Will you buy the Kinect?

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

 





Crave Online

Week of April 15, 2007
OpenBSD Port for Xbox1 in Progress
>> From Markus R. on the Xbox Linux Mailing list:
[QUOTE]
I just wanted to tell everybody that I am working on a OpenBSD port to the Xbox.

The current status is: Memory management and framebuffer driver are working.
Next thing to do: Integrate the framebuffer driver in a wsdisplay and mount the root fs.

If anybody knows OpenBSD kernel internals, please email me (there is few documentation available and I don't know lots of OpenBSD developers).
If anybody wants to help me, you're welcome.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: tobias.schroepf.de/doku/doku.php?id=xbox:porting_openbsd_to_the_xbox
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 21 April 2007 21:53 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Is melding the Xbox 360 and PC platforms a good idea?
>> From arstechnica.com:
[QUOTE]
We as gamers are currently witnessing a strange merging of the 360 and PC platforms. May will welcome the release of Command and Conquer 3 for Xbox 360 and the big Xbox Live Anywhere debut, Shadowrun. Two genres, RTS and FPS, that hardcore PC gamers argue can only be played with a mouse and keyboard. The RTS genre has been making something of a comeback with Command & Conquer 3 and Supreme Commander, and this is one of the reasons I upgraded my gaming rig. I've reviewed both versions of Battle for Middle-Earth II, so I know that it is possible to pull off a real-time strategy game on consoles. I'm also a big FPS fan on both the PC and consoles, and I'm lucky enough to know how to use both a mouse and keyboard setup and a controller; going back and forth doesn't bother me, although the ravings on gaming forums make it sound like you need to pick ONE and stick WITH IT. I like PC gaming and I like console gaming, and one of the reasons they both have kept on for so long is that the markets have been kept separate. There is no way to be competitive against a PC RTS player using a controller. You can play some on XBox Live against other console users, and you can certainly enjoy the single-player game, but I don't want these two control methods competing. The mouse and keyboard are simply a perfect way of controlling RTS games, and while I don't feel as strong about the controller as a way to control FPS games, I think that the mouse and keyboard would dominate there as well. Apparently in Shadowrun mouse and keyboard have been nerfed somewhat to make competition possible, but when I have to give up accuracy to make it a fair fight, I'm no longer interested in the fight. Keep the PC players to themselves, and let the console players have their own corner. It's a big playground, and when we start to play together, there are usually more problems than it's worth.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Saturday 21 April 2007 12:54 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 Elite: Back Side of Motherboard
>> Yesterday, Llamma already released lots of info and pictures of the Xbox 360 Elite motherboard (which we'll, just like Llamma, dub Xbox360 v1.1 motherboard from now on as some 'birds' told us the Core/Pro console might get this HDMI-enabled Xbox360 soon (summer) too), one pictures was missing however ... of the back of the motherboard, which they posted today:
[QUOTE]
The interesting part to most is the area under where the CPU connects we see lots of changes around here but its mostly just smaller components in a tighter space. The Ball Grid Array size has of course not changed so although we see a denser arrangement of smaller components we should not take this to mean that it is necessarily the 65nm core.
Xbox 360 Elite back motherboard
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: llamma.com (incl. high-res pictures and animated gif comparing old and new mb)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 21 April 2007 00:21 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) 2007-04-20 SVN rev8582 build - T3CH
>> T3CH released a new SVN compile (re8582 MIDI edition) of XboxMediaCenter(info) for Xbox1.
This T3CH-compile is a complete snapshot of what is in SVN at the time the build was compiled, with just a few small additions.

