We built this game We built this game with L-E-G-O-S
Welcome to a world of pure imagination, and sadly it isn’t the world of Willy Wonka. Though some would say it was just as colorful and enchanting. If there is one thing that we’ve grown up with that has followed us into our adulthood it would be Legos. So this shouldn’t be too much of a shock to see it in our video games. Its success is another thing that the gamerbase should have predicted from the get-go.
Traveller’s Tales, the developer responsible for reanimating this childhood classic toy in a digital form would want to find a concept that was new and family oriented. Perhaps another developer, who has a thriving game series that wouldn’t have to modify much to appeal to a general audience, someone like: Harmonix perhaps. Bingo. Merge together the love of yester toy with music from the decades and you’ve got Lego RockBand.
Visuals: There is really only one thing I can say about the graphics: LEGOS. Everything is made out of Legos. There isn’t much detail to be had in a simple red, yellow, green or blue block. However for capturing the essence of what Legos are meant to do (which is inspire imagination), it does exactly that and then a little more. The customization feature is very similar to its’ big brother and sister games. It does have it limitations though, but those are simply in place to reinforce the Lego universe. At the end of it, if a person has an issue with the limitation of a Lego rocker’s style, then don’t play it. Play RockBand or RockBand2. Result: 5 of 5
Gameplay: Single Player:
Everyone is a solo artist before they decide they want friends. Once they have friends, it is instinctive that they would want to make a band. However the really cute thing about this game is that in single player you actually get a bit of story during the campaign. Granted, it is all very cookie-cutter but it is still refreshing to see and experience (especially since neither RockBand nor Guitar Hero decided to include it.)
There are also special alternative venues that are interactive. These places also depict the beautifully destructive awesomeness that is rock. No Lego people were harmed in the making of this game. However like all things multiplayer oriented, the game isn’t as engaging unless you are playing with someone else. Result: 3 of 5
So quickly to the multiplayer mobile!
Just like its’ predecessors RockBand and RockBand2, most of the emphasis lies in its’ multiplayer. However in the realm of childhood, blame isn’t something practiced. Mistakes don’t occur in this magical land of red, green, yellow and blue. ”Failure” is a word that this age range won’t experience until the third grade. The game effortlessly mirrors this world we all secretly desire to go back to. It is shown through the “ Super easy” mode and “recovery phases” options presented in the game.
Even though this game seems to be watered down a bit, don’t be quick to assume that the other difficulties are cakewalks. They are just are challenging as we’ve come to expect them to be. Warner Bros would never put itself in a light that would make children believe they couldn’t do anything. So the game does allow for gaming growth, which is essential if you want to keep the kiddies interested.
This game could be a great way to have play dates for your smaller children (if you have them). It is a way to entertain up to four kids at a time, think of it as controlled rock chaos. Result: 5 of 5
Music Selection: The choices in this installment are not the water logged, saccharin injected “children” versions that we’d expect out of a children’s game. (So sorry Kids Bop) I mean there are some covers of popular song, but they aren’t no named, unpopular artists doing them.
Here is a small peek and some of the songs you’ll get in this game. Ok it’s all of them but…in the spirit of the holidays I couldn’t leave them out. • All American Rejects, "Swing, Swing" • The Kooks, "Naïve" • The Automatic, "Monster" • KoRn, "Word Up!" • Blink-182, "Aliens Exist" • KT Tunstall, "Suddenly I See" • Blur, "Song 2" • Lostprophets, "Rooftops" • Bon Jovi, "You Give Love a Bad Name" • P!NK, "So What" • Boys like Girls, "Thunder" • The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" • Bryan Adams, "Summer of 69" • The Primitives, "Crash" • Carl Douglas, "Kung Fu Fighting" • Queen, "We Are The Champions" • The Coral, "Dreaming of You" • Queen, "We Will Rock You" • Counting Crows, "Accidentally in Love" • Rascal Flatts, "Life is a Highway" • David Bowie, "Let's Dance" • Ray Parker Jr., "Ghostbusters" • Elton John, "Crocodile Rock" • Razorlight, "Stumble and Fall" • Europe, "The Final Countdown" • Spin Doctors, "Two Princes" • Everlife, "Real Wild Child" • Spinal Tap, "Short & Sweet" • Foo Fighters, "Breakout" • Steve Harly, "Make Me Smile" • Good Charlotte, "Girls & Boys" • Sum 41, "In Too Deep" • The Hives, "Tick Tick Boom!" • Supergrass, "Grace" • Iggy Pop, "The Passenger" • Tom Petty, "Free Fallin" • Incubus, "Dig" • T-Rex, "Ride a White Swan" • Jackson 5, "I Want You Back" • Vampire Weekend, "A-Punk" • Jimi Hendrix, "Fire" • We the Kings, "Check Yes Juliet" • Kaiser Chiefs, "Ruby" • The Zutons, "Valerie" • Katrina & The Waves, "Walking on Sunshine"
Result: 4 of 5
Downloadable Content: A shining grace to this game is that with a great setlist like this, we are able to import them over to RockBand2. So many have seen this as an expense trackpack. Just like other RockBand games, content will be made available through the online store. So just like budding young kids, this game has the potential to grow.
Result: 5 of 5
The only pitfall that I have noticed has nothing to do with the game out side of a lack luster single player mode. The question on my mind is: Why release this so late? North America got an 11/03/09 release date, where the UK (11/27/09) and our mates in AUS (11/25/09) just got their releases fairly recently.
Most of the gamerbase didn’t see a need to release another RockBand game. At this years’ E3, this game was right next to the Beatles RockBand booth. Those who took time out to play Lego RockBand were just riding it off as “just another” rhythm based game. Reception was moderately high considering the overwhelming sense of “Meh” that came from the venue. To give this game the hype it deserved maybe MTV Games/Time Warner should have released it after the first Lego games came out.
Speculations about this late release date center around the notion that if a game releases right before the start of the holiday season that sales will increase. Perhaps MTV Games/Time Warner felt that Lego RockBand would be overlooked and stepped up their game by setting up a deal with Old Navy. (If you aren’t an Old Navy shopper than this deal wouldn’t affect you). Then again, this could have been just a way to spread their product around to places where one wouldn’t see gaming influence. Talk about a way to get their name out there.
Overall Result: 22 of 25:
Gaming families with young children should seek this game out for the holiday season. It is definitely present for the whole family. And even if you don’t have wee ones to entertain,
Shoppamas is upon is folks, as in-escapable as new podcast episode Monday here in the land of ESH.
In this episode of the podcast NinjaSistah and Pandalicious are joined by Xenocore to share with you some of our best of picks of what to gift the Geek/Gamer/Anime Fan in your life. Pandalicious kicks off the hour talking both games and gadgets including Skullcandy headphones and earbuds for both audiophiles and gamers on the go. Then Panda shares her pick for family fun sharing-time goodness, Lego RockBand, and for the competitive gamer Demon Souls on the PS3 and Modern Warfare 2 which is multiplatform. Her section of the show ends with Activisions' DJ Hero
We have all experienced the mundane phenomenon of fads and trends. One day something is the talk of the town, the next week it isn’t. Apply this to any facet of industry and you have an equation to predict the rise and fall of profit. Take the proverbial trend of thin VS fat.
At the beginning of time, big or fat things were at the top of society, having a larger woman was a sign of wealth. Needless to say nowadays that isn’t the common practice. Electronics were looked at in the very same way. Back before flat screens and slim DVD players, hardware was big and space taking. Having them present in a room brought attention to them. Those who didn’t have it wanted it, and those who had it wanted it bigger. After a while someone, most likely a “have not” created the exact same appliance/electronic made it smaller and its fashion sense caught on. Thus the trend was born.
So why bring this up now in the age of slimmer faster products that are essentially Gods in their own right? Nintendo seems to be at it again testing the market to see what they can entice us into buying this holiday season. With that said though who isn’t?
Nintendo has announced the Nintendo DSi was getting a makeover. Apparently the word makeover essentially means: bigger casing and the addition of more letters to its name. Nintendo soon released a photo depicting said difference…and this said difference is size and two letters. Lets take a look shall we? Go ahead take a look; I’ll give you a moment.
So now the question is…how big is it? Well the rumor mill churned the idea of the screens being at an estimated 4.2’’inches. Apparently this hand held isn’t exactly targeted to the younger members of the fan base. That’s right guys; this is being marketed to the older crowd. Isn’t it obvious that they are implying that older people need bigger screens because they don’t see so well? Whats an insult Nintendo, apologize right now.
All kidding aside though, the screens and the casing aren’t the only things being beefed up: so is the stylus. I mean look at the size of that thing. But like all things Nintendo, when you get one thing you most likely are losing something useful.
If you have been a Nintendo hand held fan you are aware of how easy transferring data from one DS to another DS is…well was. When the shift went from DS to DSi, it rendered Game boy Advance libraries useless. So what can Nintendo take away from us now if we opt for this newer DSi LL? The answer is your previously downloaded content. All those “awesome” (Note the parentheses) Wii Ware titles you’ve bought that are stored on your DSi cannot be transferred to the new one. Well thank you Nintendo for adding more stress to our lives.
At least for the time being this is only being made available over in Japan. However who is to say it won’t make its away around the world? No one.
There is a plus side though; the new DSi LL does offer 3 hours of battery life before having to be rushed to an outlet for a charge. This battery life seems to be parallel to that of the DS Lite. Regardless I don’t know how beneficial that will be to a fan base that Nintendo perceives are half blind.
Looks like Nintendo is compensating for something…or absolutely nothing.
The range of color that gaming consoles have had over the years has been a consistent pattern of: black, white, or gray. There were only a few instances where we saw bursts of color and those were primarily in our portables. Has the gaming industry been subconsciously mind fucking us into thinking that a successful console has to look a certain way? Well to answer that question: yes and no. Yes the gaming industry has been mind fucking us; we just happen to like it. And no, it just could be tinkering with that idea in its head.
This is only being brought into the light because of pictures I’ve encountered of the anticipated black Nintendo Wii. Any general concern that I have over this drastic color change is Nintendo’s logic in all of this.
Nintendo consoles over the span of gaming history have been established by its trademark color: Gray. It wasn’t too dark or too light, much like the games that soon came out of the Nintendo think tank. What happened Nintendo? Why the sudden change?
There was an instance where the console had hit its puberty stage. It hated itself, cursed the world, and became slightly emo in color branching out to a darker gray- that’s right, I’m talking about you Nintendo 64. It wanted to be a wolf in the land of sheep.
Frankly I do not judge the Nintendo 64 for being a little depressed, everyone was gawking at Sega and its exotic color and shape. It didn’t matter that in terms of capabilities, the Nintendo 64 was more gaming forward, by playing in the third dimension.
After Nintendo 64 made it out of middle school and high school, it felt a sense of self-discovery. It wanted more time being an individual, and this is where the game cube was born. It was more compact, light -no emo baggage here- and it changed to pleasant purple color. Later on, the console was presented in black, however by then Sony and Microsoft weren’t really paying too much attention. Nintendo had its friends and it was happy with that. Though Nintendo secretly vowed to be seen and recognized as a powerhouse again someday. Several years later, the Wii captivated the world, with its fresh take on game involvement and its pristine white color!
Feeling superior, dare I say godly even, it shed its horizontal form for a more pronounced stature. Nintendo stands today as one of the big three along with Microsoft and Sony, I still pose the question of why release a second color?
The obvious answer is money related, frankly what isn’t these days? However, in a time where people don’t just see consoles as a status symbols -cough Sony cough- most people have opted into a period of customization. If they are dissatisfied with the initial color, they put a decal on it and move on.
Is there anything unique about this new black Nintendo Wii? Will the black Wii have two black guys promoting it? Ha. I doubt that. Will it come with cool and innovated new games? Doubt that too. So essentially, we get to choose a specialized fate for our Nintendo Wiis- Do we want black dust on our white Wiis or white dust on our black Wiis? You decide.
The world of the interwebs is well aware of my intimate love/lust relationship with Square Enix,so it should be of no surprise that I would be interested in a game by the name of The World Ends With You. We experience a different approach to the RPG category. In this game, we are not transported to a different time in history or into a realm of fantasy. For once the setting is modern time. It is modern day Tokyo, which is the epicenter of fashion trends, culture and the end...of the world?
This doesn't seem to make sense during the opening sequence of this game. The world isn't fashioned after every apocalypse or post apocalypse game. It allows us to see that the end of world as we know it doesn't necessarily involve explosions, natural disasters or political schemes gone crazy.
In The World Ends with You, you play Neku. In my opinion he is every EMO character we have encountered in all of the Square Enix RPG's to date. However you have to make him at the age that in Japan where it is alright to let him out into the real world. [Which we all know is 10 and above] For my sake I will say that he is about about 14 or 15 years old. He is overflowing with boyish angst and attitude which if you didn't have a younger brother or were ever male can lead you to find him EXTREMELY ANNOYING!
As always, he has no idea who he is (besides his name)where he is(which is Tokyo), and why there are frogs with tribal markings all over them, beating the ever-loving crap outta him! This game wastes no time throwing the basic mechanics at you. Keep in mind that the game uses both screens of the Nintendo DS. While one character is in one zone the other character is in a completely different one. They both share the same amount of HP so you have to be aware what is going on at all times! Controlling Neku isn't very hard at all; his abilities are simple movements of your stylus across the touch screen. Shiki is a little more difficult as her abilities are linked to the directional pad [or the letter buttons for lefties!][Note: If you new to the Nintendo DS world then be warned that the combat system may appear unfamiliar to you. Frustration and anger are common emotions to encounter...especially with new games.]
Pairings are very common in RPG land, so no sooner do you learn how to move do you meet your first party member, Shiki. Now, she is very ditsy in the beginning. She pretty much brow beats you to make a pact with her [No she isn't Satan.....as far as I know] and once you've signed your name in blood *cough* I mean agree to the pact, you are forever partners. She throws a lot information at you, which as Neku you dismiss because you have the hugest chip on your shoulder. [What else is new?!]
The premise of the game's story is as follows: Neku, Shiki and several others are called Players. Each of them have pins that grant them special powers *IF* they are wearing them [Note: Make sure to Equip pins from the start...unlike me who did not] Once players have been selected they are notified that they have to survive this "game" for seven days. As a price for being a player the most important thing of value to you is taken away. If you win, you get it restored to you, if you don't... well don't get it back and your right to exist is taken too. That's right! You don't just die...but your existence gets completely wiped out...but no pressure...its only a game.
This leads me to believe that Neku valued his life more than anything, which is why he doesn't remember a gosh darn thing! Shiki's most valued thing is her best friend Eri [Hmmm now I know what you are thinking, and I thought the exact same thing too but no, they are really friends...The type of friends who loved each other and did everything together, maybe even made out once or twice..OK I'm sorry...back to the game =(]
So we have our protagonist and his band of prepubescent followers and as for the antagonists we have Reapers. They are people who also have special abilities. They can erase players and Noises [Which are the beast like monsters you fight to save the world.] It is the Reapers job to set up missions for the players along with a time limit in which to complete the given task. If players do not do this in time the reapers get to erase them. However they are only allowed to give one mission a day, and if they do not erase a certain amount of players they themselves get erased. It is truly a dog eat dog world in this RPG.
Now, if you are a fan of games like Kingdom Hearts then the animation style will be very appealing to you. Neku resembles Sora only, taller, thinner and A LOT more EMO. Shiki kind of looks like a very slutty version of Kairi...and I haven't seen a Riku look-a-like yet but that doesn't mean he doesn't exist! [He better exist dammit!]
Another positive in this game, would be it's soundtrack. It is very Tokyo urban which is very catchy to the ear. I plan to get all the songs for this soundtrack, I swear the game and music industry have a great thing going on here! I can hardly wait to get fully immersed into this game. I aim for this to be the first DS game that I play completely through. Wish me all luck, or else the world will end....with me....
an ex cop with a dark past... an unexplained mystery.... an internal/external epic battle of wit between two foes... Sounds like a novel...and it is....
As a little girl, I always thought I would be a writer. I didn't want to write love stories or gore infested horror tales. I, with an old soul, always wanted to write suspense-filled, witty, old-fashion detective novels. There is something alluring about a private eye in a low down office, sipping on whiskey waiting for the next case so he can pay his bills and get on with his life. He is always waiting for the next dame... [Maybe it's romantic just to me.] Regardless, I fantasized about detectives and the cases they solved. I miss those kinds of characters in games today... They were a class all their own...until Hotel Dusk:Room 215.
Who doesn't love a good story? Flipping through the pages of a captivating book is far more pleasurable then tediously reading the same line over and over again in a book that holds no value. The same can be said about video games. A gamer will invest a great deal more time in a game with a great story, than one that lacks in creativity and development. So with that logic stamped into our brains, why not bring a novel into the gaming world?
In this DSi interactive novel game, you play as Kyle Hyde, a former member of the NYPD. After a case goes horribly wrong he goes M.I.A., which means he runs away. He runs as far as he could and that takes him to California. [Why do they always end up in California?! If I were going to run away from it all I'd go to Hawaii or New Zealand.] While living in good old Cali, he works as a door-to-door salesmen, however his job has some kinks in it. He doesn't just sell brushes and combs;he also does detective work on the side. Hyde is still haunted by his past and he is following a scent that he thought ended back in the Hudson River in New York. However, there are holes in the story that he wants filled, and it is our job to help him sort it all out.
I refuse to spoil this one for you guys simply because, this is the kind of game that, requires you to think for yourself and to use your imagination. However I will warn you, that because this is a novel, there isn't a lot of action going on physically. So if you were hoping to smash hordes of henchmen away with your mighty fists or a magnum revolver than this isn't a game for you. It is heavily text-intensive due to well written dialogue. [which shouldn't surprise you, it's a novel based game!]
The most interesting thing about Hotel Dusk is the animation of the characters. The technique is called rotoscoping, which is a technique where animators trace over live action. For an advanced look at this look to the movie "A Scanner Darkly" [which subsequently is an intriguing movie! IMO] Granted the process takes a lot of time, but artistically it is worth it!
