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Found 148 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    Twitch.TV App Arrives on 360

    One of the biggest trends over the past year has been the streaming of video games. In the old days, you might watch your friend play through a game or vice versa. Now, people only have to check out Twitch.TV to see if a game they're interested in is being played by someone. Streaming has even managed to become a new job for some who are extremely prolific and entertaining. Today it was announced that a Twitch streaming app is available for the Xbox 360. Don't get too excited though as this is not a way to stream content yourself, but simply watch the streams of others on your TV set. Apparently, you can also only choose from the top 300 streaming channels through the app. As with other entertainment apps on the system, they are inaccessible if you don't have an Xbox Live Gold account. We probably shouldn't expect streaming of a user's own content to be available anytime soon because Microsoft will probably follow Sony's guidance with that for their next system, not 360.
  2. The console war is one war that will never be won. There will be victories and defeats, but there will never be a true winner to end all of this digital mayhem. And in this case, a never-ending war is the best thing gaming could ever hope for since competition fuels the need for innovation. Without an enemy to face, we would have never gotten some of the amazing things we've seen in our generation. Of course, we also wouldn't be able to laugh at the war torn history left behind by those many console giants from the past, present and future as well. And really, that's way more important than any amazing game changing innovations we might have seen in the last thirty years. So why don't you join me for an awkward look back at the world of video game rivalry? Pikachu Really Hates Sony I've mentioned Hey You, Pikachu! a number of times in a few of my past articles due to it's microphone capabilities; an extremely underused feature that I love seeing in games. The reason I'm mentioning this less-than-well-received Nintendo 64 title is thanks to an easter egg hidden in the game's long list of many phrases that Pikachu would react to. Back up, what did you just say to me? Among words such as Pikachu, apple, and lightning bolt was the extremely out of place "Sony." Now why would a rival's company be among the list of words that Pikachu responded to? Well, as we all know, Nintendo and Sony have been rivals since the very beginning of the Playstation's launch. As a way of taking a shot at Sony, Nintendo included the name of the company in Hey You, Pikachu! as an extremely negative word. If you so much as hinted to Pikachu that you were about to say the word Sony, your pokemon companion would absolutely flip out. He would stop listening to you, start electrocuting everything in his general area and drop whatever he was holding in his hands. The mere mention of Sony was enough to send him into a waking night terror with no escape. Microsoft Has A Naval Battle With Sony The Xbox 360 exploded out onto the market nearly a year ahead of its competition. Sony had finally released the Playstation 3 in America, and it was gearing up to release globally. Excited gamers in France began to stand in line as they eagerly awaited the release of the PS3... and then things got crazy. Does the X in the O stand for hugs and kisses? As the legions of French fans stood out in the cold waiting for the official launch of the PS3, a large boat adorned with Microsoft and Xbox symbols slowly came into view of the store's line of customers. In large white letters was the phrase "XBOX 360 YOU". Microsoft had pulled the proverbial boombox in the rain on this poor group of frozen gamers... and it was kind of funny. The only thing that would have made it better was if a Sony boat pulled into view and attacked the Xbox boat. It was a silly idea that did manage to get Microsoft some free advertising at Sony's expense, but I suggest they try using blimps to advertise during the PS4 launch. They're much harder to ignore because honestly, who can say no to looking at a blimp? Sonic Takes A Jab At Mario; Totally Beefs It Have you ever heard of the Sonic title, Sonic X-Treme? I'm going to guess you haven't, seeing as it was cancelled after constant game delays and massive problems during production. Many programmers slaved over the game working 16 hour days only to see their troubled game get flushed down the toilet, never to be seen again by anyone ever. But not before they got this juicy little advertisement out. How could something like this fail? Mario and his apparent henchmen are unable to bring down that pesky hedgehog no matter how hard they try because he has made the jump to the 3D world and left them in their 2D dust to rot into obscurity. The ad itself is what makes this so funny. Shortly after the game was cancelled, Mario entered the 3D realm with Super Mario 64 and ended up leaving Sonic to rot in his 2D dust while his franchise became bigger than ever. Square Enix Attacks... Themselves? Alright Square Enix, I don't think you understand the point to all of this. It's supposed to make your enemies look bad. You aren't supposed to take shots at your customers. In the PSP game, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Square Enix did just that. In the Battle Tips