Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later
no

 





Crave Online

Week of September 14, 2008
Activision Copyright Lawsuits NOT Based on File Sharing
>> From gamepolitics.com:
[QUOTE]
An attorney who has represented Activision in six recent copyright lawsuits involving video games has told GamePolitics that the legal actions were not related to file sharing.

Karin Pagnanelli, a partner with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, wrote in an e-mail:
"While we don't comment on litigation involving clients, we can advise you that we have never filed any litigation against a file-sharer on behalf of Activision."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamepolitics.com | techreport.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 20 September 2008 19:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XBMC for Xbox 2008-09-19 SVN rev15640 build (Atlantis Beta1) - T3CH
>> T3CH released a new SVN compile (rev15640 - Atlantis Beta1) of XBMC for Xbox(info).
This T3CH-compile is a complete snapshot of what is in SVN at the time the build was compiled, with just a few small additions.

Special Notes and Noteworthy/XML/Script changes:
* Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to wait for Beta 1 to be tagged before I made this release.
* Team Razorfish's MediaStream skin updated to 0.91
* New this time is PM3.HD a High Def skin by Jezz X that IMO only looks better than PM3 in 720p and higher.
* From Team XBMC about XBMC Atlantis Beta1:
[QUOTE]
Team-XBMC is proud to announce the first cross-platform Beta version of XBMC media center for Linux, Mac OS X (Leopard and Tiger), Windows, and Xbox, in preparation for the upcoming stable release of XBMC, code named 'Atlantis'. There are three important news items associated with this release:

1. The first item that is new in this release is the brand new skin "PM3.HD", a high-definition tribute to Project Mayhem III, which will be gracing screens as the default skin on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Xbox users can, of course, choose to use this skin if they wish as well, and the original Project Mayhem III skin is still packaged with Beta 1 for those who prefer the old-school look. This is in addition to the already awesome selection of skins available for XBMC.

2. The second item is the initial release of "XBMC Live", a bootable CD which gives users the opportunity to try XBMC on their computer, without touching their harddrive. In addition, XBMC Live allows installation of XBMC, complete with an operating system, onto a USB flash memory sticks for a permanent, fast booting, dedicated set-top-box style installation of XBMC. XBMC Live is designed to support Microsoft's MCE Remote and USB receiver out-of-the-box.

3. The third item is that the XBMC for Mac release now has initial support for integrating iTunes and iPhoto media into XBMC. For more information on this, please read this developers blog entry; "iTunes and iPhoto integration in XBMC". The Mac release of Beta 1 also comes bundled with a bonus skin for XBMC, and that is MediaStream by Team Razorfish, (this skin can, of course, be downloaded and installed on all XBMC platforms, like all other XBMC skins).

You should know that XBMC 'Atlantis' is still in a feature freeze, the final release of which is scheduled for October, and we really need your help in order to make 'Atlantis' as stable as possible. We encourage all users to download and use this Beta release in preference to using SVN or the Alpha builds, and test it thoroughly, reporting all bugs to our tracking system.

We would also appreciate any and all assistance in making sure that the online manual and FAQ are as up to date as possible. Both the online manual and FAQ are wiki based so just register and request write access if you wish to contribute. In addition, translations and updates of XBMC language files is another area where help would be appreciated.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the XBMC community for the great feedback in terms of bug reports and usability suggestions. Without your assistance, we would never be able to make XBMC as solid and stable as it is right now.
[/QUOTE]

For the full changelog (all added/fixed/changed/updated stuff) since the 2008-09-08 SVN Rev15452 build click here.

Keep in mind this is a SVN snapshot of the current development tree. It's not an official (stable) point release. Use only if you know what you are doing.

