Man alive. We're almost halfway through January, and I still feel like I'm wading through treacle. Anyone else struggling this month?
Good news is... we've sort of started planning for Digitiser Live and Series 2. We might actually do two live shows back-to-back, and - if so - will open up those shows to non-backers too.
We're currently working towards a similar schedule for series 2 - with fundraising beginning in March, most likely, and filming at the end of June. I appreciate that feels like a long way away, but... the reality is, I don't do this full time - and still need to be able to pay my bills - and if we want the series to build on what we had before, then we need to plan it properly.
Ideally, the series itself would launch sooner than last time, though - especially if we can afford to bring in an editor to assemble the bulk of the footage.
Of course, you'll still be getting regular updates on the channel. I've pegged Friday teatime for new uploads, and there'll be one tonight (or, depending on when you're reading this, a new one on the channel now). Some of the team and I are hoping to get together in the next few weeks to actually film a bunch of things. And we've also started talking about doing a Digitiser podcast. So, whenever we film Series 2, you'll be properly furnished in the interim with plenty of Digi content.
And of course... there's still this site.
Talking of... it's Letters Page Day!
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
We've reached a weird time in the life of console hardware. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 turn six this year - that's about 108 in human years - and usually by now we'd be hearing solid news of the next generation.
Yes, we've all latched onto the rumours just out of sheer habit - we know a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two (or whatever it'll be called) are in the works - but there doesn't seem to be much of an appetite for them, beyond the hardcore. Wisely, both Sony and Microsoft seem cautious about making any concrete announcements, lest they kneecap their current business.
Chances are we will get some sort of actual information this year, and there have even been reports that the PS5 could make it to market as early as Christmas 2019 (though that seems unlikely), but both Sony and Microsoft are slightly prancing around the issue.
And they're right to, because - particularly given that we have the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X more or less catering to those who want their games to have a little more oomph in the trouser department - there doesn't seem to be a need for a new generation cycle of consoles.
The problem both Sony and Microsoft are no doubt wrestling with is the same issue that Apple has slammed its fat face into; technology has reached something of a plateau. In the past, the leaps between hardware generations would be very obvious, but the jumps have become ever smaller and more incremental, to the point that, when the PS4 first came out, it was hard to see what it offered over the PS3.
Indeed, Nintendo's Switch isn't particularly significantly more powerful than the Wii U - to the degree that its biggest launch title, Breath of the Wild, was released concurrently with a more or less identical Wii U version. What Nintendo did do, however, was offer something more than just more graphical power, by making it a hybrid handheld thing.
With the Switch being a bona-fide success - and demonstrating that, perhaps, consumers care less about raw power than Sony and Microsoft would like to believe - that's a path that's now closed to the PS5 and Xbox Two.
So what are the options for Sony and Microsoft, and the future of their hardware business? Are there any?
I'm old. But also, I'm middle-aged. And also, according to my eightysomething parents, I'm a young man. It's all relative, and in the eye of the beholder, and all that.
I turn 48 this year. There are days when that figure alarms me; I was 21 when Digitiser launched 26 years ago. It feels like a long time ago, but also yesterday. Yet in another 26 years I'm going to turn 74. If I think about that too much, then I feel a sense of time running out.
I think I got my mid-life crises out of the way a long time back, but part of the fear of getting old is that I've only relatively recently gotten my life where I want it, and I want to ensure I'm going to be able to enjoy it as long as possible.
Yeah, I know I should exercise more - though the demands of life and work seem to leave little time or energy for that. But there are also things happening with my body which no amount of exercise can hold back; it takes me about an hour every day until my joints ease up, I've got arthritic toes, my eyesight has gone - almost overnight - from being shortsighted to longsighted.
On the rare occasions I booze it up it takes three days to recover. I like being in bed most nights by half-eight. My guts aren't what they were...
And I know this is only the start of a gradual downward slide. If you take the physical stuff out of the equation, though, I've never been in ruder health, never felt more "me". And part of being me is liking video games.
The sad reality is, however, that because of my age, there are those who feel I shouldn't like video games...
2018 was a pretty good year for games, yeah? 2019 could be too. We know there are some big sequels on the way, the launch of some major new franchises, and some quirky potential gems.
Let's not faff around like idiots; here are all the games I'm looking forward to this year, and several I couldn't give less of a plump fig about.
Belated happy new ones to ye! Hope you all had a decent festive break, and it wasn't too mired in finally-stopped-work illness and family tantrums. I thought now would be as good a time as any to check in with happenings in the Digiverse, and what is being planned for 2019 - as well as inviting some feedback (always a dangerous game, I know).
If you're a Patreon or Kickstarter backer you've been getting regular insights, but not everyone is - so I figured it was worth opening this up to everyone.
Here's a vague timeline for (some of) what I have on my plate - aside from the need to also earn a living - and the order I intend to get it done in:
Continue daily Digitiser2000 updates.
Finish sending out the Found Footage backer rewards, and upload the missing footage, bringing that project to a long-overdue end.
Get Digitiser The Show Episode 1 re-uploaded.
Edit the backer exclusive episode.
Continue with ongoing Digitiser mini episodes - including filming some videos with my co-hosts.
Fulfil Digitiser The Show backer rewards.
Digitiser The Show Series 2...
And it's on that final point that I would like your input.
I've long had a well-documented love/loathe relationship with VR. My issues have been myriad, but chief among them is that, following an ear infection a few years ago, I've become susceptible to motion sickness.
I appreciate that this makes me sound like a decrepit geriatric, but thick colds give me the sensation of being strapped to a waterbed during an earthquake, theme park rides render me clammy and woozy, and when I made the mistake, a couple of days before Christmas, of looking at my phone while in the back of a cab, I came so close to "airing my stomach" that I wound down the window and started screaming at passers-by.
Suffice to say, I've not played anything in VR since Resident Evil VII - which was great and all that, but resulted in me fleeing outside to vomit over my neighbour's fence. Old-fashioned it may be, but I'm of an age where I prefer entertainment which doesn't make me throw-up.
And then there's the other thing which was putting me off using my PSVR: the wires.
It was a faff-and-a-half to set up. The floor around my TV already resembles an eel farm, and the PSVR invited a fresh bed (the collective term for eels, apparently) to join this "liquorice orgy". It was only a matter of time until the wires got all knotted, and my bun-fisted behaviour ended up ripping off one of the HDMI connectors. And that is indeed what has happened. Which is fine, because I didn't want to play the thing anyway - because of the "ralphing".
And yet... VR as an idea still appeals. I get why people think it's the future. I get the potential. And thus, because it takes me a long time to learn my lesson, just before Christmas I splashed out on a mid-range Oculus Go in the hope that it would offer some family-friendly whimsy.
Behold, then, a very belated review of this.
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