June 2006 - Posts
Over at the Xbox.com forums, I posed the question to my community. "Do you want to do a tourney?".
With the overwhelming response from many, the answer is yes.
Here are the basic details (few basic details):
- There will be a tourney
- I kinda want to keep it to forums.xbox.com people. That is where I will most likely set it up. So if you are not really a member of the community yet...what are you waiting for?!?
- I am leaning more towards a free for all tournament. But will see whats up. The initial rounds will be 1v1v1v1. Then the later rounds will probably be 1v1.
- There is no prize slated for this tourney. It is really about bringing the community together.
- I will decide more details about levels, starting money, and everything else once the game has released. I have a general idea, based on what we did at the community summit, but just want to play around a little more.
- Depending on the release date, the tourney would be about a month after the release of the game. Depending on when that occurs, depends when the tourney will go on.
- Ill be leaving for Syracuse University, for my sophmore year, in late August. If the game was to release at the end of July, then the tourney may be pushed to the first week of September.
I have a little poll going on here, so vote like you want. Please post in that thread if you have voted. Thanks, and hopefully this can be a great tourney that brings the community together.
Well, my friends over at Xboxusersgroups.com have deployed a cool new feature that integrates Xbox360 features (gamercard, friend requests, messages) into the blog. It is a free service that is very easy to use.
Give it a try. Gamertagblog.com
You can find mine here.
Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) and his video dude dropped by during EA's BFME2 Community Summit up at Microsoft. A good little video to watch.
Click to Launch Video
Just a little recap. My full coverage will release more towards the release of the game. Not exactly sure when at this moment.
We had about a 3-4 hr game session with just Multiplayer alone (about an hour to 90 mins with single player). Well, it was a blast.
Godfree (Gamertagradio.com, and fellow MVP) and I had about a 45 minute match, in which we each other's equals. He would try to attack me, and I would have enough to fend him off, and vice versa. It wasnt until about 30 minutes later that I used my secret weapon, which shall remain secret. Someone had to lose, and unfortunetly, it was godfree.
I came out victorious! (Here is my frightening victorious pose)
Thanks to Amritz Lay (EA) for the images.
Hey, a moderator at Xbox.com has created an Xbox robot. Wonder what Major Neson gamerscore is, or what zone he is in? Well, just instant message this IM bot and you can find out.
Better yet, try it out, then vote for it. I gotta support my fellow moderator.
Hey everyone, in association with Battle for Middle earth 2, there is a sweet ultimate PC sweepstakes. The PC looks amazing!
Check it out.
My name is Godfree from Gamertag Radio. Me & other community members were invited to Microsoft Studios for a EA Community event. We were the first gamers in the world that got the chance to play Lord Of The Ring Battle Of Middle 2 for the Xbox 360 2 weeks ago with the EA staff members. It was a whole day event and this was cool for them to invite us and got the chance to get our feedback about the game. What I'm sending you is exclusive audios from the event with the help of Chris from Dreamstation.cc in here you will get to hear our roundtable discussion audio, Peter Moore Q&A with the 8 invited guests about the game, whats next for the Xbox 360 and much more. Also the godfather of RTS games joins us during the event to give us a brief history of RTS, why EA decided to make BFME2 for the Xbox 360 & whats the difference between the Xbox 360 & the PC version. Please check these audios out and give us your feedback.
If you can subscribe to our podcast:
Episode #54 - Roundtable Discussion Coola (Xbox365) & Chris (Dreamstation.cc)
Episode #55 - Peter Moore Q&A @ Microsoft Studios
Audio Download Link: Episode #55 - Peter Moore Q&A at Microsoft Studios
Day 1 of the EA Community event at Microsoft studios. The first thing we started it off with a question & answer with Peter Moore
the head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division.
What Peter had to say about the mystery of J Allard out from the spotlight? When Street Fighter 2 will finally come out for the Xbox Live Arcade? Xbox 360 in Japan and much more. Enjoy this 30 min audio and post your feedback at the forums. Thanks to Chris Paladino from Dreamstation.cc for the audio equipment.
Episode #56 - Louis Castle "The History Of RTS Games"
Up a little late here, but just wanted to show you a post I have at the Xbox.com forums.
I went to an EA Community Summit, hosted at Microsoft's Game studios. I really would like to thank Aaron, Raj, Amritz, Louis Castle, Tony Hynes, Peter Moore, Cesar and anyone else that took part in getting this all done. Aaron did an amazing job getting 8 of us there within a 2 weeks notice.
Man, does it finally feel good to talk about this. I have talked with XUG's Rhyze to be able to host my little mini-game review, as well as my recap of the community summit and some questions that I am going to ask Louis Castle (if you have any, contact me).
