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Digitalcrack's Blog

Gadgets and everything digitally addictive

Exclusives for Xbox is already dead for 2018. 2019 may bring more, but what kind?

Look, the great thing about being a dual owner of consoles is that I can honest. I’m not blind nor do I make excuses. Microsoft has done its job for hardware. No doubt. But the exclusive games and all their investments won’t be seen for another year. 2018 is lost already and really was done from the very beginning. We are almost three months into the year and the only thing of note that Microsoft has done is PUBG but really that was at the end of last year. Not to say that this game isn’t big, it is. But Playstation has produced much more and will continue to do so throughout the year. They will also hang on to aces like the Last of us, Death stranding, and Ghost of Tsushima games for 2019 according to reports, so that they place themselves in the ideal position for 2019 for possible game pushes by Microsoft. This is a smart move if you ask me. Where Microsoft still hopes to focus on is their 3rd party game advantage over the ps4 and ps4 pro. For the most part, we gamers know that they will have the best version of the 3rd party games without doubt even if those differences are mostly Digital Foundry seen differences that most people don’t even know about until it’s brought up by them. But in fairness, the same differences were on the ps4 side at one time too. And for those fans already plugged into xbox echo system, it’s business as usual. I don’t see them making any changes. But if you are one of those “hype made me buy it” owners who already had a PC, ps4 or ps4 pro. Things like this really won’t make you happy at all. If you already have great exclusives on the other consoles purchased and still played it, it will make it harder to flip flop and you may just stay on the other systems. Microsoft is in a unknown spot. It could be on purpose to hide things til e3 or it just could be that they have nothing to offer different now that they have the hardware. My concern is that they are a business more than any other console maker. They are about bottom line profits and you can’t blame them. But if you are a hardcore fan, all the Cuphead awards in the world won’t make you pick that game up over a Last of us, over a Halo, over a Detroit become Human or Quantum Break. But because it sold millions to non hardcore fans Microsoft will be encouraged to continue this path as they are with Sea of thieves, and Crackdown. We need great single player story and action game experiences. This is what needs to change. Not just adding more exclusives. It’s the type of exclusives that matter, not the quantity. And I really don’t think Microsoft is getting this. The simple answer in my opinion is just give Xbox fans access to PC titles. This will surely make this format different and no console will be able to stand against it. But this answer to much like right and would probably create a worldwide panic in the street. Trade commissions would probably try and investigate this to see if it’s something good for the market to allow it. All I’m saying is that I think if they truly want to put this thing to bed, moves like this end Wars. No console on the planet will be able to compete against it from that point out. But we know, based on past events that Microsoft doesn’t have the balls to do it. They still want to play nice while everyone else profits over them in the hearts and minds of the gamers. When will they learn, people may freak out but ultimately they will follow the road to better gaming all while kicking and screaming about how unfair it is.

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Cobra Kai… Karate kid trailer.

Playstation Vs Xbox game direction difference.

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With the launch of the Xbox one X, Microsoft put to rest the power debate of the consoles on the market. Now with that behind them, the next thing they are focused on is the games. The company with the most money to spend has declared war on the gaming part of the business. I have no doubt that they will make just as much noise with the software as they have with the hardware. But what type of games are they going to devote their money on? That is the billion-dollar question for me. For PlayStation, even though they don’t sell the exclusives anywhere where they need to, single player games are the master focus.

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With huge games like Spiderman, the whole world waits even though most won’t buy. And this is where the confusion lays for Microsoft. Single player games create the most buzz all over the internet but don’t create revenue ratio to the sale of the consoles they are played on. Yes, Playstation can brag about all the exclusives but as a business, I guarantee they would rather have an earning ratio like Microsoft. Fans everywhere can’t wait to brag about the trailers, can’t wait to see the reviews, and can’t wait to talk about it on forms but they don’t go out and buy. In fact, with Playstation’s 70 million fans, 3-5 million copies of an exclusive game sold should be, at the very least, the standard for such numbers with the level of exclusives and superior reviews these games get. But the rarely get even close to this average with their exclusives.

