Home from work sick: day 2

Still out sick, and the TV is still boring. I’ve even turned it off. Xbox is offline for maintenance, so no fun there either.

I’ve been fairly producting in the whole e-mail department, though, so that’s good.

The good news is that the chainsaws/wood chippers/weed eater sounds from yesterday are gone. The bad news is that my next door neighbors are pressure washing their roof. Why can’t I get a nice quiet day of rest when I’m out sick?

Sony News Conference at E3

So, I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts after watching most of the Sony Press Conference at E3.

Overall, I was fairly underwhelmed with the show. Even the audience seemed underwhelmed — I don't know if it was just that the microphones weren't capturing it, but there was very little applause and cheering from the people in the stands. I counted at least 5 times where the Sony presenters asked for applause – it seems like it should be more spontaneous.

Most of the demos were unimpressive — come on, we saw videos at last years' E3. There were a few demos played, though. They started off with Gran Turismo HD (which they admitted is just newer textures on the GT4 engine). While Kazunori Yamauchi (the president of Polyphony Digital) was holding the controller acting like he was playing, it was fairly obvious by the camera views that he wasn't playing — seriously, who can hold a perfect racing line in turns while in the camera “fly-by” modes?

Some of the other games looked impressive: Eight Days stood out in my mind. Another cool thing was using the PSP as a rear-view mirror for the Formula One game they showed. That's a novel use, albeit a little expensive. Their Sony Network seemed pretty much like an Xbox Live copy (video chat was the only thing that's currently not there, but there's reports that the Xbox Camera will make video chat possible on XBL as well):

  • Friends list: check
  • Micropayments: check
  • Voice chat: check
  • Text chat: check
  • Rankings: check
  • Video chat: pending, supposedly

Back to the audience seeming, well, unexcited. Even the presenters didn't seem excited (except Kaz Hirai yelling “Ridge Racer” on the PSP), they all talked in monotone voices. Get some liveliness, guys!

And that worldwide launch thing? Good luck with that one, guys. It didn't treat the Xbox 360 team very well.

So, I didn't catch the tail end of the presentation (I watched up until Electronic Arts showed up, then decided to drive home). Engadget has the blow by blow which talks more in detail about a few events, shows off the new (erm, I mean old) controller (bluetooth? Weird.), pricing details (ouch), etc. Engadget follows up with posts about the launch details, the controller, and pricing info.

Gamerscore Addict

I think I'm original in this, but maybe not. I came up with a new word today while browsing my Xbox Live gamerscore in comparison with friends.

I submit to you: gamerwhore.

I think to be a gamerwhore you should compare your gamerscore to others frequently (I do), but you should have also played NBA Live 06 and King Kong (I haven't).

UPDATE 03/01/2006: what timing! Major Nelson also says something similar on his blog yesterday. Great minds think alike…

Kameo Co-Op on XBL

Ok, grievance with Kameo on the 360 – why can't co-op games be done on Xbox Live? I suspect it was going to be, but was dropped to make the game ship:

  • The manual, when talking about setting up a cooperative game, talks about logging into Xbox Live profiles.
  • The game, has a menu to choose the cooperative game mode. The only option presented is split-screen.

Seems odd that the manual talks about Xbox Live profiles, and there's a menu for cooperative mode in the game with only one option.

I want XBL-based cooperative modes for Kameo. That, and a fixed multiplayer mode for Call of Duty 2.