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Live Top Ten: Betacular

This week's Live Top Ten shows a trend that will continue on through to the 10th. The Halo 3 Beta is being played a lot, by way of our actions Crackdown. Not enough to knock Gears of War of its top spot, but certainly enough to give the retail game second, and the beta in accesses in third. Of course, there is more on the list worth noting other than those three worth mentioning, such as the DiRT demo, or the free XBLA title, Aegis Wing. Full list can be found after the break, or you can just go back to playing the beta. We'll encourage you in your habit.

Continue reading Live Top Ten: Betacular

Live hits 6 million users 4 months early

GamerscoreBlog put up a fact sheet about Xbox Live to date, announcing they've hit 6,000,000 Xbox Live users four months ahead of schedule. Along with that, they have some spiffy trivia bullet points that might suit your fancy. First, Xbox Live members have unlocked around 300 million Achievements, netting a staggering total of 7.5 billion Gamerscore. Also, 5 billion MS points have been purchased for use over Xbox Live Marketplace. The top three played games worldwide on the 360 are Halo 2, Gears of War, and Hexic HD, and the top downloaded XBLA games Street Fighter II, Bankshot Billiards 2 and Marble Blast Ultra. So there's some cool news you can use. Or at least keep in mind next time you get an Achievement or use Marketplace.

Live top ten: Sin City descends

Last week, Crackdown came on strong with bronze position on the Live top ten. Now it's swapped spots with Rainbow Six: Vegas as Call of Duty 3 continues to be just shy of the podium. GRAW 2's mulitplayer demo makes a return to take the Crackdown demo's position, which moved to 7th. Madden refuses to budge at sixth while Lost Planet and Oblivion get nudged to eighth and ninth, respectively. GRAW rounds out the bottom of the list while last, and obviously not least, Gears of War retains its top spot over all of Xbox Live-dom. Do you feel slightly confused? If so, our simple, yet eloquent list awaits your review after the break, complete with last weeks standings in parentheses.

Continue reading Live top ten: Sin City descends

What it takes to get a game on XBLA

Gamasutra sat down with David Edery, Portfolio Planner for Xbox Live Arcade. The interview focuses on Live Arcade and what makes a good title for XBLA. Edery says that the major factors to consider for a Live Arcade title are ease of playability, Live integration, and innovative gameplay. Considering the recent spate of retro titles, we'll allow you to make what you will of that last sentence. When asked about underrepresented genres on Xbox Live Arcade, Edery notes that he'd like to see more board games, more cooperative games not centered on combat (like this one?), and more experimental titles.

Most importantly, Edery notes that Microsoft does pay attention to user feedback, and knows that the Live Arcade audience wants more original titles. Regarding this, Edery says only, "we've heard the message loud and clear that XBLA customers want more original games, and let me tell you -- those games are coming." Let's hope so.

The interview is a good read for anyone interested in the inner workings of Xbox Live Arcade, and it even contains a few tips for would be developers. Hit the "read" link to check it out.

[Via 1UP]

Texas Hold 'Em tournament on Xbox Live

We just got word that new fansite Xbox Live Connection is holding a Texas Hold 'Em tournament via Xbox Live. Anyone who has the XBLA game Texas Hold 'Em and is at least 18 years old can join in on the fun. Qualifying rounds started last night, but will run until February 18th. All the nightly winners will be invited back to square off on the championship table on February 19th with first place receiving a $40 Best Buy gift card and second place a $10 Best Buy gift card. For complete rules, tournament dates, and to sign up please click the 'read' link below. Good luck card players, the $40 gift card would be a nice down payment on a Xbox 360 game.

Patch up your 1080p problems

Major Nelson brings word that a new 360 patch has been loosed on the world. The patch fixes some 1080p display problems experienced with certain TVs, most notably Sony LCDs and some Samsung models. The patch also promises to improve the performance of wired headsets when used with wireless controllers. Finally, the patch makes changes to the recently played list to improve accuracy. We're not really sure what that means. Has anyone downloaded the patch yet? Does it fix all your problems, answer your prayers, and grant you all of your wildest dreams?

