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Halo

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  1. Holy crap. Just seen this. Ridiculous. Wouldn’t have thought in a million years Activision would be a viable acquisition target.
  2. I don’t think it was just that but it didn’t help. I think they fundamentally didn’t understand the market and the difficulty of building a platform and an audience, arrogantly assuming the tech and ports of some of the same games as other platforms would be sufficient. To my mind, it would be akin to Microsoft releasing the Xbox with no exclusives 20 years ago then being baffled when nobody bought it. Anyway, publishers handing over PC gaming to Valve, especially Activision with Modern Warfare 2. Likely seemed like a good idea at the time, especially given the status of PC gaming, comparing the cut to traditional retail, the focus on short-term revenue and the relative ease of doing so, but giving them a perpetual cut of revenue for absolute minimal effort compared with the other platforms was obviously a huge mistake in retrospect. Microsoft and EA later realised what they had done but it was too late to make an impact. Apple’s pricing policy on iOS driving anything but F2P off the platform. Probably crying themselves to death with dollar bills given the profitability of the App Store and devices but still - it’s a complete wasteland for paid software at this point and it didn’t have to be.
  3. Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon is £3.99
  4. Sadly, the Retrobit controllers are superficial imitations - they share the same outward design but have very different materials (and presumably internal design) meaning they don't feel 'right' and seem far less robust than the original controllers.
  5. The DualShock/Analogue and Saturn 3D pads were both released as peripherals, at least initially, while the N64 shipped with its pad. Also, the DualShock design is terrible. It took a genuinely great 2D pad and awkwardly bolted on two analogue sticks in a way that makes them aggressively uncomfortable to use.
  6. The N64 controller makes sense if you consider it as a hedge against whether analogue controls, along with 3D games, would really take off and supplant 2D games - it’s a controller that can support both control schemes. In retrospect, that seems a bit silly, but it wouldn’t have been as clearcut when it was originally designed.
  7. I’m fascinated that people seem to want to hate Chris Pratt. As far as I can tell, the extent of it is that he occasionally mentions his Christianity and has made some very vague allusions to right-wing stuff. You’d have to go out of your way to find it and have a problem with it.
  8. I think the Xbox team is super-sensitive about anything negative that may erode trust and goodwill in their brand following the Xbone debacle. Not a bad thing.
  9. The worst people on television are people who say “I would never go for the lower offer” or “I could never take a minus” on The Chase. Also, I Literally Just Told You and The Weakest Link are probably the best two new game shows of the past year. ILJTY’s first episode wasn’t really representative of the other episodes of the show, which have been funnier, and The Weakest Link with a softer and less shticky host has refreshed the format.
  10. Nvidia thinks we all want cars to have avatars which will tell us if there’s a Michelin starred restaurant nearby. I guess if you can afford their graphics cards…
  11. FYI, this is a ghost kitchen for Frankie & Benny's.
  12. It seems likely it was delayed but whether that results in a good finished product is a different question entirely. It seems like a giant red flag when, after 4 years of development and a year from release, they have only shown a (weirdly low frame rate) cinematic trailer and no gameplay. My guess is they are having major development issues - if the game was in a good place then they would have shown more by now.
  13. Chortle: Taskmaster might move away from comedians As long as they don’t scrape the barrel with tedious reality stars, which I can’t see them doing and they have avoided doing with the specials, then this would be positive. I think the specials have proven that anyone with the right attitude can be good, even people you wouldn’t expect.
  14. Given Steam collapsed when they put up pre-orders for their handheld that seems like a strange assumption to make.
  15. Yes, you could buy games through Games for Windows Live for many years until they discontinued the service. And, yes, the Direct2Drive brand still remains, but has little to do with the original storefront, having been sold at least twice. The games purchased way back when are no-longer available. I think you're being disingenuous. I do think there's a genuine problem that digital licenses are tied to individual platforms. A mechanism for digital licenses to be shared across platforms would be genuinely useful for a variety of reasons for end-users, including help mitigate the discontinuation of individual services and enable people to move between digital download services in a way they cannot currently do. A blockchain would be a potential mechanism for delivering it. If you disagree with that, that's fine. Edit: I also believe digital licenses being tied to individual platforms helps entrench large "trusted" digital sellers by creating a high barrier to entry, reducing innovation and keeping retailer margins artificially high.
  16. Direct2Drive was the big one before Steam and all their downloads are long gone even if the brand remains. Games for Windows Live is also long dead and I had purchases in that too. It’s also not just about that, it’s the flexibility to move to different platforms based on their features rather than being locked-in. We’ve seen a repeated pattern where these centralised tech monoliths become increasingly user-hostile, greedy or simply lazy. This would help prevent that. Generally, I’m sceptical of blockchain bro bullshit, but distributed trust-free proof of ownership akin to software licenses is basically a case study for it.
  17. Sure… if you have them all downloaded and stored somewhere. Given that GOG have allowed you to import games via the Steam API then I don’t think this is that much of a leap. It would require significant take up by many stores to get any traction as a way of competing with the Steam behemoth.
  18. Yes, I came to the same conclusion recently that games licenses could be one of the few practical uses of Blockchain. If GOG, Epic and other stores got together then you could have a blockchain of games licence ownership. That way if, say, GOG shutdown, you could potentially still have your license and access to your games through other stores, reducing the risk to the end-user from buying from unproven retailers. The blockchain doesn’t contain the games themselves, just the license itself - as with now, you’d go through a third party, such as GOG or EGS, to prove your ownership and download them. Of course, the associated bandwidth cost might mean they attach a small charge to doing this. The actual blockchain itself could be mostly transparent to end-users as it would be dealt with by the various vendors. I don’t think second-hand sales would happen because publishers wouldn’t want it but there’s still value there.
  19. Amazon have PS5 stock now https://smile.amazon.co.uk/PlayStation-9395003-5-Console/dp/B08H95Y452/ref=sr_1_2?crid=37HMER6404TJM&keywords=PS5&qid=1640075644&sprefix=ps5%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-2 All gone!
  20. New shows from the last week: I Literally Just Told You - Thursday 10pm on C4 - Comedic gameshow show from Jimmy Carr that's slightly less overtly comedic and more serious gameshow than advertised. The gimmick is that some of the questions are based around what happens on the show - but it's less gimmicky and obnoxious than it could be. The Weakest Link - Saturday 6:25pm on BBC1 - Romesh Ranganathan hosts a celebrity reboot of the show.
  21. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 trailer It genuinely looks pretty good and I don’t know how to feel about that.
  22. “Because of your passion for Halo, and your constructive feedback, we gave it more time” is a great way to spin the slightly less-than-constructive Halo Infinite feedback. I mean, the consensus wasn’t wrong (it looked rough) and they probably did the right thing delaying it but still.
  23. Catching up with this now, but it’s easy to forget how much of a technical feat the original Xbox One BC programme was.
  24. Even worse, it’s working intermittently - just got charged full price at checkout for a sale item when it said the discounted price on the store page, so now I have to go through the effort of getting a refund and rebuying it which is a bit irritating. If buying anything, make sure to double check everything on the confirmation screen.
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