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”

September 2015

You are browsing the archive for September 2015.

Is This the End of the Console Era?

September 30, 2015

Recent word from no less than Michael Pachter, a familiar name in the video game analysis sector, suggests that maybe the console audience has reached its peak, and this is about the top of the market for the console field as we know it.

This is a strange concept, and all the more puzzling given reports that the PS4 and the Xbox One have both outpaced current predecessors, Pachter, while at DICE Europe, made the unexpected remark that "the console installed base is about as big as it's ever going to get." Pachter then ran down the numbers, noting that the Wii U had catastrophic drops against the Wii, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were running about the same, with the PlayStation 4 beating the Xbox One by a comparatively narrow margin. But that's where Pachter thinks things will change. Essentially, Pachter believes that console games don't require a console.

Is Konami Out of the Gaming Hunt?

September 29, 2015

Some rather shocking new rumors recently emerged from the Konami gaming machine, and for those who liked Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill and the like, the news is not good at all. Current rumors suggest that this triple-A gaming studio has no major projects in the pipeline following one big release to come.

Basically, if reports of Konami's upcoming schedule are to be believed, the company has just one major game in development: Pro Evolution Soccer. The reports further suggest that Konami is rapidly working on Metal Gear Online, but after that and Pro Evolution Soccer, there's not much going on. Worse, a tweet from Konami composer Rika Muranaka, who previously worked on Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid games, suggests that Muranaka's looking for new work.

Five New Xbox Bundles: Is Microsoft Hoping Lightning Strikes Twice?

September 28, 2015

So some of the biggest news last week was the revelation that there would be fully five new Xbox One bundles coming out for the holiday shopping season. That's awesome, really it is...but if it seems familiar, that's because it should. But considering how well it worked last year, the question is, will it work again, and is that what Microsoft is hoping will happen?

Several bundles are set to emerge over the course of last week--the first of which came out earlier today and is heavy on the "Tomb Raider" at last report--and bring with them the opportunity to own both system and game in one handy package. This is a great bargain, of course, and for those who don't already have the system, or just want to add a second system--or even third--into their lives, it's a fine opportunity to do that.

Nintendo Takes a New President to "Strengthen the Company"

September 23, 2015

It's been just over two months since the death of Satoru Iwata, and now, word has emerged that the white smoke has gone up on a new president for Nintendo, so to speak. The new president of Nintendo is Tatsumi Kimishima, and Kimishima takes charge of a reorganized Nintendo.

The company launched its reorganization in a bid to "strengthen and enhance the management structure of the company," and thanks to that move, Kimishima will represent the fifth president Nintendo has ever known. Kimishima comes from the Japanese banking industry, where he spent 27 years before making the jump to video games in December 2000. He then become chief financial officer of The Pokemon Company, and was actually president of Nintendo of America in January 2002.

A Fallout 4 Surprise, in Short Form

September 22, 2015

So while pretty much everything so far has been talked to death and beyond ahead of the release of Fallout 4, I think I may have struck on one particularly unusual point that not many other people have talked about so far. We're going into some very strange territory here, mostly first-person experiences, so brace yourself. Here there be dragons.

Not so long ago--in fact, not nearly as long ago as I'd like it to have been--I put in my preorder for the download of Fallout 4, with the ever-present caveat that the game could be downloaded in advance, but not played before midnight on November 10, its intended release date.

Rational enough, so I launch the download and figure I'm in for a wait.

Upcoming Update to Bolster Xbox One Speed

September 21, 2015

New word out of Microsoft suggests that some parts of the Xbox One experience are set to make some big strides thanks to an upcoming system update due to hit this November. Indeed, word from Mike Ybarra, who handles engineering at Microsoft's Xbox division, says that some parts of the whole thing will be 50 percent faster than they were this way.

While on an appearance of Major Nelson Radio, Ybarra noted that load times were particularly set for gains, though just which load times were affected by the change weren't mentioned. Ybarra did note that there would likely be a "new level of speed and responsiveness" brought into play, and the features to follow would be "popular gaming features."

It's not just a speed boost set to come, either; starting in November, the new Xbox One Experience will bring along with it backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles, as well as improvements to the Guide, the Home page, the Community page, and improved "accessibility" features that will get announced later one in more detail.

Ybarra also went on to talk about Windows 10 and its integration with Xbox One to follow. It's proving to be a bit more difficult than some expected, getting to the point where a specialized version needed built known as OneCore. But when it's complete, Ybarra noted, it would end up bringing a lot of new efficiency to the package.

Sure, performance upgrades are great, and that's good news.

Will The 2015 Holiday Season Be Good to Microsoft?

