BOFH_UK Comments

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  • Microsoft's PR blunders caused Sony to re-write E3 PlayStation 4 script

  • BOFH_UK 09/07/2014

    You know I still wonder if things would have been different had MS not led with TV. If they'd pitched the X1 as a games machine first (and, let's be honest, they had a decent launch line up) would the backlash have been quite so viscous? Okay, granted, the always-online thing was ludicrous but there were some interesting ideas tucked in there. Reply 0
  • Samsung's Gear VR headset revealed in leaked image

  • BOFH_UK 09/07/2014

    Leaving aside the whole 'strap a phone to your face' part for a moment surely any VR headset needs to arrive with a compelling reason to use it? 3D TV's have already shown just how (un)willing people are to put on lightweight glasses, surely the market for the facephone as a media consumption device is measured in single digits? Reply +5
  • Destiny beta release dates, expansions announced

  • BOFH_UK 08/07/2014

    @Gayrath Actually it's the other way round, the maintenance period hits the PS3 and 4 beta which starts on the 17th. Maintenance on 21st and 22nd then the full beta on the 23rd. Still seems like a daft thing to do mind. Reply 0
  • Gran Turismo 7 in the works, standard cars set to stay

  • BOFH_UK 27/06/2014

    At some point Polyphony is going to have to bite the bullet and start over on the car models. The difference is already jarring on the PS3 (especially if you play in cockpit view!) but it's going to be a farce on the PS4.

    While Turn 10 copped a lot of flack for 'only' having around 200 cars in FM5 they did a really good job of curating them and I've never felt short changed while playing. Same with the circuits, yes more would be better but there were just about enough and the quality was high across the board. Frankly I think they were pretty cunning to get the pain out of the way now at the very start of the generation so they can build out for future versions.
    Reply +16
  • Titanfall update four adds new features, Marked for Death mode

  • BOFH_UK 25/06/2014

    Decent update, though Respawn really need to get SLI sorted out for our PC brethren. The increase in Burn Card limits will be welcome, especially the ability to still receive new cards when you're at max hand size. Weapon balancing sounds about right (most players seem to be packing either the R101, Shotgun or R97) and the ability to customise Titans is long overdue (even if it's not the full-blown Forza style editor I'd hoped for). Matchmaking still needs a bit of tweaking mind, bloody depressing joining a team of gen 1's and seeing no-one under gen 9 on the other side. Reply +1
  • Sniper Elite 3 has a 10GB day one patch on Xbox One

  • BOFH_UK 23/06/2014

    @nottorp Actually, Xbox accepts ANY hard drive via USB3 up to, I believe, 16Tb per USB port. That includes RAID arrays that can give some redundancy if a drive fails if you're really paranoid. Now can this ridiculous argument please go away for ever? Reply +16
  • E3 2014: the relaunch of brand Xbox One

  • BOFH_UK 18/06/2014

    For me the management change is reflecting bigger changes at Microsoft. The old view of 'Windows Everywhere' is slowly but surely being shuffled aside and business units are being freed up (a little, anyway) to make sensible decisions regarding their products. Office on iPad is one example, treating the XB1 as a gaming device another.

    And I think they've got a pretty good shot at this one. The hardware, while not at the same raw performance level as the PS4, is closer than most think and I suspect we'll start seeing near-parity more and more often over the next 12 months. While everyone will have their own opinion on individual titles the XB1 has a good range of stuff coming this year and some big names in the works for 2015. While the focus on media, TV and apps was misguided as a launch feature it's resulted in some pretty nice additional functionality that's surprisingly good for a console less than a year old. Plus for all the improvements Sony has made to their online functionality (and they've done a hell of a job) it still feels like MS are ahead on that score. It's certainly going to be interesting to see if / how cloud services can help deliver improved gaming experiences as has been hinted at recently from devs.

    Will the XB1 'win' the generation? Probably not. The PS4 still has the brand name and commands an advantage over the XB in a lot of markets. Coupled with the strong hardware and positive mindshare it's enjoying it's hard to see Sony coming in second. But does that really matter if the XB1 remains a strong platform with all of the multi-platform titles and a bunch of great exclusives?
    Reply +4
  • Why the Batman: Arkham Knight delay was a good thing

  • BOFH_UK 17/06/2014

    While I'm still really looking forward to this game my problem was never with the fact they delayed it. It was that they delayed it just three months after announcing the original launch date! Surely at that point they'd have known they were going to need more than the six months or so they'd given themselves so... why the original 2014 date? Reply +11
  • How the Xbox One GPU Kinect reserve unlock works

  • BOFH_UK 17/06/2014

    But this month Microsoft began selling the Xbox One without Kinect for a reduced price, and as a result unlocked the 10 per cent reserve for developers to use as they see fit.
    Uh, reading through this article isn't this complete cobblers? Seems like the SDK changes are intended to free up more system resources *regardless* of whether you have a Kinect or not. Not having one plugged in doesn't magically free up resources. Seems to me Microsoft were intending to launch this functionality all along (in fact didn't they confirm they were looking at this months ago?) and it's not directly linked to the decision to launch a Kinect-free version of the One at all.
    Reply +39
  • Diablo 3 runs at 1080p on PS4, 900p on Xbox One

