So, yesterday we told you about the newly announced Xbox 360 QWERTY Keyboard Attachment, which it seems many wrote off as being a well-done Photoshop job. However, Microsoft has confirmed that the product is real, and that it will be making it’s way to store shelves this summer at a still-unannounced price point. Contrary to what some believe, the keyboard is an attachment to the current Xbox 360 controller, not a stand-alone keyboard/controller combo. The keyboard will also be backlit, which fits right into the reality that many a gamer enjoy playing in the dark. We were able to see this product at a couple of different stages in it’s development, and think it will be a hit, so long as the backlit display doesn’t suck up battery usage too much.
We have put up a photo gallery of the Xbox 360 keyboard attachment. Click on to check it out in all it’s glory.
Bungie today announced that coming in April, two “new” multiplayer maps will be available for download in Halo 2. The maps, new to Halo 2 are recreations of original maps found in the original Halo: Combat Evolved. The two maps, “Hang ‘Em High” and “Desolation,” will be downloadable on both the original Xbox and Xbox 360 for $4 on April 17th; luckily, original Xbox hold-outs won’t be left in the cold for this content update.
The full press release continues after the jump.
Hoping to clear off shelf space for next year’s iteration of Madden, Fight Night, and Tiger Woods, EA has dropped the price on a few games in their library. Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to pick up many of EA’s titles for $10-$30 off of their usual price. Of course, with EA’s habit of shutting down servers for unpopular games, you might want to think twice before picking up anything that has a year attached to the title. Still, there are some fairly well reviewed titles to be found, including The Godfather and Need for Speed Carbon, so this might be a good way to get some extra bang out of that gift certificate you got this Christmas.
See the full list of reduced-price titles, after the jump…
Read More | Game Invasion @ Comcast.net
Xbox.com’s “Gamerchix” section has some suggestions on what and what not to get your girlfriend for christmas. The items at the top of their must-buy lists?
* Xbox 360 Wireless Headset
* Microsoft Points
* Subscription to Xbox Live
* Gift Certificates to EBGames or GameStop
* Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
* DS Lite
* Nintendo Wii
* Spa gift certificates
You read that right - Microsoft thinks your girlfriend would just LOVE one of Nintendo’s fine products this season. Either Microsoft is extending a hand to Nintendo, or this is some brilliant subversive marketing (“See kids, the Wii is for GIRLS!”). And is the “Candles” suggestion right below the Wii a sly reference to the Wii Sensor Bar hacks that we’ve been seeing around? Perhaps I’m just giving them too much credit…
Read More | Xbox.com
Microsoft has officially denied the latest rumors regarding the release of a 100 GB hard drive add on for the Xbox 360. In addition, the company also clarified their investments in chip design research to GameDaily. Microsoft’s official stance on the 100 GB add-on is that “Microsoft currently has no plans to release a 100 GB HDD.” The spokesperson was unclear about where the image originated.
In addition, the New York Times recently speculated that Microsoft’s investment into chip design research signaled that the company may be seeking to create its own chip for the next iteration of the Xbox. While any research that Microsoft develops may in fact show up in future versions of the console, Microsoft stated that officially, the company is mainly interested in investigating hardware architecture from a research standpoint.
Read More | GameDaily
Lumines Live hit Xbox Live Arcade yesterday, and is easily one of the most anticipated games to hit Microsoft’s game service. Up until now, DOOM was at the top of the charts as the biggest rip off ($15 for a years-old game), but that title is now squarely on the shoulders of this puzzler from Q! Entertainment. At least with DOOM, the game was there in its entirety.
Despite ringing in at half again the cost of most other Xbox Live Arcade titles (1200 points, or $15), Lumines is not a complete game. Within an hour, I was bumping into messages telling me that I needed to purchase additional content (which is not yet available, incidentally). Outpost Kaloki X offers far more gameplay at half the price. Coupled with frustratingly imprecise controls, and an experience that isn’t as portable as it is on the PSP, I’m instantly regretting having hoarded points for this game.
