The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Nov 22nd 2008 at 11:36:43 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming , Microsoft, Xbox 360, Birthday

Three years for the 360! On November 22, 2005 the Xbox 360 was released in North America to a gaming mass waiting for the next iteration of Microsoftís gaming console. Unlike its predecessor, the 360 was a stylish system that when it wasnít greeting players with a red ring was rather sexy when compared to the black paperweight known as the Xbox. Surely, Microsoft was off to a better start from a design point with its system, and there were plenty of other things for 360 fans to be excited about.

Iíd be lying if I told you I owned a 360 or desired one. The truth is that I have no desire for a 360. That said, the 360 does have several things that go great for the masses. If you were to ask me which system appeals most to true gamers right now, it sure as hell would not be the Wii. It depends on the avenue, but if youíre looking for games for adults that will make you say wow then the 360 is the system to have. From Halo to Dead Rising to Bioshock to GTA IV, there have been some heavy hitters for the 360 that would make the most hardcore gamers squeal with delight.

Of course, thatís not the only thing that appeals to true gamers. Of the three console manufacturers, Microsoft really does know how to best do an online product. Sonyís working on creating a good online product and Nintendo is being Nintendo, and while the bar has been set rather low by the competitors Microsoft has delivered a product that quite frankly trounces the competition. Itís really quite amazing and I give Microsoft kudos for their online platform. Their competitors could learn a thing or two from Live... they really couldÖ especially Nintendo.

Of course, Microsoft is not the market leader anymore this generation. While they were in the beginning, the behemoth known as the Wii has taken the title and ran with it. Is Microsoft going to sit there and just watch that happen? No! They decided they were going to revamp their dashboard and create a new experience that is enjoyable for all. It just launched, and as someone on the outside looking in I have to say that the avatars do look really cool. They offer customization that I only wish Nintendo had for their Miis. Did Rare rip off the Mii concept? Who the hell cares! Rare has created something with much more depth than the Miis of Nintendo, and I give them full credit for creating something much more interesting than the Mii Channel. Good job Microsoft and keep pushing along with the new experience.

Every console has its fair share of issues, and the same can definitely be said for the 360. Probably the most notable of these issues was the Curse of the Red Ring. Chances are you know someone who has suffered from the Red Ring of Death. In fact, you might know someone who has suffered from it multiple times. Truth be told, the initial batches of the 360 had some design issues. No one really knows what is it, but rather than screwing over consumers, Microsoft did a noble thing and extended everyoneís warranties. Thatís pretty nice, and it suggests that perhaps Microsoft is not the cold hearted bastard that its Windows operation suggests that it is (and it is).

So sales have been down in recent history for the 360, and one has to wonder what the future holds for the console. I honestly donít know if the console will see a rebound in sales, but I donít know if that is necessarily a bad thing. 360 owners like to buy third party titles, so itís an enticing console for those developers and publishers. So for developers, I donít see as much as a risk for releasing games on the 360 that I do for releasing non casual games on the Wii. While casual gaming dominates the Wii, real games dominate the 360, and thatís a great selling point for the console. Why not capitalize on that, Microsoft? Push your strengths, and it might help you in the long run.

Three years for the 360. What do you think has been the good, the bad, and the ugly? What do you think the future holds for the 360? Does the four year lifespan still hold true for Microsoft? Well, in a year we might just know. What do you think?

Posted on Oct 11th 2008 at 12:45:38 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft

For those of you who sort of follow gaming news, however few of you there are, probably have been following the Tokyo Game Show, which is probably the biggest show there is for gaming now that E3 is dead. Long Live E3. So, there are a lot of bombshells and great announcements to come from TGS, and if you want to know what they are I suggest you look at a website that blogs about games. Might I recommend Kotaku. See, I am not here to report all the crap that was announced at TGS. Rather, I want to start a discussion as to the things that excited us. Well, now that I got this out of the way way, let me begin.

Continue reading TGS is going on, what excites you?

Posted on Sep 19th 2008 at 02:46:25 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Xbox 360, Microsoft, Japan, Sales

Praise the Gods! Our humble beseeching was heard by our humble lords. Our penitent pleas have been recognized by Yevon and in doing so he has ensured that the Wii was in fact the top selling console in Japan last week. What will Yevon do for us next week? Might he protect us from Sin? I only dread the thought of what city could become the next Zanarkand. They embraced technology too much, and in doing so were punished for the techological zeal. That's why I use a laptop powered by a hand crank, praise Yevon. Oh lordy, praise Yevon, for he is GOOD. Like I know that the Wii only sold 1500 more consoles than the 360 last week in Japan, but it least the cosmic order remains.

Oh merciful Yevon, what won't you do to protect your people? How we citizens of Spira praise your magnificence! Save Spira from Sin, in the name of Maester Seymour Guado! May we never experience the same fate as Zanarkand! Guardians, protect us!

