How Art, Creativity, and Innovation Detract From Productivity

Jimquisition

The Escapist : Jimquisition : Neutered

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Here is a link to the video that sparked the idea for this article. The embedding does not seem to be working with the site very well.

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Usually one of the biggest challenges in learning a language (particularly a second one) is getting past all of nuances, the “little things” such as inflection, tone, formal/informal, etc. One aspect that makes English such as difficult language to learn is precisely just how vague and indirect it can be. This can be seen with the sheer amount of synonyms and word choices available. All that a writer needs is a thesaurus by their side and they can literally say the same thing over and over again in a near limitless number of different ways. Continue reading

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Update: The Xbox One Makes Another 180, Essentially Going in Circles

Xbox 180

It’s difficult to keep up with someone when they’re running in circles.

In my previous post, I lamented that Microsoft and the Xbox One were still shoving the Kinect down everyone’s esophagus. Now it seems as though this will no longer be the case:

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“We already knew that you could turn off the Kinect, but now Microsoft says it doesn’t have to be plugged in at all. Speaking to IGN, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten shared the news that the Xbox One will indeed work without Kinect.

‘That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,’ he said.

Asked just how ‘off’ the Kinect can be, Whitten answered totally off.” Continue reading

Playstation 4 and the PS Vita: Bundles and Options

Playstation 4 and PS Vita Bundle

Hopefully this becomes a thing. It would be an awesome thing indeed.

Perhaps the most important thing to consumers, after convenience, is options. Even if those options are are pointless, or downright counter-intuitive, consumers want them none the less. In a world where entertainment technology is becoming increasingly homogenized, and thus the amount of choices offered is increasing everyday, a distributor merely seeming to have fewer options can be a major disadvantage. This is doubly so when done in the face of competition, and triply so if the distributor is seen as just plain not giving enough or no options at all.

This was part of the problem with the original Wii, and has been the case for the Wii-U even more. Though this consensus mostly deals with the offered software, and not so much the package itself. It does bring up some interesting questions, however. Continue reading

Faith or No Faith: Nintendo Wii-U, Struggling Sales, and Improving Morale

Nintendo Wii U

The Wii-U; yet another underdog console from Nintendo.

Every now and then it helps to deliberately ask people for their thoughts or views. In terms of Nintendo’s Wii-U, the overall consensus seems somewhat scattered. There is no shortage of articles lamenting the consoles poor sales, and recently it was announced that the Wii-U is still going to be sold at a loss:

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“Earlier this week, Nintendo’s annual report cited Wii U hardware sales as a major factor in the company’s 36.4 billion yen ($387 million) operating loss. In the same document, Nintendo [President] Satoru Iwata promised investors the company will ‘strive to regain ‘Nintendo-like’ profits’ in the current fiscal year.

Selling hardware at a loss is a decidedly un-Nintendo-like practice. Iwata made headlines last October when he first revealed the company would be losing money on each Wii U sold. However, the following month Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime downplayed the significance of the profit shortfall, saying ‘as soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive.’” Continue reading

Rumor – Amazon’s New Console: Flooding the Market

Video game controllers

So many ways to play; a flood of gaming options.

Many have speculated that this may very well be the final full-fledged console generation. With heightened production costs, supposedly “inadequate” sales numbers, and increasing competition from outside markets; i.e. smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, digital download services, and so forth, it isn’t difficult to imagine.

Case in point; consider the rumors of yet another new console being released into the market, from a recent article via joystiq:

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“Online retail giant Amazon will enter the Android console market later this year, according to Game Informer sources. In a brief report, the site claims people with ‘knowledge of the in-development hardware’ said the Amazon console will have its own controller, will use Amazon’s own library of Android apps, and will ‘most likely’ be available by Black Friday.

Meanwhile, GamesBeat notes it’s ‘heard rumblings’ of the console, including one developer’s report that Amazon exhibited a version of it recently. However, GamesBeat also says a couple of sources weren’t sure if ‘Amazon was serious’ about developing it.” Continue reading

Xbox One: Charging for “Key Features”

Xbox One features

Tons and tons of features for sale!

This does not seem all that surprising, considering the company involved and their previous actions so far. Considering the blatant grab for pervasion on display with initial Xbox One reveal, this comes across as a logical next step. Naturally, Microsoft is understandably seeking other revenues for market control and profit:

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“Key features of Microsoft’s Xbox One console, which is expected to go on sale in November, will only be available with an annual subscription […]”

“An Xbox Live Gold account that currently costs $60 (£40) will be needed for all these features […]”

“Microsoft revealed the requirement in an update to webpages detailing the Xbox One’s features.

The webpage shows that, as with the current Xbox 360, a Live Gold account is needed if owners want to use their new console for online multiplayer gaming, watch Netflix or similar streaming services and to browse the web via their TV. 

In addition, on the Xbox One the annual subscription will let players share videos with friends. The console records a rolling sample of a player’s previous five minutes gameplay to make it easier to share key moments.

The payment will also let owners chat to friends via video on Skype and use the OneGuide and SmartMatch services [….]” Continue reading