well, you know what they say about opinions

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

ps3 in november (in europe too - yeah right)

The Sony announcement is out now and you can read all about it over on IGN but to sum it up:
  • Global launch in November
  • Console will be better than everything else
  • Online Service will be better than everything else
  • Supports telly's the size of Cinema screens at 1000 frames a second
  • Will act as a media server for the whole house
  • Oh and it grills steaks and has an 'easy to clean' removable fat tray

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

gone over to the dark side

Well, I haven't posted for a couple of days because I've been a bit busy....


NO! I hear you cry!

Yup, I did the deed on Saturday and got my self a Premium pack from the local independent game shop along with a couple of games. This is all, of course, in preparation for the launch of Oblivion, which is going to own me for a few months I'm sure.

I'll post what I think about the system later in the week, once I've played around with it for a while, but in the meantime I have to say that I'm quite impressed with it (more than I thought I'd be to be honest).

Friday, March 10, 2006

now i *am* crying

Well I'm resigned to the fact that it's probably going to take a while before I can experience the DS Lite for myself but in the meantime I continue to torture myself.

Here's another video, by the same guy who did the last one, showing us a bit more DS Lite. The video covers things like how to hold it and what it looks like with a GBA cart sticking out of it.

I like the way he presents the video, a bit of a Geoff Goldblum approach...


Thursday, March 09, 2006

busy day - thursday roundup

Well today has been a bit of a busy day, so I've decided to just do the one post on various bits and bobs...

Ok, so what have we got... ah yes...

The Origami is now out in the open and for everyone to see, and as we all suspected it's big, slightly clunky and the battery life is terrible... oh and it runs Windows XP, great! (or maybe not)


Shigeru Miyamoto will be appearing on allowing fans to ask him questions about the new Mario game, due to appear on the DS soon. The webchat will be available to download at 8pm (GMT) on the 17th of March from here...


Perhaps I should ask him how likley am I to get an imported DS Light this month?

Couple of things over on Eurogamer. The TV section has some more footage of the Metroid game coming to the DS. This game looks like a cracking shooter but I'm starting to get the feeling that I'll be disappointed with this game. After 3 years of playing 'shoot me in the face' over XBox Live I don't think I could face another mindless FPS. I really hope Nintendo haven't neglected the single player game.


Also they've done a pretty hefty review of EA's Fight Night game for the 360 and according to them it actually looks as good as the demo's EA were showing at E3 last year! But wait for this right... the game is damn good too, which is even more surprising, especially after the rather disappointing FIFA and Tiger Woods EA launched with the 360.


IGN have an editorial on the Nintendo Revolution, it's a good read and I always enjoy an editorial.


And last but not least, it looks like we'll get to hear something about the PS3 next week even thought it's probably just an announcement to tell everyone that it won't be ready for April.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

new episode of gaming steve

The new episode of Gaming Steve is out now. I haven't listened to it yet but I just thought I'd let you know.

The show includes a roundup of the gaming news, Spore stuff and the second part of the Oblivion preview, which includes some answers to listeners questions about the game.

It's always a good show, so enjoy...


are we ready for next gen?

1up have a feature that talks about Xbox 360 and how it's launch may be hurting the games industry.

I have to admit that even though I love all things new and shiny and I feel the pull of the 360, I do believe that we're jumping into the 'next gen' a little early.

Do we really need Xbox 360?

Do we really need a new box to play XBox Live Arcade? Do we want to encourage change every 3 - 4 years, because MS have changed their mind?

Perhaps we should all put two fingers up to MS and at least wait for the PS3 and Revolution to arrive before moving into 'next gen'.

Ah well, rant over. You can find the 1up feature here...


think i'm going to cry - again

My obsession with the DS lite continues and each day more articles are released over the internet teasing me.

The DS lite is a thing of beauty.


Sorry about that :-D

See for yourself...


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

psp lemmings review

Eurogamer have a review of Lemmings for the PSP.

Interestingly it's very similar in opinion to the review I read in the latest issue of Edge magazine, same score too I think.
I have to agree with the review tho' (in both cases). Lemmings is a great game but since the Amiga version it's been done to death and I really can't think of any compelling reason why I'd want to play it again without a suitable control scheme (like a mouse).


can the revolution cause a revolution?

GamesIndustry.Biz has an interesting article on Nintendo and the struggle they may face in the coming year to regain some market share. The article shares the opinions of some industry bods and it does make you think about some of the problems that they face.

