Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year


Closer and closer to the end of the year, the most responsible are looking for gifts, the rest are delaying this moment in order to start a race in the last days. I don’t know about you, but every year the end of the year is associated with many tasks, a non-stop run, when you need to redo a bunch of all sorts of things. New Year’s mood naturally arises on the 30th, or even the 31st. Until this moment – vanity. It is not time to sum up the results yet, but we can already say that 2021 will be different. There will be no CES in Las Vegas in the usual format, for the first time in 15 years I will not go to the States in January, since there is nothing to do there now. Online presentations from CES, a paradigm shift for companies – all this has become familiar to our world. Personal communication is increasingly moving into the plane of messengers, the lack of personal contact even in cases where it is possible and not burdensome. And at the same time we spend much more time on work, which proves the importance of personal communication. It is better to talk personally once than to write a hundred times in messengers or in the mail. Maxim for our time.

Over the weekend I bought a new computer, more on that later. But an update to OneUI 3.0 also flew by air, the system turned out to be fast, completely different than OneUI 2.5 (I take my words back that there are not many changes, there are hundreds of them). I am slowly preparing a detailed overview of everything that has changed. But I want to start this issue with the cultural phenomenon of the game, which highlighted many trends, which means that the project turned out to be interesting. Go!


  1. Is Cyberpunk 2077 Game of the Year, Failure of the Year, or something else?
  2. Conversations between the buyer and the seller – buying a smartphone in “MVideo”
  3. Buying a Steam Generator – Freudian Qualitative Reservations
  4. Replacing the MacBook Pro Battery – Results in Practice

Is Cyberpunk 2077 Game of the Year, Failure of the Year, or something else?

In my family, there is rarely any talk about games and the gaming industry, in any case, it doesn’t come to the point where the controversy rolls down into the argument “I’ll show you how now”. This time, the sons were hotly arguing about what Cyberpunk 2077 is – the game of the year or an undoubted failure. As you can imagine, each stood his ground and flaunted facts to support his own opinion. Arguments for undoubted success were pre-orders, sales, huge queues in cloud services, and positive responses. The collapsed shares of CD Project Red, videos showing flaws in graphics, as well as reviews about the console version spoke against the game. Each high contentious side had its own trump cards up its sleeve, and I was somewhat amused by this, since this microcosm reflects the opinions of two camps – supporters and opponents of Cyberpunk 2077.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

The world around us has become complex, which means that we are trying to simplify it, willingly or unwittingly, to reduce it to simple definitions (yes, no, black and white). Everyone can come up with a metric within which to adjust external events to fit their perception of the world. The duality of our being was the first to be considered by politicians who provide the world with information that contradicts itself, but immediately satisfies everyone’s needs (there is no virus, but it exists; the pandemic exists, but in fact not quite; the number of cases is growing, but the situation is improving – here are a small number examples of the last year). At first I was surprised by such illogical statements, now I’m used to it and I look at them calmly.

To calmly understand the issue of Cyberpunk, you need to remember that this is one of the most anticipated games not only this year, but all recent years. The first mention of the game dates back to May 2012, then at the beginning of 2013 they show a video about the game, its development is just beginning. Polish studio CD Project Red (perhaps you know The Witcher from them and played it) consistently creates the world of cyberpunk, along the way winning various awards. Since 2018, various nominations and awards have been pouring into the game, as if from a cornucopia. The game is praised for its graphics, innovation, storyline. It seems that those who are cautious about the need to try the game, not to form their opinion based on the first demo videos and the opportunity to play the limited demos, do not find any support among the players. In absentia, people “know” that Cyberpunk 2077 will be a bestseller that will surpass anything that has been on the market before.

The media part of the story illustrates well how everything works in our world. Only a few may have tried Cyberpunk, and most support the myth that it’s unparalleled quality in every aspect, there is no doubt that the game is amazing and will change the world. We can say that the brainchild of CD Project Red has turned into something like Apple, but in the world of games. Expectations raised to the skies, expect everything from the game that is possible. The feeling that she will also learn how to make coffee, bring a blanket to the fireplace and make your existence on the planet completely different.

Pre-orders for Cyberpunk 2077 are huge, overlapping sales of the same “Witcher” this year. 8 million copies sold across all platforms, with 74% of sales coming from digital copies of the game. It is available for both consoles and PCs, and is available in cloud services. CD Projekt Red is celebrating success even before the start of sales, since only the sale of digital copies fully covers the cost of development (8 years!) And all marketing for the game in 2020, and this is also a significant part of the budget. As for me, this already speaks at least about the success of the game, such success stories are extremely rare and always attract attention. As usual, I’ll use my favorite phrase: I would like to be so unsuccessful anytime, anywhere.

