Diecast Unplugged #2: Vertigo, PlayStation 5 Reveal

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 15, 2020

Filed under: Diecast 105 comments

So maybe you’re wondering why there was no content last week? I’m afraid I have bad news for you. You can either remain in suspense forever, or you can listen to me bitch about health problems. The choice is yours. Spoiler: You’ll be disappointed either way.

So let’s commence with the bellyaching…

Take Me for a Spin

Want to know how I was doing last week? This image sums it up.
Want to know how I was doing last week? This image sums it up.

For the third time in a decade, I’ve found myself rendered helpless by intense vertigo. I don’t know the underlying cause, other than the vague “This sometimes happens to people over A Certain Age” answers that Google gave me. I have to say that of all the illnesses I’ve experienced, vertigo is the least miserable and most ridiculous.

Also: While researching this, I discovered that this condition is called “vertigo”. In the past I’ve always called it “dizziness”. I thought that “vertigo” had to do with fear of heights. But according to Wikipedia:

“Vertigo is a symptom where a person has the sensation of moving or of surrounding objects moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worse when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness.”

That perfectly describes how I spent a good chunk of last week. I stumbled around the house, desperately trying to mediate the argument between my eyes and inner ear regarding which way was up. My inner ear was in the wrong, but I’m used to relying on that data to keep myself upright. I spent almost a full day listing to the left and walking into the left side of door frames every time I tried to pass through. It was all sort of embarrassing and vaguely slapstick. 

By Thursday I just gave up and started crawling around on all fours. Falling over isn’t dangerous when you’re already that close to the ground. Just to keep things weird, I spent the next few days running a low temperature and falling asleep every two hours like Bilbo. 

This is just as debilitating as other types of periodic illness like the flu. I didn’t get any work done and I spent most of the time in bed. But unlike the flu, it’s not actively painful. A flu is a miserable thing to endure, and you spend every waking moment wishing you could fall asleep again. But with vertigo I could keep myself comfortable by lying on my side, closing my eyes, and keeping very still. It gets boring, sure. But I’ll take that over the torments of a chest cold any day.

The other curious thing about these episodes is how quickly they can happen. With a normal illness, you usually get a bit of a warning. You’ll feel run-down and ache for a day or so before the symptoms get serious. But the onset of vertigo is nearly instant. On Tuesday morning I was playing Saints Row The Third: Remastered. It went like this:

  1. Ew. I’m feeling a little dizzy. That’s weird.
  2. Oof. This is pretty bad. Maybe I shouldn’t be sitting in the dark with all of these explosions going off in my face? I should turn on an extra light.
  3. Okay, the light didn’t help. What’s going on here? Am I getting a migraine or something? I’ll just look away from the screen to see if I have bright spots in front of my eyes.
  4. WAAAAAA! Okay, turning my head to the side is bad. I should face forward again.
  5. WAAAAAA! Okay, turning my head at all is bad. Am I having a stroke? Is this what a stroke feels like?
  6. Actually, the entire room is spinning. Oh, it’s this dizziness crap again. Okay. I need to lie down RIGHT NOW.

After that, I bounced off the door frames as I staggered into the bedroom and fell face-first into the pillow. It was just ten minutes from the first moment of dizziness to complete incapacitation. 

Wait, Saints Row the Third Was Remastered!?

The revamped character models are a mixed bag. Johnny Gat looks fine, but Pierce and Shaundi have an unsettling 'same voice, different face' vibe to them.
The revamped character models are a mixed bag. Johnny Gat looks fine, but Pierce and Shaundi have an unsettling 'same voice, different face' vibe to them.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s probably because the remaster is currently an Epic Games exclusive. Boo.

So what do I think of it? It’s fine. There are some mild annoyances. The game doesn’t like it when you alt-tab away, and it makes my entire machine really unresponsiveIf you try to type anything, the characters will appear at the rate of once a second. Makes the computer basically unusable outside of the game. while it’s running. I notice some of the customization options for cars / clothing have been changed in questionable waysYou can no longer make clothes properly black. Just dark-ish grey. Also, the Matrix-style sunglasses are now just regular eyeglasses?. There are some weird collision issues now that I never encountered in the originalThere’s some sort of metal seam at the end of bridges. Maybe they existed in the original. They’re flush with the ground and look reasonable enough, but they have this odd 1 in 50 chance of flaking out and behaving as though they’re a shin-high barrier. I’ve tripped over them and sometimes my motorcycle will collide with them, sending me over the handlebars.. If you’ve never played the game before, then it’s great to get the game+graphical update+all DLC for just $30. But if you own the original then it’s hard to recommend. 

The Playstation 5 Reveal

Yeah, but how much will it COST?!?
Yeah, but how much will it COST?!?

It’s hard to get a sense of what people think of this thing. In this age of flippant post-post-post ironic hipster anti-sarcasm, I can’t tell how many of the jokes on Reddit are people making fun of the machine because they love it and how many are making fun of it because they think it’s ridiculous. The “Ha ha it looks like a wi-fi router” joke lasted a few days, but then it evolved into a complex series of sub-memes and I’ve completely lost the plot.

Personally, I love it. The Age of Black Cubes lasted a little too long for my taste, and I think a splash of white is a nice change of pace. 

Of course, it’s really hard to say more without knowing the price. Is this going to be another machine that’s priced for the hardcore, or a machine that’s irresistible to the masses? I suppose the first is more likely. If the price was low, they probably would have announced it by now. I suspect they’re trying to get us excited for the device and attached to the idea of owning one before they deliver the gut-punch MSRP.

The lineup of announced titles looks mostly good. I’ll talk about them later this week.



[1] If you try to type anything, the characters will appear at the rate of once a second. Makes the computer basically unusable outside of the game.

[2] You can no longer make clothes properly black. Just dark-ish grey. Also, the Matrix-style sunglasses are now just regular eyeglasses?