  • BOFH_UK 12/06/2014

    @Bertie Of course the problem then is what an individual considers noticeable which will depend on a) eyesight, b) what rig they're playing on and c) how urgently a purchase must be defended! ;-)

    The thing is though (and sorry about this in advance) games journalists have kinda brought this one upon themselves. In the year since final consoles designs were shown an unbelievable amount of time has gone into pushing the notion that the XB1 was crippled (or the PS4 was the second coming, either way). Neither is really the case and of course both will evolve as SDK's improve and devs get more familiar with what they're dealing with. But now there's an army - no, wait, two armies - of fanboys lining up with that mantra daubed on their flags determined that there will be blood before the day is done.
    Reply +3
  • BOFH_UK 12/06/2014

    @Bertie Sorry but I disagree. Total and complete parity is not a requirement, only when one console is *noticeably* worse than the other when it's being played does it become an issue. Up to that point minor differences are mostly used to fuel fan boy arguments and the insatiable need to have a winner in every aspect of life. Reply +5
  • Assassin's Creed Unity is a backward step for progressive games

  • BOFH_UK 12/06/2014

    This is a fight that's going to get really ugly over the next few years. Let's face it gaming today still clings to a mindset born from the almost entirely male-dominated 80's and 90's. Guns and power fantasies dominate the landscape because that's what's seen to sell. Moving away from that even in small ways is going to be considered a big risk especially in the AAA arena where a single game can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, distribute and market.

    At the same time I do think people need to pick their battles carefully. This particular issue with AC:U does seem to be blown out of proportion, though a large part of that is due to the ridiculous initial statements of 'too much production work' which is clearly nonsense. These conversations (and, indeed, changes) do need to happen but, at the same time, it's very easy for the very valid desire for equality to be seen as overbearing and aggressive which destroys the potential for debate and understanding.
    Reply +9
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes Halo 1-4

  • BOFH_UK 09/06/2014

    Day one purchase for me. Never got a chance to play 4 and the other games all have levels that are true standouts of the last decade.

    Also think this is an incredibly powerful weapon for Microsoft this Christmas. Ridiculous value and the huge multiplayer element is going to be a very strong draw for 360 Halo fans who haven't made the jump yet. All eyes on Sony's conference now but Microsoft's 2014 lineup is looking pretty damn strong to me at the moment with at least four exclusive games (Horizon 2, Halo MCC, Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest) that I'm interested in and a number of multi platform titles as well. For a system only a year old that's pretty good going IMO.
    Reply +5
  • Batman: Arkham Knight release date slips to 2015

  • BOFH_UK 03/06/2014

    On the one hand well done for taking the time to get it right. The Arkham series (well, the Rocksteady entries anyway) have been consistently superb and it'd be a shame to break that run.

    On the other hand... they only announced the title three months ago! Surely they had to know when announcing in March that they weren't going to hit a deadline six or seven months away? Wonder if this is a case of a publisher pushing to have something out the door for Christmas and being forced to back off?
    Reply +2
  • Performance Analysis: Wolfenstein: The New Order

  • BOFH_UK 22/05/2014

    And here, I suspect, is the template for cross-platform game analysis from DF in about 12 to 18 months time. Nothing to do with Microsoft or Sony bias this one, just the same pattern we saw in the last generation. XB1 is a bit more awkward to develop for so it'll take a bit more time for dev's to get to grips with it and for the SDK to mature. Once that happens (and the next gen only stuff coming this year like Arkham Knight and AC:Unity will likely be a good data point) expect cross platform titles to be very, very close to each other just like we had to wait for the PS3 to achieve parity. Reply +3
  • PS4 premieres pre-loading with Destiny

  • BOFH_UK 21/05/2014

    @FuzzyDuck Made the decision to go digital only with XB1 and haven't regretted it yet. For me the extra cost is worth it for sheer convenience and not having to store yet more physical media. Besides the cost can be reduced by buying store vouchers under retail price, though make sure you stick with reputable suppliers.

    As for resale I tend to keep my stuff for years at which point it's hardly worth anything anyway. Oh and with the XB1 at least you sorta get two licences with digital downloads - one on your 'home' Xbox that can be used by anyone logged on to that console and the other that follows your profile around. Very handy for families with multiple consoles (now or in the future) or if you want to share libraries with a friend.
    Reply -1
  • PS4 and Xbox One double sales of predecessors during first six months in US

  • BOFH_UK 16/05/2014

    @captain_Carl Hmm... I suspect that's true but there'd be a fair few teeny tiny legal bullet points after the statement. For one Titanfall was bundled (as a download no less) so there's likely a few hundred thousand sales worldwide that aren't measured. PS4 is available in more territories than XB1 so a bigger market right now. AFAIK no-one tracks digital sales other than the manufacturers so they're not included. Etc etc etc.