section of the game, you can see what Final Fantasy XII's Penelo has to say about each character. I bite the hand that feeds me, teehee! Most of them are just funny little things or observations about the characters. When you get to Cloud and Sephiroth, however, things take a turn. With Cloud, she says all he does is mope around and is therefore an uninteresting character. She then goes on to say Sephiroth is supposed to be pretty popular, but he really isn't that attractive. While these are more or less just funny little things they threw in the game to spice things up a bit, you have to remember the people who are constantly voting for Cloud and Sephiroth in character polls. They're called fangirls and fanboys, and they don't understand jokes in the slightest. Any attack on their husbandos is an attack on them, and they will write about it in their Livejournals for the whole world to not care about. Nintendo Is All Up In Sony's 3D Venture The Nintendo 3DS was a revolution in 3D technology. It was now no longer necessary to spend upwards of $60 just for a pair of glasses to see the 3D image being projected from a screen, and you didn't have to burn your eyes out like with Nintendo's first 3D venture, the Virtual Boy. Its a pretty neat gimmick for the system because when it works well, it works really well. But we're not here to discuss systems. We're hear to talk about wicked sick jabs at rival companies. "Just eat it." And this jab took place at the absolute greatest E3 ever, E3 2010. While a lot of disses and slams were being thrown around in each E3 presentation, the one that sticks out for me was Nintendo's 3DS conference. They constantly brought up the fact that expensive 3D glasses were going the way of the dinosaurs and anyone who used them were going to get left in the dust in the coming years. The very next day Sony held a conference that was almost entirely based around expensive 3D glasses. While I have no way of proving Nintendo set up their 3DS conference that way on purpose just to get Sony's goat, it seems pretty obvious that was what they were aiming for. How do you follow with your multimillion dollar project announcement right after your competition just thrashed you for a solid hour with their glasses free 3D? Well, I would say something along the lines of Sony's split screen 3D technology, but nobody uses that. The reason I love quips like these is because every time I see or hear one, I imagine someone being dunked on by a basketball player. Totally unrelated, I know. But its why I love them so much. Can you think of any other types of marketing slams that have happened over the years? Why not discuss them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.
  3. We have all heard the rumors by now about the next Microsoft system possibly requiring an always-on internet connection. The rumor has been discussed on a great variety of sites for more than a year. The only one who has yet to say anything regarding the matter is Microsoft themselves, as even developers working on the new system have mentioned it. Although Microsoft still isn't delivering official word to the press, technology site Ars Technia is asserting they've seen an internal e-mail from the company discussing internet connectivity. Here is a snippet of the supposed message: "Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game." If this turns out to be true, then the e-mail was likely leaked out purposefully to quell gamer anger over the long circulating rumors. All the same, the statement of watching live TV seems confusing, unless the system is being used simply as a DVR box and not downloading and streaming video through the internet connection. Regardless, it is certainly hoped that the next Xbox does not require an always-on connection but we still have to wait for an official Microsoft statement before breathing a sigh of relief.
  4. I want to think the best of people, I really do. But it isn't easy when the internet exists. I can travel to any gaming forum in the world and odds are high I'll find someone arguing over absolutely nothing. You can go into threads with legitimate questions and you'll end up reading a six page flame war about dinosaurs. While that is hilarious in it's own way, there are also communities on the internet that just allow you to see the worst in people. You'll find them chock full of liars, cheaters, griefers and everything else under the rainbow of hilarity that is the gaming community. Read on to see some of my personal favorites that prove just how awful we really are. The Xbox Ban Appeal Forums My goodness where do we start? The Xbox ban appeals forum has so many different gems of absolute idiocy that a whole new site was made just to showcase some of them. That's how bad it is over there. And when it comes to lying, the people on the Xbox forums are just the absolute worst. I'll be giving examples of better ones in a little bit, but for now enjoy the stupidity. First of all you have the people with modded consoles. Whether they're using it for piracy or not isn't really the issue when it comes to these people. They have decided to mod their avatar. You know what an avatar is, right? That little person you dress up to represent you on the Xbox Live service? You know, the one that everyone can see? My God I wish I could have seen that conversation play out. So they go onto the forums saying it isn't fair that they were banned! They clearly