Paranormal Punchers Podcast

I’ve always had a small interest in the paranormal (thats ghosts, bigfoot, UFO’s etc) but recently started listening to Paranormal Punchers, a light hearted look at the paranormal stuff around the world.

Well worth a listen, have a chuckle, and drink along with the hosts 🙂

ORIGIN PC Now Shipping Gaming Laptops Powered By NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics

Meet The New EVO16-S, All-New EVO17-S, and EON17-X RTX-Powered Gaming Laptops

Miami, FL – January 29th, 2019, 9:00 A.M. EST – ORIGIN PC has announced that gaming and workstation laptops powered by NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards are now available to order. Designed for gamers or professionals that need portable high-end graphics and processing, these new laptops can run games or applications using RTX graphics. With the introduction of the EVO16-S gaming laptop, enjoy a 16.1” narrow bezel 1080p 144Hz display in a 15” chassis. The EVO17-S laptop has been updated with a reduced chassis size and a 17.3” narrow bezel 1080p 144Hz display. Both the EVO16-S and EVO17-S support up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q design which includes support for RTX-exclusive technology such as real-time ray tracing and DLSS. For a portable desktop-like experience, customize up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 desktop-class graphics card and an Intel Core i9-9900K desktop processor on the EON17-X laptop. All the laptops are backed by 24/7 US-based lifetime support from our award-winning support team. Take on the world with an RTX-powered custom ORIGIN PC laptop powering your favorite games or applications anywhere.

The New EVO16-S High-Performance Thin and Light Laptop Features:

  • Up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor
  • 16.1” FHD (1920*1080) 144Hz HD Narrow Bezel Display
  • Up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
  • Up to 2 x 2TB m.2 PCIe SSD and 1 x 2.5” 7mm SSD/SSHD/HDD
  • Up to 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560
  • Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 360°
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1, 2x USB Type-A 3.1, and a 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.3 over USB Type-C 3.1, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1x HDMI Output
  • Free Lifetime 24/7 Phone Support Based in the U.S.

The All-New EVO17-S High-Performance Thin and Light Laptop Features:

  • Up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor
  • 17.3” FHD (1920*1080) 144Hz HD Narrow Bezel Display
  • Up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
  • Up to 2 x 2TB m.2 PCIe SSD and 1 x 2.5” 7mm SSD/SSHD/HDD
  • Up to 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
  • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560
  • Sound BlasterX® Pro-Gaming 360°
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1, 2x USB Type-A 3.1, and a 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • 1x DisplayPort 1/3 over USB Type-C 3.1, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1x HDMI Output
  • Free Lifetime 24/7 Phone Support Based in the U.S.

The EON17-X High-Performance Laptop Features:

  • Up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Desktop-Class GPU
  • Up to a 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-9900K Desktop Processor
  • 17.3” 4K (3840 x 2160) G-SYNC Display
  • Free Lifetime 24/7 Phone Support Based in the U.S.

For more information, please visit: https://www.originpc.com/

About ORIGIN PC:
ORIGIN PC builds custom, high-performance desktops, laptops, workstations, and servers for hardware enthusiasts, digital/graphics artists, professionals, government agencies and gamers. ORIGIN PCs are hand built, tested, and serviced by knowledgeable gaming enthusiasts, industry veterans, and award winning system integrators. Every ORIGIN PC comes with free lifetime 24/7 support based in the United States. The ORIGIN PC staff is comprised of award-winning enthusiasts, experienced in the gaming and PC markets who want to share their passion with others. ORIGIN PC is located in Miami, FL and ships worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.ORIGINPC.com or call 1-877-ORIGIN-Ø. (674-4460)

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$5.7 billion games investment in 2018 doubles previous record

Digi-Capital’s Games Report Q1 2019 tracked games companies raising $5.7 billion in 2018, which was over twice the previous record investment from 2017. Tim Sweeney’s Epic Games’ $1.25 billion was not only the largest round raised last year, it was the largest non-IPO games investment of all time. The only larger single amount raised by a games company was when Netmarble Games held its IPO in 2017. Even that record might not survive given Fortnite’s extraordinary performance.

Source: Digi-Capital Games Report Q1 2019 (note: free charts do not include numbers and data from subscriber version. All data sourced directly from companies and reliable secondary sources)

As a sign of both financial muscle and the need to expand beyond core markets, Tencent was either a major shareholder in or investor in four of the top five deals last year. As we’ve discussed before, this is becoming a familiar pattern. Tencent was behind investments in Douyu ($630 million raised), Shanda Games ($474 million) and Huya ($462 million raised). France’s Voodoo raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs to round out the top five.

11 other companies also raised $100 million plus rounds last year, with more in the single millions to tens of millions range. By far the largest categories for investors were mobile and games tech/other (particularly streaming), each of which took around one third of investment dollars last year. MMO/MOBA games, eSports, console/PC games and AR/VR games companies also raised significant amounts.

The games acquisitions market was also on fire in 2018, with over $22 billion games M&A making it the second highest year on record. Games M&A dollars are always dominated by mega-deals, which last year included Naspers selling 2% of Tencent for over $10 billion dollars for a 60,000% return, and Tencent and others acquiring Vivendi’s $2 billion plus stake in Ubisoft.

Zhejiang Century Huatong acquired Shenyue Network (the online games affiliate of Shanda Games) for $4.4 billionPAI Partners picked up Asmodee Digital for $1.4 billion, and Aristocrat closed its Big Fish Games deal for nearly $1 billion. There were another eight acquisitions in the $100 million plus range, and more in the single millions to tens of millions range.