Official XBMC Site: http://xbmc.org (manual and FAQ)
Official T3CH Site: http://t3ch.yi.se (release RSS feed)
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK) | Download SourceCode: here
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(Friday 19 September 2008 22:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox spending 'tens of millions' on Xmas
>> From mcvuk.com:
[QUOTE]
Senior regional director of Microsoft UK Neil Thompson has told MCV that the recent price cuts are the opening gambit in a peak season which will see "tens of millions" spent on marketing the Xbox brand.
"We've been talking to all of our retail partners about what we're doing at Christmas and we've been very bold and ambitious about how successful we think we can be.
"On marketing we'll spend tens of millions - we're going to engage in a very bold promotional push from now until Christmas."

Thompson also ruled out shortages of the console as sales begin to climb - stating that there will be plenty to go around:
"I have been very bullish on supply for the UK market," he added.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: mcvuk.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Friday 19 September 2008 22:28 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

New Xbox Experience - What You Want to Know: Avatars
>> From the Xbox PR Blog:
[QUOTE]
We know many of you are very opinionated about the upcoming Avatars in the new Xbox experience. For this week's inside look, Major Nelson has created a video to show how simple it is to create your online persona. Want to just pick any look and jump into a game? Fine - It's easy! Want to really get into it and create a detailed Avatar? Go for it - This video will show you how.
[/QUOTE]

Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Friday 19 September 2008 16:52 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Japanese Hardware: Actually, Xbox 360 Just Missed Wii Victory
>> From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
Though Enterbrain asserts that Xbox 360 sales topped Wii in Japan this week, data from Media Create disputes, asserting that the Xbox 360 just missed that achievement, selling 28,188 units to Wii's 29,686.

It's a significant jump for Xbox from last week's sales of only 1,044, when stock was completely sold out in the country. On the other hand, it's a 3000-unit sales fall for Wii, down from last week and placing third on the charts.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamasutra.com
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(Friday 19 September 2008 12:59 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: XboxPure Name for a New Xbox 360 Model?
>> From cheapassgamer.com:
[QUOTE]
I'm not completely positive how true this is, but most of the things GilZ sends my way are true. He was correct about the new price drops, new HDMI models, new Elites, and now a picture sent to us with clearly visible text, in what appears to be either the 360's new name or the next xbox's final name. "XBOXPure" is what looks to be the final choice in this document.
[/QUOTE]

Note: could the codenames "Xbox Lean" and "Xbox Granite" mentioned on the document mean this will be a 'slimline' version of the Xbox 360? It's very unlikely to be the name of the 'Xbox 720' (project Phoenix) anyway (too early for that). Could just be completely fake as well of course ;)
*UPDATE* Yea we know, it's fake ... heh.
Full Story (incl. doc screenshot): cheapassgamer.com
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(Friday 19 September 2008 11:25 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

GTA IV Xbox LIVE Weekend Details
>> From the press realease:
[QUOTE]
Rockstar Games and Microsoft proudly present the Grand Theft Auto IV LIVE Weekend exclusively on Xbox LIVE online entertainment network beginning Friday, September 26 through Sunday, September 28 in the United States and Canada. This special weekend will be open to Xbox LIVE Gold members of the Xbox LIVE community.

Gamers who register for Play & Win will automatically be entered into a drawing to win exclusive prize packages just for playing with friends on Xbox LIVE. Prize packages for Play & Win include select Rockstar gear and an entry into the Grand Prize Package drawing. The Grand Prize Package includes, but is not limited to, an Xbox 360 Elite console, a 12-month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription card, as well as 4,000 Microsoft Points!

Register for the sweepstakes online at www.xbox.com/CauseChaos before the close of the entry period on September 28, 2008, at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT or register via Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 by downloading the free Grand Theft Auto IV LIVE Weekend Gamer Picture before the close of the entry period.

Players can test their skills by jumping into multiplayer matchmaking to go toe-to-toe with the actual Grand Theft Auto IV development team. Members of the team will be online between 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 26 to play with fans.

In addition to the Microsoft contest, during this special event gamers can win exclusive prizes in Rockstar Games' Social Club contest.

