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  • Xbox 360 News

    by Published on July 23rd, 2011 11:17
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    fbBuild v0.32 has been released, which will allow to create a freeBOOT-style NAND image and reboot JTAG-able 360s into the latest 13599 dashboard!

    What's new/fixed:
    * fixed yet another bug in the ini parser (affected lhelper.xex integration)
    - corrected bad block detection bug on large block dumps (nandmu)
    * correct mobile dat extraction on small block dumps for big block controllers
    * corrected wording (oops!) of ECD option in ini sample file
    * added option to ini file to try to retain NAND MU data on big block machines
    * added option to ini file to set which power-on reason starts xell when not using oldvd/nodvd
    * -v messages are now automatically logged to a file regardless of specifying -v on command line
    * core and ini updated to allow specifying a power reason to cause dual NAND !SWITCH command
    * add 13599

    http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/...lyPBdPUwfs.php ...
    by Published on July 23rd, 2011 11:16
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Tuxuser released a new version of his homebrew application that will allow you to easily update just the XeLL part of your freeBOOT NAND. It'd been updated following fbBuild v0.32's release, and adds support for the 13599 kernel:
    XeLL Updater for freeBOOT - v1.2
    for Kernel 9199, 12611, 12625, 13146 and 13599
    Based on dashlaunch installer by cOz

    This little tool is needed to update XeLL in Flash/NAND properly. The freeBOOT/fbBuild Rebooter has a different layout compared to XBR or pure-XeLL images so the XeLL binary isn't at the beginning of a NAND Block anymore.

    Using the old updslot0/updslot1-Method (which worked on XBR and XeLL Images just fine) you would render your freeBOOT console non-booting (until you reflash it externally of course).

    This application however works for freeBOOT/fbBuild It reads the specific part of the NAND, injects the XeLL binary and writes the blocks back.

    Use it on Single-NAND freeBOOT only (9199, 12611, 12625, 13146 and 13599).
    Official Site: http://libxenon.org
    http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/...lZuJcAjBoa.php ...
    by Published on July 23rd, 2011 11:15
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    cOz released a new version of Dash Launch build for JTAG 360s.

    What's new/fixed:
    - added hddalive
    - added 13599
    - relocate external files so old files will no longer be used accidentally
    new path is \default.xex dir\VERSION\files
    ie: GAME:\13599\patches_jasper.bin

    http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/...ElophLUmyf.php ...
    by Published on July 23rd, 2011 11:07
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Rare boss Scott Henson has explained why the Microsoft-owned UK developer is squarely focused on the Kinect Sports franchise and not hardcore genres such as first-person shooters.

    Speaking to Eurogamer in an interview at the Develop conference in Brighton this week, Henson described some of the genres often linked to the Microsoft-owned UK developer as "limiting".

    "It's interesting when people ask questions like, well, will you do this kind of game or that kind of game?" he said.

    "Some of those things I find limiting in terms of what the experience is. If you go talk to just an average person about what we've done with Kinect Sports, honestly, it's magic to them.

    "They cannot get their head around the idea they're moving and then there's an avatar on the screen doing the exact same thing. Just that simple thing. And then turn it into a sport and a whole bunch of activities with skill ranges and refined movement and big movements, it's an incredible thing.

    "Hopefully people get as excited about that as we do. We know there are millions of customers out there that are getting excited about it."

    Kinect Sports has sold over three million copies since its launch alongside Kinect in November last year. A sequel, Kinect Sports: Season Two, is due out later this year.

    But despite the success of Kinect and Kinect Sports, Rare is often asked when it will dip into its rich back catalogue of games.

    "When I get questions like that, hopefully people get the sense that what really excites me is what we're doing now and how we're driving and leading innovation," Henson countered.

    Henson also said the sheer popularity of sports, and in particular football, validates Rare's decision.

    "[Sports] has got to be one of the most accessible and evergreen categories in entertainment. You could make the definitive statement it's the most accessible category in entertainment.

    "If you think about the number of people that engage in sports, it's the majority of the planet.

    "The Premier League has two billion people who in some way, shape or form tune in. So then you have two billion people who have a general notion of what football is. That's a pretty cool basis to start an experience on.

    "That fuels and motivates us as well."

    In March this year images of the cancelled game that began as Perfect Dark 2 emerged.

