Japan goes Wii

A recent poll from the magazine Famitsu showed staggering changes in how the Japanese view the final contenders in the new generation of consoles. Basically, 23% of their readers thought the PS3 would win the day, while 70% were certain the Wii would "win" (a vaguely defined term if ever there was one).

To better understand that this is more than your average poll, understand that Famitsu is the behemoth of gaming magazines in Japan. Japan is a nation without video game rentals as they are actually outlawed. As such, the gamers of Japan look to magazines to tell them which games are and aren't worth buying. Put two and two together, and you begin to realize that this is akin to the authority National Geographic has on geography.

This same poll also places 88.6% of Famitsu's readers in the category "Thinks PS3 price is too expensive".

There have been other polls which have different things to say about the state of the gaming populace in Japan. However, the level of dedication to gaming in these polls is not reflective of the fervent interest Famitsu readers have. They are the "hardcore" gamers in Japan, which makes the Famitsu poll so disturbing if you're sitting in the Sony camp.

A fundamental piece of knowledge concerning the goals of the three major companies has been their target audiences. Nintendo was going for the casual and not-a-gamer crowds, while Microsoft and Sony duked it out over the hardcore gamers. This was never questioned or refuted, because it is largely true. The only additional information to add is that neither Sony nor Microsoft would begrudge casual gamers buying their systems, and Microsoft is taking some small steps towards courting that crowd as well.

As such, it is shocking that the Famitsu readers are favoring the Wii by such a large margin. They are the "hardcore" that Sony was counting on to carry them this new generation. Yet, 70% of them think that the Wii will win, and nearly 90% are agast at the PS3's price.

Conclude from that what you wiill.


There's been a lot of experience with travesty these past few weeks. Nothing serious really, but I've encountered various levels of it. A series of events have transpired such that I wonder how many sane people are left in the world, and whether I'll be able to find one of the opposite gender suitable for courtship before my mortal coil is sprung.

Anyway, onto the travesties.

1) The Draenei as the new Alliance race in the World of WarCraft expansion:

This is the smallest of the travesties, and in and of itself isn't bad. I'm looking forwards to running around doing the Tunak Tunak Tan dance, which this race features. However, the travesty was the brutal surgery the history of Azeroth went through to make this possible. Surgery is a nice way of saying that they literally had to rip the whole thing to pieces and sew it back together to work.

The idea as it was presented was that the Draenei were a race who were quite naturally talented with magic. The evil Sargeras offered them power for their allegience, which some of them took greedily while the others fled. These others were chased by their corrupted brethern, who became the Eredar demons of Sargeras' Burning Legion army, and were aided by the Light to evade their pursuers. They eventually settled on Draenor, where after a few millenia of peaceful living were utterly crushed by the Orcs, who were now pawns of the Burning legion. The chaotic, demonic bloodlust of the orcs corrupted many Draenei, mutating their form into the strange and twisted figures seen in WarCraft 3. Most of them look more like the Eredar. These ones crash landed their nethership which they used to escape the orcs after some Blood Elves sabotaged it.

That's jolly good, until several points were sent straight into the heart of this. 1) Sargeras was purportedly disturbed by the existence of demons, including the Eredar, which is partly why he went mad in the first place. 2) Spaceship?

I realize not every game developer can be Bungie and have a supremely anal attitude towards lore, but Blizzard already completely ignored the previously important gender roles of the Night Elves when they made World of WarCraft. It's a travesty what they keep doing to the lore.

2) Halo 2 for PC becomes a Vista exclusive:

If you don't know what Halo 2 is, you don't play video games. If you don't know what Vista is, it's the next version of Windows that Microsoft will find some way of forcing you to upgrade to.

This didn't really bother me until I found more intelligent people than I making the following points.

A) For the cost of upgrading to Vista you can buy an original Xbox and Halo 2 or an Xbox 360 and Halo 3 (when it comes out), depending on what version of Vista you're upgrading to.

