Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sony's image in decline and the PS3 gamble

"What is Sony?" asked Hitoshi Kuriyama, an analyst with Merrill Lynch. "We don't even know anymore. Consumers used to pay more because the brand meant something special."

This is true. I used to think that Sony products were top-of-the-line items. But after disappointments and frustrations with their home audio, car audio, desktop PCs, laptop, video game hardware, DVD/media players, and proprietary formats, it is really difficult to hold Sony in the same regard. Aside from TVs and Camera equipment, Sony products seem to poorly perform and be lower in quality than their competition.

Nowadays, no single brand seems to do it all well. Brands I support include RCA, Samsung, Dell, Sharp, and Clarion. As for gaming, I still think Nintendo makes the quality products and has the best customer service.

[Ken Kutaragi] has also said the PS3 is "not a game machine." Rather, he says, it is a "machine with supercomputer calculation capabilities for home entertainment.

Hence forth, I dub Sony's Next Gen console as the BlurayStation. No longer shall gaming be the primary function of a gaming console! It will be for overpriced-barely-better-than-DVD movies!

For the sake of easy reference, we may shorten the name appropriately to BS3! Those sly pre-rendering pricks! =)

Sorry. I'm just getting annoyed by Sony saying that it isn't a gaming console.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sorry fanboys, but PSM wasn't too happy about the PS3 announcements either

Playstation Magazine, Issue 112, Page 058

Choice quotes:

We wish that we could give this news a silver lining, but honestly...we think it stinks. The only way this price looks good is if you judge it as a Blu-ray player and not a games console.

Sony also "borrowed" the analog triggers from the Xbox 360...the new "PS logo" looks an awful lot like the 360's Guide button. Hmmm...

Okay, so Sony isn't exactly original - [referencing the addition of motion sensing, a guide-like button, same-old controller design, triggers]

...but the titles shown via video almost always looked better than the real-time demos [on the floor]

Page 064

A Sony Launch Without Ridge Racer? Never!

I will remind you that this is coming from a Playstation-exclusive magazine. It's respectable that they didn't pull any punches on Sony's presentation. Honesty goes a long ways.

What the hell is with Ridge Racer anyway? The Japanese must love it...but I don't know anyone who is all about RR, so justifying a seventh sequel seems out of control. Did it sell that well? I stopped liking Gran Turismo long ago, but I can at least understand why some gamers are into it. RR...can't understand at all.

Back to the point: Too much Bluray and not enough gaming.

Aside from a FFXIII quickie...I personally think the PS3 outlook for its first year is grim, just as it was with the PSP. Even the screen shots in this issue of PSM shed a bit more truth as they aren't cleaned up. I think a lot of people who held out for the PS3 are going to be disappointed. It will be like reading the bitching from Xbox 360 early adotpers again, except we can substitute "PS3" for "XBox 360" in those complaints.

I'm still hanging on for that Final Fantasy; it'd better be worth it.

Halo 2 competes with e-harmony...

Halo 2 = LOVE

Wow...the magical power of networking. I'm glad they are happy! Nothing's hotter than getting capped in the head by a woman. Ouch.

My love story isn't so sweet. Jessica got sick of my playing Halo 2 all the time, so she decided to just join in. I think she likes it more than I do at this point. Don't mess with her when she's losing...she gets pissy the RAGE. LOL

She's even more pissy that BlamNinja wore out the analog sticks on her favorite controller. I set her up on the 51" TV instead of the 27" so she'll feel a little bit better.

Getting more frustrated with Sony daily...

What the hell is up with the PSP? What DO you do with this thing? The video playback is abysmal. The media functions are horrible, why would you use this for portable music? A decent sized duo or hard drive costs as much as the PSP itself. Battery life? Pffff...

I thought these complaints were merely fanboy chatter...but they are true...

Constant release lists like these are just aggravating.

Some crappy movie gets released every week. Great. Where are the damn games? And why do they cost as much as a console game? Is there any original good IPs for this thing yet? I have portable emulators now on a big screen. Sweet. But that it? I can do that with my Pocket PC...

So since the Sony Cultists think that the PS3 is some "good deal", what about the PSP? You obviously are going to want one of those, too. You need it for your rearview mirror in some racing game apparently. The PS3 is supposed to make it more useful (but Sony rarely keeps their promises). So now you are at $800 dollars for the combination (need the wireless PS3). What a deal...

For $50 more than a PSP value pack, you could get a Core 360...hmmm...

On to PS2s....another PS2 laser crapped out in the house.

I'm looking at the collection of PS2 crap I have that is absolutely worthless

  • 3 broken slims

  • 2 bad brick lasers

  • 3 unused combo stands

  • 2 worthless 4-player adapters

  • a steering wheel

  • several extra, unused memory cards

  • a couple DVD remotes

  • PS2 mod chip (for homebrew and HDLoader!)

  • 3 unnecessary extra controllers

  • a network adapter

  • a hard drive

Sony, why don't you associate your name with quality again? My noisy DVD player and noisy PSP would appreciate it.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A commenter simply describes the Cell's weakness

While the cores of the 360's cpu can operate independently, the SPU's of the Cell cannot operate with out the core. The Cell CPU is more powerful than the 360's in theory, if you can get a handle on the SPUs. The problem is even if developers get a handle on the Cell it won't make up for the inferior GPU.


I don't agree with the some of the other parts of the comment, but this part nails it. The 360 CPU has 3 independent cores. The Cell has 1 independent core with 6 dependent SPE's (the 7th is reserved for the OS). This is why I refer to SPE's as "dumb processors". Without instruction from the core, they are essentially worthless.

As far as the XBox having the weakest processor, I have to correct that part. The PS2 had a 300mhz processor and the Gamecube had a 485mhz processor. The Xbox had a 733mhz processor. Speed is not everything, but the Xbox's processor was x86 intel-based which was familiar territory to programmers. That alone made it leaps and bounds more powerful than the other two systems; it was less proprietary. The only problem is that since the PS2 was so popular, the stronger consoles received mere ports most of the time. When a developer took time on the Xbox (720p, graphics cleanup, etc.), the difference was obvious, even "next gen" to the PS2 if you will.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

FF8 Completed, again...thinking of RPG stories

I decided against leveling Eden up to 100. Every character and every other Guardian Force was already there. Edit still needed about 35 levels. I figured that I essentially maxed out everything within reason (levels, cards, items). So I breezed through Ultimecia's castle and beat the game. I'll save Omega Weapon for another day.

FF8's story may not be as complex as FF7's, but I found it much more enjoyable. FF8 is more accessible storywise, since there's rarely an occasion where the player is confused. FF7 on the other hand, jumps all over the place (between the life stream, Ancients, Jenova, and Cloud's SOLDIER involvement, the whole ordeal is a lot to keep track of).

Not to say a complex story cannot be implemented well. I think Xenogears was handled very well. Although the game is slow to start, once it hooks in it's great. There is a lot going on in it's story, but the jumps between ideas aren't so drastic. Xenosaga is similar, but the story transitions are a lot less smooth.

Then again, as far as I'm concerned, as long as there isn't a dorky "knight in shining armor" involved in the story, I'm good.

People dig Squall over Cloud anyway. LOL

Friday, May 26, 2006

Kotaku catches me again...

"Don't more people play Halo 2 online in a day than people play anything on PS2s online in a day?"

by SuicideNinja

Personally, I don't really think that line stands out that much. We all know that the PS2 is a joke as far as online gaming goes.

