Gears of War 2 will be released in November of this year by Epic Games and, even though I probably won’t get to play it much, I’m already excited. Check out the trailer and other goodies already available below.
From our little video section.
Providing a dramatic close to Microsoft’s 2008 Game Developers Conference keynote address, lead designer Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games announced that the heroic saga of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad will continue exclusively on Xbox 360 this fall withGears of War 2.
This highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster Gears of War delves deeper into humanity’s struggle for survival against the nightmarish Locust Horde, and takes the high-definition visuals to a whole new level.
“To our team the original game was just a tease, the appetizer to the Gears of War characters and new style of gameplay. We were so amped to get to the next chapter, and dig deeper into the universe of this franchise,” said Bleszinski. “Gears of War 2 is an even bigger, better, and more badass experience than the first game, and we can’t wait to get it in the hands of eager gamers this November.” Source: Gears of War 2 Announced
Here is the teaser trailer from gamevideos.com.
Major Nelson posted this on his blog, they have released a theme for Gears of War 2 to use on your XBox dashboard, it is called “Bare Your Teeth” Theme. They also have the trailer available to watch on your XBox 360, it is called “Duel” Teaser Trailer (HD).
Microsoft has done what some said they would not do, and what some said they would do, how’s that for making sense, they have dropped the price on the Xbox 360 by $50. Better still, if you live in Canada, they are dropping the price of it by $100!
Microsoft Lowers Price of Xbox 360 by $100 in Canada Price drop coincides with release of “Madden NFL 08″ on Xbox 360, one of many titles that make up the greatest holiday lineup in video game history.
Microsoft trims Xbox 360 price by $50 Although rumors of the price cut had swirled since last week, Microsoft didn’t make the deal official until late yesterday. Even then, the company did not tout the $50 cut as much as highlight how long it resisted discounting the machine. “The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360,” said Mitch Koch, a vice president in the entertainment division’s sales and marketing group, in a statement.
Xbox 360 System update They also released an update to Xbox Live to allow you to use some wireless guitars that are coming out.
Madden NFL 08 Side-By-Side PS3 And Xbox 360 Comparison Game Videos compiled some footage of Madden NFL 08, which you all know by now has one distinct difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions ? the PS3 version will run at 30 frames per second, while the 360 version will run at 60.
Halo 3 themed Xbox 360 Don’t forget about the Halo 3 themed [tag]Xbox 360[/tag] coming out in September.
360 Cores and Premiums with HDMI? An inside source spills the beans According to my source, Microsoft wants to cut through all their existing inventory of hardware. They will then quietly “soft launch” a new version of the Core and Premium hardware in late August or September that will include an HDMI port. It’s also expected that this new hardware will feature the 65nm process for the CPU and quieter DVD drives. The new hardware will ship in boxes very similar to what we saw on store shelves now, but there will be a small “call out” on the box so you know you’re getting a system with the HDMI connection.
Some enterprising young individual shows you how he fixes his red rings of death problem. Don’t try this at home folks, the man is a trained professional.
Here are a couple interesting articles for you gamers. Their is now some new content on the Xbox Live Marketplace for Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, a free map, a preview of some maps you have to buy, new maps and some gamerpics.
Name: Ground Zero Map
Availability: All Xbox Live regions
Dash Details: Ground Zero Map Lead your army against a rival commander in this 1v1 map featuring a huge meteor impact crater. Download this free map now! This map is also playable in single-player skirmish mode.
Name: Map Pack 1 Developer Interview
Availability: Not available in Japan
Dash Details: Get the developer?s insider tour of the five intense map designs available in Command & Conquer 3 Map Pack One. Discover the key strategies to dominating the Tiberium fields and securing victory, whether you play GDI, NOD or Scrin!
Name: Map Pack 1
Price: 500 Points
Availability: Not available in Japan
Dash Details: Map Pack 1 What kind of commander are you? Are you a defensive specialist, an air-superiority junkie, or a clandestine operations fanatic? Whatever your preferred strategy, test your skills and your wits against other commanders in five new multiplayer maps. Ranging from brutal 1v1 shootouts to gigantic 2v2 showdowns, this pack has something for every commander. Includes: Black?s Bigger Battle | Tiber River Valley | Frontier Fracas | Tiberium Gardens III | Tournament Desert Redux. All maps are playable in single-player skirmish mode as well.
Name: Factions Picture Pack
Price: 80 Points
Availability: Not available in Japan
Dash Details: Whose side are you on? Support your favorite Command and Conquer 3 faction with these gamerpics! Includes 4 gamerpics: GDI, NOD, Scrin, and unique Tiberium EA logo. Source: Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars content (some Free)
Xbox360 Achievements.org has posted the achievements that will be available for Halo 3. There are 49 achievements worth a total of 1000 points. Check the full list here. 9 missions with a skull for each, achievements for beating the game on normal, heroic and legendary and many more.
