Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Three Burger King games coming (Update: Achievements)

Beginning November 19th, for $3.99 you can get one of three Burger King games along with the purchase of a Value Meal. Developed by Blitz Games, they will be similar to arcade games, and although there are no details about what achievements they will include you will be able to get 200 points from each (Update: Achieve360Points has a list of the achievments). Click read more for descriptions of the games.

From the Gamerscore Blog:

Pocketbike RacerIn the wild world of Pocketbike racing, players race the King and his miniature motorbike crew through five fun, yet challenging speedways. Each track varies in level of difficulty, and players navigate long straights, tight bends and sharp turns at high speeds while attempting to earn enhancements and tools that they can use as an advantage over opponents. Featuring HAVE IT YOUR WAY® customization options, players select a bike and a driver and then hit the track of their choice ­-- a BURGER KING® restaurant parking lot, a construction site, a backyard, the King’s garden or the Fantasy Ranch set. In addition to individual play, four players can race against each other in classic split-screen set-up, or eight players can battle it out online using XBOX Live.
Big Bumpin’Big Bumpin’ looks like a traditional carnival bumper car ride and features familiar BURGER KING® personalities, including the Subservient Chicken and Brooke Burke. But, there’s a catch – Big Bumpin’ arenas come with some big hazards, like surprise saws, bottomless pits and “power up” items that let gamers dole out thundering bumps. With several different types of game play, gamers have a chance to hone their bumper car skills in a variety of challenging scenarios. The game features five theme parks, including the “Ice Box,” “Broiler,” “King’s Court,” “The Deep” and “Monsoon of Doom,” and multiple modes of play for each, such as intense four-player and XBOX Live-supported. Easy to learn. Fun to play. Difficult to avoid a major crash.
Sneak KingPlayers step into the King’s royal shoes and use cunning and stealth to sneak up behind unsuspecting people and bestow them with a delicious meal. The goal of Sneak King is to surprise hungry citizens with BURGER KING® sandwiches and other menu items before they pass out from hunger. Whether in a logging yard, construction site, suburban neighborhood or downtown urban scene -- each rich with detail and hidden pathways -- players can hide out and earn points based on how elaborately the delivery is executed.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Play Gears of War before it's out

You've seen all the videos and read all the previews of how great Gears of War is going to be. But you haven't actually got to play it. Now, that might change. If you are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or San Francisico, on Wednesday, October 4th you can play it after an advanced screening of the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. But come early, because it will be overbooked and it's first come, first serve. They will also be matching tickets and ID, so make sure to bring yours. If you're interested, you can sign up here. If you miss it or it's not in your city, this is just the first of three "Match Made in Hell" events happening in October - just hope next time it's where you live.


Gears of War to feature full co-op play

In an interview on RewiredMind CliffyB reveals some information on Gears of War's co-op. The entire game will be playable in co-op, instead of a few levels added on just for the purpose. In splitscreen, system link, or over Xbox Live, someone can just drop in and play with you, and you can still unlock all the achievements or even play to the end with them (Will there be a way to stop people from joining and playing only the last few minutes of a level with their friends just so they can get an achievement?). If you decide you want to play with a buddy, just invite them and they will join as a spectator of the character they will take over - and when they are ready they just hit Start and take control.
[Via Evil Avatar]


Friday, September 29, 2006

Bringing it Home on Xbox Live Marketplace: List of all content

Since September 20th, there has been lots of new content on Marketplace every day as part of Xbox Live Bringing it Home. Here is a full list of all the content now available as part of it (Click read on for the full list of trailers, gamer pics, themes, demos, and game content):

X06 Arcade Montage
Blitz the League
Army of Two
Tony Hawk's Project 8
Frontlines Fuel of War
X06 Game Montage
Banjo Kazooie
Marvel Ultimate Online
Viva Pinata
Assassin's Creed
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Blue Dragon

Lost Odyssey
Rainbow Six Vegas
Halo Wars
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Forza 2 Physics & Damage
Sonic The Hedgehog
Shrek 3
Just Cause
The Darkness
Battlestations Midway
Import Tuner Challenge
Need for Speed Carbon
The Darkness
Virtua Tennis 3
NBA Live 07
Forza 2 Customization
Vista Game Montage
Fusion Frenzy 2
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom
Team Fortress 2
Tenchu Senran
Half-Life 2 - Episode 2

Other Video:
TGS Showfloor video 3
TGS Showfloor video 2
TGS Showfloor video 1

Gamer pictures:
X06 Picture Pack
Halo Wars Picture Pack
Mass Effect Picture Pack
Battlestar Galactica (US Only)
TGS Picture Pack