Rockstar Games' Social Club online portal allows you to track your progress in Grand Theft Auto IV and see how you're doing compared to your friends. New and current members in the United States and Canada who log into their Social Club accounts between Friday September 19 and September 28 may be eligible to win a grand prize package of a home entertainment system worth over $6,000 or a runner up prize package of an exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV branded Xbox 360 and a host of Grand Theft Auto IV merchandise. For full details, eligibility, and official rules visit http://www.rockstargames.com/socialclub/events/liveweekend.
[/QUOTE]

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(Friday 19 September 2008 11:20 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft slashing Xbox 360 prices, but is now a good time to buy?
>> From hexus.net:
[QUOTE]
The tech-savvy consumer may find that the days or weeks following the price cut may not be an opportune moment to buy, and the reasoning is Jasper.

Jasper, a codename given to an upcoming Xbox 360 hardware revision, will provide - we hope - a cooler, quieter and more reliable Xbox 360 console. The revision isn't the Xbox 360's first, either. Since its launch in November 2005, Microsoft has upgraded the Xbox 360's innards on numerous occasions. The trouble is, it never tells us when, or what to expect.

The Jasper revision is the most significant Xbox 360 update thus far, as it introduces the first Xbox 360 console with both a 65nm CPU and a 65nm GPU. The Xbox 360's highly-publicised failure rate - synonymous with the RRoD (Red Ring of Death) - is thought to be caused by overheating, a problem directly related to both the GPU and CPU. Jasper, then, should all but eliminate overheating problems.

Widespread reports have suggested that Jasper will appear in late August or early September 2008 - but that's right about now, so where is it? Well, even if Jasper-based consoles are sitting in Microsoft's factories, they won't filter through to retail until previous stock has been shifted.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: hexus.net
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(Thursday 18 September 2008 20:42 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

EU Retail expects huge demand for Xbox 360 following price cut
>> From gamesindustry.biz:
[QUOTE]
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz on the eve of the price cuts, GAME, HMV, Woolworths and independent stores have all agreed that the system now appeals to a much wider range of consumers.

"The timing is excellent, and we'll work closely with Microsoft to give customers all the product and advice they need in the run up to Christmas," offered Tricia Brennan, MD of Game UK.
"This is great news for our customers. With these new price points and the wide variety of mass market and core games in the pipeline, the 360 is appealing to a wider range of customers than ever before."

Woolworths - the retail group that was controversially linked with leaked news of price cuts before Microsoft made any official announcement - summed up the latest offer: "Lower prices are good news for our customers and good news for sales. The new Xbox 360 price points will generate a huge amount of interest in the console and its software."

HMV Games' commercial manager Jonathan Hayes hopes the system will be able to repeat the sales success of last year, when the console flew off shelves with the release of Halo 3.
"Naturally, we expect the drop in price to create further demand for the product and to drive sales," he said. "Having offered such a great deal with Halo 3 last year, part of Microsoft's thinking this year must be to see how they can create another compelling offer in the run up to Christmas."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamesindustry.biz
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(Thursday 18 September 2008 16:19 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft defends relevance of Rare to Xbox business
>> From gamesindustry.biz:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft's Phil Spencer has told GamesIndustry.biz that Rare is a studio central to the vision and future of the Xbox 360 business.

The executive's statement comes in response to former Xbox boss Peter Moore's comments to The Guardian where he said the studio's skillsets "were from a different time and a different place and were not applicable in today's market."

"Rare is a great studio that continuously delivers high-quality, award-winning titles for the Xbox platform and will continue to do so in the future," stated the newly appointed head of Microsoft Game Studios.
"Rare plays a strategic role in delivering games and platform experiences that will help the Xbox achieve our long-term strategy of expanding the customer base to a mainstream audience."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamesindustry.biz
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(Thursday 18 September 2008 16:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xecuter Connectivity Kit v3: Details and Picture - Liteon Support
>> We received details and a picture of the upcoming Xecuter Connectivity Kit v3:
[QUOTE]
We have expanded our hugely successful connectivity kit v2 to include complete support for Liteon Drive Key Dumping.
Xecuter Connectivity Kit v3