B) If Vista was really all that great, it would sell itself and wouldn't need to lean on Bungie for a reason to buy it.

In the end, why does it take so long to port a game to PC when it's been shown time and time again that the Xbox is little more than a PC-in-a-box? Not only that, it's being forced onto an OS no one even has yet.


3) Gunbound:

You may not know of Gunbound, but you may have played many games like it. Worms and Scorched Earth are games which function on similar principles. You have some tank or other object which is horribly beweaponed and lobs shots around an arena at other tanks or objects. Gunbound doesn't deviate here.

One of the unique features of Gunbound was that you had an Avatar. It wasn't just a tank, you had a little person riding it. That person could be decked out in many different outfits, and depending on the server you played on these trappings had bonuses they would grant you. Outfits could be purchased with gold or cash, gold being earned through fighting and cash being legal tender. It was very novel, incredibly cool and overall fun.

After many years of not having access to the game, I finally installed it on Raijin and took it for a spin. The game's as good as ever in the gameplay department, with even a few new tanks since I last played. However, somewhere between then and now travesty struck.

When outfits were purchased before, they were permanent. Your account would be able to sport them unto eternity. Now, the same is true, except the prices are 10x higher to do that. If those Matrix Glasses cost 9000 gold before, they're 60000 gold now for a permanent buy.

Fear not! You can still rent them for a week for 9000 gold... or a month for 18000! It... it just really sucks. There isn't a better way of putting it. Luckily, any items you had before this was done are permanent, so that 27000 Archangel outfit was a real steal. Seriously, imagine if you were paying $2800 to rent that used car for a week. Ugh.

The depths of this travesty know no bounds.

4) PS3 Price:

You knew it had to be here, but the price of this sucker is quite insane. We've been up and down this issue before, but we're likely to see this keep coming up. Sony's PR has done a bang up job of keeping the public grumbling at them over this. I wonder if they're not trying to replicate all the buzz Nintendo got for changing their consoles' name from Revolution to Wii. The difference there is, a Wii by any other name sells just as cheap. Also, the name becomes catchy after a while. The price of the PS3 doesn't grow on you. The more I think about spending $600 for a console, not counting games and extra controllers, the more I grimace. It took a week for Sony apologists to stop sulking in corners and come out to try and defend their beloved PS3. It took 2 minutes to blow their arguments out of the water, 1:52 of which was laughing at the absurdity of their statements.

We've heard the "It's a cheap Blu-Ray" player argument. We've heard the "It's cheap for the power it has" argument. And we've heard straight from Sony the "You'll buy it anyway even without games" argument. These arguments have already been thoroughly rebutted. Honestly, the PS3 is going to be a good system, but come on guys. Seriously, you can come up with better reasons for supporting it than that.

The worst argument yet was that most cutting edge technology is expensive as the early adopters will buy it at any price within reason. Then the prices plummet as it goes mainstream. The idea is that the same is true of the PS3. There are several problems with this argument.

A) The types of cutting edge technology being referred to here are largely technologies where there are multiple competitors making hardware which all does exactly the same thing. Sony TVs, Brand Silly TVs, Panasonic TVs, they all let you hook up VCRs, DVD players and cable to them. Aside from the actual quality of each brand's product, there's little difference. A casual buyer would be just as happy with no brand in particular so long as it worked.

Video game consoles, on the other hand, are extremely focused on brand. There are large, gaping differences between the consoles, and what you buy changes what you can interact with drastically. Imagine if you could only get PBS on a Sony TV, Fox on Brand Silly, and HBO on Panasonic. That's what video game consoles are analogous to. To compare them to technologies like TVs is a severely flawed comparison.

B) Aside from the similar hardware counterpoint, there's the fact that in those competitive hardware fields it's possible to come in late with a good product and enjoy profit. It doesn't matter that there have been TVs for years before, if this new brand does everything the others do it'll sell. That's not to say it's easy to make TVs and whatnot, but there's nothing inherent in the market that makes it impossible for latecomers to succeed so long as they aren't lazy about it.