Here is the questions I took from the Xbox.com community and got answered at the summit.
Head over to the PGR3 site, located here, and try to hit 170MPH (hold the up arrow, then the direction it says when you get to a car. When you "read", if you want to, the information, hit the up arrow again, and hold it down. You will then proceed to accelerate past the car.).
Once you hit atleast 170, hit the "J" key on your keyboard. You'll watch a funny little film. I don't want to ruin it, but just know the more powerful dude will always get the laugh.
Try to hit 170.
Just wanted to give a little update. Ill have some coverage of EA's soon to be a hit Xbox360 game, "Lord of the RIngs: The Battle for Middle Earth 2". But, until I get the OK to post my info, you can check out the official site at EA.
Battle for Middle Earth 2
I had an amazing time with the devs, xbox personel, and <not just yet :) >. You guys will get a little more info this monday. Make sure to watch Xbox Users Group. Actually, thinking of it, I will also have info here at my blog. I took some questions about the game to be asked to the developers. But, with all the info they gave us, I was able to answer almost all of them. So, ill probably be posting the info here.
Oh, and check out the fun we had the last night.
*Cue Price is Right Music*
The Backwards compatibility update includes not 1...but 21 titles that everyone will see. But wait...theres more! For those gamers in Japan, there is an extra bonus of 6 extra games!
*End Price is Right Music*
Peter Moore promised it, and here it is.
June 2006 Back Compat titles added:
1. 4x4 EVO 2
2. Amped® 2
3. Bad Boys 2
4. Big Mutha Truckers
5. DOOM 3®
6. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
7. Fatal Frame™
9. Grabbed by the Ghoulies™
10. Intellivision Lives
11. LEGO® Star Wars®
12. Minority Report
13. MLB SlugFest 20-04
14. The Punisher™
15. RalliSport Challenge
16. Silent Hill® 4: The Room
17. Spawn® Armageddon
19. Star Wars Battlefront™
20. State of Emergency
Additional Japanese-only titles:
Bistro Cupid 1
Thanks you to Major Nelson for the list. You can find his full post here.
Yes, yes it was. No features have been added, just a little problem with the localized chinese language.
"This small update improves character recognition for those users that are using the localized Chinese language version of the dashboard on their Xbox 360. This update is being delivered as a free update to all users worldwide"
Major's "Minor Update" Post
I have been reading about this new content. Let me tell you, as of right now, it could be the best content released on the 360 via the marketplace. Possibly even the best via XBL ever.
- Continuation of Co-op Campaign with 4 All New Missions in Chapter 2:
Coffee Plantation (Day) Obviously, this takes place on a coffee plantation embedded deep in Nicaragua. The map is littered with good cover options that appear in the form of a centrally located plantation house, coffee processing
equipment, growing coffee plants, and stacked bags of coffee beans ready for transport. The Ghosts overall goal of this mission is to eliminate the arms
dealer and shut down his operations.
Shipping Port (Evening) The next mission takes place at a shipping port and the Ghosts objective is to stop the enemy from smuggling weapons into the
country. The player will interact with rebel troops through warehouses, decks of ships, and on massive shipping cranes. This night mission provides an eerie
backdrop for Ghosts to move in take out the weapon shipments and ensure that the illegal smuggling of arms will stop.
River Depot (Dawn) This map puts the Ghosts in a jungle area that the Rebel forces have infiltrated and are using for storing and shipping out illegal
weapons. The goal of the Ghosts is to secure the warehouse facility that holds crucial information concerning the placement and shipment of weapons. As the
player weaves through the jungle and eliminates the patrols of enemies, they must also destroy all the weapon shipments and keep the Rebels from extracting
from the area. Massive trees, loads of weapon shipments, and enemy transports are unique characteristics of this mission.
Jungle Mine (Day) The last mission in this co-op campaign chapter takes place in a mine that is vital to the Rebel forces regime and the Ghosts are
tasked with securing the area, destroying the weapons, and eliminating the Rebel leader. The central location on this map is the mine itself and it provides a
place for multi-tiered gameplay surrounded by good cover. This mission provides a new gameplay experience for Ghost Recon fans and it will surely be one of the
more memorable missions in GR history.
8 Revisited; Relit MP Adversarial Maps: 8 of GRAWs favorite MP maps are revisited and relit for a new gameplay experience.
