Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mobile Adventures, and on to Xbox Adventures

I have been an iphone user for about 2 and a half months now.
I must say, I think I've adjusted well.
I've gotten myself to the point I was always at with Android: Dozens of apps installed, but using only 5 or 6 of them regularly, of course.

I'm adjusting to all of the quirks of iOS.. missing some features of Android.. but still overall happy.
I'm using my old Note3 "as a wifi device" a lot less than I expected to, and that's a good thing.

Since I'm on T-Mobile's "JUMP" plan, I fully expect to be moving on to the next iphone6+-sized iOS device when it's released (or early next year when I'm "paid up").
As for T-Mobile.. I do sometimes lament the lack of service especially inside buildings, but I am sticking with them because their crazy CEO is working on some amazing things.

Now on to another "new chapter": The Xbox One.

Yes, although I coined the term X-odus way back during the first E3 of the new console generation, the XBone has come a long way. I've finally ordered one (small thanks to a few simultaneous special promotions aligning after the release of the new 1TB model), to partially replace my aging "60GB back-compatible" PS3 which has a fan you can hear from Texas.
With the number of media apps and features available on Xbox One, the primary purpose here isn't actually for gaming. There will obviously be some of that (especially after I add the kinect; part of the promotional stuff is a store-credit I can apply to that later) but mainly I am enamored with the idea of a truly singular integrated, searchable, UI for all streaming and local-media sources.
Depending on how things go, down the road I may even be able to eliminate our FiOS set-top-box entirely (while still paying for the necessary evil of TV) and still have access to all of the channels we care about.

Due to the promotion, the console comes with 3 games:
Halo Master Chief Collection comes in the box. I have never played a Halo game. I had a PS1, PS2, and PS3 (in addition to the Dreamcast and other older consoles) but never an Xbox. So I'm willing to give that a shot.
Assassin's Creed Unity comes for free whether I like it or not. I've only played the first AC game and I enjoyed it until it got repetitive, but this one only has a "resale value" of 6 bucks so I will definitely hold onto it.
Batman Arkham Knight was the game I chose for free from their limited additional list, and I'm also looking forward to it.
I do think I might take extra advantage of trade-in programs at Gamestop going forward, before the games lose their value, though.

I will provide further updates on this, the setup process, the gameplay, and the stupid stuff I test with it (Can I finally watch my set of PAL Red Dwarf DVDs on my TV? With or without region-stripping? Stay tuned...), soon. If I remember the blog is still here.
It might even arrive before July 4th weekend, but doubtful...

Bonus news:
At the end of July, the original store of Ossian merchandise -- http://www.printfection.com/ossian/ will be gone. Printfection changed their business model a year ago or so, and they only grandfathered their old personal stores in a buy-only state (no adding new products). So, for now, http://www.redbubble.com/people/ossiangrr is the "main" place for Ossian merch, although I'll need to find another source for GRRillin' BBQ aprons and maybe a few other things...
Ossian's 10th anniversary is also quickly approaching, coincidentally, so stay tuned for that.

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