Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Week of April 22, 2007
Gentoox Pro v4.2, Home v6.2 and Loader v6.07
>> ShALLaX released a new version of Gentoox Pro(info), Gentoox Home(info) and Gentoox Loader(info) for Xbox1.

What's new/fixed in Gentoox Pro v4.2:
* Updated software as of 15th-Apr-2007.
* Fully synced with magic as of 15th-Apr-2007.
* Preinstalled netcat.
* Kernel with TCP Explicit Congestion Notification disabled as this caused people issues
* Gentoox Loader v6.06.

What's new/fixed in Gentoox Home v6.2:
* Updated software as of 24th-Apr-2007.
* Fully synced with magic as of 15th-Apr-2007.
* Updated to Gentoox Loader v6.07
* Preinstalled netcat.
* Kernel with TCP Explicit Congestion Notification disabled as this caused people issues

About Gentoox Loader v6.07:
I've released Gentoox Loader v6.07. This is just a maintenance release - it compiles with GCC 4.1.1 and has had the TCP timer tweaked (it seems to accept uploads faster and more reliably now).

Included in the download are the full sources now. This isn't an admission of defeat, I'm just using a different clause in the GPL now (either I have to provide the sources on demand for up to 3 years or I have to provide them with the download - It's easier for me to just provide them with the download now).

Official Site: gentoox.shallax.com
Download: Gentoox Pro v4.2 | Gentoox Home v6.2 | Gentoox Loader v6.07
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(Saturday 28 April 2007 16:55 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Llamma's Inside the Xbox 360 Elite Part 3: Noise, Heat, Power
>> Llamma posted their 3rd part (part one and part two if you missed them) of 'Inside the Xbox 360 Elite' where they address the elite noise production, heat production, and power consumption:
* Power consumption - Similar
Considering the margin of error in our test setup all readings should be considered nearly identical across all units. The small difference we see points toward no change in processor die revision. We would have expected to see a drop of about 30Watts if this were the 65nm revision.

* Noise Production - A little quieter
Idle: 52Db (Elite 360 Hitachi), 54Db (Original 360 Hitachi), 60Db (Original 360 BENQ)
DVD: 52Db (Elite 360 Hitachi), 52Db (Original 360 Hitachi), 54Db (Original 360 BENQ)
In Game: 59Db (Elite 360 Hitachi), 59Db (Original 360 Hitachi), 58Db (Original 360 BENQ)

* Vent Exhaust Temperature - Similar
The highest reading we could get on either unit using a laser sighted no contact thermometer reading right at the rear vent fan is a consistent 128 degrees Fahrenheit with an ambient room temperature of 73.

Full Story: llamma.com
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(Friday 27 April 2007 19:14 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

First Glimpse at Zoozen OVO 360 Case
>> From zoozen.com:
Zoozen is delighted to give the public a first look at one of many innovative projects that our development staff are working on - Ovo 360. The Ovo 360 for Xbox 360 is the first case in the world which has the power to transform the complete look of Microsoft's next-generation machine. Sporting a sleek, white and sophisiticated shell, the Ovo 360 fuses the awesome power of the Xbox with an elegant and breathtaking modern day design to match.

Please Note: Final production of the Ovo 360 may not go ahead. There is still much in terms of development to be done.

Official Site: www.zoozen.com
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(Friday 27 April 2007 10:34 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Content Update for creators.xna.com - New Demos, Tutorials, Utilities, ...
>> From Team XNA Blog (FYI: MS owned blog):
This week brought us a new release of XNA Game Studio Express and now some great new content for http://creators.xna.com. You'll find a list of the new additions below. Once you've found what you like, head over to the website and check it out!

* Racing Game (Starter Kit)
It's finally here! This starter kit provides a complete XNA Game Studio Express game, including source code and game content such as models, textures, and sounds.

Racing Game is a 3D auto racing game that features advanced graphics, audio, and input processing. Race around the track and try to beat the ghost car to achieve the best time.

