Forget the simple problems we had last Christmas, where our main concern was "will Sony produce enough Playstation 2's".
This holiday season the battleground has been set, the line in the dirt has been drawn
and the competitors are ready. In the blue corner, Nintendo, who believe that after Sega's gracious withdrawal, they are the rightful kings of the console scene. In the green corner, Microsoft, green is the right colour, if you ever had the need to call Bill Gates a "Newbie", this will probably be your only chance.
The notion of the rich and powerful begging the poor and lowly has been appealing ever since the French revolution. It is a sign of the "Lean Times", that we have a chance to see two of the largest multinational companies in the world, reaching out their hands and begging for what we have to spare.
The target of Microsofts' and Nintendo's campaigns, is of course, the gamer. They offer you the chance to win anything, from a Ford Explorer Sport Trac with a built in X-Box?, to a full high-profile "B-52" lifestyle, in the Cube Club??. Either way you will end up either driving a Ford or in "Betty Ford".
Follow the link, below and to the right, to see what the two competitors are offering
Microsoft is launcing X-Box Odyssey which will see giant inflatable tents set up all over the US, equipped with over 50 X-Box consoles offering the biggest public demonstration of titles such as Halo and Dead or Alive 3. The Odyssey adventure will be in San Francisco during the weekend, moving on to LA, San Diego, Phoenix and other cities. The X-Box will go on sale Nov. 15.
Microsoft will also offer fans the chance to compete in a 48 hour event this weekend in LA and NY, X-Box Unleashed,in which competitors will have the opportunity to win these fabulous prizes:
-A Ford Explorer Sport Trac with built-in Xbox, television and top-of-the-line Pioneer sound system.
-An X-Box and Games
-Taco bell food for one year
-SOBE beverages for a year...
If you, like me, did not know there is a Nintendo Cube Club in Los Angeles , you will be surprised to hear that many famous stars gathered there to launch the GameCube. Some comments include:
N'Sync's Joey Fatone: "What does Nintendo mean to me? INNOVATIVE."
Singer Mandy Moore: "I grew up on Nintendo. Mario was my best friend. I can't wait to get inside and play Nintendo GameCube."
Malcolm in the Middle's Justin Befield: "This is what I want for the holidays. I've been reading and hearing such awesome things about the Cube, and I know it's going to be great."
American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth (attending with her husband): "I'm not very good with videogames but my husband can't stop playing [Madden NFL 2002]. I'm sure that as soon as we get a GameCube, I'll learn quickly how to play because he'll need a partner."
Once and Again's Billy Campbell: "I have heard that the Nintendo GameCube is extremely designer friendly, which means a lot of great games. I'm really looking forward to playing it."
The San Francisco Cube Club location will host, on Thursday, the five finalists in the "What would YOU do for a Nintendo GameCube?" contest, launched last month via Nintendo's Web site. Some unfortunate individuals actually replied and they will compete in such varied tasks as eating a GameCube sized spam, Catfood and Chocolate Syrup pie and juggling Nintendo consoles, the NES, the SNES and the N64--while dressed as Mario and whistling Mario's theme.
Who would you vote for?
The desperate attempts of both manufacturers reflect their main problem. While the technology has evolved to a great extent, game design has reached a dead-end. The need for brains has, apparently,become greater than the need for chips.