My point is that the Xbox is far from dead if the massive amount of Halo 2 players still playing daily. Sure, some of those are 360 owners, but they are still a minority.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A less-well-put-together video of Sony's emabarrasments

Things to note:
  • "...based on actual historic battles..." then a giant crab shows up

  • idiots in actual Sony ads

  • "real-time weapon change" the weapon disappears and a new one re-appears

  • "no gimmicks" yet showing the PSP as a rearview mirror, eyetoy cardgame, and limited motion-sensing

Here's some silly comments.

I'd like to see useful PSP to PS3 integration (but I'm likely to be disappointed). The rear-view mirror thing is about worthless, but admittedly somewhat of a cool idea. That's one hell of an expensive rear-view mirror though.

Since they didn't provide us with dual HDMI outs, they've got to do something....right?

Monday, May 22, 2006

PSP first full length movie and homebrew

I'm finding this "having to worry about the firmware version" thing extremely annoying so far. Since I don't have any games yet, I tried a few of my room mate's games. All of them require me to update my firmware. I decided against it, so about the only thing left for me to do was to borrow and watch Spiderman 2.

2 hours of blurriness, artifacts, and streaking was annoying. I got used to it after a while, but it's no wonder the UMD format is failing. For the general UMD prices, I'd rather just buy it on DVD. A 4GB storage medium would be nice for converted video, but it's still limiting.

The only thing left was homebrew. That took me a minute to figure out. Apparently, some files need to be exploited, and it results in having duplicate folders. I didn't look too far into it, but I was able to play SNES games. The LCD screen fared much better in that arena. I'll have to mess with it more when time is available (and a bigger DUO!).

I guess I just got so used to appending a header to the homebrew .nds file, putting it on the DS (via CF card in my case), and openining it...that's it. You do have to worry about supported flashcarts and passmes initially. However, once those are in place, you're set. Firmware isn't a problem if you use a passme2 and flashme. I sure took that for granted...

Hopefully this firmware thing can get some universal resolution in the future.

Why HDTV has a slow adoption rate

Good read on the slowness of the HDTV adoption and how it is improving.

HDTV picture quality basics; how to optimize your picture

The difference between HD-DVD and Blu-ray quality and normal DVD isn't huge, especially in light of the rather nice results produced by up-scaling DVD players available today from Oppo, Sony, and others. -IGN

Yesterday, my impatient room mate just went out and bought a HDTV without consulting me first. Thankfully, he got one that had HDMI and component support. He did get an extremely heavy 32" CRT HDTV, but it looks nice. Personally, I would have rather purchased a smaller 24" LCD TV for the price, but that's me. That middle of the road price is always a hard one for anyone who puts thought into their purchases.

Soon afterward, he came upstairs to complain that DVDs looked like crap. He thought it was because he was using burned DVDs. I knew he was wrong, but let him borrow a movie anyway. After another failed attempt, I let him use the Samsung upscaling DVD player I just purchased. It doesn't seem to get rid of the snow when upscaling through component on my TV. I figure I'd let him see if his TV faired better.

It's worth a shot, eh? His TV is newer than mine after all.

Update: Apparently it did work on his television. However, he decided to buy an upscaling DVD player with HDMI support. I think the problem with my television is that it is a projection TV that blows up the image which causes noticeable snow up close. Better cables would probably help, but I'm not that worried about it.

I did find some more hacks for that DVD player and a firmware update that allows Divx playback. Sweet!

Sony is too much scam and not enough BLAM!

Kotaku really laid into the PS3:

Sony LIES video (told you so...)

No HDMI with 1080p...yeah...assuming the security token is never used (yeah right)

Sony's lack of...well...anything promised with the PSP


Next Gen says yay, DFC Intelligence says nay

Be sure to check a few of the comments. Most comments on Kotaku are interesting.

Who needs to bash Sony? They do it to themselves!

Sony = the Microsoft of the gaming world

Sunday, May 21, 2006

HD-DVD attachment not necessary if you have Windows Media Center

One thing that a lot of 360 vs PS3 arguments miss is the fact that the HD-DVD attachment isn't even necessary for those with Windows Media Center.

WMC can stream movies in HD right now. And the 360 can be used to play it on a remote HDTV. Actually, you could even do this with the original Xbox!

I know, giving fuel to the fire is bad, but this is something worthy of being pointed out.

On a side note, I wonder if Windows Media Center can be used to abate HDCP?

And another idea; when a Bluray drive for the PC comes out, could Windows Media Center be used to stream Bluray to a 360?

I know I've been adamant about boycotting Bluray and HD-DVD, but things like this can be used to "stick it to the man". That makes it more fun than practical.

PS: Do you like my extremely shoddy picture? My real paint program is disagreeing with me, so you get MSPAINT at its finest.

Cheap used PSP = perfect

I bought from this seller

Some parts of the PSP weren't even used and still wrapped (charger and strap). The only thing that showed signs of use was the headphones (the cords were a little bit dirty). No dead pixels, perfect screen, no visible scratches. And the value pack was complete! It was the one that didn't come with Spiderman 2, but originally cost $250. I paid less than half of that, shipped!

Unfortunately, it looks like I got a steal because the seller's current offering is higher in price. However, he's reliable if you're looking for a PSP. He says he's got mostly v1.5's at the moment, which is the best for homebrew (in the US).

Friday, May 19, 2006

I'm off to see the Wiz... I'm going home and my PSP is there

The title says it all.

I'm praying that the firmware is older than 2.01.

Edit 06/24/06: It's 1.5!

We don't need no stinking emotion engine

...because these 360 screenies are hot

I don't know what's going to make me more poor; the PS3 or the dozens of games I'm going to have to buy in the next two years.

Sony may get rumble back...but are they too cocky?

Immersion offers rumble back to Sony

I hope Sony takes up on this offer. Rumble is more important that I previously thought, and I really want it to stay.

Sony basically says people will buy no matter what the launch is like

Arrogance at its finest. I mean, I'll buy a PS3, but the price has to come to an acceptable level, or that FFXIII better be the most amazing RPG ever.

Graphically do you feel there's anything you've been unable to do on the 360 that the PS3 might enable you to?

I think we're at the point where technologically ... I have what I call the "mom test." Take a game that's on 360 and on PS3, can your mom tell the difference in graphic quality? If she can't, is there that much of a difference?

Well said, CliffyB. Just don't tell that to Sony. Even your mom knows that the Cell makes the same thing look better, right?

For the record, my mom noticed a difference between Pac-man and Call of Duty 2. She no longer tells me games are for kids. *LOL*

This generation is all about the games, not the abilities. All three companies are going to have some killer offerings.

The "less-talked-about" PS3 battle

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One of the several reasons I hate Sony

"Please insert a Playstation 2 disc"


I get home from work, and I figure it's time to finish off FF8 in the living room. I get the above errors. Now if this was the first time this has happened to me with a PS2, that would be one thing. If I played burned games (which I don't), then that would also be expected. Neither is the case.

We've had several PS2's in this househould, ranging from bricks to slims. Every single one of them has had a problem of some kind. All of them involved some sort of disc reading problem.

*sigh* I don't have any more brick PS2 parts either. I've only got broken slims left. Guess I'll have to get in gear and fix one of the slims.

