More Xbox One Thoughts & Musings

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

Like I did after Sony’s event a few months ago, here are some thoughts on the Xbox One after a day of digestion.

What’s in a name?

The Xbox One successfully gets us mentioning Microsoft’s “all-in-one” entertainment box vision and for that I commend them. It’s a confusing name when I’m discussing the Xbox’s legacy but we’re far enough out that it’s not going to be an issue.

Ironically, the Xbox One is backwards compatible with the original Xbox — they both support the x86 instruction set. It’s up to Microsoft to enable backwards compatibility with their origins though.

I’m still wondering what people are going to settle on as an acronym. XONE? XBONE? XBO? XO? X1? XBONER? I’ve been using XONE but XBONE is amusing to say aloud. I guess we should chalk one up to the marketing team for making this a discussion topic as well.

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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.

Microsoft’s Surface tablets starts at $499.99

posted in: Technology News | 0

Microsoft announced the pricing of their upcoming Windows RT powered Surface tablets. It starts at $499.99 for the 32GB model. For $599.99, there is a 64GB model. And for $699.99, you can get a 64GB model along with one of those new fangled Touch Covers.

The Touch Covers will be sold separately for $129.99. If you want a more traditional keyboarding experience, a Type Cover can be picked up for $139.99

Unfortunately, there’s no word on the x86 Windows Pro version which is arguably the most interesting version with its ability to toggle between traditional desktop and tablet interfaces.

From a hardware perspective, the Surface pricing is in line with the iPad’s. It may not have a high DPI screen like the latest iPad but it does have more storage capacity, Mini Display Port out and a MicroSDXC slot.

From an ecosystem perspective, however, it’s a tough sell. For $499.99, I would like access to the most and best applications available for my hardware device. Apple can accomodate that. Microsoft? Not so much. It’s another reason why the x86 version is more compelling.

The Microsoft Surface w/ Windows RT will be available on Windows 8 launch day, October 26th, 2012.

Checkpoint Windows Server 2012 Edition

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checkpoint-windows-server-2012

It’s not a long weekend but I wish it was so I could spend more time tinkering with my Windows Server 2012 install. Installing it on my Shuttle ST20G5 was a whole lot easier than installing Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials on the same 7 year old hardware.

I decided to install Server 2012 because I wanted something more lean and customizable — even if it means sacrificing a bit of convenience features. It’s also a great way to familiarize myself with the latest Server OS from Microsoft. I may even try uninstalling GUI, if things go well enough.

The ASUS RT-N66U continues to perform. I’ve experienced some 5 GHz issues with my Macbook Air and my brother reported problems with his iPhone 5 but I haven’t had a single issue with my iPad. I have no idea what’s going on with that but the most important thing is the WDS which is still running fine.

I’m still working my way through Final Fantasy XIII-2. Like the game’s framerate, it’s been an uneven experience. I haven’t darted towards the the end yet but seeing how I just amassed a number of Origin games thanks to this little coupon code, I’m reminded by the fact that I have a bunch of games waiting in the wings.

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