Archives by Day

April 2014
SuMTuWThFSa
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930

About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

Advertising





Xbox 360 Gets Netflix, Final Fantasy 13, Game Shows, Avatars, Interface Overhaul

by Judy on July 14, 2008 @ 2:17 p.m. PDT

A slew of changes was announced at Microsoft's press briefing earlier today, including an arrangement with Netflix and the previous PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy XIII coming to the X360. Other additions include the availability of playable game shows — including 1 vs. 100, Lips, You're in the Movies, and Scene It? Box Office Smash — creation of player avatars, and an Xbox Live interface overhaul.

Netflix

Microsoft and Netflix today unveiled an exclusive partnership to offer consumers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via the Xbox 360. This service will be available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers and will let those users enjoy streaming movies from Netflix on Xbox LIVE at no additional cost.

A growing library of more than 10,000 movies and TV episodes will be available from Netflix when it launches on Xbox LIVE in late fall, with more choices added over time. Through this agreement, along with the existing Xbox LIVE Marketplace Video Store, Xbox 360 will be home to more movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. Xbox LIVE quickly and easily connects consumers and their friends to the entertainment they want — with no PC required for viewing.

Netflix on Xbox 360 is an important component of the new Xbox experience, a new generation of games and entertainment experiences that will be available on Xbox 360 consoles this fall. The new Xbox experience, also announced today at the E3 Media and Business Summit, represents the first time in history that a mass-market consumer electronics device has been re-invented through free software, giving people more fun and intuitive ways to interact, play and enjoy entertainment content.

"Watching movies at home will never be the same. Netflix on Xbox 360 is an entertainment first, and we are bringing friends together with the best in entertainment content like no other device in the living room," said John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Services Business at Microsoft. "We are creating a completely new social entertainment experience, and Xbox 360 will be the only video game system where you can access your library of instantly streamable movies from Netflix and turn any room into a virtual movie theater."

From the Netflix Web site, members simply add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues. Those choices will be automatically displayed on the TV screen via Xbox 360 and available to watch instantly. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to instantly streaming movies to the TV, Xbox LIVE Gold members can fast-forward, pause and rewind, all using either their Xbox 360 Controller or Media Remote. In all, the user interface creates a highly personalized experience that puts viewers in control.

"Netflix and Xbox 360 are a perfect combination, the leading online movie rental service and the leading games and entertainment system joining forces to create an all-in-one entertainment experience with content for everyone," said Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix. "For Netflix, it represents an important step forward in making instantly streaming movies on the TV more broadly available to our members."

Netflix on Xbox 360 will launch this fall with the release of the new Xbox experience, a new generation of games and entertainment experiences that will be available for Xbox 360 this fall.

The Biggest Blockbusters of 2008 and Beyond

With the most blockbuster, million-selling games and the most anticipated titles of 2008 and beyond, Xbox 360 is the pre-eminent place to play all the big titles that gamers thirst for, including the following:

