Will you buy the Kinect?

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

 





Crave Online

Week of August 5, 2007
More Details on Halo 3: Epsilon - Email Sent to Testers
>> A source, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent us a copy of the email sent out to Halo3 testers about the new Halo3 Epsilon:
[QUOTE]
Congratulations on being selected to participate in the Halo 3 Epsilon! The Epsilon is now available for download on Marketplace!

First, unlike the Alpha, Beta or Delta, this is a very special test in that not only will you be testing nearly final Halo 3 Matchmaking, you will also be able to:
* Play Multiplayer on six maps: Snowbound, High Ground, Valhalla, Last Resort, Epitaph and our new big map, Sandtrap.
* Play Custom Games and test out full game variant editing.
* Play with the Forge and be able to cooperatively edit and save multiplayer map variants.
* Play up to 4 person co-op on a single Campaign level.
* Play and test the full Saved Film functionality, including screenshots you can view in-game for Campaign, Multiplayer and Forge.
[/QUOTE]

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(Saturday 11 August 2007 22:16 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Users Spotted Playing 'Halo 3: Epsilon'
>> From teamxbox.com:
[QUOTE]
Today, several Xbox Live users have seen people on their Friends List playing "Halo 3 Epsilon." For those who don't know, Epsilon is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet, and just like alpha and beta are used to designate applications that are early in development, Epsilon is used for code that is close to its final build.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: teamxbox.com
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(Saturday 11 August 2007 11:34 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox360 Premium-HDMI Motherboard Pics - No Falcon or 65nm
>> Over at the neogaf.com forum they opened one of those new Premium 360s with a HDMI port. As was already widely expected over the last few days, these consoles still don't have the new Falcon motherboard with 65nm chips, but they have the Zephyr motherboard with 90nm chips as found in the Elite. On a positive note, this Premium-HDMI 360 has the new and improved GPU heatsink. The DVD-ROM drive they found inside was the new BenQ drive - but the brand of DVD-ROM Microsoft uses is not bound to a specific SKU or motherboard, so there's certainly no guarantee all Premium-HDMI xboxes will have this drive.
Xbox 360 Premium HDMI Xbox 360 Premium HDMI

News-Source: neogaf.com
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(Saturday 11 August 2007 11:21 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Mole speaks: final pricing and wireless controllers for Rock Band
>> From arstechnica.com:
[QUOTE]
There has been some speculation about the final price of Rock Band, and although there hasn't been an official announcement from EA or Harmonix, our source seems sure of the final price: $199.99 SRP for both the PlayStation 3 and 360 versions with the guitar, the drum set, and a microphone. All told, it's a gigantic 20 pound package, but the box art has still not been finalized.

Tipping the scales in favor of the PlayStation 3, our source confirms that as of now the standard $200 package will come with a wireless guitar for the PS3 and a wired guitar for the 360.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: arstechnica.com
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(Saturday 11 August 2007 00:22 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox360 HDMI Premium - Box Diffs and Zephyr Motherboard - no 65nm yet?
>> Here are some interesting pictures taken by 'wonderkins' we found of the new Xbox 360 Premium box with HDMI port. Microsoft announced the box would be marked with a HDMI logo.
The 1st picture below (from one of the sides of the Xbox360 box) shows that the HDMI port is listed under the console specifications. So if you want to be sure your Premium 360 has the newly added HDMI port you now know what you have to look for.
The 2nd pictures shows the sticker found on the other side of the box ... one word is very interesting here ... "Zephyr" ... which is the codename of the motherboard Microsoft used in the Elite SKU. This probably means that the new Premium consoles with HDMI port don't have the new Falcon motherboard yet (and thus probably not the new 65nm CPU/GPU either).
Xbox-Scene Xbox-Scene

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(Thursday 09 August 2007 23:42 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

USA Xbox360 Pro Promotions: Amazon 330usd, CC offers free Table Tennis
>> It looks like several US retailers are offering additional promotions to the new price of the Xbox360 Premium SKU. My best guess ... clear their stock of non-HDMI Pro consoles ...
Amazon.com is currently selling the Premium SKU for $329.99 (instead of $349.99), Circuit City offers Rockstar's Table Tennis for free with their Premium 360. Best Buy stores (not webshop) apparently gives you a free copy of Top Spin2.