Either that or spend $30-$60 on a new brick laser...

The attack of the PS3 pricing

ABI research says the pricing may hurt Sony

The Brittish get screwed even more ($800)


Sony should A: drop the shit, and B: stop lying through their teeth. I like the games, but their false claims and arrogance really get annoying.

Sorry, SCEE, but the, "..but it plays Bluray," response isn't going to make anyone get excited to pay so much for a gaming console. And stop saying that it's not a gaming console. The only reason we want it is BECAUSE it's a gaming console. Same with the PSP. Appropriate multimedia functions are good, but going over the top at our expense just won't do!

Damn them and their FFXIII-having-asses.

Good Wii, 360, and PS3 reads/views this morning

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogger Categories: the quick and dirty method

Apologies, but I'm not going to explain this in too much detail. If you know basic html, then this should be enough information.

To relate this to gaming, I'll say that categories are very important! Some people only want read articles about a particular console. Needless to say, I wanted this feature on this blog.

Blogger is popular, but doesn't currently support categories. There are several methods available to do this. I deem them all "more difficult than necessary". Blogger will shape up eventually, but if you can't wait for categories, do this:

Go to your blog's site. Put the terms you want into the blogger search bar and click "search this blog". Copy the resulting link and put it into your sidebar. You can even do this with an advanced search if you want.

For an example, if you wanted a "PS3" category, search for PS3. Copy the resulting link and put it in your sidebar.

Why did people make this so difficult, I wonder?

Where Microsoft really sucks

Two words:

Internet Explorer.

I just noticed how badly IE renders this blog template. Firefox has been my browser for well over a year now, and I love it. Unfortunately, IE is the standard although it is far from being standards compliant.

Bill Gates should insist that the crew responsible for IE hang out with the Xbox guys. Then we might get a good browser out of Microsoft.

Finally "perfected" the events in Burnout Revenge

I forgot to mention that I was finally able to get through all of the Burnout Revenge events with Gold Medals and perfect scores. "True Elite" achievement for me.

A few of those burning laps and road rages were pretty damn hard (shudders at the thought of driving that Logitech F1 car again). I congratulate anyone that has accomplished this, as it is certainly a feat.

If the Halo playing slows back down around here, I can get back to playing Burnout online again.

I knew that Killzone 2 trailer was TOO good...

History repeats itself with Killzone fakery

Axis animation: the creators of the Killzone 2 demo

Check the first link to get a video with comparisons.

Not that Killzone was a good game to begin with. Far from a "Halo-killer". But the k2 demo that Sony showed at E305 (check the first link, second half) was simply amazing. The hype that it was realtime and actual gameplay drove believers and nonbelievers nuts.'s settled. However, did anyone actually believe that teaser was gameplay, or did they just WANT to believe it was? What's funny, is it reminds me of comparing the Call of Duty 2 commercial to the Call of Duty gameplay.

Oh well. Aliens vs Predator 2 is still better than both. =)

Hold the phone! GOOD PS3 news!

Ninja PS3...

Hey, quiet is good. Apparently, the 360 is so loud you can't hear yourself think. Actually, it puts out about the same amount of noise as your standard air-cooled computer. However, quieter is good for those who don't like to use stereos or often play at low volumes. Good job Sony; I think it's safe to assume this is true.

A hard drive? To help with loading times? NO WAY!

It will be nice to use a Playstation that takes advantage of the hard drive like the original Xbox did. HDAdvance worked well, but it was a pain to use without a modchip. For those who don't know, HDAdvance/HDLoader is software you can use to play PS2 games directly off of a hard drive.

No PS3 pre-order problems!

I'm glad they learned. The only problem is that ebay scalpers still exist. It's going to be a cut-throat holiday this year.

Sony scamming 101

Sony presents: Bluray on a DVD-R!

There is some fake accusations on the above article. The author really should have taken a picture with both laptops exposing the disc inside. However, it wouldn't suprise me if Sony was "showing off" Bluray when they don't even have a disc. They forgot to mention the special glasses you needed to play the PS3 in 4D!

Sony "won't be able to meet bluray demand..."

Riiiight...because everyone is going to jump on the opportunity to spend $1000 on a player that will have a limited selection of titles this year.


Nice try on adding value. How about apologizing to all the $499 PS3 owners that their 1080p Bluray 4D experience isn't going to happen?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

vs Console prices (with inflation for the last 30 years)

There have been some super expensive consoles!

All of the high-priced consoles over this time have essentially been failures. However, many of the cheapies didn't do that well either: N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, and the Jaguar. This isn't enough to say indefinitely that high-price always fails or that middle-price always wins.

Personally, I think it is going to come down to how much fun the Wii actually is and how much people are willing to pay to game.

Sony is romantic?

Japanese are still obsessed with the PS3

I mean, Sony *is* pretty romantic about it. They say all the shit you want to hear. And, for a while, it really did look like Sony would be making the future (ala Blade Runner) possible. Emotions this, Matrix that, open network, unregulated, limitless possibilties .. a new future ... HA! -cello

I found this funny at first, but it's actually true. Sony hooked us with the Playstation, even though it was a lesser performer of the generation. They brought us the idea of "possibilities" which were, for the most part, fulfilled with the PSX. When it was time for the PS2, they gave us hope to a brighter gaming future. They promised a ridiculous amount of features, and a powerhouse of graphical capabilities that would leave us in awe for the years to come. Even when that didn't happen, we still wanted to we did. I'd call that very romantic.

And maybe that's what we want. If there's too much honesty...will that keep us with high hopes for the future? Even through huge disappointments? When we invest all our hopes and expectations in a there no turning back?

It's hard to say. Maybe we are at a point in gaming when the disappointments are starting to outweigh the hopes and dreams. Maybe that is why the industry is declining.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Today's good reads

Major Nelson notices that Sony didn't mention multiplayer in their free online service coverage (updated)


There are some very good comments to Major's post:

Here is what you take from pre-launch information:



What I ask Sony is "Prove it." Sony has always had a hard time proving E3 showings. -WormFOODX

I don't think their online service will be integrated into the platform like Live is to the 360. If it is, it could be useless unless developers work together to make a standard way to switch between games and kinda fill in the middle piece that Live does so nicely.-Spin

That's nice of them to include "account management" in the free service. I'd hate to have to pay for account management. -Mike Kelehan

Edit 05/16/06: Major has since been corrected by a reader. Free matchmaking is mentioned about 17 minutes into the GDC keynote.

Sony's pricing is negative to even non-gamers

Since Sony's E3 announcement, I've had several people ask me what I think about Sony's PS3 pricing. That might sound normal, but there was two problems. The first problem is the disheartening tone of the question. Is anybody content with the high pricing? The second problem is that even people that are not gamers have asked me this.

A few co-workers (who are substantially older than me) have brought it up and even my father. Now I'm not saying that older people do not game. What I do know is that some of these people game very little (if at all). My dad hasn't touched a video game in twenty years. Yet, even he thinks that the pastime has exceeded acceptable spending.

All of these people that have talked to me about this are parents. If the parent's aren't willing to take a dive, then that could reinforce the chatter of "Sony being in trouble this generation".

PS3 Grill?

George Foreman would be proud.

Sometimes, you just have to love people. Especially the ones that are willing to obtain a domain, throw together some pictures, and create a website just in order to make fun of a product.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Ninja Gaiden 2

This guy rocks.

