Halo 3 Game Guide and Silverlight

image I can’t figure out if this post is about Microsoft’s Flash killer, Silverlight, or the most anticipated game of the year, Halo 3. Tim Sneath posted about the new Halo 3 Game Guide that has gone live and its using Silverlight to get the message across.

With the local launch of Halo 3 this coming Wednesday, the 26th of September 2007, the Halo 3 Game Guide is a valuable resource for South African gamers that don’t know too much about what happened in the original Halo and Halo 2; not that I believe you need to know the story to enjoy the game.

The game guide also explains the game controls, heads-up display, characters, weapons, equipment, vehicles and explains how to use some of the very cool new features like The Forge.

The Forge is a new game mode that allows you to tweak, create, or even destroy the objects present on any multiplayer map. In short, welcome to world domination!

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy for your Xbox 360 yet then I suggest you get hold of a retailer like BT Games or a major retailer and reserve your copy quickly as this game is going to be flying off the shelves this week.

[tags]Halo 3,Silverlight,guide[/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]

Disturbia review

image I was lucky to be invited to a pre-screening of Disturbia by Ster Kinekor this evening. I took my good friend Tim along and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the pace of the movie and it kept me on the edge of my seat.

To be honest I hadn’t read much about the movie and I don’t think I would have watched it unless there was nothing else on the big screen that I hadn’t already seen. The cast was a bunch of unknowns to me so that wasn’t even a draw card. I am just not normally keen to watch thriller or horror movies as they usually involve lots of blood and guts.

I won’t give away the plot but I will say that Disturbia was at least original with an ingenious mix of thrills, suspense, comedy and touch of romance binding it all together. I highly recommend it. It comes out on the South African movie circuit this Friday, the 21st of September 2007.

[tags]Disturbia,movie,review,Ster Kinekor[/tags]

Wanna win a copy of Halo 3 Legendary Edition?

TXL Halo 3 competitionEvery serious gamer out there should already know that the most anticipated game of the year, Halo 3, is launching worldwide next week. It launches on the 25th of September 2007 in the United States and South Africa and Europe will get it on the 26th of September 2007. With apparently over 4 million pre-orders this is certainly not a small release.

To coincide with the local release, the kind folks over at The Xbox Lounge are running a competition to win a limited edition copy of Halo 3 Legendary Edition valued at over R800.

Entering is simple, just SMS the keyword halo3 and your Xbox LIVE Gamertag to 35357 (e.g. halo3 CraigN). You can enter as many times as you like and each entry will cost you R3.00. The prize will be awarded at the end of September.

[tags]Halo 3,competition,The Xbox Lounge,TXL[/tags]

IPTV one step closer for South Africans

TV The US might have landed on the moon but South Africa took a huge leap yesterday when the industry regulator, ICASA, announced that four new pay-TV broadcaster licenses had been awarded to Telkom Media, MultiChoice, On Digital Media and e.sat respectively. An interesting note is that Sentech has withdrawn their application for a license. This means that Telkom Media are still on track for delivering IPTV and what is most likely going to be the first HDTV channels to the South African consumer market.

Telkom Media plans to broadcast at least five new local channels as well as previously unavailable international channels over satellite, cable and the web. The satellite offering will start at about R100 per month for a basic set-top box with a premium DVR (digital video recorder) version available as well. The cable based solution is expected to make use of ADSL 2+ technology which is considered the next generation of ADSL. According to my sources there are currently test trials running ADSL 2+ and the Microsoft MediaRoom IPTV solution. The web solution will offer Web TV, music and video downloads – the only offering that could have an effect on Internet bandwidth cap usage.

So what does this mean for the consumer? I can sum it up in two words – competition and choice. Competition drives down the prices and choice comes in two forms. Firstly the consumer can now can choose which pay-TV broadcaster(s) to use and secondly the IPTV technology makes bundling easier. Currently MultiChoice offers a few satellite bundles but you can’t pick and choose which channels you want and which ones you don’t want. I for one don’t care about the SuperSport channels and as a result I don’t want to have to pay a premium to watch them. Through choice I’m sure Telkom Media will be able to tap into a new market segment that currently cannot afford or is unwilling to pay for a bouquet of channels that are not desirable.

Unfortunately it seems that MultiChoice is really scared now and has already begun securing the rights to content from the six large international studios and therefore securing its monopoly. However I don’t believe that its only the mainstream content that the consumer wants. Surely there are lesser-known content providers out there.

Personally I’m looking forward to being able to watch high-definition TV channels on my TV, aren’t you?

[tags]IPTV,Telkom Media,MultiChoice,Sentech,Microsoft MediaRoom,South Africa,TV[/tags]

Nintendo Wii pricing for South Africa

Ninetendo Wii The local niche game store BT Games has put up pre-order pricing for the Nintendo Wii console that is supposedly being launched at rAge this year and its got some Nintendo fans a little upset. James Francis from NAG magazine has the following to say in his blog post:

Now brace yourself – a Wii console will cost you R2899. That’s with the Sports game bundled in, but as far as I know all Wiis are bundled with one of those titles. You can’t get Wii Sports separately. Okay, it’s more or less what a console costs, except that the Wii is around $100 cheaper than the 360 Core unit (ignoring recent price cuts, which I don’t think have factored into our market yet). But over here you’ll pay R 200 MORE for a Wii than a Core unit.

To compare the prices fairly I checked the Amazon UK site as South Africa typically is grouped under Europe for things such as consoles. The Ninetendo Wii console bundled with Wii Sports retails online for £179.99 (roughly R 2600) and the Xbox 360 Core console is listed at the same price. So the South African pre-order price is R300 more than the UK whereas the current Xbox 360 Core console is only R100 more expensive in South Africa. Not such a huge difference but this is supposed to be pre-order pricing so I would expect it to be cheaper.

So will you be buying a Nintendo Wii instead of an Xbox 360? You can join in the discussion on the pricing over at the NAG forum here.

[tags]Xbox 360,Wii,South Africa[/tags]

Wanna learn to speak Zulu?

Motherland Language Project I recently got invited to the Motherland Language Project group on Facebook and after much procrastination decided to take a look see what its all about. Turns out its a bunch of South Africans that are trying to teach a million South Africans to speak Zulu in 8 weeks through twice weekly videos released on the Internet. Motherland Isiko TV (MiTV) is running the project and it looks like a very cool idea.

Growing up in KwaZulu-Natal I was fortunate to learn to speak Zulu in school, but unfortunately it wasn’t a subject choice for me. I wish I had taken more time to get to know the language better, maybe one day I could be as fluent in Zulu as I am in C# and Delphi.

So go sign-up, tell your friends about it and become one of the million true South Africans that learns to communicate in a at least one African language.

[tags]language, South Africa, video, learning[/tags]