Tag Archives: Microsoft

Will Discord and Twitch Succeed Where Origin and UPlay Failed?

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I had a blog post about Discord and its competition with Steam (along with other PC gaming services) ready to go that I’d written on Tuesday… and then on Thursday Discord went and announced it’s actually going to sell games.

Back in 2014 I did a post comparing Origin and UPlay to Steam, primarily through why each PC game launcher was created in the first place, and how that affected the current status of each one. Steam started as a way to facilitate the installing and patching of games, Origin as EA’s personal game launcher, and UPlay as Ubisoft’s customer loyalty program. To this day, people primarily install Origin and UPlay just to boot up EA’s and Ubisoft’s games respectively. That in itself is fine. Blizzard’s Battle.net gets away with it, Fortnite gets away with it, Minecraft gets away with it. Those services juts aren’t ever going to come close to competing with Steam.

Discord found another way to get onto millions of computers: as a chat app and a universal game launcher. Continue reading

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Microsoft Ran Its E3 2018 Media Briefing Like A Streaming Service Would

Microsoft's studio acquisition announcements from E3 2018

One overarching subject came to my mind during Microsoft’s E3 2018 media briefing when the company was revealing the video game studios it had acquired for the purpose of making exclusive games. When people were cheering these acquisitions I realized you’d probably never see reactions like that in other entertainment industries, not for a platform holder or service provider locking up future content exclusively to its platform and services. E3 has almost always been a vehicle for platform wars, and that’s one of the things that’s still really peculiar about console games. Continue reading

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What’s Hiding In The Shadows Before E3 2018?

Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018

If Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t one of those games that gets mostly shown behind doors this year, I think it could be the main sleeping giant of E3 2018. We know almost nothing about it, but what little we do know sounds extremely ambitious, and it’s from the developer of one of the best-rated games of this console generation. To me it just feels like it has the most potential in proportion to how little people are talking about it in the run-up to E3. Other than that I guess Super Smash Bros. for the Switch is the big thing I’m looking forward to. That’s another game we know almost nothing about other than what’s obligatory in Smash Bros. games, but is gonna be a main-pillar game for some people (myself included).

Those are the two games that immediately pop into my head in terms of personal interest and potential future hype at E3 2018. In March I wrote about my anticipation for a new Splinter Cell as well, which is looking increasingly likely to be revealed at E3. Something else I hope E3 reveals is the Prey expansion pack Arkane has been teasing. Microsoft is also rumored to be bringing out the bulk of its first party lineup at E3: Halo 6Gears of War 5, and Forza Horizon 4. I guess enough time has passed since the last entry in each of those franchises for at least one of them to show up this year. Another rumor going around is Mortal Kombat 11. The last rumored reveal I can think of right now is that people are speculating Nintendo will show off the new Metroid Prime and a new Star Fox game… or whatever it is Retro Studios has been working on. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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Xbox Game Pass, The Business of AAA Games, And Singleplayer Games

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The big news this week seems to be that Microsoft’s future first party video games will be included in its Xbox Game Pass service right when they launch. People immediately took this to mean Microsoft is going full Netflix. One long-running Austrian retailer has even gone so far as to de-list Xbox One consoles for fear of the platform eventually going completely digital. I don’t know about that last part, but everything else here makes perfect sense for Microsoft. It’s just another solution to the current problems facing AAA games. Continue reading

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The PlayStation Games I’d Re-Buy On Xbox, If They Were Added To Backwards Compatibility

On the week’s events: A lot happened this week, especially on Thursday. I got nothin’ personally, just more links you’ll see at the bottom of this blog post to articles I think you should read. Meanwhile, this post is something I’ve had in the tank for a while.

Also: I posted a review of AER: Memories of Old on Steam. http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197983276232/recommended/331870

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Microsoft’s recent shifts towards a policy of backwards compatibility — emulating Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on the Xbox One, letting you use original discs, and even improving those games for free, are setting a precedent in my view against Sony’s treatment of legacy software on PlayStation. This has reached the point where there are games I bought on PlayStation which I’ve thought about re-buying for Xbox because of Microsoft’s policies if they ever become backwards compatible. Continue reading

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Selective Game Installs Coming To Consoles. Finally.

DJozG7BXgAAZ85sIt looks like console gaming is finally starting to utilize compartmentalized game installations upon figuring out everybody can’t install or download 80-plus gigabyte games. Bethesda confirmed the newly-announced Nintendo Switch version of DOOM will come on a physical game card that will only contain the main campaign, with the multiplayer being an optional download that can’t fit on the card. Microsoft also just started talking about how future game installs on Xbox will let players be selective about what parts of a game they want to install — choosing between textures, game modes, and audio languages, in order to save hard drive space and internet data.

Frankly Microsoft should have been doing this long ago, and Bethesda should allow this for every version of DOOM. Some PC games have been doing something like this for a while (for decades actually if you wanna get really technical). For the most part though until now console games that install to the hard drive have just been installing everything. Continue reading

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What I’m Looking For At The E3 2017 Conferences.

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This is an odd E3 when it comes to hardware hype vs software hype. Nintendo has revealed and launched a new hardware platform between E3s, and Micrsooft is unveiling the first step in its plan for incremental hardware upgrades. Otherwise though it’s gonna be one of those E3s that’s mostly just about games.

With predictions about, all I can really do is talk about what I’d personally like to see from each company presenting there, what it would take to get me to buy into each platform being presented. Continue reading

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Scorpio And The Windows User

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Last time I talked about what Scorpio may and may not do for Xbox, talking about Microsoft’s strategy being oriented around creating a better gaming service. Scorpio might not affect me personally all that much though because I do most of my gaming on a pretty decent gaming PC. From my perspective what matters most is what Microsoft does with Windows.

I guess Microsoft bringing Windows into its service strategy has been beneficial in some ways. I like how the Xbox app integrates my PC games into the Xbox Live community. Finally having games like Gears of War and Forza on PC is great too, and I would certainly buy the new Halo shooters if they showed up on Windows. But Good God is there room for improvement. Continue reading

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The Difference Between PS4, Xbox One, and Switch 1st Party Games

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Quarter one of 2017 has been pretty good for first party exclusive console games, particularly from Sony but also for Nintendo if you count one incredible game. In the midst of this I’ve also heard a lot of talk that one reason Microsoft is behind Sony in console sales is because its lineup of exclusives is weaker. What’s interesting is if you look at the first party lineups of each console manufacturer you see different strategies or a preference for games with different kinds of business models. Continue reading

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