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”

November 2015

You are browsing the archive for November 2015.

Buy a New Game System on Black Friday / Cyber Monday? You Weren't Alone

November 30, 2015

While the battle between Microsoft and Sony for sales dominance has been ongoing for years now, Black Friday generated good news for both sides. The ongoing battle shows no signs of stopping, but a new report suggests Black Friday was a great day for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales.

Word from Adobe puts the two gaming systems in the top five best-sellers for electronic devices, in the same league as the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini, as well as Samsung's 4K television lineup. Moreover, the PS4 release of NBA 2K16 was actually considered one of the five products most likely to sell out this year, matching such household names as the Beats headphones or the Amazon Fire tablet. That's a big step, and underscores Sony's comparative dominance in the field.

Such sales were projected to continue through Cyber Monday and beyond, as the systems were both discounted along with a host of games for each console.

A Gamer's Thanksgiving: Things I'm Thankful for This Year in Gaming

November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015. It's going to be a little bit different this year, with a few new twists. One thing that will stay the same by all accounts is that this year I'm offering up the Gamer's Thanksgiving blog that I usually put up. There's quite a bit to be grateful for this year, so let's settle in and have a look.

First, Fallout 4.

Has EA Learned a Grim Lesson About Microtransactions?

November 24, 2015

On the surface, microtransactions are a great idea. Start with a game that's worth playing, and then let the players at said game at no charge. Then, make money with that fantastic game by offering up new options that make the game even better but aren't strictly necessary: certain weapons, costumes, keys to things, a handful of special levels and so on. The players get a great experience and the studios make money.

The New Xbox One Experience: Some Big Changes, a Few Problems

November 23, 2015

So the Xbox One update finally rolled out, and there's quite a bit going on under the hood. Some have said that this new update makes this fully Phil Spencer's Xbox One, and while that's a debatable point, it doesn't seem like he'd have any reason to deny it.

One of the biggest problems following the roll out were reports that the console wouldn't boot up very well after the update, with the console idling on the Xbox One animated logo. Users were advised to leave the console alone for 15 minutes, and then, hold down the power button until the console powered down. Wait another 15 seconds, and then turn the device back on, after which point the system should be fixed.

A Skyrim Port for Xbox One Technically Exists

November 19, 2015

For the last four years or so, Skyrim was the top of the heap when it came to Bethesda video games, by virtue of it being the most recent of the company's releases. With Fallout 4 on the way, and Skyrim about to be old news once and for all, this game with a surprising longevity is about to get a fresh spark of life.

Bethesda could have released Fallout 4 right alongside the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, reports suggest, but instead Bethesda took a little extra time with the developer kits beforehand. And where did Bethesda get its practice? Skyrim.

Yes, that means that there's currently a version of Skyrim geared to work on the Xbox One. But no, it won't be released, at least not any time soon.

Blizzard Shuts Down Reporting by the Numbers

November 17, 2015

Preface this article with a slice of onomatopoeia: Gulp.
For quite some time now, Blizzard has, on a quarterly basis, brought out word of its total subscriber numbers for the long-running World of Warcraft franchise as part of its earnings report. Now, the company has pulled back on those reins and won't be offering such announcements any longer.

The official explanation as to why comes on the heels of its last announcement at 5.5 million total subscribers, with one simple remark: "There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance." Blizzard will instead trot out "engagement" metrics to talk World of Warcraft health. Just what those "engagement" metrics are, meanwhile, weren't discussed, and may well not be until the next quarterly report.

This almost certainly looks like a red flag to just about everybody who's looking. You're walking into holiday shopping season, all the big numbers are coming out, and what do you do?

Fallout 4: One Week Later

November 16, 2015

It's been a whole week since the release of "Fallout 4"--well, just a bit under; it came out at 12:01 AM Tuesday morning, so we're about a few hours premature--but having spent a week, and a weekend, with the game, I've got a much better handle on this game, and some good and bad points have emerged.