[3] There’s some sort of metal seam at the end of bridges. Maybe they existed in the original. They’re flush with the ground and look reasonable enough, but they have this odd 1 in 50 chance of flaking out and behaving as though they’re a shin-high barrier. I’ve tripped over them and sometimes my motorcycle will collide with them, sending me over the handlebars.

From The Archives:

105 thoughts on “Diecast Unplugged #2: Vertigo, PlayStation 5 Reveal

  1. EOW says:

    I really like the variety of games on display, especially in terms of art style. There were lots of stylized games taking from all sorts of inspirations.
    Also variety in gameplays, i saw all kinds of nice stuff. The ps5 design is ok to me, i don’t care much for aesthetics, but i feel this ps5 is gonna be hard to fit on my shelf and it looks quite big, like, even bigger than ps3 fat. Plus the white controller feels like something that will get dirty within a week of usage and if the plastic is not good it’ll become yellowish anyway.
    Also i’m afraid about it collecting lots of dust inside, cause the ps4 has a problem of literally roaring due to bad heat dispersion

    1. Echo Tango says:

      The PS5 looks like it’d work if turned on its side, which would make it about the size of a normal VCR. (Fuck, I’m old.) On the other hand, it’s lumpy and not-square, so it has to be on the top of whatever stack of video- / games-playing rectangles you own, unless you have one shelf per device.

      1. ColeusRattus says:

        well, with the PS4’s heat management, it was not advisable to stack it ontop of another ehat source or have something else on top of it anyway, and the form factor of the ps3 also prevented stacking, at least on top of it, the PS2 slim and the ps1 all had top loading disc drives, also making them not stackable so that’s nothing new. Only the original fat PS2 could be successfully sandwiched between two other devices.

      2. tmtvl says:

        But there’s no reason to have more than 1 console/game pc, right? 1 should have more than enough games for you to last a while (especially considering how ridiculously expensive all that stuff is).

        1. Taellosse says:

          It’s pretty common for gaming enthusiasts to own most or all currently available platforms. Particularly if one is earning a decent income, paid off any higher education debt, and doesn’t have kids, maintaining relatively expensive hobbies like multi-platform video gaming is pretty doable.

          Not that I can afford such luxury these days, but about a decade ago I did.

    2. Thomas says:

      I liked how visually attractive the indie titles looked. It’s getting my hopes up that we’re reaching the stage where hardware power is making things easier for developers, instead of just setting the bar higher.

      If the Unreal engine guys weren’t just fluffing up their business partners, and memory management really is trivial now with the super fast SSDs, I could imagine that being a breakthrough.

    3. Retsam says:

      I’ve seen a lot of speculation that the PS5 design is largely to improve air-flow. It can be put on its side (they showed that in the presentation somewhere), but won’t sit flush with the shelf, which should help with the heat dispersion issue.

  2. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’ve made a mistake of actually watching the presentation rather than just reading about it (LRR folks were doing that thing where they restream it and commentate). The thing is for a long time I’ve generally avoided hype because 1) I’ve been burned before, 2) my income was low for a long time and I’ve sustained my video game addiction exclusively by getting titles several years after release or in bundles, this has apparently really lowered my trailer resistance because I couldn’t help but get “oooh, I wanna play this now” about a bunch of this stuff. Not getting a PS5 mind you but most of it is supposedly coming to the PC as well.

    Also, I’ve seen people speculate they’re holding back on the price until the competition reveals their hand.

    Also also, while I did get somewhat hyped I still think trailers showing you a montage of 2-3 seconds long moments of gameplay are BS, not as much BS as the AC:Valhalla thing but still…

  3. John says:

    Ouch. Vertigo sounds awful. I hope the fact that you’re posting now is an indicator you’re recovered or at least recovering.

    I don’t hate the look of the PS5. It’s fine, more or less, if judged in a vacuum. I do think I would hate the way that it looked in my living room, however. I don’t want my consumer electronics to be objects of art. I want them to be unobtrusive. I want them to be so boring that the eye skips right over them. The PS5 looks as though it should be tastefully displayed on a non-crowded shelf with a couple of bright green houseplants and maybe a small statuette. I don’t have any of those things. I don’t even have the space for any of those things.

    1. Steve C says:

      Yeah I’m the same. I don’t get the desire for flashy electronics. RGB computers are worse though. I don’t get understand that all. I have to get it though, because there’s no choice. I could not find a 6+ button mouse that lacked RGB.

      The PS5 controller looks especially bad. White is not a practical color for something you grip for hours while snacking.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        The controllers seem even worse, with all the nooks, crannies, and gaps all over them. Smooth plastic with flush seams is one thing to keep clean, these things look like a hassle and a half. :|

      2. ivan says:

        Yeah, there may well be a way I can turn all these LEDs on my Graphics Card off, but I don’t know what that is. My case has a glass panel, too, facing me while I’m using the thing, so it’s double bad.

        1. Xeorm says:

          I’d check for buttons on the physical device. Another option to check would be the GPU’s in the task bar and see if the option’s there.

      3. DeadlyDark says:

        Initially I wasn’t a fan of RGB bling in PC Towers, but recently I’ve becoming more and more inclined to include a lot of RGB into a PC, if I build a new one.

        I can’t explain why. I just want it. So… Gimme that

      4. tmtvl says:

        You should probably clean it as regularly as your mouse or keyboard. Also, just a quick wipe with some cloth every hour before you go out to get some fresh air should be fine.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      Maybe when they announce the price, we will find out they’re exclusively targeting people who can afford abstract art beside their televisions. :|

  4. Lino says:

    Sounds awful! Maybe it was prompted by all the heavy lifting around the move (which I hope you’re done with, if nothing else than at least for your sanity’s sake)? Hopefully you’re better now? If not, I personally have nothing against a couple more days of no content…

  5. tmtvl says:

    The PS5 doesn’t look as good as the PS1, but that’s par for the course for the PSi for i > 1.
    If I were interested I’d hope the controller is as big as the PS1 controller, but truth be told I’m not really into consoles any more. I have so many PC (not Windows, GNU/Linux is a PC OS, dangit) games to get through first.

