Tag: Console Gaming

Console Gaming, Editorial, Gaming, Handheld or Portable Gaming, News, Online Gaming, Opinion, PC Gaming, Tech News, Technology

Here’s Why I Ordered A Steam Deck

Kotaku recently penned an article about how they don’t see who would purchase a Steam Deck. I ordered my Steam Deck yesterday, and here’s why Steam Deck is for me. PS: You can preorder your Steam Deck from Valve here. Steam Deck will launch in December 2021.

What is Steam Deck? It’s kinda a Nintendo Switch “Clone” or “Rip Off” for lack of a better word – sorry, but it is – there’s lots of these clones out there – I have one from China for like $50 with some emulators and roms lol. BUT the one thing that makes Steam Deck different from these other Nintendo Switch like devices – Access to millions of games from the Steam Library – thousands of which I already own. The docking station will be sold separately – which is a bummer given how expensive the base units are. read more

Computers, Console Gaming, Featured, How To, Internet, Technology, Videogame

How to Start Streaming Your Video Games

How to Successfully Start Streaming Your Video Games

Video game streaming has blown up in popularity recently. More and more gamers are not only watching streamers online, but becoming video game streamers themselves! Video game streaming is a great way to connect with other gamers and the gaming community and you can even make money streaming your playing! People are quick to judge gamers, saying there’s no way to make money by playing video games. Recently, that’s been completely turned on its head. Streaming is a massive industry, with thousands and thousands of viewers and streamers alike! If you’ve been wondering how to successfully start streaming your video games, this guide is for you. read more

Computers, Console Gaming, Online Gaming, PC, Software, Technology

How DDoS Attacks Impact Gamers

Ever since the infamous DDoS Attack on Sony’s Playstation Network back in 2011, the gaming industry has seen a sharp increase in DDoS Attacks including but not limited to attacks on Warcraft, League of Legends, Xbox, Nintendo, Microsoft, and many more. Game servers need to give special consideration when it comes to implementing DDoS protection.

A DDoS Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack, is a strategy which attempts to shut down a network by flooding it with traffic. The traffic often comes from a group of systems which has been infected with a virus or trojan. These attacks typically happen due to the gaming server having outdated, misconfigured, or conflicting security settings which the hackers can then exploit to execute their attacks.

Everyday more than 150 million people around the world play online games; online gaming has soared into a multi-billion dollar industry with players from North America, Asia, Europe, and all around the globe logging in and connecting simultaneously. The game servers are usually tested to withstand a certain threshold of activity, and new servers added or closed as the game ages and audience and traffic changes. However, a gaming server can easily be over taxed by sudden spikes in traffic, making it a juicy target for DDoS attackers.

Often times, single player or competitive teams are also targeted by DDoS attacks when it comes to online gaming tournaments. Some players use these attacks to get an unfair advantage, while others use it as a ransomware attack where in the player must pay money to remove the threat. We even see these types of attacks on Twitch and similar streaming services where a group will flood a user’s twitch stream to interrupt their gameplay and live stream. Since many people are “professional gamers” and earn a livelihood by streaming or competing in gaming tournaments, these attacks cause lost of wages as well as frustration.

Gaming is a prime target for DDoS attacks because so many games require online connectivity, and so many gamers have an emotional connection to their favorite games which increases frustration and havoc when the attack hits. Gaming servers are also easy to disrupt, because you do not need to fully take a server offline to render it unplayable. Attackers can simply disrupt the server to the point where lag renders the controls unresponsive and interferes with gameplay.

In the case of Sony, gamers took the company to court and won a class action lawsuit costing Sony millions of dollars. This proves that Gaming networks are liable and responsible for delivering uninterrupted service and taking appropriate precautions to help mitigate such attacks.

Also, as Sony has proven, it’s not just PC games which come under DDoS attack. Console games and even mobile games are also at risk.

Gaming servers often require special consideration when it comes to implementing security measures to help mitigate these attacks. Since many DDoS bots are becoming more sophisticated and mimicking human player behavior, many gaming companies are forced to decide between stricter security measures which could trigger false positives and block access to the game for many legitimate players, or to lower their defenses and make the game widely accessible to players all over the world, but at the risk of also being accessed by bots and attackers.

There are three basic types of DDoS attacks:

Volumetric Attacks are the most common type of DDoS attack. They work by throttling the bandwidth causing the servers to shut down by flooding them with high volumes of constant traffic.

Protocol Attacks target the infrastructure and resources of a server, such as the firewall and load balancers.