Special Notes and Noteworthy/XML/Script changes:
* added: Caching of folders that are slow to load. Folder is only re-fetched on user access to the folder (not when just returning to a listing from another screen).
* changed: Merged the musicdb branch changes. Improved music library system. Albumartist is now supported, and albums are stored based on album and artist name, as opposed to album and path. ie no path dependence for albums. The library version has been bumped, and THERE IS NO UPDATE SUPPORT - you will have to rescan. Also, album thumb caching is now split over 16 different paths to limit the likelihood of running out of thumbs. They're also cached based on album and artist now, rather than album and path.
* added : PM3 Chapter point indicators to Video info on fullscreen and Seekbar
* This build is released a little earlier than usual because Team XBMC has finally found the reason why XBE Launching wasn't functional for X2.* modchips.
* This time only, I include the necessary Timidity files for MIDI playback, they add ~30MB (placed in system/players/paplayer/timidity) and that's why this build is so larger than usual.
* Since the dialogsubmenu system has changed, the best approach is to not include my custom xml anymore. Set your preferred scripts using skinsettings.
* I've tweaked the win32 run_me_first.bat so it runs and then unmounts the virtual drives when you exit.
* I'm including the XBMC Win32 PC environment.exe that is meant for skinners & python developers, read more about the concept here. It was built using Microsoft DirectX Summer 2004 SDK.

For the full changelog (all added/fixed/changed/updated stuff) since the 2007-04-08 SVN Rev8519 build click here.

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

Official XBMC Site: www.xboxmediacenter.com (manual and FAQ)
Official T3CH Site: http://217.118.215.116 (release RSS feed)
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK) | Download SourceCode: here
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(Friday 20 April 2007 19:16 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

An Inconvenient Truth: Xbox Live Gold is Overpriced
>> From teamxbox.com:
[QUOTE]
Back in the Xbox days, online multiplayer on a console could be considered a value-added proposition--but in this generation, it is just a commodity. The PlayStation Network is vivid proof of that.

It is also worth highlighting that, with this new incarnation of the service, Microsoft is getting lot of money from Xbox Live, thanks to its Marketplace. The success of TV shows, films and other downloads have exceeded Microsoft's expectations, so it's not like Uncle Bill is losing money this time around.

But it is easy to criticize without proposing solutions and alternate options.
To prove I'm not the typical make-it-free whiner who is demanding Microsoft to make Xbox Live completely gratis, I'm instead proposing that the two-level memberships should exist as it does now, but with online multiplayer gameplay (as we know it) being free for everyone, while a paid membership incorporates new features. What features, you ask?
* Server-Based Online Multiplayer
* Clan and Party System
* Dedicated Download Servers
* Microsoft Points Program
* No Ads
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Friday 20 April 2007 14:52 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

MC360 XBMC Skin Updated to 1.04a
>> From Team BlackBolt:
[QUOTE]
We have added a slight update to the SVN and also the downloadable version of MC360. The marketplace link to the Trainers site, which has since closed down, has been relinked to the Movie Trailers Script. The version number is 1.04a. As its not worth doing a full 1.05 yet, your MC360 will still say its using the newer 1.04 version. We cannot say if there will be a 1.05 or when, so keep your eyes pealed to the site. We are aware of the changes to xbox.com that effected the ability to download the gamer picture and we hope to have a fix soon.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: blackbolt.x-scene.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Friday 20 April 2007 12:57 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

More Shops Sell Elite Early: Llamma Exposes New Motherboard
>> From llamma.com:
[QUOTE]
We were fortunate enough to find one at our local Wal-Mart here in Minneapolis. We have had a chance to crack it open and document some of the differences between the Elite and the original Xbox 360.

* Our first pleasant surprise is a Hitachi GDR-3120L FK78 DVD drive inside.

* Both the CPU and GPU both sport different revision information on the chips but its hard to say whether or not 65nm has been implemented. One of the more interesting observations that seems to point to lower power consumption implying a possible 65nm core is the fact that there are some capacitors and VRMU's that have been removed on this revision of board.

* One a side note, we all had a good belly laugh here at the shop when we saw Microsoft's most creative measures to minimize the dreaded Xbox 360 3 flashing red lights "ring of death" error caused by poor BGA connections of the CPU and GPU. Take a look at the epoxy surrounding the CPU and GPU which is intended prevent the BGA connection from popping as the board warps. This has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
Xbox-Scene Xbox-Scene

* We disassembled the HDD and found a Fujitsu MHW2120BH drive inside. Our initial attempts at dumping sector 16 using The Specialist's hddhacker application was not a success. It appears that the tool does not yet support the new 120GB drive.

* Another difference you will find is the fan header. It has been switched from a 4-pin Molex Mini-Fit connector to a standard good old three pin fan header style connector.

