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”

April 2017

You are browsing the archive for April 2017.

Democratizing Development: What if the Tools Were More Accessible?

April 25, 2017

Back in the nineties--1994, more specifically--a bit of software was released I'm personally acquainted with. It was called "Klik & Play," a game development software system that allowed users to assemble their own video games and play the results of same.

I bought in with the plan to make my own games and potentially even find a way to sell them, giving myself a way to have what amounted to the best part-time job a kid could have. It didn't work out that way, of course, but it was still a point worth considering; what if we had more non-programming-based game tools that made it easier for gamers to make their own games?

The current crop of such tools, by some reports, just don't work all that well.

Pinball at the Zoo 2017: A Report

April 24, 2017

It was that special time of year when the annual Pinball at the Zoo event takes place, and once again I was on hand to check out the action. Every year's a little different, and this year was, well, no different. It was indeed different, but it taught many of the same lessons.

Pinball at the Zoo, every year, brings together a host of local pinball machine owners, who put said games on free play to allow visiting players the chance to try out said games. The end result is a room full of pinball machines from pretty much every era of pinball, from the very latest computer-driven machines to the earliest machines with scores that max out in the high four figures.

The Future of Xbox Looks a Lot Like Steam

April 18, 2017

It's been wondered on more than one occasion: with Microsoft pushing so hard to basically make the Xbox line a kind of gaming computer, then why in the world can't we play PC games on the Xbox? We're starting to see the reverse come to pass, but why not the way that gives us access to a staggering quantity of games that can be played via wireless controller? New reports suggest we may be heading in that direction.

Recently, Microsoft made a big step, bringing in digital purchase refunds. A "self-service refund system," which is actually a console first at last report.

File Under "What?" Nintendo Shuts Down the Classic Edition

April 17, 2017

Some business decisions look positively ludicrous on their face, and Nintendo recently made one of these itself. Starting this month, Nintendo will shut down production on the Classic Edition and, with that, take a major revenue stream out of the market.

It's a shocking move by Nintendo, especially given that the Classic Edition--a system containing 30 classic games--has been frantically selling out in stores for the last six months.

As for reason, there doesn't seem to be much of one. A Nintendo representative noted that the system was never "...intended to be an ongoing, long-term product," further noting that added shipments were brought in to augment the original plans.

Project Scorpio: Is This the End of the Console Wars?

April 11, 2017

The recent revelation of Project Scorpio's specs represents a big advancement in gaming, thanks in large part to the sheer amount of horsepower under that hood. But there's something else underneath this concept that's got people wondering if maybe this is the end--my only friend, the end--of the console wars for good, replaced by fairly routine numbers of hardware upgrades.

The early word about the Scorpio can only be described as good: the hardware involved makes the PS4 Pro look like a sick old woman by comparison, and suggest that 4K resolution at high-end frame rates is not only possible, but likely.

Naturally the price is a concern: the early word suggests this is a $500 package ready to go, and that's higher than the PS4 Pro's $400 sticker. Additionally,  there's the question of whether or not the games will be able to run at that resolution.

New Details Emerge on Bethesda's E3 Show

April 10, 2017

After the 2015 E3 event, where Bethesda stunned a nation of gamers by both revealing its long-awaited Fallout 4 release and announcing its release date less than six months later, Bethesda's E3 show became one of the first big things to look forward to about arguably the biggest gaming show on Earth. Now, new details have slipped out about the 2017 Bethesda event, and depending on how far you want to take rumor and conjecture, we could be in for a doozy of a 2017 in gaming.

First, the company's opening things up once again to regular folks, though it's not immediately clear just how those regular folks will be included. Some suggest a lottery or drawing system, while others figure it might be first-come-first-served. Though while the mechanics aren't clear, what's clear is that regular players will be allowed in in some percentage alongside the likely live-streaming event.

Additionally, the event's time and date has been established, so set your clocks for 6:30 PM Pacific time--do the math to apply that to your own time zone--on June 11.

Is Now the Time for a Disc-Free Console System?

April 4, 2017

What a difference a few years makes. I remember, very actively, when Microsoft first brought out the notion of a disc-free system when it introduced the Xbox One back at E3 2013, a debacle so pronounced that the derisive laughter spawned by the "Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video" still echoes throughout the E3 floor. Now, however, there are reports to say that some gamers are ready for a disc-free future. I'm personally not one of them, but even I must admit, I can see their point.

Essentially, some are suggesting that a disc-free system could survive in the world of the present, at least potentially as a separate version to be sold alongside the standard disc-driven version.

Bad News for Switch Fans: Your Game Data Isn't Safe

April 3, 2017

A new report emerged recently to suggest potential bad news ahead for fans of the Nintendo Switch. While there were plenty of reasons to like the Nintendo Switch, there was one significant problem that emerged: there's no way to save game data outside of the system itself.

No backup is possible with the Switch, at last report, and that means that if something goes wrong with the system, any save data that was kept on said system is likewise shot. Word from GamesRadar's Anthony John Agnello spelled out the situation following a disaster situation when, for reasons unknown and wholly unclear, Agnello's system had a critical system failure. Agnello, taking advantage of the system's warranty, sent the system to Nintendo for repair, and got disastrous news in response.

Nintendo notified Agnello that "the issue has made some fo the information on this system unreadable." With that grim pronouncement, Agnello lost save data, settings, and links established with Nintendo Accounts.

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