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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
The Xbox Community Ambassador campaign now has five more tier levels added to it, which include awards ranging from free Avatar swag to the Xbox Live gamer spotlight. The Xbox Community Ambassador program rewards Xbox Live members who assist other members through chat or the forum, acting as a reputation system that awards XP that can be redeemed.
The new tiers are listed below:
- Level 11, gold star avatar t-shirt.
- Level 12, gold star avatar hat and 10 tickets for periodic ambassador sweepstakes.
- Level 13, gamer spotlight, ilomilo on Xbox Live Arcade.
- Level 14, one month Xbox Live subscription and 10 ambassador sweepstakes tickets.
- Level 15, avatar spacesuit, 800 Microsoft Points.
If you're interested in becoming an ambassaor, you can apply here.
Read More | Xbox Community Ambassadors
One of the updates you can expect when the Fall Xbox Dashboard Update drops is the addition of a web browser. That's right, after seven years, the Xbox 360 will finally be getting Internet Explorer. During the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing, it was mentioned that a browser would have been cumbersome previously, but with the introduction of the Xbox SmartGlass app alongside Kinect integration, users will be able to easily browse the web on their Xbox 360 console.
Looks like Microsoft is finally ready to bring Internet Explorer to the Xbox 360 after many years on the market. It turns out that the company has been testing an Xbox-optimized version of Internet Explorer 9 that supports the Bing voice search feature that's currently available on the platform. As with most things that Microsoft builds for the Xbox 360 these days, IE will have deeply-integrated Kinect integration, allowing users to speak web pages into existence, and wave to navigate. No word yet on availability, but E3 is just a few weeks away, and we'd bet that we'll see it in all its glory there.
Read More | The Verge
Registration for the closed beta of Family Guy Online is now open! We're not sure how long it'll take them to fill the spots, but we're fairly certain that, given the popularity of the franchise, that you'll wanna jump on over and get signed up sooner rather than later.
Read More | Family Guy Online
Microsoft didn't have enough time to cover everything that's coming down the pike for Xbox Live with the fall dashboard update, but they sent us an email detailing some of the new hotness that they didn't talk about on stage, and we're super excited to hear that profiles will be able to be saved to the cloud. What does that mean for the average Joe? Well, this means that instead of saving your games to your hard drive or USB stick, you can instead save them to the web. Same goes for your Xbox Live profile, along with achievements, friend list, etc. One thing I've always hated about having two Xbox 360 units in the home is that I need to remember to grab my USB stick and bring it upstairs and down if I want to log into Live. Now, I just enter a username and password on any Xbox 360, from any location, and I am logged in. The days of recovering a Gamertag will be history come this fall!
Cloud-based gaming service OnLive announced today their intent to offer a Netflix-like package for gaming. Dubbed “PlayPack,” the $9.99/month flat-rate plan beta is immediately available to OnLive MicroConsole owners, and available to all OnLive subscribers on January 15, 2011.
The OnLive press release reads:
"OnLive's PlayPass and PlayPack plans give players maximum flexibility to try or buy video games. Top-tier titles are available as individual rentals and purchases, while everything else is available at a flat rate. With these programs, OnLive is effectively offering the equivalent of an iTunes/Netflix combo for gaming."
OnLive Game Systems began shipping today as well, and the PlayPack beta option is available today free of charge for MicroConsole owners. Though, after January 15th the PlayPack flat-rate plan of $9.99 takes effect. PlayPack’s library of games will grow steadily to house 40 games through January 15th, and much more in the future. The current PlayPack beta library includes:
- Prince of Persia, Ubisoft
- NBA 2K10, 2K Sports
- Tomb Raider: Underworld, Square-Enix
- F.E.A.R. 2, Warner Bros
- Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Ubisoft
- Unreal Tournamentv3, Epic
- Vin Diesel Wheelman, Ubisoft
- LEGO® Batman, Warner Bros
- Defense Grid Gold, Hidden Path
- Saw, Konami
- Puzzle Chronicles, Konami
- King's Bounty: Armored Princess, Katauri Interactive
- Ninja Blade, From Software
While it's not the awesome upgrade that PS3 Netflix received, Wii owners can now stream movies directly to the console without having to get our of their chairs and find that red disc. Just head into the Wii Shop channel and download the free Netflix channel, put in your account credentials, and you'll be ready to roll. It still isn't HD by any means, but hey, it's discless.
I frequently ask myself the question, “what if Modern Warfare 2 was like Pokémon?”, and at last all quandaries have been put to rest courtesy of Blastedroof.com. The new gaming community has fused the two unlikely gaming franchises into what can only be described as utterly brilliant. Included in the seven minute video are some memorable internet personalities such as the British gamer who “played 7hrs straight”, the senior citizen bum from the bus fight video, a MW2 guru who makes video walkthroughs, and a nod to Infinity Ward’s own Robert Bowling. The video pokes fun at noobs, and different styles of play (rushing vs. camping) as well.
Who says gamers don’t need love? A Philadelphia Craigslist ad has surfaced likening the squishy feeling of romantic entanglement with the cold hard random shapes of Tetris. “The long piece” - the piece that Tetris fans long for in all of their games is what this Craigslist seeking gamer longs for in his love life.
“You know how in Tetris you keep getting all these pieces you don’t want and you keep piling them up on right side of the screen, wondering how many squares you can get in a row when suddenly the long piece comes out of nowhere and for a moment makes everything disappear? Sometimes I feel as if my dating life is like that. I am waiting for my long piece.”
If that isn’t poetic than I don’t know what is! C’mon, there has to be some gamer girl out there for this guy. You don’t even have to be a gamer to appreciate this level of wittiness. Someone just give this guy a long piece… ahem, you know what I mean.
Read More | Craigslist
While the original Halo: Combat Evolved may look as ancient as they come to some of today’s gamers, the former VP of Microsoft’s game publishing division was curious to how Halo would fare in the retro days of Atari 2600. The result? Halo: 2600! Halo 2600 began as a way for Ed to get his hands dirty in some 2600 code work, but the resulting experience transformed into a complete retro classic showcased at the Classic Gaming Expo. To solidify the retro experience, Halo 2600 even sports a cartridge modeled in true 2600 fashion. Below, Ed discusses his experience making Halo 2600, and a bug that seems to fit into the Halo experience:
“It’s around this time that I discovered the existence of what I call “Magic Land”. I was working on a bug with the boss encounter and accidentally found myself completely outside the 64 room map. I was wandering through memory that was never intended to be interpreted as part of the map but the code was doing the best it could to interpret what was being thrown at it. Strange, misshapen monsters attacked me in even stranger ways as I wandered through this bizarre land that I had unintentionally created. I left a bug or two in the final game to allow others to find and explore this strange landscape as I did.”
While waiting for Halo: Reach to hit stores, get your Master Chief fix here.
Read More | Halo 2600
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