Will you buy the Kinect?

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

 





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Week of October 19, 2008
The New Xbox Experience Preview Program - Get the NXE Early
>> From majornelson.com:
[QUOTE]
I know that many of you are excited to get your hands on the New Xbox Experience, which will go live all Xbox LIVE regions wide on November 19th. Well, we're just as excited to as you are so I am happy to announce that I've been working on a little project that I think may interested you.

Working with various teams across Xbox, we've developed a program to allow a select few of you early access to NXE. How do you get chosen? The first step is to head on over to Microsoft Connect, sign in with your Windows LIVE ID and join the "Xbox 360 Fall 2008 Preview Program" by clicking on this link.

Once you do that, you need to fill out the "Xbox 360 Fall Flash Preview Sign Up" survey in order to be considered for receiving the Preview System Update. We're asking a few questions about where you live, your home network, ISP connection and a few other pieces of information. We are looking for a good cross-section of our members in order to get the best feedback we can.

The LIVE Service team will then review all of the applications and if you're selected we'll send you an email notifying you of your acceptance in the program. A couple of points before you head off to register:
* We're looking for a few thousand participants, so your chances of making it in are good
* This opportunity is open to all Xbox LIVE Members in regions where Xbox LIVE is available
* Just completing the survey does not automatically get you access to the NXE. We'll be making final selections from from the completed surveys.
* Xbox LIVE Gold and Silver members can sign up. Priority will be given to Gold members in the selection process.

If you are accepted, you'll hear from us in about a week. Make sure your information on Connect is updated so we can email you.
[/QUOTE]

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(Friday 24 October 2008 20:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XCM Rapid Fire Gear - Video
>> XCM released a video of their upcoming Rapid Fire Gear Xbox 360 Controller Case.

Official Site: http://xcm-usa.com
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(Friday 24 October 2008 14:53 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

NXE - What You Want to Know: Netflix and Video Store
>> From the Xbox PR Blog:
[QUOTE]
We've all been there. You've just popped some popcorn, put on your flannel pants with the puppies on them (don't fake like you don't have them), wrapped yourself in a comfy blanket, and parked yourself on the couch. Remote in hand, and Dolby 7.1 ready to blast, you reach for the familiar red Netflix envelope sitting on the coffee table - only to discover that it's already open, and you've already watched the DVD! Your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/roommate/dog forgot to put it in the mail. Frustration sets in.
Xbox-Scene
Xbox-Scene

Relax - it's time to get comfy again and turn on your Xbox 360. On Nov. 19, all movies from your Netflix instant watch queue will be instantly accessible and playable on your Xbox 360. All Xbox LIVE Gold members with a Netflix subscription will be able to instantly watch more than 12,000 movies from the Netflix library at no extra charge.

On top of that, you no longer need to put on make-up, "acceptable" clothing and shoes to drive to the rental store. Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace offers more than 20,000 pieces of HD and standard definition content, and will have a new sleek look and feel that makes you feel like you're browsing shelves right in your own living room. You'll be able to see hi-res box art for all the movies and TV shows you love, plus read all the information that would usually be on the back of the DVD box.

In total, when the New Xbox Experience launches, you will have a massive library of more than 30,000 HD and standard movies and TV episodes at your fingertips. This gives me another reason to spend a quiet night in with Clive Owen, Cillian Murphy, Christian Bale, oh the list goes on...
Xbox-Scene
[/QUOTE]

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(Friday 24 October 2008 14:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

The Jasper Hunt Continues: Still Looking for the 65nm Xbox 360
>> From anandtech.com:
[QUOTE]
A number of readers have informed me that early Falcons were still labeled as drawing 16.5A, which is the same as the Zephyr/Xenon systems. That is, they were labeled directly on the console as such (the PSU rating is not really relevant). These Falcons came with either the 203W/16.5A PSU or a 175W/14.2A PSU, but again, the PSU labeling is not really that relevant unless it's something new (150W for Jasper). Despite the labeling, these systems drew the same amount of power as later Falcons that were labeled correctly. Chances are, Microsoft was just finishing off their stock of older pre-printed stickers. Therefore, my suggestion that a console labeled with 12.1A on the 12V rail, regardless of PSU included, would be the easiest way to identify a Jasper is only partially correct. Eventually, it will be true of all Jaspers, but it may not be true of the very first ones to hit stores. As such, I believe that measuring the power draw at the wall outlet using a Kill-a-Watt (or similar device) will be the best way to ID Jasper early on. Once again, here are Anand's numbers from his Falcon for reference (not a super early one, but not a late one either). Jasper should be about 40-50W less than Falcon both at idle and during game play - so around 50W idle, 75W during Halo 3.

