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Microsoft - Chewing The Hand That Feeds Them


And this time around that hand is PC Gaming. And no, this isn't a post about PC gaming dying, it's a post of the ironic situation in which Microsoft has gotten themselves out of pure greed.

While I doubt that Microsoft intentionally wants to damage PC Gaming, I still can't deny that they have done just that either by greed or sloppiness. That's the only conclusion I can come to after reviewing their actions with PC gaming in the past few years.

The dreaded "Vista Excusives"

Halo2(PC) started it, it had no DX10 effects to justify it, and it utterly flopped because of it. Then came Shadowrun and did the same, in the future we also have Alank Wake to look forward to. Now you may say "but technology moves on" and "Vista is great"....but that's no the point. The point is Microsoft slapped PC gamers in the face with their own dead dog with the Vista exclusives, Halo2 and Shadowrun were "fixed"(legally) to work on XP pretty much the day they hit the shelves, so we know there was no other justification than the sad attempt to boost Vista sales at the expense of PC gamers. Ironically, by doing that, they also pretty much confirmed that Windows does need games to sell.

Now you may think that "well at least Alan Wake is a ground up DX10 title, that's why it's Vista exclusive!" ..Sadly no, Alan Wake is Vista exclusive because Microsoft paid Remedy to make it so, it's not build on DX10, the fact that it's on 360 proves that, plus it was supposed to be on XP originally. Luckily the bigger developers under Microsoft influence have been able to wiggle out of it, like Epic with Gears Of War, but it does seem that if it were up to Microsoft, every game would be Vista exclusive, even if it would kill the whole PC gaming.

"Teh Live"

Now the next one is perhaps the worst - Games For Windows Live(GFWL). It was like a full frontal assault on PC online gaming, in a desperate attempt to replace something working and popular with an inferior solution controlled by Microsoft. Luckily the assault has failed this far, thanks to Microsoft underestimating PC gamers and thinking that a 3 year old xbox port like Halo2 would actually impress us. But how has it hurt PC gaming then? Well it hasn't much, yet anyway, only game lost to GFWL worth noting is Gears Of War, but it is nevertheless an attempt to directly exploit PC gamers even further without thinking the whole picture, and I can't imagine that Microsoft is naive enough to truly believe that PC needs a service like Live.

360

People can talk all day how 360 and PC aren't in competition with each other, but a simple glance at the game libraries tells otherwise. Yet like it or not, PC Gaming and 360 are also related through Microsoft. You could say PC is the adopted older brother and 360 is the slightly retarted little brother, and for now it's the 360 that needs more help and attention from Microsoft, unfortunately that often comes with the expense of PC. Microsoft is competing with themselves.

Exlusives - now PC doesn't have a big company holding onto the rights, so it's natural the games go to other platforms too. But seriously, how many of the PC/360 multiplats were made on PC's terms, and how many on 360's terms? And would games like Mass Effect and Gears Of War been on the PC too right from the beginning without Microsoft paying the developers? 2007 the 360 was mainly running FPS games, 2008 it will be running RTS games ..hmm, sounds to me like 360 is in more competition with the PC than it is with the Japanese consoles.

DX10 and Vista

Lets admit it, both have been utter failures from gaming perspective this far. DX10 came too soon when there just wasn't large enough install base for developers to make real DX10 games, Vista which is needed for DX10 just didn't get off to the start they thought it would, and the lower-end DX10 hardware wasn't really enough to run games on Vista with the tacked on DX10 effects.

Not to mention the 360, the main development platform for multiplats is only capable of DX9 which pretty much guarantees that no multiplat will truly be DX10 untill the next xbox. The sweet irony - Microsoft is simultaneously pushing forward with Vista/DX10 and pulling backwards with 360/DX9.

It looks like DX9 took the cake this time, it didn't help that the hyped DX10 only effects were tweaked to work on XP in DX9, and with improved framerate. Vista on the other hand seems to be just a slowdown for gamers and a minor annoyance when it comes to drivers and backwards compatibility.

Why

Why indeed. I mean PC gaming IS important for the success of Windows. Companies use Windows because people, the workers, know how to use it. People know how to use it because they have one on their home PC. And one major reason the people, especially the more computer savvy still have Windows, is because it plays games. So why would Microsoft neglect those gamers?

