Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Week of April 10, 2005
Halo 2 Autoupdate Coming
>> From Bungie.com:
Well you'll still have to wait. TIL' MONDAY! Yep, the Autoupdate will be available on Monday April 18th, to fix cheats, bugs, glitches and gasp – tweak some important weapon balance issues. Next time you log in after it's available (it'll be spread out to mitigate server loads) you'll get a message alerting you to its presence. Don't worry if you don't see it first thing Monday morning, it'll show up in your neighborhood eventually.

More details about the updates: Bungie.com

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(Saturday 16 April 2005 23:46 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

LinksBoks v0.99 (Codename: Marmitopter)
>> Ysbox released a new version of LinksBoks(info) - a port to the Xbox platform of the Links2Browser (a fully functional WWW browser). From readme/nfo:
This release features a major architecture change, the browser itself is now packaged as a library (the "engine"); the actual app as you know it is simply the first and only "host" application of this library (exluding the "Embedded Sample" included in the source package).
Some more work is needed, but this library can (I think) be integrated quite easily into "host" applications (in XBMC or dashboards for example).
Apart from these "behind the scenes" change, no major visual changes (sorry) for end users after this long idle period, but anyways, here's the list, splitted into 2 groups to reflect the now separated entities, the "engine" and the "host" application:

* Rewrote the async DNS lookup system (no useless threads).
* Fixed a small bug in the graphics driver which happens not so often but leads to a crash.
* Fixed some of the display glitches (thin non-redrawed lines) during scrolling.
* Slowed down the "normal" scrolling speed.
* Increased default text size in pages to 18. Can be changed in the Options.
* Restored the original, generic menu options.
* Included a patch by Vedran Ljubovic from links-list mailing list which fixes minor bugs that prevented logging into Hotmail (but you can't do much in it because it's full of unsupported Javascript).
* You now can specify your network settings (either static or DHCP) in the Options Manager instead of relying on the dashboard (SEE NOTES IN README).
* Basic Flash (.swf files) player with interaction. Upgraded to the latest GPLFlash version. (SEE NOTES IN README).
* Slightly more useful help system (Help>About) with a brand new "Network Status and Troubleshoot" page to help fixing connection issues.
* Improved Keyboard/mouse support.
* New option: deadzone for gamepad thumbsticks. Adjust if you have drifting mouse pointer problems.
* Because of the now lacking menu entry, Video calibration can be accessed at any time with the BACK button (text entry mode now only available with a left thumbstick "click").

* Extending the library (more bindings and control over the engine).
* Making the engine free all its resources and be startable again after a stop, and handling of several windows (make another sample application to test).
* Making the library thread-safe if it's not (make some tests).
* Sound in the Flash player :)
* IR remote support in the host app.
* Rewriting the internationalization system, making it available to the host application, actually using it as much as possible, and updating the translations (with your help).
* Writing a decent key/button binding page to display in the help system.
And maybe:
* Finally take care of the still unstable FTP protocol.
* Merge the many changes from main Links2 branch.
* Some more GUI improvements in the host app.
* ?...

Official Site: http://ysbox.online.fr
Release Readme: here
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK)
Download Sources: here

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(Saturday 16 April 2005 13:38 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 games must be showed on HDTV-ready displays at E3
>> From TeamXbox.com:
In order to fully demonstrate the visual prowess of the new console, Xbox 360 games will not be displayed on regular TVs, which means no SDTV or EDTV sets (although the console can utilize such technology), and it is mandatory that the displays used in the E3 demonstrations are HDTV-ready and not just HDTV compatible.
Several sources have informed us that Microsoft is demanding that companies display Xbox 360 games at E3 on equipment with a minimum resolution of 720 physical lines. We have yet to learn if Microsoft is requiring any type of specific audio capabilities during demos, such as a Dolby Digital 5.1 system.

Read the whole article on TeamXbox.com.