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I can’t tell you how many times I have purchased such games myself. I own both consoles but prefer Microsoft’s Xbox console and ecosystem the best. But with the PlayStation, I love their exclusives because I am a single player gamer. I have tried over and over to get into multiplayer games and just can’t. It is so hard to really meet the right people and the right environment you wish to play in. Over the years I have given up any hopes of finding that niche. So devoting to this direction may not create the money Microsoft would think to make going into the single player direction for the exclusives.

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I think this is the reason why I play so many sports titles over all others. It’s there that I can feel like I’m playing against someone without really playing them. Yes I know they are multiplayer games options within them too but I never use it unless a specific friend calls me to do so. And the strange thing about that is that those friends are just like me. They would still rather play the CPU, so we still never play each other on a regular basis. So any hopes of finding a consistent partner for gaming is lost. Tomb Raider, Uncharted, Tekken, Injustice, and all Sports games are my only hope for gaming in the past. With new titles on the way like Detriot, Spiderman, and Mlb 18, I know I have at least an exclusive date on the PlayStation. I wait to see what Xbox one X exclusives can produce within the next 2 years. Fingers crossed for at least a couple of  solid single player games!

Digitalcrack’s thoughts on the NEW Leatherman Charge +

The Leatherman Charge Plus aka “best multi-tool” on the market.

Wow, just WOW! Digitalcrack now has the Leatherman Charge Plus and it’s beyond all my expectations! Lets just start off saying that I was not impressed when I found out that the line up had changed for the Wave and Charge series. Luckily, I had time to return mine to await these new changes. I even returned my Signal, which until now I felt was a bad mistake(not anymore). Honestly, the Signal had become my EDC. I still wouldn’t have suggested over the Wave for others but for me I was impressed with the tool set of having a hammer. But what got me even more was the everyday need for a pair of scissors. So, ultimately it came down to one of two choices. Either go back with the updated Wave+ with the replaceable cutters finally. Or finally dig a little deeper in my pocket for the one Leatherman that I didn’t think I would buy because of it’s price, the Charge+ with even more options. I have been avoiding the looks on this product for a while. I always heard people talked about the difference in quality over all other product lines for Leatherman and I was getting more and more curious.

All I heard was how much of a difference the movement and smoothness was over and over. On pictures it just looks like a Wave, so why give them $50-$70 extra, I thought. But here I was, once again looking at a product I knew I wanted but just didn’t think the expensive price tag would make a difference. So I took a chance and paid for it. Now, after the initial issue with the shipment, I finally got it. OMG, what a difference! Look, I’ve had the Surge, Wave, the original Leatherman, and Signal. When I tell you that none of these come close to the feel of the Charge Plus, you better believe every word of it. It’s not just the metal type, it’s the barings, the pliers, scissors, even the glasses tool has more texture and definition.

From the finish to the use and feel, all things are just better. Best of all its immediately apparent especially with the handle scales. Even the new sheeth is better that it comes with. It’s a much better fit and secure carry. And they didn’t stop there. They threw in the bits and the belt clip, something that cost extra with all other models for that combo.

As of today these new models aren’t purchasable at any other retailer but Leatherman. So if you want one you might have to go through them. Amazon, Walmart, Costco and others only sell the standard versions of these tools. So don’t hold your breath thinking Amazon has it. But if you willing to spend the Money go to Leatherman and get this Charge +. This is the best one on the market and comes with the most. The difference is worth it, I promise.

Baseball cometh, means PS4 pro play time!

Every year having multiple systems just makes sense. Yes the dominate head lines are in the corner of the Xbox one X. Hardware is a beast and the third party games are masterful on it. But every year around this time my Xbox takes a break. Why? MLB The Show. Last year I didn’t play it as much as I would have thought but it doesn’t mean I didn’t love baseball games. So this year will be no different. I am already playing a bit more on the system trying to get back to use to things. Right now, I’m playing the 17 ‘edition until the 18’ edition comes out as well as Gran Turismo Sport. Basically, you see the theme I knew was going to happen. Xbox one x for third party games and PS4 pro for exclusives. I love having options, and the advantages pays off the concept of having both. I would highly suggest others follow this concept if they can afford to do so. If you want the best all around media, gaming, and 4k graphics it’s a no brainer to go with the Xbox one x. However, if it’s about exclusives there is no better platform. Detroit and Spider-Man hopefully coming this year are the titles I’m waiting on for the PlayStation after MLB launch. For the Xbox one x, any third party game I think I will like will be coming to that system. So stay tuned, more to come with each release. It’s going to be a special year.

