Monthly Archives: November 2013

#306 The Steam Autumn Sale

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in America and today marks the second day that I am being contently stuffed on turkey, potatoes and stuffing. Today also marks the -now traditional- Black Friday event where people flocks to the stores for extreme sales on the most popular products to get the get a jump-start on Christmas shopping. Not to be left out, earlier this week Valve launched their Autumn Steam Sales with their famous major discounts on a majority of their catalog.

While I always receive an allergic reactions when I hear that stores reopening up earlier and earlier on a national holiday that is meant to be about spending time with your family online stores this is an exception  because you can place your orders in the comfort of your home while the turkey's cooking.

While I always receive an allergic reactions when I hear that stores are opening up earlier and earlier on a national holiday (that is meant to be about spending time with your family) online stores are the exception because you can place your orders in the comfort of your home while the turkey’s cooking.

 

These major sales are the only time I cut financially loose I buy the games I have been keeping an eye on. Right now I already purchased the notoriously challenging Don’t Starve and classic Final Fantasy VII, while keeping an eye on Spec Ops: The Line and The Stanley Parable to be featured on the daily deals.

It is funny because while almost every other store are justifying going out incredibly early in the morning and spending money for the sake of others Valve is just having these sales to yourself. There are the standard 4-packs game bundles and the ability to buy games as a gift for your friend there is no advertised or in-store incentive to buy these games for anyone than yourself.

Why would I hold on to it in my inventory for a few months when I could buy it later during the Winter Sales

Why would I purchase it as a gift and hold on to it in my inventory for a few weeks when I could buy it later during the Winter Sales

 


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#305 iBuy’s bid for the living room

It seems like November 2013 is going to be remembered as the month of new consoles. Sony launched the PlayStation 4 in the US on the 14th, Microsoft’s Xbox One was last Thursday and the rest of the world gets their PS4s this Thursday.but as well this week we had the announcement of the first commercial third-party version of the Steam Machine to hit the market.

This Steam Machine prototype is produced by iBuyPower with the following specs; a multicore AMD CPU,  AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, 500gb hard drive with both bluetooth and Wifi abilities and the product is priced at $499.

If someone wants a creative writing task, write a Romeo and Juliet/star-crossed lovers story of this Steam Machine breaking away from the PC family to be with the console group

If someone wants a creative writingprompy, write a Romeo and Juliet/star-crossed lovers story of this Steam Machine breaking away from the PC family to be with the console group

 

This news story is amazing in two ways, while I am not technically savvy enough to know the computer parts interact with each other, I am assured that iBuyPower’s  prototype is better than the two consoles and can run major game titles at the elusive 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second at the price of this competition but for me what gets me excited of this product is what the Steam Machine includes. This Steam Machine comes with a Steam Controller and the copy of the free Steam Operating System, this means that this particular Steam Machine could drop another $60 or so if iBuy just wanted to sell their machine without Valve’s patented SteamController.

Once the hype died down I found it funny that after moving to the living the only bit of hardware they will be making is the controller

Once the hype died down I found it funny that after the announcement of moving to the living the only bit of hardware Valve will be making is the controller

 

 

Depending on how well received this product is after launch in 2014 it could open the floodgates for other computer parts companies. My personal prediction is that by the end of 2014 companies like Nvidia, AMD, and ASUS will announce their plans for releasing their own Steam Boxes with their own hardware. Without having to spend additional resources buying the rights to operating system product keys for mass production private organizations get their foot in the door by making their own companies out of their garages and producing custom Steam Machine orders for anyone on the internet.

I said it once and I will say it again, I will pay good money (specs pending) for an honest to goodness purple GABECUBE.

designed like this even down to the four USB ports in the front for multiplayer

Designed like this even down to the four USB ports in the front for multiplayer


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#304 The Presidential Console Cycle

Boom! It has been a full weekend since Microsoft’s Xbox One went live and both consoles came out of the base swinging with the announcement that the PS4 and XBox One sold a million products within their first 24 hours (I do wonder what is the percent of PS360 players that bought new consoles on day and did the percent increase since last generation).

I was going to do a prediction on who will win but all the research I have done everyone else said the same thing. Unless the XBox One  releases a Deux Machina patch that doubles the resolution of all of their games Sony has secured the upper hand in marketing and multi-platforms titles.

This is the first time I have been following the lead up and launch of new consoles and looking back on the entire saga reminds me a lot of the United States Presidential election cycle. If you follow me on this blog, on Twitter, or in real life it is not hard to notice that I love talking about politics and I have almost no problem connecting everything to politics in one way or another.

 Hey its a way to validate my four years in college to earn my BA in Political Science.

