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Thursday, October 30, 2008

IGN: Sony PSP-3000 Review

I read this the other day, but it promptly got buried in the IGN site, so it's nearly impossible to find it now... gotta love how sites like IGN are so focused on crashing your browser with overloaded flash ads that they forget about the actual CONTENT that people come to their site for...

Anyway, IGN did a review of the PSP-3000.... it's pretty much in line with the many other complaints about the interlacing issue with the new screen. There are some nice pics there-- and no, they don't show the problem... well, maybe THIS ONE does-- but they do bring up an issue with "yellowing" of white details on the new screen compared to the PSP-2000.

I'm surprised (well, not really, this is IGN after all) that they didn't mention the iPod Touch screen, as that also had more "yellowing" than previous models (iPhone). Even the black & red "Brain Age 2" version of the Nintendo DS Lite apparently had more yellowing than previous DS lite screens. this bugged a lot of people... it's the model I have, but maybe because it's my first DS, I don't have too many problems with it. I can't really compare it to previous models though.

IGN: Sony PSP-3000 Review


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

Ok, Star Wars Battlefront I & II are my ALL-TIME FAVOURITE GAMES. So I'm pretty biased when it comes to the Star Wars Battlefront franchise. When I heard that LucasArts was making a Star Wars Battlefront game specifically for the PSP, my favourite console... needless to say, I was ecstatic.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is a PSP-exclusive game developed by Rebellion Studios, not Pandemic Studios who developed SWBF I & II. This made me pretty nervous. But after playing the game, my fears were put to rest. Renegade Squadron is a worthy & faithful addition to the Star Wars Battlefront franchise, even if it doesn't offer too much different in way of core gameplay (All 3 games have fairly minor differences/improvements between them)


+Core Star Wars Battlefront gameplay is preserved.

+Game was made from the ground up for the PSP system and plays great on it.
Improvement on PSP port of Star Wars Battlefront II.

+Tweaked the character class aspect of the franchise, making it more customizable.

+Single player campaign, Galactic Conquest, & Instant Action modes... plus Ad-Hoc *AND* infrastructure play.


-Doesn't advance or change the overall Star Wars Battlefront gameplay very much.

-Graphics have never been a strong suit for the franchise.

-AI is a bit easy.

If you've never played a Star Wars Battlefront game, it's a 3rd person shooter set in the Star Wars universe. Some may be frustrated by the amount of dying you do, but you have to look at it this way: It's not like a traditional FPS or linear game where you are trying not to die at all.... it's more like you're playing as an entire army, one soldier at a time. You gotta go through a few to get the job done.

The game has 2 sides fighting on a map, with command posts for each side. You need to stand close to an enemy's command post for a certain amount of time to take it over, then it becomes your sides command post. These CPs are where soldiers spawn from, so it can be tough sometimes to take one over if enemies are spawning from it. As more CPs are taken over by one side, the opposing force loses reinforcements; they have less troops they can spawn... and the battle's over if one side has no troops or CPs left.

Traditionally Star Wars Battlefront has had about 4-5 soldier classes you can choose from. Each has their own strengths & weaknesses... let's say there's a soldier that has a jetpack. They might have a weak weapon to balance the game out. You choose one and get on out there. When you die, you can choose the same one, or a different class. Repeat.

What Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron does to tweak that feature is instead of having set soldier classes, they changed it to a set amount of (100) points. All weapons & upgrades cost certain amounts. As long as your total is 100 points, you can get whatever you want. So say you wanted a jet pack, you might have options to get a better weapon than in previous games. Or you could make your soldier really fast/strong with a lesser weapon. The expanded options are a bit daunting at first, but once you get into it it gets more comfortable to understand.

I was afraid this new system would really unbalance the game, but for the most part it's handled fairly well.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron improves on the PSP port of Star Wars Battlefront II by making everything a little smoother. Loading times are shorter, space combat is better, and you can go inside ships (not just the hanger like in the PSP port of Star Wars Battlefront II...)

