My thoughts on piracy on the PS Vita: Addendum

When I calmed down and re-read what I have written on the post about piracy on the PS Vita, I realized I might’ve been indirectly insulting the devs, so I wanted to write this post to clear things up.

I do not have anything against the developers for all the work they do, regardless of whether it is piracy-enabling or not. They are all awesome people and they have my unfettered respect and thanks for all their hard work.

I know this sounds paradoxical, but that’s how it is.

On a side note, I was able to buy a digital edition of RuiTomo from the Japan PSN Store for a mere 2,160 yen. It has the original VN AND the Fandisc in one bundle, and given the PC versions cost about 18000 yen in total on Amazon Japan, and the fact that the VN was discounted by 66%, I’d say that’s a huge savings. Hurray, me!

Also, reading the Astral Air no Shiroki Towa on my PS Vita now, and boy, the awesome graphics of the VN look epic on the OLED screen. ❤ I wish I could save though…

The full VN comes out 22nd September, and at the time of writing this, the price shows 6,881 yen at Amazon Japan. I’ll have to see if I can grab it…

My thoughts on piracy on the PS Vita

DISCLAIMER: All the thoughts expressed in this article (and this blog of course) are my own, and is not affiliated or endorsed by any entities whatsoever. This post is a rant and will be disorganized and biased.

So I read an article on wololo just now that confirms that piracy is now a reality on the PS Vita. After like what, 5 years?

Well, I guess I’m sad, and a tad angry too. Sure, I used to pirate all my PC games during my teenage years (now I buy them on Steam, hurray for Steam). But that doesn’t mean I like piracy.

You know what, the PS Vita is a really niche kind of a platform; to me it’s one-of-a-kind. Even though I don’t dabble much in video game communities, but this much I can see.

I belong to one of the “rare”? people who actually loves the things present in the JP PSN store, and can consume those content. And you see, I like buying my games. Why? That feel-good factor that I’m supporting the devs. But wait, not your AAA games that potentially has a huge user base, pirated or not. These are the very niche ones based off maybe an anime, or a visual novel port.

Now, the thing is, the sales figures of these appear to be such that even a few thousand copies selling is considered good.

Does piracy really need to happen here? What happens if it does? Will the games still sell well? Will the devs make enough money off it to consider making a sequel? Or their next game? Or will they drop PS Vita releases altogether?

I don’t know, honestly. And I’m not inclined to think in a positive direction. But that’s just my thinking.

Now well, here are some refutations of arguments people come up with to “justify” piracy:

  1. I don’t wanna buy the expensive memory cards!!!

This is THE biggest complaint I hear, and it makes zero sense to me. As I have ranted in a previous post, THE MEMORY CARD IS LITERALLY A ONE-TIME INVESTMENT, DAMN IT! Just how many memory cards you need? You can back up your games to your PC just fine with QCMA. What’s the problem!?

2. The users are not to blame, Sony is to blame for letting the PS Vita rot like this!

Correction: Sony is partially to blame. A game console and its ecosystem are made up by both the company, the devs AND the users. Don’t forget that.

3. This will boost sales of the Vita!!

Hmm. I don’t have much idea of how the ecosystem works so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it like this: Many users will buy Vitas to run 3.60 FW plus their pirated stuff, so game console sales will see a (temporary) increase. What about the games? Will they sell as much? Will many people buy them?

4. I want to “try” the full game before I buy it!!

Uh, that’s what trial editions are for, and last time I checked, they don’t cost a dime. Unless by trying you mean you want to finish it first.

5. The PS Vita is dead, so piracy doesn’t matter anymore.

Well, it might be dead in your country, but not everywhere for sure. I see several people with the PS Vita on the trains here in Japan quite often.

 

Sigh, I don’t want the situation to worsen any further, and honestly, all the “claims” made by people (excluding homebrew flourishing, which is a good thing), seem just hogwash and people trying to justify themselves by saying piracy is a good thing. Nope, it never was, and it isn’t. It’s the game dev’s choice whether to use DRM or not. Not everyone can trust the gamers and take that risk. It earns them bread, y’know. It enables them to make a living.

As a commenter on the post aptly put it:

“What some of you don’t realize is that by pirating games on the Vita, you’re not stealing from Sony. Instead, you’re stealing from the developers, who typically aren’t Sony. What enabling piracy will do is just gimp the Vita’s potential library even more. Do you guys really want that?”

I want to see more games on the PS Vita, and this seems a step in the wrong direction. I just hope I’m proved wrong several months from now…

 

 

LLSIF got a huge update and my thoughts on it

So as I had mentioned a few months ago, I used to really like playing SIF, School Idol Festival aka the Love Live! rhythm game on Android. A few hours ago, they released a huge update to it. Some of the changes including but not limited to:

  1. Replacement of Muse with Aquos by the most part. However, cards will be released for both and you can choose whose songs to play, as well as whose box(es) to scout.
  2. New card tier: SSR. Revised rates from 90-9-1 for R-SR-SSR to 80-15-4-1 for R-SR-SSR-UR.
  3. You can idolize SRs now, with 20 R seals or 1 SR Seal.

