Thursday, May 19, 2011

EPISODE 51: "Putting The Cart Before The Cloud"

UPDATE: as of 9/13/11 this video is now at THIS LINK

Behold our magnificient new opening-credits... with their retro-tastic temporary "theme music" courtest the mighty Mega Man 2!


A.) YES - I'm aware that you can see me checking the monologue on the laptop. Working on that.

B.) NO, that's not The AntiThinker in a red hoddie, I wouldn't do that ;)


Nick said...

The opening credits are fun, but they're way too long. And Screwattack's video player sucks, so I can't even skip them efficiently.

Matthew said...

Very interesting and insightful. I like the idea.

Btw, we will never arrive at the cloud unless we break up the telecom trust in America.

Jacob said...

First Comment Ever. So I liked this episode and I don't mind seeing a new storyline (have fun with it). But the reading a script off the computer screen during the on screen sequences was way too obvious. Otherwise liked it and hoping to see more Antithinker. Yes.

a said...

I have two responses to the new video and am contented to know that I and the good ol' G.O work the same topics, helps me to know I've got my finger on the pulse.

Ian said...

I like this idea a lot, flash memory carts have been used in the portable market since the GBA so it isn't that strange of an idea. The only issue however, is that flash memory is considerably more expensive per gigabyte than discs are, though this may change in the near future. Right now the idea may still be too similar the N64 sticking with cartridges.

imsmart said...

Pretty idealistic stuff. My own feeling is this. Theoretically there could be a circumstance where gaming is being held back by insufficient interest in computing innovation, but in reality the opposite excess is by far the more realistic scenario. The very existence (to say nothing of reverence) of the term "killer app" makes it clear how routinely the gaming industry puts the cart before the horse in this regard.

MajorRed53 said...

Good stuff with both the content and the format. I like how the meat of the video was overthinking with the storyline conservatively peppered in there to bring some continuity to the show from episode to episode. Keep up with this format.

Darren Esh said...

Actually when you think of it, the DS is movement in that direction, cause how else can you describe the game cartridges that look like a SD cards? But strange enough, I had the same idea on the when I was uploading some music onto a thumb drive. My guess is that its not at the process of data storage yet, and probably some business deal with the people who came up with CD writing. Also think of what you can have with the technology today and the size of cartridges of yesterday? I bet you could store any game in that with few load times. Anyways, loved the show, sorry for rambling.

Eshwin said...

Also, think how cool the usbs could be shaped. "Special edition Assassin's Creed 3 comes in the shape of a hidden blade jabbed into your system". Or a batarang for the new Batman game, a USB shaped like the characters themselves, like little toys. Games are toys. They should look like toys again.

Furore said...

Always nice to see you, Mr Thinker - or may I call you Game Over?

I have to say that while your new intro is good, it IS way too long. Eighty seconds, really?

A quick check of some of the best and most popular internet reviewer types...
Most come in at either zero seconds (eg NCritic, NChick, Plinkett) or around thirty to forty seconds (eg Confused Matthew, sfdebris, ZP, Extra Puncutation).
Not everyone is privileged to have a custom kick-ass professional-level song written for them (eg AT4W, Spoony).

I know this is your first take. This is just one fan's opinion, obviously, but I think the shorter you can shave your intro, possibly ditching the VO at the start, the better people will like it.

Okay, done whining! Thanks for being one of the most awesome guys around.

Steven said...

Er I don't know if it was intentional or not but the first bit sounds like the opening of Urotsukidoji a really disgusting anime.

Steven said...

Won't ever happen i'm afraid because it costs's around $1 to press a bluray (yep there margins are very good) while just a single flash chip costs between $1-2 so while for users going SD card would be an advantage the companies aren't going to sacrifice there margins for us.

AniMerrill said...

I think honestly your idea is pretty solid since the possibility of "the cloud" is something really hard to project in terms of when it will show up. That question, in and of itself, could probably stamp out the possibility of a second cartridge epoch, mostly for marketing/financial reasons.

If the cloud wasn't going to be implemented for another, say, two or three generations of gaming, I think companies would be wise to go with this idea. But since the big three (and possibly a returning Sega) are probably in the process of developing their next entry into the console market, making this change and convincing everyone it's worthwhile may be beyond possible. The impending possibility of "wasting" capital on a second cartridge system only to have the competitor stumble upon a use for the cloud in that generation (N64 vs PS1, again... but bigger) could theoretically destroy that company in market share depending on how well the transition goes.