In the first 12 hours of the game’s availability, hell begins for gaming platforms, more than a million people play on Steam, queues of hundreds of people are formed in cloud services, since high-performance servers are dismantled by those who managed to be the first, you have to wait in line. What’s interesting about the frenzy is that Cyberpunk 2077 has become a cultural phenomenon, one of the highlights of the year, clearly outside the boundaries of gaming culture. I can appeal to my children, one of them is a player, the other is cool to games, but this theme captured him too. Moreover, for him, the negative regarding Cyberpunk 2077 is an explanation why he does not want to waste time and play (not a revolution, you do not need to be in this topic, you can skip and go about your business – I exaggerate, but these factors are also present).

The game is “heavy” in terms of graphics and requires powerful hardware. The winners are those who play on the PC, have good configurations. On consoles, the game looks much worse, there are graphics artifacts that are immediately replicated on the network. My son shows one of these videos – look, the car falls off the bridge, what will happen now. The car flashes on the screen, and polygons appear instead, the graphics system did not cope with the picture on the Playstation 4. I do not see anything criminal in this, but for young people this is an unambiguous manifestation of the dampness of the game, of the fact that it is not good enough. The standards of perception of what is good and bad have changed a lot. Teenagers want to see the perfect picture without any flaws, they demand a different level of quality.

An important role is played by how the game was perceived before the start of sales, they expect a fantastic picture from it in the truest sense of the word. The picture is certainly good, but it cannot be said that it changes the perception of games.

Again, what you play is very influential. If you have a Playstation 4, then the graphics are not so good, this is a compromise, and nothing more. Many players are disappointed, someone is trying to return the game back, many feel the inferiority of their console in comparison with pumped PCs and begin to rate the game at the lowest possible score. In the same Metacritics, the game is rated less than 3 points out of 10 possible. You can find reviews here.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

Interestingly, for PC, the game on the same site has more reviews and ratings are much higher. You can find them here.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

For XBox, the scores are also low, which well describes how players perceive these platforms and what they are getting. There are no miracles in the world, and gaming PCs will always outperform consoles in quality. For game creators, the choice is very simple – focus on the quality of consoles and sacrifice graphics because of them, or make versions for PC and consoles, the perception of which will be so different. So far, the majority is choosing the second path, especially since it is logical.

Cloud gaming services were preparing for the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, expanding their own capacities, but no one was ready for such popularity of the game. All over the world, queues on the first day of the launch of the game lined up for several hours, for example, in GeForce Now in America, this caused serious discussions. For the first time, cloud gaming users are faced with inaccessibility on such a scale, local failures for specific toys, locations do not count. The influence of Cyberpunk 2077 on the market is so great that the growth of subscriptions to cloud services happened, since many did not want (could not) update their hardware for a new game, and cloud services made it possible to play comfortably and without such expenses. But not at launch. On Friday I could not wait in line at GFN.RU (premium subscription), on Sunday I calmly went in and tried the game, the waiting time was about 30 minutes. Many? Certainly not instantly. But there is no need to buy a gaming computer, let me remind you that I have a MacBook Pro on which you can play any game.

Interestingly, many people who first bought a cloud gaming subscription and hoped to play here and now were disappointed. Reading the comments, I constantly came across mentions of the fact that many were disappointed in playing on the Playstation 4, bought a subscription and could not play. Wish it was different, but Cyberpunk 2077 is a bestseller and is selling in more volumes than anyone, including their creators, expected. How long will such popularity of the game last, the question is open, but I think that after the New Year holidays, the excitement will decrease and everything will return to normal.

Now a few words about the CD Projekt Red promotions. After the first reports of problems with the perception of games on consoles, the stock went down sharply and fell 29%.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

Before the release of the game, they grew by leaps and bounds, this is the same irrepressible desire to get a bestseller, which everyone admires without stopping. In reality, the perception of the game suffers from these expectations, and investors choose not to risk it. If you evaluate the game only by stocks, then it has failed. But the world is not black and white, and it is impossible to say about this project that it was unsuccessful. The only question is how the game will be perceived by those who play it on good hardware. Those who bought new gaming computers for Cyberpunk 2077 speak very flatteringly about the game. If you wish, you can build a graph of satisfaction with the game, where the maximum ratings will be for those who have the most advanced hardware, and the older / worse it is, the lower the ratings, the owners of consoles (including new generations!) Will be at the very bottom.

