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Season 16, Episode 32

Pretty soon, the card number will match the price…

There was a lot of stuff leaked last week and still relatively very little was revealed. I mean, Diablo 4 was going to probably look like a better Diablo 3 with some QOL changes here and there, but nothing surprising.

The GTA6 leak was massive as far as just how much got leaked but none of it was all that significant. We already had official confirmation that the game was in development and these leaks showed very little, at least to most of us. I’m sure other game devs could look at those videos and read way more into them than I could, but yeah…it exists. We’ve got the faintest of details on it so far and I feel like for as much as companies protect these things from getting out – this really didn’t change anything. I’m still of the opinion that we shouldn’t see stuff until it’s ready to be seen, and, really, this kind of leak sort of makes my point. I prefer my leaks to be shaky low quality cell phone camera stuff – of a trailer or gameplay with a near finished product. Not whatever this stuff was.

Then there’s the whole 40 series from NVIDIA. If you were still scratching your head over the EVGA dust up from last week, well…now you know. Probably. There was more to it than that, I’m sure, but having the base price of your lowest card be near a grand and putting your partners in the position of selling at a higher price, well, I’m not looking forward to what those prices end up being. Thankfully, there’s competition in the market and if AMD can play their cards right, they’ll come out winners here in a big way. We just have to wait until November to see how that shakes out.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,315 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 31

I mean, the word Graphics was in their name!

Sometimes it feels like there’s more to a story than what we are all being told. This whole split between EVGA and NVIDIA seems like one of those. Or, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we’ve been told exactly what’s going on and maybe this is how other companies feel about it as well, but EVGA is the only one taking action on it.

I don’t know. No one BUT those two companies have said anything about this whole situation. But the complaints EVGA has would be the same exact complaints from any of the other NVIDIA partners. So why say something now? And why EVGA? And only EVGA at that. I think MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Zotac, and others all have the same agreements with NVIDIA.

The other thing that stands out here is what EVGA has to fall back on. Other companies I’ve mentioned before all have other products but most of them, like EVGA, rely heavily on the sales of their graphics cards for PCs. However, I doubt it’s 80% of their revenue like it is with EVGA.

And that’s the weird thing about it all. I’m guessing they did number crunching and were…losing money? I mean, the logical part of me, the calculated part, the paranoid and planning part tells me they did the math and figured they’d be good to make this split, but I don’t see how they fill that massive revenue hole.

Should have seen this coming though. I always get something new only to have it become obsolete or die off shortly after. Happens with TV shows too but mostly with electronics. I won’t go over the list (it’s a long one), but yeah, I just put my first EVGA card in my PC back in April of this year.

And, apparently, my last EVGA card.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it has been 3,308 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 30

Buyers Keepers…

I’m not really a Call Of Duty player. And it’s hard for me right now to find something to equate this whole thing with, but I think Sony’s displeasure (we’ll call it that) with Microsoft over Call Of Duty is…a little weird.

I don’t know if Sony were ever in the running to buy Activision, but Microsoft threw down almost 70 BILLION for it. And hell, I think maybe nearly 99 percent of that money was for Call Of Duty. And I think if you’re throwing that kind of cash around, you’ll do with the property as you please and if it means keeping it on your platform to increase system sales or subscription sales with Gamepass, you’d be a fool not to, honestly. I mean, I can see Sony’s frustration with the whole thing but they can’t be surprised by this or cry foul for it. I mean, Microsoft owns the franchise now. It’s theirs. They’ll do whatever they want with the property. I’ll remind you again, I don’t play that franchise of games so it’s probably very easy for me to say all these things or speculate anyway.

However, Microsoft usually holds the position of being more available to players. It’s an argument they’ve used a few times when dealing with cross play titles and not imposing restrictions like Sony does. And keeping your newly bought franchise that has been multiplatform to your own ecosystem kind of goes against that philosophy. They haven’t done it yet, and I can’t say they will, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they do. I guess we’ll see what happens with Bethesda’s games to get an idea of how this might play out.

But then again, this is Call Of Duty, and I think that player base will go where those games are. Even if it means buying a new system or subscription service. Even more interesting will be to see how Sony deals with that in the future.