did nothing wrong so they shouldn't be punished. They don't even know how to mod so it couldn't have been them! As they're saying all of this, you can see their bright pink avatar sitting in the corner with their crazy light up eyes. And they wonder how you could prove they modded anything. And then you have the boosters. I honestly don't even know what boosters are. Apparently you give them your account info and some insane amount of money and they'll raise your level in Call of Duty. The only way they can really advertise what they do is by putting it in their profile, again something everyone can see. And just like clockwork they're on the appeals forum saying the Xbox team has no proof they did it despite it being right there in front of them. While we're on the subject of proof, people seem to not understand that the Xbox team can save this information or watch what you're doing online in a game. Imagine different parent's surprise when they find out their son was banned for flashing his junk on Uno. ------------------------- The DayZ Ban Appeal Forums The difference between the Xbox Ban Appeals and the DayZ Ban Appeals is like the difference between night and day. While in the Xbox appeals forum you'll find a huge list of people getting served by Xbox staff with evidence of their random stupidity, the DayZ forums are the exact opposite. You see, there is no evidence. Before we get into this, here's some background for you. The DayZ server owners are unlike server owners in any other game. They have to follow a very strict set of rules due to the fact that each character is persistent on every single server. Ban someone for no reason and you screw everything up for them in every other server. So admins can only ban in the most extreme situations such as racism and hacking. Anything else and they risk their server being blacklisted. So when someone gets banned the admins have to have a good reason for doing so. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you are, these admins don't seem to understand they need evidence to support their claims. Thirty pages of novel levels of deception. All in broken English. This leads to some hilarious amounts of finger pointing on the official DayZ forums. In one such instance a player said he was banned just for logging onto this persons server. That person came on and said he was lying, he banned him for hacking. Then about five other people all came in saying the guy was hacking. You would think it would be an open and shut case, but noooo. As it turns out, those people that all came in saying the banned player were actually friends of the admin who banned the player because he and his clan were trying to cheat to get the best gear. This was proven when one of the banned player's friends joined the server and recorded the admin banning him too. The server was blacklisted and the idiot admin was out $150 (around the amount it costs to host a server). The best thing about all this is the fact that it wasn't an isolated incident. This is how nearly every single ban appeal thread plays out. Everyone is constantly lying to try to get their way and there is no way to tell who is lying and who isn't. Its insanely fun to read though. ------------------------- Broken System Sellers Consider this one a personal pet peeve of mine, but I absolutely hate people who sell broken systems and handhelds. This is because almost all of them are liars trying to make a buck off of a broken electronic. While I'm certainly not the best repairman, I just like to buy broken electronics (usually at a huge discount) and fix them up myself. But over the last year this has become increasingly difficult. Not because the technology has become more confusing, but because the people selling the broken systems don't seem to understand they can't get new system prices for their broken merchandise. Let's look at the Playstation Vita as a good example. $250 new, about $165 used, and for some reason, $155 broken. Eh, it'll probably buff out. $200 sounds like a fair asking price. This isn't broken like a bad battery either. This is broken as in "I smashed the screen." No matter which auction you click on ebay, if the screen is broken then every single one will have the exact same description. "The screen is cracked but its a $40 fix!" First of all, a Vita screen is at least $140. Secondly, if the digitizer is broken too then you'll have to drop another $50. So that bargain bin price of $150 has just become $340, nearly $100 more than a brand new console. I've talked with these sellers before. I've shown them the actual prices of replacement parts, I've explained to them how hard it is to actually fix and shown them links to working consoles selling for as much as their broken one. I usually get a reply along the lines of "If you don't like it then don't buy it." And they're still confused as to why their perfectly good nonworking system hasn't sold yet. ------------------------- Thankfully, these people don't represent the whole of gaming. At least I hope they don't. They're merely a part of the ever growing digital world. While I might not like them, I know I have to deal with them. But at least we can stand off to the side making fun of them. What communities do you just love to despise? Any interesting websites that show off the worst of the worst? Why not talk about them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.
  5. Marcus Estrada

