Just an FYI, this website is going away soon. It costs money and I don’t feel it gets much use, other than directing people to other places so I’m going to stop paying for it.
Just an FYI, this website is going away soon. It costs money and I don’t feel it gets much use, other than directing people to other places so I’m going to stop paying for it.
It is now clear more than ever that the Xbox brand is not just targeting traditional console players. The vast majority of their marketing, infrastructure investments, capability efforts, as well as many other things have all pointed to a general “we want everyone to play on Xbox.” To play “on Xbox” doesn’t necessarily refer to the literal box under your TV anymore, it refers to the Xbox ecosystem; it’s games, it’s social interface, and other connectivity and integration. There are more ways than ever to access the Xbox library of games. There is the current console generation, Xbox One which includes the One S, One S All-Digital, and One X versions. There is the next-gen hardware, Xbox Series S and Series X. There is PC gaming, since all Xbox Game Studios releases now come to Steam and Game Pass for PC on release day of the console versions. Starting this week, there is now Cloud Gaming, available through a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Microsoft has given the gamer options. For people like me, that’s a good thing. Let me decide what’s best for me, my lifestyle, and most important to many people – the wallet. Let’s examine these options and do our best to determine what’s the best fit for the gamer inside of you. These options I’m about to discuss are not ranked in any particular and are my genuine best attempt to use people’s general behaviors, tendencies, and financials to decide what is best for them. There’s always circumstances that can come up that are unique to only you and your exact scenario may not be covered here, but I trust you’ll use this information to make the best decision regardless. Let’s get started!
Current Generation Gaming (Xbox One) – This is a little trickier to explain than you might think. The original Xbox One by most estimations is going to run like potato the further we get into next-gen games. If this is all you got, then it’ll work, but I’d recommend saving up for a new console. However, if you’ve got an Xbox One S or One X, both consoles should perform fine for the next couple years. The One X in particular is currently seen as the most powerful current gen console, so it’s not unthinkable that it can still hold its own for the next 2-3 years, or more. If you’re short on funds currently, have a gigantic backlog of current generation games, or just don’t feel all that hyped for any of the announced upcoming next-gen games, by all means, try and squeeze a few more dollars of value out of Xbox One. If you’ve got Game Pass, surely you’ve not played every game on there just yet so feel free to take your time upgrading. Keep in mind that the more time goes by, the less your current console will be worth via a trade in at a place like Gamestop. The upside to that is you can hold out for a good discount, perhaps a good Black Friday deal over the next 2-3 years and probably save more money on the purchase that you would’ve lost by not trading in your older console sooner. All indications are that Microsoft will be doing their best to keep Xbox One viable for as long as possible.
Next Generation Gaming (Xbox Series S and Series X) – Alright, so if you’re paying close attention here, you’re probably someone that is fairly certain or heavily considering the console upgrade for next generation. If that’s not you, then go back a section and see if you can be content sticking with Xbox One for a bit longer. For people that are certain they want that “next-gen experience” which of course is somewhat of a grey area based on the current games announced you know you want the new shiny thing, it’s just a matter of which shiny thing essentially. You’ve got two choices – Series S and Series X. These consoles are very clearly for different audiences. This is not to say that some people won’t be on the fence between the two systems, but the masses shouldn’t be if Xbox’s customer education and marketing is on point (which can be a big if sometimes).
