Posts Tagged ‘Xbox Live’

Microsoft issues a service alert for Xbox Live

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

(Gamespot) – It appears as if Sony isn’t the only one with a malfunctioning online store for its games console today. Microsoft has issued a service alert for Xbox 360 and PC gamers indicating that the Xbox Live Marketplace, Games for Windows – Live Marketplace, and Indie Games channel are all suffering technical difficulties.

“We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience,” the company said in a message posted to its Xbox Support page. Other aspects of Xbox Live, including online matchmaking and login services, continue to function as intended.

GameSpot’s own attempts to access content have yielded mixed results. An attempt to download content from the Xbox Live Marketplace was successful. However, the same cannot be said for, where attempts to access the Xbox Live Marketplace largely returned page-load errors.

Microsoft had not responded to GameSpot’s request for comment on the matter as of press time. Likewise, the company has yet to indicate the cause of the service interruption, or when gamers can expect Xbox Live connectivity to return to normal working condition.

Hulu Plus gets a date with Xbox Live

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

(Gamespot) – Though the Royal Wedding in the UK will dominate the airwaves on April 29, the day will also mark another significant event in the television realm. Following several days of rumors, Microsoft has confirmed that Hulu Plus will launch on Xbox Live starting tomorrow.

To use Hulu Plus, gamers must be Xbox Live Gold members, at a cost of $60 a year, and also subscribe to Hulu Plus, which costs $10 per month. The service allows users to stream shows and select films from a range of networks, including NBC, Fox, ABC, FX, PBS, Bravo, SyFy, and the Sundance Channel. The free version of Hulu, available on PCs, only lets players watch the most recent episodes of select shows gratis.

Hulu Plus joins such other services as Netflix and ESPN on Xbox Live, along with the Zune video marketplace, which allows for high-definition streaming of films and TV shows. Last November, Hulu Plus became available on the PlayStation Network, where it is accessible at no additional charge from Sony.

Twisted Pixel’s Gunstringer, all strings attached.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Twisted Pixel Games Discusses Origins of Their New Marionette-Based Title

(Press Release Austin, TX) – “Puppets are just something I’ve always loved,??? says Michael Wilford, CEO of Twisted Pixel Games and closeted marionette aficionado. “What makes games great is that they are such a collaborative process. I have over three hundred puppets in my basement, and Bill Muehl, our Game Director, collects Western landscape photography. Oh, and of course we have Dan Teasdale, our Design Lead, whose family was brutally murdered by drug lords when he was a child, and who’s been on a mission of vengeance ever since.???

Originally conceived as an Oregon Trail – style singalong, design decisions throughout the project gradually axed all those elements in favor of the single minded pursuit of revenge by a soulless puppet. Bill recalls, “I tried to bring up compromise with Dan a couple times, but he’d just start fingering that necklace made out of the ears of his slain enemies and stare out into the distance. At that point I’d just mumble something and back away.???

The player controls a marionette named the Gunstringer using Kinect’s unique motion-based controls. The epic tale of the lonely gunman unfolds across
several acts, each performance taking place in a hand-crafted environment. The Gunstringer has several weapons at his disposal, each tool of vengeance
unleashed through the player’s gestures. The game’s lavish production features over thirty characters and countless animations.

Additional information about The Gunstringer can be found at The site features information about the game, the release trailer, and our developer’s blog, covering thoughts from the team as their work progresses.

The Gunstringer is expected to be completed in 2011. Dan’s quest to temper the pain in his soul with violence has not yet been given an end date.

Xbox Live Update gets ESPN on demand

Monday, November 1st, 2010

New Xbox Live UI installs today!

(Gamespot) – The update brings a new look to the Xbox 360′s dashboard and adds new features and functionality for existing items. The dashboard still utilizes the same panel orientation that was first implemented with the New Xbox Experience from 2008, but its colors have been changed.

Further, Xbox Live members in the United States can now view ESPN programming via their Xbox 360s. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will have access to upwards of 3,500 HD-broadcasted sporting events throughout the year, as well as the ability to chat with friends during matches.

Xbox Live gamers spend over 1 billion hours on Xbox Live per month, and now all users will be able to hear each other with better clarity, thanks to improvements made to the service’s voice chat audio codec.

For the movie and television fan, the Netflix application for the Xbox 360 has been reworked with the new update. Now, users will be able to search for programs via the dashboard application, instead of having to add them at

For the full list of changes and updates bundled with the fall update, check out Major Nelson’s blog.


Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Latest DLC Coming to Both L4D1 & L4D2

(Press Release) – Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the new add-on for its co-operative zombie thrillers — “The Sacrifice,” in development for both Left 4 Dead (L4D) and Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) — is due for release on October 5, 2010.

“The Sacrifice” is the prequel to “The Passing,” and takes place from the L4D Survivors’ perspective as they make their way South. In addition to advancing the story, “The Sacrifice” introduces a new style finale featuring “Sacrificial Gameplay” where players get to decide who will give their life so the others may live.

The Sacrifice DLC for L4D1 is a seperate download than The Sacrifice for L4D2.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 1 gamers receive the complete Sacrifice campaign with maps playable in Campaign, Versus, and Survival.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 2 owners receive “The Sacrifice” campaign playable with the Left 4 Dead Survivors. In addition, those with Left 4 Dead 2 receive L4D’s “No Mercy” campaign. Both campaigns are playable in Campaign, Versus, Survival, and Scavenge modes and both will feature the Left 4 Dead 2 Special Infected, items, and weapons. Yes, Zoey with a chainsaw!

Targeted for release on October 5th, “The Sacrifice” will be available for download on Xbox Live for 560 Microsoft Points and free to all PC gamers.

For more information, please visit

Xbox Live Price Increase

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Xbox Live subscription rises!

