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  • Kutaragi Watch: PS3 is not just a toy

    Posted on May 26th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Kutaragi Watch

    I saw on Next Gen that Kutaragi was quoted in Famitsu as saying

    If you consider the PlayStation 3 a toy, then yes, it is an expensive toy. However, it is more than a toy. It is a PlayStation 3. And it is the only PlayStation 3. I hope that those who understand this will gladly purchase it.

    Uh… was Kutaragi even TRYING to make sense?

  • Dell For The Lose!

    Posted on May 19th, 2006 Finster No comments

    South Dakota Political Blogger and Official TopOfCool Father, Radioactive Chief, provides some evidence as to why Dell has seen falling profits lately.

    When the package was received, Mrs. Chief was GREATLY dismayed to discover that the set up, AS SHIPPED BY DELL was totally unusable. It seemed that the Axim had MS Portable Windows 5, which REQUIRES Outlook 2003 to allow synchronization of the handheld with the desk computer. Dell thoughtfully provided a copy of Outlook 2002 with the package, which is, in the words of a Dakota farmer or rancher “Useless as teats on a boar!”

    Fascinating that Dell could be so dense. And what’s worse, is that Dell then REFUSED to provide compatible software. Instead, the product had to be returned and refunded.

    Nice job, Dell!

    But apparently, that wasn’t all.

    To add injury to insult, before we reached that impass, their tech support had suggested some configuration changes to Mrs. Chief’s computer (a Dell laptop) to try to get the setup to work. These had the result of rendering the computer unbootable! After a couple hours of further hassle, another Dell tech support was at least able to get the machine to run again – albeit with an outboard USB hard drive now being inoperable!

    Wow. Just… wow.

    I think this is what we at TopOfCool would rate as Bottom of Suck!

  • I Love Bees and Halo 3

    Posted on May 17th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Almost two years have passed since the “Haunted Apiary” viral marketing game took place. “I love bees” will always be cherished words to hardcore fans of the Halo series. The I Love Bees audio play fleshed out the Halo universe and introduced some new characters, while simultaneously giving us insight into the possible backgrounds of Cortana and the Master Chief. The star character of the “Haunted Apiary” was a time-traveling AI named Melissa. You can read her final letter to everyone who participated in the I Love Bees adventure.

    For most people, you’ll read this and say to yourself, “So what?” I’m about to tell you what, indeed.

    Navigate to and you’ll see a countdown with 199598 days and some change. (You’ll need to use IE, as the timer doesn’t seem to render in Firefox.)

    Take any good date calculator. (I used a MySQL client and the date_add() function.)

    Add the remaining time left on the counter to today’s date.

    The result is November 8, 2552. I know, I know, “SO WHAT?”

    Based on the novels and other background information, The events of Halo 2 take place in late October, with some conjecture as to the date of the Second Battle of Earth depicted at the conclusion of Halo 2, but is likely sometime around November 2, 2552. Based on what Bungie has said about Halo 3, that it may take place “very shortly after” the conclusion of Halo 2, it becomes obvious that some of the “I Love Bees” characters may figure prominently in Halo 3.

    Does the activation of the Forerunner artifact depicted in the Halo 3 Announcement trailer somehow relate to the expiration of the “I Love Bees” countdown?

    Only Bungie knows for sure, but Halo 3 will prove whether Bungie has been able to tie everything together and bring the entire story full circle.

  • Name Recognition is Everything, I guess

    Posted on May 16th, 2006 Finster 1 comment

    Well, at least in Japan, where they are apparently more interested in another craptastic Final Fantasy game than just about anything else.

    Famitsu, the ultimate Japanese video game mag, published a poll of what readers were most interested in during E3. It’s all Sony, Squeenix, and PS3. Even the one non-Sony item was on the list because of a character made popular (recently) through the Metal Gear Solid games on Playstation.

    1. Impressions of the PS3 controller
    2. Final Fantasy XIII information
    3. PS3 Price and Release date
    4. Super Smash Bro. Brawl and Snake playable announcement
    5. PS3 menu & interface
    6. PS3 online service
    7. PS3 game pics
    8. Polymorphic content surrounding FFXIII
    9. Dragon Quest Swords
    10. Square-Enix game pics

    What the heck? It’s no wonder that it seems Sony isn’t trying very hard. They don’t have to! Of course, I guess this really prooves nothing except Famitsu readers are Sony/Final Fantasy/Squeenix fanboys. Naturally, we should expect this judging by the Famitsu Readers’ top 100 games of all time, with it’s top 10 being an almost complete Squeenix lovefest.

    Contrast that with the top user-rated games on I don’t want to bash or generalize, or proclaim one segment of video game players to be better than another, but at least the majority of gamers over here aren’t proclaiming Final Fantasy X, of all things, to be the best game ever.

    If I were Sony, I guess I wouldn’t be too worried, because as long as I have Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Dragon Quest IX, then the PS3 will sell millions in Japan.

  • Kutaragi Watch: PS3 is Nothing

    Posted on May 12th, 2006 Finster 2 comments

    Kutaragi Watch

    In an interview with the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Kutaragi said: “Price setting is always a headache for us. No game machines are comparable to the PS3, which is neither a genuine game console, home electronics [product] nor a personal computer. It is a new kind of product.”

    You’re right. No game machines ARE comparable to the PS3, because people can actually AFFORD other game machines.

    Update: I just read this on

    SCEI president Ken Kutaragi has defended the PlayStation 3’s high price tag once again, declaring that not only will consumers be prepared to pay the cost but that the console is “probably too cheap.”

    Kutaragi is such a laugh riot!