Xbox Series S is basically the budget console. It’s the new car with the automatic windows, power steering, good gas mileage and a few other things but it doesn’t have the 4-wheel drive, the sunroof, the reverse camera and things like that. It is priced at $300, which is $200 less than the Xbox Series X, and $100-$200 cheaper than the PS5 depending on the model. It’s also the same price as the portable Nintendo Switch, but very much more capable for higher end games. Whatever criticisms there are for this console can always be shrugged away with “but still, look at that price!” The cons are no disk drive for physical games, less internal memory, and weaker graphics capabilities than PS5 and Xbox Series X, namely 4K resolution. It’s pro’s are that is does everything else the same as those systems but at a greatly reduced price. It’s processing power is the same as Series X and technically on paper is faster than the PS5. It will have same next gen features such as faster loading times and quick resume. It’s a great bargain for anyone trying reign in that monthly family budget or not trying to break the savings account for Christmas this year. If you only play a handful of games, such as Fortnite (or any battle-royale), annual versions of FIFA, Madden, Call of Duty and don’t care about playing movies or physical media, this is probably your guy right here. If you don’t have a 4K TV or more importantly don’t care about playing games in 4K because something like framerate is more important to you, well then the reasons for Series S are piling up. Even if you don’t play any of those games but largely just stick to 2-3 games for long periods of time, then the system will still have plenty of storage for you to manage with. Casual gamers will love this system. New gamers will love this system. Veteran gamers that don’t consider the Xbox brand their preferred method of gaming might still pick one up as well. There’s a good amount of value, intrigue, and marketability for the Xbox Series S.
Xbox Series X is the heavy weight. Using our car analogy from before, it’s the Cadillac Escalade. All the bells and whistles for next-gen consoles. It boosts the highest graphical power, targeting 4K as it’s baseline and reportedly 8K ready (assuming that ever becomes a thing in the next 10 years). It will handle 60 frames per second with ease and do quite nicely for those developers wishing to push up to 120 fps. It has the most built in storage space out of all the next-gen options. The only metric on paper that it isn’t the best or tied for best is it’s SSD speed, which is a smidge slower than the PS5. That’s it. It’s a straight up beast. This beast does cost $499 and includes a physical disk drive. It’s a big chunk of change, but it is boasting performance that on it’s launch day is more than most people’s gaming PC’s (for now). If you’re an enthusiast and have got the disposable income set aside, and perhaps don’t want to worry about storage space (by comparison), graphical capabilities, or having to upgrade anytime soon, this is likely your best match. People with an already build PC that has a 2080ti or better graphics card could elect to put that $499 into improving their PC rig if they wish. If you don’t have a PC to speak of for gaming, you’re talking about spending roughly $1500 on a new PC build just to match the Series X performance. The Series X is only a third-ish of that cost. Some people have a great gaming PC, but just prefer console. The people that have that kind of disposable income for a great PC but prefer console gaming will probably want Series X as well. We’ll talk more about PC in a moment.
In summary for next generation systems, if you’re looking to squeeze the value out of every last dollar and don’t give a rip about 4K resolution, go with the Series S. If you want the best and you don’t mind opening up the wallet a little, go with the Series X. The affordability argument for each console gets another layer to it however. Microsoft has it’s All-Access program for new consoles. The reader’s digest version is that you can finance your new console (and the Gamepass subscription) into 0% APR monthly payments over 24 months. Personally speaking, I’m not a fan of using credit to purchase something that is purely of entertainment value. With that said, the concept is basically the same as every time most people get a new cell phone. The monthly payment for the phone is lumped into your monthly service bill. At the end of the 24 months you own the console outright. You can get Series S and 2 years of Xbox Gamepass Ultimate for $25 per month, Series X and 2 years comes out to $35. If you don’t want the big lump some payment but have decent to good credit, you could go this route for Series S. If you are trying to be cost efficient but can see the long-term benefits to investing into the beefier console, Series X, because you perhaps want that extra storage or you plan on getting a 4K TV eventually, then you could go this route as well.
PC Gaming – It’s been standard now for a few years that Microsoft’s 1st Party games now release on Steam the same day they are released on console. PC performance all depends on your PC itself, but you have the same access to mostly the same library of games. PC has it’s own slice of the Game Pass subscription as well, you can use Game Pass for PC on it’s own, or use Game Pass for PC as part of your Game Pass Ultimate subscription. If you’ve already put a ton of cash into a PC fairly recently or you just prefer PC gaming in general, you still have significant access to the Xbox ecosystem. “But wait, doesn’t Microsoft want me to buy their console instead of playing on PC?” Not really, at least not in the traditional sense. Their business strategy as well as how they measure success is not in outdated console war metrics, but in software sales, active users, and total subscriptions. These three things bring the company more profit than console sales. Yes, they still need to sell some consoles because not everyone has a PC and if they don’t have a PC or a console, then it’s harder to sell software and the only thing left is a subscription service, which we’ll cover below. Consoles are generally sold at a loss, software is sold with as much as a 30% piece of profit to the bottom line. So if they can get you to buy software, getting up to 30% a pop without also having to take the loss on a console sale, why wouldn’t they? Anyway, that doesn’t matter to you. What matters is, if you like your PC, it runs great, you like playing games on PC, and you really don’t feel like buying another box for under your TV (or monitor), then by all means, use your PC to join the Xbox eco system through Steam purchases or Game Pass.
