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As most of you know, Steam, created by Valve with a goal to be the biggest online retailer of PC video games, has made the transition to the Macintosh. Along with the program, many Steam games have made the jump onto the Mac as well. Portal was one of the first, and was being offered for free. Other games such as Plants vs Zombies and Half-Life 2 have followed suite. While it has been proven

that games on Steam don’t run quite as good on the Mac as they do on the PC (1), it’s only a matter of time before Valve managed to work out all the kinks and starts to rebuild the library of games that Windows users have onto the Mac. When that time comes, could this be a revolution for Apple and its computers?

Microsoft and its Windows operating system hold the market in amount of people who use their software. As of December of last year,  92.21% of people were using a Windows operating system, while only 5.11% were using Mac OS X (2). Most of us are already aware of this and have made our decision between a Windows OS or a Mac OS.

One of the biggest complaints from Windows users about the Mac is the lack of video game support on the system. I’ve heard people say countless times, “I’d use a Mac but they just don’t play the games I want. Instead, I bought a Windows computer”. I, myself, have said the same thing and have purchased my Dell running Windows 7 based on that train of thought. Obviously, that statement is a very common occurrence, but it’s one that I think it going to end with the coming of Steam.

When Valve finally gets Steam running 100% on Apple’s computer, we will be looking at hundreds of quality games finally being able to run on the Mac. Steam is the biggest online retail store and having full access to the store on a Mac is something that will draw the attention of gamers. People who at once thought about buying a Mac but decided against it will come back to take another look. And why stop at Steam? Other companies such as Direct2Drive might see the prospect of turning the Macintosh into a gaming device and decide they want in on the action, thus making the Mac play more games and bring in more users.

Steam being on the Macintosh could very well increase the market share to give Windows a run for it’s money.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to happen over night. Steam has a lot of catching up to do on the Mac and it will take a while for the word to get out that the Mac is now a capable game playing machine. But, in time, I think the pie chart measuring the market share could soon favor Apple more so than Microsoft.

1. Steam for Mac Benchmarks: Windows is Much Faster.

2. World Wide Market OS Market Share December 2009

I was searching in my closet for something unrelated and I stumbled upon some of my old poems that I had written. Some aren’t very good, but there was one or two gems that I love. Well, some are available to read under my “writings” section up at the top of the page. Please enjoy!

It’s no secret that, while Nintendo’s Wii is destroying both the 360 and the PS3 in terms of sales, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is the leader in the number of exclusive hit games and is usually getting the popular vote when given a choice between the big three. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005 around the time of the Nintendo DS (which seems like forever ago) and has enjoyed many exclusive titles and numerous updates to it’s firmware, software and hardware. In 2010, with the prospect of Project Natal, it seems like the DVD wielding (and HD-DVD failing) console has at least two or three more strong years left in it.

So what about after that?

It’s no secret that the Xbox 360 chose the wrong video format when they sided with the HD-DVD. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD gave each other some good competition at the beginning of their lifespan, but Blu-ray quickly showed its dominance and the HD-DVD  is now enjoying it’s time next to the beta max and 8-track formats on the “thanks for trying” table. Meanwhile, the PS3 is currently enjoying some serious sales due to the included Blu-ray player inside of the device. It’s currently the #1 reason people buy the console (at around 60% of all total sales) and the most popular Blu-ray player used by consumers. Both Microsoft and Sony gambled on the new format and Sony certainly chose right. So where does that leave Microsoft?

The Blu-ray disks are increasing in size almost monthly. Last I checked, the bloody thing could hold almost 120 gigs, dual layered. Meanwhile, the DVD’s that the Xbox 360 uses hold about 9 gigabytes, but after Microsoft finishes chewing on them, they hold about 7.8 gigabytes. This is a problem, as I’m sure you can see. While it’s not been too big of a concern this generation, soon, as videos get more advanced and CGI takes more and more memory to store, 7.8 gigabytes is not going to cut it. And even though we’re not expecting a new console generation until into 2012 or 2013 (some even guess 2014), now is the time to figure out what to do with those tiny little DVD’s.