Meanwhile…we had a whole Ubisoft presentation the other day talking about their upcoming library of games. Not one mention, tease or anything for Splinter Cell. And so the clock continues…it has been 3,301 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 29

A relic appears…

We’ve likely spoken about video game nostalgia before. And, for a moment, I’d like to talk about it again. And really, this is just a “me” thing or, well, an “us” thing.

Destiny 2 just relaunched an activity in the game that hasn’t been there since the first Destiny. It launched in September of 2015. Back then, so many of us on the show played that game and did that raid. For me, it was my first Destiny raid. In fact, it was my first raid ever. We completed it. And would go on to do so over and over again. Until people left and moved on to other games or got tired of the Destiny loop. It happens and there’s not a thing wrong with it.

The night before writing this, our group and myself spent a good many hours completing it again. This was mostly with brand new people who’d never experienced this as it was originally released. They only had the options of videos to look at and understand the mechanics of what to do. Back then, we never actually had that. We had to go on crude drawings and very detailed written explanations if we wanted to have some idea of what to do in the raid. It’s not that long ago, but it surprises me how much has changed in that time. We weren’t broadcasting our runs either (don’t even think that was a thing, really) which is a shame since we had some great times and moments back then.

Going so late on the raid run last night but eventually getting to the end and completing it brought back a ton of memories of not only the first time we made that accomplishment back in 2015 (probably taking just as long or longer), but also the many other times we brought someone new along and did it again with them.

Gaming nostalgia is all around us when playing games, be it in the controls of a game or just anything Mario or Zelda or whatever your memory might be, there’s likely to be reminders of it every single day in some way or another. But this kind of nostalgia not only brings memories of the game, but mostly, the friends we enjoyed it with. I’ll snicker at the videos of Bungie developers talking about how this game forms bonds and what not, but here it is…living proof, and it’s doing it again.

To Jeremy, Matt, James, Dennis, Daniel, RJ, and Kevin…thanks for the runs back in the day. By the way, the game is free to play now with crossplay and cross save, so we could have a reunion of sorts. Just sayin.

Speaking of memories and nostalgia…Ubisoft, it has been 3,287 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 28

We didn’t really hit the news so much for this show as we did just talking to folks through Discord.

And to follow up on that conversation, I’d asked for help in No Man’s Sky and last night after the show did not disappoint. I appreciate DukeFrukem for giving me a hand in the game telling me how things work or what all can be done and giving me a bit of support on this long journey to…well, there’s no end really. Especially given the updates they continue to churn out.

Seriously, if you’ve ever been curious about the game or were maybe put off by the reception it got at launch, give it another look. There’s plenty of videos out there documenting all of the changes and growing pains this title went through and how it’s done a total 180 on where it was then compared to now. And, by the way, you can usually find it for at least half off from the regular price if not even more than that (as of this writing the PC version was down to about $21 on some sites).

All eyes this week will likely be on Saint’s Row. A series we haven’t heard from in quite some time and will be the first we see on next/current gen consoles. The original reveal had people wondering if this would be a different Saint’s Row than what we last saw and in that comparison, yeah, I think it will be. But not in a negative way. The over-the-topness will likely be brought down a notch or two from the last game, but that’s to be expected and, probably, needed as well. We’ll find out Tuesday.

Well, everyone else will. I’ll be diving into the next season of Destiny.

What none of us will be playing, however, is a new Splinter Cell from Ubisoft. It has been 3,280 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 27

A few weeks back I nostalgically spoke of the console wars. The ol’ Microsoft versus Sony thing we all did way back when and what some still do. It was always a clash, but it was one that took place in a court of public opinion or one we measured with sales and popularity or game titles available or even to the point of comparing the guts of the machines to who was better.

Side note: just to be clear on this, the one that is better is the one you pick. Nothing else matters. That’s the one you wanted for the reasons you wanted it and it’s the best and we’re all in agreement.

What we rarely had and almost never get are these companies actually calling each other out. Apparently, it took something like “Call Of Duty” to make that happen. We go over the whole thing here in a segment of the show and it’s rather long and PR/Boardroom speak, but the gist is there: Sony’s afraid Microsoft’s ownership of Call Of Duty and its likely appearance on GamePass will hurt Sony’s console sales. Microsoft argues otherwise but also goes on to point out that Sony’s deals for exclusivity with third party developers does the same thing. Sony has yet to respond to that (as far as I know), but I’m curious what they will say if they do.