    Eh, to be honest I'm getting deeply bored of the way this is all being reported anyway. Right now we're seeing two strong platforms developing with great games and good futures that'll offer us gamers a competitive market for years to come. Surely that should be celebrated?
    Reply 0
  • BOFH_UK 16/05/2014

    Ugh, I'm getting really tired of the gaming press (sadly Eurogamer is far from alone here) phrasing every single report in ways designed to bait fanboy arguments and increase hit counts.

    Let me be absolutely clear on this one, this is NOT an accusation of bias or just because it's a MS-related article. Look back over the last few years and you'll see the same tactics of playing up the negative for Nintendo (WiiU), Sony (Vita) and MS (XB1). The recent Digital Foundry article on the potential impact of freeing up GPU resources ring fenced for Kinnect was a prime example of this. There's actually some very good points in the article itself but the 'it won't close the gap' angle was seriously played up with the actual *games* (you know, what most of us actually buy these devices for) only mentioned in the very last line. Even then it was put as a 'MS need a phenomenal E3' prediction of doom which is just silly under the circumstances.

    And it's the same here. For a kick off there's no context, how well did the PS4 sell as a point of comparison? Yes, we know it was more but 500,000 or 115,001 is an important detail when it comes to the direction EG decided to take. XB1 sales are called 'middling' then launches directly in to "rapidly drying up sales" That's some tonal shift there EG! It's a real shame as there's some interesting data here and it paints the US video game market as (surprisingly IMO) healthy but it's drowned under the need to make it a more dramatic story.
    Reply +1
  • Better without Kinect

  • BOFH_UK 14/05/2014

    I know I've said this before but I think it's worth repeating: I don't believe the extra performance of the PS4 isn't as important to the mass market as the gaming press make it out to be.

    Let's face it, we've seen this same pattern in the last three console generations. One platform has either more raw power or an easier dev environment so the first wave of games are noticeably better performers on that platform. Over time the systems evolve, the SDK's improve and developers get better at optimising their code. The gap closes to the point where differences are minimal and both platforms offer exclusives that deliver great visuals and performance. PS3 and 360 went through the exact same dance, albeit in the opposite positions, and look how that turned out.

    Honestly I think at this point whichever platform you buy you're going to be happy in the long run. Multiplatforms will be (broadly) similar on both so make your decision based on the exclusives that appeal, the controller you prefer or any other factor that sways you.
    Reply +7
  • Xbox One without Kinect "levels the playing field" with PS4

  • BOFH_UK 13/05/2014

    At the risk of being neg'd into oblivion... I think people are missing the point here. This likely *will* level the playing field with the mass market who don't really care about this 792p v 900p (to use the most recent example) nonsense. Instead they tend to look at a) price, b) what their friends have, c) 'coolness' and, most importantly, d) games.

    Both consoles are now going to be available for more-or-less the same amount of money so all of a sudden E3 has become vital to the 2014 gaming narrative. This is now a straight fight between games for each platform. Yes, the power of the consoles comes in to that equation as it allows for better looking exclusive titles but it'll be the games themselves that pull people in, not just the graphics.

    It's going to be very interesting indeed to see what both companies have to show at E3. It seems reasonable to assume that Halo 5 - assuming it does actually come out this year as advertised - will shift a fair few consoles and have a pretty sizeable marketing campaign behind it. The question is do Sony have anything in the works to counter that or do they even need to? Will the console itself be enough to counter that challenge and let the rest of the (slightly) less well known titles do the talking?
    Reply +5
  • Video: Titanfall's three new maps shown off

  • BOFH_UK 13/05/2014

    @internisus Same here, always struggle to play competitively with a pad. That said I find that taking a smart pistol, enhanced parkour kit and the active radar pulse allows for some real fun and games. Basically stay off the ground wherever possible, use the smart pistol as early warning, use the pulse to get an idea of where pilots may be going and don't be afraid to throw explosives. For that matter try and avoid getting sucked in to firefights if you're fairly sure you're gonna die and see if a better opportunity comes along.

    In my case I tend to get my Titan ASAP then leave it in follow or guard mode unless I need to get across the battlefield with snipers around. Oh, and opt for nuclear ejection then pilot your dying titan into the midst of battle for a chuckle. In short try to do stuff that most recent twitch games don't always encourage and they often work out very nicely.
    Reply 0
  • BOFH_UK 13/05/2014

    Still on the fence about this one as I know I've still got a lot to learn about the standard maps but I've got to say Titanfall has got me back into on-line shooters for the first time in years. Community is decent with very little of the (stereo)typical trash talk and even if you're not that good *cough* there's almost always something you can do to help the team out. 6 v 6 feels about right and usually leaves some space on the map to do something different or sneaky. Do wish they'd revisit the matchmaking though, little annoying to be put in a team of gen 1 players and see everyone on the other side is at least gen 8... Reply +23
  • Activision to spend $500m getting Destiny off the ground

