Will you buy the Kinect?

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

 





Crave Online

Week of February 11, 2007
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Races Available on Xbox Live
>> From xboxusersgroup.com

[QUOTE]
NASCAR.COM, the premier destination for NASCAR fans, will continue to provide Xbox 360 gamers with download-to-own clips of select NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races on NASCAR.COM's Race Rewind via Xbox Live, the online gaming and entertainment network on Xbox 360, the first gaming console in history to offer high definition TV shows and movies through digital delivery. Beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (February 18), NASCAR fans will be able to access three condensed NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Races per month by accessing Xbox Live throughout the racing season. Condensed races will be made available on Xbox Live within a few hours of the end of each race. The initial partnership between NASCAR.COM and Xbox Live was announced in November 2006.
[/QUOTE]

Full listing..
News-Source: xboxusersgroup.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 23:04 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Bungie Weekly Update: Halo 3 Teaser
>> From Bungie.net

[QUOTE]
Even though we showed Halo 3 for the first time last May, the official marketing campaign for the game is just now starting to begin. With this kickoff comes the first phase of visual identity - what is creatively being referred to as the "teaser piece." While it may not be anything new for fans who have been following Halo 3 all along, it's still very cool, very iconic and evokes a sense of mystery and intrigue. It teases you if you will. Although, it does contain ONE very important piece of information. Cough.
[/QUOTE]

Xbox-Scene


1600 X 1200 Horizantal Version here

News-Source: Bungie.net
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 22:45 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Interview: Microsoft's Shane Kim at DICE
>> Some quotes from 1up.com
[QUOTE]
1UP:What's the next big step in videogames?

Shane Kim: The thing I'm most interested in probably isn't the most immediate thing, but it really is where I think the future of the industry needs to go. It's becoming much more of a mass market form of entertainment. And all of these things are important, added realism or being able to play a more connected state via online, but to me, if we really want to become a mass market form of entertainment we really need to focus on things like story, character development and bringing real emotion to interactive entertainment. That's about broadening the audience and appealing to people who today don't participate in gaming.

1UP:Viva Pinata was branded the most important game of 2006 by Microsoft, what happened?

SK: I said that it was the most important game we were developing in our portfolio last year -- with all due respect to Gears of War -- the reason why I said that, is from a very specific standpoint in terms of what we were trying to do with Xbox 360 -- which is to win this next generation -- we have to broaden our audience. We have to expand beyond the core gamer segment that we've always done really well with. Now that's why Viva Pinata was so important and will continue to be so important going forward. & With respect to Viva Pinata, I believe that at the end of the day you guys will say 'you guys were right, it was one of the most important things MGS has done.' That's a very important property for us long term. We think that the title and the property have very, very long legs and will continue to sell particularly as we see the price point of the hardware coming down.

1UP:Will consumers have to pay to play Xbox Live matches over Games for Windows' Live service?

SK: Not all customers have to pay for Xbox Live on Xbox 360 [Silver and Gold], in the same way you're going to have a similar approach when we bring Live over to Windows. Those details are going to be announced pretty shortly. We have big value offering to customers because we can create an integrated Live experience across platforms. We do recognize that, unlike the Xbox 360 environment, there's existing competition in the PC online space. So we have to take that into account as we think about how we're going to structure our services, what they'll pay for and what they won't.
[/QUOTE]

For the full interview..
News-Source: 1UP.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 22:24 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XBMC: Carbon Fiber 2 XPR Theme
>> Today from Team Blackbolt



[QUOTE]
Another new XPR Theme. Carbon Fiber 2 is an updated version of the old Carbon Fiber theme for MC360 beta. You can head into the XBMC Live Place via the skins link or you can download it using your MC360 skin and the XBMC Live Place built in.

You can talk about this release here on our Official Forums in the Customisation Sub Forum.

[/QUOTE]

News-Source: Team Blackbolt.

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 19:03 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Ballmer Hinting At Future Price Drops?
>> Today from The Seattle Times

[QUOTE]
If you're tracking the progress of the Xbox business, Ballmer's comments on console pricing might be of particular interest. The Entertainment and Devices Division is committed to profitability in fiscal 2008. Asked about the potential of a price cut on the Xbox 360 console, Ballmer said, "I think every console in the world has had a price decrease sometime in the first few years. I don't know whether we'll have a price decrease in the first few years, and I don't want to comment on that, but I will highlight for you that every console has had a price decrease in the first few years."

