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F-Zero Draws Console Gamers To Arcades?

simoniker posted about 11 years ago | from the reason-to-start-quartergobbling-again? dept.

GameCube (Games) 60

Thanks to Gamers.com for their report discussing the newly revealed synergy between F-Zero's home and arcade versions (here's an alternate article at GamePro.) According to the article, "..customized racers are freely interchangeable between the arcade and console versions of the game. Just save a custom racer to the GameCube memory card with either game, and you can transport it from one game to the other." As well as this, "..winning a race in the arcade game can unlock.. ships or tracks as a special bonus - save that data to a GC memory card and you can play an otherwise unavailable ship or course in the home game." You'll also get a special magnetic License Card for high scores in the arcade version, in this interesting attempt at providing incentive for players to return to arcades.

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60 comments

It wouldn't be the first time this happened... (1, Offtopic)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | about 11 years ago | (#6394335)

The Dance Dance Revolution home game was what drew me to the arcade to play it.

In that case, it was because the home game dance pad was crap, but who knows, this F-Zero might have the same effect becuause of the home game connectivity.

re... (1)

lowndsy (688053) | about 11 years ago | (#6399439)

That's a top idea! Shame it's for the gamecube, but good for them. As long as they don't charge an absolute fortune to play it.

Why? (2, Interesting)

redune45 (194113) | about 11 years ago | (#6394355)

I love playing in Arcades, but unfortunately I just don't see the reason why anyone would go to the effort of saving their game to a memory card and taking it to the arcade.
Why not just play the game that you already own from the comfort of your couch rather than standing feeding loads of quarters into a machine?

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

sweeney37 (325921) | about 11 years ago | (#6394485)

Why not just play the game that you already own from the comfort of your couch rather than standing feeding loads of quarters into a machine?

had you of read the full article you would of noticed this:

As well as this, "..winning a race in the arcade game can unlock.. ships or tracks as a special bonus - save that data to a GC memory card and you can play an otherwise unavailable ship or course in the home game."

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6397130)

Fuck, even reading the goddamned story summary should have made this point clear.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | about 11 years ago | (#6394750)

Arcades (good ones) also have food, pool tables, and... people! They're great places to hang out. Who wants to sit in their house all day? That's the second leading cause of obesity (staying out of pie shops is number one.)

Re:Why? (1)

TheRoachMan (677330) | about 11 years ago | (#6395359)

I've never ever been in a pie shop! Does my bum look big in this? Are you saying I'm fat?

Re:Why? (1)

ax_42 (470562) | about 11 years ago | (#6404002)

That's the second leading cause of obesity (staying out of pie shops is number one.)

And the zeroth one is knowing that "obese" means fat and not thin.....

Typo (1)

Schezar (249629) | about 11 years ago | (#6417997)

Should have read "not staying out of pie shops..."

Everyone else seems to have seen it for the typo that it was. I guess you didn't. ;^)

Neo-geo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | about 11 years ago | (#6394392)

Wasn't this feature available with the Neo-Geo?

Re:Neo-geo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6394415)

The older NEO-GEO multi-game units featured a slot for a memory card. I don't think it was too popular so it was ditched

Re:Neo-geo? (1)

August_zero (654282) | about 11 years ago | (#6394695)

Mainly due to the hefty sticker price of the home system and peripherals. Very few owned a home system, thus very few owned a memory card, and even fewer were willing to buy them.

Re:Neo-geo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6396401)

Don't know, but it was available on n64 for NFL Blitz

This will work (4, Interesting)

Hellraisr (305322) | about 11 years ago | (#6394409)

This will work. Now if they could find a way to link all the arcade games together and have a high score monitor in the arcade itself, I think that would also be cool.


Nothing helps progress like competition. If people can show off in front of a whole arcade or a whole city or even the whole world, of course they're going to do it.


Other game companies should get in on this action.

Re:This will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6395205)

Perhaps the best example of this is the phenomenal success of Golden Tee. [kansascity.com]

The machines are networked, allowing players to track scores, win prizes and partcipate in tournaments.

