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If I've done my job, you will have been entertained and been informed. If you hated the video, then there's really no need for you to read on. If you're interested in seeing more videos like this, then read on.
Producing videos at this level of quality is substantially more expensive than producing written reviews. At the end of the day, you'd rather have a website stay alive than burn all of its cash doing video reviews. Compounding to the problem is that tracking how many people have watched a video is substantially tougher than tracking the number of page views a written article has received. The vast majority of you will read the articles straight off the FiringSquad.com, but videos get mirrored and transferred among friends.
So, as part of this experiment, I ask that if you send people to the webpage instead of the video directly. Simply put, the only way to fund these video productions is if we can receive a commensurate number of pageviews. (Unless you'd be willing to pay a subscription fee.)
Did you notice that the title referred to "March 2006" even though we're publishing this in late April? This video has been in the works since February or so. Video reviews take more time to produce, and for many products, it's helpful to have our content available in a timely manner. Consider our CES Video or Fatal1ty interview which was released several months after the video footage was taken…
With time, we should be able to decrease our production time, however videos will always take longer to produce than a traditional written review. The screenplay takes as much time to write as the article. Then you have the whole video part to produce. Once you produce the video, any "new information" cannot easily be added to the video. We have to use a text supplement to clarify the details.
In order to maintain high production values, "everything matters." In the written medium, I could just tell you that that NVIDIA's engineers have been hard at work. In a video, I'd have to give you exposition through conflict, humor, or drama. I tried going through B-roll footage, but it just didn't have the right flavor. Coming up with the Metal Gear Solid spoof and actually producing that scene took a substantial amount of time. But all that effort was for a 5 second scene that has no bearing to the actual substance of the video! The problem is, it's that kind of stuff that makes video reviews entertaining.
This video was high-definition 720p @ 30Hz. We'll likely switch to a 720p @ 24Hz to decrease the size of the download. Would you have preferred lower-resolution streaming video instead of downloading the video? How were your download speeds? Would you prefer torrent distribution?
In the End
It'll be up to you, the reader, to decide whether FiringSquad does more video reviews or not. There are definitely hurdles that we'll have to address, but we'll do video reviews it if that's what you guys want. As this is our first attempt, it'll take time before we can really get the production values up to the level that we want to reach. Still, we hope that this was the best 10 minutes you've spent at a hardware website. For all the problems associated with video reviews, it's still the best way to understand the purpose of various video quality features and of course, it's fun.
Your support is actually very easy. You vote by making sure this article gets a lot of pageviews. When you spread this video around to your techie friends and show it the Geek Squad guy at Best Buy, make sure they know to come back to this specific page. If you want to help me out, here are a few other questions I'd like to ask.
Was the video too short, too long, or just right in length?
Do you prefer downloading HD videos, downloading iPod-quality videos, or streaming low-resolution video?
If video reviews came out 1 or 2 weeks after every other site had their written article, would you still care?
Would you have had a problem if the advertiser for this video was ASUS, ATI, NVIDIA, or SAPPHIRE? What if we had a review of one product where the sponsor was the manufacturer?
Were there too few, too many, or just the right number of commercials? Did you fast forward through the commercials or watch the credits?
Did you have trouble with download speeds?
If you are a BitTorrent user, what client do you use? (Affects "HTTP seeding" options)
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Hear that? It's the sound of the largest computer chip manufacturer in the world churning out new processors to power your gaming rig. This week, Intel is launching their next generation of Core CPUs, code-named Ivy Bridge. Like last year's Sandy Bridge chips, they're low-power, quad-core powerhouses that also feature integrated graphics processors. Want to find out more? Maybe check out a whole bunch of performance benchmarks on both the CPU and graphics sides of things? Well you can, in today's review!
Intel Z77 Chipset & DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview
Looking forward to those new Ivy Bridge CPUs? In anticipation of their release later this month, Intel has already unveiled the new Series 7 chipsets designed especially to take advantage of what will be the 3rd-generation of Core processors. In today's article, we take a look at the architecture of the enthusiast variant, the Z77, and how it's used in the Intel Desktop Extreme DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Even if you're not particularly interested in the motherboard itself, you'll probably want to see some of the new features that come along with it, so read on!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!