Phantos said...

That intro is 1:20 too long, Bob. It also doesn't help that the clips featured in it are from the two worst episodes in this series.

(As a compromise, I'd consider chopping out the opening narration, which comes off a little self-centred, and just get right to the Mega Man 2 intro theme.)

And while I know you need to read your stuff before you say it, the breaking of eye-contact with your audience(for extended periods of time) was really distracting. But I don't know how you could fix that, since I doubt you have a teleprompter on hand. Have you considered rehearsing individual paragraphs before recording?

That said, as naive as it might sound, I really, really like that idea of yours! I've never been happy with the Cloud-save idea, because internet connections are not a reliable thing(as you pointed out by referencing the PSN outage). A cartridge(or flash card) has to be physically damaged to cease functioning, and a broken cartridge on my end wouldn't shut down every copy of every other cartridge that everyone else on Earth owns.

At the very least, I think it's a smart temporary solution until whatever comes next. Unfortunately, if it's one thing this industry is good at, it's wasting good opportunities due to greed and incompetence.

Popcorn Dave said...

Yeah, I agree with the others, I hope you can make a shortened version of the intro for future episodes. I don't think an intro for this kind of video should ever be longer than 30-40 seconds. Remember, a new user might want to watch to or three episodes in a row and it gets annoying having to sit through the intro every single time.

As for the monitor reading thing, have you tried putting it next to the camera like a teleprompter? You can probably even get a free teleprompter program online somewhere, to make big text that scrolls up the screen and so on.

Anyway, yeah, I like the idea. I don't know enough about the technology to make it work, but it's obvious that flash data storage is getting cheaper every day and it's becoming a lot more viable to make games like this. I like Eshwin's idea of having different designs for each game, could be pretty cool (although probably too expensive). Maybe the Wii2 will try it, who knows?

As for the Cloud, personally the PSN fiasco has put me right off the idea. I mean, that stuff is still happening in this day and age, and we're really supposed to want to become MORE dependent on online services for everything we do? Fuck that shit.

Yordan said...

Ok, I have several thing to say...

1) Using Flash Drives is not the optimal solution, mostly because the transfer speed of USB devices is painfully slow, especially if you use it in real time. If we want cartridge system we can't just slap something in an usb port and call it good (not to mention the issues with corrupted data).

2) Disks are cheap. Let's face it - publishers are greedy, a single carthrage would probably cost the same as 5-6 CDs, why not use the CDs and save money?

3) I agree with you for the most part, but as I stated earlier it would be more beneficial for publishers to use CDs - they are looking after their interest, not ours. Thus, while I would like the use of portable hard disks to become common it probably won't.

4) You can access a Flash Drive from your PC, in fact you can burn anything on an empty flash drive - easier to pirate, not good for publishers.


5) PC elitism is somewhat new, yes there is the PC(Windows)/Mac/Linux old debate, but PC as a gaming platform is new.

D Money said...

First off Bob, I'm a fucking HUGE fan. Was introduced to your work on the Heavens to Metroid Episode, went back and watched all the Game Overthinker Episodes and now I watch TGO, Big Picture and Escape to the Movies religiously. This is just the first topic I have felt passionate enough to finally voice my thoughts.

I don't know if you frequent GameFAQs but about a year ago I brought up this exact kind of topic on their PS3 Message Board. Basically, I wondered if we would reach a point, I personally think by the middle of this decade(2015-2016), in manufacturing where the cost of Flash and other solid state media would be low enough that the price difference between those and discs would be insignificant enough that manufacturers just might consider using it over discs.

And y'know what happened? I was almost universally shot down saying that even if theoretically pressing a disc cost $.01 and flash cost $.05, the manufacturers would STILL choose the disc. The other part of being shot down was supposedly the price of Solid state media wasn't dropping fast enough to be relevant anyways, or "why not use the theoretical holographic versatile discs that can hold TERRABYTES of information?"

I don't see how can people think this. First, why won't solid state media become relatively cheap? EVERY other form of media has dropped drastically in price as time goes on. And second, barely any games utilize 25 gigs of space, let alone 50, or 100, so why the fuck would needed terrabytes of space for one game be necessary?

