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Call of Duty 2Community manager at Infinity Ward FourZeroTwo announced that the upcoming Invasion Map Pack for Call of Duty 2 will be available on June 29, via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Initially expected to be out in July, gamers will get access to the content a couple of days early at a slightly cheaper price. The initial announcement of the map pack had the price listed at 900 Marketplace points; instead, the five new multi-player maps will debut at 800 points, about $10.

According to FourZeroTwo, the new map pack will include the following locations:

  • Antoville, France (Crossroads);
  • St. Louet, France (Newvillers);
  • Amaye sur Seulles, France (Normandy);
  • Alam Halfa, Egypt (Decoytown);
  • Rostov, Russia (Harbor)

The new content should be a welcome addition for those gamers looking for new multiplayer challenges, and at the lowered price point, should be a little more economical than some of the download-able content for other games.

Read More | FourZeroTwo MSN Blog


Live Arcade UnpluggedLast week, rumors circulated that hard copy versions of the popular Xbox Live Arcade titles would be hitting retail stores, in one form or another. Gamespot has some limited details about the package and its contents. Gamespot was able to grab box art images from a retail game distributor, and according to the box, the packaging will include Geometry Wars and a 1-month subscription to Xbox Live.

In addition, other titles will likely make it into the retail box, possibly including Bejeweled, Outpost Kaloki X, and Wik: Fable of Souls. Gamespot was careful to caution that the box art is not final, and the contents are likely to change. If the pricing on the EBGames website is to believed, the package will retail for $39.99. One hopes that the games included total at least 3200 marketplace points worth of content.

Read More | Gamespot

Total Video Games has found out more information about the upcoming Xbox Live Retail disc.  Xbox Live Unplugged is tentatively scheduled for an October release at roughly $30 USD.  The package will include a one month Xbox Live Gold subscription as well as the following games.

-Geometry Wars Evolved
-Texas Hold ‘Em Poker
-Bejeweled 2 Deluxe
-Outpost Kaloki X
-Wik: Fable of Souls
-Hardwood Backgammon

Microsoft views this as a method of reaching out to casual gamers who may not know about the Xbox Live Arcade games.  The question is, will a retail disc in the Xbox 360 section of a store really attract new gamers to the 360 and ultimately the Xbox Live Arcade? 

Read More | Total Video Games

Latest Gear Live Videos

Saints Row Demo BoxTHQ has announced that a playable demo of their new GTA-like game, Saints Row, will be available on Xbox Live on August 1st.  Saints Row will be available for purchase on August 29th exclusively for the Xbox 360.  This demo release date looks doable, unlike the recently delayed PREY demo for several reasons.  The demo will be included in the Official Xbox Magazine which means a much larger lead time is needed to get it into the magazine. THQ will also be offering a demo on June 24th in Anaheim California which could easily be the same one we will see on Live August 1st.  THQ has more info and screenshots on the Saints Row official site.

Read More | Saints Row Official Site

GRAW Chapter 2

Long time Gear Live and Playfeed reader David Roth (aka munkyxtc) was an early purchaser of the GRAW Chapter 2 downloadable content from the Xbox Live Marketplace. After playing with the various new additions to the game, he sent us his thoughts:

The long awaited release of Chapter 2 co-op campaigns and map pack has hit the marketplace with a steep price tag of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15US). Deciding to be an earlier adopter of this download proved to be quite an adventure. I started to download the 725MB update at 4:30PM EST yesterday, after making it through the downloading process to 84% (Mind you it took 5 hrs to get to this point) MS servers decided to start dropping connections which resulted in the content being corrupted, so back to the drawing board I went. I immediately started the download back up and everything was going great until I decided to waste my time playing Bankshot Billiards to pass the time - BUT WAIT, there is apparently a download for this game which automatically kicks you off Xbox live before asking if you want to download it or just quit the game to save you from being disconnected.  Again, my downloadable content was corrupted. By this time I was completely frustrated and decided to just set it and forget it overnight.  After crawling out of bed this morning I fired up GRAW and was prompted for a mandatory title updated, which I gladly installed.

Click to continue reading A Look At GRAW Chapter 2 Downloadable Content

Xbox Live LogoWord on the street is that Peter Moore has been discussing with industry insiders the possibility of bringing Xbox Live Arcade games into a brick-and-mortar store near you.  The move is aimed to reach the 50% of Xbox 360 owners who aren’t connected to Live.  Moore also hopes to reach the legions of casual gamers who may not yet know about the laid back, retro, puzzle solving side of the Xbox 360.  Microsoft isn’t commenting on the plans, so no info on pricing or which titles wil jump to retail is yet available. 

