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1321  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.
1322  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.
1323  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.
1324  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.
1325  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.
1326  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.
1327  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.
1328  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / GT photoshop thread on: November 06, 2005, 05:05:04 AM

The weak spot is probably near the eyes.
1329  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.
1330  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.
1331  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.
1332  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Small Talk Strategy Contest on: September 12, 2005, 04:26:59 AM
Last 24 hours.  Good luck to all writers.
1333  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
1334  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?
1335  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Football is Coming!!! YEAH!!! on: September 07, 2005, 04:02:13 AM
Quote from: "Zarkon"
Always a Houston fan.

1336  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.
1337  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.
1338  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.
1339  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the 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:
1340  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / We need some animated gifs, pronto! on: August 25, 2005, 04:33:06 AM

And this thread deserves:
1341  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.
1342  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.
1343  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.
1344  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.
1345  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.
1346  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.
1347  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.
1348  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.
1349  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.
1350  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.
1351  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.
1352  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Free Paint Shop Pro [ full version ] on: July 20, 2005, 08:56:06 PM
They still seem to be selling it elsewhere.  Why are they giving it away free?
1353  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Next Gen Consoles on: July 18, 2005, 04:44:36 AM
Probably all three eventually.  I'll watch the launch libraries to see how important an early purchase may be.
1354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Where to get Heroes of Might and Magic 2 on: July 18, 2005, 03:57:27 AM
You should be able to find the Heroes of Might and Magic Platinum edition that contained I, II,  and III complete.  EB and Gamestop used to carry them.  Failing that, I'm sure someone on Ebay will only ask for an arm and a leg.
1355  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Nice surprise from Gamefly. on: July 16, 2005, 04:44:12 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
If someone in Mass could confirm a quick turnaround I'd be back IN!

10 days was far too long. Especially when Netflix gets it done in 2.
You could ask to see if you're eligible for the free trial again.  I imagine they'd comply if they've improved service.  If they say no after you tell them why you quit before, I think you have your answer.
1356  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Maintenance Complete on: July 16, 2005, 02:59:56 AM
I just looked at the cache on google.  It turns out it's exactly the same now as it was before.  Shows what I know.
1357  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Special Place in Hell for Devs of God of War on: July 16, 2005, 02:54:57 AM
Which phase and what difficulty level?  If it's god mode, you're just getting what you asked for.
1358  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Maintenance Complete on: July 16, 2005, 02:44:04 AM
It's quite possible I'm just being silly.  You know us troglodytes, change is bad.
1359  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Maintenance Complete on: July 16, 2005, 01:38:16 AM
That's better, but there are still gaps (or lines).

Again, they shouldn't be in the middle ones or should also be in the bottom IMHO.
1360  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Maintenance Complete on: July 15, 2005, 10:48:41 PM
In the gold/black template, on the main forum page ( aren't the bars "gaming" and "nongaming" supposed to go all the way across?  For me, they start under "Topics" and go to the right edge of the page.  I'm running 1280x1024 btw.  It would look better if they were removed or went all the way across.
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