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1761  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / My Christmas Prediction on: November 29, 2005, 09:44:45 PM
It’s fair to categorize the 360 launch a mess, unless MS planned the following as part of their successful marketing-sales-distribution campaign:
-  Ship less than 50% of the initial proposed launch day units
-  Fill a very small % of the initial preorders
-  Include a power supply with some units that has the potential to overheat and lock-up the system
-  Completely miss the sales opportunity of Thanksgiving week and the Black Friday weekend, despite the launch occurring earlier that week
-  Have such a shortage of hardware units that the software developers they pushed to have their titles ready by launch, aren’t seeing their titles move off the shelves.
-  Based on local news reports, drive a PR campaign that results in the average joe and jane consumer thinking the Xbox 360 is a defective product that major retailers don’t even have in their inventory anymore.
-  And the big kicker if this one comes true: no major unit shipments until after the holiday.

I can’t see how anyone could categorize the 360 launch as even a semi-success.  A small % of those that wanted 360s have them now, but out of that sample, how many have had problems with them?  Is it less than 10%, more than 20%?  And when will the next major shipments occur?  Or is MS scrambling right now to try and find a better, cost acceptable power supply? From a business case perspective, I’m interested in hearing the truth about what happened.  There had to have been a circus of missteps along the way leading up to launch.  Giant corporations with brilliant people at the top are not immune from poor leadership decisions.          

Have they've actually given away more units than they've sold at this point?
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [TV]What happened to Fear Factor? on: November 28, 2005, 08:38:14 PM
I think you can only watch so many people eat pig ass and bloody bull sack before the shock value starts to wear off and the show becomes much less interesting.  Hence, the timely arrival of cleavage, slow-mo boob motion, and the dreaded talent pool of "reality show actors."  Yuck.

On the other hand, CSI continues to do the impossible and make their show more shockingly disgusting with each episode.
1763  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sid Meier's Pirates! Question. Help Please on: November 28, 2005, 06:10:08 PM
There are a bunch of different nautical terms for the relation of your ship to the wind, but in non-nautical geek terms:  the best approach is to try and cut diagonally into the wind, and as Doomboy mentioned, cut back diagonally as you sort of crisscross your way towards your desired point (tacking).  It's painful and slow for many of the ships in the game, but it's a lot better than just sailing straight into the wind. I didn't have the patience to tack in Pirates, so I normally just found something to do wherever the wind took me.

As illogical as this sounds, some ships actually travel faster with the wind at an angle behind their masts, rather than directly behind the ships angle of travel.  That's as nerdy as I'm going to get Tongue
1764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / So this is where all the 360's went..... on: November 28, 2005, 04:49:56 PM
The functionality of Ebay has encouraged, right or wrong, consumers to become 2nd point distributors or resellers.  On paper this doesn’t sound too egregious, but you can’t underestimate the effect that consumers acting as distributors or large resellers can have on the market for that particular product.  

For example, MS sees that the 360 is consistently being “won” on Ebay auctions for at least $800.  What’s stopping MS from thinking their price point is too low, and that someone who had nothing to do with their product is pocketing a non-taxable net profit of $300-400 per unit?  Retailers have to enter into agreements with MS in order to sell the 360.  There are obviously restrictions, to include price point, that retailers must follow in order to ensure continued supply support from giants like MS.  

This guy is trying to off load more 360 units than most approved local retailers like gamestop and EB received last week for launch.  In effect, he’s acting as a distributor of 360s outside any agreements that MS had with their retailers.

I’m not going to touch the morality and ethics of what he’s doing, since that’s wildly subjective and debatable.  I am disappointed by the Ebay effect, but that’s based on my own opinions of business ethics and morality.  I’m more concerned with the future impact of consumers becoming 2nd point retailers through portals like Ebay.
1765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The MSDUNCAN trying to get a 360 status update on: November 27, 2005, 06:16:53 PM
I've resigned myself to trying to look at the shortage as a positive thing.  Hopefully MS will fix whatever bugs and hardware issues that are contributing to the reported lock-ups before I get a 360 (better power supply?).  My original Xbox was a launch week Xbox with the thompson dive, so I'd really like to avoid getting another potential first run lemon.  

