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1281  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Welp -- My Christmas tree is going to be empty this year on: November 29, 2005, 10:16:31 PM
I'd like to officially apologize for buying into Microsoft's agile logistics hype.  As an old supply chain guy, I wanted to believe.  

I will say back when the PS2 launched, I couldn't find one.  We had a friendly Toys R Us in the neighborhood.  So each day before I left work I called to see if more had come in.   After about two weeks of trying, they said yeah, we just got a shipment in.  I headed over and got the second of ten units in the shipment.  My friend whom I called on the way there got number five.  It can work.
1282  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Take a Videogame Quiz! on: November 29, 2005, 10:00:32 PM
Another 10/10 with a couple of guesses.   Probably not really a spoiler but
Spoiler for Hiden:
Some reports now say the PS2 has topped 100 million units sold as well.
1283  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Interesting News. on: November 29, 2005, 03:30:55 AM
Cool.  Is this one of those all expenses paid trips?  We certainly know you won't be afraid to give them your opinion.  :wink:
1284  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Forget 360, may get PS2 to play Shadow of the Colossus! on: November 29, 2005, 03:18:41 AM
I put up a SotC review on my site recently.  As always, feedback is appreciated.
1285  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you think MS will ever phase out the Core unit? on: November 26, 2005, 10:02:35 PM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Quote from: "Jumangi"
From what I understand the core system is that way because of costs. The HD isn't a component thats going to come down in price. Its gonna cost MS about the same throughout the life of the system. But stuff like the CPU and GPU will so I guess the core version will be able to drop in price faster. So maybe in the future you could start to see a greater diffrence in price between the two systems than it is now so MS can offer a better low cost value to get people hooked in.

The CPU and GPU savings would apply to both versions.  If you're suggesting Microsoft wouldn't drop the price of the HD'ed unit in order to make up some of the $126 loss they're taking, it's possible.  However, I'd bank on any price drops hitting both SKUs while keeping the $100 price difference through the life of the system.  I think it'd be too hard to justify NOT dropping them both to the public.

Also, why wouldn't the HD drop in price?  HDs for PCs always do.
Hard Drive prices stay about the same but capacities and speed keep increasing.  That might be your answer to keeping the premium price up as well.   They go with a bigger (& faster?) hard drive, maybe throw in a pack in game or a 3 month Live Gold card.  Core price drops, but the premium can either stay the same or have a more modest drop.  Then Microsoft can sell the larger HD as an upgrade to both core can premium customers.
1286  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 26, 2005, 01:47:08 AM
CS,

I think you're correct.  If you avoid any direct statements claiming SpikeTV did act improperly, a discussion of the appearance of impropriety is certainly fair game.  To go back to the examples,

'This whole thing looks and smells bad' is an opinion and protected.  I would avoid using the words 'awards were paid for' at all without evidence.  I certainly would avoid them in any declaration.  I don't see any declarations in the quote you used so to me that's ok.

I agree that the point of the article is good.  Just take the six million dollar man approach, make it better and stronger than it was before.
1287  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 25, 2005, 05:07:31 AM
I haven't gotten a law degree since my last post, but I can't imagine that claiming provable facts are opinion is a magic shield against liability.  Maybe some of the lawyers around here will weigh in.

The example from Wikipedia:
Quote
For example, contrast "I think Jo is a bad lawyer", which is opinion, with "Jo doesn't know the law", which is defamatory per se.

The distinction appears to be in the nature of the statement rather than any claims of "that's my opinion."  You're saying the statement, "I think Jo doesn't know the law" isn't defamatory.  Wouldn't that open up a whole can of worms where anyone could say anthing about anybody if they added the words, "I think" to their statement?  

Could you say, "I think Dungeon Lords won PC game of the year" in your article?  Is that just an opinion?

I don't want an apology.  I just don't want anything bad to happen to this site.
1288  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 24, 2005, 11:12:11 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Officially: The opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the management of Gaming Trend, or the site at large.
That's fine when he's stating an opinion such as: These awards don't have any credibility with me.

When he's making an accusation of impropriety such as bribed awards, that's either true or false.  Either you have the evidence to prove it or you don't.  Those aren't opinions.

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm not sure that even a statement above the article claiming that Gaming Trend doesn't know that Spike TV has done anything wrong and disavows all claims of the author would protect you from liability.  I'd have Zarkon change the wording or take it down and have him post it in the forum as his words alone.  Why expose yourself to even potential liability when his point can be made without groundless accusations?
1289  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 24, 2005, 05:43:51 AM
Calling it an Op/Ed does nothing to protect you or the site if you make claims that are untrue and hurt the reputation of the SpikeTV.  You can say it smells fishy.   You can say it has the appearance of impropriety.  You can write satire about the awards show where winners are passing bills.  You chose to make a claim about their behavior without proof.

