Thurrott Daily: November 25

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Games, iOS, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 27

Underwater fun in Black Ops III.

Good morning. Here are some other tidbits from around the web.

Sorry, but the iPad Pro isn’t really faster than Surface Pro 4

Apple fanboys have a way of rallying around Donald Trump-style factoids, the most egregious of which claims that the new iPad Pro is somehow faster than Surface Pro 4. Not so, as PC World’s Gordon Mah Ung ably explains.

Is the iPad Pro really a PC killer? After days of poking and prodding, I can safely say Hell no. Far from it.

Benchmarks ensue. The conclusion?

You can’t look at just a couple of numbers from one or two benchmarks and make a conclusion. That is, unless you’re looking to bend the truth to fit a pre-conceived agenda. That’s called benchmarketing, not benchmarking and there’s a difference.

The truth is, most of the testing I’ve run shows the iPad Pro isn’tfaster than a current or even two-year old Core-class Intel CPU. (Atom, now that’s another story.)

It’s just not.

But it’s still one hell of a chip.

Huh. Fair instead of hyperbolic. What a concept.

Microsoft announces Nokia 230 feature phones


Microsoft this morning announced a new lineup of Nokia 230 feature phones which hit at the high end of this market, with dual 2 MP cameras, aluminum back covers, and 23 hours of talk time. There are single- and dual-SIM variants, and the cost is just $55 USD. They will ship in India, Asia, and the Middle East in December, with other markets to follow next year.

Sony: PlayStation 4 sales hit 30 million units

8 months after it announced that it had reached the 20 million milestone, Sony this weekend said that it has now sold 30 million PlayStation 4 consoles to consumers. The PS4 has been Sony’s fastest-selling console, and continuing strong sales have helped the otherwise struggling company turn things around: It posted its second-highest operating profit in 8 years this most recent quarter.

Speaking of which….

Is Halo 5 really a hit?

Bloomberg asks a question I’ve been asking as well:

When Microsoft launched Halo 5 in late October, the company claimed that it was the biggest launch yet in the company’s biggest video game franchise. A press release trumpeting the game’s success included such impressive-sounding achievements as $400 million in global sales and a Guinness World record for “most watched video game launch broadcast.” On Monday, the video game retail chain GameStop had a different take. It said the Halo 5 launch had been a disappointment, naming it along with Star Wars: Battlefront and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate as the splashy games that had fallen short of expectations so far this fall.

And I had noted this bit previously:

Microsoft put a lot of pressure on itself to deliver a huge success with Halo 5. By reporting $400 million in sales, it succeeds in having a big number in the press. Even that number actually wasn’t as big as the $500 million in sales that Activision claimed for the new Call of Duty in its first 72 hours, but it did allow Microsoft to claim that Halo 5 was the biggest Halo launch ever. Halo 3, launched in 2007, grossed $300 million in its first week of sales, and Halo 4 surpassed that level in its first week, although Microsoft never said by how much.

And then there’s this:

But it’s not clear that Microsoft is comparing oranges to oranges in its statements. The most recent figures include not only Halo 5 discs and downloads, but also sales of Xbox One consoles that were bundled with Halo games. Given that the consoles cost over five times as much as the games, this could distort the figures significantly.

Microsoft didn’t mention console sales for previous launches, and although representatives for the company claim they were included, they declined to break the revenue out in a way that would make the game launches directly comparable.

Long story short, I think it’s pretty clear that Halo 5 is not as big as its two AAA predecessors, Halo 3 and Halo 4, and if pressed to guess why I’d say it’s because of Xbox One. What I’d really like to see is how Call of Duty: Black Ops III usage compares across the major platforms, and then compare that to the previous two COD titles. Is the Xbox One the problem?

Treyarch (supposedly) gets serious about banning the offensive

One of the more controversial aspect to the Black Ops games is that Treyarch has, in all three titles, implemented a emblem editor that lets players use their artistic skills to create unique designs … which of course they use to create cartoon pictures of genitalia, racist images, and other assorted nonsense. It got so bad that I literally configure my Xbox consoles such that I cannot see user-created content, and even though you can always complain to the gamer maker, nothing ever seemed to happen.

With the new game, however this could be changing, according to the Black Ops III Security and Enforcement Policy:

Any user who creates an emblem or paintjob that is considered to be generally offensive is subject to penalty. Offensive content includes, but is not limited to, sexually gratuitous images, culturally offensive material, and/or foul language.

Any user who creates an emblem or paintjob with personal and/or private information for either themselves or other persons is subject to penalty. Personal/Private information includes, but is not limited to, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, and full names.

Minor offense: User will be temporarily suspended from using the Emblem Editor and Paintshop. All emblems and paintjobs will be reset to default.

Extreme or repeat offenses: User will be permanently suspended from using the Emblem Editor and Paintshop. All emblems and paintjobs will be reset to default.

We’ll see how that goes. Actually, I won’t see it. I don’t display user-created content.


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