Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like

Jennie Lees

Jennie hails from under an umbrella somewhere in England. While waiting for the latest games and tech to make it over to the UK, she studies for a PhD in computer science and plays FPS games online with the PMS Clan. Her favourite word is "shiny".

Jennie Lees

Jennie hails from under an umbrella somewhere in England. While waiting for the latest games and tech to make it over to the UK, she studies for a PhD in computer science and plays FPS games online with the PMS Clan. Her favourite word is "shiny".

360 RF adaptor

It may be a bit of a niche market, but we can think of the odd scenario when you might need to hook up your Xbox 360 to something so ancient it doesn't support the shipped cable. Whether through necessity or a lust for retro gaming experiences, if you want to use RF to connect your console to your TV, this accessory will do the trick. Whatever next -- a smoke signal generator?

DOA4 given UK launch date

Brits can breathe easily--Microsoft have finally confirmed the release date for Dead or Alive 4 in the UK, and the good news is that it's just around the corner. Available from January 27th, it's impressive that the game is out so soon here after the launch delays it experienced.

We're not complaining, though; simultaneous or near-simultaneous releases are a vast improvement on the months' delay we have to suffer for some platforms and games, and we're hoping this trend continues for future 360 releases.

Xbox 360 MMO wishlist

We've been getting pretty cosy with Final Fantasy XI recently, and while porting various existing massively multiplayer games to the 360 is very much sought-after, we're hoping that developers will really take the 360 into account for some upcoming titles. Here's a wishlist of features we'd like to see in 360 MMOs:

Continue reading Xbox 360 MMO wishlist

FFXI beta hits the UK

OXM's free Final Fantasy XI beta disc has been a success despite a delay in the magazine's UK release; it hit newsagents on Thursday, and seems to be a big hit amongst many gamers.

Our quick tips:
  • Get your registration code handy before installing. You'll want this site if you're using the European disc.
  • If you can, grab a USB keyboard for the installation and registration procedure. It's a lot easier than entering the requisite information the long way.
  • Also, find something else to do during the two-hour installation.
  • Remember your character name; if you hit the Random button, write it down!
  • Make sure to get a copy of the US or UK manual; the registration isn't particularly complex, but the controls are.
  • If you want to group with a friend, use the Xbox 360's private chat feature to talk rather than laboriously crafting text messages ingame.
Happy adventuring in Vana'diel!

EA developer talks RTS

One of our concerns about the upcoming RTS for Xbox 360, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth II, was the integration of the Xbox 360 controller with traditional RTS controls. Fortunately, we haven't had to worry for long. Gamasutra have interviewed EA's Louis Castle, a RTS veteran whose credentials date from Dune II and Command and Conquer, and it's reassuring:

"I said, 'Let's go back to the beginning.' Let's look at these strategy games, as if they were new. How would we approach it now? Let's pretend that there never was a mouse, and all we had were consoles. How would we bring this about?"

It looks like EA have really focused on the 360's strengths, including voice communication and high-definition graphics as well as a control system designed around the gamepad rather than ported. Hopefully Castle's hype will live up to the implementation.

Worms may be coming to Live Arcade

Those pesky little worms, intent on nothing more than blowing up other worms, may be making their way to the Xbox Live Arcade in due course according to posts on Team 17's forums. It would be excellent to see Worms make it over, as its multiplayer suitability and quirky gameplay are core ingredients for a hit.

We won't be seeing it any time soon if it does make it over; according to the forums, it "won't be a quick port".

[via Gaming360]

Splinter Cell maps causing problems on 360s

Despite a five-month delay on new Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory maps, all is not well. Some Xbox 360 users are reporting problems with the update, some going so far as to say the new maps make Splinter Cell unplayable. Fortunately, there's a workaround, but it involves deleting all your saved games in the process.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory wasn't included in the original backwards compatibility list, but has since made it in--perhaps this is related to the problems some 360 owners are having with the new content. Either way, with months of testing, it's surprising to see this sort of bugginess.

