Feb 07

Starwars Battlefront Game Night and Sale

We will be doing at least 6 game nights for Battlefront.    The first one will be

Date: Wed Feb 10th
Time: 8:30pm
Where: MSG me on Xbox one for invite(Skimtat)

Questions?

Don’t own the game?   On sale until Monday night for $30 here:  BattleFront Sale @ Xbox $30

Jan 02

2016 and Splanic

Things I am going to focus on for 2016 and this site.

  • I will continue to post in the forum.  I am looking at removing the other two forums and just have a single site.  If activity gets higher I will alter that.
  • Game nights.   We have not been having any game night that needs to change. I will focus on xbox and pc.
  • Just random posts about whatever will continue.
Dec 29

Microsoft will not give partial refund on game discounted 3 days after purchase – WTG!

Dear Microsoft,

Today I experienced a very poor example of customer service when dealing with a digital purchase from the Xbox Marketplace.   On 12/25/2015 I purchased Disney Infinity 3 for my kids for 29.99.   I then check Major Nelson’s page for the updates sales on 12/28/2015(majornelson.com).  Disney Infinity 3 is now 50% off.   Cool let me contact support and get a credit for the 15$ difference.  I should be able to do this since Best Buy, Target and Walmart will do this(see below for their policies).

I got on the MS support page and had a nice support person get in touch with me in about 2 minutes.  He was very helpful and let me know that the MS policy is no refunds on digital purchases.   I explained my situation and stressed it had only been 3 days.   I also asked them to look at my purchase history and time on xbox.   I have been a very very good customer and expected a little more.

The nice person on the chat site said there may be a way to get past this.  Just call my credit card company and dispute the charge.   Once they cancel the order and refund the cash you can re-purchase. I do not want to be troubling my credit card company for an issue that is a policy withing MS, this seems like the wrong way to go about doing this.  The other problem with this is I had just loaded a MS gift card onto my account and did not use a credit card to make this purchase.

So here is my issue Microsoft, if you want me to go down the path of a true digital future you need to treat me at least as good as my retailers do.   I have stopped buying as many used games from Gamestop so I can focus on just purchasing through the Microsoft Digital Marketplace.  I pulled a couple retailer’s policies and attached below.  If MS decides to contact me back I will put there response in this post.

Best Buy – If we lower our price during the return and exchange period, we will match our lower price, upon request.

Target – If you find a current lower price within 14 days after purchase, just bring in the proof and we will adjust your payment to the lower price, upon request. Target store price matches and adjustments are completed at the store at Guest Services. For Target.com purchases, call Target.com Guest Services at 1-800-591-3869.

Wal-Mart – If an item previously purchased from Walmart.com (not including items from a third-party seller on our site) is now listed at a lower price, and the item is within its eligible return window, contact Walmart.com Customer Care at 1.800.966.6546 to receive an adjustment for the price difference

-Skimtat

Sep 29

A Gift for Microsoft: Xbox One to Xbox 360 Streaming

Microsoft,

Nice work on the  Xbox One to Windows 10 streaming.   I am sure you have already discussed the 6b252c54-380d-4f54-a60e-1e1c347db6ce[1]following but I wanted to bring it up just in case.  I am suggesting this because I think it will set you apart from Steam and PlayStation.  I am a fan of what you have done and would like to see you gain some ground.  Feel free to implement, this is a gift.

Allow Xbox 360 to Stream Content from from the Xbox One

I was recently using my Asus Vivotab Note 8 with an ATOM proc to stream games from my Xbox One.     I was connected over wireless and using a Xbox 360 controller.    I was surprised that it actually works.    The hardware in the Xbox 360 has to be better than this tablet.

Advantages:

  • It will be difficult to convince people to purchase multiple Xbox Ones.  I can buy a new Xbox 360 for $167 right now at Amazon.     Most people have more than one TV in their house why not try to get some form of an Xbox attached.   Game streaming and TV apps should be people’s motivators.
  • AppleTV and Amazon FireTV have new versions coming.  These versions are there mainly to deliver TV apps and some ported mobile games.   Why not deliver world class next gen games to all TV’s in your house and all the same apps.  This would be roughly the same cost as one of those devices.   The AppleTV gen 4 is $150 and the Amzon Fire TV gaming is $139.
  • Increase Sales of digital games.   Once you have a Xbox connected house the consumer is not going to want to switch rooms to change disks.   Using the streaming to Windows 10 I have already found myself looking at digital purchases first.
  • Motivation of upgrades.  This can be a motivator for any consumer that is on the fence about upgrading their Xbox 360.   Backward compatibility is on its way but you can also use your 360 on a second TV and play any game from your library.

