PR guru Major Nelson has announced that Microsoft are rolling out a new dashboard update today... but before you get too excited, it's only basic maintenance. "No new features," I'm afraid. We'll have to wait for the big new content update that adds TV providers, a new dashboard design and Kinect integration - which will arrive in late November if recent reports are to be believed.
We recently brought you the news that Microsoft has finally decided to offer a slew of TV providers as part of the Xbox Live experience; including BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, Channel 5 and LoveFilm. A new report from GigaOM suggests that Microsoft are "targeting" a November 25th launch for the update, which will also include Kinect voice controls, voice recognition and improved gesture controls. The dashboard will also be redesigned in a new format that Microsoft has branded "Twist Control."
We'll keep you posted.
Another week, another few indies slamming Microsoft's support of indie devs. Following Ron Carmel's disparaging comments about XBLA's restrictive content policies earlier this week, Eufloria designer Rudolf Kremers has suggested that PSN was the obvious choice for their game, as self-publishing on XBLA would have been 'impossible'.Click here to read more...
While it's a great machine for games, the Xbox 360's multimedia prowess lags behind the PC and especially the PS3, what with Sony's lacquered behemoth boasting all manner of mass-media features. However, that all looks set to change, with Microsoft announcing all new partnerships with the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and even LOVEFiLM to provide additional services to Xbox LIVE.Click here to read more...
Just a quick PSA: the free Peer Review DLC pack for Portal 2 is now available for download (as promised) on Xbox Live, automatic Steam update and the PlayStation Network. The co-op testing track delivers new challenges for P-Body and Atlas, the adorable robotic BFFs from the original cooperative campaign, as well as some singleplayer content and leaderboards.
Note, however, that the content pack weighs in at a massive 1.37 GB. It might be time for a bit of spring hard drive cleaning for console owners.
Busy fortnight, this one! To celebrate the release of Gears of War 3, Microsoft are holding 'Gears of War 3 Golden Wings Week'. Play any match on Xbox LIVE from 20 – 26 September to unlock the Golden Lancer and Golden Hammerburst multiplayer weapon skins. Furthermore, FIFA 12 lands on September 27th for all you footie fans there, be sure to check out our hands-on preview here, and let us know what you make of the much-vaunted new features in the demo.Hit the jump to see what Xbox LIVE looks like over the next couple of weeks...
This fortnight it's all about Crimson Alliance, BloodRayne and a little gem we checked out at Gamescom from Digital Reality, called SkyDrift. You can read our preview of it here. FIFA fans should get ready for this year's demo, out on September 13th, and you'll be able to experience the buzzword-heavy new features for yourselves. We'll be very eager to hear what you make of them, consider our own hopes and reservations post-convention season.Hit the jump to see what Xbox LIVE looks like over the next couple of weeks...
A quick update for all you Red Dead Redemption fans still wandering the wastes; a DLC pack is due in less than two weeks. Dubbed 'The Myths and Mavericks' pack, it adds a handful of new multiplayer characters to romp around with, a bunch of new maps to master and, best of all, it's all absolutely free! It must help being so damn rich you have to sell stuff for free just to loosen your pockets.Click here for more details
Here it is: the fortnightly roundup of everything you need to know about what's going on in terms of Xbox LIVE. Black Ops: Rezurrection is out, the Indie Summer Uprising is a-go-go, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike will send fighting fans into enraptured throes of bliss and if you have a Kinect, Hole in the Wall will help you become the contortionist you always dreamed you could be...maybe.In any case, hit the jump to see what's coming in the next two weeks...
Virtua Fighter fans, prepare to rejoice; as Sega has today announced Final Showdown, an upcoming expansion pack to 2007's fighter, overhauling all the mechanics, updating the animations, including new modes and online features, not to mention two brand new characters to master. It'll be available on Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network in the Summer of 2012, with Sega dubbing it the "definitive version of Virtua Fighter 5".Click here for more
Until the inevitable Game Of The Year edition inexorably shambles out of the EA machine, this is probably the best time to get your hands on Mass Effect 2's downloadable content packs. Gold members will be able to pick up Kasumi's Stolen Memory for 280 Microsoft Points and Lair of the Shadow Broker for 400 (a 50% saving for both), but arguably the most important purchase is Arrival. This piece of DLC bridges the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the events of next year's sequel... and is relentlessly linear and disappointing. BioWare have been cutting a lot of corners recently, and shoehorning you to go down a particular route just to force Shepard back to Earth in the next game seems... well, a bit lazy to be honest.
Still, you'll probably want to get it while it's cheap. And nasty.
As always, click the links to hit up the marketplace and queue up the downloads. Remember to log in, Gold Members!
UPDATE: Microsoft has also slashed the price of several first-party DLC packs for one day only.
Just a quick PSA for Call Of Duty: Black Ops fans. The gleefully leaked Annihilation DLC Map Pack is out now on Xbox Live, which contains four multiplayer maps (Hangar 18, Drive-In, Silo and Hazard) - and a brand new Zombies map entitled Shangri-La. It will set you back 1200 Microsoft Points, and you can read up on its new features in our previous trailer analysis.
The Annihilation Pack is also headed to PS3 and PC, though a date has yet to be confirmed.
If you're sick and tired of downloadable content, you might want to read up on Josh's recent DLC tirade... and join in the debate!
