Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Wii and the Aftermath of the Sony Conference

I still have a big final 14 hours from now, and I'd like to spend at least 8 of those hours studying, so I'd better get through this post fairly quickly. If you don't care about video games, then you picked the wrong day to read a tech blog since that's 90% of the news out there. I posted yesterday right after Sony's press conference, but it looks like we missed out on some specifics. Remember the two price points? Apparently, the cheaper one is not only 40 GB lighter, but won't have an HDMI port (necessary for HD output, though we speculate component output will be available), WiFi, or any kind of external memory (SD/CF/MemoryStick) support. Doesn't look like too big a deal, but the lack of WiFi kind of sucks. Oh, by the way, they're also trying to copy the Wii with tilt sensitivity in the controller, which doesn't make sense at all and eliminates support for force feedback, which I think everyone loved. I'm now starting to get pissed at Sony. What about Nintendo? Click to enlargeWell, we all figured that they'd bust out with a $250 price for their Wii, but no such luck. However, they did announce an alternate classic-style controller, which I presume would be useful in playing games from their former consoles. Some official hardware specs are up, but they had more aces in the hole than that. It turns out that the console will be able to download updates while in standby mode, so its WiFi is always on and working. What everyone was really hankering for though was Twilight Princess, and they got it. I'm sure we'll get to read much more hands-on info with the Wii tomorrow as 27 games will supposedly be on the showroom floor ready to be demoed, as well as that fancy controller rig.

I wasn't particularly compelled by the Microsoft press conference, but it did happen and it had some interesting nuggets, including a Grand Theft Auto 4 release promised. What was really crazy thought was the announcement of Live Anywhere, which integrates Xbox Live with Windows Vista PCs and cell phones, and it sounds like they're closing in on a great idea here. Oh, and they showed a Halo 3 trailer. Fox finally caved and has decided to offer 16 of their series on iTunes including 24 and Prison Break, and even some old series. Quite an impressive victory for Apple considering how stubborn Fox was. Warner Brothers has decided to incorporate torrent technology in selling movies online the day they come out on DVD at a comparable price, but it'll only play on the purchasing computer. I don't know how well that'll go over with that restriction and at those prices, but at least it's a step forward for them. Demand is high for Apple's Mac Mini machines, and I suspect that people are using them as media centers, or probably just cheap machines that can run Windows and OS X. Lastly, the Webby award winners have been posted, and I'll let you browse the list yourself. In case you don't know, they're like the Oscars for web sites.

Strangely, that's actually Steve Carrell. Why the white beard? It's a picture from Evan Almighty where Evan is assigned to build Noah's ark. I just think Carrell looks wierd under all that hair. The real surprise today was the release of the trailer for Lady in the Water, which sounds much more like a scary thriller than a bedtime story to me. I don't know what to say about this trailer, so please watch it and see what you can make of it. We also have our first clip now from Rocky 4, and it's really just Rocky entering the ring in an unnecessarily long slow motion sequence. If that wasn't enough multimedia for you, then there are plenty of X3 TV spots out there. Legendary Pictures has picked up the rights to make a movie out of the Warcraft video game franchise, though it supposedly will not follow any of the games, but likely take place in the world created by the games. I'm not crazy about this random fantasy movie trend. Lastly, it looks like Kiefer Sutherland is in a documentary called I Trust You to Kill Me about the indie band he's been trying to promote, but supposedly it's just a great look at Kiefer himself. I'd definitely watch it just to see how he really is.

Now for the Tuesday Twosome:

1. What two gifts would you like for yourself?
A MacBook Pro and a big screen DLP TV please :)

2. What are your hobbies? Why do you like them?
Playing guitar and blogging, because I'm passionate about and have fun with both of them.

3. What two things remain constant in your life?
Currently, my weight and my family.

4. If you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what two items would you want in your pockets?
A satellite cell phone and a DS Lite with that new fangled Mario game.

5. What two books have changed your life?
Catcher in the Rye and Siddartha.


Russ said...

That picture of Steve Carell almost looks like he's trying to play Gandalf.

[Mat] said...

I have to agree with Russ.

And yes, sony sucks. big time.