[/QUOTE]

News-Source: The Seattle Times

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 18:50 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Tesco stops refunds over 'free XBox' loophole
>> From Telegraph.Co.Uk
[QUOTE]
Tesco has abandoned its refunds policy after thousands of people exploited a loophole to get food, wines, DVDs and even computer games consoles for free.

Under the supermarket's long-standing "return and refund" policy, any customers who are overcharged at the till can get their money back -- and keep the item they have just bought -- without question.

Over the past few months, a growing number of self-styled consumer activists has been sharing information posted on websites deliberately to buy goods that are priced incorrectly and get a full refund.
advertisement

The "R&Rers" have picked up frozen chicken nuggets, nappies, DVDs, mobile phones, computer games, beer and televisions.

A pricing error in January meant that XBox 360 games consoles were advertised in the store for 297.81. When the machines' bar codes were scanned at the till, customers were asked to pay 299.97 -- 2.16 more. Under the policy, Tesco allowed the shoppers to take the consoles for free.
[/QUOTE]

Full story..
News-Source: 'free XBox' loophole
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 17:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbot - Earns Achievement Points Unattended
>> Saw this today...

Xbox-Scene


[QUOTE]
So what's the xBot? It's an automated Xbox 360 button pusher to get Perfect Dark Zero's two most tedious achievements: 1000 Death Match Games and 1000 Dark Ops Games worth 30 gamer points each (60 total). Both of these Achievements were successfully obtained by the xBot without having to sit there and push buttons for 40-50 some-odd hours. While it's running its course, nothing needs to be touched. Except for the occasional checking if I got my points.

Why, you may ask, did I build such a thing? Because I can!
[/QUOTE]



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

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 16:57 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

360Zine Features Interview With Major Nelson
>> From gamerzines.com:

360Zine, a free online gaming magazine, managed to get a nice interview with Larry Hryb, Microsoft's Xbox Live Director of Programming - also known as Major Nelson to the online gaming community.

A small excerpt from the article:

[QUOTE]
So there are still five more million people out there at this point that don't have Xbox Live, we would love to get them on and that number continues to grow every day. The Live connectivity is really part of the entire universe of the Xbox 360. The other part is the games. The titles we have coming out are simply phenomenal. If you look at all the titles that came over the past 6-8 months, it is really staggering. The other component is your media, how can you just walk up and plug your iPod or Zune in and it just works. How you can connect it to your Windows Media PC and make the Xbox 360 one of the best extending experiences, so it is really all these elements.
[/QUOTE]

Read the full interview in Issue 3 of 360Zine from gamerzines.com.

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 15:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive: Now in Black
>> From Andy Pennell's Blog:

Xbox-Scene


[QUOTE]
These limited-edition drives were made especially for those of us who helped work on the product, and come along with a black remote control.
[/QUOTE]

News-Source: Andy Pennell's Blog
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 11:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Updated: MC360 and XBMC
>> Lots of News and Updates..
From Team Blackbolt

ActionCorp TV Podcast - MC360 v1.0 Preview Two
[QUOTE]
As promised, Seth and Sean take a final look at the work Team Blackbolt has put into their high-profile skin for XBMC, emulating the look of the Xbox 360's dashboard. You can view the video over at ActionCorp TV. Or you can click the image below to be taken directly there:
[/QUOTE]

Xbox-Scene


[UPDATED] Release: MC360 1.01 skin for Xbox Media Center
[QUOTE]
So, here is the 1.0 finished version of Media Center 360, a skin for Xbox Media Center. You will need the very latest version of XBMC to use this skin, we recommend the latest t3ch build or if you build your own, Rev 7841 or sooner. Visit our MC360 skins page found in the XBMC section of Skins or just click here. You can download the skin along with the Official T3Ch release, of which you can find more information by visiting T3CHs page, found in our links section. You can also download MC360 1.0 from our new Public SVN, details can be found on the MC360 1.0 page at the bottom.

