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Gaming History You Should Know – The Failure of New Coke January 17, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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It’s Sunday, time for a new Gaming History You Should Know, a series where we highlight some of the best independently produced documentaries about the history of gaming. Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the biggest failures in the history of capitalism, which had gone on to serve as a stark reminder to all successful companies ever since. That’s right you guessed it, we’re going to talk about the time New Coke was released.

I know what you’re thinking, New Coke is a soda, it has nothing to do with gaming whatsoever, so why are we highlighting it here? Oh my, you sweet dear. Gamers have been drinking soda while gaming since the dawn of the hobby, and while everyone has their own personal preferences (Bawls, Mountain Dew, Pepsi) we cannot dismiss the ongoing success of the Coca-Cola Company, and their line of products including Coca-Cola Classic, Sprite and Diet Coke. In fact, programming god John Carmack was well known for his love of drinking down Diet Coke while working on his games at id Software, and I’m sure he isn’t alone.

Coca-Cola had been a successful company and known as the US’s favorite soda for nearly a century. However, by the 80s, heavy competition was starting to get distributed nationwide. Pepsi, a rival cola, had increased its market share, and many consumers believed that was due to the fact Pepsi tasted better than Coke. Coke, after doing tons of blind taste testing, believed they found a new beverage formula that tasted better than Pepsi, and that new beverage could wipe Pepsi out.

With this new flavor in mind, The Coca-Cola Company announced they would be changing the taste of Coke to this new focus tested soda, and branded it New Coke. Obviously, it didn’t work, and the company reversed course. After its fall, New Coke would go on to be nearly every comedian’s analogy for failure. Some people even assumed it was some nefarious trick pulled by the company to increase sales in the long term by intentionally releasing a bad product in the short term to trick consumers into thinking they may lose out on restocking their favorite beverage. In fact, most people remember that train of thought being the inspiration for a Futurama joke in the episode where the characters visit the Slurm factory.

Was there more to this story? Was it a conspiracy? YouTube icon Company Man, who has discussed everything from the demise of beloved toy stores to the origins of Dippin Dots, produced a fantastic documentary about the origins and the fallout of New Coke. If you’re a fan of Coca-Cola or not, you should totally give it a watch!

Let’s be honest, this whole fight was over personal taste, and that’s subjective. Every person will have their own personal preferences, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, this seemed to be a rare case of EVERYONE universally agreeing they didn’t want Coke to change, and the company had to bow to their consumers’ will.

Did we ever see New Coke again? Yes, in many forms. For a while, cans of New Coke would share store shelf space next to the (now rebranded) Coca-Cola Classic, until its supply ran out. There was a push to bring it back during the 90s, and people might remember seeing bottles of something called Coke II at their supermarket at that time. Due to its poor label design, I incorrectly assumed it was some kind of store brand knock-off and never purchased it but apparently Coke II was New Coke. More recently, Coca-Cola partnered with Netflix to promote Coke during the launch of Stranger Things season 3. The show, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a period piece and that specific season happened to take place at the same time New Coke launched. While they couldn’t actually SELL New Coke (maybe there was an issue with it being approved by the FDA for sale) they gave it away during many points of that summer, including to people who visited the Atlanta plant.

I actually still have a can of the stuff hanging around somewhere. If there’s a demand, I could do a taste test video of it down the road.

Tales from IT – Upgrading to the M1 Mac January 15, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos, Tales from IT.
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We’ve got a new Tales from IT! Apple has launched their line of custom processors and the computers that have these processors are available for purchase right now. Many friends and peers of mine are finally putting away their 5-10 year old MacBooks for good and upgrading to these new powerful systems.

But what is a Mac user to do with their years and years of files and data, especially if they have not created any backups? Apple will not take any responsibility for your data (unless it’s being stored on the iCloud), so asking a Genius to transfer your files, settings and programs is not an option. You can however, call a different kind of professional.

Watch the video below and find out what it was like to do a complete data transfer to a new M1 Mac. You’ll even get some tips and pointers along the way.

New Pokemon Snap Release Date January 14, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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New Pokémon Snap is coming April 30th, 2021 exclusively to Nintendo Switch.

Cyberpunk 2077 – Commitment Video January 13, 2021

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Ladies and Gentlemen, the co-founder of CD PROJEKT.

Cyberpunk 2077 is out now for PC, Stadia, PS4 and Xbox One. It is coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Pokemon 25 Website Launches January 13, 2021

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This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the original Pokémon games in Japan, and The Pokémon Company is celebrating this year the right way, with a dedicated website and this cool video:

You can check out the website right here.

Memories of Maniac – The Time I Skipped a School Dance to Attend a LAN Party January 12, 2021

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Maniac tells a story about the only fun times he had growing up and how they had nothing to do with school.

Quake is out now for PC.

Bowser’s Fury Trailer January 12, 2021

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Bowser’s Fury is an all-new expansion coming to Super Mario 3D World for the Nintendo Switch, and earlier today we got our first look at the new gameplay coming to the expansion. Check it out below:

He big.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is coming February 2021 to Nintendo Switch.

Pokemon Go Gucci x North Face Trainer Outfit Code January 11, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Occasionally, Pokémon Go offered free avatar customization options, either to tie into a promotion or as a thank you for keeping the game successful. Last week, for some reason that escapes logic, North Face thought it was a good idea to make Pokemon Go users seek out one of only 100 exclusive PokéStops in the entire world to obtain some exclusive avatar options.

This would (for nearly every human being on the planet) require travel, and likely over long distances. That is not a good idea right now. My guess is someone (thankfully) finally wised up because they’re now offering it as a download code. You can simply log into the Pokémon Go website here and enter the code below:

GXSD5CJ556NHG

Pokémon Go is out now for Android and iOS smart devices.

Gaming History You Should Know – History of Tamagotchi January 10, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Happy Sunday everyone, time for another Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced gaming history videos from across the web. Today, we’re going back to the 90s to tell a story about a well known gaming property that influenced an entire industry.

Most kids of the 90s remember Tamagotchi. Released by Bandai, it was a simple LCD game that allowed you to create and care for a virtual pet. You could feed it, clean up after it, and play simple games with it. The graphics weren’t the best, even for the time, but the hardware was inexpensive and designed around the concept of portability and interactivity.

YouTube Channel Billiam, who I’ve seen produce some incredible videos about older electronic devices from the late 90s and early 00s, made this great video about the Tamagotchi you all need to check out. Maybe after watching it you’ll see the appeal of the gameplay, or if you’re like me you’ll find the technology behind it quaint. Check it out below:

I know that the video showed a very simple game that might even look primitive in the standards of today’s smart devices. However, let’s be honest, your smart device may be powerful, fast, and have a pretty screen, but it requires constant recharges over the course of a week. By choosing to use simple hardware, Bandai gave the Tamagotchi long battery life, a simple but clean interface, and a potential for device interconnectivity using IR or NFC.

Since its release, virtual pet games have mostly moved to smartphones and tablets. However, it’s hardware design lives on and we’ve seen companies ranging from Sony, Sega and even The Pokémon Company try to copy it.

Monster Hunter Rise Digital Event January 8, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Nintendo released this highly anticipated digital event earlier today for Monster Hunter Rise. It includes a new trailer, previews and a few surprises. I don’t know why this was slower to launch on the US Nintendo channel than it was in the UK, but it seems to be up and running now so check it out.

Monster Hunter Rise is coming to the Nintendo Switch. You can download a free demo right now off the Nintendo eShop.