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Seven More XBox 360 Secrets Microsoft doesn't Tell You!

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301w ago - We whetted your appetite with 10 Xbox 360 tricks Microsoft won't tell you, now here are seven more handy tips to help you get the best out of your console.

1. System updates by disc

Not got your console online yet, or having trouble downloading the latest dashboard update? Try downloading it from a web-connected PC or Mac instead and burning it to a CD. Grab the latest (well, latest-ish - hopefully Microsoft will update the page soon) update from the XBox 360 System Updates page, burn it to disc, then pop that disc into the 360 and turn it on. You'll be prompted automatically as to whether you want to run the update.

2. The towel trick

Bit of a controversial one this, at least as long as you count "possibly burning your house down" as controversial. What it is is a short-term fix for the infamous red rings of death, the mournful LEDs that announce your 360 is deaded. There are various theories about why it works, but the important thing is that, for some people, it does. The way to do it is to wrap the console in a towel or two - ensuring all sides of it are covered - then turn it on and leave it running for 10 minutes or so. Then turn it off, remove the towels, turn it on again and pray. If it's worked, it'll only stay alive for a few hours, but doing this a couple...
 

New XBox 360 Dashboard is Going to be Stellar

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301w ago - The new Xbox 360 Dashboard OS update is coming soon and it is going to be one of the biggest changes to the Xbox 360 since the system hit the market.

It is going to include the first complete redesign of the Xbox interface called the NXE by all the cool kids. The New Xbox Experience (NXE) is going to be the best thing to hit the Xbox and it is going to completely redefine how we use it.

One of the niftiest things at Penny Arcade Expo 08 was seeing the new Xbox dashboard. Xbox Live's own Major Nelson showed it off. He made sure to stress that it is still a work in progress and that there was an army of programmers over in Redmond that were cranking out code and testing it as he gave the demo.

As a side note if you ever go to a game expo or press event and Major Nelson asks you not to film something in the presentation and you do it anyway and then go on and keep on filming after he notices you and calls you out and you don't stop it then you are a total schmuck.

I've always thought that Microsoft's biggest advantage in their fight with Sony and Nintendo was software innovation. Let me tell you why:

New Interface
So far the new user interface design looks well designed, clean and very efficient. It sort of resembles Windows Media Center and the Zune...
 

10 XBox 360 Tricks Microsoft Won't Tell You

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304w ago - As the title states, here is a list of 10 XBox 360 tricks that you won't hear from Microsoft:

1. Connect your Xbox 360 to two screens at once

If you've got one of the component/composite dual video cables - the one that comes in the box with most 360s - you can have your console display its gamey goodness on two TVs simultaneously. The trick is to flick the cable's switch to Standard Definition but hook up the composite (yellow) cable to one screen and the component (the red, green, blue) cables to another. It won't be high-def, but it could be handy if you're staging a mini LAN party and want to set up a display for bored spectators to point their eyes at.

2. Play your own music in original Xbox games

That you can fire up your own MP3s during a 360 game is common knowledge (and re-soundtracking moody horror games with the Benny Hill theme tune never stops being funny), but it doesn't work if you're playing a title from the original Xbox. There's a way around it - start playing your album or playlist before you load the game, and it'll keep on playing once you do fire the title up. The game's own music won't be muted, however, so if you can't do that in its settings you'll go mad from the weird cacophony.

3. It can write its own blog
 

The Getaway for PS2 Analyizes 'Satellite Navigation' in our Brains

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304w ago - Researchers believe that our brains contain navigation systems much like satellite navigation with grids, compasses and in-built maps.

Recently, two researchers used the PS2 game 'The Getaway' to analyse how taxi drivers use their brain areas to navigate.

To quote: In a follow-up study, Dr Spiers and Professor Maguire used the PlayStation 2 video game "The Getaway" to examine how taxi drivers use their hippocampus and other brain areas when they navigate. Taxi drivers used the virtual reality simulation to navigate the streets of London whilst lying in an fMRI brain scanner.

The researchers found that the hippocampus is most active when the drivers first think about their route and plan ahead. By contrast, activity in a diverse network of other brain areas increases as they encounter road blocks, spot expected landmarks, look at the view and worry about the thoughts of their customers and other drivers.
 

ID: Programmers will tell you the PS3 is a pain to work with

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304w ago - Tim Willits and Todd Hollensead of ID recently spoke to GameInformer regarding their latest focus - RAGE. Hollensead has revealed that the first thing his PS3 programmers will say is that essentially it is a pain to work with.

However, he revealed that while there are challenges to it, it's certainly "not as hairy" as people originally said it was.

To quote from the Interview:

Q: Have you found developers for the PS3?

Hollensead: I think the programmers will tell you first that it's a pain in the ass to work with. They have said that it's a pain in the ass to work with, but at the same time, that's our job–making games–and the strategy that we wanted was to have a game that worked on all the platforms.

John, to his credit, came up with a technology solution that allowed us to do something unique, which is to have one source base for the media, not source for programming source, art source. Once you solve that problem, then the dominos start to tumble about multiplatform and crossplatform simultaneous development.

Yeah, the PS3 is kind of the one that the programmers cherish the least about going, "OK, there's a problem with the PS3, let's go find this." But at the same time, one of the things that we find is that when...
 
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