Was going to order you to watch Love Live on the double but I see you got around to it before I did.
I'm surprised how much I like Dog and Scissors given how the show is essentially a hybrid of batshit and sadistic humour - though given the impression Hitagi left on me back in 2009, maybe I just like that kind of "edginess" from time to time. Prisma Ilya is a lot of fun. Stella Jyogakuen Koutouka C3-Bu was decent too but I don't think I enjoyed it as much as the other three. Still have a decent number of shows to get to. I think that I went into the new Monogatari and Ro-Kyu-Bu seasons with too high expectations, so I'm not ready to deliver opinions of them just yet.
The examples in there seem a bit unambitious (I don't think Ryse offers you to give very specific orders to your troops, for example), but if the new version of Kinect is good enough to pull off finger tracking, you could, say, cast a spell in something like Skyrim using a quick gesture then return to the controller for melee combat. Heck, some PC games like Arx Fatalis and the Void allow spellcasting by drawing runes, it's just clunky to do it with a mouse cursor - I've heard it works better on a touchscreen phone. Though, the Wii U's controller/touchscreen controller offers similar possibilities and developers are hardly jumping up to take advantage of them.
I'd go more specific than user unfriendliness. Windows 8's UI is fine for what it was designed for (portables that can act as both tablet and PC), but they should have allowed desktop users to just use the start menu and run Modern UI apps within it - which is absolutely technically possible: http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/wi...indows-desktop
What bothers me is their move towards being restrictive - whether it's shoving a "convertible" UI down desktop user's throats, only allowing apps from their app store on Windows Phone/RT, the technical restrictions that make it tricky to share files between desktop and modern UI apps (yes, really) or even restricting Office Home and Student licenses to one PC to encourage multi-PC household to move to their subscription licenses (Office 2010 licenses allowed installation on 3 PCs IIRC), it all seems to come down to various annoying restrictions.
One other thing I find interesting about this console generation: the number of games being developed that are not only cross-platform but cross-generation: Dragon Age: Inquisition, for example, is supposed to come out on 360/PS3/One/PS4/PC and is slated for fall 2014 - pretty much a full year after the One and PS4 launch. It makes sense - taking assets from a next gen release and scale them down to a current gen console is probably a cost-effective method of widening your audience - but I feel like we're seeing much more of that this generation than previously.
Well, it's not so much that Sony was spectacular or anything like that.
I sort of want to compliment Sony on pulling an elegant finishing move with the $399 pricetag but I honestly facepalmed when Microsoft anounced $499 - then $399 has been a consistent rumour for Sony.
So I guess we can add the Xbox One to the list of Microsoft products in the last year whose direction I dislike. Said list already includes Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Office 2013, so pretty much everything MS has put out in the consumer space in the 2012/2013. Which considering how much I use and like Windows 7/Office 2010 is just f***ing depressing.
I totally get that the combination of tech is there. But Microsoft of late has a decent track record on privacy related disclosure and a bad track record on shoveling DRM and user interfaces paradigms down users throats. And I'm not much into speculating. Especially in an environment where there's that much anger going around - even justified anger tends to cloud people's judgement IMO.
(Side note: This is way, way late, but I remember you making a post about murder in Sword Art Online and mounting an insanity defense on the basis that the accused went insane from being in the game too long. Can't speak for Japan, but IIRC, in Canada the insanity defense is not that simple. "The accused is insane" is not enough. For the accused to be found not criminally responsible, you need to show that their insanity was such that they did not understand that they were breaking the law.)
You're likely much more tech savvy than I, so maybe there's some things I'm just not getting here that you are getting. However, I hope you would agree, at least, that the XBox One certainly raises eyebrows at least, from a privacy standpoint.
Among games I consider to fit the "nostalgia" category, the Command and Conquers are the ones I fire up the most frequently - particularly C&C1, RA1 and RA2 because those were the ones I really liked. The community has done a decent job patching them to work better on newer PCs too (see pcgamingwiki.com - which is a great source of info on fan patches in general).
That said, these days I do most of my gaming when I meet with friends for LAN parties, and C&C was never a big LAN game for us (though I do remember playing both C&C1 and RA1 against friends via 14.4K modem back in the late 90s). Warcraft III was for a bit, which was a bit annoying because I was nowehere near as good at it as C&C.
I really like Civ IV and V as LAN games - I find the length of the games mean I get really invested in the outcome. Unforunately I have trouble convincing people to play it on LAN due to the game length, and I've never enjoyed it quite as much just in single player.
I have a similar group of hobbies (though I write mainly original stories now) so I know how difficult balancing them is. Time has been a bigger issue than money for me - my PC is quick enough to run all but the bleeding edge games despite its age, and Steam sales make the marginal cost quite low.
In terms of single player, the only games I've invested significant time into these past few years are Dragon Age: Origins and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, both of which I'd recommend to you given your tastes.
Right now, I own a XBox 360, and a few games for it. Prior to the XBox360, my last console system was the original Playstation. Most of my gaming has been on the PC.
My all-time favorite gaming franchises:
Sid Meier's Civilization series
Command and Conquer
Age of Empires
Heroes of Might and Magic
Suikoden (I completed the first, fourth, and fifth ones; almost completed the 2nd)
There are a lot of other games I've tried (Mass Effect, Soul Calibur, WoW) in a lot of different genres, but I tend to prefer RTS games, and games where you're basically building a society.
There have also been a fair number of RPGs I've played and/or completed (some of the Final Fantasy games, a couple of the "Tales" series of games, the first Xenosaga game, etc...)
But what I find is that I just don't have enough time for work, anime, gaming, and fanfic writing. I like anime, gaming, and fanfic writing about equally, and gaming is the most expensive of the three, so I don't game all that much. But it's certainly possible I might get more into gaming again one day (it'll probably happen once I tire of fanfic writing). It's only recently that I tried Mass Effect.