    Perfect Dark Core was to feature a more moody Joanna Dark than the one depicted in Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero.

    Before it was cancelled in 2009, the player controlled a male character. The game was still an action first-person shooter, but had mechs.

    Xbox 360 game Perfect Dark Zero launched in 2005 to a 7/10 Eurogamer review. The original was remade for Xbox Live Arcade last year.

    Henson told us he doesn't get sick of being asked when Rare will once again make a hardcore game.

    "No, I don't get sick of it at all. One of the great things about Rare is it's got this great heritage and history people have passion around. I grew up on Rare games.

    "I don't get sick of it. I would like for people to really understand our future is bolstered by the history we have, but we're buoyed by the innovation that's ahead of us."

    Asked whether Rare may create a FPS with Kinect elements, perhaps for a Perfect Dark sequel, Henson said, from a technical point of view, "there is no reason why it can't be done".

    "I've seen plenty of experiences that it can be done."

    But, "For Rare's part, there is a huge opportunity for the studio and for experiences and for the audience for us to continue to raise the bar with sports.

    "That's where our focus is, and that's what we're going to continue to push on. There is a massive opportunity there, not just for Season Two, but even further, for us to continue to push the boundaries around that."

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...rares-priority ...
    by Published on July 23rd, 2011 11:05
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Kinect will not encroach upon the core FIFA football-match gameplay, EA Sports vice president Andrew Wilson has told Eurogamer

    "The core FIFA gameplay is very, very strong based on the control mechanism we currently have," Wilson said.

    "I'm not sure that we want to screw around with that if you will.

    "What we're looking for," he added, "is how can a Kinect experience be additive to that without de-focusing or de-prioritising that core 11 on 11 twitch gameplay that happens on the pitch which, to be frank, the controller does a very good job of facilitating."

    FIFA 13 remains the target for Kinect's FIFA debut, Wilson re-confirmed. A Kinect team at EA Sports is experimenting with newly received developer kits and the results, Wilson said, were surprising.

    "We have already seen abilities and opportunities and capabilities of that technology that we didn't think were there."
    Andrew Wilson, vice president, EA Sports
    "We're in pre-production right now. We have a core Kinect incubation group that's looking at various different capabilities of Kinect. We have already seen abilities and opportunities and capabilities of that technology we didn't think were there," Wilson said.

    "Based on some of the new technology in the SDKs we're getting, there's some things we can do there that give a greater granularity of control and fidelity that we didn't know were there. That points to what I think could be a very promising opportunity for us.

    "What we're seeing is: through optimisation that Microsoft has done, and that some of our engineers are doing, there is potentially some cool stuff that we can do."

    Kinect headers and volleys? Kinect Wembley? Kinect wall-ball? Kinect goal celebrations? Kinect dives? Kinect four? Oh the possibilities.

    Andrew Wilson's boss, Peter Moore, took to Microsoft's E3 stage to announce planned Kinect support for mega-franchises FIFA, Madden NFL and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. His pledge of Kinect allegiance was a surprise, given his trepidation months earlier.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...crew-with-fifa ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2011 20:31
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Xbox Live Arcade's portfolio director Chris Charla has admitted that the average price of a game on the service is increasing.

    Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at the Develop conference, Charla stated that prices on XBLA aren't subject to the same downward pressure as other digital retail platforms.

    "If you look at Live Arcade, and do the math, and look at the publicly available sales numbers, you can see that average prices on XBLA have crept up over the last few years, which has been an interesting trend because on some app markets there's been a race to zero as fast as possible," he said

    "We've seen a little bit of the opposite happening. I don't really know where prices are going to go - ultimately, that's set by the market - but it has been really gratifying to see that people are willing to a premium price for digital content."

    Average prices on XBLA have crept up, which has been interesting because on some app markets there's been a race to zero as fast as possible
    Chris Charla, Microsoft
    In 2009, 21 of the 86 games released were priced at 1200 Microsoft Points. That figure rose to 27 out of 85 games released in 2010, and 2011 already has 20 games confirmed at 1200 points, with a number of significant releases due before the end of the year.

    However, the proliferation of more expensive games has coincided with a rise in quality. Charla claims that the average Metacritic score for Xbox Live Arcade releases has risen by 12 points since the start of calendar year 2008, challenging widely held assumptions about where to find the best products.