Re: Import (4, Interesting)

DrWho520 (655973) | about 11 years ago | (#6394437)

I purchased an import version of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes for my Dreamcast. It also had this kind of connectivity, but in the form of points earned from playing and victories. You need victory points to buy the hidden characters, uniforms and levels in the game. Much to my chagrin, there are many things I cannot unlock because the import version requires points you can only aquire by playing people in the arcade. I have not been able to find a machine in the US...and I no current plans to visit the land of the rising sun. :- /

Re: Import (2, Interesting)

wickedj (652189) | about 11 years ago | (#6394649)

Yeah, it will definitely suck in a few years when you want to play F-Zero for nostalgia but can't unlock everything because the arcade version is no longer available.

The idea does sound intriguing though. But if you ask me, I think your standard cabinet arcades are dead. It's cheaper and more fun to play on your favorite console at home. Now, notice I said cabinet style. If you to attract more people to the arcade, you have to make a setup that isn't feasible as a home option. Dance Dance Revolution is one idea. It has a large dance floor which is a million times better than the home pad version. Another idea is BattleTech and virtual reality. These setups are too costly for the average user but I've seen people readily hand over 5-10 bucks for 10-15 minutes of playtime.

Most of the arcades where I am from are dying or are dead. It's kind of sad really.

Re: Import (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | about 11 years ago | (#6394727)

I played one game at Circus Circus in Las Vegas that was basically an arcade fighter jet game that had full 360 degree rotation in any direction. That was definitely worth coughing up some cash for (and I think it cost a dollar or two to play), but would've definitely taken a few runs just to get used to being strapped into the seat hanging upside down if you turned the stick that way before you could play it for longer than a minute. I don't even remember anything about the gameplay or graphics, just that if your plane was upside down, so were you, and that it was a blast for that reason alone.

Other than that, the only arcade games I've played in the last 5 years or so have been fighting games (Tekken series and Soul Blade/Calibur), shooting games (like House of the Dead), and a couple of odd tank games and racing games that involved elaborate control setups or a bunch of little race cars lined up in front of huge screens.

For the most part, though, the places that actually have these kinds of setups make their money through other means (like casinos), or appeal strongly to an older market and don't have a lot of games that I would really enjoy (like Dave & Buster's, which seems mostly geared towards sports games).

Re: Import (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6403055)

E-mail the save file to yourself, and hack it [gamefaqs.com]

Typical arcade scenario (3, Funny)

darylp (41915) | about 11 years ago | (#6394678)

Kid eagerly bounds up to the F-Zero machine, clutching Gamecube Memory card in hand. After spending 10 minutes pulling out the accumulated chewing gum that's been wedged into the slot, he plays his game. Reward won, he retrieves his card and eagerly turns around to go home... ... and gets mugged by a group of pimple faced smackheads who've blown their parents dole money (stolen, natch) on the fruit machines.

Or is that just BRITISH arcades?

Re:Typical arcade scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6394778)

Must only be British. I don't think we have smackheads, dole money, natch, or fruit machines in the States yet.

Re:Typical arcade scenario (1)

Schezar (249629) | about 11 years ago | (#6394779)

Or is that just BRITISH arcades?

Yep. Just you limey Brits ;^).

I've never had a problem in an arcade, and I've never known anyone who has. They're generally pretty safe places unless the old Galaga machine explodes.

Re:Typical arcade scenario (1)

johndoejersey (679948) | about 11 years ago | (#6398870)

yep, thats a british arcade, certainly a north east one down to a T.

I cant think of one arcade in the north east which has any machines which are less than 1-2 years old. This idea is essentially completely redundant for me, no matter how much I would like to try it.

Can't trust a shark (5, Interesting)

August_zero (654282) | about 11 years ago | (#6394714)

Great idea, but there is something that is going to ruin it in the blink of an eye:

Cheat devices

People are going to use these to hack together overpowered super cars and drivers, and then take them to the arcade and try and dominate the score boards with them. This may be worked around if Nintendo implements some careful cheat protections, but I think that something like this is more or less doomed to being hacked to death. PSO on the DC anybody?

