Savestate: New Retail Exits XL

Savestate: New Retail Exits XL

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

New Nintendo 3DS XL

I’ll likely pick up a New Nintendo 3DS XL but not for $229.99. I’ll wait for it to hit the $179.99 price point or something. I’m not going to migrate to the new one because I’m going to pass the “old” Nintendo 3DS XL to my brother.

Do I even need it? Probably not. I don’t even have a Nintendo 3DS game of interest on the horizon.

There’s a bit of controversy behind this “New” Nintendo 3DS XL. First, only the XL version is coming to North America. I’m guessing the regular sized ones weren’t selling as well as the XL — or — the profit margin for the 3DS XL is higher than the regular size one. Who knows? Second, that $229.99 New Nintendo 3DS XL will not include a power adapter which is bonkers in this market. Nintendo have been omitting the power adapter for other regions like Europe and Japan but kept it North Americans consumers happy by including it. Now we’re just like the rest of the world.

I’m a fan of the XL size so, the lack of regular size didn’t phase me. The power adapter omission was also a non-issue for me because, like Nintendo insinuated, I have extra power adapters since I own an old 3DS XL and a Nintendo DSi.

If I were to hazard a guess, I believe I’ll get one at my preferred price point by the end of 2015.

Sony Store & Target Exiting Canada

I’m disappointed by the departure of Target. It barely got off the ground and now it’s already leaving. I was hoping Target would end up being a viable competitor to Walmart but with a compelling online presence. But I guess losing $2.1 billion since day one isn’t a recipe for success. Then again, opening 100+ stores in 22 months may have been a tad aggressive on their part. It’s a real shame that they’re departing Canada. A real shame.

Sony also announced they’re leaving the retail market in Canada but I don’t think anyone would miss their presence. It was never a hot bed for deals.

 

Savestate: AAA Sky Falls

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

Assassin's Creed Unity Glitch

AAA games faltering

DRIVECLUB, Halo: Master Chief Collection and Assassin’s Creed: Unity are still suffering from technical issues. They have networking issues, graphical glitches, performance drops and sometimes a combination of all the above. And these are just the high profile titles that have severe issues. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has its own controversy over dedicated servers but it’s being overshadowed.

Instead of dwelling on what is happening, I want to know why this is happening. The easy answer is to blame aggressive publishers that want to make holidays. But we’ve seen plenty of publishers make those timelines in the past.

What’s changed for this year?

Although we’re technically a year into the newest generation of consoles, we’re still not out of the woods yet with regards to console transition issues. Seven years ago, the first Assassin’s Creed debuted to horrible framerate issues and bugs as well.

In the case of DRIVECLUB, you can chalk this up to inexperience with networking. For the folks at 343 Industries, I can’t imagine it’s easy to get four titles humming along nicely (even if they’re remasters).

These are just excuses that I’m making up for these developers. They’re not going to tell us why these games are broken but they’ll continue to ask for forgiveness and patience while you wait.

Consumers are paying money for working products and if they can’t deliver a working product within the launch window, they should be eligible for refunds. It might be tough to convince a retailer to take back an opened game, but those who’ve purchased titles from Sony or Microsoft’s digital stores should receive a refund if they so desire.

Also, thank goodness for built-in recording and screenshot functionality.

Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack #1

Over at Nintendo’s little island of fun awaits Mario Kart 8’s first DLC pack. I bought it the dual pack and look forward to trying the new content. I just don’t know if it’s going to be sooner or later.

Random Thought of the Week

I’m addicted to Florida Natural Fruit Snacks.

Detecting for Benchmarks: A Blast from the Past

posted in: Technology News | 0

samsung-logoI recall the controversy over NVIDIA cheating in 3DMark. I remember the internet rage and how much crud was flung over NVIDIA’s GeForce FX because of these kinds of antics. Now with Samsung (and potentially others) caught pulling off these kinds of stunts in smartphones, I’m left wondering if we’ll see something similar.

It’s actually been a couple of days since the AnandTech posted their investigation and not much buzz surrounded it. What happened? We stopped caring about just one benchmark. GL Benchmark — and most theoretical benchmarks for that matter — lost relevancy after the NVIDIA and 3DMark controversy. Reviewers and users stopped giving these theoretical benchmarks weight. It’s about user performance and real world testing.

These kinds of shady optimizations should not be condoned though. They still muddy reviews and Samsung and the likes should be called out for it.

Another Publishers vs Reviewers Controversy

posted in: Game News | 0

Is anyone surprised by this? Konami asking reviewers not to mention the install or cutscene length (amongst other things) for MGS4? It’s not uncommon, but it should be stopped. Why even ask reviewers to omit such things, you ask? They aren’t necessarily negative points for fans, but foreigners to the series may not perceive them in the same way. Asking reviewers not to spoil the story is one thing, but asking them to not mention valid points such as this? That’s crossing the line.

EGM’s July issue was supposed to contain a review of MGS4, but since they didn’t quite agree with the limitations imposed by Konami, they opted to wait until next month. That’s the way to do it, folks.  We here at QSF5 would  do the exact same. We’re in no rush.

These are common practices though. In some form or another, reviewers are being pressured into giving publishers higher scores. MTV’s Multiplayer Blog was running a week of articles involving some of the shadier practices happening in the world of reviewing games. From Metacritic scores affecting bonus royalties to publishers asking editors to hold back unsavory reviews until launch. One can only hope ‘The Game Reviewer’s Bill of Rights‘ gets taken seriously one day.