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Rumor: Halo 3 to get Lockout remake?

200°
343w ago - First off, remember this story is strictly in the realm of rumors and loose talk. But with the latest Bungie news update came a hint that we would see more classic remakes coming soon.

And a further hint was given when a poster on Bungie.net posted a scan of a magazine cover and promptly had his post deleted. Whether or not the above concept art is actually that for a Lockout-remake map in Halo 3 isn't clear, and this is in no way a confirmation of anything.

Having a version of Sidewinder in the next update, it seems unlikely that there would be a second remake in the upcoming Legendary pack. However, xbox.com is listing the third Legendary map as a returning classic that is a small Slayer map, so this rumor may not be too far out-there.

As for the supposed concept shot, it appears to be of a similar structure to the infamous grav lift platform of Lockout. Whether you liked the map or not, there does seem to be a certain amount of correlation between all this.
 

HD DVD's loss means Microsoft is going Blu-ray for 360?

50°
343w ago - Guess again! Company executives may have already shot the notion down, but there's more to the story. With HD DVD, Microsoft had the opportunity to inject its own technology into the emerging high-definition video market. But now that the HD disc war is over, the company still has a viable group of HD video assets, including HDi and Xbox Live Marketplace.

If you take a close look at these assets, and consider their potential, it's clear why Microsoft is snubbing Blu-ray for the Xbox: The company is gearing up for another HD video assault.

First, a little backstory. Beneath the surface of the recent HD DVD/Blu-ray hardware war, a battle over programming platforms was waged. In this clash, the two camps were at odds over how to implement next-gen features like interactive menus, HD picture-in-picture, and Web-powered content such as online polls. The Blu-ray camp ultimately went with the Java-based BD-J platform, while HD DVD went with an XML dialect.

Microsoft stepped up to deliver iHD (later renamed HDi), which was a trademarked implementation of HD DVD's XML markup language. Toshiba liked it. They made HDi functionality a standard for HD DVD players, and eventually partnered with Microsoft to expand HDi's reach by founding the Advanced Interactivity Consortium. The primary goal of this group...
 

Viking: Battle for Asgard Preview!

50°
345w ago - The recent movie Beowulf seemed to portray Vikings as nothing more than a bunch of blood thirsty, battle-hungry brutes whose sole hobbies included drinking mead and slaying monsters.

Viking: Battle of Asgard doesn't do anything to dissuade this stereotype and we couldn't be happier as the upcoming action/real-time strategy game may even turn the brutality up a notch.

Battle of Asgard is not your typical, run-of-the-mill Viking fable. The title of the game is actually a bit misleading as the story takes place in Midgard (the mortal world) and not Asgard (the heavens). But really, who cares?

What players should care about though is that the Goddess Hel has been thrown out of Asgard by the Zeus of Norse mythology, Odin, and has decided to exact her revenge by raising an undead army to take over Midgard which will, in turn, start Ragnarok (the battle that will destroy the Norse Gods). This is where the hero of the story, Skarin, comes into play as, having been previously killed by Hel's forces, is given a second chance at life by the Love Goddess Freya to defeat Hel's armies.

This objective-based game sees you completing smaller tasks that are appetizers for big fights at the end of each territory. While much of the promotion for Viking is about huge battles between armies of good...
 

Counting Rupees: Take me to your lead platform

100°
345w ago - N'Gai Croal of Level Up recently pointed to an interesting development factoid from EA CEO John Riccitiello's 3rd quarter earnings call. A Cowen & Company analyst noted that many publishers have had difficulty in completing PS3 titles quickly and asked whether or not EA had made progress in narrowing the development times between PS3 and 360 games.

The answer appears to be that meeting technical specifications is no longer an issue for games where development led on the PS3 - but where development was either parallel or started on the 360, there's still a notable lag in speed and quality.

Croal e-mailed EA with an obvious follow-up question: If that delay can be eliminated by starting with the PS3, would EA consider mandating that development begin there? Director of Communications Jeff Brown responded that no, the company doesn't provide such edicts and that a number of factors are considered when selecting a game's development path. Why might this be the case? I think this decision probably makes sense from a business perspective for several reasons.

First of all, I suspect that some of this difference is probably illusory. It's well-known that the PS3 is more difficult to develop for than other consoles, which means that converting a game from a less complex to a more complex development...
 

Microsoft Explains 360 Supply Flub

50°
345w ago - In an interview with Next-Gen, Microsoft has shed a bit more light on why Xbox 360 is having supply issues.

Supply constraints or not, Microsoft can't be too ecstatic that the PlayStation 3 has outsold its console for the second month in a row in February. But the purveyor of all things Xbox expects to get supply back in line in April.

Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg told Next-Gen on Thursday just prior to the release of the NPD Group's February US sales data that the shortages are still rooted in larger than expected holiday sales.

Greenberg said that Microsoft's "number jocks" assumed that everyone who would typically buy an Xbox 360 in November and December would instead buy it in September or October after the September launch of Halo 3.

"We were wrong. What happened was the normal seasonality. November was twice the size of October and December was twice the size of November," Greenberg said. "What happened with the Halo phenomenon was just truly incremental on top of the normal holiday cycle.

"...Even at the speed we're running at, it can take a couple of months to react to that."

Greenberg said that Microsoft is currently airshipping Xbox 360 hardware into the market, a practice not typical in normal supply situations.
 
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