Malik  (4/23/04)

For those of you who have seen my past work on lazy.GEEKS, you probably remember one of my old features, The Collector's Bitchings.  Well, I may be under a new name, but I aim to bring the same quality news/editorial hybrid that you loved, but with some new flavor.  Now for those of you who don't know...I could try to explain, but I think this feature should very easily speak for itself...however, if you do need some explanation of what you're getting into, I'm a bitchy, cynical, sarcastic person who, quite frankly, refuses to dismiss reality and that all the crap announced by the common media and various electronics companies at face value (like when various magazines started announcing last year that Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu would be that amazing game that would redeem the Batman gaming I the only person who has learned anything from countless crappy Batman games and no good ones?  I hope not...but that hope always turns out short lived).  So, without further ado, I'm Malik and you're in my world now.

Who Needs Technology to Move Forward When Backwards is so Much More Fun!

There has been plenty of talk in the last few months about the next generation...despite how this current generation of consoles is far from over (estimations by various makers of consoles are looking at about 2 more years on average).  Some of this news is pretty exciting; I mean the supposed abilities we can get out of a PS3 with a cell chip in it.  If these promises of amazing visuals, uber-fast processing, etc, all come to fruition, then the games will hold some promise (as long as the games revolve around some good game play and great innovations to make the technology worth it).  Also, news of new memory devices are exciting to hear about.  Like the speculation from a few sources about XBox 2 (or whatever it's titled by those all-so-creative Microsoft marketing department drones) using flash memory cards or USB memory sticks.  Personally this excites me a lot since I have the most useless accessory ever made for a console.  Worse than the N-64 Disk Drive (Japan), the 32-X, or the wonderfully rugged Intellivision controller; Yes, I'm talking about the XBox officially licensed memory card that holds enough information for saves from about 1% of all XBox games...yet it costs a whopping $20+ dollars for a XBox memory card...someone out there cares that I get my moneys worth...

However, while this excites me, I must say that the rest of the news surrounding the XBox 2 memory system is a bit on the retarded side.  One of the companies that has been asked to make the new memory device announced to the media that because of the amazing abilities of their technology, the next XBox would be hard drive there's a couple ways of looking at this;

On one hand, you can look at this announcement and say that Microsoft, which has not been raking in the dollars from the XBox, would welcome this situation as a chance to cut the costs of the XBox 2.  I mean if you remove the hard drive, some obvious costs in development are cut.  So there is some credibility to this claim.

On the other hand, you can say that this certain company is trying to trump up their importance by making it sound like they mean a lot more to the XBox 2 than they might in actuality be worth to the process.  With this mind set, you'd also realize that Microsoft has deep pockets...I mean they have the type of money that'd open anyone's legs...and by not having to worry about their profit margin as much as Nintendo, who needs their console to keep their employees wealthy enough to meet their basic needs, Microsoft can still keep up their XBox (the original, not number 2) strategy of losing money in the short term to win over enough consumers to get the long range money.  Not only that, but if Microsoft de-evolved their next generation system by removing features, two things must in turn happen.  For one, the XBox Live service (which is supposed to continue to the XBox 2) would be cut short and reverted to something that would lose customers; do you want XBox Live, which currently has upgrades that affect it's use, to cut into the memory you must shell out money for (aka, memory card) and the great risk of losing that XBox Live service data (and the service itself) if the memory card becomes misplaced, or more likely corrupt (I for one can count the number of times a hard drive has crashed on me on one hand, and the number of times a memory card has crashed on me on...wait, I don't think an inbred redneck freak could even have enough digits for that counting).  Plus, XBox Live prides itself on having that wonderful downloadable content.  It's pretty safe to say that downloadable anything will be greatly reduced if there is no large internal memory, but rather far smaller external memory (which will undoubtedly come at a large price if it's using current PC memory technology, such as USB sticks and/or flash cards, etc).

So, I personally would have to say the answer seems almost obvious.  If Microsoft wants to win over additional customers from the old standards (Nintendo and Sony), then they need to impress people...not offer then something less than revolutionary.  Plus, if Sony recently has taught us anything it's that a hard drive is a desirable idea for the console makers (why would Sony have an add-on HD for the PS2 if it is not a desirable accessory?).  Plus, if Nintendo and Sega ever taught us anything about add-ons for consoles, it is the sad fact that a built-in accessory is far more desirable that one the consumer must purchase later...don't believe me?  Then you need to simply think of the added memory chip for the N-64 (how many unit did Nintendo have sitting in their warehouses after the fall of the N-64?), the Sega CD (one of the worst selling peripherals of all time), or the Sega 32-X (the worst selling peripheral of all time).