Read More | Next Generation

This year at E3 many games were announced and demoed, and it is inevitable that some will slip through the cracks.  Small Arms, a Smash Bros.-esque brawling game which will come to the marketplace near the end of the summer, is one of those titles.  The game is being developed by Gastronaut Studios, an independent developer comprised of 4 people who focus on downloadable games.  Recently one of the developers gave some new info and background on Small Arms in an interview with ThrillsKilla. Here’s a snippet:

‘Marky Kat’ is our cyborg cat character who sports a ‘chain gun’ as his default weapon. The primary attack is a rapid fire stream of bullets, while the secondary is a shotgun type burst shot.

This will be another awesome game on XBLA, and while Gastronaut Studios doesn’t view the game as a Smash Bros. clone, it should fill a nice void in the marketplace and in my gaming rotation.

Read More | K1llas Xbox Domain

Xbox Live Anywhere Screenshot

Xbox Live Anywhere screenshots have surfaced in the TeamXbox forums where Captain Panic was able to post images of Live Anywhere running on BREW.  The images show the ability to queue up downloads for both your Xbox 360 and PC, messaging people on your friends list, and downloading an arcade game.  Screenshots also show the ability to view your achievement points!  It is not yet known if completing an XBLA game on your phone will result in gaining those achievement points on your Gamertag.
One interesting screenshot shows the ability to buy a pass to all games from a certain publisher on a monthly basis for $3.95.  Could this signal a subscription plan for XBLA too?  I for one would welcome a $3.95 monthly charge for Xbox 360, PC and mobile versions of the same game, especially if this included a subscription to the publisher’s entire library.  We’ll keep you up to date as new info emerges.

Read More | TeamXbox via 360updates.com Additional Pictures

falling sales chartAfter promising sales in April the video game industry was brought back to reality in May.  Console software sales are 10% lower than May 2005.  The drop has alarmed many analysts even though overall sales, hardware and software combined, show a rise from last May.  One major reason for the decreased sales is that the video game industry is in a transition to next generation consoles.  This transition has gamers waiting to purchase next-gen titles, couple this with only 2 new Xbox 360 games in May and lackluster sales are more easily explained.

Michael Pachter, an analyst from Wedbush Morgan Securities, summed up the situation, saying “We think that this trend foreshadows continuing weak sales until the holidays, as we expect continued monthly year-over-year declines of 30 - 40% for current generation software sales, with next generation software sales growth failing to offset these declines. We do not expect next generation software sales to offset the decline in current generation software sales until the fall, when a strong lineup of Xbox 360 games is anticipated and launches of the PS3 and Wii are scheduled.”

My own predictions call for decreased Xbox 360 software sales over the next months with increased Nintendo DS hardware and software sales due to the release of the Nintendo DS Lite.  I am curious if Xbox Live Marketplace content is counted into the overall software sales for the Xbox 360 since there are currently more releases on the Marketplace than in retail stores.

Read More | Game Daily

Ghost Recon

Ubisoft today announced that the first set of downloadable content updates for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on the Xbox 360 will be available via Xbox Live Marketplace at the end of the month. Included in the new content will be Chapter 2 of the co-op campaign, featuring four new missions, according to Ubisoft:

  • Coffee Plantation (Day) – This takes place on a coffee plantation embedded deep in Nicaragua. The map is littered with good cover options that appear in the form of a centrally located plantation house, coffee processing equipment, growing coffee plants, and stacked bags of coffee beans ready for transport. The Ghosts’ overall goal of this mission is to eliminate the arms dealer and shut down his operations.
  • Shipping Port (Evening) – The next mission takes place at a shipping port and the Ghosts’ objective is to stop the enemy from smuggling weapons into the country. The player will interact with rebel troops through warehouses, decks of ships, and on massive shipping cranes. This night mission provides an eerie backdrop for Ghosts to move in take out the weapon shipments and ensure that the illegal smuggling of arms will stop.
  • River Depot (Dawn) – This map puts the Ghosts in a jungle area that the Rebel forces have infiltrated and are using for storing and shipping out illegal weapons. The goal of the Ghosts is to secure the warehouse facility that holds crucial information concerning the placement and shipment of weapons. As the player weaves through the jungle and eliminates the patrols of enemies, they must also destroy all the weapon shipments and keep the Rebels from extracting from the area. Massive trees, loads of weapon shipments, and enemy transports are unique characteristics of this mission.
  • Jungle Mine (Day) – The last mission in this co-op campaign chapter takes place in a mine that is vital to the Rebel force’s regime and the Ghosts are tasked with securing the area, destroying the weapons, and eliminating the Rebel leader. The central location on this map is the mine itself and it provides a place for multi-tiered gameplay surrounded by good cover. This mission provides a new gameplay experience for Ghost Recon fans and it will surely be one of the more memorable missions in GR history.

In addition, eight of the existing multi-player levels will be “remixed” with new lighting options, and there will be two new multi-player game types included. Gamers will be able to customize their online presence further with two new camo options, and four new face types. Five new weapons will also be included in the game, further enhancing the multiplayer experience. No word was given on possible bug fixes included in the content pack. Pricing wasn’t set, but expect it to be greater than the 500 points for the Perfect Dark Map Pack.

Read More | Ghostrecon.com