176w ago - Today GamesIndustry.biz (linked above) reports that Microsoft is opting for an XBox 360 software solution after dropping the internal hardware chip in Natal in an effort to reduce costs of the device.
The load previously handled by the chip now falls on one of the main three Xenon processors, but while taking a "percentage" of performance away from the system, most games don't use up 100 per cent of the available processing power anyway.
To quote: "Microsoft has dropped a chip from its forthcoming Natal motion control system as the platform holder eyes accessible price points in the build-up to release later this year.
The chip, which was responsible for processing information for the Natal's 'bone system,' has been removed in favour of a software solution."
176w ago - Microsoft's Robbie Bach did a CES 2010 interview today, and while most of it is just a general conversation if you skip to 11:50 in the video he mentions "XBox Game Room" which sounds like it will be a one stop shop for retro games as first rumored.
Below is the official Fact Sheet information regarding the 'Game Room' which has now been made available:
• Relive the glory days of the classic arcade. "Game Room" replicates the old-school look, sound and feel of a retro video game arcade. At launch, "Game Room" will bring you a library of 30 original arcade and console classics such as "Centipede┬®" and "Asteroids Deluxe┬®" from Atari Inc. and other favorites from Activision Inc., Intellivision, Konami Corp. and more, all shown in their original cabinets.
Create a brand-new social environment your avatar can explore, trick out your "game room" by arranging your cabinets, and decorate each room with themes and animated icons from your favorite games. With weekly new title releases, your arcade will soon be retrofitted to perfection.
177w ago - The inevitable has happened according to a multi-page thread on XBox-Scene (linked above), it appears Microsoft is now beginning to ban homebrew XBox 360 consoles running freeBOOT or XBReboot from XBox LIVE.
182w ago - Today Microsoft has announced news of a new Limited Edition XBox 360 NXE Bundle, which gives you everything you need to connect to XBox LIVE.
It will be available for around €79,99 and offer access to Facebook, Twitter and Zune video with instant streaming HD movies on Xbox LIVE.
The NXE bundle includes the following four accessories:
• 3 Months Gold Membership - Experience three months of pure gold! Your Xbox LIVE┬® Gold membership lets you connect and play with friends around the world and watch Blockbuster HD movies. Plus, with your Gold membership you get early access to some of the best new games and content
• Wireless Network Adapter - Getting caught up in messy wires? Cut the cord by connecting quick and easily to Xbox LIVE from anywhere in the home
• 800 MS Points - Play more, save money! Update your avatar with an unique accessory or download your favourite movie or one of the many fun arcade games with free MS points
• Universal Media Remote - More remote controls than people in your living room? Manage all your home entertainment needs - including your TV, DVD player and Xbox 360 - from one handy remote control all without leaving the comfort of your sofa.
184w ago - Microsoft's internal Halo studio, 343 Industries, is working a new Halo game.
And not just another Halo game, a Halo game for the "next generation Xbox platform" -- hopefully Microsoft doesn't consider a Natal-enabled Xbox 360 to be a next-gen platform.
To quote: A job listing on Gamasutra.com reveals that a level designer with at least one AAA game under their belt and a great amount of Halo knowledge can find a new home in the company's Redmond WA facilities where they can design and build levels for this "next big project."
"Work with our top first-party development partners to help ship a great first-party line up for next generation Xbox platform," the job ad reads. No information about the actual game is given.