Consoles meet PC, PC, meet Consoles?

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Today is a bit of a weird day for Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and the traditional PC (and Mac). Out of nowhere the two console manufacturers announced some sort of PC related support. Sony’s was a small nugget but Microsoft’s announcements may make certain individuals think twice before picking up the Xbox One.

  • PS4 System Software 3.50 Will Support Remote Play for PC and Mac via PS.Blog
  • Forza Motorsport 6: Apex will debut on Windows Store for free this Spring via Xbox Wire
  • Future Forza Motorsport titles will be debuting on Xbox and Windows 10 via IGN
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition now available on Windows Store via Xbox Wire
  • Quantum Break will also be available on Windows Store via Xbox Wire

Sony’s little piece of news is a “nice to have”. I own a Vita and never bothered with Remote Play for a myriad of reasons that I won’t get into today. Making it available for PC makes the feature a little more attractive but I doubt I will be using it outside of curiosity.

Now Microsoft’s flurry of news, on the other hand, is setting a significant precedent. Gears of War, Forza Motorsport and Quantum Break — big first party Microsoft franchises — will be making their way to Windows 10 sooner or later. Fable and Killer Instinct were already previously announced for Windows 10 which only leaves Halo as the sole outlier. Will Halo 5 eventually make its debut on Windows 10? Will subsequent Halo games follow suit? It would make a whole lot of sense for Halo Wars 2 — a real time strategy game — to make its debut on Xbox and Windows 10 (with full keyboard and mouse support for the latter).

I have to stress the fact that I’m mentioning Windows 10 or Windows Store and not PC because there’s no guarantee or inkling that any of these Microsoft published titles are heading to other digital storefronts such as Steam. Microsoft is trying to entice people into their ecosystem through compelling software and they’re making a very good case for it with this latest effort.

The Windows Store has its limitations though courtesy of the Universal Windows Platform. They’ve sandboxed the executable to prevent things from hooking into it nullifying hacks and mods in the process. If you only care about the game Microsoft is selling then these limitations are moot. If mods are your thing then these games might as well have stayed on the Xbox One.

I’m in the former camp. I don’t care about mods or hacks (I’ll elaborate more on this at a later date). I just want to run my PC games at 1080p60 and I’m happy but I realize not everyone will be pleased with the closed nature of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Looking at this news and considering the fact that I’ve been configuring a new PC for the past couple of weeks, I don’t know how much playtime my Xbox One will receive in the future. I have Quantum Break on the way but that’s because I got it for cheap and my current PC isn’t up to snuff. I understand Microsoft’s position though. I’m not upset over their shift from hardware boundaries to software boundaries. It makes sense to expose their titles to the wider audience. There are over 110 million Windows 10 users out there compared to the 19 million on the Xbox One. If you’re a business man and you were faced with those numbers, you would be foolish not to make this shift. Not every single one of those 110 million users are running capable PCs but even a fifth of those will already exceed the Xbox One’s sales to date.

 

Steam In-Home Streaming Now Available

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steam_logoThis Steam in-home streaming feature is finally out of beta. I haven’t tried it myself but all the impressions I’ve read made it sound like a viable solution. The only other Steam compatible computer that I own is my Macbook Air. It’s a nice laptop but what I would ideally like is a tiny set top box like the Roku 3.

I will be extremely happy if it works just as well as the Wii U’s Remote Play but something tells me it will lean closer towards the PlayStation 4’s Remote Play functionality which would be satisfactory but not ideal.

Checkpoint: Service Interruption Edition

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checkpoint-service-interruption-edition

QSF5 was down for a few days after the site’s host suspended the account. It was temporarily renewed but I’m in the process migrating to a new host. During that service interruption a number of things transpired.

Battlefield 4 is playable… sorta?

DICE and EA decided to move ahead on their map pack plans despite the fact Battlefield 4 is still a mess across all platforms. If they wish to make amends and not garner more votes for “America’s worst company” for the third straight year, they should give the Second Assault map pack to all players for free.

Along with new content, stability and bug fixes continue to trickle through in the form of client and server side patches. On the PlayStation 4, there’s less lag and far fewer crashes. Unfortunately the single player campaign still has a save corrupting bug that keeps me at bay. I know Battlefield games aren’t known for their single player campaigns but it’s just sad knowing that all aspects of this game are plagued with issues.

Still, the games I managed to squeeze in with my brother and friends have been enjoyable.

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Checkpoint: Post-Black Friday 2013 Edition

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This past Black Friday may be the most I ever spent on America’s biggest shopping day. I didn’t approach it with the intention to spend but surprise sales and opportunities arose and I just couldn’t say “No”.

  • 2 x Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive w/ 8GB NAND (ST1000LM014)
  • Mario & Luigi Wii U 32GB Deluxe Set
  • 2 x 1 year PlayStation Plus membership codes

The Seagate drives will be used to upgrade PlayStation 4’s storage solution. I look forward to both the capacity and performance increases. The two years of PlayStation Plus for $30 each was too irresistible. As for the Wii U? I wanted to wait for a price drop to around $199 but when Amazon.ca took $50 off the $299.99 price tag, I couldn’t resist. I had gift certificates to use as well.

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