Cloud Gaming – Cloud gaming capabilities, formerly known as Xcloud, launched this week for those individuals with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Currently android devices, mostly cell phones and tablets are set and ready to go with over 150 games to choose from. In it’s current state, Cloud Gaming with Game Pass is likely to be more of a supplemental service for people in the United States and more developed countries. There’s no doubt large audiences in places like India and elsewhere around the world where a cell phone device that streams games is more accessible for the average person that console or PC hardware, will think of it as their primary means. Until Cloud Gaming has more time to solidify itself, this is just speculation on my part. However, it’s unlikely that Cloud Gaming will just be an android cell phone and tablet service forever. Expect PC and Laptop browser capabilities to follow later on down the road. If you’re tired of different generations of hardware, dozens of game cases laying around and perhaps just want something to take with you to play when you’re bored at the doctor’s office, waiting for your flight at the airport, or various other situations of that nature, consider Cloud Gaming with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Those examples are just referring to phone and tablet usage. A really old laptop or PC can become your cloud gaming device if the browser support comes along. With cloud gaming, no downloads or patches, cords, cables, etc etc; you essentially game on someone else’s computer in a galaxy far far away, well not a galaxy, but you get the picture.
What Option Is Best For YOU? – As mentioned at the beginning, there are many options. If you’re like me, you might have one of these options as your primary but still use other secondary avenues to stay engaged in the eco system. Microsoft is determined to get people from all corners of the world, many varying economic backgrounds, and gaming backgrounds into their ecosystem. How are they doing that? Multiple entry points into the ecosystem. Older console, newer console, PC, and Cloud. We have more options to play games than ever before. The best part of more options is, YOU DECIDE!
Joel Mead is a gaming enthusiast since 1990 when he got an NES for Christmas. He occasionally streams on Twitch and you can find him talking about Xbox, Nintendo, and gaming in general in the RunJumpStomp discord community. Follow him on twitter @meadiocregamer.
Q: Can you describe for our community what kind of game that Outcaster is?
A: Outcasters is a fast-paced, competitive, and chaotic shooter for up to 8 players. It’ll test your speed, skill, and creativity if you want to win.
Q: How long is the average match? Will the game be quick to pick up and play, or require a long time investment in each match?
A: Matches can be short if you’re really good! But we want you to be able to enjoy Outcasters no matter how much time you have. You can pick up and play for a few matches, or play it for ages with your friends.
It’s why Stadia is the perfect platform for Outcasters; it’s so easy to jump in with your friends straight away.
Q: Do your characters level up at all with play, or are any drops or unlocks just cosmetics?
A: You unlock abilities over your first few levels as you learn the game, but everything else is up to you!
Q: With support for both Keyboard/Mouse and controller (as well as touch controls on mobile) are you planning to separate people using different input methods for matchmaking?
A: We aren’t, but we’ve made sure that the different control methods all feel amazing to play.
Q: What Stadia specific features have you included in the game, any planned support for crowd play?
A: We aren’t talking about this just yet, but keep your eyes peeled!
Q: Why did you bring this game to Stadia in particular?
A: I don’t need to tell you, but Stadia is a really cool platform! Having no downloads, minimal load times, the ability to play anywhere and on any device is revolutionary. We thought Outcasters was the perfect fit.
Q: How has the development process been so far on Stadia?
A: The team have been amazing to work with, but I won’t embarrass myself by trying to talk about the technical stuff! We’ll be talking more about that sort of thing in the future.