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(Friday 15 April 2005 23:55 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Mandriva (Mandrake) LE 2005 with support for Xbox!
>> Limited Edition 2005 of the Mandriva ("Man-dree-vah"!) Linux distribution (previously known as Mandrake) has been released and comes with Xbox support 'out of the box':
Limited Edition 2005, a special new version of its operating system that blends the most up to date popular open source applications, including Firefox 1.0.2, with specific customisations resulting in advanced multimedia, internet and development capabilities. These features include out-of-the-box Web content RSS reading and software sound mixing (so multiple applications can play sound at once). Limited Edition 2005 is the only Linux system to allow the trouble-free coexistence of 32-bit and 64-bit applications. It also offers enhanced hardware support for removable devices, including the ability to boot from USB keys.

Summary of important applications:
Linux kernel ; KDE 3.3.2 (with some backports from version 3.4, including kpdf) ; GNOME 2.8.3 ; Firefox 1.0.2 ; GCC 3.4.3 ; The GIMP 2.2 ; Cdrecord 2.01.01a21 (with DVD+R dual-layer support) ; OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 ; MySQL 4.1.11.

A special feature that will certainly appeal to gamers and enthusiasts is that the new release from Mandriva has support for the Xbox console, empowering users to bridge the divide between gaming and other computer activities.

Official Site/More Info: http://www.mandriva.com/products/limited-edition
Download: Sold exclusively online by Mandriva, this new release is available right now as a download to Mandriva Club members who benefit from privileged as well as discounted access to the company's products. Other customers can purchase the Limited Edition's DVD set on Mandriva Store.
A free download version will be made publicly available at a later date.

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(Friday 15 April 2005 20:58 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

More Xbox 360 Rumors: Version with WebTv?
>> From kotaku.com:
My super-secret console-licking moles have unearthed a few more Xbox 360 gems worthy of posting. Apparently, the Xbox 360 will be sold at two price points. For $299 you will get the base system which doesn’t have a hard-drive or backwards compatibility. For another $100 you get the system bundled with some sort of optional add-on which will include WebTv.

Read the whole article on kotaku.com.

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(Friday 15 April 2005 13:07 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

X2 5022 BETA
>> From TeamXecuter.com
We heard a whisper that someone leakd a beta version of the new X2 Bios (Beta Build 5022) to Xbins. Damn!

Official Site: TeamXecuter.com
Download: n/a (contains MS copyrighted code)

Note: Don't take that 'leak'-part too serious ;) Team Xecuter just uploaded a BETA build (for testing purposes only - use at own risk) of the new X2 (yes 'two' - for the Xecuter2 modchip series) Bios that includes a 'Config Live' (modchip OS) similar to the X3 Bios (but in a 'light' version - features only editable via ini file atm). There's one bin for Xbox v1.0-v1.5 and one for Xbox v1.6-v1.6b. The bios boots on all mods with at least a 512KB bank. If you test this beta, you can report bugs here.
Once a final/release/'official' build is ready you'll see full info/features of this bios here or on teamxecuter.com of course.

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(Thursday 14 April 2005 20:47 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Team Xecuter posts more Xbox 360 Technical Info
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
We've spent today doing a little more digging. It seems the Xbox 360 will use AES Encryption (XeCryptAesCbc), executable files are XEX and not XBE (xshell.xex) and after studying the kernel there is everything in place for backwards compatibility.

It can all change of course but interesting all the same.

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(Thursday 14 April 2005 17:36 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Prometheus Update: New screens, Questions answered and Forums
>> Prometheus is a map editor currently in development that will allow you to edit and create maps for Halo 1, Halo 2, and future games that use the Halo Engine. From halodev.org:
With a special update breaking the bi-monthly rule, today we bring you the rest of the answers to questions asked around the announcement of Prometheus. We've also got a new team member and five new screenshots. Be sure to read all of the questions before asking anything and any new questions you may have should be directed at the new forums.

Check out the Q/A and Sreens here[halodev.org].
The forums are available here[forums.halodev.org].

