Hello again and a very Happy New Year to you all! I thought I’d begin 2012 by sharing with you some of the things I personally am looking forward to this year in the categories of Gadgets/Technology, Movies/TV, Events and Sport so here goes…..
Four main items for me in this category, the gadget I’m most looking forward to is the Playstation Vita, Sony’s next generation Playstation Portable capable of PS3-quality graphics and featuring a touch panel on the rear as well as a front touchscreen, from what I’ve read about this machine so far, being a bit of a fan of portable gaming, I’m very excited about and have already pre-ordered one from Amazon along with the leading launch game, Unchartered : Golden Abyss to play on it, roll on 22nd February!
Next, is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, due for UK release at some point this year, rumoured January or February, I’ve seen this machine reviewed on TWIT TV’s excellent “All About Android” show and while it will not replace my beloved iPad it will complement it nicely and the Fire will be small enough to keep in my bag with me all day and use at lunchtime with my Three Mi-Fi! It looks packed with features and if the UK price point does come in at £150-£180 it could do well for Amazon, more details at http://amzn.to/rrCEyn
You may have heard already of Netflix, an American company offering unlimited instant streaming of movies and tv shows for $8 per month to PC, tablets, consoles and many other platforms. Well the excellent news is that early this year they are finally launching here in the UK! They’ve already signed a number of content deals with film studios and tv companies and if they can offer the same choice for the same low price that US customers are enjoying I think they could have a hit on their hands, hoping too for a UK iPad app!
The final item in this category I’m looking forward to is Nintendo’s Wii U console, due for launch in the second half of this year and featuring an innovative tablet style controller enabling gameplay independent of the main machine and HD graphics for the first time on a Nintendo console which should make for greater realism in the games and a less cartoony feel, could this be the machine to revive Nintendo’s fortunes? We shall see…..
TV first in this category, the first show I’m eagerly awaiting is the UK terrestrial tv premiere of Season 8 of NCIS due on Channel 5 in the first half of the year, this, for me, is the best US crime drama there is with great characters and terrific casting, and am extremely excited to see what happens after Season 7’s cliffhanger!
There are many other tv shows I’m looking forward but the other of note is due to premiere on January 15th and is from the excellent TWIT network, already providing me with two brilliant shows each week, ‘IPad Today’ and ‘All About Android’, this new show will be called Game On! and each week will cover the latest and best videogames across all platforms, a beta edition was made a few weeks ago and I have a feeling this will be another must-see show for me from an already excellent network.
Movies next, and there are four here I’m eagerly awaiting, the first is released on 6th January – The Iron Lady and stars Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and is described by IMDb as ‘A look at the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power’ – I’m keen to see this as Thatcher was PM during a large part of my childhood and therefore is the PM I can remember best, I can’t say I was a fan of her but the movie looks really good and there’s a great cast as well, more details at http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1007029/
Secondly, due for release in February is Star Wars Episode I : The Phantom Menace re-released in 3D, I saw the 3D trailer for this before seeing another 3D movie recently and, as I enjoyed the original 2D version greatly am excited about seeing the 3D remake.
Next, on 17th August comes The Bourne Legacy, the fourth in the Bourne series, sadly with no Matt Damon this time and a different director, the lead character this time is called Aaron Cross to be played by Jeremy Renner. I love the first three Bourne movies and, despite the change in cast and director, still have very high hopes that this will be another thrill and action-packed ride.
Finally, on 26th October comes the long awaited third Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, entitled Skyfall, from what I’ve read about this so far, it looks to be a return to form for the franchise and will also once again feature the superb Judi Dench as ‘M’ and will also star Ralph Fiennes so a good cast again and a nice early birthday present for me before the 31st!
As a major sports fan there are many events I look forward to each year but the first I’m excited about is Euro 2012, to be hosted jointly this time around by Poland and Ukraine, the draw for this threw up many exciting and interesting matches but the match I’m most keen on will be Germany v Holland, a massive rivalry and a fixture with a lot of history, this will not be a game for the faint-hearted! Also pleased to see Republic of Ireland in a major tournament final too although they have a very tough group to get out of! More details at http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/
Next comes the undoubted highlight of the year for any UK sports fan and that has to be the Olympic Games to be hosted by London for the first time since 1948! I was sadly not successful in securing any tickets for the events but do plan to watch as much of it as I can on tv and visited the Olympic Park recently on a coach excursion and the stadiums and venues are mighty impressive! At the time of writing (Jan 1st), 208 days to go till the opening ceremony!
Third, comes the NFL’s big game, the Superbowl, to be held this year in Indianapolis on Sunday 5th February, I always enjoy this game but for the last couple of years have had to make do with watching recorded highlights but this year have managed to get the day off work on Monday so will be staying to watch it live with my beer, popcorn and black coffee! It’s a great spectacle and the half-time show is always worth a watch too, this year to be performed by Madonna.
Lastly, on 31st March at Wembley Stadium is the Aviva Premiership rugby union fixture between Saracens and Harlequins which I shall be going to, I’m looking forward to this firstly, because I’m a massive Quins fan and secondly, because it will be my first visit to the new Wembley!
And lastly in this post we come to two non-sports events I’m very much looking forward to attending, the first is always a highlight for me and that is Gadget Show Live on Saturday 14th April at the NEC, Birmingham. I’ve been to this show every year since it’s inception and it’s just got bigger and better each year and have the bonus this time of a premium seat in the Super Theatre so will be nearer the stage to see all the presenters doing their stuff!
Two weeks later on 28th April, I shall taking the new WB Harry Potter Studio Tour London at Leavesden Studios near Watford, as a Harry Potter fan I cannot wait for this as I’ll get the chance to see and explore all the actual major sets used in all the movies, this is going to be amazing, if you’re at all a fan, you gotta do this tour! More details at http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/
Phew! Well I hope that’s given you an insight into just some of the things I’m looking forward to this year but above all of those things I look forward to continued good health and being successful in my job, Happy New Year one and all!