    Adam Orth Has Left Microsoft

    If you aren't familiar with the name Adam Orth then you're not alone. Until recently he was not a big name in the world of Microsoft. He managed to get his unwanted moment in the spotlight when sharing his opinion about "always online" consoles on his official Twitter account. This caused all sorts of controversy. Game Informer has since spoken with Microsoft and found that Orth no longer works there. These unnamed sources were unable to give the nature of Orth's departure. Did he leave of his own accord or was he unceremoniously fired? This is one tantalizing question that is never likely to be answered (unless he chooses to vent on his Twitter page again). Hopefully this is a lesson to all professionals on Twitter to recognize that spreading their word to thousands of viewers may have repercussions on them later. Some may debate whether a rude Twitter post constitutes a firing or not, but that is up to the discretion of companies themselves.
  6. At this very moment, we don“t know for certain if the next Xbox console will require a persistent internet connection. Rumors saying as much have dogged the upcoming system for over a year now, and have only gained more credibility over time. “Confirmations” from un-named or even named developers make it seem that this change to always-on systems is inevitable since Microsoft and Sony probably are contemplating it. The latest controversy around an internet requirement came not from more rumors, but rather the reaction to said rumor. Microsoft Studios Creative Director Adam Orth made a series of Twitter posts that typified the kind of attitude gamers sometimes feel all big companies have. He started that “every device” is always on because “that“s the world we live in.” He also showed no interest in users who cannot access reliable internet, or any at all. No doubt that there are gamers who agree with his assessment of the modern era, but the anger in response to Orth shows that many also disagree. Microsoft had to engage in damage control by officially apologizing over said words. But were Orth“s assertions truly indicative of the modern age? Are we finally at the point where everyone is always connected and enjoying the benefits of it? I don“t think so, although those reading this piece may believe otherwise. To simply read this published piece requires an internet connection, after all, through either an Internet Service Provider or cell phone service provider. While there are a great deal of people in the United States using the internet, there are certainly issues with our infrastructure. Gamers who live in an urban metropolis or near enough to cities probably have pretty respectable internet. Those players can probably enjoy downloading digital games and playing rounds of multiplayer without much issue. There may be occasional hiccups, but otherwise, they“d likely be living a life where worrying about the internet doesn“t factor into their daily routine. However, big cities are a very small minority of the landscape. So much of the United States is still extremely rural. With such a massive landmass that we call our own, there is still tons of work to be done with getting the entire country online. In some towns, there may only be one ISP around and they might not be the most reliable. This is definitely the case for many and it causes a huge detriment to gamers. People living in these environments do not have reliable internet, or even any sufficiently speedy connection at all. Map of cable and fiber internet provider locations in United States If you“ve never been in a place like this, then it“s easy to agree with Orth. But if you do live with a shoddy connection then you must deal with downloads stopping or restarting because the connection just isn“t trustworthy enough to stay persistently connected for the length of the game download. Or there is the fact that a large chunk of America still uses DSL. These speeds are just a fraction of what cable customers can see, and slow as molasses when compared to the lucky FiOS users. Did you think the PlayStation Network servers were slow? Enjoy waiting even longer for them thanks to DSL being the only internet you can obtain in your area. Then comes another interesting facet of Orth“s statement worth touching on. “Every device” is always on these days, he said. But what does that really mean? Yes, everything from recent TV sets to refrigerators are trying to get in on the “connected” bandwagon. But does everyone continuously stock their homes with the newest technological goodies? As gamers, many of us do to make sure we always have the best gaming setup possible. Other games are not lucky to have enough money to be living as modern a lifestyle as Orth asserts. Of course, some would argue those people don“t have the money to buy a new system either, but you“d be surprised to see how many people play games even at lower socioeconomic statuses. Many may get these systems years down the line when they have finally seen a few price drops. What a disappointment it would be if these families had to realize that gaming had finally shut them out. So far, other methods of entertainment such as books and movies have not done the same. Let“s imagine that the US government goes all out in the next few years to get fast, reliable, and cheap internet throughout the states. Would we all then be prepared to face an onslaught of always online consoles? No, not at all. One anti-consumer trend that has cropped up over the past few years is data caps. In the US, some of the largest internet providers enforce caps on all home (as opposed to business) customers. Sometimes these caps are up in the range of 250 GBs, but other times they are as low as 20 GBs. Everything seems to be pushing consumers to eat up digital content in massive amounts. Gaming is the same, as they wish to further the success of digital downloads, multiplayer, and possibly always connected systems. Depending on the company, though, you may be out of luck. Passing data caps tends to either cause you to have to pay overage fees, severely slow down the connection, or cut access entirely until the end of the month. Imagine it. You“ve been enjoying shows on Netflix, "Let“s Plays" on Youtube, and streams on Twitch, and quickly eat up your data cap allotment within the first week of a month. Then what? Are you willing to shell out the fees for going over the cap because that system is going to require some meager amount of online connectedness to function? If you lose the internet entirely then are you going to be content to not play the Xbox until connection is granted again? That“s what would have to be done, but it in no way would please the owner of an always-online system. Internet is an important commodity in the modern age. It is basically expected that we all have it to maintain our lifestyles, and we have readily adopted this mindset. Regardless of how we connect, we are eager to do so even if it is only through shoddy companies who can“t promise 100% uptime. Data caps, as monetization schemes, will only proliferate to more customers if no one stops them. Until internet connectedness is at an acceptable level in the United States, and caps are exorbitantly high (or abolished), we as a nation will remain unprepared for the future of an always online console.
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Orth Twitter Message

