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.
We've stopped counting the number of rumors suggesting Blu-ray hardware would somehow integrate with the Xbox 360 gaming console, whether as a built-in drive in a revised edition, or as an add-on accessory. The details would vary, but all the rumors shared one thing in common: They were all bogus. So why are we paying it any attention now? Because this time, the rumor's coming straight from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
During a video interview with Gizmodo, Ballmer spent a couple minutes talking candidly about the Xbox 360 and project Natal, but he appeared to be caught off guard when asked if Microsoft would adopt Blu-ray in a bid to take over the home theater.
"Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there," Ballmer began as he wiped his eye. "You'll be able to get Blu-ray drives, and Blu-ray drives as accessories."
Does this mean a Blu-ray add-on is in the works, or did Ballmer simply not word his answer carefully enough? We don't know, but when Gizmodo pinged Xbox spokespeople about Ballmer's answer, more fuel to the speculative fire was added.
"Our immediate solution for Blu-ray quality video on the Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we're not ready to comment."
In the past, Microsoft made it a point to quickly squash Blu-ray rumors, but that isn't the case this time around. Draw your own conclusion on what that could mean.
Here's some potentially bad news for Xbox 360 console gamers - according to market analyst Michael Pachter, the price of an Xbox Live Gold subscription will shoot up to $100 per year, perhaps as early as 2011. What the hell?
"You can't hook into Xbox LIve Gold if he's playing on a PC," Pachter said on how Microsoft seemingly abandoned the PC as a gaming platform. "That's the other problem - you really want to hook every gamer who has a 360, you want them to buy all their games on 360, play everything multiplayer, pay you 50 bucks a year so that, in a couple of years, it's a 100 bucks a year."
While the numbers might be up for debate, Pachter seems convinced that Gold subscription prices are definitely on the rise. But is he off his rocker?
Current Gold level subs run $50 per year, or half of where Pacther predicts pricing is headed towards. In return, gamers get access to online multiplayer gaming, the ability to stream Netflix movies to your console (provided you're also a Netflix subscriber), and a few other odds and ends. Minus a few proprietary features, it's all stuff you can do on the PC for free, so it would be a tough sell to up and double the price of a sub in a 24-month time span.
Would you pay $100 for an Xbox Live Gold subscription? Hit the jump and sound off!
Nvidia's Tegra platform continues to woo big-name customers, most recently attracting Nintendo, who reportedly is in talks with Nvidia to provide some extra oomph for its next-gen DS handheld console.
The deal marks a win-win situation for both involved. For Nvidia's part, no other handheld console would put Tegra in more hands, courtesy of the DS's 68.3 percent worldwide market share. And for Nintendo, tapping into Tegra gives the company's console a power boost sure to be well received by consumers and developers alike.
Until more details are released, we can only speculate on what the next DS might be like, but it's at least feasible that on top of the added muscle, it will also sport backwards compatibility with the existing DS library, assuming Theo Valich's sources prove reliable.
What will also be interesting to watch is how this relationship between Nintendo and Nvidia plays out in the home console market. Might Nvidia replace ATI as the graphics vendor of choice in whatever supersedes the Wii? We'll have to wait to find out.
Your PC’s hard drive is probably packed to the platter’s edge with hundreds of ripped DVD videos, gigabytes of digital photos from your camera, and tens of thousands of songs. And that’s not even counting the high-definition digital video from your last family vacation that you’re still planning to unload. But with terabytes of media just gathering dust on your desktop PC, you risk losing years of aggregated files when your hard drive inevitably gives out (don’t even think about backing it all up to the cloud). Our solution: Keep all your data backed up on a Windows Home Sever. More than just a generic NAS box, Windows Home Server maintains backups, streams media files, and works as a file share across your home network. And the best part is that you can build one yourself—we’ll show you how!
We're all about PC gaming first and foremost, but we also can't ignore the console wars, which have been heating up in a big way lately. Hot on the heels of a $100 price cut to the Xbox 360 Elite, Microsoft is now offering an additional $50 mail-in-rebate. That brings the price down to $250 for a console that was selling for $400 not that long ago.
Purchases must be made between September 22 and October 5, 2009 to qualify. Then just head over to the Xbox 360 Elite Console rebate site, enter 49710555 as your password, and fill out the online form. As with any mail-in-rebates, be sure to pay close attention to the instructions, and get your paperwork and UPC mailed in and postmarked no later than November 20, 2009.
If you're lucky, you can score an even better deal by buying through Dell and using the 15 percent off coupon code (6FWJ247J1P44CK). Tax still applies, but shipping is free, and after all is said in done, you'll have scored an Xbox 360 Elite for about $220. Stock comes and goes, so only the most patient penny pinchers need apply.
Looking for a noise-dampening cooling solution for your obnoxiously loud Xbox 360 console? A-Tech Fabriction might have just what you need, but after looking at the price tag, you may conclude it's not that loud anyway.
To be fair, the company's HeatSync Three-Sixty 'only' costs $700 (plus shipping, which runs around $25 for UPS Ground) without any add-ons. But should you decide you also want a one-piece rack mount faceplate, black or silver aluminum case feet, memory card ports, accessory ports, DVD drive isolation and machining (which attacks the main culprit of the Xbox 360's noisy cry for attention), and thermal control system, be prepared to tack on another $195, bringing the tally to just under 900 smackers. For $1,200, A-Tech Fabrication will ship the case with a complete Xbox 360 system already installed, or just under $1,400 with all of the aforementioned extras.
What you get in return is a rather attractive heavy-duty chassis constructed from heat-treated aircraft quality aluminum. And with both CPU and GPU cooling benefiting from the integrated cooling system, you might up your odds at staving off the dreaded Red Ring of Death. Just don't tell your significant other how much it costs, or she/he might ring your neck.
For every Core i7, GTX 295, and other technological marvels, there's a piece of hardware sitting on the other end of the technological spectrum that, for one reason or another, just didn't make it. Maybe the design was flawed, or in the case of HD-DVD, it simply lost the marketing battle to a competing format.
Whatever the reasons might be, CNet has composed a list of what it believes are the 25 biggest tech flops of the past decade. Ranking No. 1 on the list is the Sega Dreamcast console simply because after staying on the market for just three years after it was originally released in 1998, "it didn't make it."
Other items on the list include DVD Audio, Sirius satellite radio, the two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle known as the Segway, UMDs, and more than a few handheld devices.
Spy the full list here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think are the biggest tech flops of the past decade.
While Asus ambitiously prides themselves on being innovators in design akin to Apple, they’re taking aim at Nintendo in the video game console market as well.
According to Jonathan Tsang, the Vice Chairman of Asus, they have “polished off” a video game system that they claim will rival the Wii. “We have a product we think is better than the Wii. But the content is complicated,” stated Tsang in an interview.
Asus’ problem isn’t with the hardware currently, but rather with the software. They have plenty of ways to design and produce a system, but their support on the software side is lacking. A console with no games isn’t bound to be very successful.
“Sometimes it is a chicken-and-egg problem,” Tsang continued. “We don’t have the chicken, so cannot have the egg.”