The Xbox 36o slim was announced today at the Microsoft press conference on the first day of E3. The new version of the popular console sports a 250 gigabyte hard drive and a built in wifi adapter, as well as being "whisper quiet." The new console has now fully replaced the "outdated" one in all new sales of Xbox 360's. In addition, a special auxiliary port on the back of the console will let you connect (pun intended) Microsoft's Kinect motion add on, allowing simultaneous power and data transfer.
The slim goes on sale later this week at a price of $299.
[Update]: It's official guys. The service is now retired.
Microsoft had announced that the Xbox Live service for the version 1 Xbox would be cut off April 15th but, well, it's not cut off yet.
Last night hundreds of gamers got on to play their favorite original Xbox game, mainly Halo 2, to give proper send off to their game's online functionality. Anticipation of the cut off gradually grew till it peaked at 12:01 AM this morning, at which time matchmaking, at least in Halo 2, was still working. The latest word today is that people can still get on and play.
There isn't any official word yet on why the service is still available. Xbox Live support will eventually be terminated though so soak up what you can before its really gone for good.
Microsoft is pulling the plug for Xbox Live service on the original Xbox and the games that run on it. This includes major titles like Halo 2, Battlefront 2, and Mechassault, just to name a few. This is the last day you can play any of these games through Microsoft's online infrastructure so if you've been meaning to get one last game of MLG Lockout in Halo 2, this is your last chance...unless you play it at a LAN party.
Microsoft launched their virtual game room service today on Xbox 360 and Games for Windows. The service launched early this morning and had a very nice loading screen and not much else due to a technical glitch that kept the service from loading properly on both platforms. Luckily, the issue was later resolved and now a few handfuls worth of 70's and 80's arcade classics are available for your nostalgic pleasure... for a few of your money dollars cash.
Within the game room you can choose to play some arcade classics for the equivalent of $.50 a game, that is to say you pay $.50 for one round on a single game. You can also purchase full games for about $3.00 worth of Microsoft points if microtransactions, arcade style, aren't really your thing.
Microsoft is promising that around 1,000 classic arcade titles will eventually make it to the service in the future. Not much by way of official word has been given if more modern arcade games will ever make it to the virtual arcade, but rumors are out there that Dreamcast games could be added at a future point. Total speculation sure, but its nice to dream.
Ever imagine yourself hitting keys and not all of them registering as pressed? Like, in a time of utter crisis, when you're hands are sprawled all out on your keyboard, the tool of your enemy's destruction? That's perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a gamer, so Microsoft has unleashed the SideWinder X4, which allows, according to Tom's Guide, up to 26 consecutive keystrokes.
Check out their full review, but you may find that ghosting isn't an issue...or, considering the rig you're on now, it may be your worst issue.
Although the PS3 had a bit of a rocky start, 2009 was a big year for the console with the release of the Slim model. SCEA senior VP of publisher relations Rob Dyer believes the PS3 is "better for publishers than 360," and the price cut had a "huge impact" on Sony's sales. With that, Dyer took some shots at Microsoft and its Xbox 360.
"They had a year's head start against us, so we've been playing catch-up ball," he explained. "Before the price cut, they had a two-to-one advantage; if you were a third-party publisher looking at the index, you should have been selling twice the number of units on the 360 as you would on the PS3."
Dyer also criticized Microsoft's first-party labels, saying they don't have enough strong labels or an internal development studio.
"They have very few first-party studios at Microsoft. Bungie's next Halo is the last one, Rare rarely puts out anything, you've got Peter Molyneux with his Fable stuff...but they don't have first-party development studios inside at Redmond or anywhere for that matter," he added.
"We do," he countered. "So rather than putting their money behind that, they've been going to Epic or Valve or BioWare to do what they did with Mass Effect, and that's where they throw their dollars.
He concluded by saying, "Candidly, we're not going to compete with Microsoft on that front, but what we have is a global business here. Our global business is bigger than 360's and will continue to get bigger than 360, and people are seeing that. We passed them in Europe and they don't even exist in Japan, and we're going to catch them and pass them here in the U.S. as well."
[via Industry Gamers]
In a bold move by Microsoft, their upcoming SideWinder X4 gaming keyboard will feature media controls that work specifically for iTunes instead of their own Zune media software. While investigating using our own X4 received for review, we found that this is indeed true: Whenever using the multimedia keys, iTunes is prompted to open instead of Zune responding to the actual key configuration shown in the Microsoft Intellitype Pro software.
After rebooting, reinstalling, rolling back the drivers and doing everything reasonable for a human being to do, I give up. I only use iTunes to sync my iPhone, and use Zune for all my music needs. I don't know if Microsoft decided they were afraid of another lawsuit, this time for hogging the media keys to their own software. But seriously, this is just a joke.
Microsoft announced its Windows Phone 7 Series today, which ties together Xbox Live games and Zune media onto a mobile device. Manufacturers are already building phones according to the software company, and the first line will be available this holiday.
"This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer's avatar, Achievements and gamer profile," the company said. "With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series."
According to Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg, Natal is still in "codename status," and a lot more information on it, including a possible "real" name will be coming at E3 later this year.
"I would say to expect us to share a news around E3 time," he told Joystiq at X10 last week. "But right now, we're obviously in a codename status. We just unveiled this thing about seven months ago at E3, so it's an entirely new category of games and entertainment.
"We are still in codename status, and we haven't shown any of the actual games. There's a lot more to share.
"We'll have more stuff at E3, more stuff at holiday — but a pretty good start to what we think will be our biggest year that we've ever had," he added.
For more information from X10, check out our coverage of it here.