The problem with a launch like the 360s is that the mainstream public joe and jane only hear about the long lines, shortage of supply, and faulty systems reported by most local news stations.  If MS is sincere about trying to endear the mainstream public to the 360, they haven't stepped off on the right foot.    And the social experiment of Ebay continues to erode my belief that most people are decent.  I'm all about capitalism and entrepreneurship, but they need to rename Ebay to screwotherpeople.com.
1766  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The 360 crashes! It must suck! on: November 24, 2005, 04:20:21 AM
^^^If he knew how quickly guinea pigs can drop a mound of poop pellets, he wouldn't put that thing anywhere near his mouth.  Those things are deadly when they get their pooper going.

In memory of my sister's long departed guinea pig, my thoughts can best be expressed by paraphrasing the great Winston Churchill, "Never was so much poop dropped in so many places by one animal."
1767  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The 360 crashes! It must suck! on: November 23, 2005, 04:58:18 PM
Great shot, thanks.  They must've done a good job dampening the fan noise.  Most of the reviews I've read all mention that it's a quiet machine.
1768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The 360 crashes! It must suck! on: November 23, 2005, 04:06:55 PM
My Xbox 1 has locked up a ton over the course of its long life.  A lot of the lock-ups I think could be attributed to it being an initial launch Xbox with the POS thompson drive.  I also had it stuffed in the back of my tv cabinet which probably didn't help with keeping it cool.  

I haven't seen the inside of the 360 architecture, is there an airflow cooling system inside with fans?  Or is it just heatsinks over the processors?
1769  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Worst Launch Ever on: November 23, 2005, 12:21:07 AM
I can understand controlling supply to stir up a demand frenzy, especially during the holidays, but it seems more than that.  Most of the retailers and game stores I've visited in northern virginia have shelves of 360 games already in stock.  Sure, some people without the actual console will buy some of those games in anticipation of purchasing the 360, like I did with Kameo.  But I'm thinking a lot of those games aren't going to move out of the stores unless there's a growing base of new 360 owners out there to play them.  If the future shipping schedule is as fubar'd as the retailers here are saying, it has to be something more than just controlling or limiting supply.  If your revenue generating product is already in stores (games), I can't believe they wouldn't want to get as many console units out to the consumer base as fast as possible.  More consoles bought will most likely = more games sold = more development interest and more revenue.  I know that's grossly simplified and generalized, but I'm starting think now that something really broke down in the production chain leading up to launch.  

I've been told that my Sep preorder puts me most likely in the 4th or 5th store shipment for my local gamestop, or sometime in late 1stQtr '06.  That's crazy.  From now until "late first quarter" I could've been buying new 360 games.  Now me and however many other gamers who would've bought games will be doing other things with their $.  I can't believe that's a designed sales strategy...at least not a successful one.
1770  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HDTV on: November 21, 2005, 12:24:17 AM
For a tv that supports 480p and 1080i, but not 720p, will the xbox 360 upconvert to 1080i automatically?  Or is that something I'd have to do in the dashboard of the 360 or on the tv?

On my current xbox I have both 480p and 1080i set to "yes", but I have no idea if any of my xbox games have ever upconverted to 1080i.
1771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / X-3 Gold on: November 14, 2005, 09:14:53 PM
I just picked it up today.  I was a little disappointed that the only copy EB had was the cd-rom version (or is that the only version released in the US?).  I’m going to try and see if I can build up my own Firefly-esque ship and specialize in the delivery and acquisition of “highly marketable goods”.  I haven’t played a free form space exploration/trading game since Elite, and I loved Elite.  I was even one of the nerds that took a photo of my elite status to mail in lol.
1772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Psp games impressions? on: November 09, 2005, 10:13:35 PM
Xmen 2 is great on the psp, very good game.  I can’t believe they managed to cram all of Xmen 2 (I have the xbox version too) into the psp, and still have it look and play great.
1773  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [xbox 360] Finally got to play with one today! on: November 08, 2005, 08:22:30 PM
I’m looking forward to trying out the 360 controller.  I’ve always hated the xbox controller.  The engineer who decided to go with 2 shoulder buttons supplemented with 2 very tiny white and black buttons was definitely not a gamer.
1774  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Fan Trailer by Yours Truly on: October 24, 2005, 03:58:37 PM
Wow, they should pay you for that!  What a great trailer for the game.
1775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why is there no Lost thread? on: October 21, 2005, 08:51:09 PM
Quote from: "wonderpug"
They're dating, apparently.



I'm all for skinny, short, witty, funny guys getting hot babes, but come on!!! Something just isn't right here.  

Oh nm, I figured it out.  Either it's the accent, or he has a gigantic...
1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why is there no Lost thread? on: October 20, 2005, 09:42:17 PM
I was a little surprised to see Kate get weepy about Sawyer.  I guess the bad chick has to be attracted to the dark, anti-hero guy.  The way it's going now, it looks like Kate is going to have to square off against Michelle Rodriguez for Sawyer.  I'm guessing a fight in the surf sporting tank tops?  