I know I’ve said that competition like this is only good for one group of people and that’s you and me, the consumers, but unless this forces a hand of some sort on either side, it’s just two companies sparring in released statements that likely will result in…nothing.

By the way, I don’t think Sony has an argument here. I’m not saying either side is right or wrong, but I think when your competition finds an advantage or opportunity, then you’ve got to adjust to counter it.

Better yet, whoever gets Ubisoft to make another Splinter Cell game is the winner in my book…because it has been 3,273 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 26

The sky’s the limit..

Been quite a while since I’ve started something new. On a large scale, I suppose. I’ve poked around some small indie titles here and there or played some demos but haven’t really set off on a large scale new game in awhile. And while No Man’s Sky isn’t new, it is to me. Also, it’s probably considered indie as well. Hmm…maybe this isn’t any different.

It’s really weird starting something like this. The game kinda throws you in the deep end right off the bat, but if you don’t like where you start, you just start over. It’s all completely random. It feels like Space Minecraft. And while Minecraft is vast and huge and random, you’re stuck on the world you start with. I mean, if you don’t like it you can start fresh on a random new world, but with No Man’s Sky, if I don’t like the planet I’m on I can restart, sure, but I can also get in my spaceship and fly to another planet.

And while Minecraft has a randomly generated playfield, the things that inhabit that playfield are the same as any other. No Man’s Sky randomizes EVERYTHING. There’s a 99% chance the animals and plants I’ve discovered on my planet will never show up again on any other planet. Course, I’m only 3 hours into the game so maybe I’m completely wrong, but I think that’s how it works.

We could do a full commercial-free 2 hour show on this one game alone and its history. It’s kind of an amazing thing and maybe one day we’ll run down the timeline of how this game launched, failed (to meet expectations), and redeemed itself.

Here I am explaining a game that came out in 2016. Strange how new it feels.

Speaking of 2016, the last Splinter Cell game was released 3 years prior to that…Ubisoft it’s been 3,266 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 25

Begun, the console war has…

I don’t remember when I stopped caring about the “Console Wars”, but at some point I did. Likely when I was able to afford all the systems so I could cover all grounds of whatever was released. I can remember as a kid in school getting the magazines that covered E3 months after it took place. Before then, you could only rely on that one friend who had a cousin whose brother had an uncle who “worked for Nintendo”.

I never really cared who won E3. It was all marketing, anyway. In the end, the consumer won. And that was due to competition. So yeah, while I don’t care for console wars anymore, I’m more than happy to let the companies enjoy that battle. It only means better things for us, as players.

I don’t know where the future of our hobby is going in relation to the consoles. I feel like something modular may come along. Something PC-ish. You buy the base and then add-on and remove for upgrades and stuff. Game development takes a long time (the big stuff, anyway), and it seems as of late we get one game from a franchise per generation. That wasn’t always the case but the more advanced we get in our games the longer these things take to make. Not even speaking of the money and people involved in making them happen.

You might think companies wouldn’t switch to a format that actually saves the consumer money, but I don’t know if that’s the drive anymore. I mean, yeah, they want our money but they want it over and over again. In a shorter period of time rather than once every 5 years or so. They know asking for $500 every year is a hard get, but if they space it out over time, maybe we’ll pay.

Not sure how that’ll work.

Anyway, I’m going to go see what’s new on Gamepass and PS+ Extra Premium.

Speaking of getting a franchise once a generation/decade/century…Ubisoft it’s been 3,259 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 24

Sometimes…well, most times, really, games will get a lot of hype, then release to some very underwhelming reception from reviews, the public, or any number of different things. Point being, it doesn’t live up to the hype. Maybe it gets patched. Maybe things get fixed, but the taste has already soured and there’s little hope for redemption until the studio makes a new game or they release a sequel.

