Slim Down for Summer with That's Fit

Fanpoll: How was Microsoft's E308 showing?

After being privy to everything we heard, saw and played at E3 2008 we'd like to hear what you thought of Microsoft's overall performance. With suitable OMG-megatons like Final Fantasy XIII, awesome exclusivity announcements like DLC in Fallout 3 and rad showings of games like Gears of War 2 -- it seems like it was a great show! But ... noticeable absences like Alan Wake, the controversy surrounding the Bungie announcement and debatable decisions like the dashboard revamp this poll could go either way. So, X3F Army we ask you. How did Microsoft do overall?

How did Microsoft do at E308?

E308 X3F Sticker Gallery: The final entry

With E3 2008 coming to a welcomed end (it was fun while it lasted), so too comes the end of our official E308 X3F Sticker Gallery. During our stay in LA this week, we were able to tag 35+ industry developers, producers, PR folks and pretty much anyone that was willing to get tagged. It was entertaining, a source of free advertising and, darnit, we had fun doing it. Thanks to all the folks who were willing to play along with the sticker fun, especially those who slapped a sticker on their forehead or mouth. Too cool.

Anyway, we just uploaded another batch (the final batch) of X3F sticker photos including Dead Space producer Chuck Beaver, Mirror's Edge's own Nick Channon, the SouthPeak crew as well as the one, Joystiq's only, our main boss guy who keeps us employed ... CHRIS GRANT! Oh, and don't mind the pic quality. We had to use our cell phone camera due to a digital camera going MIA for a bit. Anyhoo, long live the X3F stickering.

Almost everything you want to know about the New Xbox Experience

Looking for simple answers to your Xbox 360 dashboard redesign questions? Here are a few points to take away from the new Xbox experience:
  • "There's nothing to announce" right now regarding a keyword search for the Marketplace. We hope for some kind of searching option or a better layout for content
  • Playing games from the hard drive will work fine for multi-disc games; in fact, you can pick which discs you want to rip (but a disc swap for the correct disc in the drive is required)
  • As an example, Joystiq was told that Devil May Cry 4 is approximately a 4 or 5GB installation and takes about 10 minutes to copy onto a harddive: PS3 installation is roughly 18-25 mins
  • You'll need to keep the disc in the drive the entire time. This is about speeding up load times and to check if you own the title -- the disc will not spin so no more jet noises
  • Xbox 360 notifications look the same but are actually very cleaned up and look sharper -- the sounds are all the same
  • Yes, you can still use your gamertag pics and your themes (they look cleaner and more crisp now, an example of what it could look like is above) -- example of a gamerpic in action is in the top right corner of the image above

Gallery: New Xbox Experience

Continue reading Almost everything you want to know about the New Xbox Experience

E308: The Joystiq / X3F reader meetup recap-o-pix

Last night, we went out of E3 in style and on our own partying terms by hosting a Joystiq and X3F Reader Meetup event in Santa Monica, California. The turnout was great (something close to 300 readers attended), we ate some pizza, chit-chatted some, gave out a couple hundred pounds of swag and the highlight of the meetup was Rock Band 2. You read correctly, the guys from Harmonix showed up with Rock Band 2 (which is freakin' amazing btw) and new instruments in hand to let everyone try out the new setup. All in all it was a great way to close out the E3 week and for those who attended, we send a gigantic "thank you!" your way. Without your support we'd be nothing but a few sad and lonely fanboys.

Check out the photographic reader meetup recap below and for more meetup coverage, jump on over to Joystiq and browse their photos too.

