Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Week of June 26, 2005
IBM and Microsoft settle antitrust dispute
>> From TomsHardware.com:
Having extended their negotiations until the last possible moment, IBM and Microsoft this morning jointly announced the termination of their long-running antitrust dispute in US federal courts. As part of the terms of their settlement, Microsoft agreed to pay IBM $775 million in cash, plus extend IBM $75 million in credit toward future purchases of Microsoft software.

The settlement brings to an end IBM's involvement in US federal action against Microsoft that begun in the spring of 1990, when ironically, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating whether IBM and Microsoft were illegally colluding in the development of future operating systems for the IBM PC, disallowing competitors.

Read the whole article on TomsHardware.com.

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(Saturday 02 July 2005 16:31 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox-Scene Slogan Contest Powered by Lik-Sang
>> Find a cool, trendy, original and short slogan/'catchy phrase' for this website (xbox-scene.com) and win a Sony PSP OR an Xbox accessories package with a Street Fighter Arcade stick + MegaXKey + SmartJoy Frag offered by the popular online retailer Lik-Sang.com.

The contest will run atleast till July 15th and you can submit as many slogans as you want. Try to be original and keep it trademark free ;)
You can submit your slogans for xbox-scene.com on this forum thread.
More details about the contest with full rules and full prize description is available on this page.


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(Saturday 02 July 2005 00:01 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Forza CabExtract Release 1
>> From readme/nfo:
This command line utility will input any of the supported archives and output their contents.

Future Goals:
There exists one more archive in the Forza Game Software that is yet to be supported. It holds all the models, images, and data for the tracks themselves. Support for the archive should be in the near future.
I also hope to get a GUI/Explorer Shell version of this app sometime in the near future available for ease of use as well as a REBUILD option so you can test your changes to the archives.

Official Site: http://www.forzacustoms.info
Xbox-Scene Discussion Thread: forums.xbox-scene.com
Download: here
News-Source: xbins.org

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(Friday 01 July 2005 21:56 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft Plans E3-Level Unveiling in Japan and Itagaki talks Xbox360
>> From xbox360.ign.com:
Microsoft plans to reveal a large chunk of its upcoming Xbox 360 plans some time this month at a press conference to be held in Japan.
Speaking with Famitsu Xbox, Xbox General Manager Yoshihiro Maruyama states that the press conference will reveal launch titles for the system as well as the games to follow. "We expect it to be a product unveiling on the scale of E3," he offers. Microsoft's partners will show titles that have already been announced along with some brand new ones. We can also expect some big surprises.
Read the whole article on xbox360.ign.com

From GameSpot.com:
Team Ninja (Dead or Alive) guru Tomonobu Itagaki talks about Xbox360 and also further confirms Microsoft will make a major announcement in Japan later this month.

"The Xbox 360 is said to be a machine that's easy to develop for, but that's because it has a good line-up of middleware and infrastructure. So it should be easy to create something that's up to a certain level [of quality]. But if you try to take advantage of the Xbox 360’s full hardware specs, you'll find out about the difficulty in programming for a multi-core machine," said Itagaki.
Itagaki said that the Xbox 360's 512MB of main memory is more than enough for games, but he feels that the machine's media might bring up some problems. He said he would have preferred if Microsoft adopted the high-capacity HD-DVD format, but said, given the next-gen disc format wars, he could live with Microsoft's decision.
Read the whole article on GameSpot.com.

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(Friday 01 July 2005 20:23 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

No Xbox Controller Support For 360
>> From xbox360.ign.com:
One of the big unanswered questions about Xbox 360 regards Microsoft's plans for current generation peripherals. It's conceivable that gamers have built up a collection of Xbox controllers that they'd like to continue using on the next generation system. So will Microsoft provide the chance?

The answer seems to be no, at least currently. Interviewed in the latest issue of Famitsu Xbox, Microsoft Product Development Limited Xbox Chief Shinichi Manaka reveals that Microsoft won't offer a USB converter to let players use their current controllers on the 360.
We presume 3rd party peripheral developers will come to the rescue here.

