Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Xbox+ & PS4K – Concerns

March 22, 2016

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In recent weeks there have been a lot of rumours about the Xbox One and PS4 possibly having hardware upgrades in the future to keep up with the ever advancing graphics and processor improvements seen in the PC world.

At the moment these are just rumours but it does raise a number of concerns and questions.

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How would this work?   Is this going to be a piece of hardware you plug in to your console externally,  or is it going to need to be opened up?

Cost?   Graphics cards, Ram and processors are not cheap so is this not going to price many out of the market. I would expect this hardware to be at least  half the cost of the original console again.

How would this work between  different levels of console?   In the world of pc you have to lower your settings if your system is not powerful enough.   We can make the assumption there will basically be a choice of two settings,  normal or upgraded.   However will this not cause differing performance in games such as shooters were the upgraded system would be able to show the enemies quicker.   It just seems like it would be creating a world much like the PC world where you have  varying levels of systems and therefore varying levels of advantage,  equalling an uneven playing field for gamers.

I originally, many years ago switched from PC to console as I was sick of the cost to upgrade graphics etc which  was not  cheap,  quickly became out dated and still having to set the graphics to the lower settings. The console was much simpler,  plug it in and go. There is already the PC supremacists,  do we really need this in the console world.

Another issue is that we are just 3 years into the current generation of console and they are already talking about the next steps.   If history has taught us anything it’s that it takes a few years for game developers to get to grips with a system and squeeze every last ounce of  power from it,  so is this not jumping the gun.

These are just a few of the many questions I’ve seen on the internet and hopefully we’ll get some satisfactory answers soon. I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t keep up with the gaming generations.

Update 24 March 15: Phil Spence in an interview on Major Nelsons podcast stated this was something they are considering for the future, not something that will be happening any time soon. This make me feel happier about the future if Xbox One.

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Next Gen Console – Why I Have Finally Settled on the Xbox One.

September 16, 2013

Let me start this blog by making it clear, I am an Xbox fanboy, I have owned a PS1 and 2 but my last few years have been spent with Microsoft.

I have spent the last few months agonising over which console I would be going for.  I did a large amount of reading on both consoles and a couple of months back I would have said I am going to get a Playstation.  This decision at the time was purely based upon the rumour that the Playstation was going to be more powerful, the cheaper price and the fact that more of my friends would be going for the Playstation.microsoft-xbox-one

However, a few months on and I have made my decision and actually pre-ordered the Xbox One.  The reason for this complete 180 is down to a number of reasons which I will go into below.

1.  Price – The Playstation is cheaper however if you purchase the Sony camera to go with the console, thus taking advantage of the tech, the prices are almost identical.  This however is not as good as the Xbox One Kinect camera and also not being a mandatory part of the console also means that it will follow the way of the Kinect and thus games using it will be limited as developers are not going to waste money on camera development if only a small percentage of the gamers have it.

2.  The specifications of both consoles are now much closer, particularly since the Xbox’s recent upgrade in GPU means that there is not a significant advantage to go with the Playstation.

3.  Despite my friends being likely to get the Playstation I have found that the fact I play in the same room as my wife watches TV means that I rarely talk to players and therefore playing against friends is such a rare occurrence it cannot justify a console purchase.

4.  Microsoft appear to be listening to their customer base.  At the original launch of the Xbox One, things could not have gone worse, Sony took advantage of that and took as many shots at Microsoft as they could.  They had good reason too, the used game policy, the always online although not major concerns to me were seen as a major issue by many.  However Microsoft (no matter what the reason) quickly did a u-turn on these decisions.  Therefore I feel more comfortable knowing that Microsoft will make further improvements as time progresses.

5.  Perhaps the biggest reason I made my final decision was due to the games.  With both consoles being very similar with regards to specs, Microsoft development is slightly easier as most developers will be programming on windows systems, therefore making the transition between PC and Xbox ports much easier.  I have also found that many of the PlayStation exclusives are directed at the Japanese market, ie anime style games which just isn’t for me,I realise this is not all they offer but it contributes to my feelings on this.  Also the exclusive titles, earlier releases etc on Xbox are more my style of games.  Do not get me wrong, games such as ‘The Last of Us’ on Playstation looked amazing but I felt that these games that actually grabbed my attention on Playstation 3 were few and far between, therefore my decision has been led by the type of games already being shown for the Xbox.  Also the massive server investment Microsoft has invested in the Xbox looks to provide a better gaming experience, yes Playstation are also making a large investment in this area, but in comparison they are a few years behind on this and therefore it will take some time for them to match the power house behind the Xbox One.

6.  It is only now, with the PS4 that Sony are focusing much more RAM on the operating system, I have heard many complaints from Playstation gamers regarding slow friends lists, etc on the PS3.  Xbox had this mastered in the 360 and this looks to continue into the next gen.

So this is why after month of boring my friends on Facebook I made the decision to stick with Xbox.  The discussions will, as with the current generation continue for many years as to which console is best, but I am going to remain an Xbox fanboy for the next 7 years at least.