That's a game I'm absolutely dying for....probably more than Halo 3, Final Fantasy XIII, and Splinter Cell: DA combined....

I already guarantee it will play better than God of War 2.

Awesome anti-Sony-pricing shirt


Microsoft and Nintendo should mass-produce these as free swag.

I like the "Play beyond your wallet" quote as well.

I'd make "Ban HD-DVD and Bluray" shirts myself.

Good Comments on the link:

You never know... they may have announced this trumped up price just to make people think it's a bargain when the REAL price is announced just before launch.

Y'know... like how, any day now, Nintendo is going to reveal their next console's REAL name.


Sony have forgotten what the PLAYstation brand is all about and are trying to rescue their other divisions (entertainment, AV manufacturing) on the back of the overwhelming succsess of the PS2.


The worst part of Sony charging $499 and $599 for their console is that if Sony is ultimately sucessfuly in meeting their quota then we can expect future next generation game consoles to be a minimum of $499 since people will already be use to paying that much for it.


Backwards compatibility? Some games rely on the rumble function, which the PS3 lacks.


Personally, I'm an all-console kind of guy. I like to have all the consoles out so I can pick up any game that I might see. However, for $599, I think I'll pass. I've actually come to hope Sony fails at launching the PS3 all-together and that they lose tons of money.

-Ethan Thomas

I earn $40k a year, but I can't afford a PS3. It would be an abolutely stupid investment of my money when I have much better places to put it. I'm not going to spend $200 more on a console with a marginally higher personal value to me. Especially when there is a console about $400 cheaper. Just because you have enough money to buy something on a whim doesn't mean you can afford it.

-Paul P.

There are plenty more good comments, but that should get you started. I'll list mine as well:

"OK um... "399 Yes" but "499 No"? That's only a 100 difference; you are paying for a level of backwards compatibility that Xbox 360 lacks. "

Actually, since Sony is doing backwards compatibility through emulation this time instead of hardware (just like Microsoft), I wouldn't be counting on 100% backwards compatibility. Emulating any of the disc-media consoles is difficult.

$100 is better spent elsewhere in my opinion. That's $30 short of a Nintendo DS. That's two games for about any console. Three DS games. 5 "player's choice", "Greatest Hits", or "Platinum hits" for the various consoles. That's a dozen XBLA games. The Premium PS3 costs a PSP more than the Xbox 360's Premium. And in excess of a Nintendo Wii more than the 360 Core!

That should put the price difference in better perspective.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

PSP is on its way

PSP is on its way

It happened. I ordered my very own PSP. I found a good deal on a used value pack for under $150 which seemed reasonable. They finally got some games that I wanted to play (Megaman, Splinter Cell, Lemmings, etc.), so I figured it was time.

I have a feeling that it won't be leaving the house much though. I'd be too worried about dropping it and cracking the screen. There's way too many of those on ebay.

I just know I'm going to want a TV adapter. I want to play games on the big screen.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

PS3: Resistance: Fall of Man, and FPS without rumble...

=\ Video is here.

This was the FPS PS3 game I was waiting to see. The screen shots looked really good.

Unfortunately, after watching the Gears of War trailer, I can't say I'm impressed by this game. It looks like Call of Duty 2, and it lacks the "destroyed human race" environmental feel. However, the graphics and lighting do look really good.

While perusing comments on the blog sites, I came across someone who was asking if the lack of the rumble feature affected game play.

At first, I thought that sucks, but we can live. Then I remembered a recent experience:

Since the 360 and it's wireless controller has totally spoiled me, I wanted to get wireless PS2 and Gamecube controllers as well. I bought a wireless PS2 controller that held the batteries in the grips. After playing a couple of games, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. The controller I was holding felt so...empty. Then I figured it out; the controller had no rumble feature because of the battery location. It was actually weird not to get feedback from the controller...I've had it in every controller for the last several years. It was too bad, because the PS2 controller I bought had a much better placement of L1 and R2 (they were inward for comfort). I quickly replaced the controller with a wireless one that had rumble. Much better.

Reading the comments today got me thinking about how I use the rumble feature. In most cases, the rumble feature alerts me that I'm being attacked faster than surround sound does. Surround sound tells me where, and rumble tells me when. This could be a hinderance for FPS games. Then again, the mouse & keyboard guys don't get rumble. But they've never adjusted to having it either. We have for the last few consoles.

I recommend that PS2 owners grab an OLD PS1 controller without rumble and try playing some of your favorite games for an hour or so. See if it matters to you.

Edit 05/15/06: Added reference links below

Joystiq hates Resistance: Fall of Man

Joystiq asks if minus-rumble=bad

Game developers don't know about PS3 not having rumble...

Gears of War looks sweet

Gameplay footage here.

It reminds me of Resident Evil 4, except not so damn slow (I know it was for effect). However, the one cool thing about RE4 was the lack of a reticule. That changed the feel of the game completely over a standard 3rd person shooter.

However, GOW seems to pick up the pace, so maybe a reticule is required. RE4 gave you plenty of time to aim at things; with GOW it looks like you will need to use the environment and make quick decisions.

And those graphics are just astounding. Can't wait to play it, "CliffyB".

Ken Kutaragi's awesomely inane comments

...on the PS3

An attempt at saying Sony isn't full of it is shot down

Maybe the Xbox fanbase is comprised of all the gamers that got burned by the PS2's poor hardware offering. The Xbox did manage to do just about everything Sony promised with the PS2 but didn't deliver. Maybe those still hooked on Playstation are too scared to make the jump so they come up with poor excuses (as I did before).

Well, the PS2's hyped capability charade continued into the PSP and will live on into the PS3. At least Nintendo and Microsoft stay mostly honest about their consoles.

And the "underwhelming" statement becomes clear

Today's E3 information naturally arose some household chatter among room mates when I got home today. Everyone was flabberghasted at the price of the PS3.

One room mate wanted to start saving. I proceeded to explain the differences in the different PS3 models. From there, I showed him the trailers for the exclusive 360 games to come about, and I showed him part of Nintendo's videos from earlier today. After some discussion and more information, he's decided that he'd rather have a Nintendo Wii this year, and just wait for something good to come about the PS3 first. He also seems to think that "Dead Rising" is reason enough to own a 360. I think that's a bit premature, since we haven't played the game yet.

One room mate didn't believe Sony would charge that much. Even after I showed him that Sony presented the prices officially at E3. Straight from the horses mouth. He also seemed to think that having the same old PS2 controller was a good thing. Reminded me of my former self insisting that the dualshock was the best. This also led into him trying to tell me that the original Xbox didn't support HD. He was corrected immediately, and reminded him that the PS2 had little to NO HD support. After some fruitless back and forth talk, we ended up in agreement that it would be great if Nintendo could take the crown back. I love the 360 and all, but what Nintendo is doing with the Wii just looks like so much fun. "Like what gaming used to be," is what he said.

There was more to the conversations, but I want to stress what I learned. Room mate number 2 is not so much a gamer as he is a "regular consumer". After I pointed out why the Xbox versions looked so much better, I came to realize why he argued in the first place. First, he hasn't played the Xbox more than a handful of times. Second, he didn't experience the XBox in HD (and didn't even know it supported it).

