Xbox 360 Price Cut, New Wolfenstein & Xbox 360 Hard Drive madness? – Welcome to the column that went to E3, got way too belligerent with the Wii hard drive Booth (and later found out one didn’t exist) and was asked to leave known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. 49/24/22. In World of Warcraft News, the patch for 2.4.3 is out as of Tuesday. The real news of course out of the patch is that level 30 characters get mounts, where it used to be that level 40 was the magic number. The cost of the mount training has also decreased, to 35 gold. So the twink bracket that existed at 29 is for most practical purposes is gone, and the 39 twink bracket will actually exist again. I mostly played with my hunter which would explain why he was the only one to gain levels (2) this week. He finished the Ghostlands, took a quick trip to Razorfen Kraul & landed in Tarren Mill to start questing. He should have the 45 gold (35 training + 10 for the actual mount) by the time he hits 30. I just need to skin as much as possible and not dump as much money as I was into my enchanting skill. My enchanting skill is on par with my level (120), but I can always get my 49 rogue to solo anything up to and including Razorfen Kraul to get items to disenchant for mats. Plus, my rogue will be moving past the 49 barrier after this week I would imagine. I’ve pvped enough for the current bracket and he needs to make the first steps so he can start moving towards 60.
For some reason, I see Morgan here as a singer. She even seems to be channeling Cher, “Do you Believe…” Most of us see Morgan as the dorky girl next door we want to go hang out with and play games up until the corner of dawn. It’s hard for us to envision her up there, singing her lungs out and look believable doing it. Not to say she can’t sing, I have no idea. We just think she would probably sing somewhere, perhaps in the shower, with the showerhead as her microphone and using way too many bubbles for us to see anything. Darn it, the glass always fogs up when I’m in here anyway.
Microsoft have just made a couple of 360-related announcements ahead of their E3 keynote on Monday morning. The first is that, as expected, the 20GB Xbox 360 will now be $50 cheaper, with a new retail price of $299 (note: no cuts for the Arcade or Elite). The second is that, also as expected, the 20GB unit is being replaced by a 60GB console, which will go on sale in the US in early August. This new 360 will retail for $349, the same price the 20GB model was before the cut.
Redmond, Washington—Microsoft is giving consumers more gigabytes for their buck. The company today announced an Xbox 360® console with triple the storage space of the original console, but for the same price of $349 (U.S.) estimated retail price.
Available in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting in early August, the upgraded Xbox 360 will include a 60GB hard drive for storing the growing wealth of digital entertainment available for the console, including music, movies, television shows, and game content. In addition, Microsoft today dropped the price of its 20GB Xbox 360 console in the U.S. and Canada to just $299 (U.S.) (ERP) while supplies last, a savings of $50.
“We know consumers need more and more space to store the amazing digital content Xbox 360 offers, and we’re giving it to them at no extra charge,” said Albert Penello, Xbox director of product management at Microsoft. “No one device offers the depth and breadth of entertainment that Xbox 360 can deliver, and now you’ll have three times the storage to manage all that great content.”
Xbox 360 is just one of three Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment systems Microsoft offers. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Arcade, which comes with a 256MB memory unit and five Xbox LIVE Arcade games, is a value for the whole family for $279 (U.S.) (ERP), and the premium Xbox 360 Elite console is available with a 120GB hard drive for $449 (U.S.) (ERP).
Moving out the old to bring in the new. While it is exciting that the plain jane Microsoft 360 w/ 20gb hard drive is being reduced to $299.99, it is Microsoft pulling a Target and putting it on the back aisle next to copies of Madden 06 & that History Channel Civil War Game. The 60gb will hopefully gain steam as the new standard and everybody will be happy. Mostly. Well except me of course who is still scratching his head and wondering why the elite wasn’t just reduced to $349.99 & the 120gb hdd by itself was decreased to $99.99. Instead, they had to make a 60 as something of an in between point and confuse people even more. I still don’t understand how in this day and age, a 120 gb can be rationalized to cost $179.99. It’s not even logical. I think I saw a 1TB drive for the pc go for $199.99 the other day in a sales ad. That’s 8 times a 120. Don’t buy into the fact either that the 360 drive is special either. It’s not. Not even close. Like anything else, it is simply memory. Special formatting, perhaps but that’s worth about $20 & a cup of coffee. I like mine black just like my…PS2. Yeah.