That’s right I’m kicking off this Monday with another political/gaming blog post. But hey it’s a way to validate the four years it took me to earn my degree in Political Science.

Each side, Microsoft and Sony, starts months or years in advance getting to work behind the scenes crafting the concept of their newest candidate that is supposed to appeal to everyone. With the lead up to the official announcement there are some juicy leaks and rumors while everyone and their dog starts throwing around their speculations of the new products and the current base starts getting hyped again for some new blood and innovation and what it means for the future after it is all said and done.

This goes on for a few months, and even if all of our guesses are right we still have to wait until the official ceremony with the press and viewers a like are invited to tune in as the announcement of the new candidate is made.

If you pay attention the PS4/XB1 reveal were almost the same as the democrats and republican nomination ceremony. Picture from The New York Times

If you pay attention the PS4/XB1 reveal were almost the same as the Democrats and Republican nomination ceremony.
Picture from The New York Times

Then in the final stretch to the big day, that will decide who will win, the two sides pulls out the big guns; the major press releases about each one’s policies, the marketing money, and the ad space on the important TV channels and websites all for the one purpose of showing off the product in the best light and swaying the vital few who are on the fence this time around while doing everything in the company’s power to get the third-party companies to support them post launch. All the while the fanboys on both sides tear each other apart on the internet forums with logical fallacies.

Birthers. XBONE. PS4 has no games. seeing Russia from my house. 47%

Birthers. XBONE. PS4 has no games. Seeing Russia from my house. 47% ect.

The main difference between an US political election and the next generation console war is that both parties in the console war gets to have their product win. After the launch both Microsoft and Sony then enter a friendly Cold War while the rest of us comes to terms with the unfilled promises from the campaign.

yeah tell me that they did it for the gamer not for the companies

Tell me with a straight face that they didn’t tweet this for the free PR from the press and not for the other company

P.S Lest I forget in this comparison the Nintendo Wii U is like the winner of the local elections, the only place where real innovation and change happens without the threat of big money and market testers watering it down. And the PC is like the Illuminati as in it is as old as dirt, longest lasting party, and does everything the main two consoles can do but better all the while pulling all the strings in the industry.

Everyone laughed at the Nintendo's past two consoles but who's laughing now? Not the people who now have to hook up their Kinects and out this Fridays buying vistas for their PS4 dual screen mechanics

Everyone laughed at the Nintendo’s past two consoles but who’s laughing now? Not the people who now have to hook up their Kinects to their TVs and going out this Fridays to buy Vitas for their PS4 dual screen gameplay mechanics


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#303 The Writer’s Block Strikes Back

Today writer’s block has rolled a natural twenty again. I was planning on doing a really cool recap of the consoles and my personal prediction on the next generation. Then I realized it would be foolish of me to write a big long blog post before we know how well the Xbox console and Microsoft will handle its first weekend after the launch.

My only regret is that when titling these writer's block posts I did not follow the pattern of the Star Wars movies (Attack of the Empire, Return of the Jedi ect)

My only regret is that when naming these writer’s block posts I did not follow the pattern of the Star Wars movies (The Empire strikes Back and then Return of the Jedi)


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#302 Where is our Doctor Who game?

In the next few days a Doctor Who special called, The Day of the Doctor, will be aired on BBC. This episode is especially important because this episode will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the pilot episode that was first released in 1963.

Still a big fan of the series, enough to dedicate a week worth of blog posts to it way back in the day.

Still a big fan of the series, enough to dedicate a week worth of blog posts to it way back in the day.

 

With this event it seems the important question now ask is Where is our Doctor Who game? This question popped into my mind when I read the announcement that the BBC has cancelled their established Doctor Who game trilogy for the consoles.

But the Doctor Who show is no the only long running title to  had the problems launching good games. Both Superman and the Power Ranger series have not been known for releasing quality game titles over the years.

...lest we forget

…lest we forget

 

After looking at the success of Batman, Star Wars, and The Walking Dead games I do wonder why these three well established series, with plenty of original source material, have not created games that hits it out of the park.

We have seen the Doctor, Kal El, and the team of teenagers with attitude  bring in successful in the other forms of entertainment. Each have appeared in plenty of books, movies, comicbooks, radio dramas, and even musicals with more success than their licensed videogames.

It is not the videogame industry does not of the inability to mimic superpowers and amazing stunts depicted in the stories like they did back in the 8 bit era.  I felt closer to playing as the Green Lantern, conjuring an infinite amount creations of  in Scribblenauts than I did playing the Green Lantern movie tie in from a few years ago.