There are 2 different control schemes, the default can lock targeting on an enemy, moving the camera on them:

and the alternate (in my opinion the best FPS controls for the PSP short of a 2nd analogue nub): analogue nub = move, face buttons = look. As long as you like these modes, the game controls very well.

What I really love about Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (and all the SWBFs) is that they are pick up & play; if you want to just fight out 1 battlefront, you can do that. If you want to fight a bunch, you can do that too. It can last as long as you want. That's why they are my most played games, even a year after getting it.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron IGN gameplay footage:



So I got a notice that MSN was closing its Groups section... big surprise, yeah right..... and it was pawning off its Groups members to some other site called Multiply. Multiply seems to be some sort of Facebook-wannabe "Social Networking site"... I dunno.

What's really annoying is I re-joined the former MSN Groups that have migrated to Multiply, and I *specifically* set my email preferences to *not* get email from EVERY SINGLE LITTLE MESSAGE posted in these Groups. So of course GUESS what's happening.

Not only am I get EVERY BLOODY MESSAGE sent to my email, it's sending the SAME message MANY MANY times. So whoever's posting is probably not even posting that much, but when I get that same bloody message 10-15 times... gah, it's annoying.

I've checked my settings over a few times, I thought maybe it takes a day for them to kick in... but I'm still getting this crap... and none of that explains why there's so many repeats of the same email message anyway. Multiply seems like a PURE CRAP site. Seriously, how hard is it to make an email mailing list that doesn't go crazy & spam its members? I can understand these things happening once in a while, but this has been going on for a few days, and Multiply seems to think this is normal & acceptable behaviour.

I'm going to give it a few more days, and see if Multiply can stop SUCKING so much. I doubt it can. Avoid Multiply, they seem like a shitty site.

I may just import this post onto my Multiply site... but if this is how they are normally, I don't want to support them in any way, not even if it's slagging them.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Useless crap that I have a crush on - Sony Rolly

I saw something that reminded me of the Sony® Rolly I read about last year, when I was heavily researching mp3 players.

Sony® Rolly:

It's stupid, useless.... but I really like it. ...

[EDIT]:Just looked to see if it was available in Canada, and came across the Sony store listing it for $400.00....$400.00?!? GO FUCK YOURSELF SONY. I think I'm over it now.....


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monkeys and the Atom Bomb

This is a rant about Sony.

I've developed a phrase to describe what happens when good technology gets ruined by incapable owners of that hardware. Not consumers, but the very companies that the tech may've spawned from. I call this situation Monkey and the Atom Bomb.

The basic idea is, what if mankind destroys itself, but leaves behind some of its greatest tech creations, one of them being the atomic bomb. Left behind are monkeys, who have no idea what it is or how to use it. They poke & prod at it until *boom!* So what does this have to do with Sony? I'm getting there.

We've seen Monkey and the Atom Bomb throughout history. 2000 years ago, the Roman Empire was stationed in what we now know as England. They built buildings that had furnaces and indoor plumbing. Eventually the Roman Empire left, leaving those buildings behind. But the Britons at the time were basically mud-eating peasants who had NO understanding of furnaces or indoor plumbing. They took apart the stone bricks of the buildings to make shacks & lean-tos! There's only a few remnants of the Roman technology in historical sites, but it's also a bit of a reminder how DUMB the ancient Brits were. Oh well. Monkey and the Atom Bomb.

Fast forward to the ancient times of 1998. Yahoo! dedicates a part of its site to online message forums, called Yahoo! Clubs. It works pretty well for the most part, until Yahoo! lays off a bunch of its programmers. Then in 2001 or so, it buys an emailing list service called eGroups, and eventually tries to merge it with Yahoo! Clubs. But the people who made the Yahoo! Clubs have either been fired or downsized, and whoever is left has NO IDEA how Yahoo! Clubs worked, so they end up breaking a lot of it to cram eGroups into it, making it the mess that is Yahoo! Groups. Yahoo! couldn't understand what they created, and broke it trying to figure out what it was. Monkey and the Atom Bomb.