Feature List:
- RS232 Support (Liteon Key Dump)
- Power to all XBOX 360 Drives (Hitachi / Samsung / Benq / Liteon)
- Mode-B Switch for Hitachi 59 and Earlier (78/79 Requires Slax)
- Onboard ON/OFF Power Switch
- Onboard Eject Switch
- High Quality Xecuter Design

Pre-Order Now. Release Date September 27th.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: http://www.team-xecuter.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Thursday 18 September 2008 00:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rage Xbox 360 Disc Controversy: Microsoft 'Not Being Dickheads'
>> From shacknews.com:
[QUOTE]
Yesterday, Rage lead designer and id Software employee Tim Willits quickly shot down a report claiming that that content had been cut from the upcoming shooter due to the limiting size of Xbox 360 DVDs.

But what of the compression issue? During his QuakeCon speech in August, Carmack put pressure on Microsoft to drop its royalty fees for additional Xbox 360 discs in order to free up more space for the game's content, saying the title would look worse on the Xbox 360 due to compression. Now Willits says the whole thing was a classic misunderstanding.
"Microsoft is not being dickheads," he said. "It was a simple kind of miscommunication. Microsoft does not charge a royalty per disc, but there is a cost of goods that goes along with manufacturing. "

However, Willits noted that the cost of manufacturing a third disc was not behind the decision to spread the game across two discs. Instead, the game's story structure was the decisive factor. The narrative Willits produced split well into two acts, and the company wasn't planning for enough content to justify a third.

And what of the comments by Carmack that the game will look worse on the Xbox 360 due to compression and space limitations?
"Yes, I mean, technically that is correct, but realistically and practically they look the same," explained Willits. "The confusion over three discs was just a simple mixup here at id, not a disagreement.. John is so black and white. John is so technically correct. You know how John is."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: shacknews.com
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(Thursday 18 September 2008 00:08 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Moore: The Hard Drive Killed Xbox1
>> From guardian.co.uk:
[QUOTE]
* Was Xbox more about getting a presence in the living room than turning a profit?

* Peter Moore: It was certainly very important. We couldn't afford not to be - we believed that broadband connections were going to move out of the bedroom into the living room, which they have done, or that wireless networks were simply going to take over and your broadband connection would be ubiquitous around the house. There was a huge bet they made on the original Xbox, not to put in dial-up, just to put a broadband modem in there at a time when the great majority of people were still connecting via dial-up modem - it was a ballsy bet to say, ah we don't care about you, you're a bunch of luddites we're going to move on to the people who connect the real way.
And in the same way, not having a hard drive in every Xbox 360 was a hard decision, but we wanted to get price under control. The hard drive in every Xbox killed us; we we're still selling it at $199 and the hard drive was like $70. That's why we prematurely left the original Xbox, because the more we were selling - there was still great demand - it was killing us, and there was no way to bring the price down. So in the end we determined at around the 25 million unit mark that we just needed to slow this thing down and just not sell any more, and move to the 360 as quickly as we possibly could. And to this day people still believe we left the Xbox too early but it was purely for financial purposes.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: guardian.co.uk
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 17 September 2008 17:31 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Rumour: lots of MS announcements next week
>> From gamer.tm:
[QUOTE]
It looks like next week could be a busy time for 360 fans, with an industry insider claiming that Microsoft is due to make several announcements next week.

On Monday, a well place industry source informed us that Microsoft is planning to hold an event here in Europe next week, where - among other things - it was expected to announce a 360 price cut for Europe and new titles from Bungie and Rare.

Following yesterday's price cut announcement and denials from Microsoft that it's planning to hold an event at all, we checked with our source again to see what's what, with interesting results.

Our source assured us that despite the price cut announcement yesterday, the event is definitely due to go ahead next week, and that Microsoft will make lots of announcements.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamer.tm
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 17 September 2008 17:22 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Japan: Xbox 360 tops Wii in hardware sales
>> From edge-online.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 in Japan during the week ended September 14, Famitsu reports.

