xbox-liveA dream come true for some will happen next week when Xbox Live adds the ability to download complete games to your hard drive.

Ever had one of those nights when you feel like playing a new Xbox game, but it’s too late to run to the store, or you’re just too lazy? Well, next week Microsoft will be adding a new feature to Xbox Live called “Games on Demand” that will allow you to just buy games directly on your console and download them to your hard drive.  Pricing is rumored to be around the same price you would pay for the physical copy, but there has to be something said for instant gratification.

Here is a list of the first 21 games that you will be able to purchase along with a video of what the checkout process will be like.

* Assassin’s Creed
* Need for Speed: Most Wanted
* Burnout Paradise
* Perfect Dark Zero
* Call of Duty 2
* Prey
* Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
* Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis
* Fight Night Round 3
* SEGA Rally
* Kameo: Elements of Power
* Test Drive: Unlimited
* LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
* Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
* Mass Effect
* Tomb Raider: Legend
* Meet The Robinsons
* Viva Piñata
* MX vs. ATV Untamed
* Viva Piñata 2: Trouble in Paradise
* Need for Speed Carbon


Categories: Video Games   
 

playstation 3As the Sony Playstation 3 nears its third year of release, prices have held study since the day it came out. There are some indicators that the price may finally be dropping.

Kotaku is reporting that they have received information that this weekend at Best Buy there will be a special deal on an 80 gb Playstation 3 packaged with Metal Gear Solid 4 and Killzone 2 for $400, the price the 80 gb version normally sells for on its own.  This is not the first time Best Buy has run a similar promotion, but with the approaching holiday shopping season, this smells of an attempt to clear out some inventory.

Rumors have been circulating for some time of a redesigned PS3 that has been nicknamed “slim” due to its thinner size.  Lets face it, the current PS3 is a behemoth, and combining the gigantic size with its inflated price, sales are not skyrocketing like they should have to the point that even game company executives has been asking Sony to lower the price. Thus far Sony has remained silent on the subject, but effectively pricing the console at $299 (after deducting the retail price of the games) seems to indicate something is about to happen.

We only bring this up so if you are considering picking up a Playstation 3 any time soon, we highly suggest you wait a bit as it sure sounds like things are about to change.

Categories: Shopping, Video Games   
 

bioshockVideo games on a physical disc are so yesterday!

Tired of video games laying all over your family room? Loose discs, empty cases, games for systems long since dead… you know the drill.  Well, starting in August, Microsoft is going to offering you a whole new way to buy games for your Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 games on demand will be available through the marketplace in your system dashboard.  To start off there will be 30 games, but additional titles will be added each week with their prices being comparable to what you would pay in a retail store for them.  There is no word yet if brand new titles will be released this way, but for now it appears it will be older games.

This is quite exciting, but will offer up two potential problems as we see it: not all Xbox systems came with a hard drive, and you could lose all of your data.

The hard drive issue is solved easily, but not cheaply.  You’re also taking about downloading quite large files, so you could eat through your hard drive space in no time flat.  Somehow we don’t see people buying multiple hard drives and swapping them out like in the old days of memory cards.

The second major problem is the potential loss of data.  Say your hard drive gets corrupted somehow… bye-bye games.

There is definitely something to be said for the approaching death of media in physical formats, but we certainly aren’t up to mass adoption yet with some major headaches/hurdles left in our way.  (We’re not even touching on length of time to download full games here)  Even with these problems, this is an exciting time for video games, and it only looks to get even more so.

Here is a video demo of how the system will work.

Categories: Video Games   
 

vuze stream


Vuze has announced they are bringing HD downloads to just about every device you can think of, and best of all, some of it is even free.

In a former life Vuze was a torrent client known as Azureus, which still exists, but they decided to go for a more legit business model and came up with a video streaming service.  Well, now they are working towards making sure you can watch their content the way you want, when you want.

For people with PS3s or Xbox 360s, you can download the HD files and then stream the videos from your computer to your console, and that in turn will show it on your TV.  The only drawback to this system is that you will need to have your computer running with Vuze opened as you watch.

vuze dragFor iPod, iPhone and Apple TV owners, you simply need to move the files from your Vuze folder to your iTunes folder, and then synch the files to your chosen device.  So if you’re using the Apple TV you can watch the files on your TV without your computer running, and with iPods and iPhones you can use them to watch your files on the go no matter where you are.

With the number of ways you can stream and download videos now, it makes you wonder how much longer broadcast television can last in this world, let alone video rental stores.

Categories: Gadgets, Video, Video Games   
 

amazon logoProving once more that Amazon wants to be your “go to” store for everything, they are now accepting trade-ins on used video games.