Application Layer Attacks target security vulnerabilities in Apache, Windows, and OpenBSD. These attacks mimic human behavior and perform a slow and steady string of seemingly innocent requests that overtime will cripple the server.

How Can You Protect Your Server from DDoS Attacks?

You can help protect your gaming servers from DDoS attacks by implementing additional security software or services such as those offered by KODDoS. KODDoS protects you from DDoS attacks by detecting and blocking the attack in less than milliseconds ensuring that your servers remain online and without interruption of service. You also have access to a team of DDoS experts 24/7 who work to monitor incoming attacks and implement solutions in real time or on demand giving you around the clock DDoS protection.

KODDoS works to protect against all types of DDoS attacks by using many layers of filtration to mitigate the attacks. They have a large 400Gbps network, which once the traffic hits their network, they apply ACL rules to block malicious traffic at the edge of the network.

The traffic then reaches a scrubbing center and is filtered based on different signatures and predefined traffic patterns. Each packet is analyzed to ensure no malicious traffic reaches the client’s servers. These methods work to protect against layer 3/4 attacks as well as layer 7 attacks which are harder to detect and which target applications and web servers using only a small amount of bandwidth.

They have a full range of DDoS solutions ranging from plans for web hosts, VPS networks, remote servers, or enterprise dedicated servers. With pricing starting at just $39.99 a month.

You can also contact them for a free consultation to help decide which of their services are the best fit for you.

Check them out at https://koddos.net/

Esports, MOBA, Online Gaming, PC, Strategy, Technology, Videogame

eSports and iGaming – A Match Made in Heaven

For the past quarter of a century or so, the concept of eSports has grown from humble beginnings to become the world’s latest major sports phenomenon. When you look at the size of the industry today, it’s hard to believe that the earliest large-scale competitive gaming event took place less than thirty years ago. read more

Console Gaming, Featured, Game News, Infographic, News, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Retro Game, Sega CD, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Super Nintendo, Technology, Videogame, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Video Games by the Numbers

 

Like many of my readers, I have been playing games for over 3 decades now. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent playing games like Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on my SNES with my friends, or time spent immersing in the stories of RPG classics back in the 16 and 32 bit era such as Lunar on the Sega CD or Zelda on the SNES and N64.

Video games have a long history and continue to entertain new generations of kids who are growing up gaming, just like they did back in the 80s and 90s.

To celebrate video games, the team at The Monitor Monitor has put together this infographic of consoles, the number of games produced for each console, and sales numbers for the top selling games on each console.

Please note that the graphic is sorted by manufacturer, then number of games produced, not chronological order.

Enjoy!

(Infographic published with consent from The Monitor Monitor)

Report: Nintendo Switch will sell 5 million units in 2017
Nintendo Defends DLC Expansion Pass For ‘The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe On Nintendo Switch Gets New Trailer; Up To 8 Players Local Play
Wii U eShop Chart – March 3rd
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe May Be Getting A Price Cut For The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Puts Banana Peels In Path of Real Life Mario Kart Business Making Money Off Their Ideas, Hilarity Ensues read more

Featured, Game News, Handheld or Portable Gaming, News, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Preview, Tech News, Technology, Videogame

Nintendo Switch Live Stream Events and Preorders Begin

Nintendo has announced plans to begin taking a limited number of preorders for the new Nintendo Switch hybrid handheld/console gaming system beginning tomorrow morning 1/13/2017 at 9am EST exclusively at the Nintendo store in New York City.

They are kicking off the event with two Live Stream events. The first of which is scheduled for 11pm EST tonight 1/12/2017 and will discuss the system specs, price, launch titles and availability.

The 2nd Live Treehouse Event will begin tomorrow at 930am EST and will focus on the gameplay from various launch games which will also appear on tonight’s Live Stream event. They will also offer a special live viewing event for the first 250 customers at the Nintendo Store in NYC tonight at 8pm EST.

You can watch tonight’s 11PM livestream for free on Nintendo’s site at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/

Tomorrrow morning’s 9:30AM event can be viewed online at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/nintendo-treehouse/

No other retailers have announced when Preorders will begin, but I would expect them to begin opening preorders shortly after tonight’s live events when pricing details will be made official.

Nintendo previously showed gameplay footage and introduced the new console in a teaser video from 2016.

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Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon

Amazon just launched their Black Friday Pre-sale event. You can check back every day for new items at http://amazon.com/Black-Friday/…

Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!

Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.

PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.

Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi

or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH

I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON

Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ

And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.

 

Powered by Dealspotr | Additional voucher codes for Amazon

Per Amazon’s site:

“Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!

Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.

Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!

