Preorders are up for the GAEMS (that's not a typo) G155 portable gaming case, or "mobile gaming environment," as the company likes to call it. Sporting a redesigned shell, the new G155 now supports both Microsoft's Xbox 360 console and Sony's slim version PlayStation 3. Pop open the lid and there's a 15.5-inch LED HD display with HDMI, so as long as there's an outlet where you're going, you're good to get your game on. More specs and pricing after the break.
In one of the strangest tech demos of Mobile World Congress 2011 to date, Microsoft has been showing off a tech demo of a Windows Phone 7 working with an Xbox 360 Kinect game. Read all about it and peep the video inside.
We're not going to spark a debate over consoles versus PCs (not intentionally, anyway), but without question, one of the big advantages of PC is the keyboard. Trying to type with a control pad simply stinks. The solution? Suck it up, because it comes with the territory of being a console gamer. Alternately, you can shell out for a third party peripheral. Turns out there's another way to make typing on a gamepad less painful.
What we love most about the Kinect isn't the motion controlled gaming, but the innovate software hacks programmers are coming up with. One of the latest comes from researcher Akihiro Nakamura from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan. Nakamura took the OpenNI API and developed a hack that lets users control their Roomba devices with a series of gestures, replacing the need to bend over and push buttons.
Mad Catz, one of the biggest players in the third-party peripheral market, just scored a major win by convincing Microsoft to let it produce and sell audio headphones co-branded under Mat Catz's Tritton and Microsoft's Xbox 360 brands, Mad Catz announced (PDF).
Under terms of the deal, Mad Catz has the worldwide rights to manufacture, market, and sell licensed, co-branded wired stereo headphones and exclusive rights to produce licensed, co-branded wireless stereo and Dolly 5.1 headphones for the popular console. The new line of headphones will ship in time for the 2011 holiday shopping season, and incidentally, Mad Catz claims it will mark the first time that licensed and co-branded wireless cans will be available for the Xbox 360.
Jennifer Zdenek lives in Seattle and has an 11-year-old son diagnosed with autism. One of the ways he copes with his disability is by logging time on Xbox Live racking up achievements. Little Julias Jackson signed on to play last week, and to his and his mother's surprise, Xbox Live had taken away his achievements (nearly 1,500 of them) and labeled him a "cheater," Seattle's local Fox News affiliate reports.
"It is pretty much his only outlet and his only friend, because of autism," Zdenek explains. "It disgusts me that they did this to my child... if you have no friends and have no life outside of your home and this is all you do, you know because of your mental illness, then this is pretty devastating to him."
Zdenek says she called Microsoft and spoke with two people, one of which was a supervisor, but neither was any help. She was then referred to Microsoft's legal department "by address only."
Microsoft says, "The only actions that we take are to correct the player's current Gamerscore, and to label the player as a 'cheater.' This label can be observed on Xbox.com and through the player's view of their Gamercard on a console or computer that is connected to Xbox Live. The player can still legitimately gain future achievements. The player's experience does not change in any other way."
Furthermore, HardOCP reached out to Microsoft, who explained that even though it might not have been Julius or his mother who fudged with the account, they feel certain that someone did in order to boost his gaming score.
Stephen Toulouse, Director of Xbox Live Policy and Enforcement at Microsoft, apparently confirmed that somone at the home was cheating on the account in question.
Get ready to step into the hot tub time machine and warp back to late 2005, when the Xbox 360 was new and in short supply. Now just over 5 years old, the console could again be in short supply in the coming months, and so could the Kinect, Microsoft warns.
According to InformationWeek, Microsoft moved 1.9 million Xbox 360 consoles in December alone, with the recently launched Kinect motion control system playing a big role in hitting that number. As a result, Microsoft unloaded inventory in December that was earmarked for January and February.
"In order to keep up with holiday demand in December for Xbox 360 and Kinect, Microsoft pulled units from its January and February production," a company spokesman said.
Microsoft launched the Kinect in November and sold more than 2.5 million units in the first 30 days. Pretty much everyone who wanted one was able to get one, but that won't necessarily be the case for the next couple of months.
According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter's numbers, Nintendo moved around 2.6 million Wii consoles in December, edging ahead of Microsoft's Xbox 360 with 2.5 million units and way ahead of Sony's PlayStation 3 (1.2 million units), CNet reports.
Good for Nintendo, right? Not so fast. If those numbers are accurate, it means Nintendo Wii sales declined 32 percent compared to December 2009. PS3 sales also dropped (to the tune of 12 percent year-over-year), while the Xbox 360 exhibited a healthy 91 percent growth rate compared to one year prior.
There's more bad numbers for Nintendo. For the six month period ended September 2010, Nintendo posted a $24.6 million loss, the result of weak Wii and DS console sales. Going forward, Nintendo hopes to gain some ground with its upcoming 3DS handheld console, but with no living room consoles on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if Wii sales continue to decline or have simply leveled out.
The new Onza Tournament and Standard Edition Xbox 360 controllers will give console a gamers a glimpse into the world of Razer, which up to this point has focused entirely on PC gaming peripherals and assorted gear.
Razer says the two new controllers are "built for the hardcore competitive gamer," but how do you do that with an Xbox 360 controller? The Tournament Edition offers adjustable resistance analog sticks that gamers can twist one way or the other.
Aside from that differentiating feature, both versions sport Multi-Function Buttons (MFB) on the controller's shoulders that allow remapping of buttons. Razer pitches this feature not only as a great way to increase efficiency, but also to make things easier for gamers with disabilities who might have trouble reaching specific buttons on a standard controller.
Other features include 4 backlit Hyperesponse action buttons, non-slip rubber surface, quick-release USB connector, and a 15-foot lightweight, braided fiber cable.
Both the Standard ($40) and Tournament Edition ($50) will be available for preorder starting January 17 and will ship later this month.
Call it a coincidence or call it Kinect-gate, but as far as ten-year-old Adam Winnifrith is concerned, Microsoft's Kinect motion controller caused his Xbox 360 to give up the ghost, the UK's BBC reports.
"We plugged [the Kinect] in the day we got it but only played it a few times before we got the red lights. The next day when we tried it again we still had the red rings of death and haven't been able to use it since," Winnifrith said.
Microsoft says there isn't any link between the Kinect and the infamous RRoD syndrome, saying the Kinect has been "designed to work with every Xbox 360 sold to date." That comes as little consolation to gamers complaining on message boards of similar problems to Winnifrith's.
"I have never had a single issue with my Xbox. I got the Kinect for Christmas and the screen starting freezing randomly. Then on New Year's eve...BAM I got the red ring. Very sad," one user claims.
Despite a handful of complaints, Microsoft contends "there is no correlation between the three flashing red lights error and Kinect. Any new instances of the three flashing red lights error are merely coincidental."