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(Thursday 09 August 2007 18:01 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Non-US Gamers Facing Wait for HDMI 360s
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
Following Microsoft's acknowledgement on Wednesday that it's slowly introducing HDMI-equipped Premium Xbox 360s into the US market, its Australian arm has stated that it will be a while before a similar strategy is adopted down under.
Comments from a Microsoft representative indicate that HDMI-equipped Premium 360s will be available in Australia and New Zealand at some point, although that could be a long time in coming.

There has been no word from Microsoft's European arm as yet concerning the release of the new Premium 360 hardware in Europe, and Microsoft UK was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press. However, with the HDMI port-equipped Elite 360 set to hit European shelves in just a matter of weeks, it seems unlikely new Premium hardware sporting HDMI ports will be allowed to overshadow the Elite's August 24 launch.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz
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(Thursday 09 August 2007 10:50 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Halo 3 Sets Preorder Sales Records, Soars Past 1 Million Milestone
>> From the press release:
[QUOTE]
As the countdown continues for the entertainment event of the year -- the launch of "Halo 3" -- the video game continues to set records and establish new precedents for an entertainment launch. Today, Microsoft Corp. announced that preorders in North America for the exclusive Xbox 360 title have exceeded the 1 million milestone. In addition, Microsoft unveiled the first exciting details of upcoming promotions from leading consumer brands, including Mountain Dew, 7-Eleven, Pontiac, Comcast and Burger King Corp.
In a strategy utilized in other big entertainment launches, retailers around the world have begun taking preorders, enabling consumers to order one of the three versions of "Halo 3": Standard Edition, Limited Edition and the ultra-collectible Legendary Edition. In fact, demand has been so strong for the Legendary Edition of the game that it is expected to be sold out by the time the game launches on Sept. 25. Retailers have also noted that the presales for "Halo 3" are the fastest in video game history.

* Mountain Dew will unveil the first beverage co-branded with a video game, Mountain Dew Game Fuel. Game Fuel has the same great taste of Mountain Dew with an invigorating blast of citrus cherry flavor and added caffeine for maximum intensity. Game Fuel will come in 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and will be available nationwide for a limited time starting Aug. 13, 2007.
* 7-Eleven today confirmed its plans to support the launch of "Halo 3" through a variety of in-store promotions, including three "Halo 3"-branded collectible Slurpee cups. In addition,7-Eleven will run a "Halo 3" promotion with Mountain Dew Game Fuel and Doritos, with thousands of "Halo 3"-themed prizes, including, as grand prize, a chance to win a minor role as a voice actor in the upcoming Xbox 360 video game, "Halo Wars™," by Ensemble Studios. In a few select markets, Mountain Dew will offer a special-edition aluminum bottle of Mountain Dew Game Fuel with an exclusive design created by Bungie Studios, the developers of "Halo 3." This bottle will be available in very limited quantities, making it a highly sought-after collector's item.
* Pontiac will provide consumers with several exclusive "Halo 3"-related opportunities. It will host Pontiac Gamers Garage events in select locations, providing consumers with a chance to play the game for the first time before its release. In addition, in support of the launch of its upcoming high-performance G6 GXP Street, Pontiac is offering 1,000 consumers a chance to win a copy of the game; one lucky gamer will win a limited-edition "Halo 3" G6 GXP Street car.
* Burger King Corp. will continue its sponsorship of Xbox 360 with national, in-restaurant support from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22. "Halo 3"-themed packaging will offer customers access to exclusive content by logging on to http://www.bk.com/halo3 beginning Sept. 23. Graphics will be featured on select packaging, including the 42-ounce cup and King FRYPOD™.
* Comcast has also joined the "Halo 3" campaign and will host exclusive video content, including user-generated movies and machinima, on its Web sites http://gameinvasion.net and http://www.ziddio.com. Comcast will also feature standard- and high-definition "Halo 3" videos on its signature ON DEMAND service.
[/QUOTE]

Read the whole press release here.
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(Thursday 09 August 2007 10:35 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Want a Pro SKU With HDMI? Look for the HDMI Logo on the Box
>> Microsoft confirmed earlier that the Pro SKU will also get the HDMI port. As (some of) the new 'Pro' stock coming in retail stores now seems to have the HDMI port already people were wondering how they could know for sure it had this port without opening the box ... well engadget points out it's very easy:
[QUOTE]
How do you know if your new $350 Xbox 360 will have HDMI out? Simple enough: according to Microsoft PR, the applicable systems will now sport an HDMI logo, so keep an eye out for that and you'll be all set.
[/QUOTE]

Note: At the moment it's still unknown if this 'new' Pro also has the new 'Falcon' motherboard with 65nm cpu/gpu. If those new chips and motherboards were not ready yet, Microsoft could easily have built Pro-HDMI SKUs with the motherboard used in the Elite. About the DVD-drive ... afaik and unless there are really specific changes, the DVD-drive is independent of motherboard or chip changes.