Read the whole article on xbox360.ign.com

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(Friday 01 July 2005 15:57 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft torpedoes third-party Xbox 360 reports
>> From GameSpot.com:
Yesterday, the next-gen console race took an unexpected twist, when an article in Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun was picked up by many media outlets, including the Associated Press, that external manufacturers would license Microsofts next-gen console OS.

However, speaking to GameSpot, Microsoft officials flatly denied that the Xbox 360 would carry any other label than Microsoft's--or at least any time soon. "To be clear, Xbox will continue to be manufactured exclusively by Microsoft," said a rep for the company. "There's certainly a potential for other hardware companies to manufacture Xbox some day in the future, but that is not something we're focused on right now."

Read the whole article on GameSpot.com.

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(Friday 01 July 2005 14:22 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

XS Exclusive, First Images of X3ir Device + More GC Shells
>> HSD - I was given an opportunity to view the first pictures of the Xecuter(info) IR (infrared kit) device called X3IR.


Front, Back

"Photos are final PCB design, it's fully programmable, works with Stock Xbox Remotes, and all RCA remotes. Fits perfectly with X3 Pro Switches, and X3 Control Panels."

HSD - Thanks for the exclusive pics. They've updated their site with some new GC shell photos over the last couple of days...

From TeamXecuter.com



We are happy to reveal more colors from our GameCube case collection. More stores expected to stock the case include mrmodchips.com & baldbouncer.co.uk

If you are a website with an interest in the GameCube and would like a sample of our case for you to post a review and have a link on the Xecuter site please email xcrew@hush.com with your details including website and background.
More photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

HSD - I'll have an opportunity to review this case shortly on another forum.

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(Friday 01 July 2005 09:00 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Beta Kits Arrive
>> From xbox.ign.com:
IGN learned this week that Microsoft has finally sent Xbox 360 beta kits to its core development partners, which are currently analyzing the new hardware.
Prior to their arrival, Xbox 360 developers used G5 Macs or PCs with approximate specs.

Read the whole article on xbox.ign.com.

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(Thursday 30 June 2005 23:45 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Toshiba Developing Xbox HD-DVD Player?
>> From kotaku.com:
Here’s an interesting tid-bit: Toshiba was showing off their Fall line-up the other day and demoed a HD-DVD that was being created in conjunction with Microsoft. This, of course, was well before the official Xbox software license announcement, but now attendees are starting to wonder if references to the device’s ability to download games and play them may be tied into the Xbox software deal.

Could Toshiba be working on a HD-DVD Xbox? It would certainly explain why Microsoft seems so willing to drop the original console like a bad habit, maybe they are making room for a new, fancier iteration of the original.
Oh, and the Toshiba folks also spilled the beans on HD-DVD and the Xbox 360, saying that the next-gen console will use the new format for its media and whining about how Microsoft is dragging their feet on the official announcement.

Read the whole article on kotaku.com.

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(Thursday 30 June 2005 19:38 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft May License Xbox Software to Third Parties
>> From TeamXbox.com:
At his ongoing tour in Japan, Bill Gates has once again hinted about future Xbox developments. This time, the Chairman of Microsoft Corp. revealed that the software giant might license the Xbox technology to outside companies in an effort to increase the popularity and market share of the Xbox video game system. Earlier this week, Bill Gates revealed that future versions of the Xbox 360 might incorporate HD DVD technology.

It remains to be seen whether the technology licensed will be the current Xbox or the next-generation Xbox 360 and if the third party products will carry the Xbox brand or not.

Read the whole article on TeamXbox.com, GamesIndustry.biz and News.com.

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(Thursday 30 June 2005 10:02 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Opendash Beta Released!, legal open-source xbox dashboard
>> d0wnlab on the Xbox-Scene forums wrote..
I had some time today to finish up a beta of my OpenDash. It isn't done, nor is it a very nice dash to use, but it's the first OpenXDK(info)-based dashboard afaik. Many of the limitations are very lame, but it does the job (I suppose).

WARNING! DO NOT USE AS PRIMARY DASH WITHOUT A METHOD TO RECOVER (.. why would you want to, anyways?)!! This is completely beta software and should not be trusted. Software provided without warranty, etc. Use at your own risk.