So this is where Sony comes in. Go back to that long forgotten year of 2005, and Sony unleashes the PlayStation Portable, the PSP. This device is fairly cutting edge; on the surface it is a portable games machine more powerful than any portable console before it. But it's also a fairly robust media player, handling music & video playback, as well as photo viewing. It's a really advanced piece of kit, and lives up to the standards of the best Sony products, like the Walkman, their CD players, etc.

Firmware updates add functionality to the PSP; web browser, limited flash suport. But they also inadvertantly *ROB* the PSP of key functionality. Firmware 2.80 made music playback after sleep mode garbled, I had that problem back in 2006. It was eventually fixed by firmware 3.00.

Now there are huge problems with the new & "improved" screen-- interlacing issues with the PSP-3000. Owners of the new PSP 3000 are reporting that the screen quality is so bad that it's interfering with gameplay & video:

Firmware 5.00 again seems to wreck functionality that the PSP needs, the sleep timer has been added to music playback, but it doesn't allow the PSP to go to sleep mode when the music is paused for a certain amount of time.
Completely ridiculous that as a way to combat homebrew & piracy, Sony forces users to update to the latest firmware; to play a game you must have at least the level of firmware on the game disc or it won't run.

What happened to the original PSP design team, Sony? Are they all gone/shuffled to different wings of your empire? Whoever's in charge of it now clearly doesn't know what they're doing, they don't *GET* the PSP. And they're breaking things in their ignorance. Not only are they coming out with new PSP hardware revisions every year, but each one is a cheaper build quality than the previous. A classic, and sad case of Monkey and the Atom Bomb.

Sony created this miracle device called the PSP, but they don't even understand it anymore. That's part of the reason why I hate them... but I still love the PSP.


Need For Speed Carbon Wii, Metroid Prime Hunters

Bought a couple of discount games from The Source(@Circuit City).... Need for Speed Carbon (Wii) and Metroid Prime Hunters (DS)... each $15.00.

Pretty good deal, they were clearance priced, I found them by hunting through their website & looking up to see if any stores in my town had the games I wanted in stock. I'd been somewhat interested in Need For Speed Carbon as it's one of the few car games on Wii. But I was a bit iffy on the controls, I expected it wouldn't control great.

Been playing it tonight.... I *really* want to like this game, and nope, not thrilled with the controls. Steering is done by flipping the Wiimote sideways, which is how I think driving games should work on the Wii. But the handling is very loose & sloppy; it works ok for normal turns, but terrible for sharper ones. I've been trying it with the Wii wheel I got from MarioKart Wii, but it handles better without it, which is a real shame. Even without the wheel, the handling still really sucks. I've been trying the same races over & over thinking I'll eventually get the feel for the controls, but I haven't gotten any closer to getting it. I'm just bouncing back & forth from wall to wall; once you bounce off a wall, it's near-impossible to recover & get back on course again. I get the feeling that EA budgeted a set amount of time to tweak the controls; once that time was up the game was out the door no matter what. That's what it feels like to me, and it's a very frustrating thought.

I haven't tried Metroid Prime Hunters yet. After a lot of playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (I only paid $10.00 for it "new" at EB games!) I found the Metroid Prime FPS experience to be interesting, but tiresome. The thing about Metroid Prime is that it's not a FPS exactly, it just looks like one on the surface. Beyond the basic "shoot at the enemies down the corridors & rooms" there's a lot of backtracking, scanning & puzzle work. Every boss is a series of puzzles to be figured out; the only way to defeat them. What bothers me the most about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is how it takes a billion shots to defeat EVERY enemy, even if they are a lowly minion or basic grunt type. It's a very tedious experience. It gives me the feeling like my weapons are always underpowered... there's constant power ups, and instead of making me feel like I've achieved greater power when I find them, I feel like I'm always a step behind the next level of power I need.

