Monday, June 25, 2007

Review: Nintendo Wii

First things first, if you have a Wii, add my Wii code to your address book and send mail to innerexception at so our Miis can be exchanged:
My Wii Code is 1848 8764 9650 6855. Get your own WiiBadge at!

Back over Memorial Day weekend (May 28th 2007 to be exact), I finally got a Wii. I learned the night before that my local Best Buy had been stockpiling for the big Sunday flyer announcement, so I headed off about an hour before opening and got in line, as did a bunch of other people. I got it, but they were short on Wii Remotes, so I headed to the local Target, where I had never seen a Wii in the case before even though checking since launch, and they had 5. 3 left as I walked to the case, but the irony, and I haven't seen them in that Target again since.

In short, the Wii is pretty much great. This review from Scott Hanselman and this Wii series by Jeffrey McManus Wii some up a lot ofwhat the Wii is about. For me: Finally, something new in gaming. My wife, in-laws, friends, and yes even grandma have played and enjoyed the Wii a tremendous amount, none of them save a few friends would touch an Xbox or Playstation gamepad. Even the friends that have played and owned gamepad-based consoles before either admit how much fun the Wii is or are planning to get one, even holding off on Xbox 360 or PS3 to get a Wii. On June 10, mere hours before the Halo 3 beta expired, the gamer friend I had over was bored by Halo 3 compared to the fun the whole house was having with the Wii. It wasn't even close.

I am not just a casual gamer, so one of the most unexpected benefits of the Wiimote is that you have near mouse levels of control. Why is that important? For a First Person Shooter (FPS) player like myself, it might make all the difference. I have Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in addition to Wii Sports, and it was during the early slingshot training sequence this became obvious to me, targeting was so much easier with the remote as pointer than an analog stick. If Nintendo's developers show the way with Metroid Prime: Corruption, the Wii could be revolutionary for hard-core FPS players as well as casuals, bringing close to the precision that PC FPS players have enjoyed on an easy to use console. The graphics are what they are, but if you can use the component cables, they do look better. The widescreen 480p Zelda is no Gears of War and isn't even a Wii exclusive, so I am extremely curious to see what Metroid looks like, but it really is all about the controls. I haven't got any other traditional FPS games yet, but I am seriously looking forward to Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition when I get back from vacation.

This isn't to say that I have junked the Xbox 360, I haven't. I got Guitar Hero II for father's day, and that is a great game that taps into the same kind of fun that the Wii does. But a guitar is a very specialized controller, the Wiimote makes many game experiences new again. Depending on when Mass Effect drops, the only game I get for the 360 the rest of this year might be Halo 3. Another thing I noticed playing Halo 3 Beta with random strangers and the Wii with family and friends. Playing games over Xbox Live with random strangers, not that much fun. Playing with people you know, priceless.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

NJ Transit Ticket Machines Run NT 4

I was pretty amused this morning to see the ticket computer at my NJ Transit stop:

Walking right up to the screen, you see the following (red highlight mine):

What genius told NT 4 it was OK to shutdown? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Test Post from Blogger Widget

Nice, but a little limited, no labels!