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Join sisters NinJaSistah and Pandalicious and the rest of the ESH Crew each day as they discuss video games, tech gadgets, anime, manga... pretty much everything within the geek chic lifestyle.

From Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC game reviews, previews, news, and gushings to audience questions and rumor mill seeding galore you'll find it here at ESH!
First Nerdgasm of 2010: ESH@CES Las Vegas!

Goings On

Search through the goodness that is ESH. Want to see if we are writing and chit chatting about the crap you're interested in.





    CES Coverage

    We went to CES and here's what we saw and molested.

    E3 Coverages

    One stop shopping for all of the ESH E3 goodness.

    Xbox 360 Stuffs

    Check out crew rantings on the XB360 platform.

    PS3 Things

    Yeah, we've talked about Sony stuff too, check em out!

    Wii Little Bits

    Get your Nintendo bits and bobbles here.

    Oh Hai! Anime-niacs

    Peep the stuff we've written about on the anime tip.

    Manga Love

    We less than three manga as well, so peep the manga reviews.

    ESH Photo Galleries

    Check out the snapshots we've taken at events and more here...

    Ex-Gamestop Employee Takes it to YouTube

    posted @ 9/08/2008 08:09:00 AM by Douceswild

    A disgruntled ex-Gamestop employee who goes by the name WhistleBlowerZero, has put up a nine part series on YouTube blowing the whistle on Gamestop's business practices towards consumers and employees. You may recognize the video and narrative style from Zero Punctuation.

    As a former manager of a local Gamestop, I can say that a lot of what he says is true, especially the part about having better options than trading your game back to Gamestop, I'm not a disgruntled ex-employee either. I just recognize better deals than what Gamestop offers. Watch the video and tell if you agree or not.

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    Canada Gamestop/EB Offers Guarantee on Force Unleashed

    posted @ 8/18/2008 10:18:00 AM by Douceswild

    Gamestop/EB Canada is offering a gaming guarantee on the upcoming title, Star Wars: Force Unleashed. They are so sure that you will like this game that they're offering buyers the opportunity to trade the game in for full purchase price credit if they don't like it.

    Gamestop did something similar to this with the Playstation 3 title, Haze, but was halted by Ubisoft. There is no current news of this program taking place in the states. Let's see if Gamestop is crazy enough to give this opportunity to Americans. Do I even need to go into how it would end up?

    (Lucasarts has announced the Star Wars: Force Unleashed demo to be available for PS3 and Xbox 360 download this Thursday, August, 21st.)

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    Reservations About Reserving

    posted @ 3/18/2008 11:38:00 AM by Douceswild

    A lot of video game stores have a reservation policy which allows you to plop some money down on a game so the employees will hold the game for you when it comes out. The question I pose to you is how necessary is it to do this?

    The employees at the game store will tell you if you want a game on the day it releases then it’s in your best interest to reserve it. After talking to a few friends of mine that work at GameStop and EB, I’ve come to the conclusion that what that statement means is that they might have extra copies of the game to sell other than those on reserve, but you won’t get one if you didn’t reserve it.

    Why do the employees want you to reserve the game? I used to manage a GameStop store a long time ago and the official answer which was pounded into the head of managers’ was to raise the initial sales of the game within the first couple of days. Now the answer you’ll get from employees (behind the scenes of course) is “because we have a quota and my manager told me to.” The employees have a weekly quota on reservations so the fewer people they convince to reserve a game, that’s the more grief they catch from the higher-ups. If you did not reserve the game when it releases, then the employees will not give you a copy out of spite even if there are extra copies behind the counter.

    I’m not saying that this happens at every gaming store in the world, but I think it’s a safe bet to say that this is happening in most of them. Is this to be expected from the average kid working at the store? It definitely is. If he or she catches hell from their boss (who in turn probably caught hell from his or her boss) about not getting enough reservations for the week on a particular game, then that employee will more than likely take out his or her frustration on you when you come in without your reservation stub, thinking you’re going to march into their store and get the game you want so badly, after turning him or her down a few weeks ago when asked to reserve it. You’re at their mercy now. What can you do?

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    When $500 Is Better Than $600

    posted @ 7/10/2007 01:19:00 PM by evermore
    Here is the horrible, horrible truth: Stay away from the new PS3. The old PS3 out there, the one languishing on the shelves of Wal-Mart and Circuit City, the one you don't have to stand in line for, the one you don't have to wait by your mailbox for, well, it's, uh, better.

    That's right. The 60-gig PS3, the one that's been around since November, the one that they just reduced in price by $100, the one that... oh, stop it. The word from E3 is that the older, 60-gig PS3 is better than the new 80-gig model. In fact, if you still play some PS2 games, you should positively stay away from the 80-gig PS3 model.

    Why? Emulation. The original PS3 also contains the PS2 Emotion chip to help it play PS2 games. Now that the Sony folks have come up with a way to emulate PS2 capability in software on the PS3, they have dropped the Emotion chip from the new machine.

    And we all know what happens when you emulate a chip in software, don't we? Incompatibilities. That game you've been playing for years suddenly doesn't work anymore. The disc spins and spins, but doesn't go anywhere. You're left with unexpected crashes -- or eerie silence.