Xbox 360 The Best Selling Console In Japan? Media Create Says 'No'

Posted on Sep 17th 2008 at 11:59:47 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft, Xbox 360, Japan, Sales, Hell Hath Froze

In what surely is to be a one in a lifetime occurrence, the Microsoft 360 was the top selling console in Japan for the week of September 8 through 14. It's... terrifying. What have we done to cause such a cosmic quirk to occur? Was it our capitalist overlords screwing with the subprime market, causing a financial meltdown? Could it have been the Japanese obsession with Used Pantie Machines finally caught up with them? Was it that as a world we're too preoccupied with shrubberies? I DON'T HAVE A CLUE!

Truly, someone must have done something to cause this strangeness to occur. It's not as though the Japanese could actually be genuinely interested in the 360, could it? I know it was popular in the US a couple months back, but the US and the Land of the Rising Sun are very, very different. They have Pachinko. We have Casinos. There's no way that the Japanese could be convinced to buy a 360 because of a price drop, could it? COULD IT? All I know is that last week the 360 was the top selling console in Japan, and it's scary. Such a freak oddity can not happen again next week, can it? CAN IT? I really hope not, I fear what would happen to the cosmos if it did.

OH MERCIFUL GODS! Hear my plea! Spare us from the impending cosmic rift! We humbly beseech you! We wish not to invoke your wrath! Please, take these shrubberies as a token of our most sincere acquiescence. Please, PLEASE! Don't let the 360 top the chart for another week, I don't know if the cosmos could take another week of such stress!

Holy Snot! Xbox 360 Tops Home Console Sales In Japan [Kotaku]

Posted on Sep 10th 2008 at 02:04:30 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft, Ensemble, Age of Empires, Closing

It seems like just a few years ago that the behemoth known as EA had decided to close a revered studio within its ranks. While EA closed many studios during its ill-fated centralization, the closure of Westwood Studios probably was the most saddening closure for many. After all, it was Westwood Studios that gave the world the series known as Command and Conquer. It's a popular franchise you know, and I hear that Red Alert 3 is coming out soon. The closure of Westwood Studios was sort of bitter for many a RTS fan, but if the RTS fan was to know that it would set a precedent, perhaps they'd be more bitter.

News comes today of the impending closure of Ensemble Studios, the wonderful people responsible for the Age of Empires series. They also are working on the game Halo Wars, and now that game is wrapping up production it seems as though Microsoft has found it as a wonderful opportunity to shutter the studio. It's a shame. It really is. Are RTS's sell poor selling that a studio as storied as Ensemble Studios has to be shuttered? It's truly a shame.

Well, on the plus side, apparently there is a new studio running from its ashes. Is that true? Who knows, but it's still sad that Ensemble is closing. Thanks for the great series and RTS's you given us! You'll certainly be missed.

Shane Kim Delivers Death Blow To Ensemble

Posted on Aug 9th 2008 at 04:10:03 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Cynical Gamer, Feature, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Modern Gaming

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, well, thatís at least what they say. To me imitation could be a good thing, or, in a market where being unique can lead to being hugely popular and subsequent huge profit margins, a very bad thing. Look for example at Apple. No one is really like Apple in what they do and what they offer. Apple is the trendy tech company, and pending the outcome of a lawsuit, they either will be comfortably the trendy tech company for years to come, or they could see their profit margins erode as the Mac OS is opened up to other hardware manufacturers. Certainly could throw a wrench into things, thatís for sure.

So, what does this talk have to do with gaming? What? Are you serious? Imitation in the gaming realm is making me want to throw up, and I hope youíre as dazed about this imitation as I am.

Continue reading Cynical Gamer #8: Imitation

Posted on Jun 12th 2008 at 03:27:24 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft, 360, RRoD

Now, in about three days, I can officially say that I am a Civil Engineer. Now, Civil Engineers do a lot of things. Designing Bridges, Creating Dams, Building Things, Creating Traffic Jams, Mitigating Floods, yeah, we do all that and much more. See, there is this thing though. Most, if not all Civil Engineers specialize in something. I, for example, specialized in transportation. Seamar, specialized in structures. See, from an ethics standpoint, we agree only to practice in the fields we're competent in. We know better than do attempt to do something when we have no idea how. So, we know better than than to do and market things that we have no idea how to do, so why does Microsoft then try to do something it doesn't really know how to do?

Microsoft does a bunch of things well. I personally enjoy their Wireless Mice and Keyboards. Windows XP was and still is amazing. So Microsoft can in fact do things well. But there are certain things that Microsoft doesn't do well. Vista, for example. Windows 98 is to Windows XP like Windows Me is to Windows Vista. So, some things that Microsoft do are just terrible.

So, Microsoft has this wonderful little console that many of you might lovingly refer to as the Microsoft Xbox 360. It's lovely little console, but it had some problems. These problems caused Microsoft to issue a recall for the 360, and with that recall came quite a monetary hit on their ledger. So, what caused this problem?

