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.
Continue reading “Netflix Launches in Canada–With the Cupboards Bare”
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.
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.
Continue reading “November 2008 NPDs – Nintendo Blowout”
On November 3, I wrote about my Xbox 360 experiencing the Red-Ring-of-Death (RRoD) (original post here). Today, twenty-five days after shipping my unit out for repair/replacement, I received a replacement unit.
- Replacement Unit: The manufacture date of the replacement unit is 2008-05-29. I presume it is a Falcon. I did not receive a new power supply with the unit. It appears to be brand new (not refurbished).
- Much Quieter: The first thing I noticed was that the replacement unit was much quieter than the jet-engine sound coming out of my older unit. This is terrific. I can barely hear the replacement 360 when it is turned on. A welcome change indeed.
- 1 Month Xbox Live Free: In the box was a card that gave me one free month of Xbox Live. Not much of a bonus given that my box was gone for almost a full month of my current subscription.
- 3 Months Warranty: The replacement unit came with an additional three month warranty beyond the original 3 year warranty period that had just ended. The extended warranty ends on February 26, 2009 – 3 months from the ship date of the replacement unit.
Continue reading “Replacement Xbox 360 Arrives”
Yeah! My Xbox 360 finally experienced the dreaded Red-Ring-of-Death (RRoD). Over the last few weeks my 360 experienced random freezing-up while playing “Dead Space”. It crashed/froze more and more frequently until I couldn’t run the 360 for more than 10 minutes without a freeze. Many times it froze on the boot screen. Initially, I didn’t get the classic Red-Ring-of-Death.
[For an Interesting read on the causes of the RRoD see: The Truth about the Xbox 360]
[Update: On November 28, 2008 I received a replacement Xbox – see details below]
I called Microsoft support (1-800-4-My-Xbox – 1.800.469.9269), expecting to have to pay for a warranty repair. Happily, while the support rep walked me through his trouble-shooting script, I experienced the Red-Ring-of-Death for the first time (see picture below – yes, that’s a Halo face plate on my 360 – sorry for the fuzzy picture). I was able to boot the 360 a couple more times after the first RRoD, but it inevitably failed to the Red-Ring-of-Death state within minutes or seconds.
The reason I say “Yeah!” in the title, and why I’m happy about this, is because I was one of the ‘lucky’ one’s that purchased my 360 on launch day – November 22, 2005. Microsoft’s extended RRoD warranty lasts for three years from the date of purchase. My 360 RRoD’d just 19 days before the third anniversary of my purchase date. As a result, I qualified for the free replacement (see details below).
Continue reading “Yeah! My 360 Experienced the Red-Ring-of-Death – Just on Time!”
I recently read Brent Evans’ ZNF post on Vista Media Center’s (‘MC’) new MSNBC video on demand service. As with virtually every-other Internet-related video distribution announcement these days, I fully expected this service not to be available in Canada.
Here’s a typical message I get when I try to access this type of MC functionality from Canada:
Virtually none of the movie, TV, or other media-related services our American friends take for granted in MC are available in the Great White North.
Much to my surprise, as I was testing out the Xbox 360 media-extended piece of the latest MC upgrade (the upgrade got my MC working again for the first time in over a year), I saw the msnbc.com item (circled below) on the 360’s MC screen.
Fully expecting the usual ‘Not Available in Canada’ notice, I clicked on it anyway. To my surprise, however it worked.
Continue reading “XBox 360 Teases with Temporary MSNBC iVoD in Canada”