Seems like an extraordinarly bad idea... (4, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | about 11 years ago | (#6394772)

Yes, but I'll go you one better. I bet there aren't any buffer overflow checks on that arcade machine. Why should there be? They've (almost) never had to worry about this sort of user input in the past. Even with the Neo Geo systems, it would be really difficult to put your own code on the memory cards, but there's a memory card available from Lik Sang that has a USB port on it so you can back up your games to the PC. All you gotta do is hack up some code, toss it on the card and plug it into the arcade game. Boom, anything from crashing the machine (and resetting high scores) to wiping people's memory cards to free games, depending on exactly how many priviledges the game code in the arcade machine has.

Re:Seems like an extraordinarly bad idea... (1)

Naikrovek (667) | about 11 years ago | (#6394836)

You don't seriously believe that they haven't thought of that do you? Its not hard at all to put checking code in to eliminate the possibility of an overflow. I'm sure nintendo has written such code and has used it here.

Not everyone is lazy enough to leave their code open to exploit.

Re:Seems like an extraordinarly bad idea... (2, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | about 11 years ago | (#6394904)

There are plenty of bugs and oversights in games. Metroid Prime has a number of crashes that I bet you could exploit (but to what end?). Gaming companies aren't perfect, it's not unreasonable to expect an oversight if not a flat out ignorance of the problem, particularly on one of their first foray's into this sort of thing.

23 billion to 1 and falling.... (1)

August_zero (654282) | about 11 years ago | (#6395502)

I am sure that they have but the thing is, Nintendo has say, 20 maybe 30 people play testing and debugging the game trying to find every possible exploit or mean of cheating and so on.

But there will be thousands of people trying to hack the game with cheat devices, and only one of them has to succeed and post it up on the net. Any tard can punch in some numerical values on a game shark, it dosen't take programing experience to do it. By sheer numbers someone will find a way around it, Or maybe not.

In theory it should be possible to make a piece of software completely free of bugs and exploits, but You might need to fire up the Heart of Gold to push the sort of infinate impropability needed to create such holy-grailesque application.

Re:Seems like an extraordinarly bad idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6395177)

dude, don't be a retard.

of course it will get hacked! Who fuckin' cares, the arcade connectivity and high score stuff is MARKETING my friend. Nothing more.

And of course it will be fun to play it and unlock special levels, much more fun than "memory cards from Lik Sang with a USB port." Seriously, chill the fuck out and learn some gaming skillz.

Class warfare. (2, Interesting)

Jeffool (675688) | about 11 years ago | (#6395047)

Simple. Just institute classes of racers/vehicles. Those withing 'normal' bounds and those above. Surely it's not hard to check a few key numbers and report whether they fall into Class A or Class B.

I'm just pissed that they haven't instituted a unified memory card system yet.

And for that matter, why don't arcades offer fighting games where people can import their own fighters fully made from, say, a small program freely available on the Net. And with a single memory card they could import the character to any console version of said game....

Jeffool.
Hey, I'm onto something here!

Re:Can't trust a shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6396197)

Here's an idea you dont actually store the data of the cars on the memory card, just a simple flag that its been unlocked! then you can' cheat and create new cars, i'm sure that they aren't that idiotic to store an entire car's data on there

Re:Can't trust a shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6397319)

Actually, what I'd be worried about is somebody finding a buffer overflow in the saved game data and using it to make the arcade machine boot Linux.

A great idea (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 11 years ago | (#6394747)

Midway did this with some versions of their NFL blitz arcade machines, but they required the N64 memory card for connectivity (and who had that?).

I like the idea of arcade connectivity much better than Nintendo's current strategy of game boy advance connectivity (I don't want to buy a game boy advance...i have a game boy player, but that doesn't work unless you have 2 gamecubes). This seems like less of a cash-in with more tangible benefits.

Re:A great idea (1)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | about 11 years ago | (#6395003)

Yea, I was going to post about the same thing. I didn't KI2 have something too? I do remember a football game having one.
At any rate, it seems like a cool idea, and I'll be getting F Zero for sure.