MC360 1.0 Available for download now.

You can discuss this in the official Team Blackbolt forums here

You can also discuss the XboxMediaCenter(info) SVN rev7841 build of 2007 compiled by T3CH release here.

Edwindunlap, a fine fellow he is, has Digg'd, Dugg'd, whatever us here.
[/QUOTE]

UPDATED: MC360 for XBMC has been updated from 1.0 to 1.01. The main fixes are to the keymap buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen. You can update via the SVN to Revision 16 or head over to the MC360 page to download the zip file.

XBMC Live Place Release: mc60 Concept XPR Theme
[QUOTE]
Available for download right now from within MC360 on your xbox, in the XBMC Live Place Themes blade or right here on the site is the new mc60 Concept XPR Them for MC360. Based on the original concept design for MC360, named mc60 back then, it takes advantage of the newer layout but with the older graphics. Click on the thumbnail below to be taken to XBMC Live Place, or click Skins then the XBMC Live Place button at the bottom of the list.

Xbox-Scene


You can talk about this release on our Official Forums in the Customisation Sub Forum.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: Team Blackbolt (new site!)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Saturday 17 February 2007 09:53 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta FAQ
>> Today from bungie.net
[QUOTE]
Is Halo 3 beta registration closed?

Yes, phases one and two of the beta have already ended. If you haven't received an email by this point, then you were not one of the lucky few.

Is there no other way?!

If you didn't get in to either phase, then you can still get in by buying Crackdown , releasing in the US, on February 20 th . Inside every launch copy of Crackdown is an invite to the Halo 3 beta.

How will the Crackdown invite work?

Once the Halo 3 beta has been activated (start date is still TBD) you simply go to the Downloads menu in Crackdown to download the Halo 3 beta. After that, you will need to launch the Halo 3 beta from within Crackdown. You will need an Xbox 360 with a hard drive and an Xbox Live Gold account.

I'm an experienced beta tester with a PhD in Astrophysics and a minor in messaging Bungie to whine about the beta. Why wasn't I invited?

Microsoft did not choose beta testers based on merit, that would take far more manpower than is realistically possible. Phases one and two were both essentially lotteries or contests. Bungie was not actually responsible for those contests, but rather your local Microsoft Games Studios division. Messaging Frankie, Sketch, KP or any other Bungie employees is futile.

When does the beta start?

The beta will not start when Crackdown is released. The beta will go live when it's ready, which should be sometime this Spring. The team is currently busy whipping the included content into shape. Our goal is to deliver a fun, solid game experience though it will still very much be a "beta."

How long will the beta last?

The beta will only be playable for a limited time. Exact timing is still TBD.

[/QUOTE]
The above items are highlights, to read the entire story, click here

News-Source: bungie.net
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Friday 16 February 2007 16:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

IBM Unveils World's Fastest eDRAM
>> From teamxbox.com:
[QUOTE]
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), IBM has revealed a first-of-its-kind, on-chip memory technology that features the fastest access times ever recorded in eDRAM.

Embedded Dynamic Random Access Memory is the same type of memory used in the daughter-die of the Xbox 360's graphics processing unit.
This new eDRAM designed by IBM, who helped create the three-core PowerPC central processing unit found in the Xbox 360, dramatically improves on-processor memory performance in about one-third the space with one-fifth the standby power of conventional static random access memory.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Thursday 15 February 2007 20:09 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Blackbolt: Xbox Classic Skin, XPR Express Skinning Tool and Scripts
>> From Team Blackbolt (new website!):
[QUOTE]
We're Back! Team Blackbolt has returned with 3 gifts for you tonight and possibly a 4th a little later on!

