Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hulu Plus Comes to the Wii

On Thursday, February 16 Hulu announced that its video streaming services would now be made available via Nintendo’s Wii.

Following Hulu’s announcement, anyone that owns a Wii was able to download a Hulu Plus app from the Wii Shop Channel. After downloading the app, users were able to immediately begin streaming Hulu TV shows and movies through their Wii.

In its blog post Hulu said, "We've optimized the Hulu Plus interface on Wii so you can easily point and click with the Wii Remote as you navigate through thousands of popular TV shows."

Hulu also made sure to mention that it plans to offer access to Nintendo 3DS users sometime later this year.

"With devices like the Wii and 3DS, Nintendo has earned diehard fans and loyal customers through its innovative approach to entertainment," wrote Eric Berman, Hulu’s manager of distribution. "And now together, we're bringing a new level of world-class entertainment right into your hands and home."

All of this news from Hulu is great, but it’s important for Wii users to keep in mind that although they can access some content on for free, Hulu Plus is a subscription-based service.

Hulu writes, “For $7.99/month, Hulu Plus subscribers can instantly stream current season episodes of hit shows like Modern Family, Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee. Kids can enjoy favorites from PBS Kids including Arthur, Dinosaur Train and Wild Kratts,” or users can, “call it a family movie night and pick from hundreds of popular Miramax movies.”

"The Wii console is the hub of the living room, and with the addition of Hulu Plus, millions of households now have even more options for streaming premium TV shows and movies," said Tony Elison, the Nintendo of America's senior director and general manager of Network Business.

For about the next three weeks, Wii users will have the opportunity to subscribe for a two-week free trial of Hulu Plus. After that they will be able to sign up for the $7.99/month plan or simply stream the free content that offers.

Sources: Hulu - It’s on like Donkey Kong. Hulu Plus now on Nintendo Wii and PCMag - Hulu Plus Added to Nintendo Wii

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BioWare Confirms Mass Effect 3 "From Ashes" Launch Day DLC

Mass Effect 3: From AshesMass Effect 3, undoubtedly one of the biggest, most anticipated and most hyped games of 2012, is a mere two weeks away from launch and fans couldn't be more excited. Mass Effect 3 has players taking control of Commander Shepard once again as they fight against a seemingly insurmountable Reaper invasion on Earth. Shepard has to gather every ally he can from all across the galaxy in order to not only save Earth, but every other planet as well.

Now, everybody knows that there are certain pre-order bonuses you can get from dropping down $5 to reserve your copy of a game. Whether it be in-game content like armor, weapons, character skins or multiplayer maps, gamers love their pre-order swag. But one thing they love more is DLC. Now, single player, story-driven games like Mass Effect 3 usually don't do a whole lot in terms of DLC, though Mass Effect is the stand-out exception.

Mass Effect 1 and 2 both had a slew of DLC that added new missions, characters and costumes to the games, allowing players to explore even more of the game's universe and characters. Mass Effect 3 doesn't plan on being any different and BioWare, the company behind the games, has already officially announced the very first DLC for the game which will launch simultaneously with the game's release on March 6.

The DLC is known as "From Ashes" and was leaked onto the Xbox Live Marketplace a few days ago where it was available, albeit briefly, for 800 Microsoft Points. The DLC came with the following description, "Unearth lost secrets from the past and recruit the Prothean squad member in Mass Effect 3: From Ashes." That's right, the main baddies from Mass Effect 2 were the Protheans (spoiler alert!) and now you actually get to have one in your squad, much like Legion, your Geth squad member in Mass Effect 2.

The DLC, which will cost you 800 Microsoft Points and give you a new mission and squad member, was confirmed by BioWare's Michael Gamble on the company's message boards. In his post Gamble stated, "We're happy to confirm that Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC will be available at launch for all platforms. For those of you who have purchased the N7 Collector's Edition (including the PC Digital Delux Edition) you will get this content at no extra charge. We'll have a lot more details for you later this week! Stay tuned!"

The fact that owners of the Collector's Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition get this content free is the cherry on top. If there is one thing that compliments having the Collector's Edition of the game, it's getting free DLC when everyone else has to pay for it.

Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6, 2012 and integrates a new multiplayer system, new gameplay elements and even Kinect voice commands that work surprisingly well. If you haven't pre-ordered your copy yet, then you better do it now, though I don't think you'll have any luck finding one. is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Discs to Launch into Space

Arguably one of the most unique gaming marketing ploys of all time, EA announced that they will be launching six weather balloons containing copies of Mass Effect 3 into "space". We can only hope that EA doesn't manage to bring the Reapers back with them. While Mass Effect may be full of galactic system-hopping, the weather balloons will not be. The weather balloons will not even actually reach space, but will reach the upper atmosphere, roughly 90,000 feet above the Earth's surface. These six balloons will be launched from six major cities: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris. Each balloon has a GPS tracking device which fans can track through Mass Effect's official website. Some lucky fans will get to enjoy the game well in advance of the March 6th release.

