Wednesday, September 28, 2005

PSP HaX0r! More fall TV, and missing MMORPG...

Well it was bound to happen. About 4 days ago them pesky HaX0r's found a way to exploit the v2.0 PSP firmware. Yesterday someone released the files necessary to "downgrade" a v2.0 unit back to v1.5, re-opening access to the wealth of homebrew games/utilities that is available. It's important to note that the exploit only works on a v2.0 PSP, so if for some reason you updated to v1.51, or v1.52 (Why???) or had that originally you will have to update to v2.0 before you can "downgrade". :)

The fall TV season is in full swing with new shows, and new episodes for the returning shows. My poor DVR's are working overtime. I'm glad that the Cox DVR allows me to record 2 shows at the same time, there are certain time slots where I record 3 different channels. I've seen the new sci-fi LOST style clones (2 episodes of each as a matter of fact.) and so far I like Threshold the most, followed by Invasion. I really didn't care much for the pilot of Surface, but the second episode this week was much better, although not enough to knock off the other two. I got a kick out of My Name is Earl, even though my wife thought it was stupid. :) I'm also really enjoying How I Met Your Mother, and Supernatural (which I think I mentioned earlier).

It dawned on me the other day that I'm kinda missing FFXI. I've been seeing pictures of the Xbox 360 version, and found out there is a new expansion coming (announced at the Tokyo Game Show). Not to mention that there is supposed to be an update in October that is going to add even more new stuff. I don't think I would like playing on the 360, because I wasn't fond of the control scheme on the PS2. The PC controls are so much easier to use, and since I already own FFXI, and Chains of Promithia on the PC I would only have to buy the new expansion. Of course there is no word on what will be included with the Xbox 360 version of the game, and since it should support HD will the graphics be greatly improved?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Nintendogs... and I saw The Man.

Well I knew that there was talk of another Nintendogs (the Holiday Edition), but today I found this on DS Advanced...

Nintendo of America has announced today that starting October 24th, they will release a special "Best Friends" edition of their popular title, Nintendogs.

This new version of the game will be bundled in with the two new colors of the Nintendo DS arriving on the same day.

On the 24th, Nintendo is set to release both Pearl Pink and a Teal color portable system. The special bundle is set to retail for a price of $149.99.

The "Best Friends" iteration of the series is set to offer starting puppies such as a Labrador retriever, a golden retriever, a German shepherd, a beagle, a Yorkshire terrier or a miniature dachshund.

Nintendo has also announced that the special promotional bundle will come packed with a Nintendogs themed screen cleaner as well as Nintendo DS skin based off the popular puppies.

Click me for full size image.

I watched The Man today, and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be from the trailer. Not the greatest "***dy comedy" I've ever seen although it had some pretty funny parts.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Nintendogs... The phenomenon.

Well I finally bought my daughter a copy of Nintendogs. She has played mine a couple times, but since there can only be one save per cartridge it doesn't lend itself easily to multiple players. I told her that we would try to find a pre-owned copy at some point and pick it up. She even traded some games in for credit about 2 weeks ago, but unfortunately they haven't had a used copy come in yet. I've also been waiting for one at work, but that copy never came in (they decided to keep it, or give it away).

While it's not impossible to find a new one most of the ones on the shelf are the Chihuahua & Friends version. I think if more people were informed that all the breads are available on each version (the different cartridges only limit your initial 6 bread choices) there probably wouldn't be any in stock. Anyway imagine my surprise today at SEARS of all places to have all 3 versions, it boggles the mind. This threw her into overdrive pouting because she couldn't get one. I made her a deal that we would go to Best Buy since it was advertised this week, and came with a free "training guide". I figured they would be out of both (games & guides) but they were not. So she is now the proud owner of a Chihuahua & Friends brown & white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named "Max".

I was commenting the other day that Nintendo didn't have any system sellers coming out this holiday season (since they pushed Zelda back till next year). These dogs may have enough umph to carry through Christmas. I could have sold 3 of these Friday night at work had they been available, but unfortunately we've been sold out for a while. Two of the three still bought DS systems anyway, even though we didn't have the game. It seems to be one of those games that crosses gender, because for every 9-14 year old girl that comes in and ask for a copy, I'll have a boy the same age range ask also.

Okay for all of you that already have a copy I found this site where you can make your own Nintendogs map. It will recreate your in-game map, and show you where all of the "hidden" items can randomly be located on your walks. This is what my in-game map looks like, this is where Flash takes all of his walks. :)

Video games the weird, and ugly...