Here's why: No Competition. Microsoft is free to chew on PC gaming all they want, in the end the gamers don't have a choice, Windows is still the only OS that can run games well enough to meet a gamer's needs. They realized that they CAN indeed have the cake AND eat it.

The Best of 2007

Well here's the must have "best of" topic that was bound to come. Without further ado, lets get down to business.

Best Games of 2007:

1. The Orange Box

Amazing value, I'm sure this is a package I'll be playing for a long time to come. HL2 and Episodes 1 and 2 are great even on their own. But when there's something as brilliant as Portal included as well it has to be MY GoTY. And lets not forget TF2, while I'm not big on online shooters the unique graphical sty-le deserves a mention. I think I got Peggle Extreme too on top of all that...

2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow Of Chernobyl

Brilliant game with amazing visuals, realistic looking gameworld and an atmosphere you could cut with a knife. Yet it could had been so much more, the poor "headshot shooting system" with some technical issues and back tracking through desolate areas left something to be improved in Clear Sky prequel.

3. The Witcher

Now, I've only played it for few hours this far which is why I didn't feel I could put it past Stalker or OB, but it has certainly made an impression on me. It's undoubtly the best RPG on PC in a few years. Finally some choises to be made, and I was very impressed what they were able to do with the old NWN engine, it looks and runs great, something that for e.g. Obsidian failed to do with NWN2.

Biggest dissapointments:
Tarr Chronicles - Why force you to watch cutscenes all over again after dying, and why not give a chance to save?

Hellgate - 3D Diablo just doesn't cut it anymore.

Honourable mention:
Spaceforce - Technically marvelous and beatifull game with a deep gameworld, ruined only by the combat and story.

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Best Movies of 2007:

Shoot 'Em Up

Pure brilliance, funny and action packed over the top parody with some great action scenes.

Wild Hogs

Great comedy with great actors. It's the old fashion kind of comedy where normal guys get in strange situations, which I prefer over the current trend where an idiot wanna-be-funny main character who is impossible to relate to or even like(talladega nights, nacho libre) does stupid things on the screen....i hate clowns.

Resident Evil: Extinction

Zombies and Milla Jovovich...and like that isn't enough, it all takes place in a Mad Max sty-le apocalyptic world, what's there not to like? Extra props for making a game based movie that doesn't suck.

Biggest dissapointments:
Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 - Not funny, not interesting ..it just kept getting worse by every sequel, one more and they would hit the bottom.

Spiderman 3 - Worst movie I've ever seen. Not sure if it was supposed to be a comedy, but I know it wasn't funny. Yet it was too tacky to be a serious movie either. Made me want to kill myself.

Honorable mentions:
Die Hard 4 - Possibly the best Die Hard this far, and that's quite an achievement.

Vacancy - I thought it would suck like all horror movies in the past few years, but I watched it anyway since it had Kate Beckinsale, and loved it.

28 Weeks later - Because I just love zombie movies.

Grindhouse: Planet Terror & Deathproof - Amazing end in Deathproof and over the top action in Planet Terror just make you wanna laugh like a maniac.

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Best Album of 2007:

1. Nightwish - Dark Passion Play

The singer changed, but Holopainen's great melodic rock music stayed.

2. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

Great individual songs like The Pretender, and good overall album as well.

3. Apulanta - Eikä Vielä Ole Edes Ilta

Great overall album with great lyrics, like always. Unfortunately misses that one big hit song.

Shopping Spree!

School started, summer is ending and I've cut down my drinking ..so I felt like I needed a little cheering up, and nothing cheers me up more than burning some money. :D

So I invested a bit in my "working space", a new 20" widescreen monitor, made a huge difference in how everything looks, there's no going back anymore. Of course since it has higher resolution(1680x1050), I needed some more HP under the hood as well. Nothing major, X1950Pro 512Mb. I know 8800GTS would had been a smarter buy, but its twice as expensive and would had required a new PSU. Hopefully this will carry me untill something like 9600Ultra hits the shelves. Also ordered a new comfy leather chair and a new set of speakers. I went for 2.1 since I mostly listen to MP3s, even while gaming, and if I play something the 5.1 or 7.1 would actually benefit me(online shooters), I usually prefer headphones anyway.

