Father’s Day Western Digital Guide for Gamers

If I have done one thing right as a father, it is introducing my kids to the “retro” gaming world. Or as I like to call it, the games I played as a kid. Every time we pull out the old NES or SNES because the kids saw something cool on YouTube, the kids make fun of me and complain about not having any save function on the games to keep their progress.

The world of gaming sure has changed, and today we find ourselves with more and more need for storage. Whether it be cloud or local the shear size of gaming today is sometimes scary.

Don’t worry though, the folks at WD have been kind enough, over the years, to continue to develop some of the best storage hardware on the planet. They are now even making console specific products. Below is a list of the best gaming options that WD has to offer.

I personally run a WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD, and have never experienced a problem and the load time vs the on board HD in my console is ridiculously fast!


Coming in at $154.99 USD for 500Gb, this is a bullet proof option for the gaming enthusiast. Click on the image to check out the technical specs.


As I mentioned before, WD is now heading into console specific territory with a Nintendo licensed drive. Available in three sizes, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.

These Nintendo licensed SD cards are not only backed by the WD quality, they look sweet too and you won’t have to spend any of those gold coins we all covet with the $54.99 USD top end for the 256GB card.


Now for the cream of the crop!

If you are a hardcore gamer, this drive is for you, hands down, no questions asked!

This NVMe drive is so fast that I don’t even have time for a bio break during loading screens anymore. This is a must have for anyone building a system for gaming. Best value on these bad boys comes in the 1TB size with a $134.99 USD price tag, and yes I had to check the price twice.

There are quite a few more options on the WD website that I encourage you to take a look at. Dad will love you for it!

Until next time….

 

All images courtesy of Western Digital Store

Beta Offer for the BLACKOUT Twitch Takeover

Hey all!

I got a great email today from Activision telling me about a Beta offer for the BLACKOUT Twitch Takeover happening tomorrow.

Coles notes version, if you watch Ninja, Shroud, Summit1G or Tim The Tatman’s twitch.tv stream for 1 hour you will get an early access PC beta code for Call of Duty: Black Ops IV – BLACKOUT.

Here are the full details!


The Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Blackout PC Beta kicks off on September 14th and gives PC players their first opportunity to try this new Battle Royale game mode.

An Early Access day on Blizzard Battle.net is available for players who pre-purchase Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for PC. You can join the action beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT on September 14*. The Blackout PC Open Beta, available to anyone with a Battle.net account, begins at 10:00 a.m. PT on September 15. Pre-load of the  Blackout beta will be available starting on Thursday, September 13. The Blackout beta ends at 10:00 a.m. PT on September 17.

On Friday September 14, Battle.net players who tune-in to NinjaShroudSummit1G or TimTheTatman’s twitch.tv stream for an hour between 10:00am PT and 2:00pm PT will get Early access to the PC beta direct to their account. Watch for at least one hour to be eligible, and make sure you link your Battle.net and Twitch.tv accounts beforehand. You can create a twitch.tv account for free.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available now for pre-purchase in the Blizzard Shop and offers three different digital SKUs. All three SKUs — Standard Edition, Digital Deluxe, and Digital Deluxe Enhanced — include Early Access to the Blackout PC Beta, come with digital bonus items, and include a cache of Call of Duty Points**.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s highly anticipated Blackout mode brings single, duo, and quad gameplay to Call of Duty. As a celebration of the Black Ops universe, players can choose to play as some of the franchise’s most beloved characters, and access new weapons and perks from Black Ops 4 plus classics from previous games. Blackout takes the intensity level of Battle Royale gameplay to another level by giving players access to vehicles such as ATVs, trucks, boats, and helicopters in the biggest map in Call of Duty history.

Blackout PC Beta Specs

Here are the minimum and recommended specs to play the Blackout PC Beta— keep in mind these specs are for the beta only:

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit or later
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD: 40GB HD space
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2 GB / GTX 1050 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • DirectX: Version 11.0 compatible video card or equivalent
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
  • RAM: 12GB RAM
  • HDD: 40GB HD space
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • DirectX: Version 11.0 compatible video card or equivalent
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Sign Up for Battle.net

New to Blizzard Battle.net? For instructions on signing up, setting up social features, and connecting with your friends, check out our handy Battle.net Guide.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for PC is coming exclusively to Blizzard Battle.net® on October 12, 2018.

*Blackout Beta starts September 15, 2018 on PC. Early Access starts September 14, 2018. Actual platform availability and launch date(s) of Blackout Beta subject to change. See www.callofduty.com/beta for more details. Limited time only, while beta codes last, at participating retailers. Internet connection required.

