tag:retroity.net,2013:/posts Retroity.net 2021-05-01T22:59:08Z Retroity tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1679979 2021-05-01T22:59:08Z 2021-05-01T22:59:08Z Coming Out: I'm Bisexual

This is an extremely personal, and difficult to write post for me. But it's one that I know has to be written.

For about a year or so, I've been on a journey of self-discovery. With the pandemic and me going off to university to live on my own, I've had the time, and the space, to evaluate who I am as a person, and who I want to be. It's a journey that's lead to me digging deep, venturing where I haven't gone before, and asking some pretty tough, and often uncomfortable questions about myself.

During this time, I've realized a part of me that I've been pushing down deep for years. I've hid it from everyone, including myself. I went as far as to lie to myself, to deny the existence of this part of me, to say that it's just a phase, that I just want attention, that I'm lying to myself, and that I'm not valid in how I feel, and who I am. I did all this, and went to these lengths, because I was afraid. Afraid of how others would react and would see me, afraid of rejection by my parents and/or family, afraid of how my life could be affected, afraid if I was even sure I knew what I was doing, if I really knew who I was.

But now I know. All the doubts in my mind about this side of me, about who I am, are gone. I know who I am, and I'm done lying to myself, pretending that I'm someone who I'm not. I'm done being afraid, of others knowing, of rejection, of repercussions, of anything good or bad that might come of this. If they don't like me, support me, and love me for who I am than so be it, I didn't need them in my life anyways. Maybe I'm being too dramatic, maybe I'm not. I don't know. But the point is that I'm done lying, and I'm done hiding. So here goes:

I am bisexual.

There it is. That's the post. That's the TL;DR if you wanted it. I've always had an attraction to women, but I've also always had this attraction to some guys. I can't explain it, but in some cases, a guy could seem to me just as attractive as any woman. I would always push this attraction down into the deepest, darkest parts of myself, telling myself that it's a lie, that it's actually jealousy or something else of the sort. I would even tell myself that I'm some sort of freak for feeling this way, that if people knew how I felt, than they would hate me and cast me away. These thoughts would always keep me down. But now? I'm done listening to these thoughts, these lies.

Since coming to terms with this side of me, and accepting myself for who I am, I've come to find a newfound appreciation for myself. I feel happier and more free. I know I'm not perfect, I know I still have issues, but at the very least, I know I can be honest with myself, who I'm attracted to, who I love, and who I am.

LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance has come a long way in recent years, especially in the United States. In 2003, 1 year after I was born, the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws, which existed in states like my home state of Texas, a decision which gave LGBTQ+ people like myself the right to enjoy our partners in the privacy of our own homes. In 2015, just under 6 years ago, the Supreme Court gave LGBTQ+ people like myself the right to marry our partners. In 2020, just under a year ago, the Supreme Court gave LGBTQ+ people like myself workplace and hiring discrimination protections.

When I was born, LGBTQ+ people like me were very much hated and had virtually no rights. Now we have the right to enjoy our partners in the privacy of our own homes, the right to marry, the right to adopt, and workplace and hiring protections. I am able to exist as myself because of the struggles of many who have come before me, many of whom I will never know their names but am still infinitely grateful for. There is still much work to be done however. LGBTQ+ people still lack protections in housing, banking, transportation, education, healthcare and more. Conversion therapy, a practice tantamount to torture, and the "Gay Panic" and "Trans Panic" defenses in trials of murder are still legal in many states. Legions of individuals, politicians, and states governments are actively seeking, and actively working, to roll back the rights that have been fought so hard for.

Even as parts of me wish for this post, and for my existence as a bisexual man, to not be a political statement, it is one nonetheless. This is because to exist as an LGBTQ+ person is inherently political, as your existence and what rights you should have are constantly up for debate. Some want to give you more rights, some want nothing to change, and some want to actively take away the rights you've been given, and see your mere existence as an abomination or a threat of some sort to them. If this post can help in any way the fight for LBGTQ+ rights, or help someone who was in my position be more confident about themselves, even if it's in the tiniest possible way, than I will be extremely happy.

For those that have read this to the end, and who support me for who I am, even if it's just passing approval I am immensely grateful for you. Thank you so very much, and thank you to those that I confided my sexuality with while I was closeted, to the resources and communities that helped me figure myself out, and, as mentioned earlier to the many who have fought for the right for people like me to exist as I am.

Thank you.


tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1634404 2021-01-01T01:57:34Z 2021-01-01T01:57:34Z Reflecting on 2020

It's no secret that, overall, 2020 has been a terrible year, between COVID-19, incredibly tense elections, unprecedented division, and many other things. However, for me personally, 2020 has actually been quite a mixed year, filled with not only low moments, but some incredibly high moments as well.

The COVID pandemic hit towards the end of my high school year, so I had to spend the rest of my senior year doing my classes online. However, this was also the year that I graduated high school, ending a very tumultuous 4 years of my life. It was also the year that I started attending university and thus was the first year I started living on my own, which was in all honesty way more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I really enjoy living by myself and I enjoy the independence and freedom it gives me.

This year was the year that I, as many others did, hit a low in terms of mental health. Several months of the pandemic this year were incredibly rough, and it was honestly rough getting through it. I have my therapist, and my friends to thank. This was also the year that I made several new friends, friends that I honestly wouldn't be here without. Seriously, I cannot thank my friends enough this year. You all are all so amazing and I truly love every single one of you.

This was also the year that took me to new heights in terms of my career, particularly with the Quackity Full Streams channel I've ran since 2017 becoming official and being rebranded to QuackityVODS. Having a fan project I've run for years become official and getting to work with a large creator that I've watched for years and immensely respect is truly an honor and a dream come true. Working with Quackity has been amazing and I thank him for the opportunity to work with him on this channel and various other things.

This was also the year that my mental health significantly improved, later in the year. I don't know what exactly what caused this, but it's likely a combination of the new friends I've made, new opportunities I've had, going off to college and getting to live on my own, getting to really know myself better, and a few other things I'm probably forgetting.

Like I mentioned earlier, I couldn't of made it here without my friends, whether we've met recently or I've known them a long time. So thanks to these people for really making my year:

VoyVivika - Seriously just being an incredibly awesome friend. We've chatted a lot this year, and I could not ask for a better friend. Thank you so so much for becoming my friend, being someone I can be open with and for putting up with my bullshit. You're the best.

Chase88 - Thank you so much for sticking by after all these years, and for putting up with all my bullshit.

Net - Another new friend. Thank you for being my friend, being a positive force I didn't know I needed, and for just being around.

The OverSimplified Discord Moderation Team - A group of some truly amazing people. You all are so talented, so amazing, and I'm so glad and honored that I get to work with you all.

Everyone that enjoys what I do - Thank you to everyone that's followed me, appreciated, or just enjoyed what I do online. Being able to create something that you enjoy is very special to me.

Quackity - We're more business associates but thank you for making QuackityVODS an official thing and for deciding to give me this wonderful opportunity. I've watched your stuff for years and you've always been thoroughly entertaining and one of my favorite creators. Thank you so very much.

Here's to hoping that 2021 is better. Happy new years everyone!

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1616626 2020-11-14T09:08:13Z 2020-11-14T09:08:13Z Unus Annus, Cultural Events, Time, and FOMO

The YouTube channel Unus Annus ended today. The premise of the channel, which was run by Mark (Markiplier) and Ethan (CrankGameplays) was that it would upload every day, but that 1 year after the channel's creation, everything would be deleted. The channel ended with an 8 hour livestream.

