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Concave vs convex
In a Newsdump first, we're linking to ourselves. Today, we brought you the first images of the PlayStation 3 in the same room as the Xbox 360 - perhaps even doing naughty things together (they're much closer than we ever envisioned.) As Neo GAF poster Wario64 eloquently pointed out, "It's huge lol" - the PS3 is significantly larger than Microsoft's new console, in a distinct role reversal from the prior generation, when the original Xbox threatened to crush the PS2. We're only left to wonder... why care? Both the PS3 and the 360 will fit comfortably in any processed wood entertainment center you can purchase from Ikea. We're pretty sure that's what counts.
Two of our editors hail from the fine state of Illinois, which was just forced to pay over half a million dollars thanks to yet another stupid attempt to create a law to censor video games. With cries of "for the children!" and "damn, I want to be re-elected," a group of politicians had thrown their insubstantial weight against a poorly written law that the government inevitably decided was unconstitutional. Now they have to go and explain to people why they wasted well over a half a million dollars doing it (bearing in mind that that's just the lawyers' fees for the defense, which doesn't take into account what the state paid to mount its case.) Who's next? The more they try, the more they fail miserably. And they wonder why we moved out of state.
This week in Japan
Our sister site Next Generation has posted another installment in its long-running This Week in Japan column. Always entertaining and typically exceptionally lengthy, it's written by an American in Tokyo who spends his time playing games like Bullet Witch and idly tearing apart the Japanese game industry with gentle sarcasm. This week's target is Nintendo's Pokemon Stamp Rally, which has Japanese schoolchildren wasting their time on packed Tokyo trains to collect ink critters, and insight into controversies over Dead Rising censorship in Japan. The Japanese gamers who imported the US version are complaining because they can't read the text. Don't worry, guys - we know English and we can't read it either.
Fight for your Phoenix Wright
According to the clearly unbiased site dsfanboy.com, online megastore Amazon.com has already sold out of yesterday's re-release of Capcom's sleeper hit DS game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Back to eBay - though athletically-minded gamers might consider actual leaving the house and heading to a real, brick-and-mortar store, where there might be a copy. They're just like the ones you see in RPGs, except the prices they pay you for used items aren't as fair.
Halo director speaks
Wow. Just this week, Neill Blomkamp was named the director of the Halo movie - much to the supposed chagrin of Uwe Boll, who won't be given the chance to take yet another beloved (or at least "accepted") gaming franchise and turn it into muck that makes even devoted fans want to stab out their own eyes. And he's already given a brief interview that demonstrates a greater grasp of his subject matter than Boll ever has.
Notice how he refers to The Flood by name. It's a small thing, but anyone who has ever heard Boll's "verm guys" comments in the Alone in the Dark DVD (let alone read Something Awful's story detailing Boll's tenuous grasp on... well, everything, really) should realize that's a very big step.
That said, we reserve the right to rescind this faith and hate Blomkamp anyhow if, in fact, he does show Master Chief's face.
Fly me to the Moon... in a beaver
The Flight Simulator X demo download became available for would-be PC pilots today. It's a hefty chunk of code to pull down - about 650MB - but with the nation at Orange Alert status, this may be the easiest way to get off the ground this weekend. With just a couple of planes and more-than-choppy frame rate, it's obvious this is early, early stuff.
However, the demo also shows off a house favorite: the deHavilland Beaver Floatplane - a clunky, pontoon-footed plane that had us thinking, "so this must be what it feels like to fly a water buffalo." Its render was so well done that the simple sight of it sent us reeling with memories of family fishing trips, bushwhacking through Canada's wilds - and it also reminds us of the plane in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is a cool bonus. If you want to really simulate what flying in one of these single-engine monsters was like, crank the volume to 11.
August 11, 2006