According to an MCV translation of the report, weekly Xbox 360 sales hit 28,681 units, a massive jump on the 843 units shifted a week earlier (Media Create data pegged prior week 360 sales at 1044). In comparison, Nintendo moved 27,057 Wii units and Sony sold just 8,050 PS3s.

A number of reasons were cited for the hike in Xbox 360 sales, including a recent price cut to the entire range of 360 models, the launch of a 60GB unit, and renewed stock following widespread shortages.
The release of Square Enix's Infinite Undiscovery, which reportedly sold 86,708 copies in its debut week, also contributed to the system's weekly hardware victory.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: edge-online.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 17 September 2008 17:20 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XNA Game Studio 3.0 Beta is GO!
>> From the Team XNA Blog:
[QUOTE]
That's right! You can download it now! We'll be asking your help to put this baby through her paces as we lead up to the official release later this year. It is your input that makes us stronger, faster and better.

Download XNA Game Studio 3.0 Beta at Launch Center

If you do find any bugs or just have a suggestion on ways we can make XNA Game Studio 3.0 more awesome head over to Microsoft Connect to submit them to us.

Xbox 360 Changes:
* Xbox 360 project templates (You will not be able to develop on the Xbox 360 until our final release. We felt this was important to include so that you could get projects converted over and look at the system, even if you are not able to run the games, yet).
* Support for the Big Button Pad.
[/QUOTE]
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 17 September 2008 01:30 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

DosFlash 1.5/1.6
>> A new version of DosFlash(info), a flashing utility for VAD6038 Benq Drives

DosFlash and DosFlash32 V1.5 Beta
-----------------------------------
- now supports serial flash chip MT1309E with mediatek status 0x72 like the SH-D163B, SH-D162D,
Asus DVD-E616A3, Asus DVD-E818A3, Sony Optiarc DDU1671S
- SST25LF020A and SST25LF040A chip support added
- DosFlash32.exe ported from MFC to plain Windows API, exe size is now 22 KB
- new port i/o driver, because giveio.sys can't be compiled for 64 Bit Windows
- DosFlash16 changed slighly in manual mode, one parameter is added to support SST25LF020A and SST25LF040A
- two new methods of BenQ soft unlock are now possible on all motherboards with only one power supply unit
- 1st method is powered by Geremia's unlock core, thanks for the complete idea, concept and source to Geremia
- 2nd method is the Magic28 key send, this only works on BenQ VAD6038 firmware, thanks to c4eva and podger for the initial idea
- the two unlock methods are send one after the other if the drive is a possible unlock candidate, first the Magic28 command, then Geremia's unlock commands and after that the already known power brute unlock is send to the drive, you can cancel any of these methods before they are send to the target, this only applies to BenQ drives with a locked flash
- DosFlash.typ updated
- other minor improvements
- DosFlash32 is now ready for
- Windows 2000,Windows XP 32 Bit,Windows XP 64 Bit,Windows Server 2003 32 Bit,Windows Server 2003 64 Bit,Windows Vista 32 Bit,Windows Vista 64 Bit
- Warning: Drivers for Windows Vista 64 Bit need to be signed, because we can't afford the
money to let portio64.sys sign you need to do the following:
1) Log on as Administrator
2) Enter the following command in a Dos-Box:
"bcdedit -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS"
(we made sure there are no typos in the line above) Smiley
3) Press enter and reboot your PC
4) Press F8 key upon initial system boot up
5) Choose to disable forced driver signing enforcement for that boot session

DosFlash and DosFlash32 V1.6 Beta
-----------------------------------
- fixed power brute unlock bug for VIA cards, this can stop your VIA from working with the power brute unlocking in Version 1.5
- for DosFlash16 in auto mode on DOS my VIA card works best if I do a cold boot and power up the drive short before or with the PC
- for DosFlash32 on Windows my VIA card works best if I power up the drive short before starting DosFlash32
- for me the VIA works with internal and external connectors on DOS and Windows


Official Site: n/a (by Schtrom)
Download: here
News-Source: xboxhacker.net
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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 22:58 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Mode_B
>> This nice little piece of software eliminates the need for slax, and will put a hitachi drive in modeb in windows!