The big guy running around with Jin was cool.  He's like a rogue, hunter, and warrior all rolled into one dude.  

Didn't the teddy bear belong to the french lady's son?  If the others are badass killers, why do they have to prowl around everywhere like jungle-ninjas?  Couldn't they just stomp around all over the island wherever they pleased, wreaking havoc?
1777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion Hands On on: October 17, 2005, 12:31:43 AM
Quote from: "Sparhawk"
There was a guy in my city who killed someone over a lawnmower. So yes, it is very real. People do that stuff to eachother all the time.


Was it at least a riding lawn mower?  I can't imagine feeling the need to take someone out for a push mower.  Those mowers you stand on look sweet, maybe it was one of those.
1778  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 15, 2005, 11:48:25 AM
Slow isn't too bad, very slow does take away from the action imo.
1779  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 15, 2005, 05:07:29 AM
Try setting the game speed in the skirmish options menu to slow or very slow.  On slow I have time to analyze the map, make decisions, and not feel overwhelmed by the fast pace action.  Very slow is too slow for my tastes, but slow works ok.  I never play online, so playing on slow suits me.  I like being able to check out the detail of the fights and the units and not have to freak out trying to manage 5 things at once.
1780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / This maybe the official launch list for the Xbox 360 on: October 15, 2005, 02:22:21 AM
Kameo and hopefully Oblivion at launch also.

I'm not sure if this game will be a stinker or not, but the concept behind Too Human has my interested.  The trailer was good.
1781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / All done! Wisdom teeth are gone. on: October 15, 2005, 01:08:56 AM
All 4 of my wisdom teeth were impacted, and after the anethestic wore off, it hurt like a motherf!  I remember telling my mom, "don't worry about picking up the prescription, I feel fine, no pain at all."  About 4 hours later I was begging her to go back and pick up the drugs.  It only hurt like that for a day or so.  I had some major sockets to take care of for the next couple of weeks too.  I had to use high pressure water to clean them out, which didn't exactly feel great.  I did manage to get a date with the hot dental tech out of the experience.  She went to a college near mine in VA, and from her side of the story, after they drugged me up I wouldn't stop hitting on her.  My mom likes to tell the story of how pathetic I was, and how she was pretending not to know me.    

I'm happy to hear your surgery went smoothly and you're feeling no pain.  That's great.
1782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Oblivion Hands On on: October 14, 2005, 09:43:36 PM
I'm curious about how some of the other races looked too, particularly orcs, argonians, and khajit.  I haven't found any screenshots of those races (other than the 1 magazine scan that is hard to see).  Do argonians and khajit shuffle around like they did in MW?

Also, do you remember if night eye for the khajit was "always on" or an ability with a timer?
1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Lost 10/12/05 [Spoilers] on: October 13, 2005, 08:20:41 PM
The gratuitous Kate scenes are starting to become a staple of the show, almost drinking game worthy.  

-  Crawling through an air duct with a frontal down the shirt camera angle…check.  
-  Fromunda butt camera angle while swimming (last season)…check.  
-  Stepping out of the shower…check.  
-  Hiking through the jungle in a wet, sweaty, white tank top…check.  

I know I’m missing a ton, but that’s just what I could come up with quickly.  They should increase the Kate grat shots to at least 2 per episode…from a drinking game perspective.

I thought this episode was a little boring.  I always miss the cool stuff like the picture of Walt being on the milk carton. When an episode has more flashback than action on the island, that’s when I start to lose interest.  I want more island action!
1784  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 12, 2005, 07:18:13 PM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Once I get my PC working again, I plan to check out Dawn of War and Winter Assault, as it sounds like a great way to have fun in the universe with a fraction of the expense and none of the hastle.


Exactly.  I get the whole painting the minis as part of the entire hobby, but I don’t have the time or interest to build a bunch of miniatures and paint them.  I think GW would make a ton more money if they sold 2 lines of miniatures:  
1.   Just like they are now: you assemble and paint the minis.  
2.   Pre-made and painted.  