* New Samples
- Bloom: This sample shows how to use bloom post-processing filters to add a glow effect over the top of an existing scene.
- Render 2D Lines and Points: This sample shows how to extend the Spacewar VectorShape code to create PrimitiveBatch, which can be used to easily draw points, lines, and triangles on the screen.
- Game State Management: This sample shows how to manage the transitions between different menus and gameplay states.
- 3D Audio: This sample shows how to position sounds in 3D space, implementing panning, Doppler, and distance attenuation effects.
- Particles 2D: This sample introduces the concept of a particle system, and shows how to draw particle effects by using SpriteBatch. Two particle effects are demonstrated: an explosion and a rising plume of smoke.
- Shader Series 1: Vertex Shaders: This sample shows one of the most basic uses of shader effects - vertex lighting.

* Articles
- Data Structure Article
- Shader Series Introduction article
- Shader Series supplemental article - FFP to Programmable
- Shader Series supplemental article - Coordinate Systems

* Tutorials
- Advanced Audio Series Tutorial #1
- Advanced Audio Series Tutorial #2
- All tutorial videos are now available for downloading and viewing offline.

* Utilities
- Bitmap Font Maker Utility: This utility converts Windows TrueType fonts into .bmp files that can be imported using the XNA Framework Content Pipeline. This allows you to modify the rendered font .bmp file before loading it into your game, and to add effects such as drop shadows and embossing to your fonts.
- Controller Graphics: This utility is a set of Xbox 360 Controller and controller button graphics that you can use in your game.

Full Story: Team XNA Blog
Official Site: creators.xna.com
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(Friday 27 April 2007 00:03 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Elite Owners Get Free Transfer Cable on Demand and Important Tranfer Notes
>> From gamerscoreblog.com (FYI: MS owned blog):
With the upcoming launch of the Xbox 360 Elite this weekend and new line of supporting accessories like the new 120GB hard drive, we wanted to outline some answers to what we expect to be common questions about these products. We also want everyone to have all the facts before they purchase any new items or start moving their information from one hard drive to another.

Q. I am a current Xbox 360 owner and want to upgrade my storage to 120GB, should I buy the standalone 120GB hard drive or purchase the new Xbox 360 Elite?
A. For current owners looking for larger storage options, we recommend you purchase the standalone 120GB hard drive. This product is designed for current owners and includes a migration kit to move all of your data from your 20GB HDD to the new 120GB HDD. The Xbox 360 Elite console on the other hand is designed for new owners and therefore does not include a migration kit in the box.

Q. Got it, thanks for the advice on which item to buy, but I am pretty set on upgrading to the Xbox 360 Elite, how can I do this?
A. We realize that around the launch of the Xbox 360 Elite that some folks may in fact want to upgrade from their current console. For those consumers interested in doing this, we will be providing a solution to obtain a migration kit from Xbox.com completely free of charge. You can get more information about obtaining one of these kits from a URL that will be live tomorrow.
Note that there are some differences between migration data from one hard drive to another using the same console and doing this migration to a completely new console. See the differences outlined in more detail here.

Q. So how does the migration work and what should I know about it before I start?
A. Here are the step by step instructions for the migration and some important details to keep in mind.

IMPORTANT NOTES about the HDD transfer:
* This is a one time transfer process, so you need to make sure you are ready to permanently move this content to your new drive before beginning.
* Do not start playing games or downloading content on the new 120GB HDD before migration, as this information will be lost and replaced during the migration process.
* If you want to start using your Elite before you have your migration kit in hand, we highly recommend that you remove the 120GB HDD and use your current 20GB hard drive in its place until you are ready to migrate.
* If you are migrating to Elite, we suggest you watch any movie rentals you may have on your old drive before migrating, as the license for this content is tied to the console it was downloaded on and cannot be moved.
* You should also know that licenses for downloaded content like Xbox LIVE Arcade games and TV shows from Xbox LIVE are tied to the console they were originally downloaded on.
-This means that while all of your Xbox LIVE Arcade games and TV shows will transfer, you will have to be connected to Xbox LIVE (to verify your identity) in order to access that content.
-This process is permanent, so do not transfer your data if it is important to you to be able to access this content offline.
-Consumers that purchase the standalone 120GB HDD will not experience any change in the way they access their data online or offline since they are using the same console and only upgrading to a larger hard drive.
* After migrating, your 20GB HDD will be completely erased, but will remain fully compatible with any Xbox 360. Content can only ever be moved from the smaller drive to the larger one--and only once.
* Depending on the amount of content to be moved, the transfer process can take about an hour, the software will estimate this time before you begin.
* If the transfer is interrupted for any reason, your content will remain on your existing 20-GB hard drive. You can restart the transfer process at any time prior to completion.

