Gaming News November 2008

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Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (PS3 & X360) Review
Gaming Heaven :: Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Midway games have just released one of the most unusual games of the year. It combines 22 characters from the Marvel and Mortal Kombat universe in a brutal slashfest …. if you ever fancied seeing who would win between Sub Zero and Superman then this might just be your thing.

Mortimer Beckett & The Time Paradox Reviewed 
IT Reviewed :: Friday, November 21, 2008
“Featuring various hidden objects and more puzzles than ever, Time Paradox is an engaging adventure for all ages. Having said, the extremely well-hidden pieces and complexity of some puzzles may be too frustrating for younger gamers or those with little patience, but the entertaining storyline and visually impressive graphics (especially the Egyptian era) make it a very worthwhile addition to your casual gaming collection. And as an added bonus, items change locations during multiple playthroughs for added longevity.”

Mortimer Beckett & The Time Paradox Reviewed 
IT Reviewed :: Friday, November 21, 2008
“Featuring various hidden objects and more puzzles than ever, Time Paradox is an engaging adventure for all ages. Having said, the extremely well-hidden pieces and complexity of some puzzles may be too frustrating for younger gamers or those with little patience, but the entertaining storyline and visually impressive graphics (especially the Egyptian era) make it a very worthwhile addition to your casual gaming collection. And as an added bonus, items change locations during multiple playthroughs for added longevity.”

New Xbox Experience Causing HDMI Sound Loss Issues
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From gizmodo.com : <BR><I> According to a long thread at the AVForums, several Xbox 360 users are losing all sound after upgrading to the New Xbox Experience. Fortunately, there seems to be a fix: * Turn off the Xbox 360. * Remove the hard drive. * Turn on the Xbox 360. * When the Dashboard loads, put the hard drive back. Apparently, the fix is only temporary. If you turn of the Xbox, you will have to receive the process </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gizmodo.com

360’s lack of Sony Pictures films streaming on Netflix ‘unrelated’ to competition
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From engadget.com : <BR><I> You probably recall that two days ago, when the new Xbox Experience launched, sadly, about 300 Sony Pictures films were unavailable for Netflix Watch Instantly on NXE. According to a Sony spokesperson, the problem isn’t specific to the Xbox, nor is their beef competition-related in any way. Sony also says it is in talks with the several “relevant parties” to work out these vague licensing issues, though there was no word on when the issue would be resolved. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: engadget.com

Xbox 360 storms past 7m sales in Europe
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From mcvuk.com : <BR><I> Microsoft has told MCV that Xbox 360 has cruised past seven million sales in Europe. The company last released a European sales figure for Xbox 360 in June, when it told MCV that it had shifted five million units in EMEA. Now that number has grown by two million – having been greatly affected by September’s price reduction, which saw the 360 Arcade SKU reduced to just ?129.99 (&#8364;179.99). “When you look at what we’ve got coming, just in the next three or four weeks, that gives us the confidence that this will be the best ever Christmas in the history of Xbox. ” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: mcvuk.com

Xbox LIVE Community Games is Open for Business!
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From the XNA Team Blog : <BR><I> Hopefully you’ve managed to upgrade yourself to the New Xbox Experience already! Some people are reporting having trouble logging on to Xbox.com to sign the new Terms of Use. If that includes you, try signing this through your Xbox 360 console instead. That is probably your quickest and easiest route back to Premium Creators Club membership status. We’ve also got a new area just for Xbox LIVE Community Games over on the Xbox.com forums . This will be where we can send those earnest voices that don’t necessarily want to make a game, but simply want to offer their opinions on the games created. Each Community Game will have its own thread created once it is available through Marketplace. On Creators Club we’ve opened up the last piece of the site to the Creators — the “My Business (https://profile.xna.com/en-US/mybusiness.aspx )” portion of your profile is now live. If you’re selling a Community Game or plan to sell one you need to give us your information there so we know where to send the check! This is a pretty incredible day for all of us. We’ve managed to do something that no one has really done before. We’ve opened up the console and given independent game developers a chance to sell their work to the millions of Xbox LIVE gamers. Our creators have submitted more than 30 different games that you can download now through the Community Games channel on the New Xbox Experience. Each game has something incredible to offer and speaks to the potential that waits beyond today. We really can’t wait to see what happens next! </I><BR><BR>

NXE Launch Day Updates: Some LIVE and NetFlix Issues
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From majornelson.com : <BR><I> * As you can imagine, it’s been an incredible day so far for the New Xbox Experience. It’s great to see so much enthusiasm…it sounds like you are having fun exploring NXE. With an update of this magnitude, reaching more than 14 million people around the globe, we are aware some of you may be experiencing a few hiccups along the way. The LIVE team is closely monitoring the LIVE service and Xbox.com and are aware of a few issues including what’s happening with Marketplace. The team is actively working on the issues, so thanks for bearing with us. * We hope your’re enjoying the New Xbox Experience. As expected, Netflix on Xbox 360 is a huge success, with the LIVE community flocking to this portion of the New Xbox Experience. Some of you may have had a few challenges earlier today but I wanted to let you know they’ve been resolved. </I><BR><BR>