CES: New manufacturer to address 360 shortage

One interesting snippet to come out of Microsoft's CES keynote is the addition of a third manufacturing partner--Celestica will join Flextronics and Wiston manufacturing 360s. Hopefully this will help the shortage somewhat.

Microsoft's Peter Moore also said that 50 games will be available for the 360 by June, giving a glimpse of the 360's plans for dominance.

Xbox 360 game release schedule

We recently stumbled across this site which lists upcoming Xbox and Xbox 360 titles to be released this month or next month. While it doesn't have European release dates, it should be a useful tool in the arsenal of any Xbox 360 fan trying to justify the games to others: "But it has more, coming soon, just look!"

On their way: Top Spin 2, College Hoops 2k6, Frame City Killer, Fight Night Round 3 and Full Auto.

Expired Gold subscriptions causing problems

According to various posters on the official Xbox forums, people taking advantage of the free one-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold will run into some irritating problems when the service expires. Despite buying a 12-month gamecard and upgrading the account, when the trial period was over one poster found his account reverted to Silver status; others have found all the gamertags on their 360 changed to Silver when just one expired.

Some were advised to try deleting their gamertags and then re-recovering them (losing all saved data in the process) to no avail, so we're waiting for word from Xbox on this issue. The best way to handle upgrading from a one-month trial to a full account seems to be to wait for the trial to expire, and then apply the 3 or 12 month subscription.

[Thanks, Stephen]

Dashboard silently updated, but bugs still abound

Noticed anything funny with the 360 Dashboard? While it has a couple of problems, it looks like Microsoft have already taken some steps to update the Dashboard, with most people running version 2241 instead of version 1888 which the 360 shipped with. This "silent" updating is a little unnerving, especially as we don't know what was fixed, but it's nice to know something is being done about the various bugs and problems.

[Thanks, Scott]

Spartan-458 in action

If you've not managed to get some Spartan lovin' in Dead or Alive 4 yet, never fear; you can still get your fill of the lovely lady thanks to this video, put together by a poster on It goes nicely with the screenshots Major Nelson recently posted. Whether this will tide us over until Halo 3, we're not sure, but it's spectacular viewing in the interim.

[Thanks, Mintz]

What's holding the 360 back?

Forbes reports that Microsoft has suffered a particularly bumpy ride this last quarter, with analysts spotting a problem with shipments that hasn't yet been addressed:

"It is clear that something disrupted the supply of Xbox 360 shipments in the quarter, and there does not appear to be any end of year catch-up in shipments,”

The estimated number of Xbox 360s shipped so far is around 1.3 million, at 600,000 to 800,000 per month. This puts Microsoft on track for their estimated sales milestones, but why hasn't there been a catch-up with extra shipments going out to satisfy the tremendous demand for the console? Even this long after launch there are still huge shortages, so it's something on the supply side -- not the demand -- that's the problem.

Japanese nationalism and why the 360 hasn't sold

There's been some mixed justifications for the Xbox 360's poor take-off in Japan, but often the reactions to  the console's subdued success so far have degenerated into unfounded generalisations.

This article tries to explain a little more about Japanese attitudes to American products, and why xenophobia isn't the root of the low sales--it's just a poor launch lineup with little effort spent in localisation and making sure the product really has local appeal.

[Thanks, bandersnatch]

Xbox Live connection problems? Here's a tip

If you've been having problems connecting to your friends on Xbox Live for games or chat, here's a tip that'll help you determine the source of the problem--and hopefully fix it.

Go to the System blade, select Network Settings and then Test Xbox Live Connection. You'll be able to see what sort of NAT your system is behind, and if it's set to Moderate or Strict then you will only be able to connect to certain other users.

To fix this, set your NAT to Open by opening the following ports on your router: 88 (UDP), 3074 (UDP), and 3074 (TCP).

[Thanks, silvernome]

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