"I can't find any criteria" isn't a good answer.  They merely need something and it looks like they have it:

Quote
Ballots were sent out to the VGA Advisory Board, which was responsible for advising on categories and determining nominees in selected award categories. Winners of the VGAs are determined by votes from the Video Game Industry Voting Council which is made up of more than 200 industry journalists. Winners in two "Viewers Choice" categories will solely be determined by viewer voting.


If I were you or KD, I'd change the wording to something defensible.
1290  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's your GOAT of the year so far - 2005 PC edition on: November 24, 2005, 05:03:57 AM
Strangely, the Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 expansion Soaked.  The original played fine on my system.  The expansion turned it into a lock up monster.  I couldn't play more than a couple of minutes before it hard locked my rig.  The Frontier people on the Atari forum were helpful, but ultimately threw up their hands and said it must be my fault.  Oh well.
1291  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 07:01:10 AM
I'm not defending their manufacturing shortfalls.  Nor am I saying they're making the right choices in their allocations now or in the future.  Clearly they have enough units if they just wanted to fulfill preorders, they could do it.  That would probably leave some big retailers out in the cold.

If I haven't been clear, I apologize.  When I'm talking about shipment allocations, I mean the percentages of total available units.  Less units results in everyone getting less across the board.

Shortages now are not reflective of the failure of the logistics plan.  However, if by next Friday, you, as a store manager, still don't know the details of your next shipment, that will be a sure sign of failure.  Perhaps you can tell us then.
1292  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 06:21:49 AM
Well, maybe my local Gamestop and EB were just clueless, but they didn't have anything firm on preorders until September.  They were just putting names on a list.  So either the corporates didn't do a good job sending out the information or the local managers didn't understand.  Of course, they were also taking preorders before June.

Beyond that, we're both saying the same thing about manufacturing.  To be clear, I was talking about the logistics plan, not marketing.
1293  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 05:21:57 AM
If you preordered during the summer, whoever was taking the order was doing so before they knew how many they were going to receive in their allocation.  Of course that's risky.  On the one hand, you prove to Microsoft that you have demand.  On the other, Microsoft is under no obligation to fulfill that demand in the first shipment.

Obviously, they can't do dynamic shipment allocation until the first sales data cames in.  They'll probably notify stores of their next shipments the night after launch or the following day.  So on say Black Friday Walmart will know when their next shipment will come in.  If they can tell their customers, their next shipment should be on shelves next Tuesday (or whenever), that's hope.

But, if you're in the shoes of Gamestop manager, all you know is that until Microsoft gives you the next allocation numbers, you only have one confirmed shipment.  Sure, Microsoft might be planning weekly shipments, but until you get that confirmation that units are tagged for your chain and your store, it's only fair to tell customers that you don't have confirmed units coming in.  Sure, everyone is disappointed, but you get to blame Microsoft.  Then, whenever you get your allocation information, you get to make the "Hey, you're in luck" calls.

I'm sure the Microsoft press release touting the sell out of the initial shipment will also mention their commitment to regular shipments throughout the holiday season.  So keep checking in with your favorite store.  They'll probably also mention the total number of units they plan to ship this year and by the end of next year.

Keep in mind that Microsoft has commitments to all their retail partners.  The initial shipment has to be spread a little extra thin since they don't want to rebuff any partner they need down the road.  After that, they only notify partners as shipments come available.  

And Microsoft does have those commitments world wide.   The slightly staggered launch doesn't significantly help with that.  Though I'd guess the greater than expected shortages are more due to manufacturing hiccups than shipment problems.  For some reason (or many reasons), it always takes longer than expected to start up a production line and longer than expected to reach production rate goals.

I'm not saying their plan is perfect or even that it will work well.  It's ambitious and could fail.  However, if it works, it's bound to be better than what we usually see at console launches.
1294  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 18, 2005, 09:46:36 PM
From what I've read and what some market analysts have told me, Microsoft appears to be doing things differently, not wrong.  Instead of big initial shipments, they plan to have a smaller, sustainable stream of shipments.  

This gives the a few things.  First from a supply management perspective, they can route more shipments to the areas with the greatest demand.  That means less unsold units sitting on shelves somewhere.  The can also route core units away from areas where they aren't selling to areas they are since its the more limited SKU.