    So here's the warning: If you've got several PS2 games you intend on playing on the 80-gig PS3, test them out on the machine before buying one. Better yet, stick with the original PS3. We suspect the 60-gig model isn't even being built anymore (they've got a few million on hand gathering dust at places like and GameStop), so when they're gone, they're gone.

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    One MMORPG To Rule Them All

    posted @ 3/15/2007 09:33:00 AM by Douceswild
    There’s definitely no shortage of MMORPG’s on the market right now. It’s also no secret that World of Warcraft has been the leader among the bunch, but there may be an online game in the future capable of ruling them all.

    Mark your calendars or star-maps, whichever applies. April 24th, 2007 marks the release of Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO as it’s being called because we all know that gamers are the kings of abbreviations, or TKOA’s…self-touché). Screenshots and videos of the game look great, but that’s not what I’m here to preach about. I just wanted to let all those interested in trying the game know that if you pre-order the game now at or, you’ll be labeled as a “Founder” and will have access to the Open Beta on March 30th as opposed to having to hope and wait to get into the beta on April 6th.

    Now here’s the part that makes you glad to be an Electricsistahood site reader. Ya’boy Douceswild has found a loophole that will help you keep a bit more money in your pocket when it comes to reserving the game. If you pre-order the game from either website, GS or EB, you must prepay the retail price of 49.99 for the game, after which, you’ll be emailed instructions on how to get set up for of the beta at the end of the month, BUT I found out first-hand that EB and Gamestop either have or had (depending on availability in your area) LOTRO beta CD’s in stock and will gladly give you one if you pre-order the game in-store for ONLY FIVE DOLLARS.

    You heard it here people! By going to your local Gamestop or Electronic Boutique and dropping $5 to preorder Lord of the Rings Online, you can get into the beta on March 30th as opposed to spending $50 on the website for the same thing. Check with your local stores to see if they have any of the CD’s left and jump on it. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against their websites (although they did kinda screw me over with my Nintendo Wii reservation but that's water under the bridge). Both sites are great sources of information and games, but I’m also not opposed to saving a little cabbage whenever I can, especially when it comes to the rising prices in video games.

    There you have it peeps. You’ve just saved $45. Read it. Learn from it. Benefit from it.

    …When did this site become educational?

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    Revenge of the Nerds 2007

    posted @ 2/07/2007 01:39:00 PM by evermore
    In a story that is blazing its way through the bloggernet, GameStop has allegedly expanded its policy regarding M-rated videogames that are sold to minors. The bottom line is that we could be seeing a brand new version of The Revenge of the Nerds.

    GameStop has long had a policy regarding M-rated games that are sold to minors. You can read it right here. It's pretty simple -- an employee sells an M-rated game to a minor, the employee gets fired.

    But that was all changed in a recent conference call of GameStop employees. According to a writer for, not only does the employee get fired, so does the manager. That adds a whole new dimension to employee-management relations at GameStop.

    Work at GameStop and hate your manager? Get him fired! Just sell an M-rated game to an underaged kid and tell the kid to tell his parents where he got the game. After all, being fired is nothing to a 20-something kid. Heck, GameStop can't even tell future employers why the kid no longer works at GameStop -- all they can do is tell the hire date and release date. The manager, on the other hand, is probably some 40-something geezer with a failing marriage and a couple of unappreciative kids. Getting fired could make him go right over the edge into drugs, drink or maybe even suicide.

    And wouldn't that be entertaining?

    Kudos to the folks at GameStop who put their most vulnerable employees directly in the line of fire as they pander to the desires of a few loudmouths who want everybody to live by their rules.

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    2007's Most Wanted

    posted @ 1/02/2007 11:24:00 AM by Douceswild
    It’s a new year people! Resolutions have been made (and probably broken already). As far as the gaming industry is concerned, there will definitely be new and exciting things coming our way. What are you looking forward to the most?

    I’m sure a lot of people would name Halo 3 the most anticipated game of 2007. I’ve had mine reserved for the past month and will be standing outside of Gamestop if they have another midnight release. Even though I’m excited about that title, and can’t wait to put Master Chief back into the fight for mankind’s survival, it’s not at the top of my list.

    One of the games of 2007 that has me sitting at the edge of my seat is Mass Effect for the Xbox 360. It’s an action rpg from the developers of Jade Empire and Knights of the Old Republic, both of which are awesome games. In both "JE" and "KOTOR", as they’re called, a lot of the plot twists and the outcome of the game depend on the choices you make. Your decisions may also effect the way your party members feel about you and whether they choose to join you at all. The same concepts have been added into Mass Effect and amped up a bit. All of this plus unbelievable graphics is enough to make my mouth water.

    This year will undoubtedly bring new and exciting releases for all systems. What titles have you running to your local game store to place on reserve status? I’ll get the ball rolling since most of you are still probably recovering for your New Year’s celebration.

    (Some of the these titles are coming out on multiple systems but I’ve listed the system I plan on playing them on.)

