Bauul Comments

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  • Microsoft is shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios, original programming

  • Bauul 17/07/2014

    @ZackRoyer I don't quite think it's all to do with Xbox One's sales.

    The game discounts might be, it could be a response to sluggish Xbox One sales, and could also be a toe in the water to see if they can replicate Steam's success of doing something similar.

    The studio closing (this article) is certainly about Phil Spencer realigning the Xbox business to games and away from extra bits and pieces.

    The layoffs though was a result of the Nokia acquisition. Local press here have it that from the Redmond HQ only a few hundred are losing their jobs, and it's mostly none-core functions like marketing.

    Remember Xbox represents just a few % of their overall earnings.
    Reply +7
  • Bauul 17/07/2014

    @Kami Satya's memo last week made this more clear. He basically said "mobile first, cloud first is the way for most of our business. However, we do also have other profitable departments like Xbox that we'll keep running as they are".

    I'm sure Phil Spencer basically sat him down and said "Xbox was dying under the one-Microsoft vision, let me sort it out without interference from the overall strategy" and Satya probably agreed. The tone of the memo was markably different to previous language that was all about integrating the Xbox into the wider Microsoft view of the world.
    Reply +12
  • Microsoft announces 18,000 jobs to be cut in the next year

  • Bauul 17/07/2014

    @persus-9 Or he did it because he genuinely thought it was best for the business?

    It amazes me how people presume corruption before the more likely scenario: human incompetence.

    As an aside: The Xbox marketing guys being affected doesn't surprise me. Historically they were a separate group, but over the last year or two the marketing efforts of the whole company have been brought under one roof, so there's likely be overlap now.
    Reply +1
  • Blurred lines: Are YouTubers breaking the law?

  • Bauul 16/07/2014

    @JayKayEll I have to agree with CynicalBrit. I've not seen everything he's done, but what I have seen (mostly the WTF is... videos) are not really reviews.

    By definition a "re-view" is a retrospective summary of something through the benefit of hindsight and a complete picture. The word itself means "look back at something".

    Cyncial Brit's videos are usually made whilst he plays the game, not retrospectively. They're more like a very thorough wikipedia article talking about the game, interspersed with his feelings of playing the game at that moment.
    Reply +4
  • Bauul 16/07/2014

    @jabberwoky

    I can't stick GTA, but if I reviewed it I would suspend that and think beyond myself. You should have the capability to see beyond your biases.
    But it's still your personal opinion, it's just your personal opinion of what you think other people will like. It's still an opinion: you can't factually report what other people will think about a game unless you have asked them all.

    A reviewer trying to second guess whether 'other people' would like a game, people they have never met, spoken to, or know anything about, is preposterous.

    Would you have preferred the Wolfenstien review to go "I didn't like it, but I imagine there might be people out there who do like it, so 8/10". Couldn't you say that for every game? And what's the alternative? "I thought this game was brilliant, but I imagine there might be people who don't like it, so 5/10".

    Every game has at least some people who like it, so are you saying a review should be the reviewer's opinion on what proportion of the population they think might like the game? "I think 2/3rds of the population will like this game, so I give it 7/10". Something like that?

    The whole purpose of Metacritic or the similar is to undertake this wisdom-of-crowds approach, to aggregate opinion. If every individual reviewer did what you wanted and guessed at what 'most people' would like, you end up with no-one's actual opinion at all, just a load of guesswork about other people's opinions.

    The only reliable thing a reviewer can offer is his/her personal opinion of they liked/didn't like about the game. That's it. Everything else is guesswork, and I'd rather reviewers didn't try to guess whether I would like a game or not, because they'd probably get it wrong.
    Reply +6
  • Microsoft boss Satya Nadella commits to Xbox

  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    @StooMonster

    It's not the size, it's the direction that is important.

    Which direction is the market share headed in every major market?
    If direction is important, how does it look for iOS to have gone from 80%-90% in the early days of the iPhone 3G and 3GS to 15% now?

    I'd be interested to know if those figures you quoted were share of sales or share of ownership figures? As they're pretty different.

    Which proves why it's not market share by numbers that matters, as you say.
    Then why post a long list of market share figures in your initial post? :confused:

    Metric such as how much money developers make, etc. is much better to prove how 'alive' a platform is.
    If you want to talk about ecosystem strength sure, but that's an entirely different conversation. iPhones obviously attract the strongest ecosystem as typically iOS owners are richer, early adopters more willing to spend money on apps. But it's no measurement of overall popularity.

