Gaming News September 2008

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Jasper Xbox 360s on the Shelves?

Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From joeygadget.com : <BR><I> According to the Xbox 360 DVD Drive Database , it appears Xbox 360s outfitted with the much-anticipated Jasper chipset have finally started showing up in stores and at online retailers. The key things to look for when buying a new Xbox 360 with the Jasper chipset is a manufacturing date (MFR) as early as 2008-08-06, Lot 8031 and up, and Team CSON. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: joeygadget.com

More lessons from XBLA on why XNA Community Games won’t make you rich
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From letskilldave’s blog : <BR><I> Kim Pallister (oh, hey, yet another Microsoft colleague that went to Intel), wrote a nice commentary a few days ago on the marketing of indie games on XBLA , referencing the postmortem of Go Go Break Steady as a lesson about how marketing is so critical to the success of a game. I’m not really talking about traditional marketing here, but am instead suggesting that word-of-mouth style marketing won’t merely be optional, but will become your #1 priority when it comes to XNA Community Games. The warning here is that you, as a Community Games Publisher, must be ready to launch promotions of your game to as many places as possible that will reach your target audience (hint: not a silly “teaser spot” on the Xbox that you might pay for Microsoft to promote). However, I’m not telling you to spam places like Kotaku or 1up either (Brian Crescente would kill me if that happened). Rather, you need to think through the kind of audience and message you want consumers to “get” about your game, then work with people that are experienced enough to help you market that game effectively, long before the game hits the Community Games Channel on the Xbox. What does this mean in the end? If you want your game to have big returns, you need to be prepared to have smart people help you promote the game. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: letskilldave.com

What Microsoft-India Has To Say About Xbox 360 Slim
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From theangrypixel.com : <BR><I> While we were present at the event and reported about the new bundle, we strangely never ran across any official (or unofficial) revelation of the slim avatar being in development or even a hint of hitting the shelves any time soon. We got in touch with Microsoft India, who made it clear that no such announcements were made. Below is an excerpt from the press release addressing the Xbox 360 Slim rumour: “We would not like to comment on any market speculation or rumor. In India, we have the Xbox 360 Core and the Xbox 360 Pro console currently available in the market. There are exciting new game titles like Gears of War 2, Fable II and Fallout 3 in the pipeline for the holiday season along with special promotions and festival offers.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: theangrypixel.com

More Details on Xecuter Connectivity Kit v3 Lite and Pro
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From team-xecuter.com : <BR><I> As designers of the world’s first and best selling 360 DVD Connect Kits, we are pleased to announce the latest in our line of Xbox 360 Connectivity Kits. We are offering the option of a much cheaper alternative for those that are on a budget. * 360 Connectivity Kit V3 Lite. RRP $29.95 Feature List: – RS232 Support (Liteon Key dumping) – Powers ALL XBOX 360 DVD Drives – Mode-B on Hitachi 59 & Earlier (78/79 Require Slax Disc) – Compatible with already released tools (dvdkey/dvdkey32/toolbox etc) – Onboard ON/OFF Switch – Onboard Eject Switch – FREE SATA Cable – High Build Quality – Trusted Xecuter Design * 360 Connectivity Kit V3 Pro. RRP $49.95 Feature List: – USB Support (Liteon Key dumping) – Powers ALL XBOX 360 DVD Drives – Mode-B on Hitachi 59 & Earlier (78/79 Require Slax Disc) – Compatible with already released tools (dvdkey/dvdkey32/toolbox etc) – Onboard ON/OFF Switch – Onboard Eject Switch – FREE 360 Hard Drive Adapter – FREE SATA Cable – FREE USB Cable – High Build Quality – Trusted Xecuter Design </I><BR><BR> Official Site:

Microsoft India: Slim Xbox 360 in the Works?
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From gameguru.in : <BR><I> Microsoft’s planning to reveal a whole bunch of goodies for Xbox 360 loyalists. Here is a brief lowdown on the stuff that Microsoft is planning to reveal by the end of 2008 and early 2009. Slimmer Xbox 360 and new peripherals: The pictures that were released a day or two ago might have been fake, but Microsoft is indeed looking to cut on the size of the bulky Xbox 360. A detailed announcement of both the slimmer Xbox 360 and the list of peripherals accompanying it (perhaps a bigger hard drive) are going to take place right before Christmas 2008 to scourge on the holiday sprit. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gameguru.in

NXE ? Themes 2.0 and Friends Channel
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From the Xbox PR Blog : <BR><I> Ahhh Themes – There’s been a lot of chatter about whether or not you can keep what you have, how they will look and how the new stuff will be different. We’ll be tackling all of that today so pay attention! Also in this week’s Developer Diaries, we’re going to show you more on the new Friends Channel – another area we got a lot of questions about after we first showed it to you at E3. This fall, themes are getting even more detailed with the New Xbox Experience. Themes will take over more than just the background of your Dashboard – they will be present on every channel in cool, dynamic ways. Yes, I said, “DYNAMIC.” Check out the screens that show the Underground Theme on the Dashboard and the Friends Channel. Every graphic on each channel will tie into your theme and change if you choose a different one. You can really see this on the Friends Channel – each of your friends’ Avatars will stand next to a different graphic or environment. These graphics will match the theme you choose and will change dynamically as you navigate from channel to channel. But that’s not all; the themes will be subtly animated. This is some pretty cool stuff when you see it. This is what your Dashboard and Friends Channel would look like with the Signature Theme – picture the bubbles in the background moving, shrinking, growing – you get the idea. Also on the Friends Channel , you’ll be able to see your friends’ Avatars rally when you host a LIVE party. You can see who is online and offline by what their Avatars are doing, too. Online? Your friends will emote and be able to wave you over to jump into their party. Offline? Well, they’re snoozing, of course. Finally (and many of you have asked us about this) don’t worry – you can still use the themes you previously purchased with the New Xbox Experience. They’ll look even better over the new UI, especially in high-definition. Below is what a current “Gears of War” theme would look like this . </I><BR><BR>