Then there’s No Man’s Sky. A game with a tremendous amount of hype and promise that absolutely failed on release. The backlash from everyone was tremendous and, at the time, I’d say it was warranted. And to be clear, I don’t mean the hateful backlash – the kind involving death threats and just the horrible things thrown their way for not being the game that was promised. I’m talking about the criticism of the game and even to the point of comparing the talking points given from the developers to what was actually released.

Except, if you did that now, you’d be underselling the game. They brought in everything they promised and a whole big bag of things they never even mentioned way back when. No Man’s Sky is now the game the developers always wanted it to be and even more so, it continues to grow and evolve.

It is one of the more impressive redemption arcs in gaming that we’ve probably ever seen. Given the flak, they really shouldn’t have survived but they kept going and, even better, the audience received them. They didn’t abandon the game and with the quality of life changes and improvements made, they brought in more people. Even now they are being compared with something like Starfield – a massive game from a major studio with likely hundreds of people working on it and being compared to this little studio of less than 50 people who made a game 6 years ago that still impresses, improves, and, apparently, inspires.

What’s not inspiring? Well…Ubisoft it’s been 3,252 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 23

Somehow we managed to hit every single news story we’d planned on this episode and that’s pretty surprising since we mostly don’t stick to that with how far off track we get. Not something we mind, really.

I do realize, however, that given we did that, it makes writing these a bit tough since we don’t stay on a topic too long.

I decided to pass on getting the Steam Deck. My invite has expired by the time you read this. As said in the show, I love the idea of it. I love what it does and I’m even more in love with what it has the potential to become. And that…is what I’m waiting for. I understand that with all things PC related, waiting is somewhat futile. There will forever and always be something better not too far down the road so if there’s a Version 2 of this thing, that’s likely when I’ll jump on. As it stands now the thing isn’t broken, but I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement with another iteration of the device.

The Nintendo Switch is the closest comparison I can make to owning a portable gaming system and…I just don’t use it. Granted, my PC library far outshines my Switch library and likely always will. Not to mention the Steam Deck will most likely have massive backwards compatibility, right? I mean, it’s a PC. Anyway, I’ll wait for the next version or get one used with a steep discount if I’m unable to wait or they just never make one (jury’s still out on that one with their hardware history).

Speaking of a company making a follow up product…Ubisoft it’s been 3,245 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 22

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Ubisoft recently showed more of Skull & Bones. It’s their very-late-to-the-party grasp on one of the best parts of a previous Assassin’s Creed game – being a Pirate. Thing is, they showed this to us 5 years ago, or at least announced it. Most of the news we got after that showing 5 years ago was…nothing. Most considered it dead. I think we may have gotten reports of it being completely scrapped and then starting over. Who knows?

This week they finally showed us more of the game. I don’t think it’s bad. I don’t really have anything to compare it to from what we were shown years ago, but something feels off about it. Maybe that 5 years was enough to come down from the hype or something. Maybe Sea Of Thieves scratched that itch (even with the very short amount of time I put into it).

But something…isn’t there.

If you go back even further, Ubisoft sort of did something like this before but in reverse. WatchDogs had an amazing teaser reveal at E3. Then we got delay after delay with nothing really to show for it. When it finally did show back up many many more months later (maybe it was a year, I can’t remember), the game had drastically changed just from the appearance. Gameplay had been tweaked a bit from what was shown and, in general, it was going backwards rather than forwards in all manners of development.

I’m not passing judgment yet on Skull & Bones. There’s apparently more video of gameplay out there that I have yet to watch and likely more to be revealed later on too, so I’ll give it more time. I’m anxious to see more and I really want to like it, but it’s not there yet for me.

Speaking of being anxious to see more, Ubisoft it’s been 3,238 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 21

It’s been tough for a lot of people these past few days. And it’s only the beginning of just how tough it is going to get.

This little show seems awfully trivial given the way of the world right now.

We hope you’re okay.

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E3 Episodes

Season 16, Episode 20

Too much is not enough…

I remember when I was younger I had it in my mind that more was better. If the movie trailer was longer it was great cause you saw more of the movie you wanted to see. If the TV program was longer you got more of the show you wanted to see. If this company’s E3 presentation was scheduled for 2 hours instead of 90 minutes then you got more games to see.