    That's like trying to measure how good a friend someone is by the amount of money they spend on your birthday present.
    Reply 0
  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    @goggyturk I was just referring to the figures StooMonster quoted.

    Although interestingly that "10% by 2018" figure you linked to in the original Gartner report includes tablets too, so it's a slightly different metric.
    Reply 0
  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    @StooMonster Nice mobile stats. Source please?

    It's funny: iOS can have a market share of 15%, and "we'll see more iOS". WP is at 10%, and it's "nearly dead".

    Just because people wave their iPhones about more than any other device doesn't mean it has a high market share. Nothing even comes close to Android.
    Reply +4
  • What's going on with Microsoft's Xbox One dev kit and launch parity policies?

  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    I was always under the impression that the parity clause was in return for getting free dev kits, a Unity license and lots of Microsoft support.

    It always kind of seemed kind of fair? I mean, the alternative could be Microsoft give someone a Unity license for free which they then use to make a PS game and not bother to release it on Xbox for a year. That doesn't seem very fair on Microsoft.

    On the other hand, if it's a "dev kit+unity+launch parity" or nothing deal, then that's a mistake by Microsoft. Surely developers should be able to choose whether they want the freebies or if they just want to publish as they've already made the game?
    Reply +8
  • Video: The flattest performances by Hollywood actors in games

  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    @MrBeast Off topic, but yes, the show creators have already stated they'll be doing 4 and 5 at the same time (thank goodness!) Reply +1
  • Bauul 10/07/2014

    I am still laughing at Tim Curry's performance, that was simply amazing!

    Red Alert 3 was beyond campy nonsense so I think him and the filming studio were just having a laugh.
    Reply +3
  • Microsoft has abandoned plans for Xbox One consoles to double as dev kits

  • Bauul 09/07/2014

    @spectrumfox Edit: Yep, it's a misscommunication. According to Microsoft:

    "The comments today were inaccurate. We remain committed to ensuring the best possible solution for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One. We will share more details at a later date."

    I'd hardly blame Eurogamer though. Digital Spy recorded accurately what the guy said, and even followed up to clarify. It's wholly Microsoft's fault that this story landed in the first place.
    Reply +11
  • Bauul 09/07/2014

    Perhaps it was linked to the u-turn on the always-online system? If you can't use the console without being permanently online, it's easier for Microsoft to keep tabs on if a dev-kit console was being used for piracy etc.

    When they rewrote the system to operate offline, perhaps it removed the one thing that made the dev-kit idea possible?
    Reply +7
  • Fortnite builds a hopeful future for Epic, free-to-play

  • Bauul 08/07/2014

    I'm willing to give it a chance. I'm hooked on World of Tanks at the moment, which is pretty much the definition of "pay if you don't want to wait". Yet no-one claims that World of Tanks is unfair or gives people an unfair advantage.

    F2P can be done well, even if it's not just cosmetic stuff like Team Fortress 2.

    I mean look at Hearthstone: dump 100 into that and it's a shortcut to a bunch of legendaries and other rare cards. You'll still be crap at the game though. :)
    Reply 0
  • Serious Sam dev Croteam details PS4 puzzler The Talos Principle

  • Bauul 08/07/2014

    It'll be interesting to see the Serious Sam engine used in a different way. It always gave its games a very unique look. They look almost... stretched, if that makes any sense at all? Reply 0
  • The real story behind The Sun's "Gaming as addictive as heroin" headline

  • Bauul 08/07/2014

    Reading that list, you could replace the word gaming with literally any other activity and it'd still make sense.

    I guess that's what the guy interviewed was saying though: there's a standard test for addiction, and he just inserted the word gaming into it.
    Reply +8
  • Alien Isolation Oculus Rift prototype is just that

  • Bauul 07/07/2014

    I reckon they're just covering their backs. There are many reasons why they wouldn't definitely go on to create a full Oculus version: the vanilla game bombs, Oculus goes in a different direction, a better VR solution comes along, etc. etc.

    I reckon it was done as a proof of concept to see what the reaction was. Then if the game is successful and VR takes off (remember there aren't any commercially successful consumer products yet), then they'll revisit it.
    Reply +6
  • Kinect 2 for PC costs 159

  • Bauul 07/07/2014

    @FladgeMangle I agree. Although the companies they're selling to might not be that big. Application development teams aren't always huge. They don't want to price it totally out of reach of small development studios, but they also don't want to undersell it's capabilities.

