gaming

Mark Vergeer's picture

Taking a look at the Steel Series Free Mobile Wireless Controller (ZeeMote)(Gaming on Android)


Android has become a very good and solid operating system sporting all sorts of multimedia and gaming apps. Mobile gaming relying on the touch interface or using the gyroscopes often is frowned upon by more hard core gamers who feel the need for physical controls. (Read more)

Mark Vergeer's picture

CLOUD GAMING - when will it start to rain?

8 bit gaming8-bit gamingSony just introduced their streaming games service. Why buy a PS4 if you can stream those games to a ps3?

What about the pricing model?

Games aren't movies! Netflix works because of the subscription model and the low price. In the short term Sony may be able to squeeze some money out of old games if they use a sensible subscription model pricing. But it won't work for new games as they need to earn money and cover developing costs. On the long term they will run into issues. They will have to up the price.

Mark Vergeer's picture

New consoles and Micro transactions in (Full Price) Games

Mark Smile Micro transactions in full priced games with the gameplay being so much of a grind that people are motivated to buy the advancements in the game rather than going to the process of actually playing the games is what kills modern gaming for me. Games that have that mechanic will far less likely get played by me.

Whether or not I buy a new console depends on the publishers getting their act together on the new systems. Full price games like Forza 5 and Gran Turismo 6 (on the PS3) still have microtransactions in them. If the majority of full price games will contain this mechanic, what does that mean for gaming as a whole?

Micro transactions are meant to squeeze even more money out of customers' pockets, they have nothing to do with better gameplay or enhancing the game mechanics. They largely ruin the game experience. And I believe micro transactions are something you don't want to expose kids to as they don't teach you the value of things at all. Kids need to learn to be able to deal with money responsibly and such transactions won't help them - it will most likely confuse quite a few of them. Or does it?

Ad ridden free to play games are fine for some perhaps. The model does provide people with a full game and that's fine for some and also very enjoyable. It's comparable to watching a movie that is hacked to pieces with 15 minutes of commercials thrown in every so often. I'd much rather watch without interruptions and commercials and I think I get a better experience. I choose to do the same for my gaming.

I am of the opinion that if you opt to play those free to play / Micro transaction-containing games you basically support that marketing model and the masses of people choosing to do the same will make the game developers think they have something good there.

I choose not to expose myself to that kind of marketing mechanic or as little as possible as I am human and have a right to be irrational at times. Just give me a full game for a good price that I am able to play when I want - even a couple of years down the line - which with activations and online passes and closed systems needing day 1 updates and games that are basically broken when released today can only be dreamt of.

What are your opinions on the matter?

Mark Vergeer's picture

GameMID Android Handheld - Update on availability - December 7th 2013

Mark Smile The Android handheld I reported on earlier has now also become available for sale on the company's updated website. There's an order now button where you can place an order directly from the manufacturer or request additional information. The manufacturer is located in Hong Kong so it could be that you will have to pay additional import taxes according to your locale. Getting one from a retailer locally would be your best option but if that isn't an option going the direct route may be a good alternative. The unit comes in a sturdy box and is well protected by a specialized air filled sleeve. A charger compatible with your local AC power grid is also provided.

But now the GameMID has also been released to the German market and is sold as the "Phantom" - Expert shops are the go to places to get this device locally in Germany. It may be easier to import from Germany too. Here's a link to a German language review of the console.

Mark Vergeer's picture

My Experiences With The OUYA, What Are Yours?

OUYA Game ConsoleOUYA Game ConsoleA couple of months in I really really want to like it but I don't. I really don't. The concept is very cool, the Indie games for it are really cool and there's some great emulators out there for it BUT... there are too many negatives to make this right.

The controller just isn't up to standards, the thumb-pad touches the sides of the mold so it feels cheap and not well designed. What this also creates is a feeling of unresponsiveness on the thumb-pad button itself as it seems to get stuck in a depressed position quite often. The analog joysticks are actually the best bit of the controllers as they are of a good quality, but they do grind on the top of the controller's surface-plates creating a lot of plastic powder that will no doubt foul up button functionality in the future. The action buttons suffer a similar fate as the thumb-pad button - the holes on the surface of the controller are too narrow with too little margins for the buttons to move freely so they end up actually getting caught underneath the top of the controller. The touch interface area / mousepad is on the controller is actually quite nifty.

But there's more, read below to find out what it is...

Mark Vergeer's picture

GameMID Android Handheld - Update on availability - 9-17-2013

Mark Smile The Android handheld I reported on earlier has now also become available for sale on the company's updated website. There's an order now button where you can place an order directly from the manufacturer or request additional information. The manufacturer is located in Hong Kong so it could be that you will have to pay additional import taxes according to your locale. Getting one from a retailer locally would be your best option but if that isn't an option going the direct route may be a good alternative. The unit comes in a sturdy box and is well protected by a specialized air filled sleeve. A charger compatible with your local AC power grid is also provided.

There's also a very informative video explaining how the VKM - virtual key mapping software - works. This has been substantially updated since my video as it is now also possible to map swiping gestures onto the buttons (right thumb stick).

Performance wise this unit is capable of full speed emulation of many game systems, including the PPSSPP and original Playstation. Also many games, run great and the battery life on the unit is quite good. The developers of the RetroArch emulator have gotten a unit too so one can expect an even better native support for all buttons in future releases of that emulator. Hook the unit up to the TV over HDMI and you'll have a great console experience. Blue tooth, wifi, microsd slot - all is there. The amount of flash memory 8Gb is similar to the OUYA and in real life comparison - side loading the same apps onto the OUYA - this unit trumps the OUYA on real life Android apps despite the fact that in theory the OUYA has more beefy hardware. There is no lag on the GameMID's buttons and it seems to be my gaming tablet of choice at a great price. A lot of the Android gaming videos on this site have been recorded using this device. Check them out if you want.

Mark Vergeer's picture

What Is Nostalgia For You?

How do you define nostalgia? This is what it means to me. I am actually from the 4-bit generation as my first cartridge based system was the Odyssey2 / Videopac and that actually had an 4-bit CPU the Intel 4040!

Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

The Archos Gamepad - a lot of things are fixed - revisited after 1st firmware update

My 1st review of Dec 24th revisited. With the new firmware update I'd give this device a much higher end-score. 7.5 out of 10 or 75% of 100. Much if not all software issues with buttons cancelling each other out have been removed with the firmware update. Also the lag and flickering screen with the Archos mapping tool have been removed. Very nice. It brings the device up to a standard it really should have been when it was released. Read more below.

Shawn Delahunty's picture

Happy New Year: Some Reflection, Some Prognostication, and an "I Told You So"

Hello Everyone! I hope that you've all had a terrific Christmas and New Year break, and are as excited as I am about the possibilities and promise of 2013. I've been absent from Armchair Arcade for too long (again... job-related...), and am working on some articles to remedy that. (I still owe you good people the last article on the Houston Arcade Expo.) For now though, since it's the time of year that people tend get all gooey and sentimental, reflecting on the past so that they might get a better grip on the future, I thought I'd chat a bit about a topic near and dear to our hearts as gamers in the 21st century: SaaS - Software As A Service.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Nexus 7 and Retrogaming (Emulation) with the iCade ' 8-bitty ' gamepad

Showing the iCade 8-bitty blue-tooth game pad controller that works with the Nexus 7 - straight out of the box without having to root it or anything. It is primarily designed for use with iOS but works great with Android as well as you can see. Read more below.

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