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Comment Re:It's the *content* that matters (Score 1) 496

Well, thanks for an actual intelligent discussion... so rare on teh intertoobz these days. Farmville and the like are just the same as those kinds of games always were, it's just more easily accessible to the average person. Games like that always existed but either needed a console or handheld (Harvest Moon, or even Animal Crossing) and as a result saw limited followings.

Animal Crossing has a decent showing: DS - 11 million units and Wii - almost 3.5 million. But I see your point considering Farmville claims over 70 million people playing. I don't see much in the way of Hollywood voice acting, amazing 3D visuals, cut screens, and detailed story in Farmville. Take note game companies, people play Farmville without all those elements! I still wonder what their revenue is like.

Nintendo could clean up by re-launching those titles in a place like Facebook... but they have always resisted that. Eventually they may be forced into this direction. Hop on with a media player vendor and create a real iPod alternative with Nintendo branded titles = insta-win over Apple.

I have no idea what Nintendo will do after Wii runs it's course. Then again, no one knew what Nintendo would do after the Gamecube. They managed to zig when everyone else zagged. Can they pull that off again?

Those $60 short games often have good production and gameplay, but they are short because of the enormous costs to make a game any longer... plus us gamers shot ourselves in the foot by glomming onto downloadable content packs and endless sequels. Make your game $60 and short with what normally be the rest of the game in multiple DLC packs for an extra $5-10 a pop and you suddenly got $100+ for the same game you normally would have sold for $50-60.

This is where gaming is truly in decline. Game companies wanted to become movie companies and look at the results! I blame the "hardcore" crowd. The result is that consoles are in decline. The way I see it is that most consoles have a "hardcore" stigma -- testosterone to the max. I don't remember the Atari 2600 having this "hardcore" stigma. On the contrary, I remember going over to a friend's house and playing Atari 2600 games with him and his mom!

It is all interesting to me to watch play out simply because I was on the other side for so long. I also only wrote fully independent articles and reviews which meant I wouldn't take the standard bribes and payments for glowing reviews. It's also why I'm not afraid to speak out in forums like this. I have no dog in the fight, so it's purely academic anymore.

It is very interesting. I have never owned a console until I bought a Wii. I am *not* a hardcore gamer, but so far I am having a blast playing New Mario Brothers and Mario Kart. It makes me wonder if I missed out when the NES was king.

Comment It's the *content* that matters (Score 1) 496

I mostly agree with what you said. I see Farmville on Facebook more of a threat than iPhone and iPod games -- Farmville for iPhone anyone? It seems like everyone I know on Facebook is playing that game. The question is how much does Farmville make? I know Apple says they have tens of thousands of apps, but we don't know how much people are making off those apps and how well games are actually selling.

You mentioned solid production values. That is key. A game company is not selling technology, they are selling content. As long as Nintendo can make good content then they will be able to compete. Is Super Mario Brothers Wii fun? Can you play it over and over? What about Wii Sports? Mario Kart Wii?

I think a lot of game companies are having problems because they are making very expensive games that lack content. How do I know that? Just look at what these $60 games sell for after three months on the market. Instead of the game companies ramping up content, they spend more money on making an "interactive movie" or putting in steamy sex scenes and complain about used game sales. Game over.

Comment Re:Top 10 of the top 20 console games... (Score 1) 496

I agree that the "hardcore" market is a sham. That is why Nintendo did what it did. They are trying to make gamers. Not "hardcore" gamers, but gamers none-the-less. They are trying to make games with very good reply value. People still play the Super Mario of old because it has lots of fun levels and therefore makes for fun year after year. Nintendo is hoping the New Super Mario Wii will have that same value, not only with new levels, but with the addition of local multiplayer and the minigames. The "hardcore" hates this stuff, but "gamers" love it.

The "hardcore" laughs at Wii Fit, but it sold very well. Lots of people are playing the games in Wii Fit that may never play games on the PS3.

It will be interesting to see if motions controls can "save" the PS3 and XBox. Nintendo was able to build mindshare, will they be able to keep it?

Comment Re:Top 10 of the top 20 console games... (Score 1) 496

It seems to me that it should sell around the same number of units that Super Mario Galaxy sold (8 million units). It is almost half way there in three weeks. Factors in its favor:
  • 2D Mario is cool!
  • Local multiplayer is FUN! No issues with latency.
  • There is likely a huge number of people that loved paying Super Mario Brothers on NES. Why wouldn't they like playing a new Mario with new challenges and fun?

The people that are panning it are probably the same people that think the only cool games are ones with "cinematic feel" and "professional voice acting".

Comment Re:Ridiculous analysis (Score 0, Offtopic) 496

...and so far Nintendo is doing pretty darn well. They blew passed their previous non-bundled record for a game (Super Mario 3 for NES -- 18 million units) with Mario Kart Wii. Mario Kart Wii isn't the best selling non-bundled game Nintendo is selling. Check:

Top 20 console games of all time

It seems to me that Nintendo may have had a drop in sales, but overall is doing very well considering the economic climate.