    Mass Effect – Xbox 360
    Assassin’s Creed – Xbox 360
    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade - PC
    Tabula Rasa – PC
    Halo 3 – Xbox 360
    Wii Play – Nintendo Wii
    Crackdown – Xbox 360
    Rogue Galaxy – PS2

    There’s plenty more but I’ll stop here because I have to go look for a second job to pay for the rest of the stuff that’s going to come out this year. I’ll turn the keyboard over to you. What’s your 2007’s Most Wanted?

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    Anticipation... It's Making Mii Wait

    posted @ 11/22/2006 02:30:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Here I am, the day before the annual "Feast of Overstuffment Day," and I'm still waiting for my Nintendo Wii to arrive. To say that this has been a difficult week would be a gross understatement.

    I was actually one of the lucky folks to get in on the Gamestop Wii Bundle Pre-Order, but my billing address is not the same as my current living address... hence the delay in my actually ripping open that puppy and getting my Red Steel on. This has also been the major contributing factor in us not having any first hand accounts with either the Nintendo Wii or Sony PS3. We haven't been able to get our hands on the systems, and neither company has graced us with a demo box... which makes NinJa a sad panda.

    Not to rub it in, I was also able to get a PS3 Bundle Pre-Order from Gamestop [those ho's go soooo much of my hard earned cash this past month it's ridiculous!] so I expect that puppy to pop up shortly after the Wii. Then it will be time to start re-assembling the "gaming rig of joy!" [Damn that TV is FINE!!] Moving on. The reason that I'm so excited about having both bundle systems isn't for the greedy reason you may think. Both bundles have some similar game titles in them so I can do a direct comparison of the same title across all of the next-gen systems. That's XB360, Wii, and PS3 for anyone that may forget that the year old XB360 is still a next-gen system. Lots of people say that you can't compare the systems because their individual architectures are so different, it would be similar to trying to compare donuts to dinkleberries. And I will concede to that to a point. But having the same game title, made by the same developer, on each system concurrently I think is a great way to do a superficial system comparison.

    So first up on my hit list [once all systems are in, hooked up, and gtg] will be Madden 07. If you have any suggestions for games that are on all 3 console systems that you would like to see on NinJaSistah's Assassination List, let a sistah know!

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    GameStop, EB Selling Small PS3 Bundle Online Tonight

    posted @ 11/17/2006 01:26:00 PM by evermore
    Blink twice and you might miss it, but the GameStop and EBGames websites are offering the 20GB PlayStation 3 for sale tonight.

    The notice simply says this:

    We will have an extremely limited supply of 20GB PlayStation 3 console bundles for preorder on our site Friday evening, November 17th. We expect these bundles to ship on or before December 1st.

    The websites don't give an exact time, but, if last week's Wii bundle sale on GameStop/EB is any indication, we expect it to start somewhere between 5 and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

    The page doesn't mention exactly what is in the bundle or how much it costs, but you should figure on a package that includes six or seven games (that would add about $400 to the price), as well as extra controllers, an extended warranty and a year-long subscription to that Game Informer magazine they push on everyone. And don't forget GameStop's pricy shipping and handling fee. It was around $40 on the Wii -- it's going to be more on the much heavier PS3. The total could be upwards of $1,100. Or so.

    Also keep in mind that we're talking about the 20GB PS3 -- not the higher priced 60GB version, which also has Memory Stick and wireless broadband capabilities built in. GameStop says: "We will not offer 60GB PlayStation 3 console bundles until our store pre-orders have been filled..."

    And if the GameStop/EB sale is already over, that means it's time to get back in line at the Best Buy for Sunday morning's Wii launch. Happy camping!

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    U B Screwed

    posted @ 11/15/2006 03:05:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I mean EB screwed...up. Just about every EB/Gamestop store has had their initial shipment of PS3 halved on them. What does this mean for the people who stood in long lines, braved nasty weather to be number 25 out of 25 pre-orders for the PS3? Means you no get no PS3 on launch day sucka, that's what!

    Yes, the phone calls have started... the ones from EB/Gamestop to [previously golden] reserve PS3 receipts holders that no longer get them a machine on launch day. So if you were one of those few people that bragged to your buddies about how you were going to have a PS3 launch day while they weren't or about how awesome it was that you were going to be playing Genji Days of the Blade launch day and how sad it was that your friend was not [you know who you are you bastid] know that you [if kharma exists] probably have a voicemail message on your phone right about now.

    That message says that Gamestop is really sorry, but they aren't going to have a box for you now on launch day, but they'll give you a used game or DVD worth $20 or less as a way of saying, "sorry you got boned."

    Yes, it's nice to be around when the payback happens. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to the "Ain't Got No Damn PS3 On Launch Day Association" or AGNDPOLDA. We meet on Tuesday, and there is pie and punch. If you are going to be +1, contact us in advance.

    Welcome aboard!

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    Daily News: Launch Week Rumors

    posted @ 11/13/2006 12:48:00 AM by evermore
    It's Launch Week for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii and there's nothing but rumors of riots in Japan, where the PS3 went on sale this past weekend, and rumors of folks being thrown out of Best Buy waiting lines. Here's some more stuff you might have missed...

