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Ask X3F: Starving for swag edition


Okay, deep breath. Ask X3F is back the way it was always meant to be. Oh sure, Xav came and filled in for a week, but now it's time to get back to business for real and for true. This week we have got a brand new heap of questions. It seems quite a few folks are curious about the new 60GB Xbox 360. Another reader wants to know what happened to all of our swag (hint: E3). Finally, we deal with the controversial topics of IPTV and inversion. Read on.

Sup dudes ...

With the rumored price cuts I've been thinking of buying myself a new 360 so i can retire my dear old launch unit to occasional bedroom use. i've had my eyes on a sweet ass elite for awhile now but a 60 gig for 300 sounds like a much better deal. assuming that the price of 300 for the new Pro and 400 for the elite are correct, what justifies the 100 dollars extra for the elite? ( or in any case, the present 170 dollar disparity). is there any difference at all besides the color and HDD size?
also, i've been waiting to hear about the new motherboard thing before making a purchase. part of the reason i want to replace my old Xbox is the frying pan heat /jet engine noise combo it has going on. have you guys heard anything recently about the, what is it, Jasper?
thanks alot and keep up the excellent and fanatically fanboyistic blogging. - Ben


First of all, let's be clear that so far the price cut rumors are just that: rumors. If they are correct, then you raise a good question. Honestly, the only question that you would have to ask yourself is if a console with double the hard drive space and a different color is worth another 100 bucks. After all, that's the only thing that separates them now. There was a (brief) time when Elites also had the advantage of an HDMI port, but now all Xbox 360 models have one. If you're planning on downloading lots and lots of television shows, the extra space might be worth it, but honestly, we'd say the value of the Elite is becoming less apparent. Then again, Microsoft is still charging $100 for a 20GB hard drive so, on their terms, an Elite gives you an extra 60 gigs for the same price.

In the end it boils down to whether or not you think you'll need more than 60GB of space. If you don't, we'd say forget the Elite and get a Pro.

As for the Jasper equipped 360s, the latest rumor (from back in May) is that they are supposed to start showing up this month, which would make sense given the new 60GB models are starting to hit shelves. Whether or not they actually have new chips, we don't know.

On a side note: we're getting a few questions about the 60GB 360 consoles. We're working on getting "official answers," but these are the unofficial answers we have so far. Will the 60GB hard drive also be sold separately? Yeah, probably. Will the 60GB console have a transfer cable like the Elite? Probably not.

My question is, will save games be kept separate from the [hard drive] game install so that you can uninstall a game but keep your profile and progress as a save file.

Never fear, game saves will be handled the same way they are now. Any games installed on your hard drive will still have separate save files, so you don't have to worry about uninstalling a game and losing your progress.

I have a friend who every time he comes over and wants to play games, we must stop ever thing we are in the middle of and pause the game. The reason being is so he can invert his controls for the two to three minutes he plays and then once he dies and we cycle someone else in, pause the game again and put things back to normal and then it happens all over again. I always tell him he is got to be one of a million people who have to have their controls switched over and it just really puts a damper on our fun when we have ten people playing and he causes us to stop every couple of minutes. I tell him he needs to learn how to use the controls the way everyone else does so he won't get yelled at so much but he says he will never learn. I have nothing against inverted people but when there is only one of them in a group it kind of sucks. I was wondering if you could do a poll to see how many people actually really do use inverted controls, maybe I have this all wrong and there are a millions of them and they just live on the other side of town or something. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope to see something pop up. Game On!

Mike

GT: tH4tguytH4tflys


You sir, are an inversionist. You may say you "have nothing against inverted people" but we're reading between the lines. Joking aside, the fact your friend is the only member of the group to use inverted controls is no reason to force him to change. Might we suggest that your friend create a profile on your Xbox 360? Once created, profiles can be set to default to standard or inverted controls. That way, all he has to do is sign into his profile when he plays, and the next person can sign out.

Barring that, almost every game takes 10 seconds tops to switch the controls from standard to inverted, so what's the big deal? There are two choices here: either everyone has to stop having fun for 10 seconds every few minutes or your friend switches to standard and doesn't get to have fun all night.

For what it's worth, I'm the only one on the X3F staff that uses inverted controls. Just remember kids, prejudice is always bad. Gamers that use inverted controls are people too.

Do you guys know if the sharing of videos over the new 'party' system will be limited to just Netflix or will it be possible with any video content (movies rented from the marketplace, stuff on my harddrive, etc)?

Only Netflix members will be able to watch movies with friends over Xbox Live. These movies will be limited to the "Watch Instantly" library from Netflix and all members of a given Xbox Live party will have to be Netflix members in order to watch a movie together.

So, Richard and Dustin must have come back from E3 laden with swag, right? Swag that will be given away to some lucky X3F'er, right?

Have I mentioned how lucky I am? I mean, really,really lucky. Black cats go out of their way to cross *my* path. Ladders walk under *me*. Birds poop on me almost daily.

Pretty darn lucky, you see.

Cheers,

Jonman

GT: Spiffing Wotwot


Actually, we have considerably less swag now that E3 is over. We gave it all away at the Joystiq E3 meetup, you see. Now we have to refill our swag reserves once more. Rest assured that once we do, the swag will flow once more. About that bird poop now ... we're pretty sure some mother made up that "good luck" thing so that people would feel better about being pooped on.

Whatever happened to the IPTV feature that was announced two years ago? It has seemed to gone off the face of the Earth. Have you guys heard anything?

Andy

We get this question every once in a while. The long and short of it, every time we've discussed it with Microsoft, is that it's up to service providers to implement the Xbox 360's IPTV features. They're readily available right now, but providers simply aren't latching onto them. Basically, if your local cable provider wanted to start offering IPTV, the Xbox 360 would be an option for them to use. The demand for IPTV just isn't that big in North America so far, so there really isn't any incentive for companies to start using the features available in the Xbox 360. If and when IPTV becomes more widely used, and if providers decide that they want to use Xbox 360s as a set top box, you'll start to see the feature come to light.

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