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The Weekly OT#42: Beam

February 26, 2017


Beam gets it’s own Weekly OT.  3rdGN got the Preview update tonight and was excited to try it out. From the computer upstairs, I watched him play RL on his Xbox downstairs, almost real time. At this point, the content/users is very limited, but the quality and near-simultaneous broadcast of the video stream makes it a very sexy alternative to Twitch.  It has the added benefit of working while appearing offline, if that kind of closeted exhibitionism is appealing. Beam is part of the Xbox OS, so the “app” is very slick, responsive, and single-click easy. Twitch will have to either up their game, or be beat at it shortly after it goes to all Xbox users (with automatic user account creation/addition). The difference really is that disparate. Beam Twitter.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. Blankman permalink*
    February 26, 2017 12:34 pm

    Bill Paxton passed away from surgery complications today. He had so many memorable roles in so many movies that I loved growing up from Aliens to Tombstone. Man, he’s going to be missed. 😢

    As in regards to Beam, the graphic fidelity is practically night & day compared to Twitch. Beam has sharp & high resolution where Twitch is often muddy. The only thing that Beam needs is more streamers, but that will be easily remedied when it goes out to all XB1 users soon. MS is slowly sharpening its sword when it comes to an entertainment machine.

    • February 26, 2017 4:07 pm

      I came over here to make the same announcement. Love that actor. Kenny, you never saw HBO’s Big Love, did you? Another great role. All of his movies weren’t necessarily great, but he was great in every one of them (I think). Reading the articles about him, I didn’t realize that he was married for 30 years. A rare thing in any community, especially Hollywood. The only other actor that comes to mind is Kurt Russel (married to Goldie Hawn). Anyway, respect and sadness.

      Agreed about everything you mentioned re: Beam. And specifically, as regards MS’ sharpened sword of the future, I am getting genuinely excited about Scorpio. I never was about the One, but I am about the next machine. It is powerful. MS has the best “DRM” program out there, sans not using any at all. There doesn’t appear to be any peripheral garbage. There is software that will use it. Games are being made that will be cross platform, which more than anything, is necessary for community presence/support. In fact, the only two things that I really am concerned about are that and the option for an SSD. I really want lightening speed dashboard/app/game load response time, and I am willing to pay cash dollars for it.

    • Blankman permalink*
      February 26, 2017 4:51 pm

      Suns, you shouldn’t hold your breath for an SSD. They’re pretty darn expensive even for 240-250gb models, & MS isn’t going to add more costly hardware to bump up the MSRP. It has to come in at $500, otherwise, consumers will balk on adopting it. That’s something that MS simply cannot afford; another botched launch could end MS’ future in gaming. It would be catastrophic for Phil & company.

      Very sad about Paxton’s passing. I never did see ‘Big Love,’ but every cameo that he’s been in were awesome. The last small part that I saw him in was Edge of Tomorrow, he was hilarious as the sergeant.

  2. February 26, 2017 4:22 pm

    This is a particularly nice article on Bill.

    EDIT: True Lies!!! He was hilarious as the car dealer in that one!!!

  3. RoBBins permalink*
    February 27, 2017 12:52 pm

    If I can get my hands on this as an insider, I may have to try this out with Gears or RE7 to see how it works! Sounds awesome!

  4. February 27, 2017 3:40 pm

    @Blank, Understood re:SSD. Agreed that above all else, it first has to launch at under $500.00, and they need to do the launch right.

    @RoBBins, do more of the Insider Hub surveys and quests, and eventually, you will probably be upgraded to Beta Preview

    And, OT two both of those conversations, Wildcard doing it right:

  5. February 27, 2017 5:19 pm

    Here is the GDC YouTube channel. There must be some interesting panels in there. I am going to be watching the feed. I will let you know if there are any must watch vids, and similarly, if you come across any, let us know.

  6. February 27, 2017 7:14 pm

    For your viewing pleasure.

    Lots of stuff I noticed in Silence of the Lambs, but never consciously thought about. Cool.

    • February 28, 2017 12:06 am

      Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is another Play Anywhere title on Xbox.

  7. February 28, 2017 1:29 pm

    Something we have discussed here at great length is actually happening. I imagine this is just the beginning:

    The model appears better suited for families that have kids than those who only have time to play select titles. Interesting none the less. Also, notice the timing pre-e3. They are also going to be alpha testing now with insiders.

    Obviously, this is just an opt-in service, but more options is better for consumers.Hopefully this grows into something more applicable to us.

