Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nintendo 3DS comin’ at ya, starting in February

Sorry, DS fans, but if you were looking to get your hands on Nintendo’s hotly anticipated 3D gaming handheld in time for the holidays, you’ll just have to wait. But the wait may well be worth it.

Nintendo announced early Wednesday that the Nintendo 3DS, which boasts a 3.53-inch 3-D display that doesn’t require glasses, will arrive in Japan on Feb. 26 and in the U.S., Europe and Australia sometime in March.

Nintendo also announced the Japanese price for the portable 3-D gaming console: 25,000 yen, equivalent to about $298. (If that sounds outrageous, keep in mind that pricing for the overseas market is rarely a simple matter of exchange rates. I’m guessing the final U.S. price will be more or less in line with previous DS models.)

For the record, Nintendo had never said it would release the 3DS in time for the holidays. But many gamers and industry types figured that the gaming titan might time the handheld’s release to compete with Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect motion controllers this fall — and as PC World points out, Nintendo launched its previous DS and DSi systems during the holiday shopping period.

While hard-core DS gamers and early adopters might be bummed by the news, I certainly don’t view the February/March release dates for the 3DS as a setback for Nintendo. I’m guessing that the 3-D handheld will be another triumph for the gaming giant (which has begun to see sales of its Wii and older DS consoles taper off after years of dominating the charts).

After all, 3-D without glasses is the holy grail of 3-D technology, and early eyes-on reports of the 3DS’s glass-less 3-D display have been overwhelmingly positive. I can’t wait to lay eyes on it myself.

Nintendo also released some final specs for the 3DS, which (as reported by Kotaku and CVG) will weigh in at 8 ounces and measure 5.3 by 2.9 by 0.8 inches when closed, almost precisely the same dimensions of the current DSi.

As for the 3.53-inch top screen, which comes fitted with a special filter for the 3-D effect (a slider control will let you adjust the depth of the image, all the way back down to 2D if you like), it’ll come with a display resolution of 800 by 240, or 400 pixels for each eye. The touch- (or rather, stylus-) sensitive 3.02-inch bottom screen will have a resolution of 302 by 240 pixels.

The 3DS comes armed with dual 0.3MP cameras for taking 3-D photos (there’s also a third, internal camera for self-portraits), while stereo speakers will flank the top 3-D display. Wi-Fi for downloading games and trading game data with fellow 3DS gamers is a given, as is the slot for DS games (no repeat of Sony’s UMD-less PSP Go debacle). There's also a slot for SD memory cards.

3-D-enabled launch titles for the 3DS will include Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater, Nintendodogs + cats, and "Resident Evil: Revelations, while Game Boy fans will appreciate the 3DS’s "virtual console" emulator for old Game Boy titles.

All in all, pretty cool. I only wish the Nintendo 3DS could arrive in the States a little sooner. In the meantime, here’s a video of the 3DS’s debut at the E3 gaming conference in June to tide us over:

Serie A Player Spotlight: Alessandro Matri

For this week’s player spotlight, we’re going to the island of Sardegna, where a certain striker named Alessandro Matri has quickly become one of the reasons for Cagliari’s success over the past few years. He also has a strange trademark celebration where he makes a duck motion with his hand but he won’t tell anyone what it means. It’s apparently a secret between him and teammate Andrea Lazzari. Maybe we’ll find out one day. Matri has become a very good striker, and seems to constantly be improving. Let’s profile the Cagliari striker.

Name: Alessandro Matri
Age: 26
Club: Cagliari
Nationality: Italian
Position: Striker