Q: Do you have any plans for post-release content you could share with us?
A: Not just yet! But Outcasters fans will have plenty to look forward to
Q: What is the coolest feature of the game that you can’t wait for people to play with?
A: Honestly, I’m just so excited to see people get their hands on it! Obviously, we’ll see some crazy customisations, but I want to see just how good people are going to get at it, and some of the amazing plays people will be able to pull off!
Q: What question do you wish that we had asked about Outcasters?
Red Art Games is pleased to announce that online pre-order for the physical boxed version of Kholat on Nintendo Switch are available now, with a limited edition of 3800 copies with a price of €29.99/£27/$35.
· Pre-Order Link www.redartgames.com –
Billed as the most terrifying journey of your life, Nintendo gamers can experience this epic adventure game, which was created by Polish indie developer IMGN.PRO and narrated by famous British actor Sean Bean.
“We are very proud to announce the physical version of Kholat on Nintendo Switch – one of the best titles to usher in the new school term!” – Michael Binkowski – CEO of Red Art Games.
Kholat was previously released on PC /PS4 /XB1, where it sold over 700,000 units across those three platforms and accumulated over 3.5M users, becoming one of the most popular indie horror games. Kholat is an exploration adventure game with elements of horror inspired by the event known as Dyatlov Pass Incident. The player will plunge directly into the boundless scenery of the inhospitable Ural Mountains with the task of finding out what really happened. Controlling the main character you trace the steps of a group of nine Russian college students who went missing in February 1959 on Kholat Syakhl.
Kholat is told through a first-person horror adventure framework and presents an atmospheric storyline of intrigue and mystery. With standard survival equipment including map, compass and flashlight, the player must balance their health and well being with the challenges that unfold. A sense of unease will wash over the player as periods of time pass, the cold winds and wintery conditions that prevail as you move from location to location. Limited information in the form of notes and cryptic voiceover as the player journeys through the world add to the experience of feeling lost as ghostly figures roam looking for their prey!
· Narrated by Sean Bean
· immersive exploration experience
· Chilling atmosphere and tension
· Self made story inspired by true events
· Non-linear open world
· Challenging exploration
· In-game navigation by map and compass
About Red Art Games
Founded in January 2018, Red Art Games is a French video game publishing company offering physical versions of video games only available in digital and in limited edition. The games presented on Sony PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch, very retro gaming oriented, are, therefore, particularly aimed at collectors. Today, Red Art Games has published no less than 30 video games, all platforms combined, and does not intend to stop there!
For more information, visit www.redartgames.com and follow us on Twitter (@REDARTGAMES)
A century before the events of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game, the Great Calamity occurred. Hyrule was plunged into darkness, devasted by an evil force which transformed the kingdom forever. While the Great Calamity is touched on in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch system, fans have never experienced what happened before that catastrophic event … until now.
In the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game, which launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on Nov. 20, players will be transported to the time before the Great Calamity happened, participating in epic battles against a backdrop of familiar locations in Hyrule before they were destroyed. The game stars recognizable characters from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild like Link and Zelda, as well as other characters like the four Champions, who will be playable for the very first time in the Hyrule Warriors series.
The debut trailer can be viewed by visiting https://www.zelda.com/hyrule-warriors/.
“Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a must-play for fans of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Roll up your blue tunic sleeves and get ready for a dramatic and surprising adventure through Hyrulean history this holiday season.”
Hyrule Warriors: The Age of Calamity features gameplay that will be familiar to fans of the Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors games. Focused on performing combos and over-the-top special abilities, the action-heavy gameplay is fast-paced and strategic, perfect for players looking for an intense, non-stop action game with direct ties to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In addition to all the action, the game is loaded with a robust story that depicts the events, relationships and dramatic moments of the Great Calamity in captivating detail.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity finds plenty of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – not just in its visual style. Many of the most popular and fan-favorite characters from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are playable, including Link and Zelda. In addition to hacking and slashing their way through swarms of enemies to defend Hyrule, players will also solve environmental puzzles, unlock weapons and skills, craft materials, visit shops to obtain items and use the power of the Sheikah Slate, which fans will recognize from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
To pre-order Hyrule Warriors: The Age of Calamity and learn more about the game, visit https://www.zelda.com/hyrule-warriors/.
