Pro Gaming Product You Must Have

Being a pro gamer is not a cheap thing to achieve. There is plenty of equipment to purchase and it is not the cheapest, but also not too expensive. You are getting your moneys worth for what you pay for. In my detailed post I mentioned gaming equipment, I am going to go into more detail on the different equipment a pro gamer should have. First things first is a controller. Now you can use just a standard controller or you can use what most pros use and that is a Scuf controller. You can either buy a Scuf controller and add some customization to it our you can mail in your own controller and customize it and have it mailed back to you. By customization I mean adding a skin design to the controller, adding grip, changing the kind controller stick, and or adding paddles. Now the skin design is just what covers the base of the controller, so instead of having a plain black controller you could have a red and black controller. It just makes the controller look cooler. The grip is just so you have a better grip on your controller, so it does not slip out of your hands.

There a two kinds of controller sticks you can use; concave and domed. Concave is where the center of the stick is caved in and the domed is where the stick is in the shape a dome. They do not necessarily make you play better, it is just your preference for what you would want to use. The paddles are designed for button mapping. By this I mean having the paddle replace a button so you do not have to use that button.

These go on the back of the controller. For example let’s say that the A button is used to jump, when customizing the controller paddles you can assign one the paddles the A button. So instead of always having to press A to jump you can just push the paddle instead. Now the paddles can be assigned to any button you want, just do what fits your style of play. You can have up to four paddles, which means you can have four buttons remapped for the paddles.

The next thing you will want to get is a gaming headset. The top two companies are Turtle Beach and Astro Gaming. These headsets allow you to hear game audio and chat audio in the headset. It is up to you to figure out what levels you want each audio at. Each person has their own preference but majority of the pro players use Astro gaming. Also, each person will say that one is better than the other based on what headset they have. I have had a Turtle Beach headset before but now have an Astro Gaming headset. I personally think Atros are better because they are designed better, and I think they have better quality.

You want to have one of these brands because they will help you in-game. It will help you hear things at a distance and it helps you hear people coming up behind you. Do some research, look at reviews, and talk to your friends about them and buy what you think is best. The last main thing you will need is a monitor. There are a lot of companies who make monitors, just like headsets each person has their own preference of what brand they use. Major League Gaming uses BenQ monitors. They even have a specific monitor that is used by the pros at events. You can find these by just Googling them. These have the best quality and the lowest lag response time. The picture is so clear, colorful, and is nice because there is no lag which means everything that happens, happens in real time with no delay. Another thing that I would recommend is a recording a device to record your gameplays. You can get an El Gato or and Hauppague HDPVR.

These are the only two that I know of, but I am sure there are more. Before purchasing one these make sure your computer or laptop reaches and or exceeds the specifications of the device. These are not necessary to be a pro gamer, but it is nice to record your gameplays and makes videos out of them and post them to YouTube. Basically every pro player makes YouTube videos from their games. You can get fans to watch and subscribe to your YouTube channel. This is not necessity but it is a nice thing to have to show to others. These are the products that players in general and pro players use. I highly recommend looking into all of these. Theses would be an investment, a one time purchase that would last a very long time. I hope that these help you guys out. Happy gaming.

Things About Retrogaming

Whether or not a game or system qualifies as retrogaming is a tough thing to quantify and something that different people will often think very differently about. The ‘retro’ in the word ‘retrogaming’ is in itself a bit of a little bit misleading. Retro, by definition, is a style that intentionally evokes memories of an older style that has since gone out of fashion. So movies from the ’30s aren’t retro, but The Artist, a recent movie made in the style of an old silent movie, is retro. If we apply the same logic to video games then something like Mega Man isn’t retro, but a game like Shovel Knight is because it pays homage to the NES games of old. Gamers have appropriated the word ‘retro’ into the new word ‘retrogaming’, but unlike the traditional definition, ‘retrogaming’ refers to playing old games rather than games that play like old games.

The origins of the word ‘retrogaming’ are, as we’ve established, pretty murky to begin with, but the definition isn’t any clearer. With the speed at which technology develops, games released at the start of a console generation look noticeably worse than those released at the end of the generation. And that’s just the lifetime of a single console. Games visibly age quite quickly, but in terms of the actual number of years since release they might not be so old. It also doesn’t help that the contemporary indie development scene has a fascination with making games that look and play deliberately like games of yesteryear. It’s all so confusing. At what point does a game qualify as old enough to be considered retrogaming?

