OK, so much for my updating at least once a week idea. Work has been a little busier lately and Michelle hasn’t been feeling 100% all the while Kira seems to be developing a temper as a couple more teeth start ripping through her gums.
I’m glad I don’t remember that process. They say that is one of the worst pains ever but truthfully how would you know? Babies can’t tell you how it feels or how it compares to childbirth, root canals or drawn and quartering. You can’t hook them up to a meter and see the pain on a graph. I guess it’s like most things… a guess.
Michelle and I took a little time last weekend away from the baby and went to have lunch at Red Lobster and then off to see Zombieland. If you haven’t seen Zombieland yet then you are truly missing out. It’s funny, goofy, scary (stupid clown), self-deprecating, a bit gory and full of action. There’s even a touching moment so there’s something for everyone. Meaning emotionally touching… not inappropriately touching… you know what I mean.
I’ve got a bunch of vacation days that need to be taken before the end of the year so I am figuring out how to plan that out. Everytime I think I have it all sorted something new comes up. It happened again today. Urgh.
Oh, I have a Playstation 3 now! Yay! Although I really don’t have any games for it. I got it used on eBay and it did come with Street Fighter 4 (which I really don’t like surprisingly) and Singstar (which is kinda fun but quite limited compared to other music games). So I don’t count those. I’m hoping to get the Game of the Year edition of Little Big Planet for Christmas because that just looks fun to me. Maybe I should download the demo and try it out first but it seems interesting. Plus God of War 3 will be out eventually although since the main guy involved in the first two is no longer part of the franchise I’m not holding my breath.
I got the old 60GB PS3 which is why I got it on eBay instead of going to the store. I picked that one specifically because it is the only model that has the hardware emulation for both PS1 andPS2 games built-in. So of course the first thing I did was play We Love Katamari. Because I just can’t get enough of rolling stuff into balls. Don’t ask because I don’t know.
UPDATE: The Sony press conference at the 2009 Gamescom in Germany just confirmed both the PS3 Slim and the price cuts. The new pricing of $299 for current models and the soon to be available slim goes into effect tomorrow.
There have been rumors floating around like crazy for the past few months about a new and slimmer Sony PS3 video game console. And Sony has been denying it just like the rumors of price cuts. Even when pictures were leaked of the packaging from a new PS3 Slim, they denied it. Now, online retailers are putting up the pre-order pages for the new Sony PS3 Slim available on August 24th globally September 11th (per the Sony press conference going on right now). Will Sony continue to deny this? Yeah, I doubt it.
There’s some big industry conference going on and Sony is supposed to be presenting today. I assume that the newly released $100 price cut and the new Slim unit are on their agenda but FYE and K-Mart have beaten them to the punch. Seems to happen a lot these days.
Here’s the description for the PS3 Slim pre-order from K-Mart:
PS3, SLIM High-Definition Blu-ray player for the best movie experience. Free PLAYSTATION Network membership. 120GB HDD for downloading games, music, videos, and photos. Includes DUAL SHOCK 3 controller. HDMI output for 1080p resolution.
Notice something strange about that? The newest console has a 120GB hard drive where the current high end model has a 160GB drive. OK so my XBox 360 has a 120GB drive so no big deal right? Well that depends. Unlike the XBox 360, the PS3 often requires games to be “installed” to the console’s hard drive to play the game. I’ve heard that this is neither a tiny install or a short amount of time to do this either.
Also consider that games and media are increasingly paid for online and downloaded directly to the system. I imagine you could easily fill up a drive that size if you wanted to do so. I understand that the PS3 hard drives are easily user upgradeable but I have no information or experience with that so I can’t say. Who knows if the new Slim will be as easily taken apart as the old beast of a PS3 was either.
What I’m really wanting to hear about from that aforementioned conference is that there is another rumor that Sony may be reintroducing PS2 backwards compatibility to the new Slim models. One of Sony’s big hype points when the PS3 was first coming out was their inclusion of the Emotion Engine that allowed perfect backwards compatibility of Playstation and PS2 games on the PS3. They released one model with that function – the coveted 60GB model. Sony then switched to software emulation on a few 80GB models which worked for many games but not all. Then they dropped the compatibility completely.
I am always on the lookout for a used PS3 60GB console for this very reason. I have a ton of PS2 games that I would still like to play but I only have so much space and the TV can only accept so many connections. Combining those functions is ideal – almost necessary – for me. So if the Slim ends up containing the Emotion Engine or even functional software emulation, I may be sold. Especially with the new $100 discount.
This is so far unconfirmed, but it looks like the upcoming Beautiful Katamari game will be on the XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii but NOT the PS3. It may even release ONLY on the XBox360, although I think leaving the Wii audience out is a big misstep. This is shocking for many reasons and yet completely reasonable when I think about it.
The original Katamari Damacy was an incredible game along with it’s sequel We Love Katamari. The first was such a sleeper hit that it was only marketed with a starting price of $20. For a brand new PS2 game, that is insane as they generally start at $50. The game and the $20 price tag kep the first game flying off the shelves and it was nearly impossible to find for the first few months. Luckily for me my Dad found it for me for Christmas. Katamari Damacy and it’s sequel were both Sony PS2 exclusives. Me and My Katamari, the third and what was supposed to be final installment, was released only on the Sony PSP. So if you notice the trend, this has always been a Sony exlusive.
Now the XBo360 and Wii are outselling the new PS3 everywhere and the developers are taking notice. Why spend the time and money to develop for a platform that has no users? And if you are a user, why buy the most expensive game console if there are no games being developed for it? Sure it’s a self defeating cycle, but that’s how these things work. Darwinism for gaming.
I love the Katamari series and I think it will be great on my XBox360, HOWEVER I am concerned about the controls. On the PS2, you have two analog sticks that used to control the Katamari like a tank. The XBox360 controller also has two analog sticks but the big difference is that they are offset. The PS2 sticks were symmetrical and easy to control. I’m afraid this may be more difficult on the 360’s sticks where the left stick is farther forward than the right one. I don’t know, maybe it will be just as easy. I crave symmetry… what can I say?
Anyway, however this plays out, it looks like we will be seeing a new Katamari on the 360 by the end of the year. Just in time for the Thanksgiving/Christmas shopping holidays. Most XBox360 games start at $60 USD in the States (about $45-50 USD here in Hong Kong (why is that?)) and I can’t see this franchise going to that level. This is not the most complicated or stunning game series ever made and doesn’t warrant those kinds of prices. However, if they stick with the same formula from the original games, it’s already a winner.