Fable 2 Theme
X06 Theme
Halo Wars Theme
Forza 2 Theme
TGS Theme

WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2007
Sonic the Hedgehog
Lego Star Wars II
NBA 2K7 (Not in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore or Taiwan)

Game content:
LEGO Star Wars II 360 Downloadable Character Pack (200 Microsft Points - Not in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, or Taiwan)
BFMEII Aragorn’s Journey - Map Pack 1
BFMEII Northern Badlands - Map Pack 2 – (350 Microsoft Points)

The Xbox Live Arcade games Spades, Hearts, Backgammon, and Bankshot Billiards were also updated to work with the Xbox Live Vision Camera. If you already own any of them, an auto update will add the camera support.

The Arcade game DOOM is now on Marketplace

Content Exclusive to Japan

Vampire's Rain
Table Tennis trailer
DOA X2 E3 Trailer
Project Sylpheed

Other Video:
Interview Day 3 Briefing Backstage Pass
TGS Showfloor video Day 3
TGS Showfloor video Day 2
Gamers' Interview
Xbox Live The Party #5
Xbox Live The Party #6
Xbox Live The Party #7
Xbox Live The Party #8
Xbox Live The Party #9
Xbox Live The Party #10
Game Creator Interview

Tenchu Senran


Assassin's Creed gameplay and info (Updated)

From X06, here is the first video of Assassins Creed gameplay:

IGN also has some info on the slight differences between the PS3 and 360 version:

While the PlayStation 3 and 360 versions of Assassin's Creed are virtually identical, Raymond did say that on the 360 the team is putting a special emphasis on achievements. The hardware also allows for improved threading, which will improve even further the crowd AI.

One of the (few) advantages of the PS3 is its better hardware, yet the Xbox 360 is getting better AI. This could be because they have had a year to work with the 360 already, but the hardware is the part that enables the improved AI, not the fact that they know it more thoroughly. This probably won't make too much of a difference, but this isn't the first time a PS3 game is lacking some features from its 360 counterpart.

[Video via Xbox 360 Fanboy]

IGN has updated their article, taking out the part about improved AI and replacing it with this:

And while the 360 hardware enables Ubisoft's team to use multiple threads to enhance the crowd's AI, the end result for the game on both systems will be the same. "While the method for distributing AI load is different on each platform, the AI code itself is the same. Players will experience the exact same crowd results on PS3 and Xbox360," Ubisoft explained.

[Via Evil Avatar]


Star Wars Battlefront coming to Xbox 360

The Official Xbox Magazine on the U.K. reveals that Star Wars Battlefront is coming to Xbox 360. That's not all. Free Radical, the company behind the TimeSplitters games, will be the ones bringing it to 360.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Xbox 360's Holiday game line-up

Xbox 360 games that will be available this holiday:

Gears of War (Epic Games Inc.)
Viva PiƱata (Rare Ltd.)
Call of Duty® 3 (Activision)
Disney·Pixar’s Cars (THQ)
Dead or Alive®: Xtreme 2 (Tecmo Inc.)

FIFA 2007 (EA)
(2K Sports/Visual Concepts)
NHL 07 (EA)
Need for Speed™ Carbon (EA)

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH)

Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 07 (EA)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (Ubisoft)
Tony Hawk’s Project 8 (Activision)

Other games for 360 either announced or shown at X06:

Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
(Real Time Worlds
Fable® 2 (Lionhead Studios)
Forza Motorsport™ 2 (Turn 10)

alo Wars (Ensemble Studios)
Half-Life® 2 (EA/Valve)
Lost Planet™: Extreme Condition (Capcom)
Mass Effect (BioWare)
Project Gotham Racing® 4 (Bizarre Creations)
The next game in the “Banjo-Kazooie® Franchise (Rare Ltd.)

Xbox 360 games shown or announced that will also be for Windows:

Alan Wake (Remedy Entertainment)
BioShock (2K Games)
Crossfire (Eidos, Pivotal Games)
Alone in the Dark (Atari)
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men (Eidos, IO Interactive)
Marvel Universe Online (Cryptic Studios)
Shadowrun™ (FASA Studio)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
The next Splinter Cell title (Ubisoft)
World Series of Poker®: Tournament of Champions (Activision)

Guitar Hero II was also announced to be coming to 360.

