Could Treyarch be working on a Call Of Duty Zombies? We think so.
After a short break, the team over at ModMCdl have started development on BronyOS. Continue reading Brony OS: Project Back After Short Break
Today James plays Minecraft survival (and fails). Watch to see what happens……
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This will be a weekly series, so survival videos will be up between Wednesday-Friday. :-)
It’s not even been one week, but for many the experience of Call of Duty Ghost could already be over, well maybe the campaign. Activision’s latest blockbuster game was launched on Tuesday 5th November, with fans and eager gamers queuing at stores world wide to be the first to grab a copy of the mega title, Activision have been under pressure to make the next version of Call of Duty, the best yet. But this is questionable…
The first thing you might say is “what is that?”, then you might move beyond that stage and realise. Suddenly it’s horrid sense of realisation as you cringe and squint. Yes, it is a smartphone in a mans arm. Tim Canonon has become the world’s first human cyborg, having a non medical computer implanted inside his body.
With the Xbox One set to come out on the 22nd November and Microsoft adding, changing the workings of the console, will the Xbox Live dashboard be revamped to give the people what they want?
The Xbox Live dashboard has been updated over the years to make it look up to date and more user friendly. Back in October 2011 Microsoft added a dashboard update changing the look of the ‘dash’ to look more like Windows 8, adding a random loading ring that looked out of place from the start; along with a Metro UI. Since then smaller updates have been added and now the dashboard has more apps, sub -categories and Bing search engine, to find that long lost game or video. But with Microsoft adding only small updates , it has left the community asking for more to be added.
The community is asking to be able to upload their own picture to be used as there gamer picture (profile picture), to make their own background by uploading a picture, change what they want to see on the home menu, make their own clothes for their avatar, recommend games that the user will want to play and TO REMOVE THE ADS FROM THE MENUS!!!
All around the Xbox dashboard there are Ads popping out at the user trying to get them to click, but they are so out of date and are just getting in the way of the users dashboard experience. Before the Metro UI was added there were Ads but there was a lot less pain because they were placed at the end of a row in the game market place and in the video store, but now they are all over the place.
“I think that the Ads should only be shown if the user has not got an Xbox Live gold account” Tom from Gadget Nibble
With the community wanting Microsoft to change their plans for the dashboard, many in the community are now trying to mod and hack the console to make the dashboard their own, but now find themselves blocked by Xbox Lives hacking system. Locking them out of their account and stopping them from playing games.
I think that Microsoft need to listen to the community because the ‘dash’ is the starting point to find a new game or to load one. By removing the Ads and having a more customisable dashboard experience, players in the community will become happier.
So do Microsoft need to listen to the community or do they go alone and make more changes to the dashboard without the help of the fans?
I always get asked the same question by users who move from the PC to a console, why is there no ‘mods’ available for the XBOX 360 or PS3? Many users finds this the most frustrating and off putting part of owning a console and experiencing console games. Time after time consoles manufacturers have had the opportunity to offer mods for consoles and services – but we still exist in a gaming world where you are heavily restricted during a console experience. But what is a mod?
Now the mod we’re talking about is a little different to the one you may be thinking of, mods are the centre pin of PC gaming and currently are in overdrive. A mod or modification is simply an ‘add-on’ or extra to a release of software that is made by the public or developer for general release. It can allow gamers to experience new weapons, characters, trials and levels to improve game play and visual experiences. A mod can be a whole new game in itself but is usually dependent on the users owning the first release software. PC games have been the carrier for mods since the advent of PC gaming, centring around first person shooters and role playing games – the PC is the driving force behind modding communities. Current popular mods include those for Skyrim and Minecraft, but sadly these aren’t accessible on a console. Modding is a fundamental part of all gaming communities and the consoles such as the XBOX and Playstation have seen the frequency of modding decrease amongst hardcore communities – this isn’t a coincidence and is part of the industry’s wider plans…
The XBOX launched in 2001 and the PS2 in 2000 to a fanfare of gamers looking forward to the chance to experience next gen graphics and the ability to have access to a wide ranging online services. Now consoles are seen as the laziest and less creative method of gaming entertainment and their lack of community following and strict control is partly to blame. Microsoft is an example of a company so successful in their marketing strategy that their console is world No. 1. The XBOX 360 is a predator in the gaming market and has an abundance of eager followers and game developers – yet Microsoft’s strict controls on the console have left a void in the market where mods have been welcomed by the PC. Microsoft’s XBOX Live is the key service that’s some way gives the XBOX the edge – Microsoft use this service as a ‘big brother’ way of ensuring that gamers follow the terms of Xbox Live that many feels is the issue. Microsoft strictly states in their terms of agreement that:
“You can’t use unauthorized software and hardware to access the Services, nor can you modify an Authorized Device in any unauthorized way (e.g., through unauthorized repairs, unauthorized upgrades, or unauthorized downloads)”
And part of this is just worthy – protection of user data is a high priority, but in a way the majority of XBOX Live users won’t do this. Instead the agreement penalises users who want to improve entertainment experiences and share with the developing community. Microsoft adds that breaking these rules remedies your console useless by a ban and these are not negotiable.
Sony similarly has a likewise policy, but is a little more vague with their statement:
“You must not modify or attempt to modify the online client, disc, save file, server, client-server communication, or other part of any Service or cause disruption to any account, system, hardware, software, or network connected to Sony Entertainment Network for any reason, including to gain an unfair advantage in any Service”
The two biggest console providers clearly don’t like mods or anyone’s form of community input – that said Microsoft offers ‘indie’ games which are community made – but these don’t offer the versatility of fully fledged mods. Consoles originally would have had established communities dedicated to modding – in the day and age of tape the likes of the Commodore 64 had an array of modifications and user extras available. Nowadays the console seems a lot bleaker option. But why?
The consoles get around this by releasing what is known as DLC (downloadable content) and boy have they made their money. Unlike mods which can be found free – DLC requires payment and again faces usage restrictions. Sticklers for this have been the likes of Activision and other developers who force gamers to cough up cash for items that one could acquire alternatively. DLC can offer new maps, levels and campaigns but for a hefty price. Nevertheless these aren’t true mods and the consoles still don’t feature a similar ability. Minecraft is a prime example, only 1 year old for XBOX 360 the game, unlike its PC sibling, can not have mods to alter: skins, textures, environments or characters. Instead users are forced to buy skin packs – which are free for PC.
Consoles and mods haven’t really has a steady relationship. But that said the form of a console wouldn’t necessarily suit an open modding community, but it isn’t impossible. The reason that mods aren’t widely accessible for users is the lack of need or warrant to place mods on a system that offers an easier alternative. Modding is built upon a community base and that is lacking when the console is concerned. But it isn’t user who are at fault – Microsoft and Sony haven’t made it easy and that is where the buck lies. Microsoft and Sony need to concentrate and look at ‘true’ community gaming in the next iterations of their consoles and focus on the ways of integrating social and community input. The PC maybe a decreasing and slowing market, but it has the upper hand when it comes to gaming – and I know for sure that is the first place I turn for customisation.