If Microsoft is even considering dropping their hard drive for the XBox 2, then they need to wake up.  Besides pissing off their customers, Microsoft looks to gain nothing substantial from such a short term solution to fix profit issues.  However, in all likelihood, the supposed maker of the memory card for the XBox 2 should instead shut the hell up and stop trying to stroke their egos before Microsoft gets pissed off and dumps them for some other company that has more credibility and enough sense to know their role.

While We're Talking About Next Generation Consoles...

Sony should consider more than just the amazing abilities that the cell ship is supposed to give the PS3...maybe they should consider their amazing track record of making high quality electronics and low quality consoles.  Don't get me wrong; the Playstation 1&2 have both given more more joy than I thought any device could without me entering the disturbing world of adult entertainment stores.  However, this is due entirely to the games...not the crappy systems that have a shelf life of about one day more than the warranty.

I for one have gone through 4 Playstations (as in I'm on my fourth right now) and have been fighting my barely functional PS2 for the last two years.  The life span of the Playstation CD drive is as short as a Fox Sunday night sitcom in the 7:30 timeslot.  Then there's the PS2 with it's amazing Disk Read Error (for those who have a PS2 and have not gone through the hell of a DRE...consider yourself blessed by the god of geeks...sadly he does not smile down upon me or tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of other geeks).  I've seen more message boards threads on PS2 boards dealing with DREs than there are threads for even the most over-rated of games (FFX-2 doesn't have shit on Mr. DRE).  One figure I saw stated that possibly up to 1/4 of all PS2 owners have suffered DREs.  1/4!!!  That's the sad and pathetic meaning of incredible.  This got to be so bad that Sony is now offering a deal that if you suffer a DRE, you are entitled (legally entitled) to a free fix...the only catch is that you must be sans PS2 for a few weeks while it's shipped off to Sony, being repaired, and sent back.  I for one am too hard core of a geek to go that long without my PS2 as long as I have my miracle cure (that would be that I have to hold my PS2 in the air at a specific angle while my wrist cramps as I wait for the disk to be read...usually no more than 1 minutes each time I boot up my PS2...damn you Sony).  Why does Sony offer this repair for free, you ask?  Is it because they care so greatly for their customers?  Yup, it must be...and Marvel dropping their affiliation with Capcom to be teamed up instead with EA is a brilliant move (who needs Mavel vs. Capcom fighting games made by the master of fighting game, Capcom, when you can have EA's experience with quality fighting games and their vast library of pre-made fighting characters...Mac from SSX vs. Spiderman sounds far cooler than Ryu vs. Spiderman).  Actually, Sony offers this service because they were sued with a class action lawsuit.


How about Sony stops stroking their egos with such cool buzz terms like the cell chip (which probably will be cool, but it doesn't exist it means nothing but shit to us who live in the real world), and they tell us some better sounding concepts for their next system...something along the lines of, "we will install some quality CD/DVD drives that are made by something wiser and more competent than 4 brain-damaged monkeys who currently design our hardware".  'nuff said.

Now for a Little Humor

Since I'm in a good mood, here's a little, pathetic joke for you all.  For those who don't understand...check Penny Arcade's archives...for those who do understand, you are a geek's geek.

"The Critics, The Cynics, The Detractors, The Doubters WILL BECOME CONVERTS"...sure...but what about "Those Who Are Grounded in Some Sense of Sanity, The Realistic, The People With Common Sense"...I guess those of use who fall in these categories are out of conversion for me...I feel sad...and after I missed a chance to become a N-Gage "convert"...


I know it's wrong to say, but you sometimes have to just hope that certain companies go out of business for their own good.  I was always told if I couldn't say something nice, to not say anything at all...obviously I don't follow that...I'm too big of an ass for that type of advice...but just this once, I'll say something nice about Infinium Labs; at least they know their ABC's...they alphabetized those who "WILL BECOME CONVERTS".  They officially have a kindergarten education.

Maybe they could team up with Nokia and the geniuses behind the Virtualboy...imagine the much stupidity in such a small package...throw in some 32-X, I feel stupid enough to become a convert just thinking about it.  In fact it makes me hungry...take a taco from the Nokia people, add an extra stacked on shell from the 32-X team, put it on a tripod for easier handling ala Virtual Boy, and a bunch of empty promises from Infinium and you'd get one hell of a silly marketing campaign for a new version of the Taco Bell Challupa with a good promise of less mess thanks to the tripod...mmmmmm...

Concluding Thoughts

I think that's a good start for today.  There's plenty to bitch about and plenty of time to do so, so why go overboard right now.  Personally, I'm hoping that not too many of the games scheduled for a late summer/fall release get pushed back anymore...while I enjoy picking up some of the games I've recently overlooked, I still hunger for a new RPG to keep my geek mind happy...maybe I should say a new and good RPG...

As I like to say, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?