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 isn't new by any stretch of imagination...like most games, its initial release was in Japan. It was announced in 2005, however it did not make its official appearance until E3 in 2006. It wasn't released for play until January of 2007. Then in 2008, it was republished as part of the Touch! Generation series. [Just in case you didn't infer this, you have to hold your DSi like a book, and you use your stylus to interact with the people, and objects in the game....just be weary that there will be times where you'll want to just go to your room, and all you will do is knock on your bloody door! *personal experience*]
I have enjoyed playing the game thus far. I haven't beaten it yet, and I hope that I do not just zip through it either. Hotel Dusk:Room 215 is my vacation away from my achievement gathering on my other consoles [cough cough 360 cough cough] So if you have a DSi then I strongly recommend renting this title and just trying out for yourself. Renting it won't hurt, and in the end if you like it that much it won't hurt your wallet too much. It is priced as 20.99 but we all know you can buy used games for much cheaper at places like amazon.com. So...Check it out and don't you dare say I didn't tell you first! [Unless I obviously didn't]
This Monday, we have a special new episode of the ESH podcast. In this episode we welcome our very own King Baby Duck to the hosting chair to talk a bit about his new team project, The Boston Bastard Brigade, among other things.
Those other things include EA's The SIMS 3, the new Gears of War 2 DLC, and some knee jerk reactions to the Batman: Arkham Asylum demo available via both the XBox Marketplace and the PSN store. Pandalicious even chimes in with her impressions of the new Xbox experience preview including the Avatar Store, Netflix parties, and even some games on demand stuffs.
We are chock full of laughs, tangents, and maybe a Naruto dig or two. To give you an idea of what this show is like, here are some of the titles we didn't use for this episode:
What Did Cake Ever Do To Her?
I'm Gonna Touch It - No, I'm Not
Perhaps That's Why They Call it Project Natal
The Naruto Door Is Marked "Exit"
This Is a Warning For All Aspiring Spinal Tap Drummers
Your SIM Oughta Check Out That Julia Child Movie
Pana Will Work - For Microsoft Points
Avatar Marketplace - Isn't That What Started the Civil War?
What would happen if the bright, happy place Mickey Mouse and his friends call home became a ruined, dark wasteland? Well, you get Epic Mickey, a curious set of concept artwork that have caught many a geek's eye.
The word going around is that Epic Mickey will be a Wii exclusive. No word, though, on what story is being told or what characters are involved in this game. UK based artist Fred Gambino is responsible for the images created thusfar. If you've watched cartoons like The Ant Bully, The Tale of Desperaux or Jimmy Neutron, you're familiar with his work. Warren Spector (System Shock, Deus Ex) is behind the story that will bring these beautiful scenes to life.
So what adventures are in store for Mickey Mouse in Epic Mickey? Details are scare, but the game involves painting with your Wiimote. The main adversary of The Mouse is a character we (presumably) have never seen before, a character who has long been forgotten. I can't wait to see what this turns into.
Once more, the ladies run this thang and it's funny as hell.
Pandalicious kicks the show off with her impressions of the XBLive community game 1 vs. 100 game and then Milk and NinJa chime in with some comic-con stuff which leads us down the path to COSplay. In case you didn't know, all roads lead to COSplay... and Zelda. Milk chairs the topic of Twilight Princess and adds the fun of Majora's Mask multiplayer.
We let the COSplay get the best of us, but NinJaSistah ends the tangent line by bringing it back to gaming and talking a bit about the upcoming NXE updates due to hit the Xbox dashboard this August, including the upcoming Avatar Marketplace and Netflix Parties. This podcast is chock full of awesome folks, so sit back and enjoy it!
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009 is out and it has motorcycles! But does anybody care?
The DS installments of Yu-Gi-Oh! serve as a cheaper way to play this children’s card game – though the releases of these games have always been oddly timed (three separate DS titles were released in 2007 alone). The first came out in ’05, but at that time Yu-Gi-Oh! was still coming out on the GBA, and in fact because of the lack of 3D images for the cards, the GBA Yu-Gi-Oh! released in ’06 had more cards than the last DS release of ’07. This has been a long-running complaint of many fans of the series, myself included. Who cares about making the monsters look pretty, when the three most recent packs aren’t even in the game?
Well it would seem that Konami is finally listening to the fans. It’s been about a year and a half since the release of World Championship 2008 and the wait has been worth it. WC 2008 had 2008 cards (I know, a little too much of a coincidence). But in the latest installment we are presented with a whopping 2886 cards, an increase of over 800, which is the most of any DS release so far. I should know, I’ve played them all. The game has so many cards that some of them haven’t even been released in the TCG yet. It reminds me of the days of the GBA games, where I actually found cards I’ve never seen before and that’s where Yu-Gi-Oh! really shines, in building newer, stronger strategies with new cards.
The game is not without its downfalls of course. It seems like they used the old code, so the 3D models are still there, the game just doesn’t zoom in on them anymore, so they don’t need as much detail. And during battle, it shows a larger version of the card art, instead of the 3D model. This comes at the cost of slow-downs during the duels. To be honest the game feels sluggish, and sometimes the CPU players will stop to think for a full 10 seconds before deciding that since they have no cards in their hand, that maybe they won’t play any of the cards they don’t have. If you can get past this detriment, there’s another one waiting for you.
Unlocking all the cards is damn near impossible. I’ve had the game since release and I still don’t have them all. Granted it’s not the only game I’ve been playing, but the requirements for unlocking force you to spend hundreds of hours just trying to get all the cards. Now I don’t know about other Yu-Gi-Oh! players, but I bought the game to build decks and use them online. I recently hit the 100 hour mark, and I still have less than 80% of all the cards. This wouldn’t be so bad if cards were in the same packs as their supports. I only have about 2 mist valley monsters, making them useless to me because I don’t have the rest of them or the support they need. Packs should be redesigned so that when you want to build a deck you have the option to.
Now despite the difficulty involved in getting the cards, the game still plays great. It’s the same Yu-Gi-Oh! gameplay you know and love, and of course those random glitches on certain cards, or cards that use their OCG (original Japanese text) effects even though we’re only familiar with their TCG (translated, not always the same) effects. But those kinds of things are expected. With the addition of more than 800 new cards there are countless new options for deck builders, and plenty of new themes to build around. The online has even gotten better, giving you the option to choose whether or not to face an opponent after being given their name and face. Meaning if you just dueled someone who used an Action Replay code to beat you, you can choose not to face the cheater a second time and thus some of the risk of losing your rating for no reason is taken care of. There’s still the card of the day download, and periodic puzzle and ghost downloads released too.
The music for the game isn’t bad, but it’s really the type of game you play to your own soundtrack with your DS’s volume turned all the way down. So the graphics may not be as great as in the past, but I honestly prefer the actual card art to the 3D models myself; they look crisper and it’s nice to see the art off of its card’s background. The story mode is mediocre at best, but if you’re buying this game for the story, you might want to rethink your game-buying strategy. I sometimes think that if they skipped out on the 3D world they created for the story mode (a first for Yu-Gi-Oh! DS titles) that they could have included even more cards, but we take what we can get. Oh, did I forget to mention the motorcycles?
Well that wasn’t by accident. Yeah, they added motorcycles and there are even four racetracks, each with a race mode and a time attack mode. But honestly the controls are clunky and the whole aspect of it seems out of place. However I will say that Turbo duels are a welcome addition. The speed counters add a whole new aspect to duels. It even takes formerly unbalanced cards with no cost like Heavy Storm, and gives them a cost (your speed counters) I would love to see the developers do more with this mode in the future because it’s a fresh way to play an aging game.
A must have for any fan of the card game. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009 is a step in the right direction for the franchise, and I hope to see more focus on the cards, and not the pretty 3D models in the future. Here’s hoping that WC 2010 has even more cards, and maybe even a shorter title.
Pandalicious and Ninjasistah talk about some of the lesser known or presented games like Warner Bros. Scribblenauts for the DS and a few titles from Playlogic including Section 8 Who had the best looking man candy by far. From Alpha Protocol to The Lord of the Rings: Arrogorns' Tale we talk through the last bits of our E3 notes... until we finish unpacking that is.
We aren't dead, but our feet [and brains] are dead tired from traipsing around the LA Convention Center last week to cover E3 for you guys. [And if I'm honest, for ourselves as well.] I couldn't tell you how much both Pandalicious and I enjoyed our time in LA. First there was the catching up with the rest of the AllGames fam, followed closely by the meeting and greeting of new gamer-type press groups and the exchange of thoughts and ideas over free drinks. [Crix Lee from GirlGamer, Destructoids' Nick Chester, and Mr. Crecente himself from Kotaku to name drop a few.] The side-story fun stuff aside, we descended on LA for a reason and that reason was to get the low down on the soon to be released and up-and-coming video games.
I won't bore you with a list of what we looked at, and whom we spoke to now as it wouldn't leave us anything to write for the rest of the week. What I will do is tell you that this podcast was one of our more enjoyable ones to record. We recorded it live from the show floor and Crix Lee popped by during our The Beatles: RockBand time and shared some great insights with us. A few people were wow'd by my laptop skin [courtesy of DecalGirl] and interrupted us a bit so you may notice that in here as well, but we had a lot to talk about... Bayonetta, Scribblenaughts, Prototype, and Batman: Arkham Asylum come to mind as I write this.
Lord knows that one day the meek shall inherit the earth. Nintendo's comment "Meh"
So after the mental mindfuck that was my first alone trip on a plane. I safely arrived to the ever-glorious city of Los Angeles.
Being new to this more professional aspect of the industry, dare I say that my first thoughts were slightly disillusioned? I thought of making it big in the industry…”gamedom” if you will. However it was quickly conveyed, onto many others,[Including myself] that some of the members of the blogosphere are being segregated. Since I cannot speak on what I don’t know, I shall only speak on what I know.
This is what I know. This morning, at the tender time of 6am…I woke up, dressed, and prepped for the Nintendo Briefing held at the Nokia Center. It was quite cloudy out, which made me feel as if I had brought New England’s weather with me.
As Ninja and I approached, I felt some tension in the air, this solely being because I saw color-coded bands along the check-in table. Quickly Ninja acquired her blue band, and I anticipated my matching band…only to see a yellow one extended to me.
Fate decided to split the sistahs up. Normally I would not harbor ill will, and in honesty I don’t at this point. However at 7am this kind of thing plucks at the heart strings. So with all things said and done, a reluctant Pandalicious walks off into the overcrowd room.
Needless to say that the area began to fill with other people, other people who had been subjected to a second-class status in the eyes of Nintendo. One person [who for the purpose of this article] stated that “Nintendo wasn’t always like this.” He could remember when Nintendo showered its press with gifts to entice people to stay invested.
Now that Nintendo has proven not only to be a contender in the gaming industry, but that it could surpass the other two in terms of portables. Nintendo has found its mountain to be king of, it seems that it has adapted a “diva” stance.
With egos bruised and battered, we all sat silently looking at the screen that showed us what was happening on the other side.
But like I always mention...there was a silver lining to this dark cloud, those of us who were forced out of the event due to large numbers, got the reward of getting to get hands on experience right at the end of the briefing. This is all well and good…however most people flooded out of the Nokia Center to get on the shuttle to the Sony Press Release at Shriners Auditorium.
So all and all…even with the temptation of hand and hand action offered by Nintendo, Sony still enticed people with just the hint of new innovation in games…. or so we think.
Right before we head off to LA we cooked up a fresh new podcast episode for you to enjoy while we sleep on planes.
In this episode of the podcast hosts NinJaSistah and Pandalicious talk about what they hope to see, learn, and play at E3 this year as well as deal a bit gossip out for your enjoyment. From the confirmed PSP GO to discussing some of the many ways Harmonix/MTV Games will be storing all the money they are stand to make with The Beatles: RockBand we leave no gaming cranny uncovered.
The experience has been had...and the results are in.
Hello Everyone! Pandalicious here! Talking to you about the interactive experience found at this years Anime Boston 2009! Needless to say, the dealers room [where all the purchases of the merchandise take place] allowed for maximum traffic. Sadly, there was a certain "buzz" missing from this place. However, the darker the cloud, the shinier the silver lining, and this year's silver lining for the dealers room was the emergence of an interactive area dead set in the middle! This area was designated to the promotion of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the Nintendo DS/DSi
I know before I left for my "animeventure", that I touched briefly on the game and their reasons for coming to this convention. The premise still stands that they were there to promote this game. It could have been as simple as showing highlights of the game, and having some models walking around as some of the characters of the game. [Yes this was done, who can blame them, it works!] However they went ahead and fully enticed walkers by to in fact stop walking, and start watching!
They hosted head to head simulation battles while explaining the core fundamentals of the game. [Remember this is a battle tactics game, so strategy is KEY] Since this is a tactics game the objective is to defeat the opposing side [usually for portables this is a fairly decent AI, however through the power of wireless, we as gamers no longer have to out think a computer, we have to out think another person!]
These head to head simulations were not just a demonstration, these guys really rallied the crowd to cheer on their favorite side, and some were even rewarded with helpful accessories for say....a Nintendo DS/DSi [It never hurts to entice the gamer base with free merchandise]
Once the battle was over,a victor was named. You'd think that the crowd would just go back to their world of anime goodness. Now some of them did this but, the majority of the group stuck around in the footprint! There were attendants who had versions of the game and even stations set up so that people w/o a Nintendo DS/DSi could get a hands on feel for it.
I have it on good authority that this was the hot spot in the dealer's room this year and they even got talked to about their noise levels. In my opinion, their buzz and noise was definitely needed. It brought some life back to this hall! Now I could have just waltzed right over to them, slinging my press badge like some magical trinket, however, I decided to just stand and be cloaked by the crowd.[Like a ninja....with cat ears on...] All the attendants were upbeat, peppy and informative! For the most part they were FUN...that is what made this interesting, it was F-U-N!
As of Saturday, when a very stealthy Pandalicious cat girl slipped into the crowd, the attendant who spotted her was asked about their traffic and their feelings about their exposure at this convention. They were very pleased with their outcome. Especially on Saturday, which in this person's POV (Point of view) is the "Make it or Break it Day"
So if all of this wasn't enough to make people stop by and say "Hey!" This interactive booth was also holding a raffle. It was one you could enter everyday of the three days, and the prize was a copy of the game Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and a life size replica of the legendary sword Falchion. [ Which the main character of this game wields, it was very cool!!!]
All in all I was very impressed by the overall set up, arrangement, and execution of this interactive area. I would love to see more attractions like this at Anime Boston. It is certainly an experience I shall not forget!
It is safe to say that I, [Pandalicious] was taken aback over the realization that I was given press access to this years Anime Boston, after I had reigned myself to the conclusion I would not attend this year. The interesting this about this year, at least to me, was that as of late slivers of the gaming industry has been making itself more and more pronounced that this convention. Now do not get me wrong when I say this. It delights me to know end that an event that is solely supposed to be geared to the demographic of "super special awesome" anime fans is extending its hand to the pocket gamer too!
Case in point: This year Nintendo makes an appearance at Anime Boston 2009 to promote their game, Fire Emblem :Shadow Dragon. Now sadly, dear readers of ESH, as much as I'd love to review this game for you, I have yet to acquire one for my gaming pleasure. I have just recently received a Nintendo DSi![I will be surfing Pico Chat this weekend for your con goers who bring their DS' too!] Do not let this bother you in anyway, because A review will be coming!
Now I am sure you are wondering about what Nintendo has in store for us con goers. Well they are constructed a large interactive space for our enjoyment! We will get an idea of the universe that this role-playing tactics game thrives in.[From the pictures I've seen of it, I'm very excited to immerse myself into it! Don't worry I'll share the pictures!]
I have thought long and hard as to why Nintendo would think about gracing us with their appearance this year. Speculation is simply that speculation, I fully plan to ask them that exact question when I surprise them with my visit! [It isn't really a surprise, they know I am coming! :)] However if I had to guess it would be that a lot of anime fans often have portables with them to amuse themselves. [With the lines at these kinds of events, hand-held entertainment is a MUST, if one wants to retain at least SOME sanity!] Nintendo's DS line has always been popular. [Not that the PSP hasn't been....] Whenever I've casually [and by casually, I do mean charging head first into someones person space bubble] asked them what they were playing on their DS. It was often a game I had never heard of, this also stemmed from the fact that it was Japanese import. So it makes complete sense that Nintendo would have a tie in with the anime community! [Good on your Nintendo!]
So for you Con goers at Anime Boston 2009, if you are interested in role playing tactics games and have never thought of playing Fire Emblem, I suggest that you find Nintendo's booths at this years con. I doubt you will be disappointed. [I'm psyched and I haven't even left yet!] I am looking forward to playing with Nintendo, and you should be too!. See you at the Con! ^^
Got a piping hot fresh episode of our humble little podcast for your listening pleasure, hit the jump to learn more.
Xenocore from Ultimate Quest joins us on the mic to talk a bit about anime series that drop some knowledge or substantial amount of reality on the viewer as well as those that don't. [yeah Overman King Gainer, I'm looking at you!]Pandalicious chimes in with her opinions on the Nintendo DSi title Rhythm Heaven and how it can be productive while addictive at the same time, and then there is NinJaSistah.
Riding a crazy wave of dual Mt. Dew regular and Mt. Dew Throwback Ninja is all over the place in the episode [causing a lot to be cut out, by the way] and yet somehow manages to get on topic chatting about Sony's recent fiscal earnings announcement and how it may affect creativity and individuality throughout the industry.
When you take a gander at some of the titles we didn't use for this episode, you understand why you have to listen to it. We passed on things like:
The Many Degrees of Layitude
I Manga Like a MoFo
Longer, Better, Faster, Harder - Normally, Panda Wouldn't Mind That
You can yell at me for the song being stuck in your head later.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about all kinds of crazy stuff from the rampant ravishing of our treasured entertainment pasts to create feature length film like the upcoming Tekken movie and G.I. Joe movie to the classic game title Bubble Bobble which is currently available as Wiiware. Both NinJaSistah and Pandalicious answer some audience questions, including one from Bootleg Pete as well as promote the Gamer Daily News Spring Cleaning event, and then cap off the hour with the manga turned anime series Rideback
We are up to the usual monkey business in this episode, and if you don't believe me here are some of the titles we came up with but chose not to use for this episode:
Reality In Video Games - Isn't That An Oxymoron?
There Will Always Be Wire Hangers
He's More Buffy Than Buff
The Tekken Movie? That's The April Fool's Joke
It's At The Bottom End of The Wayans Scale
G.I. Joe Doesn't Make You Gay
Pandalicious Talks About Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged - And This Isn't A Rerun
NinJaSistah here, back from assignment [almost] and while I have still have some wounds mending, I do have some news out there for you portable gamers out there that happen to be musicians at the same time: KORG DS-10 starts shipping next month.
Get your money ready.
Now, I'm not a musician, I just play one in my living room [thanks Harmonix :)] but I do appreciate electronic hardware and software a great deal, so when I saw that youtube video of that Japanese DJ piecing together a track using the DS synth emulator I was taken aback.
