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”

Mazda Rotary Engine to Cease Electric-Range Anxiety

The rotary or Wankel engine is an automotive marvel. It revs higher than an engine with cylinders and weighs far less. It...

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Invoxia NVX 200 Phone Connects to Apple Watch 3

Forget Dick Tracey, Invoxia takes your watch phone one-step further by allowing you to use a desk phone as the interface to...

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Network Slicing - An A La Carte Network Service in 5G?

I’ve been meaning to write about network slicing for a while.  When 5G was first being written about, network slicing was one...

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Thanks to Actility, Comcast may Build Largest U.S. LoRa Network

There is a race to roll out the largest LoRa network as eventually trillions of devices will need a low-power way to...

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Infosys Applies IoT Analytics To Transform Business

Infosys is no stranger to IoT – they’ve been an innovator for years and we’ve been covering them as they've blossomed. In...

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Pod Group USA: It's a Great Time to be an IoT MVNO

It’s a great time to be an MVNO was the key takeaway from our recent interview with Pod Group USA (Also known...

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Time on Talos 1: Playing Prey

May 22, 2017

I admit, I haven't had a lot of luck with Bethesda titles that don't involve the words "Game Studios" somewhere in the title. However, I did have a much better time with Prey, which still had some issues but generated plenty of fun.

Prey follows the Wu family--more specifically brothers Alex and Morgan--who have been hard at work running a corporation on an old Soviet Union space ship that's been fixed up six ways from Sunday. Naturally, something has gone profoundly wrong on board the station, Talos 1, and now Morgan's going to be in the middle of a far-reaching conspiracy that includes his own brother, artificial intelligence, and potentially even himself as he's stalked by an alien race whose primary distinguishing features include shapeshifting powers, psionic powers, energy manipulation and a complete lack of empathy for any living being.

No, seriously; this was actually a plot point. The beings in question, the Typhon, are stated to have no "mirror neurons", which prevents empathy.

I took a much more active interest in Prey when I heard that it was extremely similar in nature to the Bioshock series, a point that got my interest as I'm fond of that series.





Keyboard Support Coming to Xbox One

May 16, 2017

One of the greatest disparities between console and PC gaming has been the input method. While the console gamer has a single-purpose gamepad controller that handles most all the functions of a typical game, PC gamers have an entire keyboard's worth of commands to work with. Xbox One gamers may have similar capability afoot, though mouse support is said to still be some time off.

Reports note that keyboard support will be available not only through UWP cross-platform development, but also through the Xbox Live Creators Program, which is still in its preview stages.

Already developers are showing interest, according to Andrew Parsons, Microsoft's senior program manager for game developers. While there are some functions--like chat--that would be particularly noteworthy here, there's one point that demands attention: converting games on Windows to games on Xbox One, a development that some publishers are apparently eager to start up.

This is a development that's been eagerly awaited for some time; Xbox One players are likely wondering why there isn't more of an intermingling between Xbox One and PC operations.





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.

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