Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

I spent a large chunk of yesterday evening online (yeah, big surprise) searching for a B&B or Hotel to stay in over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

reviewsbnbSo how did I go about this. I followed what, after some time spent in SEO etc, the right search pattern. I searched for “B&B in xxxx” and “hotels in xxxx.” I was greeted by a long list and many of those wonderful compilation sites that offer lists on their own.

Having found what looked, from their site and the compilation sites, to be a decent looking one and a good price for its 3 Stars, I had a thought. Thanks to the changes in Google’s spider patterns (or whatever they want to call it) social media has a bigger role in serps and the way sites are optimised. So I decided to enter “xxxxx hotel reviews” and found even more listings for the hotel. None of them positive.

With my mind now firmly set against that hotel with reviews titled “threadbare furniture, poor service and staff theft” or “worst hotel in Kent” still emblazoned on my mind two thoughts occur.

One is the argument I’ve often used – is it merely a case that of their, presumably, thousands of customers in a year – only the disgruntled ones really bother with the whole tripadvisor approach and those that had an acceptable stay figured that, as nothing went terribly wrong there’s no point mentioning it. It’s like if I had an uneventful drive to work nobody would care to hear about it so there’s no need to write about it.

It also begs the question – why aren’t places like this aware of the power of social media on their business. So many other company’s are and either actively engage in online discussions around their brand or even host reviews on their site.

reviews

Take, one I often use myself: Lime XB. They clearly know the power of reviews and peer-opinion. Especially when it comes to dropping money on something like the Turtle Beach HPX – pc headphones for the price of an overnight stay at the aforementioned hotel – is something that you’d want to know about other people’s experience with.

If companies / sites selling something like headphones have awoken to the import of reviews, why haven’t hotels. There are some – the home-run jobs with a little 2-page site manage to reprint the praising letters they’ve had from guests and the big, swanky and pricey hotels carry press reviews too. But given the huge middle ground and level of competition within that market you’d think the others would wake up. How many bad reviews does it take before business drops off for a member of staff to stumble upon tripadvisor and go “ooohh?”

So let me ask you this: the official site makes everything look great, the reviews of it stink like a burst septic tank. With the wealth of review sites now gaining high serps, which do you now place your decision on?

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There’s many sobering signs that make you realise you’re getting on a bit, not necessarily maturing but getting to that point where new technology makes you say “how much” instead of “ooooh.”

Take PC Gaming. I’m sure it wasn’t so long ago that PCs were still a new thing in the household, and games pretty much consisted of minimal graphics. I remember being hooked on Civnet for ages even though the graphics consisted of nothing more than coloured blocks on a crude map and the occasional flash image after a city was founded etc.

Of course technology has progressed at astronomical since the pcs of the mid nineties and games on the format have kept up pace, there are many who will say that some games are better on the pc than on various consoles – and they may be right – and are dedicated pc gamers.

I guess then that’s why I was shocked when pursuing this line of thought online and found the QPAD QH-1339 and felt so very out of touch. While it’s tech sheet reads full of promise and reads just like you’d expect any gaming headset to – microphone, great sound range and levels etc – what made me take a step back from the screen as it were, was the price.

Yes they’re clearly advanced bits of kit and it is , as the tech spec reads, a “professional headset for gaming” but I’m not sure I’d pay more than the price of an XBox console for a pair of headphones. Is this me being too tight with my cash, out of touch or simply not enough of a serious pc gamer to appreciate the advantages of such high-end gear?

I don’t know many pc gamers, none that are serious enough to use anything more than their iPod headphones for it, so I’d love to know from those that are if this type of technology is worth the investment? If only to stiffle my curiousity.

This is a strange one this – the “R” word that keeps getting flogged by every media outlet, used as an excuse by pretty much everyone for any little failure in business is now being used in relation to gaming and the XBox 360.

Microsoft have announced that from the second quarter of this year they’ll no longer be selling the Xbox 360 Elite. A quick heads up for those that don’t play – there’s three variations of the Xbox 360 console available; the Arcade, the Pro and Elite. Now, rumour has it that (having long ago done away with the Core model) that Microsoft will cease taking orders for the Elite.

The recession is, of course, being cited as one of the main reasons combined with the knock-off prices offered on the Arcade and Pro versions. The main difference between this and the other configurations is that the Elite comes with 120GB of harddrive (though so does my iPod 😛 ) and a matt black finish.

Microsoft say that retailers aren’t ordering as many and retailers say they have loads of them taking up space in their stock room as it is. To be honest, I’ve never had the need for all that extra harddrive and am happier spending the money on XBox accessories instead – most of the games I play don’t need that much memory but they do need the soundtrack to be appreciated without the girlfriend hearing me pick up prostitutes (yes, I’m playing a lot of GTA lately).

So, is this really another victim of the recession or just a bit of bad-planning and misjudging of their market place by Microsoft?

I keep a close eye on things over at my favourite place for gaming accessories – Lime XB360 – especially since they started dealing in more than Xbox360 accessories.

tritton-axproBeing a gamer on multiple platforms the idea of getting all the accessories from one place has to appeal – it’s common sense – and these guys really know their stuff. These, though, look like the headphones to get! The Tritton AXPRO headset looks amazing and – judging by the stats on the site and forum buzz – sounds amazing too. That and it can be used for the Xbox360, PS3 and the PC.

This is the only place I’ve found it in the UK and I’m extremely curious / anxious / eager to give them a try.

I’m still fairly new to the whole online gaming thing but I  am a huge fan of the sound involved in gaming (see previous posts) and think that such a high-quality set of headphones are bound to do justice to the small fortunes spend in developing the soundtracks without making the neighbours think there’s a war going on in my front room. With all the money that gets spent on the sound I don’t think it’s fair to mute it when you can get such powerful headsets.

I’d love to know if anyone has used these and can give me a heads-up on their quality or is just as eager to try them out??

Having been told this morning that the mother-in-law seems to think that there’s constantly a war taking place (courtesy of World at War, strangely enough) when she calls the house – there’s always a delay between hitting mute or pause when the phone’s picked up – I’ve had to order a pair of wireless headphones myself rather than wait until Christmas.

Doing my homework again, via the xbox forums I’ve bitten the bullet and gone for a pair of Turtle Beach Earforce X3s. LimeXB is the only site I could then them on for the UK and the forum buzz is all positive. With any luck I’ll be submerged in a private world war any day now with one less thing to be nagged over.