[Via Gamerscore Blog]


Guitar Hero II coming to 360

Red Octane's game Guitar Hero II is going to be released on Xbox 360. In the press release it says:
"The tour will continue the rockin' gameplay Guitar Hero fans have come to enjoy, and will now include expanded Xbox 360 capabilities," said Kai Huang, president of RedOctane. "With Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360 rock rhythm, lead, or bass guitar tracks with downloadable content and the new X-Plorer® controller, designed specifically for the Xbox 360."

[Via Gamerscore Blog]


HD DVD player: Available mid-November for $199.99

The HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 will be available in mid-November in North America, the U.K., France, and Germany. It will retail for $199.99 and €199.99 (£129.99) in the different territories. Included is the Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote, and for a limited time the HD DVD version of King Kong.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Games announced for Xbox 360 at X06: New Halo, Splinter Cell 5, PGR4, and more

New games that were announced for Xbox 360 at X06:

A new Halo game (In addition to Halo Wars) and a completely new original property. From the press release: "A landmark partnership announced between Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Fran Walsh, and Microsoft Game Studios will create two new interactive entertainment series exclusively for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live®. The first series will be a collaborative effort with Bungie Studios to co-create the next great chapter in the “Halo®” universe. The second series will be an entirely original property targeted at bringing new audiences into the captivating world of interactive entertainment. In addition, Microsoft Game Studios will partner with Jackson and Walsh to establish Wingnut Interactive, a studio dedicated to the creation of world-class interactive entertainment." There is no information on what the new property will be about, but Bungie had this to say about the new Halo game on their website: "...we can tell you it will be a blend of gameplay and storytelling quite unlike anything the games industry has ever seen before." If that doesn't get you excited, there must be something wrong with you.

Halo Wars, a Halo RTS. Here are all the details, along with an amazing video.

Another Splinter Cell game (After Double Agent). It will be console exclusive to the Xbox 360. That's right, no Splinter Cell for the PS3 or Wii.

Project Gotham Racing 4

Banjo-Kazooie. From the press release: "The beloved “Banjo-Kazooie” franchise will breathe new, high-definition life on Xbox 360 exclusively from famed developer Rare Ltd.; astonishing next-generation visuals and presentation reunite beloved characters Banjo, Kazooie and Gruntilda — among other fan favorites — with their sharp wit and hilarious sense of humor."

Marvel Universe Online

DOOM for Xbox Live Arcade. It is now available for download, costing 800 Microsoft Points ($10).

Sensible World of Soccer, also for Xbox Live Arcade. From the press release: "Based on the classic 1994 Amiga title, “Sensible World of Soccer” will let gamers choose between the original graphics or an updated, high-resolution look and feel — while still capturing the original’s entire world of football."

Some other news about already announced titles:

Grand Theft Auto IV. Just a few months after it's release (October 16th in North America, October 19th in Europe), two downloadable "epic episodes" will be available, each coming with hours of new gameplay. These will be exclusive to Xbox 360.

Bioshock will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.


Halo Wars: The Halo RTS

Today a new game based on the Halo universe was announced: Halo Wars. It is a Real-Time Strategy game, made by Ensemble Studios, the creators of Age of Empires (this explains the seemingly unfair shut down of the fan created mod Halogen, also a Halo RTS). Exclusive to Xbox 360, you will control a group of UNSC soldiers, the "Spirit of Fire", and learn more of what happened before Halo 1. You may also be able to play as the Covenant, but the website won't say for sure.
"The folks at Ensemble are the only team we trusted to make a Halo RTS and from what we've already seen (and played), it's going to be awesome," Bungie says on their website. There is no information on when it will be released, but here is a pre-rendered trailer (also available on Xbox Live Marketplace or the Halo Wars website):


Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Week's Releases: September 24th, 2006

Here are the games releasing this week:
Monday, September 25th:
NBA Live 07
Tuesday, September 26th:
Import Tuner Challenge
Wednesday, September 27th:
Just Cause


A black Xbox 360?

On this Gamespot page, there is a Best Buy ad (You may not see it right away since there are a number of different ads, but if you refresh the page enough it should eventually show). It cycles through different gaming products, one of which is an Xbox 360. But the picture displayed is not what you would expect: It shows an all black 360. I captured a picture here:
And if that's not enough, the ad can also be seen here. This is only an ad and so doesn't mean too much, but why would they put a picture showing a black Xbox 360 if they aren't going to sell them? Plus, this is not the first time there have been these rumors. In the October issue of the Official Xbox Magazine, the "Rumor Mole" claims one of its "trusted sources" says there will be a "$600 dollar jet-black Xbox 360 with a built-in HD-DVD drive, an HDMI A/V port, a 250GB hard drive, and TiVo-like PVR functionality." I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this ever happens, but why else would the 360 in the ad be black?