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  8. Xbox Live Rewards has been around for a while and allows users chances to get free points through taking surveys, renewing Gold membership, and various other things. Today, Major Nelson revealed a new offshoot of this program which is called Play to Earn. Starting in April, this new program will track player purchases and play to reward them accordingly. Users are still able to participate in the standard Xbox Live Rewards tasks, but Play to Earn gives back to players who simply make a lot of purchases or play their games. For the month of April, playing four XBLA games for 20 hours or more gives back an avatar item. If four XBLA games are purchased at 400 Microsoft Points or more, then you'll be gifted a month of Xbox Live Gold. Finally, if you spend 3200 Points, you'll get back 800. So far, it seems that Microsoft is heading in the right direction although they may want to amp up the prize for being a dedicated Xbox player. Either way, the incentive of giving players something back for contributing to Microsoft's economy is a smart one.
  9. Interested in getting some free Microsoft points? Well Coinstar can hook you up with their new cash out options that include Microsoft points codes. All you need to do to get your free $10 certificate is find a Coinstar in your local Kroger and cash out $30 worth of Microsoft points at the machine. After you cash it out the machine will print out a $10 code that can be used to purchase Xbox Live time or for just more points. Cashing out a Microsoft Points card at your local Coinstar will apparently automatically remove the usual fee of 10%, so if you're looking for a good deal on points then look no further than Coinstar while the deal is still active. Remember, it has to be a Coinstar located at a Kroger supermarket. This deal apparently won't work with just any old Coinstar machine. If you want to read more about their current promotion before you run down to the store with $30 in quarters then be sure to check the link below. Coinstar Promotions
  10. Marcus Estrada

