There was lots of automotive eye candy to behold at the recently-held 2009 International Auto Show in San Francisco, but one particular car definitely caught an extended gaze of my eye. My vision honed in a shiny white and black sports car, sitting in a "hands off" section of the showroom floor. To my surprise, this mean-looking sports car was an Audi, but not just any Audi. This here was the 2010 Audi R8 rockin' a length-side up with a mounted V10 mid-engine. I had to know more and see more of this particular car, and that's … Read more
I am consumed, as I am sure all imperfect beings are, by the furor surrounding Tiger Woods' sudden and somewhat vertical descent from his image pedestal.
There will be those who will have much sympathy with his plight, as there will be those who will have none.
However, I was reading a quite brilliant editorial on Yahoo Sports offered by Dan Wetzel.
I was fully absorbed by Wetzel's strong, persuasive arguments that Woods should really not bleat about the tabloid world, when my right eye was drawn to an ad from the Professional Golfers Association. I immediately took a … Read more
He calls himself Agent Zero. His shirt number is a big, fat zero. And this accurately reflects the number of tweets Gilbert Arenas has posted to his Twitter account.
It's not that Arenas, the Washington Wizards point guard, isn't confident of his literary skills. Oh, no. Just look at his finely sculpted blog.
However, according to The Washington Post, Arenas has no interest in being a small time Twitter player. He wants 1 million followers before he will start to offer tweets from his copious and wondrous life and imagination.
Dear readers, while I am a current resident of the great state of California, I will always consider Dayton, Ohio, to be home sweet home. And while it's unfortunate that I am unable to make it home for the Thanksgiving holiday, I have this cute little Web video to remind me of the good-ol' Midwest as CarAndDriver.com takes the 2010 Porsche Panamera for a 24-hour tour of Dayton and its surrounding suburban Ohio neighbors.
The premise here is that the CarAndDriver.com guys are going to take turns driving the 2010 Porsche Panamera sport sedan all around the … Read more
Football is a team sport. Alas, that goes counterpoint to a lot of the superstar worship and smack-talking that gritty sports video games are made of. To satisfy the casual fan, EA has launched a surprise on Xbox 360 and PS3 owners with Madden NFL Arcade. A five-on-five football game, it borrows heavily from previous arcade football games like NFL Blitz and EA's own dearly departed NFL Street (and less remembered NFL Tour), … Read more
If you're a Porsche fan, I'm sure you may have a curiosity about how these revered automobiles are made. I'm in the same boat as you, and I found this neat little video that puts you right on the production line and watch these fine German assembly workers work their magic in putting together the much-talked about 2010 Panamera - Porsche's very first sedan model.
Unfortunately there's no real audio or narration to help guide us through this process, but I have been able to discern a few details about what you see going on … Read more
I was doing research for last week's blog about the gas guzzlin' class of 2010 automobiles, and along the way I had read some not-so-positive notes about the 2010 Porsche Cayenne GTS and its rather low gas to mileage ratio. That's too bad; it looks nice on the outside.
Also along the way I began picking up some articles about the 2010 Porsche Panamera, which reportedly marks the German auto maker's first stab at designing and manufacturing a sedan. But if you're thinking that Porsche has traded in horsepower for childproof locks and wood panels, you … Read more
This week, we've been taking a look at some of 2010's biggest gas-guzzlers. Not surprisingly, this list has been chock full of utility vehicles, and today's blog chalks up yet another entry for Land Rover. Yesterday, we got a look-see at the 2010 LR4, and our newest inductee into the Low Mileage Hall of Fame is the Land Rover Range Rover Sport (which also wins another award for the most redundant vehicle name ever). The LRRRS boasts average gas mileage of 12 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway--not god awful, but certainly nothing … Read more
Stung by lower Wii sales and a couple of down quarters, Nintendo may be a bit off its game this year. But Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing, keeps focused on the company's strengths and positive numbers.
The recession and a paucity of blockbuster titles have taken a bite out of the overall video game industry this year, with revenue down from record levels in 2008. Nintendo certainly hasn't been immune. For the first half of the year, earnings fell about 50 percent from 2008, while Will sales dipped.
