Black Friday, Wii like you want it and a dinner with a female for your host? – Welcome to the 2nd date that never even gets a complimentary phone call known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. I’m your host that had a really incredible friday. There was Black Friday, the shopping experience (see below), and Black Friday, the social experience. If you don’t mind me deviating from games a bit; I will go into a little detail for th… social experience here. I went on something of a date (she sees me as a best friend I think)with the most gorgeous girl I have ever met. Period, you know when in the cartoons the guy’s jaw hits the floor when he sees the girl. I think mine did the same thing. Anyhow to make a story short, we spent a lovely 90 minutes talking back and forth and it was quite the cool experience. I’m not much of what other people think, but I know there was at least a few guys in that restaurant who wish they were me. Too bad I’m just a conversation partner to her, but I guess with what has gone on with me in the last year, this is a step in the right direction.
Ode To Morgan Webb
Do you ever think that Adam Sessler just wants to maim and shoot Morgan? I mean take this picture for example, Morgan smiling all big for the camera looking beautiful and such…and then you got Adam. His expression says to me, yeah I know you came up here just because you got the hots for Morgan and me..well I just cry myself to sleep every night wondering when they pull the plug on me next or ship me off to some second rate show. (like pretty much anything except Attack and X-Play). Or perhaps its the other way? Maybe he is so head over heels in love with her, and just stalks her when she’s not looking. Really these are things that keep me up at night but off the streets. Probably best for every one involved that I do stay off the streets, I might do damage out there with my true wandering nature.
Quick news stories of interest
Nintendo’s new system goes off with a bang — and so does Zelda.
Nintendo of America on Monday announced that it had sold more than 600,000 Wii units since the console’s launch and that with first-party and accessory sales the system had brought in $190 million in its first week.
“Even with sales already in excess of 600,000 units, demand continues to exceed supply, as it’s clear this is one of the ‘gotta-have’ products for the holiday season,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We’ve shipped retailers several times the amount of hardware the other company was able to deliver for its launch around the same time — and we still sold out. Given the inclusive nature of Wii game play, we’re seeing this new form of video gaming is already a huge hit with gamers and newcomers alike. It continues to be a phenomenal launch.”
As expected, The Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the best-selling Wii game, with 454,000 copies sold to day. That means 75% of all Wii owners are also playing Zelda.
The Big N originally stated that it planned to ready about a million consoles for the debut in the Americas. Despite the smaller number of units available at launch, Nintendo is still expected to make close to four million Wii systems available for purchase before year’s end.
Go Wii, Go Wii, get your groove on! Excellent news there; and great news for the Big N. It is really nice to see that the Wii sold so many units. They are giving Sony and MS a solid run for its money this time around. Perhaps even more so than the Gamecube did which always seemed like an inferior system to the big guns. Quite the different story here. Add to that everybody and their dog is playing Zelda; this makes for a heck of an experience. To be honest if I had gotten a Wii instead of going MS; I would have grabbed Zelda too. It’s Zelda, the single best thing about Nintendo (sorry Mario and Metroid). The franchise that most people would crap a brick over if it ever ended up on another system that didn’t have Nintendo behind it. Expect this to be a hot seller before, during, and after the holiday season and have the production behind it (Sony this is aimed at you) to support it.
MS Apologizes for Video Marketplace SnafuMicrosoft’s Video Marketplace launched on Xbox 360 last week and already there are problems. Those who decided to choose from the sparse selection of movies were likely to run into incredibly slow load times. For some, a six gig HD movie could take up to a full day to download. Some users received errors during download but were still charged for Microsoft Points.
A post on Microsoft’s customer service message boards gave an apology to its users. Microsoft promised that anyone erroneously charged for failed downloads would have their Microsoft Points refunded.
Here is the message in its entirety:
“As you know, we have been experiencing technical difficulties associated with the extremely high number of downloads from the Video Marketplace service over the past 24 hours. We understand these technical issues have resulted in a very unpleasant experience for our members, including extremely slow downloads or not receiving the content they purchased.
We’ve made progress over the past 24-hours, and the team is dedicated to fixing the issues and continues to work as fast as they can around the clock to get the service running as seamlessly as you have come to expect.
We strongly encourage all folks who have experienced an error message or did not receive a download they purchased to call customer support at 1-800-4MYXBOX.
I also want to mention that if you see the ‘Points have been deducted from your account…’ message when you are trying to download free content, we are NOT deducting points. Thanks for your patience, and please know that the team is prepared to make things right for those affected, including refunding Microsoft Points where appropriate and as quickly as possible.”
