Rather than mourn the passing of your Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis (from relevance, mind you -- we're well aware some of you still have a functioning SNES or Sega console stuffed in your basement), dreamGEAR's giving you a chance to relive old times with a throwback-style controller designed for the Wii.
The new controller looks almost identical to the old SNES pad, but unlike the original, however, this one comes with six buttons on the front, giving it a bit of Sega Genesis DNA. The ultimate love child, perhaps?
Not quite, but it does complement the assortment of old school titles available from Wii's Virtual Console section, and because it comes with six buttons, you're a Street Fighter download away from dredging up days of killer combos (and remembering how much more fun it was to play at the arcade).
Best Buy's Outlet Center has the dreamGEAR pad in stock for $15.
Have you heard of XBMC, the open-source, multi-platform media frontend? If not, you soon will as we put the finishing touches on a related how-to guide with plenty of advanced tips and tricks, but in the meantime, check out what resourceful modder Richard Wileman managed to do with his old Xbox.
We're talking about the original Xbox here, the little black box that most of us have long since retired. But rather than toss his up on Ebay or Craigslist, Wileman pretty much redesigned the unit from the ground up, sticking the Xbox's guts into an aluminum chassis and giving it a few other upgrades.
There's a full size 2.5-inch hard drive, a new DVD drive, an IR port, and even a little LCD to help keep tabs on the playlist.
For gaming on the go, it's probably a better idea to pack a PSP or DSi in your carry-on luggage than to stuff an Xbox 360 in your suitcase and hope it makes it in one piece. It's not that the luggage handlers play a game of kickball with your suitcases, but do you really want to risk having your $300 console tore into?
That's exactly what a man named Adam claims happened to him, who wrote to the consumerist complaining that US Airways destroyed his console after telling him everything would be hunky-dory.
"I was flying out Logan Airport and I checked my Xbox 360 in my baggage," Adam writes. "The agent assured me that here would be no problem with it. When I got home I found that they had put a little Ziploc bag on top of my things, and the bag was filled with tiny metal components that used to be in the Xbox. It's broken and they're telling me tough luck. Any advice?"
Already given, Adam--see above. But it's too late for that now, assuming Adam isn't pulling a fast one. Seems like this is the kind of thing that would warrant more than just a single paragraph description. And with no accompanying pic, color us skeptical, though the possibility is duly noted.
Nintendo's Wii console is starting to grow up. No, you still can't watch Blu-ray movies, or even standard DVDs, on the game console, but the best selling (and least expensive) current-gen console is going to integrate Neflix's online streaming video service.
Netflix is already available on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, and up to this point, Nintendo has been content to focus solely on gaming. According to a report in The New York Times, however, Nintendo may be feeling the pressure to compete on a larger scale than just console games, which are having to contend with a rise in cheap (smartphones) and free (social networking sites) gaming alternatives.
"You have to wonder if people are going to buy prepackaged $60 videogames in the future," said Mark Mahaney, managing director for Internet research at Citigroup. "If you are a console maker, you better quickly hurry to add more functionality and features to your console."
Wii owners will need a broadband subscription and have at least a $9/month Netflix subscription to enjoy the streaming service, which is a better deal than Xbox 360 owners get, who must also have an Xbox Live Gold membership.
Dreaming about what the Xbox 720 (or whatever Microsoft decides to name the Xbox 360's followup console) will be like? Well, keep dreaming, because the Redmond outfit has no plans of replacing the four-year old console any time soon, and is instead focused on Project Natal and other ways of extending the console's lifespan.
"I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal," said David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management. "The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet."
Microsoft is concentrating on bringing Project Natal to the Xbox 360, which the company indicated should be ready for the 2010 holiday season. After that, it's anyone's guess what else Microsoft has planned, especially if, as Hufford suggested, the console hasn't even reached its midpoint yet. Could Blu-ray finally be in the Xbox 360's future? Probably not.
"We love our prices right now," Hufford added. "I don't want to say that technology stops, but we believe we have a high quality console, and we stand by that quality with an unprecedented warranty, so we think we're in a good place now heading into the Natal era."
Pandora's upcoming handheld gaming console is just about ready for retail, but should you be excited? At least one fan forum member is, who was invited by the company to test out a pre-production model and was so impressed that he "considered stealing it."
In a video demo posted to YouTube, one of the developers shows off the handheld's nub controls, which he uses manipulate Mario in Mario 64 through emulation software. The nubs are essentially a pair of low profile thumbsticks, and will probably be a welcome addition to handheld gaming.
Some of the other features a keyboard, touchscreen, a TV-Out port, and plenty more. In short, it's real, it looks pretty awesome, and it's coming soon.
This week's edition of the Freeware Files may seem a little unusual, but hear me out. A number of you faithful Freeware Files readers are going to be receiving (or have received) awesome gifts from Santa/your parents/Best Buy this holiday season. Trust me--I checked the list myself. Caught up in the frenzy of new toys, phones, and gaming devices to play with, you've probably neglected your poor ol' PC for the time being.
A number of the goodies you're playing with actually have unique little third-party tricks for interfacing directly with your desktop or laptop. Yes, that's right. You can actually use the non-computer components and devices from your living room or pocket to enhance your normal PC use. And these aren't just little remote desktop hacks that let you see your PC's screen on your phone or something. I'm talking about hacks that blur the line between your PC and your game controllers or phones, unlocking new usefulness for your desktop system with devices that are anything but.
So, if you're the proud owner of one of these products, click the jump and see how you can use them to enhance your PC experience:
Up to 1 million Xbox modders were pretty pissed to find that they had been banned from Xbox Live following the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the biggest launch in entertainment history. The mass ban was intended to prevent pirated copies of the highly anticipated game from spreading, a notion Microsoft will now have to defend in a class action lawsuit filed against the company.
According to the lawsuit, the timing of Microsoft's widespread ban may have resulted in more Xbox Live subscription sales than if the bans had taken place before the release of Halo 3: ODST and CoDMW2. The lawsuit also claims that some of the bans locked out users who had modded their consoles for reasons other piracy.
Director of Programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb (better known as Major Nelson) is a few weeks late on this one, but we still give him props for a pretty hilarious Achievement issued to Microsoft: Shipped Windows 7. Unlocking the novelty Achievement adds a billion points to Microsoft's Gamerscore (even if Apple gets the assist).
"We've been a little busy around the Xbox offices getting ready for the Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM, and Zune Video marketplace release coming up. We did, however, wanted to recognize the occasion the best way we know how: with an Achievement! We had a banner made up for everyone on the LIVE team to sign, then we hung it up in the lobby of the main Windows building," Hryb wrote on his blog.
It looks like Walmart is gearing up for Black Friday a little early this year. How so? The mega-chain has begun advertising several one-day in-store specials slated for this Saturday November 7th at 8AM.
Among the sale items is an Xbox 360 Arcade console for $199, which will be accompanied by a $100 gift card. That essentially brings the price down to just $99, provided you can make use of the gift card.
Other sale items on tap for the one-day special include a 15.6-inch HP notebook with an Intel Celeron processor for a shade under $300, a Blu-ray player for $150, a 42-inch 1080p Sharp LCD TV for $498, and a few more items.
According to Fudzilla, this is just the first of ongoing Saturday specials that will continue until Black Friday.