This exe is a win32 app that will put a Hitachi in Mode-B by sending cdb E7 H I T 30 90 90 D0 01

Be warned: This win32 program does not use the windows API. The exe writes directly to the ATA controller's I/O ports (which requires Geek Hideout's I/O dll, which I have included in the rarr). It also requires that you be using an ATA - SATA adapter to connect your 360 drive to your PC, or an SATA controller that has a legacy mode (try the BIOS setup options on your controller).

This new method would not be possible if not for SeventhSon. Big thanks to him for sharing his work with others!

Official Site: n/a (original code by SeventhSon, update by Podger)
Download: here
News-Source: xbox-scene forums



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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 21:49 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: 'furious' MS brought forward EU price drop
>> From gamer.tm:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft was forced to bring forward its European 360 price cut following the now notorious Woolworths leak, a source has said.

While the new price points came as no surprise, it seems that last week's very public Woolworths catalogue leak - which showed the revised prices - forced Microsoft to bring forward the announcement.

As one industry insider revealed to us yesterday, Microsoft had been due to announce the price cut (along with a new Bungie game) at a rumoured European event next week.

So the article also states, Microsoft is "furious about the incident." And with good reason.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamer.tm
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 19:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: Xbox Partnership with Sirius XM Satelite Radio
>> From analoghype.com:
[QUOTE]
With some more features to be announced in the coming weeks, rumors are already circulating about the mysterious Xbox event September 25th, with the possible announcement of a free Halo 3 map pack, preview of GTA IV DLC and the partnership with Sirius XM satelite radio. Rumor has it, you will be able to stream Sirius radio on your Xbox without any other hardware, while playing games. If this rumor is actually true, it will make the Xbox the best home entertainment deal out there. Does Playstation 3 have a chance after this possible holiday massacre?
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: analoghype.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 17:50 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

So What Happened to the Newton Xbox 360 Motion Controller?
>> From seattlepi.nwsource.com:
[QUOTE]
It has been a while since I have typed the name "Newton" as in the semi-secret Xbox 360 motion controller wand project. So what happened to Newton?

There are two possibilities:
1. It was delayed and they are still working on it. Either the software or games is not ready.
2. It was canceled and it will never reach market. They might have decided that it was not going to work in the Xbox accessory lineup.

They might end up using the research from the Newton project on project Phoenix (the third generation Xbox AKA 720) or it might be introduced in 2009.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: seattlepi.nwsource.com
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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 17:48 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

More Details on XCM Rapid Fire Gear - Lite
>> XCM released more details about their XCM Rapid fire gear - Lite:
[QUOTE]
Announcing the XCM Rapid Fire Gear Xbox 360 Controller Case. This case will be a direct replacement for the existing Xbox 360 wireless controller case with an added rapidfire (turbo fire) feature. Now you'll be able to dominate your competition using a standard wireless controller! Pictures will follow shortly, so stay tuned for more information.
 
Features:
- Ability to program ANY button for rapid fire (turbo).
- Includes new D-Pad button - Allows the D-Pad to scroll more smoothly
- Built in LED lights to light up your controller!
- Utilizing a special process the surface of the controller is extra smooth to the touch.
- Compatible with Wireless Xbox 360 ™ Controllers.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: http://www.xcm-usa.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 13:44 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft Confirms Price Cuts in Europe
>> From the press release:
[QUOTE]
Imagine if friends and families had the ability to instantly watch movies and share pictures, live out their musical fantasies through "Lips" (iNiS Corp./Microsoft Game Studios) and "Rock Band" (Harmonix/MTV Games) and star in their own Hollywood classics with "You're in the Movies" (Codemasters/Microsoft Game Studios) -- all from one console, starting at an estimated retail price (ERP) of only £129.99. That is the Xbox 360™, and Microsoft today announced the new lower ERP for its Xbox 360 family of consoles in Europe. Now with an entry-level ERP of £129.99 and offering a plethora of exciting and broad entertainment in the living room, Xbox 360 is the true home of mass market entertainment with something to offer for every interest and budget.

