From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Contra Costa Times Gieson Cacho column

[November 21, 2012]

Contra Costa Times Gieson Cacho column

Nov 21, 2012 (Contra Costa Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The video game industry is in an uncertain place. No one knows what the future will look like, as consoles look like dinosaurs compared to platforms on Facebook and iPad that draw growing audiences.

In times like this, everyone looks to Nintendo for guidance. The Japanese company has long been one of the industry's innovators. It's the trendsetter. When Nintendo released the Wii, Sony and Microsoft followed suit with their own motion controls -- the Move controller and Kinect, respectively. When Nintendo launched fitness games, dozens of copycats followed suit.

So what will the next generation of consoles look like Well, if Nintendo's new system, the Wii U, is any indication, the future will be a combination of controller and touch-screen. It's a design that tries to appeal to core crowds used to playing "Call of Duty" and casual gamers who are fans of "Angry Birds." Used in conjunction with a high-definition TV, the Wii U and its GamePad open up new forms of asynchronous gameplay. That's when two players in the same game have different experiences. That's shown off in the minigames of "Nintendo Land," where four players can go against one person in games like hide and seek. The player using the GamePad uses her personal touch-screen to hide, while the other four look on the TV and use the Wii remotes to search for her.

Launching pad Elsewhere, it extends the control scheme in single-player games, transforming the touch-screen to a launching pad for shooting stars. The GamePad also can be used to move Mii characters via balloons.

These are new forms of play that previously were impossible on consoles, and they have a way of redefining on-the-couch multiplayer -- something that's been neglected in an age when most play competitively over the Internet. But there's a magic to playing with friends in person. It's more visceral, more euphoric. It's the difference between listening to a record and hearing a band live.

But building a social console nowadays means more than reinventing local play. It requires something on the software side; with a recent update, the Wii U adds Miiverse, which is essentially a Twitter-like service that players use to talk about games. They can share screenshots or touch-screen doodles. They can even ask for hints if they're stuck.

If 100 characters isn't enough to get a tip across, they can always video chat with friends. There's an excellent camera built into the Wii U GamePad that allows players to talk to each other from their living rooms. Unfortunately, both players have to set up the call. It's not as casual as calling someone during a gameplay sessions. But this is the social glue that binds everything together.

Room to improve Despite some visionary ideas, the Wii U has some limitations and problems. In terms of power, it's comparable to current generation systems, so it won't impress gamers with visuals. But the bigger problem is the Wii U's small hard drive. As more games go digital, consoles need the space to store them, but Wii U's two models -- 8GB and 32GB -- are not enough.

Furthermore, if Nintendo wants to make sure its system is built for the future, it has to be a box at the center of the living room. It should be able to stream movies and TV shows and also go on the Web. It can partly do that with Netflix and its own browser, but players will have to wait on the more impressive feature called Nintendo TVii.

That's supposed to be the one-stop place for players to access video content. Users will be able to search for shows such as "Modern Family" on services such as Hulu Plus or ABC's website. Wii U is also supposed to be able to add a social function so that players can tweet or add their own commentary to content such as live sports. Unfortunately, that functionality isn't in the system yet. Nintendo says it will add it in December.

That makes the Wii U a solid but incomplete console at the moment. Like all modern consoles, Nintendo's system will evolve and change over time. The Wii U isn't static. It's malleable and has the chance to improve.

Contact Gieson Cacho at 510-735-7076 or gcacho@bayareanews Read his blog at

___ (c)2012 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.

Featured Case Studies

Case Study - Haiti
With this solution our doctors were able to reach anywhere in the world quickly and easily, to get consults from colleagues, facilitate treatment, order supplies 'on the fly' and also help victims report back to families. The solution from Business Mobility Systems and Ingate worked immediately.

Case Study - Turkish Petroleum
"With one Ingate at the customer headquarters, all of their remote workers can enjoy the benefits of Turkish Petroleum's IP-PBX from anywhere in the world.

Case Study - GCM
"The Ingate solution overcomes the NAT traversal hurdle and makes it possible to connect customers to our VoIP service, without the need of costly leased lines or support intensive VPN tunnels.

Case Study - Kool Smiles
"Ingate's solutions provide the advanced level of security necessary for this medical environment and the tools to make the interface to the service provider hassle-free."

Case Study - NMSAS
"This solution really saved the day for us," said Paul Mercier, IT Administrator, NMSAS. "We needed to leverage SIP trunks to reduce costs, and they had to work with our existing Microsoft OCS investment."

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.