September 16, 2015

It's no secret that Microsoft has been behind--way behind--in terms of device sales against rival Sony. A disastrous E3 right before the systems launched left a bad taste in a great many mouths out there, and that left Microsoft struggling to come back. The newest word from the NPD Group turned out to be another blow to Microsoft's ambitions, but there may be a turnaround afoot.

Yes, the PlayStation 4 was still top of the heap for August sales, and that joins a litany of victories for Sony over Microsoft. However, there's a point worth noting that suggests a possible turn ahead.

Destiny Sequels Potentially Uncovered with Court Filings

September 15, 2015

An interesting development recently cropped up for one of the biggest shooter RPGs around: Destiny. It turns out that Bungie and Activision were planning to roll out the Destiny train a lot sooner than was originally planned, and we may well have not seen the last of Destiny as yet either.

The word came from court documents that noted that the original Destiny was set to arrive in September 2013, but didn't due to what were called "substantial revisions" taken to the story itself. The court documents themselves, meanwhile, are reportedly related to a suit between Bungie and Marty O'Donnell, and had more to say than just a delayed release date.

Indeed, the documents reportedly talk about a set of new disc-based sequels set to come out every other year until 2019, followed by the "largest downloadable content product" seen yet that was to hit in September 2020. With "The Taken King" now on hand, it's possibly the start of something much, much larger.

Naturally, this schedule is already out of date, and therefore may have ultimately been scrapped, potentially as being too ambitious in the first place.

Is Mad Max the Wasteland Match for Fallout 4?

September 14, 2015

With Labor Day weekend now one for the books, I can safely talk about how I spent a healthy dollop of it. Indeed, with September 1 recently arriving, so too did "Mad Max" arrive, and give us our first look at a wasteland that didn't have the word "Fallout" attached to it. But how did it turn out? Will it be anything against the might of the "Fallout" juggernaut?

Star Wars Battlefront Hits October With a Beta Access Mode

September 9, 2015

As if the next couple months weren't going to be stuffed full of gaming options as it was! Now, word has emerged that EA will be offering up the beta version of "Star Wars: Battlefront" for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles as well as the PC sometime in October. The exact release date may be a bit sketchy, known only as "early October", but sometime in those two weeks is going to be a very big event for those looking forward to some good old fashioned Star Wars action.

It being a beta, of course, it's not going to be the whole game. But there will be plenty to try out here, including the Walker Assault 40-player mode on the Hoth map, as well as the ability to unlock both Luke Skywalker and his dad Darth Vader.

Fallout 4 Fans, Build Your Character in Advance

September 8, 2015

Recently some exciting news slipped out for those looking forward to Fallout 4, which is probably just about everyone who's ever played Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas. While there's still a shocking dearth of information about just what it is we'll be seeing and facing down in the Boston area come November 10, a new little bit has emerged from the folks at While it's not conclusive, it's still an exciting notion: a means to start building your character ahead of the release date.

The character builder offers up a set of seven sliding scales, one for each of the key seven SPECIAL attributes, Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Users start with one point in each attribute, and can use sliders to put points into each. Once the 21 points available are distributed accordingly, the system will then display the total number of hit points the character will have, along with available action points and carry weight.

Nintendo's New Patent Application: No Discs?

September 2, 2015

For most of those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, Nintendo pretty much rule the roost when it came to gaming. And with good reason; Nintendo had the biggest characters, the most fun games, a host of third-party developers well at work, and even a little competition in the form of Sega to help keep it honest. But fate has not been kind to Nintendo, as Sony and Microsoft have stepped in, and a revitalized PC gaming experience has likewise taken a bit of the starch out of Nintendo's sails. A new patent application, meanwhile, has suggested that Nintendo isn't out of the fight yet, and the new console may have something going for it.

The new patent application, which was filed back in February but published only recently, showed a card slot which could accommodate memory cards.

"Time Machine" Offers Us an Early Look at Virtual Reality

September 1, 2015

While the idea of virtual reality has been around for some time, the options of games to be had for it has been a lot slimmer. Indeed, virtual reality has been very light on games, at least for now...but that's a point that may be about to change as "Time Machine" hits early access.

The reports suggest that "Time Machine" can only be played in virtual reality, and it is so far one of the most impressive releases so far in the visual. While there have been some other such games to arrive--just look at the sheer number of Let's Play videos on YouTube to involve the Oculus Rift somehow--this one may be one of the biggest of its time.

"Time Machine" sends users careening across time and space, running into giant animals of uncertain provenance in a kind of strange sort of hovercraft / submarine hybrid. A pre-alpha trailer from E3 2015 proves that E3 is the gift that keeps on giving, showing off an experience that looks about like what we'd always hoped virtual reality would be like.

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