It just seems like a missed opportunity to not use some form of Solid State media for games in the coming years. Why? For being universal. What happened to Display connections? We got the universal HDMI. We also got USB and SD into EVERYTHING, as you said. The DSi's have the slots, and so does the 3DS. Early PS3's have a bunch of flash readers.

The last thing I don't understand why we don't move forward with it is durability. I've had old CD players optical drives stop moving. My PS3's Blu-ray drive is current busted for some unexplainex reason. My wii sounds like a space ship taking off as it reads Brawl, GoldenEye and and Tales of Symphonia. And my 360 some how had a nasty habit of leaving a HUGE groove in my discs. Wouldn't reducing moving parts in consoles keep the machines running cooler and increase durability therefore help solve fiascos like the RRoD or PS3's Yellow Light, or Blinking red lights of death problem.

Greed seems like the cause for barely changing, and I'm getting sick of it.

Tom said...

If I understand correctly, you have two problems with the current method of storing game data on a disc:

1) You can't use them to carry your saved data around.

2) Long loading times.

As far as 1) goes: I do not see why this is such a bad thing. Why would we actually need to keep our saved progress on disk instead of just keeping on our console's local storage. Save files are usually merely consist of a few kilobytes, which is nothing compared to the amount needed to store things as games downloaded through XBLA, PSN or WiiWare. Furthermore, it is already easily possible to copy your data to an SD-card or USB medium if you want to carry it to a different device.

Considering 2): I have the idea loading times are mostly a PS3 issues. I've never encountered long loading times in Wii games and on the XBox 360 they are relatively rare. This is because DVD's are usually fast enough, RAM has greatly expanded and most programmers know how to implement good resource management. Blu-ray, on the other hand, is just really, really, slow. Currently this problem is being fixed by a lot of PS3 games needing to be installed, but this issue could also simply be fixed by allowing games to be published on DVD's as well, since the PS3 is perfectly capable of reading those and the extra storage space is rarely needed.

Flash-drive based storage can be implemented in two ways: by using your own custom hardware, which is expensive to produce, or by using an existing standard like USB. In the latter case you would still need some method of uniquely identifying your device to prevent copying and everything should be assymetrically encrypted (basically resulting in everyone being able to read the data but nobody being able to modify it without a secret private key) so pirated games can't be run.

Because a decryption algorithm needs to be contantly used on everything that is being read from the device speed is greatly reduced and your device may end up even slower than a DVD.

And last but not least: you are giving hackers a much easier job by providing a device that can be plugged and overwritten on anyone's PC. I doubt developpers would want that.

So yeah, I think this practically would be a really bad idea, as I disagree the advantages are really necessary and the disadvantages are too great. Sorry for the wall of text.

Joe Larson said...

Go-go adsense, putting up ads for cloud based services, aren't you cute.

Joe said...

I totally agree with you about needing a middle tier of games. I think the Extra Credits guys also touched on it when they recommended a "marriage" between indie studios and mainstream publishers--isn't the first Portal basically a successful proof of concept? But yeah, free from the nervous constraints of having to make back huge AAA budgets, we could resurrect once-popular and niche genres like tactical RPGs, space combat sims, top-down shooters, Metroidvanias, and the like that focus more on gameplay or story than audio-visuals.

I don't think the cartridge/flash memory idea is realistic though. Other commenters have already noted the security issues and cost. Magnetic storage is cheap--I'm pretty certain the HDD is the least expensive component of today's consoles (I recently increased the storage capacity of my PS3 by 600% for a mere $80). And history shows that the more convenient method of content distribution, regardless of quality, almost always wins.

Enjoyed the Antithinker stuff, but glad to see you return to form!

Pavel said...

I'm sorry but your argument is unrealistic and it reeks of nostalgia.

While I agree on three tiers of pricing, cartridge based gaming would make the top tier > $60 due to cost. Digital distribution ala Steam is a much more realistic non disc based solution. DD also solves your loading problem.

The save issue would simply be solved by your saves not being locked to a profile for easy transferring. Instead some kind of profile check should be implemented to prevent achievement/trophy boosting which is why they are profile locked.

Mavrickindigo said...

"Well I guess, I can give you one last chance, after all, you come up with some pretty cool stuff to think about-"

"Our world rests on the boundary-" *close*

So long, Bob, I hope you enjoy losing fans. I'm going to the Extra Credits house where the funny animated man and his friends are promising me good reviews while I look across the street to see the charred remains of the Overthinker house.

Twinmill said...