Full Story: gamerscoreblog.com
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(Thursday 26 April 2007 21:57 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Elite Pictures: Next to 360 Pro and PS3
>> Review site are getting their Xbox360 Elite sample from Microsoft ... here are some pictures from engadget.com.
Xbox 360 Elite Xbox 360 Elite
Xbox 360 Elite Xbox 360 Elite

More Pictures: engadget.com, joystiq.com and kotaku.com
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(Thursday 26 April 2007 19:43 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Elite vs. classic: the test
>> From engadget.com:
Well, we've had a few hours with our Xbox 360 Elite wherein we've done nothing but test it against the most rigorous (unscientific) means at our disposal. But finally we are able to answer the question: is an HDMI-enabled Xbox 360 capable of outputting noticeably higher quality gameplay and movies? We compared our classic Xbox 360 (manufactured 12/08/2005) with our spankin' new 360 Elite (manufactured 3/4/2007). Ready for the face-off? Check out the gallery, and read on for our conclusions.

Final thoughts
Basically, unless you are seriously eagle-eyed, have a massive friggin screen, or for whatever reason need to use HDMI because you're all out of component inputs, your investment in the first-gen Xbox 360 is probably safe. Do yourself a favor, just buy that 120GB drive if you need the space, the HDMI really just doesn't justify replacing your whole console for a new $480 unit. Then again, if you're truly "elite" then all the stuff we just said really doesn't matter, and you're probably gonna buy this thing anyway. Cheers, enjoy!

Full Story: engadget.com
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(Thursday 26 April 2007 18:45 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox Business Still Losing Cash
>> From next-gen.biz:
Microsoft has announced overall record profits for its fiscal third quarter thanks to Windows Vista, but the games division is still losing money.

Overall revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $14.4 billion, up 32 percent from a year prior. Operating income was $6.59 billion and net income was $4.93 billion.
Microsoft attributed the strong figures to "robust demand" for Windows Vista, which released in January, and Microsoft Office.

However, the Entertainment and Devices Division, which houses the Xbox and PC gaming business along with the Zune and other products, reported decreased Q3 revenue and continuing losses.
Revenue for EDD was down 21 percent to $929 million from $1.2 billion for the same period a year ago. Operating loss improved by 22 percent to $315 million from $402 million.

Microsoft said that revenue was down for the quarter because of "decreased Xbox 360 console sales." The company shipped 500K consoles during the period, bringing the worldwide total to about 11 million consoles.

Xbox 360 and PC software sales followed the quarterly decline in hardware, as revenue from games decreased $393 million, or 44 percent.

Full Story: next-gen.biz
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(Thursday 26 April 2007 18:40 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

New eDimensional Product Designed Exclusively by BenHeck!
>> From the press release:
Leading gaming accessory manufacturer eDimensional has teamed up with renowned modder Benjamin J. Heckendorn on their latest product. Gamers worldwide are clamoring to know about what Ben will design next and eDimensional is eager to build it and bring it to market. Now you can win one just by guessing what it is! eDimensional and Ben are pleased to announce the "What the Heck?" contest, where you can send us your guess for what the new product will be. Correct answers will be entered to win a signed copy of the newest product when it is released soon.

eDimensional CEO Michael Epstein raves, "It's been an absolute pleasure working with Ben on the new eDimensional product. He's full of fantastic ideas that are truly inspired by the hard-core gamer, which is exactly who we design our products for. We've really given him free reign to fulfill his creative vision and are thrilled with how the new product looks and performs. We can't wait to offer a benheck original to the entire gaming community."

Author of Hacking Videogame Consoles, BenHeck has been creating acclaimed custom devices such as his recent XBOX 360 laptop since the last century. He notes, "I'm really excited about releasing my latest project, the first opportunity for gamers worldwide to purchase a Heckendorn original! Thanks to eDimensional for their contributions and support in making my latest creation a reality."

Please visit www.eDimensional.com/whattheheck.php for the latest clues and entry information. New clues will appear at random, so be sure to check back often to see if you can figure it out.

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(Thursday 26 April 2007 11:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Halo2 GFX Comparison: Xbox vs Windows Vista
>> From gamespot.com:
Halo2 for Vista doesn't include any new DirectX 10 features, but the platform switch alone will ensure that Halo 2 looks better on Windows Vista than on the Xbox. Going from 480p to PC resolutions will still give players a sharper picture and more detailed environments.

