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Big Revolution - Playing with the future

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Welcome to today’s Big Revolution, sent from a train whizzing through the sunshine-soaked English cou
 
June 11 · Issue #106 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to today’s Big Revolution, sent from a train whizzing through the sunshine-soaked English countryside.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Security researchers have shown how the way texts from strangers are handled can help scammers convince you they’re who they’re pretending to be.
- The next big software update for Tesla vehicles will enabled “full self-driving features.” While autonomous Teslas are in the works, expect this to be more of an upgrade to autopilot than a car that can drive you to work.
- Microsoft has made a big play to stay relevant in the video games market by acquiring a brace of developments studios to create exclusive titles for it. As a PlayStation player, I’m sad to see the list includes Ninja Theory, makers of classics like Hellblade and DmC. Microsoft is also planning a game streaming service and new Xbox consoles.
The big thought
Credit: Hardik Sharma on Unsplash
Playing with the future
Microsoft wussed out when it backtracked on the ‘always on’ features at had planned for the Xbox One. Gamers kicked up a storm – quite rightly – about how the world wasn’t quite ready to ditch physical discs. But if the company had held its nerve, been a little more understanding to the needs of gamers at the time, it would be way ahead of the curve now.
I almost never buy physical games anymore. It’s just so much more convenient to buy them online and download them. Now we’re nearly ready for the next stage – streaming-first gaming.
Following announcements from EA and Microsoft over the weekend, it seems likely that in a couple of years you’ll be able to play triple-A games over the internet on almost any device. 
This next generation of streaming (more advanced and reliable than Sony’s retro-focused PlayStation Now service) will transform the accessibility of video games. Games seem to be going the way of music, movies, and TV: subscription-based, and all-you-can-eat for a fixed monthly fee. 
There are some big questions, though. Firstly, how will games companies address the needs of players who don’t have fast internet connections? Will discs live on, simply out of necessity?
More fundamentally, how will streaming transform the economics of video games? Big titles are ludicrously expensive to produce. Will piecemeal subscription revenues adequately replace big one-time purchase prices?
And finally, how will streaming affect game design? We’ve already seen how music streaming has changed the way pop hits are written. Getting to the hook as soon as possible is more important than ever. Given a huge library of games, players will be tempted to drop any game that doesn’t grab their attention in the first few seconds.
I don’t have the answers, but I look forward to seeing how the tail wags the dog when it comes to the future of gaming.
Two big reads
Meet the guys who tape Trump's papers back together Meet the guys who tape Trump's papers back together
Today in ‘if only this was satire’: Donald Trump likes to rip papers up when he’s done with them – even if they’re supposed to be kept on file. So someone has to figure out how to tape them back together again.
Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff
A look at how Vice was built on lies of various degrees of magnitude. Can the illusion last long enough for Shane Smith to get the huge exit he’s always dreamed of?
One big tweet
Christopher Mims 🎆
I think the average person needs to understand how the blockchain works about as much as they need to understand how TCP/IP works
3:06 AM - 11 Jun 2018
I 100% agree. Blockchain should be backend technology, not a headline feature.
That’s all for today...
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