A few things:
One: Steam Cloud

and yes, CDs suck. They're fragile, heavily limited, and, again, fragile. Hard drives suck too. Technical trends are pointing to Solid State drives, and most PC gamers are using SSDs for their operating systems. Still, in this day and age, you can get a 1tb 7200 disk drive for the same price as a 100gb SSD.

With that being said, SSDs ARE coming, but not for at least a couple years. Simply put, flash memory is expensive.

You bet I'm switching over to SSD when it becomes economical, because they're damn near indestructible. I skimmed a few comments, and really people, you can't blame him for nostalgia here.

Realistically, no, you will not see this in 2011, but Solid State Storage is superior in every way to disk storage. Eventually -and I do mean eventually- game companies will start making the switch, but right now, the cloud does exist, it's just not instant and sometimes has issues.

Twinmill said...

Scratch that, price check says SSDs still cost twice as much as I thought they did >.>

Joseph said...

Posted here because I'm retarded and can't find an "fan" email address for you.

Hey Overthinker!
What do you think of this:

Tkscz said...

I actually think the cloud is a very bad idea. Having all your files in one server where if one hacker felt the need to or if one dumbass makes a mistake, could be the loss of all your data. Plus, there are still more people without than with internet around the world, so it would literally lock them out of the media world and leave a huge percentage of people out of a profit that is made from proprietary media.

As for a cartridge like or based medium, SD cards anyone? I mean, you mentioned them, but payed more attention to flash drives. SD cards, in the most basic sense, are cartridges. The way the store and use data are nearly the same and hell the DS series' cards, are really just Nintendo made SD cards, in turn, making them carts no different than any other gameboy cart. The 3DS cards so far can store up to 2 gigs of memory, and even that can be expanded to say 4 or 8 gigs, which is the size of you average game. So there is a thought (one I've been thinking sense I was told that the 3DS cards can store that much data).

Kyle said...

I really like the idea. I really love your show.

J.C. Hedges said...

I'm going to be blown away if this is the format Nintendo decides to go with for their next console.

Great episode, can't wait to see where the storyline goes.

Steven said...

D Money

Here is a link to flash prices

Also the largest single flash chip is currently 8GB and costs over $7 alone without circuit board, interface and case but even then USB drives and SD cards use multiple chips at once.

As I'm from the UK i'll give my prices 2GB SD or USB is £4 a Bluray is £2.50 currently and all 3mediums will get cheaper.


Disc's don't suck I have discs noover 20 years old problem free yet no flash drive/card has lasted more than 4 years before data has corrupted.

For long term storage i.e $60 games disc's win.

Smashmatt202 said...

The new intro was... okay. One of these days, try holding a contest for a new, original opening tune. That'll be fun, and it'll help reward your loyalist and more creative fans.

Is the name supposed to be a pun on something? "Putting the Cart Before the Cloud"... I guess it'll make sense once I watch it.

You know, you did a good job catching up on news WHILE you were in Wario's Woods, since you somehow had Internet connection back there, and commented on Bulletstorm and the Dead Space 2 ad campaign, but let's leave that little detour behind us...

Also, your desk is messy. Not that mine's any better. You like Peeps? Yeesh...

...Oh, I get it, you're making up lame news reports to be funny, ha ha ha ha ha-oh wait, that WASN'T funny. Seriously, Bob, you get an A for effort, but you're just not a comedian.

Wait, the inventor of game cartridges died?! May 9th... Why did no one else comment on that?! Or maybe they had and I just wasn't looking... How do you spell his name?

Oh, so THAT'S what the Channel F thing was about... Neat! :D

So, I'm still a little confused about where Bob stands on Metroid: Other M. He says he thinks what's in the game was worth the full price he paid for it, and I might be paraphrasing, but he basically said that anyone who didn't like Samus's portrayal in the game and said it was sexist was sexist himself. Then later he said he only made it to "shut up the trolls". What trolls? You mean EVERYONE WHO PLAYED THE GAME!? Seriously, he's one of the handful of people who DIDN'T openly hate or was severely disappointed with the game, so maybe he could have been more specific?

Wait, the cloud? Everything is online? How does that work? Sounds complicated...

God DAMN to I miss cartridges... I don't know what it is about them, but I just love them... Maybe too much... ANYWAY, I spy another issue where people are going to say Bob's wrong, missing the point, or otherwise disagree with what he has to say. Since my only other source of reliable insight to video games is Extra Credits, I'm left holding on to Bob's every word.