[Via Xboxic]


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Top Games on Live (Week of September 11th)

From Major Nelson, here are the top ten most played games while connected to Xbox Live, based on World Wide Unique Users:

Xbox 360 Top Live Games
1 Saints Row
2 Madden NFL 07
3 Call of Duty 2
4 Test Drive Unlimited
5 Ghost Recon 3
7 Oblivion
8 Texas Hold 'em
9 Chromehounds

Top Arcade Titles (Full Versions)
1 Texas Hold 'em
2 Hexic HD
3 Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
5 Geometry Wars Evolved
6 Time Pilot
7 Scramble
9 Marble Blast Ultra
10 Bankshot Billiards 2

Original Xbox Top Live Games
1 Halo 2
2 Battlefield 2: MC
3 Madden NFL 07
4 Counter-Strike
5 Pro Evolution Soccer 5
6 Splinter Cell Chaos
7 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
8 Rainbow Six 3 BA
9 Forza Motorsport
10 Ghost Recon 2: SS

Overall, Halo 2 is the most played game.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Microsoft sued because of Xbox Live

Paltalk has filed a case against Microsoft claiming that Xbox Live infringes on their patent. Some things from the case (Downloaded from the Inquirer):

Game play on the Xbox or Xbox 360 through the Xbox Live online gaming service infringes the PalTalk patents. As a result of Microsoft's unauthorized and infringing use of Paltalk's patented technology, Paltalk has suffered damages in at least the tens of millions of dollars.

Microsoft has, without authority, consent, right or license, and in direct infringement of the PalTalk Patents used the methods claimed in the PalTalk Patents in this country.

It continues on about how Microsoft has "actively induced" others to use it, and provided software and hardware for use in "practicing the methods" PalTalk has claimed in it's patents.

The patent Paltalk says Microsoft infringed on states:

PalTalk's technology provides for efficient handling of communications between players necessary to maintain a consistent game environment for all players. PalTalk's technology covers a number of aspects of online gaming, including communications through a group message server as well as establishing groups for online play.

There is more, adding details of what it does and how it works.

Whether Microsoft wins this case or not, they have plenty of money to spare if PalTalk decides to ask for it. It probably won't really change anything besides possibly taking a small sum from Microsoft's vast pool of money.

[Via Xboxic]


XB Stream - RSS feeds and podcasts on your 360

PG4 just released XB Stream, which allows you to view RSS content and listen to podcasts on your Xbox 360. From the website:

XB Stream in a nut shell is an RSS/XML feed reader/aggregator that works with the XBox 360 video game console. XB Stream allows you to view xml based content feeds (xml, rss, rdf) on your Xbox 360 video game console; you can also listen to podcasts and blogcasts as well. XB Stream automatically downloads and converts text based content feeds into images that can be viewed from the media>pictures>computer blade and hear audio podcasts/blogcasts from the media>music>computer blade

Details on Version 1.0 here, and the download here.

[Via Xbox-Scene]

Here are some screenshots:


Weekly Arcade Rundown: Scramble released, HoopWorld in 2007, Roboblitz soon, and Small Arms gameplay

After a one week delay, Scramble was released on Wednesday and is now available for download. It will cost 400 Microsoft Points, or $5.

HoopWorld was originally going to be released this year, but now it will be available sometime in 2007. Developer Streamline describes the game as an "over-the-top, three-on-three multiplayer trick-game that fuses elements of arcade-style street basketball and the ancient Mesoamerican game of tlachtli to create a unique hoops experience. Through the combination of stylized multi-ethnic characters, multiple hoops, richly imaginative interactive locations, and an innovative points system based on collaborative 'tricking', HoopWorld is a new experience in what a downloadable arcade game can become". More at Gamasutra.
Although that game is still a long way off, another is almost complete: Roboblitz, developed by Naked Sky. From a post on the official website, here's what one of the developers said:

The game is super close to complete. Design and art wise, we're pertty much locked, now we're just making sure the game is bug free and fully optimized. An exact release date...still don't have one. But considering the state of the game, it can't be much longer. Believe me, we want the game out asap! The only thing we know for sure is that it'll be 1200 MS points, and the PC version will include (TBA) bonus content. SOOOON!!

[Via K1lla's Xbox Domain]

Lastly, I know many of you have probably seen this, but for those of you who haven't here is a video of Small Arms gameplay:


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Peter Jackson on the Halo movie

Peter Jackson, Executive Producer of the Halo movie, has been interviewed by Ain't It Cool News. It's a good interview, and definitely worth checking out if you're interested in what's going on with the Halo movie.
[Via Kotaku]


Xbox 360 bundled with GRAW for $400?

