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New Xbox Experience Rolled Out, 'Small Arms' Updated, 'Kefling' Released

by Rainier on Nov. 19, 2008 @ 9:46 a.m. PST

The New Xbox Experience will give X360 owners a completely new experience that is fun, social and simple to use -- and puts more entertainment at their fingertips than any other device connected to the TV. Small Arms received an update to add Xbox Live Party support, while NinjaBee's A Kingdom for Keflings is the first avatar enabled city builder on XBLA.

Not one of the millions who already have the Xbox 360 at the heart of the family room? No problem. Microsoft also announced that beginning this month, buy any Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, and games are free.

It is now easier than ever to get the most affordable next-generation console and some of the season's best and broadest games. For an estimated retail price (ERP) of $199.99 ERP (U.S.), the Xbox 360 Arcade holiday offer comes with six games, including "Sega Superstars Tennis" and five Xbox LIVE Arcade games. In addition, the Xbox 360 console ($299.99 ERP) and Xbox 360 Elite ($399.99 ERP) holiday offers pair the consoles and the promise of the New Xbox Experience with two amazing games: "LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures" and "Kung Fu Panda(TM)" -- at no added cost.

The Small Arms update integrates the 8-way group voice chat features of the Xbox LIVE Party system to help players stay connected across the service. All new and current players will automatically receive the free Title Update, enabling players to focus on blasting away their foes without distractions.

Praised as the game Xbox LIVE Arcade was meant for, "Small Arms" was recently inducted into the Arcade Hits collection. "Small Arms" can now be downloaded for only 400 Microsoft® Points. The free Title Update is scheduled to launch tomorrow, November 19, in time for the holiday season.

"We've been at the forefront of Xbox LIVE innovations since day one," said Don Wurster, co-director at Gastronaut Studios. "This update reinforces our commitment to providing the most advanced social gaming experiences possible."

Title Update provides:

  • simple, single-action party invitations.
  • enhanced interface for distinguishing party members from other players;
  • speaker icons that indicate who's talking and where;
  • easy, upfront access to 8-way group voice chat;

A Kingdom for Keflings is the only new Xbox LIVE Arcade game to incorporate in-game Xbox LIVE Avatar support for the launch of the New Xbox Experience. Players can use their customized Avatar in the game to personally build their kingdom and boss around the tiny Keflings.

Players can use the new, customizable Avatar system to create a unique Avatar that looks the way they want and reflects their individual personality. These custom characters can instantly be put to work in the game interacting with Keflings, building buildings, collecting resources and even doing some custom animations like scaring the Keflings away, dancing, posing, and pointing and laughing. Xbox LIVE Avatars can be personalized through a wide variety of apparel and accessories that will be updated every two weeks and available for free. Your custom Avatar can be shared with friends, used to chat with people in LIVE Party, and can even star as the main character in certain games, such as A Kingdom for Keflings.

"A Kingdom for Keflings allows players to create a kingdom according to their own play style," said Steve Taylor, President of NinjaBee. "It was designed from the start to be a customizable experience. With the addition of Xbox LIVE Avatars, players can now further tailor their experience by putting themselves into the game. Avatar characters can do everything the built-in giants can do, but they look even better doing it."

A Kingdom for Keflings is an innovative new city-building title from the studio that developed and published the award winning Band of Bugs, Outpost Kaloki X and Cloning Clyde. A Kingdom for Keflings features fun and light-hearted gameplay with stunning visuals and original music to match. The gameputs players in the shoes of their very own giant avatar who is personally helping a village of Keflings become a full city. Giants start out with a small village and a handful (literally!) of helpful Keflings who are small humanoids that follow the player's commands and try not to get stepped on. Each game is different as players customize their kingdom to their personal vision. The online multiplayer option allows up to four giants to build a kingdom cooperatively over Xbox LIVE Arcade.

A Kingdom for Keflings is rated "E" For Everyone and can be downloaded directly from Xbox LIVE Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points.

The new Xbox experience will require 128MB of free space. A hard drive is recommended for the optimal experience, to take advantage of some new features, and to be able to enjoy the great movies, TV shows and games available on Xbox LIVE. While we expect the majority of consumers to download the New Xbox Experience without a problem, a small percentage of Xbox 360 owners do not have enough memory to accommodate the update. To help ensure all Xbox LIVE members are able to download the New Xbox Experience and enjoy its new features, Microsoft will be offering storage solutions to the Xbox LIVE community. We are not sharing details of this offering yet.

With the New Xbox Experience Xbox 360 owners will enjoy the following:

  • Entertainment without limits. Xbox 360 invites you into a limitless world where the best games, movies and TV shows live side by side with your personal pictures and music library, and ready to share your fun anytime with friends across the globe through Xbox LIVE.
  • Xbox LIVE Party. Xbox 360 allows you to create a virtual party on your TV with up to seven friends. With LIVE Party, voice chat while you play games, share photos in real time and entertain friends all over the world.
  • Personality plus. Create a customizable, animated avatar and literally jump into the world of Xbox LIVE. Your avatar is your game-face throughout the New Xbox Experience and represents your personality -- whether you are a LIVE Party host or chatting with a friend. With custom avatars created by the more than 14 million members worldwide, Xbox LIVE will have as many avatars as Tokyo has residents.
  • On-demand entertainment. Xbox 360 is home to the best TV and movie entertainment, including more than 12,000 exclusive films and TV episodes from Netflix Inc., and a large online library of on-demand high-definition TV shows and movies from partners such as Constantin, Disney, MGM, NBC Universal Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
  • Games for the community, by the community. For the first time in the history of console gaming, thousands of games developed by the creative community will be available to the public. The Community Games channel on Xbox LIVE will include games made by students, hobbyists, and average people all around the world and will be exclusive to Xbox LIVE.

When the New Xbox Experience launches this fall, it will join the best and broadest Xbox 360 entertainment lineup of games ever. Whatever your passion, Xbox 360 has games for you. Only on Xbox 360 can you unleash your inner diva with "Lips," live your favorite movie moments with "You're in the Movies" and "Scene It? Box Office Smash," and find Xbox LIVE Arcade favorites such as "Castle Crashers" alongside indie favorites like the smash hit "Braid."

  • Xbox 360 is the preferred stage for the best music games, including "Lips," "Rock Band 2," "Guitar Hero World Tour" and "DanceDanceRevolution Universe 3."
  • Xbox 360 gets the whole family playing with titles such as "Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts," "Dig Dug Stylish Edition," "PacLand" and "Viva Pi├▒ata: Trouble in Paradise."
  • Xbox 360 remains the best place to play sports titles, including leading franchises such as "Madden NFL," "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR," "NBA LIVE," "NHL 2K" and more.
  • "Final Fantasy XIII" will be available on Xbox 360 at launch in North America and Europe. And Xbox 360 is the only place gamers can play the year's biggest games, such as "Gears of War 2," and "Fable II."

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