In the video game industry it's very different. Coming in late is like going to an event at college which offers free food halfway through. Were you expecting food? Sorry, the only things left are the salads no one eats and the deserts that everyone hates. You can't just come in anytime you want and expect things to work just as they would if you came in first. There is food to be had, but it is all scraps.

Now Sony can't be said to be extremely late. They certainly aren't coming in halfway through. However, they're using the same exact strategy for their console they used for the PS2. Overshadow your earliest competitor with far better graphics at E3, charge a lot at launch, use the next generation video format to push consoles. It worked beautifully for the PS2, but Sony is ignoring a great many factors that are vastly different.

i) Sega vs Microsoft

When the PS2 began Sony's second generation of dominion, it was competing against Sega, a financially rocky company that wasn't particularly big. Now that the PS3 is coming, it's fighting another early competitor, but this one is Microsoft. We don't even need to think twice concerning the chance of Microsoft suddenly going bankrupt. It isn't happening this decade.

ii) Sega vs Microsoft Pt 2

Sony amazed us with incredible bonanza's at the E3s prior to the launches of both the Dreamcast and the Xbox 360. However, people believed Sony at the E3 before the Dreamcast. When the one after that came, people were disappointed but there was still a marked difference in graphical prowess between the two systems. It was enough for gamers to feel comfortable with the overhyping Sony had done before, because to an extent they still delivered.

The E3 before the Xbox 360 launched, a similar tactic was used. However, the public took the awesome images with a grain of salt. Only the most zealous of fanboys claimed that all, if any, of the images were not prerendered. Again, the public was ready to forgive that hyping if the system delivered. Unfortunately, this E3 showed that Sony's games looked little different from Microsoft's. The result is a largely dissapointed public, many of whom wondered why they waited, and many others who didn't bother to wonder and just went and bought Xbox 360s.

iii) DVD vs Blu-Ray

DVDs rock. It's hard to refute, although I'm sure my dad could do a good job. They are significantly better than video tapes. They don't wear out as quickly, they give all sorts of options, you can skip ahead with scenes, select specific episodes and largely not have to deal with many of the issues that plagued video tapes. There's a reason why everything's on DVD these days.

Of course, the ill-designed DVD menu is a menace that has come of this, but that is a different travesty for another day.

When the PS2 came onto the scene, there was no question as to the place DVDs would have in the home. People were already buying DVD players and DVDs. Everyone knew they were better, if not necessarily widely circulated yet. While there was some cling to videos that existed, the alure of different language tracks, deleted scenes and director commentary won the day. While some may complain about the cost of buying an entire anime series at only 3 episodes a disc, these are the same people that don't remember that buying cartoons on tape usually involved fewer episodes of lower quality video and audio, and often more expensive per video than we enjoy now per DVD.

The PS3 enjoys no such luxury. It will be one of the first Blu-Ray players on the market, there will be few if any movies on Blu-Ray when it launches, if any in stores. There is not drastic chasm of difference between DVDs and Blu-Ray, like there was for video tapes and DVDs. Most of the public doesn't even know what Blu-Ray is. Ask someone and they'll probably think you're talking about fish.


So I've yet to see the price justified properly. If this trend continues, I may have to beat my Nintendo fanboyism senseless and write a post critical of Nintendo while praising Sony just so that there's something on the internet which successfully does so. I'm actually quite shocked that there haven't been better arguments that the Wii will do poorly, or that Sony will prevail. Whether that's a travesty or not isn't important. What is important is that it's now 1 AM, and I should be asleep, quenching my thirst, or both.


Gloom, not doom.

A lot of people are mad at Sony. Not everyone, some people are just annoyed. There are certainly a great number of indifferent people, and plenty who are still staring dreamily at pictures of the PS3.

