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Microsoft Xbox One
A more useful application than gaming.

Microsoft Appeals to Business: Use Xbone for Conference Calls

As the weeks pass Microsoft grows increasingly desperate, as they flip and flop to and fro, never capable of staying on message longer than perhaps a week or so. Microsoft flubbed E3 with their DRM-leaden Xbone policies, before jettisoning them a mere week later, along with Xbone boss, Don Mattrick. The Xbone was originally targeted towards American TV and Football enthusiasts, before being pitched to a tiny subset of digital-only bro gaming elitists at E3, and now the console is being shopped to business in order to facilitate conference calls.

Microsoft spokesman, Marques Lyons, has this week made the desperate appeal to business that if they purchase an Xbone unit, then they will be able to write it off as a business expense by using it for conference calls:

What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business. In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499, is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms.

The app story of Xbox One has yet to be written, therefore it is entirely possible to find apps down the road that could be of benefit for you and your business, with the processing power, snap mode, and connection to a large screen, that the Xbox One has, this device is capable of going from the ‘break room’ to the ‘board room’.

OK, so the Xbone is hardware capable of rivalling some of the basic communication functions of the most modest of networking platforms [smartphones, tablets, netbooks] – but that still does not explain why a business owner might opt for an Xbone instead of a nice, new Mac or PC as a tax deductible expense [both of which do not require a Gold subscription to serve their function]. Further, the Xbone’s hardware might be ideal for taking conference calls, but the quality of its nascent multimedia applications are very much an unknown quantity at this point.

Xbone’s multimedia functionality is likely to be poor in the console’s first year; subsequently multimedia support will vanish once Microsoft moves on to their next console, and good luck using Xbone to exchange document files during a conference call, as it is a closed platform with no flexibility built into the interface. Yes, the Xbone is probably capable of serving as a multimedia and conferencing device, but only as a half measure. Then again, practically every stated utility of the Xbone serves as a marginal half measure. This is the Xbone being targeted at smalltime self-employed persons who are too cheap to pay for a console, as opposed to it serving any serious business application – jack of all trades, master of Xbox-none.

More to the point though, what sort of company would allow Microsoft and their NSA buddies to have a direct and ‘always-on’ line into their corporate offices?

...Because boobs are dirty.
Nintendo probably did not want to have their precious IP associated with women’s breasts…

Nintendo Forbids Live Streaming of Super Smash Bros. Melee

Nintendo really does not want the Wii U to sell. The holiday season of 2013 is the appointed time at which the Wii U may begin to sell, and not a moment sooner. To this end Nintendo have been busily buying back surplus Wii U stock, along with imposing heavy restrictions on people doing Nintendo-based ‘let’s plays’ on Youtube, and now, just this week, Nintendo attempted to prevent EVO [Evolution Championship Series] from streaming their Super Smash Bros. Melee matches.

EVO is the largest fighting game tourney in the world, with EVO 2011 being streamed to over 2.2 million viewers around the globe – so having a game selected as one of the eight main attractions is kind of a big deal for developers. The eighth slot in EVO 2013’s event roster was left open to a popular vote [by way of fan donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation]. 225,744 dollars were raised all-up, of which 94,683 dollars were raised by Super Smash Bros. Melee, marking it as the clear winner.

All that looked to have come to naught however, as Nintendo sought to remove Super Smash Bros. Melee from the event altogether, before being talked around by EVO co-founder, Joey “Mr Wizard” Cuellar, to allow the game at the event in exchange for the removal of any event feed featuring Nintendo’s comic brawler:

They were not only trying to shut down the stream, they were trying to shut down the event; the Smash portion of the event. It’s their IP, they can do whatever they want, and they didn’t present us with any options to keep it open, they were just ‘Hey, we want to shut you down’.

And we kinda wigwammed our way through it and they were fine with just shutting down the streaming portion of the event. And that was that. And we were not going to press any further.

Happily, Nintendo were finally made to reverse their opposition to streaming Smash Bros. matches after strong online criticism led them to discover that Super Smash Bros. Melee was actually a GameCube title, and thus did not risk selling a great many units of Wii U hardware before holiday 2013.