My opinion sounds purely down to earth, it is impossible to call Cyberpunk 2077 a failure in any dimension. Rather, this game highlights the weaknesses of consoles, the need for powerful hardware in order to play it comfortably.

Conversations between the buyer and the seller – buying a smartphone in “MVideo”

The most interesting thing is when you involuntarily hear conversations between a sales assistant and buyers in the store. I stopped at MVideo to pick up the purchased computer, while I was waiting and looking at the windows, I heard a remarkable conversation. Two girlfriends were choosing a smartphone, a young salesman rushed to help them. A table with an open display of smartphones stands right at the entrance; it is notable for the location of brands. The first you stumble upon OPPO, several new products are at the end, looking at conventional doors. The place is expensive, they paid for it at OPPO, they just don’t put anyone here. On the left, a large piece is occupied by smartphones from Samsung, there are more than a dozen of them. Then comes the slice with Huawei smartphones. On the other side of the table, Honor smartphones are placed mirrored in relation to Huawei, and opposite Samsung are smartphones from Xiaomi. Few of the buyers think about the fact that winning places on the shelves are a subject of bargaining between retail and the manufacturer, someone pays money for them, someone pours buns in the form of marketing budgets. People are often surprised that retail, interested in increasing sales of any product, arranges a rat race, in which it makes money on the manufacturer’s desire to fulfill and overfulfill plans. This is contrary to common sense, but in life everything is arranged that way.

The girls examined some kind of device from Xiaomi, twisted it in their hands. The seller invited them to look at Honor, as it is the world leader and the best brand on the planet! The conversation went something like this:

– How much do you expect?
– I don’t know, it depends on the phone, you can 20 thousand, but you can also 40-45 thousand.
– Look at Honor, this model will suit you best.
– I looked at Xiaomi, they seem to be better.
– What are you! I advise everyone to Honor, these are the best smartphones on the planet, Samsung buys technology from them, almost does nothing himself. Even Apple buys screens from them.
– But are they some kind of unknown?
– Do you know Huawei?
– (Very hesitant and thoughtful) Yeah.
– This is Huawei, because Honor is just their brand for other markets. Huawei for some markets, Honor for others, we have both. They have only five different companies, few people know about this, but they are collectively number one in the world.
– And what is the quality?
– Just imagine, everyone buys parts, technologies from them, and they themselves are number one. Of course, the quality is the best, they set themselves what they don’t give to others. Mass production, don’t skimp on quality.
– They say that Samsung is of some kind in the A-series like Xiaomi, can you see it? (go to the other side of the table).
– I do not recommend it, it is very expensive, the screens are so-so, this is where they throw dust in your eyes at the stand, but the choice is yours, of course.
– And show Xiaomi, last year my mother and I watched some in Barcelona, ​​and we really liked it, there was a powerful processor and inexpensive.
– (They go around the table again and return to the starting point). Here, look, there is a very powerful processor, but everything else is so-so – cameras, battery. When they entered the market a year ago, they tried very hard, like everyone else, they did well, the prices were low. Now they do not try anymore, the processor is powerful, there is no dispute, and the rest is so-so.
– (The girls are turning the phone) Thank you, let’s think about it.

The conversation is fantastic in terms of filling and causes confusion, I have not heard so many spreading noodles in a long time. Other sellers are standing nearby, they hear the conversation, do not interfere. When the girls left the store, no one commented on this conversation. For the MVideo business, such a consultation is clearly harmful, since in another store the girls will not be deceived, but will be offered the product they want. The sale went into other hands, and the potential buyer left his money elsewhere.

Quite recently, I briefly mentioned another story in Spillikins: This weekend, a friend went with her mom to buy a TV. You can call them ordinary buyers who do not constantly monitor the market, chose several TV models and went to watch them in stores – the choice was between Samsung, Sony and LG. The preferred diagonal is 55-65 inches. In “MVideo” Sony was highly praised, while the picture on this TV was wonderful, but Samsung gave out crumbling squares. I have just the same model in my kitchen, after the message that everything is not very good, I climbed to peer at the screen, I did not find anything like it. I looked at the rewards of sellers for each brand of TV, got an answer to my question, how it happened and why. Little tricks on how to increase your personal income, you can write a novel about this in three parts, since the sellers have their own personal secrets and know-how.