* (2!) cool groovy backgrounds
* Browse three (3!) different directories for XBE's to run
* FTP support via mini-linux distribution (based on ltools(info))
* It's legal!
* DVD booting (although reset-on-eject is busted so, it's not that useful)

I'm posting this in development because I need a bit of help. Namely:
* Someone to make a cooler milkshape 3d model (replace model.msd with something better)
* Someone to replace bg.bmp. The red channel of the image is used in the "red-line" background. I just used a screenshot I had laying around, I'm sure a cooler effect could be used with say, clouds or something.
* Help with turning off reset-on-eject. I'm executing the command:
HalWriteSMBusValue(0x20, 0x19, 0, 0x01);
But it doesn't do anything. Any help?

Other Limitations
* You can't boot a relative path from the mounted d:/ at the moment.

For more info, and how you can help with this great project.. check the XS forums thread

Give it a try..
Download: OpenDash Binaries / OpenDash Source
Official Site: http://th0mas.sixbit.org
Official Forum Thread: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 29 June 2005 20:04 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

New Modchip: Clevermod Sunday
>> We received this mail from clevermod.com:
It’s with great pride that clevermod.com announces the release of it’s flag ship product ‘Sunday Chip’. Sunday chip combines affordability and innovation while rolling out a refined product that sets up easily for the weekend installers, daisy fresh noobs and mod chip experts alike. To accommodate everyone’s need’s Sunday chip’s PCB was designed for 2 styles of installs. The Base install retails for $10. The IR remote add on is an additional $12. Our aggressively affordable pricing combined with the real world features and clevermod reliability quickly push Sunday chip to the head of the pack even against more established chips with their loyal following. Our best features aren’t found anywhere else at any price because they are clevermod exclusives, not some rehashed clones.

Base Install Features:
* 512k SST flashrom (socketed plcc32) sets up as 2 x (256k) banks or 1 (512k) bank.
* Lattice high speed CPLD controls LPC comms, Life support, and banking.
* Life support system for multiple flash ROMs on the LPC (1.6) and reduces a 72ma load from the Xbox MCPX chip. Increases life expectancy on the 1.6 Xboxes.
* Shipped with customized legal flash bios 3 (2 versions) to boot and flash via HTTP, DVD-ROM or hard disk. Our flash bios can restore serial EEPROM’s on any machine, lock hard drives and with 2 versions it loads on all versions of the Xbox.
* CPLD banking means dual banks for 256k with recovery or 1 512k bank for X2-50xx.
* Live compatible from the front panel (Mod enable and disable).
* Sunday flash v1.2 XBE software for safe bios updating from the Xbox kernel featuring recovery.
* Flash bios 3 XBE’s for safe bios updating from a Linux kernel featuring Linux reliability.
* Supports all the bios features, LBA48, eject fix, IGR to alternate dash etc.
* It’s a reliable mod chip that boots on all versions consistently. Header pins and banking hardware included.

IR Add-on features:
* Custom PIC chip controller ‘through hole’ design for easy foot print population.
* IR receiver module compatible with 3.3v or 5v.
* Decoding PIC learns any key press from any Sony or Equivalent controller.
* Optional key chain and larger universal remotes are available.
* Adds these no touch IR remote features:
-Power on in MS bios mode (perfect for Xbox live).
-Power on in mod chip bios mode for homebrew hacking.
-Eject the tray (mod chip mode if powering on).
-Toggle banks (2 x 256k mode).

See a video demo of these features on the product page in related files at clevermod.com.
Clevermod is devoted to world class scene driven support and we back this up with a 30 page user’s guide, product videos and a devoted support forum.

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(Wednesday 29 June 2005 19:05 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

EasyBuy2000 v1.0-1.6b Solderless Adapter
>> Easybuy2000.com mailed us about their new solderless universal adapter for Xbox v1.0-v1.6b:
The first of its kind, right here at EB2K! Get the new and exciting Solderless 1.6 Adapter for the XBOX system! This universal adapter supports all XBOX versions from 1.0 to 1.6b. Connect your Modchip to your XBOX without soldering!