    • If you're camping out in front of a Best Buy, a Target, a Wal-Mart or wherever for a PS3 or a Wii, you'll want to know just how many they have on hand, eh? Here's how to get those numbers.
    • Some PS3 die-hards have more money than sense. That's evident from these current Yahoo Japan auctions, which, as of late Sunday night, have bids on single PS3 systems of more than 2 Billion Yen. Comparatively, things were much more civilized in the U.S., as a top-of-the-line PS3 went for a mere $9,100, according to this eBay auction.
    • The PS3 case is beautiful and black -- as long as you keep it in the box. The Gizmodo guys discovered to their dismay that it doesn't take much to mar the surface of the case.
    • Bungie is adding a female voice to Halo, according to Frankie on the Bungie website: "Anyway, one of the things we're looking at for Halo 3 multiplayer (Master Chief is all man) is adding a female voice to the Spartan character should you choose it as part of your custom character."
    • USA Today says you might be better off just waiting to buy a next-gen console until next year. Awwwww, whadda they know?
    • Defying the laws of economics, it seems that, according to this article, the Xbox 360 is actually becoming more expensive to manufacture as time goes on.
    • HD takes a big step backward on Xbox Live, as one of the first games to be released in 1080p resolution will be a modernized version of Atari's classic Missile Command.
    • Already have a PS3 pre-ordered and just waiting on it to arrive? Time to RTFM! Sony has its PS3 online manual just waiting for you by clicking here. Enjoy!
    • Some people were upset about last week's GameStop online Wii preorder, which required the purchase of six games, an extra controller, an extended warranty and a magazine subscription, pushing the total to nearly three times the cost of the console alone. Well, GameStop's got nothing on CompUSA, which according to this ad will allow you reserve a PS3 -- as long as you purchase a 40-inch or larger Sony HDTV first.

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    posted @ 11/12/2006 11:44:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Alright. So I get home from the day job and curl up with a nice beer, turn on my kick ass TV and lappie and prepare to get in some game time and check what's been going on in the game world while I was away from it, and what do I find? I find this article about the most retarded EB Games/Gamestop display I've ever seen.

    First off, "Games For Girls" my ass. That display just proves that they really just don't "get it" when it comes to marketing games to girls. I think it's because up until now when so many females are getting hot and heavy into gaming that the marketing of video games has been too easy. I have no doubt that there are some marketing departments in the various game development houses that say things like, "...if it has some character titties, put it on the cover scantily clad in torn clothing, maybe a quick panty shot in the printed ads for magazines, and we'll have a new best seller on our hands boys!" I'm not being cynical here, I really believe conversations like this happen, today, even though we are in the year 2006. I know that sex sells... and does it very well. That, I don't care about. But if flashing the T&A is the only creativity that you can come up with to use as the linchpin of your marketing campaign, I fully understand why companies have a hard time figuring out how to create and market their products to girls.

    Tits alone will not our money get... at least not mine. If I wasn't so damn tired I'd now rant about how Gamestop really needs to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that "Games for Kids" are not the same as "Games For Girls." Many females who are raging gamers will classify themselves as "girl gamers" or "gamer girls" even if they are not in the pre-teen or teenage age group. I for one am nearly 30 as Pandalicious will be quick to tell you, and I classify myself as a girl gamer, so that "Games for Girls" artwork and subsequent game display offend the HELL out of me. If I wasn't nearly out of beer, and in need of a foot massage, I'd go on to say that it's oversights like this that hinder growth in the girl gaming community because it drives home to many of us that we are outsiders looking in when it comes to being thought of by those in the industry... and no one like to think that they don't matter to people that make the products or items that they love.

    But, I'm out of beer, and my feet are killing me, so I'll save that rant for another night.

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    Daily News: What? No Kitchen Sink?

    posted @ 11/09/2006 12:09:00 AM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Just like razors... or ink jet printers
    • Free, as in beer
    • Winners galore
    • Playing the Game Name Game
    • Being popular has its price

    How to spend $700 for a Nintendo Wii: The great thing about the Nintendo Wii is the cheap price, right? You won't think so after hearing about tonight's sale on the website. Tonight you can buy a Nintendo Wii Bundle in a GameStop online-only sale for the low, low price of... $694.88, which doesn't include tax and shipping. What do you get for the extra $450 you're spending on a $250 machine? Six games (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Red Steel, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz and Madden NFL 2007), an extra controller, a 1GB memory card, a 12-month product replacement plan and subscription to Game Informer magazine.

    How to get a Wii for free: GameFly is giving away a Wii each day through Nov. 30. If you're a current GameFly subscriber, just go to the GameFly website and click on the link to the contest. Not a subscriber? You could sign up for a trial subscription or just go to this link. The official rules are right here.

    How to win more stuff: While we're on the subject of winning game-related stuff, here are some more current giveaways: Enter here to win a $3,000 package of consoles and games, including the PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and PSP from RewardTV. Enter here for an Xbox 360 package, including 27-inch HDTV and a copy of Gears of War from GamePro. Enter here to win a Wii and a copy of Red Steel from 7-Eleven. Enter here to win a Wii, the games Excite Truck and Legend of Zelda and an extra remote controller from Nintendo. Enter here to win a Wii from Pringles.