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(Thursday 14 April 2005 07:48 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

X3 3108 Bios Released
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
The world's most advanced Xbox Bios has just gotten better. No need to list the countless features, you should already know what they are - here is a list of fixes / changes since the last build:

* system:
- fixed: Debug mode problems
- fixed: Faulty titles on the keyboard on some places
- fixed: DVD firmware output
- fixed: Changed default keyboard colors to something more attractive
- fixed: Keyboard font colors
- fixed: Keyboard placement when menu has a noncentered location
- fixed: Quicklaunch bugs
- fixed: Video mode quick change
- added: Made background transparent while keyboard is enabled
- added: Kernel build into x3data.txt
- added: MacAddress to xbox info (for testing x3 doesn't change mac on the xbox)
- added: Screenshot capabillities now in all areas
- added: 3 New Default Skins in the rar file
* skins :
- fixed: Skinbug that caused skin to crash if it couldn't find ini file
- fixed: Skinbug that occured if skin was packed inside a subdir
- fixed: Crashbug if space after ; in skin's ini file
- fixed: Bug where last line of skin.ini doesn't get read if no enter to terminate the line
- added: Default X3 skin to skinlist
* ftp:
- fixed: Some PASV issues, should solve a lot of crashing experiences.

Official Site: http://www.teamxecuter.com
Download: n/a (contains MS copyrighted code)

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 22:53 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

X3CP Now in Blue, X3CP Black without LCD and GameCube Case *Updated*
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
As the new Xbox Blue edition is in stores we have paintsakingly color matched and are pleased to present the X3CP : Blue. All Xecuter stores are making their orders now so be sure to let them know you want one as soon as they land in the next week!

Also we have begun shipping the X3CP Black without the LCD screen at a cheaper price so those of you with the LCD screen can upgrade without having to spend any extra dollars. Ask your reseller for details!
More Pictures: here and here

*UPDATE* Team Xecuter also posted news about a full size DVDR replacement case (not just the lid) they are working on for the Gamecube. Go to teamxecuter.com for a glimpse of what this case will look like.

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 20:11 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

TeamXodus's Xenium S.P.Ice Adapter Review

We’ve had the Xenium(info) S.P.Ice samples for awhile, and have had some fun putting the chip/adapter combo through a battery of tests. As many readers know, I’m a proponent of solderless solutions. I’ve used them since the first Matrix offering, and have continued to use them right up to the current generation.

With each new revision of the Xodus brand adapters, we’ve seen product improvements, and more stable use.

With that said.. 1.6 motherboards posed a unique problem for people wanting a solderless solution. Microsoft did a nice job of consolidating functions on the motherboard, and even moving or disconnecting old functions. Anyone wanting to use a solder or solderless solution on a 1.6 board have had the tedious job of “fixing” what Microsoft intentionally broke.

Solutions like rebuilding the LPC by soldering wires, top or bottom of the motherboard work well. Soldering the recent LPC rebuild boards to the bottom of the 1.6 motherboard work also work well. Nothing wrong with either method, and both have their fans. But, for those wanting that quick screw down solderless solution, especially a safe one, there wasn’t much to choose from.

So, with the Sample in hand, lets see what we get for our money…

Xenium S.P.Ice Combo Kit $69 US
- Xenium Ice Chip
- S.p.ice 2 piece Adapter (one in this kit should really only be used with this chip, a separate SP (Solderless Pro) adapter is on sale that is for wider use with competing chips)
- Clear Safety Piece (for 1.6 installs)
- Bag of rivets, replacement Screw, Washer for 1.6 install, and optional spacer for 1.0-1.5 install
- USB Adapter
- Pinheader and Wire connector
- Led Module and Wire connector

You can order the Xenium S.P.ICE from: BMMods.com, Divineo.com, Divineo.co.uk, Divineo.cn, Extreme-Mods.com, ModWhiz.com, xboxchips.com.

Well.. I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the details about the ICE chip, or it’s OS. I covered those in depth in the last Xenium reviews, which can be found here and here. I will say though.. that the OS has been updated, looks better, and features many fixes and improvements.

I wanted to focus on the solderless aspect, and it’s improvements. The 2 Piece Adapter (3 if you include the Safety Piece in that count) is definitely something new and different. The Black base, which sits on the LPC, is clearly well made, and clean looking. On non 1.6 boards, this is all you’d use, plus the screw and spacer to achieve a solderless install on 1.0-1.5 variants. My focas, is on the 1.6 boards, and the issues they pose. That’s where the second part of the adapter comes in, the white pcb with the 4 wires.