  • BOFH_UK 06/05/2014

    Leaving cost aside for a minute I suspect there's going to be a fair few worried folks from both Activision and Bungie watching Microsoft's E3 dog and pony show. If Halo 5 is indeed coming out this year that could suck a fair bit of the publicity away from Destiny. Would certainly make it harder to hype people with 'from the creators of Halo'... Reply +4
  • BOFH_UK 06/05/2014

    While it's incredible to think that video games can command this sort of budget does anyone else think we may, just possibly, be firmly in silly territory here? Granted the bulk of that $500 Million is likely to be marketing campaigns but it seems an insane amount of money for a game with a relatively limited potential number of customers. Can't help but wonder what would happen if one of the big publishing companies took a chance and chucked, say, 10% of that figure at a load of indie devs with the only requirement 'be original'... Reply +8
  • Xbox One and FIFA 14 bundle spotted for 329

  • BOFH_UK 24/04/2014

    @Big-Boss Except for one minor problem. Amazon and Asda are now selling the Titanfall bundle for 349 (and I believe Game did the same over the Easter weekend). That's a big, big problem for retailers with FIFA bundles on the shelf. Titanfall (regardless of personal feelings on the game) is seen as the first big Xbox One exclusive outside the launch window and I'd fully expect most people considering buying the console to prefer that bundle. When the 800 pound retail gorilla is selling the in-demand bundle for 50 less than RRP you've got to do something to match it. Reply 0
  • PS Plus gets Puppeteer, Payday 2 and Stick it to the Man in May

  • BOFH_UK 23/04/2014

    I'll never understand why PS4 owners expect full titles for free on PS+ at the moment. There just isn't the back library available to make it happen, every title that's out for the system right now still has a decent chance of being bought new as more people buy in to the platform. At least PS4 is getting something, the Xbox One is currently out in the cold on the Games with Gold program.

    Plus this might just be me but I really like that they're giving away cool indie games. The big names are great and all but the indie stuff can often be underrated gems that you wouldn't play otherwise.
    Reply +12
  • BOFH_UK 23/04/2014

    @XrodOne Uh, looking on Amazon right now it's 40 in the UK and 42.28 in the US. Remember UK prices carry VAT as part of the total while the US adds it at checkout (assuming it's a state that charges on-line sales tax). Reply 0
  • Digital Foundry vs. inFamous: Second Son

  • BOFH_UK 27/03/2014

    Hmm, not sure I agree with this 'next gen looks, last gen game play so lower score' approach. In theory, yes, that's a fine way to review games as new games should (IMO) build on what's come before and offer something, well, new.

    Except I can't help but wonder why it's being treated as a next gen thing? Surely this should be applied across the board? There's no reason why new hardware is required to deliver new game play experiences after all so why do franchises (or, indeed, genres) that constantly churn out the same old tired mechanics year after year get a free pass?

    I know this is a tricky subject and I'm not intending to suggest that any of these games are bad but just from EG's games of 2013 we've got GTA5, Diablo 3 and Gran Turismo 6. All great titles in their own way but do they offer any massive changes over similar titles (or, indeed, games in their own franchise)? How about the 10/10 Bioshock Infinite which really doesn't offer anything new bar, perhaps, the skyhook system? Actually maybe a better example is Titanfall. 8/10 and undeniably a fun game but there's nothing next gen about it. Heck, we're even getting a 360 version. All the One version has really is prettier graphics so if we're going off the same criteria why not ping it for not having Kinect integration? Uh... not that I'm saying it should, that's probably a really bad idea, but it's the obvious stand-out hardware feature of the one compared to the 360.

    For that matter is it reasonable to expect next gen game play so early in a console's life cycle? If that's what you're looking for the Indie games are probably the best place to start, AAA titles won't have had time to figure out the possibilities yet and first gen stuff is always focused on graphics improvements.

    Again, none of this is to say I *don't* like this approach of wanting more than shiny graphics but if you're going to go that route please do it for everything.
    Reply +15
  • Rocksteady reveals Batman: Arkham Knight in detail

  • BOFH_UK 05/03/2014

    @TheSensationalSean Fully agree, the lack of Kevin Conroy was a major part of why I haven't picked up Origins and delighted to have The One True Bat back! For that matter the entire voice cast is ridiculously strong and looks pretty consistent with City as well. Would be wonderful if they had Dini working on the script but I've got a nasty feeling that's not the case. Fingers crossed I'm wrong on that one! Reply 0
  • GameStop selling Xbox One Titanfall bundle for 370

  • BOFH_UK 25/02/2014

    So a 60 reduction from launch price plus a 45 game that's likely to have been a big reason a lot of customers bought the console. Ouch. While I'll admit I'm mostly of the opinion that early adopters really should know they're going to pay a fair chunk for the privilege of being, well, an early adopter that's painful. Can't help but think that Microsoft really should have thrown something their way, hell chuck a year of Xbox Live Gold to everyone that bought in early. Doesn't cost MS much in the grand scheme of things and might encourage those that don't normally use the service to keep subscribing after the year is up.

