Archive for Xbox-360 tag
My friends and I have been very much enjoying Guitar Hero II on the Xbox 360 released earlier this month.
Despite reservations we’ve found ourselves jumping around performing a variety of silly stances, head bops and special moves whilst we attempt to strum ‘n chord in time to the tricky yet rewarding tracks available. Once we got a second guitar and hit the co-operative (one bass, one lead) and VS modes (turns each or both together) then out-performing the other player off-screen as well as on became an integral part of the game.
The line-up of songs is a little disappointing – when there is one “made famous” by a well known band then it tends to be one of their less famous song. I say “made famous” as the game clearly points it out they are, alas, cover versions bar a small handful.
Extra tracks are available on-line in packs of 3 for 500 MSP‘s each. These are again cover versions presumably due to the developer being unable to licence the original audio mix to the songs so that they can cut out the guitar and bass lines when you fail to hit the right combination of colourful buttons and strum in time.
One pleasant surprise is that the guitar is just a normal USB device and can be used under Windows once the Xinput common controller driver is installed or on the Mac using TattieBogle’s Xbox 360 OS X driver.
Why would you want to do that? To play the free cross-platform Guitar Hero clone Frets on Fire with all the fan-created songs of course!
Whilst there are plans for Guitar Hero: 80s Edition and Guitar Hero III the franchise is being handed over to Activision’s Neversoft team (Tony Hawks) as they bought the rights to the name when they snapped up Guitar Hero’s publisher Red Octane.
Original music-game-only developer Harmonix aren’t whining about it or heading to the courts, oh no. They are fighting back with Rock Band that throws drums and vocals on top of lead and bass guitars.
PS: Under no circumstances consider playing either game with a keyboard or a regular controller – the experience just isn’t the same.
So the Apple TV and iPhone are finally announced and visually impressive with a very refined user interface – but some of the technical specifications aren’t quite there.
First off the Apple TV tops out at 720p high-def – what!? For less than Apple TV’s $299 I can get an Xbox 360 that does video & audio streaming at 1080p. Sure the 360 is missing HDMI and the slick software but it does play state of the art 3D on-line games.
Video scaled up to 720p by the device and then scaled up to 1080p by the TV is ugly.
Apple’s iPhone is supposed to be state of the art but GSM really isn’t good enough. The world is moving on to 3G and UTMS is essential in the likes of Japan and important even in the USA. Other manufacturers do it, why isn’t Apple?
Secondly this is supposed to be state of the art Internet? Where the hell is instant messaging? You’ve got the UI with SMS but what if I want to talk to iChat, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN Messenger users? Zip.
Thirdly where is the SDK/API? Initial reports are indicating that it is a closed platform.
Phone users seem to fall into one of two groups. People who want a voice phone with maybe a few extra features who won’t be prepared to pay $499 (plus the cost of a 2 year contract) and the second are existing smartphone users who often need to install additional applications and maybe even games. No mention of J2ME, no mention of an SDK. Nada.
It’s a slick product but for now is just functionally incomplete compared to what I have. Smartphone + iPod all the way.
Jobs also thinks they are going for 1% of the massive mobile market share. Funny as ex-Apple’s Kawasaki puts this goal at number 11 of his Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs.
My god who decided to let the Cingular CEO on stage to read their corporate brochure.
Microsoft have done many things right with this machine (Online, XNA, dashboard, media center, high-def). Sure, the hard disk should have been bigger especially now they are selling movies but my real complaint is that there STILL aren’t enough titles I want to play on it.
Imagine my surprise when flicking through this months PC Gamer (UK) magazine and finding an advert on page 59 with the words
“Feel the intense power of having way too many options to choose from. Jump in. Xbox 360″
Followed by a giant hand-print of hundreds of games. Wow, I must have missed something. There must be lots of games just waiting for me!
A quick scan through revealed a lot of dull EA Sports licences (FIFA, NHL, Madden, NBA blah blah blah) and a lot of duplicated titles.
A thought struck me – If I crossed out all the duplicate images what would we have left?
Something a little closer to reality. Click the image to zoom.
Yes, dupes of Burnout, FEAR and Ultimate Alliance were missed. I’m not taking a new photo :p
Yesterday I predicted the ability to run XNA code on our Xbox 360′s today.
We’re not quite there yet but we are a lot closer than most people believed this time yesterday.
Contrary to preliminary info on beta 2 of XNA Game Studio before it release it DOES in fact contains the necessary pieces for 360 development.
Specifically the registration window inside XNA Game Studio, shown here, the XnaTrans.exe tool for transferring builds over to the 360 and a surprise XNA Remote Performance Monitor for Xbox 360 tool.
I believe we have all the software we need right now. All we need Microsoft to do is to enable the Xbox 360 side – most likely a menu option alongside the Connect to media PC that’ll throw the connection key up on the screen that the PC side needs.
If anyone from the XNA team wants to turn mine on for testing my gamertag is DamienG ;-)
It would seem the XNA team are prohibited from allowing beta code to run on retail Xbox 360′s :( Let’s hope they get to a 1.0 release sooner rather than later. A comprehensive look at the other beta 2 changes can be found at the XNA Team Blog.