Comment Top 10 of the top 20 console games... (Score 3, Informative) 496

...are recent games! Mario Kart for Wii and New Super Mario for DS has sold very well.
Top 20 console games of all time
1. Wii Play (Wii – 24.43 million)[68]
2. Wii Fit (Wii – 22.5 million)[68]
3. Nintendogs (DS – 22.27 million, all five versions combined)[69]
4. Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green (Game Boy – 20.08 million approximately: 10.23 million in Japan,[45] 9.85 million in US)[19]
5. New Super Mario Bros. (DS – 19.94 million)[68]
6. Mario Kart Wii (Wii – 18.36 million)[68]
7. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES – 18 million)[108]
8. Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (DS – 17.41 million)[69]
9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2 - 17.33 million)[114]
10. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (DS – 16.81 million)[70]

Except for the single PS2 game and Super Mario Brothers 3, DS and Wii games seem to be selling very well. It will be very interesting to see how well New Super Mario Wii sells. It has been out for three weeks and is currently clocking in near 2 million units.
Games

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Comment 1950-2000 warming nothing to be afraid of (Score 3, Informative) 736

I thought people have been questioning the modern temp data for a while due to land use and urban heat effect. Climate Audit has been tracking this aspect for a while now. We might be warming, but the warming is not universal and nothing more than what has happened in the past. In the context of 1000-1500 years, the warming that happene between 1950-2000 is nothing to be afraid of. To quote CRU:

"The principal conclusion from these studies (summarized in IPCC AR4) is that the second half of the 20th century was very likely (90% probable) warmer than any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely (66% probable) the warmest in the past 1300 years."

Before any of this email stuff, climateaudit caught NASA adjusting the output so that the 1940's blip was not more than the latter half of the century. I seem to recall it was a error in how the program was rounding the numbers. Climateaudit made a new graph with 1940's showing the warmest year. NASA reproduced the results and then later produced a new chart that showed the 1990's having the warming year with the 1940's the second warmest.

To quote another post of this subject (a href="http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11531">strata-sphere.com):

"Well, the raw CRU data shows that the first half of the last century (1900-1960) was as warm or warmer than it is today. But even if it was not warmer, it was within the uncertainty of the processed data. But let’s assume this claim still holds water, so what if this was the warmest half century since the beginning of the Little Ice Age! We have only had 3 half centuries since the LIA ended! We all know the Earth has been thankfully warming since this bleak time in humanity’’s brief existence."

Comment Well now we know why Google loves the Palm Pre (Score 1) 664

The Palm Pre philosophy is similar to ChromeOS. Google has stated that they love the Pre and no wonder: Palm Pre launching with Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube

I wonder if Android's browser will start taking on some ChromeOS functions. The Pre and Android could become more and more similar over time.

Comment ATI works out of the box! (Score 1) 236

I have a Thinkpad T60p. The video chip is an "ATI Technologies Inc M56GL [Mobility FireGL V5250]." With Fedora 12, for the first time, I have stable 3D video on this system. This includes running the proprietary drivers. I am currently running Compiz with Fedora 12 with the "experimental" ATI 3D support. The are still some issues with games, but for basic 3D the driver is solid. No problems with power management (suspect/hibernate)!

One of Fedora's goals is to get rid of the need for distributing proprietary drivers. So far they seem to be doing a very good job.

Comment Drupal: Powerful core engine (Score 1) 130

I just started playing with Drupal. I have not ruled out trying Joomla, but Drupal seems to have pretty good support out there, so I tried it.

What I like about Drupal is what most graphic design people would hate about it. Out of the box it is not easy to drop a graphic here some text there and make a site. Drupal seems to be focused on storing and presenting lots of information in a consistent way. The admin might make a new type of node in Drupal and give the user some fields to fill out. To the user it seems very simple to post a news release, a blog, or a podcast. To the admin the nodes provides a powerful way to keep things consistent and easy to find.

I will probably check out Joomla and see what it's philosophy is. All I know is that anything is better than Sharepoint -- what a mess!

Comment Re:Demand? (Score 1) 179

What about all the old people they introduced to gaming with the Gameboy and Tetris? Nintendo moved over 100 million Gameboys. Do you think only "hardcore" gamers bought them?

Comment Re:After reading the tech specs I can see (Score 3, Insightful) 179

Nintendo's no longer just a "kiddy" company - their products are aimed at everyone, particularly non-gamers. Nintendo might not win the console wars, but they'll infiltrate the homes of everyone else.

I think their products have been aimed at everyone for a long time. Look how many NES' Nintendo shipped (over 60 million). Tetris on the Gameboy was HUGE! Nintendo sold over 100 million Gameboys. The original Mario Brothers was an arcade like game that worked with two players. Their products are not aimed at "non-gamers". Their products are designed to *create* gamers. Maybe not the gamers the "hardcore" or the "game industry" thinks of (M-rated of course), but gamers none-the-less.

Comment Aren't AT&T and Verizon already working on thi (Score 1) 387

Do we really need the government involved with this? I have fiber to my house. How can you get better than that? Verizon is spending a huge amount of money on their fiber network. AT&T is going about it in a slightly more conservative way. They are putting in fiber to the neighborhood. That seems like progress to me. I live in Los Angles, It is dense, but HUGE. Lots and lots of square mileage to cover. Rural areas will always be difficult, but eventually those areas will be covered also.

The office building I'm working in is now lit. We can get anywhere from 2mbit to 1000mbit service. I can subscribe to a point to point Ethernet connection to any other of the ISP's lit buildings. Pretty nice.

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