When the Black and White Parts are combined, you now have a complete 1.6 solution. That alone, will get the job done. However, Xodus seems to have responded to customers wishes for a safer modding environment. As with some other chips on the market with wires for 1.6 installs, safety has become a concern. Motherboard tops are easily scrathed by those wires during an install. This isn’t really the fault of the user, so much as it is by the design.

Xodus solution, the Safety Piece.

It’s the simplicity that shows how brilliant it is. The Safety Piece sits clean and flush to the motherboard, and provides and error free and safe guide for the 4 wires (plus d0 wire) to get connected, and inserted into the vias. It’s pretty dummy proof.

The Install..

As per their guide (here), I’ve cleaned the area, removed any dust and debris and then proceeded to place the Safety Piece on the 1.6 motherboard.. I then grabbed the Black and White halves of the adapter, and pressed them together. Installation was simple enough.. I pressed the Adapter onto the LPC slowly, with the Wires slowly guided into their proper vias’ via the Safety Piece guide. Checking and listening for each wire to “click” into place.

Power on, and look for all 5 LEDS to be lit for a secure and proper install of the adapter. If the wires are just sitting on top of the via, adjust, tweak, and slightly shift the wire in the safety piece until I heard a click.


With the Adapter Secure, I powered off the unit, Placed the included Xenium Ice Chip on the adapter, and booted. As the Xenium Guide noted.. the chip is working and properly install when the second led from the end of the adapter goes out.(off) The Chip’s own led will show green also indicating a proper install.

So, with the Xenium S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip installed, successfully on a 1.6 board in less than a minute, I could have ended the review. After all, I’ve thoroughly used, reviewed their os in the past. The chip is solid, the OS is updated and is still evolving. What I really wanted to know, was just how good is this new adapter? Will it survive bumps and drops that knocked older adapter from all venders loose? What about all those new wires going into those vias.. will they stay in place?

Lots of questions. I wanted answers.

Xs Video Review: S.P.Ice Review Video(wmv)

So, with this successfully chips xbox now in hand.. I proceeded to abuse the box. Dropped it from table height. The adapter/chip booted like a charm. Decided to abuse it a little more.. and kick it around the house. It booted like a charm. Wash, rinse, and repeat… same results. The S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip combo stayed in place, and did not misalign. (woot)

I should have been happy with that torture test. I wasn’t. Everyone has a solderless solution these days. I wanted to see if this could go above and beyond a reasonable expectation of abuse survival.

So, with the assistance of LD (a buddy) and a new Acura TSX, and about 25 feet of Ethernet cable I decided to stress test the stability of this install. We took the unit to a safe area, and attached the Xbox to the back of the car. We then dragged the xbox with the S.P.Ice installed 100 feet. Case looked like crap, but the chip and adapter looked fine, so we did it again, only faster.

We went back indoors, took the unit back to the testing table. Powered it up first time. The Adapter/Chip booted up perfectly fine, as if the box hadn’t been dragged on rough asphalt for over 200 feet total.

I’ve been doing “proper” Solder installs for 3 years now. Many of my customers demanded it. I don’t need the headaches from fumes I used to get despite the solder being “lead free”. I also don’t need to get any more burns from an iron that far too frequently burned, me, my table, or my work area.

Xenium S.P.Ice
-Safe 1.6 Solderless Install Solution
-Preloaded with a feature Packed Legal OS
-Includes LED module/wiring for cosmetic/functional use
-Includes USB adapter for USB to XBOX port connectivity (usb pen drives)
-Includes everything needs to do an old fashioned solder install.

-Color? Who cares!
-Shape? I needed to put something here.

After kicking the crap out of the xbox, and dragging it behind a car, I doubt I’ll want or need to do a solder install anymore. (this.. from a guy who installed a chip with a coathanger and solder) If anyone asks me to do the solder install, I’m going to show them the Review Video. After doing this.. I’m throwing away my Soldering Iron, Solder (lead free) wick, and Flux.

