My PS4 Logo

PS4
Sony’s PS4 Logo (top) and My PS4 Logo (bottom)

Last night Sony announced the Playstation 4. At the event, the new controller was shown, a new Kinect-like camera peripheral was shown, games were shown. And the system’s logo was shown. And I don’t like it.

The “PS” part of the logo is identical to the same part of the PS3’s logo. This is fine. But when I look at the new PS4 logo, I honestly think that Sony had someone design the (current) PS3 logo three years ago, then had someone else design the “4” for the new system’s logo. It doesn’t fit.

The 4 doesn’t look futuristic the way the P, the S, and the 3 do. In fact, when I stare at it, I think of a wooden fence on a farm. The two lines crossing each other are inconsistent with the P in the logo, where no line intersects or meets another line.

So I fired up Paint.net and came up with something I like better. I’ll admit that I got some inspiration from the 1980s-era WIVB logo.

November 2012 Humor

Harry Truman holds newspaper with headline "Teh Haloz Pwns Noobs"
Harry did his fair share of teabagging

Maybe I’m the only person who finds this funny. In high school and college I used to do stuff like this all the time — edit text in photographs and advertisements.

Halo 4 releases on the same day as the 2012 US Presidential Election. Both big events for me.

I preordered Halo 4, but honestly I haven’t had time to be excited about it because I’m too excited about the Presidental race. Hopefully after Obama wins tomorrow I’ll be able to commit ten or fifteen days to Halo 4. I’m sure Julie will be thrilled.

DVD Playback on Wii: Neat

This is neat: DVD playback on the Nintendo Wii.  Of course, it comes by means of homebrew, which in the case of the Wii, is much easier than it should be.

One thing I’ve noticed in the case of both setting up the Wii Homebrew channel and, now, DVD playback: Available instructions suck.

What I never found anywhere regarding the Homebrew Channel is that if the first Zelda save game freezes your console, reboot, launch the game, and try the second savegame.

Instructions for DVD playback are even more nebulous.  The MPlayer provided alongside the DVD playback installer is very similar but not identical to the MPlayer provided in the Wii Pack Generator.  I assume that the DVD playback installer works only in conjunction with this particular version of the MPlayer.  In any event, both versions of the MPlayer are installed in my Homebrew Channel.

For that matter, why did I have to download two files, then execute one before executing the other?  How about one file, one program?

The DVD player functionality, while certainly interesting, froze while I was watching Braveheart.  The amount of polish on some of the Wii Homebrew software tells me there’s enthusiasm here, and that leaves me optimistic that the DVD player will receive bugfixes over time.  Still, the Wii hardware is capable of only 480p output.  It won’t be taking over DVD duties from my 1080p-capable Xbox 360.  Ever.

Luke Smith and Irony

As some of you may know, Halo 3 was released on September 25, 2007. It was developed by Bungie for the Xbox 360. On October 5, 2007, Bungie announced that it would become an independent company, no longer wholly owned by Microsoft. The Internet lit up with conjecture over why such a split occurred. Some suggested that Bungie wanted to work on intellectual properties other than Halo.

Meanwhile, Bungie has produced a podcast almost weekly since July of 2007. I have followed Bungie.net pretty closely since before Halo 2 launched, mostly because of Halo 2’s integration with the Bungie website. I didn’t give the podcast a listen until shortly after I got my hands on Halo 3. I think I was working on my Halo 3 Emblem Chooser™ but didn’t want to stop soaking up Halo 3 goodness.

The podcast has three regular contributors: Frank O’Connor, Brian Jarrard, and Luke Smith. Luke is new to Bungie, having come over from 1UP.com only in April of 2007. In January 2007, Luke interviewed game developer/producer David Jaffe, who was still Creative Director of Sony Santa Monica at the time. This interview was recorded for the 1UP Show, and is still available on GameVideos.com at this link (embedding screwed up my css). I have graciously embedded the video after the break. Luke asked one question in particular caught my attention:

A lot of these guys — like look at the Bungie situation. They made Halo. Halo’s a hit. That’s all they make now. That’s all they’re making, and you have sort of — you’ve ducked out of that. Like God of War was a hit and well, you’re still — I mean — you’re still painting on top of it, but you’re not — it’s not your grind. It’s not the only thing that you get to work on, like some of those guys. How’d you swing that?

Luke starts his question at about 9:05 into the interview, if you care to skip ahead.

Halo 3 Emblem Chooser

Back in the day, I wrote a page in PHP that would allow you to try out all the permutations for Halo 2 multiplayer emblems.  Since Halo 3 was released, I knew I wanted to update the emblem chooser.

The design needs some work, but I’ve put together a fully functional Halo 3 Emblem Chooser.  Check it out.

Tusken Raider Themed Xbox 360

So I sent my Xbox 360 in to Microsoft for repair. They sent me back a replacement unit. That’s funny, because the unit they replaced was itself a replacement unit.

So the current machine runs fine — it doesn’t freeze while playing Gears of War. That’s a nice feature. However, whenever the DVD drive stops spinning (like when I quit a game up to the dashboard) the 360 lets out a noise uncannily similar to the noise made by a Tusken Raider. A Tusken Raider repeats the noise a few times, but my Xbox 360 just makes the noise once. I’m afraid that one of these days I’m going to press the eject button and a smoldering puddle of plastic that used to be a game disc will pop out. But my fingers are crossed so that won’t happen.

Got the Xbox 360 Spring 2006 Dashboard Update

This morning when I got up I signed into Xbox Live on my Xbox 360 and it asked me if I wanted to apply an update. So I’ve got the Spring 2006 Dashboard Update. I’m happiest about the option to always boot to the dashboard (instead of whatever disc is in the tray) and the ability to do something else while files download.

The only quirky thing I’v noticed so far is that the music play displays a “shuffle” icon when you’re in standard play mode, and a “standard” play icon when you’re in shuffle mode. So the button shows what you might want to choose, instead of the current status. This seems backwards to me, but whatever.

Halo 3 Sneaky Sneak Peak?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this otherwise pedestrian update on Bungie.net feature an all-new render of the Halo 3 Master Chief?

You can clearly see a blurry Warthog in the background, and the Master Chief is dual-wielding sub-machine guns. (But they look very small to me.) You also might notice the bullet holes/dents all over the Chief’s armor. It would be very interesting if marks on players’ armor reflects the precise spot where an opponent’s bullet struck.

[UPDATE] And the Chief might just be busting the Halo 2 cover pose …

SiN Episodes on Xbox Live?

Does anyone else feel that Microsoft MUST allow/encourage/force SiN Episodes to be available for download on Xbox Live? SiN Episodes might not be a great game and it’s entirely possible that such a model might not pan out on consoles, but if Microsoft does not allow this to happen it will face criticism for a long time to come.

The beauty of Xbox Live is that it offers so much that is not available anywhere else. (At least not on a console.) Fostering innovation seems like the only choice here.

I’d probably pay for a few episodes based on the gimmick factor alone.

You Know What — F the Core System

Yesterday I recalled that the Xbox 360 Premium System comes packed with an Xbox Live headset. Today while reading Xbox.com I was reminded that the Premium System comes packed with HD cables.

The Core System isn’t worth it. I’d probably be spending $200 extra on the stuff not included with it. Hopefully I won’t buy it over Christmas in Allegany and then have to lug it back to Atlanta in my suitcase.