The man has the debating acumen of a five year-old.
Not fine.

Tim Schafer Labels Disillusioned Backer a ‘Troll’

This week in gaming, long-suffering indy-development martyr, Tim Schafer, was cruelly beset by “rants about ill uses of money and time from some sort of supposed moral high ground“, where “ranting” in this instance is apparently the bizarro-world definition for being beat about the head by truth, integrity, and inherent human decency.

Last week Schafer famously came clean about his poor planning being to blame for Double Fine’s Broken Game project blowing through its record-making 3.5 million dollar budget within the early stages of development, while making it smugly clear that he did not hold himself at all responsible, because this is just how the business of game design is done in large and entitled corporate development firms. This led to Broken Game backer, Aleczandia Banks [AKA Alexander Tyson], contacting Schafer on Twitter in order to be refunded for the one dollar pledge previously made to Schafer & co., on account of their constant mishandling of funds. This conversation probably should have ended with Schafer directing Banks to the relevant avenue for reimbursement, yet Schafer could not resist following-up with a parting shot, contending that Broken Game‘s botched execution is over-delivering on value for the project’s backers.

Schafer’s retort invited Banks to explain his position; that, yes, he was aware that his seeking reimbursement for a dollar only served as little more than a symbolic stand, and that he was making this stand because Schafer’s irresponsible abuse of crowd-sourcing for “FREE MONEY” has begun to ruin Kickstarter for legitimate independent developers. It would seem that all of this proved to be a little too much truth for Schafer to handle though, as he attempted to disingenuously pidgin-hole Banks in order to put him back into his box – first accusing him of jumping on a bandwagon, and then accusing Banks of being a non-backing troll, before being disproved by his shitty company’s own record keeping, and having to relent to affording him the status of being a ‘backing troll’ [?]. That is to say that in an effort to masterfully troll Double Fine, Aleczandia trollishly donated money to their doomed project, waited for a full sixteen months to pass, and then trollishly demanded a refund only after Schafer was forced to admit that his gross incompetence had lead to the team squandering the bulk of the funding within the early stages of development. Schafer then finished up in classic form by belittling the contributions made by backers of Double Fine’s lowest funding tier, by joking about spending Aleczandia’s dollar on one third of a packet of sparklers for the American Mutiny Day celebrations. Randy Pitchford has really found himself a soul mate in Schafer.

[Aleczandia Banks]:At this point, I’m beyond caring – I’m actually saddened in a way.

When you first started this you basically said “I’m the guy that made these games before, want another one?

With no clear concept on what the game would actually BE. People put a lot of faith in you by donating.

Not only have you damaged your own reputation with this, but you’ve also damaged Kickstarter’s.

It’s not just you, many people seem to have seen Kickstarter as a way for FREE MONEY just by showing off their past.

As someone who may have liked to use Kickstarter in the future for my own projects, I now feel I can’t due to the distrust…

…around it. And you really need to take some responsibility for that.

[Tim Schafer]:Well, I’m sad that logic doesn’t work on you. If we find out you’re a backer, we’ll happily refund your money.

Look, you’re beyond caring, right? So when are you going to be beyond tweeting?

Here’s what I think. You’re not really a backer. Your just a non-backing troll. But we’ll check the database and find out!

Ohhhh. okay. Well, we’ll get that $1 back to you right away! Sorry you feel getting 10 episodes for $1 was a rip off!

Schafer’s cloistered sense of entitlement is truly staggering, as this week’s escapades have even managed to outdo last week’s deplorable efforts. Aleczandia finishes up by quoting the words of Bobby Nodick [of all people], which funnily enough grow truer with the passing of the years:

I’ve never met him in my life – I’ve never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvemnet in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brutal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, ‘He’s late, he’s missed every milestone, he’s overspent the budget and it doesn’t seem like a good game. We’re going to cancel it.’

And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone,the game was not a particularly good game….

Well might the same thing eventually come to be said about Broken Game.


