Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

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Several weeks ago we reported on the rumor that Sony would release a new model of the PS3 in time for the holidays, with a smaller, 40GB hard drive and a price point of $399.99. Now an FCC filing has been discovered for a new PlayStation model number, the CECHG01. While technical details and pictures are not present, the FCC report shows a diagram on pages 8 and 9, showing what had been tested on the system. As DailyTech has pointed out, the unit shows only two USB ports instead of the normal form, and no card reader is present, which could certainly indicate a trimmed down system for a trimmed down price point. We still don't have a hard disk size, though 40GB sounds like a reasonable bet. Personally I liked it better back when you bought a console and it was the same one everyone else had, but that's just me.

Seniors: Wii like it

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Obert Thomley was one of 19 seniors who tried their hand at bowling via the Nintendo Wii video gaming system last week.

“I can see this is going to be a lot of fun,” Thomley said.

The senior center is starting a fall bowling league to be played on the Brunswick Bowling Wii game. Already, 14 pairs are signed up to play.

It’s appealing to seniors who didn’t think they’d ever bowl again.

Don and Jan Kuechler both bowled before each had back surgery.

“You just kind of write it off as something you can’t do anymore, but with this system you can bowl again,” Don said. “You feel you’re in a bowling alley; It’s so realistic.”

For those with physical limitations, the Wii system opens up a whole new world of experiences. A small, light controller translates a player’s movements into lifelike onscreen action.

Chippewa Falls seniors released throws effortlessly down the computerized bowling lane last week.

“The faster you swing your arm, the faster the ball moves,” Senior Center Activity Coordinator Angie Walker said.

“Just like at the bowling alley,” Ellie Wohlbier quipped.

Minus the 8-pound ball, that is.

“Anybody who can swing their arm can bowl, even someone in a wheelchair,” Angie Walker said. “That’s the precious part.”

Angie and her son Andy, 17, first tried out Brunswick Bowling several months ago. (In addition to being an avid Wii bowler, Andy recently bowled a 709 at Falls Bowl.)

“It’s something new happening all over the United States, and I thought we should try it out,” Angie said.

Andy demonstrated the game at the senior center and helped everyone try it out.

“If you can figure out what the buttons do and remember it, it’s not too bad,” Delores Follensbee said.

“It’ll take me awhile to see what’s going on, but it’ll be exciting and different to do this,” said Mickey Johnson, who has bowled at Falls Bowl since 1953.

“I never knew they had such a thing.”

Wohlbier’s grandson from Oregon visits from time to time, and she remembers him playing the Wii system during his last visit.

“I’m glad to see the younger generation has something like this,” Wohlbier said. “It keeps them off the streets.”

But next time the grandkids pull out the Wii system, grandma and grandpa will have a few moves to show them.

“I’d like to say to my grandkids, ‘Let me try that,’ and show them I could do it on my own,” Dian Hanley said.

Some seniors liked the system so much they’re considering adding one to their household.

“When grandkids get a certain age, they get bored at grandma and grandpa’s,” said Jan Kuechler. “This is perfect.”

Everyone wants a piece of the action.

“I’m going to tell my husband we should get this for each other for Christmas,” Wohlbier said. “Then, when company comes over it would be something to just go bowling in the living room!”

In addition to Wii bowling, there’s football, golf, role-playing games, shooting games, carnival games, racing, puzzles, trivia, pinball and virtual life games. Some of the least-expected game tasks include cooking and surgery.

Don is curious about the Wii game that allows the user to fish.

“You set the hook, cast it and reel it in,” Andy Walker said.

One of Angie Walker’s favorites is Barnyard, where the player is a cow and completes different barnyard challenges.

“I laughed till I cried, playing that game,” she said.