Microsoft defend their extraordinary failure rate in today’s news roundup. In other news, Gran Turismo 5 looks set for a late 2009 release date, the Mass Effect DLC is prematurely revealed, and Nintendo come up with their own plan to counter Sony’s PSP Minis.
Microsoft Defend 54.6% Failure Rate
Following the report that the Xbox 360 holds an incredible 54.6% failure rate, Microsoft has intervened offering an official statement. “Microsoft stands behind the Xbox 360 as a superior entertainment console with one of the best warranties in the industry,” said a Microsoft representative. “We are constantly improving the design, manufacture and performance of the console through extensive testing of potential sources of any problems. Xbox 360 is pleased to maintain the title of 'most played console' and the vast majority of Xbox 360 customers have enjoyed a terrific gaming and entertainment experience since their first day, and continue to, day in and day out.”
Although they boast their console provides “superior entertainment” and holds the title of the “most played”, they don’t mention the numbers themselves, nor do they dispute them, or provide their own figures. Back in February 2008 Microsoft claimed their failure rate was a low 3% - a far cry from the 54.6% gathered by a third party (and therefore not influenced by Microsoft). Still it’s important to remember 54.6% may not be a reliable figure either, but anywhere near that is still frighteningly high. [TGDaily]
Gran Turismo 5 Set For 4th Quarter Of 2009 Release
Gran Turismo 5’s pending 2009 release date seems all but confirmed thanks to an official brochure handed out at GamesCom last week. According to the Brochure “The Ultimate Racing Game Returns” with a release date of “4th Quarter of 2009.” The game boasts over 1000 cars to race with, offering new NASCAR and WRC championships, so you better hope this brochure is accurate if you hope to play Gran Turismo 5 this year. [GTPlanet]
Mass Effect Downloadable Content Revealed
The Swiss Xbox site may have jumped the gun when it revealed the upcoming Mass Effect DLC. Rumours have been circulating for a while now, but confirmation from an official source is pretty undisputable. The content is named “Pinnacle Station”, costing 400 Microsoft Points according to the listing. Set on a “remote, top-secret space station” the content will feature 13 battle scenarios, offering roughly 2-3 hours of gameplay. No release date has been confirmed but couldn’t be too far off. [EuroGamer]
Nintendo Counter Sony’s PSP Minis
Following Sony’s announcement of PSP Minis - Bitesized downloadable games available for cheap prices – Nintendo have countered with their own strategy to match this. Nintendo is setting up a similar DsiWare initiative in an attempt to attract more indie game makers, who can make smaller games for cheaper prices.
To facilitate this, Nintendo will charge developers different royalty rates based on the size of their games, which will affect prices. A game selling for 500 Nintendo points for example would have to be smaller than 20MB, similar to Sony’s 1000MB limit for Minis. Nintendo haven’t confirmed when this will be set in motion, but given their position in the handheld market it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. [PocketGamer]