The Price of Online Gaming

Posted in PS3,Wii,Xbox 360 by Michael Pica on the January 3rd, 2007

A few days ago I had to renew my Xbox Live Gold Subscription. I honestly don’t play online very often. I’m really more of an off-line gamer but I keep the subscription around for the occasional game among friends, and more recently for when achievements call for it. I see a lot of people scoff at the subscription fee for Xbox Live; why pay when other platforms offer online gaming for free? If you had asked me if paying for an Xbox Live subscription was worth it about 2 years ago I would have responded with a resounding HELL NO! At this point however, if posed the same question I’d would assure you, it’s worth every last penny. (more…)

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Disc format apathy

Posted in PS3,The Industry,Wii,Xbox 360 by Michael Pica on the December 7th, 2006

There is no arguing that the most popular debate in video gaming over the last five or so years has been Playstation vs Xbox: which one has better graphics, which one has better games, which one has the better controller, ad nauseum. As somewhat of an off-shot of that debate is the debate over “next-gen” disc formats, being HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray Disc. I use the term next-gen loosely because calling it that in any kind of seriousness would imply that storage mediums somehow evolve in easily packaged generations the same way video game consoles do. In-fact just using this term is the first sign that people are approaching this issue all wrong. (more…)

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PS3 homebrew NOT important

Posted in Moding,PS3 by Michael Pica on the November 22nd, 2006

After some localized riots, muggings, robberies, and all around stupidity, hypothermia and wallet weight reduction about 280,000 people world wide managed to get there hands on shiny new Playstation 3s. I had considered waiting inline for one until I realized that there were people in this world with far more free time on their hands then I. I took the day off from work but one look at the lines and I decided to simply enjoy the long weekend with my girlfriend. Polling the lines however, I found that most people weren’t actually interested in keeping the console for themselves. This dedication came almost entirely from the idea that they could make money on the console. If there are this many people SELLING the console then who is buying it? Certainly it’s people with more money then time but is the console really worth it?

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Launch Lineup Scores

Posted in PS3,Wii,Xbox 360 by Michael Pica on the November 21st, 2006

I was reading an article on /. and someone mentioned that they thought the Wii had the best launch line up of the next gen, because if you averaged all of the review scores it would be not only the highest but have the most titles. So I decided to put it to the test…. I went to and collected the scores for all of the launch day titles for each of the 3 next gen systems and this is the result.

My guidelines were simple: None of this “launch window” crap I only took the games that were available on the day the console was released in the US. Scores were all rounded to the nearest whole number when placed on a scale out of 100, and I listed the scores from both professionals as well as users with the final verdict being an average of the two. (more…)

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True Resolutions

Posted in PS3,The Industry,Xbox 360 by Michael Pica on the November 15th, 2006

You may or may not have heard the nerdy outcry of FOUL over the recent discovery (translated) that two new Activision games for the Xbox 360 (Tony Hawk’s Project 8 by Neversoft and Call of Duty 3 by Treyarch) don’t actually run at high-definition resolutions, but instead some seemingly arbitrary lower resolution, presumably this is done to help improve their frame rates. Regardless of the reason and regardless of the fact that both of those games still look great it brings up some interesting political issues in addition to the technical ones. (more…)

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