So why did I buy Metroid Prime Hunters? It was cheap. And I expect high production values, judging by MP3:C. I'm hoping that my mind will be changed with Hunters... I dunno....


Saturday, October 18, 2008

cost of games per hour

Lately I've been thinking about the cost of games..... specifically, how much they cost versus how many hours of gameplay they give. I was thinking about breaking down how much the games cost me per hour... how much gameplay should one reasonably expect to get from a videogame?

Games in arcades used to cost 25¢. Which would probably last a few minutes. But they are different from home console games.... the structure of arcade "quarter eaters" is meant to seduce you & take your money quickly. There aren't very long cut scenes & the gameplay is immediate. I never played arcade games that much, but I had friends who'd shell out about $20.00 per 2 hours spent in an arcade. How does that compare to videogames nowadays, that you pay $50.00+ for & take home & play?

I've been thinking a lot about my videogame spending, and I've tried to keep it to a pattern of buying mostly games that are sale-priced, heavily discounted, and a few that are full price. Most of my purchases over 2008 have been heavy-discount sales; thanks to that one EB Games sale this last spring that had a bunch of Wii/PSP games for about $10.00. I bought a lot of stuff that I was interested in, but not necessarily something I just *had* to have (a few were though) So this formula has been a bit skewed because of the low prices of these lucky sales grabs.

But there are a few games I paid full or almost full price for recently, notably The Force Unleashed for Wii. $50.00 for that, plus tax, making it about $57.00.... and how many hours did I get out of that? I'd say about 6-8 hours for the first run-through of the campaign. That does seem short, but you need to go through the game 2x to get the second ending (well, you don't really HAVE to, I saved just before the final level so I could actually just load & play that one level & choose the 2nd ending if I wanted) so there is some replay value in the game, though I have to admit, it's a fairly repetitive brawler so playing it again is not as exciting as the first run.

Based on one play-through of campaign - I paid $ 7.13 per hour of game. It's going down, because I am replaying it again in short bursts.

Compared to one of the sale games I got, Star Trek: Conquest for Wii, I paid $10.00 for that, and played at least 10 hours of it. So I paid about $1.00 per hour of game, probably less, maybe even 50¢ per hour. Pretty good value.

There are a few games I've put LOTS of hours into (not proud of that...) like Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron for PSP. I got it bundled with my PSP, but it was priced seperately at the time for $40.00. I would have paid it, no question. I don't know exactly how many hours I've played it, but easily 40 hours. $1.00 per hour, and dropping.... Star Wars Battlefront I, II & now Renegade Squadron are my all-time fave games. I just love to pick up & play them.

I would say in general, my target value is something like $5.00 per hour. I think that if a game reaches that, it's probably worth it.


Monday, October 6, 2008


Awhile ago I picked up Crush from EB Games "new" for $9.89... I couldn't believe the killer deal when I saw it; I'd been waiting for it to drop from the $40.00 MSRP it was first listed as.

What an awesome puzzle game this is, it's really one of the most innovative games out there.


+Very original take on going from 3D gameplay to 2D & back again.

+Puzzles are well-designed; challenging but not cheap.

+Nice art for cutscenes, there's a story which is unusual for puzzle games.

+Controls work well for the most part.


-Sometimes the camera zooms out way too far.

-40 levels isn't really a lot.

-Little replay value.

Crush was a game I'd followed during the early stages of its development, hoping it would live up to its hype, and it pretty much has. Basically, you have to make your way out of a level, getting to the exit point. You do this by moving the camera around, and "crushing" the world from 3D into 2D... say a ledge is really far away. You angle the camera so that it "looks" like it's touching your side of the ledge, and then you crush the world so it goes 2D & you can cross to the other side!