Recently we met with a friend, asked how things were with the purchase of TV, which in the end we chose. It turns out that after MVideo we went to CSN, where the seller thoroughly showed different models at the stand, taught them what to look at and how to check TV for picture quality, how they can be deceived in other networks and what tricks exist for this. They were impressed.

It is impossible to transfer this experience to all MVideo stores or the same CSN stores, there are both sellers who know their job well, and those who do not understand anything about it. But usually this problem is still systemic, and it, in turn, affects business performance. Here the little things are important, which determine our perception of the seller’s work, how useful it is for us as a buyer.

In an ideal world, the seller should be our assistant and advisor, be neutral towards each brand. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite, since his income directly depends on the bonuses received from the sale of a particular brand or model. The motivation system is almost everywhere built in such a way that the seller was interested in selling not what you might need, but what the retail network is interested in. But today, sellers in stores often do not even try to understand the subject, but create fairy tales akin to the one with which we began to discuss this topic. And therefore, large stores often turn into places where people come to touch the goods and buy them elsewhere online. Giving money to a store where you can’t get quality help is difficult.

Buying a Steam Generator – Freudian Qualitative Reservations

The first steam generator appeared in our everyday life about ten years ago, almost instantly the new product was highly appreciated. The differences from an ordinary iron are so striking that these devices do not stand up to any comparison. Since the steam generator was bought for the first time, it was not the most expensive model that was purchased, slightly above average. A kind of reasonable approach, when it is not clear how the device will take root in the house, what is good and bad in it. The old man from Tefal continues to work, there were no problems with him, but I wanted to see what was new in this field and whether it was worth updating the equipment.

When you have something that suits you, trust in the brand is automatically born, they do not look for good from good, there is no search for something else. I typed in the search “Tefal steam generator”, among the links I found a company store. My selection algorithm is extremely simple: I look at the older model and the device of the average price. I don’t remember how much the steam generator I bought once cost me, but it felt like it was about the same price as today for the flagship (obviously higher in dollars).

I am reading the description of the flagship, where the word “smart” is invariably screwed in, a separate sensor detects the movement of the iron, automatically supplies steam. The pressure increased to 8 bar, more various functions, the tank capacity is almost twice as large. One thing that catches the eye is the “drop of feet” system, so that when ironing, drops of water do not spill onto the clothes, which in our case happens. The evolution of steam generators was clearly not in vain, a descaling system appeared, you can remove a special flask. I have nothing like this, on the other hand, and there is no problem of scale, since distilled water from the purification system is poured into the steam generator. For the first time in these years, I asked the instructions (found on the net!) How to descale your unit. It turns out that you fill in water, shake it hard and hard and then pour it into the sink, that is, mechanically remove scale. I tried it, did not find any scale, I became sad.

The pictures from the manufacturer are, of course, very funny. I don’t know what they are trying to show, but they rather repulse me, since it is difficult to carry the steam generator in this way.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

I looked at the model of the middle segment, not that pressure, a little less water capacity, there is no intelligent system, and on the mode switch knob (usually one mode is turned on and then ironing goes on, also an unimportant moment). The price is almost half the cost of the flagship, and the advantages are the wagon and the small bogie compared to our old model. I thought in absentia that the model would be good.

When buying the first steam generator, one of the points when choosing in the store was the weight of the iron. After all, they need to iron, and the steam generator means that you will do this for at least an hour, when a pile of the same type of laundry has accumulated. It’s good for those who always entrust this to the housekeeper and do not do such trifles themselves. But most people still iron on their own, and this parameter is important here.

There is a chat on the Tefal store website where you can chat with a sales assistant. I asked a question about the weight of the iron, received an answer from my grandfather Freud: “Unfortunately, we have no opportunity to see these devices, we do not have them, and the manufacturer does not provide such data.” I wang that the support service lives separately from the distributor, which is behind the store, and the company’s representative office is the third hypostasis in this triangle. It is surprising that no one has introduced this parameter into use, since, for example, I do not care at all how much the entire structure weighs, each manufacturer indicates this data. It is important to me how much the iron weighs, since they iron it! But, alas and ah, it was not possible to find such a description somewhere.

