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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Turkey Turkey

In just a few short minutes, The Girl and I will be heading out to the greater downstate region of Illinois for a whirlwind tour. Should you happen to be in Peoria or Decatur, perhaps you'll see one of our many shows.

A lot was going on yesterday, from $100,000 360's crashing to even more rootkit stupidity. After hearing that BatJack lost his temporary Alabama license though, I just stop listening. So it will have to wait until Monday boys and girls, cuz I probably won't be much near a keyboard till then.

So remember not to eat any bird that bites back, cheat with your wishbone and if you're going to drink ... dear golly be responsible and devour tons of food in the process.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jack Thompson Disbarred In Alabama

"Mr. Thompson's actions before this Court suggest that he is unable to conduct himself in a manner befitting practice in this state."
-- Jack Thompson gets the boot

Nuff said.

Course, Thompson is based in Florida.

Course, he's a jerk everywhere. So there's hope.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nielsen's Active Gamer Study

Nielsen will be releasing a couple of gamer related studies shortly, which be sure to have marketing execs everywhere browing for potential buzzes and trends. It basically says that gamers are becoming more of an aspect of culture (as the demographic widens), that mobile devices will be more important ... oh and this tidbit, that about half of the gamers surveyed will be patient in getting to the next generation of consoles:

Interestingly, although there is much hype for the next generation of consoles (the Xbox 360 goes on sale tonight at midnight), many gamers seem to be taking a wait and see approach, said Nielsen. Roughly 50 percent of active gamers stated that they intend to wait for both Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3 to be on the market before they make a purchase decision. That could mean that many active gamers could stick with the current-gen systems until late 2006 or early 2007.
-- Nielsen Studies The "Active Gamer"

It also goes on to say that PS2 users are likely to become PS3 users and Xbox users will probably become 360 users and rarely shall the twain meet. Unless you already own both, and then you apparently will become a gnome. It doesn't mention what happens to GameCube users, so it's likely their fate is too ghastly to detail.

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Competitor to Revolution Controller?

Caught this bit off of

The 3motion controller is a wireless device that can detect hand and arm movements. If a person holds it in their hand they can direct a computer to move animated characters on a computer screen by merely waving.
-- New video game controller launched

Sounds ... familiar. This press release from E3 (scroll down a bit) makes it sound equally so:

3motion is a brand new gesture-based system, which allows users to control and interact with console and mobile video games through simple and intuitive actions. 3motion is wireless, compact and incredibly versatile. The system can be used to control a huge range of game genres, from simple puzzle titles to the latest complex FPS games. Players use 'gestures' to control a game. From casting a spell to controlling a car, airplane or even writing letters in the air, the 3motion system is perfect for the mass-market, allowing novices and non-gamers to pick up and play a game within minutes, as well as giving hardcore gamers an entirely new way to play and interact with their favourite titles.

The home page for the product makes it look very gesture, less ... um .... wand? based. Still, the similarity is there. I still question whether developers for the 360 or PS3 would embrace an alternative control scheme, since they'll be busy spending their benjies on big art budgets as it is. Oddly enough, I think that the Revolution's lesser specs may be one it's bigger strengths. Force developers to utilize the schtick. As the DS has shown, it may be gimmicky .... but that doesn't mean it isn't fun.

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Xbox 360 Launch on Flickr

Actually the third guy to the right is waiting for the next Star Wars flick.

More flickr 360 goodness here and here.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Once Again, Nintendo's Premature Death

Via Kotaku is this small prediction nestled within a somewhat lengthy and almost impressively uninformative Red Herring column:

Nintendo, the distant third runner in the race, is expected to fall even further behind with its Revolution, likely the last new console on the market next year. Critics say the company has missed the target market of the older, hardcore gamer who plays the bloody first-person shooter games, dominant on the PS2 and the Xbox. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata debuted a TV-remote-inspired wireless controller at the Tokyo Game Conference in September, which could cause more confusion with developers instead of boost the company’s market share. “Nintendo’s Revolution will be its last console,” says UBS Investment Research analyst Michael Wallace. “It’s a two-horse race now.”
-- Xbox 360 Starts Console War

And from that, I'd say uninformed as well. Seriously, can we at least wait to get one in our hands before declaring this console the Dreamcast of it's generation. For my money, right now the Revolution is ahead. I don't have a HDTV to justify the 360. The PS3 is a bit of enigma and possibly expensive as hell. If Nintendo launches the Revolution with a single title that I'd think I'd plop on the couch and play with The Girl ... it's sold.

Nintendo is constantly surprising me. I thought the DS would take a serious hit from the PSP, but it stands it's ground. I thought the Micro was a joke, but it's made some serious cash for the old N. I think anyone making such ominous predictions had better be taking notes that quote more than nameless critics and highly debatble points like "confusing developers". Out of the three console makers, they're one of the more innovative and certainly one of the more profitable.

I'd say they aren't going anywhere dire anytime soon.

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Scathing Sony XCP Overview

This Earthweb article, kinda oddly titled "Where was Sony's Privacy Officer?" (Privawho?) doesn't pull any punches ... deservingly so for Sony's rootkit scandal:

I can understand Sony's desire to protect its artists' music from being illegally copied. I even can understand their motivation for exploring DRM technologies like XCP.

But at every turn, the problems that have come to light are so glaring and so obvious that it's impossible to think that a competent pre-launch review of the privacy and security consequences wouldn't have caused them to shelve the idea until the problems were solved.

Instead, what has emerged in these past few weeks is a picture of a major corporation whose executives neither understood, nor cared, what negative impacts their poor decision making would have.

Ouchie. The next section is entitled "Contempt for Customers". I wonder if Sony is even aware how big their image problem is right now. They should be glad they aren't lauching the PS3 this season.

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Next Sakkara Episode

Episode Four of the BBC flash adventure, Death in Sakkara, is now online.

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Text Assault

What a strange aspect of modern society.

Tiffany Robison, Maldonado's former girlfriend, said in an interview broadcast Monday on ABC's ``Good Morning America'' that he sent her a text message shortly before noon reading: ``Today is the day that the world will know my anger.''

She said he also contacted her during the standoff.
--Reports Cite Mall Shooting Suspect's Anger

The man who was just apprehended in Tacoma for taking hostages in a mall was apparently text messaging with his ex-girlfriend. What's the right emoticon for that? As our culture gets more and more information on demand, clearly some of that text will take on a creepy angle.

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Is Mario Kart A Killer App?

Chris Kohler a la Wired has small review of Mario Kart DS which he declares it to be "easily" the handheld's killer app. I've got no evidence to the contrary, of course. In fact, because of Mario Kart, the DS might slip into my Xmas list well ahead of the PSP ... so anecdotally speaking, it seems accurate.

I would hate to see Nintendo botch this one. Like many others, Chris also knocks the buddy list capacity in Mario Kart, saying "I was disappointed in the lack of options once you're connected. For example, if you want to race against a specific group of friends, you'd have to delete everyone else from your list." I am willing to give Nintendo the benefit of an early release, but it's impossible to overemphasize how important a decent buddy system can be.

I once again remind people of PSO's setup. You could go to the lobby, hook up easily with complete strangers and quest with them. It took about 3 seconds to store their card on your list, which when you returned would give you easy information about where they were and what they were doing ... making it that much easier to setup a pick up game again. Good lobby, easily transferred info, easy to manage games. It's just a requirement these days.

Also, I hope Nintendo can be as innovative about their online strategy as they are with their hardware design. Think turn based strategy, think social games, think coop games. If I end up getting the DS, I hope to see Nintendo really take off with it.

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