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Inside Halo 3’s $10 Million Marketing Push

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 ‘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.

Read More | Brand Week via Kotaku


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Harmonix Co-Founder Answers Questions About Rock Band

Rock Band Guitar ControllerThe Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast has an interview this week with Harmonix co-founder and president Alex Rigopulos about their upcoming game Rock Band. In the interview he talks about the game bundles, although light on concrete details he does confirm a band-in-a-box bundle that will include a guitar, drum kit and microphone. However, he goes on to say that the PlayStation 3 version will include a wireless guitar controller while the Xbox 360 version will have to include a wired guitar because Microsoft‘s wireless technology is too expensive to make the bundle reasonably priced. Since the 360 also has only two USB ports, the 360 Rock Band bundle will also be packed with a USB hub.

Rigopulos goes on to discuss the game’s career modes a little, saying there will be both solo career mode that progresses in a linear fashion similar to what Guitar Hero players are used to, but they are also including a less linear band career mode. In this mode you traverse to various venues trying to build up your fan base and in some cases return to previously played locations to maintain your fame there. Also it’s worth noting that the solo career mode will not include a bass career track so your options are vocals, guitar and drums in solo career mode. But Rigopulos did reveal that the finale songs for each career path (and therefore likely the difficulty distinctions throughout) will be different for each instrument, and he even said that at this point the drum finale will be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Read More | KOXM Podcast

Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground Demo Released Today

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground

Following close behind EA‘s demo for new blood competitor Skate, Activision is dropping a demo of Tony Hawk‘s Proving Ground onto the Xbox Live Marketplace today.

Proving Ground is supposed to challenge Skate with enhanced customization features, especially centered around making videos, and plenty of refinements to the online experience like seamless solo to multiplayer transitions. They’re also throwing in a nail-the-grab feature to compliment the popular nail-the-trick mode from last year’s Project 8 entry and multiple career paths. There is no firm release date set, but the game is expected to hit store shelves for most current platforms sometime in October.

Read More | Team Xbox

Anticipated PC Demos Dropping This Week: World in Conflict and BioShock

World in Conflict

Timed to sync with the start of and , will release a rather full-featured demo of their upcoming real-time “action” strategy game on Friday containing demos of both the single-player mode via a tutorial, plus one mission as well as multiplayer supporting 16 players. There will be one multiplayer map available to all demo-downloaders that can also be played in solo skirmish mode and a second map playable only by those who pre-order the game. World in Conflict is designed to incorporate first-person shooter elements like speed into the RTS genre and by design requires no resource management. The game is due out September 18th.

In other demo-related news, the PC version of the demo that users have been enjoying since last week is out in time for the full retail release of the game. Any PC users on the fence about this game can check out the first half hour or so of the game and most likely put it down only long enough to run to the store and buy the full copy.

Read More | 1Up

EA Shutting Down Servers For Madden 06, NBA Live 06, And More

Pulling the plug EA online game servers

People always ask, “Why buy the newest Madden game? They’re all the same.” Well, here’s one very cut-and-dry reason you can use to explain: because, eventually, these game’s servers get taken down. EA is planning to take down 42 games’ servers on September 1 (although many of these are the same game across multiple platforms), and an additional seven on November 1. This isn’t a new trend, as there’s a sizable list of servers for EA games that have gone offline over time.

Apparently there really is a reason to pick up that newest Madden.

September 1, 2007 Online Service Shutdown

  • Arena Football for PlayStation 2
  • Arena Football for Xbox
  • FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox 360
  • FIFA Soccer 06 for PC
  • FIFA06 for PC
  • FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation 2
  • FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation Portable
  • FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox
  • FIFA World Cup 2006 for PC
  • FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation 2
  • FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation Portable
  • FIFA World Cup 2006 for Xbox
  • Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation Portable
  • Fight Night Round 3 for Xbox

Check out the full list of September and November shutdowns after the break.


Morrowind Headlines New List Of Backwards Compatible Xbox Games On Xbox 360

Xbox 360 backwards compatibleIt’s about time – finally, Xbox 360 owners who weren’t fortunate enough to play The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on Xbox or PC can now do so on Xbox 360. The update brings the total number of back compat Xbox games to over 300. And all games are upscaled, so those who have been waiting to play NBA Live 2002 in 720p or 1080i can now do so.

Updated:

  • Crash Bandicoot 5: Wrath of Cortex
  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • Rogue Ops
  • Sega GT 2002

Check out the new games after the break.


Button Mash the Pounds Away with Gamercize

GamercizeWith obesity—especially amongst kids—growing by leaps and bounds, we think this is a great device for gamers young and old. It’s Gamercize Sport, an exercise device that hooks up to your video game console. The catch? The controller only works while you’re exercising. If you stop moving, the controller stops working, so if you want to reach 100% completion on Vice City, you’re literally gonna have to sweat it out. You can hook up Gamercize to your own exercise machine, or purchase their Power Stepper or Mini Cycle. Currently Gamercize is only compatible with PSOne, PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox, however look for Gamercize Pro-Sport in the future, for use with the , and Nintendo . Gamercize Sport is available for $80 USD.

Read More | Gamercize via UberGizmo


Game Releases For The Week Of 6/25: The Darkness, Pokemon, And Transformers

Pokemon Battle Revolution

Some big name titles are hitting this week, including the much anticipated The Darkness for both Xbox 360 and PS3. Transformers is bound to be a big seller by virtue of its name and the number of platforms that it’s coming out on. And Pokemon Battle Revolution for Wii is going to sell a scientifically accurate 1,432,345^100, or in other words, a metric crapton.

Read More | Gamasutra

GamerAndy Live! Episode 83: A Sucker for Game Bling

Finally a return to gaming news! So much for Andy, Hawkes and Edie to talk about, including Sony’s “major announcement,” the 80Gig Europe hate, Blu-Ray price drops, and (gasp!) Andy’s discovery of a great PS3 title! But that’s not all! We’ve got conversation about EA and ID going to the Mac, the PSP “slim, Shadowrun and Forza 2.

But wait! There’s more! Winners of last week’s contest are annouced.

Order now and you’ll recieve GamerAndy’s TV corner, where we discuss the end of the Sopranos and the return of Jherico.

Don’t walk… RUN to the download!


Xbox 360 Spring Backward Compatibility Update Now Live

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Xbox, Xbox 360

Panzer Dragoon OrtaXbox 360 owners looking for a backward compatibility update have been getting antsy over the couple of weeks, wondering if Microsoft had abandoned their efforts in improving the emulation for older Xbox titles. Now, though, a new update has been published online, with quite a few long anticipated additions to the list. Some great titles are now playable on the Xbox 360, including Panzer Dragoon Orta, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, and Jet Set Radio Future. Mech Assault 2 is now playable, and Soul Calibur 2 received a mysterious compatibility update. Of course, no update would be complete without at least some questionable games that just happened to work because of other bug fixes, like Reservoir Dogs and NFL Fever 2004.

The full list of updated titles continues below.

Read More | Xbox.com

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