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February 09, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomWednesday, February 9, 2011 - 5A

NGP needs a home

MothUP takes off again

Sony's newest toy
might not have
an audience
By SHIN HIEFTJE
Daily Arts Writer
Sony's recently announced
new portable Playstation device,
codenamed "Next Generation
Portable," is an absolute beast
of a machine. With a bright
five-inch OLED touchscreen, a
quad-core computer processor
and graphics processor, the NGP
lends itself to nearly PS3 level
graphic capabilities.
Sony showed off a fully-
fledged version of "Metal Gear
Solid 4" on the portable to give
an example ofwhat was possible.
Unlike the original PSP, the NGP
also has two analog sticks for
better control methods. There
is a touch pad on the back of
the device as well, much like a
laptop mouse pad. On top of all
that, there are also two cameras,
motion sensors, a gyroscope and
accelerometer, GPS capabilities
and 3G wireless support built in.
All of this sounds incred-
ible, and from a technological
1 perspective it is incredible. But
stepping back to a consumer's
perspective, one can't help but
wonder who it's actually for.
Sony's main pitch seems to be
of the console's ability to play
PS3 games, touting the power
and graphics of franchises like
"Uncharted" and "Killzone" on
their small screen.
But wait - don't those people
who want to play PS3 games

already have a PS3? Though
Sony hasn't announced a price,
most industry veterans are spec-
ulating the price between $300
and $400. Are PS3 owners really
willing to spend the amount
they paid for their PS3 for a por-
table version of the same thing?
Wouldn't a consumer deciding
between a PS3 and an NGP favor
the version that could be played
on a big screen TV? Considering
most Americans travel by car,
few are in a position where it
would be convenient to play on-
the-go.
The NGP would certainly
make sense for Japan - people
commute bytrain constantly and
over long distances, and often
have tight livingspaces. An NGP
might be preferable consider-
ing the Japanese might not have
room for a large TV and a PS3.
But on the American front, there
aren't that many people taking
public transportation outside
those in major cities. Perhaps
kids riding in back seats would
be an ideal demographic, but
that doesn't seem like the market
Sony is targeting, since the most
prominently featured titles are
shooters.
.Of course, there is the touch
screen functionality, which adds
a new element of gameplay. Sony
has saidthatthe games will come
on "new media," but hasn't been
clear on the kind of flash mem-
ory the device has. Regardless,
digitally downloadable games
are now possible, meaning we
could now see low-price touch
games in the vein of the iPhone.
But it comes back to the origi-
nal question: Who is it really for?

COURTESY OF SONY
Don't the people who like touch
games already have an iPhone
or iPod Touch? Why would they
buy the NGP when their primary
device already has so much func-
tionality? And it's not even like
the NGP would be able to replace
the iPhone - while the NGP
does have 3G capabilities, Sony
has explicitly stated that it can-
not be used as a mobile phone.
Despite this, maybe all this
negative speculation will ulti-
mately be irrelevant. The fact
remains that the NGP could be a
worldwide hit for years to come.
Perhaps developers will cre-
ate incredible new games using
motion sensors, cameras and
great dual joystick controls all
at the same time. The problem is
that Sony hasn't really shown off
many games that utilize all the
interesting parts of the console.
The touch pad on the back can be
rubbed in the new "Uncharted"
game to climb vines - which is
neat, but not especially exciting.
Like everygame platformever
released, it will all come down
to the pricing and the software.
If it's affordable and companies
come out with top-of-the-line
creative games, it's easy to see
this device doing gangbusters.
But if it's $400 and there are
mainly iPhone games or portable
versions of PS3 games, then it's
not hard to imagine consumers
saving their money.

By DANIEL CARLIN
Daily Arts Writer
There is a homey quality about
Ann Arbor. Even in the snowy
and somewhat irksome winter
weather, the
community still M
comes together otbUP
to gawk at vis- Tomorrow
iting luminar- at 7 p.m.
ies, watch local
performances Work Gallery
and cheer on Free
the Wolverines.
Though the sense of togetherness is
alive and well, we seldom take the
time to listen to unfamiliar voices.
MothUP, an initiative encouraging
oral storytelling, has recently found

a home within the University and
Ann Arbor community, allowing
more voices to be heard. Tomorrow,
MothUP will hold its third story-
tellingcompetition, with the theme
"missed connections."
The Moth is a non-profit orga-
nization founded in 1997 by poet
and novelist George Dawes Green.
While in New York, Green wanted
to recreate the evenings when
moths would be drawntothe lights
where he and his friends shared
stories in Georgia. Green's Moth
has led to numerous programs,
such as Moth Mainstage, which is
a national tour, and the Moth Sto-
rySLAM program, an open-mic
storytelling competition in Los
Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and New

York. The rules are fairly simple
at each event: A theme is given at
the start and storytellers' names
are drawn from a hat. No notes are
allowed and a time limit is given -
Ann Arbor's is five minutes.
Competing
through stories.
The Moth also gained momen-
tum through a successful podcast
series. LSA senior Stephanie Spen-
cer Smith became a fan of the pod-
cast and immediately connected
See MOTHUP, Page 6A

Little 'Vision' in nun biopic

By MACKENZIE METER
For the Daily
At the time of the Crusades,
corporal punishment in religious
orders was commonplace. This self-
punishment
sometimes **
consisted of
wearing a Vision: From the
tight, spiked Life of Hildegard
belt called
a cilice, the Von Bingen
barbs of At the Michigan
which dug
into the flesh Zeitgeist
and caused
excruciating pain. Without liken-
ing "Vision: From the Life of Hil-
degard von Bingen" to exactly the
kind of agony that a cilice would
elicit, suffice it to say the film's
length and meandering plotline

bring forth a similar sense of inter-
minable, unbearable discomfort.
"Vision," a subtitled German-
language film written and directed
by Margarethe von Trotta, intri-
cately and listlessly weaves the
account of real-life Catholic abbess
and canonized saint Hildegard von
Bingen (Barbara Sukowa, "The
Invention of the Curried Sausage").
Set in a German monastery about
900 years ago, the film provides a
glimpse into the daily lives of some
of the most pious people in the
world without assuming the role of
a documentary. However, the film
never provides any background-on
von Bingen or why she deserves to
have a movie made about her in the
first place, so the result is a dark,
drawn-out picture without any
sense of purpose or resolution.
Hildegard von Bingen is

acknowledged in real life as a ven-
erable philosopher, Christian mys-
tic, composer, writer and visionary.
But the film instead focuses almost
entirely on the visions she experi-
enced since early childhood - com-
A nun movie
without Whoopi.
posed of some vague, recurring
"living light" - naturally prompt-
ing her family to leave her at a mon-
astery of monks and nuns at the
age of eight. There, she is given to
an older nun named Jutta (Mareile
Blendl, "Zwei Manner und ein
Baby"), a woman who is already
See VISION, Page 6A

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