1 - Xbox Classic XBMC Skin Rev 467 Release
We have renamed the old 'Blackbolt Classic' skin into a new refreshing name, 'Xbox Classic'. Ok, its not that refreshing, but it gets the job done. Jezz_X has been hard at work inbetween the work he does for nearly every XBMC skin currently inproduction, to finish off more fixes and more features for this amazing skin. He has added full XBMC support in all resolutions, new animations effects and even reflections. This is one of the most feature full XBMC skins available now. Click the image below to be taken to the download page:
Xbox-Scene

2 - XPR Express Skinning Tool
A new GUI tool for creating and extracting XPR Files. When MC360 1.0 launches this Friday, 16th Feb, you will be able to full extract all the texture files from the XPRs. Up untill now, none of Team Blackbolts skins have unprotected. But starting today with Xbox Classic, you can. EqUiNoX has worked extremely hard to get this application ready for release today and I am sure you will all be thankful. He is accepting donations, for more info visit the Tools page or click the image below:
Xbox-Scene

3 - Apple Movie Trailers/AccuWeather Script Skins
As if Jezz_X didn't have enough to do, he has found yet MORE time to create more skins, this time for the Apple Quicktime Trailer skin by Nuka1195. Working with Nuka he has created MC360 and Xbox Classic skins for both scripts. We have added a new 'Other' Section to the skins page for you to download these scripts, with skins packaged. Please note that the Skins for MC360 in these scripts require MC360 1.0 which will be available on Friday anyway. Click the image below to be taken to the Other Skins page:
Xbox-Scene


So thats all 3 of todays gifts out the way. More about the 4th. Action Corp TV have created a new trilogy of videos for us. They first did a preview video before MC360's first beta launched and then they followed up with Trailer 2, an excellently edited Hi-Def video showcasing the skin. Well now they have completed the circle for us and have created a final look at MC360 1.0. Seth and Sean, your favourite Video Podcasters got together this past weekend and recorded some great footage and discussed some interesting things about MC360 and XBMC that I am sure you will all find enlightening. You can look out for that podcast really soon, either TONIGHT, or tomorrow. But either way before MC360 1.0 launches at 8pm GMT on Friday 16th February 2007.

Thanks for the support everyone has given us, we really REALLY appreciate it and we hope you think of us when downloading our skins and tools, the donations button is just a click away, every little helps.
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: blackbolt.x-scene.com (new site!)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Thursday 15 February 2007 00:35 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

SlySoft releases AnyDVD HD beta
>> From engadget.com:
[QUOTE]
It seems that DRM just can't catch a break these days. First the all-important processing key required to unlock and decrypt HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs was discovered, now just days later comes news that the folks at SlySoft have updated their AnyDVD software utility to allow for "on the fly remastering" of HD DVD discs, although not Blu-ray discs. As you might expect, they aren't exactly spilling the details on exactly how they achieved this considerable feat, although those that have tried out the beta software are reporting that it works as advertised, with copying HD DVDs a matter of a simple drag and drop.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Wednesday 14 February 2007 22:39 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

ESA, IP Group Demand Canada Copyright Fix
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
An alliance of US intellectual property defenders, which includes the Entertainment Software Association, wants Canada on an IP offender blacklist because of its alleged relaxed stance against piracy.

The IIPA's complaint against Canada says the country is a "leading exporter" of movie bootlegs and mod-chips. There are no laws in Canada against mod-chips and piracy tools, according to the Globe and Mail, nor are there any restrictions on taping movies in theatres.
The mod-chip business is reportedly dominated by organized crime rings, such as Quebec's Hells Angels and the Big Circle Boys in Ontario and British Columbia.
The IIPA also accuses the Canadian government itself of not taking copyright issues very seriously. The government has yet to draft new copyright legislation addressing the issues.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Wednesday 14 February 2007 20:30 EST) - (Category: GamingGeneral) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft responds to Watchdog
>> Microsoft responded in their typical denial-mode to BBC's Watchdog tv-show (more info / video) on gamesindustry.biz:
[QUOTE]
In an official statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz, Microsoft said that the "vast majority" of Xbox 360 owners have had an "outstanding experience" with the console.

But the platform holder went on to concede: "That being said, we have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected.
"It's important to note that there is no systemic issue with Xbox 360 - each incident is unique and these customer inquiries are being handled on a case-by-case basis."

Microsoft has not revealed details of how many Xbox 360 units have been found faulty, but did state that the return rate is "significantly lower" than the CE industry average of between 3 and 5 per cent.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Wednesday 14 February 2007 11:36 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

TheSpecialist's HDDHackr v0.82B - Install your own Xbox360 HDD
>> TheSpecialist mailed us a new version of his HDDHackr (HDDHacker) tool that allows you to use a cheap 2.5" laptop Western Digital BEVS series HDD as Xbox360 HDD - more details here if you missed the first release.

