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Gaming console rivalry

When it comes to gaming consoles, the rivalry between Sony and Microsoft is pretty intense.  That rivalry has been given a fresh twist, I see, with the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.  I’m interested to see how this one will play out, if you pardon the puns.  Anyone who is familiar with my blog will know that I’m an Xbox kind of guy, but I like to keep an open mind on things, so it is interesting to see whether Sony or Microsoft will emerge as the big winner from the launch of their new gaming consoles.

A cause for concern, if I’m being honest, is that Microsoft has indicated that it will impose pretty restrictive copyright protection in respect of games.  Publishers will be given the option of deciding whether a purchaser of their games is entitled to sell the game on, or even give it to someone else, and whether they will have to fork out a fee for doing so.

Another worrying development is that owners of the new Xbox One will be required to ‘check in’ with Microsoft once in 24 hours via the internet.  If the console user fails to check in, they will not be able to game.  So even though I would own the games that I purchased on disc, if I didn’t ‘check in’ with the company once a day, I would be stuck.  That doesn’t seem particularly fair to me.  What if someone’s internet connection is down, or what happens if they have moved house and they are waiting to get reconnected to the internet?

I have noticed that Sony does not intend introducing the same kind of restrictions on second-hand discs that Microsoft has proposed and, like I’ve said, I have an open mind on these things, so when it comes to purchasing a new console at some point in the future, my money may go to a different company than it has done in the past.

Playing poker online

I’ve recently discovered what fun gambling over the internet can be.  I like to think of myself as a pretty seasoned poker player.  There’s nothing I like better than getting the lads round to my place on a weekend night, placing a few quid on the table, and then playing poker to the early hours.  That said, this is becoming a rare occurrence.  People are growing up, having kids, and getting new jobs; and it sometimes feels as though I’m being left in the dark.

Anyway, after another failed attempt to arrange a poker night, I decided to log on to the internet and give online poker a try.  Firstly, I was struck by the vast abundance of websites that were providing the service. Literally hundreds, if not thousands.  I signed up to a few and played using a demo account to see which website I would gel with the most.

Now gambling isn’t a habit that I really want to get into.  I do like it on occasions; however, I realise that for a guy with no job, it could quickly become problematic.  Having said that, I’ve found the entire process to be invigorating.  It’s been a real challenge to try to learn all of the techniques over a computer screen.  And now that I’ve mastered it I can honestly say that winning money has never been easier!

Like I said before, I realise the dangers of getting involved with online gambling, especially now that I’m on a winning streak.  It’s certainly a pastime, however, that I can take advantage of at the weekends.  So, my recommendation is to give it a shot if you have nothing better to do one night.  In fact, maybe you could join me for a game over webcam?  Although I have to warn you – I am damn good!

Online casino games

After playing poker over the internet a few times, I’ve decided to put my gambling skills to the test and find out if I can win any cash with other games.  Recently I’ve been playing a lot of online casino games, but I’m still yet to put any cash into the system.

I may know poker, but I’m certainly not ashamed to admit that I don’t know much about playing roulette, blackjack and slots.  I know gambling is about luck, but everyone still finds their own style and technique of playing.  And recently I’ve been trying to figure out mine.

Roulette, blackjack and slots are without a doubt the most common games that are found on online casinos. One of the benefits about playing these games is that they can be downloaded and practiced on your computer. I’ve decided to download the apps and learn the rules and techniques before putting any money into the system.

I think that my game is improving significantly and, with just a little more practice, I’ll be ready to take the plunge.  But before I do that there is one crucial step that I must figure out – which website to use.  Each casino site varies drastically.  Some games are slightly different to others, and each website will have their own set limits when it comes to minimum and maximum bets.  I think the most important step is to not get ahead of myself.  Before I take that final plunge I need to assess my money and figure out which method will be the most cost effective in terms of gain.

COD vs Battlefield

From what I see, there appears to be two camps in the first person shooter world.  You are either a Call of Duty fan, or a Battlefield fan, and never the twain shall meet.  I committed a cardinal sin recently, by trying to sing the praises of both games to a diehard Battlefield player.

His response was along the lines of that I must not be very intelligent if I believed that certain games in the COD series were better than Battlefield.

My games bigger than yours

My response was that I wasn’t saying that COD was better, but that I enjoyed both games, horses for courses and all that.

The debate carried on and the guy misinterpreted and misconstrued more or less everything I said and he even started to get a bit irate.  Then the crunch hit, and the guy (who is a friend of a friend and it is not really worth the effort to type his name) came to the conclusion that the only way he could make me like Battlefield and hate COD was to challenge me to a game on Battlefield.  Presumably so he could pretend he was inflicting the atrocities of war on me in real life, which would prove how right he was – not.

Who cares? 

Ah, good old pretend mindless violence, a sure-fire cure for many ailments – even a different opinion can be whipped into place by an upgraded piece of gameplay artillery.  The guy’s attitude was laughable.

I couldn’t take him up on his offer because, above all, it was really naff.  It felt a bit like handbags at dawn, only using the game pads.  I also still think that both are quality games.

Go Lego

Most kids, male and female, are aware of Lego. I used to love the stuff when I was a child. I think it is highly commendable that Lego has managed to stay phenomenally successful through the age of the digital revolution.

Many other parts of the toy industry have suffered, but Lego has stayed strong. The internet has changed the world for the music industry and the publishing industry, among countless other markets, so staying afloat in any business has been difficult.

Lego made some computer games that placed it firmly in the cool toy category, too.  My six-year-old nephew absolutely loves them and I bought him the latest for Christmas, which is called Lego Batman 2.

A man and a bat at the same time

Okay, so Lego is already ridiculously cool and therefore doesn’t need much help, but Batman will never get thrown off the doorstep; in fact, there are loads of DC Comic heroes and heroines in this game. Even the baddies are cool.

Batman and Robin are the obvious ones, but Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman are also present. For me the bad guys are still much cooler, and the likes of Joker, Riddler, Harley Quinn and Catwoman are part of a blinding cast of super legends.

Many heroes of the screen have been given the Lego treatment, including Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean. That wizard-like rapscallion that goes by the name of Harry Potter has also had the Lego makeover.

Lego just seems to know how to get it right, so hats off to one of my favourite childhood toys for continuing the Lego legacy with such admirable aplomb.

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