    Having vertigo is a pain, and unfortunately I can’t really give any good tips for dealing with it. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and I hope you feel better soon.

    I never was interested in SR, so the remaster being Epic only is no skin of my back. Still adding it to the blacklist, though.

    1. Syal says:

      (urge to pedant… rising…)

      ‘i’ is never greater than 1.
      ‘i’ is never less than 1.
      ‘i’ is never equal to 1.
      ‘i’ is ‘i’ and only ‘i’.

      That is to say: ‘i’ am what ‘i’ am and that’s all that ‘i’ am.

      1. Kathryn the Electrical Engineer says:

        Sounds like you are referring to j.

        1. Syal says:

          They’re not called just-a-theory numbers.

          That is to say: ‘i’ was here first.

      2. tmtvl says:

        I said for, that means I’m defining a function of i where i is a variable. I could have named it x instead of i and it would be the same thing. Don’t let complex mathematics interfere with lambda calculus.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      Oh, get right out of here with that GNU-slash. Nobody calls it Linux That Also Has GIMP, or Linux With VLC. There’s more than just GNU software running on any given Linux distribution – get over it!

      1. pseudonym says:

        I have to disagree. I use Debian GNU/Linux. That is the official name. Get over it! ;-) (They used to have a Debian GNU/kFreeBSD as well by the way)

        In more seriousness. Most people that use Linux use it as part of Android or Chrome OS. While that is technically using Linux, it is not GNU/Linux.

        1. Philadelphus says:

          There’s also Debian GNU/Hurd, which has the best-sounding name in my opinion (as a fellow Debian GNU/Linux user).

      2. tmtvl says:

        I have taken to adding it because I really admire the philosophy of Free software and I respect the great strides the GNU project has taken to giving me a wonderful computing experience.

  6. Geebs says:

    Honestly, I don’t care about how the PS5 looks. I do care very much indeed about how it sounds.

    1. Asdasd says:

      Like a jet plane taking off, if the last two generations have been anything to go by.

      1. The Puzzler says:

        Sony quote: “A Great Deal of Effort Has Gone into Making PS5 Quieter than PS4.”

        (Note that this does not mean they succeeded…)

  7. Peter says:

    HI Shamus,

    You could have suffered from labyrinthitis, might be worth looking into


    1. BigTiki says:

      Could be BPPV – benign paroxymal positional vertigo – brought about by a loose flake in the inner ear. I had a few of those episodes, one that came on as I was doing renovations, and carrying a door at the top of a stairway. Not good! Basically, a fleck of stuff rolls around in the liquid of your inner ear, and any time it bumps the tiny hairs in there, your brain thinks you’re falling or taking a 2G turn.

      There are some head-positioning exercises that can help lodge that flake or bubble in a corner so your body can re-absorb it. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw205649

      You might want to try a YouTube video for BPPV exercises, the text descriptions are a little ‘iffy’, like trying to convert the description of a dance on paper into a passable performance.

      Best of luck with it – and I hope it passes!

      1. raifield says:

        You and I posted about the same thing at the same time! I had BPPV and it sucked. The Epley maneuver positioning exercise cleared it up pretty quickly though.

    2. Bubble181 says:

      My mind went straight to “variation of inner ear infection” too. Also, when I had one of those, I had a below-average temperature, too.

  8. Kathryn says:

    Vertigo sucks. Sorry you were going through that. I hope you’re doing better now.

    I wonder if not knowing what vertigo is is common. If so, it would explain the following conversation I had during my second pregnancy, which at the time I thought was the doctor just being a dick:

    Doctor from the answering service (not my doctor): Now, I hear you’re having vertigo. What’s wrong?
    Me: (confused) I have vertigo.
    Doctor: Don’t use the word vertigo. How do you feel?
    Me: Vertiginous.
    Doctor: …
    Me: The room is spinning around me even when I’m perfectly still. When I try to focus on a fixed point on the wall, everything spins around that point.
    Doctor: Okay, that’s vertigo.
    Me: (thinking) NO S&&T, SHERLOCK.

    Anyway. For the heat issues, we actually have to pull our PS4 out of the cubby and set it on a book so it has airflow around it. Otherwise, the fans roar the entire time (apparently ineffectually, judging by how hot it gets to the touch).

    1. Daimbert says:

      This sounds like a “I’m the doctor, I’ll make the diagnoses” situation [grin].

      1. Warbright says:

        I am a physician (don’t worry I’m not going to try to give advise or diagnoses over the internet), and I would probably do the same thing. It is because patients often don’t use the words the precise way we do. So if I don’t know the patient well, I’ll want them to describe it in more detail, as I don’t actually know how they are using the word. For example, I am frequently told by patients that they had the ‘flu’ last week. Most of the time they mean they had diarrhea, vomiting, or both.

        Often people will say they have vertigo and mean syncope, as well.

        But I can imagine that it is frustrating for folks who are using the words properly.

        1. Kathryn says:

          Yes, my own doctor knows me and would have known I knew whereof I spoke. This was whichever doctor was handling calls to the answering service that day. At the time, I thought she was just jerking me around, hence my “vertiginous” reply. (I accidentally left out part of the exchange – after I said I had vertigo, she asked what my symptoms were, and I said, now highly confused, “…Vertigo?” and that’s when she said not to use the word vertigo.) Good to have the extra context, thanks!

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            Yeah, I answer calls for emergency services and same deal, if someone tells you there is a stroke, epileptic fit, heart attack, whatever really you always ask for symptoms. Heck, I had people claiming someone isn’t breathing while they were actively yelling at them to leave them alone.

        2. Asdasd says:

          This is a techie crowd, so maybe a helpful comparison would be the doubtless many occasions where parents have complicated a ‘family tech support’ call with well-meaning but wildly imprecise use of computer terminology.

      2. sheer_falacy says:

        It sounds more like a “people call things that aren’t vertigo vertigo” situation. Like how tech support asks you about really obvious stuff, because people are often less knowledgeable than they behave.