In an unexpected turn of events, Amazon has opened up a video game trade-in store where you can trade in your used games for Amazon gift cards.  You simply tell them what games you have to trade-in, they tell you a total value, give you a pre-paid mailing label for you to send them in, and once they receive them you will get an Amazon gift card that you may use on any products you want.

What they will do with the games is a mystery as Adam Ostrow of Mashable accurately pointed out, Amazon does not currently have a used video game store.  Perhaps they will be opening one, or are they selling them to other retailers?  It is anyone’s guess at this point.

Currently you can trade-in games for the following systems.

  • Microsoft Xbox
  • Microsoft Xbox 360
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance
  • Nintendo GameCube
  • Sony Playstation 2
  • Sony Playstation 3
  • Sony PSP
  • Nintendo Wii

While you might get more money selling them on your own through eBay or Amazon’s used option, this removes a lot of work and headaches for you.  Certainly this is a new option for a lot of people with growing video game collections.

Categories: Shopping, Video Games   
 

rrodXbox 360 owners seem to be facing a new round of the Red Ring of Death (RRoD).

If you haven’t heard of the RRoD before, consider yourself lucky.  It seems to be a phenomenon that mainly strikes the earlier generations of the console where three of the four green lights around the power button turn red, indicating an unrecoverable error has occurred.  The only option once this happens is to send the console back to Microsoft for repairs, and this can run you as much as $100 if you are out of warranty.

Earlier this week Microsoft sent out a firmware update to consoles that you were reuired to download before you could get to whatever game you were looking to play.  According to Mike Ferro of Gamer.BLORGE.com, reports are coming in that this is causing a whole new round of RRoD failures.  The problem had been diminishing more and more as of late, but the rate of reports seems to indicate that owners of the popular console still aren’t completely free of the issue.

If you are unfortunate enough to encounter this issue, you need to contact Xbox Support as soon as possible, and then be prepared to be without your console for several weeks while it ships to them, gets fixed and ships back to you.

Categories: Video Games   
 

With the latest update of the XBox 360, Microsoft enabled the ability to stream movies from Netflix to your gaming console, but is it worth it?

While people have been able to streammovies from the popular video rental service Netflix to their computers, they are trying hard now to get those streamed videos to yur TV.  When Microsoft updated their XBox 360 dashboard in November, they made it possible to stream the videos to your console, and then use that to show the videos on your full-sized TV.  Unable to resist such a convenient way to watch movies, and with a family member about to undergo surgery which will have him on the couch recovering for weeks, we signed up with Netflix to give it a try.

So, how is it?  Let’s break it down:

Pros

  • Easy to set up.
  • Videos look amazingly clear considering their source.

Cons

  • Have to use a computer to add things to your ue before trying to stream them.
  • Selection is mostly old or odd ball movies, but with over 12,000 titles there is sure to be something for every one.

We do recommend the service, and considering you can get unlimited streaming for as low as $8.99 a month, and the old television shows selection alone is worth it, we suggest you treat yourself if you don’t already belong!

Categories: Home Electronics, Video Games   
 

It appears that some of the big retailers in the United States are going to try to get an early jump on the holiday shopping season.

Traditionally one has to wait until the day after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday”, to find really good deals on electronics, but it seems Kmart and Walmart have some different ideas this year.  Starting this weekend, November 8th and 9th, both retailers are going to be putting some items on special that are of particular interest to technology and gadget enthusiasts.

KMart

The big item of interest here is going to be a 32 inch Sylvania LCD HDTV LC320SS9 for $499, normally it is $550.  While this set is in the low end of HDTVs, it is certainly a great price to jump into having a nice flat screen TV in your home.

Other items of interest include:

  • Nextar Q4 GPS for $99.99
  • Kodak M763 camera for $129.99
  • Wii Fit for $89.99

Considering there have been shortages of the Wii Fit in some places, that will probably be the hottest item of this weekend.

Walmart

Walmart is coming out with their guns blazing by offering a Compaq CQ-139WM 15.4″ laptop with 2GB RAM and 160GB hard drive for $298.00.  Unfortunately there is no information about this laptop on their website, and we have no idea on its processor, operating system and so on, but at $298, we wouldn’t suggest you expect much out of it.  Compaq used to be a uality company until HP bought them up, so it will probably be pretty lackluster.  I would suggest you buy this as a backup or possibly using it to doing things like just streaming video to your TV.

Other items of interest include:

  • PlayStation 3 for $399 with a $100 Walmart gift card
  • PlayStation 2 for $129 with a $30 Walmart gift card
  • Selected PS3 games for $19.82 each
  • Magnavox Blu-ray player for $198, was $229

The PlayStation 3 might make a good way to get a decent Blu-ray player, but the actual player is also tempting.

Anything listed here would be a great way to get an early leap on your holiday gift shopping, and with these sales not being widely known, you won’t even have to fight crowds!

Categories: Home Electronics, News, Video Games   
 
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