Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Xbox One Reveal Post-mortem: Microsoft reveals expensive PVR which under limited circumstances can play games

May 28, 2013 2 comments

I’ve waited for a few days after Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal on May 21st 2013 to gather up the trickle of additional information that has been leaking out of the press in the aftermath of what has widely been considered one of the most disastrous console reveals of all time. While fanboys and media alike were quick to criticise the new machine, here I am going to present just the facts as we know them so far, and a dose of reality that some readers may find startling. Read more…

The Gaming Rant 3

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.

WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.

It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing: more controlled rage that will make me lose employment opportunities at Sony, Microsoft and Activision because their HR departments have no sense of humour. In reality these companies all do great work and produce great games – so let us waste no time in continuing to belittle their efforts.

Gran Turismo 5 Features

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will support head tracking.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will have rally mode in-car replay.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will support night mode.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will support 3D.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will support motion control.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will show live weather conditions.

Polyphony Digital have announced that Gran Turismo 5 will use 500,000 polygons per car.

Great. Does it support cars and tracks? Does it support the use of a standard PS3 controller? Good, then RELASE THE F*CKING THING.

What I’m thinking is, they should cut us a deal at this point. Need For Speed Shift had none of these things and it was an awesome driving game. Now, I’d hate to think that for my £40 I was spending £20 on 2 years of development of things I’m never going to use and have no need or wish for, so I think as punishment for packing in all this useless chaff, they should release the original version which I assume was ready circa 2008 direct to platinum for £20. Then I can just pay for the bits I actually want. A more than fair compromise I believe.

Racing game release dates

Split/Second – 21st May. ModNation Racers – 25th May. Blur – 28th May.


Seriously, these games are probably all going to be reasonably good at worst. Do you want me to buy them all or not? Nothing really notable since Need For Speed Shift and Forza 3, a few relatively minor releases like MotoGP and Sonic & Sega All-Stars in February, and essentially a drought then until 2014 when Gran Turismo 5 comes out. How about spreading them out over the summer? You know, the people who buy these games in late May probably aren’t going out into the dangerous summer sunshine anyway, so it’s not like you’ll lose any sales. And by the way, Disney vs Sony vs Activision? Sorry Activision… family looks after its own.

The Tester: Episodes 3 & 4

Fame Girl, you are the weakest link, goodbye! Luge, you are the weakest link, goodbye! So what is my beef this week? Actually not the challenges; gridiron with giant ping pong balls and live action role-playing certainly seem like excellently crafted ways to weed out good QA testers from bad ones. Sega choose all their testers that way, and look at the quality of the PS3 port of Bayonetta – it’s second-to-none.

My bone is that I’m actually starting to get into The Tester now. I am waiting for episode 6 to come out with bated breath. It has weaved its way into my life in a truly insipid manner. I will concede that I almost pooped out a large pink vibrating blob when it looked like Star was gonna get eliminated. And I am sort of sad to see Luge go but rather her than Star. Of course, rather any male than any female too. That’s just a given. Women make better reality TV – it’s more bitchy and emotional – and sexy. Unless they’re from the north, of course.

There was one stroke of genius to getting rid of Luge though. Doc – a lonely, desperate and presumably virgin gamer guy – grabbed onto the first attention he ever got from a female and fell in love in about 2 minutes, sitting there stroking her arms and hair and smiling at her with his puppy eyes. Well, more like Eye of Judgment but yeah. No doubt he was having trouble keeping his EyePet under control. The woman – in classic female manner – was completely oblivious to his feelings, probably used to having steady boyfriends and not knowing what it feels like not to be loved, and said nothing about him for the entire series, while he repeatedly stuck up for her then cried when she was eliminated. Watching a desperate grown man cry over a girl he’s known for 4 days and become utterly crushed and heartbroken, without her even noticing he’s “in love”: there’s nothing funnier. I applaud The Tester for this masterstroke of comedy genius.

Also, congratulations to the winners for their awesome good fortune in bagging a copy of MAG which they already own. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll get at least a tenner for it on eBay. I would say that would more than compensate for the money they lost taking a week off work at Burger King to participate on the show, but I’m guessing they probably haven’t entered the job market yet.

