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”

Rich Tehrani Thoughts From California

I've been on the road in Vegas and California over the past ten days or so. Here are my thoughts. The Venetian...

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GENBAND Kandy Goes Public at Ruby Skye

Last night, GENBAND hosted a gala premiere at Ruby Skye in San Francisco for its official Kandy launch - the transitional solution...

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Peter's View: The Channel Ecosystem

I read CRAIG'S VIEW: THE NEW CHANNEL ECOSYSTEM by Craig Schlagbaum, channel chief at Comcast. My response was too long for...

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2 Ways to Maximize Your Vendor Relationship

As channel partners, we get hammered all the time to sell vendor's stuff - even if it is unreasonable or doesn't...

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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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By: Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Today’s consumers want faster mobile broadband, and lots of it. That’s the dominant fact shaping Mobile Service Providers’ competitive strategies. So let’s look at what you can offer these valuable subscribers with voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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Lights, Camera, Gaming? Lionsgate's Plan For Games

September 18, 2014

Anyone who's been gaming for any length of time likely remembers the movie tie-in game. I'll give you a moment to wash the bad taste of your mouth. Most people do not remember the movie tie-in game well, much as most people don't remember the game tie-in movie very well. But there are ways to do it right, and an odd newcomer to the field, Lionsgate, is looking to turn its movies into games, and do so right.

Lionsgate has come a long way since its early days, and now holds several major franchises in its portfolio.

Amid Controversy, More Women Playing Games

September 17, 2014

It's easily been one of the biggest issues in gaming in the last few months, the issues of gender inclusiveness and gaming. But while some are calling for more inclusiveness, and others are saying that gaming is just more of a male-centered culture, one thing is becoming quite clear: more women are gaming than ever before, and a recent study showed that, recently, it was actually a majority of the ladies that turned to gaming in the last six months.

A report from the Populous research agency, titled the Gaming Revolution report, showed that 52 percent of people who had played a game in the last six months were actually female. That number is up slightly from three years ago, but represents something particularly noteworthy: the achieving of a simple majority. The number three years ago was 49 percent, almost a majority, but not quite.

Is There Still Value in the Console?

September 16, 2014

While speaking at the Gamesbeat 2014 event, Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter offered up an idea on one question that's likely dogged a lot of gamers in the wee small hours of the morning. That particular long dark night of the soul revolves around one point: do we even need consoles any more? This was a point that particularly interested me, and my response, both to the general question and to Pachter in general, is that yes, there's value in the console, though maybe only one console.

I believe I should start here by noting that I've been a gamer for a lot of years. I've played console games since the eight-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, and PC games since adjusting one's config.sys and autoexec.bat files was common practice.

Harnessing Hate: Turning Trolls to Gameplay Features with Dick Starr

September 15, 2014

The general rule for dealing with trolls online is, as the saying goes, to never feed them. That is, never give a troll anything like attention; don't yell back, don't insult, don't get dragged into the fight because trolls live for that sort of thing. But Poor Ugly Dwarf may have just turned the concept on its head by bringing out “Dick Starr Conquers Mars,” a game that actually somewhat depends on trolling to make it challenging.

“Dick Starr Conquers Mars” takes the one downside of Twitch broadcasting—minimal if any audience participation—and makes audience participation a big part of the game. With “Dick Starr Conquers Mars,” audiences aren't just limited to the standard catcalls and threats, as well as insults; here, audiences actually determine what kind of hazards and bonuses the characters get.

The iPhone 6: Good News for Gamers?

September 11, 2014

It's easy to look at the arrival of any new gaming platform and wonder if it will be, ultimately, good news for gamers or not. Certainly, before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ultimately made appearances, the question was often asked, is this a good thing for gamers or not? While frequent answers of “not” prompted quite a bit of change in Microsoft's camp, it's not always quite so obvious. The iPhone 6, only recently unveiled, seems to be prompting a bit of doubt as to just whether the iPhone 6 will prove to be fish, fowl or good red meat for the players.