I subscribed to Unus Annus at the beginning of the channel's life. I think I was a day 1 subscriber. I was intrigued by the concept. A channel that only lasts a year? Obviously it went against a lot that I believed in as a preservationist (I mean, I've started several projects around the idea of archiving things) but it seemed interesting.

Over time, a year passed, and Unus Annus was at it's end. I missed everything. At least I got to be there for a good part of the ending livestream, but that was cold comfort for me. I had an entire year to experience this, but yet I missed almost all of it, for one reason for another. For a good chunk of the year I forgot about the channel, but even when it was on my mind I still didn't bother with it, and now it's simply too late. Forever is forever. I feel super guilty about it.

A year is a long time. The deadline to watch it or to watch the videos on the channel was a year, and yet I missed pretty much all of it. I had this pit in my stomach as the channel was ending and it all set in, and that only got worse after the channel ended.

I know I really shouldn't feel this strongly about a YouTube channel, but the reason why I feel the way that I do is because I strongly value mass experiences and cultural events. I value experiences that huge swathes of people experience together. It's because of this that I also have a pretty strong fear of missing out in cases like these. I want to be a part of things like these. To say that I was there looking back. When I'm not there, when I've "missed out" so to speak, I almost always have this strong sense of guilt and regret. So to know that I had a chance to watch and be there and I just didn't kinda hurts.

I suppose I have made a good use of the 365 days since the channel was created though, so it's not like I've wasted that time. The past 365 days have been incredibly transformative for me. I've created some pretty cool things, I've made some new friends, I've started working with some incredibly cool people, I've graduated high school and started college, I've found out quite a bit about myself, and quite a bit more. I'm definitely proud of myself and what I've done in those 365 days.

I suppose that's part of the channel's message isn't it? That life is fleeting, death is inevitable, you only have a limited amount of time on this earth, and that you should make every second count. I know I've spent barely any of that time watching the very channel that stressed that concept and that has made me more conscious of time and how limited it is, but hey, at least I've still mostly made good use of my time. Even despite this though, my feelings of guilt and regret still persist. Hopefully though, like Unus Annus itself, these feelings will fade away with time.

Memento Mori.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1594638 2020-09-15T21:29:07Z 2020-09-15T21:31:26Z September 2020 Apple Event Thoughts

Apple just held their second event during the COVID-19 pandemic, this one being about hardware. Unlike Apple events of the past, and similar to Apple's first event during the pandemic (WWDC 2020), this event was entire prerecorded and livestreamed. The times we're living in are weird, and so was this Apple event, so here's my thoughts on it.

The Event Format

Similar to WWDC 2020, this event was entirely pre-recorded and delivered exclusively online through a livestream. As such, the format of this event is quite a bit more polished than live events, taking place all over Apple Park instead of on a stage, with incredibly smooth transitions, onscreen graphics, and lots of Easter eggs. I definitely prefer this to Apple's live format, and personally Apple should keep it even after the pandemic ends. It certainly makes watching these events a lot more enjoyable.

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple had two major fronts that they made announcements on: Apple Watch, and iPad (with a bit of services mixed) in, and their big announcement on the Apple Watch front was Apple Watch Series 6, a premium Apple Watch that succeeds the Series 5. There aren't that many features on this one, but the new features that are there are still pretty exciting nonetheless. The star feature is the ability to measure your blood oxygen level. The fact that this is in a watch packed together with so many other features is frankly mindblowing. I don't see myself having a use case for it, but it's certainly incredibly impressive. The screen is also improved to be brighter outside, and although I don't have any screen visibility problems on my Series 3, it's still a welcome addition. There's also an always-on altimeter, which will certainly be useful while hiking. The Series 6 includes the S6 SoC, which Apple says is up to 30% faster than the S5 although at this point I'm not sure of the real world difference it makes.

With a starting price of $399, it's a welcome upgrade to the Apple Watch if you've been waiting for one, although if you have a Series 5 you likely won't have a need to upgrade.

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is Apple's new budget Apple Watch, and like the similarly-named iPhone SE, it's sort-of a Frankenstein's monster made up of parts from Apple Watch generations past. It has the body and display of the series 4, the SoC, compass, emergency calling & falling detection features of the Series 5, and the always-on altimeter of the Series 6, although it doesn't include the always-on display, ECG, or blood oxygen monitor.

It's starting price is $279, which is about $120 less than the more premium Series 6, although if you wanna go ultra-budget Apple is still selling the Apple Watch Series 3 (which was released in 2017) for $199 ($80 less than the SE and $200 less than the Series 6)

It's honestly a pretty compelling offer, and should go well with the iPhone SE, and would be incredibly smart of Apple to promote those two devices together. I'm strongly considering upgrading to the SE from my Series 3.

Apple Fitness+

To complement the new Apple Watches, Apple announced yet another premium subscription service: Apple Fitness+, a workout subscription service, which features workout videos that sync with your Apple Watch, providing information from your Apple Watch on top of the video, and using the Apple Watch to enhance your workout. It uses your Apple Watch for fitness tracking and an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV for the workout guidance itself. At $9.99 a month it's certainly a bit steep (although if you buy an Apple Watch you apparently get 3 months free), even if it's less than Peloton's pricing (although I have to mention that Peloton was shaken by the announcement, which happened during their first investors meeting). I personally don't have interest in the service, although I'm sure others might find it useful

Apple One

While Apple was on the topic of services, it announced it's long-rumored subscription bundle: Apple One. There are 3 levels of pricing for Apple One: Individual, which includes Apple Music, Arcade, TV+ and 50GB of iCloud storage without the ability for family sharing for $14.95 a month, Family, which is the same as Individual but includes family sharing for up to 5 people and ups the included iCloud storage to 200GB, and Premier, which additionally includes Apple News+ and Fitness+, and ups the included iCloud storage to 2TB. It's an interesting proposition, and for those who use lots of Apple services, it might be a good way to save money. Although it would've been cool to be able to mix and match services and build my own plan.

iPad 8th Generation

The new iPad 8th Generation is a simple spec bump from the 7th generation, now featuring a A12 chip from the previous A10 chip, for the same starting price of the previous generation at a mere $329 for consumers and $300 for educators. If you're looking at getting an iPad but were hesitant on the 7th gen due to it's older, A10 SoC, the 8th generation iPad is a no-brainer, but if you have a 7th gen, there's really no reason to upgrade. That's really all that's changed, so there really isn't much to talk about here.

iPad Air 4th Generation

This is the big announcement on the iPad side of the event, bringing some features from the iPad Pro down to the Air, including the iPad Pro's design, a USB-C port, a 12-megapixel rear camera and 2nd Generation Apple Pencil compatibility. One big difference, however, is the lack of Face ID, instead including a Touch ID sensor, although unlike the previous iPad Air, the touch ID here is included on the lock button, instead of there being a home button. However, what's strange is that this iPad Air actually exceeds the iPad Pro in one regard: the SoC. Unlike the iPad Pro, which features a A12Z SoC, the new iPad Air debuts the new A14 SoC, which Apple claims is on a 5nm process, and gives up to a 40% performance improvement over the A13, making it significantly faster than the iPad Pro.