Why would anyone ... (1)

Blitzshlag (685207) | about 11 years ago | (#6394752)

Pay a quarter (or more) per 3 minutes of gaming in an arcade when they just shelled out $50 for the identical home version?

Re:Why would anyone ... (2, Insightful)

Gr33nNight (679837) | about 11 years ago | (#6394870)

Because at home most people dont have a whole device that you sit in that moves, and vibrates and has 6.1 surround sound, with a crystal clear TV. Some of you may do, but many many do not.

Re:Why would anyone ... (1, Troll)

Blitzshlag (685207) | about 11 years ago | (#6394897)

Because at home most people dont have a whole device that you sit in that moves, and vibrates and has 6.1 surround sound, with a crystal clear TV. Some of you may do, but many many do not.


Solution: headphones, beanbag chair, and a new pair of glasses

Re:Why would anyone ... (1)

Gr33nNight (679837) | about 11 years ago | (#6395406)

Hah if my beanbag chair could move sideways and vibrate I wouldnt need a woman.

Re:Why would anyone ... (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | about 11 years ago | (#6396391)

Quit chunkin twenty bucks a night at an arcade and save some money to buy the fun toys. ??

Re:Why would anyone ... (1)

August_zero (654282) | about 11 years ago | (#6395666)

People do it all the time

It's the Audience factor, how many people submited completion codes from the last Metalgear game to Konami's website?

Bazillions

How many are going to jump at the opportunity to show off their high scores and mad skillz?

Don't answer, its rhetorical...

Easy to crack? (2, Insightful)

jpsowin (325530) | about 11 years ago | (#6394961)

Sure, that's all fun and games, but how long before someone simply figures out how to change the high score on their magnetic cards? Without actually storing it on the machine, and letting people take something home to play with, is just asking for trouble.

I think this may encourage more than simple "connectivity." It'll be interesting to see what happens, either way.

Re:Easy to crack? (2, Funny)

mog (22706) | about 11 years ago | (#6395160)

Nothing spells trouble like people faking their high scores at F-Zero.

Re:Easy to crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6396214)

if someone hacks the high scores i'll put mine at -1 just to show people how bad i am at video games hehe

Wonderful! (4, Insightful)

sheared (21404) | about 11 years ago | (#6395342)

What a great idea! I buy a game to play at home, but don't get use of the full game because there won't be an arcade withing 1000 miles of me with the game.

I guess this is to be expected from Nintendo -- with their push for the gameboy-gamecube connection. Now you can pay 100% for a gamecube game and get 90% of it in return.

I certainly hope there are cheats that can open up the "hidden" tracks for those of us stuck in the god-forsaken corners of the world.

Re:Wonderful! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6396728)

It's highly unlikely that they take something out of the game to make it exclusive for the arcade. They decide they should add something to the arcade version to entice people into the arcades. It's the same for GBA/GC connection extras. How is that a bad thing?

Re:Wonderful! (2, Informative)

Kris_J (10111) | about 11 years ago | (#6396730)

You mean there might be portions of a game that you buy that you never see? Surely not. I fully intended to spend my next seven lifetimes making sure that I'd explored every possible moment of every title in my video game collection, now I know it's a waste of time.

Or you could just buy one of these [lik-sang.com] and keep an eye on savegame sites.

Re:Wonderful! (1)

sheared (21404) | about 11 years ago | (#6396958)

Don't mind if I don't see every nook and crannie of Wind Waker. But if there are TRACKS (that is the purpose of F-Zero, correct?) that aren't unlocked until I stick my memory into and play on a video arcade, then, yes I do feel that's not right.

Same goes with X-Box live and those recently discovered "downloads" for some game. Turns out the X-Box live just enables the missions that are already on the DVD. I think if you by a game, all portions of that game on that DVD you bring home should be at least available to you from your home without any other requirements.

If they are going to give Live subscribers access to new, previously unavailable levels, then make'em download it and save it to the hard disk. Same goes for F-Zero -- you think a Gamecube memory card can store a full track? All it's going to do is unlock the track that's already on the disk.

