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”

See a Top 10 Tech Speaker at IoT Evolution in July

The tech space is moving so incredibly quickly that you have to attend conferences, webinars and scour the news to be aware...

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SIP Trunks and Whaaaat???...Gateways...but not SBCs?

Back in March, I wrote a blog about the PSTN sunset. But in reality legacy technologies are still in use.  I know this since...

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Waiting on the Channel

Whether it is TPX CEO Richard Jalkut or other channel executives, providers are impatiently waiting on the channel to jump off...

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Solving the Data Analytics Skills Gap

Data analytics is doing absolutely amazing things for companies... Recently, Vodafone worked with a venture-backed company Celonis to improve efficiency. The results...

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Don't Judge the Microsoft Surface Pro by its Reviews

Disclosure: we use an iPad Pro and iPhone and a Microsoft Surface Book on a daily basis so you can see we...

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Fax Still Going Strong

Last week, I had the pleasure to meet with most of our Japanese fax customers in Tokyo.  Fax, like many PSTN...

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2 Blockbuster Deals

The VADs (value added distributors) are feeling the pinch of the growth of cloud, SAAS, SD-WAN, managed services - amid the...

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Razer Plots a Serious Expansion Effort

September 13, 2016

Exciting news for those who follow the Razer line of PC gaming peripherals; we already know that Razer makes some of the best keyboards and computer mice and similar materials. Razer isn't going to rest on its reputation so far, however, and plans to lay out $30 million to go hunting for the best new equipment makers to help keep itself on top.

While this isn't Razer's first funding venture--it's been seen previously as part of the OSVR Fund for virtual reality games that will comfortably work on a number of different platforms--this new effort known as zVentures focuses on not only virtual reality, but also robotics, Android games, big data projects, the Internet of Things, and more. It's spreading its wings wide, offering support to several firms within each field, and it's put a little something extra into its most recent line to help build on the field.

Min-Liang Tan, Razer's chief executive and cofounder, commented "Razer has a long history of supporting partners, third-party product and business development. The cumulative benefit of those initiatives over the past decade has been very positive and significant.



Microsoft Takes Stabs at Sony Practices, Future Models

September 12, 2016

Microsoft has been on the attack of late in the console wars, and running down the events of the last couple weeks suggests that Microsoft may be planning a way to take back its top slot from the drubbing it took over the last few years against Sony.

First, Microsoft scored big for Fallout 4 fans when it was revealed that Fallout 4 mods were never actually coming to Sony. Meanwhile, Xbox One has offered access to mods on Fallout 4 since May, and a summer full of mods has meant a hit on Sony. Making hay while the sun shines, Microsoft has been calling attention to this particular fact for some time. Sony, meanwhile, seems to be keeping comparatively mum as of the time of this writing.

Second, unexpected new sales data hit and revealed that Microsoft had outsold Sony in the United States over the last two months, and Microsoft is likewise taking this ball and running with it. Microsoft is even taking the opportunity to point out how the Xbox One S will have features that the PlayStation 4 Pro won't boast, and that's even before the issue of Project Scorpio gets involved.

While this isn't exactly bad news for Microsoft--it's been behind for some time now--it might be selling just a little too hard. Microsoft is already gaining ground against Sony, and if it crows too loudly about its own skill and success, it may well lose some of that footing down the line.





Coming Soon: The 2016 Game Awards

September 7, 2016

Good news, folks; those looking forward to the Game Awards and the new game trailers that inevitably follow may now rest a bit easier knowing that the days of our wait have been numbered. The show goes live December 1, and we'll bring all the joy into play soon enough.

Those who remember last year's Game Awards know that we got plenty of exciting news. We got looks at Psychonauts 2, Far Cry Primal, Shadow Complex Remastered, and plenty of other titles of games both released and not yet so. Thus, this year is unlikely to prove different, and since so many games are eager to land an award at the event, there's every reason to bring a trailer to the Game Awards to get that little extra attention.

The Game Awards aren't the only awards show in town, of course; there's also the Game Developers Choice Awards and the DICE Awards, as well as major shows like Gamescom, PAX and E3.



Trouble Afoot for VR? Steam Adoption Slows Drastically.

September 6, 2016

We all knew that virtual reality was sort of in its early days, and that, the farther along we went, the more users would come into the virtual reality fold. The problem, however, comes from the realization that new users in VR aren't showing up the way may were expecting, and some were hoping for.

The newest numbers suggest that new HTC Vive owners are up only 0.3 percent for July, and absolutely nothing for August. That's virtually no growth in the space of two months, and not exactly encouraging numbers. Oculus Rift ownership fared little better, up just 0.1 percent more than HTC Vive's numbers, adding that extra tenth of a percent in August during the Vive's flat month.