Club Skill says that on September 30th, an Xbox 360 bundle will be available for $399.99. According to the article, it will be the Premium package along with Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, which is a collection of six arcade games: Geometry Wars, Wik: Fable of Souls, Bejeweled 2, Outpost Kaloki X, Hardwood Backgammon, and Texas Hold 'Em. This hasn't been confirmed, but if it is true it is a great deal: You're pretty much getting a full game and six XBLA titles for free.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Halogen: The Halo RTS that could have been

Slip Stream Productions has been working on a mod that would make a Halo RTS. But just a few days ago, Microsoft asked them to shut it down. In the forums on their website, they posted this letter:

Dear Friends,

For the last three years, we've worked incessantly to bring you the best Halo mod that we could. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but somehow Halogen has always managed to come out kicking. The problem with using copyrighted intellectual property as a base for a fan project is that you're very susceptible to legal action. We always figured that since Halogen was such a different take on the Halo franchise, we might manage to make it without incident. That changed today.

Hours ago, we finally recieved the words we've been dreading since the mod started to get noticed. Microsoft has decided that we are infringing on the intellectual property of Bungie Studios and has asked us to stop development on Halogen.

I was going to write a big sappy letter here, but what's the point. So..that's it then, I guess. The forums, site, and Moddb profile will all be shut down within the week. I can't say it hasn't been fun. It's a shame it has to end like this, but I suppose that's how it goes. Thanks, guys, for all the time you've spent supporting us. It's been a pleasure. We hate this as much as you do.

- The Halogen Team

The Halogen site has been closed, and the mod is officially over. It really is too bad, as it looked like it would have been awesome if it had ever been released. Why did Microsoft wait three years, after so much hard work had been put into it, to tell them to stop? Luke Smith at 1UP speculates that maybe Microsoft is planning on making their own Halo RTS. But no matter what Microsoft's plans are, something that could have turned out to be one of the coolest mods ever will now never be finished.

I've put together a collections of videos showing Halogen. Here they are:

[Via Kotaku, Joystiq]


Xbox 360 with an internal HD-DVD drive? (Update: Microsoft says nope)

DigiTimes says that Microsoft is planning on releasing an Xbox 360 with a built in HD-DVD drive, as early as the first half of 2007. According to their site, sources in Taiwan's optical disc drive industry say Microsoft is selecting manufacturers in Taiwan to build the drive for a second generation Xbox 360. Microsoft has previously stated that they have no plans for an internal HD-DVD drive, and I don't think there will be one any time soon.
[Via OXM UK]

Tony Hynes, or Bastelyon, the Online Community Manager in Microsoft's Global Games PR department, has posted on the Gamerscore Blog to say once again that there are no plans for an internal HD-DVD player:

Rumors of a built-in HD DVD sku are greatly exaggerated. We’re proudly launching the HD DVD Player as an accessory this holiday. Turns out you want a say in how you spend your entertainment dollars. So who are we to burden every customer with the cost of expensive movie technology?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Xbox 360 Laptop (Update: Added pictures)

Ben Heckendorm has modded many consoles, but his latest creation is one of the best ever made.
He has taken an Xbox 360, and after three months of work completely transformed it into a laptop. Costing about $1200 in parts, material, and machining, it "became the most monstrously difficult [project] since I've been into this "portablization" thing" he says on his website. So what did he end up with? The screen is a 17" 1280x720 progressive-scan LCD VGA monitor. The Xbox 360 is water-cooled, and has a custom built radiator. Wi-Fi is built in, along with a keyboard, and if you want to connect anything else it has 3 USB ports. The screen and the system use a single customized power brick supply. On the back there are ports for a component TV, VGA monitor, analog or TOSlink sound system, and composite video. It is encased in all alluminum, with the exception of the plastic keyboard, ring of light, and screen control area. All of this, with water loaded, weighs in at 14 pounds, with these dimensions: 16.75" x 10.75" x 2.8".
Here is a step by step description of how he accomplished it, and here are pictures and videos of the final product.
Here are some pictures, just click on them for the full size:

[Via Evil Avatar]


Sunday, September 10, 2006

This Week's Releases: September 10th, 2006

Here are the games releasing this week:
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
NHL 07

Those are all releasing on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday the delayed XBLA game, Scramble.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Top Games on Live (Week of September 4th)

Major Nelson has last week's top played games on Xbox Live. Based on world wide unique users, here they are:

Xbox 360 Games
1Saints Row
2Madden NFL 07
3Call of Duty 2
4Ghost Recon 3
5Texas Hold 'em
10Final Fantasy XI

Original Xbox Games
1Halo 2
2Battlefield 2: MC
3Madden NFL 07
5Pro Evolution Soccer 5
6Splinter Cell Chaos
7Rainbow Six 3 BA
8Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
9Forza Motorsport
10Ghost Recon 2: SS

Overall, Halo 2 is the most played, followed by all 360 games.