Now, Sony's done many things to raise one's ire. They took out the rumble pack from their controller and shamelessly imitated Nintendo. They priced their system at $500-$600. They use a Cel chip which, while powerful, has an architecture that currently gives developers migraines. And most recently, they told us we'd buy it without games.

You can guess that everyone and their twin brother has projected a horrible, firey death for Sony and everyone involved. It doesn't take much to know that angry people write angry things, and that even the best of attempts to think straight when one is livid with rage go awry. As such, reading the comments on /. will lead you to believe that the gamers of the world are ready to swim to Japan and wring Sony's neck in the greatest seaborne invasion since Normandy.

I'm certainly not perfect, and I'm sure I've cast my share of doom at Sony here and there. However, despite continual attempts by Sony's wonderful PR (seriously, who hired them?) to destroy their chances at another successful console Sony will certainly do well. Consider what I have to say.

Nintendo once had a monopoly on the video game market, followed by another near monopoly. The NES and SNES quite simply dominated. Some people had Sega's Genesis, but hands down Nintendo was still king. Today, Nintendo is third in the US, and generally low on market share in general. They've always made profit, but were they to continue to hemorrhage market share they certainly would go out of business.

What went wrong with Nintendo, at least partially, is what's going wrong with Sony now. Namely, hubris. If you look at it historically, no console manufacturer has maintained dominance for more than two generations. Both Atari and Nintendo enjoyed the high life. One collapsed, was consumed, and was spat out as a brand. The other lives on, but many say barely. Sony's at the same juncture as Atari and Nintendo were, and is repeating their mistakes.

I highly doubt Sony is going to follow in Atari's footsteps, if only because Atari's vanity was so great that cartridges were literally bulldozed into landfills. They are more likely to go the way of Nintendo because of the similarities between the two companies. Beyond both being japanese, they both supplanted a previously popular competitor (although the situations were different), and they both released (or will release) the most technologically powerful system, last, in the generation they lost (or will lose) the limelight.

The Nintendo 64 was the best system in terms of graphics, heck, hardware in general. Four built in ports meant easy four player games. It was a dream. It was also built with the attitude, "They'll buy it because we're Nintendo". It was sold with that attitude, and by the time Nintendo had figured out that something was amiss, Sony was laughing all the way to the bank. However, the Nintendo 64 did very well for the very reason they thought it would. It was Nintendo, and so people bought it. However, as good as slightly less than half the market may seem it's a staggering drop from a monopoly.

Sony is probably going to experience something similar. People will definately buy the PS3, lots of them. I'd be surprised if Sony failed to sell at least 50 million PS3s before they're done. However, considering the success of the PS2, selling only that many is a staggering drop in success. If Sony doesn't realize what's happened when they start work on the PS4, they'll be near to where Nintendo is now.

Unfortunately, Sony has many more problems to face than Nintendo did in the same position. Specifically, Nintendo never failed to make a profit on any of its consoles, and also had our favorite Nintendo franchises to carry them along. Sony, on the other hand, is not as straight out profitable as Nintendo. Despite having somewhere between 1/10th and 1/5th the market share Sony has, Nintendo made more money on their Gamecube than Sony made on the PS2. Additionally, Sony's major franchises are actually third party products. Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto are already taking the first steps to leaving them. What were originally thought to be Sony exclusives turned up elsewhere. Snake will be in Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, and Grand Theft Auto 4 will be on the Xbox 360 with exclusive content. The latest and greatest Final Fantasy has always been on the Sony train since the N64 failed to provide the storage space for those eye dropping computer rendered sequences. While Final Fantasy XIII will be a PS3 exclusive, Nintendo's been reigning on Sony's parade with many of it's own exclusives such as Crystal Chronicles and numerous remakes of the old classic Final Fantasies.

In short, Sony will do well this generation, but is on road to destruction. Sony will not suddenly drop off the map this generation. However, they're going to have to work doubly hard next generation to prevent from falling into that long list of companies that didn't last in the world of video games. I think they can do it, it's up to them to actually do so.