** Call of Duty Points (CP) will be accessible in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 once CP are made available in game.

Destiny 2: Forsaken – Review

Forsaken logo

Part 1 of who knows how many….


Once again Bungie has not disappointed me. When I first loaded in to the Forsaken I was blown away by the level of detail that had been put into the scene around me. I was quickly immersed into the Reef and once again I felt as if I was my Guardian. Now, I don’t know if it was just me or if they tweeked the interface with our Guardians a bit, but it felt…. amazing!

Once I got over what I was seeing and feeling, it was time to go kick some ass. I played through the story mission in about 4 hours, not bad for a campaign. On the way I got to experience some amazing new things. I am going to try and relay my experience without any spoilers!

I would also like to thank Activison for my copy of Destiny 2: Forsaken on PC.


Bow


The New Weapons System

One of the first blue engrams I got was a Sniper in my primary slot! Though not very practical, I ran double snipers for bit. It was fun and I can see challenges galore coming out of having this as an option. Then I remembered, as I was deleting a redundant weapon, random rolls! I quickly regretted not checking the stats on the shotgun that I just deleted, but C’est la vie.

Now the hunt is on. I am not going to pretend to know all of the perks and stats available for every gun, I have a guy with a spreadsheet for that (love you GreatDaemon), but I can tell you that I will be keeping my eye out for just the right roll on my primary Hand Cannon.

Then something amazing happened. I had almost forgotten that they added this to the game. I got my first bow! Lightning had just hit! I got chills, yes actual chills. At this point I knew that my son had also found his first bow as I heard him cry out in excitement. A smile crossed my face and I don’t know if it was because I found a bow first or that he had found such enjoyment over finding his.

I spent the better part of the story with that bow in my hands. I loved it. The only reason I stopped using it was the fact that, I need more power Jim! Of all the weapon types and all the weapons they have added to this game since D1, this is by far the best thing that they have done!

Oh ya, I almost forgot. They also added a section in your character for Collections. In which you can go and re-acquire any, non random roll, weapon. Thank you for clearing up my vault (if I ever get time to do so).

If I have a single complaint about the new weapons system, it would be that your once again need regional materials for infusion. I down right despise this, as I don’t have time to farm materials, I am hoping to find a spot to purchase materials somewhere in this giant world!



The New Director

Not that the Director itself is very interesting, however they did re-arrange things in there.

More to the point, they added things to do. There are now challenges for every day. In more than one spot. Every day when I log in there is another one of those glowing dots somewhere in the solar system. It’s likely going to start aggravating me that I am unable to always get rid of the dot, but that also means they have added enough content that as a hobby I should always have something to do. Let’s not forget that they brought back Bounties as well. Not only did they bring them back, they are EVERYWHERE! The only thing I am not crazy about is the expiration date on the Bounties, and that is only because I don’t often have enough time to finish them all in one day, first world problems!


Explodey dudes


You should by now have a feel for the fact this Destiny 2: Forsaken – Review has a positive theme. In the spirit of wanting to play the game I am going to cut this article off here, but watch for the next one as I experience more of the Forsaken.

One last thing…

Their claim in the weeks prior to the release of the Forsaken, was that they were going to make this game a hobby once again. To me that was a pretty bold statement. I had invested around 2,000 hours into D1 and barely broke 150 on D2. Until now it was missing something. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I think the team at Bungie did, thankfully. I find myself, even after only a week, wanting (needing) to get on and play. That’s a feeling I haven’t had in over a year.

Well done Bungie, Activision and Vicarious Visions. You have once again  piqued my interest in an Epic adventure, with an Epic story and even more Epic gear for me to use while doing so!

Psst… My guardian could have a few more voice lines!


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Osiris Returns Dec 5

The Destiny franchise is quickly approaching the status of Legend in the gaming world. Another step in that direction is the expansion Curse of Osiris for Destiny 2. Osiris returns on Dec 5, 2017 and it is unclear if he is friend or foe? In the trailer below you will see him fighting Vex, but in the story line from OG Destiny, Osiris is…. well… insane!



It appears that we are headed back to Mercury, in an attempt to stop the time travelling robots again!

If you were luck enough to make it to the Lighthouse in D1 you may have also discovered Osiris’ “lab”. In which was a non working portal and a various other items scattered around. I am curious to see if they work that into the new story line and even more curious to see if the developers have been listening to their audience as attentively as they did in D1.

