Posts from the “Gaming” Category

The Year of Retro Gaming

Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Master System, 3D0, Turbo Grafx and more! Playing older consoles, collecting for them and learning more about the older classics has become a thing with rising prices and huge followings.


Why?

Video game have been part of culture for some time now and with many of the generations that were first introduced to gaming growing older, they also been the same group that wants to collect from the time of their childhood. Why? Because these games are truly fun and marked the humble beginnings of franchises we see today. Remember those games that you traded in at EB Games when you were younger?

Bet you want them back now, huh? Not only is reliving your younger years fun, it can be quite expensive due to the fact that some systems and games were released in limited quantities, creating a smaller supply and an absurd resale market in the year 2018. Want a copy of PowerStone 2 for Dreamcast? Hope you’ve got an extra $100 laying around. Want a copy of Pan card Dragoon Saga for Sega Saturn? Sure!? That’ll be $600, please.


Where are the games?

Retro Gaming is essentially any console before the 6th generation (PS2, XBox, Dreamcast and GameCube), although a few people, myself included consider these retro. Games are all over the place, eBay, garage sales and locally.

More and more cities have retro gaming stores. Unfortunately, due to demand, online price guides and more, prices are pretty steady in most circumstances unless you’re buying a wholesale lot or getting a steal from a random yard sale you just so happen to pass.


Final Thoughts

Collecting, playing and enjoying older games is here and is here to stay. From exploding markets and arcades popping up everywhere you’re bound to either know someone or be a collector yourself. My key takeaway as a modest collector myself: Enjoy it.

2016 Apple iPhone Keynote, Recap

Tim Cook, Pharrell Williams and James Corden appear in a car singing their favorite tunes along with small talk about the new iPhone.  They arrive at a door and Tim gets out and walks onto stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium — and it begins.
AppleEvent9_7

Stats from Tim
Apple Music
Apple’s music service is noted to have reached 17 million total subscriptions and features numerous exclusives from various artists such as Drake and Frank Ocean.
App Store
Since it’s inception there have been 140 billion app downloads.  The catalog contains approximately 500,000 games, making up the largest category on the App Store.  This incredible figure makes the iPhone/iPad combination the largest gaming platform.  Due to these feats by the iOS devices, Mario — that’s right — Mario, our favorite plumber will be gracing iOS with a new game entitled Super Mario Run!
Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

This is the first time that a Mario game has been pushed officially by Nintendo to a mobile operating system and I’d easily say that they made the right choice by pushing it to the App Store.  It is created with one-handed gaming in mind and features competitive features in the mode “Toad Rally”.
Education
ConnectED is a national initiative to bring technology to underserved students.  With this Apple is working to donate iPads to 50K students.  Additionally, we’ve seen updates to iWork with improvements in collaboration similar to other applications like Google Docs where the user can see additions made by other collaborators.

New Products
Apple Watch
The Apple Watch was second only to Rolex in the world for sales revenue in the year 2015 and is the top selling smartwatch overall.
Introducing Apple Watch Series 2.
With these impressive stats Apple has worked to produce Apple Watch Series 2 that is completely redesigned on the inside to provide water resistance.  Additionally, the new wearable will be touting the Apple S2 processor, which garners faster app speeds on the device.  This new mobile processor will also make it’s way to the first-generation Apple Watch, which will still be sold by the company.  Furthermore, with the advent of the new Apple S2 processor, comes the new GPU that is 2x faster than the previous generation.
The display has been updated to be 2x brighter, blasting out pixel at 1000 nits (really bright, this is the brightest display that Apple has even put inside of one of it’s devices).  With new processors built for speed the new drove of Apple Watch devices are poised to be great for new adopters.
Sport and fitness have been some of the highlight features of the Apple Watch and these alone have made it be one of the premier fitness trackers in the industry and with the introduction of GPS things are only going to get better (if the GPS feature is not something that you long for, opting for Series One is still a good idea or even the first-generation without the new processor if you can handle a device that is a tad slower).  GPS tracking is a crucial feature for runners, cyclists and more who want a precise recap of the exact route that they followed.  Apple has also partnered with Nike to create the Apple Watch Nike+.  This specific model is similar to the Hermes Apple Watch that comes with a different band and a new watchface.   The Nike+ watchface will provide a sporty interface in addition the watch will remind the user to run and get active.
The Series 2 device with an additional finish of ceramic will start at $369 and the updated Series 1 (first-generation Apple Watch) will be sold at $269.

iPhone
The Apple iPhone is the best selling product of it’s kind in the history of the world and has sold 1 billion units.  Changes coming to iOS 10 include a newly redesigned Maps app that includes the ability to book rides and more directly from the app, changes to HomeKit, which is supported by virtually every major home automation product manufacturer, that are throughout the Home app that truly integrates home automation unlike any portal integrated into any mobile OS, changes to iMessage for more expression and tweaks and improvements that make this the fastest and best version of iOS to date.  But with it has to come new hardware, right?
Introducing iPhone 7.
The iPhone 7 is coming to us with a slew of new features, which are detailed below:
  • All new jet black and black colors (Apple notes that the Jet Black color option may scratch easily and promote the use of a case)
  • Home button is changed from a physical button to a Force-touch button, similar to the trackpad on the MacBook and MacBook Pro line that works based off of the patented Taptic engine (see below, the removal of the headphone jack allows for this innovation)
Apple home button Taptic engine placement.

