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Has Microsoft's XBox 360 Console Run Out of Technical Steam?

550°
296w ago - Whenever the issue of the Xbox 360 running out of technical steam is risen, you always get the same answer, "there's still more it can do", no offence but this excuse is getting old pretty quickly.

Is there really any thing left in the Xbox 360, hardware wise? I really don't think so.

It's been 3 years and still there are less than a handful of games that have pushed the visual boat that much farther, notably... Gears of War and Gears of War 2, what else has really brought outstanding graphics to the table? Halo 3?

In contrast in just 2 years the PS3 has seen exclusives games that easily destroy what is on the Xbox 360, games like Killzone 2, Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 spring quickly to mind, and these are out of what has been released, looking at what is still ahead, Uncharted 2, God of War 3 and Heavy Rain, the pattern looks set to continue.

So how in 3 years the console has only 1 series producing great graphics, and when one compares the visuals of gears of war 2 to that of the first, the difference isn't much...

My question is 'what really is left in the Xbox 360' technically? I know developers can get more out of the console through art styles and optimisation but it looks to me like the main bulk of tech hardware in the Xbox 360 has been squeezed dry.
 

The Rise of the Video Game Console Cheat Examined

250°
296w ago - Chances are you probably know someone who cheats online. Perhaps you've even strayed to the dark side. Previously the realm of the PC gamer, online cheating seems to have transitioned successfully over to consoles. But can anything be done about it?

When people think of cheating in console video games, often their first thought is of some desperate individual frantically hitting button combos on a controllers in an attempt to unlock some godly weapon combination that will blow the competition out of the water.

Being an avid Xbox 360 gamer, and playing considerable hours online on what I naively thought was a closed platform (and therefore supposedly safe from the abusive traits of a cheater) little did I know that my innocent haven could be disrupted by an unruly force, hell-bent on winning at any cost. It seems that no matter the system, someone always has to ruin the fun for everyone else by exploiting otherwise honest game mechanics.

The problem seems to lie partly in the ranking systems that many games nurture in an effort to encourage players to game long into the night. Some of our gaming fraternity will do anything to achieve that elusive rank. Personally, that's never really been my focus, and perhaps this is why the repulsive behaviour of the few strikes such a chord.

Back...
 

H.264 Encoder is Coming to Sony's PlayStation 3 Console

50°
297w ago - Here's another way to harness the power of the PS3's Cell chip, to quote:

Fixstars Corporation of Japan has announced CodecSys CE-10, the first H.264 encoder that's designed specifically for the PS3. The product will be showcased at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas starting April 20th.

The CE-10 software will be installed on a PC, but will somehow allow users to access the power of the PS3 as a way of accelerating video encoding. Fixstars is promising "ultra fast HD encoding" and "high quality low bit rate compression," targeted at the prosumer market at a prosumer price.

When questioned further on how the PS3 would interface with the CE-10 program, we were provided this rather useful document (pictured below).

It appears the PS3 will need Linux installed, severely limiting its accessibility to all but hardcore PS3 owners. Considering the rather specific demands of this application, perhaps that makes sense.

CE-10 will be available for purchase in June 2009. For burgeoning HD filmmakers, this should be a very cheap way of turning the PS3 into a powerful piece of video hardware.
 

Microids Urge Fans to Support Syberia 3 on Sony's PS3 Console

50°
297w ago - Today Emmanuel Olivier, president of the team behind Syberia, has launched an SOS to all fans of the Syberia franchise to bring the game to the PS3 console.

They want you to help rally Sony to support the independent creation, and convince Sony to change its rules and allow Syberia 3 to hit the PS3.

Press Release: RETURNS ON THE SYBERIA 3 ANNOUNCEMENT

April 17, 2009 - Following the countless messages and questions from fans which followed our announcement on April 1st regarding the launch of Syberia 3, Emmanuel Olivier, President of Microïds, gives more details on that announcement.

"Syberia 3 is not an April Fool's joke. The game is highly expected by the community of fans of adventure games and fans of Kate Walker and it will be launched, it is one of our most strategic projects at Microïds and we have been anticipating it for a long time.

It will be released on PC for sure, however, on PS3, this could actually turn into an April Fool's joke because SONY is the only decision-maker on this point, as strange as it may seem to some people.

Benoît Sokal, the author of Syberia and Syberia 2, has mentioned several times in the press that he would only participate in a sequel to his masterpiece if he had enough financial means to design and develop...
 

Microsoft Extends Warranty for 'E74' XBox 360 Console Failures

250°
297w ago - Microsoft has investigated the 'E74' issue on the XBox 360 and has recently concluded that they will cover repairs related to the error.

This will be included in the three year warranty program that was put into place in 2007 for general hardware failures.

To quote: While the majority of XBox 360 owners continue to have a great experience with their console, we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays "E74" on their screen.

After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console.

As a result, we have decided to cover repairs related to the E74 error message under our three-year warranty program for certain general hardware failures that was announced in July 2007.
 
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