 

It looks like Nintendo created a better Power Rangers game than either Disney or Saban ever did

It looks like Nintendo created a better Power Rangers game than either Disney or Saban ever did

I have to wonder what is stopping the video-game genres from making these games, we no longer have the technological barrier that the gaming industry faced in its infancy and with the proper script the games can convincingly address the issue on why the protagonist just does not overpower the enemies within in first act.

What do you think, what do you think is stopping a proper Superman/Doctor Who/Power Ranger games from making a hit game? and what TV or comicbooks series are you hoping to see on the PC or console?


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#301 Screenshots of Pandaria Part XV

I forgot to mention that last Friday’s post marked my 100th consecutive week of blogging for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since I started Be MOP. What better way to celebrate the start of my 101st week of this blog than a collection of screenshots!

P.S I still have not found a better title for this series now that I stopped playing World of Warcraft for a few months but I think I’m too far in to change names now.

You know the recent TF2 post where I realized that my no-hats rule was broken? This was the screenshot that made me realize how far down the rabbit hole I traveled

You know the recent TF2 post where I realized that my no-hats rule was broken? This was the moment that made me realize how far down the rabbit hole I traveled

It was only a few matches in CounterStrike Global Offensive when I stumbled upon my first cosmetic item (that was dropped by one of my teammates) While these items are more tasteful I'm not planning on actually buying any keys for the CS:GO creats

It was only a few matches in Counter Strike Global Offensive when I stumbled upon my first cosmetic item (that was dropped by one of my teammates) While these items are  a bit more fitting than TF2’s hats I’m still not planning on buying any keys for the CS:GO creates

While I thought the loading screens where a bit much in the Amazing Spiderman game I got a kick from the Internet comments that you could scroll through on the loading screen

While I do realize that loading screens are a necessary evil in videogames I do like it when developers add something to do while the game’s loading, like how the Amazing Spider-man game added internet comments from the NPC of the city

When I first played Bioshock I had countless arguements with my friend on why on Earth Rapture would spend so much time/money/resources by putting neon lights and advertisements in the saltwater outside of their buildings

When I first played Bioshock I had countless arguments with my friend on why on Earth the companies in  Rapture would spend so much time/money/resources by putting neon lights and advertisements in the saltwater outside of their buildings


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#300 What is Steam OS’s target demographic?

We have not heard much about the newest Steam product, the Steam Machine and the Steam Operating System, since it was first announced. We have seen a prototype around the web but none are sent out to the beta testers….yet

Me and the 421842 other Steam Hardware Beta Candidate are eagerly waiting to see if we get one of the 300 lucky conformation emails

I and the 421842 other Steam Hardware Beta Candidate are eagerly waiting to see if we get one of the 300 lucky confirmation emails

 

While we are talking about the Steam Machine I want to ask, who is the target demographic for Steam Machine and the Steam OS?

When valve first announced the Steam OS I made a comment that Valve is following the same business model as Google when they went with their plans to release the Android OS, a more technically capable OS and because it was open to third parties it should bring down the cost of the devices. I am talking about it now because I read a report that said the Android phone is currently dominating the smartphone market with 80% of the phone population.

Andriod

But looking back Android OS worked because when the program launched back in 2008 it was in a limited field with Apple being the only real candidate for touchscreen smartphones in the American market. 

The difference between Android and Steam OS is that there is no native monopoly on the next-gen console market. We have the WiiU, the newly released PlayStation 4, and Microsoft’s Xbox One coming out next week and each of those systems have their own demographic and established brand loyalty

And Steam’s players (PC players) are not a reliable demographic to download the Steam OS because most of us already have an operating system that came with my computer and as Tech News and Reviews said, the Steam Operating system (as far as we know) does not cut it as a desktop Operating System.

Despite the negative tone for this post I am still holding out hope that Steam OS becomes as successful as Android in the few years. I will say that it was brilliant for Valve to outsource the hardware specs to other companies, thus giving those computer companies the burden of going through the hassle of finding the target demographic while marketing their own Steam Machines over the main three consoles AND any other Steam Machine competitors.

Then Valve can go around and collect the sales data from those companies, it's magnificent

Then Valve can go around and collect the sales data from those companies, it’s almost to brilliant for words

To be honest, if Valve really wanted Steam OS to be successful they would just have to add an exclusive  Team Fortress 2 hat that is only achieved by launching  TF2 on the S.OS just like they did when they announced that the game is now compatible with Apple OS X and Linux.

lets pray that Valve never releases a special hat that is only unlocked after voting for one party during a presidential election...they could dominate western democracy for decades

lets pray that Valve never releases a special hat that is only unlocked after voting for a specific party during a major election…they could dominate western democracy for decades


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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