What's new/fixed:
* Added option to flash the Western Digital back to its original state
* Much easier to use, no more manual copying of sectors
* Improved compatibility, should now really work with all BEVS models
* Bug fixed, that caused flashing of incorrect serial number in some rare cases.

Official Site: n/a, by TheSpecialist
Download HDDHacker v0.82B: here
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Wednesday 14 February 2007 01:00 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

BBC Watchdog Video about Xbox360 Ring of Dead
>> The guys over at kotaku.com have the video of BBC's Watchdog show about the Xbox360 ring-of-dead issues we talked about earlier today:
[QUOTE]
Watchdog, a British consumer affairs program, had some none-too-kind words to say about early 360s on their show last night, examining just why so many of them have broken down and interviewing customers who have had a 360 die in their arms.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Wednesday 14 February 2007 00:03 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox Rewards Site Overloaded - Old Spice Challenge Extended 3 Days
>> From the Xbox Marketing team via majornelson.com:
[QUOTE]
Thank you for the incredible response to Xbox Rewards. The gaming community's interest has temporarily overloaded our servers and caused delays for those trying to register.

To help ensure everyone who wants to participate has the opportunity, the Old Spice Experience Challenge will be extended by three days. Now you have until April 15th 2007 to increase your Gamerscore by 1,500.

As a bonus, we are adding more rewards for this challenge, which means more gamers who successfully complete the challenge will get rewarded.

Our development team is hard at work to fix the problem. We expect the web site will be ready in 48 hours, please be patient and check back periodically.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Tuesday 13 February 2007 23:39 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Use Your Zune Wireless Remote to Control Your Xbox 360
>> From zuneinsider.com:
[QUOTE]
For those of you who went and got the Home A/V Pack or the Zune Wireless Remote and have an Xbox 360, here's a back door tip/trick. I actually learned this the other day from two of my buddies from the Zune team: Damon and Jeremy.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Tuesday 13 February 2007 22:26 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Compare Xbox360 DVD Trays: Toshiba-Samsung, Hitachi-LG and Benq
>> Here's a new picture comparing the trays of all the DVD drives found in the retail Xbox360 including a shot of the new BenQ(-LiteOn-Philips) VAD6038 drive. I did not include a shot of the Philips VAD6037 drive as that one is only found in dev units and not in retail.
Xbox360 DVD tray Toshiba-Samsung, Hitachi-LG and Benq
click image for high-res version

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

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(Tuesday 13 February 2007 16:06 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

HD DVD and Blu-ray 'processing key' - all HD titles now exposed
>> From engadget.com:
[QUOTE]
Those cooky kids over at the Doom9 forums hate themselves some DRM. Not more than two months after discovering a means to extract the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc "volume keys" to decrypt AACS DRM on individual films, we're now getting word that DRM hacker arnezami has found the "processing key" used to decrypt the DRM on all HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc films. Let's break this down for what it is: instead of needing individual keys for each and every high-definition film -- of which there are many -- the processing key can be used to unlock, decrypt, and backup every HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc film released so far.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: engadget.com and doom9.org
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Tuesday 13 February 2007 13:05 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Microsoft comes under fire from BBC's Watchdog programme
>> From gamesindustry.biz:
[QUOTE]
Microsoft is set to come under pressure in tonight's edition of consumer affairs show Watchdog as the investigative team looks into potential faults with the Xbox 360.
GamesIndustry.biz has learned that the programme will focus on the 'ring of death' problem, as it's been nicknamed by gamers, where three red lights appear around the console's power button and the machine stops working.