Re:Wonderful! (1)

Kris_J (10111) | about 11 years ago | (#6397653)

I think if you by a game, all portions of that game on that DVD you bring home should be at least available to you from your home without any other requirements.
So, you're against multi-player games, games that link with a Gameboy (no matter how funky the extra functionality), on-line games and expansions..? Do you also write nastygrams to companies that don't release games for every current platform (or just the platforms you don't own)? "If I buy Super Monkey Ball I should be able to play it on my Playstation, or else it's unfair that I have to buy something else to enjoy a product I paid for." Welcome to life.

Part of the fun of some games is peicing together the hardware to make the most of it, or building a network of friends for cheats and savegames. I thought that the Sonic and Knuckles Mega Drive cart with the piggy-back slot was one of the best ideas ever in console gaming, but you'd probably complain that you had to own Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 to be able to use some of the features.

Re:Wonderful! (1)

Jad LaFields (607990) | about 11 years ago | (#6401189)

So, you're against multi-player games, games that link with a Gameboy (no matter how funky the extra functionality), on-line games and expansions..?

What the hell are you talking about? He didn't say this, in fact he said he no problem about *downloading* *new* content - he has no problem with on-line games and expansions. I'm assuming he would say that if there is a Gameboy link, the Gameboy cartridge should add new functionality/gameplay of its own, rather than just unlocking functionlity/gameplay that was already on the Gamecube disc, and could already work without the Gameboy, but needed one because Nintendo wanted to make more money out of it (which is analogous to the article).

As for multiplayer games, I'm assuming you're saying that he won't be able get to all the content of the disc if he does not have an internet connection or friends. I don't know about console multiplayer gaming that much, but I know that on most if not all of my computer games, I can play all of the multiplayer maps by myself--it's just really boring because no one's there. In any case, this is a bit different. If you buy a game with a multiplayer component, you know at the time of purchase that you will need to have an internet connection to get everything out of the game and may have to pay for the chance to use multiplayer as well. When I buy F-Zero, a game based on driving around tracks, I don't expect to have to go to an arcade somewhere and plunk down money to play some of those tracks already existant on my disc!

Anway, end of rant.

Instant LAN (2, Interesting)

nanojath (265940) | about 11 years ago | (#6395369)

Maybe the future of arcades is to provide instant LAN setups... Replacing low income games with banks of gaming setups with boxes, monitors and comfy gaming setups. Random groups get together and Doom out, or whatever it is you kids do these days.

Replace the GC memory card with the USB RAM keychain...

Arcades Revival! (1)

Azadre (632442) | about 11 years ago | (#6395414)

I think this is the first step towards arcades making a comeback. The next step is more games with high scores. The best case scenario is that this will lead to legendary highscores in games like Starship Runner 3D or Pac Man: The Next Frontier...

Note, the games mentioned above are not real and are figments of my imagination

Huh?? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 11 years ago | (#6395423)

How old can something be and still be called the "newly revealed synergy"?

The extra details are inteteresting, but the general idea of the arcade-console hookup has been known since before E3.

That aside, i may try this out if i can find an arcade with one nearby, but mainly for the unlocking things that can be transfered to the console aspect. I normally don't make it out to arcades anymore except for DDR, and i don't have much interest in spending a great deal of time upgrading and customizing a car for use in the arcade machine.

Not enough arcades (5, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | about 11 years ago | (#6395579)

I definitely see the lack of arcades being the downfall. Someone like me would be happy to pay for the full F-Zero experience. I'm already guaranteed to buy GX, but there are no arcades anywhere near me. The only places arcades exist these days are
  • Major cities
  • Tourist attractions
  • Dave+Buster's/Jillians
  • chuck e cheeze
Things like DDR, Time Crisis 3, and F-Zero are giving kids a reason to head to the arcade. The problem is that there aren't any. And where there are arcades, prices are high. 1 dollar per credit is a little nuts if you ask me. And most arcades don't update with the newest games.