I almost forgot, yesterday I red an article that said Microsoft paid Take 2 50 million dollars for exclusive episodic content for the Xbox 360 for Grand Theft Auto IV. 25 million for content that will come out by March of 2008 and another 25 million for content that will be released later that year. GTA has a huge following so they are trying to pull in more gamers to the Xbox 360 side with extra content for GTA IV. This is surely a good way to do it, exclusive content for your favorite game might persuade you to pony up the money for a new system. Either that or someone will find a way to port it to the PS3.
Lots of interesting stuff to read.
Encryption vendor claims AACS infringes its patents, sues Sony Certicom has done extensive work in elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), and the patents in question build on this work. The patents have already been licensed by groups like the US National Security Agency, which paid $25 million back in 2003 for the right to use 26 Certicom patents, including the two in the Sony case. Now, Certicom wants Sony to pay up, claiming that encryption present in several key Sony technologies violates Certicom patents on “Strengthened public key protocol” and “Digital signatures on a Smartcard.”
Zune Firmware Update 1.4 Improves [tag]Zune[/tag] Shuffle experience, that’s about it.
How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab The investigator (who could only speak anonymously) wonders aloud what other networks are right now being controlled by criminal enterprises whose presence is entirely concealed. Computer crime has shifted from a game of disruption to one of access. The hacker?s focus has shifted too, from developing destructive payloads to circumventing detection. Now, for every tool forensic investigators have come to rely on to discover and prosecute electronic crimes, criminals have a corresponding tool to baffle the investigation. This is antiforensics. It is more than technology. It is an approach to criminal hacking that can be summed up like this: Make it hard for them to find you and impossible for them to prove they found you.
Meet the people of the Web A new series from Yahoo!, exploring the most interesting stories and characters on the web.
The Scariest Google Street View Finds Have you been caught doing something with the Google Street View?
Surfing Sex Offender Caught with Mum’s Spyware Pedophile is caught using a keylogger, like Teen Minder, installed by teens mom. This is what I have been saying for awhile, watch your kids, you don’t have to watch everything, just check in occasionally.
New firmware prevents modders from being banned A new firmware version has just been released for all 360s with the TS-H943 DVD drive preventing against any Xbox Live detection attempts and allowing the 360 to play all “backup” game copies.
New Details On Gears Of War Update…. New Achievements Looks like Epic is going to be taking advantage of the extra 250 gamerscore via DLC, and we will be getting some more Gears of War achievements.
Microsoft is adding Instant Messaging to the Xbox platform on Live, allowing the 6 million Xbox Live users to instant message the 260 million users on the Live Messenger service. You will be able to chat with up to six users and you will be able to plug in a USB keyboard to use.
Microsoft announced this evening that they will be integrating Live Messenger into the Xbox platform on May 7, linking 260 million Live Messenger users with 6 million Xbox Live users. Xbox Live users will be able to chat with up to six contacts simultaneously by plugging a USB keyboard into the Xbox. Gamers will love this. The video below shows some of the new features (taken from Kotaku). Source: Microsoft Adds Instant Messaging To Xbox
From the press release from Microsoft,
?Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox LIVE has really become the largest social network on television,? said Jerry Johnson, product unit manager of Xbox LIVE at Microsoft. ?For our growing community of 6 million on Xbox LIVE, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbox 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox LIVE users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360.? Source: Instant Messaging Comes to Xbox 360, Expanding the Largest Social Network on Television
Other features that will be added include:
A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check the Achievements list.
Enhanced family settings features for Xbox LIVE communications enable different defaults for video chat and voice chat.
A new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade lets Xbox LIVE members access the content they seek ? whether it is game content or TV shows and movies (available in the United States) ? from one place on Xbox LIVE.
Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox LIVE members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. Expanded Tell a Friend capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox LIVE Arcade games.
New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.
Here is a demo video that Techcruch linked to.
For all of your Gears of War nuts, Newline studios has won the feature rights for the Gears of War movie and will be produced by Temple Hill. Gears of War has won awards in 2006 as Game of the Year from Game Developers Choice Awards and the Interactive Achievement Awards, has sold over 3 million copies, making it the fourth best selling game overall, and is the number one game on Xbox Live. It certainly is fun to play online, there are SO many ways to take people out, and SO many ways to tell them how much they suck afterwards, making it very popular with the younger generation.
Story, which is only modestly developed in the game, concerns a world reeling from an invasion by aliens known as the Locust. A small group of elite soldiers, including main character Marcus Fennix, who is rescued from prison at the beginning of the game, fight to retake the planet Sera for its surviving humans.