I’d actually buy some of the unit minis if they were already assembled and painted.  The folks that play the tabletop version could continue to build and paint their minis as part of the hobby, and lazy people like me could just order complete models or sets to strategically place around their home.  If I was brave enough to bear my true inner nerd at work, I’d actually setup a few near my workstation.  Sadly, I’m not that brave.  I like living my clark kent – ubernerd duality…nobody will know my true identity!  Except my family, but they’ve known I’ve been a dork for a long time.
1785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 11, 2005, 11:17:34 PM
I can't turtle against chaos either with SMs, the AI is too fast building up resources and teching up.  The only way for me to beat them is to go on the attack right from the start.  Have you tried a team game with another ally?  Those are pretty fun, and last long enough to feel better than a 12 minute 1v1 map rush victory.

 I think you'd need to have a good build order and tech plan to keep pace trying to turtle SMs against chaos.
1786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 11, 2005, 10:13:48 PM
Some aspects of the AI play during skirmish games seems improved, but it still does boneheaded things.  I tried standard last night just to see if I noticed any changes, and while the AI seemed faster, it still did dumb things like only build and rush cultists, guardians, and scouts for the first 10 mins or so.  All I had to do was crank out 2 SM squads, 1 scout squad, and go kill the AI.  Scout squad captures, the SM squads kill off the AI tier 1 light infantry rush, all while upgrading my tech.  By the time I started upgrading to missle launchers and plasma, my 2 SM squads were always standing in the AI base.  

The only race I think the AI plays really well is Ork at the lower difficulty levels.  

I did notice that the AI made me pay hard if I tried to turtle while ramping up my tech.  Before I even made it to tier 3 there were obliterators, possesed marines, and horrors rushing my base when I tried to turtle against chaos.  I don't remember the AI being that fast to tech up if I left it alone.

The AI still does questionable things like build up a good attack force and then park them at a strategic point or relic, despite having wiped out a chunk of my defense and base just moments earlier.
1787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kameo [Full Soundtrack] on: October 11, 2005, 04:59:18 PM
I loved the Advent Rising soundtrack too.  I was floored when I saw that Tommy Tallarico did the writing, composing and arrangement for the AR score.  I always associated him with that review show on G4tv.  He may be a cheesy dude, but he's one heck of a talented young composer.
1788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 10, 2005, 11:46:52 PM
Funny that the UK site is so much better than the US site.  The uk site has a lot of info on each chapter (and info about the different chaos, ork, and eldar groups too).  The art concepts for the eldar on the uk site are not at all what I expected, the females are actually hot, elf-like beings.  

There's even a database applet that has info on both the current SM chapters and the names of the legions that defected to chaos.  Good stuff.  

Based on recommendations, I ordered from amazon:
- Eisenhorn, Dan Abnett
- Storm of Iron, Graham McNeill
- Nightbringer, Graham McNeill
- Warrior Brood, CS Goto
- Angels of Darkness, Gav Thorpe

The Angels of Darkness book didn't get great reviews, but apparently it tells the story of the Dark Angels chapter, to include the reason they bear their current stigma.

Oh, and based on the good info and pics from the GW uk site, I created the Black Templars for my skirmish games.
1789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kameo [Full Soundtrack] on: October 09, 2005, 05:33:29 PM
Wow.  I love good soundtracks, and this is a great soundtrack.  I was on the fence about kameo, but now, it's going to be a preorder.  

Thanks for the soundtrack link.
1790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 08, 2005, 03:23:45 PM
I'm kind of surprised that relic decided to spotlight the IG in the expansion.  From all of the available source material that stiffler has mentioned, I think an expansion campaign based on another space marine chapter, one of the inquisitor branches, or even the eldar, chaos marines or orks would've been more interesting.  Don't get me wrong, the expansion is definitely welcome, but man, there's a ton of great material out there and relic went with the relatively conventional IG.

I would love to see modular campaign add-ons that would spotlight some of the different chapters in their own single-player campaigns, similar to releasing D&D modules.  Make the modules available via download, and maybe charge $15-25 for each.
1791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 07, 2005, 07:28:15 PM
Does anyone remember the squad based tactical Warhammer 40k game for the ps1?  That was my first introduction to the 40k universe, and it hooked me back then (even with the goofy land shark baddies).  Something about the mythology of the universe is really interesting to me.  There are a ton of references to biblical figures and angels that I've always found interesting too. Heck, in the DOW original campaign the  Force commander's name was Gabriel.
1792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dawn of War Skirmish Mode on: October 07, 2005, 06:30:42 AM
Great info stiffler.  Who are the adeptus astertes?  You also mentioned the grey knights and deathwatch, are those SM chapters?
1793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just Finished: Fable on: October 06, 2005, 02:44:44 PM
I'm actually kind of dissapointed with the Lost Chapters.  I enjoyed the original Fable for all 10 hours of the experience, it just went by so quick.  With the Lost Chapters they really didn't touch the original story at all.  I was expecting to see a lot of new weapons and armor, but nope, not during the original story. I was still stuck with the same will user robes>leather armor>chainmail>platemail from the original game.  The weapons were the same too.  I just started the actual expansion content the other night, so I'm hoping I'll run into some new armor or weapons there.