* There has been a million pictures of the HDMI port and HANA HDMI scaler chip but here's a couple more for good measure.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: llamma.com (incl. more details and pictures and an animated gif comparing old and new motherboard!)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 23:43 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 HDD Transfer Cable in the Wild
>> Some pictures of the Xbox360 HDD Transfer Cable have been posted on the net ... this cable should come with the upcoming 120GB HDD addon (afaik it doesn't come with the Xbox360 Elite) so you can transfer data from your 'old' 20GB HDD to the new 120GB HDD.
Xbox 360 HDD Transfer Cable Xbox 360 HDD Transfer Cable

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 22:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

UPS guesses 'repair center' = Xbox 360
>> From gamerawr.com:
[QUOTE]
After missing the delivery of my repaired 360, I drove over to my UPS to get the package. While waiting for the box to be retrieved, the customer service person noticed the shipper field on my missed delivery notification read "repair center." With only that clue, she asked me, "does this happen to be for an Xbox?" I told her yes, and we both laughed. Apparently I'm not alone in my broken 360 woes. She informed me that she has seen hundreds of these 360 return boxes.
[/QUOTE]

Note: But remember ... almighty Microsoft PR says the failure rate of the Xbox 360 is below the CE industry average of 3-5%. We soooooo believe you ;)

Full Story: gamerawr.com
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(Thursday 19 April 2007 22:12 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

USA NPD Numbers for March: 199k Xbox360s
>> Here are the official NPD numbers for the month of March - via next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
The DS continued its rampage with 508K hardware units sold during the month, with the nearest competitor being the PS2, which sold 280K in March.
The newer Wii made an impressive appearance despite supply issues, selling 259K last month in hardware. Xbox 360 sold 199K, PS3 sold 130K and PSP sold 180K. Game Boy Advance still has staying power with 148K sold in the US.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 22:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Next-Gen.biz Analysis: The 'Disastrous' Xbox 360?
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
A financial analyst says that Microsoft needs to "own up" to the "disastrous" money-losing Xbox business. However two games analysts tell Next-Gen that the analysis is short-sighted and Microsoft unsurprisingly agrees. Multi-angle analysis of the 360 situation inside...

Ehrenberg's views aren't anything new, but it's a reminder that Microsoft is still in an uphill battle and it's dumping loads of money into its ambition to become the leader of connected interactive entertainment in the living room. If anything, Ehrenberg's criticisms and Microsoft's spending underlines the importance of the interactive entertainment business on a variety of levels, as well as the ferocious competition endured by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 19:35 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft: Samsung Deal Could Improve Xbox, Zune
>> From pcmag.com:
[QUOTE]
The patent agreement that Microsoft and Samsung Electronics signed Thursday morning will be used to enhance Microsoft's consumer electronics hardware with Samsung's CE knowhow, Microsoft executives said.

Microsoft will gain access to Samsung patents relating to digital media and computer-related inventions, while Samsung will be privy to Microsoft patents that can be used in Samsung products like computers, set-top boxes, digital media players, camcorders, televisions, printers and home appliances.

Kaefer (general manager of IP and licensing at Microsoft) pointed to Microsoft products like the Xbox gaming system, the Zune MP3 player and Windows-based PCs as those "that can stand to benefit" from the Samsung deal. Microsoft reportedly has a flash-based Zune MP3 player in the works, although the company has declined to comment.
The lines are blurring between TV, video and phone and it has become increasingly difficult to be the sole enterprise researching a particular technology, Kaefer said. "One of the big subtexts of this announcement is that of device convergence. In software, there are so many patents and people are innovating the same things."
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 19:21 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

April 2007 Back Compat Update
>> From majornelson.com:
[QUOTE]
April showers have yielded us a Back Compat update The latest backwards compatibility update is now available over Xbox Live (or will be very soon.) This free update brings the complete list of original Xbox games that you can play on your Xbox 360 to over 300. Remember, your original Xbox games will look better than ever on Xbox 360 running in 720p and 1080i with anti-aliasing. You can also play cross-platform between Xbox 360 and the original Xbox over Xbox Live.

