No Electronics on International Flights to the U.S.?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is such a stupid and reactive organization. I hate it. I hate that because one idiot attempted to “shoe bomb” an airplane and another tried smuggle aboard liquid explosives, millions and millions of travelers have been inconvenienced. Instead of implementing better technology that screens passengers more effectively, the TSA makes idiotic rules that make travel more annoying and time consuming. I was reading about some of the new TSA actions on FlyerTalk‘s message boards and was shocked the learn that electronics are currently banned on international flights.

Due to that Yemeni-trained moron that tried to blow up Detroit — and yes, he’s absolutely a moron for targeting a city that has become so minor due to rampant crime and dreadful unemployment — it looks like electronics will not be allowed on international flights headed for U.S. destinations. That’s right, some travelers have reported that they were not allowed to use electronic devices at all during flights headed to America. What’s even more ridiculous is that the restriction isn’t limited to personal electronics — airlines were instructed to turn off their in-flight entertainment, leaving some passengers with nothing to do but sleep for 13+ hours.

Not being able to move during the last hour of a flight is irritating, but somewhat understandable. Further limiting carry-on items is also a drag. Not allowing the use of electronics at all?!? That’s just f&*ing stupid. Hopefully that’s only happening for a few more days and airplane travel will resume its moderately annoying ways shortly.

If anyone from the TSA is reading this, please know that you suck and you’re doing an awful job. If secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano is reading this, please know that you sounded like an inept moron trying to explain the situation on MSNBC.

The only silver lining I can see is that print media might make a comeback. That’s assuming that the TSA doesn’t screw the airline industry more than it’s already screwed. *sigh* And I was just getting used to the joys of in-flight WiFi….

Japanese Man Marries Nintendo DS Character

A Japanese gamer has married a character from Love Plus, a Nintendo DS title from Konami’s Tokimeki Memorial series. Reuters has reported:

The man, who prefers to use his online moniker SAL9000, met character Nene Anegasaki while playing dating simulation game Love Plus.

They got married a few weeks ago, broadcasting their ceremony live on Japan’s version of video-sharing website Youtube.

The image of gamers has progressed greatly in the last decade. Unfortunately, some idiot marrying a Nintendo DS character will have the world thinking that we’re all losers that live in our parents’ basement. Thanks a lot SAL9000. Moron.

Thanks to N8R for sending this in!


Coffee Talk #46: Favorite Games of 2009 #5 Pokemon Platinum

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, WWE giving Sheamus and Drew McIntyre championships, last Saturday’s fantastic day of boxing, or Accenture dropping Tiger Woods, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

As I mentioned last week, I’ll be counting down my five favorite games of 2009 in this week’s Coffee Talk columns and I’d love for you to join me! Let me know what your favorite games of the year were in the comments section. Remember, this isn’t about what games you thought were “best”. I want to know what you had the most fun with in 2009.

Pokemon Platinum 2

#5 Pokemon Platinum — Yes, I’m a Pokemon addict that has put more than 600 hours into Pokemon Pearl. As someone that loves breeding Pokemon for competitive battling, several of the additions in Pokemon Platinum were “must haves” for me. From move tutors that let you create more diverse combatants to challenging fight modes that test your mettle as a trainer, Pokemon Platinum has it all!

Of course Pokemon Platinum is rooted in the fantastic RPG gameplay that millions and millions of players have enjoyed for years. Weavile, I choose you!!!

NPD Console Sales Figures Top 10 Games of November 2009

NPD Group has released its console software sales information for Novemer 2009. Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 put up some ridiculous numbers. While nobody should be surprised that MW2 topped the charts, some analysts were surprised by its complete ownage of November (it’s a financial term). All in all, the big titles did what they were expected to do, but there was one oddity in the top 10. Check it out!

New Super Mario Bros

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360): 4,200,000
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3): 1,870,000
  3. New Super Mario Bros (Wii): 1,390,000
  4. Assassin’s Creed II (Xbox 360): 794,700
  5. Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360): 744,000
  6. Wii Sports Resort (Wii): 720,200
  7. Wii Fit Plus (Wii): 679,000
  8. Assassin’s Creed II (PS3): 448,400
  9. Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360): 362,100
  10. Mario Kart Wii (Wii): 315,000

As a BioWare mark, I’m disappointed that Dragon Age didn’t do better. Sure, RPGs aren’t as popular as action titles and it’s a new IP, but I expect people to have better taste. Hmph. Nintendo has to be thrilled with its November. It sold a ton of new and old games. With so many new and excellent games released in November, I was surprised to see something as old as Mario Kart hit the top 10. To steal a line from Keanu Reeves or Joey from Blossom, “Whoa.”