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(Thursday 09 August 2007 00:17 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

John Schappert to Head Microsoft Interactive Entertainment LIVE
>> From the press release:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft Corp. today announced that John Schappert, most recently executive vice president at Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), will be joining the Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) in a newly created position as corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services.

Schappert's latest role in central development services at EA included oversight of central technology, operations, EA online and the office of the chief creative officer. Previously, Schappert held several senior-level positions at EA including chief operating officer of worldwide studios, group general manager, and general manager of EA Canada and EA Tiburon. He will be joining Microsoft as a corporate vice president running the LIVE, software and services group. Schappert will report to Don Mattrick, the newly named senior vice president of IEB, which includes the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows businesses.
[/QUOTE]

Read the full press release here.
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(Wednesday 08 August 2007 23:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft Confirms HDMI on Pro, Not Core? - Reaching Retail Already?
>> From shacknews.com:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft has confirmed the addition of HDMI ports to all newly manufactured Xbox 360 premium consoles. "Yes, we are offering an HDMI port for Xbox 360 simply as another choice in Xbox 360 owners’ games and entertainment experience," a Microsoft rep told Shacknews in an e-mailed statement. "Retailers are gradually introducing HDMI-enabled Xbox 360s into the channel to meet demand."

Regarding the possibility of an HDMI output on the $279.99 SKU, the Microsoft rep said, "We have not announced any plans to add HDMI to the Xbox 360 Core System." Microsoft would not reveal whether any other additions had been made to newly available Xbox 360 models, such as the inclusion of a 65nm process.

A Shacknews community member reported finding an HDMI port on an Xbox 360 premium console he purchased today at a Target store in Atlanta, Georgia.
An image of the HDMI-enabled console provided a manufacturing date of July 4, 2007.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: shacknews.com
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(Wednesday 08 August 2007 19:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Maya 2008 announced, boasts improved performance
>> From arstechnica.com:
[QUOTE]
For serious 3D work for TV, game development, and special effects, Autodesk's Maya package is a popular and frequently-used solution.
The newest iteration of the software, Maya 2008, was announced yesterday, and will be on display at SIGGRAPH from August 7 to August 9.

This latest Maya release is emphasizing reliability and efficiency instead of flashy new features, a wise choice for a high-end application. The workflow for polygon modeling has been streamlined and is supposedly more efficient, and a few tweaks have been made to the way polygon tools work. The performance of many of the tools has supposedly been increased, and rendering is now faster as well. DirectX HLSL shaders are now supported, which is good news for PS3 or Xbox 360 developers, and Maya's character animation has also gotten a bit better.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: arstechnica.com
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(Wednesday 08 August 2007 19:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

NPD: People Still Don't Know Their Consoles
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
A new study from research firm NPD Group says many consumers are unaware of additional videogame console features beyond disc-based gaming. NPD told Next-Gen what this means for game companies.

For instance, PlayStation 3 owners download content just as much as Xbox 360 users, but would-be PS3 owners and a majority of actual owners of the console are unaware that you can download content to PS3. On the other hand more consumers are aware of Xbox 360's online capabilities.

NPD also said Xbox 360 gamers are more likely to play games online compared to PS3 gamers.
Indeed, Microsoft has been making its Xbox Live online gaming service a major selling point for Xbox systems for years now.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz
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(Wednesday 08 August 2007 15:28 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: 360 Cores and Premiums with HDMI soon?
>> From arstechnica.com:
[QUOTE]
When I was at E3 I had a chance to get a look at the new Halo-edition 360 hardware, and I asked about the HDMI connection. "HDMI will probably be standard moving forward," I was told. I pushed for more information, but was rebuffed. Now, after the price drop announcement, a mole sent us some interesting information about Microsoft's upcoming hardware plans. If you're thinking of buying, you may want to hold off.