The comment below struck a chord:

"Nintendo will have to rely heavily on experiential marketing. Sitting the Revolution in-store alongside other consoles is not going to show its advantages."


Monday, March 06, 2006

will wright's spore on PSP and DS

There's a game on the horizon from the man who created the Sims and it's called Spore.

Anyone who has been following this game knows that this game is one of the most innovate games we're likely to see this year and is on track to become a good candidate for game of the year.

For more information have a read here: [Link]

Anyhow, some interesting news is that EA are advertising for developers with experience in creating handheld games to work on Spore handheld titles. If this turns out to be the case then I'd be very interested. Spore on the move!


a few things of interest (for a monday)

Bit of a slow day in the news today, which isn't unusual for a Monday I guess, as we all try to re-align our brains back into a state where we can think again.

So let's see... ah... yes Eurogamer... couple of interesting reviews on there...

There's Nanostray for the DS [Link], which is looking like my type of game and Breath of Fire III for the PSP [Link], which looks ok but is plagued by load times (surprise suprise).

Also, it looks like someone thought they'd write a remote desktop application to control their PC using a DS. Why? Who knows... because they can... and probably because no else has.

Who needs Origami now eh Microsoft :-) ?


Oh and last of all, it looks like E3 this year is gonna' be a BIG one again, soon they'll need to take over all of Los Angeles or something to host it...


Saturday, March 04, 2006

february retro gaming radio is out

Shane R. Monroe's Retro Gaming Radio show for February is out now. Anyone who downloaded the Dual Screen Radio show link I posted earlier in the week will also enjoy this show, partly because Shane is also one of the people behind DS Radio.

Retro gaming radio has been going for years and years, it's a little focused on the USA (i.e C64, Atari, Amiga rather than Speccy, Master System etc.) but it's always a great, packed and insightful show.

So get downloading...


psp - the love hate relationship

I love my PSP, no I don't... I hate it, um no actually I love it... oh dear my head just exploded!

About a year or so ago I remember reading IGN and looking at all the latest news about the PSP and the Nintendo DS. I was trying to decide which of the two handhelds I should buy, once they came out over here in the UK... I mean I was racking my brain. Anyway, as it turned out the PSP was going to be delayed by about a year or so over here so I opted for the DS.

When I got the DS I must admit I wasn't really that impressed with it, I mean it was OK but it didn't blow me away... you know Zoo Keeper was good but not a show stopper. A short while after using the DS, however, I grew to appreciate the design and began to feel that Nintendo had actually thought this thing out pretty well.

A couple of months later, a local game store started selling imported PSP's at a reasonable price so I went and checked it out...

I swear, I was blown away by this thing. It looked amazing, it felt good, nice weight, fantastic graphics, easy menu system, superb mp3 sound quality, great headphones with inline remote and I could rip dvd's onto it and watch my fave films on the move!

What more could anyone want?

So without hesitation I just handed over the cash and hurried home feeling like a kid at Christmas. I got in, I charged it and within minutes I was playing Lumines and for a moment I knew this machine was something special, that this blows the DS out of the water and Nintendo would see the PSP become a name synonymous with handheld gaming.

So what went wrong, why is my PSP like so many others; just stuffed in a drawer in the house and almost left for dead. Well I think there are a number of reasons, and despite all the pre-release press about the PSP's battery life... guess what... It's not the battery life.

In fact the battery life is very impressive IMO and has never been an issue for me (when it was used). No, the real problem is something I think Tom at Eurogamer [Link] pointed out a long time ago and I started to realise that I was buying games that were already available in a superior form at half the cost for the PS2. These type of games were also the type of games that you wanted to enjoy in the comfort of your armchair or sofa and not in a lunch break or on the bog. As time went by I also started to resent something else: The load times! It was about this time (around 3 months) I began to have this uncomfortable feeling of relisation that this machine just wasn't geared up at all for 'on the move' entertainment hub.

It was fragile, it took too long to boot a game, you couldn't listen to music without quitting the game, dvd's took 4 hrs to convert to PSP format, the browser is crap and UMD disks self-destruct if you keep them in anything but the case they came in.

So all in all, the feeling was a bit like the time you've gone for the girl who looks amazing and offers the promise to make all your dreams come true, only to find she's no good in bed or dull as dishwater and in the morning you'd wished you'd gone home with her less good looking friend who was much more interesting anyway and probably a lot more fun.