When Art Meets Smartwatches!

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What is Art? What is Beauty? What happens when something gives you almost limitless freedom to create art or that beauty right before your eyes? For technology, it isn’t something always seen by that same light. There a very few times in one’s life that you will ever get close to that point that you experience Art and beauty in the things used in technology. Yes, we are used to a drawing, painting, a movie, or simply nature creating these events. But not very many times is art and beauty bestowed on us in technology. There have been examples of it but it’s not something that happens a lot. As a gadget geek, watch lover, and video game player, I can count on one hand how many times this has happened to me in my life with technology. Well, today I need another hand to continue my journey. I give you the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier!

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This smartwatch is beyond anything I was prepared for. Was it my first? By no means. Like you, I gave the Apple watch 1 and 2 shots. Like most of you on Android, I gave the Asus and Moto 360 tries. While they all had promise, they were merely a shadow of things to come. Unbeknownst to me, Samsung had something in mind that combined all efforts before them with their vision of the future. Gear 1 watches and gear 2’s all showed promise without the wow factor. They showed, like many, that the idea of what things could be like was being worked on but just not completed yet. And then it happened. The Gear 3 Frontier and Classic was developed and pushed out to the market and everyone from fans to tech reviewers all over the world took notice. Reviews started coming in and more and more people took notice. This is when I started to look at things as well.

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But I struggled. I knew what smartwatches were and what they should be but I just didn’t want to take the chance that this was just like all the others ones before it. I also struggled with the idea of having to set down my $1000 Tissot watches, my $2500 Tag Heuer, or even my $400 Casio G-shock Atomic Pilot series watch. I mean, watches are a big thing for me. I have been into them heavily since I was 3 years old. And now, I have an issue that I would be possibly sharing my wrist time with this watch that is a hybrid of a sort and not a pureblood watch. How dare I consider this! I mean how on earth can I take something so sacred as a mechanical watch and sat it down for a Smartwatch? A watch that needs to be charged daily for something that either needs no charging due to it being Automatic or Solar, it just doesn’t seem fair.

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But on that same paper, it doesn’t seem right for wow?From this, it’s the standard watch that lacks. When you see all the things that this watch does and how absolutely beautiful it is, it really begs the question of why we wear anything else. Once I got used to this watch my mind was blown. Gone were the days that I needed to buy another watch to get a different look for a new outfit or suit. Gone were the days that I only checked my watch for the time. Now my watch has a life. It thinks, it reacts, and it anticipates my needs and my next step. Every day or every hour, if I wanted, I can use a different face and change the look of my watch and in some cases( there are hundreds!), it’s very function.

It can be used as a stand-alone device without the need to be Bluetoothed to your phone or just simply as an extension of your phone. And because it is hooked up by the airwaves it’s Atomic in its timekeeping. Which means it’s the best timekeeping instrument in the world just like all my other ones. So I lose no accuracy wearing it. But added to it is the ability to speak to me, take calls, text, since the weather changes that effects my Migraines, and helps me stay fit just to name the bare minimum. When you add this to a package of such precession in its bezel movement, it’s speed of the OS, as well as it’s balanced weight, you end up with Art and Beauty at its very core on your wrist. Technology redesigned, masterful and powerful, beyond any combination I have experienced ever in a watch. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier…..PLATINUM STATUS LEVEL 5 STAR RATING!!!!

Smart Watch Round 2!

