Jun 17, 2016

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In Defense of the Xbox One Slim; RNGeezus Smiles Upon Me

In Defense of the Xbox One Slim

At E3 this year, Microsoft announced not one, but two new Xbox models that will be hitting the shelves in the future. The first is a slimmed down XB1, obviously called the “Xbox One Slim” or just “XB1S”. This machine will be just a smidge more feature-rich than its bulkier cousin by way of offering HDR for brighter colors, and 4K video output, but will otherwise be just about as powerful as the XB1 we have now. Project Scorpio, however, is a veritable supercomputer which will no doubt have a supercomputer price. In fact, the “supercomputer” comparison isn’t too far off, if you check around the Internet for opinions on the matter.

With gamers always being about more power (even if they can’t use it), the question going ’round is “why bother creating the XB1S”? Wouldn’t it better to save money between now and Holiday 2017 and pick up the electric-bill-shredding Scorpio?

Yes, I think so, sort of, but I also think that XB1S is a sleeper agent. Here’s why!

Scorpio right now is set to be the top tier machine in the XB ecosystem. According to Microsoft’s proposed plans, there will always be a parade of Xbox models to choose from that, at the end of the day, cater to all bank accounts. If you buy a Scorpio at launch, you’re future-proofing yourself for quite some time since in order to entice buyers to upgrade after that, Microsoft is going to need to pray to the gods of Moore’s Law that something better than Scorpio can be made within a reasonable time frame so we’re not looking at traditional console cycle downtime between Scorpio and whatever is next. That would go against what Microsoft is trying to accomplish by following a PC-like availability matrix and keep a steady stream of Xbox models on the shelves.

I propose that it’ll be during this period that XB1S comes into it’s own. Right now, the XB1 Classic (XB1C) could be considered to be the “low end” on the spectrum since the XB1S has a slight advantage with HDR/4K abilities. Considering Scorpio will also support HDR and 4K, XB1C does seem have planned obsolescence which would mean that the only true consideration would be between XB1S and Scorpio. If people opt to spend their money on the top-tier console, then maybe a year or two later, the XB1S starts looking like a really good option as a secondary machine for the home.

In fact, Microsoft seems to be really excited about you not sitting in one place to use your Xbox. If you have a Windows 10 PC, you can stream gameplay from the console, which I do often. I also heard rumors that they’ll be creating an Xbox app for tablets and smartphones that could allow you to stream your console gameplay to those devices (that the XB1S and Scorpio are switching controller connectivity to Bluetooth is probably just a coincidence).  I also recently discovered the “Home console” feature which not only allows all accounts on the machine to share the same XBL access, but allows you to access the licenses on that Home machine from another XB1 console you log into with your primary XBL account. That feature alone is specifically designed so that multi-Xbox owners can access their games and saves anywhere they place an additional Xbox in their home, which sounds like Microsoft really wants you to buy more than one Xbox.

RNGeezus Smiles Upon Me

2016-06-16 21_51_56-Greenshot

I finally got back to Wildstar last night on account of our D&D game being postponed (consider that the weekly recap).

My goal had been to clean up the current hub I was at, and to make sure I wasn’t leaving any explorer path content unexplored. One point of interest lead me into a cavern which didn’t seem to have a point. There were some small-time enemies in there (I’m way over-leveled for the zone I’m in, since I apparently skipped over it for some reason), but there was no boss and no missions that gave a purpose to being there.

But it was a small cavern so I cleared it out since I was attempting to gain Algoroc faction to buy a sweet Rowsdower placeable for my home-plot. On my way out, though, I noticed the massive chest that had appeared by the exit.

Ah yes. A dreaded lockbox. But what the hell, right? I had some Omnibits (currency you can earn in-game that is semi-interchangable with the paid currency you can load up on to buy things from the cash shop) so I bought a key and dayum! scored the sweet techno-mount shown above. I also got a pumera pet who is not in the screenshot. Not only does the mount look great, but it’s also the fastest one I own now, so I feel it was Omnibits well spent.

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