In the midst of this atmosphere, I spoke on Thursday with Dunaway, known to many video game buffs for her high-spirited appearances at E3.
Though I asked Dunaway about the company's revenue decline, lower console sales, and potential competition, she continually championed Nintendo's assets, including its Wii and DS consoles and recent popular games like Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus, as well as new titles like Super Mario Bros.
Dunaway's optimism about Nintendo may have been borne out by the latest results. Though overall video game revenue fell in October, the Wii bounced back to recover its spot as the top selling console, according to NPD.
Last month, Nintendo sold 507,000 Wiis, compared with 320,600 Sony PlayStation 3s and 249,700 Microsoft Xbox 360s. Coming in second in video game hardware sales was Nintendo's portable DSi and DS Lite, with gamers scooping up 457,000 units.
Four of Nintendo's titles also did well in October, finishing in the top 10. The company sold 232,000 copies of Wii Fit Plus alone, and 209,000 of Wii Fit Plus bundled with the Balance Board. Wii Sports Resort scored with 179,000 copies sold, while Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the DS found 169,000 new customers.
I spoke with Dunaway by phone before before NPD released the October sales figures. But she certainly knew ahead of time that the numbers would look good for Nintendo.
Q: The question on everyone's mind is Nintendo's performance this year. For the first half, earnings were down about 50 percent. Sales for the Wii have dropped. Your president, [Satoru] Iwata, recently admitted that sales of the Wii have stalled. What do you pin as the reasons for this downturn, both for the company and for the Wii itself? Dunaway: Let's talk about the U.S., and let's break it down into the separate platforms. So, speaking first about the Wii--what's important to understand is that in 2008, we sold 10 million units of the Wii, which was a record for any console ever in history. And so it's a high mark.
What's also important to understand is that the pacing of our software this year was quite different than it was in 2008. In 2008, our big titles were released early in the year. And this year's huge title, released a few weeks ago in October, Wii Fit Plus, is doing quite well. And then arguably, the largest title of the year, New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii, only releases Sunday [November 15]. So we believe that going into the holiday season, consumers will continue to look for the products they see as representing the best value and the most fun.
Now on DS, we also had a record setting year last year, selling over 10 million units, and we are actually 16 percent above that pace year-to-date in 2009. So the combination of DS Lite and our new product DSi is really resonating with consumers.
Then on software, here in the U.S., our software for both Wii and Nintendo DS is actually up over a year ago. So despite the fact that our big titles are yet to come, we still have had a good year overlapping a tremendous year with our software.
Can you talk about some of the new titles Nintendo has in store for the holidays and next year? You mentioned Super Mario Bros. is a key title for the holidays. Are there others? Dunaway: Looking to some of the additional titles for the holidays, New Super Mario Bros., for the first time enables four people to play a Mario game together. And it is going to be something that provides tremendous challenge to experienced gamers, and something a brand new gamer can jump in with their friends and family and enjoy. So that one will be a monster hit.
We also on the DS side have a new Zelda title--Zelda Spirit Tracks--coming on December 7. And Zelda titles are always strong performers, and it's a franchise that loyalists look forward to, line up to get copies of. And it's a title that we also think expanded market consumers will enjoy because of its heart. It's really about solving puzzles and going on an adventure, which is something that really anyone can have a good time doing.
Then as we go into next year, while we haven't announced timing, we have announced that we'll be launching a new Pokemon Gold and Silver, which has broken all records on its launch in Japan. [We're also launching] a title that will be great for loyalists called Sin & Punishment and a title called Endless Ocean that really provides a wonderful family experience on the Wii.… Read more
Last year, the contest wasn't even close, with 2K9 trouncing Live in a blowout that made it easy to choose which game to buy. However, this year EA Sports' Canada-based development team delivered a much more compelling game. At the same time, while 2K10's developer Visual Concepts has definitely made some improvements, including a new My Player mode and the usual upgrades to player models and animations, this year's installment hasn't introduced anything truly eye-opening. The net-net is you have two solid games that are hard to choose between.
Here's the skinny: … Read more