More Pictures:
* Xenium S.P.ICE in its package (High Resolution Image)
* The solderless adapter 'kit' (High Resolution Image)
* The springwire adapter for Xbox v1.6(b) (High Resolution Image)
* Back of the springwire adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Back of Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)

The XS Review Video: S.P.Ice Review Video(wmv)

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 17:56 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Team Xecuter released internal Xbox 360 info: 512Mb Memory
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
During our continuing development with the Xenon (Xbox 360) we noticed some interesting information in the latest docs - most notibly about the memory.
"The Xenon retail console will include 512 MB of UMA system memory. This is eight times the amount of memory that was available in the Xbox. The Xenon system software will still reserve six percent (32 MB) of total memory for system components, such as the visible features of the Xenon HUD, as well as the non-visible background system tasks."

Everything we have supports the Beta Hardware that will be shown at E3 - we hope to be able to support the Xbox's massive homebrew community well into the next few years - after all it's that same community that has helped to shape the Xbox's great success.

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 14:51 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

GamesIndustry.biz confirms name and shape of next gen Xbox
>> From EuroGamer.net/GamesIndustry.biz:
British sources have confirmed that the next generation Xbox is indeed called Xbox 360.

The machine has a concave design, can stand upright and hollows in at the middle, like it's "sucking in its cheeks," our source told us today. Previous rumours had put the console as silver, although fresh information says the final design may be white. It's impossible to tell from the documents, the source went on to say.
According to the source, the rumoured slot for the hard drive - which was apparently at the top of the machine - is not obvious on the document, and the person was unable to clarify where the slot for discs actually appeared.
The logo is described as a simple, round nexus with "Xbox 360" written inside it. Previous rumours had simply the numbers "360" in the disc.

Read the whole article on EuroGamer.net/GamesIndustry.biz.

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 11:07 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

AGEIA Technologies Interview
>> TeamXbox.com has an interesting interview with Manju Hegde, CEO and Chairman of AGEIA Technologies, a company that is working on multi-threaded physics API and the revolutionary idea of hardware accelerated physics. Here's a short excerpt:
The company's PhysX chip, the world's first dedicated Physics Processing Unit (PPU), will be supported in the next-generation line-up from Ubisoft and it is expected other publishers will jump on board. On top of that, AGEIA’s NovodeX Physics SDK is an official Xbox real-time physics middleware tool that will exploit the multicore architecture of the Xbox 360 and Epic Games has also announced the integration of the NovodeX API and support for the PhysX chip in the Unreal Engine 3.

* TeamXbox: We’d like to understand the PhysX PPU conceptually. We could say a traditional CPU is a “jack of all trades”; able to perform general computing work, while a GPU is a master of executing floating point operations and parallel data streams. Where does the PhysX PPU sit between these two models?
* Manju Hegde: Conducting physical simulation at scale requires significant ability in both floating and integer operations as well as significant ability in moving large amounts of data around. The advent of PPUs and the anticipated transformation of games mirror the story of 3D Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) in the 1990’s. 3D GPU’s abstracted the rendering and display functions which were until then performed in software, applying purpose-built architectures to speed up and enhance those functions. As a result, the visual quality of games increased dramatically, and soon after their introduction every significant game was compelled to incorporate the new 3D hardware technology, much to the happy benefit of gaming. The adoption of 3D GPUs reduced the CPU rendering load in most games, but interestingly, as graphics content expanded in scale and scope, the requirements on the CPU for preparation, housekeeping and other tasks increased. A similar phenomenon can be anticipated with the adoption of PPUs. The increased depth and quality of physically interactive environments will expand the requirements for AI, game logic and rendering. In short, the CPU “thinks and orchestrates”, the GPU “renders and displays”, and the PPU “moves and interacts”, and all complement each other as a platform for spectacular gameplay.

* TeamXbox: Can you reveal (of course without telling us who the company is) if the PhysX PPU will be in any form inside at least one of the next generation consoles, or was it too late in the process to contribute to these upcoming products?
* Manju Hegde: On this one, you will have to wait.

Go read the full interview on TeamXbox.com.

