21 October 2006

... And this little piggy cried Wii, Wii, Wii all the way home ...

So the video game industry has been throwing a few wild wrenches in the gears as of late.

First, there is the issue with Battlefield 2142 and in-game ads. They're charging the normal $50 for the game and including in-game ads. Hello?! That makes me feel equal to when I go to the movie and pay $7.50+ for a ticket only to be lambasted by 20 minutes of "television-style ads" after the lights go down and before the trailers for up-and-coming movies start. If I wanted to see those, I'd stay home on my couch and watch them for no extra charge on my television.

NADEO a French based company, created one of my all-time favorite games... TrackMania Nations. This was the first game I'd seen that implemented in-game advertising. But it was alright becuase

  1. The game is completely free to download and play

  2. Racing games always have billboards with ads now they're just dynamic

  3. Did I mention the game is free?!?!

Trackmania Nations was my first introduction into the world of TrackMania, and I was so sucked in that I went and bought TrackMania Original and TrackMania Sunrise. (And I'm mega-stoked for the future release of TrackMania United.

What I don't understand is why EA doesn't drop the price of the game since they're making cha-ching on the in-game ads... If I wanted to pay to see advertising, I'd go to the movies...

Next issue. My friend Dan send me a link to an article on Windows Vista and how they've moved sound rendering into the DirectSound software and out of your sound hardware and its drivers. For you non-technical people, let's just say that the ultra-cool Creative SoundBlasters I've been putting in my machine for years will pretty much be rendered void of their coolness; and games on Vista will tank cause software rendering always means the game's performance takes a hit.

When I first heard this, the gears started spinning wondering why Microsoft would do something so stupid. Is it a ploy to force developers to develop against weakest link, meaning we're one step closer to the marriage of Xbox and PC Gaming? (Another step involves XNA.) It definitely smells like a step towards an "It doesn't matter what kind of PC you buy, because the $300 junker whose brand won't be mentioned will be as good as the custom $2500 rig the hard-core gamer built. Next thing you know, they'll move 3D rendering all into DirectX and out of the hardware and its drivers... so the whole nVidia/ATi rivalry that has brought PC gamers everywhere gaming delight with ultra-cool performance gaming video cards would fade-to-black also.

Luckily I haven't heard wind of Creative throwing a fuss yet, so maybe it's just a rumor, or it may not be how things really are when Vista ships.

Either way, both pieces of news near the same time threw me into the PC Gaming doldrums. If that's how the future is looking for PC Gaming, I may just find myself cuddling up with the kids in a year or so in front of our Nintendo Wii... at least they never disappoint with their classic franchises that have lived on through five generations of Nintendo consoles. Wii will... Wii will rock you. (Can't wait to play Super Mario Galaxy and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.)

Honestly though, I hope it doesn't come to that, because nothing beats gaming online with your PC.

19 October 2006

Miss a new Kim Possible episode... Im Possible!!!

Those that know me know that I follow one TV show faithfully and one show only... Kim Possible.

Disney has this silly rule that a series can air for three seasonsKim Possible - The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made... EVER! and then it's done. They've broken the mold with their series "That's So Raven"; and my friends at Save Kim Possible (SaveDisneyShows.org) have been working tirelessly to make Disney abandon the rule for the Best Animated Series EVER Made. They've succeeded and are continuing to demand boxed sets, a theatrical movie and other cool things.

So rumors had been floating around that new episodes were starting to air this fall. I hadn't heard anything on Disney Channel (which is allowing people to watch free episodes on their site currently, so I highly recommend if you have broadband and haven't seen Kim Possible -- go check it out...) so I started snooping around on TV.com to see what I could dig up.

I found the episode guide which mentions that a new episode "Trading Faces" had aired on 1 October 2006... Needless to say, I about messed my pants.

Continuing my search, I went to Disney Channel's complete schedule. They have an option to look at a list of all the episodes and see short descriptions (and see when they're airing if they're airing within a week or so.) I didn't see anything about "Trading Faces," so I contacted the gang at SaveDisneyShows.org. They were very helpful in telling me that Bob Schooley from the Kim Possible crew said that new episodes will start airing in February 2007. Whew! Life is good again.

** For those interested in checking out a free episode of Kim Possible on DisneyChannel.com, I highly recommend the Halloween episode. Go to the Hauntoberfest playlist and click on the "Kim Possible - October 31" episode. Enjoy! (Also check out the "American Dragon: Jake Long" and "Phil of the Future" Halloween episodes; they're fun too.)

16 October 2006

I'm a blumberjack and I'm okay...

So I finally gave in and decided to start sawing blogs. This is an experiment on several different levels.

The first is to see how good Google ads can REALLY match the content of one's site.

The second is to see how much my awful lack of communication skills can keep people's attention (despite my random babblings.) I am, as it were, the King of Babble-On. Don't believe me? Ask any of my friends (especially the ones I pay to stay as such.)

The third is to see if blogging this way really will be faster than the hand-coded HTML wanna-be blogs I've had running on my various other sites, of which I've had about as much time to update as a full-bottle of ketchup at a restaurant has to dispense fry-dipping goodness onto my plate.

So, from now on this will be my senseless, unfocused place to blather until I figure out how these silly things known as "blog" really work, and find out if they're worth it. Here I will attempt to entertain, vent, laugh about myself and my cute little family, Video Games me and my Friday Night Gaming crew are into, software development (including my much neglected and desperately needing attention JavaScript Jedi site), other technology babblings, goings-on about different groups of friends I'm trying to keep in touch with and more.

If my experiment succeeds, you'll see more of these popping up to go along with my other sites... so I might be able to keep them a little more up-to-date.

I hope you enjoy your stay here; cause heaven knows there are plenty other time-wasting blogs for you to go spend your time with... ;)