From a distance


Some of my birthday gifts have still yet to arrive — including a couple of CDs I bought for myself — but among the things I got this past Tuesday were Gandhi’s autobiography (I don’t know how I didn’t pick it up sooner), Dr. Strangelove (ditto), an Oh My Goddess! manga (I am way behind on those), and most importantly of all, I am finally in possession of a Guitar Hero game, namely Guitar Hero III for PS2. However, not only have I had next to no time to play Guitar Hero since getting it (between teaching and bsiness relating to Dad’s death I’m still swamped here), but the bundled guitar isn’t working that well. It’s one of the new wireless models that runs on Bluetooth, and the receiver only picks up the guitar if I hold the guitar about six inches from the receiver and keep the guitar facing at just the right angle. It’s playable this way, but it’s definitely a huge pain.

When I get paid next week, I’m going to head over to Best Buy and pick up a wired guitar. In a way I can understand the huge push towards making all video game controllers wireless, but at the same time these problems I’m having with my Guitar Hero controller just seem to highlight for me the problems with wireless-only options. (This is just one of the many reasons why I’m in no rush to pick up a PS3.) In addition to the problems I have with the receiver (and given how poor my cell phone reception is at the house I’m wondering if we’re in some kind of dead spot here), I don’t like the thought of having to keep throwing AA batteries into the controller just to keep using it. Honestly, having a cord run from my guitar controller to my console isn’t that much of a pain, especially considering how much I’ll be likely to save on batteries that way. I don’t like that I’m going to be stuck buying an off-brand guitar controller here, though; why can’t Activision continue to sell and support their old wired models?

I only made the wireless mistake once, a long, long time ago. Back when attachments came out for the NES for plugging four controllers into the system at once, Nintendo offered two models, a wired adapter (the Four Score) and a wireless one (the Satellite). This was back when Mom was buying me most of my video game stuff, and even though the Satellite cost ten bucks more, I asked for it thinking that the ability to move the adapter around my bedroom would be a major convenience at some point. Ignoring the fact that I think I only ever had more than two people playing my NES at one point in my whole life, the Satellite went through a lot of big, expensive batteries (I think 6 C batteries) in record time. The worst part was that I continued to use the Satellite for a long time, even for single-player games, just because I thought it was convenient, but it was really just a waste of batteries. (It was also a huge pain when the Satellite ran out of power in the middle of a game and I had to frantically plug and unplug the Satellite and my controller just to pause a game down to replace the batteries.) I suppose one of the good things about being such a loner is that I don’t have to worry about picking up multiplayer adapters any longer, so I don’t have to deal with these problems.

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