Gallery: E3 08: Joystiq / X3F Reader Meetup

Gallery: Joystiq Post-E3 2008 Party

E308: Time to leave, time to go home

We just wanted to update you on our (Richard and Dustin) current status as it pertains to E3 2008. Simply stated, the expo is now over and we're jetting out of Los Angeles in the next few hours. This in turn means a few things. The first, most obvious conclusion being that WE SURVIVED E3! The long hours we put in all week, experienced by not only those in LA but team X3F back at Fanboy Towers were grueling. But our brains haven't exploded under the stress so we can't complain too much. As a result of our leaving of E3 we probably will not be updating as much as we should be today. We'll do our best, but no promises. Finally, you should be seeing some E3 wrap-up coverage heading into the weekend and carrying over into early next week. We have a backlog of E3 hands on impressions and general news that (due to there only being 24 hours in a day) we just couldn't get to.

Again, thanks to everyone for sharing a memorable E3 2008 with all of us at X3F. It was exciting, it was stressful, but overall we'll be walking away from this week with a grin on our face and dreams of special Xbox 360 releases that will be coming later this year. Tata.

E308: South Park XBLA to launch in 2009

Remember that epic trailer showcasing the new South Park game for Xbox Live Arcade? All 2.4 seconds of it. No details were dropped regarding what type of game it would be but the South Park Studios official site is already trying to fuel the hype train.

A posting moments after it was unveiled at the conference reads: "A brand new South Park game is coming to Xbox Live in 2009. That's all we've got for now, but stay tuned for more details over the next few months. Let the speculations begin!"

We don't have any guesses on what it will be but we hope it has nothing to do with that awful first-person shooter or the terrible kart racing game or that laughable mini-game collection or ... wait, are we supposed to speculate on whether or not it's going to suck? Who do we send our guesses to?

Valve's Lombardi talks Portal XBLA, achievements and other platforms

Valve's Doug Lombardi (seen muzzled by an X3F sticker at E3 2008) recently cleared up some confusion regarding the content of Portal: Still Alive for the Xbox Live Arcade in an interview with OXM. "It's just a series of new challenges," Lombardi told the magazine. "[Portal: Still Alive is] another way for people to experience Portal, without having to buy the full Orange Box."

We can't say we're surprised. With such a focus on story we didn't expect Valve to do anything exclusively for the Xbox that would factor into actual canon of the series.

Lombardi later detailed that Valve has new projects in the works for the Xbox 360 but remain firm on its disinterest for PS3 and Wii development. It was also confirmed that Team Fortess 2 that the achievements and content added to the PC version of the game will come to the Xbox 360 at some point, when
Valve has worked out how it wants to package and release that content.

E308: Sony 'disappointed' by FFXIII for 360

Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Jack Tretton discussed Sony's take on the recent announcement that Final Fantasy XIII will release simultaneously on the Xbox 360 with the PS3 with a round-table of journalists, including our own team at Joystiq. "Am I disappointed by it? Yes," Tretton told the group, adding: "Am I surprised by it? No." He was quick to stress that the game remains a PS3 exclusive in Japan, but that "seeing as there isn't that big of a [PS3] installed base in [there], I don't know how big of a coup that is for us."

Speaking on the subject of paying off publishers for exclusivity, Tretton told Joystiq "[Sony] invested so much money in the [PS3] hardware" that it simply "can't write checks for exclusive software."

While popular theory is that Microsoft paid Square Enix off for its recent handfull of upcoming releases, word around the industry campfire points at a decision made by Square Enix months ago to focus on multiplatform development that saw Final Fantasy XIII land on the Xbox 360. With a high install base and solid attach rate for the Xbox 360 in North America and Europe many developers are forgoing exclusivity in order to lessen the blow of "next-gen" game development. Capcom has been a prime example of this point with Devil May Cry 4; which saw better sales on the Xbox 360.

Regardless of the situation, Square Enix is happy to bring the experience to as many people as possible and as gamers we all should be too.

Gallery: E308: Final Fantasy XIII (Cutscene Screens)

E308: X3F Wish Makers

Before we left to go to E3 2008 we each outlined our Top Three Interests for the big show. Nearly every one of our interests were available for us to poke and prod at but what about your interests? Asking you to list your E3 anticipations, we molded our content to suit your needs. Why? Because you're the X3F Army!

