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Latest Comments by Dunc
Microsoft acquires GitHub for some loose change
4 June 2018 at 2:53 pm UTC Likes: 7

QuoteI mean, look at Mojang. Microsoft acquired them back in 2014 and has anything actually changed—no.
Because Notch had his head screwed on properly. I have no doubt he included conditions of continued managerial independence in the sale.

Look, on the other hand, at Hotmail. Or Nokia. Or Lionhead. Or Rare. Or Blue Ribbon Softworks. (“Who?” ... Exactly.) And I'm sure I could name more if I actually gave it some thought. This isn't bigotry, still less “hate”. It's not even scepticism of Microsoft's alleged new love for open source. The fact of the matter is that Microsoft tends to screw up its acqusitions, leaving the world at large with less than the sum of their parts.

But we'll see. Maybe Mojang does show that it has turned over a new leaf (although I note that the Java edition is “the Java Edition” now, and not just, y'know... Minecraft, while the Pocket and Win10 editions have been merged into the ominously definitive-sounding “Bedrock Edition”). I'll believe it when I see it though.

You can now pre-order the Linux-powered Atari VCS games console, a lot more details revealed
4 June 2018 at 2:05 am UTC

Now, this is interesting:

QuoteIntellivision is making a new console and no that’s not a set-up for a joke that’s a real thing that’s happening in the real world, really.
Not simply in that first Atari jumps back into the hardware business and now their almost-forgotten competitor from the late '70s has returned too, but specifically Shamus's speculation on what it might be:

QuoteThere’s a lot of room between $5 phone games and the $300 Switch. I don’t know if it adds up to a “huge gaping hole in the market”, but I imagine there’s a lot of interesting things you can accomplish with sub-$100 hardware these days. You’re not going to get Overwatch or Doom 2016 running on that sort of machine, but if you’re looking to do family / party based games like LittleBigPlanet, Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D World, or retro arcade titles, then you can probably make that happen.
It's an idea that's been in the back of my head half-formed until I read that, but I think this is the market Atari's aiming at. Obviously not sub-$100, since we know the price, but that “hole” in the market between mobile and the Big Three. It's not necessarily retro gaming or emulation, although they'll certainly play a part in it; it's simply less hardware-taxing, but modern, games. Call them “AA” titles, if you like. It's the sort of market that, actually, Linux is already in, given the bias towards indie and away from the big names. The list of “confirmed partners” on Indiegogo - a mix of mobile developers and indies - would seem to suggest this too.

I still think it's underpowered (and possibly overpriced) even for that, but hopefully it helps to make some sense of what Atari may be trying here.

Final Shamus quote:

Quote(T)hat would sort of be muscling in on Nintendo’s turf. Except, Intellivision doesn’t have the vast storehouse of weaponized nostalgia properties to draw from. They don’t have a Mario, a Samus, a Link, or even a Kirby.
But Atari... well, Atari doesn't really either. But they're closer to it, and Atari S.A., the former Infogrames, has some more recent franchises to draw on as well.

You can now pre-order the Linux-powered Atari VCS games console, a lot more details revealed
31 May 2018 at 3:48 pm UTC

stretch611Yes, it is underpowered. However, the primary purpose of this console is emulation. Emulating a 40 year old console.
Except they've consistently protested that it isn't.

If that was the idea, I'd agree. In fact, it's probably over-powered for that purpose; an ARM device would be more than adequate. But no: in their original announcement, they mentioned “modern” games. It's supposed to be able to play stuff from Steam. In fairness, it may never have been the intention to have current big-name AAA games on it (although I'd argue the marketing so far has been somewhat misleading on that), but it has clearly never been “just” an emulation machine.

You can now pre-order the Linux-powered Atari VCS games console, a lot more details revealed
31 May 2018 at 1:25 pm UTC

slaapliedjeBut from what I understand VR is doing surprisingly well for being 'niche'. A lot of sales boosted from Ready Player One as well (not that I have seen that, I've given up on seeing anything by Spielberg).
I wasn't all that impressed by the book, if I'm honest. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but I don't really understand all the breathless excitement over it.

