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Ask X3F: WTF happened to The City of Metronome edition

Woo boy, we got a lotta Ask X3F questions this week. Sure, we answer questions about VGA cables, 360 hard drive security, and gamer pictures, but the prize winning question this week is definitely "What the hell happened to The City of Metronome?" If you've never heard of it, we suggest you get acquainted. Find a wealth of knowledge (and a smidgeon of reader berating) after the break.

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com.

Dear X3F,

I was browsing the (free) gamerpics on XBLM the other day and came across the community gamerpics packs. I noticed that there were a lot of the sites I read, but there was no Xbox 360 Fanboy. What's up with that? Do you think there's a chance you get a gamerpic or theme on XBLM?

Gamertag: B Tizo

The short, unfortunate answer is no. There was a time when we were attempting to get our own community gamerpics up there with many of the other Xbox 360 sites out there, but that time has passed. The reasoning behind this is somewhat convoluted, but suffice it to say it's a legal / licensing issue. The websites that got their own themes and pics (to my knowledge) are all independent. X3F, on the other hand, is enfolded deep within the sinewy grip of AOL. Here's what you can do though: hold your Vision camera up to your computer monitor. Point it at this logo and take a picture.

Now set it as your gamer picture! See? It's easy.

Here's a question for you:

I bought GH3 a week ago and love every minute of it. Now I obviously want Rock Band but from what I understand the guitar is not wireless. Do you have any idea if Harmonix plans on (re)releasing it on the 360 with a wireless one? Because frankly,that's the only thing keeps me from buying it right now.


The answer to this one is both yes and no. First of all, if you want to pick up the Rock Band bundle, you will be saddled with wired peripherals (guitar, mic, drums). However, you can purchase wireless guitars separately now. So, if you don't have to have the bundle, you could purchase an individual copy of Rock Band and purchase a wireless guitar. It's also worth noting that your Guitar Hero III controller will work just fine with Rock Band (though you won't have the nifty solo buttons or effects switch). The same goes for the Guitar Hero II X-plorer. Whether or not the Rock Band bundle will ever incorporate the wireless guitar, we don't know (we're inclined to think it won't, though).

Why won't Microsoft let us add our own content (movies!) on to the 360's HD?

Wouldn't that just give people a reason to actually buy their overpriced 120 gigger? I've had my 360 for about 2 yrs, and the 20 gigs is perfectly fine for me, I'd love to be able to fill it up with my own content, but oh well, Microsoft's loss...

You think they'll ever let us actually USE the HD?


Microsoft most likely doesn't want anyone to put any data on the hard drive that isn't signed by Microsoft. The simple reason for that is security. Sure, you might want to put media on your HDD, but other more industrious folk could use the same feature to hack the console. Whether you agree with Microsoft's practice is entirely up for debate (the old "it's my machine, I can do what I want with it" vs "I don't want my Live games hacked" argument). So, no. No, Microsoft will never completely open up the HDD. The closest you can get now is the Creators Club, which allows you to run unsigned code built with XNA (and packs a yearly subscription).

For what it's worth, you can stream media from a PC (or Mac with the right software). You can also play media from flash drives and burned discs. That's not exactly what you were hoping for, we know, but it's better than nothing.


I'm a UK reader with a question a couple of questions for your section

1) I have a few MS points to spend, and wanted to check out some of the themes and gamer pictures. However I was wondering is there a way to check out what each of these look like before parting with my points? There doesn't seem to be an obvious way to do this through the console - is there a site which shows previews of these on the net somewhere? I don't want to end up paying for some dud bog-standard pictures.

2) Is there any news on any forthcoming XBLA games from Sega (the old school Mega Drive/Genesis era ones). In particular I'm hoping for Sonic 3 although don't hold out much hope because it might be tricky with the link to Sonic & Knuckles.

Great site by the way.


Chris B

1) As a matter of fact, you can browse themes right on Click this link, head to the bottom of the page, and you will find links to Xbox 360 Themes in alphabetical order. For gamer pictures, you can follow this link where you will find a similar set of links to gamer pictures in alphabetical order. There used to be a pretty slick theme browser site on the net, though for the life of us we can't remember what it was (any help, fanboys?).

2) As far as we know, all the games Sega had planned for XBLA (Sonic, Sonic 2, Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe and Ecco the Dolphin) have all come to pass. If there are other Genesis / Mega Drive games on the way, we aren't aware of them. Sonic 3 would definitely be a good edition, as would Altered Beast, Vectorman, Phantasy Star (II or IV, please), and plenty of others. Please feel free to list your favorites in the comments.


Interesting question from a mate actually. He doesn't have the internets so whenever a game has a patch he has to come around to mine, complete with the game and HDD and download the game update.
Now, this is a pain for everyone as he basically sits and waits for a batch of games that need updating etc. It's a slow process.

Is there any way, or will MS finally do something sensible, and allow you to download game updates to a memory card or hard drive without having to actually insert the disc? That way, he could hand me a memory card, I'd download the update and then hand it back.

Heard anything about this?



First of all, that sucks. Seriously, that's awful. The answer, we're sorry to say, isn't any better. There is no way to download title updates other than inserting the necessary game disc. In fact, game updates don't even exist on an area of the hard drive that consumers are supposed to access. The closest you can get to accessing them is deleting them, and that still requires a "secret" code. At present, the only updates that can be downloaded (and subsequently burned to a disc for 360 installation) are dashboard updates and backwards compatibility updates.

Our solution, tell your mate to get some internet access.

Howdy X3f,

It does not appear that my 360 will up-convert DVDs using component cables on either the DVD player or the HD-DVD player.

I think I read somewhere that the 360 would up-convert if one were to use the VGA cable. That kinda sucks. If this is true would it be worth it for be to run out and buy a vga cable?

I enjoy 1080p with my component cable, but I thought VGA would only carry me to 1080i. Is that true? I guess I should just run out and buy a cheap up-converting DVD player and save myself the hassle. What
say you X3F?

Steven H Roemerman
Tulsa Ok.

Before we get to the letter, just where the hell were you during our Tulsa X3F meetup? Hmmmm?! You know how many X3F readers showed up for it? Do you? None. That's how many. Zero. You are quite possibly the most insensitive reader ever to grace this website. Thanks. A lot. Having said that, it's always nice to see a Tulsa reader.

Anywho, the VGA cable will most certainly upscale your DVDs (regardless of whether or not you have the HD DVD player). The VGA cable is also perfectly capable of displaying 1080p, so long as your television supports it. Some say that the VGA cable makes the picture appear washed out, but this can usually be fixed by changing the reference levels on the 360 and adjusting color settings on your television.

Hey Xbox 360 Fan Boy , greetings from Chile.

My question is simple and straight , You have some information about a "supposed" Xbox 360 game called "City of Metronome"?? , its was presented on the 2005 E3 as a Xbox 360 (and maybe PS3) game , CoM was being developed by a sweden team called "tarsier".

In the link there some info about the mechanic gameplay of CoM, even some time ago there was a in-game trailer.

Thanks again and cheerz from Chile

(Included in the email was a link to Tarsier's City of Metronome page and the video seen below)

Take heart, for City of Metronome is not dead, as Tarsier secured new funding for City of Metronome from the Nordic Game Program in November of 2007. Alas, that's about all we know about the current state of the project. All we can say is that we hope development is still alive and kicking because what we've seen of the game since it was revealed looks damned intriguing (very Tim Burton). A teaser site is still on the net that notes a new trailer is "coming soon," but the copyright on the page is for 2006. We're not holding our breath.

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

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