For around $200 less than the iPad Pro, you now get mostly everything the iPad Pro offers, except Face ID, a LIDAR sensor, a 120hz display, and less maximum storage (the iPad Pro goes up to 1TB, while the new iPad Air only goes up to 256GB), none of those things are must-haves, at least in my eyes. So you now have a less expensive iPad Air which has most of the features of the iPad Pro, but also exceeds the iPad Pro in one important case, so why buy the iPad Pro? It's a very strange situation.

What We Didn't See

The event was unusually short, only lasting an hour, and omitted several things, such as iPhone, Apple TV, the Mac, among other things. Also missing are several long-rumored products, such as AirTags, over-the-ear AirPods, and the first Apple Silicon-based Macs that Apple announced would be coming by the end of this year at WWDC 2020. So perhaps we'll see these things at a potential October Event? It's certainly a strange situation, but hey, these are strange times.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, I'm actually a bit underwhelmed by this presentation. I'm certainly pleased by what we did get, but this event was unusually short and didn't have as much as we thought it would. There are also a few questions raised by some of the new products announced, such as the new iPad Pro. I guess we'll see if there's an October Event?

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1570246 2020-07-07T03:34:44Z 2020-07-07T03:40:21Z ICE tells international students to transfer universities or leave the US

ICE (Immigration Customs and Enforcement) recently notified international students that if their universities are going entirely online for the fall semester than they must either transfer to another university, or leave the country. This is a massively harmful policy that is undoubtedly going to screw over a ton of students. These students not only study in our university, but they also do research and work in university labs, all of which they will no longer have access to, which can ruin study plans for many students.

Not only that, but this massively screws over a ton of universities, so this will likely kill some especially struggling universities. International students massively contribute to this country, it's development, it's technological and scientific strength, and it's economy. Many of these students will contribute greatly to their own countries, and that's not even considering the students who decide to live in the US full time, contributing to this country even more.

There is frankly no reason for this change by cruelty. It is punishing students for not being American. It is a move that will likely discourage international students from studying in the United States in the future. It is a decision that was made with no regard to the lives of the students, or the universities that they study in. It is a absolutely shameful decision and I hope it is overturned.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1568316 2020-07-03T04:22:19Z 2020-07-03T04:22:20Z Coming to Terms With My Past

Everyone has skeletons in their closet, so among everything that's been happening, I feel like I need to share mine. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I feel like I can't be at peace with myself if I don't come clean.

I was raised in Texas in a very conservative household. A place where homophobia, transphobia, racism, etc are the norm. Furthermore, when I was 14-15, at the height of far-right and alt-right populism, I feel down a far-right rabbit hole. As a result of these things, I said and did many things that I regret today.

I made statements during that time that were homophobic, transphobic, sexist, racist, etc. I've handwaved white supremacy and systemic racism as no big deal, despite the presence of these evils in American society today. I've supported movements that are hateful, or would become hateful.

I've abandoned those views about 2-3 years ago and I've vowed to fight against these very evils that plague society today. The things I did and said during that time is one of the biggest regrets in my life. I wish that I could go back in time and slap myself for saying those things. But what's done is done. There's no going back, and all I can do is try to be a better person in the future.

To anyone hurt by the hateful things I've said or done in the past: I'm sorry. They were unacceptable then and they are unacceptable now. Even though I feel like I've changed quite significantly for the better in the last 2-3 years, I understand that I will always have to strive to be a better person in the future.

Thank you.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1556940 2020-06-10T15:00:06Z 2020-07-06T22:34:03Z The Greatest Video Game Bundle Ever is Just $5

Update: The bundle sale has ended! It's raised $8.1m dollars, all going to a great cause!

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1494558 2020-01-01T05:22:37Z 2020-01-01T05:22:38Z A Note on 2019 (and The Entire 2010's)

As I'm writing this, 2019 is a little over an hour from ending in my timezone. So I figured I may as well write a blog post about it, as well as look back at the decade in general.

I'll be frank: 2019 was a rough year for me. I've struggled with depression and anxiety, and it really hit me hard this year, and resulted in my mental health taking a nose dive. Luckily though, I recently started seeing a therapist, and I'm hoping to improve my mental health over time. It's for these reasons, in addition to me working on finishing up high school, working on other things, and a couple other things, that I haven't really made much this year. I haven't delivered on any of the promises that I made at the end of 2018 for The FNaF Archive, I haven't written here as much as I planned to, and most importantly to me, I only uploaded 2 videos this year to my YouTube channel. I'm terribly sorry about all of this, and I hope to be better, and make more in 2020.

On the positives for this year however, I've applied to, and have been accepted to a few colleges, I started seeing a therapist to improve my mental health as mentioned earlier, and I've made major efforts to try and be a more empathetic and overall better person. I also came to run the official OverSimplified subreddit, and then subsequently create the official OverSimplified Discord server, alongside GamersVille101. I can say that this Discord server has really changed my life. I've never had this much responsibility over something online before, so this taught me a lot.

This decade was also incredibly important. It was this decade that I started my online persona, later becoming Retroity. I started my YouTube channel, and learned video editing, photo editing, web design, etc. The Retroity YouTube channel has put me on a career path I'm still going down. It was the decade that I joined the FNaF fandom, which significantly changed my life by allowing me to meet lots of wonderful and wonderfully talented people, and a place where I could be myself and have a purpose. It's also the decade that saw me creating the OverSimplified Discord server, and meeting several wonderful people.

So here's my shoutouts for this year, and this decade:

Chase88 - Thank you for so much. Thank you for letting me be a part of Ravenger, thank you for being my friend, and thank you for introducing me to many other friends. You're the best.

Chess46 - Thank you for sticking by me, and for being a good friend. Thank you for being willing to put up with me.

Kizzycocoa - Thank you for trusting me as a moderator for the FNaFLore Discord server and for generally just being really cool.

The Entire FNaF Fandom - Thank you for tolerating me, and for using The FNaF Archive, and it's predecessors. 

The OverSimplified Discord Moderator Team (GamersVille101, SharkSideOfTheMoon, Cobra, Doc, Swagbear, Tetra, & Vultige) - Thank you all for being super cool and for everything you do. You're all the best, and I couldn't ask for a better team. To GamersVille specifically: Thank you for coming to me with a proposal to make the Discord server. Without you none of this would've happened.

Every content creator that I've watched during this decade. Your stuff is the best, has significantly inspired me, and has helped me get through this year, and this decade.

Finally, thank you to everyone that has supported me during this year, and during this decade. You're all the best. Seriously, thank you all so much.

Here's to a good 2020, and here's to a good decade. Happy new years, everyone.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1466473 2019-10-15T19:35:29Z 2019-10-15T19:38:37Z Made By Google 2019 Event Thoughts

Google held another Made By Google event today, revealing many new products, most them were leaked well before hand and all of them were at least rumored. Here's my thoughts on everything announced.


Google briefly talked about Stadia, reiterating that it will launch on November 19th. It was only a brief mention, but it was there to remind us that it's coming. To me, Stadia is the culmination of every single piece of restrictions, DRM, online-only games, and more that the industry has been pushing for the last decade. It represents a future where consumers lack any control over their games, and where access to those games is dependent not only on a fast, stable internet connection, but on Stadia continuing to exist. It represents a future where games can be easily taken away from consumers, and where the consumer is always dependent on the provider. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, who knows. But what I've seen from Stadia makes it hard to be optimistic.