My controlled rage over the hairdressing application last week

Last week I said I’d go to the salon with a Move and ask her to do my hair like my EyePet, Sirocco. Well, just for fun, I did. No, I’m serious, unlike everything else I’ve written for TSA, this is actually true and here is the proof:

<pictures lost, sadly>

(Sirocco is the one on the right in case you’re confused)

As you can see it’s almost an exact likeness. Even Sirocco’s clothes are exactly what I wear on a daily basis. Yes, Helena the hair stylist did good. Except for a few things, which suddenly made me realise why Move Hairdresser is actually a genius piece of forward-thinking by Sony. Check out this bug report I filed at the salon:

  1. Helena refused to make my hair totally purple and orange because she said it would look “stupid”.
  2. Originally I wanted green as well but the salon had run out of green hair dye.
  3. It took 4 hours to style my hair.
  4. I had to pay actual non-in-game money at the end for reasons that were never really explained to me properly (£288.90 – I was expecting the standard Norway price of £140 – I nearly choked on my own bile)

The result? I had to butcher poor Sirocco’s hair – twice – to make this article look authentic. Sirocco would never have questioned my judgment so rudely like that, he would never have run out of green dye and he certainly wouldn’t have had the audacity to make me insert coins in the Bluray slot to continue. Plus, think how many times I could’ve beaten God of War 3 if those 4 hours hadn’t been so cruelly stolen from me. Sirocco takes 10 minutes to style, max, and he’d never demand I leave the living room, although he does make me move my glass coffee table and sit at an uncomfortable angle on the floor. But I blame his parents – Mr and Mrs. Sony – for stupid design.

Helena also declined my generous offer to cut and dye my hair with a Move. Despite me showing her how realistically I could punch her in the boobs with it, and that it has a futuristic feature called “buttons”, she stuck to her old-fashioned ways and used actual scissors and hair dye to do it. To be fair, I can respect a hair stylist who is skilled enough to do her job without a motion controller – that takes genuine commitment, not like us EyePet stylist wannabes. We think because we can do it with a magic card we’re gonna be great at it in real life. So who here owns a plastic guitar and plays on expert? Yes, you are not a good guitarist, get over it. I can own you in Need For Speed, but put me in a real car and people will inevitably die, although I’ll probably still get a lot of “points” for it.

So I’ve decided. I’m going to buy a 3D TV, 3D capture card and 3D printer. Then I’m going to shave my head bald. Every time I want to re-style my hair, I will just fire up the EyePet, set it how I want it, then print it and glue it (with Pritt Stick) to my forehead. The expensive initial investment will be far outweighed by the benefits within a year or so. I recommend all women seriously consider this option to help cut their costs in these tough financial times. Obviously, the advanced Move hairdressing application will only make this better, so I retract last week’s statement and I would now like to applaud Sony’s forward-thinking attitude towards women’s needs.

Games with Twitter feeds

I mean seriously, what the f*ck? As if being forced to use FacePalmBook to stay in touch with a load of friends I don’t have wasn’t bad enough, now games are going to twat you with my progress?

Katy turned on her PlayStation 3.

Katy loaded Noby Noby Boy.

Katy’s nob grew by 20 metres today.

Katy paused the game to go for a crap.

That’s… just what I always wanted. I’m all for socialising, but automating it sort of defeats the point doesn’t it? Were you reading last week? If so, imagine Twitter only had 4 letters. You get my drift.

PSN Chat

Fritz. Trou. Pene (the Norwegian word for pretty). Imbecile. Transsexual. Hitler. Lesbian. Panties. Just a few of the many words that are censored on PSN text chat.

Masturbate. Bollocks. Transvestite. Bush. Gay. Boxers. Just a few of the words that aren’t censored on PSN text chat.

A bit self-contradictory no? It’s ok to be a gay man, but if you’re a lesbian, oh no, that’s bad. We can stick up for Bush but not for Hitler? Seriously, who is the one most at fault out of those two. And why is it that masturbate isn’t moderated but masturbation is? Nobody should ever moderate masturbation – it’s a beautiful thing (as long as I don’t have to watch you on webcam).

How do I know this amazing information? Well I had the displeasure of humoring a new PS3 owner with text chat the other day. I promised him the video and voice chat was much better and that text chat was added as an afterthought. He (rightly) bemoaned the lack of time-stamping and described the interface as “this is what NASA had in 1986”. Though seeing how fast NASA gets things done, that’s probably what they’re still using now. So we went through all the swears, political, religious, sexual, geographical and fetish words we could think of since trying to have normal conversation was proving inviable due to the over-zealous starring out of normal words (I was in the middle of a game of FFXIII, so naturally I was bored). It was a good laugh but I really learned something about myself that night, namely that I know way more bad words than even I realised, which coming from my potty mouth is really saying something.

