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I gave up playing computer games once it became obvious that I couldn’t get anywhere without reading the instruction manual and then dedicating hour upon hour learning strategy and shortcuts (oh and having three kids didn’t help). However with the upcoming Wii from Nintendo that just may change, an article in this weeks Economist states
“The main problem with modern games, he says, is that they require players to invest enormous amounts of time. As lifestyles have become busier, leaving less time for gaming, the industry has moved towards epic games which take dozens of hours to complete. This is leading some occasional gamers to stop playing and deterring non-gamers from giving it a try, says Mr Iwata. There are other factors too: novices are put off by the need to master complex controllers, festooned with buttons, triggers and joysticks. And not everyone wants to escape into a fantasy gaming world. “That attracts avid gamers,” he says, but can make it “difficult for people to become interested in games”.

Nintendo set out to reach beyond existing gamers and expand the market. This would involve simpler games that could be played for a few minutes at a time and would appeal to non-gamers or casual gamers (who play simple games on the web but would not dream of buying a console). They would be based on new, easy-to-use controls. And they would rely on real-life rather than escapist scenarios. This was not an entirely new approach: dancing games that use cameras or dance mats as controllers have proved popular in recent years. But Nintendo began to design entire games consoles around such ideas.”

Looks like I’ve got a present on my xmas list (for the kids of course 🙂 )

Yes I know iTV is due out early next year but I thought I’d get the jump on this by purchasing the Elgato EyeHome device.

I managed to get one with a wireless bridge for 80 GBP, probably due to Elgato dropping the EyeHome as soon as Apple announced iTV (theres been some talk on the forums that Apple and Elgato have partnered to produce the iTV)

Set up of the EyeHome was extremely simple and within 5 minutes I was streaming movies, itunes and iphoto from my iMac to my TV. It’s also fairly easy to set up streaming from my EyeTV DTT by getting VLC to do the streaming to a web browser

Some EyeHome drawbacks I’ve can see are:

• general UI weaknesses (e.g. sorting limitations, awkward menu navigation)
• no menu/navigation with DVD content (not really EyeHome’s problem)
• no H.264 or DRM support (hurray – I dont buy DRM’d media )
• can’t remotely control/program EyeTV
• clumsy content navigation (e.g. fast forward/rewind)
• no stop/resume memory

The combination of those last two items makes it frustrating to return to previous locations after stopping playback for any reason.

Hopefully iTV will support the iTunes equivalent of “remember playback position”. And being able to interact with EyeTV would be ideal, probably dependent on Apple/Elgato cooperation.

EyeHome has no trouble handling any supported media streamed over my not-fully-optimized 802.11g WLAN

I don’t want a multiple-purpose computer and digital media mass storage devices in the living room so EyeHome is serving me well enough even with its flaws, especially as I dont have an HD Television.
Right now it would be foolish to say for sure that iTV won’t be a worthwhile upgrade but I doubt I’ll be in any hurry.

Finally got round to replacing my Netgear 854GT which was giving me nothing but problems.

I’ve gotten hold of a Speedtouch 716WL

First impressions are pretty good and its easy to configure  

ADSL 2+ ready along with VOIP which doesn’t tie you to a particular carrier, I’ve set up a SIP proxy account with iptel which is free of charge, now I just need to buy myself a RJ11 cable arrgghhhh