Xbox One or Playstation 4

Xbox One or Playstation 4

The console wars! Oh boy, there are people alive who’ve never experienced a new console cycle and it’s definitely apparent if you head to gaming related web forums and sub-reddits. I always find this time to be exciting, because you never know what to expect from new services, IPs, console hardware and more. It’s a great time to be a consumer with new consoles on the horizon.

The Xbox One Announcement

I have to admit that when I first heard of the DRM restrictions Microsoft had for Xbox One, I was a little turned off by it. I had begun to tell myself that the PS4 controller wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as the PS3 and that the indie games would be a big plus on the next-gen console. Then, Microsoft did what I seriously didn’t think they could do; they turned that ship around and removed the restrictive DRM that was going to be implemented on the system.

That move by Microsoft has continued my decision-making process in what next-gen console I’m going to purchase. I’ve been a big supporter of Microsoft ever since they fixed my consoles for free — yes, two of my consoles got the RROD — and supported them even more when Sony wanted $150 to fix my PS3. So, I’ve needed to evaluate my situation and tell myself what would work best for me.

Indie Games — Where To Play Them?

Indie games on the PS4 are a major selling point for the console, but I already have Steam and I’m predicting that even more controller support will be on it when indie developers begin making games with the PS4 and Xbox One in mind. Since I use Steam, I don’t find this a huge selling point for the PS4, especially since the games are inevitably always cheaper on Steam.

The Cloud And Next-Gen Gaming

I’ve heard a lot about how the offload of information to the cloud can free up computing on a system, which is definitely something that interests me. If you want to read more about it, I recommend reading this article from Jon Shiring, engineer at Respawn Entertainment — the company that’s making Titanfall, a game exclusive to the Xbox platform along with being on PC. I’m not sure how the game will play on Xbox 360 or on PC, but I don’t care much since I’m planning to play it on Xbox One. What’s everyone going to do when they can’t blame their poor playing on lag?

Giving Griefers Grief

Online multiplayer games are a lot of fun to me, but depending on the game, you can get some people that make the game … not so much fun. I was happy to hear that the reputation system is being revamped for the Xbox One, so that the haters hang out with their own kind and I can rock some multiplayer kills with laid back people like me. I’ll be interested in seeing how it pans out.

To Pause Or To Quit?

Switching programs on the fly or “SnapMode” didn’t excite me much at Microsoft’s initial announcement of Xbox One until I was playing a game one morning. The alarm went off for my breakfast and as I sat down with breakfast in hand, I had only two options: eat my breakfast with the game sitting on pause or save the game and turn it off so that I could watch a show on the YouTube app from my Xbox 360. That’s when it dawned on me that SnapMode can be awesome!

An Extension Of Yourself

As I mentioned earlier, I was in the process of convincing myself that the PS4 controller was going to better than the PS3’s. The controller is like another appendage when you’re playing videogames. You want something that ergonomically feels comfortable for long periods of time. A controller that provides feedback in how the buttons click and how it vibrates. A controller that utilizes the placement of the control sticks, buttons, and triggers for the best experience. It sounds like both Xbox One and PS4 have made major improvements, but at this point I prefer the Xbox One control layout. Of course, I won’t know for sure until I get both controllers in my hands.

The Verdict

Overall, it was being denied the right to play a used game — including rentals — and having to constantly ping a server in order to play a game both online or offline that really had me leaning away from Xbox One. But with these changes, I believe I’m set to purchase an Xbox One this year. I’m not pre-ordering one, but I’m definitely keeping my sights on one.

What are you looking forward to playing this holiday season? Are you buying a new console on the launch day or will you wait until next year?

Twitter Hashtags That Drive Me Crazy

Hashtags for the words food and music

STOP THIS NOW

There are a lot of people that sound like crazy people on Twitter to me. Maybe you’re one of them, maybe not. I’m not talking about the people that participate in all of those terrible trending hashtags like #BackWhenIWasAKid or #MakesMeSMH (although those do drive me crazy too,) I’m talking about the people who end their tweets with words like #food, #film or #music. Let me rewind for a second and tell you why I believe this is crazy-talk.

I used to work at an indie record store where every once in a while this crazy guy would come in and ask for certain music albums on CD. Imagine a guy about 6’3’’, 220 lbs., with a giant brown beard and mottled brown skin. He always wore dirty high top shoes, blue jeans and a smelly Starter jacket. He’s kind of like a mellow crazy cat lady on The Simpsons, but without the armful of cats. He had this problem psychologically where he couldn’t stop making vocal noises, so even when he wasn’t talking, he’d murmur “auauaaghghuagghaugghahguuughahaahahggghguguaauauauauah.” It reminded me of what Max Brooks explained in The Zombie Survival Guide about how zombies would moan this way and it would drive people insane. However, when said crazy guy would come in and ask for bands like Rush, Scorpions and Van Halen, he’d say, “Do you have any Rush, Scorpions or Van Halen? AuaaaghghahguguRUSHauauaughhgSCORPIONSauauagghghguauVANHALEN.”

This is where I’m getting to my point. There are two types of people in my Twitter feed that use tweets like #food, #film or #music at the end of their tweets; Noobs and Crazy People. Such general terms might’ve been used back when Twitter first started, but I’m willing to bet that 95% of close to 1000 people in my Twitter feed don’t do that. It’s just not necessary, because it’s too broad of a term. Narrow your hashtag term down and include it in your tweet if possible, not after the message you’ve written. That way you don’t look like a noob or a crazy person.