Currently the player base is somewhat on the fence if they are going to continue to invest the amount of time into this franchise that they have in the past. Some of the “quality of life” upgrades they made for the “casual” player in D2 have taken away some of the allure for the semi-hard to hard-core players.

Weapon roles, armor roles and exotic hunting. All things that I myself got caught up in at times. Looking for that perfect role on the Palidrome or the right combination of stats to have a Tier 12 build in several armor sets! It is what kept some of us interested in the game long past it’s expiration date.

Don’t even get me started on the everyone gets a medal approach! It’s ruining our society and now a gaming community that I love! We need to fail in order to appreciate our success.

I digress….

I haven’t touched Destiny 2 since Iron Banner on PS4 and I have been working through the story line on PC since it’s launch. I still love the game and I hope that this expansion points us back in the right direction!

By the looks of the art for the Season pass expansion 2 is due to hit in the Spring of 2018. I am having a hard time discerning if the image is of a dead Ghost or of the Aegis… again… only Time will tell…

Samsung Galaxy S8(+)

In epic fashion Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 line.

I have been an avid Samsung Mobile user for about 4 years now. I started with the Galaxy Note 3 and then moved to the Note 4. I even managed to convince my whole office to convert from Blackberry to Samsung, it was more difficult than you could imagine.

We have had a great experience with the Samsung line, with the exception of the current state of my Note 4 in which I am having huge power consumption issues… I digress…

The rest of the office is successfully running on Note 3s, S6s and S7s. So you can imagine my excitement to see the new Galaxy 8 models being debuted today. I am hoping to get my hands on one soon to do a physical review. For now we will to go on what I know from the white papers.

  • Premium Camera: The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are equipped with an advanced 8MP F1.7 Smart autofocus front camera and 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera for the best low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos with enhanced image processing1.
  • Powerful Performance: Packing powerful performance and connectivity, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ feature the industry’s first 10 nm chip, enabling heightened speed and efficiency.
  • Robust Entertainment: As the world’s first mobile device certified by the UHD Alliance as MOBILE HDR PREMIUMTM, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ let you see much richer colors and more immersive experiences while watching your favorite shows. In addition, the devices offer next-level gaming experiences with vivid and superior graphic technology, as well as Game Pack, featuring top game titles, including select titles supported by the Vulkan API.
  • Mobile Security: Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are built on Samsung Knox, a defense-grade security platform2. In addition, the devices will offer a selection of biometric authentication, including a fingerprint scanner and iris scanner so users can select the method that works best for them.
  • IP68 water and dust resistant
  • MicroSD support up to 256GB
  • Always-on display
  • Fast and wireless charging capabilities

One of the things that caught my attention in the release event was the new Samsung Digital Assistant, Bixby. A seemingly intelligent program, that will learn your habits and routines and apparently bring the things you need to the forefront for ease of access. Including but not limited to, its image recognition technology. See something you like, whip out Bixby and it will tell you what it is and where to get it. I don’t know if this is cool, or scary!?

Then there is beyond the typical phone experience. The Galaxy 8 and 8+ are the brains behind the GearVR w/ Controller powered by Oculus.

From the press release:

The new controller enables combined motion sensors, touchpad controls and a dedicated trigger, offering an even more intuitive, convenient and expressive way to interact and immerse in Gear VR. The new smartphones will also connect to the new Gear 360, capable of capturing up to 4K 360-degree videos, 15MP photos and 2K live streaming.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am intrigued to see how No Man’s Sky plays on this device. It is after all the game used in the promo video.

Here is the Availability blurb from the press release:

In the U.S., the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray and Arctic Silver. Pre-orders for both Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will begin at 12:01 EDT on March 30, 20173. AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, Straight Talk Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless will carry the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in stores beginning April 21.

In addition, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be available at all Best Buy stores as well as BestBuy.com, ShopSamsung app, Target and Walmart.

Gear VR with Controller will be available beginning April 21, 2017 for $129.99. The Controller will also be sold separately beginning April 21, 2017 for $39.99.

Consumers who pre-order a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ will receive a free Gear VR headset with Controller and Oculus content4. A limited edition premium bundle which adds a 256GB memory card and Bluetooth headphones by AKG will also be available for $99. Additionally, consumers who purchase Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ will be eligible for Platinum Experience Status with Samsung Rewards5. These promotions will last for a limited time and only while supplies last. Terms and conditions apply. Visit samsung.com/us/promotions and samsung.com/platinumexperience for more information.

For additional product information, please visit https://news.samsung.com/us or www.samsung.com/galaxy. 

 

Hopefully I get my hands on one soon and we can have an unboxing video and review!