    • Blankman permalink*
      February 28, 2017 8:12 pm

      Damn it! I had a long ass reply typed out & it fracking just disappeared. I don’t have the energy to re-type it. I frisking hate WordPress sometimes! Argh! You can’t really bitch when it’s free, but- damn it!!!

  8. Herandar permalink
    February 28, 2017 3:37 pm


  9. February 28, 2017 4:34 pm

    @Zos, I just came over to post about the subscription service. I love the choice and look forward to watching what games are offered in the service.

    @Herandar, lol. “honest Trailers” and their kin can be a lot of fun.

  10. February 28, 2017 5:10 pm

    And, I just added ID@Xbox to my Twitter feed. Sweet!

  11. February 28, 2017 7:03 pm

    What I have been saying for a couple of years now; reassuring to hear some of the public voices calling him out on his playoffs (dis)appearances.

    • March 1, 2017 3:47 pm

      MRI back soon, but rumored that Durant is out indefinitely. With Bogut and that other free agent, Cavs are gonna (should) be a huge odds on favorites to win, even if Durant were to make it back on time. This is a moment for Curry to show that he can play when it counts. Harden was similarly choke, but in the last two years has started to show up for the playoffs. Westbrook was a selfish point guard, but has turned into the best PG in the league (considering the team he has) and is on track to beat the second place for most triple doubles in a single season. People can change, but Curry is going to have to start now (he missed the final seconds shot again last night).

  12. Herandar permalink
    March 1, 2017 8:15 am

    Is anyone else on the Alpha level of Preview? I got the access to the Games pass for free. There are currently 21 games available in the preview version. Mostly games that were previously included in GWG or Rare Replay 360 games, so I already have most of the offerings.

    • March 1, 2017 6:25 pm

      I have not received a free pass. Cornie is on the Alpha level as is Blank.

      The “I already have most of the offerings” will be what keeps me from subscribing. Great idea, but we are so often about the newest and latest here. By the time they roll around onto the Game Pass list, they will probably be long abandoned.

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 1, 2017 7:33 pm

      Nope, I’m in Beta level for the Preview program. I’m not going to hold my breath for the SoT invite. At this point, my gaming time is limited and sporadic at best with Sherri’s recovery.

      Now that KD is out for an estimated four weeks, the rest of the Warriors better step up their game. It looks like Curry has been shooting enough bricks from the three-point line to build a few chimneys. LOL The Warriors did make a good move by signing Matt Barnes instead of Jose Calderon. Barnes will provide some decent defense, enforcement, and a few occasional buckets. Meanwhile, the Cavs are hiring mercenaries in the form of Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams. I’m not a fan of Williams whatsoever. He was overrated when he made his two All-Star appearances and played for the U.S. National team. What’s he done since? Yep, nothing. Bogut, on the other hand, was a nice pick up. Regardless, I can’t stand either team. Especially, when Donkey is as dirty as they come.

      Suns, I know that living in Japan, you don’t have access to the sports talk radio that we have in the states. It’s been well known that Curry has been a choke artist due to his disappearance in two straight Finals series. Heck, their bench player/sixth man, Andre Iguadola, won the Finals MVP! The vid that you posted is of Shannon Sharpe, former Denver Broncos player & now sports radio host opposite Skip Bayless. Sharpe is one of the many hosts that are critical of Curry. Other popular sports radio hosts such as Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd, etc. have also shared in criticizing Curry’s decision-making. Stephen A. Smith is too much of an NBA-nut hugger to offer criticism to the elite players. In addition, his reporting just grates on your nerves if you listen to him longer than five minutes. He’s always antagonistic to any opposing opinions.

      Ever since Curry choked on the previous Finals appearance, it’s been mentioned on a weekly basis (at least). We’ll see how he’s able to handle the pressure now that Durant is out for the next month. As it is, he’s missing open shots and making stupid decisions. Regardless that they were already losing to the Wizards last night, why the hell would you take a thirty-eight foot shot with so much time on the clock? It’s that kind of crap that critics jump all over him on. Remember the behind-the-back pass to Klay in the Finals? His “showboating” gets him into hot water because it makes people wonder if he’s more interested in making the highlight reel or focused on helping his team.

