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November 30, 2005

Embrace the Revolution

Violet grew up playing her big brother's Nintendo. The last game she played was Super Mario Bros 3 in 1990. Now, she's all grown up and a member of the Revolution.

Why are 'traditional' gamers so down on the new gaming audience prepared to take the world by storm? Is it because the Revolution is something different and they fear change? Or is it because the typical male-dominated, testosterone-filled gaming community is about to be home to a whole host of new players?

If the games are focused on being fun, more and more people like Violet will be playing games. If gamers would just get away from their 'boys club' mentality and play some games that aren't focused on sports and/or killing, they may find that there are a whole lot of members of the opposite sex that may enjoy spending some quality gaming time with them.

Embrace the Revolution

UPDATE: There is now a larger version of Violet's picture available.

November 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Nintendo DS!

One year ago today, Nintendo unleashed a bizarre little creation upon an unsuspecting world, the Nintendo DS.

The DS threw convention to the wind on a good number of fronts. It was the first system from Japanese developers to launch outside of Japan. It was the first game console with Wi-Fi, a built-in microphone, a touch screen and two displays.

Many claimed that this was the end of the road for Nintendo in the face of Sony’s looming juggernaut, the PSP; that the DS was nothing but a gimmick and could never be a real game system. Yet over the past year, something happened. Sony’s PSP that was supposed to take handheld gaming out of the ghetto, never picked up steam.

In fact, in the year since the system's launch, the Nintendo DS has been pushing boundaries in all directions. It inspires non-gamers to try something new with games like Brain Training for Adults and Nintendogs. It provides a home to great traditional types of games such as Castlevania and Advance Wars. The DS even forges ahead with a unified online gaming service, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection launching Mario Kart into the stratosphere.

In the face of all the opposition presented by gaming magazines and blogs, somehow the Nintendo DS has come out on top in the first year. Only time will tell what next year will look like, but if current trends and upcoming titles are any indication, the DS is here to stay.

Happy Birthday Nintendo DS!

November 17, 2005

PS3 + Hard Drive + Online = Xbox 360

Recently announced is a telling truth about the PS3’s supposed power.

To date, the most impressive interactive PS3 footage shown is of the infamous Metal Gear Solid 4 teaser, presented at the Tokyo Game Show. While a nice looking game, it most assuredly wasn’t up to snuff compared to the previous pre-rendered PS3 videos shown, yet Playstation fans everywhere are holding on to this one interactive demo as proof that ‘their’ upcoming system of choice will be the most powerful.

Hideo Kojima, the game’s creator, has now gone on record saying that the Xbox 360 is capable of running the PS3's Metal Gear Solid 4 interactive presentation.

That’s right. The best that the PS3 has to offer is available on November 22, 2005 in the form of an Xbox 360.

Sony is running a classic campaign. They aren’t showing their hand with the PS3. Instead, they present a few carefully selected pre-rendered videos and a lot of talk about how powerful the system is. Sony’s hope is that people don’t buy the Xbox 360 and wait a year for the PS3. They know that if they showed off real gameplay footage, people could compare it directly to the Xbox 360 and see that there is little-to-no difference. Instead, they allude to the power and mystery of the system knowing imagination is a force much more powerful than any screen shot. They pulled similar moves with the launch of the PS2.

It is also well known that the first good game for the PS2 didn’t appear until more than a year after the system’s launch. If we use this information to make a prediction about the PS3, especially in light of how difficult programming the Cell processor is reported to be, one comes up with a disturbing prediction:

* You can get an Xbox 360 this year before Christmas that is capable of running the most advanced PS3 technical demonstration shown.

* Next year (probably around this time) the PS3 will be released, without a hard drive and without a unified online service, two huge selling points of the Xbox 360.

* It will cost at least as much as the Xbox 360 does today, if not more, plus the cost of memory cards.

* By the PS3 launch, the Xbox 360 will have had at least one price drop.

A year after the PS3’s launch, it may get its first really good game.

That would be a two year span in which Xbox 360 will be cranking out real next-generation titles. Holdouts will be left with their original PS2 in the interim while the world moves on without them.

November 15, 2005

Free Castlevania Music

Online retailer, eStarland is giving away Castlevania: Curse of Darkness music CDs. These discs contain the best part of the recent Castlevania game, the music. While it has been long known that Castlevania belongs in two dimensions instead of 3, the music of the series continues to excel.

Grab one of these today before they are all gone!

November 08, 2005

iBeat you can see me at night!

I'm a sucker for things that glow. I put EL cable in a Sega Dreamcast and even some LEDs on my ceiling fan. This takes the cake though. Headphones where the cable itself lights up. I don't know if I could walk around in public showing off the fact that I am listening to music by broadcasting it with a big neon sign.