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Consoleation: War on used games—A new slippery slope

Rage Screenshot

Rage was one of the games that impressed me at E3 back in June. It had a Borderlands vibe to it, but substituted more realistic graphics than the cel-shaded approach that Gearbox Software had taken. The game ran at 60 frames per second, even at an early stage, and was fun to play. My interest level shot up for Rage, and it had been on my wishlist with growing excitement.

Consoleation: Four observations from July 2011 NPD report

Call of Duty: Black Ops Screenshot

Sensationalist headlines could have casual observers running for hills when it comes to how this year's sales numbers compare with last year. Don't fall for this. Let's keep in mind that the newer Xbox 360 models—the Xbox 360 Slim—really flew off of store shelves last July. We're now a year removed from that and now YOY numbers will bump into that success.

Consoleation: New machine, new additions

Sony PlayStation 2 Slim Image

After over four years of service, I had to retire my silver slim PlayStation 2 unit this week. It wasn't broken, really, but a few discs were having trouble being read by the console and DVD movies no longer played on it. I'm now the owner of a brand new black PlayStation 2, in its final hardware iteration.

Consoleation: The return of the Samsung GxTV

Samsung GxTV Image

After spending the balance of the last three years in storage, I finally set up my Samsung GxTV this past weekend. It's here in my office, just to the right of my workstation. Despite literally thousands of hours of use, the GxTV still works. The picture isn't quite as sharp as it once was, but it's good enough to make my PlayStation 2 (PS2) games look great again.

Consoleation: Capcom-edy of errors

Mega Man Legends 3 Screenshot

You know, I wouldn't have been as upset about the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 if it hadn't been for the PR ineptitude that followed the announcement. Let's face it: games get cancelled all the time. It's a by-product of a constantly changing industry and some games arguably have little chance of being successful on a grand scale. I know that Mega Man fans were looking forward to it, and a game in a familiar IP might have been something that the 3DS needed to help turn its fortunes around.

Consoleation: Lesson learned

Nintendo 3DS Image

Wouldn't you know it… the night after I post about Nintendo's woes with the 3DS, the company announces a huge price drop which will kick in less than five months after the launch of the platform. As of August 12th, 3DS units will drop to $169.99, which is a 33% price cut. This is likely going to work out well for Nintendo as price drops are usually the best course of action to take when a platform's sales numbers are weak, but this same move also leaves those who bought the 3DS before the price drop looking pretty silly—and leaves Nintendo looking pretty bad.

Consoleation: When $15 became $20

Bastion Screenshot

After spending some time thinking about why there's been an uptick in press activity talking about how pricing for Xbox Live Arcade games has been rising of late, something clicked. At first, I thought it was weird that people were talking about it now, given that it's been a trend for well over a year now. But then… it made sense to talk about how XBLA games are getting more expensive.

Consoleation: The E3 Experience: Day Three (Star Wars Kinect)

Star Wars Kinect Screenshot

After three consecutive nights with three hours of sleep apiece, walking into a closed meeting room at 10am and seeing Star Wars Kinect didn't seem to show much promise. After all, other sites had been less than kind to the game and the reaction during Microsoft's press conference wasn't exactly warm. When I volunteered to test the game for a group of my peers and the other members of the KmartGamer team, I didn't have high expectations… but when the demo was over and my pulse was racing, I wanted more.

Consoleation: The E3 Experience: Day Two (Wii U)

New Super Mario Bros. Mii (Wii U) Screenshot

If you're a console gaming fan, like I am, you probably remember where you were when the name and specifics of Nintendo's Wii follow-up were announced. I was in a Starbucks on the morning of June 7th, a few hundred feet from the Nokia Theater where Nintendo was holding its press conference. I also remember exclaiming out loud something to the effect of, "That's really what they're calling it? Wii U? No. NO!"

Consoleation: The E3 Experience: Day Two (Namco Bandai)

Dark Souls Screenshot

Dark Souls was my next destination, and I can already tell fans of Demon's Souls that this game is going to be as good as advertised. From Software has ratcheted up the difficulty; in fact, the person who demonstrated the game for me was having a difficult time staying alive himself.

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