        1. Kyle Haight says:

          When I’m dealing with a professional, I try to tell them what I observed first, then what I inferred myself from those observations, and finally why I came to them instead of continuing to work the problem myself. That gives them the full context, including both the facts and my reasoning from them. Then they can probe for more data, correct my mistakes and provide help that is calibrated to my level of knowledge.

          This has worked well for me in both medical and tech support situations, although the odd looks I get in response make me think very few people do what I do.

          1. Baron Tanks says:

            Hear, hear, best way to go. If nothing else, at least you can take pride in being a helpful customer/client/patient. I take a very similar approach, precisely because I feel it’s better for both parties.

  9. raifield says:

    I had absolutely terrible vertigo for months after getting hit in the side of the head. It was bad enough that even just moving my head a little would send a signal to my brain that I had just lurched forward by about fifteen feet. Vomiting soon followed.

    It turns out that the blow to my head dislodged crystals inside my ear (otoconia) that our brain uses to determine movement and balance. I had a few crystals knocked out of whatever compartment they normally belong in, so these free-floating bits frequently brushed up against whatever else is in there, making my brain think I was moving in some way.

    A trip to the neurologist both identified my problem and solved it. An exercise called the ‘Epley maneuver’ repositions the crystals. The exercise immediately solved the problem, but it came back every day for a week anyway. Eventually it stopped altogether, I guess a week of the Epley maneuver put all the crystals back. I haven’t had a problem since.

    Vertigo absolutely sucks, it’s like your brain is betraying you. I do hope you figure out the cause and get it resolved.

  10. Bubble181 says:

    Get well soon! Variations of vertigo can be very unsettling and annoying, hope you’re back to being properly grounded by now.

    I don’t dislike the PS5 look, but as someone stated above – it’s meant to be shown, preferably on an nearly empty shelve. It’s not something intended to be hidden away. Nice for people who have lots of space, but if you want it in a rack with your Wii, XBoX Two Xs, Digital decoder, and what-have-you, it’s going to be a pain.

  11. Thomas says:

    I’m fearful of the price of a PS5, and I’m still waiting for confirmation in writing that games I buy digitally for the PS4 I can play on the PS5. I’m sure Sony will release different coloured versions of the PS5 amd I’ll probably wait for one of those. I had the red and black Metal Gear Solid PS5 and loved it.

    The disk and no disk versions are going to be an interesting choice. On the one hand, I hate owning discs and would much prefer a digital version, but on the other hand used games are often tthe economic pressure that keeps PS store games cheap. For the PS4 you can often find discs cheaper than the digital versions.

    1. tmtvl says:

      Oh, I’m sure the PS5 is gonna cost more than I pay rent each month.

  12. Richard says:

    The trouble with these consoles is that their physical shape doesn’t fit the location most people actually need to place them.
    They’re all “tall-and-deep”.

    They seem to be designing for a type of TV furniture that hasn’t existed anywhere for more than ten years.

    The ‘tall and deep’ physical format made sense when TVs were heavy, deep, small, CRTs (or rear projection) placed inside a large item of furniture with a flat top at least 2 feet deep (or were that furniture), because you could place your Playstation and gramophone record player on top of it.

    Modern TVs are lightweight, large, thin and flat, so almost everyone puts their TV in one of two places:

    1) On a TV stand that is the same width or narrower than the TV, with shelves/drawers underneath.
    The blu-ray, set-top-box, audio receiver and games console unit(s) must sit landscape on these shelves, with airflow between the front and back (either direction).

    2) Hung on the wall, with a small shelving unit below. Occasionally, there’s also a display shelf above.
    The blu-ray, set-top-box, audio receiver and games console unit(s) usually sit on the shelves below.

    A ‘tall’ unit placed below would impinge upon the TV, so PS5 can’t be put there.

    Rarely, there are shelves to the side, where they will fit nicely.
    However these rarely have any way to run the cables “out the side” to the TV, because the sides of a shelving unit are almost always structural.

    If there are shelve(s) above, there is rarely height to put a ‘tall’ unit there without it hitting the ceiling or the shelf above.
    Worse, a unit placed above cannot be easily reached, so it’s not possible to insert a disc, USB stick, or press the ‘on’ button.

    One option is to hang it flat to the wall beside the TV – but you can’t do that either!

    So what ends up happening is it’s put on the floor next to or in front of the TV furniture, where it sucks in all the dust bunnies from the carpet/rugs and gets knocked over by the enthusastic dog/cat/toddler/hoover.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      You know the console can be put on its side too, do you? Even if it hadn’t been confirmed, all consoles can. They’re still typically shown “standing” because it’s a nicer aesthetic. The PS2, PS4 and PS4 were all shown standing in their reveal pictures and trailers, yet most people keep them lying down. That’s how it always is, I don’t know why you spend so much worrying about a non-issue. It’s not like the consoles are liquid inside or anything like that, there’s really no downside to put them in either position.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Wasn’t it, in fact, actually the case for the PS3 that if you actually DID put it standing up things didn’t work right? I remember finding that funny when I heard about it.

        I’ve always had my PS2, PS3 and PS4 consoles “on their side”.

        1. Dreadjaws says:

          Might have been for the original model. I’ve had my slim model in both positions and didn’t change a thing for how things worked. The original model was a bit of a mess in every aspect, though.

          1. Syal says:

            My PS4 struggled to run discs when it was upright. Although my floor isn’t level so ‘upright’ is relative.

    2. Retsam says:

      I’m trying to figure out what shape you’re suggesting for these consoles, and what you mean by “tall and deep”. Do you mean that you think the console takes up too much vertical space, even when placed on its side?

      Placement of a console of this size is sometimes annoying, but I’m not sure what shape would actually be better – (other than if they could just magically make it smaller without compromising tech or having it overheat).

      I certainly don’t think the Xbox Series X of a mini-tower is an improvement; if for no other reason but that so much furniture is designed around stuff like DVD players and consoles and VCRs which all have roughly the same “form factor”.