Nest Mini

The Google Nest Mini is part upgraded Google Home Mini, and part of Google's continuing efforts to integrate all of it's home products into the Google Nest brand. There isn't really much new about the Nest Mini. The Nest Mini has better speakers, improved touch controls, some new colors, and a hole at the bottom so you can hang it on a hook. It's the same price as the Google Home Mini ($49) and it comes on October 22nd.

Although the Nest Mini itself is a bit boring, Google did use it to talk about general improvements to their smart home ecosystem, and to tout the various commitments that it mentioned at the beginning of the presentation. As part of Google's sustainability push, the Nest Mini's fabric top is made from recycled plastic bottles. Furthermore, for products that use Works With Nest, Google is allowing those products to move to Works With Google Assistant, but is requiring those partners to go through a security review first. Google is also introducing new Works With Google Assistant functionality, such as allowing direct control over Nest devices, after explicit user permission. With this, Google is hoping to simplify and integrate everything into the Nest brand.

This hopefully means a future for the Google Home ecosystem that makes devices, especially third party devices, work better in the future. This feels similar to Amazon's efforts to simplify the Alexa ecosystem, such as creating a simple setup process within the Alexa app, among other programs. I sincerely hope that Google actually follows through with these efforts.

Nest Wifi

Google is redesigning the Google Wifi and bringing it into the Nest brand with all of their other smart home devices. The new Nest Wifi is totally redesigned, and works more like Amazon's Eero routers, with it working on a router and extender system. Because Google is determined to stuff the Google Assistant into everything, all Nest Wifi points are also Google Assistant smart speakers. Through this and it's design, Google is attempting to get people to put their Wifi routers in the open, and this is their strongest argument for that yet. I hope that there is an option to disable the Google Assistant for people who already have Google Assistant speakers in their home. The Nest Wifi is also supposed to work as a smart home hub, with devices connecting directly to it, and in the future devices using the Thread wireless technology will supposedly work seamlessly with the Nest Wifi for local connections.

Speaking of the Google Home app, it's getting a redesign with what Google's calling the home feed, and will also be able to control the Nest Wifi, effectively merging the Google Home and Google Wifi app.

Google is really going to have to justify the Nest Wifi's price, considering that a 3 pack of Eero routers costs $100 less, at $249 compared to $349 for a 3 pack of 1 Nest Wifi router and 2 Nest Wifi points. (the Eero router 3 pack is not to be confused with a 3 pack of Eero pros which costs $499.)

Nest Aware

One of the last Nest/Google Home updates was a update to the Nest Aware subscription tier. Google is redesigning the tiers and pricing to go from a model that is per Nest camera to one that is only one subscription for unlimited cameras. This is a significantly better deal, and the extra $1 a month (making the lowest subscription tier $6 per month instead of $5 per month per camera) is totally worth it, especially now that all cameras get 30 days of video storage with Nest Aware and 60 days with Nest Aware Plus. This makes Nest camera storage significantly less expensive and makes it way less costly to invest in Nest cameras. This is a really positive change and I'm glad Google is doing it.

Pixelbook Go

The Pixelbook Go is a new version of the Pixelbook Chromebook laptop that features a new design and less beefy specs than the normal Pixelbook. It's available starting on October 28th and starts at $649 (but has configurations that go up to $1,399). It's still a bit expensive than the original Pixelbook, but it's finally starting to feel like the pricing is somewhat reasonable.

Pixel Buds

3 years after the original Pixel Buds, "wireless earbuds" that attempted to be Google's answer to AirPods yet had a cord between them, Google announced a totally redesigned Pixel Buds that are actually wireless earbuds. They feature the Google Assistant (of course), 5 hours of continuous battery life and 24 hours with the charging case, long range Bluetooth (apparently up to a football field away according to Google's claims) and adaptive sound with a vent design at the bottom of the buds to adapt the sound based on the environment you're in. The Pixel Buds cost $179 and despite the new them being announced today, Google says that they won't be available until Spring 2020. It's a shame that they would be available for a while as they actually look pretty exciting. I'm definitely glad that we're finally getting proper Android competitors to AirPods.

Google Pixel 4

Last but not least, the Google Pixel 4 phone. We're pretty much known everything from this Phone due to a multitude of leaks, and now it's finally been officially announced. Gone is the very large (and frankly very ugly) notch, with Google instead having a bezel containing all the front cameras and sensors at the top and a much smaller sensor at the bottom. The Pixel 4 has an 1080p display while the Pixel 4 XL has a Quad HD display, but both feature a 90hz refresh.rate (so glad this is finally becoming more common in flagships). It has a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of ram, and comes in either 64GB or 128GB storage configurations. The Pixel 4 features improved Camera software, and 2 cameras despite Google's statements in the past that 2 cameras are unnecessary as it can do more with just 1 camera. This is in an attempt by Google to get it's "best smartphone camera" crown back after having it chipped away from the likes of Huawei, Samsung, and Apple.

The main selling points however, is the new facial unlock feature, which works very similar to Apple's Face ID (and is not to be confused with previous facial unlocking in past Android phones, which was really just comparing your face. to a photo that your phone has stored) and motion sense, which is the culmination of Google's Project Soli project that we've been waiting years for, enabling gestures to be performed on a Pixel 4 without touching the phone.

Pixel 4 ships globally on October 24 and starts at $799 (or $899 for the Pixel 4 XL). The Pixel 4 is also the first Pixel to be carried by all 4 major US carriers, finally joining the likes of Apple, Samsung, and LG. In the past, Pixel phones gave unlimited original photo storage on Google Photos, however the Pixel 4 only provides 3 months of the 100GB tier of the Google One subscription. Overall I think that the Pixel 4 actually does a really good job of justifying it's own existence and the upgrade from a Pixel 3. The lack of the unlimited original quality Google Photos backup is a major disappointment however.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I quite liked this Made by Google event, especially in comparison to previous events. Many of the devices that were announced are much stronger choices than before, and for once it kinda feels like Google actually has a vision or at least some sense of direction with these products.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1460139 2019-09-27T13:59:34Z 2019-09-27T14:35:46Z The Cynical Monetization of Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo's latest mobile game, is now available. It's an ok Mario Kart game, the controls are a bit wonky but otherwise they work reasonably well, and the game feels a bit bland but still with signs of typical nintendo polish. But the main issue that I have with it is it's exploitative monetization scheme. The game utilizes gacha mechanics, where players can use in-game currency to unlock certain karts. This in-game currency can be purchased using real money. There's also a shop, in which players can obtain items using coins, a currency gained from playing the game normally.

The real kicker however, is the $4.99 monthly subscription. It gets you some items and unlocks the faster 200cc speed. To price it as $4.99 per month, the same price as Apple Arcade, a surprisingly excellent game subscription service from Apple, is downright insulting and blatantly out of touch with reality. This game is essentially Nintendo fully indulging themselves in the manipulative monetization schemes that put monetization and profit over gameplay that have plagued the mobile games industry for so long and that in some ways, are currently creeping in on the larger AAA games market. The kinds of monetization schemes that rely on addictive mechanics, whales (individuals that spend large amount of money in comparison to other player), and preying on children to use their parents money. For that reason, I find it incredibly difficult to enjoy Mario Kart Tour, despite how much I wanted to like it.

One of Nintendo's first mobile games, Super Mario Run, was offered as a free download but requiring a $10 purchase to play the full game. Super Mario Run never did that well, likely due to it's high price and it's inability to be played offline. I see Super Mario Run as what turned Nintendo off of what could've been a relatively decent and ethical monetization, one where they player pays once to play a game. Other mobile games from Nintendo such as Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which came along and made massive profits for Nintendo, have chartered this current path of mobile monetization that Nintendo is on.