    Max & the Magic Marker Sequel Set for XBLA

    In 2010 an innovative little game by the name of Max & the Magic Marker came to Wii, DS, and PSN. The game focused around a young boy named Max and his, well, magic marker which could be used to draw directly into the environment to aid Max's progress. The game missed a release for Microsoft platforms and it seems that developer Press Play are finally making up for it. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a sequel to Max & the Magic Marker and is coming exclusively to XBLA in Spring. Max will once again use his marker to manipulate the game world around him. The main difference this time around seems to be that the game has completely changed art styles; from 2D art to 3D characters and backgrounds. When the game hits XBLA it will be at the price of 1200 Microsoft Points. Although it is possible the game may see a later port to other systems, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is currently only announced for Xbox 360. Here is a trailer released to accompany Press Play's reveal:
  11. Now that Sony has officially announced the PS4, all eyes are now on Microsoft to announce their own next-gen console. What would you guys like to see from their next console? Personally, I would like to see something more than just getting a beefed-up 360. I would like a reason to get whatever they offer other than better graphics. Although, some new exclusives would certainly help...
  12. I have heard the same tired arguments far too often over the years when it comes to console generations. People seem to think there are specific qualifications for a console to truly be considered “next-genâ€; that if other consoles outmatch another in horsepower, the less powerful one belongs in the last generation. And according to these people, with some disregard for the word“s literal definition, “generation†means something else entirely. Look, I respect everyone's opinions and all, but they won“t change facts. Many gamers' definition of “generation†isn“t correct; the less-powerful consoles do not belong in previous generations, and above all else, we shouldn“t even be fighting over something so pointless when we can just enjoy the most important part of this medium: the video games themselves. All this Console Wars nonsense is making gamers forget what gaming is all about. It's making gamers forget what generations are all about. So perhaps it's about time for a little refresher on what it truly means to be "next-gen," and most importantly, what it truly means to be a gamer. The Definition of “Generation†When a new generation comes along, what does that mean? Does it mean what a lot of gamers seem to think it means; that you can only be in the next generation if your power far exceeds that of the previous generation? No, it doesn“t. What it does mean is that the previous generation has another generation to succeed it, and that“s it. But what exactly IS a “generationâ€? Well, let“s see what Dictionary.com has to say: gen·er·a·tion [jen-uh-rey-shuh n] noun the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time: the postwar generation. the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring. a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc. Compare Beat Generation, Lost Generation. a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same time: Chaplin belonged to the generation of silent-screen stars. a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or plants. a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor (often used in combination): a new generation of anticancer drugs; a third-generation phone. the offspring of a certain parent or couple, considered as a step in natural descent. the act or process of generating; procreation. the state of being generated. production by natural or artificial processes; evolution, as of heat or sound. Biology. a. one complete life cycle. b. one of the alternate phases that complete a life cycle having more than one phase: the gametophyte generation. Mathematics. the production of a geometrical figure by the motion of another figure. Physics. one of the successive sets of nuclei produced in a chain reaction. (in duplicating processes, as photocopying, film, etc.) the distance in duplicating steps that a copy is from the original work. The most basic definition you can get from the 14 definitions above is that a generation is what comes after another generation. Simple enough, right? In other words, my generation came after my dad“s generation, his generation came after his dad“s, and so on. Therefore, that made-up definition a lot of gamers have given to console generations earlier isn“t at all correct. Honestly, I don“t even know how that particular definition came about in the first place. People have gotten so caught up in console wars and power battles that they have forgotten the meaning of the term “next-gen.