    Edit: It looks like Creative have their own take on the Kinect called the Senz3D. It's only 720p but retails for the same $199 as the Kinect 2. Maybe $199 is the sweet spot for top-of-the-range webcams?
    Reply +1
  • Bauul 07/07/2014

    There's probably an element of expected pricing. In the none gaming world, the Kinect is a 3d 1080p camera. If it cost 20, no-one would believe it would work.

    As bizarre as it sounds, especially in big businesses, you have to price something at a value that is relative to it's perceived worth. 99.99 may have worked, but anything less than that would just look suspicious when 3d cameras are supposed to be hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
    Reply 0
  • Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas expansion out in July

  • Bauul 01/07/2014

    @Skyrant It is - you can buy the expansion using in-game gold you earn from winning matches.

    By "pricing information" they mean how much in-game gold the expansion will cost.

    You can buy in-game gold with real money if you want though, although it's not really required unless you're inpatient.
    Reply 0
  • Super Mario Bros. beaten in under five minutes

  • Bauul 30/06/2014

    @orangpelupa No it's manual. The tool assisted world record is even faster. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYCOwxHa_sU
    Reply 0
  • Streets of Rage was much more than a Final Fight clone

  • Bauul 30/06/2014

    Random fact: I read somewhere once that the first Streets of Rage was built on the Golden Axe engine. That's why the special attack is basically the magic attack from Golden Axe.

    Once Streets of Rage was a success, then they had the time and budget to create a more bespoke engine for Streets of Rage 2.
    Reply 0
  • Indie puzzle platformer Contrast released on Xbox One today

  • Bauul 26/06/2014

    @onyxbox Also Contrast could not have been released under the ID@Xbox scheme, so would not have been subject to the parity clause.

    Edit: Ignore that, it seems it is part of the ID@Xbox program. This must have been one of those case-by-case occasions.
    Reply +1
  • Will EA learn from the terrible Dungeon Keeper mobile game?

  • Bauul 25/06/2014

    It's a tricky one: the most successful mobile games are free at the point of purchase, and many are supported by a gameplay-reducing-micro-transaction process. It should be no surprise that for mobile that's the direction EA were headed (as toxic as the whole process seems to us).

    As traditional gamers it's a shame they've had to tarnish such a beloved IP, but if this was released under a different IP (say a new one), no-one here would have ever heard of it, and there wouldn't have been any of the backlash.

    EA messed up the economic model definitely, but they should have given a lot more consideration to the fact they were using a brand name with such a strong legacy.

    You'd think they'd have learned from SimCity that classic brands still carry a lot of weight for gamers!
    Reply +3
  • Night in the Woods is like Gone Home, in third-person, with talking animals

  • Bauul 25/06/2014

    @danjfor I've not read the graphic novels, but I can't see how a slow paced existential game compares to something as hyper as the Edgar Wright Scott Pilgrim movie. Unless you're suggesting Mae has to fight a magical Hindu fire breathing fox? Reply +1
  • Microsoft doubles OneDrive storage size

  • Bauul 24/06/2014

    I was out yesterday with some friends and took a few photos. Later, when I was showing them something on the 360's OneDrive app, they saw the photos were already there and could be viewed on the TV (I'd turned on auto-upload). When it all comes together, it works pretty beautifully! Reply +1
  • Microsoft isn't shutting down Games For Windows Live next week

  • Bauul 23/06/2014

    At least they aren't completely pulling the plug, seems a little un-Microsoft to continue the service even if they've removed the method of making money from it.

    The logic of setting it up in the first place is a different question altogether...
    Reply +2
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is Dear Esther meets The Prisoner

  • Bauul 23/06/2014

    @kristaylor Looking at the E3 trailer for 1886, I wouldn't have said that was a poster child for interactive action!

    Even ignoring that:
    a) This will cost a lot less
    b) If it's anywhere near as good as Dear Esther, it will stay with you long after another shooty-bang-bang game has been done and dusted.
    Reply +5
  • Why Unreal deserves to be remembered alongside Half-Life

  • Bauul 22/06/2014

    @DrStrangelove I think it's a myth games 'can't be quick today because they're played on a pad'.

    Doom, one of the fastest FPSs ever, was mostly played on keyboard. In Quake, mouselook had to be activated using a console command, and only became popular once the game had been our for a while (I completed the single player using keyboard only). DN3D, Hexen, Heretic etc. were all just as fast and just as keyboard only.