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(Wednesday 13 April 2005 07:17 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Gentoox Home v4.0 status update
>> Another update at the current status of the upcoming Gentoox Home(info) v4.0.
From ShALLaX on gentoox.shallax.com:
* Update1: ALL COMPILING IS DONE! It took 9 days 7 hours and 24 minutes to complete... but it's done! I'm backing up the rootfs NOW - theres no way I want to have to do that again! ... Woo! It boots up fine - no errors. The only thing that seems to need "fixing" is the gdm theme - its reverted back to the Gentoo one.
A though occurs... I hope people realise that in order to use kernel 2.6, they WILL need to format their hard drive if they have EVER used kernel 2.4 on a FatX system (that means if they have EVER installed Gentoox previously, a format will be needed) before being able to even install Gentoox Home v4.0.!

* Update2: Some good news and some bad news... First, the good news. Home v4.0 seems to be ready - I'm surprised that no changes were actually needed despite all of the new software packages that were installed. However, the bad news is that the FatX driver is absolutely unacceptable. After two hours of trying to install from stardust it had only reached 69%. Theres absolutely no way it can be released like this so I'm going to wait for an update from Gimli to see if he's managed to get anything sorted out. The only good news is that I wont have to recompile EVERYTHING again (since this doesnt affect anyone but me, I'm sure that most of you dont care)... all I'll need to do is transplant the kernel and the kernel source into the distributions.

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(Tuesday 12 April 2005 22:42 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft and Pepsi planning massive Xbox 360 giveaway
>> Engadget.com has a source that informed them Microsoft will team up with Pepsi for a big promotion for the Xbox 360 launch. The source said they would give away over 9000 (!) Xbox 360 consoles in the weeks ahead of the console's official release.
The give-away will be similar to the Pepsi/iTunes promotion with an under-the-cap code and supposedly they'll be giving away one Xbox 360 every ten minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine weeks.

News-Source: Engadget.com. Thx to Face for the link.

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(Tuesday 12 April 2005 21:57 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

3M Xbox 2 Units In Dec. Quarter retailing between $249 and $299 ?
>> Forbes.com is reporting that Goldman Sachs (a research firm) said it's unlikely Microsoft will discontinue production of the Xbox videogame console when the Xbox360 is launched.
They expect the Xbox360 (that will be presented May 12th on MTV in North America and May 13th internationally as reported in previous news) will be available for retail sale in October or November 2005 at a retail price of about $249 to $299. The current Xbox console would stay available to cover the lower-end of the consumer segment - pretty much like Sony did with the original Playstation when the PS2 was released.
Goldman Sachs expects Microsoft will ship about 3 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide in the December 2005 quarter.
The Sony PS3, that will be presented a few days before E3 in May, will probably not be available in US stores before mid. 2006. Japan could still get a PS3 launch in the fourth quarter of 2005, but it's unlikely according to the research firm.

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(Tuesday 12 April 2005 16:33 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

PGR3 screenshot and Xbox360 name hints?
>> A new screenshot has been revealed as reward with the words "Your team got it right. Here's a better look ..." to people participating at the ourcolony.net Alternate Reality Game, that is believed to be another Microsoft marketing campaign building up to the launch of the next generation Xbox (like Ilovebees was for Halo2).
Click image for a High-Res 1.6MB version

As TeamXbox suggests it looks like these might be the first images of 'Project Gotham Racing 3' for the next generation Xbox.
But there is more ... not only does this this image show a "Ferrari 360 modena", TeamXbox.com also found some hidden text in the original image. If opened in a hexeditor you will find the text "C.a.r.R.e.n.d.e.r.3.6.0._M.a.g.a.z.i.n.e._.C.o.v.e.r._.r.e._.t.o.u.c.h.e.d.u.p.".
This could mean the image will be used as cover for a magazine (probably the Official Xbox Magazine), but the occurence of '360' in the text and the use of a Ferrari 360 on the picture, might be the first somewhat 'unofficial confirmation' of the 'Xbox 360' name for the next gen. Xbox - even if ourcolony.net has not been officially recognised by Microsoft.

