This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
For the past quarter of a century or so, the concept of eSports has grown from humble beginnings to become the world’s latest major sports phenomenon. When you look at the size of the industry today, it’s hard to believe that the earliest large-scale competitive gaming event took place less than thirty years ago.
Back then, competitive gaming events were few and far between, but they still managed to attract thousands of participants to sprawling event spaces in order to pit their high scores against one another on iconic arcade games like Space Invaders and Donkey Kong. Around that same time, Walter Day was busy setting up Twin Galaxies, an organisation that promoted competitive gaming and worked in conjunction with the Guinness Book of World Records to keep tabs on the very best players from around the globe and, of course, their high scores. In turn, this lend to the creation of American TV show Starcade, on which contestants would try to beat each other’s records on a particular arcade game, plus we even started to see eSports segments used a plot device in major motion pictures like Tron.
Looking back, it really was a taster of things to come and set a foundation for further evolution throughout the 1990s, when home video game consoles started to replace arcade halls as the prime choice of gaming entertainment. Then, around the turn of the millennium, the internet changed everything.
Advances in technology, particularly broadband, meant that more people could enjoy faster and more convenient internet connections than ever before. And, naturally, with this newfound power at its disposal, the world started gaming on a whole new scale.
It wasn’t long before we saw the birth of iGaming, a brand new industry that sought to emulate the thrill of the casino floor for a growing online audience. By 2010, the entire iGaming market was worth approximately $22 billion and had diversified to include a wide range of casino games and a multitude of online sports bookmakers. Both new and established iGaming businesses alike found themselves in constant competition for their own slice of their market, seeking new ways to engage players and differentiate their service from the rest of the pack – which now includes offering betting options on eSports events.
But that’s not all. Industry competition has led to remarkable innovations in a relatively short time, with perhaps the latest being the integration of live streaming technology. Operators like 32Red live casino have set a template by investing heavily in their provision of high-quality video streams, whereby players can log in to their account and watch a live link to a real table with a real dealer.
Compared with standard, computer-generated gameplay, you have to say the 32Red approach offers a much more engaging experience for the casual gamer, which is why newer sites such as 188Bet and Jackpot 247 have quickly followed suit and developed their own suite of live dealer games. For all brands, it’s becoming less of an option and more of a necessity to stay at the forefront of the industry.
The same concept of live streaming technology, which was originally focussed on online poker rooms, blackjack and other casino games, is now being applied to eSports events. This allows fans to log in, place a bet and gain access to a live stream of the event itself to watch the action unfold as it happens. In fact, this is often the most stable and secure way of actually being able to watch a live eSports event.
But what games are actually available to bet on? As with iGaming, the range of the eSports industry has continued to expand at a rapid pace in recent years, and we’re at the point now where almost all multiplayer gaming tastes are catered for. From sports titles like Madden and Fifa to battle arena games like World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike, more and more recognized tournaments are emerging that allow players to compete against one another for big money prizes. Last year’s Dota International Championship, for example, offered a total prize pool of $20 million, which should give a better feel for the type of scale we’re dealing with here.
For the players, competing at the highest level involves meticulous training, precise timing, and skillful execution under pressure. For die-hard fans, the fact that the evolution of iGaming services has led many bookmakers to host a dedicated eSports section on their website certainly adds an extra layer of appeal. The ability to place an occasional bet on the outcome of important tournaments and individual matches as they take place offers a much more engaging experience for eSports fans.
And, given the rate at which the eSports industry is expanding, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if more iGaming operators started to sit up and take notice of the opportunity to cover this lucrative new realm, sooner rather than later.
Are you a retro video game collector? If so you know how expensive, or hard to find, some games and console systems can be. Many 16 and 32 bit games now sell for more than a hundred dollars for a single cartridge on the second hand market. This can quickly add up to thousands of dollars for even a modest sized retro game collection. If you’re a serious collector, you may be interested in purchasing insurance to help protect your gaming collection.
Many people find that researching and trying to make sense of the many insurance options available to them, to be too time consuming, and too much of a hassle. But lately, there are many online companies who want to make understanding and selecting the right Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance an easy and fast process with just a few clicks.
Jetty is one such company that will allow you to add your video game collection to your Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance. Jetty’s website immediately looks and feels different from other insurance companies. The site is clean and modern feeling with lots of images and animation, humor, and way less legal jargon. It’s also completely mobile friendly, so it makes purchasing Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance something you can even do on your lunch break or on the go.
