Archive for March, 2008

Wii shortage over by 2009?

So according to the clip below, North American gamers can expect more Wii’s in stores by the end of the year. The shortage was due to Nintendo allocating more units to Europe because of the strength of the Euro over the U.S. dollar. Makes sense to me.There’s been a lot of speculation as to what caused the shortage, or if Nintendo purposely held back shipments in order to increase demand.After reading article after article, and listening to the enthusiast press via various podcasts, I think that the shortage is legit. Meaning, Nintendo is not holding back shipments of the Wii in order to create demand. While it would make sense for them to do so, say the 6 months post-launch (what I’ve dubbed Wii Day), it wouldn’t make much business sense for them to continue nearly a year and a half after.Link VS Link

It’s no question that the Wii and the DS have become the kings of the industry, from a profit standpoint. Nintendo is the only console maker of the 3 that continuously makes a profit from each unit sold. Prior to Wii Day, the public was split on whether or not Nintendo’s new motion-sensing control scheme was going to make up for last-gen graphics and processing power. While the jury is still out on that ruling, it’s obvious that Nintendo has struck a chord with the Average Joe consumer.

If Nintendo really was holding back shipments, I’m sure it wouldn’t sit well with stockholders, who would see an opportunity for the company to make more money if they can ship more product. Since there hasn’t been a regime change at Nintendo or some massive flight of shareholders from the company’s ranks, I’m going to assume that the system drought was real and Iwata, Fils-Aime, and all the Nintendo higher-ups have done everything they can to assure their shareholders that they really are shipping systems as fast as they can produce them.

Anyway, I think it will still be hard for the average consumer to find a Wii this year, considering Smash Bros. just launched (I posted a blog earlier in the month about my experience at a Best Buy that got a shipment of Wii’s the same day as Brawl went on sale), and both Mario Kart and Wii Fit hit North America in April. By the way, while I’m still up in the air about getting Wii Fit, I know that game will be an absolute monster and destroy the sales charts as the year continues, possibly outselling GTA IV in the long run.

Click on the link below to read the entire article.

(Mario Kart Wii image from 1up.com, Smash Bros. image taken by myself using in-game tools)

clipped from www.dallasnews.com
During the course of the interview, the analyst, Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan, said the real culprit for the Wii shortage in the U.S. is the weak dollar.
With a weak dollar, foreign companies that sell their goods in the U.S. for dollars and then convert those dollars to their native currencies get a smaller profit than if they sell their products in countries with strong currencies of their own (such as Europe with the euro). In other words, Nintendo makes a bigger profit on Wiis sold in Europe than on Wiis sold in the U.S.
So Nintendo, Mr. Pachter said, has been behaving perfectly rationally by sending excess Wii consoles to Europe to satisfy the more profitable consumers there.
But now that demand in Europe is subsiding to normal levels, those surplus consoles will be redirected to American gamers, Mr. Pachter said, and the Wii should finally become more plentiful in the States later this year.
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March 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm 4 comments

Guitar Hero 3 Wii replacements…and FREE GIFT!!!

A few days ago I received my replacement disc for Guitar Hero 3 on Wii. From the time I sent it out to the time I got it, the turnaround time I’d say was about 4 weeks. I’ll admit I haven’t played GH3 since I got the disc because I’ve been playing Brawl and Bully, but it’s nice to have the game back.

A few hours ago, I went and got the day’s mail. Outside my door was a box, addressed to me. I though, “Hmm…I didn’t buy anything online in the past few days, what the hell is this?” I opened it, and lo and behold, a brand new faceplate for the Wii guitar controller, courtesy of Red Octane and Activision.

Guitar Hero 3 Wii faceplate

Thank you note

Awesome, I was thinking of buying a new faceplate, but now I don’t have to (at least for the time being). Great job, Activision and Red Octane, thanks for keeping your consumers happy!

March 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm 2 comments

It’s over for CBS’s Jericho

I don’t think I’ve ever blogged so much about one topic before. Anyway, the series finale for Jericho just aired in the West Coast, and I have to say that it’s everything I expected. I wish there was at least one surprise, but the creative team behind the show really played it safe, but that’s a good thing since I’m sure the majority of the fans will be happy.

**spoilers**

Major Beck, the only new regular that’s been added this season, was a smart addition. When Season 2 started, the events in the show had become so big, the town of Jericho couldn’t possibly hold it. I loved the direction the show was taking, since one of the obvious questions on the minds of fans would be, “So what’s going on with the rest of the country?” Beck represents a strong and organized military, but a military that doesn’t know what country to fight for. Beck wants to do the right thing, but he never gets a straight answer from his superiors.