First, this is the first Fallout game where I treated power armor as a valuable tool rather than something that's worth a fortune in bottlecaps. In Fallout 3, in Fallout: New Vegas, I reveled at the idea of putting down someone in powered armor. I worked with Mister House so I could take out the Brotherhood of Steel and claim their highly valuable powered armor. I routinely shot down Enclave troops for that valuable armor.

Sonic the Hedgehog Grows Up: Sega Promises Better Quality

November 11, 2015

That little blue bundle of speed that's been with the gaming community since the days of the Sega Genesis in the 1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog, has been a lot of things. He's been a gaming icon, he's been a lightning rod for negative comments, and he may well have been one of the biggest reasons Sega doesn't make consoles any more. But Sega's recent announcement should be giving fans a little extra hope.

Sega, in the form of Sega of America's chief operating officer Chris Olson, promised "a greater focus on quality" and work to "bring Sonic to where the gamers are." While that mostly means younger gamers--just look at the surprising success of the Sonic series currently running on Cartoon Network--that also means older gamers who remember Sonic's exclusively side-scrolling adventures. Sega's Haruki Satomi noted that Sonic's less-than-stellar outings did plenty of damage to the Sega brand in general in a July interview with Famitsu.

For its part, Sega isn't necessarily looking at catering to the older gamer just to get the Sonic image polished up, but rather slowing down a bit and putting more polish on releases.

My First Couple Hours With Fallout 4

November 10, 2015

It's been a long wait. Man, has it ever. We've been waiting for several months--or really years for those who have been waiting since the end of "Lonesome Road" back on Fallout:New Vegas like yours truly--and now, the game has finally gone live as of 12:01 AM today. Thus I spent a couple hours tonight--only so much; needed to be up and running today, after all--but the relatively sleepless night proved to be well worth it.

It's hard not to be enamored with Fallout 4, especially if you've been playing for any length of time.

What's Coming to PlayStation Experience 2015?

November 9, 2015

With some major game releases to come, it would be easy to forget that there's a major new show from Sony coming soon. It would be easy, but it would also be a bad idea. Because while there's a lot coming out between now and December, there's also a major event facing us at the PlayStation Experience.

The PlayStation Experience got some early word out of the PlayStation Blog, revealing there will be 49 games playable at the event in question. That's big enough, but the developer list is likewise impressive; Sony will be on hand, as will its various studios, including Naughty Dog, Santa Monica Studios and Media Molecule.

Brace Yourselves: Retro Xbox Gaming is Coming

November 4, 2015

One, yes, I did just riff on Game of Thrones. And why not? It's still a thing. Two, I did so a smidge unclearly; it's not Xbox gaming that's coming soon, but rather Xbox 360 gaming that's coming.

Sony Survey Wants Insight on Future Development

November 3, 2015

A recent survey making the rounds for PlayStation 4 users is asking about what features should be coming to the console. While this is good news for players, it's also a strange survey in and of itself. The question isn't so much what Sony is asking, but rather, why is it even asking in the first place?

The survey offers up such options as the ability to change a PlayStation Network ID, add custom backgrounds, and hide or remove completely certain items from the library listings. Also on the roster are the addition of classic titles, both from the PS2 era and the PS1 era.

Slate of Fallout 4 Gameplay Videos Strikes Pastebin

November 2, 2015

With just a few days left to go--those who stay up late Monday night will be rewarded with Fallout 4 gameplay--a flood of leaks has emerged ahead of what may well have been one of the best-kept secrets in gaming. Several images have leaked, but over on Pastebin, there are four gameplay leaks showing off various aspects of the game.

The videos seem mainly limited to early events; one features your character's conversation with the Vault-Tec representative at the front door, while another follows your egress from Sanctuary Hills to Vault 111. Those wondering how the residents managed to get in with a nuclear blast going on will find an answer here. A third video features interaction with the Pip-Boy on the streets of Boston in the middle of a mission, and the fourth continues the mission taking on a host of Super Mutants in a tower.

Those concerned about graphics should have no troubles here; the graphics look sharp, particularly for a handful of videos put on Pastebin.

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