This makes me wonder about all the "Xbox 1.5" comments. The only reason I could see coming about that notion is if the person in question played the 360 on an old television (non-flat, composite connection, low sharpness). I started on a 27" flat screen with a component connection and I noticed a difference. When I got my 51" HDTV, that changed the look of everything (albeit some games more than others). Fight Night looked good on my old TV, but looked amazing on my HDTV. Tiger Woods 2006 and Need for Speed were like that as well. However, a game like DOA4 doesn't seem that much different because of the graphical style. Not using an HDTV is like playing a PC game in 640 x 480 as opposed to 1024 x 768. That is noticeable to everyone.

I guess the two "power consoles" should be considered as REQUIRING an HDTV. Otherwise, you may not be that impressed with what you play. This leaves me thinking that the Wii will be more accepted than any of us think. Even without HD, a lot of games they montaged looked pretty good, and the demonstrations left us wanting to try out that new control scheme. Nintendo totally hooked me.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo's E3 Press Conferences


Thank you 1up for the Nintendo keynote video feed. It was interesting. Nintendo = Fun. It always has, and always will.

The tennis demo was sweet. I don't even like tennis. But that looked like a lot of fun (if it actually works that well). The exercise alone could help millions world wide! LOL

I'm even more excited about the Wii after seeing that demonstration. Thinking about it, the graphics won't really matter if you are too busy moving around. I can actually see this getting more people into gaming. Personally, I think it is more important that we get more out of our gaming physically than standing up and yelling expletives. Naturally, not all games will be like this (full arm motion), which is good. We will need breaks. =)

Metroid Prime 3 Wii controlls hands-on

I don't care how lazy you are. That sounds fun.

Interjection! Damn that DS Lite is sexy...can't wait to get one. Moving on...


As for Microsoft's keynote, I was interested in the Live Anywhere idea. And of course the Halo 3 trailer. Vista is interesting to me, but not for gaming purposes. New Windows versions affect my job. Other than L.A., I wasn't really surprised by any of the information presented.

Unlike many others I see online, the HD-DVD attachment isn't really that interesting to me. The PS2 taught me to NEVER use your console to watch movies. The playback was shoddy, and burned media would cause the lasers to die really fast. Besides that, I've said a million times that HD-DVD and Bluray are a scam. Boycott them both.

And Peter...that GTA tatoo is ridiculous...


Sony dropped the bomb with two different PS3 models with the "cheapie?!" at $499 and the "ouch!" at $599.

I'm learning more and more about the not-so-cheapie version of the PS3. You lose a few important things:

  • You lose 40GB (20GB base vs. 60GB)

  • You lose the HDMI output (cannot be added on externally later)

  • You lose MemoryStick / SD / CompactFlash slots

  • You lose 802.11 b/g wireless

Looks like we also lose the rumble functions in the controllers as well (with both versions). And we are stuck with the dated shape (analog and D-PAD are still in the same place). For anyone that hasn't been keeping up, the dual HDMI outs and built in switch (3 ethernet ports) have been nixed as well. The 7 device (controllers/peripherals) bluetooth support seems to still be there though. Phew.

The old new controllers get a crappy "motion" sensor in them, too. Of course, it will be nothing like the Wii remote's abilities. It screams, "AFTERTHOUGHT!" I still can't get past that this will be the 3rd generation for that controller. I'm sorry, but the analog triggers out-do the double shoulder buttons by a long shot. And the analog stick placement sucks.

At this rate...maybe I won't get a PS3 next year. I may have to wait until 2008. Justifying that kind of money for two unproven technologies (Bluray, Cell) and a potential format failure (Bluray) is just a bad idea. But if the right games come at the right time...I won't be able to wait.

This isn't going to go over well after the hardcore swallow up the initial shipments. Will middle-class parents buy their kids a $600 console? Will the parents that game think it's worth the money?

There's a difference between "being able to afford" and "squandering money". The PS3 seems to be the latter at the moment. $600 is a 60k tuneup for your car. $600 is a month's rent. $600 is a unlimited use PC. $600 is 100 shares of Toshiba stock (the last time I checked anyway). $600 can also net you BOTH of the competition's consoles.

Is the PS3 good enough to replace all of the above? We'll have to see it's real performance when it's in our living rooms.

I hope the Anonymous Sony Fanboys learned their lesson

Remember flaming me for saying $500 for the PS3? Looks like I was right. Except, that was the CHEAP ONE. The analysts were actually right for once (they suggested around $500-$600).

What is upsetting is that now the Sony fanboys cultists are acting like they all make 7 figures. The 360 and the Wii are for poor people according to them (check Microdot's comments for an example). Talk about a pathetic attempt to save face. Well, I guess being debt-ridden makes some people happy?

More importantly, if the cheap one is HDMI-less, then this hurts HDCP and Bluray as well. If movie studios get far enough to start imposing the HDCP requirement (they won't initially to try and hook consumers), then kiss your 720p, 1080i, and 1080p resolutions goodbye for Bluray movies. If memory serves correctly, they reduce the resolution to 540p if you aren't using an HDCP compliant connection (which is pretty much an HDMI connection).

But since I was convinced about the price before these announcements, let's talk about the controller. WTF. The same old, crappy dualshock design...without vibration? Good god. At least Microsoft made the 360 controller more ergonomic. At least Nintendo did more than just typical motion sensing. They strip out the vibration, add a shoddy motion sensor and bluetooh, and call it a day. Yay for bluetooth, boo for everything else.

Unfortunately, there's only one HDMI port for the premium (none for the cheapie). So much for dual screen gaming. Honestly, I didn't think they would keep it though. Developers wouldn't have supported it. But that sure would have been sweet, minus the having-to-buy-two-HDTVs part.

Sony has officially lost all but one cool point with me. The last one is just for Final Fantasy exclusivity which Square suggests isn't there. I can only hope that FFXIII takes a while to come out. I'll buy a premium for $400, but that's all they are getting from me (unless of course, SE shapes up and makes FF multiconsole).

Here's the thing, too. The Wiimote can sense it's position in a 3D space. The Dual Shake only senses tilt on a 2D plane (pitch, roll, yaw).

HDMI is important to those who want to take full advantage of Blu-ray high def and have the new screens to use it

Gimped $500 PS3

"Anything over $399 would be suicide."

I say they choke on frisbees.

Monday, May 08, 2006

8-bit ninja


Understand that I love SEGA, probably more than a healthy person should.

I can't say I love Sega all that much any more, but if they could have hung out, I bet I would have enjoyed the Dreamcast more than the PS2. Most Dreamcast owners were very disappointed that Sega had to drop out (and not just because they spent money on their last console).

And here is a good one:

You may notice my lack of excitement for the PS3. Well, I’ve learned not to get to excited about Sony when it comes to trade shows, at least not when they’re talking about upcoming hardware. I’m sure there will be some real-time offerings this year, but I’ll wait and see. For me, this year is all about the Wii.

Exactly. Well said.

So Bluray doesn't support embedded DVD???? article on HD-DVD add-on

HD DVD also offers new "twin discs" that have an HD DVD version and a DVD version on the same disc.

Blu-ray's option is to require consumers to buy two discs at full price, an HD version and the standard DVD version separately.

Now hold on. I was under the impression that Bluray could do this as well. If not, then I think this will be 10x more significant than the PS3 having Bluray. Why? Not every movie consumer is a gamer. If a movie-buyer can just pop the disc in either an HD-DVD drive or a DVD drive without worry about whether it will play or not...that says a lot. However, I swear I read an article that says Bluray has this capability as well. Here's one, but it is OLD. Here's a slightly newer one. However, I'm under the impression that even after 2 years, there is STILL no given plans to commercialize the hybrid disc. Hmmmm...still...