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(Tuesday 12 April 2005 11:41 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

XBConnect 5.0 build 176
>> A new build of XBConnect(info) 5.0 (alias neXBC(info)) has been released:
We have just released build 176 of XBC 5.0. This version fixes a couple issues that prevented some users from starting XBC. These issues were related to missing temp directories or special permissions set on temp directories on the local system. We have also added a couple new skins to this release as well. (you will need to download the full version to use the new skins).
Our UDP control interface has been improved in this version as well. We have seen an app or two now using it. IGx89 has developed a full text to speach plugin for XBC and is working on another one right now. Team XTC is developing a Xbox app that controls XBC directly from the Xbox. Good to see it finally put to good use :)

Our next steps involve being more functionality to our clan database. We will be adding clan challenges, a clan message system and other features suggested by our Pro users.

Official Site: http://www.xbconnect.com
Download: here

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(Tuesday 12 April 2005 08:59 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

ccXgui LITE Beta 1.0
>> [XC]D-Ice released a new Graphic User Interface for the famous XboxMediaCenter(info)/XboxMediaPlayer(info) Media Stream server ccXstream, it's a 'light' version of ccXgui(info). From readme/nfo:
Hi all... I'm back again. After my HDD crash, I have been quite busy with study, family etc. Today I then thought (still no data recovered) that I had to make something new in meantime. So here it is: ccXgui LITE.

The difference between ccXgui and ccXgui LITE is... well the name almost tells it. It's a quite basic GUI for ccXstream.
You can select 1 share, and select a name for the share, and then run it. All the core features are of course still there (terminating ccXstream when you close ccXgui LITE etc.) but I have decided not to make anything fancy atm.
The reason for this new GUI is also because people complained about numerous bugs in the old one, and while looking back on it, I think I can remember that the source was quite a mess. So now a fresh start.
That doesn't mean that ccXgui (original) is no more. It's just (hopefully) a matter of getting the data recovered from the damaged HDD.
So for now. Enjoy this very very very basic GUI... cuz we all love ccXstream right :P ... well.. I do :D

Official Site: http://ccxgui.xboxmediacenter.de/
Download: here

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(Monday 11 April 2005 23:07 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

New X3 Bios: Changelog So Far and X3CL Skinning Competition Winners
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
* It's been a while since we released 3029 - so rather than concentrate on glitzy new features we spent many hours hammering as many bugs as we could find / were reported by you guys. We still need to clean up a little code but this is a taster of what is changed in the next release.
fixed: Debug mode problems
fixed: Faulty titles on the keyboard on some places
fixed: DVD firmware output
fixed: Changed default keyboard colors to something more attractive
fixed: Keyboard font colors
fixed: Keyboard placement when menu has a noncentered location
added: Made background transparent while keyboard is enabled
added: Kernel build into x3data.txt
added: MacAddress to xbox info (for testing x3 doesn't change mac on the xbox)
added: Screenshot capabillities now in all areas
-skins :
fixed: Skinbug that caused skin to crash if it couldn't find ini file
fixed: Skinbug that occured if skin was packed inside a subdir
fixed: Crashbug if space after ; in skin's ini file
fixed: Bug where last line of skin.ini doesn't get read if no enter to terminate the line
added: Default X3 skin to skinlist
fixed: Some PASV issues, should solve a lot of crashing experiences.

* Here are the X3 Config Live skinning competition winners. They will each receive an X3CE + X3 Pro Switch + X3LCD bundle for their efforts.
Thanks to everyone who got involved - 115 skins available and counting! Especially awesome if you have your Xbox connected online - you can download each skin dynamically direct from X3 Config Live - thanks to Allxboxskins.com!
neoneo - royale - x3terminal - mechx - hazardous - RnB Castle - xplorer-dg - orb - crystal blue - pico_matrix - XStarship22 - blue inferno - MS_x3 - CL Console Blue - houchia gem - Halo 2 Lobby - radioactive - delta v0.3 - Dos Skin - CL Lite

UPDATE: Winners can PM me (XanTium) with their FULL name and FULL address on the forums. This contest is part 3 of the 100x X3 package contest organised by Team Xecuter and Xbox-Scene.com.

