I've been gaming since before I got my NES on Apple II's and an old IBM 8088. Never had an Atari or Odyssey. I got an NES for Christmas in the 80s and have been a gaming nut ever since. I love Nintendo's IPs and because of this I've bought every systemm to date (including VB). In addition to every Nintendo system (-Wii), I've also own a Dreamcast, XBOX, 360, and PS3.
Wii FriendCode: Sold my Wii... damn thing was gathering dust.
I'm sure this has been done a million time in the past few days. Hell even Penny Arcade has managed to sum it up in a cartoon already:
For the most part I agree wholeheartedly with their assessment.
I'm not sure anyone really "won" this year. I'm wondering if perhaps a lot of the luster is gone from the last few years. Before we were all pumped up for the launches and then all of the new games for the second year (3rd for 360). Thing is, most of those games are out, and we know now how good (or bad) those games were. Seems to me that Sony and MS are scrambling to keep up, whereas Nintendo seems to know exactly where it is going. So, I watched all of the press events and here are my impressions. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong or right.
Image Credit: SF Gate.com
As I mentioned, the 360 is in it's 3rd year. They've had a lot of exclusives that have been great games, but they seem to have run out at this point, with the exception of Gears 2, Fable 2, and some DLC for Fallout 3 and GTAIV. Pretty much everything else is on both platforms. That being said, despite the "power difference" of 360 vs. PS3, the 360 versions look every bit as good as their PS3 counterparts. The difference being XBL.
MS had a very well rounded demonstration. I say that because the beginning of the conference dealt with the "hardcore" audience. We saw demos of some really cool shit, especially Gears 2 and Fallout 3. Then came the video download stuff. More movies for rent with the addition of NBC/Universal and others, and perhaps more importantly is the collaboration with Netflix.
Then came the other stuff... They put the Wii on my 360... It's not all bad though, just mostly. First we get a new dashboard... What was wrong with the old one? What about people who downloaded themes? Will the old themes be imported or is that money lost forever? Then Mii's... I mean Avatars. They look in between Mii's and Home's avatars. They mention new clothing and what not, which I fully expect them to sell to us (.:rollseyes:.). Some of the interaction is neat though. Not that I'd show you all my vacation photos, but I could. The chat and interactions could be useful for big parties of Dtoiders though. The whole avatar thing just seemed gimmicky and a classless ripoff of Mii's. Not that Mii's are the first 3D avatars there were many 3D PC chat programs before it. The Scene It game, Movie game, and online interactive game shows look like they could actually be fun though, so I'm holding out judgement on them.
Then we get FFXIII on the 360. I could care less. I'm not a big RPG guy anyway. Although, I understand that this is a big deal to a lot of you. Just not me.
Overall, aside from the avatar and Dashboard redesign, MS gave some pretty good stuff.
Image Credit: SF Gate.com
I'm by far the most disappointed with this presentation. Iwata mentioned during his speech that people expected the Wii to fail and it's done the opposite. I wouldn't say that we expected it to fail, but rather we expected it to fail us. That is, those of us who actually grew up playing games and still do. It had done just that. BUT, what it has done is bring videogames to a new, much larger audience than ever before. The Wii and DS are absolutely insane money makers for Nintendo.
On to the presentation...
They bring out a Soccer mom to tell us her life story and how she hurt herself by going outside and exercising... Aren't we supposed to go outside now and then? I guess not. Then we get to see 1080 Snowboarding with a Wiifit Balance board interface. Not a bad idea actually, except Soccer mom is doing impossible moves without having played it before... They seem to set the bar so low so as not to disappoint anyone or discourage anyone from playing. That is, with the exception of people like us who played 1080 snowboarding so much that they got the silver and gold and crystal guy to race with. You know, people who play games with at least some challenge to them.
Then we get to see a new Wii sports with the MotionPlus attachment. First off, why not update the old one with the ability to move yourself during tennis, or make the putting more accurate (and fun)? Instead we get frisbee, WaveRace, and sword fighting with pencil sharpening? Then we get to see Miyamoto come out and show us Wiimusic. Horrible. Absolutely horrid. It looks like fun for about a week, if that.
The whole time I'm thinking that they're going to pull something out of their ass like MS did with FFXIII, but they didn't. There was no Pikmin, Kid Icarus, Mario, Zelda, Kirby... anything. A new Animal Crossing with some interactive bits to it though. This was a positive thing. The microphone was a good addition as was the online interaction bits. Their online system is still broken though. Wii friend codes suck Nintendo. Get with the times and allow usernames already.
If you can't tell, I was disappointed severely by Nintendo's presentation. Aside from Animal Crossing, I saw nothing that would make me want to turn on my Wii for months more.
