Splitgate Review

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cross Halo Multiplayer, with valves classic game Portal in some sort of Arena Deathmatch of super spiciness? Me either, but apparently the guys and 1047 games did. Meet Splitgate!

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Rust – Console Edition

Okay, let me start off by saying, I absolutely love Rust, the concept is great, the gameplay is getting there, and the player base is Toxic AF (and that is not bad for this game).

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Xbox Live Gold, The great price reversion of 2021!

So, apparently the internet didn’t take the hike in cost of Xbox Live Gold so well. It would appear the internet bullied a massive, multibillion dollar corporation into caving in and restoring the old prices.

Continue reading “Xbox Live Gold, The great price reversion of 2021!”

Xbox Live Gold, The great price hike of 2021!

So I guess Microsoft, and Xbox have decided to bring the live gold prices to a whole new level.

What this means is the cost of gaming on Xbox goes up. Free games, such as Fortnite will require you to pay to play on this service, at an even higher rate. This itself is a serious issue that will drive people away.

For the past year Xbox has worked hard to foster good-will after the debacle known as the Xbox One. And this change could in fact, wash away all that good-will that they have in fact, earned. Twitter is already a buzz with hate for this new change. Rightfully so. I am in full agreement with this as an Xbox gamer this looks like an attack on people still using Xbox Live Gold, as this pricing is closer to that of Gamepass, and that makes the Xbox Gamepass Ultimate subscription even more of a deal. Thus driving the Gamepass service.


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This is truly an interesting development from Xbox, on top of that, today, none of the higher-up people from Xbox, like Phil Spencer, (@XBoxP3) have spoken out on twitter to defend this change. It would seem they are avoiding the discussion while they come to terms with what they have just done, which is screw over the gamers and the new love the platform has been receiving.

In recent months there has been rumour that Xbox Live Gold would be removed in favour of gamepass, it would seem this rumour has been squashed. Xbox appears to of kicked themselves in the proverbial dick today.

Xbox needs to move beyond the pay-to-play online mentality, they want to improve the network capability, which is why we pay for the ‘online’ capability. But this is 2021, gaming on PC, is free, even when I am playing video games on my Xbox Series X, I am using discord on my PC to voice chat with people. I don’t put myself through the Xbox network. I understand financially the reason for the costs, however the pay to play / use online features is a kick in the dick in 2021. They should of found a new way to monetize their network by now. This is a clear sign that they are not thinking outside the box when it comes to furthering their network, which is sad.

Image Courtesy of Eurogamer.

As you can see, the Xbox dashboard contains advertisements for products (namely the elite series 2 controller in this picture). They profit from every digital sale, every subscription, this is an interesting mechanism for growth, as they are monetizing their console, advertising their own store, and all products sold through it. This alone should be more than enough profit for them to keep their network running, and running well.

And when I say subscriptions, I am not referring to gold, but to gamepass, ea access, and gamepass ultimate. Gold subscriptions themselves seem at this point in time, out of place. The network touts a very profitable source of income for Microsoft.

As a consumer, this appears to simply be greed and an attack on the gamers who utilize their plastic boxes. But from the Xbox/Microsoft business perspective, this probably covers the cost of inflation as it has been years upon years since they increased the rate. However, increasing the rate during a global pandemic almost seems counter intuitive as people are out of work as is. This makes it incredibly difficult for people to prioritize gaming over anything else, and with the increase, means less people will utilize this service.

Whatever the case may be for Microsoft to increase the rate, only time will tell if this has a long standing negative impact on the bottom line of Xbox’s profit margins. Only time will tell, but my bet is that this was done to drive sales of Gamepass Ultimate, and I am sticking to that. Prove me wrong Xbox, do something with this additional cost, make it public, tell us what the true driving matter behind this decision was.

