Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Friday, 29 December 2006

2006-12-26 Boxing Day At Home 012Boxing day sales are for chumps. Aside from spending all of Christmas Day and Boxing Day in the kitchen, I didn't have TIME to go out and brave the crowds shopping for things I don't need and can't fit in my suitcase anyway.

Tony got a Nintendo Wii a couple weeks ago when they came out. He paid someone to stand in line for him for 13 hours and got a Wii, Zelda Twilight Princess and an extra controller. He brought it over on Boxing day and we all took turns playing Wii Sports (the game that comes with) There are five sports on it: Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Boxing and Bowling. I didn't have the patience for baseball and only played a couple games on it. Tennis was fun but requires more practice. Golf was good, boxing was good (and worked up a sweat) but bowling was the best of the bunch. I went about nine rounds in four bouts with progressively tougher opponents (although the toughest guy I fought had a skill level of 250 of a possible 2000).

Bowling was the best for multiplayer though. We bowled a few frames in four player mode and had a really good time with it. You can maneouver your bowler back and forth on the boards, and then also vary your angle down the lane. Because of the accelerometers built into the Wii remote, you can also put spins on the ball as you follow-through. By moving a couple boards to the left, aiming for the far right corner of the lane and putting a spin on the throw, I was making the ball dance across the boards, Munson-style! On the second game of the night, I hit two strikes, then an 8-pin split, then four more strikes, and then another 8-pin split and then two more strikes and then I tanked the 10th frame and got a (family) record 196 points. Every time I threw a curving strike, I would throw my hands up in the air, Munson-style. When I got the Turkey for a triple strike, I grabbed my brother's piece of pizza off his plate and took a bite. My other brother, who "got" the reference to Kingpin started laughing his ass off and singing "Stayin Alive" by the Bee-Gees. I tried to do a front-split after that, but got about half way before it felt like I was going to burst my baby-making equipment and fell over. We were all laughing so hard we couldn't continue for about ten minutes.

As cool as Oblivion looks on the Xbox360, and with all the 1080i hi-def glory of the PS3, I think the Wii is going to blow both of them away because even though it's "only" 480p low-def graphics, the games are FUN to play. A gorgeous hi-def game that sucks is still a sucky game and that's what Sony and Microsoft got wrong with their consoles (aside from the blu-ray drive and the EXTERNAL HD-DVD drive for the 360).

I just sold my Xbox system with all the controllers (including the karaoke mic that plugs into the controller, too) just before xmas and I'll probably get a 360 later this year when Halo3 comes out. Hopefully by then the Xbox "preimum" bundle includes the HD-DVD drive internally and not as a clunky external. If I had the chance to have two consoles, I'd definately get the Wii just for the playability of the games, and the ease of just "picking it up" and playing when having friends over. It's just that easy.

We installed the Opera browser beta on the Wii and connected to the internet through my wireless network here and were surfing YouTube and making the videos full-screen on the TV. The relatively low-resolution made the videos look OK at such high screen sizes, and the text input was soooooooo much easier than on the PSP which practically works against you. My dad was able to pick up the Wiimote and play baseball and boxing with us, that's how easy it is. It's how things SHOULD work.

Friday, 29 December 2006 22:16:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Gadgets#
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