Also got my car fixed so now it should be good for another year or two as well. All I need now is a dual-core CPU. Been looking into Opteron 175, only decent option for 939 socket. Prolly gonna get a new PSU as well, x1950Pro is supposed to require 22A/12V, and I have only 18A/12V ..but it's working anyway, for now at least. I was a bit worried I'd break it before even getting started, as my passive northbridge cooler was on the way ..had to use "a bit of force" for the massive new videocard to fit in there, little bending, swearing and violence did the trick tho.

I quit my job

Well I just sent an email to who apparently is my new boss and told her that I quit. :D Wohoo! The freedom! The slacking! The bills... :(

Well anyway, I hadn't done anything in a month or two, so I knew they were gonna fire my ass anyway(possibly already did...), I just thought I'd beat them to it. :D I'm not sorry at all, it was a crappy job, real exploiters those people....tried to make me do work!:evil: But I showed them! :lol: And school is starting soon so I wanna concentrate on that for a change ..tho I know I won't anyway. :P

What else....to my great shame I gotta admit I've been hanging in.... SYSTEM WARS! :o I know I know, The Horror! But I was bored and drunk when I stumbled onto it ..seriously...

Sorry for the overuse of emoticons...

Been a while...

But I'm not dead if someone was wondering ;) ..and no, I still don't have a life either...:P Not sure how long it's been since I last posted anything, a month or so I think. Anyhoo, wasn't sure where to start so I decided just to post this update for now. I was expecting to be kicked off the officer positions and such, but apparently not, instead I got promoted. :? (smartass, you're welcome to have it back or redirected to someone else, just let me know)

And where was I? Well not in front of the PC that's for sure, for the past year I've been sitting in front of a computer 24/7 so when the summer holiday started I just decided that enough is enough. But it's good to be back, I prolly won't be as active as before but I'll be around.

Later!

LastFM

Restless



Well we accidentally killed my roommate's goldfish and now his girlfriend is a bit angry at us. But at least we accomplished it in a very creative way, by having the stereos on full blast for about 10 hours, with the subwoofer next to the aquarium. :P It wasn't intentional...

Don't feel like working at all, I've had 2 weeks to do this one project, 2 days left and I've barely started, I just got bored at doing that same crap. Well I'll do it hastely tomorrow or just call the boss that my grandma died, or that my computer crashed and took the files with it, or something equally creative ..hmm, perhaps "my dog ate them" would work... In any case I'm gonna skip school tomorrow because of the flu, it didn't stop me from going drinking tho but ya know...

Apparently I'm popular now, in cnet that is, or at least I have the popular emblem and 50 friends on the list, and I even know them all at least a little so that's good. Wish I were that popular in the real life too, man I'm so very bored. I need some new friends, single guys who like drinking and have too much free time, everyone I know has a gf or something slowing them down.

And WTF is that "forbidden" that keeps replacing my words and sentences even when they aren't curse words or anything. :evil: One of the most annoying things I've seen...

And just on a side note something I just noticed, M$ Windows update wants to install "an important update" to my computer, update that would "keep notifying the user if he has a pirated version of windows". :lol: Hmm, yeah sure I'll install that, sounds like fun ..or NOT. Thanks M$ but I'm already aware that I have a pirated windows... :roll:

EDIT
Ah, 3.25 AM; Crazy, drunken mofo worker logs out with job finished. :D

Man I'm so wasted

This week didn't go too well, I got the flu, went drinking tonight with my roommate who had his birthday, couldn't get a ride to the bar, ended up drinking everywhere from the roof to his gf's house, even checking out the bar nextdoor which was even more depressing than his gf' place, imagine a bar that has only +50year olds and to top it off it was a karaoke night ..oh the horror. :cry:

I was supposed to work tonight, but how do you say no to someone who has his birthday and no one to drink with. It got also proven that all girlfriends are biatches from his gf watching his smoking to his friend's gf broooding all night and eventually stealing our ride. I've got deadline on tuesday and I promised to go drinking wiht him tomorrow too, damn...

My roommate is an interresting person when he's drunk, there's even a viideo of him in youtube, I'll post the link here even tho he would kill me if he'd found out so please DO NOT commetn, recommend or anything on it or reveal me in anyway..that means even you J.D, I'm serious!!

Sorry for the spelling but I'm just wasted, writing this as I'm eating before going to bed.
EDIT# Just testing the badge thingie... EntwineX's Profile at GameSpot

Doomsday Is Coming



I made a blog some time ago, but it, uh ..got deleted. So now I'm making a new one. Sorry for repetition to those who might have read the last one. Let's start out with the good news, at least I think they're good, less bad anyway.