While the parallels to the Iraq war are obvious, I don’t believe they were trying to shove anything down the viewers’ throats. The one theme I picked up on throughout the season was one of rebellion and fighting to keep what is yours, two themes that are very American. This country was born from an armed rebellion, then fought another war with itself in order to keep the nation together. I guess it’s only fitting that the end of the series led up to, but obviously did not show, the start of a new American Civil War between Allied States and the United States. And because I’m an optimist, I’m going to assume that the Ohio-based United States, now joined by the Republic of Texas, kicked ass and put the country back together.

Well, the show was great while it lasted. I know there are still theories out there about how another network can pick up the show, but with the way they ended things on the finale, I’m inclined to say, “Let it be.” I just wish that more shows had writing as good as this (the only one I can think of is Battlestar Galactica, whose final season airs next week). So long, Jericho, we hardly knew ya.

Below is an excerpt of an interview with Carol Barbee, one of the producers or the show.

TVGuide.com: Will viewers have any burning questions coming out of the alternate ending/series finale?
Carol Barbee:

Let me see…. I can tell you that in the original ending, Hawkins has to sacrifice himself to let Jake get away with the bomb and get it to Texas so it can be tested and prove that they were telling the truth. Texas would then swing their support to Columbus and defeat Cheyenne.


TVGuide.com: Does Hawkins mortally sacrifice himself, or just let himself get captured?
Barbee:

Well, he gets captured but he’s also shot…. He’s pretty messed up, and Jake feels like he’s leaving him for dead. So we show you where he’s taken and you see that the mission for the next season is, “We have to go rescue Hawkins and we have to stop these [bad] guys.” When they see the alternate ending, it certainly completes the story from this season and tells you everything you need to know to have understood Season 2. It just doesn’t point to that next mission. You meet John Smith, the guy who’s been pulling the strings. It’s [played by] Xander Berkeley (24). You’ve heard him on phone calls, and Hawkins is surprised by who he is and where he is. So you know who John Smith is, you know who planned the attacks, you know why, you know how….

TVGuide.com: Now it’s just a matter of making things right in the United States?
Barbee:

Right. We would have moved on to the next level of a civil war between the Cheyenne government and the Columbus government. But if your readers do have any more burning questions, let me know!


TVGuide.com: If Jericho does find a new home on another channel, will Season 3 work off the alternate ending or the original cliff-hanger edit?
Barbee:

What we would do is take the information that is in the original ending, and that would be the opener for the next season. When we leave them at the end of the original ending, we’ve got Hawkins back and he’s OK, but we still need to go fight the larger fight. I’ve always said that the alternate ending doesn’t wrap up the series. It just lets you know that everyone is OK and it closes out this seven-episode arc. But we could definitely keep it going!

March 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

War Protesters

For the longest time, I’ve refrained from posting anything political on my blogs, aside from my rant on the Westboro Baptist Church. Now I guess I just can’t help it.

Earlier this evening, I was eating dinner and watching the news. A story came up regarding this group of war protesters who got in trouble because they protested at an Easter mass at the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. There was this question of whether or not the protesters should face jail time for what they did. While I can’t say they should or shouldn’t, since I don’t know all the details regarding their felony charges or potential misdemeanor charges, I can say that I am 100% for them getting some sort of punishment. But you might say, “Hey, you’re allowed to protest; it’s a right given to us by the Constitution.” Yes, you’d be correct.

Here’s my feelings on war protesters, as I have come to experience them, considering I live near, and go to school in, the most liberal city in the country. The saying goes, “You’re rights end where my rights begin.” I totally agree with that. See, the kids that were protesting in Chicago chose a church, which is a place of worship. I am a believer in a separation of Church and State, and I dissaprove of a church being used for political purposes during services. These bunch of kids start interrupting the Easter Mass, squirt fake blood all over themselves (as well getting some of the church goers) and make a whole bunch of fuss. Then they start complaining when they are escorted out of the building and the police are called.

I don’t go to church to hear someone spew political ideology at me, regardless of whether it’s coming from a priest or a member of the congregation or an outsider that barges in. I know, the Catholic Church does have its hand in politics, such as the pro-life movement and being against war in general, but the priests and the laypeople that run the churches I’ve attended are smart enough to not make a political statement during mass. I consider myself pro-life, but I would be extremely agitated if the priest used an entire sermon to go on and on about how abortion is evil, should be abolished, etc. That’s not why I go to church (almost) every Sunday.

And while I’m on the subject of war protesters, I guess I’ll bring up the recent events that happened in Berkeley. Speaking specifically about Code Pink and the other protesters that were there and not about war protesters in general, I just want to say, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES.” The Associated Press ran a story (which I can’t seem to find) about the protests and they had a quote from one of the protesters. It basically said something to the effect of “We aren’t protesting the Marines, we are just against what they were recruited to do.” Call me a fucking idealist, but I was under the assumption that the Marines, along with every other branch of our military, were recruited to defend our freedoms. I know, that’s a pretty broad thing to say, defending our freedoms. But it’s true. They’ve been doing it since before a bunch of guys in Philly signed a piece of paper called the Declaration of Independence.