Now the most interesting thing about this event is that whoever is the first to the landing zone can claim the game. While I think this is a brilliant marketing scheme, I can see this going poorly for several reasons. First off, if you were miraculously able to be the first one to track down and acquire one of these copies, would you actually play it? I would venture to say not only no, but hell no, you would go straight to eBay and sell it for copious amounts of cash. That is if you were able to survive whatever crazed fans are also at the landing site, rioting over who is going to actually get the game. I can see fights breaking out... unless they land in the ocean or get caught in some trees or land on top of a mountain (I can think of several more scenarios). Additionally, EA has not announced what versions of the game are being launched, PC, Xbox, PS3? Needless to say, most of us gamers (even the most hardcore of us) will probably not get a chance to make it anywhere remotely close to one of these landing zones.

For us less adventurous types, we will have to survive off the demo and suffer through midnight releases at our local game shop. However, well done EA, I applaud your marketing team. But your first idea was better as depicted by the infamous Penny Arcade comic, this one titled 'Frigidity':

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Possible Psychonauts Sequel "Could Happen" with Funding from Notch

PsychonautsWhen it was released on the original Xbox, Psychonauts took the gaming industry by storm. Fun, engaging characters came together in a fun and interesting game that was solid all-around and insanely fun to play. But that was the original Xbox, and that was a long, long time ago. Since then, people have been clamoring for a sequel and, sadly, all hopes of that sequel had seemed squashed, until now. In a recent statement from the original game's creator, a sequel to Psychonauts funded by Notch, the creator of Minecraft, could very well happen.

Tim Schafer, head of Double Fine studios, related to Kotaku that a sequel to the highly popular Xbox game, which focused on a group of students with telekinetic powers, could be put into production with funding for the game coming from Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of the incredibly popular (for some stupid reason) game Minecraft. Schafer responded in an email to Kotaku saying that the game "Could happen!". Schafer also added, "I have found funding on Twitter before!"

That last statement more than likely references CEO of Dracogen Steven Dengler, who provided funds for versions of Costume Quest of the PC and Psychonauts for the Mac after a conversation between himself and Double Fine on Twitter. In addition to that, Dengler expressed a lot of interest in funding the entirely hypothetical sequel to Psychonauts and publicly spoke with both Persson and Schafer today.

Should this deal actually happen, there will be a lot of fanboys out there wetting their pants with excitement. Psychonauts was one of the most popular games on the original Xbox and, I'm sure, still has a following large enough to warrant a sequel. Considering that I missed out on the original game but heard so much about it, I am excited for a possible sequel, if only for the fact that I will be able to experience what all the commotion is about.

Source: Kotaku - Psychonauts Creator Says Notch-Funded Sequel 'Could Happen'

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Revolutionary MMO Everquest Goes F2P

On the 13th birthday of the game that started it all (or at least the game that took RPGs to the next level), Everquest, is going Free-to-Play (F2P). When Everquest II went F2P back in December of 2011, there was hopes that the original would be soon to follow. That indeed is the case and Everquest producer, Thom Terrazas has made the official announcement that in early March of 2012, Everquest will be going F2P.

What Going F2P Means

Now going F2P may sound like the game is now open to all players for free, but thats not entirely true. Like most free games these days, there is going to be a limit to how much free content is available to the player that pays nothing. As Terrazas states,
"...Recurring subscriptions, non-recurring subscriptions, Silver or Free memberships, item unlockers, and more. The game will now be setup to be flexible so that *you* can decide how much to pay, based on how much fun you're having."
So that means, if you are willing to spend some money, then you will be able to get more features (like having access to all classes and races, character slots, spell tiers, AAs, etc...) There will be limits on several aspects of the game (limit on money, bag slots, bank slots, customer service, and more) and therefore will require players to buy subscriptions if they wish to experience everything Everquest has to offer. For the scoop on what is free and whats not, check out their player matrix.

Bonus Welcome Packages at F2P Launch

For new starting players, continuing players or for any returning nostalgic players, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and the Everquest team are offering welcome packages at the F2P launch that includes a unique Mercenary, some Bayle Marks, Experience Potions, a unique in-game item to display in your home, and a Weapon Ornamentation!