First look at the Nintendo 3DS at the London Launch Party as a V.I.P.

My wife and I were lucky enough to spend the night schmoozing and boozing a load of “celebrities” at the launch of the new Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately there was not a stack of free consoles that they were giving away. In fact, there was a mini HMV store inside that had people queuing from 11pm ready to buy at midnight. However, there were plenty of wired in 3DSs to have a go on.

The missusThe 3D effect

At first I thought the 3D was terrible. Pictures were blurry and I had to hold it at an awkward arm-stretched position. I then realised that the 3D slider switch needed to be adjusted slightly for each different game.Once i treated it more like a camera focus (or maybe a radio tuner) I managed to get the perfect 3D image. It was pretty good but worked a lot better at conveying depth rather than things coming out in your face. One unit was showing a 3D video from a Sky TV app and you could see when something tried to come out of the screen it just hit the screen edge and then disappeared. I don’t think I would worry about my kids using it. As long as the focus is correct it would be no different to playing any handheld console, in my opinion.

The games were a bit hit and miss. I really enjoyed playing Street Fighter in 3D, using the wireless connection to battle my wife (I won 2:1). The new circle pad really helped me to “whoop some ass”  and the larger (much) better quality touchscreen helped me pull off some mean combos. The Football and Battleship game was quite dull. The Wii Sports hang-gliding game was a bit too childish for me but I think kids would like it.

Continue reading First look at the Nintendo 3DS at the London Launch Party as a V.I.P.

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Trouble downloading Amazon MP3s after a browser crash

KoL-Come-around-sundownAfter hearing a BBC Newsbeat article on Radio 1, Digital Albums ‘Getting Cheaper’, I decided to see what Amazon’s £3.99 single was this week. I was pleased to find it was the newly released Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown.

I had heard a bit of the album on Spotify and thought it sounded pretty good so I decided to purchase it. Amazon MP3s are DRM free so I knew I’d have no problem burning it to a CD-R or adding it to a USB stick to play on my car stereo.

However, due to a crash I lost the chance to download. Read on to see how I fixed it 

Continue reading Trouble downloading Amazon MP3s after a browser crash

Zune – The iTunes alternative

Update: Zune is dead 😦

Well it’s actually regenerated into Xbox Music. A lot of the content on here is still valid but the links may not work. Go to music.xbox.com for full details

Don’t you just hate the fact that sometimes you need to install bloated, slow iTunes to download and organise your music collection? Well stress no more, coinciding with the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft have opened up Zune to international waters.

Zune goes where you go. Whether on your PC, Xbox 360, or Windows Phone 7 you can enjoy, discover, and share your entertainment anytime you want. zune.net

What’s a Zune?

The Zune software is a media player, originally designed to manage Microsoft’s own mp3 player (iPod competitor) the Zune. You would use the Zune app to sync your music to your device or download new music from the online marketplace. It is very similar in functionality to how iTunes works with iPods. However, it differs dramatically in it’s design. You can’t help but be impressed with how the software works. I installed it a couple of years ago, even though I didn’t have a Zune (as I’m in the UK) purely because it looks so good. I could also use it to download podcasts so I could sync them with my generic mp3 player.

Continue reading Zune – The iTunes alternative

Sorting Spotify – A way to make your playlists more manageable

Spotify goes Social

Spotify has changed and it keeps getting better. For those not in the know, Spotify is a streaming music service. It’s like having the whole iTunes music store on your own computer. The cool thing is you can get all this for a low monthly subscription. You can also get it free with ads if you go for the new “Open” model (limited to 20 hours per month). I was quick enough to get in on the beta when it started up so I have it free and unlimited. I just have to put up with the occasional adverts [that’s what the mute button was made for 😉 ]. If I’m having a party or mates over for dinner I can get a 24 hour ad-free pass too. It seems like Spotify have a model for everyone. It’s a shame the “Open” model isn’t completely unlimited but if it keeps Spotify on the record labels’ good side (if they have one) then I suppose its justified.

Continue reading Sorting Spotify – A way to make your playlists more manageable