Sony’s got it made. With Blu-ray technology increasing all the time, there is no reason for them to switch formats any time soon; Blu-ray could, I suppose, last forever if they continue to find ways for it to hold more data. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a problem; their gamble failed. They certainly can’t work on a new console that uses DVD’s and it would be stupid to try the HD-DVD path again. So, what options does the Xbox 1080 have?

Well, I suppose the obvious thing for them to do would be to license a Blu-ray drive. This, though, would be completely embarrassing  for Microsoft as they have publicly bashed Blu-ray and the PS3 in favor of their over-priced HD-DVD drive add-on for the Xbox 360. This would also allow for Microsoft to be able to tap into the Blu-ray movie market, which is a money printing machine for Sony. But still, they would have to swallow a lot of pride to not only admit defeat but also to kiss the feet of their opponent.

Another possibility is the flash card, or even a solid state mini hard drive. Flash and solid state are both twenty times (usually more) faster than any disk in any format and, by 2014, the price of the technology to have a 50 gigabyte (or more) flash card or a solid state drive could be about equal to that of a Blu-Ray disk now. So not only would the games load incredibly fast (can you say literally no loading screens ala the Nintendo 64?) but they’d be smaller, which could quite possibly lead to a smaller game console, assuming the rest of the technology allows it.

Ironic isn’t it? If we go to flash cards, we’ve gone full circle: cartridges to CDs to DVDs to Blu-Ray and back to cartridges.

I think the last possibility is that Microsoft, being the computer geniuses they are, could come up with an entirely new format for their console. They could create a disk that holds the same amount (or more) than a Blu-Ray that’s exclusive to the Xbox console. It wouldn’t be a good idea for a new format to fight Blu-Ray for control over the movie market again because Blu-Ray is here to stay, but the console certainly could be backwards compatible with regular DVDs, assuming they’re still around by then.

Microsoft's solution to Blu-ray?

No matter what happens, it’s going to be a challenge for Microsoft. I suppose they could switch entirely over to digital distribution, but we all saw how well that worked for Sony and the PSP Go!. I think the most likely option for Microsoft is to just suck it up and put a Blu-ray drive into their console. It would make the most sense and probably bring in the most money for them.

Now, what about Nintendo…? They still haven’t quite figured out the DVD yet…

Something new, something different...

I’ve only been doing this blog, Reflection of a Gamers Quintessential Being for nearly four months and I’ve had a slight amount of viewers, mostly Clark Bunch, who has done a substantial amounts of things for me to try and get my blog up and running, to moderate success. I have about a few articles that are becoming popular, mostly the one concerning The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer.

I have lots of ideas in my mind about what I want to write about, but I’ve been wanting to start something… more with ReflectionGamer. Something different, but keeping to the same weird, sarcastic humor that I’ve been using to write for the past 3 1/2 months.

And I think I figured it out. And while I’m not ready yet to 100% commit myself to this new project, I’m going to give it a solid try and see what happens. I have decided not to tell you all what exactly it is yet because I very well could back out and forget the whole thing. But know this; something new is on the horizon for ReflectionGamer.

Stay tuned.

I was browsing some Kotaku articles and came across a commenter who posted a rather interesting thought. Here are my thoughts on his thoughts about someone else’s thoughts.

We, as gamers, usually favor a particular game system. We like that game system for its features, its looks, its controller, its games and, in some cases, its price. The Xbox fans have been labeled as the scums of the earth by a lot of people because they tend to be Halo and Madden loving fanboys who only play those two games and can’t even tell you what a Sony is, who Nintendo might be or what an RPG is.

But are they really Xbox fanboys?

People who drool all over the Xbox buy the console mostly for the games. They want to play Halo, Gears of War, Mass Effect and all the other exclusive games that are only available on the Microsoft console. They aren’t console fanboys, they’re just following their favorite games to the console the games live on! If Halo was on the PS3, 99.9% of the Xbox fanboys who love Halo would actually be PS3 fanboys. And it works both ways! If Metal Gear Solid 4 was a 360 exclusive, all those people who love their PS3 (those of which spent over $400 just to play the game) would have bought an Xbox instead.

