Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Take that Microsoft!

Monday, June 4th, 2007

DVDsAfter the scare about getting banned on Xbox Live scared some people, the trusty creators of Xtreme decided to fight back. Last Thursday Microsoft discovered that there is a new exploit that will bypass all detections that Microsoft will throw up against the pirates. The newest firmware exploit goes by the name of “iXtreme firmware 1.0” and the creators say that it, “defeats all current and some future Xbox Live detection attempts”, meaning that the pirates can play online, too.”

The new firmware only works on Xbox 360s with a Toshiba-Samsung DVD drive, but a version for the Hitachi-LG is no doubt in the development stages as you read this.If you want to learn more about this then you can go see the original article here

Keeping Xbox LIVE Fair

Friday, May 18th, 2007

One of the great things about LIVE and the unified community is that we work hard to create a level playing field for all gamers and have a no tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior like hacking or cheating. As part of our commitment to our members, we do not allow people that we have detected to have modified their console to connect to LIVE. This is an important part of our efforts to try and maintain a fair gaming environment for the large majority of gamers that play by the rules. This topic is more important than ever given the recent release of the Halo 3 beta. As a result, some consumers that try to login to LIVE who we detect have illegally modified their console will get an error code (Status Code: Z: 8015 – 190D) when trying to connect to the service. These users will not have their account automatically banned from LIVE, but they will no longer be able to access the service from the console they modified.

We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox LIVE community through the use of a genuine, unmodified, Xbox console and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users.

Original Article

Zzk’s Install CD v3.0

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZYNF9f3r8I

Microsoft Launches Xbox360 Disc Replacement Program

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

“If, for any reason, you have a damaged Microsoft Xbox 360 disc and like to replace it, please review the information below:

THIS PROGRAM IS GOOD ONLY FOR XBOX 360 CONSOLE OWNERS IN COUNTRIES WHERE XBOX 360 IS SOLD AT AUTHORIZED RETAIL LOCATIONS.

This program only applies to games where Microsoft is the publisher, and is subject to availability. To check and see if your game is available for replacement, please review which Microsoft products currently fall under this program here. Link to Game List Page

You will need to print and complete the program form.
Once the products have been received by Microsoft, please allow four to six weeks for delivery.

The following game titles are currently available for this program:
Crackdown, Fuzion Frenzy 2, Gears Of War, Halo 2, Kameo: Elements of Power, Ninety Nine Nights, Perfect Dark Zero, Project Gotham Racing 3, Viva Piñata, Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Vol. 1”

Note that they’ll still ask you 20USD/15EUR/10GBP to replace the disc.

Original Article

IDC says the Wii will outship and outsell the Xbox 360 and PS3

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Nintendo Wii will outship and outsell the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2007 and 2008. They said that the Xbox 360 sold so well in 2006 because it had a full year lead in the market. The battle between the 360 and the PS3 are both heating up as they fight for the top spot by making all of their gaming towards the hardcore gamer unlike what the Wii is attracting. The Wii is trying to broaden it’s consumer market by attracting people that don’t game on a usual basis. IDC suspects that shipments of the Wii will capture a little more than a third of the worldwide market by the first quarter of ’08.

Billy Pidgeon, a program manager of IDC’s Consumer Markets: Gaming program says, “With the Wii, Nintendo is abdicating the specification war, leaving Sony and Microsoft to slug it out between themselves for the hardcore market. We believe concerted efforts to broaden the appeal of videogames beyond the traditional enthusiast/hardcore base will deepen the industry’s penetration. This is good news for an industry that seemed to be receding last year due to over-saturation of the core base.”

Xbox Live and PC Gamers Finally Unite?

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Games for Windows – Live beta announcement and invitation!

Are you interested in being part of a select group that is invited to help beta test a new service that lets PC game players connect with their friends on the Xbox through the LIVE gaming network? If you are, please read on.

The registration period for this upcoming beta testing opportunity will only be available for a limited time. To be considered you will need to complete the Games for Windows – Live Beta application survey.  Please only submit the survey once.

To fill out the survey:

1. Click here to access the survey.

2. You will be prompted to login with your Windows Live ID if you haven’t already done so.

3. If you have not completed the Connect registration form, you will be presented with the Terms of Use agreement then you will navigate to the Connect registration page. You must agree to the Terms of Use agreement prior to registration.

4. Once you have completed the Connect registration page, you will navigate to the survey page.

5. You must complete all of the questions and submit the survey to be considered.
 
Those who are selected will be contacted with more details in the coming weeks.  All eligible beta participants will be entered in a drawing(s) for prizes.

If you know of someone else who may be interested in participating please direct them to https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=363

If you have any questions please contact gbetasup@microsoft.com.

Thanks!

Microsoft Game Studios Beta Team

Taken From

SICKmods XERC 2 XE

Monday, February 26th, 2007


>> SICKmods released a new version of their XERC IR-mod for Xbox1:
[QUOTE]
The latest update to the XERC family is now for sale – the XERC 2 XE. This version includes a diode onboard so you can directly connect the MS DVD Kit dongle to the XERC to share the same IR receiver.
SICKmods XERC 2 XE

If you are unfamiliar with the XERC, it is a small device which allows you to turn your Xbox on and off with your remote. It also allows you to eject and emulate long and short power presses, to enter different boot modes if you have a modchip installed. The MS DVD Kit dongle can be internally hardwired to share the same IR receiver as the XERC 2 XE.