Image Credit: Wired I think over the last year Sony has realized that they were getting their ass kicked by the competition. I think they predicted that a lot of people would defect from the 360 to the PS3 and that didn't happen. MS did a very good job this generation, with the exception of the hardware problems, and Sony is paying for their previous cockiness. That being said, they went almost toe to toe with MS. To counter Gears 2 we saw Resistance 2, which looked really good, though not nearly as complete as Gears 2. Little Big Planet looked really good too, and the use of it for the business part of the presentation was refreshing and fun simultaneously. To keep up with the interactive group entertainment of the Wii and 360 we saw Singstar and Guitar Hero announcements as well as a new Family Friendly packaging of both the PS2 and PSP. Good move by Sony on both parts IMO.
The PSN games and new PSP games had me excited. Fat Princess looked hilarious and fun, and the early reviews indicate that it is. A PSN downloadable Rachet and Clank that looks as good as last years game (likely same engine), but at a 15$ price point. Nice. Gran Turismo TV is something that will interest a few people that are not me, but what it shows is that the PS3 can deliver VOD-type stuff pretty well. Which brings me to the announcement of the Movie store. The prices were in line with the 360 store and the quality likely the same. Similar to the iTunes store though, you could actually buy movies as well as rent them. On top of that, you can download those to your PSP to watch while on the run. Very cool IMO. Leveraging the PSP against MS is a good idea. A very good idea.
Then towards the end we saw the start of a trend that is likely to come to home consoles (or at least the PS3 and 360). That is MMORPGs or MMOs in general. DC Universe is not my thing, but I can see how a lot of people would.
MAG then came up. 256 players in one battlefield. Very cool, but could it have looked any more plain? They should just slap Warhawk 2 on the front and go with it. MAG needs an identity. Any Identity and if it works, it'll be a very cool game.
Overall, Sony's presentation was pretty well rounded and they showed a lot of stuff that I was impressed with. Some of the features with the PSP were really good and the games look pretty damn good.
Totally overall, I think the best presentation was probably MSs. It had everything from new footage of "hardcore" games to new footage of "family/Wii" like features and games. Nintendo just let me down every moment they were talking. Sony, was humble, which was refreshing, and they showed a lot of stuff. Good stuff, but it just wasn't as complete or full as what MS gave us.
Like many of you I have a lot of gaming equipment and computers in a small space. When I lived in a small apartment the distance from my "living area" and my bedroom was usually less than a few feet. Then I moved into something that more resembles a house and with a wife who values things being tidy. Which is why when/if I ever get around to posting my gaming rig it'll look like your Mom's house. Anyway, the eyesore of our townhouse was these two ethernet cables of 50 feet streching from our office/front bedroom across the entryway and living room floor to our television (360 and PS3). Rugs didn't help and many people including myself managed to trip over said cables numerous times putting into jeopardy my TV, consoles, and router. To say the least we needed to changed something.
Figure 1: My floor wasn't this bad, but this is how it looked to the wife.
Normally, you'd get up in the attic and run a CAT5 or CAT6 (ethernet) cable and put a jack in the wall near your router and another near your TV. We have vaulted ceilings and my attempts at climbing in the attic "space" were just not gonna happen. I was not given "authorization" to put holes in the wall/ceiling or to run cables outside and drill holes into the side of the house. Compromise is a tough thing guys, get used to it.
Figure 2: Let me show you my wireless signals.
For the longest time I had been eyeing technologies that would fix my problem: Wireless and ethernet over powerlines. Wireless is great right? You buy two routers and bridge them. I know this works because I've done it with computers before and it can often be cheaper to buy two routers than it is to buy a single router and a wireless card (at least it used to be, I haven't looked in a long time). The problem with wireless is it's throughput speed is limited and it introduces lag since the data is communicated over the air and not through wires. When I was looking it seemed that a wired solution is the best way to go. But, other than laying wires across my floor what could I do?
Figure 3: POWER!
Ethernet over power. No, not power over ethernet that's completely different. Essentially, you plug a box in one room and it has an ethernet jack (RJ-45) and another box is plugged in the room that you want to get the data to/from. The box converts the ethernet signals into signals that it transmits over the power wires within your home. In the past, this technology was really not so great because it often had low throughput speeds (Homeplug 1.0 spec was rated at 8 Mbps) which were not fast enough to stream video. Newer (2.0 spec) equipment is rated for 200 Mbps, however, real life speeds are approximated to be 1/4 of that. Still plenty fast for streaming even HD video and introduce little to no lag/latency.