We don’t have favorite consoles. We have favorite games. Consoles are just there to let us enjoy our favorite exclusive games.

Now, to address the concern that the Xbox crowd is a bunch of horrid jerks who love to curse and say things about everyones mother. It’s not something to complain about. Xbox live is obviously the biggest online service avalible for the home console. The world is full of horrible people, so when ten million people gather to play the Xbox, you have to assume that you’re going to get the scum mixed in with the good ones. If Xbox live had ten million people playing and the PSN only had five million, you’d get a whole lot less jerks on the PSN, not because the people on the PSN are nicer but because there are just less people.

So stop calling us Xbox Live’rs jerks; we’re not all that way and most of us are given a bad name.

Yes, this entire post was done on my brand new black DSi that I bought yesterday. I like the little thing so far. The new features are very nice and I cant wait to get some DSi Ware games when I get points.

I had some trouble with buying this device right before we hear about the 3DS, but I really needed an update to my phat DS and I can probably sell this DSi if the 3DS becomes something I want.

My hand hurts. I’m out.

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is coming very soon; June 15th, 16th and 17th to be exact. The 15th is actually my birthday, but I’m probably going to be having a party on the 14th. For those three days (or two, depending on my schedual) me and none other than TheAllGamer will be putting on not one, but TWO live web-casts of us watching all the fun stuff at E3 on the G4 channel… LIVE! I’ll have one on my blog, he’ll have another, and probably the one we’ll publisize more, on his blog and we will spend all two or three days recording our reactions to the biggest gaming news of the year!

It should be an entire 48 hours of huge geeks, spazing out and drinking way too much soda (and possibly beer. You never know with TheAllGamer).

More information coming within a couple of weeks! Pass the word around; surley we could sneak some actual footage of the show in our web-pod-cast-y things too.

Plans may change between now and June, but the above is the tentative plan!

UPDATE: Clark Bunch, over at My Other Blog, being the funny man he is, has decided to have a webcast of him watching us webcast the E3 event. Sounds incredibly boring, right? That’s just the kind of fun he likes! Sitting and watching someone watch something!

He think’s he’s clever. Ha. I’ve got something else up my sleeve.

There comes a point in a gamers life where they manages to get all the games that they wants to play, all at one time; I believe it’s called “Gamers Bliss”. I’ve managed to get about 5/6th of all the games that I actually want to play at this time. Should be heaven, right? It should be the best time in the world for a gamer to be a gamer, correct?

Wrong.

Let me list you my games that I’ve currently started but not finished:

  1. Fallout 3 (finishing a metric ton of side quests)
  2. Borderlands
  3. Bioshock
  4. Metal Gear Solid 4 (replaying)
  5. Assassins Creed 2
  6. Odin Sphere
  7. Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction
  8. Final Fantasy XIII
  9. LittleBigPlanet
  10. Valkyria Chronicles
  11. Resistance: Fall of Man
  12. Pokemon: Heart Gold
  13. Battlefield Bad Company 2 (multiplayer)
  14. Left4Dead 2

Those are just the ones that I can name off the top of my head. So, what’s the problem here?

I can’t bloody decide what to play.

I sit and look at my game collection for hours without a decision on what to play and end up on Facebook for those hours. When I finally sit down to start a game, I play it for about half an hour before having the urge to switch games. This is NOT a good way to play games.

Luckily, I’ve been very into Metal Gear Solid 4, so I’ve gotten myself to play that for hours instead of minutes. But I should NEVER have a problem deciding what to play; it just seems weird.

My solution is to make a schedule and stick to it. I’ve gotten something written up for this summer, which includes a few replays of some games that I’ve been wanting to experience again. I am going to try my hardest to stick to it so I don’t end up playing about two games by the end of the summer; I want to have the list completed by then.

Happy gaming!

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