Job Searching

Yeah, it's started again. I've been spending my morning hours searching for jobs. I've discovered some interesting things I need to remember.

-Don't ignore internships. They can be paid, or are at least a better option than venting frustration at the fact that every job and its brother requires at least one year of experience.
-I think I can I think I can...
-There's some idiot, or set of idiots, who doesn't understand basic formatting and somehow still has a job. Therefore, I should be able to get a job.


E3: The Road Ahead

Now the speculation begins.

With just about everything said and done, the time for prognostication has come. I have no claims of seerhood or prophet like predictions. I just have my gut feelings, and here's what they're saying.

Sony's screwed.

This isn't just about price. This is about what Sony showed us this E3. Sony unveiled to us that with an extra year of development, they created a system that doesn't show any better performance quality than the Xbox 360 that costs an extra $200. A system which shamelessly tacked on motion sensors into its controller at the cost of force feedback. A system whose only major exclusive games are Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy 13.

That's a brief summary. Depth time.

Coming into this, those of us who pay attention to video games and the companies that make them had expectations of Sony. Their system was given a year longer to develop than Microsoft's, and as such we expected to see a year's worth of improvement over Microsoft's system. Through the course of Sony's press conference, the feeling grew that Sony didn't have it all together. Their conference lacked style, lacked structure, and looked like it lacked preparation. The most interesting parts of the show were third party games. Most importantly, the vast majority of games that were shown did not look any better than what had been out on the Xbox 360 this past Christmas. Sony fanboys and the rest of us alike had been expecting that Sony was going to plaster Microsoft with games so beautiful we would cry, or at least significantly better looking. Because that was not seen, we strained to find other redeeming qualities in the system, and found nothing that set it apart.

Sony revealed a new online service, something Microsoft has had and refined for a few years now. Not to mention that Microsoft's is running right now, with a full feature set while Sony's still resides in the realm of vaporware. Sony showed connectivity between the PSP and PS3, something Nintendo pioneered with their Gameboy Advance and Gamecube (both of which were also far cheaper). Sony showed off their eyetoy, but only left us wondering was it all smoke and mirrors through a lack of details. Lastly, they tried to wow us with their motion sensitive controller, but left us scratching our heads at the removal of the force feedback (and the possible irony of them copying Nintendo after bashing motion detection as a gimmick).

Overall the feeling I got in my gut, as well as from what I read of other people, was that Sony had dissapointed. The price was a kick where it hurts, and the higher price of the full version a shotgun to the face. A lot of people have made the argument that it's a bargain because of the built in blu-ray player. That worked for Sony with the PS2 because we knew that DVDs were the next medium. There were no ifs or buts about it, DVDs were what was next. Now, we have no clue. There's too much uncertainty as to what the next medium will be, or even if as to whether we need it.

Meanwhile, Microsoft showed off their second generation of games for the Xbox 360, not all of which were sports games or first person shooters. Microsoft caught wind somewhere that the hardcore gaming crowd only has so much money to spend, and that the market as a whole will shrink (or in the case of Japan, is shrinking minus what Nintendo has accomplished) if nothing is done to reach out to more people than teens age 14-19, and college students age 20-24. Their efforts are somewhat bungled, and not entirely effective, but will ultimately give them a huge advantage. They will have a good number of games for people who aren't interested in Football 2010 or Gunfirekilldead 2007. Additionally, with their online service connecting PCs and consoles, they've leveraged their OS (again) to propel them through a new market.

Nintendo showed that they've got games, and lots of them. They showed that their new console works, and works well. They showed that they understand what needs to be done in the console industry, and that they know how to do it. Nintendo isn't just reaching out to the greater public, they're building huge bridges while maintaining the beauty of the place they're building bridges from. Nintendo killed any question as to whether they have third party support, and in an industry where franchises are becoming stale and losing the weight they carried, Nintendo still has all their old classics such as Mario, Link and Samus standing strong and fresh as the day they were conceived.

