Monday, July 31, 2006

What should the Xbox Zune be?

I made this in response to a blog I read on Xbox 360 Fanboy. I would like to see the Xbox Zune add-on for your Xbox 360 controller. It would snap on where the battery is inserted and allow you to use the Xbox 360 controller as part of the Xbox portable console. There could also be a travel D-pad made for it that would be smaller and have the same functionality in case you did not want to use the Xbox 360 controller to travel. I just think with the most comfortable controller on the market, it being wireless, already utilizing a battery, and it being your normal mode of play, it seems the most logical choice as the input for a portable as well. It would also be an answer to the portable used as a controller feature the other consoles are screaming right now and could do a lot to enhance the current Xbox 360 (I am not sure what though, I don't like the portables used as controllers). I am not worried about a portable game system being an everything system. I do not want to carry a box in my pocket to do everything with. I have a PSP and I only use it for the games. It is not really useful as an mp3 player (too bulky), not useful for watching movies (screen too small, UMDs are expensive), and not really useful for file storage (2 gig card right now). I have a laptop to watch movies on the go (17" widescreen format) so why would I want a 3-5 inch movie screen? I have a MP3 player to listen to music on the go, why chance breaking my $100-200 portable game system? My point is, the Xbox Zune should be a portable game system, that is all. Keep the Zune player for media a separate product. I dislike all in one products. None of them ever do all the things you want, how you want them done.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lousy Gamer? Get a coach...

I read an article over at the post-gazette.com Want to get good at videogames? Hire a kid about semi-pro and professional gamers tutoring others in their gaming skills. Most of the people using their services see it as no different than paying for tennis lessons. I agree with them. If you do not know how to play well, if you do not have the time, if you want to know how to do it better, there is no better way than to learn from a pro. My question is, what makes you good enough to be a coach or tutor? This question just begs the answer of using an overall gamerscore, leader boards, and achievements system to point to the best players. Xbox Live is the only service I know of that provides these kind of ratings or multiple games at the moment. So, just how do you get tutorials? Bet you guessed it, that's right, you play against your tutor or coach on Xbox Live (if it is an Xbox game) while he tells and shows you how to move, shoot, throw, etc.
But with the console industry heading online, both Sony and Nintendo plan to bring their next gen boxes online with some kind of gaming service like Live, how will we juggle all the different gamerscores? Surely after seeing how excited gamers get over something as simple as a Gamertag and Gamerscore both Nintendo and Sony will implement them or some form of them as well.
I believe an industry standard may be needed. Most would scoff at this. No way would all three console companies work together for a standard... or would they? Seeing as how a standardized Gamerscore would help exposure to gaming in general, you would think something like this would be in the works but I have heard nothing in the rumor-mill about it. I think something like a unified gamerscore would be great for the community as well. Anyhow, just a few random thoughts on that subject. This is a topic about game tutoring.
Getting help with your gaming is a great idea if you do not have the time to learn it all yourself through long hours of trial and error, saving yourself from long hours of frustration until you do get it right, if you do not give up and move on to a game that is a bit easier to learn. Pay these guys for a couple of hours of teaching and you too could be playing a more enjoyable game today instead of next week.

Next Generation - EXCLUSIVE: E3 FINISHED

Next Generation has reported that E3 is done, finished, over. I have no real feeling about this. I tried for the past 2-3 years to make it out to E3 but money and time worked against me and I never made it. Now, it looks like I never will. Here is hoping this is just a rumor, though I am pretty sure it might be true, after all the only winner at last years E3 looks to be the press. More magazines and news about it than anything else at the time and no real news to report. Read more over at Next Generation - EXCLUSIVE: E3 FINISHED

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blaugh.com's comic of the day.

Technorati Tag Overload

Blaugh's blog comic of the day. I have to say, the comic writer of Blaugh has a dry sense of humor sometimes ;) This on caught my eye and I had to laugh, if you have ever used Technorati it should tickle you too. I will not be posting these on a regular basis, if you want more, check out Blaugh.com