      1. Thomas says:

        If the height dimensions of the PS5 are true, perhaps it could have done with being a touch thicker and squatter, as it looks like it could be slightly longer than some standard IKEA furniture. I’m sure it’ll be fine though, it’s not like it’s a curtain pole.

      2. Echo Tango says:

        Deep = front to back. Tall = bottom to top. I’m pretty sure they were talking about the console oriented vertically, but from the looks of the pictures, it should work placed on its side.

  13. Gargamel Le Noir says:

    If you’re stuck on your bed with your eyes closed maybe it’s other people’s podcasts time. As I always I strongly recommend Not Another Dnd Podcast, with the caveat common to so many great medias that you have to be a tad lenient the first few episodes until they find their groove.

    But it’s so good you guys! It’s so good.

  14. DeadlyDark says:

    I don’t get vertigo, but headaches from time to time, so I get how it tanks any productivity. Hope it’ll pass and you return to your usual self

    If its any consolation, finally a paperback of The other kind of life I ordered, arrived to me, in russoland. I’ve noticed, that you’re tired of writing about yourself in third person

  15. Dreadjaws says:

    But with vertigo I could keep myself comfortable by lying on my side, closing my eyes, and keeping very still. It gets boring, sure.

    This is the perfect time to talk about my sponsor, Audible.com.

    But seriously, I know having to lie down without being able to do anything is supremely annoying, but, you know, it doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There’s a lot of content to enjoy just with your ears. Music might not get you around for long, but podcasts and audiobooks will do a long way making things easier to endure. I used to think audiobooks were a silly idea, but now I can’t get enough of them.

  16. Dreadjaws says:

    If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s probably because the remaster is currently an Epic Games exclusive.

    Holy crap, I absolutely had not heard about it. Wow. It has reached the point where becoming an EGS exclusive actually results in negative publicity. Why the hell are they still doing it?

    Honestly, why are they? It’s been longer than a year already for many of those 1-year exclusives. If the games had been selling better in Epic, we’d know by now because you know for a fact that Sweeney would be showing that data everywhere like a maniac (you know how he is about only showing data that’s positive for him). Yet, funnily enough, I haven’t seen anything. Even supreme EGS shill PC Gamer, who spend all last year boasting about how the EGS was the future isn’t making any articles about it. They sort of tried it back in february, claiming that EGS hate was dying out and people were starting to accept it, except the article is (like all PCG articles shilling the EGS) curiously misinterpreting and outright ignoring a lot of data to make its point, and most people in the comments section point it out properly.

    Could it be… that it’s just not true? That being an EGS exclusive isn’t actually benefitial to a game? Sure, publishers get a bit of quick cash and then wait for a while for the money to roll in once the game actually hits Steam, but if it has reached a point where players aren’t even hearing about the game, that has become a problem.

    1. SupahEwok says:

      It’s more than “a quick bit” of cash. Indie game devs have said they were offered their entire development costs, upfront. Bigger games typically have a “guaranteed number of sales” deal, which I think means that they and Epic agree on a number of sales, and if thry haven’t reached that number by the end of the year, Epic pays up the rest.

      The risk is all on Epic, here, and they’re burning mounds of cash for these deals. It’s great for devs and publishers. Epic’s gonna burn out at some point.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        The point I was trying to make that the benefit was upfront, not about its size. And sure, it might look benefitial at first, but then there’s a lot of bridge burning these developers and publishers are doing by accepting these deals, which might end up costing them in the future.

        Furthermore, the entire PCgaming industry is suffering. Years of Valve working to reduce piracy have been gone in the last few months, with piracy on the rise. Sure, things can be turned around, but saying that Epic is the only one risking things is a bit naive.

        1. Thomas says:

          All this speculation is a bit pointless when we don’t know the money, we don’t know the sales figures, and we don’t know the cost of the ‘reputational damage’. The exact figures are what matters here.

          At some certain sums and costs and life styles and desires of the developers the deal will be worth it (maybe they just want to stop worrying about having to pay bills for a few months), and at others it won’t. The discussions I’ve seen on the internet are like a group of redditors trying to judge whether a stranger was right to pay for a “product” with “currency”.

          We’ll get a much more solid indicator in a year or so, when we see if the same studios accept similar deals, and hear if Epic are still interested in offering them. If not, someone may have been burned.

          1. Dreadjaws says:

            This is sort of the point I was making up there. The fact that we don’t know the figures is a telltale sign that they’re not good. If they were, Epic would jump at the chance at showing them, finally proving everyone that their strategy was working. “Look, you buncha naysayers, see? It’s working! You kept saying that our strategy couldn’t sustain itself, but here’s irrefutable proof that it can!”

            Now yes, other companies don’t care and they might keep silent even if they’re doing great, but this is Tim Sweeney we’re talking about. He loves to boast.

            1. Thomas says:

              This doesn’t sound right at all. No company discloses these kind of commercially sensitive numbers. If you’re happy to interpret not evidence as supporting your argument, then surely you should be accepting the evidence of all the studios who have said they were happy with their deal? That’s just picking the evidence that fits your agenda.

              The evidence just isn’t out there. Wait a year or so, we’ll find out, there’s no rush.

        2. Retsam says:

          I feel that the idea that accepting these deals is “burning bridges” is largely wishful thinking – I think it’s a fairly small percentage of gamers who actually care enough to “boycott” in the first place, and an vanishingly smaller percentage that will care enough to continue boycotting future games due to the “reputation damage” from this decision. Honestly, I don’t think the gaming community has that much “attention span”.

          Furthermore, the entire PCgaming industry is suffering. Years of Valve working to reduce piracy have been gone in the last few months, with piracy on the rise. Sure, things can be turned around, but saying that Epic is the only one risking things is a bit naive.

          How noble of Valve to strive so hard to have a monopoly so that they could reduce piracy.

          More seriously, I don’t see how this is “the entire industry suffering”. Yeah, some percentage of people will take this as a flimsy pretext for piracy[1] instead of buying from Epic or waiting until it’s on Steam (if you feel so strongly), but that still only hurts the developer, and again, I think the big cash payout likely covers more than covers those lost sales as well as the “boycotters”.

