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”

Unified Communications Murkiness

Everyone is talking about UC these days.  But what is it?  And why hasn’t everyone deployed it yet? First of all, UC...

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HPE Composable Infrastructure Turns Data Centers into a Mini-Google

Fans of search engine history likely know that Google benefited greatly due to the timing of its launch. Whereas Yahoo launched when...

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See a Top 10 Tech Speaker at IoT Evolution in July

The tech space is moving so incredibly quickly that you have to attend conferences, webinars and scour the news to be aware...

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SIP Trunks and Whaaaat???...Gateways...but not SBCs?

Back in March, I wrote a blog about the PSTN sunset. But in reality legacy technologies are still in use.  I know this since...

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Waiting on the Channel

Whether it is TPX CEO Richard Jalkut or other channel executives, providers are impatiently waiting on the channel to jump off...

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Solving the Data Analytics Skills Gap

Data analytics is doing absolutely amazing things for companies... Recently, Vodafone worked with a venture-backed company Celonis to improve efficiency. The results...

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Don't Judge the Microsoft Surface Pro by its Reviews

Disclosure: we use an iPad Pro and iPhone and a Microsoft Surface Book on a daily basis so you can see we...

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Valve's New "Knuckles" Controller Gives It New VR Edge

June 27, 2017

Not surprisingly, Valve is still a major force for development. While most would like to see it focus its development prowess on, say, finally bringing Half-Life 3 out, it's still got quite a bit to show off. Most recently, it brought out a new controller geared toward VR, and it represents a real advance in the field.

It's called the Knuckles right now, though it may not be called that for much longer. Currently with a dev kit out, the controller is wireless, and also offers the ability to track the location of all five of a user's fingers, thus allowing for some very precise controls.

Grand Theft Auto V Reopens Single-Player Modding

June 26, 2017

Well, the kerfuffle over single-player modding in Grand Theft Auto V appears to have been settled, thanks to a whole new outcry from the player base. Between online petitions and negative Steam reviews, it was apparently enough to force publisher Take-Two to take a second look at the modding tool known as Open IV.

Earlier this month, the modding tool was forcibly taken down following a cease-and-desist order from Take-Two, a move that set the player base alight with rage and indignation. From an online petition featuring over 77,000 respondents to a host of negative reviews on Steam, it was apparently enough negative response to convince Take-Two that it was entirely in the wrong position on the issue.

While Take-Two had been seen going after GTA Online cheating tools pretty extensively lately, GTA's original developer Rockstar had noted that single-player mods were pretty much off the table. That's why there was such shock when Take-Two decided that Rockstar's stance was apparently a crock and decided to go hunting.



Is Konami Blacklisting Its Former Employees?

June 20, 2017

If this is true, and the current reports suggest it's going on, it would be just one more brick in the disastrous wall that is Konami these days, ever since it basically forbade Hideo Kojima from showing up to accept an award for the game he led the way in making. The current word suggests that Konami is actually blacklisting its former employees, particularly those who went to work for Kojima Productions last year.

The reports note that a Kojima Productions employee--an executive within the firm--went to join a health insurance company that focuses on employees of the gaming industry, ITS Kenpo. ITS Kenpo passed on said executive, and it was worth noting here that the chairman of ITS Kenpo's board occupies a board seat at Konami: Kimihiko Higashio.

What's more, word from the Nikkei Asian Review notes that Konami had actually directly instructed an employee at a television company to avoid hiring former Konami employees. Another former Konami executive who had started his own business was actually forced to shut it down after Konami turned its focus on it.



E3 2017: The Best and Worst of the Big Show

June 19, 2017

E3 might best be described as a land of contrasts, and it was Sunday night--just ahead of E3--that illustrated the dichotomy perfectly. The night led off with Microsoft's press conference, showing off the new Xbox One X, an unfortunately-named system that looked to deliver impressive power and make our gaming better for it.

Then, the night ended with Bethesda's press conference, a downright lily-livered outing that featured nothing but sequels and retreads, the sort-of return of paid mods, and absolutely nothing of note from the studio everyone's actually paying attention to: Bethesda Game Studios. Some noted that the conference felt artificially cut off, with marketing director Pete Hines looking downright sick at the catastrophe he was presiding over.