Mario has come a long way since jumping on that first Goomba in World 1-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. game. Now, 35 years since the launch of that game in Japan, he is starring in new games on the Nintendo Switch system, lending his likeness to brands like LEGO®, PUMA and Monopoly, and watching as fans battle it out using Super Mario power-ups in Splatoon 2.
In a new video presentation released today, Nintendo detailed several games, products and in-game events that are all arriving for the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. This includes games new to the Nintendo Switch family of systems like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, a collection of three Super Mario games of the modern era, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy; Super Mario Bros. 35, a 35-player online battle in the world of the original Super Mario Bros. game; and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, an enhanced version of the Super Mario 3D World game which originally launched on Wii U.
Additionally, the video revealed other Super Mario experiences launching this year, like Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which brings the fun of the Mario Kart series to the real world using the Nintendo Switch system to control a real-life, physical Kart; the launch of the classic Super NES game Super Mario All-Stars on Nintendo Switch Online later today*; and a new Nintendo product called Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., a mini gaming device inspired by the retro Game & Watch systems that plays the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Ball games.
“We look forward to everyone joining us on a Mario journey 35 years in the making,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “We are marking this significant milestone with a wide variety of games and experiences that all generations of Mario fans, from here to the Mushroom Kingdom, can enjoy together.”
The full video presentation can be viewed by visiting http://supermario35.com/. Highlights of the video include the following:
Nintendo featured a variety of different games coming to the Nintendo Switch system in the latest Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase video presentation, the second in a series of Partner Showcases made possible by the ongoing support of Nintendo’s development and publishing partners. Games include titles from Ubisoft, SQUARE ENIX and Harmonix, starring recognizable characters like Sora from KINGDOM HEARTS, an all-star cast of manga heroes and even boxing legend Adonis Creed himself!
“We appreciate the continued support for Nintendo Switch from our development and publishing partners,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations. “The diverse collection of games highlighted in these Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase presentations helps to deepen the already-rich library of games that Nintendo Switch owners can enjoy.”
To view the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase video in its entirety, visit https://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct/08-26-2020/. Some of the highlights revealed in the video include:
Discord community member AquaRegia created this script. I decided to post it here so people can play around and figure things out. I have not use Tampermonkey. I’m not endorsing it. I’m just letting people know its there.
A lot of the communication between the client (Chrome browser) and the Stadia servers happens through an API. The client sends a request for the games/achievements/friends/etc. and the server responds with the requested information in an easy-to-use structure. By intercepting these API calls you can look at the information in its rawest form, before the browser has decided how (or if) to show it to the user.
Tampermonkey is a Chrome extension that allows you to add, remove, and edit functionality on an existing web page.
The following Tampermonkey script intercepts every API call on Stadia, and neatly puts them together into an object called StadiaAPI. After installing (and refreshing the page), open the Chrome developer tools (ctrl+shift+j) and type “StadiaAPI” into the console. This will display everything the browser has received through the API:
They all have arbitrary names, but I’ve managed to figure out the content for some of them, here are some examples:
sis9oc – All of your achievements from the latest game you played
Z5HRnb – Friends list
LV6ate – All of your games
After typing “StadiaAPI” you can click on the arrows to expand every object. All values are unlabeled, so it takes som detective work to figure out what they represent. They’re always in the same order however, so once you’ve figured it out you’ll always know where to look. Here’s an example:
With just a little bit of coding knowledge you can then use this data any way you like. For example, you can type:
StadiaAPI.LV6ate_0.map(e => [e, e ? new Date(e*1000).toISOString() : "Never"])
to show a list of all of your games and the last time you played them:
Using a similar technique AquaRegia created another Tampermonkey script that intercepts game information and creates graphs that show you the game time on all of your games, it can be found here:
What can you figure out using this method. Tweet it at me @RunJumpStomp on Twitter