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Sing, sing a song for GoW

If you walk around singing that Mad World song because you can't get it out of your head, this "Gears of War Idol" contest, sponsored by Unscripted 360, is for you.

[Thanks DeaconBlade 360]

PS3 not all that upscale after all

I hated to have to break this disappointing news to the shivering PS3 fanboys camped out in the cold and wet at my local Best Buy, but somebody had to do it:

As it turns out, gamers who own older HD sets that feature only 480i, 480p, and 1080i resolution input capabilities will have to settle for the display quality being downsized as the game boots in its 480p mode rather than upscaling the image from its more desirable 720p mode to the TV's 1080i. We tested this development on older HDTV sets with games designed for 720p but not 1080i -- Resistance: Fall of Man, NHL 2K7, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, and Need for Speed Carbon. Sure enough, the system downshifted all four titles to 480p rather than moving up to 1080i.

The PlayStation 3's competitor, Microsoft's Xbox 360, does upscale 720p games to 1080i if the HD set supports the latter resolution but not the in-between and commonly-employed 720p resolution.


One guy countered (illogically) that he didn't care because 360 controllers are too big for Japanese hands. Apparently he still thinks we're wrasslin' with the Duke, although it might have been the hypothermia talking.

[Thanks Nathan]

XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 released [update 1]

Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 is now available to the wannabe-developer masses. Download it if you have the talent and the will to create the next homebrew masterpiece. Just make sure to include Vision cam support and 10,000 available GamerScore points. Xboxic has a screen shot.

Update: We have already posted a story on the release of this software. Click here for our original post. We apologize for the error.

Big bucks for 360 power brick


The bulky Xbox 360 power brick (aka El Jefe Grande) is big by any definition. Big enough to make your puny DVD player power supply run and hide. Big enough to club a baby seal to death in a pinch. All that's missing to secure its status as the king of gargantuan AC adaptors is a big stand-alone price tag. Enter the Intec Xbox 360 Power AC Adaptor, which, for the Kong-size cost of $100 ( wall plug not included!) adds an internal cooling fan and a few LED lights to your factory power brick, without shaving an ounce off the original's famous form factor. When I first heard about this thing, I assumed Intec was charging power supply snobs a premium for a sleeker, less obtrusive unit, but who was I kidding? This baby is big 'n' beautiful, and it has a fan that supposedly makes your 360 run better. The only question: Is anyone out there a big enough sucker to actually buy it?

[Thanks Chris]

Fall update curbs GamerScore cheating

GamerScore whore awfullygood, from the appropriately named blog, "Confessions of a GamerScore Whore," describes how the Fall update made life more difficult for achievement cheaters:

With the Fall Update, Microsoft has introduced a hybrid locking mechanism that effectively harms the first method [ for swapping game saves] and squelches the second method. Method 1 has been smacked silly because the vast majority of existing game save files created on the previous update do not work on the Fall update software version. This renders those files useless until unscrupulous members decide to re-upload hundreds of saves based from the new dashboard version. This will most likely take months upon months or possibly never happen for very unpopular games.

Method 2 has been rendered useless as new console specific security is in place. Gamerscore thirsty gamers are taunted with a Corrupt Save message when the bypass method attempts to be used. Obviously, the new security may eventually be cracked by code junkies, but those game saves may also have to be re-uploaded. I'm unsure of any repercussions to method 3. I've always found trading accounts to be supremely idiotic as anyone could keep your account for themselves. Anyway, if anyone has heard if method 3 has been affected, let me know.

Former champ ST TheKing quit the GamerScore race after the upper reaches of the leaderboard became became clogged with fakes, including awfullygood himself (who admits he was cheating just to keep up with the Joneses). Sure Xbox 360 achievements are intangible and useless, but they are fun to earn and these a-hole cheats make a mockery of every pallid kid who spent a three day weekend in the basement going after that final Lumines Live time attack get. For God's sake, if putting endless hours into a crap game like Bomberman gives you a limited sense of accomplishment, stealing a game save must give you even less. Of course, these changes won't stop cheating, just slow it down for a bit. But it does serve as a reminder that you're not entitled to an elite score, unless you're playing that other console.

Sneak King trailer wins Nintendo hearts


Self-admitted Nintendo Fanboy Nmaster64 threw this trailer up on YouTube because he says it inspired him to do what Gears of War could not -- get a 360. Creepy man. Sneak King, which -- despite appearances -- is not a sequel to Fight Night Round 3, serves up the fast food thrills later this month.

Let the Gears begin


Some lucky bastard named lamerla racked up four Gears of War achievements on Thursday according to his profile at Xbox.com. Anybody with a retail copy in hand start spilling your guts -- before we spill yours next week.