The XERC can be configured to work with many different remotes, and you can change the button setup at any time without opening your Xbox. It also includes a bonus LED Fader feature on the status light. For more info on the XERC, and to view a video of it in action, visit http://xerc.sickmods.net/.
[/QUOTE]

Original Article

Sales of Xbox 360 in India: The Real Story

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Xbox 360, the only next-gen console to be launched in India. Yet it is still one of the most mysterious gaming devices in terms of the total numbers sold. There were many reports on international gaming websites such as Kotaku, Joystiq and Gamasutra regarding the Indian chapter of the Xbox 360. So we decided to investigate the real story behind the Xbox 360 in India and opted to do a telephonic survey. We went to the Xbox website and found out the names and the numbers of the dealers who were selling the Xbox 360 in India. The stats were quite fascinating as we found that the premium version was doing much better than the core version.

We had to call the dealers as when we contacted Microsoft, they downright refused to reveal the Indian figures and said, “we only reveal global figures.� We faced a lot of problems as we had to call all the dealers. There were 509 dealers in India who sell the Xbox 360. We called up each and every one of them, literally. But, the thing was, some of the numbers given in the list were either wrong or switched off or were continuously ringing. Of course, there were some “smart� dealers too who refused to divulge details of their “products�. So in the end, we got the data from 123 dealers all over India.

Sales figures on Xbox 360 in India :-
# Total Xbox 360 sold: 839
# Total Premium Versions sold: 458
# Total Core Versions Sold: 235
# Total Xbox 360 Game CDs sold: 1359

Don’t be surprised when you add 235 and 458 and you don’t get 839. That is because some of the dealers did not want to reveal the exact figures.

Now let’s break those figures. Out of the total Xbox 360 consoles sold, 29% were in the Western Zone, 22% were in the Northern Zone, just 8% in the Eastern Zone while the Southern Zone, which sold most of the Xbox 360 consoles, has a mammoth share of 41%.

Coming to cities, we divided India on to 9, i.e. eight major cities and one Rest of India. Here’s how the figures mapped out:
# Mumbai: 198
# Kolkata: 49
# Delhi: 124
# Chennai: 83
# Bangalore: 104
# Hyderabad: 141
# Ahmedabad: 10
# Rest Of India: 130

These were the numbers of the console sold. Let’s talk about Xbox 360 game CDs. A total of 1359 Xbox 360 CDs were sold, out of which, 44% were sold in the Southern Zone, then came the Western Zone with 41%, followed by the Northern Zone at 13%. Here too, like the Xbox 360 consoles, Eastern Zone was last with just 2%.

Apart from all this, we had a chance to talk to the dealers themselves and many of them gave their valuable time and spoke about the Xbox 360 and Microsoft. Some of the comments what we received were nice, many of them not. This is what we observed after talking to most of them:

1. There are lots of enquires for the Xbox 360.
2. In some areas, most people do not know what the Xbox 360 is exactly.
3. Microsoft has not done enough to advertise the product.
4. The graphics of the Xbox 360 are amazing.
5. The price is too high. Indian consumers find the Xbox 360 costly.
6. However, the Premium version on the Xbox 360, which costs Rs. 27, 750 (approx $630) is doing better than the Core version, which costs Rs, 19, 990 (approx. $450). These prices are above the average monthly wage of the common Indian.
7. Most of the dealers refer to the Premium version as the ‘Pro’ version.
8. Most of the customers rather buy the PS2 and if they have more money, are waiting for the PS3 to release in India.
9. People also prefer the PS2 as pirated CDs of the console are readily available while there is no way to get a pirated Xbox 360 CD.
10. Most of the sales were good in the affluent areas of the city.
11. Dealers want that Microsoft should introduce more schemes like the ICICI one, and they want that scheme expanded.
12. Most of the dealers were unhappy with the sales, but some of them were very happy with the way Xbox 360 was selling at their shop.
13. 21 dealers scored ducks, i.e. they failed to sell a single Xbox 360 console or an Xbox 360 game.
14. There were 2 dealers who were so frustrated that they gave up the dealership for the Xbox 360 console.
15. There were many dealers who had just tied up with Microsoft and they were yet to receive stocks.
16. Most of the dealers were happy with the Kiosks and said people enjoyed the Xbox 360, but as we mentioned above, left after hearing the price.
17. There was a dealer who said, after seeing the Xbox graphics on the Samsung LCD, a customer instead opted for the LCD!

What we can make out is, that compared to the global figures, Xbox 360 is not doing that well in India. But the ones who will be happy to hear this are Sony, as Sony PS2 has become a rage over here. But on the flip side, if Indian customers find the Xbox 360 expensive, they will definitely find the PS3 steep too.

Disclaimer: The Xbox 360 sales figures mentioned on this page is on the basis of a survey conducted by us and it should not be construed as the “actual� Xbox 360 sales figures in India.

Original Article

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