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XBL User’s Open Letter to MS About Live Issues; Taken Down by MS Soon After

368w ago - Here is a very well written manifesto to MS about the recent perils of XBL. Its worth the read. Trust me.

The forum post has been locked since and mysteriously disappeared. I managed to salvage it because the page was already loaded and I emailed the link to another person who could not access it. His GamerTag, DWells55X, is now mysteriously invalid all... weird.

I won't pretend that this is a completely original idea and no one else has ever raised the question of why Xbox Live is a pay service. In fact, I used to be one of the people who argued against them and supported Xbox Live. But, with recent Xbox Live troubles and news, it's becoming significantly more difficult to do this. Having taken the time to really look at the state of Xbox Live is making me have to start agreeing with the people who I used to argue against.

Let's start with the recent Xbox Live downtime. It is, quite frankly, absolutely unacceptable for a pay service. Until a few days ago, my brother had a two week period where he could not recover his GamerTag from Xbox Live. That's two weeks of no Xbox Live access whatsoever. He tried deleting the profile of his Xbox and recovering it again, but this didn't work either. Now he couldn't even access his game saves or earn any achievements. Although I had...

The Games Of 2008: PSP

368w ago - In 2008, the PSP has an attractive mix of titles ranging from niche to high-profile console-like games. Here are Next-Gen's most anticipated games for PSP in 2008.

If it weren't for the phenomenal success of Nintendo's DS, today we might be praising the PSP up-and-down for being such a hit. Ever since the last price drop, the hardware revision and some wise marketing decisions by SCEA, it seems that people are finally realizing that the PSP is a great machine in its own right.

In all of our other Games of 2008 features, we've given software sales estimates for the first three months of US sales, but for PSP, we're going to give a very general range for all titles, because history shows that the handheld's top titles all sell within about the same range.

Taking into consideration a growing installed base, we expect the higher-profile, late-year PSP games to sell as many as 400K copies in the US in the first three months (which would be a sizeable achievement compared to the top-sellers in 2007). More obscure or niche titles on our list may sell around or below 100K during the same time frame.

As all of the games are works in progress, release dates and some details are subject to change. Estimates were calculated by reviewing the sales of a 2008 game's previous franchise...

XstreamHD details continue to emerge

368w ago - Just a few hours before our live coverage of the XStreamHD press event (11am PST) with Michael Douglas; many of the details have been released and we have to say this thing looks so incredible, we don't see how it can live up to the press release -- this is one of those times when we'd really love to be wrong.

For starters, the service promises to deliver "the latest content from leading studios" in 1080p (MPEG-2 and x.264) with 7.1 channels of lossless DTS-HD Master Audio (96kHz/24bits) to your home via satellite, and if it stopped there it would be impressive enough, but no. The content is stored on the internally in your "Virtual Personal Library" until you access it with up to four simultaneous DLNA devices on your gigabit Ethernet home network.

If you run out of space, you can use the extra drive bays to expand up to 2TB of storage. And because there is so much great OTA HD content, it features three ATSC tuners which can be used with a "Network Video Recorder" -- not sure what that is, or if its extra. And interestingly even includes a PBX that allows free calling between XStreamHD customers. As if this wasn't unbelievable enough, it all starts at $399 and is expected to hit in the fourth quarter of '08.

Full Release: XStreamHD(TM) Unveils First-Ever Transport Network to Deliver High-Definition...

CES: All Quiet on the Universal Front

368w ago - Amidst mounting speculation that it is soon to shift alliances, Universal Studios has confirmed that it will not be making any new HD DVD title announcements at this year's CES.

Though previous years have seen a cavalcade of title announcements from HD DVD-supporting studios at CES, this year's deafening silence from Universal and Paramount/DreamWorks has only fueled speculation that one (or both) of the studios are plotting a move to format neutrality or perhaps even Blu-ray exclusivity.

While Universal is issuing a terse "no comment" in response to the persistent rumors, a studio spokesperson did confirm for us that they will not be making any new title announcements at this year's CES.

Paramount similarly declined to make any new title announcements at CES, but as we first reported Monday, the studio is shooting down reports that it plans to abandon the format.

Microsoft's Xbox could consider Blu-ray support

368w ago - LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Xbox video gaming unit still fully backs Toshiba Corp's (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) HD-DVD high-definition DVD format but could consider supporting Sony Corp's (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) rival Blu-ray technology should consumers want it, an executive said on Tuesday.

"It should be consumer choice; and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider," Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware said when asked whether Microsoft would support a Blu-ray DVD accessory in the event that HD-DVD failed.

Microsoft does not believe the surprise decision last week by Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) unit Warner Bros, the top seller of home movies, to abandon HD-DVD format in favor of Blu-ray should affect sales of its Xbox 360 video game console, Penello said.

"I fundamentally don't think ... this has a significant impact on Xbox 360 versus (Sony's) PlayStation 3," Penello told Reuters in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"With the PlayStation 2, DVD was a big part in the beginning, but over time, people were not buying it as a DVD player after first year or two," Penello said.

The Xbox 360 supports a plug-in HD-DVD...
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