(Possibly Insane) Intel Piloting CPU Upgrades Via Scratch-Off Cards

Imagine unlocking the full power of your PC’s CPU via scratch-off card. That’s an (incredibly stupid) idea Intel is testing out. My PC industry analyst friend Rick called me yesterday and this is one of the topics we discussed. I was convinced that he was just f*cking with me until he sent the URL for Intel’s Upgrade Service program. I’m still having a hard time believing it. It’s just so….

Basically, you buy a PC. It comes with a gimped CPU. You buy a code to make it normal.

Does anyone else find this to be an amazingly moronic idea from a very smart company?!? There must be an awful lot of glue sniffing going on at Intel.


Pokemon Apokelypse: A Dark, Grim, and Violent Pokemon Fan Film

You must watch this excellent live action Pokemon fan film called Pokemon Apokelypse. It’s a dramatic and dark version of the Pokemon cartoon that’s beloved around the world. Parts of it are campy and parts of it are cool. You’ll giggle as Ash Ketchum says the theme song lyrics, “I want to be the best…like no one ever was,” with grim determination. Team Rocket’s Jesse and James doing their “Prepare for trouble! And make it double!” bit while packing guns is pleasantly twisted. Electrode being used as a car bomb with his “explosion” attack? Awesome!

This might be the best thing I’ve seen all month (outside of my Asia travels) and I can’t wait to get your thoughts on the vid!

Cammie Dunaway Leaving Nintendo on October 1

Nintendo of America has announced that executive vice president of sales & marketing Cammie Dunaway will be leaving the company on October 1, 2010. Here’s a press release quote from NOA CEO Reggie Fils-Aime:

We appreciate Cammie’s contributions to Nintendo and the role she played in bringing the Wii and Nintendo DS experiences to millions of people.

Dunaway is a smart executive that got a lot of heat (deservedly so) for trying way too hard at her first Nintendo E3 press conference. While that had very little to do with her actual job, hardcore gamers never forgave that “performance”. Gamers never warmed up to her the same way they embraced Nintendo executives like Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata.

What do you think of Dunaway leaving Nintendo? Is it related to the Wii’s declining sales? Is it a warning sign? Are you happy she’s gone? Or do you not give a damn about executives at console companies?

Google Docs Finally Heading to Android…and iPad Too

I’ve always been mystified by Google’s inability to bring Google Docs to Android. It seems like such a no-brainer (that should have been a launch feature). With Google Docs, the company would have a huge selling point for business use. It looks like Google’s cloud-based productivity-suite is finally coming to Android…and iPad too. Here’s a clip from a recent blog post by Google Enterprise president Dave Girouard:

Today we demonstrated new mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad. In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices.

On the Android front, all I have to say is that it’s about frickin’ time! As for the iPad version, I’m all for that too; Google Docs for iPad would make the device exponentially more useful to me.

I used Google Docs heavily at G4tv and continue to use it today. While it doesn’t have all the features of Microsoft Office, it has most of what I need in a lightweight, cloud-based program. Do any of you use Google Docs for work or school? Are you interested in Google Docs for Android and/or iPad?


Hideo Kojima Wants to Reveal Next Game at TGS 2011

Konami’s Hideo Kojima has been busy overlording the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but he’s working on his own stuff too. According to Andriasang, the Metal Gear Solid developer wants to reveal his next game at Tokyo Game Show 2011. Here’s his translated tweet:

I think it would be nice if next year I can do not just editing, but introduce my own new game (game design, script and direction).

What do you think Kojima is up to? Another MGS title? Something new or exciting? Or perhaps it’s the return of Policenauts! Kindly post your theories in the comments section.


Capcom’s Keiji Inafune Hates Japanese Game Development, Capcom

Late last night I read this fascinating NY Times interview with Capcom global head of production Keiji Inafune. Since 1987, Inafune has helped create some of Capcom’s best games. It was shocking to hear him go off on Capcom and the Japanese game development scene. Check out this opening salvo:

I look around T.G.S., and everyone’s making awful games. Japan is at least five years behind.

It’s like we’re still making games for the last generation of game consoles.

Capcom is barely keeping up. The ideas, game play, design — there’s no diversity, no originality.

Wow…just wow.

I hold Inafune in the highest regard, but I’m not sure that I completely agree with him here. Certainly the videogame business — particularly game development — has shifted to the West. I’ve always chalked that up to the popularity of first-person shooters (and Japanese developers’ inability to make good games in the genre) and Microsoft’s gaming efforts. Gaming has been mainstream in Japan far longer than it has in America. The types of games that are popular have changed since the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox brought more Westerners into the mix. Personally, I’d love it if more Japanese developers made awesome turn-based RPGs…but perhaps I’m just old.

Read the entire interview if you have a moment. It’s really good. When you’re done, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Inafune’s words. Shout it out (please) in the comments section!


Coffee Talk #216: What Was Your Favorite TGS News?

Tokyo Game Show 2010 is over and there were so many interesting happenings at the show. What was your favorite bit of TGS 2010 news? As for me, I was thrilled with Team Ico’s announcements. The new trailer for The Last Guardian is fantastic — I think I’ve watched it around 43 times already. I’m also super psyched that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are being re-released in HD (not so interested in 3D though).

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, The Miz and Bryan Danielson putting on a refreshingly old-school wrestling match last night, “Sugar” Shane Mosley’s horrific fight against Sergio Mora, or The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Tokyo Game Show 2010 is over and there were so many interesting happenings at the show. What was your favorite bit of TGS 2010 news? As for me, I was thrilled with Team Ico’s announcements. The new trailer for The Last Guardian is fantastic — I think I’ve watched it around 43 times already. I’m also super psyched that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are being re-released in HD (not so interested in 3D though).

Now it’s your turn! Was there anything at TGS 2010 that made you especially happy, excited, or giddy (special bonus if it made you all three!)?

New iPad Coming in Q1 2011?

There’s a chance that Apple will be refreshing its iPad line of tablet computers as early as Q1 2011. According to DigiTimes, component manufacturers are already working on parts to hit that time frame:

Component suppliers including touch panel and reinforced glass suppliers for Apple’s iPad are completing validation with Apple for the second-generation 9.7-inch iPad, according to Taiwan-based component suppliers.

Apple is expected to launch the second-generation iPad in the first-quarter of 2011, the suppliers noted.

Although the original iPad has several shortcomings, it has proven to be wildly popular device around the world. Still, it would be very unusual for Apple to introduce a new model less than a year the original was launched. Of course the tablet market is going to be extremely competitive in 2011, so perhaps Apple is wisely reloading its big gun before the competition takes off.

What do you think of DigiTimes report? Will Apple launch a new iPad in Q1 2011? Or is it too soon?