According to my source, Microsoft wants to cut through all their existing inventory of hardware. They will then quietly "soft launch" a new version of the Core and Premium hardware in late August or September that will include an HDMI port. It's also expected that this new hardware will feature the 65nm process for the CPU and quieter DVD drives. The new hardware will ship in boxes very similar to what we saw on store shelves now, but there will be a small "call out" on the box so you know you're getting a system with the HDMI connection.
[/QUOTE]

Sounds kinda logic that once MS moves to the new 'Falcon' motherboard with the 65nm CPU/GPU they will give HDMI to all systems. It's probably cheaper to give a HDMI port to the Core and Pro system too than producing 2 different type of motherboards. Actually we already mentioned back in March(!) of this year that our sources informed us the Core/Pro would get the HDMI port too. The June date we gave was apparently a bit early, but the delay is probably caused by the production delay in the 65nm chips (and thus also the new redesigned 'Falcon' motherboard).

Full Story: arstechnica.com
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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 18:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Rumor: Target ditching the 360 Core system too?
>> From xbox360fanboy.com:
[QUOTE]
Following last week's rumor that Best Buy will no longer stock the Xbox 360 Core system, Joystiq has received an anonymous tip that Target will be doing the same. The tip was accompanied by several images of the product listing in a store PDA, with this image regrettably being the clearest. The upper right corner displays the Core system's status as "Discontinued." Coupled with the Best Buy rumor, it's starting to look like the Core is definitely being phased out. The question is whether or not another product will take its place or if the Premium and Elite models will become the only remaining choice.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: xbox360fanboy.com
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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 17:47 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

DIY'er puts the Wiimote on your Xbox 360
>> From obsiv.spaces.live.com:
[QUOTE]
I (like many others) am a proud owner of a Wii60. Us Wii60 owners feel that we've got gaming all covered. Our Xbox 360 gives us top-class hard core online gaming in high definition. Our Wii gives us really unique gaming experiences because the Wiimote is like nothing else. But, what if we could get the best of the Xbox 360 and the best of the Wii, together, in a single game? I was curious, and the end result is my creation that I call Xbox 360 Input Machine (or, "XIM" for short).
Even though I chose to adapt a Wiimote to my Xbox 360, this system will work with any input device that a PC can recognize. This, of course, includes any gaming mouse and keyboard (wired or wireless) available.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: obsiv.spaces.live.com
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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 15:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Canadian Price Drops: Pro 400, Core 300, Elite 500, Halo3LE 450 - Mexico Too!
>> The US price drop was already announced earlier today and now MS PR also officially announced a price drop for Canada and Mexico.

From the Canadian press release:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft Corp. today kicked off the greatest holiday lineup in video game history by announcing it will reduce the Canadian retail price of Xbox 360™ by $100 (CDN) beginning Aug. 8 at Canadian retailers nationwide.

Family of Consoles
Xbox 360 will enhance the value of its entire family of consoles beginning on Aug. 8. At a new price of $399.99 (CDN), Xbox 360 offers an unsurpassed experience right out of the box with a 20 GB hard drive, wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, and more.
For those looking for the ultimate value and the freedom to customize their console as they see fit, Xbox 360 Core System now has an estimated retail price (ERP) of $299.99 (CDN). Xbox 360 Core System provides everything gamers need to hit the ground running while giving consumers the ability to add new features and accessories they want.
Dressed in black and equipped with a 120GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at an ERP of $499.99 (CDN) for those who want the premium games and entertainment experience.
In anticipation of this year's largest blockbuster game launch, the Xbox 360 Halo® 3 Special Edition Console will hit store shelves in September with an ERP of $449.99 (CDN). Featuring an authentic Spartan green-and-gold finish, this console will include a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 20GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Headset an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit and more.
[/QUOTE]

Update: Microsoft now also announced the price will drop tomorrow in Mexico:
* Xbox 360: $5,199 pesos
* Xbox 360 Core System: $3,699 pesos
* Xbox 360 Elite: $5,999 pesos

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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 12:59 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Small Xbox 360 System Update
>> From majornelson.com (FYI: MS owned blog):
[QUOTE]
Moments ago, the team released a system update (aka Dash update) to Xbox Live. Over the next few hours, when you sign in to Xbox LIVE, you'll receive a prompt to accept this mandatory update. What's in this update? The only thing this minor release will do is prepare your Xbox 360 for the wireless guitars that are being released in a few months.
No new features beyond this wireless support are included in this update. As usual, we've got some new features planned for later this year as part of our biannual release cycle.
[/QUOTE]