Since the original article was published, the new 2008 Xbox 360 Holiday Bundle has started to hit stores and online retailers. It appears that these are a mix of existing stock that has been repackaged and truly new systems. Some of the repackaging is being done in-store, but a lot of it is being done by one of Microsoft's facilities, who is marking the systems with team "ADUE." A sticker is placed over the existing box to indicate the new games inside. This is similar to what happened last year with the 2007 Holiday Bundle. Meanwhile, newer systems (lot numbers 0836 and up it seems) are starting to show up in a new box that is pre-printed with the Holiday Bundle information. So far I've seen reports of up to 0837 in these new Holiday Bundles, some from online retailers and some from local stores. At this point, your best chance of getting a factory bundle is to order online, although there's no guarantee. That said, it also seems that overall local stores are slow at getting the factory-packaged bundles too. So, we're kind of stuck in that regard. Unfortunately, all those 0837s are Falcons still be all accounts. I should also mention that the likelihood of finding a Jasper in a non-bundled system is basically zero for the time being. I have yet to see any newer stock in a non-bundled system. The possible exception would be in a country where the bundle is not available, although I'm not sure if that's even a possibility.

Please don't forget that the manufacturing team is just as important as the lot number. Most likely, one of the manufacturing plants will switch over first so that if there's a problem, they don't loseall their manufacturing capacity. Last year, team FDOU was first with Falcon and team CSON switched over eventually.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: anandtech.com
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(Friday 24 October 2008 12:50 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

The Biggest Xbox 360 Bundle Yet (In Size and Value)
>> From kotaku.com:
[QUOTE]
Don't think Microsoft are letting up on the 360 bundles this Christmas. They're just getting started. The latest official pack-in deal - exclusive to Sam's Club - is not only the biggest bundle deal we've ever seen, but potentially also the best value. For $349 you get a 60GB Pro console, Lego Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda and Guitar Hero III.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: kotaku.com
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(Friday 24 October 2008 12:43 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox Division Maintains Profit in Q1
>> From edge-online.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft said Thursday that Q1 revenues rose 9 percent to $15.1 billion, a new record for the company.
Company-wide operating income was $9 billion, while net income was $4.4 billion.

Sales in the Xbox 360's Entertainment and Devices Division were $1.8 billion, down 6 percent year-on-year due to a tough comparison with last year's blockbuster launch of Halo 3 and hardware price reductions that took hold in early September.
Operating income was up 7 percent to $178 million due to "decreased cost of revenue and sales and marketing expenses."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: edge-online.com
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(Thursday 23 October 2008 23:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Portal: Still Alive breaks XBLA size record
>> From destructoid.com:
[QUOTE]
When we recommended last week that "you have a fair amount of space on your hard drive, say, 629 megs," for this week's Xbox LIVE Arcade title, Portal: Still Alive, we weren't kidding.

Surprise! Portal: Still Alive in available on Xbox LIVE today and it weights in at -- you guessed it -- 629 megs. If your hard drive is full or you don't have one at all, don't say we didn't warn you; this officially makes Portal Still Alive the biggest Xbox LIVE Arcade game to date, breaking the current XBLA size-cap of 350 MB.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: destructoid.com
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(Thursday 23 October 2008 12:54 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

The Voice of LIVE: Issues Poll Results
>> From the press release:
[QUOTE]
The state of the economy is top of mind and dominating media headlines as we count down to this year's historic presidential elections; but one group of active, civically-minded citizens is looking beyond today's news and has the environment and foreign policy near the forefront of issues that matter most to them.

Recently, Xbox LIVE members were invited to state their opinions on the importance of topics ranging from the economy to education. A third of those participating selected jobs and the economy as their top issue they want the next president to address. The other two-thirds of participants showed the wide-ranging nature of the current political debate, as they were nearly equally divided between the environment, foreign policy, heath care and education.

35% Jobs and the Economy
19% Environment
18% Foreign Policy
14% Health Care
14% Education

The second-ever poll over Xbox LIVE is in conjunction with a historic partnership between Xbox 360, Rock the Vote and The Presidents of the United States of America. Through its voter registration drive, more than 80,000 voter registration forms were downloaded through Xbox.com, with more than a half-million pieces of digital content, ranging from candidates' speeches to gamerpics* also downloaded.

Now on Xbox LIVE, members can enjoy an exclusive video for the single Ladybug from The Presidents of the United States of America's new album, "These are the Good Times People." Also available now: new elections '08 gamerpics and themes, along with the chance to win a Gibson guitar signed by the band.