You should do an episode about pricing of video games, both now and then. Back then, games were hard because it took longer to beat that way, and thus it made you feel like you got your money's worth. Nowadays, they're still around the same price, but have a lot more content to them, and the games of yester-year are being sold at $5-10 via the Wii Shop Channel, Xbox Live Arcade, and... Whatever the PS3 has...

Seriously, I'm loving Bob's explanations for his thoughts, it's why I watch his show! Even if I don't get it the first time through, and I have to re-watch it to get it. In fact, I'd say that's a good thing! Stuff like this is MAKING me want to watch the Game Overthinker more! See, that's all you need to do!

Oh wait... Oh goody, more storyline stuff. That's fine, I guess, he didn't really explain who the guy with the monster voice was, so we might as well get some hints at that so we can eventually get it over with.

The explosion effect at the Gamez-a-rama place was terrible, but whatever. Another tease at another storyline... You know what, I'm fucking sick and tired of complaining. Bob, just do whatever the fuck you want. I'll bitch and nitpick only because I'd like to see you do BETTER at it. Stuff like this must take a lot of work, but it doesn't come off that way at all, it just looks BEYOND cheap and crappy. I'd say use some of your Escape to the Movies or The Big Picture money to invest in better equipment for making this stuff... You know, AFTER you've bought yourself food and cloths, paid all your bills and taxes, and all that other important stuff.

Anyway, nice episode. I'd say I'd look forward to more, but I'm not really sure, given the direction of how you intend to take your show.

ogre_of_magic said...

Game store exploding? Is the revolution coming?

WebDevHobo said...

Nice to see you going at it again.

One thing of notice: don't show yourself reading the text from your computer. Makes a bad impression. If you're gonna look at the audience while talking, then look at them, uninterrupted, the entire time.

Or don't do it at all.

Not trying to bash you here, just saying: it looks bad. No matter who does it. Those bigwig CEO's in their suits doing it on stage: looks bad too.

Also, 90 second intro... bit long.

Connell said...

You'll be interested to know that the NGP (PSP 2) is infact going to use cartridges as you suggested. Probably more due to save battery life by removing a spinning media, but still, it is an interesting start.

I personally hope that Cafe goes back to cart. Screw bluray, it is too goddam slow.

SatansBestBuddy said...

Dear MovieBob:

You are a movie reviewer.

You should know that you don't need to tell the audience what they're seeing.

Your stinger would work if you just cut out the words telling us what to think and let us form our own ideas.

You are a movie reviewer, you should know how to make a concept interesting simply by virtue of having a wide range of movies that do similar things that you can copy. (and there is offically no shame in copying movies when A) you have no budget and B) you know more than enough obscure as hell ones to take crib notes from)

In short, your stinger sucks and your stories suck because you're not learning the lessons movies have been teaching you for however long you've been watching them.

gabycms said...

PC gamers already have the cloud, consoles suck.

Leo Liu said...

Good idea! USB can store even more stuff than BlueRay

£«» said...

Hey Bob, I liked the episode a lot and I agree with the concept. But you reading off the script from your PC really was low quality.. I'd have much rather you just put some pictures up and do a voice over like you did for part of the show. And the audio is cleaner that way as well..

Twinmill said...

@Steven and all else who care to read:

Disks suck.

I'll be courteous enough to not just leave it at that one liner and explain:

You have to be extra careful with disk storage in general, both outside of use, and while in use. Theoretically, sure, they can, and especially hard disks, last a long time since the magnetic fields in them are incredibly strong, and it would take alot to corrupt the data, and therefore, they would decay less, but flash memory has a few things disk storage doesn't have (or rather disk storage has one thing flash memory doesn't have): moving parts.

Even without the device plugged in and running, I doubt you'd treat a hard drive as anything less than a very expensive piece of glass. I doubt you'd just leave a CD laying in contact with a surface when you're done with it. I sincerely hope you don't keep exposed UMD drives in your pocket. And I'd hope you are good at not bumping the device (PC, Xbox, anything) while it's reading the disk. I don't care how good of technology you have, at 5600 RPM (up to 10,000), if that disk touches anything while spinning, it's gone.

With flash memory, you have to worry about none of that. You could argue decay, but I'm pretty sure hard disks had really bad issues in their first years too. If you're talking about modern flash drives, you probably got some really cheap ones, which, yes, does matter, since flash memory isn't cheap.

