Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

The Race to Gigabit is About Business

The cable companies racing to Gigabit networks isn't about delivering ultra-fast broadband to consumers. The Gigabit announcements get them good PR...

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Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

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HP Can't Compete in Public Cloud as Amazon Machine Learning Launches

There are long-term trends in technology we all know are happening. Computers will get more powerful. More devices will be connected. Finally,...

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Citrix and Grasshopper Make a Good Pair

Citrix has many products - DaaS, NetScaler, ZenApp, SingleSignon and the GoTo suite of products: GoToAssist, GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, Podio...

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The NFV End Game Part 2

If it’s true that NFV will end the “end-to-end solutions coming from a single vendor” and usher in the “best of...

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Exclusive Interview with Aricent's Frank Kern at MWC 2015

It’s been a few years since I've covered Aricent (2012, 2009, 2006) but as fate would have it I was fortunate enough...

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Study: Gaming Likely to be Major Part of Education

April 15, 2015

With summer vacation now just under two months out in some places, there are likely plenty of young scholars out there considering the sheer pile of games that await them and the massive block of free time about to be unleashed. But a new report from the University of Indiana suggests that gaming isn't just a summer activity, and it might well ultimately prove to be a major part of education as well.

The report suggests that modern students--at least large numbers of same--spend about as much time playing video games as they do in class, by the time the after-school time, weekend time, and vacation times are factored in. That's a lot of gaming by most any standard, but the U.S. Department of Education sees that as less an indictment of modern scholarship and more an opportunity to introduce new kinds of gaming into the process.

Eight of Ten Households Have a Gaming Device

April 14, 2015

Once upon a time--we'll call it about the 1990s or so--in a place not so far away that we'll call the United States, video gaming was largely the province of social outcasts. To be a gamer back then was an invitation to mockery, and as such developed something of a brotherhood. That's not being sexist, either; gaming back then was largely the province of the male persuasion, despite how much many of us would have preferred it otherwise. But times have changed, as times so often do, and new reports from the Entertainment Software Association show just how much.

The brick to the face that is the headline is perhaps the centerpiece of the ESA's report, titled "2015 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry".

A Five Nights at Freddy's Movie? More Likely Than You Think.

April 13, 2015

From the moment that first psychopathic animatronic jumped in front of our computer screens, frantically waggling its limbs and, off screen, dragging us to our death via forced compression, many wondered if "Five Nights at Freddy's" would ever get the big screen treatment. Given the fact that the series has only been around for just under a year, it wouldn't have been a shock to wonder quite a bit longer than we did. But the new reports suggest that we'll be getting a big-screen adaptation, and maybe pretty soon.

The reports suggest that Warner Brothers has the rights to the film version of Scott Cawthon's massive hit game series, and will be set to production by a laundry list of impressive names ranging from Vertigo's Roy Lee to Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg.

Reports suggest that the overall story will be quite similar to the game, except obviously with a few extra narrative additions to help bridge the gap. Grahame-Smith expects the game to translate well, expecting a final product that is "...insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable."

Given that Warner recently had a hand in "Annabelle"--the prequel to "The Conjuring"--that heavily featured the antics of a possessed doll, it's not out of line to say that Warner could pretty readily handle a movie featuring four--or possibly five, depending on how they handle Golden Freddy--killer animatronics.





Amazon May Make a New Powerhouse in Gaming With New Buy

April 9, 2015

Amazon is no stranger to reinvesting profits back into the business, and this process of reinvestment has led to some very interesting developments. While shareholders, by some reports, aren't exactly happy about these developments, there are some who believe that Amazon may well prove dominant in a lot of fields, making its unusual moves well worth it. One of the newest investments may well give Amazon unexpected dominance in gaming.

The investment in question called for Amazon to license the CryEngine 3 game-building toolset in a deal valued between $50 and $70 million. That's an amount, according to reports, sufficiently large to turn around Crytek's financial fortunes, which had been previously found to not be doing well at all.

Xbox's Early Days Included The Idea of a Free Xbox

April 7, 2015

A free Xbox. It sounds like the kind of thing that email scam letters are based on, doesn't it? But according to the word of a new report that just emerged, it was the kind of thing Microsoft actually considered. The earliest days of Xbox were a strange time indeed, and the reports spell out what was going on.

The reports in question come from Seamus Blackley, who co-wrote the proposal that got Xbox started in the first place and brought Microsoft into focus as one of the biggest names in gaming today. According to Blackley--who did an interview with GamesIndustry.biz--"everybody and their brother" who even saw the project at Microsoft responded much the same way, insisting that the console should be given away at no charge.

Bungie Joins Move to Ban "Toxic" Players

April 6, 2015

The multiplayer gaming experience has been one that's remained fairly constant over the years, though the form it's taken has changed. From arcades with two controller sets to home gaming consoles to online gameplay, people do enjoy playing with other people. But that experience isn't always a happy one, and it's one that has been addressed at various levels for some time now. Most recently, Bungie has made a move to ban the "toxic" player with a new move in matchmaking in "Destiny."

Essentially, Bungie's move removes some of the most toxic players from matchmaking systems, freeing up more of the system for those with better reputations or even no reputation at all.

A Revelation on Open World Gaming

April 2, 2015

So far, I've played four open world games on the Xbox One, and with the conclusion of the fourth, a point has been driven home with all the force of an axehead on a plate of Jell-o. That point in particular is that games are really stepping up their game, so to speak, and we may well be approaching a point where the game is getting a bit too big.

I've talked about this before, but usually from the perspective of looking at the games. But now, having played a few through, it's clear that games are getting a whole lot bigger. This has me at once excited and unnerved, because I've already seen what these games can do, and I'm kind of scared that these could get bigger.

Xbox One's Standby Mode: Power Waste or Easy Fix?

March 31, 2015

When I started playing Xbox One on a regular basis, I noticed something odd not long after. When I shut off the Xbox One, it wasn't quite as shut off as I thought it was. I found out what the issue was not long after, but at the time, it was still an unexpected point, and one that some believe might be a larger problem.

I plug most of my home theater gear--including my gaming hardware--into a combination of a Belkin Conserve Insight Electric Monitor and a Belkin Conserve power strip before it reaches the wall socket, so I can tell at a glance just how much juice the gear is pulling at any time. One night when I was shutting things down, I heard an odd whirring sound coming from the Xbox One, and I discovered that the Insight was still showing about 15 watts or so of power use.

April with Games with Gold Will Be Huge

March 30, 2015

For those out there of the Xbox persuasion, you're likely already familiar with the Games with Gold program. Indeed, you've probably already picked up a free game or two with the service, or maybe even jammed your hard drive full of freebies. But you may want to make a little room, because reports suggest that April is going to feature double the freebies of a normal month.

A combined total of six games will be given away in April; two of which will be available for Xbox One, and four for Xbox 360. Starting April 1, Xbox One players will be able to get "Pool Nation FX" and "Child of Light" available for the entire month.

Andreessen Horowitz's Plan to Make Bigger Game Worlds

March 26, 2015

One of the biggest draws in gaming these days is the open world concept. While it's not exactly new, it's seeing a major expansion, with a host of games coming out that feature massive, expansive worlds to traverse in pursuit of a variety of goals. But huge worlds don't come easy; they take a lot of time and development to produce. But the construction of huge game worlds may be easier in the future thanks to a $20 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, putting that cash into Improbable, a company geared toward making the biggest worlds around.

Andreessen Horowitz's investment comes with an addition to Improbable's board of directors in the form of Chris Dixon, a partner with Andreessen Horowitz.

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