On Unboxing: Unboxing Live 158: Apple iMac with 5K Retina display

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Madden 2005 vs. versus ESPN NFL 2K5With the recent release of the latest iterations of two great football games, many a gamer has pondered which offered the better play experience. Of course, Madden is the old time favorite having been around for over a decade - however, Sega (now using the ESPN brand) has released a superb game at a value price. Which is better? Gear Live contributing reporter Edwin Soto takes both games for a spin to provide some insight.

Click to continue reading Head to Head: Madden 2005 vs. ESPN NFL 2K5


Microsoft XBox

Ever hear the term "Barriers of Entry?" We all knew Microsoft had an uphill battle by trying to take on software giant, Electronics Arts. The result: Microsoft recently shut down its Sports Game Studio in Redmond, Wash., signalling an end to the "NFL Fever", "NBA Inside Drive" basketball and "NHL Rivals" franchises. You may have seen this coming by the way, since EA and Microsoft had already reached agreements to allow EA's sports franchises to be playable on the XBox Live online gaming experience. In related news, Microsoft's separate studio in Utah that develops individual sports games, such as the "Amped" snowboarding title, is not affected by the staff cuts.

Read More | CNet
Madden 2005 Record Madden 2006If you aren't convinced yet of the power of the videogame industry, let me introduce you to a little game called Madden 2005. The football game by Electronic Arts reached a franchise record, selling more than 1.35 million copies at retail stores in its first week alone. Mind you, this is a game that retails for $49.99. Most music artists can't even hit the 1 million mark in their first week, and CD's are a third of the price.

Listening to the requests of Madden fans, EA pumped this years version full of new features including user-created leagues, a free EA Sports Premium Pass, and the coup de grace - XBOX Live compatibility.

On a related note, retailers EB Games and Gamestop have started taking preorders for Madden 2006, which coincidentally, has yet to be announced by Electronic Arts.

Read More | USA Today

By now you've heard about JAKKS TVGames line of interactive entertainment products. You'll even find a review of their excellent Ms. Pac-Man TVGame right on our front page. Recently, Gear Live had a chance to speak with the great folks at the company for an inside scoop at how this product line came about, and what can we expect in the future. Click below to read the interview!

Click to continue reading JAKKS TV Games Interview

Playstation 3 PS3 Blu-Ray DiscBack to the next generation format wars, Sony has made it known that the PlayStation 3 will officially support the Blu-Ray disc format. What exactly does this mean? For starters, this gives Blu-Ray its own major corporate contender supporting it. This is good press for Blu-Ray, especially after Microsoft announced HD DVD capabilities will be natively supported in Windows Longhorn. Blu-Ray discs can hold about 27 GB of data per side, which means the PS3 will be capable of high-definition movie playback. This opens up a whole new playing field on the gaming front. Now let's see if Microsoft follows suit and announced HD DVD support for the next XBOX.

Read More | CNET News
Jakks TV Games ReviewRemember the good old days of gaming? When controllers didn't have a myriad of buttons, levers, and joysticks, but rather a simple handle and a red button? If not, then I must be getting old. Either way, Jakks Pacific / Jakks TV Games has been hard at work developing simple ways to get your retro game on. We review the Ms. Pac-Man TV Games unit - check it out by clicking the link below.

Click to continue reading JAKKS TV Games - Ms. Pac-Man Review

Nintendo DS Final Design
Despite loving both the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, many people had a complaint about one galring difference between the systems - the design. The PSP was the sleek, ultra-hip console while the Nintendo DS looked blocky, chunky, and uncool. Nintendo stated they were close to the final design, but the E3 version was still going to be tweaked.

Wait no longer - the finalized Nintendo DS design has been release by Nintendo, and it almost bring a tear to my eye. This is definately something that can compete with the Sony PSP if you wanted to base it on looks alone. Nintendo also made it known that the final name of the machine is, in fact, Nintendo DS...so no more trying to sound like you are "in the know" by referring to it as the Nitro.

The console has a scheduled release date of November 4th in Japan, followed by a United States launch the week after.
XBOX Silver LogoIn what has got to be seen as an amazing feat, the XBOX Live service has reached 1 Million subscribers. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dont like the service. What is amazing to me is how quickly Microsoft was able to garner 1,000,000 subscribers to its service. It usually takes a while to get 1 Million people to do ANYTHING, let alone play video games together. As Microsoft noted in the announcement, they reached this milestone faster than the AOL, HBO, and TiVo services did. It appears that the slogan must be true: "It's Good to Play Together".
Sony PSPAs a follow up to the previous story, it appears there was a misunderstanding regarding Sony's announcement. To clear it all up, the new Sony handheld console, the PlayStation Portable (PSP) will be the console to launch in March 2005.

At the same press conference, it was also revealed that the PlayStation 3 (PS3) will be on display in full working, playable form at E3 in May 2005.

Read More | Reuters
XBOX Media CenterTurn your Xbox into a media center with XBMC. What is XBMC?

XboxMediaCenter is a free open source (GPL) multimedia player for the Xbox from Microsoft. Currently XboxMediaCenter can be used to play/view most popular video/audio/picture formats such as MPEG-1/2/4, DivX, XviD, MP3, AAC, JPG, GIF plus many more less known formats directly from a CD/DVD in Xbox DVD-ROM drive or of the Xbox harddrive, XBMC can also play files from a PC over a local network and even stream media streams directly from the internet. XBMC has playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast and many audio visualizations. All these features enable the Xbox running XboxMediaCenter to fully function as a multimedia jukebox.

Download Here | XBOX Media Center