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Corvillus

Aluminum MacBook

As you may already know, Apple Inc. has launched a new MacBook and MacBook Pro, at their October 10th Event. Seeing as the PowerBook G4 I was previously using had been getting long in the tooth, I decided to pick one up.

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600,000 Nintendo Wii units sold

Nintendo has managed to have a great launch with it’s Wii gaming console. There have been over 600K Wii units sold to date, significantly more than the other console that launched just prior, the Sony PlayStation 3. To nobody’s surprise, the top selling title (aside from Wii Sports which is bundled with the console), was The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess, which sold over 450K copies. Nintendo plans to sell 4 million Wii units by the end of this year.

Wii Sells Through 600k [IGN]

Sony to release patch for 1080i TVs

Sony is aware of the issue where the PlayStation 3 scales 1080i to 480p, and is apparently working on a patch in the near future. [Update: Sony may in fact be unable to fix the issue according to the Senior Director of Corporate Communications for SCEA. Bummer. See the original article for more info.] What I find annoying about the whole thing is that they blame the consumer for having a TV that is too old.

“A small number of older High Definition television sets found in the United States only have 1080i inputs for HD signals. Those televisions will currently only play some PS3 titles at 480p resolution. PS3 games render images at either 720p or 1080p for High Definition, and you need 720p input on the TV to play select games that do not support 1080p. This is an issue on the side of the individual television sets, which do not accept 720p input, so when a game outputs an HD signal only at 720p, these select TVs have to display the game at 480p instead.”

Is there any valid reason why the PS3 shouldn’t be able to output 1080i? HDTV in general isn’t that old, at least as far as widespread adoption is concerned. The Xbox 360 did 1080i fine, so I don’t see any valid reason why the PS3 shouldn’t have supported this in the first place, and I get the feeling it would have probably gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the bad publicity Sony received over the issue.

GameDaily BIZ: SCEA Comments on PS3 Resolution on Older HDTVs [GameDaily via EvilAvatar]

According to Lezard Capital Markets, Nintendo is expected to deliver around 200,000 Wii consoles per week until the end of the year. This is definitely beneficial for Nintendo, which has experienced a Wii shortage after the launch. 200,000 units a week would allow them to reach their year end goal of 4 million consoles, and would be enough to maintain a reasonable supply throughout the holiday season.

200k Wii units for US retail per week - analyst [GamesIndustry.biz]

Nintendo Wii first impressions

As you know, Virtuoso picked up a Nintendo Wii at the local Best Buy launch. I had a chance to play with the console for a bit, and this is the impression I got from it.

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Best Buy Windsor Wii Prii party

Wii Community

Over here in ice cold Windsor Ontario, the Corvillus crew are camping out in front of the local Best Buy, which, unlike some of their other stores, is happy to accomodate the console fanboys. As you can see, we have an elaborate hobo community set up outside the store. More photos after the jump.

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So do you own a 1080i HDTV? Did you buy a PS3 to ensure you would receive the ultimate high definition experience? Well, Sony has a great feature for you! Rather than be forced to look at 1080p images downsampled to 720p, you get to enjoy the full 480p experience in all of its blurry glory.

After hearing about this and the backwards compatibility issue, I for one am glad that I decided to wait a while before making any decisions about purchasing. It appears that Sony is continuing their tradition of launching with buggy hardware. Oh well, unlike the faulty optical drives that plagued the initial release of the PSX and PS2, at least this one could probably be resolved with a firmware update from Sony rather than a hardware repair.

PS3 Downscales 720p on Incapable TVs [IGN via 1UP]

Lycos launches Lycos Cinema

The latest entrant to the web 2.0 video service game is Lycos (It’s been a while since I’ve heard that name in the news, apparently they’re still around). The new service is called Lycos cinema, and it plans to go beyond what the other video services like Google Video, YouTube, DailyMotion and MetaCafe do.

Lycos plans to make this a platform for delivering full length movies and TV shows along with user-generated content. In addition, a chat functionality is also included, allowing viewers of the same video to talk to each other through multiple different rooms.

Personally, I don’t think this service really stands a chance. The first thing that comes to mind is the obvious issue of copyright infringement. YouTube is already having enough trouble with this as is, and they have a 10 minute limit on video uploads. On this service, users can upload full length movies, which is great, except for the small fact that users will upload full length movies they don’t own the copyright to. YouTube is limited to clips, and at worst, split TV shows.

Another issue that comes to mind with this is bandwidth. The average YouTube user spends about half an hour on the site on any given day they visit. Now, YouTube is not profitable; far from it. The only reason it can continue to survive is because Google was willing to take the losses. Now, if Cinema gets the same amount of visits as YouTube, one could estimate that there would be about an hour and a half per day for the average visit. Using some simple math, one could then deduce that Cinema would use triple the bandwidth and therefore have triple the operating costs of YouTube.

The third issue is that YouTube owns the market. Why would I want to use Cinema when the content is already on YouTube? (Aside from being easier to pirate content on, of course.) There’s simply no reason for the majority of users to switch. Chat? I came to watch videos, not to chat with random people.

Lycos Cinema ties chat to movies; content library, technical details disappoint [Ars Technica]

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Wii trailer

Yet another Wii trailer. Every time I see one of these it makes me more excited for the console. The Wii control scheme just looks more interesting every time I see it.

[via Go Nintendo]

As you have probably already heard many times from Sony’s hype machine, one of the major features of the PlayStation 3 is it’s backwards compatibility. The idea is that you’ll be able to insert any PlayStation or PlayStation 2 game and the PS3 will run it natively without trouble.

That’s how it works in theory anyway. Japanese gamers found out the hard way that it works very differently in practice. From the article:

Japan’s Cnet.com reports backwards compatibility problems for over 196 PlayStation 2 titles. This figure counts multiple versions of the same game (budget versions, limited editions, etc.) as a single entity and includes the full range of problems, from simple sound issues to more dramatic freezing issues.

In response to these issues, Sony’s PR department pointed out that it, from the start, expected backwards compatibility to be less than 100%. It was also good enough to point out that some people can put up with playing games that lack sound.

So basically, there’s at least 196 games that don’t work properly. Also, sound clearly is not an important part of the gaming experience. It must be true! Sony says so. Everyone, sell all your speakers, you’ll need the money to pay off that credit card bill the you’ll be racking up from that PS3 purchase!

Sony Comments on Backwards Compatibility [IGN via Evil Avatar]