Checkpoint: Lull Between Holidays Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

checkpoint-lull-between-holidays-edition

It’s the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For most people, it’s a time where every day appears to have bled together; where the days may as well not be labelled at all. It’s a time of of consuming both goods, food and entertainment.

Like the several years, I didn’t go into Boxing Day intending to buy. I saw what was available and decided to pull the trigger. Here’s my haul:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD for $29.99 ($20 off)
  • Pacific Rim [Blu-ray] for $15
  • Django Unchained [Blu-ray] for $13
  • 12 month PlayStation Plus card for $29.99 ($20 off)
  • Sertapedic Pillow Special 2 Pack for $9.99
  • Guacamelee: Gold Edition for $3.74
  • Papers, Please for $4.99
  • Finding Nemo [Blu-ray] for $20.89
  • Avengers [Blu-ray] for $20.89

Total: ~$148.52 before taxes

That’s a little more than I thought.

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Games for Windows Live! shutting down in 2014

posted in: Game News | 0

microsoftSo this may have been an inadvertent posting by Microsoft but its been a long time coming. Microsoft is planning to end Games for Windows Live! on July 1st, 2014.┬áThis shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who have kept tabs on PC gaming for the last several years.

The earliest indication of its eventual demise was the slowed releases of the Games for Windows client. Then Microsoft funnelled the Games for Windows store into the Xbox Games store. And finally, just last week, Microsoft announced the end of the Xbox Games PC store.

I’m guessing Microsoft didn’t want that information out in the public yet because they probably haven’t prepped the grand F.A.Q. that will describe what will happen to all our games that use Games for Windows or their Games for Windows Live online service.

There were rumors that some titles are shifting their DRM to Steamworks in preparation of this day. It’s good to know that those developers and publishers are looking out for their consumers but what will happen to the games that won’t be updated? Is there a grand kill switch? Only time will tell.

 

Grand Theft Auto Online Looks Promising

posted in: Game News | 0

I tried Grand Theft Auto IV’s online mode once and it didn’t take long before I lost interest. It looks like Rockstar is taking great strides to win folks like me over with Grand Theft Auto Online.

I sincerely hope there is a decathlon style playlist where teams can play through a series of events. We can start with a race on foot, then to cars, then some team death match, some more racing with planes and so on. Not knowing what event is next or where to go next is part of the fun.

Grand Theft Auto Online will be bundled with every copy of Grand Theft Auto V and will launch on October 1st, 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I’ll be waiting for the PC version still.

We’re not ready for an always online console

posted in: Game News | 0

Rumors of an always online requirement for Microsoft’s next console began to swirl up again as Kotaku’s sources reaffirms the software giant’s plans. Whether or not this will actually come to pass is up for debate but after SimCity, the instability of Xbox Live! in the past and the unreliability of certain ISPs, this looks to be a bad idea from a PR standpoint.

Consumers are not ready for such a requirement. It only takes a handful of disruptions to cause a frenzy of bad press. From personal experience, I’ve lost power more times than I’ve lost internet but even in 2013, that’s not the case for everyone.

I understand the notion of “games as a service” but people are not comfortable spending $300 on hardware and $60 on each piece software only to have it rendered useless with the absence of an internet connection. I cannot think of any other form of entertainment that does that.

Netflix requires the internet to deliver content but that’s a small flat rate for access to a huge library of content. There’s no initial investment other than the hardware device you’re streaming with. And chances are you did not purchase that hardware for the sole purpose of Netflix.

Microsoft can do whatever they wish but if they wish to curry favor with consumers, they will drop and debunk this “always online” requirement as soon as they announce the next Xbox.

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