The show will feature interviews with consumers who have experienced problems with their Xbox 360s, but GamesIndustry.biz understands that Microsoft has declined to send a representative to appear on the programme. The company has yet to offer comment on the Watchdog investigation.
Watchdog will be broadcast tonight on BBC1 at 7pm GMT.
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Tuesday 13 February 2007 12:48 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

(USA) Xbox Rewards Program is Live
>> From xbox360fanboy.com:
[QUOTE]
After a little delay, the once rumored Xbox 360 Rewards program has officially started! Head over to Xbox.com, register for the program and start increasing your gamerscore.
And remember readers, this program is only open to US residents, but may expand to other countries depending on the success of the program in the States.
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: xbox360fanboy.com
Official Website: xboxrewards.msgamestudios.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Monday 12 February 2007 22:22 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XDVDMulleter Beta 5 Fixed *updated*
>> Badsheepy released a new version of XDVDMulleter(info), an ISO extraction/creation/rebuilding tool for Xbox and Xbox360 discs with several features making it useful for more precise dumps as required by xtreme firmwares.

What's new/fixed:
* Added: Create ISO direct from FTP - With boost mode if supported (Maybe only Avalaunch(info)?)
* Added: Create ISO from Folders within multi game ISOs
* Added: ISO has optional end padding for bad media
* Fixed: Crosslinked file checker now works properly
* Fixed: ISOs are now more correct size
* Fixed: Zero length files handled properly
* Misc bugfixes i have forgotten about

!Update! BETA 5 (fixed edition) released:
This fixes a really stupid bug I should have found before releasing but didn't :P

Official Site: n/a, by Badsheepy
Full Readme/News-Source: xbins.org
Download: n/a (contains files built with XDK)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

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(Monday 12 February 2007 15:18 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Nintendo CEO: Wii to Surpass Xbox 360's Installed Base
>> From teamxbox.com:
[QUOTE]
Speaking to Dean Takahashi during D.I.C.E., the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America revealed he anticipates the Nintendo Wii will surpass the installed base of the Xbox 360 with the current sales rate.

"The question is when," Reggie Fils-Aime said. "That's going to be driven by our own sales rate and getting good software released at the right time. It's clear they are slowing down. It's not unthinkable to see that next year we could surpass their installed base."
[/QUOTE]

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

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(Monday 12 February 2007 14:58 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

How to write XNA games without launching Visual Csharp Express
>> From David Weller's Blog (Community Manager at Microsoft's Game Technology Group):
[QUOTE]
Many people want the XNA Content Pipeline to work with their version of Visual Studio Professional/Enterprise/Standard. While this is DEFINITELY on the radar for the XNA product teams, you can't currently do it. And, no, there isn't some "secret sauce" that is used internally, where the XNA product team is running VS Enterprise and laughing at all you "little people" struggling with Visual C# Express. Nope, all the developers here do indeed use Visual C# Express when using/testing XNA Game Studio Express. Personally, I don't even have any other version of C# installed on my machines.

But what if you really, REALLY wanted to use the XNA Content Pipeline features with your pet version of Visual Studio? Enter the XNA Content Builder (XCB) project on CodePlex. This is part of a project by a community of Russian developers that are building several different projects that support XNA Game Studio Express. If you read Russian, check out XNADEV.RU, or just visit their main CodePlex page (in English!)

This does not mean you can skip downloading and installing Visual C# Express and XNA Game Studio Express, it just means there is some kind of support that lets you bypass launching XNA Game Studio Express and using your favorite version of VS. I have not personally tried it (remember, I pointed out above that I currently use VC# Express exclusively).
[/QUOTE]

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(Monday 12 February 2007 13:56 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Next-Gen.biz - The Games People Buy
>> From next-gen.biz:
[QUOTE]
Next-Gen has compiled a comprehensive list and detailed analysis of the 100 top selling games of the last 12 months. Our in-depth look at the game industry's top 100 sellers includes chart-analysis on game quality, the most successful publishers, release dates, genres and platforms.

The list pulls together sales of games across all platforms, offering a unique insight into consumer buying preferences and publisher strategies for success. The analysis looks at how sales are affected by platform-picks, review scores, on-sale dates and genre as well as a look at the publishers that are making the smartest moves.