This upgrades the dashboard and kernel from 2.0.5759.0 to 2.0.5766.0.
As always, update at your own risk!! It's always possible MS added more security (detecting FW modded DVD drives or the discs, fixing a kernel exploit, ...). For now there seems to be no banning, but it's too early to tell, certainly considering MS likes to collect info and ban with a delay or at a specific time.
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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 10:50 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft PR: 360 Price Drop Official: Pro 350, Core 280, Elite 450, Halo3LE 400
>> Well, it was not really a secret anymore ... but it's now really official ... Microsoft drops the price of the Xbox360 in USA. Our sources reported the pricedrop for August 8th as first and the rumor was quickly 'confirmed' by sources at hollywoodreporter and GameDaily BIZ and also flyers of wal-mart, toys r us and circuit city.

From the official Microsoft press release:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft Corp. today kicked off the greatest holiday lineup in video game history by announcing it will reduce the estimated retail price (ERP) of Xbox 360 by $50 (U.S.) beginning Aug. 8. Soon to follow, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) will release its blockbuster video game title "Madden NFL 08" on Aug. 14. "Madden NFL Football," one of the most important mass-appeal franchises in video games, was the top-selling game of 2006 and is the top-selling franchise of the past 10 years. Only Xbox 360 offers a console for all interests and budgets.

"The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president, Global Retail Sales and Marketing Group, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "On the eve of the best holiday games lineup ever and the launch of 'Madden NFL 08,' there has never been a better time to jump into Xbox 360."

Xbox 360 will enhance the value of its entire family of consoles beginning on Aug. 8. At a new ERP of $349.99 (U.S.), Xbox 360 offers an unsurpassed experience right out of the box with a 20GB hard drive, wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, and more. For those looking for the ultimate value and the freedom to customize their console as they see fit, Xbox 360 Core System now has an ERP of $279.99 (U.S.). Xbox 360 Core System provides everything needed to start gaming while giving consumers the ability to add new features and accessories they want. Dressed in black and equipped with a 120GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at an ERP of $449.99 (U.S.) for those who want the premium games and entertainment experience. In anticipation of this year's largest blockbuster game launch, the Xbox 360 Halo® 3 Special Edition Console will hit store shelves in September with an ERP of $399.99 (U.S.). Featuring an authentic Spartan green-and-gold finish, this console will include a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 20GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Headset, an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit, and more.

In addition to being a great value, Xbox 360 is the only console on which consumers will be able to play all of this year's biggest titles: "Guitar Hero III™: Legends of Rock" (RedOctane/Activision), "Halo 3" (Bungie Studios), "Madden NFL 08" (EA) and "Rock Band" (MTV Games). Xbox 360 is also home to the most exclusive games, such as "BioShock" (2K Games), "Lost Odyssey™" (Mistwalker/Feel Plus), "Blue Dragon" (Mistwalker/Artoon Co. Ltd.), "Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action," (Screenlife), "Project Gotham Racing® 4" (Bizarre Creations Ltd.), "Mass Effect" (BioWare Corp.), "Naruto: Rise of a Ninja" (Ubisoft), and "Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation" (NAMCO BANDAI Games). With a record-setting attach rate of 6.1 games per console sold (NPD, Life-to-date, June 2007), a new price and the greatest holiday games lineup ever, Xbox 360 has proved itself as the home of the best games and entertainment at the best value.
[/QUOTE]

For now it seems to be US only (so not for Canada that usually follows US price), on major nelson's site I found this bit of info:
[QUOTE]
These new prices are effective as of Wednesday, August 8th in the U.S. only.
Regarding any global price drops I am told from the marketing folks that 'Today we are announcing a price reduction in the U.S. We will announce other regional price decreases at the appropriate time.'
[/QUOTE]

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(Tuesday 07 August 2007 00:34 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Five Ways Microsoft can Save Xbox LIVE Arcade
>> From thedigitalgamer.typepad.com:
[QUOTE]
For a while, the dream seemed to hold. Geometry Wars genuinely was the best launch title, Hexic was like peering into Charles Babbage's brain while he was bust knitting, and Robotron 2084 is the centerpoint of any non-insane game collection. Then along came XBLA Wednesdays - now there's a topper idea. It's like regular TV schedules, but for games. How can any of this possibly turn sour?