Jordan said...

Hey MovieBob, no idea if you're going to read this but, i found some of the things you said this episode incredibly redundant. Mainly, one of your key reasons for having cartridge based media was for the easy transfer of a save file to a mates house. Why do I need a cartridge for this? I can carry over all my save data on an SD card with my Wii, or USB with the PS3 and 360 so why do I need this cartridge, that and the fact Discs are cheaper, the whole Discs and one cartridge for transferring my save data is just a logical choice. As a whole Cartridges have been replaced for a reason. As for keeping cartridges on the DS, this annoys me to an extent, if I borrow a game from a mate, his brothers may have filled all the save files, if i were using a hardrive or separate memory base I would have no such issue, and, coming from personal experience, I lost over 400 hours of gameplay on Pokemon diamond when I lost my game, I know have a new copy of the game but I don;t have all my effort back, having the data stored to the system would have saved me all the grief. Please contact with a response if you have one. Thank you for reading.

noxdescious said...

I agree on these statements. and no comment on the story stuff as per usual as i don't care what you do as long as i'm enlightened or entertained. but this idea of a cloud might end up screwing things up completely. me being a paranoid techy sometimes does make me think of risks that go with each new idea.

as a P.C gamer though. i would love to see things like steam come around. being able to purchase and download a guaranteed virus free game for cheaper than in the stores is a much more efficient. but this of course brings problems in it of itself. i will say though that i would love myself to see the cartridge make a return even if it's only for a while.

P.S: Your video about other m......... did you do it just to make a flame war?

smile said...

So basically Mr. Bob, you're saying gaming consoles should just emulate what the Nintendo DS, the best gaming device of this generation, is doing right now.

I can get on board with this initiative.

servsfg said...

Encryption on usb isn't good enough at lest i don't think it is.If it can be made i wold create a ATM model in witch you take your credit card or money insert your usb download your game take it back home and download it to your console,computer hardrives are the cheapest way of storage no mather wat they say the cloud will cost a fortune in server farm money.

Tegan Dumpleton said...

Sounds good. There would still be disadvantages, like corrupted files. But CDs have just as many disadvantages. Smaller cartridges would be easier to handle then CDs. And almost anything to bring down the price point of video games today would be welcomed.

I honestly hope we never get to Cloud. At least not without an alternative. Having everything online and ONLY online has far to many hazards.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one here who has a problem with the "cloud" idea. I like having a physical copy that I can remove from the machine (and thus from harm). Blistered Thumbs reviewer RinryGameGame also recently showed how tough those old cartridges really are, and would be harder to break to the point of unusablity (not an acutal word) than the current disks.

imsmart said...

Although admittedly I knew nothing of the Cloud until just now when I checked Wikipedia, I see no obstacle to it. At any moment, either Steam or the App Store could strike a deal with a high-profile game developer, turn loading times into downloading times, and the rest writes itself.

Aiddon said...

I say imitating the DS and 3DS' card style would be for the best. Discs are quickly becoming obsolete especially since flash drives and SD cards are far better with loading times and aren't quite as fragile.

Anonymous said...

i have always wanted to know what you think about the pc. Please do a video about pc gamers you will get many views!

Andreas said...

Intro too long, foreshadowing of storyline...PLEASE don't! The overthinking was great, had the same idea some years ago, nice to see I'm not the only one. But if you have to read the script, try not to show yourself at it. Maybe show you at every second sentence so you can switch back and forth between reading and talking and the cuts can be masked.

Matoushin said...

Long intro is looooong.

I don't think that the development of a new cartridge revolution would actually make consoles cheaper.

1. Any consoles currently in development which had not already planned for this would incur significant additional R&D costs and potential delays for its implementation.
2. Any R&D costs are passed on to the consumer in the price of the console.
3. You won't actually get rid of hard drives on consoles because they're required for early stages of the cloud to function. It would be like taking the wheels off a stage coach in preparation for the obsolescence of horses.

Jordan said...

Your actual topics continue to be pretty informative and interesting, I'm not entirely sure a storyline is necessary here. It's not something a guy does solely because he -can- (TGWTG take note too). The Antithinker seemed to jar me out of paying attention to the topic, it wrecked the pacing, and to me it was like a large, infected zit on the otherwise handsome face that is GO.

