In this episode, coming to you straight from E3 2008, we chat with Xbox’s Heather Snavely about all the news that Microsoft announced during their Xbox Media Briefing. We have keynote clips here as well, in case you missed it and want to see all that went down, while Heather gives us a bit more detail and answers a few questions we had about some of the specific announcements.
Specifically, Heather tells us a bit more about the new Xbox 360 Experience dashboard, answers a few questions we had about the Lips game and the motion-based microphone controller, as well as Xbox avatars and questions we had about the future of Gamer Pictures on Xbox Live. All in all, a nice look at all the new details uncovered at E3 in relation to Xbox 360.
We’ve entered the auditorium here in the West Hall, and are currently waiting for the E3 2008 Xbox Media Briefing to begin. Very nice setup in here, by the way. Bunch of stage lighting, high definition displays, and…oh, even a mock living room setup. Snazzy. Anyhow, keep it locked here, as we will be bringing you live updates from the keynote as it happens. Any predictions on what we will be seeing announced today?
Oh, as for images, we will update the post with a bunch of those after the keynote ends. We wanna focus on bringing you the text updates for now, mkay?
We start with some Xbox 360 Street Talk, where apparently Microsoft went around town and interviewed people off the streets, and asked them about what they like about Xbox 360. Obviously, all good comments here. Now we get answers for questions like “What is a noob?”, “What does it mean to be ‘pwned’?”, “What does melee mean?”, “What does RPG mean?”, etc. Basically, what do average people know about video game terms. This is kind of like sitting through the advertisement trailers in the movie theater, the ones that come before the actual trailers.
Check out the rest of the keynote after the jump:
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Yeah, Gear Live is going to be covering E3 in full effect once again this year, and we want to know what you want to see us cover. We will be hitting you with daily video coverage of all the cool stuff we find, and we will also be at the Nintendo, Xbox, and Sony Media Briefings as well. What are you looking forward to?
Looks like Microsoft has finally gotten around to attempting to fix the horribly, horribly broken Xbox 360 DRM model, which we have written about in the past here and here, with the release of the Xbox 360 Content License Transfer Tool. The video above, hosted by Major Nelson, shows off exactly how users go about consolidating all their licenses to a single Xbox 360 console. There are a couple of issues here though, and they need to be addressed - after all, if you are going to work on a tool to help your users, the help shouldn’t result in new problems.
Well, with the news that HD DVD had been killed by Toshiba, you knew that it was only a matter of time before the Xbox 360 HD DVD player was eliminated as well, right? Well, the time has come, as Microsoft sent us the following update:
As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD. Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market. As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.
Okay, well, shouldn’t that be “HD DVD was one of the several ways…”? So, now that we know that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on will no longer be manufactured, if you really really want one, they can now be had for $49.99. That is 75% off of it’s original price, for those of you keeping track. So if you want a piece of recently outdated technology, now is your chance.
Read More | Bloomberg
It was just announced this morning by Microsoft during their GDC keynote - Gears of War 2 will be hitting Xbox 360 consoles this November. That’s right kids - November 2008. You ready for this? Here is the word from Microsoft:
Providing a dramatic close to Microsoft’s GDC keynote address, Epic Games Inc.’s lead designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that the epic saga of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad continues exclusively on the Xbox 360 this fall with “Gears of War 2.” This highly anticipated sequel to the 4.5 million-selling blockbuster “Gears of War” delves deeper into humanity’s struggle for survival against the nightmarish Locust Horde, and promises to take high-definition visuals to a whole new level.
Check out the trailer, at the top of this post.
Read More | Gears of War product page
“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace. As we’ve long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry. We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.”
Well, we think it is safe to say that we will be seeing the 360 HD DVD player (along with all the others) hitting the bargain bins over the next week or so. Now we await official word of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray add-on. It’s gotta happen.
You can now play your Xbox 360 games in 1080p HD with the Mad Catz HDMI Conversion Kit. Plug the adapter into the back of your Xbox, run the HDMI cord to your HDTV and voilà, you have a converted signal. All cables are in the kit, including one for an optical audio port which supports stereo and multi-channel surround sound and Dolby Digital and DTS. You can plug and play with your new gadget for $89.99 with a five year warranty and plenty of customer assistance on their site.
Read More | Mad Catz
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a deep appreciation for games in quirky, niche, genres, and also intelligent stories. Frankly, it is rare that I get to find both of these needs met in a single game, but Lost Odyssey manages to do it.
But wait! I thought Lost Odyssey was a Japanese-RPG and thus not really niche? Sadly (in my opinion), the gaming landscape has changed so profoundly over the years that the once thriving JRPG is now increasingly a rarity; One with high-production values, so much the more. Several early reviews would have you believe that Lost Odyssey does something fundamentally wrong simply for being true to its genre. Mercifully, you are reading this review so at the very least let me try to paint a slightly different picture of Hironobu Sakaguchi’s latest opus.
We can’t wait to try Tversity, free software that will add even more entertainment options to your already multi-tasking PS3, Wii, or Xbox 360. Tversity allows you to stream just about any multimedia from your PC to your TV via your gaming console. Basically, if it can be played on Windows Media Player, it can be played on TV. The software also allows you to stream internet media—audio, video, RSS feeds, podcasts and images—for television viewing. This can be done by entering websites of your choice, or using Tversity’s audio and video guides. And that’s only some of this freeware’s features! Sounds like exactly what we’ve been looking for. We’ll report back after giving Tversity a test run…