    On the console itself it's starting to get to the price point it probably should have been from day one. Base price of around 330 isn't bad considering it includes the Kinect though I can't help thinking they need to get down under 300 ASAP. It's going to be very interesting indeed to see how Titanfall affects console sales. Seems a reasonable assumption that those excited for it on XB1 may have already picked up their console in anticipation but coupled with the price drop, who knows... Personally I hope this works for MS, they're in a transition period right now, if the XB1 struggles it's very easy to see them deciding it's not a fight worth having and getting out of the console industry all together.
    Reply +14
  • Microsoft's PC gaming chief leaves after just six months

  • BOFH_UK 13/02/2014

    I've never been able to figure out Microsoft's seeming lack of interest in PC gaming. You'd think it'd be a slam dunk for them if done right! Not only is there a big, big market out there to exploit but it's a market that (more or less) keeps up with the consoles in terms of hardware. Launch your exclusive Xbox games on PC and enable cross-platform saves, stats, profiles, achievements etc. Congratulations, you've just turned the Surface Pro into the best portable games machine on the planet. Or one of a number of other laptops / tablets for that matter.

    Then again their attitude to gaming in general seems to be pretty poor these days. The XB1 seems to have lost its way compared to the PS4 and only time will tell if they got the hardware compromises right. Their full price retail titles are a little too keen to embrace micro-transactions and they're being eclipsed on the PC by... well, everyone actually. Heck, Origin provides better game support than MS does on Windows! And then there's the shiny potential of mobile phones as gaming platforms and they're just nowhere there either.

    All of which strikes me as odd because, let's be honest, without gaming what exactly is holding non-business related users to Microsoft? It's a cornerstone of the consumer market, something they could easily bake into the OS and do remarkable things with if they wanted to, yet they seem happy to ignore it. Bizarre.
    Reply +7
  • PS4 vs Xbox One: which is the better media player?

  • BOFH_UK 02/02/2014

    I'm sure that the majority of these issues will get resolved over the next year. But that in no way excuses them being present in the first place!

    Let's be absolutely honest, if you're an early adopter you sort of expect to get a slightly raw deal, especially in the game console market. Hardware that maybe runs a bit hotter and louder than you'd like, a relative lack of games for the first year or two and almost certainly a price drop sometime in the first 18 months. This is the first time I can remember (and I've been a gamer since the C64!) that early adopters were effectively paid alpha testers!

    Come on gaming press, we need you to make some noise on this. Surely launching consoles in such a rough and ready state while charging top dollar for them is unacceptable? Huge day one patches (yes, Nintendo is included there as well), big chunks of functionality simply missing and headline features that don't work (the 50hz judder on XB1 being a prime example)... I know there's a risk of biting the hand that feeds you here but isn't there a responsibility to your readers / audience as well?
    Reply +8
  • Mario Kart 8 now pegged for a May release

  • BOFH_UK 30/01/2014

    @FenderMaster Having picked up a Wii U on the weekend I'm not sure I agree with that. Lego City Undercover made me realise just how well the pad can integrate with a game. It just shows a static display... right until you get your tablet in the game. Then it springs to life and really *is* that tablet. It's a lovely moment when you start getting video calls on the pad with the audio split so the caller is through the pad and your character on the TV.

    To be honest at this point emphasizing what makes it Unique (sorry) is probably a good idea. They're going to struggle in the next couple of years as focus shifts to the more powerful PS4 and XB1 so setting themselves apart at least gets them out of that comparison.
    Reply +3
  • Iwata isn't Nintendo's problem. It's Miyamoto

  • BOFH_UK 25/01/2014

    Wow... might just be me but this seems a tad hypocritical. Oh there's some truth to it - Nintendo is indeed relying on its franchises right now - but at least they're producing very high quality games and it seems like they're genuinely bringing new ideas and concepts to those titles. The rest of the AAA industry, on t'other hand, seems content to churn out the same game with incredibly minor variations on an annual basis and yet it's Nintendo that gets the editorial drubbing? Really?

    As for their current problems I really don't think you can pin it on software. Sure they haven't got a Wii Sports but that's more indicative of the hardware. Sports was (relatively) easy - build an interface that let people see how the waggle stick could offer something genuinely different from anything else. Which, let's face it, it was. While the tablet has some interesting possibilities it's a tech that everyone is very familiar with at this point and just isn't the big jump away from the norm that the Wii controller was.

    Fundamentally Nintendo just went the wrong way with the Wii U and got caught as the mass market went t'other way to smartphones and tablets with an increasing focus on on-line services. Thankfully they have more than enough money in the bank to get through it so there's no need to panic just yet and I suspect the Wii U is going to have the same sort of rep as the Dreamcast when all is said and done - an underrated console with some great games, albeit hopefully with a longer life! The important bit is to really nail whatever comes next and hit the ground running. They've certainly got the talent to do so which is going to make the next few years very interesting indeed.
    Reply +21
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti review

  • BOFH_UK 16/12/2013

    @Darkwaknight You've answered your own question here but haven't noticed that you've done it... This card, and the R290 series for that matter, are high end luxury products for those with disposable income looking to build the best possible gaming rig and/or use functionality like 3D vision. They're more-or-less irrelevant to the bigger discussion on PC.

