Category Archives: Consoles

Gamecube controllers for Wii

If you want to play a Gamecube game on the Wii, you need a Gamecube controller. Nintendo’s Classic Controller won’t do it. (Makes me wonder why they bothered releasing it, since you can use a Gamecube controller for Virtual Console classic games.)

Anyway, the youngest wanted one to play some Gamecube games, so we went hunting (in Melbourne). You can’t buy original Nintendo controllers retail now (might find them on ebay I suppose), but the (clone) options we found were:

Harvey Norman — corded, $30.
KMart — had nothing.
Dick Smith — cordless, $40.
EB Games — corded, $30 (not listed on their web site).
Game — corded, normally $24, on sale for $19.
JB Hifi — same as Dick Smith.
Big W — corded plus a Gamecube memory card (needed for Gamecube saves) $29.

As he wanted a memory card, and they appear to be pretty scarce, we ended up with the latter, which works well, though it would have been nice with a slightly longer cord.

It’s nice to know that (for the moment) you can still buy these things and play the old games. Viva la backwards compatibility.

Xbox incompatibility

Back before Christmas, I had pondered getting an XBox 360. Hey, it would let me play the new Pacman, and that Braid game sounds really good.

Then I discovered according to Wikipedia and Microsoft, there are a number of XBox games we have at home that can't be played on the 360.

So I’d have to keep the old XBox going to play them. That sucks.

And at least one of them is a Microsoft game.

  • Midtown Madness 3
  • Shrek 2
  • Wallace and Gromit
  • Midway Arcade Classics
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 4

Evidently each game needs an emulation profile. Which means I suppose that alas the XBox 360 is not sufficiently advanced as to be able to fully and properly emulate the original XBox, which is why each game needs to be made compatible individually.

We ended up getting a Wii for Christmas. Admittedly the old XBox hasn't been switched-on since.

At least Nintendo do their backward compatibility properly. Having seen how Microsoft's dealt half-heartedly with the old XBox, I wouldn't have wanted to buy into another technological dead-end.

I might see what's out there to turn it into a Media Centre instead.

Misc stuff

Guitar Hero/Rock Band compatibility: For those looking at the options for Guitar Hero and Rock Band (insert grumble about RB2 not yet being available in Australia), check Joystiq’s instrument compatibility chart to see which instruments work with which games.

OpenID: Ooh, this I like: Jeff Atwood on how to use your own URL for your OpenID.

Unix quick reference: Here

Wiiware not for the lone coders

Back when it was announced, it sounded like Nintendo's WiiWare would let bedroom coders get their games into their Wiis, just like Microsoft XNA lets anybody write for the XBox 360.

Not so. Apparently all the usual NDAs and licence fees apply. The difference is the games can be developed by small teams (within licenced developers) and the games are distributed via Nintendo's online service.

Nintendo snubbing small developers for WiiWare

WiiWare is a lie

I know I was never going to get around to coding any more games, not with my current workload, but all the same, I liked the idea, and it was helping leaning me towards buying a Wii.

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XBox 360 prices drop

Microsoft has dropped the price of XBox 360 in Australia, to $349 for the base-level Arcade (note, it doesn't run old XBox games because it has no hard drive, and won't provide HD video), $499 for the Pro (what should be called the standard model), and $649 for the XBox 360 Elite.

how do you use kindle on ipadoxworld.com.au/news/new-australian-pricing-revealed-for-xbox-360.htm”>XBoxWorld reports the Arcade can be got from BigW for just $278 at the moment.

Hmmm. $278 to play Pacman Championship Edition. Am I enough of a sucker to buy it?

Comparative RRPs: Nintendo Wii $399.95; PS3 $699.95. (Why does Nintendo's web site include no price information?!)

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Gaming for luddite scrooges

If you’re like me, and clinging to your “classic” XBox while you ponder upgrading to your next console, now’s a good time to go out game shopping. Arm yourself with a copy of Metacritic’s index of XBox games (if you copy it into Excel and only print the half-decent games, say those rated above 70, you can probably get it down to a fairly small and inconspicuous size) and hit the shops.

For those in Australia, JB Hifi in particular are selling a lot of well-regarded games (and some crap ones as well) at good prices. Pro Evolution Soccer (rated 91 at Metacritic): $15. Want a racing game, but can’t decide between (the late) Colin McRae 2004 (84) or Rallisport 2 (87)? $10 each. Lego Star Wars (76): I think that was $15. Forza Motorsport (92): $15 too I think, but don’t quote me on it. They also had Star Wars Battlefront (80), Destroy All Humans (76), Oddworld: Strangers Wrath (88), Sonic Mega Collection Plus (75).

Or if you just paid $30 for Harry Potter: Goblet Of Fire for the kids a few weeks ago at EB (and it was secondhand), seethe with rage as you spot it for just $20. (Grumble)

(Different games showing up in different stores, natch.)

Is the (original) Xbox dead?

It’s amazing to see how quickly (original) Xbox games have disappeared. There’s still some on the shelves, but their space has shrunk markedly to make space for other platforms, and there’s nothing in most advertising — it’s all gone onto the Xbox 360.

Contrast that to the Playstation, where PS2 games are still being promoted along their PS3 companions, and even the newer games are still being developed and released for the PS2. Which reflects the massive install-base of the PS2 against the Xbox, I suppose. In fact, you can still buy a PS2 in the shops.

I have an old Xbox… I’m not ready to upgrade yet. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I rarely have time for it, but I’m still enjoying PGR2 and Halo. Will I still be able to find games on the shelves in six months’ time? Probably. Twelve months? Who knows. You can still buy GBA games new.

When I bought my Xbox a few years ago, I pondered that buying it was actually a good way to fight back against the dominance of Microsoft, because they lose so much money on them. Turns out Microsoft reckoned they lost US$4 billion on the venture.

PS3 in PAL territories

Sony’s PS3 will be available from March 23rd in PAL territories such as Australia and Europe. The Age reports it’ll retail for A$999 in Australia, and it’ll be the 60Gb hard drive version — the cheaper version won’t be sold. The BBC notes Europeans will also get the more expensive model.

Now, how many people are umming and erring because they want a PS3, but are still officially boycotting Sony because of the rootkit debacle?

PS3 pricing in inflation-adjusted historical terms

Curmudgeon Gamer shows a History of Console Prices, trying to show that in inflation adjusted terms, PS3 isn’t going to be so expensive.

But the price comparison between it and the XBox360, wow. And the XBox ain’t cheap either. I can buy a PC for that kind of money.

XBox 360 and eBay

The XBox-360 is out in the States. Those of us in AU will have to wait until March to get it. A$499 for the non-HD version, or A$649 with it.

Meanwhile some sneaky people on eBay have been selling what appears at first glance to be an XBox 360, but upon closer examination is actually an email address on Hotmail/Yahoo mail. Pity the poor fools that have bid for them. (via Lex)

Okay, now why does an eBay AU listing have a “Report This Item” link, but the same auction on the US site doesn’t? Ah, turns out it’s being trialled in Australia, with the rest of the world hopefully getting it soon…ish.