I continue to be amazed at how well this laptop and ZSNES play SNES games. They have emulation down to a science. I'm going to buy a USB gamepad, as the keyboard is less than ideal for playing some games. Nonetheless, I've been spending a fair amount of time (an hour a day, most of my free and at home alone time) alternating between Yoshi's Island, Chrono Trigger, and Tetris Attack. Three excellent games. I've also been convinced to give Fallout another chance. We'll see...
I do have a good list of games to order from. I'm going to order Jet Force Gemini and Space Station Silicon Valley for N64, MDK 2 and Deep Fighter for DC, and Deception 2 and Incredible Crisis for PS1. That's to start.
I'm thinking of getting a TV. I wish I could just rent one every time I wanted to play. But alas, I'll have to have a TV in my apartment. I would like to get an HD-ready TV. Xbox in progressive scan was so nice. I'm also looking into expanding my stereo to five channels.
I was reading about the Playstation 3 speculation. They're supposed to have this new chip called the "Cell" which will carry SEVENTY-TWO separate processors. One developer has already come out criticizing the design, saying it'll be horrible to program for. And Sony is talking up all this other crap (besides games) they want the PS3 to do. Sounds almost exactly like the way they hyped the PS2 before it launched. They utterly failed to deliver on any of those promises, but in so failing, succeeded wildly in making the PS2 a successful game platform. They need to ensure the PS3 is a kickass game machine before all this virtual wonderland and super-TV-addict-box stuff.
But here's the thing. Have you seen some of the latest "only for Xbox" games out there? Holy crap. But now multiply that by about ten and you have an idea of what the 2005 machines will be capable of. The new machines will be able to move so much geometry so effortlessly that designing a game world that takes advantage of even a fraction of that potential will be a monumental task. It's going to take hundreds of people hundreds of work weeks per game. The point is, I think the 2005 system that is easiest to work with, has the best tools, and presents the fewest annoyances and technical hurdles will have a huge advantage as the hardware starts to vault far ahead of what is humanly possible given the time constraints of the development cycle. And it doesn't sound like Sony is heading in that direction. It will be interesting to see what tricks Microsoft has up its sleeve to counter the hype machine of the Cell processor. But I expect the Xbox 2 to bury the PS3.
Why? Money. Microsoft has been doing some shopping. They got Bungee. They got Rare. They got Vivendi. They've got an exclusive (for consoles) deal with id. They've bought a ton of development houses. There's lots of talk that they're about to purchase Sega. Capcom was talked about. The newest one is that MS wants BioWare. Sony can worry if MS gets their hands on Square, Konami, or Rockstar. Buying Nintendo or EA is probably out of the question, not only because of the funds involved but because of the unwanted attention that would attract from those who enforce the Clayton Act. But I'm sure MS will be pursuing exclusive contracts with a lot of publishers. The 55 million PS2s in the world are hard to ignore, but in 2005?
There's also a storage/laser technology called Blu-Ray. One of their double density discs (CD sized) can hold fifty-four Gigs, writeable. The barely-over-quarter-sized single-density one holds a Gig.
I downloaded a video of F-Zero on GameCube and couldn't believe what I was seeing. If you told me that was a tech demo for the GameCube 2 I'd be impressed. Just how powerful are these things??? The geometric and texture detail was stunning. It has an astounding sense of scale and DEPTH. The 3D world is there, WAY in there inside your screen. And when they say the vehicles go 400 mph, this is the first game where it looks like a genuine 400 mph.
I'm looking forward to Futurama, MotoGP 2 (the Xbox one, not the far inferior PS2 one by a different company), and Jak & Daxter 2. Xenosaga just came out and by most accounts it's a watershed moment in video-gaming. It's apparently a deeply philosophically troubling game that DEMANDS intense intellectual involvement. This is not a "lite", "fun" little RPG. The reviews remind me of Infinite Jest, actually. I find it much easier to admire Infinite Jest than to actually enjoy reading it.