Second, the steady stream keeps both the product and the demand highly visible.  This lets sales people give customers hope of finding a unit before Christmas.  This also lets web communities shout alerts to each other (e.g. OMG, they just got 10 360's at the TRU @ Westchase).  I remember from the PS2 launch, several successful sites sprung up around the idea of keeping track of where units were available and sending email alerts to people when inventory showed up on the web.  

As a side note, I had a friend who wasn't particularly interested in the PS2 at launch.  He knew how hard they were to find.  So when he saw one at a store, he snatched it up.  Of course, he told himself he was going to sell it, but he broke down and opened it and played it.  It worked out in the end.  It served him well during his one year tour in Korea.

Finally, it gives Microsoft leverage and opportunities.  Stores with high attach rates and accessory sales might well get units before others.  Then as each shipment sells out, Microsoft can issue another press release and give us the updated sales totals.

Partially it's a good plan, partially it reflects how much better inventory management is now compared to five years ago, and partially, it shows how flexible shippers have become in that time span.  I'm sure their competitors will take note of their successes and failures.
1295  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Isn't it time to remove the: EVERYONE READ!!!! IMPORTANT!!! on: November 12, 2005, 10:15:23 PM
Thank You.
1296  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Isn't it time to remove the: EVERYONE READ!!!! IMPORTANT!!! on: November 12, 2005, 07:22:34 AM
I see that here it is no longer an announcement.  Could you perhaps remove it from the other sections as well?  I think it's time to move on.
1297  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / GT photoshop thread on: November 06, 2005, 05:05:04 AM

The weak spot is probably near the eyes.
1298  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Total Overdose Demo on: October 03, 2005, 02:54:44 AM
Game did not like my rig.  Crashed or locked up every time after I took control (cutscene played fine).  Oh well, I might reconsider when it's a bargain bin Xbox game.
1299  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Steel Battalion on: September 12, 2005, 03:01:34 PM
Quote from: "chewbaccasaurus"
WTF!? you mean you NEED line of contact to go online?
Yes, and you can only unlock new mechs for LOC in campaign mode.  And campaign mode is ending at the end of the month.  So there's not much point in buying LOC now unless Capcom suddenly decides to unlock all mechs for everyone.

That said, even offline, SB is an experience that all mech fans should try.
1300  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Speaking of IGN, Burnout Revenge Review up on: September 12, 2005, 04:30:06 AM
My Fry's (Houston) had it listed as in after 4pm on Thursday at $38.  Very tempting.
1301  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Small Talk Strategy Contest on: September 12, 2005, 04:26:59 AM
Last 24 hours.  Good luck to all writers.
1302  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Speaking of IGN, Burnout Revenge Review up on: September 09, 2005, 09:06:29 PM
Overall it sounds like single player is more balanced toward the player.  In fact, the review seems to imply it's too much in your favor at times.  So it loses a little of the white knuckle tension and strategy, but otherwise everything is improved.  Sounds good.  

They give it an 8.9
1303  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / God is found - and he plays Ikaruga on: September 08, 2005, 06:48:08 AM
Sure, Black and White, but can he do

Black and Orange?
1304  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Football is Coming!!! YEAH!!! on: September 07, 2005, 04:02:13 AM
Quote from: "Zarkon"
Always a Houston fan.

+1
1305  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 is dead! PS3 has keyboard/mouse support!!!! on: September 05, 2005, 10:38:29 PM
If developers want to support mouse and keyboard, it shouldn't be hard for them to add a toggle box to the host's game set up menu.   Something like controllers only.  That way people who don't want to compete against mousers can choose to only play games without them.
1306  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Small Talk Strategy Contest on: September 02, 2005, 11:33:40 PM
Since I announced the last contest here and got a great response, I thought I'd let you know about the new contest.  It's a little smaller, but free games are free games.

Check out the details Here.

Please contact me with any questions.  Good luck to all the entrants.
1307  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I WON A XBOX 360!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on: August 30, 2005, 04:26:38 PM
Well, if anyone deserves a free Xbox 360 . . . congrats man.
1308  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..new 4x space strat game on: August 26, 2005, 03:45:22 PM
Don't worry, you can safely discuss it here.  And while you're at it

Check out the amazing SotS interview at Talk Strategy.

