So, you know that nifty New Xbox Experience you’ve been hearing about all over the place? Well, our pals up in Redmond gave us the opportunity to grab the dashboard a few weeks before it becomes publicly available on November 19th. We have a bunch of info coming your way in the coming days (and, please, feel free to leave any questions on the forum and we will answer them all - seriously, ask away!). In the meantime, though, we thought we would take you through the setup process. After downloading the update (which takes a good, I dunno, 10 seconds), your Xbox 360 will reboot, load the new firmware, and hit you with a high impact video before dumping you into the new dashboard. It really is all sorts of fancy. We’ve created a New Xbox Experience setup gallery with a bunch of pictures showing you the process of installing, setting up, creating your avatar, and browsing around the new interface. Go ahead and take a look, and don’t forget, leave your questions here.
Read More | New Xbox Experience Gallery
A new Xbox Live pack is coming to the US next week on November 4th. The pack is mainly for those who don’t yet have a hard drive on their Xbox 360, but is a decent upgrade if you have the original 20GB hard drive, and are in need of more space. The $99 bundle includes a 60GB hard drive, Xbox Live headset, and 3-months of Xbox Live Gold. The upgrade comes just weeks before the new Xbox Live Experience dashboard upgrade on November 19th. The hard drive should allow much more storage if you plan to use the Netflix subscription service on your 360 and want to store all of your media which also debut’s on the 19th. There is also a $30 upgrade option for the 20GB hard drive being offered due to the New Xbox Experience requirements which will not work if you lack a hard drive.
Read More | Gamestop
News from the Tokyo Game Show includes Microsoft’s formal announcement about their Xbox 360 holiday bundles. As part of their new Xbox Experience, the Arcade comes with Sega Superstars Tennis (plus bonus games) for $199.99, and the Pro at $299.99 includes LEGO Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda. Go for the deluxe Elite at $399.99 and get the same two games. From the titles chosen it appears obvious that they are aimed at the younger crowd that have yet to discover the “experience.”
Read More | Xbox
So, you know that follow-up to Windows Vista that Microsoft has been working on for the past couple of years? They’ve been calling it Windows 7 for a while now, but we just thought that was going to be its codename. As it turns out, Microsoft just announced a few hours ago that Windows 7 is the official name of the next version of their operating system. Why not go with another cutesy name like Windows ME, XP, or Vista? Well, they say this is the seventh release of Windows, and that it “just makes sense.” Well, we guess it does. If you’ll be at WinHEC or PDC, you can plan on getting Windows 7 pre-beta code from Microsoft to play with.
Read More | Windows Vista Team Blog
At the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft finally let everyone in on the date that their current Xbox experience would be ending, and the New Xbox Experience would be, er, beginning. We knew it would be coming in the fall, but the firm date is November 19th. We hope you’re ready to spend hours working on that perfect Avatar, because we are going to so own you in 1 vs. 100, despite having never seen it on television. The New Xbox Experience will go live for all Xbox 360 gamers across the world at the same time - no staggered launch here, folks. We must admit, we’re looking forward to it.
Microsoft and Washington’s Attorney General Rob McKenna have filed suit against two Texas businesses that scare people into buying a Registry Cleaner XP service for $39.95. The action has been filed under the Computer Spyware Act. The Branch Software and Alpha Red messages resemble system warnings. McKenna is hoping that the lawsuit will make the “spyware purveyors” to cease the practice and pay customer restitution.
McKenna says the action “has yanked the fear factor dial out of the hands of businesses that use scareware as a marketing tool and have spun it toward them.”
Read More | Space Mart
Thank goodness Microsoft realized how silly their latest Seinfeld/Gates TV ads are and have moved on to the next phase of “Life Without Walls” in new ads, billboards, and other media sources. The company will also be launching Web and TV ads called the “Real PC,” using both celebs and “little people” who declare “I’m a PC.” We certainly hope that this commercial blitz is more successful. By the way, we just caught one. No Seinfeld, just Gates. Take your last look.
Read More | I4U News
Now that you know about the new Zune and are thinking about grabbing one, here’s another reason. Microsoft and Wayport, the network provider of McDonald’s, have made a deal to give Zune owners free WiFi over the next three years. You may not be able to check your email, but you can order tunes to go with your fries. This works on pre-existing Zunes as well. Sony’s Mylo COM-2 and Zipit Wireless Messenger Z2 can also receive the WiFi.
Read More | Gearlog
Okay, we’ve been hitting you with snippets of Zune news all day, especially as it pertains to the hardware. Now it’s time to break down all the changes that the Zune 3.0 software is bringing, both from the hardware side of things, as well as the software client side of things. On the hardware side of things, we are seeing new features like support for games, the ability to buy songs tagged while using the FM radio, and the ability to browse and download from the Zune Marketplace directly from the device itself. Over on software, we see a bunch of improvements to the client that are all focused on music discovery and helping you experience your music library in a whole new way. A lot of the changes seem geared towards Zune Pass subscribers (which, by the way, we think is the best deal in music). Click on through for an in-depth look at all the important changes that Zune 3.0 brings.
Okay, so the new Zune 3.0 software is live, and we have new Zune hardware to go along with it. We figured we’d bring you a look at the Zune 120 and Zune 16 that just came out, as compared to last years Zune 80 and Zune 8. The changes in the hardware are all cosmetic, which to us meant that the best way to show it to you guys was in a gallery. As you will see, this years Zune are focused on gloss and sheen, as opposed to last years matte two-tone look. Hit the Zune comparison gallery for all the shots.
Read More | Zune 120 and 16 vs Zune 80 and 8