Gaming, Facebook and Twitter – Going Cold Turkey! (1 Week Offline) – Day 5

June 29, 2013

Day 5

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Well it has been a pretty uneventful week off of the Xbox.  No irritation, no getting moody, which was a surprise.  There have been moments of slight boredom but I have always quickly found something to occupy my time.

Despite having to correct a couple of my friends and family that despite some apps and this blog auto posting to Facebook, I haven’t actually been on Facebook.

Initially the hardest part from this week off was surprisingly not posting to Facebook and Twitter, there were times I would normally reach for my mobile to post, such as when bored on my commute to work but I quickly realised that by logging out of both apps it made it much easier to realise what I was doing and quickly shut it back down again.

Now my time off of Xbox had not been hard at all, there have of course been times where I have thought I would fancy a quick game of Call of Duty but I have quickly found something else to do instead.  I have managed to finish the book I had only just started a month ago which I really enjoyed and I have also started the fourth book in a series I have been reading over the past year which I am really enjoying.

So this week, so far has not been too hard at all, today being Saturday and tomorrow will be the real test as I am not working but I am not worried.  I have found that what originally prompted me to start this week off has actually improved.  I was finding that even when not playing I was thinking about playing or posting videos to YouTube of my gameplay.  This over the course of the week has diminished, it hasn’t gone completely (I am not expecting miracles) but it has stopped distracting me from more important things in my life.

So I have two and a half days to go, it has been a revealing week and I am pleased I took the decision to do this as I have benefitted from it, also through pure luck my self-imposed ban does end the day before the new Call of Duty map packs are released and the new free game is released on Xbox Live but both of these are pure coincidence (to back this up I have yet to play the last free game they released).

I think I will do one more post on this topic when the ban is lifted unless of course anything major happens over this weekend, but I seriously doubt there will be anything to report.

Thanks for reading and please follow if you have enjoyed any of my posts!

iPhone to Android – Nothing to Fear

June 28, 2012

It has been a month now since I made what I thought was a massive jump from IOS to Android.

At the time I spent much time pondering whether I wanted to take the risk of changing.  I used my iPhone for many things and probably used it for more functions than the average user. I finally, driven by cost saving made the leap to Android. At the time the Samsung galaxy S3 was on the verge of release but I correctly (as I can now confirm) realised the contract would probably cost the same as an iPhone contract. I instead opted for the S2. This was a cheaper contract and the phone was free!

As an aside I soon bought a better battery as the ultra thin S2 battery was very much like the iPhone, ie not very long lasting. Even with the new bigger battery it is still far thinner than the iPhone.

Instead of dragging this blog out, I will simply list the pros and cons I have found. All of which is purely my opinion.

Cons
You do need a slightly more technical mind. This isn’t a phone for a moron.

More risk of viruses and malware (you can counter this with the free scanners such as Norton).

You will have to re purchase favourite apps,I however had grown bored of most my apps so this was not a problem for me.

Pros
Bar protected iTunes tracks you can use all of your existing music.

Apps are near identical to ios (sometimes better) and where there isn’t an Android version I have always found a viable alternative.

Not restricted to the high cost same old phone. You can choose different brands and styles of phone with varying cost.

Need more memory just buy a nice micro sd card. In comparison, to upgrade from the standard 16GB S2 it cost me £7 to bring it to 32GB compared to the £100+ cost to do the same on iPhone.

I have yet to find anything I could do on ios I cannot do on Android.

So overall I am not saying in any form that the iPhone is a lesser product. I am simply saying there are alternatives and it isn’t as big a change as you might be led to believe by the Apple fan boys.Believe me I was one.

If you fancy a change, try it, you might like it, I definitely do and haven’t looked back.

Apple’s iCloud, Amazing But Concerns!

June 10, 2011

This week Apple announced their amazing new service iCloud.  I am not going to go into all the details of the service but it is basically a sync service for your digital life.

I recently posted regarding my move from Mobileme to GoogleApps as I was not happy with the Mobileme service which Steve Jobs actually joked about in the conference regarding it not being one of their best products.

However questions arose from the presentation on iCloud that I am concerned about, but I assume will come to light in time.

Firstly battery life, I have seen a couple of posts regarding this concern as whilst this auto sync is wonderful on your plugged in Mac/PC what about the iPhone.  iPhone does not have the longest battery life as it is, so if it is constantly auto syncing with the cloud will this not kill the battery?

Secondly will it be able to be configured so that it only syncs things we want and when we want?  Again this relates to battery life but also there is often things I do not want synced such as photos etc to my iPhone or songs which I have removed due to space but want to keep on my PC.

My final thought is that whilst no storage is secure, I can never see this being a complete alternative to Hard drive back up as I myself have fallen to the fate of the iphone losing all of it’s data and then syncing with MobileMe and then my mac, basically wiping everything of my personal data (I fortunately backup).  Most will be aware of this risk but the less technically minded of us may not be so knowledgable.

I’m sure all of these questions if not already asked will be answered in due course but I just hope that the answers are what I am looking for.