Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Netflix Launches in Canada–With the Cupboards Bare

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This week, Netflix launched its long awaited and much coveted Netflix Canada service. Unfortunately, the content selection cupboard is mostly bare.

The limited offerings (and lack of DVD service) explains the $7.99 Cdn per month price. The minimum monthly fee that Americans pay for their Netflix service is $9.95 U.S.. For that they get a DVD-by-mail service and a substantially broader array of on-demand offerings.

Limited Launch Offerings:

Browsing through their movie and TV offerings, it appears that there are only about 100 older movies available – too many of which are third-rate movies. There are no new movie offerings.

There are only 18 TV series available at launch, with Heroes seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 constituting four of the 18.  Mad Men seasons 1, 2 and 3, but not any of the current Season 4, make up another three of the 18. Several of the available TV series I’ve never heard of (Hoarders, Paranormal State, The Boondocks, Drop Dead Diva?). Aside from Heroes and Mad Men, there are no other past or present broadcast or cable network prime-time hit TV series available at all.

Happily, the service is not chock-a-bloc full of the made-in-Canada TV content that riddle the Canadian versions of the Apple TV & Xbox 360 on-demand services. In fact, there isn’t a single made-in-Canada movie or TV show available through the service.

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Sony’s E3 2009 Press Conference Summary

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sony e3 2009 - jack trenton

Sony’s 2009 E3 Press Conference can be viewed here.  See also my 2008 Sony E3 coverage. Click on images below for larger views.

Exclusive PS3 Games Shown

sony e3 2009 press conference - god of war demo God of War III:  (demo’d – coming March 2010 ) Looks terrific! Except, that is,  for Sony’s continued reliance on quick time events in boss battles. Grrr! But I still can’t wait GoW 1 and 2 were terrific games.

sony e3 2009 - gran turismao teaser trailer Gran Turismo 5 (polyphony – teaser trailer – still no ship date) – photo realistically gorgeous as you’d expect – first time cars show damage in this franchise – still a SIM that is likely only playable by extreme racing gamers.

e3 2009 sony - uncharted 2: among thevesUncharted 2: Among Thieves (demo’d – naughty dog – no ship date – multi-player beta starting immediately) I’m looking forward to this one! Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is still my favorite PS3 game to date. Demo looked terrific but the female lead has changed. Elena Fisher seems to be gone :( 

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November 2008 NPDs – Nintendo Blowout

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Nintendo Wii Console It’s time to create a whole new category for the Wii phenomena. Holy cow– more than 2 MILLION in sales in North America in November is crazy. Yet, to this day there still isn’t a single game on the Wii I’d want to play – not one. Yet you can’t deny those sales numbers.

Video game industry sales are UP 10% year over year. Terrific given the economic downturn.

I was happy to see the 360 outsell the PS3 and PSP combined. Though I’m starting to worry about the PS3’s long-term prospects given its continued poor results. Despite the industry upturn, the PS3’s sale’s numbers are LOWER than its November 2007 numbers.  The PS2 results show its time is coming to an end. I wonder how many months before Sony kills it?  But, it still hasn’t reached the $99 price point. Perhaps it can grasp a few more months of breathe with a price drop before Sony puts it out of its misery.

gears of war 2 cover art Meanwhile my copy of November’s top selling Gears of War 2  is collecting dust as I finish Resistance 2 for my review. Gears 2 sold 1.56 million sold – trouncing Resistance 2’s comparatively meagre 385K unit sales. I’m really looking forward to Gears when I get the time – especially online co-op.

November 2008 Console and Game sales results after the break.

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How to get the Dual Shock 3 to Work with Resistance Fall of Man?

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dual shock 3 Grrr…..  Why does Sony make simple things so complicated?

I’ll start with the answer to the titular question. After firing up the PS3 with your new Dual Shock 3 (DS3) controller:

  • Reistance Fall of Man Cover start Resistance Fall of Man (RFoM)
  • choose “Multiplayer”
  • choose “online game” – the following notice will appear:

“An update to Resistance: Fall of Man is available. This update is required for online play. Download update?

  • choose ‘yes’
  • exit the game when the download is complete
  • start it up again.

You’ll finally have 10 year old technology in your sparkly new PS3 – yeah!!!

Who came up with this clever idea? How are people that want to play the single player campaign offline supposed to know this?

Now for the back-story.

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The New Playstation Store

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playstation store logo 2.5-rating (2.5/5)

The new PS3 Playstation store is a much needed improvement over the older store.

The Old Playstation Store:

old playstation store The old store (pictured to the left) booted slowly, was unresponsive, had tiny print and was almost unusable. It relied on a ‘mouse’ like interface with a pointer that needed to be moved around the screen with the PS3 controller’s analogue stick. It was very difficult to use and imprecise.

The New Playstation Store:

  • new playststation store main menu The new store boots up faster
  • Thankfully, the mouse-pointer interface is gone
  • The main menu now presents a grouped items column on the left
  • Selecting an item group brings up a much easier to read sub-menu (see the “New Releases” submenu below).
  • The submenu has a navigable list of possible selections on the right
  • Selection details show up in a big, easier to read, panel on the left.

new playststation store - new releases menu

  • Everything is faster and crisper (more pics on joystiq here).

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