Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A heaping helping of stuff...

Well it's been a while since my last posting (as someone likes to point out, you know who you are...). So here is an info dump of all sorts of cool little tidbits since my last post.

Major Nelson (an excellent 360 blog if you don't frequent it...) posted this info "Want to help the Vista team make sure that the Media Center Extender experience on the Xbox 360 is great?" Then sign up for their beta program, but only if you can answer yes to all of these questions:

* You have an Xbox 360 connected to the Internet
* You have a PC capable of running Vista Ultimate or Home Premium (Read the minimum hardware requirements here.)
* You are over the age of 18
* You reside in the US

MTV2 is running a special called "Gears of War - the Road to E3" that showcases behind the scenes the time leading up to E3 2006 from the developer's view. It was okay don't expect anything great, but it's worth watching once. I also enjoyed some of the marketplace behind the scenes footage with PMS Tart, and PMS Mary Jane.

Okay, I found that Nintendo-Europe posted that the DS Lite will officially hit the European market on June 23rd (only about 2 weeks after the US), but wait they get 2 colours. Yep you read that right White, and Black will be coming to the Euro shores at launch. What the #!@% is up with that NoA????

Circuit City has some amazing Xbox 360 sales starting next week (May 28th-June 3rd) so if you missed some of these now is your chance...


Table Tennis >>>> $39.99
Burnout Revenge >>>> $29.99
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter >>>> $59.99
NBA LIVE: 2006 >>>> $29.99
Blazing Angels >>>> $59.99
Full Auto >>>> $39.99
FIFA World Cup 2006 >>>> $59.99
FarCry: Predator >>>> $59.99
X-MEN: The Official Game >>>> $59.99
Hitman: Blood Money >>>> $59.99 (Available 5/30/06 at 5 PM)
Madden: NFL 2006 >>>> $27.99
Tiger Woods: PGA Tour 2006 >>>> $27.99

Burnout for $29.99 is a steal (too bad I already have it), although I think I will pick up Tiger 06 for $27.99.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pondering the E3 press conferences...

Well they've all wrapped up the pre-show conferences and a lot of info was divulged (except by Nintendo who didn't commit to hardly anything.).

Sony kicked off the week with a delayed conference Monday evening. They let it all hang out so to speak, and street dated & priced their new console (Nov. 17 US, and $499.99 20gb version, $599.99 60gb (bells & whistles) version). WOW! After researching the different versions (which didn't last year they say was a bad idea for Microsoft, because it confused the customer?) I found a .pdf with the info. The "core" 20gb version loses the media reader (Pro Duo/SD/Compact flash), WiFi (802.11 b/g), HDMI output, not to mention 40gb of HD space. I don't see the media reader as a big loss, but the WiFi (no PSP<>PS3 connectivity) and the HDMI port (no Blu-Ray DVD true res output) are huge. You could probably add the WiFi back in via USB dongle, but the HDMI port wouldn't be as simple. I think I'll call them the "crippled" and "premium" sets. I wasn't planning on getting one, and this helped me solidify that thought.

Up next was Nintendo's conference which was streamed live through various sites. Unlike Sony "they felt it was in their best interest to keep the launch specifics a secret for a while longer.". All they stated was 4th qtr 2006 you would be playing with your Wii, (sorry, couldn't resist). Then they went on to show off some of the Wiimote game play, and talked about Wiiconnect24 (the console is always on, even when it's off!? Internet connectivity specifically). He mentioned like you have a town in Animal Crossing your not at home playing (say your at work), a friend could still come by your town and leave you a message. So the next time you turned AC on you would see that you had a visitor. They didn't show a whole lot of DS stuff, but did say that by this Christmas there would be another 100 titles available. I was on the fence about picking up a Wii, but the gameplay they showed looked great. If the price is right I'll definitely pick one up at launch (I've heard $249.99, personally I'd like $199.99).

Microsoft followed shortly after Nintendo's conference. There was a lot of game talk including a Halo 3 trailer, and word about GTA 4 being release simultaneous on the 360/PS3 in October next year although Microsoft has an exclusive deal with Rockstar to get "episodic" add-on content through LIVE. Most of the video's shown at the conference are up in the Marketplace (the Halo 3 one was up before it was shown at the conference!) I've checked out quite a few and found some things I'm really looking forward to. On a side note if you haven't checked out the Lost Planet demo, do so now! I love this game. They were tight lipped on the release date for the HD-DVD add-on, as well as the price.

I got up today to find they have updated the Press site with screenshots, and info about upcoming stuff. They are evidently coming out with a 256MB memory unit (about time), and some interesting wireless items including a LIVE headset, and steering wheel. Although there was no mention of the larger hard drive units.

Monday, May 08, 2006

E3 content Ahoy!

Well they just updated the LIVE marketplace content this morning and put up around 12 E3 2006 game trailers, the POSEIDON movie trailer, and the Test Drive Unlimited demo (480MB). So get online and start downloading, I feel sooo sorry for my 360 hard drive this week.

The game trailers are for Bullet Witch, Rain, Medal of Honor Hell's Highway, Dance Dance Revolution, Stranglehold, Battlestations, Dead Rising, Sonic, LotR Battle for Middle Earth II, and a couple EA Sports titles.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Walk towards the Lite, and my 360 blogs.

Well Nintendo announced today that the DS Lite is coming stateside on June 11th for only $129.99 in White only (okay technically Polar White. :( I guess I should be happy they didn't try to shove another platinum version at us, but come on white? I guess I will be importing one now, unless E3 news hints that some other colors are coming very quickly. Looks like the rumor mill was true the old DS should drop to $99.99, and I'm guessing the bundles (Electric Blue DS and Mario Kart/Animal Crossing) will drop to $129.99.

On the bright side of the DS fence it seems Majesco is going to release Cooking Mama stateside. I had watched videos and read quite a bit about this game before it came out in Japan, unfortunately it had way to much Japanese text to enjoy. This almost makes up for the #@*?! White lite.

In other news my Xbox 360 has decided to write it's own blog. Seems like it's insecure, and pilfers through my mp3's when I'm not around. If you would like your 360 to express itself sign-up on the main site.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Overdue, renamed Revolution, E3 Live, new views, and FFXI.

Wow, didn't realize it had been so long since my last update. I guess not a whole lot of stuff going on. The biggest news since last time was that Nintendo decided to call it's new console Wii (pronounced 'We'). Yeah, okay. I personally will be calling it "the console formerly known as the Revolution".

Microsoft has announced that they will be bringing E3 2006 into your living room this year. They have a lot of stuff planned including special downloads, and videos. If you only have a silver account, gold access will be free all week too. This of course will take the place of my pilgrimage to LA since they #*!$^ up admission requirements this year. :(

Part of the last week was spent rearranging my living room because I bought a new TV. 42" of HD widescreen goodness that of course wouldn't fit where the last one was so I had to move all of the equipment around. I will try and post some pics later on, but since it's a rear projection model I'm supposed to let it 'burn-in' for about 100 hours before I start tweaking the settings. I can state that the 360 looks really good and HD content is beautiful, the only thing I haven't watched is a DVD yet.

Well the expansion for FFXI came out and I picked up the 360 version (full game & all expansions) because I really enjoyed playing in the front room sitting in my recliner and playing in HD. I got around to finishing the Blue Mage quest Monday morning so I'm looking forward to leveling that job soon. The new areas I've seen so far look great and it actually took a bit time to finish the quest to go there. Most of the areas are intended for higher level players (60~75) but so far I've done a few quest without dying (insert knocking on wood sound here).