Friday, March 25, 2005

Tales From the Inbox

As always, my e-mail is substantially delicious and leaves no aftertaste.

LPMiller, Editor in Chief of the fabulous, had some keen observations on the PSP vs. Gameboy wars:
Here's the thing about technically raising the bar-Sega raised the bar too, with the Game Gear and the Nomad. NEC raised the bar with the Turbo Grafix. Atari raised the bar with the Lynx.

Yet the original, black and white Gameboy beat them all.

This is one market Nintendo KNOWS. Portables were never about the tech, but about the convenience, and the games. Sony forgets this, and is really pulling a Sega here.

With any Nintendo portable, you have an instant library of thousands of games. You have a good battery life. And you have a machine that does one thing well - play games on the go.

With the PSP, you have great tech, but you have a high price, you have a limited library, you have a proprietary movie format that costs as much as DVD, you have a not very pocket friendly size. You have a unit trying to do too many things at once. Sony may very well take over the portable market someday - one thing they can do is afford to screw up. But this ain't it. The secret to a portable is A) being a portable, b) being affordable for those that only game sometimes, c) the games, stupid.

Those are interesting comments--I don't agree with them, necessarily, but they're very interesting and it's certainly a plausible scenario. My problem with the GBA is that even if there are a thousand games for it, they all have to be played on a tiny screen with weak-ass graphics and crappy sound. It might as well be a million games--I don't care. But my problem with the GBA is certainly not shared by most consumers, because that little system with a tiny screen and weak-ass graphics is a gold mine.

Douglas Bonderud writes in reference to "Squares 2" :
I decided to give it a try. Sure enough, the game was maddeningly addictive, and I actullay managed to achieve a score of 146 squares before being wiped out. (damn red'll get yours!) I believe I am also now legally blind, and will likely wake up in the middle of the night, covered in a cold sweat as I see a malevolent red square bearing down on me.

I felt that my geekish achivement had to be shared with the world, and you seemed a likely candidate to appreciate such a feat.

I do indeed appreciate it, as I played the game for fifteen minutes, only reached 84 squares, and felt jittery like I'd drunk ten cups of coffee.

Dave Kramer sent me a link to his initial impressions of the PSP, which are thorough. You can also check out his site at the same time:

Elizabeth Donaldson writes:
I am working on your tax return and we are missing cost basis for the sale of of Dell stock.

Excuse me. That was not in reference to this column.

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