To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”

 

Console Gaming, Game News, Handheld or Portable Gaming, News, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Preview, Release Date, Tech News

Everything We Know About Nintendo Switch – Nintendo’s New Gaming Console and Handheld – Release Date March 2017

UPDATE: 1/18/2017: We now know the launch date is March 3rd, Price is $299.99. Preorders have already begun and appear to be nearly sold out at most retailers. There will be two versions of the console, each identical except for the color of controllers. In one version they are grey like the console itself, and in another version they are neon red and neon blue. Interesting to note, you can purchase additional/new/replacement joycon sticks for example, the neon red and blue, ones separately from retailers such as Gamestop. So even if you can’t preorder the exact color console you want (For example, I was hoping for the neon one, but had to get grey, and honestly, feel happy/lucky to have even been able to preorder the Switch at all), you can simply buy these new Joycon sticks and swap them out for whatever ones you got with your console.  Or if say, you don’t like the mix-matching colors and want all red, or all blue Joycons, you can do that too. Kinda a neat touch to customize your console. I wonder if they will release pink controllers at some point? lol!  We also now know that online play will be available free at first, but going to a paid monthly subscription model sometime in fall of 2017. No price has been announced yet for the online service.

Also please check out my list of the Top 10 2017 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls! So many good Games are coming out this year! Are you as excited as I am?

UPDATE: 1/12/2017: Nintendo Price, Launch Titles, and System Specs Revealed in Live Stream Event Tonight. Preorders Begin at the Nintendo Store in NYC tomorrow morning with more Live Events. Read more details and learn where to watch the live events.

UPDATE 3: 10/25/2016 11:00am EST: No hardware specs to report, but NVIDIA offers up a closer explanation of what’s exactly going on from a technical standpoint inside the Nintendo Switch. In a blog post last week, NVIDIA revealed that “Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards. The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses. Gameplay is further enhanced by hardware-accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering. We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency. NVIDIA gaming technology is integrated into all aspects of the new Nintendo Switch home gaming system, which promises to deliver a great experience to gamers.” (Source: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/10/20/nintendo-switch/)

A price rumor is also floating around several UK sites which pins the price around $350 GBP which translates to a whopping $424 usd – Techradar is speculating a price around $300 to $350 for US Gamers. (Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/nintendo-nx-price)

The Wii U price at launch was $299 for the standalone console, or $349 for a bundle with a game. Given the “beefier” tech insides of the Nintendo Switch compared to the low end, Wii U, I could see this price speculation put forth by techradar as being fairly accurate — However, most gamers are going to naturally want to compare the Nintendo Switch to the Nintendo DS / Nintendo 3DS and not perhaps make the logical association with the Wii U and increased tech prowess of the new system — The 3DS launched at a price of just $249 — Meaning, if Tech Radar’s rumors are true, the Nintendo Switch is going to be nearly double the cost. Nintendo’s fiercest competitors, Sony, and Microsoft, debuted their new gaming consoles at $399 and $499 when they first came out — However, since the technology has been on the market for several years, both consoles are now under the $300 mark, making Nintendo’s Switch a late arrival to the party. — Will Nintendo Switch’s specs and exclusive games be enough to justify such a large price? Or is it a price that the market can no longer bear? Nintendo has its work cut out for it to win back fans who have felt neglected by Nintendo in recent years. If they price the system too high it may be doomed to failure before it even launches.

I think it’s going to come down to what titles Nintendo has available and how they choose to handle localization of these titles – Nintendo of America especially has come under fire for strict censorship which has pushed away droves of fans. Nintendo’s glory days are far behind them — but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a come back with the right games that fans want. The Switch will either give rebirth to the once great gaming company, or become the final nail in the coffin.

To that end, Nintendo has been very transparent about who they have onboard currently developing titles for the new system. A full list of developers is now appearing on the Gamestop sign up page at http://www.gamestop.com/switch which at time of this writing includes the following companies:

  • 05 Games
  • Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd.
  • ATLUS CO., LTD.
  • Audiokinetic Inc.
  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
  • Bethesda
  • CAPCOM CO., LTD.
  • Codemasters®
  • CRI Middleware Co., Ltd.
  • DeNA Co., Ltd.
  • Electronic Arts
  • Epic Games Inc.
  • Firelight Technologies
  • FromSoftware, Inc.
  • Frozenbyte
  • GameTrust
  • GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE INC.
  • Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc.
  • HAMSTER Corporation
  • Havok
  • INTI CREATES CO., LTD.
  • KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.
  • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
  • LEVEL-5 Inc.
  • Marvelous Inc.
  • Maximum Games, LLC
  • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
  • Parity Bit Inc.
  • PlatinumGames Inc.
  • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
  • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
  • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
  • Silicon Studio Corporation
  • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
  • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
  • Starbreeze Studios
  • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
  • Telltale Games
  • THQ Nordic
  • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
  • TT Games
  • UBISOFT
  • Ubitus Inc.
  • Unity Technologies, Inc.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Web Technology Corp

