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HD Netflix set to debut on the Xbox 360

High definition Netflix content streaming is something we didn't think was possible, especially on the Xbox 360. Well, it is possible and HD Netflix streaming is going to debut on the Xbox 360 when the New Xbox Experience releases on November 19th.

According to our friends over at Engadget, Microsoft and Netflix will soon announce that Xbox Live gold members will have access to high definition Netflix movie streaming to their 360s come November 19th. HD movie streaming that isn't available with Netflix's current "Watch Instantly" portal, Roku hardware or Samsung and LG's Netflix enabled Blu-ray players. The HD Netflix roll out will be slow at first with approximately 300 movies being available in HD on day one of the NXE's launch. To recap: Netflix subscription + Xbox Live gold + NXE = HD movies and very happy Xbox 360 owners.

[Thanks, DeadPlasmaCell]

$99 60GB HDD Live pack available next week

According to Gamestop and a leaked Circuit City flier, the rumored 60GB HDD Live starter pack is really real and will be releasing next week.

The 60GB HDD Live pack includes a 60GB hard drive, a 3 month subscription to Xbox Live, a wired headset and ethernet cable all for $99. Quite the steep price, but it works in terms of the console pricing between an Xbox 360 Arcade and Xbox 360 Pro. But we're not justifying the price and 100% agree that it's still way expensive.

[Thanks, therza2169]

Stop at nothing, download Tomb Raider: Underworld demo off the XBLM

If you haven't already discovered, there's a Lara Croft'erific Tomb Raider: Underworld demo available for download off the Xbox Live Marketplace. Huzzah!

The demo download weighs in at a hefty 1.3GB and demands that you "explore everything" and "stop at nothing", so you may want to do that. Explore and don't stop, download and try it, smile and be happy ... trick and treat!

Splatterhouse teaser leaves everything and nothing to the imagination

Sometimes a teaser is released that makes the whole, "This game is not yet rated thing" seem a little silly. This is one of those pivotal moments in gaming history. GameTrailers has exclusively revealed the teaser trailer for the upcoming Splatterhouse reboot from Namco Bandai, publishers of cheery games such as Eternal Sonata and Pac-Man ... anything. While the trailer only shows about 2 seconds of what appears to be in-game footage we can safely say Splatterhouse will involve buckets of blood and brutality. Totally getting an "E 10+" rating. You heard it here first.

Video: Gears 2 as blockbuster entertainment

The seventh and final Gears of War 2 video documentary titled "Blockbuster Entertainment" has just made its way online and, this time, Bleszinski and team Epic talk about how Gears 2 is big blockbuster entertainment.

The video (embedded above, you're welcome) talks about the Gears franchise as more than a video game release, explaining it to be more of an entertainment event than anything else. We'll let you digest the video goodness and listen to team Epic hype up Gears 2 as if it were the greatest game that ever existed. Then again ... it just might be ...

Activision admits World Tour's drums are faulty [update]

Update: According to the official World Tour forum post, a Neversoft spokesperson confirmed that the drum tuning kit will be Windows PC downloadable software (sorry Mac fanboys) that'll allow you to calibrate your drums.

After numerous angry reports made their way online in regards to Guitar Hero World Tour's peripherals not working correctly, Activision has fessed up, acknowledging that some of World Tour's drum kits are flawed.

"We have learned that certain drum kit controllers manufactured for Guitar Hero World Tour have sensitivity issues" starts the Activision statement claiming that it's an "isolated manufacturing issue" that occurred in the early manufacturing stages of production. Acti promises to further look into the borked drum kit problem and has plans to release a drum tuning kit that should optimize the drums and fix the sensitivity issues. For those of you who demand drum kit answers or some sort of alternative fix, you can contact Acti's online support or give them a call (U.S.) at 310-255-2050. Complete (apologetic) Activision statement after the break.

Continue reading Activision admits World Tour's drums are faulty [update]

Dragon themed 360 controller a Walmart exclusive

Haven't you always wanted a black and white Xbox 360 controller featuring a swoosh theme, a Chinese dragon, a feminine eye and a ... candlestick phone? Well, you're in luck, because Microsoft and Walmart have teamed up to offer an exclusive dragon Xbox 360 controller bundle.

The bundle (which we're told has already rolled out to Walmart and Sam's Club stores) includes both a dragon themed 360 wireless controller and black wired headset for only $49. Not too shabby of a deal, especially if you were already in the market for both a controller and headset. You can view pictures of this "unique" controller in the gallery below and decide whether its white d-pad is aesthetically pleasing to your eye. But a candlestick phone? Really?

[Thanks, Terry W.]

Surprise! Avatar store coming next Spring

According to the peeps over at VideoGamer.com, Microsoft will be launching an Avatar store next Spring where gamers can purchase and download additional customization options for their 360 Avatars.

"The plan of record will be to launch a more extensive Avatar Store from spring time onwards next year," said Live EMEA product manager Robin Burrowes. "That store in theory would have branded content in there, game publisher IP stuff in there as well." No surprise there.

To be honest, we're still torn about Avatars, the role they'll be playing in our New Xbox Experience, how Microsoft is approaching the monetizing of them and whether or not we'll be willing to pay for a Gears of War 2 t-shirt for our Avatar next Spring. Because ... you know ... an Avatar rockin' a Gears 2 tee would be rather badass.

