Monday 5 September 2005

Double Jeopardy

Well, I've done it now! What heinous crime has been committed, you cry? Amazon UK permitting, an Xbox 360 Premium Pack will be opened before the holidays! The combined price of a Core Pack and the accessories included (remote control subject to availability) in the Premium Pack could cost upwards of £320 (depending on supplier).

Of the two Xbox 360 SKUs (Stock Keeping Units), gamers should be encouraged to purchase the Premium Pack - the 20GB portable HDD is required for backwards compatibility. My HDTV's component input will be put to good use and Xbox 360 offers Plug and Play with iPod and PSP.

Sega's next generation arcade board (codenamed Lindbergh) DNA parallels Xbox 360 architecture. This translates to an envious arcade-to-home porting model akin to Sega's NAOMI and Dreamcast. The key attraction, here, is future arcade smashes House Of The Dead 4, Psy Phi and Virtua Fighter 5 in the home sans compromise.

To reiterate. Xbox 360 SDK was (originally) Mac-based. Jonathan Hayes (manager of platform experience design) owes a debt to Jonathan Ives (vice president of Apple Computer's Industrial Design Group) IMHO. The upshot of this philosophy is a console whose contours are organic and appealing. Certainly this product is a more cohesive 'brand' experience (from the hardware to the software GUI) and lessons have been learned from the first iteration of Xbox. Go Microsoft.

European PSP users are already reporting that some machines are afflicted with the pixel problem that blighted the Japanese and US launches. As I understood it, Sony sourced Samsung LCDs to reduce this reliability issue (officially users should expect up to 9 dead pixels)! Anyone contemplating a PSP purchase, and are concerned about the possibility of buying a product that doesn't meet their expectations, should wait. Lets face it, the new Ceramic White model is much more desirable for the eye candy cognoscenti.

Now that the nights are drawing in you maybe in need of extra PDF reading material. The Bomb (1994), an original audio drama, was written as a 5-minute play and recorded during the second year of undergraduate study.

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