Don’t translate your catch phrase

From time to time I see big brands betting heavily on a phrase or a named function. The Windows Start button, the Facebook Like button etc.
But time and time again I see these same big brands translating the phrase… Somewhere, some person at these companies missed a fundamental part of branding: don’t change names all the time!

It doesn’t matter if these phrases are verbs such as in the “Like” button. It’s a part of your brand. If you translate your brand, you’re starting a new brand.

Awesome button


(image via Techcrunch

E3 information overload

E3 is back and with a vengeance, it’s more news then ever and the quality of games has increased by an order of magnitude since the last E3.
The things I’ve found most interesting so far are:

Motion controlling for the future by Microsoft with project Natal and by Sony with the playstation motion controller.

Games of unsurpassed quality with Uncharted 2, Assasins Creed 2, modNation Racers and God of War 3.

Did I mention that Xbox 360 is adding applications for Twitter and Facebook as well as opening the renamed Zune Video Store in Europe? The Wii gets more peripherals and circa two games but honestly, who cares?

Project Natal

You’ve probably seen Microsoft’s new interface for the Xbox 360: Project Natal.
If you haven’t, project Natal is a 3d stereo-optic RGB camera with a microphone. So it sees depth, color and can hear. Coupled with the Xbox 360 it allegedly allows you to do full body motion capture in real time as well as facial recognition and voice recognition. If you have no idea what I’m talking about watch the video(s) for the quickest look at what it does.

Project Natal at

If you do know about Natal, consider this:

Milo is probably scripted and pretty fake though surely the technology is possible just not Milo’s AI. As a gaming interface Natal might be hard to use with the normal games of today, this does however not mean that it wont sell well or be fun to use. It certainly will. But with less gamish games probably.

There is a seed I’d like to place with all of you though. Think about the iPhone, what it really does well is that it forces applications and games to use a very easy to use interface that looks good. Microsoft are trying to do the same with Microsoft Surface technology but it is very expensive and hard to implement…

And along comes Natal. Not only does it implicitly force the use of an easy interface, your body is quite probably the best interface you’ll ever use, but it’s also available for existing technology. And it doesn’t have to be very expensive.

This might be the interface that really leads us to ubiquitous computing. Typing still needs a keyboard, even on an iPhone, but navigation and normal use could be done by Natal.

Let’s hope it works.

E3 big three rundown

E3 is on it’s way and the big three have shown their cards. But who “won”? We can’t be sure until E3 is over but I have a few points to share:
Had a great presentation showing exclusive titles lite Gears of War 2, Banjo & Kazooiey (no I can’t spell it) and Fable 2. They also revamped their Xbox live experience with a modern, and this time quite pretty, interface starring customizable characters for players. Much like Mii’s but better looking. They also showed that Avatars (official name) will be of use to players unlike Wii’s Mii’s.
Microsoft also launched some rip-offs of Sony games such as Lips (singstar) and some camera interaction game thingie (eyetoy).
Overall, Microsoft created a lot of excitement for the platform.

Had an irritating speaker on stage making flat jokes about random stuff. Get her away from the stage. But they also unveiled Wii Motion + which is an add on to the Wiimote (more like a Wiimote 2) that allowes for better movement recognition… So now the Wii will work like… it was originally planned?
Looked pretty good.
They also unveiled some more games, first party of course, each with their own add on. Nintendo, if I hadn’t already sold my Wii I would never be able to afford all these add ons. Stop trying to steal my last cents you evil bastards.

Sony had by far the best presentation. No doubt. But they didn’t show enough content to wow me. Actually it didn’t feel like they showed much new stuff at all. PSN video store is live as of yesterday, very apple of them. Thank god.
MAG is a massive online action game. Great.
What else? Oh yeah, the games are coming. There seem to be a lot of them, but since we didn’t actually see that many it’s hard to tell.
Home will eventually come, but since what I really wanted from the beginning is Microsoft’s Avatars system, Home will probably fall flat.

I want Sony to win this war. Nintendo has proved their point and thats great, we need to focus on a larger market. But the Wii is still a piece of shit and doesn’t have any games I’d like to play. Microsoft is giving consumers plastic boxes that scream with whirring fans and crash ever so often. But they are giving developers what they want. And they are delivering on their promises.
The playstation 3 really is a superior machine for the consumer. It’s quiet, doesn’t require add ons and is a smooth entertainment package.
But Sony is fucking it’s console by not delivering proper support for developers, meaning most games come to the 360. They’re slow in delivering systems for the PS3, even though the systems usually are great in the end. And the PS3 is still expensive like gods own nude pictures.

Come on Sony, stop being arrogant and help yourselves. I don’t want another Windows monopoly destroying the games industry.