So, this wonderful guy at the Gartner Group, Bryan Lewis, who happens to be their research VP and chief analyst, has stated that the source of their gigantic recall lies in the fact that Microsoft decided to design their original GPU by themselves. Did you know that Microsoft designs GPUs? Neither did I. When I think Graphics Accelerator, I think NVidia and ATI. Turns out, once a massive recall is initiated, that Microsoft also thinks ATI for their graphics needs, as that's who they contracted to redesign their 360 GPU.

Here's to you, Microsoft. If only you had used ATI or NVidia to begin with, you wouldn't have had this massive recall and all those extended warranties. I bet you all don't care, as your warranties are longer. But then, there are probably several of you who wish they didn't have to send their 360 in because of a RRoD. If only Microsoft stuck to what it could do well and contracted out that what it couldn't, you might have never had to send out your 360.

Xbox 360 RRoD finally explained? [CVG]

Posted on Mar 27th 2008 at 07:32:01 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, PS3, Wii, Xbox

Some of you may be die hard haters of other game consoles besides the ones that you own. For others, you might be such a fanboy that you need be reminded of reasons why you should curb your enthusiasm. Fortunately for you, Gamesradar wishes to fan the flames of console bashing during its hate week, where they harp about why you should hate everything. Thank God for that too, because I certainly could not think of my own reasons to be spiteful about the console manufacturers.

Shall we check out these videos? Because I am a nice guy, I'll start out with the company I tend to support heavily (aside from my latest Cynical Gamer piece), Nintendo. You can find Sony and Microsoft after the Jump.


Continue reading 100 Reasons to Hate Each of the Console Manufacturers

Posted on Jan 14th 2008 at 01:34:11 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Feature, PS3, PlayStation, Sony, Microsoft, 360, Modern Gaming

People have been sneering at the price of the PS3. They say it is expensive. You know, this statement is correct. However, I find it troubling that many of these people that say the Playstation 3 is overly expensive have no problem laying down the money for Microsoft's 360. I find such actions humorous. Let's analyze what I perceive as the true costs of these two systems, in terms of what they have to offer and what hidden costs lie with the system. Perhaps, we'll be enlightened after this discussion. Perhaps you'll be enraged. Chances are though that my arguments are pretty decent, and perhaps it will make take a second look at which system you ultimately end up purchasing.

Continue reading PS3 or 360? Why not Make an Informed Decision?

Posted on Nov 11th 2007 at 04:10:54 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft Owns You, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Shaft

Well, some of you may be aware of the Spike TV Video Game Awards. It's pretty much a show of which games are the most violent, bloody games on the market, not necessarily the best, unless of course you thoroughly enjoy only violent, mature games. Certainly, this list is a reflection of our culture's Roman Tendencies. I thoroughly look forward to the day when I can watch prisoner's fight to the death against each other at the local stadium. I hope they are given random weapons, ranging from truly awesome to absolutely absurd. Who wants to fight to the death with a rubber chicken? Certainly, I do not.

So yeah, without further ado, here is are the nominations for the Game of the Year:

Game of the Year
BioShock (360)
Halo 3 (360)
Mass Effect (360)
The Orange Box (360)

Hmm... how, Microsoft skewed. Apparently Microsoft is kick ass in the violence department. The rest of the nominations are found after the jump.

Continue reading Spike's VG Award Nominees Are Up

Posted on Jul 17th 2007 at 11:47:25 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Peter Moore, Microsoft, EA Sports, Laser Tattoo Removal

Earlier in the day, a vicious rumor began to surface regarding Peter Moore, the head honcho over at X-Box station. It was rumored that Mr. Moore would be resigning his position in order to take over the helm at EA sports. Well, after about 4 hours speculation this nasty rumor has been confirmed -- Peter Moore is leaving Microsoft for the publishing giant known as EA.

Of course, you may be wondering who will be taking over Peter's previous job. That person would be Don Mattrick. Previously he was an outside adviser for Microsoft, and oddly enough before that he was President of EA. Strange isn't it?

We here at RF Generation wish the best for Mr. Moore, and we certainly hope he finds himself at home at EA Sports. Somehow, I think he'll be rather quick to adjust from one monster of a company to another, but certainly we can't wait to see what Peter Moore does in his new job, or if he has any insightful comments he'd like to say about Microsoft's X-Box business. 

Source: Kotaku

This is TraderJake's Blog.
View Profile | RSS
This is where my thoughts go and are never heard from again.

Well, maybe not, but this is the repository for all of my published thoughts and rantings. It'll make my day if you find at least 10% of it amusing and enjoyable to read.

Sorry for the other 90%.

Support the Cincinnati Streetcar
Blog Navigation
Browse Bloggers | My Blog
Hot Entries
Hot Community Entries
Site content Copyright © unless otherwise noted. Oh, and keep it on channel three.