Microsoft wastes $2.5 Billion US Dollars: On Mojang

I honestly didn’t think I’d be making a post here at all on this subject. It was simply too ludicrous a concept to contemplate. After the very recent acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft which turned into a veritable blood-bath as employees were cut in one of the largest layoffs by Microsoft to date… one would have thought that future Microsoft acquisitions would have entailed a certain amount of due-diligence. Not to mention then on-going legal fight between HP and former executives from Autonomy which has the rest of the tech industry seriously rethinking how software only companies are valued…

So when I heard that Microsoft was looking to buy Mojang for $2 billion US dollars… I laughed.

Really. I laughed:

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Don’t expect a Destiny review Soon(tm)

Yes, #Destiny did hit yesterday. Yes. I spent most of yesterday not actually playing it because of network disconnections. Yes, I will quote myself from July 15th:

Assuming that the sales projections mooted by Sony and Activision are accurate I would expect an already significant investment into server resources just for the Playstation beta aloneI think it might be a good idea to place those resources under a sustained player load during the month leading to launch… not just in month before the month that is before the launch.

However… the network disconnections are not why I won’t be posting a Destiny review… at least not for a while. Curious as to why? Well. Read on for an edited version of a post that went into the G+ thread from the PR handlers at Playstation:  Continue reading

Microsoft get’s Desperate: Free “Destiny” with Xbox One

Originally… I wasn’t going to post on this subject. That Microsoft has had a less than stellar first year with the Xbox One is a news piece more stale than fast food french fries after 10 minutes on the table. Anecdotal evidence in the form of sales discrepancies from end-user retailers; vast sales gulfs ranging from 2:1 to 3:1 ratios in tracked third party software released on other platforms; and claiming shipped units as sold units are just the tip of the ice berg. The performance of the Xbox Franchise has been so… disastrous… that Microsoft outright shuttered the aggressive video-content production teams and abandoned Kinect. Even those maneuvers were not enough as Microsoft is still fending off yet more rumors that the Xbox Franchise is back up for sale… yet again.

So at some point… something had to change. Which it did.

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Destiny: wait… did Activision listen to Me?

A few weeks back I posted an email to Activision highlighting my opinions on the release SKU plan.

Separating the SKU’s for PS4/PS3 and Xbox One/360 really seems like Dirty Pool, especially with Valve already having set a cross-platform SKU expectation with Portal 2. …

…offer lower-platform redemption codes with the PS4 and Xbox One Limited or Ghost edition releases. Buy the PS4 Limited or Ghost, get a PS3 code free :: buy an Xbox One Limited or Ghost, get a 360 code free.

Well… fast forward to now:

A bit reversed… those who buy the last generation of Destiny automatically get the next-generation free… at least for a little while…. and only on the Digital Releases. Still… it seems like Activision did listen to fan feedback.

Some Destiny Videos before Launch

During the Destiny Beta I started playing around with the PS4′s video capture functions. After realizing that the PS4′s file system support does not include any support for modern file systems like EXT4, Btrfs, or even the designed for flash-memory F2FS, I scrounged out an old card with a deprecated FAT formatting and started uploading videos to Youtube. Granted, those watching my G+ feed probably already saw most of the videos hit there.

And I forgot the cut function so this flooded the front page. More after the now inserted break:

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Intel’s Haswell-E arrives

I really wish I had more to type on this subject. Probably noticed in the Dead Island post I am not exactly running the most modern hardware available.  Still… I’m not entirely out of paying attention to the latest items released into the x86 hardware market.

Intel just let loose a new series of I7 processors. The entry level model is the I7-5820k at $400. Okay, in fairness, $400 isn’t exactly what most consumers would consider an entry point… it’s actually kind of expensive. For the hardcore gamer though… it’s my opinion that the 5820k will likely become this generations new I7-920.

The processor might be the entry point… and the direct clockspeed might not be all that impressive… but everything else will likely more than make up for those small sacrifices. Cases in point, the total processing thread count jumps to 12 in-process threads. The processor also packs almost twice as many PCI-Express lanes as the gamer targeted I7-4790k; quite useful for those pushing multi-gpu configurations or heavy storage loads like processing realtime video captures.

The memory channels also increase, from dual-channel to quad-channel. Now, infamously, when Intel sent me an I7-920 engineering sample… the board I wound up coupling that chip with was… well.. Crap. I didn’t get the I7-920′s Triple Channel memory working until literal years later… and even then Window’s installations don’t know what to do with the third channel. Still don’t actually.  Still, even when I got triple channel memory working, there was a noticeable jump in perceived performance. Quad-Channel memory might not make a large difference in any specific single applications… but I suspect it’s going to make one hell of a difference when running multiple processing loads.

So, short version, I want one. Just wish I had more to write about the processor here on GNiE.

For those curious Intel’s product page is here:

Huh. Dead Island on Linux.

Quick post. I just noticed that Deep Silver’s Dead Island is now showing for install on Linux through Steam.Linux. However… as of this posting… near 2:05 am EST… There is not actually a binary executable to launch the Dead Island game.

So… much like Witcher 2 from earlier this year… another ghost launch. Aside from hoping that Deep Silver’s attempt is actually a native client… and not just the Windows executable in a W.I.N.E. styled wrapper… there is hope that this indicates the appearance of more Deep Silver / Koch Media titles.

I do want to re-iterate a point I made to directly Valve a few years back. Most of the gamers who are going to play Dead Island likely already have purchased Dead Island. Simply releasing into the Debian/Linux software ecosystem will not, by itself, generate additional sales. Coincidentally, simply re-releasing previous games that perform not just visibly worse than their Windows versions, but catastrophically worse than the Windows versions, will simply damage potential future sales.

Here’s hoping that Dead Island makes it’s Linux debut a little more smoothly than Metro’s debut… which incidentally is also seeing the original game launching into the Linux software ecosystem with Metro: Redux.


Road not Taken

For many gamers there is one word that will almost automagically determine whether or not they will like Road Not Taken. A one word description of a genre that will instantly make or break the opinion without even touching the controller.


For those unfamiliar with the description, Roguelike games are simplified dungeon crawlers centered around procedural or randomly generated dungeons. Most tend to have an emphasis on short playtimes for any given dungeon, a side effect of limited controls and turn-based or step-based exploration. So, in short, a perfect game genre for a mobile developer like Spry Fox to try their hand at.

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Fallen: A2P Protocol Interview

logoWe at Gamenikki are always interested in “what’s next.” When “what’s next” invokes the names of great games from the past, to paraphrase Django Unchained: “You had our curiosity; now, you have our attention.”

Red Katana is an independent developer with an ambitious Kickstarter. Fallen: A2P Protocol is a turn-based strategy game with tactical combat elements; the game draws inspiration from a variety of well-loved PC classics in the genre, including Fallout, Shadowrun and X-Com. Red Katana are up-front about that inspiration, engaging in some name-dropping in the first paragraph of their Kickstarter. We wanted to know more, so here’s an interview with Red Katana CEO Martin Cao. Continue reading