Xbox Live Arcade (Full Versions)
1Texas Hold 'em
2Time Pilot
3Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
4Hexic HD
5Geometry Wars Evolved
9Marble Blast Ultra
10Bankshot Billiards 2

Go here for the top 20.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Weekly Arcade Rundown: Scramble delayed, board games, Small Arms

This week's Xbox Live Arcade release was supposed to be Scramble, but at the last minute Microsoft decided it wasn't ready: "During the final testing and certification of the title, we discovered some minor issues that should be addressed, so we're going to take an extra week and fix these items to ensure a high quality game experience for you when the title launches".
The game will now be available Wednesday, September 13th, and since there was no game this week Micrsosoft released the Project Gotham Racing 3 The
me Deck for UNO.Xboxic has found the first screenshots of the upcoming XBLA board games Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Alhambra. Here they are:

Although the game Small Arms looks very interesting, there is not much information on it. So if you want to know more about it, check out the interview Xbox 360 Fanboy did with Don Wurster.


Next Dashboard update pictures, and suggestions for UI changes (Update: Added more pictures)

MAXCONSOLE has the first pictures of the fall dashboard update, see them here. The parts of the dashboard that are shown have an improved and nicer look, and you can see part of how XNA will be integrated. According to the article, it will release in November.

I'm sure everyone has ideas of what they would like to have changed and added to the dashboard. Wildchicken, who works on the UI team, has now given you the option to tell your ideas to someone who can implement them: On his blog, he tells you to post your ideas, suggestions, issues, etc. in the comments on this post. He says either him or someone on the team will review what you write, so you will be heard.

[Via Ozymandias, Joystiq]

Xbox-Scene has bunch more pictures, and here they all are.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PS3's Europe release delayed

The release of the PS3 in Europe has been delayed until March 2007. Although still releasing as planned in North America and Japan, the number of consoles available at launch will be much less than promised. There will be only 500,000 worldwide: 400,000 for the U.S. and 100,000 for Japan.

More at Joystiq, or read what Microsoft has to say at OXM UK.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Top Ten Games on Live (Week of August 28th)

From Major Nelson, here are the top ten most played games on Xbox Live, based on worldwide unique users:

Xbox 360 Top Live Games
1 Madden NFL 07
2 Call of Duty 2
3 Texas Hold 'em
4 Ghost Recon 3
5 Saints Row
7 Oblivion
8 Chromehounds
9 Test Drive Unlimited Demo

Original Xbox Top Live Games
1 Halo 2
2 Battlefield 2: MC
3 Madden NFL 07
4 Counter-Strike
5 Pro Evolution Soccer 5
6 Splinter Cell Chaos
7 Rainbow Six 3 BA
8 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
9 Forza Motorsport
10 Rainbow Six 3

Top Xbox Live Arcade Titles (Full Versions)
1 Texas Hold 'em
2 Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
3 Hexic HD
4 Geometry Wars Evolved
6 Time Pilot
8 Frogger
9 Cloning Clyde
10 Marble Blast Ultra

Overall, Halo 2 is the most played game followed by all the 360 games.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Weekly Arcade Rundown: XNA beta released, Time Pilot on Live, Space Giraffes

This marks the first of what will become a weekly feature. It will cover the week's news that relates to Xbox Live Arcade, from new releases to general announcements.First off, a new game is now available for download - Time Pilot. It can be purchased for 400 Microsoft Points. Next week's release is Scramble, which will be available Wednesday, September 6th for 400 Microsoft Points.
While only one new XBLA game was released, another was announced: Jeff Minter, who created the Xbox 360's music visualiser, will be bringing a game to XBLA. There are so far not many details about it, but Jeff Minter's LiveJournal says it is "a sequel to Tempest 2000/3000. The main character is the Space Giraffe." And that is what it has become known as, although it still doesn't have a real name. It will also come with some extras: You will get "new Neon effects supporting the webcam input as unlockables." Although there wasn't a release date set, it was revealed that it will sell for 400 Microsoft Points.
[Via Joystiq]
Also, as the XNA Game Studio Express Beta is now available for download. Don't know where to start? Here's a Tutorial on beginning your game development. If you find any bugs, make sure to report them so they can get worked out. So far you can't play the games on the Xbox 360, but that will change once the full version is released.