          [1] And “I have to download a launcher” is a pretty flimsy excuse. In general, people also point to the features missing from Epic compared Steam, and I see their point: but if you’re pirating you don’t get those features anyway so it’s a moot point in this hypothetical.

          1. Dreadjaws says:

            Are you seriously going to try to use the “monopoly” argument? Do you even have an idea what that word means or you just like repeating fancy terms you read on the internet?

            Maybe you don’t remember how things were back there, but PC gaming was on the verge of, if not dying, becoming obsolete. Valve did an amazing job on not just creating a new platform and service, but convincing developers and publishers that the PC was a worthy market. Sure, they gained from it, but their gain didn’t come at the expense of gaming, but as a natural consequence of their work and the extreme risk they took.

            In contrast, Epic is clearly only caring about their gain. Everything else is, at best, secondary.

            Also, I agree that “I have to download a launcher” is a flimsy excuse. That’s why I never used it. I don’t know why you brought it up. Well, I guess you’re one of those people who likes to win by picking the easier battles. In reality, no one with a bit of self respect uses that excuse. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen anyone use it. The only people who mention it are the ones calling it a dumb excuse, which, again, easy battle. Much easier if your opponent doesn’t even exist.

            1. Mistwraithe says:

              You are deliberately taking a very narrow view.

              For just one contrary view (and there are others), you could argue that Epic are strengthening PC gaming by giving more money to the developers, both in terms of % of sales (88% vs 70% from Steam) and giving developers who have produced decent looking products guaranteed revenue via the exclusives.

              That seems a much more direct benefit to the PC gaming industry than the rather indirect and more tenuous seeming position that Epic are damaging the PC gaming industry by forcing people to pirate games because they can’t get them on Steam (an argument that seems very weak to me, saying I stole a physical good because it was exclusively sold in a local department store which I don’t like buying from wouldn’t hold up very well in court!)

              1. tmtvl says:

                Hasn’t the 88% vs 70% been debunked already? Steam’s 30% includes transaction fees, whereas Epic’s 88% doesn’t, so it’s closer to 78% vs 70%.

                Also Epic is not available on GNU/Linux, which harms the industry, even if it’s only 1% of the market, but that’s only a minor niggling issue that basically nobody cares about.

                1. Mistwraithe says:

                  Hmmm, thanks, I didn’t know about that. I’ve done some research now. Unless I missed something, it seems like it only affects certain high fee payment methods, whereas paying with credit card (or Paypal backed by a credit card) doesn’t have a fee. The fees are also charged to the consumer rather than the developer, so the developer’s cut is still 88% of the advertised price, but less than 88% of the effective final price for cases where these higher fee payment methods are used. Have I got the gist of it?

                  It doesn’t surprise me – I didn’t realise there were payment methods that took 7, 10, 15+% in fees but with Epic only taking a 12% cut it makes sense that they would either not want to accept those payment methods or charge the fees to someone. I can see this makes the Epic Store more frustrating for consumers who feel they have to use these higher fee payment methods, but it feels to me like part of the problem is that we even have payment methods which charge fees that high in the first place – that’s a huge tax on commerce in general.

                  Anyway, fair point, but even in the worst case (which should be rare) it still leaves the developer with a larger cut that Steam give them. I maintain that I have yet to hear a compelling argument that Epic is actually to the detriment of PC gaming.

          2. Sleeping Dragon says:

            Yeah, I’m sorry but in this case it’s the people who pirate those games that hurt the industry, not Epic. If they want to boycott the store, the game or the dev that is their right, but video games, and even more so a particular video game, are not some bare necessity that they’re being denied, this isn’t a case of stealing a loaf of bread*.

            I will also point out that it wasn’t so long ago that there was a lot of talk about Steam sales “killing the industry” because people weren’t buying games at release price, and I don’t mean just AAA but also the 10$ indies, and were waiting for sales both cutting into devs’ profits as well as delaying the return on the investment.

            *For the record I don’t want to reignite the discussion on the general ethics of piracy here.

  17. Joshua says:

    “The game doesn’t like it when you alt-tab away”

    Random tangent, but here is as good a place to ask as any. I’ve been recently playing some GOG games using DOSBox (Gold Box games I mentioned a month or so back), and when you Alt-Tab out, the game shrinks from Full Screen to a 4″ X 6″ or so Windowed mode, and won’t maximize back. Is there an easy fix to this?

    1. Daimbert says:

      I did have this issue and did find a solution, but that was a while ago and I can’t remember offhand right now. Googling suggests hitting F11, and there might be a specific menu item as opposed to the maximize on the window to do it.

      1. Joshua says:

        Thanks. I’ll try F11 to see if that works at least.

        1. Daimbert says:

          Just tried it now, and F11 isn’t the answer. Alt+Enter works for me.

    2. John says:

      The DOSBox command for toggling between fullscreen and windowed modes (and back again) is Alt+Enter.

      If you want the game to run in a larger window, you can edit the config file in various ways–for example, by manually setting a window resolution or by specifying a different scaling algorithm–to achieve that result. There’s a manual available from the DOSBox home page. There’s also a DOSBox wiki, which has a pretty good explanation of what the config file is and what the various sections do here.

  18. MerryWeathers says:

    There are more games to show for this time unlike the previous generation where most of the games at launch for the Xbox One and PS4 were remasters or padded out tech demos

    1. Thomas says:

      Potentially a consequence of using more PC-like architecture? It doesn’t take people so long to figure out what they’re doing.

      1. Moridin says:

        Last gen was also very PC-like. I suspect it has more to do with the next gen consoles being very similar to current gen consoles except with much better specs.

        1. Thomas says:

          That’s sort of what I meant – since last gen was more PC like and this gen is the same, they know where their footing is.

