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360 GRID plagued by freezing issues

Our compatriots over at Big Download stumbled on some unsettling performance issues while preparing a GRID comparison piece that pits the PC version against its console counterparts. It seems that the game suffers from pausing and freezing during races and replays. Pauses are reported to be up to one second in length, which would be unacceptable in most games, but is especially so in a racing game. The issue is currently setting the Codemasters forums on fire. Solutions being offered include removing and reattaching the hard drive, playing with a memory unit and no hard drive, and clearing the cache, although it appears that no solution is effective in all cases.

Codemasters is working on a solution that will be included in a forthcoming patch, which is should be available "within the next few weeks or sooner."

Error: Do not pass GO, do not collect GOW

Reports are coming to Xbox 360 Fanboy that many of our readers on the East coast are having trouble getting a copy of Gears of War. Readers report of showing up the morning of November 8th -- as instructed by EB/GameStop -- only to be turned away. Reader Mark FitzGerald sends this unfortunate message:

"The shipments were supposed to come in 11/7/06. Upon not arriving a pre-recorded message was sent to everyone's phone who made a pre-order telling them they could pick it up 11/08/06 at 10:30 a.m. EST sharp. Upon arriving this morning at many locations customers were surprised to learn shipments were "delayed" until the afternoon. but again at about 3:00 p.m. EST, calls were sent again to pre-order customers telling them due to a shipping error, the game again would not be available until 11/09/06 at 10:30 a.m. EST. They are giving a five dollar refund to all those who pre-ordered"

Other readers write in with similar shipping error stories. How about your neck of the woods? Does your local store complain of shipping problems? If so, were you offered any kind of refund or discount once the game finally shows up?

Disc Read Error Rising

Dead Rising
is DOA on my 360. I loaded the menu ok, but when I tried to start the game, it smacked me with a disc read error, despite being a pristine new copy. The usual "clear the cache' tricks didn't help. But, as suspected, when I removed the hard drive, things worked fine. It turns out plenty of other deadly pissed off customers have a reason to stumble back to the mall with receipt in hand:

Some of these poor folks have already paid $130 to repair their 360 over what is almost certainly an issue with the game itself. When I called Microsoft Support, they told me that there are "multiple known issues" with Dead Rising and that MS is working with Capcom on a fix. Various rumors blame the fact that DR is supposedly the first game to utilize all three cores, but who knows? A couple days ago we were celebrating Capcom's success, and now I'm forced to conclude that Dead Rising is broken for a significant number of gamers.

Needless to say, my enthusiasm for this title is temporarly zombified. Hey Capcom, where's our patch?

Chromehounds and the Ring of Death

Unfortunate reader Tim has an update on his Chromehounds problem (read part one of his sad tale here):

I recently told you guys about chromehounds killing my box. After reading the comments and your reaction, I blew it off as a coincedence. It recently started working again for no reason. As I had already paid for the repair and was awaiting a box to send MS my shiny broken 360, I decided to try and put chromehounds in again. I got through about 30 seconds of the opening cinematic and BLAM! the screen turned into a strange grid and there was a blaring beep. I turned off my xbox, and when I started it again, Lo and behold: the accursed "ring of death" was back.

Double coincidence?

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