Apple home button Taptic engine placement.

  • Water and dust resistant (IP67 certified) with gaskets throughout the housing
  • Camera features OIS on both 7 and 7 Plus models (additional camera features below)
    • F 1.8 aperture
    • 6 element lens
    • 12 MP sensor that is 60% faster than the previous model
    • Quad-LED true tone flash
    • Wide color gamut photos
    • RAW image capture
    • 7 MP facetime HD camera
    • 7 Plus features two 12 MP cameras, one wide-angle and another is telephoto so that the focal length can be manipulated and achieve the bokeh effect — these features will come as an update to iPhone 7 Plus users
iPhone 7 camera details.

iPhone 7 camera details.

  • Stereo speakers (one on top another on bottom)
  • Improvements to the Retina HD display that make it 25% brighter and support for a wide color gamut
  • No headphone jack, lightning ear pods are included (additionally a lightning to 3.5mm adapater comes with every iPhone 7 device)
  • Wireless AirPods, which feature the Apple W1 chip, are wireless buds that require one time setup and sync across all devices through iCloud
Apple's new AirPods, starting at $159

Apple’s new AirPods, starting at $159

  • Apple Pay support in Japan
  • Performance improvements through the newly design A10 Fusion chip, which is a 4 core 64-bit CPU that contains 2 high performance and 2 high efficiency cores (these can help save battery life when doing less intense tasks such as Email, calculator, light web-browsing and more)
A10 Fusion chip details.

A10 Fusion chip details.

All of these features for the same price as the previous generation, with the addition of more storage.  So, starting at $649 you will get the iPhone 7 models that come in either 32, 128 or 256GB configurations with these options replicating down to the existing iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.  The iPhone 7 will be available for preorder on 9/9 and will ship on 9/16.
iPhone Storage Configurations

iPhone Storage Configurations


Bottom line and takeaways:  This is a very solid announcement for Apple and a leap forward for the iPhone and Watch lines.  The camera is certainly the biggest selling feature on this device and with pictures becoming more and more important in our lives — it should be a focalpoint.  The removal of the headphone jack may make some upset, but it’s 2016 — get over it and use wireless devices.  Why tether yourself to a device that is meant to be mobile?  One note is that the AirPods are absolutely disgraceful — they are hideous, if you don’t get the point.  One of the newly released pairs of Beats wireless headphones seem to be a better choice here.  Additionally, revamping the home button is something much needed as that is the primary button on the device and it is known for collecting dust and sometimes becoming inoperable on older devices — this is huge.

Apple Watch Series 2 simply builds on the great foundation that was laid out by the first-generation device.  Now with better waterproofing, a new ceramic case and a faster processor — these updates bring it into 2016 with a bang.

Of course with any update, this is the best iPhone to date, with better storage options, same pricing scheme, snappy A10 Fusion chip — what more could we ask for?


Let’s end with a quick hands on of the newly announced iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 devices below, Enjoy.

iPhone 7 Hands on.

Apple Watch Series 2 Hands on.

Pokemon GO — A Rant

Pokemon GO is a great game, a truly astonishing experience with something cool around every corner; however, some columnists are upset that the technology world is raving and loving this game.
GET OVER IT.
There is finally a game that inspires people to get up, move around and meet people in real life.  If you’re upset about that, then we have some problems to address here.  One writer on The Washington Post  obviously hates the game; however, as most people that do not like it — this piece falls into the category of hating it just to hate it, only because it is the latest craze.  Asinine.
The video below shows gamers playing in NYC Central Park and people are literally running at the sight to get an opportunity to catch a Pokemon that has just appeared — RUNNING.  With obesity hitting it’s peaks in the US and other countries this is something that we need right now, not people belittling the game.
A few notes of caution:
  • Watch where you are going.
  • Be mindful of where you are at all times.
  • Respect those around you who may not be playing the game.
Bottom Line:  The makers of Pokemon GO have a hit on their hands and whether you like it or not you should be happy that this game has people out and about exploring their local areas rather than wasting away gaining unwanted pounds in front of the Xbox.

Pokemon GO is Here!!

The app that we’ve all been waiting for! Pokemon GO is released to the wild and we can finally catch Pokemon in real life!  The fun and adventurous thing about this game is that it is augmented reality and allows you walk around and explore your city and surroundings while catching these cool monsters.  Sorry, if you’re expecting to sit at your computer and fool around for hours on end — this app isn’t for you.
View of Pokemon GO gameplay.

View of Pokemon GO gameplay.

Pokemon GO delivers an overall fun experience with chances to meet real life people that are on the same mission as you are, to become a “Pokemon Master”.  Check out the wonderful experience of the app, which is available on iOS and Android from our friends at TWiT:
Bottom line:  Go catch ’em all!!