Thursday, November 24, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Best 360 commercial ever... Rare/HTF/Sold Out!

I was watching some of the Xbox 360 commercials the other day that Doogie had links too. I really didn't like the "jump rope" one (the only one I caught on TV), and although the "water balloon" was better it still didn't do the 360 justice. I had read a couple days ago about one that was shot, but wouldn't air because they decided it was inappropriate. I knew it was supposed to be shown at the Zero Hour launch event, and it has made its way onto the net. Check out this article for a link to the video (try the mirror link under Update #2 it worked for me).

If you've been checking eBay for 360 items you'll see that the systems are not the only thing in short supply. Hard drives were going for ~$300 this morning (although they seemed to have steadied out tonight ~$200). I realize they released the core system so they could say that the console launched at a $299.99 price point, but I think they would have been better off just producing the value pack. Judging from the some of the prices on eBay people would have been willing to pay more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Oh yeah baby...

Well I got my hands on my very own Xbox 360 tonight. I have transferred my Live account over, and looked through some of the music and video that came on the HD. The dashboard blade system is pretty cool, doesn't matter what your into notification bubbles will "pop-up" on your screen letting you know a friend wants to chat, or has sent you a message. I haven't even gotten around to playing a game yet. :) I really need to go to bed so I can get up in the morning, 7am is going to be here really quick. On a side note there looked to be about 25-30 people in line at Best Buy when I left work about 1am, man I don't envy them it's going to be cold out there tonight.

Check out this link Doogie sent me tonight. Really cool Christmas holiday music video.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tonight's the night...

Well it's here T-minus 14 hours 21 minutes until the launch of the XBox 360! I am really excited even though I still have to figure out a way to pay the rest off (in that same time span). I may be digging around for trade-ins today, although more likely is trying to generate some birthday cash early. :) If you have a system pre-ordered I really hope you didn't get this phone call, or if your one of those brave people going out to wait in line Good Luck! Everyone is talking about Wal-Mart's, Best Buy, and Target I recommend some of the less traveled retailers like K-Mart, and Alco.

Because I had a request for it, here is the link for the Mario Kart DS decal maker. I thought I had posted it earlier, but evidently not.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Alone time with the 360...

Well I finally got some 'alone' time with an Xbox 360 demo unit, it finally showed up this afternoon at work. First off the 360 itself is hefty, it weighs more than I anticipated. It's hooked up to a Samsung 19" HD Widescreen LCD monitor and looks simply gorgeous! I really like the feel of the controller, although it seemed a little light, maybe the batteries in the wireless model will add some weight.

I finally played all the way through the Call of Duty 2 demo, and really enjoyed it. Firmly sticking to my plan that CoD2 will be my launch title. I did play around with the dashboard without the demo disc to look around at the different options. Most of the settings must have been set before Microsoft shipped the units out, as everything seemed to be set correctly. I looked around on the Hard Drive, but didn't find anything on it. It showed there was only 13GB available so the operating system must use about ~7GB like the original Xbox. It does not seem that the demo units have backwards compatibility installed because both Halo, and Halo 2 greeted me with "The disc is not from a compatible region, or the disc is dirty or damaged" error.

Here is an interesting mini-review from someone in Canada that won a system through their PEPSI promotion.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Xbox 360 backwards compatibility...

Well Microsoft has finally announced the backwards compatibility list for the 360. The list contains more than 200 games (a lot more than I expected), and they say more may be added before the 360's November 22nd launch.

According to the Q & A with Todd Holmdahl it also points out this very interesting fact.

One of the great things about gaming on Xbox 360 is the satisfaction of knowing that every game will be playable in high definition. We are now proud to reveal that this extends to the original Xbox games as well. Every original Xbox game will be upscaled to 720p and 1080i, and will take advantage of Xbox 360Â’s anti-aliasing capabilities, delivering a picture that is clearer and crisper than anything available on Xbox.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nintendo WiFi, and flunking Drivers Ed.