UPDATE 2: 10/21/16 1:30pm EST:

Arstechnica has reported several confirmed tidbits regarding the Nintendo Switch read more

Game News, Game Review, News, Playstation, Playstation 4, Price Drop, Release Date, Review, Sony, Tech Review, Technology, Videogame, Virtual Reality

Which PS4 Should You Buy in 2016? PS4 Slim or PS4 Pro?

This week Sony announced their two new PS4 Models.

The first model the PS4 Slim launches next week on September 15th, 2016. This is the model I plan to purchase myself. It will debut with a price tag of $299 and be almost identical in specs to the current PS4’s already on the market. This model will be taking the place of these “old” PS4s from here on out. It features a more slender design with all matte finish. The new design is 16% lighter weight and 30% more slender in appearance than the previous PS4. It has rubber grips on the bottom to make it more stable, and it boasts energy savings of 34% compared to the original PS4 design. Like it’s predecessor, the PS4 Slim also has a 500GB hard drive. Although a 1TB HD version of the PS4 Slim exists in Japan, they have no plans to release this version in North America.

So in essence, nothing significantly changes with this model. We see a very small price drop from $349 for the “current” PS4 to $299 for the new Slim. I’ve recently saved up enough to finally purchase a PS4, and was going to purchase one regardless of if these new consoles came out or not, so hey, I’ll take a $50 pricedrop, that can buy me a game for the system :).

The other, more expensive and exciting model is the PS4 Pro. It will debut on November 10th, 2016 and cost $399. The PS4 Pro is designed for “hardcore gamers” (read: FPS (first person shooters, etc). The PS4 Pro is equipped with  an 8 core processor, and 4.2 teraflops graphical processor. This will allow the system to deliver better frame rates in high definition graphically demanding games (such as first person shooters). It’s also able to take advantage of 4k TV sets. I personally have no desire to upgrade to a 4k TV set any time soon – they are nearly 5 to 6 times more expensive than regular HDTVs! These higher CPU and GPU components also better equip the system to take advantage of the virtual reality headset and games designed for PSVR. I have a mild interest in this peripheral but not enough to justify the extra cost of the PS4 Pro. The PS4 Pro also has an additional USB port and an Optical port for connecting things such as PSVR or Streaming devices, etc.

ALL PS4 consoles including ones released even prior to the announcement of these 2 new models will be receiving a significant update to allow them to take advantage of new HDR technologies that allow HDR capable TV sets to display colors in more true to life fashion. So no matter which PS4 you get, your games are going to look a lot better after this firmware update.

Keep in mind that ALL PS4 units will play the same games, and have access to the same content. Sony has confirmed that they will not develop exclusive games NOR exclusive game-content that is system specific. — Also all of the systems will work with PSVR – it’s just that the performance of PSVR will be improved significantly on the PS4 Pro – just like the HTC Vive and Occulus Rift require a very high end computer for the best gaming performance.

So which PS4 will you get? My take on it is this: If you enjoy games where frame rate really matters and impacts your performance such as online and multiplayer games or first-person shooters, OR if you have a 4K TV set, OR you’re REALLY into virtual reality save your money and go for the PS4 Pro. If you are a “hardcore gamer” who cares about overall game performance, the PS4 Pro is your go-to system.  Except wait… the Xbox Scorpio is going to blow the PS4 out of the water, and if you’re a “hardcore gamer” the types of games that you like and purchase are very likely available on Xbone. So maybe you should wait and get the Xbox Scorpio. — And I’m not an Xbox fangirl. In fact, I don’t like it. I owned the original and 360, and I see nothing exciting (game release wise) to make me want an Xbone or Scorpio. So this is just my honest opinion that if you are a core gamer, you might as well wait and get Scorpio. You’ll be better off.

However, if none of that really matters to you, like me, and you just want to play all the Sony exclusive games, and you tend to favor RPGs and other more “casual games” then the PS4 Slim is your go to console. You save $100, and you can go out in 6 more days and buy it off the shelf – which I plan to do. — If you already have a PS4 – don’t buy the Slim, it’s not meant for you. It’s meant to be a low price model for people who do not yet have a PS4, such as myself.