Oh, and for the Bluray fanboys, HD-DVD does support 1080p. Right now HD-DVD is at 45GB and Bluray is at 50GB. Sure, they made a 200GB Bluray disc (that there is no player for), but by the time that comes to fruition and is realistic for retail, this format war should be a thing of the past.

The Xbox 360 doesn't have native support for 1080p, but if all the PS3 does is upscale it from 720p, then I wouldn't wet yourself because unless it's natively 1080p, your games won't see much improvement visually. And movies don't count for that statement (upscaling is more than acceptable for movies).

As far as taking sides, CNET says to wait on both formats.

Me? I still say both are a scam.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Kotaku "features" my comment on Cheating in School with the DS

Link here

I feel special. Thanks, Kotaku!

DRM says no to non-DVI/HDMI equipped TVs

Upscaling DVD player that works through component...with a hack

Yes, I know that is an old link. However, this is an example of why many HDTV owners will be pissed when Bluray/HD-DVD doesn't work with their HD unit: HDMI required.

I've been looking for my own upscaling DVD player for a cleaner picture. I'd like to give SqueakyNinja her DVD player back anyway. However, I am one of the lucky HDTV owners that doesn't have a DVI or HDMI input. So all of the new DVD upscalers won't display anything higher than 480p. Hollywood had kittens when they found that *gasp* a DVD is easier to copy over component. Um, who the hell would copy a DVD manually? Weirdos...

Anyway, this forces me to find an older DVD upscaler that will display on my HDTV (which is only 3 months old mind you). Thankfully, I was able to find one in the above article. Hopefully it wasn't refurbished to disable the HDCP control feature.

The movie industry is dumb. More people would buy movies if they were cheaper ($20+ is too high, I don't care if it's HD). Some people won't buy movies ever, no matter how cheap they are. Hollywood is just going to have to live with that.

Here's another point to bring up. If people are downloading movies, which generally have less than DVD quality, what makes them think that HD discs are going to be important to consumers? I predict they will cause even more bootlegging and illegal downloading by trying to force overpriced DRM-soaked products on us.

Hmmm. Food for thought.

Here's a list of players that seem to be able to upscale through component (may need a hack/special code):

Will Sony's rookit affect the PS3's success?

Consumers are naive, so I'll have to say no.
DRM officially sucks...think Bluray

I love how there's some commenters that "don't care". They should care. Apparently, they do not understand the severity of the rootkit. If your home was your computer, then Sony has just cut hidden access tunnels into your home...or even better...peep holes into your bathroom. Are you okay with that? If exposing your computer to "worms and viruses" isn't a big deal, then you probably should stop using the internet and sharing the infections caused by your naivite.

I like the latter part of the post when the "immunity of Sony is brought to the picture. Sony does use some open source, but we saw what they did to the non-free PS2 Linux (and for those who may do quick research, BLACK RHINO doesn't run without the original PS2 Linux kit...unless you have a modchip and a hacked version). In any case, PS2 Linux is a lot of work...for nothing.


Click "No" and you get a rootkit anyway

Microsoft helps with the rookit fiasco?

This goes along with my "Sony TVs = good, Sony Anything Else = crap" motto

MS sucks...someone should have told him not to buy a Sony laptop...IBMs and Dells work great!

This last one brings back a bad memory. I was helping a director that needed to move to Windows 2000 from XP home (can't remember why; company standards maybe?). The machine was made none other than Sony. I installed Windows 2000, but it refused to run properly. We called Sony. Guess what they said? "You can only install a different version of Windows if WE provide it; you can't use your own." What the hell. Shortly thereafter, we bought a non-Sony laptop (Dell) and Windows 2000 installed just fine.

Am I picking on Sony? Yes. People don't realize that Sony is not as synonymous with quality as they used to be. Personally, I'm getting sick of it. That's why I'm very untrusting of anything I find or read about the PS3. Especially after the PS2...well...I don't need to go there again.

Everyone already has their reasons to hate Microsoft because of Windows. Most of which has to do with "security and bugs" even though there is plenty of those problems in the other operating systems. You just don't hear about them. But I figure that listing a bunch of anti-Microsoft links would be redundant for everyone.

As for Nintendo...I can't really think of anything bad per se. Just mistakes on their part. I guess this guy has some good points.

2nd time Sony's console is without an identity?

Wii is "New" Gen, not "Next"...

Self quote:
Actually, I was thinking about this the other day.

Even though I think Wii is probably one of the worst names Nintendo could have picked, I came to realize that Sony doesn't do any better.

PS2? PS3? At least all the other consoles got names. I mean, it would be awkward to call the PS3 the Playstation Nuclear 4D or whatever they would call it, but at least it would have an identity.

Not that Xbox 360 is the best name either, but it can be referred to as just "360" which ends up working out.

To reflect back, the Gamecube was the first Nintendo console that I consider to have a "name". Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 really aren't names. All of Sega's consoles had names: Master System, Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast.

As far as the 360 goes, I guess it could be arguable. "360" doesn't really represent a spec number or console count like N64, PS2, and PS3. The idea was it is an immersive experience for the user. Microsoft specifically says it represents the player at the center of the circle if you want the "official" explanation. But didn't that make sense without reading about it?

Of course, PS2 and PS3 don't need to be explained the expense of a cop out. I think going PS4, PS5, and beyond will get old after awhile.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Commentor Ethan Thomas brings some good ideas to the table<

#149 for comments

Now, to the topic at hand. The thing I love best about people who slam Microsoft is that they use the same excuses to do so everytime. This is a topic about Xbox Live, yet somehow the fact that MS lost $4 billion on Xbox 1 comes into that But okay.

For the sake of the blind sheep that follow Sony and Nintendo everywhere they go, here's a little history lesson. Sony bought the PS2 into the game with one thought on their mind, and one thought only: Shut out all competition and just take over. The game plan: Make the PS2 a game player/DVD player at a very good time to do so in order to snatch up consumers from Nintendo and Sega. As the situation played out, Sega folds early with the Dreamcast and Nintendo appears doomed.

Then competition reappears in the form of what? The Xbox. Hate Microsoft, hate Bill Gates, say the Xbox was just a low end PC. It doesn't matter people. If you're a Nintendo fan, as I am myself somewhat, you owe MS for jumping in and competing with Sony.

That said, lets look a little further into the future. MS comes out with Xbox Live. This is innovative. Why? At the time Xbox Live came out, MS was well aware that they were getting smashed by Sony. The installed fanbase was huge and Sony's brainwashed fanboys were running as rampant as flies throughout the world bad-mouthing the new Xbox. Did MS throw in the towel? NO. Did they create a shabby online service that was just enough to be called a fad and die? NO. MS dumped millions into creating an immersive, deep, and satisfying online experience for its consumers. To anyone who says Live isn't innovative, I ask you this: Have you played Sony's online service? It's abysmal.

Good points Ethan. I've never thought of it that way. If MS never came into the picture, then Sony would leave no competition. That would be bad. Sony's proprietary disease would consume all. I hate to say it, but you are right. Nintendo isn't the company to take on Sony overall. The DS may be spanking the PSP in Japan, but that's not enough.