Main Features:
* No wires to install
* Supports all XBOX versions from 1.0 to 1.6b
* Easy to install
* No soldering involved
* Allows you to control diagnostic lights (ON/OFF)
* You can use any Modchip that uses 3.3V or 5V power lines from LPC port
* Unique 5V powering sub-system with no extra wires to connect or splicing of any wires
* Can be used with any Modchip that uses LPC pin #4 for D0 for a solderless connection

X-Chip(info), X-Lite(info), Xecuter(info) 2.6 CE, Xecuter 2.6, Xecuter 3 CE, Xecuter 3, Xenium(info), Xenium ICE, Or any other Modchip that pin #4 of the LPC for D0, SmartXX(info) v2

Package Contents
* 1 Clear Plastic Guide
* 1 Black Plastic Pogo Pin Connector
* 1 Set of secure screw
* 1 Rubber Mounting Foot
* 1 Universal Wire Loom
* 1 PCB Assembly

Buy Now: easybuy2000.com ($27.95)

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(Wednesday 29 June 2005 13:36 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Peter Moore to Deliver Keynote at DigitalLife
>> From the pressrelease:
NEW YORK, June 29 -- Peter Moore, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Publishing, Home and Entertainment Division, for its revolutionary and much-anticipated, Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, will deliver a keynote address at Ziff Davis' DigitalLife event in New York City. Mr. Moore will open the event on Friday morning, October 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET. Mr. Moore will share his thoughts on how the next generation of videogame consoles will enable people of every age to come together in new ways and transform home entertainment.

Read the whole pressrelease here.

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(Wednesday 29 June 2005 11:25 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

PS3 to sell for $399, cost $494 to make
>> From GameSpot.com:
According to the latest issue of Japanese magazine Toyo Keizai, Merrill Lynch Japan Securities has recently calculated an analysis that the production of a single PlayStation 3 console will cost Sony approximately 54,000 yen to make ($494), as of its initial release in 2006.
Merrill Lynch Japan estimates that the machine's main components--namely its Cell chip, RSX, and BD-ROM drive--will cost about 11,000 yen ($101) each. After adding the other electronics that will be used in the PS3, the machine's production cost goes up to 54,000 yen.

Given that Sony's PS3 will face stiff competition from Microsoft's Xbox 360, the chances that Sony will release its console at its production cost is slim. Under the assumption that the Xbox 360 is expected to sell at around $299, Merrill Lynch Japan predicts that Sony will sell each PS3 at the price of 44,800 yen ($410) in Japan and $399 in America. That would mean Sony would suffer a loss of more than 130 billion yen ($1.18 billion) during the first year of the PS3's release

Read the whole article on GameSpot.com.

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(Tuesday 28 June 2005 21:44 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Auto-Installer Deluxe v2.02 Update
>> An update has been released for Auto-Installer Deluxe v2.01 - a CD that allows you to easily setup your Xbox and install many homebrew programs.
From nfo/readme:
This is a collection of newer software and fixes that was released after AID 2. This also includes the v2.01 update pack which was released a few days after AID 2, which fixed some of the installation bugs.
The future plan for AID 2 is to basically bring out one or two more of these update packs over the next few months, and then at the end of the year I will release AID 2.1 Final, which will hopefully cover everything needed for every Xbox version made, including any last additions needed for the Xbox v1.7.

* New BIOSes: Xecuter(info)2 5035 ; Xecuter3 3942 ; SmartXX(info) OS(info) 3395 Update ; X-Changer OS(info) Update 2.1 (normal and v1.6)
* Updated Software: dvd2xbox(info) 0.6.7 ; SC3X(info) 0.05 ; Surreal64(info) XXX Beta 4 ; UnleashX(info) v0.38.0515 Build 565 ; X-DSL(info) v0.21 ; XboxMediaCenter(info) 2005-06-27
* Other Updates: More Evox Trainers ; New XBMC Skins (fully compatible with this version)

Official Site: http://www.xbox-hq.com/html/article2158.html
Download: n/a (contains files built with XDK)

