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The Truth About Microsoft's XBox 360 Game Console

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305w ago - The infamous Xbox 360 "red ring of death" (indicating a failed unit) has caused Microsoft - and its customers - untold pain in the three years since the console's launch in 2005, and cost it $1.15bn (£738m) last year.

Microsoft has never said publicly why the console was plagued with faults: it seems that poor production quality was at the heart of the failures - an all-round problem with no single cause except impatience on the company's part as it tried to become the leader in videogame consoles.

It was an ambitious attack. Microsoft's engineers started working on the Xbox 360 at least a year after Sony's engineers began work on the PlayStation 3, yet wound up shipping a year earlier. With the first Xbox, the company lost $3.7bn (£2.3bn) over four years, mostly because costs of the box - particularly its hard drive - were too high.

Bill Gates didn't really care about the losses; that was simply the ante for getting into an exciting new business. But Steve Ballmer, who took over from Gates as chief executive during the first generation, really wanted the Xbox business to be profitable second time around.

Software-hearted

Even though early testing showed that production machines had flaws, Microsoft didn't delay the launch because it believed...
 

Video: Insomniac Games Opens its Doors for Fans

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305w ago - PS Blog's Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein shared some recent event video footage courtesy of Resistance 2 developer Insomniac Games today.

To quote: With a couple of fan-based events last week, the Burbank-based developers renewed their relationship with their biggest fans.

Just a few days ago, Insomniac threw open their doors to the whole of Southern California, and close to 200 members of the Insomniac community took the day off work or school and trekked into the valley for a full day of gaming, autograph schwag sessions, and an inside look at how they made Resistance 2.

If you weren't able to make it - here's what you missed:




 

The Five Best-Selling Video Games in the World!

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305w ago - One of the most feel-good stories of the year has got to be the unholy alliance between NPD/GfK/Enterbrain, that lets us see - every three months, at least - what the biggest-selling games are not in the US, Europe or Japan, but in the world.

Last time we checked, the best-seller was GTA IV. This time around, for the quarter running from July-September? It's Madden. Madden, followed by daylight.

1. Madden 09 - 2.994 million
2. Wii Fit - 2.089 million
3. Force Unleashed - 1.738 million
4. Pokemon Platinum - 1.482 million
5. Mario Kart Wii - 1.468 million

What's even more interesting than the raw numbers is the percentage of those final tallies US sales comprise. For Madden, of the 2.994 million, 2.958 were in the US.

Proving, in case Americans were unaware, how few people outside North America give a rat's arse about American Football. Yet for Wii Fit and Mario Kart, US numbers accounted for barely half of total sales: 1.283 million of 2.089 million for Wii Fit, and 856,000 of 1.468 million for Mario Kart Wii.
 

Top 10 Greatest Phrases from a Video Game Character's Mouth

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306w ago - I've said it time and time again, video game storylines suck. But that doesn't mean that the character's in those horrible storylines can't come up with pearls of wisdom (Or is it just comic gold?) when they open up their mouths.

Below are, in my opinion, the ten greatest phrases to ever come out of a video game character's mouth. I'm sure I'm missing a few here, but that's what comment boards are for. So here they are, the top ten phrases ever.

See if you can close your eyes and remember just how they sounded the first time you first heard them. Just don't do it while you're driving or operating heavy machinery. You should usually keep your eyes open for stuff like that.

10. "Waka Waka Waka, etc." –Pac-man
Fauzy from the Muppet Babies, is that you? Nope, it's just everybody's favorite yellow one-third-of-a-pizza chomping down on pellets while avoiding ghosts, or Klan members, or whatever, Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde happen to be.

If you're good enough to get past the first few rounds, you can even almost forget that Pac-Man is rude enough to talk while he's eating, as the sound just becomes natural after awhile. Don't forget the power pellet on your way around the bend!

9. "Aaaaaarrrrriiiiieeeesssss!!!!!"...
 

Gamers Willing to 'Trade' Advertising Exposure for Price Cuts

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306w ago - The latest research from Frank N. Magid Associates takes a look at how receptive gamers are to in-game ads. It seems that price drops or free games makes advertising very worthwhile for most.

Advertising in console games (as well as PC and other games) has become increasingly common in the industry today. Even presidential candidates are advertising in games these days.

We wondered, though, how consumers would feel if this trend grew and significantly more advertising was placed in console games but the price of the game was also cut in half or, was even free.

As it turns out, most gamers were quite receptive to this idea. Very few were negative about having major price reductions or even free games in return for considerable amounts of advertising in the games.

In fact, less than 20 percent of gamers said they were less likely to purchase a game, at half the price, but with more advertising. The plurality, 31 percent, said it would make no difference. About 15 percent of the gamers said they were much more likely to purchase a game at half price with more advertising and 28 percent said they were somewhat more likely.

When we indicated that the game would be free, but the advertising would be increased significantly in the game, naturally, even more players...
 
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