Moving on, I cannot believe the number of PC gamer posts on this article. I hate to break it to these people, but PC gaming isn't mainstream. Sure, the PC helped bring many ideas to the table, but it wasn't able to propel them into the mainstream.

Sure, you can play multiplayer games online with the PC. You can talk in forums and do video chat. However, these features are rarely made easy for the general consumer which takes them away from becoming mainstream. It also costs a hell of a lot more with a PC. Consoles alleviate these problems, taking the complications of conflicting programs and over-priced hardware out of the picture.

An important part is how "regular" PCs are becoming at work. I'm sure there are a lot of people that come home, and sure as hell don't want to sit at a computer anymore; they just spend 8 hours at one. Consoles solve that problem. They turn it on, sit back in a couch or lazy chair with a controller and play. It gives separation to a "work feel" and a "home feel". At least, that's how it is for me. I hate sitting upright in a chair with hands on a keyboard and mouse. And then worrying about optimizing settings just so I can play a game. Screw that.

Another commentor mentioned that the question is unfair. It really is. We don't have the Wii remote yet. But besides that, XBox live and the RevWii Remote are completely different aspects of gaming. And the question is being asked to an MS representative. This question should be re-asked to a third part rep.

Here's one last good one:

167. We have two variables, X, and Y. X is a known quantity. Y is an unknown quantity. Which is larger? Posted at 3:03PM on May 4th 2006 by Jonn

Wii Remote vs Xbox Live?

Which is more innovative?
Before even finishing the article, I thought Wii remote hands down. Like many of the commentors, I made the mistake of saying to myself that online gaming started with PCs. However, I think that XBL had a more positive impact on online gaming than Gamespy or the like. Definitely more impact than Sony or Sega's offerings.

Halo 2's matchmaking is definitely innovative. It did away with the "find a server with an opening but then get kicked out because the host changed his/her mind" way to find a match. It sets it up for you, and matches you up with players around your skill level. Other games do this via "Quick Match" but it's never as versatile.

Anyway, my comment to this article already has my elaboration on this:

I was completely supporting the Wii controller until that lastquestion, Mr. Cole.

"Which of the two provides gamers with the most value?"

That reminded me of why I stopped playing the PS2. Replay value. Most PS2 games don't have any. I think of how many times I've played Halo 2, Zuma, Burnout Revenge (360), and Ninja Gaiden compared to any PS2 title I've owned. I've put more hours into these games just because multiplayer, gaining Achievements, or challenging the worldwide High Score brings me back. I put more time into games such as DOA4 just so I can survive longer online (still not good enough yet ;).

I love my Gamecube, but online play would make it worth more. It was disappointing that they only had 3 (?) games that supported online play with a $50 adapter. MP2 or Mario Kart online would have been awesome. Well, I think Mario Kart is supported, but it's not worth the $50 to see if anyone else happened to buy the adapter.

I think that Xbox Live's innovation will prove itself after we get the Wii and the PS3 online. I still expect XBL to be the best experience between the Next Gens. Just because PC games have had online play, doesn't mean it was good online play. XBL is refined, and if they can spread Halo 2 style matchmaking we'll be better off.

I'm still dying to add Nintendo's latest offering to my game room (METROID PRIME 3! AHH!!), but I have a feeling that the 360 will still provide me more hours of entertainment than the Wii or the PS3 combined. Because of Xbox live.

Sony ruins a game again...

I was excited when I read about Lemmings being released for the PSP. This was an excellent game, although not quite timeless. Reminds me of the old days of allowing a few lemmings to scatter around, and then making them all blow up. Fun stuff.

If you've never heard of Lemmings before, you control a band of dozens and dozens of little green-haired creatures. The object is to get them from point A to point B without letting too many of them die in the process. You grant lemmings special attributes such as stair-building, parachuting, or digging, and uses those skills to get them through the puzzlish levels. It's a lot of fun.

Anyway, I come to find that Sony owns Psygnosis. That means no DS version. I can't possibly imagine this gaming being as intense with PSP controls (that analog stick SUCKS). If we are lucky, some homebrewer will release a similar game for the DS with appropriate touch-screen controls.

When I get my own PSP, I'll pick up Lemmings anyway, but it is a huge disappointment that a game that's just screaming to be on the DS, won't be.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Interesting place to find a Final Fantasy history lesson...


All the information is accurate as my memory serves. I never really played Final Fantasy on the NES or SNES, so I'm not sure about those parts. But I did play Dragon Warrior 1, 3, and 4 (couldn't find DW2 at the time) on the NES (cast HURT MOST lol). I was more of a Genesis fan than a SNES fan, so Phantasy Star 3 & 4 had my attention at the time (didn't get 2 until a couple of years ago).

I started my FF'ing with FF7. I think a lot of other people did as well. I liked it because the characters seemed a bit more human for the most part and the story was complicated. I actually preferred FF8 more because it seemed more personal and the characters felt even more human. FFX and FFX2 were like that as well, even if the latter was plagued with a Charlie's Angels theme. This is probably why I preferred the Phantasy Star series back in the day. FF9 didn't do this, and I hated it. Beat that game and gave it away; don't miss it. As previously mentioned, I'm running through FF8 at the moment.

Is Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles any good? I guess I'll buy it one of these days.

I played Phantasy Star Online for the GCN, and it was mostly disappointing (too repetitive). Hopefully the next installment will be better. I'm sad it isn't going to be on the Xbox though....and instead it goes to the PS2 =\.

Actually, I think Square did the best job with Xenogears as far as storyline goes. The graphics weren't top of the line, but they supported the story very well. It's unfortunate that the series went to Namco instead. However, Xenosaga was still one of my favorite RPGs of all time. It's unfortunate that the developers made the sequel unbearable to play. Hopefully XS3 will solve that problem.

Lots of RPGS, so little time...

As Fuijin would say, "DISTURBING."

PR residents can't receive a prepaid return box for their Xbox

That sucks, but it makes sense. If they use UPS or FedEx, it could cause some problems with the shipping to PR. When I worked for a music gear retailer, we had all kinds of things to worry about when shipping to PR or the Virgin Islands. I won't go into it.

Microsoft should figure something out about that one.

Microsoft to get into adding unnecessary features as well?

Talk about my worst nightmare. Microsoft should leave the worthless add-ons to the PS3. What happened to just gaming? Is Nintendo the only one that "gets it"? I like the Media Center functionality (if I ever wanted to use it), but I don't want these features that will be subpar on a gaming console invading my game space.

Sony has already proved that the all-in-one-media-device idea just doesn't work. The PSX (PS2 with media functions) wasn't well received. The PSP would have probably worked better if they concentrated more on games and less on the fluff features.

Great comments

Dev says PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of "The Darkness" are indistinguishable

There's a lot of good comments on this article that are worth reading.

Joystiq poll: How would you like to see the market share end up?

NIN 53% MS 27% SONY 15% INDIF %5

At the time of this posting, it would seem that Nintendo has a major lead in this unofficial poll. Funny, I thought the PS3 supporters would have taken it over. However, the PS3 is getting the least votes so far. This doesn't mean anything, but it is surprising. I'm sure it will change by the time they close the polls.

Realistically, an indifference of %100 would probably be the best. Then again, I still want to stand behind Nintendo and Microsoft.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Final Fantasy: Advent Children

I finally watched this last night (and unfortunately, on a 17" dim monitor). Most of the time, All I could say is "wow".