TOP 10:
10. Need For Speed Carbon - 1.6 million
09. Fight Night Round 3 - 1.6 million
08. Call of Duty 3 - 1.7 million
07. Image Kingdom Hearts II - 1.7 million
06. Gears of War - 1.8 million
05. New Super Mario Bros - 2 million
04. NCAA Football 07 - 2.2 million
03. Lego Star Wars(info) II: The Original Trilogy - 2.5 million
02. Cars - 2.6 million
01. Madden NFL 07 - 6.5 million
[/QUOTE]

Full Story: next-gen.biz (16 pages)
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(Monday 12 February 2007 11:33 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

ZX360 v1.0 Alpha - ZX Spectrum 48K Emulator for Xbox360 via XNA
>> Jonesy released an 'indie' Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K emulator for the Xbox360. Like 'XNA SharpNES', this application is made with 'XNA Game Studio Express', the Microsoft dev tool released in December 2006 aimed at helping students and hobbyists build 'games' for Windows and the Xbox 360.
That means that in order to run this on your Xbox360 you will need a 'Creators Club' account ($99/12m or $49/4m) on your Xbox LIVE subscription and both Visual C# Studio Express (free) + XNA Game Studio Express (free) installed on your Windows PC. The emulator will also run on Windows XPSP2/Vista, if you have the XNA Framework installed.

Project Details:
[QUOTE]
Project Description
* ZX Spectrum 48K emulator for Xbox 360 written using XNA.

Introduction
* ZX360 emulates 48K ZX Spectrum for the Xbox 360 using the XNA platform. Currently it is at the very early stages but does run most games and runs at 100% speed.

Current Status
* Still havent come up with a good way to map keys to an Xbox 360 controller, currently have mapped a few numeric buttons to DPad and ABXY, also mapped Cursor Joystick to left thumbstick. Ideally it needs a setup screen so you could set mappings per game and save the settings.
* No sound support yet.
* Need better ROM selection. Has loading support for .Z80 and .ROM files but currently only loads .SNA ROMs.
* The spectrum ROM is included as Amstrad who bought Sinclair gave permission to distribute it.
* No game ROMS are included, you will need to find some .SNA games and place them in the Roms directory in the projects. There is a post build event which copies them to the build directory.
* This should get you started: http://www.ayanay.firenet.uk.net/archives/binaries/a/
* I have been testing with Sabre Wulf and Alien8 and they play perfectly.

Keyboard Mapping
* Currently holding the right shoulder button and then using the DPad you can change ROMS and also back will quit.
* Holding the left shoulder button and pressing the DPad and ABXY will give 0-8 so for example load Alien8, hold the left shoulder and press X to select "Cursor Joystick", then A to start and control with left thumbstick.
* I know it is confusing and rubbish, it will get much better!

Video of emulator running on Xbox 360:
[/QUOTE]

Official Site: http://www.codeplex.com/zx360
Download: here
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(Sunday 11 February 2007 22:35 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Commodore4Eva's response to 'Analysing Retro and Modern Schemes', C4E Xtreme FW Progress Update
>> In response to the conclusions formed by Nate Lawson ...
Repairing the hole:

* "Attackers only have tenuous hold on drive"
Commodore4Eva - Complete control of drive, any command or code sent to drive from host can be analysed and appropriate response given to host

* "Defence: check that responses vary appropriately"
Commodore4Eva - Code already written to vary responses and will be implemented when required, current responses satisfy host code

* "Defence: use same debug commands to load disc-specific hashing code into drive, check for patched firmware"
Commodore4Eva - As we have complete control of firmware, we can analyse each debug command sent from host and again formulate the appropriate response to host

* "Defence: look for ss.bin????? file via host or code loading into drive"
Commodore4Eva - Xtreme firmware already locks host from reading illegal ranges of LBA once drive is unlocked, so host cannot read Xtreme Security Sector (not a SS.bin file). Again if debug command or code sent to drive, we can analyse and formulate the appropriate response to host

Conclusion:
Drive is completely compromised and can be programmed to give the correct response to any query. If host changes the rules, so do we.
With any recorded media, the data is static, in content and position, so always hackable.


Coming soon for Xtreme firmware
_______________________________
* DVD movie region free!!!
* 360 games using file iso/raw data hybrid - much smaller iso size
* New Xtreme V5 for Hitachi and Benq drives

Thanks
Commodore4Eva


There is of course no ETA on any of the features listed above, so please dont ask :)

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(Sunday 11 February 2007 15:33 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


 

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