  • Sony: The Poor Fat Kid That No One Dances With

    Posted on May 10th, 2006 Finster 2 comments

    Botswana at Unfettered Blather (one of my favorite blogs, I might add) reminds us that Sony is only doing what any of us would do in their situation. Well, regarding motion controlled gaming, anyways.

    Yeah, I’ve been kind of saying the same thing. Everyone wants to hate Sony. It feels pretty good to hate them sometimes, because they so often patronize us (gamers). But yeah, motion controlled gaming seems to be the wave of the future (to use an overused cliche).

    I also think it’s hilarious that Sony executives were ripping on Microsoft for having multiple SKU’s and then Sony decides… to have… multiple SKU’s. That’s just too funny.

    Anyway, Sony reeks of being the company desperately trying to keep up with the awesomeness of “next gen” gaming, only to constantly trip over their own bulbous feet.

    Update: Uh oh. Ubisoft is displeased with Sony’s “me too” attitude.

  • “I have defied gods and demons”

    Posted on May 9th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Bungie has announced Halo 3, and the anouncement trailer is available for download.

    Words cannot describe how awesome this trailer is. Halo 3 is going to be one of the greatest games ever. Watching this trailer… it almost brought a tear to my eye. It is that awesome.

    Those of you who haven’t played Halo or Halo 2, or maybe you did and just didn’t like it… you won’t be able to grok the emotional tide that fans of Halo feel when we watch this trailer and attempt to fathom what the future holds for the Master Chief and his artificially intelligent comrade, Cortana.

    Halo 3 will be a masterpiece. It has to be. If it is any less than that… perish the thought.

  • Kutaragi Watch: Putting Wii in Perspective

    Posted on May 8th, 2006 Finster 2 comments

    Kutaragi Watch

    Yeah, Sony pretty much camped the controller drops until they bagged themselves the phat lewts.

    Yep, Kutaragi himself announced the grand theft controller. The PS3 controller will feature gyroscopic control, just like the Revolution will.

    There seems to be a lot of anger out there over this. I can understand that, but if the Revolution controller is really that… well… “revolutionary” then it should be expected that other companies will want to copy it. If anything, this validates that Nintendo has been making the right moves all along.

    That said, blatantly ripping off Nintendo isn’t going to win Sony any friends amongst the bloggers. Yeah, I think the uproar over the “Wii” naming will quietly fade away in the shadow of Sony’s E3 Surprise.

    Overall, I rate Sony’s E3 conference somewhere on the bottom end of the average scale.

  • Xbox 360 E3: Day 1

    Posted on May 8th, 2006 Finster No comments

    5:55pm I am now home from work. I’m about to begin downloading E3 content from Xbox Live via my Xbox 360. My wife is rather annoyed, since she was trying to watch some episodes of Angel. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to download since the 360 doesn’t allow for background downloading or even queued downloading. This particular hole in their featureset is proving to be very annoying at this stage.

    6:00pm Logging into Xbox Live… Oh yeah! I’d forgotten that I had queued up the Stranglehold trailer when I had come home for lunch. I better watch it now.

    6:02pm Nice! Looks to be a video game version of John Woo’s Hong Kong flicks. It specifically made allusions to Hard-boiled. One of my personal faves!

    6:04pm Man, this downloading is going to take forever. I started downloading the Bullet Witch trailer. I have no idea what “Bullet Witch” is, but we’ll see… whenever the download finishes on my subpar 640k DSL connection.

    6:09pm Yawn… Guess I’ll go read some Order of the Stick while I wait.

    6:38pm Bullet Witch trailer finished… Meh. The trailer was all in Japanese, but the gameplay itself looked like the same crap you’ve seen in every other modern-day supernatural 3rd person shooter. Next up is the trailer for “Rain.” Time for more waiting…

    7:18pm Oops… fell asleep there for a minute… Rain trailer… Meh. What I really don’t like are game trailers that have a bunch of pre-rendered garbage and two seconds of gameplay. Kind of like this trailer. And the game play looked like a Splinter Cell clone with crappier graphics and a bunch of cliche zombie stuff going on.

    7:40pm Gah! I can’t handle this anymore… sitting around waiting for a bunch of crap to download, while unable to actually use the console in any way shape or form. Day 1 is over. Final Review: Meh. MEHHHHHHH.

    7:41pm Oh. Sounds like the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer just finished. Guess I’ll watch it before resuming viewing of Angel episodes. Something about Chaos Emeralds and Iblis Triggers. Maybe that means something to someone. Good thing they included it in the trailer, then. Wait, wha? Oh good… Shadow’s driving around vehicles with rocket launchers. Good job on continuing the cycle of crap, Sega. I’m done… until later then.

  • E3: HD-DVD over USB on Xbox 360

    Posted on May 8th, 2006 Finster 1 comment

    This is cool and not cool at the same time.

    I’m excited to be able to have a console that will allow me access to HD-DVD content. I’m definitely not excited at the prospect of having to buy a Microsoft-branded accessory to make it happen.

    I hate Microsoft’s accessory strategy for the 360. It seems they’ve taken a page out of Sony’s playbook when it comes to console accessories. They don’t allow anyone else to produce wireless controllers AT ALL, and then they charge $50 for something that is rumoured to only cost $11 to manufacture (not counting marketing, development costs, etc.) $100 for a wireless adapter? Um… I recently bought a USB wi-fi adapter for my laptop that set me back all of $20. I could go on and on. I can’t think of a single Microsoft accessory that isn’t horribly over-priced. Oh yeah, and they don’t seem to be allowing 3rd-party memory cards either. So, as a result, you have to shell out $40 for a 64MB memory card. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    So, yeah, I won’t be looking forward to see what exorbitant price Microsoft will be charging for HD-DVD. It won’t be pretty…