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Thoughts on Steam in the Living Room

By Jeff Buckland, 9/29/2013 10:52 PM

Steam announced all of their things. Yay! So we've got a whole new Linux distribution that's centralized around gaming, standards for hardware that allow for open creation of "Steambox"es by basically anyone, even you as long as you buy hardware that Valve considers worthy to be a part of SteamOS, and a controller that, well, well...

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nVidia Suddenly Wants to Improve Linux Drivers!

By Jeff Buckland, 9/24/2013 8:58 PM

After years of refusing to help Linux developers with anything but basic, crappy drivers, all of a sudden they're now willing to help make open-source Linux drivers. And yesterday Valve moved forward on creating an entire new gaming platform by unveiling SteamOS... anyone else think that's just a coincidence? Because I don't. But fine, gamers will benefit and developers get what they wanted. Still, I doubt Nvidia was doing this out of the kindness of their hearts or a sudden desire to cater to the niche Linux community. Seems much more likely that they want to get started on pulling in the much bigger Linux community that'll exist if SteamOS gets big.

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Valve Introduces SteamOS

By Jeff Buckland, 9/23/2013 9:50 PM

Welp, Valve has just announced SteamOS, which will go along with future hardware manufacturers' movements into the living room. SteamOS is a Linux-based alternative to running games on Windows or Mac (or a console, for that matter), but specialized for games with the similar kinds of game-oriented architecture improvements that consoles have included for years. You'll be able to stream Windows- and Mac-based games to SteamOS in the way that Nvidia Shield or PS Vita Remote Play does for PC to handheld, but in this case it'll be from one open platform to another. If it works well, this is a great foundation for Gabe Newell to make inroads for Steam as a gaming platform for all, not just for PC gamers.

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League of Legends Developers: Ragers Lose More Often

By Jeff Buckland, 9/12/2013 1:30 PM

Eurogamer has the story on a video that Riot Games, creators of League of Legends, made to demonstrate - with statistics - that those who get extremely angry at losses in the game lose more often than those who don't. Some would say that maybe they've got it the wrong way around - that losers rage more often, not that ragers lose more often - which isn't a very insightful thing to say, right? But I think the statistics Riot used show that yes, this true, and in my experience, they're right. When you're angry, you're not learning or improving. And if you're playing public games, there's only one big thing that's common to all games you play, that's consistent between every game you're involved in: you. Improve that one thing, and you'll win more games, and that might mean having to help teammates that make poor choices rather than screaming at them.



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Valve Adds XB1's Coolest Lost Feature

By Jeff Buckland, 9/11/2013 1:37 PM

Back when Xbox One was announced with all of its DRM and controls, there was one feature - family sharing of games - that turned out to be a really cool idea. Since then, Microsoft decided to axe the entire always-online system with both good and bad properties getting dumped.

Well, Valve just announced that Family Sharing is now coming to Steam. It's got some weird limitations and it could wind up being a bit of mess, but this is a really good sign for the future of openness in digital games. If you're interested, make sure to sign up to the Steam Family Sharing group to try and get early access to it.

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River City Ransom: Underground Kickstarter

By Jeff Buckland, 9/9/2013 1:32 PM

We at AG get lots of requests to post about Kickstarters, but I try to keep the posts about them to a minimum. But because River City Ransom was my favorite NES game - yes, I liked it even more than the Mega Man, Mario, Zelda, and Battletoads games - I'm posting about the River City Ransom: Underground Kickstarter.

The art looks awesome and true to the wacky Technos Japan art style of the original game, and yes, it's officially licensed.



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River City Ransom: Underground Kickstarter

By Jeff Buckland, 9/9/2013 1:32 PM

We at AG get lots of requests to post about Kickstarters, but I try to keep the posts about them to a minimum. But because River City Ransom was my favorite NES game - yes, I liked it even more than the Mega Man, Mario, Zelda, and Battletoads games - I'm posting about the River City Ransom: Underground Kickstarter.

The art looks awesome and true to the wacky Technos Japan art style of the original game, and yes, it's officially licensed.

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Sony Doubles Down on World Market, Introduces PSVita TV

By Jeff Buckland, 9/9/2013 3:18 AM

Sony's press conference in Japan introduced a lot of new stuff including quite a few cool Japanese-made games, but the two bigger things were that 1) PS4 isn't coming to Japan until 2014 (which you could infer from the Gamescom press conference when they specifically didn't list Japan as a launch territory), and 2) PSVita TV is coming.

What's PSVita TV? Essentially, it's a PSVita that is made for home use only like Ouya or a small mini-console. You plug it into your TV and use plain PS3-compatible controllers with it to play Vita games, make use of the same PS4-connected features the Vita is getting (like Remote Play), and other stuff like playing video. The price? Well, it's in Japanese Yen for now, but it's about $100 if Sony brings it to the US at the same price. And yes, Vita cartridges work, and there's a spot for a Vita memory card (all of which will be getting price cuts, or at least in Japan). Apparently PSVita TV won't work with every Vita game because of the lack of the touch screen and touch panels, which is a bit of a shame, though.

They didn't show The Last Guardian which a lot of people are mad about, but hey - the east has been desperately trying to make a vaporware game like Duke Nukem Forever without luck because everyone's still taking it so seriously.

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Xbox One Release Date Set: November 22nd

By Jeff Buckland, 9/4/2013 12:20 PM

Microsoft has finally set the worldwide release date for the Xbox One: November 22nd. (Well, for the relative few countries that the XB1 is being released in.) For those counting, the PS4's release date is on November 15th in North America, one week earlier than the XB1, but it's on the 29th in Europe, so that's one week later than XB1. Does that mean much? At this point, I don't think it'll make that big a difference in that one-week period where in both regions only one console will be out. But once both are out, availability will make a big difference. If one console is in stock and the other isn't, that'll be an easier choice for some.

Of course, being sold out isn't exactly a bad thing for the guy that's sold out. It's just a balancing factor that's likely to even out sales of both consoles.

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Nintendo 2DS Announced

By Jeff Buckland, 8/28/2013 2:22 PM

Nintendo has announced a new member of its portable family: the 2DS. They took the 3D effect out of the screens and took the clamshell/hinge out entirely, putting both screens and all controls on one slate-like device. Instead of the $170-180 that the 3DS costs new (with the 3DS XL at $200), this will cost $130. Nintendo seems to be looking to sell this thing to more kids, and it's the hinge that apparently breaks most often on their clamshell consoles, so this solves that problem - although I hope they're doing more to protect the screens, too, because now they're going to be a little more susceptible to blunt-force trauma. Scratches probably don't matter to a kid, but a decent hit with a solid object will wreck even a lightly-protected LCD screen.

With all that said, this opinion piece by Polygon's Chris Plante brings up an important point: the 2DS name is cute for those who know a lot about Nintendo's products, but confusing for everyone else.



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