Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Its CES and Valve has been busy with their console/PC hybrids. During their CES 2014 event, they released a brochure that shows over 10 third-party Steam-compatible machines.

Steam brochure sample – image courtesy of Kotaku.com

The steam machines vary greatly, in price and form factor, as well as specs. But all will be running the SteamOS.

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Geeks and gamers like their games. But they also like their controllers. Different games call for different controllers. Perhaps it is good to remember the evolution of the joystick?

Nevertheless, the reason gamers aren’t always super enthusiasts about the Move and the Kinect is the “no joystick” part of it. Voice control is good. Its cool and innovative. It adds to gameplay without removing much. Removing the physical contact to the joystick and replacing it with arms in the air doesn’t make hardcore gamer success.

People like their joysticks. They get better versions of ’em, they hack’em, they adapt’em, make bigger, better sticks. Or plain different sticks or control panel adapted to the needs of their favorite games.

Now, Valve is coming out with a joystick-less joystick (or rather, trackpad) design in their new controller!!!

joystick-less design for the Valve gamepad. Image courtesy of Kotaku.

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When originally released to the Arcade, Pac-Man was a blast. Quarters after quarters, players enjoyed playing it. It was simple enough for the first game to be fun, but its ever evolving difficulty made that gameplay never got boring. Every quarters a player would put in the machine was rewarding. At least, to 1980’s arcade gamers.

Original Pac-Man arcade cabinet picture courtesy of arcade-museum.com

Install a Pacman arcade cabinet and let people play. Either they never played the game and will have a few minutes of fun, then want to pass to the next title; either they played it on arcade or early game console and play on nostalgia for a few games before passing to something else. Gameplay is just too slow compared to modern video games. People got better at playing games and want more excitement.

It IS a good game that is still playable today, but doesn’t compare very well with modern titles. That’s until they created Pac-Man Championship Edition, in 2007. Pac-Man Championship Edition was made by the same Tōru Iwatani that created the original Pac-Man. It was a modernized look to the classic title. It was made available on XBLA, PSN, 3DS, Android, iOS, and other cellphones. Then came the Namco Generations brand – likely triggered by the success of Pac-Man C.E. – where Namco started to modernize their classic games and have them downloadable on XBLA & PSN. The first Namco Generations title was Pac-Man Championship Edition DX and had more gameplay features than the original Pac-Man C.E.

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It has been long coming. Since cellphones made it to the realms of gaming, since Facebook games have more players than triple-A titles, since Steam and since “live arcades” on consoles… it has been a known fact. One day, there’s not going to be any physical medium required when purchasing video games.

Digital download, full versions of games are already available on most (all) consoles. It is practical for the buyer. As long as there is storage space, all games are stored in a single location (per console.)

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