Oct 25 2014

PS4 vs. Xbox One

Adel Gabot

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I’ve long wondered whether or not I made the right decision about getting one of the two new consoles.

I decided on the PlayStation 4 instead of the Xbox One.

So far, I’m happy with it.

The PS4 is a robust system.

While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Xbox (much of it is cosmetic drivel, really), I’m happy with the simple dynamic menu and games the PS4 has to offer. The PS4 doesn’t have as many media apps, and doesn’t have the HDMI pass-through port that enables the media components of the Xbox, but it’s fine the way it is.

Sony hasn’t saddled the PS4 with the (unnecessary) PS Camera like the Xbox One did with the Kinect. Microsoft said, nay, insisted, that the gamer needed one in order to operate it properly, and added $100 to the console’s price. Their fairly-recent rescinding the inclusion of the Kinect in the package (and thus lowering the price by $100), seemed to indicate Microsoft’s sobering up and being realistic, but it was too late. Reports put the PS4 at a 40% worldwide lead over the Xbox One.

Microsoft is more rigorous with beefing up and improving their system though, coming out with regular monthly updates, and now they’ve got the lead on Sony as far as that is concerned: external drive connectivity, video and audio file playback and themes, for example. Although they still haven’t found a convenient way to give users the relatively simple gameplay screenshot and video capture function (they say sometime next year).

With Sony coming up with System Update 2.0 on Tuesday, we’re seeing the two finally becoming a match as far as features are concerned. Share Play‘s pretty nice, as well as the token reorganization of the main menu (really, Sony? Putting least-used games in a folder is the best you can do?), and finally providing desktop themes. But we’re still waiting for the ability to use the PS4 as a media server, as well as getting the ability to use external USB drives to extend storage.

The PS4 is a great console, and aside from the fact that it’s still in the title doldrums this early in the game (hey, it’s been a year, but who’s counting?), I’m pretty happy with it.

So why the hell do I have this incredible desire to get an Xbox One?

Is it just because of techno lust? Wanting to have the latest and the (ahem) greatest?

I’ve put my Xbox 360 on the selling block, with a vague intention of putting the proceeds towards the price of a new Xbox One.

Of course that would merely open a whole new can of worms: I have to buy games and gear for it. It’s nothing without some titles. So what exclusive games are there for the X1? Sunset Overdrive? Forza Horizon 2? Dead Rising 3? The Halo Collection?

Christ.

I gotta think about this really hard.


Oct 24 2014

Model M Keyboard!

Adel Gabot

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I’m still searching for that legendary tactile keyboard, even if I did buy that Lenovo keyboard the other day. The Verge has a great article on it here.

One of my prospects is an original Model M being sold on TPC, but the problem with that one is 2-fold: 1) the seller is based in Pangasinan; and 2) it doesn’t have a friggin’ cable!

If I get it I have to find an SDL cable (Shielded Data Link—that’s the original connector the Model Ms came with, usually with a PS2 connector on the other end, but USB ones exist). If found some online, but it’s going to cost me around an additional $50 for the item and shipping.

But it looks like I don’t have a choice. I searched all over and it was the only Model M available in the country. There are some available online internationally, but they cost a lot—the cheapest one was P4500, and that’s still not including the shipping! And buying a brand new one, like that Filco from DataBlitz, is going to cost me upwards of P6500.

The TPC one costs P1k only. I asked for a discount, or at least free shipping (P245 from Pangasinan on LBC), but the guy is standing firm on the price.

So I was going to bite the bullet and agree, but he suggested a better way to get it: his brother was coming down to Manila on Nov. 2, and was suggesting that I wait and meet up with the brother instead, and get the shipping thing cancelled altogether.

Ok! I’ll have to wait around ten more days, but I’m not really in a hurry. But man, it’s an eternity away!

Rex, the brother, will text me before then to confirm the meeting, but we settled on Trinoma on the 2nd already; all that’s undetermined is the time and the place. But yippee!

In the meantime, I’m scouring Manila for an SDL-USB cable, or even a PS2 version (it shouldn’t be that hard to find a USB adapter). I went back to HMR today to check their stocks, but they didn’t have any at all. Haven’t finished searching, but it looks like I’ll have to get one online.

Crap.


Oct 20 2014

ME: SOR

Adel Gabot

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I forgot to tell you: I bought Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor with the money I got selling Alien: Isolation.