You can now pre-order the Linux-powered Atari VCS games console, a lot more details revealed
30 May 2018 at 4:38 pm UTC Likes: 1

I've always been cautiously optimistic about this, but I have to admit that for the first time I'm not encouraged. It does look a bit underpowered. I don't know much about the CPU, but games aren't usually CPU-limited anyway so that might not be too much of an issue. And I can't comment on recent AMD graphics either, except that I have a now-ageing NVidia GTX750 and it's still fine for everything I've thrown at it (I didn't even have to use the very lowest settings for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and I think there were bigger issues going on there anyway; it could actually run on higher ones, and at a reasonable framerate, but it crashed more often).

However 4GB sounds like way too little. I have 8, and I'm finding that even games which used to work perfectly are coming out with updates that leave them grinding to a halt as they hit swap. 32GB of storage ain't much either, even if you can add to it. The system alone will swallow a third of that, if not more.

I wouldn't say it's definitely doomed yet, but they really need to at least double the RAM and storage.

Re-Legion is a cyberpunk RTS where you convert citizens into your cult, will support Linux
29 May 2018 at 5:31 pm UTC Likes: 5

rustybroomhandleI'm sure we all want to convert people to our cult that supports Linux.
Beat me to it! Have a Like anyway.

Wine 3.9 released adding in the start of Direct 3D 12 over Vulkan support with vkd3d
25 May 2018 at 8:04 pm UTC Likes: 6

FinalizerGood job!Great to see how much work is done to get windows games to work under linux.Still I prefer native games at the moment...
I think everyone will always prefer native, but dxvk and vkd3d do change things up a bit. I'm still sticking to my “no Windows games till they're five years old” rule, though.

PSVR is running on Linux with OpenHMD and OpenHMD-SteamVR
25 May 2018 at 2:25 pm UTC Likes: 2

Now the Facebook buyout makes sense. I could never understand their angle before.

PSVR is running on Linux with OpenHMD and OpenHMD-SteamVR
24 May 2018 at 1:39 pm UTC Likes: 2

lucifertdarkVR of all sorts is still way out of most people budgets, the price will HAVE to come WAY down to have any hopes of real success.

I wonder which prices people expect, considering that every VR headset contains two gaming "monitors".
That's why I'm sceptical of it becoming mainstream any time soon. People pay for the experience, not the hardware. When making a purchasing decision, they don't say, “Oh, it has two monitors in, so that's a fair price”; they say, “For that money, I could buy a decent monitor that I can use all the time, not just when I'm free to stick it on my head”. For it to be mainstream, I suspect headsets will have to become cheaper than standard monitors. Which will be a difficult trick to pull off.

That's not to say it can't happen. If VR begins to take off, economies of scale could begin to take effect and within a few years they'll be practially giving them away, just like digital watches in the '70s and cellphones more recently. But I think the gap between how compelling the experience is and the cost is much larger than for either of those.

Phoenix Point is a dark, difficult and exciting strategy game that's very XCOM
23 May 2018 at 2:37 pm UTC Likes: 1

Having followed Julian Gollop's career since the days of Chaos* and Rebelstar, I have to say it sounds a lot more “Gollop-ey” than XCOM. It's funny how, although his influence is still very apparent in XCOM, you don't really notice the extent to which it isn't his game any more until he shows us how he would have done it.

Having just bought XCOM (again; I already had it on the Xbox 360) when XCOM2 came out, I still don't have the sequel. I might just give it a miss entirely and buy this instead.

*Mind you, it took me about 20 years to properly appreciate Chaos. In its final issue, the great Your Sinclair magazine named it the best Spectrum game of all time, and I couldn't understand what they were on about. It wasn't until about ten years after then that I finally “got” it. (And yes, that's the Chaos that was recently remade as Chaos Reborn.)

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