But turn sour it did. Nasty Digital Eclipse-powered shovel-overs, bizarre and sadistic pricing policies, and lackluster line-ups soon stepped on my pretty dream and ground it into the mud. But it doesn't have to be like this. Here, in fact, are five things the North-West Giant can do to sort out their own backyard, followed by one thing you can do to help them.

1. Support it, Microsoft
2. Less is more
3. No more ports
4. Fix that D-pad
5. Give Gold subscribers (gasp) free XBLA games
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: thedigitalgamer.typepad.com
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(Monday 06 August 2007 23:51 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

U.S. Soldiers Get Halo 3 Military Edition Zune
>> From teamxbox.com:
[QUOTE]
On the heels of the popular black Zune - Halo 3 Edition, Microsoft is introducing a new brown version of the Halo-themed player for military service members. After receiving feedback on the popularity of the Zune players from U.S. soldiers, teams from Microsoft Zune and Microsoft's U.S. Federal business joined together to develop a special Zune - Halo 3 Military Edition, which will be available exclusively at military retail stores in August. The new version of the Zune - Halo 3 Edition player will be packaged in a collectible Halo 3 box, and will come pre-loaded with artwork, trailers, and music from all three Halo games.

A group of soldiers leaving for active duty from the Baltimore Washington International airport on August 6th will be the first to receive the new Halo Zune devices. Working closely with the USO, a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life of service members, Microsoft contributed 300 of the new Zune players to the USO of Metropolitan Washington to be part of a special USO care package the soldiers will receive.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: teamxbox.com
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(Monday 06 August 2007 23:42 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Record Haul of Chipped Consoles Seized in UK
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
Police officers have swooped to make the largest ever console chipping seizure in UK history.

The discovery of chipped Wii and Xbox 360 consoles at a residential property was made after officers first raided a tradesman's stall at a Halifax market. When his residence was later searched, West Yorkshire Police unearthed a staggering 246 Wii and 168 Xbox 360 consoles.
Also included in the haul were 19 PSPs, 12 DS Lites, 6 PlayStation 2s and 6 PlayStation 3s, along with other pirating material such as computers used for the duplication of copied discs, illegal chips, 300-400 copied games discs, and £5,000 in cash.
The original operation at the market also resulted in the seizure of over 5000 illegal discs with a retail value of over £50,000.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz
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(Monday 06 August 2007 17:37 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Toshiba releases 3 new HD DVD players under 500usd
>> From arstechnica.com:
[QUOTE]
As the format battle rages on, today Toshiba announced three new HD DVD players: the HD-A3, the HD-A30, and the HD-A35.

Toshiba's third generation of HD DVD players are all priced lower than the cheapest Blu-ray drives I could manage to find online. Why Toshiba decided to launch three new players at once is unknown, but it's likely because it's trying to crowd up store shelves with the lower-priced HD-DVDs in order to draw consumer attention away from Blu-ray Disc Association, which recently announced five free movies with the purchase of a player, a promotion that matches Toshiba's own five disc giveaway.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: arstechnica.com
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(Monday 06 August 2007 13:15 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Typical MS Response to Nikkei Article: No 'major design flaw'
>> From computerandvideogames.com:
[QUOTE]
The evaluation, carried out by Japanese news source Nikkei, had a thermo design expert analyze the 360's heat radiation system. The test found that a flaw in Xbox 360's design means that it could achieve temperatures of over 100 degrees in the summer (that's hot enough to make a cup of tea).

Responding to the report, a Microsoft spokesperson told CVG, "There is no single root cause or systemic issue with any of the Xbox 360 consoles."
With such a complex consumer electronic product that contains more than 1700 different components and 500 million transistors, there are obviously many things that can malfunction at any given time. The vast majority of customers who own Xbox 360 consoles continue to have a terrific experience. "As Microsoft didn't participate in the test, we cannot comment on any findings."
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Full Story: computerandvideogames.com
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(Monday 06 August 2007 11:48 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

'MGS4 for Xbox 360' a mistake, admits HMV
>> From gamesindustry.biz:
[QUOTE]
High Street retailer HMV has admitted a pre-order listing for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots on the Xbox 360 was a mistake by its online admin team.