For some reason, I just like the TS interview better. :wink:
1309  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / We need some animated gifs, pronto! on: August 25, 2005, 04:33:06 AM




And this thread deserves:
1310  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Nintendogs $14.99 at Amazon on: August 22, 2005, 02:34:16 AM
I thought you could unlock all the breeds on any version.  It's just the starting selection that marks the difference between versions.
1311  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who have you met? on: August 21, 2005, 04:25:53 AM
One of my last jobs in the Air Force was protocol.  That meant that I met most of the command staff in the military at the time.  I also met a few political VIPs as well.

Prince Bandar (Saudi Arabia)
Speaker Gingrich
Most of President Clinton's office staff including his secretary Betty Currie (they weren't big fans of the military)
Senator Shelby
Senator Sessions
General Shelton
General Wesley Clark
General Jumper
General Ryan
General Shinseki
Admiral Gehman
Admiral Johnson
General Pace

I watched President Clinton walk by, but none of us got to meet him.  I've also met a bunch of country music stars while working security at my home county fair back in the day.  My most recent celebrity meeting was Ted Nugent at the NRA convention here in Houston.
1312  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Need $$$, Disgaea for sale (lowered price) on: August 21, 2005, 03:54:55 AM
Quote from: "Rage"
I wonder if my Digital Devil Saga Boxed thingy is valuable yet..hmm..
I saw a stack of about 10 of them at Fry's the other day.  They were marked down to $40.
1313  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / OMG - I'm a beta tester, I'm a beta tester!!! on: August 18, 2005, 03:48:21 AM
I've done all the SOCOM games.  I also did Auto Modellista.  That was actually a pretty tight game.  Then they sent us a second disk with an "improved" drifting model.  Way too floaty.  All the testers said go with the original physics.  They shipped the "improved" model.  Surprisingly, all the reviews complained about the floaty handling.

I also did Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War when it was a closed beta.  It was amazing to see the difference when the open beta started.  It went from serious balance discussion to name calling in no time flat.  Of course, I could just have been bitter since my win rate fell off a cliff.
1314  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My Website was hacked... on: August 16, 2005, 03:29:16 AM
Coincidently, my site was hacked this morning.  I thought I was up to date on my security updates, but they found one I missed.  Fortunately, they just deleted one page and I had that backed up.  They used a different name.  I wonder if there was some sort of contest going on.

Edit: now that I think of it, my ISP does nightly backups.  You should contact yours and see if they can restore your site to the last backup.
1315  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: August 16, 2005, 03:03:33 AM
+1 to Knightshade Dragon for a smooth, quick trade.  Highly Recommended.
1316  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hrothgar's Talk Strategy scores a cool interview! on: August 02, 2005, 03:30:39 AM
Not quite as cool, or exclusive, but Relic did send me the designer diary for the Warhammer 40K expansion, Winter Assault along with some new screenshots.  It's up Here.
1317  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hrothgar's Talk Strategy scores a cool interview! on: July 24, 2005, 10:34:20 PM
Quote from: "stiffler"
Some nice screenshots for that game as well, Hrothgar.

Who is the developer, and do they have a publisher yet?

The developer is Digital Reality.  They once developed Imperium Galactica II, but their more recent efforts have been mostly unpolished.

They have a publisher in Hip Games Europe.  The Canadian branch of Hip recently went bankrupt, but the main company seems to be doing fine.
1318  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hrothgar's Talk Strategy scores a cool interview! on: July 24, 2005, 05:23:52 AM
Thanks.  I try not to pump up my site too much here.  I don't want to get annoying.   Ghost Wars sort of came out of nowhere to get some raves at E3.  Since it was a smaller publisher, I figured why not?  Overall, I have to say I was impressed with some of the answers.  

By the way, since it will eventually fall off the front page, Here's the permalink.

Comments and criticism of the interview are welcome.
1319  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The Incidents Today at OO[Mods Please Read] on: July 24, 2005, 05:02:16 AM
Odd, he seemed quite personable when I met him.  Quite a knowledgable gamer too.   He freely admitted being banned and apologized for it since we were in the middle of a trade.  I wouldn't have guessed that he would act like that.
1320  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / I should know this... on: July 20, 2005, 09:25:00 PM
AA is anti aliasing.  It's a combination method used to smooth "jaggies."  Basically, it uses one of several methods to average colors especially around polygon edges.  This helps the image look more natural by giving you a screen that looks like you took a digital picture at the screen resolution of a high resolution scene.  The higher the anti aliasing, the better the picture quality, but the more work the CPU or GPU has to do.  This will lower frame rates.

Vsync on means that a program will never produce more frames (frames per second) than the monitor can receive.  So if you're running 1024x768x32@60Hz, you'll never top 60 fps even if your rig could give you much more.
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