So, I looked around for this equipment and found some on NewEgg. As is typical for me I spent many many weeks mulling over all of the details and how it would work. The shame of it is, is that very few people have bought Homeplug equipment in the states and that there are only a few manufacturers of this type of equipment. Contrary to the advice of Tazar, I went with the Zyxel equipment. Tazar suggested against Zyxel because as a DSL support super guy he had a horrible time with Zyxel modems and routers. The reason I went with Zyxel for this equipment is because they were Homeplug 2.0 spec and they had a box with 4 ports. The spec is important because there exists a chipset that is faster than Homeplug 1.0 but isn't compatible with 1.0 or 2.0 spec equipment. For the sake of future upgradibility I went with Spec 2.0 equipment. Oddly, Spec 1.0 equipment does not talk to Spec 2.0 equipment but they can coexist on the same powerlines.
So here's what I bought. The Zyxel PLA470 4 port router and the PLA400 ethernet adapter from NewEgg. The total was approximately 160$ with shipping. This is an expensive solution when compared to a cable across the floor, but in the end I'm liking what has happened so far.
Figure 4: The PLA470
Figure 5: The back of the PLA470
Figure 6: The PLA400
Figure 7: The back of the PLA400
Essentially I plugged the PLA410 into the wall near my cable modem and took a wire from it to the router. I then plugged in the PLA470 router into the living room next to the TV and plugged in the 360 and PS3. I turned both the PS3 and 360 on and I was online. That was it. I played Warhawk that night with the PS3 crew and then played Haloz coop with SpiderPig last night without a hitch. I haven't tried streaming video with it, but I imagine it would work fairly well.
BTW, this isn't an endorsement of Zyxel equipment or Newegg.com. These are just my findings. There are many other retailers and a few other manufacturers' of Homeplug equipment. YMMV. All Rights Reservedô.
Server Name: DTOID_WNW
Server Password (case-sensitive): TOID
Maps: all six (so if you don't have Omega Dawn, you'll be kicked off when we play that map, and you'll have to re-join...or at least that's how I think it works)
Server Time: 7ish until Brooklyn
What's this? A guest spot for moi on the Amazon Deals with an actual good game... for the PS3?????
If you own a PS3 and you don't have Warhawk you totally owe it to yourself to pick up Warhawk today at Amazon with the Jabra BT headset for the price you'd pay for the game online without the headset. Is the headset the greatest thing in the world? No. Does it work well? Yes. If you don't have a headset and you don't have Warhawk you really can't go wrong with this deal.
For those of you who need some convincing. Warhawk is a multiplayer 3rd person shooting game where you can control planes, tanks, jeeps, and a variety of anti-aircraft and anti-ground turrets. Weapons include rocket launchers, fame throwa, sniper rifle, machine gun, pistol, land mines, and special binoculars to call in air support. The game is very well balanced and a lot of fun.
Wednesday and Friday Destructoid PS3 folks get together and this is one of the few premiere games which we huddle around. I know I haven't been around so much lately, but I'm thinking of making a come back to WNW this week. I'm feeling the itch to shoot things (Liam2015) in a tank and lay mines everywhere.
If you have a PS3 and you don't want WarHawk, well you're a big fat pussy and you'd probably like this deal instead:
Imagine Babyz is on sale for $29.99 today at Amazon today. Is that really on sale? No. But, if you don't like WarHawk you probably should suffer through this game to pay for your sins.
I've been told Fake Game Friday's have been put on hiatus for a while. I created the following game but since it is a popular culture reference that may lose it's meaning I felt it was necessary to put this out there for all to see ASAP.
In the not too distant future, Tom Cruise takes leadership of Sciontology and uses his power and rocket powered DC-8's to influence all of the world's elite. It is your job as Christian Baletair to destroy Tom Cruise's plans for world domination and restore order and peace. Baletair will have all new weapons and moves at his disposal to stop the evil Cruise. Learn new moves of the Gun Kata as you progress. Gun Kata is a martial art that places emphasis on two tenets: shooting the enemy as efficiently as possible, and avoiding return fire. If Baletair's health becomes dangerously low you can activate a special Psycho Baletair mode where Baletair strips naked and chases innocents with a chainsaw. Baletair can also become freakishly skinny using his Machinist ability and gain the ability to sneak through cracks or small gaps. Also, instead of a noble stead, Baletair can gain access to the Batmobile to barrel his way through Cruise's followers. This is, however, at the sacrifice of the element of surprise.
I had help. D, Riserglen, BlindsideDork, Snaileb, Bahamut, Hoygeit, DVDDesign and Maxvest all had a hand.
BTW, Fake Game Friday still lives on in the forums... Go HERE to submit yours.