Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 30, 2010

Unicorn

W3C’s new unified validator that can check feeds, stylesheets and XHTML/HTML markup at once.

Alan Wake: The Signal

It does elaborate somewhat on the ending of Alan Wake, but not in a completely satisfactory manner. Some new visual elements and the refined combat mechanics from the original campaign are enough to make this piece of downloadable content a worthwhile experience, even for those who didn’t buy the game new and receive a free download voucher.

★★★☆☆

3DS – A Broken Business Model

I don’t usually comment on business-related news, but this article is completely wrong in more ways than one.

The problem isn’t so much that the 3DS won’t be a unique gaming experience, it’s that the device, and with it, the gaming experience, is built around an antiquated business model popularized over 20 years ago by Nintendo and the Gameboy. With the Gameboy, Nintendo created a model centered around the release of a new generation of hardware every five years or so and by the sales of expensive software titles over the life of the device.

I guess the author of this article missed the fact that the Nintendo DS is the top-selling handheld console of all time, with some 128.89 million units sold (see the financial highlights PDF). The net loss reported last quarter has nothing to do with an “antiquated business model” – it’s simply an indicator that the DS is reaching the end of its lifespan, something that is quite natural in the console industry. It’s a perfect time to launch a new product like the 3DS which, judging by the response at this year’s E3, will be phenomenally successful.

That model worked in the past, but not in today’s market. The app-store model has unleashed a wave of innovative new games (36 thousand at last count) from hungry developers looking to free themselves from the long, expensive and highly restricted development cycles associated with traditional console gaming. In comparison, Nintendo’s process is the mobile game software equivalent of the Soviet Union: too much control, artificially inflated prices, too little choice.

This choice quote is infinitely more absurd than the first one. Of the 36 thousand “innovative new games”, a minuscule percentage can actually be described as innovative. And while standard pricing ranging from $1 to $2 may be successful for some developers, to claim that DS and future 3DS games are doomed because of Nintendo’s business model would be a blatant lie.

I’m not even going to touch the “too little choice” argument.

July 27, 2010

The StarCraft II CE

I’m not usually one for collector’s editions, but Blizzard definitely knows how to make a nice one. The 176-page hardcover art book is impressive.

July 14, 2010

Shortcode 0.5.5

Added two new shortcodes: futpostcount shows the number of posts set to publish in the future, and draftpostcount the number of drafts. Refer to the list for all available codes.