April 2007 Back Compat titles added/updated:
Tenku (Japan only) ; Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Avatar: The Legend of Aang (EMEA/ANZ) ; Breakdown ; Call of Duty 2: Big Red One ; Call of Duty 3 ; Cars ; Crash Bandicoot 5: Wrath of Cortex ; Daisenryaku VII ; FIFA Soccer 2007 ; Full Spectrum Warrior ; Guilty Gear Isuka ; Innocent Tears (Japan only) ; Jet Set Radio Future ; King of Fighters 2002 ; King of Fighters: Neowave ; Mad Dash Racing (Japan only) ; Mech Assault 2 ; Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction ; Nascar 2006: Total Team Control ; NFL Fever 2004 ; Oddworld Munch's Oddysee ; Panzer Dragoon Orta ; Petit Copter (Japan only) ; Phantom Dust ; Reservoir Dogs ; Return To Castle Wolfenstein ; Rugby League 2 ; Sengoku Warriors (Japan only) ; Sonic Riders ; Soul Calibur 2 UPDATED ; Spider-Man 2 ; Star Wars: Republic Commando ; Street Fighter Anniversary Collection ; Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 ; Tony Hawk's Underground ; Ultra Bust a Move /ULTRA Pazzle Bobble ; Unreal Championship 2

Don't have Xbox Live, but still want to get the update? Head over to Xbox.com to download the update in .ISO form.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 15:04 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 titles given next-gen barcodes
>> From mcvuk.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft is to introduce a new barcode onto Xbox 360 games this year, which can hold double the amount of data than the commonplace black and white stripes.

Microsoft engineering director Gavin Jancke, who developed the new High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB), said the aim was not to replace the current barcode system, reports the BBC.
"It's more of a 'partner' barcode," he said. "The UPC barcodes will always be there. Ours is more of a niche barcode where you want to put a lot of information in a small space."
Because the barcode can be read by mobile phone cameras, Microsoft claims that it can be used to go online.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Thursday 19 April 2007 10:32 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xeno Top Gear LED Pro High-Res Sample Pictures
>> We received a sample of the Xeno Top Gear LED Pro ... here are a few high-res pictures of the device. We'll show installed pics later.
Click pictures for high-res view.
Xeno Top Gear LED Pro Xeno Top Gear LED Pro
The Xeno Top Gear LED Pro packaging

Xeno Top Gear LED Pro Xeno Top Gear LED Pro
left: the complete package: Xeno Top Gear LED Pro External Module ; normal SATA cable ; special SATA and DVD-power/eject cable to connect with the ODD drive, motherboard and Xeno Top Gear ; 360 opening kit ; printed installation manual.
right: close-up of the Xeno Top Gear LED Pro External Module ... the LED Pro edition comes with a crystal case and LEDs (blue for our sample, more colors might be available)


Xeno Top Gear LED Pro Xeno Top Gear LED Pro
left: Switches and Connectors
* ODD eject button: to eject tray in PC-mode.
* 360/PC mode switch: use ODD in normal '360' mode to boot games etc or in 'PC' mode to connect ODD with your PC and flash drive or dump games.
* DVD/HDD mode switch: use Xeno SATA connector to link ODD drive (flash FW/dump games) or Xbox360 HDD (read/write Xbox 360 HDD) with your PC.
* SATA Connector: Connect using included SATA cable with your PC to access Xbox360 ODD or HDD.
* HDD Connector: click your Xbox360 HDD in this slot to read/write from/on the drive with your PC with software like Xplorer360(info).
right: connectors on the back of the external module ... one of the special SATA cable, one for the special ODD power/eject cable ... you'll have to remove the Xbox360 metallic cage to connect these cables.

Xeno Top Gear LED Pro Xeno Top Gear LED Pro
Of course ... we opened up the device for you so you can check what's inside ... these are pictures of the top and bottom of the PCB inside the Xeno Top Gear LED Pro

Official Site: www.xenotopgear.com
LED Pro is not in retail yet, but you can buy the normal Xeno Top Gear without the LEDs ($45): ModchipStore.com | Extreme-Mods.com | Divineo.com | Modchip.com | Divineo.cn
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 18 April 2007 22:42 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox360 Elite: Pre-Orders Sold Out, Breaking Street Date, Ebay
>> From punchjump.com:
[QUOTE]
Retailer Circuit City has sold out of Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Xbox 360 Elite after offering the high-end model for sale earlier this month via its consumer website.
Circuitcity.com is currently not allowing any additional pre-orders for the console and has replaced the order button with a 'coming soon' tag.
[/QUOTE]