  19. MelTorefas says:

    Oof. You have my sympathies on the vertigo. I have used a cane for the last 3 or 4 years due to frequent vertigo issues. In my case, when I walk, the ground frequently moves under my feet as if I was on the deck of a ship at sea (it reminds me of riding the ferry back and forth between the mainland and the island where I grew up). They ruled out all the normal stuff (positional, etc), and finally did a test where they put a specialized device on my head and tracked my eye movements in various ways. This lead them to diagnose Central Vertigo, a neurological issue. Your case, with the temperature in particular, makes it sound like some kind of infection. Regardless, I hope you are feeling better now/soon!

  20. MadTinkerer says:

    Saints Row The Third Remastered is a timed exclusive to the Epic Store? No problem, I’ll just wait for it to come to Steam. Probably pick it up next summer sale.

    “But what if it’s a permanent exclusive like that one game you backed on Kickstarter?”

    I said “I’ll just wait for it to come to Steam”. That means I’ll just wait for it to come to Steam.

    If I end up a Zen Master because of Epic, then at least one good thing will come of their stupid exclusives.

    1. tmtvl says:

      So you’ll tell the company. “You can take the Epic money, and after that I’ll pay you for the privilege of having to wait a year for it to come out on my preferred platform”? You must really like them. I’d have nothing to do with a company that takes a bribe without blinking.

      1. Erik says:

        I said for, that means I’m defining a function of i where i is a variable. I could have named it x instead of i and it would be the same thing. Don’t let complex mathematics interfere with lambda calculus.

        Sorry, you stumbled into a religious war.

        By ancient mathematical tradition (and an associated Fortran limitation), variable names i, j, & k are normally reserved for loop iteration variables. The traditional variable for a numbered item, as you’re using it, is “n”. So there would have been no complaint about “for n > 1”, which matches mathematical usage norms. But “for i > 1” gives pedants that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling.

        And invoking lambda calculus while violating the norms of the mathematical presentation of lambda calculus is just… marking you as someone from another specialty misusing terms. Computer scientists and economists are both renowned for that. :) (Self included.)

        1. tmtvl says:

          Ah Fortran, even more venerable than my beloved Lisp. (Which is also where all my lambda knowledge comes from).

          Wrong thread, by the way, but nice to learn more about something I didn’t know much about.

          1. The Puzzler says:

            Yeah, this is the Epic Store religious war thread…

  21. ngthagg says:

    Up until the ps2 beat the Dreamcast, the lighter color console always won the console war: NES vs Master System, SNES vs Genesis, Gameboy vs Gamegear, ps1 vs Saturn and N64. And I think either the 360 or the Wii could be counted as victorious in their generation. I have no idea who came out ahead in the most recent generation, or where Nintendo even fits in now, but based on my thoroughly unreliable and inconsistent analysis, Sony has made a good design choice.

  22. Duoae says:

    I don’t really like the design of the PS5 but I can see the point of view that it’s not just more of the same. I think I’m not sure I’ll be able to justify the cost of a next-gen console at release and I think I’ll wait a bit anyway to let any potential overheating problems come to light (for both consoles). I think, ideally, that the PS5 Slim will be the console to wait for in 3-ish years time. A lot of games will be out and developers will be more familiar with the hardware and getting more out of it compared to these launch titles which mostly look like slightly more raytraced PS4 games.

    On the other hand, I’m a bit scared (based on the design centred on the driveless version) that the drive version is not long for this world – in the same way the original PS3 with integrated PS2 hardware wasn’t…. In which case I might pick one up before the slim is launched.

    I’m kind of in the middle of a rolling computer upgrade, waiting to see what the second half of 2020 brings. If everything turns out to be super expensive, if Zen 3 is delayed to 2021 and if both AMD and NVidia keep holding raytracing to high-end parts only then I might just pick up a PS5/SX and play games exclusively on that for the next 5 years.

    1. Kyle Haight says:

      I’ve got two things on my upgrade wishlist right now: moving my PC to 4k and getting a next generation console. The former won’t happen until after Nvidia releases their next generation video cards. The latter is waiting on me deciding which console to go with. I liked the PS4 and there are some Sony exclusives I find attractive. But I’m also interested in what Obsidian and inXile produce, and those won’t be PS5 games.

      If Microsoft sticks to their cross-play guns, though, those games should also be on PC at the same time, so right now I’m tentatively leaning Sony for the console.

      1. Duoae says:

        Yeah, I think a lot of the games that I would be interested in from Microsoft game studioes will be available on PC as well.

        Yeah, I think 4K might be out of my budget range, to be honest. My current monitor is 1080p and the only upgrade I’d consider is a 1440p, 120 Hz (minimum), freesync 2/gsync, HDR 1000 … but I’m still having trouble even finding one that’s not curved or a weird width/horizontal resolution which will have trouble being supported by games… and they don’t even have HDR1000…. which, living in a particularly sunny country means anything less is just going to look washed-out.

        [Edit] I guess I should mention that I don’t want to pay €2000 for the privilege of not having 10 year old technology either. Seriously, monitors are moving way too slowly and their pricing is still ridiculous. The features that are actually useful (IMO) for gaming (i.e. not 4K 30 cm from your head) are not being prioritised at all…

        1. Kyle Haight says:

          Budget probably won’t be a huge concern for me. My wife’s grandmother passed away and my mother-in-law sold her house and told us she wants to give us half the proceeds. It isn’t a huge amount (the house was in rural Tennessee and wasn’t worth that much), but it should cover a nice monitor and video card when the time comes.

          I’d have to do some research on what’s available first, though; right now I’m woefully ignorant of the relevant features, options and price points.

  23. Daimbert says:

    This is just as debilitating as other types of periodic illness like the flu. I didn’t get any work done and I spent most of the time in bed. But unlike the flu, it’s not actively painful. A flu is a miserable thing to endure, and you spend every waking moment wishing you could fall asleep again. But with vertigo I could keep myself comfortable by lying on my side, closing my eyes, and keeping very still. It gets boring, sure. But I’ll take that over the torments of a chest cold any day.

