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XBox 360 overhaul to come in August

50°
347w ago - According to EDN newspaper in China, Pegatron Technology (offspring of Asustek, in case you're wondering), has managed to grab the highly-denied "Blu-Ray for Xbox360" deal of the year.

We imagine Microsoft denied the existence of such unit, not to shield its upcoming launch from the competition's prying marketeers, but rather because its staff were responding in default "mirror" mode whereby hacks that asked the Vole if they had plans for a BD add-on, they received a 100% flat/honest "No". True. All things considered, it won't be an add-on.

The newspaper adds that Pegatron will assemble Microsoft's console with the in-built BD player, with units hitting the market in Q3/2008 - Mid-summer, as it were.

This goes head-on with Dean Takahashi's info on the Xbox 360 "Jasper" platform that is scheduled for August of this year. We'd already mentioned this platform over here, btw. The Jasper will feature a shrunken 65nm ATI graphics core and "smaller memory chips". This does make more sense if you're using the new GPU core to aid you in decoding HD on Blu-ray, too.

So that's about it, major Xbox 360 platform overhaul coming this summer, with some time to spare for Christmas - Blu-ray, faster graphics and what is likely to be an all-round cooler console...
 

Microsoft has no plans for Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive

50°
347w ago - The company says it will not be using Sony technology in its "game console." To quote:

"As we have stated, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-ray drive for Xbox 360," said a Microsoft official in an email to GamePro on Monday.

"Games are what drive consumers to purchase game consoles, and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available."

The statement comes amid persistent reports that Microsoft will release a Blu-ray drive for Xbox 360 given the discontinuation of the console's now defunct HD DVD drive.

On Friday, the Economic Daily News (via Digitimes) reported that Pegatron Technology has secured an order from Microsoft to manufacture Xbox 360 models with internal Blu-ray drives for release this fall.
 

Best days of PC gaming coming soon

50°
347w ago - Mark these words, computer graphics processors in the not too distant horizon are poised to make a big leap in technology, much more than we've grown used to seeing over the last several years.

Oh yes, good days are ahead for PC gamers. Perhaps the leap will be enough to put some distance between PC and console games so that it'll actually worthwhile again to purchase the PC version instead for those who own both.

Over the last month, tensions between NVIDIA and Intel have been steadily escalating as verbal mortal shells have been lobbed back and forth between the two camps. Judging by some of the press statements being made, the two sides have all but unofficially declared war upon one another in the graphics processing arena.

In the process of Intel's hype machine going into overdrive in an attempt to promote their upcoming integrated processor-graphics chip, Larrabee, the company seemingly opened Pandora's Box with some statements regarding the demise of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) during the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai. The most interesting statement came from Intel senior vice president Pat Gelsinger that read, in part, "graphics that we have all come to know and love today, I have news for you. It's coming to an end."

While these threats have apparently...
 

Rocketmen: It Came from Uranus on XBLA, PSN next week!

50°
347w ago - With a title like this, you know the jokes are going to start rolling in. Still, it hasn't stopped Capcom from announcing that the next chapter in the Rocketmen downloadable action series, Rocketmen: It Came from Uranus, will be available through Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network next week.

The game will be available on the XBLA this May 14 and will be priced at 400 points. The PlayStation Network downloadable version will go live a day after on May 15 and will for the set price of US$ 4.95. Players blast off through three new maps, as well as several new toys to zap all the new enemies with.

Here are the complete details of what Rocketmen: It Came from Uranus will contain:

3 New Weapons:

* Blobber: Shoots blobs of goo at enemies, does damage over time in the part of the ground that it covers.
* Beamer: Shoots lighting at enemies, does high intensity damage.
* Bomber: Shoots grenades instead of bullets; grenades explode on impact doing damage.

2 New Secondary Weapons:

* Falcon: Robotic falcon that attacks enemies automatically will disappear over time.
* Screw bomb: Rocket that turns into a proximity mine on impact

3 New Levels:

* Level 11 - Finding Jane: The player must escape the Saturnian prison mine...
 

Square-Enix Attending E3 2008 - Will FFXIII as well?

50°
347w ago - This years list of developers attending E3 in July has been released. It isn't much of a shock that Square-Enix will be attending as they do every year.

What will be interesting to see is if they still believe that E3's downsizing gives them a good excuse to only show a small exhibition like last year, where we got almost no information concerning Final Fantasy XIII or any of the other Fabula Nova Crystallis titles.

The last time Final Fantasy XIII was shown outside of Japan was when it was revealed to the world at E3 2006 and ever since then it's been shown in private in Square's infamous Closed Mega Theater. All we received at last years convention was an interview with John Yamamoto, Square-Enix's European and North American CEO who divulged the possibility of a worldwide released.

He even then went onto say that they were saving all their big announcements for the Tokyo Game Show. Only two trailers have been released to the public in total, one of which, some of us were actually desperate enough to pay for.

All games in the compilation have been in development for over 2 years now so maybe Square-Enix will actually be confident enough to show us something new at this years E3. Let's hope so anyway. I suppose we'll have to wait for Square-Enix's game line-up which should be...
 
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