This Crush trailer shows a sample of the gameplay mechanic:

A big problem with puzzle platform games is often that the camera/controls interfere with the gameplay, having to fight the controls just to play properly is no fun. I think that Crush's controls are pretty nicely tweaked along with the platforming, there is still a few frustrating platforming moments, but overall it's very nicely balanced. The puzzles learning curve starts off low & ramps up steadily, as it introduces new elements like dealing with giant bugs, tripping pressure switches & other obstacles. What's really nice is that there's no hard & fast time limit, except for certain clock traps that set off timers. Overall it's really about figuring out the puzzles.

40 levels may seem like a lot, but the gameplay is so good, it does leave you wanting more. And they do have modes where you can go back & best your previous time, but there isn't much replay value once you've figured out all the levels.

There's a storyline to the game, which is unusual for puzzle games. Your character is going to a therapist to deal with his anxieties, and each level-- the puzzle-- is a part of the character's mind, and he's collecting marbles to unlock the exit & gather up his memories. The cutscenes are shown in static comic book style drawings that are really nice & stylish, there's full voice work, though the voice acting of the main character isn't so hot.

I'd say Crush is one of the best PSP games available, especially if you're into puzzle games.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Toys R' Us sale - Red Steel, Wii Zapper

I heard about a Toys R' Us sale so yesterday I went down there & picked up a couple Wii things:

Red Steel - $9.97
Wii Zapper (w./Link's Crossbow Training) - $9.97

Ok, I also bought this little toy Wiimote thing that apparently flings out candies... I chucked the candy out, and the toy will hopefully serve as a DECOY for my 2-year-old niece. When she's over she'll play around with my real Wiimotes and drain the batteries-- not to mention get them all grimy & stuff. I haven't been able to find a broken Wiimote for sale cheap (or at all, strangely enough...) so I hope that this toy will suffice... it's a longshot, but worth a try....

The Wii Zapper is my 2nd one, for $10.00 it's worth having another one I figure... and I may just try to play both player 1 & 2 on Ghost Squad so I can have DUAL WIELDING.... that could be kinda cool. Or it could be totally stupid. We'll see.

But now I have a 2nd copy of Link's Crossbow Training, it's a really fun little mini-game shooter collection.... it's not what I would call a full game, but it's a terrific pack-in with the Zapper, to give people something to jump into right away. I don't need 2 copies of the game, I'll have to find a way to unload it, I guess....

Red Steel is a game I've been curious about since before buying my Wii last year. I've read a lot of bad/mediocre reviews, so I wasn't expecting much. I haven't gotten to the really frustrating parts yet, I think I'm just on the verge of one, but so far it's been fairly ok, even fun... for what it is. The devs tried to be too precise with the Wii motion controls, they should've allowed for much more forgivness. There's no map and it's really hard to make out the enemies from the background, I pretty much can't see them unless they're shooting, and I end up relying on seeing the muzzle flashes of their guns. Still, it is a fun, goofy game that so far is totally worth $10.00.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nintendo DSi - R.I.P. GBA slot

This is the DS Lite model I have, the Crimson/Black DS Lite that came packaged with Brain Age 2. I got mine on the release day in August 2007 from Future Shop which also included a bonus case (it looks nice but doesn't protect the sides so I don't use it anymore) and a bonus game, umm... Monster Trucks or something? It's fun, but I wouldn't buy it on its own.

I'm really liking my DS Lite, the killer app that got me to buy it was Brain Age 2. It's still one of my most played DS games.

So sort of lost in the big announcement of the upcoming release of the DS Lite redesign, the DSi, is that the slot for Game Boy Advance cartridges is now gone. Historically, Nintendo has been very consistent with maintaining backwards compatibility with its systems, up to a point. Sure, with the GameCube switching over to disc-based media, it cut itself off from the previous Nintendo cardridge-based media consoles. And the Game Boy Micro can only play GBA carts, not original Game Boy or Game Boy Color carts.

