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Archive for May, 2014

Mario Kart 8 Is Coming

One exciting piece of news to come out from Nintendo is the upcoming launch of Mario Kart 8 on May 30.

It’s no secret that sales of the Wii U have been moribund. But if there’s ever been a game launch that might help revitalize console sales, this is it. Early indications are that Mario Kart 8 is going to be a hit. The Nintendo Store in NY tweeted that they’d have a limited edition version of the game for sale. I went in to the store the next day, and they already sold out of all their inventory.

I was a bit aggravated, as I work only two blocks from the store and should have gone in earlier in the day. But que sera sera. I ended up pre-ordering it on Amazon.

An added bonus (and why I predict this game is going to sell out quickly) is that if you register your game on Club Nintendo between May 30 and July 31, not only do you get Club Nintendo points for the game, you’ll also receive a download code for one of four great games: Pikmin 3, Super Mario Bros U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker, or Wii Party U.

What, pray tell, does this have to do with Wii exercise? Well, for one thing, since Wii Fit U there hasn’t been a whole lot to report on, not just with Wii exercise but with the Wii U in general. I’ve been using Wii Fit U pretty regularly, and always have my Wii Fit Meter on, but other than that there’s not much to report.

But the thing I’m looking forward to is dusting off the old Cyberbike and the Mayflash adapter and seeing if I can squeeze a little bit more utility out of that.

I’ll report on my findings here. In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a Cyberbike,

you should still be able to find some used ones floating around on eBay. But hold off until my post in a few weeks, where I’ll let you know if it was worth it or not!

3D Movies Available on NetFlix and the Playstation 3

Earlier this year, Netflix announced that they were finally starting to support streaming of 3D movie and TV shows. As of this writing, they’re supporting it only on a handful of devices: a number of models of LG televisions and…the Playstation 3!

That’s right, if you were one of the ones who bought a Playstation 3 and a Playstation 3D display, you can watch Netflix movies in 3D by using the Netflix app on your PS3. When you start the app, it’ll automatically detect that you’re watching through a PS3. You’ll see a new category called “3D” in your recommendations.

Shows that are 3D-ready will have a “3D” icon when you select it.

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When you start watching one of these movies, you’ll see this message appear asking if you want to watch in 3D or 2D:

do you want to play this title in 3D

In order to use 3D on Netflix, you do need a fast Internet connection. I was trying to use mine over a FIOS Wifi connection that only reached speeds of about 2Mbps, far too slow to handle the high-speeds needed to stream 3D in HD. Netflix recommends at least 6Mbps, with an ideal setting at 12Mbps. I ended up running a long wire from my router directly to my PS3 in an attempt to speed it up, and it worked just fine.

The bad news is the pickin’s are pretty slim. You won’t see movies you expect like Avatar, Avengers, or even top notch IMAX documentaries like Space Station or Hubble.

There are a few annoying things about the Netflix interface. While there are 3D movies beyond the 35 they show you in the opening screen, there’s no way to navigate to them. You almost have to stumble upon them accidentally. Second, they routinely take old movies down without notice, so if you’re in the middle of one and leave you might not see it when you come back.

Here’s the entire list of 3D movies they do have. I’ll keep this list updated to show new ones as well as ones that have become unavailable–in some cases you’ll be able to search and find these old titles, but in other cases they’ll be gone for good.

  • IMAX
    • The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti: IMAX (2010, 45m)
    • Dinosaurs Alive!: IMAX (2007, 39m)
    • Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (2008, 44m)
    • Wild Ocean: IMAX (2008, 42m)
    • Rescue: IMAX (2010, 46m)
    • Ultimate G’s : Zac’s Flying Dream (IMAX) (2007, 37m)
    • Arabia (IMAX) (2010, 46m)
    • Mummies: Secrets of the Pharoahs (IMAX) (2007, 38m)
    • Dinosaurs:Giants of Patagonia (IMAX) (2007, 40m)
    • Legends of Flight (IMAX)
  • Documentaries
    • Live Fire (2011, 3 episodes)
    • Skeleton, Inc (2011, 1 episode)
    • Feeding Time (2011, 3 episodes)
    • African Wild (2011, 8 episodes)
    • Pina (2011, 1h43m)
    • Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010, 1h30m)
    • Sky Soldier (2012, 48m)
  • Martial Arts
    • Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2012, 2hr, 2min)
  • Sports
    • Red Bull Way Back Home (2011, 26m)
    • Nitro Circus 3D (2012, 1h31m)
    • Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution 2010 (2011, 26m)
    • Art of Flight (2011, 1h20m)
    • Red Bull Cubed Flight
  • Animated
    • Animals United (2010, 1h33m)
    • Animen: The Galactic Battle (2012, 1hr24m)
    • The Dino King (2013, 1h28m)
    • Oscar’s Oasis 3D (2011, 5 episodes)
    • Legends of Valhalla: Thor (2011, 1h19m)
    • Little Brother, Big Trouble (2012, 1h13m)
    • Space Dogs (2010, 1h28m)
    • The Little Prince (2010, 5 episodes)
    • Freddy Frogface (2011, 1h24m)
    • Chaplin & Co. (2012, 5 episodes)
    • Angelo Rules 3D (2009, 5 episodes)
    • Plankton Invasion 3D (2012, 5 episodes)
    • A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures (2010, 1h25m)
    • Example Short XVI 3D: Elephant’s Dream
    • Saving Santa
    • Beowulf
  • Horror
    • Shark Night (2011, 1h30m)
    • Scary Tales (2011, 4 episodes)
    • Sadako (2012, 1h36m)
    • Shock Labyrinth (2009, 1h28m)
    • Tormented (2011, 1h23m)
    • The Hole (2009, 1h31m)
  • Drama
    • Don 2 (2011, 2h22m)
    • Dangerous Ishhq (2012, 2h8m)
    • Immortals (1h50m)

  • Family Movies
    • I Heart Shakey (2012, 1h42m)

With the exception of the IMAX documentaries and a few of the regular documentaries and sports movies, there’s honestly not a lot worth spending your time on. But the IMAX documentaries are truly stunning in full 3D. The sad thing is, it looks like Netflix is investing the minimal amount possible in its 3D efforts, and when people don’t flock to watch these awful movies, they’ll probably conclude that there’s no interest in 3D. But hopefully those of us with 3D-capable sets can show our interest by at least watching the “good” ones.