Fishing Village (Dusk)
Wharf (Late day)
Old Town (Morning)
Coffee Plantation (Evening)
Shipping Port (Sunset)
River Depot (Day)
Jungle Mines (Evening)
2 New Game Types with 1 Game Mode - Team Battle: 2 all new game types add upon GRAWs long list of available game types.
Team Blind Siege
2 New Camouflage Patterns: 2 all new camo patterns give new selections to further customize your character.
4 New Character Customization Faces: 4 all new character faces with new camo patterns give new selections to further customize your character.
4 new faces with new camo
5 New Weapons: 5 new weapons give you even further selection on how to take out your foes.
SR-25 SD (Marksman)
Description - "7.62x51mmSS - Combining the power of the SR-25 rifle with a suppressor, the SR-25 SD Sniper rifle is lethal, accurate, and quiet."
Game Info - Silenced, 20 rounds per mag, 10 mags (increased for marksmen), Single Shot, 8x and 16x Zoom
Description - "6.8x43mm - This updated version of the standard US carbine uses a larger round to provide greater lethality against both armored and unarmored
Game Info - 28 rounds per mag, 10 mags (increased for grenadiers), Single Shot and Full Auto, 3x Zoom
Description - "6.8x43mm/40mm - The standard M468 with attached M320 grenade launcher provides a versatile dual-purpose firing platform."
Game Info - 28 rounds per mag, 10 mags (increased for grenadiers), Single Shot and Full Auto, 3x Zoom
AK-47 LMG (Gunner)
Description - "7.62x39mm - Modified from the classic AK-47 the AK-47 LMG includes a 75 round drum magazine, and shares most of the characteristics of the
Game Info - 75 rounds per magazine, 6 mags (increased for gunners). Fully Auto Only, no zoom
SCAR-H SV (Rifleman)
Description - "7.62x51mm - This version of the SCAR-H rifle comes with a standard barrel and improved optics, making it better for long-range shooting."
Game Info - 20 rounds per mag, 10 mags (increased for riflemen), Single Shot, 2x and 4x Zoom
Thanks to Xbox365.com for the information. You can read their full article here.
Got word from Elle, about a week ago (sorry for the delay) about some new articles that went up at Xbox.com.
First, we have Elle's "Spring Foward" article, on the "Spring" Update to the Xbox360 console. You can find the article here, and in the Elle Archive.
Elle also gave us a heads up about some other articles:
Hopefully, everyone is enjoying the new update.
Less than a month after E3, the buzz about Microsoft gaming continues to gain momentum. While others in the industry are clearly focused on launching computers, we are squarely focused on delivering next-generation games and entertainment. And with a growing list of games awards, coupled with our recent Xbox Live spring platform features update, the Microsoft gaming story is top of minds this summer and beyond.
Awards: Recognizing Gaming Excellence
Not only will Xbox 360 feature 160 games by the end of the year, those games– and their counterparts on Games for Windows – represent the finest gaming experiences available on any platform. Windows Vista and many of the showcase titles from first- and third-party publishers had an incredible showing, garnering a flood of awards and nominations.
For the full list of the awards and accolades received at E3, please check out. http://gamerscoreblog.com/team/archive/2006/06/09/535618.aspx.
Windows Vista Beta 2 Release and Spec Information
On May 23 at WinHEC, Microsoft took one step closer to final Windows Vista code with the release of Windows Vista Beta 2 for IT professionals and developers with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. Windows Vista Beta 2 is a significant milestone for Microsoft and gamers, as the new operating system will offer innovative gaming features and an incredibly immersive entertainment experience for everyone from casual gamers to hardcore enthusiasts.
Microsoft also recently announced Windows Vista’s hardware specifications so that consumers can prepare for the launch of the celebrated operating system. "Vista-capable" machines must have at least an 800MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and a graphics card that can run DirectX 9. "Premium Ready" machines will need a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a graphics card that supports the new Windows Display Driver Model in order to run Windows Vista’s high-end features such as Aero-glass.
Spring Platform Features Update Brings New Features and Fixes
Earlier this week, Microsoft deployed its Spring Platform Features Update, a massive overhaul of Xbox Live features and other Xbox tools. While a complete list of updates is online at xbox.com, a small sample of the most popular features includes:
- New background download manager gives gamers the ability to queue up and download six high definition items at a time including playable game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, music videos and movie trailers while actively playing games or browsing the dashboard. As an added benefit, if gamers engage in multiplayer gameplay while downloads are in process, the new background download manager will automatically pause the download queue until the multiplayer session is complete ensuring a continuously optimal gameplay experience.
- Custom background music now continues to play without interruption during game loads and when transitioning from game to game or disc content.
- During music play, the music playback screen now showcase the artist, song title and time remaining on the song along with a visualizer showing which song on the playlist or album is currently playing.