    You must have VERY bad colds/flus. For me, when I have those I can at least watch TV in between naps, which is a heck of lot better than what you’re doing when you have vertigo …

  24. The only thing I know about vertigo is that my grandfather had a terrible episode with uncontrollable vomiting after he got some impacted earwax cleaned out. So maybe get your ears checked? It could be something as minor as unsuspected earwax putting pressure on something.

    I did read about people with inner ear balance issues learning to control their balance again by using their tongue, of all things: https://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2008/07/26/perpetually-falling-woman-learns-to-balance-with-her-tongue

  25. Lee says:

    I’ve considered the possibility that they’re waiting to see how the economy is doing before they announce a price point. If everything is back and swinging (imho not likely, but that’s as close to politics as I’ll get) buy launch day, they can ask a lot more than they can if unemployment is still high.

  26. ccesarano says:

    My response to the PS5 reveal was “Oh, so this one’s an Alienware PC”. It’s interesting to me that both Microsoft and Sony chose form factors that look more like someone building a gaming rig than someone building a console, but I suppose that’s because for the longest time a console had a very “toy” aesthetic to it. The NES, SNES, Genesis, PlayStation, N64, GameCube, and Dreamcast don’t really look like any kind of electronics machine, and then the PS2, Xbox, and onward started to look… I dunno, different. Nintendo’s maintained that “playful electronics” aesthetic, but Sony and Microsoft have become far more utilitarian in their console designs.

    Regardless of whether the PS5 looks good or not, it’ll be a meme for a while and then everyone will just get used to it. See: the name “Nintendo Wii”. It’ll look like a new piece of electronics kit, or an obnoxious stand-out device, until it no longer does.

    I’ll save some of my thoughts regarding the games demonstrated for your post. I will say that the presentation left me wanting a PS5 in the moment, but afterwards I realized, as fun as the games looked, nothing had that “next-gen” feel to it. Many of the titles are still releasing this generation as well. So, really, not much reason for me to jump in yet, unless I happen to have the extra cash rolling around and just want that excitement of being an early adopter.

    I imagine Sony has a figure in mind for price, but is waiting for Microsoft to make their move first. I believe with the Xbox One vs. PS4, Sony learned to let Microsoft open their mouth first, and I think that’s been effective for them here as well. Microsoft’s first “gameplay” reveal of Xbox Series X games was dominated by an Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla trailer without actual gameplay, the knowledge that it’ll be locked at 30fps, and …I mean, honestly, I can’t really remember what else Microsoft had shown off. Anyone that had been paying attention to Sony thus far saw that Ratchet & Clank trailer and [i]knew[/i] that it was showing off the dream of the SSD.

    Then the actual gameplay was far less impressive, but I’ll get to that in the next post.

    Almost in that same vein, I had friends try to grab Phantasy Star Online 2 on Windows 10 when it released there, and… well, they’ve basically given up on it due to the cycle of the game uninstalling itself repeatedly. So even if Microsoft is banking on services like Game Pass and games being available on PC, I don’t see it being a big draw to as wide a market as Sony will be able to convince.

    I imagine later this summer we’ll be seeing how PSVR works on PS5, other OS functionality (which could [i]really[/i] be a strong point for them, as Xbox Series X looks to be keeping the same general OS and man do I not like using it), and, of course, price. My prediction is a $50 difference between models, so $549 max for the disc-based and $499 for the all-digital.

    1. tmtvl says:

      Honestly, the differences from the PlayStation, the PSOne (I found it odd when the XBone got away with that when Sony did it earlier), and the successors kinda reminds me of the various iterations of the Sega Master System (aka Sega Mark III, aka…).

  27. Joe says:

    My mum suffered from vertigo for a while. She went to a physiotherapist and got some treatment. It may not be the full thing, but it might just be a nudge in the right direction.

    As for the PS5, some people compared it to the tower of Barad-dûr from LOTR. I really liked the trailer for Horizon: Forbidden West. Given the first one is due out on Steam soonish, I’m guessing this will eventually follow. Thus, I have no reason to buy a PS5.

    1. Duoae says:

      No way! If anything, it’s more like Shellder…

  28. Zeddy says:

    I’ve had that vertigo a couple of times. In my case, the problem was me sleeping directly under an air conditioner and getting dried out. Just making sure you drink a lot of water will help long-term, but short-term you’ll be wanting a bottle or two of sports drinks with isotopes or whatnot.

    If you’re currently sleeping directly under an air conditioner, see if you can change that.

  29. Elevator Eleven says:

    Too many black cubes? Need a splash of white? I know you have a no politics rule but I just can’t let this slide. Your racism against cubes is so disappointing, Shamus.

    1. Shamus says:

      Just wait until you hear my thoughts on octahedrons. It would scandalize you.

      Also, Klein bottles should go back to the dimension they came from. #SorryNotSorry

      1. tmtvl says:

        Let me guess, some of your best friends are hypercubes?

        1. Mr. Wolf says:

          Don’t get me started on hypercubes. If you can’t exist in 3-dimensional space, I just can’t see you fitting in here.

  30. Javier says:

    I don’t have the space in my TV cabinet to go back to vertical consoles.

  31. djw says:

    I had a bout with vertigo earlier this year (or maybe at the end of last year, I forget exactly). I first noticed it on a Sunday morning as I slept in. I turned over in bed (side sleeper) and my inner ear told me that I was still turning for minutes after I stopped moving. I heroically went to my Yoga class that morning anyway, and I am certain that everybody thought that I was hung over because I spent the entire time trying (unsuccessfully) not to move my head too much.

    It lasted about a week and then went away on its own. Fortunately I was able to drive to work the next day. I did have to skip hockey that week, but other than that it was just a minor annoyance.

  32. Jeff says:

    The PS5 image in the “Playstation 5 Titles Part 1” article genuinely made me think I clicked on a wrong link and landed on an image of dildos. I’m at work right now, so that was one heck of an adrenalin surge.

  33. Mersadeon says:

    > There are some weird collision issues now that I never encountered in the original[3].

    I think I remember that happening in the original, actually – either that or the exact same problem exists in GTA4. I distinctly remember falling off a motorcycle at the end of bridges several times.

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