    What IS important though is the lower end cards - the 760's of this world - and the story there is rosy indeed with all of them more than up to the job of churning out 1080p graphics. Heck, even integrated graphics these days can usually manage that without too many compromises. That's going to be more than enough to keep any PC bought now going for years to come.

    In other words, gaming on PC no longer needs expensive upgrades every year or two. In truth it hasn't for a while but now it really does apply to the mainstream products. PC Gaming doesn't *need* to push itself apart on graphics, the consoles have come to PC Gaming! If products like Valve's steam box really can deliver 1080p gaming while retaining the advantages of the PC (cheaper prices chief amongst them) then suddenly there's genuine competition for the TV.
    Reply +1
  • Apple snaps up Kinect sensor company for $360m

  • BOFH_UK 25/11/2013

    @blarty Except they're not the publisher or the developer so how on earth can you say that? Apple simply provide the market place and a platform that - for whatever reason - has users who are willing to spend money. Yes, there's a lot of games that have IAP in one form or another but plenty more don't. Multiple business models all of which have proven to be a success, shame the console world isn't a bit more like that quite frankly. Reply +1
  • Batman: Arkham Origins launches with half the sales of Arkham City

  • BOFH_UK 28/10/2013

    Don't know about anyone else but this is the first Arkham game I've got no interest in playing. Few reasons why: feels too much like an expansion pack, I've already spent upwards of forty hours in arkham city, the storyline doesn't exactly feel compelling and - as silly as this may sound - the absence of Kevin Conroy and Paul Dini. Big part of the appeal of both Asylum and City was that feel of a modernised Batman Animated Series and without them a lot of the thrill is gone. Reply +6
  • Xbox One's launch line-up: what's left without Watch Dogs?

  • BOFH_UK 26/10/2013

    @the_sas_man While I agree with you... why is this considered an acceptable state of affairs in 2013? Lead times on hardware are measured in years and the consoles themselves previewed almost a year ahead of launch. Surely the likes of MS and Sony ought to be capable of getting a decent line-up of first and third party games ready for launch?

    My big problem though is the same thing we've seen for years now - where's the innovation? A new generation of hardware is about to hit and other than graphical improvements there doesn't seem to be a single thing on offer that couldn't (and, indeed, hasn't) been done years ago. While it remains to be seen if it delivers at least the concept of Watch Dogs had potential.
    Reply 0
  • Argos offering PlayStation Vita 3G, two games, memory card for 140

  • BOFH_UK 19/10/2013

    Just picked one of these up but gotta say I'm not sure the 140 deal is the best one... 169 for the Vita 3G, the 8GB memory card with ten games mega bundle and a year of PS Plus is just ridiculous value especially if you have a PS3. Put the 10 voucher towards an additional 16Gb memory card to keep you going until the 64Gb ones make it over here and for 184 that's heading into Steam Sale value for money! Reply +1
  • Beyond live TV - what the Xbox One user interface means for gamers

  • BOFH_UK 01/09/2013

    Oh, and one other thought that MS won't care about but gaming families might. Let's say you have a Xbox One hooked up as MS want, on HDMI 1, and everything else runs through the amp. You also have a Wii connected. If the Kinnect is on and flooding the room with IR what's that going to do to the Wii sensor bar? For that matter I wonder if this is going to cause issues with IR remotes...

    Hopefully I'm very, very wrong on this and it won't be an issue.
    Reply +6
  • BOFH_UK 01/09/2013

    Hmm, I can't help but feel that Digital Foundry have kinda missed the point here.

    Forget little LEDs attached to wires you dangle in front of your set-top box
    Yes, forget something unobtrusive that you've at least got a vague chance of hiding somewhere, now you've got a huge camera rig sitting underneath your TV. That's much better!

    As someone who has a fairly complicated rig in the living room I do appreciate what MS are trying to do here and the though of an IR system actually working is, frankly, exciting. But this just feels like too big a tradeoff, especially as you'll still have to have traditional remotes around anyway. I'm also curious as to how easy the setup will be and how well it'll handle potentially tricky combinations. Silly example but my Denon amp that currently acts as my HDMI switcher had my PS3 and 360 setup on two inputs that shared the 4 key on the remote. There's no distinct IR code so if, for any reason, it gets out of sync Xbox One wouldn't have a hope in hell at recovering without help.