More from the Tokyo Game Show, the first is called Portable Resort where your stranded on a tropical island with little to do. Here is what IGN has to say about it...

The concept of Portable Resort, an "entertainment tool" for PSP, involves the player freely spending time on a beautiful tropical island. You'll be able to go anywhere on the island, with the in-game world experiencing progression through time and a full day/night cycle. The in-game world is synched up with the current time, so when it's dark out in the real world, the game world will reflect that. Perform all kinds of little fun tasks as you stroll around -- pick up a ukulele from the beach, and you can use your PSP as an instrument, with the analog thumb pad is used to strum, with the face buttons used to form chords. Although interaction is limited, the title is meant to be a part of your playing life often. A stand for your PSP is part of the release (sold separately), so you can keep the system next to your bed or on your table, with the game running non-stop. The game includes alarm functions, so you can use it as a replacement for your alarm clock.

Check out this video from Namco's Japanese site. My PSP can now be a portable ukulele what will they think of next?

But then we progress the new Metal Gear Ac!d 2 will come with a special viewer that attaches to your PSP, so that some parts of the game will display in 3-D. I can't wait to see someone walk into a wall using this contraption! :P No word yet if this will come to American gamers, but I believe chances are slim.

Friday, September 16, 2005

It's time for a Revolution... and feel-good movies.

Well another nugget from the Tokyo Game Show was the unveiling of the Nintendo Revolution controller. Gyro-scope movement, mouse like, and revolutionary maybe, weird definitely. :)

I got around to watching two movies today Just Like Heaven, and The Greatest Game Every Played. Just Like Heaven was a excellent romantic comedy, I really enjoyed it. Greatest Game Ever Played fit the Disney "feel-good sports mold" just like the previous pictures it notes in the trailer such as Remember the Titans, The Rookie, and Miracle. While it achieved it's goal (I felt good, and emotionally drained after it was all over) I would recommend Just Like Heaven over The Greatest Game, although they are both good movies and worth seeing. I beginning to think Disney has some guy on payroll just to go through old sports almanacs, and come up with heart warming stories of triumph.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Xbox 360 is coming... NFL, PSP, and Fall TV

Well they finally announced the launch date! Earlier this morning Microsoft held a press conference before the Tokyo Game Show opened, and stated the official launch date for the U.S. will be November 22nd (my birthday, hint, hint). It launches here first then the European launch follows on December 2nd, and the Japanese launch on December 10th. Now personally, I don't know who's bright idea it was to launch 2 days before Thanksgiving, and 3 days before Black Friday (the busiest retail day of the year). I guess Micro$oft is hoping that if people are going to spend their cash it might as well be on a 360. Although, I foresee a lot of disappointed people getting Xbox 360's only to have them sit under the tree for a month.

I'm still trying to win one from Mt. Dew's Every 10 minutes sweepstakes. I have drank more Pepsi products in the last 2 weeks than I care to remember. I don't think I'll get better odds to win a system than there so I'll keep playing. It would also be extremely cool to win as I hear they will ship out your "prize pack" at the end of October so you could have a 360 2-3 weeks before the rest of the U.S. (-9,000 Mt. Dew winners). Hmmm... I wonder what they would sell for on eBay 2 weeks early? :)

A little late but, how about them KC Chiefs? Just goes to show you that pre-season doesn't prove anything. I'm in about 3 different NFL pools, and let me tell you my 1st week picks sucked. :P Some of the games Sunday were so far off the odds it wasn't funny, I'll try and do better this week.

The white PSP went on sale today in Japan (no word of a US release), and some of the forums have pictures up. It looks pretty sweet, and I hear it "hides" fingerprints way better than the black one. It does come with version 2.0 of the operating system installed which wasn't much of a surprise.

As I mentioned last time the Fall TV season is revving up, I caught Bones, and Supernatural the other night. I enjoyed Supernatural a little more but will watch more episodes of Bones to decide. Bones will have a hard time if they have to dig up a new set of bones every week, I mean exactly how many skeletons can you dig up in year? Tonight CBS starts the new season of Survivor : Guatemala, and tomorrow is the 2 hour premiere of Threshold.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One step closer to Gamestopdum, Fall TV, and I cut the cord.

Well it seems that I'm one step closer to working for GameStop, is reporting that the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the merger of GameStop & EB. Here is part of the story...

Investors will get the chance to vote on the merger at the annual stockholders meetings, scheduled for October 6. The boards of directors for both EB and GameStop have already advised investors to vote in favor of the merger.