You can see the texture improvements by toggling the level-of-detail option in the video settings menu. According to the developers, setting the level of detail to low will reduce the textures down to the Xbox level. The Xbox 360 gave Halo 2 a slight image quality boost, but the graphics in the Vista port put the older version to shame. DirectX 9 hardware and more efficient shaders let the Windows Vista version of the game use more "cinematic" shader effects, such as environmental mapping and normal mapping during gameplay. Models will also retain high levels of detail rather than degrade down to low-polygon versions at far distances.

Halo 2 for Windows Vista definitely offers a visual upgrade over the Xbox version, but don't expect a DirectX 10-sized graphics leap. The graphics in the Vista port are a polished version of the original Xbox game.

Full Story: gamespot.com (with roll-over image comparisons)
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(Thursday 26 April 2007 00:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox360 120GB HDD in Retail - Pictures
>> Jedi Rainman of the x-scene forums send us these shots of the official Xbox360 120GB HDD (with transfer cable and software) he bought at Wal-Mart.
Xbox360 120GB HDD Xbox360 120GB HDD
Xbox360 120GB HDD Xbox360 120GB HDD
Xbox360 120GB HDD Xbox360 120GB HDD

More Pictures: here
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(Wednesday 25 April 2007 20:55 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 HD DVD player at 72.54usd at retailer
>> From punchjump.com:
Select Sam's Club warehouse stores in the U.S. are selling Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 HD DVD Player for $72.54.

According to a thread on popular shopping website FatWallet.com, a buyer was able to purchase the external high-definition peripheral for the discounted amount.
The price would represent the lowest in-store discount for the device, which typically retails for $199. Samsclub.com sells the product for $181.42.

Full Story: punchjump.com
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(Wednesday 25 April 2007 15:34 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Games for Windows Live (or how I got my first Halo 2 Achievement)
>> From majornelson.com (FYI: MS owned blog):
I got my hands on a gold copy of Halo 2 for Windows Vista yesterday (it goes on sale in a few weeks) and after installing it I did a few things that, while geeky, are worth mentioning. Some are downright cool:
* After installing H2 for Vista, I was able to sign in to Xbox LIVE from the 'Guide' within the game, and see all of my LIVE friends, messages etc.
* I hooked up my Xbox 360 Wireless Controller and my Wireless headset to my PC via the Wireless Gaming Receiver.
* I was able to send and receive text and voice messages from the guide to other LIVE members who were on their Xbox 360's. You press the Guide button on your controller and the guide pops up over the game - just like on the Xbox 360.
* Got my first Halo 2 Achievement (and added another 30 points to my GS)
* While I was playing through the first level of the campaign, I was on a voice chat over my wireless headset with Litheon who was playing Gears of War on his Xbox 360.

It will get even better when Shadowrun ships later this year and PC players and Xbox 360 players can not only communicate over LIVE but also compete against each other.

Full Story: majornelson.com
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(Tuesday 24 April 2007 21:08 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Containment XBMC Skin beta
>> From CHI3f on xboxmediacenter.com:
Here is why the work on xTV suddenly slowed down. The skin has some features never used in a skin before like having a skin settable startup playlist and you can change some of the image and font colors with a simple skin option. Basically everything in the skin that is orange by default can be changed, I have about six color presets and you can add your own. Also has custom backgrounds and animations. I have also made all the images for the controls in the home window the same size and have the same position on screen so theme makers can basically make them what ever they want, no need to stick with the circle design.

I would like to thank mbesik for doing all the GFX, Donno for the color changing script, and Jezz_X for helping me figure out a few bugs that were driving me crazy.

Official Site: n/a, by CHI3f
Download: XBMC Skinning Project SVN | prebuilt version
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(Tuesday 24 April 2007 19:37 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh Released
>> From Team XNA Blog (FYI: MS owned blog):
XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh has been released and is available for download right now! For members of the XNA Creators Club, you'll be receiving a Title Update on your Xbox 360 console that will update XNA Game Launcher to the newest release. If you're not ready to move to 1.0 Refresh on Windows, don't worry; the Xbox 360 version is compatible with 1.0 and 1.0 Refresh.

