Xbox 360 Dashboard Redesign to Hit This November?
Leaked images of a redesigned Xbox 360 dashboard sneaked onto the internet last night, prompting speculation that a new GUI will hit this November to coincide with the new Family Plan Xbox Live Gold Membership package.
The new menus feature a smaller text font and drop down menus that are accessed from a horizontal bar. If that sounds familiar, this might be because it rips off bears a striking resemblance to Sony's XMB (Xross Media Bar). The displayed avatars also appear to be proportioned more realistically as compared to the current caricatured offerings- which is likely to allow them to better mimic full body motion when twinned with Kinect.
This is still a rumour at this stage since Microsoft have yet to make a formal announcement on the subject. However, I'd file this one under very plausible. [Thanks, Kotaku]
Tim Schafer: "I need to Keep My Mouth Shut"
Yesterday, Double Fine head honcho Tim Schafer publicly called Bobby Kotick a "total prick" and threw down on the Activision CEO's lack of respect and dogged devotion to the bottom line. After a terse (but fairly restrained) Activision reply, he's decided to tactically reign in his big mouth.
"I need to keep my mouth shut. It is shocking how you really burn bridges in the industry. You start your own company and you don't have to work for that jerky boss any more. Not naming names."
Schafer went on to explain that, regardless of his feelings about the controversial boss, the games industry is too small to make enemies over a throwaway comment. It's a shame, really, as it's great to see developers actually speak their minds every once in a while rather than hide behind standard noncommittal non-denials. [Eurogamer]
In other Double Fine news, apparently they now have four new games in the pipeline. Details are scarce at the moment, but apparently they will be smaller-scale parallel projects with lower budgets, dev teams and associated costs. Personally I think this could be a great fit for the company.
Atari to Revive Haunted House Franchise
XBLA and PSN provide the perfect marketplace (and the perfect excuse) to dredge up and reboot some classic gaming franchises for a new generation... and it looks like we're nearing the very bottom of the barrel. Atari has announced that the 30 year old Haunted House will be getting a next-gen revival, allowing us to return to the Graves mansion after a 29 year absence. Apparently it'll revolve around battling beasties, exploring the rambling mansion and some simple puzzle elements.
Haunted House has been dated for November for XBLA and PSN.... though I can think of a few more deserving franchises off the top of my head. I'm not sure that Haunted House quite has the nostalgia factor to be a major player- but why not have a gander at the trailer and see what you think? [1UP]