Hulu Plus

I blogged about Hulu Plus a few days ago, and the issues I had getting it run smoothly on my PS3. I e-mailed support about it, and they gave me a few things to double-check, so I did all that and the audio/video sync is still off by a bit, but it’s mostly tolerable.
Meanwhile, after not using my Wii for about six months, I decided to turn it on last weekend, and it wouldn’t work. I tried a few things, couldn’t get it working, and gave up on it. I even offered to give away all my games and peripherals on Facebook. I was going to pack them all up today, and get the main Wii box ready for recycling, but I decided to give it one more try.  Long story short, it’s working again.
So I decided to try out Hulu Plus on the Wii. It only became available for the Wii recently. It works pretty well though. The video quality is a bit lower than on the PS3, of course, but it’s watchable, the audio/video sync is good, and it’s pretty consistent (no jaggies). So I may decide to keep the Wii largely for the sake of Hulu Plus.

too many games

For the purpose of convincing myself not to buy any new games, here’s a list of all the games I have sitting around that I haven’t played yet, but which I fully intend on playing through:

  • Final Fantasy IX (PS2)
  • Final Fantasy X (PS2)
  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
  • Metal Gear Acid (PSP)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
  • Force Unleashed (PS3)

Okay, that ought to be enough to keep me from buying FF X-2 or FF 12 for the PS2, or Metal Gear Acid 2 for the PSP, or, well, anything new for the PS3 or Wii. I need to keep reminding myself that it’s a lot easier to plunk down $20 for an old PS2 or PSP game than it is to find the 50 hours to play it through…


All the talk about the 25th anniversary of Tetris last week got me feeling nostalgic. Tetris is one of my favorite games of all time. I think I first played it on my Amiga back in college. I’m pretty sure the version I played on the Amiga was a freeware knockoff, but it was a straightforward implementation of the basic Tetris game. I later played it a lot on my original black & white GameBoy.

So I decided to look for a version of Tetris I could play on my PS3 or Wii. Surprisingly enough, there doesn’t seem to be a version of Tetris out for the PS3. At least not anywhere in the download store, as far as I could tell. On the Wii, though, there’s a relatively new title under WiiWare called Tetris Party. I was actually kind of hoping there’d be a Virtual Console version of some old version of Tetris from the NES or something, but no luck.

I kind of vaguely decided to buy Tetris Party on Sunday, but I hadn’t used my Wii in so long, the batteries in the controllers were completely dead. I left them charging overnight, then put them back this morning, turned on the Wii, and went through the obligatory system update that was, of course, waiting for me. Then, tonight, I had to go through the silly ritual of buying more Wii points, so I could spend them on Tetris Party. Eventually, I got to the point of buying & downloading the game.

In a nutshell, it does, indeed allow you to play good old, regular, Tetris on the Wii, in glorious 480p. With cheesy music, and your Mii of choice dancing around on the side of the screen. I could probably do without the dancing Mii, but it’s a pretty good implementation of Tetris, and there are a lot of oddball variations I can try out later, if I get tired of regular Tetris.

new TV

I bought a new TV yesterday. It was kind of inevitable that I’d trade in the old CRT for an HDTV of some sort at some point, but I guess the PS3 was the tipping point. It just didn’t make sense to have both a Blu-Ray and HD-DVD player in the apartment, and not have a decent HDTV. I got a 32″ LG from Best Buy. It’s this model. It works great with the PS3, but that’s the only device I have hooked up via HDMI at this point. I only had one HDMI cable in the apartment, and I didn’t want to pay Best Buy’s price for HDMI cables. Instead, I ordered some from MonoPrice. When they arrive, I’ll be able to hook up the HD-DVD also.
Alas, there’s not much I can do with the cable box / Tivo combination. That’s composite at best. I can get a new HD cable box from Cablevision, but that’s probably not going to do me much good unless I trade up to an HD DVR, which I’m really not ready to do yet.
The Wii can’t do HDMI, but I can trade up from composite to component, which my friend tells me is worthwhile. I should have ordered a Wii component cable set from Monoprice when I ordered the HDMI cables from them, but I didn’t think of it until after I’d placed the order. Looking around, it does seem that Wii component cables are nearly as overpriced as HDMI cables — $6 from Monoprice, $30 elsewhere.
I’m also thinking about getting an antenna, so I can pick up over-the-air HDTV. Antennas are cheap enough, though I’m not sure how well they’ll work here in Somerville. We’re basically too far from both New York and Philly to pick up regular TV or radio stations from either market without some grief, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up a few stations with a good antenna.

Weird Wii Stories

Wow, am I the only one who managed to buy a Wii without any drama? Kotaku has a bit on a CNN reporter who supposedly had a bit of a problem getting a Wii, and the comments on Kotaku would indicate that a number of other people are still jumping through hoops and going a bit nuts about the whole thing. Honestly, when I bought mine a couple of weeks ago, I just walked into the Times Square Toys R Us, picked up a Wii, waited in line, paid for it, and walked out of the store, no problem. Everyone in line was civilized. It didn’t take more that a half-hour.

yet more Wii stuff

I feel a little silly for posting so much Wii-related stuff over the last couple of weeks, but not silly enough to stop doing it, apparently.

  • It looks like getting a GameCube WaveBird controller is probably a better idea than buying the Wii Classic Controller. It’s wireless, and it should work with all GameCube games and (I think) all Virtual Console games. (And it’s not impossible to find.)
  • I started messing around with the Wii’s ability to send and receive e-mail today. It’s not a tremendously useful ability — I’ve already got at least a half-dozen e-mail addresses, and it’s really not a problem to check any of them from my living room. But it’s kind of neat to be able to send & receive e-mail on a game console.
  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was in stock at Best Buy today. They had the strategy guide too, which I must say is the thickest game guide I’ve ever seen. (This may have been the “collector’s edition”, so that may explain the extra thickness.) I managed to resist buying them, by reminding myself that I haven’t finished Final Fantasy VIII, and I still have FF IX and X on the shelf. I just read a very positive review of Zelda, though, so I’m going to just have to keep reminding myself: I have no time for another gigantic fantasy RPG right now!