Xbox Series X/S and the NextGen

Xbox Series X | Photo from WindowsCentral

Lets talk Xbox:

For the longest time I have been a very large fan of the Xbox brand, but lets be honest, the Xbox One generation was less than stellar. I fan-boy’d out for it for a good long time, defended it and Microsoft. I hoped it would get better, but Sony just kept putting more nails in the coffin that was Xbox.

The narrative of no exclusives, anti-consumerism plagued the start of Xbox One, when they forced the Kinect (which I love btw, not that it was forced, but the device itself). This created a very negative drive for the Xbox teams to work against.

They changed leadership at Xbox, and the glorious Phil Spencer came in. This is when change started happening. It wouldn’t be enough to save the current generation of Xbox from slaughter in the so called ‘console wars’, but it would help setup the next generation by restoring some of its name, and showing that they were in-fact, pro-consumer.

How I define that is the Xbox One X, Backward Compatibility, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for PC. They showed an ultimate move by creating a powerful console to end the generation, and they created a Netflix style service for streaming games if you will and put more in the distance.

That more in the distance was the next generation, with aspects like Project XCloud, and the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X. Now while the Xbox Series S is a streaming console, no optical drive, it is still more powerful than the current generation consoles. While we are on that topic, the Xbox Series X is even more powerful than that, being the most powerful console outright. See below.


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Xbox Series X Specs:

  • CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • Die Size: 360.45 mm2
  • Process: 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
  • Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
  • Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVME SSD
  • I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s
  • Expandable Storage: 1TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
  • External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
  • Runs cooler than the Xbox One X (click here for the info)

The Narrative:

Xbox has changed the narrative of power, providing simply, the most powerful gaming machine in the console world. But not having exclusives narrative hasn’t changed, yet, Microsoft bought Zenimax (a 7.5billion USD purchase), and brought its total studios to 23 game studios. These studios having been recently purchased are not quite putting out exclusive content yet. However, this does change the narrative. Xbox has games. Xbox has Power, but now people argue over the term exclusive, as the games are also available on PC. Lets talk about that.

Exclusive to the Microsoft driven Ecosystem should be the term used instead of exclusive to console. Microsoft has changed the way they do business with regards to gaming. By not excluding the PC element, they are increasing their overall user base of software. Whether it derives from PC, or Xbox, or even mobile with Project XCloud and Game Pass, Microsoft holds users in their ecosystem. The narrative now when looked at from a more logical point of view is, Xbox has games, power, and is pro-consumer.

These three narratives were the driving force behind poor reception to the last generation. So coming into the next generation, the narrative is quite different. People have to understand that generational leaps and changes happen, and this is a good step in the right direction for Microsoft and the Xbox brand.


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What is next:

November 10th, 2020, Xbox Fans, new users, and even some converts from other consoles will be getting their hands on the Xbox Series X/S. And while there are no real exclusives that we know of for launch yet (there could be some they haven’t announced), people will be getting a console that plays four, count them, four generations of Xbox Games natively. I’ll list them in-case you’re confused.

  • OG Xbox
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X

There you have it, four generations of Xbox titles that will work day one. Over 1000 games will work at launch, I’m probably way off with that number, as they said all Xbox One titles will work, plus the BC Library from Xbox and Xbox 360, plus obviously the new generation of titles will work. That is pro-consumerism, and very well done might I add.

Proof?

You got it fam!

How about a nice Xbox Series X commercial?

Perhaps you wanna see what Phil Spencer has said with the wonderful people over at Kotaku?

Some people are worried about Bethesda.. Don’t worry, this infographic will help.

Worlds Await:


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Conclusion:

In conclusion, the next generation Xbox console will be defining the next 8 years of console gaming. Microsoft continues to invest in gaming, and put the consumer at the forefront of the decisions, this creates a positive atmosphere for gaming, gamers, families, and yes, even competitors.

I am excited to see this new generation kick off. But before I finish things off here, I love Sony as much as I love Xbox, this article was simple about the positive change that Xbox has undergone and the future of gaming. No matter where you play, I hope you are having fun!