What we have here is an old fashion standoff of Smart watches in my opinion. The Samsung lineup of Smart watches are the best in the field in terms of power and innovation. There Gear 3 line up was refreshed with the Sports version and it was the first image and watch I got this year. I was very impressed with the design and the features. I thought that I wouldn’t have to spend another $50 because on the surface they were the same watch. I also read that the PPI was higher on this model over the Frontier and this only confirmed that I had no need to spend more money to get something lesser. I also wanted something different from the pack. I am sure that the Frontier was on the top of everyone’s wish list and was Samsung Flagship watch, so going with something different was the thought and plan. But as I started to use the watch I notice the absence of accurate listening from the S-voice. No matter how many times I said things clear it wouldn’t correctly put down what I said. That was a big thing for me. And then after that, I notice that I was missing yet another very important feature. The ability to take calls on the watch without the need for the phone or headphones. This feature was only found on the Frontier and I quickly started to see some possible regrets for not walking out with that unit. Then finally I started to see a size purpose of this watch. While the Frontier was mostly built for Men, the Sport was mostly built for women. And not to get into the whole sexist thing but that started to bother me. So the next issue happened when the watch locked up out of nowhere and blacked out the screen to the point it wouldn’t do anything. So even though I finally got the watch to reboot I knew this was the time I would take to exchange it for the Frontier.

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Enter the Frontier. The manly, beefy, and overall tough looking Smartwatch. The best selling smart watch from Samsung now has yet another purchaser. Right away, I noticed that the watch bezel was smoother and softer to move. The quality difference was apparent right away. Even the issues with the S voice not hearing me was gone. The other nice surprise was that the watch is a Super AMOLED screen. The Sport was just an AMOLED screen. So the black levels were much better which created, cleaner, more vibrate watch faces. Next up was the better battery life. The previous model wasn’t bad but it still wasn’t as good as this one. Lastly, the magic struck. I was able to speak to my wife right from my watch without picking up the phone and or having headphones. This was something just not possible on the Sport. The speaker on the watch is good enough and clear enough to be able to do so without real problems unless you are at a very noisy club and store. Everything from the operation and stability, down to even the quality of materials on this compared to the Sport was an eye-opener. I also loved the fact that its look could be used for business or casual. I could dress in jeans and a t-shirt or I could dress in a suit. The watch just fits all types, where the Gear Sport really just looked more on a business side, strangely enough, given the name sport. It just looked way too formal for jeans and a t-shirt.

Final thoughts (right now):

So far I am not ready to give a review but I can say that as it works today, the Frontier is the best smartwatch for me. I should have stuck with this choice but once again got caught trying to save just a little money. I forgot the simple rule, ‘buy cheap, buy twice”.I guess I will learn to stay with this rule one day.  If you are looking at smartwatches I hope this helped in any way. A review is coming soon.

Power ranger movie a surprise delight!!

Wow, talk about surprise movie. I guess I shouldn’t be that shocked because the trailer really took the vision to a more mature level. I guess I just thought that it might still be cheesy. It was actually really, really good. It was a very good example of what happens when you care for one another more than you do for yourself. In the movie the individual selfishness of a bunch of teenagers turned into a strong and powerful tale of sacrifice. The fight scenes were good enough to keep me and my son glued but what stood out the most was the emotions in the story. It really made goosebumps come up on my arm while I watched the moments that defined the movie. I’m not going to spoil it but let’s just say they took this TV show and made it relatable to a lot of people. Yes they had the whole need to add yet another Gay character to boost rating, which had little to do with anything they showed in the movie outside from saying they mentioned it. No other character in the whole movie had one mention of love interest because it just didn’t fit and if so it would have been forced. But hey, this is the world we live in. So if you can get past that and get back to enjoying the story they cut into just for a quick pop, you can see life lessons and team work that make you feel like you did winning a championship game in school. They even did their best in limiting the curse words in the movie. You even get some so-called easter egg moments if you ever grew up watching the TV show. Overall, I am very impressed with this movie and it is easily my shocked surprise so far this year in movies. I think the director did a very nice job in making this movie more action than an cheesy Saturday morning flick like all the other Power Ranger movies prior. I would say the only let down was the absence of the theme music. Why they left that out, especially during the key moments in the end of the movie is beyond me. Overall I give it a 7 out 10 rating.

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