    I'm also still not convinced about this snapping stuff either. It's not a bad idea but I wonder how many really want to use their TV in that way. Haven't the likes of tablets, smartphones and laptops rendered the concept of the TV as a computer kinda irrelevant at this point?
    Reply +10
  • Sony details final PlayStation 4 tech spec

  • BOFH_UK 11/06/2013

    @HeroJez If you're going to do tax calculations do at least try to get it right. VAT is currently 20% in the UK so $399 would be $479 after VAT. Add on another $39 to cover the increased cost of doing business - rent, fuel, wages, regulatory compliance etc - in the UK (hard to estimate but most figures I've seen are around 10% of the unit cost) and you're on $518. Current exchange rate brings that in at 332.33, hardly a rip off from the 349 they're setting as RRP. Reply +3
  • PlayStation 4: the story so far

  • BOFH_UK 10/06/2013

    @Crea Y'know I've been thinking about this and it might not be so clear cut as we all assume. Yes, publishers may want DRM but can they afford to go Xbone only if the PS4 doesn't deliver that mechanism? It's hard enough to meet sales targets now with three consoles and large user bases (plus PC of course). Nintendo is already out of the next gen race for the AAA games as the WiiU just doesn't have the power to compete. Put simply, are they going to make enough money off Xbone and PC in the first couple of years to cover the cost of creating big AAA games? Even once the user base is there is that enough to make a non-franchise title a viable risk? Maybe Sony have a few big cards of their own to play here... Reply +2
  • Microsoft cautious on Windows 8 success: "we realise that change takes time"

  • BOFH_UK 07/05/2013

    @SwedBear While I agree it's an odd decision to ignore the vast amount of feedback on the removal of the 'traditional' start menu that's not the problem MS are addressing here. One of the biggest problems with W8 is it's an absolute sod to learn by trial and error. There's too many features hidden away with no visible clue as to how to use them. By putting the start button back they're giving a big visual hint as to how to get back to the Start Screen.

    As for Windows 8 success I suspect MS internally are placing a lot of weight on how well it does on tablets. That's the big threat with both iOS and Android gobbling up sales that would otherwise go to a windows-powered laptop or desktop. If they can't get a player in that fight they're staring at a repeat of the smartphone stats only this time in their core market as tablets continue to gain in popularity. The big bulk licence sales are good for the bottom line but as far as the future goes MS need to get this one right and, right now, they've got to be a bit worried on that one...
    Reply +5
  • Intel unveils Iris - its next-gen graphics tech

  • BOFH_UK 02/05/2013

    @Bagpuss Umm, sorry, disagree. If you're interested in overclocking the odds are you're an enthusiast and will be using a dedicated graphics card. The locked chips are intended to put reasonable graphics in small, quiet, relatively cheap systems where power and, more importantly, heat are key factors in the design. If PC gaming is ever really going to crack the living room it'll be systems like that which do it not enthusiast rigs. Reply +1
  • Windows 8.1 will revive the Start button, reports suggest

  • BOFH_UK 23/04/2013

    @midnight_walker IT Professional who used Windows 8 for five months and despised every minute of it. I'm sorry but it's a really poor, frustrating design. Poor because the new start screen is a horrible substitute for the old menu structure on any PC with more than a basic software install. Poor because basic interface elements such as shutting the PC down have been hidden layers deep in the interface. Poor because there's a tendency to throw you from desktop to metro when doing certain tasks. Poor because there are very few cues to aid in the discovery of the new features and ways of working with the OS. Poor because, well, the list of bad design decisions in W8 is sadly much longer than I'd want to go into here.

    Frustrating though because underneath it is a really good OS. It's fast and pretty damn stable while retaining most of the good points of Windows 7. However the decision to bolt all the Metro cruft on top without any clear separation between the two was a poor one. I'm not alone in this either, every IT Pro I work with hates it, every 'normal' computer user I've spoken to that's used it either wants to go back to W7 or is holding off on a purchase as they don't want W8. While I'm sure that there are those like yourself that like it there's a significant number - possibly a majority possibly not there's no real way to tell - who have big, big problems.

    As for MS, their big issue here is that this time round there's alternatives. Most modern PC's aren't at the point where upgrading is required and in the consumer space tablets and even smartphones are providing a real alternative. OS X is there as a desktop alternative and is looking more attractive as the cheaper end of the PC market is struggling to provide hardware that takes advantage of Windows 8 touch capabilities. Businesses really don't want W8 as the amount of retraining required is considerable and a cost in both money and lost productivity many simply can't afford right now. How this plays out over the next year or two will be fascinating to watch and I can't help but feel MS need to get this one right...
    Reply +20
  • After children rack up huge bills, UK government announces investigation into "aggressive" in-app purchases

  • BOFH_UK 12/04/2013

    @Mr.Spo My worry is... no, wait, my absolute certain conviction is that the media will take the easy way out of this and blame Apple, Google etc for not doing enough. That gets us precisely nowhere in this discussion as the tools are already in place. Hell Apple even has a few hundred stores scattered around the planet that would be quite happy to talk anyone through using the parental controls, what good practice is and so on.

