Xbox LIVE turns Five

Happy Birthday to Xbox Live which turns 5 today. It was November 15, 2002 when the first gamers went online in the US. Since then, Xbox grew tremendously and now boasts more than 8 million members. It is available across 26 countries* and in 9 languages and has changed the way gamers interact which each other and with their console.

Press Release: As Xbox LIVE Turns Five, Microsoft Announces Next Wave of Social Fun

* These 26 countries are officially supported and gamers can sign up there. Going online to play is possible from anywhere with the right Internet connection. Luxembourg is an exception as it is a country not listed due to its Xbox management and service integration into Belgium.

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Halo 3 Marriage Proposal

Halo 3: the game where you play with, repeatedly kill, and now also ask your friend to marry you. Or that’s what at least Xbox Live gamer Moviesign did.

On November 3, he made a Forge map and set up what furtive penguin thought was going to be a two-on-two match with his friends. They started the game and Moviesign led his girlfriend of over two years to a spot where he claimed he’d put an energy sword. Instead, there was a nice top-down view where he had spelled out a proposal in weapons.

Game console supercomputing

Game console supercomputing: something you won’t ever see being achieved with a Microsoft Xbox 360, no matter what processors inside; its overheating problem would cause instant death.

In contrast, Sony‘s PlayStation 3 (PS3) helps folding@home (FAH) to examine how the shape of proteins affect diseases such as Alzheimer’s. FAH has signed up nearly 700,000 PS3s and the network has more than one petaflop of computing power – the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

As a result, Guinness World Records has recognised FAH as the world’s most powerful distributed computing network, a method for solving large complex problems by dividing them between many computers.

Console made useful

Every console has its share of problems.

Nintendo‘s Wii is the luckiest of them all with their major problem being not able to deliver new hardware fast enough while Microsoft‘s Xbox 360 has good sales of hardware which doesn’t live long enough to tell the tale.

Sony‘s PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a mixed bag of both (lack of hardware and Blu-Ray drive problems) and in addition to that, it even lacks game titles making full use of its power. Given the PlayStation 3 is not overheating like Xbox 360 does, its platform is open and thus more developer-friendly and its unique processors are excellent for solving scientific problems, it comes to no surprise that the PlayStation 3 has been discovered as a great module for a mainframe.

Astrophysicist (a person that studies the physics of stellar phenomena) Dr. Gaurav Khanna has developed a PlayStation 3 Gravity Grid – a cluster of eight interlinked PS3s busy solving a celestial mystery involving gravitational waves and what happens when a super-massive black hole, about a million times the mass of our own sun, swallows up a star.

Get all technical details here: PS3 Gravity Grid

Re: Suggestions & Recommendations

With…

… what can we expect? That suddenly they say "oh my, we did something customers might feel offended about"? I doubt it. And let’s not forget this forum with regards to the Halo 3 language problem died the day after the local exchange started, despite the fact it was only for those pre-orders. I don’t know about other online places but it sends a message MS sure will pick up and interpret in their own favor.

{One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "10-13-2007, 12:04PM"}

Where have the voices gone?

It’s only 5 days after the Halo 3 exchange (pre-ordered only) in Hong Kong began and already all voices (in the official HK forum at least) have disappeared apart from a rare "I support" line. I’ve started counting the days until the next fiasco happens.

Re: Suggestions &Amp; Recommendations

In reply to:

"Support Group" (TrashKen HK)
Now there should be a line between what we discuss in reaction to a problem and when we start doing the work for MS; and worse, for free. A support group should be initiated by them, supported by them and if necessary and appropriately sponsored by them.
Why should the beaten community now say thanks and go the extra mile of offering them unwanted/uninvited help? We already show enough interest and desire to help by typing our fingers bloody in this forum. It’s not us who have to fix the problems brought upon us. If the gamer community has to go in their own effort and on their own initiative beyond posting serious discussions in the official Xbox forum, then I’d call this whole Xbox (HK) thing a lost cause and move on. There’s more to life than HK Live.
It’s one thing to be beaten and accept it, it’s another thing to be beaten and fight back (at least respond to it), and it’s an entirly different thing to be beaten and then ask for more. Things will certainly not improve if we do the work, it’s not officially recognized though implemented in parts, and in the end things still end in disasters.

"Microsoft HK staffers" (R8OO | BushPir8)
What an example of incompetence. If I’d enquire about a Windows Server edition, I’d get all I want in English. Ever been to a local MS event which wasn’t about Xbox? Sure, there was no English documentation either (at least the Windows XP, Windows Vista… I went) but competent staff on hand to explain me Windows down to the core in English I thought I’d talk to an Oxford professor.
If all those from the Xbox team (or at least part-time involved) who are at risk of coming into contact with the public are either worse in English than my 4th grade student or have an attitude making WW2 games feel like Woodstock, their HR (if that’s involved in making Xbox decisions) totally fails.
Generally, from reading all the posts here, I get the idea that the HK Xbox department either is or at least is run like a hobby club. No matter how much they think they are or worse, indeed are "professionally" organised internal, who cares? It just doesn’t work out on the outside.

{One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "10-01-2007, 1:22AM"}