  • "Final Fantasy XIII" (Square Enix). "Final Fantasy XIII" is the eagerly anticipated title from Square Enix that takes full advantage of the superior power and technology in Xbox 360, providing tangible, intuitive controls while delivering seamless transitions between real-time gameplay and stunning in-game cinematics. Using the latest in cutting-edge technology, this latest addition to the "Final Fantasy" series is worthy of the title "next generation."
  • "Galaga Legions" (NAMCO BANDAI Games). The arcade shooter "Galaga" has captivated players all over the world, and now the legend lives on with "Galaga Legions." Featuring table-turning game dynamics, updated graphics and vast waves of ferocious enemies, "Galaga Legions" was created by the same team that developed the best-selling "PAC-MAN Championship Edition" for Xbox LIVE Arcade. "Galaga Legions" will debut exclusively on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
  • "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2" (Bizarre Creations Ltd./Activision). The latest version of the frenetic retro shooter, "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2" debuts exclusively on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008. Newcomers and pros alike will be blown away by the screen-melting intensity and insane new features, including six action-packed gameplay modes, new enemies, scoring strategies and a diverse list of exciting Achievements. "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2" also supports multiplayer mayhem for up to four players, with versus or co-op modes, and features razor-sharp 1080p graphics and new, pulse-pounding music.
  • "Portal: Still Alive" (Valve/Microsoft). "Portal: Still Alive" features the full award-winning "Portal" single-player game from Valve plus a new challenge mode. Designed to change the way players approach, manipulate and surmise the possibilities in any given environment, "Portal" has earned more than 70 industry honors for its innovative gameplay, with more than 30 Game of the Year Awards. Solve physical puzzles and challenges by opening portals to maneuvering objects, and yourself, through space. The game is debuting on Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
  • "South Park" (South Park Digital Studios/Doublesix/Microsoft). Based on the Emmy- and Peabody-award winning show, a "South Park" game (title TBA) is coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2009.
  • "Fable II" (Lionhead Studios/Microsoft Game Studios). This Xbox 360 exclusive action role-playing game offers players an epic storyline and an unprecedented level of freedom and choice. Every decision defines who the player becomes and influences the evolving world around them. "Fable II" is the next great step for the genre, with an innovative dynamic cooperative mode, where players can choose to invite a friend on the same couch or over Xbox LIVE to experience the world together.** The journey begins in August with a first-of-its-kind exclusive Xbox LIVE Arcade title, which allows players to get a head start on earning gold that will transfer to the rich world of "Fable II" when it arrives at stores in October.
  • "Gears of War 2" (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios). Epic Games' design director Cliff Bleszinski gave a stunning new look at the "Gears of War 2" campaign, and confirmed the ability to ride the fearsome Brumak. Also detailed was the all-new five-player cooperative mode "Horde," where players unite to battle a seemingly endless onslaught of Locust Horde forces.** "Gears of War 2" is the most anticipated Xbox 360 exclusive title this holiday season and will be released worldwide Nov. 7.
  • "Grand Theft Auto IV" (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games). Continuing its blistering pace on the Xbox 360 platform, the first of the Xbox 360 exclusive downloadable episodes for this record-breaking game will be available this fall — the only console with new "Grand Theft Auto IV" content available this holiday season.
  • "Halo Wars" (Ensemble Studios/Microsoft Game Studios). Microsoft is further expanding the "Halo" universe with "Halo Wars," the blockbuster strategy game designed exclusively for the Xbox 360. A piece of the "Halo Wars" story is revealed through "Five Long Years," a trailer from Ensemble Studios and Microsoft, which showcases the brutal struggle for control of Harvest early in the Human-Covenant wars. "Halo Wars" will put gamers in command of the entire battlefield, leading both UNSC and Covenant forces.
  • "Infinite Undiscovery" (Square Enix). "Infinite Undiscovery" is the newest fantasy role-playing console game from Square Enix, drawing gamers into a real-time world woven of countless threads where player choices spin untold discoveries — only on Xbox 360. Players will be confronted with a variety of dramatic situational battles, such as executing a daring escape while a gigantic ogre follows in hot pursuit, or waging battle amid towering tidal waves. Dynamic environments change and respond in real time, creating an entirely new experience never before seen in the genre. The title is scheduled to release exclusively on Xbox 360 in North America on Sept. 2, 2008.
  • "The Last Remnant" (Square Enix). "The Last Remnant" is a new role-playing game crafted using the finest artistry and technology Square Enix has to offer. Set in a fantasy world, war-torn and scarred by years of conflict, gameplay revolves around mysterious artifacts — Remnants — that possess magic powers. Groundbreaking graphics possible only on Xbox 360 bring the intensity to a whole new level. "The Last Remnant" is launching worldwide on November 20 and will be available only on Xbox 360.
  • "Resident Evil 5" (Capcom). Destined to bring new fans to the series, "Resident Evil 5" is the sequel to one of the highest-rated video games in history (according to Metacritic.com and Gamerankings.com). Promising to revolutionize the series by delivering an unbelievable level of detail, realism and control, "Resident Evil 5" unleashes an unprecedented level of fear for the next generation. New technology developed specifically for the game, as well as incredible changes to both the gameplay and the "Resident Evil" world, will make this a must-have game for gamers across the globe.
  • "Star Ocean: The Last Hope" (Square Enix). "Star Ocean: The Last Hope" is the long-awaited continuation of the celebrated science fiction and fantasy role-playing game series. Slated for release on Xbox 360 in spring 2009 and published by Square Enix, this prequel set during the aftermath of World War III combines science fiction and fantasy elements spanning multiple planets and the vastness of space itself to recount the origins of the Star Ocean universe. Exhilarating combat expands upon the franchise's famous real-time battle system, introducing the amazing graphics and visual effects possible only on Xbox 360.
  • "Too Human" (Silicon Knights/Microsoft Game Studios). "Too Human" is an epic action game with integrated role-playing game elements, and will be available in North America on Aug. 19 and in Europe on Aug. 29. The game features a rich storyline with deep character development, both hallmarks of Silicon Knights' legendary tradition of video game development.