From Friday, 19th September, Xbox 360, which includes a 60GB hard drive and one wireless controller, will have an ERP of £169.99. The Xbox 360 Elite, which comes with a massive 120GB hard drive enabling consumers to store huge quantities of content downloaded from Xbox LIVE™ Marketplace as well as their own music, will have an ERP of £229.99. The Xbox 360 Arcade console, perfect for those wishing to make their first foray into the gaming and entertainment world of Xbox, will have an ERP of £129.99.

The new ERPs are part of Microsoft's ongoing strategy to open up the ultimate in high-definition gaming and entertainment to an even wider audience, with something for everyone. A major part of this strategy is a new Xbox LIVE online experience coming to Europe this autumn that will reinvent home entertainment from the inside out, with a bold new look and feel that is fun, social and simple to use. It's the first time in history that a mass market consumer electronics device has been reinvented through free software, changing the way we play games, watch movies, and even become contestants in game shows. Along with the new Xbox experience, the Xbox 360 platform is offering a stunning games portfolio for all ages and interests this Christmas, with new titles for music lovers, family-friendly games, and exciting blockbuster titles for the committed gamer.
"Xbox 360 has now sold over 20 million consoles worldwide and due to its unprecedented success, we are now able to pass on the rewards of that success to the consumer with a new retail pricing from £129.99", said Neil Thompson, Senior Regional Director, Microsoft UK. "With more games, more entertainment with Xbox LIVE and now even more value, we are looking forward to welcoming more customers into the leading Next Generation console, Xbox 360."
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For EURO countries, the prices will be 179 euros for the Arcade, 239 euros for the 60GB "Pro" and 299 euros for the Elite.
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(Tuesday 16 September 2008 11:30 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

New Xbox 360 Controller Hands On
>> From eurogamer.net:
[QUOTE]
If there's one thing wrong with the Xbox 360 (apart from being about as robust as a pillar of flour in a hurricane), it's that the directional pad on the otherwise-excellent controller is useless. It's hard enough to navigate the dashboard menus: scrolling through lists, the cursor flies off to adjacent boxes as the d-pad decides it's been angled left or right; and inputting text with the on-screen keyboard is like driving one of those carnival bicycles where the handlebars and front wheel turn in different directions. For games like Pro Evolution Soccer, Street Fighter II and Pac-Man Championship Edition, it's necessary to fall back on the analogue stick - a weaker option for precise, reflexive directional combinations, but in the 360's case still a dramatic improvement.

That's why Microsoft's decision to rejig the Xbox 360 d-pad for a new version of the controller, due for release in October, drew so much attention when the pad mysteriously appeared on Konami's PES stand at Games Convention in August - and why the manufacturer's apparent disinterest is baffling. It wasn't just announced with little fanfare; it wasn't actually announced. We had to drag a statement out of Microsoft to confirm it was even new, and at the time of writing the company has been unable to give us a detailed explanation of how the pad's reported 32-direction input will be implemented in games, whether it will be available for developers to patch for retrospectively, or even whether PESFan's claim that the new d-pad will be included in all future Xbox 360 controllers - not just the limited-edition lime-green version due out next month - is true.

If you ask us, whoever designed the Xbox 360 d-pad in the first place was having a bad day. Or perhaps they didn't realise what it was for. But after a couple of days testing, it's clear that the replacement will need software designed to take advantage of whatever magical advances live beneath its bright green exterior, because while it feels a bit different beneath your thumb, the physical change alone is insufficient to improve your average Xbox Live Arcade game. Although for some reason we do like the colour.
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Full Story: eurogamer.net
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(Monday 15 September 2008 23:52 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Peter Moore about his Career at Microsoft
>> From mcvuk.com:
[QUOTE]
"The highlight of my career so far has been being part of the creation, launch and success of the Xbox 360 platform, comprising the best integration of hardware, software and services the industry has seen to date," he explains.