"In his enthusiasm, one of our online games team indicated that hmv.co.uk would start taking pre-orders for MGS4 on Xbox 360, when, in fact, he simply meant to ask customers if they wished to receive an alert in the event of this title one day coming out on this platform," admitted the retailer to GamesIndustry.biz
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Full Story: gamesindustry.biz
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(Monday 06 August 2007 11:35 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) 2007-08-05 SVN rev9834 build - T3CH
>> T3CH released a new SVN compile (rev9834) 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:
* updated: mplayer.dll ( enabled edl list, fixed asv/wmv bug with streams missing extended properties )
* added : PM3 Option to set a custom background image to the Content panel from skin settings. To maintain the skin look I suggest you use almost grey scale images, high colour ones will just look odd. The Custom Background Images do not maintain aspect ratio (or it would get bits cut off) you will need to adjust them yourself
* added: option to set resolution for viewing pictures/slideshows.
* AMT updated to 0.98.9, XBMC Lyrics updated to 1.5.5. Fixed broken thumb (my bad) for T3CH downloader.
* 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.
* I've tweaked the win32 run_me_first.bat so it runs and then unmounts the virtual drives when you exit.

For the full changelog (all added/fixed/changed/updated stuff) since the 2007-07-30 SVN Rev9771 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://t3ch.yi.se (release RSS feed)
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK) | Download SourceCode: here
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(Sunday 05 August 2007 23:16 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

A Hitachi v79 flashing solution from Infectus - Flash079
>> Here are some details of Flash079, by the guys who made Infectus in collaboration with Laemmchen.
The Flash079 is a neat device that lets you read and flash the firmware of your Hitachi 0079FK drive (with the latest Maximus Toolbox).

What you're getting with this:
- direct boot into ModeB
- Flashing and reading of the firmware of your drive
- Stealth when not active (leave it soldered in and just solder a jumper)
- Based on Xilinx CPLD for stable and reliable patching
- Only available solution for Europe
- Low-cost (10€ retail price)

Pro:
- Allows you to flash a 79FK drive as if it were an older drive
- Goes straight to ModeB (no Slax needed anymore)
- Works as an Unbricker for i.e. 59 (like Chillimod)

Con:
- Flashing works for only one drive (you can only use one per drive) - Unbricking works for "unlimited" drives

Official Site: http://www.infectus.biz
Buy From: http://www.hardstore.com
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(Sunday 05 August 2007 15:32 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

HMV takes MGS4 360 pre-orders - 5m after PS3 release?
>> Another round of Metal Gear Solid 4 on Xbox 360 rumors ...
From computerandvideogames.com:
[QUOTE]
Here we go again. The latest 'MGS4-going-multi-platform' rumour is interesting for two reasons. Mega entertainment retailer HMV is taking pre-orders for the 360 version right now and the firm even dates both version of the game.

Metal Gear Solid 4 will apparently be available from April 18, 2008 on PlayStation 3 only according to the listing. Then, just over five months later, the Xbox 360 will be blessed with Solid Snake's presence on September 26 (one year exactly after the launch of Halo 3, trivia fans).
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: computerandvideogames.com | hmv (ps3) | hmv (360)
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(Sunday 05 August 2007 10:27 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

WCC and SKWC Filed a Class Lawsuit over Scratched Discs
>> From wcclaw.com:
[QUOTE]
The Law Firms of Wasserman, Comden, and Casselman, LLP of Los Angeles, California and Stritmatter, Kessler, Whelan, Coluccio of Seattle, Washington are investigating consumer complaints regarding the Microsoft X-Box 360 Video Game Console.

Many consumers have complained that the X-Box 360 Console scratches game disks while they are being played. The scratches leave the disk ruined and unplayable.

WCC and SKWC have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle on behalf of a nationwide class of consumers who have suffered scratched game disks while using their X-Box 360 Console. The lawsuit seeks: reimbursement for consumers for the cost of games damaged by the Console, reimbursement for consumers who have paid a $20 fee to Microsoft Corporation under a limited disk replacement program offered on ten Microsoft games, repair, free of charge, the Consoles to prevent disks from being scratched, and/or reimbursement for consumers who have paid for an aftermarket repair solution.

If you have experienced problems with your X-Box 360 Console, we would like to hear from you. Please fill out the information form, and we may contact you for more information.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: wcclaw.com
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(Sunday 05 August 2007 09:17 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


 

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