The New Game Show Experience, Live From Your Living Room

Xbox LIVE Primetime is a groundbreaking channel on the new Xbox experience, a new generation of games and entertainment experiences that will be available this fall for Xbox 360. The world’s biggest virtual game show stage, Xbox LIVE Primetime is a place where content is always fresh; play is global, live and massively multiplayer; and prizes are plentiful. A first-of-its-kind phenomenon, this new generation of interactive game shows lets Xbox LIVE members challenge friends and choose to compete against people from across the globe in real time. Xbox LIVE Primetime launches in the fall with the following interactive game:

  • "1 vs. 100" (Endemol). From the makers of "Deal or No Deal," Endemol, the popular television game show "1 vs. 100" is coming to Xbox LIVE Primetime. The exclusive game pits one Xbox LIVE member against 100 others from around the world with a live host and great prizes. The goal of "the One" is to eliminate all the opposition by correctly answering questions, hoping that the opponents will answer incorrectly and be eliminated from the game. And stay tuned for "1 vs. LIVE," where one lucky winner will have a chance to compete against the entire Xbox LIVE community.

Bringing Music Games to Life

Whether you're an aspiring groupie, songbird or big-haired rocker, Xbox 360 transforms your living room into a thrilling soundstage for you and your friends. No other system connects you with all the music you love:

  • Lips (iNiS/Microsoft Game Studios). "Lips," an all-new music franchise exclusively from Xbox 360, is the only singing game that offers wireless motion-sensitive microphones and the ability to sing from your own music collection.* Start channeling your favorite pop star, because it's you, your friends and, most important, your music that makes "Lips" the world's ultimate party experience this holiday.
  • Guitar Hero World Tour (RedOctane/Activision). When the house lights go down this fall, a new generation of axe shredders, drummers and fearless frontmen will come together and rock with "Guitar Hero World Tour." The latest installment from the No. 1 best-selling video game franchise of 2007, "Guitar Hero World Tour" will transform music gaming by marrying the exhilarating guitar gameplay of "Guitar Hero" with a cooperative band experience that combines the most advanced wireless instruments with revolutionary new online and offline gameplay modes. The game will feature a slick newly redesigned guitar, a genuine electronic drum kit and a microphone, as well as an innovative Music Studio music creator that lets players compose, record, edit and share their own rock-and-roll anthems, along with online Band Career and eight-player "Battle of the Bands." "Guitar Hero World Tour" is being developed by Neversoft Entertainment and will be available for Xbox 360 this fall.
  • Rock Band 2 (Harmonix/MTV Games). Debuting exclusively on Xbox 360 this September, "Rock Band" is developed by Harmonix and published by MTV Games. "Rock Band 2" is the next evolution of the franchise that allows players to virtually step into the shoes of their favorite bands as singer, guitarist, bassist or drummer. This next iteration of the best-selling franchise will allow gamers to access all the great songs they purchased on Xbox LIVE for the original game and will feature new online capabilities and instrument options.