Alessandro Matri was born on August 19, 1984 in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano in the province of Lodi, near Milan. At the age of 12, Matri joined the Milan youth system in 1996. He worked his way up the youth system ladder and eventually became a main figure of the Primavera side. In 2003, still only 18, Matri got his first team debut. It was a strange situation. It was May 23, 2003, and Milan had two finals coming up: the Coppa Italia final v. Roma and the Champions League final v. Juventus. So with the season pretty much not at risk with 3 games to go, Ancelotti decided to rest all the starters and play a team full of only reserves and Primavera players. All of the Primavera players that played for Milan that day are now just languishing in Lega Pro, but Matri has made it to the top. After that 71 minute appearance, Matri never made another appearance for Milan, who quickly sent him back to the Primavera side. In the summer of 2004, at the age of 20 and ineligible to play for the Primavera team anymore, Milan decided to loan him out to gain experience. This was the period where most of Milan’s Primavera players were signed to long contracts, but loaned out every season. Many never made it back to base and were eventually sold off, and Matri falls into this category. For 2 seasons (2004/2005 and 2005/2006), Matri was loaned to local Serie C clubs to gain experience. First to Prato where he had 5 goals in 32 games, and then to Lumezzane where he impressed and scored 13 goals in 32 appearances. After the positive season at Lumezzane, Matri was signed by Serie B club Rimini, and that’s where he got noticed. Although he only scored 4 goals in 28 appearances, Matri showed great quality at the club that comes from a town known for it’s beaches, not calcio. So in the summer of 2007, Cagliari decided to buy half of his rights from Milan. With Davide Ballardini at the helm, Matri played 34 times, but most of those appearances were from the bench. That season Robert Acquafresca was in great form and therefore he was the starter. He did, however, score in the first game of the season in his Serie A debut, and score 5 more after that. At the end of the campaign, Ballardini left Cagliari and Cagliari bought the other half of Matri’s rights from Milan for 2.3 million euro. With Max Allegri now at the helm, Matri once again started wasn’t a guaranteed starter because of Roberto Acquafresca and his superb period of form (14 goals in 36 games). Matri once again scored 6 goals, but in 31 appearances. In the summer of 2009, Acquafresca left, and it was finally time for Matri to shine. He once again started from the bench, but after a couple of games he became indispensable to Allegri. Matri started to score, and after 16 games, he had equaled legend Gigi Riva’s record of having scored in 7 consecutive matches. Matri went on to play in every single game, and showed much improvement. He became one to keep an eye on. And now, this season. Matri has already scored 4 goals in 5 games (2 goals against Roma, 2 against Juve), and is showing once again immense improvement. He really has become a dependable Serie A striker. It will be interesting to follow Matri this season. If he keeps scoring, a big club may come knocking in the summer or maybe even a surprise national team call-up (I however think that Matri is a player that will only flourish on a small team, won’t perform at a high level). Definitely keep your eye on Matri this season.


Matri is of average build (only 6 feet), and he can play both as a target man or a second striker. While he doesn’t have the sublime technique that most second strikers have, he does have great passing ability for out and out striker, which is why he is placed next to another striker at times. He is a physical player, which is why for me is he much more of a prima punta. He has proven to have excellent finishing ability with both feet but most of all with his head. He’s also very good at making runs into the box and finding open space between defenders.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Transformers 2 Toys Transform and Roll Out Today

Today is the day that toys from Hasbro’s Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen line roll out in a toy aisle near you. (Or at least, this is the day they’re officially scheduled to go on sale. Lots of stores jumped the gun and put them out early.) Hasbro’s website has a large assortment for view or sale, including one item I would love to have had when I was young enough to play with it:

The Bumblebee Voice Mixer. Actually, the item description says “Adjusts to fit head sizes ages 5 through adult”, and while I’m sure there are plenty of older toy enthusiasts who are going to have a ball cosplaying with it, I don’t think somebody my age could wear one without looking like someone from “To Catch a Predator”. More’s the pity.

However, there is one Transformers 2 toy that just might be too cool to pass up:

(Picture courtesy the fine folks at

Aww yeah, it’s Devastator! Seeing the Constructicon combiner kick some Autobot ass is going to be the best thing about this movie not named Megan Fox. The toy looks pretty sweet as well, even though I haven’t been a big fan of most of the movie designs so far. (I’m not a grumpy purist, I just think some of the characters look too generic. Especially Starscream and Megatron.)

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 30th, 2009 at 8:46 pm and is filed under Movies, News & Views, Toys & Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Mum and I have been working on perfecting my "Do you have a cold?" trick. You know sneezing!!! While working on the trick out at the edge of the pasture the other day she got a pic of me in mid sneeze, BOL!!!

The very first time she tried getting it on cue for me was way back in August of 2007 when we lived in Indiana. Here you can see it on video at about the :46 point. We're hoping to get the latest version on video soon!

I have to say that we've been missing our carpet lately, it's much more difficult to get a grip and do lots of our wacky tricks on our hardwood floors. But Mum promised she's going to look for some rugs for us very soon, so we can get back to it. Although I have to say that we are really enjoying all the outdoor hiking and trail running. And Mum's a whole lot more fun being skinny and not having to look into those Top ten diet pill ideas, you know, BOL!