    Just don't call it E3.1: Some are calling it the successor to E3, but whatever it is, it doesn't have a name yet. IDG, which owns GamePro and many other tech-related magazines, will be conducting a consumer-focused gaming event at the Los Angeles Convention Center Oct. 18-20, 2007, according to the GamePro website. What to call it? IDG has started a contest through Nov. 20 for that very purpose. Grand prize is a free trip for two to the thing.

    Negima, Vol. 3: Magic 301 - Practical Application of Magic (Limited Edition): Life at Mahora Academy is anything but predicatble, a theorem which Negi Springfield and the girls of Class 2-A seem determined to test! When a class project incurs the wrath of one of their own, what follows is a virtual, digitally-enhanced popularity contest, no holds barred. How about a little war, World Wide Web style? I understand this Limited Edition version contains a collectible Negima figure.

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    Daily News: Don't Fall for Phony Sony Scams

    posted @ 11/02/2006 12:25:00 AM by evermore
    Today's news is all about new consoles and new games and old gamers. We do a little name-dropping (Clint Eastwood). Sony does a little drop in launch numbers. And Microsoft simply drops the ball. Did GameStop foil the console profiteers? And will a simple de-frag cause your numbers to go up? All of that and less is answered here.

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    Diamond or Cubic Zirconia?

    posted @ 10/25/2006 02:45:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I will let you be the judge... after I hand down my ruling that is.

    I recently received my Xbox Live Diamond Card in the mail, and first impression was it looked snazzy!

    Indeedy, this isn't some cheazy, sleazy laminated paper card like the ones you get from Blockbuster these days... no this sucker is standard credit card stock and build. The imprinting of my gamertag in the all caps is a nice touch. It pleases me, so it immediately went into my wallet with prominent placement. [which if you need to know means right next to my AMEX Gold card... I had to retire my black card because I was ballin' out of control... hence my broketude.]

    But now I had a dilemma: I needed to know where I could to use my new pretty little gamer status icon. Included with my "gamer extraordinaire" card, was some info on the site I could go to and see what places valued my gaming awesomeness enough to float a sistah a deal. I was all excited, because my broke ass is in serious need of some discounts let me tell you. The first two I noticed off that bat that looked cool were the 10% off of purchases made online at Target website and the 2-for-1 sammiches at Quiznos... which I have to say I hit up on a weekly basis. Toasty! Moving on. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "Self? Yes? Looks like getting that XBLive Gold package and signing up for this dealie was a good idea I had. Indeed self, congratulations on the stroke of genius which is you, me, er, us! Boffo!" But then I started looking through the rest of the vendors and "deals" and started rethinking that whole ego molestation thing that I did to myself. [I am a registered ego molester.]

    Many of the vendors are companies that I've never heard of like, AKA, Chukar Cherry Company, and Furniture Medic to name a few. Now, while many of these vendors seem like great little services on their own... I'm not sure how many gamers need furniture restoration. Wait, I take that back. From all the accounts of people winging controllers about their domicile in anger, someone has to have dinged their wood interiors. [he he, I said dinged their wood...] But the more I went through the list of vendors I noticed that while the list was obviously still in it's "new" stage. Even more obvious is that MS is trying to line up as many vendors as they can to give card holders a good reason to keep the card on them at all times. You never know when you need to order someone some flowers or a gift online, so when you start adding in those 10% off and 30% with a coupon type deals, it can be very attractive.

    It helps to remember that the Diamond Card is free if you have a 1 yr Xbox live Gold subscription. Then the free foods from Papa John's, Popeye's, and Quiznos starts looking real good. The wine and micro brew company vendors out of Washington state really only resonate with residents of the respective Washington state cities those companies are in, but still... American's love discounts, so I think it's a good idea. I'm just a little disappointed that with all their clout, MS wasn't able to line up some more gaming related discounts. I mean, the only things listed under the "Video Games & Hobbies" banner are Hollywood Video and Gamestop. The Gamestop one is a tad disappointing: "Receive $10 off any online purchase of $75 or more, online only," while the Hollywood Video one is a rent one get one rental free with this coupon you have to print out right here. Really Microsoft? Is that the best you can do? Where's the reward for being an Xbox loyalist? Where's the $10 bucks off any MS 1st party game you buy from Amazon or even Gamestop? How about the buy a controller, get a controller half off? I get that it can be difficult to bring on new vendors [even though your online system has been pretty dang large and in charge for nearly a year now] but how does that stop you from offering some in house discounts to gamers that have been nickel and dimed to death for microtransactions through your online service? Throw us a frikken bone here!

    Now, as I said, I'll let you be the judge. Maybe with the holiday season about to start some new vendors can pop up on the Diamond list and make this well meaning idea something to resonate well with gamers and consumers that love gamers. [Mom, I'm looking at you... you know Christmas is coming right?] But as far as I'm concerned right this moment, this card and bonus service is CZ at best.

    What do you think? Any diamond card holders out there that have some stories of how they used their card to get something?

