So, we hit you with a 20-minute video tour of the New Xbox Experience, but we’ve received a bunch of feedback where you guys were asking about the installation process of the new dashboard. Thing is, since we had already updated our two Xbox 360 units, we couldn’t go back and show how installation worked, since you can’t go back to the old interface once you’ve upgraded. Luckily, Major Nelson just put up a video showing how installation of the NXE works. Check it out above - as you’ll see, it’s all painless. November 19th is just five days away.
If your hopes at getting into the New Xbox Experience preview program were dashed on the two previous opportunites for you to get in, you may still be in luck. Major Nelson just announced on his blog that a third (and final) wave of acceptances will be sent out tonight - and they’ll be adding over 10,000 more Xbox Live members this time around. Of course, you had to have signed up for the NXE Preview Program a few weeks ago, as they aren’t accepting anyone who didn’t throw their name into the hat. The email notifying you of your acceptance will be coming from email@example.com, so be sure to let your spam filter know that it might be arriving. Good luck, and if you don’t make it, the official release is only six days away anyway.
Read More | Major Nelson
Can’t get enough wrestling action from the tube? THQ is launching its latest title “WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009” this week. Included in the roster are Dusty Rhodes, Randy Orton, Johnny Swagger and Beth Phoenix. In all there are over 60 wrestlers. Gamers can create custom finishing moves as well as images and highlight reels to share with others. Look for the launch of “WWE Legends of Wrestlemania” next April with 40 superstars and managers. You can pre-order Smackdown now for Xbox Live, Playstation 2, Wii, or Nintendo DS at a price of $39.99.
Read More | Smackdown Official Site
At the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft finally let everyone in on the date that their current Xbox experience would be ending, and the New Xbox Experience would be, er, beginning. We knew it would be coming in the fall, but the firm date is November 19th. We hope you’re ready to spend hours working on that perfect Avatar, because we are going to so own you in 1 vs. 100, despite having never seen it on television. The New Xbox Experience will go live for all Xbox 360 gamers across the world at the same time - no staggered launch here, folks. We must admit, we’re looking forward to it.
Here I am, about seven weeks after the launch of Soul Calibur IV, finally getting to bring you guys our thoughts on the game. Before we jump in, a bit of background on Soul Calibur IV. The game hit Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on July 29 here in North America, followed by a release in Japan, Europe, and Australia on July 31, and then finally the UK on August 1.This is the fourth installment in the Soulcalibur series, and it features a Story mode, as well as Arcade, Training, Museum, and Tower of Lost Souls modes. That last one is new to the series, and rewards you, as the fighter, for winning special battles. Also new to the series is the inclusion of a few characters from the Star Wars universe - namely, Darth Vader, Yoda, and the Apprentice.
The game comes just about three years after the release of Soulcalibur III back in 2005, and is the first Soulcalibur title to feature online play. Now, on to our review.
When you log in to Xbox Live today, you are gonna get a notification that a system update is available for you to download. We are here to let you down easy, and prepare you for disappointment. You see, we know that, like us, you are patiently waiting for that new Xbox experience dashboard that we saw back at E3. That is still scheduled for the fall. The update that you get today does nothing. Well, at least, it does nothing noticeable. According to our pal Major Nelson, today’s update “prepares for future growth of the service.” “Prepares”? What?
Nevertheless, go ahead and hit the install, just don’t expect anything fancy to come of it.
We’ve entered the auditorium here in the West Hall, and are currently waiting for the E3 2008 Xbox Media Briefing to begin. Very nice setup in here, by the way. Bunch of stage lighting, high definition displays, and…oh, even a mock living room setup. Snazzy. Anyhow, keep it locked here, as we will be bringing you live updates from the keynote as it happens. Any predictions on what we will be seeing announced today?
Oh, as for images, we will update the post with a bunch of those after the keynote ends. We wanna focus on bringing you the text updates for now, mkay?
We start with some Xbox 360 Street Talk, where apparently Microsoft went around town and interviewed people off the streets, and asked them about what they like about Xbox 360. Obviously, all good comments here. Now we get answers for questions like “What is a noob?”, “What does it mean to be ‘pwned’?”, “What does melee mean?”, “What does RPG mean?”, etc. Basically, what do average people know about video game terms. This is kind of like sitting through the advertisement trailers in the movie theater, the ones that come before the actual trailers.
Check out the rest of the keynote after the jump:
The internet has been set ablaze with hyperbolic phrases like “biggest day in US entertainment history” and “redefining entertainment” and “worldwide celebration,” all used to describe Halo 3’s truly mammoth first 24 hours on the market. Microsoft estimates that the game garnered $170 million in US sales in its first day, eclipsing previous records set by movies like Spiderman 3 or even the latest Harry Potter novel. In addition, Microsoft claims that over a million players went on Xbox Live to play Halo 3, making September 25th “the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history.”
All that remains to be seen is just how big of a sales surge the Xbox 360 will experience for the month of September and beyond.
Read More | Major Nelson
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
Here is some sad news for fans of one of the Xbox 360‘s best and most criminally underplayed games, Viva Piñata. Rare has officially confirmed that the game will see no downloadable content whatsoever. Following the announcement of a DS version of Viva Piñata, many fans had hoped that this news would presage the release of new piñatas, items, and features (specifically the ability for players to visit each other’s gardens), but apparently it wasn’t to be. A Rare developer cruelly crushed our dreams in response to a fan’s request, saying, “We aren’t doing any downloadable content for Viva Piñata because we are much too busy doing something else.”
Take special note of the italics. Do they imply the development of a proper 360 sequel? Only the ninjas that have been dispatched to Rare’s headquarters can know for sure.
Read More | Rare
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