Jetty considers themselves to be an insurance company for people in “cities” and they want to help busy city dwellers get set up quickly with the right insurance. Jetty even makes it easy for young folks to get started in their first Condo/co-op or apartment with their Jetty Passport system which replaces the need for a security deposit or cosigner.
I went through the Jetty App which took less than 10 minutes, and honestly, I was surprised how affordable it can be to get basic Renter’s or Condo/co-op Insurance AND insurance for my gaming collection, all for less than $20 a month. Oh I also added the optional electronics insurance for just $2 a month which protects things like Iphones and Laptops from drops, spills, water damage. Way cheaper than the insurance offered by your cell phone carrier or electronic retail stores.
Here is my experience using the App. 🙂 With pictures. Everyone loves pictures.
The first thing it’s going to do is ask for your address and some basic info like how much your monthly rent is, and if you live alone or with a significant other, etc. This is all used to calculate your basic insurance.
Next, here starts the fun part. You can add optional insurance to protect your valuables and electronics (like that retro video game collection, or your $2,000 gaming Laptop).
First, try to decide how much your collection is actually worth. Think about those games that are rare, out of print, obscure, hard to find, or imported from other countries. You can research amazon and eBay or even google to see how much the game is worth. Consider also the condition your games are in. Are they in mint pristine condition with manuals and original packaging? If so that may make them worth more. By the way, Jetty doesn’t have a button for video games (yet) so you should just add them to “Special Collections”.
I estimated my collection to be worth about $3,000 (not counting my gaming laptop, because I wasn’t thinking of it at the time and focused on the retro game portion of my collection. If I added the new gaming laptop in, that would make the collection value closer to $4,500).
After calculating the value of your collection, you’ll also be offered a chance to add that sweet Electronics Insurance, I mentioned above which will help protect your phone or laptop or gaming PC from accidental damage from drops, slips, spills, falls, etc. This is a really good value and much cheaper than going with insurance from your cellphone provider or electronic retail stores.
Finally, you’ve reached the end. On the next screen they will show you how much your insurance will cost and it will be broken down to help you understand exactly what you’re paying for, such as basic insurance, your collections, and electronics protection.
As you can see, for my $3,000 retro video game collection, basic Renters Insurance, and electronic’s protection, I’m looking at about $18 a month. That is a really low price for some peace of mind!
You can also use the collections feature on Jetty to protect your dolls, figures, toys, and other geeky collections. Check out Jetty’s website to learn how to protect your retro video game collection or anything else that you’d like to insure.
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.
It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.
Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).
So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.
What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.
I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)
I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.
The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.
The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.
I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)
It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.
Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.
So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.
If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).
Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.
One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!
Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:
Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
1TB Hard Drive to store all your games
And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!
I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.
And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.
Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.
For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.
I actually would have bought this Dell instead of my ASUS, if it had more RAM. That said, the important thing to consider when buying a gaming laptop, is the graphic card. So I would’ve taken the I5 with the Nvidia 1050 over the I7 with the 970m.
I also really love Dell. I have had very positive experiences with their customer service — which began as a negative experience, but was made more than right for me, years ago when one of the first XPS came out, I had the highest level of protection/warranty, and after weeks of frustration, (and venting on blogs/social media), I was contacted by a customer advocate who worked at Dell and was upgraded to a newer iteration of the XPS. (This was probably 10-12 years ago now) But that experience stuck with me and made me very loyal to Dell for a number of years.
For the price point, or for those tech savvy enough to upgrade their own RAM this laptop at just $799 for a brand new (not Open Box like my Asus) gaming laptop is a great buy! I went into Best Buy with the intention that if my Open Box ASUS was already sold out, that I would be bringing this Dell XPS home instead. And both machines have great reviews!
However, the extra processing power is useful for video editing and other things that many games may be interested in (such as for editing youtube Let’s Plays, and so on.)
When it comes to deciding how much RAM you need in a gaming PC, most laptops in the “under $800 range” feature 8GB of RAM (such as the Dell XPS indicated above); and this may very well be enough for your gaming needs, as many popular titles from 2016/2017 list 8GB as the minimum required RAM that a laptop needs.
But my ASUS came with 16GB, and like I said, the RAM ultimately was the Tie-Breaker deal for me when it came to deciding between the Dell or the ASUS laptops.