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(Tuesday 28 June 2005 20:09 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Softimage Announces Support for Microsoft Xbox 360
>> From the pressrelease:
Tewksbury, Mass. – June 28, 2005 – Softimage, Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., today announced support for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system with the release of the .FX plug-in - a free effects creation tool for SOFTIMAGE®|XSI® software, the 3-D animation element of Avid’s integrated computer graphics solutions for game development. With this new plug-in for XSI, game developers now have the industry’s most advanced 3-D tool combined with the latest in effects technology to create high-definition characters, props and elements for their Xbox 360 titles. The technology powering the Xbox 360 allows developers to build graphically intense high-definition environments with all titles being designed for HD television resolutions (720p and 1080i) in 16:9 widescreen.

Read the whole pressrelease here

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(Tuesday 28 June 2005 17:08 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Independent Games Festival Launches 2006 Competition
>> From TeamXbox.com:
Rules and submission guidelines for the eighth annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) are now available. This year's festival features major changes to the format of the competition, including a $20,000 Grand Prize for best game, a new modding competition, and increased prizes for smaller award categories. Submissions will be accepted in August. The deadline for the main IGF Competition is set for September 6 and Modding Awards and Student Showcase submissions are due November 15. The festival honors innovative videogames created by independent game developers and students.

The IGF was established in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, in the way that the Sundance Film Festival has benefited independent filmakers.

Read the whole article on TeamXbox.com.
More info about the festival on www.igf.com.

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(Tuesday 28 June 2005 11:09 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Might Incorporate HD DVD Drive
>> From TeamXbox.com:
Today, at a joint news conference in Tokyo, Microsoft and Toshiba announced they will strengthen their joint development of PCs and consumer electronics goods and will work together on HD DVD technology.
At the press conference, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates revealed that the Xbox 360 video may incorporate in the future the next-generation DVD format developed by Toshiba.
“The initial shipments of Xbox 360 will be based on today's DVD format,” Gates confirmed. “We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capability of an HD DVD player or something else.”

The next-generation videogame and entertainment system from Sony will use Blu-ray Disc technology, a competing next-generation DVD format.

Read the whole article on TeamXbox.com(1), TeamXbox.com(2) and BloomBerg.com.

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(Monday 27 June 2005 14:20 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 to make peace between PSP and DS?
>> From engadget.com:
Be at peace, gamers, for rumor has it that the Xbox 360’s hotly discussed extensive 3rd party hardware integration and support will include—no, you definitely did not see this coming—methods for allowing PSP and DS users to play Microsoft games online with their devices through the 360, and with one another. Of course, this is completely unconfirmed, but sometimes bizarre love triangles really aren’t that bizarre. Bring on the unity. Feel the love.

News-Source: engadget.com & joystiq.com

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(Monday 27 June 2005 11:24 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

XBCD v1.07
>> A new version of XBCD(info), a driver to use the Xbox controller on a Windows 98/2000/XP PC, has been released.
What's new/fixed:
* The Setup Utility can detect XBCD gamepads under the original version of Windows 98.

Official Site: http://www.redcl0ud.com/xbcd.html
Download: here

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(Sunday 26 June 2005 23:38 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )

Comparing Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware
>> The guys over a anandtech posted an interesting article comparing each aspect of the Xbox360 and PS3 Hardware.
From anandtech.com:
This article isn’t here to crown a winner or to even begin to claim which platform will have better games, it is simply here to answer questions we all have had as well as discuss these new platforms in greater detail than we have before.

Before proceeding with this article, there’s a bit of required reading to really get the most out of it. We strongly suggest reading through our Cell processor article, as well as our launch coverage of the PlayStation 3. We would also suggest reading through our Xbox 360 articles for background on Microsoft’s console, as well as an earlier piece published on multi-threaded game development. Finally, be sure that you’re fully up to date on the latest GPUs, especially the recently announced NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX as it is very closely related to the graphics processor in the PS3.

This article isn’t a successor to any of the aforementioned pieces, it just really helps to have an understanding of everything we’ve covered before.

Go read the article on anandtech.com.
Thanks to Greg & Alan for the news/link.

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(Sunday 26 June 2005 11:15 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by:: )


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