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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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January 2017

You are browsing the archive for January 2017.

World of Warcraft Takes a Slot in Museum History

January 30, 2017

There's no denying that World of Warcraft is a major force in gaming, and has delivered a historical punch all its own. Some say it really started the current push for more massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) in the market, and such a groundbreaking title deserves a little praise and feteing. That particular breed of recognition will come from the Computer History Museum, which has established an exhibit specifically around the game.

Part of a larger installation called "Make Software: Change the World!", the goal is to show exactly how software does just that. The exhibit cost fully $7 million to establish, and has taken about five years to go from concept to physical reality.

Nintendo Switch Likely to Widely Outsell the Wii U

January 24, 2017

With the Wii U now pretty much a dead stick, having provided about as many games in its lifetime as Sony and Microsoft might bring out in a couple months, all eyes are on the Nintendo Switch. But will this system make Nintendo a figure worth talking about in the console space again? The current figures aren't exactly sure, but it's a safe bet that the Switch will at least do better than the Wii U did.

Projections from DFC estimate that the Switch will sell roughly 40 million consoles over the next three years, which is an exciting proposition. In fact, that's nearly three times what the Wii U sold, showing both how bad off Nintendo was beforehand and how much better off the Switch will likely to be.

Microsoft's VR Plan May Hit GDC

January 24, 2017

One of the first major game conferences in a typical year is the Game Developers Conference (GDC) event, running February 27 to March 3 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. This isn't always as exciting as E3 tends to be, but it can still deliver insight. This time around, the insight in question features a look at Microsoft's VR plans, or at least those that could show up down the line.

The current reports suggest Microsoft will have Windows Holographic developer kits at the GDC event, and word is these kits will be working with a slate of inexpensive headsets, similar to those shown at CES by Lenovo.

Microsoft has kept its VR plans quite quiet so far, especially when it comes to the application programming interfaces (APIs) involved. What has slipped out so far, meanwhile, has delivered some very notable points.

Some Time in Stardew Valley: Your New Staycation Destination

January 17, 2017

I spent most of this weekend taking on the new Stardew Valley release for Xbox One--or at least comparatively new--and there's actually a lot to be said for this game. Not all of it is good, but for anyone who's been on the fence about picking up this particular title, I may well have what you need to topple one way or another: firsthand insight.

For those not familiar, Stardew Valley acquaints you with you--who you get to name yourself as you see fit--who is in this universe an employee of the Joja Corporation. It's part Dickensian workhouse, part Dilbert strip, and every bit as unpleasant as that combination suggests. One day, your grandpa dies, and before he does hands you a sealed envelope containing what amounts to your inheritance and a great deal of insight.

Scalebound Dead

January 16, 2017

Well, that's about all that needed to be said, isn't it? The newest word out of Microsoft proper is that the open-world dragon battler is officially shut down, canceled in the midst of plenty.

Though there was footage aplenty of the release, there wasn't much in the way of playtesting going on. Microsoft never actually allowed anyone to try the game itself, leaving the gaming public with little more than discussion on the footage available.

Microsoft's statement noted "After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. We're working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and other great experiences."

With precious little to go on, it doesn't exactly come as a surprise that the game was shut down.

eSports Steps Up Into Racing Series in Vegas

January 10, 2017

While the biggest news in Las Vegas in the last few days was the Consumer Electronics Show, there was something else going on that wasn't as big, but still delivered an exciting new prospect in its own right. It's advancing the field of esports in a fashion nothing else, and in a fashion that will make people slap their heads.

More specifically, it's the Visa Vegas eRace, and it expands esports from mostly the province of real-time strategy, first person shooters and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games to add something that probably should have been there all along: racing.

It put both professional drivers and sim racers together in a match of rFactor 2, a racer that's known for its somewhat bland graphics and attention to detail. With a 20-turn track that no one got to see before the race, and a platform of identical PlaySeats and Thrustmaster wheels to race with, the racers put on a real show, though one that didn't go off quite without a hitch.

Some weren't happy that the eRace used rFactor 2 as its platform, though it does seem like it worked out well. It's odd that that was what they used, especially given the number of racing titles out there.

CES 2017: Razer Steps Up its Gaming Game

January 9, 2017

With CES 2017 now at an end--and a panoply of goods set to arrive on the market in rapid fashion--the gaming market saw some thoroughly impressive new options coming out, and we'll be able to enjoy these new products throughout the year. Razer, already well-known in the market for its gaming products, joined in the fray, showing off two new exciting new gaming display modules.

Project Ariana--the first cryptically-named display project from Razer--is a complete gaming wall. It works with a television to use an entire wall as a much wider display, showing off the background elements on the wall and using the monitor display as the vector for the main action elements.

That's pretty awesome as it is, but Project Valerie throws a whole new dimension into things. A laptop with three separate monitors supported by side hinges, it brings desktop PC gaming display capabilities to a highly portable device.

CES 2017: New Gaming Hardware Afoot

January 4, 2017

Hard to believe, I know, but the New Year's Eve champagne has just barely gotten warm and the hors d'oeuvres barely cooled before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) could get started in earnest again. Already, plenty of exciting items have slipped out into the general consciousness, and some items have some exciting implications for the gamers out there. Let's have a look at some of the biggest news.

New Laptops

Laptops are an exciting blend of mobility and power; not as powerful as a desktop PC, certainly, and not as portable as a tablet or smartphone, this device splits the difference and offers mobility and muscle enough for most users' satisfaction. Acer brought out a potent new model, the Predator 21 X. Boasting Tobii eye tracking systems--we've heard a lot out of these guys over the years--as well as a pair of GeForce GTX 1080 graphic cards and an Intel Core i7-7820 processor, this beast will run $9,000 starting this February.

2017 in Gaming: What to Look Forward To

January 3, 2017

The great thing about every new year in gaming is that it brings with it lots of new opportunities. Exciting new titles, new developments, and even some stuff that we couldn't see coming even if we wanted to. Which for the most part we do. So with 2017 now three days old, I figured it was a good opportunity--especially since we just ran down some of the worst that last year could offer--to take a more upbeat and optimistic look forward at what's to come in 2017.

Sea of Thieves

Rare has been known for a lot of things over the years, including being Nintendo's action game factory for several years.

The Worst of the Year: 2016's Gaming Disasters

January 2, 2017

I eventually realized that doing a best-of in 2016 gaming was kind of a dumb idea, mostly because I already covered it back in the "Gamer's Thanksgiving" article just about five weeks ago. Yeah, Thanksgiving is a little over a month old right now. Crazy, isn't it? Anyway, it hit me that the big thing left to cover before the grand parade of optimism that will be the first article of the year is the things that will make us glad that 2016's hitting the bricks.
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