Xbox 360 Is the Life of the Party

Xbox 360 truly gets the party started with a wide-ranging portfolio of exclusive games for the whole family, including the following:

  • "You're in the Movies" (Codemasters/Microsoft). Get ready for your close-up. "You're in the Movies" brings the cool factor to kitsch as you live out your dreams of becoming a scream queen, zombie or kung fu fighter. Premiering exclusively on Xbox 360 this holiday season, "You're in the Movies" is the first and only game of its kind to literally transport players into a magical world of cinema mixed with the hilarious world of improvisation. Using the Xbox LIVE Vision camera, players' actions are captured and placed into short, riotous films. Performances never end up on the cutting-room floor, and are never the same.
  • "Scene It? Box Office Smash" (Krome Studios and Screenlife/Microsoft Game Studios). "Scene It? Box Office Smash," the revolutionary movie trivia game on Xbox 360, will ignite your game night this holiday season with totally new questions, movie puzzles and more high-definition (HD) content from real movies including some of Hollywood's latest blockbusters. Trivia night goes global as players challenge each other online over Xbox LIVE, customize their own characters, and access extra questions and localized content from films around the world.
  • "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts" (Rare Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios). Available exclusively on Xbox 360 in November, from the creative masterminds at Rare, "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts" is an action-adventure game that breathes new life into a franchise that has entertained people of all ages for a decade. In a platform genre first, players create their own abilities by building vehicles for Banjo to pilot over land, sea and air in a variety of Challenges where their choice of vehicle and tactics determines the course of the adventure. Players can test their customized vehicles against other players' creations online or simply compare and share their inventions with friends. The original "Banjo-Kazooie" also debuts with "Stop 'N' Swop" on Xbox LIVE Arcade later this year.
  • "DanceDanceRevolution UNIVERSE 3" (Konami). Celebrating its 10th anniversary, "DanceDanceRevolution UNIVERSE3" dances its way to you with fun new modes — including DJ Mode and Quest Mode — and settings for players of all skill levels. In addition to one of the biggest soundtracks — more than 70 songs spanning from the '70s to some of today's hottest tracks — "DanceDanceRevolution UNIVERSE3" brings friends together from around the world via Xbox LIVE. Character customization features more than 400 options of clothing, faces, skin tones and hairstyles, allowing players to create the ultimate dancer.
  • "UNO RUSH" (Microsoft). "UNO RUSH" is a challenging and exciting party card game for up to four players. Developed by the same team that brought the original, best-selling "UNO®" to Xbox LIVE Arcade, "UNO RUSH" boasts a wide range of gameplay and social features — multiple variants, house-rule options, local and Xbox LIVE multiplay, camera support, avatar support, and more — plus fast-paced gameplay to keep the party going. "UNO RUSH" is coming exclusively to Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008.
  • "Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise" (Rare Ltd./Microsoft Game Studios). In this sequel to the colorful sleeper hit "Viva Piñata" debuting in September, players can venture outside the boundaries of the immersive and ever-changing garden to retrieve exotic piñata species from two new lands, the Dessert Desert and the Piñarctic. Developed by Rare, "Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise" allows up to four players to work together to create the ultimate online garden via Xbox LIVE.** Players can race their favorite piñata or enter them into the P-Factor, Piñata Islands very own talent show and beauty pageant, online against friends or against other gardeners from the island. They can now use the Xbox LIVE Vision camera to drop a new piñata right into their gardens, change the weather or share their custom piñatas with others.

The New Xbox Experience

The new Xbox experience represents the first time in history that a mass market consumer electronics device has been reinvented through free software, giving people more fun and intuitive ways to interact, play and enjoy entertainment.

"Xbox LIVE is the world's fastest-growing online social network on TV," said John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Services Business at Microsoft. "We doubled our membership the past two years, growing from 3 million to 6 million, and then from 6 million to 12 million. And today, we are adding a new member every five seconds. With the best and broadest social entertainment experiences launching this fall, the future is limitless."

Some of the features that make the new Xbox experience groundbreaking are the following:

  • Entertainment without limits. With LIVE Party, bring your favorite games, TV shows, movies and pictures to life by sharing those experiences with friends, wherever they are around the world.
  • Express yourself. With the new Xbox 360 experience, gamers can personalize their entertainment like never before. They can create their own avatar, designed exclusively by Rare Ltd., and jump into a party with friends from around the world.
  • "Must See TV" and much, much more. The biggest names in entertainment worldwide, such as Netflix, NBC Universal, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, SCI FI Channel, USA Network, Constantin and MGM are bringing their content to Xbox 360.

blog comments powered by Disqus