We've gone over many of the features outlined in the announcement we made at GDC 2007. One thing we didn't really cover previously is compatibility. The entire team made a conscious effort to maintain compatibility with this release.
* Your game should just recompile in 1.0 Refresh with no changes required.
* Any game that is compiled should run fine if you have 1.0 Refresh installed.
* As mentioned, you can continue to use 1.0 on your Windows computer with 1.0 Refresh on the Xbox 360 console.
* Games that are built on 1.0 Refresh may run on 1.0; however, if you are using new functions or features in the XNA Framework (such as font functionality), it will not work properly.

You can download the XNA Framework 1.0 Refresh for including in your installer as you start to upgrade your games.

Finally, please make sure to take a look at the readme for any last minute information about the release. We'd love your feedback on this release, so please head over to the XNA Creators Club forums and leave a message.

Download: here
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(Tuesday 24 April 2007 13:04 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox LIVE: Credit card removal still proving difficult
>> From xboxic.com:
Why is it, that on a subject so sensitive, do Microsoft make it nigh-on impossible to remove your card details if the need arises?

Upon ringing a few days later, Jmel finds that, in actual fact, support say no, the card cannot be removed. A few supervisors later and they apparently say the card will be removed within 7-10 business days. However given that the staff on the end of the phone were so uncertain, it is unlikely that it will ever happen.

Due to uncertainty, Jmel decided to lodge a complaint with TRUSTe (who are ironically sponsored by Microsoft).
It seems that the complaint has at last been taken seriously enough for an official complaint to go through to Microsoft. Whether or not MS act upon this is a different matter, but at least the problem has been brought to their attention.

Full Story: xboxic.com
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(Tuesday 24 April 2007 00:12 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Peter Moore Interview about Xbox360 by Microsoft's PressPass
>> From the Microsoft press release:
Peter Moore, the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, discusses how Xbox 360 is changing the way people interact with their television, Microsoft's leadership position on parental controls and last week's video console sales data from market research firm, NPD.
PressPass spoke with Moore for additional background on the thoughts he shared with broadcast-industry leaders and how video gaming is reshaping the television landscape.

* PressPass: What is different about this wave of next-generation consoles?
* Moore: Beyond realism and immersion, this generation of consoles brings more social, more personal experiences into the living room.
With Xbox LIVE we offer the largest social network connected to your TV. The Xbox LIVE community was originally built to connect people who have a love of gaming, but it has since evolved into an incredibly rich and diverse community of six million people, who can connect daily with their friends and family in ways we never expected.
Members of the Xbox LIVE community currently send more than 2 million text and voice messages a day, and will soon be able to use Instant Messenger with up to six people on their contact list at one time, while playing games, listening to music or watching movies. IM adds to the variety of options friends and families already have to communicate with on Xbox LIVE, including voice and video chat.
It's a community that's growing in leaps and bounds, and continues to grow at a rate faster than industry analysts predicted and that we ourselves anticipated.
What's most remarkable about Xbox LIVE is the "stickiness" of the service, which is how we in the software and services business measure our product's true success. Xbox LIVE, quite simply, gets used.

* PressPass: Xbox 360 has held the industry record in software attach rate, or games sold per console, for eight months in a row. To what do you attribute this success?
* Moore:: Our best-in-class game portfolio is the core of why our customers are passionate about their Xbox. Xbox 360's software-attach rate continues to outperform the competition at 5.7 games sold per console, according to NPD. This record continues to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Xbox games portfolio.

* PressPass: What direction is Xbox 360 heading through 2007 into 2008?
* Moore:: We're right where we want to be at this stage in the game. All in all, 2007 continues to be a very exciting year for Xbox 360 as we continue to expand our library of some of the best high-definition content, and the upcoming release of the worldwide phenomenon - "Halo 3" - which is among the biggest entertainment properties in history. We're also appealing to a broader audience by offering a deeper portfolio of games that appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, and really get you off the couch and on your feet, like "Guitar Hero II" and favorites like "Dance Dance Revolution".
In addition, we recently announced a new version of Xbox 360 called the Xbox 360 Elite. This console includes a 120-GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high definition (HD) cable and a premium black finish, and comes with a wireless controller and Xbox Live headset. The Xbox 360 Elite's larger hard drive gives the gaming community an opportunity to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer - from video games to movies and TV shows available through Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace. Xbox 360 Elite joins the ranks of our Core and Pro offerings that provide consumers with the flexibility to purchase the version of Xbox that best fits their unique needs.
With our strong portfolio of games and industry-leading services like Xbox LIVE and Marketplace, we're excited to say we're still on track to hit our target of profitability in FY08.

