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How 2008 will define the Wii, 360, and PS3 Generation

50°
350w ago - Each generation of consoles has made an advance in gaming unlike any other. For the N64/PS1 generation, it was the jump to 3D; for the Xbox/PS2/GC generation, it was online gameplay and sandbox games. But what about now?

Aside from prettier graphics, micro-transactions, and (arguably) motion control, what has defined this generation of consoles? The answer: nothing. Yet.

This year, however, that's going to change. 2008 will go down in gaming history as the year of user-created content's rise to prominence, with XNA and LittleBigPlanet leading the charge.

XNA was actually touted before the Xbox 360 had even made its star-studded debut on MTV. But regardless of its apparent age, the idea behind XNA has always been the same.

Through it, Microsoft wants to provide budding game designers and hobbyists with a method to realize their dreams. And now, with Microsoft's announcement that XNA-developed games will appear on Xbox Live for even the lowliest of gamers to play, XNA's true potential is beginning to show through.

LittleBigPlanet appears, at first blush, to be a traditional-style game. But first glances can be deceptive. The player guides a hilariously (googley-eyes are merely the beginning) customizable "sack-boy" through 2.5D platforming-focused stages. After a...
 

Survey: $580 Million In Console Download Revenues In 2007

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374w ago - According to a pair of new surveys released by IDC and IDG Entertainment (IDGE), the booming market created by online-capable consoles means that online console download revenues will triple from $133 million in 2006 to $583 million in 2007, with bigger increases expected in the future.

Billy Pidgeon, IDC's program manager for games research presented his report analyzing the booming popularity of online capable video game consoles, and projected that by 2008 the North American installed base of such consoles will be over 37 million units.
 

Xbox 360 Arcade unboxed

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374w ago - Thanks to Emanuel, an intrepid tipster who went above and beyond the call of duty, we managed to get a full unboxing of the Xbox 360 Arcade before Microsoft has even been able to send out a press release about the thing. Whenever the console officially lands, you can expect to pick up the hard drive free console for $279.99, which includes a 256MB Memory Card, a Wireless controller, an HDMI port minus the cable, and a disc that includes copies of Xbox LIVE Arcade games Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man Championship Demo, and Uno. Check out the full gallery below.
 

Microsoft Smuggles 65mm Inside Halo 3 Xbox

50°
377w ago - That's right - at this very moment, you could own an Xbox 360 sporting the much fabled 65nm CPU and GPU. It appears - according to a thread on the official Xbox forums - that Microsoft has, under the guise of the recently released Halo 3 360, soft-launched the 65nm edition of its console.

What does this mean in layman's terms if you happen to own one? Firstly, it means you're much more awesome than all of your friends. Even the hot ones. Secondly, the 65nm chips run cooler and consume less power than their tardy 90nm counterparts... which can be found in every other Xbox 360 in the world. Except your one, of course.

We were under the impression for a long time that such hardware would debut in the Elite. But, it didn't. I don't entirely understand why Microsoft hasn't made a bigger deal out of the 65nm Halo 3 consoles... maybe they were concerned they'd anger everyone who's already forked over the dosh for the Elite.

Finding out whether you're 65nm-enabled - as it were - is not exactly simple: you need to take your console apart. Let's just assume if your Halo 3 box is a lot cooler to the touch and quieter than a standard unit, you're probably one of the chosen.
 
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