Got it from a guy who had finished it and was selling it off TPC. Met him last week in Robinson’s Pioneer.

It’s ok. Better than Alien: Iso at least. But I’m having a lot of trouble killing Orcs and Uruks; I’m the one who gets killed half the time. All this swordsmanship isn’t really me. But I knew that from my forays with Assassin’s Creed, so it wasn’t really that big of a surprise.

But I’m sticking to it, and I’ve gone a good deal into the game. I’m tired though, and I’ve thought of selling or trading it yet again.

We’ll see.


Oct 20 2014

Keyboard

Adel Gabot

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This is to find out if the old, used, “tactile”, full USB Lenovo keyboard I bought this morning from HMR works fine as advertised.

Yes, it does after a fashion, but it will take some getting used to. It isn’t quite the tactile response I was expecting, but it’s ok. The keys are slightly bouncier, and takes a bit more effort to depress. Also, the board also takes up all of the space of the keyboard drawer underneath, and just barely fits. In fact, part of the top row is obscured by the overhanging shelf. And the USB cable is way way too long. I’ve had to coil and bundle most of it up.

This’ll take some getting used to.

For P149, I have no right to expect anything. The thing is damned inexpensive, after you clean it up and make it presentable, of course. Everything works! Lucked out, I think.

But let’s go back to the beginning first.

This weekend, I got it into my head that I’d like a noisy, clack-y tactile keyboard. The Apple Wireless Keyboard is fine, svelte. compact. and very quiet, but I had grown pretty tired of it. It would be nice to have one of those old, thick, built-like-a-monster IBM keyboards, wouldn’t it?

So I posted an inquiry in my forums to see if anyone was willing to give up an old keyboard from their bodega. Lots of suggestions, but no real results. There were some that pointed me to some new, expensive tactile keyboards, but I was on a budget. A search in the usual selling sites didn’t turn up anything either.

So I resolved to go searching in the bowels of HMR, that second-hand behemoth shopping place that had a branch in Cubao. I found they had four big boxes of keyboards, but none of them were of the old IBM kind. The closest was this old Lenovo model, which was going for P149. I said, what the hell, and bought it.

And it’s here now, and I’m using it to type this entry out.

It’s a big sucker, and my fingers, used to my tiny little Apple keyboard, sometimes keeps hitting the wrong keys. But I’ll get used to it. It’s not exactly “tactile”, but it’ll do for now. I’ll use it for a couple of days and see how it turns out.

 

 


Oct 14 2014

Sold!

Adel Gabot

There.

I sold the friggin thing.

Even though I had to wait an hour and a half extra for my buyer.

Good riddance to Alien: Isolation.

I have to admit, there was a flurry of last minute offers to get it, including a desperate one from Tacloban, but I had to stick to my original deal. Of course I was tempted, but no.

On a separate note, it’s my daughter Andrea’s 28th birthday today. I jumped the gun and greeted her early last night, and I was the first greeter, she says.

Happy birthday again, Ea!

 


Oct 13 2014

Damn

Adel Gabot

I tried to sell my Alien: Isolation PS4 game this morning.

I’ve grown pretty tired of it. After the first few hours, it settles into a tedious grind of avoid-the-alien since you can’t really kill it. The IGN review was right on the money, and I should have listened to it.

So I posted it for sale yesterday, and by the evening I got a buyer. He wanted to meet up at the MRT station at North Avenue at 9. So I unlimbered myself and got there five minutes early, only to find out, when the buyer got there, that I had left the game in the damn PS4 and had unwittingly brought the box only.

Dammit.

Was this a sign I shouldn’t really be selling the game? Was it a sign that I was selling it for too much of a loss? Or was it, as I strongly suspect, a sign that I was just a forgetful fuck.

After the profuse apologies, I glumly headed back in a heavily crowded train, and now I’m here at Starbucks having a couple of lattes trying to forget the morning ever happened.

And it’s only 10 AM.

Shit.


Oct 9 2014

Made up my mind

Adel Gabot

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I bought Alien: Isolation.

It was cheaper than I expected, which is great for a big game like this. Although I did get the R3 edition, mind you. R1 would have cost a lot more, I expect.

I was seriously tempted to get Shadow of Mordor as well. They had it at the shop, a few much-wanted copies, and if I wanted one, I should have gotten it then, because it was going to go fast. But I stuck to my guns and stayed with my original decision.

