Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wii would like to kick Sony's ass

Well, excuse me if I can't wipe this smile off of my face today, but it seems that SONY will finally be lowering prices on its PS3.

Why? Well, in a word... NINTENDO. While SONY was standing on the shoulders of giants, namely the Playstation and Playstation 2, Nintendo went back to the drawing board, designed a new slingshot, and fired its killing blow.

They decided that they would focus on non-gamers, and young children. Two demographics that don't focus on graphics and processing horsepower. It seems now, however, they are pulling in everyone in between.

Now it is no surprise that I loath SONY. But it hasn't always been that way. Back when they were *just* and electronics company, SONY was focused on making the best products possible, with features that their consumers wanted and demanded. And they thrived.

Unfortunately SONY's turn to the Dark Side™, once they got into the music and movie business. Talk about selling your soul to two devils! You see, unfortunately, the features desired most by consumers are not in the best interests of the music and movie industry. Portability of the content is what we want, Digital Rights Management (rights of the movie companies, not yours) are what we get. Blu-ray is SONY's master plan incarnate, or "inplastic" as the case would be. I'm surprised Blu-ray disk players don't count how many people are in the room, and start shooting people if there are too many.

Anyhow, back to Nintendo. The following are my reasons why the Nintendo Wii has made the PS3 its bitch, ordered from most important to least.

  1. Wireless, motion sensing controllers

    By now you know that the Wii's controllers can detect where you're pointing it and where you move it, and how fast you move it. The curiosity on how this functions is enough to drive sales.

    People, this is not simply "thinking outside the box", this is thinking outside of Euclidean geometry.

    Now normally, I am against wireless remotes because I hate dealing with batteries in things that don't need them. Normal controllers don't need batteries because you're not usually going to play them more than 10 feet away from the console. In this situation, wireless it the only way to go, otherwise you'd be yanking the console onto the floor every 5 seconds.

  2. Low price

    The PS3 costs $600 US, the Xbox 360 is $400 US, the Wii is $250 US. Which one are parents going to buy for young children? Which one will entice non-gamers to try something new?

    It seems that SONY is now realizing that "This generation has shown that consumers are far more price sensitive than previously thought". Noooooo... I was so looking forward to selling my car to buy one of these. Maybe if I stop eating meat I can afford a game.

    Now SONY is contemplating a $100 price cut.

  3. Real-life, yet comical, mayhem and destruction

    SONY has to deal with "My kid beat up a hooker after playing Grand Theft Auto". Nintendo has to deal with "I smashed a window on that home run when the controller slipped out of my hand". You can't even read that without smirking. There's a whole website dedicated to Wii Controller Mishaps. You can actually buy a shield to protect your TV now.

  4. Only one version, at one price, for everyone

    There is only one Wii. Not the expensive Wii with all the features, and the cheap Wii, with minimal features. This isn't Goldilocks and the three bears here. No one wants to be burdened with the stigma of having to own the crappy version. The Wii was designed for inclusiveness and team play, not dividing people between rich/poor boundary lines.

    I think SONY just launched the 20 GiB PS3 just to convince themselves that everyone WANTS to give them all their money and justify the expensive price. They conveniently leave out the fact that the 20 GiB PS3 has almost none of the features of the expensive one.

  5. Never take a hit on anything

    It is well known that Nintendo does not have other divisions to allow it to lose money on its hardware. Despite the $600 price tag, SONY loses money on each PS3 that it sells. The Wii was designed to profit from every sale, despite its low price, from the beginning. You gotta respect that.

Just to end on a high note, here's a video with a song ridiculing the PS3. I like it, despite the fact that it seems to be pro-XBox. The music is really great.

So, until next time, buy a Wii, and keep on having fun!

"bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong"

Monday, June 11, 2007

US Mint 50 State Quarters Checklist

Although I am based in Canada, I travel frequently to the United States. One of the things that has fascinated me here is their 50 State Quarters program by the US Mint. Yes, I know the Canadian mint did the same thing years before. I already have all of those provincial quarters, so I was looking for a new coin to collect.

Anyhow, I have looked high and low for an official checklist of quarters, but I could not find one. So I made one up myself. It is available here. Click on the checklist icon to download it. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader. It checks in at about 4 MiB.

I would have linked to the original Word Document, but at 16.5 MiB, it is just too big.

Version 1.4
Updated on 2009-03-14
  • updated the 2009 U.S. Territories coin images with new, hi-resolution images.
  • added release date for the first 2009 coin
Version 1.3
Updated on 2008-08-16
  • fixed year typo on the 2007 coin page (it read 2006, thanks Anonymous)
  • added new coin images for 2008 coins
  • added release dates for additional 2008 coins
  • added coin images for 2009 coins
  • added statehood dates
Version 1.2
Updated on 2008-01-06
  • added new coin images for 2007 & 2008 coins
Version 1.1
Updated on 2007-06-12
  • added new coin images for released coins
  • added 2008 coin images
  • added table for possible 2009 program extension
  • added version control and title page
  • cleaned-up layout
Version 1.0
  • Initial Release

This list is current as of the date of release, and will be updated regularly (at least every time a new quarter is released). The list is aligned to the right so that you can hole punch the page.

I don't know why some of the images don't look good, they were fine before the PDF conversion. Hopefully I can remedy that in future updates.

One more thing, the two columns marked D and P indicate the Denver and Philadelphia mints, respectively, where the quarters are minted. The D or P appears on the lower right of the heads side, behind Washington's ponytail. Every quarter has a D and P version.

Should be useful for all you coin collectors actively collecting these coins.

Until next time, keep on having fun.