- DVD movie bookmarking now allows gamers to pause a movie at any point, put in a game for gameplay and return to the movie at the exact point it left off.
- Improved DVD movie playback for a smoother, higher quality viewing experience, including additional VGA support.
Xbox Live Marketplace Updates: From Cards to Pirate Ships
During E3, "UNO" (MGS) hit Xbox Live Marketplace, and has since become the single-most successfully-demoed game on the service. Its demo-to-purchase rate is between 40-45% (depending on the day), beating "Geometry Wars'" (MGS) previous record of 39%.
Two major game updates hit Marketplace in late May. Racing enthusiasts can now download a free "Project Gotham Racing 3" (MGS) expansion that adds several Cadillacs from the popular V-series to their racing stable, including the CTS-V, the XLR-V, and the STS-V. Meanwhile Bethesda added the Thieves Den content to their "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" offerings, allowing stealth-based characters to take over and command a pirate ship and crew!
Hot Summer Games
Gamers know a good thing when they see it, and they are turning out in droves to get their hands on the latest high definition games on Xbox 360. The top five selling Xbox 360 games sold in the United States in May were:
- Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Take 2)
- Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (Ubisoft)
- Fight Night Round 3 (EA)
- Battlefield 2: Modern Kombat (EA)
- Major League Baseball 2K6 (Take 2)
The overall software attach rate for Xbox 360 is still a record-breaking 4.5 titles per console in the United States, and accessory attach rate remains at a record-breaking 2.9 units per console as well. As we head into the summer months, Xbox 360 gamers can’t wait to get their hands on upcoming favorites like "Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2" (Electronic Arts), "NCAA Football 2007” (Electronic Arts), the Xbox 360 exclusive "Chromehounds" (SEGA), the Xbox 360 exclusive "Dead Rising" (Capcom), "Madden NFL 2007" (Electronic Arts), and the Xbox 360 exclusive "Ninety Nine Nights" (MGS).
Additionally, the NPD Group released the findings of their PC Game Revenue survey which revealed that total U.S. consumer spending on Games for Windows Games reached $1.4 billion in 2005. Online subscriptions to specific Windows titles, such as "World of Warcraft" (Blizzard), and gaming web sites accounted for $344 million of the total. NPD's Anita Frazier stated, "The big message from this study is that as many have suspected, the decline of retail sales of PC Games does not fully reflect what is going on in that segment of the games industry. The total PC games market is approximately one-third larger than what pure retail sales have suggested."
As we head into summer and holiday, it is clear that the Microsoft gaming story has become the measuring stick for the gaming industry – and it's only getting better.
Special Thanks to Tony Hynes. Happy (late) Birthday again Tony!
Now, I want to say, that I respect all the nations in the tournament. But, that does not mean I want to see their games, over my own nation's games.
Take yesterday. We watched Mexico v Iran. It was a great game for Mexico, and I congratulate them on a great win...but, why do they show me that game yesterday, and yet today, they put the US v Czech Republic on ESPN2?!?
Why not have the possibility of almost EVERY American watch our national players compete, instead of limiting it to cable/satellite/fiber TV subscribers watch it. Is it about money? Who cares, Disney owns both stations (ESPN and ABC).
Why...dont we just rethink this, and try to make an educated decision, ok? Thanks.
BFME2 = Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2 (for the Xbox360).
Ill have stories/info early next week. I will probably be posting it at Xboxusersgroup.com, which can get the word out to a little more people. I will probably also post it here as well, so I don't jip you guys on info.
If you guys do have any questions, like I posted earlier, don't hesitate to send them in. Wednesday is probably the deadline for that.
Edit: Went to Microsoft, not EA.
Hey everyone, the event was great. Thanks to EA for everything, especially Aaron, Raj and Ameritz.
Ill have more info about what happened soon.
Ill be in Redmond and talking with the developers of the game. If you have any question, just submit them to me.
The best way, is to post them in the Xbox.com forums. If you want, you can use the contact feature up top. (Try to include a gamertag while you are at it. I dont want to take credit for the questions).
Ok, so a couple of you have probably seen Major's post on all those new Kameo Videos. You say SWEEET!, I can now use queued downloading feature to select 6 of them, walk away for a while and come back. Heck, I can just sit and listen to music now!
Well, when you confirm the download, you can cancel, view the active downloads or continue. When you click continue, it kicks you to the Game tips area. Annoying? I kinda though so...so, thats why I am telling you about this little work around. It isnt big, but if you hit the B button, it takes you back to the list of videos. Now, its easier to start all those downloads.
Yea, yea, so it wasn't that big, but it does help!
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