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:
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
Want a Wii but don’t want the early morning wait outside Toys ‘R Us or Target? Two websites will help you to obtain the elusive game system. Wii Chat will tell you places to pre-order plus links to eBay sellers, if cost isn’t as important as availability. Wii Tracker goes one better. It lists particular stores’ availability on not only Wiis, but other hot items such as TMX Elmo, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo DS, iPhones, and RAZRs. Sure, you could look for these yourself, but why bother when these kind folk have done it for you?
Read More | WXYZ News
Let’s suppose your Aunt Linda died and left you a large part of her estate. You decide that you want to invest in a new home entertainment system but don’t have the room for it. Witness the SE2 Labs ICT One, an all-in-one system. In this small package is an Xbox 360, an HD PVR, an AMX Netlinx control system, a Bryston Digital Surround Processor, ICEpower D-Class amps, a 42-inch touchscreen, an iPod video dock, and a SE2 RF remote control to run the thing.
Take a deep breath and note that it also features a quiet cooling system with transparent cable power conditioning, an anti-noise and vibration system, and an easy connect rear panel. Take one more gasp as you thank your deceased relative for the $19,900.00 gift.
Read More | SE2 Labs
Just as Pontiac is utilizing billboards in “Need for Speed” to increase sales, the Government Communications Headquarters, which is part of British Intelligence, has begun to recruit through video games. Looking for an “Internet-savvy generation of graduate groups,” the campaign will begin the end of October and run for a month. The GCHQ is targeting Xbox games such as “Splinter Cell,” “Carbon,” and “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.” What we would like to know is if potential recruits who are that heavily into war games notice and respond, what leads them to believe that those same gamers would leave their consoles for a real gig?
Read More | MSNBC
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that demand of the Nintendo Wii will again be greater than the supply this year. Since its launch, the Wii has topped the game system charts. During August, it sold over 400,000 pieces to the Xbox’s 276,000 and PS3’s 130,000. Fils-Aime says that they are doing all they can to meet the demand and that “the issue is not a lack of production.”
Sorry, but we beg to differ. We know that half of the fun of electronics life is waiting in line for an iPhone, bargaining on eBay, and in general picking up that special item early, because you know that there will never be enough of the those things that we covet the most. It’s time that those who are in control and earnestly chart sales realized we are not as naive as they would like to believe.
Read More | Daily Tech
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
THQ announced that sequel to the GTA-style next gen game Saints Row is in the works. Saints Row was an Xbox 360 exclusive that followed the criminal underworld/open world model of Rockstar‘s key franchise pretty closely but included a character generator and several minor improvements that made it a hit with early 360 adopters.
Saints Row 2 takes place years after the original in the same city (Stillwater), but things have changed with the passage of time. As described in the press release, “Saints Row 2 has a much darker and more sinister story that leads your character down a path of betrayal, revenge and redemption against the city that has left him for dead.”
Unlike the original, which was a 360 exclusive, Saints Row 2 will be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in 2008.
Robert “402” Bowling from Infinity Ward has posted about some upcoming changes to the Call of Duty 4 beta on his blog. The most significant announcement is the closing of the beta on September 30th, but he also revealed that two days prior the level cap, which has been at 16 for a couple of weeks after being lifted from the initial cap of 11, will go up to 25. That gives beta testers only two days to jump from 16 to 25 before the beta closes down in anticipation of the game’s release November 5th.
Part of the post hinted that CoD4 had gone gold, but Bowling refused to come right out and say it, saving the announcement for more official channels. He did say that Infinity Ward had received congratulations from the Sony of America and the Xbox 360 certification team, which leaves little room for doubt that the game is in the final stages before shipping.
The beta has been an excellent marketing tool for Infinity Ward since the strength of the game is quite evident from the limited, multiplayer-only test version. Even though the game is likely gold, the beta continues for developers to continue gathering data for the inevitable title upgrades and expansion packs. The raising of the level cap so close to the end of the beta is, speculatively, due to the launch of a certain multiplayer juggernaut a few days prior.
Read More | Fourzerotwo's Blog