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Ask X3F: healing wounds edition

After a one week hiatus, Ask X3F is back in all its glory. A few readers were ... upset by Dustin's take on our weekly feature, so this week we're spreading on the thick salve of knowledge to make things right (though personally I thought it was funny). This week we talk video capturing, gamertag changing, Halo comics, HD DVDs, and potential uses for the 360 HD DVD player (other than coaster). Find enlightenment after the break.

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com.

Hey Guys,

Whatever happened to the Halo comics that were announced a while ago. I got the first one, but haven't seen any sense then.


The first and second issues of the Halo Uprising comic have already been released. You might try looking forthem on Amazon (here and here specifically). The third issue is scheduled to come out on the 26th of this month according to Marvel, and the fourth (and final) installment is set to arrive at retailer on April 9. Oh, and if online shopping isn't your thing, also points to a search page which lists local shops that should stock the Halo comics. Hope that helps.

Hey guys,

I was wondering if any of you have heard of any HD-DVD blowouts?
I figure now that the format has died, many retailers are going to be price cutting their stock to really nice, low prices.

If you haven't heard of any information, would you be willing to keep us updated in posts so that we can get some of our money's worth out of our newly formed doorstops?

Delgado is your friend! Amazon currently has all HD DVDs for at least 30% off, with some titles up to 57% off. There are plenty of great titles to be had for $15.99. There are also some boxed sets for ridiculously low prices, like the Bourne trilogy for $29.99. Check out Amazon's HD DVD store for everything they have. It's all discounted, even if it's not "on sale." If anyone else out there knows where to find cheap HD DVDs, let us know in the comments.

Now that the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive will has fewer and fewer titles released for it due to the end of support for the format, would it be technically possible for Microsoft to push down a software update to allow the external HD DVD drive to be used to play 360 games? Having two games loaded would be convenient and a nice way to make the peripheral useful for years to come.

We spoke with Major Nelson about this. While Major Nelson doesn't know the official answer, he did say (and we agreed) that the HD DVD player's USB interface probably doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to run a game externally. In other words, you'd best stock up on cheap HD DVDs, because that's all the HD DVD player is good for.

Hey whats up,
I enjoy making movies every now and then, and i kinda want to try making something with a game. So my question is what is a cheap capture device that i could buy that suits my needs. It would be used just for fun, nothing serious. Thanks Richard (Or Dustin in case of another Hijacking)

We've answered a similar question before. There are a few (relatively) cheap capture devices out there. If you're running a PC, you could try the Dazzle Video Creator. For Mac, we use the EyeTV Hybrid. The only problem is you will need to pick up a distribution amplifier in order to split the signal between a television and your computer. The reason for this is that recording introduces an inherent lag between the source and the output on your monitor. To rectify this, you need to output a second (lag-free) signal to your television. You can find them at most electronics retailers like RadioShack for around $50. All told, you should be able to build a suitable setup for less than $200. Keep in mind that none of this will capture in HD. If you want that, you'll be spending a lot more money.

Hey Guys,

This is not a question as much as a follow up to the Xbox360 shortages we've been experiencing since Xmas. I finally got an Elite on 2/14 at a local GameStop. I had been circling like a hawk waiting and pounced when the stock showed up. That first Game Stop wave seemed to sell out again right away and the Big Box stores still had not gotten stock in. But by now it seems all the Big Boxes and Game Stops around here have plenty of 360's, Elites and Pros.

So no new SKU's and no major hardware revision. It would seem that this actually was just another one of MS's major screw ups of holiday 2007. This past holiday should be one that MS would really like to forget. Hopefully they will learn from it!!!

-Al Miller
GT - "DeadMeat1240"

Thanks for the info, Al! We also have an update in the latest episode of the Fancast.

I want to change my gamertag but don't want to spend the $10 (800 ms points). I know why they charge but I shouldn't have to pay money to change my gamertag just because other people screw around on xbox live. I just want to change my tag because it's old and I want a different one and want to keep all the achievement points I've earned.

My question is that since my gold membership expires in a month or so, will it just turn into a silver membership and then when I put in the code from the new 12 month card I bought can I pick a new gamertag and keep all the achievement points I've earned?

Thanks for your help with this,
Ryan Lobb
Current Gamertag: RyanSurfer

Ryan, we think you're out of luck. We've never been in your situation -- our subscription has been constant since the original Xbox -- but it's not looking good. Once your current subscription runs out, you will be knocked back down to a silver account. When you decide to renew, you will be doing so with the same gamertag. Of course, you could create a brand new account, but you wouldn't be able to keep your achievements (or Xbox Live Arcade games). If you really want a new gamertag, it looks like you're going to be out ten bucks.

You know that song from the cinemtaic in Rock Band. Is it unlockable, or downloadable? I have not gotten very far in the game yet. If it is playable, what is its title.

Indeed it is. The name of the song is "Highway Star" and it is performed by Deep Purple. Play Rock Band long enough, and you will unlock it.

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