Starting Nov. 4, three songs from the Presidents of the USA, Dune Buggy, Ladybug and Feather Pluckn will be available for purchase for play on the best-selling music video game, Rock Band 2, from MTV Games and Harmonix.
[/QUOTE]

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(Wednesday 22 October 2008 14:23 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

U.S. Games-Per-Console Ratio Shows Xbox 360 Shooting Ahead
>> From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
According to NPD data and analysis compiled by Gamasutra, the XBox 360's tie ratio -- a comparison of software units sold for every hardware unit -- is now 8.1 to 1, overtaking the Wii and PlayStation 3's significantly lower tie ratios.

Referring to the lifetime-to-date tie ratios above, one can infer that each Xbox 360 owner has purchased on average 8.1 games, while Wii owners have purchased 5.5 games, and PS3 owners have purchased 5.3 games. As with any average, it is a statement about the aggregate, not the individual.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamasutra.com
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(Wednesday 22 October 2008 14:19 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft Offers Free Games to Japan
>> From xbox360.ign.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft is known for giving awesome deals to Japanese gamers, and today came news of the latest: a bundle that combines the 360 with two games at no additional cost.

Starting November 6, potential 360 buyers in Japan will be able to chose from a Value Pack bundle that includes an Xbox 360 Standard Model (that's the one with the 60 gigabyte hard drive) along with copies of Ace Combat 6 and Katarami Damacy. The package will retain the 29,800 yen price point of the current game-free 60 gigabyte system.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: xbox360.ign.com
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(Wednesday 22 October 2008 11:34 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

No Gears of War 2 for Japan or Germany
>> From edge-online.com:
[QUOTE]
A Miscrosoft spokesperson has told Edge that Epic's long-awaited Gears of War 2 will not be released in Japan.
"We can confirm that Gears of War 2 will not be available in Germany or Japan indefinitely" said the spokesperson.

The news may come as a shock to many observers as the original Gears of War was one of the first titles to crack the Japanese software charts during a time when the 360 console was selling at its slowest.

The reasons why the game will not be released remain unclear. In May this year Germany's ratings organization declined to issue the game an age certificate.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: edge-online.com
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(Wednesday 22 October 2008 11:33 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Inside the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
>> From eetindia.co.in:
[QUOTE]
Upon taking apart the many layers of plastic that comprise the steering wheel controller, the main PCB is exposed. There are three large ICs, two with Microsoft markings, and a third, the Atmel AT91SAM7S32. The interesting parts are the Microsoft parts. Obviously Microsoft does not make chips, so whose ICs are they? We asked the good people of Semiconductor Insights to de-encapsulate (or decap) the devices to find out.

Looking first at the shielded wireless device labelled "Microsoft X80199," it is revealed to be a National Semiconductor LMX420CL. Further inspection of the die reveals RF and analogue circuitry, as well as a significant amount of logic. From the FCC filings associated with this device, the 2.4-GHz band is mentioned as the communications frequency, so this device is indeed a Bluetooth transceiver. This device cannot be found on the National Semiconductor Web site, but could be similar to their other LMX labelled Bluetooth offerings.

The second Microsoft die, labelled "X81376," contains another National Semiconductor device, the SC14470C mixed-signal microcontroller. This is one of two microcontrollers on the PCB, combining with the Atmel AT91SAM7 to provide the processing power for the steering wheel.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: eetindia.co.in
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(Wednesday 22 October 2008 00:03 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft seen lowering outlook as economy weighs
>> From iht.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft Corp is expected to cut its forecasts for the remainder of the year as customers curtail software spending amid the economic downturn.

Microsoft's shares have plunged to an eight-year low and its rivals such as SAP AG have warned of tighter demand.

"Given the current macro-economic situation, I think there is an expectation that it will use this opportunity to bring down guidance a little bit," said Pat Becker Jr., portfolio manager at Becker Capital Management. Microsoft is the largest holding of the $62 million Becker Value Equity Fund.

The December quarter is usually known for being a busy period for Microsoft's entertainment and devices division as consumers snap up Xbox 360 consoles and video game titles during the holiday shopping season.
The company cut Xbox 360 prices in September, lowering the price of its entry-level console to below $200 -- a key mass-market price level that Microsoft has said historically accounted for more than 75 percent of all machine sales.
"It looks like we are going to have a really difficult holiday season with the U.S. consumer pulling back a lot. So the Xbox business might be weak going forward," said Morningstar analyst Toan Tran.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: iht.com
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(Tuesday 21 October 2008 15:37 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Unique NXE Avatar URLs discovered
>> From xbox360fanboy.com:
[QUOTE]
An anonymous tipster has informed Xbox 360 Fanboy that Avatars -- the cute, customizable user characters that will launch with the New Xbox Experience -- will each have their own unique URL (which won't open in Firefox or Safari, by the way). The URLs in question lead to PNG files of a users Avatar. There is a full body image along with two smaller images of user created Avatar Gamerpics. All of them are stored at the site avatar.xboxlive.com, which currently leads to a blank page. Will these images be part of a broader social networking platform?
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: xbox360fanboy.com
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(Tuesday 21 October 2008 14:36 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360: Not Ready For Primetime
>> From forbes.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft has delayed the launch of "Xbox Live Primetime," its programmed series of interactive games with real-world prizes, until the spring. Microsoft managers say the delay is necessary in order to ensure a smooth launch of the system's new user interface (or, if you prefer the terminology of Microsoft's PR department, the "new Xbox experience").

