It is a gadget filled weekend with the release of the Nintendo 3DS and the Apple Ipad 2.
Thousands of people began queuing last night to get their hands on two of the biggest gaming gadgets as they battle it out for sales. Nintendo 3DS had a midnight launch with thousands queuing outside shops nationwide. London’s Oxford HMV store held the official launch of the Nintendo 3DS with Plan B playing for the crowds. Continue reading “Holy App” mayhem for Ipad 2 release→
The XBOX Kinect is scheduled for release in the UK and Europe this Wednesday, 10 November. As the eagerly anticipated motion sensor arrives in stores throughout the conuntry, reactions in the gaming community remain mixed.
The XBOX Kinect is the highly anticipated motion sensor add-on by Microsoft, promising you “hours of hands-free fun where you’re the controller.” It features a camera, microphone and a depth sensor, allowing the user to play videogames without the aid of a controller. While the Kinect is being marketed as a revolution in gaming, it is in fact the product of a recent trend that has swept through the community. Consoles like the Wii and the new Playstation 3 motion sensor controller are designed to make videogames more accessible to casual gamers. While this has proven to be greatly successful, it has also created a divide between ‘real gamers’ and ‘casuals’. Christian Mugiraneze, a member of staff at Gamestation Edinburgh states that “Motion controllers will alienate real gamers” and “controllers are for ‘real’ gamers”. At HMV Gamerbase in Edinburgh there will not be any Kinects available to buy on the day of release, as the store has already sold out of them for the next two deliveries. However, there are XBOX consoles available that include the Kinect, but these are selling fast as well. Both Gamestation and HMV Gamerbase have Kinects set up to try in their stores since Saturday. A member of staff at HMV Gamerbase said “it is an expensive add-on so it’s good to try it before you buy it.”
While the Kinect has attracted a lot of people, many gamers remain sceptical. Mr Mugiraneze describes consoles that rely on motion sensors to be designed to “bridge the gap between ‘easy gamers’ and ‘hardcore gamers'”, while members of staff at HMV Gamerbase agree that “there is something nice about having a grip on something” and that “generations of people grew up playing with consoles” and this is not likely to change anytime soon. Whether the Kinect will become a ‘second Wii’ and will focus entirely on appealing to casual gamers or if it will actually innovate the way we play videogames can only be answered once games will have been released for it. But with exciting releases already in the pipelines finding this out is at the very least likely to be a lot of fun.
I recently caught up with Ed Minton (from band of the moment, Elliot Minor), who took some time out of the bands hectic UK tour to talk about their new album Solaris, dish the dirt on his band mates and shed some light on what really happens on tour with one of Britain’s favourite pop rockers.
I am anxious, my palms feel clammy and all of a sudden I feel overwhelmed. Is my voice shaking? I am introducing myself and I start to stutter, why am I giggling like an excited child? Maybe it is because I am about to talk to a founding member of one of my favourite bands. I manage to get my name out and ask Ed how he is, “Hiya, I’m very well thank you. How are you?” he says. Much to my surprise, the young, modest voice on the other end of the line is instantly comforting and just like that, it is like talking to an old friend. I answer his polite question, mentioning how petrified I am and slightly unnerved that my other interviewee – Alex, who sings lead vocals – is still asleep in bed. “Do you want me to wake him up?” asks Ed, more as if he were asking me how many sugars I would like in my coffee rather than if he should rouse his superstar band mate from the depths of post performance slumber. He tells me, in an almost childlike fashion, that unfortunately he is not allowed to anyway (orders from management) and that the interview will continue Alex-less.
On the 4th of November Idlewild will play at the still-young HMV Picture House on their native Edinburgh’s Lothian Road. Although a great band, this is nothing out of the ordinary. It is right to assume that they would play their hometown. However when the Picture House opened on September ’08 it heralded a much needed freshening influx of popular, bigger acts to the capital.
It has already staged such high-profile acts as Travis, Feeder, Martha Wainwright, Walter Trout, The Charlatans, Peter Doherty, The Stranglers and Bloc Party. However it shows no sign of stopping there, with the venues Myspace stating;
“… with a capacity of 1500, it will fill the gap in the city’s live music offering and also redress Glasgow’s dominance of the scene over the last decade…”
With Editors, Stiff Little Fingers, Basshunter, The Dead Weather, Gary Moore, Reverend and The Makers, The Mars Volta and Ian Brown all taking to an Edinburgh, and not Glasgow, stage in the latter half of 2009, the HMV Picture Houses’ carpets may not look so young anymore.
For HMV Picture House gig listings and any other information visit their website or Myspace links above.