Monday, May 22, 2006

I will buy a Xbox 360 when....(Update #1)

1. It has gone through at least 1 price cut.

2. There are at least 12 titles with an MSRP of $20.

3. I have white spotted (ie, played) at least half of the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube games in my collection (not counting ones that were bought just for Sarah or duplicates). (Update #1: Did a rough count of my games and this number is around 90. Sheesh! Why is it so easy to get so many games so quickly!)

Friday, May 19, 2006

E3 2006 Wrap up

I know I didn't actually go to E3, but I've been following the podcasts and web sites and here are a few of my end of E3 observations (from the sidelines, anyway):

  • Sony was probably the biggest loser of the show. The PS3 is too expensive to create enough of a market base to support big game development. The controller is a dissapointment due to the lack of rumble and the tacked on motion control. Most of their games aren't going to make launch and Blue-Ray isn't enough of a reason for people to get this system. And why the hell did they have two different versions if everyone thought that Microsoft shouldn't have done it? True they had some pretty good looking exclusive games, but none of them were worth $700+ to play.
  • Nintendo is still waiting for the ship to stop rocking. While the controller wasn't a disaster, it wasn't universally accepted as a good thing. Add to that the so-so graphics and unless it makes it on price point alone, Ninny might still just as well stay in the handheld market. I have a feeling that once the Wiivolution gets into peoples homes, lots of problems are going to crop up with that sensor strip and the controller.
  • Microsoft is, I'm surprized to say, the show's big winner IMHO. They gained the advantage of having their system price look cheaper (compared to the PS3) and they have more high quality games in the pipeline since the hardware has been out there for awhile already. Before E3 I had no intention of getting a 360. Now, I have to say that I will get one either this Xmas or beginning of next year depending on price cuts and system changes (the cooler CPU). Certainly the 360 controller has always been a desireable feature and the Xbox Live is getting better (ie, offline downloads of demos). With the inevitable death of in-magazine CD/DVD's, this will be the way to get them.
  • Prediction: E3 '07 will be a veritable ORGY of games! Noone will be talking hardware as it will already be released and it will be way too soon to be looking at a new platform. That just leaves lots and lots of next gen games to make our eyeballs bleed with pleasure! (Oh, and I also expect that MGS4 will still not be released.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

E3 Inspired Blog - #3

Well, the systems are out and now they are talking games. I have to admit the Wii games are looking more and more attractive because of what the controller can do (well, when it works correctly). Seeing games like Fable 2 and other 360 titles makes me think that either I will need a 360 at some point, or an upgraded computer (if they also put them on PC - which I think we will see alot more of until these systems build up a large user base). The DS line-up is also enforcing my decision to get a DS Lite in June. More Pokemon titles! Looks like there will be some more good Cube games - nice to see it isn't dead yet. As for PSP titles, I can only hope they follow in the footsteps of GTA:LCS and bring them out on PS2. With a 100 million unit base, you'd think it would be a no brainer, but Sony may have some real trouble keeping the PSP going. UMD's are going the way of Beta and at $200 it's still a very pricy unit.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

E3 Inspired Blog - #2

After the latest news, I think I'll start writing their name $ony.

So, PS3 is going to be $600 (I don't even count the cheap one - it's the same bad idea that Microsoft had). That's twice the original price of the PS2 and a huge investment for a gamer. I balked at the thought of the 360 being $400. How long is it going to be before the PS3 drops down to something reasonable? 2 or 3 years? And how are they going to get enough of a customer base to justify games being made for it? (Not enough boxes in homes means not enough units of games sold in the stores.) And they wimped out on the controller. Motion sensitive but no rumble and it looks just like the old PS2/PS1 controller?

But there are suckers all over the place. I was at Gamestop today and three people (2 in the store and one on the phone) asked if they were taking pre-orders yet! More money than brains, I guess.

Monday, May 08, 2006

E3 Inspired Blog - #1

With the net humming with E3 news in every shape and form (yeah, podcasts!), I've gotten the bug to blog again. During this week I'll try to post once a day even though I'm not actually at E3 myself. (I'm actually within driving distance of the event, but am not one of the chosen ones who get to attend.)

As for next gen consoles, I have no love for the 360. I think Microsoft rushed it out the door and cut the legs of the original Xbox too soon. On top of that, most of the good games are on PC as well, so why drop $400+ to get one? (Ok, it might be different if you have a sweet HD-TV setup, but I is not one of them.) But I am losing something because of the 360...mainly advertising for sale games. Every 360 game ad, is one less for the PS2, Cube, GBA, and Xbox. Very unfair.

I am looking forward to the PS3 even though I doubt I'll be able to get one at launch. Price and availability (and my own cheapness) will more than likely make it a canidate for Birthday Present 2007 (or maybe even Xmas 2007 - yikes!).

As for the Wii.... /sigh .... I love Nintendo. I really do. But WTF were they thinking? Was no one in the board room of the Western persuasion when the decision to call it Wii was made? I guess if it's cheap (in comparison to 360 and PS3) it will get enough of a user base to survive its silly name. Favorite jab: "The Nintendo Wii. Urine in the game now!"

Trend I want to see die: Downloadable games. First they screw us out of maps and game aids. Then they take away paper manuals. Now we won't even get our own copies of a game? BS meter is pegged, folks.