“We consider 16GB to be a nice sweet spot for a solid gaming system. It should be more than enough to run your games and multitask as needed. You’ll also want at least 16GB if livestreaming is a priority for you. The ability to run and stream a game on one monitor while responding to chat questions, playing music, and doing whatever else in another is definitely the kind of task list that would benefit from an extra bit of RAM headroom.” – Source: PCGamer http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/
Some, but not many, games are also now starting to launch while recommending more than the “standard” 8GB of RAM. For example Quantum Break (recommends 16GB), Batman Arkham Knight (recommends 12GB), and Star Citizen (recommends 16GB). These certainly won’t be the last games to recommend an increased amount of RAM. So if you don’t know how, or just don’t want to, install more RAM yourself later, you may want to consider opting for 16GB now to help “future-proof” your laptop.
Having the laptop now for the past 2 days, and trying some of my own games in high settings, I am very happy with my purchase, especially at just $711 (almost 50% off the retail suggested price of $1159.)
I did a lot of research prior to, and after, purchasing my ASUS ROG Strix 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop. Here are some interesting reviews. Please note some of these reviews reference different configurations than the one I reference in my own review. It is important to consider all of the above options: Graphics Card, RAM, and Processors when buying a gaming laptop. The most important thing to consider is the Graphics Card.
Asus ROG Strix Reviews
Best Buy’s reviews consistently mention “washed out” colors or “back light bleed” on the screen. In my opinion this is not true. To me, the colors look very vivid, bright, rich, and clear. There also a lot of reviews complaining about lack of an SSD (solid slate drive). I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for my PC to start, so I dunno if I’d really care whether it has an SSD or not. — On the other hand, Bestbuy’s reviews consistantly praise the performance, price, and gaming capabilities of this laptop. It currently has a 4.4 star rating out of more than 300 reviews. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905
Gadget Review has a nice in depth review of the Asus ROG Strix as well. The only things they critized were the “okay” speakers, and large bezels around the screen. (I do agree, it seems as if this laptop could actually fit a 17 inch screen in the amount of plastic used around the actual 15.6 inch one. Reducing this “edge” would make the laptop even more portable and lighter and less bulky. and it does seem like a poor design choice when many other competitors are offering edge to edge screens now. http://www.gadgetreview.com/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-gaming-laptop-review
Like many of my readers, I have been playing games for over 3 decades now. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent playing games like Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country on my SNES with my friends, or time spent immersing in the stories of RPG classics back in the 16 and 32 bit era such as Lunar on the Sega CD or Zelda on the SNES and N64.
Video games have a long history and continue to entertain new generations of kids who are growing up gaming, just like they did back in the 80s and 90s.
To celebrate video games, the team at The Monitor Monitor has put together this infographic of consoles, the number of games produced for each console, and sales numbers for the top selling games on each console.
Please note that the graphic is sorted by manufacturer, then number of games produced, not chronological order.
Tonight’s Nintendo live event revealed a ton more details about Nintendo Switch. But it’s almost midnight, so I’ll just leave you with the most important thing you need to know. The price is $299.99 and it will launch on March 3, 2017 worldwide.
I will update this post with more info from the livestream after a good night’s rest (and hard day of work tomorrow) 🙂
Nintendo has announced plans to begin taking a limited number of preorders for the new Nintendo Switch hybrid handheld/console gaming system beginning tomorrow morning 1/13/2017 at 9am EST exclusively at the Nintendo store in New York City.
They are kicking off the event with two Live Stream events. The first of which is scheduled for 11pm EST tonight 1/12/2017 and will discuss the system specs, price, launch titles and availability.
The 2nd Live Treehouse Event will begin tomorrow at 930am EST and will focus on the gameplay from various launch games which will also appear on tonight’s Live Stream event. They will also offer a special live viewing event for the first 250 customers at the Nintendo Store in NYC tonight at 8pm EST.
The world of new technological advancement is booming and these are being used in many types of industries. Bingo is just one of the places that these breakthroughs are present, which may surprise some that think of this is an older person’s hobby. Stick with us as we talk you through what these sites are doing to attract their audience.
Mobile games are big business nowadays, in just a few short years they’ve come to rival PC and console games. Largely thanks to the freemium game model, we’re seeing more and more games emerge onto the market. There are freemium bingo games out there but every site worth its salt is also on mobile now.
These sites can’t be seen to be offering less than their competitors, so some form of mobile play is really essential. This is partially due to the vast increase in smartphone and tablet usage but also partially due to the rapid increase in the number of bingo sites. This makes the market much more competitive, so any site not offering good ways to play will be left in the dust.
Some of the best bingo sites like www.luckytouchbingo.com offer HTML5 technology that allows the user to access the same site on the go. This means the same suite of games and a similar experience no matter how they choose to play. Many players prefer this to an app, as they aren’t forced to download anything and they can keep their device memory at its maximum.