Well, depending on who you talk to you’ll likely get a different answer. Someone like me who has been playing video games for over twenty years and started my gaming life with a Commodore 64 is going to have an entirely different perspective on whether a game is old or not to a kid whose first console is the PlayStation 4. But that doesn’t necessarily make either of us right, it’s just a matter of perception. I might look at a game like Prince Clumsy for the Commodore 64 as a fairly primitive side-scrolling platformer, but to my father who grew up with Pong the game was like nothing he’d ever seen.

The PS2 isn’t a system that instantly springs to mind when I think of retrogaming; I think sprites, MIDI music, and two dimensions. But that’s the eyes of a thirty two year old gamer looking at this, and not a ten year old. The likes of Devil May Cry, Ico and Twisted Metal: Black are games I remember picking up and being blown away by, but for a child used only to PS4 the games might look positively archaic.

Since we all, depending on our age and experiences, have different ideas about how old something has to be to be old, there has to be some sort of objective rule. For my money, once a system has been discontinued by the manufacturer then we can safely call it old enough for playing it to be considered retrogaming. By that definition, the most recent console to fall under the umbrella of retrogaming would be the PlayStation 2, and while some of you might balk and scoff at that consider this; the PlayStation 2 was released sixteen years ago. Every few years another new console joins the ranks of retrogaming, and while they might not adhere to what our personal ideas of retrogaming are they still fit the criteria.

Age is just the beginning, though. All we’ve determined is what length of time needs to pass for us to safely refer to something as retrogaming. If we accept that retrogaming is playing video games or consoles that have since been discontinued, then how one goes about playing these discontinued games is the next step in understanding exactly what retrogaming is.

The first and easiest way that we can play old games is to pick up a remaster or a port. These are becoming more and more common in recent years, with the PS4 in particular receiving port after port of popular (and not so) PS3 games since there’s no true backwards compatibility available for the system. But the PS4 has also seen some older games see release, too. Final Fantasy VII and X have both been ported to the latest PlayStation console, and going even further back than that, Grim Fandango has been re-released with some graphical and control overhauls.

As technology evolves there are also more options available to players who only have the current generation of consoles. With a service like PlayStation Now, people don’t even need to buy the old games that they want to play, with Sony offering a Netflix-like subscription program to gain access to a glut of older titles. It’s backwards compatibility, near-retrogaming for a monthly fee. If you’ve got the money and a stable Internet connection then this might be a preferable alternative to dusting off your old consoles and fighting to get them to work with your high-end television.

Another way that we can play older games via improving technology is through emulation. This falls into two categories; first, there’s the emulation we see on the likes of the PlayStation Store or Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Here games are emulated by making your modern console act like an old one. Recently the PS4 introduced PS2 games to the PlayStation Store and they’re run through emulation, just like Nintendo do on the Wii U.

Of course, there’s also illegal emulation. Often there’s no way to play an old game at all without illegal emulation. Grim Fandango has recently been re-released on PS4, but before that happened there was actually no way to play the game legally unless you just happened to have a very old PC and a copy of the game. While it’s technically illegal and basically piracy, there should be a better system in place to make sure that legacy games and platforms are preserved for future generations. A game like Grim Fandangoshouldn’t run the risk of being lost to time, and so while illegal emulation isn’t necessarily something I’d condone outright, in certain circumstances it can be understandable or even necessary.

The last way that we can play old games is the old fashioned way. That means picking up the console it was released on and a copy of the game itself and playing the thing as God intended. No downloading, no emulating, no tips or tricks or cheats. Just you and an old console and a dusty old cartridge and a wired controller. And there’s something incredibly satisfying about that.

