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Monday, November 20, 2006

Gears etc.

Well it looks like I’m making a habit of only getting posts in on Mondays.. bad me, BAD! ;) My excuse this week is that I went to the Gears of War ‘Emergence Day’ launch on Friday afternoon. It meant taking time off work (which I worked in this weekend), but it was well worth it. Besides the launch itself, which was great fun (we went to a shooting range to fire off a few shots on a 9mm and a shotgun), we got collectors edition copies of the game, as well as copies of Flight Simulator X. There were a couple of nice ‘freebies’ in our ‘welcome packs’ as well, which was great.

You’re just a COG in the machine!

The game itself is pretty good. I’m not convinced it deserves the 95-100% ratings everyone has been giving it, but it is undeniably impressive. The very gritty look of post-apocalyptic Serra does a good job of showing off the Unreal 3 engine, but the way-too-familiar story and gameplay are a bit of a let down. Epic promised great things of this game, and while it does what it does extremely well, there’s nothing revolutionary here.

And then there were three

The ‘next generation’ is now officially here in full force. The last two weeks saw Nintendo and Sony release their new systems, and as is to be expected they both sold out in no time. The PS3 has managed to garner mainstream press attention thanks to the ridiculously inflated price it is commanding on eBay, and because of a series of violent incidents surrounding first-day sales. Analysts have also been making worried noises about the incredibly low attach rate of the PS3-apparently less than one game per console. For a system that loses Sony almost $300 every time a customer buys one, slow game sales is scary stuff and I would hate to be a Sony exec right now-or a shareholder for that matter. The Wii on the other hand does not seem to have stolen headlines quite as effectively, but it has certainly stolen sales. Nintendo managed to deliver a huge number of consoles to retail, and they practially walked off shelves-and unlike Sony and Microsoft, the big N is actually making a profit on each console.

Now that everyone is in the ring, it will be interesting to see which way things go. Of course this Christmas will not really be much of an indicator, as Sony is still struggling with manufacturing issues, and the early adopters are never the deciding factor anyway.

Now if only Ms would get their asses into Gear and get Viva Pinata out in SA dammit!


One has to wonder about the mental stability of someone that is willing to wait hours in a queue to buy potentially buggy hardware on launch day for %600. Even more worrying is someone that will spend that time waiting, only to take this $600 paperweight and smash it to pieces in front of all the other eager customers. Check out the hilarious video at



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