When text chat was first released, the word ‘Katy’ was moderated. I kid you not. My name is a swear word people. Wrong. My middle name is a swear word, much like Gordon Ramsay’s. Also what’s

with the character limit? It was 32 but

now it has been increased to a staggeri

ng 64. Which makes for conversation

s like this.

Dragon Age Origins Awakening DLC

How much?! Do I have a money tree at the bottom of my garden? (I did actually, but Gamestop cut it down) Are CB and I doing secret drug trafficking deals on the side to meet our financial DLC needs? Well.. he might be, but I’m not. I don’t even have more than 2 kilos of cocaine in my house at any one time or it would be illegal. Hell I don’t even sell Romanian children anymore since they introduced a £40 fine for getting caught – and besides, children don’t grow on trees (thank God).

I know you get a lot of content for your money here, but, £35? Please. Make it £10 or even £15 at a push and I’m sold. For £35 I can buy another game. Or 1/4th of weed. Or 1/8th of a mediocre haircut.

People telling me I have a dream job

Been told that quite a few times this week for some reason, so let’s see. Taking notes. Replaying sections repeatedly. Changing every setting one by one. Playing game modes you’re not interested in. Playing entire games you’re not interested in. Drafting and re-drafting article outlines. Submitting technical bug reports. Using an Xbox 360 controller. These are just some of the unpleasant acts associated with beta testing and reviewing games.

The worst thing though, is when you take something you love and it becomes a chore. A guy told me on PSN a while back “wow you have more games than Jesus!”. So Jesus didn’t have a PS3? Christ Almighty I would never have figured that out if you hadn’t told me. The reality is I have inserted a lot of game disks into my PS3 which by coincidence happen to live on my shelf. Have I played the majority of them? No, they’re just there to look cool. By way of illustration, here is a picture of some of the games I acquired between November and March:

<picture lost>

I know what you’re thinking: you lucky bitch, right? It’s not lucky if you don’t have time to play them. Think of it like this: you’re a 35-year old man. You have 40 Russian brides (don’t ask), they’re all hot and you want to do them all so badly, and they’re all lying naked in your house with their legs spread wide open indicating their readiness. You have a little ogle at each one for a few minutes reveling in their beauty and craftsmanship, but you’re tired from work and you know that the next adoption is happening tomorrow and she’s gonna be even sweeter. You tell each one softly you’ll get round to them soon but you have some other, younger brides you have to attend to first. But it turns out the new ones take a lot longer to cum, and work is bogging you down, so you struggle along trying but failing to satisfy the new ones and wish you had had time to entertain the others.

So, my games are just like my girly friends: they are all so tempting, but one is never enough; focus on one and the others will all start bitching for your attention, but when push comes to shove you can’t really get involved with any of them even though you really want to. Which makes the next rant deliciously ironic.

I got a new girlfriend

Well, that’s a fair bit of creative license to put it mildly. A more accurate description would be, I met this random bitch who shows some potential. She’s heard of Final Fantasy and hates World of Warcraft – that was all I needed to know. Please, hold your congratulations, this is a disaster of epic proportions. Not only do I have a very busy and extremely important gaming schedule to keep, but now I have to sexually amuse some gorgeously attractive, intelligent, interesting, funny, kind and caring whore as well? How am I going to fit her in between gaming, er I mean, how am I going to fit gaming in between her? Well, depends how tight she is I suppose.

Then there’s commitment. I can’t even commit to one game at a time, let alone one woman. And of course those inevitable nights: me, busy whoring away at Bioshock 2 trying to nail those last trophies, and the bitch: “Katy… I want to go out. Katy, I want to have dinner now. Katy, you need to clean up. Katy, you never spend any time with me! *pout*”. Yes, well, talk to the careface. This kind of social interaction is way over my head. But I’m guessing when she reads this, it probably won’t be a problem anymore. Whoops.*

Video games corrupt children

Yes, yes they do. Video games are the root of all evil. Sort of like TV, movies, magazines, print media in general, the internet, Twitter (which is not part of the internet and deserves its own special category) and occasional use of marijuana. It’s not called the Sixth Axis for nothing you know. But the real question is: who really gives a fuck?