Augmented reality seems to be the next big thing to hit these sites, which is ahead of the curve to say the least. Pokémon Go made the most of this technology and now other bingo brands are thinking of how they could do the same. Seeing bingo cards in real time or a caller as you play would make a huge difference to the quality of these sites. The first to crack this nut will definitely rise above the rest in popularity.
This type of technology is dependent on the peripherals available however, as these dictate the number of players using the technology. Some of these devices will feel too expensive to the average user, so they’ll be less likely to purchase and use them. We predict that the best, most successful sites to use this tech will be the ones to use budget or existing devices, like smartphones, to deliver it. Their player base will be much bigger as a result and the investment into it will be more likely to make a return.
Any new technology is a risky move for these types of sites, as they can’t guarantee that it will pay off. As the bingo market becomes more saturated, it’s worth it for them to invest the money to offer something unique. It’s becoming harder for these sites to make a splash or stand out, so investment into new technologies is essential. Who knows, this may even lead a site to come up with something new entirely.
Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Post comes from one of our readers, Marie Miguel, who shares with us some awesome prices for “gaming” laptops. Not all of the laptops on her list are suitable for “Core” gamers because some of them have intel integrated graphics cards – however, quite a few on her list do have Nvidia or AMD dedicated graphic cards – and all of them on the list would be suitable for casual gamers who enjoy indie or retro games. Check out her suggestions below, and leave a comment about your gaming rig – or about other great deals for affordable gaming laptops – in our comments section below.
If you’re a PC gamer like I am, you want the highest quality computer you can find. If you’re also poor like I am, that $2,700 laptop that you’ve been dreaming of is most likely not going to happen. Well, there’s still hope! Here are some great laptops that won’t break the bank and are still great for gaming! With these laptops, you’ll have no problems playing LoL, or sitting back and enjoying Cat President.
Dell Inspiron 5000 Series
Personally, I am a little biased since this is the laptop I have, but it is still a fantastic computer! This computer come with up to 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage space. Along with the 6th Gen Intel Core Processor (which makes everything load so much quicker) it also comes with AMD graphics, so playing a game or editing a video isn’t going to slow it down at all! The best part? You can buy this laptop at Walmart for around $400, which isn’t bad considering all the features that come with it!
This laptop is not only great for gaming, but it is also on the list for GadgetReview’s Best Laptops For College Students. The X551MA comes with 4GB of RAM and 500GB of internal storage space. You’ll also have no problem seeing with the 15.6” screen that it has. The X551MA is also incredibly cheap, and can generally be found on Amazon or Ebay in the $300- $350 range.
The HP ay-011nr is the perfect laptop for casual gamers. This laptop has an 8GB of RAM (which can be upgraded to 12GB or 16GB) and a 1TB of storage space. This laptop’s best feature is the high-quality HD graphics that are installed. This laptop can generally be found for under $500, which is a great price! You can learn much more about the HP 15-ay011nr, as well as other laptops here.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG
This Acer Laptop has amazing graphics and a long- lasting battery life. It comes installed with a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card for better graphics and a performance increase of up to 20 percent! Though it is a very plain design it does come with 8GB of RAM, and a 15.6” screen so everything can be seen. This laptop is priced a little under $600, which isn’t a bad considering how quality- made it is.
MSI GL72 6QD-001
This MSI laptop was designed specifically for gaming. Though a little more expensive than others on this list, it’s still decently priced at around $850. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. Passionate gamers will love the Intel 6th Generation i7 Core processors. Not only that, but the Matrix Display technology allows you to multitask, so you can stream music while you play!
All of these laptops have their benefits. Be it their amazing graphics or their lasting battery life. The most important benefits that all of them have in common is that they are all within a decent price range. So, if you’re looking for a new laptop that can handle your World of Tanks habit, any of these laptops would be perfect for you!
Walmart just released their ad for black friday 2016. Select deals are available already online at walmart.com and the deals will begin in store at 6PM on November 24th.
This year Walmart is offering some amazing deals on TVs including a 55″ 4k HDTV for $298 and a 40″ HDTV (NOT 4k though) for just $125.
The Iphone 5S is also under $100
PS4 is just $249 and comes with a $30 Walmart gift card which, as long as you can get use of the gift card (and who can’t I mean, Walmart has EVERYTHING lol) — That brings your total cost down to just $219. Almost as good as the deal Target is running right now.
Many other items are on sell from Clothing to Jewelry, to Toys, Electronics, Tools, Games, and more. Check out Walmart.com every day for new flash sales leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.