    It wasn't until Quake 2 that mouselook was switched on by default.
    Reply +1
  • ID@Xbox title Sixty Second Shooter Prime launches today

  • Bauul 19/06/2014

    @reverandglass But a key part of ID@Xbox is the provision of free dev kits, free unity licenses, and access to Microsoft software developers and project managers to help develop the game, all for no upfront cost.

    Are you proposing Microsoft just offers that to everyone and his dog, but then only release a few of the games?

    Because that isn't a unworkable business model at all, is it?
    Reply +5
  • Creepy horror Outlast available for Xbox One today

  • Bauul 19/06/2014

    @BigDannyH Well the Xbox release parity clause only applies to games released via ID@Xbox. If the Outlast team didn't need ID@Xbox (which is likely, as the game was already complete) they were never bound by the release date parity clause anyway.

    It still surprises me people think this clause is true of all Xbox One games.
    Reply +1
  • Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls patch 2.1.0 revealed

  • Bauul 18/06/2014

    @acidogio
    The last 100 hours were just a chore tbh.
    Then why do it? Surely you could have found other ways to spend 100 hours of your life than doing a chore that you got no pleasure from?

    That just sounds like the world's most boring form of sadomasochism. :)
    Reply 0
  • E3 2014: the relaunch of brand Xbox One

  • Bauul 18/06/2014

    @BOFH_UK
    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.
    Ironically you're right, but it's not because Microsoft is giving the departments more freedom. Quite the opposite: over the last year or so they've undergone an enormous corporate restructuring under the One Microsoft banner to bring everyone in line.

    However, because the departments are no longer operating as basically separate entities, they're less suspicious of each other doing unique things for their products. Closer units = more trust and transparency = more freedom.

    Welcome to the bizarre world of Microsoft! :)
    Reply -1
  • Tech Analysis: Sunset Overdrive at E3 2014

  • Bauul 18/06/2014

    @AgentDaleCooper I find it interesting you say because it's 2014 we should be expecting 60fps. Frame rates have pretty much fallen over time: late 1980 and 1990 console games were often 60fps, but then we slowly moved to a better-graphics-for-lower-frame-rate model into the 2000s. If we're following the trend, by now we should be at 20fps max. :)

    Not saying it's good thing (god no), but unfortunately the argument that because we have more powerful hardware we should expect higher frame rates hasn't been true in practice for years.
    Reply +4
  • Destiny's Xbox One resolution raised after Kinect GPU reserve removal

  • Bauul 11/06/2014

    @lew15ewad Have you got a source for this?

    I know you'd like this very much to be true, but it isn't, so stop spreading misinformation.
    Reply -2
  • Bloodborne is From Software's darkest game yet

  • Bauul 11/06/2014

    Color me very intrigued. The art style looks utterly immense. Sprawling gothic cities are certainly a little in vogue at the moment (wasn't Dishonored also based on Edinburgh?), but From Software's unique blend of medieval Europe with Japanese fantasy sensibilities promises something pretty special.

    It helps that Dark Souls is my favorite game of the last 20 years, but I literally can't pick a single hole in the concept.
    Reply +11
  • New Doom game will be revealed at QuakeCon next month

  • Bauul 10/06/2014

    @Erek Pfft. In today's market of ultra-scripted "realistic" shooters which lack both imagination and flare, or chuck-in-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink open world shooters which wouldn't know a "level design" if it hit them in the face, Doom has never been more relevant.

    Obligatory visual proof:

    Reply +3
  • Oddworld New 'n' Tasty coming to Xbox One later this year

  • Bauul 10/06/2014

    @squarewindow From what I understand, Microsoft have a parity clause that states that if an indie developer wants to benefit from the ID@Xbox program (I.e. Free dev kits and unity licenses and stuff), they must release their game on Xbox at the same time as other consoles.

    By that logic, as the new Oddworld game is coming out on PS4 first, they're now no longer entitled to the ID@Xbox goodies.
    Reply +7
  • Weapons are never the solution in Alien Isolation

  • Bauul 10/06/2014

    @EbonKnight If you're going to be that picky about the fiction, then remember this is a super-sized drone. Perhaps it's in the process of becoming a queen?

    However, you should really try and step back from refusing to enjoy this because the aliens aren't as squishy as later films have made them out to be. That's just cutting your nose off to spite your face.

    Besides, I don't recall a flame thrower ever actually hurting an alien...
    Reply +2
  • The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep's Clothing review

  • Bauul 06/06/2014

    Just played the latest episode.