From kotaku.com:
[QUOTE]
At least one Target store has broken the Xbox 360 Elite street date, selling the $479 upgrade to the Xbox 360 to a man in Chico, California. Not set to hit until April 29th, one lucky shopper got his hairy mitts on the Elite and did the only sane thing. He put it on eBay.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: punchjump.com and kotaku.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 18 April 2007 20:45 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

MC360 XBMC Skin Updated to v1.04
>> From Team Blackbolt:
[QUOTE]
MC360 for XBMC has been updated from 1.03 to 1.04. This update includes a few compatibility issue fixes. Missing windows have now been fixed for the latest versions of XBMC.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: blackbolt.x-scene.com
Download: here
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 18 April 2007 18:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Paper model of Xbox 360 and HD DVD drive
>> From paperartgadgets.blogspot.com:
[QUOTE]
Because my paper model of xbox 360 was a huge success, I decided to make something to complement it... What's better than a 1.5 inch Xbox 360 HDDVD drive to do just that!

The 3 inch tall xbox 360 paper model, retail box and the new model of the HD DVD drive, size compared with an actual xbox 360 controller.
Paper model of Xbox 360 and HD DVD drive
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: paperartgadgets.blogspot.com (via xbox360fanboy.com)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 18 April 2007 14:20 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xilt - Upcoming Xbox 360 Tilt Mod
>> We received this exclusive news from GreenGiant, who's also behind the Xbox1 XIR mods:
[QUOTE]
New generation of Tilt Mod.
There will be two versions, Xilt Advanced and Xilt Lite.
Written from the ground up to allow for the maximum user configuration, flexible for virtually any game type.

Features:
* Works with Wired and Wireless controllers
* Only 7 wires needed
* Install in 10-15 minutes
* Easily Enable/Disable tilt mod without an ugly switch
* Easily change tilt threshold in all four axis
* USB Configurator for changing any settings
* FW is upgradable (not end user)
* Xilt Advanced: Full configuration of Tilt angle to Controller Axis direction
Xilt Xilt

Expected availability, last week of April.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: www.xilt.info
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 17 April 2007 23:10 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

AVforum Organized Mass-Buy Makes HD-DVD Format Spike
>> From gizmodo.com:
[QUOTE]
HD-DVD mass buy

Apparently, the spike occurs the same day that HD-DVD fanboys at AVSForum, the AV enthusiast site, had organized an mass buy of HD-DVD titles. For an immature format, even a few individuals can make a difference, if only on a day.

Funny enough, on the other side of the fence, on AVSforum's Blu-ray Fanboys, as well as those on PS3 forums are planning a retaliatory synchronized buy soon.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Tuesday 17 April 2007 22:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Ben Heck's Xbox 360 Laptop The Second
>> From Benjamin J Heckendorn (known from the 1st Watercooled Xbox360 Laptop Mod and other cool mods like the PS360 Controller):
[QUOTE]
Behold my second and (unless someone gives me Miller Brewing company) last Xbox 360 Laptop!
Similar to the first model but redesigned in many ways. "Uses 60% Less Aluminum!"
Ben Heck Xbox360 Laptop2

For a full photo gallery and more info please see the article over on Engadget.com. The bonus with this project is that I've documented the construction in a fair amount of detail and will be doing a 3 part "How To" also on Engadget, as unsurprising as that may seem. It'll include art files and diagrams, so you can take a crack at modding a 360 on your own!
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: benheck.com and engadget.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 17 April 2007 16:41 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report now on VMP
>> From gamerscoreblog.com (FYI: Microsoft owned blog):
[QUOTE]
This week on Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace in the US, the team is proudly announcing something that'll excite Comedy Central fans. You can now begin downloading episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, as soon as six hours after they air. In fact, Last night's episodes are already up on Xbox LIVE.

* The Colbert Report - Get all the 'truthiness' of THE COLBERT REPORT right here on Xbox. Host Stephen Colbert treats the important topics of our time and the daily news with absolutely no seriousness whatsoever.
* The Daily Show - The most trusted name in fake news is now available on Xbox. Get your fix of Jon Stewart, his intrepid team of correspondents and their spin on all the day's news and newsmakers.