Jump in for a list of the games you asked about with links to all the news and content we could find, steal and bribe our way to get! We couldn't get them all and there is a ton more not listed but check it out and let us know what you thought of our coverage.

Oh and by the way, we are SO not even done covering E3 2008. Prepare yo' self!

Continue reading E308: X3F Wish Makers

E308 hands-on: Galaga Legions

click to embiggen

There's really no way to get around this, so here it is: Galaga Legions might as well be called Galaga Championship Edition. It's made by the same Namco team that made Pac-Man Championship Edition and it achieves the same success: reinventing an arcade classic and making it relevant again. At the same time, it is definitely still Galaga in much the same way that Pac-Man CE is still Pac-Man. It's new, it's classic, it's pretty. Period.

Continue reading E308 hands-on: Galaga Legions

E308: Dead Space hands on

It's the survival horror game that really hasn't been able to garner too much attention this year, but after getting a chance to play it at EA's booth during E3, we're more confident than ever that the buzz machine surrounding the title will be kicking in pretty soon. We're of course talking about Dead Space, EA's twisted sci-fi horror game that isn't only beautiful artistically, but also offers equally stunning gameplay and innovative gameplay elements to match. Click on to read our Dead Space impressions

Gallery: Dead Space

Continue reading E308: Dead Space hands on

Rock Band controllers to work with Guitar Hero: World Tour

At Activision's non-E3 conference Tuesday, Guitar Hero director Brian Bright surprised attendees confirming that any guitar and drum controllers players own for other games on the Xbox 360 will be compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour.

This news comes as quite a shock considering the current state of controller compatibility between the two music franchises -- a recent update apparently made all guitar controllers compatible with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith but we've heard of some issues.

You may be asking yourself how the drums will work, considering Guitar Hero: World Tour drums use five-inputs while Rock Band uses four (see center of image above). According to Wired, Activision promises that using the Rock Band drums will cause the game to adjust the title to four inputs only. Now we wonder, will plugging in the Rock Revolution controller bring the input count to seven?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Covenant playable in Halo Wars

Some guy over at Joystiq named Richard Mitchell, swear that name sounds familiar, was able to finagle some details from Ensemble Studios during a demo of the game. Ensemble confirmed that the evil Covenant will be playable in Halo Wars. The only catch is that the Covenant will not have a campaign mode and the option to play as them is in multiplayer only. Now, if they would just confirm the Flood already -- we could I go home! Halo Wars is set to release sometime during the Spring of 2009. Looking for more information? Read X3F's hands-on impressions with Halo Wars today!

The E3 Experience: Wednesday edition

For the sake of needing to make a scheduled appointment in a few minutes, I'll just let today's The E3 Experience speak for itself. Click the gallery below to get updated on my daily E3 travels, what's new, why ninja poop buttons are so cool and how angry losing a piece of electronics will make you. For the record, losing expensive electronics will infuriate you to a high degree.

Gallery: The E3 Experience: Wednesday

Taxis Aren't HelpfulDealer, Give Me Viva PinataOMG! Castle Crashers!G4 In Da House

E308: Madden NFL 09 Celebrations & Sadness trailer

Ah, sports games. You do not get enough love from us. But here's a freebie! Madden NFL 09 lands in stores this August and, so far, looks like a solid entry into the franchise. The latest trailer, now available on the Xbox Live Markeplace, focuses on the in-game celebration and frustration animations. Shockingly given permission for celebrations by the (usually) tight-laced NFL, EA Sports shows off a a handful of new moves you can expect to see in the endzone. Let's hope EA consulted with Ocho Cinco for the sake of realism (Sorry, maybe three of you know what I'm even talking about.)

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Upcoming Releases

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Rock Band 2
Sep 14
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Sep 16
Pure Sep 16
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Armored Core: For Answer
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Sep 22
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
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Cabela's Dangerous Hunts '09
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Warriors Orochi 2
Sep 23
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Silent Hill: Homecoming
Sep 30
Guilty Gear 2: Overature
Sep 30

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