We learned all about Microsoft Sync at CES, and have lots to share. Sync is integrated software that’s factory-installed in certain Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars. It allows you to control your cell phone and music player via voice recognition. Once your cell phone is “synced” with the software and your contacts are transferred, just press the button on the steering wheel and speak your command, such as “Call Mom.” Mom is immediately dialed, and you can talk to her without ever touching your phone. What’s also cool is that you can control your entire music library via voice as well, just by saying the name of the artist, song, album or even playlist. Just sync up your iPod (except the Shuffle), iPhone, MP3 player or even a thumb drive, and you’re good to go.
This holiday season, consumers have three choices if they are wanting to buy a Microsoft Zune for themselves or a loved one. In this Federated Media Holiday Gadget Guide video post, we take a look at the Holiday 2007 Microsoft Zune lineup in detail. In the video we compare the old-school Zune 30 GB with the new Zune 2 lineup - the Zune 80 and the Zune 8. The Zune 80 is a hard drive based Zune that holds up to 80 GB of content, while the Zune 8 and Zune 4 are the new flash based Zune players, holding 8 GB and 4 GB of media respectively. Check out the video for the full scoop on the complete Zune lineup available this holiday season.
Sensationalism aside it appears the Xbox 360 is a meltable platform. Thankfully, the above melted carnage was the result of a not-so-bright user keeping their 360 on their stove(!) rather than a result of console cooling gone wrong - but it’s still an image that will send chills down the spine of any gamer worth their salt. Seriously though folks - don’t store your expensive consumer electronics on a stove - unless you are busy Breaking Stuff!
Read More | Engadget
See, it’s stuff like this that absolutely blows us away. We’ve seen a lot of people do some interesting things with LEGOs in the past, but we think this recreation of the Zanzibar map from Halo 2 may take the cake. This was done by a college student who seemingly had way too much time on his hands.
After nearly two years of building and thousands of dollars sunk into my project, it’s finished. This is my latest video which details how I made my famous Lego model of Zanzibar from it’s very first stage, to the now near completed form. I wanted to make this video so that everyone will get the facts straight. I originally sent the picture and video files that you’ll see in this video to Bungie Studios where they incorporated them into the Halo 3 Legendary edition bonus disk.
Check the video for the full scoop, and prepare to be amazed.
The internet has been set ablaze with hyperbolic phrases like “biggest day in US entertainment history” and “redefining entertainment” and “worldwide celebration,” all used to describe Halo 3’s truly mammoth first 24 hours on the market. Microsoft estimates that the game garnered $170 million in US sales in its first day, eclipsing previous records set by movies like Spiderman 3 or even the latest Harry Potter novel. In addition, Microsoft claims that over a million players went on Xbox Live to play Halo 3, making September 25th “the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history.”
All that remains to be seen is just how big of a sales surge the Xbox 360 will experience for the month of September and beyond.
Read More | Major Nelson
Microsoft announced that starting at midnight GMT on Wednesday, they’ll be reducing prices for a select number of Xbox Live Arcade titles for one week, ending at 11:59 Tuesday October 2nd. This is similar to the Labor Day sale they ran earlier this month where they dropped the prices on Gauntlet, Zuma and Dig Dug.
The titles featured this time around are Bankshot Billiards 2, Hardwood Spades and Frogger.
The price reductions are less dramatic here, the earlier labor day sale halved the prices of the games while these are marked down less severely: Bankshot Billiards 2 normally goes for 1200 ($15.00) Microsoft Points but has been reduced to 900 ($11.25); Hardwood Spades and Frogger are both usually priced at 400 Microsoft Points ($5.00) but have been dropped to 300 ($3.75). Still, if you were considering any of these games as possible purchases, now might be the time to jump on them. Perhaps combined with the Best Buy/Halo 3 Live promotion you can have yourself a few days of super-cheap online gaming.
Read More | Gamerscore Blog
When Microsoft executives call Lost Odyssey epic, they mean it. At TGS, Hironobu Sakaguchi announced that his upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive RPG will span four discs, at a game length of forty to fifty hours. In addition, the game will ship with multiple language options, so we know that the insane amount of disc space is going to good use. Gamers will be dreaming of Xbox-branded multi-disc changers when the game launches in Japan later this year, and in the rest of the world in 2008.
Forgive yourself if you mistake the opening of Bioware‘s upcoming Xbox 360 RPG for an early peek at Ridley Scott’s interstellar follow-up to Blade Runner. From the woozy synth-phonic score, to the pre-credit crawl that leads into the main title reveal, to the camera movements that just feel so right, Mass Effect oozes pure cinematic goodness. Those of you who don’t want to know anything about the game before playing it should stay away from the above video. For everyone else, however, this is a must-see, if for no other reason than it provides us with our first glance at a created character who doesn’t look like the bald space marine Bioware has used to promote the game so far.
Mass Effect is sure to be one of this year’s biggest games when it hits the Xbox 360 on November 20th.
Read More | Bioware
We know that plenty of our readers have been waiting anxiously for Halo 3 to drop, and Microsoft just threw us all a bone today with the Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition console. And yes, that is the entire name of the unit. While it won’t satiate your appetite for Halo 3 gaming goodness (that happens in a little over a week,) it really is a sweet looking piece of machinery. We got our hands on one today, and naturally, took a bunch of unboxing images for your viewing pleasure - 41 in total. We give you a look at everything that comes in the box in our Halo 3 Xbox 360 unboxing gallery, but for a quick glance, this is what you get for $399 USD:
- Halo 3 Special Edition Console
- Halo 3 Special Edition Wireless Controller
- Halo 3 Special Edition 20GB Hard Drive
- Halo 3 Special Edition Wired Headset
- Halo 3 Special Edition Gamer Pics and Theme (Exclusive download via Xbox LIVE)
- Component HD AV Cable
- Ethernet Cable
- HDMI Port
- Play & Charge Kit
- Xbox LIVE Silver Membership
- One-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership
Don’t forget to hit the gallery for all the images.
Read More | Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition Unboxing Gallery
Microsoft has known how important Halo 3 will be to their success this generation since before they even announced the Xbox 360. Halo 2 sold $125 million on the first day, but then the original Xbox was just struggling for recognition in the wake of the PS2 juggernaut. Now the 360 holds a tenuous lead in installed base and isn’t selling the way Microsoft may have hoped. If it’s possible Halo 3 may have become even more important to Microsoft’s strategy than they originally hoped. Fortunately, they’ve been planning ahead.
In an article released today on Brand Week, the calculated ten-month marketing efforts behind Bungie‘s trilogy finale is dissected starting from the Starry Nights TV spot launched last November through the public beta this spring/early summer. They talk about the Project Iris viral campaign and the efforts they’ve gone to secure strategic branding partners. This has included the Mountain Dew Game Fuel limited edition soft drink that comes plastered with Halo 3 imagery plus a total of $5 million from Pontiac to help push the launch of the game on September 25.
And they aren’t done yet. Microsoft will begin the full blitz with the new Believe campaign that will lead up to the launch taking place at midnight in over 10,000 stores to give Halo fans a chance to grab the game as soon as possible. It’s an interesting read about the science behind building a monster.
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