Microsoft has revised the allocation of Xbox 360 launch units to 400,000 for the North American region, an EB Games employee said on Saturday. The number of units is far below the 1 million units expected at the launch window and much dire than recent estimates.
Every year, the editors of Popular Science magazine review thousands of new products and technologies in pursuit of 100 breakthroughs that merit the magazine's highest honor, the Best of What's New award. Appearing in the much-anticipated December issue of Popular Science -- the most widely read issue of the year -- Best of What's New celebrates the 100 most impressive advancements in 12 categories: Automotive Tech, Aviation & Space, Cars, Computing, Engineering, Gadgets, General Innovation, Home Entertainment, Home Tech, Personal Health, Photography and Recreation.
Leading off each category is one Grand Award winner -- a product or technology that represents a significant leap over existing technologies. "The Best of What's New awards honor innovations that affect the way we live today and change the way we think about the future," says Mark Jannot, editor of Popular Science.
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox 360 will not play songs downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store because the Mac maker won't license its DRM technology, at least not for a price the software giant is willing to pay.
When the Xbox 360 was formally announced in May 2005, Microsoft said it was compatible with the iPod. Since then it has emerged that the console's control panel software allows music to be played off a USB 2.0-connected MP3 player.
Microsoft has its own Windows Media-based music player infrastructure, of course, but clearly the company believes there's value in ensuring Apple's player is supported too. Plug one into the console and the machine can display a list of artists, albums, songs and so on, and allow the user to select one to play.
But not iTMS-sourced songs, according to Scott Henson, a product unit manager with Microsoft's advanced-technology group, cited by a CNet report. "We do not have an official relationship with Apple for the iPod connectivity," said Henson.
The report also cites Xbox digital-entertainment executive producer Jeff Henshaw, who claimed Microsoft had approached Apple, but had been sent packing.
Microsoft announced details of the Xbox 360 launch event, "Xbox 360: Zero Hour," where thousands of gamers from around the world are invited to make the pilgrimage to an undisclosed location in the Mojave desert to witness the dawning of the next generation of gaming.
In order to get a ticket to attend this exclusive event, gamers must win them from any one of the participating sites listed below. Tickets are limited and distributed on a first come, first serve and random drawing basis. Hopeful attendees should check participating sites frequently since sign-up forms will be posted at unspecified times throughout the day between 12:01 AM PST and 11:59 PM PST on Thursday, November 10. After registration ends, the winners will be chosen and a total of 3,000 lucky gamers will join VIPs from the U.S. "Hex 168" and European "Origen" campaigns to be the first gamers in the world to fully experience all that Xbox 360 has to offer. The first 360 eligible entries registered will automatically receive an invitation for two to attend the Microsoft sponsored "Xbox 360: Zero Hour" event in Southern California. The remaining entries will be entered into a random drawing and 1140 winners will be selected from among all eligible entries received to also win an invitation for two to attend the event.