UPDATE (09/14/2012): The guide has been updated after Blizzard decided to let everyone access the Diablo III Starter Edition. Furthermore, I have verified without doubt that the extreme and casual slowdowns I talk about in the post are ascribable to the software configuration used to test the game and not to the game itself (or to my hardware, luckily).
Yeah, I now, I’m late as usual: Diablo III was released two months ago, and I have already talked enough about the almost complete failure of the launch period. So why devoting a post to the demo version of the game when almost everyone has already read, seen and done what there was to read, see and do in the cursed lands of Sanctuary? For two reasons, the first of which is that after having extensively played the Starter Edition I have a weight on my chest that I need to let go.
It’s one of the most debated issues within the PC world together with the digital downloads’ true weight: how much is the computer video games market worth, what financial results does the PC gaming hardware gain compared to the - seemingly much healthier - major home consoles one? The reply comes from the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), the publishers and producers non-profit organization “dedicated to driving the worldwide growth of PC gaming” which details heavy numbers and proclaims: the computer definitely is the largest, most widespread and financially important gaming platform out there.
The PC video gaming market is dying, states a certain common thought expressed by publishers and embraced by users unaware of the real facts. The numbers are actually talking about a view that is completely opposed to the one about the perpetual falling of personal computer as a gaming platform worth of the name, an always-evolving platform that continues to grow in revenue and represents a non-secondary part of the entertainment market overall value - estimated in 57 billion dollars in 2009 according to research firm DFC Intelligence.
A year after the official presentation during Penny Arcade Expo, Canadian developer Hothead Games and Monkey Island designer Ron Gilbert have took the occasion of the new PAX edition to show the work done on their new title: DeathSpank, the legitimate but grumpy child of adventure and action RPG genres, leaves behind the mere shadows of the first trailers to put his face and his deeds in front of gamers.
Replying to the speculations of analyst Mike Hickey, which forecasted the marketing of a cheaper PlayStation 3 edition without the costly embedded Blu-ray drive, Sony was resolute in specifying that the simple idea would be absurd and would kill “the backbone” of the console because games are built just upon the BD format. “Blu-ray will always be part of PS3“, Sony says, but the market environment and the slow, too much slow growth of high definition disks sales allow to easily predict the fact that within the years to come such model will be only valid for the videogames of the Japanese console and very little more.
One of the most interesting aspects highlighted by the worldwide recession is the fact that the economic standards of the past aren’t valid anymore, and in a not so distant future what many today describe as the slavery of a secure job will be remembered instead as a golden period, a privileged phase and life style that will never return.
It was August 27 of 2007 (my birthday) when columnist John C. Dvorak warned against the dangers of things such as “cloud computing”, “software as service”, “Web 3.0″ and the many abbreviations that in these years are trying to catch the attention of the public and sell as new what is the most old fashioned computing architecture ever existed.
Maybe it isn’t correct to use expressions like “the Sony failure”, “the death of PlayStation platform” and others on the same model, but the numbers released by market research experts and by NPD Group in particular surely outline a more and more discouraging situation for the market adventure of PS3, continuously highlight the mistakes and the inability of Sony Computer Entertainment into innovating the videogaming market as in the past years and set off even more the clamorous success of Microsoft and Nintendo branded home consoles.
While the music industry organizations continue to pretend that the courts decide the path of technology evolution, risking moreover to take unprecedented blows, the recording labels take note of an historic first. Atlantic Records, a label owned by the multinational Warner Music Group, has actually announced that more of the half of music sales in the United States (51%) come from the digital market in its several forms.
While the humorists are discussing about comedy in the age of Barack Obama, the senator elected as an Internet star even before that 44th President of the United States hasn’t took long to become the subject of a good number of quality strips available on the web. Waiting for January 20, the fatal date in which the new commander in chief of the USA declining superpower will move to the White House, Obama is being busy by opening his direct line with the netizens thanks to the weekly address posted on YouTube, writing back (or letting the others do it for him) to an 8 years old teenager letter, coming to the nanometric scale and by obtaining even the Homer Simpson’s endorsement in the most pert American tv show.
The worldwide recession is getting worse, wasting economies and laying off employees that will find themselves with no salary hence without money to spend in home entertainment. In such a scenario what was a balance leaning between hope and pessimism turns in a sword of Damocles dangerously close to deadly hit Sony’s Blu-ray, that maybe will get through this Christmas but could not be able to see the dawn of the next one.
When, in the night between the 4th and 5th of November, Barack Hussein Obama II has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America, the world has suddenly stopped. It has been crystallized in the thing by itself, feeling the whole gravity and the importance of an historic moment, and then it has started over to whirling run accelerating and burning down lives and stock markets. What remains is the hope that the promises by Mr.President haven’t been useful only to harangue the crowd, and looking at the matter from the poor Italy in ruin I can’t help to make some considerations also and above all in regard of technology and computing.
The title is somewhat weirdo, I know, but at this time by night I can’t possibly regain that much among the neurons I’ve got still active and so here it is. At bottom the strips are two but the story is always the same, that is the Great Lie of appearance that makes some poor devils to invent any kind of pretext to cover the misery of a poor existence to the others’ eyes, and make others to rag entire nations pulling off money from the taxpayers, with the excuse of having to save the ass of licensed thieves working in the Stock Market.