"What we did at Microsoft during that period was not perfect - nothing that complex ever is. We all agonised over the quality issues that some of our consumers were experiencing, but I was proud that the company took a very bold - and expensive - position to rectify the issues and make good on the problems we had caused for those who experienced hardware problems."

"We were planning the investment levels it would take to make a serious run at the top spot in the next generation, whilst seemingly making a hundred decisions a week," he adds. "It is with pride that I can say I was a part of that team."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: mcvuk.com
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(Monday 15 September 2008 22:43 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: Euro 360 price cut next week?
>> From gamer.tm:
[QUOTE]
Speaking to GAMER.tm, the industry insider - who understandably wishes to remain anonymous - said that Microsoft is to announce the price cut at a European event the company is due to hold during the week of 22 September.

According to our source, the price cut was due to be one of Microsoft's major announcements at the event. Although our source added that it may not have the same impact now, following last week's leak.

Our source confirmed that the prices shown in the leaked Woolworths catalogue image - GBP 129.99 for the Arcade, GBP 169.99 for the 60GB model and GBP 229.99 for the Elite - were official.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamer.tm
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(Monday 15 September 2008 12:46 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

2K: Microsoft's Toolset is the Best
>> From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
Do you concentrate on any platform internally?

Jeffrey Thomas (2K's VP of sports development): Internally, we develop on the 360, because the toolset that Microsoft provides is a better toolset, but we also concurrently work on the PS3; so the development is going on at the same time, and there are people specializing on both. But a lot of the development that can be across the board is done on a 360, and Microsoft's toolset is a lot better of a toolset than Sony's.
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Full Story: gamasutra.com
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(Monday 15 September 2008 12:44 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Hidden Costs of Gaming
>> From digitalspy.co.uk:
[QUOTE]
It's a well-known fact that the big three console manufacturers - Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft - all want your money. Once you fork out a few hundred notes for a console, they have you in their mighty grip, and bleed you dry with their capitalist agendas. In some cases, this can be as much as £300 over the next five years, not including essentials they don't include with the console.

Electricity Costs
Xbox 360 - 120.45 kWh - £19.21 a year

Controllers
Xbox 360 - There is no rechargeable option out of the box - a Play & Charge kit retails for £15, and additional wireless controllers are £30 a pop. That's £60 for two charge kits and an extra wireless pad. However you can save by getting a Wired controller for £25.

Television Cables
Xbox 360 - Comes with component for HD out of the box, also doubling up as composite cables for those with normal tellies. While there are better SD and HD options, these options will do you just fine.

Connecting to the internet
Xbox 360 - Ethernet port only. If you want to get a plug in Wi-Fi receiver, it'll set you back £60.

Other Additions
* Xbox Live subscription - While the Wii and PS3 online services are free, full Gold membership costs £40 a year on the 360. Without it, you cannot play online with others or access certain content.
* Keyboard - The Wii and PS3 have full USB keyboard support for text input, whereas the 360 keypad costs £25. Alternatively, you can spend an entire hour entering a message via the d-pad.
* Downloadable Content - This is subjective, as many games offer additional content that perhaps should be in the full product, but are not on the disc. But when games such as Beautiful Katamari (360) ask you to pay to unlock things already on the disc, it reinforces the point that you have to be a millionaire playboy to get the most out of everything.

Summary
It should be noted that these are all optional costs - you don't need to buy another controller, to purchase a Live subscription or run your console every day for the next few years. But many people do, and if you are thinking of getting a new system for yourself or someone else these little costs add up to something fierce. The Xbox 360 is the worst for those hidden costs, although the others aren't exactly innocent either. When you consider this doesn't include what you actually bought it for - the games - it shows that this hobby is a costly thing indeed.
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Full Story: digitalspy.co.uk
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(Sunday 14 September 2008 16:04 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


 

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