Although not as clean as "Spirits Within", this time around they managed to get the hair better. And they still managed to keep it within the realm of Final Fantasy VII.

There are a lot of "woah!" and "holy shit!" moments in the movie. Most of it seems to be one long action scene. Too much actually...the viewer doesn't get much for breaks. Times the Matrix movies by 3 or so and you'll get an idea of how the fight scenes in this movie go.

As for seems almost non-existent. It works for those who remember the game's story (luckily for me, a room mate played it recently). However, it's never really made clear exactly what is going on. But you get an idea, which I guess in this case is good enough.

As a result, all I could think is, "So when are they going to make a Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) style game out of this movie?" Sure, I'll play "Dirge of Cerberus", but this movie made me extremely disinterested in gunplay (we save that for Halo...or DMC if you are into that). And please...nobody bring up Ergheiz.

Anyway, all the FF7 playable characters make appearances, albeit only briefly. I was hoping for an actual movie, like "Spirits Within", but FF:AC is definitely not that. They could have allowed for more story development and cut down on some of the action (or a lot of it). When all of the original characters just show up out of seemingly nowhere, it's just too rushed.

However, if you are a huge fan of FF7, you may not be disappointed. Just think of the movie as a long tech demo. I can say that this movie has some of the best actions scenes I've ever seen, even if it is purely CG.

And you thought my responses were long...

Engadget on $399 PS3 per PSM

More rage from both sides. It's funny how all the info that is released to the public gets jumbled up in consumers/fanboys/bloggers minds alike.

Whatever happened to referencing this article?

I had forgotten about this article. But this was one of the reasons that I say the Cell architecture just doesn't seem suited for gaming...but in other applications, it could do wonderous things. Although Sony is providing developers with better tools this time around, it is still apparent that the 360 is a bit more developer-friendly.

Damn Bluray

Another article I found interesting. Everyone seems to be banking on Bluray. On a side note, they did hit their goal of a 8-layer 200GB disc (that won't work in any player yet). Great for backup, but for movies and does us no good. What we should be talking about is that 750GB drive from Seagate. That's some serious media storage.

Commentor asks, "Why was I waiting for the PS3?"

14. Buy an xbox 360 and realize that the ps3 is not worth worrying about.

I used to be what you would call a Sony fanboy. I got hyped by Killzone, Killing Day, and a flash of next-gen Tekken. I downloaded every 2005 E3 trailer i could find. I even watched Kevin Pereira, with much difficulty, on G4 to get half assed ps3 leftovers. I later posted my ps3 "knowledge" on every joystiq post i could find regarding the system and sent in a ridiculous amount of sony articles just so i could prove to the holy kutaragi that i was a loyal follower. I even purchased a lot of Sony stock around December of last year not realizing it would drop like a brick after a lame keynote at CES.

Then I waited. February came, there was supposed to be a small gathering at a pub in england for ps3 developers. I expected to hear amazing things and of course i got nothing. March arrived and on the 15th we were given a late night press conference by Ken himself. He dropped bomb after bomb of amazing ps3 details: 60 GB required hard drive, full backwards compatibility, a November launch date, and the wii killer: the ability to play in 4D. I was ready to buy a ps3 on the spot and looked forward to pre-ordering one the next day. First thing that morning, i call ebgames, they have no idea what im talking about when i ask to pre-order a ps3. They say they have no sku and tell me to check back in april. Part of me is frustrated, but i carry on with my life and await the next announcement. April arrives, I'm forced to excite myself on rumors such as a leaked ps3 price and some supposed real-time footage of new games. A bunch of heartbreaking Untold Legends screenshots got mixed in the fray and really got me thinking. Is the ps3 worth the wait? Why do i want to buy this system so badly? Why do i hate and make fun of xbox 360 owners?

It finally came to me that the ps3 was a mirage. I thought i knew the power of the system and what it could do for me, but the reality was that I haven't seen as much as a flash of realtime game play from a non dev kit. For all i know the system doesn't even exist. No one has even caught a pic of that thing actually connected to a tv.

I gave up, got on with my life, and ended up at costco one day staring at a pallet of 360s. I said f' it and bought one. I took it home, plugged it in, played some project gotham, fooled around with the marketplace and xbox live arcade, added a few "friends", and most of all, relaxed. The 360 is just so well crafted with the dashboard interaction and online capabilities that the ps3 can't possibly give me something i don't already have. And Elder Scrolls, damn that game is a system seller, its addicting as hell.

My story may sound lame, but I know there's at least a few of you out there that have been waiting on pins and needles for a ps3 and are sacrificing an awesome experience on the 360 as a result. Give it a try, you've got nothing to loose except 400+ dollars. Actually thats a lot of money, but trust me its worth getting.

Posted at 1:54AM on May 2nd 2006 by bv 5 stars


Well said, bv.

What I would like to add, is how Sony-cultists Sony-fanboys post up some screen shots they found for the PS3 and it is the most amazing thing they've ever seen. Yet, 360 owners go home every night, and play games that already look that good (or better, depending on point-in-development of the PS3 screenshot).

No matter what I've-never-played-an-Xbox-or-360-but-I-will-still-rag-on-it-Sony-fanboy says, the 360 is actually a well-crafted product and is a great entertainment device. Sony may blow our minds with the PS3 this fall, but after the PS2 letdown, I can't really say I'm counting on them for anything.

However, Sony may undeservingly "pwn" this year, but I'm still rooting for the Revolution Wii.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More HD-DVD and Bluray = bad

The consumer gets screwed (this may be silly, but it is true)
F@#$% Bluray (and HD-DVD)...the list of the bad! (mostly correct)

It just doesn't make sense to support either format. I guess we'll see what happens.

Knocking the PS3 down a few notches?

Yes, I know it's from a "rival" blog.
However, this is what I was alluding to about the PS3 and it's power. We already know Sony is full of crap most of the time, but this is just a humbling example.

Note that the link is very technical. What Crimson Angelus did was try to dumb down the explanation using over-simplified math. Sony is claiming ridiculous amounts of power that IBM didn't even attain using ALL of the SPEs in the Cell. As a reminder, the PS3 will keep one SPE for the OS, and it will keep another SPE on semi-standby to be stolen by the OS (even if being used by a game). That leaves developers with 1 core and 5 SPEs they can count on being available at all times. If the SPE=half-core/subcore were used for an example, then a layman could say the Cell is left with 3.5 cores (although not technically accurate).

Here are PS3 fanboys making the assumption that an SPE being exclusively for the OS won't affect gaming. They must not know that the single core of the cell has to give the non-core SPE instructions on what to do (SPE's are "dumb" in a sense); they are not stand alone. However, that doesn't mean that SPE's are worthless; they can still be delegated separate tasks.

For comparison, here's some 360 CPU info.

This makes the Xbox 360 CPU a six-thread per clock cycle system, or one which acts like six conventional processors.

For the Cell, if I remember correctly, each SPE can do one thread (as instructed by the core). With two SPE's subtracted from the equation, we end up looking at similar simultaneous thread counts.

The Cell architecture is great, but don't let Sony fool you into another "Emotion Engine" line of statements. Thankfully, I believe in the near future Sony will have to actually put up or shut up (with games). Their claims of nuclear power have been debunked, but that doesn't mean we still won't see some great things out of the PS3.