Microsoft matches Crisp reward, investigators turn to Xbox Live

Brandon Crisp, a Barrie, Canada, teen has been missing since October 13 following a fight with his parents for taking away his Xbox 360. As hundreds of volunteers scour the area Crisp was last seen, console giant Microsoft has matched the reward for information regarding his whereabouts. Upping the reward to $50,000, Microsoft has also caught the attention of investigators who have requested the Xbox 360 manufacturer breach its normal privacy protocol and release information regarding the gamers Crisp had played with prior to leaving home. Since his disappearance Crisp's parents have publicly stated they fear the 15-year-old, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare fanatic, has been lured by gamers and may be held against his will.

"Law enforcement has contacted Microsoft about this matter and we are co-operating fully with them. We are unable to comment further on the nature of our co-operation because of the ongoing investigation," a Microsoft representative told The Globe and Mail.

While it is not uncommon for lawsuits to arise against game makers from parents who fear their children have become obsessed with videogames, Chris Bennett, a Vancouver-based lawyer who runs the Video Games & Interactive Entertainment Law blog, states ultimately the medium is not at fault because ultimately parents are responsible for what their children are watching on television and for the games they play. Crisp's father has made it clear that the family isn't attempting to vilify Microsoft or the console in anyway, telling The Globe and Mail, "I'm not on a witch hunt. I just want my son back."

We continue to hope for Brandon's safe return home.

Fable II glitch fix completed, missing DLC codes resolved later today

Good news and bad news. Good first, that Fable II "Abbot Quest Glitch" that borked your save game of the recently released Lionhead RPG has been completed! Bad news, Lionhead doesn't know when the patch will be released to players. Lionhead community manager Sam Van Tilburgh confirmed [via Kotaku] the team has been hard at work fixing a number of issues players have revealed on the official Fable II message boards and promises the biggest issues -- such as the Abbot Quest -- have been resolved.

Van Tilburgh has also confirmed the problem with missing DLC codes for special in-game content, which was included in the Fable II Collector's Edition will be resolved sometime today but was scare on details. As an apology to gamers who have been hit with either issue, Lionhead will post redemption codes for Fable II Pub Games on its blog so players can download the XBLA title for free.

Kind of a strange way to distribute the codes, sure. But free is free. Unless you already bought it. Or got it for free from pre-ordering. Hey, imagine you pre-ordered the Collector's Edition? That's like getting slapped twice, just saying.

Bethesda requests all Fallout 3 video to be pulled from gaming sites

Bethesda Softworks has demanded requested all videogame sites remove Fallout 3 trailers due to an ESRB compliance issue. While the letter sent to editors of sites hosting the content, including our sister-site Big Download, is extremely vague it's left the gaming world scratch their head considering gamers are getting their hands on the title today.

"In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice. Thank you for your attention to this matter," reads the email sent from Bethesda VP of Public Relations and Marketing Pete Hines.

Joystiq has contacted Bethesda for more information but you're probably on your way to the store right now -- if Fallout 3 appeals to you that is -- so, does it even matter?

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two this Wednesday, 1200 points

*beep*beep*beep* This just in Microsoft has made what we already knew official: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode Two will debut on the Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday. Arriving at 1200MS Points -- a few dollars cheaper than the original for those keeping score at home -- the second chapter continues the story of Gabe, Tycho and the revenge-seeking hero, You.

To recap, this Wednesday will ask Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with Jeff Foxworthy -- of all people -- provide Marble Blast Ultra DLC and a new achievement and now the sequel to the popular adventure title from HotHead Games. That is an expensive day to be an Arcade fanatic.

Free Marble Blast Ultra DLC coming this Wednesday

In case you missed the announcement conveniently combined with next week's amazing XBLA release on Major Nelson's blog, here's a news tip that is sure to send classic Arcade fans in a frenzy. On Wednesday Marble Blast Ultra will receive free downloadable content. Weeks ago we were tipped to three new achievements that pointed at a MBU map pack and, while not confirmed as of yet, this content may be related. At least we'll be downloading something this Wednesday, amirite?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai coming soon

Let's face it, the food service industry does something to people. The pure inanity of it all will drive ordinary people to lash out at the innocent and do obscene things to their food. And, in rare cases, it can send someone on a blood-fueled spree of undead vengeance. At least, that's the general understanding we have of The Dishwashwer: Dead Samurai. Gamescore Blog has announced that the XBLA game is "coming soon" (that's the news in this post, lest the first few sentences threw you off). Also announced was a new mode called "Phantom Guitar," which allows a second player to plug in either a Rock Band or Guitar Hero guitar and play as, ahem, a phantom guitar which can aid the Dishwasher by damaging and killing enemies.

There is no specific date announced for the game, though the article does use the phrase "in the months to come," so we're hopeful that the game will release before the year is out.

GameStop pre-order nets early access to Left 4 Dead demo

Looking for an early start at the zombie apocalypse? According to its Left 4 Dead product page, GameStop is offering early access to the much discussed demo for the upcoming co-op shooter. From November 6 until November 11 pre-order customers will have access the demo which Valve's Doug Lombardi recently confirmed would include the first two maps of the first level (each level is five maps in length) of the game. There is no word when the demo will release for non pre-orders but with a few days between the end of the early access and the November 18 release of the game we anticipate it to be shortly before launch. Anticipate and hope is the same thing, right?

[via Big Download]

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