That's too bad. Xbox Live Primetime is a provocative concept and could represent the gaming industry's first serious foray into the turf dominated by TV. By waiting until the spring, Microsoft's offering will likely go up against a more compelling lineup of television shows--and put its chances of instant success at risk.

When it was announced in July at E3, "Xbox Live Primetime" was described as a major component of the Xbox relaunch. Virtual game shows, which would only be playable at regularly scheduled times, would let members of the Xbox Live community members compete against one another for physical prizes rather than virtual ones (like digital trophies or gamer points).
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: forbes.com
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(Tuesday 21 October 2008 00:32 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft's Greenberg: 'We'll Outsell The PS3 This Holiday Season'
>> From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
"We feel confident that we'll outsell the PS3 this holiday season in North America and in Europe," says says Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg in a new interview. "We'll do it on a global scale."

"We expect to continue our price advantage over the PlayStation 3 for a long time," said Greenberg. "We've seen lifts across all consoles, but the Arcade is doing exceptionally well."

Greenberg also emphasized the attach rate of games to console for the Xbox 360, which stands at 8.1:1 - not including Xbox Live Arcade titles. According to Greenberg, this outpaced the ratio for the Wii by a factor of three, and the PlayStation 3 by a factor of two. (In fact, Gamasutra's new access to NPD data shows them to be 5.5 for the Wii and 5.3 for PlayStation 3.)
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamasutra.com
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(Tuesday 21 October 2008 00:29 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Want the NXE early? Watch MajorNelson.com
>> From gameplayunlimited.blogspot.com:
[QUOTE]
Major Nelson's latest podcast has hit the web and in it is an interesting tidbit.

* "Major Nelson: "...I know you as my audience, you guys, you like to pick up and play. You want to get your hands on it and I don't blame you because you'll enjoy it. In fact, if you want to get your hands on it, let me just say this.......keep an eye on my blog next week. If you want to get your hands on it early, that's all I'm going to say."
* E: "So let me make sure I understand this, so if I were a listener to the podcast."
* Major Nelson: "Correct"
* E: "And I wanted to have access to the New Xbox Experience before November 19th. I should visit MajorNelson.com on a regular basis."
* Major Nelson: "That's pretty much what I'm saying"
* E: "Okay, interesting.
* Major Nelson: "I'm not going to say anything more"
* E: "I wonder what that means"
* Major Nelson: "Stay Tuned. So New Xbox Experience coming November 19th....or earlier to a few of you."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gameplayunlimited.blogspot.com
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(Monday 20 October 2008 17:51 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Real-time audio censoring coming to Xbox LIVE?
>> From examiner.com:
[QUOTE]
The gaming community as a whole is generally a decent group of people, when face to face. Mix a competitive online gaming session with the anonymity the Internet provides and those decent people turn into a mob of racist, swearing, a-holes. A new patent awarded to Microsoft may change this.

Microsoft's patent is for technology that would allow real-time censoring of foul language. Sure we all think that potty mouthed 12 year olds are funny but it seems some parents don't. With MS trying to push the XBOX 360 into the casual market it only makes sense that they would try to clean up the service that they want grandma and little Timmy to use.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: examiner.com
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(Monday 20 October 2008 17:38 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Analysis: Average Xbox 360 Price Has Dropped 100usd In 3 Months
>> From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
As part of an exclusive NPD analysis, Gamasutra is estimating that the average U.S. Xbox 360 console is selling for $100 less than its lifetime average 3 months ago, making the system "ideally positioned" to compete this holiday season.

The price cuts worked: 69,000 Xbox 360 systems were sold each week during September, giving Microsoft its best hardware month this year. What is far more telling, however, is how the average price of each system sold changed after the price drop.

According to the NPD Group, the average sale price (ASP) of an Xbox 360 from its launch through July 2008 was just over $376. We estimate that the ASP was in the $330 to $340 range during August.

For September, we estimate that the ASP of the Xbox 360 dropped to $276, about $100 below its lifetime average and more than $50 below its average before the price drop.

If our estimates are correct, then this signals an even greater role for the $200 Arcade model in Microsoft's hardware mix.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: gamasutra.com
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(Sunday 19 October 2008 17:10 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


 

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