I’m in favour of Darwinian selection. If video games or any other form of media corrupt a child, then that child is by definition too easily influenced, therefore doesn’t have a stable self-image, therefore is weak, therefore should be shot. Parents are not exempt. If Mr and Mrs. Stupid buy their 12-year old son an 18-rated game and then he finds daddy’s gun and shoots him in the face, well it was probably well deserved and I applaud the child for having the courage to punish irresponsible parenting via active eugenics. What about online devices? TV is an excellent tool for education as we all know, and all parents watch TV, therefore they know very well that 240% of internet users are pedophiles. So then they buy little Johnny Stupid a 360 and act surprised when they find videos of him being molested by a 50-year old on YouTube.

I mean look at me. I’ve been playing video games since I was 3 years old, and I’m a perfectly calm, balanced and well-rounded individual. I don’t show any signs of rage or aggression at all.

I leave you with this thought: wouldn’t it be better to just let the advocacy nutters have their way? Let them ban children from playing video games. Why? Well first of all we’re all adults so it won’t affect us anyway, and those of you with kids might be forced to do some actual parenting. But the real reason why I say let them win is simple: it will make the gaming world a better place. We will no longer have to put up with their kids’ stupid friend requests and malformed sentences, but best of all, we will no longer have to listen to them bitch and whine on their fucking headsets.

I wish you all a great weekend.

* She has now dumped me. Told you.


Top Ten: When The Servers Go Down

March 4, 2010 Leave a comment

This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.

WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.

We’re all familiar with it: you log on for a bit of team deathmatch, or to buy that new downloadable game that got a 103% average score on Metacritic, only to see some obscure error code: your console’s way of telling you the servers are down. Downtime causes great pain and suffering to all those affected, in some cases leading users to take such extreme action as cleaning the house or eating. Therefore, it’s important to have a plan for when that inevitable downtime comes. How can you be best prepared? This 10-step survival guide will show you.

1. Panic

It’s important not to remain calm when downtime strikes, otherwise it may seem like you don’t care. The ramifications of mass calm are dire: the admins may think nobody is really bothered and go for lunch instead. Panic is key to making the time pass faster and getting the problem solved as quickly as possible.

2. Reboot

I’ll be a little more specific: turn off your device, unplug it from the mains, wait 30 seconds, then plug it in and turn it on again. Anyone who has ever called Sky or their ISP about a faulty set-top box or modem knows that rebooting the client device is the universal solution to 100% of all server-related problems. Heed their advice.

3. Hammer the Reconnect button repeatedly

It’s important to keep server load as high as possible during downtime, as it helps the admins check and resolve any problems more quickly and assists with the testing process. Logic dictates that a server can be tested for bugs faster when people are trying to use it than when it is unoccupied.

4. Call Sony or Microsoft technical support

Level 1 tech support are extremely well-versed in server issues and are always kept up to date with the latest information. When there is server downtime, call volume is generally low so this is an especially good time to call for assistance. The level 1 staff will be able to fix the server for you while you’re on the phone and you’ll be up and running again in no time. They may also offer expert advice such as waiting, rebooting as above or returning your machine for repair – crucial knowledge which is all too-often forgotten. Tech support is underrated; these are fine people, salt of the earth. Where would we be without them?

5. Write an abusive post on the company’s blog or a large gaming web site

Nothing says you care like a well-timed “fuck you”. There are several advantages here; the first two are establishing mutual respect, and admin motivation. Imagine you are face to face in the office. You say “my God you useless retards, I am so sick of this shit, I paid for this service! Or if it’s PSN, I didn’t, but I paid for my PS3 goddammit and now I can’t use it at all. You guys are amateurs, I’m never buying another game from you.” Not only will the responsible admins respect you more, but this also lets them know you really like their service and will motivate them to fix it faster than they would if you hadn’t waxed visceral at them. The third advantage is time-saving: like a horse being whipped, the downtime will get fixed much faster if the staff are constantly bombarded with abuse they have to respond to, rather than just being left to trot along at their own pace.

6. Heap praise on the admins on the company’s blog or a large gaming web site

Server downtime is a good moment to find new gameplay buddies. Posting messages like “you’re doing a great job, I’m with you!” or “take the time you need to fix it properly” will make you instantly more popular with the other gamers, and you’ll quickly find your inbox filling up with friend requests.

It’s also important to establish a clear separation between player and company employee. Those people who respond to a comment of praise with “what are you kidding me? Do you work for Sony or something?” are far more astute than you might think. Create boundaries by posting praise with your normal screenname. This will ensure there is no confusion and it will be clear you an impartial gamer, not an employee.

