Killed the car for a faster horse? Not me.

I was very happy for Microsoft to continue with their original xbox one plans. I just wasn’t going to buy it. At that point it stopped being my problem and started being Microsoft’s problem. Now enthusiasts who were in favour of Microsoft’s original direction are blaming the army of comentards of which I was one for halting progress but we must remember it was Microsoft’s decision to U-turn.

English: Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone...
English: Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference Español: Presentación del iPhone 4 por Steve Jobs en la Worldwide Developers Conference del año 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple under the masterful leadership of the late Steve Jobs were a fantastic example of a company saying we’re going to do something new, something a bit different, something we think is better, and we hope you’ll come with us. People did. Apple and in particular Steve Jobs were genuine thought leaders.

Companies do not have a fundamental right to our money. Most of us live in fairly free countries where personal choice is paramount, and that extends to what we choose to spend our money on. You can produce something radically different but if you want us to buy it, we must want to buy it. That is where Microsoft failed.

I can see the argument for online games with massive worlds which evolve even when you’re not playing, games in which my save has an impact on my friends and we can interact directly and indirectly and that is very exciting, I can see games like this being huge. But if you make a game like that then you are making an online game. No one expects an online game to work offline.

Mandating to sign in, even if only once every 24hours, to play purely offline games such as Peggle is nothing other than intrusive DRM.

To those who would blame me and those like me for killing progress you must remember all we could ever have done is not buy it. Microsoft pulled the trigger.


We’re trying to make gaming more welcoming to girls but there’s just too many trolls in here

Women gamers tend to be more intelligent than the average male gamer. I’ll caveat that this is based purely on my own anecdotal experience but I wanted an attention grabbing first line to appear in the preview panel ;-). We know intelligent people tend to be less susceptible to advertising so irrespective of our own opinions otherwise it’s easy to see why the marketing money is spent pitching at young men.

New Troll and Old Troll (Front)

New Troll and Old Troll (Front) (Photo credit: Dunechaser)

We shouldn’t blame the industry as a whole. The hard working creators of games do not create their products trying to keep women out, they make them for anyone who would enjoy them so why a small subset of gamers in immature male trolls feel games are their exclusive domain baffles me.

The success of a marketing campaign can only really be measured in sales numbers and the low-hanging-fruit in this case are young men who can be convinced to pre-order any game of sequel number four or higher. But this male-oriented marketing only serves to reinforce the idea that hardcore gaming is a male only affair.

Mature gamers male and female alike are working to dispel this myth of male entitlement in favour of equality but it’s hard to do in-game without feeding the trolls. There are people who believe the world is flat and there is nothing we can say to convince them otherwise. Likewise with immature gamers how can we reason with people who won’t listen, who instead respond with a barrage of insults they would never say to someone’s face.

There needs to be real-world implications. The British Police have already started prosecuting for grossly offensive tweets, maybe this should be applied to in-game chatter as well. Even permabans are having little effect.

Microsoft set to boost PC sales

Historic Microsoft photo of Paul Allen (left) ...

Historic Microsoft photo of Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates (respectively) on October 19, 1981 surrounded by PCs after signing a major contract with IBM to develop software for its upcoming PC line. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who follows the tech industry as a whole will know PC sales have plummeted and many industry analysts put a sizeable part of the blame on Microsoft for the disastrously un-intuitive Windows 8.

I’ve been delighted to see Microsoft rectify this and announce plans set to boost PC sales… by revealing details for an utterly terrible xbox one.

Signing in once a day doesn’t sound too bad on the surface but when we look at the availability issues Microsoft has had with Office 365 then what do we do when we need to “check in” at a time they’re down? I can do always on but I’m not confident Microsoft can. What about later on down the line when the xbox 4 comes out, are they going to turn the serves off and force us to upgrade?

I don’t like the idea of having to beg Microsoft to let me play my games (and they are my games because I paid for them) and them having the ability to turn my console into a very expensive brick when it’s no longer profitable for them.

What this console war has abundantly hammered home to me is just how flexible and open PC gaming is. A friend of mine was telling me about Skyrim mods, I love Skyrim but finding out about some of these high end mods makes me feel I lost out. Some are like having a near-professionally made 20+ hour DLC pack but for free.

If Microsoft insist on viewing me as a wallet on legs then I’m going to use those legs and walk.

Today I cancelled my xbox live automatic renewal subscription.