If it's approved, the merger will be concluded soon after the meetings. Operating under the name of GameStop, the company will own more than 3200 stores in the US, with about USD 3.8 billion in annual revenue.

The Fall TV season is coming full steam. FOX seems to be getting an early jump with some series already started (see my Now Watching sidebar) like Prison Break. There seems to be a flood of "good looking" thriller/suspense/supernatural series this season. I thank LOST for opening the floodgate. I don't know if any of these will be as good, but the teasers running for shows like Threshold, Invasion, and Surface peaked my interest. I just got my Fall Preview TV Guide so I will look to see what else catches my eye. My DVR units will be working hard for the next month or so.

I've been looking for a wireless router for a while now (around the time I got my PSP, hmmmm). The price point seemed to be about the same through all the stores, but unfortunately most of them required 2 freaking rebates to hit that ~$45 range. Now these were all "G" units, although I did occasionally find a deal on a "B" unit I just held out. Well Sunday I found that Target had hit the 50% clearance mark on the Motorola WR850G units. I just couldn't pass up a "G" unit for $25, and no rebates to deal with. Set-up was extremely easy (the only stumbling block was a reboot of the cable modem) and fast. I even updated the units firmware from the Motorola website, and I was good to go. I can now say I've surfed the web on my PSP in the living room which was pretty cool. :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Swedish PSP lovin...

Okay when we get new hardware launches in the US why don't we get chicks with painted on shirts? I think they would go over big at Best Buy. :) They would probably dig those funky yellow PSP cases.

Man them Swedish people are crazy, I mean that in a good way. I gather it was some sort of a PSP launch party, unfortunately alta-vista doesn't offer Swedish translation. Anyway if you want to you can check it out here.

TV & Movies... and looting.

A week or so of feeling like crap, and I really hadn't gotten out much. Anyway the kids are back in school so it's early to rise, unfortunately that means getting up 5 hours before I have to be to work. Been putting my DVR through its paces, just to make sure its ready for the upcoming fall season. Cox finally got off thier arse and added KWCH to my HD line-up (yay!), and I hear that UPN might be up in HD sometime this year (soon?). Doesn't mean Cox will ad them to the line-up, but I believe there is more chance in seeing them before NBC on the DVR. Speaking of HD, I have found that I will watch (linger if you will) a channel in HD regardless of whats on. Bugs (yeah the creepy crawly kind)look really cool, as does anything with a lot of scenic shots (travel shows, and bridge construction). I have even watched some of the US Open which looks awsome on Universal HD (my current favorite HD channel) even though I don't really care anything about tennis.

I actually watched two new movies today! I think thats the first 1st run movies I've seen since Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo (see the feeling like crap part above). Okay I went into Underclassman with low expectations especially seeing as I've only seen the trailer a couple of times on tv. I'll admit I really enjoyed it. There I said it, flog me at will. It was funny, and there were a lot of recognizable people in it (Cheech Marin, Kelly Hu, and Roselyn Sanchez).

Then I went into Transporter 2 being a big fan of the orginal movie. Sorry to say I was a little dissapointed. :( The action was top notch, but it just felt (mainly the action scenes) like deja vu. Its a short movie running just around 88 minutes. This makes all the action bump together, and it never really slows down to you know... tell a story. I figured Luc Besson probably only produced the sequel not having much control, but he also shared in writting the script. If you liked the first one you will probably like this, but I think I would have been more entertained re-watching the first one. On a side note the credits indicated there was a French film unit, but I couldn't tell you what scenes were shot there it all looked like South Beach to me. (I'm guessing but I assume it was some of the interiors).

Last but not least here is how they shop at Wal-mart in Lousiana.

Okay if that wasn't enough check out this video from MSNBC, if you can't stop the cops who are supposed to stop the looters, who can you stop??

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Even more PSP's infiltrate the world...

Well today (Sept. 1st) was the European launch of the PSP unit. They ship with v1.52 firmware installed, but include the v2.00 update on the demo UMD that comes with the package. There is a notice in the package that states "Important! Before using your PSP (PlayStation Potable) system for the first time, insert the Demo Disc included in this pack and switch on your PSP for the latest system for the latest system software update. It is only necessary to insert the disc once.", trying to intimidate you into upgrading? Currently there is no way to downgrade from firmware v2.00 back to the hacker friendly v1.50. Someone posted last week that they have found a way to downgrade from v1.51/v1.52, and that information is supposed to be released today.

If you want to check out some screenshots of the French Virgin Megastore launch click on the Jeux-france website.