I got promoted as the leader of PC Games For 4 Union so check it out if you have any interest in PC Games. It has about 370 members so it's a decent size union, but unfortunately it's been pretty quiet there lately. Anyway, as long as I'm the leader it'll be a board where anything goes.

Also pcslack3r.net posted/published or whatever some of my reviews. Some of them are better than others, but anyway, check the site out. My own little web page is pretty dead with about 7 visitors per day so it's nice to get them out there where they actually have a chance to be seen.

Haven't been in school for a week, just didn't feel like it, next week I'll have a holiday which I welcome, doesn't really change anything for me, but at least I don't have to feel guilty for skipping school...

But before that I have exam in C++ which involves a theory(essay) part and a part where we have to write a program. I already know I'm not gonna pass it, I'm so out of it, I'm hoping I could convince my friend to give me some help via messenger during the exam if possible. But chances are that everyone has different tasks so then I'm screwed. I also have an exam in Databases and SQL ..or was it Datatransfer, anyway, those shouldn't be as hard even tho I've skipped majority of the lectures.

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Also "discovered"(hardly a secret) a nice jewel ..well a jewel to those who are into space shooters. It's not only the game that is the jewel, but the download pack also that involves all the cutscenes, graphic enhancing mods etc. And yes, it's legal and free.

Freespace2 as a Bittorrent download

One of the best space sims ever made
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Yeah I'm lazy and just copy/pasted that from my website, so sue me.

Just watched Stargate Atlantis' 3rd season ..at least I think the 20th ep was the last of that season, wasn't all that great but still good enough to force me to marathon through it in few days.

Other shows I'm now watching:
Stargate SG-1 s10
Supernatural s2(?) -not sure anymore since it's via tv and I've missed few eps.
Lost s2-3 - same as above.
Andromeda s3
Prison Break s2
Also rewatching:
Babylon5 s5
Farscape s4

Oh, and if you're wondering why I haven't commented many blogs lately, there's something funny going on with some of the blogs, can't comment. Tho they seem to work for now.

Time is running out


Well I've been very busy lately, but still felt like it's time to write a blog. Seems like I have thousand things to do at the same time, not to mention everything seems to break down in my hands, mostly my car which has let me down 3 times this week, part of the fault is in this friggin' cold, I so hate cold. I welcome you global warming. I don't give a sh1t about the future generations as long as my car starts in the morning...

I think I might have a drinking problem as well(yeah I'm drunk even as writing this). I'm not sure tho, does drinking alone approximately 2L of 40% alcohol per week count as a drunk? Anyway it makes me feel good so I don't really care, and I'm never so drunk that I couldn't function(see any typos, no? I didn't think so...). I'm sober when I'm in school, but when I get home I open that sweet bottle of vodka - the nectar of gods, and ahhh, it's like heaven on earth again. Too bad that I have to work on evenings, but who cares. (Well the boss obviously, he's sending me angry emails... :lol: but who gives a sh1t about what he thinks..) I'm so getting fired... Okay, back to work now.





Hahaha! I got 'em, I got 'em goooood...


:twisted:

Hail To The King Baby!

I scored a job. Yes you read that right; me + job. :D This far I've always managed to cock up every job interview with my damn honesty, weird humour and nervous babling. I've done every mistake in the book. But this time the interview was via Skype ..so since they can't see me I googled for "most common job interview questions", made ready perfect answers for them and saved in notepad. And JACKPOT! 8) EVERY SINGLE question they asked I had a perfect answer which I only read from a paper ..bwahahahaa... :D The interviewer was swept away and offered me the job right there and then.

I was beginning to get a bit worried already since I had a small hangover in the morning, so I decided to take a zip of Vodka to clear my head, then another zip to help me relax a bit ..and one more just for insurance ..and so on. So naturally by the interview I was already maybe a wee bit too relaxed... But all ends well ..or does it. :shock:

Since I still have school left for 3-4 months I'll be doing it as an evening/weekend job, that's gonna eat away my time in these sites and from watching tv, playing games and so on ..oh well, I need the experience, hopefully I get some "work experience" points in school for that, if not it's goodbye job...

Also made some improvements on my web site ..but after I checked it out in schools computer with different browser, resolution and the ads visible I noticed that it's completely screwed up ..I'm gonna have to do that design part again.