    • March 1, 2017 9:16 pm

      Doh! I was mistaken. Cornie is in the Beta, as well. I am Preview 3 Ring, but am now taking the Quests and Surveys seriously. 😉

      Yeah, I haven’t heard much criticism of Curry anywhere and so when I saw this, I was delighted. (In the past couple of months, I have started listening to/viewing commentary beyond the “first party” NBA stuff. Good to hear people calling this out. Sh!t’s ridiculous.) Since Curry disappeared in the Conference Finals against the Rockets in 2015, I have been calling him out for utterly disappearing when it counts. Last year, during the regular season, he made a bunch of clutch plays and I thought he might redeem himself in the Playoffs, but one of the most vivid memories is seeing him sit on the bench as if he doesn’t care while his team loses. I had never seen that in an “elite” player before, and last year, until Draymond called LeBron a Bitch, he was doing the same thing. Just sitting on the sidelines (this isn’t new now, we discussed that point last year, too) resigned to losing.

      Also, agreed about the stupid on-court decisions by Curry. There was a play about a month back where Steve Kerr was face palming in the most violent and angry way possible.

      With KD probably out, and their decimated bench to get him last year, people are questioning if the Warriors might not even make it out of the Conference. It certainly gives other teams a chance. Warriors are spinning it like he will be back in time for the Playoffs. Steve Kerr has outright lied to the press before.

      EDIT: LOL The Trolls and the Memes!!

  13. RoBBins permalink*
    March 1, 2017 2:20 pm

    Blank! rED! Be sure to keep an eye on those emails! This was just posted on Rare’s twitter. 8000 more invites going out for the weekend!


    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      March 1, 2017 7:00 pm

      Thanks, gonna keep my eyes open!

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 1, 2017 8:22 pm


  14. March 1, 2017 2:34 pm

    Sea of Thieves alpha growing population by 4000. (2x existing)

  15. RoBBins permalink*
    March 1, 2017 5:36 pm

    Posted a tweet but its awaiting moderation.

    8000 invites going out tonight. Next session for Alpha is Saturday from 2-5pm EST. Check those emails!

    • March 1, 2017 6:23 pm

      Hey RoBBins, sorry about that (you will no longer need anything moderated) and thank you for your persistence!

    • RoBBins permalink*
      March 2, 2017 4:13 pm

      @esuns No biggie! Just trying to spread the word! I can see Blank gave up a long time ago 😉 But I figured maybe rED would be interested still. Cant believe you guys didn’t get an invite!

  16. rEDChief55 permalink*
    March 1, 2017 9:23 pm

    Wow rough. That makes a total of like 17,000 to 20,000 players in and as someone who signed up almost immediately I’m not starting to wonder what the odds are. Like going by the numbers it may actually be more difficult to NOT have received an invite at this point. Whatevs Sea of Dicks

  17. March 1, 2017 10:58 pm

    ^^^Interested to read more details about this.

    • March 2, 2017 3:34 am

      Fascinating. Would you like to put your coding skills to more artistically creative work?

  18. Herandar permalink
    March 2, 2017 8:30 am

    See, I’m not going to feel bad about missing the Alpha, because I don’t game in the 2-5 PM EST window. It’s cool.

    As for the game pass program, they included GOW UE in with the 21 games I mentioned earlier.

    All of the preview program quests on my to do list involve me spending some money (i.e. Get XBL Gold or buy a game) so they remain on the to do list.

  19. March 2, 2017 12:55 pm

    Holy cow. I just checked a few sites to see how the new Zelda reviews were looking:

    IGN – 10/10
    Giant Bomb – 5/5
    Polygon – 10/10
    Gamespot – 10/10
    Kotaku – “Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game to date, and it accomplishes that simply by saying yes.”

    I guess Ethan is going to need one of these new Nintendo consoles…

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 2, 2017 11:34 pm

      You keep telling “yourself” that, Zos. 😜

  20. March 2, 2017 4:05 pm

    @Zos, I heard the new Zelda has trains. 😉 Yes, there was so much Zelda news out there yesterday already and it was all positive. I believe the world is more interactive, making puzzles etc. more interesting.

    @Herandar Yep, GoW:UE Fantastic game. Bought it 1.5 years ago. 😦 Yes, the Alpha Test play sessions are so restrictive that it doesn’t suit North America anyway. Of course, 4-7am for me isn’t exactly convenient.

  21. RoBBins permalink*
    March 2, 2017 4:15 pm

    Seeing all these Zelda reviews REALLY makes me want to hunt down a Switch, but the wife wouldn’t be too thrilled with that one 😛 Also, Horizon Zero Dawn has my complete and undivided attention. Holy shit is it an incredible game! Zos, add it to the list of games to pick up once you get a PS4!

