Since the beta test was going so well, we decided to switch everyone over to the new Website early. While we still have lots of work to do, we wanted to get everyone over and discussing things as soon as possible. While we have forums on this new platform, we really think a better way is discussing things directly with the "blog" entries, so give it a try. We'll be tweaking things as time goes on and look forward to creating new articles and print issues very soon. Welcome!
With E3 long past and all the data readily available and no doubt already devoured by those reading this right now, I thought it would be a good time to make some of my thoughts surrounding Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3, as well as the GameTap service for the PC, known. (all my thoughts of course are US-centric)
Anyway, whether the Wii - and yes, I still believe the name is a poor one and an unecessary liability - releases at $199 or $249, it should still come in at a good value in comparison to the high end $399 version of the Xbox 360 and the high end $599 version of the PS3. At the same time, the high end Microsoft and Sony systems are high quality multimedia centers, whereas the Wii is not. For many, this is not a factor, as they just want a game system, but I believe the higher prices - anywhere from $200 to $400 - are still justified, particularly as they're the only consoles to offer hi-definition gaming. Nintendo really has made a clear distinction with their direction, as have Microsoft and Sony with their hardware decisions. (and again, don't use the videogames are for kids argument with me, as a kid can't afford $200+ any more than one could afford $400+; don't forget, the average gamer age is now 33 and rises EVERY YEAR)
After getting tired of creating and re-creating "Favorites" in my Web browsers and/or generally overpopulating them and making things messy to the point of poor usability over the years, a while back I began collecting videogame and computer store links - which I've been posting on the classic Armchair Arcade already - and system-specific links - which I have yet to post anywhere. The "store" links still need to be categorized, while the system-specific links still need to be fleshed out (to put both mildly). However, I thought I would share as-is for now in case anyone was interested in clicking around in their raw states. At some point, as I'm able to expand these into what I want, I suspect they'll be incredibly useful and perhaps I can do something more imaginative with them.
Retro Thing, link here, which offers nice general retro coverage, decided to briefly turn its attention to the little known Emerson Arcadia 2001 console. It used a casual photo from my collection, saying "Above photo from this massive private collection" and provided a link back to the main videogame and computer section of my personal Website. Anyway, all the little factoids Retro Thing mentions are more or less accurate. Emerson's system was available under different names and from different manufacturers depending upon territory it was released. All games were cross-compatible between different territories since this was released several years before the NES territorial lockout standard. In any case, some games did come in long cartridge cases - very long - and others came in more standard shorter cases. As mentioned, the games themselves were nothing spectacular, though there were a couple of unique releases and conversions. The system's power was roughly at the Intellivision level, though those games were considerably more polished. The controllers were merely adequate. The big selling point of the Arcadia 2001 was the fact that it could run on DC power for "portability" and the fact that the system and the games were generally cheaper than the competition's. It was nevertheless too little, too late. It's relatively easy to collect for, as there are a decent number of systems available at reasonable prices and plenty of mostly loose games (though for many, it's nice to have the box, manual and overlays), with limited competition among other collectors.
Data like this has been supplied by others before, but this is a particularly impressive charting of select console system prices over the years from the first programmable videogame system, the 1976 Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES, later Channel F), to the latest to release pricing data, the 2006 Sony PlayStation 3. What I like about this is that two charts are supplied, one for the absolute retail prices and one for the inflation-adjusted prices. As I've argued elsewhere, while paying $60 for a game stinks, relatively speaking we've been paying that and more for countless years. Same thing with modern consoles. While it's a difficult pill to swallow a $600 PlayStation 3 (my recommendation is don't even look at the crippled $500 model), relatively speaking it's not so bad, particularly since it pulls additional duties as a hi-def media center.
Click here for the original post on "Curmudgeon Gamer" and the links to the two separate PDF files.
Any progress on the double login bug? It seems to be very specific now. When you go to http://WWW.armchairarcade.com/neo , it has the login. You login, then it changes to http://armchairarcade.com/neo and requires the second login with the same name and password. Perhaps masking the URL would solve this?
OK, not to get into it, but I spent the past three days in the hospital with my daughter and wife, so missed valuable "work" time before our vacation, which we leave for on Thursday (the 4th) and return from late Friday (the 12th). I wish to maximize my contribution and time, so if there's anything outstanding that needs doing, please let me know. As for my opinion about anything, unfortunately I just have to say use your best judgement and I'll abide by whatever decisions are made in my absence. I appreciate the thoughts though about my opinion on things, but I don't want to hold anything up.
Fuck, we've been hacked by those asshole hackers again! If anyone knows how to stop this from happening, I'm all ears or just do it! www.armchairaracade.com keeps getting hacked! Even AFTER we changed everything! This does not bode well. I'm going to point away from the gateway page permanently. No wonder it's a ghost town on there.
I created the starter FAQ text. Modify/add/delete away!
I also added a "Links" page and a "Merchandise and Special Offers" page. I'll try to get working on them soon.
I also added some "forum rules" in the discussion forums. Again, just to get something decent in there to start us out.
Please, let's all discuss these and act on them where appropriate, or disagree or offer a different suggestion, as appropriate.
1 - I like "The Gurus of Gaming" that shows up after Armchair Arcade on top of browser windows. Good job thinking of that. The only criticism I can possibly make against the top logo banner as it is now with the logo and the arcade controls image is that it's perhaps a bit too long from top to bottom, but I'm not sure if that's adjustable. I'd like to see it about 15% shorter top-down, as right now it takes up a bit too much real estate for optimal reading purposes in my opinion.