DSi makes a big step in severing ties to the vast Game Boy Advance cartridge library. A lot of people might think, what's the big deal? New GBA games aren't being released anymore. And with their focus on downloadable content, it looks like Nintendo is going to make GBA games available to download & save on a DSi SD card. So what does it matter? Well..... aside from Nintendo making GBA fans rebuy the games they already own on carts..... there are still reasons why the GBA slot is important, even to the DS.

Even though I own 2 Game Boy Micros, the GBA slot on my DS Lite is still important to me.

The big draw of the DSi for me is the media functions. But really, I *ALREADY* have those media functions like music playback because I have a Play-Yan Micro. I got the Play-Yan Micro for my Game Boy Micro, but it works just fine in my DS Lite (like all GBA carts, it does stick out... in fact it sticks out even in the GBA Micro, so it sticks out EVEN MORE in the DS Lite) It's a pretty good music & video player, plays back content from an SD card. That's all it does, it's very basic but it's nice. There's a good review of the Play-Yan Micro here.

Although, right now my DS Lite's GBA slot is filled with an Ewin Rumble Pack I got from DealXtreme for like $4.20 or so... and shipping was free! It was so cheap, I just had to get it.

I only have 1 DS game that supports rumble, Star Trek: Tactical Assault. The list of rumble supported games seems pretty small. There is at least one other rumble DS game I want, Custom Robo Arena, I've heard reports of it being like $10.00 at Wal-Mart in the U.S.... here in Canada, I can only find it at EB Games for like $40.00! Waaaaay too much. I'm hoping I'll spot it in Wal-Mart or Zellers, places like that for really cheap.

In Japan, they released a paddle controller that plugs into the GBA slot, I heard it's great for games like Space Invaders Extreme & Arkanoid. And even though it doesn't interest me personally, Guitar Hero: On Tour, the DS game relies on a fret-button peripheral that plugs into the GBA slot. That game only came out a few months ago, I think they're even planning a sequel. How do you think Activision feels about the DSi? They're probably biting through wood right now....

Not to mention that playing GBA games on a DS is still pretty fun.


Nintendo announces the DSi

Wow! For the last.... while... us Nintendo fanboys have been anticipating/dreading/speculating that a new version of the DS was coming. There were even timelines stating how according to Nintendo's schedule, it was "about due"...

I guess they were right: Nintendo (in Japan) has announced a new DS: The DSi!

From DSfanboy:

  • Overall size has been reduced -- DSi is 12% or 2.6 millimeters slimmer than the Lite.

  • Comes with an external 0.3 Megapixel camera (for 640 x 480 pixel pictures) and a VGA camera located on the hinge, directed towards the user. You'll be able to edit pictures using the touchscreen.

  • Full music playback functionality, including adjustable pitch and playback speed.

  • Both screens have been expanded to 3.25 inches.

  • SD memory card slot is included, and there'll be on-board memory also.

  • Will ship with an built-in Nintendo DS web browser.

  • DSi will allow users to download games from DSWare, a new service that operates with Wii Points -- or, as they are now known, Nintendo Points.

  • Logging onto DSWare for the first time will grant users 1,000 free Nintendo Points.

  • DSWare comes in four pricing categories: free (!), 200 Nintendo Points, 500 Nintendo Points, and 800 Nintendo Points.

  • Will come in lovely matte white and matte black. Begone, foul fingerprints that have taunted us so!

  • And finally, it launches on November 1st in Japan, and will cost ¥18,900, or roughly $179.

[EDIT: Yikes, I just found this article from PC World about the DSi's stats. The most worrisome: NO MORE GBA SLOT! I didn't even notice that in the pics, since the slot is normally on the bottom of the DS Lite.]

2 cameras! 1 inside & 1 outside. Weird! Obviously the outside one is for taking pics and the inside one is for games or internet communication. There are *a few* DS games that use a camera, but they include a camera module that hooks into the DS Lite's GBA cartridge slot. I can't see all that many developers making camera-dependent games for this DSi, because that would alienate the DS Lite base, unless they included a camera attachment for the DS Lite (or if Nintendo made a seprate add on for sale)

And Nintendo has been overly paranoid about internet connectivity, so I wonder how robust any video/camera feature would be as far as webchat goes.