It's disturbing to me that even Nintendo, a company that's known to be relatively ethical with it's monetization schemes, especially in comparison to the rest of the video game industry, can be lured by the massive profits of these types of mobile games. I sincerely hope that subscription services like Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass, services that charge the consumer a simple monthly subscription fee and provide high quality mobile games free of in-app purchases and ads, take off and become bigger forces in mobile gaming, ideally incentivizing companies to make better and more ethical mobile games. Mobile games deserve to be better.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1436865 2019-07-24T23:26:44Z 2019-07-24T23:26:44Z Nintendo Finally Addresses the Joycon Drift Issue

After much controversy regarding reports of Nintendo Switch Joycon controllers experiencing drift issues, a memo to customer service representatives from Nintendo that was leaked by Vice Games reveals that Nintendo has instructed customer service representatives to fix Joy-Con controllers suffering from drift for free. This also removes the requirements to provide proof of purchase and for the customer to have a warranty, and also states that any customer who previously paid for a drift-related repair should receive a full refund if they ask.

I'm glad that Nintendo is finally addressing this issue after all of the controversy surrounding it. This issue has gone unaddressed for far too long and Nintendo let it become a far bigger issue than it needs to be. It's a shame that this only comes after a lawsuit was filed against Nintendo for these issues. Hopefully this applies worldwide and not just for Nintendo of America, which is the branch currently being sued.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1431055 2019-07-10T20:17:16Z 2019-07-10T20:18:04Z The Switch Lite is a Decent Device for Budget Buyers

Today Nintendo announced the Switch Lite, a cheaper, lightweight Switch that lacks several features, including hd rumble, detachable joycons, and stand and tv modes, making it a portable-only device. The device is priced at $199.99 and is available starting September 20, 2019.

To me this device makes a lot of sense. This is obviously not targeted towards existing Switch owners. If you already have a Switch, you have no reason to buy the Switch Lite. What this good for, however, is young children as a good introduction to the Switch as a cheap first console, or people on a budget looking to get into the Switch (who primarily want to use it in handheld mode)

With it's low price and commitment to being a good handheld device (including apparently having an average extra battery life of 1 hour) it's clear that this is a replacement for the 3DS, which also shows Nintendo's commitment to the Switch as the 1 stop shop console for everything. This is despite the fact that Nintendo has apparently stated that the 3DS isn't going anywhere. (Which roughly translates to "please don't stop buying 3DS consoles and kill whatever sales we still have on it, the Switch lite isn't out yet", which is similar to Nintendo's "third pillar" comment regarding the DS)

The timing for the Switch Lite's release couldn't be better as well. With it releasing in September, it's clearly Nintendo's big offering for the holiday season and will likely serve to introduce many new players to the Nintendo Switch ecosystem.

One last thing that I want to note is that in the advertising, Nintendo seems to demonstrate the Switch as a social, active lifestyle device, with much of the announcement video demonstrating people taking their Switch and Switch Lite consoles everywhere with them, and use of social features such as local wireless multiplayer. To me this not only further demonstrates the fact that Nintendo is trying to also market the Switch line to a more mature audience, but also shows to me that the Switch lite would be a perfect device for people always on the go or people who frequently travel.

I doubt this will be the only other iteration in what is now the Switch line, so only time will tell how the Switch evolves.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425705 2019-06-29T03:38:00Z 2019-06-29T03:42:42Z Junichi Masuda's Response to Dexit is a Terrible Nothing-Burger

After fan furor resulting from the decision to not include all pokemon in a mainline Pokemon game, we finally receive a official response from Gamefreak, directly from Junichi Masuda himself no less. Here's the statement as released on pokemon.com:

"Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokémon. Recently, I shared the news that some Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. I've read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokémon.

Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I'd like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.

The world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey.

June 28, 2019

Junichi Masuda"

First of all, it's great to see that Gamefreak/The Pokemon Company is aware of the controversy and is responding to it. However, after reading it, I can't help but feel like this response is the worst one that they could've possibly made. What did this statement add, exactly? All this statement just does is restate their position. If anything, this is only helping to fuel the fire by reigniting the controversy.

This furor has been building for years. It didn't come out of nowhere. For years, fans have felt that each Pokemon game has been lazy, between cut features, copy/paste stories, low-fidelity graphics, low-effort animations, npcs, etc. Now, when you add this, in which a main series Pokemon game will not only allow you to transfer certain Pokemon, but also will flat-out not contain all Pokemon, which has been a staple of the series for well over a decade (gen 4 was the first generation to allow you to transfer Pokemon, but the Pokemon games have contained all previous Pokemon since Gold and Silver), of course people are going to be angry.

The Pokemon Company and Gamefreak has spent years of time, talk, and effort on how Pokemon were more than just data, on how people really loved and cherished their Pokemon, and why they would be able to take their Pokemon with them. The Pokemon Company and Gamefreak spent tons of time and effort to achieve this, between making future-proof models and animations for every single Pokemon, giving each game a transfer feature, and making services like Pokemon Bank and now Pokemon Home. It's hilarious to me that they announce Pokemon Home, a service to hold all your Pokemon (which will most likely be paid), and then a month later they announce a change that defeats the purpose of Pokemon Home, making it into more of a retirement home for your Pokemon than an actual storage service.

Furthermore, there is no justification in the game itself for this decision. Between it having the same low-fidelity graphics, the same basic, unchanging NPCs, the same basic, formulaic story, the same attack animations, and more. If this was a high-fidelity, upgraded Pokemon game, it would have a justification. But Pokemon Sword and Shield are none of those things, so those justifications do not exist.

Also, I might add that the statement has some concerning implications for the future of the Pokemon series. First, it seems to imply that there will not be a future update for the game post-launch that adds all the missing Pokemon, which is a flat-out denial of a major request that many fans have made. Furthermore, while the part in which Masuda states "even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games" might seem to be reassuring, it also implies that this is the future of the series. That never again will we see a Pokemon game that features all of the Pokemon that fans know and love, and rather that each game will have a rotating cast of Pokemon based on the region. That is a dangerous implication for the series, one that would turn off many fans from the series, would entirely defeat the point of Pokemon Home, and I feel would ultimately be harmful to the series as a whole.

I sincerely hope that Gamefreak sees where fans are coming from and realizes that the future of the series should not be one in which Pokemon are prevented from coming with their trainers in new games for artificial reasons. Such a future would be deeply destructive for the franchise. But I'm not holding my breath.
tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425609 2019-06-28T21:24:49Z 2019-06-28T21:24:49Z What's going on?

Alright, it's been a while since I've posted here, and so I think a few updates are in order. This post will be split into two sections: What's going on with Retroity.net specifically, and also what's going on with me in general (and why I've been so inactive in so many places).

What's going on with Retroity.net?

So after a brief stint on NearlyFreeSpeech I've decided to move to a new host: Posthaven! Posthaven is a blogging platform and host with an incredibly simple business model: they keep your site running as long as you're willing to pay for it. For this reason, Posthaven is designed to last long and be sustainable. I've been wanting to move Retroity.net to a blogging platform for a while now (as I've come to find having to write static HTML to be a bit annoying, and I just want to focus on writing), so Posthaven was the perfect choice for me. Unfortunately, this also means that a lot of links have broken, and some stuff isn't available anymore. I'm sorry if this inconveniences anyone, and I'll look into solutions for releasing most of it elsewhere.