What I didn’t notice then but do now, is that the longer your show is, and we’re strictly speaking of video game reveals and stuff here, the more I’m going to forget than remember. There’s probably some study about memory retention and how it all works in the process of marketing but the more they showed this past week, the more I forgot.

And to be clear, you can have a 90 minute presentation and show a good chunk of maybe 7 games or so, and I’d be fine with that. I can probably hold onto about 7 titles. But as it stands with Microsoft, I can tell you maybe 3. Possibly 4, I guess, but the shows of other studios and publishers start to mix in and I can’t remember what I saw where. Devolver Digital was, I think, maybe 45 minutes. I can tell you almost ALL of their reveals.

This isn’t an argument for or against the old E3 to come back or to keep it the way it was this year. Nothing like that. E3 or not, I like the idea of companies doing their own presentations and scattering them across the months. The State Of Plays that Sony does is a good example of this. As are the Nintendo Directs. They usually have a focus and they keep it concise with usually about a 30 minute runtime and you see maybe 5 to 7 titles. It works, and I’m usually pretty good at remembering what was shown.

Like that one time Ubisoft showed off Splinter Cell Blacklist. Yeah, it’s been 3,224 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 19

Life moves pretty fast…

This whole Summer Games Fest and Not-E3 thing has kind of surprised me. Well, it’s mostly me, I think. It seems to have come and gone with very little fanfare that I can tell. But, again, maybe that’s me just not paying attention. But it feels like the hype train was little more than a hype trolley, I suppose. I’m not sure, but it feels like there was very little leading up to this (it came kind of out of the blue for me thinking it would be later in the summer or AFTER the Microsoft thing), and there was also very little to come after it.

This isn’t a call for E3 to return, even though I know it will. Just…something felt off about it this year. Lack of leaks, lack of big reveals and more just giving us extra information of things we already knew were coming. It’s not a disappointment, really, because I had no expectations, but what we got seems…slim. Small. Nothing has built up hype.

That isn’t to say we didn’t get some looks at some interesting titles. There were a ton of games thrown at us over the course of a few days with more to come, and what I’ve seen so far is some great stuff. Most of that comes from the indie side of things with the smaller games showing off some big swing for the fences type of innovation or creativity. I’ve seen quite a large number of puzzle games and platformers along with a whole slew of life sims (Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing type games) that have all caught my eye. Not so much with the AAA titles. Yes, they look good and are sparking my interests but you’re not showing me much of the game it seems, and by that I mean actual gameplay.

We’ll likely be back here again next weekend saying more of the same depending on how next week (and specifically today, Sunday, goes with the Microsoft presentation). I guess the good thing about not having an E3 means it doesn’t contain itself within a few days of one single week in June. Now, we have all summer for ANYTHING to pop up. Companies can do their own thing whenever they want.

In that way, it’s almost always E3.

E3 or not, we’ll still be disappointed because…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,217 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 18

We all have our styles we like when it comes to many different things such as movies, music, entertainment of all kinds, really. And it’s the same with video games. Racing, Puzzles, and adventure type games are my thing. Fighting games, shmups, Souls styles are in RJ’s wheelhouse.

I’ve never come away from a Final Fantasy game trailer with excitement or interest. They aren’t my style. And there’s 16 of those things (or will come next year). But here I am after seeing the trailer for the 16th game in the series and I’m extremely excited to see more. But I’m skeptical. Final Fantasy was never a genre or series or whatever that I’ve ever been interested in. It’s never taken hold. I’ve tried a few in the past but those only interested me because there was nothing else at the time, or everyone else was enjoying it so I gave it a try, but yeah – nothing ever stuck.

However, this is the first time I’ve looked at one of their trailers and had interest for more. And having watched it again during this episode, I’m still cautious. I need to see more. Gameplay mostly because I can’t tell what’s gameplay and what isn’t from the trailer but it’s got me hooked. I need more. I understand it might throw me off this hype train or suddenly kill my interests but…that’s kind of what I’m aiming for. If this is genuine, then I need to see as much as I can to make sure, warts and all. So I’ll be looking out for more media of that game. And there’s plenty of time for that to happen since we have a release of “Summer 2023” according to the trailer from this past week.

Want to know what IS NOT coming out in the “Summer 2023”…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,210 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).