Because they did add in several new sidequests, I found that my character was even more powerful by the original final battle than before!  Several hours before the final battle he was already maxed out in:  accuracy, speed, guile, magic power, multi-arrow, slow time, force push, health, and toughness.  It was a cakewalk.  Heck even the arena battle with no rest was a cakewalk, and I remember that being a little tough with the original game.

I did find 1 new hat that I don't think was in the original game, the pimp hat.  But then I don't remember the darkwoods brothel being in the original game either.
1794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / A Ton of New Oblivion Pics! on: October 06, 2005, 02:27:47 PM
This will be the first time that I'll own a console that will humble my pc.  The lighting, shadows, character textures, terrain textures, foliage, trees, water, and the water reflections look amazing.

I owned both the console and pc versions of MW, but there's no way my slightly above average rig could run all of those effects.
1795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSP UMDs "The region code is not correct" on: October 02, 2005, 02:33:13 AM
I'm hoping you didn't end up buying a used psp that was originally imported or bought overseas.  I'm not sure if psp's are regionally coded for movie UMD play, but if that's the case, you might have an import.  

Have you tried downloading the most recent firmware?
1796  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Info on Madden 360 from EGM on: September 30, 2005, 09:35:51 PM
Quote from: "Ralph-Wiggum"
Is it just me, or does McNabb sort of look like a zombie?  :shock:

And that's quite a bulge he's got going there.  :shock:


It's his sports hernia.  He's going to allegedly have it removed after the season.  Until then, it's going to be his new friend.  

Does McNabb really close his eyes and look like he's about to poop before he passes?  I can't imagine that being good for his accuracy.
1797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Wow, there are a LOT of RPGs coming on: September 24, 2005, 01:57:46 AM
That list points out to me (again) that I bought the wrong console as an rpg fan.  I figured I'd be set with an xbox and my PC for rpgs, but man, they've cranked out a ton of good rpgs for the ps2 in the past few years.
1798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Burnout Revenge on: September 23, 2005, 02:30:04 PM
I’ve always thought the crash events were more puzzle solving than arcade reflexes, but even more so with BO:Revenge.  I like that they’re more complex than they were in BO:3.  Sometimes the difference between gold and silver in Revenge is checking one strategic car on the way to the ramp.  That car you checked ends up shooting down the road smashing into another car which falls off the side of a bridge, dropping into highway traffic on the side of the highway that you couldn’t get to from the ramp jump.

 It started taking me about 3 – 10 runs from Rank 6+ to figure out the physics of the event well enough to get a gold.  It’s a little more frustrating, but more rewarding than just flying your car into the most dense spot of traffic in BO:3.

I thought traffic attack was the easiest event in the lower ranks, but now it’s definitely the hardest for me starting at Rank 8.  It’s tough to maintain an awesome rating, and the damage targets for gold seem pretty high.  During my last traffic attack run I was able to check over 90 cars, but still only got the silver…and I barely managed to keep an awesome rating.  I think there’s a timer between checks that you have to maintain or you get dropped back down to Great and then Good fairly quick.  

I don’t even really count burning lap, it’s the only event that I don’t care if I get a silver.  Some of those burning lap events, just like in BO:3, require near perfection in order to get gold.  I’d rather be blowing up cars and trading paint.
1799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Tiger Woods 06 Xbox : Chronically flawed on: September 22, 2005, 09:02:52 PM
I have 2 hands plus an agile tail appendage, so it works fine for me.  

I hate the 2 little white and black buttons on the xbox controller, I always miss them, hit the wrong one, or just plain forget they're there.  Maybe next year for Tiger Woods 2007 on the xbox (if they release one for the "old" xbox) they can add a new feature that requires both sticks to be controlled, one of the small buttons pushed, 1 normal button pushed, plus the back button at the same time.
1800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Madden 06 Reviewed [psp] on: September 21, 2005, 08:33:53 PM
Surprisingly the load times for BO Legends aren't bad, at least not bad enough for me to notice them as an annoyance...and I have little patience for long load times.  

Madden with long load times doesn't sound fun.  I can handle long load times before a game, but it sounds like there are long load times in between each screen, which would really suck.
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