It really looks like the KORG hardware in software form. And while I can only follow along with the screens and info from the KORG DS site [click the image above] I can tell that this "game" was a labor of love. KORG DS-10 is a music creation program that isn't for the faint of heart. You should probably know exactly what is it is that you want to do or at least have an idea of where you want to get to before you pick up this title. All of the sound sources in the game come directly from KORG, and the DS’s touch-screen controls are great. There is no rewarding way to pull this kind of title off on any of the existing single screen portable game systems currently.
KORG DS-10 is a 6-track/16-step sequencer and gives the user/player a ridiculous level of control over what he or she creates musically. It even has multilink capability to allow up to eight units can play together or to even exchange sounds and songs via wireless connection.
KORG DS-10 will set you back about $39.99 and will get a hands-on review shortly.
If you didn't read the title or look at the above picture, guess what's coming to the Nintendo Wii.
Along with the new DSi announcement at the 2008 Fall Press Conference, Nintendo boss, Satoru iwata has announced, Punch-Out! The 8-bit Nintendo game is FINALLY getting a remake and it looks awesome! I sold my Wii to a friend a long time ago, but this is definitely worth picking up another one, if I can find one...
Check out the gameplay. Little Mac is back along with with his (and our) favorite opponents. No word on a release date yet.
The start of the week brings another new episode of the ESH podcast, and this week we learn that caffeine and sugar do not sit too awful well with the sistahs.
This is especially true if you add prescription drugs to the mix. poor Pandalicious and her messed up foot. But neither the pain nor giddiness of the two keeps them from chatting about Spore:Creatures on the DS Lite, RockBand 2 co-operative play on da interwebs, and how the lack of XBox Live can drive lonely ninjas nutzoid.
If you want to get the gist of what the episode is about, check out the titles we didn't use for this one:
Bomb Ash Is Not Bomb Ass
There's Always a "Why?" At the End of Sex
I Am What I Bee
Double-Stuf Oreos -- That's the Team I Bat For
The Legend of the Three-Tiered Easy Bake Cake
The Love Toilet: Our Worst Tangent Ever
EA Makes Me Want to Use Three Condoms
Panda's Wielding the Stick of Righeousness
A Cramp Ruined My White Wedding
Mentos: The Memory Taker
I Failed Chemistry, But I Remember Ionic and Covalent Bonds
Games that start off with a description involving scantily-clad women usually don't rate high on my radar, so Oneechanbara was definitely not something I had been pining away for since it's development.
If you said to me three months ago, "NinJa, there is this game out there where you are one of two asian chicks either in a school girl outfit or your undies and a boa fighting zombies and you are going to love it..." I would probably have laughed in your face and cussed at you for a very long time, but after seeing Oneechanbara trailers for the first time I kinda changed my mind. D3 helped me seal the deal a bit her at PAX 08.
Even though they are not demoing the game at PAX, D3 did bring a teaser video that had the opening of the game and some gameplay elements on loop at their booth and after spending a bit of time with one of the PR reps, I'm sold on this game.
In Oneechanbara you play one of two asian sisters Aya or Saki and are forced to hack and slash your way through zombies that are after your blood for some reason. There is something in your lineage that makes you prime targets for the zombies and it is up to you to find out what it is and rid the world of these damn things. The game is a bit different than other sword slashing games in that you have a gauge indicating your weapon's bloodlust [which when filled your weapon has a good chance of sticking in to enemies making you have to yank it out] and you have to clean your sword constantly to keep it from doing less damage or sticking in a enemy leaving your vulnerable. I was able to find these bullet points from the D3 website, even though a search for the title on their site didn't find it:
Control Two Super Sexy Sisters and Their Sword Swinging Samurai Skills – Master sword swinging martial arts at their finest on the ground and in the air, slashing, swinging and thrusting into zombie enemy hordes.
Exclusive Dress-Up Mode – Go behind the scenes to expose the hottest samurai wardrobe on the planet. Unlock an arsenal of customized clothing and looks to maximize and personalize the Onechanbara experience.
Go Deep Inside Aya, Saki, and the Legend of Onechanbara in Multiple Gameplay Modes – In addition to the main Story Mode, players can experience the game in Free Play Mode, Survival Mode, Quest Mode and more to let gamers dive deeper into the Onechanbara experience.
Killer Combat Control System – Each character has a variety of moves, weapons, and throws to combat enemies on the ground and in the air, and can unleash killer Rage Mode attacks when desperate and surrounded.
Co-op Multiplayer – Invite a friend to join in the fight with Co-Op mode and try unique fighting styles together to rid the world of zombie infestation.
D3 is kinda tight lipped about a ship date for Oneechan but it will be available for the XB360 and Nintendo Wii at some point.
I got to spend some time with a PR rep for D3 publishing to talk a bit about two games: Oneechanbara which I will definitely talk about at a later time, this article is about Bangai-o: Spirits.
Bangai-o is a classic arcade shooter. You will spend the majority of your time button mashing like a fiend a-la-harrier type in order to blow up everything on the screen. But why would you want to play this game? Generic mecha art aside there are a few things that set Bangai-o apart from other arcade shooters, one of which is it’s level editor.
In the game you can edit a level in real time, meaning as you are in the middle of it. Level too difficult? Edit that boss out. Level too long? Shorten it. While this may sound cheap or gimmicky, keep in mind this is a DS title. If you're playing on the go on the train, you might just want a short level to play through during my commute to help keep me you from missing my your stop.
Taking the level creation thing a step further, D3 has added a sound transfer system that allows you to share any level you have edited or created with a friend using the speaker/mic built into the DS to wireless send your stuff to their stuff. As the feature was explained to me, it sounded a bit complicated, but D3 has a tutorial online to help you get the hang of audio sharing.
It’s been a while since I bought a DS game, but I think I might give Bangai-o a try. Check it out, and rent it if you can.
Ring Ding Dong...Ring a ding..ding ding dong (Dr. Dre Reference) Yo! Yo! Yo! Como Estan? Beeches. Pandalicious here to bring forth a new installment that should have hit y'allz earz last Thursday but brotha let me tell you what had happened...
You see what had happened was.....[insert flashback CG ripple effects] that I'm about as lazy as the next person. So last Thrusday I was out with my Crew we were gonna go steal some pants...BECAUSE I AIN'T GOT NO MONEY! (Unforgiveable Reference) I'm just playing. In all honesty though, I just plumb forgot! So Here Comes some old school flava with some old school thought!
I figured I would start with what I know best...The first real time I can remember liking video games wuz when I would engage in a hunt....a hunt...for ducks....no that doesn't mean I maliciously hunted down the all the casts of the Mighty Ducks, or any spin offs that may or may not occur. Though there were many of times were I had wish this gun controller had had the power to do so.
TO most of us Ataris and Nintendo's were the big deal. To most of us here in the United States rather [let me state that now] that is. One of the first real exposures to the FPS that i can remember...and by remember I mean being really little with the control and sitting faceplanted on the television. [Now that I think about that I'm sure all those early afternoons of playing like that most likely resulted in my now having to wear glasses...Oh Fuck....] Though many of us played this cult classic in the comforts of our homes however is was also found on other platforms besides the NES. It was also on Famicom and Arcade.
Duck hunt was not a game that people woke up at 7am for and dashed to their local Walmart to get..in fact..Walmart did not exist then [Yes I know that for most of you, you cannot beleive that such evil did not rear it's satanistic side until it branched off from its primary store which came into existence in 1962..YES it's that OLD] It was a game that was given onto us to get a a response off of it. Thinking back now, who would have thought that letting people take fake guns and shoot ducks out of the sky to our trusty loving bloodhound...
If Nintendo had been in REM's music video for "Everybody Hurts" this is what we as a budding gaming nation would have saw.
(Scene: Children on bikes in slow motion riding by the glass window at the Nintendo headquarters. Inside the window a meeting of several official to talk about the questionable progress of "Duck Hunt"
Man in suit #1: Well surprisingly enough people actually like this game... (thought bubbles appears) FUCK! I hope we don't have to deal with PETA again...
Man in suit#2:Who knew that people would actually enjoy a game based on a desire to kill (thought bubble appears) Now if only we can redirect this towards something that we can continue to market and not worry about organizations putting their stamps of disapproval...like....bigger animals...animals with advance thought...oooo yes and will power...they should be intelligent...like humans...Oh My God Humans! That is brillant, I should head over to development right now..
Woman in suit#1 (looking at Man in suit#2's thought bubble:I'm sorry Man in suit#2 that is fucked up. (thought bubbles appears but it's a little flash movie of herself kicking Man in suit#2 in the nuts. [Yes I went there, like you wouldn't]
Woman in suit#2: Well that might be true however we should do what is best for the progress of our company (thought bubble appears) Oh I can't wait to spend all the money I'll make on these games on therapy for my future teenage son who will shoot up his school because he thought it would all reset the next day. [yes this one is also bad but...come on....]
Anyway you guys get my point. But why do I like this so much, so much that in fact decided that this would be my first piece.... Well ladies and gentlemen of webspace....I can not remember a time that I did not enjoy playing this game, whether it was just with Ninjahsistah before the ninjafication.... or with our father who is no longer with us. It presented a time of innocence and a good time with just the bare essentials...and isn't that what we want in our games....simple satisfaction?
I only ask the question because Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People is available on the PC and Wii now, and you might want to pick it up.
I was a huge Homestarrunner.com fan a while back, but ESH, the day job, and web comics pretty much eat up all of my time. But Telltale Games is pretty proud of the new game and have a whole page devoted to it. Check it out here, and read more about the game below... here.
From the press release:
In the season premiere, Strong Bad's plans to beat the snot out of his rival Homestar Runner backfire, and he ends up with an unwanted houseguest cramping his style. Now he needs to get life back to normal, by any means possible. Comical point-and-click gameplay progresses the story, with side quests, mini games, achievements, and an "extended play" sandbox mode that unlocks after the story is completed rounding out the game experience.
New episodes can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel each month for 1000 Wii Points, and the game takes advantage of the WiiConnect24 technology by giving players the ability to send Strong Bad-themed emails to Wii friends directly from the Lappy. Photos taken using the in-game camera feature can be attached to emails, allowing players to show off Easter eggs uncovered or hidden costumes collected during the game.
"We are very excited," said a Videlectrix spokesperson from his pretend high-rise office, "Our last game topped out at 8 bits. We've heard this one might reach 9 or 10!"
Downloadable versions of each Strong Bad episode will also be available for the PC exclusively from Telltale's website, with preorders starting today at www.telltalegames.com/strongbad. Episodes can be purchased individually for $8.95 or as part of a five-episode subscription for $34.95. As with Telltale's popular Sam & Max series, customers who purchase the full series from Telltale will later be eligible to get a disc version for the cost of shipping and handling.
After the "Homestar Ruiner" premiere on August 11, storylines in the monthly episodes will run the gamut from political struggles to rock’n roll to the world of videogames (of course), building to the exciting season finale in December. Many fan favorite characters from Free Country USA will appear in each episode, along with special new super 8-bit style mini-games from Videlectrix.
Get ready to use your wiimote to shoot down and hack through some zombie mallrats folks, Capcom today announced that Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is in development for the Wii.
The new title will be based on the previous Dead Rising videogame, but not be a port of that title.
Capcom promises that Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop will
"delivers a more immersive, intuitive and interactive experience as players use the Wii Remote to shoot, slash and bludgeon their way through a zombie infested shopping mall, fighting for survival.
In the game, you are Frank West, an overly zealous freelance journalist on a hunt for the scoop of a lifetime. While tracking a juicy lead, he makes his way to the small suburban town of Willamette only to find that it has become overrun by zombies. Frank escapes to the local shopping mall, thinking it will be a bastion of safety but it turns out to be anything but. It will be a true struggle to survive the endless stream of enemies, but players will have full reign of a realistic shopping centre and its varied stores offering an endless supply of real and makeshift weapons to fight off the flesh-hungry mob. If Frank is running low on health he can pay a visit to one of the many restaurants or cafes for a meal in order to restore his energy and continue the fight.
The game is split into a series of individual cases, all of which Frank must complete in order to gain mission critical info that will allow him to figure out what the hell is going on with all the zombie bastards.
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop’s infectious humor delivers some welcome relief from the incessant tide of zombies with players able to dress Frank up in a variety of comedic costumes and take on the undead hordes with a selection of improvised and sometimes highly ineffective weapons such as a toy sword or a football.
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop is scheduled to hit store shelves this Winter.
Who doesn't like new podcast episode Monday? Productive people that's who. Let us help you start your week off on the unproductive tip with this episode of our podcast.
Sans MagicMystic yet again, the sistah's stick to the gaming topic covering both the new and upcoming starting with Panda's take on the game Project Origin and Ninja sharing some of what she was able to take away from the assorted E3 coverage.
From talking about the survival horror game genre to specific experiences with titles like Manhunt and Silent Hill to the thriller-chiller types including the "I don't think NinJa is ever going to finish it" BioShock game. Ninja talks God of War 3, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Portal 2, and Oneechanbura.
It's another one of our lively podcast episodes people, here are some of the titles we decided not to use to name it:
Don't. Stop. Waitin' Fer RockBand 2, Yeah
Who? Guess Who?
Don't Sell Your Soul For Tic-Tacs
The New Animal Crossing Lets Me Be Mii
Kratos Makes Ninja's Gamer Boner Hard
Kratos Was A Red-Headed Step Child
Panda's Birthday Is Another 11 1/2 Months Away
Killing Me Softly with Her Sword
We Will. We Will...Flock Ewe
Videogame Word of the Year: Booty
E3 Didn't Want Me? Well, They're Not Invited to My Place Either
We Have Nothing To Fear But the Sequel to Fear Itself
I can remember when I was a kid, I took all of my comics, placed them in the plastic comic bags, and stapled them to my wall. The walls of my room were covered in comics. I was in heaven. Well if only I knew, then what I know now.
If I would have thought about doing what this person did to their walls, (and if my parents would let me) there would have definitely been some alterations. I'm seriously think of doing something like this to my office. This is frickin' awesome!
The man in the photo here is a guy named Laurent Fischer. He's not remarkably unlike you or me. But when he puts his foot in his mouth, he manages to jam it as far in as he can.
You see, Fischer is the director of marketing for Nintendo's European division. And, as a director of marketing, he really ought to know better than to do what he did last week.
Nintendo users have been clamoring for more memory for the Wii -- an external hard drive would be awfully nice, especially as games take up more space. But, in a story for Edge, a gaming magazine, the editor's asked Fischer about the demand for more space:
As is always the case with Nintendo’s press events nowadays, the dirty word ‘casual’ was raised at its WiiWare preview, only to be dismissed in favor of a distinction between gamers and non-gamers. Playing these semantic games is fine, but when a pertinent question about the limited Wii system memory was raised, Laurent Fischer, managing director of marketing at NOE, easily slipped into talking about how “geeks and otaku” were the only people who would want this issue addressed.
Otaku, if you're not hip to the Japanese language, is a slang term that characterizes gamers as pimply, fat guys who spend all their time playing videogames in the basement of their parents' house. It's like inferring that Ninjasistah eats only watermelon and fried chicken. It's not a very nice word.
The story was posted on the Next Generation gaming website on Wednesday and the blogosphere has had a field day with Fischer's comment. On his blog, God of War creator David Jaffe said, "Ok, so if this is true, it's really, really sad. And not so much because Nintendo seems to be telling a chunk of its loyal fanbase to go fuck itself, but because it's just reeks of junior high school vibe immaturity bullshit."
"I have huge respect for those who, like me, share a common passion for Nintendo and want to make it clear that I would never use and I didn't use this terminology in such a context or way to cause offence. I regret that this misunderstanding has created such offence and disappointment within the community."
Oh, I see. He was using the word "otaku" in the nicest way.
The upside of the whole thing? The geeks and otaku apparently are the winners, according to Wired:
Immediately following Fischer's statement, geeks and otaku around the world turned on their Wiis to find that the on-board storage had been magically quadrupled through the power of apology.
We’ve heard it was coming and the rumors proved to be true. Get ready to “Rock Out”! We’ve finally got a look at Guitar for the Nintendo DS.
Guitar Hero has been the talk of the gaming industry for a while now. Whether on the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo Wii, Guitar Hero has allowed people to switch the rhythm from their feet, a la Dance Dance Revolution, to their hands. It’s, “hands down” (see what I did there with word-play), the best rhythm-based game on the consoles and now it’s going portable.
Activision is bringing us Guitar Hero On Tour for the Nintendo DS and I couldn’t be more excited. Pictures of the attachment have been floating around the internet, but now we can actually see how’s it’s going to work. The following has got to be one of the funniest trailers I’ve ever seen, especially when the usage for the DS mic is demonstrated. This is definitely going to be a blast on the go.
2K Sports announced that Don King Presents: Prizefighter, the first documentary-style boxing extravaganza, has officially gone gold and is ready for production on the XB360.
Brainchild of Venom Games [a 2K studio] Don King Presents: Prizefighter is said to try to find and focus on the balance between sports simulation and mystique inside and outside the boxing ring.
Don King Presents: Prizefighter puts the player in the role of an unknown boxer fighting his way out of obscurity and into the international spotlight while attempting to claim the world championship title. Players will have rigorous training regimens and have to fight the temptations of wealth and stardom. [My personal advice is to not end up like Mike Tyson]
The game sports a
"...live-action sports documentary style that features real-life legends and current stars from the world of boxing including Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Andrew Golota, Joe Calzaghe and many others."
And for the dudes that like pixel vixens, both the Penthouse Pet of the Year Heather Vandeven and video vixen Bria Myles also star in the documentary and will try to distract you.
I ain't sayin' she a gold digger, but Don King Presents: Prizefighter
Prizefighter hits your local game-a-torium on June 10 for Xbox 360, and this fall for Wii.
Ubisoft, announced that Protöthea is dropping in May for WiiWare here in the US. I'm not yet sure if I'm happy about that or not.
Protöthea is a 3D top-down vertical scrolling shooter game where the player pilots a spaceship using the WiiMoteote and Nunchuk in tandem.
"Ubisoft is excited to bring Protöthea exclusively to the platform and we feel it's a must-have WiiWare title,”
shared James Regan, VP of third party operations, Ubisoft.
The storyline isn't doesn't vary far from the standard scrolling shooters of your [and my] arcade days: destroy all comers. In Protöthea the evil thing you have to destroy is an asteroid called "Maqno 01,” and while you are at it, sabotage the plans of a political faction called "The Core.” Ubisoft promises that enemy AI is "...dynamic and will change based on the player's actions..." even going so far as to say that,
"there are no predictable enemy paths and therefore always a different game play experience."