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    posted @ 10/24/2006 04:30:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    The gamers best buddy and pal Sony has effectively put the best place on the web for getting your grubby little hands on imports Lik-Sang.

    Sony says, it's for our own good. The British don't need Japanese PSP's or video games that will never be ported to England for the English, so places like Lik-Sang don't need to exist, right?

    Wrong. Here's why. Sony pushed back the roll out of it's PS3 system in Europe to 07. [March of if'n I remember correctly] so the only way for many people in Europe to get there hands on the system before then would be to grab an import from someplace like Lik-Sang... which had already taken pre-orders for the PS3 before the Gamestop shenanigans. Yeah, you heard me, I said shenanigans! Hundred non-refundable bucks for a pre-order that won't even put a box in my hand launch day deserves no other name. But it's not just PS3, but our European sister and brother gamers were also getting boned on the price of their console and hand held systems. As much as I bitch and moan about the price of the high end PS3 box here in the states, that 599 euro box in Europe would run you nearly 752.12 USD. I shall cease my bitching for a bit on that one. OUCHIES!

    But why now, and what really is the deal? Well Sony claims it filled the lawsuit against Lik-Sang arguing economic harm to itself and dishonest selling tactics. Now, I'm not sure exactly what "economic harm" defenseless lil Lik-Sang had [they didn't even have representation during the hearings, poor lil guys...] but I'm not sure how you can claim dishonesty. There was an adapter that was listed on the Lik-Sang site that was supposed to be auto-sensing as far as power wattage went, and I haven't been able to tell if that product was bunk or not, but still... there are a lot of sites that list a lot of products that don't actually do all of what they promise.Oh, by the way, isn't this "dishonest selling tactics" the pot calling the kettle black coming from Sony? Didn't they make that next-gen console comparison sheet that in all "honesty" to label as "bullshit" a fair statement?

    Now look, I never actually bought anything through Lik-Sang. Not because I felt they couldn't be trusted, or were overpriced, but because I personally didn't have much want or need for an import game or gaming system. However, I always thought it was a good idea to have a source like Lik-Sang out there for the people who did not have as many options or choices as I've had here in the US. There are a bunch of games each year that ship in Japan and in the US and Canada, but never make the distribution cut for Europe. I didn't like that idea, but at least places like Lik-Sang helped level the playing field for gamers in Europe. I liked that. I'm almost 100 percent sure that this maneuver by Sony had less to do with protecting the "hordes" of folks clamoring for the PSP in Europe and more to do with the [eventual] roll out of the PS3 in Europe.

    I do feel for you poor bastards in Europe, not even having a shot at a PS3 until waaaaay into 2007. You gotta wait until after us Americans and Japanese have all our fun before you can even think about joining the party.

    Y'all have been fucked, and I do mean proper fucked, by Sony. The only difference between us and you, is that Sony took us out to dinner first.

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    Daily News: Microsoft to Apple: Get Zuned

    posted @ 10/19/2006 11:20:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Microsoft tells Apple to Zune itself
    • A feature no one asked for
    • Wii and PS3 kiosks heading to stores
    • The week's best quotes
    • One of those anime things

    When General Motors tried to sell the Chevy Nova in Mexico during the 1960s, they discovered an unfortunate problem. In Spanish, the word "nova" means "no-go." Well, the brainiacs at Microsoft didn't seem to care to check out the name of their new MP3 player against the world's major languages. When told the meaning of the word pronounced Zee-yoon in Hebrew, the conversation with Bill Gates undoubtedly went something like this:

    Microserf: Uh, Mr. Gates, there's a problem with the new Zune.
    Bill Gates: A problem? Is it that damn brown color?
    Microserf: No, it's not that, sir. It's... it's... it's the name.
    Bill Gates: The name? What's wrong with the name?
    Microserf: Well, uh, in Hebrew it means... it means...
    Bill Gates: Spit it out, boy. It couldn't be that bad.
    Microserf: It means FUCK!
    Bill Gates: FUCK? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

    Last week, Sony introduced a new Walkman MP3 player to compete with Apple's iPod. The big, new, iPod-killing feature of this one? The ability to upload music directly from a compact-disc player. Think about this for a moment: Most CD players run at 1X speed, meaning a 45-minute-long CD will take exactly 45 minutes to upload the songs to the player. If you let the batteries run dry, you'll have to upload the whole thing again.

    And, as NinjaSistah asked when I told her about it, who owns CD's anymore?

    Sony's not worried about the PS3 overheating, right? Then why are they installing an extra cooling fan in their store kiosks? Read about it here.

    Speaking of kiosks, Wii and PS3 kiosks are already winging their way to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, GameStop and EBGames stores. Call your favorite store to see if it has already arrived. More...

    Don't play the Wii in direct sunlight. That's the word of a blogger on the Nintendo Gal website: "That's right, if you have the sun beaming right onto the sensor bar, it doesn't work." More...

    "For this Christmas I think the price for what it specifically does as a video games machine [it] is a bit pricey..."
    -- Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Managing Director Michael Ephraim, talking about the Wii's price. From Australia's Age newspaper.