    I'm really enjoying the series, but arguably that's because it's a great story with great characters and settings. As a game? I dunno. My wife is watching me play it, and she's getting just as much enjoyment as I am (although constantly berating me for being "too nice").

    I'll remember it very fondly I'm sure, but in reality it's a TV show where you get a small say over how the lead character responds to things.

    Although in this day and age where the concept of a "game" is blurred than ever before, is that even a criticism any more?
    Reply 0
  • Dark Souls 2 to receive three-part episodic DLC

  • Bauul 04/06/2014

    I'd argue calling Artorias of the Abyss "DLC" is misleading. When you think DLC you think Horse Armour, but AotA was far more a classic Expansion Pack.

    Hopefully these three add-ons for DS2 will add up to something that looks more like an Expansion Pack than Horse Armour.
    Reply +10
  • The video game assassination of JFK

  • Bauul 04/06/2014

    @AgentDaleCooper Cheers for the spoiler. I hadn't even considered they were referring to the new film until you said this.

    Please THINK before posting.
    Reply +1
  • Take-Two suggests more Red Dead and BioShock games to come - report

  • Bauul 30/05/2014

    I'd like to see more from the BioShock 2 team. It's a tremendously underrated title, with arguably the best gameplay of all three titles.

    I just hope when Take Two talk about "permanent franchises" they continue to understand a really great game every few years is much preferable to regular but often forgettable releases.
    Reply +29
  • Sony rejigs PlayStation Plus to offer two games per month for each platform

  • Bauul 29/05/2014

    Genuine question: how does this compare what Microsoft are doing? I understand Games with Gold (my one console is a 360), but I'm a little confused by this now.

    I understand with a Live subscription the plan is you get two games per console per month, right? For one PS+ subscription, is it the same? Or is there something I'm missing?

    I'm slowly working up to replacing my 360 with a PS4, so just interested to know what the change will be.
    Reply 0
  • The next Hitman has a building larger than any location in Hitman Absolution

  • Bauul 28/05/2014

    Well Square did turn around recently and announce they had discovered that a game doesn't have to tick every current trend and can actually be good by itself.

    Mind blowing stuff I know, but hopefully it means we'll see a Hitman that actually plays like a Hitman (along with a Tomb Raider that plays like a Tomb Raider and a Final Fantasy that plays like a Final Fantasy etc. etc.)
    Reply +2
  • The familiar fear of The Evil Within

  • Bauul 28/05/2014

    @NyxCloud It does sort of seem that first-person-survival-horror games like Amnesia, Slender and the raft of forthcoming titles have kind of become a genre unto themselves (complete with mechanics like no guns and insta-death), which set them aside a little from the Resi Evils and Silent Hills of the past.

    Within the third-person-survival-horror genre, of which there were so many titles in the late 90s/early 200s, one thing that is for sure is that this certainly feels like the first new IP in a long time.
    Reply +1
  • Total Chaos is a beautiful open-world horror mod for Doom 2

  • Bauul 23/05/2014

    Wow, that does look excellent! I bet it could run on a pocket watch too.

    Edit: Genuinely puzzled by the negs! The Doom engine is a marvel of efficiency, and this surely proves it. It might have limitations compared to later engines, but the best FPS levels every created (imo) were done in the Doom engine, so it must have something going for it! :)
    Reply +3
  • Brink dev's F2P FPS Extraction renamed back to Dirty Bomb

  • Bauul 22/05/2014

    @ucankurbaga Yup, I'm absolutely sure Eurogamer would deliberately mislead their readers to support (to no great effect) another company simply because they just so happen to be based on the same landmass.

    I am absolutely sure that is what happened. Totally convinced.
    Reply +3
  • Performance Analysis: Wolfenstein: The New Order

  • Bauul 22/05/2014

    @rudedudejude If it plays 99.8% the same as RTCW then it's automatically one of the best FPSs of the last decade. I don't understand how you can say that's a bad thing?

    And you're being deliberately over the top trying to claim the new Wolfenstien hasn't come that far from RTCW. What's your beef?
    Reply 0
  • Evolve's multiplayer hunting entertains, if you play properly

  • Bauul 22/05/2014

    @jabberwocky Funnily enough that wasn't at all my experience of L4D. Games where one person ruined it for the team were pretty rare, because as soon as to tried the loan-wolf strategy you died immediately and no-one was around to respawn you.

    I'm quietly confident this will attract the right crowd. Perhaps things will be messy in the first few days, but after that things will get much better, especially if it literally only takes one game to understand it (as the article suggests).
    Reply +3