However, this means that this is also a (semi) fresh start for Retroity.net! I'm going to try writing more regularly. I'll be primarily writing about my opinions about the tech and games industries. I'll try to write at least once a week but hopefully daily. I hope you enjoy!

What's going on with me? (and the future of my content)

Alright, so it's no secret that I haven't exactly been the most active. It's been a little over 3 months since I last wrote here, and about 2 months since I last uploaded on my YouTube channel. The most active places I've been are Twitter, Reddit, and Discord. So what's been going on? Well a number of things. First, I've been focusing on stuff going on in my personal life. As I'm getting older, I have more and more responsibilities and things to prepare for. I've also come to moderate several Discord servers, so I've been doing that. But the primary reason has largely been motivation. For the past 2 years, I've largely struggled with motivating myself. I have no idea what it is. I don't know if it's depression, or if it's extreme writer's block, or if it's just me being lazy. I don't know. But, I'm gonna make an honest-to-god effort to be more active in the future, and that's starting with this blog.

I'm hoping that with this blog, I can ideally forcefully jumpstart my motivation to create. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. We'll have to see. Either way, I'm excited to write here more.

Thank you to everyone for everything. Hopefully I'll be better about actually making things soon.
tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425387 2019-03-22T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:35:52Z Retroity.net is Moving Hosts

NOTE: This is kinda outdated. I'm on posthaven now.

In the next 24 hours, Retroity.net will be leaving Neocities and will be moving to NearlyFreeSpeech.net as a web host. I’ve largely made this decision to move hosts for two reasons. First is that I’m generally dissatisfied with the management of Neocities, with site updates being few and far between and several features (IPFS being a notable one) not working. I’d rather use a host that is actively maintained. Secondly is that I want to have more control over my site, and not be limited solely to static sites. I’ve been looking at options for rebuilding Retroity.net in a static site generator or some sort of CMS.

Despite this, I still respect Neocities and its community. Neocities is a wonderful service and has helped me discover a passion for web design. Its community is also amazingly creative and talented. Thank you to Neocities for providing such a wonderful service.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425386 2018-11-29T18:00:00Z 2019-09-27T14:31:54Z Nintendo Finally Gives Up It's Rediculous Let's Play Policy

Yesterday Nintendo made the sudden announcement that they were giving up on the Nintendo Creators Program and were instead making it easier for online content creators to monetize their videos/livestreams. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I commend Nintendo for the change.

For reference on how Nintendo previously treated online content creators, Nintendo initially started lobbing Content ID claims at any YouTube channel that uploaded Nintendo content, taking all the revenue. Eventually, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Creators Program, where Nintendo would give 60% of videos claimed provided they met a number of guidelines, including no livestreaming, no mods, cheats, or TAS, and only playing a list of approved Nintendo games. It could also take 3 days for videos to be approved. This lead to many online content creators openly speaking out against Nintendo, and subsequently refusing to cover any Nintendo games.

Now regarding the new policy, from what I'm able to tell, this new policy is far more lenient with what you're allowed to do, and for the most part it seems reasonable. However, this turn is very strange. It's a complete 180 from a company that was just a few days ago cracking down on YouTubers left and right. What changed? Was newly promoted Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa responsible for this decision at all, considering he's quite a bit younger than many other higher ups at Nintendo? Was this a decision related to the ever-closer release of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, and Nintendo wanting to support a vibrant community of content creators? Did Nintendo realize that online content creators such as YouTubers and Twitch streamers can help bring positive press to their games? Was it a mixture of these reasons, or any others? We probably won't ever know.

Still, despite any past abuses and questions about why this change is being made, I'm glad Nintendo is going to stop being so aggressive towards online content creators.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425385 2018-10-09T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:32:00Z Made By Google 2018 Event Thoughts

Google held their 2018 Made By Google hardware event today, and we pretty much knew everything that was being announced well before the event took place or was even announced. (Despite Google claiming that there was something unexpected, there really wasn't) Regardless, here's my thoughts on everything announced at the event.

Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL

There are a number of things wrong with the Pixel 3, especially with the Pixel 3 XL. The camera appears to be the biggest change, and there's actually some cool features there, with the way that it appears to handle low-light shots, or features such as Top Shot or Photobooth. As for the new "not pink" color, I have mixed feelings on it. It looks ok. That's where my positive feelings end though. The Pixel 3 XL is an incredibly ugly design, with a long, deep notch combined with a somewhat sizeable bottom bezel. This large, deep notch that cuts into the display significantly and leaves little room for little notifications sharply contrasts with the thoughtful notch design of the iPhone X and demonstrates Google not understanding why the notch is there (which is to allow for a bezeless display while having a place to store sensors) and only including it because it's a trend. On the other hand, the (non-XL) Pixel 3 looks fine. It has relatively thin bezels (which is what the Pixel 3 XL should've done), and although the bezels on the Pixel 3 are not as thin as I would've liked, they're acceptable.

The biggest problem the Pixel 3 is going to run into however is pricing. In the US, the Pixel 3 starts at $799. I can get a 128GB iPhone XR for $50 less, or a 128GB Samsung Galaxy S9+ for $10 less. The Pixel 3 XL starts at $899. I can get a 256GB Samsung Galaxy S9+ for $30 less, or a 256GB iPhone XR for the same price. For the same price as a 128GB Pixel 3 (the highest option you can get) I can get a 128GB Galaxy Note 9 or a base level 5.8 inch iPhone XS for the same price. See the pattern here? I can get much more popular (and arguably better) phones for the same price or less. So why would someone at a Verizon store buy a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL over the iPhones or Samsung devices that I mentioned? That's the biggest problem I feel with the Pixel 3. It's way too overpriced for what it is, and it's going to turn a lot of people away from buying a Pixel 3. I feel like it would be a more competitive choice if it had a starting price of something like $650.

Pixel Stand

The Pixel Stand actually seems like a pretty neat device. It's a wireless charging stand for the Pixel 3 that also turns it into a Google Assistant device that can display your calendar, the time, etc. I forsee the Pixel Stand being pretty useful and thus being a "must buy" accessory for Pixel 3 owners.

Home Hub

The Google Home Hub was without a doubt the most exciting item at the event for me. It's essentially a Google Home with a touchscreen, so it can show you things as you're asking for it. It apparently is also designed to serve as a hub for your smart home, judging not only by how much Google focused on the smart home when talking about this thing, but also the fact that you can swipe down from the bottom to see all of your smart home devices. It also allows you to view the video feeds of your Nest Hello doorbells, or your Nest Cameras, which I could see being a useful security feature The most exciting feature for me, however, is the cooking feature, where it can show you how to make this a recipe as you go. I forsee this being a killer feature for a lot of people. The pricing isn't bad either, as at $150, it undercut's Amazon's 2nd generation Echo Show, which has a pricetag of $230. I honestly see the Home Hub being the device that sells the best.

Pixel Slate

The Pixel Slate is a very interesting device, as it's basically a tablet counterpart to the Pixelbook. That's why the keyboard is seperate. What's even more interesting is that this is a tablet running Chrome OS, which to me kinda signals that Google believes that Android tablets are well and truely dead. I have mixed feelings on the Pixel Slate. As a tablet, it seems pretty good, although it's overpriced for the specs, as I can get a max-spec Microsoft Surface Go for $50 less (and with the surface type cover, its $120 less than the Pixel Slate with it's keyboard) or a 9.7 inch 128GB iPad with Cellular for $50 less. Combined with the fact that it has no headphone jack (apparently to "follow trends", which is the actual justification Google gave) and I don't really see any justification to purchase it.

