The announcement came as a shock to many when an emergency board meeting was called late last night with a press conference to follow this morning. The board meeting was reportedly short, and at this morning's press conference, Microsoft has this to say:
"Microsoft has long been a strong competitor in the console market," said Michael Thoft, Microsoft's Executive Vice-President of Research, Development, and, according to him, "Takin' Names". "Today we bring the experience, strength, and most importantly, TECHNOLOGY, that Microsoft has is known for in world of gaming and computing to the handheld market."
"I am proud to introduce to you, for the first time ever, the Microsoft 4D."
|"It is, quite literally, THE FUTURE!" *Winking suggestively*|
The announcement, and accompanying hardware photo (above) comes as a bold challenge to video game titans Nintendo and Sony, as they have both recently announced the next iterations of their handheld hardware.
"With it's incredible processors, copious RAM, touch-enabled high-definition bottom screen, and "Jacob's Ladder" power-on indicator, the MS 4D is already a force to be reckoned with," explained Mr. Thoft. "The REAL show of technology for the MS 4D, however, is in the inclusion of Microsoft's proprietary "Time-Ripper" engine."
"The other game systems on the market are bringing you between two and three dimensions of interactivity. The tech at work in a certain clamshell top gaming system that has absolutely no similarities to the MS 4D" *Mr. Thoft laughs nervously as he gets shifty-eyed* "is impressive, but we felt we could do better. Through focused effort, an innovative design team, and more than a few incidences of industrial espionage, the MS 4D allows the user to not only control their video game characters from left to right, forward to backward, and up to down, but allows the user themselves to break into the 4th dimension: TIME."
"When you think about it, it was really the only move we had." Mr. Thoft added.
Because of the sensitive nature of the technology in the MS 4D, the government is limiting what we, at The 8-Bit Variety Show, are able to say about it before launch. According to the specification sheet, "the 'Time-Ripper' engine facilitates user time travel by sending a *redacted* electrical current through the "Temporal Mesh" embedded in the top screen. This allows a *redacted* to be generated, creating fields of *redacted* power that will quickly *redacted* your *redacted*, unless the *redacted* is carefully tuned to avoid *redacted*."
|Please wait until you are fully loaded into the free speech|
zone before beginning your protest.
BitNick: "We really appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions about this exciting new handheld system, Mr. Thoft. It's not often that guys like me get to talk to the Executive Vice-President of R&D&T'ing N's."
Microsoft's Michael Thoft: "Oh, it's my pleasure, Mr.... (he consulted a piece of paper on the table in front of him) ...BitNick, is it?"
BitNick: "Yes, sir. You can also call me "B"-Nick if you'd prefer."
Michael Thoft: "I think I'll just stick with BitNick, then. What questions do you have for me about this exciting new piece of technology?"
BitNick: "Well, Mr. Thoft, our reader..."
Michael Thoft: "I'm sorry to interrupt, but did you just say 'reader?'"
BitNick: "Yes, 'reader', singular. Mrs. Morganstern... Sweet old lady, too... She lives down the street from me, and has been very supportive of The 8-Bit Variety Show since its inception. She will be fascinated to hear about the MS 4D, for sure."
Michael Thoft: "(His gaze slipped downward to study the paper in front of him again) ...Well, what would you like to know then?"
BitNick: "As I was saying, although the 4D is an impressive piece of technology on all counts, I think that the thing that has caught people's attention the most is its capability to finally break through the 4th dimension. Most people feel that, like an incredibly tall person at a concert, the 4th dimension has been standing in the way for far too long. How was your team able to finally defeat the unflinching march of time, and what can you tell us about the 4D's time surfing capabilities?"
Michael Thoft: "Well, to be totally honest, Microsoft has had this technology for almost half a decade. We originally developed the "Time Ripper" engine so we could send someone back to stop the company from developing Windows Vista. We "bought out" (he accompanied that phrase with an exaggerated wink, and drawn-out finger quotes) a smaller technology company that was developing the temporal mesh, and developed the software ourselves. After all, if everything goes to plan, by this afternoon, Microsoft will never have released a bad piece of software."
BitNick: "Are you insinuating that you will be revising history later today, Mr. Thoft?"
Michael Thoft: "Let's put it this way: If you ask any more questions about that, you may suddenly remember an accident in your childhood that took your legs. Capiche'?"
BitNick: "..... I can assure you, that won't be necessary. So are all 4D's capable of this type of time-travel?"
Michael Thoft: "Oh, Heavens no. That would just be irresponsible. The temporal mesh is designed in such a way that our users will be able to transport themselves back to a selection of time periods where their actions will have the smallest amount of influence on our present timestream. After hours of study and interview, we have carefully chosen time periods that the average American doesn't care that much about screwing up. They will have complete freedom in these built-in time periods."
BitNick: "What time periods are going to be included?"
Michael Thoft: "Well, the final listing is being reserved for a little closer to launch day, but let's just say that if you've always wanted to punch a Native-American in the fifth century A.D., or push a Viennese Prince off of the balcony of an opera house, you'll really like some of our time locations.... or "Tocations©" for short. I just made that term up right now, by the way." (Following this statement, he loudly yells the word, "BOOM", and I lean back in my chair in surprise)
BitNick: "I'm very impressed, Mr. Thoft. Out of curiousity, though.... You only mentioned punching and regicide as possible actions to perform while time traveling. Can you do anything else?"
Michael Thoft: "Of course! You can kick, burn, shoot, bomb... You name the hurt, and you can put it on them!"
BitNick: "I was thinking more along the lines of befriending the people, or perhaps attempting to kindle an ageless love in a more civilized epoch."
Michael Thoft: (He stared at me quietly for a few moments) "...Well, I suppose you could do that if you wanted to, GRANDMA."
BitNick: (I glared at him, as one of my eyebrows slowly raised) "Judging by the time, your attitude, and my overreactive temper, I think we'd better finish up! My last question is this: What do you have to say about the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony NGP - where do you feel your product fits with the offerings from your competition?"
Michael Thoft: "Competition?" He asked with an almost jubilant disdain as he reached into the pocket of his jacket, and pulled out the MS 4D. "By tomorrow morning, there won't be any competition..." He stroked the 4D quietly as I pondered his threatening tone.
BitNick: "I'll see myself out, then. Thanks for your ti..."
Michael Thoft: *HISS!*
Well, I hope you enjoyed our stimulating interview with an industry titan, because I know I did. I may have offended him with some of my questions, but it was worth it to satisfy the curiousity of our readers.
On a related note, if I suddenly stop updating this website and appear to have disappeared from the annals of time, please tell my wife what happened to me, and that I loved her. Also, when you have told her, and are preparing to leave, make a pun that involves the word "time", just to make the whole thing sting a little more.
'Time' to go,