Friday, January 26, 2007

A Wii bit of fun and games... Or what does milk have to do with a Wii??

My wife sometimes actually reads my blog.  Of course I get a some of grief about it and a few chuckles at home.  I also get the random threat when I do something bone-headed at home where she tells me that “I should post a comment on your blog and tell people what you're really like!”  I'm sure many of you can relate :-).  My wife likes to tell her friends things like, “he deals with all kinds of high tech stuff and helps lead a team of equally, if not more, talented engineers... yet he can't even remember what night is trash night!”  Suffice it to say, my wife is not at all impressed with what I do here at CodeGear, which is actually something I like.  It helps keep me a little humble (yeah, right! ;-) and a little more grounded.

Last year I made this post talking about how CodeGear needs to take a page from the Nintendo playbook surrounding their brand new gaming console called the Wii.  Ever since then, I've been keeping and eye on the Wii and it's availablity over the weeks following it's introduction.  Sales are still going strong for the Wii, and Nintendo is reporting strong sales and equally strong profits.  While the PS3 and XBox360 are getting more press coverage about how they're not doing as well as the Wii.  The more I read reviews about it and then talked with our very own David Lock who actually acquired his Wii console by paying a premium on eBay, the more I thought that this is actually a game console I'd by for myself.  Of course there are several PS2s, a GameCube, an XBox, PSP, NintendoDS at home, but they've all been purchased by and/or for my kids.  I've never really cared to have my own gaming console.  The Wii actually changed my mind.

So last weekend, I'd heard that some of the local purveyors of video game consoles were to get a fresh shipment of Wii consoles on Sunday morning.  So I got up and headed out to score my very own Wii console.  Didn't work out.  I was a little too late and the vouchers had all been handed out an hour before the store even opened!  Oh well...

So I come home a couple of days ago to find a couple of brown paper wrapped packages sitting on the counter. My wife and some of my children were in the kitchen when I came in.  Apparently these were some belated Christmas presents (since we ended up returning my main present due to it being defective had not replaced it).  So I opened them.  One was a huge bottle of Tums (an antacid)... gee thanks, I guess I could use those for all the stress here at CodeGear ;-).  The next package was a huge box of instant oatmeal packets that I keep in my office that I eat for breakfast when I get into work in the mornings.  Thanks, I can certainly use that too.  As you can imagine, I figured something was up...  So my wife then drags out another even larger package with the same brown-paper wrapping.  By this time, I was figuring it was another goofy gift as I've become used to being the butt of many jokes at home... I shaked it... nothing rattled too much.  I squeezed it... it was firm... must be another box.  Then I opened it.  I was shocked!  It was a Wii!  Apparently it was a very serendipidous event that she was even able to locate someplace that wasn't sold out.  We do a lot of shopping at the local warehouse club/big box/bulk store Costco, which is similar to the Sam's Club stores that dominate the mid-west US.  Anyway, she was grabbing some various items like food and other consumables, when as they were loading up to head back home, one of my sons who was helping noticed that the box of milk was leaking (only in America can you go to a store that sells milk and 60” HD plasma TVs!).  So they headed back into the exchange the milk, when they noticed one of the workers rolling out a brand new palette of Wii consoles!  SCORE!!

So it's been a couple of days that I've been able to play with this new toy, and so far it is everything and more.  I'm not one to sit down an play a game for hours, especially some Action Adventure, FPS, or MMORPGs since they really require a lot of time and investment.  However the Wii, with it's motion sensing wireless controllers, has enabled a new generation of “get off the couch and move” games.  So now I can go in and play a game of bowling, or tennis, baseball, golf or even boxing.  And that's the only investment I've made.  The whole family can get together and play a game.  They've even suggested that with this new generation of motion sensing controllers and more immersive and interactive gameplay, video games no longer have to be the pudge-inducing, lazy couch potato creating, bane of modern society.  Hm... maybe I can use the excuse that I need to shed a few pounds to wrestle control of the TV away from the kids and play some  games.


  1. Impatient Delphi LoyalistJanuary 26, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    Maybe CodeGear can learn from Nintendo. Instead of releasing another upgrade to an existing console (faster processor, nice little add-ons, etc.), they innovated by redesigning how game players interact with the game itself and how participants play with or against one another. Now it's a total experience rather than an exercise of the thumbs. How I wish CodeGear can approach development tools in the same manner. Instead of piggy backing on someone else's intellectual property, try to be a trailblazer instead of a follower.

    In the light of Sun Microsystem's recently concluded financial quarter and a great turnaround story, I'd like to again mention Jonathan Schwartz and the 3 great things he preaches:

    1. Propagate availability of the technology because it lowers the barrier of entry

    2. We are in the business to earn the right to serve folks with binary distributions, the system infrastructure and all the stuff you pay for as opposed to stuff you play with.

    3. Developers want the innovation, the demonstrated roadmap, the availability to drive forward on a platform they can contribute to and as well as be a recepient of.

    As I've said before, CodeGear needs a CEO who sets the agenda, someone who isn't afraid to lay down the road maps, someone who doesn't defer and lastly, someone who understands developers.


  2. So Allen, I will give you a week to get ready to take me on in Wii Boxing. I defer to your expertise in the role playing games, but I have a roadmap to victory in boxing.

    In the meantime, I look forward to developing my further understanding of developers, who I love, even though I sucked at Fortran 77.

    Now about that pony tail...

  3. Hi Allen!

    > [...] only in America can you go to a store that

    > sells milk and 60” HD plasma TVs!) [...]

    Oh, in Germany it's the same. And I believe in other countries too.


  4. The electronics department became a huge attraction force for any big store in any developed - or well developing - country. Wives can leave husbands there while buying more important items, like milk!

    Anyway, I'd prefer by far a real tennis match than a simulated one :) Our boss here "forced" us to play tennis two-three times a week at lunch time... :)

  5. Cool. But, where is Delphi 2007? Where is the promisses? We can´t wait too long to use .NET 2.0. That´s this huge delay that Delphi is losting space to C# and other Languages. We programmers need respect form Borland/Codegear. Two years late of Visual Studio? Nobody deserves that. Please, give us a oficial position of CodeGear plans, because if the delay continues, we need to migrate to other tools that respect us.

  6. Hey Allen,

    about the same story here: I never was interested in consoles at all, but this one caught my attention. I started getting keen on having one, and lucky I am my girlfriend got me one as a present for XMas.

    It is really great fun, and a new kind of parlour game. We already had a few parties till early morning starting with a nice dinner, a few beers and some bowling, tennis etc. ;-)

    How about "BDS for Wii" so that we can build games with our favorite IDE as well ;-))



  7. > only in America can you go to a store that sells milk and 60” HD plasma TVs!

    Hum... well... I don't think I'm in America right now but I can definitely go down the road to the supermarket et get a plasma tv, a bottle of milk, some diapers and the latest issue of my favorite magazine in the same store...

    And not it's not Germany either ;-)


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