Again, a claim that I will wait to see if it's genuine or just hopefully thinking.
In the game players will have eight different air-to-air weapons and two different air-to-ground bombs at their disposal, and can attack however they choose. There will also be a special power that decelerates time, allowing players to easily avoid enemy fire while they are able to move rapidly and attack enemies. I love vertical scrolling shooters as they take me back, back in the day when 10 bucks worth of quarters could provide you with an entire afternoon's worth of entertainment. Let's hope the implementation of the WiiMote and Nunchuk help bring that nostalgic feeling back instead of being a painful reminder that I ain't in no arcade no more!
If you’re the type of gamer that likes to be on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, then Resident Evil 4 is the game for you.
The game starts out several years later after the destruction of Raccoon City. The character you play is Leon S. Kennedy, an agent for the U.S. Government. Leon has been sent to a small village in Europe to rescue the Presidents kidnapped daughter Ashley Graham. The evil Saddler has infected mostly all the people in the villages, even Leon and Ashley. Thus, begins the search for an antidote in addition to the rescue of Ashley, and ultimately escaping this awful place.
At the same time you’re fighting against the "Las Plagas". They are a variety of “things” infected by this virus that mumble and yell profanities in Spanish. Behind every door you open there is something lurking, just waiting to attack! The game has six adrenaline-rushing chapters and within each chapter is a vicious viral beast that must be taken out with patience and tact. As you move along the "Las Plagas" change and become more resilient to your attacks. Luckily there are save points along the way with a man who buys, sells, and upgrades weapons at a cost. This is the only source of comic relief you get in the game because the man sounds like an Australian who says “Got some rare things on sale stranger!” and “What are you buying?” and “What are you selling?” You’ve got to play the game to understand, when you hear him speak its like a pusher on the street trying to make a buck. At first you don’t know if you can trust him and you shoot him and he dies. There goes your chance to shop. Oops!
The end ensues with an epic battle between Leon and Saddler; you must be patient and come up with a plan to destroy him. When you do beat the game it unlocks several mini games where you can play as different characters. It’s really cool because when it comes to an end you kind of miss the "Las Plagas" and blowing their heads off. So this game is also the gift that keeps on giving because just when you think its over you can go back and have a few more heart palpitations. With the Wii remote and nunchuck it actually feels like you are holding the guns (my favorite is the Magnum, gets the job done). The music is what keeps your heart racing and mind going a mile a minute as you’re trying to figure out how to solve the little riddles and along the way and come out a survivor.
If you have surround sound I highly suggest you use it. Grab a buddy; you’re not going to want to be alone. Get some munchies and get ready for an exhilarating experience. Sometimes I actually thought I was going to have a panic attack. It was amazing! I could not shut the game off; I played it nonstop from 10am in the morning to about 11:45pm. When you play a game like that you know you got you’re moneys worth.
I don't want to hear all that guff about Microsoft being the great innovators. They had a decent marketing department, but the real innovation was from companies like Apple and Sun. I could go on all day about Microsoft innovations that were either bought or stolen, like DOS (bought), Windows Media Player (stolen) and the Aero Glass interface (stolen).
In fact, I defy you to point out a Microsoft innovation that didn't appear earlier in Unix, Linux, the Amiga or the Macintosh. If you don't believe me, just Google the phrase "Microsoft steals."
And now here's something that's gotta be really embarassing. It's from the January 2007 launch of Vista Office. Mike Sievert, the corporate vice president of Microsoft, shows off the online gaming capabilities of Vista, as he challenges his son, who is at home on his Xbox 360, playing (wait for it) UNO!
"And, of course, this is my Games Explorer. This is what Windows Vista does to make my gaming experience easier than it's ever been, because all of my games are here in one place where I can manage them the same way.
"I'm going to step into an upcoming release of Uno for Windows Vista, and I'm going to use my Xbox 360 controller plugged right into my Windows Vista machine, and I'm going to pull up a multiplayer game. Because what Uno for Windows Vista can do is something that games before have never been able to do, and that's cross-platform play. You're going to see the familiar Xbox 360 set of settings, and I'm going to use the Microsoft Live gaming platform to see if I can find my 10-year old son Jonathan at home in Seattle, Washington on his Xbox.
"Now, he goes by the alias, Ice Monkey, and you can see that he's online. That's good because I'm on stage, and this would be important at this point. (Laughter.) And I'm going to go ahead and select him and invite him to play this game of Uno with me.
"Now, you know, I travel quite a bit, and maybe I'm in a hotel room in Tokyo with my Windows Vista laptop, and it's really important that I'm able to have connections with my family when I'm gone. And this scenario is fantastic because it allows me to steal away a few minutes to play a game with Jonathan across thousands of miles, eight time zones, and two gaming platforms.
"Take a look at this as I press Start. We launch into a game together and in just a moment across all those times we'll be playing cross-platform game play.
"There it is. Now you need to applaud that, because I had to wait a minute. All right. (Applause.) And there it is, we're all in this game playing across the thousands of miles, me on my Windows Vista machine, and Jonathan on his Xbox."
The guy even has to beg for applause.
Sievert left Microsoft in February of this year. I guess you can take only so much UNO.
Here are some little bits of news that you might have missed:
Headline: Panasonic Unveils Touch-Screen Camera
Just don't touch the wrong side.
Headline: Japanese Influenced TV@ART Kabé Hits the Market
These are decorative flat panels designed to hide large screen TVs. Hold it a second. One reason anyone buys a large flat screen TV is to show it off -- not hide it! Bad timing.
Headline: Aleratec Launches USB Flash Drive Duplicator
With recordable CDs costing about a penny apiece and DVDs costing maybe a nickel in bulk, why would anyone want a mass Flash Drive duplicator?
Headline: Razer Lachesis Gaming Mouse Features 4,000 DPI Sensitivity
A 4,000 dpi computer pointing device might make a difference if it were a pen, but as a mouse? It's like drawing with a bar of fresh, new Ivory soap.
Headline: Power Supply Purchasing Guide Published
Look at it this way, it's cheaper than buying sleeping pills.
Headline: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Debuts On Wii
Sixty-four? I didn't know Kirby was so old! But as demonstrated in the graphic here, the popular character is showing his age.
Headline: Two New Distribution Amplifiers from Gefen Deliver Component Video to 1080P with Audio up to 300 Meters in Distance
Ideal for those apartment buildings filled with deaf (or soon-to-be deaf) people.
Headline: Share the Love This Valentines Day With Romeo And Juliet On Your Mobile Phone
Excerpt: "Launched in time for Valentines Day, Romeo & Juliet will test your gaming skills at every level. You control Romeo in his quest to save Juliet, who has been imprisoned by her disapproving father in his castle."
I bet William Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave about now.
Squenix has a new RPG for the Nintendo DS dropping in April, and surprise surprise, it's not a Final Fantasy title.
Seriously, I'm not playing. Squenix can actually make a non-FF game, and on the DS to boot.
The game is called The World Ends With You and is from the creative minds behindFinal Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts but is notFinal Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts. Squenix wants you to know, trust, and believe this.
The World Ends With You is an action-RPG adventure set in modern-day Tokyo. Originally released in Japan as Subarashiki Kono Sekai, the games major influences are said to be based on the current trends in music, fashion, and design of Japan.
The story starts with the player taking over as Neku Sakuraba. Neku is a keep to myself, total non-social 15-year-old boy who one day wakes up to find himself in Shibuya [the shopping district of Tokyo, Japan] unexpectedly. Neku receives a text message warning him that he will cease to exist unless he accomplishes a certain mission. Without gaining a full grasp of what is going on, Neku proceeds through the streets of Shibuya carrying out the designated tasks. Most of the gameplay focuses on finding clues and battling the bad guys, which are called "Noise" in this game. Players can use Neku's mindreading abilities to hear people's thoughts by using the DS touch screen. The game feature lists includes:
Distinctive modern art style created by a team of artists led by Tetsuya Nomura,
Innovative Stride-Cross Battle System allows players to control two characters simultaneously, unleashing special attacks with the stylus
The ability to collect a vast array of custom-designed pins, each with a powerful psychic ability that can be activated with the right touch or sound command
Customize characters with Shibuya’s coolest fashions and exchange items with other players via Mingle Mode
Experience an amazing soundtrack combining a fusion of musical influences from hip-hop to rock to electronica
Battle with up to three friends in Tin Pin Slammer, an exciting and fast-paced mini-game, via local wireless connection.
If they weren't trying to pitch me so hard on how cool this game is, and how stylish it is, I might actually be interested in it. Well see what happens on April 22nd.
I don't need to tell you that finding a Wii is nearly impossible. But it is only nearly impossible. I was able to get a Wii for Christmas -- and there may be time for you to get one, too.
When I was faced with a similar dilemma last Christmas, to get both a Wii and a PS3, I took the path of least resistance: I shelled out for the game bundles offered by GameStop. It was the coward's way out, really. In order to get the boxes I wanted, I was willing to shell out a premium for a bunch of games and magazine subscriptions I didn't really want.
I was determined to avoid that this year when trying to buy a Wii for my sister and her three grandchildren. I didn't want a bunch of leftover games and magazines when all I really wanted was a Wii for the suggested retail price of $249.
Prospects were not good. Obtaining the game at a big box store like Best Buy meant developing a friend at UPS. I had no such friend. I wasn't the kind of person to mindlessly drive from store to store, and I sure wasn't the kind of person to stand in line overnight for a Saturday Morning Special.
That left the internet. A quick search at the popular stores resulted in a big zero. Ebay was even more disappointing, with prices topping double what I would want to pay and no guarantee that the seller was legitimate.
And then I found wiialerts.com. It was designed for a guy like me. You pick the websites you want it to shop and when a Wii shows up, they alert you by text message on your phone. Next, you go to wiialerts.com (or open an email they send you) and you get bounced directly to the purchasing page.
Only it seemed I was always out of place when I got the text messages. I was just seconds too late on the first Wii alert I received. I was in the doctor's office on the second alert. I was in a cab on the third alert. I was asleep on the fourth and didn't see it until the next morning.
But the planets aligned on the sixth alert -- I was directed to an Amazon.com page, where I could have purchased up to three Wii's. I got only one, though. I'm no Ebay speculator. One was all I needed. Ordered on a Friday, it arrived on Monday and I shipped it out to my sister and her grandkids a couple of days ago (I included a full complement of controllers and nunchuks).
And the wiialerts.com site is good for more than just Wii's. The Rock Band special edition for the Xbox 360 (the one with guitar, mic and drums) is apparently rare. They track those, too. As well as Guitar Hero 3 with guitar for the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.
They've even added custom alerts for whatever product you're looking for. And it's all absolutely free. Just sign up your email and cellphone for text messages. When you find what you want, buy it and come back to wiialerts.com to unsubscribe.
I sure could have used wiialerts.com last year -- they could have saved me from reading all those dreadful issues of Game Informer magazine.
Hey there folks, NinJaSistah here, back from the holiday vacation.
How y'all doin?
It's been a heckuva week. The day job got crazy hectic as it usually does around Consumer-mas time, and all massive wave of incoming PR lists that have claimed my email inbox home, and I got overwhelmed by all the new games that have come in.
If you've already listened to the podcast you know that the Harmonix game Rock Band has been getting a lot of my attention, attention that it rightly deserves. But now that I've talked about it, I don't want to be like Panda and make every other post I write to be about the awesomeness that is Rock Band So here is a list of upcoming things that I'm going to be writing about soon.
Call of Duty 4
Naruto: Rise of a NinJa
Super Mario Galaxy
Thanks for sticking around through the break, we now resume your regularly scheduled programming already in progress.
In this episode, we concentrate on the subjects the Sistahs love talking about most: videogame addition, the controversy about violence in games, what it's like to be a girl gamer and the platform wars. And, of course, the sistahs talk about Boonga-Boonga.
British gaming magazine Edge has a cryptic line in its latest issue: "A Japanese source has confirmed to Edge that the upcoming Wii iteration of Animal Crossing is set to be a social networking MMO." If true, it means that we might not see hide nor hair of NinjaSistah for years to come.
She spent a good six months in 2003 playing the original GameCube version of Animal Crossing. Break it out of its single-player mode on the Wii and it could cause avid players like NinjaSistah to quit their jobs and make a career of fishing and feng shui-ing their houses.
With a rumored massively multiplayer online version of the game, the options for Animal Crossing addicts would grow exponentially. NinjaSistah would end up playing the game as she records her podcast, just like her sister Pandalicious has done with World of Warcraft.
Now, don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Animal Crossing. I still prefer its graphics to the over-the-top 3D effects of the similar but newer Viva Pinata.
In fact, I've always wanted to create a Machinima version of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" using Animal Crossing. Unfortuately, there's no way the Kerouac estate would ever license those rights. But it's a dream of mine.
As reports keep pouring in (and YouTube videos keep pouring out) about windows, walls and televisions being destroyed by flying Wii remotes, Nintendo has introduced a new solution guaranteed to keep personal property safe. Voila! The Nintendo Wii-mote with Airbags! (An artist's rendition can be seen on the left.)
An accelerometer located inside the Wii-mote senses the speed at which the device is being waved. This action is compared with a heat sensor, which senses the loss of heat as the player loses his grip on the device. If the two actions occur simultaneously, the airbag action is triggered, causing more than a cubic meter of air to rapidly fill balloons on both sides of the device, allowing it to harmlessly bounce off most any household object it comes into contact with.
Analysts see some drawbacks to the device, of course. The need for indestructible balloons and compressed air cause the device to weigh about 16 pounds, making it virtually impossible for anyone to hold and wave around for more than a few seconds without tiring. In addition, the new accelleration and heat sensors cause the unit to cost more than the Wii itself. Unfortunately, once exploded, the remote control cannot be used again, forcing customers to have to buy replacement units.
And, even though the product has just been announced today, Nintendo says it already has a four-month backlog of orders. In the meantime, according to a Nintendo spokesman, Wii players using the original remote controls should "watch out."
It's just the two sistahs Pandalicious and NinJaSistah holding it down for episode 68. Pandalicious tries to help NinJaSistah wrap her mind around the anime series Nerima Daikon Brothers, and I emphasize the word tries. Then on the flipside of the hour, NinJaSistah glosses over some of the news from the Tokyo Game Show and shares her first impressions of the PS3 title Heavenly Sword.
Yeap, it's a fun, and weird hour this week, and if you don't believe me, just check out the rejected titles for this weeks episode:
Don't Take Her Shoes, She Needs the Height
It's Not The Size of Your URL, It's How You Use It
We Were Sharing Bodily Fluids LAST Week
Why Is The Radish Throbbing?
The Words, "Big Throbbing Daikon" Scare Me
The Most Forbidden Love: When Man Meets Panda
What She Did With a Fishcake: On The Next Maury
Sony made Me Go Dutch Then Tried To Rape Me
The PS3 Controller Was A Pain in the SIXAXIS
Hopefully, This Will Be the Last Sexually Oriented Wii Joke
The Nintendo Wii has been extremely popular since its release last year, but not just among humans. It seem as though man's best friend has taken an interest in the system also, well at least in the Wii-mote, that is.
When the Becknells' family dog began coughing up blood, they decided to take him to the veterinarian. An x-ray showed a remote-like device in the dog's stomach, which the family thought to be a television remote, but they were wrong. It turns out that the canine swallowed a Wii-mote!!
"The Vet started massaging the dog's belly and it just came flying out of the dog," said owner Marie Becknell. "I knew what it was right away by the color and shape of it -- it was my son's video game remote. The dog had swallowed the boy's Nintendo Wii controller."
Although the dog is doing well, the controller didn't quite make. It had to be tossed. Mrs. Becknell said that as punishment, the boy is out of two weeks allowance to cover the cost to replace the controller. The dog declined to speak with us.
Who's the guy in the suuuuuuuuuuuuit? Whooooooooooooo's the guy in my WIIIIIIIII?
You guessed it! Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law is coming to the Wii [and PS2 and PSP] this November in the form of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law™...the video game. From the fine folks that bring you the Adult Swim and the creative folks over at Capcom comes what they call a
"unique style of gameplay... players will step into the shiny wingtips of Harvey Birdman, a third-rate superhero turned third-rate defense attorney charged with exonerating parodied classic cartoon characters.
In the game, players must guide Harvey through a series of oddball cases. In order to prove his client’s innocence, Harvey must peruse the scene of the crime, gather evidence, talk with other cartoon characters, occasionally have drinks with opposing council, and of course, tear holes – no matter how ridiculous – in the testimony provided by the witness for the prosecution.
What sounds cool about the game is that all of the original voice talent is on board including Peter MacNicol and Gary Cole, so I'm a happy chiquitita.
2K Games recently announced that they were going to be bringing Top Spin Tennis to the Wii next summer... get your best tennis elbow jokes excuses rehearsed now.
2K Sports, [the sports arm of Take-Two Interactive], and according to them Top Spin Tennis on for the Wii will feature
"...flawless tennis action and the most real life tennis experience to date for the Wii."
Top Spin Tennis will be available exclusively on the Wii in spring 2008.
The new Top Spin Tennis promises "pick-up-and-play action" making use of the Wiimote and nunchuku to matches the movements players would make on a real court. The Nunchuk controls the player and aim, while the Wiimote acts as your tennis racquet and determines the style of your shot... ranging from a top spin move [get it?] to a slice. The Wii Remote also allows players to control the power and the quality of the shot and to serve as well.
The game will feature multiple gameplay modes including singles, doubles, mixed/non-mixed matches, exhibition, tournament and more, and have four levels of difficulty and ten international venues. When the game ships it should feature at least dozen licensed tennis stars as well as ten original characters. Up to four players can play the game at a time, and to add to the group fun, there are a collection of party games included.
“We are excited to bring our popular Top Spin series to the Wii,” said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K. “Given the Wii’s unique controllers and the fun family-oriented gameplay, Top Spin Tennis effectively bridges the gap between a sports and a party game.”
Top Spin Tennis will ship summer of 2008, and will be exclusive to the Wii.
This one is a test folks. I'm going to do one of those live, updated blog thingies. We'll just have to see if blogger is up to the task or not.
I will be coming to you live from Nintendo E3 briefing this morning, giving you all the news you can use on the upcoming goodness to flow forth from camp Mario.
8:47am PDT : I got bumpkiss right now, the event doesn' jump off until 9am PDT, so stay tuned...