Phobos said...

Please give it a rest with the PC elitist thing. You keep coming off like an idiot, rather than displaying your normal shrewd analytical skills.

Your comments in this episode were a case in point. How could PC elitist have been born when cartridges came along, as the PC as a 'respectable' (or something that could be elitist about) gaming platform was at least 10 years away when cartridges were first being used for games. Even home computer games were still a few years away from becoming meaningfull gaming devices. Anyone who wanted to play games at home at the beginning of the 80 had to do so using a cartridge based console. Even if, like yours truly, they moved to home computer games and then became supposed 'PC elitists' later on.

Really, don't go there, discussing PC gaming is the over-thinkers kryptonite. Otherwise as normal a great episode and argument to bring back the cartridge.

Adam said...

I've been watching since episode 1, and as always, love the content. However, it seems that with this episode, GO appears completely cheap and unprofessional. The intro is rather meh and entirely too long, and it's super obvious and off-putting when you read the script right off the screen. You can do better, Bob, I know it!!

KIL03 said...

Please Bob, for your views (like me) DROP the Alternate-Reality story!

I didn't watch any episodes of your Warios Woods stuff, and I will just roll my eyes at any new half-ass story you try and force into your intellectual soapboxing.

Make a new series that's less frequently updated if you want to direct, don't water down tGO for that. PLEASE!

Clifford said...

Pfui. Tacky opening. Lousy chip tune song + crappy scenes from that shitty story arc x 59 seconds? Far too long and too obnoxious. Knock it down to 4/5ths of its length and then I'll be happy.

Shame because the content was excellent, and though I think the premise of re-instituting the cartridge industry would be unfeasible, regressive and too costly for businesses, I like the tribute to such an unsung hero in gaming development.

Ian said...

Well you could spend a bunch of money on a teleprompter, or, make your own...

Behold the power of some wood, a laptop, towel and a piece of glass!

luis omar said...

holy crap!!!!!! i just left a comment in kotaku about how would it be cool, if they made sort of a cartridge /cd hybrid, but mostly thinking about sd cards and such, and just now i found this..., wouldnt it be cool if nintendo gave us that on the E3, that the new nintendo will be cartridge!!!!

David said...

So now every time I watch an episode I have to be reminded of the antithinker... hmmm...

David said...

Great episode, by the way :D Do make the intro a bit shorter though.

buzzkillinton said...

the Game shop in my area has started selling XBLA games over the counter on Pen drives so u arent the first to come up with this idea the only problem is with DLC being the big thing you run into some problems. for one piracy. its not something that you even need to go deep into before you start to see the cracks in your idea. Putting the game on a flash drive is like doing half the work for the piratier.

Scott said...

Could the same argument be made about movies, Bob? This popped up on YouTube this morning, wondering if you agree:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see other people have pointed out some of the problems with your idea. It's something I've thought about myself before, so I can see the advantages, but the disadvantages are there as well. The one that will probably matter most is that for now it's way more expensive. Maybe that will change.

I personally have no interest in having my save data on the game cartridge itself, but it's a bit of a preference thing. I have had problems with Nintendo's implementation of this setup because they give very few save files, and they also won't let me copy my save data from the cartridge, but if those problems are solved, I think it comes down to preference. There are notable advantages and disadvantages to both for the player and the manufacturer. Since I prefer keeping the save data seperate, one advantage I'll mention is that if I lose a game with save data on it, I also lose my save data. A memory card left inside the console or a hard drive is harder to lose, and I have lost a game before. I also didn't like that game though, so I think it's mostly preference.

Since Bob loves the cloud so much, so I would like to point out that from what I've seen, the cloud is considered a bit of a joke to techy people. It's not that the cloud is a bad idea, but it's a fad, and people seem over eager to switch over to the cloud without considering the disadvantages. It's also funny because people seem to find it revolutionary, but in the past computers were expensive, so weak terminals were used to connect to a powerful mainframe, and that's basically what the cloud would be. Online storage has been around for a while too.

Some of the disadvantages: An internet connection is needed, and while the internet is big, it's not everywhere all the time yet. Whoever is handling the data needs to be trusted not to lose it, not to be hacked, to keep it private if it's sensitive. If their servers go down or they turn evil, you could lose everything.

There are advantages to the cloud, and I am not listing them because I think they're clear already. I guess the point is that we're not going to, or if we are, we shouldn't be using the cloud exclusively. Some things are done on the cloud, some things are done locally, and it depends on the circumstances.

