“Inside Xbox” got own forum

Inside Xbox – a kind of news station within the Live blade in the Xbox 360 console and currently available only in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Japan – got their own forum "Inside Xbox" as part of the official Xbox Forums.

My Quake2 nr1 World Ranking

MyGamerCard.net today ranks me as 1 (+59,460) of 59,461 in Quake2!

Fall 2008 Update – Xbox Experience, Live Primetime & Party

The fall 2008 update for the Xbox 360 will not "update" but entirely change the dashboard:

"A new Xbox experience that will reinvent home entertainment from the inside out, changing the way we play games, watch movies and TV shows, and even become contestants in game shows. It all begins this fall with a bold new look and feel that is fun, social and simple to use."

Another major news is the partnership with Netflix – a movie rental service – giving Xbox 360 users instant access to more than 10,000 feature films and television shows with a click of a button.

Meeting global gamers’ complaints at least partially, another new feature, Xbox Live Primetime, will provide content to non-US gamers as well:

"TV shows and movies from world leaders in entertainment including NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel and USA Network domestically and Constantin and MGM internationally."

Feature highlights for the new Xbox experience:

  • Entertainment without limits.
    With Live Party, bring your favorite games, TV shows, movies and pictures to life by sharing those experiences with friends, wherever they are around the world.
  • Express yourself.
    With the new Xbox 360 experience, gamers can personalize their entertainment like never before. They can create their own avatar, designed exclusively by Rare Ltd., and jump into a party with friends from around the world.
  • "Must See TV" and more.
    The biggest names in entertainment worldwide, such as Netflix, NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel, USA Network, Constantin and MGM are bringing their content to Xbox 360 on Xbox Live Primetime.

(Read the full press release)

60GB hard drive

The US is releasing a new version of the Xbox 360 which will triple the existing 20GB hard drive to 60GB but keep the same price. 20GB consoles will be sold out at a discount while stock lasts. No words yet about console upgrades on Asian sites but it shouldn’t take long for the upgraded version to arrive.

(No) Spring Update

Marc Whitten, General Manager of Xbox Live, gives away first details of big changes to the service in an exclusive interview with Next Generation. The two main headlines are that

  • there will be no spring dashboard update,
  • underperforming Xblox Live Arcade (XBLA) titles will be removed,
  • changes to the DRM policy, and
  • a tool will be released to fix the issue that forced gamers playing XBLA games to be connected to Xbox LIVE if their console was replaced.

Instead of pushing for a spring dashboard update – you might compare it with a Windows Service Pack (SP) – focus lies on “building the proper infrastructure and scale for the service"; whatever that means.

Underperforming XBLA titles will be eligible for removal from the titles list with a 3 months notice if

  • they have been out for more than 6 months,
  • have a Metacritic score of less than 65%, and
  • have a conversion rate of less than 6%.

[Read the complete interview]