Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Looks like Blu-ray is going to beat HD-DVD


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgI’m a bit sad to write this but it looks like Blu-ray is going to win the HD DVD format war now that Warner Bros. has gone Blu-ray exclusive. Now, Blu-ray has a large majority of the studios supporting it – the only exclusive studios supporting HD-DVD are Universal Studios and Paramount. However, there have been rumors that they will also go neutral or Blu-ray exclusive but I don’t think we’ll see them go Blu in the near future since Universal publicly stated that their ‘current plan is to continue to support HD-DVD’ (notice how they used the words “current plan” which tells me they’re starting to think in Blu).

Let’s make this easier, here’s a list of what’s happened since Warner Bros. went Blu-ray exclusive:

Yeah, these are very dark times for the HD-DVD consortium and mostly for Toshiba since they are the primary backer of HD-DVD…and these are great times for the Blu-ray Disc (BD) consortium – especially Sony since they’re the primary backer of Blu-ray. However, I don’t think it’s gonna be a cake walk for BD to win the format war due to various reasons – the primary being that Universal and Paramount are still HD-DVD exclusive and the high BD player prices.

Personally, since the Warner Bros. announcement (Jan. 4) I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player (Playstation 3). I bought it about a week after the WB announcement. Needless to say, I think the writing’s on the wall for HD-DVD and it will die a slow death, which is very unfortunate because I’ve been a HD-DVD supporter from the beginning and I am NOT a Sony fan by any stretch of the imagination. I supported HD-DVD for various reasons that I won’t list because this post on Gizmodo sums it up almost perfectly.

Needless to say, I’m tired of this format war and am ready for it to end. Blu-ray has around 75% of Hollywood studios supporting it…and it hurts to say this but “go Blu.”

Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Playstation 3

Got Mii a Wii


nintendo-wii.jpgI got a Nintendo Wii this morning – suh-weet! 😀

The Wii has been out for about 7 months and it’s still ridiculously hard to get one. However, it should start to get easier to find a Wii in the next couple of months since Nintendo said they are ramping up production and are aiming to sell 14 million consoles by March 2008.

Here’s how I got my Wii:

  • Friday, April 27 (5:30pm): I stopped by Target (Somerville, MA) on my way home from work to see if they had any Wiis.
  • The sales clerk told me they were sold out (what a shocker!) but they should be getting more on Sunday, April 29 (he didn’t know how many they were getting).
  • Sunday, April 29 (7:15am): Since Target opens at 8am on Sundays, I got there at 7:15am and there were already 4 people waiting.
  • Sunday, April 29 (7:30am): A Target manager came out and gave us tickets to buy the Wii (they had 18 in total) – I got ticket #5.
  • Sunday, April 29 (8:05am): I bought the Wii and was on my way out the door.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a Wii, I would recommend getting one – the games are ridiculously fun.

Filed under: Gaming, Nintendo, Wii

Wanna play Guitar Hero II at a bar?


guitar_hero2.jpgPianos, a bar in New York City’s Lower East Side, has ‘Guitar Hero night’ on Tuesdays @ 10pm. So, if you’re looking to have a few (or several) beers and then show off your skills to the ladies (or guys), you’ll want to hit up Pianos.

I don’t know about you but I think that would be a funny night – watching your friends playing a plastic guitar…drunk.

Anyone know of a bar in Boston that does this?  🙂

[via Joystiq]

Filed under: Gaming, Playstation 2, Xbox 360

U.S. sales of video game consoles during March – Wii still #1


The Nintendo Wii was the #1 selling next-gen video game console in the U.S. during the month of March.  Following the Wii were Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3.

The specific sales numbers were:

  1. Wii: 259,000
  2. Xbox 360: 199,000
  3. PS3: 130,000

Interestingly, the PS2 outsold all next-gen consoles by selling 280,000 units.

Total dollar sales for video game consoles in March was $257 million.

So, we see the PS3 being outsold by the Wii and Xbox 360 – nice!  🙂

[Reuters via Digg]

Filed under: Gaming, Nintendo, Playstation 3, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360

Sales of PS3 fall 18% in Japan from Apr. 9 – Apr. 15


The latest sales data is out and the news for Sony is not good – the PS3 continues its ‘thud.’

During the same week Nintendo saw the Wii increase in sales by 44% while Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has declined 2%.

Here are the weekly sales numbers:

– DS Lite: 133,325 22,480 (20.28%)
– Wii: 75,759 23,176 (44.08%)
– PSP: 24,850 6,653 (21.12%)
– PS2: 12,872 1,362 (9.57%)
– PS3: 11,948 2,572 (17.71%)
– Xbox 360: 2,900 63 (2.13%)
– GBA SP: 654 179 (21.49%)
– Game Boy Micro: 617 105 (20.51%)
– Gamecube: 167 88 (34.51%)
– DS Phat: 146 56 (62.22%)
– GBA: 26 14 (116.67%)

Frankly, I’m happy to see these results because I am not a fan of Sony or the PS3.

[via Joystiq]

Filed under: Gaming, Nintendo, Playstation 3, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360

Video of new Gears of War game type: Annex


Kotaku has a sweet video of the upcoming game type, Annex (which is the equivalent of Halo 2’s Team Crazy King game type). The other cool part of this game type is that you’ll be able to re-spawn.