    "Sometimes, when [developers] talk about Live Arcade they're like, 'We want to do a boxed quality game on Live Arcade', and I'm like, 'What does that mean?' I can point at a bunch of 38 and 42 and 56 metacritic scoring boxed games, so it actually kind of pisses me off."

    "I think the games that we're shipping - a Limbo or a Castle Crashers - are as good as anything on the market."

    For Charla, the "beauty" of the XBLA service is that it allows games to be "the correct size," so the experience doesn't suffer in the pursuit of scope.

    However, when questioned about the possibility of free-to-play games appearing on the service, Charla had less to offer.

    He pointed to Magic: The Gathering, Magic: 2012 and Pinball FX 2 as examples of the service experimenting with micro-transactions, with Pinball FX 2 performing "extremely well".

    "For us that's a really interesting model, and we're always looking to be the pointy end of the spear when it comes to experiments, and that's kind of where we're focused right now."

    Charla wouldn't comment on free-to-play games on XBLA, but he believes that developers underestimate how open the company is to new ideas, and the company expects innovation on the service to be "game-led."

    "Sometimes people get this incorrect impression about Microsoft, that we're very hide-bound or set in our ways, and just because somebody might not have been seeing everything that we're doing, they might think that Microsoft will never do that."

    "The reality is... it's actually a pretty dynamic company, and always eager to look and learn. We want to do things right, so we might take our time, but we're always eager to see the innovations people are bringing us."

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...es-creeping-up ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2011 20:24
    1. Categories:
    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News

    If pre-orders are anything to go by EA's on the right track with Battlefield 3 ahead of the game's release this October.

    According to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, channel checks "indicate that pre-orders are roughly comparable to those of Call of Duty: Black Ops last year, which has gone on to sell over 20 million units".

    Creutz expects EA's game to be a "major hit" and has upped his first year sales forecast from eight to eleven million units, although he added that Modern Warfare 3 pre-orders are tracking ahead of both BF3 and Black Ops, confirming reports from retailers GAME and GameStop.

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...k-ops-analyst/ ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2011 20:20
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    The Star Wars Kinect Xbox 360 hardware bundle announced this morning will set you back £349.99.

    That's the price retailer GAME's started taking for pre-orders of the limited edition 360.

    In case you missed it, this is what your money will get you:
    Kinect Star Wars game
    Custom R2-D2-themed Xbox 360 Console with custom sounds
    White Kinect Sensor
    Custom C-3PO-themed Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
    320 GB Hard Drive
    Xbox 360 Wired Headset
    Kinect Adventures game
    Exclusive downloadable content

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...osts-pound350/ ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2011 20:19
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Ohio-based Impulse Technology is suing Microsoft for allegedly infringing on patents it holds for technology that tracks users' movements and lets them play games without a controller.

    Impulse claims that Kinect infringes on seven of its patents covering a "wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions ... and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by use of a camera."

    According to Patent Arcade, eight game makers - including EA, Sega, and Konami - are named as defendants in the suit too. They're also accused of making exercise games, sports titles and others that violate the patents.

    Impulse is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, interest, attorneys' fees and costs.

    In January Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft, labelled Kinect the "fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history".

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...r-kinect-tech/ ...
    by Published on July 22nd, 2011 09:32
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Microsoft's financial reports for its Entertainment and Devices Division show that Xbox 360 revenue grew by 45 per cent for the year, while the device itself shipped 13.7 million units, an increase on 2010's 10.3 million.

    Profit from EDD for the quarter was $32 million. The report also noted that the 360 has been the top selling console in the US over the last 12 months.

    "EDD revenue increased primarily reflecting higher Xbox 360 platform revenue. Xbox 360 platform revenue grew $2.7 billion or 48 per cent, led by increased volumes of Xbox 360 consoles, sales of Kinect sensors, and higher Xbox Live revenue," said the firm.

    The report also showed a 12 per cent ($119 million) rise in research and development costs for the division over the year, due to an expanded team, and an increase in marketing costs of 12 per cent.

    Across all divisions Microsoft's sales for the quarter was $17.37 billion, a rise of eight per cent, and a profit of $5.87 billion, a rise of 30 per cent.

    Overall Microsoft sales for the entire fiscal year was $69.94 billion, which represented a $23.15 billion profit.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-units-shipped ...