South African Halo 3 launch party rocks hard

Halo 3 launch partyOn Thursday night we were invited to attend the South African Halo 3 launch party which was a combined event featuring the release of the new album A world next to yours by The Parlotones. The event was well attended and there were plenty of Xbox 360 consoles running Halo 3 in co-op single player as well as multi-player modes.

One thing I found rather interesting at the launch was how popular Halo 3 was with the general public. For once it wasn’t the excited Xbox 360 community members or gaming press hogging the consoles while The Parlotones debuted their rocking new album. Unfortunately I didn’t spend too much time on the packed dance floor but I heard that even Master Chief got in on the action and was on stage with the band exciting the crowd.

[tags]The Parlotones,Halo 3,South Africa,Xbox 360[/tags]

Local retailers screw Halo 3 release up

Halo 3 bubble shield Last week Wednesday Microsoft invited a select few community members to their offices to pre-play the latest in the Halo series, Halo 3. To protect the millions of dollars invested in the various international and even local launch efforts we were required to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) which prevented any of use speaking about the game-play until closer to the launch.

One sad thing was that we weren’t allowed to get our promotional copies right there and then due to the international embargo which we all accepted. However the following day, reports started rolling in of people picking up copies from stores around the country. Yes retail chain stores like CNA seem to have no regard for an international release date.

So you may argue that its only a game and its not such a big deal. But unfortunately its not just a game, its Halo 3, and its the biggest game of the year. Every game of this magnitude suffers some international slip-ups in the retail sector and it is to be expected, but I don’t believe the South African retail sector needs to try set a world record for this.

Just a few weeks ago the local Xbox 360 community was moaning about the delays in the local release of BioShock which was an unfortunate but necessary delay due to an international required change in the local distributor. Imagine what it will be like in future when other local release dates are then pushed out to protect the international release dates. I bet getting your copy of Halo 3 a week earlier won’t exactly make up for lets say a 2 week delay on Call of Duty 4, Assassin’s Creed and Project Gotham Racing 4.

Its unfortunate that the real fans generally pre-order months in advance and in this case will get their copies after everyone else who can just walk into their local CNA and pickup a copy. So niche stores like BT Games and online retailers like Take2 and Kalahari will also suffer as pre-orders are canceled.

And then we consider the midnight launch competitions and events. Oh great, now everyone that has already picked up a copy has an unfair advantage in the competition. Not to mention the expenses in planning and executing the launch events; who cares about launching a game when its already on the street.

So we can thank our lame retailers, yes they know who they are, for this and for the future repercussions that will most likely result.

I encourage anyone who has seen a copy of Halo 3 on a store shelf before Wednesday the 26th of September 2007 to comment on this post. I will then post the list of offending retailers for all to see and shame.

[tags]Halo 3,South Africa,rant,BioShock,CNA[/tags]

Are you gonna braai?

 National Braai Day logo On the 24th of September 2007 its a public holiday, Heritage Day in face. But a bunch of people have decided that is really just a great day to have a braai and are encouraging all South Africans to get friends and family together and to cook up a storm in true South African style and celebrate National Braai Day.

Our vision is to create a local day with the same festivities and impact as St Patrick’s Day in Ireland or the 4th July in America. National Braai Day is a non-profit initiative, however to measure the success we need the help of the nation, and this is where you come in.

Show your support of National Braai Day by sending an SMS to 34761 on 24 September with the number of people attending your braai. We will release numbers to the press on a real time basis, and there will be a live counter on this web site.

If you’re part of the official count, we will send you a return SMS with the number of South Africans around the fire with you.

Don’t miss out, start your fire and don’t forget to SMS.

So are you going to get your charcoal and tongs out and have a braai?

[tags]event,National Braai Day,South Africa,holiday[/tags]

Halo 3 and The Parlotones launch together

The Parlotones & Halo 3 Yes, Halo 3, the hottest video game of the year is going to be launched next week and The Parlotones are launching their new album, A world next door to yours, at the same time. The launch is going to be taking place on the 27th of September 2007 at the Partyhouse at The Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate. Tickets will be available through Computicket.

[tags]Halo 3,Xbox 360,The Parlotones,event[/tags]

Building data interfaces for .NET

SA Developer .NET Just a quick reminder for the free SA Developer .NET event tomorrow, the 8th September 2007, on building .NET data interfaces. The talk will be held in the Microsoft auditorium in Bryanston and presented by André van Rensburg.

There are tons of resources available on how to access data from a .net application. How is it that this is still really difficult to get right? The myriad of options and requirements often makes it difficult to map the two extremes effectively – to choose the right option for a given requirement. I will discuss some practical approaches to accessing data with ADO.net that focus on fast and effective ways to get up and running without sacrificing flexibility and maintainability. I will include discussions on DAL-BLL generators, data object verses data sets, usage scenarios, presentation integration, and if time permits, how to ‘Linq’ it all together.

If you haven’t done so already, please RSVP and let us know you are coming on the forum here.

[tags]SA Developer .NET,events[/tags]