On top of your daily dose of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, you'll find some great new movies and TV shows this week.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Tuesday 17 April 2007 14:32 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Execs Fear User Generated Content
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
The results of the survey, which focused on growth strategies in the video games, TV and film industries amongst others, revealed that 57% of executives view user generated content as one of the three greatest threats to existing business models.

While 24% of respondents said they were unsure of how they would benefit financially from user generated content, 68% suggested that businesses would see profit from user generated content within three years. In excess of 70% of respondents expressed their belief that social media would continue to gather momentum.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz and webpronews.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 17 April 2007 11:41 EST) - (Category: GamingGeneral) - (Posted by:: )

Toshiba-Samsung ODD Might Damage Discs After All - Video and MS Response
>> From joystiq.com:
[QUOTE]
Dutch consumer advocacy show Kassa tested Xbox 360s and proved that the Xbox 360 does indeed scratch discs [see video below, subtitled in english]

A Microsoft spokesperson says a previous statement in Europe has some "nuances" lost in translation when it was converted to English.
Joystiq received from Microsoft their official statement, "Due to the fact that we did not participate in the experiment done by Kassa and have little insight into the methodology that was used, we cannot comment specifically on the outcome. While we are aware that discs can potentially be scratched through normal wear and tear, we have not received any widespread reports of the issue highlighted here. There are millions of Xbox consoles in use today and we know that the majority of our customers are having a great gaming experience. That said, it is important to us that all of our customers have the best gaming experiences possible, and these claims are obviously very concerning to us. We encourage any Xbox customer who believes that their discs have been scratched in the same manner as identified by KASSA, to contact us at www.xbox.com/support or 1-800-4-MY-XBOX for additional information. We will examine the console and make appropriate repairs if necessary in order to restore the console to full working order, as well as provide customers with information on how to obtain replacement discs should they need them."
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Monday 16 April 2007 20:59 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

BBC Ponders Another Games Industry Crash
>> From news.bbc.co.uk:
[QUOTE]
Yes, gamers are snapping up the new generation of games consoles -- Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's Playstation 3 [PS3], but at huge cost to the industry. Hardware makers are losing hundreds of dollars on every console sold, and games publishers face an "increasingly difficult environment, as rising development costs and small user bases [mean] that return on investment in next generation games development is unlikely to be achieved before 2008," according to media analysts Screen Digest. More importantly, though, the video games publishers are facing a revolution of their business model.

"Development times, team sizes and complexity have been exacerbated by increasingly demanding next generation games," says Ed Barton at Screen Digest.
He predicts that "only a tiny proportion of next generation titles are likely to achieve profitability in the near future".

As it turns out, software piracy can be good for you.
"We have extremely strong brands [in Asia] thanks to the pirates; they have created millions of consumers - not customers," says Mr Florin (executive vice president at EA).
The internet allows EA to tap into this market and make some money after all.
The Korean gamers are spending serious money on accessories and customisations of the online game.
"We now have to learn the business of running an online community," says Mr Florin.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: news.bbc.co.uk
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(Monday 16 April 2007 20:21 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox Live to host TV show by contest winners
>> From CNet News.com:
[QUOTE]
If you've got a television series just burning a hole in your soul, Microsoft may well have the platform for it.

On Monday, the technology giant announced it will give a $100,000 production budget for the creation of a six-episode TV show to the winner of its Xbox Live Originals contest. And, in conjunction with the New York Television Festival, it will present the original series on Xbox Live.

Contestants have until June 29 to submit "a short comedy pilot running between five and 15 minutes long." Then, several finalists will have their work shown on the Xbox Live Marketplace's video-on-demand service in July, with a final winner to be selected later that month.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: mews.com
Official Site: http://www.newyorktelevisionfestival.com/2007_contests_xbox.htm
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(Monday 16 April 2007 12:41 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

InFeCtuS Programmer v0.0.3.1 Final
>> Team InFeCtuS posted a new version of the programmer software for their versatile multi-platform InFeCtuS modchip to allow you to read/write the Xbox360 NAND Flash. It's a fairly cheap and easy solution for hackers that want to some research on the Xbox360 Flash:
[QUOTE]
Today finally online the tested version of the Infectus Programmer version 0.0.3.1. All users wanting to access the X360 nand flash feature can use this version, however it is not necessary for all others users.

