News

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Regularly updated news on all topics relevant to Armchair Arcade.
Matt Barton's picture

Mario Active Desktop

Mario Active DesktopMario Active DesktopSomeone named "Shadow" has created a really neat active desktop for Windows based on Mario. It's animated and actually lets you manipulate a few things, but it's technically unfinished. It took about five minutes to download it and get it running on my own desktop, and I think it looks nice! Apparently, it's using Javascript to get the animations and interactive parts working.

Matt Barton's picture

Where the Customer is Always Gullible: GameStop (+ Amazing Ping Pong)

Fight the Power.Fight the Power.I've got some fun stuff to put on your queue this morning. First, read this story about a mangled high-pressure sales tactic at a Louisiana GameStop (did you know I was from Louisiana?). Sadly, I've encountered "porcine" salesmen like this at plenty of other software stores, including Best Buy and Circuit City ("No, I do NOT want a mega-extended super warranty or a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.") Come to think of it, Radio Shack is pretty bad about the high-pressure stuff, too. They need my mailing address why? When's the last time you had a "helpful associate" try to load you up with overpriced junk? Worse yet, how many times have you let your excitement over a purchase swing you into actually complying with his or her evil wishes?

Bill Loguidice's picture

Update on Robot Kits, Robot Books and Robot Toys

Berzerk from Stern Electronics (Arcade, 1982): Hopefully when the robots really do try to take over, we'll be able to move and shoot at the same timeBerzerk from Stern Electronics (Arcade, 1982): Hopefully when the robots really do try to take over, we'll be able to move and shoot at the same timeBoy, the robot information seems to keep coming. Soon enough, we'll all have robot overlords to serve. In any case, for now, check out this newsletter update from RobotBooks.com, with lots of interesting new and compiled information for enthusiasts of computers, robots and technology:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Ultima Week at GameTap - True RPG's Given Their Due

GameTap for PCGameTap for PCThe GameTap service is at it again, going all "vintage" this and "classic" that on us and simply requiring our undivided attention. Richard Garriott, Ultima, Origin, all things a classic gamer simply can't resist. Here's the full press release (and ignore the line "many hardcore gamers still consider Ultima 1 to be the birth of the role playing game as we know it" - Garriott's own "Akalabeth" (AKA "Ultima 0"), though primitive, would be more appropriate):

Bill Loguidice's picture

VecVoxX Developer and 3D Imager for the GCE Vectrex Now Shipping from Pre-order

madtronix's Incredible New 3D Color Imager for GCE's Vectrex: {Image from the madtronix Website}madtronix's Incredible New 3D Color Imager for GCE's Vectrex: {Image from the madtronix Website}Great news! After countless months of waiting after pre-ordering and pre-paying at a veritable steal of a price, my VecVoxX Developer and 3D Imager are shipping for the GCE Vectrex, the only home vector-based videogame system ever released.

Matt Barton's picture

Do-it-yourself Pong for Only $20!

Looking for a cool summer project for yourself and/or your kids? Got a fancy new soldering iron collecting dust? Well, head over to ThinkGeek and pick up a Pong DIY kit. The kit comes with a pre-printed circuit board and lots of techie components like "diodes," not to be confused with another bit of gadgetry. You can hook the finished product up to your TV and enjoy 1 or 2 player Pong sessions at four different difficulty levels. W00T! It's too bad I'm a clutz with solder or I'd order mine today. And, no, I'm not buying a wussy "cold heat" soldering iron and no non-toxic solder, because without the thrill of danger, where's the fun?

Matt Barton's picture

The Worst Coin-Op to Console Converions

IGN has a nice feature up about the worst coin-op conversions, and I bet we've all probably suffered through most of them. Yes, the VCS Pac-Man is on the list, as is Donkey Kong and Dragon's Lair for the SNES. I doubt any kid who received the SNES version of Mortal Kombat was happy on Christmas...One surprising entry is Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits for the GBA.

Matt Barton's picture

The Best-Selling Computer and Console Games

Answers.com has a great list of best-selling computer and console games that's well worth a look if you're curious about the sales figures of your favorite games. While it'd probably be a stretch to call this the "definitive" list, my guess is that it's about the best we're likely to see until software retailers start keeping (and reporting) more accurate figures. I commend them for doing an excellent job. There are listings here for a large number of systems, including the Atari 2600. Check it out!

Matt Barton's picture

Mario Games I've Never Played, Thank the Gods

How well do you know Mario? Did you know about all of Mario's Bastard Children? Read about some truly obscure Mario Bros.-licensed titles of all sorts--is "Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up" on anyone's top ten list? It seems that Nintendo's brief spasm of cross-platform licensing didn't last long, and, judging by the looks of these titles, that's a good thing. When will parents learn? Educational games suck--and so do devices that try to trick you into learning or getting in shape.

Matt Barton's picture

Projectors, HD, and a $600 PS3

There's a great deal of cool techie things on the net today, so I'll try to cover as many of them as possible. First off, check out DIY Projetor, which will lead you to a site that explains how to build a home projector for "pennies": Imagine a 120" HDTV screen in your living room. No problem! But wait--what about that HD DVD player? Ewww...icky format war. Don't buy anything until you've read Reasons that HD DVD formats have already failed. The article makes an interesting point about why incompatibility works for game consoles but not DVD formats--and leaves a big question mark in my mind about Sony's committment to Blu-Ray in the PS3.

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