Thank you!

Now, when I share this blog post, I will not tweet my message like this…

“I’ve got a new post up on my blog about Twitter annoyances. [link] #Twitter #annoyances #blog”

Because it will read like this…

“I’ve got a new post up on my blog about Twitter annoyances. [link] auauauguguguaTWITTERauauagghhghguaANNOYANCESauaguuguauaguguugBLOG.”

The Vintage, Restaurant: My Impression

The Vintage: A Place of Waiting

The Vintage: A Place of Waiting

There’s a restaurant nestled in the heart of Downtown Eugene, Oregon between 8th and Broadway on Lincoln Street called “The Vintage.”  This little converted house into restaurant flaunts some tasty meals, desserts, and drinks without an exceptionally expensive menu. When I first started dining at this establishment, I was greeted with service that wasn’t the best I’ve ever had but above-average because the size of the establishment doesn’t allow for a enormous group of customers to dine at once.  Lately, though, the delightful experience I once had has gone down the drain.

The last three times I’ve gone to The Vintage we’ve had a service and/or an experience that was much below my expectation.  I’ve waited until now to blog about it because I feel that everyone in the service industry has an off-day and one daily experience with a restaurant isn’t enough to bash their overall integrity.  Three times bad service in a row does equate to something that needs to be said whether it be vocally or in print.  Here’s what has happened the last three times I’ve gone to The Vintage:

1.  My girlfriend, Yaicha, and I invited her parents to The Vintage for a Mother’s Day brunch.  We understood that almost any restaurant we’d go to on that day would have a slight wait.  This wait wasn’t too long and they sat us outside on the slightly chilly patio.  We ordered our food and most of us got what we wanted… except my girlfriend’s Mother.  She ordered fish & chips and upon arrival of her meal, she requested tartar sauce and malt vinegar.  The waitress returned about five minutes later explaining they were completely out of tartar sauce and offered ranch instead.  What restaurant sells fish & chips without tartar sauce?  We didn’t get any discount for not serving a meal correctly and especially for the Mother on Mother’s Day!  Overall, to get our drinks, food, and checkout, it took well over an hour.  An extra bonus goes to the chef who was blasting a radio in the kitchen that we could hear through the vent next to our table.

2.  The next time Yaicha and I decided to go to The Vintage was shortly after we received a gift certificate from a new friend of ours in appreciation to all the hard work Yaicha put into her newly sister-in-law’s bachelorette party.  We arrived on a notoriously busy night called “Thirsty Thursday” where you can get a burger and two beers of your choice for eight bucks.  It’s a great deal and we were willing to wait.  After about a half hour, we were sat next to this group of hippies who were done eating but were still lingering on a night where the restaurant specifically asks customers to hurry along so that others can be seated.  Then they started making what they considered to be music on their glasses.  CLANG CLANG BANG!!!  It took about two minutes (and many glares from customers including us) before a waitress finally asked them to stop.  As soon as we ordered our food, the waitress speeds off without asking us what we’d like to drink.  This seems to be pretty notorious for The Vintage in my opinion.  I only get one refill at most when I’m there and it takes forever.  So, we finally get our food and ask for our other beer because we’re afraid we won’t get our second beer until after we’re already done with our food.  Once we’re finished dining, we received our check which brings me to my other pet peeve of The Vintage.  Once someone is served their check, please, come back in two minutes to check them out.  Don’t wait ten minutes to come back to the table who’s ready to leave and is done with their drinks and food.

3.  This is probably the last time I’m going to eat at The Vintage until I hear that they’ve shaped their establishment up.  Yaicha and our friend Lorien went to The Vintage less than a week ago.  By the time I arrived, they’ve already gotten their food and drinks.  I’m sitting at the table for about 10 – 15 minutes and their waitress still hasn’t come by to ask if I’d like anything to eat or drink.  I finally approached the bar to ask our waitress if she’d mind stopping at our table so I could order a drink when she had a moment, to which I received a hastily rude reply that she’s busy with others and will be there when she can.  Shortly after that she stopped by and I asked for a Jalapeno Margarita which arrived 15 minutes later.  Should it really take 15 minutes to get a mixed drink?  Where’d she go?  She didn’t have to cut up any jalapenos because the mix is already made and displayed in a decanter on the bar!  Shortly after we received our check, it happened again; we got the check but the waitress didn’t come back to the table to pick it up and finish ringing up the credit card.  I’m not sure how long it took to get the check because I left after waiting for 10 minutes.  I can tell you that I bicycled to a store to get something to drink a block away, bicycled home about eight blocks from there and still made it home before they arrived in a vehicle.  Yaicha explained that it took longer than expected because they messed up the check and had to fix it which, I’m guessing, wasn’t easy.

Overall, I must say that I’ve had better service at Chile’s connected to the Valley River Center mall.  What makes going to independent restaurants so nice over the chains is not just the food but also the cozy atmosphere where the customer is important.  I’ve never felt important nor cozy and I won’t be choosing to eat at this establishment until their waiters and waitresses have been educated on basic serving essentials.