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Marketplace: Over 50 million served

Major Nelson has some new and interesting statistics about Xbox Live Marketplace. Some of them we already knew, but I'll write about them all anyway. So far, there have been 50 million downloads from the Marketplace. A little over 3 months back there had only been 24 million. 600, 000 achievements were unlocked and over 2 million hours of gameplay were hosted in the first week of Madden '07's release. Texas Hold 'em set a record for the fastest download item ever on Marketplace in one day, and in the 24 hours following it's release, every minute it was downloaded 100 times. Since Xbox Live began in November 2002, its members across the world have logged over 2 billion hours. More than 60% of Xbox 360 owners use Xbox Live, and of those 65% have downloaded an Xbox Live Arcade game. That makes for 8 million downloads of Xbox Live Arcade games. Xbox Live members have purchased over 2 billion Microsoft Points. Over half a billion voice and text messages are sent a year, and 1,300,000 every day (A little over a week ago Microsoft claimed an average of 900,000 a day, although this may not be an average).


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Exclusive Interview with DJHUNTERD - a gamerscore of over 55,000 and counting

Achievements. They are, in my opinion, one of the best ideas Microsoft had for the Xbox 360 (and like any good idea, Sony decided to copy them). It gives you something more to strive for, and some make you play in ways you otherwise wouldn't. Developers have freedom over what they want their achievements to be, and can have up to 50 achievements and 1000 gamer points per game (up to 12 achievements and 200 points for Xbox Live Arcade titles). Some are easy, while others are quite difficult, and there are some pretty creative ones too. But one thing is for sure, getting one of the highest gamerscores in the world cannot be easy. Even so, DJHUNTERD has managed to have the 4th highest gamerscore in the world, and the highest in the United Kingdom. Here, I have an exclusive interview with him covering how and why he does it.

Q: First of all, what do you do for a living and who are you?

A: I am from Sacramento, CA currently in the Air Force stationed overseas in the UK.

Q: What's the reason for your Xbox Live gamertag?
A: I always used Hunter as my name for all games and I call myself “D” for the simple fact that my last names pretty hard to say. Add that to the fact that I DJ house music and there you have my gamertag.

Q: When did you decide to try and be one of the people with the highest gamerscore?
A: I would have to say it started when I met my good live friend Fixell. He was like at 15k and I was at roughly 10k. We became good friends and did ALL boosting together for every game and eventually my quest to surpass him and for a higher score came to be.

Q: Why do you do it?
A: My love of games and it keeps me busy than doing other things which could get me in trouble.

Q: How long do you think you can keep it up?
A: As long as games steadily come out I can go till the next gen.

Q: What are some of the hardest achievements you've gotten?
A: PDZ Dark agent, Quake 4 General completed.

Q: Which games had the easiest achievements?
A: Take your pick of almost any sport game… LOL!!!

Q: What achievements are you working on now?
A: Samurai Warriors 2 and Bulletwitch.

Q: Is there anyone in particular you have a rivalry with?
A: Not really but I think a couple of people think I am with them though ;p

Q: What's an achievement you'd like to see?
A: A single achievement worth 1000 GS. Like 100% game or something…

Q: Do you think you'll pass RANCE6 (the gamer with the world's highest score) anytime soon?
A: NOPE…. He has the incredible advantage of knowing Japanese.

Q: How much time do you play Xbox 360 daily, and how much of that is dedicated to getting Achievements?
A: I try to play a few hours everyday and on days I have off as much as possible. Almost all of it is time for achievements but I do play FPS with friends still for fun.

Q: What game are you most looking forward to?
A: I am looking forward to Gears of War, The Darkness, and of course Halo 3!

Q: Do you have any tips for getting achievements?
A: Pick the genre which you excel in (like mine is action/adventure/FPS) and go for all the points you can. Also, play all the sports games as they net you easy points. And my last bit of advice is if you don’t have a “dedicated” boost buddy who’ll do games with you… get one A.S.A.P. or it’ll be harder finding random people and getting those achievements.


