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”

Where's the Margin? (Part 1)

As much as I grumble often about the VoIP/UC providers and their lack of differentiation, SD-WAN is going to be just...

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First Hackproof Wi-Fi, then Grab Some IP Communications

While most of TMCnet blog readers want to monetize IP communications, most of the world just wants to be able to use...

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Software Media Servers Help CPaaS Offerings Such as GENBAND Kandy

Cloud communications are giving customers deployment options they never had before. Big data centers running ‘you name it’ communications functions and software...

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New Flowroute Customer Onboarding Platform Lubricates CSP Porting

Smoothly and effectively onboarding new enterprises is one of the most significant operational challenges for cloud communications providers. Flowroute is aiming squarely...

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CounterPath Bria-X Delivers Cost-Effective UCaaS Solution

In the 1990s Novell had a lock on servers in the enterprise. There was no Linux but SCO UNIX and IBM's AIX...

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Stupid Mistakes Lead to Kelihos Botnet Spam Lord Arrest

Russian Pyotr Levashov spread ransomware and other malicious software through the Kelihos botnet, possibly hacked the U.S. election and probably ran the...

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Is Cloud Infrastructure Swallowing Up NFV?

Service Providers want the infrastructure to be able to scale up (and down), they want to move CAPEX to OPEX, and they...

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New Jersey Pizzeria Repeatedly Mistaken for Five Nights at Freddy's Setting

July 13, 2016

It's a strange phenomenon, but the video game which spawned the Internet tales has taken on a strange new life: as a possibly believable coverup. At least, that's what some folks seem to have thought, as they've deluged a pizza parlor in New Jersey with calls investigating the potential reality of the murderous animatronic-filled pizza lair.

The pizza place in question, Freddie's Restaurant and Pizzaria in Long Branch, has been hit with hundreds of callers not in search of pizza, but in search of a certain set of characters. The volume of calls has required some changes at Freddie's, including several new phone lines and shifted employee rosters in a bid to address all the callers.

Ubisoft Movie's Jean-Julien Baronnet Breaks Off to Found Marla Studios

July 11, 2016

The public is tired of superhero movies, so believes Ubisoft Motion Pictures' CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet. Baronnet believes this so deeply that he's separated from the company to launch his own studio, focusing on video game-based movies.

Baronnet had actually been out of the position since April, but apparently the three-month lacuna has given him sufficient insight to decide his next move. The new studio, Marla Studios, hopes to start development on its first film by next year.

As for his plan to produce films, Baronnet believes that the best way to make a game-based movie is to work directly with the game designers, building a game around "key creative angles" that can "cope with the game's DNA".

The Tetris Movie Will Be a Trilogy

July 7, 2016

The notion that anyone could make a movie out of the video game "Tetris" is baffling enough on its own. The notion that anyone would try to make THREE separate movies out of it is either lunacy, hubris, or genius. Just which it will be, however, will be only a matter of time as Tetris' producer, Larry Kassanoff, has confirmed that the film version of Tetris will be three movies, instead of one.

For anyone who might have wondered how a movie about stacking blocks into piles of four rows until they disappear, only to be replaced by new blocks, there's not much in the way of advance notice. The word is that the trilogy will be set up as a sci-fi thriller, and for those who were worried, no, there will be no anthropomorphic tetrads running around getting in comical situations.

Microsoft Studios Games Go Universally Cross-Platform

July 5, 2016

Microsoft's ambitions to bring together the "console peasants" and the "PC master race" seem to be continuing briskly along. A new report recently emerged that noted that all the games Microsoft Studios publishes will be part of the new Xbox Play Anywhere program, a move that should have gamers feeling reasonably good about things.

Word from Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi noted the support, and that all the Microsoft Studios games would be "...easily accessible in the windows store." The announcement has something of a limited effect, however, as the first such game to qualify under this program will be ReCore, which comes out September 13. So basically there's just over two months until this program actually takes effect.

When it does, though, there will be a good slug of games coming out in this vein; the long awaited Cuphead will fall under this program, and Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 will also have a hand in. Thus, users who buy a game on one platform will not only be able to play it on another, but saves and achievements will also be able to transfer, making it a thoroughly "play anywhere" experience, as long as, of course, you've got a gaming laptop sufficient to handle the best of the new generation.

There's been a lot of speculation about just how this will work, especially as regards to things like cheating and hacking.

Yantouch Eye Speaker Review: Brilliant in Sound and Color

June 29, 2016

Anyone who's been reading my review work for a while knows that the greatest thing I can find in a product is versatility. I love it when something does more than one thing and does it well, and the Yantouch EyE is a terrific example of versatility in action. Yantouch sent a pair out for review, and these are going to really deliver on a variety of fronts.

The Yantouch Eye is a portable three-in-one speaker that comes complete with a light show mounted in its transparent outer rim. Those using a pair of these at the same time get what's called "True Wireless Stereo," meaning that the pair will consolidate into a left-and-right channel speaker effect.