Playing an old game on a new system feels inherently different to playing it at the time, and playing it howyou played it at the time. I still remember playing Final Fantasy VI when I was a young boy, and working my way through one of the finest JRPGs of all time on my trusty SNES. I’m playing the game again currently on my PlayStation Vita and the game is every bit as good as it ever was. The new technology powering the handheld means the game runs smoothly, it controls well, and it looks as charming as it ever did. But playing it now on a handheld just feels different to playing it as it was released on a control pad tethered to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

There are many reasons to play an old game. It could be that you want to experience historically important moments in the evolution of the medium, or perhaps a shorter, arcade title fits your schedule better than the latest, huge, blockbuster game. But maybe you just prefer playing old games. Nostalgia can be a powerful agent, and if it’s nostalgia that you’re after then there are few better ways of recapturing a moment in gaming than by playing it on the original hardware.

I’ve been interested in retrogaming for a long time, and it’s not for historical or academic reasons, and it’s not anything to do with how much free time I have. I enjoy retrogaming because playing an old game, like watching an old movie, or listening to an old song, conjures up memories within me of a time long ago. If I watch Back to the Future I remember renting the video tape from a local store and watching it on a Sunday afternoon with my parents. When I hear Time Warp it reminds me not of Rocky Horror, but of old school discos where the song was regularly played.

Similarly, when I hear the opening chords of the Final Fantasy VI theme I don’t think about playing it on my PlayStation Vita, but of being in the spare room at my friend’s house where we’d spend an entire day taking turns on the controller trying to reach the end of the story. Playing the game on a SNES feels entirely different to playing it on the Vita because of the memories that come flooding back while holding the controller. There’s something about holding the old controller, blowing on the cartridge to get rid of the dust, and firing up a system from a time long since passed. It’s not about experiencing history, but about remembering a time when these things weren’t history.

Retrogaming can be considered to be anything up to and including the PS2 generation, and those games can be played through emulation or by picking up a port or a remaster. But to me, retrogaming means playing the old games the way we played them back then. Playing a Commodore 64 game on PC through emulation is all well and good, but actually sitting and waiting while the tape loads is an entirely different beast. Having NES classics on your Wii U Virtual Console is a great way to quickly experience Mega Man orThe Legend of Zelda again, but there’s something altogether more satisfying about popping the cartridge in the slot and sitting cross legged in front of the TV because the controller cable isn’t long enough to reach the couch.

If you’re a gamer, chances are you probably have a different interpretation of what retrogaming is to the next gamer in line. The kid who thinks Crash Bandicoot is ancient. The thirty-something that grew up with games that came on tapes. The grandfather that played Pong in arcades. We all have different ideas about what qualifies as an old game. But what retrogaming is to me, what it essentially is, is recapturing the past and reliving fond memories from years gone by. That’s why there’s still a Super Nintendo Entertainment System in my house and why a few times a year I’ll take it out of the cupboard under the stairs and it’ll spend a weekend under the television. My friends will come round and we’ll play Street Fighter II together like we did over twenty years ago. And there’s something incredibly special about that.

What do you think qualifies as retrogaming? Do you like to pick up classics to play on PC through emulation? How about waiting for them to get a port to the current generation console you already own? Or maybe you’re like me and you think there’s no better way to experience a game than as it was experienced upon release? Whether it’s through piracy, for academic reasons, or to relive memories, retrogaming is something that gamers of all ages can enjoy.

Why Foot With the Saturn Is Great Things From SEGA

f you’re a gamer and you’ve given more than a cursory glance to industry news in the last couple of years then you’ll probably be aware of how Microsoft well and truly bungled the launch of the Xbox One. Whether it was arrogance, hubris, or just sheer bone-headedness, somebody at Microsoft really misjudged the marketing for the latest Xbox console, and the effects of that can still be felt today as the PS4 dominates the charts month after month. Sony might be celebrating now, but they too found themselves in a similar situation last generation when they tried to launch their PS3 amid controversy, a high price point, and bad marketing.

While Microsoft are in the middle of rehabilitating their image following the Xbox One DRM debacle and Sony implemented what they’d learned from the relative failure of the PS3 to improve the PS4, at least those companies are still releasing consoles. Back in 1995, SEGA were one of “the big two” when it came to console gaming (along with Nintendo) but some appalling marketing decisions with the Saturn put the company into a tailspin that it never truly recovered from, resulting in the early abandonment of their next console, the Dreamcast, and ultimately them retreating from the hardware game entirely.