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(Monday 11 April 2005 12:23 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 2 to be unveiled on MTV on May 12th
>> From GamesIndustry.biz:
Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console is set to be unveiled to the world not at E3, as was previously believed, but in a half-hour long special to be aired on MTV the week previously, on May 12th (9:30 p.m. EDT in North America and on Friday, May 13 in other regions around the globe (local air times here)).

The move is a massive break with tradition on Microsoft's part, and will get the Xbox 2 in front of consumers several days ahead of the unveiling of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Revolution in Los Angeles the following week.
"It doesn't make sense to unveil the product behind a closed door, at a trade-only event," according to Microsoft corporate VP Peter Moore. "We wanted to talk directly to the consumer first."

Read the whole article on GamesIndustry.biz.
Full pressrelease: here (with local broadcast time)

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(Monday 11 April 2005 10:27 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Controller Exposed?
>> From TeamXbox.com:
A couple of new photos have been spotted in our forums, which could be fake pictures or photos or early prototypes. If they’re not a hoax from someone with good abilities in the use of 3D Studio Max and Brazil, we might be contemplating the very first pics of the Xbox 360 controller:

The glossy look of the enclosure and the absence of a logo in the front give us the impression we might be looking at a prototype rather than the final design of the Xbox 360 controller. It is a common practice to mold dozens of designs until one prototype is chosen as definitive.
Anyways, if these photos are real, it is worth noting that there are no cords attached, which would confirm the rumored wireless capabilities of the standard controller, and that the Back and Start buttons have been moved toward both sides of the Xbox 360 logo, and that the shape of the D-Pad surface changed. These photos would also confirm the replacement of the Black and White buttons with two shoulder buttons.

Read more on TeamXbox.com, EnGadget.com and TheInquirer.net.
Xbox-Scene Forums Discussion: forums.xbox-scene.com (pictures where also posted here)

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(Sunday 10 April 2005 20:54 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Team Xecuter: Skins Competition and Updates
>> From TeamXecuter.com:
Thank you to the 115 entries to the X3 Skins competition. We sifted through them today using the Allxboxkins.com auto download script that is built into X3CL 3029 - brilliant stuff. We will be announcing all the winners on monday - you guys did a great job !

We are also testing X2 Config Live and a new X3 Bios - we expect a release (or at least a public beta) in the next few days - stay tuned !

Maybe also interesting to post, Team Xecuter added a 'Progress Updater' some time ago on their website to give you an indication of the progress on their different projects:
New X2 Bios: 99% | New X3 Bios: 98% | New v1.6 No Solder Adapter: 99% | New X2 Modchip: 20% | New Xbox Case: 70% | X3 XIR: 95% | X3CP Blue: 95% | Unspecified GC Project: 80% | Unspecified PSP Project: 60% | Unspecified Xbox Project: 60% |

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(Sunday 10 April 2005 15:11 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Run Windows 98 on the Xbox using Qemu on Xdsl
>> From 'm.e' on psphacker.com:
There are other ways to get Windows 98 working on Xbox but they use Bochs(info) to get Windows working. This tutorial uses Qemu which is many times faster than Bochs. This makes it fast enough to be useable.

* Qemu isn’t new so why hasn’t anyone run Windows this way before?
Because before Xdsl(info) was ported, all available Linux distributions where big memory hungry things that could barely run them self.
* How fast is it then?
I used to have a 233 MHz computer with 32 MB RAM. This runs a little slower than that but not much.
* Why would I want to run Windows on my Xbox?
Because you can!
* Is it legal?
All software used is free except Windows 98 which most people have an old copy of. So yes it should be legal.
* Do I need to know Linux to be able to follow the tutorial?
* What do I need to get this working?
-A modded Xbox
-A Windows 98 CD (preferably Windows98 SE as its supposable more stable and boots from CD)

Read the how-to/tutorial on psphacker.com.
Xbox-Scene Forum Discussion Thread/News-Source: forums.xbox-scene.com.
Thanks to simbot82 and C.P. for the news/link.

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(Sunday 10 April 2005 14:23 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )


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