9am: the Wii video propaganda starts. A video montage of every Nintendo related pop culture reference floats by reminding me that the Wii roll out was and is pretty damn amazing. I mean, you still can't get your hands on one. Then Reggie hits the stage, and he is happy. Hey, he said it, not me.
According to Nintendo, the lion share of gamers are either in the 25+ demographic [32%] or 17 and under [47%]. Well duh Nintendo. Then they look at gender. They say for other consoles the ratio is 80% [male] to 20% [female] where as the break goes to 67% [male] to 33% [female]. Even bigger duh Nintendo. Women know what Wii want.
Reggie sound byte of the moment:
"Nintendo is not a fad. Nintendo is the future."
BELIEVE IT! Ok, he didn't say believe it, but he should have.
9:21 : Holy chit Batman! Wii Zapper. A housing for the Nunchuck and Wiimote, that will retial for $19.99 and will be packaged with software. The thing is so sexy it makes me wanna play Medal of Honor.
9:24 : Smash Bros. Brawl announced to launch on December 3rd. Can you pre-order it at GameStop yet?
9:29 :Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Looking at the graphics for the game, it's hard to believe that it's on the Wii. The game looks very next-gen. Samus' guns have never rendered so well.
9:32 : Reggie decides to address the "missing' Nintendo online capabilities. New channel, called Check Me Out. Vote on Mii's around the world, take some home, enter them in look-a-like contests. EA online sports games will support Wii Online. Online multiplayer. Madden 08 and FIFA 08 have been announced. and Guitar Hero III with a wireless Les Paul guitar controller. Mario Kart Wii Online in first quarter next year announced. Online. Multiplayer. Battle Mode. A custom Wii-Wheel for the game. And guess what? It's white! The Wii-eel will come packed with the MarioKart title.
9:43 : Iwata-san takes the stage. Iwata-san admits that his addiction to the cooking software title that is available in Japan has so affected his life, he is now taking more time to cook meals for his family because of it. Iwata-san states that the goal of Nintendo is to destroy the wall between hardcore and novice gamers.
"Games are for everyone."
He announces that Miyamoto-san will be hitting the stage to demo a title that should prove this fact.
9:55 : November 12th will be Super Mario Galaxy buy it day according to Reggie.
9:57 : Video montage time again... BECAUSE YOU GOTTA HAVE A MONTAGE!!
10:00 : Reggie announces WiiFit. Yes, lazy fat asses, you are going to have to work it out. Pushups, dancing, yoga, you will loose those unwanted pounds, or his name isn't Reggie Fils-Amie. Because a healthy gamer, is a happy gamer. Over 40 activities in the new WiiFit game. The WiiBalanceBoard is a wireless controller for the WiiFit game. It will be implemented in future titles as well. You will be able to track your progress in the game, so think of it as an extension of Wii Fitness test in Wii Sports.
10:12 : Reggie goes head to head literally with Miyamoto-san in the soccer ball competition... and Miyamoto-san wins as Reggie took too many shoes to head! [When else in the world can you say that.
Do I even need to tell you it's new podcast episode day? I didn't think so, but I did it anyways, because that's the way I roll here at the sistahood. This weeks episode just happens to be titled, "Episode 48: I French Fried When I Should Have Pizza'd" and is ready for a listen.
In this episode of the podcast Pandalicious tackles the tricky subject of Jesus in anime as discussed by a panel she went to at AB2k7 while MagicMysticGrl shares some cosplay "Do's & Don'ts" with you lovely folks in hopes of making your con experiences [and ours] better. And bringing up the rear as always is NinjaSistah with her take on the Wii game SSX Blur by EA Big. The conversation is deep at times, and for the other sixty minutes it's the usual laugh riot that you're used to.
All in all it's just another funMONday here in the hood, so grab your morning cup o' joe and enjoy the show.
An executive from Sega, one of Nintendo's largest publishers, told Forbes.com last week that he expects the Wii to sell for less than $200. With a $200 price point, the Wii might not only be a video game system, but the new currency exchange unit for video game system sales. Consider this:
Nintendo Wii: 1 Wii Microsoft XBox 360 Base: 1.5 Wii Microsoft XBox 360 Deluxe: 2 Wii Sony Playstation 3 Premium (retail in November): 3 Wii Sony Playstation 3 Premium (on eBay in December): 6-8 Wii Sony Playstation 3 Premium (retail, next May): 1.5 Wii
Sure, I got the Wii price point wrong (it was $250, not $200), but I was otherwise close to the target.
And to all those Sony fanboys who have been berating me for my disparaging comments regarding the PS3, I'd like to point out that they sold a whopping 167,000 PS3's in February. At that rate, they'll clean out the entire initial 6 million PS3 run... by, uh, June 2010.
In this episode of the podcast Pandalicious shares her take on the World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy manga series by Jae Hwan Kim, and NinJaSistah sheds some light on the Ubisoft game Rayman Raving Rabbids.
It's fun, it's fast, it's Episode 42: WoW, Wii have an addiction!
I'm taking some time to read the Destructoid website because I just love Dtoid and I see this article about some dude over at 1UP that has over 1000 Mii's on parade, and I got totally jealous.
I'm a fun kinda gal. Why don't I have more friends registered on my Wii? I want thousands of Mii's on parade. I don't want to sound all consumed by it or vain or anything, but damn man... I wanna be poopular, er popular with the Wiioples, so what gives?
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to post my Wii numbah, and if you want to help me grow my entWIIrage, comment with your Wii Numbah below. Whoever helps me cross the 200th, 500th, and 1000th Mii on parade will get some ESH M&M's.
Months and months after moving into my new digs I have finally reassembled my tower of power is back in business.
I speak, of course, of my gaming rig... the center of my entertainment world is whole once more. It's taken me months to find all of my cables, power cords, power bricks, games, and then the time to put the sonofabitch together. I put the most important systems on the TV to start [being the next-gen boxes] but the PS2, Xbox, and PSP sort of kinda languished in a box over in the corner of the room. A dimly lit corner of the room to make it even more pathetic. I would have had a GameCube in the tower as well but it was given to Pandalicious in hopes that it might lure her away from WoW. It did not.
So what's in my gaming rig you might ask? Well, in what has now become the "Tower of Older Power" we have the Xbox with slight modification, a PS2, PSP, Gameboy SP, 6-input S-Video switch, XB360 quick-charge stand, digital cable box, and games awaiting a trip to the local Gamestop for trade in.
In the main arena I have my PS3, XB360, and Nintendo Wii tucked away under my 42" TV from LCD Olevia Yes, the NinJa is back in action people. Now some of you may have noticed that I mentioned a bunch of consoles that have online gameplayability, [hehe, I made a new word] but didn't mention how I have them networked... it's because I don't yet. Right now, the Wii connects to my existing wireless network and my XB360 and PS3 are share a connection from an Apple Airport Express. Until I decided on a good ethernet switch for these guys to share it will stay that way.
Now all I need is enough furniture so that the gaming parties can begin. What about you guys? What do your rigs look like? What would you like to add? Wanna send us a picture? I'm putting some larger images of my rig in the gallery, so check it out.
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?
You think your Nintendo Wii looks good on your television because you got the big plasma screen with the surround sound and the entertainment center. Let me tell you something. You have no idea what big is yet.
I got my Nintendo Wii hooked up to my 52” plasma and I’m pretty proud of it. When playing Wii Sports or Zelda, I can see just about every detail of the game without having to strain my eyes. When I walk into a friend’s house and see they’re puny 17” television, a sense of pride comes over me as I smirk.
So I’m browsing You-Tube to find a jewel that I can close out the year 2006 with and I got a little more than I hoped for. I’m just going to call this one Screenis Envy.
The jury is in about half-naked girls. They're good for a lot of things, but are they any good at selling PlayStation 3 consoles on eBay? After a great deal of research, we've got the answer for you.
In a word: No. Half-naked girls suck at selling PS3 consoles. Stories abound on the web about people who had invested a great deal of time and money, shivering in long lines at Best Buy and being trampled in stampedes at Wal-Mart, only to discover that no one was willing to pay $2,000 or more for a $600 gaming system.
Even pimping out their sisters or girlfriends or wives or MILFs didn't help. After all, gaming consoles weren't about Pr0n -- they were about playing video games. So most of those guys who had only dollar signs in their eyes trudged back to the Best Buys where they spent a long, cold, rainy week in mid-November and pleaded for their money back.
Here's a tip for all of you who want to play the Futures market -- do it with gold and corn and pork bellies and oranges, like everyone else in the Financial District of New York. But if you buy a video gaming system, just open the sucker up, pull out all the stuff inside, hook it up to the Magnavox and have fun. Like God and Nolan Bushnell intended.
Well, it's get er' schnit day folks, and I'd love to hear what you got in your stockings/under the tree.
As y'all know, I was extremely naughty and got a Wii and PS3 from Santa. I haven't been all that impressed with the PS3 yet, but I have high hopes for the Wii. What was the best thing that you got, or happened to you this Xmas? So far for me, the best thing that happened was that I didn't get socks as a present. Rock. On. Once of the nice surprises was a copy of Trauma Center: Second Opinion on the Wii. I didn't get Project 8, but I do have a birthday coming up.
From all of us here at ESH, I want to extend to all of you wonderful folk reading this post and those that listen to the podcast the warmest of wishes today. May your extra lives be bountiful, and may your AK never run out of ammo!
Well, you could do what this guy did and replace your strap with some handcuffs. It's definitely one way to wii-strain your controller from flying off into your TV. [Sorry about the pun... I had to do it, for legal reasons. No foolin.]
Yea, I was boppin' around ye olde interweb this morning when I noticed that one of the FrESH folks had Hit Us Up and tipped us to this image on a forum. Thanks for the tip ALH.
Now, I fancy myself a hardcore-type gamer. By most standards I'm not, but I like to think that I am. I can not, however, imagine handcuffing myself to a controller. When I do, I get an image of some kinky, flashy, S&M thingies going on which is totally the subject for a different post. I do have to say that I admire this guys tenacity though. It takes some outside the box thinking to come up with this solution.
USA Today says that this weekend is going to be the last weekend that you might have a shot at getting your mitts on a PS3 or Wii... so get your camping gear out now people.
Basically the low down is that it is suspected that December 17th will be the last Wii/PS3 shipments that retailers will receive before Christmas. So if you don't get your console by this weekend, you are most likely getting a gift card for EB Games instead for Christmas from Mom & Dad.
I say, get you a thermos full of Blue Goose, [that's hpnotiq, grey goose, and pineapple juice... if you are 21 yrs old or better of course]whew! a tent, and some chinese delivery and stake out your local Circuit City or Target this weekend. You're kids will love you more if you do. And you know that you want your kid to not only love you, but think you are cool.
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind that curtain in the operating room? How would you react with a patient’s life in your hands? Trauma Center: Second Opinions for the Nintendo Wii puts a patient on the table and a scalpel in your hand.
I was curious about this title when it came out for the Nintendo DS, but I didn’t play it because I have yet to pick up the system and the game didn’t seem like a system-seller to me. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was wrong. It’s a remake of the DS version but the Wii-mote draws you into the game as opposed to the stylus. I’ve been on it for the past week because it’s addictive and I just can’t get enough of playing doctor.
You’re given a patient with some sort of ailment ranging from throat infections to broken bones. During the course of an operation the Wii-mote acts as your instruments such as a scalpel, a drainage hose, sutures, a precision laser, an ultrasound machine, forceps, and more. Precise incisions, fluid suction, and bandaging determine whether you lose the patient or not. If any of you old-schoolers remember a board game called Operation, this is a more intense version of it. If you react too slow or too sloppy, you risk losing the patient and the operation is terminated.
The game’s use of the Wii-mote is brilliant. The nunchaku is used to navigate and select your instruments, which you’ll utilize via the Wii-mote in different ways. Before the operation, you’re given objectives that you need to complete for a successful surgery. A nurse is provided to guide you through the first few surgeries but after that it’s a memory game. There’s a series of steps that you must perform in a certain order during the operation. Remembering those steps can be complicating and frustrating at times, but to see a healthy patient in recovery makes it worth the hard work. You receive a ranking based on how accurate the operation goes and the amount of time taken to complete it. I’ve found it hard to get anything over C ranking but you’re given the option to replay any scenario for a chance at a higher rank.
Trauma Center: Second Opinion throws in some new and redesigned features. For example, if a patient’s heart rate drops, then you have to break out the defibrillator. To simulate pushing down on the patient’s chest you’ll move your arm towards the screen. Now that’s what I call interaction.
The game boasts a storyline told in traditional Atlus style using images and text dialog. You’re Dr. Derek Stiles a surgeon who finds out he has the Healing Touch inherited through the ancient Greeks. It’s a bit “out there”, but if that’s not enough for you, then let’s add a world-threatening epidemic that’s believed to be the work of bioterrorists. Tell me that doesn’t peak your interest.
I’m giving Trauma Center: Second Opinion a 3 and a half out of 5. It’s loads of fun when you just feel like playing something unconventional and the game provides good exercise for the brain. To release this game as a Nintendo Wii launch title was a brilliant idea. If you find yourself stuck on a particular operation and the nurse is just hassling you, look her square in the eyes and scream, “Dammit! I’m a doctor, not a miracle-worker!”
All of you old school G4 TechTv fans may remember the days when that channel was actually worth watching because you’d learn something new on a daily basis. There were shows that taught you about technology and informed you of new and upcoming games hosted by people WHO ACTUALLY PLAYED THE GAMES and were at least FAMILIAR with what they were reading on the teleprompter. What does this little trip down memory lane mean for you? You guessed it. It's time for another one of Douce's Jewels.
Among the many knowledgeable hosts was one of my favorites, Laura Foy, who co-hosted a show call G4tv.com. They talked about games and technology and gave their input on what was worth your time and what wasn’t. The show was cancelled last year and Laura disappeared from the station. Since then, she has gone on to do other things like hosting an internet radio show and, well, music. You won’t find her being exploited on MTV. I’ve saved that pleasure for this very moment.
With all of the hype over the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii launch, many have forgotten about the initial next-gen console, Xbox 360. Laura Foy has taken it upon herself to remind gamers of which system is the best buy as of right now and what better way is there to draw people together and get a powerful message out to the masses than with the power of song?
I bring to you the latest installment to my internet jewel collection which I’m calling Hey DJ, Bring That Back.
This episode teaches us many things, one of which is the following equation:
But we also learn that the Motorola Razr is a bomb phone saddled with pitiful and schizophrenic ringtones that suck, Pandalicious gives us the low down on the anime series "Death Note" while MagicMysticGrl explores all things "Fate/Stay Night"... including making the suggestion that the series' opening and closing songs by Sachi Tainaka are required listening. [Those songs are: "Disillusion" "Kirameku Namida Wo Hoshi ni" and "Kimi to no Asu"] And not to be out done, NinJaSistah brings it home as usual with her review of "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" for the Nintendo Wii.
This episode is full of so many tangents, double and even triple entendres that we can't keep track of them all for this synopsis. You'll just have to listen to the episode and catch em' all!
If you are looking for some shopping advice on game hardware for the female, or male, gamer on your list then hopefully this article will help you understand it all. The location that is preferred for a game environment is an important choice to be aware of if you are shopping for games and accessories for your gamer. Games come in three basic types which are the PC, Console or Handheld. I'm going to try and give you the keys to the kingdom of the consoles.
First of all "What is a game console?" These are a box like machine that you attach to a TV set. Games are played with a controller that is held in the hands and effects the action on the screen. These have indeed been around since Pong and Pac Man, and if that is where you left the game trail, then you might be glad to know that those old school or retro games are still offered, in game packs and collections. Sometimes they have been updated and upgraded. If you want to pick up something like that for a gift you need to know the brand name and the model of the console or game device that your gamer has. Write it down and take it with you when you go shopping.
Some people opt for playing games on their PC rather than on the television. It seems that older people and women are the dominant demographic that enjoy using the PC for gaming. PC game - play are very popular for playing the massively multiplayer online games or MMOG's. Games such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars are played on a PC with a keyboard and mouse. These games enable the player to interact with thousands of other players. Some of them also include the ability to talk to the other people while you are playing with them. Thought those features have been developing more slowly on PC. If your friend is playing an MMO there aren't many additional accessories for those. If they are a Guild Wars Player they may not have the new chapter called Nightfall which is a great game to add to the original Guild Wars or to buy it as a stand alone game. There are the Limited Edition Keyboards that are available for the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing) games that are good looking and work well which are sold by a company called Zboard. Zboards
Perhaps the best way to determine what console to buy is to go by the age of the person who will be playing it. Right now there are three "next gen" consoles. Last year in November Microsoft upgraded their hardware and it is called the Xbox 360. It has mid - range graphics. There are over 100 games available for it at this time. The games are mainly of the first person shooter type or FPS and sports games. If you have heard of Halo 2 and Gears of War, or Oblivion those are titles for the Xbox 360. These games are for a mature crowd. The action is fast paced and bloody. Often the most popular games for the "360" carry a "T" for Teen or an "M" for Mature rating. Those ESRB ratings mean that Teens of 17 and 18 years old and above are the recommended age limit. These ratings can mean that there could be language or behaviors that some people would consider too crude for younger kids. It is no joke either. If you have a mix of older and younger kids in the house, the choice of games is crucial and requires your attention as much as monitoring what movies on DVD or cable that your younger kids could get into.
With Xbox the online aspect is called Xbox Live. A paid subscription is required for this additional service. With the online feature more games and demos are available to download directly into the console. The console can be bought with one of a few choices of hard drive size for saving downloadable games and other functions. Xbox Live gives players access to playing with many other players at the same time. It isn't 'massively' multiplayer as it is with with PC. Although large groups of strangers can interact with each other in an open ended party - line conversation. There are over 4 million users on Xbox Live. Xbox Live has something of a reputation for "Trash -Talking" which in short, means that a player that is wearing the headphones is opening themselves up to the possibility of hearing unkind and curse word laced tirades about the flaws in their game from other players. There is no one monitoring these conversations and there is no one censoring what the others could be saying. Because of this tendency, I would not recommend the Xbox 360 for little girls or young women under 18.
Costs for the annual subscription is approximately $50 US, its called Xbox Live Gold which includes voice chat, and Xbox Marketplace for gamers to buy and sell content. Sometimes original games, and old school arcade titles are downloadable. Xbox 360 works on HD TVs. They claim to have 250 old Xbox or "original Xbox" games that will play on the new console. Be careful to look up a list online for games that are called "backwards compatible" prior to inserting an old Xbox game into the Xbox 360. The digital media that it plays are DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD.