  22. Herandar permalink
    March 6, 2017 8:46 am

    Got my copy of Breath of the Wild from Amazon with 20% off MSRP. Now to find a Switch that isn’t marked up or bundled.

    • March 6, 2017 3:02 pm

      I’m so jealous, that I am in physical pain.

    • March 6, 2017 5:13 pm

      “It is certainly the best Zelda game I have ever played, and (I believe) a high water mark for games in general. If there is such a thing as a “must play” title, I think Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of them.”

      My chest is hurting for you. Just go buy it. You know you are going to and it isn’t like it is going to come down in price in the next six months. Better that, than watching someone stream that shit in low res on Twitch.

      I don’t know if I told you that I bought the Gold Zelda for N64 but stopped playing it after a couple of hours. When one of the NPC’s told me to do something, I did it, and they never gave me anything in return but a thank you or some stupid shit. Then, I discovered that if I chopped the grass with my knife, gems came out. And hearts were to be found plentiful on the roofs of houses. The stupidity of having NPCs send me on quests, but then me getting my money from the grass and health from spinning hearts on top of houses pissed me off so greatly (utter rubbish game design) that I never played another Zelda. I did like how I could burn the spider webs. That was the first logical event in the game.

      My friend borrowed it and after a week had completed the whole thing. He said he loved it.

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 6, 2017 7:35 pm

      It’s easy to give that advice when it’s not your own money, Suns. 😂 I think Nintendo’s Switch will wind up like their last console, WiiU. Nintendo’s on-line multiplayer plans are still convoluted and up in the air. As it is, they’ll make money off of their own IPs and third-party support will dwindle after two years. Nintendo is famous for lying through their teeth and promising that they’ve changed. Also, buying the Switch will only distract Zos from work, school, & family. I mean, what would Cornie do if Zos weren’t around to play Rocket League. 🤔

    • March 6, 2017 10:46 pm

      I agree with you 100% that the Switch will under-deliver, and what is worse, several of the titles that they have promised will be bumped to launch the machine that succeeds the Switch, as is Nintendo’s MO. For you and I, who have been burned by Nintendo for every console after the N64, I would never give that advice.

      On the other hand, for Zos, who buys every NConsole and is happy (fulfilled) with the 5 or so first party mascot (Disney-On-A-Disc) games, it is a no brainer. What is he gonna do, wait 4 years until the thing drops a hundred dollars? Zelda being reviewed as the best Zelda of all time?! My goodness, if he isn’t playing it within March, I will consider his gamercred cheap. 😉 Why pretend, or go through angst?

      Steph and Ethan will gladly sit on the couch and watch him play. When it comes to Dark Souls or Hitman, yeah, that digs into family time, but Zelda, that IS for family! That is what loving fathers and husbands do! They buy Nintendo and share the joy with their wives and children! Pizza and Zelda! After the first night, Ethan will be beside himself with anticipation of Daddy getting home so “they” can play.

      We buy games. It is what we do. I bought at least 3 games beyond my budget this past Christmas. Heck, a bunch of you have PS3s and PS4s. ….Bwahahahaahaha! But, for the system sellers, what are you gonna do?

      (P.S. No disrespect or financial assumptions intended. I just know the burning desire to get certain games, and I know Zos’ love for the Zelda franchise. This is a once in 5+ years title for him.)

    • March 7, 2017 12:59 am

      You are correctamundo. Ethan is almost there, he will be 3 in < 4 months (how is that even possible?). I have been having him watch Mario and Zelda videos in preparation. It is funny, but the Nintendo characters immediately resonated with him. He knows Mario, Zelda and Link (crucial distinction) by name. He is quick as a whip on a tablet/smart phone but the gamepad is still new. I plan on playing the game entirely with him (and Steph if she is around lol).

      In terms of the switch, it is going to be a rough start. It is clear Nintendo is not interested in the social online gaming networks that are dominated by Steam, XBL and PSN. In fact, if you look at all of their first party games that are new IP, many are designed to be played without even looking at the screen (just using sound and controllers and interacting with other physical players in the same room).

      I think by the end, the Switch will do better than the WiiU. The reason is the mobile gaming device element. Nintendo's handhelds still sell well and this thing is actually a beast for a mobile device. It is between a last gen and a Xbox One/PS4. Especially for young people, handheld devices are great. Android and iOS STILL haven't been able to create games of the same caliber. Also Mario Kart next month and the next Mario holiday of this year (those two titles specifically have launched consistently)

      Nintendo must at least see some improvement. If the switch fails, I think they only have one more new "console launch" before they will have to reevaluate everything.