Epic developed an extensive back story in hopes of utilizing it for a film as well as potential novels.
“I’m not a gamer, but what blew me away about ‘Gears’ was how it captures the mythology of a war mission and how high the stakes are,” Godfrey told Daily Variety. Source: New Line nabs ‘Gears of War’
Several other popular games are in the pipeline to be made into movies as well, like “World of Warcraft” at Legendary, “Metal Gear Solid” at Sony and “Hitman,” on which Fox is starting production March 29. Even though past movies featuring gaming titles have not fared well, who here suffered through Doom, they feel Gears is stacked in their favor, and promise not to hurt the story or game at all.
Call me a geek, but isn’t that sweet looking? The picture above is of the original 360 dev kit and not the actual Xbox 360 Elite, btw. Engadget has posted that they have confirmed with “trusted sources” that Microsoft is developing an Elite version of the Xbox 360, but it will be produced in limited quantities, it will cost $479, it will be all black, 120GB HDMI hard drive, it will run cooler, but it will not have a DVD drive or a wireless adapter. That seems crazy, they need to integrate this stuff into the box because it’s so cheap and cut us some slack. More at Engadget.
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Oh, and he is creating a new restaurant chain called uWink, where customers submit their own orders from touch-sensitive screens at the table, where they can also play games like poker or trivia. He said he saw an opportunity for a chain because no one was doing social gaming, gaming became violent and lost women gamers and then they became complex and long and lost the casual gamer.
Even if you only have a passing familiarity with the gaming industry, you?ve probably heard of Nolan Bushnell. Best known for founding and running gaming icon Atari and later the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain?which brought kids, pizza and video games together?Mr. Bushnell is the founder of more than twenty companies and a member of both the video game and consumer electronics association hall of fame.
I think Sony shot themselves in the foot? there is a high probability [they] will fail. The price point is probably unsustainable. For years and years Sony has been a very difficult company to deal with from a developer standpoint. They could get away with their arrogance and capriciousness because they had an installed base. They have also historically had horrible software tools. You compare that to the Xbox 360 with really great authoring tools [and] additional revenue streams from Xbox live? a first party developer would be an idiot to develop for Sony first and not the 360. People don?t buy hardware, they buy software. Source: Red Herring
He also said he thought that the PS and PS2 were accidental hits, and he wouldn’t be surprised if a year from now they were struggling to sell 1 million PS3′s.
Today is a day full of Microsoft announcements, this one details how they are teaming with media companies like CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS Inc.), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, to digitally deliver high definition content straight to your Xbox 360 over an Internet connection, making it the first gaming console to deliver such content to users.
Beginning Nov. 22, on its first anniversary, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console in history to provide high-definition TV shows and movies directly to gamers in their living rooms. Xbox 360 gamers will have access to the full-length TV shows as downloads to own and movies to rent via download from the Xbox Live? network, the worldwide leader in online distribution of high-definition gaming and entertainment content. This announcement also brings with it several additional ?firsts?:
- For the first time, consumers will get an integrated gaming and entertainment experience on a gaming console that includes downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies. This new full-length content adds to the ever-expanding number of choices gamers have on their Xbox 360, whether they want to play games or play a movie on a disc or as a download in high definition or standard definition.
- For the first time CBS will deliver high-definition download-to-own TV shows including ?CSI,? ?Jericho,? ?Numb3rs? and remastered ?Star Trek? episodes; gamers can buy them and watch them repeatedly.
- For the first time on any platform, NASCAR.COM will deliver download-to-own condensed versions of select NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races from ?Race Rewind.?
- For the first time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make 50 of its most intense fights available for download as well as select episodes from the original season of ?The Ultimate Fighter? reality series.
The following shows and movies will be available:
?Robot Chicken? and ?Aqua Teen Hunger Force? from Adult Swim, ?CSI,? ?Survivor? and ?Star Trek? from CBS, Emmy and Peabody award-winning ?South Park? and ?Chappelle?s Show? from COMEDY CENTRAL, ?The Real World? and ?Pimp My Ride? from MTV, ?Avatar: The Last Airbender? and ?SpongeBob SquarePants? from Nickelodeon, ?Skyland? and ?The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival? from Nicktoons Network, ?M:i:III,? ?Nacho Libre? and ?Jackass: The Movie? from Paramount Pictures, ?Carpocalypse? and ?Raising the Roofs? from Spike TV, ?Race Rewind? provided by NASCAR.COM, Select episodes of the original season of ?The Ultimate Fighter? reality series and the ?UFC: All Access? shows from the UFC, ?Breaking Bonaduce? and ?Hogan Knows Best? from VH1, and ?The Matrix,? ?Superman Returns? and ?Batman Forever? from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
I couldn’t find any pricing info on the Xbox Live site or the press release.