Already, several games have been announced for the device by some reports, including titles like “FIFA Ultimate Team,” “Peggle Blast,” and “SimCity BuildIt.” That's good news by any stretch, and word out of developers is that the new, expanded screen space will provide some extra value in and of itself.

What Do You Have In Common With a Gaming Nine-Year-Old?

September 10, 2014

That may sound like a crazy question, but it's one that's going to likely surprise many by showing off the sheer extent of PC gaming. As it turns out, that's likely what most gamers have in common with a nine year old who games: PC gaming. A new report out from The NPD Group suggests that 37 percent of people from the age of nine and up play PC games, and cover a wide variety of gaming types within the field.

The average PC gamer spends about 6.4 hours a week, on average, with titles ranging from the newest in hardcore gaming to the simplest of casual games. Thus, the NPD Group study separates the players into a set of distinctive subclasses, the casual, the light core, and the heavy core player.

E-Sports Hit College Campuses; Scholarships Being Offered

September 9, 2014

We all know that college sports are a huge, multi-million dollar affair that mean big bucks for colleges and potentially even the players—colleges are, after all, the pool from which professionals are chosen—but what hasn't been quite so extensively considered yet is the idea of doing likewise for e-sports. That's changing, and now, there are not only college scholarships on hand for those who program video games, but even for those who play video games.

There's a small, liberal arts focused college in Chicago known as Robert Morris, a college that has a varsity e-sports team. Said team competes mainly in “League of Legends,” and one student netted a 25 percent tuition scholarship—about $6,000 annually—in order to play. Robert Morris isn't exactly unfamiliar with unusual sports, playing host to a varsity bowling team for both male and female competitors as well as a varsity women's dance team.

Oculus May Have A Controller To Go With Its Rift

September 8, 2014

The Oculus Rift; it's easily one of the biggest developments in gaming since a plumber strode across our standard-definition televisions back in the 1980s. But one thing that's left viewers skeptical almost since its arrival is how, exactly, the system would reconcile in terms of controlling. It was one thing to see all this amazing, immersive video, but how would we actually move around said video? That question may be closer to an answer with reports that Oculus may have a controller in mind to go with its amazing viewer.

The Gear VR, said to be built on Oculus technology, is set to not only come with its own Bluetooth controller, but will also work with other Bluetooth controllers as well as, on some levels, built-in tools like a touchpad and buttons found directly on the headset itself.

Samsung Gear VR Starts Simply In Gaming

September 5, 2014

The virtual reality movement is one that's seeing quite a bit of growth, even if much of that growth hasn't exactly hit store shelves as yet. But one that's moving along pretty well is Samsung's Gear VR device; while the device hasn't been formally released yet, nor is there any kind of expected date for launch, it already seems to have a game ready to go and specifically designed for it: “Romans 360.”

“Romans 360” is, at last report, an adaptation of “Romans From Mars,” which was also designed by the company behind “Romans 360,” Side-Kick Games. “Romans 360” has the kind of gameplay that makes it about perfect for virtual reality; a simple interface involving the player located directly behind a turret which said player turned and fired, repeatedly, into an oncoming horde of Martians lead by the god of war himself. And no, not Kratos.

Originally, “Romans From Mars” got its start on tablets and smartphones, like so many other games before it.

What Could An Atari Revival Look Like?

September 3, 2014

Atari is, oddly enough, one of those major names that gets a lot of attention thanks to its long and storied legacy but also because of its modern era issues. We don't think of Atari much as a developer these days, but it's actually still in action, and now, the company is reportedly shifting tack. Now, the company isn't so much looking to develop its own games so much as it's looking for others to develop its own intellectual property, and even do some updating in the process.

While at 2014's round of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime event, Atari's CEO, Fred Chesnais, started talking about an Atari revival using an unexpected concept: “Asteroids.” But this time, Chesnais saw something a little different than spinning a small triangular ship around opening fire on big hunks of space rock. Chesnais described a game that was more like “Day Z” in space, in which the player finds him- or herself marooned on an asteroid, required to survive on said asteroid.

Admittedly, that has about as much to do with the actual “Asteroids” release as a fish has to do with seaweed—both are found in water, after all, but both are completely different life forms—but it's still an interesting idea.

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