In the midst of all the hype about the Halo 3 launch, one thing that is often overlooked is that not everyone who has a 360 is necessarily equipped to play the game in its entirety. Whether you’re staunchly against paying for an online service like Xbox Live or you just can’t afford it, for a few days at least it won’t matter.
Best Buy is sponsoring a three-day free-for-all granting all Xbox 360 users access to the Gold Service starting on September 25th and ending on the 27th. That means that Silver members get to experience Halo’s online multiplayer without charge for at least a handful of days after they pick up their copy of the game. Even if you’re not into the whole Halo thing, that doesn’t exclude you from taking advantage: Best Buy’s “the first hit is free” style promotion extends to all parts of the service so those without full access to Live could use the time to play some Gears of War online, check out the Call of Duty 4 beta (if it’s still up and running) or just use the time to play some free Uno.
Read More | Bungie.net
Koji Igarashi, creator of the popular Castlevania franchise, is featured in an interview with Game Informer where he talks about what’s next for the series.
[Next,] I will be working on a DS version, but I am thinking of moving to the home consoles for the future. I will continue to use 2D for the DS version, but I’m still trying to figure out which console to do the home console versions. I think the Xbox 360 would be the best platform for the U.S. market.
Another DS Castlevania wasn’t really a bold prediction, but focusing on the 360 is a little unexpected. Igarashi goes on to clarify, “The U.S. market is the biggest market for the Castlevania series, so I will give the first priority to the U.S. market. The platform will be the Xbox 360, since the PS3 isn’t doing well everywhere in the world.” He does later suggest that he thinks Metal Gear Solid 4 could easily increase the PS3 base in the US which would make it more attractive as a target for a Castlevania game.
As for the Wii, which represents an even larger market than 360, Igarashi says he hasn’t quite figured out how to make the gesture controls work with the game saying that the motion for cracking a whip might be too hard on users but some kind of abstraction would be “not so good.” “I will have to think about a way to accomplish this,” he concludes.
Read More | Game Informer
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.
The 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
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
Timed to sync with the start of PAX and Leipzig, Sierra will release a rather full-featured demo of their upcoming real-time “action” strategy game World in Conflict 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 BioShock demo that Xbox Live 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
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.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Action, Activision, Adventure, CAPCOM, Driving, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Fighting, First Person Shooters, Microsoft, Namco, Puzzle, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Simulation, Sports, Survival Horror, Third Person Shooters, THQ, Ubisoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live
It’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.
- Crash Bandicoot 5: Wrath of Cortex
- Jet Set Radio Future
- Rogue Ops
- Sega GT 2002
Check out the new games after the break.
With 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 PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Gamercize Sport is available for $80 USD.
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
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