    • March 7, 2017 1:45 am

      I do not see the Switch succeeding in a meaningful way. This doesn’t mean that the games aren’t worth the price of the system. But the people who are laying down the dollars and buying them right now, are the hardcore Mascot fans. After that population has their Switches, there really isn’t anyone else that will buy. Third party developers have been burned by three or four systems now. Ubisoft et. al might put out some Raymay type game, but it won’t be an exclusive. That shit will also be available (and probably with more features) on the Sony and MS consoles as well.

      Nintendo traditionally likes the hardware too much to part with it, but I don’t see them making another system that sells in the 10s of millions (e.g., Wii) anytime soon. I would say they should just go software, but it always takes them 3+ years even to make low res games, and I don’t think they even want to. Their heart isn’t in it, and I don’t know that it would be wise to pimp out their mascots that way. The popularity of Mario depends on the perfect saturation. He isn’t cute like Mickey, and I can see people becoming tired of the Nintendo crew (at least more so than the Disney characters).

      I don’t know. I have no wisdom as regards Nintendo.

      By the way, Johann started with me when Goldeneye came out. 9 months old. The N64 controller fit perfectly in his hand and he was able to move the stick with his thumb (best thumb stick alignment ever designed) with his finger on the trigger. In his right hand, he wasn’t able to reach all the buttons, but he could grip like pipe fitter. He very much enjoyed Banjo Kazooie.

      OT and I might have said this before, after Zelda, if you partner up with Ethan in Rocket League, he will be at least as good as you before he is in grade school, at least as regards car control. There is a huge psychological element involved in making your car flip and fly. Because he sees others doing it, he will assume that is the way they always were meant to be. I would like to test my theory, but I suspect that very young children would experience a disproportionate improvement curve in that specific game.

    • Herandar permalink
      March 7, 2017 7:45 am

      “My chest is hurting for you. Just go buy it. You know you are going to and it isn’t like it is going to come down in price in the next six months.” (Or two years.)

      Which is exactly why I got mine from Amazon already. Prime members get 20% off on new games at launch. Get it now.

  23. Blankman permalink*
    March 6, 2017 10:57 pm

    I’m not the kind of person that takes pleasure in others’ pain, but did you hear what happened to Andrew Bogut, Suns? He broke his tibia fifty-eight seconds into his first game as a Cav! Oh my goodness! 😂😂😂 Suck it Lebron!
    It also looks like the Warriors need to find their groove after their dependency on Durant as their leading scorer. Curry “broke” out of his three-point shooting slump in the third quarter of last night’s game according to all the sports sites. Whatever. That dude crumbles when the pressure is on him. Let’s see if he folds like a house of cards. Meanwhile, my Clippers are sucking total ass. They are under performing so poorly that it breaks my fricking heart. 😭

    • March 6, 2017 11:11 pm

      Yes, respect and genuine sympathy for the injured. I like both Durant and Bogut very much. Having said that, the whole thing does have a “you shoulda danced with the bloke who brought ya” ring to it, though that doesn’t really apply to Bogut as he was traded away from the Warriors.

      Wouldn’t it be a hilarious if neither the Cavs nor the Warriors made it? Bwahahahahaha!

      Both the Cavs and the Warriors are heavy favorites, I am sure. Still, the East has some major contenders now. I’m likin’ the pressure that the Wizards, Celtics, and Raptors can bring to the playoffs. It is very different from last year.

      Of course, in the West, there is the Spurs who are no slouch, no matter how boring ass their game may be. One thing I will say for Pop, he instills loyalty. My feeling is that Kawhi Leonard wouldn’t join either the Warriors or the Cavs, even if he were offered a major raise in pay (not saying that he is available, just illustrating the sense of loyalty that Pops and his game plan instills).

    • Blankman permalink*
      March 6, 2017 11:29 pm

      Suns, you’re mixing up the sense of loyalty and the quest for the “ring.” Durant didn’t leave OKC because he was disloyal, he wanted a ring to cement his name among the greatest ever played. I cannot fault him for that. Leonard already has multiple rings, so his “quest” is a moot point. You getting my drift?

    • March 6, 2017 11:55 pm

      Gotcha. Great points! And I don’t fault anyone chasin’ a ring, either. If the sport was set up so that players never moved, or had complete control over their fate, it would be a little different. As it is, while they sometimes can decide where they will go, they are also more often at the mercy of the owners. That, alone, should be reason enough for all players to look out for themselves without being criticized.

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