Still, having said this, I'm still holding out. I haven't put the PSP on eBay just yet and I still believe that if Sony change their focus from 'all things to all men' to 'fantastic games', sort out the load times and offer an Xbox Live Arcade type service for 'twich' gaming... it will be worth every penny spent in the end (I hope).

Friday, March 03, 2006

360 camera

It may look like it fell off a Darlek or belongs in a 1950's kitchen or something but the new XBox 360 camera promises to have some interesting possibilities judging by some of the demonstrations that Microsoft have been putting out.

I particularily like the idea of mapping your own face onto a 3D model. Now with that kind of feature people really can shoot me in the face and wouldn't it be fun if you could have differnt expressions for when you are being shot at etc.

Hmm... food for thought.

See more for yourself...


child's play (and a little off topic) - no really

Ever dreamed of writing your own games? Or perhaps you used to write your own back in the days when things were a lot simpler, and fancy dabbling in it again.

I've often thought about introducing my daughter (when she's older) to the joys of programming, as a creative output, but in this day and age it seems to be an impossible task. However, I came across a programming language called 'KPL' (Kids Programming Language) and it looks pretty good. Don't get me wrong, you're not going to write the next version of Half Life using this thing but for mere mortals like us 30year old dad's I can see some fun to be had creating the next version of Simon Says or even a good Spacies game.

From what I can see it's based on the MS .NET Framework and has collapsible indentation in the editor so a big thumbs up there.

You can download it, free, from the website in the link below and there are loads of examples that get installed as part of the Setup.


1up round up on ps3 (so far anyway)

1up have gathered up a pretty hefty look at the PS3 and what they know about it to date. There's a lot of information here (especially on the games) and mabey there's enough to make some think twice about hitting the 'confirm' button for your 360 purchase.

Grab a coffee, pull up a chair, adjust the rear view mirror on your work monitor and have a read...


think i'm going to cry

Looks like my DS lite pre-order is going to arrive a little later than expected... ah well...

Dear Gareth,

this e-mail is intended to give you an update about your recently placed
Nintendo DS Lite preorder (Order Number #######).

Before reading further, we recommend you to check out today's Nintendo DS
Lite news update, which contains background information, image galleries
and more:

As for every new hardware release, the situation for dealers such as
Play-Asia is never fully predictable in advance. Even though we are trying
hard to fulfill all preorders on or before release at the previously
announced price, availability and pricing are subject to final supply &
demand. The very first Nintendo DS Lite units were offered to us within
the last 2 days at prices ranging from US$ 250 to US$ 300, leaving us no
choice but to further keep an eye on the market situation during the next
few days until prices will go down to reasonable levels.

Nintendo has announced to ship a total of 450,000 Nintendo DS Lite units
during the month of March, along with 200,000 old Nintendo DS models. Even
though prices are high, they have constantly been dropping during the last
2 days and indications were given that units will be priced significantly
below the US$ 200 mark in the following week.

We will automatically start shipping all preorders once supply is
available to meet our current preorder price. All orders will be shipped
on first come, first served basis. The earlier you have preordered, the
higher will be the chance to receive a shipping notification e-mail
already during the very next couple of days. If your order is not ready to
ship within the next week, we will send you another e-mail update
explaining the current situation.

We understand that some customers might feel frustrated or annoyed by the
situation (so are we!), but we appreciate patience brought along for a few
days until the market situation has cooled down. Of course, cancellations
are possible at any time. Customers who paid by credit card are able to
carry out cancellations online in their customer account. If you have
already paid your order (by PayPal, bank payment, etc.), please approach
our customer service for details.

Once again we apologize for the unforeseen situation and hope for your
continued support.

Your Play-Asia Customer Service

Thursday, March 02, 2006

more oblivion

Ok, so you already know that I'm quite excited about this one right?

The previews are starting to show up all over the net now and everyone is saying that this game is fantastic [Link] and now we have a release date, straight from the horses mouth!

MARCH 20th for the USA and 'a few days later' for Europe!
The big question is: Will I buy a 360 that day?

Stay tuned...


ds download station

Gaming Steve tries out the new Nintendo DS Download, which allows DS users to download playable demos of existing and up and coming Nintendo DS games.

Judging form his review it does exactly what you'd expect form Nintendo. There's no required firmware upgrade or special configs required, you just walk into a store, power up, download and enjoy!

Two of the demos reviewed are Brain Age and Tetris DS, both of which are looking like 'must have' titles.