A cracked foundation- The PS3's future in doubt? - GamerSurvival.com


Sony PS3 Article

Jason Ventura over at GamerSurvival.com has an article on the reason that the Sony PS3 will most likely not end up being the number one game system in the next-gen console wars. I have to say, I agree with all of his points and wish to add this one:
Misinformation: Sony has a habit of telling the public of all these incredible features their systems will have then dropping them once release happens. Remember the hard drive(HDD) for the PS2? Before it was released, Sony stated that with the HDD, you would be allowed to download games, movies, music, etc right to your PS2 from the internet. Anyone who bought the PS2 HDD know for a fact that nothing was ever done to make this a reality. After spending $100 for the unit and game, it came with a Final fantasy game, you would expect to at least see an apology for the missing content and features, didn't happen.
Look at their statements about the PSP, I own one and am so disappointed in it, I never use it. I was looking forward to converting some movies from DVD to the PSP to watch on trips and things, what did Sony do, they tried to sell me UMD's of the movies I already had at a higher price than I bought most of the original movies for (thanks to Wal-Mart and their new releases always being on sale) and released some cheesy codec, very low quality, to convert movies with.
So, I have lost all faith in the Sony gaming division. I still buy other Sony products but I tend to look at their competitors more and more often and will more than likely phase Sony completely out of my life at some point. After the BMG (Sony Music) spyware scandal, it might be the smart thing to do. Check the article here... A cracked foundation- The PS3's future in doubt? - GamerSurvival.com

GameSpot Tournament - King of the Hill (LOTR: Middle-earth II)

GameSpot Article
Gamespot is hosting a Battle for Middle Earth II tournament. Winners will receive 1st - $600, 2nd - $300, and 3rd - $100. 48 players will compete in a king of the hill tournament. Each round will pit 3 players in a tug of war match with the winner moving to the next round. And as always, GameSpot will broadcast the championship battle live on GameSpot Tournament TV! To enter, or read more about it check out at GameSpot Tournament - King of the Hill (LOTR: Middle-earth II)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monopoly goes plastic?


Saw an article over at Engadget.com about Monopoly striking a deal with Visa to use mock Visa debit cards and a calculator system to keep a tally of your bank account. I have very mixed feelings about this. As a kid I, like many of my friends, learned how to use money with games such as Monopoly. What will kids learn now, how to keep track of a debit account? Truthfully, it is not a bad idea, just as useful and growing more useful than paper money. I almost never use cash, I use a debit card. So, get a new Monopoly game and teach your kids how to track their bank account! There is no news on the Hasbro website about this, at this time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

DaimlerChrysler's Electric Smart Car


I get the feeling the US auto makers do not get it. I read on Autopia about DaimlerChrysler's Smartfortwo smart car they are going to roll out in Great Briton. The new Smartfortwo is a full electric version. Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler has decided to roll out the gas powered version in the US, sometime in 2008. If the sales are good, they might roll out the electric version in the US soon after, probably meaning a year or two later. So, DaimlerChrysler is not rolling out the economy electric until 2009 or 2010 while Toyota, Honda, and other overseas manufacturers are rolling out hybrids and electrics now and running away with car sales in the US. By 2010 DaimlerChrysler will no longer exist in the US if this is going to be their first electric offering. I have not done more research into this. For all I know DaimlerChrysler could have a hybrid out now. Chevy and Ford are no better, both are still trying to push gas guzzling SUVs. Funny though, Ford has about 6 different SUVs on offer not counting their trucks. Chevy has around 8 SUV offerings. All that muscle and everyone looking to cut back on fuel usage. Way to go Detroit, keep the gas guzzlers rolling off the line, eventually gas prices will come down right? Right??

Friday, July 21, 2006

Google Operating System


Most of my friends know I am a Google junky. I like to use Google products when I can and Google is always coming out with new products. How do I keep up with what Google has to offer? I read the Google Operating System blog of course! This blog tracks a lot of new services and things from many different companies but the main focus is Google and all that it has to offer. The blog, written by Ionut Alex. Chitu, is a comprehensive read on rumors, betas, and free tech service offerings from across the internet. Everything from Microsoft's Vista to Google's secret operating system(Rumor) is covered. For a great rundown on Google's offerings, usable services, and great beta articles check out Google Operating System

onXiam - The User Profile of user names


I am a member of quite a few communities online. It seems like about once a week or so I join a new one. I do not always blog about the communities I join, though this one deserves a definite visit. onXiam.com is a community link identity to link all your community user names in one spot under a simple user interface anyone can understand. This site is still quite new and there are a lot of communities out there to add. Right now there is no means to do so other than to ask for it to be added. The dev blog reports a new feature will be added this weekend that will let users add communities. If you join a lot of communities, this site is well worth your time, all you have to do is copy and paste a link like this: Who is Tijir? or there are three JavaScript badges as well (check near the bottom of this site to see one). This service also has a private feature so you can hide those sites like that Myspace.com account that might blow your whole image if other communities saw it. Check out the site at onXiam.com

