Posts Tagged ‘Zune HD’

XBOX LIVE FEATURES stacking up a week later?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Social networking ang gaming are becoming one...

Social networking ang gaming are becoming one...

Last week, XBOX LIVE released 4 new features to their entertainment dashboard. These features are meant to take your XBOX from high end gaming console, to your one stop entertainment shop. The features: Facebook, Twitter, Last FM, and Zune HD Video were highly anticipated, and now that they’ve been around for a week… Just how do they stack up?

For this, I had BG send me a 360. (Yes up until recently I did not own one… and yes… there are more people like me in the world.) So after a few days of using the XBOX… the verdict is in… I use the new features probably more than anything else.

I admit it, I’m a sucker for technology and new features. I am the ultimate busygamer. Between writing for these guys, my own writing projects, playing in an indie band and being an all around badass, it’s hard to squeeze in gametime. My games are limited to casual gaming on the PC and (on the occasional sick days from the office) a big ol’ MMORPG splurge once every few months. But as a writer and musician, one thing I am always doing is trying to stay connected. The Facebook and Twitter features (which are the most used apps on the Iphone) were particularly interesting.

FACEBOOK: Myspace? Yeah we got one, but honestly we don’t use it as much as good ol’ FB. In fact it seems like every 3 years a new social networking site pops up (we’ve been noticing the great migration from MS for some time now) Facebook is so streamlined, and thankfully, all those annoying glitter graphics that plague MS are gone. On the XBOX LIVE experience, FB is pretty cool. You can view friends statuses and comment pretty easy (if you don’t mind using a controller to scroll through the virtual keyboard) Another cool feature is the fact you can view your (and your friend’s) photos on your TV. Trust me folks there’s nothing like looking at a Gamette’s photos on the ol’ big screen. It does have some drawbacks though… for one, typing is not fun, unless you buy a keyboard accessory. All in all though, it does save you from logging into your computer or using your phone…. And like I said, the picture thing was probably the most fun to use (but then again we have cool pictures)

TWITTER: The king of the microblogging status only services strikes back with an XBOX LIVE feature. While this is pretty much what you expect, it does lack a little. You can do basic things, it is fun to tweet that you are updating from your console, but honestly, I use about 4 apps just for twitter on my Iphone (twitter is serious business when your in our line of work) The apps spoil me, they all have their strengths so I use them all, for XBOX I guess the strength is that… well.. it’s an XBOX

LAST FM: Probably the thing I thought I would like the least is the one I fell in love with the most. LAST FM reminds me a lot of Pandora radio, only as far as I can tell, I can skip songs a lot more. IT gets smarter the more you use it, and it shows a slideshow of the bands playing on your TV when the music is going (perfect for a party). I fell in love with it so much, I use it now on my computer and my Iphone (Pandora has been neglected)

ZUNE HD VIDEO: I got to admit. I have Netflix and the first thing I did was activate it to the console. I can’t see paying for a movie when I already have Netflix and can stream unlimited movies (for free) through the console. This one didn’t get used, even after I have had time to play with the whole system. Maybe I will download it to see what all it can do, but at this point, I don’t see it.

The biggest thing to me is probably the time it steals. Sure its fun, but after day one after talking through a headset via party mode with Crutchboy, I realized we had been on for six hours. Where did the time go? I mean sure I was connected with friends and business contacts, but probably could have done lots more. That’s life of a busygamer for you.

Microsoft and it’s Zune HD

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Microsoft's Zune HD

Microsoft's Zune HD

(Yahoo) – Confirming weeks of speculation, Microsoft has officially announced the Zune HD. The specs (a 3.3 inch OLED touchscreen, the ability to output in HD, an HD Radio receiver, a full-screen web browser and built-in Wi-Fi) are pretty impressive, but perhaps the most exciting tidbit is that the Zune marketplace will be fully integrated into Xbox and Xbox Live as a replacement for the current Live video service.

That’s a huge step for Microsoft, who until now have oddly kept the Zune and Xbox brands on opposite side of the room. With one move, they’ll be exposing the Zune to about 17 million customers who are already using a piece of Microsoft hardware. Moreover, those 17 million are also gamers, and the Zune HD’s combination of touchscreen capability, Wi-Fi access and robust marketplace seems the perfect recipe for a move into the handheld gaming space.

Microsoft seems to feel the same way. In an interview with Develop, Chris Stephenson, GM of consumer marketing for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft, all but confirmed that gaming is definitely on the agenda.

“Gaming is a big opportunity for us,” he said. “We’re not announcing the specifics around our gaming plans for Zune HD right now, but it is definitely an area that we have done some work in…there is clearly a great opportunity for us to be a major player in that market.”

The Zune could certainly use a boost. Sales of the system have waned in recent months, and as Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch continues to gain traction as a legit all-in-one entertainment device, the Zune has been looking more and more like a somewhat stale, expendable piece of hardware.

To counter that, Microsoft will be including the system in its presentation at next week’s E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, noting that “attendees will see firsthand how Zune integrates into Xbox LIVE to create a game-changing entertainment experience.”

Another ninja’d article submitted by B. Holcomb. This dude should work for us.