Updated Chromecast

Not really mentioned was the 3rd Generation Chromecast refresh. It has a design much more in line with Google's other devices, support for 60 FPS 1080P video, the ability to play music in sync with other Google devices much like a Chromecast audio, and (probably, not officially confirmed yet) faster Wi-Fi. But besides that, there really isn't much changed. It's still $35. It still doesn't have the ability to play 4K video (you'll still need the Chromecast Ultra to do that) It remains a compelling cheap streaming device. If you already have a 2nd Generation Chromecast, there's no reason to upgrade. However, if you've been looking at buying a Chromecast, now's the time.

Overall, the event was mediocre in terms of what was announced. There was some cool stuff in there such as the Home Hub, but many devices, such as the Pixel 3 or Pixel Slate, will have a hard time competing in their respective categories.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425384 2018-06-12T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:41Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Nintendo

So... That was interesting.

So nintendo's conference began with a look at some 3rd party games, which look pretty cool. I like those. We got a new Mario Party game with Super Mario Party, which I'm very happy about, seeing as the cars in Mario Party has always been a terrible idea in my view, and so I'm glad that we're seeing a return to a style where everyone moves independently.

Then, Smash. The Smash title announced at the Nintendo direct is now Smash Bros. Ultimate. It honestly looks amazing, with them bringing back every single Smash character frome every single game, tons of tweaks, new stages, and much more. I can't wait to play it in december.

Additionally, during the Splatoon World Championship, it was announced that the previously revealed Splatoon Octo Expansion would be coming tomorrow night (the day after this post is made) and I seriously can't wait for that at all. Octo expansion looks amazing and I know it's gonna be a lot of fun. I've been dying for some more Splatoon anyway.

However, I can't help but feel that it's a bit dissappointing that there wasn't much announced, even though all the announcements were bombshells. I really wish we got a look at Yoshi, a look at Retro Studio's new game, a sneak peak at Metroid Prime 4, or even a new Animal Crossing. However, Nintendo did state the they will be giving more details about games coming next year at a future date, so I can't wait for that. Hopefully then we'll get an Animal Crossing tease.

The only other thing I'd like to note is that I feel that Smash may of taken a bit too long, with how much detail it went into. I'm sure some will appreciate it more than I do though.

I can't complain though. I'm stoked for Super Mario Party and Octo Expansion, and Smash looks fantastic. We also got the announcement of Fortnite coming to Switch today, which was a nice touch that I'm sure will help attract more people to the Switch.

So although this presentation had some hiccups in my view and I thought more could've been shown, I thought it was alright. It did what it was supposed to do and it was executed really well. I suppose the Direct format is really paying off for Nintendo.

(Personal) Rating: B+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425382 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:03Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Ubisoft

Honestly Ubisoft didn't have that much unexpected. Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks cool, I'm not interested in Starlink but the fact that is has Starfox is cool, the Mario + Rabids: Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong DLC makes me want to get the game finally, and the devision 2 looks alright.

There were some hiccups, and a lot of stuff I wasn't interested in, but overall, it looks alright. The funniest part was when someone backstage accidentally had their microphone on and we had some "backstage talk" which was mainly just small talk and some directions over backstage stuff.

It seems like a average Ubisoft conference with extra perks. That's ok though.

(Personal) Rating: B

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425383 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:31:23Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Sony

Um... what?

I'm left so confused with this conference. What even was that? So Sony started with The Last of Us 2, with the conference being in this... church building?? Then once the trailer ended sony took like a 30 minute break in order to move everyone to another building. Seriously. That intermission talk show thing just killed the pace. I mean, really? Stopping the conference for 15 minutes like that?

So once everyone got into the other building they showed off some titles. Some of which I though were cool looking, such as Trevor Saves The Universe, Ghost of Tsushima, and of course, a new trailer for Death Stranding (still no release date though!). They then proceeded to end the conference with a new look at Spider-man (again, no release date). They really didn't announce much with this one, which doesn't seem like a Sony thing to do at all.

Frankly this conference was just weird, between the two buildings, the weird clips interspersed in that were never explained. (UPDATE: apparently this was for a game called Dreams) They didn't talk about it at all though. I suppose that was to make up for the fact that they had nothing to announce this year?

But yeah, this one was very disappointing. I'm not a fan of it, and I hope that Sony does better next year.

(Personal) Rating: C+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425381 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:30:28Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Square Enix

So Square Enix recently had their E3 conference, and I'm honestly wondering what the point of it was? Like, there really wasn't that much there. A lot of it was stuff we already knew about. It's not a good sign when 90% of your finishing trailer was pretty much one that we've already seen.

I mean yeah, some of the stuff that was shown was cool, but again, so little was announced that I'm wondering why Square Enix even held a conference. Hopefully they'll have more to show next year.

(Personal) Rating: D+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425380 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:29:57Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Devolver Digital

So Devolver is apparently continuing the trend of holding a mock press conference making fun of the industry, and it was about as insane as you would expect.

Lots of blood, swearing, and making fun of the industry. This time however, it seems to have gotten a bit more bolder in making fun of industry trends, with Nina Struthers (the host) often going on long rants deriding specific trends, which is quite entertaining.

They actually announced some cool games too. My Friend Pedro looks fun as hell, and Metal Wolf Chaos XD looks hilarious.

Also it looks like their making it a series with the conference ending with Nina Struthers being shot with a machine gun with one of the people that had their hand cut off in the last conference. Then, others are seen around her, and it appears that she's now a robot, with the conference ending with "To by continued... Next year". It looks like devolver will be making fun of the industry for years to come, and frankly, I love all of it.

(Personal) Rating: ??????????????????????

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425379 2018-06-11T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:58Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Bethesda

So after the terrible show that was last year's bethesda conference, I was cautiously optimistic about this year's conference, and man, did bethesda deliver.

This year's conference started out really slow, and looked to be heading in the same problems that 2016 and 2017's conference had. Then todd showed up. In one conference, Todd effectively went from an internet meme to widely praised, and for good reason.

There was a lot of great humor with this one, with a mock trailer being made in which bethesda makes fun of themselves and effectively takes control of the meme about them porting skyrim to everything by making a video in which they jokingly port skyrim to everything, such as an amazon alexa (they actually made this one despite it being a joke... no seriously), etch a sketch, and a samsung refrigerator. Some of the things that I found cool were the announcement of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fallout Shelter on Nintendo Switch, and Fallout 76.

I was actually cautious about Fallout 76 being an online game, but it appears that the really thought this one through, as it's only with "a few dozen" players at once, dedicated servers, a "serverless" experience (the game never mentions specific servers and it's all in the cloud), oh, and nuclear weapons are scattered across the map, so that's neat.

Overall, although it was slow to start, Bethesda made a lot of killer announcements this year that I really enjoy.

(Personal) Rating: B+

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425378 2018-06-10T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:25:34Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Microsoft

Microsoft killed it this year. I didn't expect Microsoft to do this good this year at all. But yet, they did.