Read the whole press release Q&A: microsoft.com
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(Monday 23 April 2007 20:58 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft Gives 4 Extra Months to XNA Creators Club Members
>> From the XNA Team Blog (FYI: MS owned blog):
As a gesture of thanks to our incredible community and especially those who have jumped on board the XNA Creators Club train earlier than others, we've extended each and every active XNA Creators Club membership that was active on March 5th by an additional 4 months. This free 4 month extension covers everyone who has purchased a membership to the XNA Creators Club since our launch back on December 11th of last year. This includes both the 4 month trial memberships as well as the 12 month annual ones.

We also were a little slower than intended in delivering against some of our community resources and assets as well as premium content and partner offerings. That is changing now however with the March 5th launch of the XNA Creators Club Online community site. We have a number of resources, starter kits and partner offerings lined up for release in the coming months. There's plenty in store for our XNA Creators Club members who have purchased memberships and are looking for access to member-only benefits.

Thank you all for the great support and enthusiasm in using XNA Game Studio Express and passion for learning to create great games. The update to XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 is right around the corner and it's a great release that brings quite a few enhancements and new features over our December 1.0 product. I'm looking forward to even more games being shared with our new Club Packaging format that allows binary games to be shared among Club members on both Windows and Xbox 360!

Finally - the Dream-Build-Play warm-up challenge yielded some amazing results. There's still ample time remaining for those considering entering the main event. The submission deadline is July 2 which gives you a little more than 2 months to get cranking on your dream game. That's more than enough time... right? After all, the best game will get awarded an Xbox Live Arcade publishing contract! Head on over to http://dreambuildplay.com for more information and to register to compete if you haven't already.

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(Monday 23 April 2007 16:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

TheSpecialist's HDDHackr v0.90 - Adds Support for 120GB Drives!
>> TheSpecialist sent us the update of HDDHackr(info) many of you were probably waiting for. With the release of an official 120GB drive by Microsoft you can now use this tool to make your own 120GB Xbox360 HDD using a Western Digital Scorpio BEVS-LAT drive (that's a cheap (~80usd for 120GB) SATA 2.5" PC/laptop drive):
Attached is the latest version of the hddhackr. It works with the new 120 gb signature. However, this current version can not dump the hddss.bin file automatically from that drive, you'll have to manually dump sectors 16-22 with a tool like winhex and save them as 'hddss.bin'. After that, continue as normal with the hddhackr and everything will be fine.

Also, I'd like to stress that there are 2 versions of the WD BEVS drive out there: the 'RST' and the 'LAT' version. This tool currently ONLY supports the 'LAT' version ! You can find on the sticker of the HDD which version it is. I'll hope to be able to support the RST version of the drive in a future version of this tool.

From the official readme:
Hddhacker v0.90 by the Specialist.

This tool has only been tested by me. It worked for me. While great care has been taken, this tool may contain bugs and therefore may seriously harm your HDD. Use at own risk !!!

* What: This tool will allow you to use HDD's that are not 'certified' by Microsoft. This specific tool is written for use with the Western Digital BEVS series only !

* How to use: Get yourself a Western Digital SATA BEVS HDD. To use this tool, you need a HDD security sector file ('hddss.bin'). If you don't have one, here's how to create one from a valid xbox 360 HDD:
- Dumping the hddss.bin file
Boot to dos from a writeable medium (like a floppy). Connect an *original* xbox 360 HDD to your SATA controller. Make sure it is the only SATA device that is connected. Now run 'hddhackr -d'. This will create a file 'hddss.bin' and it will save it to the path you've started the hddhackr from.
- Modding your Western Digital
Now turn off your PC and connect the Western Digital and boot to dos again.
Type 'hddhackr -f' from the same path you have saved the hddss.bin file to.
This will flash your FW. It will ask if you want to create an undo file. It is advised to do so. This will create an 'undo.bin' file that you need if you want to undo the hack.
- Check if it worked
Shut down your pc, reboot again to dos and again type 'hddhackr -f'. It should now tell you that the drive should work in your x360. If so, connect it to your x360 and go to your dashboard/system/memory where you should be able to format the drive.
- Restoring your WD to original state
If you don't want to use your modded WD in your x360 anymore and you want to flash it back to its original size, then you can now do so. Boot to dos again and run 'hddhackr -u'. This will use the undo.bin file you created before to restore the drive to its original state.

