Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 6th, 2009
  • Category: Media
  • Comments: 1

Marketing

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Tim Schafer, whose career was started by making adventure games for the PC, categorically denies the PC as a market for his latest adventure game. To quote why he won’t produce a PC version,

Well it’s really an action game, that when you play it you’ll see that it was meant to be on a console. My question is, ‘Why all the hate for consoles?’ If you hate consoles, that means you hate Katamari Damacy, Okami, ICO, and you are in fact a bad person.

leading a great internet backlash against him and opening yet another wound on the festering corpse of the PC vs Console wars. Thing is, the grand debate of PC vs Console was manufactured to begin with. Case in point,

  1. Consoles are PCs. To be specific, they’re smaller, standardized PCs with specifications to do a very limited set of tasks.
  2. As such, any exclusivity on a console is solely the product of the marketing efforts of that console’s home company. M$ bought and moved Bungie Studios (of Halo fame, but also of the venerable PC games Myth, Marathon and Oni) from the PC market to console market exclusivity for the expressed purpose of selling xboxes. This brings this salient point:
  3. the “division” between consoles and PCs in terms of culture, custom or gaming style are by definition solely the product of the marketing efforts of companies that want to slice off and control their corner of the market. If a company says that Katamari plays better on a console, that company isn’t saying that consoles are better at playing Katamari. That company is saying “we’ve bought the rights to this game in order to sell our consoles.”

Indeed, the very existence of consoles is due to two factors:

  1. The original fear of an nonviable PC market. A Nintendo worked with your TV, needed no extra prepping, and cost less than a car, as compared to, say, an IBM. But that was then, and this is now.
  2. The current fear of a nonviable PC market. Parts are so cheap due to competition that some computer manufacturers have gotten out of the market of making them (Apple stopped making processors, for instance) and others are getting the squeeze on their niches (Intel’s newfound rivalry with nVidia). What we know as computer companies – Dell, Compaq, etc; are mere assemblers of computers and what they sell isn’t the hardware (which you can get cheaper elsewhere) but the technical support. Likewise, what console manufacturers are selling aren’t so much the systems (since you can get better PCs for cost) but exclusive game titles. They’re creating markets out of whole cloth.

In conclusion, I’m not buying a console for the very simple reason that I already own a PC, and I’m not about to buy a smaller, less useful one because of a marketing gimmick.

So long, Tim Schafer. It’s been nice knowing you.

Console Wars

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PC wins, because on Microsoft didn’t add a secret killswitch on my computer.

Never mind that the mere existence of such a self-destruct script gives conspiracy theorists spontaneous orgasms what with their unprecedented confirmation or that it highlights just the very sort of neo-feudalistic contempt large corporations have for the consumer, just think of the consequences!

It’s only a matter of time that someone reverse-engineers a box or makes a hacked box to run said script over the M$ Live network. For the individual, it’s an “everybody gets bricked I win” button. For the Halo server host, it’s a “boot, ban and brick everybody we don’t like” button. Hell, anyone would get an instant hard-on on the mere possibility of bricking the entire Live network at once.

Now that would be the thing to have on a résumé for Sony. Console Wars, indeed.

To go back to the bile this brings in me for consumerism, I’m reminded of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and the movie adaptation: He didn’t write the ending bit about the credit card companies’ headquarters blowing up, but said that he quite preferred it to his own.

  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 21st, 2009
  • Category: Meta
  • Comments: 1

Damn you, Microsoft

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Decided that 3.2 gb of RAM on a 32x OS wasn’t enough, so I got 4x2gb RAM and an upgrade copy of Vista Ultimate 64x so I could use it.

Things I learned since updating to Vista in the 22 hours between coming home with the DVD and being able to install programs on a relatively stable machine:

  1. Vista does not like my Plextor PX-760A DVD-RW, and won’t run either of its install DVDs from it. It does, however, like the LG budget DVD-RW in my other computer, despite it being an older model.
  2. Vista does not like my Linksys LNE100TX NIC, and will not support it. It will use a Netgear GA311 NIC, but lists it as a Realtek NIC for some undefined reason.
  3. You can’t upgrade XP Pro to Vista 64x; only to Vista 32x. Which begs the question why an upgrade copy comes with a 64x DVD.
  4. 4x2gb DDR2 RAM does not work on the default 5-5-5-15 BIOS settings and 1.8 DIMM voltage of an nForce board, despite being required to; instead preferring 6-6-6-18 2.2v. Anything less results in crashes due to underpowering. Of course, this leads to the next point:
  5. Vista computers crash more often than XP computers, most often due to overheating from constant CPU usage and RAM caching.
  6. Ironically, most programs do not utilize the extra 4.8gb of RAM I upgraded Vista for.

So between researching I/O errors, SATA controller errors, CMOS settings, BIOS settings, DIMM settings, formatting the hard drive, replacing multiple peripherals, running extensive diagnostics, updating firmware and drivers, and spending $600, I have a machine that crashes every half an hour or so. I’ve gotten it so it doesn’t just randomly blackout and restart; now it thankfully gives me a BSOD so I can tell it to restart in the middle of whatever I was doing.

I suppose I could have waited for Windows 7, but who wants a brand new OS from Microsoft? Hell, their only worthwhile OSs thus far are heavily-patched ones: 98SE and XP SP2. I feel duped.

Also, the room here is very dusty. (cough)

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