Opinion » Cybernaut


Nintendo throws twist into console war



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Like GameCube, up to four players will be able to play at once, sometimes using the same screen and sometimes dividing the screen in half or into quarters.

So far the controller is getting rave reviews, and game companies will now have the option of building more interactive games that work with the new motion sensing technology. The possibilities are endless.

The Xbox 360 will be the first new console to market, in November, while the PS3 is slated for "early 2006." Revolution is hoping to be available by next summer.

The big question for the console makers is whether there is any such thing as brand loyalty in the video game business. Consumers have gone from Atari, to Coleco, to Intellivision, to Commodore 64, to Nintendo, to Sega, back to Nintendo, to Sony, and own either a GameCube, xBox or PS2. PS2, which was in first in the latest generation, owns the world market with more than 91 million consoles in play, compared to about 21 million for Xbox and 18 million for GameCube.

Yoshihiro Maruyama, the head of Xbox in Japan, says loyalty means nothing. "For players, it’s all about the games. No one buys a game machine for its features."

Good news for Nintendo.

Last stand for P2Ps

WinMX.com is no longer in operation, eDonkey’s offices are closed, while Grokster, Morpheus and LimeWire are apparently in talks to go legit – possibly forming a company that offers subscription access to Mashboxx music library. Bearshare, Gnutella, Napster and other services are already charging fees and otherwise protecting content.

The reason for the closures and attempts to go legal stem from a June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that Grokster was knowingly facilitating the theft of legally copyrighted materials.

Not only did that open the window for lawsuits against Grokster, it also set a precedent that applies to all companies offering peer-to-peer software and services.

The Recording Industry Association of America hinted that it would consider dropping suits against Grokster and other companies if they agreed to go legitimate and charge for content.

Think you know sports?

If you’re an armchair quarterback, it’s time to put some money where your mouth is. A new website called ProTrade ( www.protrade.com ) is being launched next week that allows sports fans to use limited virtual money to pick a team of football players they think are going to do well.

That money will increase or decrease in value, like the stock market, based on the real world performance of those athletes. You can buy and sell athletes as much as you want, and as always the goal is to buy low and sell high. It works kind of like the Hollywood Stock Exchange, which does the same thing except for movies, actors, directors, studios and musicians.