Disadvantages:

  • Small decrease in sale of second Xbox One to households that are able to meet there use case by purchasing or using an old Xbox 360
  • Xbox 360’s stay in the market longer – support cost will increase

 

Sep 08

Xbox Game Streaming has Arrived

Overview of Xbox Game Streaming

Windows 10 is finally out!. If you have not gotten Windows 10 use this link to get the free upgrade before it expires: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade. Windows 10 introduces Xbox Game Streaming, could this give me flexible to game anywhere in my house? I have tried on multiple devices and have been pleased with the results.

Testing Requirements

The following are required to stream Xbox One Games.

  • Xbox One
  • A Windows 10 PC or tablet
  • A decent Network
  • Xbox One or Xbox 360 controler

I completed my testing on the following devices:

  • Surface  3 Pro
  • Asus VioTab Note 8
  • Custom Build Gaming Desktop

Testing Results Per Device

M80TA_1

First the Asus VioTab Note 8. I tried on here because I thought there would be no way an ATOM based proc could hang with a 1080p game streaming over wireless. I plugged in the xbox 360 controler with the usb adaptder and away we went.   It was not great but it did work and was completely playable at medium quality. The main issue is the 8 inch screen, I need to build a holder into a ball cap and this thing would be perfect.  If this is the only option you have(cheap) then may be worth trying it out.    I have not gone back and used this just because I have other options in my house.

 

 

Surface-PDP-128GB-MQ2-00004-Large-desktopThe Surface Pro 3 feels like it was designed for this.   At high quality there are almost no issues.  I am able to stream with just a minor hit to quality.   I can plug my Xbox 360 controler right in the USB without an adapter and away we go.   I been using my wife’s Surface for this testing,  this alone has motivated me to buy the next generation when it is released(hopefully this year).

Use Case:When the kids turn on some really bad cartoon or my wife starts watching some reality show I immediately reach for the Surface.   I pull the keyboard off plug my headphones and the 360 controller in and start escaping the world of bad tv.   I do have a dual band wireless router and the stream look much better using that over the single band.   This does seem to limit my range so I have not done much streaming/gaming outside.   As the weather gets cooler I will start testing my range.

 

81Qvsxp0nyL._SL1500_The final test was on my  gaming desktop.   I will not go into wall the specifics but it can run all modern games without issue.   The other advantage to this PC is it is hardwired into the network.  I can push this PC to very high quality without seeing much in loss of quality.   On this setup I use the Xbox One Controler wirelessly since the Xbox One is in the same room.

Use Case:   I have a pair of nice Asus 24inch monitors that allows me to play games on one and still have access to the world on the second.   I still have the option to go sit on a couch and play on a larger screen but I find myself playing off the this streamed PC more often.

 

 

The Interface

Open the new Xbox application on your Windows 10 workstations.   You can turn on the Xbox from the first screen.  My first time through I needed to add the IP address of the Xbox.   Once added it was always in the list.   To turn on the Xbox I believe you need to be in the sleep mode on the Xbox,  I do not think you can power it up from a full shutdown.   This feature is extremely nice when you are in a different room of the house and want to quickly get some gaming in.

xboxon

 

It takes about 30 seconds to power up and for the application to notice there is a valid Xbox online

 

stream

 

Once online you can get to the settings of the steam by moving your mouse to the top of the screen.  The buttons from left to right are a xbox button, mute, stop streaming, stats and quality.

 

xboxstreamon

 

dialog

speed

 

The stats button is worth pressing to troubleshoot any issues you are having.  This can be turned on and left on while you are streaming content.    If you run into issues drop you quality on the qutility selector.  The lowest I needed to go was medium which was till playable but looked like a 360 game.

 

Things That Need to be Improved

I only have 3 real complaints or things that should be improved.

  1. Sometimes you lose focus when you click on your second screen. When you come back to the streaming session it asks for you to reconnect.
  2. I do not like the prompt to connect a controller if I do not have one plugged into the Windows 10 workstation. I often connect the Xbox One controller to the console and do not need this prompt.
  3. The Scan for new Xbox One does not work very well. I had to manually put in a ip address. I only needed to do this once but it would be nice to never have to do it in the future.

Conclusion

Xbox Game Steaming works and works very well. I will continue to use this to avoid bad TV in my house. Maybe one day I could be sitting by a camp fire with Master Chief and a beer. If you have any additional comments or questions feel free to follow up in the comments section of this post.