Then my buyer’s algorithm works very simply. I typed in the search several queries with the word “steam generator”, Google helpfully substitutes other people’s queries, for example, “the best steam generators 2020”. I read several articles, somewhere I just ran through the pictures to form an idea of ​​these products. I swept aside beautiful design devices, as they look cool, but there are huge problems with ergonomics, even based on pictures. This is exactly what they buy not for themselves, but for the torment of the home helper, who will meekly stroked with this miracle, but cursing about herself is worth it. But on the shelf it looks beautiful and you can choose any color from the unusual ones. And the price is appropriate, so that not like everyone else.

Spillikins number 620. Cyberpunk 2077 as Cultural Phenomenon of the Year

A huge number of articles on sites unknown to me, collections in which the same names appear – Braun, Philips, Tefal, Bosch, as well as Morphy Richards. The latter is often noted as the best in terms of price / quality ratio, but even in the pictures I did not like the fonts, the appearance of the devices is also given out by the usual C-brand, it is called “originally from Britain”. I don’t remember anything special, plus it’s not associated with household appliances (if I were British, perhaps everything would have been different).

Therefore, I looked at what other companies that I know are offering. I didn’t spend much time on it, compared prices. I did not find any reasons to change Tefal with other brands (while I have different household appliances, not just this brand, which is funny in itself, ordinary irons are not from Tefal).

Another sign of the times was that before buying, I compared prices in other stores, they turned out to be plus or minus comparable. I looked for additional promotional codes for a discount, in the first search query I found a 10% discount, which fit perfectly. In total, I ordered the steam generator that I liked.

I do not pretend that my algorithm for choosing a technique is the most correct and correct, and there are no others. But for me it works and it rarely crashes, although it happens.

As a lyrical digression, I want to voice the demands of some of our readers who are afraid of becoming victims of advertising, explicit or hidden. Approximately two or three letters a week voiced their aspirations, someone asks, someone demands that Spillikins and other materials not name the manufacturing companies, and the examples should be as depersonalized as possible. For example, this story about a steam generator and my selection algorithm with this approach should look like this: “I have a steam generator X at home, which I bought 10 years ago. Choosing between X, Y, Z, I stopped at Z, because I liked this brand. ” Rave? Not that word. Even sometimes, casually mentioning something, but not talking about a specific brand, I come across a wave of letters.

In one of the texts, a couple of years ago, he mentioned that he had been picking up toothpaste for a long time, combined different options until he settled on two that complement each other and work well. Exactly according to the precepts of those who do not want to see “advertising”. To say that in the next few months I only answered the same question everywhere is to say nothing. More than six hundred letters came with the question “what were you talking about?” I even got a template in my mail, because on the third day I resigned myself to the need to write the same thing. And yes, because of harm, I will not talk about what I chose then and what I use today. Although, to avoid the wave of letters, I must say (ROCS, Lacalut). Everyone sees what he wants to see in the texts. I repeat that any advertising we have is marked with a corresponding icon and signature, there is no point in not doing this simply does not exist.

Replacing the MacBook Pro Battery – Results in Practice

The other day I started an adventure with my MacBook Pro, and the battery suddenly started to shut down by itself. It is enough to walk through the light frost, the laptop is in the backpack. Ten minutes outside, and hello, you can turn it on only from the power source or when the laptop is slightly warm. In February, I changed the battery in my old man and hoped that it would work for another 3-4 years, but no. For me, this laptop is a working tool, and it is important that everything works like a clock. I wrote about replacing the battery here.

In April, the “O” key died on the keyboard, so I also replaced the keyboard. I hoped that the updated version of the laptop will last a long time, but this, as you can see, did not happen. The computer works, but there is no particular confidence in it, it can fail at the most crucial moment outside the office or at home, when I need it. Therefore, I decided that I would leave it as a spare, home machine, and as the main one I would choose something else.

Not so long ago I asked you about whether to buy a MacBook with an M1 processor for the review, opinions are divided. But in the end, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, try to replace my computer with such a machine, and at the same time study the capabilities of that very ARM processor and how the new laptops differ from everything that came before. I got a configuration for 8/512 GB MacBook Pro, while I just transferred my files, there are no special impressions, since I did not even start working. In Spillikins I will try to describe my impressions, and only then I will summarize and collect them together in a separate article.

PS Have a good mood and a successful working week. And do not forget to attend to the search for gifts for your family and friends. We publish articles in which we offer different options for gifts. In the first article, which included gifts of up to 6 rubles, the selection turned out to be interesting. I judge from your letters, as many are grateful for the little things that have improved their lives, in particular, turned old and stupid TVs into old and smart ones. Happy week and good mood.

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