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Showing posts from November, 2007

Xbox 360 Fall 2007 update adds DIVX/MP4 video support

The Fall 2007 Xbox 360 dashboard update (coming December 4th) will add support for DivX and MP4 playback.

Video FAQ

This is great news for Xbox 360 owners who want to watch video encoded in these formats. I'm surprised that Microsoft did this, because these formats compete with Microsoft's own WMV format. While the benefit to consumers is obvious, I'm not sure what the benefit is to Microsoft. I'm guessing they did this to both improve the "watch your PC's videos on your Xbox" story, and also to match an existing PS3 feature.

Game resolution issues

This morning I fired up Mario Galaxy 64 on my new Wii for some early-morning platforming. I happened to sit closer to the screen than I normally do. Yuck! The jaggies were suddenly very apparent and very distracting. But when I moved back to my normal viewing distance, the jaggies were gone, blurred out by my poor vision.

It's no wonder that HDTV and HD gaming in general is not taking off as quickly as consumer electronics companies hoped -- the benefits are just not that apparent to normal eyes at normal viewing distance.

Jaggies aside, Mario Galaxy 64 is great fun! A very smooth difficulty curve, and gorgeous graphics. Right now I'm working my way through the candy level. (I have seven stars.)

Had brunch at Salty's

I had a very nice birthday brunch at Salty's on Alki.

Here's a variety of different ways of linking to Salty's on Google Maps:

Search Result
Search Result with traffic

A place that isn't Salty's at all

My initial Wii impressions

I finally got a Nintendo Wii this weekend. Wii's are in fairly short supply right now, so I couldn't find one at a reasonable price on-line. If you live in the Seattle area, here's my Wii-finding tip: Fred Meyer stores get deliveries on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, meaning that calling a Fred Meyer store at 7am on Sunday morning to check if they received a new shipment is a good way to find a Wii.

The total cost, with tax, an extra controller, and a component video cable was around $350.

I've got Wii Sports, Wii Play, and will be picking up Mario Galaxy this week. The primary users will probably be my kids, although I am very interested in trying out Mario Galaxy.

As a former Xbox 360 developer, I couldn't help comparing the Wii to the Xbox 360. So far I give the Wii high marks for:
It's small and quiet.It starts up quickly.
The dashboard UI is very clean and pleasant.The low-res (480p component) graphics are quite good. I did occasionally see jaggies, for exam…