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 2016

You are browsing the archive for November 2016.

The Chinese Arcade Market: Still Going, Still Going Strong

November 30, 2016

Back on Monday, you'll remember I talked about how the Kat Walk line of VR machines were heading to Chinese arcades. That was a concept that got me thinking for the next little while, and I started having a look around. It turns out that there's a fairly vibrant market for arcade technology in China, owing to what looks like a couple different factors.

With a little looking around, I found that the Chinese arcade movement really got going about the time that the United States' was in decline, about the late nineties into the early 2000s. While there likely were arcades in the region beforehand, it seems like the real market kicked up about that time.

Amazon Puts Up Six Figures for Prizes in the Appstore eSports Tournament

November 29, 2016

For anyone who's ever wondered why eSports these days seems limited to the first-person shooter or the arena battler, there's an event coming up specifically for you. Amazon has set up a $100,000 prize pool for its first-ever Appstore eSports tournament in a bid to find out who's the best around in casual gaming.

Dubbed the Champions of Fire Invitational, the game will feature 16 streamers--including Renee "lolRenaynay" Reynosa, Albert "Boxbox" Sun Zheng, and Brian Kibler, as they duel to the high scores in Las Vegas on December 2. Five titles form the basis of the tournament, as Fruit Ninja Tournament, Pac-Man 256, Bloons TD Battles, 8 Ball Pool, and Disney Crossy Road all factor in. The best across all five games takes home the top prize of $30,000, while lesser prizes are likewise on hand.

Ready to Drop $9,000 on Immersive VR?

November 28, 2016

If you just coughed up your turkey dinner from all the way last week at that headline, man, you were not alone. That price tag gave me sticker shock so hard I think it might have had a taser. So what do you get for a virtual reality (VR) rig that's priced about the same as some entire used cars? A slice of innovation so impressive that it might well change the way we game in VR.

Known as the Kat Walk from KatVR, it's a complete setup that wraps around a player's waist, and uses special shoes backed up by a plastic pad underneath said shoes that basically turn your feet into a walking controller, allowing your movements to translate perfectly within a game.

A Gamer's Thanksgiving: What I'm Thankful For in Gaming in 2016

November 24, 2016

Long-time readers of this blog know that, when Thanksgiving rolls around, I softball a bit and go into the Gamer's Thanksgiving mode, an article I've written slightly differently every year for the last five years now. This has let me survey the landscape, make a few general pronouncements, and all for the cost of very little research. So before you head off to the warm embrace of family, stuff yourself full of turkey, and express a little gratitude for all the good things in life, why not catch up on some of my own reasons to be thankful this year in gaming?

Open World Gaming Carries On

This is a development I'm super happy about. While not all open world games were that great, most of them were at least somewhat entertaining.

Resident Evil VII's Bonuses Ratchet Up the Creepy Factor

November 22, 2016

I've seen some creepy game-related merchandise before--most of use remember the significant squick factor that came with Dead Island's bikini torso premium--but those bonuses for Resident Evil VII may represent the creepiest bonuses I've seen in some time. How creepy are we talking about here? Brace yourselves, because things are going to get unpleasant, yet not too unpleasant.

For those willing to drop $180 and go to GameStop for their games, there's one monster of a surprise waiting. Not only is there a copy of the game, as would be expected, but it also boasts a mansion-shaped music box which plays the game's theme song, "Aunt Rhody." Plus, the music box comes with a set of LED effects that match up with the music, a clever addition.

Dishonored's UK Landing Disappoints

November 16, 2016

While there were certainly plenty of happy faces when Dishonored 2 finally made its appearance on shelves in the United States, its arrival in the UK seems to have gone over like the lead balloon. In fact, it's actually far behind its predecessor, and the numbers suggest this isn't a situation likely to improve any time soon.

The current word from GfK Chart-Track says that the sequel is lagging its predecessor by about a third, proving just the fourth best-seller in both Great Britain and Ireland. In fact, Bethesda's newest title has the dubious distinction of being the only new title on this week's top 10 best sellers' list, coming in behind previous big sellers Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and FIFA 17.

That's particularly bad news given how Dishonored did back in 2012, coming in behind only FIFA 13. Some attribute the recent change on Bethesda's front to no longer allow early product reviews, so it could be that some cautious souls were waiting to see how the reviews came out.

How Watch Dogs 2's Own Nudity Got a Player Briefly Banned for Code of Conduct Violations

November 15, 2016

No good deed goes unpunished, as a recent revelation from Sony proved. When a gamer found nudity in a copy of Watch Dogs 2, and decided to clue some other users in, Sony landed on said gamer with both feet. The gamer, who goes by the handle Goron2000, was naturally nonplussed and took to Twitter in search of support, as a report on VentureBeat's games section detailed.