The screens are slightly bigger than the DS Lite:

Not a huge difference, but an improvement. Nice.

I think it's kind of freaky that the DSi speaker holes have changed to look EXACTLY like the PSPs:

[EDIT: More from the PC World article]:

Screen: The DSi screen is 3.25 inches diagonal width. That's bigger than the 3-inch panels on the DS Lite. Both are color TFT (thin-film transistor) LCDs (liquid crystal displays) with 260,000 pixels resolution.

Size: The DSi measures 137 millimeters by 74.9mm by 18.9mm making it a little longer, deeper and thinner than the DS Lite, which measures 133mm by 73.9mm by 21.5mm.

Weight: The DSi weighs in at 214 grams. That's a touch lighter than the 218-gram DS Lite but close enough that you're unlikely to notice.

Battery life: Depending on the screen brightness gamers can expect anywhere between 3 hours and 14 hours on the DSi versus 5 hours to 19 hours on the DS Lite.

Battery recharge time: Good news for gamers is that the DSi takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to recharge -- 30 minutes faster than the DS Lite.

Compatibility: The DSi can play software developed for the DS and DSi but lacks the compatibility for GameBoy Advance software that's present on the DS Lite. Any DSi-specific software won't play on the DS Lite.

Inputs: The DSi features a DS and SD Card slot. On the DS Lite you can find a DS Card slot and GameBoy Advance cartridge slot but no SD Card compatibility. Both have connectors for power and a stereo headphone and microphone.

This is just initial details, can't wait to find out more... but much like the PSP-3000 announcement, this doesn't look like a huge upgrade from the current DS Lite. The 2 units look nearly identical, aside from very small changes.

As someone who uses the media functions on my PSP as much--sometimes more-- than the games, I am really intrigued by the DSi's SD card slot and (not known at this time how much) onboard memory. They mentioned that the DSi will play back music files. I'v experienced Nintendo's music playback functions through my Play-Yan Micro, and the Wii's mp3 playback. It's flexible in that you can pretty much load mp3s in any folder you want, and the device will see it. But overall, it's basic; not as flexible as the PSP, and even THAT device isn't all that flexible an mp3 player compared to the more robust dedicated ones out there.

$180.00 price point... that seems pretty high, it's about equal/maybe a little higher than the price for the PSP. Especially considering the current DS Lite retails for $130.00 right now, but that could've been a planned clearance price to screw over new buyers get rid of old stock.

We'll really have to see how Nintendo handles all this added functionality. Honestly, I'm not expecting a lot... they have a "let's just throw it out there & see what sticks" type of mentality, as opposed to really thinking things through. I'm still in shock, not nearly as much as the PSP-3000, I was sort of expecting this... these upgrades seem nice, but right now, I'm not kicking myself for "only" having a DS Lite.

[EDIT: DSfanboy has posted an article with Nintendo America head Reggie Fils-Aime saying that "The DS Lite is on track to sell 22% more units than it did last year, says Reggie. Because of the incredible demand, we won't get the DSi until "well into calendar year 2009" ]


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Game Boy Micro: just checking

Today I fired up the ol' Game Boy Micro, just to make sure the battery hadn't completely died. I should play with it for a bit & charge it up (same with my DS Lite) since I haven't played them for a long time.....

Game Boy Micro has to be the most portable handheld console available. It's flexible in that it plays all GBA cartridges, as opposed to the "10 games in 1" type of consoles that are found in places like Wal-Mart that have no expandability with game selection. The screen is tiny, but so bright that it can be played outdoors (unlike the PSP... we'll have to see if the screen improvements for the PSP-3000 will really make it viewable outside during the day)

I really like the Game Boy Micro, it's so tiny & cute. The only thing I don't like about it is after playing it for awhile, it makes my PSP & DS Lite feel HUGE. And that is just so wrong.


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