The latest NPD data showed strong September sales growth; 38% over 2005. Nintendo and the DS showed strong growth, and the “next generation” transition doesn’t seem to have hurt the industry as much as expected. But hidden in the NPD data are some interesting points that various analysts have started to dissect. GameDaily reports on analysis from Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, and Deutsche Bank analyst Jeetil Patel. Pachter sees the PS2 growth as a good sign, with software sales up 12 percent compared to last year. But the original Xbox has been fading fast. As one looks at the numbers, it appears that the Xbox 360 is completely cannibalizing the original Xbox user base. The Xbox 360 seems to be pushing better than expected software sales, a good thing for Microsoft.
Still, things don’t appear to be completely rosy in the Xbox 360 camp. Jeetil Patel feels like the Xbox 360 is underperforming. Tracking the Xbox 360 versus the original Xbox’s sales path seems to indicate that the Xbox 360 has moved fewer net units than the original Xbox at this point in the console life cycle; the lack of units during Microsoft’s holiday launch last year really set the company back. In addition, NPD data has the total Xbox 360 sell through at approximately 2.7 million units. Japan adds only a fraction to that number, with well under 200,000 units sold through in that territory. An optimistic projection for the Xbox 360 in the rest of the world might match the US total. At this point, it is starting to look like Microsoft’s projections of a 10 million unit head start by the time the Playstation 3 launches was extremely aggressive. With probably just over six million Xbox 360 consoles moved worldwide to date, Microsoft would have to nearly double their worldwide sales in October and November to match their goals before Sony’s November launch of the Playstation 3.
Read More | GameDaily BIZ
Burger King announced that they will be offering three exclusive Xbox/Xbox 360 games this holiday season for $3.99. The games will be available starting on Sunday, November 19, and will be compatible with both the Xbox and the Xbox 360. The three game titles will be Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin, and Sneak King. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite creepy mascot as well as the subservient chicken. The games were developed by Blitz Games, whose contributions to the gaming world include titles like Barbie Horse Adventures. Jeff Bell, vice president of global marketing for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business stretched a “Have It Your Way” metaphor to the breaking point, stating, “Consumers are saying, ‘Let me have what I want, the way I want it. In essence, Xbox also is an invitation to consumers to have it their way.”
Read More | Gamerscoreblog
The Playstation 3’s price cut isn’t the only new information coming out of the Tokyo Game Show from Sony. It is well known that the PS3 will support some backwards compatibility with PSOne and PS2 games, but now it has been announced that the PS3 will also be able to play Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx games. The games are likely going to be media downloads, but it may be possible that CD’s or DVD’s will become available including packages of games. Man it’d be cool to play the Sonics all over again! I wonder if 32X, SegaCD, Saturn and Dreamcast games will be added to the list.
I think Nintendo should be a little more hush-hush with their ideas in the future. They announced their motion sensitive controller, so Sony updated theirs to incorporate motion sensitivity. The Wii was announced to play older Nintendo games, and Sony again follows suit with old Sega and TurboGrafx games. Microsoft even jumped on this wagon by starting to offer old arcade games for download on XBOX Live. Being a Genesis and even Master System fan, I am extremely excited about this news, but a little upset that it took an idea from Nintendo to get Sony to add this functionality.
Read More | Daily Tech
Some info from the Tokyo Game Show 2006 has stated that the XBOX 360 will receive 1080p support (1920x1080) through a dashboard update coming this year. Current games and even DVD’s will be up-converted to this extended resolution, but no native 1080p content has been announced yet. I would imagine that the update is namely due to the upcoming release of the HD-DVD add-on which supports 1080p media. It is also a good tactic to take away some of the hype from the PS3 being released in November, which will support 1080p. Now if they would only add an HDMI port to the thing, it’d be a true HD machine!
Read More | Playfeed