Anyway, when the protests in Berkeley were in full swing, every single local news station in the Bay Area was reporting on them. I remember one interview with a shop owner that has a business in the same area as the Marine recruiting office. He basically wasn’t happy about the protests (and eventual counter-protests), not because of political reasons, but because the protests were held practically in front of his store and disrupted his business. I completely agree with him.

You have the right to protest. If you feel strongly about anything, like the war in Iraq, go ahead and say something. You are given a right (paid for by our men and women in uniform), as a citizen of this country, to speak out against anything that you consider wrong or unjust. I just ask that you be knowledgeable about it and don’t just take your cues from some pundit on CNN or Fox or any other news outlet; that you do it in a peaceful and respectul manner that does not in any way disrupt anyone else (that includes blocking the fucking street and disrupting the traffic in San Francisco, assholes. It’s called a sidewalk, use it. This goes for those PETA assholes that march around Norfolk, sometimes blocking traffic because the fucking circus is in town); and that you are prepared to deal with any consequences, good or bad. Don’t talk shit like you know something and then act all hurt because someone gets upset with you.

Anyway, about Code Pink, the other Berkeley protesters, and the rest of the Berkeley City Council that wrote the letter to the Marines. I find it to be very disgraceful. I think the phrase “military predators” was used, and shit like that just infuriates me. Also, on the link above, the picture on the website features some protester with a sign that reads: Join the Marines. Travel to exotic lands. Meet exciting and unusual people AND KILL THEM. To me, that’s just as bad as those crazy people from the Westboro Baptist Church praying for IEDs to blow up our soldiers. People that say shit like this, I believe, don’t deserve to be protected by our military. You have a right to say it, but considering the language that the protesters used, and the choice of words in the letter written by the Berkeley City Council to the Marine recruiting office, I don’t believe there’s any way to defend that kind of ideology.

This also says something about the Marines, as well. Even though these people are verbally spitting on them, they will, at a moment’s notice, defend the protesters and their right to free speech, even though that same right is used to make libelous and slanderous comments about the Corps itself. The Marines are “Always Faithful”, which is always true.

I am glad that the Marines refused to pack up. I am proud of what they do (which, contrary to what some have said, isn’t killing people) and what they and the rest of the U.S. military stand for. My being here and attaining citizenship is a product of the military and I’m thankful each day. I have friends and relatives that have served, and are serving, in the military (including one of my cousins that I live with, who is a Marine) and language used by the protesters in Berkeley and the city council offends me on a personal level.

Semper Fi, you hippie motherfuckers.

(images from CNN.com, ChicagoTribune.com, myownside.com)

March 24, 2008 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Californicated…wait that sounds dirty

Having lived in California for a little more than half a year, I’ve noticed a change in my speech pattern.  Back in VA, I never used to swear unless I get mad at the traffic or I’m playing a video game.  Also, my use of the word ‘Due’ was kept to a bare minimum, usually to describe a person I didn’t know (“This dude was in the bank today…”)

Just the other day, I noticed that I swear a little more than I used to, generally for descriptions of events or actions, and often with ’Dude’ in the beginning (“Dude, that’s fucked up”, or “That was some crazy ass bullshit, dude”).

The worst offender, though, is in the phrase ’Hella’. For example, I was describing to my cousin the line I saw in front of Best Buy when I picked up Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and I said, “There was hella people there, dude!” I can also be heard complaining about school, saying, “This class is hella stupid.”Apparently, people who really are from California will occasionally use the term ’Hecka’ in place of ’Hella’. So far, I haven’t used that term, only because it doesn’t “roll off the tongue” like ’Hella’ does. But time will tell.

Anyway, I’d better get my ass back to the East Coast, where people spoke normally. I haven’t heard Y’all used in months.

March 24, 2008 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

Jericho Canceled

It’s official. CBS has canceled any plans for a third season of Jericho. Citing poor ratings, this Tuesday will definitely be the series finale. Check out the post here, along with the video, for more info.

Oh well, the fans tried. It was great while it lasted.

March 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm 2 comments

Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 Update

Sounds like good news to me. I will say that I’m a fan of this show, even though it has some pacing issues. I hope Season 2 gets more episodes than just the 9 that aired this season.
clipped from community.tvguide.com

It looks like she’ll be back.

I’m hearing that Fox’s in-limbo Sarah Connor Chronicles has quietly begun staffing up for the fall. According to insiders, Fox has given producers the green light to start booking directors for next season’s first three episodes. While this is no guarantee that SCC is returning , it’s obviously a very good sign.

A Fox spokesperson, meanwhile, maintains that “no decision about a second season has been made yet.”
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March 21, 2008 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

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