Poor Spike TV. Their scoop’s blown! The first details on the next Wolfenstein title are actually to be found in the latest issue of Game Informer, which gives us information on the game’s setting and requisite gimmicky features. Aside from the obvious (you’re still BJ Blaskowitz, you’re still fighting Nazis who are mucking about with the occult), the game will introduce a quasi-sandbox city, with different parts of it opening up as you complete missions. It’ll also feature an AI-controlled resistance force that will assist you, and there’ll be some Link-to-the-Past-ish elements courtesy of an ability to enter “The Shroud”, a dark, alternate version of the game’s city. As expected, Raven are handling development, and it’ll be appearing on the PS3, 360 and PC.
Cover of this magazine can be found at GameInformer.com. I absolutely adore Wolfenstein 3d. I still have chills everytime I think of the 60 levels that make up the original game. A new game would be most welcomed and with Raven handling development, it is almost a guaranteed first week buy for me. The idea of a quasi sandbox game is also a welcome surprise. Well with caution. If the world is slowly opening up as you quest and you can always go back to other areas, I’m game. If they decide to start just dumping you in a new area, then that’s not really a sandbox type game. It’s just switching levels and using that sandbox term as a way of luring people. Of course, if there is an article this week that prints details that include picking up Nazi Hookers, driving my 1940’s car over mutants in SS outfits & completing missions for Hitler himself, consider it a pre-order the next day.
Xbox LIVE GM Marc Whitten followed-up Microsoft’s E3 press conference with a letter posted over at Larry Hryb’s site, which further details the new Xbox Live experience that’s coming our way this fall. Among the innovative new features is the ability to load your games from the disc directly to your hard drive, bypassing the disc drive to allow games to run faster and smoother. Going to assume that the disc would still be required to play the game – otherwise Blockbuster would be seeing a huge, one-time spike in rentals.
Then there’s the ability to access Xbox Live Marketplace via the web on your computer or any other web-enabled device (PS3?), allowing you to purchase new games, demos, DLC and the like from the relative comfort of wherever you happen to be at the time.
The live party feature allows you to team up with up to eight friends and go from game to game, both new and old, while sharing photos, watching a Netflix video together, etc., all without ever disconnecting from one another. Hit up the link for more info, including the addition of 16×10 support via HDMI and VGA. Woot!
Based on the other announcement of 60gb’s becoming the norm, this only makes sense. Looks like I might have to purchase the 120gb add-on sooner than later. Or somehow find a 60gb that somebody took off their machine and decided to sell it off. I just wish they would lower the price to a reasonable level. However, this is a great idea. Some games have ridiculous loading times and would benefit greatly from being given the option to be on your hard drive. It is confirmed that you will still need the disc but it won’t be accessed past the first security check. To be honest though, you know which games run the slowest loading the actual game? The X-Box original discs. Games like Fable and Mortal Kombat Armageddon. Ones produced at the end of the life cycle and used the most memory. I played Fable over the weekend and it took a good 5 minutes of loading before I was able to play. I pray that they include the originals or else I would imagine not using the feature unless I play something like Fable 2 or GTA IV. My 20gb might just have a coronary on the spot.
Well I guess since all of the major news hounds are off @ E3, I’m stuck here trying to figure out what was released this week. I did at about 8:00 Wednesday morning, so that means you will probably not see pictures here until evening. Hopefully Wikipedia is reliable this go around.
The first title is Coffetime Crosswords, a you guessed it, crosswords game. Not much can be said here but I would imagine this would be something best suited with a messenger attachment to your controller or a full scale keyboard (like I have) attached to the 360. Single player and multiplayer options are available including co-op (fill in a puzzle together) & competitive (oh crap, he figured out that 6 down was COCKTEASE before I did. I should have known that my high school girlfriend would fit in that clue somehow). I still think paper might be a better way to go. Me and the girlfriend did a crossword on way back from Vegas and it was a delightful way to spend a good hour trying to get various clues that we couldn’t figure out 30 minutes ago.