Someone should open up a chain of very small arcades in areas with lots of gamers and no arcades, like suburbs. The arcades don't need a lot of games, just the new big ones. They can make money of skee-ball, crane machines, mini golf, a skate park, birthday parties, etc. However, they should also be run with the gamer in mind. When new games come out that will be popular the arcade should get them asap. High Score and such should be taken seriously. Tournaments could be hosted. A LAN area would work well too. Set up a chain/franchise of these and money is coming your way.

Also, back in the day arcade games used to be superior to home games. Obviously today they aren't. Expensive peripherals like light guns and ddr pads add something. But what we really need are arcade games that use vastly superior technology than console and pc games. Think about it. A 300$ console setup + television has a game of equal quality to a 3000$ arcade machine? For the very high prices arcade machines could have extremely powerful computers inside and have pixar quality graphics and surround sound, etc. that gamers can't get in their homes.

Re:Not enough arcades (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 11 years ago | (#6396118)

I think the problem is the primary contstraint in modern games is rarely hardware anymore, it's developer time and skill.

In the past, hardware cost was a major contraint. 8K of RAM used to cost a good chunk of change. The programming skill and knowledge was there, but the hardware was holding them back. I believe we have become sufficiently unconstrained in hardware these days that it is no longer the major limiting factor of games that it used to be.

Now the challenge is making an entertaining game, that is novel, but understandable, easy to learn quickly, but difficult to master. When you look at major successes in games, most have these qualities (pac-man, space invaders, DDR).

So really, is having a GPU that can pump 4X the polygons of a high end home system really going to compell people to arcades? I doubt it, and it'll still be obselete in a year or so.

Re:Not enough arcades (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | about 11 years ago | (#6399986)

Additionally, the arcade machines rarely make the company back all of the money they spent on development, so the money is mostly justified with 'well this arcade platform is easily portable to X home platform' (where X is XBox, PS2, GC, PC w/ Y graphics card). I know that both the DreamCast and XBox have had specific hardware versions for arcade cabinets to utilize, and that in the past 3dfx and others made arcade hardware as well.

Re:Not enough arcades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6396240)


Someone should open up a chain of very small arcades in areas with lots of gamers and no arcades, like suburbs. The arcades don't need a lot of games, just the new big ones. They can make money of skee-ball, crane machines, mini golf, a skate park, birthday parties, etc. However, they should also be run with the gamer in mind. When new games come out that will be popular the arcade should get them asap. High Score and such should be taken seriously. Tournaments could be hosted. A LAN area would work well too. Set up a chain/franchise of these and money is coming your way.


i know that place, its Chuckie Cheese!

Re:Not enough arcades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6400128)

Which Chuckie Cheese has a LAN, keeps track of high score, and gets all the new games? None of them have mini golf either that I know of.

The Arcade Is Not Dead! (2, Interesting)

WuWarrior (628294) | about 11 years ago | (#6396149)

What made the arcade great was that you couldn't find any of those games or experiences anywhere else. Now with most arcade games being released for home consoles, the demand for arcade games have diminished.

More creativity has to be put into arcade games. Look at Japan. The arcade is still as big as ever because many of the games they have aren't available at home or would not be able to be played on a console/pc anyways.

What my old boss said... (1)

anon1978 (686417) | about 11 years ago | (#6397459)

I won't ever buy another Nintendo arcade game again. I bought all these nintendo arcade games, then they release exact copies for a sub 100 dollar home system. Fuck Nintendo. Personally, Nintendo has always made my favorite consoles. Even all the way back to those pocket games.

License cards (1)

BIGmog (592353) | about 11 years ago | (#6400933)

The driver's license cards are pretty cool. I got one at the E3 this year and I was very surprised to see that the machine actually prints your name and other stats on each card [bigmog.com] . This is in addition to stats being stored on a magnetic strip on the reverse side.

I'm thinking that you won't be allowed to upload data from a Gamecube memory card. Uploads are only from the driver's license card. Once your stats are loaded from the license, you can then download your profile on to a GC card.

-BIGmog
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