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!

Art Gallery Pause

Puzzles by Andrew Conti


You may more readily recognize Andrew Conti‘s name as the art writer for METROPOLIS, but he’s an artist as well, and is currently working on a series of intriguing puzzles for an upcoming exhibition at the cafe (November 20 to December 3). I like where he’s going with these.




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)




Just got these as a souvenir from a student. Nice stiffy!


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.


Starting Up a Company in Tokyo


PingMag talks with Normal Design‘s Ross McBride on the challenges of starting up a company in Tokyo.

Cafes Events

Galleries and Cafes


Patrick is also biking around (but he’s been doing it for way longer than me), and checking out some galleries and cafes. He also has a report on last weekend’s Usagi-chang event.


Shift 2007 Calendar Competition Deadline


The Shift Blog reminds us that the competition for next year’s edition of the Shift Calendar is coming to a close (September 10). Same thing for the DOTMOV festival (until September 20).


Another Paradise with Swedish Style

The image that will be used on this year’s Swedish Style catalogue, with the theme “Another Paradise,” has been released, and is what you see here.

Update (16/10/16): The image is no longer available.


Enter the Xbox 360


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:


  • 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 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.