Q. I get an error when I try to dump hddss.bin from a 120 gb HDD.
A. This version can't dump from an elite drive yet. You'll have to dump sectors 16-22 manually with a tool like winhex, save them as 'hddss.bin' and then continue like normal, with the hddhackr.

Q. Will this tool allow me to connect a 500 gb drive to my x360 ?
A. No. The information on sector 16 is signed and can't be changed. You can only use size where you have a valid signature for. In otherwords, if a bigger HDD comes out, you can use that signature.

Q. With which HDD's does this work ?
A. It currently only works with the 'LAT' version of the Western Digital Scorpio BEVS series. The 'RST' version of that drive is currently NOT supported

Q. Do I need the same size WD HDD as the size on sector 16 states ?
A. No. You can use bigger HDD's, but you can't use more than the size stated in sector 16. You can NOT use smaller HDD's than the size on sector 16 states. For example, you can use a 40 GB HDD with a sector 16 from a 20 GB HDD, but not the other way around of course.

Q. Can I use the HDD in my PC again ?
A. Of course. The tool comes with an 'undo' option, that will restore the original size. For example, you use a 40 gb WD HDD, you used hddss.bin from a valid xbox 20 gb HDD, so the tool will transform your 40 GB HDD into a 20 gb HDD. However, you can restore it to 40 gb anytime you want with the undo option.

Q. I have a x360 core version and want to use this hack to buy a cheap HDD. But how do i connect it ?
A. If you don't have a premium, you can make the HDD internal. One great tutorial that will show you how to do this here.

Q. The tool doesn't detect my HDD !
A. First, make sure you are running it from dos, not from a dos box under windows. If the hddhackr does not autodetect your SATA controller (if you have an nForce chipset for example), then you can manually edit the hddhackr to support it. To do this:

1. Find the two ports that your SATA chipset uses for data communication (see the MTKediting thread for more detailed info on how to do this), basically, you need to run 'msinfo32', then go to storage/scsi or storage/ide, depending on your SATA chipset and then look for the two ports that have a difference of 7 between them. For example:
I/O-port 0x0000EFE0-0x0000EFE7
I/O-port 0x0000EFAC-0x0000EFAF
I/O-port 0x0000EFA0-0x0000EFA7
I/O-port 0x0000EFA8-0x0000EFAB
I/O-port 0x0000EF90-0x0000EF9F
I/O-port 0x0000E800-0x0000E8FF

In this example the two ports you are looking for (with difference of 7) are 0xEFE0 and 0xEFA0
2. Open the hddhackr.com in a hexeditor and search for the string 'port=MPRT' (it is at the end of the file). Now, that 'MPRT' string is 4 bytes long: 0x4D 0x50 0x52 0x54. You have to replace these four bytes with the 2 port numbers (which are each 2 bytes long, so you replace the 4 bytes in total), so in the example above you replace these four bytes with: '0xEF 0xE0 0xEF 0xA0'.
3. If you then start the hddhackr, it will automatically detect that you have edited that string, so it will skip the SATA autodetector and instead use the port numbers you've supplied.

Q. Could you do this for my Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung or whatever drive too?
A. Yes, but I don't have plans to do so. The cheapest WD drive (40 gb) ships for about $50 and thus is one of the cheapest. It is a lot of work to
convert this tool for usage with other brands and I don't think it is worth the trouble.

Q. How do I find out if my BEVS drive is a 'LAT' drive ?
A. It's printed on the sticker of the drive, in the model name. For example: WD1200BEVS-60LAT0

Q. Will there be support for the RST drive in the future ?
A. I'll hope to receive an RST drive soon and then hopefully can find out what's going wrong and be able to support it in a future version of this tool.

Q. Where can I donate ?
A. Nowhere. Just enjoy

Thanks to: Team MODFREAKz for his initial logic board experiments, Loser for his findings on the sector 16, Antman1 and Rutger1413 for supplying info about the new 120 gb signature and everybody else at XS/XBH.
TS in april 2007

Official Site: n/a, by TheSpecialist (TS)
Download: here (does NOT include hddss.bin as it's copywrited)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Sunday 22 April 2007 23:45 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


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