Grand total, so far, just 0.18 percent of Steam's user base owns a Vive, and even less--0.10 percent--own an Oculus Rift. That's not exactly encouraging, and if these signs continue unaltered, that's going to represent some significant problems going forward in terms of getting developers interested in this market and in developing software for it.



We're Going to Nuka World!

August 31, 2016

So after a nearly five gigabyte download, the installation of the final downloadable content (DLC) pack for Fallout 4, Nuka World, was in place. Now, join me on an exciting trip to the greatest amusement park the Commonwealth--and most of what's left of the country--has ever seen!

In going to Nuka World, I prepared as best I could, packing a handful of weapons and several thousand rounds of ammunition. Hoping to be a contrarian cuss, I tricked out the Vim power armor found at the Vim plant in Far Harbor. A T-51, it wasn't as good as my tricked-out X-01 armor, but it had that Vim paintjob that I was hoping would incense the locals so gravely that they'd demand my death in a firefight.

Is It Time for eSports to Hit the Olympics?

August 30, 2016

When the Rio Olympics finally came to a close, a little something unexpected happened that might have been better suited to a video game convention. Japan's own Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, emerged from a familiar-style pipe, dressed as a certain iconic plumber, an Italian gent by the name of Mario. Abe then closed with an open invitation to Japan to see the next Olympic games--set for Tokyo in 2020--and that got some wondering. Specifically, whether or not eSports should be part of the Olympic games.

Virtual Reality Translates to Actual Reality With the Dexmo Exoskeleton

August 29, 2016

One of the great problems with VR these days is trying to beat the suspension of disbelief problem. Making the objects perceived in the camera view actually look and feel real is a tough challenge, one that's sometimes addressed with haptic feedback devices. Dexta Robotics, meanwhile, has a noteworthy new concept to try in the Dexmo Exoskeleton glove system.

The Dexmo Exoskeleton effectively works as a simulator of touch by providing resistance to one's fingers according to what's being touched. A soft object will have more give, and a harder object will have much less, thus allowing for a reasonable approximation of whatever is in the virtual hand.

Is Metal Gear Survive Doomed From The Start?

August 24, 2016

As it turns out, I'm something of a minority. A real minority. See, I watched the Metal Gear Survive trailer from Gamescom, and I didn't immediately want to walk into the Konami offices and commit a few atrocities to all the potted plants, just for a start. Based on the reactions I've seen so far, that puts me in an exclusive class of people best defined as "almost nobody." Thus when I caught a newsy bit out at IGN wondering how Metal Gear Survive could actually win anyone over, I was intrigued, and got to wondering: can this game actually survive?

Given that the IGN video in question referred to Metal Gear Survive as "a raging dumpster fire", it's safe to say there's a lot of ill will going into this.

Surprise of the Day: Viewers Actually Like Ads in VR

August 23, 2016

In a move that proves that virtual reality (VR) is such a great new novelty that people will interact with just about anything presented in VR, a new report from Immersv says that people like VR enough to prefer ads shown in VR to the point where they'll increasingly interact with said ads.

Yes, VR is so attractive that people will even interact with ads in VR, and thanks to that point, VR ads are actually more attractive than those found on either desktop or mobile devices. It turns out that ads on Immersv's platform are generating about a 30 percent click-through rate, although here, it's more accurately described as a "gaze-through rate." That beats mobile by a factor of 30 at one percent, and desktop by better than twice that at 0.4 percent. Immersv actually drives 12 new installations for every thousand ads viewed, which beats the one install for 2,000 for mobile and the one for 10,000 on desktop. Users are even vastly more likely to watch the video to completion, with a better than 80 percent completion rate.

These are of course staggering numbers by any scale, though given that VR is largely a new medium--sure, it's been around for decades in one form or another, but this is the first time we're seeing it largely commercially available instead of rented by the minute--that's probably driving the effort.



Bethesda Needs to Learn to Let Go and Let Obsidian, Or Anyone Else

August 22, 2016

Recently, Bethesda's own Pete Hines took to Twitter and dashed a lot of hopes. He noted two key points: one, that the Elder Scrolls VI is not in development, and that Bethesda is "not a vending machine." These points together are bad enough, and the wider look doesn't help matters either.

Essentially, Hines noted that the next big Bethesda game was not in development, at least not at the moment. Naturally, the company plans to "make it eventually," and that's at least something like good news.  It could be that the project's in a state known as pre-production, where development begins ahead of actual production.

Hines went on to note that "This studio is not a vending machine," noting that the crew involved had already made four games that won Game of the Year status, and thus had "...a right to decide what they're interested in working on next and which direction they want to go."

Noble enough by any measure, but not exactly the best from a marketing standpoint.





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