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E3 2007: Preview: Fallout 3 Details And Impressions

Fallout 3 teaser poster

Here’s a quick rundown of what we learned from Bethesda‘s demonstration of Fallout 3.

Story: Post-apocalyptic teen ventures out of underground vault in which he’s been born and raised to find his dad and his fate in new-post nuclear world. Mutants, animals and humans hate you.

Setting: Washington DC, both downtown and outskirts.

Look: It’s Bethesda. Of course it looks good - for a post apocalyptic world. Very cool mix of art deco and post-modern ‘50s kitsch.

More after the break.

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Hallelujah, Microsoft To Further Expand Xbox 360 Warranty

Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Corporate News, Microsoft, Xbox 360,

Xbox 360 red ringMicrosoft has announced that if you suffer the ever-dreaded red rings of death (indicated by three flashing red lights), you’ll be covered for up to three years following the date of purchase. This is terrific news, but at the same time it was a necessity with the rate of Xbox 360 hardware failures appearing to be extremely high. It was only a matter of time before Microsoft was facing a class action lawsuit from pissed-off consumers. Anyone who has had to pay for repairs that would have been covered by the new warranty will qualify for reimbursement.

The press release stated:

As a result of what Microsoft views as an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles, the company conducted extensive investigations into potential sources of general hardware failures.  Having identified a number of factors which can cause general hardware failures indicated by three red flashing lights on the console, Microsoft has made improvements to the console and is enhancing its Xbox 360 warranty policy for existing and new customers.

Microsoft stands behind its products and is taking responsibility to repair or replace any Xbox 360 console that experiences the ‘three flashing red lights’ error message within three years from time of purchase free of charge, including shipping costs.

Microsoft execs have chimed in, with an open letter from Peter Moore being posted on Xbox.com and a statement from Robbie Bach appearing in the press release.

“The majority of Xbox 360 owners are having a great experience with their console and have from day one. But, this problem has caused frustration for some of our customers and for that, we sincerely apologize,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division. “We value our community tremendously and look at this as an investment in our customer base. We look forward to great things to come.”

Big knock on wood – I’m probably one of the three lucky individuals who have a launch console that hasn’t failed. Aside from an unfortunate glitch in Oblivion which wrecked a save file of mine, I’ve had nothing but good times with my Xbox 360.

Gallery: Hallelujah, Microsoft To Further Expand Xbox 360 Warranty

Grab Shivering Isles For Xbox 360, $30

Shivering Isles

Bethesda’s expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Obliviion, The Shivering Isles is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The expansion promises more than 30 hours of additional gameplay for one of the best games on the Xbox 360. The add-on sells for 2400 Microsoft Points ($30), basically matching the price of the PC expansion, which makes this the most expensive downloadable content to date. The download also weighs in at almost a gigabyte, so those rumored 120 GB drives might come in handy sooner rather than later. Still, for Oblivion addicts, this expansion should be a great way to pass the time during the upcoming Live downtime, assuming that you can get it downloaded before the service goes down.

Read More | Major Nelson

Gallery: Grab Shivering Isles For Xbox 360, $30

Oblivion Developer: Blu-Ray is Slower

Blu-Ray Disc The latest shot in the HD-DVD / Blu-Ray battle has been fired, this time coming from Oblivion developer Bethesda Software. According to the developers of the game, the Blu-Ray drive data rates are slower than those on, for instance, the Xbox-360’s DVD drive. Says Todd Howard at Bethesda:

“Drive speed matters more to me [than capacity], and Blu-ray is slower.”

What does this mean? Well, in general, longer load times and more cacheing to the harddrive. In fact, in order to get Oblivion to load on the PS3 as fast as it does on the Xbox-360, Bethesda duplicated key data from the game, storing it on multiple places in the disc to lower access times. There’s no word on how much of the code was duplicated, but it still seems to go against Sony’s message that developers need 50GB of storage space. It sounds like, if the drive were faster, the HD-DVD standard of ~30GB / disc could be adequate.



Read More | Gameworld Network

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Oblivion Expansion Shivering Isles Coming This Spring

Shivering Isles

Bethesda Softworks announced that Elder Scrolls: Shivering Isles, an expansion for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will be coming to the Xbox 360 and the PC this Spring. The expansion should add more than 30 hours of gameplay to the already expansive title, and will be available through retail channels for the PC, and via Xbox Live for the Xbox 360. Given that the expansion will add a completely new realm to the Elder Scrolls universe, one expects that this expansion will be one of the largest Xbox Live add-ons to date, and possibly one of the most expensive. No mention of the add-on was made for the upcoming Playstation 3 version of the game; this could possibly be included on disc, but this doesn’t seem to be a likely option at this time.

The full press release continues below.

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PS3 Launch Titles See Delays

Oblivion It is looking like Sony’s Playstation 3 launch may be missing a few titles; Bethesda Softworks recently announced that Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has been pushed back to 2007, according to a report from GameSpot. In addition, rumors have Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog also being delayed to 2007 along with Vivendi Universal’s F.E.A.R. Other titles could potentially miss the launch window at this point, but with so few consoles shipping software availability would seem to be the last thing on Sony’s mind.

Read More | Gamespot

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Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Confirmed For PS3, PSP

Elder Scrolls PS3

An upcoming Official Playstation Magazine will confirm that Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will be coming to both the Playstation 3 and the PSP, as had previously been rumored. 1up has more details; apparently, a new faction will be available from the start of the new version, called the “Knights of the Nine.” The PSP version will be less of a port, apparently, and more of an interpretation of the game, as the portable version will take place in a different setting. 1up has more screenshots of the PS3 version online.

Read More | 1up

Gallery: Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Confirmed For PS3, PSP