Goron2000 got a screenshot of said nudity, which is female nudity and below the waist. It's actually a rather explicit shot, so those going in search of same are duly warned not to go looking for it at work or while small children are present.

Leaked Black Friday Deals Mean Big Gaming Discounts

November 15, 2016

Everyone knows that Black Friday deals mean big things to come, and great potential opportunities to pick up exciting products for comparatively cheap. Gaming is no exception, and some recent leaks suggest that Microsoft and Sony alike are set to see some big discounts at several stores for the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season...even though many have already begun.

The leaks are noteworthy enough, and feature Sam's Club, Dell and eBay. Sam's Club will offer up the Xbox One Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and PlayStation 4 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End bundles for $249, and both the Battlefield 1 and Minecraft bundles for Xbox One S at $249, with extra controller. For $299 online at Sam's Club, gamers can get the Xbox One Battlefield 1 / Gears of War bundle for $299, with extra controller.

A nice mix, but Dell and eBay won't be denied. Dell will beat Sam's Club's offer by $50, and eBay will offer the PS4 Slim Bundle with Uncharted 4 for $249.99.

Not particularly terrible deals, really, especially for those considering a new gaming system for Christmas.

Infinite Warfare Hits a Minefield in Steam Players

November 9, 2016

Well, we all knew that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare wasn't exactly going over well with the players. There's a bigger problem that's recently cropped up, though, and it's one that might mean an early end for the latest chapter of Call of Duty. New reports from data intelligence kingpins Githyp suggests that the space shooter isn't going over well at all, and has currently fewer players on Steam than even Payday 2.

The biggest number of online players that Infinite Warfare could generate, the Githyp report noted, was 15,280, through Sunday of its launch weekend. Given that Black Ops III generated over 60,000 simultaneous players, or nudging up on a ratio of four to one, it's clear that Infinite Warfare was not super well-received.

Tobii Raises Big New Funding Round to Improve Eye Tracking

November 8, 2016

Tobii has been around for some time now--I remember hearing about them at least a couple years ago when they were working on eye-tracking systems. They're still working on them, at last report, as they're working to bring in an extra $50 million for development. To get there, Tobii's planning a new launch of share rights issue.

Tobii's been working on its offerings since 2001, and has already found itself in a variety of machines ranging from Acer to Alienware and beyond. Indeed, Acer's already put the system in three monitors, and there are around 40 games that work with the eye-tracking system as a control mechanism.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 Gaming Headset Review: Nothing But Easy

November 7, 2016

I have had some noteworthy times with headphones before, but this time, I may have had the easiest time I've ever had with a headset mike thanks to the SteelSeries Arctis 3, one of which the folks at the Max Borges Agency sent out for review.

You'll have a few options for getting hands on these; they're currently on hand at Best Buy locations and will follow to others. No matter where you look for these, be sure to check these out if you're looking for an excellent gaming mic, headphones, or headset mic in general.

The SteelSeries Arctis 3 gaming headset works on three different levels: it's a headset mic, a set of headphones, and a gaming mic all at once by bringing the two together in one place. It boasts 7.1 channel surround sound, using the SteelSeries Premium Audio Drivers that are normally only found in higher-end models to produce the best in clarity.

And That's It For the Wii U, Reports Say

November 2, 2016

Well, stick a fork in one entrant in the newest generation of the console wars. New reports out of several directions suggest that Nintendo is planning to stop production of the Wii U this year, getting Nintendo almost completely out of the console market for good.

Reports suggest that Nintendo will be shifting focus from the Wii U and the 3DS to the Miitomo and other mobile games, along with the Nintendo Switch and the rumored NX. Reports note that Nintendo has already shut down some of the Wii U accessory line, which drives a nail into the coffin.

Though Nintendo didn't officially say as much--the reports note a Nintendo spokesman noting that the reports were "not an announcement from the company"--but there's certainly more that a little possibility that this will turn out true.

Nintendo has been badly beaten this round; as far ahead as the Wii was, that's about how far behind the Wii U is now. For Nintendo to try and stick around in the console wars, it may simply not be able to hold up.

Back to Tamriel: the Remastered Version of Skyrim

November 1, 2016

Not long ago, the remastered version of Skyrim launched to bring players back to the northern coasts of Vvardenfell, and get us all thinking about going back to Tamriel for real this time. While it's not exactly the best news we could have had, it's still good news for a few reasons. Let's have a look at what we're in for, and what this might mean down the line.

First off, it may seem outlandish to buy a game for $60 that many already paid $60 for almost five years ago to the day, but I can make it clear that this is all right. One, the new version of Skyrim is a serious graphical improvement, and after putting together my Bosmer archer, I discovered that the world was much the same as when I left it, largely after finishing the last expansion pack, Dragonborn.

Most of the locations seemed in familiar places, though I didn't exactly go all the way through yet, and indeed, the scenery was next-generation beautiful.

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