Because of all that, I can't see this generation going Sony's way. Early adopters and some casual gamers who already have a playstation of one form or another will buy the PS3, but aside from holiday frenzy it will hardly sell. Like the PSP, it may start strong at Christmas, but sales will just end there. Meanwhile, disillusioned hardcore gamers will jump ship to the Xbox 360 and to the great series residing there. With a potential price drop to boot, the Xbox 360 will sell at least as much as the PS3 if not more during the holidays and will continue to sell thereafter. In Japan, sales of the Xbox 360 will pick up some but not significantly, while the PS3 will fare better there but not enough to make up for the poor showing in the US. Meanwhile, Nintendo will fare better than either of their "competitors". Through simple elegance, and low price, the Wii will sell like crazy in the US, and will hardly be found in stores in Japan. While there will be contention for the US market, Japan will be soundly won by Nintendo.

Microsoft may turn a small profit halfway through the generation, Nintendo will make money as always, and Sony will lose large gobs of money and accomplish little.

I never thought I'd want to predict Microsoft doing well, but honestly they have an understanding that games need to move away from the current "nerdy guy shoot things crush" mindset. It's nowhere as complete or perfect as Nintendo's, but I'll pick the huge monolithic megacorporation that has some sense of what needs to be done over the one that has been riding on the success of their first console ever since it was successful.

Zombies: Spirit

Being a member of the Messiah College Zombie Defense Squad, which will probably need a new name and strategy seeing as how most of our membership is graduating shortly, I feel it is necessary to discuss important information concerning zombies every now and then.

Today we're discussing what largely only applies in a complete collapse of civilization in the face of rampaging hordes of the undead.

As I was walking around campus recently, which I especially enjoy doing when everyone's gone, I came to a startling realization. Namely, places have "spirit". This is an attribute embued by the presence of people, whether you see them or not. There is a "sense" of life, even if you can't actually see or hear anyone around. When everyone's gone, that too is gone.

In order to maintain one's own spirit, one must cultivate a small area to house it. A small room with some trappings of normal life, a larger one if you have a few friends. Without this one can become somewhat depressed, or otherwise in low spirits.

In the case of a zombie infestation, a "sense" of death is apparent. The constant presence of the undead dims the atmosphere, and makes the maintanence of spirit supremely important. Just as the lives of everyone around us boost us without our knowing or caring, the presence of the undead are a severe weight upon the soul that will quickly drive the unattendant to madness.

Too many of us foolishly believe that we would be immune to the trauma that a world of the undead brings, or even just a small outbreak. But the subliminal effects break through defenses. The only recourse is to have a method of rejuvenation that heals faster than the situation harms.

So the next time a zombie outbreak occurs, remember well the importance of one's spirits.


E3: Microsoft Press Conference

If there's one thing Sony lacked, it was style. Nintendo had style and clear goals, Microsoft has style and clear goals. While Nintendo was obviously out to prove they have games for everyone, and a concept that works well, Microsoft is out to prove they have the games and the add-ons.

However, if Peter Moore is the "Zen Master of Gaming", I'm the "Hermitic Tibetan Monk of Supernatural Gaming Principle".

I have to hand it to Microsoft, they aren't giving up on the Japanese market. It's important that they are, because they can never oust Sony or Nintendo from contention if they can't sell well in Japan. However, I remain skeptical of their ability to make much of a beachhead there with the Xbox 360.

I get the feeling that Microsoft is honestly aware of what needs to happen in the industry. They may not know exactly how to do it, or aren't willing to go as far as Nintendo, but the feeling is there that they know that the gamer base must be broadened.

However, I also very much dislike the micropayment trend. While I appreciate additional content, the precedent that games like Oblivion are setting disturbs me. I don't like the idea of spending $5 for what amounts to one character model. I'll spend $5 for 4-6 new maps in a FPS, because that's an entire map worth of new content. Halo 2 had that right, but while I like what Halo 2 did, I must sigh sadly as it is has paved the way for the exploitation of it's own brilliance.

