Archive for February 24th, 2007

Devhook v0.52.0100 released!

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

After almost two months of no releases, Booster has come out today with a brand new release of Devhook, v0.52.0100. While there aren’t any new exciting features in the latest release, the main difference is the ability to boot Firmware 3.11 from Firmware 1.50. While I’ve preferred to stay with Dark_AleX’s OE releases, I know quite a few people who would rather stay at FW 1.50, probably for nostalgia sake. The changes are so minor that there aren’t any new changes in the Devhook files itself, just a new folder called 311 in the dh folder.

Once downloaded, extract the contents of the MS_ROOT/dh folder into the already existing dh folder in the root of your Memory Stick. This means that if you don’t have an older version of Devhook on your Memory Stick, the upgrade files are useless. For that reason, here’s a link to the previous version.

Installing the previous version is as simple as following the instructions on the linked page. Then, just dump Firmware 3.11 using the dumper here, using the previous devhook’s firmware dumping instructions as a reference. Once it is dumped, just move the dump to the proper folder inside the dh folder and extract this devhook’s new files in there.


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New Platinum Hits Dropping Prices on 360

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

In last year’s fall rush, Microsoft slipped in an announcement
to start a line of “Platinum Hits” titles for Xbox 360 —
games offered up for the lowered price of $29.99. The original batch was Perfect
Dark Zero, Kameo, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Need for Speed Most Wanted. After plenty of waiting,

Microsoft has announced a whole slew of additions

The following titles will join the Xbox 360 Platinum Hits line-up on March 16:

  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Electronic Arts)
  • Burnout Revenge (Electronic Arts)
  • Call ofDuty 2 (Activision)
  • Dead
    or Alive 4 (TECMO Inc.)
  • Fight Night Round 3 (Electronic Arts)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Ubisoft)
  • Top Spin
    2 (2K Sports)
  • Rockstar
    Games presents Table Tennis (Rockstar Games)
  • This new round of lower-priced games provides a lot more variety than
    the previous — there should be at least one title for everyone this
    time around. And best of all, they’ll be out for the new price in time
    for achievement-hungry gamers to hit up the Old Spice Challenge. Go forth and game.

    What’s Wrong with Xbox Live Arcade?

    Saturday, February 24th, 2007

    “The answer is: Nothing,” Aaron Greenberg, Group Product Manager for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live told 1UP. Yet, Xbox Live Arcade’s recent history doesn’t support that. In addition to a spotty release schedule — one Joystiq summed up “Ms. Pac-Man, Lumines add-on, nothing, Root Beer Tapper, Paperboy, nothing” — two top executives (Greg Canessa and Ross Erickson) have left the group for PopCap and Sierra Games respectively. Furthermore, Sony’s PlayStation Network continues to evolve — Warhawk as a downloadable-only title won’t be an anomaly on the PlayStation Network — and Nintendo’s Virtual Console is consistently prolific, releasing at least three titles a week.

    That prolificacy hasn’t existed even in Microsoft’s ability to ship a title each week on Xbox Live Arcade. There have been multiple weeks where there’s been either nothing, or a content pack for an existing game. “We hear the feedback, I can assure you that these last few weeks of Xbox Live Arcade releases was not the way we planned it,” Greenberg said. While upcoming titles like Boom Boom Rocket show promise, where’s the sequel to Geometry Wars? “No new Geometry Wars at GDC,” Greenberg told 1UP. There will be a stable of Xbox Live Arcade games on display at GDC, some never-before-seen titles and some surprises. March, Greenberg promised would be a bit of a redemption for the platform: “March looks very strong from a release standpoint. Expect a storm of new releases, we are going to deliver and make up for February,” Greenberg said. Does that mean that there will be more than one title per week? “I cannot comment on that.”

    Sony’s premium studios are allegedly working on PlayStation Network titles. It’s been speculated that the Ico team — the team responsible for Shadow of the Colossus is working on a PlayStation Network title, with David Jaffe’s Calling All Cars serving as another example. What about Microsoft Game Studios involvement in Xbox Live Arcade? “You’re seeing a lot of major publishers getting involved in this market,” Greenberg said, citing EA’s recent Wing Commander Arena and Boom Boom Rocket announcements. “At GDC we’ll be sharing some first party stuff.” But that doesn’t mean that Microsoft’s first party is going to shore the load of Xbox Live Arcade development, “The focus for first party remains making products for retail,” Greenberg said. “This isn’t a major initiative from our first parties. First party will play a role there [in the XBLA space] but we’re not going to lead the charge.”

    Nintendo’s approach has been to consistently provide multiple downloadable games on its Virtual Console each week. So far, the Virtual Console has been a home for vintage titles, but that is soon expected to change. Speaking with 1UP at DICE recently, Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo’s Vice President of Marketing hinted at a budding indie-game program for Nintendo’s platform: “We actually have a fair number of them [indie-developed games] in our possession now. Some really are just amazing, creative stuff. It’s like having a baking contest and people come up with all of these new foods. You think ‘Wow, I’ve never eaten something like this before.'” Will Nintendo’s independent games initiative — however the company decides to brand it — rival Microsoft’s support via XNA? It certainly could. Regardless, Nintendo will likely continue to churn out classics on the Virtual Console — that volume isn’t something Microsoft intends to compete with.

    “Some people just want quality over quantity,” said Greenberg. “People have a minimum quality bar that they expect; we’re increasingly adding that to more and more of these titles.” That increased functionality includes co-op, HD support, achievements, new gametypes — but that functionality also comes with a price. When there are holes that appear on the release calendar it’s often because the games in question failed certification. Sometimes even the “back-up” games for a given week of release on Xbox Live Wednesdays fail certification: “[This week] We really did have multiple titles slip at the same time. That is not our plan going forward,” Greenberg assured. “We are excited to bring Alien Hominid out next week; we are excited to make up for lost time.”

    Are the recent weeks just a series of unfortunate events? If Microsoft is to be believed, they are. But the only way to really tell is to follow Xbox Live Arcade’s arc in the coming weeks. “People shouldn’t expect anything different from Xbox Live Arcade going forward,” Greenberg said. Lately, and to Microsoft’s credit they are aware, that’s the problem.

    Original Article