Meet your Xbox Community Game launch titles
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From arstechnica.com : <BR><I> The New Xbox Experience has arrived today, along with the Xbox Community Games Platform. This new portal will offer countless games from independent developers that are moderated by the community, rather than Microsoft. We had a chance to play around with the Community Games prior to launch, and we have liked what’s out there so far. Let’s take a look at just a few of the games that you can scoop up at launch. The Good * Bloc (200 Points, $2.50) * Lines (200 Points, $2.50) The Bad * Cubage (200 Points, $2.50) * Space Combat (200 Points, $2.50) The Strange * Drift (400 Points, $5) * Being (200 Points, $2.50) </I><BR><BR> Full Story: arstechnica.com


Halo 3 and NXE: HDD Install Causes Slower Loading Times …
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From bungie.net : <BR><I> The “New Xbox Experience” was released today and one of the new features allows you to “install” your games to the HDD. While you still have to keep the original disc in the tray, installing to the HDD can make some games perform a little better while also putting a little less wear-and-tear on your DVD drive. However, this isn’t to say that ALL games will see optimizations from being installed. In fact, in the case of Halo 3, the game will actually see increased loading times. Several websites have reported the results of tests to gauge how some games perform after being installed to the HDD for Halo 3 and their tests indicate that in some cases, the load times are significantly longer. Our own internal investigations have yielded similar results. To help explain why this is the case I tapped our uber engineer and Chief Caching Officer, Mat Noguchi, to answer a few questions. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: bungie.net

Netflix Confirms Columbia Pictures Movies are Pulled from NXE
Xbox Scene :: Friday, November 21, 2008
From gamasutra.com : <BR><I> All Columbia Pictures movies have been pulled from the Xbox Live version of Netflix, following the launch of the New Xbox Experience dashboard update. Columbia Pictures is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, but the move does not appear to be malicious on the part of Sony executives — all movies distributed by Sony Pictures still remain accessible through the service. “A few hundred titles are temporarily unavailable to be streamed via the Xbox game console,” Netflix corporate communications VP Dave Swasey told consumer website MTV Multiplayer. “Those titles are still available to be watched on subscribers’ computers and on TVs via other partner devices, and we hope they’ll be licensed for Xbox 360 shortly.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gamasutra.com

Microsoft Confirms New Xbox 360 Console Banning
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From majornelson.com : <BR><I> I’ve gotten a few messages and seen some forum threads pop up on console bannings so I thought I’d post and let folks know what’s up. In our our continued effort to keep gameplay safe and secure for our community of more than 14 million members, Microsoft has taken action against a small percentage of Xbox 360 consoles that have been illegally modified in order to play pirated games. You should know that modifying your Xbox 360 console is also a violation of the Xbox LIVE terms of use , will void your warranty and result in a ban from Xbox LIVE. The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive, both from manufacturers and the local companies that support them. We will continue to employ and bolster anti-piracy security measures to counter piracy in the gaming industry and improve security in the Xbox LIVE community. </I><BR><BR> Report your Xbox LIVE status: forums.xbox-scene.com

NXE – CES Innovations Awards Honoree
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From the Xbox PR Blog : <BR><I> We’re a week away from the official launch of the New Xbox Experience, and as you know, we’re expecting it to change the way people are entertained, via Xbox 360. The industry agrees: we’re excited to share that NXE is already receiving accolades. Today, the Consumer Electronics Association announced that the New Xbox Experience was selected as a CES Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award honoree in the Electronic Gaming product category. The Innovations Awards have come to represent the best-designed products and services in consumer technology. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gamerscoreblog.com

Microsoft Cuts Xbox 360 Prices In Australia Again
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From gamasutra.com : <BR><I> For the second time in just six months, Microsoft lowered prices across all of its Xbox 360 models in Australia, bundling the systems with complimentary games for a limited time as Christmas approaches. The company cut the price of its Xbox 360 Arcade model by AUD50 ($33) to AUD299 ($199), as well as the Pro and Elite models by AUD100 ($67) to AUD499 ($333) and AUD599 ($400) respectively. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gamasutra.com

Rumor: MS Rep – Fall update will be big trouble
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From gamingconfidential.blogspot.com : <BR><I> A trusted source working as a customer service rep for Microsoft has revealed that there will be some bad drama when the Xbox 360’s Fall update hits on November 19th. He says the update could bring the dreaded “three red lights of death” issue roaring back to life. The rep said that there has always been an influx of calls from owners of bricked Xbox 360s after every major Xbox 360 software update. Most of the complaints come from owners of launch consoles. “The slick move by Microsoft here is that it’s releasing the update on the 19th, just a couple of days after the extended warranty period for launch Xbox 360s end. The owners of these units are headed for some pretty tense times in the weeks to come,”” he said. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gamingconfidential.blogspot.com

New Xbox LIVE Ban Wave?
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Seems like reports on our forums are indicating Microsoft has a new (console) ban wave on Xbox LIVE … Right now we don’t have a lot of details/information, but if you have a modified DVD firmware we suggest you stay off LIVE for now. Report your LIVE status (include as many details as possible) on: forums.xbox-scene.com .

New 65nm GPU Not Found in very new Xbox 360
Xbox Scene :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From benheck.com : <BR><I> As probably the most prolific single buyer of Xbox 360 consoles on the planet, I would like to pass along news of NOT finding a new 65nm GPU in the latest Xbox 360 I disassembled. Upon taking it apart, it had the same old GPU as before, though there were other further changes to the board even past 60 gig units I’d bought a month ago. I have no doubt it’s coming, and I plan to be the first to find one. But alas, not yet. Reported elsewhere to have new chipset: Manufacture date 8-26-08 and up, lot number 0831 and up. Benheck confirmed NO new chipset: Manufacture date 9-4-08, lot number 0836. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: benheck.com