As nice a marketing stunt as tattooing your arms is, I think Peter Moore should have consulted with his wife first, assuming he's married.

I'm skeptical of Windows Vista being the best video game operating system ever, simply because it'll tax my CPU and GPU harder than XP does. Unless Microsoft has finally done something to alleviate the huge morass like problems their OS has, I don't think the "magic" of DirectX 10 will help much. Being a computer science person, I'd like to know the details on how Windows Vista is "built" for video games. Who knows Microsoft, you might impress me enough that I'll buy it because I want it, as opposed to because I have to get it in order to keep getting the software I need.

I need to get better aquainted with the original Shadowrun, so I can understand what exactly was going on with the new one.

I think Alan Wake is a terrible name for a game.

One critique I currently have for Microsoft's conference is that Peter Moore talks too much. While the other conferences featured a central "host" figure, Peter Moore had far too much face time, and really has a voice that grows more annoying the more he talks.

OMG! t3h 3v1l! Oh wait, the nineties ended 6 years ago. Sorry Bill.

Bill, while the integration is nice, the presentation there was pretty boring. Save, of course, for the brief screens of Shadowrun.

Ending the conference with the Halo 3 trailer was oh so classy.


E3: Nintendo Press Conference

As opposed to Sony's, this was viewed live. As such, it will be written while it goes on. Should be interesting, ne?

Reggie asked some very good questions right off the bat.

1) Do you know anyone who has never read a book, watched TV, or seen a movie?
2) How can be considered a mass media form if we know people who haven't played video games?

Even deeper is the notion that video games can't be considered art until the first question becomes "Do you know anyone who has never read a book, watched TV, seen a movie, or played a video game?"

"We'll explain later." - The quote which currently defines the conference. Name, price, release date, everything will be explained later apparently.

Mascotville! Featuring Mario, Link, Samus and even Sonic. No one cares about you Rayman. Oooooo, Final Fantasy. Ooo, Link will be there on launch day! Noice.

So far, Nintendo's done a good job of getting me excited. A good thing for the beginning of a conference.

There's a speaker in the freaking controller. Way to make Sony feel stupid for trying to copy them. Not to mention that Sony apparently sacrificed the rumble feature for their mimicry. Dang, the nunchuck addon also has motion sensing. A techie's dream methinks.

Okay Nintendo, stop showing us 90% of what you're already shown us in gameplay videos. It's annoying, and it's going to ruin an otherwise really fun conference. Seriously, don't make them so short either. Unless you blow us away with later long videos or demonstrations, this is going to sour things significantly.

If Super Smash Bros. isn't among the 27 games on the show floor tomorrow, I'll be a sad, sad man.

Now it's blahdiddyblah time concerning the DS. I want more Wii!

I wish I could have typed that guy's speech goof fast enough, but I didn't. It was hilarious.

Thank you Nintendo for saying how much you SELL as opposed to how much you SHIP. Sony bugs me every time they do that. It's like they have to hide something, really bothers me.

Take him off the stage! He's a hack! He can't make a speech to save his life! It's not SuDOko, but SUDOKU. No stresses!

Not sure what to think of a 3D Final Fantasy 3. Crap, now I HAVE to beat Windwaker before I can play the DS Zelda. And good grief Nintendo, think of the children! Your games look so deliciously good, they will have no allowence left to spend on snacks or bully protection! My DS "greed list" is already too huge!

Satoru Iwata FTW.

NOOOO! Lost connection = bad! I wanted to see which of the three obviously meganerds won the chance to be the first gamer to use the new controller! Travesty! The irony of how Reggie had just mentioned all the people watching online is not lost on me.

Me = Refreshmonkeying

Well, it appears that I must wait until later to finish this. In about 45 minutes the conference will end and the on demand stream will go up. Hopefully then I can complete my thoughts and impressions.