I'm personally interested in going further in both directions. There some things on the internet that I've been too lazy to make local copies of, and some things that I would like to get online for the convenience.

Angry Man said...

This is actually a brilliant idea -- perhaps too brilliant for the game publishers and console manufacturers to actually use. It's much too practical and sensible, but I think the main hurdle is that the production costs would probably be much higher than that of pressing out DVD's. They could, of course, pass that on to the consumer, as you indicated, but it just seems like a much too progressive and "risky" an idea for the powers that be to accept.

Darth said...

I have been saying for YEARS now we should be using flash drives (usb, etc) instead of optical media for entertainment purposes. It just makes much more sense.

The whole reason why companies persist with optical media is purely for financial reasons. That is it.


How cool would it be to, instead of buying music on a cd from a store, you could walk into a store, browse for the song(s) you wanted, buy them as an mp3 (no drm or other crap), and put it on your usb drive?

When you buy a movie instead of buying a DVD and having those large DVD cases cluttering up anything - it could simply come on a usb drive.

I mean ...there are so many uses that it just makes sense. Yet - companies insist on sticking with optical media.


counterpoint said...

wait.... bacardi.... and peeps?

i know you're wanting to show your face a lot more in these videos, but if you do, it is absolutely essential that you memorize your lines. the notes-glancing is extremely distracting, and it takes away the whole point of showing you (presumably to be more "personal), and you'd be better off merely with slides. so, yeah, practice in front of a mirror, or use it less often so you can memorize reasonable chunks at a time.

counterpoint said...

oh, and a good idea, i think.

ke7eha said...

Interesting idea, and I think I may have a way that you can pitch it to the business.

From a technical perspective, I would not use either USB-2.0 or SD/MMC, as they are much too slow for the main transfer pipe and you would see no benefit over traditional media. SATA-2 or SATA-3 at 3.0Gbps or 6.0Gbps respectively or perhaps USB-3.0 would make more of a case for a reduction in load times. Using Flash memory would make your seek time almost nonexistent, plus you would be able to block out a portion for user data.

so, as I envision it, you could have a transfer pipe of SATA-3 with a control pipe with USB-3.0. Using flash and getting a good SSD controller, you'll be able to get vastly reduced loading times. Plus, you can market the portability of savegames and user preferences.

However, executives aren't going to go for this because of benefits for the user. They want the bottom line, and the bottom line is that discs are really, really cheap. Where you get them on board is in loss prevention.

You see, we have wonderful PKI systems set up (e.g. the DoD CAC) that can be leveraged to prevent losses due to piracy while not impacting the homebrew game market. You see, you can add a small crypto chip to the cartridge that you wouldn't be able to add to a disc. This chip would have a non-alterable cartridge specific ID, plus a public key/private key pair and all of the ancillary crypto to drive the PKI system, similar to the CAC. Also similar to the CAC, the user wouldn't be able to access the data stored on this chip. Rather, they would only be able to access certain features of the chip. You can then use a digital signature, computed on the crypto chip and using a public key that you as the publisher hold, to verify the game is complete and authorized before you unlock the game for loading to the console. If the keys and the ID don't match, you simply won't unlock the game data. You can encrypt it on the flash to make sure that someone just doens't read it off in a raw format and strip out the crypto.

The beauty of PKI is that people can load the public keys from different publishers onto their systems independent of the manufacturer of the console. You'd allow homebrew games to be played via the console without modification of the console, which would remove the motivation of a portion of the console modding crowd. As for pirates, you simply make their job much more difficult by putting crypto and DRM in place via PKI. Another selling point of this is that once the public keys are downloaded to your system, you don't necessarily have to be connected to the internet to use the software. Thus, a PSN blackout wouldn't brick everyone's console like it would for a cloud based service, or for that matter a good number of DRM via internet connection games that they offer today.

Martin Marshmellow said...

uhhm I don't know you guys, but here in my country where all our consoles are modded and costumized by their own users we can have 80 Wii games on an external hard drive and 10 to 20 games on a PS3. You might not have physical container to sell but we are way over the whole "discs sucks ass" thing

Martin Marshmellow said...

Also I love you Bob but you should try saying your lines without reading them, it looks unnatural :P

tiendas eroticas said...

It won't truly have effect, I suppose so.