Unsurprisingly, mobile dominated acquisition activity last year as it did the year before. MMO/MOBA and console/PC made up most of the rest of the acquisitions market. The games market as a whole is incredibly consolidated, with the top 10 public (i.e. stock market listed) games companies taking over three quarters of public games company revenue and around four fifths of public game company valuations worldwide (note: this is not all market revenue/valuation, as privately held companies are also significant). The big keep getting bigger.

Over the last decade, games IPOs have gone through three year repeating cycles where one huge year is followed by two quiet ones. The last high came in the record year for games IPOs in 2017, with games IPOs in 2018 raising around 90% less than that high point (as Digi-Capital anticipated at the start of last year). While it’s too early to tell, if the 3 year cycle repeats in the same way 2019 could also see muted games IPO activity.

In such a highly consolidated, hit driven market, the level of games deal activity last year was extraordinary. Again it is too early to tell whether this year will continue in a similar vein, or if the cyclical nature of deal-making might see the market pull back. One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be dull.

(Full details and all transactions in Digi-Capital’s new 258 page Games Report Q1 2019)

(Tim Merel is Managing Director of Silicon Valley AR/VR adviser Digi-Capital)

Review : Armageddon 2018

So, after I said I wasn’t going to Auckland Armageddon this year, I ended up going on Sunday courtesy of the wife winning some free tickets. Thanks NeonTV!

The TLDR version of this review is, I’m glad I didn’t pay.

Armageddon has lost its mojo.

I’m just going to go through a basic list of what I thought, and you may or may not agree, which is fine.

  • PBTech and Playtech were not present – these guys have been there for the last few years and always seemed to be busy, and had great deals on.
  • Toyworld not present – they always had great deals, but not a large range of items, but was always great for picking up stocking fillers etc.
  • Cosplayers seemed to be very minimal this time – last year (and before), cosplayers were out in abundance, but this year there seemed to very few present – those that were there, had some fantastic outfits.
  • The regular stalls had the same stock and same deals as previous years – come on, do something different.
  • The number of repeated stalls was amazing – must have been about half a dozen t-shirt stalls selling the same t-shirts. One candy store had multiple stalls scattered around. Or if it wasn’t the same stores, it was repeats of the exact same stock.
  • Chinese counterfeit goods stalls were present – was 2-3 I saw selling knock offs of popular boar games etc.
  • Noone “famous” present on Sunday that I’m aware of – used to find a popular author, or artist or something sitting somewhere doing free autographs, or meet and greets, but nope, nadda, zilch, nein.
  • Didn’t see any “play” areas for card games such as Magic etc – maybe I missed them.
  • Very little gaming orientated merchandise – XPDJunior struggled to find any Overwatch themed clothing.

It just wasn’t the same and I feel its lost its mojo.

I hope it was just a bad year and things pick up again next year, but wont hold my breath.

 

Slack poster I know….

Umm yes….we’ve been a tad slack on the post side of things lately.

So what we been up to ?

Well, the TOR gang got together for a small LAN a couple weeks back, had some laughs, watched the league, burnt some meat on the BBQ, played some games, including Overwatch, CoD4:MW, and because timing was right, got to try out the latest Battlefield game, BF:V.

I was actually surprised how well BF:V ran on my system – impressive game to play, even on my “new” old box. Tough game though if you’re new to the series or just out of touch with it. Could tell those who had played a lot.

64 players aside made it fun tho – would I buy it ? Not really – I’m not a massive FPS fan so would probably get dusty on my Steam/Origin shelf 😉

Looking at all my games in Steam etc, I really havent completed many of them. So Ive uninstalled a good 80% of my games, and will concentrate on just a few, and will play them to the end. I’m starting off with Final Fantasy 7 (Steam version) – absolute classic, which I owned on Playstation on release, but never actually finished it. Cloud FTW

My RetroPi unit has been on the backburner for a while, but now I have two new 32GB SD cards, I can dedicate a card to the Pi and get on with it. So plan is to have the RPi 3 setup for RetroPi, and the older RPi as an Amiga emulator. Should be fun.

And thats it for now…….ciao!

Easy as Pi Emulation

Recently I was given a Raspberry Pi, inc case, power, wifi and SD card. Plan was for my eldest daughter to play with it and see if its something that would interest her going forward…. she showed a lot of interest, more so when she found Retropie.

Since then, she started hassling me to help her get it running to play some old games….so I did.

And guess what ? It was damn easy.

Just dump the latest Retropie image on the SD card, and away you go. The only thing we had issues with, was getting through the initial controller setup. It didnt seem to like my budget USB game pad, so ended up using an Xbox One controller.

Now, since this is an original Pi, its not amazing at emulation, but runs the early arcades such as PacMan, Space invaders, Donkey Kong well, but anything else can be hit and miss. My daughter fired up Super Mario Kart (SNES) and while it did run, it wasnt great.

Copying new games was easy as copying some ROM’s into the relevant folders onto the SD card over the network.

So now, I’m hooked on this little box for emulation purposes, but looking at obtaining the latest Pi which apparently handles most stuff without a problem. Being so small, its portable, which makes it great for throwing into a bag when you go away for a weekend and the kids start going “Im bored” – find an HDMI capable display and you’re away.

Now, this does make my RetroBox project rather redundant………  I may still do it, I’ll see how the new Pi goes.

 

Check out : Retro Asylum

If you’re into retro gaming and listen to podcasts, I’m pretty sure you would have come across Retro Asylum.

It’s a great podcast with a group of guys who love their retro gear and gaming and have a great sense of humor.

I’ve been tuning into them for about 8 months now and find it fascinating listening about all the systems they’ve come across or own, a lot of gear we never saw officially in New Zealand.

They cover all aspects of retro gaming, from hardware, software, peripherals, newly developed games (inc Amstrad!) and more.

I highly recommend checking them out. You can find them on all the usual social media platforms, including Discord – but the bugger about discord is that we’re usually asleep when they all come to life 🙁