For starters, Microsoft kept up the pace, leaving out much of the talking and instead just showing trailer after trailer after trailer. Additionally, lots of good titles were shown, such as the new Cuphead dlc (I need to play Cuphead), Kingdom Hearts 3 (I need to play kingdom hearts), a new trailer for fallout 76, Metro: Exodus, We Happy Few, and way more. They also announced the acquisition of 5 studios, which was way more than I was expecting.

The only part that I didn't like was Forza, because that was the moment where someone got up on stage and talked about it, which felt like the event was sort of grinding to a halt to talk about Forza and really took me out of the fast pace that Microsoft was doing. It wasn't a big deal though, as although I don't care for Forza, there was nothing terribly offensive.

One thing that surprised me was the total lack of Minecraft, as that's something Microsoft usually dedicates time to. This is probably due to the fact that Minecraft has nothing to announce, and I think Microsoft realizes that it's best to leave Minecraft to it's own channels instead of letting it dampen the mood.

Overall though, I think this was one of the strongest showings Microsoft has had in years. They did a really good job on this year. It'll be interesting to see if the competition can match this.

(Personal) Rating: A

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425377 2018-06-10T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:29Z E3 2018 Thoughts: Tinybuild

Um, I don't even know what to say about this one. It seems like a copy of Devolver's conference last year. Some of the humor didn't land on me, but I can appreciate it. Not entirely sure how I feel about secret neighbor.

(Personal) Rating: ???

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425376 2018-06-09T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:26:00Z E3 2018 Thoughts: EA

So E3 is (sorta) here, (The expo hasn't even started yet) and EA is the first to go as in previous years, holding their annual EAPlay conference.

I'll be honest, I went in to it with very low expectations. The only thing I really wanted was Skate 4. But yet, despite the fact that I came in with virtually no expectations, I was still disappointed. It's honestly one of the worst conferences EA has had in a while.

For starters, the conference didn't have much at all. Very little in the conference deserved a press conference and could of been revealed on Twitter. We got some updates on Battlefield 5 (with battle royale mode because that's the current money making trend in the industry right now), then there was the usual sports games for the year, with updates to FIFA and a new NBA game. We also got a look at EA's new cloud-based service, Origin Access Premiere. Then, we got a look at the new command and conquer mobile game with a "match" being narrated as if it's an esport (why?? Why make it a generic mobile strategy game??) There was also some looks at indies, such as the announcement (and immediate release of) Unravel 2, and the announcement of A Way Out. Finally, the conference ended with a detailed look at Anthem.

Frankly, the only thing that interested me was Unravel 2. Everything else was meh, and I'm still really cautious about Anthem. So with that being said, why did they even hold a press conference this year? What was the point?

Oh, and no mention of Skate, despite the enormous demand for it.

Overall, I don't think I like this one. Although the only thing that was somewhat offensive was the mobile Command And Conquer title, there was also nothing really exciting. Everything was either stuff that we expected or stuff that we already knew about, with really only 1 or 2 things that came out of nowhere.

(Personal) Rating: C-

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425375 2018-04-27T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:23:17Z The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit Feels Surreal

This is a photo of South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean president Kim Jong-Un raising their hands together. But this isn't your average meeting between world leaders. This is a meeting between two leaders of two countries that were formerly one, divided by war, anger, and threats for over half a century. Yet, here they are. Holding their hands in the air together, acting almost like old friends. This photo represents peace. It represents a new Korea bound together by unity, instead of war. A Korea of cooperation. Suddenly, after years of Kim Jong-Un and North Korea testing nuclear weapons and missiles, threating annihilation against Japan, The United States, and it's neighbor South Korea, we have this photo, of said leader raising his hand in the air alongside the president of a country he previously threatened to invade.

This feels surreal to me. I remember just a few months ago reading reports of new North Korean missile and nuclear tests, with this conflict appearing to escalate. Now, we have the two koreas announcing that they are going to sign a formal peace treaty ending a war that never truely ended (the two Koreas signed a Armistice, but not a peace treaty) This has all happened in a matter of months. It feels so fast.

I wish the best of luck to both Koreas in their quest for peace, and to the Korean people. Maybe one day we'll see a unified Korea again.

Disclaimer: The photo in question was originally posted to the Korea.net Flickr account here. It is currently licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 2.0 license.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425374 2018-04-25T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:22:35Z YouTube Remix Might Kill Google Play Music

According to this article by 9to5Google, Google is preparing to launch a new streaming service called "YouTube Remix" that will replace Google Play Music.

I'm considering cancelling my Google Play Music/YouTube Red subscription if this happens. Google Play Music, although not perfect, is a great solution for me, primarily because I like uploading my own music and it comes with YouTube Red. Although I could, I don't use the YouTube Music app because I like to keep my music and videos separate. Knowing Google, YouTube Remix is not going to have any of the things that I like about Google Play Music.

Additionally, the article notes that in an APK teardown of the YouTube app, 9to5Google found references to a "YouTube Plus" subscription tier. To me, this suggests that either YouTube Red and Google Play Music are going to be combined into the "YouTube Plus" service, or it will be an entirely separate tier.

I'm hoping that Google doesn't go through with this. Google Play Music already works fine for plenty of people, and we don't need another app that already does the same thing that we were able to do previously. Google already has a problem with this (See: Every single Google chat platform)

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425373 2018-04-18T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:16:18Z WHOIS Won't Work Under The GDPR

According to an article by The Register, it looks like the EU has a problem with the current WHOIS system, with the EU claiming that the current WHOIS system isn't compliant with the upcoming GDPR. As a result, ICANN now has to come up with a replacement for WHOIS, or make changes to it in order to be compliant. The article does note, however, that "the Whois service may still publish some personal details once everything has been worked through, so long as there is a clear justification for it." So it looks like there will be changes coming to the WHOIS system in the future.

Honestly, this is great. I really dislike the current WHOIS system, as it makes tons of personal information about the owner of the domain name easily publically available, unless you're either with a registar that offers WHOIS "protection" (basically it replaces a lot of the WHOIS details with it's own, masking your personal info) for free or one that offers it as a paid service (that you're subscribed to). I don't think the need for this much info to be made public is really justifiable, so I'm glad changes are being made. We'll have to see what those changes are, however.

Also, I'd like to note that the GDPR going to effect is almost here, with it going into effect on the 25th of May of this year. So far we're seeing a lot of interesting privacy changes by Google and Facebook to be in compliance with it, which is good, as it's time that privacy be taken seriously. I'm hoping that eventually something like this comes to the US, however I won't hold my breath knowing how congress isn't exactly good at understanding technology.

Who knows what the future holds for technology and privacy. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

tag:retroity.net,2013:Post/1425370 2018-04-17T17:00:00Z 2019-06-28T04:14:25Z Russia Can't Block Telegram

On April 13, 2018 a Russian court ordered telegram to be blocked. Now, Russia is trying to implement that ban, and it isn't working. As a result, Telegram moved to Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Services in an attempt to bypass the ban. That seems to be working, as Russia is now trying to block IPs belonging to AWS and GCP in an attempt to block telegram. So far, Russia has blocked over 15.8 million IP addresses in an attempt to ban Telegram. This has caused lots of collateral damage, resulting in credit card services, some banks, games, grocery store sites, viber, and other such services to stop working, while Telegram is somehow still functioning.

I find it both hilarious and ridiculous that Russia is trying this hard to ban Telegram and is failing this hard. Perhaps this is a bit much for a single app, no? I honestly wonder how far the Russian government will go.