Bill Loguidice's blog

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Nintendo working on Wii's successor for a pending announcement and 2012 release?

Well, it was only a matter of time. Many of us have been noticing the dearth of major Wii releases for 2011. In fact, my own observation went a bit further, in that while the Wii received many quality first party titles in 2010, it didn't receive anything that would require a significant monetary or time investment befitting a typical AAA title (because, let's face it, many of these were just 2D-style side scrolling games). That's why the recent news (here, among many other places) of a possible Wii price drop and the potential for a Wii successor announcement in the next month or so - with more details at this year's E3 - was not really all that surprising. It's really the only logical way to explain how Nintendo can trump even if its own classicly lethargic release schedules with what it has been doing - or not doing as the case may be - in regards to new product on the Wii. It would also explain why the relatively modest 3DS launch would have been such a drain on the company, since their resources were divided between that and the Wii successor.

Certainly the price drop is a typical move for a product in this stage of its lifecylce and is one that the competition has parlayed to some advantage as well. However, I feel that the launch of a possible next generation successor to the Wii in 2012 - let alone its potential pending announcement - is extremely premature. Here's why:

  • Though overall sales have dropped considerably, Nintendo could have easily continued to milk the Wii for more sales with a combination of successive and properly timed price drops and a few big first party titles here and there
  • If, as some of the rumors suggest, the Wii successor is only roughly as powerful as the 360 and PS3, it puts Nintendo in the exact same position they're in now with the Wii when the inevitable 360 and PS3 successors are released--presumably as quickly as 2013 if Nintendo releases in 2012
  • By announcing and releasing so early, Nintendo would give both Microsoft and Sony (who are of course each working on their own next generation platforms) plenty of time to copy all of the Wii successor's best features and then trump them. This is not something a company in a solid first place should do.

In any case, what are your thoughts on this? Too soon for Nintendo? Right time? Let's hear it!

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The Humble Indie Bundle #3 (Frozenbyte) - Another Amazing Deal for Windows, Macintosh and Linux Gamers!

Just like we talked about the last two "Humble Bundles", we couldn't help but mention this latest one. Pay what you want for three awesome DRM-free games on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux: Trine, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, and Shadowgrounds. Additionally, your Frozenbyte bundle includes a preorder for Splot and a prototype with source code for Jack Claw. Choose to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Child's Play Charity at the same time. Check it out here!

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Issue 49 of the Commodore Free magazine - March 2011, Now Available!

The latest issue, March 2011, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual .PDF, .txt, .seq, .d64, .html, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

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20th Anniversary For Dummies - All you ever wanted to know about the series

Publisher Wiley has made available an interesting PDF ebook done in their inimitable For Dummies format detailing the 20 year history of the popular series. As you know, both Christina and I worked on Wii Fitness For Dummies, which was released in 2010, and I'm presently at work with For Dummies pioneer Dan Gookin on Motorola Atrix 4G For Dummies, which is due out in July of this year. Even though I've been a For Dummies author for some time now, there were many interesting factoids in the PDF that even I wasn't aware of. If you have any interest in how the series and industry has evolved in those 20 years, it's well worth checking out.

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Don Lancaster releases his classic computer books as free ebooks!

Thanks to the Apple II news Website, A2Central.com, for the heads-up about Don Lancaster releasing some of his classic computer books as free ebooks, each of which are presently available for download as PDFs. Check it out, particularly if you're into the Apple II!

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Fury Unlimited Releasing Cinematronics' Warrior for the Vectrex!

Warrior (Vectrex)Warrior (Vectrex)Inarguably among the top and most prolific homebrew authors for the Vectrex, Fury Unlimited, is now taking pre-orders for an enhanced remake of Cinematronics legendary one-on-one vector fighting game, Warrior. This release includes many new modes, as well as a box and overlay. Check out the original arcade game here on KLOV to see just how impressive this new version is. Among the earliest fighting games, the influential Warrior arcade game is also discussed in Chapter 17 - Street Fighter II (1991), in our book, Vintage Games.

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The end of anonymity on the Internet and it's all thanks to Facebook?

TrollfaceTrollfaceI was listening earlier to the net@night 192 podcast ("Guy Kawasaki and Enchantment" March 8, 2011) on my iPhone and Amber McCarthur and Leo Laporte were having an interesting discussion regarding Facebook's pervasiveness and how it might solve the problem of anonymous trolling on the Internet. As you know, some of around here on Armchair Arcade have been championing the idea of one's online identity being tied directly to their actual identity (here and here, as just two examples). The basic premise is that just like they do in the real world, an adult's negative actions would have consequences because others would know exactly who was causing the grief. The problem was always how to implement such a system, because previous attempts at real name accountability (as detailed in those two example links) were met with anger and resistance. In short, there was no practical way to make this happen considering the wide open and non-unified nature of the Web. Interestingly enough, the answer may be in Facebook's ever increasing dominance. You see, many sites now are requiring use of a Facebook login to leave comments--anonymous griefers need not apply. According to McCarthur, the sites that have implemented such a system have seen a slight reduction in the volume of comments, but a dramatic increase in the quality of comments and few, if any, trolls. While we've already debated this idea endlessly around here with neither side really budging from their positions, I think even though the Facebook-login-to-comment's success is largely anecdotal at this point, this is certainly a trend worth keeping an eye on for those of us in the accountability camp. Who knew that Facebook could have been the argument clincher all along? With over 600 million users and counting, it's clearly one of the most viable solutions out there. As Bill Loguidice - the actual Bill Loguidice - I can say without hesitation that if this indeed represents a turning point, I believe that the vast majority of us will have a heck of lot of great conversations to look forward to.

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Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 Sets Guinness World Record for Sales

Microsoft KinectMicrosoft KinectMaking the rounds today is word that Microsoft's Kinect has sold over 10 million units since it had its worldwide roll-out throughout the month of November, 2010. Certainly an impressive feat in such a short amount of time and apparently worthy of the people at Guinness World Records, who have officially named it the "fastest-selling consumer electronics device" (faster than even the iPhone and iPad) by selling an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010, and January 3, 2011. Congrats to Microsoft and I'm certainly a fan, but I have to say, now that there's no denying the device has consumer traction, where are the games? Dance Central and Kinect Sports are lots of fun, but we could really use some more quality titles to take advantage of the device, and sooner rather than later at that...

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Issue 48 of the Commodore Free magazine - February 2011, Now Available!

The latest issue, February 2011, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual .PDF, .txt, .seq, .d64, .html, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

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Creator of the first Programmable Videogame Console, Jerry Lawson, Honored!

Fairchild VESFairchild VESBecause of the significance and its long overdue nature, I wanted to point out that videogame pioneer, Jerry Lawson, has recently been getting a lot of attention, including being honored today by the International Game Developers Association. Mike Cassidy of The Mercury News has a nice write-up of the details. Lawson, both a brilliant engineer and programmer, most famously created the first programmable videogame console - released in 1976 - the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (or VES, later repackaged as the Fairchild Channel F System II) - and many of its games. While little remembered today, the forward thinking VES design got a lot of things right, and some amazing homebrew games are still being made for the system today. I know it has a prized place in my own collection. Congrats, Jerry!

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