    "E3 is not a place where product is sold anymore. The industry is recognized as a big part of mainstream culture, so the need for a big glittering event to validate the industry is not what it used to be," he said. "What is needed ... is to focus on the fact that E3 is much more about media-related opportunities. The question is what is the most efficient way to create those opportunities."
    -- Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association that owns E3.From

    "When building a house, traditional Japanese builders start with the tiniest detail and gradually expand from there. Western builders are the opposite. They start with the picture of a whole and add details to it. When Westerners look at old Japanese buildings, they often wonder how the builders drew the blueprint for such a complex shape. But the secret is that there never was a blueprint. It is this fundamental difference in approach that makes Japanese buildings fascinating to their eyes. The same thing can be said about animation. The way we create large images for movies is similar to that traditional architectural method. I think that explains the appeal Japanese animation can have, particularly in the western world."
    -- Toshio Suzuki, president of Japan's Studio Ghibli. From the Wall Street Journal

    Naruto, Vol. 5 - Shinobi Weapons: As I was saying yesterday, join three young ninjas -- Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno -- as they continue their training. Sort of like Pokemon without all the dang cards, eh? Get the thing here.

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    Daily News: Wii Preorders at GameStop Friday?

    posted @ 10/11/2006 11:19:00 PM by evermore
    In today's news:
    • Preordering will be Wii-sier
    • Sony's in the red until 2011
    • Ballmer's so hip, he's not
    • Burger King's advertising in your favorite games
    • Tenchi's back

    Even if you miss it, you probably won't miss it: With an estimated 2 million Wii consoles available for sale on Day 1, do you even need to preorder one? In any case, the Nintendo Gal blog reports that GameStop and EBGames stores will start taking preorders on Friday (Oct. 13) for a $25-50 downpayment. Want to stand in line? At least you might be able to talk to some other avid gamers.

    When will Sony's business be profitable again? In a Wall Street Journal story, Fitch Ratings has announced that it expects Sony's financial performance to continue to weaken in the next year or two and that it could incur losses in the videogame business for up to five years. Fitch cites Sony's heavy investment in new technologies, tough competition and the current computer battery scandal. In the last fiscal year, Sony's consolidated debt was $37.13 billion.

    The Reverse Hipness of Steve Ballmer: How out-of-it is Steve Ballmer, the head honcho at Microsoft? It's easy to judge by his quote to BusinessWeek magazine regarding the wireless capabilities of his company's forthcoming Zune media player: "I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." Squirt? I can't imagine Steve Jobs of Apple telling anyone he wants to "squirt" something to them.

    Burger King Replaces Don King in the Ring In-game ads are becoming more prolific and nothing demonstrates this more than Fight Night Round 3, in which an avatar of the iconic King joins your entourage when you win a Burger King-sponsored event. Heck, they should do this at real boxing matches. I think we would all welcome the flamboyant, yet silent King appearing in the ring after the match instead of noisy ol' Don King.

    Bottom of the Third, Tenchi Up to Bat It's the end of the third Tenchi OVA as Mihoshi’s brother has come to Earth to pursue a deadly mission. Everything seems under control until warrior Z storms in to kill Tenchi and claim his place as the ruler of the universe! Can Tenchi’s Light Hawk Wings save the day? Only one way to find out.

    Newsfree Fridays: No Daily News on Friday. Instead, look for the latest installment of my Robot's Letters to God. This month I'm featuring The Forgotten Robots.

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    posted @ 10/10/2006 05:41:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Yeah, I stood in line this morning [like many other people across the country] praying that I would be one of the chosen few to pre-order a PS3... that didn't happen. I got zilch, zero, nada, denied... I got nothing but love fo ya honey!

    I even tried calling around to other Gamestops in the area [most of which I couldn't have gotten to even if they did have any pre-orders left as I don't have a vehicle] but my inquisition was all for naught. Every place I turned, every avenue I tried turned up nothing but a bunch of "Sorry's" and "Nope's" from the more than exhausted folks on the other end of the line.

    Aw, I tell you man, it sucked... it sucked worse than I thought it would because there were other people around me that were just as disappointed, if not more so, at not making the cut for the pre-ordering. It was sad to see the twinkle leave their eye as they confronted the sad news... some even refused to accept their "potential" denial and resorted to fist shaking and cussing. [You should be very proud of the NinJa... she did not cuss, out loud, at any person! Nor did she kill anyone, so, double bonus!!] But I will share the thing about the whole "No PS3 Fo U" bullshit that went on today: as soon as the pre-orders ran out, so did the people.

    At the first Gamestop that I went to, the MOMENT the dude at the register said they were out of pre-orders the majority of the folks headed for the door. They didn't stay and shop. They didn't trade in any of the items they brought along... they just started towards the next Gamestop. A few folks stayed a couple of minutes longer to share their displeasure with the goings on and I'm sure one or two folks me were hanging around in hopes that the employees were just joking and that they had one more pre-order that they could have for sticking it out. Some of the people who lack tact or taste, even tried to flex their "I have a podcast and a website, can't you hook a sistah up" muscle. [me again]

    None of it worked. But I do know this: this morning was a taste of will come to pass over the next few months. I pitty the Gamestop employees, and weep for those who will be aggressively seeking a PS3.

