buying software houses, it has been in history the first step towards a more complete level of failing. There are examples all over the world for over 20 years.

Then the final part: “Materne is also optimistic over Microsoft’s cloud gaming offerings, where gamers can stream gameplay over the internet. Its XCloud service is slated for release this fall“, this is not a given. Microsoft decided to stay very quiet on the entire xCloud during its E3 and in addition, it is a soon a more direct competitor to Google Stadia. With the basic failings that Microsoft has shown to have, the audience is willing to take a look at Google Stadia, new brands have that effect, and it will gnaw directly on the Microsoft slice of the gaming cake. Apple is another contender, but there are still questions on that front for now. In short Microsoft got surpassed by Nintendo Switch, it is at less than 50% of the Sony PlayStation stage and it has disappointed gamers too often in their need for online dependency, a side that gamers do not like to relate to at all. There are enough indication that the next project (Project Scarlett) is more likely than not to hold onto the flaws of Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Its mixed media on mentions given in E3 2018, whilst giving less or no clarity on E3 2019, loaded with one liners that are implied to be connected but are regarded to be seen as separate statements show the flaw of Microsoft to a much larger extent. So as we see that ‘Microsoft is the Netflix of gaming‘, whilst not realising that there is more to that, we might go with the quote: “Xbox Game Pass is described as the ‘“Netflix of video games” and lets Xbox and PC users play a range of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for $9.99 per month. xCloud will essentially be an upgraded version of this pass, and will work on more platforms, so it will likely cost more than $10” (Source: Inverse)

This entire setting only works well if there is enough bandwidth, in this stage the chance of congestion grows close to exponential as there will be no solid large 5G in many places until 2022, This means that it will be select in the US, Europe and outside these two. So as such the market slice will collapse overnight, Google Stadia will have a similar issue. Yet whilst Microsoft is about the marketing Hype and WOW factor, Google has been playing a more cautious long term game; it will pay off for them. All whilst the solid information that is essential was not given at E3 merely hinted at. It implies that Microsoft has not figured out how to best maximise on the revenue (read: an implied stage to exploit gamers). That in itself is the recipe for disaster. It is like the silent ‘always online‘ push that was tried in 2012 and pushed an angry mob straight towards the Sony solution. I personally believe that Microsoft has not learned its lesson yet and will give more disappointment soon enough. that whilst the bulk of the frustration could have been avoided in more than one place and never was, that alone convinces me that Microsoft might be an option, but it will be a risky one, one that is flawed and dangerous to boot, but then some investors like the rough stuff.

Now we get to the part that Investopedia has (at https://www.investopedia.com/microsoft-s-strategy-to-become-the-netflix-for-games-4691138): “One of the things Microsoft has going for them, unlike say Amazon, Verizon and Google, is a popular gaming console and a host of already super popular games, such as the entire series of “Halo” games. At the recent E3 video-game conference in Los Angeles, the company unveiled 60 new blockbuster games for both its console and PC, including “Gears 5,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Cyberpunk 2077,” and “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.”” Now consider that this list of 4 only has one exclusive and for the most 50% of that list has nearly everyone desiring it on PS4 and optionally PS5 as well. The fact that ‘Batman: Arkham Knight‘ is a 2015 game giving rise to some people not doing their homework #JustSaying.

It is true Gears and Halo are Microsoft exclusives and they do have a large following, no one denies this, yet two titles don’t make for a victory (they also have the Excellent Forza IP which was oddly missing in that list).

Yet overall the entire matter of being surpassed by the weakest console is a much larger issue. The matter of change is upon them and their play is to not do this implies that there is a larger online need and the people a shivering back from that stage. They feel a little more powerless. Even as xCloud is all online, the push to completely be there will backfire, if only to be able to game when the internet congests, a part that too many have not considered to the degree it needs to be considered.

Until 5G and 5G speeds are commonplace, the gamer will be confronted with ISP’s that will react towards congestion through bandwidth throttling, when that happens, you do not want to be in a multiplayer game like Fortnite losing your connection, any promise that this will not happen is bogus from the very start. It is still a tool used, even within the last 24 hours we see throttling in combination with ISP’s all over the world, because it is a tool they need to minimise congestion. The moment throttling hits, the game is quite literally over for these players. So how often does this need to happen for people to trade in their xCloud (and optional Google Stadia) solution?

When that crystalizes in front of you, what will the losses be? I believe that there is a clear future for this kind of gaming, no one denies that, yet until there is a much stronger 5G presence, I am not sure how it will actually properly work (outside of a staged test phase). And for now that stage is for the larger global gaming population 2-3 years away.

 

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