So do any of you know "Do you have a cold?" post your vids and share with us!

Spring Fling 2010

I’m writing this at work in between load times and when I have a few minutes to spare. Tomorrow is the Spring Fling at Smak Zone Paintball in Patterson, MO and the few of us that are going are very excited. We’ve had some extreme roster changes this year alone and this will be the first game where the Blackout elite get to show the new guys around. We’re all excited to see how well everyone works together on the field. I think all of us Blackout boys are going to be either staying in the trailer or the cabin next to the field, so if anyone from our area is going to be around be sure to swing by and say hi.

No website updates this weekend due to the game, but soon you’ll see progress. Hopefully those of you going to Smak Zone this weekend will catch a few of us. Anyway, have a good weekend; we know we will.

[Boston Ticket Giveaway] BUILT TO SPILL at the Paradise this Thursday

I've gone on record as saying last month's Built To Spill show out on Cape Cod was my favorite of the year so far, and in the time since nothing has topped it (although last week's Superchunk/Versus gig and Sunday's Come reunion show came damn close). It was the perfect combination of setting, sound, setlist, and summertime mood. Something really special.

The Idaho quintet returns to Massachusetts later this week, this time to our capital city, for a pair of nights at the recently remodeled Paradise. Now, I'm not saying these shows will be your faves of the year, but the potential is most certainly there. Part of the reason I had such a ridiculously good time in Wellfleet? The kick-ass opening bands, one of whom was Boston's own Pretty & Nice - and they're tagged to open both Friday and Saturday's 'Dise shows. While the also-excellent Boise-based band Fauxbois won't be making it a total Beachcomber lineup flashback, and I don't know much about openers Revolt Revolt, you've gotta put your faith in BtS's choice of playmates.

Wanna go to Thursday night's show, for free and with a friend? Yeah, you do. So send an email to giveaways [at] bradleysalmanac [dot] com, simple subject line: "Built To Spill". One condition, though - If you win, you go. I'd hate these two list spots to go to waste, and I've had that happen a couple times lately with people who enter on a whim without being able to actually take advantage. A freebie faux pas, fer sure.

Get me your entry before 1pm on Thursday, and if I randomly draw your name, I'll let you know right away that you and a friend have surprise plans that night. Really great surprise plans.

Buy tickets to Thursday's show here, or Friday's right here. Prepare yourself by checking out the Built To Spill @ the Beachcomber write-up and live recording I shared up last month. The second half of "Kicked It In The Sun"? Mind-altering, I tell you.

Imaginary Post Beatles Beatles Albums: 1971

This is a game Beatles fans have been playing for many years. What would The Beatles albums of the ’70s have been like if they had stayed together instead of breaking up?

This post is for the first imaginary Beatles album released in January 1971. It features songs that were released on John, Paul, & George’s solo albums from 1970. Sorry to Ringo fans, but I plan on ignoring his solo work for this series - it’s just not something that interests me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ringo. Great guy. And I love his drumming, but his solo stuff doesn’t interest me one bit from what I’ve heard of it.

I realize this is a pretty silly exercise because in reality if The Beatles had stuck together they probably would have wrote different songs (at least to some extent) and even if the songs themselves were the same, they would have sounded different.

It’s mostly just to look at the quality of their solo material from a different perspective, just taking the cream off the top so to speak and putting it all together. These imaginary post Beatles Beatles albums could make for some pretty cool mix CDs, perhaps.

Imaginary Beatles Album From 1971

1. “What Is Life”
2. “Love”
3. “I Found Out”
4. “That Would Be Something”
5. “Every Night”
6. “Working Class Hero”
7. “Junk”
8. “Teddy Boy”
9. “Hold On”
10. “My Sweet Lord”
11. “Remember”
12. “Maybe I’m Amazed”
13. “All Things Must Pass”

This is no Abbey Road, but I think it would have been a pretty damn fine album. I left off some great songs (like “Mother” and “God” by Lennon) because I just couldn’t imagine them as Beatles songs and I only gave George three songs despite the huge amount he had on All Things Must Pass because I just can’t see John & Paul letting him have more. Of course, then it becomes obvious why they had to split up. They each had too much stuff to let out and they were tired of compromising with each other.