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Blog Community - MyBlogLog Communities

I use MyBlogLog.com to track how many visitors I get and where they click to go from here. Good free service, for a small blog like mine. The Pro service is good for larger blogs with alot of readers. Well MyBlogLog.com has rolled out an entire community based on their link tracking and stat service. Your readers can join your community and see what other blogs you read (if they are a MyBlogLog.com community member or sign up to be a memeber), see how many blogs you author, and send messages to you and others in your community. The site has a lot to offer with more features rolling out in a timely manner. So, if you are interested in tracking your stats, or geting in on the communiuty, check it out here... MyBlogLog.com Communities

All links in this blog post are linked to my referer account on MyBlogLog.com.

Microsoft vs Firefox Myths

I am an official Microsoft fanboy. I love most of their products and use them. I am also a Google fanboy but that is a different blog. I get tickled when I see something that makes all the rumor about how bad something Microsoft released is compared to other products totally bogus. In this case, it is Internet Explorer(IE) versus Firefox. On this site, the author debunks a bunch of outright lies spread about IE and Firefox when they are compared on news sites, blogs, etc. After reading this article I do not know if I will fire Firefox up again. IE is so much more secure and Microsoft actually fixes the security issues in a timely manner, some of the Firefox security issues have been around since 2004, when the browser was released. Quite an interesting read... Firefox Myths

The site does not really compare IE to Firefox all that much, it just debunks the rumors from the fact.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rehab center for video game addicts

Rehad centers for game addicts. I do not know that I see a real need for this kind of thing, it seems to me it is a stunt more than anything. After all, a real councilor will help treat you for any addiction or find you someone that can. There is a real addiction here though, I have seen it myself for a time or two but I do not think you need a clinic dedicated to this kind of addiction. Anyhow, read more about it over here...Rehab center for video game addicts opens in Amsterdam - Engadget

Friday, July 14, 2006

Free Xbox Live Arcade Party!

Xbox want to give you a pizza, 1000 Microsoft points, and a free digital music download from the 80's! Go by the site and send in your email to get things going! All they ask in return are a few pictures and to tell them about your party. This is a great way for promoting the Xbox 360, talk about your viral marketing scheme... Anyhow, go check it out on the Xbox news page here... Xbox.com | Xbox News - Xbox Live Arcade Party in a Box

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sony Patent will destroy game resale business.

The Los Angeles Times has an article about a patent Sony holds on technology to prevent Play Station games from being traded in, rented, or resold after playing them. This kind of technology is bad for the used game business which is a billion dollar a year industry. It would also kill the video game rental business which is over $700 million a year in revenues at brick and mortar stores. I could not find figures on the online companies such as Gamefly.com but it would also kill that business model as well. So, with one patent Sony stands to destroy a multi billion dollar a year business.
Anyone who has read or heard about this is up in arms about it. Not being able to rent a game before playing it would stop me from making game purchases as often. Instead of renting, then buying a game, I would be forced to wait on the game to be reviewed. I would not buy any games rated less than an 8 on a 10 scale so I would buy less games. With prices for the PS3 expected to be from $30 a download to over $100 a game disc, it is only getting harder to afford new games and I refuse to run out and buy a game based on advertisement, I have been screwed in the past for just such a thing. In my mind, even worse than all the above mentioned is the fact that, if this technology is used, if I buy a game and do not like it, I am stuck with a game I do not want to play and I am out the money I paid for it. Right now I can at least re-coop some of my money by reselling the game.
I think this kind of thing could sink Sony in the gaming market which I do not think would be a particularly bad thing either. I am tired of all Sony's talk and demos of features that never make it into the products as promised. I was duped into a PSP through hype from Sony and it still does not do half the things they promised it would.
Sony has stated they have no intentions of using this technology at this time.

Check out the article... Sony Patent Will Limit PlayStation Abilities - Los Angeles Times

Been away, returning soon.

I know it has been some time since I posted anything. The reasons are numerous and all combine together to make it so at the moment I am swamped with work. So, I shall return to my usual bloggin self, posting my opinions, news findings, and other stuff by the beginning of next week. So until then, keep surfing.