To top it off, it should be released right about now.  😀

Filed under: Gaming, Xbox 360

Deal: Xbox HD-DVD player for $131


Xbox HD-DVD add-onSam’s Club is selling the Xbox HD-DVD add-on player for $131 (a full $59 lower than MSRP). Note: some Sam’s Club locations are selling it for $150, which is still a good deal.

Btw, this deal is in-store only.

[via TechBargains]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, Xbox 360

Brits get a free 46-inch HDTV with the purchase of a PS3


Sony gave a free 46-inch HDTV (I’m assuming a LCD HDTV) to the first 100 people who purchased a PS3 on launch day. The PS3 has had a lot of negative press since it’s launch and it isn’t selling as well as the Xbox 360 and the Wii in the States…this seems like a big indication that Sony is unhappy with sales of the PS3. After all, if the PS3 was selling well, they wouldn’t be giving away HDTVs, on launch night, that will cost them an estimated £250,000.

[via Kotaku and BBC News]

Filed under: Gaming, HDTV, Playstation 3, PS3

The Nintendo Wii Phenomena


Ever since the Nintendo Wii was released everyone has been talking about how it appeals to people of all generations and sexes. Last night was the first time I experienced this first-hand.

My company held a ‘casino night’ at the Boston Seaport hotel and, at the end of the night, we were given a certain number of raffle tickets (that was determined by the amount of chips we had at the end of the night). There were 4 prizes that we could enter to win and – you guessed it – one of them was a Nintendo Wii. To my amazement, almost everyone knew what it was and knew it was the “hot” thing to have. Not only that, they knew how hard it was to get one. To top it off, a few of the managers (who are married and have children) told me how they’d love to win the Wii but “my wife would kill me if I brought it home.” I was shocked (in a good way) to hear these comments because it shows how gaming is becoming more accepted.

Oh, and in case if you were wondering, I got 20 raffle tickets and entered all of them for the Wii. Did I win it? Nope. 😦

All in all, it was a great time and winning the Wii would’ve just been icing on the cake.

Filed under: Gaming, Nintendo, Wii

Free South Park episode (in HD) on Xbox Live Marketplace


Comedy Central and Xbox Live are giving away South Park’s first ever HD episode for free. That’s right – free. It will be free for the next two weeks (starting today). The episode they’re giving away is from 2004: ‘Good Times with Weapons’ (i.e., the ‘South Park Ninjas’ episode).

If you don’t have an Xbox 360 and are planning on getting one, get it at Best Buy between March 20 – April 3 because they will give you this episode on HD-DVD for free. Already have an Xbox 360 but want to buy the HD-DVD add-on drive? Don’t worry, Best Buy’s got you covered: you’ll get this HD-DVD for free with the purchase of the add-on drive, too.

FYI, this HD episode is 1GB so be patient…unless if you’re one of those lucky people with Verizon Fios.

Filed under: Bargains, HD DVD, Microsoft, Video, Xbox 360

European PS3 Launch Confirmed: March 23, 2007


Sony has officially confirmed the PS3 launch with some deets: only the 60GB version will be available and priced at 425 GBP in the U.K. ($840 USD) and 599 Euros for the rest of Europe ($779 USD). With all of the negative mojo (Kotaku, NY Times) surrounding the PS3, who’s willing to bet PS3 sales will mirror the lackluster numbers in the U.S.?

Is it just me who thinks the PS3’s pricepoint is a bit ridiculous? Yes, I know the addition of the Blu-ray player adds a significant cost but $600 USD for a 60GB PS3 is a bit absurd and forcing gamers to pay for something they may not want is a bit unfair.

Filed under: Blu-ray, Gaming, Playstation 3, PS3

Buying an Xbox 360?


I’ve come across the following deals on an Xbox 360 so, if you’re planning on buying one, stop by one of these stores:

  • MicroCenter:
    • Xbox 360 Premium: $349 (after a $50 gift card)
    • Xbox 360 Core: $249 (after a $50 gift card)
    • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller: $39 (after a $10 gift card)
    • Use the gift card to get an extra wireless controller (MSRP $50), a game (Gears of War??), an extra battery for the wireless controller, etc.
    • The Catch: the deal is for in-store purchases, only. Check the MicroCenter locations.
    • Expiration: not sure. So, get to your nearest MicroCenter if you’re planning on buying one!
  • Costco:
    • If you’re a member, they offer theXbox 360 Premium bundle for $475. The bundle includes:
      • Xbox 360 Premium
      • 1 Extra wireless controller
      • 1 Play-and-Charge kit
      • 1 game (you can choose from Project Gotham Racing or Xbox Live Arcade gamepack)
      • The total MSRP value if purchased separately: $510 (w/Live Arcade) or $500 (w/PGR)
    • Plus, don’t forget about Costco’s unconditional return policy. If theXbox 360 fails at anytime in the future, you can always exchange it or get a store credit at Costco.

I’ve had my Xbox 360 since February, 2006 and LOVE it.  The Xbox Live service is great and the way in which the Xbox 360 is constantly connected to Xbox Live is brilliant.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Gaming, Xbox 360

A “Classic Video Game Band”


This is pretty funny…for those of you who are or will be in the Boston-area on January 31, the Skybar (518 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA – Google Map) will have a few bands playing. One of which is The Kode – a band that will be playing video game music from the 80’s and 90’s.

So, who’s dying to hear music from Q-Bert or Super Mario Bros. – live – at a bar?? 😉

Filed under: Gaming, Music