†What It Means to Be Next-Gen I hear this far too often: “The Wii U isn“t next-gen!†I“m sorry, what? And what makes YOU the expert on generations? You say the Wii U isn“t next-gen, but why? Because the graphics don“t look leaps and bounds more realistic than on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from the last generation? Because it doesn“t use the most powerful pieces of hardware money can buy? First of all, the Wii U graphics looking like they do in the console“s infancy is pretty damn impressive. It“s like a 3-year-old lifting as much as its uncles, if not more. So giving it time will only show more impressive results later in its lifetime, as has been the case with every console in every generation. Secondly, a console being considered “next-gen†isn“t determined by power and expensive hardware. As I“ve laid out for you above, one generation is what follows another generation. Power and expenses have nothing to do with it. I mean, if I“m not as powerful as other people my age, and if I wear clothes from Goodwill and drive a cheap car from 30 years ago (I“m depressing myself…), does that mean I should be placed in the same generation as my dad? Hell no! Hypothetically speaking, even if one of the big three companies suddenly decided to release an 8-bit console when generation 9 comes around, it would still be considered next-gen, because what it truly means to be next-gen is simple: you have to be in the generation following your predecessor. In which case, the Wii U following the Wii makes it next-gen, just like the PlayStation 4 is a generation following the PlayStation 3 and the next Xbox will be a generation following the Xbox 360. These are all next-gen consoles. Period. Play Games, Not Consoles Remember when gaming was all about playing video games? Those were the days… Now you can“t get into a conversation about the medium without someone bashing a certain console. Whether they consider Nintendo consoles as being for kids, Sony consoles as being for graphic-obsessed meat-heads, or Microsoft consoles as being for kids who like to scream profanity, “fanboys†will pull arguments out of their butts and hope people agree with them. None of these arguments ever hold merit, of course, but there are countless biased soldiers in the eternal conflict we call the Console Wars, and they all feel like the only option is to pick a side and fight. But why do we have to pick sides? Can“t we all just get along? Apparently not, because the Console Wars have never been won, and they“ve been waging on for decades… There was a time when Sega was known as Nintendo“s rival, with Sonic the Hedgehog being the “more mature†alternative to Mario. There were even those famous commercials from back in the day – one with the slogan “Sega does what Nintendon“t†and another with the slogan “Nintendo is what Genesisn“t.†Needless to say, this was the generation that first saw the Console Wars. And you know what I did in that generation? I owned both the SNES and the Genesis and played some pretty amazing games both consoles had to offer. Fast-forward to today and things haven“t changed all that much. Well, Sega may have been thrown out of the console market since then, but I still prefer owning all consoles and playing whatever the hell I feel like playing. So why can“t we all just do that? Why must gamers feel the need to pick sides and bash whoever isn“t their favorite brand? People might say that the Wii U isn“t next-gen, but more than likely that argument has something to do with the arguer attempting to find ways to put the console down, especially since they usually follow up or lead in with something about how the PS4 and next Xbox will be “true next-gen consoles.†Yeah, you can go play your Console Wars if you want, but I“d rather just play my games instead. So now that you know every definition of the word “generation,†can we stop all this next-gen bickering? There always seems to be a fight among gamers, and many of them think that to be considered “next-gen†you have to be über powerful compared to the last generation. People like to say that the Wii U isn“t next-gen, and yet it clearly is when taking the literal definition into account. But when you get rid of biased brand loyalty altogether, does any of this really even matter? Games are games, and they are meant to be enjoyed. So why don“t we all just enjoy the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox 360's successor and whatever games they provide for our gaming pleasure, regardless of what generation we think they“re in? In fact, I think I“ll go play an old SNES game now…
  13. Jordan Haygood

