X10 News: Alan Wake Set For May 21st

February 11, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

Yet another confirmed release date has popped its head out of X10. Microsoft have confirmed that Alan Wake, the supernatural thriller, will be released on May 21st in Europe and May 18th in the US.

People who pre-order the game will receive a “Bright Falls Bonus Pack” that includes avatar gear, an Xbox Live theme and a “making of” video.

It’s great to have confirmed release date for Alan Wake given that it was announced way back in 2005. It’s one of my most anticipated releases of 2010, and if you’re also looking forward to it then you probably wouldn’t mind taking a peek at this new trailer.

X10 News: Exclusive 360 Content For Dead Rising 2

February 11, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

Earlier today Capcom announced that Dead Rising 2 will be coming to Europe on September 3rd (August 31st for the US and September 2nd for Japan). Alongside that news was the announcement of some exclusive content for those that buy the game for the 360.

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero will be a prologue to the sequel and will be released on Xbox Live shortly before the release of the full game. It is intended to provide a link between the first and second instalments of the Dead Rising franchise, although it probably won’t explain why Chuck Greene has such a corny generic name.

So, the Dead Rising franchise may not be exclusive to the 360 anymore (let’s just put that awful Wii port out of our minds altogether) but at least the console that birthed the franchise will be getting some extra love.

There’s no word on the release date or pricing yet, so stay tuned for those.

X10 News: First Modern Warfare 2 DLC Hits Xbox 360 First, Maybe in Spring

February 11, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

Microsoft has reiterated that that the first piece of Modern Warfare 2 DLC will come to Xbox 360 first.

The earlier rumour was confirmed at X10, the resurrected Xbox expo, with the news that the 360 will have a 30 day head start over all other systems. The rumour that the release date will be 1 March has not been confirmed, with Activision delivering a “no comment” on that.

The worrying thing is that there’s another rumour that says the DLC will only include two maps, which is pretty poor if you ask me. This exclusivity trend is also worrying, as a lot of gamers are going to miss out on new content for a whole month (although it’s not as bad as the GTA IV DLC 360 timed exclusives that have only just been announced for PS3).

So it’s pretty much rumour central here right now, but we’ll be posting more solid info as it comes in.

X10 News: Halo Reach Beta Dated

February 11, 2010 by Andy Giff  
Filed under News, Xbox

To get in on the beta for Halo Reach you will need a copy of Halo 3: ODST

Fresh from the X10 event in San Francisco, Bungie and Microsoft have unveiled the date for the much anticipated Halo Reach Beta.

Owners of Halo 3: ODST will be able to get their hands on the Reach Beta starting May 3rd 2010, providing that they still have the disc. Players will be able to access the beta through the ODST menu. Bungie have also released the cover art as well as minor details on the first map: “Powerhouse”. Expect more details to surface in the next few days. In the mean time, here’s a post on Bungie.net with more details: Bungie.

Also from the X10 event, Microsoft has announced release dates for Alan Wake (finally), Splinter Cell Conviction (again, finally), Lost Planet 2 and Dead Rising 2. The first 3 will all be out by May, with Dead Rising set for an August release. They also announced some Xbox Live Arcade releases including Perfect Dark, and confirmed that Fable III will be out this holiday season.

I’m sure you’ll hear more from us if any more big news comes out of there (Natal anyone?).

Nintendo “Turned Down” Chance at Project Natal Tech

January 27, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under Nintendo, Xbox

CVG has learned that Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was shown an early demo of what would become Project Natal, but he dismissed the technology as he didn’t believe it could be launched at a mass-market price.

An anonymous source revealed that 3DV Systems – the firm apparently behind the technology Project Natal utilises – showed the technology to a gathering of Nintendo execs in 2007. The company was later purchased by Microsoft, paving the way for Project Natal.

“Iwata-San only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience,” the exec told CVG.

“3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition – but Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay.

Microsoft has never confirmed that Project Natal uses technology gained from the purchase of 3DV, but this revelation means it’s highly likely that this is the case. The source insists upon this.

“Honestly – I’ve heard Iwata describe the prototype he saw at length, and it’s definitely Natal,” added CVG’s source.

Does Nintendo have any doubts?

“We remain unconvinced Natal will deliver on the more sophisticated elements of what Microsoft is promising at the price they’re aiming for.”

I guess not, but I suppose the bucket loads of money they’ve made from the Wii pretty much says it all.

It’s not the first time Nintendo has decided not to pursue a new form of technology for consoles, as they famously cancelled a deal to jointly develop a CD-Rom add on for the SNES with Sony and Phillips. This technology would later be developed into the Playstation, and that’s one major cash cow that Nintendo missed out on.