 

Personally, I had ditched the game a few weeks ago owing to the extremely low turnout of SRs and URs and after my last 10+1 roll gave nothing but 1 SR. That was so very unbalanced. Now, the game “should” be more balanced, but the new tier means more and more money for the creators. Not that it’s a bad thing.

Well, I watched ep 1 of Sunshine, and it’s almost the same thing all over again, with just different characters than last time. Well, even the characters seem same so far… I mean, it’s as if Muse got a plastic surgery… I was not expecting more, but I found myself being disappointed as well. So personally, it is highly unlikely that I’ll get on the Aquos hype train. Cos hypes are overrated.

But the biggest welcome change is the idolizability of the SRs. I had pulled a few Nico SRs in the past, with the June 2014 Nico being one of my starter pulls when I got my account from a very kind soul on JP. So I was able to idolize her and I’m happy:

I am content now.Screenshot_2016-07-05-23-25-48.png

[JP PSN] List of Free Play games for PS+ Subscribers for November 2015

PS4:

  1. Rocket League
  2. Woah Dave!
  3. The Swapper

PS3:

  1. Lunatic Dawn III
  2. The Swapper

PS Vita:

  1. Phantasy Star  Nova
  2. Killzone: Mercenary
  3. Yuusha no kuse ni Namaiki da: 3D PSP the Best (PSP/PS Vita)
  4. Tokyo Shinseiroku: Operation Abyss (Trial)
  5. Tokyo Shinseiroku: Operation Babel (Trial)

So it’s a galore for PS Vita owners this month (yay!).

I’m not sure what those trial ones mean, but I’ll check sometime.

These are more or less valid till 1st December, so make sure to grab these before then!

[JP PSN] List of Free Play games for PS+ Subscribers for October 2015

Well, faster than last time.

PS4:

  1. Teslagrad

PS3:

  1. Teslagrad
  2. XBLAZE: CODE EMBRYO
  3. Kamisama to Unmei Kakusei no Cross Thesis
  4. Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax PS3 Edition
  5. Monster Farm 2 (PSX Archives)

PS Vita:

  1. XBLAXE: CODE EMBRYO
  2. Metal Slug XX
  3. Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax PS Vita Edition
  4. Meikyuu Cross Blood Infinity Ultimate

There are very few titles for the PS4 this month it seems.

However, in the Specials section, there’s something that we’ll all enjoy.

PS4: Hatsune Miku Magical Mirai 2015 Concert.

For the PS4, this is the concert video that can be enjoyed only on the PS4.

These are more or less valid till 3rd November, so be sure to buy before then!

[JP PSN] List of Free Play Games for PS+ Subscribers for September 2015

Sorry for the late post.

Anyway, here are the latest PS+ Free Play games for September (even though it’s almost over):

PS4:

  1. Grow Home
  2. Sound Shapes

PS3:

  1. LA-MULANA EX
  2. IS2: Infinite Stratos Ignition Hearts
  3. Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 2
  4. Sound Shapes
  5. Puyopuyo Sun Ketteiban (PS1)

PS Vita:

  1. IS2: Infinite Stratos Ignition Hearts
  2. Criminal Girls – Invitation
  3. Sound Shapes
  4. Puyopuyo Sun Ketteiban (PS1)

These are all. While the lineup is kinda shabby for PS4 users, it’s a heaven for PS Vita imo, with the IS2 VN and Criminal Girls getting PS+ Free Play status. It’s to be noted that this is the first of the Infinite Stratos VN series, not the one that was released in the beginning of this month. For me, the IS2 VN is the takeaway of the month. It’s so cliched that it’s refreshing, haha.

These are valid till 6th October, so better buy em before that!

Some ways to fix tearing on Linux Mint XFCE + Intel HD Graphics

So I have a VAIO laptop with an i3-370M (1st gen) and Intel HD Graphics. This is the 1st generation of Intel HD Graphics.

Ever since I installed Linux Mint 17.2 XFCE, I’ve been loving it. It’s as fast as me, keeping up with everything well.

But that’s not the focus of this post.

The first thing I did after installing Mint is removing VLC and installing mpv. But it seems that everywhere, there is the problem of “screen tearing” (see the Wikipedia article for what it is, basically invisible horizontal lines where the top part and the bottom part of it is weird and not continuous between each other, as if the object being displayed, be it an object in a video or a webpage, is “torn”). And it’s annoying.

So after a few hours of hunting down Arch Wiki forums and wiki articles and Linux mint forums, I think I’ve found a proper fix at last. But in case that does not work, there are some other suggestions.

1. Primary Way:

This is for Linux Kernel 3.19.0-pf3 (Yes, I run the pf-kernel).

a) Go to “Window manager Tweaks”. (Open the “Start” menu and start typing it).

b) Go to the Compositor Tab.

c) Make sure “Synchronize drawing to Vertical Blank” is enabled, as below:

Screenshot_2015-08-24_20-42-43

d) And reboot.

If this doesn’t work:

Alternate Ways:

  1. Disable the “Enable Display Compositing” altogether. This is what worked for me on the default 3.16 kernel that comes with Mint. If that doesn’t work:
  2. Use the older uxa instead of sna as the Hardware Acceleration method for your Graphics driver. How to do that is described in this guide. Please note that this can be thought of as a last resort.

Hope the tearing goes away with these!