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Ask X3F: the first edition


Welcome to the very first installment of Ask X3F, where our readers can send their burning questions our way. For our first edition, we talk about switching Live IDs, what to expect from the Red Ring of Death, rigging an SATA hard drive to work on a 360, MMOs, and which breed of dog is best for gamers (no, seriously). Find your questions and our answers after the break. If you've got a question to ask, or just something you want to share with us, send your emails to: ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

Hi guys,

Do you know why the Inside Xbox newsfeed-type feature introduced in the Fall Update is not available outside the US? Well, it's not here in New Zealand (and elsewhere I've read) but isn't it just a feed of what's new and community vids? From what I've seen it's hardly USA-inclined content ... not sure how it's deemed irrelevant to gamers outside the States and I think a lot of people feel like they're not getting 100% of XBL features (but we pay as much as you do for the service) - any ideas?

Cheers,

Andrew (Auckand, New Zealand)
Gamertag: Halwende

PS: Keep up the good work, love the site & fancast!

We don't know the official reason for the delay in rolling out the Inside Xbox service, but our guess is that Microsoft is waiting to produce localized content for each region. We do know, however, that it is coming to other regions over time. We have a feeling, however, that it might take longer for New Zealand to get it than, say, Canada. Don't worry about it though, you're not missing much thus far.

Well, you asked for questions, so here's something the came up last night that I couldn't get confirmation on. If I connect an external USB drive to my 360, what can I actually put on it? I was able to confirm that it had to be FAT32 formatted and I could access movies and files off of it - but the important question is can I use it to save DLC and demos and marketplace videos. I've got one of those dinky 20 GB drives and I'm constantly having to prune back my files. A 120 GB drive for the 360 costs a whopping $150-170 and I've got a bunch of external hard drives laying around that I'd love to re-purpose.

I'm assuming that Microsoft wouldn't sell their bigger drive for so much if I could just use anything - but short of connecting it and trying myself, I wasn't able to find any confirmation online about what functionality you're able to get out of an external drive.

If you could clarify the whole situation, that'd be great.

Thanks,
Derek

The short answer is that you cannot put game related data on an external USB hard drive. Officially, the only use for external hard drives is for media content. If, however, you are particularly industrious, you can modify certain SATA hard drives to function with the 360. Essentially, you trick the 360 into thinking the SATA HDD is an official Microsoft drive. You'll still be restricted to a maximum of 120GB, but a normal 120GB drive can be had for much less than Microsoft's. If you'd like more info about how to modify a drive for this purpose, you can check this post. FYI, modifying anything related to your Xbox is something you do at your own risk and may void your 360 warranty.

Hey I was wondering what ever happened to the ability to change the Live ID linked to my gamertag. I remember when the update first came out Microsoft said not to change cause of some bug. Has that been fixed?

Philip
Gamertag: Gob 8luth

Yes, the problem has been fixed. For those unaware, the issue to which Philip is referring caused gamers to lose profile information from their Xbox.com forum profiles when changing the Live ID associated with their gamertag. This problem has since been fixed, and you can now change the Live ID associated with your gamertag without fear. Check this post on Major Nelson's blog for more info.

Dear X3F,

1) Where is Fanboy Towers? Also, may we see some pictures of it?
2) Since you guys are always online letting us fanboys join your games and all, why not just have more fanboy gaming events so that the games are more eventful and populated?
3) I'm adopting a new dog from the animal shelter soon, what breed has been known for its gaming abilities?

Sincerely,
zourskittles

1) Fanboy Towers is everywhere, and yet they are nowhere. Assuming you can successfully invent a transdimensional camera, then yes, you may see some pictures of it. By the way, should you invent such a device, know that the concept was created by us, and you will be required to share any profits gained as a result.

2) This usually boils down to scheduling. It's hard to get everyone on board at the same time. It can also be difficult to find a game that we all have and supports a large number of players. We may begin holding X3F Live events at more regular intervals, say once a month or so.

3) We're not sure about gaming abilities, but we recommend the noble Beagle. They are cuddly, well-behaved, and, most importantly, adorable.

I recently got the Red Ring of Death after 2 years...I thought I would have been in the clear by now. When I get my Xbox back, will it be the same xbox, a new xbox, or a different refurbished xbox? Will It just have bigger heat sinks or will it have the new 65nm chip? Once it is fixed, what is the likelihood that I'll get the RROD again? (let's assume that I keep it well ventilated)

--
Regards,
Steven H Roemerman Sr


Based on our personal experiences and the experiences of coworkers, you're most likely going to receive a refurbished console. It will also likely include the new heat sink. Unless you do get a brand new box, you probably won't get the 65nm chips, either. As for the chance it will RROD again, it's anyone's guess. We're pretty sure that Microsoft has a handle on the repair process now, and the heat sinks seem to be doing their job. Anyone out there who have had a 360 replaced, feel free to share your own story with Steven in the comments. Best of luck, Steven!

i was wondering if you guys knew anything about the original arcade version of Killer Instinct ever being released on 360, I downloaded the rare picture pack back at launch and there is a gamer picture of Fulgore straight out of the original game, so if they can sell the picture, they can sell the game, then right???

We don't know anything super secret, no. However, there was a recent round of speculation that a third installment of Killer Instinct might be on the way. You may have seen the Rare Christmas card that's been circulating the net. Take a close look at the stockings on the mantle in the image, and you'll see that one of them reads "KI3." Take it for what you will, but we might be in for something a little more exciting than an XBLA game.

Will there ever be an MMORPG for the 360?

Actually, there are already some available. Final Fantasy XI is currently the only persistent world MMO available. There is also a dungeon crawler MMOs available in Phantasy Star Universe. It's what some people consider traditional MMOs, as it doesn't feature a persistent world, but it does feature a hub area where players can congregate, trade, and build questing parties. Other similar games that are coming soon include Too Human and Sacred 2. For the record, both Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Universe require a monthly fee to play (they both recently received expansions too). Also, with the recent creation of Activision Blizzard we can almost guarantee you that someone in those gilded halls is trying to figure out how to get an iteration of World of Warcraft (or a new game entirely) into the lucrative console market (though they deny there are any plans to do so right now).

And that's it for the first installment of Ask X3F. We'll be back next Tuesday with more questions and answers, so keep 'em coming.

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