    Console Family Tree

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © CakeDojo

  14. Marcus Estrada

    Xbox Swagfest Offers Custom 360s

    Do you want to get the chance to win a super rare Xbox 360? That's what is being offered by Microsoft as they begin their Xbox Swagfest contest. With the sweepstakes now in full swing, you just have to do a few simple tasks to be entered in for one of five consoles. First, you have to download the promotional gamer pic and actually use it on your profile before the contest ends on March 11th. Then, you have choices for what to do next. You can download the HBO GO app (which only works for HBO subscribers) or play an online game in Halo 4, Gears of War 3, or Tomb Raider. Or you can choose to play all of them multiple times to gain a maximum of 20 entries. Each console is custom designed for Swagfest. They are all 4GB 360s and feature designs for Bioshock Infinite, Game of Thrones, Gears of War: Judgment, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and Tomb Raider. If you're interested, be aware that the contest is only open to those 17 or older and who reside in one of the 50 US states.
  15. In this day and age, it's almost impossible to keep content from being proliferated freely online. Even games with the fanciest copy protection still tend to get broken and pirated quickly enough. However, it's most depressing when a high profile game sees release for pirates a month before launch. This is what has now happened to Gears of War: Judgment. In a response to Eurogamer, a Microsoft spokesperson said the following: "We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately. Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services. Playing pirated copies of games, such as Gears of War: Judgment, is a violation of the Xbox Live Terms of Use and will result in enforcement action, such as account and console bans." In the case of their property leaking so early it makes sense that they are getting into gear to ban users. Thankfully, these actions will only harm those who have pirated content and should not affect any innocent users by accident. How does a game get out a month early? If a developer didn't sneakily take the game home, it's entirely possible that some journalist out there with a preview copy did something tremendously naughty.
  16. Marcus Estrada

    Xbox 360 at E3 2012

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  17. Was last week's rumor about the upcoming Xbox ditching used game play not enough for you? If you're rumor hungry then you'll be pleased to know that Kotaku has published another large and informative post about what the system will supposedly be like. Of course, the information does not come from within their team but from a person who is known to have a development kit for the system. It could all be true or an elaborate ruse, considering the source superDaE and his, er, bombastic Twitter account. Regardless, here is the information specified. First off, the Kinect will be an integral part of the upcoming system. It did not become the must-have accessory for Xbox 360 users, but there is definitely some interesting technology behind it. Apparently, all new systems will come with a Kinect that is superior to the current 360 and PC version. Unlike its use on current systems however, they say that the accessory will have to be plugged in to even use the console. That doesn't mean you'll be forced to flail around to log in and start up a game, but that the device is standard to every SKU, which allows any developer to make use of it. Next there is the statement that all games for the upcoming system will have mandatory installations. It has already been possible to install games on 360, but so far has never been a requirement like it is for some PS3 games. Unlike a PS3 though, it's also said that games will be capable of installing in the background. That way, a game can be played right from the start without having to wait 10 minutes for the process to finish. Apparently the system will come with a 500GB drive standard which also alleviates the fear of immediately cluttering up the system. Less unexpected is the word that the system is able to run multiple applications at once. This is always an amusing feature considering PCs have been doing the same for many years. Of course, consoles and handhelds have only recently gotten on board. This even extends to games, where you may pause one and jump into another. Just don't go game pause crazy, as it is doubtful the system would support that much game swapping at once. Is all or any of this true? What do you think of these rumored changes to the next Xbox system?
  18. Jordan Haygood

    Redbox Instant Coming to Xbox Live

    If you've got an Xbox 360 and like to play around with the various apps available through Xbox Live, you may have tried out the popular video-streaming Netflix or Hulu apps at some point (or at all points, you couch potatoes). Well, if those haven't satisfied you, maybe Verizon's new Redbox Instant service will. This new video-streaming service from the makers of those things you see in Wal-Marts will be available sometime in the undetermined future through Xbox Live. Redbox Instant is in a public beta at the moment (you can try it our HERE), and according to Microsoft spokesman Major Nelson, after signing up for the service, an email will be sent to you with a code that will allow you access to the Xbox Live Redbox Instant app in the "coming days." Just like the similar Netflix Instant service, Redbox Instant allows you to access a catalog of movie streams on-demand, as well as the Redbox disc rental kiosks (aka those things you see at Wal-Marts). There are two plans: $8 a month for the DVD plan or $9 a month for the Blu-ray plan. For both plans, you will get unlimited access to streaming movies and up to four one-night rentals of DVDS or Blu-rays at any Redbox machine. Do you use Redbox? Will you be using this app whenever it is released?
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