The shop texted me that they finally got it at around 2:30 in the afternoon, and I made the effort to go.

I played it right away as soon as I got home (well, with the prerequisite Day One update download of about a gig first, of course).

It’s actually nice. Slow and careful does it. The alien and the various shipmates and androids are wandering about a lot, and you have to be very cautious about walking around.

I’m still wrestling with the desire of going back today and buying Mordor, though. They have the steelbook Asian edition, or at least they had that yesterday when I was there. Probably gone now.

Here’s a video of my first few minutes of Alien: Isolation:


Oct 5 2014

Dilemma dilemma

Adel Gabot

I got a dilemma.

I don’t know which game to buy.

I know I really shouldn’t be buying any game given my financial situation, but I tell myself it’s my only extravagance for the duration. Hey, I gotta have something, right?

I don’t know if I should buy this:

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or this:

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Shadow of Mordor has been a dark horse. I wasn’t intending on getting it, but the reviews are really fantastic. Really fantastic. Which is why I’m considering getting it. It was supposed to have been released last Tuesday, but apparently my country was lumped together with the European release, which comes a bit later, so it should be coming out this Tuesday, or possibly earlier. Some people have certainly gotten their copies, as evidenced by some photos on the popular forums (fora? I never can tell). All that’s keeping me from buying it is it seems a bit complicated in execution, particularly the Nemesis system, where you can influence Orcs so they’ll spy on or assassinate their superiors and fight for your side. Seems like too much trouble.

Or if not that, maybe my original choice on Tuesday: Alien: Isolation. But reviews haven’t exactly been kind. Apparently the game is great in the first few hours, after which it slides into a repetitive grind, and stays that way all the way to the end. But I think it’s worth a gamble, if only for the art direction, which is based heavily on Ridley Scott’s movie. But then again…

Heck, I don’t know. At this rate, I’m seriously thinking of getting neither of them.


Sep 27 2014

Selling the Xbox

Adel Gabot

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I’ve finally decided to sell my Xbox 360.

Haven’t really been using it; since playing Titanfall for two straight weeks when it came out for the platform, I haven’t really touched it.

I played Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 when they came out for it, and finished both within a couple of days since their release, but in between, I just fire it up to update it, and the games, every week or so. Those games, along with Titanfall, were the last few gasps of the old-gen technology, trying to catch up with the new kids.

Oh, many games have come and gone for it: Halo 4, Left4Dead, the Gears of War series, a whole bunch of others. But I’ve sold most of them off, and I have just five left. The five most recent games; I sold a whole bunch just this week, and I’m glad to be rid of them.

But time has unfortunately left the Xbox 360 behind.

I play on the PS4 everyday, and it looks like it’s going to be that way in the near future.

I’d get an Xbox One, but between the PS4 and that, I’m more a PS4 guy. Technologically, the X1 is lagging behind the PS4, particularly in terms of speed and resolution. And the games… well, I haven’t really seen much of their exclusives to attract me. Maybe Sunset Overdrive, or Forza Horizon 2, but …nah.

True, I still have my Xbox Live Gold subscription, but that’s due to expire around my birthday next year, and it isn’t really that far off.

So I’m going to sell it. The Xbox 360 and the various gear I’ve accumulated around it in the time it’s been with me. Namely, the hard drive, the Class A remote and the wifi adaptor. And of course the five remaining games.

It’s been nice, but that time is long over. Just like my old PS3.

It’s on the usual sites now. Been getting a few bites, but we’ll see over the weekend.

Bye, Xbox 360.

 


Sep 24 2014

Getting the prize

Adel Gabot

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So we went and got Dad’s lotto prize from the PCSO‘s main office at the PICC along Roxas Boulevard.

We left early, before 8, but rush hour traffic killed us. We got there at 9:30, and with the government’s snail-pace processing, we got out of there at 11. We encashed Dad’s check at the PNB branch while there at the PICC, so we left free and clear.

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Had an expensive, celebratory lunch at Han’s, a Chinese resto near there that was nearly empty, then left for Cubao around 1, and let mid-day traffic kill us some more (much thanks to a fender-bender involving a bus and a pick up truck nar Robinson’s Pionner, which backed traffic up to Buendia). We finally got to Cubao around 2:45.

Helped Burt with his home-transfer shopping (lots of it), then had coffee (well, tsokolate eh, actually) before going home before 5.

Damn. That was a full day spending doing mostly nothing.

Sheesh.