Microsoft has two variations of Xbox 360 available for sale. One has the Xbox 360 faceplate, and a Silver Xbox Live package, $300 known as a core package, that comes with one wired controller, standard A/V cable, and the console. The Gold package is required to actually play online games. There is a $400 system with a 20 GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Remote Controller, High Definition TV component cables, Xbox 360 headset and a wireless controller.
Next the Playstation 3 was released last week the manufacturer's suggested retail price is between $600 and $700 dollars US. It has been in the news and has gotten some bad press. Most of the incidents involved mismanagement of the long lines of people who were camping out to be able to get the very low quantity of these premium machines that were produced. One Massachusetts man was shot in a hold up of a line of customers waiting outside a store in Putnam Connecticut. The gunmen were attempting a hold up when this man refused to pay them. Because Sony was not able to make enough of these complicated advanced machines to fulfill the demands for them, it created chaos in several ways.
In the past Playstation 2 has been the most popular gaming console in the US with the most millions sold. Perhaps Sony should have waited to launch the sale until they had more of them ready. The PS3 Platform plays a few more accessories peripherals than the 360. It also boasts to be the most graphically advanced system. The new Blu-Ray Disc™ is a type of High Definition disk for playing movies that is supposed to be the future of disk published media. The way that DVD's replaced VHS a few years ago. The PS3 has what is called a SIXAXIS™ wireless controller that interacts with the screen in a close to 3D experience. You can use your Playstation 3 with High-Definition displays as well as conventional or standard TVs. It comes with either a 20GB or 60GB removable hard disk drive (HDD). The thousands of PS One® and PS2 PlayStation®2 games as well as CDs and DVDs are useable on the PLAYSTATION®3. The thing supposedly plays just about everything including some digital photo cards.
The PS3 has online capabilities including multiplayer gaming, text and video messaging, voice chat, downloading content and browsing the web. Even though the PS3 has impressive technical specifications, you may not be able to get one for the December holidays. It could be a moot point until sometime next Spring. There are over inflated PS3 prices on ebay, and buying those is not only exorbitantly expensive, but could be risky as well.
The PLAYSTATION®3 is available in two configurations with either the 20GB hard disk drive or the 60GB HDD. Some PlayStation 2 or PlayStation format software titles may perform differently on the system than they do on the native systems for example the PS3 doesn't support a vibration controller.
Then last Sunday the offering of the first Nintendo Wii consoles' launch was a 1960's "Love In" where the people in lines waiting were exchanging free hugs, ordering lunch for each other and playing games together. Something can be said about the two different types of people that were attending these launch parties. For the most part the Nintendo Wii draws a younger crowd and is most popular with younger kids and people that enjoy Nintendo's cute and quirky games.
There are approximately 50 games for the Wii, and we are told that there will be enough of the consoles to go around. Nintendo and developers seem to be in a rush to create new games for this innovative new product. Nintendo wanted to bring gaming to everyone, and has many titles that are rated for all ages and for kids. They went one more step and made a controller that is supposed to be easier to pick up and play since it is designed to resemble a television remote controller. You play with two hands and the actions resemble the actual movements of slashing a sword or driving. The remote is used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions . The controller set called the "nun-chucks and wii-mote" interact with a sensor strip that you placer near your TV for a realistic complete 3D experience. A one-handed controller that uses a combination of accelerometers and infrared detection in conjunction with the sensor bar to sense its position in 3D space. Some people have found the workout to be a bit strenuous
The Nintendo Wii is not all things to all people the way that the other two consoles are attempting to be an all around media hub that takes the place of all the other components in your home entertainment center. What the Wii does do is add another level of fun and mirthfulness back into games. The unique controller has been a big hit so far and has gotten high marks from every reviewer. It is rare for something so gimmicky and unusual to get such a unanimous welcome from the jaded and snarky gaming community. People that have the 360 are getting the Wii too because it is like the apples and oranges in the PC world yet again.
The Wii is an ideal choice for a household with older and younger kids, seniors, and for the homes that do not have a High Definition TV set. Those aren't interested in the more mature titles, and those chat capabilities that are for adults or older kids can have a fairly safe online experience with the privacy and Friend policies from Nintendo. The console also features its own online service WiiConnect24 , which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet. The Wii console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. The console has a few kid safety features such as parental controls to prohibit younger kids from playing the wrong games. It reads the content rating and won't play games that are not set to the right age level.
The number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout are expected to meet demand and sales of 4 million consoles worldwide by the end of 2006 are anticipated. The company affirmed that they "are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow."
The launch Wii package includes the console, a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a removable stand for the sensor bar, one external main power adapter, AV cables (component video and other type of cables will be available separately), and a copy of Wii Sports in the US and Canada. The Wii console is the smallest home console unit of the three contenders and the least expensive at $250. US. The front of the console features a slot-loading media drive lit up by a by distinct blue light and it accepts both Wii software and discs from Nintendo's prior console, the Game-Cube. They are telling us that it is fully backwards compatible with all the Previous Game Cube games.
Additionally the interface for the console is designed around the concept of television channels, with a Wii Menu. Nintendo will not charge fees for playing games from the service. Channels are graphically displayed, and are navigated using the point of the Wii Remote. They are the Disc Channel, Mii Channel, News Channel, Forecast Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Internet Channel. The Virtual Console Channel is basically an “online service, similar to Xbox Live Arcade. The Nintendo DS will be able to play game demos downloaded from the Wii console which gamers would receive from Nintendo, similar to a DS Download Station. Gamers can download retro games not only for the NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64, but also Sega’s Genesis, NEC’s TurboGrafx-16 and others. The Wii has average graphics and only a 512 MB built-in flash memory, expansion is available via SD card memory, up to 2 GB max. It will take Game-Cube Memory Cards for saving GCN games only.
In addition to the larger game consoles or PC games that you find at home, mobile games have become very popular. The Nintendo DS is a hand held, rechargeable dual screen portable game system. It comes in a variety of colors and it is pocket sized. It is the most popular handheld game console, which easily buried the competition, which were the Sony PSP and the N-Gage. it has continued to hold the record for the most units sold just as the Game Boy has for years. It comes in two sizes. The original unit that made its debut last year, is referred to as the 'NDS' and it can play both the library of Game Boy Advance games as well as games for the DS. The DS Lite is a smaller sleeker version of the same DS machine, but it smaller and does not have the additional slot for the GBA games. You can find several reviews and editorials about the DS right on this website. Nintendo DS and the Wii are expected to have a type of connectivity to use functions like the Nintendo DS's microphone and touch-screen as inputs for Wii games like Pokémon Battle Revolution. It is expected that all of Nintendo's huge repertoire of well known game franchises, such as Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon will come to the Wii in some form.
For very tiny kids and toddlers Leapster has the education interactive toys for under $100 Leapster
For an easy comparison chart you can check out Gamefly. They have a chart showing the three consoles. The Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3. Renting games or giving a Gamefly subscription is a good gift idea.
Finally got my shiny, oh-so-tiny, brand spankin'' new Nintendo Wii in this weekend y'all! First of all I have to say that it's [at least for me] more fun than I thought it would be.
No lie. No exaggeration. I swear to Bob that you would have to be completely against having fun while playing games to hate the Wii.
I know I have been talking about the Wii for months now with gleeful anticipation, and now that I finally have one I can compare my own personal hype to the Wiiality. [I couldn't help myself on the pun, please forgive me.]
The motion sensor is really interesting. I have been playing Wii Sports nearly non-stop since plugging the console into power and it's awfully addictive. I must preface the rest of my review with this statement: learning to accurately use the Wiimote will take time. For me it took a couple of hours to crest the learning curve. Going into the system settings and playing with the sensitivity is a huge help. While many people may think that Wii Sports is an easy or simplistic game, it is and it isn't. Each of the individual game concepts is simple [hit the ball, or hit your opponent] but using the Wiimote to control or function in the game can be complex. The bowling game is more about finesse than speed or strength. I can't tell you how many times I dropped my bowling ball behind me in the game before I got the swing of things. Within the golf game, even more concentration and delicate use of the Wiimote is required to not bogey a hole. I completely suck at golf, but what surprises me is how fun and enjoyable each of these games are.
Playing a game on the Wii is just such a new experience that it's hard to not find some aspect of gameplay that's not just cool. Wiggle the Wiimote while playing the Baseball game, and your bat in the game wiggles in real time. Physically throw and uppercut in the boxing game and your character on screen does the exact same thing. It's neat as hell!
Now, I have several other games that I need to play [which include Red Steel and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess] but I have to say, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Wii. I thought it would be fun, but I didn't expect the system to be as responsive, to honestly grab my attention and hold it from the moment I power it on until I actually have to shut it off.
Now, I have to wait to get my hands on a PS3 in order to share my first hand experiences on it with y'all. Any Wiiople out there that want to share their first impressions on the system, feel free to comment.
For the past week, the ElectricSistaHood website has featured photo galleries of the brave women who have been baring all in order to sell their new PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii videogame consoles. Well, some other websites have gotten into the act as well.
One site has a few photos and another has a video of the things, which is going the rounds on YouTube. But I'm here to tell you now that ElectricSistaHood was the original and is still the best source for nekkid ladies hawking their videogames on the eBay.
To prove that we're still the best, we've added a whopping 108 photos in the PS3 and Wii galleries, which are available by clicking the photos above.
Everyone's talking about the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, but here's a deal that's hard to pass up: a brand new Xbox 360 for only $100.
You'll need fast fingers to take advantage of this deal. Amazon.com is offering 1,000 Xbox 360 Core Systems (which usually retail for $299) for only $100 on Thanksgiving Day. The sale starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (that's 2 p.m. in the Eastern time zone). They probably won't last long.
Amazon.com suggests that you read up on the details of ordering and offers this page with the information. Then at the appointed time, just go to this page to get a fabulous deal on an Xbox 360.
When does the PS3 go on sale for $100? I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
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!
The final two combatants in the console war, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii, have stepped onto the battlefield to stand against the Xbox 360 and all that remains is the verdict on the winner. Right now there are many gamers around the world enjoying their newly acquired systems after waiting in a long line for days, bribery, or paying twice the retail value on an auction site. What about those poor chaps who couldn’t get a system? Who speaks for the little guy that was fifth in line at a store that received four? That would be the Douce.
After getting a tip the night before the Wii release day that the local K-Mart would have about seven systems in stock and ready to sell when they unlock the doors at 7am, I begin the necessary preparations for a 6:30 am stakeout. Fresh cup of coffee…check Something warm to wear…check PSP…check Money in my account…check Bulletproof vest…check
The alarm sounds and off I go. I get there at about 6:30am and to my surprise, there’s only one guy standing at the door and two people sitting in a parked car a few feet away from him. Let’s do the math…seven systems and three people here so far including me (I assumed the two people in the car would be picking up one system). “YES!! Douce is getting a Wii today!” you say? No, Douce is not getting his Wii.
To make a long story short, K-Mart got six system in, two were purchased by employees, the remaining four were reserved and sold to customers who got there before me(the two people in the car each got a system), and I was SOL. Being the loyal ESH fan/writer that I am, even though my heart was heavy over not getting a Wii, I sucked it up and interviewed a couple of others who couldn’t get the system. The general consensus was that the whole system launch situation could’ve been handled better and it’s a shame that nowadays in order to get a gaming system you must camp a store before it opens. I asked about the violence that’s been breaking out around the world over people waiting to get these systems and one guy replied, “Things like that just confirm what people like Jack Thompson are saying about gamers. People have been incited to violence over the HOPE of getting a system and haven’t even put a violent game in yet.”
Another customer said that if the stores would have handled the system launch with a little more organization then things wouldn’t have spiraled into violence. “If I’ve been camped out first in line at Best Buy for a week and then a few hours before they open the doors to let us in to buy the system, some employee with a security guard comes out and tells us that we have to form a line at a different location, I’d be pissed too. Employees have been going in and out of this place for days, looking at me stand in this line, probably laughing at me and NO ONE thought to tell me that I couldn’t stand here. Now I stand the chance of losing my number one spot and not getting a system. I’d probably be upset too.”
Could the system launches have been handled better? Was this year’s launches a sign of things to come? Is this what we, as gamers, have to look forward to every launch year? Is getting a system at release-minute worth a possible stick-up or fight? I’m curious as to what you think could have been done differently. Put in your two cents because change has to be start somewhere.
The Sony and Nintendo fangirls and boys already know which new console is better. So the only question that remains is this: Which group is sexier -- girls selling PlayStation 3's or girls selling Nintendo Wii's?
On Friday we presented a slideshow of females hawking the PlayStation 3 on eBay -- some of them showing a distinct lack of clothing. Well, it seems that the moment people got their hands on the Wii on Sunday morning, girls started stripping for the cameras again in order to gain a little bit of advantage while trying to sell the Wii on eBay.
Here's your chance to compare for yourself. Click the links below to check out each gallery of game-sellin' girls and let us know which camp you think has the sexier girls:
Let's say you've spent 48 hours sitting in a cold, wet tent in order to try to get one of a handful of PlayStation 3 machines at your local Best Buy. Then you're going to spend another 48 hours in the same tent, in front of the same Best Buy to get a Nintendo Wii. Whadda ya wanna do next?
You're going to try to sell the thing! At least, that's what thousands of people are doing right now on auction sites like eBay. What's going to make your identical 60GB PlayStation 3 stand out in such a big crowd?
SEX! That's right. Sex, in case you hadn't got the memo, sells. Of the thousands of PS3 machines on sale right now on eBay, dozens of them feature females of all ages, sizes and shapes. They've got one thing in common -- they're all holding those giant PlayStation 3 boxes.
I'm sure some of them are wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, cousins, aunts or just plain friends, but they've all given it up for the cause: to help some guy collect a couple of grand on a machine they bought for $600 plus tax.
The image you see here is just one of almost two dozen we collected today from eBay. You can see the rest in our special gallery called "Sellin It" by clicking here.
Let's hear it for the girls who gave up their dignity (and their shirts) for commerce.
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.
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 GameStop.com 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.
From the fine folks over at Kotaku comes a YouTube video of the first commercial for the Nintendo Wii.
And guess what? It's for a game that you might have heard about called, Red Steel. Sure, it's really corny, some may say that it's even cheesy, but I think it's funny. So here is the Nintendo Wii Red Steel commercial.
In the run-up to the launch of the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, there's going to be lots of rumors out there. At ElectricSistaHood, we're in as much of a fog as you are, so you can just take or leave these latest bits of information coming at us from all directions. It's all talk, and it's mostly crazy.
Thus Spake Mr. Chuck E. Cheese. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant franchise, doesn't have kind words to say about Sony, according to an interview in Red Herring magazine: "With the PS and PS2 it was timing. They had the right pricing at the right time [and were] almost the accidental winner. It would not surprise me if a year from now they’ll be struggling to sell 1 million units. [Factoring in the PS3’s price], I think in the U.S. the number of early adopters you have is actually around 300,000." Crazy, man!
Need to find out which Target stores near you will have Nintendo Wii's on launch day? Wanna know how many Wii's they will have? Need contact numbers for stores and a map as you travel on your WiiQuest, weary, and befuddled?
In today's news, we look at All Things Wii, with advice on how to get one on launch day, whether you'll need to bolster your health insurance to play the new controller, some Zelda pics, choice quotes from a Nintendo spokeschick and the lengths that a famous TV star will take to get one.
Need a Wii? Here's how to get it: If you missed out on the pre-orders, here are some great tips on how to get a Nintendo Wii on launch day.
Here's Best Buy's launch playbook: Planning on buying a PS3 or Wii from Best Buy? Then you'd better bone up on the company's launch weekend playbook. Kotaku provides all the details. Prefer shopping at Target? Here are their plans.
All about the Wii Startup Disc: Startup disc? That's right. You'll set up your Wii with an included startup disc. What will it do? The folks at Joystiq aren't sure, but there are certainly plenty of opinions.
The answer to the most important question of 2006: Will you get tired using the Wii controller? According to this story from someone who pounded hard at the Legend of Zelda for more than 10 hours, the answer is no.
Spoiling Zelda for you: Can't wait to see just how Zelda is going to look? Here's a site that reveals a bunch of screens from the Wii title.
Nintendo's questions and obfuscations: Game Informer magazine recently interviewed Perrin Kaplan, vice president of marketing and corporate affairs for Nintendo of America, about the Wii. According to Kaplan, several celebrities are already queueing up for the console, including Sean Combs and Uma Thurman. When asked about Nintendo's vantage point in the console war between Sony and Microsoft, Kaplan told Game Informer, "I think it could be the tortoise and the hare."
Will the Wii support custom soundtracks? This screenshot on the Darkzero site certainly suggests it.
Will Cartman get a Wii? The little South Park sparkplug was so anxious to get a Wii that he had himself frozen in last week's episode, with some unfortunate results. The conclusion can be seen this week, Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern time, and repeating at midnight Wednesday, 10 p.m. Thursday, 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday. If you missed last week's episode, you can search for it on YouTube or wait for it to show up on iTunes.
Game maker expects PS3, Wii shortages: The folks at Electronic Arts aren't kidding themselves -- there could be fewer PlayStation 3's and Nintendo Wii's than the manufacturers are admitting. "It's probably going to be just as challenging to find a PlayStation 3 this year as it was to find a XBox 360 last year," said Warren Jenson, electronic Arts' chief financial officer, on a conference call with analysts Thursday. "There are many short term uncertainties. There could easily be hardware delays."
The controller that thought it was a hat: Did you know the Wii-mote controller for the Nintendo Wii started off as something you wore on your head? This and many other facts about the creation of the Wii are featured in this story from the Wall Street Journal. From the article: "The company has sponsored private Wii-playing parties in volunteers' living rooms. At a recent one in the Kansas City suburb of Tonganoxie, Kan., Karlye Weatherford stood and punched the air with her fists, clutching controllers that translated her hand and body movements to the screen. In front of about 50 friends and family members enjoying a catered barbeque lunch, the 29-year-old mother of three knocked out her husband's character after a series of blows. She says she rarely touches the family's Microsoft Xbox 360."
Should "adver-blogs" reveal their company connections?The GameSetWatch website investigates the trend of videogame blog sites that seem to know a little too much inside information about a specific company. Are these sites semi-official company organs? And, if they are, should they have to be labeled as such?
Tired of people complaining about your WoW habit? If so, you need to read this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's an excerpt: "Temple University psychology professor Donald A. Hantula said he believed the medium was not to blame for dysfunctional behavior by its users. 'I know people who spend 40 or 50 hours a week playing golf,' said Hantula, who is executive editor of the Journal of Social Psychology."