7. Reconfigure your internet connection

This includes closing any ports you may have open, re-arranging the ethernet cables in your router in an arbitrary fashion, enabling your firewall, changing your IP address, resetting the router to its factory defaults and so on. Anything you can think of that might help. It should be second nature with the knowledge you have by now to know that when you and all your friends can’t connect, the servers must be down because of your internet connection, and resetting it will fix both your and your friends’ connection issues.

8. Post a conspiracy theory

As with making friends in step 5, now is also a good time to weed out the chaff. Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, and by everyone, I mean idiots. Catch these people out and improve the company’s reputation to boot by coming up with a good conspiracy. It doesn’t have to be plausible or in any way factually accurate, it just has to be couched in a way that makes gullible people believe it. Once you’ve got a list of respondents who agree with the theory, you can add them to your block list. Some examples follow:

Your 360 died and when you went to town to buy another one, all they had in stock was Wiis. This is a clear case of Nintendo paying Microsoft off to send a virus to Xbox 360s in your town only, with Microsoft in exchange reducing stock levels in your area.

Your downloaded games have become corrupted. The manufacturer did this on purpose, hoping you would not notice you could re-download them for free and would pay for new copies.

Did your PS3 die with a YLoD one day after the warranty expired? Sony engineered the machine that way on purpose to make you buy a new one. You’ll notice here the theory overlooks the fact that Sony make a loss on each hardware unit sold. Some people with moderate intelligence may try to catch you out here, but you can foil them with a secondary conspiracy: Sony just want you to think that so you feel sorry for them and buy more games.

Venessa Phelps takes a dump that is so potent that not only can it be smelled from Redmond, it actually seeps into the server storing all the Xbox Live Silver subcription data and destroys the hard drives. Again, a clear case of backhander pay-offs. In this case Microsoft paid Venessa Phelps to make you upgrade to a Gold membership.

9. Reformat

It is well-known by experts that deleting all your game saves, install data, downloaded games, add-on packs and other DLC in one sweep not only improves the performance of your machine but also takes the load off the servers allowing them to run more smoothly. If you all reformat when the servers go down, this will help them come up again much faster. Always reformat during server downtime. Every little helps.

10. Check the date

Is it 1st March 2011, 2013 or 2014? Relax. Sony schedule a mostly annual 24-hour maintenance window for PlayStation Network every 1st March. It commences at 0000 GMT and ends at precisely 2359 GMT. You may have heard conspiracy theories about a bug in the PS3’s internal clock. Pay these uninformed peasants no mind; these rumours are completely unfounded and Sony have a large team of engineers queueing at Dunkin Donuts right now working extremely hard to identify and resolve any outstanding maintenance issues. The downtime will always be over within 24 hours.

11. Pull your machine apart

Voiding the warranty on your console is an excellent way to pass the time while the servers are down. Dismantling your machine requires only a bare minimum of skill with a screwdriver and almost all of the parts inside are easily user-serviceable. Try removing and replacing the laser from the DVD or Blu-ray drive as a simple introductory exercise if you are new to warranty voiding as a pastime. You can also try upgrading the RAM by desoldering the existing memory chips and gluing in some much faster and higher capacity standard PC memory. I’ve tried this and it makes all my games faster. If you don’t have a desoldering tool, use a penknife to cut a hole in the motherboard around the memory chips, which can then be safely removed.

12. Practice counting to ten

A skill often forgotten – particularly by female writers – counting from 1 to 10 is another good way to pass the time, and will help you sharpen up your math skills for Blue Toad Murder Files to boot.

Finally, a word of warning. Under NO circumstances should you leave your premises during a server outage. Despite what you may have heard from loved ones and your psychiatrist, going outside is extremely risky and reckless behaviour and could lead to such negative exposures as the Sun’s dangerous UV rays, physical exertion and outside interactions. Please remember that outside interactions are not rated by ESRB.

Of course, the worst-case scenario of leaving your premises is that you may even miss the moment when the servers come back up, which could lead to the nightmare scenarios of having to wait a few extra minutes for that new DLC to download, or your friends soaring past you in level, making the game virtually unplayable.

If you do feel the compulsion to go outside, do remember that virtual money is invalid in the real world and you should always carry with you a supply of soda potions and pizza breads in case your stamina starts to run low. Try to keep the other items you’re carrying to a minimum as it will slow down your maximum walking speed and make returning to your premises more difficult.

Good luck!


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