Sony is working to integrate Discord into PlayStation consoles

Coming “early next year.”

Details on what that would actually entail are slim, and Sony’s announcement just says that the two companies are “hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network.” Whether that means a full-fledged Discord app coming to PlayStation consoles or a more limited integration (like connecting PSN and Discord accounts to more easily chat with friends off platform) has yet to be announced.

Source: Sony is working to integrate Discord into PlayStation consoles

Sounds like the first shoe to drop in the disastrous situation I described in the last couple of paragraphs in this rant. Maybe they are going to get serious about integrating the system with more and more-interesting services…

Playstation 5 and Skyrim

I’ve been continuing to play through Skyrim on my PS5, and enjoying the extra graphical power. Someone has released some mods that allow you widen the field of view, and crank up the FPS to 60 (or unlimited). Since I’m stuck at 1080p for now, naturally, it works great, and still never slows down, even with the environmental mods. I’ll be very eager to try it at 4K@120FPS some day, but, for now, it’s a very welcome addition.

Someone pointed out that Fallout 4 (which is based on the same engine) can’t be modded this way. It needs to actually be patched by Bethesda to allow for this sort of thing. Here’s hoping that they do this. 60 FPS really is quite an improvement. I played a couple of seconds of Fallout 4, and quickly decided that I won’t be doing any more of that until the mod happens.

Playstation 5: First Thoughts

I keep promising myself that I’m going to finish Spider Man and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but I’ve been playing through Skyrim. Again. Yeah, I know. A 10 year old game being played on a 7 year old console, now playing on a PS5. But that makes it a good benchmark, because I’m so familiar with it now. Skyrim on the PS4 plays alright, but will skip frames if you turn really fast.

Of course, I had several mods installed. However, they were only gameplay mods. I had tried some graphics enhancement mods, but they slowed down the game. Not terribly, but noticeably. So I took them back out.

When I installed the game on the PS5, I saw the graphics mods in my list and thought, why not? I installed all of the popular ones for lighting, weather, fog, and water. I’m happy to report that Skyrim on the PS5 now looks quite a bit better, and never skips frames. I know this isn’t a proper demonstration of what the hardware can do, but it’s just nice, you know?

Playstation 5 and Twitter

I have a very tolerate/hate relationship with Twitter. I think I’m literally on my 14th account, and I’ve deactivated my current one, only to reactivate before the 30-day time-out period, about 10 times now. There are many reasons.

One is that it’s just depressing. “Doomscrolling” is very much a thing, especially after something as tumultuous as people storming the Capitol building, or people storming the Portland police station, and attacking the mayor.

Another is the absurdity in the swings of the takes. Back and forth it goes, between hard-left and hard-right, while people always presume to read other people’s minds, in what has become the logical fallacy of the age.

Another is the brevity. You get just enough characters to make one point, without context. This leads directly to the problem above, in forcing people to make a contrary statement on a presumption of the conclusion of the statement they’re responding to.

Another is that ephemeral nature of it. Even if you can find a good exchange, it disappears “like tears in the rain,” and quickly gets lost. If you don’t bookmark it somehow, good luck finding it with Twitter’s “search” feature.

Last, but certainly not least, is the porn. I’m tired of the porn. You can tell Twitter to hide most of it from you, but it still leaks through. I’ll come back to this point.

For about 20 years, I’ve built (or bought) gaming PC’s, but a few years back, I decided to give my rig to my son, and try just using a Playstation 4 Pro for gaming. What I found surprised me. Besides a work computer for the past 6 years or so, I’ve only used Windows for gaming, personally, for about 25 years. Even with just this specific focus, I was always fighting to keep it up to date: BIOS updates, Windows updates, antivirus updates, video driver updates, mouse driver updates, keyboard driver updates, game updates, Steam updates, GoG updates, etc. The weekly maintenance on the thing was a not-so-invisible burden.