Hikaru No Go, Vol. 4 -- The Ghost in the Net: Now that Hikaru is a full-fledged student at Haze Middle School, he's ready to join the Go Club and enter tournaments. Unfortunately, his team is one player short. Can he convince Yuki Mitani, a fellow classmate, to give up scamming players at the Go Salon and join the team? Aww, heck. Why not?
Thanks to one of our FRESHpeeps by the name of Ro, I got this link in my email box this morning and was slightly bummed.
As you may know from many of my posts over the last month, I'm really looking forward to the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. I really do miss my NES and SNES systems, as well as the old Sega Genesis. I used to play Altered Beast literally until my fingertips went numb... and don't even get me started on The Legend of Zelda or Shinobi [which by the way is why I am called NinJaSistah btw] So when I read the line up of VC titles, I was kinda bummed. I've created a table similar to the one posted in the link posted above but made it a bit easier to read. It's a long table, but you need to see it.
Legend of Kage
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Super Mario Bros.
Not Getting It
Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda
Donky Kong Jr.
Donky Kong Jr.
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Super Castlevania IV
Not Getting It
Not Getting It
Street Fighter II
Not Getting It
Donkey Kong Country
Not Getting It
Super Mario World
Not Getting It
Zelda: Link to the Past
Not Getting It
Fire Emblem: Monsho no Nazo
Not Getting It
Super Mario Picross
Not Getting It
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco the Dolphin
Not Getting It
Space Harrier II
Space Harrier II
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog
Toejam and Earl
Toejam and Earl
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Turbo Grafx 16
Not Getting It
Super Star Soldier
Super Star Soldier
New Adventrue Island
Not Getting It
Battle Lode Runner
Not Getting It
Gotta say, I hope this us just a launch list and not a "forever" type list. By that I mean that I hope that this is just a list of what will be available in each country on launch day, with eminent roll out of the missing titles to follow. Not ever getting Gradius, Super Mario Bros., or Super Mario World is just plain unacceptable in my book. Having Space Harrier II does help my soul, but I'm still bumming about this list.
If anyone out there has the scoop, or can clarify this grey area up for us, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise this will be the first dark spot on my painting of a perfect gaming system roll out.
Just like Jared and Subway: During the past three months, a blogger named Greg has been Warbiking to lose weight. Warbiking? That's playing World of Warcraft while pumping away on his stationary bicycle. How much weight did he lose? A whopping 41 pounds -- 15 percent of his body weight. He says, "Warbiking is the best of both worlds. I get to do 2-plus hours of cardio without being aware that I'm really doing it. And as I can only play Warcraft while doing cardio (that's a self imposed rule - no cardio, no Warcraft), it's self regulating -- no way am I going to play for 6 hours or something, my legs wouldn't do it."
How many PS3 consoles will your local Wal-Mart get? Blogger dsthunder writes on digg.com: "simply print out the barcode and take it into your local walmart and ask an associate (in electronics) to scan it with the telzon, they can then tell you how many they will get, how many they have, and how many are in their warehouse."
Amazon.com does an oopsie: Friday's short pre-order session on Amazon.com for the Nintendo Wii was just an accident. That's the word from Amazon.com, at least: "During system maintenance on the morning of Friday, October 27, the Nintendo Wii was briefly made available on our Web site for test purposes only and was not intended to be available for pre-order." The posting continues to say that Amazon.com will honor the pre-orders that were successful -- for only one unit per household. The posting adds: "Once we officially begin to take pre-orders, you can be assured that all customers who have signed up to receive e-mail confirmation of Wii's availability will be notified." I can guarantee you that NinJaSistah is not convinced.
Scientists LOVE video games: "It's like hiring an individual tutor for every student. There's a big argument going on now about whether kids are being tested too much or too little. In a game, you're continuously being tested and you don't mind it." That's no fanboy talking -- it's Federation of American Scientists president Henry Kelly, whose organization is hot about using videogames to teach children. According to Newsweek, a report by the distinguished group calls for a new generation of educational games that are as immersive and graphics-intensive as megabudget titles like Madden NFL 07 and Battlefield 2142.
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Vol. 3: Red Swarm: Takeru is your typical teenage average Joe -- until he meets Hikari, a beautiful girl who fell from the stars. Immediately Takeru's life turns upside down, as strange creatures and dark forces converge on the unlikely pair. But even while adversity brings them closer, Hikari's mysterious past threatens an even greater danger to Takeru and everything he's known. It's a cosmic love affair with Earth hanging in the balance. Dontcha just hate it when that happens.
A lot of gaming news websites and blogs have been going ga-ga over the Wii experience videos that are popping up on the official Nintendo Wii website. And after watching the videos, I found myself asking the question, "Are these people having fun?" Obviously the answer is yes. Do you see how into that bowling game g-pa is over there? Dood, G-Pa's gonna spank your ASS in that game, and from launch day on will only be inviting you over to the house so he can tap dat ass! I digress.
I only pose the question to you because I'm curious as to what you think about the Wii experience videos. Do you really thing the people testing out the games and controllers for the first time are really having fun? Do they look like they are acting? Now, compare those videos to the few video commercials and snippets that you have seen for the PS3. Do the PS3 video at any time convey to you the idea of fun? What about the overall feel, do the videos feel light, or charismatic? Have you seen any people in the videos actually use the system? And what about the XB360 videos. You find any fun ones going around?
Just a question for ya to let pop around in your head. I'm curious as to your takes on the media being created and pushed around by the big three. What gets your attention and what doesn't?
10 winners will have it all! You can become the ultimate fanboy or fangirl by being one of 10 winners in Circuit City's Ultimate Gaming Giveaway. Winner will get a prize package that includes a 60GB PS3, Xbox 360 Pro, Nintendo Wii, a home theater setup, two Xbox games, two PS3 games and a Wii game and wireless controllers for all three consoles -- a package valued at $2299.88. You have only until Nov. 4 to enter and you can enter only once. Go to www.circuitcity.com and follow the prompts. Here are the official rules.
PS3 to have 22 games at debut: The list of games available at the launch of the PS3 (according to NamHuy.org) will be: NBA 07, Resistance: Fall of Man, Genji: Days of the Blade, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, Call of Duty 3, EA Sports Fight Night Round 3, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, F.E.A.R., Full Auto 2: Battlelines, Madden NFL 07, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, NBA 2K7, Need For Speed Carbon, NHL 2K7, Ridge Racer 7, Sonic the Hedgehog, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas, Tony Hawk's Project 8 and Untold Legends Dark Kingdom.
Nintendo to compete in Russia: Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Nintendo's European unit has already appointed an agency to start selling its hardware and software in November, according to a story carried by Reuters.
Anime Tour for the Cure announced: A nonprofit convention to help raise up to $250,000 for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Anime Tour for the Cure has announced tour stops at Seattle, Wash., Jan. 6-7, and in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 13-14. For more information, go to animeff.com.
Guyver, Vol. 1: Days of Future Past: The original Guyver is one of the first big anime series to become a hit in North America, and it helped create anime fandom as we know it today. Now we have a brand new Guyver with all the bells and whistles and mayhem that otaku have come to expect from an A-list title! Featuring electric action sequences, this timeless tale of a boy who discovers an otherworldly suit of armor and becomes caught in the crossfire of an interstellar war comes to life as you've never seen it before. Or maybe you have.
NinJaSistah in the spot to be on a fine, fine, football afternoon to share with you some news about the Wii. [Don't get all in a tizzy, I wrote this originally at 2 in the afternoon... Blogger was havin' issues again so just be glad I finally got this thing posted.]
In between beers [Guinness if you're curious] and football games [can't BELIEVE New Orleans lost to Baltimore, dammit Reggie, you're a receiver, not a QB!] I've spared a few moments to share with you some wonderful news I've heard about the Wii. Well, more directly, the Wii Nunchaku remote.
There seems to be a debate about the Wii Nunchaku [the little analog stick dongle for the Wiimote] having a rumble feature. There was a post on the Gaming Tengoku blog that linked to a quote from the NeoGAF forum about a quote from the British magazine EDGE. The forum post didn't link directly to the EDGE article, but I'll help them confront all the naysayers out there. Nintendo's own website SAYS the Wiimote has a rumble feature. This should not be any big news. It's good to know, since SIXAXIS won't have the feature, and makes me curious if the lack of force feedback will be a big noticable difference or not. Now, from the looks of all the attention that this got on Digg with people calling this wrong, inaccurate, and a rumor, I thought I would run with my very own flaming rumors and unconfirmed speculative thoughts through untraceable links and pure flights of fancy, in order to show people what actual bullshit looks like. Maybe that way, when the real info hits, it won't be mistaken for bullshit. Let's test it.
What is to follow is totally unconfirmed, in all liklyhood never going to happen and as such, should be regarded as incorrect, impossible, or as blatant lies for the sake of entertainment only.
Not to be outdone by Nintendo, Sony has decided to add in the ability for your PSP to operate your PS3 wirelessly, anywhere. Got to pee? No need to stop the gaming fun, bring your PSP along and you can continue playing your game as you "drop the kids off at the pool." Gotta go to work? Again, not an issue as Sony has you covered with their new PLAYONOYALP system, you can continue to play your PS3 games from your cubical computer, LP2 printer, or fax machine! Sony really means it when they say "Play B3yond!" I heard this over at the forums on the d00dI'mJokin.net website
Not to be left behind in the race for next-gen game console dominance, Microsoft and Take 2 Interactive in a joint partnership with Dairy Queen are going to create a new XBlive experience for the Gold level members. The new "Just Dip It!" program, not to be confused with Nike's "Just Do It" campaign, will reward XBLive Gold members that (1) pre-pay for 4 years of the XBLive service and (2) can teabag Jack Thompson in public with free small Blizzards, Single-Dipped cones, or Sundays each Friday during their tenure as an XBLive Gold member. Dive right in to the fun with XB360, Take2 Games, and Dairy Queen, and "Just Dip It!"
You see my friends, THAT is what you can list as being "inaccurate" or "unreliable." Something that is listed on a manufacturers website that you can find by Googling the words "wii controller+rumble" and get in the FIRST FREAKIN RESULT... not bullshit.
You all my now return to your previous gaming playing, anime watchin', and general geekin' out.
Vote early, vote often: November's issue of Playboy magazine features the winners of the 2006 Women of Video Games contest, so it's too late to vote. But you can still catch a glimpse of the contestants here. There's also a link to the Amp'd Mobile sweepstakes to win the ability to play video games in the Playboy mansion's game room with two Playmates.
Vaio Con Dios: Sony laptop owners became the latest victims of the Sony computer battery scandal as the company recalled 90,000 batteries from Vaio laptops sold in Japan and Korea, with news about the recall of U.S. batteries still to be announced. Here's the latest tally, as of Oct. 17:
Nintendo making life easier for programmers: If the early users are right, the Nintendo Wii Remote is a hit. And now Nintendo and AiLive are making it easier for programmers to incorporate the remote in their games. Using a new artificial intelligence product called LiveMove, developers no longer have to hand-code remote movements into their games. Instead, the developers can directly train the remote by example. "LiveMove will allow the game industry to move away from indirect digital control to more natural analog control for the first time," said Dr. Wei Yen, chairman of AiLive.
Anime Network reach grows: If you get your cable TV from RCN, Insight or Cogeco Cable, you're could start getting Anime Network. The company announced the new carriage deals Monday for its popular subscription-based video-on-demand service. "Anime has a very passionate following and is exactly the kind of on demand content we believe will be successful and will attract new viewers," said Melani Griffith, vice president of programming at Insight.
New Manga creates Trekkie Otaku wet dream: It's the Starship Enterprise against Gundam-style mobile suits in "Star Trek: Shinsei Shinsei," the first Manga version of Star Trek officially sanctioned by Paramount. No need to know more about it. Here's how to get it.
According to SiliconEra the upcoming Pokemon Battle Revolution game will be the first Wii game to allow the DS to be used as a controller for the game instead of the Wiimote.
This Poke-game that they speak of is supposedly the first Wii game with online play and is slated to come out around the Japanese Wii launch date in 07. In the article they state that you will select the attack you want your Pokeslave, er, Pokemon to use, and then watch it carry out your orders on your TV. I'm not sure if that's fun or not as the mechanics sound a lot like that NFL Head Coach game that came out this year that NO ONE liked. Maybe it would sound like fun if I liked Poke-games even the least little bit, but I don't. You can sue me if you want, but I just don't find the Poke-games, or Poke-movies the least little bit interesting.
Still, you will be able to use your DS as a controller for the Wii, so maybe we will see some cool implementations by game developers. I think any game where your character gets update or maps via a PDA type device would be best served by allowing your DS to be your PDA where you could make item selections or check messages using the touch screen. That way you would get the sense of being immersed in the game.
In today's issue, influence Microsoft with your smooth prose, discover the similarity between Sony's PS3 wireless controller and Nazi Germany, revisit the Old School and try to decide why today's stuff just isn't as fun as it used to be.
Want to Affect What Happens At Microsoft? Blog About It: Former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble told CIO Insight of the company's unscientific approach to feeling out its customers: "We used blog-search engines to find anyone who wrote the word 'Microsoft' on their blog. Even if they had no readers and were just ranting, 'I hate Microsoft,' I could see that and link to it, or I could participate in their comments, or send them an e-mail saying, 'What's going on?' And that told those people that someone was listening to their rants, that this is a different world than the one in which no one listens. It was an invaluable focus group that Microsoft didn't have to pay for."
The Sixaxis of Evil: During World War II, the troika of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan was called the "Axis Powers." In his 2002 State of the Union address, President G.W. Bush said North Korea, Iran and Iraq "constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world." So it's no wonder that Sony, with all its ultra-intelligent decisions thus far this year, would finally give a name to its new wireless controller for the PlayStation 3: The Sixaxis. The folks at Sony must be hoping it will take over the world.
Old School Will Be Represented Well on the Wii: Several games defunct gamemaker Epyx made for the Commodore 64 will be emulated on the Nintendo Wii, according to Nintendo Power magazine. Initial titles include Impossible Mission, California Games, The Last Ninja, Gottlieb Pinball Classics, Super Fruit Fall, Puzzle Ball, Leaderboard and Tennis Masters.
Star Fox Command Comes to the Nintendo DS: Originally released as an SNES title in 1993, the Star Fox series has gone through several iterations. In a review of the newest version, Slashdot reviewer Zonk says, "[Star Fox] Command offers some simple strategy elements, an innovative control scheme, and the tried and true dogfighting gameplay the series is known for. It also dwells on one of the series' weaknesses, plot, to the detriment of the game."
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.
In today's issue of our daily news report, play a little TotemBall, beat Cartman at a game of WoW, get put on the disabled list by the newest gaming sensation, try to sit through just one more Pokemon movie and buy the second volume of Basilisk.
TotemBall Available Today on Xbox Live: Playing with your Xbox Live Vision camera just got a little physical now that TotemBall is available on Xbox Live Arcade. The gesture-based game uses Xbox Live Vision to control the characters in the game. Help Pterry the Pturtel uncover all the musical totems while grooving to your own totem beat. The game is offered for FREE on Xbox Live Arcade, starting today at 4 a.m. Eastern time, 1 a.m. Pacific time.
South Park Kids Make Love, Not Warcraft: As Douceswild reminded us in yesterday's news, tonight's first episode of the tenth season of South Park will feature the kids playing World of Warcraft. Here's a sneak peek.
Nasty Injur-Wii: Microsoft's U.S. Xbox 360 chief Peter Moore loves the Nintendo Wii and believes dual platform ownership of the two systems could reach 40 percent. However, in a story on the Next Generation website, he warns about the Wii, "The controller is innovative but it remains to be seen how innovative your shoulder will feel after an hour's play." Could the Wii result in rotator cuff injuries, as suffered by major league pitchers? Below is an example of the damage that could be suffered internally by a voracious Wii player:
Seems Like 88: Continuing the long-running series, Pokemon Movie 8: Lucario and The Mystery of Mew has just been released. The DVD package also contains "making-of" footage, an hour-long TV special and a mini-comic book. Buy it here, if you dare.
Unfortunately I'm not making any money yet doing this awesome ESH stuff so I still have to go to the day job and they worked my ass off yesterday... which is killing me because I missed out on the interim Wiiople maker that someone made and premiered over there at Joystiq. The only thing that is missing is the ability to change the skin tone of your Wiiople because as we know, not all Wiiople, er people, are of the caucasian persuasion... ya know? ;)
It's official, Sony is not completely up their own ass.
Looks like new games for the PS3 are going to come out at the $59.99 price point here in the US. [Guess this means EA was right as well, who knew?] Yes, that's a mere $60 bucks for new titles for your shiny black box o' joy people. Everybody say "YAY! It's not $75!"
[This is the part of the post where the Sony fanboys start patting each other on the back]
Just consider this, if Madden 07 costs $59.99 to play on a $299 or $399 XB360, $49.99 to play on the $249 Nintendo Wii, will the better graphics of the $59.99 version of the game on a $599 PS3 be the predominant purchasing choice of the consumer given the economy's present state?
For video game players, the competition among the three game console manufacturers must seem like a Dead or Alive tournament. There's always a winner and a loser, but someone else is always lined up for another bout with the winner.
Few tears were spilled when the No. 4 console maker, Sega, dropped out of the market a few years ago. But can you imagine if, in a year from now, there were only TWO console game makers?
Not only COULD it happen, but we're going to tell you why it WILL happen.
Can Video Games Bring Down a Multinational Corporation?
Sony has a book value of $27 billion. It has nearly $9 billion in cash. Sony's not going anywhere. Or is it?
Sony is looking at a potential for demise it has never faced before. With the failure of its TV and music electronics businesses and its up-and-down movie business, it has relied more and more on the video game business to keep profits up.
But now even its video game business can't save the company. In fact, it's the video game business that could put the whole company right down the toilet.
Here's a story of a company in trouble. Sure, you think you could help it by buying a new PS3 at the end of the year. But purchasing a PS3 this year could be the very thing that pushes Sony over the edge.
The Seeds Are Sown
Sony's troubles didn't just begin this year, but we all started to realize the wheels were falling off the train when Sony started delaying the release of the new PlayStation 3. The first excuse Sony made was that licensing issues were causing the delay from Spring 2006 to November 2006.
Around the same time Sony was putting off the release, analysts released a disturbing story about the disparity in the cost of raw materials for the PS3, compared with the estimated purchase price.
Analysts had predicted the PS3 cost would be in line with the cost of the Microsoft XBox 360 consoles.