Deadly Premonition was one of last year's most outrageous, divisive and - in our opinion - best games. Developer SWERY65 has announced that his insane cult hit is headed to Xbox Live's Games on Demand so that more players can get involved with arguably the best story ever told by a videogame... but that he's also seeking funds to create a new title. We have the full details below.Click here. So says Mr Lester.
We're all giddy with excitement for the Metal Gear Solid and Zone of the Enders Collections here at Dealspwn. Having been huge fans of the originals, the idea of playing them on the big screen - in HD, no less - is a mouthwatering proposition. But if you're shelves are already fit to burst with retro titles, fret not; as Konami have revealed both collections will be released on the Playstation Network and Xbox LIVE, should you prefer a digital release over a boxed copy.
It's unclear quite how big both collections will be. On PS3, I'm sure Konami will have no trouble fitting either bungle on a single blu-ray disc. However, they might encounter more trouble squeezing it onto the Xbox 360's smaller DVD format. The Metal Gear Solid Collection includes Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater and Peace Walker, whereas the Zone of the Enders Collection features both the original title and its sequel, The 2nd Runner. [Eurogamer]
Microsoft have been keeping a tight lid on things pre-E3 but, in a recent blog post, Corporate VP of Corporate Comms. Frank X. Shaw suggested that Microsoft might be focusing a little more on delivering a broader entertainment experience across all of their current devices 'and, of course, other devices to come'.
How very teasingly cryptic.Click here to see what Shaw had to say, and why it made me cross...
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 shipped with an interactive comic that allowed players to experience the story of the original Mass Effect and create a save file based on their choices. EA and BioWare have now released Mass Effect: Genesis as an expansion pack for ME2 on Xbox Live... but rather than a free extra, it will set you back 320 Microsoft Points.
Speaking as a fan of the franchise, I would absolutely urge you to not download it. The original Mass Effect, despite its flawed combat, provided one of the most powerful and intricate storylines to have ever featured in a game (far surpassing the sequel), and you owe it to yourselves to snag or rent a copy to experience it first hand. Plus, 320 Microsoft Points will snag you 4 Indie games or a full XBLA title during a Deal Of The Week.
You can also get the original Mass Effect for about £4 on PC, which I'd recommend to anyone - PS3 owners included - who happen to own a half-decent rig and fancy playing Mass Effect 2.
Will you be downloading Mass Effect: Genesis? Or is this a case of one DLC pack too far? Let us know (or thoroughly rebuke me for my impertinence) in the comments!
Call of Duty: Black Ops' latest DLC offering, the Escalation Pack, is now available on Xbox Live for 1200 Microsoft Points. Get it here.
As well as four new competitive multiplayer maps, the Escalation pack contains a new zombie campaign featuring an all-star cast. Machete? Buffy? Freddy Krueger? George Romero?! Boomsticks? Deadites? Oh my. You can read up on the full details here, and we'll let you know as soon as we hear a release date for the PS3 and PC versions.
In other Black Ops news, the full game is also available to download on Xbox Live for the decidedly rubbish price of £44.99. With no resale value. Yawn, moving 0n. In a more exciting development, there'll be a double XP weekend starting this Friday.
Will you be downloading the Escalation Map Pack? If so, let us know what you make of it!
It's not for nothing that I had a dream in the night that all of my personal computers suddenly became sentient and robbed me blind, in spite of there being no evidence of fraudulent activity as yet, the PSN crash has left the industry (and tech lovers everywhere) slightly shaken. With that in mind, Microsoft has moved to try and reassure the 30 million+ folk signed up to Xbox LIVE, giving a statement to Eurogamer in which the company asserted that 'the security around our Xbox Live service and member information is our highest priority'.
This comes following yesterday's slight alert on the LIVE support site, warning against possible phishing attempts over Modern Warfare 2's online multiplayer.
Microsoft refused to comment further on the current PSN situation. [Eurogamer]
With the PSN currently in a bit of state, Xbox LIVE appears to be skipping along as per ususal with most aspects of the network healthy. However, a red warning sign has flashed up on the Xbox support site next to Matchmaking, with Microsoft warning of 'potential phishing attempts' on Modern Warfare 2. The report reads as follows;
Users may experience difficulties with the following services:
Users may receive potential phishing attempts via title specific messaging while playing Modern Warfare 2.
We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.
Still, there's always Reach or BBC2 or Mortal Kombat. Hopefully it's not the flap of the butterflies wings before the tornado hits and is probably just Microsoft being very cautious, but do remain vigilant just in case. [Microsoft]
The PSN shutdown situation is bad news for most gamers, but as a bitter rival, Microsoft believes that they stand to profit from Sony's misfortune. Speaking to Electronic Theatre, a Microsoft rep states that they feel "no joy" over the problems facing the Playstation Network... but that the "robust" Xbox Live will experience increased usage over the bank holiday weekend. Since Xbox Live is currently free for all subscribers throughout Saturday and Sunday, they're almost certainly right,
Of course it’s regretful that Sony is encountering issues at such a busy time, and Microsoft takes no joy in the problems gamers are having playing their favourite games online.
That being said, we are expecting Microsoft’s robust online network to see an increase of traffic from those gamers who own both systems. Being able to play their games via the Xbox LIVE network could make all the difference for some gamers, and the Xbox Nations event will allow all of them to do just that – whether they have a Gold subscription or not.
We want to hear from you, folks. Has the PSN outages forced you onto Xbox Live? Are you taking advantage of the Xbox Live Nations weekend? Or have you decided to enjoy the beautiful weather? Have your say in the comments!