Play It All

One of the things I really dig about my new Xbox 360 is that I can download playable demos of games. Well, now even more good news from Microsoft Japan:

Microsoft of Japan announced they will release all TGS and X06 videos and playable game demos in the Xbox Live Marketplace. (The Magic Box)

Oh, and I’ll be covering next month’s Tokyo Game Show for Kotaku (alongside regular contributor Brian Ashcraft). Should be fun!

Barouche

realfleet_barouche_electron

The good designers at Realfleet in Japan have been busy with Barouche, a new line of electronics and small appliances just for hotels (boutique hotel owners take note). Above from left CW: TV, desktop audio, telephone, steam iron, hair dryer and alarm clock. White appears to be the color de rigeur for hotels, but it’s all available in Realfleet’s trademark dark brown as well. (MoCo Loco)

PauseTalk Vol. 4

I try to avoid posting about PauseTalk here, but since the next one is less than a week away (September 4), following the one we had last week, I’d just like to alert those interested that I’ve updated the site with info on the theme for the next edition.

Enter the Xbox 360

sgr_xbox360

Well, I did it, I’ve joined the dark side: since last night, I’m the very happy owner of an Xbox 360. The seeds were planted just over a week ago, when Brad invited me over to his place for a day of gaming goodness (pretty much 7 hours straight of Xbox 360, PSP, and DS action), and I was witness to the power of the console on an HDTV set. Since then, I couldn’t get it out of my head, and kept chatting it up with people — Kotaku‘s Ashcraft was in absolute disbelief that I didn’t have one yet. So last night I went and ended up getting the World Cup special edition they released earlier this year (Xbox 360 Blue Limited Edition), which includes a copy of FIFA 2006, and then with the points I received at Bic Camera also got discounted copies of RIDGE RACER 6 — and I don’t care what anyone says, the RR series remains my favorite racing series to play — and PERFECT DARK ZERO. Today was basically an entire day of Xbox obsession, and here’s the good and bad after 24 hours:

THE GOOD

  • Sure, it’s big (and that power adapter is just insane), but it’s a rather slick looking machine, and I dig the curves (and of course the white — I’m avoiding the “Japan Blue” front plate).
  • I really dig the console menu system, and it’s nice to be able to go from game to playing demos on the HD to checking stuff online, all seamlessly.
  • Long live wireless controllers!
  • I was very pleasantly surprised to have all the games I bought play automatically in English, even though these are all Japanese releases. No need to change anything, it was just all in English from the get go. Nice. Anyone know if all games are like this?
  • Being able to download demos is just simply amazing and addicting. I downloaded something like 8 demos over night, and then today enjoyed the hell out of stuff like CALL OF DUTY 2, LOST PLANET, CHROMEHOUNDS, TEST DRIVE UNLIMITED, and more. It’s great to be able to try out all these games, to really see which ones I’d like to eventually buy.
  • The graphics, oh, the graphics. Sure, it doesn’t look as good as it did at Brad’s on his giant HDTV set, but playing stuff like RR6 and LOST PLANET just makes you want to cry.

THE BAD

  • The first thing when I plugged it in and tried to play RR6, I kept getting either a message that the disc was bad, or it would start and then just load forever. I brought the game back today and exchanged it, and the new one works fine. Sure, it’s just bad luck, but it did give me a bad first impression.
  • Yeah, everything is high-def and looks beautiful, but a lot of text on the screen is hard to read on a regular TV set (I didn’t have any trouble reading stuff on Brad’s HDTV set).
  • When I was setting up the system, I put “Jean Snow” as my gamertag, as I thought that was just for friends to see, but later realized that it’s what will always appear when I play online. When I tried to change it, I was brought to a screen that said I had to pay (something like 1000 yen) to change it, which I think is just ridiculous. Side note: so if anyone wants to face me in some online gaming, you know what to look for.