In a February story for CNet, it was estimated that the total cost of components for the PS3 would be in the neighborhood of $725 to $905 -- and that was before it was rumored that Sony would have to put PS2 components in the box because the new chip lacked the ability to emulate the earlier PSOne and PS2 games.
The CNet story said, "The materials price estimates do not include marketing, software development, advertising or other costs, which will push Sony's total cost per console even higher."
That there is such a disparity between the price of materials and the suggested retail price for a new console is not unusual because most new consoles are sold as loss-leaders, with the game maker making up the difference with the high margin of profit they get by selling games for the console.
In contrast, the materials cost for the XBox 360 is estimated at only $501, and should continue to drop as the console ages. While Sony pays $200 to $300 for each raw Blu-ray drive, Microsoft pays only $20 for the simpler DVD drives.
The Truth Hits Home
With such estimates for raw materials, video game fans should have known that the new machine would need to cost a lot more. But a huge audience that was prepared to cheer the announced price of the PS3 instead sat in stunned silence when the suggested retail price was announced at the E3 conference: $499 for the basic system and $599 for the premium one.
Of course, the single most costly item in the PS3 is the Blu-ray drive. Analysts originally figured Blu-ray would add at least another $200 or so to the price of the machine, but that figure has gone way up.
First, there's more than just the mechanical equipment to figure in. Sony must also pay for all the codecs that must be licensed.
Second, the slow adoption of high density DVD technology will keep prices high for years.
Finally, all manufacturers of the blue lasers that are required for high density DVDs are having problems getting up to speed in creating the machines. This will result in low yields, further driving up the price of the drives.
Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi was not ambivalent about the pricing of the console -- he kept saying it was a premium machine, sold at a premium price. Want a PS3? Work a little harder!
"Our ideal," Kutaragi said, "is for consumers to think to themselves, 'OK, I'll work more hours and buy it.' We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what."
But the consumer reaction was swift -- and harsh. Even the Official Playstation Magazine had a bold cover headline that asked, "Is It Worth $600?"
In June, a month after Sony announced its price points for the PS3, analysts at Merrill Lynch estimated Sony would lose more than $1 billion in the console's first year of existence. By comparison, Sony lost only $458 million during the first year the PS2 was available. The company followed that with two strong years of profit -- $759 million in Year 2 and $1.3 billion in Year 3.
But Merrill Lynch warned that this generation of consoles was not like the last. Microsoft beat Sony for the next generation consoles by a year and a price reduction for the XBox could result in additional losses for Sony -- $730 million in Year 2 and $457 million in Year 3. That's nearly $2 billion in losses over three years.
The Cost of Doing Business
Of course, analysts questioning Sony's moves is nothing new. More than 10 years ago, just six weeks before Sony introduced the original PlayStation, the head of the project team quit amid rumors of difficulties in getting the console out on time.
Analysts at the time believed Sony could lose as much as $200 million on the project in the first year.
Sony's answer at the time was to require retailers to bundle the packages with one or two games, which still left Sony underwater, but not as much as it would have been.
This, of course, begs the question, "Will Sony pull the same thing this year?" It makes sense, especially considering that Sony will be charging a premium price for its games (above $59 and below $99, according to most sources).
The bad news for Sony this year isn't restricted to video game competition. The company is also liable for a large share in the laptop battery recalls being conducted by Dell and Apple. Nearly 6 million batteries have been recalled in the past two months -- all of them manufactured by Sony.
The battery fiasco alone could cost Sony as much as $500 million.
"The most important thing for Sony is maintaining the No. 1 quality, whatever the category or area," Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc. Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Shikano told MarketWatch this month. "So in that sense, unfortunately, the recent happenings have caused some small damage for the business."
In addition, Sony is far behind its competitors in the fast growing LCD flat-screen TV market and has lost its decades-long edge in portable music devices to Apple Computer's iPod players.
Sony is also likely to face a fight in Europe over its partnership with Betlesmann AG. A European court ruled in July that the European Commission was wrong to approve the venture. The court decision means Sony and Bertelsmann will have to re-apply to win European Commission approval for their venture.
At the movie box office, Sony has had great success with its Spiderman franchise, but must wait until May 2007 for the next installment to arrive. The company's biggest film this year has been Will Farrell's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which has made $145 million thus far, but lags far behind Disney's hit sequel for Pirates of the Caribbean, which has already made more than $1 billion worldwide this summer.
The Market Leader Goes Into the Cellar
Although the PS2 captured more than a 70 percent share of the previous generation of console sales, it is entering the next generation at a distant third, with Microsoft predicted to sell 10 million XBox 360 consoles and Nintendo selling 4 million of its new Wii consoles, while Sony will be able to push out only 2 million consoles to consumers by the end of this year.
That fact alone has analysts betting that Sony will introduce price cuts quickly. But price cuts, in combination with the losses Sony takes on each machine it sells, are a double-edged sword.
"By reducing the price, it appears that Sony may have prolonged its recouping period of initial investments on the PS3 by a few years," John Yang, a Tokyo-based analyst with Standard & Poor's, told the Wall Street Journal today. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Yang estimates the PlayStation 3 will be unprofitable for at least three years.
The Journal story brings up another point that may draw the most fear in the ranks of Sony -- the PlayStation will no longer dominate game developers. When the original PlayStation and PS2 were introduced, Sony had an impressive lineup of developers who made games exclusively for its consoles. That won't be the case with the PS3.
"We don't want the PlayStation 3 to be the overwhelming loser, so we want to support them," Michihiro Sasaki, senior vice president of Square Enix, told the Wall Street Journal. "But we don't want them to be the overwhelming winner either, so we can't support them too much."
So the price cuts have already begun. On Friday Sony announced a price cut for Japanese buyers (about $410 in U.S. dollars for the low-end version), there was no indication that such a price cut would be given to American customers.
In addition to lowering the price of the low-end model, Sony added an HDMI port to the machine, which further increases the price of raw materials. Sony will undoubtedly be losing even more money than ever before.
Do the Math
As a result, Sony is forecasting an $862 million operating loss for the current fiscal year. But that's going to seem like chicken feed, compared to the loss it's liable to see in 2007.
How much will Sony lose in the next 12 months? Let's count it up.
Sony plans on making 6 million PS3 units before April. Let's say that they sell every one of them at full retail price. With what we know about the materials price -- particularly the price of Blu-Ray players -- let's say that they will lose only $300 for every PS3 they sell.
6,000,000 x $300 = $1.8 billion
That's the same amount that analysts figure the PS3 will cost the company over the first three years. Why the disparity?
The analysts are counting on Sony making up the sales of machines with the sales of video games. But it's not going to be as easy for Sony this time. Few game developers are making games exclusively for the PS3.
Also, Sony has already said that games would be at least $10 more than the games for the XBox 360 and at least $20 more than the games for the Nintendo Wii. With everything being the same, would you pay $10 or $20 more for the same game that you could play on your XBox 360 or Wii?
In addition, Sony will be nickle-and-diming you at every opportunity -- particularly with the HDMI cable, which will likely cost between $99 and $129. (That's surely why they added an HDMI port for the low-end PS3. They'll make their money back on the cable for it.)
Surely the discounts will come quickly, but they'll all be a drag on Sony's bottom line. Let's say Sony loses $400 on every box they sell. Here are the numbers:
6,000,000 x $400 = $2.4 billion
That really starts taking a mammoth chunk out of Sony's cash. Add to that the half-billion dollars of free laptop batteries they've got to give out and the losses start approaching $3 billion.
But a company like Sony can afford to lose $4 billion, can't it? Once upon a time, that might have been true, but Sony is a much different company today than it was just a few years ago.
The Japanese people who owned shares in Sony could see the value in building for the future. But, with its purchase of Columbia Studios and Columbia Records, Sony has become much more of a multinational company. Today, for the first time in its history, less than half of the company is owned by Japanese investors. Investors in the West demand more short-term benefits.
Devoting nearly half of its cash reserves to losses in the video game and computing sectors, with no guarantee of future profits for another two years, could send the company's stock into a tailspin, once its investors realize the full measure of the grave situation for the company.
In such a situation, Sony could start selling off large chunks of the company. But even that would come at a large cost. For example, selling off the movie division would result in the loss of the Spiderman franchise for the PlayStation. Without an exclusive there, Microsoft and Nintendo would gain the edge in game sales, since their games cost less than Sony's.
Sony has become a minor player in the music player and TV industries, so they wouldn't be able to make much money off selling their stake in the aging Walkman and Trinitron franchises.
When things are all said and done, the most valuable piece of the pie at Sony is its video game division. They could very well put it up for sale. And who could be the potential buyer?
That's right. I said it. Just think about it.
Who could benefit the most by purchasing Sony's video game division?
You might say there's no way the U.S. government would allow such a thing. Anti-trust, you say.
Just remember who's running the government. A Microsoft takeover would be treated with the same kid gloves that created DaimlerChrysler.
Who knows? This time next year you could be playing games on a PlayStation 360.
Want a PS3? Work a Little Harder!
So you want to save Sony. What can you do?
Well, as Sony's Kutaragi says, you need to work a little harder and make a little more money.
Stop complaining that the PS3 costs $600. It doesn't. In order to cut down on its losses, Sony is liable to do the same thing to consumers that it did 11 years ago at the original Playstation launch -- it'll require that you buy two games in order to get a machine. That'll boost the price for you to around $725 or so.
But there's more! Want an HDMI cable? That'll be another $100 to $125. Now we're at $850 or so. You've got a Blu-ray player, so you'll want a few Blu-ray movies -- Sony titles only, of course. Buy six of them while you're at it! At an average list price of $25 each, we're talking another $150. That pushes our total price to an even $1,000.
*note: if you get the title reference give yourself a pat on the back...you are a kindred spirit.
Amazon.com has put a halt on taking Wii pre-orders...all long before they could send out their "we are now taking pre-orders for the Wii" email. Yeah, I signed up for that email and didn't get messaged...I'm STILL pretty pissed about missing out on getting my pre-order in, but what can you do? They said they were sorry.
Still doesn't get me a Wii on launch day now does it?
Anywho, I know you've been patient, and I applaud you...you made it this far without complaining. Hurray for you! Wthout further adieu, I bring you my top three reasons to buy a Nintendo Wii!
Reason No.3: Virtual Console You want to play Streets of Rage or Mike Tyson Boxing? Well, using the Wii Virtual Console now [well pretty soon] you can! NES, SNES, N64, Genesis, even Turbo Graffix 16 games will be on deck for your game-time enjoyment. Why is this a big deal? Well the NES games will be $5 bucks a piece, SNES games will be $8 a piece, and N64 games should run you about $10 a piece...all to be downloaded to your Wii...at which point you will own them for as long as you like. Altered Beast, Castlevania, Shinobi, Double Dragon, and the original Zelda game all available on the same console as Super Mario Galaxy and Spore. Dig it!
Reason No.2: Red Steel - The Game That Sold Me on the Console During E3 I had my doubts about the Wii like most gamers that is, or was, until I saw the demo for the game Red Steel. As I watched the player title the Wiimote and the player characters hand mimicking the same movement [which resulted in the player character tilting their hand holding a gun to the side a la gang-banger] and I was sold. This implementation of motion sensor will allow me to be more accurate in first person shooter games and actually make them fun for me to play. I could go on and on about how good the game looks, or talk about how the swordplay works with the Wiimote and why that alone should make you want to play this game, but I won't. Go to the GameTrailers Red Steel and watch the videos yourself. Ubi Soft...you rock!
- and finally, to complete my Wii-Fangurl-dom -
Reason No.1: Dude, it's Only $250! Seriously, that's cheap! I won't have to donate plasma, or my precious eggs for other people to make babies with in order to buy it like I probably will for the PS3. [Ok, I'm not going to donate eggs to get money together for the PS3, but I have thought about the plasma donation.] I've seen people talk about how "affordable" the PS3 is and it's just not the case. Their argument is if you make more than 500 bucks a week you should have it made, and this might be the case if you still lived at home with your parents, didn't pay room and board, didn't pay for insurance, and never went out to eat, on dates, or had a car. Sure, if you meet those criteria you have no excuse to not buy a PS3. I live in Virginia. I pay monthly rent on an apartment, I buy food to cook [mostly organic, which ain't cheap], pay for cable and high speed internet, insurance, cell phones, transportation, and actually do go out to do "date like" activities. Scrounging together $250 is a lot easier than $600...which won't even get me a game, or the proper high definition cables to connect my pricey lil PS3 buddy to my TV. While I'm sure the PS3 will be a great little console, it will probably be a bit before I can get my dollahs together to buy one, the right cables, and a game.
Until then, I'll be making Wiiople on my Wii.
Thus ends my Wiijoicing. Catch the repost tomorrow with all 10 reasons listed together. Can't wait that long? Well then, read reasons 10 thru 8 here and reasons 7 thru 4 here.
With no further [than necessary] delay, here are reasons 7 through 4. Enjoy!
Reason No. 7: Zelda Dammit! Haters can go on and hate on me, but Zelda by itself is a good enough reason to pony up $250 bucks. And I'm not just talking that fancy schmancy new Zelda game...[with the Virtual Console] I'm talking about being able to play every Zelda game that dared ever play that oh so familiar tune on one box. Try doing that with the DOA series.
Reason No. 6: It's All About Mii! WIIIIIIOPLE....MOUNT UP! Yeah you heard me, I said make your Wiiople army and plop em on your Wiimote. I don't know how they interact or react yet, but I can't wait to find out. But if you are a naysayer and need some convincing...watch this video Blow a whistle and your army of Wiiople close ranks as you command. Customize, organize, deploy, command, conquer...what more could you want. AND, Wiiople are portable. They travel with you in your Wiimote. [The only wiisponsable place for Wiiople to live]
Reason No. 5: It comes WITH a Game Yeah, in case you didn't get me the first go around, the console ships with Wii Sports. You remember that nifty little demo from E3 with Iwata-San playing tennis with the folks on the stage right? You know, the one where they demoed the backhand swing recognition? Yeah, that one COMES with the system. So you can get your Wiimote swinging around from day one...well, once you get your system that is. [Angrilly waives fist at Amazon yet again.]
Reason No. 4: Component Out! Ok, for most people this would be a negative thing but frankly between the XB360 and PS3 I'm all out of HDMI ports...or at least I will be. The XB360 HD DVD drive uses HDMI and the only PS3 worth buying requires an HDMI cable and port on your TV as well. As wonderful as my TV is it only has two HDMI ports, so the Wii not requiring an HDMI port keeps me from having to switch cable connections on the fly until HDMI bridges become available. Seeing as how the "cheapie off brand" HDMI cables start around $80, I don't want to even start thinking about what a four or five port HDMI system selector will put me back.
Only 3 more to go! Catch reasons 3 through 1 tomorrow with a recap of 10 through 1 to follow a couple of hours later. I'm lazy, so sue me.
What's a gal to do? I was flying back to VA from a family funeral today and got stuck in Detroit, Michigan with little other than my laptop, free toothbrush, and a five dolla voucher for breakfast in the morning. =/
So I started on a top ten list while sitting at the airport waiting for the hotel shuttle to pick me up. I'm not going to give you the whole top ten, just the first few...to wet your appetite. [That and I haven't finished writing the rest of it either.]
First order of business? We need to discuss why you all should be lining up at your local Best Buys or at least making friends with the stock boys over there quickly. Amazon.com has sold out their first batch of pre-orders on the Nintendo Wii...long before they could send out their "we are now taking pre-orders for them" email. [Which I was on and am STILL pissed that I missed out on getting my pre-order in...but what ca you do.] In the mean time, I thought I would share with you my top 10 reasons that you should be getting up off your ass right now and getting excited about system launch on the horizon.
With no further [than necessary at any rate] delay, here are reasons 10 through 8. Enjoy !
Reason No. 10: Group play people! The Nintendo Wii allows for 4 players using the new Wii-mote to play games from day one. No multitap adapter needed here. Get your girls, tell them to bring their boys, and Wii can make some noise. Seriously. I need more people to play against, and I have a huge TV to play em on.
Reason No. 09: It is Backwards Compatible. Now, not a lot of people were GameCube fans, but they should have been. There were a lot of fun games to play or grab your attention for short gaming time periods on the console. [I have always personally felt that the system got a bum wrap as being a system or THE system for kids.] You gots yer ports for your old memory cards [no need to buy transferring software and hardware like some other systems we know] and ports on the back for your old controllers. What more do you need? Oh yeah, you can just put your old lil 8cm disc in the system and run them...no external "special drive" needed to get them up and running. So even if for some un-freaking-forseeable reason you don't like the game that comes bundled with the system [or any of the 30 virtual console games available at launch, or the 20 or so Wii games ready at launch you picky bastid you] you can hearken back to your good old WindWaker days and get busy with it.
Reason No. 8: Dude, it's FREAKIN TINY! Have you seen the size and the WEIGHT of the XB360 or the new PS3? Have you been working out? Cuz you are going to need to get your chunky butt to the gym to be hauling these things around, where the Wii is about the size of 3 DVD cases laying on top of each other on their sides. And it's a fraction of the weight, so all the chubbly wooblies out there will be able to lug it around from place to place without breaking a sweat. Rock on!
Well, it's official: November 19th is "Give us, us Wii" day!
According to the Destructoid website [whom I trust because they are teh b0mb] the Wii drops November 19th for $250. [Well $249, but you know the deal] and will include a Wiimote, nunchaku, batteries, console, and a copy of Wii Sports. Holy crap dood, they are shipping the system with a game...like consoles should be sold. It's funtime playtime right out of the box. Nintendo wanted to make one thing clear with today's announcement: Keep It Simple Stupid.
That doesn't mean that Nintendo is stupid, [they are quite brilliant actually] it just means the realize that keeping things simple often yields better results. Offering One system configuration means no buying confusion on launch day. No one will be standing in front of a sales person asking what the difference is between the core system and the premium one, or how those differences translate for them. Nope, on launch day you just, and knowing now that new first party games are going to be $50 [no more than new GameCube titles today and $10 less than current XB360 titles] If you think about it, that puts the price of the Wii console [by itself] at the predicted sub $200 value.
If you want more details about the customizable avatar stuff, Wii channels, and all that jazz, check out the Destructoid article...just keep a few things in mind while you are doing that:
Nintendo says they will ship 4 million units between launch day and Dec. 31st
the US is getting the bulk of those units
The Wii won't make it's Japanese debut until December, so the bulk of those 4 million units will be directed toward North America
Thumbs up to Nintendo for getting this launch thing right on the first try.