EDIT: Here we go!

Of course, it just had to be that I only missed ten minutes of the conference.

Scott Dyer or whoever he is has just proven to the world how much of a nerd he is. All of us sub-nerds are now envious.

Satoru Iwata obviously can't play tennis.

Dang, that was anti-climatic.

Oh well.

E3: Sony Press Conference

Don't be confused, this and coming E3 segments will not necessarily be separate rants about the methods and madnesses of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. While I may eventually use what foresight I have to predict the outcome of the next console war, these entries are more likely to just encapsulate whatever struck me the hardest about what I've seen.

In this case, why do 90% of video games (excluding sports) involve guns, swords, cars, or a combination thereof?

I am reminded of the friend of my host family from Japan, who emplored me that I might make video games that were so violent. In fact, I think I can finally see what he sees. He is a parent, and thus is concerned for his children. I am soon to be a part of the real world, which puts me one step closer to having children. Thus, I have become far more aware of parental concerns, although nowhere near the level a real parent would have.

In any case, while I enjoy games that involve violence in one form or another, I also enjoy games that don't. Katamari Damancy, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!, and others come to mind. Thus it pains me that they are so maligned in the industry. I don't want the abolishment of violent games, but it would be nice if there was something other than them to play.

The world doesn't need another First Person Shooter. While I may not have much choice if I find a job with a video game company, I know now that if I ever get creative control I will forge ahead on the hard path of innovation and non-violence. Not because I am a pacifist, but because I want there to be video games my children can play (while they WILL play outside, I don't want to lock them out of the house).

I can only hope I see better promise from Microsoft and Nintendo.

There were some technowhatsits that piqued my interest. The connection between the PSP and PS3 interested me, as did the use of the eyetoy to analyze cards and create monsters from them. Unfortunately, those techie things weren't given much attention or detail. The person feature and mannerism capturing doohickey was interesting, but boring.

However, I will comment that Sony are copycatting hacks. Regardless of how well the PS3 controller does the job, which from looking at the conference it was hard to tell as half of it wasn't even shown from the feed I had, Nintendo came first. As far as I can tell it's limited to tilting mechanics, with a little bit of throwing it around. It looked like there was some lag between the controller and the demo, but again it's hard to tell. Hell, it's entirely possible the demo was staged, but that's jumping to conclusions. In any case, the whole thing reeks of "me too" mentality, with Sony copying Nintendo so that if and when the Nintendo console is highly successful they can ride on Nintendo's coattails. An all around grr to Sony.

Lastly, watching HD stuff in a low-res video stream isn't impressive.


At the End of the Tour...

...when the roads disappear.

I just finished my last final, probably ever. While the future remains uncertain, the certainty of this being the last final I ever take (at least at Messiah) is very weird. Very very weird.

There are all sorts of great feelings I should be having, some of which I am, some of which I'm not. I've certainly done a good job on the two finals I took today, and I've certainly done a good job on my Senior Project. There's now very little for me to do the next week but sit around, make fun of my roommates, play video games, and I suppose do important stuff like graduate next Saturday, pack up, and look for jobs.

I received my replacement CD-ROM drive external enclosure, so those single player PC games I had been without are now back into circulation, just in time for the Messiah network to go wonkers so I can't play World of Warcraft. Odd timing that one.

Speaking of World of Warcraft, my sociology paper on the subject got a 50/50. In fact, my professor had a nice discussion with me concerning the paper before the final. He really, really enjoyed it and even found it useful. Apparently his sister and daughter are dealing with boyfriends who are hopelessly addicted to the game. His description of their "junkie" like tendencies reminds me how thankful I am to have developed the will to control my urges to do nothing but play video games.

In any case, as tempting as it is to sit around and play video games, I think my time would be better spent socializing with my friends and preventing them from studying for their finals in the limited time I have remaining here.

I think I'll do that right away.