*raises hand* I have first hand experience of this. The fantastic idea of downloading and watching a movie on your xbox 360 in full high def for a very minimal price (and never leaving the home) came with a stiff server load on the network. Expected as much, you can never full anticipate the network resources needed to carry this sort of thing out. The story makes mention of sparse downloads but 50 titles to start is a nice start and it can only get better. I think this format has advantages over a Blockbuster or Movie Gallery for sure and certainly over internet companies like Netflix. It even has advantages over pay per view due to unlimited viewings over the 14 day window. I like this idea a lot, and pray and hope it can only get better over the next 3-6 months. Now if I can just find a place to get Microsoft Points cheaper than $20 for 1600 points…I’d be a happy man! 🙂
The Black Friday Story
Even Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff had visions of a horror movie before the event really came into practice.
Black Friday, November 24th, 2006. F-day for well…you get the idea. The day before I had accumulated all the sale papers from my parents and basically plotted out my course over thanksgiving dinner and the football games. I knew I had to be vigilant, I knew I had to be prepared. I decided on the three stores I liked the most, Circuit City, Target, and Best Buy were going to be my destinations. All three had good sales, but I couldn’t visit all three at once. For some reason I decided to go to Circuit City first where things were most interesting.
I wake up at 4am. I quickly take a shower and drive to my Circuit City which is about 40 minutes away. (Target and Best Buy are basically next door to Circuit City). I get there right at 5:00, as I pull up the lot at Circuit City is full. I park at the back (safest bet) and walk towards the front. A huge line around a little block has formed and is just starting to move. I get to the end of it and sit there, but it stops. Apparently Circuit City has employed crowd control and is deciding to let only a certain amount of people for every so many minutes I guess. I chat it up with a guy and his wife who are wondering where the free breakfast is and what damage they had already done at walmart the night before. Some people really live for this stuff don’t they? At that point the line really starts moving and we get in there so to speak. I look at my list that I had written down and realize the first course of action. XBOX 360 games. Since I had just purchased the system, I figured heck it might be a good idea to actually get some 360 games. Quake 4 and Gun were supposed to be $16.99. I get there (grabbed Natural Born Killers DVD $2.99 on the way), no copies of either one. In fact most of their 360 stuff is non-existent. Okay, this store just opened about 5 minutes ago, somehow I’m having a hard time believing that everybody ran to the video game section upon entry and grabbed the 16.99 titles. I’m not pleased. However, they did have a good # of copies of Halo 2 and Half Life 2 ($16.99 and $4.99 respectively), and grabbed those since they are 360 compatible. I sigh a little, check the glass gaming case but nothing in there as well. I head on over to the dvds, pick up Basic Instinct 2 for $5.99 and X-Men Last Stand for $8.99. I looked at my hands and realized I had but 5 titles…I grabbed a upconverting Zenith DVD player at $49.99 and thought for a second. I’m just buying to buy and put back the DVD player. Just so happened that the line was where those dvd players were so I stood in the line. This line was wrapped around the store and went all directions. Yeah great crowd control Circuit City. A good half an hour passes, I’ve moved maybe 15 feet and waste my time looking at PC games I’ll never buy. It just so happens that this line extended out into the open when 2 Circuit City employees come over and look at about three of us and go “You aren’t in a line” What?..we look at them, ready to kill somebody. “No, you have to be standing on the red tape”. The red tape is roughly 3-4 feet from where we are standing. We all do the jump to the left maneuver. They look at us and bitch some more before resuming their pathetic existence. Seriously, red tape line nazis? Are you kidding me? You don’t have 360 games but you can employ some people who can tell you to stand on the red tape and get paid? So about another half hour passes. We are near the front and this saint of a lady is actually running back and forth getting things for people who are in line (who aren’t even related to her)…and she doesn’t even work there. I felt like telling her, go find some 360 games…but I stop myself. However in the midst of her grabbing half of the store for those of us she was around, she proceeds to ask if anybody else needs a 1GB Memory Stick Duo. I do, I do!…quite the sweet deal at $15 after rebate. So I finally get to the checkout area and they only have 4 checkers (8 places + Circuit City can check you out at any computer on normal days) open. Circuit City has lost its mind. So I check out, throw the stuff into my trunk (and make a mental note to never visit Circuit City first again) and head off to Target.
