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Etch Play Roundup (07/02/2020)

Ben Joy
Ben Joy
Client Services Lead (Play) 7 Feb 20206 minutes read

It's Friday, which can only mean one thing... Play Team Roundup time!

We're back in action, and this week we're talking about game streaming services, trading card games, and the Nintendo Switch.  

Dan 

This week, we've been taking a look at and discussing game streaming services. Mobin has been playing with NVidia's Geforce service and I have taken a look at Xbox's Project XCloud.

Whilst I had a reasonable understanding of the service and how everything technically works, it all still felt a bit "magic" when a AAA console game started running smoothly on my phone. To be able to browse, launch and run a game on my phone paired with an Xbox controller within a couple of minutes felt like a significant new way to consume games media. We are conditioned to a certain type of experience and expectations from mobile games so even with my preconceptions of what was happening, it still stood out as significant.

There are certainly some challenges still to overcome, such as lack of ubiquitous, high-speed internet, a limited library of titles available and the fact that many games just aren't readable when viewed on a tiny screen. But for such early days, streaming services are looking very impressive for untethered, friction-free gaming to be made available to a much wider audience.

Xbox Project X

Joe

I've fallen back into the trap of Magic The Gathering: Arena this week, the new Theros card set has come out so I've been playing that. It's been weird getting back into a TCG after not playing for about a year, as a lot of cards in my decks have been rotated out of the pools for online play. 😞

I also picked up Temtem, I'm not too far in though as I've been waiting for the weekend so I can do co-op with a friend of mine, so this this just a teaser for next week 👀

magic the gathering

Adam

A twitter thread from one of Respawn Entertainment's senior writers caught my attention this week - providing interesting insight into the challenges of writing for games as a service and extended experiences.

This week I'm back on the video game train and I've been seeing a bunch of things about the Nintendo Switch.

Firstly, the Switch is on track to have sold 50 million consoles quicker than the PS4 did. It's estimated the Switch will sell 50 Million by 34 months, whereas PS4 was 37 months. That said, neither PS4 or Switch is going to get close to PS2 or Nintendo DS which both sold in excess of 150 million consoles. This is most likely down to people are no longer waiting for price drops on consoles, and more and more people moving to Mobile gaming, and PC gaming.

In other Switch news, it has been confirmed by Nintendo President, Shuntaro Furukawa, that there will be no Switch Pro, or any other generation of the console to be released in 2020. Instead more efforts will be put into the original Switch and the Switch Lite.

However, what you will be able to get this year is an Animal Crossing Switch, in line with the new Animal Crossings: Horizons game - which if you want all the in-depth info about that game, you can check it out in this handy article. Check the video below as well to see the cool looking AC Switch. 

 Mobin

I’ve been testing GeForce this week for my Rocket League lunch time play. The main reason for this was that Rocket League is ending support for Mac/Linux in March and didn’t want to put my team down (Read why in the last week’s round up.)

My overall experience with GeForce has been great, I only had to wait 1 week on the waiting list to get access. And it runs really smoothly on my Mac the only issue I’ve is the internet issue which sometimes makes an annoying lags.

If you don’t know what GeForce is, it’s just runs the games you have on Steam for you on a remote Virtual Machine with great performance and transfers the game directly to your computer (Exactly like a video) and of course you can use your Xbox and Playstation controllers.

Early this week Nvidia’s GeForce introduced a competing paid plan with Google Stadia for £4.99 a month.

Geforce pricing

I’ve been playing the free version which has some limitations such as, 1 hour session play time (After one hour you need to re-run the game) this was not a problem for me as I’m only play about an hour in my lunch time. Waiting time to load the GeForce is another limitation, but I didn’t get that this week at all and it’s been instant so far 🤞

GeforceGeforce

With the paid version you’ll get Priority Access, Extended Session Length, RTX ON. If you don’t know what RTX is: "PC gaming like never before with the visual fidelity of real-time ray tracing and the ultimate performance of AI and programmable shading."

Pete

Played the usual lunch time rocket league, which luckily wasn't affected by the recent downtime they've experienced that's caused RLCS to be postponed. Away from Rocket League, read an interesting article about a hacker bragging about stealing from Nintendo for years but ultimately bolstered the case against himself.

Ben G

48 weeks until my birthday 🙏

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