• 2020

  • Mondo releases an Original MSX2 Metal Gear Video Game Soundtrack 10″

  • The MSX2 was a home computer that pre-dated Nintendo’s Entertainment System (NES). Just like the NES, the MSX2 had a top-slot cartridge port. It was a pretty cool design, and other home computers that came before (and after) it featured a similar top-slot design. Here’s a MSX2 computer fabricated by Phillips:

    The MSX was originally release in 1983, however this specific model produced by Phillips was released in 1986.

    Japan (as is normally the case) was ahead of the curve, as they believed a home computer could be at the center of every home. Oddly enough, they were right.

    One of the smash-hit titles that was released for the MSX2 was Metal Gear (メタルギア) in 1987 by Konami. Metal Gear was a legendary action-adventure stealth and espionage video game title. The game, and the franchise that followed, was so successful that successors and sequels continue to be produced to this day. Here’s the original Metal Gear artwork:

    Special Force Group: Fox Hound — heck yeah, so sick.

    This had a legendary musical score (check out a sample here). The original score is credited to composer Motoaki Furukawa. He was a key member of Konami’s in-house band (that’s right, Konami has an in-house band), Konami Kukeiha Club. The band has been in operation since the 1980’s.

    Mondo, a purveyor of extraordinarily fine goods, t-shirts, media, sci-fi paraphernalia and god-knows-what-else — is dropping a 10″ original soundtrack pressing of Metal Gear replete with new artwork and camouflage colored vinyl:

    This premiere physical release of the soundtrack is cut at 45RPM, and features all new original artwork by Paul Mann that pays tribute to the 80’s action films that inspired the game, and is pressed on heavyweight Camouflage colored vinyl.

    If you are a fan of chiptunes, looking for an edge-up on your next DJ set, or simply just a Metal Gear superfan, this record is an absolute must-have. You can pick up this super-dope limited release at Mondo, here.

  • 2019

  • Microsoft Announces New Next-gen Console, Xbox Series X

  • Pretty big announcement from Microsoft happened yesterday. Tom Warren for The Verge reports:

    Microsoft has been working on Xbox Series X under the name Project Scarlett previously, and today’s naming follows confirmation from Sony that it’s choosing PlayStation 5 for the name of its next console. Microsoft is also claiming Xbox Series X will be the “fastest” and “most powerful,” in what could be a reference to having a more powerful console than Sony’s PlayStation 5.

    Earlier this month, Project Scarlett (the alias the Xbox has been known as up until now), officially became Phil Spencer’s (Phil is Microsoft’s Head of Xbox) primary console at his home:

    Well, now we have a few more details, and can expect it to go on sale in 2020. It kinda looks like a boxy Mac Pro with a slot-loading disk drive. While we don’t have a list of specs or internal photography, looking at this design so far I would be concerned about thermals. The Mac Pro wrestled with that problem til the very end, and the Series X is supposed to be playable resting upward or on its side like a soundbar.

    Here’s the new trailer, it’s a little over-the-top, but definitely a tour-de-force of creative CGI that can be appreciated. The console appears around 1:18

    Here’s a few stills from the video:

  • 2018

  • 3.5mm inputs on the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller

    Accessible Gaming with the Xbox Adaptive Controller

  • Microsoft has really stepped their game up. It’s clear that Microsoft has really struggled with an identity problem. Are they a software company? Are they a hardware company? What’s their core focus? 

    Amidst the chaotic soul-searching, Microsoft has continued to outdo themselves in the gaming arena.

    The Xbox, an undefeatable goliath has seemingly persistent success in the community. But, accessibility has always been a sore spot, not just with the Xbox but as a whole, the gaming community has largely left out users who have disabilities. While accessibility standards continue to expand for web users across all platforms, the gaming community has taken a large homebrew approach. Users have built their own joysticks, buttons, and switches — all built upon the 3.5mm audio jack.

    3.5mm inputs on the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller

    Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is a seriously awesome solution for disabled gamers. Some might say it was designed to be hacked. I love it. Some core features:

    • 25 hours of battery life
    • 2 USB inputs
    • Bluetooth capable
    • The controller is mountable
    • 19 (3.5mm) inputs, each one mapped to a specific button
    • Works with existing homebrew controllers, or Microsoft’s own suite of inclusive interface inputs

    This is a huge win for Microsoft. Xbox has existed at the intersection of casual gamers and PC purists — but the console has consistently left out the disabled. While the PC hasn’t suffered the same problem, the Xbox was heading down a dark road.

    Microsoft thankfully (through the power of feedback and community) has listened to their users.

    The Adaptive Controller is exactly what Microsoft and the Xbox needs. Microsoft has always excelled at delivering products at the beck-and-call of what their users need or want. From Windows 95 to Halo 2—I’m pleased to see a product that solves a problem for so many. It’s pleasing to see Microsoft’s core focus has shifted from listening to business customers, to hearing out all their customers.