Prior to the launch of the Saturn, SEGA announced that the console would be released one week before the new Sony console, the PlayStation, in September 1995. Whether it was out of fear of the new kid on the block, or just an incredibly misguided marketing ploy, somebody at SEGA HQ decided it would be a good idea to surprise everybody by launching the Saturn in May as a big surprise. To everybody. Including gamers. And retailers. And developers. And publishers. Oh and forget about developing for the 32X, that’s so last month.

Yes, the SEGA Saturn launched in the May of 1995 but as far as most gamers were concerned it wasn’t expected until September and so they didn’t have chance to save up or warn their parents it was coming. That didn’t really matter so much though, since most retailers were also unaware that the console was coming and so their stores weren’t readily equipped to take on the launch of a brand new console five months before they were expecting it. Although, upon reflection, perhaps they were worried about nothing since there were no games ready for the system since SEGA also failed to alert game developers of the change in release date meaning that there were only six games available at launch and all of them were made by SEGA.

In one fell swoop, SEGA managed to upset practically every retailer, every game developer and publisher that wasn’t them, and confuse gamers around the world. It was basically the gaming equivalent of sending all of your Christmas cards out in June and then wondering why nobody bothered sending you one back.

The Saturn wasn’t quite the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the decision to swerve everybody with a phony release date for the console crippled it and allowed the PlayStation to clean up when it was finally released on the day that Sony told people it would be released in September. SEGA didn’t attempt any such chicanery with their next console, the Dreamcast, but the damage to their brand had already been done, and in doing so, given Sony a chance to find footing within the console market. The PlayStation 2 went on to be the best selling console of all time, and the Dreamcast lasted less than two years on the market before SEGA abandoned hardware altogether to concentrate on just developing and publishing games for other consoles.

All About Nintendo Switch

After almost five months on the market, Nintendo has revealed some surprising hardware and software sales pertaining to its newest console handheld hybrid, I would go as far as saying these numbers are impressive. I applaud Nintendo for putting their sales out there and seeing the numbers have made me a proud Switch owner.

I had never really cared about Nintendo, I wouldn’t even go as far as saying I do now. I had owned a Gamecube near the end of its life cycle, sold it after a few months. I owned a Wii like everybody in the world, but hardly played it, it collects dust somewhere at my parents house. Late last year I bought a 3DS and traded it it a month later. Nintendo has never been able to keep my attention and keep me coming back to their console and play their games. Until now that is. The Switch has been the best gaming experience this year for me, hardware and software alike, which says a lot in such a home run year for gaming across the board.

Last week Nintendo announced that their newest console has sold 4.7 million units since its launch back in March. This is an impressive feat considering how much the tide was against them, especially after the colossus failure that was the Wii U which sold around 3 million units in the same time span and only 13.56 million units in its short lifetime. At the Switch’s rate now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold 10 million units by the end of the year and succeed the Wii U’s lifetime sales by the end of Q1 next year.

On top of the hardware success, the games are selling tremendously well. Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 3.92 million sales since launch. Next up is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with 3.54 million sales. These two games have a mind boggling attach rate and are extremely impressive. Other notable first party titles were 1-2-Switch with 1.22 million and Arms with 1.18 million. These are impressive numbers for Nintendo and I’m sure Splatoon 2 will become a huge hit, it’s already sold nearly 700,000 copies just in Japan. Note, these software sales don’t count for third party titles, but still are close to eclipsing the Wii U’s 11 million software sales in the same time.

One of my biggest complaints about the Switch was the lack of games at launch and in the foreseeable future. As of right now though, I love my small library of first party games that have all exceeded expectations. There has been a fair amount of smaller non first party titles, but nothing that has caught fire. But I have had a consistent schedule of very solid releases throughout the first three months.

Also, the simple novelty of the handheld to television and the consistent quality of the games no matter how you play them has not worn off. There are so many ways to play and I love it. I’m all in on this system and can’t wait for what’s to come.

If Nintendo can continue releasing first party games at a steady rate and somehow get more quality third party support, the Switch will sell like hot cakes. They need to get these things back on store shelves though, especially for this holiday, which will surely be huge for them as their first holiday on the market and with the new Mario releasing.