  1. Tim Schafer is a cunt. I’m glad I’ve never bought a single one of his mediocre games.

  2. The comments on that Player Effort post about Schafer are quite funny. It really is amazing how many people are dying to blow that dipshit.

  3. I’m sure something like 90% of gamers feel honour-bound to defend to the hilt any individual, developer, or corporation that they feel is responsible for producing any game that they have ever enjoyed at one point in time.

    I simply cannot fathom how Schafer is still allowed to cruise-by on the strength of his having directed one great adventure game in the late 90s…

  4. For that matter, how can so many gamers labour under the mistaken belief that Capcom is still Capcom, or that Square Enix is actually Squaresoft?

  5. You know, it occurs to me that Double Fine is actually the corporate embodiment of Chris’ life-philosophy regarding fineness.

    Something is only bad if it effects me personally‘ – render that into Latin and you’d have the Double Fine company motto.

  6. Brutal Legend was well received, and from my experience, was a good game. Stacking, Costume Quest, and Psychonauts are also solid titles. Stacking and Costume Quest were conceived just after Brutal Legend was dropped by Activision and Double Fine was under severe financial strain. When Schafer is not allowed to go design crazy, his studios games are good. But, as was the case with Brutal Legend, when his publisher doesn’t set strict expectations, he goes way over budget and has to cut things to even have a game to release. Schafer’s sole purpose for using Kickstarter is to avoid having a publisher keep him in check with deadlines and budgets.

    Something interesting: Schafer wants to restart work on a sequel to Brutal Legend (EA cancelled it years ago). He wants the sequel to have three times the content of the original. Who wants to guess the needed funds for that Kickstarter. $50 million? $100 million? $1 billion??

  7. “I’m sure something like 90% of gamers feel honour-bound to defend to the hilt any individual, developer, or corporation that they feel is responsible for producing any game that they have ever enjoyed at one point in time.”


    “‘ Something is only bad if it effects me personally‘ – render that into Latin and you’d have the Double Fine company motto.”

    Yes, and yes. To the first, it really is true that so many people keep dredging up excuses and second (third, fourth, etc.) chances for companies that once upon a time made their favorite game or console. If it’s a turd then stop telling me to do everything but smell it…

    To the second, you could make that a motto for a lllllllot of people these days. Though sussing out who’s truly ignorant and who’s playing bullshit is always fun. :/

  8. Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, and Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle were all wonderful games from the early 90’s which he co-wrote (and in the case of MM:DotT co-designed, but bear in mind it was a sequel to Ron Gilbert’s game). The thing is, the SCUMM engine which provided the gameplay basis for those games had already been made, so he didn’t have to come up with much for that (although I think he did do some programming, at least during SoMI) and therefore it doesn’t logically carry over that he would be a responsible designer of a new IP from the ground up. He may have been useful as a guy you could bounce ideas off of, or be told what to do, but what he’s done now is reprehensible. Not only has he lost publishers’ trust, as per James: “Schafer’s sole purpose for using Kickstarter is to avoid having a publisher keep him in check with deadlines and budgets” – he’s now lost the people’s trust and become a living joke.

  9. How much of a joke is he, though? I would say that he is not enough of one. A lot people still defend him. I got into a bit of an argument with an OCR member about it. I told him how Schafer is being irresponsible and he replied with all these explanations about how open he is being with documentaries and things. He didn’t convince me to come over to his side but I didn’t know what else to say so I just gave up right there. God, I suck at arguing!

    Question: do you think Tim Schafer is responsible for all the comedy in those Monkey Island games?

  10. Jahan, being completely transparent while flushing other people’s money down the toilet does not demonstrate any sort of responsibility, especially when the douche in question is willing to shrug off any culpability on his part with a ‘business as usual attitude’.

    Schafer is an incompetent moron who dug himself into a hole on account of his abject failure to carry out even the most rudimentary of project planning before going to Kickstarter and asking for gamer largesse.

  11. Maybe they wouldn’t be as screwed if they didn’t waste money on a fucking documentry of how much fucking money they’re wasting. While they are at it, why not hire some overpriced popstar to do the soundtrack? Or how about James Cameron to blow 1 billion on special effects?

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