When I want to play a game on a console, I hit a button on the controller to turn it on, and within seconds, I am playing right where I left off. Updates are very rare. There are no intermediaries (like Steam) to patch. Occasionally, there will be an update to a game, but the system intelligently notifies me about them, and then waits for me to update them. If there are driver updates, they’re buried in the system updates. (It’s amazing how little code it takes to get input from a mouse, when you don’t need to be able to program a light show inside of it, program its 32 buttons with macros, and track every movement to sell back to the 3rd-party personal data market exchange.)

It’s just a completely different world. Just like when I finally moved from Gentoo Linux to Ubuntu, and realized how much of my time was being spent keeping Gentoo happy, moving to a console was eye-opening about how much time I was spending on Windows for gaming. (Don’t even get me started on the care and feeding of Windows for programming.)

On top of all of that convenience and streamlining, there are no cheaters! Glory hallelujah! When playing a game like Battlefield on PC, I could always safely assume that there would be at least one cheater, and if I wasn’t already, my one and only goal in the game would be to switch to the cheater’s team, so that at least he wouldn’t aggravate me.

The downside, of course, is that you can’t have some super-specced monster running the game at 120 FPS in 4K. But $400 vs $1,500? $2,000? $3,000? And the knuckle-skinning hassle of building the rig and keeping it up to date? You can keep your graphics. Besides, if you tell me I’m missing something, graphically, when I’m playing, say, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn, I’m going to laugh in your face. Those games look incredible on a PS4 Pro, no matter what you say.

So, yeah, I’ve been trying to “cop” a Playstation 5. Specifically a digital edition. (I only have one disc. It’s the Arkham bundle that I got for $5 at a second hand shop. I’ve seen it on sale on the Playstation store for $5, and I’ve almost just bought it again so I can throw away the disc. I will probably play through both games again before I die.) Anyway, at this point, the only way to try to get in on a “drop” is to watch some select Twitter accounts which make publicizing when they go on sale their only purpose in life. So I reactivated my account. Again. I installed Tweetbot, added the PS5 drop-tracking accounts to a list, and turned on notifications for that list.

Yesterday, a notification went out that Best Buy was going to do a drop. I don’t know why I was bothering, because I’ve gotten one in my cart twice before, only to be told that none were available within 250 miles of my location. But I saw the notification, and I tried again, and nothing was working for anyone. I commented in the thread the same thing I said here, and several people liked the tweet. I gave up.

About an hour later, another notification came through that it was actually working, and even though I had to take the time to enter a new credit card, I managed to get one on order. So I commented back to the Twitter thread that I had, and an obvious cam girl (from her avatar and name) commented on my comment. This is what I mean about porn just being pervasive on the platform. You can limit it, but it’s everywhere. There are so many porn site come-ons. I’ve seen hard-core clips as comments for this sort of thing, so I was actually thankful it was just an honest comment.

And, yes, for curiosity’s sake, I went ahead and took the gamble with the click. At that point, I just had to laugh. If a girl that average looking can make money on OnlyFans, then good for her, and God Bless America.

Anyway, for all of these reasons, now that I’ve secured a PS5, I’m deleting my Twitter account again. The trash-fire-you-can-see-from-space will just have to burn without my attention again.

It’s not like half of Imgur isn’t Twitter reposts anyway.

PS5 Supply and Demand

I’m watching PS5’s being sold on Ebay to track how supply and demand are converging. Current completed listings seem to be hovering around $700-$800. They started out at $1,000, so I guess it’s getting “better.” The whole business of people using browser bots to snipe units and resell them really chaps my hide, but I wonder what my price point and patience limit actually is. Sony, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart have employed methods to help give non-botters a fair chance, but I don’t know how well that’s working.

I expect that the first place that will show supply and demand convergence will be Sony Direct. After they have them available for sale all the time, I guess stores will start having them on shelves? But what do I know?

In my disgust of not being able to find one, I was thinking I’d build a new gaming PC, but gaming CPU’s and GPU’s are impossible to find as well, thanks to freaking bitcoin miners, and the same sort of silicon supply problems affecting everything during this pandemic. What a lousy time to try to buy new kit.

I briefly had a thought that I’d buy a new M1-based Mac Mini, but it’s clear that the gaming prospects on the new architecture are going to be abysmal for a while.