Feel the Bern, The Game, With Bernie's Journey

June 28, 2016

First it was Socks the Cat. Now, it's Bernie Sanders, as a new game called Bernie's Journey brings a new look at a presidential campaign as gigantic metaphor. You'll play the man some may describe as an elderly demagogue as he pursues a slate of missions in a bid to do what we now generally know to be impossible: seize the Democratic Party nomination for 2016.

In the game, you'll be called upon to take on a set of debates, fight off biased media outlets, and take on both of the presumptive party nominees--Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans--backed up by a handful of allies familiar to Bernie buffs like Jill Stein and Killa Mike.

Interestingly, reports note this is Bernie's second time as a game star; back in 2006 he released Bernie Arcade, which had him flying a hydrogen-fueled plane in a bid to snag fact sheets and fend off "fat cats", various mudslingers, and emissaries of the right wing.

Available on Kickstarter currently--it sought $500 for development costs and has as of this writing beat that several times over--the game is expected to be released in 2017, which would be too late to influence the outcome of the election even if Bernie weren't already pretty much out of the fray. If the game proves profitable, reports note, its creator intends to donate a portion of the proceeds directly to Sanders.

Some might call this a moot point, or even an outright lie; even if Bernie Sanders managed to win in the game, it's pretty much impossible right now for that win to be mirrored in real life. Others might call it a curiosity in the making; a Bernie Sanders video game, or any presidential candidate for that matter, isn't exactly common.

Mifa M1 Speaker Review: The Pocket Nuke of Speakers

June 27, 2016

Sometimes I get in on something that's a real shock, and for those who want some powerful sound on hand no matter where they go, then a great place to start your search is with the Mifa M1, which the folks at Mifa sent out for me to review.

The Mifa M1 speaker system is a Bluetooth speaker system that, for a speaker system, is extremely tiny, able to readily fit in the palm of most hands. Each Mifa M1 contains a pair of speaker drivers and a "bass radiator," which provides some impressive sound; more on that testing later. They also come with a Micro SD card reader and a USB cable, allowing them to not only readiliy recharge, but also connect to a PC or laptop for playback there. It offers around four hours of music on a single charge--though that varies depending on volume--and there's even a built-in mic to allow users to answer and take calls through the device.

Video Games: From Art to Artifact

June 22, 2016

The idea of video games as art has been something of a gray area for a long time now, with gamers insisting that games are indeed art, and everyone else insisting that gamers have been inhaling their own Cheeto dust for too long. For one online community, meanwhile, video games are less an art than they are an artifact, a kind of rare bird to find and preserve at all costs.

Alex "Xkeeper" Workman is one of the names in this particular field, a PHP developer and system administrator who has a hand in The Cutting Room Floor, an organization focused on discovering and revealing points that are hidden within the cartridges of gaming's olden days. Xkeeper didn't actually start The Cutting Room Floor, but many suggest that he was a big part of its rise to prominence.

Essentially, as Xkeeper notes, his pursuit of the variations involved in video gaming is like backstage access at a concert, or like urban exploration; it's about getting to look at old, familiar spaces in a whole new way.

"Secret Stupid Legal Nonsense" Concludes, No Man's Sky Keeps Its Name

June 21, 2016

The vagaries of the legal process aren't always clear to the average layman, whether by happenstance or by design. So when Hello Games noted that some "secret stupid legal nonsense" had finally been settled, all that most gamers would likely care about in the aftermath was that No Man's Sky would remain No Man's Sky.

Reports suggest that Hello Games had been hit by the British broadcasting company BSkyB, who had previously gone after Microsoft over use of the term "Skydrive." Following that encounter, Microsoft was left needing to change its products name to "Onedrive," so a company that can take on Microsoft and win is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Hello Games, however, seems to have come out successfully on the other side. With the game already delayed to August--it was formerly expected out in June--it would have been easy to think the legal proceedings had something to do with that delay. That wasn't the case, however, as the company reiterated that No Man's Sky is an unimaginably vast game, unlike anything tried before, and so some delays should have been expected in the end.

So Who Won E3 This Year?

June 20, 2016

It's the question that launched a thousand arguments, and it comes around every year. With E3 2016 now one for the history books, we've got the inevitable question to try and answer, and this year is unusual. We've been asking the E3 question for the last few years now, and for the first time in a while we've got a more definitive answer than normal as it looks like Microsoft edged out the competition this time around.

Where last year, the gamers won E3, and the same before that--though admittedly, it could readily be said that Bethesda took the title last year--this year had a much clearer victor in Microsoft. Not only did it absolutely kill the event by bringing out two new consoles in the upcoming Xbox One S and the slightly more upcoming Project Scorpio, it also brought out a very nice slate of games.

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