I realize half way to Target that I forgot to get the rebate slip for the Memory Stick. $20 in fact. Alright, Target first then going back to Circuit City. Get to Target and immediately dispatch for the cheap dvds. After grabbing Memoirs of a Geisha, Pink Panther and Notebook all for $3.88, I proceed to the videogame section. Capcom Classics 2 was to be on sale for the great price of $9.87. No copies, in fact nowhere to be found. It is 6:15, 6:30am by now. Somehow again I have a hard time believing they had any copies of this one. While I’m there I decide to ask about computer monitors (they had a 19″ model for $149). The guy looks at me and says all our computer monitors are gone. All of them? I just give him the oddest look but he’s nice about it. I just grumble to myself and go to Air Purifiers. No Black Friday sales here, but my parents need one. So after looking at about 15 different models, I decide on a medium sized Honeywell one. On further thought I might take it back, I dunno. I got the Sharper Image catalog this week and they have some real pretty ones in there. But they are a lot more expensive than this one too ($119). So I also take this opportunity to look at Black and Decker Warmers ($19) but decide that I don’t see myself cooking up breakfast for 6 people anytime soon. So I get in the checkout line, here there are tons of checkout people and the process takes roughly 10 minutes. I’m out in a flash and got some okay stuff to boot. I head back to the Circuit City and go directly to Customer Service (there is still a fairly decent line here). I ask them for the rebate, they proceed to point to a table where 100’s of rebates lie and say it should be somewhere in there. No help, no what did you get. I look at the papers, after about 10 minutes I believe I found what I was looking for. I’m still not 100% sure, I’ll let you know in about 8 to 10 weeks. Off to Best Buy.
I get to Best Buy and honestly at this point, I don’t know what to expect, I had a terrible experience at Circuit City and an okay one at Target. It is about 7/7:30 now. I have only a few things on my list, and its basically video games (and that’s it). However, I decided to check on computer monitors here and basically they aren’t out of computer monitors just the decently priced ones. Yeah, I guess I will get a flat 19″ sometime between now and christmas (not for me, for somebody else). Look at printers briefly. Ya know, why can’t they make a cheap networkable printer(under $100)…is that too much to ask or perhaps I don’t know what I’m looking for. I just don’t have room on my desk and my router room in my house has plenty of space, perfect for a printer. Anyhow, I move over to games and look on the 360 shelves..again not very much. I’m not sure what to do at this point, I went for the purpose of getting 360 games and I have nothing. When all of the sudden to my right I see a cart, full of sales stuff. Yeahie! I found Outfit for 9.99 and Condemned for $18.99. On hindsight I should have also picked up Call of Duty 2 for $18.99 especially since a lot of my friends are still actually playing that one. I also find a copy of Mortal Kombat Deception for $4.99 which is essentially a steal for the Chess Kombat alone. I look down at the three items, decide I’m basically done and head to the checkout. Decent sized line this time, but moving. I get to the end, flirt with one of the Best Buy line girls (ask how her day was, how much longer she was going to stand, wish her a good day etc), talk with people around me as they talk back, and get to the front. Whip out the Rewards Card and flirt with the cashier some more. She was a cute one, I actually complimented her on her hair and we traded lots of smiles back and forth. I really should actually learn to ask girls out but Black Friday is such a stressful day. Oh well. So that ends my adventure, I drive back home and take a nap and play some of my games. I mean Circuit City was awful but Best Buy and Target were well managed, friendly and decent line control. Circuit City will be getting hardly any business from me for a while. The experience overall was an interesting one but I basically got most of my xmas shopping done by 9am. So the tradeoff I think was worth it. I’d love to hear some other stories for those of you who did the Black Friday thing. If you dare.
Barbie 12 Dancing Princesses
Hard Rock Casino
Mercury Meltdown Remix
PS2 HDTV Player
Cartoon Network Racing
PS2 Guitar Mania Amplifier
Hard Rock Casino
Online Chess Kingdoms
The Sims 2: Pets
Shrek Smash and Crash
World Championship Poker: All in
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
DK Bongo Blast
Cartoon Network Racing
Lionel Trains: On Track
March of the Penguins
Totally Spies 2: Undercover
Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles – Ring of Fates
Panzer Tactics DS
Puzzle de Harvest Moon
Rampage: Total Destruction
Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude
Not much going on this week at all unless you own a DS. In that case you should be freaking ecstatic and probably broke. In particular FF: Crystal Chornicles ROF should be a great time. The only thing of interest for me this week is the two periphals that the PS2 has this week. First the HDTV player which is supposed to enhance your PS2 gaming experience if you happen to have an HDTV. Nice idea, would honestly like to see how much of a difference it makes. The second being an amp for your guitar hero experience. Nice idea, but if you have a decent stereo system, isn’t this pretty much just a $60 prop. What I would want if technically possible is some darn pedals. Think about it, get some wah wah effects going or just the standard hair metal pedal that customizes the sound to your liking. I’m just not sure its logical. The idea sure sounds like a winner though.
Some Final Thoughts and Mutterings
So Black Friday was an experience and possibly one of the better days of my life (no it can never compare to the day I got married, but it was pretty damn decent) for the games, the social, and even later I got to sing at the usual karaoke bar I went to on fridays. Add that to a quick little thing, but I had a waitress buy my drink (cause I only had my credit card on me), and then she hugged me as I left as she smiled at me. Go figure, Ked has mojo going, or something. Most likely something. But adventures will continue and maybe life will turn out okay after all. Even after somebody you thought loved you leaves you in a pool of emotional death. Good day kids, and be sure to live life to the fullest.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)