[Thanks xBlaCkPlaGuEx]

XNA developer contest blogs


Earlier we mentioned that there are 60 homebrew games already in developement using the XNA Game Studio Express. 53 of those are part of a contest at Mark Coffman's Xbox360Homebrew.com in which developers blog their progress. If you thought these guys were tooling around at Pong level, prepare to be impressed. The blogs offer a detailed look at the creative process, not to mention a tantalizing glimpse of what the XNA community has in store for us. Hint: Ninjas vs. Pirates! Check it out.

X360F Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners


When it comes to the Xbox 360 community, not all fanboys are created equal -- and neither are all pumpkins. We received around 20 entries in our carving contest and all of them (except for the odd photoshop fake) were better than the average jack-o-lantern. Richard and I would like to thank all the contestants for making this a competitive contest that proved Xbox 360 fanboys have Halloween spirit and artistic talent to spare. And special thanks to our prize sponsor RockMeTV.com for providing a copy of Gears of War to give away.

Without further ado, please view the official results of our 1st Annual Xbox 360 Pumpkin Carving Contest after the jump

Continue reading X360F Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners

Fall update won't play nice with Sony 1080p TVs


Angry owners in the AVS forum report that the Fall Update's vaunted 1080p support works as advertised with Samsung HDTVs -- but not with two of Sony's most popular (and expensive) 1080p LCD models XBR2/3:

I just had the time to quickly start poking around with the 360 dashboard update, and I'm sorry to report that 1080p is broken on the XBR2 via both component and VGA. When I select 1080p in VGA, I get a windowboxed picture with tons of info cut off on both sides and a warning from the TV saying "Invalid Signal--Check Your PC Output". Over component, when I select 1080p I get a screen full of static for 10 seconds before the console reverts to 1080i.

Feh. Since the XBR2 is one of the most high-profile, wildely available 1080p displays on the market, you'd think MS' engineers would find a way to get the two to work together, but noooooo...

While it's outrageous to suggest that MS would intentionally blacklist their rival's most popular HDTVs, it is amusingly ironic -- unless you're staring at a $4000 distorted screen right now. Another patch could be imminent. It's worth pointing out that most people on that thread say they're going to return their Sony set, not their Xbox 360. And, as usual, someone comments that an upscaled 1080i signal is indiscernible anyway.

Sidenote: The general public doesn't have a prayer of grasping this stuff.

CoD3 multiplayer video blows


Mmm....Call of Duty 3 multiplayer blows things up real good. Are you confident that Treyarch can take this series over from Infinity Ward without overlooking multiple bugs that end up necessitating an interminable wait for a patch? Wait a second.

X360F Pumpkin contest: Count the votes


Last chance to cast your vote in our 1st Annual Xbox 360 Pumpkin Carving Contest and help decide who get Gears of War for the price of a pumpkin. The polls close at 12am EST, right about the time squash futures crash back to earth (to Homer Simpson's dismay). It pains me to think of these works of vegetable art rotting on someone's front porch. Thanks to all who participated in the contest-- except the Photoshop cheats.

We will officially announce the winners on Wednesday evening.

GoW graffiti campaign hits San Fran


Loyal Xbox360fanboy reader Ali works next door to an advertising agency that handles things for Microsoft. Perhaps that has something to do with the suspicious (not to mention cool) Gears of War graffiti turning up around his block. This advertising is in the vein of the PSP graffiti campaign that got a lot of press a while back, and it makes sense given that locust are supposed to come up out of the ground. The familiar Gears logo is always accompanied by a cuddly phrase like "Humanity had a nice run." Ali snapped these pics (more after the jump) on his lunch time stroll through the streets of San Francisco, where we assume it's legal to spray paint skulls on the sidewalk. Either way, it has to be confusing for non-gamers, who undoubtedly think the stencils are part of some Rovian plot to contaminate the sewers. Have you checked the sidewalks in your town?

Continue reading GoW graffiti campaign hits San Fran

CoD2 going 1080p?

Reader DJPhatFive says he stuck in his trusty old copy of Call of Duty 2 and received a mysterious update that seems to have enabled a 1080p setting in the game. Can anybody else confirm? Has the native 1080p train left the station or is this just more noise to add to the post-Fall Update confusion surrounding Splinter Cell: Double Agent?

Harker hopes to draw blood



Halloween would be the day to announce your new next-gen survival horror game based on a classic undead character. Harker, from Foundation 9 Entertainmen, draws inspiration from the original Dracula novel while taking us back to the 18th Century to do battle with the famous blood-sucker himself:

In the game, players take on the role of a very different Jonathan Harker - hardened and ruthless - who is on a very personal mission to destroy all vampires after his beloved Mina falls prey to Dracula. Gameplay involves a combination of hunting these ferocious killers through tracking and exploration, along with an up-close and personal combat system, brutally-effective in the execution of the vampires; using a variety of weapons and environmental factors.

Harker is scheduled for a 2008 release. I'm interested to see how they bastardize the literary work. Fortunately, 1up has some "exclusive" video from the game.

[Thanks Scott]

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