Please note that you will find online a new diagram of the X360 NAND Fasher, where we add one wire.
Use only the rev.1.2 diagram to use the nand flasher.

Now that the X360 development is finished, we are going to complete the PS3 nand flasher!
Before the next week end, everything will finally be ready.
Sorry for the delay, but we are working to give you an excellent, stable application!
And it's not easy...! ;)
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: www.infectus.biz
Download: here
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(Monday 16 April 2007 11:31 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

RedOctane Admits to Guitar Hero II Patch Problem
>> From eurogamer.net:
[QUOTE]
The update, released on Saturday, was supposed to help users whose copies of the game were refusing to acknowledge input from the Xplorer controller's whammy bar.
However forum threads quickly sprang up on Xbox.com and the official Guitar Hero website complaining that the patch was followed immediately by system freezes and, in some cases, the dreaded ring of death - the only answer to which is returning the console to Microsoft.

RedOctane initially declined to comment, but this afternoon a spokesperson told Eurogamer: "We're aware of the problem and we're looking into it."
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: eurogamer.net
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(Monday 16 April 2007 11:02 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 - Microsoft Mugged Their Own Sales Figures?
>> From softpedia.com:
[QUOTE]
It's crystal clear that Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii leave Sony's PS3 in a trail of smoke and dust more and more with every day that passes. But who's winning when there are only two consoles to be mentioned: the Wii, or the 360? I found this article today on Gamespot saying that Microsoft might have just mugged their own sales figures. How? By stuffing the retail channel.

Here's how it goes. A company like Microsoft has a fiscal year to end. As the end of that fiscal year approaches, the company realizes that only 9 million units of their product have been shipped (sold units are something to bother their heads with later) out of the 10 million target. The company then "stuffs retailers" with the extra 1 million units and they can happily say they've ended their fiscal year. But all this is like a boomerang and if this is indeed Microsoft's case, it will come back and hit them in the face.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Monday 16 April 2007 10:51 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) 2007-04-15 SVN rev8519 build - T3CH
>> T3CH released a new SVN compile (rev8519) of XboxMediaCenter(info) for Xbox1.
This T3CH-compile is a complete snapshot of what is in SVN at the time the build was compiled, with just a few small additions.

Special Notes and Noteworthy/XML/Script changes:
* added: .mid/.kar codec to paplayer. requires a timidity patch set in q:\system\timidity (and a config file at q:\system\timidity\timidity.cfg). i'd recommend the eawpatches.
* updated: mplayer.dll from new sources based on mplayer_prel branch. check here for more info on what is new.
* removed: sources.xml is now no longer in svn, it will be created on boot if it doesn't exist
* sources.xml: this file has been removed from SVN
* keymap.xml: swapped what info/title button on remote does.
* The mplayer.dll that Elupus has been working on is finally in SVN and ofcourse included.
* I've tweaked the win32 run_me_first.bat so it runs and then unmounts the virtual drives when you exit.
* I'm including the XBMC Win32 PC environment.exe that is meant for skinners & python developers, read more about the concept here. It was built using Microsoft DirectX Summer 2004 SDK.

For the full changelog (all added/fixed/changed/updated stuff) since the 2007-04-08 SVN Rev8443 build click here.

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

Official XBMC Site: www.xboxmediacenter.com (manual and FAQ)
Official T3CH Site: http://217.118.215.116 (release RSS feed)
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK) | Download SourceCode: here
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(Sunday 15 April 2007 15:44 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Guitar Hero II or it's new patch possibly bricking 360's
>> Saw this on the XBOX.com forums this morning, over 100 posts from gamers complaining that GHII, or it's new patch has wrecked havoc on thier consoles, bricking some, while making other unstable.