That was how the week went, and we'd have some impressive highs and horrendous lows to consider going forward.

The good news was that there wasn't a lot of low point to this year's show, but when it got bad, it got really bad.





E3 2017: Bethesda Brings Back Paid Mods and Brings Back Everything Else Too.

June 13, 2017

Well, if at first you don't succeed, try try again, eh Bethesda? The Bethesda E3 conference--which started at midnight on the East Coast--delivered some downright exciting material, as well as some disturbing notes. Perhaps the most disturbing of these was the return of paid mods thanks to the arrival of Creation Club. That wouldn't be the only retread seen at the big Bethesdaland show, as Bethesda was even poised bring out several new titles.

Though specifics weren't exactly long at the presentation, and may well change before too much longer, the concept started out simple enough. Basically, modders--supported directly by corporate elements of Bethesda proper--will be able to bring new mods to a centralized site where users can download the mods in question...for credits.

E3 2017: Project Scorpio Revealed, and It's Not Scorpio Any More

June 12, 2017

Project Scorpio was easily one of gaming's worst-kept secrets, but most knew that once E3 hit, it was going to bring with it plenty of news about the actual status of this system. It was supposed to be impressive. It was supposed to put Sony in its place.

It was now to be known as the Xbox One X.

Huh.

Well, that's not so great. That's actually a pretty weak sauce name.





The First Switch Chat Headset Isn't Going Well

June 6, 2017

The Nintendo Switch is starting to show that it's got some real potential going forward to pull Nintendo out of its Wii U morass and put it back on solid ground. However, some problems are beginning to emerge, and perhaps the worst problem the Switch has seen yet has arrived in the form of its first chat headset.

More specifically, it comes from a third-party developer called Hori, who was well-known in the field for making "fighting stick" controllers. Its chat headset, meanwhile, looks like nothing so much as a catastrophe in a box, but some reports suggest that this is owing to Nintendo's design of the Switch.

The Hori system not only requires that users have the Hori headset, but also have a dongle that connects to the Switch.



Rime, or, When DRM Gets in the Way

June 5, 2017

The issue of protecting copyright in video games has long been a problem, much in the same way it's been for movies. One of the more recent developments in video game protection is digital rights management (DRM), but what happens when DRM actually gets in the way of a good time? Reports suggest that Rime is the latest to suffer from this development, though there's already controversy brewing.

It wouldn't be the first time that DRM got in the way--many like to reference the SecuROM incidents here--but reports suggest that the Denuvo DRM used to protect Rime from content thieves is actually slowing down the game's performance.

Strong accusation, but one with a little research behind it. One of the crackers that broke through the DRM included some evidence in a readme file, noting that Denuvo protection was calling for anywhere from 10 to 30 triggers every second during gameplay to authenticate the game.



Ark: Survival Evolved, I've Had It With You

May 30, 2017

This is a development I've talked about some time ago, but this is a development that's gone too far. So now, I use my bully pulpit in gaming to talk about one game in particular, Ark: Survival Evolved. I deleted this game from my Xbox One recently for one very good reason: the constant demand for update.

I've talked about patches before here, and the ever-increasing amount of space games are taking on our hard drives. Ark: Survival Evolved was one of the worst offenders, demanding frequent, multi-gig updates that didn't exactly bring a lot of extra power to the game.

Recently, I woke up to the frantically-flashing lights of my router, and knew that the Xbox One was in mid-download, but of what?



The Addictive Nature of Games in Two News Items

May 23, 2017

Normally I don't talk about topics like this, but the juxtaposition of two news items when I went looking for game news just jumped right out at me.

Finding game news isn't always easy, particularly when you've got E3 coming up in another three weeks. So sometimes it takes a bit of looking, and what you find can be downright strange.

The first bit was a piece two days ago from ABC News and Go.com, detailing how a Michigan gamer who skipped school to play video games went through a treatment program. The young man in question built his own gaming computer at a young age, announcing to his parents that he was dropping out at 14. He ended up in a treatment program that put him in the wilderness for several weeks.

The second bit, which was almost shockingly contradictory, detailed an Alaskan gamer who landed a scholarship for his gaming, joining a collegiate e-sports team.





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