Monday, August 28, 2006

39 news games Backwards Compatible, 9 updated

Another Backwards Compatibilty update is now available on Xbox Live. If you don't have Xbox Live, you can download it from Here is the list of added and updated games:

Aggressive Inline
Aquaman: Battle of Atlantis
All Star Baseball 2003
All Star Baseball 2005
Burnout 3: Takedown
Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart UPDATED
Counter Strike
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Dead to Rights
Digimon Rumble Arena 2 UPDATED
ESPN Major League Baseball
Fatal Frame 2
Ford vs. Chevy UPDATED
Freaky Flyers
Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows
Tom Clancy´s Ghost Recon - Island Thunder
Half Life 2 UPDATED
The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer UPDATED
IndyCar Series 2005
Kabuki Warrior UPDATED
Lego Star Wars II
Links 2004
Magatama UPDATED
Maximum Chase
Mortal Kombat: Deception UPDATED
MTX: Mototrax Featuring Travis Pastrana
Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection
MX vs. ATV Unleashed
Outlaw Tennis
Over the Hedge
Sid Meier's Pirates
Richard Burns Rally
Rogue Trooper
Serious Sam
Shincho Mahjong
Smashing Drive
Sneakers UPDATED
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run
The Legend of Spyro: A Beginning
TAZ: Wanted
True Crime Streets of LA
The Suffering
Trigger Man
Torino Winter Olympics 2006
Wrath Unleashed
X-Men II: Wolverine's Revenge

For the full list of all Backwards Compatible games, go to
Some of these games are not yet released, like Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run, The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, and Lego Star Wars II. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. Microsoft has said they eventually want "to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360". I doubt that will happen, but even so they are going about it wrong. Every month, more games come out for the Xbox, and that's just more games that aren't backwards compatible. Every new game that comes out should be backwards compatible at release, and the code could even be included on the disc. And I know this would be a lot of extra work if Microsoft were to do it all, but that doesn't have to be. The developers could work it out, and although it would take extra time and money it would be worth it because their audience would be expanded to include many 360 owners.

Also, even though Lego Star Wars II will be available on the Xbox 360, the Xbox 1 version is backwards compatible. This is the first time that has happened, and hopefully they will do it more often.

[Via Major Nelson and Gamerscore Blog]


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Some cool game videos

I haven't posted much in the last few days, so here are some cool videos to watch:

My Animated World - An amazingly well done stop motion video, with a few game references in it.

Game Over - A bunch of retro games recreated with food and other objects.

Games Break Out - A funny video of games coming to life. Watch until the end.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Top Ten Games on Live (August 26)

From Major Nelson, here are the top ten most played games on Xbox Live, based on world wide unique users:

Xbox 360 Top Live Games
1 Call of Duty 2
2 Madden NFL 07
3 Texas Hold 'em
4 Ghost Recon 3
6 Chromehounds
7 Oblivion
9 Final Fantasy XI
10 NCAA 07

Original Xbox Top Live Games
1 Halo 2
2 Battlefield 2: MC
3 Madden NFL 07
4 Splinter Cell Chaos
5 Counter-Strike
6 Pro Evolution Soccer 5
7 Rainbow Six 3 BA
8 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2
9 Forza Motorsport
10 Madden NFL 2006

If combined, Halo 2 would be first, followed by all the Xbox 360 games.

Top Xbox Live Arcade Titles (Full Versions)

1 Texas Hold 'em
2 Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
4 Hexic HD
5 Geometry Wars Evolved
7 Cloning Clyde
9 Frogger
10 Marble Blast Ultra


Details on the XNA Framework

The XNA Team Blog has a post about what the XNA Framework is and does. It's interesting, and if you have any interest in XNA you should check it out.
Read the post
[Via Let's Kill Dave!]


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Xbox Live Vision, Wireless Racing Wheel, Wireless Headset, and Faceplates - details and prices

At the German Games Convention, Microsoft confirmed the bundles the Xbox Live Vision Camera will be sold in, along with the prices for the Wireless Racing Wheel, Wireless Headset, Wireless Gaming Reciever for Windows, and new faceplates. Here are the details:
The Xbox Live Vision Camera will be sold in two bundles, as follows:
Xbox Live Vision, which includes 1 month of Xbox Live Gold Membership, a headset, free downloads of UNO and TotemBall, will retail for around $39.99. The Xbox Live Video Chat Gold Gold Kit is the same as the first, except for it comes with a year of Xbox Live Gold Membership, a free download of Robotron (along with UNO and TotemBall), and 200 Microsoft Points. It will sell for about $79.99. The U.S. release date stays the same (September 19th), but in Europe it has been changed to October 6th.
The Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel will be released in November for around $149.99, and (while supplies last) people who purchase it will also get a limited edition force feedback version of Project Gotham Racing 3.
Also in November, the Wireless Headset will be available for around $59.99.
Then, in December, the Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows will be released for about $19.99.New faceplates will be available in early November, including ones for Halo, Viva Pinata, and Forza Motorsport 2.