Double D Dodgeball basically slipped in ahead of the Pirates vs Ninjas dodgeball game that has been coming for a long long time. It has a very simple visual style, something in the neighborhood of Geometry Wars. But behind the simple design, there is some deep gameplay. You will need to pull off delicate strategies to bonk your opponent on the head with a large soccer ball (BE THE BALL, BE THE BALL!). I downloaded the demo this morning but did not get a chance to play it. It’s hard to imagine a game that is only 17mb could cost 800 points, however I have been proven wrong before.
Wow, I never did think that there would be a game about the sport of eating. Of course, then again I thought Jason movies only had enough legs to do 4 or 5 sequels. Boy was I wrong. That Jason X in Space is the bomb! *end of sarcasm* This game includes all of the well known people we like to see around the famous Nathan Hot Dog Competitions and the like eating things that normally just shouldn’t be in our mouth. People like Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas. The game is more of a fighting game where you unleash certain moves to overcome your opponents. Like the vomit from depths unknown? I mean come on, 60 hotdogs; somebody is not keeping that down. The developer says that SF2, Street Fighter Alpha and Mario Kart were all influences in the game. Say it with me kiddoes. One of these things is not like the others. Who knows what to expect, if somebody downloads this mess; let me know.
Donkey Kong 3, the Donkey Kong that always overstayed its welcome and just never quite lived up to the original. It’s approach was very different from the previous games. In fact, Mario isn’t even a part of the game. Stanley the greenhouse keeper is. Stanley, ooooo; that’s about as macho as Luigi. But I digress. Anyway, you have a can of bug spray and you must use that spray to chase off bees and Donkey Kong. I get the bees, but Kong? Anyway, it’s an interesting study of what a Donkey Kong game shouldn’t be like and only 500 points.
The other game continuing a fine string of Neo releases as of late is Ninja Commando. This game is as you would guess a vertically scrolling shoot em up along the lines of the original Commando. (But with Ninjas!) You can play as one of three Ninjas; Joe, Ryu and Rayar. I guess Joe learned some Ninja moves in his time off from the first one. The neat thing was that it had a fighting game interface for performing some of the moves like performing a “hadoken” combination would give you a Tornado Attack for Joe. It was also famous for its translation making the english language a lot more funny than they left it.
Rockband Track Pack Vol 1
Popcap Greatest Hits Vol 2
NCAA Football 09
NCAA Football 09
Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity
NCAA Football 09
NCAA Football 09
World in Conflict
NCAA Football 09
We Love Golf!
Rock Band Track Pack Vol 1
Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society
Smart Girls: Magical Book Club
In July of 2008, PS2 (even if the list is mediocre) can still have the most games in a given week. I love that little machine. The large release for this week would be NCAA Football 09, giving sports nuts something to play religiously for the next couple of months before selling it back to Gamestop for $10. The Rockband track pack will give Wii & PS2 users some of the great hits the 360/PS3 owners have enjoyed for almost a year now, instead of fixing (at least the Wii) the real problem at hand. But here you go, enjoy the little nugget of 20 songs for $30. Expect more to follow. This would be the part of the paragraph where I would go into the rest of the releases, however the rest of the releases is complete schlock. But I guess if Space Chimps, Nancy Drew, Yamaha Supercross or World in Conflict are your type of games, then more power to you. You should have a heck of a release week and consider therapy. Dr. Kedrix serves patients from 2 to 4 with and without appointment. Payment? Any NES non-sports game will do.
As mentioned in the news, I played Fable: Lost Chapters over the weekend and finished a couple of quests. I had played it previously for a couple of months straight when I got my 360 but had put it aside to attend to other things. Still the best game Xbox original game I have played to date. Please don’t post any comments with Halo 2 love, they will be ignored. Fable has such a rich world and the quests are so accessible to participate in. It’s an absolute pleasure to play outside of the loading times. The latter part of 2008 will be a very expensive one in the 360 release schedule side of things. There is TNA Impact, Lego Batman, Rockband 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour and Fable 2 to mull over. To be honest, I haven’t even thought about how to prioritize them due to the sheer quantity. Furthermore, the release dates run from 9/2 (TNA Impact) to 10/27 (Guitar Hero World Tour). That’s two months and roughly $300. Beans & franks I’m telling ya. I have a feeling Guitar Hero World Tour will get pushed off as it is the latest and the one I have least interest in. Here is hoping that one of those end up in my review pile without my own purchase money. *caugh* TNA *caugh*. Until next time kiddoes, have fun.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)