Harmonix, MTV Games and EA, released today the second song pack for Rock Band. A variety of song packs, albums and individual tracks will be available for download on a weekly basis. And that’s just through the end of 2007. Fans can expect more music every week through 2008 with suggested retail pricing varying from $.99 to $2.99 per track (The equivalent of 80 to 240 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360), with the vast majority selling for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360).
3-Pack for $5.49 or Individual Tracks for $1.99 Each (160 Microsoft Points per track and 440 per pack for Xbox 360)
David Bowie Pack
“Moonage Daydream” – David Bowie
“Heroes” as made famous by David Bowie *
“Queen Bitch” as made famous by David Bowie *
Being a dev on an unsuccessful XBLA title must be incredibly disappointing and frustrating.
Jeff Minter, founder of Llamasoft and the fella behind Space Giraffe, recently went on a tirade about the lack of sales of his XBLA title, putting the blame directly on his intended audience.
Below is a quite angry recent post from his LiveJournal: (Who knew people still use LJ?)
j*s*s f*cking chr*st
not seeing a lot of reason to continue even trying to make games, at this point, when a remake of Frogger, one of the worst games in the history of old arcade games, can outsell Space Giraffe that we put so much love and effort into, by more than ten to one, in one week.
OK, we get the message. All you want on that channel is remakes of old, sh*te arcade games and crap you vaguely remember playing on your Amiga. We’ll shut up trying to do anything new then. Sorry for even trying.
So if you're one of the people who purchased Frogger and not Space Giraffe, it looks like you're not going to get a holiday present from Mr. Minter.
Microsoft is upping its assault on the casual market by offering free Xbox Live Arcade games to prospective 360 owners and the friends that persuade them to buy a console.
Microsoft is hoping to take advantage of Wii shortages this holiday by reaching out to those looking for a casual gaming fix. European gamers who persuade a friend to purchase an Xbox 360, and the person who actually parts with the cash, will each receive ten free XBLA games for their troubles, assuming they don’t forget to fill out and send off a form.
The ten titles in question are Every Extend Extra Extreme, Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, Bomberman Live, Marble Blast Ultra (pictured), Spyglass Boardgames, 3D Mini Golf Adventures, Small Arms, Assault Heroes and Zuma Deluxe.
According to Stephen McGill, head of Gaming and Entertainment, Microsoft UK, the offer “…enforces the fact we’ve got an exceptional online service in Xbox Live, which truly does bring everyone together.”
Last month Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 Arcade pack in place of the prior entry-level unit, the Xbox 360 Core system, in a bid to target the family-friendly market being bossed by Nintendo. The Arcade pack comes with a wireless controller, five full pick-up-and-play arcade titles, high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) support and a 256MB memory card.
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division, has belittled Sony’s PlayStation Network, insisting that Microsoft’s online gaming service Xbox Live has no rivals.
Bach told the LA Times that the platform holder was years ahead of its rivals when it came to online gaming and media services.
“It's fair to say that Xbox Live is clearly head and shoulders above anything anyone else has tried to do,” he said.
“We don't have competition. Sony has done some things online, but nothing that can be called a service. We have a big advantage and we're going to keep pressing that advantage.”
Xbox Live, which recently celebrated its fifth birthday, has eight million subscribors. It has managed to broaden iits appeal beyond the traditional male game playing audience by targeting casual gamers and delivering other forms of media content.
“Demographically, when we started, you would say that it was a place for serious gamers. That has changed a lot in the last five years,” Bach continued. “It's now become a great place for casual gamers. When one of your leading games is Uno, you realize you've reached a new type of customer.
“Secondly, it's expanded from being a gaming service to an entertainment service with a social network. We have now expanded into the world of movies and TV shows. It's become a much broader place for people to experience entertainment.
“We have a broad long-term vision for connected entertainment across all platforms. That includes music, video, television and gaming. You're going to see pieces of that roll out over time. We're not ready to talk about the specifics.”
In comparison, Sony’s relatively young, free of-charge PlayStation Network service has 3 million subscribors, a number it hopes to boost dramatically when it launches online social networking space Home next year.
Original Xbox titles downloaded via Xbox Live for use on Xbox 360s will run imperfectly, says Microsoft.
On Tuesday the platform holder announced that its forthcoming fall dashboard update will enable Xbox 360 owners to download original Xbox titles such as Halo, Fable, Crash Bandicoot and Burnout 3 via Xbox Live Marketplace. However, the company has since posted a list of known issues affecting the performance of the classic games on its latest hardware.
“… Any additional content within a game (such as a demo or trailer) is not supported by Xbox Originals titles and selecting those options may result in crashing the game (requiring a restart of the console).”
Halo suffers from “some very mild frame rate drops”, while in Fable “there are some random bursts of audio static and some minor texture issues”.
A complete run-down of known issues can be found on Xbox.com.
Microsoft has announced that they will take down Xbox Live, as well as Xbox.com, for a scheduled maintenance at midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, November 13. Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live Director of Programming, explained the following:
Specifically, Xbox.com maintenance will begin at 0000 while the Xbox LIVE service maintenance will begin at 0100. That means you can stay on LIVE until approximately 0100.
Both Xbox.com and Xbox LIVE will be available again at 0200.