[QUOTE]
I have tried all of the rest of my games, and GHII is the only one freezing! I cannot finish a song (haven't even finished one yet), without either the screen during all weird and freezing, or the screen going completely black (xbox still on) and being frozen.
...
Just got it today, played it for no more then 30 minutes with a total of 4 freeze ups. The 5th one.. red circle of death. It is now dead. What a joke. I've played GOW for hours on end, probably the longest being 7 hours straight, play GH for 30 minutes and it kills my box.
...
Yeah I'd agree it obviously doesn't happen to everyone, in fact I have a few buddies that play it non-stop without issues. However having said that, there is enough evidence on this forum alone to convince me that there is an issue with it, and maybe it only shows itself on certain models of 360, built before a certain date or something... no idea. All I know is it ran great before this game, and now... well my 360 makes a nice doorstop.
...
"I love my 360. It's been a dear friend of mine ever since I bought it (on launchday). I've never had any problems with it. Vel, today I decided to get my hands on Guitar Hero II for the 360... Big mistake! My 360 is now officially dead.. After playing GHII for almost 4 hours, the game froze. Not a big deal I thought. I rebooted the console, and "badabing"!... the dreadful three red lights stared at my face. NOOOOOO! Now my 360 won't even boot into the dashboard anymore. I've tried disconnectiong every cable, controller and the hard-drive, but to no use. It usually freezes seconds after I turn it on, and when I try again, the three red lights appear.

Why did this have to happen?! I'm so angry right now, and surely wish I'd never bought that piece of crap Guitar Hero II! Be warned everyone... There has to something seriously wrong the 360 version GHII. Maybe older 360 consoles are having trouble with the guitar controller, and therefore screws up the entire console? I don't know.
[/QUOTE]

Keep in mind, that 360's, like any hardware will not last forever. Every time MS releases a dash update, we see some 360's "die" and everyone blames the update. Every time we see a particular game get an update or new maps etc, we see more consoles "die" and everyone blames the new updates.

I don't know anyone who has had a problem with their GHII, or recent issues with their 360 after having started playing GHII. So, if you fear the Game or the update is the "culprit" of these 360 death's consider waiting for more info to get posted. - HSD
News-Source: XBOX.com forums
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(Sunday 15 April 2007 12:37 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Blackbolt Going in Open Retirement from Skinning
>> From Team Blackbolt:
[QUOTE]
Hello everybody. Ok so here is the deal. When I started skinning a few years ago, I had loads of free time, just come out of college and was able to spend hours each day working away. When I began MC360 on December 29th 2005. yes that long ago, it seemed like a couple of months project. Obviously it turned from that into something bigger. The time I spent on MC360 caused a lot of problems for me and I made many sacrifices to spend the time and energy working on the skin and site. But in the past month, its becoming more apparent that I just can't keep doing the skinning work at the moment.

So, what I am doing today is in effect going into open retirement from skinning. I don't want to say I won't come back eventually to complete the skins I had planned to do, but I don't see myself doing them any time soon. I know that some people will be a bit miffed because I had promised to bring the eX skin and also the THREE skin to life, but I can't see a way to complete them effectively in the near future. Our current skins will still be on the The official XBMC Skinning SVN, which also houses many other new skins like Vision, xTV and Clearity.

I would like thank every single person who has helped Team Blackbolt and also the members of the team who have helped along the way. Thanks to Jezz_X for all the coding he did, which was ALOT and to Team XBMC for creating the best application EVER. Hopefully I will be back one day, maybe if XBMC ever sees light of day on the 360. Well till then, See Ya!
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: blackbolt.x-scene.com
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(Sunday 15 April 2007 11:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Blue Dragon with English Subs - May 22nd in Singapore
>> If you can't wait till August 2007 for the official US release of Blue Dragon, gameaxis.com posted some interesting info:
[QUOTE]
Xbox 360 owners in Singapore as well as other westernized countries can soon look forward to playing Sakaguchi's newest RPG masterpiece come May 22nd. We can all take this news as truly official, as one MS exec revealed to me that Blue Dragon have indeed gotten its release date pushed ahead of schedule. So rather than having to wait till August (as previously stated), 360 gamers can finally taste some sweet RPG love at last next month. And here's the sweetener: MS have listened to RPG fans' feedbacks and have stuck to Blue Dragon's native Japanese audio, but with 100% English texts/subtitles! Way to go Microsoft!
[/QUOTE]

Note: it's unknown atm if this title will be region free ... so don't pre-order yet unless you have a NTSC/J 360.
Full Story: gameaxis.com
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(Sunday 15 April 2007 11:43 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


 

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