Any thoughts on the November software top 10?

NPD Hardware Sales Figures for November 2009

NPD Group has issued its console hardware sales data for November 2009. As you know, November is a huge month for gaming, with several retailers running “Black Friday” specials and lots of people shopping for holiday gifts. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

PS3 vs Xbox 360

  • Nintendo DS: 1,700,000
  • Wii: 1,260,000
  • Xbox 360: 819,500
  • PlayStation 3: 710,400
  • PlayStation Portable: 293,900
  • PlayStation 2: 203,100

As expected, Nintendo trounced the competition with its Wii home console and DS handheld system. Nintendo topping the charts is nothing new. What’s more interesting is the battle between Microsoft and Sony. While both companies did well, Sony has to be slightly disappointed that its PS3 lost out to the Xbox 360 after outselling it in September and October. That’s just a short-term concern for Sony; things are still looking up for the PS3, which had its third-best month ever. Overall, hardware sales were down 13.4 percent from November 2008, but keep in mind that all three consoles were more expensive last year.

What do you make of November’s numbers? Anything surprise you? Any predictions for December?

This Week’s Videogame Releases

This is probably the last week of the year that “big” games are being released. For PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, there’s The Saboteur, which has been getting mixed reviews and some interesting attention for its unlockable nudity. On the Nintendo DS, Link returns in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Finally, the Nintendo Wii gets a dose of frights 38 days after Halloween with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

The Saboteur

Any of you guys and dolls planning on picking any of these games up? I have my eye on Spirit Tracks, but will probably wait until it goes on sale.

Nintendo DSi LL Sells Over 100,000 in Two Days

DSi XL Wine Red

As expected, Nintendo’s DSi LL (XL in North America) has sold like Spam musubi in Japan. According to Enterbrain, the DSi LL sold 103,524 units in its first two days. Andriasang put the figures in context:

As a comparison, DSi sold over 170,000 units in the two days following its release late last year. PSP go, released earlier this month, sold just over 28,000 in its first day. Its weekly totals have since dropped to four figures.

I should know better by now, but I didn’t think the DSi would do well in North America…but it did. I have my doubts about the DSi XL, which (probably) means it will also sell well. I should stop second guessing Nintendo.

How do you think the DSi XL will do in America? Any of you planning to buy one?


Nintendo Announces New DSi Colors and Bundles for Black Friday

DSi Black Friday Blue

Nintendo of America has announced two new limited-edition colors for its wildly popular DSi handheld gaming system. The new colors will be available this week and come with five pre-loaded games.

The Metallic Blue bundle will ship with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, Dr. Mario Express, WarioWare: Snapped!, Mario Calculator, and Mario Clock.

The Metallic White model comes with Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Sudoku, Brain Age Express: Math, Clubhouse Games Express: Card Classics, and Photo Clock.

Hit the break for a photo of the Metallic White bundle.

Continue reading “Nintendo Announces New DSi Colors and Bundles for Black Friday”

Nintendo DSi XL is Big and Ugly

DSi XL in Japan

Anoop Gantayat from Andriasang snapped some photos of Nintendo’s upcoming DSi XL (DSi LL in Japan). He was not impressed with the system’s looks and size. While he admitted that playing games on it could be an entirely different experience, he stated:

DSi LL is a massive system. It reminds me of a really old portable. Unfortunately, Tsutaya didn’t have old DS phat systems in its display case so I couldn’t compare it with that monstrosity of hardware design.

The system also isn’t particularly attractive, especially compared to the slick DSi. The glossy cover unit and matte base unit don’t mix well. It almost looks like the system has a protector shell around its cover.

This is kind of a bummer. Anoop has been in this game for a long time, so I respect his opinion. From its PR photos and specs, I was looking forward to the DSi XL and happy with my decision to skip on the DSi. After seeing some real-world photos and hearing comments about it, my excitement has been downgraded to interest.