    Write to me if you need a shoulder to lean on... I feel your pain.

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    It's Gonna Be Ugly!

    posted @ 10/05/2006 04:00:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    That's what a Gamestop manager revealed to Ben Kuchera over at Opposable Thumbs there at the arstechnica website. And by the way, "Opposable Thumbs" is an awesomely clever name for a blog... wish I had come up with that one. But I digress...

    Again, having some time to bop around ye olde interweb to catch up on all the news that's out there in between working for the day job, and I came across this article on the arstechnica website. The people that Kuchera talked with paint a very bleak PS3 roll out next month that's for sure. I know it seems like I'm picking on Sony yet again, but I swear I'm not. It's just every time I hit up my regular game sites for news, most of the Sony stuff gives me pause. I don't have to make Sony out to be a bad guy or create a scenario to make them seem like they are out of step with the rest of the next-gen console makers, they do that all on their own on what seems like a daily basis.

    From the arstechnica article what sticks out to me at least is this continuing theme of Sony seeming to be less prepared for what is coming than it's competitors. While Nintendo comes across as having a well defined ramp up to roll out and subsequent roll out plan for the Nintendo Wii. Even though at this point I think the code name of "Revolution" will prove to have been a better choice if the system can reach it's potential. Same with the XB360. I make no bones about the complaints I have with the XB360 system [from the pay for tier of the XBLive system, or the freezing issues] but game development is picking up on the platform, and they have adapted to new technologies to try and be even a tiny bit cutting edge. And while I think Sony is well meaning, I can't escape this horrible feeling. To use a sport analogy [because I didn't get to watch any boxing this past weekend] lets say that the next-gen console war that's about to start is a heavyweight boxing match. Well, instead of taking their opponent seriously the "undisputed champ" Sony has come into the ring without going through training camp and having a wild orgy the night before the fight with 4 hookers and some dude that was down at the bus depot: ill-equipped and unprepared.

    But hey, it's just my opinion.

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    Buy An XB360, Get Gears of War Free?

    posted @ 10/05/2006 01:32:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    For a moment I was pissed when I came across this story on Digg...

    but I felt better after I tried to click the link and was lead to a "thing you were looking for isn't here" page on the Amazon website. As the story goes, supposedly if you were to buy either an XB360 core or premium system Amazon would graciously throw in a pre-order for Gears of War or Viva Pinata and ship the game to you on release day. It's actually not a bad deal if you don't already have an XB360: get the system and one of the more hyped up titles shipped to you on release day... enough to make a girl jealous I say. But the link failed, and it warmed my heart.

    I suspect that the deal might have existed at one point, but that it got so popular so damn quick [just like that email I was supposed to get from them so I could pre-order a Wii that never came because they put the webpage up before sending out the email and ran themselves out of pre-order before they could square things, but I'm not bitter about it or anything like that] that Amazon pulled it.

    If anyone was able to get in on that deal, let a sistah know, as for the rest of us, just get gears of war the old fashion way, sleep with your local Gamestop manager.

    ...I'm just kidding!

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    Want a PS3 Badly?

    posted @ 10/04/2006 03:47:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I know you do... you and every other fanboy/girl on the planet, but if you think that just pre-ordering will help get you a shiny box on launch day it looks like you're wrong.

    I was bopping around the internet while enjoying my afternoon snack [today was green apple jello day, if you must know] and came across this post on the Kotaku website. As the author quotes a Gamestop manager as saying
    Each Gamestop store will receive an average of 6 systems (more for higher volume stores, less for dead stores). 1-2 systems can be given to employees at the store manager's discretion. The rest are given out to the store's "regulars." If a manager feels he has a customer who is very loyal (shops there often, reserves many things), they call them and ask them if they want to guarantee one of the remaining 4 consoles...and apparently all 4 of the remaining consoles are handed out in this fashion.
    After reading that I thought I would warn the rest of you out there who, like me, don't pre-order every game on the planet or stop into your local Gamestop on a daily basis. Just having cash in your pocket [or plastic as the case may be] won't be enough any more to purchase an instrument of gaming pleasure... no, now you have to know a guy, that knows a guy, that works as a manager for Gamestop in order to get in on the fun on November 17th.

    So not only do you have to "work harder" to earn the money to buy a system and a few games like Ken Kuturagi said, but you also need to dust off your networking skills [and I don't mean Myspace here people] in hopes of befriending every Gamestop manager and employee you can find. And I do mean every single one folks. Best to hit the stand alone stores as well as the ones implanted in the malls. Put the store number in your cell phone and land line speed dials. Ladies, if you are single and want to pick up a PS3, date a manager. [First make sure he's single, don't want to accused of being a home-wrecking wench now do we?] It might sound like a bad idea, but if you really want a PS3 system before 2007 and don't care that it will probably have a bad laser [and some cooling problems evidently] then do what must be done. You are loyal to Sony after all, aren't you?

    As for me, I have no clue how the hell I'm going to get my hands on one, or if I really should take out renters insurance before I bring it home and plug it in.

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