Epic Have No Regrets About Making Gears MS Exclusive

January 22, 2010 by Andy Giff  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

Gears of War is one of the biggest exclusive franchises on the Xbox 360

Industry analyst Michael Pachter claimed in a roundtable discussion with GameTrailers that Epic Games “regret” making Gears of War a Microsoft exclusive franchise. He said that they were probably “itching” to bring the games to the PS3.

Well Mark Rein, Vice-President of Epic Games today responded to that claim, and denied it. He said that Epic has a “great relationship with Microsoft” and that they “have no regrets”.

Given that Gears of War is a massively popular franchise already (Gears 2 was behind only Halo 3 and the Call of Duty games in the top games on Xbox Live in 2009), it is hardly surprising that Epic would feel this way. Without the financial backing from Microsoft (remember that “Mad World” trailer for the first game?) it is highly unlikely that Gears would have met the success that it did.

Either way, if you’re waiting to play Gears of War on your PS3, don’t hold your breath…

Alan Wake “Most Likely” Won’t Get a Demo

January 20, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

Only a day after it was announced that Crackdown 2 will be getting a demo we find out that another sadly won’t. Well, it’s unlikely anyway.

The game in question is Alan Wake, a game that has been teasing us for years now but only has a few months left until release. Unfortunately we won’t be able to get a taste of the game before release; so we’ll have to purchase the retail release to find out if it’s a tasty meal or one for the bin behind a fancy but unsatisfying restaurant. I hope it’s the former!

The CFO of Remedy, Mika Reini, says there will “most likely not” be a demo, so you will just have to trust yourself and whatever the reviews are like for the game. Not that a demo is always the best representation of the full game, but it surely puts you off if the demo is bad. So, maybe it’s a good thing? We’ll see.

On a happier note Reini did say that Spring is “definitely” the release window for Alan Wake, and that they also have a “specific date” that they will announce in the future.

Microsoft: Xbox 360 Isn’t “At the Midpoint Yet”

January 13, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

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You can put your cash away, because there won’t be a new Xbox on the horizon anytime soon if what Microsoft says is true.

The senior director of Xbox product management, David Hufford, has told the Guardian that both hardware and software upgrades will help prolong the life of the Xbox 360 for many years to come.

“I think it’s important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we’re able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal,” said David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management in a briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.” – Guardian

Hufford also spoke about 3D, saying that the 360 did not need to upgrade to support 3D since Avatar, which has a 3D option, is already running on the console. However, he declined to go into detail about the possibility of a Blu-ray drive or a new chipset.

Personally I don’t believe Project Natal will be the hit Microsoft is betting on (one of the reasons the Wii sold so well is because everything came out of the original box, so are people really willing to buy more peripherals just for something that only a few games might make use of?), but if it prolongs the life of the console then I’m happy with that. Although, another five years or so will see the Xbox 360’s capabilities extremely dated, but at least I don’t have to open my wallet yet.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Triple Whammy Xbox Live Deal of the Week!

November 24, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under News, Xbox

In a somewhat generous gesture, Microsoft are offering Xbox Live users 3 quite resepectable Deals of the Week to splash their hard-earned on this week.

First of all, Fable 2’s See The Future DLC has been reduced from 560MSP to 400MSP, which some people will feel is a fairer price point, given the comments on the length and quality of the content.
Click here to add Fable 2’s See The Future DLC to your download queue.

Surely the pick of the bunch is the ultra-addictive Peggle, usually priced at 800MSP and now at the ridiculously bargain price of 400MSP; VGR Network proven to waste more hours of your life than MW2 and the Eastenders ominbus’ combined. Click here to add Peggle to your download queue.

And finally, the probably quite overpriced in the first place Death Tank is reduced from 1200MSP to the slightly more worth it 800MSP. Imagine MW2 meets Worms with tanks instead of annelids and you’re halfway there with this side-on blastfest. Click here to add Death Tank to your download queue.

Blu-ray add-ons heading for Xbox 360?

October 22, 2009 by Daniel Gillespie  
Filed under News

Blu_rayLogo

It seems Microsoft have forgotten about the age old media war as they are now looking at the option to add Blu-ray accessories to the Xbox 360.

In a recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, he was asked whether the Xbox would ever associate itself with a Blu-ray player, like rival Sony.

He said: “Well I don’t know if we need to put Blu-ray in there—you’ll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories.

“I think the future of movies is on-demand actually, as opposed to via distribution on physical media. So we’re just going to keep driving forward.”

Is this a slip of the tongue remark, or are we looking too much into this?

Microsoft released a statement shortly after, stating: “Our solution for HD quality video on an Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we’re not ready to comment.”

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