(Kotaku) – Xbox Live Gold subscribers might want to renew before November 1, when the price of a yearly subscription to the service jumps $10 in North America.

According to a post on Major Nelson’s blog, after eight years’ of Xbox Live at the $50 a year price point, the service is finally seeing a price hike. Starting on November 1, a year Gold subscription to Xbox Live will run $59.99, versus the current price of $49.99. One month subscriptions will jump from $7.99 to $9.99, while three month subs will rise from $19.99 to $24.99.

Other regions will be seeing increases as well. In the UK the price of one month will jump from 4.99 GPB to 5.99 GPB. The price of a month in Canada rises a dollar to $9.99. Finally, a year subscription in Mexico rises from 499 to 599 pesos.

Microsoft is running a special deal right now for North American U.S. customers, allowing them to lock in a year at $39.99, $20 less than the new rate. For details, visit the deal website.

Jesse Divnich with industry analyst EEDAR sent out a statement accompanying the news, insuring consumers that $60 is still “an incredible value.”

“When originally launched in 2002, a Gold subscription cost the same as an AAA video game, $49.99. When taking into account for inflation ($50 in 2002 is roughly $60 in 2010) and the additional services available to Gold subscribers in 2010, such as ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Video Kinect, a $10 price increase still represents an incredible value to consumers”

Halo : Leaks

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

( – As leaked copies of Halo: Reach hit the torrent sites, Microsoft tells Kotaku that they are aggressively investigating the leak and are fully prepared to hand out bans to anyone caught playing the game pre-release.

It happens every time a big game comes out, but when it’s a game as big as Bungie’s final Halo title, Microsoft sits up and takes notice. Released on the internet far in advance of its September 14 street date, a Microsoft representative tells Kotaku that the source of the leak is under investigation.

“We are aware that an unauthorized copy of “Halo: Reach” has leaked. We are aggressively investigating the matter. We have no further details to share at this time.”

So where does that leave folks who can’t resist the lure of early Halo: Reach? Even if you have every intention of picking up a retail copy, we’d suggest you wait, lest Microsoft come after you.

“We are aggressively pursuing the violators. Microsoft’s commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the 25 million members of the Xbox LIVE community remains a top priority. All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and modifying their Xbox 360 console violates the Xbox LIVE terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox LIVE.”

Hulu coming to 360 & PS3

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

(Gamespot) – Reports have been circulating since the beginning of June that on-demand TV show streaming service Hulu would be the latest multimedia addition to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Today, Hulu made it official. Along with formally unveiling its $10 premium service, the company confirmed that Hulu would be available through Sony’s and Microsoft’s console.

Hulu Plus is expected to debut on gaming consoles with the PlayStation 3. Though officially bearing a “coming soon” release window, a promotional video for Hulu Plus indicates that the service will be available on Sony’s console in July. For Sony’s part, the publisher would only verify the “coming soon” window. Xbox 360 gamers are expected to gain access to Hulu in early 2011. iPhone and iPad users who subscribe to Hulu Plus gain access to the service today.

Hulu did not indicate whether the free version of its on-demand content would be offered to console owners, and the company had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

As previously indicated, Hulu Plus is not a replacement for the TV show streaming content already available through Web browsers. Subscribers will gain access to full seasons of TV shows currently available through the service, instead of just the five most current episodes. Hulu Plus will also let subscribers access a range of TV shows, including The X-Files, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Saturday Night Live.

Hulu is currently offering subscription plans to its premium service in limited quantities, and interested parties can apply for an invitation through the company’s Web site.

Xbox Live may get exclusive channel

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

(Gamespot) – When news of Conan O’Brien’s shock deal with TBS surfaced last week, it was accompanied by reports that the flame-haired comedian might have hosted a show on Xbox Live. Today, Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft has been considering a dedicated television channel for the online game service.

According to the business newswire’s sources, Microsoft has been in discussions with former News Corp. president Peter Chernin to create a channel exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members, who pay an $8 monthly, $20 tri-monthly, or $50 annual fee. To pay for programming and transmission costs, Chernin proposed hiking XBL Gold subscriptions $1-2 a month, or $12-24 more a year.

The Xbox Live TV channel would reportedly be co-owned by Chernin and Microsoft and would feature both reruns and original shows. Both would cater to the tastes of the “online service’s young, male target audience,” according to Bloomberg’s sources. To that end, Chernin apparently approached O’Brien about hosting a show on Xbox Live, although the discussions (obviously) fell through.

Tecmo Bowl flashback game coming to XBL/PSN

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Our first real obsession with a Football game.

Our first real obsession with a Football game.

Publishers announced yesterday that we will be seeing a “Tecmo Bowl Throwback” for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network arriving sometime in spring.

Tecmo Bowl: Throwback will include options aimed at purists, as well as those desiring a modern update. The game will let players switch from classic-style 2D graphics to new 3D visuals, customize their teams and rosters, and hit the global gridiron with an online multiplayer mode.

Throwback is currently in development at Sweden-based Southend Interactive. The developer is no stranger to retro remakes, having created the Xbox Live Arcade versions of Lode Runner and R-Type Dimensions. In the previous generation of consoles, it also worked on retail titles like the original Xbox editions of Ubisoft’s cel-shaded first-person shooter XIII and the futuristic sports title Deathrow.

An 8-bit and 16-bit staple for sports gamers, Tecmo Bowl’s original run ended with a single appearance on the PlayStation in 1996. Tecmo returned to the brand in 2008 with Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff for the DS, which managed a lukewarm critical reception. Tecmo Bowl: Throwback will be the company’s first downloadable sports title since last year’s NBA Unrivaled, which fouled out with critics.

[Full article at]