Well the Nintendo WiFi site is now live at, and it shows the compatible games (Mario Kart DS, Tony Hawk American Sk8land, Animal Crossing : Wild World, and Metroid Prime Hunters). The site also includes a how to connect faq (Home, or HotSpot), a HotSpot locator, and a list of compatible home WiFi routers. Wichita shows one partner HotSpot the McDonald's I mentioned a while back at 2615 W 13th St. N, and 5 non-partner that may not be compatible. The 5 non-partner locations are the "Free Wi-Fi" spots in town Bean Scene, Java Villa Cafe, Vagabond, Watermark Books, and Wichita Mid-Contintent Airport. I must say I'm impressed with Nintendo's commitment to get wireless gaming into the hands of the masses, at least it doesn't look like the GameCube attempt.

Okay here's someone who is probably not passing Driver's Ed...

I spotted the wreck on Saturday morning, as messed up as the cars were I'm guessing someone ran a red light at the intersection.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Xbox 360 sighting... Finding one a challenge?

Well it seems Best Buy got their Xbox 360 demo unit in, and set it up yesterday (Sat) at some point. Well per my other post Wal-mart employees evidently don't know how to set up an HD tv, because the one at Best Buy looked soooo much better! I was still disappointed in the jaggies, but the text was all crisp and clear. I read on the net that evidently the demo code (Call of Duty 2 specifically) does not have anti-aliasing enabled so there is still a chance that the retail version could look even better.

I've been reading all over the net that a lot of retailers are only getting 10-50 units at launch, and most of the specialty retailers (Gamestop, EB, etc.) are only getting around 20 at launch. It looks like if you want a launch unit your going to be waiting in line at Wal-mart, Target, or the like unless you pre-ordered real early.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More Wal-Mart 360 luv, and Nintendo WiFi looms...

Well I finally got around to going back to Wal-Mart (Pawnee & Broadway) to check out the 360. A couple of the other local stores had the units hooked up, but both had the controllers disconnected so the machines were just running the video loops.

I figured that 8am would be a good time because all the little kiddies would be going to school, and sure enough there was no one around at all. I went through the blades or menu system first where you could choose Live, Games, Media, or System pages. Most of the items under Live, Media, and System were just advertisements for 360 accessories, with the exception of the Xbox Live Arcade title Hexic HD.
Shot from the  Microsoft X05 event, that's Hexic HD in the background. :)
I played it for a bit and it's a pretty cool little puzzle game, it plays sort of like Zoo Tycoon/BeJeweled. The play field is already set with different colored hexagons and you choose a clump of 3 then you can rotate them from the center axis clockwise/counter clockwise with the object being to match up at least 3 hexagons of the same color. It comes pre-installed on all of the 360 hard drives so if you don't buy any games at launch at least you'll have something to play.

The games blade had all the demos/videos you've heard about, playable versions of Kameo, Call of Duty 2, and King Kong although the last one froze on the loading screen and took a reset to get out. I played Kameo for a bit, not a bad game (3D platformer) but not something I'll be getting at launch. The visuals were bright and colorful, and it's one of those games where you can morph into other characters each with their own abilities. I don't believe it's Rare's killer app though, as I got kinda bored after 10-15 minutes.

Then there were videos for Ghost Recon, PGR 3, Full Auto, and some others, which brings me to the bad. The video's I watched were all squished, I mean they looked like watching a 2.35:1 movie on a 4:3 tv with giant black bars on the top/bottom, and all of the text from the blades, or demo start up screens wasn't sharp. I'm more convinced that either the 360, or LCD didn't get set up correctly when they installed the system. I just can't believe that 720p looks that bad on the King Kong menu screen there were so many jaggies that it looked like the days back when I first started using a 3dfx card. I hope we get the demo units in soon at work so I'll know its set-up correctly, and you wont have to crane your neck at an 80 degree angle to see the screen.

So after much deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I think the only game I'm grabbing at launch will be Call of Duty 2 although I want to see Gun also. A note for you penny pinchers there is an ad in the new Official Xbox Magazine (December 05 issue) EB Games has a $10 voucher rebate on the purchase of Call of Duty, Gun, Quake 4, or Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. I've also heard a rumor that EB will be running a trade-in 2 get 1 free special on 360 software through December, but take that with a grain of salt.

On a totally unrelated note 4 color rebellion is stating that site is supposed to go live on November 7th. It will give us the basics on how the DS will work online, locations of wireless hotspots, and general online game information.