[Thanks, Chris Hipple]

MS drops the banhammer on fake Live accounts

German Xbox site, Xbox Archiv, is reporting that Microsoft will soon begin banning fake Xbox Live accounts. By fake, we mean false accounts created to download content outside of your home region. For example, if you live in America, you might create an European account to download UK Marketplace content -- something many people did for the Vegas single player demo. Rising concerns of copyright violation, especially in light of the recently launched Video Marketplace, are no doubt forcing MS to crack down on fake accounts. Supposedly, Microsoft will begin banning all accounts whose IP address doesn't match the region for which the account was created. However, the article, in part due to the wonky translation, doesn't make the extent of the banning clear. Will Microsoft only ban European and Japanese accounts trying to access US material, or will it ban US accounts accessing European and Japanese material as well?

If Microsoft does start banning fake accounts, will it affect you?

[Via Xboxic]

Small Arms debuts in XBL top five

Gears of War may be king of the hill for the second week in a row, but it isn't the only game making statistical waves on Live. Small Arms, you know, the game we've talked about incessantly for months, debuted at number four on the overall 360 Live charts -- and number one in Xbox Live Arcade specifically. It's really no surprise that the latest XBLA title would debut at number one in the Arcade list, but making number 4 overall is very impressive. For our part, we probably played Small Arms for 4 hours straight the night it came out (and that was just me). As long as you're not stuck in a room full of Unit 51 electricity gun spammers*, there's a lot of fun to be had. How many of you spent time with Small Arms this weekend?

*Seriously, that gun could use some tweaking.

Mad Tracks interview and screens [update 1]

In an interview with the Mad Tracks team, Xbox Elite Team Belgie's very own YLA G gets some answers on why the game has been delayed since September, how far development has come along, and most importantly when we'll get our grubby hands on this cartoon looking game. And for the multi-lingual Xbox 360 fans there is good news, Mad Tracks is the first Xbox Live Arcade game to offer multiple language options. So, now you can brush up on your Spanish, German, Japanese and Russian all while racing around Mad Tracks style! Who said video games weren't educational?

[Thanks, YLA G]

Update 1: Fixed my reference to who "got the answers" ... sorry man.

NCAA March Madness demo coming to marketplace

Love basketball? Love college basketball? Love NCAA college basketball? If you answered yes then you'll be gitty with anticipation when the NCAA March Madness demo hits the Xbox Live Marketplace November 20th. The demo is going to pit number one Florida against number two Kansas in typical basketball style. NCAA March Madness is expected to be available in retail stores January 2007. Put down the pre-season brackets and go download the demo November 20th ... March Madness FTW!

[Thanks, Matt T.]

XBL survey fuels rumors

The other day a select few Xbox Live users were contacted by Microsoft for a little survey fun. And yes I agree with you, normally surveys are yawn inducing, but this survey was extra special as it revealed new products and ideas Microsoft has been planning. Xbox Live users were asked their opinion on various new products including an arcade joystick, a mini keyboard that connects to your controller, a premium black controller, a web browser, and a rundown of various pricing options for new content and media. I know I'd love to get my hands on that sexy black controller, but which of these new products would you like to see hit retail?

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Let them download cake

If don't have this one on your RSS feed, you may not know GayGamer.net does more than cover obviously gay stuff like the Foley-friendly make-out sessions in Bully. Those flamboyantly homosexual gamers can write with Fab Five-ish wit and style, as they prove with this post on the divide between Gold Xbox Live Members and their "lice-ridden" Silver cousins. Let them download cake indeed.

Double Agent plus 12 mos of XBL in Canada

Reader Forbiddon from Canada spotted a great deal for Sam Fisher fans in the Great White North. Buy a copy of Splinter Cell: Double Agent for $59.99 CA (already $10 off the regular Canadian price) and get 12 free months of Xbox Live. The Best Buy Canada site currently doesn't mention the XBL offer, so you'll have to take his word for it.

Reminder: no Live today

Just a friendly reminder that there is no Xbox Live service today. It will be gone for up to 24 hours. That's, like, totally a whole day. What the hell are we supposed to do? Read Xbox 360 Fanboy? Oh, wait ... yes. Yes, you should read Xbox 360 Fanboy. That's an excellent idea. Anybody have any other plans?

Live Anywhere on a cell phone: First pics

Mobility Today scored the first photos of the Live Anywhere platform in action on a mobile phone. Xboxic does a good job deciphering the blurry pics:

The first picture is pretty blurry, but it shows Major Nelson's gamertag and three selections, two of which are "Games" and "View Gamercard". The middle is too blurry to make out, may have something to do with his online status. In the second picture, Live Anywhere has the same game comparison function as Xbox Live, just in case you needed to see if your buddy just beat your Small Arms score while, say, in the supermarket.

What do you expect Live Anywhere to grace your cell phone with beyond this basic stuff?

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