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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EA Changes its Mind on Nintendo Switch Support

May 15, 2017

There's some good news for Nintendo recently emerged as the company announced that its level of support for the Nintendo Switch system was going up. Originally pegged as "cautious," it's now gone clear to "bullish", and that likely means more Nintendo Switch titles coming out in short order.

The Switch has been doing quite well so far, though the initial launch has been marred somewhat by the potential that this would end up like the Wii U. The Wii U had a fairly sound launch as well--though not as good as the Switch--and its launch quickly fell apart when it became clear that there was to be virtually no third-party gaming connected with this system.

That's not likely to be a problem with the Switch, as EA noted with a recent earnings call. Apparently, the strong launch got EA's attention, suggesting that it's a market that can't be readily ignored. EA's CEO Andrew Wilson noted that company felt "really good about it," and was looking forward to bringing "...a whole new player base into the ecosystem."

In fact, some are seeing a "virtuous cycle" in the making here, a reasonable response to given conditions.

Activision Blizzard Gets Huge Forecast Bump Thanks to Overwatch

May 9, 2017

Just when you think a company has a lock on its future, owning the biggest massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) experience in the market, along comes a whole new shock just to make sure you're paying attention. Activision Blizzard found just such a fate waiting, and its stock price and revenue forecasts have reflected this.

Most of the gains are thanks to one game: Overwatch. Proving to be the new World of Warcraft, this online shooter is starting to fuel esports hopes and a whole lot of Let's Play videos. Seriously; hit YouTube and look for "Toxic Overwatch Players." There are tons of these and some of them are hilarious.

Redemption Games No Longer "Rigged," Says Group

May 8, 2017

Just the other day, I was walking through my local shopping mall and lamenting the state of the universe that would not only take bookstores out of the equation, but also used game stores and even, God help me, the arcade. Where were the days when a geek could find something fun to do at that great panoply of indoor stores? Nowadays, geeks are lucky to enjoy a mobile phone kiosk, or just maybe an oddly-anachronistic music store that sells DVDs.

Then I turned a corner and saw a bizarre sign in an unexpected location advertising the presence of the "Party Time Arcade," if I remember it right. Upon the discovery it was just a bunch of claw games, any enthusiasm I might have had boiled off in a haze likely visible from the Auntie Anne's Pretzel.

Nintendo Set to Carry On Proud Tradition of Ducking E3

May 2, 2017

Nintendo's carrying on a now-long-standing tradition, as for the fourth year running, it will not have a presence at E3. Rather, reports note, it will do as it's long done and broadcast a Nintendo Direct to run at the same time during the big show.

There's no official confirmation on this one, but most are expecting Nintendo to eschew the big show for a video presentation instead. Though reports suggest Nintendo won't be out of the running completely, as some games set to appear on Nintendo systems will be on hand for users to try out.

The question, of course, is will other companies follow suit. Given that we've seen Bethesda step up to the mike in a much bigger fashion over the last few years, and given that we've seen Microsoft and Sony stay strong throughout--Microsoft actually changed its show date this year to be just ahead of Bethesda's, and given how close Microsoft and Bethesda have been of late this might make some sense.

Of course, some are wondering if, perhaps, gaming companies wouldn't be better off if the whole show went to video instead.

PS4 Shipments on the March, Pushing on PS3 Levels

May 1, 2017

The PlayStation 4 has delivered a lot of value for Sony over the years, giving it a significant wedge in the console wars and letting it recover from the losses of the PS3 generation in a big way. With a kind-of new console generation coming up, it's worth seeing what's been going on in the field. The news has been good so far for Sony, but what's to come?

The news is profoundly good; the PS3 over its lifetime sold 80 million units, and right now the PS4 is just past the 60 million mark. Plus, Sony expects to send out another 18 million over the next year, putting it almost neck-and-neck with the previous generation.

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.

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