    The debate on regulation should, and again this is just my opinion, be a separate one as it's going to be a great deal more complicated. For example: you tell the owner of the app store to block any IAP that falls within a certain definition of taking the proverbial. What happens when, say, EA launch Origin for mobile devices, sell their titles through that and charge a lot for IAP? Who's responsible for blocking that? What about websites that provide games with IAP? This is why I'd like to see the debate made... uh, shall we say platform agnostic?

    Not that it's a simple debate of course. Yes, you can limit the top end purchases but what about making multiple purchases of smaller amounts? How about the way the games (and IAP) are marketed? Do the same rules apply to games targeted at adults? Do, well, you get the idea. This is a really deep subject with a lot of money (and, let's not forget, jobs) riding on it as well as morality and needs to be tackled carefully.

    I'm also not entirely sure how big a problem it really is. Sure there's the occasional story of someone spending hundreds or thousands but far less than you'd imagine. I think there's a danger of a lot of people racing in and demanding changes "for the children!!!" and making things worse in the long run.
    Reply -2
  • BOFH_UK 12/04/2013

    @JedEvangelion Umm... because they put their credit card details in in the first place? Sorry, but this is the sticking point for me. They KNOW they've got a payment method attached to this account, they've almost certainly used that account to obtain content so... why doesn't it occur that this is a fairly simple process and unsupervised use could result in purchases? Not saying they should immediately know the solution but that line of thinking should surely result in at asking questions about how to stop that?

    Ultimately we live in a connected world and it's up to parents to decide when, how and to what extent their kids are going to interact with it. Most modern OS's make it relatively simple to control access, the tools are there and there's a ton of help available if it's needed. In the same way you go around the house to make it kid-friendly or make sure the TV has unsuitable channels blocked or that there's nothing unsuitable on the book shelves mobile tech needs to be considered before letting kids use it.
    Reply -3
  • BOFH_UK 12/04/2013

    @Mr.Spo Not sure about other mobile OS's but iOS has parental controls at the OS level including blocking in-app purchases and preventing new apps being installed. Frankly if parents aren't taking the time to block these and have a credit card linked to their iTunes account they're going to get charged for something sooner or later.

    I dunno, does this really need regulation? Can't help but think that parents need to be more actively involved and stop treating digital media (ALL digital media including on-line and gaming) as a way to distract the kids without being more involved. If you're going to hand a child an iPad, f'instance, disable access to any way to obtain new content, turn off in-app purchases and maybe consider giving them an iTunes account without a credit card attached just to be sure. When they get old enough to be trusted with money load a small amount on the account on a regular basis but keep the card away from them.

    And I know people are saying that it's not right to expect everyone to be tech savvy, fair enough. But surely if you're going to give something to a kid to use unsupervised you do some research on what it can do. Even forgetting for a moment about paid content if you hand over a modern smartphone you're also handing over a full web browser, wouldn't that give you pause for thought? Same goes for anything you let them do on their own, IMO surely you should be aware of the limits of that experience and make sure you're comfortable with those limits?
    Reply +2
  • Saturday Soapbox: The high cost of high standards

  • BOFH_UK 06/04/2013

    Fantastic article, thank you. Raises some great points and this is definitely an issue that the industry needs to face up to pretty damn quickly if it wants to avoid an, uh, involuntary restructure so to speak. I do, however, have some doubts about this:

    "They'll bring in new players, yes, if only because the game market is always growing."

    Now yes, this is a fair statement but that's the overall games market not necessarily the current big hitters on consoles and PC. Look at the Playstation brand for example. The PS2 sold 100 million units 5 years and 9 months after launch. It's taken 6 years and 3 months for PS3 to sell 77 million. Now granted that's not directly comparable as the 360 was much stronger competition than the original Xbox was and then you've got the Wii on top as well as a weak economy but it still makes for sobering reading.

    I used the PS2 for a reason here, that to me was the golden age for AAA gaming as the.. sorry, I hate using these terms but for lack of an alternative... casual and core gamers were, by and large, playing the same titles. During the PS3 era we saw a split as casual gamers either went with the big names titles only and ignored the rest or started to move to the Wii and, in later years, mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Now we're standing at the start of the PS4 and mobile gaming is exploding while the PC sees a resurgence in popularity (and much cheaper games than consoles), both platforms bringing a wave of new independent games with them. The Vita - the portable console for 'real' gamers - is struggling to find a market and we're seeing titles like Tomb Raider fail to hit expectations despite selling huge numbers.

    I can't help but look at that (and a lot more besides) and wonder just how large the market is for core titles. While new gamers will, inevitably, come in to the hobby every year there's a lot of people (and I'm one of them) who are finding the AAA stuff a tad boring these days and are putting our gaming budgets elsewhere. Then there's the increasing trend to release buggy software and patch, hardly something that encourages purchasing a title on the launch date.

    Anyway, this is getting ridiculous so to sum up: it's going to be very interesting to see how software sales go on the new platforms and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some very big, and very public, failures. Hope not, no-one wants to see that after all, but there's a lot to be concerned about right now.
    Reply +8