Microsoft: New Xbox Experience in November
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From xboxlive.ign.com : <BR><I> Don’t expect the New Xbox Experience to roll out for over a month. In an interview with Scott Austin, Director of Digitally Distributed Games for Microsoft, IGN was told that the New Xbox Experience will be pushed out to Xbox 360s in November. While talking about new ways that are coming to purchase Xbox Live Arcade games, Austin said, “One of the great things we have with the New Xbox Experience that we’re rolling out in November is that we now have web Marketplace available for our consumers.” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: xboxlive.ign.com

Media Create: Xbox 360 Outsells PS3 In Japan Again
Xbox Scene :: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From kotaku.com : <BR><I> For the second week in a row, Microsoft outsold Sony on its home turf, with the Xbox 360 beating out the PlayStation 3 on the Media Create weekly sales charts. That’s likely due to the console’s recent price drop in Japan and the effects of the one-two software punch of Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery. ? Wii – 29,921 ? Xbox 360 – 13,777 ? PlayStation 3 – 8,156 </I><BR><BR> [FS] kotaku.com

XCM HDMI Blaster Video
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From xcm-usa.com : <BR><I> As promised the video of the XCM HDMI Blaster is posted below. This is an converter for older (hdmi-less) consoles that will converts your old analog signal to the new High Definition standard digital signal (HDMI). </I><BR><BR> Official Website: Download video in WMV: megaupload.com Official Reseller:

Microsoft Launches ‘Live Your Moment’ Campaign
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From teamxbox.com : <BR><I> Microsoft has launched its “Live Your Moment” Campaign for the Xbox 360. The software giant said that this campaign will be larger than those made for the launch of the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 and Halo 3. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: teamxbox.com

Xbox Live ad hints at November relaunch
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From news.cnet.com : <BR><I> While nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft, a suspicious Xbox Live in-dash ad definitely points to November for the long-awaiting dashboard relaunch. CNET sister-site Gamespot reports that an ad for Rock Band 2 blatantly claims to “Check out the New Xbox Experience coming in November!” </I><BR><BR> Full Story: news.cnet.com

Xbox Calls on 3rd Parties to Open HQs in the Middle East to Tackle Piracy
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From mcvuk.com : <BR><I> Microsoft has called on third-party publishers to set up offices in the Middle East – in order for the industry to combat piracy in the region more effectively. The firm’s Xbox 360 has begun to see growth in the territory, but its success has been stunted in the region by illegal copying – not least in Saudi Arabia. Of all the biggest names in gaming, only Sony and Microsoft have headquarters in the region. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: mcvuk.com

LIVE Scheduled Downtime September 29
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From the Xbox PR Blog : <BR><I> Ok boys and girls, Xbox LIVE is having a scheduled downtime on Monday, September 29 starting at 12:01am Pacific Time. It will be down for 24 hours as we prepare for the cool new stuff coming your way in the new Xbox experience. Keep checking back for more information on the goodies we have in store for you this holiday. *To clarify, Xbox LIVE will be down as will those sections on Xbox.com that rely on the service such as “My Xbox”. Also, the forums will be viewable but you won’t be able to post in them. </I><BR><BR>

Xbox 360 sales up 32 per cent following UK price cut
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From gamesindustry.biz : <BR><I> GFK Chart-Track has told GamesIndustry.biz that sales of Xbox 360 hardware rose 32 per cent over the weekend of Microsoft’s latest price reduction. In comparison, sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 were down eight per cent on the previous weekend. </I><BR><BR> Full Story: gamesindustry.biz

mode_b and DVDkey32 update
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
An update has been released for the method to set mode b via windows, and the lite-on win32 based key retriever… I have written a new exe that uses a different PortIO driver. This new one seems far more stable than the Geek’s Hideout IO driver that I used previously, and as of now has not caused any BSOD’s.. The only disadvantage is that there is a small install that needs to be done, but it’s very simple, only needs to be done once and details are in the rar Official Site: n/a (by podger) Download Both Updates: here Forum threads: here and here

Obama leading McCain among Xbox voters
Xbox Scene :: Thursday, September 25, 2008
From the press release: <BR><I> In one of the nation’s largest unofficial election polls, Senator Barack Obama leads the vote by a 12 percent margin, while 26 percent voted “undecided” or “other.” These results do not map to national trends, which show Senator Obama and Senator McCain to be pacing neck and neck, and provide insight into a unique subset of young engaged citizens. According to the results from Xbox LIVE’s poll, when it comes to deciding who should be the next President, the jury is still out for many. Nearly 100,000 LIVE Americans turned out to cast their “votes” in a poll over Xbox LIVE, making it larger than the combined samples from individual Gallup, NBC, and CNN polls. Part of an initiative to help register new voters for this year’s election, Xbox LIVE has partnered with Rock the Vote, turning the Xbox 360 into an unexpected political forum. Results from the first-ever poll over Xbox LIVE indicate the following: Obama \ Biden: 43% McCain \ Palin: 31% Undecided: 13% Other: 13% In its first two weeks of the program, more than 55,000 voter registration forms were downloaded through Xbox LIVE and xbox.com. Additionally, videos from the recent Democratic and Republican conventions were downloaded nearly 25,000 times. To-date, the Xbox LIVE community has downloaded more than 350,000 pieces of program-specific content, ranging from candidate gamerpics* to videos and Rock the Vote logos. That’s nearly five times the amount of people present at Barack Obama’s acceptance speech during the Democratic Convention in Denver. </I><BR><BR>