Archive for November, 2008

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All new* Nintendo DS revealed. Sigh.

November 3, 2008

*Of course, when we say ‘all new’ what we really mean is ‘exactly the same with very little in the way of useful improvements’. Go go Gadget Kotaku Post!

During their Fall Press Conference today, Nintendo have – as expected – announced a new version of the Nintendo DS. Called the Nintendo DSi, it eschews the GBA slot (boo!) in favour of a slight downsizing (it’s a little thinner) and a range of improvements. The handheld’s screens have been enlarged, and will now be 17% bigger (at 3.25 inches) than those found on the DS Lite. As for the rumoured additions, both have proven to be correct, with “audio enhancements” made to the handheld, while it will also now include a .3 megapixel (640×480) camera. And that’s just the start of it.

The DSi also features an SD memory card slot, making it possible to take pictures with the DSi and then view them on the Nintendo Wii. The DSi features a built-in browser, and it’s possible to download games and keep them on the DSi.
For digital delivery purchases, there is a DSi Shop, from which users can download DSiWare from. Pricing categories for the DSiWare are: Free, 200 points, 500 points and “Premium” or 800 points. Customers will get 1000 free points to spend at the DSi Shop that are good until March 2010.

The DSi will be released in Japan on November 1. It will retail for ¥18,900 (USD$180), and will be available in two colours, white and black. It will be released in other

Image!

Apathy!
It’s hardly surprising that Nintendo have shoved out a revision of thier existing hardware as they’ve been doing it for years, neither is it surprising that it adds not much yet enough to get the hardcore, slavering fanchildren running to the pre-order mobile. Companies like Nintendo and Sony need to keep their products fresh, it’s common business sense, but how many devices does a person need that take pictures or plays music? Yeah the screens are bigger and they’re going for the whole convergence thing with the memory and connectivity with the Wii (which should have been made more of literally years ago), but no GBA slot? I can see why but that’s just rubbish.
Still, come spring 2009 people will be chomping at the bit for them.

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LittleBigQuestionmark

November 3, 2008

I was fortuitous enough to receive a beta key for the LittleBigPlanet beta on the Ps3 (not that it’s on anything else) which gave me cause to do a little dance and actually turn on my Ps3 for the first time in about a month and half.
For those not in the know LittleBigPlanet is a platform game with a difference. Aside from being ridiculously cute and narrated by Stephen Fry, the feature that seems to be pushed to the fore is the level creator. This phrase does not do said feature justice. Let me explain:
The platforming section of the game is a very amusing physics puzzle based jump-around-and-collect things-athon with some freaky characters and some brilliant art direction. As you flounce around the levels you come across various collectables like stickers and objects and even costumes to kit out your Sackboy.
Ah, Sackboy. Sackboy rocks. There’s (seemingly, I don’t know if there’s anything more you can do with these) pointless things you can do with him, like change his facial expressions and move his arms about and what have you, but he’s so bloody adorable it’s sickening. I want a Sackboy toy, a plushie, a knitted doll, ANYTHING! Currently my Sackboy is a semi pirate with a ‘tache like Swearengen out of Deadwood.
Anyway, so yeah, you run about, collecting ‘stickers’ and materials and whatnot, collecting little orby things for points and having wierd races on rocking horses on wheels. Wheelie horses? You get the idea. Once I’d had my fill of the floaty gravity platforming goodness I moved onto the creator.
Well I tried to. Instead I had to wade through 90 billion turorials. But you know what? It needed doing, because the creator is phenominal. It’s not just some weak little toolkit with which to create uninspired dross, this thing is phenominal! Seriously, the sheer amount of bits, bobs, odds, sods, gubbins, whatnots, thingummies and doodads you have at your disposal is amazing. And you can make textures by photographing them with the Eye Create camera. When I get through the rest of the tutorials I’ll post some more about it, but there’s something niggling at the back of my head.
Who wants to play this?
It’s amazing. It’s a truly brilliant piece of software, but the creator (which is what’s being pushed, directly or otherwise) requires a ridiculous amount of dedication to get the most out of. It’s simple enough to use, and most people will pick it up in an hour or so, but to make the levels that do it justice might require OCD levels of graph paper planning and though, not to mention the amount of time it’ll take to put it together and tweak it. Sony are pinning a lot of hopes on this, and I think it may be something of a disappointment to them. I hope it isn’t, because it deserves as big an audience as possible, but if they think they’re going to, say, drag Wii owners over to the PS3 with it they’re going to be sorely disappointed.