Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big News of the Week

Apparently a blog I posted last January is getting some press from Kotaku during their PC LOVE FEST Week. So traffic on that post has picked up, a LOT. Well, two additional posts probably don't constitute a lot, but still any traffic is good traffic.

I still feel that the general atmosphere of PC gaming is the same, basically on life support. Sure, Steam and Direct2Drive are currently driving an industry that depended heavily on the brick and mortar stores to provide the supply and demand. However, I don't think being able to digitally download your game isn't a generally good thing. I've had issues and I know of others out there who have as well with getting the codes from steam and the manufacture to match up. It also prevents a lot of the games you buy from being able to run if your, say, kicked off your Internet connection. What if there is an interruption in the original download and you end up with a corrupted file or two. I'm just not happy that we are reduced to back alley shadiness to get our PC fix. I go to any Gamestop or Best buy and they have tons, I mean tons of console games. We are reduced to sneaking on line in the middle of the night to download our digital copies. We don't get the benefit of a paper manual or a box to place our non existent disc in.

People praise the efforts of Steam and others to keep the industry alive. Others think it will be companies like Blizzard and EA who will strive to keep a small corner of the world safe for PC gaming. But what happens with those companies bail? Steam and keep on providing our fix forever. People say, I've purchase tons of PC games on Steam this year alone and I'm completely happy. Sure you are. I would buy 4 or 5 PC games a year at Best Buy or Gamestop, but if my only choice is Steam, then they will now get all my business. If your only source of water for miles is Steam, then your gonna end up drinking there a lot.

I just don't think PC gaming will be around 10 or 15 yrs from now. Too many devices out there to get your gaming fix and having to upgrade a PC every 2 yrs just so you can play a limited number of games, well, I just don't see the public as a whole buying into that plan. I mean, with Facebook and other sites providing web based games, whats the need to even digitally download? Maybe gaming on the PC won't go away completely, but it will change into something cute and you'll be able to plant your garden or raise your cattle, but it won't be anything as exciting as whats on a console.

Well, that's my follow up. I feel the same as I did last year and I don't suspect I'll change it anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I recently bought an Ipod Touch 4G. Why a Touch instead of an Iphone or Droid? Because I can't afford the outrageous data plans, besides, there are tons of great free wifi areas near me, so if I need to hit the net for something, I can always run into a Starbucks. Hell, even my doctor's office has free wifi for patients.

I'd had my eye on one for a while now, but wanted to wait till they added a camera, which is now included in the 4th generation. They also put in a front facing camera, to use with their new Face Time app and a HD video camera. I've shot and posted a few videos already. I have to say, the Touch makes it soo easy to shoot video, edit and then post to your youtube channel or even facebook. Course I probably could do the same on an Iphone or Droid, if I had money.

Being a gamer as well, I picked up about a dozen games. Most are very quick time wasting games that don't have a lot of thought. Similar to your basic shockwave or other Java app games. It gets you into some quick fast fun, but also lets you drop out if you need to. They can be very addictive, but they do tend to drain the battery power pretty quickly. The apple sales person said that the device would last week on a charge, but that was if I only played music. If I did gaming or web browsing the charge would probably only last 24 hours. That is still better than my Ipod 32g classic that I've had for a few years. I've only had it run out of juice maybe once or twice since purchasing it, but I've always got a wall or car charger with me, so thats never an issue, and it doesn't take long to get it back to a full charge.

I will say that I have noticed that the back of the device gets pretty hot while charging, which is a bit unnerving, but as long as I can keep playing Angry Birds I'm good.

The only other issue is the short supply of decent cases for it. I currently have a case, but it doesn't protect the display, only the back and sides of it. I tried using Zagg's Invisible Shield, but discovered it was a waste of 20.00 since I couldn't get it to fit on the device without getting finger prints all over it. If you decide to purchase one of these screen protectors, take the time to watch a few youtube videos so you'll know what your getting into. Also remember, you only get one shot at it, because it only comes with one screen protector. I'm waiting for Otterbox to put out an updated case for it, but there is no telling how long that will be.

Lastly, I want to say how helpful the people at the Apple Store were. Originally, I wanted to purchase the Ipod Touch at Best Buy so I could use my reward card, but they didn't have the 32gig model in stock. I suggested to my lovely wife that we travel over to the Apple Store before trying another Best Buy. My thinking was that if anyone had what I wanted it would be the mothership.

Now, I had heard how creepy the sales people at those stores can be, because they are all so happy to be part of the evil Apple Empire, but I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. The smiling doe eyed lady greeted us at the door and after telling her what I wanted to purchase, she disappeared for a few minutes then returned with my purchase in hand. She then activated the device for me and even took the time to set up a few of my e-mail accounts. We talked a bit about the features and such, basically a tutorial of what was available and how I could go about setting things up. Of all the sales people I have encountered in my life, she is easily one of the top 5. It was kind of creepy but at the same time one of the most satisfying purchasing experiences to date. If only Steve Jobs could sell that sales person attitude to say McDonalds or even my local movie theater, he would own the world in a matter of days, not that he already doesn't.

Once I'm done playing with my new toy, I'll start blogging again full time. Maybe something about World of Warcraft and their recent patch update or even Civilization 5, possibly Halo Reach, both of which are consuming a bit of my time here and there. I will say that the real time killer for me these days is Minecraft. That game is just fantastic and very addictive. I've spent way too many nights up past 4am trying to dig a hole in some silly mountain while defending myself against exploding snakes and zombies.